Series SR 1285-1 - Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson

Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 01] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 02] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 03] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 04] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 05] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 06] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 07] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 08] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 09] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 10] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 11] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 12] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 13] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 14] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 15] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 16] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 17] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Sound Recording 18] Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson [Transcript]

Identity elements

Reference code

SR 1285-1

Name and location of repository

Level of description

Series

Title

Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson

Date(s)

  • 2002-02-12 - 2002-03-10 (Creation)

Extent

.1 cubic feet; 10 audiocassettes (7 hr., 57 min., 42 sec.) + transcript (140 pages)

Name of creator

(1941-2004)

Biographical history

Roosevelt Robinson was born in Valdosta, Georgia, in 1941. He earned a theology degree from Southwestern Christian College in Texas before moving to Oregon in 1962. While working at the National Biscuit Company (now known as Nabisco Inc.), he met Beverlee Foreman; they married in 1963 and later had two children. Robinson also served as minister at a north Portland church and earned a sociology degree from the University of Portland in 1970. After he and Beverlee Foreman divorced that same year, Robinson gave up his plans to become a minister and instead pursued a career in law. In 1976, he graduated from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College. He spent a few years in private practice before joining the Multnomah County district attorney's office in 1978. In 1987, he was appointed to the Oregon Parole Board. In 1990, he was appointed as a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge, later winning election to that seat. He died in 2004.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson was conducted by Clark Hansen at Robinson's home in Portland, Oregon, from February 12 to March 10, 2004. In this interview, Robsinson discusses his family background and early life in Georgia; he describes life as a black person in the segregated South, his early education, and growing up on a farm. He talks about attending Southwestern Christian College in Texas, and moving to Portland, Oregon, after graduation. He describes working for the National Biscuit Company (now known as Nabisco Inc.), racism he faced in Oregon, and his marriage to and later divorce from Beverlee Foreman. He then talks about giving up plans to become a minister and instead attending Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College. He also talks about taking the Oregon Bar exam.

Robinson discusses starting his private law practice in Portland. He talks about arguing cases before Judge Gus Solomon and some of the cases he handled. He then discusses working as a Multnomah County deputy district attorney. He talks about cases he prosecuted (and a few he chose not to prosecute), and arguing against public defenders. He also discusses systemic racism in the criminal justice system. He discusses serving on the Oregon Parole Board, including some of the decisions he made. He discusses serving as a judge on the Multnomah County Circuit Court, including his appointment in 1990. He also talks about his involvement with the Oregon Bar Association, as well as numerous other organizations. He discusses cases he heard on the Circuit Court, judicial procedure, and programs to reduce recidivism. He discusses his involvement with the community court program and the drug diversion court program. He closes the interview by talking about his children, their families, and their careers; his health; and the Roosevelt Robinson scholarship fund.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Collection is open for research.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Joint copyright is held by the Oregon Historical Society and the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society. Use is allowed according to the following statement: In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Accruals

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Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Related descriptions

Notes element

General note

Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Roosevelt Robinson, by Clark Hansen, SR 1285-1, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

General note

Forms part of the United States District Court Oral History Project.

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.

Sources used

Archivist's note

Sarah Stroman

Access points

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Accession area