William Dorsey

William Henry Lanier (Bill) Dorsey worked at IBW for two years during a sabbatical from full-time college teaching. He managed the mailing list, conducted bulk mailings, edited and collaborated with the typesetter for “Black World View,” headed up the University Without Walls collaboration with Shaw University, and set up the IBW Bookstore, among other tasks. Dorsey resumed full-time teaching at Atlanta then “Junior” College and taught a wide variety of social science and black studies courses for over 40 years. In addition to membership and participation in relevant academic organizations, he continued his editorial skills, eventually supplemented by computer layout skills, working with the NCBS Journal of Africana Studies, the Journal of Race and Policy, as well as copy editing, layout, and book design on various other projects. Now retired, he is an officer in the African Heritage Studies Association, a member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and he continues to copy edit and to write, including a chapter for the second volume of Dream and Legacy: Martin Luther King in the Post Civil Rights Era.

After graduation from Houston’s Jack Yates Colored High School, I embarked on a ten- year sojourn in what I call “Whiteland”: repeating 11th and 12th grades at a New England prep school, followed by four years at Swarthmore College and then four years in grad school in sociology at Berkeley before returning to the South ꟷ to Atlanta, not Houston.

These early adult years, a time of expanding sociopolitical awareness, coincided with and were greatly enhanced by the Black Liberation Movement’s two major phases of Civil Rights and Black Power and the supportive Black Arts Movement, among others.
Additional significance came from the geographic as well as temporal location of Northern California, with the Black Studies strike at San Francisco State spreading and expanding to include other traditionally excluded studies, Ronald Reagan up the road in Sacramento in the governor’s office, and the Black Panther Party down Telegraph Avenue in Oakland.

I became a third-generation practitioner of the main family business ꟷ black education. I spent a couple of years at Atlanta University, a couple of years teaching part-time at Georgia State University while working full-time at the Institute of the Black World, and then 41 years at a new school which today is known as Atlanta Metropolitan State College. Over the years, I taught eleven or twelve different courses in sociology, African American Studies and anthropology.