Interview with Walter B. Taylor, March 16, 1987

Project: Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project

Interview Summary

A United States Navy World War II veteran and D-Day survivor, Mr. Taylor graduated from high school in Lexington. He recalls ancestral family history; the death of his father, a railroad man in 1933; working with his siblings to support the family; and, recreational activities. Remembering his upbringing in the small, rural, basically integrated community of Pricetown, Mr. Taylor discusses the social interaction among African American and white citizens of the same socioeconomic backgrounds; who, nonetheless attended separate churches and schools. He examines the advantages of living in a rural area as opposed to city life; comments upon the attitudes of young African Americans; and, the loss of unity and cohesiveness within the present day African American community. Following his return from military service, Mr. Taylor obtained the position as apprentice for three years to John D. Hawkins of the Hawkins Funeral Home. He discusses his interest and career in the funeral business; his personal service philosophy; how the business has evolved; the services offered and competition with the white funeral homes. He identifies the business obstacles faced because of his race; the difficulties of dealing with insurance companies; and, the integration of professional organizations.
Mr. Taylor became involved in the civil rights movement by quietly bailing protestors out of jail, actions which he discusses, along with his views concerning the advantages and disadvantages of integration. He notes his concerns regarding the apparent apathy of younger African Americans towards the ongoing civil rights struggle. A struggle which Mr. Taylor considers to be never ending and must be fought on a daily basis. He recalls chauffeuring out of town visitors around Louisville and Lexington during Derby week and comments upon his experiences, both good and bad.

Interview Accession

1987oh081_kh412

Interviewee Name

Walter B. Taylor

Interviewer Name

Emily Parker

Interview Date

1987-03-16

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Restriction

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Taylor, Walter B. Interview by Emily Parker. 16 Mar. 1987. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Taylor, W.B. (1987, March 16). Interview by E. Parker. Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Taylor, Walter B., interview by Emily Parker. March 16, 1987, Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt70cf9j6922