= Audio Available Online
Elmer Lucille Allen grew up in the Russell neighborhood in the 1930s and 40s. Allen described the neighborhood in the days before urban renewal in the late 1950s. She attended Madison Street Junior High School and Central High School during segregation. She attended Louisville Municipal College, the African American arm of the University of Louisville. After the Supreme Court desegregated schools in 1954, UofL closed Louisville Municipal College and Allen went on the Nazareth College (now Spalding University). She became the first African American chemist at Brown-Foreman.
Mr. Anderson talks about his childhood in Smoketown, his military service and his work at Sheppard Square and Dosker Manor.
This interview covers Armstrong's experiences as a resident in Sheppard Square public housing. Prior to moving into Sheppard Square, Armstrong lived with her two children in two crowded rooms on Magnolia Street in Louisville. She applied three times for public housing but reports difficulty in getting approval because she was not married. Armstrong helped form Resident Council, a model for other public housing resident groups in Louisville. She recalls positive relationships with police and discusses how the community changed in the 1980s. She also comments on changes in the resident population and attitude. Armstrong expresses concern that people with little or no income will not be able to find housing.
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.
Barker shares her memories of her childhood and early adult years at Sheppard Square. She talks about Grace Community Center, mentioning many teachers by name, includig Fred Stoner. She remembers a childhood filled with physical ctivity, much of it spent outdoors. To Barker, Sheppard Square was "a great place to live" where neighbors knew and supported each other and corrected one another's children. Her father worked for the maintenance department of the Louisville Housing Authority. She talks about the changes in the complex, including an increase in single-family homes and a decline in property maintenance.
Robert Benson (b. 1942 in Lousville), Louisville lawyer and former Kentucky legislator, speaks about his experiences with the
Civil Rights Movement and some of its leaders in Louisville. Topics include how he became aware of prejudice in the community and got involved with the Open Housing movement; the demonstrations for Open Housing; his experiences representing the Hikes Point/Highlands district from 1974-1980; his friendship with ACLU lawyer Thomas Hogan, who filed the lawsuit that lead to desegregation efforts in Louisville; the passing of laws merging Jefferson County school districts; the passing of laws to desegregate the resulting combined school district; and the backlash and demonstrations against desegregation and busing.
Literature on the Housing Authority is included its background and programs; Mr. Booth, as an executive, discusses the Housing Authority of Louisville. Additional information in the file
Braden discusses her background and the background of her husband, the late Carl Braden working with the Courier-Journal newspaper during the 1940s; the Wade desegregation case and her husband's trial for sedition in 1954; anti-Vietnam War activities in Louisville; and Ms. Braden's work with Progress in Education (PIE), a pro-busing organization active in Louisville during the 1970s.
Civil Rights activist and journalist Anne Braden talks about the Civil Rights Movement in Louisville in the 1950s and 1960s. Topics explored include eforts for school integration, the public reaction to it, her family's experiences with school integration, and redistricting of the city; the West End Community Council and its efforts to keep the West End neighborhood integrated, white flight, and the open housing movement; the activities of SCEF (Southern Conference Educational Fund); the emergence of youth movements; the beginnings of groups like CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), the Committee for Democratic Schools, and the Gandhi Corps; Black Power organizations in Louisville like JOMO (Junta of Militant Organizations) and the Black Panthers; the trial of the Black 6 and the protests surrounding it; and many individuals who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement.
Robin Bray is a real estate agent. She discussed the history of redlining and current efforts to revitalize West Louisville.