After having worked on this project, and looking back and reflecting now I realize how much things have changed in really a short period of time. There are many luxuries today that people do not even realize they have or appreciate such as their civil rights as an American. This project has opened my eyes to see how hard life was for some people only fifty years ago, such as restrictions on where they are allowed to eat, or having an inferior school system because of their color. This makes me appreciate the world we live in today much more than I previously paid attention to.
But also working on this project, and having a new appreciation for the life I am lucky enough to have, it makes me realize how much things have changed in another way. The community of Midway was able to come together and improve their community. Everybody was involved and drastic improvements were made because of the team effort from everybody. I have not seen a community project such as this in any city where I’ve lived. And even though we may not have the same, or as severe, problems in today’s society as they had then, there can always be improvement made when an effort such as this is made. Which shows me how great of a community Midway was during the time of the “Build a Better Community” project, and has maintained that community effort still today.
–Kyle Shaw, Economics Major at the University of Kentucky
Reflecting on my experience with researching the project, Kentucky Women in the Civil Rights Era, I feel that I am more able to relate with the women who have come before me. Without consciously being aware of it, I have enjoyed the luxuries and freedoms that came as reward of their efforts: not only political freedoms, but human comforts that resulted from community action. For example, I have safer neighborhoods to live in and roads to drive on, my children have libraries in which to read books and city parks to play in without charge. Wherever there is a concern for a child, mother, or family, I am pretty sure that a woman somewhere had brought attention to it. This attitude reminds me of the motto from the Kentucky Female Orphan School, “Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself”. People willing to help and improve their community bring about positive change in which everyone can enjoy.
-Angelia Pulley, History Major at the University of Kentucky
Looking back and reflecting on this project and the process in which it was generated I am left with a feeling of satisfaction. It took the entire semester to fully understand the message of this course, but at the completion of this project everything clicked. The history of women in Kentucky is largely left out of our text books, but that does not mean it is not there. In this project we learned about the many things that the Midway Woman’s Club did for the town of Midway. The efforts of women were key in making change for the better in Midway. We learned about what life was like during the Civil Rights era by our oral histories. Overall the whole experience of digging for information and going through tons of material to eventually narrow it down into a pointed project was tough, but it turned out good and I will now forever have a connection with Midway. Thanks!
-Brad Wexler, History Major at the University of Kentucky
We would like to thank the Midway Woman’s Club for all the help!
Section 1: Build a Better Community
– Who Was Involved?
Section 2: Community Improvement Projects
– African American School
– Roads and Bridges
– Additional Projects
Section 3: Why Were the Projects Needed?
Section 4: Oral History Interviews
Section 5: Resources Home