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Rosetta Miller-Perry

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Information about Rosetta Miller-Perry

Profile image of Rosetta Miller-Perry

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Magazine Publishing Entrepreneur
Newspaper Publishing Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
Things Get Better With Time.

Birthplace

Born:
7/7/1934
Birth Location:
Coraopolis, Pennsylvania

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Magazine Publishing Entrepreneur
Newspaper Publishing Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
Things Get Better With Time.

Birthplace

Born:
7/7/1934
Birth Location:
Coraopolis
See how Rosetta Miller-Perry is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Multi-talented Tennessee Tribune publisher and civil rights activist, Rosetta Miller-Perry was born Rosetta Irvin on July 7, 1934 in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. The steel mills attracted her parents, Anderson Irvin and Mary Hall Irvin to Coraopolis from New Orleans, Louisiana. Miller-Perry grew up near the Allegheny River where she spent her first four years on her aunt’s house boat. She attended McKinley Elementary School and Coraopolis Junior High School. A good student, who read the Pittsburgh Courier and played the organ for her church, Miller-Perry graduated from Coraopolis Senior High School in 1952. Accepted by Howard University, Miller-Perry was disappointed when a close relative spent her tuition money. Moving to Chicago, she attended Herzl Community College and Cortes Peters Typing School while working for Spiegel’s. Perry joined the United States Navy in 1954, where she worked for Adam Bush in the Pentagon and for the Adjutant General’s Office in Germany.

Miller-Perry completed her B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Memphis in 1956 and her D.M.S. from the John A. Gumpton School of Mortuary Science in 1957. In 1958, she attended Tennessee State University and then Meharry Medical College for nurses training as she worked for Southern Funeral Home. Actively involved in the civil rights struggle, Miller-Perry worked closely with Z. Alexander Looby, Curley McGruder, Reverend Kelly Miller Smith and other leaders. When Looby’s home was bombed by the Ku Klux Klan in 1960, Miller-Perry moved to Memphis. She worked closely with SCLC and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She was brought into the United States Civil Rights Commission (USCRC) in 1960 as a clerk typist, then as a field representative. Assigned to cover the Memphis Garbage Strike in 1968, Miller-Perry witnessed the suspicious activities of the FBI, “The Invaders” and the chaos after the murder of Dr. King. Assigned to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 1975, Perry became Nashville Area Director of the EEOC. She retired from government service in 1990.

Miller-Perry founded Perry and Perry Associates in 1990 and published Contempora, a Tennessee-focused African American magazine. In 1992, Perry founded the community-oriented Tennessee Tribune in order to focus on issues like health, education, and voter registration. She established the Greater Nashville Black Chamber of Commerce (GNBCC) in 1998. That same year, Miller-Perry created the Anthony J. Cebrun Journalism Center in partnership with Dell Computers to prepare young people for careers in journalism. In 2006, she published the names of registered voters in the predominantly black districts, who did not vote and increased voter turnout from 35% to 65%. A civic dynamo, Miller-Perry serves on numerous boards. The Rosetta I. Miller Scholarship at Memphis State University was created in her honor and the annual $1,000 Rosetta Miller-Perry Award for Best Film by a Black Filmmaker is presented at the Nashville Film Festival.

Miller-Perry was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 18, 2007.

See how Rosetta Miller-Perry is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rosetta Miller-Perry's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rosetta Miller-Perry lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her father's first wife and remarriage
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her parents' move to Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her father and her likeness to him
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rosetta Miller-Perry lists some of her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers living with her maternal aunt
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her childhood pastimes
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her early experiences of racial discrimination
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Rosetta Miller-Perry recalls working as a domestic for her white peer's family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers Coraopolis High School in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers the draft during World War II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes the sights and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her father's career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers her early aspirations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers the newspapers in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rosetta Miller-Perry recalls her activities at Coraopolis High School in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers Mount Olive Baptist Church in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Rosetta Miller-Perry recalls being prevented from attending Howard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers moving to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers working at the Pentagon
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers meeting her husband
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her ex-husband's family background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers her time in Germany
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rosetta Miller-Perry recalls the start of her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers her experiences of segregation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers learning about nonviolent direct action
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rosetta Miller-Perry talks about the civil rights marches
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes the residents of Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rosetta Miller-Perry recalls the John A. Gupton School of Mortuary Science in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers working at the Southern Funeral Home in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers Memphis State University in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes the Rosetta I. Miller Award Fund
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her civil rights activities in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rosetta Miller-Perry recalls the leadership of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rosetta Miller-Perry recalls her early civil rights activities in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers joining the U.S. Civil Rights Commission
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers being targeted in a federal investigation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rosetta Miller-Perry recalls staying at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rosetta Miller-Perry talks about the Invaders
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Rosetta Miller-Perry recalls the rumors about Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Rosetta Miller-Perry recalls an incident with N.J. Ford
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Rosetta Miller-Perry recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes Civil Rights Movement leaders' illicit activities
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Rosetta Miller-Perry talks about the tactics of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers the Poor People's Campaign
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes the impact of civil rights groups on black newspapers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Rosetta Miller-Perry recalls working at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes changes in the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers Clarence Thomas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Rosetta Miller-Perry recalls founding Contempora magazine
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers founding The Tennessee Tribune
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Rosetta Miller-Perry recalls her newspaper's impact on voter turnout
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Rosetta Miller-Perry recalls the criticisms of her newspaper
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes The Tennessee Tribune newspaper
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Rosetta Miller-Perry remembers Anthony J. Cebrun
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes the racial tensions in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her publishing philosophy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Rosetta Miller-Perry talks about megachurches
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes the challenges facing The Tennessee Tribune
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes the staff of The Tennessee Tribune
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her advertisers' partners
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her plans for the future
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes the leadership of The Tennessee Tribune
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes the mission of The Tennessee Tribune
  • Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes the Rosetta Miller-Perry Award for Best Black Filmmaker
  • Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Rosetta Miller-Perry reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Rosetta Miller-Perry talks about the media's portrayal of the black community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes the influence of Christianity in the South
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Rosetta Miller-Perry reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes her family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Rosetta Miller-Perry describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Rosetta Miller-Perry narrates her photographs