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William King

Scholar William King was born on February 11, 1940 and raised in Cleveland, Ohio by Daisy and Melvin King. He has enriched the minds of young people as a college professor.

King graduated from Glenville High School in 1958 and attended Kent State University, where he studied psychology and earned a B.A. in 1966. He used his skills as an educator by teaching mentally retarded children in Canton, Ohio's public schools. Simultaneously, King served as a rehabilitation counselor for the State of Ohio. In 1968, King turned to the students at Walsh College, lecturing them about sociology. He became involved in Walsh's UPWARD BOUND program. Focusing on urban studies, he earned a master's degree in 1970 from the University of Akron. King moved to Syracuse, New York and enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Syracuse University's Maxwell Graduate School of Citizenship and Public Affairs while serving as assistant professor in urban studies at Utica College. When he received his Ph.D. in 1974, he was appointed to the graduate school faculty, where he still teaches. His course offerings include the politics and ethics of social research, African American scientists and inventors, blacks in the West, W.E.B. DuBois and Afrocentric research methods.

King has served as the publications unit director for the University of Colorado-Boulder's Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Race in America and the director of its black studies program. A member of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, the National Congress of Black Faculty and the National Institute of Science, he is widely published. King, who married Carla S. King in 1999, has two adult children: Kenneth and Camron.

King, William. Going to Meet a Man: Denver's Last Legal Public Execution, 27 July 1886. Niwot, CO: University Press of Colorado, 1990.

--How to Write Research Papers: A Guide for the Insecure. Boulder, CO: Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Race in America, 1991.

Accession Number

A2002.116

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/18/2002

Last Name

King

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Kent State University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

KIN02

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $500 - $1,000

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Colorado

Birth Date

2/11/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Denver

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Ethnic studies professor William King (1940 - ) taught at the University of Colorado, and was a founding member of The National Council for Black Studies.

Employment

State of Ohio

Walsh College

Utica College

University of Colorado at Boulder

Favorite Color

Brown

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William King's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William King lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William King describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William King describes his parents' backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William King talks about his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William King describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William King remembers his neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William King talks about his childhood interests

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William King describes his relationship with his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William King describes his mother's color consciousness

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William King talks about discovering that he was adopted

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William King talks about his mother's social class background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William King describes his birth parents

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William King recalls racial tension at Patrick Henry Junior High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William King describes his burgeoning intellect

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William King talks about his personality

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William King comments on the radio and television programming in the 1940s and 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William King recalls attending Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William King describes his job while attending Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William King describes other jobs he held while attending Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William King describes his social life at Glenville High School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William King talks about joining the U.S Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William King talks about racism in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William King talks about traveling in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William King comments on the breakup with his girlfriend in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William King recalls the lack of black history taught at Cleveland public schools

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William King talks about John Hope Franklin's book, "From Slavery to Freedom"

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William King recalls listening to an interview with Malcolm X

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William King talks about attending Kent State University in Kent, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William King describes working at Goodyear Tire and Rubber in Kent, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William King describes how mass education fails students

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William King talks about why colorblindness is meaningless

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William King talks about joining the Southeast Community Improvement Association.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William King describes teaching black history and culture at Canton McKinley High School

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William King talks about graduate school at the University of Akron

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William King describes his relationship with his dissertation advisor, Dr. Willie Lamouse Smith

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William King talks about W.E.B. DuBois and Oliver Cox

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William King talks about the meaning of power

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William King shares his view on urban riots

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William King shares his vision for social change

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William King reflects upon those who shaped his philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William King shares his view on the Black Aesthetic

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William King talks about his M.A. thesis on the student strike at San Francisco State College

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - William King describes his book "Going to Meet a Man: Denver's Last Legal Public Execution, 27 July 1886"

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William King tells the story of the last public execution in Colorado

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William King talks about the case of Andrew Green

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William King describes the execution of Andrew Green

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William King talks about issues with the case against Andrew Green

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William King describes the historical presence of black people in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William King describes his book on the history of black Denver, Colorado

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - William King talks about being a professor at the University of Colorado

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - William King describes his disagreement with college presidents

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - William King talks about being a black professor at the University of Colorado

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - William King talks about his teaching style

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - William King talks about his book, "How to Write Research Papers: A Guide for the Insecure"

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - William King describes his objectives as a teacher

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - William King describes the ethnic studies department at the University of Colorado

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - William King reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - William King talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - William King reflects upon his career

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - William King talks about the value of oral history

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - William King describes his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - William King reflects upon his personality

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

8$9

DATitle
William King describes teaching black history and culture at Canton McKinley High School
William King describes his book "Going to Meet a Man: Denver's Last Legal Public Execution, 27 July 1886"
Transcript
--organization part of something larger or--$$No.$$--or, was it--okay.$$It was a local organization. But it was on the police watch list, because that was time when--but anyway, in the fall of '68 [1968], the students at the high school, Canton McKinley High School, decided that they wanted courses in black history and black culture, so they came to the, to the organization--to the community organization. And they said we want you to go with us to the school board and argue for--okay. The school board, after much hemming and hawing, said well, we're willing, but whoever comes in to teach it has to be able to meet the minimal certification requirements specified by the State of Ohio, okay. Besides, I had already taught in the system, so they knew I had the degree and I--okay. So I--for several months I taught history and culture, okay. And what was funny is it gave you an idea of how much students were into images. Because I didn't really dress then different than I do now, okay. And in the students' minds I should have had on my bib overalls, and my combat boots, and my blue work shoot--shirt; I should have had hair all over my head, my granny glasses, and every fourth word out of my mouth was supposed to be motherfucka, okay. And I, I remember saying during one period, I said look, you talk about all of this image stuff. What you gonna do if a brother with a process walks into your headquarters. He's got his pants belted up around his armpits, you know, sharkskin--shiny sharkskin pants. He got these pointed-toed shoes, okay. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a roll that would choke a horse. Now, you need money for the revolution that you keep talking about, right? How you gonna relate to this brother if you're hung up in images only? "You're wrong man"--okay, so much for my high school teaching.$But I know we haven't--you wrote going--recently, just this (unclear)--about 12 years ago you wrote a book called "Going to Meet a Man:--$$Right.$$--Denver's Last Legal Public Execution--$$Right.$$--27 July, 1886."$$Right.$$And now, now, what was the--why did you--it's about the public ec--hanging of a man named Green.$$Yeah.$$Here in--$$Twenty thousand people at his execution, okay. It was--it actually all began with a photograph that was given to me, or shown to me, by the director of Black Studies at the time that I, I came here or shortly after I came here. And the caption on the back was "Last Man Publicly Hanged in Colorado," okay, something that I discovered was not true. But it was an important event in that: one, it was Colorado's first experience with a degrees of murder law; it was the event whose circus character led to the abolition of public executions in the state, even though as I say, there were two more after it. It was important because Andrew Green, who had been to the eighth grade, raised some interesting kinds of questions in the eight-page autobiography he wrote in the "Rocky Mountain News." It was printed in the "Rocky Mountain News." And the character of the questions he raised went fundamentally to an issue that--to a term that I borrowed from Orlando Patterson. In executing Green, what they did was to raise from social death to create a man they could physically put to death, okay. And there are a whole lot of, of issues, legal issues, philosophical issues, political issues that you have to look at the book. You know, you have to read the book to, to get at, because I've got a chapter in there--I believe it's Chapter Three. It's funny 'cause I was talking about it with the soc. department's criminologist this morning. And there's a chapter in there called, "How the Law Makes Crime," okay, because law is fundamentally the social expression of vested interested, okay. And people behave in a way to protect, preserve, and defend their position and their privileges, okay. So that their assessment of the present, their present will not become their past.