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Ronald J. Temple

Education administrator Ronald J. Temple was born on September 10, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois. A graduate of Marshall High School in Chicago, Illinois he received his B.A. degree in 1964 from Eureka College, in Eureka, Illinois, and his M.A. degree in 1965, and later his Ph.D. degree in 1985, both from the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 1965, he began his career teaching at Lyons Township High School and Junior College in La Grange, Illinois. Temple was hired by the University of Cincinnati as assistant dean of student groups, becoming the university’s first black senior-level administrator in 1967. In 1969, he founded and served as the first president of the United Black Faculty Association as well as the University of Cincinnati’s first American urban history instructor. In 1971, Temple was promoted to serve as special assistant to University of Cincinnati president Warren Bennis where he campaigned for increased state support for the university. That same year, he was appointed to the Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education where he served for four years until 1975. Temple was then promoted to dean of the university and served in this role for ten years from 1975 to 1985.

Then in 1985, Temple became president of Wayne County Community College in Detroit, Michigan and over a five year period worked to reduce the college’s $2 million deficit. He was then hired as the third president of the Community College of Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania where he served from 1990 to 1993, focusing on improving the college’s vocational training programs and partnerships with area businesses. Temple served as chancellor of Chicago City Colleges from 1993 to 1999 before becoming chancellor of Peralta Community College District in Oakland, California where he served from 1999 to 2003 before retiring.

Temple was appointed to serve on the National BSA Executive Board in 1994 and on the Program Group Committee. He later served on the Chicago Area Council Executive Board. Temple was also a recipient of the Silver Beaver and Silver Buffalo Awards in 1998.

Ronald J. Temple was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 12, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.143

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/14/2018

Last Name

Temple

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

John Marshall Metropolitan High School

First Name

Ronald J.

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

TEM02

Favorite Season

Late Spring, Early Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Maryland and Venice

Favorite Quote

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/10/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Fish and Chicken

Short Description

Education administrator Ronald J. Temple (1940- ) served as chancellor Peralta Community College District and Chicago City Colleges and as the third president of the Community College of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania and the president at Wayne County Community College in Detroit, Michigan.

Employment

Peralta Community College

City College of Chicago

Community College of Philadelphia

Wayne County Community College, Detroit

University of Cincinnati

Lyons Township High School and Junior College

Favorite Color

Blue

Dr. Joseph A. Pierce, Jr.

Anesthesiologist Dr. Joseph A. Pierce, Jr. was born on August 13, 1935 in Marshall, Harrison County, Texas to Joseph A. Sr., and Juanita George Pierce. He attended Oglethorpe Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia. Pierce graduated from Jack Yates High School, in Houston, Texas in 1952. He joined Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Beta Kappa Chi National Scientific Honor Society in 1955 at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas where he received his B.S. degree in chemistry in 1957, and his father Joseph Pierce, Sr. served as dean of the graduate school in 1952; and later, president in 1967. He earned his M.D. degree in medicine in 1961 from Meharry Medical College of Medicine, in Nashville, Tennessee. Pierce completed his internship at GW Hubbard Hospital of Meharry College of Medicine.

Pierce entered the United States Army in 1962. He completed a residency in anesthesiology at Brooke General Hospital/Fort Sam Huston in San Antonio in 1967, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and he completed a tour of duty in West Germany from 1967 to 1970. Then, in 1970, Pierce received his Texas State medical license and entered into private practice with Anesthesia Consultants in San Antonio, and joined the American Medical Association.

Pierce and his wife, Aaronetta, co-founded the San Antonio Ethnic Arts Society in 1983 to increase the awareness and understanding of visual art of African American ancestry. They also started Premier Artworks, Inc., specializing in the marketing and sale of artwork and books by African Americans. Pierce amassed a collection of roughly 8000 books by African American authors, including mostly first editions. Pierce was also a part owner of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs basketball team from 1974 to 1988.

Pierce was a life member of the NAACP. His other memberships include the Texas Society of Anesthesiology, the San Antonio Society of Anesthesiology, Bexar County Medical Society and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. Pierce was inducted into the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2008.

Pierce and his wife, Aaronetta, have two sons, Joseph and Michael.

Dr. Joseph A. Pierce, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 8, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.121

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/8/2018

Last Name

Pierce

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Oglethorpe Elementary School

Jack Yates High School

University of Michigan

Texas Southern University

Meharry Medical College

First Name

Joseph

Birth City, State, Country

Marshall

HM ID

PIE04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

N/A

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

8/13/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

San Antonio

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

N/A

Short Description

Anesthesiologist Dr. Joseph A. Pierce, Jr. (1935- ) served in private practice for Anesthesia Consultants in San Antonio, Texas and was the co-founder of San Antonio Ethnic Arts Society in 1983, and Premier Artworks, Inc. in 1990 with his wife Aaronetta.

Employment

Anesthesia Consultants

U.S. Army

Favorite Color

N/A

Errol B. Taylor

Lawyer Errol B. Taylor was born on November 24, 1955 in Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies, and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School, received his B.A. degree in biology in 1977 from State University of New York at Oswego, and his J.D. degree in 1987 from New York Law School, in New York City.

Admitted to the New York State Bar in 1988, Taylor was also admitted to the bars of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. He became a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 1996, and a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York in 1997. He served as a patent litigation attorney, partner and member of the executive committee at the intellectual property law firm Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, in New York City from 1987 to 2003. Taylor joined as partner of the New York law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP in 2003, where he led the firm’s biopharma patent litigation practice and served as chair of Milbank’s Diversity Committee.

Taylor represented biopharmaceutical companies in patent litigation regarding some of the world’s most prescribed medicines and was selected by The National Law Journal as one of the nation's top trial lawyers in 2003. He received an honorary Ph.D. degree (doctor of laws) from the State University of New York at Oswego in 2006. He was elected chairman of the board of trustees in 2004 for the Trenton, New Jersey-based Young Scholars’ Institute, a nonprofit learning center, which serves students in pre-K through 12th grade, and was President of the Princeton Chapin School Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2011. Taylor was named one of Savoy magazine’s Most Influential Black Lawyers in 2015, which features the top partners from leading law firms and corporate counsels from Fortune 1000 companies. He was recognized in Lawdragon’s 2018 guide of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America. The annual guide is the company’s highest distinction, recognizing top practitioners across various practice areas. He was the recipient of the New York Law School Alumni Award in 2018.

Included in his affiliations and memberships: American Intellectual Property Law Association and Federal Circuit Bar Association. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternities. Taylor has served as trustee on numerous boards, including the Board of Trustees of Clark Atlanta University and New York Law School, where co-chaired the advisory board for the Innovation Center for Law and Technology.

Errol B. Taylor was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 27, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.086

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/27/2018

Last Name

Taylor

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Schools

Brooklyn Technical High School

State University of New York at Oswego

New York Law School

First Name

Errol

Birth City, State, Country

Kingston

HM ID

TAY18

Favorite Season

Spring

Favorite Vacation Destination

Costa Rica

Favorite Quote

An Empty Barrel Makes The Most Noise.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/24/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

Jamaica

Favorite Food

Caribbean

Short Description

Lawyer Errol B. Taylor (1955- ) named partner at the New York law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in 2003, previously served as a patent attorney and partner at the corporate and securities law firm Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, in New York City from 1999 to 2003.

Employment

Squibb Corporation

Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper and Schinto

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy LLP

Favorite Color

Blue

The Honorable Jerome Kearney

Judge Jerome Kearney was born on May 30, 1956 in Gould, Arkansas to Thomas James Kearney and Ethel Curry Kearney. Kearney has eighteen siblings, including presidential appointee Janis F. Kearney. He graduated from Western Reserve Academy, a private college preparatory school in Hudson, Ohio, in 1974. He then received his B.A. degree in political science from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee in 1978, where he was founding member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Kearney earned his J.D. degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1981.

While in law school, Kearney completed internships in the Tennessee Attorney General’s office and the Davidson County Public Defender Office. Upon graduating, he began his legal career working in private practice with his older siblings in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He then worked as a trial attorney in the Pulaski County public defender’s office from 1982 to 1985. In 1985, Kearney was hired as a trial lawyer in the Arkansas Attorney General office, where he worked in the criminal appeals and litigation sections. From 1987 to 1990, Kearney worked as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor/Solicitors office in Dallas, Texas, handling cases in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. He then joined the federal public defender’s office in Oklahoma City, where he served as an assistant federal defender. In 1995, Kearney began working as a senior litigator in the U.S. Federal Public Defenders’ office in Little Rock under Jennifer Horan, who promoted him to first assistant in 2002. Kearney was the first African American to assume the role. In 2010, Kearney was appointed United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas and continued to serve in that role.

In 2006, Kearney received the National Outstanding Assistant Defender Award from the National Federal Defender Conference. Kearney served as a member and/or chairman of the Federal Practice Committee between 1997 and 2008, and was a member of the Henry Woods Inn of Courts legal practice society from 2003 to 2007.

Kearney is married to Nellie Faye Mays Kearney. He has four children: Bertrand, Sparkell, Jerome Jr., and Dylan.

Judge Jerome Kearney was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 13, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.043

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/13/2018

Last Name

Kearney

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Gould High School

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University Law School

First Name

Jerome

Birth City, State, Country

Gould

HM ID

KEA02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Alaska

Favorite Quote

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arkansas

Birth Date

5/30/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Little Rock

Favorite Food

Vanilla Ice Cream

Short Description

Judge Jerome Kearney (1956 - ) was the first African American to serve as an assistant federal public defender in the Arkansas Federal Public Defender Office. He went on to serve as a magistrate judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas from 2010 to 2018.

Employment

Federal Public Defender's Office, Arkansas

Federal Public Defender, Oklahoma

U.S. Department of Labor

Arkansas Attorney General's Office

Pulaski County Public Defender's Office

Favorite Color

Green

Alvin Marley

Investment executive Alvin Marley was born on October 31, 1947 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Marley served as president of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Beta Omicron Chapter in 1967 during his junior year at Tennessee State University in Nashville before graduating from Tennessee State University with his B.S. degree in mathematics in 1968. He served in the United States Air Force as a captain and mathematician from 1968 to 1971 before receiving his M.B.A. degree from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in 1973 in Bloomington, Indiana.

Marley began his career in finance at First National Bank of Chicago as an investment equity analyst before working as a portfolio manager and vice president from 1973 to 1989. He then joined Brinson Partners, which became part of Swiss Bank Corporation, as a partner and portfolio manager where he worked from 1989 to 1997. When Swiss Bank Corporation merged with the United Bank of Switzerland, Marley was named managing director and head of small cap equities investment at the newly formed UBS where he worked from 1997 to 2004. In 2005, Marley was named equity partner and senior portfolio manager for small capitalization equities at Lombardia Capital Partners, LLC. He was then promoted to serve as Lombardia Capital’s chief executive officer in 2013 and served in that capacity until 2017, when he stepped down as CEO. However, he retained his position as Lombardia’s senior portfolio manager for the small-cap core value and the small-cap value strategies.

An alumni supporter of his undergraduate alma mater, Marley established two scholarship programs in his name at Tennessee State University. He is also the recipient of numerous awards including the Wallace L. Jones Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management in 2013. In 2016, he also was selected as a Kelley School of Business Academy of Alumni Fellow.

A supporter of the Black Ensemble Theatre in Chicago, and a member of the Chicago’s NAACP Chapter and the Chicago Urban League, Alvin has mentored many over his forty year business career.

Marley has one adult daughter, Lisa, and three grandchildren.

Alvin Marley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 20, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.017

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/20/2018

Last Name

Marley

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

W

Schools

Tennessee State University

Kelley School of Business

Rosa A. Temple High School

First Name

Alvin

Birth City, State, Country

Vicksburg

HM ID

MAR21

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

Common Sense Is Not So Common.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

10/31/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Spaghetti

Short Description

Investment executive Alvin Marley (1947- ) served at Lombardia Capital Partners LLC CEO from 2013 to 2017 after serving as managing director and head of small cap equities investment at UBS from 1997 to 2004.

Employment

Lombardia Capital Partners

Swiss Bank

Brinson Partners

First National Bank of Chicago

Favorite Color

Gray and Blue

Ronald A. Crutcher

Academic administrator and cellist Ronald A. Crutcher was born on February 27, 1947 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Andrew and Burdella Crutcher. Crutcher graduated from Woodward High School in 1965, and went on to attend Miami University of Ohio, where he received his B.M. degree in 1969. He earned his M.M.A. degree from the Yale School of Music in 1972. Crutcher received a Fulbright Fellowship in 1972 to study in West Germany until 1977. In 1979, he became the first cellist to receive a D.M.A. degree from the Yale University School of Music.

Crutcher debuted at Carnegie Hall in 1985. He also performed around the world with a number of groups, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, the Klemperer Trio, and the Chanticleer String Quartet. In addition to his music career, Crutcher worked as an educator and school administrator. Crutcher was head of the string program at Wittenberg University School of Music from 1977 to 1979. He was then hired as an assistant professor of Music at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and was promoted to coordinator of the string area of their School of Music in 1984. In 1989, Crutcher became the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. In 1990, he joined the Conservatory at The Cleveland Institute of Music as a vice president for academic affairs and dean. He became the director of the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas – Austin in 1994. In 1999, Crutcher was hired as the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at his alma mater, Miami University of Ohio. In 2004, he was hired as president and professor of music at Wheaton College. In 2016, Crutcher became the first African American president of the University of Richmond.

Crutcher co-founded Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) within the Association of American Colleges and Universities, where he also served on the board. He also served on numerous community and corporate boards including the board of the American Council on Education, The Fulbright Association, and multiple boards for symphonies and music associations. Crutcher has received various awards and honors for his work in higher education and music including honorary doctorates from Muhlenberg College, Colgate University, and Wheaton College. Crutcher has also received the Presidential Medal of Honor from the University of Cordoba in Spain, The Cultural Excellence Award from The Cleveland Music School Settlement, and a Certificate of Merit from the Yale School of Music Alumni Association.

Crutcher and his wife, Betty Neal Crutcher, have one daughter, Sara.

Ronald A. Crutcher was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 6, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.099

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/6/2016

Last Name

Crutcher

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Andrew

Schools

Miami University

Yale University

University of Bonn

Frankfurt State Academy

Woodward Career Technical High School

First Name

Ronald

Birth City, State, Country

Cincinnati

HM ID

CRU03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Marthas Vineyard

Favorite Quote

I've been terrified all of my life but thats never stopped me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

2/27/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Richmond

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All food

Short Description

Academic administrator and cellist Ronald A. Crutcher (1947 – ) was the first cellist to receive a D.M.A. degree from the Yale University School of Music. He also served as president of Wheaton College before becoming the first African American president of the University of Richmond.

Employment

University of Richmond

Wheaton College (MA)

Miami University of Ohio

University of Texas at Austin

The Cleveland Inst. of Music

University of North Carolina, Greensboro

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Wittenberg University (Germany)

The Bonn School of Music (Germany)

Favorite Color

Blue

James E. Payne

Lawyer James E. Payne was born on March 3, 1968 in Port Arthur, Texas to James C. Payne and Jessie Payne. He attended Port Arthur Lincoln High School in Port Arthur, where he played on the basketball team, winning the 1986 UIL Championship game. He then earned his B.S. degree in political science with honors from the University of Houston in 1989. He earned his J.D. degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 1993.

Payne interned for Florida Congressman William Lehman in 1989. In 1993, Payne was hired as an associate lawyer at Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. Wanting to gain more trial experience, he left the firm to join the Provost Umphrey Law Firm, L.L.P. There, Payne practiced products liability, industrial work site accidents, automobile accident, and premises liability law. He was certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and as a civil trial advocate and a pretrial practice advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. In one of his more high profile cases, Matthews Smith et al. v. Star Enterprise et al., Payne argued on behalf of 250 plaintiffs against Texaco’s discriminatory employee practices. The plaintiffs received a $9 million settlement. This case, along with a number of others, allowed Payne to become a certified member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In addition to his legal work, he served as a youth minister at Cathedral of Faith Baptist Church in Beaumont, Texas, where he organized the Sunday school program R.E.A.L. School for Young Adults.

Payne was featured on the “Texas Super Lawyers” list by Thomson Reuters in 2003, continuing to make appearances on the list for many years. He was also named one of their “Top 100: Houston Super Lawyers” in 2013. Payne was featured on the US News and World Report “Best Lawyer” list from 2006 to 2017. He also organized “The Buy 90 Campaign for BOBs (Black Operated Businesses)” in Southeast Texas. A life member of the NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Payne served as Grand Sire/national President of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.

Payne and his wife, Tracie Yvonne Wilson, have three children: Taryn, Joshua and Caleb.

James E. Payne was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 3, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.140

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/3/2016

Last Name

Payne

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

E.

Occupation
Schools

Franklin Elementary School

Memorial High School

Woodrow Wilson Early College High School

University of Houston

University of Houston Law Center

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Port Arthur

HM ID

PAY08

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere He Can Golf

Favorite Quote

I Play To Win.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

3/3/1968

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak, Rice

Short Description

Lawyer James E. Payne (1968 - ) worked as a personal injury lawyer for Provost Umphrey Law Firm, L.L.P. since 1995, and successfully argued a $9 million settlement in the case of Matthews Smith et al. v. Star Enterprise et al.

Employment

Dairy Queen

University of Houston

Congressman William Lehmont

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Provost Umphrey Law Firm LLP

Favorite Color

Black

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James E. Payne's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James E. Payne lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James E. Payne describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James E. Payne talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James E. Payne describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James E. Payne describes his father's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James E. Payne recalls how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James E. Payne describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James E. Payne lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James E. Payne describes his early community in Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James E. Payne describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - James E. Payne talks about the racial demographics of Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - James E. Payne describes his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James E. Payne remembers being injured by a television explosion

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James E. Payne recalls his family's lawsuit against Magnavox

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James E. Payne describes the result of the lawsuit

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James E. Payne talks about lawyer Thomas A. Peterson's influence on his decision to practice law

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James E. Payne remembers playing basketball at Abraham Lincoln High School in Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James E. Payne describes his basketball team's training regime

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James E. Payne recalls the racial discrimination faced by the basketball team

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James E. Payne describes his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James E. Payne recalls his favorite teachers at Abraham Lincoln High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James E. Payne recalls his early interest in pursuing law

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James E. Payne remembers playing basketball at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James E. Payne recalls being chosen for a congressional internship

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James E. Payne remembers the death of his father

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James E. Payne describes his internship with Congressman William Lehman

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James E. Payne recalls his decision to attended University of Houston Law Center in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James E. Payne describes his organizational involvement in college

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James E. Payne talks about his experience with police brutality

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - James E. Payne recalls the results of the Rodney King trial

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - James E. Payne describes the racial demographics of his law class

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - James E. Payne remembers racial discrimination from his law school professors

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James E. Payne describes his involvement in moot court competitions

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James E. Payne recalls his first impressions of Vinson and Elkins LLP

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James E. Payne remembers leaving Vinson and Elkins LLP for Provost Umphrey LLP in Beaumont, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James E. Payne recalls being underestimated in court because of his race situations

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James E. Payne remembers the Matthews Smith, et al. v. Texaco, Inc., et al. discrimination case

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James E. Payne recalls results of the Matthews Smith, et al. v. Texaco, Inc., et al. trial

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James E. Payne talks about his board certifications

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James E. Payne describes the role of race in his representation of clients

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - James E. Payne talks about discriminatory practices in jury removal challenges

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - James E. Payne describes his bar association memberships

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James E. Payne describes the Buy 90 Campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James E. Payne recalls the public response to the Buy 90 Program

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James E. Payne talks about the impact of integration on black businesses, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James E. Payne talks about the impact of integration on black businesses, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James E. Payne recalls meeting and marrying his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James E. Payne remembers the formation of CUSH Magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James E. Payne shares his thoughts on prejudice and racial bias

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James E. Payne talks about his reasons for ending the distribution of CUSH Magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James E. Payne describes Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - James E. Payne talks about influential members of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James E. Payne describes the differences between Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and other organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James E. Payne talks about Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity's philanthropic approach

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James E. Payne remembers being elected as grand sire of the Boule

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James E. Payne recalls his accomplishments as grand sire of the Boule, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James E. Payne recalls his accomplishments as grand sire of the Boule, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James E. Payne shares his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James E. Payne talks about his youth ministry

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James E. Payne describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - James E. Payne reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James E. Payne describes his family

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James E. Payne talks about his personal philosophy for success

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James E. Payne reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James E. Payne narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$7

DATitle
James E. Payne describes his internship with Congressman William Lehman
James E. Payne talks about his board certifications
Transcript
Okay, so tell us about that. Now you, did you like, spend like a semester there or a quarter or what was it?$$I spent the semester there, I was there in the spring of nineteen eighty- spring of 1989, I worked for Congressman Bill Lehman [William Lehman] of Dade County, Florida [Miami-Dade County, Florida]. Mickey--Congressman Lehman was, was very good at making sure that we worked for a variety of people. And, and got the real experience of, of, of congressional interns, he didn't want us to come up there and be pages. Which is you know just going around taking petitions to get signatures; he wanted us to get into the congressional mindset. And, and basically work like a legislative assistant would of worked. And so and they, he did that, I mean Congressman Bill Lehman, when I got there, I immediately did work like the legislative assistants would do. I was meeting with the constituents, I was writing letters back to his, his people within his community. I became the liaison for the Haitian African American, at that time black versus Haitian disputes with the, the Coast Guards [U.S. Coast Guard]. Back in 1989 they were deporting Haitians who were coming close to the sou- to the United States. They would, they intercept them, the congressional--the Coast Guards would intercept them and send them back to Haiti. Well of course when they intercept them, sent them back to Haiti, they would die on their way back and so there was a fight between the United States and the Haitian group as to what you should do with those Haitians that were coming over. They didn't really have anyone in my congressman's area in Dade County, Florida who speak, who could speak on that issue. And I became the person to deal with that issue with the Coast Guard and Haitians. Now I'm twenty years old, twenty-one years old I'm having to go to Edison High School [Miami Edison Senior High School, Miami, Florida] which is the high school where the Haitians and the, and the blacks were having interactions. I'm dealing with a lot of the Haitians elected officials and both I, at that time it was Ba- Baby Doc [Jean-Claude Duvalier] in, in, in authority. My congressman worked for the, he was the federa- chairman of the Federal Aviation Committee [Federal Aviation Administration] which was during the Eastern [Eastern Air Lines] strike. So we were having the Eastern strike at that time, I'm having to fly back and forth to Miami [Florida], I'm twenty years old, I understand Haitian government. I understand you know cons, the, the Coast Guard's interactions and I'm the go to person in [U.S.] Congress for Dade County, Florida. You can't ask for a better (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Probably the whole Haitian situation, you're probably the go- yeah.$$It was a great experience for me, I mean I'm, I remember flying to Marco Polo Hotel [Ramada Plaza Marco Polo Beach Resort, Miami, Florida] and I would fly back and forth you know almost every month. To meet with the Haitian officials, meet with the Coast Guards, come back and report to my congressman, here's where we are. And then when the congress of constituents would come up to meet with Congressman Lehman, I would be in the room. Because I'm the guy so although I'm twenty, I'm from Port Arthur, Texas, I, I never studied Haitian government, I'm now the go between. And it was an awesome, awesome experience for me, you know because when we, we had various bills that were put forth because I knew the bill, I would actually go to the various congress people. I remember talking with Tip O'Neill, Speaker Tip O'Neill, he called and you know I'm sitting on the phone talking to him like, "Oh my god I'm talking to Tip O'Neill" (laughter). But you know I knew the information, it was my bill, you know I wouldn't say it was my bill, but I drafted the thing. So (laughter) it was a great, great experience and, and I was coming from an area where Congressman Jack Brooks was very high in the judiciary on the, he was chairman of the judiciary committee [U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary]. And so my congressman, Congressman Bill Lehman and Congressman Jack Brooks had a good relationship. And, and because I was from Jefferson County [Texas], I could always go see Congressman Brooks. So he could always get me bypa- could bypass me to the people that I really need to talk to, so I start learning to play the Washington politics at twenty. Okay, I got this congressman, I got this chairman, this chairman can get me to this guy, then I can get somebody to review my bill or, or my congressman's bill. And then I figured out who the players are in Dade County, Florida that need to come up to help me sit through the congressional insight when they do the, the bill, bill review. So that I got the right players sitting at the table asking- answering the right questions, you just start playing politics. And that's the kind of experience I received at twenty years old.$$Yeah that's incredible (laughter) you think you know, it's scary too although, a twenty year old is given that kind of you know. But that's you know (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) That's Washington [D.C.].$$Yeah but, yeah we have--we often interview people that find themselves in a situation that they couldn't've imagined like just a year before. And here you are at a Dairy Queen--$$Yes.$$--flipping burgers and now you're like the Haitian go to person in Congress.$$Yes.$Tell us about--now, I have a note here that you received a NBTA certification, National Board of Trial Ad- Advocacy [National Board of Trial Advocacy], as a certified civil trial advocate. Now what does that mean and--?$$That's similar to the board certification by the Texas State board of certification [Texas Board of Legal Specialization] that means you have reached a level of excellence. You've tried a certain amount of cases and many times with Texas board of specialization you actually have to go to Austin [Texas] take another test. You'll see many times in whatever state you practice, they'll say you, you see a lawyers advertising saying, "Hey I can help you, I can help you." And then at the very bottom in real, real smart print it'll say, "Not board certified by the board of specialization." That's a requirement that says you have not reached that level of sus- specification. And I look at it like this, if you, you have a heart problem, you can go see an internal medicine or you can go see a cardiologist. You have a heart problem you go see a cardiologist 'cause they're specialized in cardiology. The same thing I see when it comes to personal injury, you can go see a lawyer, you have a personal injury. Or you can go see someone who specializes in personal injury. To me I'd go to someone who specializes. So I want to make sure I got certification and board certified because again I understand 90 percent of the lawyers are not board certified. But I need to be in that exclusive, exclusive group because if I'm gonna be competitive, I gotta se- I gotta be better. And so I made sure I was board certified not only personal injury, the national trial advocacy. I have board certification in civil trial, and then also have national board certification by civil trial of national board certification in pretrial litigation.$$Okay.$$So--$$Now all of this, in 2003 you're identified as a Texas Super Lawyer now what does this mean?$$That is a very, that was probably one of the biggest honors I've received since I've been practicing in that you are nominated by your peers. The lawyers in Texas decide who they recognize as the top 5 percent lawyers in the State of Texas. That is not something that you can buy into, they nominate and I have been recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer since nine- 2003, which is when they started Texas Super Lawyer. And I've been recognized every since, and in 2003 I'm not sure but I think I was probably the only African American in the State of Texas that received that designation in 2003. And I've had that designation ever since.

Art Fennell

Broadcast journalist Art Fennell was born and raised in Bennettsville, South Carolina. One of twelve children, he graduated from South Carolina State University with a communications degree.

Fennell began his broadcasting career as a radio announcer in Orangeburg, South Carolina. He went on to work in on-air positions at The South Carolina Educational Television Network; WBTW-TV in Florence, South Carolina; WCBD-TV in Charleston, South Carolina; WSAV-TV in Savannah, Georgia and WAVY-TV in Portsmouth, Virginia. Fennell then moved to WCAU NBC-10 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he served in various roles, including as anchor, reporter, host and producer. He was subsequently named principal anchor and managing editor for CN8 News on the Comcast Network based in Philadelphia, and hosted the nightly 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts. From 2006 to 2014, CN8-TV aired “Art Fennell Reports,” where Fennell was executive producer and anchor.

Fennell has also served on special assignments for TV-ONE and led the network’s live national coverage of “The Michael Jackson Memorial” from Los Angeles, “The Democratic National Convention” from Denver, “Election Night 2008” from Chicago, and the historic “Inauguration of President Barack Obama” from Washington, DC. In addition, he taught as an adjunct communications professor at Delaware State University.

Fennell served as president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) from 1995 to 1997. He also served on the boards of UNITY: Journalists of Color and the NABJ, as well as president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, and founding president of the Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals. In 2001, he founded The Arthur Fennell Foundation, which is committed to raising funds and awareness to assist community based organizations dealing with disease, education and prevention in diverse, under-served populations.

Throughout his career, Fennell has been honored with more than seventy-five awards, including the prestigious Vanguard Award presented by the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. He also received the 2009 “Journalist of The Year Award” for his work in the Philadelphia region and the 2006 Emmy Award for “Outstanding News Anchor” in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Art Fennell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 12, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.173

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/12/2014

Last Name

Fennell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Blenheim High School

South Carolina State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Arthur

Birth City, State, Country

Bennettsville

HM ID

FEN01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa, The Caribbean, West Coast, South

Favorite Quote

I Hope The Good News Is Yours.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

1/10/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Broadcast journalist Art Fennell (1961 - ) was a principal anchor and managing editor for CN8 News, and served as executive producer and anchor of CN8-TV’s 'Art Fennell Reports' from 2006 to 2014. He was president of the National Association of Black Journalists from 1995 to 1997.

Employment

Comcast NBC Universal

WCAU

WAVY

WSAV

WCBD

WBTW

SC ETV

Fennell Media

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Art Fennell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Art Fennell lists his favorites

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Art Fennell talks about his maternal grandparents' life in South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Art Fennell describes his maternal grandparents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Art Fennell talks about his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Art Fennell describes his paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Art Fennell describes his paternal grandfather's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Art Fennell talks about his father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Art Fennell remembers his family's ghost stories

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Art Fennell talks about how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Art Fennell describes his father's occupations

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Art Fennell describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Art Fennell lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Art Fennell describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Art Fennell remembers the tornado that destroyed his home, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Art Fennell remembers the tornado that destroyed his home, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Art Fennell describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Art Fennell remembers Blenheim High School in Blenheim, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Art Fennell remembers the ginger ale factory in Blenheim, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Art Fennell remembers the integration of Blenheim High School in Blenheim, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Art Fennell describes his early interests

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Art Fennell recalls his decision to attend South Carolina State College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Art Fennell recalls his start in the broadcasting industry

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Art Fennell remembers working at WDIX Radio in Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Art Fennell talks about Max Robinson

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Art Fennell recalls the newscasters of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Art Fennell talks about his influential professors

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Art Fennell remembers studying under Eloise Usher Belcher

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Art Fennell recalls his start as a photographer

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Art Fennell talks about the civil rights history of Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Art Fennell remembers his training at SCE-TV in Columbia, South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Art Fennell describes the lack of African American politicians in South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Art Fennell remembers Armstrong Williams

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Art Fennell describes his experiences at WBTW-TV in Florence, South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Art Fennell remembers anchoring at WSAV-TV in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Art Fennell remembers moving to WAVY-TV in Portsmouth, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Art Fennell talks about the Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Art Fennell recalls founding the Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Art Fennell talks about being recognized in public

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Art Fennell remembers joining WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Art Fennell talks about the change in network affiliation at WCAU-TV

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Art Fennell describes his experiences as a talk show host

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Art Fennell recalls becoming president of the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Art Fennell remembers hosting President Bill Clinton at the NABJ national convention

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Art Fennell recalls President Bill Clinton's arrival at the NABJ national convention

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Art Fennell talks about the speakers at the NABJ national convention

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Art Fennell recalls the founding of the NABJ Media Institute

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Art Fennell talks about his time at WCAU-TV

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Art Fennell remembers founding a media consulting company

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Art Fennell remembers his awards and accolades

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Art Fennell remembers developing 'Art Fennell Reports'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Art Fennell recalls his special assignments with TV One

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Art Fennell remembers the election of President Barack Obama

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Art Fennell talks about 'Murder in Memphis: Timeline to an Assassination'

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Art Fennell recalls the acquisition of NBC Universal by the Comcast Corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Art Fennell remembers the cancellation of 'Art Fennell Reports'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Art Fennell describes his plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Art Fennell talks about his interest in photography

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Art Fennell reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Art Fennell talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Art Fennell describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Art Fennell reflects upon his professional legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Art Fennell describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Art Fennell remembers the tornado that destroyed his home, pt. 1
Art Fennell remembers joining WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Transcript
The most vivid childhood memory came in April of 1969 I think it was. It may have been '68 [1968] or--I think it was '68 [1968] or '69 [1969]. We had just gotten off the school bus coming home from school. And the weather was ominous, and it was just starting to rain very lightly. And me and my brother Dennis [Dennis Fennell] were the only ones on the bus. My other brothers--they had done an experiment. And I won't digress too far with this, away from the story, but they were doing an experiment back then in, in, in Bennettsville [South Carolina] and Blenheim [South Carolina], another small town, where they wanted to test integrating the schools. But for that year, they were asking for volunteers from families, to volunteer children to see if this would work in rural South Carolina. So my next two brothers, Jeffrey [Jeffrey Fennell] and Tommy Lee [Tommy Fennell], were volunteered by my parents [Sarah McLeod Fennell and James Fennell], because they were bigger and older, and they could probably deal with it better than Dennis and myself, who were much younger. So we were still in the segregated school. We were coming home from, from, from school this day, Dennis and I. We get off the bus, and we're walking down the dirt road. And it was this--clouds were getting a little dark. And as we got to the house, my mother was taking in the clothes, 'cause it was obviously just starting to rain. And she said, "Children, help me with these clothes to get 'em off the clothesline, because bad weather is coming." And as we were taking in those clothes, the winds began to pick up more and more and more. And, and it, it became fun for me and my brother because this was an adventure. But I remember going out on probably the last trip to the clothesline. And I looked across the cotton field, and I saw a tornado coming. It was as clear as day, and it was happening now, and it was coming right for us. And so we gathered the last bit of clothes, and we rushed into the house. And as we closed the door, because the winds were very strong, it took all three of us by the way to push and close that door from the force of the wind. But we did close it. And it stayed closed for about five to ten seconds before it exploded open, because at this point the tornado was right on top of us, and we couldn't close that door again. Windows began to explode, and air was all through the house. The tornado was on top of us. And so my mother grabbed me and my brother. And on a, a small little sofa--and I have a picture of us on this small sofa, and it was in the corner of the room by the stove--and she huddled us together like a mother hen gathering her biddies. And she said, "Pray children pray." And we started praying while that tornado sat down upon us. It destroyed our whole house. When it was over, there was nothing left in the house. The roof was gone. All of the other furnishings in the house were gone. The wall behind us was still there, but on the other side of the wall was nothing. But that sofa with myself, my brother, and my mother was still intact with us on it. And I remember looking up at as small boy, and I could see the sky. And I looked around, and we were in a daze, but we were unharmed, not a scratch. So I knew right then about the miracle of God. Because we were there praying and--you know, small children, you know, we were praying. But I was peeping, 'cause I wanted to see this phenomenon happening around us. But we were un- we were unhurt. And so that was--that was a very vivid moment for me, for everyone. The community--once the story had passed, people were rushing to our aid to see if we were okay, if anyone had been harmed, and to see how they could help, 'cause that's what communities do in those types of times.$$That's quite a story.$$Yeah.$$I mean--did you close your eyes while it was going? Did you (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Some of the time. I have to admit I was peeping. I remember peeping. But we had an old iron stove that was no more than five feet away from where I was. That was where we put the, the wood in and you know to warm the house. And I saw that old iron stove with the, the tin pipe that went up to the chimney started to bounce and rock as it was sitting there. It bounced like this, 'cause I was praying and peeping. And then I saw that stove lift off. I've never seen that stove again. It was five feet from me.$$Yeah, that's--$$So, yeah, I think after I saw that, I, I started praying harder than ever because I, I didn't wanna follow the direction of where that, that--where that stove had gone.$Nineteen ninety [1990] now, how, how did the op- opportunity come to--come to--come, come about to come to WCAU-TV in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]?$$Well, I, I was doing the news one night and I got a phone call. And it was from a gentleman named Paul Gluck, who had been visiting his mother who lived in the Hampton Roads [Virginia] area. Paul Gluck I didn't know from a can of paint, but he was the news director in Philadelphia. And he said, "I've watched you; I, I like what I see; when is your contract over in Virginia [WAVY-TV, Portsmouth, Virginia]?" It just so happens that my contract was coming to an end in the next couple of months, and I told him. And so he said, "I'd like to bring you to Philadelphia to take a look around and to see what we do here, and to see if it's something that you and I can come to terms with." And so I do, came to Philadelphia and, and loved it. This was big time TV. This was a completely different animal than anything that I had been accustomed to up until that point. But at least for me by then I'd already worked in several other TV markets. I was used to moving around. I was used to starting from scratch, and so that experience helped me to, to get acclimated in Philadelphia early. I was brought on as the, the five o'clock evening news anchor. I was young, but didn't carry myself in a young way. It became clear that I knew my way around a story in the field, and I knew my way around the anchor desk in the studio, 'cause I'd--by that point I was seasoned. And I wasn't intimidated, but yet, again, I didn't present myself in an arrogant type of way. One thing about Philadelphia that I learned very early, and it's--was true then, and it's true now. In this town, if people like you they will let you know. And if they don't like you, they will let you know. And if they don't like you, you are not long for this city. I'm fortunate that they like me, and so I was able to survive. And as they say, the rest is history. I've had a very good tenure here.

Milton Coleman

Newspaper editor Milton R. Coleman was born on November 29, 1946 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Coleman grew up in the Hillside Terrace public housing project in Milwaukee. He attended Fourth Street Elementary School and then graduated from Lincoln Junior and Senior High School. Coleman received his B.F.A. degree in music history and literature from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 1971, he was named a Southern Education Foundation Fellow. In 1974, Coleman was awarded a fellowship to attend the Michele Clark Summer Program for Minority Journalists at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Coleman began his career in journalism as a reporter for the Milwaukee Courier. He then worked as a reporter and editor for several minority-oriented news outlets, including the African World newspaper in Greensboro, North Carolina; the All-African News Service; WHUR-FM in Washington, D.C.; and the Community News Service of New York. Coleman also worked at a major metropolitan newspaper, the Minneapolis Star, before joining the The Washington Post in 1976 as a reporter on the metropolitan desk where he covered politics and government in Montgomery County, Maryland and the District of Columbia. In 1980, he was promoted to the city editor. Coleman then moved to the national news staff in 1983 where he covered minorities and immigration, the 1984 Presidential campaign, state and local governments, and the U.S. Congress. In 1986, he was hired as the assistant managing editor for the metropolitan news where he directed the newspapers local coverage. In July of 1996, Coleman was promoted to deputy managing editor of The Washington Post.

Coleman is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, and the Inter-American Press Association. He served as a member of the nominating committee for the Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism and as the chairman of the Seldon Ring Award for Investigative Reporting Judging Committee. In April of 2010, Coleman was elected as the president of the American Society of News Editors; and, in October of 2011, he was elected as the president of Inter-American Press Association. In 2012, Coleman was selected as the inaugural University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Foundation Alumni Fellow.

Milton R. Coleman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 22, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.125

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/23/2013

Last Name

Coleman

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Richard

Occupation
Schools

Columbia University

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Lincoln High School

Golda Meir Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Milton

Birth City, State, Country

Milwaukee

HM ID

COL23

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Wisconsin

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

11/29/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Newspaper editor Milton Coleman (1946 - ) was the managing editor of The Washington Post. He also served as president of the American Society of News Editors and the Inter-American Press Association.

Employment

Milwaukee Courier

Student Organization for Black Unity

All African News Service

Community News Service

Minneapolis Star

Washington Post

African World

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Milton Coleman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Milton Coleman lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Milton Coleman remembers his maternal grandfather, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Milton Coleman remembers his maternal grandfather, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Milton Coleman describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Milton Coleman describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Milton Coleman describes his likeness to his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Milton Coleman talks about his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Milton Coleman recalls moving to the Hillside Terrace housing projects in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Milton Coleman describes the Hillside Terrace housing project in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Milton Coleman describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Milton Coleman describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Milton Coleman talks about his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Milton Coleman talks about the history of the Great Migration, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Milton Coleman talks about the history of Great Migration, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Milton Coleman remembers his experiences in primary and secondary school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Milton Coleman recalls the basketball team at Lincoln Junior-Senior High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Milton Coleman recalls his primary school mentors

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Milton Coleman describes his early encounters with media and editing

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Milton Coleman talks about the talents of his brother, Jerome.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Milton Coleman describes his interest in sports when he was young, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Milton Coleman describes his interest in sports when he was young, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Milton Coleman recalls secondary teachers and individuals that inspired him, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Milton Coleman recalls secondary teachers and individuals that inspired him, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Milton Coleman recalls secondary teachers and individuals that inspired him, pt. 3

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Milton Coleman talks about his involvement in organizations as a high school student

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Milton Coleman recalls his honors and awards in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Milton Coleman recalls enrolling at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Milton Coleman talks about Professor Edith Borroff

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Milton Coleman remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Milton Coleman recalls changing his focus to African American ethnomusicology

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Milton Coleman describes his involvement with the black student movement

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Milton Coleman recalls his introduction to journalism

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Milton Coleman remembers writing for Negro Digest

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Milton Coleman recalls his introduction to Hoyt W. Fuller

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Milton Coleman talks about his graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Milton Coleman remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Milton Coleman recalls directing the Soul Shack program in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Milton Coleman describes his role at the Milwaukee Courier

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Milton Coleman remembers moving to North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Milton Coleman talks about the Student Organization for Black Unity

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Milton Coleman remembers moving to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Milton Coleman describes his reasons for founding the All African News Service

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Milton Coleman talks about his early challenges at the All African News Service

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Milton Coleman recalls the reporters and writers at the All African News Service

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Milton Coleman talks about the emergence of black organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Milton Coleman remembers joining the staff of WHUR Radio in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Milton Coleman remembers the Michele Clark Summer Program for Minority Journalists

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Milton Coleman describes his experiences at Columbia University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Milton Coleman describes his transition to the Minneapolis Star

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Milton Coleman recalls his experiences at the Minneapolis Star

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Milton Coleman describes his decision to join the staff of the Washington Post

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Milton Coleman recalls his start at The Washington Post

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Milton Coleman remembers Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Milton Coleman remembers Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Milton Coleman talks about gun violence

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Milton Coleman remembers his promotion to city editor of The Washington Post

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Milton Coleman remembers covering the black community for The Washington Post

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Milton Coleman remembers Janet Cooke's article about a child heroin addict, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Milton Coleman remembers Janet Cooke's article about a child heroin addict, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Milton Coleman recalls his doubts about Janet Cooke's reporting, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Milton Coleman recalls his doubts about Janet Cooke's reporting, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Milton Coleman describes the aftermath of the Janet Cooke scandal

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Milton Coleman talks about the importance of journalistic integrity

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Milton Coleman recalls the impact of the Janet Cooke scandal on his career

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Milton Coleman talks about his early challenges at the All African News Service
Milton Coleman describes his decision to join the staff of the Washington Post
Transcript
So you just couldn't get the papers to pay their bills on time--now, this is probably, no matter what kind of service you had, it probably would be an issue in the black (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$ (Simultaneous) Yeah. And because of--I mean, that was the beginning of the thing--of the black--of the black press. You know, the black press had been at its high point in the '60s [1960s]. And then as is so frequently the case, once white folks start doing it, the black folks go out of business, you know. And it was always clear to me from my days at the Courier [Milwaukee Courier] that so much of the advertising in the black press at that time was not consumer driven. Then the advertising came primarily out of the public relations budget of the supermarkets. But they weren't really trying to get black folks to buy their cabbage and coleslaw. They were just trying to look good. And even to this day, a lot of advertising toward ethnic publications is not consumer driven. You know, it's public relations driven. And the black press had really been good until white folks started covering the Civil Rights Movement, 'cause up until that time, if you wanted to read about what was happening in the South, you had to read the Chicago Defender and the Afro-American Newspapers; the Atlanta Daily World, you know. The black press told you about the lynchings. The white press did not. And so I was part of the generation, probably on the tail end of the generation of people who came out of the black press into mainline newspapers, you know.$$I've been told not just in journalism, but in many other fields, doors for opportunity, you know, popped up after the '68 [1968] riots.$$ Oh, yeah.$$And (unclear) mean black people who had not even--didn't even dream about being in a riot were able to get a job, you know, in so many fields. They were the first African American--I interviewed the, you know, the first African American to do this or do that, anything you can think of almost.$$ Yeah.$$You know, so. They were actually recruiting people to be a part of like, Newsweek or Time or whatever.$$ If you read the Kerner Commission report on the chapter on the news media, it paints a whole picture of what life was like for black folks in the media at that time. I mean, Carl Rowan was the only black syndicated columnist. The only one, you know. And there were hardly any editors or--because, you know, essentially, white guys cover the Civil Rights Movement, and that was their springboard to higher positions in the news media, you know.$ (Simultaneous) Right. And I, and I wrote a, I wrote a series on Minneapolis finances that became part of my packet that I sent out looking for a job. And so I started looking for a job after I'd been--I had already been turned down by the Dayton Daily News, and turned down by The Philadelphia Inquirer a year earlier. And so I get this letter from the woman who's in charge of recruiting for The Washington Post newsroom, because I had applied for another job in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]. I put Maynard [Robert C. Maynard] down as a reference, and Maynard had given this woman the clips, and she wanted me to come and interview at The Post. And so I had three interviews set up. One at The Washington Post, thanks to Maynard; one at The Philadelphia Inquirer, and one at the Washington bureau Newsweek. I had these three interviews. And so I come down and do these--all the interviews, and I get back to Minneapolis [Minnesota], so Faye [Coleman's wife, Faye Edwards Coleman] says, "Well, what's the story?" I said, "Well, I have two interviews--I have two job offers. I have one from The Philadelphia Inquirer, and one from The Washington Post." She said, "Which one's the better offer?" I said, "Well, actually The Philadelphia Inquirer has the better offer." She said, "Why?" I said, "Well, if I go to The Washington Post, I'll be covering government and politics in Montgomery County of Maryland. If I go to The Philadelphia Inquirer, I'll be covering the governor." She said, "Where's the governor?" I said, "In Harrisburg [Pennsylvania]." She said, "I hope you have fun." I decided to come to Washington [D.C.] (laughter). But it was a good offer in both places, but she was not about to go to Harrisburg. Wise woman that she was, 'cause Three Mile Island occurred a year or so later. And so that's how I wound up coming to The Post. And I--while I was in Minneapolis, I was mentored by, not only by Maynard, but by Joel Dreyfuss, who later became all kinds of things including the managing editor of theroot.com. But Joel was--I would write stories and send clips of those stories to Joel, and Joel would critique them in a no holds barred way, and Maynard and Austin Scott, who at the time was with The Washington Post, but had been with the Associated Press. And Joel taught me to always be concerned about who your editor is and to try to get an editor who would not only tell you why your story is no good, but would help you understand how to make it better. And I learned that from Joel, and I learned how to write better from Joel, 'cause Joel was--Joel at the time was at The Washington Post, and he was on the style staff and, in fact, when I came down for interviews, I stayed in Joel's apartment in Washington, 'cause I had my interviews in Philadelphia--in Harrisburg on, like, a Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. And my interviews at The Post were, like, on Monday and Tuesday. So I came down to Washington and stayed in Joel's apartment. He was away. And Joel, himself, had been the center of controversy, because he had trapped--he had been on the job as a Los Angeles [California] correspondent for The Post, and had been denied that job in a very public way, 'cause Ben Bradlee wrote a memo to Joel saying that, "Joel, you're a good reporter. Everybody wants a good reporter in Los Angeles, but nobody wants a pain in the ass," and all of that had become public. And so when I came down here, I told Joel. I said, you know, "Joel, if I'm offered a job at The Post, I'm not so sure I'd take it." And Joel said, "Why?" And I said, "Well, because of what went down between you and Bradlee." And Joel said, "You'd be a fool if you do that. What happened between me and Bradlee is between me and Bradlee." And Joel said very prophetically, "You might be able to do things at The Washington Post that I could never do." So with that advice from Joel and the sage advice of my wife (laughter), I came to The Washington Post.

Harrell Spruill

Philanthropist and educator Harrell Solomon Spruill has established programs to help young people build vocational skills for a successful life path. Spruill was born in Travis, North Carolina on August 18, 1924, to Solomon, a farmer and Georgiana, a homemaker. Spruill and his nine siblings grew up on a thirteen acre farm which his father owned. Growing up, Spruill was painfully shy and throughout his youth Spruill’s closest friends were his siblings.

Spruill graduated from Tyrell County Training School in Columbia, North Carolina in 1940. Inspired by his sister’s college degree, Spruill was determined to attend the Hampton Institute. After high school, Spruill deferred for a year to work in a wood mill to raise money for tuition. Spruill also had a work study position, and though he was thankful to have the opportunity, he longed to be a “regular” college student. In 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Navy where he worked as a diesel mechanic and rose to the rank of Fireman First Class and Motor Machinist Second Class. Though he saw no combat, Spruill was incredibly successful in the Navy because it allowed him to practice the values his parents instilled in him, that of education and hard work.

Following his time in the service, Spruill returned to Hampton more self assured and eager to become involved with extra-curricular activities. He joined the Omicron Social Club, and was a two time division-champion wrestler. In 1949, Spruill received his certificate in the automobile and diesel mechanics program. After returning from a training program in Chicago, Spruill saw the disrepair the farm had fallen into since his father’s death and stayed to return the farm back functional. He received his B.S. degree from Hampton in 1952. That same year, Spruill taught at Alcorn University in Mississippi. He remained there for two years. Later, he took a position at Wiley H. Bates High School in Annapolis, Maryland, where he taught industrial arts in the Anne Arundel County school system for twenty-nine years.

In 1956, under the advisement of a close friend, Spruill bought fifteen acres of land. To make his loan payments on a teacher’s salary, Spruill lived in boarding houses and cooked his own meals. Another example of his resourcefulness, Spruill had his students serviced neighborhood cars to raise funds for classroom supplies. In 1987, the State of Maryland bought his land to build a new road. With the profit from the sale, Spruill and his siblings established a scholarship in their parents’ names. The following year, Spruill bought another piece of land on Tracy’s Landing, so he could run farm programs for inner city school children. With the land that he purchased, he formed partnerships with the Boys and Girls Club and African American fraternities to use his surplus crops for fundraisers. Spruill started the Har-Pearl Foundation in 2003. Co-named after his late wife of thirty-two years, Pearl, the organization donates to various causes. Spruill is married to Annetta Spruill, and they reside on the farm at Tracy’s Landing. He has two children with Pearl: Kevin and Kecia; three grandchildren: Sarah Spruill, Jazlyn and Myles Johnson; and one step-son: Jay Pittman (Annetta’s son).

Spruill was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 26, 2008.

Harrell Spruill passed away on December 6, 2012.

Accession Number

A2008.094

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/26/2008

Last Name

Spruill

Maker Category
Middle Name

Solomon

Schools

Tyrell County Training School

Travis Elementary School

Hampton University

First Name

Harrell

Birth City, State, Country

Travis

HM ID

SPR02

Favorite Season

None

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

He Who Has, More Shall Be Added Unto It. He Who Has Not, That He Seem To Have Had Shall Be Taken Away.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/18/1924

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

12/6/2012

Short Description

High school industrial arts teacher Harrell Spruill (1924 - 2012 ) was the founder of the Har-Pearl Foundation, which provided inner city youth with the opportunity to learn about farm life.

Employment

Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College

Wiley H. Bates High School

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:3354,80:4300,97:4902,107:13628,259:27321,428:27972,437:31134,508:32715,527:33087,532:46186,719:61325,890:71456,1008:75260,1051:75680,1057:79208,1128:80468,1150:92692,1281:93132,1287:93748,1296:101140,1532:115450,1803:116130,1813:121876,1867:123988,1909:126188,1945:127332,1963:128124,1978:136275,2131:137850,2150:140055,2176:142470,2206:146416,2235:146752,2261:162282,2457:179084,2644:181736,2685:184154,2738:197384,2861:198476,2949:198866,2955:204368,3024:206384,3054:206768,3080:209744,3136:210416,3144:223832,3400:224560,3418:225080,3436:225496,3442:232349,3497:232930,3506:233262,3511:234590,3539:236499,3575:245366,3667:246542,3681:247130,3688:247816,3696:255068,3817:262794,3860:267350,3915:268406,3931:274605,4038:276390,4050:277410,4071:277920,4103:278430,4111:295340,4348$0,0:285,19:2770,35:3770,49:4770,57:19480,265:20005,273:25780,500:31775,558:38498,701:41154,762:44830,798:46976,848:58946,973:59386,979:59738,987:60090,992:60882,1004:61938,1067:66866,1148:80526,1292:88505,1383:90885,1413:91361,1418:91837,1423:107002,1710:112523,1803:112997,1813:115130,1848:118527,1913:119554,1932:122082,1973:132758,2116:137726,2241:138230,2249:142910,2352:144350,2400:146438,2479:148166,2494:149750,2534:164354,2804:164630,2809:168218,2877:170012,2928:172634,3036:181778,3144:184330,3184:185386,3259:197544,3449:204220,3506
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Harrell Spruill's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Harrell Spruill lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Harrell Spruill describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Harrell Spruill remembers attending the Chapel Hill Baptist Church in Columbia, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Harrell Spruill talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Harrell Spruill recalls changing his name to Harrell

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Harrell Spruill describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Harrell Spruill talks about his family's farm in Travis, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Harrell Spruill describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Harrell Spruill describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Harrell Spruill describes his home in Travis, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Harrell Spruill describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Harrell Spruill describes the kitchen in his childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Harrell Spruill describes his siblings and their education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Harrell Spruill recalls his summer employment

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Harrell Spruill recalls his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Harrell Spruill describes a typical day on his family's farm, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Harrell Spruill describes a typical day on his family's farm, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Harrell Spruill remembers his father's influence

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Harrell Spruill recalls attending Travis Elementary School in Travis, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Harrell Spruill recalls his early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Harrell Spruill describes his academic experiences at the Tyrrell County Training School in Columbia, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Harrell Spruill remembers his father's discipline

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Harrell Spruill recalls joining the New Farmers of America

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Harrell Spruill recalls his father's personality

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Harrell Spruill describes his extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Harrell Spruill recalls his time as a saw mill worker

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Harrell Spruill recalls his first year at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Harrell Spruill remembers being drafted into the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Harrell Spruill recalls his treatment at the Naval Station Great Lakes, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Harrell Spruill recalls his treatment at the Naval Station Great Lakes, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Harrell Spruill talks about the entertainment at the Naval Station Great Lakes

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Harrell Spruill describes the racial discrimination in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Harrell Spruill talks about his promotions in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Harrell Spruill remembers the atomic bombing of Japan

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Harrell Spruill recalls returning to the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Harrell Spruill recalls his financial support of his siblings' education

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Harrell Spruill recalls his mentors at the Hampton Institute

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Harrell Spruill remembers his estrangement from his father, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Harrell Spruill remembers his estrangement from his father, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Harrell Spruill recalls taking care of his family farm

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Harrell Spruill remembers teaching at the Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in Lorman, Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Harrell Spruill remembers teaching at the Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in Lorman, Mississippi, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Harrell Spruill recalls leaving the Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Harrell Spruill remembers his first wife, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Harrell Spruill remembers his first wife, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Harrell Spruill describes his teaching career in Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Harrell Spruill recalls the desegregation of the public school system

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Harrell Spruill recalls purchasing land in Annapolis, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Harrell Spruill recalls buying a farm in Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Harrell Spruill recalls the urban development of Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Harrell Spruill recalls his retirement from the Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Harrell Spruill remembers marrying his second wife

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Harrell Spruill recalls the launch of his student farm, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Harrell Spruill recalls the launch of his student farm, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Harrell Spruill describes his involvement with Sojourner Douglass College in Edgewater, Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Harrell Spruill talks about the Har-Pearl Spruill Foundation, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Harrell Spruill describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Harrell Spruill reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Harrell Spruill talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Harrell Spruill reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Harrell Spruill talks about his third wife

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Harrell Spruill describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

6$2

DATitle
Harrell Spruill describes a typical day on his family's farm, pt. 1
Harrell Spruill remembers teaching at the Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in Lorman, Mississippi, pt. 2
Transcript
Let me go back a little bit to growing up. Can you give me an idea of--this is such a different life than people lead today. Can you give me an idea of what your typical day was as a, as a, as a youth, you know, growing up on the farm [in North Carolina]? When would you get up, and, and then what--say it's a school day. Just tell me what you would do.$$Well, since I was sort of the--I was depended upon, on the family to make the fires, I would get up sometimes around four o'clock in the morning and make the fires and make sure that everybody was comfortable by the time they got out of the bed. Then during the, the, the wintertime (unclear)--wintertime, of course, naturally, depends on what you were doing that day. My father [Solomon Spruill, Jr.] used to kill hogs, you know. If it was the day that we're gonna kill hogs, I would also go out on the wood pile and make sure that the fire was made for the pots and whatnot. And of course, so when the men start to killing the hogs they would have hot water. And after you've done all those things, you get ready to go back. I mean I would I get ready to go to school and to walk to school.$$About what time would that be now?$$Oh, you, you give yourself at least a hour and a half to two hours to walk the three, three miles to school.$$I mean, so when, when--$$So--$$--when would--about what time did you start walking? Or, what, what, what time--$$I would imagine--$$--did you have to be at school? Okay.$$--about seven o'clock.$$Okay, 'cause you had to be at school by what time?$$Eight o'clock.$$By eight, okay.$$Eight or 8:30, something--$$All right.$$--like that had to be there. And of course, I would make sure that--and of course, my, my brother, Albert [Albert Spruill], used to also go along, and Eva [Eva Spruill Pope], until she finished high--the three of us you walked together to school. And of course, walking, we would also pick up other children. Other children would be walking to the school.$$Okay, so you like--you all would walk and talk and--on the way--$$Right, talk and whatnot.$$Okay, on the way to school.$$And coming back, after school was out, we walking together, you are also concerned about when you came home, my father used to always make it a point to make sure that you had work to do. If you--he hadn't assigned you work, you should find some work to do. And of course, he usually has work planned for you. And we would--in the wintertime--we would go out in the woods. And in the woods there, there's a lot of dark soil. And we used to rake up the soil and pile it up for a compost. And that's when the, the mules and you can take the, the stable, the stuff from the stables and pour out there on the compost. Then you take the, the dirt from the trees and whatnot, the soil, the rich soil, and put on the compost. And by the spring of year that compost is way up there pretty, pretty big because you've been out there every day after school and built that compost up. And that was your job. You found something to do.$$Okay, about when did school let out?$$School was--$$About what time did school--$$--let out I suppose about three o'clock was the typical time. Of course--$$And so, in, in the wintertime it'd be dark when you (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well--$$--get off--$$--you find yourself time (laughter) go out there and do something, do something.$$Even in the dark, huh?$$Yeah, even in the dark, yeah, yeah, 'cause the first thing he would do is ask, "What have you done today?" When he came home. That was his--, "What have you done today?" Now, my father, even though he was a farmer, he had work at most of the white far- people's farm either digging ditches or killing hogs. He was very good at killing hogs. And he knew how, what to do, and whatnot. And they used to give him a lot of the meats that they, you know, that they didn't eat, because it's a funny thing about the white culture; inside--anything inside the hog they wouldn't eat it. And my father used to always--they used to always give that to him. And my mother [Georgiana Wynn Spruill] used to have jars and jars of chitterlings and hog feet and whatever inside, livers and whatnot, whatever was inside the hog. Some of it she used to give away. So he used to have a job.$$So she'd like, pickle those things?$$Yeah.$$Okay.$$Yeah.$And then on top of that, they said that I had to teach a course in mathematics [at Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College; Alcorn State University, Lorman, Mississippi]. And for one semester I taught college mathematics. I said, "Now gee whiz, now they don't realize that some mathematics I had to struggle to get through at Hampton [Hampton Institute; Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia]?" But apparently, they looked at my (clears throat)--grade point [grade point average] and found out that I could teach math. But anyway, I struggled through that for a semester. And after a semester they got, they, they hired--no, the next year. I taught it for two years--a, a year. And the next year they got enough money to hire a professor, and I didn't have to teach it but one year. But that was quite a taxing on me, because that meant that I had to change over. I had to change clothes to teach auto mechanics body and finish spray paint. Then I had to have these kids to come down to the classroom, and I had to--I couldn't sit up there in my clothes that I taught auto mechanic in, so I'd change clothes. And that became quite a, quite a thing to do. So, it was rather taxing, but, and of course, I had to study real hard because I had to make sure that the students were, were learning something. I didn't wanna send no crippled student out. You know, I had to study ahead of the student to make sure that they learned something out of my classroom. And some of them said they did learn something out of the classroom.$$Okay. So, so you were in charge of the motor school for the whole (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Right.$$--the, the whole, the, the school as well--$$Right.$$--and maintain the buses. How old was the bus that you had to work on?$$The, the, there were some that were given to--almost, almost as old as that old cement mixer that I was telling you about. Later on, I understand after I left there they got some new buses. But while I was there, I had to, even sometimes, you used to even have to ride the bus in order to keep the bus running. Because something that's been used and used and used, you can't do but so much repairing. I don't care what it is. It was quite taxing.$$So you had trouble with parts breaking off and bolts and stuff like that and like that?$$Well, you, you had problems with that, yeah. Yeah, but you had to be so careful that you don't break nothing (laughter), you know, inside--$$That seem--people that have used cars know that the, the repair may look simple, but when you started--$$Yeah, because--$$--something might--a screw might strip or a bolt break off or you, you know, 'cause it's old.$$Yeah. You had to be very careful because you can't put but so much pressure on a bolt, putting a bolt in, because you put too much pressure, you're gonna break it off. And then what's gonna happen, you're gonna have to, to dig back in there and get that bolt out of there in order to put something in there, because that's pretty important. So I never had that problem.$$Okay.$$You know, I was always--well, first of all, today they haven't because you got these, these wrenches automatically, you know, that, impact wrenches they call them, you know, today, but you didn't have that many back in those days. You know, you had to use it by hand. And you, you didn't have but so much strength. So, but today you got those impact wrenches, and you can put all kind of pressure on a bolt and whatnot. So it's different today.