Posted by Bob Evans
New Special Tells KC Stories of
Black Excellence, Sacrifice & Perseverance
Half-Hour Compilation Comes from Emmy-Winning Producer Catherine Hoffman
Kansas City, MO, February 3, 2022 – In honor of Black History Month, Kansas City PBS has announced the premiere of Preserving Our Past: Kansas City Stories of Black History, a new special from Emmy-winning producer Catherine Hoffman. Featuring a selection of local stories of Black excellence, sacrifice and perseverance, Preserving Our Past premieres Thursday, Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 19.1.
“Preserving Our Past pays tribute to Kansas City’s Black community and its vibrant history that includes triumphs as well as trauma, ” Kliff Kuehl, President and CEO of Kansas City PBS, said. “Every month, but especially during Black History Month, it’s imperative we wrestle with where we’ve come from
as a country – and how much further we have to go. I am enormously proud of Catherine and her work on bringing these often underrepresented stories to our audience.”
In Preserving Our Past, Hoffman uncovers the racial divide of midwifery, revisits the
1882 lynching of Levi Harrington in Kansas City, recounts the legacy of two women from Merriam, Kansas, who worked to integrate South Park Elementary, explores the role and influence of the Black church, and speaks with organizers of a local project focused on a systematic review of World War I veterans who were denied a Medal of Honor because of their race or religion.
“By stitching together these stories for broadcast, we’re creating a narrative and adding larger context to the originally published reports,” Hoffman said.
These stories, and others like them, were originally published throughout 2020 and 2021 on flatlandkc.org.
During her time as a reporter for Flatland, Hoffman has worked to share the rich legacy of Black history in Kansas City, uncovering some of the community’s most compelling stories. Preserving Our Past condenses those stories into a half-hour documentary, which focuses on the remembrance of Black history, contributions and culture.
These legacies — remembered in living rooms, local museums and places of worship — have long been left out of the retelling of our collective histories.
“It’s impossible to come to any sort of consensus as a neighborhood, city or country if we can’t agree upon where we come from,” Hoffman said. “What do we gain from forgetting or ignoring our darkest moments? I think people underestimate how much we need to fully grasp and reconcile with our history in order to move forward. Our history will always be relevant.”
For more information, visit kansascitypbs.org