Conversations with Dr. Sheryll Cashin, October 20 & 27, 2022

The UMKC History Department and Center for Midwestern Studies invite you to two upcoming events featuring Dr. Sheryll Cashin, the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Civil Rights and Social Justice at Georgetown University. Dr. Cashin is an acclaimed author who writes about race relations and inequality in the United States. Her most recent book, White Space, Black Hood: Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age of Inequality, examines how government-backed policies created and have maintained a residential caste that has concentrated poverty in African American neighborhoods while promoting opportunity in white areas. Most importantly, Cashin’s work offers a blueprint to dismantle longstanding racial inequality in urban America.

Divided Cities: The Effects of Redlining and Residential Segregation on American Communities
Thursday, October 20, 2022
4:00-5:30 pm
Click Here to Register

The pandemic and summer 2020 social justice movements revealed continuing racial wounds and disparities in communities across the United States. Sheryll Cashin’s arguments about the foundations of residential segregation and her calls to build an integrated and equitable future speak to community healing in times of strife. Cashin will share her research and insights on this important and timely topic as well as engage in an interdisciplinary dialogue with UMKC faculty that focuses more directly on Kansas City. Exploring the history of redlining and its legacies in a local context will provide a moment to reflect on this important history and its connection to Kansas City from multiple perspectives, recognize continuing inequities in our communities, and consider (and plan) a better future together.

This event is part of the Marilyn T. & Byron C. Shutz Lecture Series

Segregation, Redlining, and Opportunity Hoarding: A Case for Reform
Thursday, October 27, 2022
Reception: 5:30 pm; Program begins at 6:00 pm
Truman Auditorium – Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library

A century ago, the tool was blatant redlining. Today, the mechanics of anti-Black housing segregation entail resistance to affordable housing, underinvestment in public transportation, and the over-policing of African American communities.

Those practices have rendered geographic lines “that divide America into racialized spaces of high and low opportunity,” Georgetown University’s Sheryll Cashin says. She calls it residential caste, a social and economic stratification cemented by discriminatory policies that trap Black people in impoverished neigh­bor­hoods while diverting fund­ing to afflu­ent, predom­in­antly white areas.

Cashin’s presentation will examine how our country got here and what it will take to end these corrosive exclusionary practices in a discussion drawing from her book White Space, Black Hood: Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age of Inequality.

The presentation will also be livestreamed on the Kansas City’s Public Library YouTube account.

These events have been funded by the Marilyn T. Byron C. Shutz and the Bernardin Haskell Lecture Funds. The programs were organized in partnership with the Johnson County Museum and the Kansas City Public Library, as part of a collaborative initiative across Greater Kansas City to host public dialogues complimenting the Johnson County Museum’s temporary exhibit REDLINED: Cities, Suburbs, and Segregation. These efforts aim to foster conversations about redlining and the consequences of residential segregation to catalyze civic action in the region.

Wide-Open Town: Kansas City in the Pendergast Era, January 9, 2019

On Wednesday, January 9, at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library (4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64112), Diane Mutti Burke, John Herron, and Jason Roe will discuss their edited volume, Wide-Open Town: Kansas City in the Pendergast Era.  

During the 1920s and 1930s, Kansas City was ruled by political boss Tom Pendergast, Prohibition was loosely enforced, and urban vice was rampant. But this “openness” allowed many in a community divided by race and class to challenge social boundaries. Wide-Open Town highlights the diverse histories of Kansas City at a time of transformational change in American society.

Mutti Burke is chair of the history department and director of the Center for Midwestern Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Herron is associate dean and a professor of history at UMKC. Roe is digital history specialist at the Kansas City Public Library.

“Strength through Numbers” Symposium on Quindaro, KS, April 19-21, 2018

Symposium LogoThe symposium “Strength through Numbers,” scheduled for April 19-21, 2018, will contribute to the process of designating the ruins of the Quindaro townsite as a National Historic Landmark. The symposium will begin with a keynote address by University of Washington historian Quintard Taylor on Thursday, April 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Kansas City Public Library’s Central Branch, 14 W 10th Street, Kansas City, Missouri. On Friday and Saturday, April 20-21, symposium sessions will be held at Memorial Hall, 600 North 7th Street Trafficway, Kansas City, Kansas. The symposium is cosponsored by a number of partners, including the Center for Midwestern Studies, Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, the Kansas City Public Library, the Missouri Humanities Council, UMKC’s Black Studies Program, and UMKC’s Department of History.

Quindaro, Kansas was a port town founded in 1857 as a safe harbor for free-state migrants and escaped slaves, after pro-slavery residents blockaded all other ports on the Missouri River. The community was home to Native Americans, whites, and free blacks, and became a vital stop on the Underground Railroad. On April 19, Dr. Quintard Taylor, a specialist in African American history in the American West, will deliver a lecture about this community entitled “Quindaro: The Coming of Freedom in the Decade of Civil War.” Dr. Taylor’s talk will explore the history of the Kansas-Missouri border region from 1855-1865 – the forces and events that led to vicious fighting along the Kansas-Missouri border, brought about the establishment of the town of Quindaro, and ultimately resulted in the end of slavery in the United States. This event is free but registration through the Kansas City Public Library is required.

The symposium sessions, on Friday and Saturday, April 20-21, will bring scholarship about the historical significance of the Quindaro community to a broader public audience, and facilitate discussions about the future of the historic site. Admission to the symposium sessions is free. To view a schedule of the sessions, or to register, please visit the Quindaro Symposium’s event page on the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area website.

Edward E. Baptist, White Predators, Free States: From the Fugitive Slave Act to George Zimmerman

White Predators, Free States

On Thursday, April 5, at 6:30 pm, Cornell University historian Edward E. Baptist will deliver the annual Richard D. McKinzie Lecture. His talk, entitled “White Predators, Free States: From the Fugitive Slave Act to George Zimmerman,” will address the history of race relations in the United States since 1856. Baptist is a historian of capitalism and slavery in the United States, and the author of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism and Creating an Old South. His work highlights the central importance of slavery to the economic development of the United States. The discomfort caused by this truth is often alleviated, at least in part, by reference to the Underground Railroad – the network of activists, usually depicted as white, that helped slaves escape to the North. But this narrative obscures the much larger network, backed by the authority of the federal and state governments and supported by the majority of the white population, that existed to hunt escaped slaves and to control the lives of African Americans who lived in so-called free states.

The McKinzie Lecture will take place at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library, 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, Missouri. The event is free and open to the public, but a reservation is requested through the Kansas City Public Library.

This event is co-presented by UMKC’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion, Center for Midwestern Studies, Bernardin Haskell Lecture Fund, History Department, and High School/College Partnerships program.

Historic Marker Honoring KC LGBT History to be Unveiled in Downtown KC

glama-eventBronze plaque commemorates 1st-ever Meeting of National Gay and Lesbian Rights Activists

In 1966, 39 national LGBT civil rights leaders joined each other to plan strategies and develop collaborations. They met, for the first time ever, at the State Hotel formerly on 12th and Wyandotte Streets in Kansas City, Missouri.

That small, 2-day conference included major gay and lesbian political figures from both the east and west coasts. There were representatives of the Mattachine Society, including founder and Missouri native Hal Call; the two founders of the Daughters of Bilitis, the first lesbian advocacy group; founding members of ONE, Inc., out of Los Angeles. This consortium became known as the North American Conference of Homophile Organizations – “homophile” a term used at the time as we use “LGBT” today.

Immediately after the Kansas City meeting, Drew Shafer and other local organizers formally established the Phoenix Society for Individual Freedom, Kansas City’s first gay advocacy organization.

In partnership with the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America, LGBT-KC, a community volunteer committee, is unveiling an historical marker across from the hotel site, commemorating both the 50th anniversary of that historic meeting and the founding of the Phoenix Society. GLAMA and LGBT-KC have been working for nearly two years with representatives of City Hall and Visit KC on the marker project.

“We are thrilled to shine a light on this hidden piece of Kansas City history and milestone of the struggle for LGBT civil rights in America”, said David Jackson, a member of LGBT-KC.

GLAMA has planned several talks and presentations leading up to the unveiling event.

Sunday, October 16     2:00 pm    
“Phoenix Rising: the Homophile Movement comes to Kansas City”
Kevin Scharlau, award-winning historian of Kansas City homophile history
Kansas City Public Library | 14 W. 10th Street, Kansas City, MO 64105   (816) 701-3400
This event is part of the Missouri Valley Speaker Series

Tuesday, October 18     6:00 pm
“Before Stonewall: the First Generation of LGBT Activism”
John D’Emilio, U. of Illinois – Chicago Emeritus Professor of History and noted LGBT historian
UMKC Student Union | Student Union, 5100 Cherry St, Kansas City, MO 64110

Thursday, October 20     5:45 pm
Unveiling Ceremony | Introducing the bronze historic marker commemorating the first-ever national meeting of LGBT rights activists, and KC’s first LGBT advocacy organization
Barney Allis Plaza, northeast corner at the intersection of 12th and Wyandotte Streets.

Speakers: Kansas City Council members Katheryn Shields and Jolie Justus
Performance: Members of the Heartland Men’s Chorus.
Reception: Post-unveiling, at the Phillips Hotel 106 W 12th St, Kansas City, MO 64105

Event Partners Include: LGBT-KC Committee; UMKC LGBTQIA Programs and Services; UMKC Departments of Communication Studies, English, History, Theater, and Women and Gender Studies; Kansas City Public Library, Visit KC