The Western Branch Library: a Beacon of Hope for Louisville’s Black Community

“The library does more than furnish facts and circulate books…the people feel that the library belongs to them, and that it may be used for anything that makes for their welfare.”  -Rev. Thomas Fountain Blue, the Western Branch’s first librarian For centuries, libraries have served as a space for self-enlightenment, a place where people canContinue reading “The Western Branch Library: a Beacon of Hope for Louisville’s Black Community”

A Louisville Story: A Short Essay on Shelby Lanier

While many of us may not typically consider a police officer to be a presence in a community beyond our day-to-day jobs, there are some that stick out. It’s partially a result of a police force that has become more focused on drug busts and bringing down crime statistics than on building relationships with communities.Continue reading “A Louisville Story: A Short Essay on Shelby Lanier”

The Everlasting Impact of Muhammad Ali

For Black History Month, the Louisville Political Review celebrates black stories and heroes. Today, we celebrate Louisville’s hero, the Great Muhammad Ali. The Red Bike That Changed History Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky as Cassius Clay (former name until 1964) on January 17th of 1942 in a legally segregated country, in which black peopleContinue reading “The Everlasting Impact of Muhammad Ali”

Voting Rights Are a Major Issue in Kentucky

The right to vote is currently under attack from all angles. The Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, state legislatures across the country are passing laws that will remove voting rights from many Black Americans, and trust in election processes and democracy are historically low. There is a strong national effort to strip BlackContinue reading “Voting Rights Are a Major Issue in Kentucky”

From Cotton to Congress: The Remarkable Rise and Careers of the First Black Congressmen

As a congressional intern with a passion for U.S. history and virtually unrestricted access to the entirety of the U.S. Capitol Building, I took every chance I could get to leave my office and explore. Unfortunate circumstances, both COVID-19 and the January 6th riot, left the great halls of Congress closed off to the publicContinue reading “From Cotton to Congress: The Remarkable Rise and Careers of the First Black Congressmen”

Segregation and Racism in Jefferson County Public Schools

Prior to 1975, public schools in Louisville, Kentucky were separated into two districts: the Louisville school system and the Jefferson County school system. After the Supreme Court decision in Milliken v. Bradley in 1974, the Kentucky Board of Education merged the two districts into one, naming it the Jefferson County Public Schools System. The JeffersonContinue reading “Segregation and Racism in Jefferson County Public Schools”

Red Cross Hospital: Perseverance in the Bleak Face of Segregation

Few things mar the history of American cities as severely as the Jim Crow era of racial segregation and discrimination–and Louisville is no exception. Among many other injustices, Black people living in Jim Crow Louisville were overtly discriminated against even in health care.  In 1899, only two hospitals in Louisville would treat Black patients: LouisvilleContinue reading “Red Cross Hospital: Perseverance in the Bleak Face of Segregation”

John Brown: A Biography

The institution of slavery will forever plague American history. The slave economy was a core feature of the growth of the financial system, culture, and politics of the country for almost two and a half centuries until it ultimately became a catalyst for civil war. Though the institution was dismantled, it molded into something hardlyContinue reading “John Brown: A Biography”

How Long Must We Be Here? A Lament

Why? Why does America refuse to learn from its history? Why have the purveyors of peace and freedom allowed–no, ensured–that a second class citizenry exists amidst the empty prosperity and freedom enjoyed by those former Europeans? Why has Black outcry gone ignored? Why have Black minds been neglected? When? When will America realize that itsContinue reading “How Long Must We Be Here? A Lament”