Journey through the history of segregation in the Kansas City metro, primarily through its real estate. The tour is designed so that you can safely drive through the city at your own pace while hearing stories about each area you travel through.
Nathaniel Bozarth, ethnographer and host of the “Wide Ruled” podcast, narrates this 90-minute drive, bringing in interviews from several area students and notable city figures Sid Willens, Bill Tammeus, Mamie Hughes, and Margaret May.
“Dividing Lines” was created as a part of the Johnson County Library’s “Race Project KC.” The Library’s Civic Engagement Committee and Tanner Colby’s book “Some of My Best Friends are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America” inspired much of the ongoing work of Race Project KC. This tour was made possible by support from Johnson County Library and the Kansas Humanities Council. It was produced by Brainroot Light & Sound. Written by Nathaniel Bozarth and Christopher Cook. The tour features music from Hermon Mehari and KC Jazz LP.
The content of this tour may contain controversial material; such statements are not an expression of library policy.
Banner Photo: David Wilson
Country Club Plaza
The tour begins in the north parking lot of Shawnee Mission East High School (address below). The school has several parking lots. The correct starting point is located in the parking lot accessible from 75th Street, just west of Mission Road.
Don’t go to any of the school’s parking lots accessed off of Mission Road, these parking lots don’t connect to the starting parking lot.
You can use the address given below, or copy-and-paste the Geo-Pin pasted below to guide you directly to the parking lot.
7500 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS 66208
Google Maps Geo-Pin to Parking Lot:
Places to stop along the way:
The tour is best experienced in a continuous session. Therefore, no stops are recommended.
Best time of day:
From dawn to dusk.
Avoiding work-days from 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM, and 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM will help you avoid heavier traffic on some sections of the tour.
DRIVE SLOW: If your own pace is faster than the speed limit, the stories won’t fall in quite the right places. To fully be able to take in your surroundings, we recommend you drive at or below the speed limit at all times. Regardless of what you do, please OBEY ALL TRAFFIC LAWS.
SILENCES: The great thing about VoiceMap is that we take my cues from you...well, your location at least. Because VoiceMap is location-aware, you may experience a brief silence from time to time, but don’t worry, it’s because app is just waiting for you to arrive at the next location.
GROUPS: The tour is best experienced in a group so that the passengers can safely look at the spots we pass. If you’re driving on your own, that’s totally cool. You may, however, feel the need to pull to the side of the road from time to time. Please feel free to do so, as the road allows.
DETOURS: If you hit any detours, follow the new route that the detour signs advise until you’re out of the construction zone. Then, when it’s safe, pull to the side of the road and refer to the mapped route on the app and use the “Previous” or “Next” buttons to get the audio back on track