Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Edythe J. Hayes, March 14, 1987

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:02:15 - Family background

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Partial Transcript: Why don't we just start all over just to get you flowing?

Segment Synopsis: The interview is restarted due to technical difficulties experienced during the first two minutes of the recording. Edythe Hayes is introduced. She talks about her early childhood in Selma, Alabama living with her grandparents on their farm. She talks about the property her family owned and the types of work they did.

Keywords: Accents; Ancestors; Birmingham (Ala.); Chores; College; Farms; Grandparents; Housewives; Lexington (Ky.); Mills; Names; Parents; Property ownership; Speech patterns; Steel mines; Stores; West Virginia; Workers

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Conduct of life.; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Housing.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Childhood; Family histories.; Family--history; Selma (Ala.); Slavery--United States.

GPS: Selma (Ala.)
Map Coordinates: 32.41, -87.02
00:08:21 - Family's education

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Partial Transcript: All of the children attended private and/or parochial schools.

Segment Synopsis: Hayes says that she and the family members of her parents' generation all attended private or parochial schools in Alabama because her grandparents wanted them to be well-educated. She talks about her parents attending college in West Virginia, and talks about how she felt about moving from Selma to West Virginia.

Keywords: Atmosphere; College; Expectations; Grandparents; Kentucky; Moving; Parents; Parochial schools; Private schools; Quality of education; Sacrifices; Segregated schools; Selma (Ala.); Selma University; Values; West Virginia

Subjects: African American college students.; African American families; African Americans--Conduct of life.; African Americans--Education (Higher); African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Childhood; Segregation in education.

GPS: Selma University (Selma, Ala.)
Map Coordinates: 32.41997, -87.03205
00:12:24 - Grandparents' expectations

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Partial Transcript: Okay back up just a little bit for me--

Segment Synopsis: Hayes talks about the standards she and her family members were expected to live up to, enforced by her grandparents. She talks about the types of recreational activities they participated in and who they were allowed to socialize with. She talks about her family's reputation in Selma, Alabama.

Keywords: Cars; Discipline; Expectations; Grandparents; Radios; Recognition; School principals; Standards; Strict; Trains; Travel; Yelder family

Subjects: African American churches; African American families; African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Conduct of life.; African Americans--Recreation; African Americans--Religion.; African Americans--Social conditions.; African Americans--Social life and customs.; Childhood; Family histories.; Family--history; Neighborliness; Neighbors

GPS: Selma (Ala.)
Map Coordinates: 32.41, -87.02
00:19:53 - Childhood church and religion

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about the church and the role that the minister played in the community when you were that little Yelder growing up there.

Segment Synopsis: Hayes says that during her childhood her grandmother attended a Baptist church and her grandfather attended a Methodist church. She talks about which church she preferred, and discusses the importance of religion to her family members.

Keywords: Baptists; Church services; Grandfathers; Grandmothers; Methodists; Religious; Role of minister; Sermons

Subjects: African American churches; African American families; African Americans--Conduct of life.; African Americans--Religion.

GPS: Selma (Ala.)
Map Coordinates: 32.41, -87.02
00:23:25 - Childhood community then and now

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Partial Transcript: Did you live in an all-Black community?

Segment Synopsis: Hayes describes her childhood community in Selma, Alabama, and discusses race relations in the South. She talks about how the area has changed since her childhood.

Keywords: Changes; Deep South; Deterioration; Friends; Industry; Interaction

Subjects: African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Conduct of life.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Childhood; Neighbors; Selma (Ala.); United States--Race relations.

GPS: Selma (Ala.)
Map Coordinates: 32.41, -87.02
00:30:11 - Living with her parents in West Virginia

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Partial Transcript: Now let's get to West Virginia and you're with your parents now, let's talk about that--

Segment Synopsis: Hayes talks about why she moved with her mother and father to West Virginia and why she began to regret her decision. She talks about her education, her social life, and discusses her experiences with church.

Keywords: Baptists; Fathers; Friends; Graduation; Housewives; Methodists; Mothers; Parents; Schools; Values; Working

Subjects: African American churches; African American college students.; African American families; African Americans--Conduct of life.; African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Recreation; African Americans--Social conditions.; African Americans--Social life and customs.; West Virginia

GPS: West Virginia
Map Coordinates: 39, -80.5
00:35:36 - All-Black parochial school

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about the parochial school that you went to in the South.

Segment Synopsis: Hayes talks about the school she attended in Selma, Alabama which was a private, segregated school run by Selma University. She talks about the reputation of the school and the quality of education she received there.

Keywords: All-Black schools; Baptists; Dormitories; Parochial schools; Private schools; Quality of education; Reputations; Selma University; Student teachers; Teachers training; Violin

Subjects: African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Childhood; Segregation in education.; Selma (Ala.)

GPS: Selma University (Selma, Ala.)
Map Coordinates: 32.41997, -87.03205
00:39:19 - College

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Partial Transcript: Now where did you go to school after that?

Segment Synopsis: Hayes talks about attending college in West Virginia before enrolling at the University of Kentucky to earn her masters degree. She talks about her father's expectation that she would not work outside the home after graduating. She talks about moving to Kentucky to follow her future husband who was serving in the military at Camp Breckinridge, and talks about teaching in Lexington at a school for low-income White children.

Keywords: Camp Breckinridge (Ky.); Dr. Harris; Expectations; Geography; Housewives; Husbands; Jobs; Lincoln School; Masters degrees; University of Kentucky; Values; Volunteering; West Virginia State College; Working

Subjects: African American college students--Social conditions; African American families; African Americans--Education (Higher); African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Marriage.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Teachers--Kentucky; Teaching

GPS: Camp Breckinridge (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.684444, -87.911944
00:47:08 - Career in education after integration

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Partial Transcript: And interesting enough I ended up teaching at Carver Elementary which was the low socioeconomic school for Blacks.

Segment Synopsis: Hayes says that when integration occurred many teachers were moved to other schools, whereas she was given a job at the central office. She talks about interviewing for the position, and talks about later being appointed to various committees.

Keywords: Board members; Central Office; Committee appointments; George Washington Carver Elementary School; Governor John Y. Brown; Husbands; School superintendents; Segregated schools

Subjects: African Americans--Civil rights--Kentucky; African Americans--Conduct of life.; African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Integration; Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.; School integration--Kentucky; Segregation in education--Kentucky; Teachers--Kentucky; Teaching

GPS: Lexington (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.029722, -84.494722
00:53:06 - Effects of integration

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Partial Transcript: Do you feel that students got a better education in the all-Black school or in the integrated system?

Segment Synopsis: Hayes says that the majority of the Black community is not better off because of integration; only those who were already at the top have benefited. She talks about her experiences with racism at the University of Kentucky, being one of the first African American students to enroll after its integration. She talks about the attitude she says that many Lexingtonians possess.

Keywords: All-Black schools; Attitudes; Benefits; Better off; Black Lexingtonians; Black community; Children; Dr. Amry Vandenbosch; Expectations; Finances; Integrated schools; Lincoln School; Money; Outsiders; Participation; Problems; Professor Knight; Progress; Property ownership; Quality of education; Spirit; Success; Travel; Typical; University of Kentucky; Values; White teachers

Subjects: African American college students--Social conditions; African American families; African American leadership; African Americans--Civil rights--Kentucky; African Americans--Conduct of life.; African Americans--Economic conditions.; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Social conditions.; African Americans--Social life and customs.; Integration; Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.; Racism--Kentucky--Lexington; School integration--Kentucky; Teachers--Kentucky

GPS: Lexington (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.029722, -84.494722
01:06:52 - Current state of the church

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about the Black churches.

Segment Synopsis: Hayes gives her opinion on the current role of the church and ministers in the community.

Keywords: Helping; Role of ministers; Taking advantage; Values

Subjects: African American churches--Kentucky; African American leadership; African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Religion.; African Americans--Social conditions.

01:09:31 - Deputy Superintendent for Academic Affairs

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Partial Transcript: Now given your position--would you state your position on here just for the record?

Segment Synopsis: Hayes talks about her position at the time of the interview, Deputy Superintendent for Academic Affairs, which was the highest position held by a Black woman in Kentucky at the time. She talks about reactions to her position from both Black and White parents.

Keywords: "Black" schools; Administration; Black community; Deputy Superintendent for Academic Affairs; Fayette County Public Schools; Job positions; Parents; Promotions; Reactions; School superintendents

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.

GPS: Lexington (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.029722, -84.494722
01:15:36 - Reverend Nutter

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Partial Transcript: Oh, I wanted to say one thing now.

Segment Synopsis: Hayes talks about Reverend Nutter, who she says she respects. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Central Office; Influence; Ministers; Respect; Reverend Homer Nutter; Traveling

Subjects: African American churches; African American leadership; African Americans--Religion.; African Americans--Social conditions.

GPS: Lexington (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.029722, -84.494722