Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Celebrating the Legacy of Black Louisville

On Saturday, February 1st, I toured the Celebrating the Legacy of Black Louisville free exhibit, at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. Also, I attended a couple of the workshops there, including, "When Walnut Street was in Vogue."  Ken Clay,   Mervin Aubespin, authors of the book, Two Centuries of Black Louisville, along with  Barrington "Boogie" Morton, and Ron Johnson lead a panel discussion on Louisville's version of the Harlem Renaissance, Old Walnut Street black entertainment district of the 1940's, and 50's. Ken Clay said that one of the goals of the three-day event was to inspire people to continue to document, collect and preserve African American/West Louisville's history.  The exhibit featured many historic pictures from the era including many from the 1960s and the Civil Rights Movement in Louisville.  There were media and photographers at the event, including some from the Courier Journal Newspaper, and one of the pictures I was in made in on the front page of the Sunday, Metro Section. In the photo, I am talking with a couple of members from my church, Janice Varner and Robert Holly.  Actually, they are doing most of the talking, as I am a late Baby Boomer, telling me the rest of the story behind some of the pictures in the exhibit.  I really enjoyed the history lesson since I lived, as an infant in the 1960s,  just blocks from the Old Walnut Street district

Saturday night, there was the "Walnut Street Revue," a live stage show reminiscent of the 'chitlin circuit" performances at Walnut Street's Lyric Theatre during the 1940's and 50s, featuring comedian Ray "Moms Mabley" Belt, and "Motown" music of 2nd Chance, vocalists Freda olt, Greg Figgs, Kasi Cooks-Davis, and Ricky Bartlett with soul guitarist Billy Clements ad the Jerry Tolson Band.  Sunday, there was a live gospel performance, The Great Gospel Shout-Out featuring Joe Leavell and One Purpose, Messengers for Christ, and Totally Dedicated.


 

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