About this Collection

Water M. Phillips interviewed over 150 civic and political leaders on subjects related to Philadelphia city government and history between the late 1930s and the 1970s. Related collection: Walter M. Phillips, Sr. Papers (Acc. 527)

About this Interview

William R. Meek, social worker and activist, begins by discussing how he became interested in social problems early on and why he pursued and earned a master's degree in social work (MSW) at the University of Pennsylvania. He shows a particular interest in contemporary issues of discrimination and segregation in the United States. His experiences as a black man at war and in college at Penn State were particularly influential. Eventually Meek worked on trying to find a solution to the social problems that existed in North Philadelphia and in the city at large. Meek goes on to discuss his work experiences in Philadelphia, including his time as a teacher in social work at the University of Pennsylvania and his involvement with the Wharton Center as a social worker. He ends by discussing his involvement with the political organization of the black community in Philadelphia, its leaders, and the issues around which they organized.

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Biographical / Historical Note

Walter M. Phillips, Sr. (1912-1985) was active in Philadelphia civic and political life for over thirty years. He worked and volunteered in a variety of city and regional organizations. After retiring, Phillips initiated an oral history project, interviewing in the 1970s many individuals with whom he had worked.

Record Details

William R. Meek Oral History, May 22, 1979
Social reformers, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Meek, William R.
Personal Names:
Rizzo, Frank, 1920-1991
Geographic Subject:
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Organization / Building:
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Repository Collection:
Walter Massey Phillips Oral Histories
Oral Histories
Contact SCRC for the audio recording corresponding to this transcript.
Transcript Identifier:

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Transcript Note

This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview. The interviewee/narrator read the transcript and made minor corrections, but the reader should bear in mind that it represents a transcription of the spoken word.

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About This Collection

Walter Massey Phillips Oral Histories

Ohist cover
Walter M. Phillips initiated an oral history project, and between c. 1974 and 1980 interviewed over 150 civic and political leaders.
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