Interview with Phyllis Seabolt, Part 1

Interview with Phyllis Seabolt, Part 1


Phyllis Seabolt


Download Phyllis Seabolt, Part 1 - Abstract (207 KB)

Download Phyllis Seabolt, Part1 - Transciption (224 KB)


Media is loading


Chandler Smith


Part 1 of two part interview with Phyllis Seabolt recorded on February 11, 2013. Seabolt is interviewed by Kalamazoo College student Chandler Smith 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 Seabolt discusses the following topics:

  • Background of the historical figure after whom she was named, Phillis Wheatley;
  • The importance of education;
  • The ways in which her parents combatted racism and discrimination;
  • The role of the Baptist church in family and community life;
  • Experiences attending and teaching at Western Michigan University;
  • Experience working as domestic help in exchange for room and board during college year;
  • Experiences with discrimination despite academic excellence;
  • Teaching in the Kalamazoo Public Schools;
  • Protests in Kalamazoo during the Civil Rights Era;
  • Achievements in the black community in Kalamazoo;
  • Challenges and inequalities that persist to this day despite civil rights accomplishments.

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

Date of Interview


Location of Interview

Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI


Engaging the Wisdom


Oral History, Kalamazoo Michigan, African American History, Western Michigan University


African American Studies | Education | Inequality and Stratification | Oral History | Race and Ethnicity | 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

18 pages

Interview with Phyllis Seabolt, Part 1