Special Exhibit - Redlined: Cities, Suburbs, and Segregation



REDLINED: CITIES, SUBURBS, SEGREGATION takes visitors on a deep dive into the history of redlining and how it both shaped and was shaped by Johnson County and the region. Visitors will learn about the 19th and 20th century foundations of redlining, how the private practice became federal policy during the Great Depression, the expansion of the practice during postwar suburbanization, attempts to dismantle the system during the Civil Rights Era, and how the legacies of redlining continue to impact communities around the nation today.

This special exhibit closes on January 7, 2023.


What is redlining?  

Redlining refers to the systematic disinvestment of some neighborhoods and populations in favor of others, most often on the basis of race. This means that private industry and later the federal government chose to fund and support home purchases for white families and neighborhoods over African American families and other communities of color. Although the policy was outlawed with the passage of the 1968 Civil Rights Act, the legacies of the system continue to impact communities of color in our region and across the nation.

How was this exhibit made?  

LoC-2016873162--FHA-MappingThe exhibit is the product of hundreds of hours of staff research, utilizing over 120 books, scholarly articles, dissertations and newspaper articles, as well as thousands of primary source documents housed at regional and national archives.

What are some interesting features of the exhibit? 

The exhibit contains more than 120 images, ten display cases with original objects and documents, and covers more than 2,000 square feet of wall space. Visitors will be moved by large-scale visualizations of redlining, restrictive covenants by neighborhood, and more.  

Resized_20220120_163147 Resized_20220124_133902Resized_20220120_145230As visitors explore, they will get to hear from members of previously redlined communities in a special video produced for this exhibit and see how life today mirrors boundaries created nearly a century ago in an interactive touchscreen exhibit.  

The exhibit also features a micro-art exhibit featuring works related to the history and legacies of redlining from the African American Artists Collective. Art has the remarkable ability to communicate where words sometimes fail. It also allows us to process our feelings, experiences, and connect us through our common humanity. Artists with AAAC created pieces in response to the topic of redlining. Their works provide moments to reflect on the historical content provided in the exhibit. 

Bring the exhibit home with you! image000000

Is there a hashtag?

Of course! Use #RedlinedKC to join in the conversation.


Programs at both the Johnson County Museum and nearly a dozen sites around the Greater Kansas City area will complement this exhibit. Programs will continue to be added. Check back regularly. 


February 19 - A Raisin in the Sun and the Legacy of Redlining, an interdisciplinary fieldtrip for adults.  

February 24 - Free Did Not Mean Welcome, program by Dr. Carmaletta Williams of the Black Archives of Mid- America, in partnership with the Johnson County Library.  

April 7 - J.C. Nichols and Community Building, program by Dr. Bill Worley. 

June 11 - Jazz Storytelling at the Juneteenth Celebration at JoCoAHC. 

July 13 - 1863/1963: When Freedom Changed America, program by Dr. Edgar Tidwell of KU. 

August 17 - Redlining: A History, program by Johnson County Museum staff. Learn an overview of the system of redlining and how the REDLINED exhibit was created. Register here

September 15 - Legacies of Redlining: Blue River Watershed, a panel discussion in partnership with the Parks and Recreation Foundation of Johnson County and Blue River Collaborative. Watch the recording here!

September 29 - Once Upon an Artifact, join professors as they share research and topics related to JoCoMuseum artifacts. In collaboration with Johnson County Community College. Learn more here

October 19 - Legacies of Redlining: Social Determinants of Health, a panel discussion in partnership with JoCoDHE, UCS, and Health Forward. Watch the recording here!

November 30 - Freedom to Discriminate, a virtual presentation from Gene Slater, author of the book Freedom to Discriminate: How the Real Estate Industry Segregated America. Watch the recording here!

December 3 - A Raisin in the Sun and the Legacy of Redlining, an interdisciplinary fieldtrip for adults. Learn more and register here


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Upcoming and ongoing programming from these partners:

Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City, Missouri - I Am A Man - Photo Exhibit - this free exhibit explores the Civil Rights Movement through photography. Exhibit through Mid-America Arts Alliance. On display, free of charge, Nov. 17, 2022 - Jan. 7, 2023. Learn more here

Kansas City, Kansas Public Library - February 17, Author talk with Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law (with Read Along at noon each Wednesday). Watch the recording here!

Kansas Studies Institute at Johnson County Community College - Thomas Johnson and Johnson County, presentation by Dr. Kevin Abing (Oct. 4, 2021). Recording available to view

Kansas Studies Institute at Johnson County Community College -  Wyandot in Kansas: Past is Prologue to Redlining, presentation by John Nichols, in partnership with KCKPL (Nov. 16, 2021). Recording available to view

Missouri Historical SocietyVirtual Exhibition: #1 in Civil Rights: The African American Freedom Struggle in St. Louis, the exhibit examines the local civil rights movement and the city’s leading role in advancing the cause of racial justice. View the exhibit online for free (ongoing). Visit here

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art - A Frame of Mind, a five-episode podcast that takes a hard look at race in America through the lens of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Episode two explores the neighborhoods around the museum and why Kansas City and the Nelson-Atkins look the way they do (ongoing). Listen here

           St. Joseph Museum and Black Archives Museum - tour the Black Archives Museum and learn about the history of redlining in St. Joseph, Missouri.                                                   Contact the St. Joseph Museums to set up a tour appointment.

UMKC History Department – Oct. 20, Dr. Sheryll Cashin, author of White Space, Black Hood: Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age of Inequality, joined professors from UMKC for a conversation about redlining and the community todayWatch the recording here! 

UMKC History Department – Oct. 27, with Johnson County Museum and Kansas City Public Library, a presentation from Dr. Sheryll Cashin, author of White Space, Black Hood: Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age of Inequality, to be held at KCPL - Plaza Branch. 

Past programming from these partners:

Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City, Missouri - Annual Black History Month Luncheon - February 19, “Reparations and Restitution of Black Wealth.”

Johnson County Library - July 7, Dividing Lines Tour for “Past is Prologue” series. Online program.  

Kansas City Public Library - August 24, with Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, a program highlighting artist Desiree Kelly's "'The Nine' and Other Works," an exhibit of portraits of Black baseball players from the Negro Leagues, then on display at Kansas City Public Library - Central Branch.

Kansas Studies Institute at Johnson County Community College - Oct. 24, 2022 at 12:00pm in JCCC OCB 100, African Americans in Salina: Kansas During Segregation, presentation by Marie D. Johnson. Public is welcome. Click here for details.

National World War I Museum & Memorial Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow, a special exhibit that provides more context for the Black experience as the system of redlining was developing. Exhibit closed Sept. 18.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum – Sept. 1, a free virtual panel discussion featuring Jackie Robinson scholars to mark the 75th anniversary of Robinson joining the Brooklyn Dodgers. Watch this free program on the NLBM's YouTube channel. Watch here  

Shawnee Town 1929 - April 20, Invisible lines: Real Estate and Redlining in Kansas City, presentation by curator Andrew R. Gustafson. 

University of Central Missouri, American Democracy Project - Sept. 20, Redlining: A History, presentation by curator Andrew R. Gustafson.  

Watkins Museum of HistoryFamiliar Faces: The Gary Davis Photo Collection exhibition, on display May 6 - November 4, 2022. Learn more  

Watkins Museum of History - March 14, Film and Community: An Online Conversation with Kevin Wilmott. 


Field Trips 

Bring your school or scout group for an engaging experience that introduces students to issues of equity that impact our communities. All museum field trips at the Arts & Heritage Center are $7 per student, $6 per adult, $5 per senior; School staff receive complimentary admission. Raytown HS

Redlining Field Trip for Middle and High School 

Students will learn about early Johnson County history that led to the growth of the suburbs and then take a deep dive into the history of redlining and housing inequality. Following the tour, students will analyze primary sources related to the policies, practices, and legacy of redlining.


This experience is 1 ½ - 2 hours. We can accommodate 2 classes, or approximately 50 students at a time.


To book a field trip or apply for a scholarship, contact us here.  

*Need-based scholarships available thanks to the generous support of UMB Bank and the Johnson County Museum Foundation.  

A Raisin in the Sun and the Legacy of Redlining - Virtual Field Trip Kit

Redlined-Virtual-Field-Trip-1920-x-1080This one-of-a-kind experience takes students through the topic of redlining and housing inequity through an examination of literature, theater, history, and fine art. Students will engage in inquiry-based lessons that promotes critical thinking, discussion, and a deeper understanding of our community.

This inter-disciplinary field trip kit brings the topic of redlining into your classroom in a customizable format that includes physical and digital materials, guides, and standards to align with your curriculum. 

Grade level: Middle or High School

Length: 2-week rental

Cost: $20

The kit includes:

  •  Printed student guides
  • Raisin in the Sun books
  • Filmed scenes from the play
  • Filmed tour of the Redlined exhibit
  • Primary Source packets & worksheets
  • Fine art supplies 
  • Teacher guide 

The kit includes supplies and digital resources for one class, or 25 students. For additional supplies, please contact us in advance to arrange. The kit must be picked up and dropped off at the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center during regular business hours. 

We are able to offer this experience at a low cost thanks to the generous funding of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. 

To book the field trip kit, fill out this FORM.

Lessons and Resources 

Redlining and Community Boundaries – Johnson County Museum

Redlining in New Deal America – Mapping Inequality 

How Red Lines Built White Wealth: A Lesson on Housing Segregation in the 20th Century  

Redlining Resources - BUNK 

The Shelleys & the Right to Fair Housing - iCivics


Are you looking for a unique corporate professional development opportunity? Interested in a deeply 20220324_113524meaningful learning experience for a community group or club? Contact us to learn more about the Johnson County Museum staff can help you achieve your goals.

Group tours are available by appointment. contact us here to book a special experience for your group! 



Tanner Colby, Some of My Best Friends are Black (book available for purchase in the Museum Store) 
Kevin Fox Gotham, Race, Real Estate, and Uneven Development in Kansas City, Missouri  
Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun (short play available for purchase in the Museum Store) 
Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law (book available for purchase in the Museum Store) 
Gene Slater, Freedom to Discriminate: How Realtors Conspired to Segregate Housing and Divide America


History, Housing, and Health Video: created in partnership with the Johnson County Museum, Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, and United Community Services, this video explores the legacies of redlining and disparities in social determinants of health.

Online Resources 

JoCoHistory Blog post by the Johnson County Museum about J.C. Nichols.  

JoCoHistory Blog post by the Johnson County Museum about the FHA mortgage program.

JoCoHistory Blog post by the Johnson County Museum about the difference between restricted and redlined status.

JoCoHistory Blog post by the Johnson County Museum about civil rights efforts for integration and fair housing. 

Segregated by Design: A short video made from Richard Rothstein’s book, The Color of Law.

Mapping Inequality digital project: interactive redlining maps for cities across the nation, including Kansas City’s own 1939 Residential Security Map. 

Not Even Past digital project: compares redlining maps from the 1930s to social vulnerability maps today. 

Smithsonian Magazine article about the Great Migration and America’s changing cities in the early- to mid-20th century. 

Dividing Lines Tour - Johnson County Library's driving tour (and a clickable version for at home) through the history of redlining in the Greater Kansas City area.


We want to hear from you! Share your feedback on the exhibit and provide suggestions on future exhibits.