Skip to main content

Modibo Kadalie oral history interview

Open Finding Aid
Extra Large
Full-size archival image

Modibo Kadalie oral history interview

1 of 2

Modibo Kadalie

A Guide to His Oral History Interview at Georgia State University Library

Georgia State University
Georgia State University
Special Collections and Archives
100 Decatur St., SE
Atlanta, GA 30303-3202
Fax: 404-413-2881

November 4, 2011

Profile Description

Creation: EAD version 2002 finding aid created in XMetaL 4.5 by Traci JoLeigh Drummond, November 4, 2011.
Language: English

Collection Summary

Repository: Georgia State University Library, Special Collections and Archives, Atlanta
Creator:Kadalie, Modibo M., 1943-
Title:Modibo Kadalie oral history interview
Dates: November 12, 2010
Quantity: .25 linear ft. (in 1 box)
Abstract:Modibo Kadalie was raised with emphasis upon the importance of education and community involvement and has maintained an intense level of radical activism throughout his life. He discusses family, education, influences, and the causes with which he has aligned his efforts.
Identification: L2010-19

Scope and Content of the Oral History Interview

In this session, Kadalie explains the impact his parents and the community in which he grew up had on him. He summarizes his time at Morehouse College, where his lifelong interest in activism began with his first sit-ins and several conflicts with the Morehouse College administration. He elaborates on his personal philosophies and involvement with various activist groups, including the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, the African Liberation Support Committee, the Sixth Pan-African Congress, the Dessie Woods and Sheryl Todd Defense Committee, and the Black Issues Community Forum. He describes his role in organizing against the brutality led by police chief John Inman; organizing the armed self-defense in the Techwood Housing Projects during the Atlanta Child Murders; supporting the strikes of the Atlanta sanitation workers, housing authority workers, and Atlanta Junior College students; organizing an independent union of taxi drivers; organizing a march from Savannah to Reidsville in response to a prison lockdown and against the death penalty; organizing against a racist plan for desegregation by the state board of education; and many other events. He also describes the influences that many individuals, and often their published works or activism, had on him, including C.L.R. James, Charles Simmons, Kimathi Mohammed, Hosea Williams, and many many others.

Biography of Modibo Kadalie

Modibo Kadalie was born Edward Cooper in Savannah, Georgia, in 1943. He grew up in Riceboro, Georgia, in a community called Crossroads, south of Savannah, with an early emphasis on the importance of education and community involvement from his parents. In the fall of 1959, at the age of 16, Kadalie began attendance at Morehouse College as an early admission student. During the following spring he participated in sit-ins to desegregate the public facilities in downtown Atlanta.

He left Morehouse in January of 1963, after finishing the requirements for graduation. In the fall of 1963 he entered graduate school at Howard University in experimental psychology. In 1965, he moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, to avoid the draft for the Vietnam War. Returning, he eventually moved to Detroit, Michigan, inspired by the Dodge Main Strike of 1937. He briefly taught at Highland Park Community College, becoming intimately involved with the student strike in 1969. While teaching at the University of Detroit and Wayne County Community College Kadalie maintained an intense level of radical activism.

In 1973, he enrolled at Atlanta University, going on to complete both a Master's degree and a Ph.D. in political science. He is currently living and teaching in Georgia.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the Georgia State University Library online catalog (GIL). Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

James, C. L. R. (Cyril Lionel Robert), 1901-1989
Kadalie, Modibo M., 1943-
Mohammed, Kimathi
Quest, Matthew
Simmons, Charles A., 1933-
Williams, Hosea, 1926-
League for Revolutionary Black Workers
African Liberation Support Campaign
Morehouse College (Atlanta, Ga.)
National Committee to Defend Dessie Woods (U.S.)
Pan African Congress
African American youth--Crimes against--Georgia--Atlanta.
Labor unions--United States--Organizing.
Radicalism--United States--History--20th century.
Taxicab drivers--Labor unions
Techwood Homes (Atlanta, Ga.)
Vietnam War, 1961-1975.
Oral history


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Administrative Information


Modibo Kadalie, in an interview conducted by Matthew Quest, November 12, 2010, Georgia State University. L2010-19, Southern Labor Archives. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Acquisition Information

Modibo Kadalie was interviewed by Matthew Quest on November 12, 2010.

you wish to report:

Select the collections to add or remove from your search