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Voices From Kansas City's Latino Past


Kansas City, MO – What do silver smelting, railroads and meatpacking have in common? They are all part of the history of early Latino immigration to Kansas City. Educator Gene Chavez gathered first-hand accounts of Latinos who came to this area during the 1920's. He gathered the oral histories as a part of a 2005 project sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council. The project focuses on the stories of Mexican immigrants who moved to the Argentine, Armourdale, and Rosedale neighborhoods of Kansas City, Kansas--plus West Bottoms in Kansas City, Missouri. Gene Chavez will share these stories at the Shawnee Town Museum speakers' series on Tuesday, June 9. KCUR's Susan Wilson caught up with him.

Gene Chavez is a teacher and president of Chavez and Associates, which specializes in bilingual education and cultural diversity.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
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