Interview with Oscar Dishman, Jr., September 16, 1986

Project: Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Mr. Dishman began his career in the thoroughbred horse industry as an exercise boy and groom at Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, Kentucky. He recalls moonlighting as a barber at River Downs and his decision, in 1960, to become a trainer. The discrimination he encountered within the industry is recounted by Mr. Dishman, as is his employment by Dr. Archie Donaldson as a trainer. He remembers the racing circuits he travelled and the advantage he had when purchasing race horses. Training the winning horses for the 1973 Michigan Mile, Ohio Derby, Hawthorne Stakes, and the Widener Handicap (1977-1978) are among the highlights of his career for which he was awarded the Black Achievement Award in Lexington. Mr. Dishman talks of Wallace Howard's research on African American jockeys and the lack of other African American trainers within the industry.
Growing up in New Zion, Kentucky, Mr. Dishman reminisces about his childhood, his parents' and grandparents' educational backgrounds and interests, and the croquet tournaments in New Zion during the 1920s and 1930s. He attended a two room school in New Zion, and later a radio school at Dunbar High School in 1942. He talks about his children's education, employment and achievements, and the importance of the Bluegrass Depot and IBM to African Americans in Lexington.

Interview Accession

1986oh246_kh373

Interviewee Name

Oscar Dishman, Jr.

Interviewer Name

Emily Parker

Interview Date

1986-09-16

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.

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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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Dishman, Oscar, Jr. Interview by Emily Parker. 16 Sep. 1986. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Dishman, O., Jr. (1986, September 16). Interview by E. Parker. Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Dishman, Oscar, Jr., interview by Emily Parker. September 16, 1986, 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/xt7b8g8fj112