In the 1950s and ’60s, Kentucky and the nation were swept by the Civil Rights Movement. Kentucky’s story of courageous African Americans and sympathetic supporters who organized to demand legal and social equality was documented 10 years ago in Living the Story: The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky.
On this 10-year anniversary of that landmark production, we celebrate those brave heroes still among us and discuss how far we have yet to go in race relations in Kentucky Beyond the Color Line, which airs Monday, January 16th at 9 pm ET on KET.
Living the Story precedes the follow-up program at 8 pm. Filmmaker, documentarian, and co-producer of Living the Story, Joan Brannon captures the strife, struggle, and victories of Kentucky foot soldiers in the quest for equality. She is featured in the anniversary program, discussing the project’s personal importance to her and what she discovered in Kentucky’s untold civil rights story.
Many on the frontline of civil rights are no longer with us, but Kentucky Beyond the Color Line is honored to assemble those who remain. I sat down with former state Senator Georgia Davis Powers, the first African American and woman to serve in that body; P.G. Peeples, the president and CEO of the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County; Raoul Cunningham, NAACP Louisville leader; J. Blaine Hudson, EdD, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Louisville; and John Johnson, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, to discuss race relations today and the truth or fiction of post-racial society notion.
The program also features voices of three Kentucky high school youth, whose view of race relations may differ from earlier generations.
Young political operatives, graduates of Berea College, offer some provocative commentary about racial transcendence and the new frontiers of civil rights in Kentucky and the nation. Charles Badger, a Republican congressional aid and Christian Motley, a Democratic strategist chime in.
Kentucky Beyond the Color Line airs Monday, January 16th, at 9 pm on KET.