Murray State University Special Collections and Archives

Interview with Lizzie Ratcliff




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Lizzie Ratcliff discusses her life as African American in southwestern Kentucky during the first half of the 20th century. She describes attending rural public schools in Marshall County, Kentucky and residing in a predominantly white community. She recalls playing baseball and attending neighborhood parties and dances. She mentions race relations within the community and that between black and white families frequently socialized with one another. She provides a description of her neighborhood, family friends and nearby communities. She reflects on the importance of the church, the profession of midwifery and her experiences in Paducah later in her life. Biographical / Historical note: Lizzie Ratcliff was born in Marshall County in 1895. Her parents were Lucy Randolph and Ed Story. Her father cut railroad ties and constructed houses. He also farmed corn, peas and hay and bred mules and cows. She attended the Said Road School until the 8th grade. She attended Lees Chapel as a child and later Burks Chapel in Paducah. She was a homemaker and provided house cleaning services.

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