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Kenneth Walker

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Information about Kenneth Walker

Profile image of Kenneth Walker

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Education Professor
Basketball Referee

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Meatloaf
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
Jeepers, Girl.

Birthplace

Born:
12/19/1930
Birth Location:
East Providence, Rhode Island

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Education Professor
Basketball Referee

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Meatloaf
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
Jeepers, Girl.

Birthplace

Born:
12/19/1930
Birth Location:
East Providence
See how Kenneth Walker is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Educator and basketball referee Kenneth R. Walker, Sr. has devoted his career to serving his home state of Rhode Island. Born in East Providence on December 19, 1930, to Lillian and Frank Walker, Walker has dedicated his professional life to improving urban education.

Walker attended Providence College, where he received a B.A. in 1957. Upon graduating, he began teaching English and social studies for the East Providence School District while also serving as a guidance counselor. He earned an M.Ed. from Rhode Island College in 1962, where he worked part time from 1967 to 1969 as the assistant director of Project Upward Bound, a federally supported program for economically and educationally disadvantaged youth. Walker was promoted to assistant principal at Central Jr. High School before accepting a position as assistant professor of education at Rhode Island College in 1970. He remained on the education faculty at Rhode Island College until 1993, rising to the rank of full professor in 1989. Walker also earned a Ph.D. in education from Boston University.

During his tenure at Rhode Island College, Walker directed the Teacher Corps, a project of the college and the Pawtucket School Department aimed at raising the quality of education for low-income students. Walker also served as director of urban education at the university. In 1963, Walker became a basketball referee and officiated Division I games in the East Coast, Big East and Atlantic 10 athletic conferences. He traveled with a team of Big East all-stars to Angola in 1982. Walker also serves on the Rhode Island Board of Parole.

Since 1998, Johnson has been an associate professor at Johnson & Wales University. He has been a member of several educators and basketball referee organizations and served as president of the Big Brothers of Rhode Island. Walker has been honored several times for his service to youth and education, and was the 1980 recipient of the NAACP Freedom Fund Award in Education. He married Gail B. Smith in 1955, and has three children. Walker still lives in his hometown of East Providence.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Kenneth Walker's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Kenneth Walker lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Kenneth Walker talks about his mother, Lillian Frye Walker's, family and how his parents Frank and Lillian Frye Walker, met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Kenneth Walker describes his father, Frank Walker
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Kenneth Walker talks about his father, Frank Walker's, family history and lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Kenneth Walker describes his earliest childhood memory of East Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Kenneth Walker describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in East Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Kenneth Walker talks about Rhode Island's colonial history and its Portuguese and Cape Verdean communities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Kenneth Walker describes his experience working on his father's rubbish removal truck
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Kenneth Walker describes his experience as an African American in a majority white neighborhood in East Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Kenneth Walker talks about Bliss Elementary School in East Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Kenneth Walker describes his childhood personality and extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Kenneth Walker remembers student teaching and serving on the faculty at Central Junior High School in East Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Kenneth Walker talks about his basketball coach, Frank Saraceno, at Central Junior High School in East Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Kenneth Walker talks about aspiring to be a teacher and his love of history
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Kenneth Walker describes his mentor Reverend Dr. Samuel D. Proctor, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Kenneth Walker talks about playing sports at East Providence Senior High School, in East Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Kenneth Walker describes the African American community in Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Kenneth Walker describes his mentor Reverend Dr. Samuel D. Proctor, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Kenneth Walker describes his experience at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Kenneth Walker talks about serving in the Korean War and finishing his undergraduate degree at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Kenneth Walker talks about returning to teach at Central Junior High School in East Providence, Rhode Island in 1957
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Kenneth Walker describes an incident of racial discrimination at East Providence Senior High School, East Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Kenneth Walker talks about working at a settlement in Providence, Rhode Island and teaching at Central Junior High School in East Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Kenneth Walker talks about completing his M.A. degree at Rhode Island College in Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Kenneth Walker describes his teaching philosophy and the evolution of the use of slang by the students he taught
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Kenneth Walker explains how he was recruited to teach at Rhode Island College in Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Kenneth Walker explains the Upward Bound program at Rhode Island College in Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Kenneth Walker describes the process of becoming a basketball referee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Kenneth Walker talks about balancing being both a referee and a teacher
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Kenneth Walker talks about confronting disrespectful players and coaches during his career as a basketball referee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Kenneth Walker lists some of the places he's travelled as a referee and his favorite coaches
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Kenneth Walker talks about being paid off the books as a referee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Kenneth Walker talks about the demanding schedule of basketball officials
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Kenneth Walker lists his favorite college basketball players and talks about traveling in inclement weather
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Kenneth Walker explains how he was appointed to the Rhode Island State Parole Board
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Kenneth Walker describes the professional background of the members of the Rhode Island Parole Board
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Kenneth Walker talks about the racial demographics of the inmates in the Rhode Island correctional facilities and the cost of incarceration
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Kenneth Walker talks about the role of race in the United States' penal system
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Kenneth Walker details the importance of helping inmates transition back into society
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Kenneth Walker talks about contractors who profit from the United States prison system
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Kenneth Walker remembers his daughter being afraid to be at home alone
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Kenneth Walker talks about the Attica Prison Riot in 1971
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Kenneth Walker explains how drug and alcohol addiction lead to incarceration
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Kenneth Walker talks about Federal Correctional Institutions in New England
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Kenneth Walker describes how he would change the penal system
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Kenneth Walker describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Kenneth Walker reflects upon his legacy