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Funeral services for KC historian Joelouis Mattox will be Thursday at Bethel AME

Remembering the military roles of African-Americans in World War I

More than 350,000 African-Americans served in the armed forces during World War I, defending democracy and rights they were denied at home. Army veterans Sidney Malone and Joe Mattox, members of the American Legion Wayne Miner Post 149 in Kansas C
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More than 350,000 African-Americans served in the armed forces during World War I, defending democracy and rights they were denied at home. Army veterans Sidney Malone and Joe Mattox, members of the American Legion Wayne Miner Post 149 in Kansas C

Funeral services for local historian and former newspaper columnist Joelouis Mattox will be held Thursday at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Kansas City.

Mattox was found dead last week inside his home in southeast Kansas City. The cause of death has not been released, but friends and neighbors said Mattox had been ill for some time.

The Phi Beta Sigma fraternity will hold a memorial service at 10:15 a.m. Thursday at the church, 2329 Flora Ave. The funeral service will begin at 11 a.m.

For decades, Mattox researched, wrote and lectured extensively about African-American history in Kansas City and throughout the region. Since the early 1990s, Mattox served as an independent scholar and volunteer historian at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center and State Museum in Kansas City. He also wrote a weekly column for The Kansas City Globe newspaper.

Most recently, Mattox worked to raise awareness about the contributions of African-Americans who fought in World War I, including Wayne Miner of Kansas City, who died on the last day of the war. Mattox was a historian for American Legion Wayne Miner Post 149.

Mattox, a native of Caruthersville, Mo., migrated to Kansas City after graduating from Lincoln University. Mattox worked in public housing before retiring.

He frequently was called upon to speak to historical groups, public libraries and schoolchildren about the Missouri and Kansas African-American historical experience, often sharing his research and expertise with authors documenting the role of African-Americans and Native Americans in the story of the Midwest.

Glenn E. Rice: 816-234-4341, @GRicekcstar

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