Kansas City, MO – What do silver smelting, railroads and meatpacking have in common? They are all part of the history of early Latino immigration to Kansas City. Educator Gene Chavez gathered first-hand accounts of Latinos who came to this area during the 1920's. He gathered the oral histories as a part of a 2005 project sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council. The project focuses on the stories of Mexican immigrants who moved to the Argentine, Armourdale, and Rosedale neighborhoods of Kansas City, Kansas--plus West Bottoms in Kansas City, Missouri. Gene Chavez will share these stories at the Shawnee Town Museum speakers' series on Tuesday, June 9. KCUR's Susan Wilson caught up with him.
Gene Chavez is a teacher and president of Chavez and Associates, which specializes in bilingual education and cultural diversity.