School integration

= Audio Available Online
The first two years of merger and busing in Jefferson County.
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.
Ansback deals with the changes that she has experienced that relate to Jefferson County, Kentucky, schools before and after busing. Items such as teacher attitudes, disciplines, academic achievement, and the PTA organization.
Recounts memories of working at WHAS-Radio in Louisville, Ky. from 1969-1980. Mr. Bastin talks about his early days as a news writer, Paul Clark, and the Bingham standards of quality. Bastin became the News Director of WHAS Radio in 1972. Recalls coverage of April 3, 1974 tornado, school desegregation, and snow storms. Discusses the transition of FM-WHAS from an all news format to the country format of WAMZ.
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.
As publisher of the Courier-Journal in the 1970s, Barry Bingham Jr. recounts the coverage of busing through the news media in Louisville. Discusses the weekly editorial conferences and research involved in taking a position of the paper on busing.
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 efforts 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.
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.
Mr. Burch was principal of Southern High School when Jefferson County Public Schools initiated busing for integration in 1975. He was a long-time resident of Okolona, and a graduate of Southern High School. While stating that within the school, he was isolated from the community, he indicates that the pulse of the community had been quickened by media reports. He indicates that they never had any direct problems with protestors prior to the riots of September 6, 1975, and that rioters never tried to inerefere with the running of the school. He characterizes the internal workings of the school as remaining normal during this period, and indicates that the teachers kept their opinions to themselves. Similarly, he describes the students as having coped well under duress, with few discipline problems. He states that though the student body was obviously uncomfortable in the position it was in, the students did not fight amongst themslves. Burch recalls the night of a football game with Moore High School, another south end school which before the segregation order had been primarily black. He describes the issue as slowly dying down over the course of the school year - protestors eventually stopped coming around the schools, attendance gradually improved, and life returned to normal by the end of the school year.