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Seg. 1: Former Mayor Barnes On Kansas City Growth & Neglect. Seg. 2: KC's Black Panther Legacy.

Luke X. Martin
KCUR 89.3
A ballroom at the Kansas City Convention Center was renamed last month the Kay Barnes Grand Ballroom, in honor of the impact of former Kansas City mayor, who served from 1999-2007.

Segment 1: Former Kansas City mayor reflects on the impact of downtown development.

Much of the credit for Kansas City's current downtown boom can be placed at the feet of former Mayor Kay Barnes, whose efforts culminated in the creation of the Power and Light District and the construction of the Sprint Center. Nevertheless, parts of town east of Troost still struggle for invesment and redevelopment. We spoke with Barnes about her legacy and the community-building work that's left to be done.

  • Kay Barnes, former Kansas City, Missouri, mayor and senior director of university engagement at Park University

Segment 2, beginning at 24:55: How the Black Panther Party benefitted Kansas City communities of color.

The militancy of the Black Panther Party was well-publicized. The social and political outreach and empowerment work they did is much less well-known. Today, we discussed the legacy of the Black Panthers in Kansas City, across the United States, and in Tanzania with two local film-makers who recently finished a documentary highlighting the positive, non-violent role the movement played.

  • Jermaine Thomas, founder of Taishi Studios and director of "Legacy: Spirit of the Black Panthers"
  • Lyle Gibson, Metropolitan Community College professor of history and producer of "Legacy: Spirit of the Black Panthers"

Thomas and Gibson will attend a screening and discussion of their documentary, 'Legacy: Spirit of the Black Panthers,' at 2 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 12 at the Kansas City Public Library's Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., Kansas City, Missouri 64105. For more information, visit KCLibrary.org.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, 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. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As culture editor, I oversee KCUR’s coverage of race, culture, the arts, food and sports. I work with reporters to make sure our stories reflect the fullest view of the place we call home, so listeners and readers feel primed to explore the places, projects and people who make up a vibrant Kansas City. Email me at luke@kcur.org.