Interview with Merlene Davis, April 30, 2015

Project: Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Merlene Davis first recalls her experience of the integration of the school system in her hometown of Owensboro, Kentucky, also explaining her family background. She discusses her education in journalism, which was completed, after a hiatus of nine years and a change of major from education, at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky, and subsequently at the University of California, Berkeley, through the Maynard Institute. She explains how, after working as a journalist in Memphis, Tennessee for a short time, she was recruited in 1980 by the then-editor John Carroll to the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper, where in 1985 she was assigned her own column. She describes several of the controversial pieces she has written in her column, reflecting on the progress that has been made in race relations in three decades as well as the problems that remain unsolved. After telling what advice she would give to aspiring journalists and young students, she discusses her role through her column as a voice for African Americans and as a mother with wisdom to share. Finally, she expresses her gratitude to her family, both immediate and extended, describing the ways in which they enabled her to excel.

Interview Accession

2015oh240_kcrhf017

Interviewee Name

Merlene Davis

Interviewer Name

Betty Bay?

Interview Date

2015-04-30

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

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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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Davis, Merlene Interview by Betty Bay?. 30 Apr. 2015. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Davis, M. (2015, April 30). Interview by B. Bay?. Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Davis, Merlene, interview by Betty Bay?. April 30, 2015, Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7xks6j438m


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