Limestone filtered waters and tall grass meadows sustained buffalo and deer and fowl.
The happy hunting grounds nourished and fed
the Paleoindians who begat the Shawnee,
the Chickasaw and Cherokee who were forced out
by the settlers who built McConnell Springs
and Lexington with the enslaved.
Taverns, newspapers, and schools brought government and a courthouse
which taxed businesses and railroads which produced deeds, wills, and profits
which encouraged wealth building and created
a desire for more chattel
which brought colonels, southern belles, and privilege
which normalized exploitation which begat a hunger for justice resulting in runaways and public whippings and jails
which increased sales at Cheapside.
Brisk trade at the courthouse square begat
more abolitionists, secret rooms in churches, local stops
on the Underground Railroad, and Frederick Douglass
chewing the fat with Lincoln which established
Camp Nelson and U.S. Colored Troops, helping
to bring an end to the war though no emancipation
in the bluegrass resulting in Juneteenth and a 13th, 14th and 15th Amendment, a Freedmen’s Bureau, reconstruction, African Cemeteries and more churches.
Real progress got erased by post-reconstruction
Jim Crow, prisons, black codes, lynching, minstrelsy, Birth of a Nation and confederate monuments
which inspired farm-burning night riders
leaving fewer Black farmers which birthed
urban enclaves like Gunntown, Brucetown, Kinkeadtown,
and Goodloetown which begat more churches,
Black ownership, and a new vision for the East End.
The Kentucky Association racetrack begat Black jockeys,
but none were faster than Keeneland which outran
a community of hot walkers, groomsmen, blacksmiths,
and trainers who begat brick masons, chimney sweeps,
janitors, garbage men and maids, high-minded people
who rolled up their sleeves and worked hard, raised college
graduates, politicians, teachers and blue and white collar
workers who had agency and entertainment money which supported the Lyric Theater, Deweese Street, schools,
a thriving Black business district, neighborhood associations
and the Roots & Heritage Festival. Bluegrass Aspendale
was transformed into Equestrian View and William Wells Brown.
Issac and Lucy Murphy’s mansion begat an Art Garden
at the head of a bike trail, and ignited a community venture that
birthed Art Inc. which begat an Artist Village and the MET.