Interview with Theodore Berry, July 2, 1987

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Theodore Berry was born in Lexington, Kentucky on December 18, 1947. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky as well as his doctorate. He attended U.K. from the fall of 1965 through spring of 1970 until he started law school in 1970. Berry recalls the establishment of the Office of Minority Affairs at U.K. and states the first college preparatory program for minority students began at U.K. in 1967. He talks about the Black Students Union movement nation-wide during this time and says he was the first president of this group at U.K. He also mentions the activities of the campus Human Rights organization (an integrated group) as well as other groups. Berry notes that at this time there were no black athletes at UK and no black teachers or professors. He says there was an atmosphere of prejudice on campus, that there were few black students and no activities for them; consequently, they were isolated.

Berry describes how several groups as well as individuals organized in order to help recruit athletes as well as students and says the college prep program was instituted during this time to assist in recruitment of minority (primarily black) students and to help them make the adjustment to the academic environment. He discusses some of the problems of recruitment during this time and talks about the importance of developing the Black History program. Berry mentions a Black History course being added to the curriculum. He discusses the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (C.L.E.O.) founded in Washington, D.C. in 1968 and the summer pre-law institute similar to C.L.E.O. that was started at U.K. in 1972. Berry points out that the students conducted this program with help from the professors, including teaching courses. He talks about the positive influence of the campus media and several teachers, particularly Michael Adelstein, in regards to encouraging minority students to come to U.K. Berry says that it is unfortunate that the programs weren't continued by the university "on a viable basis", at least to the best of his knowledge.

Interview Accession

1987oh109_af310

Interviewee Name

Theodore Berry

Interviewer Name

Doris Weathers

Interview Date

1987-07-02

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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Berry, Theodore Interview by Doris Weathers. 02 Jul. 1987. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Berry, T. (1987, July 02). Interview by D. Weathers. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Berry, Theodore, interview by Doris Weathers. July 02, 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/xt7rr49g7c88