The spring issue of the University of Arizona Alumni Magazine featured Charles Kendrick '55, the first Black in-state graduate of the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy.
Kendrick worked at Pima County Hospital -- today Banner-University Medical Center South -- for 42 years, including 18 as the outpatient pharmacy supervisor. He and a late friend named Shadrick Blair, founded and opened the Afro-American Heritage Museum on Tucson's South Park Avenue in 1998. Today, the museum is shown to the public by appointment only. The location was also where he ran a barbecue restaurant, Mr. K’s — the museum in one half, the restaurant in the other, cash from the second supporting the first.
The restaurant has relocated, and his son, Ray, runs the enterprise under the name Original Mr. K’s BBQ. In 2006, the family business’s ribs recipe was listed among the country’s best by Nancy Davidson, a food and travel writer, in her book “Killer Ribs.”
Kendrick's daughter, Rhonda Moniz, is working on the museum's next stage, as a rechristened Tucson Center for Black Life (TCBL): a museum and community center in the South Park neighborhood where her father and other Black Tucsonans forged lifelong bonds.