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OH122 Ruby Sapp Oral History

Ruby Sapp Oral History

Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project - Lifestyles

Series Number: OH122

Interviewee: Sapp, Ruby

Interviewer: Peyton, Bill

Date interviewed: July 5, 1979

Processed by: Tara Marcum

Date processed: July 12, 2011

Description: 1 sound disc (28 minutes)

Abstract: Ruby Sapp of Mayfield, Kentucky discusses black schools and segregation during the first half of the 20th century. In 1917, she recalled witnessing a mob of people lynching a man not from her school. After this event, she expressed that fear of the black community. She mentioned traveling to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where she remembered first learning of Jim Crow. Sapp stated that the only job available for black men was in the tobacco barns of local farmers. During the Great Depression, she recalled the family making many sacrifices to support her father. She also described that when public schools began to integrate that rocks were thrown into the school's windows.

Biographical / Historical note: Ruby Sapp was born on January 16, 1908. Her parents were Lula and Herbert Carmen. Her father ran a grocery store in Mayfield for over twenty five years. Her mother died when she was one year old. She joined St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church at thirteen years old. She attended Lincoln Elementary School and at age twelve she began high school. Sapp graduated high school in 1924 and that fall attended Tennessee State College in Nashville, where she graduated with a degree in education in 1928. She returned to Mayfield and taught at the Dunbar School for two years before moving to South Carolina. In 1939, she again returned to Mayfield and taught in the public schools for thirty-eight years. She taught home economics, English and science. She retired from teaching in 1970.

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:

Sapp, Ruby, 1908-

Mayfield (Ky.) – History.

St. James Church (Mayfield, Ky.)

Lincoln Elementary School (Mayfield, Ky.)

Second Christian Church (Mayfield, Ky.)

Dunbar High School (Mayfield, Ky.)

African Americans – Kentucky – Mayfield.

Segregation in education – Kentucky.