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0:00 - Family History and Genealogy

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Partial Transcript: My name is Vanilla White, I was born in Manchester, Kentucky, November the sixth, 1925.

Segment Synopsis: White talks about her parents and what they did for a living. White also discusses her family history, genealogy, and extended family.

Keywords: Community elders; Emancipation; Jemima Gilbert; One-room schools; Sophia Word; Enslavement

Subjects: African Americans--Genealogy; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky; Education, Rural--United States; Enslaved persons; Teachers; Brothers; Coal miners; Teachers; Work; Grandparents; Homecoming; Manchester (Ky.); Marriage; Parents; Segregation; Sisters; Sons; Siblings; Slaves; Slavery; Coal mines and mining

10:54 - Early childhood

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Partial Transcript: Was the-the population of African Americans who lived in Manchester very large when you grew up?

Segment Synopsis: White describes her family's relationship to coal, coal mining, and migration. White also discusses her family's move to Frankfort, which sparked White's lifelong wanderlust and desire to get more out of life.

Keywords: Coal industry; Farming; HBCU; Indoor plumbing; Lincoln Institute; Store clerk

Subjects: African American coal miners; African American teachers; African Americans--Agriculture; African Americans--Genealogy; Childhood and youth; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky; Kentucky State University; Rural electrification--United States; Manchester (Ky.); Frankfort (Ky.); Clay County (Ky.); Blacks; Agriculture; Coal; Coal miners; Electricity; Farmers; Farms; General stores; Historically Black colleges and universities; Kentucky State University; Shelby County (Ky.); Teachers

18:19 - Place and Home / Adult Life and Parenthood

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Partial Transcript: It's strange how life rolls around. I got married and went to a town smaller than this and had my kids.

Segment Synopsis: White speaks about her adult life and her ties to Manchester. White felt that she had no opportunities to leave Manchester and she ultimately decided to stay there.

Keywords: Appalachia; Berea College; Caretakers; Place; Remarrying

Subjects: Adult children of aging parents--Family relationships--United States; African Americans--Appalachian Region; African Americans--Marriage; Aging parents--Care--United States; Appalachian Region, Southern--Social life and customs; Parents; Aging; Manchester (Ky.); Clay County (Ky.); Children; Marriage; Blacks; Appalachian Mountains; Berea College; Daughters; Education; Home; Nurses; Parenthood; Schools; Sons; Education

22:39 - Extended Family and Travel

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Partial Transcript: My brother moved to New York and my sister had lived in New York till she died and that's where I always wanted to go.

Segment Synopsis: White talks about her siblings and extended family, specifically in terms of place, migration, and travel. Despite the fact that White never lived outside of Manchester, she had the opportunity to travel abroad. White recalls her experiences of traveling overseas.

Keywords: Employment; Illnesses; Lincoln Institute; Sister-in-law; Family

Subjects: Adventure travel; African American extended families; African American families; African Americans in the professions; African Americans--Marriage; Lincoln Institute (Simpsonville, Ky.); Aging; Anxiety; Arizona; Blacks; Travel; International travel; Brothers; Daughters; Work; Europe; Husbands; Israel; Shelby County (Ky.); Manchester (Ky.); Clay County (Ky.); Mexico; Nephews; Nieces; Salt Lake City (Utah); Sisters; Sons; Stroke; Health; New York (N.Y.)

27:05 - Recovery from stroke

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Partial Transcript: And your stroke happened four years ago?

Segment Synopsis: White laments her lack of mobility and loss of hobbies like reading after suffering from a stroke. White has also experienced a loss in appetite and describes her recovery from the stroke with the help of her younger son, who acted as her caretaker.

Keywords: Caretakers; Dependence; Illnesses

Subjects: African Americans--Medical care; Coping with serious illness; Courage in the midst of illness; Hobbies; Medicine, Rural; Quilting; Sewing; Aging; Blacks; Anxiety; Books; Sons; Crocheting; Hobbies; Health; Stroke; Independence; Quilts; Reading; Sabbatical leave; Weight loss

32:28 - Sense of place / memories from childhood

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Partial Transcript: Vanilla--um--we were talking about reading before . . .

Segment Synopsis: White describes education as "a way out of the mountain." White discusses her relationship to Manchester, and the concepts of home, place, wanderlust, and a sense of belonging. White recalls some family traditions, habits, early childhood memories, and educational experiences.

Keywords: Canning and preserving; City life; Escape; Escapism; Family; Model laboratory schools; Model schools; Place; Farming

Subjects: African Americans--Agriculture; Appalachian Region, Southern--Social life and customs; Childhood and youth; Education, Rural--United States; Land use, Rural--United States; Blacks; Manchester (Ky.); Clay County (Ky.); Books; Butter; Canned foods; Childhood; Chores; Cows; Livestock; Curiosity; Early life; Education; Family farms; Gardening; Hobbies; Home; Homecoming; Knowledge; Laboratory schools; Libraries; Milk; Pigs; Rural; Teachers

36:27 - Quilting

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Partial Transcript: So, she taught me to sew and I wanted to do what she did . . .

Segment Synopsis: Quilting is one of White's favorite hobbies. White learned quilting from her mother and her friends after having spent lots of time around sewing during her childhood. White has even completed a few of her mother's unfinished quilts later in her life.

Keywords: Family friends; Mother-daughter relationship; Patterns; Quilters; Quilting; Recovery; Threading needles

Subjects: African American quilts; crafts; Hobbies; Mother and child; Patchwork quilts; Quilting; Quilts--United States--History--20th century; Sewing; Mother; Blacks; Books; Chores; Daughters; Friendship; Gossip; Mother; Quilting; Quilts; Stroke; Health; Sewing

42:09 - Experiences at Lincoln Institute / Religion

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Partial Transcript: So, you stayed in school you went all the way through high school?

Segment Synopsis: White discusses attending the Lincoln Institute for high school. White enjoyed her time there, describing her school experience as liberating and fun, especially with the friends she made. White says her parents were strict growing up, and she was especially appreciative of the diverse religious experiences and exposure she got at the Lincoln Institute and in college.

Keywords: Baptist Church; Basketball games; Churches; College; Friends; Hemming; Lincoln Institute

Subjects: African American high school students; Boarding school students; Class reunions; Education, Secondary--United States; Freedom; Independence; Parenting--United States; Blacks; Boarding schools; Shelby County (Ky.); Manchester (Ky.); Clay County (Ky.); Barbourville (Ky.); High school; Basketball; Catholic Church; Catholicism; Church; Religion; Christianity; Class reunions; Conversion; Friendship; Curfews; Education; Dating; Freedom; Independence; Dance; Jitterbug (Dance); Knowledge; London (Ky.); Classmates; Sewing; Parents; Discipline; Sunday schools

47:58 - Conversion to Catholicism

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Partial Transcript: So, I got so I'd get up every morning and go join the line and go to church.

Segment Synopsis: White details her conversion from the Baptist Church to Catholicism. Following her conversion, White voraciously sought knowledge through religious study, which reflects White's general curiosity and thirst for knowledge.

Keywords: Baptist Church; Mystical experiences; Religious studies; Sacred Heart Church; Speaking in tongues; St. Camillus; Strict rules; Thomas Merton; Virgin Mary; Religious conversion; Friends

Subjects: African-American Catholic Congregation; American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A.; Catholic Church; Catholic Church--United States--History; Christianity; Conversion--Baptists, [Catholic Church, etc.]; Friendship; Blacks; Catholicism; Catholic Church; Charisma; Christianity; Christians; Freedom; Friendship; Good Friday; Independence; London (Ky.); Manchester (Ky.); Mass; Nuns; Oklahoma; Pentecostal churches; Religion; Priests; Worship

63:29 - Music

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Partial Transcript: Did you ever get to--um--talking about before you said you wanted to sing the blues and dance - did you get to do that too?

Segment Synopsis: White talks about the music she liked to listen to and play on the guitar. White also briefly mentions one of the first radios she had, which she describes as "big as a dresser." White also discusses some of her family's favorite radio programs.

Keywords: B.B. King; Big Band Orchestras; Cassette players; Colleges; Glenn Miller; John Denver; Record players; Recovery; Lincoln Institute

Subjects: Big band music; Blues (Music); Guitar player; Radio; Blacks; Manchester (Ky.); Clay County (Ky.); Big band music; Shelby County (Ky.); Boarding schools; Church; Daughters; Jazz musicians; Grandsons; Guitars; Hymnals; Hymns; Jazz; Musical instruments; Keyboards (Music); Memories; Piano; Health; Stroke; Songbooks

69:26 - College education

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Partial Transcript: ---Went to Kentucky State--

Segment Synopsis: White talks about her time at the historically Black college (HBCU) University Kentucky State College (now known as Kentucky State University) from 1942-1946. She started as business major then switched to commercial teacher education. Additionally, White briefly discusses World War II, observing that there were not a lot of men around campus. White also describes the mood in the country as somber because of the wartime atmosphere.

Keywords: College; Dress code; Friends; HBCU; KSU; Major; Room and board; University; Lincoln Institute

Subjects: African American college graduates; African American women in higher education; African Americans--Education (Higher); America's historically Black colleges and universities; Boarding school students; Education, Secondary--United States; Kentucky State College (Frankfort, Ky.); Kentucky State University; Frankfort (Ky.); Books; Friendship; Tuition; World War II; Blacks

75:19 - Marriage and children

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Partial Transcript: I met my husband in--uh--Louisiana when we--I got a job after I graduated high--college--

Segment Synopsis: White reflects on her time spent living in Louisiana, where she met her husband. White got married in 1949 in Manchester, Kentucky. White and her family subsequently moved to Oklahoma for employment opportunities. White did not enjoy living in Oklahoma, explaining that living there made her appreciate Kentucky. White then discusses parenthood and tells Smith about her five children, their education, and putting them through college.

Keywords: Absent fathers; Aging parents; Caretakers; Employment; Funerals; Husband; In-laws; Infidelity; Jobs; Master's degree; Moving; PhD; Registrars office; Separated

Subjects: African American college graduates; African American families; African Americans--Employment; African Americans--Marriage; African Americans--Social life and customs; Parenthood; Parenting; Blacks; Aging; Arkansas; Berea College; Bookkeepers; Children; Cousins; Danville (Ky.); Daughters-in-law; Daughters; Eastern Kentucky University; Grandchildren; Langston (Okla.); Loans; Marriage; Motherhood; Education--Higher; Northeastern University; Parenthood; Ohio State University; Separation; Manchester (Ky.); Salt Lake City (Utah); Sons; Veterans; Weddings; Widows

94:42 - Origin of name / Family names

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Partial Transcript: Vanilla I'm going to ask you another questions, unrelated, to what we've been talking about. Where does your name come from?

Segment Synopsis: White talks about the origins of her name and her relationship to it. White then talks about other family names and their origins.

Keywords: Aunties; Family names; Misspelling; Naming; Significance of names; Vanilla extract; Name origins

Subjects: Names, Personal--African American; Blacks; African Americans; Names; Aunts; Cousins; Genealogy; Father; First names; Mother; Sisters

98:07 - Experiences of racism

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Partial Transcript: Vanilla, what were--um--when you were growing up when you were younger as a child--um--did you think about race at all living in the community that you lived in?

Segment Synopsis: White discusses her experiences of racism as a child. White says that she did face discrimination and prejudice because of her race, but these experiences were mitigated in part by attending an all-Black high school and college, respectively. White experienced segregation more while living in Louisiana. White recalls drinking from the "whites only" water fountain and realizing that the water tasted the same as the water from the water fountain designated for Black people. White also observed that Blacks were arrested more frequently and for less serious crimes than whites while she was living in the South.

Keywords: Desegregation; Integration; Little Rock Nine; Racial violence; Racial violence in Kentucky; Ruby Bridges; Separate but equal; White-only; Jim Crow laws; Sit-ins (Civil rights); Public facilities

Subjects: African Americans--Segregation; America--Race relations; Discrimination; Race relations in the United States; Reconciliation; Southern States--Race relations--History; Crime; Blacks; Racism; Prejudice; Segregation; Kentucky; Louisiana; Arson; Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka; Civil rights movement; Civil rights; Weapons; Hair; School integration; Arkansas; Violence; Race; Children; Little Rock Public Schools (Little Rock, Ark.); Separation; Demonstrations

103:53 - Changes to Manchester, KY

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Partial Transcript: How have you seen the African American community in Manchester change over the years?

Segment Synopsis: White reflects on changes to her Manchester, Kentucky community over the years, particularly the lack of employment in the area. White observed that people have been leaving the area to try to find employment in Louisville, Cincinnati, or Lexington. White discusses some of the effects of this mass exodus of residents on Manchester, especially in terms of its dwindling population. White would like to see Manchester's industrial sector come back. White says that she feels like the last of her generation because things have changed so much.

Keywords: Employment; Industry; Internal migration; Job opportunities; Jobs; Reunions; Salt mining

Subjects: Coal mines and mining--Kentucky; Migration, Internal--United States; Salt mines and mining; Unemployment--United States; Blacks; African Americans; Manchester (Ky.); Clay County (Ky.); Demographics; Work; Coal; Coal miners; Coal mines and mining; Homecoming; Salt industry and trade; Reunions; Unemployment

107:16 - Stroke

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Partial Transcript: Vanilla, is there anything that we didn't talk about that you would really like to talk about?

Segment Synopsis: White tells Smith about her near-death experience when she experienced a life-threatening stroke. White says that she is very appreciative of her nurses and caregivers. White describes her time in intensive care, and details her recovery from the stroke.

Keywords: Blood transfusions; Caregivers; Caretakers; Emergency rooms; Friends; Gratefulness; Illnesses; Intensive care; Recovery; Thankfulness; University of Kentucky hospital; Volunteers

Subjects: African Americans--Medical care; Caregivers--United States; Coping with serious illness; Courage in the midst of illness; Gratitude--Religious aspects; Medicine, Rural; Rural caregivers; Blacks; African Americans; Manchester (Ky.); Clay County (Ky.); Aging; Health; Friendship; Healing; Hemorrhage; Hospitals; Meals on wheels programs; Nurses; Parents; Sick; Stroke; Ulcers

121:26 - Concluding Thoughts / Faith and Religion Continued

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Partial Transcript: Vanilla do you wanna talk about anything else that has to do with your life, anything that we might not have - I didn't ask about or that we might not have touched on?

Segment Synopsis: White concludes the interview by continuing to express gratitude for her life. White also discusses her religious beliefs.

Keywords: Blessings; Gratefulness; Thankfulness

Subjects: African Americans--Appalachian Region; African Americans--Medical care; African Americans--Religion; Caregivers--United States; Christianity; Coping with serious illness; Courage in the midst of illness; Faith; Gratitude--Religious aspects; Medicine, Rural; Rural caregivers; Blacks; African Americans; Christians; Church; Faith; Christianity; God; Gratitude; Legacy; Miracles; Religion; Trust