Behind West of Ninth, the Instagram account showcasing West Louisville

Instagram account showcases stories from West of Ninth

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Stories reported out of West Louisville are often dominated by the ugly. The shootings, drugs and assaults that appear throughout news copy continuously feed a narrative, that plagues the opinions of the area for so many.

There are other stories that take place in West Louisville. Some are shared on various WAVE 3 News platforms, but many aren’t. Shae and Walter Smith appear to be filling that gap.

The couple wanted something outside of what felt like a never ending narrative to them, crime ridden stories, sprinkled with a few good community stories here and there.

“That’s typically the perception when like, you know, when you think of the West End,” Walter Smith said.

The Smiths live in West Louisville and are raising their family there. Every chance they get, the couple sets out with their camera on a mission to find “something.”

"We wanted to give a voice to those in the community,” Shae Smith said. “Kind of create a sense of understanding for those within the community as well as those outside of the community.”

The Smiths have become something like neighborhood reporters on the West Louisville beat. They find people, take their pictures and interview them about their stories. You can often find them running after subjects to get the good stories. But, then what?

"We decided to paint a picture with West of Ninth,” Shae Smith said.

The photos, taken by Walter Smith, are posted on an Instagram account called West of Ninth. The title is a play on the so called “Ninth Street divide.” Once your cross it, you enter West Louisville. West Louisville is a community comprised of close to a dozen neighborhoods filled with diverse stories shared all over the account.

“We never try to say you know everything is sunshine and roses over here,” Shae Smith said. “However we do want to shed light on those resources that are needed. We found that nine times out of ten the people we interview just need someone to talk to.”

They meet the people who don’t always make the headlines.

"Its just wonderful to see somebody coming through the city,” a passerby said.

The Smiths hope to encourage others to come past Ninth Street, too.

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