A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

The Art of Being Black: Kentucky artists present visual commentary on race in new Art Center exhibit

Jan. 12 marked the opening of an innovative new exhibit in Danville at Art Center of the Bluegrass. The Art of Being Black: Conversation and Experience – presented by PNC Bank – tackles the big issue of race through the lens of conversations, memories, and stories of African Americans in Kentucky. A virtual exhibit opening and gallery talk will be held on Jan. 21. The Art Center convened an advisory...

West Kentucky Community and Technical College president outlines plans for recent $15 million gift

West Kentucky Community and Technical College President Dr. Anton Reece has outlined a tentative framework for how the college could use a recent $15 million gift. The historic gift from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott was donated last week to Paducah Junior College, Inc., which is the foundation for WKCTC. The donation is the largest gift from a single donor in the college’s history. “I...

Bill Straub: It’s the autocratic way — using (or threatening) military force against U.S. citizens

The nation dodged a bullet, figuratively and, perhaps, literally, this week when President Trump, aka President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and Unmatched Wisdom, failed to follow through on his threat to deploy the military to deal with the generally peaceful protests generated in wake of the death of George Floyd up in Minneapolis. Floyd, an African-American, died when a white policeman,...

Beshear reports drop in virus cases, pledges better health care for state’s African American community

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A sharp drop in the number of new cases of the coronavirus, as well as deaths, was reported by Gov. Andy Beshear during a Monday press briefing. He also pledged to improve healthcare coverage for African Americans in Kentucky. He said there were 70 new cases reported Sunday and another 120 on Monday, which brings Kentucky’s total to 11,476. There was one death on Sunday,...

Dr. Sonja Feist-Price: There is an opportunity to chart a new path forward, starting now

• Ahmaud Arbery, age 25, Brunswick, Georgia — February 23 • Breonna Taylor, age 26, Louisville, Kentucky — March 13 • Steven Taylor, age 33, San Leandro, California — April 18 • George Floyd, age 36, Minneapolis, Minnesota — May 25 • Tony McDade, age 38, Tallahassee, Florida — May 29 These individuals reflect the most recent unjust killings of African Americans. These repeated...

Why has coronavirus had a heavier impact on African Americans? Answers are in economics, sociology

The coronavirus is having a heavier effect on African Americans, putting new attention on the disparities in their health and the socioeconomic factors that influence health. Preliminary figures show that 12 percent of the Kentucky deaths attributed to COVID-19 were among African Americans, who comprise 8.3 percent of the state’s population. Even greater disparities have been found in other states,...

Constance Alexander: Celebrating Paducah’s Hotel Metropolitan, and the indomitable Maggie Steed

After Betty Dobson welcomed the Jackson Purchase Historical Society (JPHS) to Paducah’s Hotel Metropolitan for the organization’s March meeting, she stepped aside to let her alter-ego, Maggie Steed, talk about the landmark’s history. The original owner of The Metropolitan, Mrs. Steed landed in Paducah in the late 1800s. Before that, she’d worked in hotels in Indiana and Kentucky and understood...

Bill Straub: Trump doubles down on congresswomen of color who ARE already where they belong

“This country is a hellhole. We are going down fast.” — Donald J. Trump, Fox News, May 20, 2015 Enough. Enough already. President Donald J. Trump, better known in these parts as President Extremely Stable Genius, appears to be morphing into Lester Maddox, telling a quartet of progressive Democratic congresswomen with darker skin than his own that they should return to whence they came if...

(Re)Imagining Cheapside Witnessing Circle will honor enslaved African Americans

The lives of enslaved African Americans will be honored during Witnessing Circle, a convening scheduled from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 23 at the Farish Theater in the downtown Lexington Public Library, 140 E. Main Street. “This convening will be a cross between sacred performance and public engagement,” said internationally recognized author and placemaker Jay Pitter, who will...

Longtime Kentucky legislators honored during Black History Month celebration at state capitol

Three longtime members of the Kentucky General Assembly were honored for their years of service and dedication to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its citizens at the 15th annual Black History Month Celebration in the Capitol Rotunda. Dr. M. Christopher Brown II, president of Kentucky State University, was the keynote speaker. Senator Gerald Neal, D-Louisville, presented the 2018 Legacy Achievement...