Black Archives of Mid-America Founder

Black Archives of Mid-America Founder

Left to right: Sylvester Holmes, Richard Berkley and Horace Peterson.

Horace M. Peterson III (1945-1992) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on November 23, 1945. The family relocated to Kansas City, Missouri, where he grew up and chose to make his contribution to his city and to his people.

Horace was a proud graduate of Central High School, class of 1964. He went to Arkansas A&M College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and in 1968 received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. His roots in Kansas City beckoned him home to teach and to join with his friends in making Kansas City a viable city for all people.

He became obsessed with the preservation of history and the stories of the African Experience in the Midwest. He started to collect things at age 27 and mentally filed away stories he learned from these valuable artifacts and documents. Thus grew the Black Archives. The modern day 'griot' had begun his venture.

He studied at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, the University of Wisconsin and the University of California, Berkley. He took internships at the National Archives and Record Service in Washington D.C., the National Record Center in Kansas City, Missouri and the J. Paul Getty Museum Management Institute.

He became an expert in African American history and Missouri Folklore and encouraged students of all races to research and grow. He received many honors and awards and belonged to a host of organizations.

Horace found strength in his family. On December 23,1978, he joined his life and his love with Barbara and the children became Pete's (Mr. Peterson's alias) anchor and steadied his course in pursuing the dream of the Black Archives. Twelve years of determination brought many education and cultural activities to Kansas City through his work.

In 1992, Peterson added to his long list of awards one of Missouri's highest honors from the Governor of Missouri for outstanding contributions to bridging race relations.

His sudden and tragic drowning death in March 1992 robbed Kansas City of one of its best known and most productive citizens.

What happens to a dream deferred?