The podcast about the everyday heroes, renegades and visionaries who shaped Kansas City and the region. If these stories aren't told, they're in danger of fading into the past. Hosted by Suzanne Hogan.
Alvin Brooks, Kansas City’s ultimate civil servant
Alvin Brooks is a public figure who has served as a bridge in Kansas City for decades. He was one of the city’s first Black police officers, an educator, a leader in the civil rights movement, a founder of Ad Hoc Group Against Crime and almost a Kansas City mayor. Yet few know about his personal life and the internal struggles he’s faced. KCUR’s Reginald David talks to Brooks about the moments in his life that shaped him and pushed him to fight for a better Kansas City.
Annie Fisher’s beaten biscuit empire
At the turn of the 20th century, a self-taught caterer in Columbia gained national acclaim with her sought-after biscuit recipe. Fisher’s famous beaten biscuits made it onto the plates of presidents and Hollywood stars alike — making her one of the wealthiest Black women around. But her story may have been lost if not for a few determined Missouri women.
Making the Lake of the Ozarks
With more shoreline than the coast of California, the Lake of the Ozarks in mid-central Missouri is a popular tourist destination for land-locked Midwesterners. For decades, it's provided financial opportunities for locals and outside interests alike — but at what cost? The story of how this man-made body of water came to be involves corruption, jail time, communities torn apart, and displaced families.
Kansas City’s first Pride parade
Kansas City’s first Pride parade in 1977 was spearheaded by Lea Hopkins, a bold, Black lesbian whose organizing sparked a wider gay rights movement that continues today. But it was only a few weeks after that successful event that Hopkins found herself on the defense again, when a prominent anti-gay activist came on a crusade through town.
When Independence destroyed a Black neighborhood
In the 1900s, the Neck neighborhood was the center of the Black community in Independence, Missouri. But by 1969, the neighborhood had been demolished — thanks to urban renewal policies put into place by President Harry S. Truman, who lived nearby. Today, it’s the site of McCoy Park, a vast green space that connects the Harry S. Truman Library to the Independence Square.
The Golden Arches in Black Kansas City
A 1975 protest at a McDonald’s restaurant in Kansas City emerged from years of escalating tension — between Black community members and their city, and between McDonald’s and the neighborhoods it occupied. But this particular location was also one of the first Black-owned fast-food franchises in the country, an accomplishment born from its own struggle for inclusion.
60 years a Kansas City Citizen
I am just old enough to have fuzzy memories of the riots in 1968. I was in kindergarten at Fairfax Elementary school, one of three white children in my class. We lived in Quindaro projects so there was quite a bit of activity in my neighborhood during that. Whether or not he lived in Kansas City this is the top shelf production, and sure to stimulate.
Great for old and new Kansas Citians
Great podcast. Wish they kept it going. Binged it over the summer and keep waiting for more!!!
Compelling Local History
Engaging, well researched and well told local history.