Interview with Ruth Gaylord

Ruth Gaylord was born in 1938 in Richmond, Kentucky to very strict parents and lived a sheltered quite childhood. Her parents sheltered her primarily from the culture of Richmond and the white communities. Growing up her father was well liked by the black and white community and was an employee of the local newspaper in Richmond. Mrs. Gaylord attended a segregated high school and graduated in 1956, before attending Berea College, which was not segregated. She tells stories of being scared as a child and as a student.

While attending Berea College, she met her husband who was in school to become a minister. Mr. Gaylord attended the College of the Bible and the Jarvis Christian College in Texas. Unfortunately her husband passed away in the early 1980’s, which left Mrs. Gaylord with four children, a job, and she was attending the University of Kentucky for a librarian degree. Her husband participated in sit-in’s and marches throughout the Civil Rights Movement, including here in Lexington at the Ben Ali Theater, the Kentucky Theater, and the Phoenix Hotel.

After her husband passed she joined the historic Pleasant Green Baptist Church where one of her childhood friends was married to the minister. She is an extremely strong woman who stands up for her beliefs and who stayed strong for her four children during the time of their father’s death. Mrs. Ruth Gaylord is still a resident of Lexington to this day and is still an active member of the Pleasant Green Baptist Church.

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