African Americans--Social conditions
Bryant discusses her childhood in Detroit, Michigan, where her father was involved in fair housing work. The interview also includes recollections of her education at a private girls' school in Washington, D.C. and at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she received an AB in history; her move to Louisville with her husband, a physician; her work with the West End Community Council; and involvement with the Black Six conspiracy trial.
Mr. Ealy, who came to Louisville in 1918, discusses his recollections of politics, journalism and race relations in the city from 1910s to 1970s. Specifically, this interview contains information on the African American journalists I. Willis Cole (Louisville Leader), William Warley (Louisville News), and Frank Stanley, Sr. (Louisville Defender); machine politics in the city; his recollections of life in the African American community in Louisville; and his philosophy of race relations. He also describes his early life and education.
Mr. Goodwin, a nursery owner and local historian from Louisville, Kentucky, discusses his ancestors and other African Americans who lived in the Petersburg / Newburg area. He describes the relationships of various African Americans with white slaveowners, and the efforts blacks made to build their community following slavery. He describes his own efforts to develop his community through the location of library in Newburg and the Petersburg Historical Society's programs, as well as his fight against urban renewal. He also talks about his own career in the nursery business.
Ms. Hickman discusses her personal experiences as a black woman in Louisville. She describes her home life, education, and the jobs she held to support her family.
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.
Dr. Rabb discusses his early life and education in Mississippi. He speaks of his experiences as a student at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, comparing race relations in his hometown to those in Nashville. He also discusses student activism at Fisk while he was a student. He describes his medical education at Meharry Medical College, and his internship at Kansas City General Hospital Number 2, the segregated public hospital for blacks in Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. Rabb practiced in Shelbyville, Kentucky from 1930 to 1946, and he discusses his practice there, including his relationships with the white physicians in town. Rabb left Shelbyville for Louisville, and he discusses the difficulties that led him to make that move. He talks about his move to Louisville and the support (in the form of office space) he received from Dr. C. Milton Young, Jr. He goes on to discuss his work at Red Cross Hospital, and how he came to be the first African American admitted for post-graduate training at Louisville General Hospital. He describes other areas of integration, including the University of Louisville and its athletic programs. He talks about his leadership role in Louisville's Human Relations Commission, particularly in the area of integrating the police force. He describes his own encounters with racism, the changes he's seen over time, and his role in the sit-ins in Louisville in 1960. He also talks about the integration of public housing. He notes that his proudest achievement is his involvement with the NAACP; he was also a founder of the Kentucky Civil Liberties Union.
Mrs. Ray discusses her early life and upbringing in Tennessee as well as her life in Louisville. Mrs. Ray moved to Louisville in 1934 and attended Louisville Municipal College (LMC). She discusses her education both at LMC and at the University of Louisville. She describes many "inconsistencies" as she calls them -- situations where African Americans were not treated the same as whites. She also discusses the civil rights movement, which she says she was not a direct part of.
Mr. Shively focuses largely on his education in Louisville, at Louisville Central High School and the Louisville Municipal College, in the 1930s and 1940s. He discusses his extracurricular experiences as well as the more academic aspects of both of these institutions. He also describes his experiences during World War II, when he served in a segregated signal corps unit in Italy. Mr. Shively finished college on the G.I. Bill following the war, and he talks about the difficulty of finding a job once he completed his education, due to discrimination on the basis of race.
Most of the interview focuses on Murray Atkins Walls, although her husband, John Walls, is also an active participant. They were both involved in civil rights activities in Louisville and so share many experiences. Mrs. Walls discusses her childhood and youth in Indiana and compares her experiences in Louisville and Indianapolis. She describes her work in Kaufman's Department store's personnel department during World War II, and particularly focuses on Mr. Harry Schacter, the head of Kaufman-Strauss department store. She also gives an account of the integration of Girl Scouting in Louisville, which began in approximately 1957, following the Brown decision. The Walls discuss their efforts to integrate the Louisville Free Public Library, which had maintained separate branches for whites and African Americans. They discuss meeting with the library board of trustees and their interactions with the head of the library, Mr. Brigham, as well as the attitudes of Mayor Wilson Wyatt, who appointed the first African American to the library board. They also discuss the attitudes expressed in the Courier-Journal. They discuss black-owned newspapers and the barriers that African Americans faced in education and in housing. The Walls discuss the integration of dining areas and department stores, as well as residential areas. They discuss differences in attitudes between their generation, which they saw as working patiently toward improving their situation, and the generation of youth working for civil rights in the 1960s and 1970s. They discuss the dangers faced by African Americans in Mississippi in the 1930s and 1940s. The Walls discuss Dr. Walls' involvement in picketing with the NAACP, and the impact that she and Dr. Walls had on the lives of young people.