From the The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, published in the Louisville Courier Journal
Editor’s Note: The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage will provide The Courier Journal with history maker features biweekly for the remainder of the year. The center’s goals are to enhance the public’s knowledge about the history, heritage and cultural contributions of African Americans in Kentucky and in the African Diaspora. The center is also a vital, contemporary institution, providing space for exhibitions and performances of all types.
Merv Aubespin (1937-) was born in Opelousas, Louisiana, and is a graduate of Tuskegee University. He credits a visit to Montgomery, Alabama, during college as the inspiration for his lifelong involvement in the civil rights movement. In 1967 he became the first African American to hold the post of news artist at The Courier Journal newspaper. He joined the newsroom staff during the 1968 civil rights unrest in Louisville and later retired after 35 years with The Courier Journal. He is the co-author of a book, “Two Centuries of Black Louisville: A Photographic History.”
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 photographs spanning Louisville’s history, the book highlights the struggles, heritage and culture of the region’s African American activists and the evolution of race relations. Aubespin is a past president of the National Association of Black Journalists and also the founder of the Louisville Association of Black Communicators.
He was awarded the Distinguished Service to Journalism Award in 1991, given by the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communications. He received the Ida B. Wells Award for his dedication to bringing minorities into the field of journalism.