The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Beverly Parker

Entrepreneur Beverly Parker was born on December 26, 1954 in Washington, D.C. to Bernard Kemp and Virginia Kemp. Parker attended Randolph Elementary School and Coolidge High School, where she graduated from in 1972. She earned her B.S. degree in education from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland in 1976, and her M.B.A degree in finance from Southeastern University in Washington, D.C. and completed post-graduate M.B.A. programs at the Dartmouth University Tuck School of Business in Hanover, New Hampshire and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business in Evanston, Illinois.

In 1976, Parker began her career working as a customer service representative for the Potomac Electric Power Company, where she remained until 1980, when she joined the Xerox Corporation as an operations manager in the finance division. Parker then co-founded Washington Cable Supply with her husband, William Parker, in 1984. As executive vice president for Washington Cable Supply, Parker was responsible for supply chain operations management, for Fortune 500 company clients such as AT&T, Bell South, Verizon, and Lucent. Her company, Washington Cable Supply became the seventh largest African American owned company in the United States, before Parker and her husband, retired in 2003.

Parker has received many awards and recognitions for her work with Washington Cable Supply. She was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Virginia Regional Minority Development Council, “Business Woman of the Year” by the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce in 2002, and was named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women of 2002, and earned a place on the list of “Who’s Who In Corporate America.”

Parker was an active participant in her community and resided on several boards, including the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, the Prince Georges County Chamber of Commerce, and The Chimes, a charitable organization that trained and supported people with developmental disabilities. She was also a member of the board of directors for the Miami-Dade Foundation, United Way, Miami Children’s Museum, and the Arscht Performing Arts Center. In 2004, she and her husband founded the Kemp-Parker Charitable Foundation to provide scholarships to minority students.

Beverly Parker was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 8, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.048

Sex

Female

Interview Date

03/08/2017

Last Name

Parker

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Rudolph Elementary School

Calvin Coolidge Senior High School

Morgan State University

Southeastern University

First Name

Beverly

Birth City, State, Country

Washington, DC

HM ID

PAR11

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Egypt

Favorite Quote

Be Good, Be Quick, Be Gone

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

12/26/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Soft shell crab

Short Description

Entrepreneur Beverly Parker (1954 - ) co-founded Washington Cable Supply, Inc. and served as its executive vice president, an electrical and telecommunications equipment distributor.

Employment

Potomac Electric Company

Xerox Corporation

Washington Cable Supply

Favorite Color

Green

Samuel Howard

Corporate executive Samuel Houston Howard was born on May 8, 1939 in Marietta, Oklahoma to Houston and Nellie Gaines Howard. Howard received his B.S. degree in business administration from Oklahoma State University in 1961, and his M.A. degree in economics from Stanford University in 1963.

From 1963 to 1967, Howard worked as a financial analyst with General Electric Company. In 1966 and 1967, he served as a White House Fellow and assistant to U.S. Ambassador Arthur Goldberg. From 1967 to 1968, Howard worked as director of educational computer services at Howard University and as a consultant to the U.S. Health, Education, and Welfare Department. He was then named vice president of finance, secretary and treasurer of TAW International Leasing Corporation, where he worked from 1968 until 1972. In 1972, he founded and served as chairman, president and CEO of Phoenix Holdings, Inc. and Phoenix Communications Group, Inc., which owned and operated broadcasting properties in Tennessee, Kansas and Mississippi.

Howard was hired as vice president of finance and business at Meharry Medical College in 1973. He then joined Hospital Affiliates International, Inc. as vice president of planning of the INA Health Care Group in 1977, and was promoted to vice president and treasurer in December of 1980. Howard was hired by Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) as vice president and treasurer in 1981, and was promoted to senior vice president of public affairs in October of 1985. He resigned from HCA in 1988 in order to chair Phoenix Holdings, Inc. fulltime. In 1993, Howard became chairman, president and CEO of Xantus Corporation, an investor owned company that owns and operates health maintenance organizations.

Howard has been a member, board director or committee member of numerous organizations, including Southeast Community Capital; Nashville Electric Service; National Association of Corporate Directors; Nashville Chamber of Commerce; Federation of American Health Systems; Financial Executives Institute; National Easter Seal Society; National Urban League; Leadership Nashville Foundation; Project Reflect, Inc.; National Conference of Christians & Jews, Inc. (NCCJ); and United Way, among others. Howard was founder and director of 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, chairman of the board of the Urban League of Middle Tennessee, and trustee of Fisk University. He served on the Governor’s TennCare Roundtable in 1995 and the Boy Scouts Inner City Task Force Committee in 1988.

Howard was inducted into the Oklahoma State University School of Business Hall of Fame in 1983, and received the 1980 and 1984 Federation of American Hospitals President's Achievement Award. In 1994, he received the Nashville NAACP Branch Image Award for Lifetime Achievement and the NCCJ Human Relations Award. Howard received the Outstanding CEO Award among the 100 largest privately-held businesses in Nashville in 1997 and the Nashville Business Journal's 1995 Small Business Executive of the Year Award. He was honored as Nashvillian of the Year in 1998 by the Easter Seal Society of Tennessee and as Philanthropist of the Year in 1997 by the National Society of Fundraising Executives. In 2010, Howard received the White House Fellows John W. Gardner Legacy of Leadership Award.

Howard is the author of The Flight of the Phoenix: Thoughts on Work and Life, published in 2007.

Samuel H. Howard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 24, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.031

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/24/2014

Last Name

Howard

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Houston

Occupation
Schools

Oklahoma State University

Stanford University

Douglass School

First Name

Samuel

Birth City, State, Country

Marietta

HM ID

HOW06

Favorite Season

None

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

There Is No Traffic On The Extra Mile.$A Good Name Is Better To Be Chosen Than All The Riches Of The World.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

5/8/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Brentwood

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Corporate executive Samuel Howard (1939 - ) was the founder of Phoenix Holdings, Inc. and Phoenix Communications Group, Inc., and the author of 'The Flight of the Phoenix: Thoughts on Work and Life.'

Employment

General Electric Company

United States Government

Howard University

U.S. Health, Education, and Welfare Department

TAW International Leasing Corporation

Phoenix Holdings, Inc.

Phoenix Communications Group

Meharry Medical College

Hospital Affiliates International, Inc.

Hospital Corporation of America

Xantus Corporation

Favorite Color

Black and Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:640,16:896,21:1152,26:1600,34:2304,48:2880,58:9234,136:14330,195:16719,226:18982,280:35742,434:36326,444:37494,473:52030,702:54736,762:74111,1055:75851,1104:77156,1119:77852,1129:80636,1179:85405,1265:85673,1271:94718,1462:110684,1682:125627,1916:128585,1956:131804,1974:132634,1983:133132,1990:136307,2020:138265,2115:167964,2546:169950,2562:171340,2603$0,0:11556,127:34502,447:41270,544:41702,552:42134,559:43790,578:44222,585:46310,651:46670,700:48254,741:50414,784:54020,792:55444,914:82340,1111:102272,1290:102706,1299:107552,1360:111030,1395:111606,1404:113948,1413:119545,1473:124914,1608:125278,1613:138733,1763:139703,1776:147903,1884:150476,1980:154010,2030:160130,2242:164560,2284:165012,2289:174500,2503:177944,2546:178846,2563:183835,2620:184119,2625:192326,2750:193732,2779:199123,2842:199549,2849:200117,2859:216620,3039
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Samuel Howard's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard lists his favorites

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

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard remembers his mother's Christian faith

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard talks about the African American community in Oklahoma

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Samuel Howard describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Samuel Howard remembers his home life in Lawton, Oklahoma

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Samuel Howard describes his early experiences of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Samuel Howard lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Samuel Howard describes his neighborhood in Lawton, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Samuel Howard remembers segregation in Lawton, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard describes the black business district in Lawton, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard describes his employment during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard remembers his teachers at the Douglass School in Lawton, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard remembers his start at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard remembers paying for his education at Oklahoma State University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Samuel Howard remembers his experiences at Oklahoma State University

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Samuel Howard talks about race relations in Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Samuel Howard remembers his activities at Oklahoma State University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Samuel Howard talks about his success at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard recalls his graduate studies at Stanford University in Stanford, California

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard remembers his courtship with his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard talks about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard remembers his computer training at General Electric

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard describes the White House Fellows program

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Samuel Howard remembers being selected for the White House Fellows program

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Samuel Howard talks about his wife's money management

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Samuel Howard recalls his experiences as a White House Fellow, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Samuel Howard recalls his experiences as a White House Fellow, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Samuel Howard talks about President Lyndon Baines Johnson

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard reflects upon his experiences as a White House Fellow

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard recalls his work as director of computer services at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard remembers his work with TAW International Leasing, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard talks about his radio station investments, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard talks about his radio station investments, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Samuel Howard recalls his work at Meharry Medical College and the Insurance Company of North America

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Samuel Howard remembers filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Samuel Howard recalls serving as vice president and treasurer of the Hospital Corporation of America

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Samuel Howard remembers founding a Medicaid HMO in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Samuel Howard remembers the allegations against his Medicaid HMO

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard recalls his exoneration from criminal charges

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard talks about his financial losses

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard describes his recent business ventures

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard describes his proposed changes to the Medicare system

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard talks about his community engagement in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Samuel Howard talks about his work with the Urban League of Middle Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Samuel Howard describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Samuel Howard talks about his employees

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Samuel Howard describes his children

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Samuel Howard talks about the separation between his family life and business

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Samuel Howard describes his service with the 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Samuel Howard talks about his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Samuel Howard talks about his and his siblings' independence

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Samuel Howard reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Samuel Howard describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

5$2

DATitle
Samuel Howard remembers his computer training at General Electric
Samuel Howard recalls his exoneration from criminal charges
Transcript
Now you went to work with General Electric as a financial analyst.$$That's right.$$Okay, and--$$But I was in that--what, the best thing that GE offered was the Financial Management Program--BTC, business training course. All executives who were in finance had to go through that course, that means I was really picked; I mean, that's where I really learned accounting and everything else. And I learned computers. I learned how to program a computer and I, I used to do that at General Electric company. And so I--you rotate through the job, through various jobs and one of my jobs I rotated was through the Financial Management Program--I mean the computer program (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Computer program. So, what, what were you--now this is the time when computers are the big mainframes?$$It's big main frames, the Philco 2000 [Transac S-2000] (laughter).$$Philco, that's (unclear)--yeah, we had a big Philco refrigerator--$$That's--(laughter).$$--and a TV. So they had a Philco 2000 computer?$$Yeah, yeah.$$Now how, how large was it? Just for the sake of--?$$I mean it's, god--this, this room here would not hold it, (laughter) it would be this whole office suite (laughter). It was big; and you, you deal, deal with these cards, you had, you know, these 80 column cards that you wrote your--all your program into, the FORTRAN language [Formula Translation] and this thing; and you, you drop those cards, they get out of order, you're up a creek (laughter). Oh, those, those were the days, you dropped a card, you're a mess. But I, I, I did learn a lot about computers. I learned conceptually what computers do. They're all really is one and zero, one and zero, one and zero--that's all it is: one, zero; and I, and (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) (Unclear) I was going to say, yeah.$$Yeah. So conceptually I picked that up and so that I began to learn how to program FORTRAN; and, and I worked on--GE really taught me a lot of stuff in terms of finance, that's what I, that's what I learned from them.$$Okay, so you learned FORTRAN and this is--so this is training--GE is providing you training that Stanford [Stanford University, Stanford, California] (unclear) provide. Yeah (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) That's right, that's right. GE was probably looking forward to me becoming an auditor and going up the financial room, and I was on track to be a officer in GE if I had just kept working. But they--what happened with GE was there was another opportunity that came up; and they, they suggested that I take that route, and that was the White House Fellows program.$I was in Calif- in Topeka, Kansas with my brother-in-law [Marvin Wilson]. And my brother-in-law, I told him what was going on with me and TennCare and HMO [health maintenance organization] and I showed him some clippings in the paper about my name and how I absconded with money. And my brother-in-law had a lawyer, friend of his, who was a criminal lawyer, African American, Joe Johnson [ph.], another Johnson (laughter).$$Another, right.$$But what he did was, he came in and read all that stuff, he said, "Sam [HistoryMaker Samuel Howard], this is really serious," 'cause I didn't think it was that serious 'cause I said I didn't do anything, you know, if you th- if you're innocent you don't--a person that's innocent doesn't really go around looking for any bad stones. And he told me that I had better go call his--"You need to get, get you and a lawyer and fight this." And so he got on the phone and he called guy named Bob Ritchie [Robert W. Ritchie], who is a Knoxville [Tennessee] criminal attorney that's a good friend of his. And Mr. Ritchie told me that when I landed to return from Topeka to Nashville, pick up two boxes of stuff on the papers and come to Knoxville--that's where he was. And I then engaged them to fight the case, and it took about $2 million. But the point is that when we got through with it, it was--they couldn't find anything. But I think it was more racially based in Nashville, Tennessee--that's what I think happened.$$If you hadn't had $2 million to fight it, what would've happened? You would've been in jail?$$I could have been--I'd of had to compromise in some fashion I'm sure. But I was fortunate enough to have that kind of cash because I had the radio stations. I sold them. I had some other things--and what, what I also had at the time was a very good reputation in the business community. I never went underground; I was visible. I was chairman of the chamber of commerce [Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce] at one point. I mean I was visible. And so most of the people they just say, "Sam, we don't believe them anyway." Especially my people who I'd worked with at Hospital Affiliates [Hospital Affiliates International, Inc.], HCA [Hospital Corporation of America], Tommy Frist [Thomas F. Frist, Jr.], all of them said that you all are wrong. And there was a--all the fellas were doing were lying, they tried to--they lied, and, and that's what that book ['The Flight of the Phoenix: Thoughts on Life and Work, Samuel H. Howard] is about. The last chapters of that book was about all of the trouble that went through--I went through. And then the last chapter is when I said: "It is finished." That's when they came to me and says we wanna settle and we wanna pay you. But I could not get all of the--my money back, my legal expenses and you can't write it off. You cannot write off your criminal expenses (unclear).$$So you take a beating?$$You take a beating.$$Okay.$$Yes. But I, I, I learned a lot, but it's, it's, it's tough. But I still have my reputation.

Steve Smith

Education administrator Steve Smith was born in 1964 in Albany, Georgia. After graduating from high school, he attended several institutions of higher education. Smith received both his B.A degree in English education and M.A. degree in education administration from the University of Georgia. He also holds an Ed.S. degree in education management from Troy State University. In 2010, Smith earned his M.B.A. degree after completing the executive format of the University of Georgia’s M.B.A. program at Terry College. The program included an international residency to Vietnam and China. In addition, Smith is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta and Leadership Georgia

Smith has over twenty-five years of business leadership experience, ranging from education, marketing and communications to business development and fiscal management. From 1991 to 1997, Smith served as a principal in the Fulton County School System, and was director of administrative services for Georgia Public Broadcasting. Smith served as vice president of corporate responsibility for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS), where he directed the review, selection and funding of community non-profit organizations through TBS, Inc.’s corporate philanthropy program. In 2009, Smith founded and served as principal of Steve Smith Consulting, LLC, and became a founding investor and board member of Atlantic Capital Bank – an $850 million community bank based in Buckhead, Georgia. In 2011, Smith was appointed as the deputy superintendent and chief of staff for Atlanta Public Schools, where he has executive control and direct oversight responsibility for all aspects of the day to day operations of the district.

Smith has also served on the board of directors of numerous organizations, including the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, Georgia Chamber of Commerce 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, University of Georgia Trustees, University of Georgia Alumni Association, Metro Atlanta Arts & Culture Coalition, Metro Atlanta YMCA, 191 Club and the Atlanta Business League. He has served as a gubernatorial appointment to the Independent Redistricting Task Force, and was a mayoral appointment to the Atlanta Arts & Cultural Funding Task Force.

Steve and his wife, Dr. Debra Smith, lived in Atlanta with their son, Steven, Jr.

Steve Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 17, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.250

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/17/2012

Last Name

Smith

Maker Category
Schools

Lee County Elementary School

Lee County High School

Lee County Upper Elementary School

Darton State College

University of Georgia

Troy University

University of Georgia Terry College of Business

First Name

Steve

Birth City, State, Country

Albany

HM ID

SMI26

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Los Angeles, California

Favorite Quote

Stay Flexible So You Don't Get Bent Out Of Shape.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

7/19/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Biscuits

Short Description

Education administrator Steve Smith (1964 - ) was appointed deputy superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools in 2011.

Employment

Fulton County School System

Georgia Public Broadcasting

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Steve Smith Consulting, LLC.

Atlanta Public Schools

Barrow County School System

Lee County Ledger

Albany Herald

WGPC Radio

Favorite Color

Navy Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1185,31:2123,51:3329,72:5004,104:5607,115:6478,134:12090,197:13190,213:14290,225:17930,240:18400,246:18870,252:19528,260:21690,288:22160,294:22630,300:25544,342:26954,371:27706,381:28364,389:28928,400:29304,405:35895,496:36805,517:39353,571:39808,577:40445,585:41901,642:43175,657:43630,663:47286,677:49934,707:52710,736:53700,749:54060,754:55140,768:58100,783:58905,791:62210,831:63170,836:63490,841:63810,846:64610,858:65650,876:66130,903:66850,916:67730,936:69090,962:69490,968:69970,975:79146,1075:80238,1108:81512,1130:82058,1137:89762,1201:92419,1215:102042,1340:105818,1400:106290,1405:110214,1429:110904,1442:111801,1459:112077,1464:116414,1505:117050,1513:118428,1528:118958,1534:119700,1542:122668,1582:126355,1599:126830,1605:127400,1612:136344,1684:137135,1692:139650,1717:140338,1727:141628,1747:142230,1755:142574,1760:142918,1765:143262,1770:143692,1776:145670,1809:146014,1814:146530,1821:147562,1837:147992,1843:150964,1857:151532,1866:152029,1874:152313,1879:154060,1887:154756,1896:156931,1934:157714,1950:158410,1959:159019,1967:159367,1972:159976,1980:160933,1991:162064,2008:162586,2015:167325,2060:168495,2090:168885,2097:169580,2109$0,0:1826,13:6173,85:9056,124:11474,154:12125,165:12497,170:14171,193:15101,206:20280,293:20945,301:22670,310:23270,319:23570,324:24020,331:25370,358:25745,364:27320,393:28520,410:28970,417:29570,426:30020,433:32950,447:33661,457:34767,473:35952,494:36505,505:40820,598:41260,604:41788,611:42404,619:43020,630:43900,644:44692,655:45220,662:46364,680:47684,701:48212,708:54104,790:54656,797:57860,817:58156,822:58674,830:60302,859:61412,878:62004,892:63188,910:64668,945:65038,951:65852,961:66740,977:67110,983:70772,1003:71592,1015:72166,1023:74298,1048:74872,1057:75610,1070:76184,1077:76512,1082:77086,1091:77414,1098:77988,1106:88180,1201:102048,1265:104032,1355:121880,1449:124850,1475:125276,1482:127193,1549:128940,1578:134924,1678:140580,1727:143268,1737:146098,1761:146722,1768:147450,1780:148074,1787:153211,1852:155059,1884:156291,1902:163170,1985:163650,1992:165560,1998:166144,2003:167290,2010:167800,2017:169160,2037:170690,2059:171625,2072:175068,2112:177580,2146:179080,2172:179480,2177:180180,2185:182330,2197:183050,2209:183450,2215:184010,2224:184410,2230:185050,2239:189290,2315:192570,2375:193050,2382:193610,2393:194010,2399:194650,2408:199926,2434:200880,2445:204105,2462:205260,2472:205785,2480:223550,2711:224030,2725:224894,2735:234862,2893:235186,2898:235591,2915:235915,2920:242258,3027:259789,3178:264690,3244
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Steve Smith's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Steve Smith lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Steve Smith describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Steve Smith describes his mother's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Steve Smith talks about his mother's experiences of racial discrimination in Albany, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Steve Smith describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Steve Smith recalls the start of his aspiration to attend college

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Steve Smith describes his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Steve Smith remembers his mother's honesty about his father's identity

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Steve Smith describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Steve Smith describes his stepfamily

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Steve Smith describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Steve Smith lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Steve Smith describes the sights and sounds of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Steve Smith describes his early interests

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Steve Smith remembers his athletic role models

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Steve Smith remembers Lee County Elementary School in Leesburg, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Steve Smith recalls his influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Steve Smith remembers the New Piney Grove Baptist Church in Leesburg, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Steve Smith describes his experiences of academic tracking

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Steve Smith recalls his early work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Steve Smith talks about his athletic involvement at Lee County High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Steve Smith describes his extracurricular activities at Lee County High School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Steve Smith recalls his start at Albany Junior College in Albany, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Steve Smith describes his decision to attend Albany Junior College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Steve Smith talks about the racial demographics of the faculty at Lee County High School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Steve Smith describes his community in Lee County, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Steve Smith recalls his time at Albany Junior College

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Steve Smith describes his early work in the communications industry

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Steve Smith recalls his transition to the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Steve Smith talks about the integration of the University of Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Steve Smith talks about the development of his racial identity during college

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Steve Smith recalls studying under Michael Lomax

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Steve Smith remembers his activities at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Steve Smith recalls the start of his career as an educator

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Steve Smith remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Steve Smith talks about his graduate education

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Steve Smith recalls serving as the principal of A. Philip Randolph Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Steve Smith remembers his transition to Georgia Public Broadcasting

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Steve Smith describes his time at Georgia Public Broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Steve Smith describes his work at the Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Steve Smith talks about Leadership Atlanta

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Steve Smith remembers his experiences at Leadership Atlanta and Leadership Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Steve Smith talks about his organizational involvement

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Steve Smith remembers earning his M.B.A. degree

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Steve Smith talks about his return to the Atlanta Public Schools

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Steve Smith describes the cheating scandal in the Atlanta Public Schools

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Steve Smith talks about the carbon monoxide leak at Finch Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Steve Smith describes his professional goals

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Steve Smith describes his advice to aspiring community leaders

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Steve Smith talks about Steve Smith Consulting, LLC.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Steve Smith talks about his family and community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Steve Smith describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Steve Smith reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Steve Smith reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Steve Smith describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Steve Smith narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

11$4

DATitle
Steve Smith remembers the New Piney Grove Baptist Church in Leesburg, Georgia
Steve Smith recalls the start of his career as an educator
Transcript
In your grade school days, now when you were a kid growing up, was, was church very important?$$Oh yes, church was very central to my upbringing. We, we had, you know, we had the, I don't know, I guess you would call it the quintessential small black Baptist church located in the rural South where most of my uncles were the deacons in the church, and you know, out of maybe one hundred people who were members, I, you know, I'd had to say ninety of them were related to me in some way. So we went to that kind of church.$$What was the name of your church?$$New Piney Grove Baptist Church [Leesburg, Georgia].$$New Piney Grove.$$Yeah, the quintessential small church in the country. And grew up and was raised Baptist and you know, religion was very central to my upbringing and remains very central to me in adulthood. But I have very fond memories of growing up and my mother [Lois Smith Rushin] taking us to church and being in church with my uncles and other family members. Yeah, I have very fond memories of growing up and being a part of New Piney Grove Baptist Church.$$Did the church--did the reverend or the other church leaders identify you as a youth as a leader?$$Yes, they did and specifically, specifically my Uncle Buddy, now we sh- his name was Tom Smith. But my Uncle Buddy was the head of the deacon board. And I remember that Uncle Buddy would always call on me to either read scripture or to take up money in the church and or to make announcements. So he and others, in the church, recognized and quite frankly encouraged and helped to, I think, as I reflect on it, I think really empower me to be a leader and to be not only a leader, but I, I got the message from them whether it was direct or indirect, I got the message from them that being smart was okay. They were--they were always proud of me for being smart. And I remember getting that message probably indirectly and they may have meant it directly, but I remember getting that message indirectly from my--from my church family and my, my extended family that being smart was okay, and they were pretty proud of me.$When did you graduate? In--?$$Graduated 1986--$$Okay.$$--and one of the--one of the things that, that led me to a track of administration right away was that I was very fortunate to get a job right out of college [University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia]. And the job that I got right out of college involved teaching high school English part time, and the other half of the day I was at the superintendent's office handling public relations and community relations for a small district right outside of Athens [Georgia], it was Barrow County [Barrow County School System] in Winder, Georgia just about thirty minutes outside of Athens. So I started my career teaching half day English and then the second half I was handling public relations for the small district. And in handling the public relations, I got to work closely alongside the superintendent because in a small district, the superintendent is involved in, you know, essentially every aspect of operations of a small district. So I was involved in working alongside Dr. Hight, who became a friend and a mentor from that job that I started back in 1986.$$Okay, how do you spell the Hight?$$H-I-G-H-T.$$Okay.$$Don Hight. He was quite, quite a little pistol.$$Okay. So you were, so this is the--what school district is this, this is the?$$Barrow County, B-A-R-R-O-W. Barrow County and the county seat is Winder, W-I-N-D-E-R.$$Um-hm, so, Winder, Georgia.$$Um-hm.$$So, I know you went over to the Fulton County school system [Fulton County Schools] at one point and became a principal before you left education--$$Correct.$$--I mean in your early days. So what was going on in Barrow County and how, what was the transition to Fulton?$$To Fulton, yeah. I spent from 1986 until 1991 in Winder in Barrow County, and during that timeframe I was teaching English half time, handling public relations, the other half of my responsibilities, working out of the superintendent's office. And during that timeframe, one of the things that, that became pretty prevalent for me is that I knew I enjoyed being in the community. I enjoyed being--having the flexibility of going to different events and being involved with elected officials. That was my first taste of being involved with the mayor of the city. You know, again in a small town like that, the superintendent is, you know, a bigwig in town. So I got to travel around the small district with him a lot. And as a result, he encouraged me to start, to start a program, if I were going to be in education, he said, "You should go to graduate school and get an educational administration degree." Because if you're gonna be in education you want to be a leader and you should--in order to do that to be an assistant principal and to move to a principalship you gotta have a master's [degree] in educational administration, which is what I--what I subsequently pursued. But that time period, the five years that I spent in Winder were very--it was very--I guess it was an enjoyable time in my life and was a very successful time for me professionally. I got married in 1989, and my wife [Debra Smith] and I worked in Winder for those next two years or three years I guess, before we moved to Atlanta [Georgia]. And I have--

Charles Teamer, Sr.

Banker and civic leader Charles Teamer, Sr. was born on May 20, 1933 in Shelby, North Carolina to B.T. Teamer and Mary Teamer. He received his B.S. degree from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia in 1954. He served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958, and later received his M.A. degree from the University of Nebraska and his Ph.D. degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Teamer worked in the office of the business manager at South Carolina State University in 1954. He then became assistant business manager at Tennessee State University in 1958; and, in 1962, Teamer was hired as business manager at Wiley College. In 1965, Teamer became vice president of finance at Dillard University and was promoted to chief financial officer in 1968. In 1983, he was appointed by Louisiana Governor David Treen as the first African American on the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans. From 1985 to 1988, Teamer served as the national president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. In 1993, Teamer co-founded the Dryades Savings Bank and served as chairman. He later retired from Dillard University in 1997, and continued to work as a consultant to Clark Atlanta University. In 2001, Teamer led a partnership of investors in opening The Cotton Exchange and Holiday Inn Express Hotel in downtown New Orleans, and became president of the World Trade Center of New Orleans in 2003.

Former executive director of the Amistad Research Center and a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education, Teamer has held numerous board appointments on the Board of Education of the United Methodist Church, the Ford Foundation, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Common Fund, the National Association of Colleges and University Business Officers, the Ochsner Medical Foundation and the Audubon Institute. Teamer also served as board chair for the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, the Metropolitan Area Committee, Harrah’s New Orleans Casino, the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the United Way. He was a member of the business and higher-education council for the University of New Orleans and served on the board of the Southern Education Foundation. Teamer was president of the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers and vice president of fiscal affairs at Dillard University and Clark Atlanta University. He was a member of the board of supervisors for the University of Louisiana System and was on the board of administrators of Tulane University. Teamer was also the director of Entergy New Orleans.

Teamer was married for forty-seven years to the late Mary Dixon Teamer. They have three children: Charles, Jr., Roderic, Sr. and Cheryl. Teamer has six grandchildren.

Charles Teamer, Sr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 28, 2008 and April 27, 2019.

Accession Number

A2008.061

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/28/2008

3/28/2008 |and| 4/27/2019

Last Name

Teamer

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Schools

Clark Atlanta University

Cleveland School

Tulane University

J.C. Price High School

University of Nebraska-Omaha

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Shelby

HM ID

TEA01

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Boule Foundation

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any Golf Course

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

5/20/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Banker and civic leader Charles Teamer, Sr. (1933 - ) served as chief financial officer at Dillard University for over thirty years and co-founded Dryades Savings Bank and served as chairman.

Employment

Texas Southern University

Wiley College

Dillard University

Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B.

Tennessee State University

South Carolina State College

Clark Atlanta University

World Trade Center

U.S. Army

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Black and Gold

Timing Pairs
0,0:770,16:1694,54:2002,59:3311,133:6880,166:7280,171:14080,259:14580,265:21454,314:21718,319:25084,432:25678,442:27394,485:27790,492:28780,511:30364,548:31486,586:59486,843:69250,973:69775,981:70900,1000:71725,1015:82764,1137:86820,1176:98286,1291:99294,1306:99726,1313:115490,1550:116290,1563:116690,1569:119490,1613:131256,1781:136559,1841:137126,1849:137450,1854:150328,1983:151960,2017:152708,2026:154680,2059:164135,2198:164475,2207:165750,2234:170808,2280:171116,2285:171501,2291:172040,2300:172502,2308:172887,2314:185650,2513:186574,2523:191870,2565$0,0:666,25:5106,148:8325,248:9102,256:16612,380:17404,392:18052,402:20850,418:31900,558:32290,564:33772,584:42981,749:43366,755:46138,809:46754,824:49130,830:49922,850:52990,871:53234,876:53722,887:54027,893:54515,902:55491,927:58053,989:70904,1151:77600,1230:77900,1235:83300,1368:83825,1377:84650,1392:85325,1403:90800,1475:91625,1492:92375,1505:96141,1515:98066,1549:99914,1584:100530,1594:103240,1608:107676,1629:110050,1640:110809,1665:111430,1675:111706,1680:118544,1769:119156,1779:119904,1794:121128,1864:123100,1925:123576,1933:126228,2042:132098,2079:132616,2088:132912,2093:141570,2259:148960,2307:149404,2315:149996,2325:150884,2334:151180,2339:158194,2408:158579,2414:161428,2457:164592,2484:166209,2493:176400,2552:177048,2561:177615,2575:179559,2605:180288,2616:180936,2625:181260,2630:182811,2639:184116,2656:185508,2674:186030,2681:197495,2800:208290,2913:211060,2925:215000,2971
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Teamer, Sr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. talks about his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his induction into the Masonry

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers the Boy Scouts of America, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers the Boy Scouts of America, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes Salisbury, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls the Cleveland County Training School in Shelby, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his early interests

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers Joe Louis' boxing matches

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his early awareness of African American history

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers J.C. Price High School in Salisbury, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers moving to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls the faculty of Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers the influence of communism

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his teachers at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls pledging Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers his U.S. Army service

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes interstate travel during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls a sit-in at the Hotel Marshall in Marshall, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers Hobart S. Jarrett

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. talks about the influence of African American leaders

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers moving to New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. talks about the Mardi Gras krewe of Rex

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his introduction to corporate board service

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls serving on the Boy Scouts of America council

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls working at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls founding the Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B. in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his work for Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes the impact of Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his role as grand sire of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes the role of Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B. in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his hopes for New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls acquiring the Historic Cotton Exchange in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his work with the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles Teamer, Sr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his children

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
Charles Teamer, Sr. describes the role of Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B. in New Orleans, Louisiana
Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls acquiring the Historic Cotton Exchange in New Orleans, Louisiana
Transcript
Fast forwarding back to New Orleans [Louisiana] as we talk about the bank [Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B., New Orleans, Louisiana] and where we're going, a part of the role that I see is that the p- the percentage of people in the community who are underserved still remain. They're unbanked. And especially as we talk about rebuilding the community, you've been here for several days now and you've driven through the city and you recognize that you can be in a--what we would call a pretty good neighborhood, you're on one street, it seems to be growing and prospering, you go on the next street it's like, is this the same neighborhood? The patterns are so unpredictable. Let me give you an example. As I told you my wife [Mary Dixon Teamer] passed away in 2004. The storm [Hurricane Katrina] occurred in 2005. I had not completed the succession of the estate when, when the storm occurred. If something had happened to me, my children would've been in a terrible problem because the estate would still be open and the question would be who actually owns the property. If you transform that to people who are less informed you find incident after incident where the title to the property is unclear. New Orleans is a very old city. Its traditions are very old, so you might have generations of people living in the same house and they do not know where the title is. In the 9th Ward [New Orleans, Louisiana], for example, I'm told, that there's home after home in which the mortgages had been paid, the people have been there for years, there was no flood insurance. So flood insurance is mandatory when you have a mortgage, well if you don't have a mortgage you have no flood insurance and obviously then you're not gonna have any wind in- wind storm insurance. So consequently, the problems of redeveloping these properties becomes even more severe. What we are doing looking for innovative ways to serve the people in our community to, to, to, to come up with new products, but maybe more than new products just to be available to work and talk with the people in our community on a one-to-one basis. While everybody wants to use the Internet and the computer, the challenge is that the people who really need the services probably are not computer savvy. So that means that the cost of doing business is a little more expensive for hands on, but that's the only way we're gonna do it. And so what we're trying to do is create a way to do what needs to be done in our community while at the same time being a profitable and viable institution.$Tell me about the Cotton Exchange [Historic Cotton Exchange, New Orleans, Louisiana] and the Holiday Inn Express, now you were--$$Happy to.$$Okay.$$When we developed the franchise, the bank [Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B., New Orleans, Louisiana], I learned from actually our congressman, [HistoryMaker] William Jefferson, that there were opportunities available for us in terms of purchase of buildings that had housed banks by the RTC [Resolution Trust Corporation]. And through my relationships with people in the real estate business, I identified two or three properties of which this was one, this--that we would be interested in. One day somebody came and said to me, Charlie Teamer [HistoryMaker Charles Teamer, Sr.] there's some--there's a white group interested in your building, so to speak. So I decided that I would make an inquiry. I went to my bank, the bank that I was doing business with and talked with the people there and said I'm interested in purchasing the Cotton Exchange. No, I said I need a half million dollars. They in turn said, "What are you gonna do?" I said, "I'm gonna put a bid on the Cotton Exchange building." Because of my experience with them and having been a customer for a long time, they realized that the Cotton Exchange building was worth more than I was gonna pay for it. So they said, "We'll cover you." So I led a group of investors. We bought the building that we're in for considerably less than $500,000, eight story building, it was empty at the time. We purchased the building, moved the bank into the building, leased the first two floors to the bank for ninety-nine years, and decided that we would do something else with floors three through eight. We tried a number of things. We wanted to, to develop something like the Equal Opportunity [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] building in New York [New York], you know, where the United--where the Negro College Fund [United Negro College Fund] and Urban League [National Urban League] and all--but we weren't able to do that. So the first couple of years, three or four years, the third through the eighth floor was vacant. And then one day one of my acquaintances came in and said, you know, we are in the process of developing empty buildings, boutique hotels, and therefore, we'd like to develop a hotel in this building, floors three through eight. We created a partnership with three groups, our Cotton Exchange partners, one, which own this building to create a hotel. We sold floors one through two to our partnership, invested three through eight into a new partnership, bought the building next door and created a hotel, which we call the Cotton Exchange Hotel, it's a Holiday Inn franchise. So we are one-third owners of the hotel property that is next door. So therefore, we own these two floors and we're one-third owners of the building next door.$$Okay, okay.$$So we are substantial hoteliers in downtown New Orleans [Louisiana].

Leatrice Branch Madison

Civic leader, retired educator, and community activist Leatrice Branch Madison, was born September 5, 1922 in Washington, D.C. to Julia Bailey Branch and Hayes Branch. She was the oldest of three daughters. She attended the racially segregated public schools of Washington, D.C., graduating from Dunbar Senior High in 1939. Madison went on to earn a bachelor’s of science degree (cum laude) from Miner Teachers College in Washington, D.C. in 1943 and a master’s of arts degree in guidance and personnel from the University of Chicago in 1947.

Madison taught in the public schools of Washington, D.C. from 1943 to 1949 and Cleveland, Ohio between 1949-1951 and again later from 1954-1960, before becoming a fulltime wife, mother, homemaker and community volunteer in 1960. During this time, she also worked as an assistant librarian at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (1951-1952). Madison has served on the boards of numerous educational and human services organizations, including the Bingham Day Nursery, United Way Services, the Federation for Community Planning, Case Western Reserve University Board of Overseers, and Blue Cross of Northeast Ohio. Madison was a founding member of Heights Citizens for Human Rights—forerunner of Heights Community Congress--an organization established to ensure equal rights and fair housing for minorities moving into Cleveland Heights. She was also a founder of and one of the original board members for HARAMBEE: Services to Black Families, an agency designed to provide parenting skills to teenage parents and to recruit permanent adoptive homes for Black youngsters.

Madison’s devotion to community service also inspired committee work with the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, Friends of Karamu, the NAACP Fund Dinner, Case Western Reserve University’s Visiting Committee on the Humanities, the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra Advisory Council, the Planned Parenthood Long Range Planning Committee, and the Juvenile Court Youth Services Advisory Board, among others. In 1963, she helped launch the Cleveland Heights / University Heights Summer School Project, recruiting participants from the Cleveland Public Schools and raising funds to offer financial assistance to those in need. The project, which ended in 1969, helped pave the way for the integration of the Cleveland Heights / University Heights Schools.

Madison is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the NAACP’s Distinguished Service Plaque, the Federation for Community Planning’s President’s Award, Who’s Who Among Black Americans, and the University of Chicago Alumni Association’s Public Service Award. In 1999, Mrs. Madison and her husband Robert P. Madison received the Cleveland Opera Award for their visionary support of the arts in Cleveland. In 2004, she was honored by the Golden Age Centers for her many years of community service. Madison is an alumna member and former president of the Links, Incorporated, Cleveland Chapter.

Madison and her husband, Robert, reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio. They are the parents of two adult daughters.

Madison was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 14, 2004.\

Leatrice Madison passed away on March 30, 2012.

Accession Number

A2004.074

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/14/2004

Last Name

Madison

Maker Category
Middle Name

Branch

Occupation
Schools

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Miner Teachers College

University of Chicago

Shaw Junior High School

Lucretia Mott Elementary School

First Name

Leatrice

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

MAD03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

9/5/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pudding (Corn)

Death Date

3/30/2012

Short Description

Community activist Leatrice Branch Madison (1922 - 2012 ) is a co-founder of and one of the original board members for HARAMBEE: Services to Black Families, an agency designed to provide parenting skills to teenage parents and to recruit permanent adoptive homes for African American children.

Employment

District of Columbia Public Schools

Cleveland Public Schools

Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:9326,137:9950,146:17126,283:17516,294:21888,325:23608,354:42370,628:42706,633:47746,720:53543,822:67570,989:81402,1175:81948,1185:82650,1196:89280,1373:89670,1379:96922,1443:97546,1452:98248,1463:98716,1482:99184,1488:108159,1679:108726,1694:116340,1857:126655,1968:135795,2051:139697,2117:140082,2123:140929,2145:143855,2206:155380,2403:155800,2410:158810,2471:159090,2476:159510,2485:175271,2691:175805,2699:182558,2831:200834,3168:202490,3199:207840,3259:208184,3264:219780,3446:220170,3454:220755,3465:238678,3762:244720,3837$0,0:12130,246:13102,260:13534,265:13966,270:20370,382:20650,387:36310,574:43444,677:50326,828:54869,869:55161,874:56548,897:58300,973:59176,991:63827,1057:67916,1133:84485,1337:85232,1349:86145,1370:86975,1383:89797,1441:91623,1477:94777,1550:95192,1556:100900,1630:101320,1637:101880,1655:102580,1669:103000,1676:109238,1792:131080,2130
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Leatrice Branch Madison's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Leatrice Branch Madison lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her childhood home in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about the schools she and her siblings attended

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Leatrice Branch Madison describes her school years in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls being in teachers college as the United States entered World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls how she met and married her husband, HistoryMaker Robert P. Madison

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her husband's experience in the 92nd Infantry during World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Leatrice Branch Madison remembers the 1930s and 1940s

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her grandparents and the death of her grandmothers

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about the political affiliations of Washington, D.C.'s African American community during the 1940s

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about voting rights for Washington, D.C. residents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her membership in the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her mother's influence on her own civic engagement and her parent's attempt to buy a house

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about living in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls her time living in Paris, France, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls her time living in Paris, France, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls returning to the U.S. and teaching in Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her daughters and Karamu

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Leatrice Branch Madison describes enduring racist terror in Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Leatrice Branch Madison describes the racial demographics of Cleveland Heights, Ohio when her family moved there in 1960

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about people who lived in Cleveland Heights, Ohio and her involvement in community organizations

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her neighbors in Cleveland Heights, Ohio and integrating a summer school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her experience with the education system in Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls when she began to see changes in the racial demographics of students in Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about a recommendation she made for inner city schools in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about the HARAMBEE adoption program

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her involvement with the Women's Committee of the Cleveland Orchestra

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her volunteer efforts through Jack and Jill and The Links, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about Project Discovery and United Way Services

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about predominantly black organizations The Links, Incorporated and Jack and Jill of America

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about the importance of education reform and her concerns for the 21st century

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about fundraising

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her grandchildren

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Leatrice Branch Madison reflects upon her success and awards she has received

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Leatrice Branch Madison remembers moving to Paris, France and serving on the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library Board

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Leatrice Branch Madison narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

9$7

DATitle
Leatrice Branch Madison describes enduring racist terror in Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Leatrice Branch Madison recalls returning to the U.S. and teaching in Ohio
Transcript
Now Cleveland Heights [Ohio] is a rather exclusive suburb at that point in history isn't it?$$I guess it was. Guess it was.$$Was that a positive experience then integrating the neighborhood?$$Well we had some good neighbors.$$Okay.$$We got threatened before we ever moved. See one thing that happened, the Sun Press had an article, a very inflammatory article because some people had moved--(unclear) those areas. And the Sun Press, you know, in essence, the Negroes are comin'. And we got threatened. Somebody called my husband [HistoryMaker Robert P. Madison] and, you know, asked him why was he movin' and our house was just about complete. As a matter of fact, we were gonna move in the next weekend, the next week, we'd move on the weekend. And he told Monk [Robert P. Madison] he would buy his house, buy our house if we would meet. And Monk said okay I'll meet you at my office and he never showed up. But during that period, and I don't know why, [J.] Newton Hill came as director of Karamu [House, Cleveland, Ohio] and they bombed his house. And then he was gonna buy a house from a family named Garrd, no I got it backwards. The Garrd family, G-A-R-R-D, they said they would sell to Newton Hill, they bombed it. So when they sold to Newton Hill they bombed it again. So I heard both of those. And one of, this is the irony you deal with, and one of those occasions, Robert Madison had left home to get the model of the American Embassy to take to the [U.S.] State Department the next day. And I'm sittin' here with two little kids [Jeanne Madison and Juliette Madison] and the house is shakin'. And, you know, he is getting this kind of recognition and this is what's happening. And then one Mother's Day we heard, it was night, we had been out to dinner and come in, we heard a bomb and they bombed Rodger Saffold's house at one point. So I don't know. We never did find out. And I got a copy of the letter we used to get religiously in that box, the hangman's noose and the letter. And we called the Cleveland Heights police and I called the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation]. I never heard that they found anybody or that they knew who it was. But it ceased after a while. And we had some good neighbors who looked out for us.$$Okay. So you built the home in Cleveland Heights, is that one that Mr. Madison designed?$$As a matter of fact, there are two Madison design houses side-by-side. We moved, we were supposed to move the same time, we were a week apart. How it all got started, a guy who was a psychiatrist, who has since died, Charles DeLeon, came and said to Monk, "I have two adolescent daughters and I'm livin' in an apartment, I wanna build a house." So his wife, Sydney [ph.], and I, we'd go out and look at land, and we had looked in Bratenahl [Ohio], we'd lookin' out in Mayfield Village [Ohio], we're lookin'. And Robert came home one day and said, "Ya know, I was drivin' down North Park Boulevard and I saw two lots." So we got a white lawyer who bought those two lots for us and gave us a quick claim deed. And then Robert designed the houses, and the City of Cleveland Heights said okay if you go in straight up, you know, with no deception, it's okay. So (unclear) the contractor said the same thing. And so we moved in our house first, October the 27th, 1960. And I will never forget the first night we were there, all of a sudden I see all these people running out in the street, across the street to the ravine. I thought oh my God what has happened now. I didn't hear anything. But nothin' happened. And then one night somebody came up into our circular driveway and the light came down our drape, and Monk ran outside to see what it was and I was pleading with him, "Don't go out, don't go out, stay in here." We had some harrowing times, but we survived.$And so, when you came home in '53 [1953] where did you settle?$$Well, we went back to Washington [D.C.] and he [Madison's husband, HistoryMaker Robert P. Madision] taught a year and announced he was coming back here [Cleveland, Ohio] to open his office. So I said well since we like to eat, I got up and got a job teachin'. So I taught a semester before we came back here, and we came back here in '54 [1954] and he opened his office, you see. When I came here in '49 [1949] I had my master's [degree] and I went down--people told me, "Oh Cleveland board won't hire you, they don't hire colored teachers." What it is, they would only hire colored teachers and put up in an area where there were colored teachers and colored kids. It happens, thank goodness, I wrote to the state first and got my certificate for elementary schools and for guidance counseling, and went down and talked to Dr. Levinson [ph.]. And Miles Standish [Elementary School, Cleveland, Ohio] at that point was in transition. And so he said I'm--we didn't even have a car, so he said I'm gonna appoint you to Miles Standish--no I'm gonna appoint you to a school on a streetcar line. So every day I rode the bus and then I had to walk that long two blocks from 105th street to Miles Standish until we got a car. And so I taught there a year and a half. But while I was down at the board of education, I went to find out about guidance counseling. So I went to information, they said to go to the second floor. I went to the second floor and they said, oh no go to the sixth floor, this was 1949. And I went to the sixth floor, they said go to the second floor. I said, I just left the second floor and we just stood and looked at each other. Slowly it dawned on me I was getting the run around, and I don't have good sense. We came back in '54 [1954] and I went through the same thing again (laughter).$$But you got hired?$$Well I got hired to teach, but I got a degree to do some counseling, I think I could do some counseling as well as some of these other people.$$Did you ever get a position counseling?$$No, 'cause I came home, eventually.