Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Mary Edna Berry, September 14, 1989

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:02 - Background information

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Partial Transcript: Uh, can I have your address in Kinkeadtown?

Segment Synopsis: Mary Edna Berry is introduced. She talks about where she and her family lived during her childhood in Kinkeadtown, a former Black neighborhood in Lexington, Kentucky. She talks about their landlords, her religion, her education, and her family.

Keywords: Children; Dental assisting; Deweese Street; G.E.D.; Gun Tabernacle; Husbands; Illinois Street; J. W. Lancaster; Kinkeadtown; Landlords; Married; Paris (Ky.); Property owners; Renting; Teaching; Wesley United Methodist Church

Subjects: African American churches--Kentucky; African American families; African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Religion.

GPS: Former location of Illinois Street (Lexington, Ky.)


Map Coordinates: 38.047985, -84.486025
00:04:37 - Parents

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Partial Transcript: Now give me the same information on your father.

Segment Synopsis: Berry says her father owned a shoe repair shop on Deweese Street in Lexington. After her parents separated, her mother began working as a seamstress with the WPA. She talks about her sister who died very young.

Keywords: Black businesses; Chestnut Street; Death; Dehydration; Deweese Street; Entrepreneurs; Fathers; First Baptist Church; Illness; Jobs; Mothers; Occupations; Rent; Self-employed; Separation; Sewing; Shoe repair shops; Siblings; Working; Works Progress Administration (WPA)

Subjects: African American business enterprises; African Americans--Economic conditions.; African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Health and hygiene.; African Americans--Religion.; Childhood; Lexington (Ky.)--Buildings, structures, etc.

GPS: Deweese Street (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.044367, -84.491995
00:09:11 - Kinkeadtown neighborhood

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Partial Transcript: Now I want to talk to you a little bit about the neighborhood itself and the community history.

Segment Synopsis: Berry talks about the boundaries of Kinkeadtown, relationships between neighbors, and says most people rented their homes.

Keywords: All-Black neighborhoods; Children; Gatherings; Home ownership; Interaction; Kinkeadtown; Names; Neighborhood boundaries; Property ownership; Renting; Transportation

Subjects: African American churches--Kentucky; African American families; African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Housing.; African Americans--Social conditions.; African Americans--Social life and customs.; Childhood; Neighborliness; Neighbors

GPS: Former location of Illinois Street (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.047985, -84.486025
00:14:01 - Changes in Kinkeadtown over time

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Partial Transcript: Okay, talk to me a little bit about how the neighborhood has changed over time, what sort of changes took place, and why do you think it changed.

Segment Synopsis: Berry talks about how Kinkeadtown changed over time due to lack of repairs and upkeep of the houses by the landlords.

Keywords: Changes; Generations; Kinkeadtown; Landlords; Maintenance; Pride; Property owners; Repairs; Upkeep

Subjects: African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Housing.

GPS: Former location of Illinois Street (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.047985, -84.486025
00:17:02 - Houses in Kinkeadtown

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Partial Transcript: Uh, now you lived in several houses, so how long did you live in Kinkead?

Segment Synopsis: Berry describes the various houses she and her family lived in while living in Kinkeadtown. She talks about the plumbing, heating, and talks about how her family got food and coal.

Keywords: Bathtubs; Coal; Food; Heat; Houses; Indoor plumbing; Living conditions; Moving; Outdoor toilets; Stoves; Toilets; Water; Welfare

Subjects: African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Economic conditions.; African Americans--Housing.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Childhood

GPS: Former location of Illinois Street (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.047985, -84.486025
00:21:58 - Yards in Kinkeadtown

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Partial Transcript: Now let's talk about your yard. What sort of activities took place in your house yard?

Segment Synopsis: Berry describes the yards at the houses her family lived in, and talks about the types of activities they would do in the yard.

Keywords: Animals; Children; Chores; Flower beds; Grass; Parties; Playing; Washing; Yards

Subjects: African American families; African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Recreation; African Americans--Social life and customs.; Childhood

GPS: Former location of Illinois Street (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.047985, -84.486025
00:26:01 - Food

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Partial Transcript: Now I want to talk a little bit about, uh, your source of food.

Segment Synopsis: Berry talks about where her family bought their food, whether they grew vegetables in a garden, how they preserved their food, and how they disposed of their trash. She tells a story about being disciplined by her mother for breaking dishes.

Keywords: Changes; Diet; Discipline; Dishes; Garbage disposal; Gardens; Glass Grocery; Growing vegetables; Iceboxes; Markets; Meat; Scrip; Silver; Trouble; Welfare

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Conduct of life.; African Americans--Economic conditions.; Canning and preserving; Childhood; Food habits; Food--Preservation

GPS: Former location of Illinois Street (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.047985, -84.486025
00:33:29 - Stores

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Partial Transcript: Now we're going to talk about your shopping.

Segment Synopsis: Berry talks about the types of stores that sold food and clothing. She talks about the businesses they were not allowed to patronize because they were African American.

Keywords: Black businesses; Grocery stores; Restrictions; Schools; Second-hand; Shoes; Shopping; Stores; Welfare

Subjects: African American business enterprises; African Americans--Economic conditions.; African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Childhood; Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.; Race discrimination.

00:36:30 - Healthcare

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Partial Transcript: Okay, let's talk about the healthcare.

Segment Synopsis: Berry says her family received their immunizations and other healthcare at the Baby Milk Supply and the public health clinic.

Keywords: Baby Milk Supply; Healthcare; Home remedies; Illness; Immunizations; Medicine; Public health clinics; Running water

Subjects: African Americans--Health and hygiene.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Health facilities--Kentucky--Lexington; Public health--Kentucky--Fayette County

00:38:50 - Transportation / employment

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Partial Transcript: Okay, let's talk about the transportation.

Segment Synopsis: Berry says most people walked or took the bus for transportation. She talks about the neighbors who had cars. She talks about the types of work available for African Americans. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Automobiles; Bluegrass Aspendale; Burgoo; Buses; Cars; Childcare; Cooks; Day work; Domestic work; Douglas Park; Farms; Laborers; Neighbors; Public transportation; Racetracks; Working; World War I bonuses; World War I veterans

Subjects: African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Conduct of life.; African Americans--Economic conditions.; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Transportation--Kentucky

GPS: Douglas Park
Map Coordinates: 38.069505, -84.502188