Interview with William Davis, August 11, 1986
Project: Black People in Lexington Oral History Project
Interview SummaryGainfully employed as a janitor at the University of Kentucky for twenty years (1961-1981), Mr. Davis recalls his childhood in Bourbon County, memories of his mother, attending a one room schoolhouse, and his graduation in 1936 from Weston High School. He recounts the segregation on the interurban from Frankfort to Paris, his participation in the National Youth Administration, and the racism he encountered as a child. Mr. Davis discusses the role of the African American church in Centreville, opportunities to attend college during the Depression, and his World War II army experiences. He reminisces about attending barbering school in Louisville, meeting his future wife, and his job at the University of Kentucky. Mr. Davis recounts the reaction of African American students towards the janitorial staff, racism permeating the University, an incident involving Bernie Shively, and former U.K. Presidents Otis Singletary and John W. Oswald, as well as Adolph Rupp. He remarks upon the reaction of the African American community to the civil rights movement, the role of African American clergy in Lexington, and the lack of cohesion in Lexington's African American community.
Interview KeywordAfrican Americans African Americans in Lexington Lexington, Kentucky Race relations
Interview LC SubjectAfrican American families African Americans--Civil rights--Kentucky African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington--Economic conditions African Americans--Race identity. African Americans--Religion African Americans. Davis, William Davis, William--Interviews
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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Davis, William Interview by Ann Grundy. 11 Aug. 1986. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Davis, W. (1986, August 11). Interview by A. Grundy. Black People in Lexington Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Davis, William, interview by Ann Grundy. August 11, 1986, Black People in Lexington 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/xt7sj38kh438