Commission on Human Rights
KY Human Rights Commission today at capitol inducts Blaine Hudson as Great Black Kentuckian
Frankfort, Ky., February 6, 2013 - The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights proudly announces it has today inducted the late Dr. Blaine Hudson, who was University of Louisville Arts and Sciences dean, as the 55th Great Black Kentuckian.
The induction ceremony and the unveiling of Dr. Hudson’s Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians poster took place in the state capitol in Frankfort at the 2013 Kentucky Black History Month Celebration, which was sponsored by the Kentucky Black Legislative Caucus.
Approximately 200 people attended the Black History Month Celebration at 11:30 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time), in the rotunda. Governor Steve Beshear participated as did several legislators.
Governor Beshear and University of Louisville President James Ramsey spoke and helped the commission unveil Dr. Hudson’s poster. Also speaking were Kentucky Human Rights Commission Executive Director John J. Johnson and Human Rights Commissioners Timothy Thomas of Madisonville, Dr. Doris Clark-Sarr of Murray, and Duane Bonifer of Greenville. Dr. Hudson’s widow and family also participated in the proceedings.
Dr. J. Blaine Hudson (1949-2013), who died last month, was a well-known and consummate administrator, scholar, teacher and activist. He impacted countless people with his intelligence, compassion, courage and commitment.
Born in 1949 in Louisville, Hudson began what would become his lifelong fight for social change when as a junior high school-aged youngster he was refused admittance to a downtown movie theatre. As a student at the University of Louisville, he demonstrated in 1969 at the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office (where he would later serve as dean until the time of his death), demanding improvement in education opportunities for African American students.
He was a lifelong Louisville resident. He earned his Bachelor of Science and Master degrees of Education from the University of Louisville (U of L). He earned his Doctorate of Education degree from the University of Kentucky.
From 1974 to 1992, while teaching part-time, he held staff positions at U of L, including University Staff Grievance Officer. He joined the faculty of the Department of Pan-African Studies full-time in 1992. He served as chair of that department (1998- 2003) and as an associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences (1999-2004). In 2004, he was appointed acting dean of Arts and Sciences, and, after a national search, was appointed dean in 2005. He served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Louisville from 2005 until his death.
Dr. Hudson’s teaching and research focused on the histories and cultures of persons of African ancestry throughout the world, inter-cultural education, diversity, and the history and social psychology of race. He contributed to the establishment of international programs in seven countries. He was author of Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad in the Kentucky Borderland (2002), and Encyclopedia of the Underground Railroad (2006) and coauthor of Two Centuries of Black Louisville: A Photographic History (2011).
During his career, he chronicled the history of African Americans in Louisville, served on boards and commissions across the state and worked to solve the problem of gun violence in Louisville. He conducted the research for 10 historical markers and served as a historical consultant for the Farmington and Locust Grove historic homes, the Muhammad Ali Center, and the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. He served on the Board of Directors of the Muhammad Ali Center and as chair of the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission and the Kentucky State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
He was active in local and regional racial and social justice organizations and coordinated and taught in the Saturday Academy, a community education program focusing on African world history and culture. He led the effort to create a Freedom Park on the U of L campus in an effort to counterbalance the Confederate statue that has stood nearby the main campus since 1895. He died on January 5, 2013.
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights in 1970 introduced the Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians. The Gallery is the commission’s educational program that recognizes the achievements of African Americans from the Commonwealth who may not be highlighted in traditional histories, and who have made remarkable personal, professional or public achievements. Several have made a mark in the history of Kentucky and the nation. Each inductee’s bio is depicted on an educational poster. These are used by schools and libraries as tools to bring Kentucky African American role models and history into classrooms and to the public.
Visit the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website to learn about the Gallery inductees at www.kchr.ky.gov.
The Kentucky Human Rights Commission is the state government authority that enforces the Kentucky and U.S. Civil Rights acts, which make discrimination illegal. For help with discrimination, call the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights at 1.800.292.5566 (TDD – 502.595.4084).