Interview with John Rodriguez

Audio file

Interview with Kansas City school board member John Rodriguez about his life in Dodge City, Kansas, and later Kansas City, Missouri. Born in 1941, he recalls growing up in a predominantly Mexican area of Dodge City where his father worked in packing houses and for the railroads, educational discrimination faced by Mexican-American students, being unable to get haircuts in Dodge City barbershops, and enlisting in the army. He also discusses visiting Kansas City and being able to see Mexican movies, attend fiestas, and buy Mexican groceries and, while discrimination existed, having access to Mexican barbers and public swimming pools. After studying Spanish and French in college, he began his teaching career in Kansas towns including Elkhart and Hutchinson, and came to Kansas City as Director of Outreach Programs for University of Missouri-Kansas City. He later worked in roles furthering educational opportunity and was elected to the Kansas City School Board in 1975.

Object Type
Audio Recording
Digital Object Identifier
This project was funded in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library.
Shelf Location

Hispanic Oral History Collection, SC69-1,

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This oral history recording is presented as a historical document of the recollections and opinions of persons living and/or working in Kansas City when the history was conducted. Minor edits have been made to remove pauses, interruptions and verbal tics, and the recording is otherwise verbatim as it was captured. These oral histories represent the thoughts and opinions of the original participants and do not reflect the views of the Kansas City Public Library or its partner organizations in this oral history project.