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Herman "Skip" Mason

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Information about Herman "Skip" Mason

Profile image of Herman "Skip" Mason

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Archivist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Florida
Favorite Quote:
It Is What It Is.

Birthplace

Born:
7/14/1962
Birth Location:
Atlanta, Georgia

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Archivist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Florida
Favorite Quote:
It Is What It Is.

Birthplace

Born:
7/14/1962
Birth Location:
Atlanta
See how Herman "Skip" Mason is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Reverend and historian Herman ‘Skip’ Mason was born on July 14, 1962 in Atlanta, Georgia to Herman ‘Pop’ Mason and Deloris Hughes. At the age of fourteen, Mason read Alex Haley’s Roots and was inspired to research and document the history of African American people. In 1980, Mason graduated from Therrell High School in Atlanta, Georgia and enrolled at Morris Brown College in Atlanta. In 1982, Mason realized his life-long goal by being initiated into the Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated on the anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King. That same year, he became president of the chapter and during his tenure the fraternity was named Georgia College Chapter of the Year. After graduating college in 1984 with his B.A. degree in communications and history, Mason joined the Eta Lambda chapter and became the chapter’s historian in 1985. In 1989, Mason received his M.S. degree in library and information science with a concentration in African American history from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta and was awarded his certification in archival studies from the Archives Institute of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. Mason later studied at the Phillips School of Theology in Atlanta.

Mason began his career by working at the Herndon Home Museum in Atlanta during his junior year of college as a historian where he interpreted the history of the Herndon Family and the Atlanta Life Insurance Company. In 1986, he worked for the U.S. Department of Interior interpreting the historical significance of the Martin Luther King family with the King Center Library and Archives. From 1987 to 1992, Mason worked for the Atlanta Fulton Public Library as the black studies librarian and archivist for the Special Collections Department. His work with the library involved developing strategies for identification and procurement of archival collections on African Americans in Atlanta, the state of Georgia and the Southeast region. During this period, Mason became the first national archivist for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and helped to facilitate the transfer of its archives to the Moorland Spingarn Research Center at Howard University. In 1992, Mason founded Digging It Up, a full scale African American research and consulting firm which he later renamed Skip Mason’s Archives in 1998. Mason also became the pastor of Greater Hopewell Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Atlanta and later, pastor of St. James C.M.E. Church in Washington, Georgia. In 2006, Mason curated House of Alpha, an exhibition which displayed the records of Alpha Phi Alpha, Incorporated, local chapters and the personal collection of fraternity members for the fraternity’s centenary in Washington, D.C. In 2008, Mason was named Alpha Phi Alpha, Incorporated’s thirty-third general president. Mason served as Morehouse College’s archivist and interim director of Student Affairs.

Mason has authored several books including, Going Against the Wind: A History of African Americans in Atlanta, Black Atlanta in the Roaring Twenties, African-American Life in Jacksonville, Florida, The History of Black Entertainment in Atlanta, and African-American Life in DeKalb County, 1823-1970 (Images of America: Georgia).

Herman ‘Skip’ Mason was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 06/20/2011.

See how Herman "Skip" Mason is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Herman "Skip" Mason's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Herman "Skip" Mason lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Herman "Skip" Mason talks about the discovery of his ancestors' burial grounds
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls the discovery of his maternal great-grandfather's original name
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Herman "Skip" Mason talks about the origin of his name
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his father's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Herman "Skip" Mason talks about how his parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his maternal grandmother's employers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Herman "Skip" Mason lists his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls the birth of his son
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls joining his stepfather's household
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his love of collecting
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes the sights of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes the smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes the sounds of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his relationship with his stepfather
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his childhood pastimes
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his elementary education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his mother's role in school desegregation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Herman "Skip" Mason remembers his first white teacher
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls Therrell High School in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes the impact of 'Roots'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls the start of his genealogical research
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls his decision to attend Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls joining the staff of the Herndon Home Museum in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Herman "Skip" Mason remembers working at the Herndon Home Museum in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls his early genealogical research resources
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Herman "Skip" Mason remembers his introduction to archival work
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls working for the Atlanta Fulton Public Library System
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Herman "Skip" Mason remembers teaching history at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls developing the markers for the black historic districts of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls joining the staff of Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls the loss of Morris Brown College's accreditation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls becoming the Morehouse College archivist
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes the history of the Atlanta University Center Consortium
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his work as the Morehouse College archivist
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his early publications
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls his first historical exhibition
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Herman "Skip" Mason remembers curating 'The House of Alpha' exhibition
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his collection of artifacts from Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls campaigning for the national presidency of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Herman "Skip" Mason remembers his election as the national president of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Herman "Skip" Mason talks about the power of social media
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his plans for the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes the importance of black historical archives
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Herman "Skip" Mason shares the results of his historical research
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Herman "Skip" Mason talks about the results of his genealogical research
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Herman "Skip" Mason remembers his experiences of unemployment
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Herman "Skip" Mason reflects upon his legacy