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Kansas 1972: Rattlebone Hollow

Founded by Exodusters in the late 1800s, the story of Rattlebone Hollow has been mostly forgotten by Kansans. A thriving African-American community for the first part of the 20th century, Rattlebone Hollow was a neighborhood of Black professionals, businesses, and homeowners. But decline set in, and in 1972, the US federal government was building a landfill in this Kansas City, Kansas, neighborhood. Learn about the history of this important community and the five-decade fight against environmental discrimination from two individuals who are trying to keep the Rattlebone Hollow story alive. 

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Archival Audio Sources:

Primary Sources:

  • The Kansas City Star, “Landfill Operation Bid Accepted by Commission” Jan. 1, 1972
  • The Kansas City Star, “Landfill to Be a Model,” Feb. 4, 1972
  • The Kansas City Star, “Landfill Business Good,”  Feb. 14, 1972,
  • The Kansas City Times, “Future Park Site Dedicated,” June 14, 1972 
  • The Kansas City Star, “Landfill visited,” July 14, 1972
  • The Kansas City Times, “EPA Grant of $342,134 for Landfill,” Aug. 1, 1972
  • The Kansas City Times, “No flies at picnic, Landfill event boosts bonds,” Aug. 8, 1972
  • The Kansas City Times, “A Park Blooms Atop the Trash,” Sept. 20, 1974
  • The Kansas City Star, “A growing topic: environmental racism,” August 23, 1993
  • The Kansas City Star, “EPA agrees to halt testing at park in KCK,” Aug. 24, 1993
  • The Kansas City Star, “Environmental dispute threatens park plans,” June 27, 2004
  • EPA, Superfund Site Information, Kansas City Sanitary Landfill, EPA ID:KSD980632285, Sept. 28, 2022

Secondary Sources:





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