The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

The Honorable Ras Baraka

Political leader Ras Baraka was born on April 9, 1970 in Newark, New Jersey to writer and playwright Amiri Baraka and poet Amina Baraka. He received his B.A. degree in political science from Howard University in 1991; and earned his M.A. degree in education supervision from St. Peter’s University in Jersey City in 1994. In 1992, Baraka served as the editor of In the Tradition: An Anthology of Young Black Writers. In 1998, Baraka was featured on singer Lauryn Hill’s album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and in 2003, he performed a collection of poems called Black Girls Learn Love Hard at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. The volume was dedicated to Baraka’s sister, Shani Baraka, who was murdered in 2003. Baraka has participated in the National Political Hip-Hop Convention from its inception in 2004.

Prior to his political career, Baraka worked as an English and history teacher for Newark Public Schools. In 1994, at the age of twenty-four, Baraka ran for mayor of Newark, New Jersey, but was defeated by Sharpe James. Baraka was elected as Council Member At-Large on the Municipal Council of Newark in 2005. From 2007 to 2013, Baraka served as the principal of Central High School in Newark. He was re-elected as a South Ward Council Member in 2010, a position he held until 2014. In July of 2014, Baraka became Newark’s 40th mayor, on a platform of improving the city’s public school system, economic growth, and criminal justice reform. During his tenure, Baraka launched the City’s first police Civilian Complaint Review board and unified the City’s police and fire departments into a single public safety department. In 2017, Baraka initiated the Hire. Buy. Live. Newark plan to stimulate the city’s economic development. Baraka was re-elected for a second mayoral term in 2018.

In 2015, Baraka was named Most Valuable Mayor on The Nation’s Most Valuable Progressives list. He was also featured on Ebony magazine’s Power 100 list. In 2017, Baraka was presented with an honorary degree from Montclair University. He also served on the board of trustees of Newark Trust.

Ras Baraka was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 4, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.213

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/4/2017

Last Name

Baraka

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Madison Avenue Elementary School

Clinton Place Junior High School

University High School of Humanities

Saint Peter's University

Howard University

First Name

Ras

Birth City, State, Country

Newark

HM ID

BAR16

Favorite Season

My Birthday

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

4/9/1969

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Newark

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Kinds

Short Description

Mayor The Honorable Ras Baraka (1969 - ) was elected mayor of Newark, New Jersey in 2014.

Employment

The Source

Newark Public Schools

City of Newark, New Jersey

Favorite Color

Purple

Audrey M. Edmonson

Audrey M. Edmonson was born on January 27, 1953 in Miami, Florida. She graduated from Miami Jackson Senior High School in Miami, Florida in 1971. Edmonson earned her A.A. degree in psychology from Miami Dade College in 1991, and her B.A. degree in psychology from Florida International University in 1994. Edmonson received her dual M.S. degree in marriage family therapy and mental health counseling from Barry University in 1997.

In 1997, she was elected as a councilperson to the Village of El Portal City Council in Florida. In 1999, she was elected mayor of the Village of El Portal, Florida and became the city’s second African American mayor. During the same year, Edmonson began working as a trust specialist in the Miami Dade Public School system. Edmonson was re-elected three successive terms and became the municipality's first mayor to be elected by residents rather than by the members of the Village Council. Under her leadership, the Village hired its first Village Manager. In 2005, when she was elected as commissioner for the 3rd District on the Miami-Dade County Commission. She was re-elected three more times and in 2010 and 2016, she was elected to serve as vice chair. In 2018, Edmonson was elected to serve as president of the Miami-Dade County Commission.

Edmonson was chairwoman of the Housing and Social Services Committee and the Building Safer Neighborhoods Sub-Committee. She also served as vice chairwoman of the Transportation and Public Works Committee and the Chairman’s Policy Council, and as a member of the Youth Crime Task Force. She served as the vice chairwoman of the Miami Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) Board of Directors. Edmonson was appointed to the Miami-Dade County HIV/AIDS “Getting to Zero” Task Force and served as Chairwoman of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) I-395 Signature Bridge-Aesthetic Steering Committee. She also serves on the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust and the Public Health Trust nominating councils, the Public Health Trust/Miami-Dade Annual Operating Agreement Committee, the Jackson Health System Obligation Bond Citizens’ Advisory Committee and the County Advisory Task Force for the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program Planning and Implementation Project which is referred locally as Project PEACE: People Engaged and Advocating for Community Empowerment. Vice Chairwoman Edmonson serves as the Vice Chair of the International Trade Consortium Board.

In addition to her work as a city commissioner, Edmonson was also involved in many different community organizations. She was a member of the Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. and the Links, Incorporated. She also helped create the Miami Children’s Initiative in 2006, where she served as a board member. Edmonson served as a board member for the Frost Science Museum, the JMH Citizen’s Advisory Board, and the JMH Nominating Committee. Edmonson was recognized for her community work by South Florida Magazine, which named her one of “South Florida’s 50 Most Powerful Black Professionals.”

Edmonson has two children, Dr. Ebony Nicole Dunn and Louis Ivory Edmonson and three grandchildren.

Audrey M. Edmonson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 10, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.035

Sex

Female

Interview Date

03/10/2017

Last Name

Edmonson

Maker Category
Schools

Barry University

Florida International University

Miami Dade College

Miami Jackson Senior High School

Georgia Jones-Ayers Middle School

Lenora Braynon Smith Elementary School

Liberty City Elementary School

First Name

Audrey

Birth City, State, Country

Miami

HM ID

EDM05

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Town, South Africa

Favorite Quote

It's Not That You Can't Do Something It's How You Can Get It Done.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

1/27/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Snapper

Short Description

Mayor and city commissioner Audrey M. Edmonson (1953 - ) was mayor of the Village of El Portal for six years before serving the Miami Dade Board of Commissioners for twelve years.

Employment

Miami Dade County

Village of El Portal

Miami Dade Schools

AT Services

Eastern Airlines

New Horizons Community Mental Health Center

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:213,78:3834,137:5893,177:6532,187:6887,193:8520,214:8804,219:11980,292:12960,311:13240,316:22200,545:22550,551:27380,704:27940,725:34594,763:41907,923:42404,931:42901,940:56535,1078:57185,1090:58875,1138:64255,1199:64571,1204:65519,1216:65835,1221:66151,1226:69390,1293:73020,1316:73790,1336:77500,1451:77850,1458:78550,1471:78900,1477:80930,1530:82330,1555:83240,1575:83730,1585:84360,1597:95884,1773:96814,1804:108220,1980:113588,2058:117290,2083:118010,2093:125627,2156:125972,2162:127697,2206:128456,2218:129422,2242:129767,2248:147170,2512:148445,2537:149270,2549:150995,2582:151445,2589:159592,2697:165678,2780:166119,2802:166623,2812:168450,2854:171298,2880:174906,2993:177012,3033:177498,3045:178794,3102:186964,3218:188070,3238:188939,3257:189334,3263:189966,3273:198764,3380:199172,3404:205677,3477:206293,3487:206832,3496:215970,3670$0,0:354,9:3599,122:4012,131:6077,183:7729,231:15356,344:16940,356:21358,374:23900,418:34860,601:35400,617:36930,645:37830,657:61458,987:64000,1033:64492,1044:67362,1142:70314,1205:75207,1236:75697,1249:76481,1310:81646,1404:90260,1639:95930,1690:97217,1704:99114,1718:101264,1800:101866,1808:102210,1813:102554,1818:108700,1904:121224,2060:123130,2082:124714,2134:125434,2146:128130,2171:137160,2280:137560,2286:146073,2383:146637,2388:150383,2456:152624,2491:153205,2500:159362,2584:159906,2594:166636,2655:167329,2666:169947,2720:177836,2796:178358,2808:180024,2819:180429,2826:197924,3056:206456,3234:207932,3262:208260,3270:210064,3316:226352,3717:241868,3893:243779,3926:245144,3949:247237,3989:253236,4087:255920,4106:256946,4147:269308,4332:269805,4341:278434,4565:283494,4617:284954,4679:289188,4751:290648,4775:298774,5018:318766,5230:320616,5273:332300,5457
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Audrey M. Edmonson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Audrey M. Edmonson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Audrey M. Edmonson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Audrey M. Edmonson talks about her mother's family in Nassau, Bahamas

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Audrey M. Edmonson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Audrey M. Edmonson talks about her mother's marriages

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Audrey M. Edmonson describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Audrey M. Edmonson describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Audrey M. Edmonson remembers her early neighborhood of Liberty City in Miami, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Audrey M. Edmonson talks about attending church and completing chores on the weekends

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Audrey M. Edmonson lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Audrey M. Edmonson remembers transferring between elementary schools in Miami, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Audrey M. Edmonson recalls moving from Liberty City to a majority white neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Audrey M. Edmonson remembers attending Allapattah Junior High School in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Audrey M. Edmonson talks about Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Audrey M. Edmonson recalls staging a sit-in to integrate her high school cheerleading team

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Audrey M. Edmonson describes her high school extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Audrey M. Edmonson recalls becoming one of the first African American flight attendants at Eastern Air Lines

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Audrey M. Edmonson describes the process to become a flight attendant

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Audrey M. Edmonson recalls her experiences with racism as a flight attendant, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Audrey M. Edmonson recalls her experiences with racism as a flight attendant, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Audrey M. Edmonson talks about her career at Eastern Air Lines

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Audrey M. Edmonson talks about the social dynamics of being a flight attendant

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Audrey M. Edmonson remembers meeting her former husband, Louis Edmonson

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Audrey M. Edmonson describes her children

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Audrey M. Edmonson talks about the changes in reglations for a flight attendant at Eastern Air Lines

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Audrey M. Edmonson recalls starting her cleaning company, AT Services

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Audrey M. Edmonson talks about adopting her second child, Louis Ivory Edmonson

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Audrey M. Edmonson describes her college education

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Audrey M. Edmonson talks about her first involvement in political campaigns

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Audrey M. Edmonson describes her work with the New Horizons Community Mental Health Center in Miami, Florida

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

3$6

DATitle
Audrey M. Edmonson recalls staging a sit-in to integrate her high school cheerleading team
Audrey M. Edmonson describes the process to become a flight attendant
Transcript
So, you say it was because of Dr. King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] that they weren't allowed to do these things?$$No. It was because of Dr. King that we finally did something about this at Miami Edison High School [Miami Edison Senior High School, Miami, Florida]. We--$$This is after you moved to that school?$$Yeah. Only--I was at Edison for a year.$$Okay.$$Ninth grade.$$Okay.$$I'm in ninth grade now.$$Okay. Got it.$$So, I'm growing up a little bit.$$That's fine.$$(Laughter) So, what we did--$$And, this is the predominately white school--$$Yes.$$--where they're not allowing the girls to--$$Correct.$$--to participate.$$The boys were allowed to play in the sports.$$Okay.$$The girls were allowed to play sports. But, they did not choose any blacks who were--and we had a lot that went out for the cheerleaders and the, the Raiderettes, which are the swingettes or whatever you call them. And, it was another group of girls. So, we, we had to meet, they--how, I don't know how we pulled this off, you know, we were kids. We, it was secretly going out, a meeting was gonna be, and they gave us the address. And, I remember the, the girl's last name was White [ph.]. And, we went over to her home that night, and the word was, "Don't come unless you bring your parents with you." And, I was afraid but I knew I wanted to go to this meeting. So, I finally approached my mom [Florence Smith Downs] and I said, "Mom, they gonna have a meeting at a house tonight" (laughter). I say, "And, they say we can't come unless we bring our parents." And, she asked me, what was it about? And, I told her, you know, that--they didn't put any young ladies on the cheerleader squad, they didn't put any--and she says, "And, you're gonna meet over there about that?" She said, "That can be trouble." And, I said, "I know, but I wanna go. And, I can't go unless you go." She said no more. We got in the car later on that evening and we drove over there and I was shocked. She gave me my permission to do a sit-in. And, we did a sit-in the next day and it took the school by surprise. And, the media was there. So, they placed one, one young lady. They didn't have another, no type of competitive thing. They placed one young lady on the cheerleaders, one on the Raiderettes and one on the, the other group.$$So it worked.$$It worked. And, we sat there on the floor quietly. And, I remember (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) For how long?$$--the, the young lady's father was a doctor, and he's the one that really facilitated everything. And, he told us, no matter what, just sit there, don't open our mouths, and do not use any profane language, don't talk back, just sit there. And, that what we did.$$Do you remember how long you sat there?$$We had to have sat there for at least two hours because I think the superintendent, everybody came at--to the school. So, it was a big thing. It was in the news.$$They couldn't believe you were doing that.$$They couldn't believe we did that.$$Even though these things were happening across the country--$$And, we sat there and we blocked the office door, right in the hallway.$$And, how many of you were there?$$It had to be a good--because, now when we were at the house, it was only about thirty or forty of us. But, somehow when we did the sit-in, it had to have been a good fifty, sixty, I mean, it was triple the amount of us that were at the house.$$And, was everybody black?$$Um-hm, all black. I think the word got around. And, if you were black you came, and you sat.$$Were you afraid?$$No. I enjoyed it. You know, I was young. You know, nothing could happen to me. I was invincible.$Was that part of the interview process [for Eastern Air Lines], just your comfort on a plane?$$That could've been because that was discussed. They gave me a test. I took the test. That was, you know, the test I took, I couldn't believe the test, you know, it was, "Would you rather be a bishop or, or a cardinal?" And, you know, I remember things like that on this test that I took. And, I just took the test and then my last interview was before a panel and as they--at the end one of them said, "Audrey [HistoryMaker Audrey M. Edmonson], we think we're gonna take you on." And, back then, the things they did they wouldn't dare to now. Because the first interview I had to walk from one side of the room to the other side. So, they could see me walk. And, they asked me to stoop down. But, I did remember from home ec [home economics], you never bend (laughter). So, I did do it at the knees (laughter). So, I did remember some things.$$So, so it was, because, I mean, the original stewardesses as we, you know, see in movies and everything are (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Skinny.$$--skinny, fashionable--$$They weighed us every time we came in.$$Right. They did?$$Yeah. They had the scale right to the door.$$And, what did you have to (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) And, if you were on probation, you got weighed every trip.$$Why would you be on probation?$$Because you had a six months probationary period when you first started out.$$And, what did you have to weigh (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) They could just let you go for no reason.$$What was the weight requirement?$$When I started, I was 5'7". I had to keep my weight under 126. I could not go over 126 pounds.$$And, were you, was that easy or difficult for you (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) It was difficult. Because when they hired me I was 132 pounds. And, she asked me if I thought I could lose the weight by that very last interview. I wanted that job. I even--I used to even bite my nails. I stopped biting my nails. I lost the weight, and I was about 124 at that last interview.$$Just in the process of the interview. And, this is across what period of time?$$About a three month period.$$So, they needed, you needed to get to the 126 in order for them to hire you?$$Um-hm. I guess they wanted to see how motivated I was. Or, how much motivation I had. And, I had it.$$And, at this time it didn't, it didn't bother you that there were these kinds of requirements?$$No. Well, I didn't know any better. I even had to dye my hair because on my first interview, I think it was my first and second interview, I wore an Afro wig. So, at that time, and you'll see that (laughter), when you look at my pictures, at one point in time I was blonde (laughter). My hair was blonde underneath. So, they had no idea. So, when I came to, I think the second interview, I told her, I says, "Now, my hair is kind of blonde-ish." And, she was surprised 'cause she thought the wig was my hair. She says, "Well, what do you mean, blonde-ish?" And, I kind of did that little number to her. And, she says, "Well, are you willing to dye it black?" (Laughter) And I said, I said, "Yes, I'll dye it." I wanted this job. And, she says, "Now, what if we don't hire you? What if they decide they're not gonna hire you in the next interview?" I says, "Well, that's okay, I'll just dye it back blonde," (laughter). And, she gave a little chuckle and--$$So, for the third interview, you'd lost the weight, dyed you hair (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Third interview, lost the weight, stopped biting my nails, and dyed my hair.$$And, how were you wearing it? 'Cause now, you're not having on an Afro wig, what style are you wearing it?$$Shorter Afro.$$Okay. So, it was--so, they didn't mind the Afro?$$No. They did mind the Afros. Let me tell you what they did. As a matter of fact, in the class that I was in there were, we had three blacks. One was really not in the class, she was in the class ahead of us but she got sick so she finished out in our class. But, there were, we had two blacks in my class that went through. And, they brought us from all over the country. Both of us had Afros. For some reason they kind of liked her Afro. They didn't like mine. So, at the end of the class when they see that they're actually going to graduate you, they sent all of us to the, the beauty parlor. So, I'm sitting up there, I'm telling the girl how I want my hair. She says, "But, that's not what it says on the paper." And, this is, we were the first class that they actually sent to a black salon. They had been sending (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh, you're at a black salon, okay.$$--the black girls to the white salons. We were the first. They sent us to Supreme Wig and Beauty Supply [sic. Supreme Wig and Beauty Salon, Miami, Florida]. And, the girl stands there, and she's looking at it (laughter), she says, "Well, this is not what I'm supposed to do." I said, "What do you mean, this is not what you're supposed to be?" She says, "I'm supposed to relax your hair and cut it into a bob." And, that's what she did. She put a relaxer on my head.$$Had you ever had a relaxer?$$Yeah, I did have a relaxer back when I was in high school. I took up cosmetology. So, I played around--that's how I got the blonde hair, just playing around with my hair.$$So, again, you wanted the job. So, you're like--$$Yeah.$$I'll do it.$$I did it.

The Honorable Willie Logan

Political leader Willie Logan was born on February 16, 1957 in Miami Beach, Florida to Willie Logan, Sr. and Ruth Logan. He graduated from high school in 1975, earned his A.A. degree from Miami-Dade College in Miami, Florida in 1976, and his B.S. degree in accounting from the University of Miami in 1977. He later earned his M.B.A. degree in health care administration from the University of Miami in 1996.

Logan worked in the insurance industry and volunteered for various political campaigns. In 1980, Logan founded the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation and became its president and chief executive officer. He was elected as mayor of Opa-locka, Florida, making him the youngest mayor in the United States at the time. Logan served as mayor of Opa-locka until 1982, when he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives. In 1997, Logan was designated by Democratic Party leadership to be the next House Speaker and became the first African American to hold that position. Logan founded the Logan Consulting Group in 1992. In 2000, Logan ran for United States Senate as an independent candidate but ultimately lost the election. He continued to serve as president and chief executive officer of Opa-locka Community Development Corporation.

In the Florida legislature, Logan chaired numerous committees, including the Criminal Justice Budget Committee and the Committee on Finance and Taxation. He served as House Democratic Leader-elect in 1997. He was also a member of the Appropriations and Rules Committees and was the immediate past chair of the Miami-Dade County Legislative Delegation, the Legislature’s largest delegation.

Logan has been invited as a featured speaker on the subject of community development, including the Future of Places International Conference on Streets as Public Spaces and Drivers of Urban Prosperity in Argentina and the Project for Public Spaces Conference on Public Markets in Spain. He has also published a chapter entitled, “Revitalization & Transforming the Community,” in the book Shifting from Objects to Places. Logan also served on the Child Service Council and the Performing Arts Council in the Miami-Dade area.

Willie Logan was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 8, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.066

Sex

Male

Interview Date

03/08/2017

Last Name

Logan

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Holy Redeemer Catholic School

Bunche Park Elementary School

North Dade Middle School International Education Magnet

Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School

University of Miami

Miami Dade College

First Name

Willie

Birth City, State, Country

Miami Beach

HM ID

LOG02

Favorite Season

February in Miami

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

I love the mountains and sea, urban and rural./New York City

Favorite Quote

Too many to choose from.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

2/16/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mangoes

Short Description

Political leader Willie Logan (1957 - ) served on the Florida House of Representatives from 1982 to 2000 and is the founder, president, and CEO of the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation.

Employment

Florida Office of Insurance Regulation

George Green Insurance Agency

Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation, Inc.

City of Opa-Locka

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:4441,79:7417,244:20396,345:62214,949:79210,1129:90130,1364:136640,2233:155040,2532:156390,2683:156750,2735:174192,2927:191080,3052:212910,3438$0,0:380,8:1216,19:10768,137:18064,311:18748,318:19432,325:24628,952:27040,1018:34660,1168:80298,1639:95891,1740:99401,1801:104266,1833:112890,2008:116760,2087:117324,2093:118546,2119:134549,2243:139081,2570:140111,2582:153820,2803:167394,3033:167902,3044:171077,3083:183718,3239:186413,3315:191030,3381
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Willie Logan's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Willie Logan lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Willie Logan describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Willie Logan talks about his mother's occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Willie Logan talks about his maternal grandfather's military service during World War I

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Willie Logan describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Willie Logan describes his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Willie Logan recalls how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Willie Logan talks about his early experiences with racism

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Willie Logan describes his father's profession

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Willie Logan remembers his relationship with his father

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Willie Logan talks about his mother's decision to move to Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Willie Logan describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Willie Logan talks about his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Willie Logan recalls the racial demographics of Miami-Dade County, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Willie Logan describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Willie Logan remembers the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Willie Logan recalls his early schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Willie Logan recalls his school's use of corporal punishment

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Willie Logan describes his mother's views on corporal punishment

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Willie Logan remembers school integration in Miami-Dade County, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Willie Logan recalls his experiences with school integration

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Willie Logan remembers playing football in his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Willie Logan recalls leaving high school early

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Willie Logan remembers his decision to attend Miami-Dade Community College in Miami, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Willie Logan remembers his most influential teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Willie Logan remembers his college mentors

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Willie Logan recalls his decision to attend the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Willie Logan remembers his extracurricular activities in college

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Willie Logan talks about the racial climate at the University of Miami

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Willie Logan describes his early interest in accounting

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Willie Logan remembers his work experiences in college

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Willie Logan recalls working with Florida politician Bill Gunter

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Willie Logan remembers working at George Green's insurance company

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Willie Logan recalls the integration of the parks in Opa-Locka, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Willie Logan describes the city of Opa-Locka, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Willie Logan talks about Opa-Locka's changing racial demographics

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Willie Logan remembers the former mayors of Opa-Locka, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Willie Logan recalls his decision to run for mayor of Opa-Locka, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Willie Logan remembers his mayoral campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Willie Logan remembers winning the 1980 Opa-locka mayoral election

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Willie Logan describes his mayoral predecessors

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Willie Logan remembers the 1980 Mariel boatlift

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Willie Logan recalls the change in Opa-locka's Hispanic population

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Willie Logan talks about the post-election coverage of Opa-locka

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Willie Logan remembers the racial demographics of the Opa-locka City Commission

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

2$1

DATitle
The Honorable Willie Logan recalls working with Florida politician Bill Gunter
The Honorable Willie Logan remembers winning the 1980 Opa-locka mayoral election
Transcript
Did you get a job someplace right, right afterwards?$$ I, I did. I got a job working as an accountant. I can't think of the name of the company. I worked for a week. I realized I hated it, I mean literally hated it. The idea that my life will be spent working with numbers in an office not interacting with people, being as mundane as you know making entries into a general ledger and reconciling financial statements and bank statements was tedious and absolutely boring and I felt like I was making no contribution to anything, other than maybe helping someone to understand what their profits and losses were or expenses and revenues were. And, and that wasn't how I wanted to spend my life. So, after the first week I quit without having a second job. And, you know, I, I pursued a couple opportunities, including AT&T [AT&T Inc.] had a management program that a--my college roommate's brother-in-law had just graduated from out of New York [New York] that I got accepted in. But I decided to take a job with an insurance company. No, I decided to take a job with the, the insurance agency at the time and that was Bill Gunter who was the commissioner of edu- commissioner of insurance. And, and what I did not talk about was my involvement in politics when I was at UM.$$Okay.$$ And, and how that was a bridge to the second job I got which is the second week after I finished college, as well as a bridge into politics. Michael Abrams [Mike Abrams] who, who was the then chairman of the Democratic Party who had been the former president of the student body at UM was part of the draft Kennedy movement, Edward Kennedy [Edward M. Kennedy] that challenged then Jimmy Carter [President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.]--well, he--our first--okay, let me back up. So, he was active in campus and he was active in making sure we had a democratic club at University of Miami [Coral Gables, Florida] and he was active with the local DNC [Democratic National Committee], and that's how I got involved in politics (background noise). And--in local politics and, and got engaged in politics. And I had helped the then candidate for the commissioner of in, insurance. I had worked with his campaign. And when he won that November and I finished college in that December which is how I got the bridge to the job working as a field director in the insurance commissioner's office. And so, I did that right after I quit the job as an accountant and I stayed there for about a year. And I liked that because I got to work outside the office. I got to help people who had complaints who insurance were being nonresponsive or unresponsive or not responding correctly to you know, to look into those cases. And, and it helped people re- you know resolve those matters and so I was a bridge between you know clients and, and businesses enforcing laws of the State of Florida representing a public official, and I liked that job. The only thing I didn't like about it was that I, I really was an entrepreneur by, by nature. And so, the idea of clocking hours, the idea of having you know sort of a set job description that, that you, you know this is what you do every day, even though I liked more of what I was doing, 'cause I thought I was making somewhat of a difference wasn't what I was looking for and the other thing was, is that it didn't use my, what I thought was my strongest skillset which was my quantitative skills.$Tell me about the, when you found out you won, what was it like?$$ You know, (pause) I think there were two things that, I think one is that I had won by twelve votes, but there had to be a recount because it was less than 1 percent or whatever the case may be, and absentee ballots hadn't come in yet. So, I didn't really know that night of the election that I had really won. But what I did, what I did realize 'cause it was the top vote become mayor, the second most vote getter become vice mayor. I knew I had got elected to the commission [Opa-locka City Commission] so I knew I had got elected to public office and it was just a question whether I was serving as mayor or vice mayor. I wasn't running for mayor, I was just running for a commission seat. So, in that light there were three seats open. I was the highest tote--vote getter the night of the election. Any worse, I would be the second highest vote getter 'cause there weren't that many absentee ballots out. When I learned that I had won by nine votes when it was all said and done, I, I think there was some euphoria but I can't remember that because what I remember most is getting a call from then mayor, [HistoryMaker] Marion Barry who was the mayor of Washington, D.C. saying, "Congratulations. I hear you're the youngest elected mayor in the country and I would like to invite you to a meeting in the White House, a meeting in Washington with the president and tomorrow, with some mayors to talk about urban policies." All of a sudden I was in a meeting with Jane Byrne and Bradley [Tom Bradley] and Marion Barry and folks who I may or may not had heard from, they're meeting with the president [President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.] talking about--$$That's the next day?$$ This is next day talking about urban policy and, and, and here I was working on the draft Kennedy movement to oust this man from getting the Democratic nomination and to be reelected president of the United States. And so, just, just the fact that here I am, got elected as pres- mayor [of Opa-locka, Florida], now in the White House talking about urban policy and I'm working on the opposition of this man's reelection campaign said to me how great America was, that you could have political disagreements and you can be young, that--I mean it, it, it was amazing to me that how close, you know--but I mean realistically I look back on that and say well, what I--you know being in that meeting did that give me any influence? No, other than the fact that when we had the problem with the refugees I did have a card that I could call to Washington saying, "Look, we got thousands of immigrants walking across our street and the county is doing nothing. Help us." You know, but, but I mean realistically no, I had no influence on urban policy at the time, but it, it was--it, it said volumes to me about possibilities, you know. And, and, and, and, and so I thought, I thought it was very meaningful. And so, that's what I remember first about getting elected was just that, that opportunity. I had never been to Washington. I had never to my knowledge ever sat around the table with elected officials, better yet the president and big city mayors talking about urban policy using terms I had no idea what they meant and what they were talking about. And you know, I mean I, I was way out of my league. But--

The Honorable Edna Jackson

Political official and civic leader Edna Jackson was born on September 18, 1944 in Savannah, Georgia to Henry Reid and Georgia Branch Dillard. She graduated from Alfred E. Beach High School in 1962, and then earned her B.S. degree in sociology in 1968, and her M.Ed. degree in political science education in 1972, both from Savannah State University. Having joined the NAACP Youth Council as a high school student, Jackson became active while at Savannah State, travelling throughout the South for voter registration drives and sit-in demonstrations.

Jackson began her career as a social worker with the Economic Opportunity Authority for Savannah-Chatham County Area, Inc. In 1971, Savannah State University President Prince Jackson, Jr. hired Jackson as the director of the university’s emergency school assistant program. During her time there, she also worked as the director of alumni affairs and coordinator of the Elderhostel Program before her retirement in 2001. Jackson then served as alderman at large on the City Council of Savannah for three terms, and mayor pro tempore of Savannah for two terms. In 2012, Jackson became the first African American woman to be elected as mayor of Savannah, serving for one term.

Jackson was the recipient of the A Working Woman in Need’s Top 10 Working Women of the Year Award. She was also named an Outstanding Alumnus by Savannah State University and one of the 2012 Power Women by GeorgiaTrend magazine.

Jackson also served as the southern regional vice president and national vice president of Savannah State University, as vice chairman of the Chatham County Democratic Executive Committee, as a member of the board of representatives for World Trade Center Savannah, and as a chairperson of the Chatham County Hospital Authority. She was also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., St. Phillip A.M.E. Church, the U.S. Selective Board, and the Georgia Advisory Committee for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. U.S. Congressman John Barrow appointed Jackson to serve on the Military Academy Selection Committee and the Regional Committee of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Savannah Regional Second Harvest Food Bank and on the board of the Equal Opportunity Authority.
Jackson has one son, Kevan Jackson.

Edna Jackson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 8, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.043

Sex

Female

Interview Date

02/08/2017

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Florence Street Elementary School

Beach-Cuyler School

Alfred E. Beach High School

Savannah State University

First Name

Edna

Birth City, State, Country

Savannah

HM ID

JAC38

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

And This Too Shall Pass.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

9/18/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Savannah

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Political official and civic leader Edna Jackson (1944 - ) served in numerous positions at Savannah State University from 1971 to 2001, before becoming mayor of Savannah in 2012.

Employment

Economic Opportunity Authority for Savannah-Chatham County Area, Inc.

Emergency School Assistance Program

Savannah State University

City of Savannah

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:864,19:1872,51:2160,56:2448,61:4956,141:5628,150:8028,257:9948,328:13788,362:14364,369:14940,376:16188,396:16572,401:17148,408:36094,704:36934,716:37354,722:38278,742:38866,750:43202,788:60330,976:64799,1004:73210,1188:73590,1193:74065,1199:74825,1209:82151,1262:85826,1296:86378,1302:88494,1354:89046,1360:90426,1386:90978,1394:92818,1411:93278,1417:93646,1424:104166,1541:104652,1548:105219,1556:105948,1568:106515,1577:108540,1608:109188,1619:109593,1625:109998,1634:110484,1641:114270,1656:120470,1782:121370,1793:132607,1897:133011,1902:143785,1977:146575,2019:151940,2033:153488,2051:154176,2061:158476,2167:161470,2186:165770,2264:166802,2279:167490,2289:167920,2295:168694,2307:177203,2383:177860,2395:178298,2402:179977,2438:183627,2501:185963,2542:186912,2558:192330,2604:193383,2618:194355,2631:195489,2648:196056,2656:209767,2807:210250,2815:211423,2841:211837,2849:214735,2912:216874,2962:217564,2976:217840,2981:218737,2996:220186,3046:220669,3055:227110,3093:243088,3380:244072,3400:259734,3600:262586,3629:263346,3641:274974,3808:275744,3819:276206,3827:276976,3838:278054,3860:278593,3868:279286,3881:280287,3893:280903,3902:283390,3913:284062,3925:289774,4048:292042,4089:292714,4102:293134,4111:295654,4147:299640,4165:307720,4247:308875,4296:314816,4337:318870,4381:320870,4412:321910,4426:322710,4438:324310,4470:325590,4490:326070,4497:329655,4512:331080,4538:332580,4578:336244,4615:337182,4631:337450,4636:339080,4653$0,0:1060,14:1460,20:16146,187:16720,195:18278,227:18852,235:22984,325:23568,335:23933,342:26488,407:26999,416:27291,421:36923,527:37228,535:39526,561:39918,570:54865,762:58862,782:59282,788:62532,835:62887,841:63171,846:67370,911:71255,957:71930,963:73205,985:87300,1160:87940,1168:93060,1278:97876,1320:100879,1359:101334,1365:101971,1373:102426,1379:113667,1593:122913,1839:123672,1853:128356,1884:131242,1966:132426,1986:134128,2017:138970,2068:146626,2243:147064,2250:151790,2299:156150,2341:156470,2346:156870,2362:157830,2372:163110,2482:171432,2594:171776,2599:172980,2621:173582,2629:174442,2641:180290,2744:187596,2805:195112,2897:196765,2920:202333,3046:212558,3146:216518,3213:216870,3218:217574,3231:218190,3239:218542,3244:224190,3269:224743,3279:230066,3420:237410,3546:242234,3591:242974,3600:256194,3831:258714,3903:260802,3955:287600,4414:291437,4449:292772,4470:293306,4478:298038,4557:298768,4581:300155,4604:312474,4767:313311,4777:315450,4813:315822,4818:316380,4827:330676,4955:332644,4986:334858,5014:337330,5023:344360,5136:345840,5159:347246,5190:347838,5203:348356,5215:356090,5286:359890,5336
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Edna Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Edna Jackson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Edna Jackson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Edna Jackson remembers her maternal grandmother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Edna Jackson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Edna Jackson remembers her maternal uncle

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Edna Jackson describes her home in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Edna Jackson remembers her community in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Edna Jackson describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Edna Jackson describes her experiences at the Florence Street School in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Edna Jackson recalls joining the NAACP

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Edna Jackson remembers the influence of W.W. Law

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Edna Jackson talks about Cuyler Junior High School in Savnnah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Edna Jackson recalls the influence of Doris Pettigrew Little

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Edna Jackson talks about her interest in science and math

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Edna Jackson remembers her first protests with the NAACP, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Edna Jackson remembers her first protests with the NAACP, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Edna Jackson recalls her involvement in drama and music

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Edna Jackson remembers attending NAACP conventions with W.W. Law

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Edna Jackson describes her work as an NAACP field coordinator in Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Edna Jackson remembers leading a group to the March on Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Edna Jackson remembers her friends from her time as an organizer

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Edna Jackson talks about the organizers of the March on Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Edna Jackson recalls her time as an NAACP field organizer in Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Edna Jackson remembers enrolling at Savannah State College in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Edna Jackson talks about her marriage and son

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Edna Jackson describes her start at the Economic Opportunity Authority for Savannah-Chatham County Area, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Edna Jackson remembers working for the Economic Opportunity Authority for Savannah-Chatham County Area, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Edna Jackson talks about working in the Emergency School Assistance Program

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Edna Jackson talks about the integration of Armstrong State College in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Edna Jackson recalls her roles at Savannah State College in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Edna Jackson talks about her time as chair of the Chatham County Hospital Authority in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Edna Jackson describes her role in the Chatham County Democratic Party

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Edna Jackson remembers her first elected office

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Edna Jackson talks about Mayor Otis Johnson's town hall meetings

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Edna Jackson recalls the challenges at the start of her mayoralty of Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Edna Jackson recalls hiring Stephanie Cutter as city manager of Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Edna Jackson remembers working with protesters following the shooting of Charles Smith

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Edna Jackson talks about losing her reelection campaign, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Edna Jackson talks about losing her reelection campaign, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Edna Jackson remembers her health problems during her mayoral term

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Edna Jackson reflects upon her life after her mayoralty

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Edna Jackson reflects upon her civic contributions

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Edna Jackson talks about her awards and honors

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Edna Jackson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Edna Jackson talks about the need for social activism

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Edna Jackson narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Edna Jackson narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

3$2

DATitle
The Honorable Edna Jackson describes her work as an NAACP field coordinator in Florida
The Honorable Edna Jackson remembers working with protesters following the shooting of Charles Smith
Transcript
(Simultaneous) See what happened, when I graduated from high school [Alfred E. Beach High School, Savannah, Georgia] it was known that I was going to college [at Savannah State College; Savannah State University, Savannah, Georgia]. Tuition was sixty-five dollars a quarter, and back then you didn't have financial aid and all that kind of stuff like our young people really don't realize. And they should appreciate now. So, my mom [Georgia Branch Dillard] would se- sent my sister's [Margie Reid Williams] and my tuition the first quarter, oh I went to school I didn't, you know, I was having me a good time too. And, but we had, my grandmother [Jackson's maternal grandmother, Sadie Royal Branch] decided she would take in a couple of college students. And my mother had sent the tuition for the second quarter, the winter quarter and my grandmamma went to get the money and there was no money. One of the students had stolen the money for my tuition and my sister's tuition. And they couldn't come up with tuition for me. Didn't bother me, you know. So, by that time Mr. Law [W.W. Law], they, the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] had chosen some young people to work all over the South and I knew, they asked me, I dropped out. And they sent me to North Carolina. This guy Edwards [James Edwards, Jr.] in South Carolina worked--'cause I came up around, with all these guys. Carolyn Quilloin [Carolyn Quilloin Coleman] stayed here in Georgia. But, it was my responsibility to organize civil rights workers across that State of Florida. The field director's office was right down the street from my mama's restaurant, Dillard's Restaurant [ph.]. We had arrived by then, my mother had re- remarried [to Mansfield Dillard] and she'd opened her restaurant. So, my assignment was a city called Live Oak, Florida. And we, my assignment was to go to meet with the ministers and all, remember now I was, I was just turned eighteen years old. That's September, so this was January. And there was another young man from Jacksonville [Florida], Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, not Bob Saunders [Robert W. Saunders, Sr.] was the field director. Robert, Robert, I can't think of his name it will come. But, he, we met in Live Oak, Florida to get people to teach them how to demonstrate. And you had CORE and you also had the Congr- see, you had the Congress of Racial Equality, another one of the groups there. But ours was teach them how to demonstrate. Send them down there, and we had to set up for the attorneys to be ready to get them out of jail. And the field director, the group out of Jacksonville was working with us and we were able to do that. And I had to teach them non-violence. Left there and went to Pahokee, Florida, to work there. And we had to do several things, the same kinds of things, that's down in what they call the black muck. But, you do the same thing, but it was my work in Tampa [Florida] where we were also demonstrating, when they decided that we were going to go to the March on Washington. So, we had an integrated group of kids in the Youth Council [NAACP Youth Council] in Tampa. So, my boss Bob Saunders said, "Edna [HistoryMaker Edna Jackson]," I said, "Mr. Saunders we want to go to March on Washington." So, he said, "But you know how you gonna get there?" So, we said, "Well y'all can get us some cars and we'll drive." Well, long story short, we had three station wagons. And that's the only time my sister ever participated in demonstrating. Her thing was, "Well when you get yours I'll get mine." By that time she had moved to Tampa, because she graduated. Remember she was a senior, so she had graduated and she moved to Tampa to start, to become a teacher in Head Start down there. So we went to the March on Washington with an integrated group of kids driving station wagons. And here I was, eighteen years old, leading the group. I couldn't drive, you know, I was eighteen, 'cause the insurance would not cover, so we had to have drivers--older people. And a couple of years ago I was telling this story to someone else and we found the white couple, they were brother and sisters, David and David Bob, Boffet [ph.], and, I can't think of his sister and we found the brother and we later the found the, the bro- we found David. He's living in Colorado now. But, the good part about it is that we integrated Florida. And from there, Carolyn by that time was out of college and she was moving about. And we worked, I worked all over Florida and we would come in and out of Georgia as well. But, my assignment specifically at that time was Florida.$Then we had a white officer [David Jannot] to shoot a young man [Charles Smith]. It was on my birthday, two years ago, September 18th. (Background noise) I'm getting ready, we, oh. I'm getting ready to you know, to have city council meeting [of the Savannah City Council]. We get a call in our pre council meeting, "Edna, there has been a shooting in West Savannah [Savannah, Georgia], and a young man's life has been taken." So, West Savannah was Van Johnson's area. So, I said, "Van [Van R. Johnson II] go out there and call me right back." He went out there to look out, he was an alderman. He said, "It's bad." So, I said, "Okay, I said, "you come back and I'm on my way." Stephanie Cutter, the chief of police [Julie Tolbert] and I went out there, three females. You never heard anything about it. When I got out there along with Stephanie and the chief, I wouldn't--I didn't want any policemen around me. I didn't even want to go, want to stand under the railing. I talked to my people. Someone said to me, he said, "Miss," he said, "mayor, you don't need to go out there." I said, "Why not?" I said, "These are my people. This is in the African American neighborhood. If, I can come out of here and ask them to vote for me, then I can stand out here and talk to them." And they listened to me. They did night marches. The, the, the Black Panther Party came in here. Pastor Brown [HistoryMaker Reverend Matthew Southall Brown, Sr.] and I went out there. I don't know if he mentioned it. We've, we were in a meeting, I said, "Pastor Brown I need you." We went out there to sit down to eat some chicken wings and I was ju- we felt, we made a conversation like we didn't know we were doing, who that young man was and he told us. And I said, "Oh I'm [HistoryMaker] Edna Jackson the mayor of Savannah [Georgia], thank you for coming." I said, "And this is Pastor Brown," and we went on and on and we talked. And I said, "Let me tell you everything that has happened and where we're going with this." He said, "Well, we got them coming in from Waynesboro [Georgia]." I said, "Waynesboro." He said, "Yeah, that's my hometown." I said, "Oh my people from Wayne. Do you know So and So and So? My cousin is on the police force," so you know, just to open up the thing. Well, long story short they came in here, that night they had, they were having marches. They weren't, but they wanted to see how they were gonna march. This young man and--decided that he, he used to be a member of the Panther Party in Savannah. And he went down and he used the bullhorn to talk about a man where the grocery store was. This man was Ori- Indian, Indian. "Y'all need to run him out of the thing. Y'all need to do this," I said, "Oh hell no." I was up, back up by the other area. I walked out in the middle of street and when I down they said, "Oh there go the mayor." So, when I was g- halfway, almost halfway, all of a sudden I saw the Panthers do their little turn. And you know how they (gesture) do their thing like that, you know. So, I said to the young man, I said, "Oh, is the, you know, the protest over?" He said, "Mayor we're satisfied you have this in order. We don't act like that. We're leaving your city." No one ever knew that they came through here to be a part of all the disruptions. When they the dec- the people in the neighborhood decided that they were gonna march that, you know, every day, we say, "Okay, just tell me, give me your schedule. We'll make sure that you are protected by the police." They marched--first march they had they had these little kids at the beginning of the line. I pulled the leaders aside I said, "Now let me tell y'all about the art of marching. You never put the babies in the front." "Oh," I said, "So now, if y'all are--." I said, "First thing, y'all need to have them in the march. But, if you make sure you protect them by putting them in the back you have a right to march. But, now the minute y'all throw something through somebody's stuff I'm going to put you in jail." You never heard about it. Savannah State [Savannah State University, Savannah, Georgia] students laid out on the highway 80 [U.S. Route 80]. I was way up in North Georgia and they called me. I was at Georgia Municipal Association meeting. I got in my car, Lonnie [Alonzo Adams, Jr.] was with me. Got in my car and I said, "Tell them I'll meet them at twelve o'clock." Met them and I explained what my life was like. They never did it again. I said, "A fellow student was killed right out there on that street, for collecting scholarship money." I said, "So you need to know why you going, who's gonna get you out of jail? Y'all haven't done any of that." So, that was if you ask me of something that I was proud of, I was proud of that moment. When CNN came in here and said, "How did y'all do it? You are three women." We said, "That's how we did it. We're three women that can feel the pulse of the people. That can work with people. That are--," we do not antagonize people but they know w- they knew we were coming from. And they--so we worked together, that is what happened. It was all over the press. But, most of the time, it wasn't a covered story. Because we didn't have the outbreaks like they had out there, you know, in other areas.

The Honorable Otis Johnson

Political official and civic leader Otis Johnson was born on March 26, 1942 in Savannah, Georgia to Lillian Spencer and Otis S. Johnson, Sr. Johnson attended Paulsen Street Elementary School and Cuyler Street Junior High School in Savannah. He graduated from Alfred E. Beach High School in 1960. Johnson earned his A.A. degree in liberal arts from Armstrong State University in 1964, becoming the university’s first African American graduate. He earned his B.A. degree in history from the University of Georgia in 1967, and his M.S.W. degree in social work from Clark Atlanta University in 1969. Johnson received his Ph.D. degree in social welfare from Brandeis University in 1980.

Johnson served in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1959 to 1965. Johnson worked for the Economic Opportunity Authority for Savannah-Chatham County Area, Inc. and the City of Savannah Model Cities Program before joining the faculty at Savannah State University in 1971. He was responsible for establishing the undergraduate program in social work at the university. Johnson served as the Alderman of District Two on the Savannah City Council from 1983 to 1988. He resigned in 1988 to become the executive director of the Chatham Savannah Youth Futures Authority. In 1998, he returned to Savannah State University as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. In the next year, Johnson joined the Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education, serving for four years. He was elected as mayor of Savannah in 2003, becoming the second African American to assume the role. After leaving the mayor’s office in 2012, Johnson became a scholar in residence and professor emeritus at Savannah State University. His autobiography, From ‘N Word’ to Mr. Mayor: Experiencing the American Dream, was published in 2016.

In 2001 and 2006, Johnson was featured in Georgia Trend magazine’s list of “Most Influential Georgians.” He was the recipient of Armstrong State University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2005 as well as the Notable Alumnus Award in 2010.

Johnson served as chair of the board of trustees of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation and MDC, Inc. He was also a member of the Aspen Institute’s Roundtable on Comprehensive Community Initiatives.

Johnson has one daughter, Alexis Williamson.

Otis Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 8, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.024

Sex

Male

Interview Date

02/08/2017

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Paulsen Street School

Beach-Cuyler School

Alfred E. Beach High School

Savannah State University

Georgia Southern University-Armstrong Campus

University of Georgia

Clark Atlanta University

Brandeis University

First Name

Otis

Birth City, State, Country

Savannah

HM ID

JOH51

Favorite Season

The warm months, spring/fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Wherever I haven't been. Africa most often.

Favorite Quote

Plan your work, work your plan. Power concedes nothing without a demand...

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

3/26/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Savannah

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Political official and civic leader Otis Johnson (1942 - ) served as the Alderman of District 2 on the Savannah City Council from 1982 to 1988, and as Mayor of Savannah from 2003 to 2012.

Favorite Color

Blue

The Honorable Willie L. Brown

Political leader The Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr. was born on March 20, 1934 in Mineola, Texas to Minnie Collins Boyd and Willie Lewis Brown, Sr. He graduated from Mineola Colored High School in 1951. In 1955, he received his B.A. degree in political science from San Francisco State University, followed by a J.D. degree in 1958 from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Brown operated his own general law practice in San Francisco. In 1960, he led a sit-in to protest housing discrimination; and in 1964 he defended political activist Mario Savio, who was arrested for civil disobedience. Brown was elected to the California State Assembly in 1964 on his second run, and he would remain there to represent San Francisco until 1995. In 1969, he was made the Democratic Whip; and in 1980, he was elected Speaker of the Assembly. He also spoke at the 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami, Florida. After Californians passed a 1990 ballot initiative instituting term limits for state elected officials, Brown was “termed out” of office in 1995. That year, he ran for the office of Mayor of San Francisco and easily defeated incumbent Frank Jordan. He served as mayor from 1996 until 2004, overseeing several development projects and mediating two public transit worker strikes.

After retiring from public office in 2004, Brown continued to dedicate his time to community service. In 2008, he established the Willie L. Brown, Jr. Institute on Politics and Public Service, a nonpartisan non-profit organization at San Francisco State University dedicated to training future municipal administrators. Brown has Honorary Doctorate of Law degrees from seventeen institutions, including San Francisco State University, Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, and Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio; as well as a Doctorate of Science degree from the California College of Podiatric Medicine. He was a Fellow of Crown College at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 2006, Brown co-hosted a morning radio show with comedian Will Durst, and in 2008 he published his autobiography, Basic Brown: My Life and Our Times.

In 1958, Brown married Blanche Vitero, with whom he has three children: Susan, Robin, and Michael. He also has four grandchildren and a daughter, Sydney Brown, by Carolyn Carpeneti. Brown and Vitero separated in 1976 but remain married.

Willie L. Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 14, 2015.

Accession Number

A2015.008

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/14/2015 |and| 12/19/2015

Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

L.

Schools

MacFarland High School

San Francisco State University

University of California, Hastings College of the Law

First Name

Willie

Birth City, State, Country

Mineola

HM ID

BRO62

State

Texas

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

3/20/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

United States

Short Description

Mayor and state assemblyman The Honorable Willie L. Brown (1934 - ) represented San Francisco in the California State Assembly from 1964 to 1995 and served as Mayor of San Francisco from 1996 to 2004.

Employment

California State Assembly

City and County of San Francisco

Willie Brown, Jr. Institute on Politics and Public Service

Timing Pairs
0,0:5642,159:11861,224:12442,236:12857,242:16924,305:18750,338:19082,343:22236,406:22900,416:23896,434:30928,475:32480,493:34614,519:37330,555:39658,670:41016,687:48358,745:48748,751:49060,756:49450,763:50386,782:51478,804:51946,811:53974,898:54832,916:55612,934:56080,942:58654,988:62518,1003:63174,1012:63912,1022:64240,1027:65880,1051:66782,1063:67848,1078:68750,1092:69242,1099:69570,1143:70718,1166:71374,1175:72112,1189:73916,1211:81168,1290:81776,1300:83904,1348:84664,1359:86716,1385:88008,1409:88996,1427:89376,1433:94904,1497:95586,1511:96020,1520:96702,1533:98066,1559:100060,1568:102210,1599:102762,1606:104234,1624:106350,1654:107270,1666:109202,1683:110490,1699:112238,1733:112882,1741:117147,1757:118016,1771:120939,1830:123625,1868:124494,1883:126864,1910:128444,1934:129076,1944:131762,1985:132078,1990:134527,2043:135001,2050:139162,2088:139900,2101:143672,2160:147550,2182:147870,2187:149150,2206:153070,2295:153470,2301:159960,2374:160440,2381:161240,2393:162280,2406:162840,2415:169480,2520:170200,2532:170760,2540:171880,2565:172600,2577:174680,2617:182328,2668:183252,2681:183924,2690:185856,2714:186276,2720:187788,2747:194004,2909:201258,2962:209559,3094:209867,3099:210329,3107:210637,3112:211561,3130:212254,3141:221654,3265:224104,3302:224888,3312:229004,3411:236090,3480:236696,3487:237908,3498:238716,3511:241140,3552:242049,3562:243059,3574:244069,3586:253262,3678:254198,3695:256304,3739:257708,3762:262542,3816:268590,3924:269010,3930:272874,3981:274470,4004:274890,4010:275394,4017:280004,4038:280906,4051:283120,4083:283858,4104:286482,4142:287220,4152:288532,4172:289106,4181:289598,4188:290418,4202:307289,4384:310607,4456:312108,4498:312819,4508:316790,4556$0,0:4402,80:6390,119:7526,144:10579,199:15075,235:18229,284:18893,323:20968,352:21881,368:22711,379:23707,392:29983,450:31151,472:31516,478:31954,485:32538,496:33633,514:35020,537:36261,558:36991,572:42320,680:47649,798:48014,803:48744,821:54640,839:55315,849:56140,865:56515,871:57565,891:62290,983:64315,1020:65065,1035:65740,1046:66940,1066:67315,1073:68815,1099:69265,1106:69790,1115:70765,1130:75190,1136:75980,1152:76691,1162:77165,1169:78429,1194:79219,1206:80088,1225:80878,1241:81668,1252:84038,1293:84433,1299:86171,1325:87435,1339:88699,1362:93276,1379:93708,1386:93996,1391:94500,1399:94788,1404:95292,1409:98892,1477:99684,1492:100044,1498:104940,1576:105804,1591:109620,1700:112860,1747:113148,1752:114084,1765:122840,1826:124499,1851:124973,1858:125526,1867:126711,1887:127343,1896:127896,1905:128686,1916:130503,1952:132715,1989:134611,2026:135085,2033:135401,2038:136191,2053:138956,2093:140773,2120:141405,2132:142669,2153:143143,2161:143459,2166:149225,2174:150245,2192:151095,2207:156280,2319:157215,2337:163080,2417:167630,2434:169380,2465:169660,2474:171970,2539:176800,2638:177780,2654:178130,2660:183707,2692:184142,2698:188579,2762:192668,2835:193103,2842:193712,2850:194582,2862:195104,2869:196061,2884:196931,2896:200876,2938:208687,3039:209149,3046:210843,3083:211151,3088:225290,3310:225990,3337:226830,3351:227390,3363:228650,3391:230540,3430:233970,3513:235510,3538:236350,3552:236630,3557:237260,3567:237890,3579:240900,3644:241670,3663:246694,3675:247772,3704:248696,3716:252546,3768:252931,3774:254163,3802:258740,3840
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Willie L. Brown's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown describes his parents' family backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about his relationship with his mother, Minnie Collins Boyd

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown describes his respect for his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown describes his relationship with his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about his experiences at Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown describes his move to San Francisco, California

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about joining Jones Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco, California

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown remembers Fillmore Street in San Francisco, California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown describes his early work experiences in San Francisco, California

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown recalls attending San Francisco State College in San Francisco, California

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown recalls appointing Hamilton Boswell as chaplain of the California State Assembly

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about the history of black political activities in San Francisco, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown reflects upon his support from black churches

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown recalls enrolling at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about his early political activities

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about the beginning of his law career

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown remembers becoming a criminal defense lawyer

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about Phillip Burton's political career, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about Phillip Burton's political career, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown recalls his first successful campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown describes his early experiences as a member of the California State Assembly

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about the 1972 Democratic National Convention

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown remembers the growth in black leadership in the Democratic Party during the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown describes his unsuccessful run for Speaker of the California State Assembly

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown describes how he became speaker of the California State Assembly in 1981

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown describes the position of Speaker of the California State Assembly

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown describes his approach to the California State Assembly speakership

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about his contributions as Speaker of the California State Assembly

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown reflects upon the importance of fairness in politics

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown recalls the campaign to unseat him by introducing term limits

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about gaining President Ronald Wilson Reagan's support to oppose term limits

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown recalls the introduction of term limits in the California State Assembly

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about the Gang of Five

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about the events leading to his election as Speaker of the California State Assembly

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown remembers his involvement in the mayoralty of George Moscone

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown recalls his reluctance to run for mayor of San Francisco, California

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks his campaign for mayor of San Francisco, California

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown remembers journalist Herb Caen

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown recalls transitioning to the role of mayor, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown recalls transitioning to the role of mayor, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about his role in initiating AIDS research

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown recalls his frustrations as mayor of San Francisco, California

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about renaming a street in honor of Carlton Benjamin Goodlett

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown reflects upon the impact of his mayoralty for people of color

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about his contributions to cultural institutions in San Francisco, California

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown describes his family

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown describes how a portion of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was named in his honor

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about his fashion interests

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about the institute and fellowship programs he has sponsored

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - The Honorable Willie L. Brown reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$2

DATape

2$5

DAStory

8$3

DATitle
The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about his early political activities
The Honorable Willie L. Brown talks about his contributions as Speaker of the California State Assembly
Transcript
I had been heavily in politics at San Francisco State [San Francisco State College; San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California], both fraternal politics, NAACP politics, and regular politics as a student. We elected the first black president who was Bert Phillips, and then we elected the second one, LeVell Holmes, a kid from Richmond [California]. We really were like activists like you would not believe. We were also activists on the outside of, of the school or, and so politics was just flowing through my blood veins. I ended up graduating from Hastings [University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California] as the president of the class and still in the capacity of the world of politics, still very much a part of the Burton world by then, it had really expanded, and the NAACP's [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] world, and really expanded. We had come to become real activists in every way because by then, then the incident involving Rosa Parks had occurred, and activations throughout the country. The Martin King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] world was beginning to evidence itself in the late '50s [1950s] and people running for public office had begun to talk about the right to vote and things of that nature, and so it was just all totally and completely natural. It was a way in which to advertise as a lawyer, 'cause in those days you didn't have the privilege that you do now of literally advertising. That was considered a violation of the canon of ethics. Same time period, going--I met George Moscone. We were classmates at Hastings and so suddenly my world had become expanded in San Francisco [California] through my Italian buddy who was a nephew of the people who ran the garbage companies in San Francisco, the scavenger countries--companies in San Francisco. So suddenly, I'm, my world is just expanding by light years and politics was kind of the center piece of that world, and as young lawyers, both George Moscone and Willie Brown [HistoryMaker Willie L. Brown], both availed themselves of the opportunity, first to run for the county committee in 1960 and then George ran for the state legislature [California State Legislature] and I ran for the state legislature two years later. Didn't win. I ran four years later and I did win. At all times always keeping our relationship with our operations at SF State because after all that was home base for us. That was a foundation, that's where many of our friends still were, that's where many of the people we recruited to be a part of the operation really were, and, simultaneously, we had graduated to interact with more than just the Young Democrats, we had begun to talk to labor. We had begun to talk to the International Longshoremen and Warehouses Union [sic. International Longshore and Warehouse Union] because one of the things that we did is in 1952, long before any of us fully understood, independent Progressive Party ran the candidate for office--prison, named Vin Hallinan [Vincent Hallinan], and we were part of that effort and we got accused of being communist and all the other things, and then the McCarthy [Joseph McCarthy] hearings, and--it was just natural by the time I got my law license, opened my office to practice. Francois [Terry Francois] and Goodlett [sic. Carlton Benjamin Goodlett] and all of that crowd, Joe Williams [Joseph B. Williams], and all that crowd kept us really focused on changing the world through organizing and through the political process and through the racial activities, period. And it was just a wonderful time period for any young cat to be around doing the things that they were doing. You had black organizations at every level. You had black medical organizations. You had black lawyer organizations, the Charles Houstons [Charles Hamilton Houston]. It was incredible to have all those things and you were a part of all those things and there was a incredible black social movement. There was virtually no integration in, in, in terms of social integration. There was work integration, there was political integration, but in terms of social world, it was still as it had been in Dallas [Texas], as it still, as it had been in Mineola [Texas] and, and it was just a wonderful time to be so exposed and the definitions, people didn't even question whether or not you were black enough if you were any form of a leader because you didn't have a choice. Everybody expected you to do it on behalf of black people.$It was a good run. But you became speaker largely some people think because of Republicans, that, that you rounded up people that no one could understand why they were supporting you.$$(Laughter) I must tell you that, and when it was clear that I was going for the membership of the house [California State Assembly], the Republicans who had observed when serving on committees with me, how truly fair I could be, got a chance to, in fact, vote for somebody they thought would really treat this speakership as an instrument for all the membership and as an instrument of government for the State of California, and that what's they saw in me because they clearly did not see any ambition to be anything other than the speaker. I was not interested in [U.S.] Congress, I was not interested in the U.S. Senate, I was not interested in any statewide office. It was clear that I would be the speaker and all of my conduct, by the way, was geared to representing the house rather than representing me and enhancing my own image. It was always the house from the time when I literally recognized that people would be criticized for using what was then a telephone system that had numbers and had records. I made, I made it so that all of the telephones were in my name so you couldn't ever say which member did or did not. I extracted the opportunity out of the membership to do things like provide them with healthcare bill or healthcare coverage. I provided them with death benefits. All these things they never had before I provide, I created a travel service within the context of the legislature [California State Legislature], we put in a travel office and so they no longer had to use their campaign accounts in order to do the traveling they needed to do back and forth between their districts. I set it up so that each member had a direct budget equal to every other member, enhanced based on leadership status, chairmanships and things of that nature, but I really did put it together and I ran it as if it was a nation unto itself for the benefit of the members. And believe me that was not prospectively lost on the Republicans. And so when it came time to decide would they support one or another of the respective candidates of speaker, they chose Willie Brown [HistoryMaker Willie L. Brown], 'cause they also had the prospect for the first time of having Republican chairpersons in a caucus, in a concept where it wasn't from caucus, but it was from the house, and they loved that completely. And so when the vote was cast, of the number of Republicans who were there, I got them all but four. So I got twenty-eight Republicans and other Democrats who were there, I got about half of the Democrats, but I got twenty-eight out of thirty-two Republicans, and I got twenty-three Democrats, and I won the speakership with a greater number than anyone else had won a contest for speaker before and since. The history of California, that was the only time there was a real recorded contest, and without all of the hype of mutual respect and what have you. It was a real contest. We won it and we won it with Republicans doing twenty-eight and Democrats doing twenty-three, and then the distribution of chairmanships, there were over twenty chairmanships, (unclear) Republicans ended up with five, we ended up with the concept of if there was a chair Democrat, there was a vice chair Republican. If there was a chair Republican, there was a vice chair Democrat. We ended up with proportionate representation, whatever percentage of your political party was a percentage of the membership of the house and every member, as I said, had an equal budget. We also set it up so that there could be no exploitation of the budgetary process involving the house membership; and the members just loved it, loved it beyond belief.

The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr.

Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. was born on August 17, 1944 in Lebanon, Tennessee. In 1966, he graduated from Tennessee State University with his B.A. degree in political science. Wharton then received his J.D. degree in 1971 from the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he graduated with honors and was one of the first African American students to serve on the Moot Court Board and the first to serve on the Judicial Council.

Wharton first worked in Washington, D.C., at the Office of General Council of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for two years, and then for a year at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where he headed the Public Employment Project. In 1973, Wharton moved to Memphis, Tennessee and was hired as executive director of Memphis Area Legal Services, a nonprofit organization providing civil legal assistance to low-income citizens. Then, in 1974, he became the University of Mississippi’s first African American professor of law, a position that he would hold for twenty-five years.

In 1980, then-Shelby County, Tennessee mayor, Bill Morris, appointed Wharton as Shelby County’s Chief Public Defender. Wharton chaired the county’s Jail Overcrowding Committee; and, in 1982, wrote and saw passed one of the first state laws in the United States to combat domestic violence. In addition to his role as a public defender, Wharton and his wife established the law firm of Wharton and Wharton in 1980.

In 2002, Wharton was elected as the first African American Mayor of Shelby County, and was re-elected in 2006. As Shelby County Mayor, he established Operation Safe Community, the area's first comprehensive crime-fighting plan, developed the community’s first smart growth and sustainability plan, and tackled education and early childhood development issues with programs like “Books from Birth” and “Ready, Set, Grow.” Wharton also improved the management and accountability of the County's Head Start program. His reforms attracted the attention of the United States Congress, where he was called to testify before the House Committee on Education.

In October of 2009, Wharton was elected as the Mayor of the City of Memphis, and was re-elected in 2011. He is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, and has addressed major policy institutions and conferences of the Brookings Institute, CEOs for Cities, and the National Association for Counties.

Wharton lives in Memphis with his wife, Ruby. They have raised six sons.

A C Wharton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 26, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.126

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/26/2014

Last Name

Wharton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Market Street Elementary PS

Wilson County Training School

Harvard Law School

Tennessee State University

University of Mississippi

First Name

A C

Birth City, State, Country

Lebanon

HM ID

WHA02

Favorite Season

Fall, Winter

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York City

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

8/17/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Oatmeal

Short Description

Mayor The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. (1944 - ) was elected Mayor of the City of Memphis, Tennessee in 2009. He was also the first black mayor of Shelby County, Tennessee and the first African American law professor at the University of Mississippi.

Employment

City of Memphis

Shelby County Government

Wharton Law Firm

University of Mississippi

Memphis Area Legal Services

Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Office of General Counsel

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1010,15:5353,100:48870,446:80765,719:112680,1111:139610,1411:175655,2028:180911,2088:190060,2189$0,0:9047,177:32400,594:33040,607:49278,1004:55494,1076:55998,1083:64096,1176:65734,1193:80936,1423:119198,1670:172848,2282:173870,2301:206820,2654
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. talks about the origin of his name

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. recalls a lesson from his father, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. recalls a lesson from his father, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Slating of The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. remembers his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. talks about his mother's aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. talks about his mother's career as a barber

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. recalls his father's first grocery business

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Sr. talks about his early understanding of reproduction

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. recalls his parents' religious affiliations

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. recalls his father's work schedule

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes his family's home in Lebanon, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. talks about the farming economy in Lebanon, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. recalls the history of Tater Peeler Road

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes the sights and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. remembers his work ethic as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes his family's reading habits

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. recalls selling Baltimore Afro-American newspapers

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. remembers the influence of his teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. remembers Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. remembers the murder of Emmett Till

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes the telephone system in the 1950s

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

3$6

DATitle
The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. recalls a lesson from his father, pt. 2
The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes his family's reading habits
Transcript
But I'll, I'll never forget. I can see my daddy [A.C. Wharton, Sr.] right now sitting right by the kitchen door, taking his shoes off. And I finally got the nerve up, 'cause I was--I had to make a decision: was I gonna go to school, or was I gonna do what Mr. Tatum [ph.] told me to do? So finally I just said, "Daddy, Mr. Tatum said I don't have to go to school tomorrow. We got to finish those rocks--finish that fence." And he said, "You just go with me tomorrow morning." I didn't know what that meant. So as opposed to walking to school with the other boys, I got in the car with daddy. And we drove over to my daddy's place of work. He also worked for this--for Mr. Tatum. My daddy was a very mild man, never raised his voice. But he went to Mr. Tatum. I'll never forget that. Mr. Tatum was sitting at his desk. And my daddy said, "I understand you told Brother [HistoryMaker A C Wharton, Jr.] he didn't have to go to school tomorrow." And he said, "Mr. Tatum," he said, "I work for you, and I'll do what you tell me to here on the job." He said, "But when it comes to my house, I tell my children what to do. He's going to school." "Ah," he said, "I didn't mean no harm. I didn't mean--I, I didn't mean any harm." My daddy was a short man, but my daddy stood about ten feet tall. It was just a load was lifted off of me because I was so afraid that that man was gonna fire my daddy, which would jeopardize my sisters, my little brother [Kenneth Wharton] all because of me running my big mouth. But my daddy stood like a giant once he said that, didn't raise his voice, didn't curse, didn't make any threats, but he just stood up. And it just seared indelibly in my mind the importance of education. I just don't see how young folks can squander all these opportunities. When my daddy just went way out there on a limb I mean, see, and if he had lost that job, see, he could have gotten blackballed because that man was well respected in the community. And if the word got out, "That Wharton guy there has got a lot of mouth, uppity," or whatever. I mean think of the pain and suffering that could have caused my family.$$Yeah. Yeah, that's quite a story.$Did your parents teach you to read at home? I mean, did, did your mother [Mary Seay Wharton] or, or, or father [A.C. Wharton, Sr.] or--$$Oh, my mom will tell--yeah, I wish she were here to tell. But once I got into it, I, I got frustrated. I would hear my mother read magazines and newspapers and things at night, and she would read them aloud quite often. And I didn't know how a newspaper worked, but I remember she had read me a story out of the paper one day about something. And I don't know why I thought the newspaper would be the same every day. But shortly after, once I got the swing of the first grade [Market Street Elementary School, Lebanon, Tennessee] I grabbed the newspaper and started looking for the same story she had read me. But I didn't know it didn't show up every day like a book that was there (laughter). Yes, she did read to us. Then we had Sunday school, where the Sunday school teacher [at Market Street Church of Christ, Lebanon, Tennessee] would teach us to read from a little card, Bible verses and things like that even before, even before school. They would just give you the word, and you'd repeat it, whatever. And there as a, there was a real respect for the printed page in my family. Let me tell you one thing, my [maternal] grandmother [Dessie Manning Seay] and others would go off to do housework, domestic work. And it's kind of funny. It's sick, but in a way it's kind of funny how they would maybe pay them a dollar but then give them a bunch of junk to make them feel good, old magazines, stuff that was so old, dog-eared, just anything to make, make--give them--feel I'm giving them something. But we had a rule in my house, no matter how old Life magazine was or Reader's Digest, if it came in the front door, it did not go out the back door until you read it. I remember trying to read the Reader's Digest, every once in a while an old National Geographic, a Sears [Sears, Roebuck and Co.] catalog. If you came in it, in that front door, you tried to read it. And my mom knew this, and this is why she bought our set of encyclopedia, Funk and Wagnalls [Funk and Wagnalls Standard Encyclopedia], which we still have, still on the bookshelf to this day, one book at a time. Can you imagine that? It took maybe two years, maybe three years, 'cause you'd get one volume. You'd mail in fifty cent, and you'd get another one. And it took forever for us to get that one set of Funk and Wagnalls encyclopedia that, as I say, the books are still there. My mother really sacrificed to make sure that this was one family that had some books in the house, made all the difference in the world.

The Honorable Sylvester Turner

State representative and lawyer Sylvester Turner was born on September 27, 1954 in Acres Homes, Texas. His mother was a maid at the Rice Hotel and his father, a commercial painter. Turner was raised with eight brothers and sisters. In 1973, he graduated as the valedictorian of Klein High School. Four years later, Turner received his B.A. degree in political science from the University of Houston, after which he attended Harvard Law School, where he received his J.D. degree in 1980.

Turner was hired at the Houston-based law firm Fulbright & Jaworski. After three years, Turner left and formed his own law firm with partner Barry M. Barnes. Barnes & Turner specialize in corporate and commercial law. In 1984, Turner ran for a Harris County Commissioner seat, but he lost to El Franco Lee. In 1988, he won the seat in the Texas House of Representatives for District 139, a mostly minority district. Turner also taught at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, the South Texas College of Law, and at the University of Houston Law School’s continuing legal education program. He also ran for the mayor of Houston twice, once in 1991 where he lost in a hotly contested race, and again in 2003, where he lost to Bill White. In 2003, Turner became the Speaker Pro Tempore in the Texas House of Representatives, a post he held until 2009. His major legislative accomplishment, HB 109, expanded access to the children’s health insurance program and was passed in 2007.

Turner sits on the State Affairs committee and is the Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee. He is also on the Subcommittee on the Current Fiscal Condition. He is a member of Brookhollow Baptist Church and has one daughter, Ashley Paige Turner.

Sylvester Turner was interviewed by The HistoryMakers<\em> on August 15, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.156

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/15/2012

Last Name

Turner

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

Harvard Law School

University of Houston

Klein Forest High School

Garden City Elementary and Junior High School

Klein Intermediate School

First Name

Sylvester

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

TUR07

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Africa

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Christ That Strengthens Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

9/27/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Spaghetti, Ox Tails

Short Description

Mayor, state representative, and lawyer The Honorable Sylvester Turner (1954 - ) represented district 139 in the Texas House of Representatives from 1988 to 2016, when he became the mayor of Houston, Texas. He also founded the law firm of Barnes and Turner LLP.

Employment

Texas House of Representatives

Barnes & Turner

University of Houston

South Texas College of Law

Texas Southern University

Fulbright & Jaworski

City of Houston, Texas

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:380,8:1604,36:7724,163:8156,170:10316,223:18750,252:22422,313:26358,341:27285,351:50377,577:57466,610:77669,792:78024,798:78734,811:79799,830:80083,835:92624,969:94016,988:106892,1136:140006,1522:141014,1533:144934,1619:167844,1904:173690,1994:180690,2087:181880,2120:191646,2255:208620,2463:208990,2469:213334,2656:219318,2808:259770,3011:266990,3079:281530,3243:285824,3263:286164,3269:292840,3443:299198,3492:302405,3528:304170,3536:304548,3549:304764,3554:305142,3563:308916,3627:313108,3672:313888,3683:317554,3751:325020,3807:325460,3812:366638,4401:367070,4416:370785,4464:371050,4470:371262,4475:372240,4499$0,0:27348,354:28086,361:28988,373:33062,403:35174,434:39650,465:53194,619:54118,632:54454,637:72446,774:91845,962:94811,990:97624,1076:123530,1376:123850,1381:129690,1507:141350,1624:142946,1649:165488,1935:186730,2255:204944,2400:212130,2475:212410,2481:212802,2490:233200,2640
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Sylvester Turner's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers working with his dad

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his roots in Chappell Hill, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers the Acres Homes community in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his experiences of school integration in Houston, Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his experiences of school integration in Houston, Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about African American political representation in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes the African American community in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers the Bethel Baptist Church in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers being bused to an all-white school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his experiences of school integration

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his early ambitions

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes the demographics of Klein High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his influences at the Bethel Baptist Church in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his community in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his valedictorian speech

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his father's death

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his decision to attend the University of Houston in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his early aspiration to become a lawyer

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his decision to attend the Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his friendships with Leroy Hassell

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his social life at Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers Derrick A. Bell, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about the faculty of the Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his club football team at Harvard University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls hearing a female preacher for the first time

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his internship at Fulbright and Jaworski LLP in Houston, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes a memorable legal case

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers founding Barnes and Turner LLP

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers losing his first political campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his campaign for the Texas House of Representatives

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his election to the Texas House of Representatives

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his interest in healthcare reform

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls arguing a civil suit against the Phillips Petroleum Company

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his first campaign for the mayoralty of Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about the aftermath of the 1991 mayoral election in Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers Lee P. Brown

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about politics in Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about political redistricting in Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his legislative achievements

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his second campaign for the mayoralty of Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers the passage of Texas House Bill 109

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers meeting President Barack Obama

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his work in the Acres Homes section of Houston, Texas

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

2$8

DATitle
The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes a memorable legal case
The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls arguing a civil suit against the Phillips Petroleum Company
Transcript
Now, is there a memorable case from that period of time that you can tell us about?$$I guess it's, it's one in particular. The plaintiff was a guy by the name of Willie Harris [ph.]. I guess it is memorable since I still remember it, and that's been years ago. But, anyway, Willie was an entrepreneur, African American, and he was in his company's truck, and he was coming over the Ship, Ship Channel Bridge [Sam Houston Tollway Ship Channel Bridge, Houston, Texas]. And this 18-wheeler hit him, and he was seriously injured, and he sued the 18-wheeler. I represented the company. And, and I made him an offer through his attorney, and he did not, he did not accept the offer to settle. It end up--it went to trial. I made him another offer, and his attorney did not accept it. And, quite frankly, you know, I had, I had much more to give, okay. And, but, and so, we went to trial. During the trial, I made him another offer, attorney didn't accept it. And then, the attorney came to me during the trial, and asked me, was the offer still on the table? And I said, "Well, if you accept it now." Now, mind you, I had a lot more to give. And in many ways, I said to myself, the attorney is crazy as hell (unclear) to be accepting--I mean, I represent my client, so if, you know, and so, I say, "Yeah, if you, if you accept it now, it's on the table." This is during the course of trial. And he went over and talked to Willie, and I could, and I could kind of hear and see the exchange, where Willie was not liking the offer. And his attorney kept talking to him, kept talking to him, kept talking. And Willie finally relented and said, "Okay." And the attorney came to me and said, "We'll accept." And in my mind, I was saying, "You're crazy as hell but, okay, no problem." So, when he stood before the judge to announce that the case had settled, and the judge said, "All parties in agreement?" I said, you know, "It's the best terms for the defendant, judge, yes, I'm in agreement." Asked the other attorney, the attorney said, "Yes." And the judge asked Willie Harris. "Mr. Harris, are you in agreement with the settlement?" And he kind of said, "Oh, well," and said, "You should, well, you don't have to--are you in agreement with it?" And attorney, his attorney looked at him, and he finally said, "Yeah, yeah." And she said, "Okay, all parties in agreement. This case is dismissed." It's over. So, I was packing up, and Willie comes over to me. And he said, "Mr.," he said, "Mr. Turner [HistoryMaker Sylvester Turner], you know, I'm hurt, you know, I'm hurt, and this does not cover me for my injuries," and stuff like that. And I said, I said, "Mr. Harris, I'm not your attorney. I represent, I represent my client, and I did my job." And he said, "But, brother, you know, I'm--," he said, "Brother, you know, I'm hurt." I said, "Mr. Harris, I'm not your attorney. I represent my client. I did my job." And, and my client and I got up, and we walked out. That one, that one stands out because it's one of those deals that, yeah, you know, he had a poor lawyer. Had a poor lawyer, but it's not a case where I can be the lawyer for my client, and be the lawyer for his client as well. Okay. Now, subsequently, a few years later, I'm no longer at Fulbright [Fulbright and Jaworski LLP], and now I'm in my own shop [Barnes and Turner LLP; Barry Barnes and Associates PLLC, Houston, Texas]. Willie comes to me, and became my client, you know, but that one stands out. And, and, and because it's nothing like having a good lawyer. It's nothing like having somebody that's going to advocate for you, and fight for you, and get everything that's on the--that's potentially is on the table for you. Nothing like having a good lawyer. And in his case, his lawyer fell short, and he paid the price.$$I heard such cases before when cold--cold aspects of law sometimes, you know, the people don't know. They--$$You know--$$--don't give, give a thing (unclear).$$Right, but you can't be, you know, the way the system is designed, you know, I can't be the lawyer for my client, and be the lawyer for you at the same time. And my job is, as a lawyer is to represent my client, and represent my client zealously, and do the best I can, so but it points out the importance of having quality representation, and not only quality representation, you've got to have people who are willing to advocate for you.$$Okay.$$And if you don't have that, you'll fall short.$Now, in 1989, you sued Phillips Petroleum [Phillips Petroleum Company; Phillips 66]. That's when the big Phillips plant explosion--$$Um-hm.$$--okay, that's the Phillips plant explosion case. Tell us about that.$$(Cough) I represented Janet Little. She was an employee at Phillips Petroleum. Interesting story on how we met--I was speaking at a, at a church association banquet in--I want to say, in Sealy, Texas. And she and her parents were in the audience. Later, goes the Phillips Petroleum explos- explosion. And her mom calls me here at the firm and says--she introduced herself, Ms. Foy, and she says, "My daughter has been seriously burnt. And there are a lot of lawyers that are around here at (unclear). But she asked me to call you because she wanted, she wanted the lawyer that spoke at the banquet, and that was you." And then, we--I met with them and signed on, and represented her, and I had a very favorable outcome. She's been a client with this firm ever since. From the proceeds, her father [Charles H. Foy] was a pastor in Dickinson, Texas. And from part of the proceeds, she, she built, she constructed a new church in Dickinson [Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church] and paid for it herself, which is one of the, one of the largest churches now in Dickinson, Texas. You know, it was, it was, it just started the ball, the ball just--things just started changing in the, in the life of the firm.$$So, the plant was caused by some negligence of Phillips?$$Yeah, they were, they were negligent and then caused the explosion. And I represent Anna Brooks [ph.] and her, and a couple of other people. Ironically, the people that were defending, the lawyers that were defending Phillips came from Fulbright and Jaworski [Fulbright and Jaworski LLP]. And one of, and one of my mentors, Blake Tartt, was the lead attorney.$$That's, that's interesting.$$Yeah. And we were in, we were in a conference room which it was a settlement meeting. And we were talking and, you know, and Blake says, "Sylvester [HistoryMaker Sylvester Turner], are we going to get this case settled?" And I said, "I hope so, Mr. Tartt." He would call me Sylvester and I called him Mr. Tartt 'cause I'd looked up to him. And then, he asked me, how much was I asking for. And I, I wrote him a note on a sheet, on a sheet of paper, and I forwarded it to him. And he crossed it out, and sent a note back and, and I told him, I said, "If I accepted this, you would, you would lose all respect for me, and I would not be the, the student that you had taught well." So, I crossed it out, and sent him another note. And he said, "Done."

The Honorable Michael Nutter

Mayor Michael Nutter was born on June 29, 1957, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Mr. and Mrs. Basil Nutter. Nutter and his sister grew up in a row house on Larchwood Avenue in West Philadelphia, where he attended a mostly white Jesuit high school, St. Joseph’s Preparatory School. Nutter received an academic scholarship to St. Joseph’s Preparatory High School where he graduated from in 1975. Nutter then attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his B.A. degree in business administration in 1979.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Nutter worked at the minority-owned investment firm of Pryor, Counts & Co., Inc. He began his political career in 1983 working for Philadelphia Councilman John Anderson until Anderson passed away in 1984. Nutter then joined Angel Ortiz’s campaign for Philadelphia City Council. He was then elected to serve as the Democratic committee nominee for Philadelphia’s 52nd ward in 1986 and in 1991, Nutter was elected Fourth District Councilman, unseating longtime Councilwoman Ann Land. During his fifteen year tenure as fourth district councilman, Nutter created an independent ethics board, restored library funding, and passed the Clean Indoor Air Worker Protection Law. Nutter has served as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority Board since 2003.

Nutter left the Philadelphia City Council in 2006 to run for Mayor of Philadelphia. In 2007, Nutter defeated Al Taubenberger by a record 4 - 1 margin to become the third African American Mayor for the country’s fifth largest city. During his first term, Nutter established economic development initiatives that attracted a major clothing retailer and pharmaceutical company to Philadelphia, bringing jobs and millions of dollars in revenue. He also helped to spur housing and business development in the city’s much maligned North Philadelphia neighborhood. Additionally, the core issues of his platform are matters such as crime reduction, environmental sustainability, zoning and planning and ethics reforms. Nutter was re-elected to a second term in 2011 and sworn into office January 2, 2012. Nutter lives in the Wynnefield neighborhood in West Philadelphia with his wife and daughter. His son, Christian, lives and works in New Jersey.

Michael Nutter was interviewed byThe HistoryMakers on May 24, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.121

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/24/2012

Last Name

Nutter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Schools

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

St. Joseph’s Preparatory School

First Name

Michael

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

NUT01

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring, Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Never Give Up.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

6/29/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pasta, Wings

Short Description

Mayor The Honorable Michael Nutter (1957 - ) was the third African American mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Employment

City of Philadelphia

Philadelphia City Government

Favorite Color

Burgundy

Timing Pairs
0,0:1089,16:51506,843:58030,921$0,0:20367,331:28686,492:30578,521:34104,593:36684,647:45770,747:57448,903:57904,908:58360,913:62692,994:73038,1116:74052,1153:78498,1239:89880,1344:90336,1349:90792,1354:98240,1411:101320,1445:101760,1450:112803,1558:115874,1602:120107,1685:126415,1779:129486,1839:134466,1868:135810,1890:136230,1896:153700,2193:154260,2203:154580,2208:155780,2220:156420,2230:156900,2237:168242,2457:169259,2467:180988,2594:181835,2611:187764,2740:190690,2806:196420,2871
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Michael Nutter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael Nutter lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael Nutter describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Michael Nutter describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Michael Nutter describes his father's early aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Michael Nutter talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Michael Nutter describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Michael Nutter remembers his neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$1

DAStory

6$8

DATitle
The Honorable Michael Nutter talks about how his parents met
The Honorable Michael Nutter remembers his neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Transcript
Now, is there a story that your parents [Catalina Bargas Nutter and Basil Nutter, Jr.] tell about how they met?$$I think it may have been at one of the St. Peter Claver [St. Peter Claver Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] dances or parties as I recall. And my mother's sister had already left the house and gotten married. She married a fireman; there was a fire station down there by their house, moved out to West Philly [West Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. Her brother had already enlisted in the [U.S. military] service, he spent twenty plus years in the service mostly away. So my mom was kind of the last one in the house there was her and my grandmother [Edythe Bargas]. So apparently it was a packaged deal and when my parents got married in '56 [1956], moved to West Philly to 55th [Street] and Larchwood [Avenue] my grandmother came along with them. I was born the next year in, in '57 [1957].$Can you name your brothers and sisters and where you fit in?$$Well I just have a younger sister; she's five years younger, Renee [Renee Nutter]. She's--May 28, 1962 so there is just the two of us growing up. So mother [Catalina Bargas Nutter], father [Basil Nutter, Jr.], grandmother [Edythe Bargas] and the two kids in a little house in West Philadelphia [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. When we moved to 55th [Street] and Larchwood [Avenue] or when they moved we were about the third black family on the block and as I recall by the time I kind of had that kind of awareness maybe about ten years old or so, I think there may have been three or four white families left, so I mean in a fairly short period of time there was a pretty significant turnover on the street. But it was--I could best describe it as a bit of a middle middle class neighborhood. Everybody worked, folks trying to, you know, make ends meet, wanting to send their kids to college, want a good neighborhood, want good homes, safe community and some kind of decent quality of life. So I mean I don't, I don't think we were poor. We clearly were not rich or have any particular means but we had what we needed and never went without a meal, never went hungry. My mother always figured out a way to make it all come together.$$We always ask this question like this and what were some of the sights and sounds and smells of growing up?$$Well, sights, one of the things I talk about in my work today is remembering Saturday mornings on our street on West Philly. That was pretty much everybody out. It was not a kind of a city sponsored thing, it wasn't, you know, it was just what we did and it everybody out cleaning their porch, their steps, their sidewalk. Washing it down, hosing down and it was a real kind of community effort to make sure the block stayed clean and stayed in good, in good order. And then after that you were free to go out and do your chores. My mom would basically say, "Go outside; don't come back until dinnertime." And whether we played right in the street or went to the rec center, went to the swimming pool, went to the library or went to a park, everything was right there. So my world, to some extent, was about two blocks around the house and you pretty much had everything that--two, three blocks around the house and you pretty much had everything you needed. I had a lot of fun as a kid growing up, spent a lot of time out in the street, football, baseball, stickball, king block, wall ball, step ball everything. And just a lot of really great memories. Had my own crew of friends and then there was some older guys, three or four years older, those were our old heads and things that maybe we didn't necessarily learn from our parents, you know, we kind of took some of those lessons from them. And it was, it was just a great, it was a great time.

The Honorable Michael B. Coleman

City of Columbus, Ohio Mayor Michael B. Coleman was born on November 18, 1954 in Indianapolis, Indiana to John H. Coleman, a physician, and Joan Coleman, a criminal victim’s activist. Coleman’s family moved when he was three years old to Toledo, Ohio where his first jobs were working at the corner drug store, Kroger’s supermarket and his father’s barbeque restaurant. He attended St. John’s Jesuit High School in Toledo, Ohio and then went on to receive his B.A. degree in political science from the University of Cincinnati in 1977. Coleman obtained his J.D. degree from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1980.

After completing his law degree, Coleman began his career as an attorney in the Ohio attorney general’s office. In 1982, he was hired as a legislative aide for then Columbus City Councilman, Ben Epsy. Coleman joined the Schottenstein Law Firm in 1984 and became a member of the Columbus City Council in 1992. He served as president of the city council from 1997 to 1999. In 1998, Coleman was the gubernatorial running mate to Democrat Lee Fisher, but they lost to Republicans Bob Taft and Maureen O'Connor in the closest gubernatorial election in Ohio in twenty-eight years. In 1999, he won a highly contested race to become the 52nd mayor of Columbus, Ohio and the first African American to hold the post. As mayor, Coleman spearheaded the Columbus Downtown Business Plan and Neighborhood Pride, a program designed to engage communities to revitalize their neighborhoods. He also created the after-school program, Capital Kids, in 2001 and the Green Spot program in 2006, to encourage Columbus residents and businesses to protect the environment. Coleman has leveraged incentives to create and retain more than 92,000 jobs in the Columbus area. He was re-elected to the office of mayor in 2003, 2007 and 2011.

Coleman has been recognized many times for his commitment to the Columbus community including receiving the Community Service Award from the Columbus Bar Association and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s (MORPC’s) Sustainability Award. He is an honorary member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Coleman has three adult children, Kimberly, Justin and John.

Michael B. Coleman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 4, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.100

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/4/2012

Last Name

Coleman

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Schools

St. John's Jesuit High School & Academy

University of Cincinnati

University of Dayton School of Law

Lincoln Elementary School

St. Angela Hall

Maumee Valley Country Day School

First Name

Michael

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

COL21

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

A City That Stays The Same Falls Behind.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

11/18/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Columbus

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Mayor The Honorable Michael B. Coleman (1954 - ) became the first African American mayor of Columbus, Ohio in 2000, and spearheaded the redevelopment of downtown Columbus.

Employment

State of Ohio

Columbus City Council

Schottenstein Law Firm

City of Columbus

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:234,2:2734,69:6165,104:19846,362:20254,367:59346,680:60490,696:67508,778:69380,842:69740,848:75173,910:75558,916:81982,977:89666,1044:89978,1049:91382,1092:107338,1304:143314,1661:145940,1677:146540,1682:149188,1699:149750,1706$0,0:2862,47:11450,132:15311,207:15806,216:16202,221:19377,281:22403,342:23026,349:23649,358:24272,366:35204,535:46142,716:55378,827:57100,853:77606,1108:77982,1113:79768,1145:97520,1441:123280,1796
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Michael B. Coleman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his father's early life

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes the black community in Madison, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his parents' experiences at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his parents' early relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his father's work at the Indianapolis 500

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his father's medical practice in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers his neighborhood in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers the black business district in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about Lincoln Elementary School in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls his early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers his childhood activities

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his parents' involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls the television broadcast of the March on Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls his introduction to politics

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers the presidential election of 1960

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls his admiration of Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his experiences at the Maumee Valley Day School in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls transferring to St. John's Jesuit High School in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his early mentors

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his social activities at St. John's Jesuit High School

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his early work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls the incidence of crime in his childhood community

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers his discriminatory high school counselor

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his transition to University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls his activities at University of Cincinnati

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers becoming a Democrat

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his work with Upward Bound

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his early involvement in presidential campaigns

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers Mayor Jerry Springer of Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about black politics in Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers his early exposure to black attorneys

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers the Law School Admission Test

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls his summer positions during law school

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers his internship at the White House

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his time in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers C.J. McLin

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers William J. Brown's mayoral campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his work for Ben Espy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls founding the Young Black Dems

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers Buck Rinehart's mayoralty of Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his campaign for Columbus City Council

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers Columbus Mayor Gregory S. Lashutka

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls his presidency of the Columbus City Council

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers Lee Fisher's gubernatorial campaign

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his campaign for the mayoralty of Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his experiences as the first black mayor of the City of Columbus

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his initiatives in Columbus, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his initiatives in Columbus, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes the housing crisis in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about the economic diversity in Columbus, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about the economic diversity in Columbus, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about the growth of Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his relationship with the white community in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his accomplishments as mayor of Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his challenges as mayor of Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his focus on urban redevelopment

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls the changes in federal funding to the City of Columbus

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his staff members

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

2$9

DATitle
The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes the housing crisis in Columbus, Ohio
Transcript
I remember Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] came to Toledo [Ohio] before then, before '68 [1968], 'cause he was assassinated in '68 [1968].$$Right. On this--$$Actually (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) this day--$$This day--$$--actually--today, yeah.$$This day in '68 [1968]. I remember when he was a younger person, he came to Scott High School [Jesup Wakeman Scott High School, Toledo, Ohio], and I remember the--he was in the gym and the whole community, black community--came out, and several thousand people squeezed in the gym on little steel chairs, the fold up chairs. And I remember standing on the fold up chair 'cause I couldn't see, and I remember it was just an exciting time 'cause he preached, he spoke, and while I didn't understand everything he said, I said, "This is a great man. He's doing a great thing. He's helping us some kind of way." And I remember in those days where Dr. King and--would pay for his next trip, by the trip, by what he was doing there--said, "Pass the bucket." And in this case, the bucket was a steel--literally, a steel bucket was passed person to person, and it came to me. I was standing on the chair and I, and everybody, and there was all this quiet money in the bucket--dollars--and it was filled with ten dollars, five dollars, one dollar--lots of money in this big steel bucket. Came to me, and I reached in one pocket, I felt lint, reached in the other pocket, felt a nickel. I took out the nickel, dropped it in the bucket, and I heard it hit the bottom of the bucket, clang at the bottom of the bucket, and I passed the bucket along. I was so proud, so proud to make a contribution to this effort of saving people.$So I'm very proud of our city, and we have our challenges, just like any city. We have the blight of vacant and abandoned housing, which I've got, we got a plan for that, (makes noise) and I'm convinced in three or four years, it'll be all gone.$$Okay.$$Move south that problem.$$Someone was telling me about--now you have a plan--you don't really focus on tearing down a lot of homes (unclear).$$Well, actually, here's what we're doing.$$Okay.$$We have actually a comprehensive effort. We are gonna be tearing down the worst of the worst homes. We haven't done that in the past, but we are now gonna do it because you can't--they're unrepairable. They're burnt out or they're just not gonna be repaired--nobody will, nobody can. I'm tearing 'em down. That's one hand. The other hand is out of this equation is that I'm remodeling and rebuilding homes that can be saved, so it's kind of a two prong approach, and we're trying to preserve housing as well. So tearing down, you know, we got a plan for tearing 'em down, spend $11.5 million to tear down nine hundred homes. We have federal dollars and city dollars, it's totaling now well over 40, $45 million in rehabilitating homes. So it's comp- comprehensive, a comprehensive effort. And by the end of this term, we will not have a vacant abandoned problem in the City of Columbus [Ohio].$$Now did the housing crisis of 2008 affect the--or how did it affect Columbus?$$Well, the housing crisis, the financial crisis affected Columbus by virtue of--like every other city--caused a lot of houses to go foreclose and become vacant and abandoned, which left blight in the neighborhoods all throughout--old neighborhoods, new neighborhoods; and that was a problem we had to deal with, and we're dealing with it. And we're getting it done.