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Dr. Robert L. Smith

Professor and physician Dr. Robert L. Smith was born on December 20, 1936 in Terry, Mississippi to Willie B. Smith and Lillie Mae Smith. He received his B.A. degree in chemistry from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi in 1957, and his M.D. degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1961.

Smith completed his clinical training at the West Side Medical Clinic of Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois and returned to Jackson, Mississippi and founded the Family Heath Center, now known as the Central Mississippi Health Services, Inc. In 1964, Smith worked with the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR) to provide medical services for civil rights workers during the Freedom Summer in Jackson, Mississippi as its first Southern Medical Field Director. Smith later worked as an assistant clinical professor of family medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical School, where he participated in the development of the Family Medicine Program as a co-principal investigator with the National Research Program’s Arteriosclerotic Risks in Community Studies. Smith worked as an adjunct professor at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee and Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi as well as professor emeritus position in the department of community medicine at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. During his career, Smith also assisted in institutionalizing the pre-health program at Tougaloo College.

In 2011, part of Jackson Metro Parkway was renamed in honor of Dr. Robert L. Smith. In 2014, Smith received the Community Service Award from the Mississippi Board of Trustees of the State of Institutions of Higher Learning, and was also named Diversity Educator of the Year. In 2017, the American Medical Association presented Smith with its Medal of Valor Award for his civil rights work. In the same year, the Mississippi State Senate honored Smith for his community health work. Smith was a charter diplomat of the American Board of Family Physicians and a charter fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He was an active staff member of Mississippi Baptist Health Systems, St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital, and Central Mississippi Medical Center.

Dr. Robert L. Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 13, 2017 and April 23, 2019.

Accession Number

A2017.222

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/13/2017

12/13/2017 |and| 4/23/2019

Last Name

Smith

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Schools

Terry Grove School

Hinds County Agricultural High School

Tougaloo College

Howard University College of Medicine

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Terry

HM ID

SMI35

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Orleans

Favorite Quote

Keep it simple.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Mississippi

Birth Date

12/20/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Jackson

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Collard Greens, Potatoes, Okra, Grits and Eggs

Short Description

Professor and physician Dr. Robert L. Smith (1936 - ) was the president of Central Mississippi Health Services, Inc. and the first Southern Medical Field Director for the Medical Committee for Human Rights.

Employment

Mississippi State Hospital

Cook County Hospital

Tougaloo College

Private Practice

Central Mississippi Health Services, Inc.

University of Mississippi Medical Center

Tufts University

Jackson State University

St. Dominic's Hospital

Baptist Hospital

Merit Hospital System

Brown University School of Medicine

Favorite Color

Blue and Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:6762,192:9936,268:11316,292:17334,344:21436,374:29444,505:34525,555:39710,642:40680,655:45582,697:45914,704:46412,711:47657,734:48404,745:49815,771:54156,788:54571,794:58940,848:59212,853:64720,992:68969,1038:72787,1116:73534,1127:75360,1156:76273,1168:76605,1173:77020,1179:77767,1189:83448,1237:89090,1319:89727,1327:103417,1583:104600,1618:104964,1623:107239,1673:111300,1687$0,0:644,8:1380,18:7527,77:7931,82:10557,106:11163,113:14830,120:18592,166:19846,178:25774,235:42320,367:43040,377:45380,410:50562,440:50938,445:51314,450:51878,458:53758,502:54416,510:59038,546:59426,551:63985,607:73970,684:76170,834:86452,908:87285,956:99551,1100:100658,1111:105017,1182:108251,1332:115027,1511:115412,1517:115874,1524:117183,1558:117491,1563:118800,1583:128590,1671:129192,1680:129536,1685:131084,1762:131686,1770:135470,1820:136416,1840:139340,1916:148314,1989:154350,2048:155999,2070:156484,2076:156969,2082:159006,2107:161857,2121:165169,2345:169240,2462:176884,2539:179674,2602:180046,2611:180542,2622:186067,2681:189220,2740
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Robert L. Smith's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert L. Smith lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert L. Smith talks about his paternal grandfather's journey to Terry, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his home in Terry, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his first piano

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his father's work in the livestock trade

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers the movie theaters in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls visiting his sister in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers the Terry Grove School in Terry, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his decision to stop studying piano

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his introduction to medicine

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls contracting salmonella

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes the Utica Institute-Hinds County Agricultural High School, Colored in Utica, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his parents' disciplinary methods

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his decision to attend Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his experiences at Tougaloo College

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his influences at Tougaloo College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his decision to attend the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his classmates at the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers the murder of Emmett Till

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert L. Smith talks about his scholarship from the State of Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his return to Terry, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls being surveilled by the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his decision to join the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes the State of Mississippi's attacks on Tougaloo College

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers meeting Medgar Evers at Tougaloo College

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his experiences of voter suppression in Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers Medgar Evers' mass meetings in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers James Meredith's supporters

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert L. Smith talks about the assassination of Medgar Evers

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls the march after Medgar Evers' funeral

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers picketing the American Medical Association, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers picketing the American Medical Association, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls founding the Medical Committee for Civil Rights

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

3$7

DATitle
Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his introduction to medicine
Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls the march after Medgar Evers' funeral
Transcript
So you went from Dean Dixon the con- the conductor.$$(Laughter) To Dean Dixon to Charles Drew [Charles R. Drew].$$To Charles Drew.$$(Laughter) Yeah.$$What was it? You just liked the way they looked (laughter)?$$(Laughter) Well, but there was just the influence. Now what made me do that, I don't know. But it also made me a little different because some of my family and some of the students told me, "You don't know what you want to do." So, you know, that's kind of crazy, a country boy from Terry, Mississippi, in grade school [Terry Grove School] saying he want to be a physician. And (laughter) are you following me? And certainly there was no black physicians around. But I can't say that I wasn't exposed to a physician because it happened to have been two things. I had a white Jewish physician, who was a bird hunter who wanted to come down and hunt birds on my property's land. And my daddy [Joe Smith], being the bigot he was, he would ask my daddy to go out in the woods with him, and my daddy would say, "Well, take that boy," (laughter), you know. And he took me (laughter) and I would start asking him questions and we would start interacting with these different questions. And he, and then sometimes on these bird hunts he would bring me material. And he, when he retired, he gave a set of medical books.$$How old were you then?$$Oh, probably ten.$$So you were first exposed to medicine by a white Jewish doctor--$$Um-hm.$$--who was a bird hunter on your daddy's land (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Dad's pro- Daddy's property, yeah.$$How improbable is that?$$Well, it was (laughter) not that improbable, but that's the (laughter), that's the circumstances.$Tell me about the impact of Medgar's [Medgar Evers] assassination on you and your focus, what--just, just recall that.$$That, again--that, again, was just a horrific experience, culminating in demonstrations in the street, on Rose and later his funeral. And of course, I attended his funeral. And Mrs. Sanders [Thelma Sanders] and I and a group, not again thinking about the impact of our lives, joined that march and walked hand in hand from Rose Street, from Lynch Street [John R. Lynch Street] to Capitol Street. And I was, we was dared to come across Capitol Street. And thank god John Doar and his group parted the waters and let us proceed up through, up Capitol, up Farish Street to Collins and Frazier Funeral Home [sic. Frazier and Collins Funeral Home; Collins Funeral Home, Inc., Jackson, Mississippi].$$So you marched from Rose Street--$$I marched from Capitol, from--it was the Lynch Street Masonic Temple (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Temple.$$--all the way from up what then was Terry Road [Jackson Terry Road; Terry Road], all the way up to--down Pascagoula [Street] to Farish Street and from Farish Street--$$Across Capitol Street.$$Right. That's where the stop was. We weren't--$$So you're across Capitol Street. You didn't act--$$We weren't supposed to cross Capitol Street.$$To cross Capitol Street--$$That was--$$--but you did.$$We did.$$Thanks to John Doar, D-O-A-R, who had been appointed by--$$Appointed--$$--Kennedy [President John Fitzgerald Kennedy] to be his ombudsman for civil rights issues.$$Yes.$$That was--$$But we were supposed to be more down like dogs when we crossed, when we crossed.$$So what exactly did John Doar do?$$He came out from somewhere and--$$So did he have federal marshals with him or something?$$Had federal marshals with him.$$And the, and the new, and the city police--$$City police--$$--is just--$$--who was parked on, they was parked on rooftops and everything at Capitol and at Capitol and Farish to post a blocker, so we crossed Capitol.$$And they moved aside?$$Moved aside.$$Now explain to me why the white power structure was so adamant about you not marching on Capitol Street but merely crossing it en route to the funeral home [Frazier and Collins Funeral Home; Collins Funeral Home, Inc., Jackson, Mississippi]? What (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well--$$--what was, what was the thinking?$$It was, it was a symbol of, just a symbol of white oppression. We're in charge. That's the only thing that I can see, is a symbol of white oppression, that we were not supposed to be--we were not supposed to Capitol, cross Capitol Street. That was a great street.$$In the shadow of the old--$$It's--$$--state capitol.$$Shadow of the old state--a symbol of white power.

Phoebe A. Haddon

Academic administrator Phoebe A. Haddon was born on August 29, 1950 in Washington, D.C. to Ida Bassette Haddon, a public school teacher, and Dr. Wallace J. Haddon, a dentist. Haddon was raised in Passaic, New Jersey and graduated from Passaic High School in 1968. She attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Haddon was a founding member of the college’s Black Students’ Alliance in 1969 and majored in government. She graduated from Smith College in 1972 and earned her J.D. degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1977. Haddon received her LL.M. degree from Yale University.

Haddon practiced law at Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering in Washington, D.C. from 1979 until 1981. During this period, she also clerked for the Honorable Joseph F. Weis, Jr., a justice on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In 1981, Haddon joined the faculty of Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she taught courses on constitutional law, torts and product liability, equality, and the jury. In 2009, Haddon joined the University of Maryland School of Law and became the first African American dean of the school. While dean of Maryland’s law school, she was responsible for the allocation of the W.P. Carey Foundation’s $30 million gift to the school.

In 2014, Haddon was named as chancellor of Rutgers University-Camden in New Jersey and has led the growth of that public urban research university. Under her leadership, Rutgers University-Camden launched Bridging the Gap, a national model for college access, affordability, and completion that supports New Jersey families by greatly reducing (and even eliminating) tuition costs. Through this program and other initiatives, the campus grew significantly on all fronts. For example, Rutgers University-Camden enrolled approximately three times more first-time undergraduate African American students over a four-year period.

Haddon was named the recipient of the 2019 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of American Law Schools and the 2019 Smith College Medal. She was named among the “Women of Distinction” by Philadelphia Business Journal; as one of the “25 Most Influential People in Legal Education” by National Jurist; and as one of the “Top 100 Women in Maryland” by the Daily Recorder, which is located in Baltimore, Maryland.

In addition to her career in law and education, Haddon served in advisory and leadership roles for numerous organizations, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, HERS (Higher Education Resource Services), Cooper University Health System, William Penn Foundation, the Samuel S. Fels Fund, the Delaware Valley Community Reinvestment Fund, and the Philadelphia Education Fund. Haddon also served as deputy chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and as vice chair on the board of trustees for Smith College. Haddon authored the article, “Rethinking the Jury”, which was published in the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal in 1994.

Haddon and her husband, Frank M. McClellan, have three children.

Phoebe A. Haddon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 21, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.137

Sex

Female

Interview Date

08/21/2017

Last Name

Haddon

Maker Category
Middle Name

A.

Schools

Yale Law School

Duquesne University School of Law

Smith College

Passaic High School

Lincoln Middle School

First Name

Phoebe

Birth City, State, Country

Washington, DC

HM ID

HAD01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

I'll Get Around To It Tomorrow.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

8/29/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Camden

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

Academic administrator Phoebe A. Haddon (1950 - ) taught law courses at Temple University before becoming the first African American dean of the University of Maryland School of Law. In 2014, she was named the chancellor of Rutgers University - Camden.

Employment

Rutgers University

University of Maryland - Baltimore County

Temple University School of Law

Congressman John Conyers

National Labor Relations Board

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:880,14:4720,108:5440,120:6400,134:9809,197:11251,214:21654,332:22581,353:24641,376:26289,394:26804,399:35609,478:36482,488:38228,514:39392,527:41138,536:42205,548:42593,553:43078,559:47474,574:48128,581:48564,586:49545,595:49981,600:50417,605:60460,628:61006,636:70347,686:70929,693:72384,710:73354,725:74033,733:92520,873:93367,884:93675,1057:94522,1071:94907,1076:95369,1084:99373,1157:99835,1164:100220,1170:108340,1220:112570,1281:117436,1317:118588,1334:119164,1344:119596,1351:124204,1427:124852,1437:125644,1452:133593,1542:139322,1607:152670,1729:157236,1755:158556,1774:159084,1781:160052,1956:173340,2114:173692,2119:179774,2149:182990,2180:183508,2189:183952,2206:188646,2252:189220,2261:189958,2293:190450,2300:196196,2377:196580,2382:197636,2399:206590,2538:211872,2641:213566,2674:215414,2715:215722,2720:224015,2853:224865,2864:225800,2912:231260,2978:234915,3126:262904,3442:263456,3547:273673,3641:274850,3652:276348,3675:282710,3785:283350,3799:284630,3824:285190,3833:285750,3842:297469,4093:301003,4141:307207,4191:310574,4236:312930,4348:318145,4449:321900,4512$0,0:3300,8:4203,16:5106,25:6654,39:7686,48:8589,56:25803,323:26496,334:27882,365:29037,384:29807,396:30115,401:30577,409:31655,441:36419,478:37790,493:41111,564:49211,734:49859,743:50264,749:51560,772:57288,806:58926,833:59238,838:59628,844:59940,849:60798,863:61968,878:62670,891:70930,1008:71455,1017:71905,1024:72655,1038:73705,1055:74080,1061:74380,1066:77830,1180:78880,1199:82590,1248:83886,1258:86776,1297:87108,1302:87772,1312:92586,1404:93997,1420:95657,1441:96072,1447:97400,1465:98479,1477:99143,1487:99807,1496:100222,1502:100886,1512:104940,1570:106932,1684:110169,1739:110916,1754:111663,1764:112576,1779:125801,1918:127193,1939:127715,1947:134066,2111:150186,2376:151529,2420:152082,2429:154768,2465:155084,2470:155400,2475:161890,2492:164860,2533:165490,2541:166210,2550:167200,2565:169720,2613:179426,2769:181220,2807:182234,2822:182780,2830:185160,2840:185760,2850:186210,2858:186585,2864:186885,2869:187485,2878:191620,2923:191948,2928:192768,2943:193834,2959:194408,2967:194818,2973:200804,3088:201296,3096:205188,3109:205958,3121:207036,3140:208360,3151:211010,3178:212810,3209:213110,3214:214010,3234:217085,3285:219935,3329:223302,3348:223598,3353:223894,3358:225374,3380:227150,3407:227742,3416:229962,3460:230702,3479:231072,3486:231664,3495:232182,3504:232700,3512:235142,3558:245792,3628:246552,3639:247464,3654:247768,3659:248148,3666:250790,3681:251510,3694:255600,3728:256050,3735:256650,3746:257100,3753:262644,3810:263932,3827:264484,3834:266876,3870:267980,3884:269728,3910:272304,3943:272764,3950:273132,3955:273500,3960:277844,3975:278446,3983:279048,3992:279564,3999:280854,4020:281370,4027:281714,4032:286358,4094:286788,4101:287218,4107:287992,4119:292768,4134:295155,4173:296156,4190:296926,4202:298235,4216:299621,4241:300622,4255:301700,4307:303317,4338:306860,4361
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Phoebe A. Haddon's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Phoebe A. Haddon lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Phoebe A. Haddon recalls her father's move to Passaic, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Phoebe A. Haddon talks about her father's civil rights and political involvement[TW1]

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her father's ideology

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Phoebe A. Haddon remembers her paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Phoebe A. Haddon talks about her Rachel Noel's involvement in the desegregation of Denver Public Schools

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her mother's career at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her mother's career at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Phoebe A. Haddon talks about her maternal aunt Rachel Noel

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Phoebe A. Haddon talks about her parents' values

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Phoebe A. Haddon remembers her mother's civic involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her parents' early years of marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Phoebe A. Haddon recalls her childhood home in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Phoebe A. Haddon remembers visiting her great-aunts and uncles in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Phoebe A. Haddon remembers her chores

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Phoebe A. Haddon recalls her father's affiliation with the National Dental Association

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Phoebe A. Haddon remembers her experiences of segregation

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her experiences of discrimination in Passaic, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Phoebe A. Haddon remembers her peers and teachers at Passaic High School in Passaic, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her experiences at Passaic High School in Passaic, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Phoebe A. Haddon recalls the diversity of her schools and neighborhood in Passaic, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her decision to attend Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her high school aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Phoebe A. Haddon remembers her experiences at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Phoebe A. Haddon recalls her internship with Congressman John Conyers, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her civil rights involvement at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Phoebe A. Haddon talks about the relationships she created at Smith College

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Phoebe A. Haddon recalls her decision to attend Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Phoebe A. Haddon remembers the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Phoebe A. Haddon recalls how she came to teach at the Temple University Law School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her role at the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Phoebe A. Haddon talks about her decision to become a university administrator

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her article, 'Rethinking the Jury'

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Phoebe A. Haddon remembers meeting William P. Carey

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Phoebe A. Haddon talks about the American Bar Association's Commission on Multidisciplinary Practice, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Phoebe A. Haddon talks about the American Bar Association's Commission on Multidisciplinary Practice, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Phoebe A. Haddon talks about the American Bar Association's Commission on Multidisciplinary Practice, pt. 3

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Phoebe A. Haddon talks about her chancellorship at Rutgers University-Camden in Camden, New Jersey

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Phoebe A. Haddon reflects upon the dichotomy between civic engagement and private enterprise

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Phoebe A. Haddon remembers teaching at Temple University's Japan Campus

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her experiences at the Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Phoebe A. Haddon reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Phoebe A. Haddon describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Phoebe A. Haddon reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Phoebe A. Haddon reflects upon her values

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
Phoebe A. Haddon remembers meeting William P. Carey
Phoebe A. Haddon talks about her chancellorship at Rutgers University-Camden in Camden, New Jersey
Transcript
You go to the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law [Baltimore, Maryland] in 2009.$$So, I went to the University of Maryland [University of Maryland School of Law] and I'm making that distinction because the name Francis King Carey was brought in as a result of a gift that I got as dean, yeah.$$Oh. Tell me about that.$$So, the Carey Foundation, W.P. Carey Foundation in New York City [New York, New York]--$$Is that an investment firm?$$They do all kinds of different things, huge though. Huge corporation. That's a corporation that stems from the Carey family that actually came from Maryland. And the W.P. part of Carey wanted to leave something to Maryland and I didn't know him, but he knew one of my faculty members, Joe Tydings [Joseph Tydings]. You know that name, Senator Tydings?$$Yeah. Millard Tydings was a senator, right?$$Yeah, yep. And--$$That would have been his father or grandfather (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) That's right, yeah. And so--$$There's a bridge [Millard E. Tydings Memorial Bridge]--$$Yeah. So, Tydings called me and said that he wanted me to meet W.P. Carey [William P. Carey] and that this would be a really great opportunity. And so, we made the arrangements for that meeting and then he was not able to go. So, this is Joe Tydings and he says, he, he was not able to go but I should go anyway because we're going to have lunch, Bill Carey and I, and it's going to be a wonderful opportunity. I said, "You mean he's going to give me a gift?" And he said, "Yeah." He said--I said, "Ten thousand dollars?" And he said, "Think big." And I said, "Twenty thousand dollars?" And he said, "Think big." I said, "A hundred thousand dollars?" And he said, "Think big," click. So, I went to this lunch and we started talking at thirty million, yeah. Yeah. It was just an unbelievable, unbelievable (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) And you'd never met him before?$$No. I had lunch with him. I visited him after that clearly and you know, continued to visit him until he died. I was--$$If you had another child you'd have named--$$He was very, he was very, very ill the last time I saw him. I went to his funeral, spoke at his funeral. That was just an amazing, amazing thing. I spoke at his funeral and his brother, Frank [Francis J. Carey], and I became really good friends. His, his brother Frank just died.$$Oh.$$So, yeah. Yeah, last year.$$Were they related to the, the Governor Carey [Hugh Carey] of New York?$$No, I don't think so.$$Different Careys?$$Yeah. So, so Francis King Carey is their great-grandfather [sic. grandfather], yeah.$$So, of all of the places--$$He had gone to--so, the connection is he had gone to, to Maryland.$$Okay. So, so all the--so the, they wanted it to go to the university or it could have gone anywhere?$$Yeah, it could have gone any--no, they wanted it to go to, to the university because their, their great-grandfather had gone there, Francis King Carey.$$And they elected to put it in the law school. Was, was their great-grandfather an attorney?$$Um-hm, yeah he had gone to the school (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Oh, he went to the law school?$$Um-hm.$$Okay. And so how long had you been--$$Gone to the, let's see, yeah I--well, he had gone to the school, the University of Maryland.$$And so how long had you been dean when, when this fortuitous event occurred?$$Not long.$$So you, so, so--$$So, maybe third year maybe, um-hm.$$And, and--but--so let's back up.$$'Cause I, I was dean five years there.$$How did you go about applying for the deanship at that school or why did you apply to Maryland as opposed to I don't know some other law school?$$At that point people were calling me about would I be interested in deans.$$So, more than one school was calling you about deanships?$$Yeah, and I really didn't want to be a dean, but I also had begun to understand that I wasn't going to be (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) You would never get to president.$$Right, unless I was a dean. So, I, I went ahead and put my name in for that. I went for Rutgers [Rutgers University - Camden, Camden, New Jersey] actually and I went to the finalist for both of them and decided to go to, to Maryland.$$And, and your former colleague, that was someone from Temple [Temple University Law School; Temple University Beasley School of Law, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]?$$My former colleague?$$The, the colleague who put you in touch with Tydings?$$No, no, this was, this was somebody in the law school.$$At University of Maryland?$$Um-hm.$So, you retired from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law [Baltimore, Maryland] in 2014?$$No, I didn't retire, I left.$$You left?$$Yeah. Yeah, I, I--my term was up, so I didn't go for a second term.$$Oh. And, and had you applied for the job of chancellor at Rutgers University?$$Actually it happened within the same month or so. It's kind of interesting. I was planning to come back to Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]. My husband [Frank M. McClellan] did the commuting. You know we had a house (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) While you were in Maryland?$$--in Philadelphia but I lived in Maryland and, and he commuted. And so, you know five years was enough of that. So, I was returning to Phila- Philadelphia and thinking about what I was going to do next and the--there, there were a couple of other things but this offer came through and I really thought this was the best place for me.$$It was what you wanted.$$Yes. Yeah. Now I'm the, the chancellor or president and I get to do the kinds of things that I was in training for all these many years.$$Sixty-five hundred students you have?$$Yes.$$How many faculty (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Sixty-seven hundred now. We're actually in growth mode, uh-huh.$$Okay. How many faculty?$$Sixty, yeah. Sixty-five.$$And what are your goals and objectives as the chancellor of Rutgers University - Camden [Camden, New Jersey]?$$Well, to grow and we are part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, but there are actually three campuses, Newark [Rutgers University - Newark, Newark, New Jersey], Camden and New Brunswick [Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey]. And it's evolved into a system since I've been there so it really it is a situation where I am the president in, in terms of being the CEO, the chief CEO, but we interact with the other universities. And so, we now have a--one law school that is in Newark as well as Camden and so it's a new innovation of bringing them together (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) When did the law school open in Camden?$$I'm sorry?$$When did the law school open in--so there wasn't always a law school in Camden?$$Yeah, yeah.$$Oh. But now it's the same law school?$$Yes. Yes.$$Okay.$$There were two separate law schools, one in Newark and one in, in Camden. So, now it's the Rutgers Law School. So, I helped finish that reorganization 'cause I think it makes sense to have one Rutgers Law School. And we also have opened a nursing program and have a brand new nursing and science building that is up and running and--$$So, so, so there are two nursing schools then, one in Newark--?$$There is, yes, um-hm.$$At the University of Maryland--$$Yeah.$$--University of--$$Yes.$$--of Rutgers.$$New Jersey.$$Rutgers University.$$Yeah, yeah.$$So, Rutgers University has several different campuses, some of which have multiple schools. And so, the--some of which have the same school. So, in some case we're talking about merging like the law school, which I am a big proponent of. I think that that makes sense. In other situations the need to preserve the locality is important. So, for example in nursing, the profession is very local focused as to some, some people would say in business. So, understanding the culture, the local culture, understanding the, the clients and constituencies are much more localized than in law perhaps. And so, we have a separate business school, we have a separate nursing school and, and we have a separate arts and science school in Camden. So, my aim is to grow those schools.$$Do you--if--so, you have been a law school dean. You're now university president. You have been a professor. You have been an attorney.$$Um-hm.$$You've been--$$Public official.$$Public official.$$Um-hm.$$What do you call yourself?$$I believe essentially I am higher education focused. I believe in the importance of education. I am civically engaged in all of those entities that I have been involved in. I believe that our cities can't thrive without having good leadership and so for me, both Maryland and Rutgers have--has been a place where I can participate in increasing the civic engagement of our students and our faculty and staff in much same way as I did at the redevelopment authority [Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority] or quite frankly in the law firms that I participated in.

Reuben Harpole

Academic administrator and foundation executive Reuben Harpole was born on September 4, 1934 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Reuben K. Harpole, Sr. and Mardree Johnson Harpole. He graduated from North Division High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and earned his B.S. degree in elementary education in 1978 from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Harpole served at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education for thirty-one years as a senior outreach specialist at the University Center for Urban Community Development. In 1998, he went to work as a program officer for the Helen Bader Foundation (now Bader Philanthropies, Inc.), where he spearheaded the selection of 758 grants totaling more than $6.4 million. In 2007, Harpole established the Reuben K. Harpole Jr. Education Scholarship at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which invested $19,000 in the college education of young African American men interested in teaching.

Harpole served as a civil rights worker and community leader who led development efforts for several Milwaukee institutions including the Black Holocaust Museum, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Center for Urban Community Development, and the Harambee Community Development Corporation. Harpole is credited for his contributions to the founding of more than twenty-five community centers and programs that promote education including Milwaukee Public Schools’ Homework First program, the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, 100 Black Men of Greater Milwaukee, and Bader Philanthropies’ Community Partnerships for Youth.

He was the recipient of numerous awards and honors for his dedicated civic work and promotion of education. In 2005, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee awarded Harpole an honorary doctorate degree of humane letters for his work in improving Milwaukee communities. On September 21, 2009, he was honored as the official “Paramount Chief of Milwaukee” and received a portion of Second Street, near North Avenue. Milwaukee named the section of Second Street, “Reuben K. Harpole, Jr. Avenue.” In 2015, Harpole and his wife, were awarded the first Distinguished Educator of the Year award at Celebrate Teachers & Teaching. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Alumni Association honored Harpole with its Community Service Award in 2016.

Harpole and his wife, Mildred Carwin Harpole, have two children: Annette and John.

Reuben Harpole was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 21, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.059

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/21/2017

Last Name

Harpole

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

K.

Schools

Roosevelt Middle School

Ninth Street Elementary School

North Division High School

Milwaukee Area Technical College

First Name

Reuben

Birth City, State, Country

Milwaukee

HM ID

HAR48

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Wisconsin

Favorite Vacation Destination

Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

The Purpose For Education Is To Keep The World From Cheating You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Wisconsin

Birth Date

9/4/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Milwaukee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbeque

Short Description

Academic administrator and foundation executive Reuben Harpole (1934 - ) served at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education for thirty-one years as a senior outreach specialist at the University Center for Urban Community Development and as the program officer for the Helen Bader Foundation.

Employment

University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee

Helen Bader Foundation

Asentu Rites of Passage Institute, Inc.

Milwaukee Star

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:7583,99:7891,126:8584,146:22110,235:26240,304:26520,309:27150,319:31140,387:31698,397:35490,450:35850,457:38695,502:39083,507:40900,516:41338,526:46664,685:52620,772:62875,890:63250,896:64000,910:64300,915:66475,931:67300,944:70975,1025:72475,1048:83898,1207:106927,1652:123650,1805$0,0:16164,245:27915,338:28365,346:37515,571:38190,584:38940,599:39315,605:39990,615:46820,662:81884,896:82764,907:83380,915:84500,925:92255,1019:104644,1099:107164,1158:107668,1165:108172,1181:110860,1298:129349,1490:135875,1553:165596,1914:179173,2080:214369,2495:216933,2507:233686,2778:259722,3132:265920,3190:268734,3231:269490,3272:285410,3408:285750,3413:308200,3743
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reuben Harpole's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reuben Harpole lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reuben Harpole describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reuben Harpole describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rueben Harpole recalls how his parent's met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rueben Harpole describes his parent's personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rueben Harpole lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rueben Harpole describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rueben Harpole remembers his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rueben Harpole describes his early neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reuben Harpole talks about racial discrimination in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reuben Harpole talks about his childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reuben Harpole remembers his parent's divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reuben Harpole talks about author and scholar Increase Allen Lapham

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reuben Harpole remembers the entertainment venues and black musicians in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reuben Harpole talks about important figures in the black community in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reuben Harpole remembers attending Mount Calvary Holy Church of America in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reuben Harpole recalls the death of his maternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reuben Harpole remembers attending North Division High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reuben Harpole talks about working for Stark's General Cleaners in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Reuben Harpole recalls his experiences at North Division High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Reuben Harpole remembers being drafted into the U.S. Army and proposing to his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reuben Harpole remembers learning to play the saxophone while stationed in Korea

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reuben Harpole talks about the Harpole family

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reuben Harpole recalls meeting his wife while studying at Milwaukee Area Technical College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reuben Harpole remembers Milwaukee Mayor Frank P. Zeidler

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reuben Harpole talks about his community initiatives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reuben Harpole describes the Central City Teacher Community Project

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reuben Harpole remembers working at the Milwaukee Star and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reuben Harpole shares his philosophy on community development

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reuben Harpole remembers the civil disturbance in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reuben Harpole talks about his mentorship of black college students

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reuben Harpole talks about his activism for housing reform in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reuben Harpole recalls helping Oprah Winfrey enroll at Nicolet High School in Glendale, Wisconsin

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reuben Harpole talks about the summer prep program at Campion High School in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reuben Harpole describes the success of the students from the summer prep program at Campion High School

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reuben Harpole talks about former Miss Black America Sonya Robinson

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reuben Harpole recalls corruption in the U.S. Small Business Association

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reuben Harpole talks about the minority business contracts and sports figures in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reuben Harpole describes America's Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reuben Harpole talks about the funding for America's Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reuben Harpole remembers James Cameron's work at America's Black Holocaust Museum

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reuben Harpole talks about his organizational memberships

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reuben Harpole remembers Anthony Mensah and his Rites of Passage program

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reuben Harpole talks about the impact of the Rites of Passage program

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reuben Harpole recalls establishing the Reuben K. Harpole, Jr. Scholarship fund

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reuben Harpole talks about the Milwaukee Public School's Homework First Program

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reuben Harpole recalls the end of the Homework Comes First Program

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reuben Harpole talks about his retirement and the Harambee neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reuben Harpole describes his hopes and concerns with the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reuben Harpole talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reuben Harpole reflects upon his life

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

6$8

DATitle
Reuben Harpole describes the Central City Teacher Community Project
Reuben Harpole describes America's Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Transcript
We ended up running a program called, Central City Teacher Community Project. We had been working with a lot of neighborhood folks and they were like, they, they knew the community and they could talk with the parents. So we decided that the teacher needed to know the community and we worked together with something called, CESA 19 [Cooperative Educational Service Agency]. This was different school districts, together with the Milwaukee public school district [Milwaukee Public Schools] and we'd talk with the School of Education at UWM [University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Education, Milwaukee, Wisconsin] and got the professors involved with us and so we raised enough money to pay for the tuition of the teachers that are in the program so they could get some credits towards, so some of them could become teach- principals at some point. So, we ran that for about two or three years and the last year we had 235 teachers and administrators in the program and we brought some of the brightest brains in the education field in the country to Milwaukee [Wisconsin] 'cause we had enough money to take care of it and this is what we assigned the teachers to do. We wanted them to go into the neighborhood and get to know ten families, really get to know 'em and let the families get to know them and then they'd come back to, well we're operating out of Fulton Middle School [Robert Fulton Middle School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin], that's where they were shooting those BB guns, then discuss what was going--what happened as a result so they could learn the community--learn who they were work--they were teaching, you know, in the fall and that program, it ended up being terrific and the professors learned and the stud- and the teachers learned and as a result of that, things just happened.$All right, what--now you were involved, in the '80s [1980s], you got involved with the, the black holocaust museum with [HistoryMaker] James Cameron, right?$$Eighty-eight [1988], right.$$Yeah, well tell us about that.$$Well, the chairman of the board of America's Black Holocaust Museum [Milwaukee, Wisconsin] wasn't functioning and so I used to talk with Dr. Cameron constantly 'cause he was, he had his own business. He cleaned rugs and things like that, things, stuff, I used to do with Walter Stark [ph.] and--$$And wait a minute, before we get started on anything, just tell us what America's Black Holocaust Museum is and who is James Cameron.$$America's Black Holocaust is a museum called, bad fruit. It tells about the lynchings that took place in the South, mostly, of black folks who were slaves, had been brought over here from Africa to pick cotton in the South and Mr. Cameron was fifteen or sixteen years old when he was with two of his buddies and they caught themselves going to rob a couple that was making love and they held them up and then after Dr. Cameron saw that, he was a customer of his 'cause Cameron used to shine shoes in this little town in Marion, Indiana and this guy used to--was very nice to Mr. Cameron when he'd give 'em a tip for shining his shoes and he saw that was his friend, he told the guys that he was with, he said, "Man, I don't want any part of this, I'm going home." So he said he got halfway home and he could hear the gunfire. They had shot and killed this young man [Claude Deeter] but they didn't kill the girl [Mary Ball], they killed the young man and then a crowd gathered and started looking for him and see, he, he didn't tell his mother [Vera Carter Burden] and father what had happened, he just went and got into bed and then all of a sudden, there was a bang, doors were, somebody banged on the door, he got scared. It was the police and a group of people and they pulled him out. He said, "I didn't do anything, I didn't do anything." But they took him to jail. And then, they were about ready to kill him, they took the, his buddies out and they killed one before they got to, to the tree to hang 'em. It was about twenty-five thousand people had gathered 'cause they heard there was, be a lynching going on. So somebody in the audience screamed out, "Let that kid go, he didn't do anything." He said, he doesn't know who it was that, that called out. And so, he was working, he left, he went and served time in Anderson, Indiana and when they, he kept going up for parole and then finally they decided to give him parole and they sent him up to Detroit [Michigan] and he had, I think he worked for General Motors [General Motors Corporation; General Motors Company] for a while in Detroit. Then he came back to Milwaukee [Wisconsin], he said, he went over to, he had this, he had this firm where he was cleaning rugs and houses and so forth, just like I was doing with John--Stark General Cleaners [Stark's General Cleaners, Milwaukee, Wisconsin], and paid his wife's [Virginia Hamilton] way and his way to Africa, no, yeah, to, to Europe, to Africa and to Europe, and then he went over to, where he saw the Jewish museum [Yad Vashem, Jerusalem] where, in Israel, where, in terms of the Holocaust that had taken place when. So he told his wife, "Honey, we need to tell about the holocaust that took place among us." And so when he came back, that was his, his whole mission, was to tell the story that had not been told about the lynchings that took place in the South, of us. So, because two of his buddies had been killed. In fact, that's the most famous picture in the, in the world about lynchings and those were, Abe--Tom [Thomas Shipp] and Abe [Abram Smith].

The Honorable James B. Lewis

State government official James B. Lewis was born on November 30, 1947 in Roswell, New Mexico, to Dorris Ward and William Reagor. Lewis graduated in 1966 from Gallup High School in Gallup, New Mexico and attended Bishop College in Dallas, Texas, where he earned his B.S. degree in education. After serving as a military policeman, and as an administrator at the University of Albuquerque, he attended the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque, where he earned his M.A. degree in public administration in 1977. Lewis went on to earn his A.S. degree in business administration from the National College of Business in 1980.

Lewis worked as a white collar crime investigator in the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office before being elected Bernalillo County Treasurer in 1982. He was then appointed as State Treasurer of New Mexico in 1985 after the incumbent Treasurer resigned. Lewis then won the election for the state treasurer position in 1986. In 1991, Lewis was appointed Chief of Staff for Governor Bruce King. Lewis held state level administrative positions in the New Mexico State Land Office and the New Mexico State Corporation Commission, before becoming City Administrator for Rio Rancho, New Mexico in 1996. Lewis became Assistant Secretary of Energy in 1999 for the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity. He ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of Albuquerque in 2001, but was offered the position of chief operating officer for the City. Lewis would go on to serve as the chief administrative officer for Albuquerque in 2004, before winning re-election as New Mexico State Treasurer. Lewis instituted various business practices while in office, serving two consecutive terms.

Lewis received numerous awards for his public service at the city, county, state, and federal levels. He was inducted into the New Mexico African American Hall of Fame, the NAACP Albuquerque Chapter Hall of Fame, and received the Legion of Honor Award from the Kiwanis Club of Albuquerque in 2005. He was named one of New Mexico’s 100 Influential Power Brokers in 2008, and received the Jesse M. Unruh Award in 2011, the highest honor awarded by the National Association of State Treasurers. Lewis was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and served as president of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers, as well as the National Association of State Treasurers.

Lewis is a widower, and has four children.

James B. Lewis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 25, 2015.

Accession Number

A2015.004

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/25/2015

Last Name

Lewis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

Beliven

Occupation
Schools

University of New Mexico

National American University

Bishop College

Gallup High School

Lincoln Junior High School

John Marshall Elementary

Northwestern University

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Roswell

HM ID

LEW21

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New Mexico

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

If I can do it, you can do it

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Mexico

Birth Date

11/30/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Albuquerque

Country

Chaves

Favorite Food

Spaghetti

Short Description

State treasurer The Honorable James B. Lewis (1947 - ) was the first African American to be appointed and elected three times to a statewide office in New Mexico, and the first African American to be elected to a statewide office.

Employment

State of New Mexico

City of Albuquerque

U.S. Department of Energy

City of Rio Rancho

State of New Mexico Corporation Commission

State of New Mexico Land Office

Office of New Mexico Governor Bruce King

Bernalillo County New Mexico

Bernalillo County District Attorney's Office, Second Judicial District

University of Albuquerque

New Mexico State Personnel Office

Favorite Color

Green

Vernell Lillie

Founder and artistic director of Kuntu Repertory Theatre, Vernell Audrey Watson Lillie was born on May 11, 1931, in Hempstead, Texas. Lillie attended Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she earned her B.A. degree in speech and drama. In 1958, she completed a six year graduate study at Texas Southern University. She earned her M.A. degree in English from Carnegie Mellon University in 1971, and her D.A. degree in English from Carnegie Mellon University the following year.

In 1974, Lillie established the Kuntu Repertory Theatre with the intent to examine Black life from a sociopolitical-historical perspective. Lillie used drama to educate while entertaining. The theatre naturally developed into a supportive community for black writers, actors and artists. Since its establishment, the theatre has sponsored countless activities which highlight the African American community. Lillie has directed many productions including: The Buffalo Soldiers Plus One, Little Willie Armstrong Jones and Whispers Want to Holler.

Lillie has been the recipient of many prestigious awards including the University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award; the Outstanding Award for Women in the Arts by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; and the 2003 Career Achievement in Education Award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

Accession Number

A2008.108

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/15/2008

Last Name

Lillie

Maker Category
Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Schools

Phillis Wheatley High School

Crawford Elementary School

Dillard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Vernell

Birth City, State, Country

Hempstead

HM ID

LIL02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Egypt

Favorite Quote

Did You Understand?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

5/11/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Pittsburgh

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Stage director Vernell Lillie (1931 - ) was founder and artistic director of Kuntu Repertory Theatre, which produced drama that entertained while examining Black life from historical, social and political perspectives. She won the University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award and the Outstanding Award for Women in the Arts from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Employment

Julia C. Hester House

Phillis Wheatley High School

Kuntu Repertory Theatre

Favorite Color

Purple, White

Timing Pairs
0,0:3160,63:4661,83:7979,256:17956,313:18466,319:21730,362:22546,371:41160,587:41640,594:42216,602:45240,612:46284,628:50876,689:51716,704:52220,712:60884,805:63835,827:67197,865:67665,870:68250,876:69069,885:75629,934:76105,939:78850,954:88250,1003:89526,1016:92260,1030:109800,1187:117320,1239:120870,1283:127658,1330:133495,1379:136550,1397:138422,1454:147000,1531:147510,1538:151530,1571:152804,1588:174314,1727:178220,1752:178512,1757:179096,1767:179461,1773:180893,1788:183633,1810:202249,1978:225930,2192:234808,2283:235292,2288:235776,2293:257206,2481:258586,2556:271240,2619:271940,2632:286715,2762:291024,2775:292320,2791$0,0:354,10:1888,23:34332,340:40480,447:57960,608:62432,721:64408,761:85224,1011:85868,1020:89900,1029:91062,1052:102294,1250:113606,1370:118371,1411:118639,1416:119041,1424:123445,1471:124775,1498:131012,1563:135057,1598:139400,1663:142238,1726:142668,1732:145592,1772:146624,1804:147570,1818:152622,1838:155376,1897:156105,1907:156429,1912:157806,1943:159750,1981:160479,1994:164910,2028:165977,2040:166656,2048:174300,2126:181780,2200:185680,2231:188207,2245:200386,2368:203596,2425:207638,2505:208484,2516:211398,2562:219728,2606:223906,2671:229635,2753:232640,2770:233570,2782
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vernell Lillie's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vernell Lillie lists her favorites

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vernell Lillie talks about the community in Brazos Bottom, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vernell Lillie remembers her maternal grandfather's home in Bellville, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vernell Lillie recalls her childhood visits to Bellville, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vernell Lillie describes her father's family background, pt. 1

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

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vernell Lillie talks about her family's education and occupations

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vernell Lillie describes her parents' professions

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vernell Lillie recalls how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vernell Lillie describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vernell Lillie describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vernell Lillie recalls her childhood in Hempstead, Texas and Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vernell Lillie describes her experiences at Crawford Elementary School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vernell Lillie recalls her teachers at Crawford Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vernell Lillie describes her involvement in the University Interscholastic League

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vernell Lillie recalls her early interest in theater

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vernell Lillie remembers the notable African American educators in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vernell Lillie recalls her teachers at Phillis Wheatley High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vernell Lillie remembers participating in the I Speak for Democracy oratorical contest

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vernell Lillie recalls her early involvement with civil rights

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vernell Lillie describes the Sweatt v. Painter case of 1950

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vernell Lillie talks about the influence of her education on her life and career

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vernell Lillie recalls Thurgood Marshall's speech during Sweatt v. Painter, 1950

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vernell Lillie describes her extracurricular activities at Phillis Wheatley High School

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Vernell Lillie describes her decision to pursue acting

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Vernell Lillie recalls her decision to attend Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Vernell Lillie talks about her parents' attitudes towards her theater career

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Vernell Lillie recalls the productions at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Vernell Lillie describes her work at the Julia C. Hester House in Houston, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Vernell Lillie talks about her theater productions at Julie C. Hester House in Houston, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Vernell Lillie recalls the beginning of her teaching career at Houston's Phillis Wheatley High School

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Vernell Lillie talks about the first African American play she produced

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

5$8

DATitle
Vernell Lillie recalls Thurgood Marshall's speech during Sweatt v. Painter, 1950
Vernell Lillie talks about the first African American play she produced
Transcript
Can you give us a sense of what it was like to watch, to be in court when Thurgood Marshall was trying a case [Sweatt v. Painter, 1950]. I mean, do you have, can you kind of describe what took place (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, I can remember the physical something. Grover Sellers was kind of heavy and puffy face and it was sweltering hot and I don't remember which month it was, but it was hot in that courtroom. And Thurgood Marshall, and I think it must be my imagination because he had to have been hot too 'cause he was in a suit, but I swear in my memory and it must be what I want to remember, that he did not seem to have perspired at all. And he would start his speech talking in the kind of level and then he would come down and use a little piece of vernacular something, and it was just the most awesome something, and I'm telling you now, I have never been the same after experiencing him in that courtroom. I knew then and there that my life would forever be molding, changing, creating and understanding that whatever I have, it's my responsibility to give back. It, he was, it seems to me he was six feet tall. It was just, and it was the most flowing kind of process, and the thing that he had was dignity, not poking fun at anybody, but it was the cause that he was dealing with. You know, it was not making whites feel ashamed of themselves, it was presenting a case that this young man [Heman Marion Sweatt] had a right to have an education with the tax dollars, and so, that was another gift that I think, that I hope I acquired from him, because it is so easy to be arrogant and to be insulting, you know. And it was so very clear that somehow or another all he wanted to do was let that group there and the world know that these are human beings who are entitled to a quality education by your own state dollars that you're paying, and it was not a piece in which I need to ridicule you or be sarcastic toward you, and sharp tongued toward you that these are the facts as I see them, and these are the grounds from which I am stating what I am saying. And I hope, I hope, I really hope, but sometimes people will tell me I have a sharp tongue, but I do hope that I respect the personality. I don't have to agree with what you believe, but I need to know that when I am presenting to you that which I want, I don't have to demean you, because you are a product of whatever this society has structured, and you have somehow believed it, and I think that fortunately for me, I saw hardworking black men and women all my life from the time I was five years old and I saw them working, and working, and working, and then I saw them lose things and I still saw them maintain their dignity, and Thurgood Marshall just helped reinforce that. It's a wonderful world.$Now what, what year is this when you start teaching?$$Fifty-six [1956].$$Nineteen fifty-six [1956].$$Um-hm.$$Okay.$$And I stayed at Wheatley, I guess I stayed at Wheatley until I left in '69 [1969].$$Okay. Now when did--along the way did you start become more keenly, did you, well, at what point along the way did you start really drawing from black literature and culture?$$I gave an assignment in my class and I can't remember the little guy's name and he's dead now, and he came in, the assignment was Baraka's--Dante's "Inferno" ['The Divine Comedy,' Dante Alighieri].$$About what year is this now?$$Oh that's--$$Sixty-one [1961] (simultaneous)?$$--(simultaneous) it has to be somewhere around like '64ish [1964] or something, '65ish [1965], and demanding that I do a black play, and so he had, had gone to the library on his own, because I certainly didn't introduce Baraka's [Amiri Baraka] 'The Toilet' to him, and he wanted me to do 'The Toilet.'$$Well, that's in, in high school?$$I said, "I'm sorry I have two children that I have to help my husband educate, so I cannot produce Baraka's, 'The Toilet.'"$$'The Toilet' is pretty rough.$$So he kept harassing me. So then I did 'In White America' [Martin Duberman]. So he came back to me that night, he said, "I think you did a very fine job with it," he said, "but, you know, if you had been black and published this as a play, they would have told you that this is nothing but a collage of historical characters talking and moving through history. So now that you've seen whites on your stage, in 'White America,' why don't you do a black play?" And he said, "By the way, 'In White America' it's not any different from what you've been doing all along. You have been using those political collages and statements with your daughters as they are trying to get people to vote." He said, "So Duberman [Martin Duberman] has not done anything different from what you've been doing for the last ten years, dramatic collages and that's not a play. There's no structure in the traditional process that you taught me as a play, so why don't you do a play?" So I, that weekend after the play closed, I think I must have read twenty-five plays and the last one I picked up was guess what, 'Day of Absence' [Douglas Turner Ward] and 'Happy Ending' [Douglas Turner Ward], so that was my absolutely first black play that I produced.$$Now this is in, this is at Phillis Wheatley?$$This is at Phillis Wheatley High School [Houston, Texas], 'Day of Absence,' and that's the photograph that you see out there by my desk. That guy, Andrew, Michael Andrews [ph.], is still acting in D.C. [Washington, D.C.] and he was awesome.$$And this is a play by [HistoryMaker] Douglas Turner Ward.$$Douglas Turner Ward, and I have never since turned back.

Hilary Shelton

NAACP lobbyist and policymaker Hilary Otis Shelton was born on August 12, 1958, in St. Louis, Missouri. Shelton received his B.A. degree in political science from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and went on to attain his M.A. degree in communications from the University of Missouri in St. Louis.

Shelton first worked as the federal program policy director for the United Methodist Church’s social justice agency, The General Board of Church and Society. There, he worked on the church’s public policy agenda, particularly on issues pertaining to black colleges and universities. He was highly involved in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and also advocated for several other important acts including the Violence Against Women Act. A champion of causes affecting the African American community, Shelton then went on to serve in the position of federal liaison/assistant director to the government affairs department of The College Fund/UNCF, also known as The United Negro College Fund, in Washington, D.C. There, Shelton worked with federal government agencies and departments, as well as colleges and universities to secure the survival, growth, and educational programming excellence of the forty private historically black colleges and universities throughout the United States.

From there, Shelton moved on to the NAACP’s Washington bureau, where he handles federal and legislative affairs as well as public policy concerns for the organization’s Washington, D.C., office. Shelton serves on a number of national boards of directors including The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, The Center for Democratic Renewal, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute among many others. Shelton has been honored numerous times for his work. He was the recipient of the National NAACP Medgar W. Evers Award for Excellence, the highest honor bestowed upon a national professional staff member of the NAACP; the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Excellence in Advocacy Award; and the Religious Action Center’s Civil Rights Leadership Award in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Shelton lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Paula Young Shelton, and their three sons, Caleb Wesley, Aaron Joshua, and Noah Otis Young Shelton.

Accession Number

A2008.098

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/28/2008 |and| 3/5/2012

Last Name

Shelton

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Harrison School

Beaumont High School

Humboldt Academy of High Learning

University of Missouri - St. Louis

Northeastern University

Howard University

First Name

Hilary

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

SHE04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

There's Nothing You Can't Get Done If You're Willing To Let Someone Else Get Credit For It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/12/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Crepes (Fruit)

Short Description

Civic leader Hilary Shelton (1958 - ) was the head of the NAACP Washington Bureau. He helped to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the Violence Against Women Act. He also served as the United Negro College Fund's federal liaison, and as the federal program policy director for the United Methodist Church’s social justice agency, The General Board of Church and Society.

Employment

NAACP Washington Bureau

Washington Office on Africa

National Impact

United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society

United Negro College Fund

Greater Boston Legal Services

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:664,17:4068,94:4620,101:5448,111:6368,127:15188,232:15650,247:15958,252:17190,271:18884,308:19423,316:25562,414:26178,427:27487,452:29566,493:30105,501:32030,541:32646,556:34186,589:35110,603:39922,630:41434,659:42442,675:43306,688:43666,694:44458,707:45394,732:46042,744:55658,900:56346,910:60130,961:60474,966:62108,984:66770,1013:67586,1026:69014,1062:69490,1071:73230,1153:74250,1180:75814,1214:76086,1219:76630,1229:77174,1238:81839,1280:82115,1285:83081,1301:90671,1471:91016,1477:91361,1483:104670,1758:109710,1860:113280,2108:114190,2122:114470,2127:121242,2199:122016,2204:126230,2421:136921,2488:137407,2498:137812,2504:139999,2560:147630,2669:148120,2678:149170,2702:150080,2721:155470,2826:156800,2859:157640,2875:158550,2899:159110,2909:159670,2958:163150,2970:163540,2976:164320,3001:164970,3012:167310,3057:167830,3067:171210,3126:171535,3132:172250,3145:173030,3163:173810,3178:174395,3188:175890,3221:176735,3245:177515,3260:177970,3268:179985,3312:180830,3325:181155,3331:181805,3355:182325,3370:182585,3375:183040,3383:189860,3440:190490,3450:190910,3459:191820,3490:192730,3504:193850,3527:194900,3569:195180,3574:195460,3579:195880,3597:196790,3611:197210,3619:206306,3772:206554,3777:206926,3785:208786,3881:209964,3919:211700,3959:212878,3985:213374,3995:213746,4002:215916,4044:216908,4063:217714,4078:223074,4131:223538,4146:224176,4158:224930,4173:225394,4187:227250,4239:227540,4245:230816,4283:231248,4293:231626,4302:232004,4326:232706,4338:235942,4379:236865,4394:237149,4399:237575,4406:242261,4514:243184,4530:244178,4550:245740,4583:249858,4682:250213,4688:252485,4756:260970,4863:261510,4874:263430,4925:264750,4954:265290,4964:265590,4970:268834,4997:269698,5011:270490,5025:271426,5041:280660,5200$0,0:204,4:2244,44:5100,111:9860,236:11288,271:12036,284:17408,392:19584,439:25119,471:27455,522:27893,528:28696,543:33733,630:34171,637:40449,756:45100,770:57506,939:57989,950:63302,1120:65165,1178:66683,1204:67373,1215:68408,1239:68822,1252:70409,1284:70754,1290:71720,1305:72065,1311:72479,1318:74135,1349:74549,1356:88860,1563:91345,1618:91771,1626:94895,1691:96102,1714:96812,1727:97309,1735:98374,1761:104834,1802:106120,1813:106400,1818:107240,1834:108710,1867:108990,1872:110530,1904:114450,1978:118090,2056:118370,2061:118790,2069:129967,2248:135004,2364:138385,2432:139903,2465:149760,2546:152055,2577:152480,2583:153160,2593:153585,2602:153925,2607:154690,2618:155370,2631:160090,2668:160505,2674:167477,2772:172878,2814:177170,2916:178354,2939:178724,2945:179242,2954:180944,2982:181240,2987:181610,2993:185216,3007:185654,3013:186895,3030:189085,3065:189523,3071:190034,3079:191348,3113:192954,3167:195509,3205:196093,3220:197334,3239:197772,3247:198210,3255:207145,3363:208180,3388:212458,3480:212941,3488:213217,3493:215839,3557:219013,3629:221221,3670:227689,3695:228103,3703:230242,3753:231829,3804:234934,3853:239005,3926:240799,4012:241351,4021:242800,4091:243076,4096:248335,4116:248579,4121:254435,4283:268214,4587:273398,4713:275254,4762:275638,4769:278390,4826:281974,4922:286590,4934:294585,5139:296340,5280:296795,5288:304654,5391:305206,5400:307414,5508:312727,5634:313624,5647:313969,5653:314659,5664:317488,5712:324270,5788:326719,5828:331222,5914:339122,6056:353813,6316:354129,6322:362173,6424:370660,6571
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Hilary Shelton's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton remembers the attacks on his maternal family in Gore Springs, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton describes the African American community in Gore Springs, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton talks about his maternal grandparents' land

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Hilary Shelton describes his parents' courtship

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Hilary Shelton describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Hilary Shelton describes his father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Hilary Shelton talks about his parents' marriage and move to St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton describes his father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton describes the personalities of his parents and grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton remembers his household in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton describes the North City neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri

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

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Hilary Shelton recalls the prevalence of crime in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Hilary Shelton talks about the '20/20' investigation of segregation in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Hilary Shelton describes his experiences of racial discrimination in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Hilary Shelton remembers the gang violence in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton remembers the faculty of the Harrison School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton talks about his parents' interest in politics

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton recalls his introduction to the NAACP at the Antioch Baptist Church in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton recalls the civil rights leadership of St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton describes his experiences at the Humboldt School in St. Louis, Missouri, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Hilary Shelton describes his experiences at the Humboldt School in St. Louis, Missouri, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Hilary Shelton describes his experiences at Beaumont High School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Hilary Shelton remembers the band at Beaumont High School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton recalls the music of his youth

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton remembers the Black Student Union at Beaumont High School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton recalls the films and television shows of his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton recalls the films and television shows of his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton describes his involvement with the NAACP Youth Council

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Hilary Shelton talks about Clarence Thomas

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Hilary Shelton describes his early aspirations

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Hilary Shelton's interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton recalls his influences at Beaumont High School in St. Louis, Miss

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton talks about the demographics of St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton describes his early involvement in civil rights activities

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton remembers meeting Frankie Freeman

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton describes the activities of the Black Student Union at Beaumont High School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Hilary Shelton recalls his decision to attend Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Hilary Shelton describes his involvement with the American Indian Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Hilary Shelton talks about his experiences at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Hilary Shelton recalls the notable speakers at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton describes his work at Greater Boston Legal Aid, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton describes his work at Greater Boston Legal Aid, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton remembers the United States Student Association

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton describes his forensics professor at the University of Missouri - St. Louis

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton talks about the administration of President Ronald Reagan

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Hilary Shelton talks about the administration of President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Hilary Shelton describes his master's thesis on the Iran Contra Affair

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Hilary Shelton remembers lobbying the University of Missouri to divest from South Africa

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton describes how he came to join the Washington Office on Africa

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton describes his work with the Washington Office on Africa, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton describes his work with the Washington Office on Africa, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton talks about the Civil Rights Act of 1991

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton recalls the appointment of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Hilary Shelton recalls his experiences at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton recalls his experiences at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton remembers the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton describes his position at the United Negro College Fund

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton describes how he came to head the NAACP Washington Bureau

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton remembers the Million Man March

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Hilary Shelton describes the history of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Hilary Shelton describes his work at the NAACP Washington Bureau

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Hilary Shelton talks about racial profiling, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton talks about racial profiling, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton reflects upon President Barack Obama's administration, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton reflects upon President Barack Obama's administration, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton describes the NAACP's current lobbying activities, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton describes the NAACP's current lobbying activities, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Hilary Shelton reflects upon the racism in the United States today

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Hilary Shelton describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Hilary Shelton reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton reflects upon his life

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton talks about his family

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton talks about the influence of his grandfathers and uncles

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

2$2

DATape

8$7

DAStory

4$1

DATitle
Hilary Shelton describes his position at the United Negro College Fund
Hilary Shelton remembers lobbying the University of Missouri to divest from South Africa
Transcript
How long did you work for the United Methodist?$$About ten years.$$Ten, okay.$$And I left the United Methodist Church to go to work for the, for the United Negro College Fund.$$Okay.$$Of course, the, the name is slightly different. It's still the same organization. They just changed their name to UNCF, the college fund. So I spent some time working with Bill Gray [HistoryMaker William H. Gray, III], who at the time was the president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund or U--UNCF the college fund, working at the government affairs office here in Washington, D.C., to try to help find, really, resources, money and other resources for those--at that time, forty-one historically black colleges and universities.$$Okay, now this is the beginning of the Bush administration, right?$$Yes--$$Okay.$$--it, it was part of the Bush administration. But interestingly enough, when it comes to HBCUs, there's a tendency for even Republican administrations to be very helpful to HBCUs. Education seems to be one of those areas, most of the time--sometimes it gets used for political pra- in, in a politically problematic way as well, but most of the time education, particularly in support for those HBCUs, seems to rise above the partisan fray. It is something good to see. So the Bush administration, both Herbert Walker Bush, and more so than, than George W. Bush [President George Walker Bush], was very, very supportive of HBCUs and, and other programs, including the White House office on HBCUs [White House Initiative on Historically Black College and Universities], in addressing those concerns.$$Yeah, I think George W. Bush during this period made his famous statement that a Negro is a terrible thing to waste [sic.]--$$Oh--$$--or something, it was something (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) I, I, and I think that was Dan Quayle. Yeah, yeah--$$Oh, that, yeah, yeah--$$--his vice president at the time (laughter).$$--the convoluted--yeah, during the old Bush (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, they've got--$$I'm sorry.$$No, no, but you're right; that was, that was [President] George Herbert Walker Bush's vice president at the time. And I remember how, how he kind of sloshed that, that slogan, but (laughter)--$$A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and he added convoluted--$$Yeah, ex- exactly, exactly (laughter).$$Right. Okay, all right--$$I think he had a little problem swallowing potato too during that time.$$Okay, UNCF, so, so what were--well, the, the issue was always to raise money for--$$Absolutely, absolutely. It was a different approach for me. You know, I've, I'd always been more actively involved in not for profit organizations that focus on really bringing as many people on board to support moving the agenda forward. So in essence, we leveraged our policy positions by educating as many people and then coordinating how they approached their members of [U.S.] Congress, House [U.S. House of Representatives] and [U.S.] Senate, the White House, and even, and the government agencies and the like. So, but the UNCF, the focus was less that and more focusing on engaging those historically black colleges and universities, the support of the corporate community along those lines, but also the engagement and support of the federal government to address, you know, helping to secure those black colleges, to be able to provide a good high quality education at an affordable price. So it was a little bit different than the work we'd done around the more controversial issues. As a matter of fact, you kind of, in, in that arena, you stay away from a lot of the controversial issues. You're primarily go- primary goal all the time is to raise money. And I, I remember sitting down with Bill Gray the first time. And I had in my mind the same kind of construct we use here at the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] that we'd use at the United Methodist Church and other groups I'd worked for, which is the construct in which you engage members, have them join a network, set up coalition partners throughout the country, and then leverage them when we're trying to pass pieces of legislation throughout the House and the Senate or trying to, to engage the president of the White House in what we're trying to do. But there was always a concern that if we went that route, that it might become too partisan in its perception and that having people engaged along those lines, writing letters to those businesses and so forth, might actually create a problem for the continuation of the fundraising. Even though we knew that everything we'd be doing would be quite legal within the construct of a 501(c)(3), there were those concerns, so we kind of changed the approach. Quite frankly, that's also why I ended up missing the civil rights community, missing that engagement for those membership units across the country, whether it's in churches or, or whether a small civic organizations or groups in local communities. I missed that engagement of people in the process and the struggle for civil rights advancement. And the, and of course, that's why I decided to leave the United Negro College Fund and, and come to work for the NAACP.$Now what did you do after graduate school?$$That came to the--I came to Washington, D.C. As I was finishing my program at the University of Missouri - St. Louis [St. Louis, Missouri], one of the big issues for us was apartheid in South Africa. And the big movement among colleges and universities was to divest holdings in all corporations that do business in South Africa. This is a time in which, of course, Nelson Mandela was in Robben Island [South Africa]. It was a time in which apartheid was the law of the land in South Africa, and of course, the colonial power of the, the, of South Africa was one that was affecting the entire region. So it was an amazing time along those lines. We were working then as students in a progressive movement to not support those corporations or U.S. interests that would exploit people of African descent in South Africa. So, I had, I met with a guy named Damu Smith. Among other things I did as a student, I also sat on advisory board while with the U.S. Student Association [U.S. National Student Association], with the American Committee on Africa out of New York [New York], with TransAfrica [TransAfrica Forum; TransAfrica] here in Washington, D.C., and the Washington Office on Africa, which also here in Washington, D.C. These were the three premier Africa focus groups working on apartheid and South Africa issues and focusing on those nine southern states of South Af- of Southern Africa and how the Republic of South Africa was affecting even their stability. So, Damu Smith was someone I'd met in some of those meetings. I was finishing up and really wanted to come back to Washington and get involved in an advocacy type organization and position but wanted to focus on the federal government, on the [U.S.] Congress and the government agencies, of course. We were finishing up my program at the same time we were also finishing up a disinvestment of corporations doing business in South Africa that were in the university's portfolio, both their endowment portfolios as well as their pension funds. We were able to convince then Governor Ashcroft [John Ashcroft] from Missouri, that later became the attorney general of the United States and Senator Ashcroft prior to becoming attorney, as, as well as a Republican treasurer in Missouri, a guy named Wendell Bailey, that it was not in the best interest of the State of Missouri nor the University of Missouri to invest funds in corporations that do business in South Africa that many argued took over 750,000 jobs out of the United States to South Africa, where they force black people to work for less money than white folks, where the law of the land prohibited black folks from supervising over white folks, or moving to high--and corporate structure, so and where security and--well, where, where calm was created through force, the guns. And we were seeing all the videos of Soweto [South Africa], the, the videos of uprisings in other parts of South African, and, and the very harsh response from South African military forces and others, killing so many South African blacks along the way. So with all that going, we were able to convince the governor--at first the, first the treasurer of the state, who was also a Republican, that it made no sense for Missouri to invest money in corporations that are taking jobs out of Missouri anyway and actually working against the very issues of the students. Most students were going to college to prepare themselves for jobs. Doesn't make sense for us to take student money and put it into corporations that are taking those jobs our students want out of the country to have people doing it that were, they pay much less money. We shouldn't have to compete with that, especially with our money. And they got it, and indeed the governor signed a bill that was introduced and passed through the state legislature that the students were actually involved in pushing. We were able to get the board (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) So this is--I'm sorry. This is nineteen eighty--'84 [1984]?$$Yeah.$$Eighty-four [1984], okay.$$Yeah, yeah. We were able to get the, we were able to get the university to divest all of this money from holdings in corporations doing business in South Africa through its Board of Curators. It's what they called their board of regents, and they call it in some other place the Board of Curators. And I remember those fights and whatnot during my years at the University of Missouri.$$You all were good then. You, you were really paying attention in class.$$We, we, we worked it out. As a matter of fact, I, I think I, I had to be, be too pushy about it, but I think in some ways we, we added something to those classroom conversations with what we did outside. Some of the professors really appreciated it. As a matter of fact, because this was as much a movement in the political science arena, most of the political science apret- professors were really fascinated by the work we were doing and very supportive along those lines. But also, when you talk about disinvestment, that's actually a business term, and the University of Missouri also had a business school [University of Missouri - St. Louis College of Business Administration, St. Louis, Missouri]. And we were able to engage the business student government as well into some of the things we were doing that draw a parallel for us to even Harvard's business school [Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts]. I mean, the arguments we were making were not just social justice arguments. They were business arguments. They were investment stabilities arguments. They were arguments about which divet- which investment portfolios would derive the best return for the university, for its professors as they retired, but also the running of the school, as we're talking about programs along those lines. See, it was a, it was a fascinating thing, getting those different sectors, and very eye opening for me, involved in a movement to actually impact what was going on in South Africa by involving ourselves into social corporate behavior here in the United States.$$Okay. Now, were you getting paid to do any of these, these activities at that time?$$Not really. As a matter of fact, while I was at the University of Missouri, because I held office, we got a stipend, you know, which went to pay my tuition and that kind of thing and whatnot. So it freed me up in some ways to be able to do this kind of work, but it was all voluntary.$$Yeah, so I figured you kind of on a lean budget there.$$Oh yeah, yeah, I was poor student.

Dr. James Williams

As a military officer and physician, Dr. James B. Williams has spent his entire career in public service. Co-founding the Williams Medical Clinic in Chicago with his two brothers, Dr. Jasper F. Williams and Dr. Charles L. Williams, he was also part of a handful of dedicated young men who enlisted and became America’s first black airmen, known as the Tuskegee Airmen.

In 1942, with a pre-medicine background, Williams was drafted into the military and given a position with the medical corps at Camp Pickett, Virginia, and was chosen to attend Medical Administrative Officers Candidate School. Wanting to become a pilot, however, he asked to transfer to the Army Air Corps. He was subsequently appointed an aviation cadet and sent to Boca Raton Club, Florida, for basic training. From there, he went to Yale University for technical training, where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Corps. As a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, Williams served as an Engineering Officer in the post war 99th Fighter Squadron. Also during his time in the service, Williams was among the 101 black officers who attempted to integrate a segregated officers’ club in what became known as the Freeman Field Mutiny.

Williams, a native of Las Cruces, New Mexico, was born on May 28, 1919 to Clara Belle Williams and Jasper B. Williams and was educated in a segregated grade and high school. He earned his B.S. degree in chemistry from New Mexico State University after finishing his military service, and with dreams of becoming a physician, he earned his M.D. degree from Creighton University School of Medicine. There, he met his future wife, Willeen Brown. Williams continued his medical education and was accepted into Creighton’s surgical residency program, earning his M.S. degree in surgery in 1956. With his various medical experiences, he and his brothers established the Williams Clinic on Chicago’s South Side. At its peak, there were more than twenty-eight doctors practicing at the clinic. Williams also worked at Chicago’s St. Bernard’s Hospital in 1957 as its first African American physician, becoming the hospital’s chief of surgery from 1971 to 1972. Williams combined his dedication to progress and medical prowess by meeting with President John F. Kennedy in 1963, as a member of a National Medical Association delegation to advance an amendment to the Hill-Burton Act that would prevent discrimination in hospitals built with federal assistance. Williams also served as physician to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when the civil rights leader lived in Chicago.

Williams and his wife lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The couple had two children: a daughter, Brenda Payton Jones, a former columnist for the Oakland Tribune, and a son, Dr. James B. Williams II, colorectal surgeon in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Williams passed away on November 23, 2016.

Accession Number

A2008.088

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/16/2008

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Middle Name

B

Schools

Booker T. Washington

Wiley College

University of New Mexico

Tuskegee University

New Mexico State University

Creighton University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

El Paso

HM ID

WIL47

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Sponsor

Brenda Payton

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/28/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

11/23/2016

Short Description

Surgeon and tuskegee airman Dr. James Williams (1919 - 2016 ) co-founded the Williams Clinic on Chicago's South Side. He also served as Dr. King's physician while Dr. King lived in Chicago. He was also a member of the Tuskegee Airmen as an Engineering Officer after World War II.

Employment

619th Bombardment Squadron

St. Bernard's Hospital

Williams Clinic

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:770,9:3465,78:4697,107:5390,118:8510,127:9336,136:21148,303:24820,332:25590,350:28180,402:40363,531:61068,739:62124,753:66500,846:68612,875:98250,1212$0,0:4704,73:5376,83:6048,94:27900,190:28300,196:28860,204:29180,209:33208,257:33856,266:35638,285:36043,291:45087,455:45719,466:48326,509:48958,518:49511,526:59952,631:60576,643:61122,653:61434,658:63618,702:69092,739:70555,762:72403,794:73096,806:74174,825:107438,1105:108030,1115:108992,1131:111212,1206:115758,1251:127762,1353:129556,1390:132832,1484:133924,1511:135250,1533:141234,1572:157722,1712:158182,1718:174220,1859:175721,1896:179987,1963:181014,1978:189360,2119
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. James Williams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. James Williams lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. James Williams describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. James Williams describes his mother's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. James Williams describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. James Williams describes his father's civil rights activities

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. James Williams recalls Dr. Lawrence A. Nixon

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. James Williams lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. James Williams describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. James Williams remembers moving to Las Cruces, New Mexico

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. James Williams recalls his family's dog

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. James Williams remembers the doctor who treated his brother's clubfoot

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. James Williams recalls the Booker T. Washington School in Las Cruces, New Mexico

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. James Williams describes his parents' careers

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. James Williams describes his family life

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. James Williams describes the role of religion in his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. James Williams describes his early education

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. James Williams describes school segregation in Las Cruces, New Mexico

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. James Williams recalls meeting George Washington Carver as a teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. James Williams describes his high school education at the Booker T. Washington School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. James Williams remembers Wiley College in Marshall, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. James Williams recalls the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. James Williams describes training in aircraft maintenance

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. James Williams recalls his promotion to engineering officer in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. James Williams remembers serving in the U.S. Army during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. James Williams remembers segregation at Freeman Army Airfield

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. James Williams recalls his arrest during the Freeman Field Mutiny

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. James Williams recalls his imprisonment during the Freeman Field Mutiny

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. James Williams describes his legal defense during the Freeman Field Mutiny

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. James Williams recalls serving at the Lockbourne Air Force Base in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. James Williams remembers Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. James Williams describes his and his brothers' early medical careers

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. James Williams recalls applying to medical schools

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. James Williams recalls his older brother's injury on the family homestead

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. James Williams remembers Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. James Williams describes his early medical career

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. James Williams recalls becoming Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s physician

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. James Williams recalls treating an infant who suffered a gunshot wound in utero

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. James Williams remembers serving as a physician for prominent civil rights leaders

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. James Williams remembers Elijah Muhammad

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. James Williams remembers his patients in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dr. James Williams describes his family members' medical careers

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. James Williams describes the healthcare system in Cuba

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. James Williams talks about health insurance in the United States

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. James Williams describes his membership in professional organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. James Williams reflects upon the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. James Williams describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. James Williams reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. James Williams reflects upon the history of the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. James Williams reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dr. James Williams describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

6$9

DATitle
Dr. James Williams recalls treating an infant who suffered a gunshot wound in utero
Dr. James Williams describes how he would like to be remembered
Transcript
We had a baby that my brother [Jasper F. Williams] and I operated, it was the first baby in the world--the mother was pregnant with the baby and she was shot. And the bullet went in the, the child's flank, went through the liver, the colon, collapsed the right lung and ended up behind the bone in the right upper arm. That's the first baby in the world to survive a gunshot wound to the abdomen and chest in utero, was the one that we did.$$Um-hm.$$I don't think anybody's changed that since then. And my brother delivered the baby, and he handed him to me, and when I got 'em he wasn't breathing, he had no heartbeat, and I started resuscitating him, and his heart started beating and the kid, we invited him to the conference at the University of Illinois, you know, my wife [Willeen Brown Williams] picked up the mother and the child, the little guy was interested in everything that was going on that evening. And the mother said he's the smartest kid she had, she had five other kids, you know, but he survived. And now, he was, that's when we celebrated our twenty-fifth anniversary, and now we just finished our fifty-seventh, so he's, must be about twenty, he's probably twenty-seven years old now.$Our last question is similar to legacy but a little different. Sir, how would you like to be remembered?$$I hadn't thought of that (laughter). But, in my field of surgery I thought I was, could compete with anybody, of course I had good training, I had a master's degree in surgery, which very few surgeons have. And after that I went up to the Royal Vic [Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, Canada], in McGill [McGill University, Montreal, Canada] and they had a Jewish surgeon up there who was taking the internal mammary artery and re-vascularizing the heart, that was the fir- I had an opportunity to be up there when he was doing that, which was very unusual. And now they can do bypasses, but what he was doing, he got collateral circulation and he got some mock-ups, you know to show that he was getting collateral circulation in the animals that he did 'em on. I hope we can get somebody in medical school down in Cuba 'cause I think that's a great opportunity that's being overlooked, and still don't know why that some of the black males who were in the program dropped out, I haven't had a chance to talk to the guy from Ohio State [The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio], you know, who takes the kids down there.$$But you wanna be remembered as a good surgeon?$$Oh yeah.$$And?$$And a good parent, yeah. I think that's important. I think that's important for all black parents. I mean, I agree with what Obama's [HistoryMaker President Barack Obama] telling the folks that they have to be responsible for their kids. Of course it's interesting, our kids, we had a motor home and we'd go to skiing in the wintertime, and in the summertime we'd go to Canada, fishing, and both of them liked those things even though they did 'em as kids and they--my son [James Williams II] has a motor home, he still likes to go fishing and skiing. And plus, the fact, I told you he was an excellent surgeon and has made well. Just like I told you, he was considered the best colorectal surgeon in the State of New Mexico.$$Okay, so you'd like to be remembered as a good surgeon and a good parent.$$That's right.

Alexander Jefferson

Alexander Jefferson was born on November 15, 1921, in Detroit Michigan, the first child of Alexander Jefferson and Jane White Jefferson. His great-grandfather William Jefferson White was born to a slave woman and a white slave owner in the 1830s. Jefferson’s grandfather became a minister, and in 1867, opened an all black school for boys in Augusta, Georgia, which trained its students exclusively for the ministry and pedagogy. Jefferson’s grandfather moved the school to Atlanta, Georgia, where the name changed from Atlanta Baptist Seminary to Atlanta Baptist College. Today, it is known as Morehouse College.

Jefferson grew up in a Polish neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan, and attended Craft Elementary School, Condon Intermediate School, and Chadsey High School. While in school, Jefferson spent most of his time in the biology and chemistry laboratories, at home reading from his mother’s extensive library, and building model airplanes. He graduated from Chadsey High School in 1938 as the only African-American to take college preparatory classes. Jefferson received his B.A. degree in 1942 from Clark College in Atlanta. On September 23, 1942, he was sworn into the United States Army Reserves. He volunteered for flight training but was not accepted immediately. In the mean time, Jefferson went to work as an analytical chemist for three months before entering graduate school at Howard University.

In April 1943, Jefferson received orders to report to Tuskegee Army Air Field to begin flight training. He graduated as a second lieutenant in January 1944 and was classified as a replacement pilot for the 332nd Fighter Group. Jefferson continued his training at Selfridge Army Air Field Base, where he was under the instruction of First Lieutenants Charles Dryden and Stan Watson, who had flown in combat in 1943 in North Africa with the all-Black 99th Fighter Squadron. In June 1944, Jefferson’s orders sent him to Ramitelli Air Base in Italy, where Colonel Benjamin O. Davis was the 332nd Fighter Group Commander. Jefferson flew eighteen missions before being shot down and captured on August 12, 1944. He spent eight months in the POW camp at Stalag Luft III., and was eventually freed on April 29, 1945.

Jefferson returned to civilian life in 1947, received his teaching certificate from Wayne State University, and began teaching elementary school science for the Detroit Public School System. Jefferson received his M.A. degree in education in 1954. He was appointed assistant principal in 1969 and served the Michigan School System for over 30 years. In 1995, Jefferson was enshrined in the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame. In 2001, he was awarded the Purple Heart, and in 2007, he received the Congressional Gold Medal. Jefferson is one of the founders of the Detroit and National chapters of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Accession Number

A2007.192

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/29/2007 |and| 6/11/2010

Last Name

Jefferson

Maker Category
Schools

Chadsey High School

Craft Elementary School

Condon Intermediate School

Clark Atlanta University

Wayne State University

Howard University

First Name

Alexander

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

JEF04

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Everybody In The World Is Crazy Except You And Me, And Sometimes I'm Not So Sure About You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

11/15/1921

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pork Chops (Fried)

Short Description

Education administrator Alexander Jefferson (1921 - ) trained for World War II at Tuskegee Army Air Field and flew eighteen missions during the war. He was shot down and captured on August 12, 1944 and spent eight months in the POW camp at Stalag Luft III. In 1947 Jefferson returned to civilian life and worked as an education and administrator in the Detroit Public Schools for over thirty years.

Employment

U.S. Army Air Corps

Duffield Elementary School

Pattengill Elementary School

Halley Elementary School

Ferry Elementary School

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:347,12:12418,248:12783,254:13367,263:37750,644:39128,660:41036,686:59368,934:60096,946:61136,960:61968,969:62384,975:64672,1018:65504,1034:70920,1077:71228,1082:73692,1146:74077,1152:74539,1159:74847,1164:75232,1170:75617,1176:79698,1256:81469,1302:88344,1395:90544,1441:94296,1495:94890,1505:106930,1636:107390,1642:107758,1647:111990,1733:113830,1767:115026,1789:116430,1801:121730,1902:125330,1958:128050,2018:158138,2386:161320,2454:161836,2462:164700,2490:167670,2537:171430,2579:172746,2606:183556,2817:186910,2857:199483,3064:199978,3070:202936,3104:203640,3118:216530,3317:223880,3412:230095,3513:233315,3563:243738,3665:249114,3732:251680,3772:255001,3820:255973,3840:263558,3978:273842,4074:276806,4131:280238,4205:291465,4393:308898,4636:311952,4666:313650,4676:314362,4684:317833,4736:318723,4767:322801,4783:325144,4820:325570,4827:342355,5008:346068,5068:346779,5080:359290,5216$0,0:7634,151:13145,208:14897,307:17160,382:18109,404:18401,412:35105,632:42490,705:42780,711:47162,761:52260,827:52800,833:53556,841:56015,859:57183,882:59081,975:66320,1037:66696,1042:67166,1048:67824,1056:71599,1123:72270,1136:75180,1143:75530,1149:76020,1157:85134,1262:85422,1267:85710,1272:87870,1323:89094,1347:98336,1513:99106,1533:99491,1539:101801,1591:102571,1607:106030,1624:106550,1630:109977,1650:116538,1785:122266,1859:122550,1864:142470,2085:142820,2091:143450,2104:143730,2109:153066,2218:153402,2233:155838,2305:159470,2352:167350,2479:172150,2571:172470,2576:174150,2595:174710,2605:188746,2709:189530,2718:207900,2966:208308,2971:208716,2976:210730,2991:240396,3405:243876,3454:277078,3922:281730,3953
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alexander Jefferson's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alexander Jefferson lists his favorites, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alexander Jefferson lists his favorites, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alexander Jefferson describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alexander Jefferson describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alexander Jefferson describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alexander Jefferson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alexander Jefferson describes his sister

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Alexander Jefferson talks about his parents' influence on his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Alexander Jefferson describes his neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alexander Jefferson recalls his African American neighbors in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alexander Jefferson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alexander Jefferson recalls his grade school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alexander Jefferson talks about building model airplanes

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alexander Jefferson remembers his high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alexander Jefferson describes the Scott Memorial United Methodist Church in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alexander Jefferson recalls his decision to attend Clark University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alexander Jefferson describes his experiences at Clark University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alexander Jefferson describes his training as a Tuskegee Airman

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alexander Jefferson recalls lessons from his flight training in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alexander Jefferson recalls his initial assignments in the U.S. Army Air Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alexander Jefferson recalls leaving the air base to visit Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alexander Jefferson recalls the racial confrontations at the Selfridge Army Air Base, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alexander Jefferson recalls the racial confrontations at the Selfridge Army Air Base, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alexander Jefferson describes his duties as an escort pilot

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alexander Jefferson recalls his transfer to the Walterboro Army Airfield in South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alexander Jefferson talks about his overseas deployment during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Alexander Jefferson describes the flight maneuvers of the 332nd Fighter Group

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Alexander Jefferson remembers Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Alexander Jefferson reflects upon the racial discrimination in the U.S. military

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Alexander Jefferson remembers his role in Operation Dragoon

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Alexander Jefferson recalls the downing of his plane over France

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Alexander Jefferson recalls being taken prisoner by German troops, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Alexander Jefferson recalls being taken prisoner by German troops, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Alexander Jefferson reflects upon becoming a prisoner of war

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Alexander Jefferson describes his interrogation as a prisoner of war

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Alexander Jefferson recalls being transported to Stalag Luft III in Germany

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Alexander Jefferson recalls his experiences at the Stalag Luft III war prison

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Alexander Jefferson recalls escape attempts from Stalag Luft III

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Alexander Jefferson talks about daily life at the Stalag Luft III POW camp

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Alexander Jefferson recalls how black officers were treated in German POW camps

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Alexander Jefferson recalls liberation day at Stalag VII-A

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Alexander Jefferson talks about how the Germans ran POW camps in World War II

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Alexander Jefferson recalls his treatment by white prisoners of war

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Alexander Jefferson recalls the liberation of the German concentration camps

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Alexander Jefferson recalls his return to the United States after World War II

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Alexander Jefferson recalls his marriage and move to Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Alexander Jefferson remembers adjusting to civilian life

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Alexander Jefferson describes his early teaching career

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Alexander Jefferson recalls his decision to become a school administrator

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Alexander Jefferson describes his civil rights activities

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Alexander Jefferson talks about serving as an assistant principal

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Alexander Jefferson reflects upon his career as an educator

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Alexander Jefferson recalls founding the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Alexander Jefferson remembers Detroit Mayor Coleman Young

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Alexander Jefferson remembers General Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr.

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Alexander Jefferson describes the purpose of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Alexander Jefferson remembers receiving the Congressional Gold Medal

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Alexander Jefferson reflects upon the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Alexander Jefferson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Alexander Jefferson narrates his photographs

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Slating of Alexander Jefferson's interview, session 2

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Alexander Jefferson talks about his decision to join the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Alexander Jefferson recalls his trainee class at the Tuskegee Army Airfield

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Alexander Jefferson describes the training program at the Tuskegee Army Airfield

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Alexander Jefferson recalls his assignment to the Selfridge Army Air Base in Michigan

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Alexander Jefferson remembers segregation at the Selfridge Army Air Base

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Alexander Jefferson recalls the Walterboro Army Airfield in South Carolina

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Alexander Jefferson recalls his flight missions in Europe during World War II

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Alexander Jefferson recalls his fighter plane being shot down over France

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Alexander Jefferson recalls his encounters with German officers

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Alexander Jefferson remembers Stalag Luft III in Sagan, Germany

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Alexander Jefferson talks about traveling in Europe after World War II

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Alexander Jefferson describes the Tuskegee Airmen's reputation during World War II

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Alexander Jefferson recalls the discrimination against black pilots during World War II

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Alexander Jefferson recalls his pastimes at the Stalag Luft III war prison

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Alexander Jefferson recalls the downing of his plane over France
Alexander Jefferson recalls the liberation of the German concentration camps
Transcript
All right.$$Back to (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) You--$$--mission number nineteen.$$Okay.$$332nd [332nd Fighter Group; 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group] had the job of knocking out radar stations on the coast of southern France. And these radar stations would detect ships coming across the horizon for the invasion. The 301st [301st Fighter Squadron] had the target of Toulon [France], radar station sitting right on the cliff outside the City of Toulon. The 99th [99th Fighter Squadron] had a different station. The 99th had Montpellier [France]. The 302nd [302nd Fighter Squadron] had another one, all along the coast. And I'm number sixteen, four flights of four. We took off in the morning, flight from Ramitelli [Ramitelli Air Base, Italy], across Italy, across the gulf [Gulf of Taranto], the Mediterranean [Mediterranean Sea], past Corsica, out at Capri [Italy], and turn into the coast of southern France. We start in at about fifteen thousand feet, four flights of four, one right behind the other. And the first guys turn in, fifteen thousand feet, push everything to the wall, try to get some speed, had to go in and start firing with their fifty calibers, you went and pressed the trigger on the stick, and the fifty calibers would, they told us, oh, by the way we didn't understand what in the heck radar was, we didn't know what radar was. They simply said some buildings, some great big long towers, you go over and you shoot 'em up, that's it. This is before ballpoint pens, before nylons, before TV, before 45s by the way, 45 records [45 rpm record] hadn't even come out, don't talk about LPs. The first four guys go in and when they turn in, the whole side of the cliff becomes red with little black, red specks, anti-aircraft, twenty men over here, twenty, and twenty men over here, and 37mm. And the radio is alive. Second guy has followed, the fourth, first four guys get through, the second guys get through, the third get through and last of all, when we turn in, by that time, we had gone out so far to port, when we turn in we have to push everything to the wall to catch up. Run everything, we're doing about 420, fourth, we're maximum, and everything is red lined. Oil pressure, heat, and prop, instead of running at 1700 or 1800 rpm, I'm churning 2600 and 2700 rpm trying to catch up. The needle is bumping, I'm doing 420, 420, red line, what I'm not supposed to do. And by the time we get, I'm in, back in position, I saw number two, which is Danny [Robert T. Daniels], he got hit approximately a thousand yards off, maybe five hundred yards, little black speck, and out the corner of my eye I see him go off to the side. And I'm concentrating on aiming at a target, great big long towers, see these towers, and as I come in I start pressing trigger, and as I fire, going right across the top of the target, oh, hell, treetop height, something said boom, look up and there's a hole right there in the top of the canopy. I said, "What the hell?" And fire came up out of the floor. And naturally, as I tell young people, out of the nine months of training, you have not one minute on how to get out of an airplane. Instinctively today, I say, you pull back on the stick to get some altitude because I know I'm too low to bail out. Plus if I'm going too damn fast, you know, 420, 420, 420. Pull back on the stick to get some altitude, and as I pull up, reach up and on the instrument panel pull the little red knob and the canopy went off. Now, I don't know how high I got although I know I had gloves, your face's covered with oxygen mask, helmet, goggles and but it got hot, gloves were scorched, and I pulled up and you have straps here, straps here with a big buckle, when you hit it, they come loose, well, when I turned the stick loose, the nose popped, when you go up like this, you turn the stick loose, the nose wants to go back, so when the nose popped, I hit the buckle and I came out, and when the nose, I came out, centrifugal force. I remember the tail going by and I pulled the D ring, big D ring, because it connected with a cable. The parachute, we're sitting on the parachute, the parachute came out with me. And I remember looking at it, somebody stole the silk, god damn it. There was a rumor that somebody was taking the silk out of the parachutes, selling it to the Italians and stuffing the parachute with paper, by the way they finally caught him, it was happening. He did, I forgot who he was, some enlisted man. But I remember looking at it and (claps hands) boom, the parachute popped, when it popped, I'm in the trees. Number one and number three they get through, and I found out about a year ago, I forgot who my element leader was. Now, Ballard [Alton F. Ballard] was leading, Robert Daniels was number two, I forgot who number three was, that's my leader. Virgil Richardson wrote a book and he died about a year ago, in his book he says, he remembers Jefferson [HistoryMaker Alexander Jefferson], he looked back and Jefferson was gone, that's me, Virgil Richardson. When he got back to the squadron, he reported me as dead, he saw Robert Daniels go down in the water because Daniels was, he was scared to bail out.$So where did you leave to go after that point (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Sat around, we sat around Stalag VII-A [Moosburg, Germany]. That's, the next day when I took a trip down I saw Dachau. Somebody said, "Hey, Jeff [HistoryMaker Alexander Jefferson], there's a place down there with a lot of dead people." "What in the hell are you talking about?" "Man, they got people down there stacked up like up cordwood." So I'm curious. We got a jeep, we liberated the jeep, didn't steal it, we liberated it, we requisitioned it, (laughter) midnight requisition. And we went down to see this place where they had a lot of dead people. You could smell it a mile before you got to it. The ovens were still warm. The odor of burned human flesh, I'll never forget it. I remember pictures where they opened the oven, had a table covered with hair because before they burned the bodies, they had somebody cutting off the hair, great big long table, fifteen or twenty feet long, piled with hair, they used the hair for seat cushions. Long table covered with rings, before they burned the bodies they took the rings off, diamonds and gold. Table covered with dentures, somebody with a pair of pliers pulling the gold and amalgam out of these dead bodies. So many dead bodies they couldn't bury them all, so they took a bulldozer and dug a big trench, then you took and shoved all these dead bodies, arms and legs all over in the trench, covered it up with lime. Man's inhuman, I saw it, and somebody's gonna tell me that Dachau never happened, then I have to use some expletive deleted words to really express myself. Man's inhumanity to man. When I relate this to high school kids, "Oh, Mr. Jefferson, the Jews, the Germans killed so many Jews." I say, "Hey, wait a minute." Back up baby. What's going on today? You sit here fat, dumb, and happy, what happened in Bosnia? The kids look at me real funny. I don't know. Why is Milosevic [Slobodan Milosevic] prosecuted? What did the Bosnians do to the Serbs? What happened in Darfur [Sudan]? What happened in Burundi? Black kids have no idea what happened in Burundi, Tutsis and Hutus. Man's inhumanity to man.$$What were your thoughts? How did you feel when you, when you saw this (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Horrendous. I had no idea, you know, we were fat, dumb, and happy. Nineteen forty-four [1944], nobody knew about Dachau. People in the United States didn't know about Dachau. Now, some of the officials did, but plain, ordinary common Joe, we didn't know about Dachau, how the Germans were being, killing the Jews, the Hungarians, the Serbs. Today, well, when I was there, it was mind boggling, literally mind boggling, I couldn't believe it.$$Who were burying the bodies?$$The German, whoever the Germans were, burning the bodies.$$Okay. Now, you said there were bodies stacked up?$$Yeah.$$Now, this was after--$$They had been gassed and the bodies thrown out there, literally just like cordwood. And before they could take 'em and put 'em in the furnace and, and burn the bodies and get rid of 'em, the Germans had left, quite naturally they had left. They weren't there when we got there. But it's all part of, part of the story. And somebody was trying to tell me Dachau never happened, Belsen [Bergen-Belsen], Auschwitz, Buchenwald, da, horrendous, horrendous, horrendous. We stayed at Stalag VII for about four or five days, waiting for transportation to take us by air, we, four or five miles away to an air field, being flown to, up on the Baltic [Baltic Sea] to Le Havre [France] for transportation back by boat. And we went C-47s [Douglas C-47 Skytrain], I was in the group, C-47s. We landed at Verdun [France], and I got off, went to Paris [France], stayed in Paris for two weeks, I was AWOL [Absent Without Official Leave], until I went up to Le Havre and turned myself in. When I got to Le Havre, he said, have a seat. Nobody knew I was there.

Bishop Imagene Stewart

Social activist, pastor and founder of the Washington, D.C. based House of Imagene Shelter and Women’s Center Bishop Imagene Bigham Stewart was born on January 23, 1942 in Dublin, Georgia.

Stewart arrived in Washington, D.C. in 1963 to participate in the March on Washington for jobs and freedom. After the march, she became ill and never returned home to Georgia. In the mid-1960s, Stewart was homeless and survived by living in Washington, D.C.’s Lincoln Park. She eventually found a job at the Government Printing Office where she worked full-time. Although she was gainfully employed, Stewart never forgot the hardships she faced as a homeless person and was inspired to open her own shelter. She managed to set aside time to organize volunteers and found boarder rooms to house thirty homeless people. Stewart then gained the interest of the late Mayor Walter E. Washington with her plans of opening a shelter, and with a meager budget, she was able to purchase property for the opening of the House of Imagene Shelter and Women’s Center in 1972. That same year, Stewart earned her A.A. degree from the University of the District of Columbia.

The House of Imagene is the first Washington, D.C. based shelter founded by an African American woman. It is comprised of two satellite centers: a shelter for battered women and children, and a shelter that provides temporary housing for homeless veterans and their families.

Stewart went on to become the pastor of the Greater Pearly Gates Baptist Church. She also worked as a radio personality for WOL radio in Washington, D.C. In 1992, Stewart was honored with the prestigious Living Dream Award for her service to battered women and the homeless. In 1993, Stewart served as the National Chaplain for the American Legion Auxiliary and as the director of the United States Department of Veteran Affairs.

Stewart was interviewed by the HistoryMakers on January 30, 2008.

Stewart passed away on May 30, 2012.

Accession Number

A2008.002

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/28/2008 |and| 1/30/2008

Last Name

Stewart

Maker Category
Middle Name

Bigham

Schools

Susie Dasher Elementary School

Oconee High School

University of the District of Columbia

First Name

Imagene

Birth City, State, Country

Dublin

HM ID

STE12

Favorite Season

September

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Georgia

Favorite Quote

If I can be of help, that's what I'm here for.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/23/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pig Feet

Death Date

5/30/2012

Short Description

Civil rights activist and pastor Bishop Imagene Stewart (1942 - 2012 ) founded the House of Imagene Shelter and Women’s Center in Washington, D.C. She became the pastor of the Greater Pearly Gates Baptist Church.

Employment

U.S. Printing Office

House of Imagene Shelter and Women's Center

Office of Mayor Walter Washington

Favorite Color

Purple

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bishop Imagene Stewart's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bishop Imagene Stewart lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her mother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her early experiences of discrimination

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her father's role in her family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers her pregnancies

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes the influence of her father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes the H.T. Jones Village in Dublin, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her father

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her father's preaching circuit

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers picking cotton

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her early understanding of pregnancy

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers Susie Dasher Elementary School in Dublin, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her sons' father

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Bishop Imagene Stewart recalls her start as a civil rights activist

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her sisters' social circle

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers joining the SCLC

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her commitment to patriotism, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her commitment to patriotism, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers the Citizenship Education Program

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her political affiliations

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bishop Imagene Stewart recalls picketing the Belk Matthews Company store in Dublin, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about segregation in Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers leaving Dublin, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers the March on Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bishop Imagene Stewart recalls her decision to remain in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers joining Walter Washington's mayoral office in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bishop Imagene Stewart recalls how she came to open the House of Imagene Shelter and Women's Center in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bishop Imagene Stewart recalls working at the U.S. Government Printing Office

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bishop Imagene Stewart shares her perspective on black liberation theology, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bishop Imagene Stewart shares her perspective on black liberation theology, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her ministry

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her sons

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her early work at the House of Imagene Shelter and Women's Center

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her approach to victims of domestic violence

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about the problem of homelessness among veterans

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about fundraising for the House of Imagene Shelter and Women's Center

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes the counseling services at the House of Imagene Shelter and Women's Center

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her career

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Bishop Imagene Stewart reflects upon the legacy of the House of Imagene Shelter and Women's Center

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about the Ebony Women's Society

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her husband

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bishop Imagene Stewart reflects upon her work at the House of Imagene Shelter and Women's Center

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about domestic violence in the civil rights community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes her family

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about her awards

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes the Pearly Gate Baptist Mission in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Bishop Imagene Stewart talks about the National Black Republican Association

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Bishop Imagene Stewart remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Bishop Imagene Stewart describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Bishop Imagene Stewart narrates her photographs

Sarann Knight Preddy

Sarann Knight Preddy was born on July 27, 1920, in the small town of Eufaula, Oklahoma, to Carl and Hattie Chiles. Knight Preddy married her first husband, Luther Walker, just out of high school. In 1942, she and her family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, settling in the black community on the West Side. Preddy took her first job at the Cotton Club as a Keno writer and later became a dealer.

In 1950, Preddy moved to Hawthorne, Nevada, where she was offered the opportunity to purchase her own gambling establishment; her purchase made her the first African American woman to own a gaming license in Nevada. Preddy then purchased the Lincoln Bar, which she later renamed the Tonga Club; the club was successful in the small booming town, and she operated the establishment until her return to Las Vegas in 1957.

Preddy then worked as a dealer until a new ordinance prohibited women from being employed as dealers. During that time, Preddy operated several businesses including a dry cleaner, a dress shop, and a lounge. Once the ordinance was repealed, Preddy returned to work as a dealer at Jerry’s Nugget where she remained for seven years.

In 1990, Preddy turned her focus to restoring the previous glamour of Las Vegas’ first integrated casino; she and her third husband, Joe Preddy, purchased the Moulin Rouge. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to secure the financing needed and eventually sold the Moulin Rouge to a developer. Preddy made many contributions to the state of Nevada through her involvement with the NAACP; she also worked to preserve the history of Las Vegas through her efforts to place the Moulin Rouge on the National Register of Historic Places.

Preddy passed away on December 22, 2014 at the age of 94.

Sarann Knight Preddy was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 4, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.121

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/4/2007

Last Name

Preddy

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Dunbar High School

First Name

Sarann

Birth City, State, Country

Eufaula

HM ID

PRE03

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Favorite Quote

Always Treat People The Way You Want To Be Treated.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nevada

Birth Date

7/27/1920

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Las Vegas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweets

Death Date

12/22/2014

Short Description

Gaming entrepreneur Sarann Knight Preddy (1920 - 2014 ) was the first African American woman to own a gaming license in Nevada, and dedicated the latter part of her career to trying to preserve the historic Las Vegas establishment, the Moulin Rouge.

Employment

The Cotton Club

The Tonga Club

The Louisiana Club

Town Tavern

Jerry's Nugget Casino

Sarann's Fashions

Sarann's Cleaners

Ruben's Supper Club

Playhouse Lounge

Moulin Rouge Hotel

People's Choice Casino

Favorite Color

Bright Colors, Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:5880,138:6468,149:7252,161:11470,195:11870,201:12270,207:13150,240:13870,251:14190,256:14590,262:14990,268:19740,323:23190,468:34815,674:35490,684:36840,703:37290,710:48870,851:49338,858:50196,883:55266,995:56748,1031:62676,1174:69019,1229:69327,1234:75102,1349:77104,1388:77489,1394:78875,1417:80415,1448:81031,1462:81724,1478:83341,1501:85343,1567:93661,1619:95933,1664:103246,1834:109025,1891:112250,1960:121325,2139:136420,2307$0,0:468,8:2730,38:9828,143:10140,148:12636,262:13104,269:14040,283:28212,466:45932,805:48288,856:49048,871:53684,957:64215,1120:64641,1128:65138,1142:66487,1166:77279,1420:91473,1651:91887,1658:95130,1723:96234,1744:96510,1749:96855,1755:114410,2032:114785,2038:121228,2086:125332,2170:125692,2177:126196,2185:126916,2200:129148,2252:129508,2258:138305,2370:139410,2389:140345,2402:140770,2412:141110,2417:142640,2451:144765,2486:145105,2494:147655,2542:151874,2557:153183,2580:153722,2588:155339,2679:155647,2688:158034,2733:158881,2750:166540,2832:167210,2843:168215,2869:168885,2885:170024,2912:171096,2931:174982,3010:176054,3036:177796,3078:179002,3112:187568,3195:192638,3287:193184,3295:198370,3341
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sarann Knight Preddy's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sarann Knight Preddy lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her maternal great-grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sarann Knight Preddy talks about her parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sarann Knight Preddy talks about changing her name

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls her father's occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her home life

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her community in Eufaula, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sarann Knight Preddy reflects upon her upbringing on a Native American reservation

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sarann Knight Preddy talks about the Great Depression

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sarann Knight Preddy remembers Dunbar High School in Okmulgee, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls her teachers at Dunbar High School in Okmulgee, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her first marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sarann Knight Preddy remembers moving to Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes segregation in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls her start at the Cotton Club in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sarann Knight Preddy remembers Pearl Bailey

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes the entertainers of Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sarann Knight Preddy remembers the Moulin Rouge Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls purchasing the Tonga Club in Hawthorne, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sarann Knight Preddy talks about nonrestrictive gaming licenses

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls her decision to sell the Tonga Club

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her role in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sarann Knight Preddy remembers the growth of Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes the history of the Moulin Rouge Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Sarann Knight Preddy remembers Joe Louis

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes the Westside neighborhood of Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls the difficulty of moving to Las Vegas, Nevada, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls the difficulty of moving to Las Vegas, Nevada, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes career as a dealer in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls working at Jerry's Nugget Casino in North Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls campaigning for city council in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her transition from keno writer to dealer

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls opening the People's Choice Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sarann Knight Preddy reflects upon the Civil Rights Movement in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Sarann Knight Preddy talks about her ownership of the Moulin Rouge Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sarann Knight Preddy remembers the deaths of her family members

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls being injured in a car accident

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes Sarann's Fashions and Sarann's Cleaners in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls the obstacles to acquiring a gaming license, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls the obstacles to acquiring a gaming license, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls her experiences of discrimination as a business owner in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls her decision to close the Moulin Rouge Hotel

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes her organizational involvement

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Sarann Knight Preddy talks about organized crime in the gaming industry

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes the transition from silver dollars to chips in casinos

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sarann Knight Preddy talks about corruption in the gaming industry

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sarann Knight Preddy reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sarann Knight Preddy remembers her fifth husband, Joe Preddy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sarann Knight Preddy shares a message to future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls continuing her education

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sarann Knight Preddy talks about religion and the gaming industry

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sarann Knight Preddy recalls lessons from the gaming industry

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Sarann Knight Preddy describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Sarann Knight Preddy reflects upon her spirituality

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Sarann Knight Preddy remembers Pearl Bailey
Sarann Knight Preddy describes her role in the Civil Rights Movement
Transcript
Before we go on to how people left from the Westside [Las Vegas, Nevada] to come to the Strip [Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada], I was asking you about other people that you knew. You talked about Sammy Davis [Sammy Davis, Jr.] and his family and what about Pearl Bailey?$$Pearl Bailey was playing on the strip but she used to come--well she had to come on the Westside all the time. She liked to party and gamble but she was a very down to earth person 'cause I remember this friend of mine was serving her some champagne and she wanted to put it in a glass and she wouldn't accept it out of there she said, "Just give me a water glass or something, I don't need this champagne glass." She had a friend just a casual friend and they used to gamble all the time and she was over at one table gambling and he was at the next table. So, you know, people back in the day and they even do that now they get so serious when they're gambling, "Don't bother me and if you talk to me that's why I lost because you talked to me." So this friend hollered over and told her, "Give me some money I'm broke." So she just--it was all silver during that time--she reached into her stacks and got a handful of silver and threw it to him like this and when she did and she didn't mean to do it but when she threw it, it hit him in the eye. They were really close friends and he sued her and well after that they weren't ever friends anymore. That was one incident that happened that I remember. During that time the Cotton Club [Las Vegas, Nevada] had a boat and it was on wheels and whenever on Sundays some days they would decide to go to the lake and everybody would have a picnic and we'd all go to the lake and everybody would ride in this boat on wheels but me. Not everybody but my little gang and I would always go in a car 'cause when you go to the lake and you get there the car didn't stop, it just went on in the lake 'cause it was a boat on wheels. I always afraid of water anyway, so I'd never get on this boat. But Pearl Bailey used to go with the gang whenever she was in town also. She was a regular and she was a very good entertainer, very congenial person. She was one of the ones that stand out in my mind and that she was a super person to be around and a number of others that I know--$Did you have any involvement in civil rights in 1950, '55 [1955] and '60 [1960] starts some civil rights action?$$Yes because when I--I worked very close with the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] and I was involved with all the things that they did here when they got the consent decree and when they were integrated for Las Vegas [Nevada] to be integrated, I worked along with that and I have a lot of history back on a lot of the things I did do and I worked with it when I was in Hawthorne [Nevada]. I was the president of the NAACP when I was in Hawthorne and I worked along--the chapter up there along with Las Vegas and you know I guess it's okay to skip and go back. When I was in Hawthorne and I had the club there [Tonga Club, Hawthorne, Nevada] I was kind of like the halfway point to Carson City [Nevada] and people used to come to my place and meet up and then we'd go to Carson City when we was fighting for integration and so forth. I remember when we went to Carson City they had a little room about a fourth big as this and they called it the Buzzard Roost [ph.] and this is where when we went to the legislation session it would hold about ten or twelve people and that's where we had to sit. You had to bend over to get in this little place to sit to watch the legislation session. 'Cause I was young and cocky and I used to say all the time, they can go down and pass a law to run all of us out of town and we can't do anything about it. We're sitting out here looking, we don't have no voice, we didn't have no people involved in politics or anything. But then that's why we were working to change things and finally we got someone was elected to the legislation session and it was a long story behind getting integrated in Las Vegas 'cause Dr. McMillan [James B. McMillan] was the person that really spearhead this and I worked closely with him at NAACP, I was his vice president for a long time. He was the head of everything but I organized a lot of clubs. I was the first person to organize a women's NAACP women's club throughout the country they hadn't even done that in other places. And then we were like a support group too, the NAACP and then when I organized I included a lot of white groups and we used to have teas and fundraisers together out at the convention center, because during that time blacks couldn't do anything out there but just work. And, and I remember I was a member of Gamma Phi Delta Sorority when it first started and that's been about thirty-nine years ago. We used to have our Ebony fashion show [Ebony Fashion Fair] on the Strip [Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada] and I think we were the first persons to go out there that could use something in the hotels 'cause we used to have for the NAACP convention we used to have to use the convention center and then we used a place up at the country club. We used the churches and I had another business and we used to use my business. I had a cleaners and this is where everybody met at my place so that's why I would come to be so well known, I guess because I was always in the mix. And I would always make trips to Carson City and load busses of people to go up there to do whatever we were doing trying to get that legislation passed on certain things so it could be integrated in Las Vegas.