San Diego State University Oral Histories



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Dr. Shirley WeberDr. Shirley Weber, Distinguished Faculty

Dr. Shirley Weber received her Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy in Speech Communications from the University of California, Los Angeles, specializing in African American movement studies, Marcus Garvey, and black language. In 1972, before completing her doctorate, Dr. Weber became an assistant professor of speech at San Diego State University. She helped to develop the curriculum for the then newly-created Africana Studies Department, eventually serving as its chair. She served on the National Council for Black Studies, and received the Outstanding Faculty Award six times. Dr. Weber also initiated the Alternative Spring Break, which takes students to South Africa in order to participate in cultural exchange and service activities.  

She is the Director of the Academy for Effectively Teaching African American Students and the co-founder and director of the W.E.B. DuBois Leadership Institute for Young Black Scholars.

Oral History

Download the PDF transcript.

Dr. Shirley Weber's oral history documents her personal, academic, professional, and service-oriented activities, beginning with her early childhood and ending with her present career at San Diego State. Her oral history is divided into three parts. Part 1 focuses on Weber's early life, leading up to her professorship at San Diego State University. She discusses growing up in South Central Los Angeles, and the obstacles, culture shock and displacement she encountered while attending the University of California, Los Angeles. In Part 2, Dr. Weber details her role in the development of the Africana Studies Department at SDSU, focusing on the constant need to justify the department's existence, mentoring students, community outreach, and the Alternative Spring Break program to South Africa. Lastly, Part 3 details the San Diego African American community and Dr. Weber's involvement in community activities and outreach.

Interview digitally recorded by Susan Resnik, Ph.D on June 30 - July 2, 2008.

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