Interview with Gifford S. Blyton, June 5, 1997

Project: University of Kentucky: The African American Experience Oral History Project

  • Description
  • Play Interview
  • Rights & Request
  • Citation

Interview Summary

Gifford Blyton, a retired University of Kentucky professor of communications, describes his experiences teaching African American students in the 1950s. Blyton began his teaching career at Western Michigan University, and came to UK in September of 1948. He describes Lexington in the 1950s and states that the first African American students began attending UK in 1951 or 1952. He remembers that the cafeteria at UK was segregated, but that UK President Herman Donovan stopped this practice.

Blyton describes the first African American student that he had in his class in 1952, Evelyn Green. He explains that color meant nothing to him, but remembers that there were some racist faculty members. Blyton states that he was the first teacher in Kentucky to integrate an intercollegiate activity. He recalls that African Americans students did not feel completely comfortable eating or socializing with white students. Yet, Blyton does not remember any real trouble between black and white students.

Blyton describes his experience teaching African American students in Michigan and recalls an incident when an African American student on his debate team was refused service in a restaurant in Kentucky. Blyton remembers other African American students in his classes at UK. Blyton also recalls accusations that Adolph Rupp was a racist because he did not recruit black players. Blyton explains that Southern schools would not have played Kentucky if they did have African American players. Blyton also describes his feelings about racism and anti-Semitism in general.

Interview Accession

2000oh072_af601

Interviewee Name

Gifford S. Blyton

Interviewer Name

Sharon Childs

Interview Date

1997-06-05

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


access interview in full screen  

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). 


Blyton, Gifford S. Interview by Sharon Childs. 05 Jun. 1997. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Blyton, G.S. (1997, June 05). Interview by S. Childs. University of Kentucky: The African American Experience Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Blyton, Gifford S., interview by Sharon Childs. June 05, 1997, University of Kentucky: The African American Experience Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7tx921g65m