Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

William Banks: An Oral History with William (Bil) Banks

Banks, William (Bil)
Wilmot, Nadine
William Banks: An Oral History with William (Bil) Banks
Professor Banks joined UC Berkeley’s faculty in 1971 in what was then called the Afro American Studies Program. The Program, as part of the Third World College, had been created in response to the Third World Strike of 1969 specifically, and generally, the social movements that defined the 1960’s. Banks played a pivotal, and controversial, role in the direction that the Program took as he became its first ladder rank faculty person, then Director of the Program, and guided the program to departmental status in the College of Letters and Science. He was named chair of the department in 1974. In this interview he shares his perspectives on the birth and the evolution of the African American Studies Department, the culture of UC Berkeley as an institution, the social movements of the 1960’s and seventies, and higher education in the United States.
Subject area(s):
Education and University of California
Community and Identity
Interview date(s):
African American Faculty and Senior Staff
Oskicat record:
Banks, William (Bil). "William Banks: An Oral History with William (Bil) Banks." Interview by Nadine Wilmot in 2004. Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2013.