A newsmagazine by and for the youth of Louisville

On the Record

A newsmagazine by and for the youth of Louisville

On the Record

A newsmagazine by and for the youth of Louisville

On the Record

Historical Black Figures from Kentucky

February is recognized as Black History Month, and Marketing Director Cameron Breier shares details on some of the most influential and historical black figures from Kentucky. 
Historical+Black+Figures+from+Kentucky

 

ALBERT E. MEYZEEK (1862-1963)

Civil rights activist and youth educator, Albert E. Meyzeek was an educational reformer during his time in Louisville. He advocated for African American libraries and equal opportunities for students in Kentucky. The Albert E. Meyzeek Middle School in Louisville is also named in his honor. Meyzeek served as the President of State Industrial College (now Kentucky State University,) and the principal of both Booker T. Washington elementary school and Central High School. Outside of his passion for educational justice, Meyzeek also spearheaded desegregation efforts in hospitals and housing, leading to the creation of Louisville’s Urban League, which focuses on eliminating discrimination. Meyzeek’s legacy left lasting impacts on black youth in Louisville and improved education opportunities for many students. 

MONETA SLEET JR. (1926-1996)

Moneta Sleet Jr. was a local photographer and journalist who contributed to national history. Born in Owensboro, Kentucky, Sleet received a master’s degree in journalism from NYU, while still avidly studying photography in the big city. He also served in an African American unit during World War II. Sleet is most famous for his Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of Coretta Scott King. The photo takes place at civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral. Sleet also wrote for Ebony magazine for a total of 41 years, beginning in 1955. He passed away at age 70 due to cancer 

 

GEORGIA DAVIS POWERS (1923-2016)

Georgia Davis Powers served as a state senator in the Kentucky Senate for 21 years. Powers was born in Springfield, Kentucky and moved to Louisville as a teenager due to a natural disaster in her town. She received honorary doctorates from both the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. When she was elected to the senate in 1967, she became the first person of color and the first woman to do so. She served on the senate from January 1968 to January 1989 and helped work to pass many bills that ended employment discrimination based on sex and age.

 

WILLA BROWN (1906-1992)

Born in Glasgow, Kentucky, Willa Brown was the first African American woman to earn a pilot’s license in the United States. Furthermore, she was also the first African American woman to run for the US Congress and the first African American officer in the Civil Air Patrol. She co-founded Coffey School of Aeronautics, where dozens of pilots were trained under her expertise. Her achievements set the stage for many black women looking to pursue a career in aviation or government. 

 

GRACE MARILYNN JAMES (1923-1989)

Although Grace Marilynn James was born in Charleston, West Virginia, she was the first African American physician at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Moreso, she was one of the first African American women at any hospital in the South. She was also the first African American woman to become a physician at Louisville’s Kosair Children’s Hospital. James broke the stigma preventing African American women from attending medical school and working in hospitals in the deep South.

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About the Contributors
Cameron Breier, Marketing Director
Cameron Breier is a senior and the Marketing Director for On The Record. This is her third and final year on staff and she is looking forward to distributing the newest content to local Louisville businesses. She is actively involved in clubs and organizations throughout her school and community. Cameron loves playing lacrosse, going to get dinner at new restaurants, and watching Gilmore Girls every fall.
Amelia Jones, Creative Director
Amelia Jones is a senior and the Creative Director for On the Record. This is her third year on staff and she is very excited to create a visually cohesive magazine and collaborate with staff members. Amelia is passionate about graphic design and is involved with organizations within the Louisville community. Amelia loves drinking coffee, going thrifting at goodwill (or any other cheap thrift stores), and hanging out in Cherokee Park.
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