Louisville Magazine

APR 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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kyselectproperties.com LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 4.19 111 e BSU statement concluded: "e 'darkies' are not gay any longer." Majestic Prince ran a perfect come-from- behind race — the New York Daily News hailed the "mighty-girthed comet from California soaring off a single sustained burst off the big bend to win a heart-pounding stretch duel." Before the eyes of the president, a "Prince became king." An exhausted Jim Host watched the stretch run from the clubhouse rooftop. He had spent the last several days from dawn until the wee hours overseeing media and governors. Host was among a cohort of aides, nicknamed "Nunn's Kiddie Corps" in a C-J magazine feature that spring. With their input, Nunn operated what some political observers see as one of Kentucky's most pragmatic and effective administrations. Finding empty state coffers, Nunn went back on a no-tax campaign pledge. He corralled the Democratic legislature into adding two cents to the three-cent state sales tax. "Nunn's nickel" saddled him for the rest of his political career, and he never won another race. But the revenue made expanded higher-education expenditures possible, including for U of L, which entered the state system in 1970. Some of the "whiz kids" around Nunn pulled him back from a heavy-handed ban on campus speech. To the BSU demonstrators, though, Nunn was a "reactionary." Yet, Hudson later said, "He and I remained on friendly terms." e governor "even gave me some financial aid, helped me get back in school." On Derby Day 1969, the C-J editorialized about the BSU protests, urging for "cooler counsels" and hoping that the city's "genius for moderation" would bring peaceful progress at the university. But the BSU tactics proved effective. By fall 1969, U of L had an Office of Black Affairs, and King scholars were attending classes. Outreach in largely black neighborhoods increased. By 1974, the library had more than 2,500 books related to black studies. e department of Pan-African studies formed in 1973 and in 1992 Hudson became a full-time faculty member in the program he'd fought so hard for. From 2005 until his death in 2013, Hudson served as dean of arts and sciences, leading the office he and the BSU once occupied. (Meanwhile, in 1972, Churchill Downs changed the program so the lyrics to "My Old Kentucky Home" read "the people are gay.") In his 2000 oral history, Hudson tried to convey his state of mind in 1969. His formative years occurred at a time when the nation, "however grudgingly, was making progress in the area of race." Despite the night in jail and getting booted from his college just before the Derby, it never occurred to him then that "some of the other ways American society needed to change would not actually happen." ose ongoing and insidious failures, lacking "whites only" signs to mark them, included poorly regulated polluting corporations concentrated in low-income neighborhoods, exclusionary mortgage practices, discriminatory policing, increasingly harsh drug laws leading to mass incarceration (which has broken families, deprived people from years of earnings and restricted voting rights) — and the list goes on. In the half-century since the 1969 Kentucky Derby, it is clear how much longer and more difficult a course the city has been on than the one Majestic Prince ran for his blanket of roses. e equitable community many expected to emerge from the 1960s civil rights movement remains a finish line in the distance.

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