Interview with Grace G. Coleman, September 12, 1986

Project: Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Raised in Jessamine County and descended from former slaves, Mrs. Coleman graduated from Kentucky State College in 1935 and entered the teaching profession in Georgia. She practiced social work in Lexington and became assistant to the Dean of Women at Paducah Junior College. She recalls the family stories about slavery, how her grandfather acquired his farm after the end of the Civil War, and her childhood growing up in a small, rural, African American community with its own church and school but limited in social and recreational activities. After the death of her mother, Mrs. Coleman was transferred from one family to another. She recalls the practice of children being "bound out" to work, the provisions made for orphans, and the general insensitivity shown by rural adults to children.

Mrs. Coleman discusses her social work experiences in Lexington and the discriminatory salary policies she encountered, the more liberal racial attitudes of the Fayette County Children's Bureau, and Lexington's class-conscious society. The changing employment opportunities for African Americans over time are delineated, and the differences between urban and rural communities are discussed. Mrs. Coleman differentiates between the beliefs of the Baptist and Presbyterian churches, bemoans the lack of African American businesses, and recounts the negative effects of integration upon the education of African American children.

Interview Accession

1986oh244_kh371

Interviewee Name

Grace G. Coleman

Interviewer Name

Emily Parker

Interview Date

1986-09-12

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.

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Coleman, Grace G. Interview by Emily Parker. 12 Sep. 1986. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Coleman, G.G. (1986, September 12). Interview by E. Parker. Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Coleman, Grace G., interview by Emily Parker. September 12, 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/xt7ksn012h7v