Interview SummaryThe only item Mrs. Benberry's paternal grandfather could read was his Bible. A freed slave, Mr. Ragsdale used the name of his former owners. Widowed twice, Mrs. Benberry recalls other family histories and memories including slavery experiences, mixed racial heritage, religious upbringing, recreational activities, and parents educational background. She attended teachers college in Paducah and taught there prior to her first marriage to a railroad man. Mrs. Benberry discusses the role of the African American minister within the church; the respect accorded to the minister within the African American community; and, the evolution of the church in her lifetime.
She recounts her experiences living within a close knit, concerned integrated community and her relationships with her white neighbors; comments upon the lack of racial tension; and recalls her involvement with the homemaker and garden clubs in McCracken County. Mrs. Benberry remarks upon the quality of education received in segregated schools as opposed to todays' integrated models; and, bemoans the lack of emphasis placed upon education. She reminisces about the establishment of her beauty culture business in 1937 and the apprentices she has trained over the years. She worries about the loss of religious faith within the African American community and comments upon how this has impacted the culture; and delineates the problems facing African Americans today.
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. Benberry, Ruby Benberry, Ruby--Interviews
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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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Benberry, Ruby Interview by Emily Parker. 15 Jun. 1987. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Benberry, R. (1987, June 15). Interview by E. Parker. Black People in Lexington Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Benberry, Ruby, interview by Emily Parker. June 15, 1987, Black People in Lexington Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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