Interview with James Washington Sr., Part 1

Interview with James Washington Sr., Part 1


James Washington Sr.


Download James Washington Sr., Part 1 - Abstract (101 KB)

Download James Washington Sr., Part 1 - Transcript (140 KB)


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Max Jensen


Part 1 of two part interview with James Washington Sr. recorded on February 5, 2013. Mr. Washington is interviewed by Kalamazoo College student Max Jensen 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 Mr. Washington discusses the following topics:

  • Growing up in a large family in Illinois;
  • Racial relations in Springfield, Illinois;
  • Interest in music and the Western Michigan University choir;
  • Work at Gibson Guitar and the Kalamazoo Police Department;
  • Civil rights in the Kalamazoo Area;
  • Riots in Detroit and Kalamazoo;
  • Changes in Kalamazoo as a result of the Civil Rights Movement.

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, NAACP, Van Avery’s Drugstore, Martin Luther King Jr


African American Studies | 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

13 pages

Interview with James Washington Sr., Part 1