Interview with Georgia Davis Powers, April 26, 2013

Georgia Davis Powers talks about her childhood, family, and the neighborhood she grew up in. Powers shares some of her early firsthand experiences of racial discrimination. Powers tells how her great-aunt Celia Mudd, a former slave, inherited an 840 acre farm from her white employer. Powers talks about her decision to run for the Kentucky State Senate, and some of the opposition she faced from other African Americans. She tells how she suspected that the ballots for that election had been tampered with, and describes both her platform and endorsements. Powers talks about how she became involved in the Allied Organizations for Civil Rights and the March on Frankfort in 1964. She also describes a meeting that she, Dr. King, Jackie Robinson, and several black ministers had with Governor Ned Breathitt after the march on the state capitol at Frankfort. Powers describes Operation Selma, a project based in Louisville that would help civil rights protesters in Selma, Alabama. Powers recounts some of the instances against her and other civil rights activists in Louisville, including when she was hit by a piece of thrown concrete. Powers describes a series of marches that she was a part of in St. Petersburg, Florida, which were in support of the sanitation workers' strike there. Powers tells how she gained support for the Open Housing Bill in Kentucky, and how this bill passed into law. Powers talks about her work in the Kentucky State Senate, advocating for people with disabilities and homemakers. Senator Powers briefly talks about the bill to change the lyrics of "My Old Kentucky Home" to be less racially offensive. Powers discusses how the Ku Klux Klan would harass and intimidate African Americans, and shares two examples, one of which happened to her personally. Powers talks about her work with the Louisville Chapter of the NAACP. Powers talks about the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, describing her own experiences staying at the Lorraine Motel, where he was killed. Powers describes the civil rights movement immediately after the death of Dr. King, and how other leaders of the movement reacted.

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