1968 Parkland Uprising
= Audio Available Online
Interview index available. Allen discusses general information about her life, including her educational and working career. She received degrees from University of Louisville and Spalding University. Her early childhood education was during segregation. Her working career included time at Brown Forman, where she was the first African American Chemist. Allen explains how her teachers shaped her adulthood. She discuses general information about her adult life, including her husband and children. She provides her and her childrenï¿½s experiences in school and the discrimination they faced. Allen discuses what she believes the boundaries of the Parkland neighborhood include. She discusses the riot of 1968 (she notes people destroying the neighborhood) and compares it to the riots in Ferguson Missouri. Allen describes the Parkland neighborhood after the riot, and notes the persisting negative stereotypes of the West End. Allen describes past segregation in Louisville, including parks and funeral homes, and the discrimination of African Americanï¿½s by businesses. She notes the progression of Louisville in general.
Bill Allison, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, acted as an appeals attorney for one of the Black Six defendants, Ruth Bryant. The Black Six were a group of five men and one woman who were prosecuted for inciting rebellion during the Parkland Uprising of 1968. Allison also represented the Black Panthers in Louisville and in Memphis, Tennessee. In this interview, Allison speaks about cases he was involved in involving government repression and retaliation against Civil Rights activists and how he became involved in that work through the Southern Conference Educational Fund, serving as SCEF's lawyer from 1969 to 1974.
Mervin Aubespin (b. 1937 in Louisiana), a reporter for the Courier-Journal, talks about his path to the Civil Rights movement starting in Alabama and then in Louisville; Louisville during segregation; housing discrimination; and white flight. As an activist, Aubespin participated in marches, sit-ins, voter registration and organization for public accommodation, open housing, and to integrate Fontaine Ferry. Aubespin was originally hired by the Courier-Journal an artist, one of the first Black employees there. He covered the Parkland Uprising but did not get a byline or credit for his work. He then attended an intensive program at Columbia University to produce Black journalists and had a successful career as a reporter for the Courier-Journal, specializing in covering topics of interest to the Black community. Regarded as an expert on racism and the media, Aubespin is a past president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and was given the Ida B. Wells Award for his efforts to bring minorities into the field of journalism. Aubespin was also the founder of the Louisville Association of Black Communicators.
Interview index available
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.
Civil Rights Activist Ruth Bryant (1923-2013) speaks about her childhood and family history growing up in Detroit; her move to Louisville and observations about housing available to Black Louisvillians; how she became interested in and active in the open housing movement; her work with Committee on Community Development oversaw all federal funding that came into Louisville and how it was dispersed; and her involvement with other organizations such as the West End Community Council, Head Start, Citizens' Advisory Committee under the Urban Renewal Program, Black Unity League of Kentucky, and Women United for Social Action. She also talks about her arrest at open housing demonstrations and her memories of the 1968 Parkland Uprising. She mentions but does not speak at length about being one of the "Black Six," a group of Black Louisvillians accused of inciting rebellion during the 1968 Parkland Uprising and charged with conspiracy to destroy property and to blow up West End chemical plants.
Discusses 1968 Parkland Uprising and neighborhood history (emphasis on Shively race relations during the 1960s and 1970s). Interview index available