Watermelon Hill

Local historian Joelouis Mattox looks at an era when African Americans were permitted to have picnics at just one spot in the city’s parks system: At Shelter No. 5 in Swope Park, known widely as “Watermelon Hill.”
Joelouis Mattox
Sunday, July 14, 2013

In the 1950s and ‘60s, Kansas City was a heavily segregated town. African-Americans were limited even in which city facilities they could use. For instance, black citizens were permitted to have picnics at just one spot in the city’s parks system: at Shelter No. 5 in Swope Park, widely known as “Watermelon Hill.”

Local historian Joelouis Mattox discusses this era in the city’s racial past.