Melvin Walker was born in Cleveland, Ohio on March 22, 1943. He moved to the area in 1962 with his wife and 2 children (they later had 4 together) after he graduated from Glenville High School in 1961. Walker’s parents were originally from Mississippi and migrated north to find work. Since then, Walker has traveled to many different places and has had varying experiences. He counted that he has had an extremely impressive 32 jobs in his life, from all ends of the spectrum. Walker considers his first job to be when he served in the army for one and a half years, fortunately during a peaceful period. After that, he was a packer at a grocery store. As Walker is a people person, his favorite job was delivering mail. He says that, even through the Hough Riots, people appreciated their mail and always remained pleasant toward him. Walker also spent a lot of time working many jobs in the medical field. He ended his career at a VA Hospital, when he retired due to his disabilities in 1990. Though Walker has had strokes, heart attacks, and an amputated leg, he is still a very vibrant character and loves to look back on his memories of playing basketball in the neighborhood and listening to music. Walker loves music, especially jazz, and loved the nights he spent at the nights he spent at Leo’s Casino or Gleason’s bar, watching the new era of influential musicians come about. Though he’s moved around a lot, Walker has officially stayed in the Cleveland area since 1976.
Walker, Melvin (Interviewee)
Malone, Carol (Interviewer)
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"Melvin Walker Interview, 25 February 2013" (2013). Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection. Interview 131006.