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Interview with World War II army veteran James Madison

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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 Mark Turner about his and his family's history in Westport. Turner discusses recreation in Swope Park, Fairyland Park, and Mill Creek Park, his experience of segregation at local businesses, finding ways to make money as a kid, and attending an integrated school with primarily white teachers after Brown vs. Board of Education. He also shares memories of St. Luke's Hospital, including its segregation policy in his early life, neighbors working in the laundry, and their chaplain helping the community after a fire at St. James Church. Turner also discusses his experience in higher education as a professor with Metropolitan Community Colleges, and his view of the different expectations of and skillsets taught to white and Black students. 

Video Recording

Interview with former Steptoe resident Mary Stone. Stone shares memories of growing up in the Steptoe area of Westport, attending Penn School and St. Luke's AME Church, her friends and neighbors, and recreation opportunities in other parts of the city. She also discusses her parents' jobs, including her mother's work supervising staff at the Riviera Apartments, changes in Westport due to demographic shifts and St. Luke's Hospital expansion projects, and holding Westport reunions with friends and former neighbors at Loose Park. 

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Interview with William Shelby about the history of Westport and the Steptoe neighborhood. Shelby discusses his family's history in Westport dating back to 1870, their founding of the St. James Baptist Church, and his father's work as an educator at Penn and other schools, as well as his personal history growing up near 27th & Tracy, family, and work.  He also discusses St. Luke's Hospital's expansion and relationship with the neighborhood. 

Video Recording

Interview with Leah Russell, former resident of the Steptoe neighborhood. She discusses her family's history and their roots in the Steptoe/Westport area from the late 1800s, the families and places in the community, the social life she shared with neighborhood kids, and the role of the local churches, schools, and St. Luke's Hospital in the area.  She also discusses her education and career, leaving Kansas City for other opportunities, 

Video Recording

Interview with artist and former Steptoe/Westport resident Sonie Ruffin. Ruffin discusses her family, moving to Kansas City from Joplin around 1970, neighbors who worked for St. Luke's Hospital, the social and cultural life in the area, working at a variety of Plaza shops, and notes that Westport was an integrated community when she moved there in the '70s. She also discusses her work as a fiber artist and her book, The Soulful Art of African American Quilts, and the relationship that St. Luke's Hospital had with the neighborhood and neighbors who were employed by the hospital. 

Video Recording