Walter Dean was a Baltimore-area civil rights pioneer and political activist who participated in sit-ins to desegregate businesses. Before retiring from BCCC, he taught science, math, urban studies and history, and served on the college’s board of trustees, always encouraging people to broaden their horizons through reading.
Dean was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1971 to 1982.
Also honored was the late Harry Smith, professor of allied human services, former interim dean of the BCCC Allied Health program and noted social worker.
Education: Dunbar High School; B.A., Morgan State University; Master of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Resides in: Lochearn, Baltimore County
Daily commute: None. Retirement is boring, but I’m getting busy! I’m policy committee chair for the Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce.
Most recent vacation: I used to go to Jamaica twice per year; it was also great to get away to St. Thomas and Aruba the day after Christmas, when the fares were. I can’t travel as much anymore.
Hobbies: Reading and photography. [Also — I’ve been to Vegas five times and I love the slot machines.]
Most recently read: “Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America” by Eugene Robinson. Segregation — it felt so humiliating. It seemed all of us were in this thing together, Now, most belong to a distinct group of their own. So many ill-educated, unemployed and delinquent youth are being forgotten. It’s a real tragedy.
Favorite food: Beef liver, rice, gravy, cabbage, biscuits and iced tea made by my sister. She’s a great cook but I can’t eat it anymore!
Memories: I came in regular contact with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a state director in the civil rights movement. I met him many, many times. He was human just like the rest of us; the difference was, even on a personal level he was a very inspiring human being.
I’ll never the time I got a picture of James Baldwin sitting on the same sofa with his mother, Emma Berdis Joynes. Seeing the two together was quite a sight.
I met John F. Kennedy in the 1960 campaign when I was working as a precinct captain in West Baltimore.
I knew Stokely Carmichael and Marion Barry.