Description James Milton Turner (1840 1915) was a post Civil War political leader, activist, educator, and diplomat. Turner was born into slavery in St. Louis, Missouri. When he was a child, he was sold on the steps of the St Louis courthouse for $50. His father, John Turner, was a 'horse doctor' who was eventually able to purchase freedom for himself and his family. At fourteen, James Turner attended Oberlin College in Ohio for one term until he had to return to St. Louis to care for his family, following his father's death in 1855. There, Turner attended John Berry Meachum's floating Freedom School on a steamboat on the Mississippi River, which Meachum had set up to evade the Missouri law against education for blacks that was passed in 1854. When the American Civil War broke out, Turner enlisted in the Union Army and served as a body servant for Col. Madison Miller. Miller's brother-in-law, Missouri Governor Thomas Fletcher, appointed Turner assistant superintendent of Missouri schools. He helped establish the Lincoln Institute in Jefferson City, the first institution of higher education for African-Americans in Missouri. The Institute's name was later changed to Lincoln University. It began as Lincoln Institute in 1866 and was conceived and supported by the black soldiers who served with the 62nd and 65th Regiments of the U.S. Colored Troops Infantry.In 1868 he was installed as the principal of Lincoln School the first school for blacks in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1871, he was appointed consul general to Liberia by President Ulysses S. Grant. He relocated to Monrovia and held that post until 1878. During this time he was involved in settling the Grebo war. When he returned to St. Louis, he played an essential role in helping to resettle black refugees from the ex-Confederate states in the South and in organizing blacks as a political force. He took part in the relief efforts for African-Americans who had left the South for Kansas as part of the Exoduster Movement
Kenneth Calvert, Saint Louis Member Since April 2009 Artist Statement Ken Calvert, painter, illustrator, graphic designer, and muralist was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He earned his BFA degree from Lindenwood University. His work demonstrates an ability to handle difficult aspects of the natural world as well as a sensitivity to modernist innovations. Among his numerous national and international solo and group exhibition credits are Philadelphia, PA, Chicago, IL, Rio de Janeiro, Hampton University, Howard University and Morris Brown College. Calvert’s "Cultural Connections" exhibition opened at the Beach Institute and Savannah State University in Savannah Georgia, in 1998. His works were featured at the Vaughn Cultural Center in St. Louis in 1999. Following his acclaimed exhibition / lecture, “Through the Eyes of a Child” at the Missouri History Museum, Calvert returned to the Beach Institute in Georgia for a yet another solo exhibition in 2003. Calvert is credited with the cover painting for the Missouri Historical Society publication, "Discovering African American St. Louis". Amongst his Murals is “Cornerstones of Courage and Culture” at the St. Louis, City Hall. Calvert’s painting of Chokwe Chief Ndumba Tembo, is included in the Anheuser Busch “Great Kings and Queens of Africa Series”. He was the 1997 recipient of the "Romare Bearden Award" for artistic contributions to the St. Louis community.