You are browsing the archive for Catherine Fosl.

Mapping neighborhood diversity over time and segregation in Louisville

February 17, 2011 in Research methods

Go to, click on the drop down list under the middle map and choose Louisville to study the change in population trends there from 1990 to 2000.  You can see how some parts of Louisville’s African-American and White communities have changed from very low diversity to a more mixed area.  Also, African-American households have grown in some areas that were nearly all White a decade before. 

This site was created by geographers at the University of Georgia, the University of Washington, and Dartmouth College. The primary individuals involved are Steven Holloway and Michael Wellman (Georgia), Mark Ellis (Washington), and Richard Wright and Jonathan Chipman (Dartmouth).  They use federal census data and overlay it with mapping software (ESRI GIS) to display using Google Maps to create a rich, interactive environment for us to discuss.

The Louisville neighborhoods undergoing rapid change in one decade include Smoketown (dicussed in Rhonda Mawhood Lee’s article, “‘Admit Guilt—And Tell the Truth’: The Louisville Fellowship of Reconciliation’s Struggle with Pacifism and Racial Justice, 1941-1945,” J of Southern History 76 [May 2010], 315-342) and Shively (the post-WWII racism and Red Scare in this area is an important focus of Catherine Fosl’s biography, Subversive Southerner: Anne Braden and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Cold War South). I wonder what Anne Braden would have thought of these changes today!

** See also Freedom on the Border: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky by Catherine Fosl and Tracy E. K’Meyer **

by bmwexl2

House Un-American Activities Committee

October 8, 2010 in 1950s-1960s, Political history

The House Un-American Activities Committee, or (HUAC) is defined by as “an investigative committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. Originally created in 1938 to inquire into subversive activities in the U.S., it was reestablished in 1945 as the Committee on Un-American Activities, renamed in 1969 as the Committee on Internal Security, and abolished in 1975.” This Committee seems to hold a lot of weight during the civil rights movement on arresting and prosecuting activists. In Catherine Fosl’s book on Anne Braden titled Subversive Southerner, the HUAC comes up a number of times. In fact, Anne and her husband were pegged by the Committee as Communists and in 1954 a sedition charge with a result of jailtime.

Fosl writes, “But even at the grassroots level, reformers were no strangers to repression and to being called “communists,” especially in the South, where the Southern Conference faced its most serious assault yet. That may, HUAC issued a report damning the Southern Conference as a “Communist front” advancing not human welfare but the aims of the Communist Party (CP).” [citation needed here!] 

From reading about this Committee it is made apparent that the claims of communism among southern activists is for the most part false. Although there were CP member cells in the South to incite racial violence; was this committee set up just for this purpose, to deface and slander the name of good Americans?

Overall I feel that it is somewhat unclear whether the Committee was truly a way to seek out communist wrongdoers or a platform to just point the finger and cry wolf on people who were stirring the pot, and fighting for what they believe.

Fosl, Catherine. Subversive Southerner: Anne Braden and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Cold War South. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky, 2006. Print.

Skip to toolbar