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00:00:10 - Family background

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Partial Transcript: This is an oral history interview with Ms. Brenda Skillman for the University of Kentucky African American Alumni Experience.

Segment Synopsis: Brenda Skillman is introduced. She talks about her parents and grandparents and their occupations. She talks about the Native American and white ancestry in her family history, and her family members who were given land by their former owners after emancipation from slavery.

Keywords: American Indians; Blackfoot; Breckinridge County (Ky.); Children; Death; Grandparents; Hardin County (Ky.); Land ownership; Lower middle class; Native Americans; Needs; New Orleans (La.); Occupations; Parents; Plantations; Sacrifices; Siblings; Slave masters; Socioeconomic conditions; White ancestors

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Economic conditions.; African Americans--Genealogy.; Elizabethtown (Ky.); Family histories.; Family--history; Slavery--United States.

GPS: Elizabethtown (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.7, -85.866667
00:08:15 - Early education

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Partial Transcript: Where did you go to elementary, junior high, and high school?

Segment Synopsis: Skillman talks about where she attended school in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. She talks about growing up during the civil rights movement and the changes that occurred in schools after integration. She talks about her family valuing education, and discusses the varying levels of education within her family.

Keywords: Black teachers; Buses; Caring; Covert racism; Driving; Elementary school; Family values; Farming; Fathers; Favorite subjects; Favorite teachers; Grades; Grandparents; High school; Literacy; Mechanics; Parents; Quitting school; Segregated schools; Siblings; Socializing; Textbooks; Treatment; White friends; White teachers

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Childhood; Civil rights movements--United States; Elizabethtown (Ky.); Race relations--Kentucky; Racism; School integration--Kentucky; Segregation in education--Kentucky; Teachers--Kentucky

GPS: Elizabethtown (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.7, -85.866667
00:16:21 - Family life

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Partial Transcript: Would you consider your family close-knit?

Segment Synopsis: Skillman talks about the role of church during her childhood. She talks about what her family did for entertainment, including fishing, and watching baseball.

Keywords: Baseball; Black community; Church socials; Close-knit; Competition; Deacons; Entertainment; Fathers; First Baptist Church; Fishing trips; Friends; Grandfathers; Guitar; Social role; Traveling

Subjects: African American churches--Kentucky; African American families; African Americans--Recreation; African Americans--Religion.; African Americans--Social conditions.; African Americans--Social life and customs.; Childhood; Elizabethtown (Ky.)

GPS: Elizabethtown (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.7, -85.866667
00:19:07 - Coming to the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Who made the decision that you were going to go to college?

Segment Synopsis: Skillman talks about deciding to go to college, her desire to be a medical technologist, and why she wanted to attend the University of Kentucky. She talks about UK's negative reputation in the Black community but says she was not afraid of a challenge. She talks about attending an orientation program with her parents, and talks about where she lived on campus.

Keywords: "Trailblazers"; Apprehensive; Black community; Blazer Hall; Challenges; Decisions; Dormitories; Grants; Holmes Hall; Med tech; Medical technologists; Parents; Racist; Reputations; Roommates; Scholarships; Science; Studying

Subjects: African American college students--Social conditions; African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington; College choice; College costs.; College environment; College majors; College student orientation.; College students, Black; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; Discrimination in higher education; Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.; Minorities in higher education; Race discrimination.; Racism--Kentucky--Lexington; Student housing; Universities and colleges--Public relations

GPS: University of Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 38.033333, -84.5
00:25:35 - Atmosphere at the University of Kentucky for African American students

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Partial Transcript: Do you recall your first day on campus? Your first day of classes?

Segment Synopsis: Skillman says she felt welcome at UK and did not experience any overt racism. She talks about the Black Student Union having discussions with UK President Ab Kirwan regarding the band playing "Dixie" at sporting events. She says she did not feel like she had to work harder for the same grades as her white peers. She talks about a fire set at the ROTC Building on campus surrounding a Vietnam War protest.

Keywords: "Dixie"; Black Student Union (BSU); Black professors; Blazer Hall; College classes; Dr. Albert Kirwan; Exams; Fight songs; First day; Football games; Grades; Holmes Hall; Interim presidents; Mentors; Overt racism; Protests; ROTC Building; Racial slurs; Resistance; Sporting events; Staff; Vietnam War; Welcome; Working harder

Subjects: African American college students--Social conditions; African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington; College administrators; College environment; College presidents; College sports.; College students, Black; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College teachers, Black; Discrimination in higher education; Educators; Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.; Minorities in higher education; Race discrimination.; Racism--Kentucky--Lexington; Student housing; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Faculty.

GPS: University of Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 38.033333, -84.5
00:34:39 - Extracurricular activities

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Partial Transcript: What organizations other than the Black Student Union did you participate in?

Segment Synopsis: Skillman talks about her participation in extracurricular activities while at UK, but says she did not socialize much due to focusing on her studies. She talks about attending sporting events, and discusses Coach Adolph Rupp's reputation in the Black community. She talks about attending various churches in Lexington, and discusses race relations in the city.

Keywords: Adolph Rupp; Basketball games; Black Student Union (BSU); Black Voices; Black athletes; Black community; Black sororities; Demographics; Deweese Street; Distractions; Downtown Lexington; Extracurricular activities; Overt racism; Participation; Parties; Seating; Self-segregation; Speech team; Sporting events; Student Union Grill; Studying

Subjects: African American churches--Kentucky; African American college students--Social conditions; African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington; African Americans--Recreation; African Americans--Religion.; African Americans--Social life and customs.; College environment; College students, Black; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Religious life; Discrimination in higher education; Greek letter societies.; Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.; Minorities in higher education; Race discrimination.; Racism--Kentucky--Lexington; Universities and colleges--Public relations; University towns

GPS: University of Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 38.033333, -84.5
00:44:02 - Memorable moments at the University of Kentucky / quality of education

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Partial Transcript: What is the most memorable moment that you had while attending UK?

Segment Synopsis: Skillman talks about some of her most memorable moments during her time at UK, including the fire in the ROTC Building that spread to her dorm, a trip to Chicago with the Black Voices group, and her graduation. She talks about being well-prepared for her registry exam due to her education at UK.

Keywords: "Trailblazers"; Black Voices; Blazer Hall; Chicago (Ill.); College of Allied Health Professions; Fire alarms; Graduation; Joyce Davis; Memorial Hall; Parents; Preparation; Progress; Proud; Quality of education; Recommendations; Registry exam

Subjects: African American college graduates--Kentucky; African American college students--Social conditions; African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington; College students, Black; College students--Conduct of life.; Minorities in higher education; Student housing; Universities and colleges--Ratings and rankings.

GPS: University of Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 38.033333, -84.5
00:49:49 - Life since graduation

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Partial Transcript: So what's been happening with you since you graduated? What year did you graduate?

Segment Synopsis: Skillman talks about the lack of jobs available in Lexington that resulted in her returning to Elizabethtown. She talks about her work as a med tech. She talks more about UK's reputation compared to her experiences there. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Changes; Graduation; Hardin Memorial Hospital; Job offers; Med techs; Medical technologists; Perceptions; Positive experiences; Quality of education; Reputations; Specialists; Technology; Treatment; Unmarried

Subjects: African American college graduates--Kentucky; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Elizabethtown (Ky.); Lexington (Ky.); Race discrimination.; Race relations--Kentucky; Racism; Universities and colleges--Alumni and alumnae.; Universities and colleges--Public relations; Universities and colleges--Ratings and rankings.

GPS: Elizabethtown (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.7, -85.866667