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

Reverend Willie T. Barrow

Share on Social Media

Information about Reverend Willie T. Barrow

Profile image of Reverend Willie T. Barrow

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Religious Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
All Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Let us stay connected.

Birthplace

Born:
12/7/1924
Birth Location:
Burton, Texas

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Religious Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
All Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Let us stay connected.

Birthplace

Born:
12/7/1924
Birth Location:
Burton
See how Reverend Willie T. Barrow is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Religious leader and civil rights activist Reverend Willie T. Barrow was born on December 7, 1924 to Octavia and Nelson Taplin, a minister. Barrow was raised in Burton, Texas, where as a student she led a demonstration of rural African American schoolchildren against a segregated school system. Barrow later attended Warner-Pacific Theological Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and helped build a church in that city in the 1940s.

Upon graduation, Barrow was ordained as a minister and began her career as both a spiritual and social activist. From 1953 to 1965, she was a field organizer for Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where she was responsible for the organization of transportation, shelter, meetings and rallies for demonstrations, including the 1965 March on Selma, Alabama. During the 1960s, Barrow was among the founding members of Operation Breadbasket in Chicago, Illinois, a program that provided spiritual guidance and practical assistance to communities in need. Later, in 1968, she led a three-person delegation to North Vietnam and participated in the negotiation of the Vietnam Peace Treaty.

Barrow went on to serve as co-chair of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the organization that grew out of Operation Breadbasket. At the Coalition, she coordinated activities and served as an aide to Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. Barrow also served as associate minister of the Vernon Park Church of God in Chicago, and was active in the National Urban League and National Council of Negro Women.

Barrow was honored with a Doctor of Divinity degree from Monrovia, Liberia and a Leadership Certificate from Harvard University. She also received awards from the League of Black Women, the Christian Women's Conference, and the Indo-American Democratic Organization. In September of 1997, a street on Chicago's South Side was renamed in her honor; and, that same year, the Reverend Willie Barrow Wellness Center was opened to bring affordable and accessible health care to needed areas in Chicago. She authored the book, How to Get Married and Stay Married, which was published in 2004.

Reverend Barrow passed away on March 12, 2015 at the age of 90.

See how Reverend Willie T. Barrow is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Willie Barrow interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Willie Barrow's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Willie Barrow gives autobiographical information on her family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Willie Barrow talks about her mother and grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Willie Barrow remembers her grandmothers and the importance of family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Willie Barrow shares a story about her paternal uncle
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Willie Barrow talks about her relationship with her parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Willie Barrow recalls the sights, sounds and morays of her Texas childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Willie Barrow recalls her grade school years and the importance of the black church
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Willie Barrow remembers her elementary years
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Willie Barrow talks about her years and Seminary and meeting her future husband
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Willie Barrow describes her childhood personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Willie Barrow talks about her high school years
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Willie Barrow talks about a confrontation on the segregated high school bus
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Willie Barrow continues her story about the school bus segregation in Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Willie Barrow talks about her high school years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Willie Barrow decides to attend seminary school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Willie Barrow shares her philosphy about a post- Septmeber 11th world
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Willie Barrow talks about the death of her son
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Willie Barrow shares the pain of losing her sons, parents and husband
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Willie Barrow recalls how she became part of Operation PUSH
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Willie Barrow discusses her involvment in major labor and civil rights movements in the 1960s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Willie Barrow continues with her Selma, Alabama story
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Willie Barrow describes what a civil rights training session entailed
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Willie Barrow continues talking about her civil rights training sessions
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Willie Barrow describes how Dr King and James Orange inspired her during the Selma March
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Willie Barrow continues with her recollections of her civil rights days and working for Martin Luther King
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Willie Barrow continues her recollections of her early civil rights days
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Willie Barrow shares her recollections of Martin Luther King
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Willie Barrow describes the situation in Montgomery, ALabama before the march to Selma
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Willie Barrow describes the broadening of focus in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Willie Barrow details the origins of Operation Breadbasket
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Willie Barrow continues the story of Operation Breadbasket and picketing area grocery stores
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Willie Barrow details the Operation Breadbasket boycott of Revlon
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Willie Barrow compares and contrasts the Selma Marh and MArch on Washington
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Willie Barrow continues with her comparison of the March on Washington and Selma
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Willie Barrow reveals the sexism in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Willie Barrow talks about the role of women on organized religion
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Willie Barrow describes her transition from Operation Breadbasket to Operation PUSH
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Willie Barrow details her working relationship with Jesse Jackson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Willie Barrow on the challenges facing minorities and women
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Willie Barrow on additional challenges facing minorities and women
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Willie Barrow talks about the rise of Harold Washington
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Willie Barrow discusses the importance of getting out the vote
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Willie Barrow emphasises the importance of forming coalitions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Willie Barrow talks about the fervor surrounding Harold Washington
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Willie Barrow reminisces about Harold Washington, the person
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Willie Barrow wonders what happened to Ed Vrdolyak
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Willie Barrow shares memories of Harold Washington's first term in office
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Willie Barrow scrutinizes the political aftermath of Harold Washington's death
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Willie Barrow is hopeful about the 2002 National election cycle
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Willie Barrow details the items on her "New Agenda"
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Willie Barrow shares some life lessons
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Willie Barrow discusses her concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Willie Barrow discusses her greatest achievements
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Willie Barrow wants to be remembered as the "Little Warrior"
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Willie Barrow shares some final thoughts
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Willie Barrow on the wisdom of wearing colorful clothing
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Willie Barrow reflects on the proverb "It takes a village to raise a child"
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Willie Barrow offers her thoughts the Reparations Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Willie Barrow talks about financial freedom and investment
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Willie Barrow reflects on her legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Willie Barrow talks about sex and violence in the media
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Portrait of Rev. Willie Barrow's mother, Octavia Taplin
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Rev. Willie Taplin Barrow and her husband Clyde Barrow with their bridal party, Portland, Oregon, January, 1945
  • Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow with Rev. Jesse Jackson, ca. 1985
  • Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow with Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Rev. Calvin Morris, Rev. Andrew Young and an unidentified man, ca. 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Reproduction of a painting of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow and Clyde Barrow's wedding portrait, Portland, Oregon, January, 1945
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow, Coretta Scott King and an unidentified woman
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Photo - High school graduation portrait of Willie Barrow's son, Keith Barrow, ca. 1970
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow's son, Keith Barrow as a toddler, ca. 1950s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow with her son Keith and husband, Clyde Barrow at Operation Push, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1970s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Photo - Portrait of Rev. Willie Barrow, ca. 1970s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow with Rev. Claude Wyatt at an Operation Push event, Chicago, Illinois, mid-1970s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow with Rev. Jesse Jackson at Operation Push, Chicago, Illinois, 1984
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow with Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, Janine Ramone, Cecil Partee and an unidentified woman, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1980s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow, NASA Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, Deloris Jordan and others, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1991-1994
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow with Leon Davis, ca. 1970s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow with military hostages rescued by Rev. Jesse Jackson, Chicago, Illinois, 1999
  • Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Photo - Portrait of Rev. Willie Barrow taken for 'N'digo' newspaper, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow with Rev. Ralph Abernathy and others, late 1960s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 15 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow with Rev. Calvin Morris and unidentified man, Chicago, Illinois, early 1970s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 16 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow with Rev. George Edward Riddick and others at Operation PUSH headquarters, Chicago, Illinois, early 1990s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 17 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow with business entrepreneur Cirillo McSween, Washington, D.C., ca. 1970s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 18 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow with Mr. Celeous(?) Henderson and his wife, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1980s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 19 - Photo - Portrait of Jesse Jackson, his wife, Jackie Jackson, and their children
  • Tape: 6 Story: 20 - Photo - Nancy Jefferson, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Willie Barrow, during Harold Washington's mayoral campaign, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1983-1987
  • Tape: 6 Story: 21 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow with her husband, Clyde Barrow
  • Tape: 6 Story: 22 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow, Dorothy Height, former congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and C. DeLores Tucker at the Democratic National Convention, San Francisco, California
  • Tape: 6 Story: 23 - Photo - Portrait of Rev. Willie Barrow
  • Tape: 6 Story: 24 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow with Bill Cosby and others during his visit to Operation PUSH headquarters, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 25 - Photo - Rev. Willie Taplin Barrow and her older sister, Lula Mae Taplin
  • Tape: 6 Story: 26 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow, her husband, Clyde Barrow, and an unnamed photographer at Operation PUSH headquarters, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 27 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow and an unidentified woman at a voter registration drive, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 28 - Photo - Rev. Jesse Jackson during his campaign for U.S. President, 1984
  • Tape: 6 Story: 29 - Photo - Mel Farr, Alvin Boutte, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Cirillo McSween and Howard Brookins, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1983-1987
  • Tape: 6 Story: 30 - Photo - Rev. Willie Barrow wearing a balloon hat
  • Tape: 6 Story: 31 - Photo - Willie Barrow's son, Keith Barrow, Chicago, Illinois