Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Robert Morton, December 26, 1978

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Personal background

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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: Morton supplies, in detail, his personal history, beginning with how he grew up, through his experience with the military, until his retirement from the Army Depot.

Keywords: Army Depot; Government service; Integration; Lexington natives; Lexingtonians; Mechanical arts; Proprietors; Recreation departments; Repairman; Twins

Subjects: Background information; Childhood; Civil service; Electronics; Korean War, 1950-1953; Management; Military supplies; Radio; Recreation; Retirement; Segregation; Wilberforce University

00:10:07 - Segregation of city parks

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Partial Transcript: Going back a bit. When you were working for the Parks Department, was there equal development of black and white parks at that time?

Segment Synopsis: Morton talks about how total segregation was just a way of life, so it often went undisputed.

Keywords: Charles Young Park; City parks; Douglas Park

Subjects: African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Communities; Recreation--Kentucky--Lexington; Urban parks

00:11:25 - Responsibilities as government employee

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Partial Transcript: You were employed by the Bluegrass Army Depot or some sort of government service for 33 years?

Segment Synopsis: Morton explains Equal Employment Opportunity as well as his personal responsibilities related to the new law.

Keywords: Employment; Equal Employment Opportunity; Equal rights; Government services

Subjects: Affirmative action programs; African Americans--Employment.; Civil service; Discrimination in employment; Equality; Equality before the law; Military; Responsibility

00:13:43 - Employee discrimination at the Bluegrass Army Depot

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Partial Transcript: What were the hiring policies of the Bluegrass Army Depot?

Segment Synopsis: Morton describes the very clear discrimination against blacks at the Army Depot that kept them in lower positions without promotion.

Keywords: Custodial work; Hiring process; Janitorial work; Jobs; Storage

Subjects: African Americans--Employment.; Discrimination in employment.; Employee selection; Janitors; Maintenance; Resentment

00:17:25 - Working for the Urban County Government

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Partial Transcript: You are now the EEO officer for the Urban Fayette County Government. How did that appointment come about?

Segment Synopsis: Morton describes his most recent job with the government after his retirement at the Army Depot, including his duties, support form the black community, and his analysis of the job.

Keywords: Affirmative action officers; Black community; Employees; Human relations; Human resources; Micro City Government; Moral support; Policy; Ronald Berry; Urban county government

Subjects: Affirmative action programs; African Americans--Politics and government.; Communities; County government; Human resource development; Interpersonal relations; Local government; Municipal government