Chapter C of the Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky

Page 84

220 CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY, NORTHERN KENTUCKY CHAPTER CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS Congress

Years

District Nos.

Representatives

99th

1985–1987

Fourth Sixth Seventh

Marion G. Snyder Larry J. Hopkins Carl C. Perkins

Northern Kentucky Counties

100th

1987–1989

Fourth

Jim Bunning

101st

1989–1991

Fourth

Jim Bunning

"

102nd

1991–1993

Fourth

Jim Bunning

"

103rd

1993–1995

Fourth

Jim Bunning

"

104th

1995–1997

Fourth

Jim Bunning

"

105th

1997–1999

Fourth

Jim Bunning

"

106th

1999–2001

Fourth

Ken Lucas

"

107th

2001–2003

Fourth

Ken Lucas

"

"

Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Mason, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson

108th

2003–2005

Fourth

Ken Lucas

"

109th

2005–2007

Fourth

Geoffrey C. “Geoff ” Davis

"

110th

2007–2009

Fourth

Geoffrey C. “Geoff ” Davis

"

CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY, NORTHERN KENTUCKY CHAPTER. The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the national civil rights organization formed in 1942 that initiated nonviolent direct-action campaigns, organized four chapters in Kentucky (Lexington, Louisville, Richmond, and Northern Kentucky) during the 1960s. Through the use of negotiations, picketing, sit-ins, and other forms of nonviolent direct action, the Northern Kentucky CORE was successful in integrating all of the segregated businesses and facilities in the region. In July 1960 the local chapter of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) called a community meeting, held at the L. B. Fouse Civic Center in Covington (see Elizabeth Fouse), to voice objections to a “white only” sign still present in Coppin’s department store at Seventh St. and Madison Ave. in the city. This sign hanging over the women’s restroom had been in place more than 45 years, but the African American community, inspired by the emerging civil rights movement, now wanted to take action. At this meeting the group talked about organizing a picket line to protest the blatant racial segregation, but the NAACP, not having a tradition of leading picketing efforts, could not guide this community outrage into direct action. CORE, invited by local residents to help lead a direct-action campaign, sent Joseph Perkins, the CORE regional field secretary, to organize a chapter in Covington. Forty community residents, 6 whites and 34 blacks, from Covington, Highland Heights, Newport, and Park Hills, Ky., and Cincinnati, met on November 29, 1960, with Joseph Perkins at the Fouse Center in Covington and orga nized the Northern Kentucky CORE chapter, which included Boone, Campbell, and Kenton

counties. The first officers were Lucille Barrett, chairman; Janet Greis, vice chairman; Jean Embry, recording secretary; Barbara Cantrill, corresponding secretary; and Joseph Garr, treasurer. The support of the L. B. Fouse Civic Center was critical to CORE’s success. The Fouse Center officers, Alice Shimfessel and Bertha Moore, were members of the NAACP and also joined the local CORE chapter. All CORE chapter meetings and

CORE Northern Kentucky members picketing the Liberty Theater, Covington, in December 1960.

nonviolent direct-action training sessions were held at the Fouse Center at 309 Bush St. Another important ally for CORE was the Young Christian Workers (YCW), which had six members who joined CORE. YCW offices, located at 5 W. Fift h St. in Covington, were used as the staging ground for the CORE negotiations, pickets, and sit-ins in the downtown Covington area. CORE members were expected to attend meetings, share responsibilities, and most importantly, take part in direct-action projects. Proper training was a prerequisite before any direct action could take place, so that members would be able to handle themselves under any circumstance. Joseph Perkins conducted training sessions on nonviolent philosophy, negotiating, picketing, sit-ins, and other forms of direct action. CORE members were taught that the movement was a life-and-death struggle and that they could be jailed, beaten, or killed while acting for justice. When CORE’s fi rst pickets began on December 3, 1960, Covington’s police chief, John Bornhorn, allowed CORE to have six to eight persons on the picket line and to pass out leaflets. Later, the police department ruled that only two picketers would be allowed at any one time and forbade them to pass out leaflets because the leaflets constituted a litter hazard. The initial targets of CORE’s direct action in Covington were the Woolworth and Kresge dime stores (see Five-and-Dime Stores), Lang’s Cafeteria, McClure’s Restaurant, the Mergard’s and Dixie Lanes bowling alleys, the YMCA, and the Madison and Liberty movie theaters. By March 1961 CORE was able to integrate most of these businesses, plus the Coach & Four and Lloyd’s restaurants. The YMCA and the Madison and Liberty movie theaters were the most difficult of all; these places required several