Robert E. Weems Jr.

History commentator

Robert E. Weems, Jr. is the Willard W. Garvey Distinguished Professor of Business History at Wichita State University.

His research specialty is African American business and economic history.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Confronting Racism In Sports

Credit Mike Licht / Flickr / Creative Commons

As a fan of the National Basketball Association, and as someone who does research in African American history, the recent Donald Sterling debacle reminded me that former President Dwight D. Eisenhower was correct when he stated that laws and court decisions can’t necessarily change what’s in the hearts of individuals.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Is The Balance Of Power Changing?

The federal reaction to the new Colorado marijuana law suggests power may be shifting
Credit Lucas Hayas / Flickr / Creative Commons

Since the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788, the federal government has been the center of power in this country. However, two recent developments suggest that this may be shifting.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Past and Present: Baking A Bigger Pie

Dr. Robert E. Weems, Jr.
Credit Courtesy photo / Wichita State University

A historic and ongoing shortcoming of the U.S. economy is its underutilization of the entrepreneurial potential within nonwhite communities. For instance, because of this longstanding problem, in Kansas today, nonwhites make up 20 percent of the state’s population, yet only seven percent of Kansas’ businesses are minority-owned.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Past and Present: The Anniversary Of A Continuing Battle

President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Credit Wikimedia Commons

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This landmark legislation made it illegal to discriminate against someone based upon their race or place of birth.

Before 1964, the experiences of transplanted Africans in this country were dramatically influenced by slavery and Jim Crow racial segregation. During the past 50 years, many African Americans, under the protection of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, have achieved a level of social and economic mobility that their ancestors could only have dreamt of.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Past and Present: Dr. King and The Greatness of Service

Martin Luther King, Jr., memorial in Washington, D.C.
Credit Cocoabiscuit / Flickr / Creative Commons

As we prepare again to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the ironies of the holiday and King’s memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC, is that King, himself, was far more modest in how he wished to be remembered.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Past and Present: Holidays Gone Missing

A Walmart Black Friday sale
Credit laurieofindy / Flickr / Creative Commons

During the past few years, the holiday shopping season has undergone a dramatic transformation.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Past and Present: Illuminating Wichita's African American History

Ron Walters and Carol Parks Haun participated in the 1958 Dockum sit-in with Dr. Galyn Vesey. Photo courtesy Carla Eckels

Dr. Galyn Vesey is a unique individual in the context of Wichita history. Vesey received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University and his academic career included stints at Utica College and Alabama A & M University. He not only represents “living history” but also seeks, as a scholar, to re-create an important part of Wichita’s African American historical experience.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Past and Present: Financial Literacy

Credit 401(K) 2013 / Flickr / Creative Commons

Since the end of World War II, the cornerstone of the U.S. economy has been consumer spending.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Past and Present: An Overlooked History of Tolerance

During President Barack Obama’s recent trip to Africa, he made a stop in the West African nation of Senegal. Traditionally, the U.S. press corps’ coverage of Africa has tended to focus on military coups, religious and ethnic conflicts, and the AIDS epidemic. Because of this, Senegal, a former French colony, has fallen through the cracks of American media scrutiny.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Past and Present: The Disappearance of the Negro Leagues

The Washington / Homestead Grays of the Negro Leagues
Credit Al_HikesAZ / Flickr

During the spring and summer months, baseball receives a lot of attention in the United States. In 2013, fans have not just discussed the current Major League Baseball season, but because of the recently-released movie 42, have also discussed the 1947 Major League season when Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers.

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