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The Honorable Charles Yancey

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Information about The Honorable Charles Yancey

Profile image of The Honorable Charles Yancey

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
City Government Official
Civic Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pasta
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Aruba
Favorite Quote:
If You Don't Use It, You Lose It.

Birthplace

Born:
12/28/1948
Birth Location:
Boston, Massachusetts

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
City Government Official
Civic Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pasta
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Aruba
Favorite Quote:
If You Don't Use It, You Lose It.

Birthplace

Born:
12/28/1948
Birth Location:
Boston
See how The Honorable Charles Yancey is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Boston city councilman Charles Calvin Yancey was born on December 28, 1948, the sixth of nine children of Howell Yancey, Sr. and Alice W. Yancey. He grew up in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood where, at the age of twelve, he wrote a letter to the Mayor of Boston requesting that a vacant lot across the street from his home be turned into a playground. The playground became Yancey’s first political success. Yancey graduated from Boston Technical High School in 1965. Yancey received his B.S. degree in economics from Tufts University in 1970 and his M.A. degree in public administration from Harvard University in 1991. Attending Tufts during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Yancey founded the Afro-American Society and the African American Cultural Center at Tufts.

In the 1970s, Yancey co-founded the Community for Human Rights. Before his election to the Boston City Council, Yancey worked with the Urban Finance Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the UDI Community Development Corporation in Durham, North Carolina.

Yancey, a lifelong resident of Boston, Massachusetts, was first elected to the Boston City Council in 1983. He is the longest serving elected public official in the history of Boston politics. He served as president of the Boston City Council in 2001 and the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials in 1999.

Yancey also served as Chair of the Council’s Committee of Employment and Workforce Development and Finance Services and Community Investment.

Yancey championed equal employment opportunity for “people of color” in the city government. The annual Charles C. Yancey Book Fair has provided over 100,000 free books for Boston children since its beginning in February 1987. Yancey gained national and international attention in 1984 for his involvement in the Free South Africa Movement. He also established a Sister City relationship between Boston and Sekondi-Takoradi in Ghana, West Africa.

Yancey and his wife Marzetta (married in 1970) are the parents of three sons, Charles, Jr. (born in l970); Derrick (born in 1972); Sharif (born in 1977); and a daughter Ashley (born in 1987).

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Charles Yancey's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Charles Yancey lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Charles Yancey lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his childhood home in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his childhood neighborhood in Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes Boston, Massachusetts' racial composition during the 1950s and 1960s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his grade school years at Phillips Brooks Elementary School in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his experience at Patrick T. Campbell Junior High School in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about resistance to the integration of Boston Public Schools in the 1960s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about Boston's school boycott in 1964 and meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his experience at Boston Technical High School in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Charles Yancey recalls his early years at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes the reaction in Boston, Massachusetts to the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his involvement in campus organizing at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Charles Yancey details a campus protest at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes the Tufts Summer Institute at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Charles Yancey reflects upon his years at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about Boston, Massachusetts in the 1970s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his career in the financial sector
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his first attempt at elected office
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about working in Durham, North Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his political appointments
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his early years as a Boston City Councilor
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his work on municipal legislation in Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his work on municipal legislation in Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about Boston public education
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about public safety in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about various leadership positions he held while on the Boston City Council
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his election to Boston City Council president
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes the ethnic composition of his district in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about the influx of immigrants to Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about establishment and growth of the Charles C. Yancey book fair
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about the City of Boston and his identity as a Bostonian
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Charles Yancey reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Charles Yancey narrates his photographs