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'You Don't Say' Live: Continuing the Conversation

As part of the commemoration of Columbia's bicentennial year, community organizations and residents came together to produce and document conversations about our city's Black history and heritage. The conversations were produced by KBIA and the Sharp End Heritage Committee, with committee co-chairs Jim Whitt and Barbra Horrell, and were commissioned by the City of Columbia's CoMo200 task force.

The conversations featured memories, stories, and perspectives on historical touchstones like urban renewal and segregation, while also highlighting the resilience and impact of historic Black churches, Douglass High School, and the legacy of the Sharp End business district.

On Sept. 2, 2021, the 'You Don't Say' conversationalists, producers, and community members came together for a live forum with music, food, poetry, and dialogue.

You can hear a compilation of the evening's highlights, including an original bicentennial poem commissioned by the City of Columbia and read by Rev. Clyde Ruffin, who was named Columbia's first-ever city Poet Laureate on the evening by Mayor Brian Treece.

Highlights also include original poetry from T'Keyah Thomas, who emceed the event, and OneMic poets Miranda Craig and Stuart Smith. Musician J. Artiz and his band provided music.

The evening event also opened up the floor for comments from community members and attendees, many of whom "talked back" to the produced conversations, sharing their own memories of neighborhoods, schooling, and family growing up in Columbia.

The 'You Don't Say' series of conversations was produced as part of a channel of "Conversations Journalism" projects at KBIA, including Missouri Health Talks and Missouri on Mic.

Please reach out and share any comments you have on the 'You Don't Say' series or other conversations series on KBIA, and let us know if you would like to participate in these conversations. You can reach us at news@kbia.org.

The KBIA team would like to express gratitude to all of the participants in the You Don’t Say conversations, and especially to the late James Whitt, who served as a co-producer of this project. Jim Whitt passed away November 15th. He and his work in the community will be very much missed by all of us.  

This live event was a community collaboration co-produced by the Sharp End Heritage Committee, with support from the City of Columbia's CoMo200 committee, and additional support from Missouri Humanities, the Daniel Boone Regional Library, the City of Columbia Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the State Historical Society of Missouri.