This is a matter of import not only for Louisville, but for the state of Kentucky, which relies heavily on revenues from its largest city. Breaking the Invisible Barrier 3 Breaking the Invisible Barrier: African-Americans and Minority-Based Inequity in Louisville Louisville, Kentucky, has long been considered a crossroads of sorts between North and South and a barometer for the state of white-black relations in the United States. It is a place of historic contrasts: Kentucky was controlled by Federal forces during the Civil War but was a significant marketplace for the slave trade. A regional “border” town with strong traditional ties to the industrial North, Louisville was notoriously slow to respond to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. In the 1970s, many white Louisvillians reacted violently to court-ordered school busing, overturning and burning buses in riots that received coverage on the national network news. Problems persist despite integration and economic advances made by many black members of the community – at present, a majority of issues facing blacks stem from the growing gulf between rich and poor which threatens the nation’s long-term economic stability. ...
Likewise, statistics show that a large percentage of blacks are from families that have lived in the Louisville area for multiple generations. Citizens of mixed race account for just under two percent of the city’s population, while Latinos and Asians account for two percent each. Local government representation continues to follow Breaking the Invisible Barrier 4 historic precedent. Six of Louisville’s 26 city council districts are represented by African- Americans. The prevalence of representation based on each district’s racial make-up, which can be traced to the city’s beginnings, continues relatively unbroken down to the present day. African-American interests have also been ill-served by gerrymandering practices, the juxtaposing of city wards to serve partisan political designs. Louisville’s African-American population is historically identified with the city’s West End, one of the oldest and most impoverished sections of the city, though African-American communities today are in evidence in most parts of Louisville. Traditional African-American areas continue to be defined by the presence of a strong community-based church, though these neighborhood fixtures tend to be somewhat less prevalent where African-Americans have moved into predominantly white neighborhoods. In spite of the ameliorating influence of church and community support systems, the majority of blacks in Louisville are products of the kind of unequal social and economic development characteristic of the world-systems theory (Mossman, year). Surplus wealth has significantly accrued to the city’s affluent white core population over the past 50 years, leaving the city’s black
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Louisville,Kentucky,lies at a regional and cultural crossroads and offers an interesting perspective on black-white relations.In spite of Louisville’s traditional economic ties to the North the city has remained largely indifferent to the economic and cultural gulf…
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