The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Geoffrey Brooks Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Janice Dilg.

February 18, 2014


“Black Student Activism at Oregon State in the 1970s”  February 18, 2014  Location: Dilg residence, Portland, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Brooks discusses his family background and life growing up in Portland. From there he relays details of his early college experience at Pacific University, his conscription into military service during the Vietnam War and his subsequent work at Kaiser Hospital.

The bulk of Brooks' interview focuses on his time as an undergraduate at Oregon State University. He reflects upon the development of his socio-political consciousness and his involvement with student activism, in particular the Black Student Union. He notes his relationship with Lonnie B. Harris, the first director of OSU's Educational Opportunities Program and a former roommate of Brooks'. He also discusses campus life, including his student jobs as radio show host and computer operations technician.

Brooks concludes the interview by discussing his transition from undergraduate to teacher in the Portland Public Schools. He also shares his thoughts on the current direction of OSU and offers advice to college students today.