= Audio Available Online
An interview about the Southern Baptist involvement in civil rights, Louisville, Kentucky.
Beard discusses nearly twenty years of service on the board of directors of Red Cross (Community) Hospital. He covers changes in the character of the board, divisive issues, and the importance of the institution to the black community.
In this interview, Mrs. Beckett discusses her life as well as her husbandï¿½s experiences as alderman in the city of Louisville in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Mrs. Beckett briefly describes her early life and education, including her graduation from Kentucky State College. Mrs. Beckett had a career in education, but also worked with her husband, and for her brother, in the undertaking business in Louisville. She speaks of the Walnut Street area before Urban Renewal. Mrs. Beckettï¿½s husband, William Washington Beckett, was elected alderman in 1951 and served until 1961. In this time, he played a role in the integration of the fire and police departments, the parks, and public accommodations, and in developing a Human Relations Commission. Mrs. Beckett discusses her husbandï¿½s contributions and the civil rights movement in general (both in Louisville and more generally) and gives her opinion on the roles of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the African American church.
Dr. Bell discusses his early life and education, including his training at Alcorn College, Morehouse College, and Meharry Medical College. He discusses his involvement with the Red Cross Hospital, a black-run hospital in Louisville that was known as Community Hospital starting in 1972. (The hospital, founded in 1899, closed in 1975.) Dr. Bell became involved with the hospital in the early 1940s, and discusses the developments there, including the institution of a nurses' training program, integration, fundraising, and other issues. He discusses the clientele of the hospital as well as the care they received. He also talks about the loss to the black community at the closing of the hospital, and the apparent lack of loyalty the community had to the institution. He discusses Hattie Bishop Speed, as a person and as a supporter of the hospital.
Interview index available
Reverend Bottoms recollects his early life; his education at Simmons University; the transition of Simmons University to Simmons Bible College and the relations of this to the origin of the Louisville Municipal College of the University of Louisville; and his work as pastor of Green Street Baptist Church.
Breckenridge is a black businessman from Louisville who founded his own construction-contracting company in 1971. In this interview he discusses his life, family history, education, career and views of black history in Louisville. Redevelopment of Louisville and early black contractors are also discussed.
Mr. Bright is a third generation black Louisville businessman. He discusses his family's history in the drug store and beauty aid businesses, his education and personal history.