Block party held in honor of Lexington activist Anita Franklin

Anita’s son, Ricardo Franklin says this event showcases all that his mother ever wanted for the people of Lexington.
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 4:35 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Anita Franklin communitywide block party is being held Friday night on Lexington’s east end.

It’s being put on in honor of Franklin’s 60th birthday to bring the community together at a time when the very issues she fought against continue to trouble the city.

The event is being held at the Charles Young Center. There’s games, food and, most importantly, people having fun and enjoying their community.

Anita’s son, Ricardo Franklin says this event showcases all that his mother ever wanted for the people of Lexington.

“She’s hard-nosed. She stayed on me but she was a very good mom. She loved us and she loved her community even more,” Ricardo said.

The Franklin family’s lives were flipped upside down in 2014 when Ricardo lost his brother, Antonio, to gun violence. It’s perhaps the most difficult moment a mother can face, but Anita’s legacy lives on because of the way she responded to it.

“When I look back on it and think about how someone turns such a horrific event in our family into a triumph, she’s given a voice to so many people throughout the city and I believe the state and the country,” Ricardo said.

Ricardo says his mother’s activism was prominent over the years and he continues her work with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.

“I am my mom’s son, and she was such a instrumental figure here in Lexington, I feel like we have a voice in this community and that means the most to me,” Ricardo said.

Despite their best efforts, issues of violent crime continue to pervade the city. With three months left in 2022, Lexington is already tied with last year’s record-setting homicide level.

Ricardo is frustrated by this, but he believes they can get those numbers back down by showing the same resolve his mother had employed for so many years.

“Her saying was, ‘let’s get better and do it together.’ The beauty of it is we can all come together and we can show that we do have some stake in our community,” Ricardo said.

Ricardo says Friday night’s event could be influential in the process and that the people who have come out tonight are staking that claim in this community.

Ricardo encourages everyone interested to come down to the Charles Young Center and join the party. The party goes on until 7 p.m.