The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Charles Willie

Share on Social Media

Information about Charles Willie

Profile image of Charles Willie

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Sociologist
Education Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Adirondack Mountains, New Hampshire
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
10/8/1927
Birth Location:
Dallas, Texas

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Sociologist
Education Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Adirondack Mountains, New Hampshire
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
10/8/1927
Birth Location:
Dallas
See how Charles Willie is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Educator and social activist Charles Vert Willie was born in Dallas, Texas, on October 8, 1927. Willie attended Morehouse College and graduated in 1948. The following year, he received a master's degree from Atlanta University and in 1957, he obtained a Ph.D. in sociology at Syracuse University. At Syracuse University, Willie served as chair of the Department of Sociology and Vice President of the University, at a time when African Americans were not holding such positions. He then was hired by Harvard University in 1974 where he served as the Charles William Eliot Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education.

Charles Willie is one of the nation's leading black sociologists. His expertise is in the area of school desegregation. Accordingly, Willie served as a court-appointed master, expert witness, and consultant in many school desegregation cases. In 1975, Willie served as a court appointed master in the Boston school desegregation case and later was retained to develop a controlled choice student assignment plan for Boston and several school districts. He was recognized in 1983 with the Society for the Study of Social Problems' Lee-Founders Award for effectively combining social research and social activism.

Willie is an applied sociologist concerned with solving social problems. Willie is the author or editor of more than 25 books and articles covering topics such as: race relations, urban education, public health, community development, family life, and women's rights. His books include A New Look at Black Families (1976), The Education of African-Americans (1991), Theories of Human Social Action (1994), and Mental Health, Racism and Sexism (1995). Willie has served as Vice President of the American Sociological Association and as President of the Eastern Sociological Society. In addition, he has served on the board of directors of the Social Science Research Council; the technical advisory board of the Maurice Falk Medical Fund; and, by the appointment of President Carter, the President's Commission on Mental Health.

Willie recently retired from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and was awarded emeritus status by the faculty.

See how Charles Willie is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Willie interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Willie lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Willie recalls his family background and pursuit of education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Willie describes his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Willie explains his parents' reluctance to talk about the past
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Willie recounts his parents' courtship and marriage
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Willie remembers growing up with his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Willie shares childhood memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Willie recalls his father's work as a Pullman Porter
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Willie describes himself as a youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Willie reflects on his siblings and his relationships with them
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Willie details his school experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Willie discusses his brothers' college experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Willie lists his siblings' musical interests
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Willie recounts his experience at Morehouse College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Willie recalls his Morehouse College experiences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Willie describes Martin Luther King, Jr. as a Morehouse College student
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Willie lists his famous classmates at Morehouse College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Willie details his experience at Syracuse University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Willie discusses his strong sense of self and grounding in the black community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Willie recalls confronting racism in Syracuse University athletics
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Willie details how he handled 1960s student protests
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Willie explains how he landed a teaching position at Harvard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Willie recounts teaching at Harvard University and Episcopal Divinity School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Willie discusses his activism on behalf of female Episcopal priests
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Willie describes his involvement in school desegregation programs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Willie expresses his views on desegregation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Willie discusses the sociological need for diversity
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Willie outlines his sociological theories
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Willie recounts his greatest achievements
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Willie reflects on his parents' influence on his career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Willie expresses his concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Willie ponders his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Charles Willie with his students, Syracuse, New York, 1952
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Charles Willie, Dallas, Texas, 1983
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Charles Willie with Belford Lawson and his Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brothers, Atlanta, Georgia, 1947
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Charles Willie with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Syracuse, New York, 1961
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Charles Willie with Benjamin Elijah Mays and Willie Davis, Boston, Massachusetts, ca. 1979
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Charles Willie with Bernard Kramer, Bertram Brown, and Philip Hallen, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ca. 1969
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Charles Willie and his wife, Mary Sue Willie, with Rosalynn Carter, Washington, D.C., ca. 1978
  • Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Charles Willie, Cambridge, Massachusetts, ca. 1993
  • Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Charles Willie's mother, Carrie Sykes Willie, and father, Louis James Willie, Dallas, Texas, 1971
  • Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Charles Willie, Syracuse, New York, 1956
  • Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Charles Willie with Samuel DuBois Cook, Atlanta, Georgia, 1998
  • Tape: 5 Story: 18 - Photo - Charles Willie with Kenneth Shaw, Syracuse, New York, June 2000
  • Tape: 5 Story: 19 - Photo - Charles Willie with Kenneth Shaw and others, Syracuse, New York, 1992
  • Tape: 5 Story: 20 - Photo - Charles Willie with Robert Johnson and others, Syracuse, New York, 1992
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Photo - Charles Willie with his family and Robert Johnson, Syracuse, New York, 1992
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Photo - Charles Willie's grandfather, Louis Willie
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Photo - Charles Willie's grandmother, Henrietta Sykes
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Photo - Charles Willie, Dallas, Texas, ca. 1933
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Photo - Charles Willie, New York, New York, ca. 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Photo - Charles Willie with the Morehouse College Marching Band, Atlanta, Georgia, ca. 1944
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Photo - Charles Willie with his wife, friends, and children, Cooperstown, New York, ca. 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Photo - Charles Willie with his neighbors, Dallas, Texas, ca. 1933
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Photo - Charles Willie with Cornel West, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Photo - Charles Willie with his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Photo - Charles Willie and colleagues, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1997
  • Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Photo - Charles Willie, Cambridge, Massachusetts, ca. 1976
  • Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Photo - Charles Willie, ca. 1987
  • Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Photo - Benjamin Elijah Mays with Charles Willie's children, Syracuse, New York, ca. 1970
  • Tape: 6 Story: 15 - Photo - Charles Willie, Concord, Massachusetts, 1995
  • Tape: 6 Story: 16 - Photo - Charles Willie with William Mangin, Syracuse, New York
  • Tape: 6 Story: 17 - Photo - Charles Willie with Melvin Eggers and John Palmer, Syracuse, New York, 1992
  • Tape: 6 Story: 18 - Photo - Charles Willie, Newfound Lake, New Hampshire, 1967
  • Tape: 6 Story: 19 - Photo - Charles Willie with Frederick Humphries and others, Boston, Massachusetts