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OH268 Corine Ray Oral History

Corine Ray Oral History

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

Series Number: OH268

Interviewee: Ray, Corine

Interviewer: Peyton, W. C.

Date interviewed: not provided

Processed by: O'Daniel, Hannah

Date processed: April 11, 2014

Description: 1 sound disc (35 minutes)

Abstract: Corine Ray began the interview by naming the schools that she attended in her hometown of Paducah, Kentucky in the early 1900s. She chronicled her teaching career in Tennessee and western Kentucky, detailed her experiences at Paducah's Garfield School and at the one-room Sanders School in Arcadia, Kentucky. She cited the legislation that required women to give up teaching once they married, which was why she stopped teaching in 1927. Ray recounted how she began giving music lessons at her home after she resigned as a public school teacher. She mentioned a lynching of an African American male in Paducah in 1919. She spoke of the band at Lincoln School and her classmates who became professional musicians. She described living, learning, and working at Wilberforce University in Ohio. She recalled the financial hardships in the Jackson Purchase during the Great Depression, particularly the difficulty in finding jobs and making enough money to provide for the family. She described the musicality of her children and her son's band, Clouds of Joy. She ends the interview with a quote from her high school salutatorian speech.

Biographical / Historical note: Corine E. Ray was born on October 5, 1903 in Paducah, Kentucky. She attended first through seventh grade at Garfield School and eighth through twelfth grade at Lincoln School. Both were segregated schools in Paducah. In 1921, she graduated from Lincoln School as the salutatorian and enrolled in Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio. After two years of college, she began her teaching career in Paris, Tennessee. She taught one school term in Paris before returning to her hometown of Paducah to teach at the Garfield School for four years. During the 1926 to 1927 school year, she taught in Arcadia, Kentucky at the Sander's School, a rural one-room school. While she taught elementary school, she attended summer sessions at West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah, Kentucky and Chicago Normal School in Chicago, Illinois. In 1927, she married James Ray and ceased to be a teacher. She offered music lessons at her home after she was married, giving up to forty lessons per week. On September 4, 1989 Mrs. Ray died at the age of 85 in Paducah, Kentucky.

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:

Ray, Corine, 1903-1989.

Paducah, (Ky.) - History.

Garfield School (Paducah, Ky.)

Lincoln School (Paducah, Ky.)

Kentucky – Race relations.

African Americans – Kentucky – Paducah.

West Kentucky Industrial College (Paducah, Ky.)

Great Depression, 1929-1939.

Paris (Tenn.)

Sanders School (Arcadia, Ky.)

Chicago Normal School (Chicago, Ill.)

Wilberforce University – History.