Professor aims for social change

Dr. Michael Washington, history professor and director/founder of the Afro-American Studies Program at NKU, says teaching is his reason to live.

“It’s what I was inspired to do because of the need to improve society by influencing the youth to develop a consciousness of their social conditions and historical role in transforming society,” he said. “This is my way of changing society.”

Washington became interested in African-American history as a child, after reading books about Malcolm X. He was inspired to learn more by his former college professor, Rev. Otis Moss, Jr., a civil rights speaker.

“I couldn’t take notes; his lesson was like telling a story. His style and what he had to say about black people was fascinating,” Washington said.

Washington was born Sept. 25, 1950 in Cincinnati, Ohio and graduated from Sycamore High School in 1969. He went to graduate school at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned his doctorate degree. As a degree requirement, Washington wrote a 351 page book entitled “The Black Struggle for Desegregated Quality.”

In 1974 Washington began working as a professor at UC , where he taught Developmental Studies. In January 1979 he came to NKU.

With a strong background in sociology, education, and philosophy, Washington decided to broaden his teaching field. He currently teaches History of Afro-Americans since 1877, History of the U.S. since 1877 and African-American/ U.S. Cultural Education ‘ Politics.