Dividing Lines Tour: A History of Segregation in Kansas City

We encourage you to take this tour anytime during the month of October. On Sunday, October 18 at 2 PM we invite you to join us for a post tour discussion on ZOOM. A link for this discussion will be provided.

If you are interested in taking the “Dividing Lines:  A History of Segregation in Kansas City” driving tour, please find instructions below.  Please plan to allow one and a half to two hours for this self-guided tour.  I recommend going on a weekend when there is less traffic.

More information:
Dividing Lines:  A History of Segregation in KCThe tour begins in the parking lot of Shawnee Mission East High School
7500 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS  66208
Because this is an audio tour, bluetooth devices are recommended

  • First you will need to download the free VoiceMap App on Android or iOS 
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  • After downloading the App, in the search box type in “Kansas City”
  • Click on “Kansas City”
  • Click on “Driving Tour”
  • Directions will follow

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.

About the audio tour

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 WillensBill TammeusMamie 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.

Major Landmarks

Country Club Plaza, Troost Avenue, Power & Light District, 18th & Vine

Startingpoint Directions to starting point

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.

School Address:

7500 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS 66208

Tips Tips

Places to stop along the way:

The tour is best experienced in a continuous session. Therefore, no stops are recommended.

Precautions:

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. 

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.

Community Program for Youth (CoPY), 6:30 to 8:30 PM

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