Black History Month: Local activist Leon Jordan shaped by African experience

jordan-p168ipFrom police detective to politico, Leon Mercer Jordan became one of the most distinguished African-American leaders in the state of Missouri before his untimely death in 1970. Forging a prolific and colorful career that took him from Kansas City to West Africa and back again, Jordan served three terms in the Missouri House of Representatives, co-founded a local political organization for African-Americans, and trained the national police force in the Republic of Liberia.

The Leon M. Jordan Collection, housed in LaBudde Special Collections, consists of material related to the late activist and his wife, Orchid Irene Ramsey Jordan. Much of the collection focuses on their experiences in Liberia, Africa, a key impetus in Jordan’s later political and community activism. Also included in the collection are addendums of biographical research and writing material amassed by UMKC Professor Emeritus Dr. Robert M. Farnsworth, as well as police and FBI files and court depositions used in the investigations after his murder.

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