Interview with William H. Childress, July 25th, 1986

Accession Number:
1986OH209 KH 338
William H. Childress
Ann Grundy
Interview Date: 
Friday, July 25th, 1986

The son of Fisk University graduates, Mr. Childress also graduated from Fisk in 1934 with a degree in economics. He recalls former professors at the University and Charles S. Johnson, the first African American president of Fisk. After working for the Democratic party during the 1937 election, Childress accepted a position in Louisville with the juvenile court as a probation officer. He discusses his time spent at Fisk University, his employment as a probation officer, and comments on the conditions faced by African Americans in Louisville and Lexington. Recounting his service from 1960-1962 as the representative for the 42nd District to the Kentucky General Assembly, Mr. Childress talks about Governor Bert T. Combs, Mary Helen Byck and the Kentucky Human Rights Commission. He speaks of his marriage to Joanna Offut, the bombing of Zirl Palmer's drugstore, the establishment of the Louisville Defender and it's civil rights coverage, the role of African American ministers within the community, and the lack of African American leadership in Lexington.


Interview Restricted: 
No Restrictions