Interview with James Embry, June 29, 2006

Project: University of Kentucky: The African American Experience Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

James Embry talks about his first day of classes at the University of Kentucky, and the advice he received from older African American students. He talks about the atmosphere at UK, where he says sports were seen as more important than the humanity of African Americans.

He talks about the lies told by universities, the resistance to new ideas, and how corporations affect attitudes at the university. He talks about the importance of student involvement in choosing the curriculum, hands-on learning, and interconnection between campus and community. He talks about unlearning many things students learn at universities.

Embry talks about the occupations he has had since his graduation, as well as his involvement in social change. He talks about why he quit working at the UK Medical Center. He talks about his efforts in the field of community education, including attempts to create programs for African American business managers in Lexington, recycling programs, and programs for the Deaf community. Embry talks about starting a home repair business, hiring people who had been convicted of crimes, and talks about the ways in which he helped his employees: by having conversations and educating them about social change, providing them with opportunities to attend cultural events, and encouraging them to overcome alcoholism and drug addiction. Embry talks about moving to Detroit to work at the Boggs Center on the issue of emerging leadership.

Embry talks about the lack of relationship between UK and the wider community, and says that the university could be a valuable resource for the community but it is not. He talks about the leadership models employed by the university, including Tubby Smith's coaching style, which Embry disagrees with.

Interview Accession

2006oh095_af721

Interviewee Name

James Embry

Interviewer Name

Erica N. Johnson

Interview Date

2006-06-29

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.

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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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Embry, James Interview by Erica N. Johnson. 29 Jun. 2006. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Embry, J. (2006, June 29). Interview by E. N. Johnson. University of Kentucky: The African American Experience Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Embry, James, interview by Erica N. Johnson. June 29, 2006, University of Kentucky: The African American Experience Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt76t14tmg0h