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James Breeden

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Information about James Breeden

Profile image of James Breeden

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Leader
Academic Administrator
Priest

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Fall Colors
Favorite Food:
Curry
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
If You Do Anything Significant In History, It’s Because Many People Were Working On It Before You; Or, If Anything Comes Out of It, It Will Be Because There Will Be Many People Working On It After You.

Birthplace

Born:
10/14/1934
Birth Location:
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Leader
Academic Administrator
Priest

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Fall Colors
Favorite Food:
Curry
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
If You Do Anything Significant In History, It’s Because Many People Were Working On It Before You; Or, If Anything Comes Out of It, It Will Be Because There Will Be Many People Working On It After You.

Birthplace

Born:
10/14/1934
Birth Location:
Minneapolis
See how James Breeden is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

James Pleasant Breeden was born on October 14, 1934 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Florence Beatrice Thomas, a secretary and homemaker, and Pleasant George Breeden, a railroad dining car waiter. He was raised by his mother and stepfather Noah Smith and attended Harrison Elementary School and Lincoln Junior High School, both in Minneapolis. In 1952, Breeden graduated from North High School in Minneapolis and attended Dartmouth College.

In 1956, Breeden graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with his B.A. degree. Two years later, he married Jeanne Marie Savoye in Geneva, Switzerland. The following year, Breeden obtained a certificate from the University of Geneva in connection with his work at the Ecumenical Institute World Council of Churches in Bossey, Switzerland. In 1960, Breeden graduated from Union Theological Seminary with his M.Div degree and moved to Boston, where he joined the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

From 1960 until 1965, Breeden was a member of the Episcopal Diocese as a deacon, priest and canon at St. James Church and St. Paul’s Cathedral. He became an advisor to Bishop Anson Phelps Stokes in the area of civil rights. During this period, Breeden was heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1961, he participated in the Freedom Rides and was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi for “action likely to cause a riot.” He and others were later freed when the case was dismissed. In 1963, Breeden helped organize the first “Stay out for Freedom” event in Boston protesting the city’s lack of quality public education for African American students. The following year, Breeden was involved in rent strikes against landlords who were taking advantage of their tenants.

Breeden joined the National Council of Churches’ activist leadership in 1965, where he would remain for two years coordinating non-violent mass protests. In 1967, Breeden became the Director for the Commission on Church and Race for the Massachusetts Council of Churches during the time of the Boston race riots. In 1969, Breeden joined the faculty at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and in 1972 he earned his Ed.D. degree from the school. Breeden moved to Tanzania and became Professor of Education at the University of Dar Es Salaam in 1973, where he set up a master’s degree program in education administration.

Breeden returned to Boston two years later, joining the Citywide Coordinating Council in 1976 and monitoring the Boston Public Schools’ compliance with the federal order to desegregate. In 1980, Breeden became a Senior Officer for Planning and Policy at Boston Public Schools. Breeden became a dean at Dartmouth College in 1984 of the William Jewett Tucker Foundation. In 1994, Breeden became a visiting scholar at the Howard Graduate School of Education, and in 2001 joined the School for International Training as adjunct faculty.

Breeden was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 12, 2007.

See how James Breeden is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Breeden's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Breeden lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Breeden describes his mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Breeden describes his mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Breeden describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Breeden talk about how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Breeden describes his parents' personalities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Breeden describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Breeden describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Breeden talks about the politics of Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Breeden describes his home life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Breeden recalls the role of religion in his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Breeden describes his involvement in the Boy Scouts of America
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Breeden recalls the entertainment of his youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Breeden remembers William H. Harrison Elementary School in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Breeden recalls Abraham Lincoln Junior High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Breeden describes North High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James Breeden remembers the World Scout Jamboree in Austria
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - James Breeden describes his social life at North High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - James Breeden remembers graduating as salutatorian
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - James Breeden describes his experiences at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Breeden describes the political climate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Breeden recalls his experiences of racial discrimination at Dartmouth College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Breeden remembers the Dartmouth Christian Union
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Breeden recalls his mentors at Dartmouth College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Breeden recalls his induction to the Palaeopitus Senior Society
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Breeden recalls the Union Theological Seminary in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Breeden talks about Operation Crossroads Africa
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Breeden recalls his trip to Nigeria with Operation Crossroads Africa
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - James Breeden reflects upon his experiences in Nigeria
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Breeden remembers his wedding in Switzerland
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Breeden talks about his travels in Africa
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Breeden recalls his mentors at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Breeden remembers the Civil Rights Movement in New York City
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Breeden recalls his involvement in the Freedom Rides, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Breeden recalls his involvement in the Freedom Rides, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Breeden describes his role in the Civil Rights Movement in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Breeden remember Bishop Anson Phelps Stokes III
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - James Breeden recalls the civil rights issues in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Breeden recalls organizing rent strikes in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Breeden remembers the Highlander Folk School in New Market, Tennessee
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Breeden talks about his training as a community organizer
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Breeden recalls his role in Massachusetts Governor John A. Volpe's election, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Breeden recalls his role in Massachusetts Governor John A. Volpe's election, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Breeden describes the school desegregation crisis in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Breeden talks about the activist community in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Breeden reflects upon the desegregation of schools in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Breeden reflects upon the legacy of desegregation in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Breeden describes his role at Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Breeden recalls teaching abroad in Tanzania
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Breeden remembers Charles Willie
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Breeden recalls the William Jewett Tucker Foundation in Hanover, New Hampshire
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Breeden talks about The Dartmouth Review
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Breeden remembers his retirement
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James Breeden talks about a former student
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Breeden describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Breeden reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Breeden reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James Breeden reflects upon his family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James Breeden talks about the black experience
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - James Breeden describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - James Breeden narrates his photographs