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Racism In The Free State

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Hays, Kansas
Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau
Hays, Kansas was formed in 1867, six years after Kansas entered the union as a "free" state without slavery.

Kansas' pride in joining the union without slavery is at odds with past and present attitudes towards Black residents.

African Americans living in Kansas make up 6.1% of the state's population, but in some areas the rate can be as low as 1%.

What Black residents experience in Kansas is affected by where they live. That's because, as reporter David Condos points out, Kansas is not a monolith.

In Hays, where the African American population is 1%, those experiences can range from microaggressions to outright threats such as those Nuchelle Chance went through when she was a professor at Ft. Hays State University.

Steve Kraske is the host of KCUR's Up To Date. Follow him on Twitter @stevekraske.
Zach Wilson is the associate producer for KCUR's Up To Date.
Danie Alexander is the senior producer of Up To Date.