Interview, James Dobson

June 4, 1980

James Dobson was born in Winston Salem, North Carolina, where he attended legally segregated public schools. He began college in 1948 at North Carolina A&T University, but interrupted his education to join the United States Army. He spent 26 months stationed in Germany and was honorably discharged in 1953. Dobson found a construction job in Rochester, New York, in 1954. He returned to college and graduated in 1957 with a degree in accounting. In 1959, he began working with the Department of Taxation and Finance. Dobson was active in the Rochester community, participating in the United Black Fund, the Black Political Caucus, and the Marcus Garvey Black Solidarity Committee.

In this interview, Dobson discusses the poor state of education for blacks in Rochester, the importance of community unity, and the responsibility of black leaders and professionals to set an example for young people. He shares his view that Rochester’s black community must continue to press for quality education and an end to institutional racism.

Content Tags


  • 1950s
  • 1960s
  • 1970s
  • 1980s