HARRODSBURG — The idea of an oral history project to document the African-American experience in Harrodsburg and Mercer County from the 1930s to the present came about in 2010 when the James Harrod Trust sponsored a ground census of the Maple Grove Cemetery.
The census was taken to generate a database for burials in the cemetery that the city could use and also put on the Internet, said Kandie Adkinson, project director.
“As we did research in the cemetery with representatives of the African-American churches and the James Harrod Trust, we realized that research was needed in African-American history,” she said.
“The James Harrod Trust applied for a grant for the oral history project in 2011 and got approval this year,” Adkinson said. The Trust and planning committee of the West Side School Reunion decided the focus of the project would be on the Broadway Street Neighborhood.
Adkinson said the project will cover social changes through integration of schools and businesses in the 1960s. It will focus on segregated schools, students, teacher and sporting traditions, and also the church influence and job opportunities for African-American in the mid-20th century.