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OH167 Clarence L. Timberlake Oral History

Clarence L. Timberlake Oral History

Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Politics and Government

Series Number: OH167

Interviewee: Timberlake, Clarence L., 1885-1979

Interviewer: Hammack, James W.

Date interviewed: November 22, 1976 and April 4, 1977

Processed by: Processed by Benjamin J. Drake from October of 2011 to February of 2012.

Date processed: February 17, 2012

Description: 2 sound discs (113 minutes)

Abstract: Clarence L. Timberlake discusses his life and interactions with Earle C. Clements. He discusses civil rights, public service and the Flood of 1937. He describes race relations in Kentucky from the 1920s to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. He offers an eyewitness account of the 27th Annual Convention of the National Negro Educational Conference in Kansas City, where he was elected vice president. Timberlake explains his role in the development of West Kentucky Vocational School and the Negro Farmers Association. The recording concludes with his opinions on the Roots mini-series and book.

Biographical / Historical note: Clarence L. Timberlake was an African American activist who sought to improve and expand educational opportunities for black Kentuckians during the early and mid 20th Century. He was born in Fleming County, Kentucky in 1885. He graduated from Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute in 1904 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Simmons University in 1930. Timberlake established a four year high school in Madisonville and teacher training schools at Pembroke and Greenville, Kentucky. He also organized Kentucky Negro Farmers Conferences from 1914 to 1948 and was president of West Kentucky Vocational School at Paducah from 1948 to 1957. He authored numerous pamphlets and articles on African American education, Kentucky politics and civil rights. He later was successful in sponsoring the first two black students from Kentucky to attend West Point Military Academy. He died in 1979.

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:

Timberlake, Clarence L., 1885-1979

Kentucky Negro Education Association

West Kentucky Industrial College (Paducah, Ky.)

Segregation in education – Kentucky.

African Americans – Kentucky – History – 20th century.

African American teachers – Kentucky.

Kentucky – Race relations.

Paducah (Ky.) – Flood, 1937.

Research Notes: The Clarence L. Timberlake interview is part of the Earle C. Clement Oral History Series conducted by James W. Hammock during the early 1970s.