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Janette Hoston Harris

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Information about Janette Hoston Harris

Profile image of Janette Hoston Harris

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
City Historian

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Shrimp
Favorite Time of Year:
December
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Puerto Rico
Favorite Quote:
Each One Teach One.

Birthplace

Born:
9/7/1939
Birth Location:
Monroe, Louisiana

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
City Historian

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Shrimp
Favorite Time of Year:
December
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Puerto Rico
Favorite Quote:
Each One Teach One.

Birthplace

Born:
9/7/1939
Birth Location:
Monroe
See how Janette Hoston Harris is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

City historian Dr. Janette Hoston Harris was born on September 7, 1939, in Monroe, Louisiana; her mother, Maud Marrie Hoston, was a homemaker and her father, Eluin Homer Hoston, was a printer and businessman who opened the first shoe store in Louisiana for African Americans, "Hoston's Shoes and Bootery." In 1956, Harris earned her high school diploma from Carroll High School in Monroe, Louisiana, where she was a member of the English and spelling bee clubs and the basketball team. From 1956 until 1960, Harris attended Southern University, where she was active in the Methodist club, a co-founder of Gamma Sigma Sigma sorority, and captain of the drill team. In 1960, during her senior year, Harris and six other students were arrested for attempting to desegregate an all-white lunch counter. The arrest resulted in her expulsion from Southern University and, by order of the governor, her being prohibited from attending any college in the state of Louisiana. Harris completed her education at Central State University in Ohio, where she earned her B.A. degree in psychology in 1962.

While attending Central State in 1960, Harris's case challenging segregation, "Hoston v. the State of Louisiana," went to the Louisiana Supreme Court. Harris's case eventually became part of a larger court challenge, "Garner v. Louisiana," that was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1961; the case was argued and won by future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in 1962.

After her graduation, Harris worked in the selection division of the Peace Corps. From 1964 until 1970, Harris had a career in education, teaching second, fourth, fifth and sixth grades in Washington, D.C. public schools. From 1970 until 1972, Harris worked as a research associate for the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History. Harris earned her master's degree in history in 1972 from Howard University, and her Ph.D. degree in 1975. In 1975, Harris began teaching history at Federal City College, now known as the University of the District of Columbia. That same year she established a consulting firm, JOR Associates. From 1979 until 1980, Harris served as campaign manager for the Carter / Mondale Re-election Campaign. In 1991, Harris was appointed director of educational affairs for Washington, D.C., where she remained for a year. For the next three years, Harris served as director of the Office of Intergovernmental Relations in the Mayor's Office; in 1998, she was appointed city historian for Washington, D.C., the first person to hold the post.

Harris continued to serve as city historian; over the course of her career, she was the recipient of numerous awards for her civic and educational commitment. In 2004, Harris, along with her fellow sit-in students, was invited back to Southern University to receive the degree she was denied in 1960.

Dr. Janette Hoston Harris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 10, 2004.

See how Janette Hoston Harris is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Janette Hoston Harris's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Janette Hoston Harris lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her mother's background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her mother's background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Janette Hoston Harris talks about challenges her mother faced as a light-skinned African American woman
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her mother's activities and personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Janette Hoston Harris talks about her father's activism
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her father's shoe business
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Janette Hoston Harris talks about her maternal and paternal ancestry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Janette Hoston Harris talks about her maternal and paternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Janette Hoston Harris remembers holiday traditions during her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Janette Hoston Harris describes daily life during her childhood in Monroe, Louisiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Janette Hoston Harris lists her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Janette Hoston Harris describes the community where she was raised in Monroe, Louisiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Janette Hoston Harris recalls the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Monroe, Louisiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Janette Hoston Harris talks about her activism during her youth in the South
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her elementary school experiences at Mt. Nebo in Monroe, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her early aspirations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her favorite childhood activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her first job as the accountant for a local cotton seller, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her first job as the accountant for a local cotton seller, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Janette Hoston Harris describes learning to defend herself in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her aspirations of becoming a movie star
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Janette Hoston Harris descirbes her decision to attend Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Janette Hoston Harris recalls the impact of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka ruling during her high school years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Janette Hoston Harris names notable teachers and mentors at Carroll High School in Monroe, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her activities at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Janette Hoston Harris describes leading demonstrations for better cafeteria food at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Janette Hoston Harris recalls preparations for protesting segregation in solidarity with students from North Carolina A&T
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her experience at the the sit-in at S. H. Kress department store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her experiences in jail following the sit-in in which she participated in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her experiences in jail following the sit-in at S. H. Kress department store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Janette Hoston Harris describes the NAACP's involvement in releasing the S. H. Kress & Co. Department Store sit-in participants from jail
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Janette Hoston Harris describes Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College's reaction to the student protests
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Janette Hoston Harris recalls her parents' reactions to her arrest for participating in a sit-in
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Janette Hoston Harris recalls her expulsion from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Janette Hoston Harris describes the success of the 1961 U.S. Supreme Court case, Garner v. Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Janette Hoston Harris recalls starting a youth chapter of the NAACP in Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Janette Hoston Harris explains how she completed her undergraduate education at Central State College in Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her move to Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Janette Hoston Harris explains how she came to work for the Peace Corps in 1964
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Janette Hoston Harris describes obtaining her master's degree and Ph.D. from Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Janette Hoston Harris describes returning to school with a husband and children
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Janette Hoston Harris remembers her experiences as Washington, D.C. campaign manager for the Carter/Mondale re-election campaign in 1979
  • Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Janette Hoston Harris recalls her teaching experiences at Federal City College in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 15 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her work in HistoryMaker Sharon Pratt's executive office
  • Tape: 3 Story: 16 - Janette Hoston Harris reflects upon HistoryMaker Sharon Pratt's mayoral tenure
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Janette Hoston Harris talks about her accomplishments as city historian for Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Janette Hoston Harris talks about the Washington, D.C.'s history and its connection to African American history
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Janette Hoston Harris shares her goals as Washington, D.C.'s city historian
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Janette Hoston Harris reflects upon the impact of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954 decision
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Janette Hoston Harris compares the educational experience at Carroll High School fifty years later with hers in the 1950s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her experience attending the 2004 commencement at Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for commencement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Janette Hoston Harris reflects upon the impact of her sit-in participation in the early 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Janette Hoston Harris reflects upon the importance of learning about history
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Janette Hoston Harris reflects upon her life, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Janette Hoston Harris talks about her sister's decision to attend Central State College in Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Janette Hoston Harris talks about the reasons for sharing her story
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Janette Hoston Harris talks about the activism of younger generations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Janette Hoston Harris talks about her involvement in scholarship funds throughout Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Janette Hoston Harris reflects upon her life, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Janette Hoston Harris talks about her involvement in Washington, D.C. social organizations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Janette Hoston Harris describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 17 - Janette Hoston Harris describes her hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 18 - Janette Hoston Harris reflects upon her life, pt. 3
  • Tape: 4 Story: 19 - Janette Hoston Harris reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 20 - Janette Hoston Harris details her contributions to her community in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Janette Hoston Harris narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Janette Hoston Harris narrates her photographs, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Janette Hoston Harris narrates her photographs, pt. 3