Michael F. Wright, Ph.D, J.D.
(Alashe Michael Oshoosi)

SNCC, Alabama, Georgia, 1965-1969
Current Residence: Emeryville, CA
Email: arropoint@yahoo.com
Web Site: Oshoosi.com/

A legacy of Resistance Oral History/Interview

Michael (Michael Oshoosi) Wright Ph.D.,J.D. in 1960, at the age of 13, joined CORE. picket lines in Harlem, NYC to protest the "Jim Crow" policies of the Woolworth Company to support the student sit-ins in Greensboro, NC. Once in the deep south, at the age of 17, in 1965 he was recruited to work for SNCC by James Forman. His first assignment was doing voter registration and de-segregation work in Macon County, Alabama.

In the course of the next five years he worked in Atlanta, Georgia (and was jailed on several felony charges in 1966 doing movement work there; charges later dropped). He also worked out of the Philadelphia SNCC office for a brief period that summer, as well. In 1967 he worked in SNCC's Chicago office doing the only viable SNCC urban project work going on at that time.

Later that year, and into 1968, he returned to Alabama to help build "freedom organizations" ("black panther parties") in Lowndes and Macon counties, Alabama. At that time he began serving as the Macon county SNCC project director and opened an office in Tuskegee, Alabama.

By mid-1968 he led a movement to create African-centered studies at Tuskegee Institute and eventually locked up the entire Board of Trustees of Tuskegee for three days in order to press the point. It took 4,000 national guardsmen and half of the state police of Alabama to secure their release. And, by cooincidence, Martin Luther King Jr. was assas- sinated on the second day of that take-over. It was necessary to fend-off additional felony charges for this activity and necessary to leave the state to avoid assassination. His departure was noted and celebrated on state-wide TV by the then acting governor of Alabama, Tom Brewer.

In late 1968 and 1969 Dr. Wright (in concert with James Forman) served as an occasional SNCC observer to the central committee meetings of Oakland's Black Panther Party for Self Defense. And by 1970, Dr. Wright served — along with James Forman, Fannie Lou Hamer, Julian Bond, Howard Moore Jr, esq.,and many other "SNCC folk" and Harlem's "Queen Mother" Moore — on the Board of Directors of the National Black Economic Development Conference; the group that first raised the national demand for reparations for African Americans.

In respect of his other credentials and experiences Dr. Wright is a Yoruba priest of Oshoosi and Oya in the Cuban Santeria-Lucumi religion (and is called "Michael Oshoosi" for that reason). He created and led the Ethnic Art Studies Division of the California College of Arts & Crafts (1970-1981), was awarded a Ph.D. in psychology (The Wright Institute, Berkeley, 1976), and a J.D. (Boalt Hall School of Law, 1981).


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