Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Schools and Education
Series Number: OH257
Interviewee: Majors, Grace Grubbs
Interviewer: Peyton, William
Date interviewed: June 13, 1979
Processed by: O’Daniel, Hannah
Date processed: March 7, 2014
Description: 1 sound disc (24 minutes)
Abstract: Grace Majors begins the interview by providing her educational experiences in elementary, high school and college. She discusses the negative attitude towards African Americans in McCracken County, Kentucky, how education has played a role in her life and recounts her time at West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah. She recalled the difficulty of attending an elementary school that was two miles away from her home and how the distance resulted in her missing school frequently. She discussed the occupations of her parents and her family's rocky financial situation when she attended high school during the 1910s. She chronicles her various teaching positions, beginning with her first in 1917 in McCracken County. She discusses the differences in disciplining students in schools from when she began teaching in one room schools to more recent times. She describes the general physical conditions of the schools that she taught at and how the school buildings were maintained. She recounts President D. H. Anderson's efforts in establishing and obtaining state funding for West Kentucky Industrial College. She concludes the interview with an assessment of social changes for African Americans in the Jackson Purchase, citing that racial integration improved education but that there continues to be a lack of advancement in work opportunities for African Americans.
Biographical / Historical note: Grace Grubbs Majors was born in McCracken County, Kentucky on January 4, 1899. She was one of eight children to Walter and Rachel Grubbs. She attended a segregated elementary school in the White Oak community of McCracken County and high school at West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah. She completed two years of college courses at West Kentucky Industrial College. She began teaching in the fall of 1917 in McCracken County. She received her Associate Bachelor Degree in 1935 from Kentucky State College. Before retiring in 1964, she taught in counties of McCracken, Ballard, Graves and Shelby, Kentucky. At the time of the interview, she resided in Paducah. Majors died in Paducah on August 11, 1996 at the age of 97.
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