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One Tank Trips: African American Heritage Trail

Explore African American history in Kansas City
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Posted at 5:00 AM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 08:34:58-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In honor of Juneteenth, 41 Action News wanted to highlight some of Kansas City's African American history.

The following three stops hold stories of African Americans past, present and future throughout the city and make for a great One Tank Trip.

Wheatley Provident Hospital

The Wheatley Provident Hospital was the first black-owned and operated hospital in Kansas City, operating from 1916 to 1972.

Dr. John Edward Perry created the hospital for African Americans in Kansas City as there were no other hospitals for African American's to practice medicine.

"As far as we know, this is the first hospital in the country to have all African American doctors, nurses and administrators," said Erika Brice, one of the new owners of the property.

Although Wheatley is private property and off-limits to the public, you can still drive by and view the historic building from across the street.

To learn more about the Wheatley Provident Hospital, you can view some of their online resources..

Fire Station No. 11

Fire Station No. 11 was the first and only fire station in Kansas City to be run by African Americans.

This particular building opened in 1931, but the history of the Kansas City Fire Department dates back to 1858.

The building is now owned by a local artist, but you can still drive by and see the history.

There are some online resources where you can learn more about Fire Station No. 11.

Black Archies of Mid-America

The Black Archives of Mid-America holds some of Kansas City's most unique pieces of African American history.

Horace M. Peterson III began the Black Archives in 1974, collecting items in the back of his car.

Now that collection has grown over the years, and when you visit there are galleries filled with pictures, artifacts and memorabilia.

The Black Archives of Mid-America serves as an educational resource and you can visit for free.

Visit their website to learn more.

The full African American Heritage Trail is available online.