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Charles "Chuck" Turner

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Information about Charles "Chuck" Turner

Profile image of Charles "Chuck" Turner

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
City Council Member

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Watermelon
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
City Council Member

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Watermelon
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None
See how Charles "Chuck" Turner is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Boston, Massachusetts, civil rights activist Charles “Chuck” Turner was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1941. Turner was raised by his aunt, Mamie K. Faulkner, and his grandmother, Laura Troy Knight; his grandfather, Doctor Charles Henry Turner, was a pioneering animal behavior biologist, while his father, Darwin Turner, was a pharmacist.

Turner graduated from Harvard University in 1963 with his B.A. degree in government; he then spent a year in Washington, DC, reporting for The Afro-American Newspaper. Turner then moved north, first to New York, then to Hartford, where he joined the influential civil rights group the Northern Student Movement.

In 1966 Turner returned to the Boston area, joining the South End Neighborhood Action Program (SNAP) where he worked to help the community and assisted families who were losing their homes to gentrification. Turner formed a community action group which pressured the local government to provide trash clean-up in black neighborhoods and led demonstrations which highlighted how inadequately city inspectors enforced building codes in public housing.

A former leader of the United Community Construction Workers and one-time chair of the Boston Jobs Coalition, Turner spent several years crusading against job discrimination in the city. Turner campaigned for increased hiring of blacks on city construction jobs; in 1991, unsatisfied with the mayor’s enforcement of fair employment practices, he led a four hour sit-in at the mayor’s office, which resulted in a number of key concessions being made.

Turner also used his activism strategies and leadership skills to spearhead other community efforts; he played a leading role in a successful campaign to prevent the city from building a highway through predominantly black neighborhoods. Turner also chaired the Southwest Corridor Land Development Corporation.

Referred to as one of the best-known agitators in the city, Turner was elected to the Boston City Council in 1999, a position he held for over ten years. As a city council member, Turner continued his defense of civil and human rights; he authored an ordinance protecting transgendered people from discrimination. Turner successfully led an effort to protect the affirmative action guidelines of Massachusetts when Governor Mitt Romney sought to change them. As chairman of the Education Committee, Turner rallied against educational inequality in the Boston public schools.

See how Charles "Chuck" Turner is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles "Chuck" Turner's interview, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Charles "Chuck" Turner's interview, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles "Chuck" Turner lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his mother's educational background and occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his maternal grandmother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his father's educational and occupational background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his paternal grandfather, scientist Dr. Charles Henry Turner
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his grandfather's research and his lack of recognition in the field of biology
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his earliest childhood memory and his childhood household
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his early relationship with his brother, Darwin T. Turner
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his experiences at Whittier Elementary School in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his experiences at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles "Chuck" Turner remembers attending St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles "Chuck" Turner recalls his decision to attend Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles "Chuck" Turner remembers working on a riverboat that traveled down the Ohio River
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his activities at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles "Chuck" Turner remembers challenges adjusting to the culture at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his experience at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his knowledge of racial issues during his time at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles "Chuck" Turner explains why he decided to attend Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about arriving in Washington D.C. during the March on Washington
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about writing for the Washington Afro-American and interviewing Fannie Lou Hamer
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his work for the Northern Student Movement in New York, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about becoming an organizer for the South End Neighborhood Action Project
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his work as an organizer for South End Neighborhood Action Project
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about community issues he tackled with South End Neighborhood Action Project
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about leaving the South End Neighborhood Action Project
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Charles "Chuck" Turner remembers protesting against highway development projects in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about becoming the director of the African American institute at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his work as director of the Circle Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about forming Third World Workers Association to represent minorities in newly integrated construction unions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about the development and dissolution of Third World Workers Association
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about becoming education director of Industrial Cooperative Association
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about the influence of his spiritual beliefs on his community organizing and political work
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his decision to run for Boston City Council
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his work on the Boston City Council
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about the committees that he has chaired on the Boston City Council and his current work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his motivation to continue Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his wife's support of his career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his work in building coalitions among people of color in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his Fund the Dream campaign
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about the importance and unique aspects of African American history
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about the importance of educational mentoring
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles "Chuck" Turner reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles "Chuck" Turner reflects upon his aspirations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Charles "Chuck" Turner narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles "Chuck" Turner narrates his photographs, pt. 2