Henry Kirklin was a horticulturalist, a gardener, an advocate, the first Black teacher at MU, and was enslaved as a child. Recently the Columbia community came together to honor Kirklin’s life with a headstone at his gravesite in the Columbia Cemetery.
The headstone is one of many efforts by the community to increase knowledge of Black History in Columbia. Kirklin is also recognized as one of the many famous Black Columbians featured on the African American Heritage trail.
KBIA’s Veronica Mohesky talked to organizers of the headstone’s funding about Kirklin’s life, legacy and significance in Columbia’s history.