Louisville Municipal College for Negroes
After 20 years of political work, the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes finally opened February 9, 1931, as a branch of the University of Louisville (U of L). Rufus E. Clement was named Dean of the school. Samuel M. Plato designed the main building of the campus, originally the William H. Steward Hall when the college was part of Simmons University.
Prior to the school opening, in 1920, U of L had presented a bond issue, which required a two-thirds affirmative vote. African American tax dollars would be used in the bond, but the plan was not to allow African Americans to attend U of L. There were also no plans for a college for African Americans; therefore, African American voter opposition prevented the passing of the bond.
Compromises were made with the promise of sharing the bond proceeds for the building of an African American college, so the bond passed in 1925. Two U of L presidents died before plans got under way in 1929. It later became known as Louisville Municipal University, which closed in 1951.
For more see J. B. Hudson, "The Establishment of Louisville Municipal College: a case study in racial conflict and compromise," The Journal of Negro Education, 1995, vol. 64, issue 2; and J. B. Hudson's The History of Louisville Municipal College: events leading to the desegregation of the University of Louisville, 1981 dissertation. The Louisville Municipal College Photographs and Records are available at the University of Louisville Archives & Special Collections.