Women Taking Action

March 4, 2013 in 1940s-1950s, 1950s-1960s


The NAACP became a powerhouse for the Civil Rights movement in Kentucky, due in large part to a handful of strong, dedicated Kentucky women.  The association became especially prominent beginning in 1940, when female teachers turned to the courts to deal with the issue of unequal pay in Louisville.[1]

Centre College

Helen Fisher Frye

One woman with a particularly strong presence was Helen Fisher Frye.  Frye served as the president of the Danville NAACP until 1968.[2]  Her work in the NAACP came after smaller efforts in organizing with local faith based efforts.  In describing the NAACP in Freedom on the Border, she stressed her assurance that the organization was non-militant.  Her work with the faith based organizations helped build the NAACP.  When reestablishing the NAACP in Danville, they went through the churches to spread the word and to find meeting places. While NAACP president, Frye helped campaign the first black man in many years to be put on the city council.  She also helped integrate public housing.

Frye was among many incredible women.  Audrey Grevious was a prominent Civil Rights activist in Lexington engaged in work for the NAACP and  CORE.[3]  Grevious was arrested for her efforts toward theatre integrated, and faced injury for attempts at integrating lunch counters. She was eventually elected president of her NAACP.







http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAACP_in_Kentucky#Women_in_the_Kentucky_NAACP NAACP wiki

http://www.kynaacp.org/index.html Ky NAACP

http://www.core-online.org/ CORE website


Fosl, Catherine, and Tracy Elaine. K’Meyer. Freedom on the Border: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky, 2009. Print.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAACP_in_Kentucky

[2] Freedom on the Border

[3] Freedom on the Border

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