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Vera Thelma Shorter

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Information about Vera Thelma Shorter

Profile image of Vera Thelma Shorter

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Community Activist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Spring Colors
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Aqua
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
Give Yourself Some Time.

Birthplace

Born:
12/22/1922
Birth Location:
Huntington, New York

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Community Activist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Spring Colors
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Aqua
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
Give Yourself Some Time.

Birthplace

Born:
12/22/1922
Birth Location:
Huntington
See how Vera Thelma Shorter is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Auditor, community activist, and writer, Vera T. Shorter, was born on December 22, 1922, in Huntington, New York. Raised in Huntington on the Long Island section of New York, Shorter and her family moved to nearby Northport when she entered high school in 1936. After graduating from Northport High School in 1940, Shorter studied bookkeeping at Eastman Business School in New York City. After several years as a secretary and bookkeeper, Shorter earned a certificate in accounting from Pace College in Brooklyn, New York. During her early career as an accountant, Shorter was an active member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and an activist with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Shorter was also a contributing writer to Black Odyssey, a travel and leisure magazine, and Our World, writing feature articles in the Fairs and Food section.

Between 1965 and 1973, Shorter served as the supervisor of tax auditors at the Internal Revenue Service headquarters in Manhattan. During her last three years at the IRS (1973-1976), Shorter was the equal employment opportunity officer; she was the first African American to attain these positions with the IRS in New York.

In 1976, Shorter moved to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts when her husband, Rufus B. Shorter (1920-1980), was appointed superintendent of the Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools. After the move to Martha’s Vineyard, Shorter became an influential and respected civic and community leader, becoming involved in virtually every aspect of the black community and in a range of educational and civic activities in the larger community. For ten years, Shorter coordinated a celebrity tennis tournament to raise money for the Nathan Mayhew Seminars, an adult education institution. Shorter served on the executive committee of the Martha’s Vineyard branch of the NAACP, and as a member of the Affirmative Action Advisory Committee to the Vineyard schools. Shorter also served as the president of the Lagoon Pond Association and was a charter member of the Island’s branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. For many years Shorter also assisted the elderly in preparing their income tax returns.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vera Thelma Shorter's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vera Thelma Shorter lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls her mother's service with the Rockefeller family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her father, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her mother's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her father, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls her father's jobs and sightseeing trips
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her siblings' lives and professions
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her relationship with her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her maternal grandparents' family background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her paternal family background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes growing up in Huntington, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes the sounds and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her family's holiday traditions
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her school experiences in Huntington, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her experience at Northport High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls her family attending church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls her aspirations in high school and college plans
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her high school's racial makeup and her babysitting job
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls working as an au pair in Brooklyn, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vera Thelma Shorter remembers attending Eastman Business College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls forming a citywide youth committee in Brooklyn, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes how she met her husband, Rufus Shorter
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls her career immediately after she was married
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her husband's career as an educator, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her husband's career as an educator, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls her career progression at the Internal Revenue Service
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her experience as an equal opportunity officer at the IRS
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls challenging situations at the IRS
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her community activism while working at the IRS
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her writings for the IRS and for periodicals
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her younger daughter, Beth Shorter-Bagot
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her older daughter, Lynn Shorter
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls moving to Martha's Vineyard in 1976
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her involvement in the Martha's Vineyard chapter of the NAACP
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her fundraising for the Nathan Mayhew Seminars
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her volunteer work for the Nathan Mayhew Seminars
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her involvement in the Lagoon Pond Association
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes the impact of her husband's death
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls her husband's professional achievements on Martha's Vineyard
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Vera Thelma Shorter learns about The HistoryMakers' digital archive
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls her modeling agency in New York and tax practice in Martha's Vineyard
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Vera Thelma Shorter reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her grandson, Gabriel Bagot
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Vera Thelma Shorter gives advice to young people interested in community activism
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Vera Thelma Shorter narrates her photographs