Interview, Rev. Charles Campbell

April 18, 1980

The Reverend Charles Campbell (b. 1935) was born in Jacksonville, Florida. He dropped out of high school to work on his uncle’s farm and later completed his education in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Campbell moved to Rochester to get married and found work as a shipping and receiving clerk at the R.C. Neal Company. He later moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Returning to Rochester in 1963, Campbell found a job with the Monroe County Department of Social Services. In 1967, he earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Buffalo and spent the majority of his career as a case worker in Monroe County. Campbell helped start the community group FIGHT (Freedom, Integration, God, Honor, Today) and was involved in bringing the prominent community organizer Saul Alinsky to speak in Rochester after the urban uprising in July 1964.

In this interview, Campbell discusses his struggle for racial equality in the workplace and the history of poor housing conditions in Rochester’s urban communities. He further reflects on the social conditions that have hindered progress for many African Americans in this city.

Content Tags


  • 1960s
  • 1970s
  • 1980s