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African American Faculty and Senior Staff Oral History Project

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In Memoriam

Margaret Wilkerson Transcript: A Life in Theater and Higher Education

Conducted by Nadine Wilmot in 2003-2004, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2013.


Photo of Margaret Wilkerson

Margaret Wilkerson came to UC Berkeley in 1968 as a PhD student in the drama department. Upon completing her dissertation on the topic of black theater groups on the West Coast, she began teaching at UC Berkeley. Over the course of thirty years at Berkeley, Wilkerson taught in and chaired both the Dramatic Arts and African American Studies departments and served as the Director of the Center for the Study, Education and Advancement of Women, before retiring and taking up her current post as the Director of the Ford Foundation’s Media, Arts, and Culture Program. This interview contains her reflections on the times in which she came of age, her research—black theater and the life of Lorraine Hansberry, and UC Berkeley, which she had the opportunity to experience from a few different vantage points, as a professor with multiple affiliations and as a student.

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