Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Kansas City J.C. Nichols Rename Conversation Advances Without Much Defense Of Long-Dead Racist White Dude
Here's a glimpse at the discourse and more insight into the talking points in this ongoing discussion.
More importantly . . . As the talks proceed it seems like there there might not be an MLK rename but the old school real estate dude is DEFINITELY being replaced.
KC Parks Engage: Reexamining J.C. Nichols
Where are you on the complicated legacy of Kansas City developer J.C. Nichols? Should his name be removed from the parkway running to and alongside the Country Club Plaza? And from the memorial fountain adjacent to the Nichols-designed outdoor shopping district?
On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, the city and area residents weighed in.
Kansas City’s board of parks and recreation commissioners – in partnership with the Library – held an online community engagement session to solicit public input on a proposal to rename both the parkway and the fountain. An initial, in-person forum had been held Thursday, June 18.
Participants and other viewers joined this second public hearing via Zoom. Individual comments were limited to 90 seconds.
Nichols’ practices have drawn renewed scrutiny as the country tries to come to terms with longtime racial inequity and injustice in the wake of the killing of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis policemen on May 25. Yes, Nichols was a renowned visionary who developed the Plaza and some of Kansas City’s most beautiful neighborhoods. But he was also responsible for racial redlining and residential covenants that kept Blacks, Jews, and other marginalized people from purchasing homes and living in the more desirable areas of the city – the kind of historical discrimination that is drawing fresh attention and intensified condemnation nationwide.
While participants in the public hearing by the parks and recreation commissioners could offer renaming suggestions, the session focused on the question of whether to remove Nichols’ name from the parkway and the fountain at the entrance to the Plaza.
Take a look . . .
Developing . . .