Interview with Annette C. Brown, November 17, 1983

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Philosophy on teaching children

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Partial Transcript: And, uh, I say to myself now if I teach--that was about all you could look forward to doing then.

Segment Synopsis: Annette Brown talks briefly about her teaching career and her philosophy on teaching "problem children."

Keywords: Boys; Douglass High School (Henderson, Ky.); Problems

Subjects: African Americans--Education.; Teachers--Kentucky; Teaching

GPS: Henderson (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.835556, -87.580833
00:02:28 - Family background

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Partial Transcript: Uh, would you mind me asking just several things before I ask you about what it was like to be a teacher?

Segment Synopsis: Brown talks about her grandfather who ran a blacksmith shop in Henderson, Kentucky before Emancipation. She talks about the Confederate Army conscripting him to work for them during the Civil War. She talks about her parents and siblings and each of their careers.

Keywords: Blacksmith shops; Brothers; Confederate Army; Fathers; Grandfathers; Laborers; Mike Brown; Ministers; Mothers; Sisters

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Family histories.; Family--history; Henderson (Ky.); United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.

GPS: Henderson (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.835556, -87.580833
00:06:14 - Interest in reading

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Partial Transcript: Well concerning my family, when my mother was born-----?? she was, she was, uh, I believe four years old at the time of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Segment Synopsis: Brown talks about her mother, who often read to her children, which made a significant impact on Brown's life. She talks about her sister saving the newspaper clippings regarding her family. She talks about her mother being respected in town, and says that her family lived in the white aristocratic part of town.

Keywords: "Shadowbox"; Aristocracy; Books; Charles Dickens; Jobs; Lower Green Street (Henderson, Ky.); Mothers; Newspaper clippings; Occupations; Poems; Readers; Reading; Respect; Schools; Scrapbooks; White neighbors

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Conduct of life.; African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Childhood; Henderson (Ky.); Neighborhoods.; Race relations--Kentucky

GPS: South Green Street (Henderson, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.813446, -87.618955
00:12:49 - Education

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Partial Transcript: And so you all lived in a neighborhood and were the only Black family--

Segment Synopsis: Brown talks about the school her brothers attended, Saint Clements School, run by Reverend Mundy. She says Reverend Mundy was trained by the daughter of the family that formerly owned his ancestors as slaves. She talks about her own school, Alves Street School, and talks about the ownership of the building.

Keywords: Alves Street School; Books; Brothers; Buildings; Dixon Street (Henderson, Ky.); Former slave owners; Former slaves; High school; Ministers; Music; PTA; Public schools; Reading; Reverend Mundy; Saint Clements Church; Saint Clements School; Schools; Tuition

Subjects: African American churches--Kentucky; African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Childhood; Henderson (Ky.); Neighborhoods.; Teachers--Kentucky; Teaching

GPS: Alves Street (Henderson, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.827996, -87.593337
00:23:54 - College education / siblings' education and careers

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Partial Transcript: And after high school did you go off to college or did you attend college, or?

Segment Synopsis: Brown talks about getting her college education "piecemeal" through correspondence courses with Kentucky State College. She talks more about her siblings' educational backgrounds and careers.

Keywords: Careers; Correspondence courses; Extension classes; Kentucky State University; Siblings; Sisters; Teacher certification; Teachers exams

Subjects: African American college students.; African American families; African Americans--Education (Higher); African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Employment.; Carden (Ky.); Henderson (Ky.); Teachers--Kentucky; Teaching

GPS: Kentucky State University
Map Coordinates: 38.2, -84.858333
00:27:50 - Teaching at a rural all-Black school

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Partial Transcript: When, when you were teaching out in the county was that like a one-room school?

Segment Synopsis: Brown talks about her experiences teaching in Henderson and Carden, Kentucky in rural schools. She talks about the sometimes low attendance due to the boys' work on farms. She talks about the teachers' protest of the lower salaries given to the Black teachers.

Keywords: "Separate but equal"; Attendance; Black families; Board of education; Boys; Buses; County schools; Discrepancies in salary; Equalization; Farms; Qualifications; Raises; Rural population; Superintendents; Tobacco farming

Subjects: African Americans--Economic conditions.; African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Discrimination in employment.; Henderson (Ky.); Race discrimination.; Race relations--Kentucky; Segregation in education--Kentucky; Teachers--Kentucky; Teaching; Wages.

GPS: Henderson (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.835556, -87.580833
00:34:07 - Black leadership

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Partial Transcript: Tell me s--let me explain something that happened in Lexington in Louisville and see if it was similar.

Segment Synopsis: Brown talks about some of the African American community leaders in Henderson, including politicians and ministers.

Keywords: "Colored Board of Visitors"; Black politicians; Board of education; First Baptist Church (Henderson, Ky.); Ministers; Politics in education; Reverend Price; Reverend Spivey

Subjects: African American churches--Kentucky; African American leadership; African Americans--Politics and government.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Henderson (Ky.)

GPS: Henderson (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.835556, -87.580833
00:37:56 - Race relations in Henderson, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: How would you describe growing up here in Henderson, especially after you became a school teacher and a, and a person well-aware of the community, how would you describe race relations in Henderson?

Segment Synopsis: Brown discusses race relations in Henderson, Kentucky. She talks about the businesses in her childhood that were owned by African Americans. She talks about what she did for fun during her childhood. She talks about the businesses that were segregated.

Keywords: Barbershops; Black businesses; Black doctors; Changes; Dances; Downtown; Drugstores; Entertainment; Evansville (Ind.); Fun; Grocery stores; Morticians; Public parks; Restaurants; Stores; Theaters

Subjects: African American physicians; African Americans--Conduct of life.; African Americans--Recreation; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; African Americans--Social life and customs.; Childhood; Henderson (Ky.); Race discrimination.; Race relations--Kentucky

GPS: Evansville (Ind.)
Map Coordinates: 37.977222, -87.550556
00:43:09 - A lynching in Henderson, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: As far as you know, and I, and I know some things I'm asking, uh, might have happened before your time, but did you ever hear of a lynching happening here in Henderson?

Segment Synopsis: Brown describes the part of town Blacks were not allowed to go. She says a lynching happened in the area sometime around the 1920s. She talks about the crime the man was accused of, and talks about the reactions of the Black community as well as the white community to the lynching.

Keywords: Audubon; Cotton mills; Indignation meetings; Lynchings; Off-limits; Reactions; Shocking; Southern

Subjects: African Americans--Crimes against.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Henderson (Ky.); Race discrimination.; Race relations--Kentucky; Racism

GPS: Henderson (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.835556, -87.580833
00:47:57 - Occupations for African Americans

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Partial Transcript: On another subject, you were a school teacher and there were people who were school teachers, what else did Negroes do around here in Henderson for employment?

Segment Synopsis: Brown talks about the types of jobs that were available for African Americans in Henderson during her childhood and early career, as well as today. She says most people worked on farms raising tobacco, and worked in the tobacco factories. She talks about the kinds of work available for women.

Keywords: Brickyards; Careers; Coal; Domestic work; Europe; Farms; Fathers; Ireland; Jobs; Laundry work; Married; Occupations; Railroads; Seasonal work; Service work; Teachers; Tobacco factories; Unemployment; Women; Working

Subjects: African American farmers.; African Americans--Economic conditions.; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Marriage.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Henderson (Ky.); Wages.

GPS: Henderson (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.835556, -87.580833
00:53:20 - Family home

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Partial Transcript: He, um, he always--we always had a large garden.

Segment Synopsis: Brown says her family leased their home. She talks about which of her siblings lived there, and talks more about her siblings' educations and careers.

Keywords: Careers; Death; Gardens; Hampton Institute; Leasing; Parents; Property ownership; Siblings

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Education (Higher); African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Housing.; Henderson (Ky.)

GPS: Henderson (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.835556, -87.580833
00:57:49 - School integration

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Partial Transcript: One of the things I'm very interested in, is, is--one of the main things--reasons why I wanted to talk to someone like you is that since you were a teacher, uh, uh, for a long time, were you also teaching when school integration and the civil rights movement and all those things--

Segment Synopsis: Brown talks about teaching during integration, and discusses when changes began to occur in Henderson, Kentucky. She talks about her dislike of substitute teaching, and her retirement.

Keywords: Alves Street School; Retirement; Substitute teachers

Subjects: African Americans--Civil rights--Kentucky; African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Civil rights movements--United States; Henderson (Ky.); Race relations--Kentucky; School integration--Kentucky; Segregation in education--Kentucky; Teachers--Kentucky; Teaching

GPS: Alves Street (Henderson, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.827996, -87.593337
01:00:20 - Life in Henderson, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: How--if, if someone asked you, and I know it's hard at times to, to think on some things but if someone said, "How would you assess having lived your life in Henderson?" What would you say about--

Segment Synopsis: Brown talks about her life in Henderson, Kentucky. She says people have been very complimentary about her teaching career. She talks about her involvement in the community, and talks about her relationships with community leaders. She talks about organizations for African Americans during her childhood. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Bill Sullivan; Branch libraries; Community; Complimentary; Hecht Lackey; Legislators; NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People); Norman Brown; Orphanages; Politicians; Public library; Scrapbooks; Speakers; YMCA

Subjects: African American leadership; African Americans--Conduct of life.; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; African Americans--Social life and customs.; African Americans--Societies, etc.; Henderson (Ky.); Race relations--Kentucky; Teachers--Kentucky; Teaching

GPS: Henderson (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.835556, -87.580833