= Audio Available Online
Braden, who became a nationally known figure in 1954 when she and her husband were charged with sedition for helping a black family buy a house in a white Louisville neighborhood, recounts her memories of the 1950s.
Sister Colley, formerly Sister John Martin, was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1928. She served in the Archdiocese of Louisville for nearly half a century as an educator, mediator, facilitator, trainer in mediation and conflict management. She served as principal of Christ the King School from 1961 to 1964. She then was appointed to Supervisor of Schools for the Louisville Archdiocese. In the interview, Sister Colley speaks of witnessing prejudice firsthand in the very segregated city of Nashville as a child. She said she realized that racism was unjust, though her own parents subscribed to such beliefs in her youth. Her formative years were spent in Texas, where she was educated by the Sisters of Loretto. She would join the order right out of high school. Once she was relocated to Louisville in 1961, she would go on to join the West End Community Council and become the secretary of the council. Through her involvement, she helped to combat many social justice issues that plagued the city at the time, namely the Open Housing cause and the War on Poverty. Her work specifically with the War on Poverty led to her work with the Head Start programs in the city. Sister Colley states that education was the best path to combat the effects of racial equality. Sister Colley recalls her friendship with Anne Braden, whom she defended against accusations of Communism and prevented her from being expelled from the WECC. She also recalls how she marched with Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. when he came to Louisville in 1967 and how she also travelled to Washington D.C. to protest the inauguration of Richard Nixon in 1969.
Seventy-nine year old Ursula Parrish Daniels, who had returned to Louisville for the dedication of a historical marker at the Seelbach-Parrish Home at 926 South Sixth Street in the Limerick neighborhood, speaks of spending her entire life there until she left for college. With her parents, Charles Henry Parrish Jr. and Frances Murrell Parrish working out of the home, Louisville Municipal College student boarders from her father’s place of employment helped with child care and household chores. Dr. Daniels recalls frequent civic, educational and social leaders in the African American community (both local and out-of-town) visiting her home for meals and social events. In addition, her maternal grandmother, Mary Virginia Cook Parrish, came for Sunday dinner and the house was the center for many visits and overnight sleep-overs by Ursula’s friends. The white family next door consistently expressed animosity to the Parrishes, the only Black family on the block. As an aside, she mentions her father’s “adopted” brother Frank Parrish. She remembers walking to Duvalle Junior High at Eighth and Chestnut Streets and happy days at Central High—including Saturday night sports—through her Junior year. Then, to manifest her parent’s pro-integration views, she spent an unhappy year with one other Black senior at Male High School. Similarly, she describes attending Ohio Wesleyan University where, again as one of the very few Black students, she lived in a group house of “revolutionary” outsiders. (She believes her race denied her the opportunity to be the yearbook queen.) After a time in Chicago, she moved to New York City where ultimately--aided by a generous fellowship--she earned a doctorate in educational psychology at City University of New York, which launched her career as a professor of early childhood education and administrator at Bergen (New Jersey) Community College from 1979 to 2018. Dr. Daniels discusses her summer visits to her maternal grandparents’ (the Murrells) comfortable home in Glasgow, Ky., recalling how her grandmother’s male siblings (the Martins), who had good jobs as railroad porters in Chicago, returned annually sporting fine cars and pocket watches. Ursula notes that despite the weight of racism, her Glasgow family achieved success as contractors, farmers, entrepreneurs, and professionals. She further notes that this family wing included Native American ancestors, which explains why her Mother, Frances, was so light-skinned. (Ironically, her father’s doctoral research focused on color as a mark of privilege in the Black community.) Ursula explains how her mother came to Louisville to complete high school, boarding with the Clark family, and ultimately attending Louisville Municipal College to study sociology and statistics, where she married her professor Charles Henry Parrish Jr. She discusses her mother’s role as a public parks administrator and, after securing advanced degrees, as a long-time professor of sociology and research methods at Spalding University. She calls both parents as “board room” racial activists for equality and inclusion, indicating that her mother temperamentally was more outspoken and her father more stubbornly reflective. Dr. Daniels notes her father’s affection for the University of Louisville—especially President Philip Davidson—and the difficulty within the African-American community when her father was selected as the only LMC professor to be invited to join the racially-integrated faculty at UofL’s Belknap Campus. Ms. Daniels, on reflection, points to several values that shaped her life and profession. First, as a child of educational, economic and cultural advantage, she believes much was demanded of her, including a career commitment to create opportunity for marginalized people. In addition, despite her family’s struggle for integration, she talks of the need for Historically Black Colleges and Universities for certain African-Americans. Noting the Louisville-area achievements of both her parents and paternal grandparents, she insists that it was important for her to make her mark out-of-town, free of that family connection. Finally, when asked about the role of religion in her life, she credits being brought up in the Black Protestant Church for fundamental values but observes that her current spiritually is both broader and more ecumenical. At the closing of the interview, Ursula Parrish Daniels thanks the interviewer for his part in the successful 1978 effort to secure the donation of the Parrish Family Papers to UofL’s Archives and Special Collection
Henry Ebbs is a 75-year-old Black man, and was a resident of the Parkland area during the 1940s and 1950s. He discusses his life in Louisville as well as the Parkland area during the 1940s. As an early resident of the neighborhood he discusses the mixed racial area and peaceful atmosphere. Recreational activities centered around the churches and related religious groups. Left the area for better living conveniences. Enjoyed Chickasaw Park and other amenities. Discusses the racial segregation of the city during the time and inequality some members of his family received.
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 “Outspoken Liberal” 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 David’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.
Lillie Ingram is a California resident who grew up in Newburg. She discussed her childhood in a rural area of Newburg and the white flight that happened after her family was the first Black family to move into their block at 18th and Hill Street.
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.
Sandra Wainwright, born in 1937, was born and raised in Louisville and remained here her entire life. She was a student at Central High School before school integration since it was the only school she was allowed to attend as a Black teenager. She went to the University of Louisville and performed in the music school at Central High School, where she met Jackie Robinson and Eleanor Roosevelt. Following schooling she was supposed to become a music teacher, however, no positions were available so she became an elementary school teacher instead. She worked at various schools in the city and retired from teaching in 1996. Topics covered in her interview include: her involvement in the late 1950s with boycotts and protests, the NAACP, her memories of racism within the city at restaurants and stores, her memories of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., her experiences as a teacher at a Black elementary school, her memories of teaching at a white school following busing for teachers, her involvement peripherally when her sister was involved in the movement in the city, her memories of the open housing movement and the impact that open housing had on her and her family.