New documentary seeks to tell the 18th and Vine story beyond jazz music

Posted at 3:51 PM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-23 18:00:59-04

Crime, abandoned buildings, a faltering local economy - those are some of the 18th and Vine district's current challenges. But it wasn't always that way.

"We had everything we needed -- all the restaurants, all types of entertainment, all types of shops, and you could go to the doctor, the dentist, the barber shop and beauty shop. It was a total lifestyle," said Kansas City filmmaker Rodney Thompson.

While most movies about this historic district focus on jazz music, Thompson takes a different approach in his documentary 18th Street Lives.

"In most historical accounts of 18th Street and Kansas City's African-American history, it's always about the music," he explained. "What we are trying to do is tell a more complete story and one of the main things we are doing is trying to tell that story through the eyes of the people who experienced 18th Street in that period of time."

You can watch the documentary:



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