African Americans

= Audio Available Online
Born to Tal and Laura Moorman in Daviess County, Kentucky, Frank Moorman, Sr., came to Louisville in 1926 to rejoin his former employer, Dr. White, at his new drugstore in the Mammoth Building. Moorman later opened a drugstore with Dr. J.C. McDonald on the corner of Sixth and Walnut. He later opened a service station at Eighth and Walnut; this station became Frank's Super Service. Moorman discusses his grandparents and parents in the Buckhorn community in Daviess County, the evolution of his business, his feelings on the civil rights movement and race relations.
Born in Louisville, Murphy has lived in the West End and Newburg neighborhoods. She grew up in the African American area of the Parkland neighborhood nicknamed Little Africa. Since her mother died when Murphy was young, her aunt, Mamie Kent, and grandmother, Willie Blanks, raised Murphy. Her family temporarily evacuated to St. Louis, Missouri during the 1937 Flood. She received her primary school education in the three-room Parkland Annex and the Virginia Avenue School. She attended Madison Street Junior High School and Central High School, African American schools. Her family was a member of the Pleasant View Church. After World War II, whites increasingly moved north out of the Parkland neighborhood. Murphy’s family moved to Catalpa Street, a mixed street. Murphy was at home during the Parkland Riot but had her clothing stolen from the laundromat. Murphy had 10 children, all of whom graduated from high school. Some of her children went to college, including Pamela Osborne. In 1995, she moved to her current home. Frances Murphy describes being raised by her grandmother and aunt. She discusses their employment at a widow and orphans home and school called Masonic Home on Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. She recounts the tragedy of the Flood of 1937. She discusses her education and teachers in African American only schools. She describes the physical conditions of the homes in Little Africa during her childhood and improvements overtime. She names former businesses and stores in Parkland. She tells of the immediate and long term changes for Parkland brought on by World War II. She recounts the white areas of Parkland and the businesses that blacks could not enter. Murphy speaks of the feeling of safety in the neighborhood and community activities when she was growing up. She tells of her love for books and learning. She recounts how her family acquired food, ice, and coal. Murphy’s daughter, Pamela Osborne, speaks of the Parkland Riot. Interview index available.
Mr. Nall was first employed by Reynolds Aluminum in 1928 at Plant No. 1 in the Parkland area. He discusses his 49 years of employment with the company, the many years he worked in the Parkland area, and the changes he has seen.
The Neighbors discuss their personal experiences and their jobs as chauffeur and maid for Mrs. Robert Worth Bingham.
Pamela Osborne speaks of growing up in the Parkland neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky. She mentions community activities, businesses, schools, and religious institutions. She compares the quality of education she received in Newburg to that in Louisville and how that impacted her decision to support desegregation. She admits her regrets of how desegregation hurt African American students and her frustrations with how African American males in particular are discriminated against in schools. She discusses how her mother wanted Osborne and her siblings to be well educated. She speaks of the decision to attend college and her experience at Murray State University. She describes her career path working with students in the Job Corps and as Director of Medical School Admissions at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. She highlights the similarities in the students that she worked with, despite their polarized socio-economic backgrounds. She describes the demographics of Parkland when she was growing up. She speaks about why she feels continuing to live in the West End is important. She points out the inaccuracies of negative, overgeneralized portrayals of the West End and the media’s tendency to only focus on the negative stories. She speaks of the negative impact of the Parkland Riot on the businesses and community members. She discusses contemporary problems in Parkland and the West End, including absentee landlordism and abandoned homes. She highlights recreational activities for children when she grew up. She stresses the importance of the former Parkland Library for her and her sadness when it closed. She concludes with changes to the neighborhood that have caused it to deteriorate from the everyday, community and family focused area that she remembered growing up. Transcript available
Margaret Ovitie, a long time resident of Parkland, 70-year-old black woman. She was a 1926 graduate of Central High School and discusses her family stories dating back to Jenny, original family member to have come from Africa. She also discusses her years in Parkland and changes in Parkland.
This interview took place at the Parkland Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library. Three black residents of the Parkland area of Louisville tell family stories. The residents were Dathon A. Jones, Oma H. Jones and the Reverend Stepney S. Ray.
A senior citizen's arts and crafts group at the Parkland Branch Library discuss their lives in the Depression years, the 1937 flood and their remembrances of the early Parkland area.
This interview deals with the career of Dr. Parrish at the Louisville Municipal College and the University of Louisville. His education, background and his opinions about the economic history of blacks in Louisville were included. Dr. Parrish was the only black professor employed by the University of Louisville after integration.
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.