'We are sorry': Kansas City newspaper apologizes to the Black community for decades of racist reporting

'We are sorry': Kansas City newspaper apologizes to the Black community for decades of racist reporting
Photo via Screengrab.

In the first installment of a six-part series, The Kansas City Star apologized for what the newspaper called decades of "robb(ing) an entire community of opportunity, dignity, justice, and recognition."

The article, "The truth in Black and white: An apology from The Kansas City Star," described an unabashed look at how publishers and writers "disenfranchised, ignored and scorned generations of Black Kansas Citians" for the last 140 years.

"It reinforced Jim Crow laws and redlining," Mike Fannin, president and editor of The Star, wrote on Sunday. "Decade after early decade it robbed an entire community of opportunity, dignity, justice and recognition."

Fannin continued, "Reporters were frequently sickened by what they found — decades of coverage that depicted Black Kansas Citians as criminals living in a crime-laden world. They felt shame at what was missing: the achievements, aspirations and milestones of an entire population routinely overlooked, as if Black people were invisible."

"Before I say more, I feel it to be my moral obligation to express what is in the hearts and minds of the leadership and staff of an organization that is nearly as old as the city it loves and covers:

We are sorry."

The Star now says it is encouraging other Kansas City businesses to examine their own histories. Management has formed The Kansas City Star Advisory Board to help guide coverage in the future.

"A positive step by the [Kansas City Star] with more needed," wrote Mayor Quinton Lucas on Twitter, in response to the apology by the newspaper. "Now I hope my friends in the local TV news business do the same."


Earlier this year, The Los Angeles Times also issued a similar investigation and subsequent apology to its readers.

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