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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.

She Made and Left Her Mark

December 9, 2010 in 1960s-1970s

One can only stand in awe of the accomplishments of women and African American at that who were born at a time when little was expected of them yet they achieved so much. Lois Morris was one of those women. Born in the late 1920’s in the south, Mississippi to be exact, she has a resume that is very impressive. She was an educator who taught at both the high school and college level. With an M.A.in political science she put her theory into practice by becoming a politician. She served three terms on the Louisville, KY., Board of Aldermen, as was a mayorial candidate. She founded the National Black Women for Political Action was a charter member of the Louisville Urban League’s Women’s Committee, founder and president of the Louisville chapter of the National Council of Negro Women; vice-president of the Kentucky state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and secretary of the Southern Black Political Caucus. She was a constant contributor to the well being of her community. She was appointed Louisville’s first Human Relations Commission, Kentucky’s first Insurance Regulatory Board, and to the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. What motivated Lois and others like to her to accomplish what they did inspite of the political and social barriers. She was not one to complain but one who sort to make a difference. It seems that she was not all business but enjoyed some pleasures. She and her husband were know for their annual derby parties. Their parties were so popular that they were written about in the New York Times. Lois Morris was well rounded. She was also know for her style and in 1963, was named one of the twenty-one best-dressed women by Ebony magazine.

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