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 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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Commentary
12:30 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Past and Present: Demographics, Education and Economics

Credit 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.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Past and Present: Dunbar Theater

Credit 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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Commentary
1:15 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Past and Present: Wichita's Black Entrepreneurs

“Rip” Gooch represented a pioneering enterprise in the aviation industry, starting in the 1950s.
Credit Bonita Gooch

Compared to other major cities, Wichita has a relatively small African-American population.

Because of this large, black-owned commercial enterprises, such as insurance companies, never developed here. Nevertheless, there exists a strong tradition of smaller-scale African-American entrepreneurship in this city.

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