Rita A. Campbell, class of 1975


In Part 1 of this interview, Rita A. Campbell discusses her upbringing, how she decided to attend Brown University, and the racial dynamics she experienced as a Black student in overwhelmingly White educational environments. She then speaks about negative perceptions of interracial dating and about her academic pursuits at Brown.

In Part 2, she discusses her relationship with her French instructor Margo Kasdan (who was pursuing her Ph.D. at Brown at the time), how her experiences at Brown and after graduation were informed by race, and how Brown shaped her understanding of the roles of women in society.

In Part 3, Campbell describes courses and professors that had a lasting influence on her, the ways she feels her Brown experience was both self-improving and damaging, and her post-graduation career and life.

Part 4 is a brief conclusion to the interview that touches on Campbell’s transition from the arts and entertainment business to a focus on human rights and housing.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4


Recorded on October 26, 1995 in the Pembroke Center, Brown University, Providence, RI
Interviewed by Derria M. Byrd

Suggested Chicago style citation: Campbell, Rita A. Interview. By Derria M. Byrd. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. October 26, 1995.


Rita A. Campbell was born on November 7, 1953 in Washington, D.C., the daughter of two public school teachers. After completing her senior year at Ursuline Academy in Bethesda, Maryland, she earned her A.B. in Anthropology from Brown University and her Master’s in Holistic Counseling from Salve Regina University. Campbell was a longtime resident of Rhode Island, where she owned and operated the Artist Development Group talent agency and was affiliated with the New England Jazz Society, the RI State Council on the Arts, and Providence Inner City Arts. At the time of this interview, she lived and worked in Washington, D.C.