Jonesville was a small tight-knit African-American community in Bowling Green, Kentucky with a unique cultural identity. Family-oriented and extremely self-sufficient, Jonesville thrived as a prime example of southern black culture in the mid 20th century. However, Jonesville did not stand a chance placed against a powerful local institution. In the late 1950s and early 1960s the community was destroyed to create space for an expanding Western Kentucky University. Fueled by the entirely unjust urban renewal legislation, Kentucky Project R-31, Jonesville was wiped from the Bowling Green map. Due to locally sanctioned discriminatory action, the displaced citizens of Jonesville were forced into specific areas of town, including Shake Rag, prolonging the problem of residential discrimination past its legal lifespan. As giant gravestones, Diddle Basketball Arena, Feix Football Field, and Nick Denes Baseball Field pay no tribute to the formerly thriving and loved community.
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair
Dr. Patricia Minter
Carpenter, George, "Where's Jonesville? How the Destruction of Jonesville Left a Legacy of Housing Discrimination in Bowling Green, KY" (2014). Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 443.