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Literature

Dr. Stephanides’ Books Highlight the Greeks in Kentucky

In recent years, more and more books highlighting the Greek-American experience are being published, many of those thanks to the ease of self-publishing now available. Whether they are memoirs or historical treatises, poetry collections or picture books, these texts are a valuable record for future generations to understand at least part of what life was like for the immigrants and children of immigrants in the Greek community in the United States and in the diaspora in general. For anyone interested in the Greek-American experience, add the following books to your reading list.

‘The History of the Greeks in Kentucky, 1950-2000+: Volume II- First, Second and Third Generations’ by Dr. Marios Christou Stephanides, PhD, is a follow-up to ‘The History of the Greeks in Kentucky, 1900-1950: The Early Pioneers of Louisville’ (Edwin Mellen Press) published in 2001. The first volume drew on oral history and original research, as Stephanides presents a detailed history of the community of ethnic Greeks who settled at the Falls of the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky. The book includes the effect of the Greek War of Independence on 19th century Kentucky along with chapters on the Orthodox Church, AHEPA, and well-known Greeks. The “Americanization” of the second generation is also covered in the book.

Volume II, published in 2022, continues the history and includes the author’s own experiences as well as the methodology of his research and an extensive bibliography. An important piece of research compiled from personal interviews, U.S. Census data, city directories, newspaper articles, manifests of ships, and Greek community records, the book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the history of the Greek-American community. The attention to detail is clear as it highlights the Greeks who settled in Kentucky and answers a variety of questions such as: Why did they come? What were the contributions they made? What happened to the community of Greek-Americans as the generations evolved? What did this culture do to survive, become successful and contribute to the fabric of Kentucky in America?

‘The History of the Greeks in Kentucky, 1950-2000+: Volume II – First, Second and Third Generations’ by Dr. Marios Christou Stephanides, PhD. Photo: TNH Staff

Encyclopedia of Louisville editor John Kleber writes in the Preface to the book: “Marios Stephanides presents us with a small beautiful piece of a mosaic for which his Greek ancestors are so renowned. The piece is a detailed history of one ethnic group that settled at the Falls of the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky. When combined with the histories of other peoples, it presents a grand mosaic of a city rich in ethnic diversity. As the editor of the Encyclopedia of Louisville, I discovered that only a few of the city’s immigrant groups have been fortunate enough to have someone who combined the interest, the ancestry, and the ability to give us a written history, and so the mosaic has many pieces missing. However, thanks to Professor Stephanides there is one less missing piece, and from now on Louisvillians will know the story of their ancestors.”

Dr. Stephanides, a native of Cyprus, received his PhD at Wayne State University in 1972. He has taught Sociology at Wayne State University, Michigan Tech University, Middle Tennessee State University, University of Louisville, Spalding University, the University of Tampa, and St. Petersburg College. Besides his books on the Greeks in Kentucky, he has also published a book on the Greeks in Detroit. Dr. Stephanides is presently retired in Tampa, FL, with his wife Ourania.

Marios and Ourania are proud of their Cypriot and Hellenic roots and are members of the AHEPA family. Marios was first initiated into AHEPA Chapter #343 in 1975 in Nashville, TN, and is currently a member of Lycurgus #12 in Tampa. Ourania is a member of the Daughters of Penelope. She was initiated into Saturn Chapter #281 in Louisville, KY, in 1979 and is currently a member of Alcmaeon #167 in Tampa. She also serves as the Treasurer of the Daughters of Penelope Foundation and is a Past District Governor of Citrus District 2.

For information on ordering a copy of Volume II directly from the author, email: [email protected] or text 813-546-4711.

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