Herbert “Wash” Washington

Words by: Herbert "Wash" Washington Published on: 29 February, 2024
Circa 1964. A family photo without me, which includes Donald’s (my brother’s) wife, Marybelle, sitting to the right and in front of Donald. The baby is Donald and Marybelle’s son. I was at that time stationed at the military base in Alaska between 1962-1966. Photographer: Loring Stud.
A portrait of myself in the military in Augsburg, Germany. Served 1962 – 1968. Photographer unknown.
Photo of myself and my wife Bibi for a New York Times article published in 1982 about American deserters and my life in Sweden. Photographer: Lars Åström.
Me and Douglas Poe (me-left, Poe-right), 1969, Malmö. Douglas was also a deserter in Malmö. We reacted to the racism within the military against Black soldiers. We also established a newspaper “Lumpen Proletarian” in Malmo. Its purpose was to correct misinformation in mainstream media about the Black Panther Party. We also started Black Panther Party Solidarity Committee for the same reason in Malmo. We arranged speaking engagement in Lund University for Chairman Huey P. Newton and sold BPP newspapers and explained the terminology used in school lectures and at demonstrations (Ten Point Program and Platform). The project ended in 1974. Photographer unknown.
News article titled: “He is denied a job because he is colored”, 16/11/1969.
Band photo of the band “Street people” in 1975, taken at Malmö Train Station. I am the one sitting on the train in white cap. I played the keyboards in the band. I was part of the band for around 1,5 years and was part of forming the band. Photographer: friend of the band.

News article titled: “Improvised yard party on a lawn in Rosengård”. “Street People” played for the inhabitants of Rosengård. 1976.
I received Amnesty through President Carter Amnesty Program in 1977 and returned home to Pawtucket, Rhode Island after being away for 15 years (9 years in Sweden). Family photo includes my father Herbert (right front) and mother Virgil Louise (left front). Back (l-r) youngest brother Carlton, sister Lorraine, brother Donald, sister Isabel and me. Photographer: a friend of the family.
News article titled: ”As difficult to survive in Sweden as in the US” –Dagens Nyheter’s Malmö Editorial Staff.
Here is a family picture taken at my son ́s wedding on 2008-08-08. Photographer unknown.
My worklife in Sweden started when I started working part time as curator/counselor for American deserters for two years (1972-1974) employed by Invandrarverket [and at] Kirsebergs Fritidsgård (1975-1979) for Malmö kommun. I studied pedagogy at at Malmö Högskola (now Malmö University) (1979-1981); then worked as a fritidspedagog (social pedagogue) at Krami (a cooperative effort consisting of Arbetsförmedlingen, Kriminalvården and Malmo kommun). Its goal was to help young men with social problems through consequence pedagogy (1982-2007). I worked at Krami for 25 years because I thought the method and results were very positive for all concerned. I worked at Bladins International School until retirement (2010-2019). I also worked part-time as probation officer and contact supporter for 45 years. Skånska/Malmö. 25 October 2005.

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