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Josie Childs

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Information about Josie Childs

Profile image of Josie Childs

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Civic Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Peach
Favorite Food:
Blueberries
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
I Could, But I Won’t Complain.

Birthplace

Born:
10/13/1926
Birth Location:
Clarksdale, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Civic Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Peach
Favorite Food:
Blueberries
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
I Could, But I Won’t Complain.

Birthplace

Born:
10/13/1926
Birth Location:
Clarksdale
See how Josie Childs is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Civic leader and government employee Josie Childs was born on October 13, 1926, in Clarksdale, Mississippi to Julia Brown and Charles Washington, a dentist. Although born in Clarksdale, Childs grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Her grandfather was a successful landowner and professor, and Childs’ grandmother was a school teacher. She attended elementary school and high school in both Memphis and Vicksburg. Childs went on to attend LeMoyne–Owen College in Memphis, and then took classes at the Cortez W. Peters Business College. She also studied at Northwestern University in Chicago, where she took business courses in the late 1940s.

Childs was employed with the City of Chicago, first under sponsorship from Bob Miller in the Sixth Ward, and then under Colonel Jack Riley as an events coordinator in the 1950s. She also served as an administrator at the Metropolitan School of Tailoring. Childs went on to work with former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington on his 1977 and 1983 mayoral campaigns. She was also Mayor Washington’s aide for many years. Childs then worked at City Hall as an administrator in the City of Chicago’s Special Events and Cultural Affairs departments from 1983 until 1990. Following her work with the City of Chicago, she went on to create and promote various events, including an acknowledgement event for Great Lakes African American naval musicians.

Childs was the founder of the 2013 Harold Washington Tribute Committee, and has worked to ensure the continued legacy of Chicago’s first African American Mayor, Harold Washington. She has been a member of many organizations, including the Duke Ellington Society, Joint Negro Appeal, Know Your Chicago, Executive Service Corps., and Friends of the Chicago Public Library. She sat on the boards of the National Council for Lay Life and Work and the Christ Hospital Nursing School. Childs received the Georgia Palmer Award from Congressman Danny K. Davis in 2013. She has also donated the “Josie Brown Childs Papers,” a collection of documents consisting of family history, her political work, and her efforts to promote African American cultural and historical awareness, to the Chicago Public Library.

Josie Childs was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 24, 2013.

See how Josie Childs is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Josie Childs' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Josie Childs lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Josie Childs describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Josie Childs talks about her maternal grandparents' occupations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Josie Childs talks about her mother's upbringing and educational background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Josie Childs describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Josie Childs describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Josie Childs remembers her stepfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Josie Childs recalls her early schooling
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Josie Childs remembers her influential teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Josie Childs describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Josie Childs talks about her religious experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Josie Childs talks about her childhood interests
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Josie Childs describes her high school experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Josie Childs recalls attending LeMoyne College in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Josie Childs remembers the social scene in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1940s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Josie Childs talks about her move to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Josie Childs recalls her early experiences in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Josie Childs remembers joining a hunting and fishing club in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Josie Childs describes her first jobs in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Josie Childs remembers Chicago, Illinois in the 1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Josie Childs recalls her early introduction to Chicago politics
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Josie Childs describes forming the Mayor's Office of Special Events with Jack Riley
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Josie Childs talks about being the first African American hired in the Chicago mayor's office
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Josie Childs describes her experience in the Chicago Mayor's Office of Special Events
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Josie Childs recalls her decision to resign from the City of Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Josie Childs remembers meeting her husband James Childs, Sr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Josie Childs remembers helping her stepson James Childs, Jr. with his mother's funeral
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Josie Childs talks about attorney Jake Arvey's influence in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Josie Childs remembers the Silent Six on the Chicago City Council
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Josie Childs recalls talking with Harold Washington about his aspirations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Josie Childs remembers meeting U.S. House Representative William L. Dawson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Josie Childs recalls the changes in Chicago politics following the 1977 death of Richard J. Daley
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Josie Childs talks about Harold Washington's 1977 mayoral campaign
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Josie Childs remembers Harold Washington's campaign strategy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Josie Childs talks about the relationship between Harold Washington and Gus Savage
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Josie Childs remembers Harold Washington's election to the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Josie Childs talks about the rivalry between Harold Washington and Edward Vrdolyak
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Josie Childs describes Harold Washington's decision to run for mayor
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Josie Childs recalls voter registration efforts prior to Harold Washington's mayoral campaign
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Josie Childs describes working on campaigns with John Conyers, Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Josie Childs remembers Harold Washington's contributions to the City of Chicago
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Josie Childs recalls Harold Washington's grassroots support
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Josie Childs talks about Clarence McClain
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Josie Childs remembers Harold Washington's 1987 campaign for reelection
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Josie Childs recalls the aftermath of Harold Washington's death
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Josie Childs recalls her tenure in the Mayor's Office of Special Events
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Josie Childs describes her first firing by Lois Weisberg
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Josie Childs recalls being firing by Lois Weisberg for a second time
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Josie Childs remembers organizing the Great Lakes Experience concert
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Josie Childs recalls working with Samuel Floyd of the Columbia College Center for Black Music Research
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Josie Childs talks about exhibits commemorating Harold Washington
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Josie Childs describes the Harold Washington Tribute Committee
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Josie Childs talks about the Mikva Challenge program
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Josie Childs talks about her interest in hosting events
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Josie Childs describes her involvement with the Harold Washington Tribute Committee
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Josie Childs recalls receiving the Jorja Palmer Award
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Josie Childs describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Josie Childs reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Josie Childs reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Josie Childs talks about her health
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Josie Childs describes how she would like to be remembered