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Strange Fruit: Grassroots Activists Bring Juneteenth Festival Back to Louisville

Strange Fruit 112

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This week we introduce you to a new member of the WFPL newsroom, politics reporter Ashley Lopez. Ashley joins us to talk about Indiana's controversial "religious freedom" act, Louisville's attempt to appeal to LGBT tourists, and a recent poll showing Kentucky's opposition to marriage equality.

We also hear Ashley's recent report on the Kentucky marriage equality case that will go before the Supreme Court late next month. She fills us in on where that case stands, who might make oral arguments, what experts think will be the outcome, and she introduces us to some of the Kentucky plaintiffs.

And a group of Louisvillians are bringing a Juneteenth Festival back to the Derby City for the first time in years. Juneteenth celebrates the freeing of enslaved Africans and African Americans in the United States in 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation became the law of the land.

Organizer Gary Brice takes a break from festival planning to stop by the Strange Fruit studios and let us know what's in store for festival attendees, and how our listeners can get involved.

This week we also give a shout out to friend-to-the-show Aisha Moodie-Mills, who this week was named the new president and CEO of the Victory Fund, a national organization that supports LGBTQ political candidates. Moodie-Mills is the first woman, and the first African American, to hold the job.

And our colleague Devin Katayama, education reporter and midday host for WFPL, is heading to KQED in San Francisco, to cover poverty and other issues affecting Oakland, California.

Finally this week we say a sad goodbye to teen trans activist Blake Brockington, who ended his own life last week. Despite suffering rejection from family and friends upon coming out as trans, Brockington went on to become homecoming king at his North Carolina high school.

Brockington was a tireless fundraiser and activist for LGBTQ issues, and was also an outspoken participant in the #BlackLivesMatter movement against police brutality.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in a crisis, please reach out to The Trevor Project's Lifeline at (866) 488-7386, or visit thetrevorproject.org for more ways to contact their counselors, who are specially trained to help LGBTQ youth. Stay safe, Fruitcakes.

Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.