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When Independence destroyed a Black neighborhood (update)

In the 1900s, the Neck neighborhood was the center of the Black community in Independence, Missouri. But by 1969, the neighborhood had been demolished — thanks to urban renewal policies put into place by President Harry S. Truman, who lived nearby. A special episode from the KCUR Studios podcast A People's History of Kansas City.

Across from the Truman Library and Museum in Independence sits McCoy Park, a beautiful green space. But few park goers know that directly below their feet is the rubble of what was once a vibrant Black neighborhood.

Today, not a single house stands from the area known as The Neck. As KCUR's Savannah Hawley Bates reports for A People's History of Kansas City,The Neck was completely destroyed by urban renewal. But its former residents are still seeking justice to ensure their story is not forgotten.

An earlier version of this story ran on Jan. 31, 2023.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Brian Ellison. It is produced by Paris Norvell and KCUR Studios and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

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As a host and contributor at KCUR, I seek to create a more informed citizenry and richer community. I want to enlighten and inspire our audience by delivering the information they need with accuracy and urgency, clarifying what’s complicated and teasing out the complexities of what seems simple. I work to craft conversations that reveal realities in our midst and model civil discourse in a divided world. Follow me on Twitter @ptsbrian or email me at brian@kcur.org.
Paris Norvell is a freelance podcast producer for KCUR Studios,
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