Front cover

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Copyright

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Contents

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p. vii

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Series Foreword

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p. ix

In the field of oral history, Kentucky is a national leader. Over the past several decades, tens of thousands of its citizens have been interviewed. The Kentucky Remembered series brings into print the most important of those collections, with each volume focusing on a particular subject. ...

Map

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p. x

Chronology

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pp. xi-xv

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

Popular images of the movement for African American civil rights center mostly on the Deep South: from the Mississippi delta to the smokestacks of the industrial Alabama city African Americans called “Bombingham.” Kentucky, situated at the region’s northern border and once central to the struggle for African American freedom ...

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1. Life Under Segregation

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pp. 13-37

Although the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in December 1865 ended slavery in Kentucky, by the end of the century a new system segregated African Americans in nearly every aspect of public space and relegated them to second-class status in the economy, education, and social life. ...

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Profie: Jesse Crenshaw

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pp. 38-48

At the dawn of the twenty-first century, Jesse Crenshaw was one of only five African Americans in the Kentucky General Assembly. His district—the 77th, which he has served since 1993—includes parts of Lexington and Fayette County, and he was the first African American ever elected to represent that area. ...

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2. Desegregation in Education

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pp. 49-79

Except for a handful of tiny private schools operated by free people of color, very few opportunities existed for African Americans to obtain an education in antebellum Kentucky. Although literacy was not criminalized for slaves in Kentucky as it was in some southern states, many owners punished slaves who sought education, ...

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3. Opening Public Accommodations

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pp. 80-115

Courageous high school and college students facing arrest or verbal and physical abuse to get a simple hamburger at a lunch counter form some of the most poignant images of the civil rights movement. In many people’s minds, those images are the movement. ...

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Profile: Helen Fisher Frye

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pp. 116-124

When the civil rights movement in Kentucky was at its height, Helen Fisher Frye was both a public school teacher and president of the Danville NAACP. She led that organization in campaigns to end Jim Crow in public housing and accommodations as well as to open city government to African Americans. ...

Illustrations follow page 120

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4. Open Housing

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pp. 125-148

Once African American Kentuckians had won the right to eat in restaurants and shop in stores, the next great battle in the state’s civil rights movement was for equal opportunity in housing. Since emancipation, black and white residences had become increasingly segregated. ...

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5. Economic Opportunity

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pp. 149-176

Jim Crow in employment, with its resulting economic inequality between blacks and whites, has been perhaps the harshest, most enduring problem confronting Kentucky’s African Americans. Yet this issue also drew relatively fewer dramatic or unified protests, and is least prominent in Kentuckians’ shared memory ...

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Profile: Julia Cowans

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pp. 177-185

Julia Cowans’s narrative offers a window into what it was like to grow up black and poor in an eastern Kentucky coal camp. Cowans was born in 1925, in an era when the coal economy was still in a “boom,” drawing African Americans to Appalachian Kentucky as an attractive alternative to the harsher field labor options ...

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6. Black Consciousness, Black Power

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pp. 186-212

In the mid-1960s the cry of “Black Power!” resounded throughout the nation, destabilizing the nonviolent civil rights movement of earlier in the decade and generating a new kind of militancy among African Americans.1 By the latter years of the decade, the philosophy of Black Power began to gain a following in Kentucky, ...

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Profile: J. Blaine Hudson

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pp. 213-224

J. Blaine Hudson is an author, scholar, university administrator, and Louisville native whose activism in the latter phases of the 1960s civil rights movement helped to usher in major institutional changes at the University of Louisville. Born in 1949 , Hudson grew up amid the massive social upheavals of the 1960s, ...

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7. Black Political Power

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pp. 225-247

In many ways the defining feature of the modern civil rights struggle was the effort to secure the right to vote and political power for African Americans. After the brief democratic promise offered during Reconstruction and despite the Fifteenth Amendment’s guarantee of the right to vote for African American men, ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 248-262

In this volume, more than one hundred Kentuckians offer lessons about the conditions of life under Jim Crow and the persistence required to overcome discrimination in education, employment, and public life. Besides painting a vivid picture of dramatic moments, such as the March on Frankfort, ...

Appendix: Narrators

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pp. 263-284

Notes

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pp. 285-296

Index

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pp. 297-309