Interview with Maureen B. Strider Abel, September 5, 1997

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

Interview Summary

Maureen Strider Abel was among the first undergraduate students to integrate the University of Kentucky. She recalls her happy childhood when her father was a teacher and she was a student at Dunbar High School. Both of her parents were graduates of Fisk University. She grew up in the Aspendale neighborhood of Lexington, Kentucky and she describes segregation in Lexington at that time.

Abel remembers that she had always wanted to attend Fisk University, but since finances prevented her from leaving home, she attended UK. Abel feels that her high school education completely prepared her for college, but that the UK community was not welcoming to the black students. She recalls a few incidents where black students experienced problems. A young white man threatened to burn down the Student Center when she and other black students were inside. She also describes a failed attempt to establish an integrated sorority. Indian students also shunned the black students, and Abel reasons that they feared being mistaken for being black.

Abel dropped out of UK after two and a half years, but was among the first African Americans hired by Square D in the 1970s. Yet she states that she still would not recommend that African American students attend UK. At the time of this interview she was working as an administrative assistant for the Community Action Program.

Interview Accession

2000oh079_af608

Interviewee Name

Maureen B. Strider Abel

Interviewer Name

Sharon Childs

Interview Date

1997-09-05

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

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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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Abel, Maureen B. Strider Interview by Sharon Childs. 05 Sep. 1997. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Abel, M.B. (1997, September 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.

Abel, Maureen B. Strider, interview by Sharon Childs. September 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/xt7xpn8xd886


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