Oral Histories, Tours & Exhibits

Uncovering Racial Logics: Louisville’s History of Racial Oppression and Activism

This website resource was designed in collaboration with ABI faculty, students, and community partners to highlight resources from the UofL Libraries Archives & Special Collections (ASC) for those interested in uncovering and understanding examples of racial oppression and activism in key moments of Louisville’s history. As you move through the website, you will find scanned archival documents, information about each document and the larger library collection it belongs to, and other materials related to racism, racial activism, and community organizing in Louisville, specifically in the areas of education, policing, and housing.

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1968 civil rights protest

1968: Year of Revolution, Year of Change

This digital yearbook was the final project of a University of Louisville interdisciplinary Honors Seminar in Fall 2018 called “1968: Year of Revolution, Year of Change.” Fifteen students and their professor, ABI Director Cate Fosl, delved into the social and cultural impacts of that monumental year. Each student contributed pages to the yearbook to showcase the most important currents and people they had learned about. The cover is from a booklet authored by Anne Braden about the Louisville uprising of 1968.

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Black Freedom, White Allies & Red Scare

This digital exhibit introduces visitors to a pivotal moment in US and Kentucky history that is often neglected in textbooks that cover the mid-twentieth-century Cold War and Civil Rights Eras. Step back in time and learn how one African American family’s simple desire for a new home in the suburbs wreaked dynamite and destruction, putting the southern border city of Louisville, Kentucky, at the epicenter of a hysterical Red Scare in the 1950s.

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Anne Braden speaking to group with megaphone

Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements

“Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements” is a multi-city exhibition and event series (in Philadelphia and Chicago) featuring new work by contemporary artists and poets that responds to the history of the mandate from the Black Power movement to “organize your own” community against racism.

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Front of a project building complex

Home for Us All: Fair Housing in Louisville-Jefferson County Oral History Collection

The University of Louisville Digital Library hosts this oral history collection that provides perspectives on Louisville’s housing history from the 1960s to 2011. Land developers, city planners, social justice activists, and other advocates for fair housing generously shared their experiences and reflections on residential patterns in Louisville in order to aid in future research and to foster knowledge about how the city arrived at its present state of housing segregation.

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Anne Braden and an African American man speaking to crowd

Oral Histories from Louisville’s Civil Rights Movement

Two exhibits: ABI program coordinator Amber Duke, in collaboration with the University of Louisville Oral History Center and University Libraries, explored the history of the Kentucky Alliance against Racist and Political Repression.  The Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research, in collaboration with University Libraries, marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Louisville public accommodations demonstrations with an online exhibit.

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civil rights google map of Louisville Kentucky

A Self-Guided Tour of Louisville’s Civil Rights History

Whether you are from Louisville or visiting for the first time, we invite you to learn how the twentieth-century civil rights movement changed lives here at the South’s northern border–for African Americans, but also for whites & now for the new immigrants who are bringing greater cultural diversity in the 21st century.  The tour was created in partnership with the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, Kentucky Center for African American Heritage and the Muhammad Ali Center.

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