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Homer Roberts and Reuben Street
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TitleHomer Roberts and Reuben Street
AbstractBook excerpt about Homer Roberts and Reuben and Ella Street, early black businesspeople of Kansas City. Roberts was "one of the first African American car salesmen in the country" and Reuben Street was a cafe manager and hotel owner. Roberts was born in Ash Grove, Missouri in 1885 and came to Kansas City around 1900, admitted in 1906 as one of the first African Americans to Kansas State University. After service in World War I, Roberts became a pioneer car salesman in 1919 with offices at 1509 East 18th Street, moved in 1921 to 1516 East 19th Street. The Roberts Company Motor Mart was opened in 1923 at 1826-28-30 Vine Street, operating until 1929. Reuben and Ella Street owned "the most recognized hotel catering to African Americans in Kansas City," the Street Hotel, at 1510 East 18th Street. Their business started around 1900 upon their arrival from Oklahoma as a restaurant on 18th Street and moved in 1920 to the 2400 block of Vine Street as a hotel.
NotesThe Roberts Building, one of the first black-owned retail and commercial complexes in the country, would stand as a monument to Homer Roberts's initiative and business acumen (p. 120). The Street Hotel "became the favorite stop for musicians, athletes, and other celebrities as well as catering to a contingent of permanent guests. The pool hall on the first floor was the Monarchs' unofficial headquarters, and the Blue Room offered some of the finest of Kansas City's jazz artists" until World War II (p. 121).
AuthorCharles Coulter
Date2006
Source"Take Up the Black Man's Burden" Kansas City's African American Communities 1865-1939
LocationMVSC BROWSING 977.8411 C85T
PublisherUniversity of Missouri Press
Chapter Title3 (Professionals, Businesspeople, and Others)
Page117-121
Local SubjectHotels
Firsts
Street, Reuben
Roberts, Homer B.
Street, Ella
Street Hotel
Automobile Dealerships
African Americans
Restaurants
IllustrationsNo
Item TypeBook Section
Access This ItemThis document is not available online. You may come to the Missouri Valley Room to view it or request a photocopy from the Library's Document Delivery service. http://www.kclibrary.org/copy-requests
Item ID216167
CONTENTdm number10641
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