Interview with Lawrence F. Montgomery, Violet L. Montgomery, Karen Montgomery Williams, December 7, 2021
Project: 1964 Civil Rights March on Frankfort (Kentucky) Oral History Project
Interview SummaryLawrence Montgomery is the brother of Kentucky State Senator Georgia Davis Powers. In 1964, he borrowed a limo from the funeral home where he worked and drove Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson to and from the March on Frankfort. Montgomery has lived on Grand Avenue in the West End of Louisville for his entire life. Montgomery's father was white and his mother was Black and the family was discriminated against because of this. Montgomery recalls issues that his father had at work from being married to a Black woman. Montgomery attended segregated schools in Louisville and graduated from Central High School in 1951. After graduating high school, Montgomery got married and became a temporary clerk at the post office. Montgomery was next-door neighbors with Muhammad Ali when he was growing up. Ali and his brother Rudy would babysit Montgomery's children frequently. After Montgomery retired from the post office after forty years, he worked for Hathaway & Clark Funeral Home. Montgomery recalls when his sister opened a restaurant called Senators. Montgomery and his brother operated a coin laundry business next to the restaurant. Montgomery illustrates his sister's political career trajectory. Montgomery acted as a driver to Dr. King and Jackie Robinson during the March on Frankfort and also marched along Capitol Avenue with his sister. Montgomery briefly recalls his childhood with his sister, who was twelve or thirteen years older. Montgomery was the Alderman for Louisville's 11th ward from the mid-1990s to 2003. Montgomery describes the participation of his three children in the civil rights movement. Montgomery describes his life after segregation ended in Kentucky. Montgomery sometimes discussed politics with his sister, particularly when she was having a difficult time getting bills passed. Montgomery cared for his sister in his home with hospice and she passed away surrounded by her family. Montgomery offers a comparison between the Black Lives Matter movement protests and the civil rights demonstrations during the 1960s. Montgomery and his daughter explain the legacy of Georgia Davis Powers, especially for their family. Montgomery describes the events surrounding the death of Muhammad Ali, in which television reporters from around the world convened on Montgomery's block and Ali's childhood home. Montgomery details the friendship between his sister and Mae Street Kidd. Montgomery also describes Mae Street Kidd's personality. Montgomery and his daughter conclude the interview by describing a picture of Montgomery, Dr. King, and Georgia Davis Powers at the March on Frankfort and a brief listing of several families who lived on Grand Avenue.
Violet L. Montgomery
Karen Montgomery Williams
Interview KeywordGrand Avenue (Louisville, Ky.) Senator Georgia Davis Powers Muhammad Ali March on Frankfort Georgia Davis Powers West End (Louisville, Ky.) Segregated schools Sons Hathaway & Clark Funeral Home (Louisville, Ky.) Funeral business Family Jackie Robinson Drivers Aldermen 11th Ward (Louisville, Ky.) Desegregation Black communities Mae Street Kidd
Interview LC SubjectBlack people African Americans Civil rights Civil rights movement Civil rights demonstrations Childhood Early life Mothers Fathers Louisville (Ky.) Jefferson County (Ky.) Kentucky Kentuckians Neighbors Neighborhoods Communities Brothers Sisters Leaders Leadership Education Segregation Interracial marriage American Standard, Inc Women in politics Protests (Negotiable instruments) Race Racism Discrimination Prejudice Marriage Children Daughters Babysitting Careers United States. Postal Service Funeral homes Death Pictures
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Interview UsageInterviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Montgomery, Lawrence F. Interview by Le Datta Denise Grimes. 07 Dec. 2021. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Montgomery, L.F. (2021, December 07). Interview by L. D. D Grimes. 1964 Civil Rights March on Frankfort (Kentucky) Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Montgomery, Lawrence F., interview by Le Datta Denise Grimes. December 07, 2021, 1964 Civil Rights March on Frankfort (Kentucky) Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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