Louisville Magazine

MAR 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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Page 99 of 133

LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 3.19 97 for African-Americans, is at 11th and Chestnut streets. Plymouth Congregational Church, where Mrs. Kidd was a member, and its settlement house, which has served African-American kids in Russell for generations, is at 16th and Chestnut. Mount Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church, at 22nd and Chestnut, is where I finally got to experience the majestic preaching of Dr. Frederick G. Sampson II, who had moved to Detroit but returned to town to give a sermon. Midway through, I was stomping, waving my hands and doing a dance as Sampson expounded on the numeral one. Math had never before been interesting to me. I have fond memories of Chestnut Street in the 1980s, of former neighbors. Rachel Goatley was an NAACP activist. Beverly and Sherman Morrow (a caterer and a police officer, respectively) lived next door to Mrs. Goatley. Educator Minor Daniels, for whom a JCPS school is now named, lived in the biggest house on the 2300 block with his wife Jessie, a grant writer. Chuck Cowan, a black belt and tower of power, lived across the street from me, which always made me feel safe. Beatrice McHenry, a retired educator who purchased and renovated the twin home attached to mine, kept me on my toes when it came to keeping up my side of the fence. It just so hap- pened that one of her daughters, Susan McHenry, and I had become acquainted in New York when I freelanced for and hung out with the amazing women behind Essence magazine. Who knew I would end up living in Louisville and next door to her mom? e city's downtown hotels, restaurants and bars were desegregated when I moved to town, thank goodness, and many Af- rican-Americans could afford to dine and hang out after work. Many did, but black Louisvillians didn't abandon their old haunts and habits in west Louisville. Come Sunday, many of the partygoers joined the elders, children and teetotalers by worship- ping at their "home" churches. at won- derful cycle of black life in Louisville was largely unseen and unknown by outsiders, and it was new and exciting to me. Before I came to town, Old Walnut Street (now Muhammad Ali Boulevard) had been the cultural and economic hub of west Louis- ville, with its black-owned small businesses and vibrant nightlife. By the time I moved to Chestnut Street, urban renewal, aka "negro removal," had eviscerated Walnut Street, but the good times still rolled west of Ninth Street in the '80s. Continued on page 121 Clockwise from left: Friends hanging out in the side yard of the author's former home; the author with her dog, Spike Lee; friends (including sculptor Ed Hamilton, standing) at a party in the author's former home.

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