The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

The Honorable Doris Bunte

Share on Social Media

Information about The Honorable Doris Bunte

Profile image of The Honorable Doris Bunte

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
State Representative
City Government Appointee

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Orange
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Being Poor Is Not The Result Of A Flaw In Character.

Birthplace

Born:
7/2/1933
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
State Representative
City Government Appointee

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Orange
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Being Poor Is Not The Result Of A Flaw In Character.

Birthplace

Born:
7/2/1933
Birth Location:
New York
See how The Honorable Doris Bunte is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

State representative and city official Doris Bunte was born on July 2, 1933 in New York City to Evelyn Johnson Brown and Herbert Brown. She attended Food Trades Vocational High School, but left before receiving her diploma. In 1953, she moved to Boston, Massachusetts with her three children, and earned her G.E.D. in 1968. Bunte enrolled in Harvard University in 1978, where she earned a certificate in environmental studies from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and her M.A. degree in education in 1982.

Upon her arrival in Boston, Bunte joined the Barcolene Company. She moved to the Orchard Park Housing Projects, where she joined the maintenance management council and co-founded the Boston Public Housing Tenants Policy Council. In 1969, Bunte was nominated to the Boston Housing Authority board, making her the first public housing tenant to serve. She was dismissed from the Boston Housing Authority board in 1971 by Mayor Kevin H. White, but was reinstated by the Massachusetts Supreme Court. In 1973, she was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, becoming the first African American woman to serve in the Massachusetts legislature. There, Bunte helped found the Massachusetts Legislative Black Caucus and the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators. After twelve years as a representative, she left the Massachusetts legislature to become the director of the Boston Housing Authority, where she headed public housing integration efforts. Bunte left the Boston Housing Authority in 1992, and began working for the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University and the Boston University School of Public Health, where she continued tenant-focused activist work. Bunte retired in 2010.

She held positions on the National Rent Board and in the National Tenants Organization. She also served on the Critical Minority Affairs Committee and the National Association of Housing and Development, as well as the Citizens Housing and Planning Association. Bunte received recognition for her contributions, including being featured in a mural at the historic Alvah Kittredge House and in an exhibit called “Portraits in Black: Gaining Ground, Holding Office” in the Museum of African American History, Boston and Nantucket in 2004.

Doris Bunte was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 19, 2016.

See how The Honorable Doris Bunte is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Doris Bunte's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Doris Bunte lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Doris Bunte describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Doris Bunte talks about her mother's career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Doris Bunte describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Doris Bunte describes her likeness to her parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Doris Bunte lists her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Doris Bunte describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Doris Bunte describes her community on the East Side of New York City
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Doris Bunte describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Doris Bunte talks about the increase of crime in East Harlem
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Doris Bunte describes her experiences at Food Trades Vocational High School in New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Doris Bunte remembers the music and entertainment of her youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Doris Bunte recalls her mother's connection to Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Doris Bunte remembers her early experiences of religion
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Doris Bunte describes her early aspirations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Doris Bunte remembers leaving high school to care for her children
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Doris Bunte recalls moving to Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Doris Bunte recalls how she came to work at the Barcolene Company
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Doris Bunte remembers reuniting with her children
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Doris Bunte recalls moving to the Orchard Park Housing Projects in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Doris Bunte recalls volunteering at the Hattie B. Cooper Community Center in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Doris Bunte recalls her start as a tenant organizer in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Doris Bunte remembers earning her GED
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Doris Bunte talks about her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Doris Bunte remembers joining the board of the Boston Housing Authority
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Doris Bunte recalls firing the executive director of the Boston Housing Authority
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Doris Bunte remembers her legal battle with Mayor Kevin White
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Doris Bunte recalls her later interactions with Mayor Kevin White
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Doris Bunte remembers her first campaign for the Massachusetts Legislature
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Doris Bunte remembers the founding of the Massachusetts Legislative Black Caucus
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Doris Bunte recalls the struggle to elect an African American to the Massachusetts Senate
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Doris Bunte talks about the white politicians in Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Doris Bunte reflects upon her success as a politician
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Doris Bunte remembers the busing crisis in Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Doris Bunte remembers the busing crisis in Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Doris Bunte recalls cofounding the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Doris Bunte remembers studying at the Harvard Graduate School of Design
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Doris Bunte talks about her life partner
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Doris Bunte talks about her focus on housing issues
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Doris Bunte remembers her admission to the Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Doris Bunte talks about her doctoral thesis
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Doris Bunte recalls her appointment as director of the Boston Housing Authority
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Doris Bunte recalls her challenges as director of the Boston Housing Authority
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Doris Bunte remembers prioritizing maintenance of public housing facilities
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Doris Bunte describes her encounters with the media as director of the Boston Housing Authority
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable Doris Bunte remembers the desegregation lawsuit against the Boston Housing Authority
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Doris Bunte describes her experiences at the Center for the Study of Sport in Society
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Doris Bunte recalls founding the Community Committee for Health Promotion at Boston University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Doris Bunte describes her concerns for public housing, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Doris Bunte describes her concerns for public housing, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Doris Bunte reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Doris Bunte reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Doris Bunte narrates her photographs