Before Ferguson Beyond Ferguson | St. Louis Public Radio

Before Ferguson Beyond Ferguson

Life In St. Louis’ Most Vulnerable Neighborhoods In The Time Of Coronavirus

Apr 28, 2020
Kim Daniel sewing masks at a machine
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

This story was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer CenterAdditional support provided by the St. Louis Press Club.

Kim Daniel has stared death in the eye more times than she can count. But the coronavirus has her more than scared. “It’s intimidating,” said the 53-year-old. “I don’t walk out the door without a mask, gloves, baby wipes and rubbing alcohol.”

Her door opens into a two-bedroom apartment in an affordable housing development called Preservation Square. It’s located just a mile west of downtown St. Louis, in a ZIP code that has been identified as ranking last in the region in social determinants of health. 

Erica Vickers Cage Ellen Futterman Judy Gladney
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

University City, Missouri, is considered to be among the more diverse communities in a region still grappling with the stubborn legacy of segregation. But five decades ago, things were different in U. City, including at the local schools.

When Judy Gladney began attending University City High School in the '60s, she was one of its very first African American students, and found herself bridging two disparate worlds. So did Eric Vickers, Gladney’s future husband.

Years later, the two would send their children through the same school district, which is now largely nonwhite. As Gladney looked toward her 50th high school reunion this month, she joined St. Louis on the Air host Sarah Fenske on Monday alongside her daughter Erica Vickers Cage and local journalist and storyteller Ellen Futterman.