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OH248 Katie Freeman Oral History

Katie Freeman Oral History

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

Series Number: OH248

Interviewee: Freeman, Katie W.

Interviewer: Bates, Mary

Date interviewed: August 9, 1979

Processed by: O'Daniel, Hannah

Date processed: February 20, 2014

Description: 1 sound disc (15 minutes)

Abstract: Katie Freeman describes aspects of her experiences at the high school of the West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah, Kentucky during the 1920s. She recalls residing in the girls' dormitory, the names of her instructor, the role of the school in her life and the financial difficulties she experienced while attending school. She discusses the changes in the social standing and opportunities for African Americans in Paducah during the 1970s as compared to when she was in high school in the 1920s. She mentions the establishment of a kindergarten in Paducah with the support of Mayor Robert Cherry. Freeman talks about her position at West Kentucky Industrial College as the Recreational Supervising Counselor, including her responsibilities of assisting students who were unaccustomed to hygiene products. She provides biographical information on her children and grandchildren. Lastly, she mentions a lynching incident in Paducah when she was eleven years old.

Biographical / Historical note: Katie W. Freeman was born in Paducah, Kentucky in 1905. She attended segregated schools in Paducah, including Garfield Elementary School, Lincoln School, and the high school at West Kentucky Industrial College. In addition to West Kentucky Industrial College, she attended Fisk University, Provost Teachers College and a summer session at Northwestern University. She established a kindergarten at the Lincoln Court in Paducah and worked at West Kentucky Industrial College for nine years as the Recreational Supervising Counselor. She died on April 4, 1982 in Chicago, Illinois.

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 (Title 17, United States Code). Permission for reproduction must be requested from Murray State University.

Subject Headings / Descriptors:

Freeman, Katie W., 1905-1982.

Kentucky – Race relations.

Education – Kentucky – Paducah – History.

African Americans – Education – Kentucky.

Segregation in education – Kentucky.

West Kentucky Industrial College (Paducah, Ky.)

Garfield Elementary (Paducah, Ky.)

Lincoln School (Paducah, Ky.)

Lynchings – Kentucky – Paducah.