Interview with Anna Walker, September 23, 1997

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

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Partial Transcript: --please by telling me, uh, your name. Your full name.

Segment Synopsis: Anna Walker discusses her childhood in the neighborhood surrounding Bourbon Avenue in Lexington, Kentucky. She talks about her parents and siblings, and says that they grew up in a poor, working class environment.

Keywords: Bourbon Avenue; Brothers; Community; Family; Fathers; George Brown; High schools; Maggie Brown; Mothers; Parents; Poor; Siblings; Sisters; Socioeconomic background; Working class

Subjects: African American families; African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Economic conditions.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Childhood; Communities.; Education--Kentucky; Lexington (Ky.)

00:02:53 - Racial climate in Lexington, Kentucky during her childhood

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Partial Transcript: Okay, uh, how would you describe the racial climate of Lexington, uh, if you can remember, when you were growing up as a child?

Segment Synopsis: Walker discusses the race relations in Lexington during her childhood and says that people just accepted segregation as the way things were.

Keywords: Attitudes; Desegregation; High schools; Involvement; Racial climate; Schools; Sit-ins

Subjects: African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Civil rights; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Childhood; Civil rights demonstrations; Civil rights movements--United States; Communities.; Education--Kentucky; Lexington (Ky.); Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.; Race discrimination.; Race relations--Kentucky; Segregation in education--Kentucky

00:04:31 - High school

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Partial Transcript: Uh, did you have any contact with UK as a child?

Segment Synopsis: Walker talks about attending high school at the segregated Dunbar High School in Lexington. She talks about her grades and mentions her social life. She talks about how their teachers told them that they had to be better than the white students.

Keywords: Attitudes; Better; City; County; Douglass High School; Dunbar High School; Fun; Grades; High schools; Honor roll; Majorettes; Parents; Popularity; Population; Proud; Russell Elementary School; Studious; Teachers; University of Kentucky; Values

Subjects: African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Childhood; Communities.; Education--Kentucky; Lexington (Ky.); Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.; Race relations--Kentucky

00:07:09 - Decision to attend the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: So you, you graduated from?

Segment Synopsis: Walker says that she initially did not want to attend UK, and instead wanted to go to Kentucky State. For financial reasons, she chose UK. She talks about whether high school prepared her for college. She talks about whether she was scared to go to UK.

Keywords: Afraid; Costs; Decisions; Eastern Kentucky; Fears; Graduation; Home; Kentucky State University; Memorial Coliseum; Mothers; Parents; Prepared

Subjects: African American college students.; African Americans--Economic conditions.; African Americans--Education.; College choice; College environment; College students--Economic conditions; College students--Social conditions; Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.; Race relations--Kentucky; University of Kentucky

00:10:00 - Expectations of UK and experiences in classes

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Partial Transcript: Before enrolling at UK, do you remember like that summer when you knew you were gonna go to UK...

Segment Synopsis: Walker talks about her expectations of what UK would be like. She talks about why she left UK after one semester, and how she regrets not graduating. She talks about some of her classes, including history with Dr. Clark, a swimming class, and more. She says she had no negative experiences regarding race while at UK.

Keywords: Alone; Awareness; Classes; Classmates; Elementary education; English; Expectations; Grades; Hair; History classes; Incomplete; Kentucky State University; Majors; Married; Minors; Policies; Professors; Racial incidents; Regrets; Semesters; Student Center; Swimming; Thomas D. Clark

Subjects: African American college students.; African Americans--Education.; College environment; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.; Race relations--Kentucky; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; University of Kentucky

00:14:46 - Social activities at UK

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Partial Transcript: Uh, okay. So y--how--where did you live when you were at U--where were you living when you were going to UK?

Segment Synopsis: Walker talks about how she did not participate in many social activities at UK due to living at home and working while in school. She talks about hanging out in the Student Center between classes.

Keywords: Campus; Classes; Friends; Home; Jobs; Kentucky State University; Lexington (Ky.); Social activities; Social life; Student Center; Working

Subjects: African American college students.; African Americans--Education.; College environment; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; College students--Social networks; University of Kentucky

00:17:26 - UK faculty

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Partial Transcript: So you, you, uh, although you don't think much about it, but you really are part of history...

Segment Synopsis: Walker talks about her role in history as one of the first African American students at UK. She talks more about her professors at UK, including Dr. Clark, and their attitudes toward her as a black student.

Keywords: Anatomy; Encouraging; First; Full schedules; History; History majors; Jobs; Legacies; Legacy; Positive; Psychology; Reactions; Status; Swimming; Thomas D. Clark; Working

Subjects: African American college students.; African Americans--Education.; College environment; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.; Race relations--Kentucky; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; University of Kentucky

00:21:44 - Positive experiences at UK

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Partial Transcript: Uh, so, uh, you went to UK for one semester.

Segment Synopsis: Walker talks about how, overall, her experience at UK was positive and that she is not aware of many of the first generation of African American students having many negative experiences.

Keywords: Experiences; Negative; Positive; Ruth Million; Sarah Clark

Subjects: African American college students.; African Americans--Education.; College environment; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.; Race relations--Kentucky; University of Kentucky

00:23:12 - UK today

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Partial Transcript: Um, let's see now.

Segment Synopsis: Walker discusses UK today and whether she would encourage African American students to go there.

Keywords: Grandsons; Problems; Recommendations; Today

Subjects: African American college students.; African Americans--Education.; College environment; College students--Social conditions; Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.; Race relations--Kentucky; University of Kentucky

00:24:38 - Her lack of involvement with UK

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Partial Transcript: Alright, um, now, um, you're currently probably not involved with UK in any way now.

Segment Synopsis: Walker talks more about her lack of involvement at UK due to living off-campus. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: African American neighborhoods; Classes; Home; Involvement; Lexington (Ky.)

Subjects: African American college students.; African Americans--Education.; College environment; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; College students--Social networks; University of Kentucky