James Washington Sr. Interview 2

Antioch College
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00:00:34 - Further description and discussion of family

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Partial Transcript: Could you tell us a little bit about your family history, where you came from?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, James Washington, Sr. talks further about his earlier years with his family, offering a brief anecdote concerning being quarantined at home during a polio outbreak.

Keywords: Pillsbury Mill; Polio outbreak; Shawnee Town, Illinois; Springfield, Illinois

Subjects: African American railroad employees; Pillsbury Mills, Inc.; Race relations; Shawnee (Ill.); Springfield (Ill.); polio

00:04:19 - Foundational values instilled during childhood

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Partial Transcript: What, what are some sort of foundational things that you think you learned in childhood, that you took throughout the rest of your life?

Segment Synopsis: Washington responds to a question about core values taught by his parents; he notes the importance of the African American Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church to his mother.

Keywords: African Methodist Episcopal Church

Subjects: African American Episcopalians; African American Methodists; African American churches

00:05:40 - Family conversations about race (as a son and father)

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember having any sort of specific conversations about race with your parents or siblings?

Segment Synopsis: He briefly notes race relations in Springfield, noting how everyone "stayed to themselves." He also indicates that his father had talked with him about the Springfield riots.

Keywords: Springfield riots; race; race relations

Subjects: African Americans--Segregation; Blacks--Segregation; Race relations; Race riots; Race riots--Illinois

00:08:43 - Working at Lincoln Elementary School

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Partial Transcript: So you were talking about how you volunteer with kids at Lincoln Elementary School, right?

Segment Synopsis: Washington discusses his position at Lincoln Elementary School. He notes their unique personalities and how he helps on the playground.

Keywords: Lincoln Elementary School

Subjects: Kalamazoo Public Schools

00:10:35 - Living in the Northside neighborhood; experiences in black neighborhood while serving as a Kalamazoo police officer

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Partial Transcript: So moving to living in the Northside neighborhood. Can you tell us about some of your experiences you had living there? What was it like sort of on a day-to-day level?

Segment Synopsis: He talks about his experiences in the Northside black community in Kalamazoo, noting employment opportunities for people in his neighborhood and difficulties in being a police officer.

Keywords: Checker Motors; Douglass Community Association; Kalamazoo; Northside, Kalamazoo; employment opportunities; paper mills

Subjects: African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Segregation; Checker Motors Corp. (Kalamazoo, Mich.); Douglass Community Association (Kalamazoo Mich.); Kalamazoo (Mich.); Kalamazoo (Mich.). Department of Public Safety

00:15:03 - Western Michigan University student union protest and experiences as police officer with civil rights actions in Kalamazoo

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Partial Transcript: Going to your experiences as a police officer, can you tell us exactly--not exactly, how you said you broke up some of the protests at the [Student] Union, the occupation of the Union at Western right?

Segment Synopsis: Washington responds to a question asking for follow up regarding an earlier recollection of his experiences breaking up protests in Kalamazoo.

Keywords: Van Avery Drugstore protest; Western Michigan University; black action group; civil rights protest

Subjects: Kalamazoo (Mich.). Department of Public Safety; Policing; Policing, community; Western Michigan University

00:22:27 - Memory of H. Rap Brown at Western Michigan University

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Partial Transcript: Were you at Western Michigan University when Martin Luther King spoke there?

Segment Synopsis: Washington talks about his memory of H. Rap Brown being at Western Michigan University and reflects upon violent and nonviolent resistance.

Keywords: H. Rap Brown; Western Michigan University; civil rights movement; nonviolence

Subjects: Civil Rights movement; H. Rap Brown; Nonviolence; Western Michigan University

00:26:46 - Legacy and future of civil rights in America

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Partial Transcript: Where do you see the legacy of Civil Rights right now?

Segment Synopsis: He reflects upon the legacy of civil rights in the United States.

Keywords: Civil rights; President Barack Obama

Subjects: Civil rights; Obama, Barack; race relations

00:30:18 - Building relationships and creating barriers across races; school of choice in Kalamazoo

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Partial Transcript: From you life experiences...as a black man, do you think there's, there's--is there anything that you'd want to tell a white audience about your experiences of race in America?

Segment Synopsis: Washington offers final thoughts about race relations, commenting about his concerns regarding the impact of schools of choice upon racial make up of public schools.

Keywords: Race; integration; race relations; school of choice

Subjects: African Americans--Segregation; Kalamazoo Public Schools; Race relations; School choice