Interview, Josh Lofton

April 23, 1980

Josh Lofton (b. 1927) was born in Mississippi. After attending college, he moved to Rochester, New York, and earned his Master’s degree in Education at the State University of New York College at Brockport. He went on to earn a second Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Buffalo. In Rochester, Lofton worked as a teacher, as the first black school counselor, and as director of the Open Enrollment program for the city’s school district. He was also involved in civic and volunteer organizations such as the Parents and Students Want to Know scholarship program, the Voter Registration Drive, A World of Work, and the Family Service Centers of Rochester.

In this interview, Lofton discusses how his parents encouraged him and his siblings to prioritize education. He recalls that housing in Rochester was extremely segregated when he first came to the city, and notes that his goal for the Rochester community is to improve education and help young people succeed in life. Lofton encourages people to take responsibilty for themselves and reports that overall, he is satisfied with the progress Rochester’s black community has made.

Content Tags


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