Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Throughout Kansas City Missouri’s history, the parks and boulevards system, restrictive covenants, real estate and lending practices, urban redevelopment, public housing, and racial steering have contributed to the establishment and continuance of housing segregation. Although historians have studied these main types of housing segregation and the federal government’s actions thoroughly, little work exists to show how Kansas City, Missouri’s municipal government has influenced housing segregation. By examining Kansas City’s municipal response to the aforementioned types of segregation, it is clear that city officials have taken steps to both aid and discourage segregationist housing practices. Although municipal agencies, like the Commission on Human Relations, have discouraged segregation through their support of FOCUS and educational programs, other agencies, such as the City Plan Commission, have encouraged it through urban renewal and public housing policies. Kansas City’s municipal response to segregated housing demonstrates that municipal agencies have contributed to the continuation of housing segregation by displacing residents through urban renewal projects and by fostering racial stereotypes. In addition, Kansas City’s municipal government has allowed private segregationist efforts to persist through the reactive nature of its discriminatory law and human rights agencies.


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