Oral History Session #1
Date:June 23, 2016
Place:Newark, New Jersey
Transcript Production Team:
Kathryn Tracy Rizzi
Walker, Steven. Oral History Interview, June 23, 2016, by William Buie, Page #, Rutgers Oral History Archives. Online: Insert URL (Last Accessed: Insert Date).
In his interview, Steven Walker describes his upbringing in the town of Montclair, New Jersey during the mid-1960s, his experiences as a first-generation college student studying journalism at Livingston College at Rutgers-New Brunswick during the early 1980s, and his career as a journalist in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.
With family roots going back to Jamaica, Walkers' grandparents came from Mississippi and North Carolina. During World War II, his father, a Montclair native, served in the Red Ball Express in France after the Allies invaded Europe in 1944.
During his early school years, he experienced diversity in Montclair that had not existed when his parents were growing up there. This continued into his years at Livingston College, where he became a founding member of the Rutgers chapter of Kappa Delta Rho, an organization with members coming from a wide variety of backgrounds. He was also a regular contributor to the Daily Targum and the Black Voice, both student-run newspapers operating at Rutgers.
After graduating from Livingston College in the Class of 1986, he started his professional journalism career writing for the Herald and News in Passaic, New Jersey. He went on to work for such publications as The Star-Ledger, The Source, The Orange Transcript, The West Orange Chronicle and The East Orange Record. After working as a field investigator for the N.J. Department of the Public Advocate, he became an investigator for the N.J. Division on Civil Rights. Walker lives in Montclair, New Jersey with his wife and son.