Transcript
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Index
Search this Index
X
00:00:06 - Background information

Play segment

Partial Transcript: --an interview with Mr. Robert Graves for the Univeristy of Kentucky oral history project.

Segment Synopsis: Robert Graves talks about his move from Crofton that eventually led to his living in Louisville, Kentucky where he played all sports. He lived in an all-Black neighborhood.

Keywords: Athlete of many sports; Aware of segregation; Catholic High School, a Black school in Louisville; Great teams; Moved a lot in Kentucky by age 12, then family settled in Louisville; Played all sports: basketball, baseball, and football; Played sports against mostly other Black schools in Louisville

Subjects: Athletes; Central High School (Louisville, Ky.); Louisville (Ky.)

00:07:00 - From junior high to Central High School

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What were your, what, what were your feelings when you were g, getting ready to go to Central High School?

Segment Synopsis: Graves talks about his fond memories of Central High School, and the teachers and the sports.

Keywords: Black students from all over Jefferson County went to Central; Caring for students; Central was like a parent to many students; Community relations; Good students at Central High School; Knew all other players in the city; Segregation at U of L

Subjects: Athletes; Community; Education--Kentucky--Louisville; University of Louisville--Football

00:12:25 - Central High School basketball / tournament segregation

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Let's talk a little bit about some of the sports teams at Central because I know they're, you know, really respected in the state for being, being a very strong athletic, athletic establishment.

Segment Synopsis: Graves talks about the success of the Central High School basketball team, and the segregated league (Kentucky High School League).

Keywords: Coaching and discipline; Community followed Central up to the 1960s and 70s, and other Black schools; Lots of talent; National championship and undefeated; So many spectators that games were moved to Freedom Hall; Strong team

Subjects: Basketball coaches; Central High School (Louisville, Ky.)

00:17:52 - Exceptional Black basketball players in Louisville

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What about your first team--your--some of the teams that you played for in Central?

Segment Synopsis: Graves gives the names and talks about the exceptional basketball players from Louisville, and where they went to play in college. He says he did not play for the University of Louisville, and went elsewhere due to prejudice

Keywords: All-Star players; Beat college teams; Starting basketball players

Subjects: Basketball; Kentucky State University; Prejudice and racism

00:24:20 - Central High School coach / Black players at Louisville schools

Play segment

Partial Transcript: And, uh, did--would you say that he taught more than just the X and Os of basketball? What kind of coach was he?

Segment Synopsis: Graves talks about the coach and how they played as a team at Central. He also talks about how the Louisville high schools changed as they got more Black players due to integration.

Keywords: Lost contact lens held up the game and opponent won; Louisville Shawnee; Played against Louisville Male High School; Playing to the best of your ability; Two plays

Subjects: Basketball coaches; School integration

00:30:35 - Other schools did not want to play Louisville Central High School / lawsuit for Black referees

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Now I've read a number of places that, uh, a lot of the all-white schools around Kentucky feared playing Central High School.

Segment Synopsis: Graves talks about the propaganda and other reasons schools did not want to play basketball against all-Black Louisville Central. He also talks quite a bit about the lack of recognition and bad-mouthing that he received for the lawsuit against the KHSAA for black referees.

Keywords: All-Black teams; Integration; Judgement calls; Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA); No recognition for integrating the high school referees or entire U.S.; Sued KHSAA in 1971 for Black referees

Subjects: African Americans; Basketball

00:36:43 - Race consciousness during high school and as a coach / playing for Kentucky State University

Play segment

Partial Transcript: But at--right now, what about in--what about when you were in high school playing?

Segment Synopsis: Graves talks about his lack of knowledge of race relations when he was in high school, and his experience playing white schools when he was a coach. He also talks about his basketball playing years at Kentucky State College.

Keywords: Coach Brown tried to imitate Coach Rupp; Coach Jim Brown, a social science teacher, was also the basketball coach at Kentucky State; Didn't compete against white schools as a player; Prayers before games; Tough when coaching and playing against white schools

Subjects: Kentucky State College (Frankfort, Ky.); Kentucky State University; Segregation

00:44:35 - Playing against Knoxville College and Jackie M. Fitzpatrick / coaching in Campbellsville, then Central High School in Louisville

Play segment

Partial Transcript: And one game I went out and he let me play the whole half.

Segment Synopsis: Graves talks about the loss to Knoxville College, and the disagreements with the coach. He also talks about his employment in Campbellsville, before going back to Louisville.

Keywords: Coaching basketball at Louisville Central High School; Defensive plays; Had 34 points first half of game, and was benched the second half, lost the game

Subjects: Basketball; Basketball coaches--Kentucky; Louisville (Ky.); Recreation

00:52:51 - Remembering Coach Bill Keene / lack of Black high school basketball coaches in Kentucky in 1965 / playing against all-white teams

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So what about, what about anythings that--any of the things that you learned from Coach Keene? Did any of those carry over to you as a coach?

Segment Synopsis: Graves talks about his lack of memory coaching during the same time as S.T. Roach and some others. He also talks about the early Black coaches in Louisville and at other high schools in the state. Graves talks about the toughness of his team at Central High School.

Keywords: All-Black basketball team at Central up to 1975; Closing Black schools in Lexington; Learning from Coach Keene; Tough playing in Clay County (Ky.); Working the referees

Subjects: Basketball coaches; Basketball--Kentucky

01:01:53 - Trials of being a Black basketball coach in Kentucky--Federal suit against the referees, and the repercussions

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Go ahead.

Segment Synopsis: Graves talks about his pain as a Black high school basketball coach in Kentucky.

Keywords: Controversy; Deck stacked against them; Joe Knight, the NAACP, and others wanting to fight against unfair referees; Repercussions; Unfair incidents during games; Working the referees

Subjects: Basketball; Basketball referees

01:09:57 - Changes that took place after the federal suit against the referees

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Did you feel, did you feel like you needed to step in for the good of the future?

Segment Synopsis: Graves talks about the details of how the federal law suit went down and its outcome.

Keywords: Black referees; Called a "trouble maker"; Mistakes; NAACP; Outcome of the federal suit

Subjects: Basketball; NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People