Alan Townsend Oral History
Alan Townsend recalls his early time in New York as a counselor for girls’ school Callagy Hall, where he was part of union activism on staff; becoming accustomed to and understanding New York City youth as part of his job at Callagy Hall; starting as a SEEK counselor at Queens College in 1969; living on Christopher Street and the West Village in NYC pre-Stonewall, and later living in Springfield Gardens and Flushing in Queens and the Black communities there; growing up in North Carolina with Sam Floyd, English professor at Queens College.
He also talks about his impressions of the early members and direction of the SEEK Program; activism on campus from 1969 on; the struggle to keep the SEEK Program functioning at QC and to install Black and Latino faculty; the SEEK Rebellion in 1969; interactions with and impressions of Lloyd Delaney, Director of Counseling for SEEK; experience of creating a radical pedagogy in real time; experiences with specific students; his own scholarship and dissertation about the SEEK Program; creation of the Scholastic Standing Committee; directing the SEEK summer program; fighting efforts to defund SEEK under Mayor Abraham Beame in 1975; students’ experiences with racism and racist faculty on QC’s campus; budget cuts of the 1990’s and early 2000’s; changing demographics and attitudes of SEEK students and their relationships with staff; open admissions policy and its challenges and effects on the SEEK Program.
- Townsend, Alan (Interviewee, Person)
Conditions Governing Use
1 Digital Files ; Duration: 01:26:48
Biographical / Historical
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Caitlin Waldron
Part of the Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Department of Special Collections and Archives Repository
Queens College Libraries, CUNY
Benjamin Rosenthal Library RO317
65-30 Kissena Boulevard
Flushing 11367 USA us