Interview with R. V. Combs, April 21, 1987

Project: Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Mr. Combs reminisces about his family's history: the mixed ancestry on both sides; paternal grandmother was a former slave who returned to school at age 70 to learn to read and write, who lost her savings during the Depression but still managed to purchase a home and land; the aunt who could not become accustomed to freedom and returned to her former life; and, the grandparents who raised him upon the separation of his parents.

He discusses growing up and living in Perry County: the interaction among African Americans and whites; being related to "half the population"; and, participating in church related activities. An army veteran, Mr. Combs recalls his military experiences during the height of segregation; travelling around the world at age 15; and, friendships with white colleagues. While stationed in Austria, Mr. Combs was unjustly accused for murder, dishonorably discharged and served time at Ft. Leavenworth. Upon returning to Eastern Kentucky in 1949, he obtained employment in the coal mines where he stayed until retirement. He recalls his employment history and working in a variety of positions from coal miner to supervisor.

Mr. Combs presents his opinions regarding the lack of ambition show by today's youth, both African American and white; the disrespect towards women and older citizens; and, talks about the lack of African American supervisors within the industry. He reiterates his distaste for politics, politicians and Ronald Reagan; mentions his children and his pride in their achievements; and comments upon the economic impact of integration upon the African American community. Living within an integrated community in Clay County, Mr. Combs talks about social interaction, the importance of a good reputation and personality; and, the common sense of his neighbors.

Interview Accession

1987oh085_kh416

Interviewee Name

R. V. Combs

Interviewer Name

Emily Parker

Interview Date

1987-04-21

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

No Restrictions

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.

Add this interview to your cart in order to begin the process of requesting access to a copy of and/or permission to reproduce interview(s). 


Combs, R. V. Interview by Emily Parker. 21 Apr. 1987. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Combs, R.V. (1987, April 21). Interview by E. Parker. Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Combs, R. V., interview by Emily Parker. April 21, 1987, Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.

Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7gf18sf46t