Iowa's African American Hall of Fame Honors Four New Inductees

Oct 16, 2016

Iowa State announced this year’s inductees to the Iowa African American Hall of Fame on Thursday.

Inductee James B. Morris Jr. was the first black assistant Polk County attorney, had a distinguished career as a trial lawyer, and was one of the first African American officers to lead white troops in the US war effort. Kenyatta Shamburger, the director of multicultural student affairs at ISU, says the hall of fame is a bit of a family tradition for Morris.

"His father ironically is also a member of the hall of fame and James’s son has also--is also an inductee so it has come full circle. With the Morris family, it’s a family affair.”

Morris; Betty Andrews, president of the Iowa/Nebraska State Conference of the NAACP; Dr. Kesho Scott, the first African-American woman to earn tenure at Grinnell College; and Henry Harper, an advocate for education in Iowa City, join 65 other honorees in the Hall of Fame.

Also in this program:

  • David Gaines, author of “In Dylantown," on Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize
  • Evan Hansen, Iowa City High Cross Country Runner, on helping a fellow runner
  • Ambassador Patricia Haslach, former ambassador to Ethiopia, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, discussing World Food Day
  • Bill Petroski, state government reporter at the Des Moines Register, on the latest updates on the Bakken Pipeline