Thanks to the 2018 film "Green Book," many know of "The Negro Motorist Green Book," published annually for 30 years beginning in 1936. The guidebooks provided Black travelers a list of businesses, restaurants and lodgings that would welcome them while traveling. For those interested in learning more, the New York Public Library has made 23 editions of the "Green Book" digitally accessible here.
While there are no copies of the “Green Book” within Missouri Valley Special Collections, we believe we have something equally interesting. In the early 1940s, Kansas City’s Negro Chamber of Congress worked with Scott Directory Publishers to create the Kansas City Negro City Directory. The book provides a fascinating glimpse into Kansas City’s Black communities at a moment just prior to a period of tremendous change.
In the years following World War II, many American cities embraced Urban Renewal, and consequently, some of its disastrous effects. This period of postwar redevelopment brought about modern downtown buildings, accelerated freeway construction across the country and facilitated the expansion of suburban communities.
Henry Perry, the man who first assumed the title of Barbecue King of Kansas City was born on March 16, 1874, in Shelby County, Tennessee. By 1908, he was in Kansas City selling smoked meats to downtown workers from a stand in the Garment District, eventually relocating to the east side at 17th and Lydia before landing at his famed 19th and Highland location. With Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas making July 3 Henry Perry Day in Kansas City, we take a moment to explore Henry Perry’s life and career through an article printed in the February 26, 1932, edition of The Call.
The July 2020 CYS Zine is out! This 16-page monthly mini magazine highlights what's new and notable in the children's department of the Central Library.