In Memoriam

Louis Coleman (1943-2008)

Louis Coleman, known as one of the key leaders of the civil rights movement in Kentucky, died earlier this month at a hospital in Louisville, after suffering a series of seizures. He was 64 years old.

Coleman was a native of Louisville and graduated from historically black Kentucky State University. After playing minor league baseball, he returned to his alma mater to coach football.

In 1975 he founded the Justice Resource Center which he used to organize civil rights protests. He became an ordained minister after completing his studies at Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville in 1979. He was the leader of a 14-year legal battle with the DuPont company which, he claimed, maintained a seniority system that was unfair to blacks. DuPont settled the case in 1993.

Coleman picketed racially segregated golf clubs and mounted a protest at the construction site of the football stadium at the University of Louisville because it did not include a significant number of minority contractors. In 2004 he led a protest outside Louisville police headquarters after a black youth was gunned down during a drug bust.