Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Horace K. Smith, June 14, 1978

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Personal background

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Partial Transcript: --is Edward Owens. I'm working with the Urban League on the Oral Black History Project.

Segment Synopsis: Smith gives a quick rundown of his personal history. He explains his father's ministry career and why he believes his family has found such success in Lexington.

Keywords: Career; Church work; Churches; Ministers; Ministry

Subjects: African American clergy.; Depressions--1929; Great Depression; Lexington (Ky.); Success

00:02:31 - Role of the church during major historical events

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Partial Transcript: Okay, so, can you tell me specifically the church's role during the Depression?

Segment Synopsis: Smith touches on the effect of war and the Great Depression on the people of the church, as well as the church's response to such heartache, which was an effort to give the people high spirits.

Keywords: Materialism; Materiality; Role of the church; Unity; WW2; WWII; World War 2

Subjects: African American churches; Depressions--1929; Encouragement; Finance; Frustration; Spirituality; World War II; World War, 1939-1945

00:04:46 - Personal career

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Partial Transcript: When did you begin to minister?

Segment Synopsis: Smith describes his own involvement in ministry, including the various growing programs run by his church.

Keywords: Church work; Conflict of generations; Enlightened; Financial awards; Generation gap; Ministers; Ministry; Minority youth; Pastors; Programs; Scholarships; Segmentation; Unity; Youth

Subjects: African American churches; African American clergy.

00:08:58 - Position of Black churches

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Partial Transcript: What have black churches done and what are they doing now in Lexington?

Segment Synopsis: Smith explains the key features of the church.

Keywords: City improvement; Community influence; Mass appeal

Subjects: African American churches; Communities; Impact

00:09:51 - Lexington churches

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Partial Transcript: Is there any integration between white churches and black churches, in--intermingling?

Segment Synopsis: Smith explains that there is very little integration in the church community, and describes what the Black church community is like specifically.

Keywords: Community; Integration; Inter-fellowship; Interaction; Minimal; Passion; Rewarding; Support; Working together

Subjects: African American churches; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Church; Communities; Fellowship; Progress

00:13:24 - More on the role of the church during major historical events

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Partial Transcript: What was the role of the church during the Civil Rights Movement?

Segment Synopsis: Smith details the church's experience in making a change in the community, specifically during the Civil Rights Movement.

Keywords: Boycott; CORE; Integration; J.D. Parcel; Lexington Ministers and Deacon meeting; Lunch counters; Phoenix Hotel (Lexington, Ky.)

Subjects: African American churches; Boycotts; Civil rights demonstrations; Civil rights movements--United States; Protest movements.; Segregation

00:18:29 - Local, daily responsibility of the church

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Partial Transcript: What are churches doing about the problems in the black community?

Segment Synopsis: Smith answers the question of problem-solving tactics of the Black churches to address the need in the community.

Keywords: Educate; Inform; Pilgrim Baptist Church

Subjects: African American churches; African Americans--Social conditions.; Conflict resolution; Education; Problem solving

00:20:28 - Lack of Black businesses

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Partial Transcript: It is a known fact that churches are the foundation of the black community, and I would like to put a question to you: years ago there were some black businesses in Lexington. Today, there are relatively few. Why?

Segment Synopsis: Smith addresses why there are so few Black businesses in Lexington and decidedly says it is related to finances. He also explores what impact a trusted Black minister could have on the community, specifically in regard to Black-run businesses.

Keywords: Black patronage; Business loans; Distrust; Economic pressure

Subjects: African American business enterprises; African American businesspeople; African American clergy.; African Americans--Economic conditions.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Businesspeople, Black; Finance; Loans

00:26:22 - Key figures in the progression of integration

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Partial Transcript: Mrs. Lucy Hart Smith was the principal of the Booker T. Washington School for a number of years and was considered one of the black historians, and she played a very very important role in the early black progress of this community.

Segment Synopsis: Smith mentions many significant people that participated in valuable actions related to the upward movement of the Lexington community.

Keywords: Activists; Church work; Communities; Education; Historians; Ministers; Pastors; Progress; Spirituality

Subjects: African American leadership; African Americans--Social conditions.; Civil rights movements--United States; Integration