Black History Month: Celebrating Those Who Came Before Us

  • John "Blind" W. Boone (1864 - 1927) 

    John "Blind" W. Boone

    Boone, blind after the age of two, overcame disability, poverty and racism to become a nationally renowned pianist and composer. Gifted with an infallible memory and true musical genius, Boone blended what he heard in everyday life into beautiful, complex compositions. His mix of spirituals, classical music and new rhythms made him a leader in the Ragtime movement, and Boone became a household name as the genre's popularity rose. His manager and lifelong friend John Lange, Jr. first brought him to Columbia when founding the Blind Boone Company. Boone toured extensively, and his talent is still celebrated today. His home overlooking Flat Branch Creek in downtown Columbia is on the National Register of Historic Places. The History & Culture Center's Blind Boone Piano Concert Series also brings in audiences multiple times a year for concerts on the painstakingly restored 1891 piano custom-made for Boone.


    Enhancing the Legacy of John William "Blind" Boone (video, City of Columbia Channel)

  • Source:  Boone County History and Culture Center, The Boone County Hall of Fame Celebrates 200 years of Leaders and Heroes