Interview with Ronald Griffin, January 27, 1983

Project: Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project

Interview Summary

After attending Leestown Junior High, Douglas High School, and graduating from Lexington Bryan Station High School, Mr. Griffin spent four years with the United States Air Force. He became active within the NAACP (National Association for The Advancement of Colored People) while at Eastern Kentucky University working at various levels. This activism included participation in the Student Union protests on the Richmond campus and civil rights lectures from Shirley Cunningham and Julius Berry. He discusses the impact of the civil rights movement on Lexington and reflects upon the bombing of Palmer's Drug Store.
He recalls his impressions of the NAACP at the beginning of his involvement; his presidency and the goals he accomplished. Mr. Griffin believes in leadership by example and counts the increased growth of membership; the increased credibility and respectability; and the improvement of bonds with the African American churches among his proudest achievements. Under his administration, the NAACP built up the treasury; maintained an office; expanded community outreach programs; started the Academic, Cultural and Technical Olympics; and augmented voter registration and education programs. Attempts were made to improve relationships with the business community; to erase housing discrimination and encourage political activism by the African American community.
Mr. Griffin identifies the other civil rights organizations which had a part in African American progress; enumerates the civil responsibilities of the African American community; evaluates the progress in Lexington since 1945 and after 1970; and discusses some of the unique aspects of life in Fayette County. He comments upon the relatively stable employment at IBM, the University of Kentucky, the Fayette County School system and the thoroughbred horse industry. The affirmative action program at IBM is mentioned as is the importance of the thoroughbread horse industry in Lexington. Concerned about the decline of African American participation within this business, Mr. Griffin would like to see organized programs to encourage African Americans to become trainers, jockeys, owners and breeders.
He considers parity in education to be of vital importance for economic growth and desires greater participation by the African American community in solving social problems.

Interview Accession

1988oh033_kh445

Interviewee Name

Ronald Griffin

Interviewer Name

Gerald Smith

Interview Date

1983-01-27

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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Griffin, Ronald Interview by Gerald Smith. 27 Jan. 1983. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Griffin, R. (1983, January 27). Interview by G. Smith. Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Griffin, Ronald, interview by Gerald Smith. January 27, 1983, 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/xt7gb56d4x40


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