New York Times bestselling author of “Some of My Best Friends Are Black”, Tanner Colby, will be visiting East tomorrow morning to give an optional assembly to students and teachers to discuss his book and its relevance to East. His book, which studies race in all parts of America, discusses cities in East’s attendance area, like Mission Hills and Prairie Village.
The book explores how many of Kansas City, Kansas’ suburbs like these began as all-white communities and have since remained largely white, while taking a look on the impact this has on the school system.
“He will do an amazing job of educating, not just students, but adults as well, on segregation that was facilitated back in early real-estate boom in Kansas City,” Principal John McKinney said. “And the development of communities like Prairie Village, and how that has lent itself to segregating our population.”
McKinney also believes Colby’s presentation can help students gain a better understanding of life outside of East’s attendance area.
“The rest of the world does not look like Shawnee Mission East, with 1 percent African-American population, 7 percent Hispanic population,” McKinney said. “I hope that they can gain some knowledge and insight that will help them one, celebrate differences, and two, recognize that the world is a little different than the world we have at East.”
A modified seven-period schedule has been put in place to accommodate the assembly. From 7:40 to 9:10, students may attend the assembly or have a seminar. All other classes will be shortened to 35 minutes.