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Lalita Tademy

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Information about Lalita Tademy

Profile image of Lalita Tademy

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Author

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Pie (Sweet Potato)
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Beaches
Favorite Quote:
It Is What It Is.

Birthplace

Born:
12/26/1948
Birth Location:
Berkeley, California

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Author

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Pie (Sweet Potato)
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Beaches
Favorite Quote:
It Is What It Is.

Birthplace

Born:
12/26/1948
Birth Location:
Berkeley
See how Lalita Tademy is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Author and corporate executive Lalita Tademy was born in 1948 in Berkeley, California to Nathan Green Tademy, Jr. and Willie Dee Billes. She was the youngest of four siblings, including two older sisters, Theodorsia and Joan, and an older brother, Lee. In 1956, her family moved to Castro Valley, California, where her father worked as a contractor. She attended A.B. Morris Junior High School and Castro Valley High, where she was a National Merit Scholar. In 1964, Tademy was accepted at Howard University in Washington, D.C. with a full academic scholarship. Two years later, she transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles. Tademy graduated with her B.S. degree in psychology in 1970 and in 1972, she earned her M.B.A. degree from the Graduate School of Management at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Tademy worked for the Bay Area Rapid Transit, Memorex Corporation, and ITT’s printer company, Qume. In 1985, she helped found ALPS America, a unit of Japan’s ALPS Electric Company, where she was in charge of marketing high-performance dot-matrix printers. Tademy was hired as Vice President and General Manager of Sun Microsystems in Silicon Valley in 1992. In 1995, she quit her executive position to pursue other passions. Tademy researched her family history intensively for three years before deciding to write a novel. In 2001, her first novel, Cane River, was published to much acclaim and was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The book chronicled the lives of her maternal ancestors. In 2007, she published her second novel, Red River, whose content was also drawn from her family history research.
Tademy was featured in Fortune’s “People on the Rise” column and Ebony’s “Speaking of People” feature in 1989, and in 1998, she was named as African American Innovator in the New Millennium at the Silicon Valley Tech Museum of Innovation. In 2001, Cane River was chosen as part of Oprah’s Book Club Series, and became a New York Times bestseller. Red River was selected as Border’s Interactive Book Club Pick in 2007 and as an Essence Book Club Pick in 2008. Tademy lives with her husband, corporate executive Barry Williams, in Menlo Park, California.
Lalita Tademy was interviewed by the The HistoryMakers on November 7, 2012.

See how Lalita Tademy is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lalita Tademy's interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy describes her French heritage
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy talks about her maternal great-grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy talks about light skin privilege in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy describes her maternal great-grandfather's murder
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy talks about the Creole identity
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy describes her maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy describes her mother's upbringing in Colfax, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy describes her approach to historical research
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy describes the history of the Colfax massacre
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy talks about the aftermath of the Colfax massacre
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy describes her paternal great-great-grandfather's role in the Colfax massacre
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy talks about the collapse of Reconstruction
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy talks about the Grant Parish Training School in Colfax, Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy talks about her paternal family's educational background
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy talks about her father's military service
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy describes her likeness to her parents
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy describes her early experiences of religion
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lalita Tademy remembers moving to Castro Valley, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lalita Tademy describes her father's occupation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Lalita Tademy remembers integrating Castro Valley, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Lalita Tademy recalls the reprisals against her family in Castro Valley, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy remembers researching the Colfax massacre
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy recalls her elementary education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy talks about the honors program at Parsons Elementary School in Castro Valley, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy remembers her social isolation in Castro Valley, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy recalls her early interest in reading
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy describes her social life at Castro Valley High School in Castro Valley, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy recalls her early talent as a writer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy recalls her summer program at the University of North Dakota in Fargo, North Dakota
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lalita Tademy talks about her early aspirations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Lalita Tademy recalls her decision to attend Howard University, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy describes her experiences of the protest movement at Howard University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy remembers her social life at Howard University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy recalls her decision to transfer to the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy remembers the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy recalls working for the Xerox Corporation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy recalls working for Philip Morris Inc.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy recalls her return to the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy remembers working at the Memorex Corporation, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lalita Tademy remembers working at the Memorex Corporation, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lalita Tademy remembers the original television broadcast of 'Roots,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy remembers the original television broadcast of 'Roots,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy recalls working for ITT Qume, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy remembers her success at Alps Electric (USA), Inc.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy remembers working at Sun Microsystems, Inc.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy recalls her decision to leave Corporate America
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy recalls the start of her genealogical research
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy describes the research for her family genealogy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy talks about the titles of her bestselling family chronicles
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy remembers developing the story of 'Cane River'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy compares 'Cane River' to other works of historical fiction
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy talks about her decision to write historical fiction
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy recalls the publishing offers for 'Cane River'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy talks about the audience of 'Cane River'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy talks about the focus on women in 'Cane River'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy talks about the reception of her second book, 'Red River'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy talks about the use of 'Cane River' in public schools
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Lalita Tademy's interview, session 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy recalls her decision to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy describes her transition to Howard University, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy describes her transition to Howard University, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy recalls the student protests at Howard University
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy recalls her professional aspirations
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy talks about her romantic experiences at Howard University
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy recalls her decision to leave Howard University
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Lalita Tademy recalls attending the University of California Los Angeles
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Lalita Tademy recalls her decision to attend business school
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy recalls her business aspirations
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy describes the M.B.A. degree program at the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy recalls her experiences at corporate job interviews
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy recalls her challenges at the Xerox Corporation
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy remembers her training at Philip Morris Inc.
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy recalls working for the Bay Area Rapid Transit
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy describes her work for the Memorex Corporation
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy describes her duties at ITT Qume
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Lalita Tademy talks about Alps Electric (USA), Inc.
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy describes her career at Alps Electric (USA), Inc.
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy talks about business negotiations in Japan, pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy talks about business negotiations in Japan, pt. 2
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy describes what she learned at Alps Electric (USA), Inc.
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy remembers the growth of Alps Electric (USA), Inc.
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy recalls her decision to leave Alps Electric (USA), Inc.
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy recalls her role at Sun Microsystems, Inc.
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy describes the structure of Sun Microsystems, Inc.
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy talks about her decision to leave Sun Microsystems, Inc.
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy recalls starting to research her family genealogy
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy describes her training as a writer
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy describes her income while writing 'Cane River'
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy remembers finding an agent and editor for 'Cane River'
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy recalls the popular acclaim for 'Cane River'
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy describes her motivations for writing 'Cane River'
  • Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy describes her writing process
  • Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Lalita Tademy describes her approach to character development
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy recalls adjusting to the attention from 'Cane River'
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy remembers meeting her husband, Barry Williams
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy recalls the response to 'Red River'
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy describes her third book, 'Citizens Creek'
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy describes the process of writing 'Citizens Creek'
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy reflects upon the reactions to 'Cane River'
  • Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy describes the reception of 'Citizens Creek'
  • Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy talks about her current writing projects
  • Tape: 12 Story: 9 - Lalita Tademy recalls a student's praise for 'Cane River'
  • Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy talks about her plans for the future
  • Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy narrates her photographs