Title
An Interview with Mel King [transcript]
Creator
Bailey, Ronald William (Creator)
Contributor
King, Mel (Interviewee)
Turner, Diane (Interviewer)
Language
English
Date created
March 12, 1990
Type of resource
Text
Genre
Transcripts
Interviews
Format
Digital origin
reformatted digital
Abstract/Description
Mel King is a community leader, political activist, and retired educator. Born on October 20, 1928 in Boston, Massachusetts, King studied mathematics at Claflin College from 1947 to 1951 and earned his M.A. from Boston State Teachers College in 1951. King is well-known for his role in fighting for affordable housing and services in the South End, particularly the battle against commercial developers and the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) in 1968. King's goal was to ensure that the city's Urban Renewal program provided affordable housing for South End residents. Originally working for Community Assembly for a Unified South End (CAUSE), King led protests against the Boston Redevelopment Authority plans to demolish housing and construct a parking garage. King and his supporters built a temporary tent city and lived on the demolished housing until developers agreed to construct a new housing complex which was named "Tent City". In 1973, King was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives for the 9th Suffolk district. In 1983, after vacating his seat in the House, King ran for mayor of Boston, winning the primary vote, but losing the general election to Raymond Flynn. From 1970 to 1996, King was an adjunct professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and established the Community Fellows Program in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning. In 1983, he established the Rainbow Coalition Party. He also created the South End Technology Center at Tent City, a joint venture between MIT and the Tent City Corporation which provides free or low-cost computer training to members of the Boston community.
Recommended Citation
An Interview with Mel King, March 12, 1990, Ronald W. Bailey oral history collection, 1989-1990 (M153), Archives and Special Collections Department, Northeastern University Libraries.
Subjects and keywords
King, Mel
Community development, Urban -- Massachusetts -- Boston
African Americans -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Social conditions
Oral history
Identifier
KingMel_19900312_Transcript
Permanent URL

Downloads

PDF