White Activists and Support in the Louisville, Kentucky Open Housing Movement, 1962-67

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This thesis analyzes white citizen’s role in the open housing movement in Louisville from 1962-1967. In Louisville’s struggle to obtain an enforceable city ordinance prohibiting discrimination in housing, white activism and support for the movement came in three forms. The first form was from the Louisville and Jefferson County Human Relations Commission (HRC) which headed the negotiations with city officials for an enforceable ordinance. Whites played a leadership role in the HRC. The second form of activism was through participation in non-violent demonstrations and marches led by the Committee on Open Housing (COH). Whites played a supportive role in the COH which was led by African Americans. The third way in which whites contributed to the movement was through lesser forms of activism and vocal support of various organizations and individuals. While the role of whites in the movement is clear, the overall success and significance of this assistance and support is ambiguous.