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Mrs. Hattie L. Neblett, Owensboro, Ky. (1903-1993). Dr. and Mrs. Neblett were the founders of the H.L. Neblett Community Center in Owensboro, which has helped thousands of youth further their education, find jobs and become productive citizens. Dr. Neblett opened his practice in Owensboro in 1930, and for the next 24 years, Dr. Neblett was the only black doctor in town. During his first day on the job, a black youth died from a gunshot wound, which prompted Mrs. Neblett to open the family’s basement as a community center to give the African American youth a place to learn, play and grow in a safe environment. By 1940, the Neblett raised money to buy a building to help the youth and the H.L. Neblett Center at 801 West 5th Street in Owensboro was on its way to a permanent home. The Nebletts opened their home and hearts to needy children during a time of segregation and separation of the races. They wanted African American children to have the opportunity to study, exercise and learn culture and history in a safe environment. Today, the H.L. Neblett serves children of and adults of all races. Mrs. Neblett herself taught children music as served many years as director and president of the center. While her husband helped raised money and tended to the medical needs of the black community, Mrs. Neblett tended to the youth who needed guidance and support. The Nebletts in 1978 received the Jane Adams Medal from the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers for opening their recreation center.
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