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Marie Dixon

Nonprofit executive Marie Dixon was born on August 1, 1937 in Oxford, Mississippi. Her mother was Amelia Booker and her father was Fred Booker. Dixon comes from a family of fourteen brothers and sister. Her family had deep roots in Oxford, as both of her parents were born and raised there. Dixon attended New Hope, the school at her local church in Oxford, and then Oxford Training School. Then, in 1954, Dixon left Oxford and moved to Chicago.

Dixon first worked in retail and attended the Red Cross School in order to become a nurse. Then, in 1956, Dixon met the legendary blues musician, producer, and her future husband, Willie Dixon. In the late 1970s, Willie had a vision for a blues foundation, and, in 1984, he established the organization as the “Blues Heaven Foundation,” a non-profit designed to promote the blues and to provide scholarships, royalty recovery advice, and emergency assistance to blues musicians in need. After her husband’s death in 1992, Dixon purchased the building of the legendary Chess Studios in Chicago in 1993 in order to house the Blues Heaven Foundation. She then went on to serve as the foundation’s president. Through the efforts of Dixon, her daughter Shirli, and others, the Blues Heaven Foundation and museum finally moved into the restored Chess Studios in 1997.

In 2003, after her daughter Shirli’s untimely death, Dixon’s other daughter, Jacqueline, joined in order to help in running the Blues Heaven Foundation as the new executive director. In 2012, Sugar Blue, a famous blues harmonica player, presented Dixon with the Blues and Spirit Award at the third biennial Blues and the Spirit symposium held at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. Then, in 2013, she was honored with the Willie Dixon’s Legendary Blues Artist induction, as well as the induction of the Willie Dixon Blues Heaven Foundation, into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame. Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation provides an annual Muddy Waters Scholarship to a full-time Chicago college student studying music, African American studies, history, journalism, or a related field. The foundation also sponsors and performs harmonica workshops.

Marie Dixon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 25, 2013.

Dixon passed away on November 20, 2016.

Accession Number

A2013.228

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/25/2013

Last Name

Dixon

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Central High School

First Name

Marie

Birth City, State, Country

Oxford

HM ID

DIX02

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Take What You Got And Make What You Want Out Of It.$

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/1/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

11/20/2016

Short Description

Music executive Marie Dixon (1937 - 2016 ) was the widow of legendary blues musician Willie Dixon and the president of the Blues Heaven Foundation in Chicago.

Employment

Blues Heaven Foundation

Neisner Brother's Inc.

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:6212,141:10964,196:32138,422:32603,428:33719,439:34091,444:51726,635:52122,640:53607,656:54003,661:57270,694:69125,810:74030,863:74590,872:75070,880:81588,993:92037,1108:93525,1136:95478,1167:95943,1173:97431,1203:100872,1274:108002,1331:112133,1409:112538,1415:112943,1421:113267,1426:113834,1434:116264,1478:116588,1483:116993,1489:123760,1543:124234,1553:124629,1559:125103,1566:129738,1618:131870,1653$0,0:6024,34:11813,114:16031,195:32020,389:34036,452:35884,548:53872,697:64256,893:69960,970:71460,998:72135,1009:72585,1016:73035,1023:83872,1198:89396,1245:92100,1283:93920,1324:105362,1398:106046,1412:107718,1458:108934,1485:109314,1491:112560,1526:139438,1918:139710,1924:139982,1929:153025,2038:153357,2043:153689,2048:155680,2061:162680,2198:163280,2210:167372,2248:168529,2265:169063,2272:169953,2279:172830,2306:183346,2465:187358,2530:200132,2641:212772,2805:223840,3009:236164,3207:237198,3222:238232,3246:239266,3260:243522,3375:279340,3583:280620,3683:283180,3727:296130,3852
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marie Dixon's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marie Dixon lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marie Dixon describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marie Dixon talks about her mother's life in Oxford, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marie Dixon describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marie Dixon talks about her parents' elopement

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marie Dixon describes her likeness to her father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marie Dixon lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marie Dixon remembers her siblings' migration away from Oxford, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Marie Dixon describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Marie Dixon talks about segregation in Oxford, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Marie Dixon describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Marie Dixon recalls the music at the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Oxford, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Marie Dixon talks about her early experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marie Dixon recalls moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marie Dixon recalls the importance of church to her family

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marie Dixon remembers her childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marie Dixon remembers enrolling at Oxford Training School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marie Dixon remembers the Oxford Training School in Oxford, Mississippi, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marie Dixon recalls caring for her younger brothers

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marie Dixon remembers her introduction to blues music

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marie Dixon talks about the themes of blues music

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marie Dixon talks about her early exposure to live music

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Marie Dixon remembers attending high school in Oxford, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Marie Dixon recalls a lack of opportunities for women in Oxford, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Marie Dixon talks about her decision to move to Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marie Dixon talks about her decision to move to Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marie Dixon describes her early employment in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marie Dixon remembers the nightlife on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marie Dixon remembers how she met Willie Dixon

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marie Dixon talks about her relationship with Willie Dixon

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marie Dixon talks about Willie Dixon's songwriting career

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marie Dixon talks about the movie 'Cadillac Records,' pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marie Dixon talks about the movie 'Cadillac Records,' pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marie Dixon talks about Willie Dixon's lawsuit against the Arc Music Group, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marie Dixon talks about Willie Dixon's lawsuit against the Arc Music Group, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marie Dixon describes the importance of music publishing rights

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marie Dixon describes Willie Dixon's role in the founding of the Chicago Blues Festival

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marie Dixon remembers establishing the Blues Heaven Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marie Dixon describes the Blues Heaven Foundation's education initiatives

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Marie Dixon describes the Blues Heaven Foundation's assistance programs

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Marie Dixon talks about the blues scene in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marie Dixon talks about the closure of blues clubs on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marie Dixon talks about white musicians' interest in the blues

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marie Dixon remembers the popularity of blues in Chicago's Jewish community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marie Dixon recalls Billy Branch's involvement in the community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marie Dixon remembers a Thanksgiving story about Willie Dixon

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marie Dixon remembers acquiring the Chess Records building

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Marie Dixon describes the operations of the Blues Heaven Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Marie Dixon talks about the Blue Heavens Foundation building

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Marie Dixon describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Marie Dixon talks about the funding for the Blues Heaven Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Marie Dixon talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Marie Dixon reflects upon her legacy and how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

8$4

DATitle
Marie Dixon talks about the themes of blues music
Marie Dixon remembers how she met Willie Dixon
Transcript
Now that doesn't sound so bad, "Baby, please don't go."$$ Well, it's the facts of life. You beg your baby, "Don't leave me." You beg your baby, "Turn your lamp down low," (laughter). Turn the light down, you know, put the dimmer on. You know, I can demonstrate to you many songs that my husband [Willie Dixon] wrote. He wrote a song which I feel is very true, many of his songs. But one was 'Spoonful.' And you've heard people say that people will kill over a dime or a nickel. And he wrote the song (singing), "It could be a spoonful of coffee, it could be a spoonful of tea. Just a little spoonful of your precious love is good enough for me. Some people lie about spoonful. Some people die about that spoonful. Everybody fight about a spoonful," (laughter). These are the things that he wrote about. Why would that be the devil's music? People will lie about a penny. They will lie about a spoonful. And then he goes on to tell you, "A spoonful full of--filled with water will save you from the desert sand." And if you're in the desert and you don't have any water, just a spoonful of that may help you live, you know. But then he did say one thing that I wasn't sure about. He said, "A spoon filled with lead will save you from--a spoonful of lead from my forty-five," that's what he said, "will save you from another man." (Laughter) So, you know, but other than that he tells the story about what happens with a spoonful of nothing, really. People kill about nothing. And the true word about the song is killing people is about little things, small things, instead of looking at the big picture and not harming each other.$Tell us how you met--I mean about meeting Willie Dixon.$$ Accidentally, I met him. (Pause) My thing was I loved music, and it didn't make a difference who played it. But how I met him is your question. Well, I was out with a lady friend of mine and her boyfriend, and we stopped in this, in this particular club called the 708 Club [Chicago, Illinois]. And there was very few peoples there. And we was going--because the advertisement was saying that Howlin' Wolf was there, was going to be there, and we was going to stop in and see Howlin' Wolf. Unfortunately, Wolf did not perform there that night. Willie and the Big Three performed there.$$So, were you disappointed that Howlin' Wolf wasn't there?$$ Not really. It really didn't make a difference, because I was just hanging out with her and her boyfriend until my boyfriend got off from work. Because he worked nights, and we were just hanging out until Chris [ph.] got off from work. And when we went into the club, it was maybe fifteen or twenty people there. I think it was on a Wednesday night, and it was like, okay, two is a couple, three is a crowd. So, I'm going to go sit over here on the bar and flirt with the guys. That normally was not me; I never flirted with musicians or anything like that. But that particular night, I guess it was my night. I did, and I didn't even know who Willie Dixon were. I had heard about the Big Three Trio, but I really didn't know who they were, and that was the Big Three Trio.$$Okay.$$ That was the group that was on the stage.$$Who was in the trio besides Willie?$$ It was Willie, Ollie Crawford, and Leonard Caston, who they called Baby Doo, who was the piano player. And I think I heard Willie say--and I know I read this--Ellis--Alec Hunter [sic. Ellis Hunter]. And I don't ask me what he played. I believe he might have been a guitar player. But Ollie Crawford was the guitar player for many, many years. And Willie was the bass. Leonard was the piano. Also, I believe he played the guitar as well. And they went from the Big Three to Four Jumps for Jive [sic. Four Jumps of Jive], and then it became four people. And then the Five Breezes, but some of the same people, you know, like Willie, Ollie, and Leonard which we--he was always called Baby Doo, Leonard Caston. They was always--the beginning of that second group, the Four Jumps to Jive or the Five Breezes.$$Okay, okay.$$ So, I really didn't know who I was talking to when I was just flirting with the guys on the bandstand.$$Okay. What happened?$$ Do I have to tell (laughter)? Okay, I said--I sat on the bar, and I said, "Which one of you guys are single?" And it really didn't mean anything to me. And they said, all three of them said, "We're single, we're all single." I said, "Oh," and I thought nothing else about that. Because I was waiting on my boyfriend Chris to get off from the post office [U.S. Post Office Department; U.S. Postal Service] and we was going to hang out, because I was off of work that particular night. I was working nights at this point as a clerk at 47th [Street] and Prairie [Avenue] at a drugstore called the Star Drugstore [ph.]. And I was off, so I was enjoying my night off from work, because I used to work from six o'clock in the afternoon until two in the morning. And I thought nothing about this, but Willie Dixon did, and he found me at the drugstore. And I'm looking at this giant and saying, "Unh-uh," but he was kind, he was gentle. So, it was easy to let Chris go.$$Yeah, poor Chris was too late that night, I guess.$$ It was time to let Chris go. Chris had his thing, and I had mine. But however, that's how I met him, not knowing who this person were when I flirted with them. And I say I did the flirting. I said, "Which one of you guys are single?" And the three answered: "We all are."

Gloria Burgess

Executive leadership professor, speaker, author, and poet, Gloria Jean Burgess was born on May 23, 1953 in Oxford, Mississippi. Her father, Earnest McEwen, Jr. received a college education thanks to funding from Nobel laureate author William Faulkner, on the condition that his gift be passed on to others, which McEwen did for Gloria and his other four daughters. Burgess grew up in Detroit, where she attended Ralph Bunche Elementary School, and Ann Arbor, where she attended Northside Elementary School, Forsythe Junior High School and graduated from Huron High School. Burgess attended the University of Michigan, studying poetry with Robert Hayden and drama. She earned her B.G.S. degree in education, anthropology, English and speech communication in 1975.

Burgess obtained her M.A. degree in speech communication and theater from the University of Michigan in 1977, earning notoriety as a Distinguished Fellow and Scholar in Direction and Performance. She attended the University of Southern California (USC) in the late 1970s, obtaining her Ph.D. in performance studies. Burgess continued studying, earning her M.B.A. degree from USC in 1986 in organizational behavior and design and information systems.

In 1988, Burgess was appointed assistant professor at the University of Washington College of Engineering, teaching leadership, management, cross cultural studies, and creativity to engineering students. In 1991, Burgess became director of multimedia development for Aldus Corporation, the organization responsible for PageMaker software. In 1994, Burgess founded Jazz, Inc., an executive coaching and consulting organization. She also founded The Lift Every Voice Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to leadership development for underserved, underrepresented youth. Burgess continued studying during this time, and in 1995 earned her M.A. degree in applied behavioral science from Bastyr University. Upon graduating, she became graduate faculty and program lead for their graduate program in leadership and applied behavioral science.

Burgess continued studying poetry as well, becoming a Fellow in the new Cave Canem organization for African American poets and writers in 1996. She became a consultant for Bastyr University's Leadership Institute the following year, consulting for faculty, undergraduate and graduate programs. Burgess spent 1997 through 1999 as a consultant for Boeing Corporation, and in 1998 was appointed to Leadership Tomorrow's Core Faculty. That same year, she published her first book of poetry, entitled Journey of the Rose. Despite all this activity, Burgess managed to remain involved in "Keepers of the Dream" with the Group Theatre Company, a celebration of African American women.

In 2000, Burgess expanded her coaching and consulting practice and became executive coach to the Dean of Libraries at the University of Washington. She also published her second book of poetry in 2001, entitled The Open Door, and wrote her first book for children entitled Hold Fast to Dreams: Pass It On!, about her father's relationship with William Faulkner.

Burgess lives with her husband, John, and daughter, Quinn in Edmonds, Washington.

Burgess was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 26, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.306

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/3/2008 |and| 10/26/2007

Last Name

Burgess

Maker Category
Schools

Huron High School

Forsythe Junior High School

Ralph Bunche Elementary School

University of Michigan

University of Southern California

Bastyr University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Gloria

Birth City, State, Country

Oxford

HM ID

BUR18

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Pass It On.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Washington

Birth Date

5/23/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Seattle

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pie (Sweet Potato)

Short Description

Poet and business consultant Gloria Burgess (1953 - ) founded Jazz, Inc., an executive coaching and consulting organization. She is also the author of, "Hold Fast to Dreams: Pass It On!"

Employment

Casey Family Programs

Jazz, Inc.

Aldus/Adobe Corp.

University of Washington

Honeywell

Favorite Color

Green

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gloria Burgess' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gloria Burgess lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gloria Burgess describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gloria Burgess talks about her maternal great-great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gloria Burgess talks about her maternal family's sharecropping

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gloria Burgess talks about her mother's childhood in Abbeville, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gloria Burgess describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gloria Burgess describes Oxford, Mississippi and her father's educational background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gloria Burgess talks about her father's employment at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gloria Burgess describes how her parents met and developed a relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gloria Burgess talks about her father's close friendship with author William Faulkner

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Gloria Burgess talks about her father's participation in a walkout at Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in Lorman, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gloria Burgess explains why her father was expelled from Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in Lorman, Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gloria Burgess explains why her father was expelled from Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in Lorman, Mississippi, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gloria Burgess talks about her father's studies at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gloria Burgess talks about her family's move north and her father's inability to find work

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gloria Burgess considers her likeness to her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gloria Burgess describes her childhood in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gloria Burgess describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gloria Burgess describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gloria Burgess recalls spending time with her extended family in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Gloria Burgess lists the elementary schools she attended in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Gloria Burgess describes her father's jobs in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Gloria Burgess describes difficulties she experienced transitioning from Detroit to Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Gloria Burgess explains her father's decision to relocate to Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Gloria Burgess lists the schools she attended in Ann Arbor, Michigan and her favorite teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gloria Burgess recalls being introduced to Langston Hughes' work in the sixth grade

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gloria Burgess talks about her family's private relationship with William Faulkner

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gloria Burgess describes her academic interests and personality as an elementary and high school student

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gloria Burgess remembers Gwendolyn Brooks' visit to Huron High School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gloria Burgess talks about her decision to attend University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gloria Burgess talks about studying under Robert Hayden and Eva Jessye at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gloria Burgess remembers when she started to wear her hair natural

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gloria Burgess talks about her family's discussions of the Civil Rights Movement and racism

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gloria Burgess recalls the assassinations of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Gloria Burgess talks about her undergraduate majors

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Gloria Burgess talks about her experience with poet Robert Hayden

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Gloria Burgess remembers choral director Eva Jessye, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gloria Burgess remembers choral director Eva Jessye, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gloria Burgess remembers professors that were both positive and negative influences

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gloria Burgess talks about earning her M.A. degree in Performance Studies from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gloria Burgess talks about earning her Ph.D. degree from the University of Southern California and describes her dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gloria Burgess talks about transitioning from academia into technology and business

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gloria Burgess explains why she wanted to earn an M.B.A. degree

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gloria Burgess talks about her appointment as assistant professor at the College of Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gloria Burgess describes meeting and marrying her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gloria Burgess describes her experience as an assistant professor in the University of Washington's College of Engineering in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Gloria Burgess describes joining the Aldus Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Gloria Burgess describes her experience at the Aldus Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gloria Burgess talks about earning a third M.A. degree from Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gloria Burgess talks about her consulting company, Jazz, Incorporated

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gloria Burgess describes the most common problems she addresses as a consultant

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gloria Burgess talks about publishing her poetry

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gloria Burgess describes her managerial style and philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gloria Burgess talks about the significance of the Middle Passage to her poetry and the work of other poets

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gloria Burgess talks about the Cave Canem fellowship

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gloria Burgess considers what she might have done differently

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gloria Burgess describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Gloria Burgess describes her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Gloria Burgess considers her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Gloria Burgess talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Gloria Burgess talks briefly about her mother's legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Gloria Burgess describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gloria Burgess narrates her photographs

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Gloria Burgess narrates her photographs

James Speed

Corporate executive James H. Speed, Jr. was born on June 13, 1953 in Oxford, North Carolina. Speed’s father was a laborer in the town of Oxford, and his mother was a homemaker. In 1956, Speed’s mother suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed on the left side of her body. Still, she persevered and became a role-model to young James. Speed and his family lived in a mixed-income neighborhood, and he attended the segregated Orange Street Grade School where he excelled in math. Speed also distinguished himself as an athlete and had dreams of becoming a professional basketball player. In 1969, the Oxford Schools were integrated, and Speed attended J.F. Webb High School and was a member of the school’s integrated baseball team. Later that year, Speed participated in marches, protesting a racially charged murder in Oxford. In 1971, Speed graduated from J.F. Webb High School and entered North Carolina Central University.

Speed flourished as a basketball player and accounting student. He joined the National Association of Black Accountants and made the Dean’s List his senior year. Upon graduation, Speed accepted a job at Pittsburgh Plate & Glass as a staff auditor. In 1979, Speed earned his M.B.A. degree from Atlanta University and was named the "Most Outstanding Student" in the business program. After graduation, Speed joined the international accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche as a certified accountant where one of his principal clients was North Carolina Mutual. In 1991, Speed joined Hardee’s Food System as vice president and controller. Four years later, Speed was promoted to senior vice president, and, in 1997, he became a member of the company’s five-person senior management team. A short time later, Speed began work as a consultant for North Carolina Mutual. In 2000, he formed the Speed Financial Group but was recruited in 2003 to join North Carolina Mutual. He became president and CEO in 2004.

Speed lives in Raleigh with his wife and daughter. He serves on the Durham Chamber of Commerce.

Speed was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 25, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.187

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/25/2007

Last Name

Speed

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Clark Atlanta University

Orange Street Grade School

J.F. Webb High School

North Carolina Central University

Mary Potter High School

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Oxford

HM ID

SPE04

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

AON

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Maui, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Out Of Every Adversity, There Is A Seed Of Equal Or Greater Benefit.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

6/13/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Durham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Insurance executive James Speed (1953 - ) is the president and CEO of North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company.

Employment

North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

PPG Industries

Deloitte

Hardee's Food Systems

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:528,30:5720,152:14551,276:20713,407:21108,414:31818,607:37138,730:37518,736:40634,789:42838,832:54951,974:61182,1084:68131,1241:72076,1329:72466,1336:77692,1469:89297,1658:90452,1686:93917,1777:94225,1782:97767,1867:102948,1912:118170,2316:120830,2429:125380,2527:132794,2573:133122,2585:133942,2596:134270,2601:139354,2716:147190,2817:149500,2863:149780,2868:150200,2876:152440,2919:156286,2932:157182,2954:158206,2974:159038,2990:159486,2997:170990,3197:171900,3216:177760,3299:181140,3397:181465,3403:183675,3427:185170,3464:185560,3471:186210,3483:187445,3511:190174,3527:194194,3609:194529,3615:194931,3622:195534,3632:197410,3677:198415,3702:199152,3729:204780,3900:215628,4089:218211,4167:218715,4176:219030,4182:221046,4228:221613,4240:223755,4298:231916,4379:232304,4404:245943,4483:248430,4501:248880,4508:250605,4533:251280,4544:254130,4566:257712,4595:265660,4717$0,0:13448,320:14600,344:21434,407:29500,594:33348,679:42142,806:42454,811:42844,817:44560,828:50020,923:51034,948:54388,1014:55012,1030:55636,1040:56182,1050:68744,1253:75075,1346:76520,1372:77965,1406:80770,1466:81790,1479:83320,1506:89675,1611:103565,1805:107294,1888:107996,1904:108464,1912:110882,1963:111428,1972:112598,1992:120590,2094:121360,2144:121640,2149:124160,2213:130740,2411:141572,2568:144452,2650:161138,2897:163430,2919:166423,2989:171630,3056:172894,3089:174553,3120:177555,3179:177871,3185:179056,3219:186750,3275:188432,3324:191530,3364:193610,3403:196410,3454:199370,3508:209974,3645:214865,3754:217858,3810:218150,3815:218953,3831:219391,3839:219683,3844:220121,3851:226750,3938:227268,3947:227934,3958:230154,4008:232296,4104:232758,4109:250155,4335:250830,4347:251130,4352:251730,4364:252855,4384:254150,4389
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Speed's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Speed lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Speed describes his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Speed describes his paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Speed describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Speed remembers his early childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Speed describes his childhood neighborhood of Oxford, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Speed recalls learning about North Carolina Mutual in his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Speed describes First Baptist Church in Oxford, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Speed remembers his involvement with the Boy Scouts of America and First Baptist Church in Oxford, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Speed describes a teacher who inspired him at Orange Street School in Fayetteville, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Speed describes the racial makeup of neighborhoods in Oxford, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Speed recalls his time at Mary Potter High School in Oxford, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Speed describes the integration of J.F. Webb High School in Oxford North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Speed recalls the impact of "Dickie" Marrow's murder

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Speed remembers deciding to attend North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Speed describes his time at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Speed talks about his childhood extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Speed remembers his activities at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Speed recalls how he became more studious at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Speed describes his first job at PPG industries in Greensboro, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Speed describes his experiences at Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Speed talks about working for Deloitte & Touche in Raleigh, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Speed describes the attitude toward racial inclusion at Deloitte & Touche in Raleigh, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Speed describes his work habits as an M.B.A. student and a young accountant

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Speed talks about meeting his wife in 1972

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Speed explains his focus on corporate and financial success during the 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Speed recalls his hiring as vice president and controller at Hardee's Food Systems

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Speed describes the improvements he implemented as vice president and controller for Hardee's Food Systems

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Speed talks about improving processes at Hardee's Food Systems

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Speed talks about the importance of positive thinking

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Speed talks about Peace Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Speed talks about diversifying the staff at Hardee's Food Systems in Rocky Mount, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Speed describes the Lightner and Lewis families in Raleigh, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Speed talks about his daughter, Kiera Speed

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Speed talks about becoming president of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Speed explains why he loves North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Speed details the history of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company and its importance to the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Speed describes North Carolina Mutual's mission and contributions to the community

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Speed explains why the title, President of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, does not define him

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Speed compares his hometown of Oxford, North Carolina in 2007 to his time growing up there

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Speed reflects upon his greatest accomplishment at North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Speed reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
James Speed talks about working for Deloitte & Touche in Raleigh, North Carolina
James Speed talks about becoming president of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company in Durham, North Carolina
Transcript
So what did you do next? You graduated in 1979 from Atlanta University [Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia].$$Uh-hm.$$What was your dream? To work for a big--$$Accounting firm. In the next, next, I'd say next move, major point there for me was, I was, again, I was reading in a magazine, the Journal of Accountancy, it was Fortune magazine or Journal of Accountancy that after spending ten years with a major accounting firm, a partner could expect to make about $100,000 and that's when I said, you know what, I've got to be one of those partners. And so at that point in time, my focus was on public accounting. Dr. Johnnie [L.] Clark again recommended me to Coopers & Lybrand [PricewaterhouseCoopers] my, after my first year, Coopers & Lybrand, she recommended me to go to work for them and they hired me off of her recommendation, as a summer intern. Well, in 1979, I was fortunate enough to have now, undergrad, no offers. I was fortunate enough to have eighteen job offers when I came out of Atlanta University, all eight accounting firms. So I chose Deloitte & Touche [Deloitte LLP]. One of the reasons I chose Deloitte & Touche [Deloitte LLP, Raleigh, North Carolina] is because there was a partner in charge by the name of Charlie Chuney [ph.] and Charlie Chuney [ph.], when I interviewed with him, was such a caring man but I never thought I was going to interview there and then he, during the interview, before I was getting ready to leave because I had already decided I was going to work for, at the time, Peat Marwick [KPMG], that was another firm in Raleigh [North Carolina], it was just, I was going to Deloitte as the last person in town to interview with and he asked an individual by the name of Willie Closs [Willie T. Closs Jr.], now, to come over, who was another African American, and talk to me about why it would be good to work at Deloitte & Touche. And he mentioned that we had a client by the name of McKennis [ph.] in [Mechanics &] Farmers Bank. Now I knew of McKennis [ph.] in Farmers Bank because it was here in Durham [North Carolina]. And Willie Closs who is now today the executive vice president of marketing at North Carolina Mutual [Life Insurance Company, Durham, North Carolina] here. So Willie and I had worked together years ago and Willie convinced me that Deloitte & Touche was a great place to work. So between Charlie Chuney and Willie Closs convincing me that that was a great place to work, I ended up at Deloitte & Touche and I stayed there and had a very successful career there until 1991.$$What are some of the highlights from your career at Deloitte & Touche?$$One of the highlights at Deloitte & Touche was I had an opportunity to work on, what we considered in our office, some very important clients. One of those very important clients, first of all, during my early years there, we were able to secure North Carolina Mutual as one of our clients. At that time, it was the largest black-owned business in the United States and we, I was having an opportunity to work on that, the engagement, and to really to come over to North Carolina Mutual and to be around those, if you will, legends that I had heard about, to walk in a room and there would be Mr. Bill Kennedy [William J. Kennedy III] who, at the time, was the president who was well-known on the boards at Mobil Oil [Corporation] and Pfizer [Inc.] and these major companies back in 1980, early '80s [1980s], and to be around people like a Bert Collins who is our chairman today and to be around guys like, Mr. Cicero Green [ph.] who was the treasurer and you had all of these people that were just people that you had heard about and was just at the top of their game and I had a chance to work with them on the audit staff. Another one was Hardee's Food Systems. Hardee's Food Systems, at the time, was the large, was the second largest client we had in our office and a lot of times you could tell where your career was going by the clients that you got assigned to. So when I was a client of North Carolina Mutual and also, and I realized that they wanted to assign me to North Carolina Mutual because that was an African American owned company but to get assigned and to eventually stay and to manage the Hardee's account was a big achievement because that indicated to me what Deloitte & Touche thought about my talents.$$What were your various titles?$$My various titles was staff accountant, staff accountant in senior accounting, in manager, and then senior manager and I was in the process of being admitted to the partnership in 1991, have an opportunity to be admitted to the partnership when Hardee's Food Systems offered me the job as vice president, controller.$What did you do next? How long did you stay in retirement? And did you start your own firm for a while (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well I did and I was an investor, I was an investor for a while there and so I started a group called Speed Financial Group [Inc.]. Speed Financial Group was there to, to do pretty much investing kinds of things and so, and one of the endeavors that we took on when I first left Hardee's [Food Systems], it was a group of five of us who was the former president of Hardee's, our former chief operations officer, myself and two other individuals had put a company together and what we were going to do was buy, we were going to buy Hardee's Restaurants in, out of the Charlotte [North Carolina] market. We were going to buy the entire Hardee's Charlotte market and a long story short, the chairman of the company kind of derailed that and after working on this project for about six, seven months, but it was just, at my own leisure of helping find the financing and doing a couple of other things to make that deal work, we're about ready to go to closing and all of a sudden the deal kind of blows up. But I learned a lot in that process from the standpoint of just putting all this infrastructure and so forth together to basically form a company. Well, I was doing this kind of in my spare time but I still had Speed Financial Group. Now Speed Financial Group later on, unbeknownst to me at the time, ended up being the organization that I provided consultant services to through North Carolina Mutual [Life Insurance Company, Durham, North Carolina]. I had lunch with Willie Closs [Willie T. Closs Jr.] and Bert Collins one day, well, let me back up. I can remember my wife [Thedora Speed] had given me a surprise retirement party, April 14th of 2000, two weeks after I had retired and all my high school friends had come and a lot of the people who said that it would never be possible to retire in your forties, they all came and out in the audience was Mr. Bert Collins and Willie Closs. My wife had invited Willie and, 'cause we had worked together at Deloitte [& Touche; Deloitte LLP] for many years and Bert and Carolyn [ph.], his wife came along and I had just given my speech about how great it was to not to be working anymore, to get up and kinda do what you want to do and at the end Mr. Collins comes up and says, [HistoryMaker] James [Speed], we'd love to have you come work at North Carolina Mutual and I said, Mr. Collins, I'm never working again. But, anyway, long story short--$$Now they were on the board?$$Mr. Collins was the president of North Carolina Mutual and he was on the board but I had known them through my relationship, I had known Willie from working together, I had known Mr. Collins through the relationship as being his outside auditor in over the years. And so, you know, we went to, we had lunch a couple of times and, long story short, they asked me one day, Mr. Collins asked me if I would come to work, come to work for Mutual. Well, after I gave him my rate, he says, how about coming one day a week? So, I started one day a week and when I came here that one, started that one day a week, because I realized that initially that I thought I really didn't want to work anymore and what I later found out is all I wanted to do was have a choice. I just wanted to have a choice to say what I basically did and then I got to North Carolina Mutual and we started working on a, well I had worked on some of the issues that we had around our auditing and so forth was helping North Carolina Mutual fix some of those issues. I think about six months after that, Mr. Collins put a team of people together, made of the management team at North Carolina Mutual to put together a strategic plan and this strategic plan would take place for about four to five months about where North Carolina Mutual would go to the future. And he asked me if I would, would be willing to come in and help serve on that strategic planning team and so I did. And as I sat there I saw the huge opportunities we had but more importantly than that, the thing I realized was, I was absolutely loving being here. I would just enjoy myself and I kept saying, my inner self kept saying, you're not supposed to be enjoying work, you're not supposed to be enjoying this but every day I came here, I was thoroughly having a ball.

Philip Cohran

Chicago music legend Philip Cohran was born Philip Thomas Cohran on May 8, 1927, in Oxford, Mississippi. His parents, Frankie Mae Green Cohran and Philip Thomas Cohran, who had ancestral ties to Rust College, sent their only child to the Oxford Training School and later to school in Troy, Missouri. Cohran attended Vashon High School in St. Louis, but graduated from Lincoln University Laboratory High School in 1945. Music teachers Ruby Harris Gill and Lewis A. Laird identified chemistry major Cohran as a Lincoln University prodigy. Drawn increasingly to music, Cohran played trumpet with a number of groups in the St. Louis area during the late 1940s.

In 1950, Cohran joined Jay McShann’s touring swing band, playing with Charlie Parker and Walter Brown. He recorded with McShann for Houston’s Peacock Records where he backed up Big Mama Thornton and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. Drafted that year, Cohran trained Naval bands at Annapolis, Maryland. Discharged in 1952, Cohran moved to Chicago where he studied the Schillinger system and played with Jimmy Bell and Walter Perkins. For the balance of the 1950s, Cohran was a part of Sun Ra’s cutting edge Astral Infinity Arkestra where he played trumpet, zithers and harp on recordings such as Rocket Number Nine and We Travel the Spaceways. Cohran remained in Chicago when Sun Ra moved to Montreal in 1962, and briefly joined the Nation of Islam. A remarkable autodidact, Cohran amassed a huge library of books and media. His studies and research on science, health, history and music made him a community guru.

In 1966, Cohran’s Artistic Heritage Ensemble included Amina Claudine Myers, Ajramu, Larry King, Eugene Easton, Don Myric, Aaron Dodd, Bob Crowder, Pete Cosey, Charles Hany, Louis Satterfield, Verdeen White and Maurice White. The latter three later formed the nucleus of the musical group Earth, Wind and Fire, utilizing the thumb piano sounds pioneered by Cohran. One of his 1966 concerts at 63rd Street Beach in Chicago drew 3,000 people. As founding director of the Afro Arts Theater in 1967, Cohran hosted a weekly cultural extravaganza that featured poets like, Haki Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), Carolyn Rodgers and Useni Eugene Perkins; dancers like Darlene Blackburn and Alyo Tolbert; and musicians from the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) that he founded with Muhal Richard Abrams. In 1968, Cohran left Affro Arts to teach at Malcom X College.

From 1975 to 1977, Cohran operated Transitions East, a Chicago South Side venue featuring music and health food. In the 1980s, Cohran twice co-chaired Artists for Harold Washington. In 1987, he composed the award-winning music for the Sky Show at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium. His music has been featured in countless venues including the Chicago Jazz Festival. Honored numerous times for his musicianship and teaching, Cohran was honored with the name “Kelan” by Chinese Muslims while on tour in 1991.

Cohran passed away on June 28, 2017 at the age of 90.

Accession Number

A2006.158

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/11/2006 |and| 1/18/2007

Last Name

Cohran

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Lincoln University Laboratory High School

Lincoln University

First Name

Philip

Birth City, State, Country

Oxford

HM ID

COH02

Favorite Season

Birthday

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Chicago, Illinois

Favorite Quote

A Man Gets Worked On By What He Works On.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/8/1927

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Grits

Death Date

6/28/2017

Short Description

Trumpet player Philip Cohran (1927 - 2017 ) played trumpet, zithers and harp in Sun Ra’s cutting edge, "Astral Infinity Arkestra," and was the founding director of the Afro-Arts Theatre in Chicago. He also formed The Artistic Heritage Ensemble, which served as a basis for the group Earth, Wind and Fire.

Employment

Jay McShann's Band

Rajas of Swing

Afro-Arts Theater

Sun Ra Arkestra

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Philip Cohran's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Philip Cohran lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Philip Cohran describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Philip Cohran remembers his childhood friends in Oxford, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Philip Cohran describes his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Philip Cohran describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Philip Cohran describes his mother's family background, pt. 3

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Philip Cohran describes the history of his surname

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Philip Cohran describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Philip Cohran remembers his paternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Philip Cohran describes his paternal uncles

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Philip Cohran describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Philip Cohran talks about his father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Philip Cohran describes his parents' marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Philip Cohran recalls his childhood during the Great Depression

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Philip Cohran describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Philip Cohran describes his neighborhood in Oxford, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Philip Cohran remembers his early music lessons

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Philip Cohran describes his family's decision to move to Troy, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Philip Cohran describes the history of Native Americans in Troy, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Philip Cohran remembers his elementary education

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Philip Cohran describes the culture of Troy, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Philip Cohran recalls his music teacher at Lincoln University Laboratory High School in Jefferson City, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Philip Cohran recalls his early musical influences

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Philip Cohran describes his perspective on religion

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Philip Cohran describes Africans' regard for musicians

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Philip Cohran describes his early career as a musician

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Philip Cohran describes the jazz community in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Philip Cohran recalls his experiences in Jay McShann's band, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Philip Cohran recalls his experiences in Jay McShann's band, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Philip Cohran remembers being drafted to the U.S. Army during the Korean War

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Philip Cohran recalls his transfer to the United States Naval School of Music

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Philip Cohran describes his travels with the U.S. Army band

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Philip Cohran describes his experiences of racial discrimination in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Philip Cohran remembers his move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Philip Cohran describes his experiences with drugs

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Philip Cohran remembers his arrival in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Philip Cohran recalls working in a steel mill in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Philip Cohran describes Sun Ra's personality and background

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Philip Cohran talks about the influence of Sun Ra's philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Philip Cohran remembers joining Sun Ra's band

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Philip Cohran talks about Sun Ra's musical style

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Philip Cohran remembers inventing the frankiphone, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Philip Cohran remembers inventing the frankiphone, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Philip Cohran remembers the development of Sun Ra's music

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Philip Cohran recalls his introduction to the Nation of Islam, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Philip Cohran recalls his introduction to the Nation of Islam, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Philip Cohran reflects upon the Nation of Islam's relationship to music

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Philip Cohran talks about the symbol of the sine curve

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Philip Cohran describes his work with Malcolm X in the Nation of Islam

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Philip Cohran reflects upon the discipline in the Nation of Islam

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Philip Cohran talks about his experiences in the 1960s

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Philip Cohran reflects upon the perception of Malcolm X, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Philip Cohran reflects upon the perception of Malcolm X, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Philip Cohran describes the Black Arts Movement, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Philip Cohran describes the Black Arts Movement, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Philip Cohran describes the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Philip Cohran describes the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Philip Cohran talks about his use of incense during performances

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Philip Cohran recalls leaving the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Philip Cohran remembers meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Philip Cohran describes the creation of 'Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow,' pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Philip Cohran describes the creation of 'Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow,' pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Philip Cohran talks about the origins of music, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Philip Cohran talks about the origins of music, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Philip Cohran talks about the origins of music, pt. 3

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Philip Cohran recalls his performances at the 63rd Street Beach in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Philip Cohran recalls founding the Afro-Arts Theater in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Philip Cohran describes the programing at the Afro-Arts Theater, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Philip Cohran describes the programing at the Afro-Arts Theater, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Philip Cohran talks about the mission of the Afro-Arts Theater

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Philip Cohran recalls the closure of the Afro-Arts Theater

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Philip Cohran describes the music of the Artistic Heritage Ensemble

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Philip Cohran describes the response to the closure of the Afro-Arts Theater, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Philip Cohran describes the response to the closure of the Afro-Arts Theater, pt. 2

DASession

2$2

DATape

6$10

DAStory

6$7

DATitle
Philip Cohran remembers inventing the frankiphone, pt. 2
Philip Cohran describes the response to the closure of the Afro-Arts Theater, pt. 2
Transcript
And so I walked the streets of Chicago [Illinois], like from my house on 75th Street down to the library [South Shore Branch, Chicago, Illinois] on the lakefront, and I would play these thumb pianos with me. And that energy field that's in there would get so deep in my mind that I had to play that instrument sometimes two weeks, I couldn't turn it loose. It was almost like drugs. And I realized how strong music is. What had been happening to me is that we had been playing shallow music, it wasn't strong enough. Sun Ra's music was strong, but even his music wasn't strong enough. It was his spirit that made the music so strong, and his energy that he applied to the music. But the music itself has energy, and that's what I was exploring. That's why I play string instruments and instruments with specific tuning, because I understand now the field, the energy field that comes out of what people call modes. See, I was the one that started that. Sun Ra did it, Clark Terry did it. Other people did it, but they didn't understand it. I explored it. I dealt with the scientific breakdown of it. I went into the ancient tuning system. I saw what other people did. I read Plato and Pythagoras; I read the whole manual by Zollino [ph.]. So, I worked to get some type of understanding. And I think because of the hard work that I did, the ancestors just let me see the whole picture. And so, I began to write out of that picture, and I had a picture like Sun Ra (laughter). He was space and place, but I was earth. And that's why I had to leave, because I saw that I was diametrically opposed to what he was doing, while respecting him at the utmost for his genius and the fact that they opened me up and gave me an opportunity to see life on a higher level. Now that frankiphone, everything I do, I try to improve. And so anything that I make--like I made this stuff right here. Anything that I make, I see a better way the next time. But if it turns me on, I'll go ahead and do it. But I'm always trying to improve, you know. At seventy-nine, I'm still trying to improve. And I've learned some things this year that I didn't know before. Now that's how the frankiphone came about.$$Okay.$$But it had to be based on my concept of music, not general music. You go to school and learn music, this is this and that is that. That ain't worth a damn for creating anything (laughter).$$Okay. Now the frankiphone, in terms of chronology, that comes like--is that before Sun Ra or after Sun Ra, or during--$$After that.$$After.$$And during--you know, because we were all creating. Marshall [Marshall Allen] had created a clarinet that has a flute--no, it had a flute with a clarinet mouthpiece. Yeah, it was called the fluziphone [sic. flutophone] or something. And it got a good sound, and he could play that, you know. Marshall is a tremendous musician. All these guys were dedicated to music for life. People are not like that now. They want to be famous. They want to be, you know, they want to get on TV. I don't care if I ever get on TV. I'm trying to generate the music in my heart that draws beautiful people to my presence, you understand, to give me a better circumstance of life. Because that's what, what I'm emanating is what will come back. What do they say, what goes around, comes around.$$Okay, so--$$So, let's get on back to the why?$$All right, so--$$I had to define music for myself. So, I went back to a single note. And I don't want to write a book on it, but I will tell you that David Baker, our distinguished musician at Indiana University [Bloomington, Indiana] in '69 [1969] told me that he wanted to dedicate a chapter of his book to me. And I let him have an interview, just like you. And then one day I was teaching a class maybe ten or twelve years later, and a student said, "That's what David Baker's got in his book." (Laughter) So then I didn't have time. So then I got the book and found out he didn't mention my name (laughter).$$So he took the concepts, but not the--$$Not only him, everybody else. Who, who else originated modal concepts? Name one that you know.$$You got me (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Don't tell me Coltrane [John Coltrane], because he was all into chords.$$I'm a not a music theorist, anyway.$$Yeah, okay (laughter).$$That's above my--$$Well, a lot of people out there consider themselves composers. But they're not; they're copiers. They go--and then in the business, they're total thieves. They pay people to go and steal. I've seen them in my rehearsal. I can tell their energy the minute they step in the door. They come to hear my rehearsal, you know, so they can take something back to their studio. Well, none of the studio people dealt with me. I dealt with my music like Sun Ra. But it was so strong, the thing that it did, it pushed other people into doing it.$Now, when this thing was supposed to go down, the guys accused me of all kind of things. I didn't really get a complete charge, but everybody said I was doing something wrong, and that I was wrong. I can just take it from what I read about J. Edgar Hoover, that they tell all kind of lies on people. And I found down through the years that it's easy to believe a lie on a black person, because they're the ones who's the object of all the lies, all right. So then we split up right there, because I demand integrity in my life. And I told them that I had picked each one of them up in giving them the best of what I knew. I had taught them musical techniques, and I had taught them things about living that I would never go back on. To me, it was the truth. So I just said, "You can have all this, if you think it's more important than being truthful, okay." So they took my Malcolm [Malcolm X] picture right there that day just to hurt me, you know. So, they, I got all my stuff out and I left the PA [public address] system there. And I went and moved out to the St. John Grand Lodge [M.W. St. John's Grand Lodge, Chicago, Illinois] (laughter). But all the time that I was there in the theater, there was this energy that came from the young people. The Four Corner Rangers [sic. Blackstone Rangers], they didn't know nothing. But they stopped the wine heads from coming on the street. Some of the other Rangers stopped people from smoking. You know, people began to become aware that they could make a difference. And so, I was very appreciative of that. And I moved back up to my little apartment and started doing my thing as Phil Cohran [HistoryMaker Philip Cohran]. Well, the public didn't know what had happened, but they were told a lot of negative stuff, too. I saw friends of mine who wouldn't even speak to me. And so, it was a thing. But the Afro-Arts Theater [Chicago, Illinois] lasted all the way into '69 [1969]. I don't know what month it was, because Sammy Davis, Jr. came to the theater and we gave a performance for him. He said, "I'm going to come back in the fall and give you a house, you know, and that'll give you a boost." So, he couldn't get back in the fall, so he used Finis Henderson, his agent, to give the Pharaohs, because when I left [the Artistic Heritage Ensemble] they called themselves the Pharaohs, and copied my compositions and my songs. Fortunately, I hadn't taught them very much. I just played for them and made, you know, gave them the keys to playing together. But I didn't teach them the whole concept. And so, they couldn't go very far with what I had. They were good musicians and they were all dedicated, and they had played my music, but they didn't know the formulas. And I'm so glad that happened. I wanted so much during that summer to teach them performance, but we were just performing day and night; we didn't have time. And that's what it was. In '69 [1969], in the summer of '69 [1969] after I had split with them for over more than a year--but I talked with them and worked with them. I even held a fundraiser there, because it didn't bother me. I never bother about what is not true. And they can say whatever I did, it didn't bother me. And once I finished with those guys, one of them lost his mind. Well, I won't say that. He appeared to have lost his mind, and I don't see any remnants of recovery. But I thought they took some deep things, okay, some deep hits.

Barbara Ann Lumpkin

Banker and former public official Barbara Ann Lumpkin was born Barbara Ann Madlock on July 27, 1950 in Oxford, Mississippi to Estella and John Lewis Madlock. She attended Green Hill Elementary School and graduated from North Panola High School in 1968, where she excelled in theater. Lumpkin earned her A.A. degree from Coahoma Community College in 1970, and after moving to Chicago, she took additional business administration courses at DePaul University.

Lumpkin began her career in banking as an assistant recruiter in the human relations department of Chicago’s Continental Bank. Gaining a front line banking job in 1980, she served in the bank’s Personal Financial Services Group. In 1985, Lumpkin moved to the Corporate Trust Department, where she rose to the position of senior vice president and corporate trust manager. After joining Amalgamated Bank in 1994, Lumpkin was certified as a corporate trust specialist by the Canon Financial Institute. In 1995, Lumpkin became Chicago’s City Comptroller and, in 1998, the City’s Budget Director. In 1999, an investigation forced the City Treasurer out of office, and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Lumpkin to the position of City Treasurer. She was later appointed a special assistant to Mayor Daley. In 2000, Lumpkin left this position to become senior vice president in the Corporate and Institutional Services business unit of Northern Trust Bank.

In 2005, Lumpkin was called to serve the City of Chicago as the City of Chicago’s Chief Procurement Officer when it was revealed in early 2005 that Chicago was underperforming in its employment of minority contractors. Lumpkin was responsible for implementing promised improvements. In addition, she leads the City’s Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Enterprise Initiative. She is also an advisory board member of the United Negro College Fund and has publicly endorsed career opportunities in the financial and banking worlds for rising students. Lumpkin is a member of the Chicago Finance Exchange and the Urban Bankers Forum.

Lumpkin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 18, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.099

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/18/2006

Last Name

Lumpkin

Maker Category
Middle Name

Ann

Schools

DePaul University

Coahoma Community College

Greenhill Elementary School

North Panola High School

First Name

Barbara

Birth City, State, Country

Oxford

HM ID

LUM02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Puerta Vallarta, Mexico

Favorite Quote

Always Respect Self And Others.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

7/27/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Thanksgiving Dinner

Short Description

Bank executive and city treasurer Barbara Ann Lumpkin (1950 - ) was the former chief procurement officer for the City of Chicago, and served as city comptroller and budget director. In the private sector, Lumpkin worked as senior vice president and corporate trust manager for Continental Bank in Chicago.

Employment

Continental Bank

City of Chicago

Northern Trust Company

Favorite Color

Black, Shades of Gray

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Barbara Ann Lumpkin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her mother's upbringing in Sardis, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her community in Sardis, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her experiences at Greenhill Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her teachers at Greenhill Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin recalls the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes the school system in Sardis, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes segregation in Mississippi during the 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her high school experiences, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes the role of music in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her high school experiences, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin recalls barriers to her aspirations for a business career

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her experiences at Coahoma Community College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin recalls visiting Chicago, Illinois in her youth

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin recalls joining Continental Bank in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin recalls working in human resources for Continental Bank

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes working in financial services for Continental Bank

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin recalls the 1983 mayoral campaign of Harold Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes the Urban Bankers Forum of Chicago, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes the Urban Bankers Forum of Chicago, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin recalls continuing her education in Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin remembers working for Amalgamated Bank of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes working as comptroller for the City of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin recalls becoming budget director for the City of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin remembers her work with Mayor Richard M. Daley

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin recalls how she became treasurer of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin recalls managing the Y2K panic as treasurer of Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin reflects upon her term as Chicago city treasurer

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her career after serving as city treasurer

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her Northern Trust Corporation vice presidency

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin talks about becoming chief procurement officer of Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her role as chief procurement officer of Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin talks about advocating for minority contractors

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her hobbies and family life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Barbara Ann Lumpkin narrates her photographs, pt. 3

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

5$4

DATitle
Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes working as comptroller for the City of Chicago
Barbara Ann Lumpkin describes her career after serving as city treasurer
Transcript
So you're approached by the Daley [Richard M. Daley] administration in '95 [1995] (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Um-hm. In '95 [1995].$$How did that happen?$$It was a surprise to me, too (laughter). Mayor Daley had just won re-election in 1995 and he also had just received the authority to take over the public school system [Chicago Public Schools] and as a result, he was re-tooling his cabinet. The budget chief at the time and his chief of staff and a few of the people who were going over to head the Chicago [Illinois] public school system and so they were moving some people around, the person who was comptroller at the time was being promoted to be CFO [chief financial officer] and they said they were looking to recruit the new comptroller. I received a call one day and I'm thinking, "Oh my God, have we blown their account?" I told the staff, "Look, if we're not balanced or we've blown this account, we're all fired so, oh, my God, oh, my God." But that wasn't what it was about at all. They invited me to come over for coffee and I thought, "Well, I suppose so, you know, I'll walk over, you're a client." They didn't say why, they just said, "Have you ever considered government, city government before?" And I said, "Well, I guess not, I've always worked in a bank."$$And those were the days of Paul Vallas and Gery Chico being the two (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, that was the group that had gone over.$$Yeah, had moved over, right.$$Mm-hm. And as a result, Diane Aigotti was named budget director and then, you know, then there was the comptroller role they were looking for. So I went over and we were just chatting and I was totally convinced in my walk over that I really loved what I was doing, that I was having a really great time, this was a rather unique opportunity for someone like me, you know, the staff and my bosses and all of us. We had this great working relationship and we were really making some significant inroads and, you know, I was just wanting to do what I could to pull that all off. And, and besides, they never said, when they invited me over what the assignment was, they just said, "Would you want to come over and talk to us?" So I went over and spent actually about an hour with them before--being myself, I said, "Okay, what exactly were you talking about. What job are we exactly talking about?" And they said, "Well, we're looking to fill the position of comptroller." I said, "Oh. Then that's different, let's, you know, let's talk more." So that's how we started the conversation. There were I'm sure, a lineup of very talented people. All of them I don't know who they were or whatever, but I just can imagine that a City of Chicago with the talent that it has that there was any shortage in names.$$I might sound dumb here but, is that, you know, you got a big position in a mid-size bank [Amalgamated Bank of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois]] and, you know, I mean, being the comptroller in the City of Chicago, is that more attractive than what you, I mean--$$Well, this is what I always try to do in my career is layer experiences. I thought that, as I still do, that adding the additional experience and the opportunity to see and learn the operation of doing a bond issue from the side of an issuer, which the City of Chicago is and which the comptroller is all responsible for, seeing it from the issuing side, because remember in the past when I was working with the transactions and the clients, it was from the bank's perspective but not from the client's perspective, and I thought I would have been even a better banker because you understand it all. I was--that was always my goal, to try and get to understand, top to bottom, soup to nuts, so, any conversation I would have with someone or if I was trying to resolve an issue, I'm talking about what I know, not what I'm thinking, or whatever I'm making up, this is a real live experience. This is something that I, you know, can talk about with confidence and I thought, you know, for these, and this is my reasoning, I thought, you know these assignments are very high intensity, you know, very demanding, long hours, lots and lots of work or whatever. I'll be back in a couple of years. That was what I thought, but it became a life of its own and I ended up in city government almost six years and doing several different things from that assignment.$Did you go to Northern Trust [Northern Trust Corporation, Chicago, Illinois] immediately after you--$$Not immediately thereafter. I, you know, just needed some time to kind of stop working the ninety hours a day and sort of settle. I worked--I went to the mayor's office as a special assistant to the mayor [Richard M. Daley]. I was working on a number of projects. One of the things that I worked on was the mayor had appointed me during my tenure as treasurer to a mayoral task force and that task force was charged with coming up with ways to identify opportunities to utilize minority women-owned firms at the city [Chicago, Illinois]. And I was fortune to have business leaders, public and private sector, higher ed [higher education], medical services, across the board, work with me on that and we served up some really interesting kind of cutting edge, I think, ideas about what the opportunities could be and how we could reshape, how we could restore. And one of the things that was in that report was some of the things that's in place now in city government and it was kind of like how to restructure and instead of calling it purchasing maybe we call it procurement services. So here it is. I just did that assignment and together with everybody else and when that project was over, it was quite an involved one because we met with the various groups and met with the various individuals, met with community, met with, you know, faith-based, met with all the state collators and everybody else and when the new procurement chief was appointed in 2000, I said, "Here's the bulk of the work that I've worked on and here are some of the things that the group thought might work." And I worked on a few of the other projects there in the mayor's office concentrating on maybe finance, or community outreach kind of stuff and while deciding what I would do next. And that's when I went to Northern Trust.$$Okay.$$It was at the end of the year.$$Okay. So it was at the end of 2000, end of 2000. Okay.$$December 2000, I joined Northern Trust.$$Okay. Now how--what position did you hold at Northern Trust?$$I went to Northern Trust in--my official role was senior vice president. I was first placed in the public funds group. My role was, it was like an undefined role, it pretty much one that I supported the leadership of that group and over time, the role sort of morphed into senior vice president and head of its public affairs and government relations kind of group. Kind of a new role that had not yet existed before at the company, and it took on various shapes depending on the nature of what we were doing. But the central core of it was to help position the company in the--and its core products in the communities it served. And if that meant sitting there with some of the investment guys, talking to a client about an investment transaction, that was helping protect the turf. So basically my role was to join the others, to partner with them to help protect and grow the business. Also, interact with all of the key decision makers external to the bank, be it organizations or political figures who would have an impact on the corporation's well-being. Part of my role was a lot of problem-solving, lending a hand in developing strategy to resolve certain things. You might say I got involved in some of the more complicated, more complex situations, which was kind of fun for me because I kind of like the activity. So that was the job. It was--talk about a trailblazer--much of it had to do with a lot of the external business, you know. Anything that might impact the bank's impression, its image or its client base--

Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

Benjamin Franklin Chavis, Jr, was born on January 22, 1948, in Oxford, North Carolina. Chavis's parents were educators who taught at a school for African American orphans. Chavis’s activism was in his bloodline; his grandfather, John Chavis, the first black graduate from Princeton University, set up an underground school for African Americans who were forbidden to learn to read and write. Chavis became active in civil rights at the young age of thirteen when he attempted to integrate the all white library in his hometown; although he was ultimately unable to check out any books, he was the first African American to obtain a library card and to attempt to borrow books. Chavis graduated from Mary Potter High School in 1965 where he was a member of the football team and editor of the school newspaper. While a high school student Chavis also wrote for the local black paper, The Carolinian.

While a freshman at Saint Augustine College, Chavis served as a youth coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and on the advance team for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Chavis received his B.S. degree in chemistry in 1969 from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. That same year, Chavis was appointed Southern regional program director of the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice (UCC-CRJ). In 1971, the UCC sent Chavis to Wilmington, North Carolina, to help desegregate the public school system. A year later Chavis and the now famed Wilmington Ten were arrested and falsely convicted of conspiracy and arson; after serving nearly a decade in prison and receiving international attention the charges were eventually overturned in 1980. While in prison Chavis wrote two books: An American Political Prisoner and Psalms from Prison.

In 1980, Chavis received his Master’s of Divinity degree from Duke University and went on to earn his Doctorate of Ministry from Howard University. In 1985, Chavis was named executive director of UCC and CEO of the UCC-CRJ; in 1993 he became the youngest person to serve as executive director and CEO of the NAACP. After leaving the NAACP in 1994, Chavis served as executive director of the National African American Leadership Summit. In 1995, Chavis was appointed National Director of the Million Man March, one of the most successful gatherings of the 20th century. Chavis was later named East Coast Regional Minister of the Nation of Islam and organized the Million Family March in 2000. In 2001, along with Russell Simmons, Chavis co-founded the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, a coalition of hip-hop artists and community leaders dedicated to fighting the war on poverty and injustice.

Accession Number

A2004.267

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/20/2004 |and| 2/2/2005

Last Name

Chavis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

F.

Schools

Mary Potter High School

Mary Potter Middle School

St. Augustine's University

Duke University

First Name

Benjamin

Birth City, State, Country

Oxford

HM ID

CHA07

Favorite Season

Summer

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Dominican Republic

Favorite Quote

Freedom Is A Constant Struggle.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/22/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens

Short Description

Nonprofit chief executive Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. (1948 - ) had the distinction in 1993 of becoming the youngest person at the time to have served as executive director and CEO of the NAACP. In 1995, Chavis was appointed National Director of the Million Man March, and later was named East Coast Regional Minister of the Nation of Islam. In 2001, along with Russell Simmons, Chavis co-founded the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network.

Employment

United Church of Christ

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

National African American Leadership Summit

National Newspaper Publishers Association

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.'s interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes his mother's occupation and her personality

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his mother's education and her training to become a teacher

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his family's efforts to find the gravesite of his ancestor John Chavis

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. traces the history of landownership on both sides of his family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about how his family observed holidays during his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his childhood activities in Oxford, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about the community of Oxford, North Carolina where he grew up

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes the communities of Oxford, North Carolina from his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes his experiences at Angier B. Duke Elementary School in Oxford, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes his favorite subjects and activities during his elementary school years in Oxford, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about the people that influenced him as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about trying to integrate his town's library at the age of twelve, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about trying to integrate his town's library at the age of twelve, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about trying to integrate his town's library at the age of twelve, pt. 3

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about the aftermath of his attempted integration of the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his freshman year of high school at Freedman High School in Lenoir, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes his experiences at Mary Potter High School in Oxford, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about the growth of his activist beliefs during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes his experiences at St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about how his membership in SCLC and the NAACP shaped him as a young activist

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. recalls his parents' reactions to his activism during his time at St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his reaction to the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his civil rights activism after Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. reflects on his beliefs about martyrdom in the context of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. reflects on various activist groups' tactics for social change

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about how he trained to become a minister in the United Church of Christ

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes a conflict with the Ku Klux Klan in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1971

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his arrest as part of the Wilmington Ten in 1972, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about the history of racial strife in Wilmington, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his arrest as part of the Wilmington Ten in 1972, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about spending six months in jail while waiting to stand trial in Wilmington, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. recalls the explosion of his car while he waited to stand trial in Wilmington, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. remembers his sentencing as a member of the Wilmington Ten

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about adjusting to life in prison after being jailed in 1972

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his correspondence as a political prisoner in North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes his efforts to appeal his prison sentence during the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. remembers using nonviolent protest to improve conditions at Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.'s interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about the Wilmington Ten beginning their prison sentences in 1972

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1972

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about the murder of a prisoner, John Cutino, during December 1972

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes protesting for improved conditions at Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about the outcome of protests after the murder of John Cutino at Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about the appeals process throughout the 1970s to free the Wilmington Ten from prison

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes studying at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina during his imprisonment

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about the successful campaign to free the Wilmington Ten

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his efforts with the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice to fight environmental racism

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about deciding to run for executive director of the NAACP in 1993

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. recalls his election as the youngest executive director of the NAACP in 1993

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his activism as executive director of the NAACP

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. responds to charges of mismanagement and sexual harassment during his tenure as executive director of the NAACP

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his relationship with HistoryMaker The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about the controversy over the 30th Anniversary March on Washington in 1993

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his efforts to end gang violence

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes his impressions of the Nation of Islam

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his role in arranging the Million Man March in 1995

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. reflects on the legacy of the Million Man March in 1995

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his decision to join the Nation of Islam

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes his leadership roles within the Nation of Islam

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his work as a co-founder of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes the goals of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. gives his perspective on the controversies associated with hip hop culture

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. reflects upon what he learned in prison as one of the Wilmington Ten

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$2

DATape

5$7

DAStory

2$4

DATitle
Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. talks about his arrest as part of the Wilmington Ten in 1972, pt. 2
Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. recalls his election as the youngest executive director of the NAACP in 1993
Transcript
But to answer your question, it was at nighttime. It was in March of 1971. I was in my church [First African Congregation of the Black Messiah, Wilmington, North Carolina]. The police surrounded the church. I didn't want them to raid the church. I went outside and said, "What's the problem?" They said, "[HistoryMaker] Reverend [Benjamin F.] Chavis [Jr.]," at the time, "you're under arrest for the disturbance that had happened a year earlier." So I didn't resist arrest. Later that night they began to bring in the others. And we served notice that we were innocent at our arraignment. And it took us almost ten years to prove our innocence.$$Were, so were you jailed that night?$$I was jailed that night. I stayed in jail for four months. And the first night that they put us in jail, they tear gassed us while we were in jail in the New Hanover County [North Carolina] jail. The sheriff's deputy said, "Oh, we got you now." And I remember I had a cross, a little African cross called a thalesimo [ph.]. And he jerked the cross around my neck and said, "Nigger, we got you now. Even God ain't gonna help you in here," and they tear gassed us. But you keep in mind now, I'm a twenty-one-year-old grown man by then. I had smelled tear gas before. I had been locked up before. I had been shot at before. Nothing they could have done was gonna make me bow down to them. And that's all what it's about. You have to understand part of the injustice of black people is they break your spirit, and once they break your spirit, they got you. And I'm very thankful to my co-defendants, who were only fifteen, sixteen and seventeen years old. I was the adult. They were only kids.$$Of the others (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) The others were just fifteen and sixteen years old. They were high school student leaders, and those young men stood strong. That was their first time being tear gassed. That was their first time being locked up. I was a veteran. And they stood, we stood together in rigid solidarity. Because they went to their parents and said, "All right, if you will turn state evidence against Reverend Chavis and the rest, we'll let you go." None of them would do that. They refused to lie to try to save themselves. It's a remarkable story. Most political prisoner cases don't wind up like ours, you know. We're one of the first major political prisoner cases in America where we overturned our convictions and cleared our records, where the government admitted that they had framed us all, where the government admitted that they had paid witnesses to lie on us. But it took a lot of struggle to get to that point.$$And the United Church--$$Of Christ.$$--of Christ [United Church of Christ] posted your bail?$$Right, six months later they posted a five hundred thousand dollar bail (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Because--$The election was in April of 1993. The full board--there was a search committee, search process. There were hundreds of people running. It got narrowed down to ten; then it got narrowed down to four. I was one of the final four, [HistoryMaker Reverend] Jesse [L.] Jackson, myself, [HistoryMaker] Jewell Jackson McCabe, New York, over at the [National] Coalition of 100 Black Women, and Earl Shinhoster, who was the southern regional director of the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] at that time, so we were the four finalists. Now something happened that was significant in this. In January of 1993, Reginald [F.] Lewis dies unexpectedly, tragically.$$Right.$$He had just turned fifty years old. And that was a real tragic blow, to me personally as well as I think to our people. His brother--and his brothers helped me continue with my campaign for the NAACP, as well as his wife, Loida [Nicolas-]Lewis, and his brothers, Tony [Anthony Fugett] and Jean [Fugett], but particularly Tony Fugett. Right before Reggie had died, he asked his brother, Tony, his younger brother, Tony, to work with me toward the NAACP, which he did, faithfully. So we're in Atlanta [Georgia] for the board meeting. The week of the board meeting, April of 1993, Jesse pulls out of the race, and so it left three. And on the first ballot, with three names on the ballot, I won a plurality of the votes on the first ballot.$$Was there any concern that you may have been a little too radical for the organization, or do you think that that assisted in your winning (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Right.$$--because they needed--$$Well--$$--to change?$$--that's a good question. During the search process that issue came up. And Percy Sutton was on the search committee, and he thought my background would have been an asset for the NAACP to particularly reach young people. 'Cause the NAACP by that, by 1993 had a hurdle to get over because a lot of young people were not as aware of the NAACP's great history in the past, and there were questions about the NAACP's relevancy to what was going on.$$Right.$$And of course, I was very--I sent each of the sixty-four board members a videotape, and it was a composite videotape of my work at the Commission for Racial Justice. It shows very activist. I said that if I'm elected, I would bring young people into the organization, but not to sit, to be activated, to build a movement of young people so we'll have a new generation of freedom fighters, new generation of civil rights advocates and civil rights activists. I wanted to make civil rights appealing to young people, make civil rights cool to young people. That was my goal. And I felt a majority of the board members, by their vote, agreed with that. Now obviously, it was not a unanimous vote. There were some on the board, to be very honest, at the beginning of my tenure, who were opposed to my activist tradition. And I was aware of it, but I thought I could win those board members over by making progress for the organization. And as soon as I was elected that April--it was Good Friday--I didn't even go to the headquarters back in Baltimore [Maryland], I went straight to Los Angeles [California].

Elnora D. Daniel

Elnora D. Daniel was born in Oxford, North Carolina, on November 19, 1941, the eldest daughter of a butcher and a mechanic. After graduating from high school in 1959, Daniel went to North Carolina A&T University, earning her B.S. degree in 1964. Following her graduation, Daniel relocated to New York and began attending Columbia University, where she earned her M.Ed. degree in 1968. Daniel continued her studies at William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1972, before returning to Columbia for her Ed.D. degree in 1975.

Daniel began her career working as a nurse at the New York Medical Center following her graduation from North Carolina A&T. Once she returned to school, Daniel worked as a teaching assistant at Columbia until 1976. In 1980, Daniel became dean of Hampton University, in addition to working as an instructor. Daniel became the administrator for the Interdisciplinary Nursing Center for Health and Wellness at Hampton in 1985, and the vice president of academic affairs in 1991. In 1995, Daniel became provost of the university, a position she retained for three years. Chicago State University offered Daniel the presidency in 1998, and she accepted; she went on to serve as both the president and the CEO of CSU. Under Daniel's leadership, CSU constructed a number of new facilities; balanced budgets; and saw significant increases in gifts received. Daniel was also appointed by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to serve as a healthcare consultant for several African nations, including Zimbabwe and Swaziland.

In addition to her scholastic endeavors, Daniel earned the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve Nurse Corps in 1991; was been active with the Stillwater Institute for Social Justice; and served as a consulting editor for the Journal of the National Black Nurses' Association. Daniel also served on the boards of numerous museums and several philanthropic foundations. In 2003, Miller Brewing Company recognized Daniel on the 2003 Gallery of Greats Calendar, honoring "academic dream weavers." Daniel and her husband, Herman, raised one child.

Accession Number

A2003.109

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

5/21/2003

Last Name

Daniel

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Delores

Organizations
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Elnora

Birth City, State, Country

Oxford

HM ID

DAN01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cruises

Favorite Quote

Mercy.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

11/19/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hampton

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Vichyssoise Soup

Short Description

University president Elnora D. Daniel (1941 - ) is the president of Chicago State University and has also worked as an international health care consultant.

Employment

New York Medical Center

Columbia University

Hampton University

Chicago State University

Favorite Color

Dark Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:8011,83:13196,115:16016,134:17024,144:20825,170:30020,229:30806,237:35120,249:37294,264:38104,272:38671,280:41364,308:41980,317:42332,322:43124,332:45324,355:49460,419:49900,425:58364,467:62310,497:62710,503:68680,555:69580,566:73464,601:74604,622:77008,646:78736,670:81652,705:86087,734:86815,744:88271,763:88817,770:89454,779:91710,785:92565,791:94275,804:94959,809:95498,820:97132,844:99454,906:102550,945:105334,956:106102,963:109430,1003:113990,1049:114632,1056:117842,1091:118377,1097:119554,1110:122978,1150:123406,1155:127540,1171:128265,1177:133806,1204:137347,1228:138328,1235:140882,1247:141428,1254:144340,1318:144704,1323:145978,1346:147616,1369:149800,1401:155715,1450:156681,1470:158820,1508:159234,1516:159855,1526:162641,1553:163334,1564:163950,1574:164720,1586:167928,1604:169444,1612:170346,1626:170838,1633:171248,1640:171740,1648:172068,1653:172642,1663:172970,1668:173298,1673:174856,1697:175430,1706:176086,1721:176660,1732:177398,1743:179366,1771:181088,1801:191488,1858:192762,1876:193217,1882:195652,1893:199290,1917:199692,1924:199960,1929:200563,1939:201300,1956:204250,1987:204810,1996:206410,2022:208890,2064:213642,2106:213946,2111:215086,2134:215466,2140:216150,2154:216758,2170:217138,2176:217746,2185:218050,2190:218506,2197:218810,2202:219342,2210:220862,2233:221318,2240:222534,2247:224434,2303:224966,2312:225422,2319:228990,2331:229238,2336:229672,2346:240723,2485:246931,2578:249744,2612:250617,2622:254365,2635:255265,2649:256924,2658:258107,2678:258744,2688:259108,2693:259472,2698:260291,2711:261110,2723:262566,2744:263112,2751:263840,2761:264477,2769:269118,2842:270301,2859:274800,2866:279480,2896:279880,2901:281080,2912:281480,2917:281980,2924:282780,2935:283280,2942:287452,2961:288372,2973:288832,2979:289752,2991:290672,3004:293096,3018:293528,3027:295700,3044:297482,3071:297968,3078:299264,3098:299993,3109:300560,3119:301289,3133:302261,3148:304934,3199:306311,3222:307769,3244:308336,3254:323100,3357:324290,3371:326584,3376:330218,3396:331890,3410:336982,3497:337362,3503:338654,3519:340098,3541:340402,3546:341770,3570:342454,3580:342910,3587:343214,3592:352063,3629:354043,3658:354439,3663:355330,3674:360376,3734:360960,3743:361325,3750:361763,3758:362347,3767:363223,3802:363588,3813:364172,3822:365559,3852:366289,3865:366946,3879:369428,3937:369939,3945:371034,3974:371910,3989:372202,3994:375462,4010:376172,4021:377592,4053:378089,4061:378515,4068:378799,4073:379438,4085:383720,4118:386920,4160:388038,4167$0,0:77,2:539,10:1001,17:2340,40:2979,52:4612,179:17916,303:20219,314:22875,354:23207,359:23622,365:23954,370:24369,376:24950,385:27191,419:33416,533:33997,542:34661,551:46140,646:47145,668:48552,749:48887,755:49155,760:49624,769:49959,775:50897,795:51634,810:52505,825:53041,835:53309,840:53577,845:61630,881:62050,888:62400,895:64711,908:65096,914:65404,919:65712,924:69387,950:70195,959:74033,1001:74639,1008:75649,1020:76962,1043:79487,1069:81002,1084:81406,1089:84952,1100:85680,1105:86304,1112:86824,1118:87240,1123:90360,1156:90984,1164:91400,1169:92648,1183:97540,1204:100816,1244:101180,1249:102545,1270:108278,1376:111281,1418:117270,1441:117598,1446:118090,1456:118582,1465:120796,1499:131700,1559:132410,1572:132907,1581:133688,1596:134682,1620:141750,1699:143590,1740:144310,1749:144630,1754:145910,1803:160570,1944:160834,1949:162220,1980:168467,2049:171048,2063:171930,2071:173064,2081:179430,2122:179830,2128:180470,2137:181190,2148:181510,2153:185350,2212:187830,2254:191840,2259:194828,2317:197401,2355:200764,2370:201548,2379:202822,2395:206252,2447:207526,2462:215698,2524:216382,2534:216914,2545:217598,2557:218206,2567:218966,2578:219270,2583:219574,2588:219954,2594:223868,2623:224628,2636:225160,2645:225616,2653:226680,2675:227136,2683:228580,2720:228960,2727:230024,2748:230404,2754:230708,2759:231012,2764:232532,2795:233216,2806:248031,2964
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Elnora Daniel interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Elnora Daniel's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Elnora Daniel discusses her family origins

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Elnora Daniel recalls her mother's background and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Elnora Daniel recalls her father's background and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Elnora Daniel describes the extended family that raised her

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Elnora Daniel describes the segregated community in which she was raised

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Elnora Daniel names her elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Elnora Daniel recalls her schooling and authoritarian upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Elnora Daniel recalls her career aspirations after high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Elnora Daniel discusses her high school origins and her college choice

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Elnora Daniel recalls Jesse Jackson and the civil rights demonstrations at Woolworth's variety store

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Elnora Daniel discusses the planning of the sit-in at Woolworth's in Greensboro, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Elnora Daniel reflects on her civil rights activities

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Elnora Daniel recalls her activities in college and her educational role model

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Elnora Daniel remembers an influential instructor

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Elnora Daniel discusses her post-college plans

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Elnora Daniel remembers her time in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Elnora Daniel describes her decision to pursue a doctoral degree

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Elnora Daniel discusses her thirty-one years as a member of the Hampton University Faculty

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Elnora Daniel explains the greatest challenge she faced at Chicago State University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Elnora Daniel discusses Chicago State University's history

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Elnora Daniel discusses Chicago State University's writers program

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Elnora Daniel discusses Chicago State University's health disciplines

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Elnora Daniel discusses controversial programming at Chicago State University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Elnora Daniel describes her international vision for Chicago State University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Elnora Daniel considers the evolving college student population

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Elnora Daniel describes her hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Elnora Daniel discusses her career in the U.S. military

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Elnora Daniel considers her retirement plans

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Elnora Daniel considers her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Elnora Daniel with her friends on the Mary Potter High School campus, Oxford, North Carolina, ca. 1955-1959

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Elnora Daniel gives the capping address to graduating nurses at Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Elnora Daniel with her administrative assistant, Dr. Beverly John, in Paris, France, 2002

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Elnora Daniel with her family on a cruise, ca. 1988

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Elnora Daniel with U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher at Chicago State University's commencement ceremonies, Chicago, Illinois, 2001

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Elnora Daniel with the Chicago State University basketball team, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1998

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Photo - Elnora Daniel at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, 2001

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Photo - Elnora Daniel with her family at her husband's retirement reception, Chicago, Illinois, 1998

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Photo - Elnora Daniel's husband, Herman, and son, Michael, following her son's graduation ceremony, Hampton, Virginia, 1974

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Photo - Elnora Daniel with an unidentified woman in Swaziland, South Africa, ca. 1980s

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Photo - Elnora Daniel at a conference of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, ca. 1989

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Photo - Elnora Daniel with students at the U.S. Army Reserve School of Nursing graduation ceremony in Wilmington, Delaware, ca. 1997

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Photo - Elnora Daniel at an engagement party for her son and daughter-in-law, Chicago, Illinois, 1991

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Photo - Elnora Daniel with Dr. Dorothy Powell traveling in Zimbabwe

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Elnora Daniel's U.S. Army nursing school application photo, ca. 1972

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Elnora Daniel is inducted into the 'Gallery of Greats' by the Miller Brewing Company, April, 2003

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Elnora Daniel with her family at her aunt's and uncle's fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration, 1970

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DATitle
Elnora Daniel describes the segregated community in which she was raised
Elnora Daniel recalls Jesse Jackson and the civil rights demonstrations at Woolworth's variety store
Transcript
What was the community like--Oxford [North Carolina]?$$Oxford was a rather--it was very segregated. And living in such a cloistered, protected environment as I did, the realities of the world didn't really enter my life per se, until I started to, school. And I think I started school when I was six. And prior to that time, the people who sold us the property or my uncle [Charlie Belle] the property I played with their daughter who was white. We made mud pies together. We played with our dolls together in her dollhouse and I really knew not the difference between the two of us until it was time for me to go to school. And I realized that she was on the bus going to the city in--going to the school in the city and I was having to walk to a two-room school that was about three fourths of a mile away. And that's when--and I then said to my aunt [Janie Lee Allen Belle], "Well why can't I go with Jane?" The young girl's name was Jane. And that's when she said, "Well, you know, you are colored and she is white, and you don't go to school together." And that really was my first awakening of segregation really. Because Oxford was very segregated with white water fountains, white and colored bathrooms. And blacks really were mostly sharecroppers. That's why my dad--my uncle [Charlie Belle] was very different. You know. Because he had his own business and he built barns and houses and all that kind of stuff for whites and well as blacks, but mostly whites. So it kind of put him under a different category a little bit, and elevated I guess our standard of living. But most blacks, relatives and things that I knew at that point and time were sharecroppers. And you know how that went, you know. You worked all year, and at the end of the year because you had borrowed from the landowner the money to buy the seed, to buy the fertilizer, to do other things, to exist, in the end there wasn't very much left because you owed most of it. So that's more or less the environment, the proximal environment that I lived in. Oxford, you know, was a little bit different, but not that much. Like we had one black doctor in the city. We had a black hospital that wasn't that great. People died easily and people talked about, "Oh my God! You gotta go to the hospital?" And very few people expected to come home as a result of the poor medical care that was given.$$Okay. Now how did these things make you feel when you were a little girl?$$Well I'm sure that there's a degree of inferiority that creeped in. You know. "Why can't I go? Why am I different? Why do I have to have something separate and certainly not equal?" When Jane was going away to a very good school and I would be in this little two-room school which was finally consolidated and we did--when I was about in the seventh grade go to the city to a better school that was segregated then. It does have a--it does have a lasting, I think, imprint on one. I remember so often getting the books of the classes. And they, of course, had been used by the white kids and handed down to us. And so that meant that, you know, we were always behind, because we weren't getting the new editions of the books and that sort of thing. And so I--you know, you start to see or, you know, to think, "Why don't I measure up? Why am I not good enough or whatever?" That's a lens that sometimes one feels that has been impressed upon them or what have you. For lack of a better language I'd say so. So I think it's a built-in degree of inferiority that people have, if this is something that's done early on. And it's--it affects your psyche certainly. You know, even though you know you're as good or you measure up or you are better. I remember when I went to Columbia University [New York, New York] to work on my master's degree. And I was one of one hundred in a class. And I made the top grades, you know. So you knew that you were capable because it was an Ivy League school and I'd come from, you know, segregated schools. And yet I measured up more or better than many of the people in the class. So it's--I think it has its lasting effects on one's psyche.$I went to school with Jesse [Jackson]. Jesse was a freshman and I was a freshman [at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina]. We started out together. And my funniest memory about Jesse is Jesse--we went to Sunday school and Jesse would come to Sunday school and Jesse would get up and pray this prayer that would just bring tears to your eyes. And then he would get outside the Sunday school and he'd say, "I wowed 'em didn't I?" (Laughs) Jesse was just that kind of guy. But, when the movement started and the sit-ins at Woolworth's [variety store], the people--the students on the campus started the sit-ins I think. Ezell Brian [sic, Ezell Blair, Jr., later called Jibreel Khazan] and two other guys were the first ones. But then the rest of us got involved. And Jesse got very much involved in that too. But the--and that's when I remember the first time that somebody spit at me. The football boys particularly were marching and other female students as well. And the one day that I was on line, I was very short and very tiny. And some person going into Woolworth who was rather annoyed that we were picketing and doing the sit-in and marching and stuff spit at me. And the guys were ready to not go with the non-violent (laughs) actions.$$These are football players.$$Right. So they had to get me out of there. Because it--I was an inflammatory person. And they just felt that, you know, if somebody did that to one of their women that they would forget about the non-violent, so. So that was the very day that I got off line that everybody got arrested. And I--you know, I didn't wanna go to prison, that is for sure. But that was the exact day I had been on the line all that morning until this guy spit at me. And then the guys asked--they took me off the line. And then they got arrested, so lots of people were in jail. I never did go to jail. But those were some interesting times. Those were hard times really.$$And did the civil rights activity interfere with school?$$No. Because basically what you did is you kind of planned your class schedule around the time when you would go and get on line and march. So for me it never did. It probably did when the kids were arrested. I'm sure that interfered. And, of course, the campus was in an uproar as well. You know, with the students being out there picketing. And the police and all the chaos and the newspapers and people on the campus. And it was a difficult time. It was a difficult time. But there was a degree of solidarity that I've never seen on a campus since. And people had a sense of this is what we needed to do, this is what we were gonna do, we were gonna make a difference. We were gonna make sure that Woolworth [store] allowed anybody to come in and sit at that counter.$$How did it--did it feel at the time as if you were making history and you were really changing the world?$$Not really to me.