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Judith Jamison

Dancer and choreographer Judith Jamison was born on May 10, 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Tessie Brown Jamison and John Jamison, Sr. While encouraged by her parents to study the piano and violin, Jamison gravitated towards ballet. At the age of six, Jamison began taking lessons at the Judimar School of Dance in Philadelphia. She went on to study the techniques of African American dance pioneer Katherine Dunham. Jamison graduated from Germantown High School in Philadelphia, and enrolled at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. However, she left Fisk to study dance and kinesiology at the Philadelphia Dance Academy, now part of New York City’s University of the Arts.

In 1964, Jamison earned critical acclaim for her work with choreographer Agnes de Mille and the American Ballet Theatre in New York. A year later, Alvin Ailey invited Jamison to join the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where she was featured in numerous productions, toured with the company to Africa and Europe and earned international acclaim for her signature performance of Cry, a fifteen minute solo piece written by Ailey for Jamison. Jamison went on to appear as a guest performer with the San Francisco Ballet, the Swedish Royal Ballet, the Cullberg Ballet, and the Vienna State Ballet. In 1980, Jamison performed on Broadway in Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies with Gregory Hines. That same year, Jamison began her own work as a choreographer. She premiered her first ballet, Divining, with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1984. In 1988, Jamison founded The Jamison Project Dance Company.

Jamison returned to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1989, assuming the role of artistic director following the death of founder Alvin Ailey. In 1993, Jamison choreographed Hymn, a tribute to Ailey, and published her autobiography, Dancing Spirit. Under her leadership, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater joined forces with Fordham University to establish a joint bachelor of fine arts program with a multicultural dance curriculum. Jamison also spearheaded the construction of the company’s first permanent home, the Joan Weill Center for Dance. Although Jamison stepped down as artistic director in 2011, she remained associated with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as artistic director emerita.

Judith Jamison was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 30, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.014

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/30/2016

Last Name

Jamison

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Occupation
Schools

Charles W. Henry School

Germantown High School

Fisk University

University of the Arts

First Name

Judith

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

JAM07

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Toubab Dialao, Senegal

Favorite Quote

Pray, Prepare And Proceed.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/10/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salad

Short Description

Dancer and choreographer Judith Jamison (1943 - ) gained international acclaim as a dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, before taking over as the company's artistic director in 1989 following the death of founder Alvin Ailey.

Employment

American Ballet Theatre

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Harkness Ballet

Jacob's Pillow

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Judith Jamison's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Judith Jamison lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Judith Jamison describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Judith Jamison describes her religious upbringing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Judith Jamison describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Judith Jamison recalls her family's support during her early years in dance

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Judith Jamison describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Judith Jamison describes her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Judith Jamison describes her early dance training with Marion Cuyjet

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Judith Jamison remembers her childhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Judith Jamison describes her schools in Philadelphia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Judith Jamison remembers her decision to attend Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Judith Jamison describes her experiences at Fisk University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Judith Jamison recalls her introduction to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Judith Jamison describes the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater style

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Judith Jamison recalls auditioning for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Judith Jamison reflects upon her dance training

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

9$7

DATitle
Judith Jamison describes her early dance training with Marion Cuyjet
Judith Jamison recalls auditioning for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Transcript
So, but Marion Cuyjet, what, can you talk about her role?$$Yeah.$$Because she also was an interesting person (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, Marion, Marion, oh my goodness; Ms. Marion, we called her--$$Ms. Marion.$$--Ms. Marion, we never called her Marion. I didn't even call her Marion when she came to see me dance and I was an adult. I was like, "Hi Ms. Marion," and became this little kid again, you know. She was an amazing black woman who looked white. She had red hair, white skin and green eyes and she was as black as you and me and she was proud of that and she started a school [Judimar School of Dance, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] for the little black kids who study ballet because you couldn't study back then. To this day people still have trouble getting in schools to study classical ballet; so she made that possible, I mean that's her, she made, she opened a world to us that was not just about classical ballet, but about [HistoryMaker] Katherine Dunham 'cause she was studying--she was teaching Dunham's technique, tap. I'm so glad I had tap because I ended up on Broadway starring in 'Sophisticated Ladies' with Gregory Hines, the greatest, oh my goodness, what a dancer he was and there I was on the stage with him. Thank God I had--Ann Bernardino [Veda Ann Bernardino] was my tap teacher back then. We had the, in--I said Dunham classes, we had acrobatics, that's when I found out there was no way I was going to be a gymnast, no way, this back does not do what gymnasts' backs do, didn't enjoy that, but learned something, had to try it, right. So she gave us the--and she gave tea dances. On Saturday afternoons and she would have guys, the guys in the school and the girls in the school and we'd have gloves on and little skirts and it would be tea on the side and she would actually have dances where you know, you had to stay that far apart and the guy was like this (gesture) and you danced you know, it was, it was very formal and very enriching, I mean you learned so much about how, how to be social even though I wasn't, but you learned how to be, you know, and to engage other people in conversation other than dance. This was one thing I loved about Alvin [Alvin Ailey], Mr. Ailey, he taught us how to do, how to, how to live outside of the box of dance and engage everyone because everyone's your audience.$$Well I was surprised also with how many people she, you know, what, how much you were exposed to--$$Oh yeah.$$--from a dance perspective, through, through, through Ms. Marion (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Right. And she was, and she also farmed me out so-to- speak, farmed me out. Was--and she--I don't know if everybody was getting the same attention I was getting and I'm not, I can't remember that everyone got a chance to study with Antony Tudor when you, they were ten years old, you know, or that--I started taking private lessons with a, oh, what was his name, Yuri Gottschalk, he was a marvelous--I think he was a Latvian, please be Latvian. When I, when I was a kid, I was ten, eleven, twelve and I would take class at his home holding on--there's a thing called the barre; you start class with the barre, you're at the barre, you hold on to the barre and you do--I use to hold on to his stove and he use to put oil on the floor and if anybody knows anything about maintaining these positions that we have in, in ballet, first position, second position, it's based on rotation of the hips, so you were turned out, very unnatural way to stand, but you rotated and turned out, your, your feet are turned out this way (gesture) and in order to hold that properly you really have to use muscles that you don't think you have, you've got to find them and if somebody puts oil under, you better find those muscles otherwise your feet just slide back and, so here I was learning these little tricks of the trade that really would help me later on because Marion passed me on as I was studying her to all these different teachers, excellent teachers.$So you, you tell the story of how you were at the audition and you know he [Alvin Ailey] (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh, it was a disaster.$$--sees you, what does he see, that's what I'm saying--he called--$$I have no idea.$$You've never, you've (unclear)--$$I did not. I was terrible at that audition. All I know is I've always had an upward trajectory in my head that I had God's ear and that I was just going this way (gesture) up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up; okay, so in that can you imagine my emotions after not having danced for three months; because I was working the World's Fair [1964 New York World's Fair, New York, New York], you know (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) (Unclear)--$$--from '64 [1964], '65 [1965] after Ballet Theatre [American Ballet Theatre]. There're no black people in Ballet Theatre, hello, now, what do we have, one, two, three something, but you know, every step, what can I say, but there was no gigs, so I was there at the log flume ride Texas Pavilion, that's when Martha Johnson comes in, the pianist I was telling you about at Ballet Theatre, she tells me to go to an audition. I haven't danced for three months. I'm at an audition with people who have been dancing for their lives and back then in 1965, black women were wearing wigs like crazy, lashes like this (gesture), heels, stiletto heels. You went to an audition for a television show. You didn't show up in pink ballet shoes and tights, which is what I did and, and then I couldn't learn a step because it was a wonderful woman named Paula Kelly, who was an extraordinary dancer, who was demonstrating Mr. McKayle's, [HistoryMaker] Donald McKayle's steps and I had never seen steps like that before and I was so stunned by the steps and by her executing them and I was like (gesture), I couldn't learn a thing. I was too stunned. I was just (gesture) so that he calls me three days later after I failed this audition miserably and I didn't even see him at the audition. I didn't know he was there. I just passed by somebody that was sitting on the steps. I didn't know it was him because I was like this (gesture). I was totally in a state of shock, calling my mother [Tessie Brown Jamison] on the phone saying, "I don't know what I'm going to do, but I want to stay in New York [New York], but I don't know, you know," I'm boohooing. And that's the three days later then he calls me and said, "Would you like--this is Alvin Ailey, would you like to join my company [Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater]?" And of course I go, "Yeah, fabulous," and I'm excited and all that, but it's like a blur. It's like a blur. I didn't, I didn't go like, "What did he see in me that he would--?" I didn't then, that, and then I walk into the, the, rehearsal, my first rehearsal and all those people that I saw on stage, not all of them, but some of them are in that, and the first partner I had is the person that I--you know, I mean that, that, you just kind of--and you walk in, I walked in like, like this (gesture), you know like, "Oh, Mr. Truitte [James Truitte]." And then he says, "Girl get over there and learn those steps," you know, I mean--it was just shut down right away, that come on, this is terra firma, you've got a gig now. We're going out in, in four weeks, in three weeks, you got two weeks, you've got to learn eight ballets, go learn them, boom, boom. I went to work right away, there was no like awe and you know, like, like people on pedestals or anything like that, you had your chance when you saw him on stage, then you put him on a pedestal, now you're working with him, guess what, no time for that other stuff. So it wasn't until much later that I figured he saw--and he would tell me that I was probably the most musical dancer he had ever had. I was totally musical, innately musical, that there were things that, how did he call it, revatto [ph.]. There were things that I understood about continuing movement and stopping movement and just a, in, just a natural talent, not a technique talent, you, you've got to learn technique. A lot of people, black people, get into that all the time where it takes no thought, you can dance, you've always been able to dance, not like that, I had to go to school to learn how to do this, period, you know. But yes, he saw that musicality in me and he would, he would--that's why when we were working together that he didn't have to turn around and tell me a whole bunch of stuff. He didn't have to explain a lot of things to me. He would do the movement and I would do the movement copying him and there's no way I could look like him doing the movement, but what, when he would turn around he would be pleased.$$With what he saw--$$Yeah, most of the time (laughter), most of the time. So, yeah, that, he, he, he saw something--I always, when I see dancers that are really special to me it's like they're, they're not from this planet. They are from someplace else you know, they've, they've just arrived, they're here for a little bit then they go on back to where they, where they came from in the first place. They, they're creatures. They're creatures. They, they're human when they step off the stage and do whatever they're doing there, but they are, they are creatures that have, that are full of, of this loving humanity that they only want to share with you for that two and a half hours on stage, isn't that a wonderful thing you know, and when that, when that hits you know it, the audience knows it, you know it and you go away with an experience that you'll never forget. That's what I saw when I saw the company the first time, you know.

Esther "E.T." Franklin

Media and advertising executive Esther “E.T.” Franklin was born on July 21, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. Her mother, Dolores Johnson, was a teacher; her father, Leon Johnson, a teacher and minister. Raised in Wilberforce, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois, Franklin graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1975. She received her B.S. degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1979 and her M.M. degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Business School in 1993. Franklin has also completed certificate programs at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

In 1980, Franklin was hired as a field project director at Market Facts, Inc. in Chicago. From 1982 to 1993, she worked for Burrell Communications, first as a market research analyst, and later as vice president and associate research director. In 1984, Franklin took a brief hiatus from Burrell Communications to work as a research manager for the Johnson Publishing Company. She was hired by Leo Burnett Advertising in 1993 and worked on various Philip Morris brands as vice president and planning director for Marlboro USA until 2001. At Leo Burnett, Franklin was instrumental in launching several corporate trend initiatives, including LeoShe, Foresight Matters and 20Twenty Vision, focused on the female consumer and twenty-something audience. She also appeared on Oprah, where she discussed LeoShe's research on beauty myths.

In 2002, Franklin was named senior vice president, director of consumer context planning for Starcom USA, a Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) company. She was appointed as executive vice president, director of cultural identities of Starcom MediaVest Group in 2006, and was later promoted to executive vice president, head of SMG Americas Experience Strategy in 2011. During her time at SMG, Franklin pioneered Cultural Communication Anthropology and worked on Beyond Demographics, a research study exploring the vital role of culture and identity in reaching consumers.

Franklin has received numerous honors for her work. She was named an AdAge “Women to Watch” and received the “Changing the Game” honor from Advertising Women of New York (AWNY). Franklin was honored with the prestigious “Legend Award” at the 2011 AdColor Ceremony, and was identified as one of the Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing by Black Enterprise in both 2012 and 2013. In addition, she has published several multicultural and subculture targeting pieces, and is sought out as a speaker and panelist on all topics related to the evolving consumer landscape.

Franklin has chaired The HistoryMakers National Advisory Board's Advertising/Marketing Committee and sat on the global advisory committee of the World Future Society. She has also served as a board member of the Family Institute at Northwestern University and the Chicago Urban League.

Esther Franklin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 21, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.257

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/21/2014

Last Name

Franklin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Northwestern University

University of Chicago

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Evanston Township High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Esther

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

FRA12

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I'll Be Waiting For You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

7/21/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Frozen Custard, Jelly Belly's, Popcorn

Short Description

Media executive and advertising executive Esther "E.T." Franklin (1957 - ) was the executive vice president and director of Starcom MediaVest Group Americas Experience Strategy. She also served as a vice president at Burrell Communications and Leo Burnett Advertising.

Employment

Starcom MediaVest Group

Starcom

Leo Burnett

Burrell Advertising

Johnson Publishing Company

Market Facts, Inc.

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Esther "E.T." Franklin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her family's trips to the segregated South

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her parents' education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her early social interactions in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her early personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Esther "E.T." Franklin lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her neighborhood in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her childhood in Wilberforce, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her childhood in Wilberforce, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her early experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her commute to school in Xenia, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her father's illness

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers joining the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the development of her spirituality

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her employment after college

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers joining the Burrell Advertising Agency in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the culture of the Burrell Advertising Agency

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls working for John H. Johnson at Johnson Publishing Company

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her first marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her second husband

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers working for Philip Morris Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls the changing perception of tobacco products

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the LeoShe initiative

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her work at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her decision to join Starcom Worldwide

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her early career at Starcom Worldwide, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her early career at Starcom Worldwide, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her position at Starcom Worldwide

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her work on The History Channel's 'Band of Brothers'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her recognition as an Ad Age Woman to Watch

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about female advertising executives

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls becoming the director of cultural identities at Starcom Mediavest Group, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her role as the director of cultural identities

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the female leadership at Starcom Worldwide

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about the Beyond Demographics project

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her relationship with her second husband

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her current position at Starcom Mediavest Group, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about the impact of digital media

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about the discrimination against African American consumers

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about the future of advertising

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin shares a message to aspiring marketing professionals

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin reflects upon her life and how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$3

DAStory

2$7

DATitle
Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her work on The History Channel's 'Band of Brothers'
Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the culture of the Burrell Advertising Agency
Transcript
Now while you're in this role I believe was when you worked on the project with The History Channel [History]?$$The HistoryMakers?$$History Channel's 'Band of Brothers.'$$Yes. Yes.$$Can you describe that project and what your role was?$$History Channel 'Band of Brothers.' That was--at that time we were trying to think about how we're going to innovate in the media space and how is that going to--how we are going to be bringing it closer to consumer experience. The industry had been growing driven by technology and we felt if we can bring the consumer perspective into the mix that it would distinguish us from our competition. So there was an opportunity by the-'Band of Brothers' was being developed and there was an opportunity to place that--I'm sorry that was being placed on The History Channel. The History Channel came to our media organization [at Starcom Worldwide] with a traditional package. For X amount of money you can have thirty second spots here, you can have integration in this way you know the traditional media package. What we said is we want to do it a little bit different, we don't want to just place advertising in the, in the programming. We want to create lead in and lead out interstitials if you will. So if the 'Band of Brothers' is a series of episodes people might not necessarily be able to be see every, every segment of the series. What if instead of taking the traditional media package we use that time and create summary vignettes of the previous episode. So that if a person missed the previous episode when they sit down to watch instead of seeing a commercial leading in they'll see the summary from the previous episode and at the end of the program they'll see a lead in into the next one. So we used our media dollars to create those interstitials and place them in that manner and that was new and innovative at the time. It was a way to think about placing and using media and programming in a way that was--reflected consumer behavior versus placing advertising in programming.$$And what year is this?$$That had to have been around 2003.$$So HBO [Home Box Office] at this point is huge. Right? HBO is one of the main players in creating new content and now you're using interstitials in a different way because interstitials are not new but this use of interstitial is new--$$Yes.$$--and how effective was it?$$That was very effective. People were writing in about--we were able to increase people's engagement, in other words, time spent. They were talking about these interstitials as a new way of seeing how media was being used. So the [U.S.] Army was very happy and The History Channel was happy so that was very effective for us.$$So was the Army the advertising end of this?$$No, not necessarily. I can't remember exactly the clients that were involved in advertising. I don't, I don't remember.$$Um-hm.$And Tom Burrell [HistoryMaker Thomas J. Burrell], who's the leader of this organization that is in Chicago [Illinois]--most of advertising is in New York [New York] but Burrell is here in Chicago and he's quite a force. So you're a young woman working at this agency. Did you interface with them and what was your relationship like working with this powerhouse?$$It was great. I mean again my background--I come from a black family that was--I had a lot of exposure to black people that had a lot of power whether they were ministers or whatever. So it was--I was accustomed to that but Tom was great, he knew everyone and everyone knew him. At that time I think when I started at the agency maybe there were fifty people so I wasn't in the beginning but I was close to the beginning. There were some unique things that happened in those days. One of the things that happened was there was such a sense of camaraderie. And we had these talent shows. So I was there the year that the talent show started and I told you that I sew and I made my own--at that point I was making my own clothes. So I entered the talent show just like everyone else. It wasn't, it wasn't a big deal it was just fun you know do what you can do. We had it at [HistoryMaker] Howard Simmons' studio on Chicago Avenue. So my talent was the fact that I made my clothes so I found other women in the agency that were about my size and I put on a fashion show. So we're in the back, you know, drinking and eating and they're announcing the winner and somebody said well, "You've won," and I was like--I just kept eating and drinking, and they said, "No you won." So I won the first Burrell [Burrell Advertising Agency; Burrell Communications Group, Chicago, Illinois] talent show with my fashion show clothes that I had made. So that was something that--so Tom of course was giving the award so that happened. But again it was such a small environment and he was present all the time so I knew him just like other people.

Bev Johnson

Radio talk show host Beverly Elaine Johnson was born on May 10, 1953 in Memphis, Tennessee to William Van and Julia Danner Johnson. She was raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan and attended public schools. Johnson received her B.A. degree in English literature from Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, and her M.S. degree in educational media technology from Jackson State University. She also graduated from Southwest Tennessee Community College's Substance Abuse Program and The Drug Court Institute, and went on to intern with the Shelby County Drug Court.

Johnson's broadcast career began in Jackson, Mississippi in 1976. In 1983, she was hired at the WDIA radio station in Memphis, Tennessee. She has worked in a number of roles, including as disc jockey to public service director to news/community affairs director, programming assistant, marketing assistant, and talk show host. Johnson was appointed as anchor/talk show host for WDIA, and hosts "The Bev Johnson Show," which first aired in 1987. She is also co-owner of Heart 2 Heart Collaborations Counseling Services, and hosts a cable television show on Comcast Cable titled "Affairs of the Heart." In addition, she teaches at Southwest Tennessee Community College as an instructor of speech and fine arts and language and literature, and has taught radio broadcasting at Rust College for a number of years.

Johnson served on the boards of the Rock N Soul Museum, Memphis-area Planned Parenthood and the National Black Programmers Coalition. She has chaired the Memphis Branch of the NAACP's Radio-thon, and auctioneered for the Coalition of 100 Black Women Memphis Chapter's Annual Eligible Bachelor auction fundraiser, as well as WKNO's Action Auction. She is a charter member of Shelby County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, and was 2nd Vice President for two years. Johnson is also a member of Mt. Pisgah C.M.E. church.

Johnson received the UNCF Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1996. She was named the 1989, 1991, 1992 and 1996 News/Public Affairs Director of the Year by the National Black Programmers Coalition, and was a 1993, 1994 and 1995 nominee for The National Association of Broadcaster's Marconi Award, Personality of the Year. Johnson was also the 1996 Billboard Award Personality of the Year, and was honored by the Tennessee General Assembly's House of Representatives for her tenth and twentieth year hosting "The Bev Johnson Show" talk show. She was named the Memphis Music Commission’s 2013 Emissaries of Memphis Music and received the Jus Blues Foundation 2013 Jack “The Rapper” Gibson Radio Pioneer Award.

Bev Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 25, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.081

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/25/2014

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Elaine

Schools

Cummings Elementary School

Burns Park Elementary School

Tappan Middle School

Pioneer High School

Rust College

Jackson State University

Southwest Tennessee Community College

National Drug Court Institute

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Afternoons, Evenings, and Weekends

First Name

Beverly

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

JOH48

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

No Preference

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $500 - $1,000

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

As You Treat Yourself, You'll Treat Others.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

5/10/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cornbread, Greens

Short Description

Radio talk show host Bev Johnson (1953 - ) is the longtime talk show host of "The Bev Johnson Show," which airs on Memphis, Tennessee’s WDIA radio station.

Employment

WDIA Radio

WWEE / WLVS Radio

WLOK Radio

WMQM Radio

WKXI Radio

WJMI / WOKJ Radio

Memphis City Schools

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:1428,17:1764,22:2100,27:4368,97:18210,313:19162,328:19434,333:20930,361:23106,399:23582,407:24330,421:24806,430:25894,454:26370,462:37396,604:43070,662:49322,688:50102,705:52052,741:53768,767:54392,776:55094,787:55718,796:56498,808:56888,813:57590,835:63400,866:64030,877:64590,886:68355,937:68740,946:73450,998:78706,1110:89512,1248:90272,1261:91336,1275:94836,1323:95092,1332:98484,1389:98804,1395:101300,1470:111132,1577:113111,1606:118562,1731:126868,1889:142225,2059:142525,2064:162640,2356:166468,2400:174776,2550:184465,2688:184790,2695:185115,2701:187715,2809:188690,2832:206612,3077:206977,3083:208802,3124:209313,3133:210189,3151:219828,3294:220743,3357:226014,3407:226379,3413:231620,3483$0,0:28330,366:28960,376:35050,531:35680,541:40230,647:47484,728:48476,748:48786,754:56482,945:61858,1036:63074,1067:63906,1096:76340,1318:89256,1536:89922,1546:91032,1567:91550,1575:94980,1593:96402,1609:98614,1651:103080,1702
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bev Johnson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bev Johnson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bev Johnson describes her maternal family history, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bev Johnson describes her maternal family history, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bev Johnson talks about her mother, Julia Atlas Danner Johnson

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bev Johnson describes her paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bev Johnson talks about her father, William Van Johnson

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bev Johnson describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bev Johnson talks about her younger sister

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bev Johnson describes her earliest childhood memory in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bev Johnson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bev Johnson talks about her dreams of becoming an actress, her favorite movies, and acting in community musicals

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bev Johnson describes the cultural arts scene in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bev Johnson talks about her favorite grade school teachers and watching Nat King Cole on television

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bev Johnson describes her experience at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bev Johnson talks about the impact of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination on black students in her high school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bev Johnson talks about African Americans on television during the late 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bev Johnson describes her decision to attend Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bev Johnson talks about the cultural climate of Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1970

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bev Johnson describes her experiences in theatre and choir as a student at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Bev Johnson talks about family vacations during her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bev Johnson talks about her activities at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bev Johnson talks about her teachers at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi and her admiration for HistoryMaker Carole Simpson

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bev Johnson talks about performing with Trudy and the Soul Ultimates while a student at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bev Johnson talks about Ida B. Wells and African American Studies at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bev Johnson talks about her graduate school experience at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bev Johnson remembers her mentors at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bev Johnson describes her start in radio while she was a student at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bev Johnson describes her transition from disc jockey to news anchor at WJMI-WOKJ

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bev Johnson talks about working as a news director at WKXI in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Bev Johnson talks about her work as news anchor for WLOK in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bev Johnson describes targeting majority white audiences at WWEE radio and WLVS

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bev Johnson talks about her return to black radio upon joining WDIA as a news anchor in 1983

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bev Johnson talks about the launch of "The Bev Johnson Show" in 1987

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bev Johnson describes special guests and topics featured on "The Bev Johnson Show"

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bev Johnson describes the day-to-day operations of "The Bev Johnson Show"

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bev Johnson talks about memorable stories featured on "The Bev Johnson Show", pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bev Johnson talks about memorable stories featured on "The Bev Johnson Show", pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bev Johnson talks about callers to "The Bev Johnson Show"

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Bev Johnson talks about the coverage of domestic violence on "The Bev Johnson Show"

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Bev Johnson talks about maintaining neutral political commentary on "The Bev Johnson Show"

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bev Johnson describes her work in her community

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bev Johnson talks about the history of WDIA

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bev Johnson talks about the decline of disc jockeys and the Memphis chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists Radio

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bev Johnson talks about authors featured on "The Bev Johnson Show"

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bev Johnson talks about her television show, "Affairs of the Heart"

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bev Johnson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bev Johnson reflects upon her aspirations

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bev Johnson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Bev Johnson describes her honors

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Bev Johnson talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Bev Johnson describes her journalistic philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Bev Johnson talks about how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

8$3

DATitle
Bev Johnson describes her decision to attend Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi
Bev Johnson talks about the launch of "The Bev Johnson Show" in 1987
Transcript
So you graduated from high school [Ann Arbor Pioneer High in Michigan] is it seventy--$$Nineteen seventy [1970].$$Seventy, [1970] okay, all right.$$Beginning of the '70's [1970's].$$All right, 1970, and when you were on the verge of graduation, what kind of counseling did you get about college?$$Good counseling because at our high school we had the different kind of curriculums, and I was in the college preparatory. They had university preparatory, college preparatory, they had business, and then they had general. And so I was in the college preparatory, cause I always knew I was going to go to college. So that was counseling, but, but where to go to college. I--taking drama lessons and, and being in the theater thing, I got a scholarship to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City [New York]. And during that time, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts did not have dormitories. So you had to find your own housing. And my dad after he found out he says you think you going to New York City to be living in an apartment wherever you need to live. You better find you a school with dormitory. So that crushed my dreams of, you know, being on Broadway cause I knew I was headed that way. So I had to end up looking for, choosing a, a school with a dormitory.$$Okay, so you couldn't find any housing to, to--now this is a--$$Well you had house--you could find it, but he was not gonna let me go at seventeen years old to New York City. No, I had no relatives, no folks, you were just there. And no telling where you may be living. So that was out.$$Okay, and the school couldn't provide any, any help.$$Yeah, I mean they probably could, but I don't know if we would be living--I would be living in a one room place or what, so you don't know. And then I didn't know the city, so--$$Okay, so--$$So that was out.$$Were you very disappointed about that?$$Oh very, I was, I was devastated. And I was angry with my father for a long time about that.$$Okay, did, did you have recomm--good recommendations and everything from your teachers to go?$$Oh yes, because I got that scholarship, yeah, to go, yeah. The only thing was you just had to find your own housing.$$So now I know you graduated from Rust, but--$$Rust College [Holly Springs, Mississippi].$$Did you go to Rust then?$$Yeah, ended up going to--so end up going to Rust cause throughout--a couple of schools, you know either Fisk [University in Nashville, Tennessee] or I know I didn't want to attend the University of Memphis [Tennessee], which was called Memphis State [University] then. I didn't, I did not want to go to Memphis State. I did not want to go--a counselor for, for the black, black students, they were trying to get us to go to Eastern [Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan]. And we could get full ride to Eastern. I said I'm not going, I don't wanna go, I don't wanna be--I'm leaving, so that was out. So as I said, my mother eventually graduated from Rust College. And so she said well Rust, and I thought now Rust, that's in Mississippi. I had never been to Mississippi in my life. And you know the stories we've, we heard of Mississippi. I could see lynching in Mississippi--no it's not. So finally--anyway went to see the school, saw it and my mother knew people and says we're gonna take care of her, we're gonna take care of her. And fell in love with Rust College, Holly Springs, Mississippi. So that's where I ended up and graduated, yeah.$Okay, all right. So and you launched the Bev Johnson Show, and that was in --$$Nineteen eighty-seven.$$'87 [1987], okay and how did the --$$That was the brain child of, of program director Bobby O'Jay. Oprah Winfrey started her show nationally 1986. And during that time, Oprah was doing all the relationship stuff. So Bobby thought now we need to, you know, do something because during that time you know the FMs were really coming, you know. Even though [W]DIA had been number one for so long, we were -- said we need to do something different. So he -- so I -- and I remember we were going to a radio event and he says I'm thinking about doing a talk show in the mid-day. So we're listening and I think I remember the promotions director being there, Maxine Maclin and he says "Well Bev, you could do a talk show." I'm thinking no, no, no, I'm used to doing a public affairs show, which I was doing, you know, still, a public affairs show. I says "No, every day a talk show?" He says "Yeah, I'm thinking about putting that together and we're going to do that and it's going to be on relationships and all that kind of thing." So finally I guess after he talked with his superior and they said okay we'll do it. He says "Okay we're gonna, we're gonna put you in mid-day, gonna have a talk show, 'The Bev Johnson Show.'" I started a year after Oprah was on and doing the same kind of things Oprah was doing, but I was doing it on radio. Unheard of. Now it was talk shows, remember public affairs and basically they were community issues. But now I'm talking about lifestyles, from divorce to relationships, to all kinds of stuff, all kinds of craziness. In the beginning it was crazy.

The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook

Religious leader and corporate entrepreneur Suzan Johnson Cook was born January 28, 1957, in New York City. Her mother was a schoolteacher and her father, a trolley car driver. They founded a security guard business that moved the family from a Harlem, New York, tenement to a home in the Gunn Hill section of the Bronx, New York. Cook was one of the few African American children to attend the Riverdale Country Day School in the Bronx, and her parents helped to organize an African American Parent Teachers Association. Cook studied acting and singing at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, where she received her B.S. degree. She has also received her M.A. degree in education from Columbia University, her M.Div. degree from Union Theological Seminary and her D.Min. degree from Ohio's United Theological Seminary. She is also a graduate of Harvard University’s President’s Administrative Fellows Program.

In 1983, Cook was appointed pastor of the Mariner’s Temple Baptist Church in lower Manhattan, becoming the first African American woman to be named pastor by the American Baptist Association in its two hundred year history. At Mariner’s Temple, she inaugurated the Wednesday Lunch Hour of Power. After thirteen years of service, in 1996, she became the founder and senior pastor of the Bronx Fellowship Christian Church. In 1990, David Dinkins appointed Cook as the first woman chaplain to the New York Police Department. She was also the first woman to be elected president of the Hampton University Minister’s Conference.

Cook served on the Domestic Policy Council in the White House in 1993, and with HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros as a consultant on Faith Initiatives from 1994 to 1997. Then, she became the co-founder and chief operating officer of JONCO Productions, Inc., a sales, management, and diversity firm which hosts a speaker's bureau and media/book distributions. She is the author of several books including the best seller, Too Blessed To Be Stressed, released in 2002.

In 1997, Ebony magazine named Cook one of the top fifteen women in ministry in the nation, and in 2000, she was named one of New York’s top five preachers. Cook lives in New York City with her husband, Ronald and their two sons, Samuel David and Christopher Daniel.

Accession Number

A2005.251

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/1/2005 |and| 7/24/2007

Last Name

Cook

Maker Category
Middle Name

Johnson

Occupation
Schools

Riverdale Country School

P.S. 78

Columbia University

Emerson College

First Name

Suzan

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

JOH25

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm, Water

Favorite Quote

To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Required.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/28/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Spaghetti

Short Description

Pastor The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook (1957 - ) was the first African American woman to be named pastor by the American Baptist Association and the first woman chaplain for the New York City Police Department. She is co-founder and chief operating officer of JONCO Productions, Inc., a sales, management, and diversity firm, and is the author of the bestselling, "Too Blessed to Be Stressed," released in 2002.

Employment

Mariner's Temple

Bronx Christian Fellowship Baptist Church

White House

WJLA-TV

WPLG-TV

Favorite Color

Blue, Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:741,14:2742,63:8676,196:9573,213:11436,253:12126,265:13368,287:13989,296:19095,454:19509,461:24650,468:25550,493:26930,547:28550,648:30410,711:36590,890:36890,896:38630,939:39170,949:39830,961:40070,966:43490,1046:43790,1052:44150,1059:50230,1094:50842,1106:52610,1142:54174,1180:54446,1185:55126,1198:56418,1221:65371,1427:69641,1538:70129,1547:70861,1563:74964,1626:78381,1741:78716,1747:81128,1810:84679,1994:85215,2004:85818,2014:88699,2096:90173,2132:90508,2139:101290,2278:101578,2283:104170,2342:105106,2379:105394,2384:106762,2464:108562,2497:114682,2615:125708,2840:130599,2963:131135,2973:136830,3090:137165,3096:138840,3135:140314,3173:140783,3181:150170,3280:150995,3293:153170,3339:153695,3351:153995,3356:160150,3413:161270,3445:161830,3452:164000,3497:164350,3503:168690,3601:169460,3615:170650,3649:170930,3654:185210,3849:187770,3868:202845,4077:206970,4149:208770,4184:209070,4189:209745,4202:215595,4334:216870,4362:217170,4367:218295,4387:230864,4543:231830,4559:236950,4627:237754,4642:239362,4676:240710,4683:242024,4704:247280,4853:247937,4864:248521,4873:248886,4884:249324,4891:253777,4998:254215,5005:261182,5065:261608,5073:263241,5109:265229,5143:268590,5179$0,0:1260,26:3024,48:6552,192:7056,199:7728,212:8652,238:9324,248:11676,282:13272,300:30034,549:30646,564:33706,637:34318,647:34590,652:35066,660:36902,701:37242,707:37650,715:38058,722:38738,734:42002,816:49210,994:49482,999:49890,1010:59985,1131:60285,1136:61035,1150:61560,1159:62010,1167:63210,1189:64110,1210:73406,1335:73910,1342:74834,1355:88430,1569:93656,1675:95684,1707:95996,1716:96464,1723:97790,1753:98258,1760:98570,1765:102360,1771:102829,1779:106045,1915:106782,1929:107251,1937:107653,1944:109730,1981:111405,2018:111807,2029:112075,2034:112343,2039:112946,2053:113214,2058:113817,2073:115760,2122:117904,2175:118172,2180:118574,2187:119445,2205:119780,2255:120182,2262:120785,2272:134084,2470:134552,2478:137539,2490:139213,2512:140794,2528:141166,2533:144421,2598:149164,2671:155826,2747:156850,2768:157618,2786:158066,2795:158514,2804:158770,2809:161970,2869:162226,2874:163570,2912:163954,2919:168796,2958:169044,2963:169664,2983:170842,3009:171214,3017:176174,3146:176546,3154:176980,3168:177228,3173:182976,3231:183996,3249:184744,3264:186104,3300:186444,3306:187260,3347:195863,3458:200549,3548:200975,3555:201259,3560:201685,3568:207933,3652:209708,3760:210205,3787:210489,3792:221630,3926:223585,3964:226050,4005:226815,4017:228260,4041:229620,4061:231235,4100:237699,4162:238257,4171:238908,4183:245209,4254:249169,4361:252570,4389:257646,4539:260742,4615:261246,4625:265800,4677
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes her family homes in New York and North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes her mother's family background in Monroe, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes her parents' careers in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes her maternal family's history in North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes her paternal family's experiences as sharecroppers

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook recalls her parents' drive to succeed

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook reflects on how she values her African American heritage

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes her childhood community in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook recalls the importance of Harlem, New York in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes the role of religion in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook recalls experiencing racism in grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes her experiences at P.S. 78

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook remembers her calling to the ministry

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook recalls her formative religious experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook recalls attending Riverdale Country School in the Bronx

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes her choice to attend Emerson College

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes her education after Emerson College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes her job at WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook recalls traveling to Africa with Yolanda King

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook recalls her TV career in the early 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes her time at New York City's Union Theological Seminary

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook recalls New York City's Union Baptist Church

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes her classmates and mentors at Union Theological Seminary

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook reflects on her approach to her ministry

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes becoming pastor at Mariner's Temple

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes her tenure at Mariner's Temple

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes the American Baptist Churches denomination

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes the Lunch Hour of Power at Mariner's Temple

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook recalls becoming a New York City Police Department chaplain

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook recalls pastoring in New York on 9/11, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook recalls pastoring in New York on 9/11, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook remembers meeting her husband, Ronald Cook

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook recalls marrying Ronald Cook

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook recalls her fellowship at Harvard Divinity School

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes becoming a White House Fellow

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook shares her impressions of President Bill Clinton

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook recalls moving to Washington, D.C.

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook describes the role of religion in her childhood
The Honorable Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook recalls pastoring in New York on 9/11, pt. 1
Transcript
How was faith introduced to you as a child?$$I was born into a family of faith, which I am so fortunate. Everyone was a believer, everyone was a churchgoer, and so Sunday mornings, no matter how much we hung out Friday and Saturday, Sunday mornings we dressed for church. We went as a family. Because we had moved to the northeast Bronx [New York], my mother [Dorothy Cuthbertson Johnson] wanted us to know the neighborhood children so we would go to Sunday school where we lived, but we'd take the bus down to Harlem [New York, New York]. We would go to my mother's church [Rendall Memorial Presbyterian Church, New York, New York], which was Presbyterian, and you know, they're out in an hour, and by the time we left and walked up the avenue to my dad's church [Union Baptist Church, New York, New York], which was on 145th Street, the Baptist church, we would sit in his church, or stand outside of his church and we had these two wonderful communities that embraced us. So faith was extremely important. It was also where the emerging black middle class worshipped together. We sat next to the first black judges, the first black doctors, the first black lawyers, and they would ask us questions in our faith community, "So young lady where are you going to school?" It was never a matter of do you plan to finish high school, like some people ask today. Are you getting a GED [General Educational Development]? That was not even part of the lingo. I didn't hear what GED meant until I was an adult. It was where are you thinking about college? This is like fifth and sixth grade, and you're like, "Well I'm looking at Boston [Massachusetts] and Atlanta [Georgia]," you know, and they would tell us about some historically black colleges [HBCUs] that many of them attended, or they'd tell us about the Harvards [Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts] and the Princetons [Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey]. They'd ask us what our goals were. So what it was doing was strategic planning and goal-setting at a very young age. We didn't know that's what it was called, but they were getting us to have a vision that was larger than 144th Street, larger than the village of Harlem, larger than the world in which we lived, and because of that, when programs came up in the summer, it was our faith community that would say, "You know, this is a camp that we think Suzan [HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook] would like. This is a program Suzan might be interested in," and so my parents would either by reputation or by having experienced it themselves, would channel us into these. So I went to a faith camp, Incarnation [Incarnation Camp, Ivoryton, Connecticut], which is still in existence today, and my children [Samuel Cook and Christopher Cook] now go to it, so it's, you know--$$What's a faith camp?$$It's called Incarnation Camp. It's up in, where they actually worship on Sundays, you know, it's a Christian camp, but they do the regular stuff with, you know, boating and swimming, but on Sundays they stop and give thanks, and so the value system is faith. My children attend a school that's faith oriented. It's a private school, but they have chapel and so they, you know faith is very important to me as a parent, as a pastor, as a daughter of, of one who was born into a faith family. We said grace every day. You know, the food would be out on the table, but it's, we had to give thanks because we wouldn't have all of this without being connected to God. And so, we did our--my father [Wilbert Johnson], my earliest remembrance of my father and my last remembrance of my father was that every night he kneeled down and prayed, and he would pray a long time so we could go in and out the room and he'd still be on his knees. I mean it was serious, and so because you have a praying father, you feel a different sense of faith than perhaps one who didn't because you saw it in action. You saw the decisions he made for our lives as our provider and our protector, were prayed over, and so you kind of have to, because your first introduction to faith is you mimic the faith of your parents, you mimic their behavior, what they do, and then at a certain point it kicks in that I believe in what they've been teaching me. You don't know that as a child, you just know that there's a culture that says something affirming about God, and when you hear it enough, and it wasn't a lot of God talk, but there was a lot of praying and there was a lot of churchgoing. And, so by the time I became a teenager, my faith formation had happened, and it was because of my parents and my grandparents and the people I was around that faith was not a problem for me. It was actually a joy, and I captured it. I did the same thing in college [Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts]. We partied all Friday and Saturday night, but Sunday morning, other kids were asleep in the dorm and I was like, "I'm going to church," and eventually a lot of people started going with me. But it was part of my system, and I have no regrets and I've met some wonderful people in the faith community and that's who I am, I'm a faith leader.$And can you feel the calm that you stimulate in officers [at the New York City Police Department] and the surrounding (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Without question. I can, I can remember people coming in my office, you know, I mean, crying or stressed out, whatever the job or life, what I call Life 101, has done to them, and they leave and I pray with them and we join hands and then we hug. I mean not just Christians, I've had Jewish persons. I've had women, I've had men, I've had every persuasion come in, and there is a calm, there is something that happens. We call it the anointing in the Christian church, but there is something that happens when in the privacy, and the great thing about being a police chaplain is that you don't have to do it right at headquarters. We can meet them anonymously anywhere in the city, so if someone needs me to meet them in a bar, if that's their comfort level until they're able to kind of talk it through, I'll go, no one will know it but that person and myself, but when we leave there, it's not the bar that's the dominant factor, it is, the power of the Lord has spoken in this place, and so they are able to leave a different way than they came. The most prevalent memory is 9/11 [September 11, 2001], because we were the chaplains who had to respond. There were twenty-six police officers who were lost in the line of duty, in that horrific, and the city [New York, New York] was paralyzed, you know. We had never experienced war and terrorism on these shores, and even internally, I was experiencing, you know, my gosh, but we had to rise to the occasion because we had to be the leaders for the leaders, and I think, if I can think of a time that God really used me and I knew it, it was during that time, because after I had done the Wednesday lunch hour services [Lunch Hour of Power] and I left Mariner's [Mariner's Temple, New York, New York], I created a new service called Wonderful Wall Street Wednesday, ten blocks south of where Mariner's was, people who said that they couldn't have made it in ten minutes to Mariner's were asking me, "Can you do something at lunch time?" So I created this for the Wall Street community and the small United Methodist Church, called John Street United Methodist Church [New York, New York] and we had been in our fourth year of doing it, every Wednesday, and I was like, "God why am I coming from the Bronx [New York] every Wednesday down on the subway, for a half an hour." And then 9/11 happened on September 11th, five years ago, what was that, 2002, 2001, 2001 (simultaneous)--$$Two thousand one [2001]? I thought it was 2001.$$--and we were scheduled to open our Wall Street service on September 12th.$$Oh, wow.$$Because we would take a break for the summer, so it was going to open the next Wednesday, the next day. And 9/11 happened and so New York City stopped, and we had to respond to the police families in the whole department. The next Wednesday, however, people were ordered to go back to work. They gave them a couple of days off to get yourself together, but New York doesn't just stop forever, so people had to go back to work and that next Wednesday, now which would have been September 19th, this Wednesday service that I did was right down the block from the World Trade Center [New York, New York]. It was the only structure not hit on the entire block. You could see dust and fumes and fire flames and evidence of 9/11 every other building surrounding it. This church stood there with nothing on it. So the people were able to come physically into this church, packed.$$What did you talk about that day?$$Well, there, first let me, their description was, their eyes were filled with terror and the tears were streaming because they were afraid. They were not ready to go back to work. They needed a job, but they weren't ready. The trauma that had happened, and there's a scripture that came to my mind as they came in, that is in the Bible that says, God is a refuge in a time of trouble, a very present help in the time of need, and that's the scripture that bubbled in my spirit as they came in. This place is the refuge. This is the shelter, and God said to me, that's why you come down every Wednesday, because you were supposed to be here.$$You asked.$$Yeah, you asked. You were supposed to be here for this moment. And it wasn't even about the message. We actually had a guest preacher that day. We had Dr. Calvin Butts [HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts] that day, and the press was there, of course, to cover, you know, these people coming back to work, but that was, it was what I call a ministry of presence.

MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch

Environmental activist and opera singer MaVynne “Beach Lady” Betsch was born on January 13, 1935 in Jacksonville, Florida. She was raised in one of the most preeminent black families in the South. Betsch is the daughter of Mary and John Betsch, and the great-granddaughter Abraham Lincoln Lewis, who founded Florida’s oldest African-American beach, and Anne Kingsley, the African American wife of plantation owner Zephaniah Kingsley. Betsch was educated at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio. Upon completion of her bachelors’ degree in 1955, she moved to Europe where she was an opera singer for ten years.

Since 1975, Betsch made it her full-time mission to preserve and protect American Beach, her great-grandfather’s investment, from development and destruction. She was famously named “Beach Lady,” for her many efforts and dedication to the beach and its inhabitants. ‘Beach Lady’ gave her life savings, some $750,000, to sixty environmental organizations and causes, ten of which she was a lifetime member, and most of them involved animals. ‘Beach Lady’ was featured on CBS and CNN and in such publications as Coastal Living, Essence, Southern Living, Smithsonian and over twenty-five others. Betsch also dedicated part of her life in convincing others that nature and natural things are fine. ‘Beach Lady’ had natural hair that was grown for over twenty years and measured over seven feet long in some areas; she also had one foot long finger nails on one of her hands, trying to prove that things can grow naturally without protein from meat.

Even after being diagnosed with cancer in 2002, which caused the removal of her stomach, ‘Beach Lady’ continued working hard for causes that benefitted others. She developed plans for the American Beach Museum, opened in 2014, which contains the history of American Beach, the town where she lived many of the years of her life. Betsch never married and never had children. She was the older sister of Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, the first female African American president of Spelman College, and president of Bennett College.

Betsch passed away on September 5, 2005 at age 70.

Accession Number

A2004.168

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/20/2004

Last Name

Betsch

Maker Category
Schools

Boylan-Haven School

Oberlin College

Edward Waters College

Benjamin Banneker Academic High School

First Name

MaVynee

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

BET02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Desert

Favorite Quote

Live Simply So That Others May Simply Live.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

1/13/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

American Beach

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Bread (Raisin), Garlic, Olives

Death Date

9/5/2005

Short Description

Environmental activist and opera singer MaVynne “Beach Lady” Betsch (1935 - 2005 ) was known for her full time efforts to preserve to preserve the history and ecology of American Beach, Florida, the oldest African American beach and her great-grandfather’s legacy.

Favorite Color

Orange

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch traces her maternal ancestry to Anna and Zephaniah Kingsley in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch describes her paternal German ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch recalls her great-grandfather's summer Sunday ritual of church service followed by a family outing to American Beach

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch details her schooling at Boylan-Haven School in Jacksonville, Florida and Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch makes numerological predictions about the coming year, 2005, based on her beloved great-grandfather's date of birth, 1865

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch describes her family's home at 8th Street and Jefferson Street in the Sugar Hill neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch remembers her sister's violin tutor in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch describes her childhood community in Sugar Hill, Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in Jacksonville and American Beach, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch describes what it was like to grow up in a wealthy African American family during a time of segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch explains her great-grandfather's vision for a truly democratic community at American Beach, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch describes her studies and influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch remembers her childhood aspirations and influences in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch recalls how her childhood aspirations evolved

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch remembers her audition for 'Salome' in Germany

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch describes her costume and the set during the Dance of the Seven Veils in the opera 'Salome'

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch explains that the end of her opera career was the beginning of her mission to save American Beach from white developers

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch talks about the rich African American history of Jacksonville and American Beach, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch tells stories from the African American history of Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch talks about the environmental and cultural causes to which she has dedicated her family's wealth

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch talks about the importance of history, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch recalls meeting famous jazz musicians while living in Europe in the late 1950s and early 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch explains the significance of her clothing and adornments

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch talks about discovering nature upon her move to Ribault Scenic Drive in Jacksonville, Florida in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch explains the links between environmental activism and racial justice

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch describes her plans to travel and advocate for environmental justice

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch describes hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch talks about the value of helping the community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch talks about the importance of history, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch explains her great-grandfather's philosophy of money and his prominence in the black community of Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch talks about the current state of American Beach, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch describes her experiences of living in both black and white communities in the United States and Europe

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch talks about her experiences as an opera student in Europe

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

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DATitle
MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch describes her mother's family background
MaVynee "Beach Lady" Betsch reflects upon her legacy
Transcript
Next we'll be exploring your family background.$$Okay.$$Could you please tell me about your mother? What was her name? Where was she born?$$Um-hm. My mother was Mary Frances Lewis Betsch. She was, of course, granddaughter of A.L. Lewis [Abraham Lincoln Lewis]. She was born in Jacksonville [Florida]. And, she attended Wilberforce University [Wilberforce, Ohio]. And, at the time of her death, she was vice president of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company [Jacksonville, Florida]. The insurance company my great-grandfather helped to found in Jacksonville.$$So, did she grow up her entire childhood--$$(Simultaneous) Um-hm. In Jacksonville, right there.$$--(simultaneous) adolescent, in Jacksonville, Florida? What do you know about her growing up?$$Oh, she was apparently very happy. There were only two children. I have--had an uncle. He was Florida's first corporate black lawyer. And, my mother married my dad, John Betsch, who at the time was working up here in Atlanta [Georgia] at Atlanta Life [Insurance Company; Atlanta Life Financial Group, Atlanta, Georgia]. 'Cause don't forget, now--oh, child please, you talking about insurance companies, I mean they were the economic base for the entire black community in United States. There was an Afro in Florida, Afro Life Insurance Company; Atlanta Life in Georgia; North Carolina Mutual [Life Insurance Company, Durham, North Carolina]. They use to call themselves the golden triangle, okay. It was [Alonzo] Herndon in Atlanta, [Charles Clinton] Spaulding in South Carolina [sic. North Carolina], my great-grandfather in Florida. There was Supreme Life [Insurance Company of America] in Chicago [Illinois], Golden Gate [sic. Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company] in [Los Angeles] California. Child, please; we did it all. You couldn't walk into a white bank and get money, are you crazy? We talking about the 1900s, okay. So, mother and daddy were part of that whole community support system, economically for the whole South. And, I grew up with that, and mother was very happy as from what I hear for her childhood. And, she was a musician. She played the organ at the church, oh child. Gorgeous woman, oh, wait 'til you see the pictures; she was gorgeous. She had, you know, most women have the, the sort of like the, what would call it, like a V shape of the hips, mother had the double hip, like the guitar or the violin, oh child please; gorgeous, gorgeous (laughter).$$How would you describe her personality? Who she was?$$She was kind of reserved, like my sister. We make such a study of contrast. My sister by the way is Dr. Johnnetta [B.] Cole, former president of Spelman [College, Atlanta, Georgia], now president of Bennett [College, Greensboro, North Carolina]. Johnnetta is very sophisticated. I'm more of the free spirit type and she--I mean, look at this. I mean, who else would walk around looking like this but somebody who's, who's independent in thought and in the way I live? I'm like my dad. Dad was like that. He was kind of fun, fun. I guess that's why I never married. Because I thought, now you know, I don't need somebody with problems and boring me to tears. Daddy was so much fun. Mother was very cool, very sophisticated, okay. So, she--we have the study of contrast.$$Did she share any stories with you related to her growing up?$$Only in the sense of what it was like. Don't forget now, we're talking about--she was born in 1906. This is the height of really bad segregated times in Florida. And, there was always the fear of the [Ku Klux] Klan [KKK]. Jacksonville was, as you know, right there on the border with Georgia. So, everyone always thinks Florida as being a liberal state. But, we--I guess, because of our proximity to Georgia, we had a lot of the more conservative--and it still is--elements. So, but, where we lived was called Sugar Hill [Jacksonville, Florida]. My grandfather--great-grandfather gave that house, his house, to my mother. And, it was the section to live in Jacksonville, where the, quote, upper class blacks lived. Don't forget now, in black society, it was the undertaker, the preacher, the insurance man, the hairdresser, and the teacher. We were the economic base for the whole South. I mean, these were people you knew had good jobs. These are the people who helped others. So, our house was always like Grand Central Station [Grand Central Terminal, New York, New York], oh, child please. I mean, children coming in. I mean, daddy, the insurance company, all the men coming in from the different branches staying at our house. There were always parties. My great-grandfather's house had twenty-two rooms. It was the showplace. We now know--unfortunately, tore it down. But, it would have--it was financed by blacks. Built by blacks. It would have been probably the oldest of that type in the State of Florida; gorgeous.$(Simultaneous) What do you want your legacy to be?$$Well, I saved that sand dune at NaNa [American Beach, Florida]. That's so important, darling. It's symbolic of so much that's special about American Beach [Florida]. As children, I remember we used to hide--they had a riot down there. The name of the sheriff during segregated time was [Henry J.] Youngblood.$$When was the riot?$$This was like in the '40s [1940s].$$Okay.$$It was awesome. And, we would hide behind--see don't forget now, this sand dune is sixty feet tall, and we would hide back there. And, the quiet--see, Jodi [Merriday]--people have so little place to go now where it's quiet. Sometimes when I walk on the beach and I see a fisherman out there, you know what I say to 'em? I say, "Did you catch any fish?" He say, "No. But, you know what? It's like all my troubles went out with that last tide." Isn't that beautiful?$$Um-hm.$$That you can actually go somewhere. I mean, everything, it's so many--well, first of all, it's too many of us. What are we now, 6.5 billion? And, first we tried group therapy with psych--and now the thing is, now people, for people to turn in to find their inner peace. But, where can you go to find inner peace, where everything is so crowded? And, the beach is one place. Come to American Beach; come--the dune, you can go sit up on the dune and just look out there on that ocean. And, it's like nothing else matters now. All your troubles is gonna go out. Tomorrow will come. Don't worry about it. There's a kind of peace that drugs can't give you, alcohol, nothing else. And, this is something you can get by turning in for quiet, fact is, so. If I've helped to save that, that will be the best legacy I can imagine.

Regina Williams

Healthcare provider and educator Regina Sallee Williams was born in Sandusky, Ohio on April 20, 1931, to Cora Nell Collier Sallee and Charles Louis Sallee. She attended the public schools of Sandusky and graduated from Sandusky High School in 1949. Williams graduated from Ohio’s Mount Carmel School of Nursing in 1952, and received a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing from The Ohio State University in 1955. She later earned a master’s of science in nursing from Wayne State University and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Michigan.

Williams served as a first lieutenant in the United States Army Nurse Corps (ANC) stationed at El Paso, Texas. After returning to Columbus from the ANC, she taught at The Grant Hospital School of Nursing. She moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1966, and taught at Mercy School of Nursing from 1966 until 1973. In 1974, she became an assistant administrator in the Department of Health Careers at Schoolcraft College of Livonia, Michigan. In 1977, Williams was recruited to Wayne State University, College of Nursing, where she held teaching and administration posts and developed an innovative program (Outreach BSN) for employed associate degree registered nurses interested in baccalaureate education. She was serving as interim assistant dean when she left Wayne State University in August 1990 to accept an appointment as the head of the department of nursing at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where she served until her retirement in 2001.

Williams has worked with and held numerous leadership positions in professional organizations, including Michigan Nurses Association. She served as President of the Michigan Association of Colleges of Nursing (MACN) Dean’s group, as a member and eventually chair of the Michigan Board of Nursing. Williams has done research and has published on the subject of mentoring and on nursing education.

Williams lives in Detroit, Michigan. She remains active in nursing as a consultant through writing, attendance at conferences and by sitting on several community advisory boards.

Accession Number

A2004.031

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/20/2004

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Schools

Sandusky High School

Campbell Elementary School

Mount Carmel College of Nursing

The Ohio State University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Regina

Birth City, State, Country

Sandusky

HM ID

WIL15

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Rhode Island

Favorite Quote

This Too Shall Pass.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

4/20/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Turkey, Dressing

Short Description

Academic administrator and nursing professor Regina Williams (1931 - ) taught at several nursing schools, and was an assistant administrator in the Department of Health Careers at Schoolcraft College. She also held teaching and administrative posts at Wayne State University and was head of the department of nursing at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Employment

United States Army Nurse Corps

Grant Hospital School of Nursing

Mercy School of Nursing

Schoolcraft College

Wayne State University

Eastern Michigan University

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:3888,55:7209,86:7614,92:12879,151:14661,166:26144,283:39444,444:39820,449:48668,517:49136,524:49448,529:63030,697:64030,705:69630,775:70230,782:72030,808:72730,817:85916,957:87260,975:88316,987:89756,1005:92252,1043:92636,1048:99848,1084:101258,1106:102010,1115:105712,1139:106228,1146:107690,1165:108034,1170:109410,1189:111904,1202:124305,1329:132171,1537:139416,1705:143480,1714$0,0:1292,24:2052,44:8842,116:9222,122:10954,140:11330,145:12082,165:12552,175:13022,181:13680,197:14432,206:15936,229:16688,238:21012,291:35759,472:37760,498:40022,528:40718,537:41414,547:46690,575:47338,585:52117,673:53332,693:68820,913:69840,980:70605,993:71115,1000:71965,1013:79566,1059:79976,1065:93114,1233:93632,1241:94150,1249:99610,1281:99926,1286:106878,1423:108537,1448:113730,1477:114026,1482:117726,1573:118022,1578:118318,1583:126442,1647:137694,1808:141334,1869:141750,1874:150130,1970:160493,2155:160817,2160:163571,2214:164138,2222:165920,2256:166730,2269:167621,2284:168107,2291:176128,2356:178890,2365:179640,2378:183690,2463:192094,2545:193173,2561:197904,2646:205885,2723:213330,2771
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Regina Williams's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Regina Williams lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Regina Williams describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Regina Williams describes her father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Regina Williams talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Regina Williams remembers her father's work as the premier plastering contractor in Sandusky, Ohio in the early twentieth century

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Regina Williams lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Regina Williams describes about her childhood home life in Sandusky, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Regina Williams remembers her experience at Campbell Elementary School in Sandusky, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Regina Williams recalls how her parents protected her from discrimination as a child in Sandusky, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Regina Williams remembers Second Baptist Church in Sandusky, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Regina Williams talks about a lesson from her father

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Regina Williams describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Regina Williams talks about Sandusky, Ohio and its environs

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Regina Williams remembers the impact of World War II during her childhood in Sandusky, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Regina Williams describes Cedar Point in the 1930s in Sandusky, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Regina Williams talks about reactions to Japan's surrender of World War II in 1945

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Regina Williams remembers relatives who fought in World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Regina Williams recalls the growth of Sandusky, Ohio's African American population during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Regina Williams remembers her decision to attend Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio as one of its first African American students

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Regina Williams describes her experience at Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Regina Williams talks about racial discrimination in medical settings during the mid-twentieth century

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Regina Williams remembers her first nursing positions and joining a U.S. military program that funded nurses' education

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Regina Williams describes her scholarship from fifth grade teacher Betty Rinderle

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Regina Williams explains the Nurse Corps Scholarship Program

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Regina Williams remembers obtaining a teaching post at Grant Hospital School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio after her military service

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Regina Williams recalls meeting her husband, Robert Williams

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Regina Williams describes her experience on the faculty of Grant Hospital School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Regina Williams remembers changes in the nursing profession since the 1940s, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Regina Williams remembers changes in the nursing profession since the 1940s, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Regina Williams talks about the academic discipline of nursing, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Regina Williams talks about the academic discipline of nursing, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Regina Williams describes career options for those with advanced degrees in nursing

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Regina Williams narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Regina Williams recalls her paternal grandmother, Rebecca Sallee, whose work as a midwife influenced Williams' interest in nursing

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Regina Williams talks about obtaining her Ph.D. in higher education from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan to pursue an administrative career in nursing

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Regina Williams lists some of her publications

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Regina Williams describes the balance of research and teaching in academia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Regina Williams talks about her responsibilities as head of the nursing department at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Regina Williams recalls her involvement in professional nursing organizations

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Regina Williams remembers developing a substance abuse treatment support program for nurses while serving on the Michigan Board of Nursing

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Regina Williams remembers holding family meetings with her husband and children

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Regina Williams lists her children

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Regina Williams lists her children's schools in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Regina Williams talks about converting to Catholicism after her graduation from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Regina Williams remembers how responsibilities were shared among family members in her household

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Regina Williams describes her husband's service in the U.S. Marines service and his parenting style

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Regina Williams remembers her family's involvement in Catholic mass after Vatican II

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Regina Williams talks about her organizational participation outside of her professional work

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Regina Williams explains the importance of public service

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Regina Williams remembers an advisor who discouraged her from pursuing a bachelor's degree

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Regina Williams remembers those who supported her nursing career

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Regina Williams narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Regina Williams narrates her photographs, pt. 3

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$3

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Regina Williams recalls her paternal grandmother, Rebecca Sallee, whose work as a midwife influenced Williams' interest in nursing
Regina Williams remembers obtaining a teaching post at Grant Hospital School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio after her military service
Transcript
Yes, my grandmother was a nurse. Of course, she was a practical nurse and was become quite skilled as a midwife and delivered babies. And she was in Kentucky. I'm told that she would--when they called for Ms. Becky, her name was Rebecca [Sallee]--and they'd call for Ms. Becky to come and deliver a child, particular if the delivery looked as though it was going to be a bad one. And she had a horse. She rode her horse to the home and to help them to do--and delivered the child. So she performed as a midwife during that time.$$And when did you learn about her work as a--$$I remember when she--and I don't remember how old I was, but I remember her visiting us in Sandusky, Ohio. And my brother injured himself, Henry [Sallee], and--his leg, and I remember grandma taking care of him and doing the kinds of things that we would do now: make sure that his, the pressure on the wound, elevating it, putting ice on it and those kinds of things. So, that was quite an influencing factor I am sure, that, you know, you see that kind of, that action. I think another thing that also influenced me, I remember when we were I think in junior high, a friend had been hospitalized. And because they were from out of town, we would go and visit. And I saw the nurses walking around in the starched white uniforms and caps and that kind of thing.$$Okay, now the midwife, the nurse midwife you, whose work you described, that's your paternal grandmother?$$That was my, yes, my father's [Charles Sallee] grandmother.$$Okay.$$My father's mother. It was our grandmother.$$So her name would have been Rebecca--$$Her name was Rebecca Sallee.$$Sallee, okay. Now if we can--$$And she was, of course, lived in Kentucky.$And so how long did you serve in the [U.S.] Army, around?$$I was just in for one tour of duty.$$Is that two years?$$Three years.$$Okay, and what happens after that? After the three years of [U.S.] military service?$$I was out of military service. I came back to Ohio. I was married, and I applied for a job. My husband [Robert Williams] was still at [The] Ohio State [University, Columbus, Ohio]. And I applied for a job, and I went for a job interview. I was, I was accepted, and the job was teaching nursing at the Grant Hospital School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio. That's an interesting story (laughter), if you want--$$I would love to hear it.$$I had sent in my information. I was responding to an ad in the newspaper, and so I sent the information. And I didn't hear anything, and my husband and I--I think it was probably a school break, and we went to Sandusky [Ohio] for a few days visit with my parents [Coranell Collier Sallee and Charles Sallee]. When I came back I had a letter asking me to come into for an interview. So I went to the Grant Hospital School of Nursing for the interview. And I was sitting in an area, sort of like a corridor. There were seats. And I was early, about, say ten minutes, ten, fifteen minutes early. And at about, oh, about five minutes of the time, to the time I was supposed to be there, a woman came out. And she looked up and down the hall, and then she turned around went back into an office. And within three or four minutes she came out again, and she looked up and down the hall, and she turned around and went back into the office. The third time she came out she looked up and down the hall. She started back into the office, and she turned around and she said to me, "What is your name?" And I told her my name. And she had a look of surprise, but it was sort of reserved surprise, and she went back into the office. And so she came, and then she came back out. Now it was, by this time it was after the time I was supposed to be there becau- she came back out and she said, "Well, would you follow me please?" And I went in, and they were waiting for me for the interview. So that really what had happened was she came out, she saw me sitting there, but she did not, it didn't occur to her that I was the person applying for the job. They had never had a black faculty member before. They did not expect one to come (laughter). But they had invited me to come for an interview, so there I was. So, I went in, and I talked to the director of the hospital and the director of the school of nursing, and we had quite a conversation. And subsequently they sent me a letter inviting me to join the faculty.$$And what year is this, please? The year?$$That would have been in 1957. Yeah, 1957.

Alexine Jackson

Alexine Clement Jackson is active in volunteerism and community service for the African American community. Jackson was born in Sumter, South Carolina, on June 10, 1936. Jackson's mother, Josephine Clement, was active in North Carolina politics and business and volunteered her time to a number of civic organizations. Her father, William A. Clement, was an insurance executive who devoted great amounts of time to civic and fraternal organizations. Jackson earned her B.A. from Spelman College in Atlanta and an M.A. in speech pathology and audiology from the University of Iowa.

Jackson has devoted her life to civic organizations. She is the former national president of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), and in that capacity she traveled to the Middle East as part of a fact-finding mission in 1996. Jackson led the American delegation to the 1999 World YWCA Council in Cairo and was a delegate in the 1995 Council in South Korea. Prior to that, she had been chosen as a development education consultant by the YWCA to explore issues relating to women in poverty, and traveled to the Philippines, Mexico and Kenya, as well as participating in the International Learning Center in Hawaii. The Taiwanese Minister of Foreign Affairs invited Jackson, along with six other leaders of women's organizations, to visit the country in 1985 and speak to different groups.

After a fifteen-year battle with breast cancer, Jackson served on the board of the Cancer Research Foundation of America and was the chairperson of the Intercultural Cancer Council, where she focused her energies on minority cancer education and prevention. In 2009, Jackson became the chair of the board of directors for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. With more than twenty-five years of work in civic organizations, Jackson has garnered numerous awards for her work. She has been awarded the 2001 Community Service Award by the Black Women's Agenda, the Woman of Courage and Distinction Award by the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, and was named Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine. Her husband, Aaron, is the chief of the Division of Urology at Howard University Hospital.

Accession Number

A2003.156

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/15/2003

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Clement

Schools

David T. Howard High School

Oglethorpe Elementary School

Whitted Elementary School

Hillside High School

Spelman College

University of Iowa

First Name

Alexine

Birth City, State, Country

Sumter

HM ID

JAC08

Favorite Season

Summer

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

6/10/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Indian Food

Short Description

Civic volunteer and foundation chief executive Alexine Jackson (1936 - ) is a former YWCA national president. After a fifteen-year battle with breast cancer, Jackson served on the board of the Cancer Research Foundation of America and was the chairperson of the Intercultural Cancer Council.

Favorite Color

Black, Jewel Tones

Timing Pairs
0,0:5138,97:5878,109:6322,115:7358,128:8542,148:10244,181:10540,186:11206,196:12982,232:13278,237:13944,247:17340,259:17628,264:18420,278:18924,286:19284,292:20220,308:23388,372:23748,378:24396,398:24756,404:25332,413:28068,460:28572,469:30012,491:30660,501:31884,521:32964,541:33612,556:34332,584:39291,598:39753,605:40292,613:43295,690:45220,720:48377,779:53286,825:53874,833:55554,864:56058,871:56394,876:57150,886:58158,901:58914,912:59502,920:62190,963:63282,984:63954,996:67766,1016:68686,1029:69882,1046:80095,1169:80865,1183:81173,1188:81481,1193:83098,1231:83483,1237:83791,1242:85023,1269:85562,1278:87718,1320:88719,1335:93740,1383:94084,1388:94772,1398:95546,1410:97524,1443:101910,1529:102684,1542:103200,1548:108966,1613:109390,1619$0,0:6794,208:7584,222:7900,227:8216,232:9796,272:10191,279:11297,298:12008,326:12482,333:13746,350:14299,361:14773,369:15168,375:15563,381:16037,390:17064,409:17617,417:18486,435:21725,491:30012,517:30792,528:32196,548:37032,625:38046,643:39450,677:39996,685:41010,705:41322,710:43662,745:44208,753:56883,887:57499,896:58038,904:59886,951:60502,960:61118,971:61426,977:62196,989:62889,1000:63505,1039:71051,1218:71359,1223:81302,1301:82764,1347:87408,1422:89128,1454:89988,1465:91622,1488:92052,1494:92482,1504:94632,1527:100960,1562:101416,1568:102252,1577:102784,1586:103088,1591:103392,1596:104912,1622:105368,1628:107572,1668:107952,1674:109548,1733:110232,1744:111752,1789:115172,1881:115552,1887:125768,2023:126096,2028:126588,2036:130688,2113:135120,2151:135840,2163:140720,2236:141040,2241:148260,2305:149060,2314:151760,2346:152960,2361:153560,2368:156060,2405:160290,2434
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alexine Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alexine Jackson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alexine Jackson talks about her maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alexine Jackson talks about her paternal great-grandfather, Rufus A. Clement, who donated land to build a school in Cleveland, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alexine Jackson talks about her paternal grandfather and the Presbyterian faith in her paternal family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alexine Jackson talks about the history of her paternal family's employment at the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alexine Jackson describes her parents' personalities and their civic engagement in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alexine Jackson describes segregation and the African American business community in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Alexine Jackson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Charleston, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Alexine Jackson describes her maternal family in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Alexine Jackson describes her maternal family in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Alexine Jackson explains how she skipped a grade in elementary school when she moved to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alexine Jackson lists the schools she attended in Atlanta, Georgia and Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alexine Jackson describes the activities she enjoyed as a child in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alexine Jackson describes the type of student she was at Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina and at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alexine Jackson describes influential teachers and reflects upon the positiveeffects of segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alexine Jackson reflects upon the limitations of her experience growing up in Durham, North Carolina during the Jim Crow Era

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alexine Jackson describes the activities she participated in and her social experience at Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alexine Jackson lists the presidents of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia from 1953 through the 2003

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alexine Jackson describes memorable professors from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Alexine Jackson talks about graduating from college, earning a master's degree and then starting a family

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Alexine Jackson talks about the birth of her first children in 1959 and moving to Greenwood, Mississippi in 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alexine Jackson describes the town of Greenwood, Mississippi where she moved with her husband in 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alexine Jackson talks about giving birth to two of her children in Greenwood, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alexine Jackson talks about starting a daycare center in Greenwood, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alexine Jackson describes the tactics used in Greenwood, Mississippi to intimidate African American voters during the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alexine Jackson talks about her husband's medical career in Greenwood, Mississippi and his urology residency at the University of Iowa in Iowa City

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alexine Jackson compares and contrasts her experiences living in Iowa City, Iowa and Greenwood, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alexine Jackson talks about her social life in Iowa City, Iowa

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Alexine Jackson explains how her husband became chief of the Division of Urology at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Alexine Jackson explains her involvement in the YWCA and her family's history of involvement in the organization

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Alexine Jackson talks about her work with the Intercultural Cancer Council and the disparities in cancer rates within minority communities

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alexine Jackson explains the early history of YWCA USA

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alexine Jackson talks about HistoryMaker Dorothy Height and YWCA USA's one imperative of eliminating racism

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alexine Jackson talks about the aspect of YWCA USA's mission that promotes the empowerment of women's leadership

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alexine Jackson talks about the economic status of women in corporations and female entrepreneurs

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alexine Jackson describes the worldwide disparity in women's access to economic resources

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Alexine Jackson talks about the efforts of international organizations like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the World YWCA to educate women

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Alexine Jackson describes the purpose of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region and the problems facing day laborers

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Alexine Jackson describes the many civic and non-profit organizations in which she is involved

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Alexine Jackson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Alexine Jackson reflects upon her racial identity, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Alexine Jackson reflects upon her racial identity, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Alexine Jackson talks about volunteerism and philanthropy in the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Alexine Jackson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Alexine Jackson considers what she would do differently in her life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Alexine Jackson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Alexine Jackson narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Alexine Jackson narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

6$9

DATitle
Alexine Jackson talks about the history of her paternal family's employment at the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company
Alexine Jackson explains her involvement in the YWCA and her family's history of involvement in the organization
Transcript
When was your father [William Clement] born and--$$My father was born in 1912 and he was born in Charleston, South Carolina. My grandfather was, he worked for North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, now, North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company for many years was the largest black business in the country. It's headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. And in those early years, in the early founding years when they were beginning to build up the company, they had districts in different cities. And so, my grandfather was the manager of the Charleston [South Carolina] district. My father started working for North Carolina Mutual [Life Insurance Company] in the summers of college. And he continued to work at North Carolina Mutual and retired after fifty-some years there as executive vice-president. His brother also worked for North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company as the manager of several districts in the--around the country. So, that was sort of the family, the family pattern. My father had a sister who was a teacher and lived in Baltimore [Maryland], married, and moved to Baltimore. But my grandparents lived in Charleston. And when we moved away from Charleston, I lived in Charleston the first five years of my life, and then after my father married again, he was then, he was transferred to Atlanta [Georgia]. And we lived in Atlanta for five years and then he was promoted and we moved to Durham, which was the headquarters--became an officer of the company, and so I really say I'm from Durham, North Carolina--$$Okay.$$--'cause they lived there for more than fifty years.$A lot of things to get involved in Washington [D.C.].$$Oh, yeah, yeah.$$You're--this is basically your career (simultaneous)--$$This is my--this is true, that's true.$$Volunteer, super volunteer, and--$$Yep, that's true. It's been since here, you know, I always say it's been a privilege. And my husband [Aaron Jackson] has always encouraged to do this. And when we first moved here, he said, you know, we decided that a lot of the social things that we would do, we would do through our charitable, you know, our charitable giving. And I did, once the kids were about--my youngest was maybe third or fourth grade and in school all day, I started getting more involved. I started getting involved in arts organizations. And then I started getting involved with the YWCA [USA] here. And, you know, ultimately through, with, through that path, I became president of the YWCA of the National Capital region [sic, area]. Then I was elected to the national board, and then, ultimately, became the National President of the--we call the president, now we call the Chair of the Board [of Directors] for the national organization.$$Now, now, your, your family has a long history with the YWCA (simultaneous)?$$Yes, it does actually. Both my grandparents were--my grandmothers were both involved. My grandmother Dobbs [Ophelia Thompson Dobbs] in Atlanta [Georgia] was in, in those times, the YWCAs were segregated in the South. But even at that, those segregated facilities gave women, black women, an opportunity to develop leadership. And my grandmother in South Carolina also was very much involved with the YWCA in South Carolina. So I always used to say, I'm third generation. And my mother [Josephine Dobbs Clement], too, because my mother in Durham [North Carolina] was on the board of the segregated YWCA. And then when the integration came about, she was one of the first members of the integrated board of the YWCA. And she always had me involved in the teen activities, Y-Teen [Y-Teens Youth Program] and that kind of thing. So I kind of--it was natural when I was asked to, to be a part of it that I, you know, that I join. And I have to say that I, I always attribute any leadership qualities that I've gained had come through my activities with the YWCA. And it's been a wonderful personal experience for me. Much of the travel and the people that I've met has really enriched my life through that experience.