Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Lillian B. Gentry, March 5, 1993

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:12 - Eddie Street neighborhood

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Partial Transcript: This is Betsy Adler and it's March fifth, 1993. I'm interviewing Lillian Gentry for the "Touching the Past: Our Neighborhood, Our Self" project for the Living Arts and Science Center.

Segment Synopsis: Lillian Gentry is introduced. She talks about where her children went to school when her family lived on Eddie Street. She describes the neighborhood, her relationships with her neighbors, and the types of jobs most people had. She discusses her family background.

Keywords: Children; Dunbar High School; Dunbar School; Eddie Street; Henry Clay High School; Husband; Jobs; Low income residence; Madison County (Ky.); Moving; Neighbors; Racially mixed; Rural; Russell Elementary School; Trades; Work

Subjects: African American families; African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington; African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington--Social conditions; Childhood; Family history; Lexington (Ky.); Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.; Race relations--Kentucky--Lexington

GPS: Eddie Street (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.055102, -84.482696
00:06:46 - Entertainment on Eddie Street

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Partial Transcript: When, when you were on Eddie Street did--what did, um, people do for entertainment?

Segment Synopsis: Gentry talks about what she and her family did for fun while living on Eddie Street. She talks about when the neighborhood organization was created.

Keywords: Basketball; Dunbar High School; Dunbar School; Eddie Street; Entertainment; Movies; Neighborhood organizations; Neighbors; Parks; Photographs; Reverend H.H. Green; Work

Subjects: African American families; African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington--Social conditions; Childhood

GPS: Eddie Street (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.055102, -84.482696
00:10:36 - Religion

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Partial Transcript: Um, did, did most everybody in the neighborhood go to the same church?

Segment Synopsis: Gentry talks about the churches near Eddie Street and the differences in religious beliefs between herself, her family members, and others in the neighborhood.

Keywords: Baptist churches; Brothers; Eddie Street; Mothers; Reverend H.H. Green; Sisters; United Methodist churches

Subjects: African American churches--Kentucky; African American families; African American neighborhoods; Religion

GPS: Eddie Street (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.055102, -84.482696
00:13:27 - Downtown businesses

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Partial Transcript: Were there any special businesses that you recall that people patronized i--that were in the neighborhood?

Segment Synopsis: Gentry talks about where she and her family would shop when they lived on Eddie Street. She talks about who owned the stores. She talks about her grandmother's cooking, and people raising animals in the city.

Keywords: A&P Supermarket; Chickens; Cooking; Doughnuts; East Main Street; Germans; Grandmothers; Grocery stores; Kroger grocery stores; Limestone Street; Ms. Ellis; Progress Market; Raising animals; Ransom Avenue; Restaurants; South Upper Street; Spalding's Bakery; West Main Street

Subjects: African American families; Business enterprises--Kentucky--Lexington; Lexington (Ky.)--Buildings, structures, etc.

GPS: East Main Street (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.040360, -84.490225
00:22:11 - Sense of "neighborhood"

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Partial Transcript: Has--did the--has--when--as you remember the neighborhood over there has it changed a lot, um, since you were there?

Segment Synopsis: Gentry talks about how the neighborhood surrounding Eddie Street has changed over the years. She talks about the games her children played growing up. She talks about what makes a good neighborhood. She names some of the important places in the neighborhood and discusses how they have changed.

Keywords: Additions; Antique shops; Changes; Children; Cooperation; Development; Dunbar High School; Dunbar School; Episcopal churches; Fourth Street; Games; Houses; Interest; Music; Neighborhood landmarks; Remodeling; Russell Elementary School; Sports; Streets; Success; YMCA

Subjects: African American churches--Kentucky; African American families; African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington--Social conditions; Childhood; Lexington (Ky.)--Buildings, structures, etc.

GPS: Fourth Street (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.047116, -84.486292
00:30:17 - Growing and cooking food

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Partial Transcript: Well, what kinds of, of, um--part of my, my background is as a folklorist and one of the things that I'm interested in is--

Segment Synopsis: Gentry talks more about her grandmother's cooking. She talks about her grandparents raising most of their own food when they lived on a farm. She talks about how the food was preserved, and her grandmother's income from selling the food they raised. She talks about moving from the farm and losing the ability to grow their own food.

Keywords: Cooking; Farms; Fathers; Flowers; Food; Gardens; Grandfathers; Grandmothers; Growing vegetables; Husband; Income; Lots; Markets; Mothers; Moving; Nannies; Orchards; Raising animals; Recipes; Rural; Sourdough bread; Yards

Subjects: African American families; Canning and preserving; Childhood; Food habits; Food--Preservation

00:43:38 - Moving to Limestone Street

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Partial Transcript: Well then, and then you moved over here.

Segment Synopsis: Gentry talks about why her family moved from Eddie Street to Limestone Street. She describes the neighborhood and her neighbors. She talks about her children going to school, church, and the YMCA. The interviewer and interviewee discuss the renaming of the YMCA.

Keywords: Children; Dr. Hunter; Eula Tatman; Limestone Street; Meetings; Moving; Neighborhood centers; Receptions; Renaming; Stores; YMCA

Subjects: African American churches--Kentucky; African American families; African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington--Social conditions; Lexington (Ky.)--Buildings, structures, etc.

GPS: South Limestone Street (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.037721, -84.507256
00:51:01 - Her children's experience with segregation and integration in school

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Partial Transcript: Was the n--was the neighborhood then, um, was it--this neighborhood--and I know you said the one on Eddie street was racially mixed, was it here--

Segment Synopsis: Gentry talks about the schools her children attended in Lexington. She talks about which schools were segregated and which were integrated. She discusses how her children felt about attending all-black schools and attending schools with children of other races. She talks about some of her children's favorite teachers, and the quality of the education they received. Gentry talks about her job at the University of Kentucky and tells a story about talking with some of the students there.

Keywords: Black teachers; Children; Differences; Eddie Street; Equipment; Facilities; Fairness; Jobs; Laboratory; Ms. Draper; Parents; Parochial schools; Public schools; Quality of education; Racially mixed; Role models; Russell Elementary School; St. Peter School; Students; Training; White teachers; Working

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington; African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington--Social conditions; African Americans--Segregation; Education; Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.; Race relations--Kentucky--Lexington; School integration--Kentucky--Fayette County; Segregation in education--Kentucky; Segregation--Kentucky--Fayette County; Teachers--Kentucky; University of Kentucky

GPS: Russell Elementary School (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.053286, -84.489381
01:01:23 - Northside Neighborhood Association

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Partial Transcript: Let me, um, get back to the, to the neighborhood.

Segment Synopsis: Gentry talks about her involvement in the Northside Neighborhood Association and talks about the boundaries of the neighborhood. She talks about the growth of Transylvania University since her family moved to the neighborhood, and how the number of stores in the area has decreased. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Downtown Lexington; Growth; Neighborhood boundaries; Northside Neighborhood Association; Shopping; Stores; Tours; Transylvania University

Subjects: African American churches--Kentucky; African American neighborhoods; Lexington (Ky.)--Buildings, structures, etc.

GPS: Transylvania University (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.052155, -84.493614