From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Lewis, Julia Etta

(born: March 6, 1932  -  died: December 4, 1998) 

Those who knew her well, called her Julietta. She was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement in Lexington, KY in the 1960s. Julia Etta Lewis was a member of the Lexington Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Using non-violent demonstrations and sit-ins, Lewis led the fight against segregation in education, entertainment, shopping, restaurants, and public transportation. She and Audrey Grevious helped to bring Lexington CORE and the NAACP together for protest efforts.

In addition to being a civil rights activist in Lexington, Julia E. Lewis was a nurse and a gifted speaker. After her work with CORE in Lexington, Lewis moved to Ann Arbor, MI, where she organized a federal social service project. She returned to Lexington and for 14 years was an employee with the Housing Authority. Julia Etta Lewis was posthumously inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2001. The Julietta Market in Lexington, KY, was named in her honor in 2020.

Julia Etta Lewis died in Lexington, KY, in December of 1998. She was the daughter of Charles and Lulu Piersall Lewis. She is buried in the Lexington Cemetery.

Sources: "She found and fought, society's wrongs," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/01/1999, p.B7; Darla Carter, "Sixteen Kentucky activists honored as civil-rights heroes," The Courier-Journal, 07/19/2001, p.B1and B7; Janet Patton, "Greyline Station opening with restaurants, retail," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/21/2020, front page & p.A3.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Grevious, Audrey Louise
NKAA Source: Lexington herald-leader (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Courier-Journal [Louisville] (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Ancestry (online)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Lewis, Julia Etta,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed February 21, 2024, https://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/index.php/items/show/22.

Last modified: 2022-09-03 11:03:46