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Washington Booker III Interviewed on January 5, 1995

Washington Booker III Interviewed on January 5, 1995

BCRI Oral History Collection
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00:00:25 - Interview Introduction

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview with Washington Booker III for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute's oral history project done by Dr. Horace Huntley at Miles College, January 5, 1995.

Segment Synopsis: Interview introduction with Washington Booker, III

GPS: The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Map Coordinates: 33.516200, -86.813870
00:01:02 - Family History

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Partial Transcript: Let me just ask you, first of all, though, where were your parents from? What part of the state?

Segment Synopsis: Booker describes his immediate family as well as family history.

Keywords: African American families; African Americans--Genealogy; African Americans--History

Subjects: African American families

00:08:09 - Education and High School Experience

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Partial Transcript: Tell me more about your education.

Segment Synopsis: Booker comments on his high school education.

Keywords: African Americans--Education (Secondary)

Subjects: African Americans--Education

00:09:35 - Joining the Military

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Partial Transcript: What did you do after you left?
I did the all-American thing. I joined the Marine Corps.

Segment Synopsis: Booker discusses joining the U.S. Marine Corps.

Keywords: United States. Marine Corps; Vietnam War, 1961-1975--African Americans

Subjects: Armed Forces--African Americans

00:10:57 - Early Encounters with Demonstrations

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Partial Transcript: Well prior to that, Wash, you were at Ullman during the demonstrations of 1963.

Segment Synopsis: Booker describes his early observations of and engagement with Civil Rights Movement demonstrations in Birmingham.

Keywords: African Americans--Southern States; Birmingham (Ala.); Civil rights movement

Subjects: African Americans--Civil rights

00:13:51 - Childhood Neighborhood & Community

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Partial Transcript: Let me ask you Wash, I sort of jumped the gun. What community were you living in?

Segment Synopsis: Booker describes his neighborhood and community in Birmingham.

Keywords: African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Housing

Subjects: Birmingham (Ala.)

00:21:00 - Home and Family Life

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Partial Transcript: How did your life change as a child when you left that area and moved to Loveman's Village?

Segment Synopsis: Booker describes his home in Loveman's Village in Birmingham.

Keywords: African American families; African Americans--Southern States; Birmingham (Ala.)

Subjects: African Americans--Housing

00:24:41 - Community and Police

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Partial Transcript: As a child growing up, Wash, what was your community's relationship to the Birmingham police department?

Segment Synopsis: Booker describes his community's relationship with and perspectives on the local police.

Keywords: African Americans--Crimes against; African Americans--Southern States; Police brutality--United States

Subjects: Police--United States--History

00:26:45 - Community Organizations

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Partial Transcript: In your community were there community organizations?

Segment Synopsis: Booker discusses social organizations available to his childhood community.

Keywords: African American churches; African Americans--Religion; Birmingham County Boy Scouts Association; Bowling alleys; Boy Scouts

Subjects: African Americans--Social life and customs

00:30:37 - Civil Rights Movement Involvement

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Partial Transcript: Let me ask you now about the Civil Rights Movement. I know you were involved. How did you get involved?

Segment Synopsis: Booker discusses his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.

Keywords: African Americans--Civil rights; African Americans--Civil rights--History--20th century; King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968; Segregation--United States

Subjects: Civil rights movement

00:35:46 - Arrest and Jail Experience

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Partial Transcript: What were the circumstances when you went to jail?

Segment Synopsis: Booker describes his experience of going to jail during a Civil Rights Movement demonstration.

Keywords: African American youth; African Americans--Civil rights--History--20th century; African Americans--Southern States; Birmingham (Ala.); Civil rights movement; Jefferson County Jail (Jefferson County, Ala.)

Subjects: African Americans--Civil rights

00:48:31 - Family/Community Response to Movement

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Partial Transcript: Were there other members of your family involved?

Segment Synopsis: Booker describes his family and community's response to the Civil Rights Movement, and his perspective on the beneficial results of the Movement.

Keywords: African American families; African Americans--Race identity; Civil rights movement

Subjects: African Americans--Civil rights

00:50:43 - Returning from Marine Corps and Vietnam Service

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Partial Transcript: After the Movement, Wash, you then volunteered and went into the Marine Corps?

Segment Synopsis: Booker describes his experience returning to the U.S. after serving in Vietnam with the Marine Corps.

Keywords: African Americans--Race identity; African Americans--Social conditions; African Americans--Southern States; Police brutality--United States; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Subjects: African Americans--Race identity; Vietnam War, 1961-1975--African Americans

00:56:42 - Alabama Black Liberation Front

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Partial Transcript: These other fellows, were they Vietnam veterans as well?

Segment Synopsis: Booker discusses the founding and actions of the Alabama Black Liberation Front.

Keywords: African American children--Education; African American children--Nutrition; African Americans--Crimes against; Black Liberation Army; Black Panther Party

Subjects: African Americans--Civil rights--Southern States

01:06:36 - Interview Conclusion and Parting Thoughts

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Partial Transcript: Well, Wash, I think we can probably conclude. Is there anything else that you would like to add just to highlight or maybe encapsulate what Birmingham has meant to you in the years that you've spent here?

Segment Synopsis: Booker shares his thoughts on Birmingham and its relationship with the African American community.

Keywords: African Americans--Southern States; Birmingham (Ala.)

Subjects: African Americans--Race identity