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.

Ways To Connect

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.

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.

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.

laurieofindy / Flickr / Creative Commons

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

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.

401(K) 2013 / Flickr / Creative Commons

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

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.

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.

brookesb / Flickr

One of the consequences of the Presidential election of 2012 is an increased awareness of the changing demographics of American society. Specifically, it is projected that, by the year 2050, non-whites will constitute the majority of the American population.

Fletcher Powell / KMUW

Kudos are in order for Wichita’s James Arbertha and the Power Community Development Corporation for their long standing efforts to renovate the historic Dunbar Theater at 10th and Cleveland.

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