Brown School senior students to see special viewing of “Black in Blue” on Thursday, February 20th

February 18, 2020

Louisville – As a new feature of its Black History Month Celebration, the Louisville Metro Council has invited seniors of the Brown School to a special showing of Academy Award winning filmmaker Paul Wagner’s “Black in Blue” on Thursday, February 20th.

          The film tells the story of how the University of Kentucky, one of many universities in the Southeastern Conference, was faced with integrating its football program in the 1960’s through the courage of four men who broke the color line.

          “Many young people see sports figures today and may have no idea of the struggle during the Civil Rights Movement to integrate college sports in the 1960’s,” says Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin (D-2), who chairs the Metro Council’s Community Affairs, Health and Education Committee. “It is something taken for granted today, but back then it was a major step forward here in Kentucky and set the path for change throughout the south.”

          “Black in Blue” focuses on Nate Northington, Greg Page, Houston Hogg and Wilbur Hackett who dealt with issues of the time and became heroes to many. Their addition to the UK team was championed as progress by the student newspaper, the UK President, The UK Board of Trustees, Charlie Bradshaw and then Governor Ned Breathitt. The color line was broken during UK’s game with Ole Miss when the first of the men played during that game.

          Paul Wagner is an Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning independent filmmaker. His documentaries have premiered at the Sundance, Toronto, Telluride and Rotterdam film festivals and been broadcast widely on PBS. He has produced and directed over forty films over a forty-year career.  The film will be shown to students in the Metro Council Chambers at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday. Mr. Northington, Phil Thompson, Greg Page’s roommate and Wilbur Hackett’s son, Keith, will be on hand and will participate in a discussion following the viewing. Afterward, the seniors will have lunch at Historic City Hall.

          “This is something new as the Metro Council celebrates Black History Month. Every year, we honor those African Americans who work in our community to bring about change in all our districts,” says Shanklin. “This year, we decided to enhance the celebration with a teaching moment for young people to show the progress made over the years to achieve social justice and equality in our society.”

          The Metro Council will hold its 18th Annual Black History Month program at 12:00 p.m. during a special meeting of the Community Affairs, Health and Education Committee.