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Working towards Equality

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

Throughout the civil rights movement many  white Americans have helped the cause by participating in sit ins, street demonstrations, protests, and helped integrate and desegregate schools, housing, and parts of town. In the book The Maid Narratives,

Picture of the

“The Maid Narratives”

there is an entire section that is devoted to the white family members’ perspectives. In this section, white members of the community recount tales of how they defied the social norms to work towards gaining social justice for African Americans in their towns. Just as the people in this book work towards social equality, Suzy Post worked to desegregate schools in Louisville, KY by defying the social norms that were in place at the time. Suzy Post and other Whites worked effortlessly to move the civil rights movement forward.

Suzy Post is a civil rights activist who works tirelessly throughout her life to end the inequality faced by African Americans. She worked to allow more open and fair housing, to desegregate schools, to gain more rights for women, and to campaign against the war efforts. However, one of her biggest accomplishments is her work to desegregate schools through getting the busing law passed in Jefferson county, Kentucky. This law was one wanted by many African Americans because the white schools traditionally had better resources, better facilities, and more opportunities for the children who went there.

Portrait of Suzy Post

Suzy Post

Naturally then most of the people who sat on the case were Black but Suzy Post defied the norm and was the only white person to sit on the trial. She allowed the community to see that white Americans could and did stand up for civil rights and worked towards ending the injustice experienced.

       The Maid Narratives tells of many white Americans that have stood up to the injustices experienced by African Americans. Elise Talmage, Flora Templeton Stuart, and Hal Chase stood up to segregation by picketing segregated institutions, blocked the streets with protests they were involved in, and taught on the subject of African American history and the civil rights movement to gain more awareness on the issue. Along with these people who actively participated in the more well-known actions of the civil rights movement, there were many Whites who fought against the pressures of the social norms in their everyday lives. One story told by a sixty-six-year-old man explains of how his family allowed their house maid Anna to sit in the front of the church by his parents instead of in the back pew. While the bride’s side of the church was appalled by this action, all of the groom’s friends and family saw this as a natural occurrence. Actions such as these showed that Whites worked to end the injustice faced by Blacks.

From the 1920’s to the 1970’s the civil rights movement has been one that has dominated our society and been a long time struggle for everyone in our communities. While most people mainly think of this movement dominated by African Americans, many white Americans worked to help move this movement forward and gain equality for Blacks. These white Americans participated in large scale community movements such as sit ins and protests as well as smaller scale movements such as treating their black maids as equals in community events. These movements helped to gain equality and civil rights for African Americans across the country.

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“Maid Narratives.” Iowa Public Radio News. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.

“Hall of Fame 2007.” Kentucky: Kentucky Commission on Human Rights –. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.

Thuesen, Sarah . “Documenting the American South: Oral Histories of the American South.”

Van, Wormer Katherine S., David W. Jackson, and Charletta Sudduth. The Maid Narratives: Black Domestic and White Families in the Jim Crow South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2012. Print.

 

Passion for Justice

February 18, 2013 in 1940s-1950s

Audrey Grevious

Audrey Grevious

Two of the most prominent women during the era of desegregation in Kentucky were Audrey Grevious and Mae Street Kidd. Grevious pushed for integration in the educational system, while Kidd seemed to defy the boundaries of color everywhere she went.

Grevious was inspired to be a teacher while attending segregated schools as a child. Initially, she wasn’t aware of the segregation, saying, “things were different, but not so unpleasant.” It wasn’t until she reached adulthood and attended a convention in New York that Grevious realized how different things were in Lexington, KY.

As a teacher, Grevious worked to integrate the Kentucky Village, a school for delinquent boys and girls across the state. Around this time, Grevious was also involved with the NAACP, who asked her to try an experiment. She and another NAACP member were to make stops along the way to Lexington from New York in order to see if they could be served. Not surprisingly, they were denied service at every stop except for one. On the way back up to New York, Grevious and her companion dressed nicely, wearing furs, diamonds, and a suit, respectively.  Though they were served at every place this time, the incident made her angry: “Here I am, an American, and they would not serve me.”

Mae Street Kidd

Mae Street Kidd

Similarly, Kidd also identified herself as an American first before anything else. In Passing for Black, Kidd never distinguished between whites and blacks when it came to their character. Though she had fair skin and blonde hair, she did not try to pass for white even though she easily could. She “never made an issue of [her] race.”

Passing for BlackKidd was successful in every career and job pursuit she immersed herself in. She began in sales at Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company based in Louisville. Kidd didn’t finish college, but she was a skilled salesman and was even able to open her own bank account at the young age of seventeen. She worked her way up in Mammoth, eventually becoming the director of a program she created, which concentrated on public relations. In addition, Kidd organized the Business and Professional club for black women and was a successful saleswoman for Fuller products, a cosmetics company with branches in Chicago and Detroit. Because Kidd seemed to “present a certain image of success” with the way she dressed and carried herself, it was really no surprise that she was able to excel in every endeavor she pursued; however, her quest for success was not an easy one. Many people were jealous of her and she was often mistreated and did not always receive credit for her achievements.

Though these women probably faced many trials in their pursuit for a better quality of life for themselves and others, both were still able to make an impact on society through their hard-earned accomplishments. I don’t believe that these women are the only ones with such extraordinary passion for justice. There are women who are working hard daily in their jobs to defy the boundaries of race and gender, but don’t receive recognition for their efforts. To an extent, this passion is burning within each of us, pushing us to reach our dreams and ambitions of making the world a better place—no matter the color of our skin.

Sources

“Audrey Grevious.” The HistoryMakers. 11 Dec. 2002. <http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/audrey-grevious-39>. 18 Feb. 2013.

“Audrey Grevious.” Wikipedia. 17 Feb. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audrey_Grevious>. 18 Feb. 2013.

Hall, Wade H. Passing for Black: The Life and Careers of Mae Street Kidd. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1997.

“Mae Street Kidd.” Wikipedia. 16 Feb. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mae_Street_Kidd>. 18 Feb. 2013.

Individual Acts of Excellence

February 18, 2013 in 1960s-1970s, Primary source, Social history

Throughout the 20th century many group efforts were made to end segregation across the Kentucky community. However, there were many women who made individual efforts to stop segregation. Two women who made great strides to end segregation were Audrey Grevious and Mae Street Kidd. These women helped to stop the segregation that they saw happening in their everyday lives. These women sacrificed their jobs, reputation, family and friends to help put an end to the injustice that was occurring in Kentucky during this time period.

Picture of Audrey Grevious

Audrey Grevious

Audrey Grevious was fortunate enough as a child to be able to go to school and get an amazing education. In her oral interview, she says that it was these teachers who taught her during her childhood and her mom that pushed her to work so hard to get a college education and become a teacher herself. Throughout college she worked three jobs to pay to go to Kentucky State and from this she understood how important education is. After college she took this hardworking mentality to her next job, a teacher at Kentucky Village Reform School, later known as Greendale Reformatory. She started teaching the girls that went to the school and was despaired that some of the eighth graders could only read at a second or third grade level. So she began to work hard, using the skills she learned while putting herself through school, to allow these kids to have the same opportunity at a great education that she had. Not only this, but she worked to desegregate the reform school as well. Her and her students would eat lunch in the White cafeteria and she talked to the school superintendent several times. While she often times feared that her job would be lost, she never stopped fighting for equal rights and opportunities for her students, and eventually received what she wanted. Grevious worked endlessly to allow Blacks to have equal rights, hold positions and go places that they had never previously been.

Just as Grevious worked to obtain equal rights for her students, Mae Street Kidd worked to allow Blacks across the state of

Picture of Mae Street Kidd

Mae Street Kidd

Kentucky to legally have equal rights as Whites. Kidd pushed for the Kentucky legislature to ratify the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery, the 14th amendment, which granted citizenship to African Americans, and the 15th amendment, which gave African Americans the right to vote. Kidd was able to accomplish this and much more, such as passing legislation for equal and fair housing for all. By being elected to Kentucky’s General Assembly, she was able to lead and participate in many campaigns to get each of these goals accomplished. As a Kentuckian, Kidd was proud of her state and heritage and didn’t want Kentucky’s history to be defined by unjust actions such as not passing these amendments.

Both of these women worked tirelessly throughout their lives to gain equal rights for the people that they fought for. With their individual acts against segregation and discrimination, they each pushed Kentucky further into being a state that was desegregated and granted equal rights to all. They put all that they had and believed in on the line so that others could live in a better environment. Their efforts were coupled with the efforts of great organizations such as the NAACP to end segregation and discrimination in Kentucky and across the U.S.

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“Audrey Grevious.” The HistoryMakers. <http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aah/kidd-mae-street-1909-1999>. 18 Feb. 2013.

“Audrey Grevious.” Wikipedia. 17 Feb. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audrey_Grevious>. 18 Feb. 2013.

“Mae Street Kidd.” Wikipedia. 16 Feb. 2013.<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mae_Street_Kidd>. 18 Feb. 2013.

“Kidd, Mae Street (1909-1999).” The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed. <http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aah/kidd-mae-street-1909-1999>. 18 Feb. 2013.

1975 Kentucky Busing Law

February 10, 2013 in 1960s-1970s, Social history

Segregation in schools has always been a de facto thing in Kentucky until the Plessy vs. Ferguson case ruled separate but equal was constitutional. With this segregation in schools around the state became legal and remained this way until Brown vs. Board of Education. However, the schools remained segregated de facto until 1975 when the court ordered mandatory busing to make sure schools were desegregated. However, this movement was met with great resistance from the white population. In fact, many of the Whites that stood up to the busing movement were women who didn’t want their children to be bused so far from their homes and be in class with black children.

The busing movement was met with great resistance from the white community in a variety of forms. There were the well-known white supremacy groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizen Council that combated the busing rule. There were other people who contributed to trying to end this mandatory busing rule and a huge portion of these people were women. These women organized demonstrations and boycotts such as having their children stay home from school. In fact Sue Connor lead an anti-busing nonviolent demonstration to show support for ending mandatory busing of black children from inner city schools to schools in the suburbs of Louisville.

Picture of white women protesting busing to desegregate schools

Women protesting busing

The more interesting thing about women leading these demonstrations is the women who did lead them and the reasons why they did. There were two main groups that participated in the fight to end busing in Kentucky. The first was a group of women that from the beginning opposed the law. This was a group of white women that didn’t want their white children having to go to school with black children. They disliked the idea that their children would be associating with the African American children and viewed that the schools that their children were now going to be going to were in the slums, not as good, didn’t live up to the standards they set for their children, dirty and unacceptable for their children. The other group, comprised to of both white and black women, stood up against busing because they felt that busing took away from their children’s schooling rather than helping it out. Students were being bused 30-45 minutes away from their homes so that the schools could make sure that each school was not over 45% African American and many parents felt that busing their children so that schools would be desegregated was causing more problems than it was helping. Many of the worries concerned the students being on the buses for so long and feeling uncomfortable being so far from their homes especially at such a young age. Parents didn’t feel comfortable with their children being taken so far away for a cause that had little to do with their children receiving a quality education. While these women didn’t hold protests, demonstrations, or were rude to the students who were bused, they did work to get their children out of the busing system and allowed others to know that they stood against this law.

Women played a crucial role in working to end the measures that were taken to desegregate schools, especially concerning the law that required busing to be mandatory in Louisville, Kentucky. These women actively spoke out against the issues, held protests to stop busing, and withheld their children from getting on the bus to boycott the law. Both black and women worked to end the busing law in the community and in their homes. They felt that it caused more problems than it cured. Whether they felt this way because they were uncomfortable with their children going to school so far away and their grades dropping, or because they didn’t like African Americans, these women worked to end the busing law.

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“6 Sep 1975 Jefferson County.” Kentucky: National Guard History EMuseum. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.

“Labor Unions Protest Busing Plan in Louisville, Kentucky.” Mike Jackson, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 12 Oct. 1974. NBC Learn. Web. 5 September 2012.

Marriott,, Michel. “Louisville Debates Plan to End Forced Grade School Busing.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 11 Dec. 1991. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.

“1975 Year in Review.” UPI. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.

by mookygc

Segregation of schools in Kentucky

February 10, 2013 in 1920s-30s, 1940s-1950s, Oral history, Political history, Primary source, Social history

The Day Law of 1908 required the forced segregation of schools in Kentucky, and it was in place for nearly fifty years. With the argument that separate was not the same as equal, the NAACP organized resistance against the Jim Crow laws in the 1930s. They began fighting for African American entrance in to higher education institutions. In the 1950s, a mass resistance began, and people all over the state began entering previously segregated schools. I found it very interesting that the first African American student to enroll in a previously segregated high school, Lafayette, was in fact female, in 1955, and she faced little to no resistance.

There were many lawsuits filed in the state of Kentucky, which were met with difficulty by many white communities. Unlike many states in the further Deep South, the school board and state government were more or less committed to abide by the desegregation laws. By the mid 1960s, nearly all of Kentucky’s schools were in fact desegregated. The first African American person to attend the University of Kentucky was male, but both males and females received somewhat equal discrimination. Different accounts in the oral histories in “Freedom on the Border: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky” describe different experiences of different students attending the University of Kentucky. One narrator describes harsh reactions from other students, but rather levelheaded reactions and attitudes from professors, who seemed to discourage unfair treatment from other students. George Logan of Lexington described a time when the students in one of his classes put rope around a chair that said “For Colored Only”, and the professor that promised “Tomorrow you will be treated as a human being.” Iola Harding recalled “Nobody spoke to you, nobody engaged you and stuff like that. But after I was around there a while, a few people did.” There were boycotts and mobs in many parts of the state, and many faced very difficult opposition and had to be escorted by police to and from school.

In general, the feeling I got from the oral histories that both men and women were treated equally unfairly in terms of desegregating the education in Kentucky.

Educators for Integrated Education

February 10, 2013 in 1920s-30s, 1940s-1950s, 1950s-1960s, Intellectual history, Primary source, Social history

Book cover, Freedom on the Border

Freedom on the Border

As a result of the constitutional affirmation of Kentucky’s Day Law in 1908, schools throughout Kentucky continued to be segregated. The developing movement to end segregated education, however, came in two distinct waves, according to oral history accounts in Fosl and K’Meyer’s “Freedom on the Border”, with the first beginning in the 1930s, and the second in 1950. Initially, active members of the NAACP made the decision to target the integration of education beginning at the highest level first. Thus, medical education and graduate level integration were of major concern to actions toward segregation.

The second wave of segregation, beginning in 1950, was recognized as “massive resistance” to the numerous, public grade schools that had yet to see reform. Schools began to rapidly desegregate in the coming decade with nearly 92% of all Kentucky schools having been integrated by 1964, however policies of implementing “freedom of choice” plans in schools would not contribute to complete integration. These plans involved students deciding where they would like to attend school and often put African American youths at risk because of deeply-rooted prejudices throughout the White community. These prejudices were not only espoused from major racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan but from within average families. As a result of the Cold War, white supremacists traditions, such as the defense of segregation, could carry on at the familial level as perpetrators eradicated any threat of communism.

During the second major wave in support of desegregation, models for the movement emerged such as Audrey Grevious. Grevious worked at the Kentucky Village, formerly Greendale Reformatory, for delinquent children. This campus was segregated in terms of race and gender. Integration efforts throughout the community had already begun in the form of stand-ins, sit-ins, marches, etc. Grevious, during an oral history interview, discusses the fact that while growing up, she lived under the confines of segregation but wasn’t unhappy because she possessed no knowledge of any other kind of life. Although Grevious “didn’t know any better to be unhappy”, her attendance of a conference in New York drastically changed her perspective and motivated her to become radically involved with the movement for integration in Lexington. Grevious became an educator because the smartest people she had ever known were teachers and she wanted to give back to her community and those who had prepared her “to live in a world that wasn’t split in the middle”. Her goal became to prepare her students in case “the change ever came” – that change being integration. She also acknowledged the fact that she “could not ask others to make a change and while she worked in a segregated environment” herself.

Photo of Audrey Grevious

Audrey Grevious

Audrey Grevious and others share their stories and memories of educational segregation but she illustrates an important point in her interview that no one tries to remember the negative that happened. In summary, Black youths, of both genders, enrolled in public education during the movement for integration were placed under the scrutiny of society yet they received immense support from within their own community and were under the guidance of many strong-willed educators such as Grevious who would continue to work for the permanence of equality for all in Kentucky schools.

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Sources:

Wikipedia contributors. “Cold War.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 7 Feb. 2013. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.

The History Makers. “Civic Makers: Audrey Grevious.” The HistoryMakers. Web. 10 February 2013.

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.

“KET | Living the Story | The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky.” Glossary, Audrey Grevious. Web. 10 February 2013.

 

 

by mookygc

More is Less

February 5, 2013 in Oral history, Social history

I can not pretend to know much, if anything about life before the 1990s, especially not as an African American, and I have no basis to know what it was like to grow up in Kentucky, or anywhere else for that matter, during the civil rights movements, and the decades of strife that faced our ancestors.

By most accounts, living in Kentucky as an African American would have been terrifying in the early twentieth century. Jennie Wilson, who was born in 1900, spoke in an interview about “Third Monday”, the day of the month when all the white men would get drunk and go harass anyone who was African American: “We always dreaded third Monday we didn’t know what they were going to do. And they didn’t shoot through the house but they shot through the one up on the hill. But they told my father to come out, and he told them to come in; and they didn’t, And my mother was on her knees praying that they wouldn’t come in. ‘Cause she knew they would kill all of us. I don’t know why they hated us so.”

On the other hand, while listening to Reinette Jones speak I was surprised to learn that Kentucky was more ahead of the times in terms of desegregation, especially in schools. I learned that Kentucky had several counties with desegregated schools much earlier than was required by law, and those schools were in fact forced to segregate at one point. There seem to be quite a few contradictions in our history between fact and perception. This research is forcing me to look at things I never would have, and I feel that the more I learn, the less I know.

by mookygc

Segregation in Kentucky

February 5, 2013 in 1920s-30s, 1940s-1950s, Social history

There is a “myth” of sorts in Kentucky that suggests segregation in Kentucky was not as bad as it was in parts of our country further South. Mainly, the example used to support this fact is that buses in most local communities were not segregated, and African Americans never lost the right to vote. Historian George C. Wright called the segregation in Louisville “Polite Racism”. Regardless of these examples, most things about day to day life for African Americans in Kentucky were segregated. For example, most public facilities, such as libraries, bathrooms, water fountains, swimming pools, amusement parks, stores and restaurants were segregated. It was even specified which door of a house you were to use depending on the color of your skin. Anne Butler of Stanford spoke in Freedom on the Border: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky about a time when she went to get something from her father at a house he was wallpapering, and was told “The next time you come here, you go to the back door.”

Many of the voices in both The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South and Freedom on the Border suggest similar notions that often people on both sides of segregation didn’t know what was going on, or how big of an issue it was. In the Introduction of The Maid Narratives, a white narrator is quoted in saying “That’s just the way things were done; we didn’t really stop to think about it.” Similarly, in Freedom on the Border, Joyce Hamilton Berry explains that she “never knew that they had black and white bathrooms in Kentucky, because I had never been to one.” Parents often shielded their children from the harsh realities of the world, and many African American and White children alike can remember specific moments when they realized something was going on.

Like many things, when you are in the middle of an issue such as the implementation of segregation or the concept of “Separate But Equal” Policy, it is nearly impossible to see the forest for the trees. One might see specific instances of injustice, but not question it or even be able to because that was “Just the way  things were done.”

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Van, Wormer Katherine S., David W. Jackson, and Charletta Sudduth. The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2012. Print.

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.

Advancing the Race of African-Americans

February 5, 2013 in 1920s-30s, Social history

Nearly all the laws manifested in racial segregation were enacted in the late 1800s. The Jim Crow laws replaced the Black Codes once society transitioned from one dominated by slavery and farming to a modern one with burgeoning cities and suburbs. Along with it, the infamous 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case was put in place, upholding the separate but equal doctrine. Although slavery seemed to be dying down, the fight for equality was far from over.

“The help”

By the turn of the 20th century, African-Americans were working in homes or taking on other forms of manual labor away from the countryside. Many women worked as maids or “help” as portrayed in The Maid Narratives. At this point, these women were no longer required to live with their employers and often had families of their own or held a second job. Interestingly, young white children learned many life lessons and grew close to their African-American caretakers. Segregation and racial inequality were usually learned through a parent’s scolding or observations in daily life. In addition, “the help” was sometimes seen as part of the family and the white women of the home even looked to them for advice and reassurance.

Despite the slight improvement in the treatment of African-Americans in society, many were still left unsatisfied.  In the Great Migration of the early 1900s, millions of African-Americans left the South for a better life in cities of the North, Midwest, and Western parts of the United States. Wages were often higher in these areas and there were more opportunities for upward mobility, especially in industry work. Racial prejudices were also less severe in places outside of the South, allowing for the growth of “Black metropolises” that included newspapers, jazz clubs, churches, and businesses serving as havens for ambitious African-Americans.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Around this time, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was established with a mission “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.” Focusing on issues such as the disenfranchisement of African-Americans, lynching, eliminating Jim Crow, and other civil rights matters, the NAACP was founded by a group of white and black men and women, including W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, and Archibald Grimké. I think the most amazing part about this organization is how long it has remained in society. Since 1909, the NAACP has continued to voice concerns for all minorities, not just African-Americans. In fact, there is a chapter on early every college campus in America. Membership is open to people of any race and to anyone willing to make known the struggles faced by minorities still today.

Resources

“Great Migration (African American).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 02 Apr. 2013. Web. 04 Feb. 2013.

“Jim Crow Laws.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Jan. 2013. Web. 04 Feb. 2013.

“National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 02 Jan. 2013. Web. 04 Feb. 2013.

“Plessy v. Ferguson.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 02 Apr. 2013. Web. 04 Feb. 2013.

Van, Wormer Katherine S., David W. Jackson, and Charletta Sudduth. The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2012. Print.

Louisville, Kentucky: Social Segregation

February 3, 2013 in 1940s-1950s, 1950s-1960s, Social history

Image of Freedom on the Border, including Kentucky Oral Histories

Freedom on the Border, including Kentucky Oral Histories

Without a doubt, segregation plagued Kentucky in the mid twentieth century, in cities and rural areas.  In the urban areas, however, segregation infiltrated all public forums and created immense segmentation of communities. In areas such as Louisville, segregation not only limited education and workplaces, but also leisure activities and social environments. In the book Freedom on the Border, an oral history from Eleanor Jordan of Louisville discusses segregation in a local amusement park. She recalls, “We would always ask the same question: “Can we go?” My mother and father would almost simultaneously say, “No, you can’t go.” We’d kind of sit there and then as we passed it, we’d say, “Well, why can’t we go?” That’s when there was just this deafening silence in the car.” (Life under Segregation, 17) This conversation was undoubtedly shared among many African American families in the area whose children experienced similar societal limitations. The children of this era, however, would grow up to live in a society that would not see public equality for quite some time.

Photo of Anne Braden, ALCU

Anne Braden, ALCU

In a similar mode, housing communities were segregated, especially in urban areas such as Louisville, where neighborhoods were in close range of one another. A home should be a beacon of safety, regardless of the location, yet many African American families were forced from their homes and from all-white neighborhoods. Anne and Carl Braden of Louisville attempted to eliminate the housing segregation of the area by purchasing a home in an all-white neighborhood for an African American family to live in. This house was soon bombed, threatening the safety of the family, and placing the blame on Carl Braden for his attempt at integration. At his trial, he was defended by a member of the ALCU, the American Civil Liberties Union, and his conviction was eventually overturned, making headway for the integration of the community and membership in the ALCU. These gains were small, but notable, and were important steps toward equality in Kentucky’s urban areas.

 

 

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Wikipedia contributors. “Anne Braden.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 23 Jan. 2013. Web. 4 Feb. 2013.

Wikipedia contributors. “American Civil Liberties Union.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 27 Jan. 2013. Web. 4 Feb. 2013.

Wikipedia contributors. “History of Louisville, Kentucky.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 30 Jan. 2013. Web. 4 Feb. 2013.

“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

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