J. Blaine Hudson - an inspiration

Dr. J. Blaine Hudson was a beloved figure at the University of Louisville. A student leader of UofL’s Black Student Union in the late 1960s, he was once arrested for occupying an administration building as part of a call for creating a black studies program. Years later, he went from staff to history instructor to a tenured professor in the Pan African Studies department. Hudson eventually rose to the position of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; he served from 2005 through 2012.

A scholar of the Underground Railroad, Hudson had a strong presence and calm demeanor that he brought to many social issues facing the university. A popular teacher and an outspoken advocate for social justice, he served as a mentor to many students and faculty of all races, genders and backgrounds. He also was a powerful voice in Kentucky history and in the local community, where he established programming that to this day ties the university to the African-American community.

Upon his death in 2013, the university sought an appropriate recognition of his contributions to the community. His panel serves as the center point of Charles H. Parrish, Jr. Freedom Park, a fitting tribute to a man who worked painstakingly for the park’s creation and whose legacy looms large over the university and the community.