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Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II Honors Mrs. Ruby Arnold With Congressional Record

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, recently honored the life of Mrs. Ruby Arnold who saved the Black Archives of Mid-America several years after Horace Peterson founded the Archives.

“Years after Peterson’s accidental death, the BAMA experienced internal tumult that unfortunately played out in the Kansas City media. The unflattering press resulted in funding shortfalls and eventually, the exodus from Vine street, sometimes referred to as the ‘Firehouse,’” Rep. Cleaver said.

As BAMA began to fade, in part, because it did not have an adequate home or sufficient funding nor the extensive collection of artifacts and memorabilia. Longtime supporters began searching for funding and a new location. Mrs. Arnold was among those diehard fighters.

“During the Spring of 1998, Ruby Arnold, a BAMA diehard Board member began a personal crusade to secure a new home for the organization that she held dear. One Monday morning , during a heavy Spring rain, Mrs. Arnold appeared at the desk of the 29th floor of City Hall. The security guard asked if she had an appointment with anyone in particular. ‘I don’t have an appointment, but I have come to see Mayor Emanuel Cleaver,’ she said. ‘I’m sorry, but the Mayor is not in,’ Ms. Cheryl Richards, an assistant to the Mayor stepped in and stated,” Rep. Cleaver said.