“The black schools [in Kansas City] were much better than they had any right to be, partly because they were full of talented teachers who would have been teaching in college had they been white, and partly because Negro parents and children simply refused to be licked by segregation.” Then-reporter Roy Wilkins’s statement about education in the Kansas City area aptly summarizes the unjust obstacles that segregation created for black students, their parents, and educators at the segregated schools of Kansas City. Before the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which declared separate public schools for white and black students to be unequal and unconstitutional, black communities and activists made personal sacrifices in their fight for quality educations; they arguably had to do so afterward, as well. The African American schools that managed to stay open in the Kansas City area during segregation did so despite discriminatory policies that frequently underfunded, closed, and overcrowded schools.
Letter from attorney Nick T. Cave to University of Missouri President Frederick A. Middlebush, regarding NAACP attorney Sidney Redmond's inquire about the status of Lucile Bluford's application to the university. He writes to concur with Jack Murray's suggested reply, and to reiterate that Bluford has knowledge of her correspondence, rejected her admission, with registrar S. W. Canada. At the time, Bluford was the managing editor of the Kansas City Call and seeking admittance to the masters degree program at MU's School of Journalism.
Lucile Bluford has been called the “Matriarch” and the “Conscience” of Kansas City. Miss Bluford, as she was always known, was a pioneer, a crusader for equal rights for African Americans and women, but above all she was a journalist, dedicated to getting the news out.