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Robert Bragg

Physicist and engineer Robert Henry “Pete” Bragg, Jr. was born on August 11, 1919 in Jacksonville, Florida to Robert Henry Bragg and Lily Camille MacFarland. He had one older sister, Alberta, a younger sister, Nadine, and a younger brother, Johnny. After his parents separated, Bragg lived with his mother and grandmother in Memphis, Tennessee, but he was encouraged by his family to move to Chicago, Illinois, to live with his Aunt Edna and Uncle Teddy where he attended Tilden Technical High School. Bragg pursued higher education at Woodrow Wilson Junior College, a community college in Chicago, Illinois, for a couple of years before enlisting in the military during World War II. Using the money allotted to him from the G.I. Bill to attend Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Bragg pursued a career in physics following the war. He received his B.S. degree in physics in 1949 and continued his graduate studies under the tutelage of Frances L. Yost, graduating from IIT in 1951 with his M.S. degree and his thesis on quantum mechanical scattering theories.

Following his graduation, Bragg was hired at the Dover Electroplating Company on the North Side of Chicago, and then the Portland Cement Association Research Laboratory. While working with the latter of these companies, Bragg became an expert in x-ray crystallography and xray diffraction. He was then hired by the Armour Research Foundation at IIT, where he worked for another five years while continuing his graduate studies working under his mentor, Dr. Leonid V. Azaroff. Bragg completed his studies at IIT in 1960 and earned his Ph.D. degree in physics.

Bragg was then hired by Lockheed Martin Missile and Space, where he worked for nine years before joining the faculty of the materials science and engineering department at the University of California, Berkeley in June of 1969. Bragg served as chair of the materials science and engineering department from 1978 to 1981, the only African American to do so at that time. Bragg’s research interests included x-ray diffraction and its application to such topics as the structure and electronic properties of carbon materials. There materials were used in aircraft and aerospace vehicles as well as in everyday items such as golf clubs and tennis rackets. He taught at the university and conducted research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) until 1986. After his retirement, Bragg was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1992 to conduct research for one year at the University of Ife in Nigeria. He also performed research at the Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Laboratory in 1999.

Bragg’s investigations in chemistry and physics earned him numerous honors and awards throughout his career. He was named a fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) in 1995 and a professor emeritus of the University of California, Berkeley upon his retirement in 1987.

Bragg passed away on October 3, 2017 at age 98.

Accession Number

A2011.003

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

3/11/2011

Last Name

Bragg

Middle Name

Henry

Organizations
Schools

Carnes Elementary School

St. Anthony School

Woodstock Middle School

Edward Tilden Career Community Academy High School

Illinois Institute of Technology

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

BRA12

Favorite Season

Spring, Early Fall

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

N/A

Favorite Quote

Be Cool.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

8/11/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Oakland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens

Death Date

10/3/2017

Short Description

Physics professor and physicist Robert Bragg (1919 - 2017 ) was a leader in the techniques of x-ray diffraction and the study of carbon-based materials, and served as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley from 1969 to 1987.

Employment

Cadney's Tea Room

Beat Plumming and Heating

Palmer House

D.S. Signet Elementary Training

Research Lab Portland Cement Association

ITT Research Institute

Lockheed Martin

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Black, Dark Blue, Beige, Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Bragg's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg shares his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg explains how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his mother's half-sister who was in show business

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg discusses his parents' marriage and their separation

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about his mother's second marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his resemblance to certain family members

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg shares his early childhood memories, part 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg shares his early childhood memories, part 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Bragg describes his upbringing in Memphis, Tennessee, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg recalls growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his elementary school experience, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg talks about his elementary experience, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg discusses his awareness of African American organizations

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg recalls his family's move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg describes himself as a teenager

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg talks about living in Chicago, Illinois with his uncle

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg describes his uncle's work for Oscar DePriest as a plumber

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg describes his experience at Tilden Technical High School in Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about is experience at Wilson Junior College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his service in the Army Air Corps, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg talks about his service in the Army Air Corps, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg recalls taking aptitude tests and joining the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg recounts his experience in his U.S. Army laundry unit

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg describes his direct commission to officer in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg describes his army experience in the Philippines

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg describes his army experience in Japan

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg talks about a murder that occurred while he served in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about going to college after his return from the U.S. Army

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg talks about earning his master's degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg tells how he met his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg remembers looking for a job after earning his master's degree

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg recalls his experience of integrating the cafeteria at Portland Cement Association

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg describes his work at the Portland Cement Association

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg remembers looking for a new job after the Portland Cement Association

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg remembers doing well on a test at North Carolina A&T College

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his work at the Armour Research Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg describes his PhD dissertation, part 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg describes his PhD dissertation, part 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his job at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg describes his involvement in the Palo Alto community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg details his laboratory work on the properties of carbon

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Robert Bragg talks about his travels while working at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg recalls discussions of race relations in Argentina and the U.S.

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his position at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg discusses the role of African Americans in science

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg continues discussing the role of African Americans in science

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his accomplishments at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg discusses his research at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about his most significant scientific achievements, part 1

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg talks about his most significant scientific achievements, part 2

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his work as a detailee with the U.S. Department of Energy, part 1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg talks about his work as a detailee with the U.S. Department of Energy, part 2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about his other professional positions

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg responds to a question about black student preparedness

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg discusses African American organizations

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about his family and reflects on his decisions

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg recalls being a busboy at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg discusses his involvement in University of California, Berkeley committees

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg talks about his appointment as faculty assistant to the chancellor

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about his best students at University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg reflects on his life's accomplishments

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about his scientific legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg talks about his immediate family

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg explains the origins of his nickname "Pete" and reflects on his life's accomplishments

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$7

DAStory

6$7

DATitle
Robert Bragg shares his early childhood memories, part 1
Robert Bragg details his laboratory work on the properties of carbon
Transcript
You have good stories. Do you have an earliest childhood memory?$$Yes and no. I don't, I can't really put my finger on it, but I almost think I can remember when my sister [Nadine Maryann] was born. Now, that's not really possible because I was only two years old. But I have this dim recollection of some people coming and going in the house and I'm associating that with the birth of my younger sister, two years later. The next recollection I have is when we were on this homestead where--now, how we got there, I don't know. But sugarcane was grown there. And what they would do would be to harvest this sugarcane and make a preliminary extraction of the sweet juice from the sugarcane. And the way it was done was, they had a mill which was a couple of stones, large stones that are juxtaposed. So, and they're rolled, and the power for rolling these mills--these stones was a mule who went around in a circle. And he just sort of kept plodding around and rolling these stones and they would feed the stalks of cane into the stone and the drippings would collect in a barrel. And that was eventually fermented or distilled and made into sugar. And I can remember that you could chew this cane. It was rather sweet, and to this day, I'm sure people do that, but not the way the sugarcane was extracted. But apparently, they would boil this material, and there was a scum that collected off of it. And they would put that scum in a barrel, and it would ferment and would change into alcohol and rather potent. So the term sugar barrel high came from people who would, n'er-do-wells, would sit next to this barrel and dip this cane (laughter), this fermenting liquor to get high (laughter). So I don't know whether that comes later or not, but I do have this image of this mule going around, powering the stones. And the next one is when we moved to, from the lumber camp to Chicago [Illinois]--to Memphis [Tennessee] because then, just before that we're in this lumber camp, I had a pet alligator. Apparently, out in the woods, they had killed this alligator and brought home this, his little, you know, babies. So I had this pet alligator, have nothing, no further, nothing beyond that, but I do remember I had a pet alligator.$$He was a little one.$$Yeah, about so long, hang onto your finger you know.$$(Laughter).$$And I remember there was a guitar player who hung out at this juke who would come by the house. And sometimes he would play. And then one time, he showed up, there had been a big fight, and they'd broken his (laughter) guitar. So, beyond that, these are my earliest childhood recollections.$Okay, so now meanwhile, in the laboratory, you're studying the properties of carbon?$$Yeah, that was very interesting. And it came about in this way. When we, when I got there, the big program--and that was what I liked about it. I didn't like the military aspects of the missiles, but Lockheed Missiles and Space Company [California]. So it was involved in both, you see. I could always absolve myself of some blame by just thinking of, about space (laughter). To tell you the truth, I never really sweated it that much. But when I arrived there, the big program was the ballistic missile program. And one of the big programs with that is reentry. When you fire missiles into space and when it comes, when it reenters, ordinarily it would burn up because the aerodynamic heating would be such that it's going so fast, you know, faster than the speed of sound. And once it enters the earth's atmosphere, it just catches--you know, ordinary materials would burn up. And to this day, perhaps you read about the shuttle and the tiles coming off and burning through and burning up and all that. Well, a lot of work went into finding materials, hopefully, passive, which meant it would just do--they would not burn up so badly. And the material that does that better than any other is carbon. So that led to a lot of research on carbon. Union Carbide [Corporation], carbon producing companies which produce electrodes for manufacturing steel and all that, they also had projects to manufacture carbon for the space program, you know, the program. But the government was paying for all of that. They didn't do any of that on their own money because it wasn't that big a market. Once you built something, it wasn't--you didn't do hundreds of tons. You'd just do a few, you know. But a whole lot of manpower went into research on these materials. And so we had people around there who were studying the thermo-physical properties and the reentry properties and the tinsel properties and all that. And I loved that because I could do all kinds of physics, you know, in addition to what I was doing in characterizing the material. All that relates back to structure. So not long after I got there, I got involved in the reentry materials program. And there was a conference in Japan that occurred in '62 [1962], I guess it was, that they sent me to because some of it had to do with carbon materials. And also there was a chemical company in--I forget which town it was, but off of the beaten path of the conference, that (unclear) that made a material called glassy carbon which seemed to have very novel properties that might be useful in our reentry vehicles. So I made a side trip to this town in Japan where they, you know, put on the big dog and gave me this sales pitch (laughter), brought some of it back, little pieces, you know. And it turned out that it really was no good for that purpose at all, thermo shock, you know. If you heat something very quickly, and it expands very quickly, it'll fly apart unless it's strong enough. So it didn't have that thermo-shock resistance.$$So it wouldn't burn, but it would fly apart?$$Yeah, just fly apart. But in the meantime, because it was secret, we couldn't tell the Japanese, couldn't tell them what we wanted to do, and so it meant we had to reinvent the wheel. So we had a big program reinventing how to make glassy carbon. And I have a lamp back there in my room that's, the bowl of it is glassy carbon. But we never did get a patent on it because--well, I don't know what the reason was except that somehow we had licenses, let people have licenses to produce it, but we never patented it. But anyway, that's how I got into carbon.

Henry "Hank" Thomas

Civil rights activist and entrepreneur Henry “Hank” Thomas was born on August 29, 1941 in Jacksonville, Florida to Tina R. Heggs and James Cobb. Thomas graduated from Richard J. Murray High School in St. Augustine, Florida in 1959, and received a scholarship to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C. At Howard, Thomas participated in lunch counter sit-ins, and was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In May of 1961, Thomas and the other Freedom Riders travelled to the South to protest segregation laws. Thomas was first arrested in Winnsboro, South Carolina, but was soon released. He then survived a firebombing in Anniston, Alabama. Arriving in Jackson, Mississippi, Thomas and the other Freedom Riders were arrested; and upon his release from Parchman State Prison Farm, Thomas was the first Freedom Rider to appeal his conviction, which was upheld by the Mississippi Supreme Court in 1964, but reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 195. Thomas was arrested twenty-two times over the course of his civil rights activism.

In 1965, Thomas served in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Army Medic, and was awarded the Purple Heart for his service. After his tour ended in 1966, Thomas moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he and a business partner purchased and operated a Laundromat. After selling his share of the Laundromat, Thomas acquired a Dairy Queen franchise, and then a Burger King franchise, before becoming the franchisee of six McDonald’s restaurants. Thomas went on to own four Marriott Hotels, two Fairfield Inns, and two TownePlace Suites. He was the president of Victoria Hospitality Properties, Inc. and vice-president of Hayon, Inc., which owned and operated McDonald’s restaurants in the Atlanta area. In 1993, Thomas was one of three U.S. veterans to travel to Vietnam for a reconciliation meeting with North Vietnamese soldiers.

Thomas received numerous awards for his civil rights activism and his business achievements. In 2010, he was inducted into the Atlanta Business League Men of Influence Hall of Fame and received the 365black Award given by McDonald’s Inc. In 2011, he was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. He was a lifetime member of the NAACP, and served on the board of trustees for Morehouse School of Medicine.

Thomas and his wife, Yvonne Thomas, have two children and four grandchildren.

Henry “Hank” Thomas was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 1, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.066

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/2/2016

Last Name

Thomas

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

James

Schools

Richard J. Murray High School

Howard University

First Name

Henry

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

THO23

Favorite Season

Autumn

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

I'll Be Doggone.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

8/29/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Black eyed oeas and rice, chicken

Short Description

Civil rights activist and entrepreneur Henry "Hank" Thomas (1941 - ) was a founding member the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and of a Freedom Riders. Later, he became the president of Victoria Hospitality, Inc., the vice president of Hayon, Inc. and a McDonald’s franchisee.

Employment

United States Army

Atlanta Fire Department

Laundramat

Hayon Inc. Group

Victoria Hospitality Partners

Favorite Color

Brown

Col. Porcher Taylor, Jr.

Retired colonel and education administrator Porcher L. Taylor was born on August 9, 1925 in Jacksonville, Florida to Porcher L., Sr. and Mary Bell Taylor. Taylor’s father was the founder, publisher, and editor of the Florida Tattler. The weekly newspaper ran from 1934 until his death in 1964. Taylor was hired by his father to work in the family business, Taylor and Son Printing Company, Inc. Taylor worked as a typesetter and a pressman until 1943, when he joined the U.S. Navy and spent three years on tour in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces, he was able to enroll at Tuskegee Institute with support from the Army’s G.I. Bill.

In 1946, Taylor enlisted in the Tuskegee Institute Reserve Officer Training Corps – the precursor to the famed Tuskegee Airmen – and completed his training in 1949. Taylor also played varsity football for three years as first-string fullback and was selected as one of Tuskegee Institute’s All-Time Greatest Football Athletes in 1985. With the outbreak of the Korean War, Taylor was deployed to the Pacific Theater, where he served with the 82nd Airborne Division. In 1971, Taylor became the first African American promoted to full colonel at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Taylor is one of few living Americans who served the United States in three major wars – World War II, Koran War and Vietnam War – in both the U.S. Navy and Army. He served in the Navy for three years and the Army for twenty-five years.

In 1961, Taylor received his M.S. degree in counseling from Virginia State University (VSU), where he also served as president for student affairs and as director of counseling. He also served as professor of military science and tactics at VSU. He was then selected to enter a doctoral program at the University of South Carolina in 1968; and, in 1972 he became one of the first two African Americans to earn a Ph.D. degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina.

Taylor has been recognized for his many contributions. His military awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal. He was also the recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, an honor shared by former U.S. President Gerald Ford and astronaut Neil Armstrong. Taylor lives with his wife Ann in Petersburg, Virginia.

Porcher L. Taylor was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 12, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.196

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/15/2012

Last Name

Taylor

Middle Name

L'Engle

Occupation
Schools

New Stanton High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Porcher

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

TAY13

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Honolulu, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Do something good every day for somebody other than yourself. and AIRBORNE!

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

8/9/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Petersburg

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pudding (Bread)

Short Description

Colonel (ret) and educator Col. Porcher Taylor, Jr. (1925 - ) is one of the few servicemen that served the United States in three major wars – World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War – in both the Navy and Army.

Employment

Taylor and Son Printing Company

United States Army

Virginia State University

City of Petersburg, Virginia

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1028,13:1372,18:20900,279:21220,284:23620,329:28330,385:28586,390:36410,448:37770,470:38490,482:38890,488:54028,866:58892,921:62616,1032:75906,1200:88382,1369:88877,1374:95750,1438:105425,1559:112452,1648:113200,1661:147380,2168:147704,2173:191105,2650:220812,3049:229160,3133$0,0:1310,25:1570,30:1960,37:3000,61:3325,67:4495,93:6055,128:10020,219:10280,224:12035,267:42274,509:44866,536:48687,550:51290,575:55370,584:57410,589:55905,614:56555,627:56945,635:57270,641:57530,646:58050,655:58440,667:59220,684:59805,697:60130,703:60780,712:61040,717:61300,722:61560,727:62015,736:62860,760:68634,806:69222,813:69712,819:72064,859:72946,870:76303,886:82153,951:85860,1000:97104,1120:97748,1129:98116,1134:117632,1264:118680,1274:119728,1280:120907,1291:130105,1378:131722,1414:138986,1488:139514,1496:139954,1502:141274,1538:142154,1550:145858,1570:151873,1627:156004,1699:156490,1707:156895,1713:159686,1732:161165,1756:161600,1762:162035,1768:163427,1807:179832,1968:180516,1982:191006,2054:194605,2074:204290,2157:204710,2165:205340,2175:205900,2186:206250,2192:207020,2205:226140,2401:227160,2420:227500,2426:228452,2468:231104,2520:231444,2526:245365,2593:256657,2669:258158,2697:258553,2703:260528,2724:261555,2738:268500,2808:274892,2895:275804,2911:279376,2992:283024,3056:285760,3122:286216,3155:295792,3284:308300,3440:309060,3449:314800,3522
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Porcher Taylor's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Porcher Taylor lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Porcher Taylor describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Porcher Taylor talks about growing up in Georgia, and his mother's education and faith

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Porcher Taylor describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Porcher Taylor talks about his father's newspaper, 'The Florida Tattler', pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Porcher Taylor talks about his father's newspaper, 'The Florida Tattler', pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Porcher Taylor talks about his paternal grandfather's entrepreneurship

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Porcher Taylor talks about his paternal grandfather, Dennis Taylor's involvement in the Knights of Pythias and his move to Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Porcher Taylor talks about segregation in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Porcher Taylor discusses how his grandmother was deceived by her lawyer

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Porcher Taylor talks about his father's education at Tuskegee University in the George Washington Carver Class of 1922

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Porcher Taylor talks about his parents attending church

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Porcher Taylor describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Porcher Taylor talks about his sisters, Virginia Anita Williams and Betty Ruth Belton

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Porcher Taylor describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Porcher Taylor describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up during segregation in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Porcher Taylor talks about starting school in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Porcher Taylor talks about his experience in school in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Porcher Taylor talks about his interest in sports while growing up, and his favorite subjects in school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Porcher Taylor talks about his interest in reading, and black newspapers while he was growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Porcher Taylor talks about his father's printing business, and his father's death in 1964

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Porcher Taylor talks about his favorite teachers in grade school and being a member of the Boy Scouts

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Porcher Taylor talks about his experience in high school in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Porcher Taylor talks about his decision to join the U.S. Navy during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Porcher Taylor describes his decision to attend Tuskegee University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Porcher Taylor describes his experience in the U.S. Navy in 1943 and 1944

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Porcher Taylor talks about the segregated U.S. Navy during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Porcher Taylor talks about being assigned to the South Pacific Theatre in World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Porcher Taylor talks about his experience aboard a U.S. Navy submarine chaser in World War II and the end of the war

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Porcher Taylor talks about his return to the U.S. from World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Porcher Taylor talks about race-related altercations in the U.S. military, and his experience after returning from World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Porcher Taylor talks about his discharge from his World War II assignment and the end of his career in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Porcher Taylor talks about his assignment as a guard for Japanese prisoners of war in World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Porcher Taylor talks about attending Tuskegee University on the GI Bill

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Porcher Taylor talks about playing football at Tuskegee University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Porcher Taylor talks about meeting George Washington Carver at Tuskegee University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Porcher Taylor talks about meeting his first wife at Tuskegee University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Porcher Taylor talks about majoring in commercial industries at Tuskegee University, and being called back into active duty during the Korean War

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Porcher Taylor talks about segregation in the U.S. military

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Porcher Taylor describes his experience in the U.S. Army at Fort Jackson, South Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Porcher Taylor describes his experience in the Korean War and in the 25th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Porcher Taylor talks about the desegregation of the U.S. Army and the importance of ROTC programs in colleges

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Porcher Taylor talks about his assignments at Schofield Barracks following his return from the Korean War in 1955

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Porcher Taylor talks about earning his master's degree in counselor education at Virginia State University

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Porcher Taylor talks about his career in education

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Porcher Taylor talks about desegregation in Columbia, South Carolina, and the reaction at Fort Jackson to Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Porcher Taylor talks about his mentor at Fort Jackson, and describes his decision to attend the University of South Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Porcher Taylor talks about his experience at the University of South Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Porcher Taylor talks about his experience at Uiojongbu, Korea, and becoming a member of Lions Club International

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Porcher Taylor talks about retiring from the U.S. Army and serving as the vice president for student affairs at Virginia State University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Porcher Taylor talks about his service in the Organizational Effective Training Unit of the U.S. Army

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Porcher Taylor talks about his service in the Vietnam War

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Porcher Taylor talks about his service in the Organizational Effective Training Unit of the U.S. Army

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Porcher Taylor talks about his life after retirement and his awards and honors

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Porcher Taylor reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Porcher Taylor reflects upon his life and career

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Porcher Taylor talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Porcher Taylor shares how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Porcher Taylor talks about being elected as the military aide-de-camp by the governors of Virginia, and receiving the Noel F. Parrish Award

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Porcher Taylor describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$1

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Porcher Taylor talks about race-related altercations in the U.S. military, and his experience after returning from World War II
Porcher Taylor describes his mother's family background
Transcript
You know, at that time, just before that, before the war [World War II] ended, '45 [1945], there was, and I think I'm right, an artillery unit from Ohio, black. They got in some difficulty over there. And they shot up the town almost. I don't, don't print that 'cause I'm not sure about that. That was just a rumor, that was just a rumor. I'm not sure. But I know something like that happened down in--just across the Texas boarder over into Mexico.$$Oh, you mean back in the early part of the century.$$Yeah.$$You're talking about Brownsville--$$Yeah, the 24th Infantry--$$Yeah, there's a Houston, what they called the Houston [Texas] riot and the Brownsville raid.$$Yeah, okay, you got it, Brownsville. Well, you know that, so I don't have to--$$Yeah, it was two of 'em, 1917 and 19--I can't think of the other one.$$Right, so that's easy for me to believe that the Ohio artillery unit did do that.$$Yeah, there seems to be some altercations that are not recorded in history, that took place in the military in those days, that were, you know, were kind of hushed, kept on the hush, you know--$$That's right, that's right. Okay, we came, we left Hawaii coming back to the [mainland United] States. We docked at Treasure Island, Treasure Island, right off from San Francisco [California], took leave, liberty and all that kind of stuff. Then we moved up the West Coast. We went up and docked in Bremerton, Washington, up near Seattle [Washington] and went into a [U.S.] Navy shipyard up there in Washington Lake, what they called it. And we were just lounging around up there, having a good time, going on liberty and so forth. And I remember one thing that happened. Of course, I told you there were only two blacks on that submarine chaser. This guy bet me that I would not jump off that boat into the Washington Lake, big lake. I said, yeah. That was the easiest five dollars I ever won in my life. I jumped off right in the (unclear). And I was a swimmer, a Boy Scout. I could outswim anybody in the world, whatever. Anyway, so we left there, came back out through Juan de Fuca. That's a little waterway going in from Bremerton, Washington, into Washington Lake, and went back down through, past San Francisco, down to the Panama Canal and came on up the Coast of Florida, and back up to Navy Amphibious Base, at Little Creek, Virginia. But before that, before we got up there, down in Panama, I was, I got the surprise of my life in Panama. We went on liberty, you know, had a good time and so forth on the Balboa side, not on the Colon side and the Panama City side. But there, I went to the bank to cash a check, and there were two lines. I said, wait a minute--we're back in America, two lines, what you mean two lines? They didn't call it black and white or colored and white. They called it gold and silver. So, which is more valuable gold, than silver? So the blacks stood in the silver line and the whites in the other line. Surprised the heck out of me, in Panama City, whatever.$$So they had segregated lines in Panama?$$Yeah. Ain't that something? Instead of black, colored and white.$Now, I'm gonna ask about your family history. I'm gonna ask about your mother's side of the family and your father's side, but separately, so we don't get 'em mixed up.$$I understand.$$So can you give us your mother's full name and spell it for us, please?$$Yes, my mother, first name, Mary, M-A-R-Y, Bell, B-E-double-L.$$And--$$Oh, I need to get maiden name, I'm sorry. Mary Virginia, Virginia her middle name--$$Okay.$$V-I-R-G-I-N-I-A, and Bell, of course, was her maiden name.$$Okay, all right.$$She was born and reared in Albany, Georgia.$$And what year was she born?$$Nineteen zero five [1905].$$Okay, now, what can you tell us about your mother's side of the family? How far back can you trace them and what were they doing in history? Are there any stories?$$You know, unfortunately, I can't go beyond three generations. And, of course, there's a reason for that. I can go back to my grandmother and grandfather on her side, and I can go back to supposedly, her father, my grandmother's father. She was very light-skinned, and I guess you could say she could "pass", if that's the right word today.$$Well, what was your grandmother's name?$$Stella.$$Stella, okay.$$Stella Bell. She married a Snyder Bell, S-N-Y-D-E-R. In fact, he was born, oh, I'm guessing, about fifteen to twenty years after slavery. And it's hard to follow them back because--and I'm not so sure I'm authorized to say what I'm about to say. But if (laughter), if you don't wanna show it, don't. But back in those days, and I've done a little bit of research on this, that my color would not be the color that I am if the, the Master, the Master, they called him, back on the farm where most blacks were raised back in those days, if he hadn't taken liberties from my great great grandmother or whatever it happened to have been. I would not be this color today.$$Okay, so the great, great grandfather was the Master, right?$$Absolutely.$$Okay.$$Absolutely. During my research, that's what I found out, yes. And, of course, my grandparents both came out of Sasa, Georgia and Cusped, Georgia, and they moved to Jacksonville, Florida later.$$Okay, now, you were gonna tell us something about your great grandfather, your mother's [grand]father, right?$$Well, all I can tell you is that he was (laughter) white.$$No, that's the great grand--your mother's father was white, you're saying?$$No.$$Okay.$$My mother's grandfather and my great grandfather.$$Right, right, that's what I thought.$$I'm sorry, I--$$Now, do you know anything about your mother's parents?$$Yes, quite a bit, yes. They settled, as I mentioned in Jacksonville, Florida.$$Okay, okay.$$And, yes, you had another question about that?$$Well, their names, your mother's grandfather's name was--I mean your mother's father's name was what? Do you know?$$Snyder Bell, S-N-Y-$$Okay, Snyder, okay.$$Snyder Bell, uh-huh.$$Okay, so I'm missing a generation here somewhere. But I'm not, let's see, 'cause I got your--okay, I've got your, your grandmother was Stella Bell, grandfather, Snyder Bell--$$Oh, my grandmother's mother and father.$$Right, right.$$The only thing I know is, as I mentioned earlier, that he was white, and he took advantage of her mother.$$Okay, all right. Now, I got it.$$That's about all I can tell you about that.$$Okay, all right, 'cause I thought I'd skipped a generation, but, you know, but--$$Yes.$$Okay.$$And I might make it--not a real comparison between my paternal grandparents and my maternal, when we get to that part.$$Okay, all right.

Robert Battle

Dancer and choreographer Robert Louis Battle was born on August 28, 1972 in Jacksonville, Florida to Marie Battle. Three weeks after his birth, Battle was adopted by his great-uncle Willie Horne. He was raised by Horne and his daughter Dessie Horne. Battle started dancing in high school and graduated from the New World School of Arts in Miami, Florida. He went on to attend The Julliard School, where he graduated in 1994. Battle joined Parsons Dance Company where he performed and choreographed for the next seven years. During this time, Battle also choreographed his first piece for an Alvin Ailey Foundation dance company; the piece was entitled Mood Indigo and was performed by the Ailey II Company in 1999.

In 2001, Battle left Parsons to found Battleworks Dance Company, a company he directed for the next nine years. During this time, Battle developed a close relationship with the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, choreographing his first piece for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Juba , in 2003, and working alongside Judith Jamison and hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris to create Love Stories in 2004. He continued to provide material for the group and conduct workshops at the Alvin Ailey School from 2006 until 2008. In 2009, Battle’s work with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater culminated in the announcement by Judith Jamison, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, that Battle would succeed her as the company’s artistic director in July of 2011.

Battle was named as one of the Masters of African American Choreography by the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in 2005, and has received numerous other awards for professional excellence. He has performed or choreographed for venues such as the Joyce Theater, the American Dance Festival, the Dance Theater Workshop, and the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

Robert Battle was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 27, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.107

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/27/2010

Last Name

Battle

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Miami Northwestern Senior High School

New World School Of The Arts

The Juilliard School

Orchard Villa Elementary School

Georgia Jones-Ayers Middle School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

BAT09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Saratoga Springs, New York

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

8/28/1972

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ribs

Short Description

Dancer and choreographer Robert Battle (1972 - ) was the third artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Employment

Parsons Dance Company

Battleworks Dance Company

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:2456,80:4808,109:5228,115:5732,125:8000,162:8840,175:9428,185:10268,197:10856,206:11360,213:11780,219:15812,275:16736,291:28055,381:33095,471:33935,485:35825,577:43160,609:45422,644:46280,657:46826,666:49244,728:49868,787:55094,881:55406,886:72045,1111:72425,1116:73755,1135:78794,1173:79403,1186:80795,1212:81578,1224:86501,1277:89322,1332:90141,1342:90687,1349:91324,1358:96783,1384:98239,1405:99968,1436:101970,1541:102698,1550:113060,1677$0,0:12525,169:18890,300:19650,310:20600,326:32872,389:44202,540:44734,552:45190,559:47404,572:48142,582:48880,593:51258,627:53718,655:60688,832:62164,856:62820,865:63148,870:71650,942:73900,990:74575,1000:78119,1036:86768,1123:87370,1134:87800,1141:91436,1175:94252,1215:95044,1225:100148,1289:106175,1337:107225,1361:107675,1368:110150,1437:115352,1465:115664,1470:116132,1477:118160,1525:118472,1530:119330,1543:119720,1549:120188,1556:120656,1565:121046,1571:124344,1593:125156,1610:127573,1641:130484,1706:134815,1846:142490,1879:142890,1885:145503,1904:147735,1942:148107,1947:153290,2003:154040,2020:154790,2030:158165,2088:158690,2097:159365,2108:160715,2132:161165,2139:163490,2181:164390,2199:164915,2208:166040,2236:166415,2242:166715,2247:169940,2314:176550,2422
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Battle's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Battle lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Battle describes his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Battle recalls his early artistic interests

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Battle describes his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Battle remembers his early church involvement

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Battle recalls the Performing and Visual Arts Center program

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Battle remembers the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert Battle recalls the Liberty City neighborhood in Miami, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert Battle describes his early aspirations and mentors

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robert Battle reflects upon his career path

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Robert Battle recalls his scholarship to The Julliard School in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Robert Battle describes his first year at The Julliard School

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Robert Battle recalls his mentors at The Julliard School

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Battle recalls his first involvement with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Battle remembers his role at the Parsons Dance Company

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Battle recalls becoming artistic director designate of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Battle describes his direction for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Battle talks about the role of tradition in dance

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Battle describes his company, Battleworks Dance Company

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Battle describes how African American culture influences his art

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Battle talks about the dance community

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert Battle describes his current projects

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Robert Battle shares his advice to young dancers

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Robert Battle shares his mother's thoughts on his success

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Robert Battle describes his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

13$4

DATitle
Robert Battle describes his first year at The Julliard School
Robert Battle describes his direction for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Transcript
Juilliard [The Juilliard School, New York, New York] was extremely challenging, certainly, especially my, my first year. In fact, I, I wanted to leave Juilliard because, you know as a freshman in college, nobody knows anything and you know everything, that was me. And so, this was one of those mother moments. So I made a plan to leave Juilliard and I went home for one of the holidays, could have been Thanksgiving or whatever, and I talked to the dean at New World School of the Arts college and I said, "Listen, you know, I want to move back to Miami [Florida]," and he said, "Okay, we can help you do that," you know, "We'll give you a scholarship, money in your pocket, so you can do it." You see, I always figured my mother [Battle's second cousin, Dessie Horne Williams] was reasonable if you had a plan. If you could come and show her a plan, then she'd be okay with your decision. So I got my plan together. I got--came home, I said, "Listen," to my mother, who I've always called Dessalee, I've never called her mother, "Here's the plan. I'm going to leave Juilliard, come back home, I got a full scholarship at New World, it's all going to be great, no money out of your pocket, this will be wonderful," thinking she'd say, okay. She did say okay, she did also say, "But sometimes you might want to think about finishing things when you start them." I graduated Juilliard four years later, I won the Martha Hiller Prize, Martha Hill Prize [Martha Hill Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Dance] and the Princess Grace Award [Princess Grace Statue Award] at that time. So, she is modest when she says she has nothing to do with my success.$Now you mentioned [HistoryMaker] Judith Jamison as a choreographer and Rennie Harris and other people, so anybody, you know, paying attention to what's going on now, if they expect you to just replicate Alvin Ailey, they're probably wrong, right? Is that true?$$Yes.$$Okay.$$Yes, and I think he, he would not expect that. I think that Judith Jamison would not expect that. I mean, I, I think, well I've gotten this label of being a maverick, I always thought it was a car but, anyway, but I've always done, or tried to do that in my own work. I've always tried to, to challenge myself and challenge the audiences but I got that from, again, my modest mother [Battle's second cousin, Dessie Horne Williams] who, I remember when I was, I used to improvise when I first started dancing. I would go in the back room and I'd put on some Michael Jackson or somebody like that, and I would, I would just improvise and she would always hear the music and one time she said, "Why don't you try classical music sometimes? You don't have to always do the same music." So I tried it; but, again, it was sort of pushing me to go outside of what I thought I was capable of. And so even in my own work, I choreographed to classical music, to the Indian music I was just talking about, to African drums, to, you know, it just, it's all over the place. As one audience member said, "From Bach [Johann Sebastian Bach] to bongos," you know, and I think that's a part of what some people like about my work and it's certainly a part of what interests me about making work, is about surprising people and making them hear things in a new way, you know, that is really a part of what I love about what I do.$$So do you think that's what the search committee saw in you or did they (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I think so.$$First did that--$$I think so, I think they saw that I had, that, that, that that would be exciting and that, but it's also done with integrity, not just for the sheer sake of making people perk up but that because I really believe in that and that's what's going to take us into the future, is always staying curious, always keeping our finger on the pulse of what's happening now and what can happen in the future. So I think that perhaps that's what they saw and that's what Ms. Jamison saw in my work and in me, which is why she chose me [as artistic director for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater].

LaVerne Sci

Historic Site Manager LaVerne Cecile Kenon Sci was born on January 3, 1940 in Jacksonville, Florida to Thelma Olivia Moore, a teacher, and Reuben R. Kenon, a high school principal. As a child, Sci attended segregated schools of Kings Welcome, College Park Elementary, Richardson Elementary and Richardson High School. As a youth, Sci desired to become a dancer, and her mother would drive sixty miles for her to take dance lessons.

In 1956, Sci entered Hampton University where she pursued her B.S. degree in health, physical education, recreation and biology. She led a very active life at Hampton University. She was the head majorette, a member of the dance group, worked on the school newspaper and was a member of the historic Phyllis Wheatley Society. After completing her degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, she went on to teach in Fayetteville, North Carolina and then Farragut High School in Chicago, Illinois from 1960 until 1962. Sci then entered the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she pursued a combined M.A./Ph.D. program in History and Philosophy of Education.

After Sci’s mother lost her job helping to integrate the public schools of Columbia County, Florida, Sci dropped out of the University of Illinois in 1965 and worked as a teacher in the Unit Four Public School District to help support her mother’s legal struggle. In 1968, she met and married Frank Sci, a serviceman in the United States Air Force. Together, they relocated to Naha, Okinawa, Japan, there they became parents to two daughters, LaFrae and LaTania. The family then relocated to Montana, and they moved in 1972 to Dayton, Ohio where Frank was stationed as a Lieutenant Colonel. In Dayton, their son, Kenon Travis, was born. Parental responsibilities led Sci into community activism. In 1989, Sci was hired as Historic Site Manager of the Paul Laurence Dunbar House Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

Sci was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 24, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.027

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/25/2008

Last Name

Sci

Maker Category
Middle Name

Cecile Kenon

Organizations
Schools

Richardson High School

Kings Welcome

College Park Elementary School

Richardson Elementary School

Hampton University

Northwestern University

First Name

LaVerne

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

SCI01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bangkok, Thailand

Favorite Quote

Seize The Day.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

1/3/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dayton

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Historic site manager LaVerne Sci (1940 - ) was the historic site manager of the Paul Laurence Dunbar House in Dayton, Ohio. She was also an educator in North Carolina and Illinois.

Employment

Paul Laurence Dunbar House

Chicago Public Schools

Champaign Unit 4 Schools

Favorite Color

Purple, Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:600,9:1950,32:3150,54:7200,126:7800,135:12675,287:13650,307:14175,315:14625,323:21236,372:21692,381:24352,434:27772,494:28684,543:29140,550:34920,585:38190,616:38622,623:40926,657:41286,663:41574,668:42510,678:43014,686:48054,766:55898,835:57761,863:58895,878:66347,981:76461,1157:76997,1169:79945,1237:85707,1352:86176,1361:86913,1377:105780,1584:108640,1649:109615,1666:110265,1677:110915,1689:111435,1698:130142,1927:130454,1932:130844,1938:135680,2016:146100,2113:151776,2224:166362,2363:166658,2368:170654,2480:171024,2486:173910,2528:178778,2540:186204,2670:191734,2764:193630,2789:194025,2795:201580,2845$0,0:0,4:240,9:1740,112:10945,233:11800,243:16236,312:22284,363:23052,373:23532,379:24396,390:25740,405:26220,411:37740,434:38300,442:42638,476:45110,487:45490,492:48150,518:48530,523:49955,541:54252,567:55154,586:79296,772:80232,786:80952,797:81456,806:81816,812:82464,823:84120,850:86814,860:92830,912:93230,918:93790,934:94110,939:94430,944:95150,956:95630,965:106508,1079:107152,1087:109728,1136:110280,1143:111568,1160:117209,1189:123126,1265:123514,1270:124678,1283:125357,1292:126230,1304:127782,1318:128267,1324:133270,1357:133918,1367:134485,1375:136672,1416:139021,1462:141127,1504:142504,1528:146554,1622:147850,1643:148174,1648:148579,1654:158780,1750:160680,1790:180644,1997:181866,2012:182712,2022:191110,2106:192555,2127:193065,2135:197450,2177:197840,2183:199166,2208:201818,2262:204158,2318:206654,2357:212162,2421:213522,2454:214610,2484:215154,2497:226855,2621:232720,2672:239616,2722:243286,2743:244762,2756:246936,2769:247676,2781:252856,2875:253892,2892:254336,2900:254632,2905:255298,2919:255742,2926:256112,2933:263812,3014:264208,3019:265594,3033:266386,3042:268861,3062:269356,3068:273374,3091:275564,3124:276294,3135:277681,3157:279080,3162
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of LaVerne Sci's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - LaVerne Sci lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - LaVerne Sci describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - LaVerne Sci describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - LaVerne Sci talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - LaVerne Sci recalls a lesson from her maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - LaVerne Sci describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - LaVerne Sci describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Laverne Sci describes her father's friendship with Lasalle D. Leffall, Sr.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Laverne Sci recalls how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Laverne Sci describes her maternal grandfather's friendship with Howard Thurman

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Laverne Sci talks about her parents move to Lake City, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Laverne Sci describes her earliest childhood memory

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

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Laverne Sci remembers the Kings Welcome School in Columbia County, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Laverne Sci talks about Florida's wildlife

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Laverne Sci recalls her father's death

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Laverne Sci remembers her dance training

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Laverne Sci talks about her interest in dance

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Laverne Sci recalls Champaign Junior High School in Champaign, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Laverne Sci remembers being barred from a Girl Scout troop in Champaign, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Laverne Sci talks about her early experiences of religion

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Laverne Sci talks about the death of her father's student during a football game

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Laverne Sci remembers Richardson High School in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Laverne Sci remembers an influential teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Laverne Sci describes her introduction to the works of Paul Laurence Dunbar

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Laverne Sci describes her social life at Richardson High School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - LaVerne Sci describes the lack of resources at Richardson High School in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - LaVerne Sci remembers the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - LaVerne Sci describes her professors at the Hampton Institute

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - LaVerne Sci recalls her decision to leave the Hampton Institute

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - LaVerne Sci recalls transferring to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - LaVerne Sci remembers teaching at Farragut High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - LaVerne Sci remembers teaching at Farragut High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - LaVerne Sci recalls enrolling in a doctoral program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - LaVerne Sci recalls her mother's role in school integration in Columbia County, Florida, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - LaVerne Sci recalls her mother's role in school integration in Columbia County, Florida, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - LaVerne Sci remembers the library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - LaVerne Sci talks about her marriage

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - LaVerne Sci remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - LaVerne Sci describes her husband's career in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - LaVerne Sci talks about her children's educational experiences, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - LaVerne Sci talks about her children's educational experiences, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - LaVerne Sci recalls petitioning to remove a racist mural from her children's school, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - LaVerne Sci recalls petitioning to remove a racist mural from her children's school, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - LaVerne Sci recalls her start at the Paul Laurence Dunbar House in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - LaVerne Sci describes the history of the Paul Laurence Dunbar House, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - LaVerne Sci describes the history of the Paul Laurence Dunbar House, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - LaVerne Sci talks about the restoration of the Paul Laurence Dunbar House

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - LaVerne Sci describes her initiatives at the Paul Laurence Dunbar House

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - LaVerne Sci talks about the life of Paul Laurence Dunbar

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - LaVerne Sci talks about her experiences as a dance teacher in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - LaVerne Sci talks about the predecessors of Paul Laurence Dunbar

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - LaVerne Sci talks about the reburial of Paul Laurence Dunbar's remains

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - LaVerne Sci describes her role in the commemoration of Martin Delany's gravesite

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - LaVerne Sci reflects upon her interest in Paul Laurence Dunbar, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - LaVerne Sci talks about Paul Laurence Dunbar's sister

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - LaVerne Sci reflects upon her interest in Paul Laurence Dunbar, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - LaVerne Sci describes her hopes for Paul Laurence Dunbar's legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - LaVerne Sci describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - LaVerne Sci reflects upon her life

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - LaVerne Sci reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - LaVerne Sci recites Paul Laurence Dunbar's poem, 'We Wear the Mask'

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - LaVerne Sci talks about her family

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - LaVerne Sci describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$4

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
LaVerne Sci describes her initiatives at the Paul Laurence Dunbar House
LaVerne Sci describes her professors at the Hampton Institute
Transcript
We have, we're now developing a library in the corner house of the Mundis House. That library will be a Paul Laurence Dunbar resource library. I hope one day it will link with Schomburg [Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, New York] and other Dunbar resources so that any student or scholar will be able to come here, or parent, or person, and sit down and research Dunbar and be able to connect with the best resources of Dunbar in the United States, Hampton Institute library [Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia], places where there are significant Dunbar materials archived. Then, the center house, the upstairs in the corner house from being the library downstairs, actually houses staff; all staff offices are upstairs in the corner house or the Mundis House. The center house, now restored fully, is used as an annex downstairs with volunteer space upstairs for storage and meetings and various activities that volunteers would have. The Dunbar House [Paul Laurence Dunbar House, Dayton, Ohio] is pristine, it's, it just greets the visitor as a pristine museum, and it looks like Dunbar [Paul Laurence Dunbar] might have just walked right out of the back door before you came in.$$Now, yes, it's been fully restored, right--$$Yes.$$--to, to its 1906--$$Yes.$$--condition.$$Including the lighting, the other lighting that was added, has been taken down to the lighting that was probably there when Dunbar was in the Dunbar House, living there. The urban barn has been restored, and it's very, very functional. We like to use it in the summertime; it's not insulated for winter activities. We like to use it for storytelling and children's activities, birthday parties and, of course, we have long needed this visitor center which gives us a room for assembly, for more than seventy-five people. We have a maximum count in terms of fire safety of 100 people in this room and if chairs are very close together, we can get that many in but a comfortable count is anywhere between sixty and seventy-five, and we have a gift shop now here in this visitor center. We have little connecting breezeways connecting the visitor center to the two houses that you see from the front. The Dunbar House is not connected at all, because we found that to connect it in any way would mean some kind of deviation from the original and with that happening, it could come off the National Register [National Register of Historic Places] and it was one of the first properties to go on the National Register when it was established. So, the Dunbar House has long been on the National Register. We don't want to upset that registration in any way or bring it into violation, so we leave it as it is, and, of course, the Urban Barn is the fifth property and totally the space that is involved here, is approximately two acres.$Who were some of the teachers and mentors at Hampton [Hampton Institute; Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia] that you remember and, well, other, other students as well? Who were some of the personalities there?$$Well, I was very impressed with Dr. J. Saunders Redding who was a Dunbar [Paul Laurence Dunbar] scholar from Delaware, Ohio--Delaware, Wilmington, Delaware, whose father had been a part of black history. And we had a English teacher, a Mr. Kearney [ph.], who registered with students in a way that he came across with love, understanding and comfort about whatever the situation was. He never got excited, but Mr. Kearney was really a dynamic person. I had a biology teacher, her name eludes me right now. She had a Ph.D. and she wrote her thesis at a time when she discovered that the human embryo was bilaterally symmetrical in shape and therefore she saw a place in the development of the human being which was much like that of the fish. I found, I came to love her. I, I came to love her very much, and she had a mother with her and I visited her home several times. Of course, Dr. Bodine [ph.], who was the campus minister and his wife, was one who gave us an opportunity to grow. At Hampton, learning was formal and informal, and the nice thing at the time was most of our faculty lived right around the dorms. The--and as a result, a faculty member would say, "Lets discuss such and such book over at my house; my wife will bake cookies." And we'd go sit on the rug and discuss a book. We did that with the Bodines when 'The Prophet' by Gibran [Kahlil Gibran] came out. Oh, we would go back and see what he said about children and then we would go and discuss Gibran from other perspectives and vantage points and that was just such marvelous growth and that was the--$$It sounds like Howard University [Washington, D.C.], where Howard Thurman would do the same thing with students, bring them to his house and--$$That was the uniqueness of Hampton. We had an opportunity to interface with our professors and there was a Dr. Brichter [ph.] there from Hungary who was a refugee, and who was just so brilliant and so different and he brought about change that we certainly enjoyed. There were times when he would give an oral examination, and he didn't want to sit down in a stuffy classroom and give an oral examination either. So he'll, he would say, "Well walk with me over to the library steps. Let's sit on the library steps and look at the birds in the trees while I give you this oral examination." Can you imagine? It was just effective and impressive for us, quite so. I enjoyed my four years at Hampton very much, my, my four years there at my home by the sea, I can say probably did more to encourage my growth as an individual, because at Hampton I got a chance to sample my abilities, got a chance to try a little bit of everything and I came to feel secure in the things that I could do well.$$Okay.$$And I left there knowing who I was pretty much and when I went from there to graduate school at primarily white universities, I had no difficulty at all. I had a very sufficient background to compete with.

Norma White

25th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Norma Solomon White (1998 – 2002) was born on November 17, 1934 in Jacksonville, Florida. Under White’s leadership the Alpha Kappa Alpha administration focused its agenda on “Blazing New Trails.”

White was inducted into the Beta Alpha chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in 1950. As a student at FAMU, White was the first female member of the famed FAMU Marching 100 Band to graduate. She graduated in 1955 with her B.S. degree and furthered her education by earning her M.A. degree in music at Columbia University. After graduating, White pursued a career in education in the public schools of Jacksonville, Florida.

White served as Regional Director for the South Atlantic Region from 1974 until 1978 and was successful in raising $100,000 for the United Negro College Fund. She later was elected to the office of First Supreme Anti-Basileus at the 56th Boule in Indianapolis, Indiana. In that capacity, she also served as the first vice-president of the sorority’s Educational Foundation Board. Then, in 1998, White became the 25th Supreme Basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha at the Boule held in Chicago, Illinois. The theme for her administration embraced six target areas: leadership development, education, health, the black family, economics and the arts. White also initiated the sorority’s “On Track” after school program which targeted at-risk students in grades three through six to prepare them for middle school.

White is Alpha Kappa Alpha’s first Supreme Basileus to be part of a mother-daughter legacy and is honored as the first female member of the famed FAMU Marching 100 Band through Jacksonville, Florida’s proclaimed day for her.

Dr. Norma Solomon White was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 27, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.033

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/27/2008

Last Name

White

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

New Stanton High School

First Name

Norma

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

WHI15

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Alpha Kappa Alpha

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

The Door to Success is Marked 'PUSH.'

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

11/17/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Jacksonville

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood (Crabs, Shrimp)

Short Description

Association chief executive Norma White (1934 - ) was the 25th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She also served as an educator in Jacksonville, Florida Public Schools for many years.

Employment

Duval County School District

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Green, Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:4785,84:12267,221:12702,227:13833,241:18444,322:23674,334:24002,339:26134,368:26626,376:27364,385:27774,391:29742,426:35330,480:35890,489:37490,516:43515,597:46752,644:49823,689:50736,701:51151,707:58410,778:65106,884:65478,889:66036,896:66780,905:71709,971:72081,976:72639,984:74220,1004:82332,1074:82940,1083:83624,1094:84156,1102:84460,1107:84840,1113:85448,1124:89830,1171:90250,1180:91258,1200:91846,1210:92350,1217:93274,1248:93862,1256:96382,1294:96718,1299:101926,1382:103186,1410:104026,1432:106798,1486:107638,1501:107974,1506:109150,1528:116560,1597:118080,1618:118480,1624:124855,1689:134028,1802:134700,1811:135036,1816:135624,1825:139488,1886:142344,1923:142932,1931:146805,1975:148496,2002:149119,2009:151255,2035:151878,2043:160194,2201:160574,2207:163224,2223:163805,2232:166876,2284:167457,2293:171275,2363:171773,2371:172188,2377:172520,2382:174429,2422:174927,2431:175425,2443:177417,2482:178164,2494:178745,2502:180405,2525:180737,2530:186445,2543:186955,2550:187635,2559:192310,2637:193500,2656:194010,2664:194435,2670:194775,2675:195115,2680:195880,2693:196560,2701:196900,2706:198345,2730:199365,2747:200725,2772:203606,2791:205868,2837:206274,2845:206680,2853:208895,2862:209270,2869:211445,2897:211745,2902:212270,2911:213545,2939:213995,2947:215945,2988:218270,3041:218570,3046:219245,3058:219545,3063:220145,3073:220445,3078:220970,3087:222320,3113:223370,3131:234662,3216:235318,3225:236302,3245:238352,3275:241058,3341:241550,3349:241878,3354:242862,3376:244748,3413:245158,3419:245486,3424:246880,3457:247372,3464:255532,3517:256500,3529:263626,3608:265070,3627:265526,3635:266058,3643:268590,3669$0,0:243,4:810,13:1215,19:2025,29:5022,76:6723,108:7614,121:8262,130:15385,206:15693,211:21046,289:21514,296:22528,321:25548,344:26124,353:26988,368:31480,435:34965,505:35305,510:36665,534:39555,589:41595,625:42445,680:46504,691:46972,698:57040,862:58118,883:59350,906:60659,926:61198,935:62276,956:62738,963:66474,982:66960,989:68661,1027:70929,1089:74574,1177:76032,1241:84201,1319:85419,1335:85854,1341:86202,1346:86637,1352:96672,1461:97410,1483:101924,1536:102264,1542:102604,1548:109900,1729:110195,1735:110431,1740:110844,1749:111611,1767:111906,1773:112201,1779:113970,1797:114270,1803:114570,1809:117862,1911:128652,2139:129233,2148:131723,2232:132719,2258:140350,2330:147150,2465
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Norma White's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Norma White lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Norma White recalls her election as supreme basileus of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Norma White describes her vision for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Norma White talks about her achievements as supreme basileus of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Norma White describes her leadership style

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Norma White recalls lessons from her tenure at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Norma White talks about the challenges she faced during her tenure at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Norma White describes her initiatives at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Norma White describes her initiatives at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Norma White recalls her greatest moments as a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Norma White reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Norma White describes the commitment to service at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Norma White talks about the future of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Norma White describes the importance of new members to the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Norma White reflects upon the idea of sisterhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Norma White describes her mother's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Norma White remembers her maternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Norma White talks about her mother's accomplishments

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Norma White talks about her mother's experience in college

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Norma White describes her father's childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Norma White describes her paternal grandparents

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Norma White talks about her paternal aunts and uncles

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Norma White describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Norma White talks about how her parents met

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

5$5

DATitle
Norma White talks about her achievements as supreme basileus of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
Norma White describes her earliest childhood memory
Transcript
How was your vision communicated and carried out throughout the sororities programs during your administration?$$At my election [to supreme basileus], the program was presented at the boule to everyone and then I had the first international program lunch after I had been in office a couple of months where we invited all chapters to send representatives to a central spot so that the total program, the total vision could be presented to them and in this way everybody went home with the same information, with the same enthusiasm, so that they could go back and motivate their chapters. It was also communicated through our Ivy Leaf. Every issue of the Ivy Leaf carried my message and information about program, what it is and how it should be implemented. Another part of that vision was preparing our students, and so we had a program called ON TRACK and the goal there was to keep twenty thousand students on track during my term of leadership. And we wanted to keep them on track academically, socially, physically, spiritually, and chapters were asked to conduct programs around the country that would help to do this and we were able, we were very successful with the program. We didn't reach our twenty thousand goal, but we did keep fifteen thousand on track. At the end of the four years, the chapters who had implemented the program were, should have proven to us that the children stayed in school, they were not suspended, they got promoted, you know they were good citizens, they felt good about themselves because self-esteem is so important with young children. We started with the children in sixth grade and worked with them over the four year period. So, that, that worked out very well for us.$$So you told me some things that you did to communicate your vision, was there anything else that you specifically did to successfully communicate your vision and effectively institutionalize it as a guiding principle?$$Well, I went around the country speaking in and out of the United States to chapters and to various communities, to all of the regional conferences. We have ten regions in the sorority [Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.] and so I went to all the conferences every year and talked with the members there about what we were doing. We started with the state of the sorority and in the state of the sorority speech, that's where I would tell them what the goal, goals were for that year and what we had accomplished during that time. And so this helped members because I would say we have about ten to twelve thousand members who go to regional conferences, you know when you combine all of them together, so to be able to reach that many people. And then we also have cluster meetings. Every region has from six to eight or ten clusters, so I was able to go to many of those and talk with the members because that, to have a national president there so that they can look eye, eye to eyeball it makes a difference. And of course you know it's good to read about it in the Ivy Leaf, but then it's also good to see that person so that they can talk with you and feel in touch and hug and kiss. And then we made, well at that program launch, we did video on sisterhood and that was shown at all of the meetings and various chapters purchased the video. So in fact all of the chapters were given a copy so that when they brought new members into the sorority they could share this with them. And in this video it talked about the sisterhood, what it really is, and what is expected of members and what the sorority has done and can do and how they can connect and communicate and be able to inspire others through what we do.$Now when you think about the neighborhood that you grew up in, what really, what comes to your mind? What, what is your earliest childhood memory?$$When we were in the core of the city and we lived on the main street called Beaver Street and of course there was a market right across the street that was called the city market and of course I remember sitting on the porch on the swings just swinging, swinging, swinging watching the people go over to the city market all of the time and with it being a busy street and of course at that time we had no stoplights or anything. I was not allowed to go over there without my parents [Ruth Cummings Solomon and Gilbert Solomon] or some older person taking me across the streets, but I would look forward to the time of going over there. And of course we walked to school, all of us in the neighborhood walked to school. There was a train that divided one section of the city from the other, and my mother always told me there were trains that would stop on the track and just stay there for an hour and the children would crawl under the train to get to the other side so they wouldn't have to wait, and she always told me to never, if I had to wait two hours, just wait, but don't ever do that because one child crawled under there and got killed one time. And so I remember how we would just stand there and wait for the train to pass by and then we would walk home and everybody sort of lived right, right around in that little circle. One of my good friends now told me that she never could understand why I could walk straight down Beaver Street and turn the corner and I was right there at the church [West Union Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida]. But, she said I would come down her street, which was about three blocks away. She never could understand why I did that, and she said every time I passed by her grandmother would say, "Oh there's that Solomon girl [HistoryMaker Norma White], and she is just so, look how she walks. She has so much poise and dignity." She said, "I would get so angry with you." I said, "Why did she come down this street?" I said, "I was going to pick up this other little girl who went to our church" 'cause they didn't go to our church. I said, "I would come by to pick up Monty [ph.]." She said, "Well I never knew until now that that's why you came all the way down there." I said, "Yeah I would come to get her and then we would walk on to church together."

Eddie Jenkins, Jr.

Professional athlete and attorney Eddie Joseph Jenkins, Jr. was born on August 31, 1950, in Jacksonville, Florida. Jenkins’s parents, Essie Rae Jenkins and Eddie Jenkins, Sr., moved the family to “da Ville” in Flushing, New York in 1955. Jenkins attended Public School #154 and was mentored by Coach Vince O’Connor at St. Francis Preparatory School, where he excelled in sports and participated in Outward Bound on Hurricane Island in Maine. Graduating in 1968, Jenkins enrolled at College of the Holy Cross where his classmates included future attorney Ted Wells, author Ed Jones, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Graduating with his B.A. degree in 1972, Jenkins was drafted by the National Football League; there, Jenkins became part of the 1972 World Champion Miami Dolphins, the only team in NFL history to go undefeated. Winning the 1973 Super Bowl, Jenkins’s teammates included football legends, Paul Warfield, Larry Little, Marlon Briscoe, and Mercury Morris. Jenkins also played with the New York Giants, the Buffalo Bills, the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers.

Jenkins entered Suffolk University Law School in 1975 and earned his J.D. degree in 1978, after which he went to work for the United States Labor Department where he was instrumental in the landmark labor decision David Pasula v. Consolidation Coal Company in 1980. In 1986, Jenkins established the law offices of Eddie Jenkins and Associates and began teaching as an adjunct professor of law at Suffolk University Law School. The murder of Charles Stuart’s wife caused Jenkins to run against Newman Flanagan for District Attorney of Suffolk County in 1990; he won 38 percent of the vote against the incumbent. In 1993, Jenkins ran for an at-large seat on the Boston City Council and finished fifth; he also co-founded 1000 Black Men with Northeastern University’s Joseph Warren. In 1993, Jenkins unsuccessfully ran for Boston City Council. In 2002, Jenkins ran again for District Attorney of Suffolk County.

In 2003, Jenkins was appointed chairman of the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABCC) by commonwealth of Massachusetts Treasurer Timothy Cahill. As chairman of ABCC, Jenkins was charged with the enforcement, oversight and regulation of over 22,000 liquor licenses. Jenkins’s community involvement included the Dorchester YMCA, the Multicultural Aids Coalition (MAC), the Vivienne S. Thomson Disability Center, and New Covenant Christian Church Sunday School. Jenkins’s son, Julian Jenkins, was drafted as a defensive end by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2006.

Accession Number

A2007.068

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/14/2007 |and| 9/11/2007

Last Name

Jenkins

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

St Francis Preparatory School

College of the Holy Cross

Suffolk University Law School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Eddie

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

JEN07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Dominican Republic

Favorite Quote

God Will Never Give You More Than You Can Handle.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

8/31/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peanut Butter (Extra Chunky)

Short Description

Labor lawyer and football player Eddie Jenkins, Jr. (1950 - ) an attorney and former NFL wide receiver for the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins World Championship Team; he also served as chairman of the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Eddie Jenkins, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about his maternal family history, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about his maternal family history, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. describes his father's memories of Hank Aaron in the Negro League

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. recalls his family's move from Jacksonville Florida to Flushing, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. describes his mother's upbringing and race relations in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about his father's reputation as a baseball coach

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about his paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about the impact of Zora Neal Hurston's literary legacy

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about Florida history

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. describes his father, Eddie Jenkins, Sr.

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. describes his childhood neighborhood, "da Ville," in Flushing, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about academic placement during his grade school years

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about his Jewish classmates in Flushing, New York during his grade school years

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. recalls neighborhood sports as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. recalls his recruitment to St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about Coach Vincent O'Connor and the football team at St. Francis Preparatory School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about playing basketball at St. Francis Preparatory School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. describes his long commute to St. Francis Preparatory Academy as a high school student and learning Latin

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about his experience with Outward Bound in Hurricane Island, Maine

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. recalls spending three days alone on an island

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. continues to describe his experience in the Outward Bound program on Hurricane Island in Maine

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. describes his decision to attend College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about sports history at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. recalls his football career at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about a campus walkout staged by black students at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. recalls debates between Clarence Thomas and HistoryMaker Theodore Wells in the Black Student Union at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about the black community's disappointment with Clarence Thomas, pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about the black community's disappointment with Clarence Thomas, pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about neighbors from his childhood, Billie Holiday and Assata Shakur, formerly JoAnne Chesimard

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. recalls being drafted by the Miami Dolphins

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. recalls wearing African regalia to his graduation ceremony

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. describes impressing Coach Don Shula and making the Miami Dolphins team

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. describes his experience on the 1972 Miami Dolphins during their historic undefeated season

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. contrasts playing football at the collegiate and professional levels

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. recalls the early days of weight training in the NFL

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about outstanding teammates on the Miami Dolphins including Mercury Morris, Paul Warfield, and Marlin Briscoe

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about Marlin Briscoe's career trajectory

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about Coach Don Shula and Miami Dolphins athletes including Paul Warfield, Bob Griese, and Larry Little

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about Miami Dolphins player turned jailhouse lawyer, Mercury Morris, pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about Miami Dolphins player turned jailhouse lawyer, Mercury Morris, pt.2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. recalls being cut from the New York Giants

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. describes his experience with the Buffalo Bills

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about the end of his NFL career and the start of law school

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. describes fulfilling his dream of becoming a lawyer at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about David Pasula v. Consolidation Coal Company

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. remembers inspiring words from Johnnie Cochran

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about prosecuting a rape case on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, pt.1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about prosecuting a rape case on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, pt.2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about how the Charles Stuart case led him to run for Suffolk County District Attorney against Newman Flanagan

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about Ralph Martin, who was appointed Suffolk County District Attorney

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. describes his volunteer work

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. describes his role as chairman of the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. describes his admiration of HistoryMaker and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about how he became chairman of Urban Edge, a non-profit housing corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about predatory lending in the Boston area

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about the Urban Edge's housing development at Jackson Square

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about his television show "The Public Advocate" and his radio program "Basic Training"

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about the guests and content featured on his radio show, "Basic Training"

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about Michael Vick and the need for athletes to invest their money wisely

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about dog fighting

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about the Businessweek article featuring his mentor from College of the Holy Cross, Father Brooks

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about the legacy of Father John Brooks of College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about how Christianity shapes his world view

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. considers what he would do differently

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. talks about writing a book and the advice of Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Edward P. Jones

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Eddie Jenkins, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

4$2

DATitle
Eddie Jenkins, Jr. recalls being drafted by the Miami Dolphins
Eddie Jenkins, Jr. remembers inspiring words from Johnnie Cochran
Transcript
Now, well let's talk about--now, how, when did the [Miami] Dolphins--when did the NFL start really? When, when were you aware that they were scouting--$$When they called me one day and said, hey, look, we'd like to come up and time you in the forty [40-yard dash]. And I remember I said, okay, fine, I'll go run the forty. And the guy standing with a stop watch like this, right. Here's the stop watch, and then he just turned around, and hid it on the other side (laughter), when he realized--I can't run straight, you know. But I still ran about a 5, a 4.05 forty. I mean, I was pretty fast for a big guy. I'm 6'2.5", you know, 212, 215 pounds. So, I--they looked at my size and my speed, and they said, wow, you know. He, he doesn't have much experience 'cause, you know, basically, playing in [College of the] Holy Cross [Worcester, Massachusetts] and the league I played in, and I haven't played that much. And we never won more than five games in four years (laughter), three years (laughter) so, you know, what could I contribute? But the Dolphins drafted me, thank God. One of my teammates had been drafted the day before. And everybody still walking around, saying, hey, when is your turn, Eddie? And, like, hey, man, I don't know, man, c'mon, you know. I, I don't know if I--I'm going to law school, you know, I'm just defeated, you know. And I remember, I get a call and, and you know, when you're in a, on a (unclear) with all men, and all brothers, and the jokes kinda get to be (laughter), you know, if you, you had, if you had thin skin, you couldn't make it. And so, I get this call--hey, Eddie, Eddie, Don Shula's on the phone, man (unclear). And I, so I go down there, man. I say, yeah, yeah. I said, now, look, MF, where do you go (laughter)? And he said, excuse me, this is Don Shula. I said, oh, Coach Shula, I said, oh, man. He said, he said, we just drafted you, you know, in the so and so round. I say, oh, yeah. He says, are you ready to come down? I say, yeah, I'm ready to come, Coach Shula. A couple of days, I got on that phone and I said, I'm going to kill you guys. They say, we told you he was on the phone (laughter), you know.$I still went to Appalachia, and I still tried cases, but see, that wasn't a good case. You have to make it what it is. In fact, when we had breakfast one time with Johnnie Cochran--we had some business with Johnnie, Johnnie came to Harvard [University, Cambridge, Massachusetts]. I was president of the Mass. Black Lawyers [Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association]. And Johnnie said something very, very important. He says, you know, a lot of people look at me and they say, look at Johnnie Cochran. He's one of the best black lawyers, or one of the best lawyers in America. Isn't, isn't that great that he has, has this, this, this great case that he won? He says, he says, let me tell you about this. He says, what most of you don't know is that I was a former prosecutor, and now a public defendant, and that, you know, I've had some losses, too. But the most important thing that you have to know is that I had an opportunity, and I took advantage of that opportunity, and so will you. And it's that opportunity, it's having that particular seed of discontent, or seed of a disadvantage that when you, in fact, overcome that, it makes you greater. It makes you stronger, and that's what I did. And, and it was very remarkable that he was--it's very humbly stated, 'cause we all, in our lives, have at some point an opportunity. Most times, we don't recognize it, but I, I just thought that, that was very great. I mean, at that time, I, I didn't think the Pasula case [David Pasula v. Consolidation Coal Company] was that big. Apparently, they didn't either. That's why they gave--why would they give it to me--not having ever tried a case in my life, give it to me? Did they think it was a loser? But they didn't think much of it at all, but we made it big. You make it big, you know so--$$So, what year was that case adjudicated?$$It was in probably 1979.$$Okay.$$Yeah, 'cause I only worked there [U.S. Department of Labor] two years.

Rowena Stewart

Culturalist Rowena Stewart was nationally known as one of the foremost African American museum directors having led four major African American historical museum societies between 1975 and 2002 (The Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum, the Motown Historical Museum and the American Jazz Museum). She became one of the most sought after African American museum directors in the country.

Stewart was born on March 6, 1932 in Jacksonville, Florida, as the only child of Essie (Brozle) Rhodes and Oliver Rhodes. She grew up in New Berlin, Florida, and graduated in 1955 from Edward Waters College in Jacksonville. She began her career doing social work in settlement houses and reformist-minded community centers in Jacksonville and then in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1975, Stewart became the first director of the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society in Providence. And then, from 1985 to 1992, Stewart served as the Director and Curator of Philadelphia’s Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum. She transformed what was a rather static museum into one that was interactive. In 1992, Stewart moved to Detroit to head the Motown Historical Museum and three years later, she was recruited to Kansas City, Missouri where she oversaw the development of the American Jazz Museum and became its executive director upon completion in 1997.

In 2002, Stewart retired and moved back home to Jacksonville where she served for a time as President of the A.L. Lewis Historical Society Board and Coordinator of the American Beach Community Center and Museum on Amelia Island north of Jacksonville. She worked as a consultant to museums utilizing historical preservation, presentations and educational programs.

Stewart was the mother of four - Gwendolyn, Clarence, Alvie and Wannetta Johnson.

Stewart was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 19, 2006.

Stewart passed away on September 19, 2015.

Accession Number

A2006.126

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/19/2006

Last Name

Stewart

Maker Category
Schools

Boylan-Haven School

Edward Waters College

New Stanton High School

First Name

Rowena

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

STE08

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

3/6/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Jacksonville

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Shrimp

Death Date

9/19/2015

Short Description

Museum chief executive Rowena Stewart (1932 - 2015 ) was the director of four major African American museums and historical societies between 1975 and 2002: the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum, the Motown Historical Museum and the American Jazz Museum.

Employment

Boston United South End Settlements

Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum in Philadelphia

Motown Records

18th and Vine Authority

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rowena Stewart's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rowena Stewart lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rowena Stewart describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rowena Stewart describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rowena Stewart describes her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rowena Stewart describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rowena Stewart describes her stepfather

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rowena Stewart describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rowena Stewart describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rowena Stewart recalls going to school with her grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Rowena Stewart recalls her grandmothers' homes

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rowena Stewart recalls her home in Jacksonville's Durkeeville section

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rowena Stewart describes her schools in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rowena Stewart recalls Mary McLeod Bethune's visits to her elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rowena Stewart recalls the influence of her paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rowena Stewart describes Stanton Senior High School in Jacksonville

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rowena Stewart recalls her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rowena Stewart describes her childhood friends

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Rowena Stewart describes the sights and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Rowena Stewart talks about urban renewal

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Rowena Stewart remembers the Ku Klux Klan in Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Rowena Stewart recalls marrying Clarence Johnson

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rowena Stewart recalls her mother's reaction to her marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rowena Stewart describes her children

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rowena Stewart recalls finishing her degree at Edward Waters College

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rowena Stewart recalls finding work with the help of Melvin King

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rowena Stewart remembers Boston's United South End Settlements

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rowena Stewart describes her work at Boston's Harriet Tubman House

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rowena Stewart describes her work in Connecticut and South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Rowena Stewart recalls becoming interested in history

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Rowena Stewart recalls her work to memorialize the 1st Rhode Island Regiment

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Rowena Stewart remembers founding the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Rowena Stewart describes her legacy at the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rowena Stewart describes the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum in Philadelphia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rowena Stewart recalls visiting museums in West Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rowena Stewart recalls directing the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum in Philadelphia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rowena Stewart describes the exhibits at the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum in Philadelphia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rowena Stewart recalls her difficulties while developing the Motown Museum

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rowena Stewart describes her oral history project in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Rowena Stewart recalls establishing the Motown Museum in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Rowena Stewart describes her museum career in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Rowena Stewart describes the 18th and Vine Authority project

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Rowena Stewart describes the 18th and Vine Authority museums

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Rowena Stewart describe her retirement in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Rowena Stewart talks about American Beach, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Rowena Stewart reflects upon the state of African American museums

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Rowena Stewart describes the impact of tourism on African American museums

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Rowena Stewart talks about African American museum professionals

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Rowena Stewart reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Rowena Stewart describes her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Rowena Stewart shares her advice for aspiring museum professionals

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Rowena Stewart describes her legacy and how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Rowena Stewart narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

4$10

DATitle
Rowena Stewart recalls her the influence of her paternal grandmother
Rowena Stewart remembers founding the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society
Transcript
Before we get into the high school years [at Stanton Senior High School; Stanton College Preparatory School, Jacksonville, Florida], did you like school, elementary and the early years of the private school [Boylan-Haven School, Jacksonville, Florida]? Were you a good student?$$I wasn't good at all in private school, I really wasn't good. In elementary school I did like it. I did like it a lot. Our schools were always terribly overcrowded, never enough, never had good books. And they were in the worst condition. But my [paternal] grandmother [Irene Brill] supplemented so much material even though--'cause I didn't live with my grandmother all that time, I lived with my mother [Essie Brozle Gilmore] when my mother got it settled. But I'd go to my grandmother two or three times a week sometime and I would spend the night. My grandmother always supplemented our reading material with other things.$$What kind of things did she give you to read? Do you remember?$$She would give us, she would give us lots of fairytales and she would give us--she had encyclopedias. She always wanted you to read encyclopedias. She always felt--and my grandmother had been a Garvey-ite so she knew about Marcus Garvey, so she wanted you to read those kind of thing. Here's what my grandmother used to do that really I just to this day, I think was so remarkable. She was so far ahead of her times. They would have pretty bad articles in the Time-Union [Florida Times-Union] about black people, pretty bad, I mean, they would really be bad articles. And every time the discussion would come up, when my grandmother got home, she'd pull out the trunk and she would pull you something to show you that this is not true 'cause, see, this person has done this great thing. And as she was constantly doing that, she had her own way of backing up the story. She would simply say, I remember somebody had a discussion on Negro cloth and they were talking about this hard cloth, and somebody said it wasn't that bad and all of that. And my grandmother went--and I was a little girl. My grandmother went to the trunk and pulled out this piece of fabric that felt like bark. And she said, "Now here is Negro cloth, feel it. Tell me this was tender that didn't exist." And she could do that, she could pull out fabric, she could pull out things that she had collected over the years to make you feel stronger in yourself, because and I, as I talked about class and color because in the world that I was in my grandmother was very, very dark. And my mother's family was very, very light. And she use to say to me, "It doesn't matter about the beauty. It is about what you have in your head." She was de- "They can't take that out of your head. You must remember, you will have something in your head." And she was always this trunk just kind of told, told you, "What time is it?" I mean, she would say to you, "This is what it's all about. Don't believe that, look at this. Here is, here is somebody." She would pull out things like famous singers. People that I hadn't even heard of, you know. She'd say, "Look at this, look at this music." And she'd pull out the Fisk [Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee] book. She would--she could do all kinds of things like that to make you--strengthen you in your culture.$$Gee, that really tells us a lot about where you went with that, yeah.$$Oh, I didn't recognize it at the time, that it was so profound. And, you know, I, I didn't really realize that until I got to Rhode Island.$$But given your future work, that stayed with you given what you've done professionally.$$Yes. Yes, Yes. The music--she use to say to me about music all the time. I use to hate to take this piano lesson, and I never did learn to play the piano well. Never did. And she was struggling so, I use to feel so sorry for her, for struggling trying to get me to learn how to really love this music. And she use to say to me, "There will come a time in your life when you will be glad you heard that sound, just remember what I said. It doesn't matter to me that you're tired, it will come a time in your life you'll be glad you heard that sound." And it has come to pass.$And then I did--I did all kinds of things. I went to the state, I found every burial ground that they had. I went to the towns and I was so amazed 'cause when I got in the towns, people not only knew the regiment [1st Rhode Island Regiment] but knew where their descendants lived, you know. And I'm saying to myself, where can you find this in America? And I just got so caught up. So I said, okay, I gotta form this organization. So, Textron [Textron Inc., Providence, Rhode Island], G. William Miller realized I had given up my job. I don't know how he did, I guess it might've been Fred [Frederick C. Williamson] or I don't know who it was, but he called a meeting. He had just gone to Washington [D.C.] to be the, the secretary of tresure. And he said to his--the people he had left to help me get this organization off the ground. So they called a meeting in February of Errol Hunt, Al Klyberg [Albert Klyberg], Fred Williamson, William Robinson, Cliff Moore [Clifton Moore], and they all met and they said, "We'll help you form, form this organization." And I said, "Okay, that's great but I don't want you to pay me any money, I want to learn how to do this myself. I wanna learn how to do this." And Al Klyberg from the Historical Society [Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence, Rhode Island] said, if you got that much guts to do that, I'll teach you. The Historical Society will teach you, and they did. They gave me an office. And I didn't get a dime for two years. I only got--the only income I got was for my gas mileage to come from Newport [Rhode Island] to Providence [Rhode Island] every day. And I learned everything I did. But by the time I did it--but, see, I came with skills now remember. I was, I was a heck of a fundraiser. So I knew how to tap things to do the things that I need to do. So I brought those skills to the table. But that's how I got in it. And I was hooked then.$$All right. So you were the founder--$$I was the founder.$$--of the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society [Providence, Rhode Island]?$$That's right. It was the black historical society. And it was so good back in those days. If you had a name that was a Rhode Island name, I could tell you, I could tell you where your people were buried or if they were there.$$Well, I didn't meet you in Boston [Massachusetts] when you were in the South End United Set- [South End United Settlements, Boston, Massachusetts]. I met you when you were with the Rhode Island Society.$$Oh, really?$$Yes. And I remember the passion that you had at that time. You were so passionate about what you were doing. And I'm from New Bedford, Massachusetts and I said, all this went on in Rhode Island. So you, you were breaking ground, I tell you.$$I was so caught up in it.$$Yeah.$$(OFF CAMERA VOICE): Just let that, hold on one beat. And go ahead.$$I was so caught up in the passion of it. I mean, I was so excited that I had found these men that I could tell you what they did. I could tell you where they lived. And I had found people in the town who knew them. I was the one who could say to the DAR [Daughters of the American Revolution], "Hey, I got some black members that ought to be members of the Daughter of the Revolution." And, I mean, I could--you could just simply call me--I could--I was the one that published and, and found funding for Jay Coughtry to do his book on the slave trade in Rhode Island because there was nobody doing this kind of stuff, and it was just so fascinating. And I said, wow, you know, this is just amazing. And I was caught up and I mean, I was so caught--I was driven by it. Just driven. It was, it was wonderful. It was really wonderful.$$Well, for ten years you opened up the papers, and opened up opportunities for people.

Camilla Thompson

Camilla Bolton Perkins Thompson has distinguished herself as both a science educator and as an authority on the African American history of Jacksonville, Florida. As an African American teacher of chemistry and physics, she was a pioneer for her generation. As a local lay historian, her historical research, writings, interpretation, presentations and organizational activities on Jacksonville’s African American history were motivated by the need to preserve the history for younger generations.

Thompson was born on March 6, 1922 in Jacksonville, Florida. Her mother, Camilla (Bolton) Perkins, was a Jacksonville elementary school teacher and her father, Daniel W. Perkins, was a prominent lawyer. Thompson grew up in the LaVilla neighborhood of Jacksonville which was a segregated town of its own, where she attended a wooden two-story school house. She graduated from Stanton Senior High School in 1939. In 1943, Thompson received her B.S. degree in chemistry from Florida A&M University. In 1974, she received her M.S. degree with a focus on the teaching of chemistry and physics from the University of North Florida.

From 1944 to 1976, Thompson taught chemistry, physics and math at four Jacksonville junior and senior high schools - Abraham Lincoln Lewis Jr. High, Northwestern Jr. High, William Raines High and Andrew Jackson High School. From 1976 to 1981, she was an instructor of chemistry at Florida Community College. During her teaching career, Thompson was married to Capers M. Thompson and they had three children—Muriel, Michael, and Reginald, born between 1947 and 1953. When Thompson retired from teaching, she was serving on the board of the Clara White Mission. The White family had accumulated a large collection of news articles and artifacts on Jacksonville’s African life and history. Thompson volunteered to organize and preserve a large collection of historical materials accumulated by the White family.

Over a ten year period, between 1985 and 1995, Thompson wrote a weekly column called “Reflections on Black Jacksonville” for the Jacksonville Free Press. Her more than 500 articles covered people, places and events in Jacksonville’s black history and culture. She is widely known for her illustrated talks on “Remembering the African American History of Jacksonville from 1925 to 1960.

As chairperson of the Black Historical Tour Committee and as a Tour Coordinator, Thompson served as a principle figure in the Tour of Black Historical Sites (30 in all) in Metropolitan Jacksonville, sponsored by the Gamma Rho Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Thompson’s work as a lay historian, researching, preserving, interpreting and disseminating the African American history of Jacksonville, has been a major contribution to historical memory and cultural and educational programs for the City of Jacksonville.

Thompson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 19, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.125

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/19/2006

Last Name

Thompson

Maker Category
Schools

New Stanton High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Camilla

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

THO12

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York, New York

Favorite Quote

Take One Day At A Time.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

3/6/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Jacksonville

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Tomatoes

Short Description

High school math teacher, newspaper columnist, and historian Camilla Thompson (1922 - ) wrote for the Jacksonville Free Press.

Employment

A.L. Lewis Junior High School

Northwestern Junior High School

William M. Raines High School

Andrew Jackson High School

Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:1701,45:8424,189:8748,194:9477,202:10206,214:10935,221:13041,256:28986,553:38636,657:46574,787:50705,856:62284,977:70092,1051:76175,1163:76483,1168:78485,1203:82874,1289:93654,1372:94184,1378:94608,1383:95774,1398:109064,1546:110565,1580:118860,1797:136242,2029:139530,2061$0,0:730,13:2774,40:3577,58:5767,147:6205,159:6497,164:7081,174:10512,293:11096,303:13943,368:20146,406:30380,596:35484,620:43492,748:51115,890:51654,898:52270,909:53348,937:54657,967:60028,985:61108,998:61864,1007:67264,1083:68020,1092:68776,1100:74295,1167:88788,1337:95256,1437:96628,1461:100868,1474:101450,1481:101838,1486:102226,1491:102614,1496:105524,1539:106203,1549:107755,1572:110690,1577:112744,1620:113692,1638:115746,1683:118274,1726:119459,1747:123703,1770:129960,1844:130617,1856:131055,1864:131566,1872:132004,1879:140880,1946:148020,2018:170680,2338:171994,2360:201042,2794:201580,2826
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Camilla Thompson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Camilla Thompson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Camilla Thompson describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Camilla Thompson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Camilla Thompson describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Camilla Thompson describes her father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Camilla Thompson describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Camilla Thompson describes her sisters

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Camilla Thompson describes the history of Florida's African American beaches

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Camilla Thompson remembers visiting New York City as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Camilla Thompson describes Jacksonville's LaVilla neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Camilla Thompson describes her neighbors' occupations

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Camilla Thompson recalls her childhood pastimes

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Camilla Thompson describes segregation in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Camilla Thompson recalls attending Jacksonville's LaVilla School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Camilla Thompson describes the Boylan-Haven School and Stanton High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Camilla Thompson recalls her interest in math and science

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Camilla Thompson recalls her summer pastimes as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Camilla Thompson remembers Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Camilla Thompson recalls her post-graduate education

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Camilla Thompson recalls teaching at A.L. Lewis Junior High School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Camilla Thompson describes her marriage to Capers M. Thompson, Sr.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Camilla Thompson recalls balancing motherhood with her teaching career

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Camilla Thompson remembers teaching chemistry in Jacksonville's schools

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Camilla Thompson recalls being selected as a federal desegregation teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Camilla Thompson talks about her teaching career and master's degree

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Camilla Thompson explains how she became interested in history

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Camilla Thompson talks about philanthropist Eartha M. M. White

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Camilla Thompson remembers writing for the Jacksonville Free Press

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Camilla Thompson describes her work in historical education and research

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Camilla Thompson describes the history of Bethel Baptist Institutional Church

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Camilla Thompson describes the Bethel Baptist Institutional Church museum

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Camilla Thompson talks about Zora Neale Hurston's connection to Jacksonville

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Camilla Thompson describes her book on the history of Jacksonville

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Camilla Thompson talks about the importance of African American history

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Camilla Thompson reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Camilla Thompson describes her plans for the future

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Camilla Thompson describes her hopes for the African American community and how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Camilla Thompson narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

4$2

DATitle
Camilla Thompson recalls her childhood pastimes
Camilla Thompson describes the Bethel Baptist Institutional Church museum
Transcript
(Laughter).$$I want to talk about your early schooling and elementary, junior and senior high, but before we move to the schooling, to kind of finish up on the neighborhood and growing up, what sights, sounds, and smells remind you of growing up on Beaver Street in LaVilla [Jacksonville, Florida]?$$Okay. Well, one of the sites was LaVilla playground [LaVilla Park; Florida C. Dwight Memorial Playground, Jacksonville, Florida], and that was the playground that one of my mother's [Camilla Bolton Perkins] friends, Miss Florida Cutton Dwight, was the director. She was the first playground director there. In fact, she was the first playground--African American playground director in Jacksonville [Florida], and she started out at another park, Oakland park, but she was at LaVilla more. And so I could go there, and she had games to suit, you know, children of all ages, and then they had--they played baseball or softball, basketball, and she had arts and crafts where some of us learned how to knit and crochet, and we played games like jack stones and shoot marbles, and we had the maypole plaiting during May, and all of these kinds of things. So she made quite a difference in the lives of many of the young people, and some of them fondly recall Miss Florida Dwight as being their person who helped them. And then there were movies in the neighborhood, and there were several movies around the corner a few blocks, the Strand Theater [Jacksonville, Florida] and the Frolic Theater [Jacksonville, Florida]. And later--I was out of college by then when they did the Roosevelt [Roosevelt Theatre, Jacksonville, Florida], but the Ritz Theatre [Ritz Theatre and Museum, Jacksonville, Florida] was in 1929, and many times our parents--we would walk around there, and when we would leave there, there was Dr. Othewald Smith [ph.] who had a pharmacy and his medical practice in a building across from the Ritz, and he had a little ice cream set-up, the little wrought iron table and chairs, and we just loved to go there after we had been to the movies.$Well, we are here surrounded by all the artifacts and the history of Bethel [Bethel Baptist Institutional Church, Jacksonville, Florida]. Did you help to put this together, this museum that we're--church history museum (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yes, I led the group in trying to get it together, because as we were writing histories, we asked people to look in their attics and garages and find old programs and old books and artifacts, and we got so much until when we finished, we were saying, well, what are we gonna do with them? And so we said, we can't throw it out. And so in the process, the pastor was moving from this room, which used to be the pastor's study, into an office in the administration building, so we asked for this room. And so this is what we have, and we got this set up and had the grand opening in 1995.$$I see. As I sit here talking with you, in the display case to my right, your left, there's a very large book, and it says, membership book. That has the names of members during what period?$$Okay. That's an interesting book. It has the names of members from 1870 to 1924, and there are some others, but the sad thing is that the book that comes from '25 [1925] to the '50s [1950s] is missing. But then we have one that takes up in the '50s [1950s] and moves on. But we were happy to have that one. Someone who had a beautiful handwriting entered the names of each one of those members. They gave the name, the address, the church that they came from, the location of that church, and how much that person pledged to give each week, each month, or each year, and all of that is listed in that membership book.$$What are the--some of your other favorite items and artifacts in this church museum? Which ones do you have special feeling about, any others besides that?$$Well, one of the things, some photos that we have on either side behind you have the photos of some of our early organizations like deaconess boards, deacon boards, trustee boards, early choirs, and that kind of thing. And in the center there, there's a large list of people who made contributions to the reduction of the mortgage in--between 1918 and 1919, and we found that on the stairwell, and it was where we found this rolled up, and it was real dusty, and we said, oh, how in the world can we clean it up. But when we looked again, there were two pages, and all we had to do was peel off the top page, and we have a clear document, and so we were able to go and have it framed so that people can look. And people gave anywhere from maybe fifty cents up to--I think the highest amount was like five hundred, which was given--left as a part of the estate of Mr. A.W. Price, who was a member here and also one of the seven founders of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company [Jacksonville, Florida].

Julian White

Julian E. White is a distinguished English Professor of Music, Chairman of the Department of Music and Director of the famous “Marching 100” Band at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida.

White was born in Jacksonville, Florida on March 3, 1941. His parents were Victoria (Richo) White and George White. Raised and educated in Jacksonville, White graduated from Stanton High School in 1959. He earned his B.A. degree in music education from FAMU, his M.A. degree from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. from Florida State University.

White is a product of the “Marching 100” family, having played in the band as a student, before going on to a career as a high school band director and music teacher. He returned to FAMU to join the band staff in the 1970s as the band’s Associate Director before ascending to the top position in 1998.

Prior to joining the FAMU faculty in 1972, White was a Band Director at Northwestern Junior/Senior High from 1963 to 1965 and was the first director of the William Raines High School Band in 1965, both in Jacksonville.

For a period of ten years, White served as drill designer for the McDonald’s All-America High School Band with appearances at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California and the Fiesta Bowl of Phoenix, Arizona. His drills have been featured in performances on all major television networks and the Bastille Day Ceremony in Paris, France.

White assists with half time shows for Bowl Games of America and is on the adjudication staff for Musical Festivals USA, International Music Festivals and Heritage Festivals, in addition to writing drill shows for high school and college bands.

White is the father of Tonja, born in 1969, and Phaedra, born in 1971, from his first marriage. In 2000, he married Dennine (Mathis), and they are parents of Julian E. White II, born in 2005.

White was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 18, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.124

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/18/2006

Last Name

White

Maker Category
Schools

New Stanton High School

First Name

Julian

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

WHI09

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Panama City, Florida

Favorite Quote

There Are Consequences To Every Action You Engage In.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

3/3/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tallahassee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish (Fried), Steak

Short Description

Music professor and music director Julian White (1941 - ) was a distinguished Professor of Music and Chairman of the Department of Music at Florida A&M University. He also served as the director of the famed FAMU “Marching 100” Band.

Employment

Northwestern Junior-Senior High School

William Marion Raines Senior High School

Florida A & M University

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:2664,103:3034,109:10720,202:13744,277:14164,283:18112,354:18448,359:18784,364:22144,427:29890,476:30674,487:33422,520:45350,719:51482,836:53414,856:54170,866:55010,900:67443,1031:69260,1072:70445,1092:71077,1138:85376,1410:86008,1419:96409,1508:97504,1529:98891,1555:102176,1621:102979,1634:103344,1640:103928,1649:104293,1657:108890,1679:110296,1700:111184,1718:111776,1732:112368,1741:127920,2031:128649,2048:129054,2054:129378,2059:131160,2093:137397,2211:138288,2225:138774,2232:142400,2239:149518,2332:156398,2454:166610,2565$0,0:890,17:1513,25:3471,91:4450,105:6586,148:10146,219:13940,237:19385,298:20335,309:21665,319:27650,397:29930,430:37245,536:37625,541:39430,639:51812,744:52136,749:52865,756:75846,1074:76478,1087:77584,1102:79243,1140:82403,1200:84141,1228:86037,1254:100109,1408:100620,1417:102372,1453:103613,1475:104197,1484:104708,1492:105438,1509:109964,1632:110694,1643:111205,1652:112300,1667:113030,1675:113906,1689:114563,1703:115074,1710:120030,1770
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Julian White's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Julian White lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Julian White describes his occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Julian White remembers the beginnings of his interest in music

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Julian White describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Julian White describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Julian White describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Julian White describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Julian White remembers celebrating holidays with his family

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Julian White describes his family's musical abilities

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Julian White remembers growing up before electric appliances were common

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Julian White describes his siblings' professions

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Julian White describes the community of Durkeeville in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Julian White describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Julian White remembers Jacksonville's College Park Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Julian White describes his personality as a student

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Julian White describes his junior high school and high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Julian White recalls his first year at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Julian White recalls his first performances with the Marching 100

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Julian White describes his early years in the Marching 100

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Julian White describes his role in the Marching 100 as an undergraduate

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Julian White describes his career upon graduating from college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Julian White reflects upon his work as a high school band director

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Julian White remembers segregation in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Julian White recalls becoming associate band director of the Marching 100

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Julian White explains the topic of his dissertation

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Julian White describes the recruitment process for the Marching 100

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Julian White describes the influence of African dance on the Marching 100

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Julian White describes the instruments played by the Marching 100

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Julian White reflects upon the Marching 100's diverse audience and music

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Julian White describes the popularity of marching bands at historically black colleges

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Julian White remembers working alongside William Foster

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Julian White describes how the Marching 100's performances are created

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Julian White describes the Marching 100's performances outside of football games

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Julian White describes the McDonald's All American High School Band

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Julian White describes the history behind the name of the Florida A&M Rattlers

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Julian White describes his involvement in musical organizations

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Julian White describes the Marching 100's competition

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Julian White describes the staff and facilities at Florida A&M University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Julian White describes his family

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Julian White reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Julian White shares his advice for future band directors

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Julian White describes his clinics for band directors and student musicians

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Julian White reflects upon the importance of preserving history

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Julian White describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Julian White narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

10$10

DATitle
Julian White describes his family's musical abilities
Julian White remembers working alongside William Foster
Transcript
You said your mother [Victoria Richo White] played the piano?$$Yes, she did.$$Yeah. Tell me about her piano playing and what are your memories of her, her musical interests?$$She was a--she took piano lessons, but she was not a virtuoso pianist. She could play hymns and she could play favorite songs and, you know, she could sit, sit at the piano and just play anything by ear even though she had, I would say primary piano lessons, and she would sing. She didn't sing as well as my grandmother [Florence Richo] and sometimes when we would be bad or she would get disgusted, or she may be feeling not well because of her illness and she would sing. And especially when we were bad, and that singing would sometime penetrate. She'd sing 'Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross,' and 'Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior,' and she would sing those songs and they were just like they were just gnaw at me and I'd take the pillow and put it over my head, and my bedroom was right next to the kitchen where she'd be working. And she'd say, "You know, you're gonna, one day you're gonna wish you could hear this voice," and she knew what she was saying because if today now if I could hear that voice again, oh, it would be so glorious. But, but she was--she was a good musician and I think the musicality, her musicality rubbed off on my sister [Willoughby White (ph.)] because my sister was a virtuoso pianist. She was a virtuoso musician and she played the flute. She played the piano and she inspired--she taught me music. Taught me to play the flute which I, I played before I started on the other instruments, and so that the background I think extended from my grandmother who was a great vocalist to my mother who played piano. Not a virtuoso pianist, but nevertheless did play piano, and then my sister picked up the music and she was just a fantastic musician (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) What was the first instrument that you picked up?$$The first instrument I picked up was the trombone. I sounded horrible on it.$$How old were you?$$I was about nine years old. My brother played the trombone and he sounded horrible, too. So, I imitated the sound then I put it down and didn't, didn't try it anymore because I was really keenly interested in playing sports. I did--I was captain of the swimming team, so I did do sports some. I was a very good swimmer and, I still swim. I, I do a mile a day in the family's pool and, and in my pool in the summertime. But--so, I, I--that side of, of the--of being an athlete did materialize, but that's basically it.$What was it like working under Dr. Foster [HistoryMaker William Foster]? You came and you accepted that position. That's why you're where you are today?$$Um-hm.$$But what was it like working under Dr. Foster?$$It was quite an honor, a distinction and a definite learning period. Dr. Foster is a tremendous musician, administrator and organizer. And to further (cough) my education with him, I think prepared me for everything that I do now. He was--he was and is meticulous in his organization of the administrative aspects of the band program [at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, Florida]. His rehearsal techniques and the development of the marching band [Marching 100] and the concert band employs concepts that ensure success as far as fundamentals are concerned. Marching fundamentals, musical fundamentals, tonal quality, intonation, articulation, phrase and balance, all the performance fundamentals. He was meticulous in that. And then his interpersonal relationships in dealing with his staff--in dealing with the students. He served as an inspiration in terms of the music, the marching, the academics, the character building, the integrity. All were just personified by him, so that was truly an awesome experience. I worked with him. I worked as his associate for twenty-five years and he retired and as far as I'm concerned, he could have sti-, he could still be here and I could still be associate because it was just a pleasure working with him. And I also had the freedom to develop myself and to develop the band along with. So, it was just a great experience.$$Well, the transition from his tenure to your present position took place in what year?$$Nineteen ninety-eight [1998].$$Nineteen ninety-eight [1998].