Mrs. Alice Jennings Archibald was born and raised in New Brunswick New Jersey and graduated from New Brunswick High School in 1923 as salutatorian of her class. She attended Howard University and graduated there in 1927 with her Bachelor’s Degree, and also received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1928. Mrs. Archibald became the first African-American woman to graduate from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education in 1938. During World War II, Mrs. Archibald worked for Raritan Arsenal as a completion clerk and a neighborhood Air Warden. After the war, she joined the staff of the New Brunswick Urban League as assistant to the executive director in 1946 and then worked at the Employment Office as a counselor. With the Urban League, Mrs. Archibald hired the first black man to Johnson and Johnson, and hired the first black teachers in New Brunswick. She continued as a counselor until her retirement in 1972.
Dr. Alexander was born in 1922 in Petersburg, Virginia. He attended Orange High school in New Jersey before he was accepted to Rutgers on a scholarship. He was a member of ROTC, the engineering program, and the Rutgers track team. A Tuskegee Airman, he graduated from Rutgers with a degree in mechanical engineering, then went to work for Douglas Aircraft as a draftsman in California. He enlisted in the USAAF in 1944 and trained at Keesler and Tuskegee Army Airbases as a fighter pilot. World War II ended before he was deployed. He later attended Howard University's dental school and became a distinguished dentist in New Jersey.
Ndidi Amutah was born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1981 to Nigerian parents. Dr. Amutah grew up in Trenton and graduated from Trenton Central High School in 1999. She attended Livingston College at Rutgers, where she was active in the Livingston College Governing Association. After graduating from Livingston in 2003 with a B.A. in African Studies and a B.S. in Public Health, she earned a Master's in Public Health at George Washington University. Dr. Amutah attended the University of Maryland, College Park and studied maternal child health for her Ph.D. Dr. Amutah completed a Kellogg Foundation postdoctoral fellowship, served as a professor at Montclair State University, and then became a professor of public health and community medicine at the Tufts University School of Medicine.
Bryson C. Armstead, Sr. was born in 1946 in Haddonfield, New Jersey. He graduated from Memorial High School and worked for Campbell’s Soup before World War II. During the war, Bryson joined the US Navy and served as a steward’s mate. After the war, he earned a master’s degree at Temple University on the GI Bill.
Dr. Rosalind Carmichael was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She attended Douglass College and graduated in 1972 with a degree in English. She later earned her Masters in Education from Temple University and her PhD from Kean University. Dr. Carmichael worked as an English teacher at Malcolm X Shabazz High School for over thirty years.
Cheryl Clarke was born in 1947 in Washington, D.C. From 1965 to 1969, Cheryl attended Howard University. In 1969, Cheryl came to Rutgers-New Brunswick as a graduate student in English and earned her M.A. in 1974. Cheryl taught courses in the Urban University Program. A life-long activist, Cheryl discusses her many experiences participating in social movements, including the anti-war and Black Power movements at Howard University, anti-apartheid activism at Rutgers, LGBT activism, feminism and lesbian-feminism, and activism surrounding the defense of Assata Shakur. From 1974 to 1978, Cheryl worked in Middlesex County in the Comprehensive Employment and Training Program. In 1978, she returned to Rutgers to study social work, obtaining her M.S.W. in 1980. In 1980, Cheryl began working in Student Affairs at Rutgers. In 1992, she served as the founding director of the Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities. From 2009 to 2013, Cheryl served as the Dean of Students for Livingston Campus. At Rutgers, Cheryl coordinated the university-wide Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes and the New Brunswick-wide Bias Prevention Education Committee, in addition to establishing the university-wide network of "Liaisons" and teaching numerous courses. Cheryl is a poet and author. She and her partner Barbara Balliet co-own Blenheim Hill Books in Hobart, New York and organize the annual Hobart Festival of Women Writers.
Betty Davis was born in 1944 in Washington, D.C. She grew up in Jersey City and Orange, graduating from Orange High School in 1962. From 1962 to 1966, Betty Davis attended Douglass College and majored in political science. She was active in the local NAACP group. In the interview, she describes her years at Douglass, including her experiences of being an African American student at Rutgers University. After graduating in 1966, Betty Davis joined the Peace Corps and served in Nigeria. She settled in Toronto, Canada and has spent her career working in computer programming. Betty Davis' interview is part of a series of interviews called Black on the Banks, named for a conference in 2015 that featured African American alumni of Rutgers University during the 1960s.
Bruce McLeod was born in Jamaica and immigrated to the United States as a teenager. McLeod then joined the US Army, where he served as a medic during the Vietnam War.
Dr. Brown was born in Warrenton, Georgia in 1919. He grew up in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania as the oldest of six siblings. He attended Hampton Institute and graduated in 1941 with a English and History major. A volunteer for the Army Air Force, he attended Officer Candidate School in Miami Beach and then volunteered to be trained at Tuskegee Air Field. He served as a special services officer with the 618th Bomb Squadron in the American Theater of Operations. After the war he attended Columbia University with the help of the GI Bill and he graduated in 1950. He was later hired as the first African-American Professor at Rutgers University. There were many highlights of Dr. Brown’s Academic career, but one that especially stands out was his debate at Rutgers with Malcolm X at the Rutgers School of Pharmacy.
Mr. Crawley was born in Danville, Virginia in 1914. He attended Westmoreland High School in Virginia before attending Hampton Institute for three years and then attended West Virginia State with a major in agriculture. He served in a segregated Army quartermaster unit in the ETO during World War II. After the war, he used the GI Bill to study architectural drafting and opened his own business by the name of Burton & Crawley Contractors.
Dr. Cornelius E. Gaither was born in Philadephia in 1928. He attended an all black elementary schooll in West Chester, Pennsylvania before attending an integrated high school. Gaither attended Lincoln University in 1945 and went on to Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee to earn his doctorate degree in Dental Surgery. He joined the Air Force in 1955 and spent three years an oral surgeon in Germany. Gaither retired in 1987 having served over thirty years in the Reserves.
Patricia Graham was born in Saluda, South Carolina in 1949. She grew up in Philadelphia and then moved to New Jersey during high school. Dr. Graham graduated from West Side High School in Newark in 1966. She attended Essex County Community College and then Rutgers-Newark, before transferring to Livingston College at Rutgers-New Brunswick. During college, Dr. Graham participated in the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program. Majoring in urban studies and secondary education, Dr. Graham graduated from Livingston College in 1972. She went on to earn her Master's degree in education at Antioch College and Ed.D. at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. From 1977 to 2013, Dr. Graham served in various positions at East Stroudsburg University, where she is now a professor emeritus.
Harvey Grimsley was born in Haleburg, Alabama in 1922. His family fled the racial oppression and violence of the Jim Crow-era South and moved to New Jersey during his childhood. Grimsley attended schools in Bloomfield and then Orange, where his relative Monte Irvin also grew up. Irvin went on to play professional baseball and became a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Grimsley graduated from Orange High School in 1942. During World War II, Grimsley was drafted. He served overseas in Europe in the segregated U.S. Army in an all-Black transportation unit. He and his unit partook in D-Day, the Allied invasion of German-occupied Normandy on June 6, 1944, and landed on Utah Beach. In 1945-'46, Grimsley attended Biarritz American University in Europe and played on the university's integrated basketball team. After being discharged from the Army, Grimsley was recruited to play football at Rutgers, which he attended on the GI Bill. Between '46 and '49, Grimsley distinguished himself as the Scarlet Knight's leading scorer, despite never starting a game under coach Harvey Harman. After graduating in the Rutgers College Class of 1950, Grimsley spent his career working as a coach, including being a high school coach in Newark and Piscataway and working as a recruiter for Governors State University in Chicago. He was inducted into the Rutgers Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.
Kent Hatfield was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1959. He joined the Army when he was 18 and served in Texas and South Korea. He later worked for American Airlines. He now lives in New Brunswick.
Donald Harris was born in New York, New York in 1940. He attended Rutgers College and graduated in 1963 with majors in English and Physical Education. At Rutgers, Harris was a member of the Air Force ROTC and also played football and lacrosse. He worked as a Civil Rights activist during his student days at Rutgers and, later, as a fieldworker for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Southwest Georgia in the early 1960s. In August 1963, he was arrested in Americus, Georgia, while trying to register African-American voters. Harris and two others were charged with insurrection, a capital offense in Georgia. The case stirred support on the Rutgers campus and across New Jersey in the Fall of 1963. Harris was released in November after a federal court declared the law under which he was charged to be unconstitutional. He went on to pursue graduate work at the City University of New York, Harvard Law School, and Columbia University. He worked for Philip Morris International Management and retired as the Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications.
M. Wilma Harris was born in 1944 in Paulsboro, New Jersey. She attended Douglass College and graduated with a history degree in the Class of 1966. She went on to earn her master's degree in Governmental Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. Harris worked at Douglass College as Counselor-in-Residence, Assistant Dean of Students and Associate Dean of Students. In 1977, Harris began working at Prudential and spent the rest of her career there, eventually becoming Vice President of Human Resources. Harris has an honorary doctorate from St. Peter's College.
Bruce Hubbard was born in 1948 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He graduated from Rutgers College in 1969 and from Harvard Law School in 1972. Mr. Hubbard was a writer and photographer for the Targum, a student representative to the Board of Governors, and a member of the Chi Psi fraternity. Today, Mr. Hubbard is the Principal of Bruce A. Hubbard, P.C., an independent law firm located in New York City.
Dr. Arnold Hyndman attended Princeton University, majoring in Biology. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy and Neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1978. Dr. Hyndman worked as a researcher at Ohio State University in the medical school. He went to the University of California at San Diego to complete a second post-doctoral program and researched cell culture and cell division. Dr. Hyndman first came to Rutgers in 1981 as a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. After serving as the founding director of what was originally called the Minority Advancement Program, he became associate provost (1990-1993). From 1993 until 2007, he served as Dean of Livingston College. He has directed the Organizational Leadership Program and the Criminal Justice Program at Rutgers, as well as participating in educational and civil-related activities throughout the state. Dr. Hyndman is a professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience.
Linda Jackson was born in New York, New York in 1953. She attended Douglass College and graduated in 1974 with degrees in Theater Arts and English. She has a long career in theater and opera.
Michael T. Jackson was born in Washington, DC in 1949. He studied African Studies at Rutgers University and graduated in 1971. Jackson also earned his Masters of Divinity at the University of the South's School of Theology. He worked in social service and administration and retired as the Executive Director of the St. Vincent's Episcopal House in Galveston, Texas in 2014.
Bryant Mitchell was born in 1947, in Hampton, Virginia. An art history major, he graduated from Rutgers College in 1969. While at Rutgers, he was named most valuable player for the 1968 football season. He is a 1992 Rutgers Football Hall of Fame inductee. During Mr. Mitchell's first interview, he recalls growing up in Virginia, an early exposure to Civil Rights activism by way of his father, Henry Bryant Mitchell, and his time at Rutgers. He joined the 25th Infantry Division in 1969.
Mr. Mitchell served in the 25th Infantry Division from September 1969 to September 1971 as a combat MP. He was stationed at Cu Chi before being assigned to Dau Tieng. After leaving the military, Mr. Mitchell entered the University of Virginia Law School and graduated in 1975. Currently, Mr. Mitchell works in real estate, owning his own brokerage in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
Dr. Barbara Morrison-Rodriguez was born in Washington, DC in 1947. She graduated from McKinley Technical High School in Washington, DC and went on to Douglass College. Barbara graduated with a degree in Sociology. In 1979, she earned a Master's Degree in Social Welfare Research from Columbia University's School of Social Welfare and later, a PhD in Social Welfare Research and Evaluation.
Mr. Moss grew up in Princeton where both his parents worked for the University. He attended Princeton High School and went on to Rutgers University where he played football and lacrosse. He was also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He was drafted into the Army in 1942 and served as an infantry officer in the 92nd Infantry Division during World War II, and received a purple heart, a silver star and a bronze star. After WWII he entered the reserves and was also called up for service in the Korean War. Mr. Moss was also one of the first African American students to be accepted to Princeton, earning his masters degree there.
Daniel Robinson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1925. After graduating from high school in 1943, Daniel joined the Marine Corps. He did his basic training at Camp Lejeune. He served in the Pacific Theater during World War II as part of a defense battalion.
Deborah Shuford was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1959. Her parents grew up in Lowndes County, Alabama, before moving to Newark. For most of her childhood, her family lived in the Weequahic section. Deborah attended Chancellor Elementary School and Arts High School in Newark. During one summer in high school, Deborah attended the Technical Enrichment Program at Stevens Tech in Hoboken. From 1977 to 1981, Deborah went to Douglass College. She began as an engineering major and switched to journalism and English literature. Deborah earned her bachelor's degree in the Douglass College Class of 1981. Deborah worked for many years in the communications field. She interned at WOR-AM talk radio. She worked at ABC Radio and Television Network and then at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). In 2001, Deborah began studying for her master's degree at American University. After earning her master's in film in 2003, Deborah worked as a professor at institutions of higher education, including McDaniel College, Howard University and Rutgers University, where she developed a variety of courses in film studies and African American studies. She also worked as a producer, writer and documentary filmmaker. In addition to being an active alumna at Rutgers-New Brunswick, Deborah has volunteered at the New Jersey Tree Foundation and as a career coach at New Start.
Ronald J. Stokes was born in East Orange, New Jersey in 1946. During the Vietnam War, Stokes served in the United States Army. He attended Rutgers-Newark and graduated with a degree in Management in 1983.
Donald Van Blake was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, and during the Second World War served in the "Red Ball Express" as a truck driver. After the war, he was active in the Civil Rights Movement and went on to have a career in transportation.
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 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 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. After graduating from Livingston College in the Class of 1986, he started his professional journalism career writing for the Herald and News in Passaic. 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 in the N.J. Department of the Public Advocate, he became an investigator for the N.J. Division on Civil Rights. Walker lives in Montclair with his wife and son.
Clarence Wilson was born in Virginia and migrated to the North during the Great Depression in the 1930s, initially relocating to Pennsylvania and later to New Jersey. During the Great Depression, Wilson worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps, serving in a segregated unit. In the 1942, Wilson was inducted into the military where he served as a truck driver in the segregated 263rd Quartermaster and 3404th Quartermaster Truck Companies and was among the first waves of American soldiers to land in North Africa. Wilson participated in US military actions across North Africa, Sicily, and Italy until the war ended in 1945. After his honorable discharge, Wilson raised a family and worked in the chemical industry until his retirement.