= Audio Available Online
Adlene Howard Abstain (b. 1943 in Montgomery, Alabama, d. 2015, in Louisville, Kentucky) describes her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement through voter registration efforts, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Freedom Rides, fair housing efforts, work as a pastor at The Fountain of Life Word and Worship Center, and community organization in Louisville.
Adams recalls the history of the east downtown and Smoketown neighborhoods of Louisville, the predecessor organizations of the Presbyterian Community Center beginning in the 1910s, and the street corner newspaper sales business in Louisville beginning in the 1920s. Both men discuss their efforts to develop a recreation program in basketball, baseball and boxing at the Presbyterian Community Center beginning in the 1930s, the association of Muhammad Ali with the Center, and administrative changes at the Center during the early 1960s.
Alexander is a retired professor from Kentucky State University. He discusses his family history; his career and life in the Parkland area of Louisville; recounts what Parkland was like in 1952; and how he was received as one of the first blacks to move into the 2800 block of Virginia Avenue. He discusses the business, education, and retail landscape of Parkland and the deterioration of the neighborhood. At a time, thriving business and retail establishments along Virginia Avenue and Dumesnil Street. Parkland was a middle-class neighborhood during the 1950s.
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 children’s 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 American’s 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.
Alston discusses his early life in Norfolk, Virginia and his primary and secondary education there; his college education at the North Carolina College for Negroes; his seminary training at Bishop Payne Divinity School; his ordination in the Episcopal Church; his ministry at Louisville's Church of Our Merciful Saviour, 11th and Walnut Street; work in race relations in Louisville; and general remarks on the role of the church in society.
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.
Mr. Axman is a 50-year-old white man who was a long-time resident of the Parkland area (1927-1959). He grew up in the first graduation class of Flaget High School in 1945. He discusses his family history, boyhood years and remembrances of the Parkland area. Note the impact of church membership and social gatherings in the area.
Delores White Baker (1929-2012) speaks about her childhood in the West End in Louisville and her experiences living in New York and other southern states where she became increasingly aware of the prejudice around her. The focus of the interview is on Baker's experience of the intersection of the arts--particularly dance and theater--and race in the Louisville community. Baker was active with the West End Community Council, which focused on open housing, school integration, health and welfare, and the arts and helped shape the West End after a certain amount of white flight from that area. Baker's focus was on the arts. She started ballet and dance classes for children and organized drama and theater productions. She was director of the city-wide Arts and Talent Festival that took place annually in Chickasaw Park and highlighted local talents in the visual arts, music, dance, theater, etc. She was also involved with the Genesis Arts organization that provided classes for disadvantaged children in the community and the Pigeon Roost Theater players, a black West End based theater group focusing on poetry, music, and drama. Baker emphasizes the importance of exposing children to culture, her thoughts on the state of the Black community in Louisville, the anti-racism movement, and her relationships with local churches.