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This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions. This is a finding aid. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog. Brown has conducted oral history interviews with community members and helped the SHC collect manuscript materials from the community and its social organizations. The community which Brown studies has its origins in the coalfields of the Appalachian South and specifically the surrounding area of Lynch, Ky. Appalachia was a destination for thousands of African Americans, who left the rural deep South in the early twentieth century during the Great Migration.
A company town, Lynch was established in by U. Coal and Coke Company, a subsidiary of U. The company supplied housing, health care, social services, commissary, churches, schools, and recreation for coal miners and their families. At its peak in the mid twentieth century Lynch's population reached 10, and included African Americans and whites with eastern European and British heritage. Although the mines were not strictly segregated, most areas of life, including schools, churches, commissary, and recreation, had separate facilities for blacks and whites until the mid s.
Neighboring Benham, Ky. The Benham mines closed in the s. Steel withdrew its operations in the mid s, and the population of Lynch and the surrounding areas dwindled as families, who had spent only one or two generations in Appalachia, began to move across the country, settling in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, California, Missouri, and other states. Despite the long distances now separating this close knit community, individuals and families from the Harlan County coal towns Lynch, Benham, and Cumberland retained close ties with each other and nurtured what sociologist Karida Brown has called a "post-migration diasporic identity.
Eastern Kentucky Social Club. The primary mission of the Club was to "stay together. Cleveland was the site for the Club's first annual reunion inand by the founding chapter had been ed by 15 more chapters including ones in Lynch, Ky.
Chapters bid to host the annual Labor Day reunion. Attended by hundreds, the reunions include parties and other social activities, Christian worship services, featured guest speakers, and the Club's board meetings. Sociologist Karida Brown was born in Uniondale, N. Karida Brown received a bachelor's degree in administration from Temple University ina master's degree in public administration in from the University of Pennsylvania, and a master's degree in sociology from Brown University in The collection contains oral history interviews conducted by Karida Brown with African Americans whose families migrated from the coal camps Date black women in Lynch Kentucky the Appalachian South to cities and suburbs across the country.
Brown asks interviewees about family life, community, race relations, segregation, schools, and migration out of Appalachia and poses the question, "where is home? Photographs from circa depict street scenes, coal mining structures in the company town of Lynch, Ky. Coal and Coke Company. Many images show African American residents of Lynch, both adults and children. All photographs have captions written by the donor, William Shaffer, Jr. Other materials are community histories of Lynch, Ky. Copied documents include floor plans for company housing and a discharge report for a fired coal miner.
Interviews are chiefly digital audio recordings. Some interviews are transcribed, and five interviews are digital video recordings.
Brown asks interviewees about family life; neighbors and neighborhoods; segregated and integrated schools; teachers at the segregated schools; race relations and encounters with whites; and coal mining in Lynch, Ky.
Coal and Coke Company operated coal mining camps and built company towns during the mid twentieth century. Other topics discussed are leisure and recreation; children's games such as kick-the-can, marbles, jacks, and hide-and-seek; athletics especially baseball; family discipline including corporal punishment or "whuppings"; and the legend of Limehouse, a labor agent for U.
Coal and Coke Company who recruited and transported African American sharecroppers and convict labor from rural Alabama to Appalachia to work in the coal mines. The following description of this interview's contents is intended to serve as a sample of the content for the oral histories in the collection. The interviewees remember many large families with ten or more children; mothers who were homemakers and fathers who were coal miners; homemade cakes, candies, and ice cream; anticipation of receiving the Montgomery Ward catalog; attending Pentecostal churches all day on Sundays; funeral practice of leaving the deceased in the home for visitation; baptisms in the creek; outdoor toilets; and baths in the kitchen with water fetched from an outdoor hydrant and heated on the coal stove.
They attended dances, saw travelling entertainers including a young James Brown, caught "crawd" in the creek, and brought lunch to their coal miner fathers.
They define "hollers" and explain weekly pig killings in the African American community and the harvesting of all parts of the pig. Interviewees describe their acceptance of segregation as normal because they did not "know different or better" and the lack of expressed animosity between the races.
They do not recall s indicating segregated seating in public spaces such as movie theaters and believe s were unnecessary because as African Americans "we knew our place. People did not cross the line. Purchasing power, clothing, cars, favor held in the white community, entrepreneurship, cleanliness, and resourcefulness were determinants for middle class status in the African American community. McCaskill, Touchstone, and Moore discuss leaving Kentucky and the cultural shock they experienced in the North where they went for jobs. They explain that family members followed their family's migration paths.
Moore followed his cousins to Wisconsin and his brother later followed him. They describe urban living, including white flight after black moved in, demonstrations for fair housing, and their dismay of fearing young black men for the first time. The interviewees all identify Kentucky as home despite having lived outside the state for decades. Snapshots of streets, street scenes, neighborhoods, coal mine portal and coal tipple in Lynch, Ky.
Some candid images show African American residents, both adults and children, of Lynch, which was a Harlan County, Ky. A few images show coal miners outside the mine entrance. The photographs have handwritten captions on the versos that indicate the street names and building names. The donor, William Shaffer, Jr. Various printed items gathered or compiled by donor, Mike O'Bradovich. Community histories and articles describe the neighborhoods, social life, work, education, athletics, leisure activities, and medical services in the coal mining camp and company town, Lynch, Ky.
Coal and Coke during the mid twentieth century. Copies of documents dating from to include floor plans for company housing options, fliers for Labor Day celebrations, paycheck stubs and discharge papers for coal miners. Also includes brass tags worn by miners, an undated, printed map of Harlan County, Ky. Employee was fired for his inability to make the baseball team as promised to his manager.
Celebration was segregated. Six- history of Lynch, Ky. Compilations of trivia about life in the coal camp and company town of Lynch, Ky. Trivia items name people in the community, including staff Date black women in Lynch Kentucky the Big Store, the cobbler, garbage collector, undertaker, and milkman.
Also identified are buildings and locales, including the barn for mine mules, swimming hole, and town dump. Other Date black women in Lynch Kentucky items pinpoint first and lasts such as the year a resident purchased the first television set in Lynch, and explain local customs such as the grease pole. A brief historical description of the coal industry in Benham and Lynch, Ky. Article alludes to a contemporary concern with environmental protection of Black Mountain and community opposition to a proposed strip mine.
Three- description of medical care, miners' health, and hospitals in Lynch, Ky. Cope, a registered nurse and health insurance administrator. Brief descriptions of the hospital and health care providers in Lynch, Ky.
Of interest is a reference to an outbreak of spinal meningitis in that led to quarantines and the establishment of a temporary hospital that kept the mortality rate low. Brief descriptions of Lynch's hotel and country club buildings and accommodations. Slight information provided on activities supported and hosted, including golf tournaments on a seven-hole course, dances, and orchestras.
Brief descriptions of entertainment venues in Lynch, Ky. Amusements such as carnivals, circuses, concert performers, and movies are mentioned. Also contains descriptions of the buildings that housed the company owned and operated store, post office, and bank in Lynch, Ky. One- description of the school buildings, athletic fields, the school newspaper, honor society, and commencement exercises. School principals and their years of service are also identified.
Miners wore brass tags with ased s into the mines. Employees took the tags off a board before entering the mine, a practice that allowed the company to know who and how many were in the mine at any given time. Miners then hung their tags on coal cars so that they received credit for coal they had mined. The collection contains oral history interviews, photographs, copies of documents related to coal miners in the mid-twentieth century, and community histories of Lynch, Ky. Karida Brown conducted the oral history interviews with African Americans whose families migrated from the coal camps of the Appalachian South to cities and suburbs across the country.
Photographs from circa depict street scenes, residential areas, and coal mining facilities in Lynch, Ky. Community histories describe the founding of the coal camp, the buildings and businesses in the company town of Lynch, schools, entertainment venues, and leisure activities. Restrictions to Access This collection contains additional materials that are not available for immediate or same day access. Please contact Research and Instructional Service staff at wilsonlibrary unc. Restrictions to Use No usage restrictions. Copyright Notice Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Addition received May Acc. Sensitive Materials Statement Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act N.
Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications e. Back to Top. African Americans--Biography. African Americans--Social life and customs. Benham Ky. Brown, Karida Leigh. Coal mines and mining--Kentucky--Harlan County--History. Company towns--Kentucky--Harlan County--History. Cumberland Ky. International Harvester Company. Lynch Ky. Mining camps--Kentucky--Harlan County--History.
Mountain life--Kentucky--Harlan County--Historyth century. Oral history. Rural-urban migration--United States. School integration--United States.Date black women in Lynch Kentucky
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Lynching in America