Interview with Robert R. Jefferson, June 22, 1987

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Robert Jefferson, a native of Lexington, Kentucky, describes his involvement in the establishment of the Office of Minority Affairs (now the Office of Multicultural and Academic Affairs) on the University of Kentucky campus. He talks about the frustrations students experienced while attempting to get recognition and support within the administration, and discusses his own experience with a "subtle" form of racism while both attending classes and speaking to classes at UK. He talks about the activities of student leaders like Theodore Berry and Benny Bonds. Jefferson also recalls Jerry Stephens' involvement in minority affairs at the university, and concerns throughout the Black community about the philosophy and attitude of Adolph Rupp.

Jefferson states that in 1971 or 1972 a group of 12 people from the Lexington community including representatives of organizations and businesses met. Their goal was to encourage more communication between the community and the university and increase African American enrollment at UK. The four issues that they became involved with were minority affairs, academics, athletics, and the relationship between the university and the community. He recalls successes of the group including the appointment of an African American to the athletic board and establishing a $5000 scholarship for a minority student from outside the Lexington area. Jefferson recalls that UK basketball tickets were set aside for the Black community, although members of the Black community did not buy the tickets. He provides his opinions on the administration of the minority affairs department, and talks about support for minority students at UK. Jefferson states that although there were efforts to recruit minority students, there were no attempts to retain those students. He discusses the role of student athletes on campus, and the controversy surrounding Adolph Rupp's all-white basketball team.

Interview Accession

1987oh105_af306

Interviewee Name

Robert R. Jefferson

Interviewer Name

Doris Weathers

Interview Date

1987-06-22

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.

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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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Jefferson, Robert R. Interview by Doris Weathers. 22 Jun. 1987. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Jefferson, R.R. (1987, June 22). Interview by D. Weathers. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Jefferson, Robert R., interview by Doris Weathers. June 22, 1987, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt78sf2m8r55