Midwest Afro-American Genealogical Interest Coalition (M.A.G.I.C.)

The M.A.G.I.C. Story
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In 1984, the Kansas City, Missouri Historical and Genealogical Society was founded by Dr. Collins F. Anderson, Jr., Elvis Gibson, and Artie Criswell. The purpose was to promote black genealogy.

On May 17, 1984, the Kansas City, Missouri branch of the Federal Archives strongly supported the society’s bold and successful attempt to bring an internationally known genealogical research consultant, James Dent Walker, as the featured speaker for their first program entitled, The Roots of Black Heritage—How to Begin. The program was successfully held at the Conference Cove Auditorium at 31st and Troost in Kansas City, Missouri. This event coincided with the 50th anniversary year since the establishment of the Federal Archives and its branches. The program was extremely successful, unfortunately, the society ceased to exist despite the undeniable fact that no organization in the Kansas City area was publicly addressing the genealogical needs of African Americans.

In 1991, the Midwest Afro-American Genealogical Interest Coalition or M.A.G.I.C. was formed by Dorothy Witherspoon, Dr. Collins Anderson, Jr., Audreay McKinnie-Hunter, Bertha Johnson, Gwendolyn Richards, Kim Tucker-Paige, and Jacqueline Briggs to promote genealogy in the African American community.

Today M.A.G.I.C. has over 60 active members. The organization meets the first Saturday of each month from 12 Noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center. Each meeting is designed to provide valuable information, discover new methods of research, and provide opportunities to network with people who share similar interests. M.A.G.I.C. has volunteers to help start and conduct a genealogical search. Once a year, during open house or Black History Month, members exhibit the results of their research. Touring historical places of interest to members has become an annual event.