These streets have a story. To all those habitual pavement pounders (such as myself), a sense of ownership over paths well-traipsed is inevitable. While I may have been bred, born and reared in the slightly bland soup of Louisville’s East End, my heart beats for Old Louisville – my personally claimed and christened home turf. Crumbled bricks and jumbled ivy make my heart all of a flutter, folks. It’s this sense of habitat heart and community comradery that builds the foundation for Louisville’s Grassroots Gala, a celebration of neighborhoods, history and local love. Kick off the good times this Friday, June 1st, as the Center For Neighborhoods and Rooibee Red Tea present a meet and greet with the authors of Two Centuries of Black Louisville: A Photographic History, Merv Aubespin, Kenneth Clay and J. Blaine Hudson.
First launched in 2009, the Grassroots Gala invites neighborhood associations from around River City to come together and partake in the fruits of Louisville’s local boroughs. With support and donations from numerous area sponsors, including Bluegrass Brewing Company (reason enough to come), Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA), Crescent Hill Radio, Breaking New Grounds, Save-a-Lot, the Louisville Bats, Louisville Downtown Development Corporation and Louisville Downtown Management District, the Grassroots Gala is an opportunity for Louisvillians to share a pat-on-the-back in celebration of our unique local flavors.
And while traditional merrymaking festivities will be abundant – BBC Beer Garden, “Keep Louisville Weird” raffle and live, local music aplenty – community bookworms can get their fill with a meet and greet at the Henry Clay Building. A Gold Medal winner in the Best Regional Non-Fiction Category of 2012’s Independent Publisher Book Awards, Two Centuries of Black Louisville spotlights Louisville’s 234-year history through the vibrant lens of the black community. With rare and unique photographs spanning Louisville history, Two Centuries highlights the struggles, heritage and culture of the region's African American activists and the evolution of race relations. Presenting the award-winning volume at 5pm, Aubespin, Clay and Hudson will be reflecting on their research and writing and participate in a book-signing following.
Don your most festive duds, celebrate your neighborhood and stop by the Henry Clay Building for a side of literature with your favorite local brew.
The Henry Clay Building is located at 604 South Third Street. The Grassroots Gala celebration will take place on 4th Street in the 600 block (between Broadway and Chesnut).
For more information about the Grassroots Gala, visit the Center For Neighborhoods website.
Image: Courtesy of Grassroots Gala press release