A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKY Community Action Commission holds first Black History walk to learn rich Covington history

By Catrena Bowman-Thomas
Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission

Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission held our inaugural Black History walk on Saturday.

It was a cold morning but there was excitement in the air as we began our journey to learn about the rich history of Covington.

We ventured to six points of interest starting at the Carnegie, home to the first library in Covington. It was also one of the first integrated libraries in the south. The founders were very intentional to create a space for all people to learn. No matter what changes occurred in our nation, the library stood on their belief of treating everyone equitably and with dignity.

The next stop was Randolph Park, which is named after an influential African American physician, who provided care for most black Covington residents from the 1920s until the 1970s. The park is home to the Old Timers event in which African Americans come back from across the country to celebrate the rich culture of the Eastside neighborhood.

Booth hospital was another stop on our tour. It became one of the first hospitals to accept African Americans as patients.

Next we strolled to the statue of James Bradley. He is sitting on a park bench right in front of the river. He was a slave who worked at night and saved up enough money to purchase his freedom. He relocated to Cincinnati where he became involved with Lane Theological Seminary and played a central role in the Lane Debates on Slavery in 1834.

We then transitioned to the beautiful Trinity Episcopal Church where we learned about Margaret Garner. She was a slave who was in the process of fleeing through the underground railroad. She was crossing over the frozen Ohio River when she and her family were caught. She attempted to kill her children because slavery to her was worse than death.

Lastly, we visited Lincoln Grant Scholar House (LGSH) which was a historically black school. The teachers at LGSH were highly educated, most held master’s degrees and migrated there because they were not allowed to teach in white schools. Many of the students went on to attend college and have successful careers because of their strong foundation. Today LGSH is owned by Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission, and it is home to 45 single parents who are attending post-secondary education.

The purpose of the walk was to bring different people together to learn about black history because black history is American history.

It was an opportunity to discuss the mistakes of the past and celebrate the accomplishments we have made together for our collective good. We have overcome so much in our past and every time we do, we come out stronger, wiser, and better together. We need to be reminded of that in these tremulous times.

This walk was made possible by our sponsors Greensky, St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Trinity Episcopal Church.

The virtual tour is available on our Facebook page at Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission.

Catrena Bowman-Thomas is executive director of the NKY Community Action Commission.

The promotional flyer:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment