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The Walker Walkouts

Crysta Henthorne, KCUR 89-3
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Image Courtesy Johnson County Museum

70 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional in its landmark decision Brown v. Board of Education. But the case may have played out differently if it hadn’t been for a tenacious group of women in Johnson County, Kansas, who led their own integration lawsuit five years earlier. As Mackenzie Martin reports, the case centered around a two-room schoolhouse and included a lengthy boycott, big-shot NAACP lawyers, FBI surveillance — and six very brave children.

This episode of A People's History of Kansas City was reported, produced and mixed by Mackenzie Martin with editing by Barbara Shelly and Suzanne Hogan. Archival interviews of Corinthian Nutter and Esther Brown were provided by Greg Rieke and Susan Brown Tucker.

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Whether it’s something happening right now or something that happened 100 years ago, some stories don’t fit in the short few minutes of a newscast. As a podcast producer and reporter at KCUR Studios, I help investigate questions and local curiosities in a way that brings listeners along for adventures with plot twists and thought-provoking ideas. Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer in the end – but my hope is that we all leave with a greater understanding of the city we live in. Reach me at mackenzie@kcur.org.
Every part of the present has been shaped by actions that took place in the past, but too often that context is left out. As a podcast producer for KCUR Studios and host of the podcast A People’s History of Kansas City, I aim to provide context, clarity, empathy and deeper, nuanced perspectives on how the events and people in the past have shaped our community today. In that role, and as an occasional announcer and reporter, I want to entertain, inform, make you think, expose something new and cultivate a deeper shared human connection about how the passage of time affects us all. Reach me at hogansm@kcur.org.
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