Murphy, Frances

67 mins.
O'Daniel, Hannah
Transcription available:
Parkland Oral History Project
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Interview Number(s):
Born in Louisville, Murphy has lived in the West End and Newburg neighborhoods. She grew up in the African American area of the Parkland neighborhood nicknamed Little Africa. Since her mother died when Murphy was young, her aunt, Mamie Kent, and grandmother, Willie Blanks, raised Murphy. Her family temporarily evacuated to St. Louis, Missouri during the 1937 Flood. She received her primary school education in the three-room Parkland Annex and the Virginia Avenue School. She attended Madison Street Junior High School and Central High School, African American schools. Her family was a member of the Pleasant View Church. After World War II, whites increasingly moved north out of the Parkland neighborhood. Murphy’s family moved to Catalpa Street, a mixed street. Murphy was at home during the Parkland Riot but had her clothing stolen from the laundromat. Murphy had 10 children, all of whom graduated from high school. Some of her children went to college, including Pamela Osborne. In 1995, she moved to her current home. Frances Murphy describes being raised by her grandmother and aunt. She discusses their employment at a widow and orphans home and school called Masonic Home on Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. She recounts the tragedy of the Flood of 1937. She discusses her education and teachers in African American only schools. She describes the physical conditions of the homes in Little Africa during her childhood and improvements overtime. She names former businesses and stores in Parkland. She tells of the immediate and long term changes for Parkland brought on by World War II. She recounts the white areas of Parkland and the businesses that blacks could not enter. Murphy speaks of the feeling of safety in the neighborhood and community activities when she was growing up. She tells of her love for books and learning. She recounts how her family acquired food, ice, and coal. Murphy’s daughter, Pamela Osborne, speaks of the Parkland Riot. Interview index available.
Parkland (Louisville, Ky.), African Americans--Kentucky--Louisville, 1968 Parkland Uprising