KENTUCKY DESEGREGATION: AN ABSTRACT OF EVENTS

 

1949:            University of Kentucky admits blacks to graduate and professional schools

1950;   Day law amended and University of Louisville, Berea, Ursuline, Bellarmine and Nazareth colleges opened to Negroes

1954:            University of Kentucky opens undergraduate divisions to blacks

1955:   Other state colleges open to all applicants.

1960:            Kentucky Commission on Human Rights established by Kentucky General assembly, prohibiting discrimination in state employment.

1961:   Negroes admitted to 70 percent of state=s drive-in movies, and 114 of 116 libraries admit Negroes.

1962:   State legislature authorizes all cities to establish local commissions on human rights, to forbid discrimination in places of public accommodation and to ban discrimination in teacher employment.

1963:            Governor Bert t. Combs issues Governor=s code of Fair Practice in March, covering internal operation of state government, contractors, et cetera.

1963:   in June, governor Combs issued Fair Services Executive order, encouraging state licensing agencies to discountenance discrimination by places of public accommodation they license.  Order was later abrogated.

1964:   Civil Rights advocates conduct march on Frankfort; Kentucky General assembly fails to pass public accommodations law; civil rights marchers hold starve-in House gallery.

1966:   Model civil rights law passed by Kentucky General assembly, prohibiting discrimination in employment and public accommodations.

1966:   >Dead letter@ segregation laws repealed by Kentucky General Assembly, covering the Day Law, slave marriages, et cetera.

1968:            Kentucky Fair Housing Act passed on March 15, making equal housing opportunity a reality for Negroes of Kentucky.

 

LOUISVILLE=S TIMETABLE OF CIVIL RIGHTS PROGRESS

 

1941:   General Hospital grants Negro nurses partial training.

1943:            Director of public safety, Joseph F. Donaldson, doubles size of black police and names three sergeants.

1947:   Four Negro clergymen appeal to Mayor E. Leland Taylor to allow Negroes to use all city parks.  Leland objects, saying that such an action might cause a race riot.

1948:            Augustus Wilson Edwards named first Negro police lieutenant.

1951:            Louisville Municipal college closed, and students of all races admitted to the University of Louisville.  Dr. Charles H. Parrish, Jr., appointed University=s first Negro faculty member.

1952:            Louisville Free Public Library opens its (10) neighborhood branches to all citizens.  Notation:  In 1948, library opened its main building to all.

1952:   St. Joseph Infirmary admits two black women for nurse=s training.

1953:   Negro females accepted for nurse=s training at St. Anthony=s Hospital, Louisville General Hospital and SS Mary and Elizabeth Hospital.


1953:            Negroes admitted to attend three-week presentation of The Tall Kentuckian, in tribute to Abraham Lincoln, at Iroquois Amphitheater.  After the play ended its Louisville performance, Negroes were excluded again from attendance to amphitheater.

1954:            Louisville Theatrical Association reverses policy by decision to sell tickets to all persons.

1954:   Mayor Andrew Broaddus orders makes announcement that all civil service jobs in city departments and agencies would be filled regardless of race.

1956:            Desegregation of Louisville public schools begins under Omar Carmichael, superintendent of schools.

1959:   Youth council of the NAACP sets up picket line at Brown Theater, protesting the refusal of theater to sell tickets to blacks for Porgy and Bess.

1962:            Louisville human Relations commission founded.

1963:   City public accommodations ordinance passed.

1967:   On December 13 a Louisville Open Housing Ordinance is passed.

 

 


THE 1968 BLACK POWER RIOT IN LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

 

 

 

            Lyman T. Johnson, 1906-1997, advocated and practiced non-violent picketing and sit-ins at establishments that practiced racial discrimination in Louisville, Kentucky.  He taught American history as a public school teacher and often recruited students to picket and sit-in at stores.  He sought a new and democratic society that included African Americans in every area of American life and culture.  The Louisville riot of May 27 to June 4, 1968 shocked and disappointed him because it occurred in the area of 28th Street and Greenwood.  The area was being revitalized and the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had moved its office there to be part of the area renaissance.  There was hope and expectations that the revitalization movement would succeed and spread into the whole West End.  The fight for racial democracy was at a crossroads and internal ideological debates were intense in the nation over the direction of the American Civil Rights movement.  Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s traditional doctrine of Christian civil disobedience came under attack by “Black Power” advocates.  This fight occurred in Louisville and fully emerged in May 1968 as part of a “Black Power riot” centered at 28th and Greenwood. 

The local press and most observes saw the Louisville riot as a typical race riot sparked by an incident with police.  The police, South and North, enforced racial segregation and discrimination laws and practices that the civil rights movement bitterly contested. A national study found police and black citizen incidents sparked numerous riots.  The report noted, ‘To some Negroes police have come to symbolize white power, white racism, and white repression.  And the fact is that many police do reflect and express these white attitudes.”1  The Louisville riot revealed both a fight against this pattern and an ideological civil war within the civil rights movement in Louisville as part of a national—even international—debate on how to empower nonwhite “Victims of Democracy.”2  For some, “Black Power” became a pro-riot ideology in defiance of white racial authoritarianism and against black leaders of orderly Christian nonviolent protest. 

The police were the practical government in the community that many blacks come into contact since the police enforce the racial authoritarian rules.  The citizen and policeman script of good citizenship entails obeying the police officer to maintain law and order.  This “public transcript” of deference between the powerful and weak during the civil rights fights provoked normally docile black crowds to come out of the shadows and private places where their most bitter complaints were made safely among themselves.  Their “offstage” complaints or “hidden transcripts”3 erupted into the street in a public confrontation over enforcement of real or perceived racial authoritarian rules.  A new psychology of confrontation emerged that empowered the crowd and individual blacks.  Black individuals and crowds began to reverse their roles and status and reconstitute themselves on the spot by deputizing themselves as individuals, as a new public authority by self-acclamations of defiance and actions that put themselves at risk of combat with policemen.  Their challenge to the policemen constituted a public defiance and denunciation of the authority of the officers and delegitimized their authority to detain, arrest and apply force and violence to their bodies.

On May 8, 1968, Patrolmen James B. Minton and Edward J. Wegenast stopped a 31-year-old school teacher named Charles Thomas whose car seemed similar to a description of a car used in a burglary.  A black crowd converged and Manfred G. Reid, a 31-year-old real estate broker, was told to stand back and keep quiet after inquires about Thomas who he knew.   The crowd swelled to 200 black people.  Officers Michael A. Clifford and Ralph J. Zehnder arrived

as backup to control the crowd. The crowd continued to watch these four white policemen arresting several blacks.  Officer Clifford allegedly pushed his pointed finger into the chest of Reid, telling him to keep back and quiet.  Reid challenged the normal public transcript and called Officer Clifford a “riot agitator.”4   Reid felt the police were acting unlawfully and with unjust intent.  The police, in his view, were engaged in criminal activity and the not the law-abiding crowd, himself or Charles Thomas.  The crowd shared these new community standards of moral and ethnic psychology to deputize themselves on the spot to enforce their community standards of ethnic law enforcement.  The crowd began yelling at the officers. 

The crowd shifted from being passive to active spectators, threatening to become full-fledged actors on this street theater stage.  Thomas shouted at the officers, “You stopped me because I’m a Negro.  You stopped me right here in the ghetto.  If it had been a white man you would not have done it.”5    Thomas loudly objected to his perception of unequal treatment based upon white racial domination of him in his own community.  He thought since he was not demonstrating to “integrate” himself into the white community like civil rights demonstrators, he would be safe in his segregated black community.  Integration demonstrations heightened many blacks awareness of their own black community and a renewed sense of appreciation for black congregation.  Whites often publicly demonstrated their anger and violence and rejected association with blacks.6   This made Thomas’ detainment and arrest even more galling because it violated his personal ethnic dignity and autonomy as a person.  His treatment also violated the same-shared community standards of the crowd.   Thomas and Reid were part of the black professional middle class.  The public accosting of them by white policemen symbolized disrespect for the respectable black citizen on down to the working class blacks in the community.  This disrespect became both individual and an affront to blacks as a group and unacceptable in the age of racial grievances and a psychology of black empowerment (Black Power).

 The arrests of Thomas and Reid aroused the indignation of both middle and working class blacks and youths.  Reid, Thomas, and the crowd rejected the majesty of the law enforcers who they perceived to be motivated by unjust intent and abuse against them as black people.  A scuffle ensued after defiant words.  This common event but uncommon language and behavior by blacks reflected an intense feeling in many black communities that the formal system of American democracy and criminal law excluded them and they were not going to respect it or be “victims of democracy.”  The police, pursuing a lead and thinking this was a normal routine stop, discovered they had encountered an altered psychology and behavior pattern in black individuals and crowds. 

A group of black leaders converged on City Hall and met with Police Chief C.J. Hyde, Safety Director Kenneth J. Newman and Mayor Kenneth A. Schmied.  Kentucky State Representative Hughes McGill told the officials that the black citizenship rights must be protected and the community could not “tolerate this kind of brutality in the streets” by police officers.  The executive director of Plymouth Settlement House, Morris Jeff, declared, “The kind of stupid act that took place yesterday (Wednesday) is the kind of thing that causes riots.”   The four police officers that scuffled with Thomas and Reid were suspended and one fired but was later reinstated.7  

A community protest rally developed because of the arrests of Thomas and Reid and “near riot” by the crowd on May 8.  On May 27, the rally occurred at 28th Street and Greenwood in the West End, a predominately black neighborhood.8  The West End Community Council organized youth and young adults into a separate group called Black Unity League of Kentucky (BULK) from the older adults and civil rights leaders.   BULK was led by Samuel Hawkins and Robert Kuyu Sims.  Hawkins and Sims said that BULK’s goal was to “instill identity and self-pride” into young blacks. 9   Hawkins had met James R. Cortez in Washington, D.C. and sent him money to arrange for Stokely Carmichael to speak at their Louisville protest rally against the arrests of Thomas and Reid.  Cortez came himself and never arranged for Carmichael to appear.  Indeed, he misrepresented his relationship with Carmichael.  They were not right-hand friends and Cortez barely knew him.10 

The new consciousness of black youth and militant leaders became evident by their use of the slogan “Black Power” and demand for it.  The term had been revitalized as a result of civil rights activist James Meredith’s June 1966 “March Against Fear” along a Mississippi road where a lone white man shot him.  Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Council, and Stokely Carmichael and Willie Ricks of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and others took up Meredith’s march.  Ricks and Carmichael started using the organizing and rally cry slogan, “Black Power.”  Some started singing “We shall overrun” in place of the civil rights anthem “We shall overcome.”  King found this alarming.   King thought Black Power “was an unfortunate choice of words for a slogan.”  It divided rather than united people.  He added, “The words ‘black’ and ‘power’ together give the impression that we are talking about black domination rather than black equality.” 11  Increasingly, some blacks were thinking of retaliatory violence and physical resistance to unjust white domination justified by racial discriminatory laws.  Even in relatively minor, routine policing problems became arenas of confrontation.  Blacks were starting to police the police.

James R. Cortez spoke at Zion Baptist Church.  He wore a black leather jacket that had become the symbol of the Black Panther Party members.  Black men needed to shoulder more responsibility for solving black problems and take the burden off black women, he said.  Revitalized notions of black manhood was a theme that became a repeated refrain by Louisville militants and across the nation.  Another black youth gave Cortez “the black power handshake, symbol of togetherness.”  This became a common occurrence noted by Bill Peterson, a Louisville Courier-Journal reporter.  Elsewhere Robert Kuyu Sims declared, “I used to march with Martin Luther King.  I used to preach non-violence.  But no more.”12   Cortez sported a black beret worn by Black Panther members and shaded eyeglasses that reflected a “Cool Pose” to impress the crowd with the new militant symbols of manhood and empowerment.13  Some blacks began to associate their manhood with confrontations with authority and anyone, black or white, who opposed militant language and action.  New symbols of dress, language, ethnic handshakes and hairstyles, like the “Natural,” (a bushy hairstyle) reflected a new ethnic ideology of pride, manhood and militancy.  These symbols of militancy and unity took hold at Zion Baptist Church among some youth and young men and at the rally on May 27 at 28th Street and Greenwood.

The leaders of BULK and James Cortez circulated a bulletin for a rally to call for the firing of police officer Michael Clifford in the near riot incident with Reid and Thomas on May 8.  Stokely Carmichael of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was the featured speaker.  In fact, Carmichael had no idea of the speaking engagement and it was a tactic to draw a crowd and by a false association with Carmichael gain status and empower the local militants and Cortez. 14  Carmichael and H. Rap Brown came to symbolize in their person, dress and behavior Black Power in the nation and in Louisville.   About 400 people showed up for the rally and perhaps as many as 700 were there by the time it ended.15  

A series of speakers talked to the crowd.  James Cortez harangued the crowd, “I am Stokely’s right hand man. Stokely wanted to be here, but another honky trick is keeping Stokely out of Louisville.”  Cortez knowingly lied, claiming Carmichael’s Eastern Airline plane had been held up to keep him from attending the rally.  He charged that officials were refusing to let his plane land.  The plane was circulating around the airport.  Nevertheless, he claimed, Carmichael still might make it to the rally.  Sam Hawkins of BULK denounced the reinstatement of officer Clifford.  He attacked Civil Service Board member Chester B. Clark and other middle class blacks that allegedly supported the reinstatement of Clifford. 16   Again, this was false.  Clark resigned because of the reinstatement of officer Michael Clifford.  The militants pressured and undermined the black elected officials and civil rights leaders as part of their grab for influence and power within the black community, along with the right to confront white power with a new ideology and fighting plan. 

A black Muslim, Charles X, and Robert Sims spoke and there were re-appearances of Hawkins and Cortez. During the rally some in the crowd began shouting:  “Black power, black power, black is beautiful” while holding clenched fists in the air as a black power salute.17   Sims angrily noted that in a meeting with Mayor Kenneth A. Schmied that he told them his family’s furniture trucks drove through the West End delivering furniture daily.  Sims said, “I’m not preaching violence but if it was me, I’d turn the trucks over.”  On the top of the Moon Cleaners sat 25 teenagers.  Sims turned to them said, “You have to organize yourselves.  Half of you are cowards, you sit on the corners and think you’re slick—you aren’t.”18   Slick meant cool or respectable, in control and smart.  In other words, stop the phony “Cool Pose,” get angry and fight back.  His direct taunt to activate these youth began to have its affect.  It appealed to their manhood to engage in confrontation, direct-action protest or riot, black power and a new symbolism demonstrated by action.  Louisville-Jefferson County Human Relations Commissioner Marvin Drane attempted to speak but was shouted down by the newly empowered crowd.  Sims said, “The reason we’re up here is that the honky (white) policemen have been brutalizing our black brothers.  We going to tell the mayor that the next time this happens, he’s going to see smoke signals (fires) coming up from the west.”  He instructed the crowd to listen to their radios and return if they hear Carmichael has arrived to speak.19   The crowd started to slowly disperse but all hell broke loose.  They had been primed for action and to be alert to respond to their newly ordained leader, Stokely Carmichael who many regarded as “Mister Black Power,” along with Malcolm X.

A riot erupted on May 27, 1968 as the rally broke up because of a number of very fundamental problems that had gone unresolved.  The immediately crisis involved the accosting and arrests of Charles Thomas and Manfred G. Reid.  Despite the false rumor, that Carmichael had been detained; it had a powerful affect on the crowd.  There were other deep social community issues at stake.  Ken Clay operated a social club at “The Corner of Jazz” and worked for an anti-poverty agency.   His Negro art shop was located next door to a pool hall.  He noted that 28th Street and Greenwood was a refuge for a few blacks after school or work since they had few social places to go.  The Metro Lounge, the Moon Cleaners and the Little Palace Restaurant were the few places blacks had to go in a socially segregated Louisville.   “When urban renewal moved everything out of the Walnut area this became one of the only gathering places for eight or 10 blacks.”  He lamented, “There’s just nowhere else to go at night for a bite to eat or a beer.”20  Urban renewal became Negro removal.  It destroyed the black central business and social-cultural district on Walnut Street where blacks could cluster for food and drink and social merriment and interaction.  The destruction of Walnut Street left the black community without identity, purpose and direction.  The core black community had no social and cultural focus.  Ken Clay was part of a new rising social and cultural leadership that attempted to provide that new focus and social site.

Black Louisvillians of all social classes bitterly lamented the decline and final destruction of the old Walnut Street days.  James C. Scott’s theory of how weak and dominated groups developed their “hidden transcript” offstage to counter dominate groups allows one to see the crisis that erupted in Louisville.  Blacks believed that they had a “privileged site” in the old Walnut Street scene and environs.21  Urban renewal shattered and destroyed Walnut Street and blacks had not revitalized it either.  There was no apparent official policy to reconstruct the segregated black social, cultural and community focus that many blacks could discern.  The black middle class had not effectively defended or revitalized the Walnut Street society and social sites. 

Blacks lost their social and cultural autonomy with the passing of Walnut Street and only memories of its “Golden Age” remained.  On Walnut Street, blacks had turned the abusive segregation system and domination with its constant insults and injuries into a positive social and cultural system of  “congregation”22 to enjoy their own company, nurture social and cultural life and to affirm each other despite exclusion from white society.  They had their social, cultural, and central business district with a felt sense of social and cultural autonomy.  Before Walnut Street declined by the late 1950s and the larger black community began to disperse or socially distend by the 1960s, Walnut Street and other black institutions held the black community together.  Central High School was a major social and educational institution that also gave focus and cohesion to the black community in the West End.23   Many blacks, old and young, were frustrated, bitter and longed for congregation similar to old Walnut Street.  Black power slogans and protest became a new sort of community emerging to strike out at the people, symbols and power elites who had let the black community down as it suffered this new and deepening social, cultural malaise with the loss of the Walnut Street as a social and cultural site.  It had served as an autonomous and “privileged site” of ethnic congregation.

Bud Dorsey said at the end of the rally, “About 30 young kids—about 11 or 12 years old—started throwing bottles and bricks at the police.  Right away the crowd started spreading to get out of the way.  The police just stood there with the kids throwing at them.”  Dorsey added, more police converged on the scene after a call for help went out.  He noted, “That’s what really started the whole thing off—the police coming into the intersection and starting to clear it out.  The kids saw them and started throwing the bottles and bricks.”  In addition, two carloads of blacks sped down the street shooting guns out of the car window.  Deborah Baker said, “The police just let them go on.”24   Nearly 25 teenagers on top of the Moon Cleaners building on the Southwest corner of the intersection and another larger and younger group were atop of the House of Champs Poolroom at 1033 Greenwood.  Some youths started throwing bottles and rocks at the police converging on the scene.  Some youth threw light bulbs that broke and sounded like gunshots.  One youth said of the police converging on the scene, “Man, when I saw those guns (drawn by police), it was all over.  That’s when I started throwing.”  One person exclaimed, “Oh, Baby, It’s Finally Here.”25   A full-scale riot erupted.

The riot eventually involved 2,187 national guardsmen, a fully mobilized police force, 472 people arrested and $200,000 in damages from breaking, entering, looting and burnings of buildings.  Some merchants scrawled black-owned on their businesses in hopes of being spared from destruction.  The typical person arrested for looting was 23 years of age; 342 were adults and 130 were under age 18.  Those arrested were males except for three. Seventeen percent of the adults were un-employed and the others worked.  Food stores, drugstores, dry cleaners, liquor stores, pawnshops, and some auto shops and barbershops were attacked.26  The violence was an orgy of “consumer rioting” to seize commodities.  It was not a serious assault on people or policemen.  Looting became a crime of opportunity in the midst of anarchy. 

The most serious symbolism the riot reflected was the loss of the black central business district or the old Walnut Street place of “congregation.”  The destruction occurred because they felt no ownership in the area.  Even if they had felt ownership in the emerging new black central business and cultural area of congregation, they protested equally, or more, the loss of a “privileged site” of autonomy.  The emerging 28th Street and Greenwood never measured up to the old Walnut Street community of legend, still active in memory and community lore.  Recall that Charles Thomas angrily declared to the policemen arresting him, “You stopped me because I’m a Negro.  You stopped me right here in the ghetto.  If it had been a white man you would not have done it.”  In essence, he protested the loss of his right to even congregate in a segregated area set-aside by the dominate whites for blacks.  He could not even congregate in peace in his segregated area because blacks lacked individual and collective autonomy in their own ethnic site.  The riot reflected this deeply held perception in the era of civil rights protests and the recent killing of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968.  The collapse of Walnut Street left blacks, young and old, alienated, frustrated, unhappy, and divided. 

Civil rights leaders like Lyman T. Johnson, in the interview that follows, reflected the division and disappointment of the traditional civil rights leaders and their anti-riot position. Riots and violence harmed the collective interests of blacks.  Johnson blamed the riot and rioters for halting the revitalization of the West End at 28th Street and Greenwood. The riot and destruction demoralized the local branch of the NAACP and civil rights leaders like Johnson.   They, too, were under attack by the pro-riot crowd.   The Black Power rally and riot went beyond their control and that of the police.

 

Interview with Lyman T. Johnson, 22 September 1990, Louisville, Kentucky.

The Louisville riot of 1968.  Interviewer Dr. Bruce M. Tyler. 

Auspices of the Kentucky Oral History Commission.

 

Bruce M. Tyler:            The 1968 riot over there—was it at 28th and Dumesnil (Street)?; how did that build up.  Were there any signs that something was building up in that area?

Lyman T. Johnson:             It was a last gasp at the `60s civil rights movement.  The younger bunch--you see, the civil rights agitation was done by some thoroughly indoctrinated civil rights adults during the material years.  But, generally, the movement caught fire in the `50s and `60's when the younger people added venom and vitality to the movement.  They gave the spirit to it.  Get out and jump up and shout and chant and sing all of the freedom songs. 

By 1968, the freedom movement seemed to be letting down and some of the younger, 16, 17, 18 years of age, maybe as high as 23, they were beginning to think that they hadn't got near to the movement because they were babies in the early 1960s.  But, now that they are growing up and getting large enough to be high school students, junior high school age, and some who had just finished school or just finished school age, whether they finished school or not, they were beginning to think that the movement was still going on.  These guys around 28th and Greenwood, clustered around that focal point.

Tyler:            What was the attraction at that point?

Johnson:   Well, there were some business pressures up and down that street, there. 

Tyler:  Isn't there a nightclub or two down there?

Johnson:  Yeah, yeah.  The biggest part of the business neighborhood was about three blocks further west of Greenwood and that was 28th and Dumesnil.  They had a very bustling little shopping center down there. 

Tyler:  Can you describe what kind of stores were there? 

Johnson:  Yeah, hardware stores, one good-sized A & P store.

Tyler: That was a supermarket?

Johnson:  Yeah. 

Tyler:  What was the name of the hardware store?

Johnson:  I don't know.  It was a mom and pop store that got bigger and bigger and finally it was a pretty good size hardware store. 

Tyler:  How many people did it employ?

Johnson:  About 8, but blacks with the white owner.  And there was one meat shop down there.

Tyler:  A little mom and pop store?

Johnson:  Yeah, everything was a mom and pop down there.  Now, the movement, they ganged up. 

Tyler:  Wasn't the NAACP headquarters down there?

Johnson:  Yes. 

Tyler:  And the Masonic Lodge?

Johnson:  Yes, that was down there at 28th and Dumesnil. 

Tyler:  Where was the big lodge?

Johnson:  That was the Masonic Lodge or Temple.  They had a nice little corner.  They had a branch bank, the Bank of Louisville. 

Tyler:  Did they have a clothing store?

Johnson:  Yes, it wouldn't be a Fourth Street clothing store, that's an uptown clothing store, but there was a place down there where you could buy shoes, shirts, slacks, that sort of thing. 

Tyler:  Any restaurants?

Johnson:  There was one restaurant on the corner across from the nice drug store they had down there and the Masonic Hall building.  It (restaurant) was black owned.  It ran through about three different hands.

            Now, these young people were thinking that the whites were keeping blacks from running these businesses.  Well, that wasn't sensical at all because the whites were down there rendering a service.  If they were selling hardware materials, evidently the people needed them, and would buy them.  If they were selling groceries there at the A & P store, of course A & P are in the business for profit.  They are not doing welfare work.  But at the same time, if by bringing their groceries right there to a corner, and making them available, and you want them, then that's fair exchange.  You want them, we'll sell them, and that's it. 

Tyler: Did they have black help?

Johnson:   They had black clerks.  All these places had black employees.  If there were 15, I'm just guessing, if there were 15 of these little establishments down there starting out as mom and pop stores, but as they got bigger and bigger, and the white people's children grew up, maybe one or two in the family would carry on the business on a business scale than the mom and pop and then they begin to hire blacks to be waiters and helpers in the stores.  If there were 15 of these on average, they hired six people.  Well, 6 times 15, they had 90 people getting jobs down there. 

I went out there among those youngsters down there at this other street, Greenwood, that's where they were congregating and they were going to raise hell there on Greenwood and then move, get their steam up, so to speak. 

Tyler:              Who was doing this?

Johnson:   These were just this bunch of youngsters I just mentioned.  They're 18, 17, 16 years of age who thought that the civil rights movement had come when they were too young to take part; and now it's beginning to die out; and they were coming in, as I sort of sense this thing.  No one told me this--it just looked to me like they were not going to let the civil rights movement die without them having a share in it.  And, so they had to show that they were carrying on with the movement.  They were going to finish it up.  Look, we--all these white people down here running these places.  These ought to be run by black people. 

They were talking about black power and all that kind of stuff.  When people like me on the local level and Dr. Maurice Rabb and several of us seasoned civil rights people tried to caution these young people.  Dr. Rabb was a very powerful civil rights man here in this town.  He was the NAACP vice president for some time.  He never chose to be president.  They wanted him to be president, but he said, no; I can be more effective as a vice president.  In other words, he was afraid that being president would interfere with his medical practice.  He looked after himself, along that line. 

There were several of us at that time; Rev. (W.J) Hodge was one of the adults at that time who tried to caution these young people.  Now, look guys, we have run this thing for a long time and we know just about how it's done and what not and what not.  And they said, see, see, see, they've grown old on the job and they're getting tired, and we've got to come in to show them that the job isn't finished.  So, they sort of ganged up, unorganized gangs, which really is what you call a mob.  And that mob psychology:  Let's teach whitey a lesson. 

I remember before the thing actually broke loose, the kids--I was an assistant principal at the junior high school that was right down in that neighborhood; it was then known as Parkland Junior High School.  I had pretty good rapport with the children and some of the students all during the day and that afternoon, about lunch time until school was out about 3 O'clock, kids were getting excused from classes to go down there.  I got, I want to go talk to Mister Johnson, I got to go talk with Mister Johnson.  Mister Johnson wants to see me.  They put up all kinds of excuses to get out of classes to come down there to talk to me.  Mister Johnson, they goin' to raise hell tonight.  They'll going to raise hell tonight.  I said what are they going to do?  So, they kids told me what the sentiment was.  And said, you just, you just listen now.  This thing is going to explode all up and down 28th Street. 

Well, when school was out, I packed up my little school stuff and I got out too because I--if it's going to be, I want to see the show.  I went home and I told my wife, I said, suppose we don't eat dinner tonight here at home, just don't bother about cooking or fixing up anything for dinner tonight.  Let's go down and have dinner at one of the restaurants.  She said, OK, it suits me.  I don't want to warm up the kitchen anyhow.  I went right down to 28th and Garland, which is one block from 28th and Greenwood.  We went into a little restaurant there, a nice little all-black establishment.  We put in our order and the waitress came and brought us our dinner. 

Just as the waitress was putting the dinner on our table, one kid rushed in:  `Hey, Mister Johnson, you, Oh, Oh, Mister Johnson, Mister Johnson, you, you, you betta, you gotta hurry and get your dinner and get otta here!'  Another one came rushing in, 'Mister Johnson!'  When the news started circulating among those kids out there that Mister Johnson was in the restaurant eating dinner, everybody said, get Mister Johnson out of there because when we, when hell breaks loose, we don't want anything to happen to him.  Get him out!  Get him out!  And My wife said:  Did you trick me?  What sort of thing is this?  What is, what is, what is all this going on?  Well, you see, I knew all about it.  She knew nothing about it.  She said, you tricked me!  She told the waitress, here you take this, how much is this?  I paid and we left the whole dinner right there on the table when she said get me out of here.  I'm going, I'm going now, I'll go by myself if you won't take me!  I said, I'm going to take you home, darling.  Wait, just wait, let me pay the lady.  Oh, come on, come on, come, come on, put the money on the table.  No, I'm going to pay the lady exactly what she says and them I'm going to give her a tip.  I'm not going to get up and walk out because then they would say that I wouldn't pay my bill.

Well, I carried her home and then came back.  By the time I got back, it was about 5:30, I guess a quarter to 6, and kids were yelling and screaming and singing, and chanting just any old kind of make do civil rights songs; just any old thing.  It was so unorganized it just looked like everybody was doing his own thing, except that they all made kind of like a howling mass of youngsters.  I don't know, maybe a hundred or two kids.  I say kids, most of them were junior high kids, 10, 12, 15 years of age.  And then there were some older ones about 20, about 18 and 19 who hadn't caught on, who hadn't been incorporated into the work structure; in other words, unemployed people.  And mainly unemployed because they hadn't stayed in school and got sufficient training to get a decent job, mainly because they were not qualified; but definitely unemployed.  They led the--helped give some leadership to this mob to do damage, and I pleaded with them.  I said, don't, don't, don't do this!  They said, go ahead Mister Johnson.  Now, you older people have done a good job so far, you didn't finish it and you quit, you just gave up.  You're satisfied in what has been accomplished and we want the job finished.  We got to teach whitey a lesson.  We gonna raise hell.  We gonna show whitey that black power is here to stay. 

I kept pleading with them and they said, Mister Johnson:  You going on away from down here!  They, all of them knew me.  They all knew me.  I really think that they liked me.  One fellow about 19 years of age, maybe 20, said, now, look Mister Johnson:  You've got a good education; you've got a good job; you've got a nice wife; you've got two children you educated and you sent them off.  You see, I'm unemployed; I didn't finish high school; I can't get a job; I've been to the penitentiary twice; I've got nothing to lose!  So, I'm the kind of a fella who ought to be out here!  I said, ah, I tell you, fellas--I was talking to a big bunch of them--I said, some of you, if you keep on, some of you gonna get your head beat when the police comes, some of you gonna get shot, killed, and some are going to be arrested and sent to jail, and maybe to the penitentiary.  Now, don't do this!  Because, if you do, this is what's going to happen to you.  And you're not going to move the civil rights thing one peg.  Go ahead, Mister Johnson, go ahead, now, because when they come down here to beat us up and shoot us and put us in jail, we don't want them to take you, we don't want them to take you.  Now, you go on, you just go on, now. 

Well, I saw that I was fighting a losing battle down there by myself in that big mob.  A Yellow Cab came driving down the street and ran right into that crowd--a white driver with a white passenger on the back seat.  They were passing through from one side of town, one side of commotion to the other side.  They didn't know, the driver didn't know that the thing was going on.  He was right in the middle of it before he found out that he was surrounded in all this mass of people. 

They started throwing rocks at him.  The windows, the front wind shield, all the windows on both sides, and the rear were all broken out, and the passenger had squatted himself down on the floor.  The driver was peeking over the steering wheel and driving and trying to--and pushed on throw, and that's how he got through there.  Now, one man came out and told me, Mister Johnson, you get in your car and take it out of this place, now.  Isn't that it, right over there?  I said, that's it.  You take it.  Now, if you just want to be in this thing, you get your car and take it up there about two or three blocks up the street and park it; and then walk back down here; because with your complexion, if you start driving through there, some of these kids might not know you and they'll break your car up too, break you up and that car too.  Now, don't you, don't, don't you--it's dark out here, after they've done you a lot of damage, then they'll say:  Ah, we didn't know that was Mister Johnson.  So, now, you go on.  He was the father of two of the little girls who were just about their (riot youth) ages, but whose father said, no, no, no, you're not going to get involved in there.  You stay in the house.  But, they said, Mister Johnson is out there.  He said, he would come out and tell me to get my car and what not.

We'll, the long and short of that is, they went on down those next three blocks to this shopping center, which is at Dumesnil that we just described.  They did great havoc all up and down for a block in four directions.  Wherever there was a business place, they broke it up.  They just broke it up.  (black or white businesses?)  Well, they didn't know.  They didn't know.  It was ignorance on display.  Ignorance in charge.  And so, they hardly knew what was black or white.  They just assumed everything was run by these white people who lived on the other side of town, and were coming down there getting rich off of all us black folk.  And we gotta teach them a lesson.  We gonna drive them out. 

Well, when they closed, when they got through breaking up windows and looting, the next two or three days kids at the schools had all sorts of things they had looted, had them for sale at school.  You could buy maybe a some little something that they had took out of the hardware store or something they took out of some other store, and something, say, worth about five or six dollars, you could buy for 75-cents, 50-cents.  They didn't know what the value was.  They just wanted to get rid of it and get them some change for the next few days afterwards.  I never heard of anybody getting caught (in trying to black market their ill-gotten goods in the looting). 

Tyler:  The looters also burned places, right?. 

Johnson:  Not much.  Not much.  They'd break the front windows, glass, break out the front, and then loot it, help yourself.  There might have been two or three little fires around that area.  None of those places were damaged by fire.  They were damaged by looters.  Record players and things like that, stores that had those things.  Anything you could put in your hand and take off with it, it just disappeared.    

Tyler:  How did the riot end or when the police came? 

Johnson:  Oh, yeah, just as I told you.  I don't need to go through that again.  It turned out exactly as I said.  The police came down there and slapped two or three over the head with their nightsticks, arrested half a dozen, so two or three, I think one got killed and they claimed he wouldn't surrender to arrest, was trying to escape and all that kind of stuff and they shot him, killed him.  One got sent to the penitentiary for doing something else; two, maybe two or three, were held in jail for a long time and they paid a lot of money to lawyers to get them out. 

Tyler:  Was this where Ruth Bryant was involved? 

Johnson:  Well, she tolerated too much.  I know her and she has good motives, just as good as mine or Dr. Rabb.  Some of her associates or lieutenants were involved.  She didn't keep close reins on those who broke away. 

Well, places were all broken up, people were put in jail, several got beat up.  Some, maybe one or two got killed.  Next day, next day, next day, week after, for the next two or three weeks, mom and pop or their next generation of their sons or daughters who were running the places for them came back and took assessment of the situation and they found out that in most cases all of their merchandize, all the inventory, had been stripped out.  Much of the plant, the building had been demolished.  They had better, the family agreed that, they, it had been a profitable thing for them up until that time, and they decided a little, sort of a nest egg for hard times, they might just as well go ahead and let well enough do and not re-open.    

Now, let's see what were the bad results of that movement.  First of all, the places were closed up and they turned out to be for good.  The people in that neighborhood who wanted to go get groceries, now had to go ten or twelve blocks to get to the next supermarkets. 

Tyler:  Many of them were without cars?

Johnson:  Yeah, many old elderly people.  When these whites entrepreneurs decided not to take their nest egg or savings to re-establish their places, nobody else came in to re-establish, black or white. 

Now, the first inconvenience was, our first bad result was the whole business community was wrecked and these things that had been rendering services came to a halt.  The drug store had to go out of business, it might have been Walgreen's or Taylor's, I'm not sure, it was one or the other. 

Tyler:  Did it have a pharmacy with it?

Johnson:  Yeah, it was a regular service drug store.  But, no longer a drug store; no longer a hardware store; no longer a supermarket or grocery; no longer a little meat market where you could buy nothing but meat, and a cleaners there; everything was broken up and not re-established.  And the services that had been rendered there, all you had to do was walk a block or block and a half and you were right there, and you could buy almost anything from a screwdriver to a pair of shoes.             

Tyler:  The jobs were lost.

Johnson:   Now, that's number two!  Everyone of these things, maybe most of them, were run by white people, but mom or pop or their sons or daughters who came in to help them didn't do the work.  They just sat around and saw that the work was done. 

Tyler:   Who did the work?

Johnson:  As I said a few minutes ago, if there were fifteen and each one hired on an average of 6 people, well, that would have been 90 people turned out of what?  That may not (have been able to get many jobs).  If you could have gotten a better job, I would assume that you would have gotten a better job.  And I assuming that if you worked up until this, the time of this ruckus, if you worked for them up until that time and hadn't complained, then that must have been just about the height of your competence. 

Tyler:   Or either it was a stepping-stone for some people?

Johnson:   And, if that be the case, where can you get a job as good as the one you just now got run out of?  If that was the best you could do before this thing came, then, from now on you're going to do worst. 

Tyler:  If you don't have transportation to get out? 

Johnson:  Well, that makes it worst.  I'm saying that first of all the services were cut out to the community, the employment was cut out, and then it became a blight on the neighborhood.  For the next ten years it was just disgusting to ride through and see 28th and Greenwood to 28th and Dumesnil and see how demoralized a thriving little shopping center could make a neighborhood when it was demolished.  Until this day, 1968, until 1990 it has not come back. 

Tyler:  And blacks haven't done anything with it?

Johnson:   It hasn't come back! 

Tyler:  Was there any information in the newspapers if these places were insured or not?

Johnson:  They were not coming back!  They were lucky--yeah, yeah.  They considered themselves lucky that blacks took it out on the business, on the material not on the whites; didn't kill any whites. 

Tyler:  So, they felt that they got away with their lives and weren't going to take a chance again there? 

Johnson:  No! No! No!  No point in going back down there!  No point in going back.  And if we made for the older people, if we made enough to retire on what we've already made down there, then you young people move out into other business sectors of the areas; if you think you got a little money from insurance or what not, don't invest back down in that place.  They might bust you right back up the next night. 

Tyler:   I would imagine that the insurance companies wouldn't want to cover those places again? 

Johnson:  That's right.  Our poor little NAACP office was right down there in the midst of all that mess.  They didn't tear up any NAACP, they hit all around it.  But what happened after, all the rest of the places were the were boarded up.  The NAACP was the only thing down there still trying to function.  There was one lady who tried to run her business there, a Negro lady, Marshbank, Lena Marshbank.  Now, Mrs. Marshbank ran a combination kind of store.  She sold stationary, she sold greeting cards, she sold things that are for a secretarial office, all sorts of things like that.  As part of her business, she ran a duplicating system for various people and organizations and who couldn't pay for a regular secretary; would take their minutes over there to her and she'd type them up and put them in good order; put them in good language; and she was very well-educated, and type them up and duplicate in whatever numbers you needed.  If you wanted to send out circular letters, she could fix that up for you.  She ran a duplicating process for you.  She kept various accounting work for businesses where they didn't have experts in their own establishments.  They'd take their books over there and she'd do good secretarial services there.  She was just one of the 15 establishments down there.  Now, she came back and tried to continue.

I'd like to talk about the hardware store.  The mom and pop people decided that they would re-open and refurbish their place and there was a man who had worked for them about, say 12 years and he had learned to run the business for them.  So, mom and pop and their children just let this Negro just run the thing.  He took care of all the business arrangement for that store.  After they got it back into operation, they said, now, we have had our fill and we have tried to re-establish this place in this community to show that we owe, we think, we owe them something.  We made a living down here for 25 or 30-years and we've grown old down here.  All these customers know us, they like us and we like them, and to show our appreciation, we're going to re-establish this store and get it going real well. 

Now, she's talking to this man who ran the thing for them, this Negro:  What we want to do is just quietly ease out and retire, and just not show up anymore, and you just continue to run the store like you have been doing for the last 5 or 6 years and what we'll do (what's necessary), we'll sell it to you.  It will be yours.  We'll sell it to you at the lowest possible price you can make and we'll take whatever you can pay down as a down payment, and we'll make monthly payments low enough to run the business and still pay us.  Now, you have run the business for us, run it for yourself.  Instead of running it for us, you just take out some of the profit to pay for the place, and we don't care whether it takes you 5 years, 10 years or 50 years to pay for it.  We will never foreclose on you and we will never put you out. 

Well, some how the thing fell through.  The Negro just couldn't measure up to being an owner.  He could be a manager, but he couldn't be owner. 

Tyler:  What was the problem?

Johnson:  Hah, Hah Hah! I guess, I guess--I don't know--I guess it was just lack of confidence.  Anyhow, shortly after the white folk moved, they offered to turn it over to him.  He began to show signs of poor management.  And some how, some how, he could run for the white folk, but he couldn't run for himself.  In a short while, he said I can't do it, I can't handle it; it's too much business involved here.  I can't keep up with all this business.  Now the white man could tell him what to do and he could do it.  But he didn't know what to tell himself what to do.  Well, maybe I'm a little bit too hard on him. 

Tyler:  Now, was that the problem or did he start to take too much profit out of the business and then.… 

Johnson:  Well, that is the same thing.  Poor management.  I don't know why, I don't know why, I just know that the white folks were ready to give him the place. 

Tyler:  Is he still around.  Do you know his name?

Johnson:   No, no, no.  If I did,  I wouldn't call his name.  I'm too hard on him.  He's a nice fellow.  He ran the place as long as he had some white person in back of the place telling him what to do.  But for himself, he just didn't measure up and he closed up. 

Tyler:  How long did the business last?. 

Johnson:  I don't know, about a year--or less.  I don't know. 

Tyler:  Walgreen's never came back?.  No.  It never came back. 

Tyler:  Walgreen's was the only store able to offer it workers jobs elsewhere? 

Johnson:  Yeah.  A little Negro bank closed up. 

Tyler:  What was its name? 

Johnson:  I probably shouldn't call it a little Negro bank, but that’s what it was.  Bank of Louisville. 

Tyler:  Was this a black bank?. 

Johnson:  No.  But they did have a Negro manager.  And I think they had three tellers down there--one white and two black.  This was a branch bank and all the business was black.  There were no white people living down there.  I don't ever remember seeing white people down there to cash a check or make a deposit.  All the patronage was black and all the people working in it was practically black.  I think that had one or two white people working in there to show that they weren't completely segregated.  That was just for show.  That's just like one Negro in a branch bank in the East End to let white people get use to it because in the next world (integrated world)...so you might as well get use to it, seeing Negroes cash checks for you. 

Tyler:  Was there any movement after that to try to revive it?

Johnson:  They tried, they tried, I guess time after time after time.  I've seen write ups in the Louisville Defender how they're going to revitalize the Parkland area, revitalize the shopping area at 28th and Dumesnil.  In two or three years, here comes somebody with an idea, they're going to get a developer to go down there and what not.  But, the business community learned their lesson and they passed it on to the next bunch; and the next bunch, and the next bunch and the next bunch of business people; that's a poor risk to establish anything down there because first of all, security is too expensive and between the vandals and the looters, you are just fattening frogs for snakes.  Don't put anything down there unless you're going to stay down there with a shotgun in your hand to guard it over night.

I remember shopping after that--two years, three years after this thing--when all the rest of the little business places had just remained boarded up, our little NAACP office continued to operate, and I remember that it got so bad that looters, vandals were breaking in even the NAACP office.  It got so bad that two or three of us (NAACP) officers took turns going down there about 5:30 in the afternoon where the little lady, the secretary finished up here work and was just about ready to lock up and go home.  Two or three of us took turns about going down there and just before she left, getting the typewriters to put in the trunk of our cars and taking them home over night and beating it back to the place the next morning at 9 0'Clock to carry the girls the typewriters they used from 9 till 5 because, well, we lost so many typewriters down there that the insurance company wouldn't insure anymore typewriters. 

Five years after (the riot).  I guess just about six years later I had passed on from president and Aubrey Williams was president.  He was NAACP president after me.  One day they had broken into the NAACP office and had left the back door just hanging by one hinge.  Hanging open and the front door bashed in and lying up against the wall inside.  And they had taken out two of these gas heaters, furnace-like heaters.  One upstairs, one down stairs.  They had taken them out.  They had taken all the records and all the papers we had filed away on the shelves and what not and messed them up, compiled them up in center of the floor, and then pulled one cabinet away from the wall and threw it down on top of all that. 

And Aubrey called me up about 10 0'Clock one morning and he--I haven't moved up here--and he said:  Lyman, please come down here and see what they have done with your building.  You see, I had helped to get that building paid for when I was president.  Come see what they have done to your building.  I said, what's up Paul?  He said, I won't tell you, you just come down here and look at it.  And when I got down there, he was just sitting on a broken bench that they pulled out from the wall and thrown onto the rubbish.  He was just sitting on it, something like this, and crying.  He was actually crying.  Look at what they've done.  It was a disgrace.  It just looked like hell and just moved through vengeance. 

We never tried to put the doors back up since them. 

Tyler:  You just abandoned that building?

Johnson:  That's right.  That was about 1975 or 1976 or so. 

Tyler:  You guys moved to where? 

Johnson:  Just anywhere.  In somebody's office.  Sometimes some company would let us have a room. 

Tyler:  So, you guys were vandalized out, too, and damn near became homeless, too?

Johnson:   We had to quit, just like the other places down there, the drug store.  We just walked on and left it.  I don't think the three of us have been down there since. 

Tyler:   That building is still under the NAACP ownership? 

Johnson:  If the city hasn't take it for taxes.  It was a growing concern and a credit to the Negro community just talking about the NAACP office down there at 28th and Dumesnil. 

Tyler:  That was in the heart of that black community? 

Johnson:  Right in the middle of it (the business community), man!  Right in the middle of it.  We picked that place largely to give credence to the shopping center.  Let's increase the prestige of that little center and then it can't hurt the prestige of the NAACP to be right in the midst of it.  We had moved there in about 1960.

Tyler:  So, the NAACP moved there with a view to give credibility, respectability, stability, thinking that your presence there would help protect that community.

Johnson:  Help, not only protect it, enhance it, enhance that community.  The Urban League was around the corner from us...about the same time.  They were doing the same thing.  Well, the Masons were there before any of us.  We were all mutually enhancing the community and mutually enhancing our own involvement.  It was everybody helping make this a place to really admire. 

Tyler:  Was there ever a movement to try to get black professionals or doctors or business people or dentist to move in there?

Johnson:  Well, you ever hear of Dr. Morris?  Not Morris, Dr. Moses?  Dr. Moses is one of the best surgeons in this town.  He had an office right around the corner from us.  Dr. Moses, he's gotten to be so prestigious and so professional and what not, and so well-known that he's sort of priced himself out of (the local peoples’ capacity to pay).  So, I think, he's such an expert in his field that he only caters to those who are well-heeled.

We are (the NAACP) now down at the 2930 or 2830 Broadway.  We just been (able to) where we can get a place.  We once were over at the same place where the Lincoln Foundation is.  You know where that is?  Third (Street) and Broadway.  We use to have an office in there. 

END of interview.

Summary:

The black community had lost its “Vital Center” and “The Politics of Freedom” resulted in a long and sometimes bloody domestic Cold War.27  Jeremy Brecker in his book Strike!28 argues that the wild cat strike or anarchy was an acceptable method for laborers to use to fight capitalists and armed strikebreakers and police.  Black power advocates promoted spontaneous riots as a form of the wild cat strike that included violence to intimidate both police as a militant and dominate minority with their own rituals, language, uniforms, and manhood imperatives.  They were two militant minorities fighting for power.  Black crowds developed the riot as their form of a “Countervailing Power”29 against white racial authoritarianism.  The rally by protesters became a self-deputizing and fighting organization to combat the police, neglectful and often abusive white authority.  They repudiated many of their formal black leaders whose methods of fighting were too polite for a crowd empowered by new language, uniforms, rituals, psychology and younger new leaders who reflected and cultivated the new militant youth culture that empowered them to act without the counsel or restraint of their elders. 

The new black power culture took hold because the old Walnut Street institutions were destroyed and only a few people, like Ken Clay who understood the social and cultural malaise, stepped forward to attempt to reconstitute a new black society, central business and cultural district.  The local black youth and young adults blamed the black leaders who let the Walnut Street culture fade away and die.  They allowed Walnut Street to be demolished without a bitter fight, certainly not a successful fight. Blacks remained racially segregated, not incorporated into mainstream institutions. Not all blacks wanted to be dispersed and atomized into a white society that violently rejected them.  There was no “Southern hospitality” for them.  They had lost their central business and cultural and social institutions that gave them a personal and collective focus, institutional life and a place to congregate to shield them from segregation, racism and abuse.  They no longer had a place of comfort or social or cultural autonomy.  In a crisis, they rioted against both white and black leaders and institutions that had failed to include them.  Before, during and after the riot, they openly said this was why they were unhappy and rioted.  Lyman T. Johnson “blamed the victim.”  He believed blacks had a chance to build a new social site and institutions at 28th Street and Greenwood.  Blacks simply did not apply enough skill, energy and enthusiasm to the effort.  The black rabble were responsible for what happened on May 27, 1968.  Johnson made it clear that he and the NAACP walked away like the whites who were frustrated and felt threatened by the rioters.  The rioters had claimed that white and black leaders had walked away from the old Walnut Street society and they bitterly resented that only a token start at rebuilding had occurred.  They responded to this neglect by a violent riot strike and vandalism.

           

 


 

 



1           Report of The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders.  Washington, D.C.  U.S. Government Printing Office, March 1, 1968, p. 5.

2           E. Victor Wolfenstein. The Victims of Democracy:  Malcolm X and the Black Revolution.  Berkeley:  University of California, 1981.

3              James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts. New Haven:  Yale University Press, 1990, pp. 2, 4.

4            Kenneth H. Williams, “Oh…It’s Really Happening:” The Louisville Race Riot of 1968,” Kentucky History Journal 3 (1988): 48-64, p. 49-50.

5           James Scott, p. 4 and Kenneth H. Williams, “Oh Baby…It’s Really Happening:” The Louisville Race Riot of 1968,” Kentucky History Journal 3 (1988): 48-64, pp. 49-50.

6           Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton.  Black Power:  The Politics of Liberation in America. New York:  Vintage books, 1967, paperback edition.  They argued that Black Power meant stopping integration marches, empower, and build up black communities across the nation.

7            Kenneth H. Williams, p.  51.

8           Vincent Crowdus, “Four Policemen Suspended in Aftermath of Arrest,” Courier-Journal, 10 May 1968, A-16, cols. 1-5.

9              Bill Peterson, ‘Restless Young Blacks:  ‘Non-Violent No More,’” C-J, 16 June 1968, p. A-9, col. 5-6.

10          Bill Peterson, “The Hurricane’s Eye:  28th and Greenwood,” Louisville Courier-Journal, 29 May 1968, p. 1, col. 4-5 and Kenneth H. Williams, p. 52.

11          Martin Luther King, Jr. Where Do We Go From Here:  Chaos or Community?  Boston:  Beacon Press, 1967, paperback edition, pp. 23-31; Report of The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders.  Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, March 1, 1968, pp. 110-111; August Meier and Elliot Rudwick, “Black Violence in the Twentieth Century:  A Study in Rhetoric and Retaliation,” 224-237, in August Meier and Elliot Rudwick, Along the Color Line:  Explorations in the Black Experience. Urbana:  University of Illinois Press, 1976, pp. 224- 225.

12          Bill Peterson, “Restless Young Blacks:  ‘Non-violent No More,” Louisville Courier-Journal, 16 June 1968, p. A-9, col. 5-6.

13          “Guard Ordered to Riot Duty As West End Looting Flares,” The Louisville Courier-Journal, 28 May 1968, p. A-1, cols. 1-4, p. A-11, col. 1-3, See p. A-11 photo of Cortez and Sam Hawkins; Richard Majors and Janet Mancini Billson. Cool Pose:  The Dilemma of Black Manhood in America. New York:  Lexington Books, 1992.

14          Bill Peterson, “At 28th and Greenwood:  Cool Rally to Hot Riot,” Louisville Courier-Journal, 6 June 1968, p. A-8, col. 1-6.

15          “Rioting Breaks Out in Louisville; State Police, Guard Called to Help,” Louisville Courier-Journal, 28 May 1968, p. A-11, col. 1-3; Paul M. Branzburg, “Witnesses Say Disorder Was Sparked by Rumor,” Louisville Courier-Journal, 28 May 1968, p. A-11, col. 4-5; “Carmichael Rumor Squelched by Aide,” Louisville Courier-Journal, 29 May 1968, S-B, p. 22, col. 3.

16          Ibid. “Negro Member Of Service Board Resigns Post,” Louisville Courier-Journal, 29 May 1968, p. B-2, col. 3; Anne Moore, “Airlines Officials Spike Carmichael Rumors,” Louisville Courier-Journal, 28 May 1968, p. A-11, col. 1-2.

17          Ibid.

18          Ibid.

19          Ibid.

20          Bill Peterson, “The Hurricane’s Eye:  28th and Greenwood,” Louisville Courier-Journal, 29 May 1968, p. A-1, col. 4-5.

21          James C. Scott, p. 120-21.

22          Earl Lewis, In Their Own Interests:  Race, Class, and Power in Twentieth-Century Norfolk, Virginia.  Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1991, p. 92.

23          Bruce M. Tyler.  Images of America:  African-American Life in Louisville. Charleston:  Arcadia Publishing, 1998, pp. 25-38.

24          Paul M. Branzburg, “Witnesses Say Disorder Was Sparked by Rumor,” Louisville Courier-Journal, 28 May 1968, p. A-11, col. 4-5.

25          Bill Peterson, “At 28th and Greenwood:  Cool Rally to Hot Riot,” Louisville Courier-Journal, 16 June 1968, p. A-8, cols. 1-5; “Rioting Breaks Out in Louisville; State Police, Guard Called to Help,” Louisville Courier-Journal, 28 May 1968, p. A-11, cols. 1-3.

26            Kenneth H. Williams, pp. 57-58.

27          My thesis here is a inversion of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.’s, The Vital Center:  The Politics of Freedom. Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Company, 1962 (1949) paperback edition.

28          Jeremy Brecher, Strike!  Boston:  South End Press, 1997.

29          John Kenneth Galbraith, American Capitalism:  The Concept of Countervailing Power.  Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Company, 1956 (1952), paperback edition.