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Douglas Shipley

Dr. Douglas Shipley is a retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent. Shipley grew up listening to the stories of his older relatives and compared them to the American History he was learning in school. He realized that traditional history narratives exclude the voices of those persons colonized, conquered, or enslaved. Shipley focuses his research and presentation efforts on the exploration of the lives of Black people in Missouri and documenting them for a wider audience. Shipley holds a Master’s in Education, specializing in Training and Performance Improvement and a Doctor of Business Administration in Leadership.


Harrison School: Tipton’s “Colored” School

Like other towns in Missouri’s “Little Dixie,” Tipton, Missouri was settled by proslavery individuals from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. From 1890 to 1957, Harrison School (the “colored” school) operated as a racially segregated school. Sharing the complete history of Tipton, Missouri’s first fully funded Black public school, Dr. Douglas S. Shipley reveals the origins of why and how Harrison School was created. Through historical documents, photographs, newspaper articles, and oral and written histories, Shipley describes how from its inception and construction, through its maintenance for over sixty years, the Harrison School exemplified the United States codified racial system of “separate but equal.” The goal of this presentation is to encourage individuals and groups to develop and gain a deeper appreciation of the early history of Black student education in Missouri and the obstacles presented toward receiving that education. The Harrison School is a microcosm of the forces that shaped Missouri’s segregated educational system, which while separate was never equal.

Self-Defining Roles of Black Women Baby Boomers

Dr. Douglas Shipley’s presentation seeks to expand the viewing aperture through which American history is presented. This presentation was conceived to highlight a concept that traditional historic narratives are not neutral, and that is particularly true within curriculums that exclude women’s and Black people’s perspectives. Therefore, this presentation uses a phenomenological approach for the stories from Black female alumnae students of Tipton, Missouri’s Harrison School. From 1890 to 1957, Harrison School was racially segregated and the only public school available to Black students surrounding Tipton, Missouri. Like other towns in Missouri’s “Little Dixie,” Tipton, Missouri was settled by slaveholders from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. Harrison School alums are the descendants of the enslaved laborers brought into the area with those settlers. These alumnae’s histories provide a unique insight into the lived experiences of people whose accounts have gone unrecorded. With additional sources for context, the interviews highlight these women’s self-defined roles in society juxtaposed against the historic roles of their ancestors.