Interview with Dr. Von Washington, Part 1

Interview with Dr. Von Washington, Part 1


Download Dr. Von Washington Sr., Part 1 - Abstract (154 KB)

Download Dr. Von Washington Sr., Part 1 - Transcription (411 KB)


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Scott Brent


Part 1 of two part interview with Dr. Von Washington Sr recorded on January 28, 2015. Dr. Washington is interviewed by Kalamazoo College student Scott Brent 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. Washington discusses the following topics:

  • Growing up with his Aunt and Uncle and being aware of the Brown v. Board of Education case;
  • His impressions of what it meant to have a white education versus a black education;
  • The concept of the afterlife as an escape from reality;
  • How the school system forces people into their assumed societal roles;
  • His experience being a part of the Epics in high school;
  • His memories of being involved in the Black Revolution;
  • His experience conducting race relations classes;
  • Reactions to James Baldwin’s texts;
  • How his racial identity changed while in Europe;
  • His family’s experiences while he was away at war;
  • His personal views of the importance of conducting genealogical studies;
  • The improvement of race relations over time.

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, James Baldwin, The United States Air Force, Western Michigan University, Education


African American Studies | Higher Education | Oral History | Public History | Race and Ethnicity | Religion | 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

27 pages

Interview with Dr. Von Washington, Part 1