Eighty-eight year old J. W. Everett of Indianapolis, IN recalled his childhood and youth in Louisville, KY in the Black Hill and Beecher Terrace neighborhoods in the 1940s and early 1950s. At age eight, his family had moved from sub-standard housing in the area of Eleventh and Magnolia to the brand-new public housing project called Beecher Terrace, which in that era was segregated for African-Americans. Everett recalls his child there as safe and care-free with the community caring for one-another. In addition, he touches on his school years at Coleridge Taylor Elementary, Madison Junior High, and especially Central High, where he experienced lots of activities for youths as well as one especially committed teacher who led students on lengthy Saturday hikes to the Falls of the Ohio. Mr. Everett further describes the vibrant street life including parades and Derby Time along the lengthy segregated “Old Walnut”—now Muhammad Ali Boulevard—business district. He lists specific business and entertainment sites including his visit as a youth to the iconic Top Hat Nightclub. Finally, the interviewee talks of his Air Force years during the Korean War, his subsequent return and brief employment in Louisville, and his multiple jobs in Indianapolis before finally landing for a lengthy employment at Ford Motor Company.
Beecher Terrace (Louisville, Ky.), Central High School (Louisville, Ky.)