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Ekstrom Library

Celebrating Black History: Louisville

Louisville History

Thomas Blue and the staff of Western Branch, Louisville Free Public Library in 1927.

Louisville has a legacy of Black excellence. In 1905, the Louisville Western Branch Library opened and became the first library in the nation to serve African American patrons with an exclusively African American staff. Reverend Thomas Fountain Blue became the first African American in our country to head a public library. Please explore the links below to discover more about Black history in Louisville. 

Louisville Today

Breonna Taylor memorial at Injustice Square.

In 2020, Louisville made national headlines after Breonna Taylor was shot and killed inside of her home by police officers. This sparked local and national protests. Black history is being made every day in Louisville as leaders work to empower their communities, to secure systemic recognition that Black Lives Matter, and to demand justice for Breonna Taylor. Please explore the links below to learn more about today's community organizations in Louisville.