Living the Story: The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky
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J. Blaine HudsonJ. Blaine Hudson

Born in 1949 in Louisville, J. Blaine Hudson began his fight for social change in junior high school, when he was refused admittance to a downtown movie theater. Later, as a student at the University of Louisville in 1969, he demonstrated at the school’s Arts and Sciences dean’s office, demanding improvement in educational opportunities for African-American students.

He and several fellow protestors were arrested and tried under the newly enacted Kentucky Anti-Riot Act. The charges were eventually dismissed, but the judge forbid Hudson from returning to campus for one year. He also lost his prestigious national AFL-CIO scholarship because of his arrest record, although the organization did send him a letter in support of his position.

Hudson was a long-time history professor and chairman of the Pan-African Studies Department at the University of Louisville. He later became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the very department he protested as a student. Hudson served on a number of boards and commissions, was chairman of the Kentucky African-American Heritage Commission, and was active in efforts to reduce violence in Louisville. He co-edited the book “Two Centuries of Black Louisville: A Photographic History,” published by Butler Books in 2011. Hudson died on January 5, 2013.

Living the Story > Biographies > J. Blaine Hudson