Central High School (Louisville, Ky.)
= Audio Available Online
Eighty-eight year old J. W. Everett of Indianapolis, IN recalled his childhood and youth in Louisville, KY in the Black Hill and Beecher Terrace neighborhoods in the 1940s and early 1950s. At age eight, his family had moved from sub-standard housing in the area of Eleventh and Magnolia to the brand-new public housing project called Beecher Terrace, which in that era was segregated for African-Americans. Everett recalls his child there as safe and care-free with the community caring for one-another. In addition, he touches on his school years at Coleridge Taylor Elementary, Madison Junior High, and especially Central High, where he experienced lots of activities for youths as well as one especially committed teacher who led students on lengthy Saturday hikes to the Falls of the Ohio. Mr. Everett further describes the vibrant street life including parades and Derby Time along the lengthy segregated “Old Walnut”—now Muhammad Ali Boulevard—business district. He lists specific business and entertainment sites including his visit as a youth to the iconic Top Hat Nightclub. Finally, the interviewee talks of his Air Force years during the Korean War, his subsequent return and brief employment in Louisville, and his multiple jobs in Indianapolis before finally landing for a lengthy employment at Ford Motor Company.
Mrs. Gilmore discusses her career as a librarian with the Indianapolis Free Public Library. He discusses his family history and his 42-year career with the railroad as a porter. Together Mr. and Mrs. Gilmore discuss their home in Parkland and the changes in the area over the years. Talks about how a mixed couple (black man, white woman) had trouble buying a house and how the racial make-up of the neighborhood changed.
The Jones are a black couple in their mid-fifties who were long-time residents of Parkland area. Mr. Jones was a 1935 graduate of Central High School. He discusses his schooling and career at the U.S. Post Office in Louisville. Mrs. Jones discusses her family history, education, and her career as public health nurse in Louisville. Together, they they discussed their remembrances and lives in Parkland. The process of urban renewal and the changes in the area are discussed, along with the impact of the 1937 Flood.
Powers discusses her education at Louisville Central High School and the Louisville Municipal College; early involvement in politics with Wilson Wyatt, Sr.; United States Senate campaign; Edward T. Breathitt's gubernatorial campaign; Norbert Bloom's career in the Kentucky General Assembly; and her own successful race for the state senate in 1966. Powers also discusses her support of a state open housing bill and the Poor People's March on Washington, D.C., in 1968, which she attended as an observer for the Kentucky Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
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.