Kansas City School District

Displaying 1 - 10 of 13

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.

Audio icon
Audio Recording

Interview with Kansas City Public Schools psychologist Isaac Gardner, Jr. Gardner discusses his early life and education in the Wendell Phillips neighborhood, his different experiences attending the University of Michigan and Howard University, joining the Air Force as a research psychologist, and a racist encounter with the Kansas City Police Department and subsequent public attention and interaction with police chief Clarence Kelley. He also discusses his memories of social and commercial segregation in Kansas City, teaching at Lincoln High School and Avila College, his work providing assessments and therapy to students, and his involvement with the district's desegregation task force.

Audio icon
Audio Recording

Interview with Margaret Anne Cummings about her experience as a military wife during World War II, and post-war life with her husband Franklin. Cummings discusses moving to "the country" while her husband served (she does not specify which branch of service) out of state and overseas, the birth of their daughter, and Franklin's service as a cook during the war in Europe. She also discusses the service of other friends and family, and the finances of the family during wartime. Cummings went on to teach in the Kansas City, MO, school district from 1958-1981.

Video Recording

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.

Audio icon
Audio Recording

Interview with Dr. Salomon Flores about his life in Kansas City, Kansas, during the Great Depression and his career. He discusses his parents' immigration to Kansas from Mexico in 1918 and growing up in La Colonia, an area of Kansas City, Kansas made up of Mexican immigrant families near Rosedale from 1928 to the 1950s. He recalls attending a segregated school, going on to attend Ottawa University, and being drafted to serve in Japan during the Korean War before returning to work as a teacher in Humboldt, Kansas, Kansas City, Missouri, and later moving into higher education. He also shares his recollections of the 1951 Flood, as well as thoughts about discrimination, his academic work and community activism, and his hopes for his children.

Audio icon
Audio Recording

Interview with Richard Estevez, principal of Douglass Elementary school, about his life and career. He discusses his childhood in the West Side neighborhood, moving to Washington, D.C. and Germany for his father's work with the government, his education, and participating in activities such as playing piano, debating, sports, and student government. He recalls attending college at Rockhurst while working a variety of part time jobs, and changing career ambitions from medicine to education. He discusses his career as a history teacher in the Kansas City School District, being drafted into army service during the Vietnam War, and returning to teaching in the early 1970s before rising into administration.

Audio icon
Audio Recording

Interview with Judge Howard Sachs about his life, work, and experience as part of the Kansas City Jewish community. He discusses his legal education and evolution on racial issues, He calls cases dealing with the desegregation of the Swope Park and Parade Park pools, the integration of the Kansas City Bar Association, his experience with the Urban League, and working to enact desegregation laws in Kansas City prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Act. He also discusses the support for civil rights issues from area rabbis, his work on the Kansas City School District desegregation committee, and his support for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Audio icon
Audio Recording

Interview with Alfonso Lopez about his life and his work as an educator. Born in 1950, he discusses his family's immigration from Mexico, his early life on the Mexico/US border near El Paso, Texas, his early experiences with education, farm work, and sports, and attending college during the Vietnam War draft era. After receiving bachelors and masters degrees from the University of North Texas, he worked in establishing bilingual education programs in Garden City, Kansas, and later with the Kansas City (Missouri) School District.

Audio icon
Audio Recording

Interview with Catherine Reyes about her life and experience in Kansas City's Westside neighborhood. Born in 1931, she recalls her early life and education in Mexico City after being born in Independence, Kansas, their struggles during the Great Depression, her realization that she was a foreigner in Mexico, and moving to Kansas City on her own at the age of 17. She discusses working as an inspector and seamstress in a garment factory, marrying and raising children, being joined in Kansas City by her brother and mother, continuing to learn English, and going to work in the bilingual education program with Kansas City Public Schools.

Audio icon
Audio Recording

Interview with Esther Franco about her life and her work in education administration in Kansas City. She discusses her parents' roots in Mexico and Guatemala and their move to Los Angeles, and the family's moves through California due to her father's role as a minister with the Church of the Nazarene, and growing up speaking Spanish in Mexican-American communities. She recalls marrying her own minister husband, and their work with the church and as educators in California, Texas, and the Kansas City area. After working as an elementary school teacher in the Kansas City School District, she went on to develop their bilingual education program, and she shares thoughts about the needs of Hispanic and other Kansas City students and their families.

Audio icon
Audio Recording