Kansas City Public School’s Lincoln Prep to be featured in PBS documentary

Abby Hoover
Managing Editor

In the heart of Kansas City sits “The Castle on the Hill,” an educational institution with a storied history that has served the predominantly Black neighborhood where it is located since 1867. Lincoln College Preparatory Academy at 22nd and Woodland Ave., Kansas City’s first all-Black high school, will be featured in a new documentary, “Heart of the City,” by Kansas City PBS and Nico Giles Media (NGM), which will premiere on September 9 at 7 p.m. on Channel 19.1.

Recently in the national spotlight for a winning football program, Lincoln Prep is realizing a dramatic shift in demographics at the same time that families of students could soon be priced out of their neighborhoods. In 2020, 21% of Lincoln students were white, 34% were Latino and 34% were Black.

“‘Heart of the City’ is the story of a community, of a team, and of a shared history of excellence and triumph,” said Kliff Kuehl, President & CEO of Kansas City PBS. “We are excited to bring the latest inspiring documentary from Nico Giles Media to our audiences this month.”

Lincoln Prep started last school year with the best football program in school history. While the team had its eyes set on a state championship, the city was facing its most violent year in decades.

In recent years, Lincoln Prep – a Kansas City Public School institution – was awarded the Blue Ribbon Designation from the U.S. Department of Education and was twice named Best Public High School in Missouri by U.S. News and World Report.

A source of pride for the Black community for more than 150 years, Lincoln Preparatory Academy boasts a roster of exceptional teaching staff and a long list of well-known graduates. Formerly Lincoln High School, the institution is historically known for educational excellence and supporting a traditionally underserved population of Black students. In fact, until desegregation in 1954, Lincoln Prep was the only school for miles to provide high school education to Black students.

This storied institution can now add athletics to its list of accomplishments as its football team with a history of back-to-back losing seasons recently boasted four Division I football commits, an unprecedented turnaround that only took five years. “Heart of the City” captures four seniors in their pursuit of a state championship while also navigating the complexity of their home lives in a neighborhood that is known for high crime rates, yet sits on the verge of development and the gentrification that comes with it.

As high school sports become a multi-billion dollar business, student-athletes from inner-city programs are being recruited to play at well-funded, private or suburban schools. “Heart of the City” is a story about kids who choose to stay in their neighborhood and play at their local school, achieving their dream in spite of those challenges.

“On the surface, ‘Heart of the City’ is a story about high school football,” said Nico Giles, Founder and CEO of NGM. “But as the story unfolds you realize that it is about preserving history, about recognizing injustice, and about humanizing the pressure teenagers have to perform at a high level.”

Founded in 2017, NGM has produced a wide range of content noted for its intellectual yet authentic and relatable voice. In 2019, Nico Giles Media spearheaded the creation of a short documentary series, “The Opportunity Gap,” that examined inequality in the American education system. Recently, NGM produced the award-winning film, “Land Of Opportunity,” a broadcast documentary that aired on PBS, focused on housing discrimination and historical racism in Kansas City real estate development.

Located in the heart of Kansas City, MO, Kansas City PBS is a non-profit multimedia organization that has been serving the community since 1961. The PBS member station airs diverse content focused on civic affairs, science, food, drink, arts and culture on four television channels. Kansas City PBS serves students, caregivers and the local education community through free online resources, workshops for parents and teachers, and annual conferences and events.

For more information and to view a short preview of the documentary, visit kansascitypbs.org/heartofthecity.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated from its original version to reflect the percentage of races that attended Lincoln High School in 2020 (9/22/21).

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Former State Representative, County Legislator plans to run for KCMO City Council in Fourth District race

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    EllieAna Hale Editorial Assistant Henry Rizzo, former Missouri State Representative and former chairman of the Jackson County Legislature, has announced […]


    SCARRITT SCHOOL

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    The vacant former Scarritt Elementary School on Anderson Avenue, which closed in 2010, will be sold by the district. Proposals […]


    Solarize your home and save money

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    Brought to you by Jerusalem Farm Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below! Enter […]


    Legal Aid helps neighborhoods restore abandoned homes

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor In Northeast Kansas City’s historic neighborhoods, preserving the aging housing stock is a priority for those […]


    KC CARE provides health services for all

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    Northeast News KC CARE Health Center began serving the Kansas City community in 1971. They were known as the Westport […]


    Northeast area public pools and spraygrounds

    July 5th, 2022
    by

    CONCOURSE PARK FOUNTAIN 200 Benton Blvd Open year round. BUDD PARK POOL 5600 Budd Park Esplanade Summer 2022 Season June […]


    Kansas City’s Most Wanted

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    KC Crime Stoppers has partnered with The Northeast News to help track individuals in Northeast KC on the Kansas City’s […]


    Vacant Scarritt School slated for reuse

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The Scarritt Elementary School at 3509 Anderson Ave., closed in 2010 during the “right sizing” of […]


  • Welcoming KC hosts International Food Tour to celebrate cultures on Independence Ave.

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    EllieAna Hale Editorial Assistant Welcoming KC hosted this year’s KC International Food Tour in Historic Northeast, a day of celebration […]


    State Representative earns Missouri Horace Mann award

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher State Representative Ingrid Burnett (D-19) was awarded the 2022 Horace Mann Award Thursday evening at a reception […]


    American Art Deco: Designing for the People, 1918-1939

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    Sponsored content The Kansas City Museum’s collections of historical materials are an important means of advancing the Museum’s mission and […]


    Community partnerships at the heart of Mattie Rhodes, NEAT Mission

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    Sponsored content Once again the Mattie Rhodes Center’s Northeast facility at 148 N. Topping is sponsoring a series of community […]


    Man sentenced to 28 years for double homicide in 2019

    June 28th, 2022
    by

    By EllieAna Hale Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced June 27 that 25-year-old Mario Markworth was sentenced to 28 […]


    Pedestrian suffers critical injuries in early morning hit and run

    June 23rd, 2022
    by

    Update: The female pedestrian has succumbed to her injuries according to KCPD. A female pedestrian who was standing in the […]


    Cafe Cá Phê hosts fundraising yard sale

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    EllieAna Hale Editorial Assistant Cafe Cá Phê hosted a Yard Sale Pop-Up Event on June 17 to fundraise and support […]


    World Refugee Day celebration brings together the stories of a diverse community

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    EllieAna HaleEditorial Assistant On June 18, the North-East Branch of the Kansas City Public Library hosted the city’s annual World […]


    Community Calendar

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    FRIDAY, JUNE 24 –Welcoming KC Presents the International Food Tour. $30 per person. CLICK HERE MORE MORE DETAILS SATURDAY, JUNE […]


    Sewing Labs welcome international textile recycler

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The Sewing Labs of Kansas City, a nonprofit teaching the legacy of sewing for employment, entrepreneurship, […]


    Students make change in Northeast

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Students from the Ryogoku Soccer Academy are creating change in their community, one project at a […]


    Troost gets creative with business collective

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    Aniaya Reed Editorial Assistant The Troost Market Collective (TMC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create equitable economic […]


  • Northeast Newscast


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Remember This?


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.