Interview with Norman L. Passmore, Sr., August 17, 1978

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History
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00:00:01 - Education and early career

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

Segment Synopsis: Passmore talks about his childhood growing up as an African American in East Chicago, Indiana. He also talks about the education he received and his extracurricular activities. Passmore then talks about receiving an athletic scholarship to play on the Kentucky State College football team. Next, he talks about completing his master’s degree at Iowa State University and his return to Lexington, Kentucky, where he taught chemistry and physics at Dunbar High School.

Keywords: African Americans; Alaska; Alpha Phi Alpha; Athletes; Athletics; Baker, Jim; Basketball; Bingham, Bill; Chemistry; Chorus; City commissioners; Coaches; Columbus (Ga.); Consolidated Baptist Church (Lexington, Ky.); Degrees, academic; Dr. Heel; Dunbar High School; East Chicago (Ind.); Editors; Education; Finn, Robert; Football; Fraternities; Graduation ceremonies; Granddaughters; Henry Clay High School; Indiana; Iowa State University; Kentucky State College; Lexington (Ky.); Marching bands; McKinley Elementary School; Midway (Ky.); Morehead State University; North Carolina; Ohio; Parents; Pastors; Physics; Pilgrim Baptist Church (Lexington, Ky.); Presidents; Roommates; Scholarships; Teachers; Tennessee; Theodore Roosevelt Junior Senior High School; Track and field; University of Michigan; Vice presidents

Subjects: African Americans--History.; African Americans.; Alaska; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; Athletes; Athletics; Baker, Jim; Basketball; Bingham, Bill; Chemistry; Church.; Coaches (Athletics); Columbus (Ga.); Degrees, academic; East Chicago (Ind.); Editors.; Education; Elementary schools; Finn, Robert; Football; Granddaughters; High schools; Indiana; Iowa State University; Kentucky State College (Frankfort, Ky.); Kentucky State College for Negroes; Lexington (Ky.); Lexington, (Ky.); Marching bands; Midway (Ky.); Morehead State University; North Carolina; Ohio; Parents; Physics; Presidents.; Roommates.; Scholarships; Schools; Teachers; Tennessee; Track and field; University of Michigan

00:10:37 - Conditions in African American schools versus white schools

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Partial Transcript: Mr. Passmore, how many years have you been in the public school system?

Segment Synopsis: Passmore discusses the conditions at Dunbar High School, including the effects of segregation on the facilities available to African American students. He then talks about the salary discrepancies between African American and white teachers.

Keywords: African Americans; American Red Cross; Boy Scouts of America; Buildings; Dunbar Center; Dunbar High School; Equality; Guthrie, Paul; Gyms; Henry Clay High School; Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA); Lexington (Ky.); Lexington Junior High School; Libraries; Nashville (Tenn.); Pay; Peabody College; Salaries; Schools; Segregation; Stiff, Clara; Teachers

Subjects: African Americans--History.; African Americans.; American Red Cross.; Boy Scouts of America; Buildings; Equality; Guthrie, Paul; High schools; Junior high schools; Lexington (Ky.); Libraries; Nashville (Tenn.); Salaries; Schools; Segregation; Teachers

00:16:49 - Integration of Fayette County schools

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Partial Transcript: What were some of the, some of the main activities in the all-black schools? Extracurricular?

Segment Synopsis: Passmore discusses the extracurricular activities available at Dunbar High School. He then talks about the closing of Dunbar High School due to the mandate that schools be integrated, as well as the redistricting that occurred as a result. Passmore also talks about the reaction of students, teachers, and administrators to integration.

Keywords: Acting; African Americans; Baseball; Basketball; Bryan Station High School; Debates; Districts; Drama; Fayette County (Ky.); Football; Henry Clay High School; Integration; Lafayette High School; Lexington (Ky.); Principals; Segregation; Students; Tates Creek High School; Teachers; Track and field

Subjects: Acting.; African Americans--History.; African Americans.; Baseball; Basketball; Debates; Districts; Drama; Fayette County (Ky.); Football; High schools; Lexington (Ky.); Segregation; Students; Teachers; Track and field

00:24:59 - Reception as a minister and an administrator

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Partial Transcript: Well, as you may not know, I'm a minister also.

Segment Synopsis: Passmore discusses his experience as the pastor of churches in Midway and Wilmore, Kentucky. He then briefly talks about his reception as aschool administrator by the students and parents.

Keywords: Administrators; African Americans; Associate principals; Business; Civil rights movement; Henry Clay High School; Math; Midway (Ky.); Midway Church; Ministers; Music; Principals; Religion; Science; Sermons; Students; Wilmore (Ky.)

Subjects: African Americans--History.; African Americans.; Business; Civil rights movement; High schools; Lexington (Ky.); Math; Midway (Ky.); Music; Religion; Science; Sermons.; Students; Wilmore (Ky.)

00:30:49 - Differences in education before and after integration

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Partial Transcript: Being a principal of a Lexington high school, can you see a difference in the education blacks received in the all-black schools and the ones they are receiving now?

Segment Synopsis: Passmore talks about the differences in the education that African Americans received prior to integration and after integration. He then talks about several of his students, many of whom became ministers and physicians.

Keywords: African Americans; Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.); Consolidated Baptist church (Lexington, Ky.); Doctors; Dunbar High School; Integration; Jones, William; Kentucky State College; Lexington (Ky.); Ministers; Physicians; Schools; Segregation; Teachers

Subjects: African Americans--History.; African Americans.; Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.); Church.; Jones, William.; Kentucky State College for Negroes; Lexington (Ky.); Physicians; Schools; Segregation; Teachers.

00:34:36 - Outstanding teachers at African American schools

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Partial Transcript: Who are a few of the outstanding teachers in the all-black schools?

Segment Synopsis: Passmore talks about the outstanding teachers at the African American schools. He then talks about his family, including his daughter and niece, who both graduated from Dunbar High School.

Keywords: Baker, Jim; Basketball; Beauticians; Callaway, Giddous; Calumet College of St. Joseph; Chicago (Ill.); Children; Coaches; Dunbar High School; East Chicago (Ind.); English language; Fayette County (Ky.); Fayette County Schools; Football; French language; Guthrie, Paul; High schools; Lexington (Ky.); Mathematics; Moore, Sally; Morehead State University; Mr. Spalding; Mrs. Ray; Ms. Black; Ms. Wyatt; Nieces; Roach, S.T.; Schools, African American; Smith, Paul D.; Stephenson, Elbetha; Stevenson, Elbetha; Stiff, Clara; Teachers; Tennessee State University; Wives

Subjects: African Americans--History.; African Americans.; Baker, Jim.; Basketball; Chicago (Ill.); Children; Coaches (Athletics).; East Chicago (Ind.); English language; Fayette County (Ky.); Football; French language; Guthrie, Paul; High schools; Lexington (Ky.); Mathematics; Morehead State University; Nieces; Schools; Smith, Paul D., 1946-; Teachers; Tennessee State University; Wives.