Thursday, October 19, 2017
THURGOOD MARSHALL CONFRONTED KANSAS CITY INSTITUTIONAL RACISM
A landmark movie an offers us a teaching moment and history lesson for Kansas City.
Here's a quote from one of the best and brightest leaders in Kansas City offering an important remembrance for today:
KCMO-- Were you aware of the Kansas City connection with Justice Thurgood Marshall? As an attorney for the NAACP he sued the City in 1951 because the City only allowed African Americans to use the pool @ 17th & Paseo Blvd, where Gregg/Kline Community Center is today. The case is Esther Williams ET . al v. Kansas City, et.al. The local NAACP helped Esther Williams, Joseph Moore and Lena Smith sue the City claiming their 14th Amendments rights to equal protection were being denied when they were denied tickets to swim in the City owned Swope Park.
What did KCMO do .... The City attorneys tried to have Attorney Thurgood Marshall removed from the case. That didn't work and the City went on to lose the trial. What did the City then do ... They appealed the court case and in the meantime they shut down Swope Parkway pool rather to allow African-Americans from swimming in it. The City appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court! The Supreme Court denied the City's appeal and in June 1954 the court ruled in the NAACP's favor.