An oral history conducted by Susan Resnik, Ph.D. with former San Diego State University Professor Emeritus Shirley Weber on June 30th and July 2, 2008. Shirley Weber received her Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy in Speech Communications from the University of California, Los Angeles, specializing in African American movement studies, Marcus Garvey, and black language. In 1972, before completing her doctorate, Weber became an assistant professor of speech at San Diego State University. She helped to develop the curriculum for the then newly-created Africana Studies Department, eventually serving as its chair. She served on the National Council for Black Studies, and received the Outstanding Faculty Award six times. Doctor Weber also initiated the Alternative Spring Break, which takes students to South Africa in order to participate in cultural exchange and service activities. She also served as the Director of the Academy for Effectively Teaching African American Students and co-founded the W.E.B. DuBois Leadership Institute for Young Black Scholars. This oral history focuses on Weber's early life, leading up to her professorship at San Diego State University. She discusses growing up in South Central Los Angeles, and the obstacles, culture shock and displacement she encountered while attending the University of California, Los Angeles. Doctor Weber also details her role in the development of the Africana Studies Department at SDSU, focusing on the constant need to justify the department's existence, mentoring students, community outreach, and the Alternative Spring Break program to South Africa. Towards the end of the recording, she discusses the San Diego African American community as well as her involvement in community activities and outreach. This oral history was made possible by a grant from the John and Jane Adams Endowment for the Humanities and is part of the University Archives Multimedia Files Collection. Names mentioned during the interview include: David Nash, Mildred Cooper Nash, Alabama Nash, Elizabeth Cooper, Birdell Hood Cooper, Birdell Ross, Lucy Hood, Jack McFadden, Lois Nash, Molefi Kete Asante, Emory J. Tolbert, Henrietta Vinton Davis, Amy Jacques Garvey, Thomas Harvey, W. E. B. Du Bois, Carrol Waymon, Harold Brown, Daniel Weber, Elijah Walter Miles, and Marlon Smith., San Diego State University, According to the 1981-1982 catalog, Weber became chair of the Afro-American Studies Department in the College of Arts and Letters in 1981. At that time the faculty consisted of Chambers, Kerri, Kornweibel, Weber, Scarborough, Thomas. Tolbert joined in 1984 but not listed in 1985-6. Weber was not chair in 1986-7, but she is listed as an associate professor. Weber says she first became chair in 1979, but she is not listed in either the catalogs for 1978-79 or 1979-80 as chair those years; she is listed as an assistant professor.