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Civil Rights Movement in Louisville interview
Eleanor Foreman, born in Louisville in 1926, was raised in the Fort Hill neighborhood and was an only child. In this interview, she talks about her life growing up, her first job, and her career life. She went to Municipal College in 1946, then later went to Bellarmine, during this time as well, she got her real estate license. Foreman then went on to work at the Louisville Medical Depot for 7 years and the Army Corps of Engineers, where she worked with computers. She worked for the government as well where she worked on negotiating with people and moving them from their houses. Her work had her travelling in places such as Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Eastern Kentucky, where she discusses her experiences as a black woman. While working in these jobs, Foreman worked as a real estate broker in Louisville too. She and her partner, Alice Mobley, worked together for years and were focused on selling houses in the West End. Eleanor Foreman discusses the place of Black individuals in the real estate business, the obstacles she faced as a black woman, and how she attempted to integrate neighborhoods through house buying in order for Black families to receive the same benefits as white families. Foreman continued her work as a real estate broker after Alice Mobley passed away and continued to work with the community in various ways up until her interview.
Civil Rights movement in Louisville
Civil Rights movement in Louisville
David Gettleman was born in Louisville in 1927. His father was a Rabbi who instilled the desire for racial equality among all of his children. Growing up in the Jewish minority in the city, David states that he did face prejudice of his own, which only strengthened his resolve to fight for others. David started college at the University of Louisville at only 16 years old, before leaving for a year and a half to serve in the Navy during World War II. Upon returning to Louisville, David went on to attend law school and he immediately began practicing in the city upon graduation. He mentions being an â€œOutspoken Liberalâ€ while he was a student, as well as the chairman of the student body. He worked as a lawyer in Louisville for over 50 years.
In the interview, David recounts stories of his time as an advocate for social justice causes. One such story highlights the racial prejudice of the Louisville Country Club, as they would not allow visitor Arthur Ashe, one of the best tennis players of all time, to use the country club pool during his visit. The majority of the interview is dedicated to Davidâ€™s time spent with the American Friends Service Committee; a Quaker founded organization. He worked very close with African American activist, Betty Taylor. The organization founded the Park DuValle Neighborhood Health Center. He recounts working with other Louisville activists such as Dora Rice and Mansir Tydings. He specifically recounts being on many interracial committees with Tydings, as both men were staunch advocates for racial equality and desegregation. David helped draft local legislation for social justice issues and worked on the Open Accommodations and Open Housing movements.
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.
Civil Rights movement in Louisville
Ira Grupper was born in New York City in 1944. Before moving to Louisville in 1969, Ira was involved in rent strikes in New York and he took part in the Civil Rights movement all over the South with the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee). In this interview, Ira talks about his personal friendship with Carl and Anne Braden, whom he worked alongside as part of the SCEF (Southern Conference Education Fund). Other topics include Iraâ€™s work as a commissioner and eventual Vice-Chairman of the Louisville and Jefferson County Human Relations Commission. He talks about being a staunch advocate for workers rights and an improvement in labor conditions. He also discusses his involvement with the busing situation during the 1970s and his role as an outreach spokesman who went to white communities to attempt to persuade them to support desegregation in the local schools.
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.
Tony Heitzman, born in 1931 in the Highlands area of Louisville, was a pastor and priest in the Louisville area beginning in 1957 as well as a community organizer. In this interview, Heitzman discusses his working with the Neighborhood Youth Corps, the Community Action Commission and his full time job working in neighborhoods dealing with poverty. Topics include: working in the Russell neighborhood as a community organizer, the push to get a new building for Taylor Coleridge school, the church's reaction and actions following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Louisville riot and the influence it had on his work, his time as a coordinator for the West End Catholic Churches, the Poor People's campaign through Louisville and the role that he played in it, and his time on The West End Team Ministries. Heitzman discusses his time working from 1971-1979 as the pastor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary church in the Parc Duvalle area. Finally, he concludes his interview discussing the impact of the War on Poverty on race relations and the impact of self determination and awareness on those in the Russell area.