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James Howard

At age 13, Howard and several other black students drew national attention for their efforts to integrate the schools in the Western Kentucky town of Sturgis.
S1 E9 Length 34:37 Rating: TV-PG

James Howard

Note: This original one-on-one interview, part of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky Oral History Project, was produced by the Kentucky Oral History Commission and Historical Society.

James Howard was born in 1942 in Sturgis, a small town in Western Kentucky’s Union County. From kindergarten through ninth grade, he was bussed to the all-black school in nearby Morganfield because Sturgis had no black school.

In 1956, at age 13, Howard joined other students to seek integration of the all-white Sturgis High School, which was only blocks from his home and offered science and foreign language programs not available at the Morganfield black school. Their campaign garnered international media attention when protestors against integration blocked the streets, burned a cross, and generally harassed blacks in the community. A judicial order led to school integration a year later.

Howard served in the U.S. Air Force, including intelligence duty in northeast Thailand during the Vietnam War. A graduate of Oklahoma State University with skills in management, mediation, human resources, and employee labor relations, he was the executive director of the Oklahoma state agency that conducts administrative hearings, arbitration, and mediation for more than 30,000 state employees. He died on Jan. 19, 2011, in Oklahoma.

Program Details

Living the Story: The Rest of the Story

About Living the Story: The Rest of the Story

These 10 one-hour programs contain extended interviews with Kentuckians featured in the documentary Living the Story: The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky. In unedited one-on-one conversations taped for a Kentucky Oral History Commission project, these eyewitnesses to history tell their own moving stories of life under segregation and of the struggle for racial equality in Kentucky and in America.

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Season 1 Episodes

Grace Lewis

S1 E14 Length 28:16

Anne Braden

S1 E13 Length 58:24

Audrey Grevious

S1 E12 Length 57:31

Raoul Cunningham

S1 E11 Length 57:49

Jennie and Alice Wilson

S1 E10 Length 56:42

James Howard

S1 E9 Length 34:37

J. Blaine Hudson

S1 E8 Length 56:56

Abby Marlatt

S1 E7 Length 57:49

P.G. Peeples

S1 E6 Length 57:16

Mervin Aubespin

S1 E5 Length 57:41

John Jay Johnson

S1 E4 Length 57:01

Sen. Georgia Davis Powers

S1 E3 Length 57:38

Gov. Edward Breathitt

S1 E2 Length 58:43

Julian Bond

S1 E1 Length 56:26

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