China Slaughter, Crossing Guard.

China Slaughter, Crossing Guard

Field review by the editors.

Liberty, Missouri

Lawrence "China" Slaughter (1913-1997) grew up in Liberty, went to college in Indiana, then came home and found that the only job he could get was as a janitor in the town's black school. So he took it, stayed with it, and was eventually promoted to janitor in the town's white elementary school. He also became the school's crossing guard, and it was in this role that the town remembered him, unveiling a life-size bronze statue in his honor on April 26, 2018. It stands at the spot where China escorted kids across Mill Street for 32 years.

The plaque on the statue's base calls China "a great man" and "the finest custodian in the state of Missouri" and notes that "students would walk out of their way to give themselves a chance to speak with China and have him tell them what fine persons they were and would become." It adds that, "by the time China's own daughter, Ann, reached high school, the Liberty schools were integrated. She was the first African American to be a yearbook queen."

The sculpture, by Martha Aldridge, depicts China in sunglasses, which he always wore whenever he was outside.

Also see: Town Ambassadors

China Slaughter, Crossing Guard

Address:
112 W. Mill St., Liberty, MO
Directions:
Southwest side of downtown, on the northwest corner of Gallatin and W. Mill Sts. On the opposite side of Mill St. from Franklin Elementary School.
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October 15, 2018

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