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Louisville's 1961 Civil Rights Demonstrations: Interviews

50 Years Later...
Examining Louisville's 1961 Civil Rights Demonstrations

Interviews

Merv Aubespin

The audio clips and transcripts are in the process of being moved to a new server.

Oral History interview with Merv Aubespin, a junior high school teacher at the time of the sit-ins and later became the first black journalist for the Courier-Journal, conducted on September 14, 1999 by Dr. Tracy K’Meyer. Mr. Aubespin discusses the unique aspects of the 1961 student demonstrations in Louisville, Kentucky. He explains reactions protestors received from other citizens and the police. He discusses the support of white Louisvillans. In the video clip Mr. Aubespin describes protests of various public accommodations in Louisville including the Blue Boar restaurant, department store cafeterias and several different theaters.

Audio courtesy of the University of Louisville Oral History Center; video courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society.

Mickey Carroll

The audio clips and transcripts are in the process of being moved to a new server.

Mickey Carroll participated in the sit-ins as a high school student. He is the son of Alfred Carroll, a lawyer for NAACP anti-discrimination lawsuits in the 1940s-50s.

Oral History interview with Mickey Carroll conducted on November 9, 2000 by Dr. Tracy K’Meyer. Mickey Carroll discusses the experiences of students participating in the sit-in demonstrations and some of the discrimination African Americans faced at downtown Louisville accommodations.

Audio courtesy of the University of Louisville Oral History Center.

Raoul Cunningham

The audio clips and transcripts are in the process of being moved to a new server.

In this video clip Raoul Cunningham, current president of Louisville's National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), talks about his after high school protest activities targeting downtown Louisville department stores that would not serve African Americans. He explains how the protests grew into an economic boycott that became known as the Nothing New for Easter campaign. As a 14-year-old member of the NAACP youth council, Mr. Cunningham recruited other young people to the protests.

Video courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society.

Evelyn Glass

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Oral History interview with Evelyn Glass, a member of the NAACP and among a small group of adults who helped to plan and coordinate the sit-in campaign after it was started by the students, conducted on September 20, 2000 by Dr. Tracy K’Meyer. Ms. Glass discusses how the sit-in demonstrations were organized. She recalls an incident when two fair-skinned African Americans managed to get inside and be served at a segregated facility during a protest.

Audio courtesy of the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage.

Louis Mudd

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Oral History interview with Louis Mudd, a participant in the sit-ins as a high school student, conducted on August 28, 2000 by Dr. Tracy K’Meyer. Mr. Mudd describes some of the uncomfortable situations segregation in public accommodations created, and an act of resistance his grandmother took when he was a young child.

Audio courtesy of the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage.

Runnette Robinson

The audio clips and transcripts are in the process of being moved to a new server.

Oral History interview with Runnette Robinson, a participant in the sit-ins as a high school student, conducted on September 9, 2000 by Dr. Tracy K’Meyer. Ms. Robinson gives a detailed description of the experience of segregation in public accommodations. She also discusses how parents reacted to their children’s arrests.

Audio courtesy of the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage.

Gerald White

The audio clips and transcripts are in the process of being moved to a new server.

Oral History interview with Gerald White, a participant in the sit-ins as a high school student, conducted on August 29, 2000 by Dr. Tracy K’Meyer. Mr. White talks about the centrality of non-violent resistance in the sit-in demonstrations.

Audio courtesy of the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage.

"All the kids during the school day would pass the word around school to all of the other kids to make sure they went to Quinn Chapel when school was out... all the kids from Central, Male High School, Shawnee, Manual, would converge and meet at Quinn...

We would march down to Fourth Street, go up to Chestnut Street to Fourth Street, and we had already been given our instructions. We would break off into groups. The groups would go to specific business locations. That's where all the white theaters were. Blacks had only three theaters that they could go to. They were all very run down. Filthy and just nasty. We went to theaters. We had been given instructions on how to form a line and keep it rotating, keep it moving..."

--Mickey Carroll

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