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Rodney Adkins

Corporate executive and computer engineer Rodney Adkins was born on August 23, 1958, in Miami, Florida, to Archie and Wauneta Adkins. He attended Miami Jackson High School where he graduated in 1976 as valedictorian. In 1981, Adkins graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with his B.S. degree in electrical engineering. He then received his B.A. degree in physics from Rollins College in 1982, and an M.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1983 from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Adkins began working at International Business Machines (IBM) in 1981 as a test engineer. In 1986, he was promoted to manager of special component engineering. In the early 1990s, Adkins helped to develop the IBM ThinkPad, one of the first laptop computers, and a frequent winner of design awards following its launch in 1992. In 1993, he attended Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development. A promotion to vice president of commercial desktop systems followed in 1995. Within three years, Adkins became the general manager of the UNIX server division, which he revitalized. In 1998, IBM named him to its Worldwide Management Council which consisted of forty-five of IBM’s top executives. In 2002, Adkins was promoted to vice president of development for IBM’s systems and technology group, and he remained in that position until 2007 when he was named an IBM corporate officer and senior vice president of development and manufacturing for the systems and technology group. Adkins became the first African American to attain that position in the history of IBM. In 2009, he was named the senior vice president and group executive of IBM’s systems and technology group. Adkins was named senior vice president of IBM’s corporate strategy in 2013.

Adkins has received numerous awards including the 1996 award for Black Engineer of the Year, the 2007 Black Engineer of the Year, and Black Enterprise magazine’s Corporate Executive of the Year in 2011. Fortune magazine has also named Adkins one of the 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in America in 2002, and, in 2001, the National Society of Black Engineers awarded him the Golden Torch Award for Lifetime Achievement in Industry. In 2011, Adkins was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Adkins is married to Michelle Collier, and they have two sons, Rodney and Ryan.

Rodney Adkins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 9, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.173

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/9/2013

Last Name

Adkins

Maker Category
Middle Name

C.

Occupation
Schools

Rollins College

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Jones-Ayers Middle School

Miami Jackson Senior High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Rodney

Birth City, State, Country

Louisville

HM ID

ADK01

Favorite Season

Christmas, New Years

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Miami Beach, Florida

Favorite Quote

We're Moving Forward And We're Moving Fast.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

8/23/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood, Clams

Short Description

Corporate executive and computer engineer Rodney Adkins (1958- ) has worked for IBM for over thirty years. He was the company’s first African American corporate officer and senior vice president of development and manufacturing for the systems and technology group.

Employment

International Business Machines (IBM)

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rodney Adkins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rodney Adkins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rodney Adkins describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rodney Adkins describes his mother's education and occupation as a nurse

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rodney Adkins describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rodney Adkins talks about his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rodney Adkins describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rodney Adkins talks about his father's job as a custodian

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rodney Adkins talks about your siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rodney Adkins describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Rodney Adkins talks about growing up in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rodney Adkins talks about the Allapattah neighborhood in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rodney Adkins describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rodney Adkins talks about reading comic books as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rodney Adkins talks about taking things apart as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rodney Adkins talks about his childhood experiments with radios and becoming interested in systems

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rodney Adkins talks about the influence of the Space Program when he was a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rodney Adkins talks about his schools

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rodney Adkins talks about his mentor Mrs. Johnson and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rodney Adkins describes how he became involved in the martial art Nisei Goju Ryu

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rodney Adkins describes his involvement in the martial art Nisei Goju Ryu

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rodney Adkins talks about his middle and high schools

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rodney Adkins describes his high school activities

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rodney Adkins describes his time in the dual-degree program at Rollins College and the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rodney Adkins talks about African American student organizations at Rollins College and the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rodney Adkins describes how he was recruited by IBM

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rodney Adkins describes the history of IBM

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rodney Adkins talks about the history of computers and IBM

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rodney Adkins talks about IBM

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rodney Adkins talks about being a test engineer at IBM

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rodney Adkins talks about his time at Rollins College and the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Rodney Adkins describes his work on the IBM ThinkPad

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Rodney Adkins describes his work at IBM before he got involved in management

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Rodney Adkins talks about the IBM ThinkPad

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Rodney Adkins describes his transition from being an engineer to being a manager at IBM

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Rodney Adkins talks about the open-door policy of IBM

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Rodney Adkins describes the marketing of the IBM ThinkPad

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Rodney Adkins talks about the restructuring of IBM

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Rodney Adkins talks about his role as vice president of commercial desktop systems at IBM

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Rodney Adkins talks about the acquisition of Lotus by IBM

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Rodney Adkins talks about Lotus Notes

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Rodney Adkins describes being the general manager of the UNIX server division at IBM

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Rodney Adkins talks about collaboration in engineering products

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Rodney Adkins talks IBM becoming the world leader in UNIX systems

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Rodney Adkins talks about IBM's 1999 attitude change

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Rodney Adkins talks about his promotions in IBM

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Rodney Adkins talks about the sale of IBM's personal computer business

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Rodney Adkins talks about the new era of computing

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Rodney Adkins talks about becoming a senior vice president and group executive at IBM

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Rodney Adkins talks about the IBM Blue Gene System

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Rodney Adkins talks about the IBM supercomputer Watson

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Rodney Adkins talks about IBM

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Rodney Adkins talks about the minority programs at IBM

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Rodney Adkins talks about the Strategy Fifty

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Rodney Adkins reflects on the future of his career

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Rodney Adkins reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Rodney Adkins describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Rodney Adkins talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Rodney Adkins talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Rodney Adkins talks about his mentors at IBM

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Rodney Adkins describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

5$7

DATitle
Rodney Adkins talks about the restructuring of IBM
Rodney Adkins talks about the sale of IBM's personal computer business
Transcript
Now, IBM went through a restructuring in 1988, I believe, right? Could you tell us about that, and how did that affect research and development?$$So, it turns out one of the constants in IBM is our commitment to long-term research and development. And this is a company that really, really doesn't waiver from that, you know. So when you look at how the company started, and even when you look at our profile today, we continue to invest heavily in R and D, in research and development, because we have an innovation agenda, and we do believe innovation is part of--part of the capabilities in the--and solutions that we provide to the marketplace. This point on restructuring, just like any company, we have been faced throughout our history--not once, but it's been times in our history where we were challenged in terms of sustaining our growth, and, you know, continue to make a difference in the marketplace. And that was sort of an inflection point for us back then, where we actually had to rethink our overall portfolio and the focus of the company. So we made adjustments. And like any, I think, market leader or high-performance company, they are willing to deal with change. And, you know, I think that's one of the hallmarks of, you know, a company that has survived for a hundred years, that we are willing to deal with making change, and we continue to invest in innovation. And I think if you take those two principles, those have been sort of foundational for, for IBM. And even when you start to look at where we are today, we are already asserting, and have been asserting, that as we see the future, moving forward, we think that there is a new wave of computing. And we've already started making the investments. We've actually already delivered some products to the marketplace that will start to, you know, deliver on what we're describing as the cognitive era of computing; you know, the ability of, you know, systems that will have more learning techniques built into the systems as opposed to this current era or the previous era that we've been was more about programmable systems.$$Okay Okay. Now, in '93 [1993], you know, IBM was experiencing a downturn when Louis Gerstner--$$Yes. Yeah, Lou Gerstner joined the company.$$--became the CEO [chief executive officer].$$Yeah.$$And--well, there was this dramatic acquisition of Lotus, you know. Now, what were your thoughts about that?$$Well, Lotus--so, first of all, the point on Lou joining the company, he actually the--I guess, the first--he was the first CEO in our history that was hired from the outside; not a heritage IBM--IBMer. And I think he did some fundamental things to help, sort of, get IBM back on a growth track. And it was really going back to what we were good at - focused on the client and making sure that we are making the investments that will make a difference for the marketplace and our clients. And, as you can see, throughout his tenure along with the senior leadership team, we made, again, the necessary adjustments and changes to get us back on the growth path that, you know, back on the growth that we wanted to be on. So when you look at Lou, he did make a difference through his leadership along with other leaders across, across the company.$In 2004, I guess, prompted by the new CEO, Lou Palmisano--$$Palmisano, yeah.$$--IBM actually sells its PC- PC [personal computer] business to Chinese-based Lenovo.$$Yes. Lenovo.$$And what's your view of this sale?$$Well, the sale of our PC business to Lenovo, at that point in time, was the right, I think, time for us to sell that business, because, again, we started to see patterns in the marketplace where value was migrating to new spaces and into new areas. And this was very consistent with the role I had after coming out of the UNIX business on pervasive computing, because we started to see where the PC was no longer the centerpiece in IT [information technology]. New types of devices were being enabled as part of the information technology environment. And intelligence was moving into new types of devices, sensors, and actuators becoming part of business processes, even buildings. You start to look at how intelligence was being--medical devices being embedded, smart phones, tablets. So our view, at the time, was, you know, and this is traditional at IBM in terms of continued change and sustainable investments around innovation. That was a point in time where we said it made more sense for us to focus on other areas of growth with our clients. So the decision was, it became more straightforward over time where, since the PC was no longer the center of IT, this was an opportunity for us to sort of divest in that area and start to invest in other areas, like, more investments in software, more investments in services, more investments in what we're calling today smarter planet solutions, which some of the things that I worked on as part of Pervasive Computing, is consistent with some of the things that we're doing around what we call smarter planet solutions. So our view was, the value and the opportunity was shifting, and it made more sense for us to focus on those new areas of opportunity.$$Okay. Okay. Was there any reason why China was--I mean, you have any analysis as to why China wanted to take over the PC business?$$Now, I'm not sure if--well, I mean, when we looked at the opportunity, Lenovo was, you know, among the list of interested parties, and that's who we ultimately closed the business, business transaction with.$$Okay. So they were really interested in still making PCs then?$$Yeah. And even today, when you look at Lenovo's business model, they are--they continue to be a strong, you know, provider of PC-based, PC-based solutions.

Paula McClain

Political science professor and public policy professor Paula D. McClain was born on January 3, 1950 in Louisville, Kentucky to Mabel T. Molock and Robert Landis McClain. After graduating from East Anchorage High School in Anchorage, Alaska in 1968, McClain enrolled at Howard University. In 1970, McClain served as a program coordinator for the National Coordinating Council on Drug Abuse Education and Information. She interned in 1971 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Office of Compliance where she briefed and researched violations of discrimination in the utility of industry. McClain received her B.A. degree in political science from Howard University in 1972. She went on to pursue graduate education at Howard University, finishing her M.A. degree in political science in 1974.

McClain then worked as a consultant for Adaptive Systems in Annapolis, Maryland and the Social Science Research Center at Howard University. By 1977, she had also completed her Ph.D. degree from Howard University, and began teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) in political science studies and African American Studies. McClain published her first book Alienation and Resistance: The Political Behavior of Afro-Canadians while at UWM. McClain received a postdoctoral fellowship and worked as a research associate in the Analysis Center at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1980-81 academic year. She then began teaching at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona in the School of Public Affairs. By 1990, McClain was serving as the acting director for the Doctorate of Public Administration Program. Also in 1990, McClain and Harold M. Rose released Race, Place, and Risk: Black Homicide in Urban America. The book was awarded the National Conference of Black Political Scientists' Best Book Award for a previously published book that has made a substantial and continuing contribution. In 1991, McClain joined the faculty at the University of Virginia as a professor of government and foreign affairs. She served as department chair from 1994-1997. In 1995, McClain released the first edition of Can We All Get Along? Racial and Ethnic Minorities in American Politics, which won the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Subject of Intolerance.

In 2000 McClain joined the faculty at Duke University as a professor of political science and professor or public policy. In 2001, she began The Durham Pilot Project, examining racial attitudes among blacks, whites and Latinos in the South. While working on this project, she became the third woman and the first African American elected to serve as Chair of Academic Council at Duke University (2007-2009). Since 2004, she has served as co-director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences. She also is the director the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute, a program of the American Political Science Association that is hosted by Duke and funded by the National Science Foundation. McClain and her husband Paul Jacobson have two daughters, Kristina L. McClain-Jacobson Ragland and Jessica A. McClain-Jacobson.

Paula McClain was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 22, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.069

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/22/2012

Last Name

McClain

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

East Anchorage High School

Colonel Young Elementary School

Colonel Johnson Middle School

Buena High School

University of Michigan

Howard University

First Name

Paula

Birth City, State, Country

Louisville

HM ID

MCC13

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

1/3/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Durham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Political science professor and public policy professor Paula McClain (1950 - ) was a professor at Duke University, where she founded the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences. Her publications included the popular textbook 'American Government in Black and White.'

Employment

Duke University

Arizona State University

University of Virginia

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Howard Pollock Congressional Office

Birch Bayh Senatorial Office

National Coordinating Council on Drug Abuse

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Wharton School Analysis Center

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Paula McClain's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Paula McClain lists her favorites

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paula McClain describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paula McClain describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paula McClain talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Paula McClain talks about her paternal family's connection to Houston A. Baker, Jr.

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Paula McClain recalls her father's service in the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paula McClain describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paula McClain talks about her time in Anchorage, Alaska

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paula McClain describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paula McClain remembers her schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paula McClain remembers her early mentors

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paula McClain describes the African American community in Anchorage, Alaska

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paula McClain talks about her decision to attend Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paula McClain talks about her decision to enroll at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paula McClain remembers the assassination of Revered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paula McClain talks about her family's religious affiliations

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paula McClain recalls her internships on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paula McClain remembers her professors at Howard University, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paula McClain recalls her internships on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Paula McClain remembers her internship at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Paula McClain remembers the visiting speakers at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paula McClain describes her experiences at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paula McClain remembers her professors at Howard University, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paula McClain describes her decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paula McClain describes her master's thesis

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paula McClain talks about the black community in Canada

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paula McClain recalls the politics of the early 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Paula McClain remembers the Watergate scandal

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Paula McClain talks about her graduation from Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Paula McClain recalls her position at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paula McClain talks about her studies at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paula McClain describes her associate professorship at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Paula McClain talks about her book, 'Race, Place, and Risk,' pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Paula McClain talks about her book, 'Race, Place, and Risk,' pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Paula McClain talks about the prevention of black on black crime

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Paula McClain describes her reasons for leaving Arizona State University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Paula McClain talks about her publications at the University of Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Paula McClain talks about her membership in the American Political Science Association

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Paula McClain describes her experiences at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Paula McClain talks about the Durham Pilot Program

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Paula McClain talks about the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Paula McClain talks about her book, 'American Government in Black and White,' pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Paula McClain talks about her book, 'American Government in Black and White,' pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Paula McClain talks about the history of democracy in Native American cultures

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Paula McClain talks about her current research projects

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Paula McClain describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Paula McClain talks about the economic disparity within the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Paula McClain reflects upon the status of black women in academia

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Paula McClain reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Paula McClain reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Paula McClain talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Paula McClain shares her advice to women in academia

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Paula McClain describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

4$5

DATitle
Paula McClain talks about her book, 'Race, Place, and Risk,' pt. 1
Paula McClain talks about the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences
Transcript
All right so, '89 [1989], let's see, okay with, with Harold Rose you released 'Race, Place, and Risk' (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, 'And Risk: Black Homicide in Urban America' ['Race, Place, and Risk: Black Homicide in Urban America,' Paula D. McClain and Harold Rose].$$Okay$$It was the first, well what--among the first in depth studies of black on black homicide, and we used five or six different cities; it was Detroit [Michigan], St. Louis [Missouri], Houston [Texas], L.A. [Los Angeles, California], but there were six cities, I'm blanking on, St. Louis, did I say St. Louis? But the causes and the factors that contributed to what we were seeing at that point was an increase on black on black violence and we had a lot of different--Harold as a res- Harold is just a creative researcher. We started with a, with a sample of victims which we got by ordering data from public health departments in the cities, the study ran from 1960 through '85 [1985], I believe, so we had about twenty-five years' worth of data and we ordered death certificates based on the health departments names and numbers of who died, I mean there's a difference, we didn't use the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] statistics because if, if you look at 'em you have, you come up with two different numbers because the FBI has statistics on everybody who died within the city, and we were only interested in residents and county health departments only keep the stats of resident deaths I mean in terms of the ones that they report. So by starting with the city or county health department, then ordering death certificates for all of the people and then identifying the black victims, I mean it was just a real lot of detective work to kind of get to, once we got the victims sample, then we were able to find out whether anyone was ever arrested for the homicide and if they were what the dep- disposition of the case was. And so we had victim data, we got, if we could identify the offender and if they were incarcerated we got interviews, there, I actually did a series of interviews in, it's coming back to me, Jackson, which is the women's prison up in Michigan. Then once we, you know, then got data on the offenders, we got school data on the victims, I mean it was, it was just a massive effort and, an incr- an incredible study that really kind of talked about the various factors of why some cities looked like they were high homicide cities in the aggregate like Atlanta [Georgia]. But basically in Atlanta most of the homicides were domestic, so unless you were in that particular household, your risk of being a homicide victim was a lot lower than in a place like St. Louis where it was mostly unknown and on the street. So we identified all of these differences in the rate of black homicide and the factors that contributed to it.$$Is there a generalization that, that can be extrapolated from that research that could characterize black on black crime in--?$$I don't think, given the fact that we found differences among cities that there's one generalization that one can identify. But, what our work it was it spawned a lot of other work, you know? And there's lots of people now, lots of scholars who have done more work on black homicide and I no longer do that, I think the last piece Harold and I wrote was an update in '95 [1995], I believe on the cities--$$Okay.$$--that we had looked at.$Well tell us about the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Sciences. My colleague, Kerry Haynie [Kerry L. Haynie], and I are the founding directors of the center, it's part of the Social Science Research Institute. And the focus is race and then ethnicity, because Latinos are not considered a race they can be of any race, but the [U.S.] Census Bureau considers them an ethnic group as opposed to a race, but even within the Asian American population, we use that broad term but there are various ethnic groups, various different groupings within the Latino population and even increasingly among the black population in the United States. With immigration it's still primarily like 94 percent slave descendent, but there's this increasing proportion of the black population of the United States that are Caribbean or of various African origins. And so that's the race and ethnicity in terms of the research, the gender is the intersection of race and gender, in literature, sociology is a little bit better, but in political science or whatever, when you talk about women in politics, all the research is on white women, when we talk about race, ethnicity and politics and we're talking about elected officials who are black or Latino, it's mostly male, research on black women in politics in, in organization, Latino women just get dropped out. So the gender in our center is about this interaction for women of color within these groups. So that the, the issues related to white women are not central to our study of gender but it's the gender of women of color, women of color interacting because that's where there's just a paucity of research.$$Okay.$$And we have a number of graduate students that are fellows in the center, we have a post doc [postdoctoral fellowship], we just had our distinguished lecture which was Ed Ayers [Edward L. Ayers], who's a civil, who's a historian, he's president of the University of Richmond [Richmond, Virginia], but he gave us, his lecture was on February 10th because this is, this is like the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and running up to the Emancipation Proclamation, and one of the things that that Ed was saying is that we really shouldn't separate the beginning of the Civil War from this emancipation because from the very beginning blacks were emancipating themselves whenever they knew that federal troops or anything were close that they would, they would take off. So we think about the Emancipation Proclamation as being some beginning point when in reality--$$Um-hm.$$--it was all part of the Civil War, you know. So, and we've got a number of visiting scholars that, that come to spend time. We've had a graduate student from France who spent a year with us, 'cause France doesn't identify issues of race. They've got a lot of racial issues, but they don't collect racial data, they don't wanna talk about it, there's no courses. So she came over here for a year and took some courses and wrote her master's [degree] thesis when she was with us so.$$Okay so, so does the future seem bright for the center?$$I hope so, I mean, you know, you're always--we go through three year budget cycles and so my hope is that in 2013 we'll get another three year budget cycle, you know, but right now things are good.$$Now there is, there has been some talk in academia and some action about rolling back such centers and African American studies departments and women's studies even and that sort of thing, especially with the tightening of budgets and--$$Um-hm.$$--you know, so that's, that's not a problem at, at Duke [Duke University, Durham, North Carolina] I don't think at this time?$$I don't think right now.$$Yeah.$$I think our centers are strong, the Department of African and African American Studies here is quite strong, it's got some very, very important and very solid scholars. So I think that national trend has not affected Duke, you know, but there's always issues, you're always concerned about protecting and making sure that commitment to these things doesn't fall through, you know, the cracks at Duke. And we've got a very active black faculty organization, the Black Faculty Caucus that tries to stay on top of these issues.

Bob Carter

Robert Carter is a New York illustrator, painter, and art professor. Carter was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 29, 1938 to Robert and Sarah Carter. He graduated from Central High School in 1955 with an interest and talent for art. Continuing his education he received his B.S. degree from the University of Louisville in 1959 and his M.F.A. degree from the prestigious Pratt Institute of Fine Arts two years later. His first job was as an artist for WHAS-TV in Louisville where he painted scenery before being used as a set designer, fabricator, and finally as a floor director.

Following his time at WHAS-TV, Carter began doing freelance work for several publishing companies including McGraw Hill, D.C. Heath (now known as Houghton Mifflin), and Simon & Schuster where his illustrations were featured in children’s books. Carter also started teaching at Nassau Community College in New York as a professor of art. He also lectured at public schools, universities, and private art organizations. In addition, Carter co-founded the National Drawing Association.

Carter’s art has been featured numerous times from Dallas to New York City. These include his exhibit “Carter Light” at Adelphi University and at the 1st Annual Harlem Fine Arts Show, both in 2010. In 2008, Carter was inducted as a legend into the Hall of Fame at Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky. Carter was also honored as an outstanding artist at the 10th Annual Celebration of Black Artists by the dedicators in New York. His website, Robert Carter Studio, created in 2006, acts as a portfolio for his work.

His wife, Panchita, is a fine art jeweler and together they have two daughters, Heather and Holly.

Robert Carter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 27, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.002

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/27/2010

Last Name

Carter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

G

Occupation
Schools

Harvey C. Russell Junior High School

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary School

Louisville Central High School Magnet Career Academy

Paul Laurence Dunbar School

University of Louisville

Pratt Institute

School of Visual Arts

Parsons School of Design

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Organizations

First Name

Robert "Bob"

Birth City, State, Country

Louisville

HM ID

CAR19

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

To Make A Long Story Short.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/29/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chili

Short Description

Art professor Bob Carter (1938 - ) cofounded the National Drawing Association, and taught at the Nassau Community College in New York.

Employment

WHAS-TV

Freelance

Nassau Community College

Favorite Color

All Colors

Timing Pairs
0,0:984,24:1394,35:1886,43:4180,78:5233,91:9364,282:9688,291:35130,465:36330,482:40180,522:40990,533:42240,538:47042,586:50790,591:53770,631:56505,665:58195,702:63070,802:64370,832:67035,879:72974,940:76622,1008:80174,1048:81998,1069:94034,1220:122060,1548:122995,1562:126225,1605:134550,1671:139548,1747:139852,1752:147756,1910:148972,1933:156310,1961:160971,2078:176822,2260:178063,2281:194832,2521:195048,2527:196398,2532:204280,2608:206380,2641:210842,2708:211247,2715:211895,2725:225620,2879:226335,2891:232612,2961:233992,2991:235855,3024:237373,3051:241390,3061:241698,3066:245476,3108:247982,3148:249061,3166:250223,3187:259187,3339:265890,3385:269570,3448:269970,3454:270290,3459:270770,3466:271090,3501:276160,3552$0,0:11661,224:12006,232:13317,267:13593,272:25786,473:60654,1009:77536,1186:91974,1394:104216,1691:119340,1867:138308,2127:139936,2179:160069,2528:164651,2625:165125,2633:165599,2640:170655,2778:173736,2844:182987,2969:184407,3001:186900,3024
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bob Carter's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bob Carter lists his favorites, pt. 1

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

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bob Carter describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bob Carter talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bob Carter describes his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bob Carter describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bob Carter describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bob Carter talks about his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bob Carter talks about his parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Bob Carter describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bob Carter describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bob Carter talks about his father's service in the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bob Carter recalls his father's start in the Louisville Metro Police Department

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bob Carter describes his father's career as a deputy coroner

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bob Carter talks about his brother

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bob Carter recalls his early interest in art

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bob Carter describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bob Carter talks about his early education

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bob Carter describes his early influences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bob Carter talks about his activities at Louisville Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bob Carter recalls his early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bob Carter remembers his decision to attend the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bob Carter describes his mentors at the University of Louisville

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bob Carter talks about his experiences at the University of Louisville

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bob Carter remembers designing sets for WHAS-TV in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bob Carter remembers Sam Gilliam

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bob Carter recalls meeting celebrities at WHAS-TV in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Bob Carter describes his experiences of hiring discrimination in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Bob Carter describes his master's thesis at the Pratt Institute in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bob Carter describes his involvement with the National Conference of Artists

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bob Carter talks about his work at the Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bob Carter remembers founding the National Drawing Association

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bob Carter describes his artwork

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bob Carter talks about the use of neon signage in his artwork

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bob Carter talks about the children in his artwork

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bob Carter shares his perspective on the Black Arts Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bob Carter talks about his interest in academia and teaching

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bob Carter describes his artistic influences

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bob Carter reflects upon his career

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bob Carter describes his artistic philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bob Carter recalls his favorite paintings

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bob Carter remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bob Carter describes his current projects

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bob Carter describes the changes in the fine arts

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bob Carter reflects upon his experiences as an art teacher

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Bob Carter describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Bob Carter reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Bob Carter reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Bob Carter describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Bob Carter's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bob Carter lists his favorites, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bob Carter describes his mother's family background, pt. 3

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bob Carter talks about his maternal grandfather

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bob Carter narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

4$8

DATitle
Bob Carter describes his artwork
Bob Carter talks about his interest in academia and teaching
Transcript
Well tell us about your work. Now what is your, what do you like to work in, what kind of work are you constantly trying to do, and what is your philosophy of art? And we'll probably forget all those three, I have to come back and get them (laughter), but tell us something about your art work.$$Well, I've always been centered around a figure. Many of the figures are black images, but I was thinking about this just the other day, although I use black images, it's intended to speak to universals and very often, and because of that many would consider me an ethnic artist. And I feel almost offended when that term is used, when it's used improperly because ethnic implies there's a Eurocentric standard, and everything else is ethnic when we all are ethnic it's a question of which variety, of which particular. So I think that that's often misunderstood because of the fact that I use black as a vehicle I would like to think I'm speaking to, as I said the entirety. There's certain peculiarities that each ethnic group, each geographic group, each cultural group might have, and there are times I would respond to that. But usually the figures are my fo- I'll give you an example I did one painting that is called 'The Jazz Lesson' [ph.], and it's a painting of a grandfather teaching a grandson how to play the saxophone. Now it's inspired by Tanner [Henry Ossawa Tanner], 'A Banjo Lesson' [sic. 'The Banjo Lesson'], so though Tanner's painting and mine are using or employing black images as vehicles, the real theme is the, is the bridging of a generation gap, the grandfather passing on something to the, to the grandson. And for me, you know, if that connection could have been made with any eth- ethnic group. But, you know, like many, you know, I experimented here and there, but basically I find the figure as my vehicle to share certain ideas that are important to me. Sometimes it's social, sometimes it's political, depending on the moment and what I'm trying to, you know, to achieve. Basically the image philosophy--basically I feel that art is a communication process, and you're trying to make a connection, and I feel that whether it's musical--done musically or done through dance. And I'll listen to--for example I'm doing something now, if it works, 'cause whenever you're in the middle of a piece, you--it may not work, but Peggy Lee came out with a song called 'Is That All There Is?'. I don't know if that rings a, rings a bell.$$Oh, yeah, yeah.$$But it's a very--for me, it's a very, very special piece of music that gives you a sense of what life--makes you think about what life is about, if you remember some of the lyrics to it. And, so I say that to say that when I listen to music or go to a play and I'm really moved, my intent is boy, I want to move people like that so that's what I mean by communication. I feel that, those that aren't connecting are in some sort of therapeutic process, important but not necessarily connecting, and I think that whether it's dance or music or poetry and liter- there's a line between executor and the recipient, and I hope to make that, you know, very, very special. And the skills, the media is simply a manifestation of a ve- of a vehicle to make that statement. And as I, as I tell my students, you know, the--you mentioned, you asked me about color earlier, the color is simply one of the many facets of trying to convey the attitude. If the attitude would work better with green then, you know, you use green or whatever, whatever might be the--or media.$As a member of the education community, you're obliged to try to be in the middle so that the student is aware of the--that range. As an individual artist, again many of my images do use the black image because I feel that we're a part of the universe, and if I can show compassion, I can show it with a, with a black image as well as a white. So if I, if I, If I'm labeled ethnic, I think that's the bias of what ethnicity means--that's the bias that--of what ethnicity means to the spokesperson or to the person doing the speaking. In other words, if they're thinking of again Western Europe as the standard and I, and I feel that the universe is the standard, Western Union--Western Europe is simply a part of that standard.$$Right, right, yeah.$$That's--$$To define art as, you know, European art is art and then every--is universal art and then everything else is (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Exac- well, see and that's what I object to. As a matter of fact, I came when--during a time African art was considered folk art, ethnic art. What was the, what was the, there was another term, not tribal.$$Primitive art.$$Primitive, thank you, primitive and one of my close friends who was doing a doctorate at that time said--used to use those terms in in her doctoral training and I said, "Don't, that's not true, you know, it's just simply, it's another, another form, not directly controlled by Western, so called Western standard." And she changed, you know, not because we're friends. You know, it was one of those intellectual dialogues that paid off (laughter) and that's really what attracted me to college teach- teaching. I said this the other day because at this point I'm still there because I still find positive--every now and then a day comes up I say, "Why am I doing this," you know, because of some- something went that day, a meeting that you didn't want to go to or whatever, but my way of expressing what brought me to college teaching was it's great to argue about how many saints, no how many angels dance on the head of a pin which is a cli- kind of a cliche. If you're with good people you have, you can argue about that. You may never agree, but you can argue, you know, hopefully intelligently and with some sensitivity, and it's just a good arena for that. Some of the people that I know in, in the commercial art world doing, you know, well, graphic design, but I don't know a lot of, a lot of those people. One of my closest friends doing storyboard and cartooning and so forth, one of their problems is isolation. One of my very good friends, Stan Goldberg, who does Archie, Archie Comics [Archie Comic Publications, Inc.], don't call him if you're in a hurry 'cause he's going to talk to you for a half hour because he doesn't have conversation every day, you know, he's isolated. He takes his stuff to the publisher and goes back to the studio whereas the college community brings you into a community that, that, that offers the poss- the potential for dialogue.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Film hairstylist, Robert Louis Stevenson, was born on April 20, 1944 in Louisville, Kentucky. Stevenson was raised in South Central Los Angeles, California and was the oldest of twelve children. He attended Jordan High School and enrolled in Compton College in 1963. Stevenson was drafted into The United States Military in 1965 during the Vietnam War and was unable to complete his undergraduate education. In the military Stevenson spent two years in Korea and eleven months in Oklahoma. Following his tour of duty, he trained at Flavio School of Beauty.

Stevenson began his hairstyling career in 1971 working on the NBC television series McMillan and Wife. In 1976, Stevenson began working as Richard Pryor’s hairstylist for the film Car Wash, and he continued as Pryor’s hairstylist for the films Greased Lightning and Which Way Is Up?. Stevenson served as head of the hair department on several other films and television shows in the late 1970s and 1980s, including The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Toy and Superman III. In 1985, Stevenson was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling for the Miniseries, The Atlanta Child Murders, and he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling for The Jesse Owens Story that same year. In 1988, he worked as head of the hair department on Eddie Murphy’s film, Coming to America. In 1993, Stevenson was nominated again for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Hairstyling for a Miniseries or Special for The Jacksons: An American Dream. Stevenson has worked personally with Lawrence Fishburne and Angela Bassett. He also served as Samuel L. Jackson’s hairstylist on several films including 1408, Home of the Brave, Black Snake Moan, Snakes on a Plane, Freedomland, XXX: State of the Union, The Man, Coach Carter, In My Country, S.W.A.T. , Basic, Formula 51, Changing Lanes, Unbreakable, Shaft, Rules of Engagement, The Negotiator, Eve’s Bayou, Jackie Brown and The Long Kiss Good Night. In addition, Stevenson has been a department head or supervising hairstylist on many memorable films including Jarhead, Three Kings, Amistad, Waiting to Exhale, Dangerous Minds, What’s Love Got to Do With It? , Sister Act, The Color Purple, Flashdanceand Willie Dynamite.

Stevenson has been married for thirty years to film publicist Rosalind Stevenson. They have four adult children and five grandchildren.

Robert Stevenson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 7, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.197

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/7/2007

Last Name

Stevenson

Maker Category
Middle Name

Louis

Occupation
Schools

David Starr Jordan High School

Edwin Markham Junior High School

Utah Street Elementary School

El Camino College Compton Center

102nd Street School

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Louisville

HM ID

STE10

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii, Cape Town, South Africa

Favorite Quote

Matter Of Fact.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

4/20/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Film hairstylist Robert Louis Stevenson (1944 - ) was an Emmy award-winning Hollywood hairstylist who worked exclusively with Richard Pryor and Samuel L. Jackson. His film credits include, "A Time to Kill," "Which Way Is Up?" "Jackie Brown," and, "Coming to America."

Employment

Universal Studios

Myers Drum Company

Ace Hot Button Hole Company

Ted Levine Drum Company

Los Angeles International Airport

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:846,46:6058,141:7452,169:8354,181:10240,225:13520,290:13848,295:14176,300:14504,305:16636,338:22458,439:23114,449:24098,466:24426,471:25410,523:33734,618:36472,677:45528,779:51806,946:54069,1003:54872,1020:55383,1029:55748,1035:62400,1081:63450,1104:64200,1116:72893,1287:99361,1788:102397,1867:103680,1873$0,0:1780,45:7476,166:11269,187:12226,215:13270,236:15445,324:27060,574:33150,695:37000,759:37560,781:38330,797:41200,895:45820,978:46590,994:56850,1088:57633,1098:66543,1255:67353,1265:69621,1326:70107,1334:74724,1458:87318,1695:87614,1700:88132,1709:97278,1873:101450,1911:103443,1925:104153,1940:104437,1945:104934,1955:108910,2042:109194,2047:116578,2189:117075,2197:122335,2251:122800,2257:130121,2371:130535,2379:132053,2432:139516,2518:139944,2523:161170,2959
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Louis Stevenson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Louis Stevenson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Louis Stevenson talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his father's U.S. Navy career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his mother's discipline

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers moving to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers moving to Watts in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his father's career, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Robert Louis Stevenson lists his surviving relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his father's career, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Louis Stevenson lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers 102nd Street School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Louis Stevenson recalls his peers at David Starr Jordan High School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers his first jobs

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers his father's work ethic

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his father's discipline

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers his mother's death

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers being taken in by his neighbors

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes the start of his career

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers becoming a film hairstylist

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes the sights and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes the Jordan Downs projects in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers his father's alcoholism

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Louis Stevenson recalls reconciling with his father

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers Compton College in Compton, California

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers being drafted into the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Louis Stevenson recalls his experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes the racism in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert Louis Stevenson reflects upon his U.S. military service

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Robert Louis Stevenson reflects upon the draft

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his duties in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Robert Louis Stevenson recalls his early interest in hairstyling

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Louis Stevenson recalls his decision to become a hairstylist

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers working as a cook

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers opening a hair salon

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers his first marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Louis Stevenson recalls the start of his career at Universal Studios

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes the difference between commercial and studio hairstyling

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers his interview at Universal Studios

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his work schedule as a studio hairstylist

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes the demographics of Hollywood hairstylists

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers his reception at Universal Studios

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers his coworker's advice

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes the Hollywood film industry

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Louis Stevenson talks about the benefits of union membership

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his tools as a film hairstylist

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Louis Stevenson talks about his daughter

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers meeting Rosalyn Woodruff Stevenson

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers marrying Rosalyn Woodruff Stevenson

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his wife's career

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his advice to aspiring film hairstylists

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Robert Louis Stevenson talks about black face and segregation in Hollywood

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers working with Richard Pryor

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers Redd Foxx

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Louis Stevenson talks about his awards

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Louis Stevenson remembers his celebrity clients

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert Louis Stevenson talks about his work philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his styling techniques for wigs

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Robert Louis Stevenson describes his advice to young people

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Robert Louis Stevenson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

11$8

DATitle
Robert Louis Stevenson remembers becoming a film hairstylist
Robert Louis Stevenson describes his work schedule as a studio hairstylist
Transcript
And my daughter [Kendra Stevenson Ruffin] was born, and then I started--after I got out of the beauty college I started a salon. And then I heard it--then this is when affirmative action and all this stuff was going--then I heard when I was in my shop, I heard about studios on the radio, that they were looking for hairdressers, makeup people, prop people, and I just took off (laughter). I went down, and the office was the producer's building, which was in the dark building on La Cienega [Boulevard], right off of La Cienega and 3rd [Street], right there. And I went in there and filled out an application for a props and hair. I put the hair first, but I put props and anything else I thought, maybe, wardrobe; I think I put a few things, and, and I went away. I mean I just put it in. I figured well, they, maybe they might call or whatever. And a friend of mine, a friend of mine, one of my good friends I was in the [U.S. military] service with, said his sister was trying to get into the studios and that this guy named Charles Hack [ph.] was the head of employee's relations. And he was looking for blacks that, that were qualified to try to get in to the studio. So I said, "Give me his number," you know, and I called him. Then he said, "Well, look, do you have the application in?" I said, "Yeah, I just put it in down at the dark building." He said, "Well, come over and see me." He was at Universal [Universal Studios Inc.]. I went over and seen him, told him what I did. He said, "Well, we want you to go in as a hairdresser." And I said yeah, that's what, you know, that's what I do. So, and the rest is history, man.$$Okay.$$Yeah, I went down. They gave me an interview. I--in '69 [1969], I went over to Universal, got interviewed. They said that you know, it wasn't any work then. I think it was everybody was on hiatus, but he said--$Now the hairstylist is on call at all times, always off the, off the camera.$$I mean it all depends. I mean the studio hairstylist basically, if you, if you're on a show, then you get a call every day, you know, a call. But if you're just in the union [Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild], and you, you know, it's day work. It's not a, it's, you know, it's not like going to your salon every day, you know. Every day is a different day, you know. But if you're fortunate enough or blessed enough to get, you know, on a show, then you work every day, as long as the show is running. And then you also--they can, you know, other people hire you to help them out on shows. So that's how that, that kind of work--it's, it's more of, of a, a union hall thing, you know. You know, you go to call the union, you know, you get a person, you know. But if you, you're good and you get shows, then you never work, or producers call you and you ain't got to worry about it, or people hire you because they know who you are or what, what you can do, or if you, you know, or somebody said something about you, and then they, they said okay, well, let's get him or get her, you know. That's how it works, you know. But it's not like, it's, it's not a job like, you know, Valentino or Beverly Hills [California]. You know, he goes in every day. He got his clientele. He knows what he's gonna do. He know he's gonna do eight perms a day or you know, color today, and he got five people here, and he gonna do that, and he home, he's going home at lunch. You know, he said I'm, I'm gonna be working to twelve [o'clock], and then I'm finished. See, but Hollywood [Los Angeles, California], you work sunup to sundown in all kind of conditions. It's not the same. It's, it's, it's not glamorous. Everybody think it's glamorous. It's not glamorous. It's a job, and it's hard job. I mean, of course, there's benefits, you know. You get paid well, you know. But you also, you sacrifice a lot of stuff. I mean, you, you know, your, your, your family and, and, you know, and your health and everything else 'cause working in all kind of conditions, and all kind of hours, and you know, working nights, and working in the heat, you know, working in other countries, and you know, packing and unpacking. And it's a whole, it's a gypsy life. It's a gypsy life, and you have to want to do that, you know. It's not for everybody. Everybody say oh, I want to work. No, you don't. You know, you might, until you get that first twelve-hour day or thirteen-hour, or fourteen-hour day, then you--it ain't the same, you know. It ain't like you work in a salon, we're gonna do five heads a day, then girl, we're going to the party or guy we're going to the party. Ain't--forget that (laughter); there ain't no party (laughter). The only party you're going to is the hotel to get in the bed so you can get up the next morning at five o'clock. See what I mean?

Monica Pearson

Monica Pearson has led a distinguished career in journalism at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia, as the anchor of Channel 2 Action News at five, six and eleven o’clock. Pearson has received over twenty-eight Emmy Awards as well as other awards for her reporting and her “Closeups” segments. She is also a humanitarian who assists in charitable, non-profit, and community causes.

Born on October 20, 1947, in Louisville, Kentucky, Pearson is the daughter of Hattie Wallace Jones Edmondson and the late Maurice Jones. Like her mother, Pearson attended Catholic schools during her formative and high school years. Her mother, who worked her way through school, attended St. Mary’s Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana, a prestigious boarding school for black females. Her mother was also one of the first black women to work at the Louisville Post Office.

Pearson knew at an early age that she would pursue a career in communications. One of her part time jobs in high school included working at the local black owned radio station where she did voice over work and read prayers on the station’s religious programs. She also sang country music as a teenager on a television show called Hayloft Hoedown. Pearson pursued and obtained her B.S. degree in English from the University of Louisville. She also participated in the Summer Program for Minority Groups at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York City. Before joining WSB-TV Channel 2, Pearson worked in public relations for Brown Forman Distiller; as an anchor and reporter for WHAS-TV in Louisville, Kentucky; and as a reporter for the Louisville Times. Pearson began her career as the first African American and the first female to anchor a daily evening newscast in Atlanta at WSB-TV in 1975.

Pearson is a recipient of numerous awards: the Women’s Sports Journalism Award, Citizen Broadcaster of the Year Award, Broadcaster of the Year Award, Women of Achievement Award, and the Southern Regional Emmy Awards. She also won first place for excellence in journalism/documentary from the Atlanta Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for her documentary, Hot Flash: The Truth About Menopause.

Pearson is a mother and resides in Atlanta with her mother and husband.

Accession Number

A2006.030

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/21/2006

Last Name

Pearson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Presentation Academy

St. William School

University of Louisville

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Monica

Birth City, State, Country

Louisville

HM ID

KAU01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Destin, Florida

Favorite Quote

It Is What You Do With What You Have That Makes You What You Are.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

10/20/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lasagna

Short Description

Television anchor Monica Pearson (1947 - ) began her career as the first African American and the first woman to anchor a daily evening newscast in Atlanta at WSB-TV in 1975. She has won numerous awards for her journalism and documentary work.

Employment

Liberty National Bank and Trust

Louisville Times

WHAS-TV

WSB-TV Atlanta

Favorite Color

Baby Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Monica Pearson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Monica Pearson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Monica Pearson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Monica Pearson describes her mother's education and occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Monica Pearson recalls Presentation Academy and Louisville's Smoketown neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Monica Pearson describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Monica Pearson recalls tracing her mother's ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Monica Pearson explains why she cannot trace her father's ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Monica Pearson describes her maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Monica Pearson describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Monica Pearson describes her mother's parenting style

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Monica Pearson describes her relationship with her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Monica Pearson describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Monica Pearson describes her mother and father's wedding

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Monica Pearson describes her childhood home and early education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Monica Pearson describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Monica Pearson describes the neighborhood where her mother grew up

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Monica Pearson recalls her family's Easter and Christmas celebrations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Monica Pearson describes her cousins' complexions

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Monica Pearson remembers when her family's home was sold against her wishes

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Monica Pearson describes her mother's high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Monica Pearson recalls her Catholic school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Monica Pearson recalls visiting her mother's high school, St. Mary's Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Monica Pearson lists her elementary and high schools in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Monica Pearson remembers her dresses for special occasions

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Monica Pearson remembers her Cousin Lee's cooking and pastimes

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Monica Pearson recalls Presentation Academy and other Louisville high schools

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Monica Pearson describes the Presentation Academy's sports teams

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Monica Pearson explains her religious background and her name's origin

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Monica Pearson describes the jobs she held as a teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Monica Pearson recalls singing on television and working at WLOU Radio

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Monica Pearson recalls winning Miss Congeniality in a beauty contest

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Monica Pearson recalls her decision to attend the University of Louisville

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Monica Pearson describes Dr. Eleanor Young Love

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Monica Pearson reflects upon the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Monica Pearson describes the demographics of her elementary and high schools

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Monica Pearson recalls her coursework at the University of Louisville

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Monica Pearson remembers becoming a television reporter

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Monica Pearson recalls becoming the Atlanta's first African American evening anchorwoman

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Monica Pearson recalls enduring criticism as an African American anchorwoman

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Monica Pearson details her volunteer work

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Monica Pearson describes her experiences of racial discrimination in Atlanta

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Monica Pearson recalls lessons learned from her mother and grandmother

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Monica Pearson reflects upon her relationship with her father

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Monica Pearson reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Monica Pearson shares her advice to aspiring broadcasters

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Monica Pearson describes her husband, John E. Pearson, Sr.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Monica Pearson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Monica Pearson reflects upon her spirituality

DASession

1$1

DATape

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DAStory

9$5

DATitle
Monica Pearson recalls winning Miss Congeniality in a beauty contest
Monica Pearson remembers becoming a television reporter
Transcript
Then, I would volunteer to do columns for the Louisville Defender, which was the black-owned newspaper, the Louisville Defender, owned by Frank Stanley [Frank L. Stanley, Jr.]. So, I would do that. Now, they also had a pageant every year--the only time I can remember my mother [Hattie Wallace Edmondson] not being supportive of me. I was--the year of the Emancipation Proclamation one hundredth anniversary, so that would have been maybe 1963 (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Nineteen sixty-three [1963], '64 [1964].$$I wanted to be in their beauty contest because it would give you some money--you would win some money. And my mother--I came home and told my mother I'd applied. And my mother said, "I think you're beautiful, but nobody else is. I don't want you being in this." And I said, "I really want to do this." She said, "Well, I'm not going to help you." So, I took one of her old formals, and took the little money I had made, and had her formal cut up into a dress that was more contemporary. I practiced singing and all of this. And there was this wonderful woman, Mrs. Lois Morris [Lois Walker Morris], who went on to become a city councilman, who actually was working with them on this pageant. And my mother went to her and said, "I don't want my daughter in this. Your daughter is, is--can be in it but, you know, they're going to pick a light girl to win. My daughter doesn't have a chance. I don't want you all tearing down her self-esteem." And Mrs. Morris told my mother, "Please let her do it--it's important." It ended up--I won Miss Congeniality, and I was third runner-up, so I didn't do too badly. But she was right--the girl who won it was light and bright, and damn near white (laughter).$$(Laughter) Even in Louisville [Kentucky]?$$Even in Louisville, even in Louisville. But also, you know, that's just the way things were back then. That's just--you don't take it personally, that's just the way it was.$$Well, that still didn't deflate your ego (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh, no, no, no, no--$$--or your self-esteem?$$--I was happy to be Miss Congeniality. It had great pictures and it had a huge trophy. At the University of Louisville [Louisville, Kentucky], something really happened that showed me that people can change. And many times, where we are now, it's because of the strength of people who said, this is the way it should be, and I'm not going to be. I ran for Miss U of L [Miss University of Louisville], and I think I won Miss Congeniality in that one, too. But one of my sponsors, the main sponsor, actually was a white fraternity. And I'm--I, I bet you if I found--I cannot remember--I tell you, my mother remembers everything. But a white fraternity sponsored me for that pageant, and I came in as Miss Congeniality. That was a very brave move on their part, a very brave point on their part.$$Did you solicit them or they volunteered (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) No, they--what happened is they--all the girls needed sponsors. And this group, you know, the different fraternities and sororities, and so, they sponsored me.$But in my sophomore year [at the University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky], I decided to get married, so I dropped out in my sophomore year. My mother [Hattie Wallace Edmondson] nearly died. Got married, and took a job working at a bank as a teller. And the teller, the bank, Liberty National Bank [Liberty National Bank and Trust Company, Louisville, Kentucky] was across the street from the Courier-Journal and the Louisville Times newspaper. And after I'd been there, I guess, about a year, I kept wanting to get into the management training program. And they told me that women would never be bank managers. And so, I said, "Well, if I can train these people how to figure out when I'm out of balance, while I'm out of balance, and if I can teach them to do what I'm doing, I surely could be a bank manager." So, I started looking for a job. The newspaper at that time--John Herchenroeder was the ombudsman. It was a new thing where people could call and complain, and Mr. Herchenroeder would then solve their problems.$$Right.$$So, they hired me as a newsroom clerk. Then, in the summer of 1969--well, actually, I need to back up. In 1968, the summer program for minority groups [Summer Program in Broadcast and Print Journalism for Members of Minority Groups] started at Columbia University [New York, New York]. Because what had happened, the riots of 1968, white owned media looked around and said, oh, my God, we don't have any black people in here, and the white reporters we're sending in to cover these riots are being seen as the enemy. We need some black reporters (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Right.$$So, the Ford Foundation [New York, New York] and Columbia University in New York [New York] started the summer program for minority groups in 1968. In 1969, they added print. They started with television, then they added print in '69 [1969], and I went to the first print class. I came back from that program and worked as a reporter at the Louisville Times in the women's department, and then on the city desk. When I had been there a total of five years, I decided I really wanted to do something else. I wanted to get into this new thing called television. So, one of the TV stations actually had an opening, and I went to apply for the job. And I am so happy to say that the guy who talked to me said to me, "You know, we like you, you're very nice, but you're never going to make it in this business." And so, I said to him, "What do I need? What's wrong with me--tell me." And to his benefit and to his credit, he said, "Well, you sound like Mickey Mouse. You dress like you're still in high school. You need to--." And just gave me a laundry list of things to do. So, then took a charm course to learn how to dress--$$Charm--okay.$$--to learn how to dress--$$Okay.$$--how to do makeup. Now, this is at a time when Diane Sawyer was the weather girl at an independent station [WLKY-TV] in Louisville, Kentucky. This was a woman with a degree who was the weather girl. So, you know, back then, they were looking at hair down to here, chest out to here, and not much up here.$$Okay.$$So, he basically--they were more interested in you being pretty than they were in being smart. Diane Sawyer was the weather girl.$$(Laughter) Okay.$$So, I took a charm course to learn to do makeup, learn to do hair, learn to sound a certain way. And part of that charm course involved doing informal modeling for Byck's department store [Byck Brothers and Company, Louisville, Kentucky]. We're back at Byck's.$$Right, okay.$$You would put on a dress at Byck's out at the mall. You'd go into this restaurant. You'd walk through, and tell people what you were wearing. So, I ran into a woman one night who said, "What are you doing? You don't do this." I said, "Well, I'm a former newspaper reporter, now working for Brown-Forman Distillers [Brown-Forman Corporation, Louisville, Kentucky] in public relations, and trying to get a job in television." Her husband was the news director of WHAS-TV in Louisville, Kentucky. She said, "My husband will be here in a moment. I want you to come back and talk to him." I talked to Tom Dorsey, who is now the critic at the, at the newspaper [Courier-Journal] in Louisville--television critic. And he said, "Well, come in, and I want to," you know, "interview you some more." I went in--got the job as a reporter. What I didn't know, when they finally put me on as an anchor, that I was the first black anchor in the city.$$Okay.$$Never knew that--first black woman anchor in the city, never knew that, never knew it. They told me that years later.

John J. Johnson

John J. Johnson was born on February 10, 1945, in Louisville, Kentucky. Johnson can trace his family history back to his maternal great-great grandparents, Prince Martin (1826-1908) and Evelyn Martin (1819-1908) and his paternal great grandparents, Alexander and Hester Johnson. Johnson grew up in Franklin, Kentucky where he experienced segregation and racism. While in high school, Johnson was involved in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Youth Council and as a member of student government. At the age of seventeen, he became the youngest president of any Kentucky chapter of the NAACP.

Johnson worked in a factory after his high school graduation. He then worked for the Kentucky Institute for Community Development as coordinator of training services. In, 1969, Johnson accepted a position as director of operations for a national marketing and research firm based in New York. He returned to Kentucky and worked with several War on Poverty programs before assuming the position as associate director of the Louisville and Jefferson County Human Relations Commission. Johnson was later appointed director of community services for the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. In 1984, he became the director of the Louisville and Jefferson County Community Action Agency until he joined the staff of the NAACP in Baltimore. While in Baltimore, Johnson received his B.S. degree from Sojourner-Douglass College in community development and public administration.

Johnson held the position of Chief Programs Officer for many years while working for the NAACP; he also directed a wide variety of programs, including Armed Services and Veterans Affairs; Voter Empowerment; Economic Outreach; Labor, Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics; the Prison Project; and the NAACP library. Johnson also worked internationally, including organizing a trip to East Germany in 1992 where he led the NAACP delegation to witness hearings on alleged discrimination against African American military workers. In 1999, Johnson returned to Germany at the United States Army’s behest to be a part of the ceremony for the 70th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, birthday. As part of the Freedom House Citizens Exchange Program, Johnson spent two weeks visiting East Africa to help promote global democracy. In 2002, during Zimbabwe’s Presidential Election, Johnson’s NAACP delegation was the only American organization invited to work as independent observers. Johnson eventually became the NAACP’s chief executive of operations, where he oversaw the executive office of the President and CEO.

Johnson spent a lifetime volunteering for worthy causes, but his volunteer and civic work has been faced with many challenges, from integrating the segregated swimming pool in his hometown of Franklin, to challenging issues such as divestment of Kentucky’s interest in South Africa. Johnson served as the Kentucky president of the NAACP for fourteen years, increasing Kentucky NAACP branches from four to forty-two. Johnson served as an elected member of the NAACP’s national Board of Directors where he was elected one of its vice presidents. Johnson served as chair of the Kentucky Coalition of Conscience; served as a member of the Urban League; and participated in the Kentucky chapter of the National Association of Human Rights Workers and Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Johnson also moderated a weekly radio program entitled Louisville Forum and wrote a column in the weekly newspaper, The Louisville Defender, entitled Advocacy Line. Johnson’s work in civil and human rights led to a street being named after him, John J. Johnson Avenue, in his hometown in 1993.

Johnson received numerous awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate degree from Simmons University for his civil rights and community development work; a distinguished service award from Kentucky State University; the Kentucky SCLC Annual Civil Rights Leadership Award; and the Medgar Evers Award for Outstanding Service, Sincere Devotion, and Commitment to the NAACP. Johnson served on the National Board of Directors for the A. Philip Randolph Institute; the Board of Directors of the National Committee on Pay Equity; and the National Board of Directors of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. He also chaired the advisory board of the National Great Blacks In Wax Museum, Inc.

Johnson and his wife, Courtrina, raised seven children.

Accession Number

A2005.220

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/21/2005

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Middle Name

J.

Organizations
Schools

Lincoln High School

First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Louisville

HM ID

JOH22

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Virginia

Favorite Quote

They Who Wait On The Lord Will Renew Their Strength.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Kentucky

Birth Date

2/10/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Prospect

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pasta, Hamburgers

Short Description

Association executive John J. Johnson (1945 - ) served as the Kentucky president of the NAACP for fourteen years, and also as chief programs officer and chief executive for operations for the national NAACP. He has participated in numerous struggles for national and international struggles for human and civil rights.

Employment

Potter & Brumfield, Inc., American Machine and Foundry Co.]

Kentucky Institute for Community Development

Southern Kentucky Economic Opportunity Council

Community Action Agency for Louisville and Jefferson County

Louisville and Jefferson County Human Rights Commission

Kentucky Commission on Human Rights

Louisville and Jefferson County Community Action Agency

NAACP

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John J. Johnson's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John J. Johnson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Slating of John J. Johnson's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John J. Johnson describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John J. Johnson recounts the legacy of his cousin, John Purdue

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John J. Johnson talks about his maternal great uncle, Frank Johnson

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John J. Johnson describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John J. Johnson recalls living with his relatives in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John J. Johnson recalls his fascination with Morse code as a young boy

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - John J. Johnson recalls moving back to Franklin, Kentucky at the age of three

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John J. Johnson recalls his family's involvement with Alpha Baptist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John J. Johnson describes his great aunt's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John J. Johnson recalls his childhood activities and playmates

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John J. Johnson describes his influential elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John J. Johnson remembers his elementary school teacher's radio program

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John J. Johnson recalls his introduction to student council

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John J. Johnson talks about integration in Franklin, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John J. Johnson remembers Walter H. Story's termination

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - John J. Johnson remembers his time in elementary and high school

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - John J. Johnson recalls his factory job after graduating high school in 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John J. Johnson remembers working at the Potter & Brumfield factory in Franklin, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John J. Johnson describes discriminatory lending practices in Franklin, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John J. Johnson remembers being denied entry into the United States Junior Chamber

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John J. Johnson describes his early community involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John J. Johnson recalls his first project with the Franklin, Kentucky chapter of the NAACP

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John J. Johnson remembers integrating the swimming pool in Franklin, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John J. Johnson remembers leaving his factory job at Potter & Brumfield

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John J. Johnson talks about his family

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - John J. Johnson remembers being one of the first blacks promoted at Potter & Brumfield

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - John J. Johnson describes his advocacy for equal employment opportunities in Franklin, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - John J. Johnson talks about police intimidation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John J. Johnson describes fellow members of the Franklin Simpson County Branch of the NAACP

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John J. Johnson recalls meeting Lawrence Rainey, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John J. Johnson recalls meeting Lawrence Rainey, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John J. Johnson describes joining the Southern Kentucky Economic Opportunity Council

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John J. Johnson retells an instance of discrimination toward the NAACP

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John J. Johnson describes his experiences in marketing research

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John J. Johnson describes his marriages and his children

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - John J. Johnson describes the professional experience he gained in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - John J. Johnson recounts his hiring as training director for the Community Action Agency

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - John J. Johnson remembers directing Louisville's Park DuValle neighborhood services center

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John J. Johnson remembers becoming Louisville's associate director for crisis intervention and community relations

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John J. Johnson recalls violent opposition to desegregation in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John J. Johnson describes the growth of Kentucky's NAACP during his tenure as state president

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John J. Johnson describes working for the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John J. Johnson recalls supporting the NAACP as assistant director for the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John J. Johnson reflects upon heroism within the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John J. Johnson describes his involvement with the NAACP's national board

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John J. Johnson talks about the 1979 NAACP Annual Convention

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - John J. Johnson outlines his trajectory at the NAACP

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - John J. Johnson reflects upon civil rights issues within the Labor Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - John J. Johnson describes the AFL-CIO's support of the NAACP in Port Gibson, Mississippi

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - John J. Johnson describes his work for the armed services and veterans' affairs division of the NAACP

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John J. Johnson reflects upon his contributions to the NAACP

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John J. Johnson describes his work with Historymaker Bruce Gordon

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John J. Johnson thanks those who work in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John J. Johnson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John J. Johnson talks about his children

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John J. Johnson narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John J. Johnson narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

5$4

DATitle
John J. Johnson recalls his first project with the Franklin, Kentucky chapter of the NAACP
John J. Johnson describes working for the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights
Transcript
But those are just some of the experiences you, you went through. We, when we organized, or when I became president of the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Franklin-Simpson County, Kentucky], well, what'll you do? There were several issues that we wanted to confront but there was real resistance even among some of the black community. You had a core group of people who were willing to address issues but by and large there was a great fear factor in a small town like that of being overly identified with the NAACP. One of the projects we initiated was a little community park, and so we agreed that maybe we can do some things for ourselves, let's start there, and so people gave fifty cents, a dollar, two dollars and we went around and took up some money. We raised six hundred [dollars] or seven hundred dollars and brought some playground equipment. Mrs. Lula Bradley [ph.], a very elderly lady owned a piece of land and I went to ask Ms. Bradley could we use that land. She said well if you want to clean it off. It had grown up in bushes and (unclear), and so several guys James Bailey, O'Neal Torrance--I can't--there are three or four of them. They came over and mowed off the land and leveled it off and we bought some playground equipment and made a little playground in the community. The truth is that playground now was moved, the city ran a street through there and it's become one of the nicer facilities where the city funds it and keeps it operational now, but it was just a small effort but the word got out, the pictures got in the newspaper. I can show you a copy of some of the pictures, and the powers that be thought it was a great thing that the NAACP had organized its playground and so the folk who had--were doing domestic work and talking to the their white employers were--discussed well the NAACP's doing--are you all a part of this (unclear)? And so everybody became wanting to be a part of a success story you know?$$Right.$(Simultaneous) Right after you had assumed the role there at Louisville [Kentucky]?$$Yeah.$$Okay. Good, you know.$$Yes, uh-huh, and when I took the job at the local human relations commission [Louisville and Jefferson County Human Relations Commission; Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission], some of the commission members felt like that I should not serve as the state president of the NAACP [Kentucky Conference of the NAACP] and as an employee of the Human Relations Commission and so that became kind of an in-house battle and I gave up the presidency for a year and the following year took a job as the director of--an assistant director for the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.$$Okay.$$Which was right up the street, but that was a statewide agency. There they had no problem with me being the state president of the NAACP and so I continued then to serve as president of the state NAACP and worked for the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. There was some fourteen different cities where we set up human relations commissions. We worked with black people to try to encourage them to run for elective office in the state. We had very few black elected officials and I never will forget having meetings after meetings about trying to get blacks to run for the school board. The people were just reluctant to do it, didn't think they could do it and we would say, "Well, look don't you know some people in that school that you think you could represent folks just as well as they are?" and over a period of time we were able to get that done, but so for roughly ten years or so I worked for the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.$$Okay.$$And setting up human relations commissions dealing with problems related to race relations in the state; worked on a multitude of things. We thought during that period that Klan [Ku Klux Klan (KKK)] activity was a thing of the past, and I never will forget getting a call one day from an NAACP chapter in the rural part of the state about Klan signs that were being circulated in the community. I thought this guy was just over-reacting. He said, "No, John [HistoryMaker John J. Johnson], there are Klan signs." I said, "Klan is outdated, nobody's in the Klan." I mean now the Klan people walk around boldly telling you who they are, but we thought that actually it was something of our past, that we would not have to deal with. So I drove down to this little city and sure enough there were Klan signs being posted all around and before long they were having meetings all over the state, but again it's just one of the many, many issues we dealt with there.

Jamye Coleman Williams

Born on December 15, 1918, in Louisville, Kentucky, to an A.M.E. minister and a religious writer, Williams grew up in Kentucky and earned her B.A. with honors in English from Wilberforce University in 1938. The following year, she received an M.A. in English from Fisk University. Over the next twenty years, Williams taught at four A.M.E. colleges-Edward Waters College, Shorter College, Morris Brown College and Wilberforce University. In 1959, she completed her Ph.D. in speech communication at the Ohio State University and that fall joined the faculty of Tennessee State University. She became a full professor of communications and in 1973 took over as head of the department, serving in that capacity until her retirement in 1987.

At the same time that her academic career took off, Williams began to ascend the leadership ranks of the A.M.E. Church. She served as a delegate to the A.M.E. General Conference in 1964 and became a board member of the National Council of Churches in 1968. From 1976 to 1984, she was an alternate member of the A.M.E. Church's Judicial Council, serving as president of the 13th District Lay Organization from 1977 until 1985. At the 1984 General Conference, Williams was named editor of The AME Church Review, the oldest African American literary journal. She held that post for eight years. Williams also has paved the way for others in the A.M.E., helping Vashti McKenzie win election as the first female A.M.E. bishop.

During her forty-five years in Nashville, Williams was active in her community, serving on several interdenominational organizations, community groups and civic committees. She worked as a member of the NAACP's Executive Committee and in 1999 received the organization's Presidential Award. Williams married her husband, McDonald Williams, in 1943. They have one daughter, one grandson, and two great-granddaughters. Williams resides with her husband in Atlanta.

Accession Number

A2003.187

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/13/2003

Last Name

Williams

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Coleman

Organizations
Schools

Dunbar High School

Wilberforce University

Fisk University

The Ohio State University

First Name

Jamye

Birth City, State, Country

Louisville

HM ID

WIL10

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart And Lean Not On Your Own Understanding; In All Your Ways Submit To Him, And He Will Make Your Paths Straight.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

12/15/1918

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Communications professor and church leader Jamye Coleman Williams (1918 - ) was the first woman to serve as a general officer in the A.M.E. church and later helped Vashti McKenzie win election as the A.M.E. church's first female bishop. She is also a former professor at Tennessee State University, and served as department head.

Employment

Tennessee State University

A.M.E. Church Review

Edward Waters College

Shorter College

Wilberforce University

Morris Brown College

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jamye Coleman Williams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jamye Coleman Williams lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about her mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jamye Coleman Williams recounts stories about her father's family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes her love of reading as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jamye Coleman Williams remembers grade school in Midway, and Covington, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes being in her mother, Jamye Harris Coleman's, dramatics club as a child and a play her mother wrote

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about her influential teachers, Blanche Irene Glenn and Maime Summers

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes her experience at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about her desire to attend college at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about her relationship with Bishop Reverdy Cassius Ransom

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about Bishop Reverdy Cassius Ransom's influence

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about the history of Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio and the African Methodist Episcopal Church

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes her experience at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jamye Coleman Williams explains how her mother cultivated her public speaking skills

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes her experience at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about the teaching positions she held between 1939 and 1942

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about Dr. Charles Wesley, former president of Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes being hired as an English teacher at Wilberforce University and the environment there in the 1940s

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jamye Coleman Williams shares the story of how former president of Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, Charles Wesley, was fired

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes the creation of Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about the faculty who stayed at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, after the split

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about Leontyne Price

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes her dedication to Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio and having to leave

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about an incident with Donald Hollowell and Judge Durwood T. Pye in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jamye Coleman Williams remembers people from Fisk University who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes the influence of the NAACP Youth Council on the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about Charles S. Johnson and Pat Gilpin, who wrote Johnson's biography

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about the Civil Rights Movement in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jamye Coleman Williams lists outstanding students she's taught at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jamye Coleman Williams shares a story about Oprah Winfrey's commencement address at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about the life span of her and her husband's family members

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about being elected the first woman major general officer of the A.M.E. Church in 1984

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jamye Coleman Williams recalls introducing a resolution which was the catalyst for electing the first A.M.E. woman bishop, HistoryMaker Vashti McKenzie, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jamye Coleman Williams recalls introducing a resolution which was the catalyst for electing the first A.M.E. woman bishop, HistoryMaker Vashti McKenzie, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jamye Coleman Williams remembers that HistoryMaker Floyd Flake volunteered to read her resolution at the A.M.E. General Conference in 2000

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jamye Coleman Williams recalls introducing a resolution which was the catalyst for electing the first A.M.E. woman bishop, HistoryMaker Vashti McKenzie, pt. 3

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jamye Coleman Williams considers her future plans

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jamye Coleman Williams shares her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jamye Coleman Williams reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jamye Coleman Williams narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Jamye Coleman Williams describes the creation of Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio
Jamye Coleman Williams shares a story about Oprah Winfrey's commencement address at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee
Transcript
So on commencement day, Lester Granger, who was then head of the [National] Urban League, was the commencement speaker. It was, it was an awful commencement. Half the students wouldn't put their caps and gowns on. And finally we got everybody--they, they burned Bishop [Reverdy Cassius] Ransom, an effigy, the night before on his lawn too. So when we got to commencement it was just a very unhappy event. The choir sang 'My God and I,' and Dr. [Charles] Wesley got up and asked them to sing it again. And then he recounted what had happened, and he said however--and all of this is documented in the history of the A.M.E. church by Howard Gregg, the whole commencement essay, his, his speech to the group, to the people that day indicating that the A.M.E. church has made a mistake, and he hoped that they would see--soon understand that, and that they would--that he would be back in Shorter Hall on that stage. In the meanwhile, he was moving to Bundy Hall where the state would support him in starting a school, that summer school would start, and all the faculty members who wanted to come with them that they were welcome to come. He took with him all of the files of the faculty out of the president's office except one, and that was mine. I'm dyed in the wool of A.M.E., and anybody who knows me knows that I'm not going anywhere that, where the A.M.E. is involved. They took Mack's [McDonald Williams] file over there, everybody's file left, except mine. It was amusing though. When the new president came in, that was the only, it was the only faculty file he had, was mine. So then Wesley went across the campus and started summer school. Mind you, all of the applications that had come into the school during that spring had come into Wilberforce University [Wilberforce, Ohio]. They took all of those records. They intercepted the students when they came to school in the fall. They did everything. Now I, you know, I can understand Dr. Wesley's bitterness, but I do not understand his desire to kill Wilberforce. I mean that went, went too far, and then to intercept students who were going to Wilberforce. They, they met them at the bus station and took them over to what was then--see, they didn't have a name. He tried to call it Wilberforce State. They had just built a natatorium, a--$$A pool.$$--pool, and had put up on there, 'Wilberforce State Natatorium.' If they had been able to keep that name, Wilberforce University would have gone out of existence. We could not have fought the state, if they had had the name. So we had to go to court. And I think Mack told you that one of our friends did the research and dis--because Wesley's contention was that the, Wilberforce took its name from the community; and therefore, his school had as much right to use Wilberforce State as we had to use Wilberforce University. And when the, when the proof came in, it was that the community, the village, had taken its name from Wilberforce University. So we went to federal court in Columbus [Ohio]. I have a picture of Dr. Charles Leander Hill, who was the president, Dr. James Robinson, the dean, Mack and me, standing on the steps of the capitol right after the decision was rendered saying that they could not use our name. So eventually they came up with the name Central State [University, Wilberforce, Ohio]. So that's a, that's that story.$Now, Oprah [Winfrey] left--was in my department at Tennessee State [University, Nashville, Tennessee] and left without getting her degree. She debated about whether or not she should--this was when she took her job in Baltimore [Maryland], and she debated about whether to take the job. And finally we said you know, this is an opportunity. You can come back and finish college. Her father really wasn't in favor of that, but she went on to Baltimore and then subsequently went to Chicago [Illinois]. Well, all this time, she never got--came back to finish. And every time I would run into her father, his remark to me was, "When are you gonna make our girl come back and get her degree?" So finally, one day I said, "Mr. Winfrey, you know people go to college to get jobs so they can make a living." I said, "Oprah's doing fine." "She's never gonna amount to anything till she gets that degree," he kept saying that. So periodically I would give her a phone call and you know, say, "Oprah, you really ought to do this." So the last time I called her, I told her, I said, "You ought to do this. If you don't wanna do it for yourself, you do it for your father; and you also do it because magazines are printing that you are a graduate of Tennessee State, and you are not, and you don't want that." I said, "And all you have is a three-hour course, and you need to finish it." So I said, "You need to send me a check to register you for this course, and you need to send me a video of a documentary you have done for your senior project." And that's when she did it, and she was invited back to be the commencement speaker in 1987, which was the year that I--'cause I kept saying, you know, "I'm getting ready to retire. You'd better come on and do this." She considered to be the commencement speaker, but in the meanwhile, she was interviewed by some magazine. I think it was 'Redbook.' And she made comment that she hated college. Well, the TSU [Tennessee State University] students were up in arms 'cause that meant she hated TSU, so they didn't want her to deliver the commencement address. And we had to--I--the president of the student council, and the president of Mack [McDonald Williams]'s honor's program, and a member of my department--what was Greg's last name?$$(OFF-CAMERA VOICE): Carr.$$Greg Carr.$$Greg Kimathi Carr; I know him.$$You know Greg Carr?$$Yeah, he's at, he teaches at Howard [University, Washington, D.C.] now, yeah.$$He's, he's at Howard now.$$Dr. Greg Carr.$$I called Greg and I said, "Greg,"--he was one of the main ones, carrying on about we need to uninvited her. I said, "You don't have the authority to uninvited her 'cause you didn't invite her, Commencement Committee invited her." So I said, "Greg, let me tell you, you, you better keep the students in line because I'm gonna tell you, none of you people in the speech department, communication department, will get a recommendation from anybody in this department if anything happens on commencement day." Now you know good and well I could not have carried that out, but I told him that, you know. And so when commencement day came, Oprah shows up on the campus. Mind, mind you, I'm in a tizzy because she has not shown up the day before. Her advance people came, and one of the young women whose name was Beverly Coleman, and she said, "Don't worry, she'll be here." She was in California shooting some movie, and so she had chartered a private plane to fly to Nashville and got there at 7:00 in the morning of commencement day. Everybody said, "Don't worry, she'll be here." So she came on the stage. She knew that the students had had this feeling about what she'd said about not liking college. So she got up and she said you know, "I know a lot of you all came here today, you know, and some of you probably said you didn't wanna come, and some of you decided to come and you said I'm just"--and she mimicked, "I'm going out there and find out there and find out what she really looks like and what she's got to say." But before she got through with her introduction, you know, she had the audience just really mellowed out and really delivered a speech which was more like a sermon, very inspirational. And when the president gave her her degree, she held up her diploma and said, "See, daddy, I amount to something." Because he had been saying, "You're not gonna amount to anything till you get that degree." So that's my Oprah story.$$Was Greg Carr impressed?$$Yeah, yeah.$$All right.$$Everybody was impressed. She was really good. She was really good. And I, and I really don't think what--she called at--shortly after the article came out in the paper. Her favorite teacher at TSU was a man in the drama department, Mr. Dury Cox, and he was almost like a surrogate father to her. And Mr. Cox, you know, would just talk to the kids, and they all hung out with him in, over in the, in the auditorium. So she called one day, and I picked up the phone in my office. "May I speak to Mr. Cox?" I didn't recognize her voice, and I simply said, "Well, he's in class. If you'll leave your number, I'll have him call you." And she said, "Dr. Williams is that you? This is Oprah." And she said, "I know you all upset with me." And she said, "Mr. Cox is gonna kill me," you know. And so she went on to say that she knew people were upset about that article. So I said I'll have Mr. Cox call you. But she, she, she mellowed her audience out.

Carol L. Adams

Nonprofit executive Carol L. Adams was born on May 11, 1944, in Louisville, Kentucky to William and Lora Adams. She studied music at Lincoln University in Jefferson, Missouri, for a year before transferring to Fisk University where she graduated with a B.A. degree in sociology in 1965. The following year she earned her M.A. degree in sociology from Boston University. She pursued doctoral coursework at the University of Chicago, studying under esteemed sociologist Horace R. Cayton, before leaving to complete her Ph.D. degree in sociology from the Union Graduate School in 1976. She has also studied at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and at Yale University.

In 1968, Adams began her career in academia as the research director for the Center for Inner City Studies (CICS) at Northeastern Illinois University. Over a ten-year period, she assumed greater responsibility as the CICS’s assistant director and became a tenured associate professor. She developed a number of successful programs and key community partnerships for CICS during its early years. Adams went on to spend several years as the first director of research and planning for the Neighborhood Institute, a division of South Shore Bank (later the Shorebank Institute). In just two years, Adams managed to establish several programs designed to promote community development, revitalization and self-sufficiency.

In 1981, Adams returned to academia as the director for Loyola University’s African-American studies program, a position she held until 1988. She then served as dean of adult and continuing education at Kennedy-King College in Chicago for a year. From 1989 to 1996, Adams worked for the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). While at the CHA, Adams went from directing one department to managing thirteen departments and a $500 million budget. Adams subsequently served as the director for the International House of Blues Foundation and the founding director of Chicago’s Museums and Public Schools program before returning in 2000 to Northeastern University as Executive Director of CICS. Under her direction, the Center experienced a new surge of growth in student enrollment, technological advancement, and community programming and collaborations.

In January 2003, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich named Adams secretary of the Department of Human Services, the state's largest government agency. During her six year tenure, the agency secured almost $250 million in new grant funding and dramatically reduced the infant mortality rate of infants born to Medicaid-eligible women. Since 2009, Adams has been the president and chief executive officer of the DuSable Museum of African American History. Adams has been the recipient of numerous research awards, grants and honors, including the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa key.

Carol Adams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 7, 2003 and August 24, 2010.

Accession Number

A2003.066

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/7/2003 |and| 8/24/2010

Last Name

Adams

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Organizations
Schools

Albert E. Meyzeek Middle School

Louisville Central High School

Fisk University

Boston University

University of Chicago

Union Graduate School

Yale University

Harvard University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

First Name

Carol

Birth City, State, Country

Louisville

HM ID

ADA03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brazil

Favorite Quote

Let's Cut To The Chase.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/11/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Nonprofit executive Carol L. Adams (1944 - ) was the secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services and director of the Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University. She was also the president and chief executive officer of the DuSable Museum of African American History.

Employment

Neighborhood Institute

Loyola University of Chicago

Kennedy-King College

Chicago Housing Authority

International House of Blues Foundation

Museums and Public Schools

Northeastern Illinois University Center for Inner City Studies

Illinois. Department of Human Services.

DuSable Museum of African American History

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:1642,31:15852,249:33840,430:34332,437:35808,483:67700,888:79920,1042:83435,1073:84019,1082:93071,1326:116656,1634:118150,1654:127031,1849:151544,2252:157165,2348:157457,2353:157749,2358:158260,2368:183762,2774:189371,2859:200817,3020:215460,3261$0,0:1110,19:1850,31:6364,128:19018,381:30592,518:30952,524:31456,532:37216,631:39232,665:65458,1185:82460,1424:87710,1505:91310,1573:105565,1739:126990,2018
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carol L. Adams's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams describes her grandfather's death

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams talks about her experience at Booker T. Washington Elementary School and Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carol L. Adams describes her father's personality and businesses

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience at Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience at Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams describes enrolling at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes being arrested for a civil rights protest in Nashville, Tennessee, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams describes being arrested for a civil rights protest in Nashville, Tennessee, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams describes the environment of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience at Boston University in Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience moving to Chicago, Illinois in 1966

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience as a member of The Catalyst in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams describes being inspired by HistoryMaker Abena Joan P. Brown

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes meeting Horace Cayton, Jr. at the University of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams describes working with Horace Cayton, Jr. at the University of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience with the Communiversity and the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience with the Communiversity and the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams describes her graduate project with the Carruthers Center for Inter City Studies and the Cook County Jail

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience with the Neighborhood Institute of South Shore Bank

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience as head of the African American Studies program at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes seeing her former students develop

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams talks about her trips to Ghana, Kenya, and Kemet

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience with arts organizations in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams describes the programs she was involved with in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams describes her approach to evaluating grant proposals

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Carol L. Adams's interview

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience as director of African American Studies at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes her relationship to her students at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams describes inviting Harold Washington to speak at Loyola University while he was running for Mayor of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience with the Illinois Council of Black Studies

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams reflects upon the death of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams describes her involvement with various political campaigns

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience at Kennedy-King College in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Carol L. Adams describes her decision to work as Director of Resident Services and Programs for the Chicago Housing Authority

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Carol L. Adams describes the administrations she worked under at the Chicago Housing Authority

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Carol L. Adams describes the history of Chicago Housing Authority developments

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Carol L. Adams describes Chicago Housing Authority polices and how they have limited access to public housing

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Carol L. Adams describes the decline in public housing before she began working for the Chicago Housing Authority

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Carol L. Adams describes the state of public housing resident organizations when she worked for Chicago Housing Authority in 1989, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Carol L. Adams describes the state of public housing resident organizations when she worked for Chicago Housing Authority in 1989, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams describes the Chicago Housing Authority's program to encourage resident-owned businesses

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes the Chicago Housing Authority's Midnight Basketball League, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams describes the Chicago Housing Authority's Midnight Basketball League, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams describes the Chicago Housing Authority's "Mama Said" program

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams describes the Chicago Housing Authority's CADRE program

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams describes the murder of five year old Eric Morse at Ida B. Wells Homes

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Carol L. Adams describes the development of Ida B. Wells Preparatory Elementary Academy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Carol L. Adams describes becoming director of the International House of Blues Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience with the International House of Blues Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Carol L. Adams describes moving her Chicago Housing Authority offices from downtown Chicago, Illinois to Ida B. Wells Homes

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Carol L. Adams describes the development of the Chicago Housing Authority's Project Peace, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Carol L. Adams describes the development of the Chicago Housing Authority's Project Peace, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams describes becoming the founding director of the Museums and Public Schools program in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes becoming director of the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago in 2000, pt.1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams describes becoming director of the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago in 2000, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams describes becoming Secretary of Human Services for the State of Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams describes becoming Secretary of Human Services for the State of Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams describes integrating the offices of the Illinois Department of Human Services

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Carol L. Adams describes how technology helped her connect to her employees at the Illinois Department of Human Services

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Carol L. Adams reflects on the administration of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Carol L. Adams reflects upon her achievements as Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Carol L. Adams describes the Team Illinois initiative

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams describes the challenges of her tenure as Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes her candidacy for president of Chicago State University in Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams describes her decision to leave the Illinois Department of Human Services

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams describes being selected as president of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience as president of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams describes the history of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Carol L. Adams describes her plans for developing the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Carol L. Adams talks about Chicago, Illinois founder Jean Baptiste Point du Sable

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Carol L. Adams describes the community's involvement with the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Carol L. Adams describes some of the challenges faced by the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Carol L. Adams describes the collection of the DuSable Museum of African American History

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Carol L. Adams describes the challenge of getting accreditation for DuSable Museum of African American History

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Carol L. Adams describes her experience with the Paradise Group

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Carol L. Adams describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Carol L. Adams reflects upon her regrets

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Carol L. Adams reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Carol L. Adams talks about her family

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Carol L. Adams describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

2$2

DATape

6$8

DAStory

5$10

DATitle
Carol L. Adams describes the Chicago Housing Authority's "Mama Said" program
Carol L. Adams describes the community's involvement with the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois
Transcript
Yeah. The other program we had that I really was very proud of was called "Mama Said." And it was a program for young women who were mothers, and who were mentored by moms who had successfully reared their kids in public housing. And I thought of that program--the name of it--not the idea; it was a woman named Helen Fenner who was the president of the Local Advisory Council at Ida B. Wells [Homes]. And she said, "Carol, we really need to do something about these young moms. They don't know how to raise children. They're making a lot of mistakes with their kids, you know." She sort of would sit on her... outside her dwelling and see some of this. And she was very disturbed by it. So, after talking with her a little bit, it occurred to me that maybe moms like her could mentor the girls who needed to know how to be mothers. But at first, I think I thought about it in a sort of retro way. I started recruiting all of these so-called successful women to be the mentors in the Mama Said program. It was an abysmal failure. Then it dawned on me, that the distance between this was too great. But the girls thought that so and so who didn't live anywhere near their community--who had an altogether different life--who went to college who ran this and this thing or whatever--wasn't anything like them. And they thought, "Well what you're talking about is something you can do in your neighborhood, but not something that I can do here." And that's when I realized sort of the mistake in my own reasoning, that I had overlooked the successful mom right next door. So, we totally did the program over, and started looking at the moms right there. And I started realizing... because by then I had moved my office from downtown at State and Madison to Ida B. Wells. I moved all my staff there. Because I said, "If you're really actually into development, you're going to get a much better feel for what things we ought to be doing. Our ears are going to be to the ground. We're going to be talking to the residents and dealing with them in a different way." So, we went back to the drawing board. And working with Mrs. Fenner and some of the other... I call "old school moms," then we reorganized Mama Said. And it was wildly successful, because we were able to get funding and hire women who lived in the developments to have some roles, as well as the women who volunteered. And if the girls were involved in workshops and different kinds of things--if the mom lived next door or across the street--your mentoring mom--she'd get to see what you were doing. She'd get to see what was happening. She could say, "Come and sit on my porch and let's talk for a minute." You know, it was just in a different kind of environment. And that was very successful. And I see my Mama Said moms all the time; they want to have a reunion. They became mentoring moms themselves, and so forth. And in the subsequent years when other girls would come, they sort of were self-directed, self-governing. They would tell the other girls, "Don't do that. You're going to have to... you know, you shouldn't spank her." Or, "You shouldn't do this or you shouldn't that." They learned a lot of things that they passed on to other people, you know.$So, I know this is also a film series that's significant that's going on.$$We've been doing a lot of films. We're doing a film series called the "African Jubilee," which is the celebration of fifty years of independence on the part of many African countries, you know, who became independent in the sixties. And so, we've been showing African film. We have several film series, plus we make films a part of our public programming, in terms of whatever exhibition we have. So, when we have the exhibition about the Black Panther Party, in addition to the scholarly panels and the activist panels and so forth on that period, we also show films of the period and documentaries about it, and so forth. And then we do just for fun, outside on our grounds, we do the outside "Movies in the Park." So, this Saturday we did The Wiz. And over two hundred people came, and their families to watch the movie.$$This... it appears to me, and maybe I'm wrong. It seems like the community is more engaged with DuSable [Museum of African American History] now than at any other time.$$I think they're more engaged, and I think they're going to get even more engaged with some of the programs that we're going to be doing. We did an outside Gallery 37-type of program this summer called "Conversation Peace," where we brought African-American and Mexican American youth together to talk about peace, and to do an art project about that. The result of their work is going to... we're going to tour some of their schools and then serve as a conversation piece around which to have discussions about race and about non-violence, and so forth. We're doing a huge opening for our newest exhibit, "The African Presence of Mexico," that involves both cultures coming together on our grounds--dancers and elders and young people. We're going to a youth summit of African-American and Latino youth around their common issues. We think a museum has to be a living... very organic thing. And so, our slogan is "History Lives Here."

Chester Grundy

For thirty years, educator Chester Grundy has been the human bridge between cultures at the University of Kentucky. Born on August 22, 1947, in Louisville, Kentucky, Grundy grew up in the California neighborhood of Louisville. Strongly influenced by a Catholic monk, Grundy professed his intention to join a monastery when he was just fourteen, but had second thoughts when a monk cautioned him that he would have to leave behind Pepsi Cola. Instead, Grundy went to the University of Kentucky. An active member of the civil rights movement, Grundy helped with the establishment of the Black Student Union before graduating in 1969.

Fed up with the racially hostile environment at UK, Grundy planned to bolt to a job at Notre Dame after graduation. Following his father's death, Grundy felt obligated to support his family, and accepted instead a job offer at his alma mater. As the director of the Office of African American Student Affairs and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Cultural Center at the university, Grundy has injected black culture into a campus previously lacking in it. Grundy established the Spotlight Jazz Series, bringing jazz legends to the school, and also arranged for renowned black personalities to speak on campus.

Beyond the university, Grundy co-founded the Roots & Heritage Festival and the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration in Lexington, Kentucky. As an interim vice president of student affairs at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Grundy works to span the divide between the predominantly black institution and UK.

Chester Grundy is married and has two adult daughters.

Accession Number

A2002.228

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/9/2002

Last Name

Grundy

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Phillis Wheatley Elementary School

Louisville Male High School

University of Kentucky

First Name

Chester

Birth City, State, Country

Louisville

HM ID

GRU01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cuba

Favorite Quote

It Is Not Over Till It Is Over.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Kentucky

Birth Date

8/22/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Lexington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Academic administrator Chester Grundy (1947 - ) is the head of Black Studies at the University of Kentcky and is founder of the National Black Holistic Society.

Employment

University of Kentucky

Favorite Color

Orange

Timing Pairs
0,0:9650,168:40510,526:40990,533:42590,562:49240,635:63122,798:91660,1026:94237,1091:121953,1347:130085,1422:130460,1429:144298,1607:179631,2073:205885,2336:210661,2376:210969,2382:212663,2419:216676,2463:246600,2782:286715,3199:294275,3276:299280,3374:310012,3515:336110,3751$0,0:1296,107:3050,209:4753,284:18803,384:19368,390:44564,587:46236,625:51110,687:54931,713:55386,719:60027,784:75512,946:81467,1027:83537,1074:84296,1089:87662,1107:91362,1187:91732,1193:95955,1213:102100,1338:105460,1409:108060,1419:109140,1440:111660,1464:123726,1852:148234,2071:176030,2313
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Chester Grundy's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Chester Grundy lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Chester Grundy describes his family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Chester Grundy talks about his possible ancestry from Madagascar

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Chester Grundy describes his father, Chester Grundy, Sr.

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Chester Grundy talks about his mother, Sojourner Marchbanks Grundy

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Chester Grundy talks about growing up in the California area of Louisville, Kentucky where he attended Phillis Wheatley Elementary School

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Chester Grundy describes his family's move to the West End of Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Chester Grundy describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Chester Grundy talks about the neighborhood's excitement over African Americans on TV

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Chester Grundy talks about his teachers at Phillis Wheatley Elementary School in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Chester Grundy talks about the integration of high schools in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Chester Grundy describes the integration of Louisville Male High School in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Chester Grundy describes his decision to attend the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Chester Grundy talks about Muhammad Ali, who also grew up in the West End of Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Chester Grundy talks about his desire to be in the military

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Chester Grundy describes his experience at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky where he was one of a few black students

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Chester Grundy talks about Orgena and the formation of the Black Student Union at the University of Kentucky in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Chester Grundy describes his experiences of racial discrimination at University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Chester Grundy talks about the Black Student Union at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Chester Grundy talks about Coach Adolph Rupp's resistance to desegregate the University of Kentucky's basketball team

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Chester Grundy talks about progressive instructors at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Chester Grundy describes the Black Student Union's efforts to make the University of Kentucky more welcoming for black students

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Chester Grundy talks about why he was prevented from serving in the military

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Chester Grundy talks about his senior year at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Chester Grundy talks about his role with the Human Rights Commission as a state field rep

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Chester Grundy talks about working at the Plymouth Settlement House and how he met his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Chester Grundy talks about programs run by the Plymouth Settlement House

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Chester Grundy talks about the impact of the Plymouth Settlement House

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Chester Grundy talks about the focus and draw of African cultural programming at the Plymouth Settlement House

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Chester Grundy talks about developing student identity at the University of Kentucky's Office of Minority Student Affairs

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Chester Grundy talks about important elements of student development and how he was inspired to lead

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Chester Grundy talks about service and the impact of meeting Fannie Lou Hamer, HistoryMaker Julian Bond, and SNCC members

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Chester Grundy talks about creative programming for students like pairing KRS-One with Kwame Toure

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Chester Grundy talks about his involvement in the National Black Holistic Society through HistoryMaker Haki Madhubuti

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Chester Grundy talks about the National Black Holistic Society's retreats

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Chester Grundy talks about the first national Kwanzaa Celebration at Jekyll Island featuring HistoryMaker Maulana Karenga, Asa Hilliard, Louisa Tish, and HistoryMaker Na'im Akbar

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Chester Grundy describes a ritual of spiritual reclamation during a National Black Holistic Society retreat

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Chester Grundy describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Chester Grundy reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Chester Grundy describes his mother's view of his work

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Chester Grundy talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Chester Grundy narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

8$3

DATitle
Chester Grundy talks about Orgena and the formation of the Black Student Union at the University of Kentucky in Louisville, Kentucky
Chester Grundy talks about the focus and draw of African cultural programming at the Plymouth Settlement House
Transcript
But how did you manage to do it? Did you, did you all, did you all try to organize yourselves in some sort of (simultaneous)--?$$(Simultaneous) Exactly, yeah. When I first got here, the students who were here had organized a group call Orgena. And Orgena, I mean, the remarkable thing about the name itself, it's a Negro spelled backwards, okay. And that, you know, that's really, powerful (laughter) symbol in terms of--that's kind of where we were at the time, you know, that Orgena existed. But, Orgena's function was really just to provide some sort of social life. So, we went to Orgena and we connected with Orgena just so that we could develop some kind of extracurricular life. Orgena planned the parties. Orgena planned the socials. Orgena planned the balls, receptions, but these were all pretty much social activities and no, no political, no cultural agenda. And, you know, it was pretty much in keeping with the minds of the students who were here at that time. The juniors and the seniors who we found were very much conscious of trying to assimilate. I mean, these were students who had come from, black middle class backgrounds. And they told us early on that the way to get by here is to get along. So, the point that they made with us was, you have to, you know, find ways, find--you'll find your niche in time, and just don't impose yourself on people and you'll make it. So, you know, we were a little younger and I think we were beginning to respond to something else that was going on in the country at that time. So, we found ourselves after a couple of years, kind of part of two developing camps on this campus. One was pushing for the development of, kind a political agenda, to deal with some of these issues that we were experiencing, with, I mean, no black faculty, no black staff, no black support programs, no black history course, I mean at that time, I mean, we're talking about prior to the black studies movement. So, we were just trying to push for a black history course. Fundamental things, we were trying to get the school to stop singing 'Dixie' at the athletic events. Stop waving the rebel flag at athletic events. I mean, there were a number of issues on campus that just had, basically had to do with trying to get a more humane treatment for black students. Things that were just part of the environment. So, that, with that agenda, we began trying to push this organization, Orgena, to become a little more political in our activities. And, there were lots of debates, lots of discussion, and finally around '67 [1967], '68 [1968], we decided that we needed to develop a Black Student Union. And, there was a faction of students who split from Orgena and set about to develop this BSU and formulize this agenda, which we later presented to the administration. But, the BSU became, you know, a major part of all of our lives at that time. And, the BSU set about to develop, I mean, like most of the issues at that time, kind of a ten point program that we presented to the administration. And, as I look at it, the things--what impresses me now, as I look at that agenda, was like much of what I do here now had to do with the work of those students. I mean, it was really visionary in its way that the support services that existed on this campus now, were part of that agenda that were developed by these students back in the late '60s [1960s]. So, things like cultural programming which is a lot of what I do, financial support, academic support, peer mentorship, recruitment of black faculty, issues that relate to the campus climate. I mean, all of that was part of our early agenda as activists. And, all those things have come to, to fruition over the time since that.$Well, what is the, the--well what is the hook then, you know, I mean, to African culture. I mean, what is, what is it--how to--I mean, why would you hook into that, you know. Or is it--well--also was it just that time period or would it work today (unclear)?$$I don't know, that's a good question. I mean, I don't know if it would work today. In that community, I don't know if it would work today. But I think it really did have a lot to do with the context of the times. I would like to think it would work today but, we found, given the fact that, I mean, it was a comprehensive program and that every aspect of this program was philosophically operating out of the same kind of direction. That, I mean, young kids who were going home to these parents who were in the senior program were, you know, getting the same kind of message. Because like I said, I think we served, it was a multigenerational program and we all brought the same message. So, I think it had a lot to do with the fact that it was, we were full service, I mean we were meeting basic needs as well as giving people, you know, this other kind of programming, this cultural educational programming. We were doing things like, once a year we would produce a--well we would bring in a play, we would sponsor a play. So, we would bring in, I mean, through the help of fundraising, we were bringing a theatre group, a black theatre group who would do a play at a local theater. And, of course, people in our community would get access at a very, discounted rate. So, you know, we were able to introduce black theatre, introduce black music, introduce--I mean, Haki would come to the [Plymouth] Settlement House periodically.$$[HistoryMaker] Haki Madhubuti?$$Um-hm, Haki Madhubuti. So, I mean, it was, you know, multifaceted and rather exciting. The kind of thing that we were doing, it was rather exciting, and I think just that reinforcement and the fact that we were bringing all this energy to that facility all the time was really important to the success of it.$$Okay, all right. So, this centered around '73 [1973] or '74 [1974] when--$$When Morris Jeff left--$$Right.$$--an administration came in that didn't share the same philosophy and things began to kind of deteriorate. Staff began to leave and program focus shifted.

Angelo Henderson

After graduating from the University of Kentucky in Lexington with a degree in Journalism, Angelo Henderson first got a job in 1995 working for the St. Petersburg Times in St. Petersburg, Florida. He worked as a beat reporter and a business writer. He then moved on to the Louisville Courier-Journal where he continued to cover business before joining the staff of the Wall Street Journal's Detroit Bureau.

His first assignment at the Wall Street Journal was reporting on U.S. operations of non-American car companies. Eighteen months later, he moved to covering the Chrysler Corporation, writing on everything from labor talks to new car models. In 1997, he was appointed deputy Detroit Bureau Chief. This position called on him to write stories and manage reporters. In 1999, Henderson began writing exclusively for Page One of the Wall Street Journal. That year, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished feature writing. His prize-winning story, "Crime Scene", detailed the lives affected by an attempted drug store robbery that ended in the robber's death. In 2001, he joined The Detroit News as the special projects reporter. He travels the United States reporting on race, crime, and urban issues, giving a voice to many who have become voiceless.

Henderson was the recipient of several other journalism awards including the Detroit Press Club Award, the Unity Award for Excellence in minority reporting for Public Affairs/Social Issues, and the National Association of Black Journalists Award for outstanding coverage of the black condition. He served two terms as the parliamentarian of the National Association of Black Journalists. Henderson also serves as a deacon at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church and is a member of the gospel group Marc Ivory and the Excelled Praise Singers. He and his wife, Felecia, and their son, Angelo, resided in Pontiac, Michigan.

Henderson passed away on February 15, 2014.

Accession Number

A2002.152

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/20/2002

Last Name

Henderson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Louisville Male High School

University of Kentucky

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Felecia

Birth City, State, Country

Louisville

HM ID

HEN02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Amazing.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

10/14/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Crab

Death Date

2/15/2014

Short Description

Newspaper columnist and radio host Angelo Henderson (1962 - 2014 ) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Detroit News, and previously covered the auto industry in Detroit for Page One of the Wall Street Journal.

Employment

St. Petersburg Times

Louisville Courier-Journal

Wall Street Journal

Detroit News

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Angelo Henderson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Angelo Henderson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Angelo Henderson describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Angelo Henderson talks about his parents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Angelo Henderson describes being raised by his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Angelo Henderson describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Angelo Henderson describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Angelo Henderson describes his interests and activities as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Angelo Henderson talks about grade school

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Angelo Henderson talks about his childhood mentors and role models

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Angelo Henderson describes why he moved to Oakland, California

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Angelo Henderson compares Oakland, California and Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Angelo Henderson describes his schooling experiences in Oakland, California

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Angelo Henderson talks about the teachers that influenced him

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Angelo Henderson describes the minister who influenced him

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Angelo Henderson describes his experiences living with his sister in Oakland, California

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Angelo Henderson describes attending Louisville Male High School in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Angelo Henderson talks about participating in The National High School Institute's Cherub Program at the Medill School of Journalism, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 19 - Angelo Henderson talks about participating in The National High School Institute's Cherub Program at the Medill School of Journalism, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Angelo Henderson describes his sister

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Angelo Henderson describes how his father, mother, and sister shaped his personality

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Angelo Henderson describes why his sister moved to California and became a teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Angelo Henderson describes how The National High School Institute's Cherub Program at the Medill School of Journalism impacted him

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Angelo Henderson describes how participating in the Urban Journalism Workshop inspired him to attend the University of Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Angelo Henderson talks about writing for the University of Kentucky newspaper, the "Kentucky Colonel"

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Angelo Henderson describes his summer internship at WHAS-TV in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Angelo Henderson talks about his summer internship at the "Wall Street Journal" in Cleveland, Ohio and his independent study course at the University of Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Angelo Henderson describes working at "The Herald Leader" and attending job fairs as a student at the University of Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Angelo Henderson describes how he was hired at the "St. Petersburg Times"

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Angelo Henderson talks about his summer internship with the Magic Kingdom College Program at Walt Disney World

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Angelo Henderson describes moving to Florida to work at the "St. Petersburg Times"

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Angelo Henderson describes his experiences working at the "St. Petersburg Times", pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Angelo Henderson describes his experiences working at the "St. Petersburg Times", pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Angelo Henderson talks about developing a relationship with God

Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Angelo Henderson talks about transitioning from writing business news to neighborhood news at the "St. Petersburg Times"

Tape: 2 Story: 17 - Angelo Henderson describes the series on crack cocaine he wrote for the "St. Petersburg Times"

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Angelo Henderson describes working at the "St. Petersburg Times"

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Angelo Henderson describes challenges he faced working at "The St. Petersburg Times"

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Angelo Henderson describes how building a relationship with God impacted him

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Angelo Henderson describes his experiences working at the "Courier Journal"

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Angelo Henderson describes meeting and marrying his wife, Felicia Henderson

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Angelo Henderson talks about the African American entrepreneurial and business communities in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Angelo Henderson describes the minority business community in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Angelo Henderson describes the connections between the business and politics communities in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Angelo Henderson describes being hired at "The Wall Street Journal"

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Angelo Henderson describes his first front page story for "The Wall Street Journal"

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Angelo Henderson describes his experiences working for the Detroit Bureau of "The Wall Street Journal"

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Angelo Henderson describes being promoted to Bureau Chief for the Detroit Bureau of "The Wall Street Journal"

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Angelo Henderson talks about some of the stories he wrote for Page 1 of "The Wall Street Journal"

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Angelo Henderson describes a story he wrote for the "Wall Street Journal" about African American funeral homes

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Angelo Henderson talks about the historical significance of the African American funeral home and church fan industries

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Angelo Henderson describes a story he wrote for the "Wall Street Journal" about how African American entrepreneurs manage race

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Angelo Henderson describes a story he wrote for the "Wall Street Journal" about urban kidnapping

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Angelo Henderson talks about urban kidnapping

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Angelo Henderson talks about winning the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Feature Writing in 1999, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Angelo Henderson talks about winning the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Feature Writing in 1999, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Angelo Henderson describes the inspiration for his Pulitzer Prize-winning story, "Crime Scene"

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Angelo Henderson describes writing his Pulitzer Prize-winning story, "Crime Scene", pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Angelo Henderson describes writing his Pulitzer Prize-winning story, "Crime Scene", pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Angelo Henderson describes writing his Pulitzer Prize-winning story, "Crime Scene", pt. 3

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Angelo Henderson describes how the subject of his Pulitzer Prize-winning story, "Crime Scene", felt about killing someone

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Angelo Henderson describes his responsibilities as a journalist

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Angelo Henderson describes the impact winning the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Feature Writing had on his career

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Angelo Henderson describes the challenges he faced as a reporter

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Angelo Henderson talks about being transparent in his writing and reporting

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Angelo Henderson talks about the subjects of his Pulitzer Prize-winning story, "Crime Scene"

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Angelo Henderson talks about working as a special projects reporter at the "Detroit News"

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Angelo Henderson talks about his morning radio talk show, "Inside Detroit"

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Angelo Henderson talks about the books he is writing

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Angelo Henderson talks about being a Deacon at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church and attending Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Angelo Henderson describes how attending Ecumenical Theological Seminary changed his understanding of how people relate to God

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Angelo Henderson describes how his mother reacted to his winning a Pulitzer Prize

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Angelo Henderson talks about his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Angelo Henderson talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Angelo Henderson talks about the importance of living a balanced life

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Angelo Henderson shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Angelo Henderson shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Angelo Henderson talks about the importance of entrepreneurship in the African American community

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

16$14

DATitle
Angelo Henderson talks about transitioning from writing business news to neighborhood news at the "St. Petersburg Times"
Angelo Henderson describes a story he wrote for the "Wall Street Journal" about African American funeral homes
Transcript
And Merv Aubespin [Mervin Aubespin] who, at that time, I told you, had been the President of the National Association of Black Journalists.$$Can you spell his name for us?$$Merv, M-e-r-v, A-u-b-e-s-p-i-n, Mervin Aubespin. He just--in fact, just retired from the Courier-Journal. He called the President, the current President at that time, Al Fitzpatrick, who is a big Knight Ridder guy, African American, at Knight Ridder, and he was also President of NABJ [National Association of Black Journalists]. And he knew the guy who was like the publisher of the St. Petersburg Times. So they were able to talk to him, and this publisher was able to send a note and get me transferred from business news to neighborhoods. And the neighborhood section is usually considered, you know, sort of like a second class entity in the newsroom. You know, you have city desk and you have neighborhoods, but Greg Hamilton (ph.) was my editor in neighborhoods. And this guy, you know, was so caring, when coming from that horrible experience. And, you know, I still had a lot of great ideas, I thought, you know, but he helped me to sort of believe in myself again, and I started covering crack cocaine, in drugs, the drug culture, in all of south St. Petersburg [Florida], and I also started covering the African American community for the first time. And that was a blessing for me, too, because, you know, I saw how rich our community was as a source of news stories.$So "The Wall Street Journal," you know, really liked that story, too, so I was able to bring more and more stories to The Journal. I did a story about African American funeral homes. I was learning that at that time, there were, you know, the small white funeral homes were being purchased by conglomerates. And what happened was they would operate--they would keep on the management team, you know, and they would work, it's almost like glorified managers. And you would never know that this funeral home was no longer locally owned. Well, it started to happen with African American companies--funeral homes. The rumor was that, you know, this, you know, small African American funeral home is owned by white people, you know. So I started following this trend, and there was actually African American conglomerates, venture capitalists, that were buying up these African American firms. And the fear was that they were going to get them all neatly together, and then one major white company could go in and buy all the black funeral homes and wipe out an entire industry. So I wrote about that as well so--$$Is that a real fear? I mean--$$Oh, it was real fear--$$(Simultaneous) --based on real or--$$(Simultaneous) --real, because, yeah, there was a firm out of Chicago [Illinois] that had up to like--I don't know, twenty or more funeral homes all over the country. And, you know, and it was a fear because African Americans--small African American funeral homes, wouldn't sell--had issues about selling to whites, but they would sell to this black venture capital firm, not recognizing that venture capital is about making money. And after they got so many, they could sell them and, you know, and one signature, all of them could be gone. So I--$$This is serious business, too--$$Oh, serious business.$$(Unclear) --in the black community, and it's probably true in Detroit [Michigan]. I'm sure it's true in a lot of places, but the number one business in a lot of, especially small communities, is the funeral home. The funeral home is a place where the politicians emerge from.$$Exactly--$$And the ministers and (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) --source of wealth, source of income, source of pride, a lot of generational monies. But a lot of these older funeral home directors have kids who don't want to go be in the funeral home business anymore. They want to do other things, so they don't have anyone to pass it down to. And, at the same time, the requirements-- and I explored this in the story, too. When you're a funeral home owner, you don't get a break. Every time somebody dies, they want you there, not an assistant. You know you got to be there. So the demands are really high.$$Okay.$$So that was, you know, that was leading into the idea, they wanted to get out of business, so I mean they wanted to do something with it, and they could cash out this way.