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Raoul Cunningham, Louisville NAACP

Raoul Cunningham, president of the Louisville chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, has been involved in civil rights work since the late 1950s, when he helped register new African-American voters as a 14-year-old member of the NAACP Youth Council. He participated in a protest against a Louisville theater when it would not allow young black students to see Porgy and Bess, helped recruit and train other young people for lunch counter and restaurant sit-ins, and was involved in the 1961 “Nothing New for Easter” boycott of downtown Louisville stores that would not let black customers try on clothes.

As a student at Howard University, Cunningham organized a Young Democrats chapter. He was also president of the District of Columbia Federation of College Young Democrats and vice president of the Young Democrats Club of America. When he returned to Louisville, he managed the campaign of Georgia Davis Powers that saw her become the first black woman elected to the Kentucky Senate.

This guest appears in ...

  • Raoul Cunningham, NAACP (#203)

    Raoul Cunningham, president of the Louisville chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, talks about civil rights issues in Kentucky.

  • 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington (#845)

    Civil rights activists and journalists reflect on the August 1963 March on Washington, as well as the March on the Kentucky Capitol the next year.

  • 1964 March on Frankfort (#922)

    Martin Luther King Jr. and baseball great Jackie Robinson led more than 10,000 people in a march to the Kentucky Capitol in Frankfort on March 5, 1964, to demand an end to segregation in businesses, restaurants, and theaters. We remember the 1964 march with NAACP Louisville leader Raoul Cunningham and former state Sen. Georgia Davis Powers.