Skip to main content

Joseph Yearwood interview, 2021-06-16

Identifier: dcpl_dcohc034_05.wav

Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

D.C. Oral History Collaborative (DCOHC) is a citywide initiative to train community members in oral history skills, fund new and ongoing oral history projects, connect volunteers with oral history projects, and publicize existing oral history collections. DCOHC is a project of DC Public Library, HumanitiesDC, and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. This collection contains oral history interviews, transcripts, and indexes produced by DCOHC grantees.


  • Creation: 2021-06-16


Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

Dr. Joseph N. Yearwood III is a native Washingtonian born in 1944, whose parents sent him to Brooklyn, N.Y. until the age of seven, hoping to avoid the segregation then present in the nation’s capital. After attending Roosevelt Senior High School in D.C., he graduated from Morgan State University and went on to Case Western Reserve University for a master’s degree in physical education, and to the University of Iowa to complete his physical therapy curriculum. He has pursued a life of service in the organizations he has chosen, including his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi; the Prince Hall Masonry, in which he followed in the footsteps of his father, who served as Worshipful Grand Master of the District of Columbia; his profession as a physical therapist; and his church, Asbury United Methodist Church in D.C. In addition to previous and other current assignments, Dr. Yearwood has been the president of Asbury’s chapter of the United Methodist Men for the past eight years. He remains deeply engaged in all these activities, is a proud grandfather and resides in Bowie, Maryland.


From the Collection: 1.13 Terabytes


Dr. Joseph N. Yearwood III reflects on the racial discrimination that caused his parents to send him to Brooklyn, N.Y., in the mid-1940s for his early education; the life he experienced upon his return to the District of Columbia at the age of seven, and his subsequent education and career choices; the joy of service and connection through membership in his fraternity, ROTC, the Masons, and his church, Asbury United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. He talks about the impact of the Vietnam War on his life; describes the U Street of his youth; the challenges to the church from COVID-19, gentrification and an aging demographic; and his concerns with social justice and the lack thereof in today’s Washington, D.C. This interview was conducted virtually.

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001