TimelineGet InvolvedNominate a History Maker
Home | CivicMakers | Philip Hart
Color: Red And White
Food: Barbecue (Ribs)
Quote: God Is Good All The Time.
Season: Fall
Vacation Destination: Martha's Vineyard
Denver, Colorado United States
Interview Description:

Biography |

Interview Date: 8/19/2017

Civic leader and professor Philip Hart was born on July 12, 1944 in Denver, Colorado to Murlee Shaw Hart and Judson Hart. His mother was one of the first African American teachers in the Denver Public Schools system, and his father was the assistant to George L. Brown at the Denver Housing Authority. Hart, a star athlete, attended Denver’s East High School. Upon graduation, he was awarded an athletic scholarship to attend Colorado College in Colorado Springs. After his freshman year, Hart transferred to the University of Colorado Boulder where he graduated with his B.A. degree in 1966. He went on to receive his M.A. degree in social psychology and his Ph.D. degree in sociology from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. While pursuing his Ph.D. at Michigan State University, Hart worked for the Greater Lansing Urban League and the Center for Urban Affairs.

In 1966, Hart joined the staff of the Office of Economic Opportunity in Washington, D.C., where he worked under Julius B. Richmond and R. Sargent Shriver. In 1971, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts to accept a position at the Joint Community University Center for Inner City Change. One year later, Hart was recruited to serve as the superintendent of the Federation of Boston Community Schools. Then, in 1974, Hart helped to found the College of Public and Community Service at the University of Massachusetts Boston. From 1974 to 2002, Hart served on the university’s faculty as a professor of sociology and as the department chairman and director of the William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of Black Culture. Hart was also involved in a number of real estate ventures with his business partner, Marvin E. Gilmore, Jr. Together, they purchased property in Boston's predominantly black communities, and developed a facility for the Digital Equipment Corporation as well as the Boston University School of Medicine's BioSquare center, to provide biotechnology training to minority students. In addition, Hart wrote and produced both children’s books and documentary films like Flyers: In Search of a Dream based on the history of his maternal great uncle, James Banning, who was one of the nation's first African American aviators. After moving to Los Angeles, California in the 2000s, Hart was instrumental in the expansion of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ. As the project manager, he oversaw the construction and fundraising for a new cathedral, parking garage and the West Angeles Family Life Center.

Hart and his wife, Tanya Hart, have one daughter, Ayanna Hart Beebe

Philip Hart was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 19, 2017.

Speaker Bureau Notes: