Saint Joseph

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Interview with Kansas City Public School District board member Dr. A. Odell Thurman. Thurman discusses his family and early life in Mississippi and St. Louis, his father's work as a minister, attending (and later teaching at) Dunbar School, attending high school in Liberty and St. Joseph, attending Western University and later graduating from Lincoln University, getting a masters degree, and working as an educator in Kansas City, Missouri. He shares his thoughts about segregated schools in Kansas City, earning his PhD, and becoming an assistant superintendent for the school district.

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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 Hazel Thomas about her experience training as a welder through the National Youth Administration and working for several aircraft manufacturers, including building B-25 Bombers at North American Aviation during World War II. She recalls parts being delivered by people on roller skates, receiving pay equal to that of the men, and marrying and having children. She also discusses going on work for decades in other manufacturing and maintenance jobs in the Kansas City area, growing up in northwest Missouri, Colorado and Rhode Island, and shares photographs and stories from her family.

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