University of Louisville Creates an Online Archive of a Civil Rights Era Incident

LouisvilleThe Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research at the University of Louisville in Kentucky has debuted a new online archive of photographs, documents, and oral histories relating to the civil rights movement in the Louisville area.

In 1954, African Americans Andrew and Charlotte Wade bought a new suburban house in an all-White neighborhood. Segregationists used dynamite to blow up the couple’s home. Anne and Carl Braden, White supporters who had bought the home on the Wades’ behalf, were accused of staging the purchase and bombing as part of a communist plot, and were charged with sedition.

“A dramatic act of housing desegregation led to racial violence and intimidation and culminated with a local version of the anticommunist ‘Red Scare’ that swept the nation in those years,” said historian Catherine Fosl, the director of the Anne Braden Institute. “The case made major national headlines and affected many lives locally but is often neglected in textbooks that cover the Cold War and civil rights eras.”

The online archive includes materials that were originally shown in a 2014 exhibit that was showcased at the Louisville Free Public Library’s Main Library.

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