African American educators
= Audio Available Online
Mr. Edwards talks about purchasing land in west Louisville for a public garden, the mental and physical benefits of gardening, growing up in west Louisville, the effects of urban renewal on west Louisville, Breonna Taylor, civil rights actions in 2020, the effects of COVID, political and racial violence on public health in west Louisville in 2020, Cabbage Patch, life as an educator and father.
These and other interviews were conducted by the Louisville Story Program and collaboratively edited with the participants authors between 2020 and 2023. The culmination of this collaborative work is the documentary book, “If You Write Me A Letter, Send It Here: Voices of Russell in a Time of Change.” This anthology of nonfiction documents the rich layers of history and cultural heritage in the Russell area of west Louisville, a neighborhood whose history is centrally important to the Black experience in Louisville.
The president of Simmons Bible College (born 1913 in Orville, Alabama) discusses his childhood and efforts to obtain an education. After running away from home at age eighteen, Holmes attended the Louisville Municipal College and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. After receiving the B.D. in 1954 Holmes taught at Simmons Bible College and later became president of the school. He discusses his efforts to obtain a formal education; the role of Simmons and its relationship to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; and the current offerings of Simmons Bible College.
Mr. Johnson, a civil rights activist and educator focuses on Johnson's involvement in the effort to integrate the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky for blacks in Kentucky. Johnson contradicts the University of Louisville administrators by asserting that they did not voluntarily integrate as they have stated. He discusses the disparities between Louisville Municipal College and the University of Louisville. Johnson also discusses the efforts to integrate the Louisville parks system, the library system and the stores in downtown Louisville. Johnson describes his role in the defeat of Male High School principal William S. Milburn's mayoral bid against William Cowger in 1961.
Mr. Johnson discusses his experiences as a school board member in Jefferson County.
Lane talks about his job as Dean of Louisville Municipal College from 1937 to 1942.
Dr. Love was a U of L professor and administrator, and sister of civil rights leader Whitney Young, Jr. Dr. Love discusses her parents, Laura and Whitney Young, Sr., their lives and involvement with Lincoln Institute in Simpsonville, Kentucky. Dr. Love and her brother were born in Lincoln Ridge, while her father was a teacher at Lincoln Institute, and she discusses the education they received there, and the atmosphere of safety and support that was fostered at Lincoln Institute. She describes her father's tenure as principal. She describes her experiences at Kentucky State, and also discusses her brother's emergence as a leader there. She recounts his subsequent service in the Army during World War II, where he discovered his ability to negotiate; specifically, he realized his ability to negotiate better conditions for his fellow black soldiers. She relates his educational experiences following his return to the States, and his involvement in a Harvard-based think tank. She discusses his involvement with the Urban League, and his relationships with those who chose different approaches to furthering the equal rights of African Americans. She describes the role of the Black Panthers and the riots, particularly in Detroit, in drawing some supporters to the Urban League. She also gives her perspective on the University of Louisville, which she came to in 1966 as a GE scholar. Dr. Love was quickly identified as a skilled negotiator, and she became involved in working with students, including the students who eventually took over the office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1969. She offers criticism of the University of Louisville at that time (and in the 1970s) for failing to recruit and support black students and faculty. She does commend President Miller for his support of programs for students needing skill-building work. She gives her assessment of area public schools, and the possible reasons for their shortcomings. Dr. Love also headed the Lincoln Institute at the end of its days, from 1964 to 1966, and she discusses that experience. She recounts its closing, its brief life as a school for gifted and talent students, and its rebirth as the Whitney M. Young Job Corps Center. She discusses briefly the origins and role of the Lincoln Foundation.
Dr. Parrish discusses his father, Charles H. Parrish, Sr., who was a Baptist minister and president of Simmons University, a black Baptist college in Louisville. Parrish also discusses his own life and work, including his time teaching at Simmons, at Louisville Municipal College (University of Louisville's college for African Americans under segregation), and finally at the University of Louisville after the Municipal College closed and UofL integrated. Dr. Parrish was the only member of Municipal's faculty who was offered an appointment at UofL following LMC's closure, becoming UofL's first African American faculty member. He describes this experience as well as his ongoing research interests.
Mr. Perry discusses his education, time in the Army during World War I, and his personal experiences as black principal in the Louisville school system. Included is a discussion about the quality of education received by blacks before and after desegregation, how black facilities compared with white facilities, and why few school employees were involved in Civil Rights movement in Louisville.