Charles Walton Papers
Charles Walton was a jazz drummer, music educator, and author of “Bronzeville Conversations,” a research and oral history project that documented the jazz and blues world in Black Chicago. Born in 1925 in Selma, Alabama, Walton moved to Chicago’s South Side as a child. He become a jazz drummer immediately after World War II and went on to direct music education at Malcolm X College. He also served as an officer in the American Federation of Musicians Local 10-208. Walton worked tirelessly on a project to document Chicago’s Black music history, conducting oral histories with over 170 musicians, club owners, politicians, promoters, and producers involved in Bronzeville jazz and blues.
The Charles Walton Papers at the Chicago Public Library, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature include drafts of his unfinished book, over 300 oral history interviews with 179 subjects, essays from “Bronzeville Conversations,” as well as rare documents and photographs.