Dr. Gerald Smith: Racial Justice and Equality

Series Host, Dr. Gerald Smith

This series explores a multiplicity of issues centered on race and history in Kentucky and America. Invited guests discuss a range of social, political, economic, and cultural topics and themes which shape the racial discussions in our society.  The purpose of the series is to provide information as well as stimulate conversations about the nation's ongoing racial awakening.

The series is hosted by University of Kentucky professor Gerald Smith. Dr. Smith’s focuses include  African American history, Race and Sports, Black Freedom Struggle, African American Education and Kentucky African American history. He is co-chair of Lexington’s Commission for Racial Justice and Equality, and co-editor of the award winning Kentucky African American Encyclopedia. 


Jack “Goose” Givens is a Wildcats legend. In his senior year at the University of Kentucky, Givens led the Wildcats to the 1978 NCAA National Championship with a win against Duke scoring 41 points to earn Most Outstanding Player. Now, he has published a memoir with co-author Doug Brunk. They are Gerald Smith’s guests in his ES series on racial justice and equality. LISTEN


Stanford University history professor-emeritus Clayborne Carson, keeper of the papers of Martin Luther King, Jr: One person’s wokeism is another’s democracy. LISTEN

Having had time to process last summer’s US Supreme Court ruling ending race-conscious admission programs on college and university campuses, Aaron Thompson, President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education talks with Gerald Smith about the meaning of the ruling to Kentucky campuses, students, and society. LISTEN

Gerald Smith and UK History and African Studies professor George Wright discuss the response of Kentucky’s flagship university to the Supreme Court decision ending race-conscious admission programs at colleges and universities. LISTEN

Gerald Smith's guest for this latest in his Eastern Standard series on racial justice and equality is Mammoth Cave Ranger Jerry Bransford, a current fifth generation Bransford cave guide at Mammoth Cave National Park.It's more than history. It's a legacy. LISTEN

Hear about One Lexington and the city's efforts to quell gun violence. The agency's Devine Carama is guest of Gerald Smith LISTEN

As the Juneteenth celebration of freedom from slavery approaches, a conversation with UK historian and Eastern Standard series host Gerald Smith about his new book, “Slavery and Freedom in the Bluegrass State: Revisiting My Old Kentucky Home.” LISTEN

State Representative George Brown (D-Fayette), speaking on behalf of the Black legislative caucus, calls for gun control law in Kentucky. LISTEN

 Aukram Burton heads the Kentucky African American Heritage Center in Louisville where stories are told through displays. He is Gerald Smith’s guest in this latest in our series about racial justice and equality. LISTEN

 March is National Colorectal Cancer Month. Dr. Smith's guest is gastroenterologist Greg Woolfolk. They discuss a disease that disproportionately strikes African Americans and the need for more Black specialists in the field. LISTEN

Educators across the Commonwealth are in training to teach middle and high school students about the holocaust. The effort is in response to a mandate passed by the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly. UK Professors Janice Fernheimer and Karen Petrone are leading the training of teachers and they are Dr. Smith's guests. LISTEN

Unique research at the University of Kentucky is looking into non-medical prescription opioid use among Black Americans. Dr. Smith's guest is research-lead, psychologist Dr. Danelle  Stevens-Watkins LISTEN 

 The Lyric Theatre stands as important community and cultural center for Black residents of Lexington. Gerald Smith, host of our series on racial justice and equality, gets an update on activities and philosophy from theater director Whit Whitaker. LISTEN

 What can public records tell us about the 19th century slave trade - and the enslaved - of Lexington, Kentucky? We’re about to find out. Fayette County historical property records include significant information about enslaved people. Two leaders working with this project are Rev. Shea Brown, Fayette County Special Projects Deputy Clerk, and Dr. Vanessa Holden who holds dual appointments in the Department of History  and a program in African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. Their research is the subject of Dr. Gerald Smith’s latest series on Racial Justice and Equality in America. LISTEN

Lexington's first African-American Sports Hall of Fame Inaugural Induction Ceremony and Gala is set for Sept. 24 at Central Bank Center. We hear from co-founders Bobby and Jennifer Jones LISTEN

“We must make America what America says it is.” In conversation with Dr. William H. Turner - LISTEN

"When I think of 'Black Lives Matter' it's historical, it's entrenched in the very fabric of America." In conversation with Dr. Sandra Weissinger - LISTEN

"I think you can appreciate my desire for us to record our own history rather than to leave it to someone else to interpret." In conversation with the Lexington Urban League's PG Peeples. LISTEN

Conversation with Dr. Dwayne Mack, Berea College VP for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Professor of History. LISTEN

Dr. Smith's guest is Kenneth Goings, Professor Emeritus, 19th- and 20th-Century African American History, Ohio State University. They discuss Dr. Goings book about racist collectibles such as Mammy and Uncle Mose salt and pepper shakers, Aunt Jemima cookie jars and Sambo napkins and how this memorabilia has influenced racial attitudes in America since reconstruction. LISTEN

State Senator Reginald Thomas is Dr. Smith's guest, discussing race relations in Lexington, circa 2021. LISTEN

State Senator Gerald Neal offers a perspective on how the most recent session of the state legislature performed on issues of social and criminal justice. LISTEN

Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig, dean, UK College of Education on Critical Race Theory - LISTEN

Sociologist and author William H. Turner discusses his book "Harlan Renaissance: Stories of Black Life in Appalachian Coal Towns." LISTEN

Bryan Station High School graduate Janisha Watts on becoming Senior Editor on the special projects team at The Atlantic  magazine. LISTEN

Former Cats coach Tubby Smith praises emerging young Black leadership. LISTEN

As Martin Luther King Day '22 approaches, a conversation with one who knew him well: civil rights activist and organizer, scholar and minister, Bernard Lafayette. Dr. Lafayette is co-author  with Kathryn Lee Johnson of In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma (Civil Rights and the Struggle for Black Equality in the Twentieth Century)  LISTEN

The covid vaccination rate among Black Kentuckians trails other segments of the state's population.  And a high rate of diabetes remains a challenge. Gerald Smith hears from one who is making efforts to educate and inform about vaccination and diabetes prevention, Dr. Lovoria  Williams, associate professor in the College of Nursing and Graduate Studies at the University of Kentucky; Director of the Community Health Advocacy Interventions Generating Equity (CHANGE) Team; Assistant Director for Cancer Health Equity at Markey Cancer Center ; Chair of the Markey Center Diversity & Inclusivity Committee and the Cancer Prevention Program. LISTEN

Many firsts for Black American women in recent times: first Black woman Vice President; first Black woman Supreme Court Justice; first Black woman Poet Laureate of Kentucky. Neither Vice President Harris or Justice Jackson could join us (or so at least we assumed), but Crystal Wilkinson found time to chat with Gerald Smith for the latest in his series on racial justice and equality. LISTEN

The lessons of the Senate hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson were not lost on this educator. Gerald Smith hosts Dr. Melynda Price, professor of law and humanities at the University of Kentucky and executive director of UK's Gaines Center. LISTEN

We learn about the physical and emotional trauma of racism from Dr. Candace Hargons, Interim Department Chair, Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology and professor of Diagnosis/Psychopathology, Ethics, Social Justice Consultation at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Hargons is Gerald Smith’s guest for this latest in our series on racial justice and equality. LISTEN