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Florence M. Rice

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Information about Florence M. Rice

Profile image of Florence M. Rice

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Consumer Activist
Consumer Educator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Red, White
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere
Favorite Quote:
Keep The Faith.

Birthplace

Born:
3/22/1919
Birth Location:
Buffalo, New York

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Consumer Activist
Consumer Educator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Red, White
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere
Favorite Quote:
Keep The Faith.

Birthplace

Born:
3/22/1919
Birth Location:
Buffalo
See how Florence M. Rice is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Florence M. Rice was born on March 22, 1919, in Buffalo, New York. She is the founder of the Harlem Consumer Education Council. During her childhood, Rice spent several years in the Colored Orphan Asylum and in several foster homes in New York. Upon completion of the eighth grade, Rice left school for work as a domestic seamstress where she became a member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Rice spoke out against the discriminatory practices against African American and Latino workers. She participated in Harlem Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.’s 1962 congressional hearing, which probed dressmaker union’s policies, and after testifying, she was blacklisted.

In the 1960s, Rice founded the Harlem Consumer Education Council, waging a war against corporations who discriminated against African Americans and other minorities. The Council organized many successful New York City boycotts and picket lines against grocery stories, furniture stores, and individuals found to be overcharging minorities. Rice’s biggest victory was against the New York State Public Service Commission, forcing New York Telephone to stop charging low income residents pre-installation fees. The Harlem Consumer Education Council investigated over 100,000 complaints.

Appointed Special Consultant to the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board in the 1970s, Rice also taught consumer education at Malcolm-King College and has lectured to thousands at her workshops and seminars. In the 1990s, Rice was responsible for the Bell Atlantic Technology Center in Harlem. The center is dedicated to educating business people, students, senior citizens and other customers about the latest advances in telecommunication technologies. She has lectured in several countries, including South Africa where she was named a delegate in the first World Consumer Congress. Rice continues to work in consumer affairs in New York City where she lives.

See how Florence M. Rice is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Florence M. Rice's interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Florence M. Rice lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Florence M. Rice talks about her parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Florence M. Rice recalls her time in foster care
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Florence M. Rice recalls P.S. 040 Samuel Huntington in New York City
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Florence M. Rice recalls Rush Temple African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Florence M. Rice recalls the schools she attended
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Florence M. Rice remembers her rebellious teenage years
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Florence M. Rice remembers running away to New York City
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Florence M. Rice remembers working in New York City as a teenage mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Florence M. Rice recalls placing her daughter in foster care during World War II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Florence M. Rice recalls regaining custody of her daughter
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Florence M. Rice recalls famous African Americans in Harlem, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Florence M. Rice recalls racial discrimination at New York City department stores
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Florence M. Rice talks about her political role models
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Florence M. Rice recalls joining the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Florence M. Rice recalls her abusive ex-husband
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Florence M. Rice describes her ex-husband
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Florence M. Rice recalls speaking at Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.'s 1962 congressional hearing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Florence M. Rice remembers looking for a job after the congressional hearing
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Florence M. Rice describes the value of political connections
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Florence M. Rice recalls the creation of the Bell Atlantic Technology Center
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Florence M. Rice recalls challenging New York Telephone Company's discriminatory practices
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Florence M. Rice talks about the Harlem Consumer Education Council
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Florence M. Rice cautions about speaking against economic racism
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Florence M. Rice recalls the greatest difficulty in community education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Florence M. Rice describes the importance of consumer education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Florence M. Rice talks about Roger Toussaint and expectations for black men
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Florence M. Rice describes influential members of the Harlem community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Florence M. Rice describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community in Harlem, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Florence M. Rice talks about her fight against direct deposit policies
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Florence M. Rice reflects upon her legacy and how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Florence M. Rice talks about her mentor, Lugenia Gordon
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Florence M. Rice talks about the Original Gullah Festival
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Florence M. Rice describes her advocacy for tenants of her apartment building
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Florence M. Rice describes changes in the American education system
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Florence M. Rice reflects upon her most meaningful awards
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Florence M. Rice's interview, session 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Florence M. Rice recalls her testimony against the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Florence M. Rice explains how she first became involved in activism
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Florence M. Rice shares some tips from her book, 'Shopping'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Florence M. Rice explains her desire to teach consumer education
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Florence M. Rice shares tips for educated consumption
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Florence M. Rice describes her hopes and concerns for the education system
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Florence M. Rice recalls volunteering to teach at Malcolm-King College
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Florence M. Rice describes the changes in the American labor market
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Florence M. Rice talks about racial discrimination in consumer education
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Florence M. Rice describes other trailblazers in consumer education
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Florence M. Rice recalls studying at the Henry George School of Social Science
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Florence M. Rice recalls conducting consumer education conferences
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Florence M. Rice remembers running on a ticket with Harvey McArthur
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Florence M. Rice remembers trying to establish a technology center in Harlem
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Florence M. Rice talks about her radio show on WLIB Radio in New York City
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Florence M. Rice talks about Dorothy Garrett and her aspirations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Florence M. Rice describes the results of her battle with her landlord
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Florence M. Rice talks about her radio and cable shows
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Florence M. Rice talks about consumer reports and consumer agencies
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Florence M. Rice describes the dismantlement of federal consumer protections
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Florence M. Rice talks about her nephew's business
  • Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Florence M. Rice describes her concerns about direct deposits and police brutality
  • Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Florence M. Rice talks about her daughter
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Florence M. Rice recalls writing a resolution for Son-in-Law Day
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Florence M. Rice describes her plans and concerns for the future
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Florence M. Rice talks about gentrification in Harlem
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Florence M. Rice describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Florence M. Rice talks about consumer rights groups
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Florence M. Rice offers advice about the value of kindness
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Florence M. Rice describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Florence M. Rice talks about the Harlem Consumer Education Council
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Florence M. Rice narrates her photographs