Interview with Dr. Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran, Part 2

Interview with Dr. Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran, Part 2


Download Dr. Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran, Pt. 2 - Abstract (195 KB)

Download Dr. Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran, Pt. 2 - Transcription (321 KB)


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Lauren Perlaki


Part 2 of two part interview with Dr. Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran recorded on May 8, 2015. Dr. Wilson-Oyelaran is interviewed by Kalamazoo College student Lauren Perlaki as a part of SHARE's (formerly known as the Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society) Baldwin Archive Engaging the Wisdom Project with Kalamazoo College. During the interview Dr. Wilson-Oyelaran discusses the following topics:

  • Memories of Eileen’s family;
  • Eileen’s Father’s activism, including meeting Malcolm X;
  • Participation with the Urban League;
  • How Eileen’s parents’ participation in activism shaped her growing up;
  • Discussion of Eileen’s mother;
  • What it meant to be middle class in the African American community;
  • Challenges of being an African American in a prominent leadership role;
  • What inspired Eileen to mentor young women;
  • The moment when Eileen first became aware of her race;
  • Eileen’s experience at the Black Power Conference;
  • Experiences being one of the few women of color on Pomona’s campus;
  • The debate at Pomona College over the development of Black Studies;
  • Concerns about raising a child in America’s current climate;
  • How the United States has progressed with police brutality and race relations;
  • Eileen’s most difficult and most rewarding experiences at Kalamazoo College.

Additional files include full transcription and abstract (includes content timestamps).

Date of Interview


Location of Interview

Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, Michigan


Engaging the Wisdom


Oral History, Kalamazoo Michigan, African American History, Langston Hughes, Harcourt Tynes, Alain Locke, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr, National Urban League, Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, Barack Obama, Audre Lorde, W.E.B. DuBois, Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, Pomona College


African American Studies | Education | Oral History | Public History | Race and Ethnicity | Social History | Social Justice


The Society for History and Racial Equity’s oral history archive is made possible through Western Michigan University’s Presidential Innovation Professorship program. All collection materials and copyright are owned by SHARE; Western Michigan University Libraries provide stewardship and digital access. Content is for educational purposes only and non-reproducible. If cited or linked, please do so through ScholarWorks with appropriate attribution. Please direct any questions to

The Engaging the Wisdom project was made possible by Ms. Donna Odom (retired SHARE Executive Director), Dr. Bruce Mills (Kalamazoo College History Department) and Kalamazoo College students.



Document Type


Length of video


Length of video log

28 pages

Interview with Dr. Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran, Part 2



Rights Statement

In Copyright