Interview with Olive Burroughs, June 30th, 1999

Accession Number:
1999OH007 ODCH 007
Olive Burroughs
Daniel Hildenbrandt
Interview Date: 
Wednesday, June 30th, 1999

Burroughs discusses growing up during the transition years as Owensboro became more integrated. She remembers sitting at a store lunch counter and being served even though blacks were not allowed to sit there. She also recalls attending a white school in the sixth grade and having to walk a long way to get there. She did encounter some racism at the school but felt that this was due primarily to the fact that the effort to integrate the schools was a new idea and most of her white classmates were not ready for it. Burroughs believes that blacks lost their sense of community due to integration. She feels that black students had more of a support system in the all-black schools than they had when the schools were integrated.

Burroughs also discusses her work during voter registration drives for Richard Brown. This political work got her involved in local politics. She is currently a city commissioner.

One problem that Burroughs sees in the black community today is the lack of a strong agenda. She believes that there aren't enough local black professionals to support a strong and vital black community. Many talented young African Americans leave the city for better jobs in Atlanta or Louisville.

Interview Restricted: 
No Restrictions