= Audio Available Online
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.
Brown discusses her work on the Human Relations Commission. Founded in in 1962, the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission was established City of Louisville to protect its citizens from unlawful discrimination. The following year, the City first adopted an Ordinance prohibiting places of public accommodations from refusing service based on race.
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.
Civil Rights Activist Ruth Bryant (1923-2013) speaks about her childhood and family history growing up in Detroit; her move to Louisville and observations about housing available to Black Louisvillians; how she became interested in and active in the open housing movement; her work with Committee on Community Development oversaw all federal funding that came into Louisville and how it was dispersed; and her involvement with other organizations such as the West End Community Council, Head Start, Citizens' Advisory Committee under the Urban Renewal Program, Black Unity League of Kentucky, and Women United for Social Action. She also talks about her arrest at open housing demonstrations and her memories of the 1968 Parkland Uprising. She mentions but does not speak at length about being one of the "Black Six," a group of Black Louisvillians accused of inciting rebellion during the 1968 Parkland Uprising and charged with conspiracy to destroy property and to blow up West End chemical plants.