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OH098 Angienella Chappell Oral History

Angienella Chappell Oral History

Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project - Lifestyles

Series Number: OH098

Interviewee: Chappell, Angienella

Interviewer: Bates, Mary

Date interviewed: October 4, 1979

Processed by: Tara Marcum

Date processed: May 2, 2011

Description: 1 sound disc (18 minutes)

Abstract: Angienella Chappell discusses the difficulties that African Americans faced in west Kentucky during the first half of the 20th century. She describes being released early from school due to a lynching, the economic effects of the Great Depression on the black community, a saloon in downtown Paducah during prohibition, the flood of 1913 and the big snow of 1918 which closed the schools from Thanksgiving to early January. She stated how African American women had only two choices after graduating high school, become either a cook or maid or leave town. She did not recall segregated streetcars in Paducah as others had testified to witnessing. Chappell concludes with her observations of urban decay in the later part of the 20th century, particularly on 9th and 10th streets which deteriorated into a ghetto.

Biographical / Historical note: Angienella Chappell spent her early childhood and teenage years in Paducah, Kentucky during the 1910s and 1920s. Her parents, Clarence and Dolly, owned a restaurant downtown. She attended Garfield Elementary School and Lincoln High School, both all black schools. She graduated high school in 1926 and later attended summer classes at West Kentucky Vocational School. She relocated to Chicago to live and attend college. She worked several jobs in Chicago, which included working for the Social Security Board as a secretary. After retiring she provided testing for the Armed Forces.

General information: No user access to original recordings. Use audio user copies, digital derivatives, transcripts, and/or tape indexes. This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). Permission for reproduction must be requested from Murray University.

Subject Headings / Descriptors:

Chappell, Angienella

Paducah, (Ky.) -History.

Garfield Elementary School (Paducah, Ky.)

Lincoln High School (Paducah, Ky.)

Kentucky – Race relations.

African Americans – Kentucky – Paducah.