The Daily Aesthetic Oral Histories

Online Oral Histories

Online Oral Histories

Between 1996-1998, I completed about 30 hours of oral histories about once-segregated black parks in Kentucky. About six hours are available online at the University of Kentucky Louie B Nunn Center for Oral History. They’re missing my interview with John Will “Scoop” Brown, a Lexington park programmer and raconteur of zoot suits in Douglass Park. More to be available to be sure.

Here’s the oral history index: The Daily Aesthetic: an oral history of a southern city’s black park system, 1916-1956

“This project focuses on African American culture during the time of segregated park systems in Lexington, Kentucky. These interviews, originally conducted by Boyd Shearer, Jr. for a multimedia presentation, contain descriptions of African American park activities, particularly in Douglass Park. Activities ranged from doll shows, to carnivals, to sports programs. This community also celebrated the visual arts, music, and holidays such as the 4th of July and Easter. The focus of this collection is not discrimination experienced by African Americans at this time, but rather how the park provided a place for them to come together and cultivate a sense of identity and community.”

For an audio documentary using some of these interviews, visit: The documentary can be downloaded or viewed on SoundCloud. A complete audio script is available.

A paper from this research was produced:

main body:

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