= 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.
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.
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.
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.
Sheila Brown grew up in the Parkland neighborhood and then lived all over the city. She was a child when the 1968 Parkland Riot occurred. She talked about how it changed her neighborhood. Brown was also among the first group of African American kids bussed in Louisville. She remembered the protest and taunts aimed at her and the other students.
Tia Brown grew up in the Newburg neighborhood and current resides in Fern Creek. She shared memories of Newburg from her childhood and the history she’s researched of the neighborhood. She worked for a time as a real estate agent in Maryland and compared it to the housing situation in Kentucky.
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.
Verna Goatley is a Shawnee resident who works in the Louisville Metro Human Relations Department. Goatley discussed the hurdles she had to jump to finance home improvements on her home.