Unfair Housing in Louisville
= Audio Available Online
Elmer Lucille Allen grew up in the Russell neighborhood in the 1930s and 40s. Allen described the neighborhood in the days before urban renewal in the late 1950s. She attended Madison Street Junior High School and Central High School during segregation. She attended Louisville Municipal College, the African American arm of the University of Louisville. After the Supreme Court desegregated schools in 1954, UofL closed Louisville Municipal College and Allen went on the Nazareth College (now Spalding University). She became the first African American chemist at Brown-Foreman.
Mr. Anderson talks about his childhood in Smoketown, his military service and his work at Sheppard Square and Dosker Manor.
Robin Bray is a real estate agent. She discussed the history of redlining and current efforts to revitalize West Louisville.
Sheila Brown grew up in the Parkland neighborhood and then lived all over the city. She was a child when the 1968 Parkland Riot occurred. She talked about how it changed her neighborhood. Brown was also among the first group of African American kids bussed in Louisville. She remembered the protest and taunts aimed at her and the other students.
Tia Brown grew up in the Newburg neighborhood and current resides in Fern Creek. She shared memories of Newburg from her childhood and the history she’s researched of the neighborhood. She worked for a time as a real estate agent in Maryland and compared it to the housing situation in Kentucky.
Verna Goatley is a Shawnee resident who works in the Louisville Metro Human Relations Department. Goatley discussed the hurdles she had to jump to finance home improvements on her home.
Jane Grady is a Civil Rights activist who grew up in the Parkland neighborhood. She also lived in Beecher Terrace for a while. She remembered Little Africa, the Walnut Street Business District, and working for tenants’ rights in public housing.
Katheryn Higgins is a second-generation Russell resident who still lives in the West Chestnut home her parents purchased in 1946. Higgins discussed the impact of urban renewal and disinvestment on the community.
Lillie Ingram is a California resident who grew up in Newburg. She discussed her childhood in a rural area of Newburg and the white flight that happened after her family was the first Black family to move into their block at 18th and Hill Street.
Mark Jackson is a third-generation resident of the James Taylor neighborhood, a traditionally African America area of Prospect. Jackson discussed his family history, and the ways James Taylor has changed since his childhood.
Mattie Jones is a Civil Rights icon who was born in Memphis, Tennessee and moved to Louisville when she was a child. Jones lives in the Shawnee neighborhood, which is being targeted by developers. She discusses her development of racial consciousness and some of her campaigns.
Ron Lewis is a musician who lives in the Shivley neighborhood. He discusses the neighborhood’s transition from a majority white area, where African American were not welcome, to a largely African American community.
Michael Meeks grew up in the Parkland neighborhood in a Virginia Avenue house that his family still owns. Meeks discussed how the 1968 Parkland Riot changed the neighborhood as well as the connection between housing and policing in a community.
Che Rhodes is a University of Louisville professor originally from Cincinnati. He discussed having to go to multiple banks to get a loan on property in the Russell neighborhood because no bank wanted to lend money in the area
Manfred Reid is a longtime Beecher Terrace resident who sits on the board of the Louisville Metro Housing Authority. Reid discusses being a real estate agent in West Louisville during the time white families were fleeing to the suburbs. He also discusses urban renewal and redevelopment of Beecher Terrace.
Neal Robertson is a Pleasure Ridge Park resident who grew up in the California neighborhood. Robertson grew up in a home his grandmother owned and his discussed how ownership gave him a different mindset from his friends who were renters. He left Louisville to play basketball and compared the racial segregation in the city to other places he lived.
Jack Trawick is the former director of the Center for Neighborhoods. Trawick discussed the history of housing segregation in Louisville and how the Center for Neighborhood and the Metropolitan Housing Coalition came into existence. Trawick grew up in Indian Hills and his family knew Mayor Charles Farnsley, who oversaw urban renewal. He talks about Farnsley’s views towards urban renewal.
Renelda Meeks Higgins Walker grew up in the Parkland neighborhood and became a social justice activist. Walker discussed her experience in the 1968 Parkland uprising, being part of a group that took over the administration building at the University of Louisville, and her other work.
Yolanda Walker is the president of the California Neighborhood Leadership Council. She discussed her concerns about a tax incremental financing district created by the city to revitalize West Louisville. She was concerned that it would lead to displacement of African American renters and higher property tax for homeowners.