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Visit to the Capitol

April 15, 2013 in 1960s-1970s

picture of Eleanor Jordan

Eleanor Jordan

This week I visited Kentucky’s state capitol, Frankfort.  The reason for this trip was to attend the Fair Housing Proclamation which commemorated the signing of the Fair Housing Act forty five years ago.  Prior to the proclamation, my class and I met with Eleanor Jordan, Kentucky’s Commissioner on Women.

Our meeting with Eleanor Jordan was quite insightful.  Speaking with her made me realize that although women are considered entirely equal legally and most of us do not think about gender discrimination being prominent in the workplace and other circumstances we encounter daily.  Jordan told us about her office’s attempts to get two statues of women in the capitol building and the troubles they were facing.  She also brought up a very important point.  When touring the capitol there are not statues or busts of women, nor were there any exhibits in entire building highlighting the accomplishments of the state’s women prior to the exhibit begun by past women holding her current office.  Prior to having the Kentucky Women Remembered Exhibit, the only time women were highlighted in the capitol was in the cases displaying the first ladies’ dresses.  Their contributions to the state were not mentioned.  After our discussion, Jordan led us through the exhibit and highlighted her favorite portraits.

We then moved to the rotunda of the capitol building where we heard several people speak on the importance of the Fair Housing Act.  Again, I learned how important that act was, not only when it originally came out, but now as well.  I have learned about the bombing of the Wade house and the discrimination they faced, but failed to realize acts of discrimination still occur.  Some of the speakers had actually encountered acts of discrimination in the past which made the presentation really come to life.

Overall, my trip to the capitol was very educational and insightful.  I appreciate being given the opportunity to visit the capitol and all of the people I was able to meet.

Suzy Post Project

April 15, 2013 in 1960s-1970s, Oral history, Research methods, Social history

Picture of Suzy Post

Suzy Post

Suzy Post was a civil rights activist, worked towards gaining equality for women in all areas, joined the anti-war movement, held many positions in different organizations such as the Kentucky Civil Liberties Union and the Metropolitan Housing Coalition, and worked towards creating a better society for everyone. Post recently was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame and for one of my honors classes I am working with another girl in my class on creating a webpage on Post’s life and all of her accomplishments. This project allows for all of Post’s accomplishments and hard work to be recognized and appreciated by all.

For our project, my partner and I have found many different sources, one of the best being oral history interviews. Suzy Post has given a number of oral histories that highlight different movements that she was involved in, how she felt about society, and the influence she had during this time period. Through these oral history interviews, my partner and I have gained much deeper understanding of what Post was going through and how she was affected by it. We have gone through all of these interviews and are working on compiling the information and putting it into a format that is accessible to everyone else.

Not only have the oral history interviews been helpful but so have many other sources. By looking at the organizations that she was a part of and talking to those who knew her and have done extensive research on her, we have gained more of an insight into her life. We have contacted Dr. Catherine Fosl and some of Dr. Fos’l’s colleagues at the Anne Braden Institute at the University of Louisville to obtain more information about Post’s involvement in the Louisville civil rights movement. They have provided us with more sources and have been extremely helpful in our gaining a larger comprehension of what Post was like and how she was involved during this time period.

As we contacted these people, we were pointed to talking to Suzy Post herself. After contacting Post, she has agreed to do an interview with my partner and I. We believe that this will allow us to be able to ask the questions that we haven’t been able to find answers to and to be able to fully understand what this time period was like coming from Post herself.

Our project is going exceptionally well, and my partner and I are in the final stretch of putting all of the information together. We believe that we have researched the time period, the organizations, and Post, herself, very well. We are looking forward to seeing the finished project and being able to provide a great wealth of information on a truly wonderful person.

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“Suzy Post – Hall of Fame 2007.” Kentucky: Kentucky Commission on Human Rights –. http://kchr.ky.gov/hof/halloffame2007.htm?&pageOrder=0&selectedPic=10. 15 Apr. 2013.

“Suzy Post.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Feb. 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzy_Post. 15 Apr. 2013.

“Catherine Fosl, Women’s and Gender Studies Department.” University of Louisville. https://louisville.edu/wgs/catherine-fosl.html. 15 Apr. 2013.

A Day in the Capitol

April 11, 2013 in 1940s-1950s, 1950s-1960s, 1960s-1970s, Intellectual history, Political history, Social history

Kentucky Capitol Building

Without a doubt, our class trip to the state capitol in Frankfort on Tuesday was a valuable experience. Not only did my class have the opportunity to explore an important location in our state history, we were able to witness a revolutionary proclamation that continues to have immense worth in our society. First, our group had the opportunity to meet with Eleanor Jordan of the Kentucky Commission on Women. Ms. Jordan shared with us the Kentucky Women Remembered exhibit of notable Kentucky women that hang in the halls of the capitol building. Jordan was quick to address the fact that visitors to the capitol can see the beautiful dolls of the First Ladies upon entering their wing of the building, yet women have made much more valuable contributions within our state than have been previously recognized. Although the portraits are a small token of appreciation to glorify these women’s hard work, the gallery is a unique and crucial development in this male dominated space. Her future plans include the erection of a female sculpture in the building to further illuminate the work of women in our state.

John J. Johnson

Following our meeting with Eleanor Jordan, our group attended the Fair Housing Proclamation in the capitol rotunda. The speakers included John Johnson of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights and numerous others who support has brought this legislation to the forefront and given rights to many deserving individuals. The most moving part of the proclamation, for me, was Colmon Eldridge‘s speech at the program’s conclusion. Eldridge, representing the office of the governor, came to announce the proclamation but shared a very moving story about his motivation to work for continued legislation such as this. He shared stories about his grandma and his personal home ownership story and why this proclamation has such a personal meaning to him for an African American male. He also noted that the audience was a blend of all shades of color thus emphasizing the fact that this isn’t just an issue of African American civil rights, but rather, an issue every citizen of Kentucky and the nation at large should take note of.

Our trip ended following the proclamation and we shared a wonderful lunch at the Grey Goose in historic Midway, Kentucky. Though it was a relaxed atmosphere, it was extremely important for us to bond together and reflect on our experiences of the day as we had just seen real legislation that has come from the time period in which we are continuously studying. As we continue to research each of our respective accomplished women, we must go forth with an understanding that their with civil rights is far from complete and we too much be agents of change in our communities to continue their legacies.

I Shared The Dream: Georgia Davis Powers & Others

March 31, 2013 in 1940s-1950s, 1950s-1960s, 1960s-1970s, Intellectual history, Oral history, Political history, Social history

After reading Georgia Davis Powers’ autobiography, I Shared the Dream: The Pride, Passion, and Politics of the First Black Woman Senator from Kentucky, my group led a book discussion on the most important themes and events addressed in the book. Most prominently, my group agreed that Georgia Davis Powers sought to portray herself as a real woman, someone who faces adversity and obstacles and makes conscious choices regarding her life which may not be seen in the public eye. In the book, Powers addresses her life and achievements but also her personal reflections on situations and relationships that had not been published until this book was written. My class has studied numerous influential women in Kentucky during the Civil Rights Movement and was able to draw important similarities between Senator Powers and other major figures.

The charts below represent a comparison of Georgia Davis Powers, Mae Street Kidd, and one other prominent figure of the student’s choosing. These diagrams intend to show relationships among the female leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky as well as highlight key differences in their tactics and methodology.

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by mookygc

Martha Layne Collins

March 26, 2013 in 1950s-1960s, 1960s-1970s, Political history, Research methods

My group and I are working on a web based project designed to honor Governor Martha Layne Collins’ contribution to the Civil Rights history of Kentucky. We are struggling to find footing with a thesis about Governor Collins, because a good portion of the information we are finding about her is in relation to her time as Governor of the state of Kentucky, which is after the time period we are looking at, from 1920 to 1970.

Also, people close to the former governor are extremely hesitant to speak about anything regarding Governor Collins, because of a scandal involving her husband after her governorship. We are not interested in what she did as a governor though, instead, we are looking for any information regarding the work she did to promote fair civil rights for all.

We are aware that she had a lot to do with education reform, due to her background as a teacher, but are having difficulty finding anything about her life before that, aside from the fact that she was in a lot of beauty pageants and a young adult and created an organization called the “Jaycettes”. WE had an interview set up with a family friend of Collins’ but said interview was later cancelled. Our next step is to go to the Woodford County Historical Society, where there is a file about Governor Collins during her time there. Hopefully while there we will be able to form a thesis about why Collins was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Martha Layne Collins Update

March 26, 2013 in 1960s-1970s

I am researching Martha Layne Collins for her induction to the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame.  This task has proven harder than I originally expected.  My focus are the years 1920 to 1970 which is quite a small gap since Collins was not born until 1936.  This time period falls before her time as governor, she held office from 1983 to 1987.  We are having a hard time discovering what has moved them to induct her into the hall of fame.  Another complication is that Collins is incredibly hard to come into contact with for an interview

One of the largest, and possibly most obvious, breakthroughs that we have had was when we realized we should use her maiden name for much of our research.  Martha Layne Collins was born Martha Layne Hall.  Since our time table falls at times when she was in high school and college, her maiden name is beneficial in tracking her down at that time.

My group has plans to go to the Woodford County Historical Society.  The society has pulled the Collins file that they have and is willing to help us find any information they have on her.

The thing that had possibly the most impact on Collins in her young life was her beauty pageants.  In these pageants she learned to speak to crowds while holding her composure.  We hope to be in contact with Karen Tice, who knows about Collins’ time in beauty pageants.  Also, we have an interview with Duanne Puckett, who is a long-time family friends of Collins’.

We are very excited to see how our research unfolds and what things we can uncover about Collins and her life and influence.

by emme23

Anne Braden – Researching a KY Hero

March 26, 2013 in 1960s-1970s

Anne Braden is arguably one of the most famous women in Kentucky history. She is known for her activism, which included involvement in the Southern Organizing Committee for Economic and Social Justice, her work for the newspaper The Southern Patriot, and her efforts to integrate hospitals. However, Anne’s most notable effort is what’s known as the Wade case. In 1954, Anne and her husband bough a house for a black family, the Wades, because no one would sell them a house. This caused tremendous controversy in Louisville, which led to the bombing of the Wade’s home. Anne and her husband Carl were charged with sedition. Still, they continued to overcome boundaries and challenge racism in the south.

Anne Braden

One of the great things about researching a well known figure such as Anne Braden is that there are endless resources to gather information from. However, this is also one of the negative aspects of researching a well known figure as well. There is so much information available that condensing it becomes problematic. The real challenge is putting the information in a format that is concise, accurate, and easy to read and learn from. There are so many historians who are knowledgable about Anne Braden’s history, so it can be a little intimidating because we have to make sure all the information is absolutely 100% correct.

Some of the resources we are finding very helpful are the documentary Southern Patriot, Catherine Fosl’s book Subversive Southerner, and the Anne Braden Institute. The documentary Southern Patriot has been especially helpful because it organizes the timeline of Anne’s life in a useful way and is very fascinating to watch, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about her life.

 

 

***Resources***

“Anne Braden.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 03 Apr. 2013.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Braden. 04 Mar. 2013.

Fosl, Catherine. Subversive Southerner: Anne Braden and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Cold War South. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. Print.

“KET | Living the Story | The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky.” Glossary, Anne and Carl Braden. Web. 3 February 2013. http://www.ket.org/civilrights/glossary/popup_bradens.htm

Suzanne Wolff Post

March 25, 2013 in 1960s-1970s, Oral history

If I have found out anything about Suzy Post over the course of our research this semester, to be quite frank, it is that she has one hell of a spirit.  Up to this point, much of the information we have acquired has been through her oral history interviews. Despite her age in some of the interviews, her spunk remains strong.

Post spent a life dedicated to activism. She was a prominent figure in the Kentucky Civil Liberties Union.  She was a strong supporter of school desegregation in Louisville and open housing. She was also strongly involved in the anti-war movement.

She was raised in the Louisville Jewish community. From an early age, she was exposed to the horrors of World War II.   In a 2009 interview she describes seeing a connection in the genocide and the treatment of African Americans in the U.S.*

Her feminist ideology stems from the treatment she experienced throughout her life because of her gender.  She describes in detail a situation in which she realized how blatantly men expected her to remain silent, and how dramatically that encouraged her to do the absolute opposite.**

Overall, research on Post has gone well, and we have been almost swamped with good information to use and organize.  Even more exciting in regard to our research is that Post has agreed to meet with us!!! Needless to say we are thrilled about the opportunity to speak with this remarkable woman.

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* Timothy, Patrick McCarthy. 2009. Interview with Suzy Post. Journal for the Study of Radicalism 3, (1): 145-173. http://ezproxy.uky.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/213913050?accountid=11836 (accessed March 3, 2013).

**”20B1 Suzy Post.” Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky. Kentucky Historical Society. 205.204.134.47/civil_rights_mvt/util.aspx?p=1&pid=14969 (accessed January 30, 2013).

See also:
“Suzy Post,” Wikipedia. January 13, 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzy_Post. Accessed March 27, 2013.

“Hall of Fame 2007 – Suzy Post.” Kentucky: Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. http://kchr.ky.gov/hof/halloffame2007.htm?&pageOrder=0&selectedPic=10 (accessed January 30, 2013).

Suzy Post Research

March 25, 2013 in 1950s-1960s, 1960s-1970s, Oral history, Primary source, Social history

Suzy Post is an activist, who has worked tirelessly her entire life to gain equal rights for all people. A few of the many causes that she has devoted her life to are opening housing, desegregating schools based on both race and gender, and fighting against the Vietnam War. Each of these causes has greatly impacted Post and pushed her to fight for equal rights for all. All of these organizations and campaigns have several different resources that have helped to gain a greater knowledge and understanding of what Post’s involvement in each of these organizations. However, one resource that combines all of these resources and many more into one is an oral history interview by Sarah Thuesen for the Southern Oral History Program Collection. This oral history puts all of Post’s

Picture of Suzy Post

Suzy Post

achievements and activities into one place that allows for great research to be done on Post’s life.

This oral history is extremely useful first of all because Post talks about all that she has done in her life. This allows for overviews on each organization and cause that she was a part of. She goes through what she did for each of the organizations and the positions that she held. This shows a step by step process of the movements that she was a part of throughout her life. By using this oral history interview, a lot can be seen about her life. Not only are the actual steps that she took shown but the importance of each of these steps is also shown.

By listening to or reading through the transcript of this interview, a lot can be gained about what Post saw to be the most important causes she was involved in during her life. The interview is Post talking, which is extremely important. This lets her stress certain topics by talking about them more and in more detail as well as talking about what she wants to talk about. A lot of the questions that are asked during this interview are open-ended which permit Post to talk about what she feels is of greater significance. This shows what Post was truly passionate about and which jobs and causes she dedicated more time and energy into. This also demonstrates which ones she enjoyed working for.

Post isn’t afraid to let her voice be heard. She says what she wants and how she feels about certain people and topics, which is extremely useful. This illustrates a greater understanding of who Post is and what she enjoys, dislikes, infuriates her, pleases her, and what she thinks should and need to be changed. This, among the other things that were expressed above about the usefulness of this interview, add up to this interview being the most useful resource that I have found so far on Suzy Post’s life, accomplishments, and causes that she has been a part of. This interview is one of the best research materials that I have found that incorporates Posts past and present actions, her feelings on what she has done, and how she believes society has and should change to better benefit equality in all areas.

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“Hall of Fame 2007 – Suzy Post.” Kentucky: Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. http://kchr.ky.gov/hof/halloffame2007.htm?&pageOrder=0&selectedPic=10. 25 March 2013.

“Suzy Post.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Feb. 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzy_Post. Accessed 25 March 2013.

“Interview with Suzanne Post, June 23, 2006.” Interview by Sarah Thuesen. Documenting the American South: Oral Histories of the American South. http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/playback.html?base_file=U-0178. 25 March 2013.

Enid Yandell, Kentucky Artist-Activist

March 22, 2013 in 1960s-1970s

Cross-posted from the Kentucky Foundation For Women’s Hot Flash: E-News For Everyone (Marc 22, 2013)

IN HONOR OF WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH KFW CELEBRATES KENTUCKY SCULPTOR ENID YANDELL

“It is the development of character,
The triumph of intellectuality and spirituality
I have striven to express.”

Enid Yandell speaking of her aims
In sculpting “The Struggle of Life”
For the Carrie Brown Memorial Fountain

Born in Louisville Enid Yandell (1870-1934) studied at Hampton college and in Cincinnati. With the support of her parents, Yandell continued to develop her skills through apprenticeships with established sculptors such as Lorado Taft, Phillip Martiny, Fredrick McMonnies, and August Rodin.

Yandell and several other women, who became known at the White Rabbits, were hired by Taft to help design sculptures for the World’s Columbian Exhibition in 1893. In 1897 Yandell created a forty-two foot statue of Pallas Athena for the Nashville Centennial exposition. She became the first woman to be accepted into the national sculpture society. Yandell created several acclaimed sculptures in Louisville that survive today including: Daniel Boone and Hogan’s fountain in Cherokee Park, and the wheelman’s bench on the corner of Third Street and Southern Parkway.

Yandell founded the Branstock school in Massachusetts, a summer art school that taught wood carving, drawing, illustration and painting, which continued until her death. She actively supported women’s suffrage, did humanitarian work with war orphans in France after WWI, and worked for the Red Cross. Today, the Filson Historical Society holds the Enid Yandell collection, containing photographs, papers, and busts by the important sculptor. For more information visit: http://filsonhistorical.org/2009/10/06/happy-birthday-enid-yandell/#more-447

Yandell’s legacy lives on through the Louisville women’s sculptural collective Enid. The group was founded in 1998 based on the desire to give greater representation to women sculptors in Louisville. Members range in age and training, supporting one another to create and exhibit their work. For more information about recent Enid exhibitions visit: http://looklouisvilleart.com/enid-2013.

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