segregation | KCUR

segregation

Segment 1: Missouri looks to start opening medical marijuana dispensaries in June.

Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services has issued licenses for 192 medical marijuana dispensaries since a voter approved initiative for medical cannabis passed in 2018. Once patients are able to start purchasing, and in some cases growing, the product, the state could look to issue more dispensary licenses based on supply and demand.

Segment 1: What does it mean to be presidential?

Imagine a world in which campaigning for president was considered beneath the dignity of the office. That world used to be the United States! It's also one of the many takeaways from a recently published book from the University Press of Kansas that looks into how the office of the president has evolved in America's history. 

J.E. Miller / Courtesy of Missouri Valley Room, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri.

Listen to this episode of A People's History Of Kansas City, a new podcast from KCUR 89.3. For more stories like this one, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Play.

Segment 1: A KU professor's book explores the sense of place created by our technology.

Where do you live? What is your neighborhood? Is it a physical place — or a digital one? "The Digital City: Media and the Social Production of Place" argues that smartphones are replacing cities. It also looks into how smart cities, like Kansas City, privilege people who already have a lot of resources.

Segment 1: Why the Shawnee Mission School Board authorized controversial teacher contract.

Failed contract negotiations between teachers and administrators in the Shawnee Mission School District resulted in the district's Board of Education unilaterally approving a three-year contract. Members of the school board explained some of the complexities of the situation and discussed what options remain for teachers.

Elle Moxley / 89.3

The KCUR news staff presents the State of Kansas City series as a look ahead to 2020 on topics of importance to the region. Find the State of Kansas City report on other topics in the series as they are published each weekday, Jan. 6–Jan. 20. Follow coverage on these topics at KCUR.org and on 89.3 FM throughout the year.

Kansas City’s complex racial history is still defining how kids are educated in 2020. That includes factors far outside of classrooms, where housing instability, violence in communities and childhood trauma all have profound effects on schools and students.

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

In 1991, when Reverend Eric Williams was new to his ministry, he was asked to perform a funeral for a young man who'd died of AIDS. The parents wanted to honor their son with a church service. Their own pastor had refused. 

An unspoken rule exists among clergy that pastors don't agree to things their colleagues have refused to do, but Williams couldn't stop thinking about the young man's family. The reckoning Williams experienced on the night of that phone call is still shaping Kansas City's approach to AIDS intervention, not to mention his work as a pastor.

What motivates a Baptist pastor to provide AIDS education, a fitness center and other unconventional services.

Reverend Eric Williams has been at the forefront of AIDS outreach since 1991, when he held a funeral for an openly gay man after a colleague refused to do it. Today, he continues to focus his ministry on health as a way of helping his congregant achieve the "abundant life" he preaches about. Hear his story, beginning with a childhood in zipcode 64130.

Segment 1: Decades after desegregation, there remain students in the Kansas City area who are still not receiving a quality education. 

Education professor John Rury detailed the inequalities as they exist in urban and suburban school districts. As the Kansas City area expanded in the 1950s, wealth moved to the suburbs. The levels of poverty in many urban, black neighborhoods have remained in the 30-40 percentile. "This brings a whole host of issues that makes it very difficult for schools to function," Rury said. 

Logan Action

Artist Hugh Merrill, who is white, had troubling memories from what he saw growing up in the Jim Crow South of the 1950s and '60s. And when he started looking into his family history, he was shocked by what he found out.

"It's a little bit like finding out that not only, if you were German, that your ancestors, that your uncles, were guards at Auschwitz — it's like finding out they ran Auschwitz," he says. "I had to make a decision about what to do with this. And it was absolutely clear what had to be done. I had to tell the truth."

A journey along Quindaro Boulevard in northeast Kansas City, Kansas, takes us through history, demographic shifts, religion, and plans for economic development. Visit a black-owned bookstore in the 1960s, an integrated church and hear about one of the country's first black police chiefs. Plus, teens grapple with whether they have to leave the area to succeed.

This show is a culmination of months of reporting along Quindaro Boulevard as part of KCUR's Here to Listen initiative

Brandon Parigo / KCUR 89.3

Bernard Crawford grew up on Quindaro during the 1970s. He remembers thriving businesses: bakeries, grocery stores and theaters. He left for school but has come back to be what he calls a "light” on Quindaro, to help it be a safe and welcoming place. A sign on the wall says, "No swearing allowed."

He’s got fruit snacks and lollipops for the kids.

KansasMemory.org, Kansas Historical Society

Many people are well aware of the history of segregation of African American students in the Kansas City, Missouri, public schools, but there’s a compelling and mostly forgotten history of segregation of Mexican American children in the Kansas City, Kansas, public schools.

Immigrants came to the Kansas City area to pursue the American dream in railyards and meatpacking plants. They faced inequalities even as they fought for educational opportunities for their children from the 1920s to 1951.

Segment 1: Jackson County legislators answer questions of current budget, property tax and working with county executive Frank White.

Jackson County lawmakers say recent budgeting and property tax issues have caused county residents to distrust their local government. Legislator Jalen Anderson attributed the root of the problem to a lack of transparency and communication between the legislative and executive branches. "The time for talking is done. There needs to be change now," Anderson said. 

The mostly nondescript Building 2101 at Fort Leonard Wood was the home of the Black Officers' Club before the Army was desegregated in 1948. 

The building had been slated for demolition, but a preservation effort restored it. The goal is to honor African American soldiers who served in difficult times.

Segment 1: Busing to desegregate schools: then and now

For some, busing throughout the 1970s, '80s and '90s held a negative connotation. But education professor Erica Frankenberg and reporter Lynn Horsely say it ultimately benefitted students and communities, including Kansas City, Missouri.

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography

As she was dying, Sonya Willis' mother gave her daughter a warning. 

"She watched me sit back and put my head in my hand and she said, 'Don't you cry.' ... It's like, 'Don't you cry. You get the job done.'"

Portrait Session With Sonya Willis

May 17, 2019

A middle school in Kansas City has been named after Gloria Willis, who grew up in Texas under Jim Crow Law. She joined Kansas City Kansas Public Schools in 1953, and went on to lead the charge to desegregate the schools there.

Her daughter, Dr. Sonya Willis, followed in her mother’s footsteps and became an educator as well. Though they shared similar values, it was not until Sonya became her mother's caretaker that they truly connected. This is their story.

Segment 1: New data analysis of Kansas City's public school environment.

A new analysis shows public and charter schools in Kansas City are more segregated, more expensive to operate, and more complicated than they were 20 years ago. We talked with two officials behind the report about these issues and others, and discussed possible solutions. 

Seg. 1: Transforming American Prosecution | Seg. 2: Where Were You?

May 14, 2019

Segment 1: District attorneys' exercise of power has affected mass incarceration and convicted the innocent. 

The United States is the only country in the world that elects its prosecutors who can exert greater influence over criminal cases than judges. The author of "Charged" explained that while these prosecutors can be the "cause of enormous injustice" the pendulum may be swinging the other way as voters are putting more reform-minded candidates in office.

Ray Weikal / Kansas City Public Schools

Both traditional public schools and charters in Kansas City are increasingly segregated, expensive to run and losing high school students, according to a new report from the Kansas City Public Schools.

KCPS is calling it a “system” analysis because it looks at charter schools as well. (Charter schools are public schools that operate independently of KCPS.) Think of it as a snapshot of 20 years of education choice in Kansas City.

Segment 1: Race Project KC is educating high school students on structural racism in Kansas City.

Built off of Tanner Colby's book "Some of My Best Friends Are Black," Johnson County Library takes students on a bus tour to provide lessons on the ways that segregration is ingrained in the foundation of the city. Shawnee Mission East student Oliver Henry said the tour helped her better understand the lack of diversity at her school. 

Courtesy of William Bird

Chester Owens Jr. remembers bucking the laws of Jim Crow that said a black man had no right to eat where and when he wanted.

In 1952, one of those places was a restaurant at Kresge's department store on Minnesota Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas.

Segment 1: How black cultural institutions can serve as a place for community healing.

It's no secret that Kansas City still bears scars of redlining and segregation, but it's not exactly something you bring up at a party either. So how do we have these important discussions to help our community move forward? A local poet has ideas.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: This is the bank manager's third time running for Kansas City mayor. 

Could this time be the charm for Henry Klein? Though he has never served in public office, Klein says his current job allows him to help people everyday. Today, he discussed how he would continue to lend that helping hand as mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, including his ideas to improve public schools and eliminate earning taxes on small business.

Courtesy of J. Anthony Snorgrass

A poet and playwright is working to preserve the legacy of an iconic leader in the black community of Liberty, Missouri.

The poet and playwright is Shelton Ponder, a lifelong Liberty resident who graduated from Liberty High School in 1961.

A visit to the town of Liberty, Missouri and its outlying areas to hear about a growing Mormon community, a legendary teacher in the city’s formerly segregated schools and William Jewell College’s evolving role in the town.

Guests: 

A person sits behind a microphone with an N-P-R sign in the background.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: State auditor says her look into Clay County government is forthcoming.

Many in the metro think of Clay County politics as dull, but disputes on the board of commissioners and accusations of misused public money are anything but tedious for concerned citizens there. Today, we reviewed a segment from July about what drove one group to ask state officials to take a closer look. Then, we got an update on the audit in question.

Then-state Sen. Mike Kehoe stands on the Missouri Senate chamber floor of the General Assembly.
Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

Segment 1: Missourians will vote on the first gas-tax increase in 24 years. 

Integration Of Schools

Sep 20, 2018

Almost 65 years after the landmark ruling of Brown v. Board of Education that desegragated public schools, research suggests U.S. schools are resegregating and, in some places, are more segregated than ever. On this episode, we dive into a discussion about how much of a priority integration plays in Kansas City metro schools.

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