Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Amanda Cooper Elliott, April 5, 1993

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:13 - Basic information / family history

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Partial Transcript: Um if I could I'd like to just start out with some basic information about you for the record.

Segment Synopsis: Elliott talks about her personal background, including education and occupations. She goes on to discuss her family history, including her grandparents and parents.

Keywords: Ancestry; Cooper family; Enoch Cooper; Family history; Maternal great grandfather; Occupations; Part-time work; Williams family

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington; Clark County (Ky.); Jessamine County (Ky.)

00:09:58 - Childhood homes in Kinkead town

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Partial Transcript: The project that I'm working on, the touching the past, is focusing on the neighborhood in this area.

Segment Synopsis: Elliott talks about her neighborhood Kinkead Town, mentioning the different streets she lived on as a child. She also mentions that her street was the only black street in the neighborhood when she lived on near Midland Ave.

Keywords: Black neighborhoods; Breckenridge Street; Family home; Kinkead Town; Ohio Street; Storytelling

00:18:56 - Childhood memories

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Partial Transcript: So when did you move to Ohio Street then?

Segment Synopsis: Elliott mentions when she moves out of the Kinkead neighborhood. She goes on to talk about some of the things she did for fun in her neighborhood. She also tells a story about confrontations she had with neighborhood bullies when she was 13.

Keywords: Black neighborhoods; Breckenridge Street; Childhood; Happy the Glass Man; Kinkead Town; Neighborhood bullies; Pemberton Avenue; Storytelling; Thoroughbred racing track; Vacant lots; Violence

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

00:29:22 - Childhood games / transportation

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Partial Transcript: Did you--did anybody in your family or in the neighborhood play any kind of music or anything like that?

Segment Synopsis: Elliott talks about different childhood games she played. She also mentions how she and family got around, mentioning that her father had a car but she walked everywhere.

Keywords: Childhood games; Street cars; Transportation

Subjects: Childhood

00:33:50 - Kindergarten

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Partial Transcript: When you went to school, you went to Constitution?

Segment Synopsis: Elliott talks about attending kindergarten early, at age four, at Russell Elementary School. She also talks about a teacher she had while at Russell, mentioning how she became a teacher.

Keywords: Constitution Elementary School (Lexington, Ky.); Kindergarten; Mrs. Jackson; Russell Elementary School (Lexington, Ky.)

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

00:37:26 - Changes in the neighborhood / neighborhood boundaries

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Partial Transcript: What, uh-- how, how do you think that the, uh, area has changed over the years there?

Segment Synopsis: Elliott talks about how her old neighborhood has changed since she was a child. She mentions that the area is made up of a different demographic and properties are not maintained. She also talks about what she considered the boundaries of her old neighborhood to be, mentioning that only certain streets were open to blacks. She mentions some of the streets that were open to blacks pre-WWII.

Keywords: Black neighborhoods; Breckenridge Street; Chestnut Street; Johnson Elementary School; Kinkead Town; Lifestyles; Segregation; Sixth Street; Sunshine Park

Subjects: African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington--Social conditions; Discrimination in housing

00:47:49 - Local greenhouse / Spalding Bakery

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember the, uh, the um, greenhouse thing there, where Johnson School is now?

Segment Synopsis: Elliott talks about a local greenhouse. She also reminisces about visiting the Spalding Bakery, also mentioning the Spalding family.

Keywords: Local businesses; Neighborhood greenhouses; Spalding Bakery

Subjects: African American business enterprises

00:53:07 - Successful neighborhoods / neighborhood landmarks

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Partial Transcript: Well what do you think makes a, a neighborhood successful?

Segment Synopsis: Elliott talks about her neighborhoods success. She also talks about Shiloh Baptist Church and her involvement as the church's historian. She also mentions Constitution Elementary School.

Keywords: Black neighborhoods; Community relations; Constitution Elementary School (Lexington, Ky.); Neighborhood landmarks; Reverend Childs; Shiloh Baptist Church (Lexington, Ky.)

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

00:59:25 - Lexington cemeteries

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Partial Transcript: Do you know anything about the cemetery?

Segment Synopsis: Elliott talks about Lexington cemeteries, including the Number Two Cemetery which was for blacks. She is also trying to find a particular street on a map that her mother was born on. She also mentions that her mother went to Constitution Elementary School.

Keywords: African Number Two Cemetery; Constitution Elementary School (Lexington, Ky.); Lexington cemeteries

01:07:08 - Travelling routes

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Partial Transcript: What other routes did you have when you were going places?

Segment Synopsis: Elliott mentions the typical routes that she and her brother took when travelling around town, mentioning that along the routes there was always somewhere they could stop if there was a problem.

Keywords: Childhood; Kite flying; Neighborhoods; Travelling routes

01:09:57 - Girl Reserves

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Partial Transcript: This is tape number two of Betsy Adler and Amanda Cooper Elliot on April 5, 1993. You were starting to talk about...

Segment Synopsis: Elliot talks about participating in the Y's Girl Reserves program while she was in Junior High School.

Keywords: Girl Reserves; Junior High School; The Y; YWCA club

01:13:11 - Shiloh Baptist Church

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Partial Transcript: Well, what, what, um, can you tell me, um, if you aren't too worn out from this, about Shiloh Baptist Church.

Segment Synopsis: Elliott mentions some of the history of Shiloh Baptist Church.

Keywords: Church history; Shiloh Baptist Church (Lexington, Ky.); Thomas Street

Subjects: African American churches--Kentucky

01:16:11 - Grocery stores

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Partial Transcript: Well is there anything that I've, I've missed in terms of your memories of growing up in the area?

Segment Synopsis: Elliott talks about her overall feelings about the various areas she lived in as a child. She goes on to talk about the various neighborhood grocery stores that her family shopped in.

Keywords: Black neighborhoods; Breckenridge Street; Densmore (??) family; Grocery stores; Market House; Neighborhood memories; Ohio Street; Race relations

01:20:11 - Eating habits / food sources

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Partial Transcript: What did you mostly eat?

Segment Synopsis: Elliott talks about about her family's eating habits and food sources as a child. She mentions that during the Depression her family raised chicken to provide meat for the family. She also mentions that her mother always had turkey for the holidays, mentioning that she had to help clean the turkey.

Keywords: Cream raisins pie; Eating habits; Family gardens; Hatchery; Ice cream making; Iceberg lettuce; Irish Potato pies; Pinfeathers; Popsicles; Preserving foods; Raising chickens; The Depression; Turkey; Wine making

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

01:34:16 - Getting an apartment / bike riding

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Partial Transcript: I remember when my daughter was born--(coughs)--I was in Dayton, when I went to visit my husband...

Segment Synopsis: Elliott talks about the situation surrounding her moving out of her parents house. She mentions taking her brother's bicycle with her friend and riding around town.

Keywords: Living conditions; Recreation; Riding bikes

01:38:16 - Mother's occupations / sewing and quilting

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Partial Transcript: Did your mother, um, have an occupation?

Segment Synopsis: Elliott mentions her mother's employment, mentioning that she didn't work full time after she was married. She also mentions that her mother was often sick when she was younger. She also mentions that her mother sewed clothing for women. She goes on to talk about how she also sewed and made quilts. She also mentions the work she is doing on family history for multiple sides of her family. [The interview is concluded]

Keywords: "Practical nurse"; Family histories; Quilting; Sewing

Subjects: African Americans--Employment--Kentucky--Lexington