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Interview with Lillian Buntin, April 9, 2009

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
Joan Brannon, Interviewer | 2009OH108 EEL 014
East End Lexington Oral History Project | East End Lexington Oral History Project

0:00No transcript.

0:00 - Home on Ohio Street

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Partial Transcript: Okay, my name is Lillian McGraw Buntin and, uh, today is April ninth. This is 2009.

Segment Synopsis: Lillian Buntin is introduced. She talks about her family, and living at her grandmother's house on Ohio Street in Lexington, Kentucky. She talks about her birth and childhood in the neighborhood. She describes the house she grew up in and talks about how it has changed over the years.

Keywords: Bathrooms; Brothers; Changes; Children; Friends; Grandmothers; H.L. Stewart; Home births; Homeowners; Houses; Indoor plumbing; Memories; Mothers; Ohio Street; Remodeling; Renting; Stewart Funeral Home

Subjects: African American business enterprises African American families African American neighborhoods African Americans--Housing. Childhood Lexington (Ky.)--Buildings, structures, etc. Neighborhoods. Neighborliness Neighbors


GPS: Ohio Street (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.048713, -84.484180

5:35 - Moving from Ohio Street

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Partial Transcript: And then from Ohio Street do you remember where you moved to?

Segment Synopsis: Buntin talks about why she and her family moved from Ohio Street during her childhood. She talks about the other places they lived, where she attended school, and talks about walking by the nearby train tracks as a child.

Keywords: Aspendale Housing Project; Comic books; Constitution Elementary School; Ellerslie Avenue; Greystone Hotel; Leaving; Midland Avenue; Moving; Playing; Race Street; Train tracks

Subjects: African American families African American neighborhoods African Americans--Education. African Americans--Housing. Childhood Lexington (Ky.)--Buildings, structures, etc.


GPS: Midland Avenue (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.041890, -84.486222

7:55 - Attending Constitution Elementary School

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Partial Transcript: So, uh, how long did you go to Constitution?

Segment Synopsis: Buntin talks about her experiences at Constitution Elementary School. She discusses some of her teachers, who she says were also her Sunday school teachers at church. She talks about her relationships with her teachers, the fun activities they had at school, and the style of clothing the children wore.

Keywords: Books; Church; Clothes; Constitution Elementary School; Discipline; Dresses; Family; Food; Friends; Girls; Maypole dances; Music; Pants; Plays; Relationships; Renovations; Sunday school; Walking

Subjects: African American churches--Kentucky African American families African Americans--Conduct of life. African Americans--Education. African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington--Social conditions African Americans--Recreation African Americans--Religion. Childhood Clothing and dress. Fashion. Neighborliness Neighbors Teachers--Kentucky


GPS: Constitution Street (Lexington, Ky.) (Constitution Elementary)
Map Coordinates: 38.047221, -84.492023

14:52 - Moving back to Ohio Street

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Partial Transcript: Now when you were going to Constitution did you stay on Ellerslie the whole time?

Segment Synopsis: Buntin talks about why she moved back to her grandmother's house on Ohio Street. She talks more about the schools she attended.

Keywords: Aspendale Housing Project; Booker T. Washington Elementary School; Constitution Elementary School; Ellerslie Avenue; Grandmothers; Hawkins Avenue; Mothers; Moving; Ohio Street; Ohio Terrace

Subjects: African American families African American neighborhoods African Americans--Education. African Americans--Housing. Childhood Lexington (Ky.)--Buildings, structures, etc.

17:10 - Church

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Partial Transcript: Well let's go back to when you were leaving Constitution.

Segment Synopsis: Buntin talks about attending Shiloh Baptist Church with her mother for several years before becoming a member of the First African Baptist Church (now called First Baptist Church). She talks about the pastors there, and talks more about her school teachers also teaching Sunday school. She talks about the fun activities the church held for children.

Keywords: Charles Quillens; Choirs; First African Baptist Church; Grandmothers; Housing projects; Marie Quillens; Mothers; Musicians; Parades; Pastors; Plays; Reverend H.E. Nutter; Reverend L.H. McIntyre; Shiloh Baptist Church; Sunday school; Thomas Street; Vacation bible school; Walking

Subjects: African American churches--Kentucky African American families African American neighborhoods African Americans--Conduct of life. African Americans--Religion. Teachers--Kentucky

21:28 - Dunbar High School

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Partial Transcript: Okay. Let's move on up in age a little bit. Where, where did you go after Constitution?

Segment Synopsis: Buntin talks about her experiences attending Dunbar High School for grades six through twelve. She talks about the school clubs that were available and the social activities she participated in. She describes the experience of going to movies at the Lyric Theater.

Keywords: "St. Louis Blues"; Bands; Charles Young Community Center; Dances; Friends; Home economics; Honor societies; Lights; Lyric Theater; Movies; Nat King Cole; Skating; Socials; Speech and drama; Strict; Teenagers

Subjects: African American business enterprises African American families African American neighborhoods African Americans--Conduct of life. African Americans--Education. African Americans--Recreation African Americans--Social life and customs. Dunbar High School (Lexington, Ky.) Lexington (Ky.)--Buildings, structures, etc. Teachers--Kentucky


GPS: Lyric Theater and Cultural Arts Center (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.046081, -84.489303

27:10 - East End businesses

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Partial Transcript: What, what else do you remember about the area around the Lyric?

Segment Synopsis: Buntin describes some of the stores, restaurants, and other businesses located in the East End neighborhood during her childhood. She talks about walking and taking the bus by herself as a child. She discusses her experiences with discrimination and segregation when she was a child.

Keywords: Buses; Chestnut Street; Clothing shops; Cobblers; Deweese Street; Drugstores; East End Lexington; Fifth Street; Grandmothers; Ice cream parlors; Insurance; Laundromats; Lyric Theater; Palm Grill; Pharmacy; Protest marches; Race Street; Responsibilities; Shops; Soda fountains; Stores; Third Street

Subjects: African American business enterprises African American families African American neighborhoods African Americans--Conduct of life. African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington--Social conditions African Americans--Recreation African Americans--Segregation African Americans--Social conditions. African Americans--Social life and customs. Lexington (Ky.)--Buildings, structures, etc. Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations. Race discrimination. Race relations--Kentucky--Lexington Racism--Kentucky--Lexington Segregation in transportation


GPS: Deweese Street (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.044347, -84.491995

32:44 - Teaching at Constitution Elementary School

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Partial Transcript: Um, after Dunbar what did you do?

Segment Synopsis: Buntin talks about her experiences attending Kentucky State College (now called Kentucky State University). She describes working at Constitution Elementary School where many of her colleagues were her former teachers. She talks about Constitution Elementary School closing.

Keywords: Closing; Colleagues; Constitution Elementary School; Elementary education; Encouragement; Ms. Withrow; Northern Elementary School; Role models; Support

Subjects: African American college students--Social conditions African Americans--Education (Higher) African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington African Americans--Education. African Americans--Employment. Discrimination in education. Kentucky State University Segregation in education--Kentucky Segregation--Kentucky--Fayette County Teachers--Kentucky Teaching

37:21 - Teaching at Northern Elementary School

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Partial Transcript: So when you went to Northern, um, are schools integrated at this point?

Segment Synopsis: Buntin talks about her experiences teaching at Northern Elementary School, which was an integrated school. She talks about her colleagues and the principal, and talks about her relationships with the students. She talks about whether she encountered any racial issues. She talks about where she and her family lived after she graduated college.

Keywords: Breckenridge Street; Children; Colleagues; College; Daughters; East End Lexington; Friends; Married; Moving; Northern Elementary School; Ohio Street; Principals; Problems; Racism; Relationships; Students

Subjects: African American families African American neighborhoods African Americans--Education. African Americans--Social conditions. Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations. School integration--Kentucky--Fayette County Teachers--Kentucky Teaching


GPS: Northern Elementary School (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.063963, -84.462720

42:54 - Changes in East End

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Partial Transcript: Um, we can wra--start to wrap up but I would like to get your impressions of the area of town now, that's East End.

Segment Synopsis: Buntin discusses how the East End neighborhood has changed since her childhood. She says that the conditions in the neighborhood have deteriorated and discusses why she believes this has occurred. She talks about how relationships between neighbors have changed. She discusses how desegregation has affected the area.

Keywords: Breckenridge Street; Changes; Charles Young Park; Children; Danger; Desegregation; Disrepair; East End Lexington; Grandsons; Home ownership; Housing conditions; Housing projects; Maintenance; Memories; Playing; Pride; Relationships; Safety; Social cycles

Subjects: African American business enterprises African American families African American neighborhoods African Americans--Civil rights African Americans--Conduct of life. African Americans--Housing. African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington--Social conditions African Americans--Social conditions. Childhood Integration Lexington (Ky.)--Buildings, structures, etc. Neighborliness Neighbors

51:59 - Current activities

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Partial Transcript: I, I don't think I have any more questions. Is there anything you would like to add that you haven't said?

Segment Synopsis: Buntin talks about teaching part-time at Booker T. Washington School after her retirement. She talks about how she enjoys forming personal relationships with the students. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Booker T. Washington Elementary School; Children; Helping; Personal relationships; Retired; Talking; Young people

Subjects: African Americans--Conduct of life. African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington African Americans--Education. Teachers--Kentucky Teaching


GPS: Booker T. Washington School (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.069380, -84.500859
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