KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Rosemary Lowe, a longtime civil rights leader in Kansas City, has died. She was 94. For decades, Lowe served as president of the Santa Fe Area Council, the Kansas City Star reported. She also worked behind the scenes behind the scenes to help with the founding of Freedom Inc., a Black political club that has long fought to end white-faction control of Black residents.
Lowe was a Democratic committee representative for the city’s 14th Ward, an area with predominantly Black residents. She held the position for 20 years.
Her death Tuesday was conﬁrmed by her family and a funeral home, but no other details surrounding the circumstances were immediately available.
“She was a titan of Kansas City politics,” said Mayor Quinton Lucas. “She was a change maker of the likes which frankly is almost unmatched in Kansas City.
During her decades of public service, Lowe served on numerous boards and volunteer committees and helped with the appointment of police chiefs and policymakers.
“She was truly the real deal, very authentic,” said Troy Nash, a former council member. “It is an end of an era and there will never be another Rosemary Lowe.” During the 1950s she played a key role in efforts to desegregate downtown Kansas City department stores, said former Jackson County legislator Mamie Hughes.
She helped get thousands of Black voters registered before an April 1964 citywide vote on a proposed ordinance to make it illegal to discriminate in taverns, trade schools, hospitals or clinics.
As a neighborhood leader, Lowe fought for more streetlights, better housing, improved infrastructure and stronger ties between community and police.
“She meant the world to me and I was very proud of my mother,” said her son, James White Sr. “She opened doors where a lot of people couldn’t ﬁnd the building.”
A funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Oct. 1 at Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Kansas City.