Kentucky Historical Society

Interview with Gladman Humbles

Date of Interview: 

Tue, 08/15/2000




Call Number: 


Gladman Humbles recalls his youth in segregated Paducah in the 1940's. He tells of his Father's concern about how he would handle being called by the "N" word when, at age 14, he took a job shining shoes in a classy barber shop. And he recalls two occasions when it happened and how he responded and how his Father responded when the same offender poked him at the market. Humbles tells of leaving Paducah during the 50's and later returning and starting a laundromat. He tells how he became the first African American fire fighter, about the his wife bringing his meals, dealing with jokes, his special bed which was not used by others. While he had time on his hands he became interested in history and began writing letters to the editor and later articles. Humbles describes some of the NAACP's activities in the community. Transcript available.

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