Interview with James Embry, June 19, 2006
Project: University of Kentucky: The African American Experience Oral History Project
Interview SummaryJames Gilbert Embry was a student at the University of Kentucky from 1967-1974, and later worked for the university. In this interview he discusses his family background, including the history of slavery within his family as well as his ancestors who attended college. He talks about growing up in Richmond and Covington, Kentucky, and discusses race relations in both of his childhood communities. He talks about his family's recreational activities as well as the value they placed on education.
Embry talks about his decision to attend UK, and its reputation within the Black community at the time, which he says was mainly influenced by the university's reluctance to integrate. He gives specific examples of the discrimination he faced as a student at the university including racial slurs, violence, unfair grading by the faculty, and harassment by the police. He talks about the origins of the Black Student Union (B.S.U.), of which he later became president. He talks about the types of activities the organization created, their interaction with the wider community of Lexington, and the demands the group asked of the university. He talks about the university administration's reactions to their demands and their activities. He discusses the camaraderie among the Black students. He discusses the East End neighborhood, as well as other Black communities in Lexington.
Interview KeywordAfrican American Alumni African American neighborhoods African Americans African Americans--Recreation African Americans--Social life and customs. College environment College integration College students--Political activity. Discrimination in higher education Family histories. Minorities in higher education University of Kentucky University of Kentucky Alumni
Interview LC SubjectAfrican American college graduates--Kentucky African American college students--Social conditions African Americans--Education (Higher) African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington Embry, James, 1949- Embry, James, 1949- --Interviews Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations. Race discrimination Racism--Kentucky--Lexington University of Kentucky University of Kentucky--History
Interview RightsAll 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 UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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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Embry, James Interview by Erica N. Johnson. 19 Jun. 2006. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Embry, J. (2006, June 19). Interview by E. N. Johnson. University of Kentucky: The African American Experience Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Embry, James, interview by Erica N. Johnson. June 19, 2006, University of Kentucky: The African American Experience Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7gb56d4z54