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Kenneth G. Rodgers

Artist and art historian Kenneth Gerald Rodgers was born on October 22, 1949 in Siler City, North Carolina to Cornelia and Johnnie Rodgers, a data entry operator and laborer, respectively. Rodgers’ uncle inspired him to begin drawing at the age of seven, and Rodgers became a young caricaturist. He graduated from Chatham High School in 1967 and received a scholarship to attend North Carolina A&T State University where he majored in art design. At North Carolina A&T State University, Rodgers learned the technical aspects of drawing, painting, design and color, and he mastered skills in still life and portraiture. Rodgers graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in 1971 with his B.S. degree in art design and, in 1972, became a graduate assistant at the Weatherspoon Art Gallery where he studied exhibition design, mounting and crafting. He received his M.F.A. degree from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro in 1973.

Rodgers’ academic career progressed in 1974 when he was named director of the art program at Voorhees College. Leaving Voorhees in 1977, he assumed the position of assistant professor of art at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. In 1984, Rodgers began the "Art of the Modern World" series in Ocean City, Maryland. In 1990, he joined the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and was charged with conserving, promoting and interpreting the history of black Marylanders and became chairman of the commission in 1993. As chairman, he supervised the Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis, Maryland. Also in 1993, Rodgers was named associate professor of African American Art History at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore and was also named Artist-in-Residence at Mesa State College in Colorado.

In 1996, Rodgers became director of the North Carolina Central University Art Museum, which houses the largest collection of African American art in the state. In this capacity, Rodgers served as organizer and curator of several high profile exhibits including Edward Mitchell Bannister: American Landscape Artist, Re-connecting Roots: The Silver Anniversary Alumni Invitational, Charles White: American Draughtsman, Elizabeth Catlett: Master Printmaker and William H. Johnson: Revisiting an African American Modernist. In 2006, Rodgers was named Professor of Art and Director of the North Carolina University Art Museum. He has published several art compilations including William H. Johnson: Revisiting an African American Modernist and Climbing Up the Mountain: The Modern Art of Malvin Gray Johnson. Rodgers painted the official portrait of the first African American member of the North Carolina Council of State and the first African American State Auditor for North Carolina, Ralph Campbell. Rodgers has received numerous research grants and awards including: a National Endowment for the Humanities for study at the Vatican Museums and the American Academy in Rome, a Fulbright-Hays Study Abroad award for research in Kenya and Tanzania, and grants from the North Carolina Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Duke-Semans Fine Arts Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation to support museum exhibitions and programs.

Rodgers is the father of two and lives in North Carolina with his wife, Shielda Glover Rodgers.

Kenneth Rodgers was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 22, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.184

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/22/2007

Last Name

Rodgers

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

G.

Schools

Jordan-Matthews High School

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Kenneth

Birth City, State, Country

Siler City

HM ID

ROD04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

Nobody's Exempt.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

10/22/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Durham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Tacos, Fajitas

Short Description

Fine artist, curator, art history professor, and museum director Kenneth G. Rodgers (1949 - ) taught at many universities, and in 2006, was named Professor of Art and Director of the North Carolina University Art Museum. He was a part of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and was charged with conserving, promoting and interpreting the history of black Marylanders.

Employment

North Carolina Central University

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Voorhees College

Florida A&M University

South Carolina State University

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:1008,24:7740,76:30827,243:55476,527:56334,539:56880,548:59060,559:72800,755:73180,760:95265,1097:96015,1105:111010,1285:131595,1491:132540,1501:139860,1590:142809,1624:164560,1840$0,0:2009,47:7486,88:7962,93:8557,108:14166,197:14430,202:14694,207:15354,219:16014,230:17710,265:25568,414:34566,550:40925,585:41660,594:49704,628:50674,639:51062,646:51547,652:53490,660:58979,722:61142,737:65935,778:66260,784:67896,797:68304,802:68814,808:71262,841:74016,881:77892,949:78300,954:79626,969:80238,984:82278,1027:88128,1051:93333,1107:94464,1124:97424,1144:98066,1156:106930,1236:108926,1252:126650,1388:132383,1474:138652,1504:139324,1523:143040,1564:147448,1643:147883,1649:156262,1775:157052,1791:163160,1888:163445,1894:163673,1899:164357,1912:164756,1921:165269,1931:165782,1941:186210,2148:188518,2160:188894,2165:193302,2203:203870,2268:204225,2274:204509,2279:206490,2284:207474,2298:211460,2318:213070,2332:213651,2341:216970,2374:217586,2382:218554,2394:230950,2515:231490,2524:233264,2545:243330,2662
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Kenneth G. Rodgers' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Kenneth G. Rodgers lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers his maternal great-grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Kenneth G. Rodgers talks about his mother's education and profession

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers his childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers his neighborhood in Siler City, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes himself as a student

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers his early interest in art

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls the racial tensions in Siler City, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers Corinth A.M.E. Zion Church in Siler City, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes Chatham High School in Siler City, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his decision to attend North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls his first week of college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his first painting experiences in college

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls his art courses at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his political and social involvement in college

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls the uprising after Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his decision to attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers his first class in graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes the facilities at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Kenneth G. Rodgers talks about his artistic influences

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his experiences at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls applying to the North Carolina Museum of Art

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his position at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls his experiences at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Kenneth G. Rodgers talks about his family

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Kenneth G. Rodgers shares his favorite memories with his children

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers exhibiting at the Orangeburg Festival of Roses

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his painting, 'Cardplayers'

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Kenneth G. Rodgers talks about his favorite artists

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his own artwork

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls his position at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers his exhibition of Edward Mitchell Bannister's work

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls his neighborhood in Princess Anne, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers the Thurgood Marshall Memorial in Annapolis, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his position at North Carolina Central University Art Museum

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his exhibition of Charles Wilbert White's work

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls his exhibition of Elizabeth Catlett's work

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes the work of Malvin Gray Johnson

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls the exhibition 'Raising Renee and Other Themes'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Kenneth G. Rodgers reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Kenneth G. Rodgers reflects upon his artistic inspiration

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Kenneth G. Rodgers narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

3$9

DATitle
Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his own artwork
Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his position at North Carolina Central University Art Museum
Transcript
Describe another one of your favorite paintings, one you crafted yourself.$$Some years ago, I did a piece depicting two musicians, a cornet player, who happened to be on the right side of the painting, and another African musician playing his version of the xylophone, and the actual name of the instrument escapes me at the moment, but that was a work that allowed me not only to look at physiognomy, but it allowed me to look at these musical instruments and manipulate all kinds of modeling and shading effects as well. The unfortunate thing is that I did complete it and it was able to get into a major exhibit and I looked forward to getting it back, however it was purchased. And I really have mixed feelings about it, and you know it happens a lot with artists.$$What exhibit was it a part of?$$It was an exhibit at the J.B. Speed Art Museum [J.B. Speed Memorial Museum; Speed Art Museum] in Louisville, Kentucky. An exact title escapes me at the moment. But I think frequently artists are faced with this dilemma. Works of art become a part of you and you don't want to let go, but in the case of someone like, like myself, I don't produce work to sell it. I've never thought about it that way. I produce it because I like to do it. And, well that just happened to be a unique situation.$$Do you have any art that captures life in the South, either capturing relationships between white southerners and black southerners?$$I do not. I haven't really looked at that dynamic, but it's something that I plan to do. And I think I should say that one of the reasons I haven't done so is because I'm a bit of a hybrid, in that I'm doing curatorial work while trying to become a painter, and notice my expression, I'll still learning how to paint to the extent that some things have simply fallen through the cracks to coin the expression.$When you left Maryland, what year was that?$$I came to North Carolina in 1996.$$Why?$$I came here primarily because I heard about North Carolina Central University [Durham, North Carolina] and the fact that they had an exhibition space that was larger than the one that I currently worked at [at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, Maryland]. So I came to North Carolina Central University as director of their art museum [North Carolina Central University Art Museum, Durham, North Carolina].$$And what's your first memory?$$My first memory is my meeting with my board of directors, and thinking about the challenges that I might have in terms of putting together a body of programming that would do justice to the university, of course, would satiate the board members, but that would also continue this notion that I always had of pulling these artists out from the shadows and presenting them. So that first memories was of that meeting was my first, my very first meeting of the board.$$What was your first accomplishment in that role?$$I think the first accomplishment, certainly from the board's perspective, was to ensure them that they had made the right decision in, in bringing me along, that I would be faithful to the mission of the university, of the university museum.$$What was the mission?$$To promote, conserve and present African American art.$$So what, tell me the artists and the paintings you provide.$$Well, we had already at the museum the nucleus of a broad section of African American artists that we could build on. Almost all of the major artists were there, minus one or two.$$Who were they?$$There were the 19th century icons, Edward Mitchell Bannister, Henry Tanner [Henry Ossawa Tanner], Robert Scott Duncanson. There was also a generous representation of WPA [Works Progress Administration; Work Projects Administration] era artists. There were contemporary artists, including MacArthur winners [MacArthur Fellowship]. So the notion was to use these artists as a point of departure and to develop the (unclear) exhibits around what was already there. And I think we've probably been able to do that in, in some measure.$$What was the most startling experience for you?$$Well, I think the most startling experience might have been attempting to reconcile realistic acquisitions, plan and budget against what was in place because essentially there was not very much in place for acquisition so the, the first call of order is to add to the collection, and if you have the nucleus of, of works from various periods, how do you then add to those, and where do you, more importantly, get the monies from to do it?

Leslie King-Hammond

Artist, historian, educational administrator and curator Leslie Ann King-Hammond was born on August 4, 1944 to Evelyne Alice Maxwell King and Oliver King. King-Hammond is of Caribbean ancestry and grew up in South Jamaica and Hollis, Queens, New York. She attended New York City Public Schools and won a full stipend-tuition scholarship by the SEEK Grant at the City University of New York, Queens College. King-Hammond accepted the scholarship, attended Queens College and graduated in 1969, earning her B.F.A. degree. She went on to earn her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from John Hopkins University in 1973 and 1975 respectively.

King-Hammond officially started her career after finishing her undergraduate education in 1969 serving as Chairman of the Art Department for the Performing Arts Workshops of Queens, New York. She remained in this position until 1971, when she became program writer for Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited (HARYOU) in Harlem, New York. HARYOU-ACT, Inc. worked to increase opportunities in education and employment for young blacks in Harlem. In 1973, King-Hammond began lecturing at the Maryland Institute College of Art. By 1976, she was promoted to Dean of Graduate Studies at the Maryland Institute College of Art, a position she still holds. Between 1977 and 1981, King-Hammond served as Doctoral Supervisor for Howard University’s Department of African Studies. Between 1980 and 1982, she served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. Between 1983 and 1987, King-Hammond worked as Commissioner for the Civic Design Commission in Baltimore, Maryland. Between 1990 and 1996, she served as art consultant for the Afro-American Historical & Cultural Museum. Between 1985 and 1998, King-Hammond served as Project Director of the Phillip Morris Scholarships for Artists of Color. From 2000 to the present, she has served on the Board of Directors of the International House of Art Critics.

King-Hammond has been honored and awarded several times over during her career including the Kress Fellowship, 1974-1945; Mellon Grant for Faculty Research at the Maryland Institute College of Art, 1984; the Trustee Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1986; and the National Endowment for the Arts Award, 2001.

In 2007, King-Hammond was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture.

King-Hammond was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 26, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.164

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/26/2007

Last Name

King-Hammond

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

P.S. 104, The Bays Water School

P.S. 142, Shimer Junior High School

Andrew Jackson High School

State University of New York at Buffalo

The New School for Social Research

Queens College, City University of New York

Johns Hopkins University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Leslie

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

KIN11

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Jonathan Green Studios, Inc

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

I'm Blessed To Be Vertical.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

8/4/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream, Nuts, Fruit

Short Description

Installation artist, academic administrator, art history professor, and curator Leslie King-Hammond (1944 - ) was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture.

Employment

General Electric

Maryland Institute College of Art

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Burgundy Reds

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Leslie King-Hammond's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Leslie King-Hammond lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Leslie King-Hammond remembers her trip to Barbados

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Leslie King-Hammond talks about her mother's childhood in Barbados

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her mother's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Leslie King-Hammond talks about the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her father's involvement with the Universal Negro Improvement Association

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls her father's occupation

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Leslie King-Hammond talks about her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Leslie King-Hammond describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her early experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Leslie King-Hammond remembers seeing a poster of Emmett Till

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls her early interest in art

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Leslie King-Hammond remembers her family's response to her art

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls the early inspiration for her artwork

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls her lessons at the Brooklyn Museum Art School in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls her piano lessons

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Leslie King-Hammond describes one of her early self-portraits

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls volunteering at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Leslie King-Hammond remembers her early feminist outlook

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Leslie King-Hammond remembers leaving the church, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Leslie King-Hammond remembers leaving the church, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls her experience at the State University of New York at Buffalo

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Leslie King-Hammond remembers working for General Electric

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Leslie King-Hammond remembers teaching art at a community program

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls receiving a full scholarship to Queens College in Queens, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her clothing design business

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her opposition to the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Leslie King-Hammond remembers the March on Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls her admission to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls her studies at Queens College in Queens, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Leslie King-Hammond remembers the assassination of Malcolm X

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls how activism informed her artwork, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls how activism informed her artwork, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Leslie King-Hammond talks about activist art groups

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Leslie King-Hammond talks about the National Conference of Artists

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls the founders of the National Conference of Artists

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Leslie King-Hammond remembers her Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge fellowship

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls her graduation from Queens College in Queens, New York

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls her Horizon Fellowship to John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her political activism at John Hopkins University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls discrimination at Johns Hopkins University, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls discrimination at Johns Hopkins University, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls the challenges she faced to obtain a Ph.D. degree

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Leslie King-Hammond talks about her dissertation, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Leslie King-Hammond talks about her dissertation, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls experiencing sexual harassment at Johns Hopkins University

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls obtaining her position at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her deanship at Maryland Institute College of Art

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her fellowship program for artists of color

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Leslie King-Hammond talks about discrimination in the art field, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Leslie King-Hammond talks about discrimination in the art field, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her writing process for her publications

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Leslie King-Hammond talks about the representation of black artists in education

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls curating 'Black Printmakers and the WPA'

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls curating 'Art as a Verb'

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Leslie King-Hammond remembers her search for a white rooster, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Leslie King-Hammond remembers her search for a white rooster, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Leslie King-Hammond reflects upon her personal life

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Leslie King-Hammond remembers her exhibit, 'Three Generations of African American Women Sculptors'

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls her research for 'Three Generations of African American Women Sculptors'

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Leslie King-Hammond describes the challenges faced by female artists

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls her installation, 'Barbadian Spirits'

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Leslie King-Hammond describes the development of her artwork

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Leslie King-Hammond talks about Seneca Village in New York City

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Leslie King-Hammond reflects upon New York City's slave history

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls her collaboration with Jose J. Mapily, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls her collaboration with Jose J. Mapily, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her research on Seneca Village in New York City

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Leslie King-Hammond recalls her exhibit, 'Agents of Change: Women, Art and Intellect'

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Leslie King-Hammond talks about her home in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Leslie King-Hammond describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Leslie King-Hammond reflects upon her life

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Leslie King-Hammond reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Leslie King-Hammond talks about her sons, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Leslie King-Hammond talks about her sons, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Leslie King-Hammond describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

10$4

DATitle
Leslie King-Hammond recalls her early interest in art
Leslie King-Hammond recalls discrimination at Johns Hopkins University, pt. 1
Transcript
When did you discover your artistic talent?$$Oh, I, I knew early on that I was, I had a predisposition for art, that I, that I loved to make things. That I just was impassioned with art. I was also extremely curious which I think made my mother [Evelyne Maxwell King] uncomfortable about the whole idea of how does an artist become an artist. Because I was also impassioned with the fact that my childhood was not normal because periodically I would have to have eyes made for me. And, so, when I was growing up, I had to go to a glass blowers which was a very old world tradition. Now they make them out of synthetics and plastics and whatever. But, at the time, I would have to sit with this, this master who would literally blow these glass bubbles. And, I can remember vividly being so mesmerized by the process of how he would craft from this bubble of molten glass, this incredible delicate eye that I would have to wear. You know, I didn't really care that I was wearing an artificial eye. I just wanted to go and watch him make eyes, okay. I was just curious. And, so, I would ask my mother questions like, "How did he learn to do that?" Or, "Are people with handicaps and challenges more predisposed to have these artistic talents?" And, since she was in medicine, it was kind of disconcerting for her, her to have to answer these kinds of questions 'cause she hadn't thought about it in that way because she was being the overprotective mother. But, as I began to increasingly read, because she would get nursing journals and medical journals just to keep up with the field, so I would read them. And, I would find the articles and variably about research that was done on people with different kinds of challenges and how, what happens with the body when one area is compromised the other area, another area will compensate. Well, that's that left brain, right brain thing. And, so what happens is, is that, you know, the left brain which organizes and keeps everything structurally in place, you understand, when it gets damaged or that sector of the body get damaged it responds to the left brain. This right brain thing kicks in and you have this enormous capacity that begins to compensate for the loss that's on the left side. And, I began to understand it more when I finally went to college [Queens College, Queens, New York] and I had a professor, a painting professor, who explained to me exactly what was happening. Because at one point I went to him because I was taking color theory class and he was making us go through various exercises of color compass- comparisons and intensities. And, I went to him, not knowing, because it had not been explained to me, and I said to him, "I have singular vision and I'm not sure that I'm gonna be able to respond to these problems." And, he looked at me, he says, "I know." And, I said, "How do you know?" He said, "Because you're the only one in the class who can really see what I'm teaching." He said, "Because you have singular vision," he said, "your depth perception cannot be based on a black to white to grey scale." He says, "You have to use color." He says, "You've been using color for so long to measure distances." That means, how to step up on a high plane. How to navigate through shadows. He said, he says, "You're so ultra-sensitive to color," he says, "every problem you do," he say, "you can't fail because you've already mastered it unconsciously." He said, "This is the first time, you've probably been able to talk about it with somebody who understands the dynamics of it." After that, it was like, bam (claps hands), somebody finally told me, broke the key, the magic box was open, I went "Yes, okay, (makes noise)." And, after I got that piece of information I could, you know, I was, I was cool. I was just cool.$So I had to walk into the department chair's office and ask her point blank, "Why is it that I was not informed of my status when I was really moved into a position to take this exam without proper preparation?" And, that I knew that in twenty-four hours, they knew who passed the exams. And, she told me that, "Well, Leslie [HistoryMaker Leslie King-Hammond] the committee's decided that, yes, you passed," and she said under her breath, "You passed very well." She wouldn't look me in the eyes. She just said, "You passed very well." And, I'm just sitting there looking at her, and I said, "And?" She said, "But, it's the decision of the committee that you're extremely talented and you can do whatever you wanna do and you don't really need a doctorate to go any further." And, I said, "Oh, really." I said, "And, how did you come up with that?" "Well, we really don't have any more money in your fellowship package and, you know, if you can come up with the money we might entertain you coming back in the fall." I said, "Might entertain?" I said, "I'm not making any sense of this at all." She says, "Well, I'm just doing this, you know, as a maternal thing for your, for your own good." So, that's when it just hit me and I just sort of went politely ballistic and I said, this is Dr. Phoebe Stanton [Phoebe Baroody Stanton], I said, "Dr. Stanton, please be advised that I have a very good black mother [Evelyne Maxwell King] in New York [New York], who really talks very much like you and wants me to leave here because this has not been a kind or friendly place to study. However, I do believe that I had to sign a letter of contractual agreement and return it to your office, to this office at Johns Hopkins [Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland], indicating that I accept the terms of this fellowship. So, as far as I'm concerned, it's on me whether and when I terminate this relationship." Well, she was absolutely undone. She was livid. And, I said, "I have no doubt that you will be hearing from me again. Because I will be back in the fall. And, I will seek to resolve this." And, I walked up out of the office. I walked straight across campus to the president's office, and I walked in and I said to his executive assistant, and he had just been hired. This new African American administrator who was gonna oversee Hopkins Hospital [The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland] and Hopkins' Homewood Campus, I said, "My name is Leslie King. I have just been thrown out of the art history department after passing my doctoral exams, with flying colors, and I am told that I am too talented and that I don't need this degree. I wanna see the president now."

Howardena Pindell

World renowned abstract artist Howardena Pindell was born on April 14, 1943, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pindell became interested in art at an early age when she began taking art classes on Saturdays; she started out as a figurative painter. Pindell received her B.F.A. degree in painting from Boston University's School of Fine and Applied Arts in 1965, and her M.F.A. degree from Yale University's School of Art and Architecture in 1967. Pindell was also awarded two honorary doctorates: one from the Massachusetts College of Art, and one from Parson School of Design in New York.

Pindell began her career in the art world as the first African American Associate Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books at the New York Museum of Modern Art, a position she held for twelve years. Pindell rose from Curatorial Assistant to Associate Curator during her time at the New York Museum of Modern Art.. In 1979, Pindell began a new career as Associate Professor of Students at State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Pindell’s earliest drawings, composed of a patterned sequence of words and numbers on graph paper, suggest post minimalism as a major ingredient in her abstractions. In the 1970s, Pindell developed a collage technique using small circles hand punched from sheets of blank or printed paper. After numbering each one individually, she pasted them on sheets of punched and un-punched paper so that they floated on surfaces at once porous and solid. In the 1980s, she moved to photo-based collage, video, and relief paintings with intensely political subject matter. Pindell traveled extensively to Africa, Asia, Europe, Russia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, lived in Japan for seven months, and in India for four months. Pindell used these journeys and experiences as inspiration to integrate her own history as content for the autobiographies of her life. Between 1995 and 1999, Pindell taught at Yale University as a visiting professor; from 2003 to 2006, she served as Director of the MFA Program at Stony Brook University. Pindell also served as a full Professor of Art at Stony Brook University.

Pindell’s belief that the arts community should become more inclusive of women and minorities sparked a revolution in her work; she published groundbreaking studies that documented the lack of representation of artists of color through racism, censorship and violence.

Pindell works are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Yale Art Museum, New Haven, the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, and the Rhode Island School of Art Museum. Pindell also became an accomplished writer; a book of her writings, The Heart of the Question, was published in 1997. In 2000 Pindell received the IAM Pioneer award.

Accession Number

A2007.002

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/5/2007

Last Name

Pindell

Maker Category
Schools

Yale University

Boston University

Philadelphia High School for Girls

Jay Cook Junior High School

Pastorius Francis P Sch

The New School for Social Research

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Howardena

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

PIN04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Egypt

Favorite Quote

Are You Kidding? Oh, God.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/14/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Southern Food

Short Description

Collage artist, art professor, and curator Howardena Pindell (1943 - ) began her career as the first African American Associate Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books at the New York Museum of Modern Art, and became a renowned abstract artist. Pindell also published groundbreaking studies that document the lack of representation of artists of color through racism, censorship, and violence.

Employment

New York Museum of Modern Art

Stony Brook University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Howardena Pindell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Howardena Pindell lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Howardena Pindell describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Howardena Pindell describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Howardena Pindell describes her father's childhood and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Howardena Pindell talks about her father's activism

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Howardena Pindell describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Howardena Pindell describes her parent's personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Howardena Pindell describes her paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Howardena Pindell describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Howardena Pindell talks about her mother's family members who passed as white

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Howardena Pindell describes her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Howardena Pindell describes her parent's marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Howardena Pindell describes her mother's education and temperament

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Howardena Pindell talks about her mother's childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Howardena Pindell talks about being an only child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Howardena Pindell describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Howardena Pindell describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Howardena Pindell recalls her neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Howardena Pindell recalls her experiences of racial discrimination in Philadelphia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Howardena Pindell recalls her experiences of racial discrimination while travelling

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Howardena Pindell describes her early education in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Howardena Pindell describes her early talent for art

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Howardena Pindell describes her experiences in grade school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Howardena Pindell remembers her high school education in Philadelphia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Howardena Pindell describes her social life and pastimes as a teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Howardena Pindell recalls her difficulties at school in Philadelphia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Howardena Pindell recalls her art teachers at Philadelphia High School for Girls

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Howardena Pindell remembers her early interest in reading

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Howardena Pindell remembers her high school prom

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Howardena Pindell describes her lack of interest in sports as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Howardena Pindell recalls her parent's political involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Howardena Pindell recalls her decision to attend Boston University

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Howardena Pindell describes her experience of racial discrimination at Boston University

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Howardena Pindell describes her early artwork

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Howardena Pindell recalls being hired by New York City's Museum of Modern Art

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Howardena Pindell recalls how the Vietnam War influenced her artwork

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Howardena Pindell remembers the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Howardena Pindell recalls President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Howardena Pindell recalls protests against New York City's museums

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Howardena Pindell remembers being a black, female curator in late 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Howardena Pindell recalls the founding of Artists in Residence Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Howardena Pindell talks about discrimination in commercial art galleries

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Howardena Pindell talks about black artists' exclusion from galleries

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Howardena Pindell remembers her artistic breakthrough in the early 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Howardena Pindell explains the use of number in her art

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Howardena Pindell recalls her car accident

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Howardena Pindell remembers teaching at Stony Brook University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Howardena Pindell talks about making her artwork accessible to the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Howardena Pindell describes the subjects of her artwork, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Howardena Pindell describes the subjects of her artwork, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Howardena Pindell describes her 'Autobiography' painting series

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Howardena Pindell describes the influence of astronomy upon her work

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Howardena Pindell recalls publishing a study of discrimination in the art world

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Howardena Pindell talks about artist Kara Walker

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Howardena Pindell talks about other artists she admires

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Howardena Pindell talks about her travels

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Howardena Pindell describes her experiences in Japan

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Howardena Pindell talks about her travels in India and Africa

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Howardena Pindell talks about the spiritual component of African American art

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Howardena Pindell talks about the representation of African Americans in art

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Howardena Pindell describes her plans for future artwork

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Howardena Pindell shares advice for aspiring artists

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Howardena Pindell reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Howardena Pindell reflects upon the importance of history

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Howardena Pindell describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Howardena Pindell shares a message for future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Howardena Pindell describes her legacy and how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Howardena Pindell narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

9$2

DATitle
Howardena Pindell recalls her experiences of racial discrimination while travelling
Howardena Pindell describes the subjects of her artwork, pt. 1
Transcript
Now, was there a time when you were traveling with your family, something about root beer mugs?$$Oh, gosh, oh yeah. It was the reason why I use circles. Yes, my father [Howard Pindell] and mother [Mildred Lewis Pindell] and I would periodically drive to Ohio, and in fact, that was always difficult because the, the motels would not allow black people to stay there so we had to like really drive fast (laughter), or drive you know like all night. In fact at one point they took a cook stove and we would cook out in the woods 'cause you couldn't, so in segregation you couldn't even get food. My father and I, my mother was busy with her mother [Loula Lewis] and her sisters, I think maybe Entellena [Entellena Lewis] was there, her youngest sister, and my father and I drove into Kentucky and my father loved root beer so we stopped at a root beer stand, I mean my father was someone say if it says, "You can't go there," you'd go there anyway, and they served us root beer you know in chilled mugs, but at the bottom of the mug was a big red circle, and apparently in the South what they would do if they were willing to serve people of color, they would mark the silverware and the glassware, so what they had I mean, if you, it was a circle about the size of the base of this glass you know on a root beer mug. And I asked my father, you know, "What is that?" And he explained that if you're colored, you're African American, then they will mark your silverware, your glassware, dishware with a red circle. So I always tell people you know I was scared by a red circle, by a circle, and so I was obsessing about circles ever since, but I remember being just genuinely shocked, you know, that we would, you know, that anyone would get you know silverware. I can remember when we had driven south, I think we were going to visit some of my parents' friends in the Carolinas in Durham [North Carolina], going to a filling station and the rudeness of these sort of redneck guys that ran the station, the way they talked to my father calling him Howard, and you know because I had the credit card, and then you were like terrorized, you know you didn't want to go to the bathroom anywhere, because if--you know you either run into that kind of you know hillbilly kind of offensive behavior or it could be dangerous. So I can remember traveling with them and my father wearily going into a motel and being told it's no vacancy and then when you leave it says vacancy sign is on that they don't want anyone black. I would say, yeah those are my memories from the '40s [1940s] maybe early '50s [1950s].$$How did those, well how did it make you feel though as a child?$$Upset, insecure, angry, but I think that the thing that really brought it home was the white teacher, inappropriately being furious at a student who followed her directions (laughter) you know like what is this? So ever since then I just--it's also I think given me a kind of uncomfortable feeling about white women, that I've always found when I've dealt with, like in current times that are not as segregated or not, it's more subtle that I find there's always this and I even get the phrase from an Asian friend, she said when you're around white women, the white women act like, I'm white and I'm in charge here. This particular individual was an Asian woman artist who was talking about the women's movement and how if you get involved in a women's group, the white women always assume that they're the authority, they're in charge. So, I've run into that umpteen times.$Tell me about some of the pieces that you have done that--?$$Oh, the big ones?$$Yeah, the ones that you have to do the research for that you enjoy doing now?$$Well, I did a piece that was in my last show, it was called 'In My Lifetime' and what I have is like a strip of I think red at the bottom representing blood in terms of slavery and wars and stuff and then I have a section of water which somehow the Middle Passage comes back into my work, a lot I want to keep referring to that. Then above that is another strip of, of water but it's all done in camouflage patterns you would have on a military uniform and then on this field you have two screaming heads, my head at maybe '40s [1940s] and the other maybe in the '50s [1950s], so it's like it represents a passage of time and the top there is a strip of images from bomb tests in the Pacific [Pacific Ocean] as well as Nagasaki [Japan], I don't remember if I included Hiroshima [Japan], but I wanted to refer to in my lifetime these wars have happened, these holocausts have happened. And then I use a photo transfer process to show various atrocities. I had to do the research to even find the images. I mean some I got through the library which were the bombs, bomb images and then, and then I just used the photo realistic process to translate, then the image is like I have an Angolan child with no limbs, with no legs from when we were the ones that sponsored the, putting landmines in Angola, we have to have the largest amputation rate in the world. Then there are images from Iraq because I was really against the Iraq War from the beginning and then the embargo which starved, you know millions to death. I mean we're doing we're killing, you know it's all killing, so I look at image, well I found images of children in bomb shelters where we in Iraq, we had bombed and killed women and children, so I have images. It's a hard thing to look at, and then at the bottom of the painting, the painting is about the size of that wall, maybe twelve feet by about I think this one is about eight feet high, or seven feet, and then at the front of the painting I have like a tree stump, like you know like a tree surgeon would have given me. It's literally the from here to here and maybe about that big and round, and on it is a Bible, a large print Bible. At the top of the various pages are stamped with rubber stamps, different holocausts, including not only the Holocaust that the Jews went through, although I find so often the Jewish people see it as the, the only holocaust, but Rwanda and Angola, you know just so when you flip the Bible you have these different holocausts; mainly to express in, well there are two things: one is my usual struggle about God whether he exists or not, and culpability or responsibility (laughter). Okay, one thing is the Bible says throughout it that God will protect you, the meek will inherit the earth, and I'm saying like, "So where, where, when does this start?" You know, it hasn't happened and there's been all these wars and the other that there are various religions that say you know, you know, they claim to be good and yet they will foment wars, like what's happening with the Evangelical Christians seeing that pushing war, pushes what they feel is like the end times; you know it's terrifying that Bush [President George Walker Bush] would start a war in order to fulfill prophecy, or fulfill his friend's prophecy and also line his friends' pockets with you know, a lot of money--so you know just war profiteering. So it was all that sort of in one piece.

Amalia Amaki

Amalia Amaki was born Linda Faye Peeks on July 8, 1949 in Atlanta, Georgia to Mary Lee and Norman Peeks, a former musician with the Deep South Boys of Macon, Georgia. Amaki developed a love for script writing, drawing, bold colors and textures at an early age. She instinctively knew that she would change her name. Amaki attended Georgia State University and majored in journalism and psychology. In 1970, she won the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Feature Writing and was the first and only African American on campus to join this journalism organization. In 1971, Amaki received her B.A. degree. She also obtained her B.A. degree from the University of New Mexico in photography and art history and worked as a museum assistant at the University Art Museum for two years while she pursued her degree. In 1974, she changed her name to Amalia Amaki.

In 1985, Amaki went to France as an Emory University Foreign Study Fellow. She also became a contributing writer to Art Papers and an art critic for Creative Loafing; papers local to the Atlanta area. Amaki earned her M.A. degree in modern European and American art and a Ph.D. in twentieth century American art and culture from Emory University in the Institute of Liberal Arts. From 1987 to 2000, she taught art history at Spelman and Morehouse Colleges; Atlanta College of Art; Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia; and North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega, Georgia. She served as a guest curator at the Southern Arts Federation in 1996; the Museum of Fine Arts at Spelman College in 1997 and 1998; the Marietta-Cobb Museum of Art in 1999; and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in 2004. In the summer of 2004, Amaki was a visiting scholar at the Student Art Centers International (SACI) in Florence, Italy. In 2001, she became Curator of the Paul R. Jones Collection of Art and Assistant Professor of Art in the Art History and Black Studies Departments at the University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware. Amaki was also a Scholar-in-Residence at Spelman College in Atlanta for the 2005 – 2006 school year.

Amaki’s art captures the lives of African women of the Diaspora through media from everyday life (photography, quilts, buttons, boxes and household items). Her work redefines the lives of past and present African American heroines and heroes and contrasts their depiction in the mainstream media. She has published a number of articles including “Art: The Paul Jones Collection in Art” and Everyday Life: The Paul Jones Collection, an exhibition catalog by the Marietta-Cobb Museum of Art, Marietta, Georgia in 1999.

Amaki holds memberships in the College of Art Association, American Association of University Professors, Emory University Alumni Board of Governors, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, High Museum of Art, Georgia Museum of Art, and Spelman College Museum of Fine Arts. Her solo works, Amalia Amaki: Boxes, Buttons and Blues have also been on exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

Amaki splits her time in Atlanta, Georgia and Newark, Delaware.

Accession Number

A2006.017

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/15/2006 |and| 9/9/2007

Last Name

Amaki

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Hope-Hill Elementary School

David T. Howard High School

Georgia State University

University of New Mexico

Emory University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Amalia

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

AMA01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Santa Fe, New Mexico, Beausoleil, France

Favorite Quote

The Glass Is Always Half Full.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

7/8/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cookies

Short Description

Mixed media artist, curator, and art history professor Amalia Amaki (1949 - ) has served as the curator of the Paul R. Jones Collection of Art, and as assistant professor of art in the art history and black studies departments at the University of Delaware. She is also a scholar-in-residence in the fine arts department at Spelman College.

Employment

Southern Airways

APEX Museum (Atlanta, Georgia)

Spelman College

University of Delaware

University of Alabama

Paul Jones Collection

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:384,6:3936,47:4608,55:9408,133:14688,219:26548,336:27268,355:33070,456:36130,490:42198,550:63528,965:75468,1076:75800,1160:84770,1246:87570,1312:90592,1335:92524,1368:92944,1374:102850,1521:107942,1624:118205,1766:125600,1878:125920,1890:141760,2106:152285,2269:154910,2314:155660,2344:155960,2349:161180,2393:166416,2477:166986,2483:175362,2569:175690,2574:176592,2586:177576,2599:185694,2709:189138,2774:189876,2854:204934,3028:205438,3035:206866,3057:211402,3145:223495,3298:226777,3340:228226,3369:230710,3426:231262,3437:240704,3580:241068,3585:241978,3596:242433,3602:243616,3619:246892,3684:247438,3691:256416,3782:266450,3928$0,0:3822,52:10830,88:15970,134:16920,216:18535,233:19485,244:19865,254:20530,263:25280,425:28795,472:36454,517:37938,536:45976,612:46804,622:47816,640:52975,707:55054,721:55398,731:57376,758:61100,767:68780,876:69680,890:74984,931:75785,941:87162,1149:88194,1165:88968,1176:89484,1183:100114,1306:103940,1368:106962,1398:107578,1406:109380,1423:109640,1428:110030,1436:110290,1441:111200,1460:112435,1494:121338,1634:122896,1658:125274,1701:126996,1730:135960,1798:157810,2102:161256,2130:161480,2135:162152,2151:167254,2205:167644,2211:168034,2217:168424,2223:174806,2319:176326,2408:184050,2457:184330,2462:188600,2488:189068,2496:189380,2501:192734,2554:195230,2608:209420,2823
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Amalia Amaki's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Amalia Amaki lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Amalia Amaki describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Amalia Amaki describes her mother's cooking

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Amalia Amaki describes her father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Amalia Amaki describes her parents' childhoods

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Amalia Amaki describes how her parents met, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Amalia Amaki describes her father's occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Amalia Amaki remembers holiday celebrations from her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Amalia Amaki describes her mother's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Amalia Amaki describes how her parents met, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Amalia Amaki shares how her mother began having children

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Amalia Amaki describes her mother's fear of storms

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Amalia Amaki describes her maternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Amalia Amaki describes her mother's siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Amalia Amaki describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Amalia Amaki describes her father's singing career

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Amalia Amaki describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Amalia Amaki recalls drawing at John Hope Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Amalia Amaki describes her childhood neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Amalia Amaki describes her childhood community in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Amalia Amaki describes her mother's role in the community

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Amalia Amaki recalls attending Wheat Street Baptist Church

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Amalia Amaki describes the department stores in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Amalia Amaki recalls the shoe stores in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Amalia Amaki describes the department stores in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Amalia Amaki remembers the seamstress in her childhood neighborhood

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Amalia Amaki talks about Auburn Avenue in Atlanta

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Amalia Amaki lists her siblings

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Amalia Amaki explains why her mother changed her name

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Amalia Amaki remembers being teased about her name as a child

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Amalia Amaki explains how she chose her name, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Amalia Amaki explains how she chose her name, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Amalia Amaki recalls her favorite teacher at John Hope Elementary School, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Amalia Amaki recalls her favorite teacher at John Hope Elementary School, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Amalia Amaki describes her childhood personality

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Amalia Amaki describes the games she played with her siblings

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Amalia Amaki recalls playing games with her family

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Amalia Amaki recalls receiving baby chickens for Easter

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Amalia Amaki describes her rebellious personality as a child

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Amalia Amaki recalls Atlanta's Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Amalia Amaki remembers her early career aspirations

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Amalia Amaki describes her high school extracurricular activities

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Amalia Amaki recalls her decision to attend Georgia State College, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Amalia Amaki recalls applying for college

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Amalia Amaki recalls her decision to attend Georgia State College, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Amalia Amaki describes her experience of studying journalism

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Amalia Amaki recalls her induction into the Society of Professional Journalists

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Amalia Amaki explains her B.A. degree in journalism and psychology

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Amalia Amaki describes her experience of racial discrimination at Georgia State College

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Amalia Amaki recalls Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Amalia Amaki recalls Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Amalia Amaki remembers the death of her childhood friend

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Amalia Amaki's interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Amalia Amaki describes the impact of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Amalia Amaki recalls writing for The Signal

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Amalia Amaki describes her classmates at Georgia State University

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Amalia Amaki remembers inspirational speakers at Georgia State University

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Amalia Amaki talks about working for Southern Airways

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Amalia Amaki describes her international travels

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Amalia Amaki describes the University of New Mexico

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Amalia Amaka recalls meeting Georgia O'Keeffe

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Amalia Amaki describes her friends in New Mexico

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Amalia Amaki describes the cultures of New Mexico

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Amalia Amaki recalls her photography professor, Betty Hahn

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Amalia Amaki recalls her printmaking professor, Garo Antreasian

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Amalia Amaki describes her additions to the University of New Mexico's museum collection

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Amalia Amaki recalls her first curatorial position

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Amalia Amaki recalls her employment while studying at Emory University

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Amalia Amaki describes her favorite artists and photographers

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Amalia Amaki describes her professors and classmates at Emory University

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Amalia Amaki remembers teaching at Spelman College and studying abroad

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Amalia Amaki recalls completing her master's degree

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Amalia Amaki talks about earning her Ph.D. degree

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Amalia Amaki recalls her assistant professorship at Spelman College

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Amalia Amaki recalls working at the University of Delaware

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Amalia Amaki recalls teaching at Studio Arts College International

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Amalia Amaki describes the inspiration behind her quilts, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Amalia Amaki explains how her button work was inspired by her childhood

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Amalia Amaki recalls how she began creating art

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Amalia Amaki recounts the first sale of a piece of her art

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Amalia Amaki describes her drawings of children with oversized eyes

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Amalia Amaki describes her button artwork, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Amalia Amaki describes her button artwork, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Amalia Amaki shares an anecdote about her button artwork

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Amalia Amaki describes her artwork commissioned for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Amalia Amaki shares what she learned from collecting buttons

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Amalia Amaki talks about the use of buttons as currency

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Amalia Amaki describes the inspiration behind her work

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Amalia Amaki shares her ideas for future artistic projects

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Amalia Amaki describes the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Amalia Amaki describes the Paul Jones Collection of American Art, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Amalaia Amaki describes her art exhibitions

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Amalia Amaki describes the collectors of her art

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Amalia Amaki talks about her plans for the future

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Amalia Amaki reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 10 - Amalia Amaki describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Amalia Amaki narrates her photographs

DASession

2$2

DATape

8$10

DAStory

2$7

DATitle
Amalia Amaka recalls meeting Georgia O'Keeffe
Amalia Amaki shares an anecdote about her button artwork
Transcript
I had wonderful experiences, interactions with Georgia O'Keeffe, which was one the highlights of my life, and--$$Well, tell me about that.$$I, I, I had befriended a, an architect who was in the Albuquerque [New Mexico] area. And he was, he had this very almost surrogate son kind of relationship with, with O'Keeffe. And one Saturday morning, it wasn't unusual for him to call and say, "What are you doing?" And he, we'd go on these adventures. We did that about three times. Well, on this particular occasion he said, "Well, you know, get some stuff and we're going on an adventure." And I got really kind, a little nervous because I didn't know him that well at that point. And all I could see was, you know, the city was getting further and further away, and I'm looking out on this desert, and I don't see anything. And I'm starting to envision in my mind, you know, I'm seeing, you know, UNM [University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico] student found dead on the, on the Mesa. You know, I'm just, all this stuff is running 'cause I really didn't know him that well. And eventually I see this structure. And we get closer and closer, and he's driven me to her house, her ranch. And the minute I step out of the car, once I realize where I am, I get excited. I step out of the car, and he pulls off, and there's this cloud of smoke. And as the smoke clears, I look and sort of off in an angle to my left is this tiny woman. I had no idea she was so small. But then, you know, how you just sense that you're being watched. And I sort of look off at this angle to the right, and here are two little brown chows. And they look at me, and then they look at her, and they look at me, and they look at her. And I know those are not, you know, little kiddie dogs, you know. I know these are dangerous dogs, potentially dangerous. And finally she says in this really strong voice: "What are you doing here?" And I said, "Well, I came to see you." And she said, "Why?" And I said, "Don't you know who you are?" And she laughs, and the dogs just kind of look off and walk off, and they, it's as if they say oh, she's all right. And he [sic. she] says, "That rascal. I'm gonna get him." So she knew exactly who, who had done this. But I was with her, I can't remember now if it was two hours, four hours, but it was long enough for her to, she had made tomato soup from tomatoes. This woman had a garden in the middle of the desert and grew little small sections of vegetables. So we had tomato soup from tomatoes in her garden. We had a very interesting conversation until I mentioned Alfred Stieglitz. And she just said, "You know he's dead; he's dead you know." And I knew that was her way of saying she didn't wanna talk about him. But that was one of my--and she gave me good advice when she found out I was, I was interested in art. And she asked me how did I define myself, and I said, "What do you mean?" She said, "If you're an artist, then that's how you define yourself." And she talked about how she did not consider herself to be the best, best painter. That she said you know, "It's not about always being the best." She said, "I know I saw painters who were probably better painters than I was." She said, "But when my opportunity came, I was ready." So she said, "Always have work. Warehouse it if you have to, because when the opportunity comes, if you're not ready, they won't wait for you. They move on." It was good advice. She said you know--she, she never talked race, but she said, "I know you, you're gonna run into situations where people treat you unfairly for all the wrong reasons." She said, "Don't get mad. Become successful. That's the best way to get even." She said that's what she did. So it was a wonderful two, I can't remember now if two, four hours when, when, when Bart [ph.] came back. That was the, the architect who took me out there--$One of my favorite stories that really happened was after I got the commission in 1994, when I got a commission to do a piece for the airport [Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, Georgia] as a part of the, the activities that were going on because the Olympics [1996 Summer Olympics, Atlanta, Georgia] were coming--$$The Atlanta [Georgia] airport?$$The Atlanta airport, the Atlanta airport. And I did that piece, and years later I got a phone call from a man who said, "You don't know me, but it's taking me six months to get in touch with you." And he said, "I just had to tell you how important that piece at the airport is to me personally." And I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "I have been," he said he had been estranged from his daughter and his grandkids, as a result of being estranged from his daughter. He didn't tell me what it was about, but he said he had a flight, and the flight was departing from Gate E5, which is the gate where the artwork is. He said and the flight was delayed, and he said, "I was sitting there and I suddenly looked up and looked at your piece." And he said, "And I looked at that band going across the center connecting the two pie shapes." He said, "And I looked and I looked," and he said, "Those buttons look familiar." And he said he got up and he looked again. He said, "Those were the same buttons that were on the uniform that I wore," he said that he wore when he was in the Korean War, when he fought in the Korean War. And he said he thought about it and thought about it. He thought about when his--it made him reflect on his, his relationship with his wife, with the children, and he said he suddenly realized that, that thing that he had with his daughter made no sense. And he said, "I missed the flight because I rushed to a phone." You know, everybody didn't have cell phones. But he said he rushed to a phone, and he called his daughter. And he said, "Listen, I'm in Atlanta." His daughter lives here. He said, "I'm in Atlanta. I have to fly out tonight, but I want to come back, and I want to meet with you. I want us to get back together, and I want to know my grandkids." And he said he came back about three weeks later. This was before 9/11 [September 11, 2001], so you could literally come into the airport without a ticket and get to a gate. And he said he brought his grandkids. He sat under that piece, and he said he told them what it was like being in the war. And he said he just felt such a bond with his grandkids and had reunited with his daughter. And he said you know, "Your piece played a part in that." He said so--isn't that amazing? I mean a button, you know, but I he said he looked up there, and he said, "That was one I had on my uniform." Isn't that--$$Describe it.$$--amazing?$$Yeah--

Evangeline Montgomery

Curator, printmaker, and mixed media artist Evangeline "EJ" Montgomery was born on May 2, 1933, in New York. Her mother, Carmelite Thompson, was a homemaker and her father, Oliver Thompson was a Baptist minister. She discovered her artistic talents when she received her first oil painting set at the age of fourteen. After her parents separated, Montgomery and her mother moved to Harlem in New York, New York. In 1951, Montgomery earned her high school diploma from Seward Park High School in lower Manhattan, where she was a cheerleader, a member of the swim and basketball teams and a member of student government.

From 1951 until 1954, she worked at statuaries, painting the faces on dolls and religious statues. In 1955, Montgomery moved to Los Angeles with her husband and worked for Thomas Usher, an African American jewelry designer. She received her B.F.A. degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts) in 1969 and she worked as an independent curator to museums, university galleries and art centers where she organized exhibits. In 1971, she served as the curator for the Rainbow Sign Gallery in Berkeley, California before becoming an exhibition specialist for the American Association for State and Local History in Nashville, Tennessee and coordinating eight national workshops on “Interpreting the Humanities through Museum Exhibits.” She also organized national exhibit workshops for the Association of African American Museums. In 1983, Montgomery began her career with the United States State Department as a program development officer for the Arts America Program, specializing in American exhibitions touring abroad. In this capacity, she developed and implemented successful American fine art programs in the United States and throughout the world. In her own art career, Montgomery is noted for her metal work, especially her metal ancestral boxes which were inspired by the Chinese incense boxes her mother used for praying. Her colorful lithographs have also garnered her attention, being prominently displayed in exhibitions funded by the United States government.

In 1997, she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease which has made it difficult for Montgomery to work with metal. However, she has not let the diagnosis limit her artistic vision, instead shifting her focus to printmaking, lithographs, and the digital arts. In 2005, Blacks In Government (BIG) began the Evangeline J. Montgomery Scholarship Program, to encourage and fund artists who are interested in working in government to spread the influence of the arts.

Evangeline "EJ" Montgomery was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 13, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.258

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/13/2004

Last Name

Montgomery

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

Seward Park High School

Los Angeles City College

California College of the Arts

California State University, Los Angeles

University of California, Berkeley

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Evangeline

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

MON03

Favorite Season

April

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Northern California

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

5/2/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Printmaker, curator, and mixed media artist Evangeline Montgomery (1933 - ) began her career as an arts administrator in San Francisco, California and since then, has worked tirelessly to create opportunities to showcase African American artists.

Employment

Oakland Museum of California

American Association for State and Local History

United States Information Agency

United States Department of State

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:2680,25:3130,31:9070,104:9790,112:10510,121:12040,144:12760,154:13120,159:19596,170:20289,179:20685,188:26476,251:27586,275:28548,291:32027,352:32774,361:33936,385:34434,393:36094,421:36924,432:38833,461:39829,476:40493,481:41074,489:45335,527:47960,570:48335,577:51335,634:56696,673:57788,692:58698,706:60660,715:68140,790:68460,795:75810,896:76530,908:79730,927:81630,945:83333,955:84640,962:93192,1052:93504,1057:94050,1065:99588,1164:100446,1177:100758,1182:101070,1187:108870,1231:110865,1254:113900,1277:114494,1287:119670,1361:120125,1369:134130,1480:134614,1485:138938,1538:149610,1625$0,0:230,21:1030,31:9738,87:33490,263:36370,300:38463,336:56983,514:57409,522:57835,529:58474,544:58829,550:59823,569:63545,619:63920,625:64445,634:72602,699:85338,820:89999,834:90711,845:91423,854:93381,877:94004,885:102320,959:106850,1033:111160,1098:111484,1103:112132,1115:114826,1138:115239,1147:115534,1153:117770,1169:121726,1204:131810,1293:132370,1303:145580,1388:158314,1488:159286,1498:165273,1558:176636,1638:176932,1643:177302,1649:178116,1663:178782,1673:189738,1800:198700,1915:201786,1934:202482,1943:205147,1974:215196,2036:216060,2047:217692,2079:222340,2102:230710,2170:232990,2191:236790,2218:238450,2239
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Evangeline Montgomery's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Evangeline Montgomery lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about being adopted

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about meeting Mary McLeod Bethune

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her home life as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Evangeline Montgomery describes memorable communities in which she grew up

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Evangeline Montgomery describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her elementary school interests and aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her experience growing up as the daughter of a Baptist minister

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her childhood activities

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her move to New York, New York after her parents' divorce

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her junior high school experiences at P.S. 43 in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her experiences at Seward Park High School in New York, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her experiences at Seward Park High School in New York, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about relocating to Massachusetts with her mother after graduating from high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her employment in the art industry after graduating from high school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her work in the jewelry field before attending Los Angeles City College in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Evangeline Montgomery describes the process for designing jewelry with enamel

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her studio art experiences in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about being dissuaded from teaching art

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her impressions of art in Nigeria

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her experience of art exhibitions during the black studies movement

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about coordinating an exhibition on Sargent Claude Johnson's life and art

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Evangeline Montgomery reflects upon the impact of African American art in California during the black studies movement

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about curating African American ethnic art and at the Rainbow Sign Gallery in Berkeley and the Oakland Museum of California

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her work for the American Association for State and Local History in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about working with the Association of African American Museums

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Evangeline Montgomery describes the impetus for creating metal ancestral boxes

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Evangeline Montgomery describes how she came to work for the U.S. Information Agency as its program development officer for exhibitions

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about notable African American artists with whom she worked

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her process for working in lithography

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about the impact of technology on visual art processes and mediums

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about challenges faced by African American artists

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her visual art and metal pieces

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about the challenges she faces as an artist with Parkinson's disease

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her Blacks in Government scholarship fund, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about opportunities for African American artists

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about the demand for African American artwork

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her Blacks in Government scholarship fund, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Evangeline Montgomery reflects upon the importance of the arts

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Evangeline Montgomery reflects upon her experiences as an artist and art administrator

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about inspirational artists

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Evangeline Montgomery reflects upon her artwork and artistic mediums

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her hopes for curating a book art installation in the future

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Evangeline Montgomery reflects upon her life and legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Evangeline Montgomery shares advice for pursuing a career as an artist

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her role as art commissioner in San Francisco, California

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

12$4

DATitle
Evangeline Montgomery reflects upon the impact of African American art in California during the black studies movement
Evangeline Montgomery describes the impetus for creating metal ancestral boxes
Transcript
And at the time when the black studies explosion was taking place, what impact do you think that had on African American artists?$$Well, it was great for them because it began to open new doors for them. For instance, I did exhibitions. I organized exhibitions for all the colleges in and around the [San Francisco] Bay Area [California] and some in Southern California even. I was able to bring artists from Southern California into exhibitions in Northern California. I also decided that if I was asked to do a show in a university setting or something like that, that I would try to get an artist from outside of the area as a guest artist as part of the show. For instance, I did an exhibition at Stanford University [Stanford, California] on printmaking. And I invited an artist from Boston [Massachusetts], Calvin Burnett, who is a famous printmaker, and had a dozen of his pieces as part of the show, so that I as introducing a new name, new style, someone who had reached heights in, in that particular medium.$$And were you finding that only African Americans were interested in African American artists?$$No, in California it was truly accepted by everybody in that they came to see. And if, if coordinated in the right way, the, lot of publicity and whatnot, everybody came to see. Now, whether in museums and whatnot, you're not necessarily selling works of art. So--$$You're just showing them.$$Just showing and giving people a history, and a background, and also offering an opportunity to look at abstract work, to look at images of themselves, to look at quality art, new technology, things like that.$Tell us a little bit about the ancestral boxes that you create out of metal.$$Well, my mother [Carmelite Thompson] had an incense burner, and it's a Chinese little vessel. And she used to write notes, and when she prayed over them and thought about them, if the experience that she wanted to happen came to pass in a favorable manner, then she would burn the note. I knew that she was using this incense burner for something. But, and I had seen her place things in it, but I had never looked in it, ever. And when my mother died, the, the first thing I did was to open that incense burner, lift the cover off, and there were two notes placing me in God's hands. Now, I was an adult, but I was divorcing and you know, had problems of my own and whatnot. So she, she was still thinking about me even in her sickest moments. And when I was thinking about an object to, to make, I first made incense burners. And there are three of those incense burners from the first set that I made in the collection of the Oakland Museum in California [Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, California]. Then they turned into box shapes, and I began to think about ancestral worship and whatnot and I had seen containers in Africa knew that they make, use them for various things.$$How, how did you make your first ancestral box?$$They're all made out of wax originally, and then they are cast using a method that Africans use a lot.$$What's the method?$$Well, forming them in, in some sort of container situation in a mold, and then burning out the wax, and then pouring in hot molting metal into your mold shape and casting.$$And--$$And I, I feel these boxes are for something precious. They could be used as incense burners whether they're a box or whatnot. But they also could hold like your wedding ring, your tooth, all your baby teeth and, or anything, something.$$How, how big are they usually?$$They're fairly small, two by two, three by three.$$When did you make your first one?$$Sixty-nine [1969].$$What do you keep in yours?$$I don't keep anything in mine (laughter). I just have them. And I recently sold some of the earlier ones. They have been included in exhibitions over the years, and are recorded in several publications.

Mayme Clayton

Curator and librarian Mayme A. Clayton was born to Mary Dorothy Knight Agnew and Jerry Modique Agnew in Van Buren, Arkansas on August 4, 1923 . She graduated high school at the age of sixteen, and moved to Los Angeles, California in 1946. She earned her B.A. degree from the University of California-Berkeley. She earned her master’s of library science degree from Goddard College via correspondence to their Vermont campus and a Ph.D. degree from Sierra University in Los Angeles.

Clayton began her career as a librarian in 1952, working at the Doheny Library at the University of Southern California. In 1957, she left the University of Southern California to become a law librarian at the University of California, Los Angeles,and also served as a consultant and founding member of the Afro-American Studies Center Library. After working at University of California Los Angeles for fifteen years, Clayton took a position at Universal Books in Hollywood, California. When the store closed, the partners in the store divided the remaining volumes between themselves. Clayton received all of the books that pertained to Black society and culture – more than 4,000 volumes. Clayton’s collection of African American ephemera has continued to grow; it now contains more than 20,000 pieces, including films, books, magazines, music and advertisements. Some of the items in this collection include signed first editions of works by Zora Neale Hurston, handwritten correspondence from George Washington Carver, as well as a rare signed copy of Phyllis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral . Currently, the collection resides in the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum in Culver City, California. Clayton served as the president of the center.

Clayton was the founder of the Black American Cinema Society, which awards scholarships and hosts film festivals. She was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Phoenix Award and the Paul Robeson Award.

Clayton passed away on October 13, 2006 at the age of 83.

Accession Number

A2004.196

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/7/2004

Last Name

Clayton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Schools

Douglass School

University of California, Berkeley

Goddard College

Sierra University

First Name

Mayme

Birth City, State, Country

Van Buren

HM ID

CLA08

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

If You Don’t Know Where You're Going, You’ll Never Know Where You Have Been.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

8/4/1923

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Death Date

10/13/2006

Short Description

Curator and librarian Mayme Clayton (1923 - 2006 ) was the collector and founder of the Mayme Clayton Library and Museum, which houses an extensive collection of African American literature, music and other cultural artifacts that she amassed over four decades.

Employment

Doheny Library at the University of Southern California

University of California, Los Angeles

Afro-American Studies Center Library

Universal Books - Hollywood

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:890,21:1874,35:12776,216:21890,366:26636,411:42434,565:61912,816:62500,825:63172,835:66616,890:67120,897:70060,941:78587,987:78903,992:79219,997:105894,1295:106262,1300:119200,1491:134904,1674:138492,1786:162890,2073:163415,2079:166040,2099:174930,2158:175530,2165:175930,2170:206617,2475:210264,2514:224574,2657:236000,2814:238573,2864:246873,2999:247537,3015:255837,3153:261620,3170$0,0:764,18:10536,81:10980,86:16641,144:17196,150:26156,228:38720,363:59232,551:60149,559:62963,574:65546,597:69785,621:96010,867:102660,921:103234,929:107744,982:114890,1088:123765,1181:124025,1186:126830,1200:127206,1206:127864,1219:137144,1315:137921,1323:140474,1340:140918,1345:142028,1357:143693,1376:154310,1469:160416,1538:165920,1627:167038,1641:167468,1647:178618,1745:180638,1767:183366,1780:183654,1785:207140,2100:208288,2122:212490,2170
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Mayme Clayton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Mayme Clayton lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Mayme Clayton describes her mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Mayme Clayton describes her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Mayme Clayton recalls her father's grocery store in Van Buren, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Mayme Clayton describes her father and how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Mayme Clayton recalls her father's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Mayme Clayton describes her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Mayme Clayton recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Mayme Clayton remembers the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Mayme Clayton describes a midnight ramble from her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Mayme Clayton describes her childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Mayme Clayton remembers her experience at Frederick Douglass School in Van Buren, Arkansas, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Mayme Clayton remembers her experience at Frederick Douglass School in Van Buren, Arkansas, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Mayme Clayton recalls church activities at New Hope Baptist Church in Van Buren, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Mayme Clayton describes her experience at Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Mayme Clayton remembers meeting Jackie Robinson while attending Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Mayme Clayton explains her decision to leave Lincoln University to become a photographer in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Mayme Clayton talks about performers she met in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Mayme Clayton remembers her exposure to African American history visiting the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Mayme Clayton recalls moving to California after her marriage in 1946

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Mayme Clayton talks about her career as a university librarian

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Mayme Clayton describes how her interest in African American history and publications developed in California

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Mayme Clayton talks about her group affiliations regarding black writers and literature

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Mayme Clayton lists the higher education institutions she attended and degrees acquired

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Mayme Clayton describes the origins of her book collection

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Mayme Clayton lists notable items in her collection of African American books, film, and photographs

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Mayme Clayton talks about the origins of the Western States Black Research Center in Culver City, California

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Mayme Clayton talks about plans for developing the Western States Black Research Center

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Mayme Clayton describes her work with the Black American Cinema Society

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Mayme Clayton talks about other notable collections joining with her the Western States Black Research Center

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Mayme Clayton describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Mayme Clayton reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Mayme Clayton talks about how she acquires films for the Western States Black Research Center

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Mayme Clayton reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Mayme Clayton describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Mayme Clayton explains how a bad financial decision by the owner of Universal Books led to a windfall for her collection

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Mayme Clayton reflects upon the historical importance of her collection and the Western States Black Research Center

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Mayme Clayton narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

6$1

DATitle
Mayme Clayton describes the origins of her book collection
Mayme Clayton describes her work with the Black American Cinema Society
Transcript
You've got this huge collection of books, now. Now when did it start becoming a large collection of books?$$Actually when I left UCLA [University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California], when I retired from UCLA and started working in this bookstore, Universal Book Store [sic. Universal Books, Los Angeles, California], where they had all these black books. I started really purchasing a lot of things because they had so many things there that I wanted and so it just started growing from there.$$Okay, tell me about now how did you, you purchased most of these new, because I saw some old ones out there too?$$No, no, no, half of them were used, you know. Universal was a used bookstore and I remember I purchased quite a few things from them, then I got on the antiquarian book dealer's list. I became a member of that organization. And people would send me a list of things that they had for sell and you know, then I would order those things.$$Okay. This is the days when people weren't collecting a lot of books, black books I guess.$$No, no, no.$$So were they, were they fairly cheap to acquire?$$Not, well, it was cheaper than they are now. I mean, but the average book I guess, was, maybe we paid about 10, 12, or 15 dollars. And some--I knew I went to, I went to swap meets and a lot times I would find books out there. For instance, I found a book written by Walter White, who was over the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] years ago. And the guy, I said--picked up the book, and I said, "How much is this book?" He said, oh, that's just a little bitty book you can have it for a dime. So, but he didn't have any idea of what, what the book was (unclear) (laughter). So a lot of times, you know, I would luck up on things like that. People would--I had a couple of ladies to call me and say, "I want you to come over and get all this stuff out of my garage. I'm getting ready--I want, need the space in the garage." And one time I went and I found volume one, number one of the Ebony magazine and a whole series of, of Ebony magazines and, and some other black magazines that started around that time.$$Okay. So, did, did you go to, I mean did you go to I guess, antique dealers, and used (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$Oh yeah, yeah, we use to go to the bookstores.$$--rummage sales and that sort of thing?$$Yeah. I use to go to the bookstores and, and when the, some of the sales people would see me coming in and they kind of followed me around to see what I was looking at, what books I was interested in and if I didn't show a lot of interest in a book, well, they, after I left they would mark the books up if I was really interested in them. When I'd go back to get the book the price had gone up on the book, they had marked it up, because they figured that must have been a really great book if I was, you know, kept the book out and, and looked at it. But, some of the other books, you know, if I didn't--I got so that I wouldn't even spend much time, I'd just look at the book and the title and, and not ask him how much is the book, you know, and it would be normal price (laughter).$--I organized the Black American Cinema Society [BACS] and we started out giving cash grants to independent student filmmakers. We were giving three thousand dollars for a first prize, second prize, two thousand [dollars], one thousand [dollars] for the third prize and three honorable mentions at $250.00 each. And we would do that each year. And it was--the students would make the films and we would have filmmakers, film critics to come and look at the films and decide whose going to win the prize, who had the best film. And we did that for sixteen years. We had sponsors to donate the money.$$What facilities would you use to show the films?$$Well, we'd have it in--we've had them in some of the big auditoriums, hotels, you know, big hotels, along with a dinner, you know, and a big event. So, we would, we would treat them royally you know (laughter). Plus we would give a, the Phoenix Award, which is the highest award you know, you could get. Then we'd, then we'd give a Paul Robeson [Pioneer] Award. Then we had one called The Star Bright Award. And all these people were selected, you know, like some big celebrity would come and receive these awards from us each year.$$Okay. When, when did you start giving the awards out?$$That was in, I guess that was in the '80s [1980s]. We did it for sixteen years. And then what happened is that the sponsors, when they had the Seven-Eleven, I think, I think it was in 1998 was the last one we gave out because people were donating money for other things and the sponsor, sponsorship kind of dried up. But we're planning to do it over again. It was--we had a film festival every year. It was called Black Talkies on Parade Film Festival. And we do that along with the, right after we give out the awards. The next week we would have a Black Talkies on Parade Film Festival. And we had that at the Four Star Theater [Los Angeles, California], might have it at the, let's see where else. Oh, we had it at the (unclear) (unclear), they had a big huge film auditorium, you know, just different places we would have the films. And people would, used to come out in busloads you know, to see the films.

Dan Moore, Sr.

Noted filmmaker and museum founder Dan A. Moore, Sr. was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 20, 1935. After high school, Moore worked in several jobs, but found his true calling in 1967 when he began producing films.

His first film was a documentary entitled On Patrol for God, filmed at a Christian rally he helped to organize. A few years later, Moore went to Liberia on Africa's west coast and made the film Welcome Home, which was sponsored by the Liberian government on the condition that he return and make a second film, which he did. He would return to Africa and travel to several other countries, as well. He later made films featuring Bill Cosby and Gale Sayers, among others. Moore also produced, wrote, and directed The Journey, Sweet Auburn Street of Pride, and A New Time for a New Voice.

During the early 1970s Moore spent time as president of Image 7 Inc. in Atlanta, and Omega Films in Philadelphia. In 1978, Moore founded the African American Panoramic Experience Museum (APEX) in Atlanta, which seeks to educate people about the depth and breadth of the African American experience. His inspiration for the museum came as he attended a banquet honoring Dr. Benjamin Mays, and he dedicated himself to creating a museum that celebrates the unsung heroes of the African American experience. At the time of the interview, he remains there as executive director.

Accession Number

A2004.180

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/24/2004

Last Name

Moore

Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

George W. Childs School

Norris S. Barratt Middle School

Edward W. Bok Technical High School

Barratt Middle School

Bok Technical High School

G.W. Childs School

First Name

Dan

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

MOO04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jacksonville, Florida

Favorite Quote

The Lord is the strength of my life.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

11/20/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken, Dumplings

Short Description

Curator, film producer, and museum director Dan Moore, Sr. (1935 - ) is the founder of the African American Panoramic Museum Experience. His first film was a documentary entitled On Patrol for God, filmed at a Christian rally he helped to organize. Moore also produced, wrote, and directed The Journey, Sweet Auburn Street of Pride, and A New Time for a New Voice.

Employment

Omega Films

Image Seven

African American Panoramic Experience Museum (APEX)

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dan Moore interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dan Moore's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dan Moore talks about his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dan Moore talks about his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dan Moore discusses his family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dan Moore recalls his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dan Moore gives his siblings' names

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dan Moore remembers aspects of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dan Moore recalls his early school years and his personality as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dan Moore tells of his religious involvement

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dan Moore recalls his aspirations and personality as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dan Moore talks about career interests during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dan Moore recounts his early experiences in filmmaking

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dan Moore discusses his documentary films about Africa

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dan Moore tells of the various films he produced

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dan Moore comments on the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dan Moore talks about inspiring films

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dan Moore comments on contemporary music

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dan Moore explains how the arts impact society

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dan Moore talks about the portayal of Africa in film

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dan Moore discusses projects his film companies produced

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dan Moore tells of his involvement in museum exhibitions

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dan Moore explains his reception into the Atlanta community

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dan Moore recalls the history of the APEX

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dan Moore details the objective of APEX

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dan Moore talks about current film projects

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dan Moore contemplates the future of the APEX

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dan Moore looks back on his career

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dan Moore comments on the importance of preserving history

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dan Moore recounts his filmmaking experiences in Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dan Moore discusses his connection to God

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dan Moore reflects on his career

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dan Moore shares his concerns for the African American communty

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dan Moore describes how he'd like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dan Moore discusses the importance of a spiritual connection

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dan Moore tells of artists he admires

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dan Moore comments on the current state of filmmaking

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dan Moore considers his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dan Moore explains the importance of his film 'The Journey'

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

3$1

DATitle
Dan Moore discusses his documentary films about Africa
Dan Moore talks about the portayal of Africa in film
Transcript
So with that [filmmaking] knowledge in hand, after maybe three or four months, I grabbed a camera, bought a camera, said, I want to go to Africa and film in Africa to tell the story that I feel we need to share with African Americans here. And at that time, missionaries would come back from Africa, mostly white missionaries, saying that African Americans were not welcome in Africa. I decided to find out for myself what it was all about. I took this camera and my brother, who was an engineer, he learned how to operate the, the Nagra [brand] tape recorder. We packed up our stuff and went to Africa, went to Liberia. When we arrived in Liberia, the minister of information said to me, "Is this your first time visiting Africa?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Well, welcome home." And that became the name of the first film that I did in Africa. It was called 'Welcome Home'. We filmed there for about a week or so and came back, and during those times, we had to--when you did film, it was not like today when you're doing videotape, you had to actually sit down with film physically on two different rolls and roll it out by hand and make it dissolve, have to go to a lab for two or three days to come back just to make one special effect. But when I came back from Liberia, I met the daughter of the president of Liberia [William R. Tolbert, Jr.] who was attending school in Philadelphia, Willie Mae Tolbert [later Wokie Tubman]. And she carried me to Washington [D.C.] to meet with her uncle [Stephen A. Tolbert] who was, at that time, the, the treasurer of Liberia. My purpose of going there was just to ask him to endorse the film so I could probably try to get a sponsor for it to sell it. After he saw the film, he said to me, "I will, I will buy the film from you under one condition." I said, "What is that?" "That you go back and do a second film for us." I said, "Well, I, I can handle that." So in two weeks, I was back on a plane again, going back to Africa to film the sesquicentennial celebration of Liberia. We filmed Jesse Jackson's first visit to the West Coast of Africa. We filmed [President of Guinea] Ahmed Sekou Ture's visit to Liberia. He was coming from I believe Sierra Leone visit at the time. And it was a tremendously moving experience. Just to walk down the street in Liberia and see thousands of women in white singing and chanting as they greeted Ahmed Sekou Ture from Guinea, and as he greeted President Tolbert. It was a very moving experience. President Tolbert was a very, very warm man, very--a person who had a, a real handle on his country. He spoke several dialects, and we traveled with President Tolbert to various villages throughout Liberia, some by car, some by plane. And he would meet with the people and talk their language. We went to leper, a leper village, and he was just a very warm person.$$You went to a--could you--?$$A leper village where, where they have leprosy. See, they were separated, if you had leprosy, you were separated in a village by yourself. You would not, you would not, you would not be mingling with everyone else because leprosy is contagious. So there were villages set aside just for those who had, who, who were lepers, many of whom had missing limbs, etc. And he would go mingle with the people, talk their language, and he was very sensitive because the car I was riding in--we got four cars behind his. So whenever his entourage stopped, I'd have to get out of my car, run up to where he was to show him getting out, getting out of his car and going to shake hands with all those who were in the, in the villages. So he made them put my car right behind his to make it more convenient for me to be able to get out and film him as he got out to meet all these folks. Liberia is a very great country, beautiful country, very, great experience there. And I went from there over to, to Ghana before coming home. I did a film in Ghana on sickle cell anemia before I returned to the states. So I got into film, that was the real niche for me, the whole creative process and the whole process of being able to communicate and to help change things and lives and people by exposing them to things through that medium.$You were discussing your responses to the images [of African Americans] that were being presented.$$If we don't present different images, children will grow up with one set of images in their mind, given to them by somebody else. And I refuse to sit by idly and watch our children grow up with images of beauty that don't include them. I'm not saying just black--white is also beautiful, but I must be included in that number. If you're, if you're presenting beauty, you must have some inclusion of someone of a darker hue.$$How do you think that your early films challenged stereotypes?$$Well, I'm not sure how much the--it challenged them, but my, my thing was that I had to make sure that the image that was being seen was the image being seen from a African American perspective. And that was not the case until I did some film that I, I feel that I did, that made Africa look differently than it was being shown, as I saw it, as I saw it. I recall the 'Tarzan' movies, and all you would see was this white man in loin cloth, swinging on these vines with some strange yell, and all these hundreds of, of natives running. This was the image. This was the Tarzan image. And this is portrayed--why? Why, why is this portrayed? So when I come up, my image of Africa is that Africans are below Europeans or white Americans because the image I've seen has always been this white person named Tarzan, who was in charge. He talked to the animals, talked to the chimpanzee and he ruled--when he came, if there was trouble between tribes, when he came, it was all settled. So in my mind's eye, what am I seeing? I'm seeing that there's a white male figure that comes on the scene and solves the problems. I had problems with Santa Claus. Here you are in a poor neighborhood. You can't give your children anything all year long, and then once a year, once a year--not only what they need, but what they want, they get. But who brings it to them? A jolly white man in a red suit. So the image is, what I need I can't get all year long from my single black, black mother or my black family, but once a year, here comes this white man down the chimney with his big, red suit and his jolly face. And he brings me not only what I, what I need, but what I want. So from childhood, we started getting images that this person is a savior. And if you don't have a good image of yourself, you cannot control your destiny.

Madeline Murphy Rabb

Collector, dealer and lover of art Madeline Murphy Rabb was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on January 27, 1945. The second of five children, Rabb is the daughter of a television personality and a judge. After completing high school, Rabb attended the University of Maryland in 1961. Leaving there in 1963, she went to the Maryland Institute College of Art, earning a B.F.A. in 1966. After moving to Chicago, she attended the Illinois Institute of Technology, earning an M.S. in 1975.

Upon completing her bachelor's degree, Rabb moved to Chicago and took a position with Tuesday Publications as assistant director of art and production. After taking several years off to devote herself to her family and various civic activities, Rabb became the vice president and business manager of Myra Everett Designs in 1977. From there, she went on to Corporate Concierge as an account executive in 1978, and in 1979 she opened Madeline Murphy Rabb Studio, where she created and sold original works. In 1983, Rabb was hired by the city of Chicago to serve as its executive director of fine arts, a position she held for seven years, during which time she heightened the organization's national visibility. After working as a freelance art consultant for a few years, Rabb once again opened her own business, Murphy Rabb, Inc. (MRI), in 1992, where she remains as president. MRI serves corporate, governmental and private clients, helping them conceptualize and build important art collections. Recently, MRI implemented the art program for the John Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

Rabb has also traveled the country lecturing, serving on panels and participating in workshops on a wide variety of issues. She is the curator of African American art collections at Ariel Capital Management and Brown Capital Management, and she has served on the Illinois Arts Council, the Folk Art Advisory Committee of the Field Museum of Natural American History, and the Woman's Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art. She has testified before congressional panels on the National Endowment for the Arts and has had her original works published in several books. Rabb has also made several television appearances, including on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Her husband, Dr. Maurice Rabb, passed away in 2005. They have two children.

Accession Number

A2003.248

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/7/2003

Last Name

Rabb

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Murphy

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

University of Maryland

Maryland Institute College of Art

Illinois Institute of Technology

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Madeline

Birth City, State, Country

Wilmington

HM ID

RAB02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Delaware

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

It Will Reveal Itself.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/27/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Baby Vegetables

Short Description

Art consultant and curator Madeline Murphy Rabb (1945 - ) owns Murphy Rabb, Inc., an art consulting company. Rabb has also traveled the country lecturing, serving on panels and participating in workshops on a wide variety of issues.

Employment

City of Chicago

Delete

Murphy Rabb, Inc.

Favorite Color

Turquoise

Timing Pairs
0,0:4800,67:5488,76:14538,182:17870,224:18850,237:21104,264:21692,271:22182,277:29532,356:29824,361:30262,368:30554,373:33547,438:33985,445:35007,462:35445,469:37197,510:40426,516:56970,686:58860,734:61650,784:62100,790:66862,813:73099,923:75475,968:77158,995:95264,1285:102102,1346:102540,1353:102832,1358:103854,1375:104292,1383:110205,1512:110716,1521:111519,1534:111884,1540:112176,1545:113271,1562:119586,1610:119958,1618:124939,1662:125542,1674:125877,1681:126614,1694:127083,1702:127887,1718:132214,1787:133574,1819:133982,1826:136090,1873:137246,1894:137858,1905:138266,1912:138946,1925:139218,1930:149870,2028:154570,2063:163590,2158:165130,2189:177320,2352:177620,2358:177920,2363:178595,2373:178970,2380:179270,2385:184398,2433:187322,2547:188002,2559:188274,2564:196058,2660:196695,2669:197150,2675:214190,2854:215450,2875:216080,2886:217130,2903:217550,2910:217970,2917:218390,2925:218810,2932:219440,2942:224711,2995:227844,3021:229120,3031$0,0:4686,26:6942,51:10669,84:11317,93:15601,172:16249,184:16735,193:20785,282:26068,328:27208,348:27892,362:31538,389:35822,432:39242,498:41446,527:41750,532:46236,560:46974,571:51640,631:56536,856:93250,1283:93782,1302:94466,1313:97582,1368:97962,1374:98418,1381:104765,1475:133762,1890:140482,1985:140866,1990:146265,2020:150645,2058:151240,2066:151580,2071:152260,2082:155405,2127:156425,2142:157190,2153:157870,2163:158635,2181:158975,2186:163395,2267:164160,2277:165010,2289:169590,2296:175329,2364:179755,2435:182230,2489:182680,2496:184780,2550:186355,2581:189900,2592:190800,2600:194878,2636:195868,2655:199234,2756:200026,2767:201874,2812:203986,2855:212484,2951:212968,2957:219952,2996:221410,3008
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Madeline Murphy Rabb's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Madeline Murphy Rabb lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks briefly about her parents' background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes her maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes her paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes her mother, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes her mother, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes Cherry Hill, her childhood neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes her family's isolation from the black bourgeoisie in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about being involved in voter registration drives and taking over her brother's paper route

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes her childhood personality and interests

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes her social experience as a student at Eastern High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes her family's frugalness

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes her academic experience as a student at Eastern High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes her childhood home life

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes her college application process and attending the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about transferring to the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about canceling her wedding

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes meeting her husband, HistoryMaker Dr. Maurice F. Rabb

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes working at Tuesday magazine in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about Chicago's African American cultural arts movement in the 1960s and 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes selling original artwork at the National Medical Association Annual Convention

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes experiencing a professional revelation

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about hosting a fundraiser for Harold Washington's first mayoral campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes her appointment to Executive Director of Fine Arts for the City of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Madeline Murphy Rabb explains how she gained control of the Public Art Program as Executive Director of Fine Arts for the City of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes being sued by a community over a controversial artist commission

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about the customary exclusion of artists of color from grant funding, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about the customary exclusion of artists of color from grant funding, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about the elevation of the Department of Cultural Affairs to a cabinet level position

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about programming at the Chicago Cultural Center during her tenure as the Executive Director of Fine Arts

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about Mayor Harold Washington's involvement in the City of Chicago's cultural affairs

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Madeline Murphy Rabb remembers a collaborative exhibition between the Department of Cultural Affairs and Art Institute of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about controversy surrounding a Chicago artists' exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about controversy surrounding a Chicago artists' exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about controversy surrounding a Chicago artists' exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center, pt. 3

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes the precursor to her private art dealing enterprise

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about controversy surrounding a Chicago artists' exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center, pt. 4

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes curating an art collection for the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about black-owned art galleries in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Madeline Murphy Rabb explains how an artist gets her attention

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Madeline Murphy Rabb shares her perspective surrounding whether a black aesthetic in art exists

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Madeline Murphy Rabb reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about 'Mirth & Girth,' a controversial posthumous painting of Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Madeline Murphy Rabb describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Madeline Murphy Rabb narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

1$4

DATitle
Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about Chicago's African American cultural arts movement in the 1960s and 1970s
Madeline Murphy Rabb talks about hosting a fundraiser for Harold Washington's first mayoral campaign
Transcript
Now you said the political arts movement or what we call the black cultural arts movement is going on--$$Yeah.$$--basically. And when you were painting and--$$Yeah, and while I was political and aware of what was going on, that was not what my life was. I was a middle class woman, married to a physician, not struggling, and my subject matter had to do with things that were familiar to me. I did drawings and a lot of it was sort of social commentary on my middle class environment. I did these drawings about parties that I would go to and I was like an observer sort of observing people and I drew figures and I drew flowers, I did still lifes. And it wasn't the kind of thing that was radical or--but it was authentic and I didn't fit. I really didn't fit and so I was not taken seriously or given the respect.$$Now, are you saying in Chicago [Illinois] in those days if I can understand what's going on here, I know that now a lot of the art that was--the public art especially, the murals and stuff that AfriCOBRA [African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists] was engaged in, Mitchell Canton and [HM] Jeff Donaldson and Calvin Hill and lot of them you know, have been seen in retrospect as being great but during those days here they really making money as artists or gaining notoriety as artists?$$Well, the movement in retrospect yes, became very powerful but the Wall of Respect and all of the mural--that mural movement got a lot of recognition and a lot of respect in those days. But as far as my life was concerned, I think more than not being a part of it, I think my needing or wanting to be part of something I think--when you come out of art school, you have a community of artists around whom you work and so there's this sort of give and take. And when I left art school, I didn't have anyone to really talk to. I didn't fit with the feminists, the white feminist women because my issues were not the same issues as the white feminists, you know and so I didn't fit there. I didn't fit with Afrocentric artists and I had, I struggled but that's not to say I didn't continue to make art. And I got a studio in 1978 on South Michigan Avenue, and I had a studio for twenty years and made art and--but I did find how to get my art out there. So I exhibited--I did--I exhibited at the South Side Community Art Center. That was a very, very welcoming place, very supportive. I served on their board. I worked with the DuSable Museum [of African American History, Chicago, Illinois] and helped raise money for them so I was involved in arts circles but there was always this sort of--and maybe it was I who felt it, but I always sort of felt not taken seriously. Not you know, like oohhh, you know little artiste or little dilettante or you know, and I resented that and it always gnawed at me. And so I continued but there were always these moments during the course of my art making career where I wanted something else. I wanted to earn a pay check. I wanted to go somewhere you know and do something.$And so it was also during that period where Harold Washington was being touted as a possible candidate [for mayor of Chicago, Illinois]. There was a groundswell among the people. He became a people candidate you know, and there's all this energy for voter registration and all of that. And there was something about him that just struck a chord with me and I said I like this man and I became involved in his campaign early on. Artists for Washington, I lent art for the offices, I you know, I campaigned for him. I worked very hard for him and ultimately before the February primary, was so excited about him that I wanted to host a fundraiser. And by that time we lived in Kenwood [Chicago, Illinois]. We had an enormous house at the corner of 48th and Woodlawn. And Beverly Robinson who was married to Max Robinson at the time, and I, decided we were going to do couples. Max Robinson and [HM Dr.] Maurice Rabb and--well Max couldn't get involved in politics and so Maurice said well why don't you and Beverly do it, you know?$$Cause Max was a--$$An ABC Anchor.$$--news anchor for ABC, right.$$Um-hmm. So we did it at my house cause I had--$$He's an artist too.$$Yes.$$(Unclear).$$Yeah. So we did it at my house and you would have been astounded to know at--how--when I started talking to talking to people that I knew, by that time I was involved in the black middle class you know. I was very much a part of it and knew lots of people and called them to tell them what I was doing and said would you like to be part of the committee? And people said, "You know Mad, I think it's a great idea but I don't think I want to put my name on it." I'm saying, Huh? "Well you know if he loses, Jane Byrne is vindictive and you know that--I don't know. We'll help you but we're not going to put our name on the list." So hey, I said, more power to you. We did it. And so we had this fundraiser in my house and we had wall-to-wall people. The black bourgeoisie came out in full force. I--we raised a lot of money for him. And I liked--and I do believe that that was a significant event in that it galvanized--and people for the first time heard him talk. We had [HM] John Conyers [Jr.] there. My son did this wonderful poem about Jane Byrne. It was a wonderful evening and people heard him, touched him, talked to him, listened to him and began to support him. And it was interesting, there was a--and then there were people who were trying to tag on--some of the liberal Jewish community in Hyde Park [Chicago, Illinois], wanted to join in on my fundraiser and I said, no. This is about what it is. And so, I did it because it was the right thing to do and it was something that I felt passionate about and of course looking back at my history of political involvement I hadn't been involved politically in Chicago up until that point because I had left Baltimore [Maryland], I had politics up to here. But suddenly you know this call, this gene kicked in and so, I did it. That was it.

Lonnie Bunch

Historian and educator Lonnie G. Bunch was born November 18, 1952, in Newark, New Jersey. After graduating from Belleville High School in 1970, Bunch enrolled in Howard University and later transferred to the American University in Washington, D.C. Bunch stayed at American, earning his B.A. degree in 1974; his M.A. degree in 1976; and his Ph.D. in 1979. Bunch's degrees were in the fields of American and African American history.

While working on his doctorate, Bunch went to work for the Smithsonian Institution as an educator and historian. After earning his Ph.D., Bunch took a position with the University of Massachusetts as a professor of history, where he remained until 1983. Crossing the country, Bunch became the founding curator of the California African American Museum in Los Angeles in 1983, and remained there until 1989. From there Bunch went on to become the associate director for curatorial affairs at the National Museum of American History, a position he retained until 2000. In 2001, Bunch became the president of the Chicago Historical Society, one of the oldest history museums in the nation.

Bunch published numerous books and magazine articles on topics ranging from African American history to cultural experiences in Japan. Bunch served as a trustee of the American Association of Museums and the Council of the American Association of State & Local History, and was a member of the American Antiquarian Society. Bunch was later appointed by President George W. Bush to the Commission for the Preservation of the White House.

Accession Number

A2003.212

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

9/5/2003

Last Name

Bunch

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

G.

Schools

Belleville High School

American University

Howard University

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Lonnie

Birth City, State, Country

Newark

HM ID

BUN01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Never believe your own clippings.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

11/18/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hamburgers

Short Description

Museum chief executive and curator Lonnie Bunch (1952 - ) was the founding curator of the California African American Museum in Los Angeles. Bunch later served as the Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs at the National Museum of American History, the president of the Chicago Historical Society, and on the Commission for the Preservation of the White House.

Employment

Smithsonian Institute

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

California Afro-American Museum

National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution

Chicago Historical Society

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:4675,131:5440,147:5950,154:6545,162:7990,194:9350,221:10455,258:11560,272:15810,344:16235,350:17595,374:20060,426:24735,576:35000,716:35675,732:35975,737:39125,786:41975,846:42350,852:43100,868:43700,877:44000,882:44375,888:44825,902:46550,949:46925,955:47675,971:49925,1019:50525,1029:55850,1181:56750,1201:64827,1258:65182,1264:66602,1307:71643,1414:71927,1419:72211,1424:76714,1447:77084,1453:77380,1458:77676,1463:79452,1480:80118,1490:80710,1506:81450,1528:81820,1534:82708,1550:83300,1559:83670,1583:85002,1593:85890,1607:86556,1618:87000,1630:87666,1644:88036,1650:97630,1822$0,0:1701,44:2106,50:6804,144:7776,158:9477,189:13522,245:13826,250:14206,257:15726,292:16030,297:16334,302:17930,325:18462,344:19450,366:20134,378:20894,391:21578,402:21958,408:22718,428:23402,443:23858,450:24390,458:24770,464:29634,564:30242,574:31534,597:32218,608:32826,617:33358,628:39484,670:40204,683:42340,688:42736,704:43924,727:44914,746:48535,806:50381,860:51233,874:52014,888:52369,894:53292,917:54783,954:56274,994:56913,1005:58120,1034:58404,1039:58688,1044:60676,1123:60960,1128:61386,1136:61741,1142:62309,1151:64226,1212:64794,1221:65220,1228:65930,1239:70758,1376:71255,1384:71539,1389:71894,1395:73953,1447:74308,1453:74663,1459:84304,1568:85456,1614:91280,1739:96960,1788:97513,1797:102800,1850:103130,1856:103790,1872:104582,1894:104846,1899:105572,1905:105836,1921:106430,1933:108410,1971:108938,1984:109928,2006:110324,2014:110654,2020:112832,2074:113954,2099:114218,2104:115868,2154:117056,2172:117386,2178:117650,2183:118244,2195:118574,2201:118970,2212:119234,2217:119630,2225:121016,2252:121478,2262:122732,2298:123326,2312:124382,2336:124910,2346:125504,2356:125834,2363:126296,2371:126560,2376:126890,2382:127154,2387:127418,2392:134336,2406:138074,2452:142298,2538:142650,2546:143002,2551:152084,2709:152750,2724:153194,2732:153490,2737:156672,2809:157042,2815:158670,2863:159336,2874:159854,2886:163952,2900:164204,2905:169432,2996:172568,3053:173058,3059:178786,3146:179896,3165:181080,3183:185860,3265:187360,3302:190702,3360:191372,3372:191774,3379:192578,3393:195258,3472:195727,3481:196129,3489:196866,3506:197603,3520:199680,3568:201087,3606:201355,3617:206849,3764:207251,3771:207653,3779:209395,3810:210735,3838:211003,3843:211405,3850:211673,3855:221181,3967:226395,4057:226711,4062:227343,4070:228133,4083:228449,4088:231830,4096:232514,4118:233027,4132:233255,4138:233768,4155:234509,4179:234737,4184:235136,4192:235421,4200:236105,4214:236618,4222:237986,4281:238385,4290:238727,4298:242800,4339
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lonnie Bunch interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lonnie Bunch's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his father's origins and career choices

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lonnie Bunch talks about the origins of his family name

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lonnie Bunch talks about his mother and his parents' courtship

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his earliest memories of Belleville, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lonnie Bunch recalls the sights, smells and sounds of Belleville, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lonnie Bunch remembers his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lonnie Bunch describes his upbringing and parents' influence

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lonnie Bunch discusses the cultural composition of his hometown, Belleville, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lonnie Bunch discusses the role of religion in his family

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lonnie Bunch remembers episodes from his all-white elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his family's approach to racism

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lonnie Bunch remembers conversations with his family members

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lonnie Bunch reflects on the cultural exclusion of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lonnie Bunch describes his childhood personality and interests

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lonnie Bunch shares his early memories of baseball

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lonnie Bunch remembers his junior high school years

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lonnie Bunch remembers historical events from the 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his exposure to black culture as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Lonnie Bunch recalls an early interracial love interest, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lonnie Bunch recalls an early interracial love interest, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lonnie Bunch discusses the Italian influence in his hometown

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lonnie Bunch remembers influential people from his early life

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lonnie Bunch explains his decision to attend Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his experience at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lonnie Bunch discusses the leadership of Howard University in the early 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lonnie Bunch remembers the students of Howard University in the early 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lonnie Bunch discusses activism at Howard University in the early 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lonnie Bunch describes color prejudice at Howard University in the early 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lonnie Bunch discusses Howard University's history department in the early 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lonnie Bunch describes his father's mentoring of neighborhood children on higher education

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lonnie Bunch considers the long tradition of black historians

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lonnie Bunch considers the history and African American studies disciplines

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his literary pursuits during college

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his early scholarly interests

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lonnie Bunch explains his decision to transfer from Howard University to American University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his decision to attend graduate school

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lonnie Bunch discusses the role of mentoring in his graduate studies

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lonnie Bunch describes his early professional years at the Smithsonian Institution

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lonnie Bunch discusses the African American presence in museum exhibitions

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lonnie Bunch considers his role as a historian

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lonnie Bunch discusses becoming a professor at the University of Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lonnie Bunch becomes the curator of the California African American Museum

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lonnie Bunch remembers the originators of the California African American Museum

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lonnie Bunch describes his approach to the California African American Museum

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his first book project 'Black Angelenos: The Afro-American in Los Angeles, 1850-1950'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his initiatives as founding curator of the California African American Museum, Los Angeles, California

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lonnie Bunch reflects on his research methodology

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lonnie Bunch compares regional black communities

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his appointment at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lonnie Bunch describes diversity at the Smithsonian Institution

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his early projects as a curator at the Smithsonian Institution

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lonnie Bunch discusses his role in and the positive effects of a Smithsonian exhibition in Japan

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lonnie Bunch discusses the impact of the Smithsonian Institution's slavery exhibition

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lonnie Bunch discusses invaluable knowledge contained in the WPA slave narratives

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lonnie Bunch comments on the issue of reparations for slavery

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lonnie Bunch recalls his proudest moments at the Smithsonian Institution

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Lonnie Bunch explains his move from the Smithsonian Institution to the Chicago Historical Society

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Lonnie Bunch describes his plans for the Chicago Historical Society

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Lonnie Bunch discusses the evolution of studies in public history

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Lonnie Bunch describes the role of urban history

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Lonnie Bunch considers the past, present and future of African American studies

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Lonnie Bunch contemplates integration's potential

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Lonnie Bunch offers his concerns for the black community

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Lonnie Bunch considers his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with his parents and grandparents in Woodland, North Carolina, 1954

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's mother and father in their Belleville, New Jersey home, early 1960s

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's paternal grandmother, Leanna Brodie-Bunch

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's oldest daughter, Katie Elizabeth Bunch

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's daughter Sarah Maria Bunch, Herndon, Virginia, ca. 1997

Tape: 8 Story: 12 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with his brother and father, Belleville, New Jersey, ca. 1961

Tape: 8 Story: 13 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch and his wife, Maria Marable Bunch, on the Champs-Elysees, Paris, France, 1995

Tape: 8 Story: 14 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's paternal great-great-grandfather, Robert Lee Brodie, Neuse, North Carolina, 1959

Tape: 8 Story: 15 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's great-great-great-grandmother, Jane Dunn, Neuse, North Carolina, 1913

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with colleagues from the American Festival, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1993

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with others at the exhibition, 'The Black Olympians: 1904-1984', Los Angeles, California, June, 1984

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's parents and daughters at Christmastime, Oak Park, Illinois, December, 2001

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's daughter, Sarah Maria Bunch, vacationing in San Diego, California, August, 2003

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's daughter, Sarah Maria Bunch, in her soccer uniform, Oak Park, Illinois, 2003

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's daughter, Sarah Maria Bunch, playing soccer in Manchester, England, 2002

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's wife and daughter taking a break from vacationing in Tijuana, Mexico, August, 2003

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's daughter, Sarah Maria Bunch, on a visit to Taos, New Mexico, 2002

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with his daughter, Katherine Elizabeth Bunch, Santa Barbara, California, ca. 1985-1986

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's wife, Maria Marable-Bunch, and daughter, Katherine Elizabeth Bunch, San Francisco, California, 1986

Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's daughter, Katherine Elizabeth Bunch on her high school graduation day, Herndon, Virginia, June, 2001

Tape: 9 Story: 12 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's daughter, Sarah Maria Bunch, on vacation in Kona, Hawaii, 2001

Tape: 9 Story: 13 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's wife, Maria Marable-Bunch, and daughter, Sarah Maria Bunch, Oak Park, Illinois, ca. 2003

Tape: 9 Story: 14 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's wife and daughters in New York, New York, December, 2001

Tape: 9 Story: 15 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's daughters, Sarah Maria Bunch and Katherine Elizabeth Bunch, Oak Park, Illinois, December, 2002

Tape: 9 Story: 16 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with his wife and children on a visit to Frederick Douglass's home in Washington, D.C., 1991

Tape: 9 Story: 17 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with members of his staff from the Smithsonian Institution on a visit to Tokyo, Japan, 1992

Tape: 9 Story: 18 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with his wife, Maria Marable-Bunch, Tyson's Corner, Virginia, 1999

Tape: 9 Story: 19 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch with other members of the Accreditation Council of the American Association of Museums, Washington, D.C., 1999

Tape: 9 Story: 20 - Photo - Lonnie Bunch's mother, Montrose Boone Bunch's extended family at a reunion in Norfolk, Virginia, 1998

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

4$3

DATitle
Lonnie Bunch explains his decision to attend Howard University
Lonnie Bunch discusses the African American presence in museum exhibitions
Transcript
Why not Shaw [University, Raleigh, North Carolina] for you? How did that, and what--.$$They wanted me to go to Shaw--well, no, my mother did. My father thought that Shaw was this tiny, little place and, and in fact, he felt that I shouldn't have gone to a black college because he says, you know, it's 1970. You should be (unclear). And he never understood this. I was willing to not go to a black college initially. In fact, I was gonna go to Notre Dame [University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana]. And got into Notre Dame, and they--,$$With football?$$I was gonna play, but I wasn't gonna get a scholarship, but I was gonna try it. So I was gonna go to Notre Dame. And I'll never forget this. I got a letter. It was like maybe April of 1970 'cause I was graduating that June. And it said, you know, "welcome to Notre Dame. As a black student, you'll probably need extra help. If you sign up for this, you can,"--and I was livid. Extra help! I was as smart as any white kid, so I refused to go. So suddenly, it's now April, and I'm refusing to go to Notre Dame. So my Dad says, "Well, you got into Howard [University, Washington, D.C.]. Do you want to go to Howard?" And I had never visited Howard. But I knew it was this epitome of black education so I said, "Yeah, let's go." So that's how I ended up at Howard, by tell, by turning Notre Dame down and--and then by going to Howard. So they were disappointed because I think they felt that by 1970, we shouldn't have to go to a black college. And I would argue they were probably right that I was one of that last generation of people who really, you know, saw the black college as being, you know--Howard was equal to Harvard [Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts] in my mind. And so I think it's how I ended up getting--going there.$Were the holdings of the [National] Air and Space Museum [Washington, D.C.], was there a lot represented in terms of African Americans that you found there?$$There was a lot on blacks--the Tuskegee Airmen--a lot on that.$$(simultaneously) So at this point, they had already--they had--do you know when that--$$At this point, part of what I was hired for was to help work on the exhibition. They had a small piece. They had an airplane and a little exhibit which went up in '75 [1975]. I think it was a bicentennial-driven thing. And so then part of what I was doing was working on the broader history of aviation because in those days--I won't bore you with all the details, but that people who were interested in race and technology focused just on the Tuskegee Airmen. And while I was interested in that, I was really interested in barnstormers. I was interested in black men and women from Bessie Coleman to William Powell to, you know, [James] Herman Banning, I was interested in the people who went before. And where that idea came from was one of the joys of the Smithsonian [Institution, Washington, D.C.] is that many of those Tuskegee Airmen either were, came through or were involved. So I can remember having interviews with 'Chief' Albert Anderson--Alfred Anderson, who taught the Tuskegee Airmen how to fly. And I said, "Where'd you learn?" He said, "I learned from these early barnstormers." I said, "Nobody's ever talked about these people before." And I talked to some of the Tuskegee Airmen, and they would say they would say they learned from X and Y and so that got me interested in that. And so--and plus, because I was a nineteenth century historian, the closer I could get to the nineteenth century, the better off I felt. And so I did some writing on race and technology in the '20s [1920s] and '30s [1930s], but there really wasn't a collection that could talk about that. So I did some of the collecting on that. This was in the, this was the late '70s [1970s], so some of those folks were still alive. So William Powell, who was a pioneer in aviation, was from Chicago [Illinois]. His daughter lived here so I interviewed her. There were some of the early pilots who were here in Chicago especially. So it gave me a chance to sort of travel around the country doing research. It gave me a chance to recognize that a subject that might seem very narrow, would have this broad appeal.$$And you--during that time, isn't there, you know, in the '70s [1970s], there was a lot of sort of looking, from an oral history standpoint, at non--underlooked sort of--(unclear).$$Absolutely. And so--.$$(simultaneously) Okay, you know, there was funding for it.$$Absolutely. There was--but part of what happened at the Smithsonian, candidly, was, and I always say that I was there because of [U.S. Senator Edward] Ted Kennedy. Around the time of the bicentennial, some blacks from Massachusetts--the Air and Space Museum opened for the bicentennial, okay. So there was already an Air and Space Museum, but it was in other buildings. So its own building opened in, you know, in '76 [1976]. And so many--some, some Massachusetts African Americans said to Ted Kennedy, where is our story? And Ted Kennedy called a hearing asking about race and technology 'cause the first response was, well, there wasn't any. And he had a hearing and people testified and then they said in the Air and Space Museum and here's these stories. So I was hired in part to collect the oral histories, to begin to see were there stories and to begin to think about are there objects to help tell those stories. And the one thing that the Air and Space Museum had that no other museum had, was they had all the airplanes in the world. So you could always find an appropriate airplane. So--but that really all came out of this desire from scholars to find out how the other half lived. And to begin--this was a period of--I would argue rather than a period of synthesis, it was a period of discovery. It was a period of saying, there's so much African American, so much history that we've forgotten, that we don't know, that hasn't been publicized, that hasn't been written about. Let's get all that to surface, and then we'll figure out what to do with it. So this was part of getting all of that, that to the surface.

Bernice Johnson Reagon

Born on October 4, 1942, Bernice Johnson Reagon grew up in Albany, Georgia, where she became involved in the civil rights movement. As a student at Albany State College in 1961, Reagon was arrested for participating in a SNCC demonstration. She spent the night in jail singing songs and after her arrest joined the SNCC Freedom Singers to use music as a tool for civic action. Reagon earned her B.A. in history from Spelman College in 1970. In 1973, she founded Sweet Honey in the Rock, an award-winning a cappella quintet that performs traditional African and African American music. Reagon received her doctorate in U.S. history, with a concentration in African American oral history, from Howard University in 1975.

Reagon composed and produced much of the Sweet Honey in the Rock's renowned repertoire. She has also composed music for several film projects, including the Emmy-winning We Shall Overcome. From 1974 to 1993, Reagon worked as a folklorist, program director and curator for the Smithsonian Institute and helped develop the Peabody Award-winning radio program Wade in the Water: African American Sacred Music Traditions for the Smithsonian and National Public Radio. She has been curator emeritus at the Smithsonian since 1993.

Reagon also enjoyed a distinguished career as a professor of history at the American University from 1993 to 2002. Her writings on African American music and the songs of the civil rights movement have been published in a number of journals and books. Bernice Johnson Reagon was the William and Camille Cosby Endowed Professor in the Fine Arts at her alma mater, Spelman College, for the 2002-2003 academic year.

Accession Number

A2003.231

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/22/2003 |and| 11/21/2003

Last Name

Reagon

Maker Category
Middle Name

Johnson

Organizations
Schools

Albany State University

Spelman College

Howard University

Speakers Bureau

No

First Name

Bernice

Birth City, State, Country

Albany

HM ID

REA01

Favorite Season

Fall

Speaker Bureau Notes

She has an exclusive agreement with another speaker' bureau.

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

10/4/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Okra, Watermelon, Greens

Short Description

Curator, music composer, and history professor Bernice Johnson Reagon (1942 - ) founded Sweet Honey in the Rock, an award-winning a cappella quintet that performs traditional African and African American music. She has been curator emeritus at the Smithsonian since 1993. Reagon also enjoyed a distinguished career as a professor of history at American University from 1993 to 2002.

Employment

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

Harambee Singers

Black Repertory Theater

Smithsonian Institute

American University

Sweet Honey in the Rock

Favorite Color

Raspberry, Teal

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bernice Reagon interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bernice Reagon's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bernice Reagon gives her parents' names and birthdates

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bernice Reagon recalls her mother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bernice Reagon describes her father's family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bernice Reagon remembers her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bernice Reagon philosophizes on perception and meaning

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bernice Reagon lists the families in her community

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bernice Reagon reflects on sharecropping and her parents' education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bernice Reagon discusses the value of storytelling in the black community

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Bernice Reagon shares memories of her childhood and early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bernice Reagon recalls the segregation and discrimination growing up in Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bernice Reagon compares singing spirituals in school to singing them in church

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bernice Reagon describes her teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bernice Reagon remembers her parents' strictness

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bernice Reagon relates her school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bernice Reagon details her singing background as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bernice Reagon discusses cultures for whom singing is a key component

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bernice Reagon recalls her early career aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bernice Reagon relates why she went to Albany State College

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bernice Reagon details getting arrested and expelled for her involvement in Civil Rights

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bernice Reagon recounts her experience at Spelman

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bernice Reagon remembers her involvement in the Freedom Singers

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bernice Reagon reflects on the murder of three Civil Rights workers in Neshoba County, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bernice Reagon illustrates the crucial role of music in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bernice Reagon describes her husband and early years of marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bernice Reagon explains how freedom music seeped into popular culture

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bernice Reagon reflects on the history and significance of "We Shall Overcome"

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bernice Reagon recalls organizing cultural activities and the first integrated concerts in the South

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Bernice Reagon interview, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bernice Reagon describes her life in 1960s Atlanta

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bernice Reagon details the founding of the Harambee Singers

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bernice Reagon remembers learning that Black is Beautiful (part 1)

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bernice Reagon remembers realizing that Black is Beautiful (part 2)

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bernice Reagon reflects on her life in Washington D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bernice recalls her experiences at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bernice Reagon remembers her professors at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bernice Reagon reflects on her graduate studies of oral history

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bernice Reagon describes insight gained through the study of black history

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bernice Reagon illustrates how songs are cultural artifacts that document history

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bernice Reagon explains how oral history taught what was absent in history books

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bernice Reagon discusses the importance of oral history as a challenge to written history

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Bernice Reagon discusses Emancipation

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Bernice Reagon recalls her successes with the Smithsonian

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Bernice Reagon details the founding and trajectory of 'Sweet Honey in the Rock'

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Bernice Reagon reflects on how Sweet Honey in the Rock celebrates womanhood through dress and costume

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Bernice Reagon enjoys being a role model

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Bernice Reagon expresses her opinion of rap

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Bernice Reagon recounts the highlights of working with Sweet Honey in the Rock

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Bernice Reagon remembers her work under a MacArthur Foundation grant

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Bernice Reagon discusses her concerns for the black community

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Bernice Reagon considers her legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

3$3

DATitle
Bernice Reagon explains how freedom music seeped into popular culture
Bernice Reagon details the founding of the Harambee Singers
Transcript
The programming you're involved in kind of spread the culture of the Civil Rights Movement, did it not?$$It, these conferences--one of the first ones we did, we brought together song leaders from Movement campaigns all over the South. Then we brought topical song writers from New York. These are the people who are writing these popular songs. Then we brought in older, black singers, Georgia C. Allen Singers, Doc Reed, who had done time in the Texas State Pen [Penitentiary]. And together, we swapped songs and stories. And it was a time when I had a chance to listen to Bessie Jones, John and Peter Davis of the Georgia C. Allen Singers. They actually told us stories about songs we were singing that were slave stories. And some of my richest slave stories came from Bessie Jones and John and Peter Davis. They taught us work songs that prison, people in prison sang, and, and then the meaning. And so the [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] Freedom Singers also went to Newport [Rhode Island]. And we had influence on what would be the popular song Movement because almost everybody who performed at Newport, and we're here, talking Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary, Odetta, all of those different singers, they actually--usually would do an a cappella song, and then, this is guitar Movement part, it's, everybody's got a guitar and singing. But we would do an a capella song. And then we'd do a Freedom song. And so it was really a very, very cross fertilization period where, that music culture of the Civil Rights Movement had an impact on the pop culture. Now, the theme song of the Movement, which is "We Shall Overcome," never hit the Top 40 chart. There was sheet music. Nobody looked at the sheet music. There were some recordings. We did a recording of it. But the recordings never broke any records. "We Shall Overcome" would be the most well-known song in the world. But its dissemination is through the news media. It was an important lesson for me as a singer about music not having always to go through the industry; that I could be a field secretary of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee [SNCC], making my contribution to the Movement as a singer. That was really important, that I could be a singer and not be a star. I could be a singer. I could make a record, and it wouldn't sell, you know, 200,000 copies; very important lessons for me that mark and shape the kind of musician I became.$These women who had sung with me knocked on my door. And they said, "we don't want to stop singing." It was Mary Ethel Jones and Mattie Casey. And the three of us began to form what became the Harambee Singers. We usually were five to six black women singers, a capella and it was my first experience actually leading because when I sang with the [SNCC] Freedom Singers, Cordell Reagon was the leader of the group. And I was the contact with the booking person who was Toshi Seeger. So I knew a lot of the business part, but actually forming a group, keeping the group together, making the decisions, the Harambee Singers was my first experience. And one of the first things I had to deal with was, were we going to cost our families anything to do this group? So the first thing we said was, "we'll go anywhere if we can get at least $50.00, plus $50.00 for the group." So there were five people. Then the fee was actually $300.00. And $50.00 would do your ground transportation, your babysitter, and it really didn't impact your family fiscally. And we used that as a base. And the extra fifty went into a bank account for the group. And you'd be surprised about a formula like that, in introducing it where you never took anything in without giving it to the community that's holding you together. And I'm not sure where I got that from. There was something in Kwanzaa, where you were supposed to bring the first harvest home. So the first thing you feed is the thing that sustains you. And it was something you really had to talk about because it was unusual, but it actually ended up being a formula for what I did with Sweet Honey in the Rock. And it really worked for this group. And we, we would perform for schools. We would drive any place that was in a two hundred mile radius, doing concerts. If it was longer, they had to fly us. And it was a wonderful experience. It was a wonderful time to be a group of black women singers. And we were singing for blacks, the first Black Studies programs that were being formed in the country. And all of the black conferences we would, all the protest rallies, we were there. And it, it was an, it was an amazing experience for me, and a learning experience for me as a leader of singers.