Interview with Clara Wendell Stitt, Laura Wendell Moore, November 8, 1982

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History
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00:00:03 - Educational background / Dr. Thomas T. Wendell's background

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Partial Transcript: This afternoon I'm interviewing Mrs. Laura Moore and Mrs. Clara Stitt daughters of a prominent black doctor in Lexington...

Segment Synopsis: Moore and Stitt talk about their education background and their involvement in social organizations. They go on to discuss their father's background and personality as well as his involvement in civil rights.

Keywords: CORE (Congress of Racial Equality); Civil rights movement; Dr. Thomas T. Wendell; Dunbar High School (Lexington, Ky.); Elks; NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People); Social organizations; Urban redevelopment

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Civil rights--Kentucky

00:05:39 - Dr. Thomas T. Wendell and Eastern State Hospital / black professionals

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Partial Transcript: Let me ask you this, what was some of the things that he was pushing for in the 1940s.

Segment Synopsis: Moore and Stitt discuss their father's leadership at Eastern State Hospital. They go on to discuss black doctors, dentists, and lawyers in Lexington who were around during the 1940s.

Keywords: Black doctors; Black professionals; Eastern State Hospital; Race relations; Thomas T. Wendell Building

Subjects: African American physicians--Kentucky--Lexington; African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington--Economic conditions

00:10:17 - Perceptions of Lexington in the 1940s

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Partial Transcript: Now, uh, we talked about Dr. Wendell and some of you alls background...

Segment Synopsis: Moore and Stitt discuss what Lexington was like in the 1940s especially in regard to race relations. They mention urban renewal and black businesses.

Keywords: Black businesses; Black tire shop; Broadway Street; Deweese Street; East End; Mr. Fields; Race relations; Upper Street; Urban renewal

Subjects: African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington--Social conditions

00:15:55 - Impact of desegregation on black businesses / black leadership and involvement in politics

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Partial Transcript: Okay now, we look at Lexington today, what I want to know is what happened to black businesses of the forties and fifties...

Segment Synopsis: Moore and Stitt talk about why they think black businesses have closed down since desegregation. They go on to talk about various black leaders in Lexington during the 1940s and 1950s. They talk about the lack of black leadership in politics.

Keywords: Black businesses; Black church leaders; Black leadership; Brown Derby; Deweese Street; Pleasant Green Baptist Church; Reverend Jones; The Spider Web

Subjects: African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington--Social conditions; African Americans--Politics and government; African Americans--Religion

00:20:41 - A&M (??) Realty Company

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Partial Transcript: Now, Mrs. Moore, uh, you inherited shares of the A&M (??) realty company, which was a company that you father...

Segment Synopsis: Moore and Stitt discuss what A&M Realty Company was and their connection with the Lexington Colored Fair.

Keywords: A&M Realty Company; Black businesses; Lexington Colored Fair

Subjects: African American business enterprises

00:24:17 - Black businesses during the 1940s and 1950s

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Partial Transcript: Were there any other companies like this during the forties or fifties that had as much power or potential as A&M (??) Realty Company had?

Segment Synopsis: Moore and Stitt talk about various black businesses that were open in the 1940s and 1950s; they specifically mention black insurance companies.

Keywords: A&M Realty Company; Black businesses; Black insurance companies; Deweese Street; Masonic building

Subjects: African American business enterprises

00:26:08 - Importance of black schools within the black community

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Partial Transcript: Now, Mrs. Stitt you were, um, principal at Carver and also a principal at Dunbar high school especially during the fifties.

Segment Synopsis: Stitt talks about the importance of the black school within the black community. Stitt also mentions various teachers and departments who put on different types of extravaganzas. Stitt talks about her schools only white student at Dunbar.

Keywords: All black schools; Black high schools; Dr. John Smith; Dunbar High School (Lexington, Ky.); Extravaganzas; Race relations

Subjects: African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington

00:31:07 - Principal of Dunbar / the Wendell Building

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Partial Transcript: So when were you the principal of Dunbar High School?

Segment Synopsis: Stitt talks about when she became principal of Dunbar High School. Stitt and Moore discuss the dedication of the Wendell building and the response by the black community.

Keywords: Dunbar High School (Lexington, Ky.); Mr. Guthry (??); Wendell Building

Subjects: African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington

00:34:23 - Impact of desegregation on the black community / need for black leadership and unity

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Partial Transcript: Now, I want to get up to the present situation to the 1960s movement...

Segment Synopsis: Stitt and Moore discuss the impact that desegregation had on the black community and the loss of black neighborhood schools. They also mention the negative impact it had on voting and black businesses. They also talk about the a need for more leadership and unity within the community.

Keywords: Black leadership; Black neighborhoods; Black unity; Black voting power; Desegregation; Neighborhood schools; The black community

Subjects: African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington--Social conditions; African Americans--Religion

00:37:49 - Progress of the black community

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Partial Transcript: Okay Mrs. Stitt and Mrs. Moore, what sort of progress have blacks in Lexington made since the forties and fifties...

Segment Synopsis: Stitt talks about the progress blacks have made in politics and education. She also talks about how she felt about the closing of Dunbar High School. Stitt mentions the lack of opposition to the closing of Dunbar.

Keywords: Black progress; Dunbar High School (Lexington, Ky.)

Subjects: African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington