Oral history of James Cross
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Dr. James Cross is an engineer and professor who graduated from Hopkins in 1960 with a degree in electrical engineering. Cross details his experiences as one of the first Black students at Hopkins. He mentions befriending one Black student who was also living on campus at the time, Ernie Bates, and attending a sit-in at a local restaurant with another Black student, Victor Dates. During his undergraduate years, Cross was a member of ROTC, he ran track, and strongly committed to his studies and education as a form of civil rights activism. In the interview, Cross touches on his early life growing up in rural Virginia, his experiences abroad while in the Army, and the various educational and professional paths his life took in his post-Hopkins years. He remains an active member of his community and speaks fondly of his family’s endeavors and accomplishments. Dr. Cross was nominated for the Indispensable Role of Blacks at Hopkins Exhibit and has spoken about his life and career at the Fred Scott Brigade Annual Dinner. This oral history is part of the Hopkins Retrospective oral history series.