Read Linda B. Blackford’s excellent piece, Tracing the white, male face of Capitol.

Here are excerpts:

Last week, Sen. Barack Obama made a nationally televised speech that put race at the center of American political discourse.

That’s not a place where Kentucky is entirely comfortable.

This is the state, after all, that waited until 1976 to ratify the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the laws that outlawed slavery and ensured blacks equal protection and the right to vote. …

While certainly no trailblazer in women’s rights, Kentucky did elect the third female governor in the country. But the state has never elected a black to statewide office. There are now six blacks in the state House of Representatives and one in the state Senate. According to a study by the Secretary of State, there are five black mayors and two black circuit court justices in the entire state.

“What’s apparent is that, somehow, throughout the 20th century a message has been sent that African-Americans are not welcome to participate in the political process,” said University of Kentucky historian and author Gerald Smith.

Folks, it’s up to you and me to DRAG the rest of Kentucky into this century.

Are you willing to join me?

KYJurisDoctor can be reached at

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