Interview, Warren Crichlow
Warren Crichlow (b. 1951) was born in New York City and was the only child of Earl and Beryl Chrichlow. His mother was a secretary for the New York City Board of Elections and his father was a fireman with the New York Fire Department. His parents valued education and instilled in Crichlow a strong work ethic. He attended public schools in Queens, New York, and graduated from Forest Hills High School in 1970. He went on to attend the State University of New York at Brockport, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in education counseling. After school, Crichlow travelled to West Africa to learn more about social problems in black communities. He later went to work in the Higher Education program at Brockport and at the Equal Opportunity Center, in Rochester. At the time of this interview, Crichlow was working as the Assistant Director of the Higher Education Opportunity Program at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
In his interview, Chrichlow discusses his understanding of black oppression and how he has worked toward racial equality. Crichlow says that racial turmoil in the 1960s and 1970s motivated him to think about social issues. In college, he became involved in political and social causes, took many African American Studies courses, and learned about the subjugated position of black people in America. Crichlow recalls that his graduate studies and time spent in West Africa opened his eyes to the poverty and oppression affecting black people around the world. He identifies Dr. Catherine Webb and Garth Fagan as inspirations, prompting him to seek change and racial equality in the United States. Chrichlow advises young people to stay in school and learn from their parents, and shares his belief that everyone needs to be self-critical and commit to achieving goals and a common good.