Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression

Cook, H.O.

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Author: 
Megan Dennis
University of Kansas

“The black schools [in Kansas City] were much better than they had any right to be, partly because they were full of talented teachers who would have been teaching in college had they been white, and partly because Negro parents and children simply refused to be licked by segregation.” Then-reporter Roy Wilkins’s statement about education in the Kansas City area aptly summarizes the unjust obstacles that segregation created for black students, their parents, and educators at the segregated schools of Kansas City. Before the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which declared separate public schools for white and black students to be unequal and unconstitutional, black communities and activists made personal sacrifices in their fight for quality educations; they arguably had to do so afterward, as well. The African American schools that managed to stay open in the Kansas City area during segregation did so despite discriminatory policies that frequently underfunded, closed, and overcrowded schools.

KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY | DIGITAL HISTORY
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.