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00:00:02 - Childhood experiences of discrimination

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Partial Transcript: My name is Gerald Smith and today's date is August the 11th of 2010.

Segment Synopsis: Senator Georgia Davis Powers is introduced. She talks about her earliest memory of racial discrimination as well as an instance which occurred while getting her driver's license. She tells a story about getting fired from her job as a teenager for serving a black man.

Keywords: County clerks; Driver's license; Fired; Friends; Lunch counters; Neighborhoods; Race; Schools; Service; Stores

Subjects: African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Childhood; Louisville (Ky.)--Social conditions; Race discrimination.; Race relations--Kentucky; Racism

00:04:06 - Family

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Partial Transcript: Was race discussed in your home?

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks about her family's attitude toward race. She talks about her father's complexion and how people would often ask about his race. She talks about gender roles and chores growing up.

Keywords: Brothers; Chores; Complexion; Deals; Fathers; Gender roles; Home; Mothers; Muir family; Race; Upbringing; White

Subjects: African American families; Childhood

00:07:37 - Accomplishments of people in her neighborhood

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Partial Transcript: Uh, one thing--and I have to tell you about the, uh, the neighborhood I lived in.

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks about some of the people in her childhood neighborhood, including doctors, teachers, and bankers, among others. She talks about the tornado that hit their house and resulted in their move to Louisville.

Keywords: Accomplishments; Bankers; Doctors; Fathers; Houses; Land development; Race car drivers; Real estate; Teachers; Tornadoes

Subjects: African American families; African American leadership; African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Conduct of life.; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Louisville (Ky.)

00:13:02 - Religion and upbringing

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Partial Transcript: Wha--did you come from a religious family?

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks about the various religions practiced in her family, including her aunt who preached Holiness sermons on the street corner every weekend. She describes her upbringing, including discipline and her siblings.

Keywords: Aunts; Brothers; Cars; Catholics; Child rearing; Corporal punishments; Drinking; Fathers; Fires; Grandmothers; Holiness churches; Mothers; Muir family; Prayer; Preaching; Siblings; Smoking; Spankings

Subjects: African American churches; African American families; African Americans--Religion; African Americans--Social conditions.; Childhood; Louisville (Ky.)

00:18:43 - How her life was affected by her brother's death

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Partial Transcript: Did the death of your brothers affect you in any sort of way?

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks about how she was affected by the death of her brother at age fifteen due to leukemia.

Keywords: Brothers; California; Carl Montgomery; Cheli Air Force Base; Cheli Air Force Station; Davis, Norman; Deaths; Effects; Husbands; Leukemia; Montgomery, Carl; Norman Davis

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Health and hygiene.; Childhood

00:22:28 - Adopting her son

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Partial Transcript: And then we had a son, nine years old. And we had, had adopted him when he was six, from Lexington, by the way.

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks about how she came to adopt her son William ("Billy") and his life before he came to live with her. He was born to a white mother and black father and had had difficulty attending school prior to integration.

Keywords: 1996; Adopted; Adoption; Biological fathers; Biological mothers; Children; Davis, Norman; Davis, William; Death; Friends; Husbands; Integrated schools; Lexington (Ky.); Mixed race; Navy; Norman Davis; Segregated schools; Sons; William Davis

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Race discrimination.; Race relations--Kentucky

00:31:17 - Churches / Husbands

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Partial Transcript: Did you ever join a church here in Louisville?

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks about some of the churches she has attended during her lifetime. She tlaks about going to church with Verna Smith, then with her cousin, and then with her husband James Powers. She describes the personalities of each of her husbands. She talks about her first husband and why she got her marriage annulled after he refused to pay her college tuition. She talks about why she and her second husband were divorced shortly after her election to the Senate.

Keywords: Annulments; Baptists; Central High School; Church membership; Cousins; Davis, Norman; Divorces; Education; Family; Friends; Furs; Husbands; J.E. Smith; James Powers; Jewelry; Jobs; Money; Norman Davis; Personality; Politics; Powers, James; Presbyterians; Salesmen; Schools; Smith, J.E.; Smith, Verna; Tuition; Verna Smith; Zion Baptist Church

Subjects: African American churches; African American families; African Americans--Religion; African Americans--Social conditions.; Louisville (Ky.); Powers, Georgia Davis, 1923-

00:42:46 - Relationship with the Kennedys and other politicians

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Partial Transcript: Now you said that you all attended a reception for John F. Kennedy?

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks about meeting John, Ted, and Robert Kennedy. She mentions speaking at the Democratic National Convention in 1968.

Keywords: Campaign staff; Democratic National Convention; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Funerals; Jobs; John F. Kennedy; Kennedy, Ted; Robert Kennedy; Senate; Ted Kennedy; Wilson Wyatt

Subjects: Kennedy, Edward Moore, 1961-; Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963; Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968; Political campaigns; Politicians; Politics and government; Powers, Georgia Davis, 1923-; Wyatt, Wilson W. (Wilson Watkins), 1905-1996

00:47:02 - Race relations in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1960s

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Partial Transcript: I wanted to ask you--I kind of want to go back to when you first got in politics.

Segment Synopsis: Powers discusses the attitudes of African Americans in Louisville in regard to their social conditions as compared to African Americans in other areas. She says people in Louisville were complacent and felt that they had it good. She talks about some of the leaders in civil rights in Louisville during the 1960s.

Keywords: "Polite racism"; Accidents; Alfred Carroll; Anderson, Charles; Attitudes; Buses; Carroll, Alfred; Charles Anderson; Conspiracies; Conspiracy; Crumlin, James; D.E. King; Death; Dr. Sweeney; Harry McAlpin; James Crumlin; King, D.E.; Legislators; McAlpin, Harry; Ministers; Schools; Trolleys

Subjects: African American leadership; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Civil rights movements--United States; Discrimination in housing.; Kentucky--Politics and government; Louisville (Ky.)--Social conditions; Race discrimination.; Race relations--Kentucky; Racism; School integration--Kentucky

00:51:57 - Allied Organization for Civil Rights

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Partial Transcript: Well, that's kind of what I want to go to next is the--

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks about the religious groups involved with the Allied Organization for Civil Rights in Louisville in the 1960s. She talks about some of the people involved and talks about their mission in regard to public accommodations.

Keywords: 1960s; 1966; Advisory boards; Allied Organizations for Civil Rights (AOCR); Catholic; Clapp, Lloyd; Denominations; Frank Stanley, Jr.; Jewish; Kentucky Civil Rights Act; Legislators; Lloyd Clapp; Lucretia "Lukey" Ward; Lukey Ward; Missions; Office managers; Public accommodations; Religion; Stanley, Jr., Frank; Ward, Lucretia "Lukey"

Subjects: African American leadership; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Civil rights movements--United States; Kentucky--Politics and government; Louisville (Ky.)--Social conditions; Race discrimination.; Race relations--Kentucky; Racism

00:56:11 - March on Frankfort, Kentucky in 1964

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Partial Transcript: So, um, let, let's talk about that, then, this, this March on Frankfort.

Segment Synopsis: Powers describes Frank Stanley, Sr. and Frank Stanley, Jr. She talks about Frank Stanley, Jr.'s role in organizing the 1964 March on Frankfort.

Keywords: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Frank Stanley, Jr.; Helen Holmes; Holmes, Helen; Jackie Robinson; March on Frankfort; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Organizing; Personality; Planning; Political appointments; Robinson, Jackie; Stanley, Jr., Frank

Subjects: African American leadership; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Civil rights demonstrations; Civil rights movements--United States; Frankfort (Ky.); Kentucky--Politics and government; King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968; Race discrimination.; Race relations--Kentucky; Racism

00:59:06 - Politics in Louisville, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: And, you see, at that time, they looked at me like I was, you know, just a, a nobody, really, you know, because my parents weren't professional people.

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks about the intraracial class division among African Americans in Louisville in the 1960s, especially in regard to politics. She talks about Verna Smith encouraging her to work for Wilson Wyatt's campaign and discusses the relationship between herself, Smith, Hughes McGill, and Charlotte McGill.

Keywords: 'Old guard'; Charlotte McGill; Family; House of Representatives; Hughes McGill; McGill, Charlotte; McGill, Hughes; Senate; Smith, Verna; Social classes; Social divides; Verna Smith; Wilson Wyatt; Wyatt, Wilson

Subjects: African American leadership; African American politicians.; African Americans--Politics and government.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Kentucky--Politics and government; Louisville (Ky.); Political campaigns

01:02:27 - More on churches

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Partial Transcript: So this lady, Verna Smith--

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks more about churches she has attended throughout her life. She talks about the church she currently attends.

Keywords: Congregations; Deacons; Denominations; Ferguson Memorial Presbyterian Church; Husbands; Pastors; Pentecostal; Seventh Day Adventist; Zion Baptist Church

Subjects: African American churches; African Americans--Religion; Louisville (Ky.); Powers, Georgia Davis, 1923-

01:08:40 - Working on Wilson Wyatt's political campaign

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Partial Transcript: I want to go back now to when you, uh, when Verna--

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks more about how she became involved in Wilson Wyatt's campaign for U.S. Senate and how she became chairman of volunteers. She talks about her opinion of Lukey Ward at the time. She talks about manipulating the system to achieve her goals, both during Wilson Wyatt's campaign as well as later in her own political career.

Keywords: A.B. Chandler; Breathitt, Ned; Chairman of volunteers; Collins, Martha Layne; Cunningham, Raoul; Deals; Dee Huddleston; Elections; Governors; Happy Chandler; Huddleston, Dee; Jobs; Leave of absence; Legislative aides; Letters; Lucretia "Lukey" Ward; Lukey Ward; Martha Layne Collins; Ned Breathitt; Raoul Cunningham; Recruitment; Smith, Verna; U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Senate; Value; Verna Smith; Ward, Lucretia "Lukey"; Wilson Wyatt

Subjects: African American politicians.; African Americans--Politics and government.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Kentucky--Politics and government; Political campaigns; Politicians--Kentucky; Wyatt, Wilson W. (Wilson Watkins), 1905-1996

01:17:08 - Civil rights demonstrations and political involvement in Louisville in 1965

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Partial Transcript: I just kind of want to return now to the discussion of, um, you know, just prior to you working with the Wilson Wyatt campaign, that you were involved in some of the, uh, demonstrations here in--

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks about the creation of the Kentucky Christian Leadership Conference and some of the people involved. She talks about voter registration drives and discusses why African Americans in Louisville are more involved in politics than people from other places in Kentucky. She talks about the head of the Democratic Party in Louisville, Lennie McLaughlin, and her influence on local politics. She talks about running for district chairman in 1964 against McLaughlin's candidate.

Keywords: 1963; 1965; A.D. King; Alfred Daniel (A.D.) Williams King; City workers; Cunningham, Raoul; Democratic Executive Committee; Democratic Party; District chairman; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Elections; Executive secretary; Gatewood, William; Kentucky Christian Leadership Conference (KCLC); King, A.D.; King, Alfred Daniel (A.D.) Williams; Lennie McLaughlin; Lucretia "Lukey" Ward; Lukey Ward; Mayors; McLaughlin, Lennie; Organizing; Politically-minded; Raoul Cunningham; Republican Party; Robert Whitehouse; Satisfied; Secret ballots; Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); Voter registration drives; Voting; Ward, Lucretia "Lukey"; Whitehouse, Robert; William Gatewood; Young people; Youth

Subjects: African American leadership; African American politicians.; African Americans--Politics and government.; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Civil rights demonstrations; Civil rights movements--United States; Kentucky--Politics and government; King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968; Louisville (Ky.); Political campaigns; Politicians--Kentucky; Race discrimination.; Race relations--Kentucky; Racism

01:26:47 - More on the march on Frankfort, Kentucky in 1964

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Partial Transcript: Let me, um, kind of switching gears just a little bit.

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks more about her involvement in the 1964 March on Frankfort. She talks about driving with her brother to pick up Martin Luther King and Jackie Robinson at the airport. She talks about how Governor Ned Breathitt would not come out to the march so she took King and a few others to Breathitt's office. She had worked for Breathitt's campaign previously (though she was not offered a job after his election like the rest of his campaign staff) and used this to her advantage. She gives her opinion on Breathitt's leadership at that time. She mentions some other politicians and leaders at the time. She mentions a hunger strike her son participated in.

Keywords: 1964; Attitudes; Bills; Blume, Norbert; Breathitt, Ned; Brown, Sr., John Y.; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Effects; Floods; Frank Stanley, Jr.; Governors; House of Representatives; Hunger strikes; Impressions; Ineffective; Jackie Robinson; John Y. Brown, Sr.; Kentucky Civil Rights Act; Leadership; Legislation; Legislators; Legislature; March on Frankfort; Ned Breathitt; Norbert Blume; Power; Robinson, Jackie; Roles; Sons; Stanley, Jr., Frank; Weak

Subjects: African American leadership; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Civil rights demonstrations; Civil rights movements--United States; Frankfort (Ky.); Kentucky--Politics and government; King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968; Politicians--Kentucky; Race discrimination.; Race relations--Kentucky; Racism

01:35:47 - 1967 campaign

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Partial Transcript: What about, uh, Norbert Blume? What do you remember about him?

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks about her campaign in 1967 and her cooperation with fellow candidates Norbert Blume, Hughes McGill, and Mae Street Kidd. She talks about her opponent in the election and discusses an incident in which his name was put on every sample ballot, giving him free advertising at the polls. She talks about how she rectified this situation.

Keywords: Blume, Norbert; Cunningham, Raoul; Dr. Riggs; Election Day; Elections; Executive Committee; Hughes McGill; Kidd, Mae Street; Mae Street Kidd; McGill, Hughes; Norbert Blume; Political opponents; Raoul Cunningham; Sample ballots

Subjects: African American leadership; African American politicians.; African Americans--Politics and government.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Kentucky--Politics and government; Louisville (Ky.); Political campaigns

01:38:43 - 1968 riot in Louisville, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: I want to ask you something--

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks about the riot that occurred in Louisville in 1968 which resulted in the arrest of the Black Six on charges of conspiracy. She talks about what she was doing the night of the riot and how her house (also the headquarters of the KCLC) was in the immediate vicinity of the riot. She talks about the looting that was occurring during the riot and how she felt about the governor calling in the National Guard.

Keywords: 1968; Black Six; Carmichael, Stokely; Cunningham, Raoul; Governors; Kentucky Christian Leadership Conference (KCLC); Looting; Louie Nunn; National Guard; Nunn, Louie; Radicals; Raoul Cunningham; Riots; Senate; Stokely Carmichael; Young people; Youth

Subjects: African American leadership; African American politicians.; African Americans--Politics and government.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Kentucky--Politics and government; Louisville (Ky.); Violence in the civil rights movement

01:44:17 - Political career

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Partial Transcript: Let me ask you this question, um, is there any one thing that clicked with you in '66 that said, "I am running for the Senate here in Kentucky." Is, is there--

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks about her motivation for running for the Senate and talks about Verna Smith's role in her decision. She talks about Smith's connection to Wilson Wyatt, as well as more about Smith's daughter and son-in-law Charlotte and Hughes McGill. She talks about the time during her political career that she was most angry: when Governor Happy Chandler used a racial slur on television in 1988.

Keywords: 1966; 1988; Angry; Bills; Chandler, Happy; David Karem; Election Day; Happy Chandler; J.E. Smith; Karem, David; Letters; Political careers; Precinct captains; Racial slurs; Senate; Smith, J.E.; Smith, Verna; University of Kentucky; Verna Smith; Votes; Wilson Wyatt; Wyatt, Wilson

Subjects: African American leadership; African American politicians.; African Americans--Politics and government.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Kentucky--Politics and government; Louisville (Ky.); Political campaigns; Racism

01:50:16 - Relationships between black women and white women

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Partial Transcript: So where did you get, um, the ideas for bills? Were people sending you suggestions--

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks about her current work (at the time of this interview) organizing a women's march on Frankfort to celebrate the anniversary of women's suffrage. She talks about the speech she is planning on giving at the march which will highlight the work of African Americans in the suffrage movement. She talks about the relationships between black women and white women in both politics and protest movements.

Keywords: Accomplishments; Black women; Dinner parties; Gender; Intersectionality; Lucretia "Lukey" Ward; Lukey Ward; Marches; Organizing; Race; Relationships; Respect; Senators; Social life and customs; Supporters; Unity; Ward, Lucretia "Lukey"; White women; Women's suffrage

Subjects: African American politicians.; African Americans--Politics and government.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Frankfort (Ky.); Kentucky--Politics and government; Political campaigns; Race relations--Kentucky

01:56:25 - Corruption in Kentucky politics / Endorsements

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Partial Transcript: Dr. King never called me anything but Senator.

Segment Synopsis: Powers talks about Martin Luther King sending people to help her with her Senatorial campaign and talks about their methods of compelling people to vote. She describes some of the 'dirty politics' in Kentucky, including the Boptrot scandal and her seatmate's involvement in it. She talks about being surrounded by white men in the Senate and feeling like she was on a mission. She talks about some of the organizations that supported her and endorsed her campaign. She discusses convincing a fellow African American candidate to drop out of a political race in order to not split the black vote.

Keywords: 1968; American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO); Bribery; Bribes; Churches; Contributions; Dancing; Dirty politics; Endorsements; Faith; Funding; Garrett, Helen; Garrett, Tom; Helen Garrett; Louisville Courier-Journal; Louisville Defender (Newspaper); Louisville Dental Association; Louisville Education Association; Louisville Medical Association; Money; Operation Boptrot; Political candidates; Religion; Roles; Social life; Sororities; Threats; Tom Garrett; Voting; W.C. Young; White men; Women's organizations; Young, W.C.

Subjects: African American leadership; African American politicians.; African Americans--Politics and government.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Elections--Corrupt practices; Kentucky--Politics and government; Louisville (Ky.); Political campaigns; Political corruption--Kentucky

02:08:42 - Thoughts on various politicians

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Partial Transcript: Here's what I want to do--

Segment Synopsis: Powers describes her memories and opinions of several politicians she worked with throughout her career, including Happy Chandler, Ned Breathitt, Louie Nunn, Jerry Abramson, Martha Layne Collins, Julian Carroll, John Y. Brown, Jr., Wendell Ford, and Wilson Wyatt.

Keywords: 1956; 1964 Civil Rights Act; 1966 Civil Rights Act; A.B. Chandler; Abramson, Jerry; Advocates; Baseball commissioners; Breathitt, Ned; Chandler, A.B.; Cowger, William; Female politicians; Governors; Happy Chandler; Integration; Jackie Robinson; Jerry Abramson; John Y. Brown, Jr.; Julian Carroll; Leadership; Louie Nunn; Martha Layne Collins; Mayors; National Guard; Ned Breathitt; Open housing bills; Personality; Racial slurs; Rapport; Relationships; Robinson, Jackie; Senate; Supporters; Veto; Wendell Ford; William Cowger; Wilson Wyatt; Woman governors; Women; YWCA

Subjects: African American leadership; African American politicians.; African Americans--Politics and government.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Breathitt, Edward T., 1924-; Brown, John Y. (John Young) Jr., 1933-; Carroll, Julian Morton, 1931-; Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; Civil rights movements--United States; Collins, Martha Layne; Ford, Wendell H., 1924-; Kentucky--Politics and government; Louisville (Ky.); Nunn, Louie B., 1924-2004; Political campaigns; Politicians--Kentucky; Wyatt, Wilson W. (Wilson Watkins), 1905-1996

02:20:40 - Thoughts on other notable people

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Partial Transcript: Now, let me throw out a few more names.

Segment Synopsis: Powers describes her memories and opinions of other notable people, including Muhammad Ali, Lyman T. Johnson, C. Eubank Tucker, and Mae Street Kidd, among others.

Keywords: 1968; Ali, Muhammad; Anne Braden; Attitudes; Autobiography; Bills; Braden, Anne; Braden, Carl; Businesses; C. Eubank Tucker; Carl Braden; Chairperson; Committees; Johnson, Lyman T.; Kidd, Mae Street; Labor Committee; Louisville Courier-Journal; Lucretia "Lukey" Ward; Lukey Ward; Lyman T. Johnson; Mae Street Kidd; Mammoth Insurance Company; Muhammad Ali; Neighbors; News; Parties; Radicals; Relationships; Rules Committee; Sedition; Senate; Temperament; Tucker, C. Eubank; University of Kentucky; Ward, Lucretia "Lukey"

Subjects: African American leadership; African American neighborhoods; African American politicians.; African Americans--Politics and government.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Childhood; Civil rights movements--United States; Kentucky--Politics and government; Louisville (Ky.); Political campaigns; Politicians--Kentucky

02:34:25 - How to increase African Americans' political influence

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Partial Transcript: Just a couple more questions.

Segment Synopsis: Powers discusses what she believes can be done to increase the involvement and influence of African Americans in the political realm. She talks about the current trend she sees of people hosting events for candidates just to receive money. She discusses a meeting she had with mayoral candidate Greg Fischer.

Keywords: Attitudes; Consultants; Cunningham, Raoul; Executive Committee; Fancy Farm; Fischer, Greg; Greg Fischer; Mayoral candidates; Mayors; Mindset; Money; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Paid; Political candidates; Raoul Cunningham; Support; Voter registration drives

Subjects: African Americans--Politics and government.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Kentucky--Politics and government; Louisville (Ky.); Political campaigns; Politicians--Kentucky; Voting.

02:42:52 - Conservative politicians

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Partial Transcript: What do you think, think about this Tea Party movement?

Segment Synopsis: Powers discusses her opinions on the Tea Party movement, Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, and other conservative politicians.

Keywords: Bunning, Jim; Conservatives; Conway, Jack; Jack Conway; Jim Bunning; Ku Klux Klan (KKK); Mitch McConnell; Paul, Rand; Rand Paul; Segregation; Senate; Tea Party Movement

Subjects: African Americans--Social conditions.; Kentucky--Politics and government; McConnell, Mitch; Politicians--Kentucky; Republican Party (Ky.); Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )

02:45:42 - Thoughts on President Barack Obama

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Partial Transcript: Well, you've seen a lot politically-wise. Um--

Segment Synopsis: Powers gives her thoughts on the first African American U.S. president, Barack Obama. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: 'Birthers'; African American presidents; Barack Obama; Cabinet; U.S. presidents; White people

Subjects: African American leadership; African American politicians.; African Americans--Politics and government.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Obama, Barack; Race discrimination.; Racism