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Black History Month Podcast: Woman works to preserve history of Sante Fe neighborhood in Kansas City

KC redlining
Posted at 10:15 AM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 13:07:05-05

Marquita Taylor has been working hard to preserve the history of one Kansas City neighborhood.

“Santa Fe has been very important for Kansas City and other places because of the history,” Taylor said. “Because of the residents who have lived in Santa Fe because of the homes and the size of the homes. It sets it apart.”

Santa Fe is located in east Kansas City, starting at Prospect Avenue and stretching to Indiana Avenue.

It was founded early in the city's history at a time when Black people weren't allowed to live in every neighborhood. Written into the rules of the area was an explicit ban over selling the houses to African Americans.

But, after several legal battles, Black residents were allowed in around 1948.

Of course, once Black residents moved in, many white residents moved out. That's when redlining really began to impact Santa Fe. Residents over the years have struggled to access the loans they've needed to keep their homes maintained, Taylor said.

"There are families that had no choice but to move out and sell their houses because they couldn't get money to fix them back up, you know, couldn't get anybody to invest in it, because financial institutions thought someone was a bad risk," Taylor said. "There's abandoned house across the street over here. Why would we want to invest in something like that? And a lot of that went on."

But residents are fighting to keep hold of the area, Taylor said, and they're finally getting more support.

In the second part of a three-part podcast mini-series, KSHB 41 News digital producers Katharine Finnerty and Casey Murray look into the history of Santa Fe, and how redlining has impacted its residents.

PODCAST EPISODE 1: Ruby Jean's owner brings healthy food option to east Kansas City
PODCAST EPISODE 3: Black woman-owned construction company in Kansas City breaks barriers