Nicholas Gonzalez


Education: Bachelor of Science in history (August 2018)

McNair Project: Understanding the Historical Evolution of Troost Ave. in Kansas City, MO (2018)

Mentor: Jeffrey Smith, Ph.D.

This research shows the historical evolution of Troost Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri from the 1950s to present-day, and how it became a dividing line that separates people by race, education and income. It shows the different ways this division has continued to affect the area and its people today. It also examines the strained history of Kansas City including how it became the breeding ground for the first successful housing subdivisions in America, having landmark court rulings regarding integration of public schools, and the rapid racial transition of Southeast Kansas City due to white flight and racially-motivated real-estate practices. The author used online articles, books, fire-insurance maps, income maps, education-level maps, racial-demographic maps, modern street maps, census data, newspaper articles, and interviews during the research process. Although the racial transition and segregation of Southeast Kansas City happened over the span of just under three decades, little has changed since then, and the affects are still being felt by the residents almost 70 years later.