Home of Anne and Carl Braden
This is the home of civil rights activists Anne and Carl Braden. Throughout the 1940s, ‘50s, ‘60s, and on, the couple worked passionately on this effort and gained national attention for it. They gained the praise and support of civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. who said he was "thankful" for their efforts. Although the Bradens were hated and accused of communism for their efforts they still fought for civil rights.
Backstory and Context
Anne and Carl Braden's story begins long
before the civil rights movement. Anne was originally from the South where she was
born in Louisville, KY and grew up in Alabama. She earned a degree from
Randolph-Macon Women's College located in Virginia where she was inspired to
work with the press, leading to her employment with the "Louisville
Times." During her time with the paper she met Carl and became his wife in
Together, Carl and Anne worked for the civil rights of African Americans. They worked for the 1948 Progressive Party and were active in several other civil rights groups who fought to end segregation. In these groups the couple played a variety of roles both in the background and on the frontlines. One of these groups was the Southern Conference Educational Fund for whom they wrote the bulletin called the "Southern Patriot." The SCEF, as it was called, tried to use New Deal policies to solve poverty, work related problems, and disfranchisement in the South during the 1940s and 1950s. In the late 1950s this group used education to attack segregation and worked closely with SNCC in the 1960s. The SCEF was passionate about integration and thought the best way to achieve it was with direct action instead of mere negotiations.
Anne and Carl Braden also assisted in the desegregation of residencies. In 1954 the Bradens helped Andrew Wade and his family purchase a home in an all-white Louisville, KY community. The Bradens bought the home and switched the title to Mr. Wade but shortly after the home was bombed by their white neighbors. Because of the help they gave the Wades, the Bradens were falsely charged with the bombing and accused of communism. During the early 1950s this accusation was commonly made of people who tried to change the status quo and sway political opinion. The charges against the Bradens were eventually dropped but their reputation among other whites was forever tarnished. While the Bradens were criticized in the white community, their house was a warm meeting place for organizations like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the NAACP. Prominent figures such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Angela Davis also visited the Braden’s home during their efforts.
"Faces of Liberty: Anne & Carl Braden." American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky. Accessed September 20, 2017. http://www.aclu-ky.org/articles/faces-of-liberty-anne-carl-braden/
"SNCC Digital Gateway: Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF)." Accessed on September 27, 2017. https://snccdigital.org/inside-sncc/alliances-relationships/scef/