Susan Taylor King was born in Kilmarknock, Virginia into a family of six children. Her father earned a dollar a day as a seasonal worker, mainly fishing or working in the fields, and during the depression decided to move his family to Baltimore, Maryland where he hoped to get higher paying work. After graduating High School, Susan trained for work as a riveter at The Defense Training School in the old Chevrolet factory, and in 1942 got a job working at the Eastern Aircraft Company. Susan discusses racial segregation at Eastern Aircraft and in the larger Baltimore community as well as her role in the struggle to desegregate the defense industries in Baltimore. After the war, Susan used her defense earnings to pay her way through Hampton College. After graduating, marrying her Biology Professor at Hampton, and having two children, she decided to go back to school and study education. She became a counselor in the Baltimore City Public Schools, where she worked for twenty-two years.