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

Craig Watkins

Lawyer Craig Watkins was born on November 16, 1967 in Dallas, Texas to Richard Watkins and Paula Watkins. Watkins graduated from David W. Carter High School in Dallas, Texas in 1986. He earned his B.A. degree in political science from Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas in 1990 and received his J.D. degree from the Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas in 1994.

Watkins began his legal career working in the Dallas city attorney and public defender’s office. He subsequently left the City of Dallas office and formed his private practice, Craig Watkins Attorney at Law, PLLC, where he worked mainly as a licensed bail bondsman. Although he campaigned and lost a 2002 election for district attorney, Watkins won the election in 2006 and became the first African American district attorney elected in the State of Texas. He served as district attorney from 2007 until 2015, during which time he was credited with securing a 99.4% conviction rate with a focus on prosecuting cases of child sexual abuse. Watkins also worked to resolve cases of wrongful conviction through the use of DNA testing and the review of evidence illegally withheld from defense attorneys. Watkins ran for re-election as district attorney in 2014, but was defeated by former Judge Susan Hawk.

As district attorney, Watkins attracted state and national recognition for his work. He was featured in Texas Monthly, Jet, and Ebony magazines in 2007. In 2008, Watkins was named Texan of the Year by the Dallas Morning News. During the same year, he was featured on an episode of 60 Minutes. Watkins also appeared on PBS NewsHour in a live interview with journalist Ray Suarez for his office’s 2011 exoneration of Cornelies Dupree, who was previously convicted of armed robbery in Texas.

Watkins’ involvement in the community included Friendship-West Baptist Church, Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, the Circle 10 Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Prairie View A&M Alumni Association.

Watkins and his wife, Tanya, have three children: Chad, Cale, and Taryn.

Craig Watkins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 14, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.166

Sex

Male

Interview Date

09/14/2017

Last Name

Watkins

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

David W. Carter High School

Adelle Turner Elementary School

Prairie View A&M University

Texas A&M University School of Law

William Hawley Atwell Law Academy

First Name

Craig

Birth City, State, Country

Dallas

HM ID

WAT18

Favorite Season

Thanksgiving, Christmas

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

11/16/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mexican Food

Short Description

Lawyer Craig Watkins (1967 - ) was the first African American District Attorney elected in the state of Texas.

Employment

Dallas County Public Defender's Office

Dallas County District Attorney's Office

Craig Watkins Law Firm, PLLC

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:1628,24:2198,57:3908,178:24893,380:25972,410:26470,417:28794,454:31450,596:32612,614:33110,621:34438,639:35019,647:40586,678:41476,716:47706,848:48240,855:51266,897:52245,909:54114,939:54470,944:60288,1008:61536,1025:62016,1031:63744,1050:65472,1082:66240,1099:68448,1146:77937,1241:80067,1276:80351,1281:80919,1290:81629,1301:82481,1313:82765,1320:85889,1406:86528,1416:88729,1466:89368,1477:90930,1507:91498,1516:92705,1545:93770,1570:98276,1584:98620,1589:100684,1625:115640,1922:116836,1944:117848,1955:122172,2018:122632,2023:123184,2031:125116,2060:125944,2096:149188,2421:149698,2427:155410,2519:156430,2531:161220,2557$174,0:406,5:13690,155:16810,203:31795,339:42272,457:43640,482:44096,490:51746,610:54026,652:54406,658:54710,667:55394,677:56230,692:57218,728:62440,820:62840,831:63160,836:66280,884:74760,1042:78766,1047:80572,1071:80916,1076:81518,1085:82206,1090:83496,1117:84356,1128:84786,1134:86592,1170:87022,1177:93107,1212:97157,1259:97643,1267:100350,1272:101868,1303:102330,1312:104442,1362:117432,1563:118576,1573:119280,1583:127006,1668:136438,1871:137014,1880:143769,1966:144847,1985:145617,1996:149330,2051
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Craig Watkins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Craig Watkins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Craig Watkins talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Craig Watkins describes his motivation to pursue a career in law

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Craig Watkins talks about his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Craig Watkins describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Craig Watkins talks about his father's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Craig Watkins talks about his parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Craig Watkins describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Craig Watkins describes his community in Dallas, Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Craig Watkins describes his community in Dallas, Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Craig Watkins remembers his early interest in politics

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Craig Watkins describes his early experiences of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Craig Watkins talks about his involvement on the swim team

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Craig Watkins talks about his grades in high school and college

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Craig Watkins describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Craig Watkins talks about reconnecting with his elementary school teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Craig Watkins recalls his decision to attend Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Craig Watkins talks about his education in African American history

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Craig Watkins describes the history of black political leadership in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Craig Watkins remembers the influential figures of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Craig Watkins talks about his experiences of discriminatory policing in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Craig Watkins remembers his employment prospects after college

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Craig Watkins remembers applying to law school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Craig Watkins recalls his first year at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Craig Watkins describes his interest in constitutional law

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Craig Watkins talks about Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Craig Watkins talks about the communication skills of Mayor Ron Kirk

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Craig Watkins recalls his experiences in the Dallas County Public Defender's Office

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Craig Watkins talks about the changes to the justice system in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Craig Watkins remembers starting his private practice in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Craig Watkins recalls his decision to run for district attorney of Dallas County, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Craig Watkins remembers the Democratic Party sweep in Dallas County, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Craig Watkins describes the Conviction Integrity Unit of the Dallas County District Attorney's Office

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Craig Watkins talks about the unreliability of eyewitness identification

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Craig Watkins talks about criminal justice reform, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Craig Watkins talks about criminal justice reform, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Craig Watkins describes the use of DNA evidence in Dallas County, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Craig Watkins recalls his media exposure as district attorney of Dallas County, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Craig Watkins talks about exonerating thirty-eight inmates in Dallas County, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Craig Watkins recalls the criticism he faced as district attorney of Dallas County, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Craig Watkins talks about his reelection campaign in 2014

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Craig Watkins talks about his campaign considerations

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Craig Watkins reflects upon the success of the Conviction Integrity Unit

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Craig Watkins talks about his private law practice in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Craig Watkins reflects upon the current political climate in the State of Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Craig Watkins reflects upon his career, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Craig Watkins describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Craig Watkins reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Craig Watkins describes his opposition to the death penalty

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Craig Watkins reflects upon his career, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Craig Watkins talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Craig Watkins shares his advice to aspiring black law professionals

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Craig Watkins describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

12$5

DATitle
Craig Watkins remembers his early interest in politics
Craig Watkins describes the use of DNA evidence in Dallas County, Texas
Transcript
So where, where did you start school--I mean?$$I started school at Adelle Turner, A-D-E-L-L-E, Turner [Adelle Turner Elementary School, Dallas, Texas].$$Okay, this is elementary school, right?$$Yes; then I went on to, I went on to Atwell--W.H. Atwell [William Hawley Atwell Middle School; William Hawley Atwell Law Academy, Dallas, Texas].$$Is this a middle school or junior high school?$$Yes, middle school.$$Middle school, okay.$$Then I went on to the health magnet [School of Health Professions at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center, Dallas, Texas] because I had in my mind that I wanted to be a doctor. It was a magnet school but then I quickly decided no, this is not what I want to do; and then I went to Carter High School--David W. Carter High School [Dallas, Texas].$$Okay. Now what were you interested in, in grade school?$$You know I was always interested in law. In--surprisingly, one individual, although he was not a lawyer, that impressed me was Ronald Reagan [President Ronald Wilson Reagan] because he was a great communicator. And going into law, I saw that most people in [U.S.] Congress, most people in the [U.S.] Senate are lawyers; and so once I started figuring out where I wanted to be in life, it was leading me to politics. And so that's how I got into politics eventually after I had been a successful lawyer for some time.$$Now was your father [Richard Watkins] involved in a political organization in Dallas [Texas] at all?$$No but my family was always involved in politics. They had their finger on the pulse of what was going on in the country. But they were not involved in politics--none whatsoever. I don't think they had the stomach for it.$$Okay. Now it's kind of surprising your admiration for Ronald Reagan. Because there weren't--in the '80s [1980s] there weren't very many black people that admitted such an admiration, but (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) No. No I mean but that's why I say it's surprising because I saw him, and I really studied him and I saw that you know being a politician is not just being smart and having a law degree. You have to be able to communicate with individuals, and he was great at that. That's why I looked at him--you know Reagan and Clinton [President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton] they were both good at that. Now Clinton was a Rhodes scholar [Rhodes Scholarship] so he had the mental capacity to be the president, and he was a great communicator; and so you know those are the two individuals that you know I saw. And I was thinking to myself wow, I can do that.$Your term as a, as a prosecutor from twen- 2007 to 2015, that's eight years, right?$$Yes.$$I mean is--you have a lot of--I mean you start gaining national support. I mean Eclipse Magazine named you as a Super Lawyer. You won the NAACP Texas Hero Award in 2007, so people--I mean Texas Monthly did a feature on you; you're featured on '60 Minutes.' So, well tell us about a case where the DNA evidence or how that really works--just walk us through a case where the DNA was used.$$Okay so this is how we did it. What we would do is, we have a lab here in Dallas [Texas] and we would go and--once the case is brought to our attention, we had a lot of cases from the Innocence Project in New York [New York], got a lot of cases from the public defender's office [Dallas County Public Defender's Office], we got a lot of cases just from individuals writing us a letter to say, can you look at this case. So what we do if there was DNA then we would go get that DNA, but that's not the be all and end all. We would actually reinvestigate the case from start to finish to make sure you know that we were right when we exonerated these individuals. Think about it: if we made a mistake on exonerations, they will never happen again. So an exoneration took at least a year before we got to that point to where we were ready to exonerate someone; and that's where people get it confused, they think that it should be quick--there's DNA, go test it. No. We reinvestigate the case, and then we try to find out who actually the case--committed the crime; and we did that in a couple of cases. There was one guy who was called the North Dallas rapist, and the individual that was in prison didn't do it. So we actually went and found this man who did it and we prosecuted him. Because the law in Texas, you would think about the statute of limitations but if there is DNA evidence that is stored and saved, the statute doesn't run. So we were able to go back twenty years and put on a successful prosecution of the individual that committed this case.

Phoebe A. Haddon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2017.137

Sex

Female

Interview Date

08/21/2017

Last Name

Haddon

Maker Category
Middle Name

A.

Schools

Yale Law School

Duquesne University School of Law

Smith College

Passaic High School

Lincoln Middle School

First Name

Phoebe

Birth City, State, Country

Washington, DC

HM ID

HAD01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

I'll Get Around To It Tomorrow.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

8/29/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Camden

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

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

Employment

Rutgers University

University of Maryland - Baltimore County

Temple University School of Law

Congressman John Conyers

National Labor Relations Board

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority

Favorite Color

Red

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

6$3

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

The Honorable Terri A. Sewell

Lawyer and political official Terri A. Sewell was born on January 1, 1965 in Huntsville, Alabama to Andrew A. Sewell and Nancy Gardner Sewell. She graduated from Selma High School in 1982, and received her B.A. degree from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey in 1986. In 1988, Sewell received her M.A. degree from Oxford University. She then went on to attend Harvard Law School, where she earned her J.D. degree in 1992.

Sewell began her political career working for Congressman Richard Shelby and Senator Howell Helfin. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Sewell served as a law clerk to Chief Judge U.W. Clemon of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. In 1994, Sewell began working at the law firm of Davis, Polk, & Wardwell, where she served as a securities lawyer for more than a decade. She returned to Alabama in 2004 and took a position as partner at the law offices of Maynard, Cooper, & Gale, P.C. Sewell distinguished herself as one of the few African American public finance lawyers in the State of Alabama. Her clients included the City of Selma, Dallas County Water Authority, Alabama State University, and Stillman College. In 2010, Sewell was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a representative from Alabama’s 7th District and as the first African American woman to serve in the Alabama Congressional delegation. Sewell was reelected to the House of Representatives three more times.

Sewell has served in numerous organizations, including as the chair and treasurer of St. Vincent’s Foundation’s board, as a board member of the Girl Scouts of Cahaba Council, as a board member of the Alabama Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, on the Community Advisory Board for the University of Alabama-Birmingham Minority Health and Research Center, on the Governing Board of the Alabama Council on Economic Education, and as a member of the Corporate Council for the Birmingham Art Museum. Sewell has also provided free legal services to the homeless, mentored girls of color through Dreams into Action, and served on the Alumni Advisory Board of Sponsors of Educational Opportunity.

Sewell has been awarded for her successful career and contributions to her community. In 2005, she was named one of the “Top Birmingham Women” by the Birmingham Business Journal. Sewell has also been listed in the magazine, Alabama Super Lawyers, and was named a “Woman of Influence” by Alabama Today. She was also awarded the Minority Business Rising Star Award by the Birmingham Business Journal in 2007.

Terri A. Sewell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 3, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.096

Sex

Female

Interview Date

05/05/2017

Last Name

Sewell

Maker Category
Middle Name

A.

Schools

Cedar Park Elementary School

R.B. Hudson Middle School

Selma High School

Princeton University

University of Oxford

Harvard Law School

First Name

Terri

Birth City, State, Country

Huntsville

HM ID

SEW01

Favorite Season

Spring, Fall

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beach

Favorite Quote

As A Person Thinks So Is He.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

1/1/1965

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Smothered Pork Chops

Short Description

Lawyer and political official Terri A. Sewell (1965 - ) was partner at the Birmingham law firm of Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C. and was the first African American woman to serve in the Alabama delegation of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Employment

Morgan Stanley

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP

State of Alabama

Firstone Library

U.S. Congress

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:544,23:1020,32:1360,38:2788,71:3128,77:3808,89:5984,129:6800,144:7344,153:8228,175:8704,224:10132,246:11084,263:11492,270:15914,303:16334,309:17678,336:18686,357:19358,367:19694,372:21290,398:22214,411:22550,416:22886,421:34158,633:34814,642:35306,650:38340,708:38668,713:39652,730:44271,775:45503,793:49045,871:55904,962:56588,973:58564,1004:59172,1013:64796,1169:67076,1244:67456,1250:69280,1276:71484,1386:72928,1413:73536,1423:73916,1429:74448,1434:86155,1580:89755,1654:90055,1659:90505,1664:91405,1678:93505,1716:93955,1723:100956,1786:101376,1792:102048,1802:102804,1814:103392,1823:104064,1833:107676,1951:111200,1968:111550,1974:112880,2009:116590,2070$0,0:660,11:1122,19:1518,27:2310,44:3036,59:3432,68:4290,91:7260,151:7656,158:8118,167:8580,175:8976,199:14388,307:14652,312:15708,336:16038,342:16764,357:24012,399:24678,409:24974,418:26602,447:26972,453:30006,507:30746,518:31412,539:36543,575:37716,602:48180,769:48660,777:49460,797:49940,804:50260,809:50820,817:51780,847:54420,891:55620,906:60420,991:61860,1014:62500,1024:67280,1031:67805,1038:68405,1068:73938,1202:77020,1222:78292,1251:80023,1265:80394,1273:80977,1287:82970,1294:83408,1301:85598,1351:88372,1399:89759,1425:91146,1460:91584,1467:91876,1472:95964,1519:96256,1524:96694,1589:97716,1625:101847,1644:109432,1701:110161,1712:116176,1796:118154,1812:123410,1859:128522,1960:130470,1965:131360,1976:136998,2038:143978,2104:147362,2176:148010,2187:148586,2200:149306,2213:149738,2220:150458,2234:150818,2241:151250,2248:152042,2262:152546,2270:153266,2291:153842,2299:154202,2305:161668,2354:162500,2364:163436,2375:166890,2401:167808,2419:170020,2437:170740,2448:173220,2484:183679,2655:184327,2665:188610,2731:189100,2739:189450,2745:190715,2804:203070,2960:204870,2984:213697,3124:213981,3129:219448,3247:226464,3352:228204,3397:228987,3408:242118,3599:245930,3643
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Terri A. Sewell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell talks about her maternal family's roots in Lowndes County, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell lists her mother's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell describes her father's early influences

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell talks about her father's legacy

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell lists her father's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell describes the sights and sounds of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell describes her parents' betrothal

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her family's reasons for moving to Selma, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell describes her home in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her twin brothers' mischief making

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls the start of her education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her community in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers Cedar Park Elementary School in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers the civil rights leaders in her community in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls visiting the Selma Public Library

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell talks about her early interest in reading

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls her extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls trying to fit in at Westside Junior High School in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers losing her academic awards because of poor conduct

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell describes her achievements at Selma High School in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell talks about her mother's influence

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls being approached by Julian McPhillips

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her admission to Princeton University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her early interest in law

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers enrolling at Princeton University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls being elected vice president of her freshman class

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her friendship with Michelle Obama

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell talks about her summer employment on Capitol Hill

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her time at Princeton University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls her graduation from Princeton University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her bachelor's thesis

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers enrolling at the University of Oxford

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her production of 'For Colored Girls' at the University of Oxford

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers publishing her master's thesis

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls her experiences at Harvard Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers protesting for a black female professor at Harvard Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her deferment from Harvard Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls her work after completing her law degree

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her clerkship under Judge U. W. Clemon, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her clerkship under Judge U. W. Clemon, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

9$8

DATitle
The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers the civil rights leaders in her community in Selma, Alabama
The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her clerkship under Judge U. W. Clemon, pt. 2
Transcript
(Simultaneous) Did you have any black friends?$$ I did. I had lots of black friends who were usually friends--they were usually children of my parents' friends. Remember my parents [Nancy Gardner Sewell and Andrew Sewell] were, my parents were educators in the school system. And, and I think middle class black Selma [Alabama] were educators, they were teachers, they were, they worked for the government. They were preachers. And, and so growing up I, I don't think I really realized how poor, or (pronunciation) poor my parents were until I went to Princeton [Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey]. I kind of grew up thinking that we were doing okay (laughter). And, because my parents were well respected in the community, I didn't feel like there were any limitations on my ability to do or be anything. That's a real credit to my parents. But, it's also a credit to the community that nurtured me, and that, that community re- consisted of blacks and whites. And so yeah, so I can remember when the Cedar Park [Cedar Park Elementary School, Selma, Alabama] was integrated. And I also--it's interesting to me, my, my sixth grade teacher was Miss Jackson [Richie Jean Sherrod Jackson]. Well, Miss Jackson I, I grow up to learn that Miss Jackson and her husband [Sullivan Jackson] would entertain Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] in their house. And Miss Jackson's house was where they gathered to, to you know, to really map the march from Selma [Alabama] to Montgomery [Alabama]. (Gesture) Miss Jackson mi- Jean Jackson my--Jean Jackson who taught me in sixth grade. It's interesting that you can live your life surrounded by people who are legendary in the Civil Rights Movement. I guess growing up in Selma that's, that's--I'm--it never ceases to amaze me to find out about the people who I saw as teachers and my preacher [at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, Selma, Alabama] or my you know, the, you know the grocery store owners. And to find out that they were iconic or, or very pivotal in the Civil Rights Movement.$And I took serious when he said, "We're the judge," and he said, "I want you all to brief, brief me on the trials that are coming up." And one of the things that the federal judges have to do, they have to review the social security cases that are on appeals. And so, it's mostly about disability. And I will never forget spending a whole weekend on the first case that I had to brief him on. I concluded that the person who was the plaintiff could walk. That the person did not deserve to have disab- disability insurance. Because, because this, while the doctors all said it in favor of her, I found this special piece of evidence and 'cause I had spent all weekend long trying to. And you know, Judge Clemon [HistoryMaker U.W. Clemon] just, he was awesome. I come in with this you know, twenty page opinion about a social security case, that I had worked all weekend long. And my conclusion was that the lower court, the, had was, you know, the administrative court had--findings were true and that she should be denied social security benefits, disability benefits. So, he looks at me he says, "Sewell [HistoryMaker Terri A. Sewell]," he looks, peers over his glass he says, "I have three questions for you. First, did you go to medical school? What medical degree do you have? Second question, in all of this evidence that you poured over was there medical proof that she had had a disability? That she was disabled?" I said, "Well yes, her doctor said this, but this doctor said that and this nurse said that. This doctor--," so I'm trying to make up. And he says he stops me and he says, "And my final question, how many years did she work for this company? Twenty-three." He closed his book, he closed my, he took my paper and put it in his file, closed the file and he said, "Give the woman her money." The lesson I learned, aside from that I didn't need to spend a whole weekend on a social security case, the lesson I learned was that tremendous power in being a judge and we see evidence, facts through the lenses of our own experience. And that it matters who's, who our judges are. Diversity on the bench is important, diversity not only in gender and race, but in experience. Having someone who's been a public defender as a federal judge or as a [U.S.] Supreme Court justice is important. We see, we see and review facts and evidence I mean, through the lens by which we live our life. So, having judges and having lawyers and having them with different backgrounds and experiences matters. There's a lot that Judge Clemon taught me but I learned a lot that day. And I'm very blessed my dad [Andrew Sewell] had a series of strokes that left him in a wheelchair and I can truly say for the fifteen years that my dad was unable to put up curtains or hang pictures that Judge Clemon really stood, stood in the gap. And I'm very grateful to him for that. And so, when I decided to run for [U.S.] Congress there were two people that I talked to about it before I made my mind up and Judge Clemon was one of them. And he stood by me even thought that I was--that I was raising way too much money and not shaking enough hands. Very--he was very old school politician shaking enough hands, and meeting enough people, knocking on enough doors. Not--I didn't have a big enough sign out there. And he hung in there with me. And I'm a member of Congress today because my mentor believed in me and didn't leave me, didn't leave me all those thirty years ago when I was a law intern, and he hasn't left me now, and I feel very blessed to have him as a, as a, as a mentor and as a, as a, a real father figure.

ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Author and journalist ReShonda Tate Billingsley was born on September 7, 1969, in Kansas City, Missouri. Billingsley graduated from Madison High School in Houston, Texas in 1987, and attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her B.A. degree in broadcast journalism in 1991.

Billingsley began her career in 1993 as an associate producer for KTRK-TV, an ABC-affiliate in Houston, Texas. After a year at KTRK, Billingsley moved to the NBC-affiliate KJAC-TV in Port Arthur, Texas, as an anchor, reporter and talk show host. In 1996, she accepted a position in Houston, Texas as a reporter for KPRC-TV, the NBC-affiliate. From 1997-2003, Billingsley was a reporter and anchor for the NBC-affiliated KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In 2003, she returned to Houston as a reporter for KRIV-TV, the Fox-affiliate, where she remained until 2007. Billingsley published her first book in 2001 My Brother’s Keeper, which was picked up by publishing company Simon & Schuster the following year. She became a National Bestselling Author of over forty fiction, non-fiction, and teen fiction books. Billingsley has also served as a reporter and editor for the Houston Defender since 1993. She served as a host and producer for KPFT’s From Cover to Cover literary talk show from 2009 to 2013, and KTSU’s The Sista Xchange from 2011 to 2014. She, and fellow Simon & Schuster author Victoria Christopher Murray, co-founded Brown Girl Books in 2014. Her books The Devil is a Lie and Let the Church Say Amen were adapted into television movies for TV One and BET.

Billingsley has also served as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Jack & Jill of America, and the Durham Library board. Billingsley received the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature in 2012 for her book, Say Amen, Again, and was nominated in 2013 for The Secret She Kept, which was adapted into a television movie for TV One. She was nominated for the award once again in 2015 for Mama’s Boy.

Billingsley and her husband, Dr. Miron Billingsley have three children; Mya, Morgan and Myles.

ReShonda Tate Billingsley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 1, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.014

Sex

Female

Interview Date

02/1/2017

Last Name

Billingsley

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Tate

Occupation
Schools

James Madison High School

Petersen Elementary School

Retta Brown Elementary School

Audrey H. Lawson Middle School

University of Texas at Austin

First Name

ReShonda

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

BIL05

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Turks and Caicos

Favorite Quote

Stop Talking About Doing It And Do It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

9/7/1969

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Author and journalist ReShonda Tate Billingsley (1969 - ) served as a reporter and news anchor in Texas and Oklahoma, and was a national bestselling author of over forty fiction, nonfiction and teen fiction books.

Employment

Simon and Schuster

Houston Defender

KRIV-TV

KFOR-TV

KPRC-TV

KJAC-TV

National Enquirer

Favorite Color

Pink, Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:276,11:644,16:1196,49:3990,75:4749,87:9234,256:10821,277:14064,415:20396,475:20766,481:21654,500:22542,516:30978,823:32754,870:34678,917:35270,926:35640,932:42698,980:43043,986:44009,1000:44837,1026:45389,1040:46355,1064:46631,1069:48218,1098:48770,1107:50564,1153:56498,1341:57119,1352:57947,1367:58430,1377:68958,1557:74766,1747:75854,1783:84898,1970:85578,1986:92160,2049:92530,2055:92826,2060:97710,2168:98154,2176:98820,2188:99116,2218:101336,2251:105554,2341:106294,2362:106664,2368:110142,2435:110734,2444:118256,2479:118690,2488:118938,2493:119558,2508:126192,2690:133322,2892:134066,2907:143131,3013:143868,3027:144136,3032:149295,3172:149697,3180:153047,3248:154387,3287:154923,3297:159180,3302$0,0:4134,40:4876,85:5936,98:7314,114:9964,161:12484,201:21290,380:25138,445:25952,461:26914,479:27358,486:28024,497:28468,505:29060,518:29504,525:30318,542:30688,548:31058,556:32464,584:33204,596:39474,607:40290,621:44030,712:52054,908:52802,921:53414,933:54094,946:54570,955:55998,991:58650,1069:59330,1081:59670,1087:60146,1096:68188,1145:77470,1295:79616,1353:80504,1369:80800,1374:83760,1425:84278,1433:84574,1438:89680,1547:90124,1554:91160,1603:93010,1632:93454,1639:93824,1645:98370,1674:98790,1682:99150,1689:99570,1705:99990,1727:100230,1732:100710,1741:102330,1790:102570,1795:103530,1817:103830,1823:104070,1828:104430,1835:106830,1892:107070,1897:107310,1906:107790,1916:108030,1921:109410,1947:109890,1956:111690,2002:112050,2009:113130,2030:113490,2038:114390,2065:115350,2083:129451,2266:133638,2351:136870,2387:140020,2459:140510,2468:143520,2538:150720,2610:151305,2624:153190,2756:160405,2875:160665,2880:161055,2887:161445,2894:162095,2905:163200,2929:163655,2937:163915,2942:172156,3054:180774,3260:188345,3328:189126,3341:189623,3349:189907,3354:190191,3359:190475,3364:190972,3373:191256,3378:195019,3453:195587,3481:195942,3487:197291,3501:197575,3506:198001,3514:198569,3535:203580,3570:204300,3586:205560,3614:206040,3626:206760,3650:210480,3753:211980,3792:218307,3818:219650,3883:220835,3904:221309,3911:221625,3916:222178,3930:222731,3939:223758,3973:224074,3983:225891,4014:227234,4050:232290,4149:241262,4268:241550,4273:241838,4278:243926,4316:246806,4410:247670,4426:251666,4442:252130,4452:252594,4457:253348,4474:253754,4484:253986,4489:255958,4530:256364,4538:257234,4557:258742,4592:262628,4688:263788,4700:268380,4733:269250,4750:272440,4839:274630,4851
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of ReShonda Tate Billingsley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her mother's early years and education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her father's storytelling

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her love of reading

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her father's supper club

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her father's carpentry skills

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her neighborhood in Smackover, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her parents' divorce and moving to Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls her favorite middle school teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her first published story

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her active imagination

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her church involvements

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her early reputation as a writer

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls her early career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her favorite teacher at James Madison High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls enrolling at the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her activities at the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her favorite professor at the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls her early broadcasting experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers graduating from the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls working for the National Enquirer

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers working as a producer at KTRK-TV in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls her transition to anchoring for KJAC-TV in Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls worked as a reporter at KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas and KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her first book, 'My Brother's Keeper'

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls self-publishing 'My Brother's Keeper'

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her book, 'Let the Church Say Amen'

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about the controversy around 'Let the Church Say Amen'

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes the themes of her books

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her writing career

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her books 'Help! I've Turned into My Mother' and 'I Know I've Been Changed'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her books that were published in 2007

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her teen fiction books

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her books, 'The Devil is a Lie' and 'Holy Rollers'

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her acting career

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her book, 'The Secret She Kept'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her parenting style

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her book, 'A Family Affair'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her current projects

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about the film adaptations of her books

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her screenwriting aspirations

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her awards and accolades

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley reflects upon her writing career

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her writing process

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her favorite writers and books

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about the growth of her writing career

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her publishing company, Brown Girls Books

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

2$7

DATitle
ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her active imagination
ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her book, 'Let the Church Say Amen'
Transcript
Now didn't your mother [Nancy Kilgore Blacknell] tell you at one time that making up a story is a lie unless you write it down and then it's a fiction (laughter)?$$Yes, then it's a story. If it comes out of our mouth (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Then it's a story, right, right.$$--it's a lie, if you write it down.$$If you write it down then it's a story?$$Yes, and so you know and that was one of the things because I would--I remember when my mother, my parents were still together. I would just out of the blue start acting out a story. I had written a story about a little girl that had passed out and we were in Smackover [Arkansas], we were going from Norphlet [Arkansas] to Smackover, and my sister [Tanisha Tate] told my parents, "ReShonda [HistoryMaker ReShonda Tate Billingsley] won't, won't wake up, she won't sit up." And so, my father [Bruce Tate] pulled over to the side of the road, the truck actually broke down, and I would not lift my head. I just--my whole body was limp because that's what I had written in my story and so my parents were freaking out. They ended up flagging down somebody passing by, they took us to the hospital in Smackover to--there was a small like clinic and the doctor, who my grandmother [Tate Billingsley's maternal grandmother, Pearley Hicks Kilgore] cleaned for he examined me. My mother was crying and I'm just, I'm still not lifting up. My eyes are rolled back in the back of my head and Dr. Warren [George W. Warren] was his name and he came in, he examined me and then he said--my mother was like, "What's wrong with her?" And he told me he said, "Sit up gal," and I just kind of sat there, he said, "I said sit up, gal," and I just kind of sat up, and so my parents freaked out. They said, "Why would you do all of that?" And I said, "That's what the little girl did in my story, so I was just trying to carry it out," and my mother ended up having to leave the room before she killed me. My dad was always the, the buffer, but he, and he explained to me, "You know you can't do stuff like that." But I said, "That's how when I wrote it and she did--she never woke up." And so, little stuff that made no sense in my mind and I think I was ten at that time, no, I might have been eight at that time and it made no sense in their minds, but it made perfect sense because that's, that was the story that I wrote.$$So, you had a very active imagination.$$I did.$$And internal life that was--yeah.$$I don't know where it came from, I mean I just out of the blue I would come, and the reason my--the whole--my mother said that it was a lie 'cause I had come in, I said my sister broke her arm outside playing at--we used to gather up the leaves to burn the leaves and so I came in and my mother said, "Well, where's your sister?" I said, "Oh, she's out there. She just broke her arm jumping in the leaves." So, of course my mother ran out there and my sister is just playing in the leaves, and so my mother said, "That's, you know, that's a lie coming out of your mouth." And I said, "Naw I was trying to work through a story in my head," and so it would get me in trouble a lot (laughter) and so, I, I have no idea why I used to--I would, I just don't know why I did stuff like that, but it was just that imagination always at work.$And your next book in 2004 was 'Let the Church Say Amen' [ReShonda Tate Billingsley] which is the foundation of a trilogy, basically?$$Yes.$$Let--it's about two families, right?$$It's about a, about a family and a pastor who gives his all to the church, so much so that he doesn't see how he's neglecting his family and what I wanted to do was show--even though this is a pastor, this could be any man in any job who works so hard for their job that they don't realize how their family needs them just as much, and so that's what I wanted to write about. What ended up happening was because the book had a church title, people started classifying it as Christian fiction, and I caught a lot of flak behind that because it, is not Christian fiction. I did, I had a couple of curse words in it. I have--and you know I don't write gratuitous, I don't write gratuitous sex, I don't write gratuitous cursing. Everything I write has a purpose, but when you pick up a book and you think you're about to read Christian fiction, so I caught a lot of flak, to the point that sometimes I would read the reviews and they would have me in tears, but for every bad review, I would get ten great reviews, but you know how we do, we focus on the bad. But that book is what ended up putting me on the map.$$What were the responses good and bad to your work, I mean what did people like about it?$$A lot of people liked the truth, I mean because what happens is many of us will go to the club Saturday night and then we get up and to the club--go to church on Sunday morning, and so those are the type of characters that I would write about, so people could relate. So, one of the, the biggest things that I got from people and one of the most positive things were, "Your characters are so relatable. This story is relatable." There were people that would say, "I'm struggling, my family is struggling just like the people in this book," so in terms of the positive side, I got that a lot. The negative was the people that said, "I picked this up because I thought it was a Christian fiction book, and you had this character say a bad word, so I'm mortified." There was--I got a couple of, "You're gonna rot in hell" emails, and those are the ones that sent me to, to tears because they would said, "Well, your character is homosexual and he didn't pray hard enough," you know. And you'd wanna reply, "Write your own book," (laughter), but you know you take, try to take the high road, but I would get a lot--I caught the biggest amount of flak because my character didn't pray the gay away, and I think at that time when that was released you saw that was big, a big, the whole DL thing was a big, down low thing was a big thing going around.$$Right, I remember that.$$And people kept saying, "He could just pray this away," and I don't have--I didn't have that in my book. I had this family really struggling with one of their son's dealing with that, and I, let the family deal with it and not say okay, now he's cured at the end of the book. So, I caught that. One lady said she, the book was garbage and she was gonna use it to hold up, her coffee table that had a bad leg. So, I would get that kind of thing all the time. There was one station in Virginia that was going--had me come in for a book signing and they ended up canceling it because they said they read the book after inviting me, and they called the book soft porn, and I was mortified because I don't have any, I don't have anything like that in there, but they said they ended up canceling it and the bookstore was a Christian bookstore started selling the book behind the counter like it was a Hustler magazine, and so the way I found out was a woman contacted me and said, "I don't know who you are, but bought your book because they didn't wanna sell it to the woman in front of me." And so, that kind of, the controversy ended up making more people go and read the book, and then when they read it, they were like okay, this isn't bad, but that's what me on the map.$$Was the controversy had, did it have more to do with having gay characters or, infidelity, or what was the major issue (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) The, the primary one was the gay character, the gay son and then the only, what they considered soft porn there was a line that said, "She lowered her head in his lap," and I moved on, I didn't say anything else, but they considered that soft porn, which was just crazy to me, but that, you know that was their prerogative, but the, the biggest thing was not, not having him pray that gay away, and people kept saying in the black church, "He's a father, but he's a minister, so how is he gonna just accept that his son is gay," and so you know I, I caught that a lot. It just, it was really shocking to me, but that's what created a lot of the controversy.

Nina M. Wells

Lawyer and state government appointee Nina Mitchell Wells was born in 1950 in Washington, D.C. She attended Immaculate Conception Academy, an all-girl catholic high school, and graduated from there in 1968. Wells then enrolled in Mount St. Joseph College, now Mount St. Joseph University, in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1970, she transferred to a women’s college, Newton College of the Sacred Heart, where she received her B.A. degree in 1972. Wells went on to receive her J.D. degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1976.

After a brief stay in Los Angeles, California, Wells began her legal career as assistant corporation counsel for the City of Newark legal department. In 1990, Wells served as head of the Division of Rate Counsel in the Department of the Public Advocate while Governor Jim Florio was in office. She then served as vice president and senior attorney at the CIT Group from 1994 until 1996. In 1996, Wells was hired at Rutgers University School of Law and served as the assistant dean for the Minority Student Program. In 1998, she was named vice president of public affairs at Schering-Plough Corporation and president of their philanthropic arm, Schering-Plough Foundation. Wells was then appointed to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine’s cabinet as the Secretary of State of New Jersey in 2006, and served in that position until 2010.

Wells has served on numerous boards including Seton Hall Preparatory School, Newark Day Center and Teach for America. In 2013, she served on the board of trustees of both the Victoria Foundation and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center Women’s Association. She received a nomination by President Barack Obama to serve on the board of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Wells has also been the recipient of several awards and honors such as the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association Women’s Initiative & Leaders in Law (WILL) Platinum Award and the Montclair Art Museum Honoree for Arts Education. Wells has received honorary degrees from Drew University and the College of St. Elizabeth.

Wells and her husband, criminal defense lawyer Theodore Wells, reside in Livingston, New Jersey.

Nina Wells was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 11, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.216

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/11/2014

Last Name

Wells

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Mitchell

Schools

Immaculate Conception Academy

Mount St Joseph University

Newton College of the Sacred Heart

Suffolk University Law School

First Name

Nina

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

WEL04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Grand Cayman

Favorite Quote

You Only Live Once.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/9/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

State government appointee and lawyer Nina M. Wells (1950 - ) served as the Secretary of State for New Jersey from 2006 to 2010.

Employment

City of Newark Legal Department

Department of the Public Advocate

CIT Group

Rutgers Law School-Newark

Schering-Plough Corporation

Schering-Plough Foundation

Governor Jon Corzine's Cabinet (New Jersey)

Garfinkel's

U.S. Social Security Administration

New Jersey Bell Telephone Company

Bell Communications Research

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:3276,94:10756,311:16916,419:26548,482:27136,511:39776,711:43820,748:44474,755:58862,963:72140,1120:78740,1554:92898,1728:121538,2010:127810,2152:136600,2280:140685,2367:145205,2446:170900,2941:182606,3103:183380,3114:190080,3178:193852,3272:197542,3376:202298,3478:207874,3668:210990,3851:212794,3913:213450,3923:213778,3928:214270,3937:215008,3949:215746,3961:225270,4037:226732,4066:229398,4112:229742,4117:230516,4259:247105,4489:247865,4499:256420,4633$0,0:964,62:2308,89:5668,149:10288,219:12136,247:26029,428:30511,538:35574,664:35989,683:37151,705:37898,718:40222,761:40637,767:41467,778:41882,784:43957,840:57508,1041:61636,1113:65076,1180:72300,1340:77995,1366:79848,1387:92415,1640:93360,1662:120158,2316:129551,2503:133976,2535:134468,2542:135124,2553:148170,2806:154154,2943:159100,2969:161300,3006:179211,3266:180279,3285:182300,3294:198300,3492:200988,3585:205608,3682:206364,3692:213854,3779:214322,3786:227504,4070:227816,4075:243330,4330:246290,4386:248690,4474:252610,4585:252930,4590:253570,4600:253890,4605:260964,4635:266396,4719:266784,4724:276295,4884:277045,4928:281995,4989:286495,5090:287395,5105:295040,5247:295810,5260:300498,5347:304632,5437:311886,5623:312432,5631:313134,5643:318840,5657:321504,5691:323328,5728:324012,5738:325076,5769:325608,5778:326140,5787:326444,5792:327812,5830:335260,6060:336020,6071:336704,6081:356574,6376:363050,6488
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nina M. Wells' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nina M. Wells lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nina M. Wells lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nina M. Wells talks about her paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nina M. Wells describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nina M. Wells remembers her relationship with her father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nina M. Wells describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nina M. Wells describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nina M. Wells describes her extracurricular activities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Nina M. Wells remembers her summer jobs in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Nina M. Wells remembers modeling for Garfinkel's in Washington, D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nina M. Wells remembers modeling for Garfinkel's in Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nina M. Wells describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nina M. Wells describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nina M. Wells remembers visiting her parental grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nina M. Wells talks about her aspiration to attend college

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nina M. Wells describes her social life during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nina M. Wells talks about her social activities

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nina M. Wells remembers dating her husband

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Nina M. Wells remembers transferring to Newton College of the Sacred Heart in Newton Centre, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Nina M. Wells describes her experiences at Newton College of the Sacred Heart

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nina M. Wells describes her decision to attend the Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nina M. Wells talks about the early years of her marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nina M. Wells talks about the differences between law schools

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nina M. Wells remembers studying at Langdell Hall in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nina M. Wells describes her experiences at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nina M. Wells remembers the first case as counsel to the City of Newark

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nina M. Wells describes her reasons for moving to Newark, New Jersey, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nina M. Wells describes her reasons for moving to Newark, New Jersey, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nina M. Wells describes her role as counsel to the City of Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nina M. Wells talks about the Garden State Bar Association

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nina M. Wells recalls the notable African American lawyers in New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nina M. Wells remembers the events of the 1970s in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nina M. Wells describes her role at the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nina M. Wells talks about the breakup of the Bell system

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nina M. Wells describes her experiences at Bell Communications Research, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Nina M. Wells describes her work with the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nina M. Wells talks about New Jersey Governor James Florio

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nina M. Wells describes her involvement on charitable boards, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nina M. Wells describes her involvement on charitable boards, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nina M. Wells talks about her two-year sabbatical

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Nina M. Wells describes how she came to work for CIT Financial Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Nina M. Wells recalls her assistant deanship of Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Nina M. Wells talks about balancing her career and her family

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Nina M. Wells describes her position at the Schering Plough Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Nina M. Wells remembers meeting New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Nina M. Wells talks about her relationship with New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Nina M. Wells describes how she became the New Jersey secretary of state

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Nina M. Wells remembers honoring Judge Robert L. Carter

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Nina M. Wells remembers the election of President Barack Obama

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Nina M. Wells talks about the political role of the New Jersey Department of State

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Nina M. Wells talks about New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Nina M. Wells describes her experiences as New Jersey secretary of state, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Nina M. Wells describes her experiences as New Jersey secretary of state, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Nina M. Wells talks about the defunding of the New Jersey Network

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Nina M. Wells talks about diversity and segregation in New Jersey

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Nina M. Wells talks about New Jersey politics

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Nina M. Wells recalls her appointment to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Nina M. Wells reflects upon her marriage to Theodore V. Wells, Jr.

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Nina M. Wells describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Nina M. Wells describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Nina M. Wells reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Nina M. Wells narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Nina M. Wells narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

8$5

DATitle
Nina M. Wells remembers dating her husband
Nina M. Wells remembers honoring Judge Robert L. Carter
Transcript
So tell, talk about meeting Ted [Wells' husband, HistoryMaker Theodore V. Wells, Jr.].$$Yeah. Well, I, like I said, I knew a lot of the kids from Coolidge [Calvin Coolidge High School; Calvin Coolidge Senior High School, Washington, D.C.], and a young man had asked me to go on a bus trip, and the bus trip was sponsored by the coach of Calvin Coolidge, the football coach. So if the team did well every year, he would take them on a bus ride to--we were going to see the Baltimore Bullets [Washington Wizards] play in Baltimore [Maryland], basketball game. So it was like a big deal. So this young man asked me to go, and I said, sure. So I'm on the bus, and sitting in front of me was Ted--excuse me, and his girlfriend. Then afterwards, he--Ted turned around and saw me, and then he said to my date, "Let's trade numbers, phone numbers," so they traded phone numbers, so Ted called me. But at the time, he was known as Tokey. He was a jock. And I kind of knew about him, and he was like in a nice crowd, but not exactly my crowd. Like if he'd come to the parties, he wouldn't get in the front door. They would end up coming in later when somebody would open the door for them.$$(Laughter).$$So I was like, I know this guy. I seen him come in the back door. I'm like, he's not one of the invitees, invited guests, so I told him I didn't--wasn't interested. I said, "No, I know you, and I know your friends, and that's--no, no thank you." So he kept calling me, and then he had a friend call and say, "Oh, I can, I can tell you, he's really a good guy. He's really smart. He does well in school. He's really nice." I was like, "No, I don't--I'm not interested." So he kept on, kept on, kept on calling. He goes, "Why don't you even give me a chance? Like one date." I was like, I don't know. So I said, okay. So I went out on one date with him, and I was like totally impressed 'cause I thought he was more of a--I used to say, "You're, you're just a hoodlum, and your friends are hoodlums." But I just meant that they were like, you know, kind of really out there, but he was so nice, and he was so well dressed, and I thought he was going come with some hip hop clothes on, and he had on Bass weejuns [G.H. Bass and Company], and I was like, oh, my god. You look nice. So from that point on, I thought maybe he was worthy of my attention, so--and then I found out that he was really like--really interested in going to college, too, which was really important 'cause at first my father [Ignatius Mitchell, Jr.] did not like him.$$Oh, he didn't.$$No.$$What did he say?$$No. He was I don't really--I don't know. He's--Ted was pretty much raised by his mom [Phyllis Wells]. He goes, "Oh, a single parent." I'm like, "I'm [sic.] a single parent." And my father said, "No, I don't think I really like him. I don't think he's a good date." And I said, "Well, you don't know him. You have to get to meet him, meet his family and everything." So once Ted--once my father met Ted's mother, he said, "Oh, she's really lovely." And then, believe it or not, Ted's family, once we started dating, his family, his mother and sister [Toni Wells] would join us for Christmas dinner for like years, and then when we decided to get married, we just got married at, at a Christmas dinner informally, so it was so interesting how the mothers really became friends.$$Oh, the two mothers became friends (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yes, yes.$$Okay. Not the fath--$$Yeah.$$The two mothers.$$The mothers 'cause Ted's father [Theodore V. Wells, Sr.] wasn't in the picture.$$Right.$$And then--$$Right.$$--my father thought Ted's mother was quite lovely, too.$$Okay.$$But my father didn't join us for dinner. My mother [Pearline Jackson Smith], remember, was (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I see.$$--remarried, yeah.$$So you know--$$So it was interesting how we kind of merged the two families, yeah (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Because I read that you went to see movies your first date, 'Fahrenheit'--maybe 45- (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) '451.' That was--well, that was the first date, but don't forget, when I met Ted, that wasn't a date.$$Right. That--$$They switched (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) that was on the bus.$$Yes. How did you read that?$$Go on, all right.$$Where did that come from? That's true, 'Fahrenheit 451,' yeah, absolutely. Thank you for refreshing my recollection, yeah. I--we used to--I used to keep track. I'd write down every date and give it a grade (laughter). For years and years I had a record of every place we went, and then I would evaluate it. I mean, how was it? And what was he like? (Unclear), right?$So (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah.$$--talk about what, what happened.$$Yeah.$$You became the--$$Yeah. I became the secretary of state for New Jersey, and previous governors had moved certain functions out of the department for a variety of reasons, and Governor Corzine wanted to put it back in. But one of the fun things I did was, I was part of the senior staff, which really meant that you met with the governor every single day at eight o'clock in the morning, and, basically, what you would do is you sat around with like ten people, and you talked about all the priorities for the administration, what we were going to do that day, what public events there were, how we were going to execute things, and, basically, you, you were like the pulse of state government every single day, you know. Were there key issues you'd heard about that the governor needed to be aware of? If he was, you know, considering certain actions, what was your reaction? How did you feel about things, and, you know, so you were sort of eyes and ears outside of your own cabinet position, so you got a chance to really see everything that was going on in the state government, and to--and, politically, and you were--you know, had the political, you know, you have to be attuned to what was happening politically, comment accordingly, and if you saw opportunities. One of the really fun, fun, fun things I did, and I have a picture to capture it, is Ted [Wells' husband, HistoryMaker Theodore V. Wells, Jr.] said to me, "While you're there, ask the governor--we got to give Judge Robert L. Carter [HistoryMaker Robert L. Carter], we got to get him a building, a school, a school, a building, something. Nina [HistoryMaker Nina M. Wells], you're on a mission. Let's go do it." So I talked to Jon Corzine, and he says, "I'm fascinated with Judge Carter's career." I said--twenty-four [U.S.] Supreme Court arguments, won twenty-three. You know, argued Brown versus Board of Education decisions [Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954], you know, before Thurgood [Thurgood Marshall] did, and Thurgood is getting feedback, and then they go and they come, the whole nine yards. 'Simple Justice' ['Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality,' Richard Kluger], you know, right, taking the pages out of 'Simple Justice.' And Corzine said, "What a phenomenal idea. Let's see what we can do." And I talked to Cory [Cory Booker], and it's like, "Cory, give me a school." "Everything is just so school board, and it's so difficult." So I said, "We got to find a building. We got to find a building, got a find a building." The department of education [New Jersey Department of Education], we said, "That's the perfect building," in Trenton [New Jersey], right. So I have this wonderful--we had a reception for Judge Carter here. Of course, we had a wonderful--at the department of education, we had the entire department, all of these great, you know, key people in state government, and governors come out and dedicate the department of education building [Robert L. Carter Building] to Judge Robert L. Carter. I'll show you the signage that is in front of it. And that morning, we were all set for the media and everything. That morning Judge Carter's wonderful son called and said Judge Carter was too sick to even get in the car. You know, he had coronary heart disease. I mean, this was maybe five years before he passed. He was very sick. And he said, "But we're coming," he and his brother [John Carter and David Carter]. He said, "We're coming and we'll speak and everything." And we're like, "No problem." So we have this wonderful, wonderful ceremony. Everybody in the department of education was going like really crazy. What's really nice, though, is that it's been memorialized in the lobby. First of all, there's a beautiful, huge sign which I'll show you. Then this--his, his bust, a plaque, the whole history of everything he did. They said busloads come to that building, it's like on the, you know, tour. If you come down to the statehouse in Trenton, that's one of the things that's a must see. Busloads of kids get out and read about Judge Robert L. Carter, which I think--who was a New Jerseyan, right?$$Now, so (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah.$$--talk about his relationship with New Jersey and his, you know--$$Yeah. Started school in Newark [New Jersey], and his father [Robert L. Carter, Sr.] died. His mother [Annie Martin Carter] was a nurse, and she moved the family to East Orange [New Jersey], and he went to high school in East Orange. And, I mean, a lot of people from Newark and from--of course, he was a top, top, top student at Barringer High School [Barringer Academy of the Arts and Humanities] in Newark. A lot of people do not know, and in East Orange and graduated with honors, but he had a lot of challenges, though, because East Orange, at that time, was primarily Caucasian, and they didn't want him even to use the swimming pool, and he talks about how, you know, he dealt with all of the racism and everything and still graduated the tippy top of his class, and, you know, and then went Lincoln University [Lincoln University, Pennsylvania] and then on to Columbia Law School [New York, New York]. But a lot of people in Newark do not know him, so it's so nice now to have the department of education building in Trenton dedicated to him, and so it's exposed people in a way that they never would have been exposed, and then Raymond M. Brown, the son of the famous lawyer [Raymond A. Brown], although, he is also very famous, has a program called 'Due Process,' and they did a whole segment on Judge Carter right as he passed, so it's a wonderful piece, and they've replayed it over and over and over again, and I wish it could be part of something in your library.$$I, I actually saw, saw the piece (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Did you see the program?$$I saw the program.$$Yeah.$$So--$$Letting people in Newark know--$$Right.$$--in New Jersey.$$So let me--I mean, that was a wonderful thing to do. Did he, did he get to see the wall, though?$$He, he never got to see it. Although, we had pictures.$$Oh.$$Because in his later years, he couldn't travel. Don't forget Trenton for him would have been two hours in the car, but his sons--you should see the pictures, amazing. We did a whole portfolio. But then we had a reception here at the apartment, and I, I brought it out so you could see it.

David B. Wilkins

Legal scholar and law professor David B. Wilkins was born on January 22, 1956 in Chicago, Illinois. His father, attorney Julian Wilkins, became the first black partner at a major law firm in Chicago in 1971. Wilkins graduated from the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in 1973. He received his A.B. degree in government with honors in 1977 from Harvard College and his J.D. degree with honors in 1980 from Harvard Law School. While in law school, Wilkins was a member of the Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review, the Harvard Law Review, and the Harvard Black Law Students Association.

Upon graduation, Wilkins served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Wilkins then clerked for United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall from 1981 to 1982. In 1982, Wilkins worked as an associate specializing in civil litigation at the law firm of Nussbaum, Owen & Webster in Washington, D.C. He then joined the faculty of Harvard Law School in 1986 as an assistant professor. Wilkins was appointed as Director of the Program on the Legal Profession in 1991 and received tenure in 1992, making him the school’s fourth African American tenured professor and the sixth in the history of the school. He served as the Kirkland and Ellis Professor of Law from 1996 until 2008, when he became the Lester Kissel Professor of Law. In 2009, Wilkins was appointed as Vice Dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession and Faculty Director of the Program on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School.

As a legal scholar, Wilkins authored over sixty articles on the legal profession, and co-authored, along with Andrew Kaufman, Problems in Professional Responsibility for a Changing Profession. In addition, Wilkins served as a Senior Research Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the Faculty Committee of the Harvard University Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics. Wilkins has also lectured on various issues in legal studies internationally as well as in the United States. Harvard Law School honored Wilkins with the Albert M. Sachs – Paul Freund Award for Teaching Excellence in 1998 and the J. Clay Smith Award in 2009. He received the Order of the Coif Distinguished Visitor Fellowship in 2008 and was honored as the American Bar Foundation Scholar of the Year Award in 2010. In 2012, Professor Wilkins was elected as a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2012, Wilkins was honored with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from Stockholm University in Stockholm, Sweden, the Distinguished Visiting Mentor Award from Australia National University, and the Genest Fellowship from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Wilkins and his wife, Ann Marie WIlkins, live in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

David B. Wilkins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 29, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.109

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/29/2013 |and| 10/18/2016

Last Name

Wilkins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Brian

Occupation
Schools

Harvard University

Harvard Law School

University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

First Name

David

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

WIL63

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Just Do It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

1/22/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Macaroni and Cheese

Short Description

Lawyer and law professor David B. Wilkins (1956 - ) was the Lester Kissel Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He also served as the vice dean for global initiatives on the legal profession and faculty director of the program on the legal profession and the Center on Lawyers and the Professional Services Industry.

Employment

Harvard University Law School

Harvard University

American Bar Association (ABA)

Nussbaum, Owen and Webster

Supreme Court of the United States

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Kirkland and Ellis LLP

McDonald's

Commonwealth Edison Company

Covington and Burling LLP

Morrison and Foerster LLP

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:5060,126:6230,143:8120,170:9830,188:11270,206:11810,213:14060,241:14510,247:15770,263:16220,269:16670,275:22362,290:28046,352:31340,390:32194,399:32804,405:36586,437:37074,442:40767,455:42222,469:44162,499:44647,505:52100,616:52700,626:53450,637:54050,647:54950,663:55400,671:56450,684:57050,694:57575,703:58700,746:59000,751:59450,758:59750,763:67315,840:71020,898:71400,903:72255,914:73300,927:74155,941:74630,947:75295,955:81020,983:82730,1039:83630,1051:84620,1064:85340,1074:85790,1080:86600,1092:86960,1097:91520,1125:93314,1151:93782,1159:94406,1168:94796,1174:95888,1193:96980,1210:97760,1221:99554,1297:101270,1328:102752,1350:107428,1372:107932,1396:108268,1401:113490,1423:113818,1428:114392,1436:118820,1510:119476,1520:122018,1555:122428,1579:123412,1593:125610,1599:136170,1695:136905,1703:144252,1857:146412,1907:146700,1912:153271,2003:155272,2028:156142,2039:156751,2047:157360,2056:158404,2070:159187,2081:160318,2095:162928,2180:163537,2188:164233,2198:170428,2221:171165,2234:171768,2244:172706,2298:173175,2306:174046,2321:174649,2332:175520,2346:176525,2379:176860,2385:177195,2391:177664,2399:178401,2415:179205,2433:181483,2485:184163,2634:187350,2639:189014,2684:189526,2694:190294,2713:193802,2750:195118,2767:196246,2781:198878,2898:199536,2913:200194,2922:201040,2933:201510,2939:201980,2945:207000,2987:207606,2994:208111,3000:208818,3008:209929,3022:210636,3029:211444,3038:215484,3149:216191,3157:217605,3163:218615,3175:223070,3200:226790,3218:227280,3226:228120,3243:228820,3254:229100,3259:233640,3413:234729,3426:235620,3436:236511,3448:237006,3454:241065,3503:244035,3518:245124,3530:248946,3541:250262,3558:250732,3564:254492,3652:255620,3667:258158,3708:259850,3729:264610,3755:265058,3760:266962,3780:273790,3850:274778,3864:275614,3876:276222,3886:276754,3896:279954,3916:280528,3923:282988,3967:283398,3974:283972,3983:284546,3992:286350,4029:286760,4035:288154,4052:288482,4057:288892,4064:289794,4078:290368,4091:295447,4113:295842,4119:296316,4127:296711,4133:297106,4139:297501,4145:299555,4177:300187,4186:302004,4219:302873,4232:308124,4288:308614,4296:309692,4308:313764,4341:314448,4352:319768,4458:322580,4518:323948,4542:324404,4550:325164,4565:325696,4575:326152,4613:326608,4620:326988,4626:332956,4663:333388,4670:333964,4680:336302,4697:340676,4741:341048,4746:347615,4821:347940,4827:348200,4832:349390,4849$0,0:1863,32:3381,134:3657,139:7038,218:7728,229:8487,241:10074,281:10350,286:11109,298:17892,478:18212,484:18532,490:18788,495:20772,538:21284,546:22052,561:28388,711:28772,718:29092,724:29988,742:30436,752:31204,767:33124,807:33636,816:34532,833:34980,841:35812,857:36196,864:36772,876:37092,882:38884,915:44664,926:45108,933:45996,946:46440,953:50880,1101:51842,1120:52138,1125:56948,1207:57540,1216:58428,1229:60352,1298:60648,1303:62794,1361:67752,1459:75400,1481:95310,1772:98910,1829:99390,1837:103630,1911:104190,1947:113152,2021:113684,2029:119840,2176:120676,2191:121132,2199:128048,2354:128580,2396:129188,2406:130176,2422:142522,2531:144258,2564:144506,2569:146614,2608:148226,2642:155167,2722:156168,2737:156707,2746:157708,2759:158170,2766:159248,2822:163945,2861:164792,2875:165639,2889:167025,2916:175026,3003:176664,3027:179036,3048:182686,3133:186240,3172:186780,3179:189110,3198:189758,3208:190190,3216:194208,3287:194680,3296:202486,3419:203782,3448:204142,3458:204430,3463:204718,3468:205150,3475:208318,3540:213184,3564:214048,3582:214624,3591:215272,3603:224560,3784:225280,3795:232104,3863:233424,3880:234040,3889:251494,4192:252530,4210:255638,4262:269015,4377:269490,4383:270440,4400:274240,4472:276615,4509:282192,4551:282724,4559:283636,4618:285916,4656:286220,4661:286752,4669:288576,4718:289184,4727:289564,4733:291692,4764:292072,4770:292680,4780:293592,4791:294124,4799:294732,4809:299368,4836:299914,4845:300304,4851:301786,4883:302566,4896:311892,5027:312222,5034:315786,5137:316380,5147:316644,5152:321190,5194:322030,5211:323080,5270:324270,5293:330640,5411:331410,5421:331690,5426:334910,5511:341170,5575
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of David B. Wilkins' interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - David B. Wilkins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - David B. Wilkins describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - David B. Wilkins talks about his sister's research on their family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - David B. Wilkins recalls his family's connection to the United Methodist Church

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - David B. Wilkins describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - David B. Wilkins describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - David B. Wilkins talks about his paternal uncle, J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr.

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - David B. Wilkins describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - David B. Wilkins talks about his father's education and U.S. military service

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - David B. Wilkins recalls how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - David B. Wilkins describes his paternal family's legacy at the Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - David B. Wilkins remembers his paternal grandfather's tenure in the U.S. government

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - David B. Wilkins talks about the founding of Seaway National Bank in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - David B. Wilkins describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - David B. Wilkins talks about his father's transition to Jenner and Block in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - David B. Wilkins describes his father's tenure at Jenner and Block, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - David B. Wilkins describes his father's tenure at Jenner and Block, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - David B. Wilkins talks about the creation of Lafontant, Wilkins and Fisher in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - David B. Wilkins remembers his father's death

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - David B. Wilkins describes his father's personality

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - David B. Wilkins recalls a family trip to South America

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - David B. Wilkins remembers his mother

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - David B. Wilkins recalls graduating from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - David B. Wilkins talks about his father's and paternal uncle's legal careers

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - David B. Wilkins describes his siblings

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - David B. Wilkins talks about his brothers' international travels

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - David B. Wilkins recalls his childhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - David B. Wilkins remembers moving to Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - David B. Wilkins describes the racial demographics of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - David B. Wilkins remembers his classmates at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - David B. Wilkins talks about his friendship with Arne Duncan

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - David B. Wilkins describes his family's relationship with the Bowman family

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - David B. Wilkins recalls his interest in debate at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - David B. Wilkins talks about the environment of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - David B. Wilkins talks about the environment of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - David B. Wilkins remembers his high school debate coach, Earl Bell

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - David B. Wilkins describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - David B. Wilkins recalls the gang activity on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - David B. Wilkins remembers the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - David B. Wilkins talks about the segregation of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - David B. Wilkins describes his father's political affiliations

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - David B. Wilkins talks about his paternal family's prominence

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - David B. Wilkins describes his decision to attend Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - David B. Wilkins recalls the political climate of the early 1970s

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - David B. Wilkins remembers the African American community in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - David B. Wilkins describes the founding of the Black Students Association at Harvard University

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - David B. Wilkins remembers the African American faculty members at Harvard University, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - David B. Wilkins remembers the African American faculty members at Harvard University, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of David B. Wilkins' interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - David B. Wilkins talks about his father's experiences at the Harvard Law School, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - David B. Wilkins talks about his father's experiences at the Harvard Law School, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - David B. Wilkins describes his father's influence on his career

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - David B. Wilkins remembers the African American community at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - David B. Wilkins recalls his classmates at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - David B. Wilkins remembers meeting Al Haymon at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - David B. Wilkins talks about the increase of African American students at Harvard University

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - David B. Wilkins talks about the Black Students Association at Harvard University

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - David B. Wilkins describes his involvement in theater and radio at Harvard University

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - David B. Wilkins talks about his experiences of racial discrimination in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - David B. Wilkins remembers Anthony R. Chase and his wife at Harvard University

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - David B. Wilkins describes his summer position at the Commonwealth Edison Company

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - David B. Wilkins recalls his decision to attend Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - David B. Wilkins remembers his professors at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - David B. Wilkins recalls meeting his wife, Ann Marie Wilkins

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - David B. Wilkins talks about his father's decision to leave Jenner and Block in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - David B. Wilkins recalls joining the Harvard Law Review

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - David B. Wilkins describes his experiences clerking at Kirkland and Ellis, LLP in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - David B. Wilkins describes his experiences clerking at Kirkland and Ellis, LLP in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - David B. Wilkins talks about the emergence of critical legal studies at Harvard Law School

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - David B. Wilkins talks about his clerkships

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - David B. Wilkins describes his experiences on the Harvard Law Review

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - David B. Wilkins remembers working with Harold Hongju Koh at the Harvard Law Review

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - David B. Wilkins remembers his colleagues at the Harvard Law Review

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - David B. Wilkins talks about his paternal uncle's thoughts on his career

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - David B. Wilkins describes his clerkship for Justice Wilfred Feinberg

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - David B. Wilkins remembers clerking in the U.S. Supreme Court for Thurgood Marshall, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - David B. Wilkins remembers clerking in the U.S. Supreme Court for Thurgood Marshall, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - David B. Wilkins describes his position at Nussbaum, Owen and Webster in New York City

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - David B. Wilkins remembers his Harvard Law School professor, Clarence Clyde Ferguson, Jr.

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - David B. Wilkins remembers being approached to teach at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - David B. Wilkins recalls the controversy surrounding Jack Greenberg's course at Harvard Law School

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - David B. Wilkins remembers his interview at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - David B. Wilkins talks about the different levels of professorship at the Harvard Law School

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - David B. Wilkins recalls the first African American professors at Harvard Law School

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - David B. Wilkins describes his initial faculty presentation at Harvard Law School

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - David B. Wilkins recalls his first year of teaching at Harvard Law School

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - David B. Wilkins talks about the first class he taught at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - David B. Wilkins describes his position as a graduate assistant at Harvard Law School

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - David B. Wilkins remembers his transition to teaching at Harvard Law School

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - David B. Wilkins talks about Charles Ogletree's career at Harvard Law School

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - David B. Wilkins talks about the faculty and students of Harvard Law School

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - David B. Wilkins remembers Derrick A. Bell, Jr.

DASession

1$2

DATape

2$10

DAStory

4$4

DATitle
David B. Wilkins remembers his paternal grandfather's tenure in the U.S. government
David B. Wilkins remembers clerking in the U.S. Supreme Court for Thurgood Marshall, pt. 1
Transcript
So Wilkins, Wilkins and Wilkins in Chicago [Illinois].$$Yes.$$That's the law firm.$$That's the law firm.$$Okay.$$And it was a typical you know black law firm of its day. Meaning it served primarily, if not almost exclusively, a clientele of black individuals and small black businesses. My grandfather [J. Ernest Wilkins, Sr.] had built it up over the years at the time in which there were very few black lawyers in Chicago. He'd become well known in the Chicago legal circle. He was one of the few black lawyers who had gone to a prestigious law school [University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, Illinois]. He was active in Republican politics. This was at the time in which it was still the party of Lincoln [President Abraham Lincoln] and so most blacks were Republicans. That--it was through that combination of being prominent in the legal community, he was prominent--he was the head of the Cook County Bar Association, which was the black lawyers association, and also was a member of the ABA [American Bar Association] and of the Chicago Bar Association, again for black lawyers was very unusual, and I think it was that combination plus his role in politics which brought him to the attention of the Eisenhower administration [President Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower]. That's why he got selected for that position and when he left to go to Washington [D.C.], my father [Julian Wilkins] took over the law firm and very quickly thereafter, and I can't quite get the chronology, it might have even been before my grandfather went to Washington, my uncle [John R. Wilkins] also left the firm. First, to go to be a law clerk to William Hastie [William H. Hastie] who by that time was now a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals of the Third Circuit [U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit]. Although he could have been when he was a district judge. Actually I should look that up to make sure. But he was Hastie's first law clerk and I'm pretty sure it was on the Third Circuit. Then my uncle went on to government service where he worked in the Agency for International Development [United States Agency for International Development] living in India for several years and eventually became--was appointed by President Kennedy [President John Fitzgerald Kennedy] to be the general counsel of the Agency for International Development, where he became the first black general counsel of that organization. And until, I think this is fair to say, until the Obama administration [HistoryMaker President Barack Obama] or certainly until the Clinton administration [President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton], the only black general counsel. There has now been at least one more and maybe two more. Then he left there to become a professor at the University of California law school at Berkeley [University of California Berkeley School of Law, Berkeley, California], the Boalt school of law, where he became the first black professor of that law school and only the second black faculty member in the entire Berkeley campus [University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California]. So he joined there '63 [1963] or '64 [1964] shortly after Kennedy was assassinated.$$Okay.$$My grandfather, in a history that actually is chronicled very well in my sister's book ['Damn Near White: An African American Family's Rise from Slavery to Bittersweet Success,' Carolyn Marie Wilkins], was--held his position for something like two or three years but eventually resigned in the course of a power struggle controversy around the direction of the labor department [U.S. Department of Labor] particularly, (cough) excuse me, in international affairs. So my grandfather had been the delegate to the International Labour Organization, which was a very important hotbed of controversy in the 1950s during the Cold War. And my father's--and my grandfather's appointment there was seen as a kind of way for the United States to blunt the criticism of the Soviet Union, that the U.S. was hostile to labor and particularly to black labor. So he was very much a symbol of his race in that organization and in a story that we still don't fully understand, he got into a power struggle with a new--Eisenhower had a new secretary of labor [James P. Mitchell] who was brought in the second term, I think so in nineteen fifty--fifty- no it was during the first term, it must have been in '55 [1955] or something like that, '54 [1954], '55 [1955]. Eventually my grandfather resigned and it was a big controversy about the resignation. There were lots of stories in the paper. My sister [HistoryMaker Carolyn Wilkins] writes about this in the book. But my grandfather stayed living in Washington as he decided what he was going to do and he died very tragically of a heart attack in his, he was in his mid-fifties. And, so he never came back to the firm.$So is it an easy thing once you work on the law review [Harvard Law Review] to clerk? Is it (simultaneous)--?$$(Simultaneous) It's an easy thing to get--almost everybody gets a clerkship--$$Clerkship.$$--but then it's incredibly competitive about which clerkships you get, and the most prestigious ones are on the D.C. Circuit [U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit] or on the Second Circuit [U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit], and particularly those which were thought to be quote feeders for the [U.S.] Supreme Court. Meaning that they send--judges who sent a lot of law clerks up to clerk on the Supreme Court.$$So Feinberg [Wilfred Feinberg], he was a feeder?$$So he was--I didn't fully realize it at the time, but because he was sitting in Thurgood Marshall's seat and Thurgood Marshall was the circuit justice for the Second Circuit. He would take often a Feinberg clerk, not always, it wasn't quite like a Skelly Wright [J. Skelly Wright] and Brennan [William J. Brennan, Jr.], where Brennan would just take all of Skelly Wright's clerks. But it was a very--it turned out to be a very advantageous clerkship for me to get, my ultimate dream was to clerk for Thurgood Marshall which was an incredible experience (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So, so can you talk about that?$$So, you know people ask me--$$'Cause at that point what age is he?$$So, he's old, he's like seven- well, I mean he's getting younger every day because now as I turn sixty, seventy-eight I think he was or seventy--he was in his seventies, it doesn't seem all that old to me actually. But I think seventy-eight sticks out in my mind. And when people ask me what he was like I say he's kind of like your grandfather, meaning he had a lot of--your grandfather lived an amazing life. So he was really smart and he had lots of wisdom, but he also didn't have a lot of patience and he pretty much knew exactly what he was going to do and what he wasn't going to do and he really didn't put up with much. We'd be arguing with him and we'd be--the law clerks would be saying, "Judge, you have to do this," or, "You have to do that," and he would say, "You know, I only have to do two things; stay black and die" (laughter). That would kind of be the end of the argument. Or he'd turn around and he would point to the wall and he'd say, "President Johnson [President Lyndon Baines Johnson] signed my commission. Who signed yours?" (Laughter) So again that was sort of the end of the argument, right. People say, "What do you remember most?" And, "What's the best thing?" And of course there were these amazing arguments and I saw these amazing lawyers including--Larry Tribe [Laurence Tribe] came and argued a case. Walking up the steps to work in this marble building [Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C.] was just incredible. But the best part had nothing to do with the law, although I realized it had everything to do with the law, because the best parts were the stories. Everyday about four o'clock, just like your grandfather, he would kind of walk into the office, so he--the way the office worked was each of the justices has a kind of a suite. It's a really weird building, so basically each of them occupies a kind of corner of the building and there are all these separate stairways and elevators and stuff. So actually they hardly ever see each other and you hardly ever see another human being walking in the halls, 'cause there are only nine people that live there and it's a building that's as big as an enormous city block. Most of the people who aren't justices work in the interior of the building, like the clerks and the clerks' office, and then the rest of it is just for these nine what were guys until my first--the year I clerked it was Sandra Day O'Connor's year and so then it wasn't just nine guys anymore, and they stopped calling them Mr. Justice, which I always regretted. I always thought the coolest thing in the world would be to be called Mr. Justice (laughter). So it was a weird building, but anyway Marshall's office was on the--the justice's office was on the corner of course, and then there was a middle office where he had--there were two secretaries and a messenger and then the far office was where the law clerks sat. And there was a big overstuffed chair at the corner by the door and--by the interior door and everyday about four o'clock the judge would kind of walk in and he'd sit down in the chair and he would just start telling stories. He was a master storyteller. All kinds of stories, stories about Brown [Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954], stories about escaping lynchings. But also stories about his son, John [John W. Marshall], who is a Virginia State trooper and how they would set speed traps for people, or stories about the custodians who he knew the names of every single custodian who was in the building, or about his marshal who had been with him since the solicitor general's office. His name was Mr. Gaines [ph.]; we called him Gaines. When I first started telling people, I was always kind of sheepish about--I should be talking about the great decisions that were there. I don't even remember--if you press me I could remember one or two cases that were decided and one or two cases that I worked on that I'm proud of. But we only wrote dissents and when we got majority opinions they were like stupid cases, you know that were nine nothing because by that time Burger [Warren E. Burger] was in charge, and it was the Burger court and Marshall and Brennan were totally marginalized.

Ricardo Khan

Ricardo Mohamed Khan was born on November 4, 1951, in Washington, D.C., to Mustapha and Jacqueline Khan, a doctor from Trinidad and an American nurse. Khan was raised in Camden, New Jersey. In 1968, as a high school student, he went on a class trip to Broadway and saw an all-black cast perform Hello, Dolly. The trip inspired him to become active in his high school’s drama program, and the next year, he attended Rutgers University, where he studied psychology and theater. Khan earned his B.A. degree in 1973 and his M.F.A. degree in 1977, both from Rutgers University.

Khan and one of his graduate school classmates, L. Kenneth Richardson, were frustrated by the limited opportunities for African Americans in theater; they wanted roles that went beyond conventional stereotypes. In 1978, they came up with the idea for the Crossroads Theatre Company as a place to promote black theater and black artists. With help from Eric Krebs of the nearby George Street Playhouse and a government grant, the company became a reality; its first theater was the second floor of an old factory in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The Crossroads Theatre Company presented their first world premier, One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show by Don Evans in 1981. In 1986, with the premiere of The Colored Museum, Crossroads was established as a distinguished regional company. The next year, Khan and Richardson launched a $1 million campaign to build a new playhouse, though Richardson left the group before the new stage was completed in 1991.

In the following years, the Crossroads Theatre Company became increasingly well-regarded; in a famous 1996 speech, playwright August Wilson described it as a role model for black theaters. Khan won a number of personal awards as well, including induction into the Rutgers University Hall of Distinguished Alumni; an honorary doctorate from his alma mater; and the New Jersey Governor’s Award. In 1999, the Crossroads Theatre Company received the Tony Award for the Best Regional Theater.

However, lingering financial problems forced the company to make major cutbacks. In 2000, Khan went on sabbatical, traveling in Trinidad and later in Africa. That same year, Crossroads had to close for a season; the next year, it was able to mount a few shows, and it has gradually built back up since. In 2003, Khan returned to his role as artistic director, and in 2008 the Crossroads Theatre Company celebrated its thirtieth anniversary.

Accession Number

A2007.238

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/14/2007

Last Name

Khan

Maker Category
Schools

Friends Select School

Moorestown Friends School

Plymouth Meeting Friends School

Cherry Hill High - West

Rutgers University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ricardo

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

KHA01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Believe. Hold Fast To Dreams.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/4/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Stage director and artistic director Ricardo Khan (1951 - ) co-founded and was the artistic director of the Crossroads Theatre Company in New Jersey.

Employment

Self Employed

Crossroads Theatre

Comprehensive Employment and Training Act

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:2366,120:4004,172:10054,252:15164,365:15456,370:20795,453:30675,583:30935,588:31325,598:40120,708:46423,744:59669,980:79076,1133:84666,1221:90652,1261:91240,1270:95104,1367:97120,1407:115540,1580:139416,1909:142242,1933:142758,1947:143102,1961:148216,2017:149968,2054:150333,2060:156495,2208:163220,2252:163645,2258:168444,2296:168899,2302:169718,2314:176907,2429:178636,2452:182367,2504:187600,2526:190142,2577:190798,2586:195612,2643:198337,2672:211046,2839:211426,2844:214232,2879:215798,2900:217364,2927:217799,2933:220235,2968:220670,2974:225214,3015:229890,3064:230265,3070:230565,3075:239086,3173:245424,3229:245928,3236:253312,3350:257118,3403:257726,3412:261070,3471:261754,3490:262438,3506:264946,3555:265554,3564:266770,3585:267378,3594:273735,3629:274246,3642:275560,3669:276217,3680:280816,3776:281619,3790:282057,3797:282641,3806:283444,3827:283882,3834:284466,3843:297418,3982:298170,3991$0,0:36038,518:35910,524:36533,533:38224,559:40340,567:42468,610:51470,678:52388,689:54160,713:64090,763:83340,971:87806,1010:88884,1044:94182,1141:95367,1160:106510,1352:107266,1363:109030,1396:110710,1428:117885,1508:126115,1580:126510,1586:127063,1594:127458,1600:127774,1605:130144,1662:132040,1704:132751,1714:133699,1728:135358,1755:139150,1822:139782,1831:141283,1885:141757,1892:143653,1935:163869,2197:164562,2208:165332,2228:167873,2278:172270,2317
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ricardo Khan's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ricardo Khan lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ricardo Khan describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ricardo Khan describes his mother's personality and influence

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ricardo Khan describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ricardo Khan describes his families' businesses

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ricardo Khan describes his parents' education at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ricardo Khan describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ricardo Khan recalls his father's medical residency in Norristown, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ricardo Khan's mother remembers her professors at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ricardo Khan describes his father's personality and career

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ricardo Khan lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ricardo Khan describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ricardo Khan remembers moving frequently during his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ricardo Khan describes his neighborhood in Camden, New Jersey

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

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ricardo Khan remembers his mother's civic involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ricardo Khan describes his education in Quaker schools

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ricardo Khan describes his experiences of discrimination at the Moorestown Friends School in Moorestown, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ricardo Khan remembers the Friends Select School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ricardo Khan describes the music of his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ricardo Khan recalls the televisions programs of his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ricardo Khan remembers the Moorestown Friends School in Moorestown, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ricardo Khan recalls Cherry Hill High School West in Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ricardo Khan remembers the all-black Broadway production of 'Hello, Dolly!'

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ricardo Khan remembers his first role as a director

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ricardo Khan remembers the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ricardo Khan recalls his theatrical involvement at Cherry Hill High School West in Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ricardo Khan describes his decision to attend Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ricardo Khan recalls his theater involvement in Camden and New Brunswick, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ricardo Khan describes his experiences at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ricardo Khan recalls his decision to attend the Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, New Jersey

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ricardo Khan recalls Broadway's African American productions

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ricardo Khan remembers the New Federal Theater in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ricardo Khan describes the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ricardo Khan describes the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ricardo Khan remembers founding the Crossroads Theatre Company

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ricardo Khan recalls naming his theater company

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ricardo Khan describes the mission of the Crossroads Theatre

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ricardo Khan describes the Crossroads Theatre's opening season

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ricardo Khan describes the Crossroads Theatre's audiences

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ricardo Khan describes the Crossroad Theatre's awards

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ricardo Khan remembers his directorial influences

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ricardo Khan recalls his production of 'The Darker Face of the Earth'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ricardo Khan describes the Crossroads Theatre's production of 'Jitney'

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ricardo Khan describes the Crossroads Theatre's financial difficulties, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ricardo Khan describes the Crossroads Theatre's financial difficulties, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Ricardo Khan remembers his departure from the Crossroads Theatre

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Ricardo Khan talks about the closure of the Crossroads Theatre

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Ricardo Khan describes Crossroad Theatre's funding

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Ricardo Khan reflects upon the challenges facing black theater companies

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Ricardo Khan describes his return to the Crossroads Theatre

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Ricardo Khan reflects upon his reasons for leaving the Crossroad Theatre

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Ricardo Khan describes his hopes for the African American theater community

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Ricardo Khan narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Ricardo Khan narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Ricardo Khan remembers the all-black Broadway production of 'Hello, Dolly!'
Ricardo Khan remembers founding the Crossroads Theatre Company
Transcript
So you're a junior in high school [Cherry Hill High School West, Cherry Hill, New Jersey] at this point?$$Yeah.$$And so you're in 'Funny Girl' [Isobel Lennart] in this, in this performance?$$That's right.$$And so where are you performing?$$In the high school. It was a (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh, I thought it was like a downtown audition.$$No, it was the high school musical--$$I understand. I understand.$$It was the high school musical, and that was the weirdest thing for me. It was like you're going to be a guy in the dancing, words going to get out (laughter). But I just turned it around, I said, oh my god, I love this, I could do this. So that year Benny [Benny White (ph.)] and I were in this musical, 'Funny Girl,' and I'm more into--I tend to like acting, but he always loved dance. But his mother, her name was Peggy White [ph.], god bless her soul, she would always prior to this take us out to see plays, like community theater and stuff like that. There were these things in the Camden [New Jersey] area called the music fairs where there's this big tent and underneath the tent they had seats and they had professional summer stock shows that would come through, musicals and things. She would always take us to these things. Also in Jack and Jill [Jack and Jill of America, Inc.], which is where, we would always go out to these shows and functions and every month was something different. One month it may be to go skiing, one month it may be to--one month we sat with a Black Panther who taught us things about movement at that time and one month in that junior year in 1968, the trip was to go to a Broadway show. Now, none of us had ever gone to a Broadway show before. We lived there in Camden and in Cherry Hill [New Jersey] and we went, got on the bus and it drove us up. All these Jack and Jillers to see a show on Broadway, 'Hello, Dolly!' [Michael Stewart], and what was remarkable about it, we didn't really know anything about it, was when we got in there, 'Hello, Dolly!' had become a big hit. It was produced by David Merrick and Carol Channing, the people that had made it famous. It won all these Tony Awards [Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre] but when we got there it was an all-black cast. Pearl Bailey was the lead and Cab Calloway. Pearl Bailey, Cab Calloway and an all-black cast of 'Hello, Dolly!' of all things, 'Hello, Dolly!,' which has nothing to do with our culture at all. It was based on 'The Matchmaker' [Thornton Wilder], it was incredible but it was amazing that we were there doing it. All of sudden Broadway which is the center of theater in the world and the best show on Broadway at the time that we could be that, that we could be the best, no, no, no. Unbelievable what that did to us, these kids who hopped on a bus in Camden, New Jersey to come up to New York City [New York, New York] to see a show on Broadway and look up there and see that these people up there look just like us. Never ever could I come up with the words that properly describe this impact. But there was one thing that happened even more powerful and that was that at the end of the play we get back on the bus to go back to Camden and we're on the bus and a couple of the people from the play--from the show come out onto the bus and look at us kids and say, "You know what, we just wanted to thank you for coming." These guys, they were in this Broadway show and they came onto our bus to thank us for coming and then we asked them questions, they answered us back and all of a sudden there was a dialogue between us and these Broadway people who looked like us. I think that was the most powerful thing for me because it showed me that it doesn't matter how big you are, it doesn't matter how big you are, how bright your star is. Always remember where you came from, always remember that part of your role is excellence on stage or in film or whatever you're pursuing but the other part is to give back and I learned that that day.$But I had a meeting right after that with a friend of mine who by that time was working at CETA [Comprehensive Employment and Training Act], and he gave me the ins and outs of it. I applied, sent in a grant through the George Street Playhouse [New Brunswick, New Jersey] because we needed an umbrella organization; George Street said they'd do it. I wrote the grant, we put it in through George Street, they did some talking, I did some talking, we got a grant for basically--what came up to about $230,000 in 1978 to start what was called the ethnic theater project because we weren't allowed to use the word black (laughter). We got $230,000 and we were allowed to hire about twenty two people with that money. Actors, administrators, production people, public relations, everybody we needed to start a black theater in New Brunswick [New Jersey]. We found this little hole in a wall place it used to be a sewing factory. Half of the second floor was available, it had been vacant for a long time, we got in there, we got the money--the CETA money. The first thing we did was we had to renovate, and while we were renovating we were doing workshops. We sent workshops out in the communities the same way I learned how to do it in that other CETA project, we did it here 'cause I figure you know what, we needed to break down the barriers between the community, which at that time was primarily black and Hispanic, and theater which was formal to them. We also wanted to break down the barriers between the traditional theater going audience which is predominantly white and the black theater which they didn't think they could be a part of. So that's what the workshops are for, we went out and we did workshops everywhere to teach whatever we could to people and let them know we're here. Then we did an open house and fourteen people showed up and then we did it again and I think twenty people showed up, and then we finally were ready to rehearse a show, and now this is in 1979, early part of it. The first show we did was 'First Breeze of Summer' ['The First Breeze of Summer'] written Leslie Lee and we did that show and of course because we had that funding from CETA, we didn't have to charge for tickets, it was all free, and it was a big, big hit and that was what started the Crossroads Theatre Company.

Stacey Stewart

Chief executive and philanthropist Stacey Davis Stewart was born on March 1, 1964 in Atlanta, Georgia. Inspired by her parents Myrtle Reid Davis and Albert Miles Davis, who were both committed to public service, Stewart developed an interest in community outreach from a young age. Stewart received her B.A. degree in economics from Georgetown University in 1985, and later received her M.B.A degree from the University of Michigan.

In 1987, Stewart became a senior associate with Merrill Lynch in New York, and worked there until 1990. Stewart worked in the public finance division, assisting state and local governments in structuring more than $2 billion in funding for housing and infrastructure projects. In 1990, Stewart became vice president for the investment banking firm Pryor, McClendon, Counts & Company.

In 1992, Stewart became the public affairs director for the Housing and Community development department for Fannie Mae Foundation in Atlanta. In this role, Stewart was responsible for implementing low and moderate income homebuyer programs. In 1995, Stewart became vice president of the department before becoming the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Fannie Mae Foundation in 1999.

In 2003, under Stewart’s leadership, Fannie Mae became the largest private foundation in the country dedicated to affordable housing and community development. Stewart managed all aspects of the Foundation’s operations including financial investments, strategic management, financial operations, technology, human resources, research and legal matters.

In 2007, the Fannie Mae Foundation announced that the company would consolidate its philanthropic initiatives into the Office of Community and Charitable Giving, which Stewart heads as the senior vice president.

Stewart is the recipient of numerous awards including a 2004 Women of Distinction award from the American Association of University Women and honorary doctorate degrees from Morgan State University and Trinity College.

Stewart was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 31, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.221

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/31/2007

Last Name

Stewart

Maker Category
Middle Name

Davis

Schools

St. Paul of the Cross Catholic School

Margaret Mitchell Elementary School

The Westminster Schools

Georgetown University

Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan

First Name

Stacey

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

STE11

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

That's Cool.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/1/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Popcorn

Short Description

Foundation executive Stacey Stewart (1964 - ) was senior vice president of the Fannie Mae Foundation's Office of Community and Charitable Giving, and later became the foundation's president and CEO.

Employment

Merrill Lynch

Pryor, McClendon, Counts and Company

Fannie Mae Foundation

Fannie Mae

Favorite Color

Gray

Timing Pairs
0,0:3080,86:7084,147:9240,214:12474,268:21490,389:21814,394:22381,403:29693,510:33014,560:33419,566:43058,853:43382,858:43706,863:48566,936:50024,985:50429,991:51563,1004:60670,1054:62110,1068:62830,1075:64180,1102:64540,1107:65080,1114:65980,1125:66520,1132:66880,1137:67960,1151:82880,1353:85040,1389:86560,1411:87040,1418:87360,1423:95370,1493:95909,1502:96217,1507:99297,1568:99759,1575:100067,1580:104918,1678:105611,1689:106073,1696:111848,1853:112310,1860:125544,2052:130648,2153:145370,2334:154410,2476:166058,2651:166398,2658:175272,2736:175682,2742:176174,2749:176830,2759:177240,2765:177650,2772:177978,2777:179290,2821:179700,2827:180520,2839:187720,2913:188431,2924:190406,2955:190722,2960:196015,3061:205050,3214:205590,3227:205968,3236:206238,3242:206724,3252:207750,3278:213464,3360:213752,3365:214040,3371:216560,3430:216920,3436:218936,3481:223136,3554:240124,3796:240580,3801:242404,3827:244228,3846:252626,4008:256284,4047:256532,4052:256780,4057:258702,4098:259818,4125:262410,4161$0,0:6000,104:11700,271:12675,303:20925,471:21300,477:21600,482:22500,498:29598,522:34820,580:37060,619:37780,629:39380,652:41220,681:41700,688:43620,732:47780,797:49940,825:56032,854:56544,869:60576,972:60960,988:62816,1039:64928,1081:65312,1088:65760,1094:66016,1099:70240,1212:76350,1243:78940,1293:82440,1410:87968,1475:88376,1483:88852,1492:89124,1497:91164,1566:95992,1682:96468,1690:97148,1710:104415,1798:113137,2003:113551,2011:119900,2065:121100,2085:121550,2092:129214,2204:130798,2234:132382,2266:132958,2276:133246,2281:134542,2310:162326,2708:163390,2725:163846,2733:183568,3053:184013,3111:195299,3201:206500,3376:208534,3395:210432,3432:211016,3441:211527,3450:226476,3724:226902,3731:228380,3745:229868,3784:231542,3830:234642,3927:241304,4037:243202,4112:243786,4122:244735,4144:245027,4149:246779,4214:247071,4219:253092,4303:255744,4346:259410,4421:259800,4430:275420,4640
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Stacey Stewart's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Stacey Stewart describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Stacey Stewart recalls her father's activism

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Stacey Stewart describes her father's medical practice

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Stacey Stewart describes her paternal grandparents, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Stacey Stewart describes her paternal grandparents, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Stacey Stewart recalls her father's childhood and upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Stacey Stewart describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Stacey Stewart describes how her parents met and their courtship

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Stacey Stewart talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Stacey Stewart describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Stacey Stewart remembers Annie Lou Hendricks

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Stacey Stewart remembers her paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Stacey Stewart describes her relationship with her father

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Stacey Stewart describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Stacey Stewart recalls the Collier Heights neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Stacey Stewart remembers her mother's civic engagement, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Stacey Stewart remembers her mother's civic engagement, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Stacey Stewart recalls an early experience of racial discrimination, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Stacey Stewart recalls an early experience of racial discrimination, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Stacey Stewart talks about racial discrimination among children

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Stacey Stewart remembers her early education

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Stacey Stewart recalls the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Stacey Stewart remembers The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Stacey Stewart describes her early personality

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Stacey Stewart recalls her mother's involvement with women's organizations

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Stacey Stewart remembers her extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Stacey Stewart talks about her scoliosis

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Stacey Stewart recalls her social activities during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Stacey Stewart talks about her religious experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Stacey Stewart remembers her sister's car accident, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Stacey Stewart remembers her sister's car accident, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Stacey Stewart recalls her decision to attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Stacey Stewart talks about the aftermath of her sister's accident

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Stacey Stewart talks about her sister

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Stacey Stewart describes her experiences at Georgetown University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Stacey Stewart recalls studying economics at Georgetown University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Stacey Stewart describes her decision to attend business school

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Stacey Stewart remembers developing an interest in public finance

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Stacey Stewart recalls joining Merrill Lynch and Co., Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Stacey Stewart recalls her position at Pryor, McClendon, Counts and Co., Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Stacey Stewart remembers her colleagues in the public finance industry

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Stacey Stewart recalls her bond deals at Merrill Lynch and Co., Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Stacey Stewart recalls her challenges in the finance industry

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Stacey Stewart describes her experiences at Pryor, McClendon, Counts and Co., Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Stacey Stewart talks about the discrimination and corruption in the public finance industry

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Stacey Stewart describes the firm of Pryor, McClendon, Counts and Co., Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Stacey Stewart describes minority owned investment banking firms

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Stacey Stewart talks about bond deals

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Stacey Stewart describes the history of the Federal National Mortgage Association

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Stacey Stewart recalls implementing a home ownership outreach campaign

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Stacey Stewart recalls the criticism of the Federal National Mortgage Association

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Stacey Stewart talks about the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Stacey Stewart talks about the racial gap in home ownership

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Stacey Stewart remembers heading the Fannie Mae Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Stacey Stewart describes the programs of the Fannie Mae Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Stacey Stewart talks about Franklin D. Raines

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Stacey Stewart recalls the charges against executives of the Federal National Mortgage Association

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Stacey Stewart talks about restrictions on the public finance industry

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Stacey Stewart recalls the decision to close the Fannie Mae Foundation, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Stacey Stewart recalls the decision to close the Fannie Mae Foundation, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Stacey Stewart recalls serving as chief diversity officer at the Federal National Mortgage Association

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Stacey Stewart talks about Daniel H. Mudd

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Stacey Stewart describes her hopes for the Federal National Mortgage Association

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Stacey Stewart reflects upon her career

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Stacey Stewart talks about her husband

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Stacey Stewart reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Stacey Stewart talks about the obstacles to home ownership

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Stacey Stewart talks about the displacement of public housing residents

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Stacey Stewart describes the HOPE VI development program

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Stacey Stewart reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Stacey Stewart lists her favorites

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Stacey Stewart narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$7

DAStory

5$4

DATitle
Stacey Stewart recalls the Collier Heights neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia
Stacey Stewart recalls serving as chief diversity officer at the Federal National Mortgage Association
Transcript
The neighborhood I grew up in is called Collier Heights [Atlanta, Georgia] and it was considered almost it was considered a subdivision back then, back then. And it actually has a different, the technically has a different name the subdivision does, and I just can't remember the name of it right now. But the, the neighbors call Collier Heights and it's in northwest Atlanta [Georgia], just north of southwest Atlanta which, which is where a lot of black middle class at Atlantans grew up. And, but it was unique in that Collier Heights, when a lot of the black professionals that had lived a lot around the Atlanta University Centers [Atlanta University Center; Atlanta University Center Consortium, Atlanta, Georgia], Simpson Road, Ashby Street [Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard], that whole area, Fair Street all of that. When a lot of them moved out from that part of Atlanta they moved west and this particular neighborhood was one that where the land was acquired by all blacks. Black contractors, builders, built all the homes. And all the homes were owned by black, black people. So it had a very strong history in having been developed and built, constructed and owned by black people. Unlike southwest Atlanta which had been primarily white and when white flight occurred in Atlanta, a lot of those white families moved out of the city and blacks moved into those homes. Our neighborhood had, had always been built and owned by black people. So you had a very strong history of pride in that neighborhood. And you know we lived around the corner a few houses away from [HistoryMaker] Herman Russell, who, a very prominent and good friend of my family's and, and across the street from [HistoryMaker] Dr. Harvey Smith who was a dentist, across the street from Dr. William Shropshire [William Bruce Shropshire] who was a dentist, down the street from the Miltons, Mr. Milton [ph.] had been a banker in Atlanta. And we just had a, have had a, had a very prominent set of families who lived in that community. In fact, one of the stories that has come out or at least I've heard is that Coretta King [Coretta Scott King] wanted to move in that neighborhood. And they lived on Sunset Avenue in Atlanta. And I think it was Martin [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] who said, who didn't wanna move in that, into that neighborhood and wanted to stay sort of in the neighborhood they were in. But it was, I think a real up and coming neighborhood for a lot of black prominent families, you know, in the late '50s [1950s] early '60s [1960s]. By the time I, I think my family moved into their home in about 1962 or so. And so that was just a year or two before I was born. And so, so I, my upbringing was always around black people that I, I never knew a time when I didn't see or wasn't surrounded with black people that were prominent or successful, or doing well. I didn't, not that I wasn't exposed to others, you know, I, you had a wide range of, of people I was exposed to, but in terms of who, who, I was mostly surrounded with, it was primarily black people that were always doing well. And so I never had a thought in my mind that black people didn't have the ability to do well and be successful. That was never something that entered my mind. In fact, when I go to cities where I don't see that strong black middle class, it's, it's hard, it's harder for me, you know, (laughter). I don't even, I can't fathom that. And I struggle it, with my own children [Madeleine Stewart and Savannah Stewart] in that I want them to always have that constant exposure as well. But, but so I always feel like I was, I grew, I was able to grow up in this very, very fortunate set of surroundings. I mean we, we were not rich, by any stretch of the imagination but we lived a very comfortable, I had a very comfortable way of living. And, and my sister [HistoryMaker Stephanie Davis] and I talk about this all the time. And we, I felt, we, we always knew we were blessed, you know. We always felt we were blessed. And, and felt very fortunate to have been able to be in the family that we were in and have the kind of exposure we had so.$(Simultaneous) So how's it gonna change what you do and the diversity, what--did, did, did you displace someone who was (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) No, I didn't, no. When I came, well how on the giving how it's gonna change is really a lot is staying the same, particularly through this transition year. And our main focus areas of housing homelessness in D.C. [Washington, D.C.] remain. I think what's gonna change is sort of how we do it. I mean now we're much more integrated with the business units around how are they working with certain partners, lender partners, and other partners to create effective solutions to financing housing. And how does grant making support that? Some of the partners that we work with are nonprofit partners so we, they may need some grant support along with loan and equity financing tools to be able to do the business. So it's a much more comprehensive approach to working with our partners than we've ever had before. Which, which is really a great thing. And I think that's making us a more impactful partner. Just create more, more housing. On the diversity thing it was completely on a different tract. I mean I came back to the company, the company had sort of identified that it had really lost its focus with respect to diversity. Here Fannie Mae [Federal National Mortgage Association] was one of the models of corporate diversity for years and through this restatement period, you know, it was very hard to focus on just about anything else other than getting accounting right, getting the systems right, getting the operations back on track, you know, it was just so many things needed to be fixed in the company that I think people just lost sight of other big priorities like diversity. And so when I came back to the company it was all Dan Mudd [Daniel H. Mudd] was becoming aware of the fact that, wait a minute we're, we're not where we really need to be on our diversity stuff. We need to reenergize this and get this back on track. And the head of diversity was on leave at the time. And so there wasn't really anybody to lead the effort and I sort of raised my hand and said, "I'll do it." And it was because, not because I had this long steep background in diversity, it was because I care about it and thought I could help. And, and so and so Dan said, "Give it a shot." So I'm now the chief diversity officer and kind of running with developing a new strategy for us in terms of diversity and bringing diversity and giving and the business altogether. So creating a lot more alignments. The diversity isn't just off on its own as some feel good thing, it's really sort of a part of everything else that we do. From recruitment hiring, retention of employees, to the culture, how we behave, and work within the company.$$(Cough) Excuse me.$$It's okay.$$Can you--oh, sorry.$$Through to the: how we do business? And how we take advantage of the market opportunities so as I mentioned before. So, so this is all, it's a--so I feel like I've got sort of two jobs but I think we're also in a way redefining what--now that giving is really now a part of the company again and we have this focus on diversity we're really defining a whole new way that Fannie Mae expresses its values around the corporate social responsibility in a variety of ways. And I sort of see myself as being over that. I also think that the company is wanting to redefine what its mission is. You know, it had a way of thinking about it when Jim was, Jim Johnson [James A. Johnson] was the chair and it had its way of thinking about it when Frank [Franklin D. Raines] was chair. I think now the company is saying in, in turn to fulfill our mission, our public mission what, what are the ways in which we wanna go about doing that? And I sort of feel like my experience and my background the company is now putting me in a position where I can help define that for the company. So it's really, it's really kind of fun (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So, so it's an exciting time for you then?$$Oh yeah, oh, no it's great. It's great.$$And you'll be able to pull, pull on your business background too in it--$$Absolutely, absolutely.$$--in a more integrated way.$$Yeah. Yeah. I'm not an HR [human resources] type so I don't, the people piece I'm like, "Can you help me on that," 'cause (laughter) I'm not a HR executive and so diversity has a big piece of that. But I am a businessperson in, in a way. And have been a CEO of an organization [Fannie Mae Foundation] so understand people and culture and, and from that perspective. And so it really is a lot of fun.

C. Eileen Watts Welch

Academic administrator Constance Eileen Watts Welch was born on March 28, 1946, in Durham, North Carolina to Dr. Charles DeWitt Watts, North Carolina’s first African American surgeon, and Lyda Constance Merrick Watts, a community volunteer. Welch's family founded North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, the oldest African American life insurance company. Her maternal great-grandfather, Dr. Aaron McDuffie Moore was Durham’s first black doctor and co-founder of North Carolina Mutual and the Durham Colored Library. Welch attended a segregated high school, Hillside High School, in Durham before heading to Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she received her B.A. degree.

Welch began her career in 1968 as a third grade teacher in Atlanta. She later taught in Arlington, Virginia when her husband was drafted for military service. She became a stay-at-home mother after the birth of her two sons in 1970 and 1972. Welch returned to work in the late 1970s and became founder and the chief operating officer of Book Art, Ltd., a chain of bookstores in Fairfax County, Virginia. In 1983, she was named regional manager of the Reston Employment Service where she designed marketing campaigns and negotiated contracts. In 1990, Welch was hired at Inova Health System where she worked in strategic planning, health promotion and disease prevention. In 1994, she was promoted to Director of Development for the Inova Annual Fund. In 1995, Welch earned her M.B.A. degree in public relations, management, and marketing.

After a long career in Virginia, Welch returned to North Carolina in 1996, when she was named Associate Dean of External Affairs at Duke University's School of Nursing. In 2005, Welch was named Executive Director for Advancement at the Center for Child and Family Health, established by Duke University, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University. Welch has also served as a lecturer and community volunteer, serving The Links, Incorporated and the Durham County Library.

Constance Eileen Watts Welch was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 23, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.185

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/23/2007

Last Name

Welch

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Watts

Schools

Hillside High School

W. G. Pearson S.T.E.A.M. Elementary School

Burton Elementary

Spelman College

George Mason University

First Name

C. Eileen

Birth City, State, Country

Durham

HM ID

WEL03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas

Favorite Quote

We All Have Talents, And We Have To Use Them For The Best.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

3/28/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Durham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chocolate, Seafood

Short Description

Academic administrator C. Eileen Watts Welch (1946 - ) was Executive Director for Advancement at the Center for Child and Family Health, established by Duke University, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University.

Employment

INOVA Health System

Duke University School of Nursing

Center for Children and Family Health

Officer of Book Arts

Atlanta Public Schools

Arlington Public Schools

Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:9409,115:10820,141:12148,164:12480,169:14140,192:15468,210:15966,217:16298,222:16962,231:17294,236:17709,242:18954,269:19286,274:19950,287:20282,292:21361,307:22108,442:22855,452:23270,458:28520,482:28840,487:29480,497:30920,517:31960,535:32360,541:32680,546:33400,558:34440,573:34920,585:36280,606:41654,645:42242,654:43670,675:44090,681:44426,686:44762,691:47702,737:49886,768:51314,795:53498,834:54254,845:56606,875:57278,885:57950,894:58286,899:64922,941:65736,955:68252,1006:68622,1012:70102,1035:70694,1044:71360,1054:73654,1106:74172,1117:74764,1127:80640,1181:81360,1190:81990,1199:83610,1251:85050,1271:87030,1315:87660,1327:92880,1390:93600,1399:93960,1404:94590,1413:99437,1422:99882,1428:100327,1434:101306,1447:102819,1466:104421,1483:105311,1488:109227,1545:109761,1552:110918,1568:112164,1588:112520,1593:115546,1640:121645,1723:124568,1774:125753,1832:129703,1888:130098,1894:140460,1967$0,0:858,13:6786,133:7566,145:8970,160:10686,177:11544,189:12168,202:12714,210:13026,215:14430,244:20202,344:21372,361:23478,414:23790,419:27768,485:28236,492:34390,518:36790,557:37690,570:37990,575:38740,589:44740,694:47290,757:47590,762:47890,767:48190,772:49240,794:52090,843:52615,852:53515,867:53965,875:54940,889:55465,897:56215,909:57715,942:66422,1007:67298,1021:67736,1028:68539,1042:69123,1052:69415,1057:69707,1062:71313,1083:72335,1101:72919,1110:73357,1118:73722,1124:74598,1135:74890,1140:75547,1151:75839,1156:78321,1200:78832,1209:79416,1220:83066,1292:83431,1298:83723,1303:91738,1337:96886,1450:97282,1457:98470,1483:98866,1490:99394,1499:100318,1517:100582,1522:109654,1681:110356,1691:111214,1704:113632,1746:114022,1752:114334,1757:114880,1766:115192,1771:115816,1780:116128,1785:117220,1801:117922,1813:118546,1823:120808,1864:121900,1900:122368,1908:126970,1976:133850,1986:134471,1996:134885,2003:135713,2017:136334,2027:137162,2041:137950,2046
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of C. Eileen Watts Welch's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - C. Eileen Watts Welch lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her maternal great-grandfather's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - C. Eileen Watts Welch talks about the founding of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her maternal grandmother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes the creation of the Negro Braille Magazine

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - C. Eileen Watts Welch talks about her siblings and maternal aunt

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - C. Eileen Watts Welch lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - C. Eileen Watts Welch recalls her experiences with racial discrimination in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - C. Eileen Watts Welch remembers Camp Oak Hill in Nottingham, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her father's medical practice in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her experiences in Durham, North Carolina's public schools

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - C. Eileen Watts Welch recalls the desegregation of public schools in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - C. Eileen Watts Welch recalls her family's relationship with the Duke family of Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - C. Eileen Watts Welch remembers the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - C. Eileen Watts Welch remembers her grandparents

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - C. Eileen Watts Welch remembers Maynard Jackson's family

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her experiences at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - C. Eileen Watts Welch talks about the Miss Maroon and White pageant

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - C. Eileen Watts Welch remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes Spelman College's campus

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - C. Eileen Watts Welch talks about her marriage and move to Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - C. Eileen Watts Welch recalls teaching in Atlanta, Georgia during desegregation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - C. Eileen Watts Welch talks about her teaching career in Arlington, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes the African American community in Reston, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - C. Eileen Watts Welch recalls the racial discrimination within Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her role with Inova Health System

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her role at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - C. Eileen Watts Welch talks about the growth of Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - C. Eileen Watts Welch reflects upon her family's legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - C. Eileen Watts Welch narrates her photographs

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother's interview

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother lists her favorites

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother describes her parents' background

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother describes her grandparents' backgrounds

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother remembers her childhood in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother describes W.G. Pearson Elementary School in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother remembers segregation in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother talks about her parents' professions

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother describes the sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother remembers St. Joseph's African Methodist Episcopal Church in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother remembers her maternal grandparents

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother recalls notable individuals in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother remembers her experiences at Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother describes the influence of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother recalls the race relations in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's remembers Alice Freeman Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, North Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother recalls shopping in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother describes her experiences at Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother recalls meeting her husband

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother remembers Charles R. Drew

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother reflects upon her family's legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - C. Eileen Watts Welch's mother narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

5$5

DATitle
C. Eileen Watts Welch talks about the founding of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company
C. Eileen Watts Welch describes her role at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina
Transcript
So Aaron [Aaron McDuffie Moore] lived 1856 to 1923.$$Okay.$$Was he a leader in the community?$$Yeah, obviously so, right. He was the, he was first a physician, and then because of what he saw people needed, he became more involved with other ideas. But he wasn't alone with this, I mean with organizing the mutual [North Carolina Mutual and Provident Association; North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, Durham, North Carolina]. In the beginning there were a group of men who came together, including Aaron and John Merrick. But there were several and their pictured here in the early forming of the country- the company. And at one point when the first claim due, the story goes that several backed out except for Aaron Moore and John Merrick and they paid the first claim. And then they began to continue. But neither of them needed the company income, they both had their own careers. John Merrick owned barbershops, he had--he was first a brick mason, and then he built these barbershops, he had three barbershops. So he had economic stability without the mutual. It was an entrepreneurship that they could afford to invest in and help to grow. Neither of them ever took salaries from the company. C.C. Spaulding [Charles Clinton Spaulding] came as a cousin of Aaron Moore's to Durham [North Carolina] to work in the company sort of as a, a busboy, gofer, whatever, and learn the business from them and then was their first salesman and really brought the company into the next level of growth. And from his entrepreneurial spirit, it became more well-known nationwide and grew with branch offices and that kind of thing. He knew Roosevelt [President Franklin Delano Roosevelt], President Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington and, you know, he was, he was, the, the person who--he was the president, probably the first paid president at that point.$$Who was the first president?$$First president was John Merrick. And then Aaron Moore and then C.C. Spaulding.$When did you return to Durham [North Carolina]?$$Duke [Duke University, Durham, North Carolina] recruited me home in 1996. They were building up staffing for a campaign, a huge development campaign and someone here said you know they're hiring development officers. Don't you wanna apply? And I said I don't know, we'll see. And I was home for Thanksgiving one year and they set up an appointment with me and this vice president for development. And it went from there. And I ended up coming here and working with the School of Nursing at Duke and actually revitalizing that school, which just was pretty--it had, they had just about closed, the School of Nursing.$$You had done quite a bit of fundraising.$$I did fundraising and it's advancement, which is more than just fundraising. It's the publicity, it's rebuilding the alumni relations. They had decided to not have an undergraduate nursing program any longer at Duke. And so all those people who had finished as undergrad nurses, weren't necessarily interested in giving back or being involved; they were angry. And we had to figure out how to overcome some of their anger, and also during the time actually reinstituted a bachelor's [degree] program, which is a second bachelor's. It's not exactly the same as they remember as coming after high school there, but it still helped them to see that Duke was educating leaders in nursing and they could be proud of it. So we built a building. We raised enough to build a nursing school building which just opened last year.$$Great. And what's your current title?$$Currently I'm still with Duke, but I'm with the Center for Child and Family Health [Durham, North Carolina], and executive director for advancement for that organization. And it works with kids who have suffered from maltreatment or trauma as a result of abuse or just being in a traumatic event like Katrina [Hurricane Katrina] or loss of parents or fires, that kind of thing, mental trauma. So I'm raising money and providing public relations and marketing assistance to them.

Dorothy Cowser Yancy

Johnson C. Smith University President Dorothy Cowser Yancy was born on April 18, 1944 in Cherokee County, Alabama to Linnie Bell Covington Cowser and Howard Cowser, a farmer. She was raised on the family farm once owned by her great-great grandfather. Upon graduation from Hatcher High School in 1960, Yancy entered Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina where she was a student activist in the Civil Rights Movement, holding memberships in the SGA, SCLC, and SNCC. She graduated from Johnson C. Smith University in 1964 with her B.A. degree in history. In 1964, Yancy entered the University of Massachusetts where she earned her M.A. degree in history. Simultaneously, she received a certificate in management development from Harvard University. In 1968, Yancy married Robert James Yancy, and in 1974, she entered the doctoral program in political science at Atlanta University where she became an accomplished scholar.

After receiving her Ph.D. degree from Atlanta University, Yancy sought post-graduate work at a variety of institutions including the University of Singapore, Hampton University, Northeastern Illinois University, Northwestern University, Georgia Tech University and the University of Illinois, Chicago. Yancy became a tenure-track professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1972 and served as professor of history, technology, and society and management. She became the first African American professor to be promoted and tenured as a full professor. She also served as Associate Director of the School of Social Sciences, and she remained at Georgia Tech until 1994, when she became the first female president of Johnson C. Smith University.

As president, Yancy doubled the University endowment to approximately $57 million and increased applications 300%. She also upgraded the technical capabilities of the school by ensuring that each undergraduate student receives an IBM Thinkpad upon entry through a lease program. During her presidency, Yancy became the first female board president of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

Yancy was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 20, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.180

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/20/2007

Last Name

Yancy

Maker Category
Middle Name

Cowser

Schools

Hatcher High School

Savage Wood Elementary School

Johnson C. Smith University

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Clark Atlanta University

Northwestern University

Northeastern University

First Name

Dorothy

Birth City, State, Country

Cherokee County

HM ID

COW01

Favorite Season

Christmas, Thanksgiving

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Spas

Favorite Quote

No Good Deed Will Go Unpunished.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

4/18/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

String Beans, Barbeque Ribs

Short Description

Political science professor and university president Dorothy Cowser Yancy (1944 - ) was the first female president of Johnson C. Smith University.

Employment

Johnson C. Smith University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Albany State College

Barat College

Hampton Institute

Favorite Color

Bright, Dark Colors

Timing Pairs
0,0:5259,64:6135,146:10734,316:17502,398:20018,448:20462,456:24088,547:25494,578:26086,587:26530,594:26826,599:27270,624:27714,632:29934,704:30230,709:37250,754:37670,760:42458,851:44222,882:45818,924:62691,1221:64192,1312:64587,1320:66878,1385:73593,1590:73909,1595:79390,1617:80300,1637:81070,1652:83450,1698:87230,1807:88840,1848:89120,1853:89750,1864:90030,1869:90730,1881:93600,1952:94160,1961:102869,2221:107200,2322:107626,2329:110040,2384:115081,2489:115720,2500:117566,2540:118205,2552:118631,2559:118915,2564:125123,2645:130349,2757:131421,2781:131957,2790:132292,2796:132895,2808:134637,2857:140278,2903:141300,2926:143782,3022:154821,3220:156201,3247:158961,3311:164205,3446:164619,3453:179392,3731:180049,3742:180487,3749:181436,3765:181874,3772:183918,3816:184356,3823:191830,3910:192374,3920:192782,3927:193190,3934:199310,4066:199718,4074:199990,4079:206060,4155:206970,4172:209290,4212$0,0:380,4:13075,187:13755,197:15215,209:17015,243:17615,252:31325,626:33326,695:37937,801:51029,956:52611,984:66797,1230:71529,1273:77000,1405:77320,1415:81819,1496:82104,1502:82389,1508:88762,1650:98648,1796:101090,1929:125135,2373:125604,2382:125872,2387:131374,2414:132366,2439:136644,2602:138566,2646:148920,2820:154220,2842:158290,2923$0,0:1600,34:4560,105:8240,191:8560,196:9280,212:14480,328:15040,337:16000,419:18320,494:19520,515:20400,549:29700,642:30075,648:34500,752:40275,956:41925,1004:42525,1021:43275,1033:47850,1125:48300,1132:49575,1166:63389,1466:64394,1495:66873,1519:70223,1591:71630,1617:72032,1624:75114,1690:75516,1697:84610,1732:85730,1752:87130,1780:88110,1798:88950,1813:90420,1842:91960,1867:92730,1884:93010,1889:93360,1895:94690,1927:99320,1972
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dorothy Cowser Yancy's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her parents' roots in Cherokee County, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about her white relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her family's land in Cherokee County, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about her early education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her early interest in literature

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy remembers Hatcher High School in Centre, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy recalls segregation in Cherokee County, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about her parents' professions and siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy remembers her sister's role at Hatcher High School in Centre, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes the racial tensions in Cherokee County, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her experiences at Hatcher High School in Centre, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about the segregation of schools in Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy recalls her paternal relatives who passed as white

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy remembers her arrival at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes the civil rights activities at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her experiences at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy recall her aspiration to attend graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about her experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy recalls her arrival at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her summer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy remembers her decision to become a teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her teaching position at Albany State College in Albany, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about her husband and daughter

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy recalls her doctoral studies at Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her courses at Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her work with the labor unions in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy recalls the impact of desegregation and the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy recalls integrating the tenured faculty of the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her social life in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her role as an associate director at the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about The Links chapter in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her holiday celebrations

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy recalls how she became the president of Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy remembers her mentors at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her capital campaign at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes the laptop program at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes the use of technology at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about the security system at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes the international studies programs at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy remembers working with her former professors at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy reflects upon the traditions at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about her fundraising strategies

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes the social activities at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about Johnson C. Smith University's donors

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about the Smith family's contribution to Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her decision to retire from Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about her involvement with the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her role at the United Negro College Fund

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about returning home to Cherokee County, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy reflects upon her legacy

DASession

1$1$1

DATape

3$5$1

DAStory

1$2$10

DATitle
Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes the civil rights activities at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina
Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her capital campaign at Johnson C. Smith University
Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her early interest in literature
Transcript
You had mentioned the Civil Rights Movement, so when you got to Johnson C. Smith [Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina] how did that manifest on campus?$$Well, you know, you have to remember now I came out of Alabama where the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] was illegal. We had had the Montgomery Bus Boycott, but in north Alabama, nothing had happened, not in the north Alabama where I lived. After I left home, there was a movement in Gadsden, Alabama and my cousins were involved in it and then my cousins integrated the Cherokee County High School [Centre, Alabama] after I left home. And eventually my sister [Evelyn Cowser] taught at the white high school. But when I left home, everything was still segregated. And so when I came here, and, and, and I knew about the sit-ins, I immediately began to participate 'cause it made a lot of sense to me.$$What were the organizations?$$Well, we just had a student government here on campus. And I remember Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.], you know, SNCCs [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee], S--SCLC [Southern Christian Leadership Conference], SNCC and stuff like that. But we had a student organization. But see, I, I don't remember too much the stu- the, the SNCC and all that. I remember Dr. Hawkins [Reginald Hawkins]. There was a man here in town who was a dentist, who also had graduated from Johnson C. Smith Seminary [Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary, Atlanta, Georgia] and graduated from undergraduate school here. He led the movement in this town of students. And then we had student leaders, and I remember we had to go through this nonviolent training in the auditorium downstairs because you weren't supposed to spit back or hit back or anything like that. So I remember going through all of that before you went downtown to protest. But we used to go on Tuesdays and Thursdays, those were light teaching days. And the boys from Davidson [Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina] would come over sometimes. But the Queens girls [Queens College; Queens University of Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina], I don't ever remember seeing them, although now they say they were in the movement. But I don't know anything about them. But I do remember the Davidson boys coming over. And we were--we were very active. We had Charlie Jones [Charles Jones] who was involved in SCL- was involved in SNCC, and Charlie ha- went on down to the protest in Mississippi and went on down to Albany, Georgia and places like that. And there were a few fellas out of the seminary, 'cause Charlie was in the seminary. It was--his mother was my English teacher. And Charlie used to write back letters telling us what was going on in the various southern towns that he was going, going through. And she would--we would go over them in class, in English class. And she would teach that along with 'The Iliad' [Homer] and 'The Odyssey' [Homer]. How she did it I will never know. Well, Ms. Jones was a wonder woman. She was considered to be a little fickle, you know, and quite avant garde, but she was one of the more exciting teachers I ever had. And she was fun and I kept her for two years of English, and I've always had the upmost respect for her.$$But she would teach the classics and then she would teach?$$And, and, and she would read Charlie's letters and somehow it would bring it into human rights and social justice. And we had--we had a teacher in religion whose name was Dr. Steele who believed that the Civil Rights Movement was sort of like God ordained. You know, if God was here, if Jesus was here he'd be in the movement too. And we had some very interesting religious--religion classes on social justice and the social gospel. Johnson C. Smith had an interesting social gospel that they taught at the seminary. And there's been a dissertation written on it about the social gospel that was taught in the seminary at Johnson C. Smith led by Algernon O. Steele. And it was--it was quite interesting because we knew that we were doing what God would've wanted us to do when we were protesting. And it was supported by the president and the faculty and everybody.$So, what was your plan of action when you got here, what did you wanna do?$$Well, the pla- when I got here, I walked into a capital campaign and the goal was $50 million. And so I had to raise the money. So I walked in and went to the capital campaign meeting and Ed Crutchfield who was the biggest banker in town head of First Union Bank [First Union Corporation; Wells Fargo and Company], and John Stedman [John B. Stedman, Jr.] who was the guru of fundraising here in town and the head of Duke Energy [Duke Energy Corporation] and Duke Power [Duke Power Company, Charlotte, North Carolina] at the time, and the head of the newspaper and the head of Lance [Lance, Inc.; Snyder's-Lance, Inc.]. That was my operating committee. I mean here are all these big dogs, you know, and here I am this kid who just walked out of the classroom. And so I'll never forget my first meeting. The--Ed Crutchfield was late. You know, Presbyterians are always on time. And then he looked at me and he says, "Well I don't know how we gonna tell the Johnson C. Smith story since Bob Albright [Robert Albright] has gone." And I remember looking at him, by now I'm really seething. I said, "Well I don't know what you are talking about, I am the damn story. And if I can't tell it, it can't be told. Bob Albright didn't go to Johnson C. Smith [Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina]." And he and I hit it off just like that. And we've been friends ever since. And he helped--we work together. We met every three months and we raised that money.$$How long did it take you (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) We had sixty-three--in--in '98 [1998] we ended the campaign at $63.8 million. That's right.$$And you had more than doubled the endowment or?$$The endowment has gone from when I came here it was 13 something, and a few weeks ago it was 53 million, 'cause we just finished an--another campaign. It was 75 million and we've hit 80.6 million. So it's, it's, it's been interesting. So what you see around the campus, the new library, the new technology center, the renovation of this building, the track and academic complex, the renovation of the buildings, the air conditioning of all the dormitories. You know, the, the gr- I mean all the things you see around here are the things that we've done and the infrastructure. We've tried to, to improve upon what we found and just create a very good learning community, a place where students can come and learn and go out and be, be successful and main--major contributors to, to, to the universe. I mean, we, we wanna raise global students and I think we do that with our technology. I don't think our students would know what to do without having a laptop. They've all had one individually since 2000. And I think that's probably the, the connections that they made with the world is probably the best contribution or the major contributions of, of something I've given to them.$What was your favorite subject in school?$$Well, I liked math and I liked--I, I loved to read, that was, that was my favorite thing.$$What did you like to read, what books?$$Well, I loved to read anything. And I remember my favorite set of books, and you're probably gonna think I'm really nerdy now, was this set of Childcraft that the school [Savage Wood Elemenatary School, Cherokee County, Alabama] had. The little school had a set of Childcraft, I don't know who bought them. But when the school closed and my father [Howard Cowser] bought the school, we ended up with the whole set of Childcraft. And we used--I used to read all of the fairy tales and all of the stories. And then we would have, you know, they had that big long one, what volume thirteen and fourteen were the big long skinny ones, remember. And they had the--had all the wild animals and all this kind of stuff in it. And it was a really exciting book. And of course the story--the stories you don't tell those kind of stories to children anymore because the people got eaten up, you know. They had to--had to sort of make them socially acceptable in recent years. But I still--we still have that set in my parents' ho- house. But I used to just love to read anything. And then my mother [Linnie Covington Cowser] used to get Progressive Farmer, I know that's not gonna float your boat, but we used to--I used to read The Progressive Farmer, I used to read Reader's Digest, and then Reader's Digest had the books, novels that you could get. And then we use to get all the magazines and stuff. I, I, I would just read anything. But my favorite person that I loved to read about that my mother had difficulty with was Billie Holiday. I loved Billie Holiday. I thought she had the most beautiful voice in the world, but it was about the time that she was on drugs and my mother was just incensed that I wanted to read about this woman. So I would hide and read everything I could about Billie Holiday.