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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Moore, Lorenza
Biographical note: Lorenza Moore was born in 1906, the daughter of Aaron and Geneva Johnson Moore. She attended Garfield School in Paducah, Kentucky for her elementary education. For high school and two years of college, she attended West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah and studied primary education. At West Kentucky, she played on the basketball team and was the Valedictorian of her seven-person high school graduating class. Her first teaching position was at the junior high level of the Lincoln School in Paducah and she also supervised the high school senior class study period in the library. The following academic year she taught the fifth grade at the Lincoln School. For her third year at the Lincoln School, she taught the third grade and continued at that level for the remainder of her teaching career. She eventually left Paducah and attended Chicago Teachers College and Englewood Evening College. Her husband, R. D. Moore, also of Paducah, passed away at the age of 42 on June 13, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. She obtained a position as the supervising claims examiner of the Bureau of Employment Security, although she does not state where. On December 31, 1975 she retired from working. Moore died on April 14, 1988 and is buried in Paducah.
Description: Lorenza Moore began the interview with biographical information on herself, her parents and elementary education at the Garfield School in Paducah, Kentucky. She discussed her time at West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah, named other graduates, extracurricular activities and the reasons she attended the school. She spoke of President Anderson’s role in establishing the school and his involvement with the students. In particular, she delved into the difficulties he and his wife faced in keeping the institution adequately funded and how simply the couple lived as a result of their sacrifices for the institution. She continued the interview to describe her first teaching positions at Lincoln School in Paducah. She noted that Paducah has changed substantially since she was a youth, both in terms of the geographic expansion of the city and the broadening of the opportunities for African Americans in the city. She discussed the “streetcar days” of Paducah during her youth, when unsegregated streetcars were available as public transportation. She spoke about segregation in the public library that forbade African Americans from lingering inside once they found a book. She concluded the interview by describing her life after moving from Paducah, including her employment, involvement in her church and additional education.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary
Date of interview: 9 August 1979
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH262
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.