This City in Missouri Has Been Named the Most Racist City in the State


Missouri has a long and complicated history of racism and prejudice. Missouri has had several incidents of racial violence and injustice, dating back to the slavery era and the civil rights struggle. But which Missouri city has the highest level of racism today? According to some accounts, the answer is Harrison, a tiny town in the state’s northern region.

Harrison’s History of Racism

Harrison, with a population of 13,000, has a long history of white supremacy, dating back to the early 1900s when racial violence and riots drove away Black citizens.

Read more: These Colorado Cities Have Been Named the Most Racist Cities in the State

The second Ku Klux Klan, a violent hate group that intimidated Black people and other minorities across the country, was founded in Harrison in 1915. Harrison was also the headquarters for the White Citizens’ Council, a segregationist group that resisted the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

Today, Harrison is home to various neo-Nazi and white nationalist organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of White People, the Knights Party, and the Covenant, Sword, and Arm of the Lord.

These organizations have been known to disseminate racist pamphlets, stage demonstrations, and show billboards that advocate white supremacy and antisemitism. Harrison has also been the location of multiple hate crimes, including the murder of a lesbian couple in 2011 and damage to a Hispanic church in 2014.

Harrison’s Effort to Change

Despite its reputation as Missouri’s most racist city, Harrison has made some steps to improve its image and promote diversity and inclusiveness.

Some citizens have founded organizations, such as the Harrison Community Task Force on Race Relations, the Harrison Area Chamber of Commerce Diversity Committee, and the Boone County Ministerial Alliance, to oppose prejudice and foster discussion and understanding among various groups.

These organizations have planned events such as the Race Unity Rally, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration, and the Diversity Festival to commemorate the accomplishments and cultures of other populations. Tanisha Webb, a Black woman who relocated to Harrison in 2017 and became the first Black city council member in 2020, is one of those citizens who has spoken out against racism and prejudice.

Webb has stated that she wants to be a voice for Harrison’s vulnerable and underrepresented communities, as well as to confront the town’s preconceptions and prejudices. Webb has also stated that she has received warmth and support from many people in Harrison and that she hopes the community can transcend its racist history and present.


In summary, Harrison, Missouri has a problematic history of racism that dates back to the early 1900s and is maintained by white nationalist organizations. Despite its poor image, recent initiatives by people, groups, and leaders such as Tanisha Webb seek to combat prejudice, promote inclusivity, and face the town’s racist history. Positive initiatives and community participation suggest that Harrison may become more tolerant and diversified.

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