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OH110 Florence Hudspeth Oral History

Florence Hudspeth Oral History

Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project - Lifestyles

Series Number: OH110

Interviewee: Hudspeth, Florence

Interviewer: Anderson, Margaret

Date interviewed: October 4, 1979

Processed by: Tara Marcum

Date processed: June 13, 2011

Description: 2 sound disc (90 minutes)

Abstract: Florence Hudspeth describes the African American experience in Murray, Kentucky during the 1940s and 1950s. She mentions an open lot where "gypsies" camped and where they would swap and sell horses and buggies. Her family home did not have electricity but used oil lamps for lighting. As a teenager she went to black owned cafes and visited only black friends. She did not having any white friends as a youth. She recalls there being three black owned restaurants, a blacksmith and a funeral home in Murray during the 1940s and 1950s. She stated that the black community was provided care in the emergency room at the city hospital, but most avoided the hospital unless it was absolutely necessary. During the Second World War, she remembered tanks and army trucks moving through town, as well as food rationing. People stood in line for an entire day just to purchase sugar. She also recalled Western Union delivering telegrams from servicemen and the reactions of those who lost a son during the war.

Biographical / Historical note: Florence Hudspeth was born in Murray, Kentucky on May 30, 1935. Her father worked for the Calloway County Lumber Company and also raised hogs and chickens. As a teenager, she washed dishes, chopped wood and caught, killed and de-feathered chickens. She dropped out of school after the eighth grade to find work to assist her family. In 1954, she married a man in the armed services. After he retired from the military, he worked for the local lumber company.

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 State University.

Subject Headings / Descriptors:

Hudspeth, Florence, 1935-

Calloway County (Ky.) – History.

Murray (Ky.) – History.

Calloway County Lumber Company (Murray, Ky.)

African Americans – Kentucky – Murray.