Community Gospel Choir

I had the opportunity in the past few weeks to photograph the Community Gospel Choir in Kirkwood, MO, a suburb southwest of St. Louis. Cecelia Stearman started the choir in 2007 in response to racial tensions in the city. The choir’s objective is “to build bridges that restore unity to the community”. The February after the choir was formed Charles Lee “Cookie” Thornton, an African American, killed five city officials and shot the Mayor of Kirkwood, Mike Swoboda, at a city hall meeting. Thornton, from the neighborhood in Kirkwood called Meachum Park, felt he and his neighbors were being treated unfairly in regard to redevelopment plans in the area. Since the shootings, improving race relations is a big topic in Kirkwood and Stearman hopes that her choir can help overcome a few barriers. For more information about race relations in Kirkwood visit:


One response

  1. Just looked again (twice again) at the presentation of your photos on the Community Gospel Choir website. Really neat. Thank you for some excellent work.

    Come back and visit anytime.


    February 12, 2011 at 10:07 pm

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