Memories from the neighborhood

Dr. Joyce Berry and Leora Juanita “Nita” Searcy are two women whose stories and advice are invaluable. Their take on “urban renewal” in the East End is  first hand experience. They are from the neighborhood.

Throughout the clips listen for how they felt about urban renewal and why the preservation of their neighborhood was so important.  Mrs. Searcy urges us to

“listen to your granny… nothing’s perfect, it’s not going to be, but it could be so much better if we would all get our heads on straight and thinking… the true meaning of living has to come from the heart.”

See also

Urban Renewal and Lexington

Women of
the East End

Home Page

MLKjr Neighborhood Association Group

Joyce Hamilton Berry
Washington D.C.
Oral History Interview via telephone on Friday, October 22, 2010
Joyce Berry Hamilton Interview, October 22, 2010
(2 hours)
Dr. Berry remembers her childhood, growing up in Lexington (her father’s barber shop and home on Dewees Street), her extended family who owned their own businesses, attending high school at Dunbar and her perception of race relations at that time. Dr. Berry’s experience at U.K. and her connections with the civil rights movement in Lexington is also addressed. She also reflects on her career as a psychologist and her publications in a number of magazines along with her numerous appearences on television.
Please cite as: Hamilton, Joyce Berry. Interview by Allan Adams. Digital recording. October 22, 2010. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
Leora Juanita Searcy
Lexington, KY
Oral History Interview, December 2, 2010
(56 minutes)
Leora Juanita Searcy Interview, December 2, 2010
Interview by Luke Donovan in Lexington KY, December 2, 2010. Leora Juanita Searcy describes her life in an historically African American community only a few blocks from downtown Lexington – called the East End now. Descriptions of the Bluegrass-Aspendale community, Charles Young Community Center, Deweese Street and the Lyric Theatre are some of the topics explored. Please cite as: “Searcy, Leora Juanita. Interview by Luke Donovan. Digital recording. December 2, 2010. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
Russell King
D.O.B.: 1927, Lexington, Kentucky
You can find this oral history in “Blacks in Lexington,” 86OH233 KH361 Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries
Adopted and raised in a single parent family, Mr. King discusses his childhood, educational background at Constitution, Russell and Dunbar schools, and working at taverns during his teenage years. He recalls the Hurricane Club and other African American businesses on Deweese Street in the 1940s and 1950s, and the reasons for their decline. He remembers discrimination in the post office. Mr. King examines the detrimental effects of school integration upon African American students and teachers, his reactions to the civil rights movement in Lexington, and Dr. Glen Dorrah.
Date: August 31, 1986 Location: Lexington, Kentucky Interviewer: Emily Parker P.T.: 1 hr. 10 mins. Conditions: Good Restricted: No Transcript: No

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