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James M. Blount

Magazine publisher James M. Blount was born on June 5, 1943 in Newport News, Virginia to Helen Wilson Blount and Walter L. Blount, Sr. Blount graduated from Isle of Wight County Training School in 1961; and received his B.S. degree in industrial management in 1965 at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia. Blount also took graduate courses in business administration at the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

From 1966 to 1970, Blount worked as a marketing and proposal developer in the federal systems division of IBM in Owego, New York. In 1970, Blount and his wife, Carolyne S. Blount, relocated to Rochester, New York, where he worked as a sales representative in the office products division of IBM.

Blount is a military veteran, having served in the U.S. Navy Reserve from September 1965 to August 1971, including active duty aboard the USS Claude V. Ricketts DDG-5, a guided missile destroyer, from February 1967 through October 1968. He was involved in the 1967 Middle East war between Israel and the Arab nations.

In 1972, the Blounts became the sole proprietors of About…Time magazine, one of the oldest African American publications in the country. Blount left IBM in 1973, and became the president and publisher of About…Time magazine the following year. Under Blount’s leadership, About…Time Magazine published interviews with such figures as Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, National Security Advisor Colin Powell, Secretary of the Army Clifford Alexander, Civil Rights Leaders Leon Sullivan and Dorothy I. Height, U.S. Solicitor General Wade McCree, Children's Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman, and Dance Theatre of Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell. In 1984, About…Time published a six-part history series called “Rochester Roots/Routes.” Other notable pieces published under Blount’s tenure include “The Last Mile of a 400-Year Journey,” “Katrina Echoes: Storm Season Aftermath is Hard to Erase,” and “Strange Fruit: Jena Six and the Quest for American Justice.”

Blount served on the board of education for the Rush Henrietta School District from 1981 to 1987. He also served on the board of directors for the Arts Council of Rochester, Rochester Business Opportunities Corporation, Industrial Management Council, and the Otetiana Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Blount received many awards for his work in the community of Rochester including a Certificate of Appreciation from the Advertising Council of Rochester; the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Service Award from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School; Urban League of Rochester, NY’s Dr. Charles T. Lunsford Lifetime Achievement Award; Harriet Tubman Award, presented by the New York State Governor’s Office; Pioneer Award, presented by the City of Rochester Black Heritage Committee; and U.S. Postal Service Black History Committee Award.

He is a news analyst on Fox Sports radio AM1280 Brown and Allen Show, and was a frequent guest providing public affairs commentary on WXXI public radio’s 1370 Connection show hosted by the late Bob Smith.

Blount and his wife, Carolyne S. Blount, have three children: James Ural, Christina, and Cheryl.

James M. Blount was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 19, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.072

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/19/2018

Last Name

Blount

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Newport News

HM ID

BLO05

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

All Around the World

Favorite Quote

Power Concedes To Nothing Without A Demand.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/5/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Rochester

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Magazine publisher James Blount (1943 - ) was the president and publisher of About…Time Magazine in Rochester, New York.

Favorite Color

Turquoise

Maxine B. Mimms

Educational institution founder, Maxine Mimms was born on March 4, 1928, in Newport News, Virginia, to Isabella DeBerry Buie and Benson Ebenezer Buie. Influenced by her grandparents' love for Marcus Garvey and educational lectures by Howard Thurman and other black leaders at nearby Hampton University, Mimms attended Booker T. Washington School and graduated from Huntington High School with highest honors in 1946. She earned her B.A. degree from Virginia Union University in 1950. In the early 1950s, Mimms served as a social worker in Detroit, Michigan. There, she was married and would eventually earn her Ph.D. in educational administration from Union Graduate School.

Accompanying her husband to Seattle, Washington, in 1953, Mimms taught at Leschi Elementary School, where Jimi Hendrix was a student. In 1961, Mimms taught in Washington’s Kirkland Public Schools until working for the Seattle Public School Administration in 1964. In 1969, Mimms served as the assistant to the director of the Women’s Bureau in the United States Department of Labor. In 1972, Mimms returned to the education field, working as a faculty member at Evergreen State College. At Evergreen State College, Mimms focused on developing an educational program that would serve place-bound working adult students. Her focus on serving the educational needs of urban, African American adult learners combined with an interest in teaching inner-city adults, led to the founding principles of the Tacoma Campus. Mimms eventually became the first Director of the Tacoma Campus, where she used her position to help satisfy the African American community’s demand for adult education programs.

In 1982, the Evergreen-Tacoma campus was formally established under Mimms’s leadership. Mimms’s mission as Director of Evergreen-Tacoma was to increase the number of African Americans in Washington with degrees and improve the household value on education for the African American community. Mimms became a national consultant in curriculum design and instructional methods. In 1990, Mimms retired as Director of Evergreen-Tacoma and became an emeritus faculty member. In 2001, Mimms was awarded the first annual Sustainable Community Outstanding Leadership Award. Recently, Mimms founded the Maxine Mimms Academy, a non-profit organization in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood established to serve youth expelled or suspended from public schools.

Accession Number

A2007.312

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/29/2007 |and| 10/07/2017

Last Name

Mimms

Maker Category
Middle Name

B.

Organizations
Schools

Huntington High School

Booker T. Washington Middle School

First Name

Maxine

Birth City, State, Country

Newport News

HM ID

MIM01

State

Virginia

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Washington

Birth Date

3/4/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Seattle

Country

United States

Short Description

Academic administrator and education professor Maxine B. Mimms (1928 - ) is the former dean of Evergreen College Tacoma campus. She founded the Maxine Mimms Academy, a non-profit organization in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood established to serve youth expelled or suspended from public schools.

Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins

Civil rights activist and pastor Rev. Joseph Metz Rollins, Jr. was born on September 8, 1926 in Newport News, Virginia to Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins, Sr. and Alice C. Rollins, as the first of two children. Rollins’ father was the pastor of the Carver Memorial Presbyterian Church for forty-four years, beginning just one year before Rollins’ birth. In 1970, his church had become one of the largest in the Southern Virginia Presbytery when Rollins retired.

In 1954, at the age of twenty-seven, the presbytery sent Rollins from Newport News to become the first pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee, Florida. There, Rollins was active in the Tallahassee Bus Boycott, which was coordinated by the Inter-Civic Council. Rollins served as treasurer for the group, working with civil rights activist Reverend C.K. Steele. During the boycott, many in the group’s leadership were threatened with violence. Rollins, in particular, received death threats. Despite this, he became known for his outspoken nature and unwillingness to compromise on important issues. Rollins’ activism had consequences on his career. The Florida Presbytery fired him and abandoned Trinity Presbyterian Church, which forced Rollins to take a job as a hospital orderly. His congregation, in the meantime, purchased new land and joined the “Northern Presbyterian Church,” becoming Trinity United Presbyterian. Steadfast in service to civil rights, in 1961, Rollins was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi for his participation in the Freedom Rides. He was struck in the head by a rock in 1963 protesting in Nashville, Tennessee. Rollins served as Vice President of the Nashville Christian Leadership Council, a branch of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference and acted as the field director for United Presbyterian’s Board of Education.

In 1964, Rollins moved to New York to work as a staff member for the United Presbyterian Church; also, he continued his work in the Civil Rights Movement. Rollins became the first Executive Director of the National Committee of Black Churchmen in 1967, an organization dedicated to advocating for racial awareness within churches. The following year, Rollins lost a race for the White Plains, New York school board. As leader of the National Committee of Black Churchmen, Rollins was involved in numerous controversies in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including the debate over James Forman’s “Black Manifesto,” which demanded reparations from white churches, and the National Committee of Black Churchmen coordinated “Black Referendum” on the Vietnam War. By 1972, the National Committee of Black Churchmen had 800 members, and Rollins had relocated to become Pastor at St. Augustine Presbyterian Church in the Bronx, New York. Rollins remained the pastor until 2005, when, at the age of seventy-eight, he became Pastor Emeritus.

Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 14, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.264

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/14/2007

Last Name

Rollins

Maker Category
Middle Name

Metz

Schools

Marshall Elementary School

Hampton University

Johnson C. Smith University

Collis P. Huntington High School

First Name

Joseph

Birth City, State, Country

Newport News

HM ID

ROL02

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Canada

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/8/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hamburgers

Short Description

Civil rights activist and pastor Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins (1926 - ) served as pastor of St. Augustine Presbyterian Church in the Bronx, New York from 1972 to 2005. He was active in the Civil Rights Movement including the Freedom Rides of 1961.

Employment

Johnson C. Smith University

Trinity Presbyterian Church

Nashville Christian Leadership Council

United Presbyterian’s Board of Education

National Committee of Black Churchmen

St. Augustine Presbyterian Church

Favorite Color

Green

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes his mother's occupation and education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls his paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers segregation in Gastonia, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers segregation in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers John Marshall Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls the entertainment of his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls his early interest in literature

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes his experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers Marcelino Manuel da Graca

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers his ordination as a minister

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls teaching at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers moving to Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls the formation of the Inter Civic Council

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers the Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers working as a hospital orderly

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls the bus boycott in Tallahassee, Florida, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls the bus boycott in Tallahassee, Florida, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls moving to Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls joining the Nashville Christian Leadership Council

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers his daughter's appendectomy

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls his activism in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers visiting Canada with his family

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers visiting Virginia with his family

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins talks about the National Committee of Black Churchmen

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls his activism in Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls his activism in Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers James Forman's Black Manifesto

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes the influence of black liberation theology, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes the influence of black liberation theology, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers his opposition to the Vietnam War

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls Black Solidarity Day

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls pastoring St. Augustine Presbyterian Church in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls campaigning to join the school board in White Plains, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls advocating for prisoners at the Attica Correctional Facility

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins talks about Billy Graham

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins reflects upon his personal theology

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes the history of African Americans in the Presbyterian church

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls pledging Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers Cecil Ivory

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins reflects upon desegregation, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins reflects upon desegregation, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes how he would like to be remembered, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins describes how he would like to be remembered, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers Russell Anderson

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

5$2

DATitle
Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins recalls the bus boycott in Tallahassee, Florida, pt. 1
Reverend Joseph Metz Rollins remembers the Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee, Florida
Transcript
Tell us some more about the Inter Civic Council and the development of the Tallahassee bus boycott. How did that work itself out or did it work itself out?$$Well it did because the Inter Civic Council was called, was created when we decided to support the students and C.K. Steele [Charles Kenzie Steele] was, was a pastor of Bethel Baptist Church [Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, Tallahassee, Florida] and, as I said, had been preaching since he was ten years old in the, in the mountains of West Virginia and in the coal mines. DuPont [King Solomon DuPont], and then we even had, most important of all, the chaplain at Florida A and M [Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, Florida] was a man by the name of Dr. James Hudson. He was the only real faculty member who ended up supporting us and his, you know, his welfare was threatened. They didn't fire him but when the investigation started and then they arrested us, I'll never forget, I was supposed to be down at court at nine o'clock in the morning and when I got downtown I found that I only had fifty cents in my pocket 'cause I had rushed out to be on time so that they wouldn't create any more problems. And so, there was a lady there, a black woman, bless her heart, she's about eighty or ninety years old and so she over--she was there attending the court session and she had heard me say something and she reached in her pocket and gave me fifty cents. I told her, I said, I'm going to the bank, I don't need this, but she said, "That's all right, you stick to your guns and do what you's got to do, Reverend," and you know so that was the way it was and, of course, the, I won't say, he wasn't a judge but he was a low, low-life lawyer and so he spent time trying to create the illusion that we had all kind of money and we have been receiving some support from the National, NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] and the like, but when he was passing this case, he would talk about the fact that this wasn't the poor Inter Civic Council, that we were getting money from everywhere and we were getting some money from some places but it wasn't that much but they end up, to make a long story short, they found us all guilty, C.K. Steele, myself, K.D.S. DuPont, everybody that was on the, the board of directors on the Inter Civic Council, was found guilty.$Now let me ask you, we skipped a little talking, discussing your church in Tallahassee [Florida]. Can you tell us the name of your church and a little bit about it, Trinity [Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Tallahassee, Florida] (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well, when I started the church, I was living on 1710--no, I'm sorry, that's, that's another place, I'm sorry, but anyhow, I started, I, I had found a home to rent and we started holding services in my home. This was in 1953 and it got to the point where it was too crowded and an inconvenience 'cause this is where I was living. I used to have to clean up, set up chairs in the living room and the dining room and then, one of the interesting things was, we had one of the few televisions that we had brought, black and white, and so when service was over, we'd turn it on and some of them would stay around to watch television because some of them didn't have, hadn't seen, it was all black and white, but finally we ended up with, 'cause it was inconvenient and when we got some growth and everything, it got to the point where we, we, it was just inconvenient to have to try to clean up on Saturday night, set up folding chairs and we had people standing on the outside. And so, with some help from our white friends from downtown, they got us a rental agreement with a black school and we started worshiping in the auditorium in, and this was still part of, of the area in Tallahassee, near Florida A and M University [Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College; Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University]. And one of the things was after we moved there to the school, we had services and I had found an organist, or a pianist played for us and he taught on the faculty at Florida A and M University, FAMU by this time, by, except the legislature hadn't voted that way. And so we, we, we met at, the name of, see again, I can't remember the name of the school but I think it was Barnes School [ph.]. I'll say that, I think I'm correct, and we started holding services there and it was interesting because some of the white people from downtown came to worship with us and they were quite complimentary. Oh, you all worship just like we do, 'cause they had come expecting us to be jumping and shouting and all that kind of foolishness and I'm a Presbyterian, I'm a third generation Presbyterian minister. I probably was too careful to have, was too dignified 'cause it wasn't 'til I sort of learned from C.K. Steele [Charles Kenzie Steele] and there was a, an A.M.E. Zion [African Methodist Episcopal Zion] minister whose name was K.D.S. DuPont. Wouldn't you like to guess what the K.D.S. stood for? His father had named him King David Solomon DuPont [King Solomon DuPont] at Fountain Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church [sic. Fountain Chapel A.M.E. Church; Greater Fountain Chapel A.M.E. Church, Tallahassee, Florida]. DuPont was as tall as I was and a very well-known man in the, in the black community and he had a knack for finding out everything in terms of, 'cause we didn't have to worry what white folks were saying about us, the maids and things who went, would come to the meeting. White people thought they were deaf and then they would talk about 'em in front of them and then they'd come back and tell us what they were up to.

The Honorable Hazel O'Leary

Cabinet appointee and president of Fisk University, Hazel Rollins O’Leary was born Hazel Reid on May 17, 1937, in Newport News, Virginia to Dr. Russell Edward Reid and Hazel Palleman. Raised by her stepmother Mattie Ross Reid, O’Leary attended the Urban League’s camp in Atwater, Massachusetts every summer where she met Alma Brown and the Delany sisters. O’Leary attended Aberdeen Gardens School in Hampton, Virginia, Booker T. Washington School, John Marshall School and Huntington High School in Newport News, Virginia. O’Leary graduated from the High School of Fine and Performing Arts in Newark, New Jersey in 1955. She then graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Fisk University in 1959, at the cusp of the Civil Rights Movement. Among her teachers were Vivian Henderson, Robert Hayden, and T.S. Courier. O’Leary went on to obtain her J.D. degree from Rutgers University Law School in 1966.

From 1967 to 1969, O’Leary handled organized crime cases while serving as assistant county prosecutor in Essex County, New Jersey. Later, she joined the accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand. During the administration of President Jimmy Carter, O’Leary acted as assistant administrator of the Federal Energy Commission, general counsel of the Community Services Administration, and an administrator for the Economic Regulatory Commission of the newly-created Department of Energy. In 1981, O’Leary and her husband formed O’Leary and Associates, 1989 to 1993, where she served as executive vice president of Northern States Power in Minnesota.

Nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993, O’Leary became the seventh United States Secretary of Energy and the first African American woman to serve in that office. As Secretary, O’Leary changed the department’s Office of Classification to the Office of Declassification, initiated an aggressive clean-up of surplus plutonium, created an Openness Advisory Panel, and encouraged the Clinton administration to end nuclear testing in the United States. O’Leary established the Samuel P. Massie Chair of Excellence Professorship in Environmental Disciplines which benefited nine historically black colleges and universities. In 1996, O’Leary resigned and joined Blaylock and Partners, becoming CEO in 2002. In 2004, O’Leary was named President of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.

O’Leary served on the boards of Africare, UAL Inc. (parent company of United Airlines), Morehouse College; Alchemix Corporation; AES Corporation; The Center for Democracy; ICF Kaiser; Scottish Re, Ltd.; Nashville Chamber Orchestra; the World Wildlife Fund; Nashville Alliance for Public Education; ITC Holdings, Inc.; and Nashville Business Community for the Arts. O’Leary also received numerous honors for her work. O’Leary was widowed in 1987 and she also has one son, attorney Carl G. Rollins III.

Hazel O'Leary was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 15, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.090

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/15/2007

Last Name

O'Leary

Marital Status

Widow

Schools

Aberdeen Gardens School

John Marshall School

Booker T. Washington Middle School

Arts High School

Fisk University

Rutgers University

Huntington High School

First Name

Hazel

Birth City, State, Country

Newport News

HM ID

OLE01

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Reynaldo Glover

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Scuba Diving

Favorite Quote

I'm On It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

5/17/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Nashville

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

University president and cabinet appointee The Honorable Hazel O'Leary (1937 - ) was the first African American United States Secretary of Energy and the president of Fisk University. O'Leary was also the CEO of Blaylock and Partners.

Employment

State of New Jersey

Coopers & Lybrand

Jimmy Carter administration

O’Leary and Associates

Northern States Power

Federal government of the United States

Blaylock and Partners

Fisk University

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Hot Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:7347,250:19566,419:26532,530:27434,555:28090,565:28418,570:33010,695:37696,704:38156,710:38524,715:42350,740:56460,834:63800,907:67256,952:73560,991:80010,1101:82620,1142:88930,1188:89530,1197:90055,1206:90880,1218:92682,1230:94076,1253:94896,1264:101989,1305:102697,1320:106546,1341:106911,1347:114170,1450:114890,1461:121678,1525:122638,1536:123214,1543:123790,1550:130670,1609:131326,1618:136656,1692:139280,1745:149606,1976:153350,2053:153926,2063:154430,2071:154934,2080:155294,2086:155726,2093:156950,2115:178700,2414:185258,2480:185750,2487:187730,2492:189730,2536:204130,2838:204610,2845:226798,3082:227176,3089:227491,3095:227806,3101:228499,3114:229507,3136:230510,3148$0,0:1312,26:2378,39:7298,167:8036,183:8610,192:10578,223:11398,235:18690,321:20510,334:21070,342:23355,364:25901,426:26973,444:43032,606:48620,639:52210,649:54870,665:55680,676:59084,719:59750,730:60194,737:60638,745:61156,754:63006,787:69074,893:73292,967:79240,1011:79730,1020:80920,1041:81270,1047:81900,1058:82320,1065:82810,1074:83440,1085:84070,1100:86660,1163:87080,1171:87500,1178:91560,1186:91970,1192:93282,1211:93610,1216:93938,1221:95086,1246:102430,1301:102710,1306:102990,1311:103900,1336:107470,1406:108380,1421:115970,1524:116474,1532:117698,1559:118058,1565:118706,1575:119066,1581:119354,1586:120434,1607:120938,1615:121658,1626:122666,1642:123314,1653:136194,1806:143922,1969:148592,1992:150248,2022:151328,2040:155418,2078:159539,2142:159855,2147:176652,2376:184394,2491:188101,2508:189410,2541:190180,2555:190719,2564:192798,2609:193491,2619:198496,2724:198804,2729:199112,2734:205350,2761:206680,2775:208775,2787:212226,2831:212964,2852:222250,2960:229229,3014:229601,3019:236048,3076:236464,3081:236984,3087:237400,3092:247637,3205:248072,3212:248507,3218:249551,3241:249899,3246:252596,3327:276620,3580
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Hazel O'Leary's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her stepmother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her stepmother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary remembers her stepmother's mother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls her awareness of World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes the role of church in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls radio and television programs

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her early interest in reading

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls Camp Atwater in North Brookfield, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls the Aberdeen Gardens in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her elementary school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary remembers Collis P. Huntington High School in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary remembers the Arts High School in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her activities in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls her decision to attend Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary remembers her experiences at Fisk University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary reflects upon the social conventions of Fisk University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls her professors at Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her administration at Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes the history of Nashville's historically black colleges

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary remembers Charles S. Johnson

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls her peers at Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes Diane Nash

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls teaching civil rights history at Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls significant faculty at Fisk University

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls her decision to attend Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her administration at Fisk University
Transcript
How did you choose a college? Now most of your family you say went to Hampton [Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia], right, they were Hampton people (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Oh yeah, easy. And the other half, you know, at the beginning of integration they all went to, you know, majority schools, as did my sister [Edna Reid McCollum]. She went to Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. And I had three aunts who went, you know, to majority schools long ago. (Cough) I told you how close in age I was to my sister. So when I was a senior in high school [Arts High School, Newark, New Jersey], I would go up to see Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania to see my sister. There were three Negro women there, three. And my sense of them at Cedar Crest was that no one was mean to them, but no one knew what to do with them. And they were sort of foreign elements within the great sea. And then one weekend there was a social, yeah listen to this. The guys from Lehigh [Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania] came over to Cedar Crest College. And what I saw as these hordes of men came through, and my recollection is they may have been five Negro students from the engineering college. I will tell you that the chaperones were body blocking these black guys from talking to the white women, and the black women if it looked like, or Negro women. They were going to talk to the black, the white guys. And I thought to myself, and said so, why would I want to be in a place where A, apparently nobody really likes me, and B, someone is afraid that there will be this romantic flicker? So from that experience I go well, I guess I'm going to a Negro college. And I had a cousin here, recall though, my father [Russell Reid] and my birth mother [Hazel Pallemon Reagan] had gone to Meharry [Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee], so I said, "Hm, I think I'm going to Fisk [Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee]." And in the family, you know, among all of those first cousins, the routine was each kid ready for college would be given enough money to apply to ten schools. I took my ten school money, I applied to Fisk, and I went shopping with the rest of it. And then I thought, what would I have done if I hadn't been admitted? I guess I would have had to go to Hampton. I think they would have taken me there, but I was admitted to Fisk. And I was happy here, and yeah I loved Fisk, yeah, yeah.$$Okay. So was it, was a change from high school. So you went from a segregated school in Newport News [Virginia] to an integrated--$$Yeah, to an integrated school.$$And then to, now to Fisk--$$Take me to where they're gonna love me.$$So you graduated from high school in '55 [1955]?$$Um-hm, '55 [1955], yeah.$$Okay, so you came here the fall of--$$I came in August really. And my father brought me here, which was very interesting. My introduction to life at Fisk involved opening a dresser drawer in my dorm room in Jubilee Hall and having a huge thing fly out of the drawer (makes sound). It was a flying cockroach. My father stood there laughing and said, "Welcome to the real world."$So you were reflecting on your student days at Fisk [Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee] and comparing them to what's going on now at Fisk.$$Oh yeah, and I was--my insight is that there is still this deep involvement of faculty and administration and the lives and comportment of the kids. And I think it's a heavier burden today because they come with -- I'm just talking of my own sense of rebellion. But they come not understanding the boundaries. So they need, they need attention but it can't be heavy attention. And it's interesting, you don't see it, but we have a set of values at Fisk. We celebrate diversity, excellence, teamwork, accountability, integrity, leadership and service. And the reason we thought we should come up with the DETAILS, someone else pulled the acronym together, but we worked at settling on what our values would be, faculty, staff student. So it's right there behind you, the DETAILS. So you'll see signs hanging outside that say, "Our success is in the DETAILS." Which is also an attention to being careful to ensure that you follow the steps with the course that you lay out for yourself and your plan. But it is also to ensure that we model behavior, we don't just talk about the behavior. But that we model it. And so for these youngsters who now deal with their professors and the administration. There is the same involvement in their lives and the celebration of their victories, or you know, I don't want you to think it's all, as the kids would say, it's all good because sometimes it's a rough and rocky road. My first year here the head of the student government association got kicked out because she was on social probation for having a fight over something having to do with a Greek letter or whatever. And here is the bright kid with not enough discipline, I mean I don't even understand it, you know, two women going at it. And she was tremendously embarrassed. And I said to her, you have but one thing to do here. You will be on--she was on social probation for the entire year. I said you have but one thing to do here. You need to earn a 4.0 [grade point average] each semester and get yourself to law school. And you can come to me and talk about it. And then I told her, now they all know, I said but it's not so hard to stay in the dorm all semester, I've done it. And what you have to do is understand that this passage can be ugly or you can make something out of it. And so to continue, there are great teachers who are engaged in and involved in their students, who take the time. I talked early on about going down to admission because you know the students will be there. The so-called administrators who are involved, engaged and they will come to wherever they find simpatico and interest to seek help or seek advice. Or sometimes all because they were in trouble. And that's the glory of the small liberal arts black school [HBCU]. We're not tolerate--we don't tolerate our kids. We don't tolerate each other. We talk about the Fisk family, it exists and you know, you might talk about each other on this campus, but you don't leave here not doing anything other than lifting the kids who are here. And it's a great experience. There are nine hundred and I think fifty-six students here. By the time we get to next year, I will know all of their names. I mean, I mark the class I came in with, I came in a week before the class of 2008. So I'm a sophomore, I'm a sophomore this year, I'll be a junior--no I'm a junior this year. I'll be a senior next year, that's my class.

The Honorable Wilford Taylor

Wilford Taylor, Jr. was born on January 15, 1950 in Newport News, Virginia. His mother was a homemaker and later a teacher and his father was a mail carrier and chef. He grew up in Hampton, Virginia's Aberdeen community, which is now a historic landmark in the city. In 1968, Taylor was part of the first group of African Americans to integrate Hampton High School. While at Hampton High, he was a member of the football, baseball, track and tennis teams and the thespian club. He earned his high school diploma in 1968.

Taylor then attended Hampton Institute, where he earned his B.S. degree in business management in 1972. Following his graduation, he served in the United States army for the next three years, while earning his master's of commerce degree from the University of Richmond in 1975. In 1978, Taylor earned his law degree from the College of William and Mary. He started a law firm with good friend and attorney Bobby Scott, who is now a Congressman. In 1981, the firm merged with another firm and became Scott, Coles, Brown, Taylor and Melvin. From 1983 until 1985, Taylor worked as the Deputy City Attorney for Hampton. In 1985, Taylor made history, becoming Hampton's first full time African American judge. He served as a judge in the General District Court until 1995, when he was appointed to the Circuit Court, a position he holds today.

Taylor is an adjunct professor at his alma mater, teaching trial advocacy and therapeutic jurisprudence. He is a member of numerous organizations including the American Judges Association, Virginia State Bar Association and Lawyers Helping Lawyers Committee.

He and his wife, Linda, reside in Hampton and have two grown children.

Accession Number

A2004.101

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/20/2004 |and| 10/14/2004

Last Name

Taylor

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Hampton High School

Aberdeen Elementary School

George Wythe High

Hampton University

University of Richmond

The College of William & Mary

First Name

Wilford

Birth City, State, Country

Newport News

HM ID

TAY07

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Maui, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Let's Fix It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/15/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beef

Short Description

Circuit court judge The Honorable Wilford Taylor (1950 - ) was Hampton, Virginia's first full time African American judge. He served as a judge in the General District Court until 1995, after which he was appointed to the Circuit Court.

Employment

United States Army

Scott & Taylor

Scott, Coles, Brown, Taylor & Melvin

City of Hampton, Virginia

Hampton General District Court

Hampton Circuit Court

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:2578,36:3634,63:3898,68:6868,143:8122,168:11092,238:12544,345:16240,431:16570,437:17032,447:18550,483:18814,488:19474,499:21850,552:23104,581:24028,653:24820,667:25282,676:31844,744:35394,835:36672,861:37027,867:37595,875:39228,896:39867,908:40151,913:40861,924:42281,952:42849,963:43204,969:46257,1022:46541,1027:47251,1039:50091,1102:50375,1107:57226,1155:60350,1229:62480,1272:64042,1315:65959,1350:74520,1451:84500,1563:85200,1572:90660,1673:91360,1686:91640,1691:94090,1734:94580,1743:95210,1753:101004,1806:101536,1814:112220,1992:113588,2020:114884,2041:115388,2050:116396,2071:132505,2307:134638,2345:142256,2399:142739,2417:146534,2513:148190,2545:154124,2685:162847,2756:167580,2814$0,0:6762,195:8556,263:8901,269:9315,285:9936,294:11592,332:16560,483:17043,494:18561,594:29804,773:32024,890:38166,984:38832,1029:43420,1126:44974,1162:48008,1236:48304,1248:55970,1293:73601,1614:73946,1620:74429,1630:74774,1636:75326,1644:78224,1743:93100,2027:98946,2080:99830,2090
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Wilford Taylor's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes his mother's educational opportunities and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about his father's employment

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes his father's work ethic

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about his maternal ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes his summer activities

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes Aberdeen Gardens, his childhood neighborhood in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor recalls holidays during his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about the focus of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes his childhood activities

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 19 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor reflects upon his childhood experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 20 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor recalls memorable elementary school teachers

Tape: 1 Story: 21 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes his childhood temperament

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about the importance of education for his family

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about attending church in Hampton, Virginia as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about his junior high school experiences in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about his aspiration to be an airline pilot

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about attending Hampton High School in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor recalls racist incidents at Hampton High School in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor reflects upon his experiences with racism while growing up in the South during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes his favorite high school subjects and activities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes his long-lasting high school friendships

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor remembers visiting Broadway in New York, New York during high school to see 'Man of La Mancha'

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about his high school's response to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor explains his decision to attend Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about his impression of Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about his membership in Groove Phi Groove at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes his experiences as an intern for Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 16 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes his favorite classes and professor at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 17 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about directing the Hampton University Drug Education Program

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about his experiences as a U.S. Army instructor at Fort Lee, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor explains his change of interest from flying airplanes to investment banking

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes how he met his wife, Linda Taylor

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about leaving his position in the U.S. Army at Fort Lee, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about his decision to attend William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor reflects upon his experiences at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about the grading system at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes his favorite constitutional law professor at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes the academic rigor of William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about beginning a law practice with his friend Bobby Scott in the late 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about his responsibilities in his federal litigation practice

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about the merger of Scott and Taylor with Stewart, Brown and Jones in 1981

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor explains how he became deputy city attorney in 1983 for Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about white city employees' responses to his role as deputy city attorney for Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 15 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about his family's reaction to his employment as an attorney in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 16 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor explains the purview of a general district court in Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 17 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about becoming the first African American appointed to full-time judgeship in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 18 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes the lobbying process to be appointed general district court judge in the State of Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 19 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor reflects upon his judgeship appointment to the Hampton General District Court in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about the types of cases he tried as judge for the Hampton General District Court in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor explains how he handled cases when he knew the people involved

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes his first day on the bench in the general district court in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor explains the differences between a circuit court and general district court in Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about challenging circuit court cases and decisions

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor reflects upon various perceptions of his conduct as a judge

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor shares his views on the media's role in enlightening the general population about court proceedings

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about his perspective on juries

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes the types of cases typically brought before the Hampton Circuit Court in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about his perspective on sentencing guidelines in the State of Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor reflects upon his life experiences, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor explains why his position as a role model honors those who influenced him

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor shares advice for people interested in pursuing a law career

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor reflects upon his life experiences, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Wilford Taylor narrates his photographs, pt. 3

DASession

2$2

DATape

3$3

DAStory

13$17

DATitle
The Honorable Wilford Taylor explains how he became deputy city attorney in 1983 for Hampton, Virginia
The Honorable Wilford Taylor talks about becoming the first African American appointed to full-time judgeship in Hampton, Virginia
Transcript
Let's talk little bit about in 1983 when you became the deputy city attorney [for Hampton, Virginia].$$Yes.$$How did that come about?$$Well, I guess at that time I was practicing I was, had, it was just a great experience. I enjoyed the practice of law. Of course, we [Scott, Coles, Brown, Taylor and Melvin P.C., Newport News, Virginia] were growing. The staff was growing, and you know, our caseload was growing. Things were going well, and opportunity presented itself in the city attorney's office in Hampton. And, and I was in, interested in that. I took a class in law school [William & Mary Law School, Williamsburg, Virginia] in municipal corporations, which is basically city government law, and became interested. And, and the city attorney offered me a job, and I, and that's when I started I guess, you know, again, pioneering. I became the first African American attorney to work in the city attorney's office. And I just thought that was a great opportunity to come back home and to become a deputy city attorney, a different kind of practice. You, you get in and you represent city government. You--your department heads and the city council. You, basically, you just try to help them with their legal problems and, and issues. And so it was a great, great experience. And so it was an opportunity to become, you know, a first, and, and I took it, and left private practice, and joined the city attorney staff.$$What were some of the--your accomplishments as deputy city attorney [for Hampton, Virginia]?$$I would say preventive law, working, making city department heads more aware of the legal implications of what they do. My focus and the focus of the city attorney was preventive law, to try not to create a situation where you have to end up in court litigating. I had several cases that went, ended up in court, but we, we were successful. I mean I was able to be, you know, to, to litigate successfully cases that did go to court. But I would say the most important thing was to prevent a lot of law cases in court and to get the managers to understand that they need to prevent and be, be cognizant of legal implications of what they do. And that was our big, big I guess claim to fame. And so I enjoyed spending a lot of time in meetings, and, and advising, and counseling department heads, and, and also helping city council avoid litigation. And I, I thought that was, that was the way to do it. And city manager at the time--I mean city, the city attorney at the time encouraged us to take that approach. And so, that was a big, big thing, big accomplishment I felt. I mean, I can't point to any one thing, how it helped, but I just know that, that many department heads were able to stay out of trouble based on counsel and advice that, that I helped them with.$So you have to get a majority of votes from [the Virginia General Assembly]--saying that this is the person we'd like to have [as Hampton General District Court judge].$$Well, that's the way it, when I, in '85 [1985], that's the way it worked. No, the, the--you don't have to. What, what you have to get is a majority vote of the General Assembly. You don't have to get a bar endorsement.$$Right. So you kind of have to lobby the General Assembly then?$$Yes, yes, you have to do that. But back when I became a judge [on the Hampton General District Court, Hampton, Virginia] in '85 [1985] that was the protocol.$$Okay.$$You had to go through a bar association. And so I went to the Hampton Bar [Association, Hampton, Virginia], 'cause they had never endorsed a black person for a vacancy. Now, I have to tell you, I was the first to be appointed a full-time judge, but I was not the first black judge on the peninsula. We had two other judges that came before me: Philip [S.] Walker and William [Thomas] Stone--$$But you were the first full-time.$$Yeah, first full-time. But those are two of my role models, are very outstanding gentlemen, and, and had they wanted to be full-time judges, they would have been (laughter). But they didn't want to. They were had very, very lucrative practices and, but they were part-time judges. They were just substitute, we call 'em substitute judges, but I was the first full time. But what happened, in '85 [1985], the vacancy came up, and I went to the Hampton Bar and asked for the endorsement, and they gave it to me. I was endorsed by the Hampton Bar for the first time, the first African American to be endorsed by the Hampton Bar for a, a judicial vacancy in Hampton. And of course, I went to the General Assembly, and I was elected a judge. And I became the first judge in Hampton and Newport News [Virginia], actually, on the peninsula. As you, you know, the Hampton and Newport News, we're part of Hampton Roads [Virginia] on this side of the water. I became the first African American judge, full-time judge on the peninsula.

Barbara Farmer

Elementary school principal and education professor Barbara W. Farmer was born in Newport News, Virginia on February 16, 1946 to Rebecca and John Wilson. After graduating from Huntington High School in Newport News in 1963, she went on to earn her B.S. degree in business education from Hampton University in 1967. Farmer worked as an English teacher at Campbell County High School in Lynchburg, Virginia for one year. She married Edgar I. Farmer in 1968 and moved back to Hampton, Virginia where she taught business education at Kecoughtan High School from 1968 until 1974. Farmer continued teaching at various schools and community colleges, mostly in North Carolina, until 1994. She went on to receive her M.S. degree in education administration and supervision from North Carolina A & T State University, and her Ph.D. degree in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In 1997, she became the first African American principal hired in the State College, Pennsylvania area school district. Farmer has also served as professor at Pennsylvania State University and hosted several shows. She is the former host of “What Matters” (a call-in television/radio show about diversity issues) and an “Issues Program” on WPSU Inside/Out series. Farmer’s research interests include organizational structures of teachers in traditional and magnet schools, cultural diversity initiatives, and leadership initiatives. In 2007, she co-edited Diversity in America: Visions of the Future, a textbook that discusses various issues of diversity. She also contributed a chapter to Leading with Character.

Farmer has served as a member of the Committees That Care/ Care Partnership Education Committee for Centre County, the Minority Policing Committee Community Task Force for Center County, a chairperson for the Professional Development Committee for the State College Area School District, and a chairperson for the ACT 48 Professional Recertification Committee. Farmer sat on the board of Leadership for Center Centre County, United Way of Centre County, and the Centre County Women’s Resource Center. Her hard work and dedication have been recognized with numerous honors

Farmer and her husband have three children: Becky, Eric, and Edgar, Jr.

Barbara W. Farmer was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 12/01/2002.

Accession Number

A2002.230

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/17/2002

Last Name

Farmer

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Huntington High School

Booker T. Washington Middle School

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Weekends

First Name

Barbara

Birth City, State, Country

Newport News

HM ID

FAR02

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

No small children, High School age and older

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: No small children, High School age and older

Sponsor

Knight Foundation

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Australia

Favorite Quote

You Can't Make Chicken Salad If You Don't Have Any Chickens.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

2/16/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

State College

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweet Potatoes, Chicken

Short Description

Elementary school principal and education professor Barbara Farmer (1946 - ) was the first and only African American principal hired by the State College Area School District.

Employment

Campbell County High School

Kecoughtan High School

Houserville/Lemont Elementary Schools

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:303,4:3535,57:12520,195:17810,285:19343,318:22117,422:49711,814:68979,1096:88030,1444$0,0:2098,33:8000,83:8300,89:8660,97:8900,102:9560,118:9800,123:10640,140:11300,154:11600,164:15380,254:15800,262:18140,315:18560,323:19580,343:19820,348:25526,373:27108,391:34664,467:35096,474:37832,522:38120,534:38624,548:43872,599:44412,613:44682,619:44952,626:45870,646:46410,657:46896,667:51528,715:52705,730:63195,864:63762,877:64896,899:66219,931:67101,953:71426,987:73142,1033:75782,1079:76244,1092:83242,1195:83686,1202:84944,1226:85240,1231:86942,1263:87386,1271:91160,1290:91448,1295:91952,1304:92240,1309:98425,1404:99015,1417:100077,1438:103428,1474:106188,1514:106648,1520:109830,1529:113270,1584:114710,1615:115590,1656:117830,1677:119030,1706:119830,1736:120390,1750:120710,1755:128892,1834:129774,1851:130152,1861:130404,1866:133610,1911:134810,1925:137490,1935:139450,1968:141244,1987:141649,1993:142945,2012:147076,2108:149830,2183:158234,2347:160740,2358:161154,2365:162465,2416:164604,2455:166950,2520:167295,2530:167778,2539:171800,2575:175240,2657:178920,2755:182350,2778:182642,2783:183007,2789:184540,2832:188774,2928:191110,2989:192205,3022:193081,3039:194760,3071:198918,3086:199262,3091:200566,3105:200958,3114:202022,3140:202246,3145:203142,3165:203758,3179:203982,3184:204206,3189:204654,3206:205550,3227:206222,3241:216298,3439:217936,3476:224689,3558:225091,3572:229312,3706:239536,3891:243488,3978:245996,4047:247592,4082:250632,4158:251240,4167:259140,4249:262116,4288:262581,4294:263325,4302:269650,4350:270695,4376:270915,4383:273005,4440:274710,4488:275205,4498:282540,4581:284570,4628:285860,4635
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Barbara Farmer's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Barbara Farmer lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Barbara Farmer talks about her father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Barbara Farmer describes her parents' lives in South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Barbara Farmer talks about her father's work

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Barbara Farmer remembers her father's pride in owning cars and a home

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Barbara Farmer talks about her mother and how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Barbara Farmer describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Barbara Farmer remembers her older brother, John Wilson, Jr.

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Barbara Farmer recalls being burned as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Barbara Farmer describes the close-knit community in Newsome Park, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Barbara Farmer remembers her elementary schools

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Barbara Farmer talks about her experiences at Collis P. Huntington High School in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Barbara Farmer describes her teachers at Collis P. Huntington High School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Barbara Farmer recalls participating in the high school band

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Barbara Farmer describes her decision to attend Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Barbara Farmer recalls her desire to become a teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Barbara Farmer remembers participating in the March on Washington in 1963

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Barbara Farmer talks about her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Barbara Farmer recalls the segregation in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Barbara Farmer recounts her mother's handling of shopping experiences in a segregated society

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Barbara Farmer talks about adapting to integration

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Barbara Farmer describes Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia in the mid-1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Barbara Farmer recalls her teachers at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Barbara Farmer talks about her husband, Edgar Farmer

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Barbara Farmer describes the various places her family has lived

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Barbara Farmer talks about how she adjusted to living in State College, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Barbara Farmer remembers integrating the Kecoughtan High School staff in 1969

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Barbara Farmer remembers living in Greensboro, North Carolina from 1979 to 1984

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Barbara Farmer recounts how she became an educational trainer

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Barbara Farmer talks about how her views on race evolved in adulthood

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Barbara Farmer describes her decision to attend graduate school at North Carolina A&T State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Barbara Farmer describes attending North Carolina A&T State University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Barbara Farmer talks about earning her doctorate from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Barbara Farmer remembers moving back to State College, Pennsylvania in 1996

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Barbara Farmer describes how she became a school administrator in Centre County, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Barbara Farmer talks about being the first black principal in State College, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Barbara Farmer reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Barbara Farmer describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Barbara Farmer narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Barbara Farmer recalls her desire to become a teacher
Barbara Farmer describes how she became a school administrator in Centre County, Pennsylvania
Transcript
Now when you were in high school did you have an idea of what you wanted to--what career you wanted to pursue you know--?$$I did and I'll tell you how the bug hit me. I knew that college was an expectation because my--that was important to my parents and it became important to me of course. But we were playing for graduation, the band, and during that time they would be outside on the football field and the teachers would dress in academic regalia. So as we're sitting there playing Pomp and Circumstance and the teachers walked out in their caps and gowns, it was almost like I was in awe. And I thought oh my goodness I want to be one of those. And connecting that to the relationship I had with my teachers who pretty much all took pretty--really good care of me. But I--that was common though in our community. Again, a sense of family and a sense of high expectations because you have to replace us and you have to--in order to do better than your family did, you have to be educated. So I decided okay, I want to be a teacher and because my typing and shorthand teachers and my business teachers were so influential in my life and my sister remember was a business person, I decided to be a business education teacher. So I went to Hampton University. I went there in 1963 and graduated in 1967, wonderful experience. Nothing like HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] and we, we shall not allow them to die.$Tell me about how you became the first black principal in Centre County.$$Well the first year we were here, I did not work outside the home because I was doing the research for my dissertation and trying to help be there to be supportive of our daughter getting acclimated being here. So since my days were open I started volunteering at the high school and there I met a school counselor, Karen Stoehr. Karen's last name is S-T-O-E-H-R. And Karen and I connected almost immediately. And in interacting she discovered some of the things that I used to do and the trainings that I've had and she asked me if I would make a presentation to the district's diversity committee. Thought, okay I can do that. And a member of that committee at the time was the former superintendent, Bill [William] Opdenhoff, O-P-D-E-N-H-O-F-F, I believe. And Dr. Opdenhoff was a part of that committee so I did my preparation and I went to their meeting and I made my presentation on diversity. After that I got a call, I received a call from his secretary Elaine Skidel, S-K-I-D-E-L, to be a part of that committee, the diversity, the district's diversity committee and I thought okay, I'd like that. And I became involved in that and we were preparing for the Martin Luther King in service day and we were having a well rounded diversity program. I mean we covered the spectrum from one end to the other. And the meetings and preparation for that became interesting. I was the only black professional person. There was a black student, Gary Abdullah, A-B-D-U-L-L-A-H. Just an aside, Gary's parents were students here the first time I lived here and they've been here ever since. So Gary is now a senior at Penn State [University] but at the time he was a high school sophomore maybe and he was a part of the committee. And as I sat there listening to the issues we were discussing and how many times people weren't reality based about how people lived life outside of the Happy Valley and I found myself speaking to that and every now and then Gary or someone else. And then I made, I forged friendships on the committee and Gary said, "Okay, Mrs. Farmer you need to help. You need to help them." He'd lean over and say, "Help them understand." And then I'd have somebody else say, "Barbara please help them understand that." And I began to be a broker for people understanding and hearing each other's voices many times. And then when they wouldn't, I stepped outside of character every now and then to have my voice heard and that was necessary. And Bill and I formed a friendship and a relationship during that time so as--and that in-service year in preparation for it was very volatile in many, many ways, and our meetings ended up like that many times. But you know I kept going back because I was determined. Oh another couple, Claudia Hutchinson was a part of it, black female, and her husband Dave Hutchinson is a white guy and wonderful people. I've known them for almost, from when I lived here the first time too. So we found ourselves in the midst of people who had good intentions, I must say that, the right heart and good intentions and good direction for what they wanted to do and provide for district personnel and students. But if not having lived a certain kind of life or even been exposed to people who have lived that life, sometimes I found myself being a clarifier of whatever, whatever was needed at the time. Toward the end of that year I said to Bill, "You know I'm going to be coming to see you for a job so--because I need to go to work." He said, "Haven't you been able to tell that I've been courting you and hoping that you would do that?" And I said, "Okay, I like that." So he said, "Call my secretary and make an appointment." Make a long story short, he offered me a job as an administrator in the district and the interviewing process was interesting. I interviewed with him, interviewed with the parent committee and my PTA president at the time was on that committee, and some other district personnel. And then I interviewed with the district's A team, walked into a room and I think there were about thirteen people. I thought whoa, we can do this. So the training that I had had made the difference for me in that. And was my being African American a part of that? I've been asked that question in presentations that I make at the university or anywhere around town or in the State of Pennsylvania and I say that they saw a qualified person who happened to be black and that's why they chose me. Am I wise enough to understand that that had a big part of it? Of course.

Lutrelle "Lu" F. Palmer, II

Called the godfather of Chicago black political activism, Lutrelle Fleming "Lu" Palmer, Jr. was born March 28, 1922, in Newport News, Virginia, to Myrtle and Lutrelle, a school principal. While his two older sisters opted for careers in education, Palmer became a journalist when he arrived in Chicago in 1950 with a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. "The Panther with a pen" spent fifty years galvanizing and informing the black community as a reporter, syndicated columnist, newspaper publisher and radio commentator. From 1983 until his retirement in 2001, Palmer hosted an issues-oriented talk show.

Palmer came to Chicago in 1950 as a reporter for the Chicago Defender. He wrote for other newspapers, including the Chicago Daily News, where he also served as a syndicated columnist and editor for the Nashville, Tennessee, based Tri-State Defender. He founded the Black X-Press Info-Paper in Chicago. He was a recruiter, organizer and preceptor for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest from 1970 to 1990.

Sometimes Palmer's positions caused him to quit or lose a job. Illinois Bell canceled its sponsorship of Palmer's twelve-year old radio show in 1983 when he became an outspoken supporter of Harold Washington, who, with Palmer's help, became Chicago's African American mayor. As a community activist, he founded the Chicago Black United Communities in 1979, the Black Independent Political Organization in 1981, and served as chairman of the Extended Services Program for the Group Living Facilities for Boys in 1998-all of which are still in existence.

Palmer's scores of honors include: Chicago State University Black Writers' Hall of Fame, induction into the Black Journalists Hall of Fame, the Jomo Kenyatta Award for Political Activism, the Outstanding Service/ Community Information Award, Grambling State's Outstanding Service Award, Bell Labs' Black Achievement Against the Odds Award, 1982, and the Proclamation of Unity Award, 1976.

Palmer received a journalism degree from Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia in 1942 and a master's degree from Syracuse University in 1948. He and his wife, Jorja English Palmer, lived in Chicago's South Side. They have seven children. Palmer passed away on September 12, 2004.

Accession Number

A2002.087

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/22/2002

Last Name

Palmer

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

F.

Organizations
Schools

Marshall Elementary School

Huntington High School

Virginia Union University

Syracuse University

University of Iowa

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lutrelle

Birth City, State, Country

Newport News

HM ID

PAL03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Orleans, Louisiana

Favorite Quote

It is enough to make a Negro turn black!

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

3/28/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ribs

Death Date

9/12/2004

Short Description

Community activist and newspaper reporter Lutrelle "Lu" F. Palmer, II (1922 - 2004 ) spent fifty years galvanizing and informing the black community as a reporter, syndicated columnist, newspaper publisher and radio commentator. From 1983 until his retirement in 2001, Palmer hosted an issues-oriented talk show. As a community activist, he founded the Chicago Black United Communities in 1979, and the Black Independent Political Organization in 1981.

Employment

Chicago Defender

Fisk University News Bureau

Chicago American

Black X-Press

Chicago Daily News

Illinois Bell Telephone Company

WVON Radio

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:7736,63:11160,87:13592,96:14222,103:14852,109:44500,266:44825,273:45085,278:45865,291:46385,301:52377,335:60320,421:60748,426:63598,440:63933,447:88417,781:89506,791:102070,895:102772,903:104020,924:110370,986:128626,1119:130292,1143:135090,1176:136546,1198:137586,1209:138314,1218:142159,1229:142554,1235:147860,1277:151780,1296:152578,1304:159034,1361:162538,1385:166098,1423:166563,1429:178524,1517:189964,1583:196950,1624:197290,1629:200726,1668:201398,1678:225814,1876:230460,1906:238550,2015:241185,2058:251048,2086$0,0:5427,87:8423,162:13156,203:33575,355:33995,360:34940,370:48000,465:60210,533:61074,543:66970,557:67350,562:67730,567:68775,581:69250,587:72040,611:80220,664:83250,708:83957,717:84462,723:88425,747:92420,783:104953,890:106214,909:116606,1003:117128,1011:122358,1043:124375,1059:124700,1065:131361,1112:139500,1178:146795,1217:168550,1317:174646,1357:175111,1363:179210,1380:185480,1415:185870,1423:188324,1441:191197,1500:191649,1546:216650,1651:222590,1769:234782,1835:235898,1845:242650,1877:256900,2087:263908,2288:264964,2332:279840,2446:280575,2454:298770,2659:301939,2678:302761,2685:305859,2698:306650,2706:309356,2717:311818,2729:315293,2765:334230,2860:350710,3014:351086,3019:357330,3067:358002,3074:358898,3084:360130,3097:361810,3139:368700,3152:372710,3166:376662,3205:383737,3248:394234,3351:395550,3372:397149,3427:398379,3440:399855,3454:400347,3475:402315,3498:425586,3686:428678,3717:429894,3737:430426,3745:437160,3779:441668,3799:456870,3944:462415,4004:462830,4010:467786,4068:495730,4181:496046,4190:503825,4248:505640,4266:505990,4272:506340,4278:507304,4287:508054,4295
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lu Palmer interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lu Palmer's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lu Palmer remembers his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lu Palmer discusses his father's career in education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lu Palmer recalls his early life in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lu Palmer shares memories of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lu Palmer discusses the impact that his father had on their community

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lu Palmer shares some memories of growing up in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lu Palmer talks about his relationship with his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lu Palmer reflects on his years in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lu Palmer talks about attending college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lu Palmer talks about his involvement in social activities while in college

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lu Palmer shares details about his time in the Army Special Service singing group

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lu Palmer reflects on his time at Syracuse University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lu Palmer talks about attending the University of Iowa

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lu Palmer talks about his early work with black newpapers and decision to work for the white press

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lu Palmer discusses the racism he experienced while writing for 'Chicago's American' and the 'Chicago Daily News'

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lu Palmer talks about starting a radio show and newspaper

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lu Palmer discussses some of the issues he faced while trying to print his newpaper

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lu Palmer talks about the columnists for The Black X-Press'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lu Palmer talks about his black nationalist perspective of his paper

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lu Palmer reflects on the civil rights movement and identifies issues of concern within the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lu Palmer talks about his radio show, 'Lu's Notebook'

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lu Palmer discusses his involvement in the campaign for the first black school board president in Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lu Palmer explains how CBUC began its campaign for an African American mayor of Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lu Palmer discusses choosing a black candidate to run for mayor of Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lu Palmer explains how he helped Harold Washington run for mayor of Chicago

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Second slating of Lu Palmer

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lu Palmer reflects on the mayoralty of Harold Washington

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lu Palmer talks about his activism in the Wallace Davis police brutality case

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lu Palmer considers his legacy and shares other thoughts

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Lu Palmer talks about starting a radio show and newspaper
Lu Palmer talks about his radio show, 'Lu's Notebook'
Transcript
But, I just decided--well, by then I had been through a lot of experiences. And I had come, I, what I would call, of age, when, activism. And I was--by then, I had started the radio show. I was doing 'Lu's Notebook'. And I had, I had developed in me an ideology that I just could not, I could not change. So I left the ['Chicago] Daily News', had this press conference. Everybody, I mean--I won't say everybody, so many people said I made a mistake. In fact, Mike Royko, remember Royko?$$Yes.$$Royko wrote a--.$$He was a columnist for the, first the ['Chicago] 'Sun-Times', I guess, right?$$Yeah.$$And then the, yeah, the 'Sun-Times' then, right.$$Later, the ['Chicago] Tribune'. He, he was writing a piece for 'Chicago Journalism Review', and he, he wrote a piece, he was wondering what, what--in order words, had I gone crazy, 'cause I had started my own newspaper then. He said, why would I leave a, a newspaper with five hundred [thousand] circulation and have a newspaper where hardly anybody gonna read it? Well, the first thing I did with my newspaper was answer him. And I--my, my point was, however many readers I may have with the 'Black Express', I know they are readers that understand what I'm saying. I might have 500,000 readers at the 'Daily News', most of them can't imagine what I'm really trying to get across. So I started 'The Black X-Press'. I, the only way I could start it, I borrowed money from a dear friend of ours--he's dead now, Dr. Clark, Dr. William Clark. I started the paper and on the, in the first issue, my headline was here is the column the 'Daily News' refused to run. They would not run the column I had written about the Black Panthers. So I ran it in my newspaper. I, and I said to myself, maybe it won't, but a dozen people read it, but it's there to be read. The paper lasted fourteen months. We caught hell. I made the crazy mistake of not accepting white advertising. Everybody, and my wife [Jorja English Palmer] included, told me I was making a mistake. Dr. Clark told me I was making a mistake, but I was stubborn.$Can we go back to the beginning of 'Lu's Notebook' 'cause that, it played such a vital role in that, and we haven't talked about the 'Notebook' yet, you know, on tape. So 'Lu's Notebook' started when? When did 'Lu's Notebook' start?$$1971.$$And what was it for the sake of, can you explain what it was?$$It was a radio commentary, sponsored by Illinois Bell Telephone Company, produced by Vince Cullers, an advertising agency here at Chicago--.$$A black agency.$$Black agency. Illinois Bell Telephone Company came to Vince. They needed an instrument to make them closer to the black community. At the time that they came to Vince, telephone trucks were being raided, and they needed--they couldn't come into the black community without being jumped on. And they had a terrible relationship. They wanted to better that relationship. Vince suggested the commentary, and asked me if I would do it, and I said of course. So we, we started on four black radio stations, and for most of the time, we were on three and had almost saturation coverage of the black community, radio-wise, in Chicago. My purpose with 'Lu's Notebook' was to provide information, provide facts of history and to give inspiration to our people and to teach them, hopefully, how to be independent and self reliant. And everyday, I had a commentary. And everyday it had one of those elements in it. Well, the beautiful thing about it from my standpoint, I had control over what was being said. The sponsor didn't know what I was going to say until I said it. And they caught hell from the establishment, from advertisers, politicians, even black folks. I was able to stay on the air for twelve years, mainly--.$$(simultaneously) Well--.$$Huh?$$Yeah, okay go ahead.$$Mainly because the community backed me, and every time, Bell tried to cancel me, the community would rear up and say, no way. Well, it finally had to come to an end.$$Now, wait a minute, before you get to that part, we're getting to heart of everything now. But this is--to a lot of activity--but can you describe for us how your show came on the air. And I want you to do two things. Describe that and describe how many of the shows closed, the way it closed with the same phrase, I think it's your favorite phrase. But, so can you describe, can you do the opening for us. I know you didn't do, but somebody else did it, but--.$$No, it came on with, with African drums, and the announcer, talking about the talking drums and describing me as the talking drums. And a very clever introduction which, which--.$$Oh, can you repeat what you just said 'cause you were moving the mic.$$It was a very clever introduction which welded together the African history as well as the ideology of the day, so far as I am concerned, and during, during the years that I was, I was on the air, I, I developed--whenever something particularly bad happened, when white folks did something that was just outrageous, I would always close by saying, it's enough to make a Negro turn black. And it caught on. People began saying, that's enough to make a Negro turn black. And that was during the time that we were struggling to identify ourselves. We finally became used to saying black, although we at first hesitated. But the 'Notebook'--.$$Well, what--let's back up for a second. What was the difference in your mind and in the mind, do you think of your listeners between--?$$Huh?$$What was the difference in your mind and in the mind of your listeners between a Negro and a black person?$$Well, what was different is that a Negro gives in to the system and takes orders without question from white folks. A black person resists racism and fights. The, the, this is the activism we've been talking about. And we have some terrible things, examples of what white folks do to black folks and when they, when they became known, I, I, I just said, this is enough to, to make a Negro--who has not yet become an activist, turn black and become one.$$Okay, being black requires--.$$Resistance.$$--acti-activism.$$And activity, right.$$Okay.$$And the 'Notebook', I, I can talk about Harold Washington now. I suspect the, the greatest thing that has happened to me, for my people, was the election of Harold Washington as the first black mayor of Chicago.