Interview with Dr. Porter Blakemore

by Neo-Rev ~ December 7th, 2009. Filed under: Audio, Interviews.

Download Interview with Dr. Blakemore Porter

The following interview was conducted with Porter Blakemore, a professor of history at MW, discusses his personal interaction with James Farmer. Blakemore speaks on the intra-department details of Farmer’s time here and how his professorship worked in and outside the classroom. Having been chair 8 years of Farmer’s 15 year tenure he knew Farmer closely and speaks fondly of him. Also, Blakemore discusses his views of Farmer’s legacy and his importance in history.

Discursive Table of Contents—Porter Blakemore

– How James Farmer came to UMW faculty
– What it meant for Farmer to be hired as a professor
– Reaction of Mary Washington campus
– Blakemore opinion of Farmer before arrival
– Blakemore opinion after Farmer’s arrival
– Physical ailments
– Blakemore being chair of history department while Farmer was at MW


– Farmer as a professor – what his course was like, subjects covered
– Farmer’s class sizes – administrative details
– Farmer’s outside the classroom participation
– Farmer’s lecture style
– Student reaction to Farmer

– Farmer as a reminder of problems society had gone through
– Farmer’s involvement on campus
– Dinesh D’Souza and Farmer’s debate
– Whether or not to make Farmer a full professor on campus
– Reasons for his special status

– Farmer’s physical ailments over his tenure
– Difficulties of running a class with Farmer in poor health
– “Everyone knew we were lucky to have him while he was here”
– Farmer’s legacy at MW – Bust, Scholars program
– Farmer’s larger legacy

– Farmer’s importance in the grassroots movement
– Was Farmer concerned about his legacy?
– Farmer’s recognition later in life

– How would Farmer want MW to change in the next decade?
– Multi-culturalism, combating racism

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