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Richard X. Clark

Civil rights activist and author Richard X. Clark was born on July 29, 1946 in New York City. He was raised in foster homes in the New York neighborhoods of Jamaica, Queens, and the Bronx. Clark graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School and enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served until 1968.

In 1969, Clark was arrested on charges of attempted robbery and was sentenced to four years in prison. From 1969 to 1972, he served time at multiple state prisons including Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Elmira Correctional Facility, Auburn Correctional Facility, Wallkill Correctional Facility, and the Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York. Appalled by prison conditions at Attica, Clark became a Muslim minister and became active in black Muslim political groups. In September of 1971, he was one of the leaders of the Attica Prison riot, which took the lives of forty-three men. During the riot, Clark was head of the inmates’ internal security and served as a liaison between the inmates of D-yard and the authorities.

After his release in 1972, Clark moved to Greensboro, North Carolina and authored the book, The Brothers of Attica, which was published in 1973. Twenty years later, Clark relocated to New York City and became a case manager for Phase Piggy Bank, a Harlem-based organization that provides drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Clark passed away on September 4, 2015 at the age of 69.

Accession Number

A2014.182

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/12/2014

Last Name

Clark

Maker Category
Middle Name

X.

Organizations
Schools

DeWitt Clinton High School

P.S. 50 Talfourd Lawn Elementary School

First Name

Richard

Birth City, State, Country

Manhattan

HM ID

CLA19

Favorite Season

Winter

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brazil

Favorite Quote

I'll Never Quit.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

7/29/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hunsterville

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Meat Loaf, Fried Chicken

Death Date

9/4/2015

Short Description

Civil rights activist and author Richard X. Clark (1946 - 2015 ) was one of the inmate leaders of the 1971 Attica Prison riot. He was also the author of The Brothers of Attica.

Employment

United States Navy

Phase Piggy Bank

Greensboro Drug Action Council

Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime

Favorite Color

Blue, Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Richard X. Clark's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Richard X. Clark lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Richard X. Clark describes how he was placed in foster care

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Richard X. Clark talks about his biological father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Richard X. Clark recalls his first foster family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Richard X. Clark talks about his experiences of abuse in foster case

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Richard X. Clark describes his experiences at P.S. 50 in Queens, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Richard X. Clark describes his early experiences with religion

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Richard X. Clark recalls his first encounters with the Nation of Islam

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Richard X. Clark remembers running away from his foster home

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Richard X. Clark recalls moving to a new foster home in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Richard X. Clark talks about his relationship with his foster family in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Richard X. Clark describes his personality as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Richard X. Clark remembers his experiences in the Fruit of Islam

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Richard X. Clark talks about his enlistment in the U.S. Navy Reserves

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Richard X. Clark describes Malcolm X's expulsion from the Nation of Islam

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Richard X. Clark remembers dating and impregnating two women

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Richard X. Clark describes his marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Richard X. Clark describes his release from the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Richard X. Clark talks about his arrest for armed robbery

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Richard X. Clark talks about the Nation of Islam's stance on race

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Richard X. Clark describes the advantages of being Muslim in the American prison system

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Richard X. Clark describes his experiences at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Richard X. Clark recalls his experiences in New York State correctional facilities

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Richard X. Clark talks about the rise of the black consciousness movement

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Richard X. Clark describes the conditions at Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Richard X. Clark recalls his experiences with discrimination at Attica Correctional Facility

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Richard X. Clark remembers the inmates at Attica Correctional Facility

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Richard X. Clark describes the events leading to the 1971 Attica prison riot

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Richard X. Clark remembers the commissary conditions at Attica Correctional Facility

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Richard X. Clark recalls the start of the 1971 Attica prison riot

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Richard X. Clark describes the riot at Attica Correctional Facility, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Richard X. Clark describes the riot at Attica Correctional Facility, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Richard X. Clark recalls the formation of the inmate negotiating committee

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Richard X. Clark describes how he became the inmate liaison during the 1971 Attica prison riot

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Richard X. Clark talks about the inmates and guards at the Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Richard X. Clark describes the timeline of the first day of the 1971 Attica prison riot

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Richard X. Clark recalls the last days of the 1971 Attica prison riot, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Richard X. Clark recalls the last days of the 1971 Attica prison riot, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Richard X. Clark remembers those who were killed during the uprising at Attica Correctional Facility

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Richard X. Clark remembers his release and the death of his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Richard X. Clark talks about his indictment and subsequent settlement

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Richard X. Clark talks about his children

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Richard X. Clark talks about Phase Piggy Back, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Richard X. Clark reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Richard X. Clark describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Richard X. Clark describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Richard X. Clark recalls the start of the 1971 Attica prison riot
Richard X. Clark recalls the last days of the 1971 Attica prison riot, pt. 1
Transcript
Now, let me ju- let's, let's go to September the 8th, 1971.$$Um-hm.$$I think you opened your book ['The Brothers of Attica,' Richard X. Clark] with a football game, right?$$Um-hm.$$Brothers are playing football [at Attica Correctional Facility, Attica, New York].$$Okay, Raymond Lamorie and Dewer [Leroy Dewer]. Raymond was a white guy, a white inmate, and Dewer was a black inmate. This is like September the 8th, and we in the yard, A block, and they're throwing the football to one another. I'm standing against the wall, having a meeting, and I'm watching 'em throw the football, one, nothing. And I'm talking to the other brothers. There's like myself, maybe four of us, four or five of us. Anyway, guard comes to the yard door and yells at Raymond and Leroy, "Yo, y'all need to stop that." "We ain't doing nothing." "I told you, you need to stop it."$$What was wrong?$$They congregating. They're throwing the football at one another. They're playing. They're co- whatever.$$Well, don't they have the football there so that--$$Um-hm.$$--they can throw it?$$Yeah, but he's white (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh.$$--and he's black.$$So they can't, okay.$$(Shakes head) That's a no-no, yeah. You can congregate with two inmates, but you got to be of the same color, all right. So he's white, one's black. Guard tells 'em to stop. They don't stop, okay. Guard comes in the yard, and he gonna take them bodily out the yard. All the brothers in the yard, white and black, Puerto Rican, surround the guard, say, "You ain't taking 'em out of here." That started it. Okay. Didn't ignite it then, that we know. But they didn't take 'em out the yard. They closed the yard, meant for us to lock in, end of the day. We locked in, we locked in the cells maybe ten, fifteen minutes. We hear the goon squad coming down the tier, and they go to these two brothers' cell, drag 'em out the cell and take 'em up to HBZ [housing block Z]. We are livid, but we're in our cells individually locked up. Next morning, they let us out for breakfast. Now, 9 Company, which is the company I'm on, is the last company to eat breakfast, because we're on the grading gang, and we don't have jobs. So we're the last--excuse me, we're the last company to go to chow. They let everybody out their cell. We're on the tier, one tier--one flight up. They let everybody out the cell. You line up on the sides, and you march down the tier, down the steps into the hallway to go to the chow line. We do this. It's the same day that we're giving commemoration and memorial to George Jackson in California.$$Now, George Jackson had just been killed in California, right at--$$Um-hm. So everybody, what we do, black armband. If you don't have a black armband, silence. March to the mess hall, down the hall to the mess hall, go in the mess hall. Everybody sits there, don't eat.$$Yeah, he was killed in Soledad Prison [sic. San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin, California].$$Um-hm.$$George Jackson (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Soledad. They said he had a gun in his Afro (laughter).$$And there was no such thing.$$Unh-uh, no such, no such, yeah. But the brother was involved with [HistoryMaker] Angela Davis at that time, you know, so. Anyway, so we're silent, you know. Usually, procedure is you go in the mess hall, you pick up a spoon. You go sit at a table, you know, go to the line, get your chow, sit at a table, eat and get up, put your spoon back in there and go. We sit down, nobody's making a sound. Okay, I think we got like ten, fifteen minutes to eat. They knock on the, on the wall, us get up, return our spoons. We did this quietly, and we're walking through, back through the hallways.$So we started with the democratic process of trying to get them to implement, you know, different demands as far as enhance- well, not enhancing, but changing the conditions of the institution [Attica Correctional Facility, Attica, New York]. I didn't know at that particular time, but Russell Oswald was saying that, you know, all he could do was so much. We had to take our grievances to the governor who was Nelson D. Rockefeller [Nelson Rockefeller].$$Right, who had just been candidate for president in '68 [1968].$$Um-hm, um-hm.$$Lost the nomination to Richard Nixon [Richard Milhous Nixon].$$Yep, yep. So, we said, all right, you know. We understood what he was saying as far as the only one that could really do anything about the situation was, was the governor. Our worry was that, again, which is our constant worry, was our lives. And we knew that the National Guards, state troopers and regular corrections officers, their intent was to annihilate us, to come in and level the yard and put the whole matter to rest. Rockefeller was a sneaky guy, sneaky guy because we didn't know it at the time, but what they did with the observers, is the observers left the yard. Now, this is like 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, we're think- we, we, the inmates, think that we're still in a negotiation process. The observers who have been sequestered away into another part of the institution think negotiation process is still going on. They think they're waiting the same way that we think we're waiting for Rockefeller. Unbeknownst to both parties, they lock them up and September the 13th, it's a rainy morning or it was a rainy night. September the 12th, it rained all night. That next morning, September the 13th, I didn't have any sleep. It's about, maybe six o'clock in the morning, the sun is just coming up. It's raining. It's a dismal morning. It's kind of cold. All of a sudden, I hear this roar. I know what it is, 'cause I been in the [U.S.] military. It's a helicopter. And we're sitting down. We got--I think I had just had a cup of coffee. Anyway, I'm squatting down. I hear the roar. I stand straight up, and I'm looking at the top of the wall, and I see the helicopter reach the apex of the wall. Suddenly, I hear all this gunfire (makes sounds). And I'm looking around in the yard, and I'm seeing brothers being hit. I'm seeing, being hit in the head, being hit in the chess, arms, legs, hit all over. I'm wondering why I'm not being hit. I know I'm gonna die, you know, God as my witness, I know I'm a die.$$So they're firing on everybody in the courtyard?$$Indiscriminately, they're just firing down there. But they're telling you--$$The prison employees are there too, right? The guards and the--$$The, the hostages, everybody, and they're just firing away. Simultaneously, with them firing, I don't know it at the time, but they're running down--they're busting in. They're running down the catwalk, shotguns, blasting away. Still the hostages is in there. This is where some of the hostages get killed. They're yelling indiscriminate, "Put your hands on your head, you will not be harmed. Walk to the nearest exit." They're telling you this, but they're still firing in the yard, all right. I'm wondering why I haven't been hit. I put my hands on my head. I walk to the nearest exit. I get to the exit, gotta walk up three steps. You hit the hallway, the corridor, then they, they usher you down three steps, hit you in the knees, in the back, strip all your clothes off you, glasses, watch, everything, throw you in the mud. Okay, this is actually what saved my life, threw me in the mud, then took my glasses, couldn't recognize me, all right. Then I'm in the mud. I must have been in that mud three, four hours, all right.$$So naked in the mud--$$Um-hm.$$--for three or four hours.$$Naked, butt naked in the mud, three or four hours, cold. In that three--during that three or four hours, I see them running around the yard, you know, picking up guys, take 'em out the yard, you know, dragging 'em out, whole nine yards. I don't know that they looking for me at that particular time.

Dr. Terry Mason

Chief Medical Officer, Terry Mason was born on September 13, 1951 in Washington, D.C. Mason attended Loyola University in Chicago and received his B.S degree in biological science. He earned his M.D. degree from the Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine at the University of Illinois. Mason completed his residency of General Surgery at the University of Illinois Metropolitan Group Hospitals Program and his residency of urology at the Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center.

Upon completing his residencies, Mason started his practice of urology with Dr. Harvey J. Whitfield as Terry Mason MD, SC. At Mercy Hospital and Medical Center he developed a specialty service for male erectile dysfunction, and prostate cancer. In approximately 1992, Mason became radio host of “Doctor in the House” WVON 1690 AM. The following year he founded Center for New Life, a business dedicated to integrating diet modification, and exercise to treat chronic diseases. In 2004, he launched the Restar4Health campaign. The campaign encouraged the public to stop unhealthy eating habits and to make smart food choices. In 2005, Mason became the commissioner of health for the city of Chicago. As Commissioner, he was responsible for over 1200 employees with an annual operating budget of approximately 200 million dollars. Mason has detected and managed health threats to the citizens of the City of Chicago, and held over seventy-five press conferences.

In 2009, Mason retired as Commissioner of public health, and became the System Chief Medical Officer. He served as interim chief executive officer for the Cook County Health and Hospital System from May 2011 until October 2011. He advised and led a team of medical experts on matters of public health importance. He has also served as national chairman of urology at the National Medical Association, and the Midwest regional chair for Chicago’s National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer. Mason is a member of the Cook County Physicians Association and was featured in the film “Forks over Knives” in 2001. Mason’s work has features on My Fox Chicago and Chicago Tonight for American Heart Health month. He has features in Ebony Magazine and authored a book titled, Making Love Again: Renewing Intimacy and Helping Your Man Overcome Impotence. Mason currently resides in Chicago and has two adult children.

Terry Mason was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 20, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.049

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/20/2012 |and| 5/2/2018

Last Name

Mason

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Loyola University Chicago

University of Illinois at Chicago

First Name

Terry

Birth City, State, Country

Englewood

HM ID

MAS07

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

Everything Is In Divine Order And God Is In Charge.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/13/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Apple Pie

Short Description

Chief medical officer Dr. Terry Mason (1951 - ) organized healthier communities for African Americans.

Employment

Terry Mason MD

Chicago Department of Public Health

Cook County Department of Public Health

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Terry Mason's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Terry Mason lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Terry Mason describes memorable moments with his maternal grandmother's husband, Mr. Perkins, in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about his mother's upbringing in Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Terry Mason explains why his mother migrated to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Terry Mason learns about his biological father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about meeting his older biological siblings and biological father's family

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about his stepfather's abusive personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Terry Mason lists his siblings in birth order

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Terry Mason recalls his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Terry Mason describes the sights, sounds and smells of his Englewood neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Terry Mason describes his community in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois and reflects upon his family structure

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Terry Mason describes the Englewood community in Chicago, Illinois in the 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about Charles Drew Elementary School on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about his mother and him leaving his abusive stepfather

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about his experience at the Carrie Jacobs Upper Grade Center and Chicago Vocational High School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Terry Mason remembers his middle school science teacher, Louis Wright, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Terry Mason talks about his childhood involvement in the church

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Terry Mason remembers his middle school science teacher Louis Wright, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Terry Mason describes working at a grocery store as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Terry Mason describes working as a butcher at a neighborhood grocery store

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Terry Mason remembers the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and talks about experiencing racism in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Terry Mason describes working at the laundromat next door to the local grocery store

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Terry Mason describes his experience at Chicago Vocational High School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about his career interests as a student at Chicago Vocational High School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Terry Mason explains his decision to attend Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about his introduction to Black Nationalism at Loyola University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Terry Mason describes joining the Loyola University African-American Student Association and being elected president

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Terry Mason describes fundraising for the Loyola University African-American Student Association

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Terry Mason remembers meeting his biological siblings for the first time during college

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Terry Mason explains why his mother migrated from Washington D.C. to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Terry Mason describes Communiversity at Northeastern Illinois University and his introduction to the Nation of Islam

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Terry Mason describes joining the Nation of Islam

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Terry Mason explains how the Nation of Islam influenced his decision to practice medicine, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Terry Mason describes Black Nationalist philosophy within the Nation of Islam

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Terry Mason explains how the Nation of Islam influenced his decision to practice medicine, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Terry Mason explains how his involvement with the Nation of Islam prevented him from dropping out of Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about the Nation of Islam's work within Chicago communities

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Terry Mason lists black physicians serving black communities in Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about the Nation of Islam's businesses in Chicago, Illinois, Alabama and Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Terry Mason describes the teachings of the Nation of Islam, and the emergence of HistoryMaker Minister Louis Farrakhan

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Terry Mason explains how HistoryMaker Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright helped him reestablish his Christian faith

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Terry Mason describes being expelled from the College of Nursing and readmitted into the College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Terry Mason describes his experience as a biology major in the College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Terry Mason briefly describes his reunion with his older siblings at his mother's funeral

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Terry Mason talks briefly about the Project '75 minority medical school enrollment initiative started by Dr. Andrew Thomas

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Terry Mason explains his admission into the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois in Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Terry Mason describes his experience in medical school at the University of Illinois in Chicago, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dr. Terry Mason describes his experience in medical school at the University of Illinois in Chicago, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Terry Mason's interview, Session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Terry Mason recalls taking the first part of his national board exams

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about changes in dietary norms amongst African Americans

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Terry Mason describes his decision to specialize in urology

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Terry Mason recalls his involvement with the National Medical Association

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Terry Mason describes the importance of the National Medical Association to African American doctors

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Terry Mason remembers discrimination he faced when pursuing a medical staff position at Michael Reese Hospital

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Terry Mason remembers Michael Reese Hospital's reputation as a research hospital

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Terry Mason recalls the supportive environment at Mercy Hospital in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about the value of safe spaces for working with erectile dysfunction patients

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about radiation therapy methods for prostate cancer

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Terry Mason describes the connection between erectile dysfunction and other health problems, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. Terry Mason describes the connection between erectile dysfunction and other health problems, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about the development of the first erectile dysfunction medicines

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. Terry Mason describes the effects of saturated fats on the lining of blood vessels

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about the challenges of improving urban communities, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about the challenges of improving urban communities, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dr. Terry Mason remembers being asked to serve as commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dr. Terry Mason recalls how his radio program 'Doctor in the House' began

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dr. Terry Mason describes a memorable call on 'Doctor in the House'

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about the importance of creating trust with patients

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dr. Terry Mason recalls the formation of HMOs in the U.S. healthcare system

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dr. Terry Mason describes the necessary changes for healthcare in the United States

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dr. Terry Mason remembers establishing the Center for New Life in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Dr. Terry Mason describes the Restart for health campaign, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Dr. Terry Mason describes the Restart for health campaign, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Dr. Terry Mason describes the correlation between infrequent bowel movements and increased risks of breast cancer

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about the importance of a proper diet for colon cancer prevention

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about dietary problems in the United States

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Dr. Terry Mason remembers joining the Chicago Department of Public Health

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Dr. Terry Mason recalls his work at the Chicago Department of Public Health, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Dr. Terry Mason recalls his work at the Chicago Department of Public Health, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Dr. Terry Mason remembers performing open heart surgery operation in an emergency room

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Dr. Terry Mason describes his transition from the Chicago Department of Public Health to the Cook County Health and Hospital System

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Dr. Terry Mason describes the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Dr. Terry Mason describes his community involvement in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Dr. Terry Mason describes his community involvement in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Dr. Terry Mason remembers serving as interim CEO of the Cook County Health and Hospital System

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Dr. Terry Mason describes the challenges of being COO of the Cook County Department of Public Health

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about the health challenges in Cook County, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about the health challenges in Cook County, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Dr. Terry Mason describes how crime and education factors into public health

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Dr. Terry Mason describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about influential health programs in the Chicago community

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Dr. Terry Mason describes the importance of grooming the next generation of medical leaders

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about supporting local farms

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Dr. Terry Mason reflects on his life

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Dr. Terry Mason describes his plans for the future, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Dr. Terry Mason describes his plans for the future, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Dr. Terry Mason talks about his family

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Dr. Terry Mason describes the challenges of high debt for budding physicians

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Dr. Terry Mason describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Dr. Terry Mason describes Black Nationalist philosophy within the Nation of Islam
Dr. Terry Mason describes joining the Nation of Islam
Transcript
Now was that--now, after--now, you were plunged into heavy philosophical waters at Communiversity [Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Illinois]--$$Uh-huh.$$--and the black student movement and all that. I guess my question is like, was it easy--and you just addressed the theology on some level. But the Nation of Islam has a history of the world that, you know, a lot of people would have a hard time swallowing, you know. They have a conception of the world with the white man being a devil. And a lot of people have a hard time--literally, a devil--swallowing that. Did you, I mean, I can understand the economic appeal, but how did you overcome those--did you have any doubts? I mean, I don't--it's just hard to see how you could accept the theology and--$$Well first of all, you had to understand terms.$$Okay.$$We had been taught that the devil was some little mystical person that lived under the ground someplace that had a pitchfork and a tail. And that was--now, if you had any problem accepting anything, you should have a problem accepting that. You should have a problem accepting the fact that heaven is someplace where people are sitting on a cloud, you know, looking like cherubs and playing harps. And I mean, you should have difficulty accepting that. You should have difficulty accepting the fact that you've got to die before you can begin to even think about seeing God. Those concepts were difficult for me. I had less of a, less problems accepting the fact that when I looked at the history of black people in this country and read the accounts of what happened to us in this country at the hands of whites, I had less problems realizing that this is a person, these were evil things that were done to us, okay. So those things, those were not--it was far more concrete than the stuff that I was taught to believe than what I was being taught now. And then as I got, as I grew an understanding about these things, those were not the drivers. The drivers were that here we were a people of several million in this country with the wherewithal to do for ourselves, and we were not doing it. And we weren't doing it for a whole host of reasons. But it was true, that our names were not ours. That was true, that wasn't hard to accept. It was true that we had come through this whole transatlantic slave trade piece. And when you read the accounts of what happened to us during that time, and the accounts of anything as recent as one of the books that they always, the newspaper accounts written by Mr. Ralph Ginzburg, that accounted what happened at public lynchings.$$Yeah, '100 Years of Lynchings.'$$'100 Years of Lynchings.' And you read those accounts, and you read the history of what's going on, and you understand how we have been mis-educated, as eloquently stated by Carter G. Woodson. So, it wasn't hard for me to understand what was being said. But more importantly, it wasn't about hating anybody, it was about loving self. It was about us understanding that we had adopted a mental or intellectual framework that was against who we were. So we had this sort of psychological schizophrenia as witnessed by--in the days that you and I grew up, you had black men taking lye and putting it in their hair to straighten it out. You had black... I mean you know, we had us doing all these different things, trying to accommodate ourselves in a construct that was not who we were, that was actually anti-who we were. So if there was anything--if anybody had any difficulty, they shouldn't have any difficulty understanding what we were already doing, not what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was trying to teach us to do.$Okay. So you worked, you know, your whole life, I mean your young life--$$Uh-huh.$$And I can see how that could appeal--$$Yeah, it appealed to me. It resonated with me. And not only did it do that, but then I would go back after I wrote my letter. You know, you couldn't--like, at the church, where you just go up and shake their hand. You had to write this letter. I don't know if anybody ever told you how this works. But you have to write this letter. There was a letter they gave you, and it was a letter that you wrote to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad requesting, you know, that you bore witness there was no God but Allah, and you also wanted to be in the Nation [of Islam], and what have you. But you had to write the letter perfectly. You could not erase, you could not strike over. You had to write every single word perfectly. And then the letter would go in and be inspected. And if it was perfect, then that's how... And if it was anything, if it was a period missing, or an 'A' or anything was incorrect, it came back. And it was the first time in your life you had to do something perfectly. And so, and then brother you saw--what I also saw happening there was the amazing transformation of men. I mean folk looking wild, like I was looking--hair all over their head and looking all crazy. And then the next thing you know, you thought these were brothers from another planet, clean-shaven. I mean but these were the same guys that was gangbanging, or businesspeople, or whomever. And when he started talking about--when the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was talking about building this Islamic center, first on what was the site of--what became the site of Cole Park [Chicago, Illinois], because the city changed it to a park to keep us from buying it. Then the South Shore Cultural Center, where we were going to build the center, I said, "Look, this is what I want to do. I want to be a doctor in this place. I don't even care if I get paid, I just want to be there to teach and to take care of our people." That was my motivation--

Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2004.267

Sex

Male

Interview Date

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

Last Name

Chavis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

F.

Schools

Mary Potter High School

Mary Potter Middle School

St. Augustine's University

Duke University

First Name

Benjamin

Birth City, State, Country

Oxford

HM ID

CHA07

Favorite Season

Summer

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Dominican Republic

Favorite Quote

Freedom Is A Constant Struggle.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/22/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens

Short Description

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

Employment

United Church of Christ

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

National African American Leadership Summit

National Newspaper Publishers Association

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DASession

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DAStory

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