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Barbara Dodson Walker

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Information about Barbara Dodson Walker

Profile image of Barbara Dodson Walker

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Education Administrator
Historical Researcher

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Turquoise
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
1/18/1930
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Education Administrator
Historical Researcher

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Turquoise
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
1/18/1930
Birth Location:
Washington
See how Barbara Dodson Walker is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

An expert in the study and recordation of African American life and history, Barbara Dodson Walker was born January 18, 1930 in Washington, D.C. She grew up in the Georgetown area, which, at that time, had a large African American community. Schools were segregated, but Walker felt that she had the best education possible. She earned a B.S. in elementary education at Miner Teachers College in 1951, and an M.Ed. in 1972 from Federal City College. Walker pursued additional graduate work at Purdue University and the University of the District of Columbia.

During her thirty-two year career in education (1951-1983) Walker served in the D.C. Public Schools in several assignments, including coordinator of the Title I program with an emphasis in the multicultural population; resource teacher in the vital development of the critical reading and math programs for young children; and testing chairperson charged with developing standards for basic skills.

It was through her marriage to James Dent Walker that she nourished her interest in the recording of history and historical documents. Her husband would eventually serve as the director of local history & genealogical programs at the National Archives. After his retirement in 1979, he went to work at the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and became involved in a project to identify the African Americans who were involved in the American Revolution. Walker assisted her husband in the preparation of the Rhode Island Patriots, a segment of this project. His work there was a result of an African American wanting to join a chapter of the DAR and not be an at-large member of the DAR.

After her retirement from D.C. Schools, Walker participated in many diverse research projects. She indexed the first ten years of the Journal of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and researched the history of the D.C. Schools and the Epiphany Catholic Church of Georgetown for Black Georgetown Remembered. She researched and wrote essays of the Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School and Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, both located in Washington, DC. This work appeared in the Journal of Negro Education. Walker is developing a curriculum for students in the elementary grades to assist them in writing their family histories.

Walker is a charter and life member of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. and has worked on behalf of the Society in many capacities. This is the only national organization involved in documenting African American's family history and genealogy. She serves as the national president and in so doing has made many contributions to its sustenance. There are now twenty-three chapters of this Society across the nation. Walker has served also on the boards of Georgetown Heritage Trust, where she coordinated the documentation of the homes in the historic district of Georgetown; the Federation of Genealogical Societies; and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

Walker has four adult children and resides in Washington, DC.

See how Barbara Dodson Walker is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Barbara Dodson Walker's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Barbara Dodson Walker lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about her mother's teaching career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about the benefits of racially segregated schools and separate vocational schools in Washington D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about her mother and her maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Barbara Dodson Walker describes how her parents met and her father's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about segregation in Washington, D.C. during the 1930s and '40s
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Barbara Dodson Walker describes her father's career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about her paternal family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Barbara Dodson Walker explains the history of slavery
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about her paternal great-grandmother's manumission paper
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about her paternal family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Barbara Dodson Walker describes her mother's family history, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Barbara Dodson Walker describes her mother's family history, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about many African American families having Native American family members
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about genealogical research
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Barbara Dodson Walker shares stories of her maternal great-grandmother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about growing up in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Barbara Dodson Walker describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Barbara Dodson Walker describes how the schools African American students attended in Washington, D.C. were named
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about the schools she attended in Washington, D.C. and her aspirations as a child
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Barbara Dodson Walker describes her family's history in the Catholic church
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Barbara Dodson Walker describes St. Augustine's Catholic School and her high school extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Barbara Dodson Walker describes going to Miner Teachers College in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Barbara Dodson Walker describes her early teaching career and the aftermath of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Barbara Dodson Walker describes the limited impact of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision on Washington, D.C.'s public schools
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about her profession as a teacher
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about her husband's career at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about founding the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS)
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Barbara Dodson Walker describes the relationship between history and genealogy and reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Barbara Dodson Walker reflects upon what she would like to do in the future
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about the importance of knowing African American history and what values she considers most important
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Barbara Dodson Walker describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Barbara Dodson Walker gives advice to future generations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Barbara Dodson Walker reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Barbara Dodson Walker describes the importance of collecting your own family history while you can
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about the importance of education for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Barbara Dodson Walker talks about her children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Barbara Dodson Walker narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Barbara Dodson Walker narrates her photographs, pt. 2