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This is a transcript of oral history interviews with David Arlington Talbot. They were conducted in January and February 1978. The interviewer is Dr. Dennis Peck.

This series of three interviews covers a wide range of topics including biographical information, family, education, race, colonialism, human rights, and his time at East Texas State University.

David Arlington Talbot was born in British Guyana, now Guyana, in 1916. His experiences living under the colonial rule of the British Empire affected his life and education. He moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1935 where he experienced the harshness of Jim Crow Laws. During World War II, he served in the United States Armed Forces, which opened up an avenue to U.S. citizenship for Talbot. Following the war, Talbot continued to pursue a career in education. He served at a small college in Arkansas where he climbed the ranks of administration.

Talbot visited the East Texas State University (ETSU) campus in 1968 with his son who was deciding where to attend college. The university president at the time, Daniel Whitney Halladay, was a former colleague of Talbot. Halladay offered Talbot a position at the university in an effort to integrate the ETSU faculty. Talbot became the first Black faculty member in 1968. He worked as the Director of the Counseling Center, a professor in the Department of Counseling and Guidance, and special assistant to the president for affirmative action. Talbot and others worked to create social change on the ETSU campus.

Talbot retired in 1987 and, in 2017, Texas A&M University-Commerce renamed the Hall of Languages in his honor.








Special Collections and University Archives



David A. Talbot, Oral History Transcript


Oral histories; United States -- Race relations; African Americans -- Segregation; African American college teachers; World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American; Guyana; East Texas State University;


Jim Crow Laws; Halladay, Daniel Whitney; World War II; ETSU; Texas A&M University-Commerce; TAMUC



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