Presentation Explores Lives of Free-Born Children after Civil War

Gordon Parks Museum at Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, KS, will host “Children of the Promised Land,” a presentation and discussion by Angela Bates on Tuesday, March 17 at 12:00 P.M. at The Ellis Family Fine Arts Center,  Fort Scott Community College, 2108 S. Horton St. Fort Scott, KS.

Members of the community are invited to attend the free program. Contact Kirk Sharp at 620 -223-2700 ext. 5850 for more information.

The program is made possible by Humanities Kansas.

“This is a Lunch and Learn event so everyone is welcome to bring their lunch and drinks. Dessert will be available,” said Museum Director, Kirk Sharp.

Nicodemus, a small, unincorporated town in Graham County, is the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the Reconstruction Period following the Civil War.

Today the town is a National Historic Site. This pictorial history explores the unique experience of mothers and their children in Nicodemus, some of whom were the first members of their families born free.

Angela Bates is the executive director of the Nicodemus Historical Society. She presents educational programs across the nation covering Nicodemus, Exodusters and black towns in the West, Buffalo Soldiers, and black women in the West.

“My great uncle, Henry Williams, was the first baby born in Nicodemus just a month after my great-grandmother Emma arrived with the first group of settlers in 1877,” said Bates. “He was one of the first in his generation born on the free soils of Kansas. He represents the many children of his generation that were reared by parents who were former slaves.”

“Children of the Promised Land” is part of Humanities Kansas’s Movement of Ideas Speakers Bureau, featuring presentations and workshops designed to share stories that inspire, spark conversations that inform, and generate insights that strengthen civic engagement.

For more information about “Children of the Promised Land” contact the Gordon Parks Museum at 620 -223-2700 ext. 5850 or visit
About Humanities Kansas
Humanities Kansas is an independent nonprofit spearheading a movement of ideas to empower the people of Kansas to strengthen their communities and our democracy. Since 1972, our pioneering programming, grants, and partnerships have documented and shared stories to spark conversations and generate insights. Together with our partners and supporters, we inspire all Kansans to draw on history, literature, ethics, and culture to enrich their lives and serve the communities and state we all proudly call home. Visit

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