Carmaletta Williams has warm memories of growing up in a close-knit Kansas City neighborhood.
Williams, CEO of the Black Archives of Mid-America, has entirely different feelings about how the highway now known as Bruce R. Watkins Drive changed the city.
In this week’s installment of “Passing the Baton,” a series of cross-generational conversations hosted by urban educator Carl Boyd, Williams shares with Shonta’ James of the Black Archives how the highway influenced her life.
It was a “deliberate way of breaking up the space … of separating the Blackness,” Williams said. “But the neighborhood was never the same. They came through and destroyed that neighborhood.”
Williams sees her life since then as a long journey focused on inclusion and public education.
“We haven’t torn down those walls yet,” Williams said. “And I’ve seen that as my mission. And it all stems from coming from that neighborhood.”
To learn more, watch the attached video.
Sandy Woodson is an independent producer, most recently of “AIDS in KC: The Early Days,” which aired on Kansas City PBS. “Passing the Baton” is presented with support from Health Forward Foundation and