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What The 1968 Kansas City Uprisings Have In Common With This Year's Black Lives Matter Protests

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A black and white photograph showing protesters facing law enforcement officers wearing helmets and gas masks whose backs are to the camera.
LaBudde Special Collections
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Miller Nichols Library / University of Missouri - Kansas City
The refusal to close public schools in Kansas City, Missouri, for the 1968 funeral of Martin Luther King Jr. sent Black folks to the streets in protest.

The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the police killing of George Floyd were just the spark for subsequent protests. Though 52 years passed between the two deaths, there has been little change in the systemic racism contributing to the outrage.

An examination of the unrest on the day of Martin Luther King Jr.'s funeral in 1968, and in the wake of this year's police killing of George Floyd. The death of each man was just the spark for protests that followed, fueled by decades of racial inequity.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
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 at KCUR, 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 or find me on Twitter @_macmartin.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.