The State of Missouri welcomes you to our 2022 Black History Month Celebration!
February 24, 2022, from 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
“We are truly excited to have Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, as the keynote speaker for our celebration this year. Bob Kendrick was named President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) in March 2011. Founded in 1990, the NLBM is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African American baseball and its profound impact on the social advancement of America.
Kendrick’s appointment as President marked a celebrated return to the NLBM after a 13-month departure. He became the museum’s first Director of Marketing in 1998 and was named Vice President of Marketing in 2009 before accepting the post as Executive Director of the National Sports Center for the Disabled-Kansas City in 2010. Kendrick is responsible for the museum’s day-to-day operations and the development and implementation of strategies to advance the mission of the 501 c3, not-for-profit organization. Since rejoining the NLBM in 2011, he has helped orchestrate a nearly $20 million turnaround that has helped the NLBM regain its vitality and financial stability.
Kendrick began his association with the NLBM as a volunteer during his 10-year newspaper career with The Kansas City Star. He developed the advertising concept and campaign that helped attract more than 10,000 people (in less than 30 days) to see the debut of the Museum’s first traveling exhibit in the summer of 1993. The success of that promotion led to an appointment to the museum’s Board of Directors in the fall of ‘93.
In his nearly five years on the Museum’s board, Kendrick served as Secretary/Treasurer and chaired the Membership and Event Planning committees. He was co-chairman of the Museum’s grand-opening gala celebration that attracted nearly 2,000 people to Bartle Hall in November of 1997. The event raised more than $500,000 in support of the NLBM.
Kendrick has been responsible for the creation of several signature museum educational programs and events including the Hall of Game which annually honors former Major League Baseball greats who played the game in the spirit and signature style of the Negro Leagues.
And while he doesn’t fashion himself to be a historian, Kendrick has become one of the leading authorities on the topic of Negro Leagues Baseball history and its connection to issues relating to sports, race, and diversity. He has been a contributing writer for “Ebony Magazine” and the National Urban League’s “Opportunity Magazine.” In 2021, Kendrick teamed with SiriusXM Radio to create and host the acclaimed national podcast, “Black Diamonds.” The podcast was named the 2021 “Sports Podcast of the Year,” by Adweek.
Kendrick’s list of awards and honors include the Mary Lona Diversity Award from the Greater Kansas City Black Chamber of Commerce and Citizen of the Year” from the Omicron Xi Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. In 2009, The Kansas City Globe named Kendrick to the paper’s list of “100 Most Influential African-Americans in Greater Kansas City.” He was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. The Kansas City Call newspaper named him the “Person of the Year” in 2020. In 2021, the Beta Lambda chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity named him “Businessperson of the Year,” and he was bestowed honorary doctorate degrees from Judson University and William Jewell College, respectively.
A native of Crawfordville, Ga., Kendrick received a basketball scholarship to attend Park College (Parkville, Mo.) in 1980 and earned a B.A. degree in Communications Arts in 1985.”
It’s an honor to have you join us for this occasion, and we encourage you to share, use our hashtags, and invite a guest!
History of Black History Month:
The recognition of African Americans’ contribution to civilization started with Negro History Week in 1925 through the efforts of Carter G. Woodson. At mid-century, mayors of cities nationwide issued proclamations noting Negro History Week. The Black Awakening of the 1960s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African Americans about the importance of black history, and the Civil Rights movement focused Americans of all colors on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture.
The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation's bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” That year, fifty years after the first celebration, the association held the first African American History Month. By this time, the entire nation had come to recognize the importance of Black history in the drama of the American story. Since then each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations.