Interview with Karen Montgomery Williams, December 7, 2021
Project: 1964 Civil Rights March on Frankfort (Kentucky) Oral History Project
Interview SummaryKaren Montgomery Williams is the daughter of Lawrence F. Montgomery and niece of Kentucky State Senator Georgia Davis Powers. Williams begins the interview by describing the role of her father and aunt in her life. Williams and her siblings were babysat by Muhammad Ali, who was their next-door neighbor growing up. Williams discusses her Aunt Georgia and her important role in family life. Williams recalls that her Aunt Georgia ran a restaurant called Senators, which served hamburgers, sodas, and pies. Williams graduated from Central High School in Louisville and worked in the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office for many years. Williams also worked at her family's funeral home, Hathaway & Clark, and received her embalmer's license after retiring from the Sheriff's Office. Williams describes her experiences with Muhammad Ali's funeral and procession on Grand Avenue in Louisville, the street that they both grew up on. Williams states that Ali would visit their old neighborhood in the West End of Louisville frequently and would give back to the children in the community. Williams details the political friendship between her Aunt Georgia Davis Powers and Mae Street Kidd. Williams considers the significance of the March on Frankfort and her father's role in protecting his sister, Georgia Davis Powers. Williams describes her grandparents, who lived on the same block as Williams growing up. Williams describes the shock at finding out that her paternal grandfather was white. Williams illustrates some of the prejudice and discrimination that her grandfather faced from being in an interracial marriage. Williams articulates her awareness of segregation during the civil rights movement, which occurred when she was a teenager. Williams concludes the interview with a reflection on the influence of her Aunt Georgia on her choice to go into male-dominated industries (criminal justice and the funeral industry).
Interview KeywordSenator Georgia Davis Powers March on Frankfort Lawrence F. Montgomery Family Georgia Davis Powers Grand Avenue (Louisville, Ky.) West End (Louisville, Ky.) Muhammad Ali Cassius Clay Rudy Clay Senators Restaurant Black businesses Funerals Mae Street Kidd Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Hathaway & Clark Funeral Home (Louisville, Ky.)
Interview LC SubjectAunts Fathers Kentucky Kentuckians Louisville (Ky.) Jefferson County (Ky.) Black people African Americans Segregation Civil rights Civil rights movement Civil rights demonstrations Grandparents Grandfathers Interracial marriage Policewomen Criminal justice Careers Women in politics Funeral homes Embalming Powers, Georgia Davis, 1923-
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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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Williams, Karen Montgomery Interview by Le Datta Denise Grimes. 07 Dec. 2021. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Williams, K.M. (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.
Williams, Karen Montgomery, 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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