African-Americans | KCUR

African-Americans

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Former Kansas City mayor reflects on the impact of downtown development.

Much of the credit for Kansas City's current downtown boom can be placed at the feet of former Mayor Kay Barnes, whose efforts culminated in the creation of the Power and Light District and the construction of the Sprint Center. Nevertheless, parts of town east of Troost still struggle for invesment and redevelopment. We spoke with Barnes about her legacy and the community-building work that's left to be done.

Jackson County Executive Frank White stands at a podium with the Jackson County seal on the wall behind him and to the right and an unidentified woman to the left.
KCUR 89.3 file photo

Segment 1: Frank White's way of doing business may be greatest obstacle to winning primary.

The race to be the next Jackson County executive is garnering attention as incumbent Frank White continues to refuse invitations to public forums and interviews before the August 7 primary election. We reviewed the issues surrounding Mr. White, including building a new county jail and and the investigation of his finances by the Missouri attorney general.

Warren K. Leffler / United States Library of Congress

Segment 1: Kansas City, Kansas, Public Safety and Neighborhood Infrastructure Sales Tax up for renewal.

A three-eighth-cent sales tax that passed with 70 percent of the vote in 2010 has collected more than $50 million devoted to public safety and neighborhood projects in Wyandotte County. This August, voters there get to decide if the sales tax has been worth the money. The levy is set to expire in 2020 unless it is approved for renewal. Today, we discussed the projects that the tax has benefitted and if it's still the best option for the Unified Government.

Kevin Collison

The long-vacant Wheatley-Provident Hospital, an important landmark in the Kansas City African-American community, has been purchased by a development group with plans to renovate it as offices.

Kurt Bauschardt / Flickr--Creative Commons

Segment 1: "Healthy homes" ballot initiative addresses rental property inspections. 

Kansas City, Missouri, voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on a "healthy homes" initiative this August 7. If the measure is approved, rental properties in town will be subject to health department inspections if community members complain about their condition. Today, we learned why supporters think the measure will hold landlords more accountable, while those against it think the initiative will drive landlords away from Kansas City properties.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Former four-term state representative and agriculture secretary Josh Svaty wants the state's top job.

Segment 1: A new app looking to connect people with black-owned businesses has chosen Kansas City as a launch pad.

An app that's something of a mix between LinkedIn and Yelp is hoping to bridge the entrepreneurial gap by connecting members of the community with black owned businesses. Learn what the app hopes to achieve, why Kansas City was chosen as a starting point and how under representation affects the economy.

Segment 1: A talk with Kevin Willmott about his new film.

"BlacKkKlansman" just won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. It's based on the true story of a black cop who infiltrated the KKK in the 1970s. We catch up with the KU professor who collaborated on the film with Spike Lee.

Segment 2, beginning at 17:09: Looking back at the filming of "Kansas City."

Seg. 1: Hir. Seg. 2: Story Of Ed Dwight

Jun 5, 2018

Segment 1: Comedic play at The Unicorn invites serious conversations on gender identity.

The comedy Hir revolves around the story of a transitioning teen and their dysfunctional family. Find out how one performer connects with their role on a personal level.

  • Ahafia Jurkiewicz-Miles, actor

The production of 'Hir' runs at The Unicorn Theater through June 24. For ticketing and information, visit UnicornTheatre.org.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Regulations on professional hair braiding in Missouri may soon be loosened under a bill passed by the legislature this session. 

In Missouri, a person currently needs a cosmetology license, which requires 1,500 hours of training and costs tens of thousands of dollars, to braid hair. 

"That's more than are required to be a police officer, an EMT and a realtor, combined," says Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-St. Louis.

In her new album, "Dirty Computer," Janelle Monáe reveals more of herself than ever before. And, in recent weeks, she has been sharing more of her story, from her background in Kansas City, Kansas, to her sexuality. A look at the music, life and persona of Janelle Monáe ... and what her story means to Kansas Citians.

Courtesy of Hallmark Cards

Elle McKinney has seen the Black Panther movie nine times and taken all seven of her nephews — in shifts — to see the mega-hit since it came out in February.

So, lucky for McKinney, who is black, that her job as a greeting card writer at Hallmark Cards allowed her to be a writer on the creative team for the launch of Black Panther cards.

Wikipedia / Creative Commons

This month has brought renewed attention to the historic Underground Railroad site known as the Quindaro Ruins in Kansas City, Kansas.

After a gathering of community members, historians and scholars sought to raise awareness about the importance of the site last week, Congressman Kevin Yoder has announced that he would introduce legislation to designate Quindaro a National Historic Landmark.

Segment 1: How long does it take to make a friend?

According to a KU professor, it takes 50 hours to make a casual friend (though that's not always guaranteed). We take a closer look into his research, including the online quiz he created to determine the closeness of a friendship.

Segment 1: A school secretary is helping immigrants make plans in case of deportation.

For undocumented parents with kids who are U.S. citizens, the risk of having your family separated by deportation is real. Meet the elementary school employee who has stepped into the lives of kids whose parents could be deported.

 

Segment 1: Community members recall memories of switching schools after riots following Martin Luther King Jr's assassination.

 After the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, two local catholic high schools, one serving a primarily white community and the other serving a primarily black community, held a year-long student exchange program. Today, we speak with a few individuals who participated in the exchange as students and discuss the profound effect it had on their lives.

Bigstock

When many black diners go out to eat, it’s not uncommon for them to question if race plays a part in the service they receive.

Turns out, that’s not paranoia.

Zach Brewster is an assistant professor of sociology at Wayne State University in Michigan. He has conducted several national research studies on the experience of dining and restaurant discrimination. In his 2015 survey of approximately 1,000 waiters and waitresses across the country, 53 percent of the participants admitted to not giving black diners their best service.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

On Wednesday morning, Dennis Vallejo, a police officer in Kansas City, Kansas, removed the tarp covering a statue of abolitionist John Brown to reveal stark black markings sprawled across the monument's otherwise pure white marble. 

The historic statue, at North 27th Street and Sewell Ave. near the Quindaro Townsite, was vandalized over the weekend. Among several markings, two were overtly racist and anti-Semitic: a swastika on the statue's head and the N-word on its feet.

LaBudde Special Collections, Miller Nichols Library / UMKC

The photographs tell a story in themselves: images that feel familiar because we recognize our city in the background, and all too familiar because we still see agitated people, most of them black, fleeing through clouds of tear gas or standing alone in front of police lines.

But the photographs don't tell nearly enough of the story. That's because the images in the 1968 Riot Collection at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Library don't have enough information.

Tom Hellauer / For Harvest Public Media

Cypress Pond used to be a plantation in southwest Georgia. Old-growth pecan trees line the gravel roads that wind through the 800 acres of farmland, and there’s an orange grove flanked by patches of long-leaf pine.

Segment 1: A new group wants to make theater accessible to everyone.

What if you could see a play for free in a non-traditional venue? Well, now you can. The Kansas City Public Theatre kicks off its first season this fall, but it's already staging some monthly readings at a local bar. We talk with its executive artistic director and a playwright, whose work will be performed on Monday.

Segment 1: Meet Aaron Rahsaan Thomas.

He's a screenwriter and producer who is originally from KCK. Last week, he was in a photo of black creatives in Hollywood that went viral. Hear his story — and how that photo changed how some people see race in the industry.

  • Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, Executive Producer of "S.W.A.T." on CBS

Segment 2, beginning at 17:56: Mosquito experts swarm KC.

Segment 1: Why barber shops are more than a place to your haircut. 

An author with Kansas City roots reminisces about the unique relationship between African-American boys and barber shops in Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut.

Walt Disney Studios

The latest Marvel comic film makes way for fresh conversations on race, leadership and heroism.

The superhero thriller, Black Panther, easily topped the box office in its first week receiving attention and applause for its use of a nearly all-black cast and production team. On this Screentime, we take a closer look and explore what the movie says about society's evolving perspectives on race and culture.

Chr. Barthelmess / Library of Congress

Anyone who has even a hazy memory of Bob Marley's song "Buffalo Soldier" knows the broad historical brush strokes of the African-American soldiers.

"Stolen from Africa, brought to America," the song goes. "Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival."

The full history is more complicated.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

A statue at Fort Leavenworth pays tribute to the Buffalo Soldiers, the all African-American calvary formed after the Civil War. Today, John Bruce and George Pettigrew of the Buffalo Soldiers Alexander/Madison Chapter of Greater Kansas City explain the origins and accomplishments of these soldiers, who served with distinction until the last Buffalo Soldier units were disbanded in 1951.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

While Kansas City has a long tradition of black artists, their work tends to get overlooked, says textiles artist Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin. Today, we learn about a community project that's giving these local creatives online posterity. Then, we hear excerpts from a conversation with Democratic Missouri Rep.

Paul Andrews / www.paulandrewsphotography.com

Sheri "Purpose" Hall is a spoken word poet, an author, an ordained minister and an activist. She's represented Kansas City in national poetry slams and recently, a video of her performing one of her poems, "Irregular Rape Poem," has gone viral. Hear her story.

Guest:

CCAAL Inc.

For an artist, one year is plenty of time to develop new techniques and mature. Today, we check in on local artist Rodolfo Marron, who, after two residencies in New York, has returned to Kansas City with a new exhibit. Then, learn about Liberty's African-American heritage from the group dedicated to documenting and preserving its history.

Guests:

Hear the stories behind this year's Day of the Dead altars at the Mattie Rhodes Gallery, then meet a local spoken word poet/minister.

Guests:

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