Kansas

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Video Recording

Interview with World War II army veteran Albert Jones. Jones discusses being drafted into the army in 1943, joining the 10th Calvary, serving in North Africa and Italy during the war, and building bridges and maintaining supply lines. He also discusses the history of the 10th Calvary and the Buffalo Soldiers and conventions honoring that history.

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Interview with Kansas City, Kansas resident Luther Smith about growing up in the Quindaro area and in Welborn, Kansas. Smith discusses his family and experience as a young student and athlete in the 1940s and '50s, the changing retail landscape of Minnesota Avenue, being drafted into the army in 1960, encountering segregation and discrimination, and shares information about the earlier history of Quindaro.

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Interview with Larry Hancks, writer and former planner for the city of Kansas City, Kansas. Hancks discusses the history of the Quindaro townsite, stories about its role in the Underground Railroad, the current state of the town ruins, and proposals for restoration and commemoration.

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Interview with Kansas City, Kansas, resident and volunteer Sue Thompson. Sue discusses her family and early life in Merriam, Kansas, marrying and raising her children in Piper and Victory Hills, her volunteer work, and returning to work after the murder of her husband, Chuck Thompson. She shares memories of volunteering for the Bar Association Auxiliary and other Wyandotte County organizations.

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Interview with retired librarian and community leader Pat Gaunce. Gaunce discusses her start in library work while raising her children, working in school libraries, developing new public library branches in Wyandotte County including the F. L. Schlagle Environmental Library, furthering her professional education, undergoing cancer treatment, serving on Kathleen Sebelius' transition team and the University of Kansas Hospital Authority Board along with other community-oriented roles, and shares thoughts about her family and the future of the Kansas City, Kansas community.

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Interview with Colonel Robert L. Sweeney. Sweeney discusses his family and early life in Highland, Kansas, his military service in World War I, experiencing little discrimination in Highland and France, working as a chauffeur in St. Joseph and Kansas City, visiting New York City, his friendship with the Pendergasts, Harry Truman, and police chief Clarence Kelley, and his hopes for development in downtown Kansas City. He also shares thoughts about World War II, Black political alignments over time, numerous politicians, Black activists and intellectuals, and prominent black Kansas Citians, among other topics.

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Interview with Henry Warren Sewing, founder of Douglass State Bank. Sewing discusses his family and early life in Texas, his experience at Fisk and Tillotson universities, teaching in Austin, moving to Kansas City circa 1920, working at and rising in multiple life insurance companies, and his work founding and operating Douglass State Bank.

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Interview with Kansas City (Ks.) Globe newspaper reporter Eddie Reese. Reese discusses his family and early life in Mississippi, attending school and church, enlisting in the Marine Corps and his service in Vietnam, returning to study journalism at Kansas City Kansas Community College and the University of Kansas, and working for the Kansas City Globe, a weekly newspaper focused on the Black community. He also discusses Black culture and activism at KU and his thoughts about various politicians and activists.

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Interview with founding member of Freedom Inc. Fred Curls. He discusses his early life, attending Attucks Grade School and Lincoln High, working his way up from a porter job at Myron Green's restaurants, working in an Indian jewelry factory, and shifting to construction work and work at the Lake City munitions plant, as well as racism and discrimination he encountered in those settings. He describes his entry into the real estate business as a realtor and appraiser, the role of redlining and other restrictive real estate covenants and white flight to the suburbs, and the change in community fabric during a time of rapid change. He also describes his experience going back to school to become an appraiser, his role with the Missouri State Highway Commission appraising properties as part of Urban Renewal projects, including the South Midtown Freeway (later Bruce R. Watkins Drive) project.

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