Civil rights demonstrations--Kentucky--Louisville

= 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.
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.
Mrs. Davis briefly described growing up in Louisville. The major part of the interview concerned her years at UofL. She described her relationship with other, primarily white, students, and with faculty. She discussed her two mentors, Charles Parrish and Harvey C. Webster at length. She told the story of how she and her friends picketed restaurants in the neighborhood surrounding the university and succeeded in getting them open to African Americans. She also discussed meeting with Dr. Philip Davidson, president of the university, and getting his support to accomplish other changes to equalize treatment for black students. At the end of the interview she briefly described her post-UofL career.
Cheri Bryant Hamilton, born and raised in the West End of Louisville, attended Fisk University for her undergraduate degree and went on to get a law degree at North Carolina Central University. In this interview, Hamilton discusses getting involved in the Civil Rights Movement at a young age, following behind her mother's activism. She talks about her involvement in open housing during her high school years, the experiences of attending rallies in the city, her involvement in SCLC, the NAACP, and the Youth NAACP. She also discusses the riot that occurred in Louisville when Stokley Carmichael was coming to town as well as her memories of the Black Six trial, briefly. Following law school, she returned to Louisville and worked for the city on labor type issues. In this part of her interview, Hamilton discusses her work on the city's first affirmative action plan, her work in the NAACP as the political action chari, and her work with Martha Layne Collins and the KY Commision on Women. She continued to work for the city and be involved in various ways including serving on the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee and the Metro Louisville Women's Political Caucus.
Eighty-years-old Hawkins, a native of Kuttawa, KY., discusses his childhood and youth in Louisville’s California neighborhood in the 1950s, his travel in freight cars as a youth, and how racism in the U. S. prompted his resignation from the Marines. He then describes his enlistment in the local Open Housing movement, his work as a VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America) community organizer in both Louisville and Philadelphia, and his involvement as President of the Black Unity League of Kentucky in the local Police brutality protests in May, 1968, the Police provocation that led to days of civil unrest in the Parkland neighborhood, and the bogus charges and litigation that followed against himself and five others as the “Black Six.” Mr. Hawkins frequently focuses less on legal actions and more on what happened to those involved, including his friend, Robert Kyyu Sims, both at the time and subsequently.

Higgins discusses living in Russell during protests of 2020, David McAtee, Breonna Taylor, promoting discussions about race and inequity, growing up in Russell, parents life and marriage, WWII, Old Walnut Street era, notable perons on Old Walnut St., racial inequity in employment during segregation, redlining, life and career as a Black, female engineer, Catholocism in west Louisville, decline of Russell, halfway houses, outside investors purchasing houses in west Louisville, housing problems in west Louisville, housing inequity, revitalization of Russell.

These and other interviews were conducted by the Louisville Story Program and collaboratively edited with the participants authors between 2020 and 2023. The culmination of this collaborative work is the documentary book, “If You Write Me A Letter, Send It Here: Voices of Russell in a Time of Change.” This anthology of nonfiction documents the rich layers of history and cultural heritage in the Russell area of west Louisville, a neighborhood whose history is centrally important to the Black experience in Louisville.

Holmes described his childhood through high school years living in various rental properties in the area of Louisville around Brook and Kentucky streets. The purpose of the interview was to record his memories of living in an area that was disrupted by the construction of interstate 65. He described the homes, residents, and businesses before construction. The second part of the interview concerned the integration of Male High School. Holmes (white) was part of the third class at Male to include African Americans. He describes the white perspective on integration and on the participation of his black classmates in sit-in demonstrations downtown. Holmes then went on to describe how he has worked with an interracial group of alumni to address the tensions and concerns about what happened to Black students in the newly integrated schools.
Interview regarding the history of Louisville's LGBTQ movement with Lynn Pfuhl, an out lesbian and co-founder of Louisville Gay Liberation Front in 1970. Pfuhl had also been one of two whites involved in youth sit-ins downtown Louisville protesting racial segregation in 1961 and active in anti-Vietnam movement. She was in accident and confined to wheelchair, still resides in Louisville and rescues feral cats.
Nancy Pollock, born in Springfield, Kentucky, moved to the city of Louisville at the age of 2 and began to get involved in the civil rights movement at the age of 14. She talks about her first experience with racism and segregation when she was 9 years old and the owner of an ice cream parlor physically threw her out of his shop while she was eating an ice cream cone. Following that she began to get involved at age 14 with the demonstrations happening in Louisville, as the youngest person there oftentimes. Pollock discusses her entire time in the movement, her various involvements in different groups, violence that she experienced and saw, her experiences in Louisville and outside of Louisville in Atlanta, Chicago, and Cincinnati, Ohio, and her involvement in the 1970s with the Black Panther Party. Topics include: her relationship with Anne Braden, Stokeley Carmichael, John Lewis, and various other figures, demonstrations (those that she led and those that she participated in) during the accommodations campaigns, the makeup of those within the accommodation demonstrations, involvement with Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and CORE, the time that she was arrested for leading a demonstration at Hasenour's, the hunger strike that she participated in in Frankfort, the 1986 riot that happened in Louisville and her understanding of what happened and why, her involvement in the Black Panther Party in Louisville, Chicago, and Cincinnati, the differences between the west coast and east coast Black Panther Party chapters, the changes in the movement and within the various organizations over time, her work after she left the Black Panther Party in 1974, the changes in Louisville over the years that she was involved in the civil rights movement and her thoughts on who the leaders of the movement were in Louisville.
Suzanne "Suzy" Post, born in Louisville in 1933, was a mother of five living in the East End of Louisville when she began to be involved in the civil rights movement in Louisville. Post became active at a young age, choosing to do a project on the Louisville Urban League when in school and then joining the NAACP at Indiana University. In 1957, she joined the ACLU and then in 1969 became President of the Louisville ACLU before moving on to become a national Vice President for 12 years. She discusses in this interview her first memory of walking in a picket line, her time as a Jesse Jackson delegate in 1984, and her experience as a white woman in the movement. She discusses her involvement in fundraising for the open housing demonstrations as well as helping to find school board candidates for JCPS who were sympathetic to busing and getting them elected and educated. Post's involvement in the busing movement in Louisville was one that she discussed in length. In 1970 she worked as the President of an affiliate that worked to talk with communities and people within the community on the busing plans that they wanted to be implemented. Post discusses the first day that busing began as well as the atmosphere in the city and provides information on how she stayed active once busing had begun within Louisville.