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Stories about Home on KC Currents

By Sylvia Maria Gross


Kansas City, MO – We thought that storytelling was a fitting way to celebrate KC Currents and KCUR's 50th anniversary, because we try to bring you stories of people from around here. And a lot of time, at some point - they're talking about finding their niche, their place in this city or country or world . . . or getting thrown out of it.

Funk singer Marva Whitney, for example, grew up in Kansas City Kansas. She started out singing in her family church, and left to perform with the late James Brown. Whitney was here at KCUR in February, talking to Chuck Haddix on the Fish Fry. After singing at James Brown's funeral earlier this year, Marva Whitney's on tour right now in Europe and Japan right now with the Japanese funk band, Osaka Monorail. She isn't sure she's ever been accepted back in Kansas City, though she lives here in between tours.

Now, a couple of decades before Miss Whitney, World War II veteran Roque Riojas was born in a different corner of KCK. Riojas left his home to serve in the 34th Red Bull Army Division in North Africa and Italy during World War II.

The Papikian family came to Kansas City because of political turmoil in their hometown of Baku, Azerbaijan, the former Soviet Republic by the Caspian Sea. Igor and Corina Papikian still find a taste of home in a traditional Azerbaijani eggplant dish, though their daughter Ana has different taste.

And then there's teenager Noor Abunadi. Her parents are from Jordan, but she was born in Minnesota and moved to Kansas when she was nine. But the place she feels at home is a small building in eastern Kansas City, Missouri.

More stories about this idea of home in the next installment of Storytelling with Miss Gina K at the Brick on Saturday night. Besides Hector Casanova and myself, you'll hear from former KC Currents host Delores Jones, contributor Ahmad Safi, also Adrianne Russell, David Wayne Reed and Gina Kaufmann.

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