Campus News

'Behind the Blue': Gerald Smith discusses the 60th anniversary of the March on Frankfort


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2024) — On March 5, 1964, following the postponement of legislation aimed at eliminating segregation in public accommodations in Kentucky, some 10,000 residents of the Commonwealth of Kentucky came together with notable civil rights activists, including Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson, to participate in a March on Frankfort. This interracial protest was designed to exert pressure on the governor, urging support for a more robust legislative proposal.

On this episode of "Behind the Blue," University of Kentucky professor of history Gerald Smith talks about the historical context and significance of the march, the legacy it left behind and how, 60 years later, it continues to be commemorated.

From 1997-2005, Smith served as the director of the African American Studies and Research Program at UK, and he is the author, editor, or co-editor of five books including his newest from 2023: ‘Slavery and Freedom in the Bluegrass State: Revisiting My Old Kentucky Home’.

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Transcripts for this or other episodes of Behind the Blue can be downloaded from the show’s blog page.

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As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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