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C. Payne Lucas

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Information about C. Payne Lucas

Profile image of C. Payne Lucas

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Barbecue (Ribs, Beans)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
North Carolina
Favorite Quote:
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Birthplace

Born:
9/14/1933
Birth Location:
Spring Hope, North Carolina

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Barbecue (Ribs, Beans)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
North Carolina
Favorite Quote:
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Birthplace

Born:
9/14/1933
Birth Location:
Spring Hope
See how C. Payne Lucas is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Africare co-founder and thiry-year president, C. Payne Lucas was born on September 14, 1933, in Spring Hope, North Carolina. He grew up in a family of fourteen children and earned money as boy picking cotton and shining shoes. In 1951, he earned his high school diploma from Spaulding High School, where he was a member of the baseball team and excelled in drama and public speaking activities. In 1950, during his junior year of high school, he joined the NAACP and became a youth representative for the state of North Carolina and initiated a voter registration drive in Spring Hope.

Lucas earned a bachelor's of science degree in history from the Maryland State College, now known as the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, in 1959. During his sophomore year he left Maryland, and enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served for four years. He then went on to earn his master's degree in government from the American University in 1961.

After working as a volunteer for the Democratic National Committee in 1961, he joined the Peace Corps under the agency's first Director, Sargent Shriver. From 1962 to 1971, Lucas served as assistant country director in Togo, country director in Niger, director of the Africa Region and director of the returned volunteers. Lucas left the Peace Corps in 1971 to become the president of Africare, an organization he co-founded with William Kirker. Today, Africare is the oldest and largest African-American nonprofit organization specializing in aid to Africa. Africare has more than 150 programs, which benefit families and communities in nearly thirty nations throughout the continent.

After thirty-one years as president, Lucas retired from Africare in 2002 and was succeeded my Julius Coles. He continues to remain active with the organization and serves on its board of directors. Currently he serves as chief executive officer of Lodestar, LLC, a domestic and international business consulting firm.

He is married to Freddie Hill Lucas and they have three grown children and one grandchild.

See how C. Payne Lucas is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of C. Payne Lucas interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - C. Payne Lucas's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - C. Payne Lucas talks about his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - C. Payne Lucas talks about his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - C. Payne Lucas recalls his grandparents' backgrounds
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - C. Payne Lucas remembers his journeys from his rural childhood home
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - C. Payne Lucas describes daily life during his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - C. Payne Lucas reminisces about attending the movie theater as a youth
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - C. Payne Lucas discusses his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - C. Payne Lucas talks about forms of entertainment as a youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - C. Payne Lucas recalls sights, sounds and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - C. Payne Lucas explains his first name
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - C. Payne Lucas remembers elementary school experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - C. Payne Lucas discusses his interests as a young student
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - C. Payne Lucas talks about his beginnings in civil rights activism
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - C. Payne Lucas details his athletic and scholastic interests at Maryland State College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - C. Payne Lucas explains his decision to join the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - C. Payne Lucas talks about returning to Maryland State College to graduate
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - C. Payne Lucas explains his initial interest and involvement with Africa
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - C. Payne Lucas discusses the founding of Africare
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - C. Payne Lucas discusses ways Africare has connected African Americans to Africa
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - C. Payne Lucas talks about social and governmental change surrounding Africa
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - C. Payne Lucas talks about problems in Africa and how Africare has dealt with them
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - C. Payne Lucas discusses politicians that have worked towards helping Africa
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - C. Payne Lucas comments on South Africa's freedom
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - C. Payne Lucas tells of criticism he's received from African Americans
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - C. Payne Lucas describes his departure from Africare
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - C. Payne Lucas ponders his legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - C. Payne Lucas shares his hopes for Americans' relationship with Africa
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - C. Payne Lucas with U.S. President Bill Clinton, 1998
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - C. Payne Lucas with U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Washington, D.C., 1996