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UM’s first black dean reflects on a career filled with triumphs and racial barriers

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Courtesy of the University of Michigan Library
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Harold Johnson became dean of the School of Social Work in 1981.

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Credit Courtesy of the University of Michigan Library
Karen Downing and Harold Johnson

As part of the University of Michigan’s Bicentennial Celebration, the University of Michigan Library brought StoryCorps to campus last fall to capture personal stories of those who make up the university’s rich history.

One of the conversations featured Karen Downing, a University of Michigan librarian. She sat down with her father, Harold Johnson, to talk about what it was like for him to make history as the first black dean at the University of Michigan.

Listen above.

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