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OH234 Frederick Bohannon Oral History

Frederick Bohannon Oral History

Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Schools and Education

Series Number: OH234

Interviewee: Bohannon, Frederick

Interviewer: Bates, Mary F.

Date interviewed: 1979 August 6

Processed by: O'Daniel, Hannah

Date processed: January 23, 2014

Description: 1 sound disc (24 minutes)

Abstract: Frederick Bohannon describes the conditions of segregated public schools in Paducah in the early half of the 20th century. He compares the Paducah schools to integrated schools in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Cleveland, Ohio. He recalled his family's experiences during the 1917 race riots in East St. Louis, Illinois and the evacuation of citizens during the Paducah Flood of 1937.

Biographical / Historical note: Frederick Bohannon was born on April 29, 1913 in Paducah, Kentucky to George Bohannon and Marie Lovett. His family moved frequently. His first move was at age five to East St. Louis, Illinois, which led to his family being caught in the vicious race riots of 1917. Before he turned six, his family returned to Paducah where he entered Lincoln Elementary, the only public school which African Americans were allowed to attend. He later relocated to Fort Wayne, Indiana and then Cleveland, Ohio. He attended integrated schools in both cities. His family again returned to Paducah, where Bohannon finished junior high and high school and later attended West Kentucky Industrial College. In 1935, he married and moved to South Bend, Indiana. In 1960, he entered the real estate business in South Bend and in 1979 was the only African American in the city who owned a real estate company. He died in Peoria, Illinois on May 15, 1998 at the age of 85.

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:

Bohannon, Frederick, 1913-1998.

Segregation in education – Kentucky.

Education – Kentucky -- Paducah – History.

African Americans – Kentucky – History – 20th century.

Kentucky – Race relations.

Paducah (Ky.) – Flood, 1937.

McCracken County (Ky.)

East Saint Louis Race Riot, East Saint Louis, Ill., 1917.