Alexander is a retired professor from Kentucky State University. He discusses his family history; his career and life in the Parkland area of Louisville; recounts what Parkland was like in 1952; and how he was received as one of the first blacks to move into the 2800 block of Virginia Avenue. He discusses the business, education, and retail landscape of Parkland and the deterioration of the neighborhood. At a time, thriving business and retail establishments along Virginia Avenue and Dumesnil Street. Parkland was a middle-class neighborhood during the 1950s.
Eunice Brashear Collins describes her family’s long-standing ownership of land at Scuddy (subsequently a coal mining community), Perry County, Kentucky as well as her childhood and youth there in the 1920s and 1930s. Ms. Collins touches on her high school and early employment at nearby Vicco, as well as an early teaching job at Scuddy. In the later recollection, she briefly discusses race conditions in Perry County, including one particularly violent episode. Collins vividly recalls her two years at Alice Lloyd College at Pippa Passes, Kentucky, and the forces that eventually persuaded her to migrate to Louisville as a single woman, where she sought further education and held a series of World War II jobs. That work included employment at the Jeffersonville, Indiana U. S. Army Quartermaster Depot, the Charlestown, Indiana powder plant where she worked on the bagging production line, and finally as a business teacher at a Bowman Field recuperation facility for wounded soldiers. Collins describes how she met Bill Collins, whom she married just before he was shipped out for three years of military service, and the early difficulty he faced in the immediate postwar period when he settled in Louisville. Finally, Eunice describes her educational preparation and career advancement to principal of Chenoweth Elementary School in the old Jefferson County Public Schools and the special role she played in the mid-1970s in a merged system responding to a court-ordered desegregation plan.
Dianne Johnson was a teacher at Norton Elementary School at the time of the interview. She answered questions regarding her younger influences, teaching experiences, and thouhts about KERA (Kentucky Education Reform Act) and the teaching profession in general.
Miss Landau discusses various Louisville neighborhoods, her education and teaching career at the University of Louisville and other schools, the Dembitz and Brandeis families, the Young Men's Hebrew Association, and Adath Jeshurun congregation.
Dr. Love was a U of L professor and administrator, and sister of civil rights leader Whitney Young, Jr. Dr. Love discusses her parents, Laura and Whitney Young, Sr., their lives and involvement with Lincoln Institute in Simpsonville, Kentucky. Dr. Love and her brother were born in Lincoln Ridge, while her father was a teacher at Lincoln Institute, and she discusses the education they received there, and the atmosphere of safety and support that was fostered at Lincoln Institute. She describes her father's tenure as principal. She describes her experiences at Kentucky State, and also discusses her brother's emergence as a leader there. She recounts his subsequent service in the Army during World War II, where he discovered his ability to negotiate; specifically, he realized his ability to negotiate better conditions for his fellow black soldiers. She relates his educational experiences following his return to the States, and his involvement in a Harvard-based think tank. She discusses his involvement with the Urban League, and his relationships with those who chose different approaches to furthering the equal rights of African Americans. She describes the role of the Black Panthers and the riots, particularly in Detroit, in drawing some supporters to the Urban League. She also gives her perspective on the University of Louisville, which she came to in 1966 as a GE scholar. Dr. Love was quickly identified as a skilled negotiator, and she became involved in working with students, including the students who eventually took over the office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1969. She offers criticism of the University of Louisville at that time (and in the 1970s) for failing to recruit and support black students and faculty. She does commend President Miller for his support of programs for students needing skill-building work. She gives her assessment of area public schools, and the possible reasons for their shortcomings. Dr. Love also headed the Lincoln Institute at the end of its days, from 1964 to 1966, and she discusses that experience. She recounts its closing, its brief life as a school for gifted and talent students, and its rebirth as the Whitney M. Young Job Corps Center. She discusses briefly the origins and role of the Lincoln Foundation.
Susan Minor is a 78-year-old black woman and a long-time resident of the Parkland area. She is 1919 graduate of Central High School and a 1921 graduate of the Louisville Normal School. She worked many years as a teacher in black schools in the Jefferson County system. She discusses her life, as well as her years in the Parkland area.
Mrs. Morrison had a 25-year career in public education. She worked solely for Jefferson County, Kentucky school system. Mrs. Morrison spent 15 years in the classroom, five years as an instructional coordinator, and five years as a staff development specialist. She started teaching in 1961, twenty years after high school, after her children were in older. She taught chemistry and physics in Fern Creek High School. Morrison admits to "classroom burnout" and she was pleased to have a different position to move on to in 1975. She took a job as an instructional cooridnator and worked at Male High School, Central High School, and the Brown School. This position was part of a federally-funded program called the Emergency School Assistance Act. Her role was to work with students and teachers in a human relations capacity. Morrison recalls the challenges presented because of court-ordered busing and mergers of the city and and county school systems. For the latter 5 years of her career she worked in an administrative position as a staff development specialist; this position involved staff training in workshop and in-service settings.
Esther Nochlin's teaching career spanned twenty-six years in the Louisville city/county school system. Mrs. Nochlin taught English at Booker T. Washington, Steven Foster, Warner, and Highland schools. She stresses that she always taught in inner city schools and that she liked that assignment. When asked about court-ordered busing and school system merger she stated little of no impact on her role as a teacher. She talks about the changing attitudes and lack of support from the home; she states that by the mid-1970s parents stopped backing teachers and she felt that teachers were losing authority. She discusses the various prinicpals she worked with, and offers her opinions of them. She speaks in favor of academic tracking, to help students get the help they need.
Mrs. Parker retired in May 1991 after twenty-seven years in public education. She was hired to teach in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1964, following college. She taught high school English and psychology for one year. She then moved to Jefferson County, where she taught junior high math for two years. Over the next twenty-four years she became a school counselor, and served at Stuart, Moore, Frost, Knight, and Highland schools. She talks about the changes she saw over her career. She speaks at length about the problems the schools had during the years following court-ordered busing and the merger of the city and county schools. She didn't feel prepared for the chaos and hostility and she spent much of her time resolving conflicts with students, teachers and parents. She also describes the change from junior high schools to middle schools, which gave the 6-8 grades an identity separate from the high schools, and promoted unity in the staff. She speaks of greater teacher involvement with all students, healthier holistic approaches, and identification of home problems in the new middle schools. In the last ten years of her career, Parker notes social phenomena and issues including "latchkey" children, single parent homes, dysfunctional families, and sex and drug abuse, which the schools were identifying. She saw her job change from administrator to facilitator between student, parent, teacher, and communtiy resource, a change she welcomed. Her greatest sense of accomplishment was working with "at risk" students.
This interview deals with the career of Dr. Parrish at the Louisville Municipal College and the University of Louisville. His education, background and his opinions about the economic history of blacks in Louisville were included. Dr. Parrish was the only black professor employed by the University of Louisville after integration.