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

Tai Beauchamp

Journalist and entrepreneur Tai Beauchamp was born on January 7, 1978 in Newark, New Jersey. She graduated from Spelman College in 2000 with her B.A. degree in English Literature and received a certificate in television production from New York University in 2003.

Beauchamp began her career as an intern for Good Housekeeping and Harper’s Bazaar magazines in 1998. In 2000, she was hired at O, The Oprah Magazine as a fashion and beauty assistant, but was soon named associate beauty editor. In 2003, Essence magazine/Time Inc. hired her to serve as the beauty editor of several prototypes that later became Suede magazine. In 2004, Beauchamp became the youngest and first African American appointed to the role of beauty and fitness director at Seventeen magazine.

In 2006, after briefly serving as deputy editor of VIBE Vixen magazine and consulting with The MCJ Foundation, Beauchamp launched and served as chief executive officer of BluePrint Group, LLC (Tai Life Media, LLC), a branding and marketing firm. She became a style contributor and correspondent for iVillage.com in 2008; and, in 2011, was hired as a national correspondent for InStyle magazine. Beauchamp was also appointed style and beauty correspondent for Proctor & Gamble’s My Black Is Beautiful campaign, and, in 2012, was named InStyle’s style ambassador.

Beauchamp has appeared as a style expert and personality on ABC, BET, CNN, NBC Today, TV One, E! and frequently contributed to The View, Wendy Williams Show, Bethenny, The Recording Academy, and other networks. She has also worked with Target, Macy’s, Dior Cosmetics, Nordstrom, AT&T, The Limited, MSL Group, Avon, Black Enterprise magazine, The Sundance Channel, and Universal Records.

Beauchamp has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Dress for Success, and Step Up Women’s Network. She served on the advisory boards of WIE Network; Harlem's Fashion Row; St. Vincent Academy in Newark, New Jersey; and New Jersey Needs You. She also served on the women’s board of trustees of the New Jersey Performance Arts Center. Her awards include the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Prestige Award, which she received in 2009.

Tai Beauchamp was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 7, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.228

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/7/2014

Last Name

Beauchamp

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Schools

Spelman College

New York University

School No. 5

School No. 1

Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament School

St. Mary School

Saint Vincent Academy

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Tai

Birth City, State, Country

Newark

HM ID

BEA12

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bodrum, Turkey

Favorite Quote

Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Expected.$To Thine Own Self Be True.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/7/1978

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Kale

Short Description

Journalist and entrepreneur Tai Beauchamp (1978 - ) was the style ambassador of InStyle magazine and the CEO of Tai Life Media, LLC. She became the youngest and first African American beauty and fitness director at Seventeen magazine in 2004.

Employment

Good Housekeeping

Harper's Bazaar Fashion Magazine

O, The Oprah Magazine

Essence Magazine/Time Inc.

Seventeen Magazine

VIBE Vixen Magazine

The MCJ Foundation

BluePrint Group, LLC (Tai Life Media, LLC)

iVillage.com

InStyle Magazine

Procter & Gamble's "My Black is Beautiful" Campaign

Favorite Color

Black and Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1890,19:2520,26:5410,33:6866,57:7230,62:11765,128:20226,198:26020,292:32356,431:33316,442:33700,450:34276,459:43021,542:43567,550:43931,555:45478,577:49510,586:53074,642:53641,651:55585,684:55909,689:69737,915:75762,957:86526,1055:90950,1165:94505,1224:96480,1261:102287,1301:102675,1315:103936,1332:105682,1358:113345,1521:127042,1641:127386,1646:134820,1734:135140,1739:136260,1768:136580,1774:137220,1785:138820,1810:139460,1820:140260,1833:147940,1994:148500,2012:150100,2045:157374,2126:157658,2131:158794,2155:159078,2160:159930,2176:160214,2181:162628,2219:162912,2224:163267,2231:167448,2271:171930,2350:172345,2357:172677,2363:173009,2368:175914,2468:186610,2591:187042,2596:187798,2603:190174,2641:200383,2767:206774,2914:207159,2920:208083,2937:208699,2955:209084,2961:216922,3071:229290,3255:232350,3325:233700,3346:236400,3394:236760,3399:238830,3466:247190,3543:247622,3551:248126,3560:248486,3566:248918,3574:252374,3626:257994,3720:259530,3729$0,0:1869,24:2492,32:4687,64:5035,69:6862,100:9150,105:13780,219:14368,233:17308,282:18064,292:19744,320:21340,346:23020,384:28890,445:29440,451:30210,460:43120,607:53020,811:79490,1028:97742,1333:118760,1848:121060,1885:129855,2035:134784,2126:135156,2131:137574,2174:148745,2300:149157,2305:153380,2394:153895,2400:162022,2463:170692,2678:176066,2723:188600,2929:188952,2934:197142,3039:203262,3129:207954,3212:211919,3257:214964,3299:215747,3310:234365,3576:241380,3640
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Tai Beauchamp's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Tai Beauchamp lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Tai Beauchamp describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Tai Beauchamp remembers her paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her mother's professional background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Tai Beauchamp describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Tai Beauchamp lists her extended family members

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Tai Beauchamp describes her maternal grandmother and great-grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her family's surname

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Tai Beauchamp describes her paternal grandparents' household

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her grandparents' nurturing spirit

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Tai Beauchamp remembers her maternal grandmother's home

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Tai Beauchamp talks about living in multiple households

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Tai Beauchamp recalls her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Tai Beauchamp describes her neighborhood in Linden, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her relationship with her father

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Tai Beauchamp describes her early personality

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Tai Beauchamp recalls the influence of 'The Cosby Show'

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Tai Beauchamp describes her decision to attend Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her scholarship to attend Spellman College

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Tai Beauchamp describes her early academic experiences at Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her social life at Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Tai Beauchamp remembers the faculty of Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Tai Beauchamp describes the sisterhood at Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Tai Beauchamp remembers her college internships

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her ability to adapt to her surroundings

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Tai Beauchamp recalls joining the staff of O, The Oprah Magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Tai Beauchamp remembers meeting Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Tai Beauchamp describes her career at O, The Oprah Magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Tai Beauchamp recalls attending fashion events for O, The Oprah Magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Tai Beauchamp describes her early interest in fashion and hip hop culture

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her idea for a fashion magazine for young women of color

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Tai Beauchamp recalls joining the staff of Suede magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Tai Beauchamp remembers her transition to Seventeen magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Tai Beauchamp describes her experiences at Seventeen magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Tai Beauchamp recalls joining The MCJ Amelior Foundation in Morristown, New Jersey

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Tai Beauchamp describes her role at The MCJ Amelior Foundation in Morristown, New Jersey

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Tai Beauchamp describes her work on the RU Ready for Work program

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Tai Beauchamp recalls joining VIBE Vixen

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her impact at VIBE Vixen

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Tai Beauchamp recalls founding Tai Life Media, LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Tai Beauchamp remembers writing for the iVillage blog

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her humanitarian work

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her accomplishments and plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her maternal grandmother's illness

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Tai Beauchamp remembers speaking at a conference in Nigeria

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Tai Beauchamp talks about working on the 'The High Life' web series

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Tai Beauchamp recalls working with InStyle magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her experiences as a media personality

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her decision to undergo oocyte cryopreservation

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Tai Beauchamp reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Tai Beauchamp reflects upon her life

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Tai Beauchamp describes her experiences at Seventeen magazine
Tai Beauchamp talks about her decision to undergo oocyte cryopreservation
Transcript
And as, as you are moving along, does it ever cross your mind that, "I'm an African American woman pitching for this mainstream publication. Could that stand in my way?"$$(Shakes head) It didn't. That never dawned on me and I don't--I, I don't know if I ever--and I think, I think that's a really great question, Harriette [HistoryMaker Harriette Cole] because I think, you know obviously there are real barriers, there are real challenges that we face, no doubt. And--but had I thought about it that way, would I have created the barrier more so than anything. But I must also say that Atoosa Rubenstein who was the editor in chief, was also the founder of CosmoGirl. She was a very young editor. She founded CosmoGirl at Hearst [Hearst Communications] after leaving Cosmo [Cosmopolitan] at twenty-six. And so she was kind of legendary in her own right and respected within the Hearst family and the Hearst community. I, I also must credit her too because she as a--I think she's Armenian [sic. Iranian], I think she's Armenian--also I think has expressed in the past and I haven't had conversation with her in years, but had expressed in the past feeling other. And so I think to her credit, her feeling other is also what made her more welcoming to other. And--but that's what made that, that book and that opportunity also for me and for other girls so, so huge, which I didn't realize then. Like I said, until I started interacting with the young girls.$$And how long did you stay at Seventeen?$$I was at Seventeen for about a year. It was hell, to put it mildly.$$Because?$$It was, you know, everybody--so a whole new team came over with the new editor in chief, so Atoosa hired a whole new team. And it was just a very crazy environment. It was a very, very crazy environment of--which is often the case I think sometimes in magazines and in creative spaces, right. So when you're dealing with a lot of creatives, you know, do you want this, do you want this, do you want this, do you want that? Do you not want this? So that was one piece of it. And I think it was challenging for a number of us for that reason. But to make it very personal and to also realize my growth opportunity and you know what I learned on the other side of it, is you know being managed is one thing, but learning to manage up and down is, is, is also a very, very necessary skill. And quite frankly at twenty-five, you don't have it. So it's one of those things that I say to young people now who tell me that--they give me their business cards and you know they're very ambitious and very bright eyed, and I love that and I encourage that. But their cards that say CEO and mogul and I'm like darling, you don't have to, you don't have to crawl before you run that marathon, but you, you gotta, you gotta take some steps. And I have an appreciation for that now, 11 years later. And I actually I gained a great appreciation for that probably two years later as I started to learn business more as well. But I was there for about eleven and a half months, and I remember going to Ellen [Ellen Levine] and telling her that I didn't think I was gonna make it. I was working sixteen hour days and we were growing and doing very, very well, but the demands were great. You know I had to--I was doing television in the morning for six a.m. shoots and you know TV shoots and segments, and then going to shoots all day and then coming back and editing, and then having to go to events and then come back and close books and was managing a team of three or four, some of whom were older than me and had been trained by the same people that I had been trained by as well. So there were a lot of nuances, but a lot of learning.$Now you mentioned to me earlier that clearly you have been on a fast track professionally, which is what many young women are taught. I mean probably from Spelman [Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia] days you're taught focus on your career. And at this stage in your life, you did something that many women have talked about, considered, not so many black women have done it I don't think, freezing your eggs.$$Um-hm.$$Can you, can you tell me about that and also why and what your reflection is?$$Absolutely. So I froze my eggs a year ago, August of 2013 at thirty-five. And I froze my eggs for several reasons. One, I had really great girlfriends who are a lot wiser and older than I was that told me you know in my thirties when they saw me on this fast track and saw Tai [HistoryMaker Tai Beauchamp] as only about work, she's no play, you know, freeze your eggs. And when they told me at thirty, I was like okay girls, no, I'm good. Like and I had broken an engagement. And so I had been in a relationship and all of that. And I decided to do it last year because I said if I hit thirty-five and was unattached and unmarried, I wanted to preserve my fertility. That's not to say I don't have any, thank god, as far as I know no challenges right now. But I know that I want a, I want a family. And I wanted to preserve that. And I also was diagnosed with fibroids, which is very prevalent in the black community, and my mother [Taiwanda Beauchamp Scott] and [maternal] grandmother [Mary Beauchamp] both had them and both of them had either a hysterectomy or a partial hysterectomy. My mother actually had her, her partial hysterectomy at thirty-six. So at my age right now she had her, her, her hysterectomy performed. And I just, I just knew that I wanted to preserve it. I really think, and you know I shared with Essence this story and they did an amazing job of writing about this journey and why I chose to do it. But I think that we really have to shift the dialogue for young women. Of young women of color especially because like in the case, in my case being raised by two single black women who were very independent, who were very driven and very hard working, and who valued education as we should. We're taught to focus on your career and not to necessarily put as much focus on our family lives. And I think that that's just a result of sometimes you know, their experiences, which have been challenging. And also historical experiences when you think back to slavery and what have you and the woman having to be there and to do it all. But I don't think we're meant to. And so I want younger women, you know, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, once you have some footing and you have some sense of who you are and some perspective of where you'd like to go professionally, to start to--if you want, and to just to start to think more realistically about who you are. Because who you are is not your career. Who you are is not you know, how much money you make or the clothes you wear. And a young lady that I said this to who also went to Spelman, last year I said this to her and she turned thirty. And she read the article and Janese Sills [ph.] is her name, and she's an executive. And she sent me an email and she said, "Tai, I realize you know what? I'm working so hard for my legacy, but if my legacy is not for my children, then who is my legacy for?" So it's not about us singularly. And so there's been a really hard lesson for me, that I'm grateful that I've learned. But I also wanna hope and--to, to really kind of teach other younger women to think differently about it going forward.

Jefferi Lee

Television executive Jefferi Keith Lee was born on January 24, 1957 in South Boston, Virginia to General and Nannie Lee. He attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Robert E. Lee Elementary School, and then graduated from T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. Lee studied radio, television and film at Missouri Valley College and at the University of Maryland in College Park.

In 1979, after working as an intern at the CBS affiliate WDVM-TV in Washington, D.C., Lee was hired as a production assistant for Morning Break and Harambee. Subsequently, he joined the production staff of television's first weekly newsmagazine show, PM Magazine, and became the show's associate producer in 1981. Then, in 1982, Lee was hired as the network operations manager for Black Entertainment Television. He was promoted to executive vice president of network operations in 1992, which expanded his responsibilities to oversee the development of two new BET networks including BET On Jazz: The Cable Jazz Channel, and BET International. Lee left BET as executive vice president in 1998 and founded Lee Productions, a communications consulting firm. Then, from 2005 until 2008, he served as executive director and president of the Bio-Defense Research Group. Lee was named general manager of Howard University's PBS outlet, WHUT-TV, in 2011.

Lee has also been involved in various non-profit organizations where he served on the boards of Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Easter Seals, and as a member of the Georgia Tech Presidents Advisory Board. Lee was also an elder member of the Olive Branch’s Elder Board. He serves as the chief executive officer of the Brandon Carrington Lee Foundation with his wife, Tina Mance-Lee, who serves as chief operating officer. Lee has also lectured at Howard University and taught as a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Lee and his wife live in Silver Spring, Maryland. They have two sons: Brandon Lee (deceased) and Jefferi Lee, a web developer.

Jefferi Lee was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 24, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.269

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/24/2013 |and| 2/1/2014

Last Name

Lee

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Keith

Schools

St. Joseph's Catholic School

University of Maryland

Missouri Valley College

T.C. Williams High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Jefferi

Birth City, State, Country

South Boston

HM ID

LEE06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Lake Louise, Canada

Favorite Quote

Even if I die it doesn't mean that God didn't heal me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/24/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Television executive Jefferi Lee (1957 - ) , general manager of Howard University’s WHUT-TV, founded Lee Productions and served as the executive vice president of Black Entertainment Television from 1992 to 1998.

Employment

WHUT TV

Bio-Defense Research Group

BET

WDVM TV

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:5000,82:5380,87:12926,201:14354,230:19142,305:19898,315:20570,325:20906,330:22250,351:29681,393:30227,400:30864,408:38124,509:38705,518:42772,599:51238,680:54734,763:55038,768:55494,776:56026,784:56558,793:58610,834:59066,842:59446,848:64462,910:73564,986:75144,1013:75460,1018:82790,1102:86495,1187:86820,1193:87340,1203:87600,1208:95920,1346:100685,1387:101441,1406:105158,1478:105473,1484:107426,1539:111606,1578:119326,1721:120130,1762:121738,1790:130476,1910:132252,1952:133436,1973:134028,1982:139485,2034:159908,2315:160340,2322:167540,2458:175942,2534:182913,2650:183643,2661:186420,2684:189808,2752:190347,2761:191194,2775:194061,2795:195699,2824:196266,2836:204326,2933:205886,2957:206354,2965:208070,2997:208538,3004:209162,3013:215045,3050:215345,3059:215795,3067:216095,3072:216770,3087:217970,3105:218270,3110:218870,3119:219170,3124:224709,3158:225341,3167:227237,3215:238830,3434:253662,3633:254160,3640:254492,3645:254824,3650:267914,3840:268506,3856:271392,3920:272354,3937:274204,3963:274870,3974:275388,3982:275906,3990:276720,4005:277386,4015:278348,4030:291860,4152:292360,4158:293060,4164:296360,4202:299560,4299:303385,4312:303765,4318:304810,4330:313500,4505$0,0:21966,301:34296,528:162468,2384:165497,2414:178054,2607:192836,2886:203494,3080:204151,3090:218420,3267:222500,3348:223140,3357:226610,3368
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jefferi Lee's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jefferi Lee lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jefferi Lee describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jefferi Lee talks about his mother, Nannie Jane Carrington, her involvement in her community, and her employment

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jefferi Lee describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jefferi Lee describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jefferi Lee talks about his father's growing up in South Boston, Virginia, and his service in the U.S. Army in the Korean War

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jefferi Lee talks about his parents' different family backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jefferi Lee talks about his parents' move to Alexandria, Virginia, and his father's employment

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jefferi Lee talks about his likeness to his father, his mother's last months, and his parents' emphasis on education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jefferi Lee talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jefferi Lee describes his favorite childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jefferi Lee talks about the neighborhood where his family lived in Alexandria, Virginia, and his childhood there

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jefferi Lee talks about the demographics of Alexandria, Virginia in the 1960s and 1970s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jefferi Lee talks about attending elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jefferi Lee talks about his role models in school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jefferi Lee talks about his favorite subject in school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jefferi Lee talks about his interest in baseball as a young boy

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jefferi Lee talks about his mother's death in 1971 and his family's life afterwards

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Jefferi Lee describes his experience in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jefferi Lee talks about the teachers who influenced him in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jefferi Lee talks about his cross-country trip after graduating from high school, and his trip to Canada with his father and siblings

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jefferi Lee talks about his sister's role in his family, and his initial hesitation towards attending college

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jefferi Lee discusses his decision to attend Missouri Valley College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jefferi Lee describes his experience at Missouri Valley College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jefferi Lee talks about having his own radio show at Missouri Valley College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jefferi Lee talks about transferring to the University of Maryland, College Park, and interning at WDVM, Channel 9 in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jefferi Lee talks about his job in the mailroom at WDVM in Washington, D.C., and his opportunity to join the management trainee program

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jefferi Lee talks about his production experience at WDVM in Washington, D.C., and his mentors there

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jefferi Lee talks about leaving WDVM station to join Black Entertainment Television (BET) in 1982, during its early days

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jefferi Lee talks about his experience at Black Entertainment Television (BET) in the 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jefferi Lee talks about "Petey" Greene

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jefferi Lee talks about the growth of Black Entertainment Television (BET)

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jefferi Lee talks about Black Entertainment Television (BET)'s increased programming, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jefferi Lee talks about Black Entertainment Television (BET)'s increased programming, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jefferi Lee talks about brand loyalty for Black Entertainment Television (BET)

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jefferi Lee talks about Black Entertainment Television (BET)'s jazz programming and news and public affairs programming

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jefferi Lee describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$3

DAStory

7$8

DATitle
Jefferi Lee talks about brand loyalty for Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Jefferi Lee talks about his job in the mailroom at WDVM in Washington, D.C., and his opportunity to join the management trainee program
Transcript
I know Lewis Carr was telling us that when he went to advertisers, he would often talk about how the community, the black community was more loyal to BET [Black Entertainment Television] than say, you know, the community watching some other stations.$$Right, right. We had a lot of brand loyalty, and it displayed itself in many ways, I mean just in terms of, just viewers, one, but I mean I recall several times, one time in particular, I was in San Francisco [California]. And I was checking into a hotel late one night. And I was at the counter, and I was checking in. And I gave the lady my credit card, and it had BET on the credit card. And she just went berserk. She said, "Are you with BET?" She said, wow, we love BET at my house. We, and it was that kind of feeling that you would get traveling all over the country when we would meet black people who'd seen BET. It was a sense of, we were caretakers of a, you know, a national monument to some extent, that BET was ours. And the public felt like that. I remember another time when we went public. This was back in '91 [1991], I think it was when we first went, New York Stock Exchange, when BET went public. The night before we went public, Bob [Robert Johnson] wanted all the senior staff to go up to New York and spend the night and be there for in the morning. Well, Curtis Simmons and I, our kids had games that night. So we wanted to be here for our kids' games. So we told Bob, we'll get there first thing in the morning. So we stayed, went to the game, that morning, got up, rushed up to New York. And we got in a cab from the airport and we told the guy we wanted to go to the Stock Exchange on Wall Street. And he said, what's the address? I'm like, you don't know where Wall Street is? Anyway, we finally get there. The traffic was so bad. We were running late. So we jumped out of the cab, Curtis and I, and went running up the street. And we got to the building, it was the employee entrance to the Stock Exchange. And we went in the building, and this, the guy said, I'm sorry, you have to go out and go around and go in the main entrance. And there were two gentlemen back behind the desk that were in the maintenance crew. They were African Americans. And they said, they spoke up and said, are you with BET, 'cause everybody at the New York Stock Exchange knew that BET was going public, everybody black anyway, knew that BET was going public today. They said, are you with BET? And we said, yes. They said, come on. We'll take you in there. We'll take you in. And they marshaled us in. I mean they escorted us in all the way up to the chairman's office. And the pride that was in these guys' faces and in their voice, of something that they had nothing to do with. They weren't stockholders in BET, weren't going to be stockholders in BET. But the pride on their face, the excitement that they had, just by, it was like, it's still ours. This is ours going public today. And I always remember that about BET and my time at BET in that, it made me feel like I was the caretaker of some real property that black America said was ours. And that was really touching.$$This was almost like being an ambassador for a country.$$In a lot of ways, in a lot of ways. I remember traveling in, I was in South Africa once, and I was at a reception. And a guy came up to me, he said, well, first of all, he said, how does it feel from being--being from the greatest country in the world? I said, ah, (laughter), "Don't believe the hype all the time." (Laughter) And I said, it's not all paved in gold. I said, that's not really what it's like. And he said, well, how does it feel, you know, BET, being this great entity? And I told him, I said, you know, it's hard work. I mean I told him, because for so long, I was just at work. I didn't have the idea or the sense of how the rest of the--not just the country, but the world saw us. And it was really eye opening several times to go to different places and see that the brand itself had gone beyond just a television channel. It spoke to something of black America.$$So this is the first black television cable network, first black company to go to the New York--(simultaneous)--$$Public, yeah.$$--Stock Exchange, go public. So this is, you know, people felt like it was theirs, right?$$That's right.$$Which sets us up for (laughter)--$$Yeah.$$No, we won't get there yet. We're--$$(Laughter) (whew).$$We move along, you know--$$Okay.$Now, was it, did you, did somebody at the University of Maryland [College Park] like, you know, help you get that job (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$Well, you know, I had an internship at Channel 9 when I first came there, working at 'Morning Break' first. And I did the internship there, and after the first, I think it was after my first internship ended, I got home, and I got a phone call from the production manager, and told me that there was a job open at the station and to get my behind back to the station and apply for that job that was in the mailroom. And I said, mailroom, I wanna be in TV production. And I was told, no, you wanna job in the station. You get where you wanna be later, but right now, you want a job in the station. So I came back and applied, and I got a job in the mailroom. So I was working in there. So, once again, I got great advice from people around me. The guys in the mailroom, I would sit and talk with them, and they'd say, then they would tell me, we know everything that's going on in the station before anybody else. He said, so, understand that we know everybody. And I got to know from the people in the mailroom to the general manager's cook, all the people who were behind the scenes, but heard everything that was going on in the station and knew how things worked in the station. So that was a great education for me to be in that environment, right, didn't have to be sitting in the executive suite all the time. These are the people (laughter) who really under--who knew what was going on, really, whether they understood or not was another issue. But they knew what was going on. And so after I spent some time in the mailroom, there was another job open, film--I forget the actual title of the, the name of the job, but it was the person who put breaks in film. The station ran movies in the afternoon, and somebody had to look at the movies and decide where the breaks went in the movie. Now, because of union restrictions, I couldn't actually do the film editing, but I could look at the film, but the marks in the film where the breaks would be and everything. So I did that for a while. Also, in the station doing that and doing other kinds of things whatever I could find, the people who needed something done, I would volunteer to do that to be that person, to be with them. And then the management trainee position opened up, and I was asked if I--I was, I'll never forget. I was at a function one night. The sales department was having a function at an ad agency somewhere downtown, and the general manager of the station was there. And one of the people introduced me, one of the station employees introduced me to the general manager. And he said to me, he said, what--so, after we were talking, he said, so what do you wanna do? And I said, I want your job. And he said, oh, really (laughter)? He said, okay, we'll see about that. And so from that day forward, so then I got into the management, the training--management trainee program. And I got to go around the station and see all the different areas of the station, and how they worked from the programming side to the sales side to the news side, to the operations side, technical side, all of the different things that help put the station together and make it work. So that was, again, a very good learning experience.

Don Cornwell

Broadcast executive and businessman W. Don Cornwell was born in Cushing, Oklahoma on January 17, 1948. Cornwell moved with his family to Tacoma, Washington, where he attended Stadium High School. After graduating from Stadium, Cornwell enrolled at Occidental College in Los Angeles in 1965. Four years later, he graduated with his B.A. degree in political science. Cornwell then graduated from Harvard Business School with his M.B.A. degree in 1971.

Cornwell was first hired by Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York in 1971. By 1980, he was promoted to chief operating officer of the Goldman Sachs’ corporate finance department of the investment banking division. In 1988, Cornwell left the securities firm to found Granite Broadcasting Corporation. In his twenty-one years as the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, the corporation purchased fifteen television stations to become the largest African American-controlled television broadcast company in America. At its peak, Granite Broadcasting generated $169 million in revenue. From 1991 through 2006, Granite was publicly owned with common stock listed on NASDAQ and several issues of debt registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Granite Broadcasting Corporation filed for voluntary reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in December 2006 and emerged from its restructuring in June 2007. Cornwell stepped down as the company chairman and CEO in 2009.

Cornwell has received numerous honors and corporation directorships throughout his career including serving on the boards of Pfizer, Inc., Avon Products, Inc., American International Group, Inc. and CVS-Caremark Corporation. He is a trustee of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York. Cornwell was formerly on the board of directors of the Wallace Foundation, the Hershey Trust Company and Milton Hershey School, the New York University Medical Center and the Telecommunications Development Fund. Cornwell’s company, Granite Broadcasting, was named Company of the Year by Black Enterprise. In 1996, he was honored as the Alumnus of the Year by Occidental College; and in 1999, he was the recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award from Harvard Business School. Cornwell is married to Sandra Williams-Cornwell and has two adult children, K. Don Cornwell and Samantha Cornwell.

W. Don Cornwell was interviewed by the The HistoryMakers on May 17, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.077

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/17/2012

Last Name

Cornwell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Harvard Business School

Occidental College

Stadium High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

W. Don

Birth City, State, Country

Cushing

HM ID

COR03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

Amagansett, New York

Favorite Quote

It is what it is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/17/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salad (Kale)

Short Description

Broadcast chief executive and financial executive Don Cornwell (1948 - ) was the founder of the largest African American controlled television broadcast group in America.

Employment

Granite Broadcasting

Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:13032,119:13380,124:23200,242:26480,342:51000,726:51534,733:52068,741:57497,818:88327,1202:88693,1212:88998,1218:89852,1235:90401,1247:91560,1270:96218,1326:96578,1332:99170,1380:108367,1494:113344,1597:113722,1605:113974,1610:115675,1655:121196,1706:123500,1731:123788,1736:129188,1835:129476,1840:134002,1863:134658,1872:137528,1899:148654,2053:149446,2066:162306,2130:183769,2474:184171,2481:191206,2593:191742,2598:195896,2654:212672,2838:230708,2986:237404,3097:242490,3137$0,0:1370,37:1930,46:2560,57:3610,78:5920,108:6760,123:11940,210:12360,218:13130,230:13900,239:16140,279:16770,314:17750,325:18590,338:18870,343:19500,354:25250,375:25782,383:28670,427:29050,433:30418,438:30798,444:33458,479:38930,547:40374,559:41058,570:41362,575:42198,588:43186,598:44630,618:45086,625:45466,631:45846,637:46226,643:52620,661:53259,672:53543,677:53898,683:65187,875:65471,880:66181,892:67104,899:74834,944:75204,950:76018,955:76684,965:77498,970:80976,1023:84232,1055:93114,1133:95334,1166:101998,1216:102458,1222:102918,1229:103286,1234:107632,1269:114807,1355:115717,1370:116172,1375:116900,1381:121723,1433:127326,1464:128334,1479:129174,1491:130182,1502:133314,1536:135339,1560:135906,1569:137121,1587:138741,1606:139308,1615:139875,1623:146112,1768:149190,1810:149595,1816:157420,1834:167248,1979:167668,1985:168172,1993:172580,2005:173291,2015:173607,2020:180085,2134:180638,2143:180954,2148:181981,2164:182929,2177:183245,2186:183561,2191:187038,2203:188032,2219:188529,2228:195203,2341:195771,2351:196978,2360:197333,2366:197830,2375:198398,2383:198966,2392:200954,2420:208279,2463:211513,2501:211898,2507:214362,2516:214747,2525:215594,2537:226434,2613:227898,2634:231070,2687:233632,2717:244900,2819
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Don Cornwell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Don Cornwell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Don Cornwell talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Don Cornwell talks about his grandparents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Don Cornwell describes the town where he was born, Cushing, Oklahoma

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Don Cornwell talks about his mother's history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Don Cornwell talks about his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Don Cornwell discusses Oklahoma's role in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Don Cornwell talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Don Cornwell talks about his father's experiences in World War II and his father's PTSD

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Don Cornwell talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Don Cornwell talks about his father's aspirations and occupation as a barber

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Don Cornwell talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Don Cornwell shares the story of how his family moved from Oklahoma to the state of Washington

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Don Cornwell talks about his maternal grandparents' education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Don Cornwell talks about his parents' separation and his father's high standards for education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Don Cornwell talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Don Cornwell describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Don Cornwell describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Don Cornwell talks about growing up in Tacoma, Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Don Cornwell describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Don Cornwell describes the social life of Tacoma, Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Don Cornwell talks about his friends in Tacoma, including Bob Moore

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Don Cornwell talks about not being able to participate in sports as a child due to a heart defect

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Don Cornwell talks about his grandmother's belief in the importance of naps

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Don Cornwell talks about sports in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Don Cornwell talks about elementary school and high school

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Don Cornwell talks about Stadium High School and Puget Sound

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Don Cornwell remembers learning to read at an early age and an influential high school teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Don Cornwell talks about watching TV when he was growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Don Cornwell discusses the role of church in his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Don Cornwell talks about segregation in Tacoma, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Don Cornwell discusses the African American community in Tacoma, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Don Cornwell talks about his mentors in middle school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Don Cornwell talks about his aspirations and heroes in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Don Cornwell talks about the Civil Rights Movement and Malcolm X's assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Don Cornwell talks about his mother's civic activities

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Don Cornwell talks about the 1962 Seattle World's Fair

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Don Cornwell remembers the 1963 March on Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Don Cornwell talks about African American newspapers in Tacoma

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Don Cornwell talks about his favorite subjects in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Don Cornwell talks about his favorite teachers in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Don Cornwell talks about choosing a college

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Don Cornwell talks about some of his activities in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Don Cornwell talks about being senior class president and his decision to attend Occidental College

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Don Cornwell talks about Occidental College

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Don Cornwell describes Occidental College as moderately conservative

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Don Cornwell talks about the African American student organizations at Occidental College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Don Cornwell talks about the Black Student Association and the African American community in LA

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Don Cornwell talks about his role in the Black Student Association and in student government

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Don Cornwell talks about the professors who influenced him at Occidental College, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Don Cornwell talks about the professors who influenced him at Occidental College, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Don Cornwell talks about changing his focus from law to business

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Don Cornwell talks about the Black Panthers and Ron Karenga's US Organization in Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Don Cornwell talks about meeting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his assassination

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Don Cornwell discusses Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination and the Watts riots

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Don Cornwell talks about his experiences with the Los Angeles police force

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Don Cornwell talks about black empowerment and the Black Panther shootings in 1969

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Don Cornwell talks about going to Harvard Business School, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Don Cornwell talks about going to Harvard Business School, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Don Cornwell talks about the discrimination faced by his class at Harvard Business School

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Don Cornwell talks about the professors at Harvard Business School, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Don Cornwell talks about the professors at Harvard Business School, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Don Cornwell talks about his classmates at Harvard Business School

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Don Cornwell talks about the role that Occidental College played in his preparation for Harvard

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Don Cornwell describes how integrated environments can foster skills development

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Don Cornwell talks about working at Goldman Sachs

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Don Cornwell talks about the dissolution of his marriage and his subsequent promotion at Goldman Sachs

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Don Cornwell discusses his tenure at Goldman Sachs as well as his boss and mentor at the firm, Peter Sacerdote

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Don Cornwell talks about leaving Goldman Sachs and pursuing a new venture in broadcasting and television station ownership

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Don Cornwell talks about how minority tax certificates encouraged his start in television station ownership

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Don Cornwell talks about buying his first two TV stations

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Don Cornwell talks about the successful start of his TV stations

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Don Cornwell discusses his management approach in broadcasting

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Don Cornwell discusses taking his company, Granite Broadcasting, public in 1991

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Don Cornwell talks about the stations Granite Broadcasting purchased after going public in 1991

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Don Cornwell talks about competing with Rupert Murdoch for a station in Austin, Texas

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Don Cornwell talks about rebuilding a local station in Austin, Texas

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Don Cornwell reflects on one of the biggest mistakes of his career and its impact on Granite Broadcasting

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Don Cornwell discusses how his company's inexperience and financial situation affected its growth

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Don Cornwell talks about partnering with NBC

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Don Cornwell talks about selling a station to NBC and the sale's negative impact on Granite Broadcasting

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Don Cornwell talks about what he did to try to ameliorate Granite Broadcasting's financial situation

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Don Cornwell recalls filing for bankruptcy and the impact of the financial crisis

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Don Cornwell talks about what he would do differently about Granite Broadcasting

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Don Cornwell shares advice for young entrepreneurs

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Don Cornwell describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 7 Story: 13 - Don Cornwell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 14 - Don Cornwell talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

7$5

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Don Cornwell talks about partnering with NBC
Don Cornwell talks about going to Harvard Business School, pt. 2
Transcript
Okay. So we're like almost at two thousand?$$Yes, yes. So 2000 was an important year for us because we got the bright idea that our ABC [American Broadcasting Company] affiliate in San Jose [California]--that even though it only served in a historic sense the San Jose portion of the Bay Area [California]. If you are familiar with the bay area there is San Jose, there is kind of the peninsula, people call that Silicon Valley [California] then there is San Francisco [California] then there is the east bay with Oakland [California], Berkeley [California] and what have you. We were technically the San Jose affiliate for ABC but our signal covered the entire market all the way up to Napa [Napa Valley, California]. We didn't have as great a signal in some of the nooks and crannies of San Francisco though but people in Oakland, Berkeley whatever they could get a signal perfectly well. So because NBC was having a fight with its then affiliate KRON, K-R-O-N and this was public, we went to NBC [National Broadcasting Company] and said you know if you guys really are unhappy with your affiliate before you go and affiliate yourself with one of the lesser stations in town because there was a couple of other options but they didn't have nearly what we had, we said you ought to consider working with us. And so the first thing they had to satisfy themselves was on the engineering in other words are these guys correct about what they say about the signal. And so they did a lot of work on that and after the work they came to us and said you are right, we had no idea and so we would like to work together. Long and short of it all a lot of different anecdotes that I could go on for way too long in that incident or that story. But at the end of the day they ultimately decided to switch the affiliation to us and that took place in 2000 but they couldn't actually switch until 2002 because their deal with the other affiliate lasted until 2002. That gave us we thought a wonderful amount of time where we could comfortably rebuild the station. It needed to have a much bigger news presence than a news presence that only covered San Jose because we now have to satisfy the other communities and that would be expensive and time consuming and we didn't want to do what we did in--if we could avoid it in Austin [Texas] again which was to cram this in about seven months. So we had 2001 to start this process but unfortunately 2001 as you may recall was a rather interesting year with 9-11 and with war breaking out and what have you. And once again we found ourselves in a real recession from an advertiser perspective and so we were spending a very significant amount of money. Probably over twenty million dollars to build out both with new equipment and with new people, reporters and what have you what we felt a first class news operation in the bay area. We were doing it against a backdrop of declining revenue throughout the rest of our business and so we sort of struggled our way through 2001 and by the end of 2001 where we're ready to go in 2000 but I guess it's fair to say that NBC wanted the station.$What I quickly discovered at Harvard Business School was that I was in no way prepared. That all I had was somewhat of an analytical skill; that I had the ability to work very hard but that I had been dropped into an environment where if people were speaking Arabic or Greek or Korean or what have you I wouldn't have known because they were speaking a language that I knew nothing about. So my--it's a two year program. My first year after classes I would go to the library, Baker Library and simply immerse myself in the stacks of magazines, Fortune and Forbes and what have you and basically read articles about people whose names would come up in class. Because if they would mention a corporate raider by the name of Jimmy Ling (ph. splg.) in class and what he had done and why this was smart and what have you. Well I had no idea who Jimmy Ling was and so I had to very quickly get myself acculturated to the environment and spent my first year basically just using whatever aptitude I had and fortitude and what have you to survive the place. Which, you know, I didn't do too badly in that environment. Harvard Business School was if I could just add a quick comment--so now I'm in the East and for the first time I find myself with I would describe it as people who are ostensibly liberal and who are ostensibly on my side but who unlike my friends on the West Coast white who seemed to accept my premise of whatever I thought the path should be, at Harvard it was exactly the opposite. That it was we know best somewhat paternalistic and we're going to tell you what you should do. And my class of African Americans was by far the largest group that had ever been allowed in the Harvard Business School. I think there were about seventy of us out of class of about eight hundred. It was the first time in my memory where I was expected to fail as opposed to succeed. The Harvest News which is the campus newspaper, I think it still exists, had an article the first week of school that indicated that faculty members-unnamed faculty members felt that the flunk out rate they called it hitting the screen at Harvard would be much higher than had historically been the case because the implication was that the school had allowed in a much larger percentage of people who probably were not qualified to be there. And so if there was ever any doubt that the African American students would coalesce and become reasonably cohesive, it was in that environment. And so the freshman, the first year was quite an interesting experience for me and it I could tell you anecdotes forever we would end up with a nineteen hour interview. But there were lots of times during that year that ended up being very interesting and helped formed probably my personality as I went further into my adult business career.

Wenda Weekes Moore

Civic leader Wenda Weekes Moore was born in Boston, Massachusetts on December 24, 1941 to Sylvia Means Weekes and prominent physician and hospital executive Leroy Randolph Weekes. Moore grew up in Los Angeles, California and graduated from Los Angeles High School. She attended Howard University, the alma mater of both her parents, and earned her B.A. degree in political science in 1963.

In 1973, Moore was appointed by Governor Wendell Anderson to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents and became the first African American chairperson of the board, a position she held from 1975 to 1982. She joined the staff of Governor Wendell Anderson as an assistant in 1976. In 1979, Moore led the University of Minnesota's first educational exchange delegation to the People's Republic of China. She was appointed by President George H. Bush to the Board of Advisors at the United States Department of Education in 1980. Moore then joined the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 1989, where she became chair of the Board of Trustees in 2001. The Patino Moore Legacy Award was established to honor Moore's leadership in the fields of higher education and public service in 2011. She has served as a visiting scholar at the Clinton School's Center on Community Philanthropy.

Moore is on the board of directors of several organizations including the Association of Black Foundation Executives, the Council on Foundations, Greywolf Press, Minneapolis Council on Churches, Ms. Foundation for Women and Women's Funding Network. She has served on the Federal District Judge Selection Commission, the National Committee on Presidential Selection and the Board of Advisors to the General Medical College. She has received the Legacy Award from the Pan African Community Endowment. Moore is married to Cornell Leverette Moore and they have three children, Lynne, Jonathon, and Meredith.

Wenda Weekes Moore was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 01/15/2012.

Accession Number

A2012.003

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/15/2012

Last Name

Moore

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Weekes

Occupation
Schools

24th Street Elementary School

Mt. Vernon Junior High School

Los Angeles High School

Howard University

First Name

Wenda

Birth City, State, Country

Fort Devens

HM ID

MOO15

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Savannah, Georgia

Favorite Quote

Never Give Up.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Minnesota

Birth Date

12/24/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Edina

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Civic leader Wenda Weekes Moore (1941 - ) served as the first African American chairperson of the University of Minnesota's Board of Regents and was chair of the Board of Trustees for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Employment

District of Columbia Public Library

Westminster Town Hall Forum

Favorite Color

Green-Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1764,22:28100,365:28640,375:29090,381:35770,438:48130,570:53760,623:54495,631:54915,636:81234,1057:81518,1062:82228,1076:84713,1123:84997,1128:86204,1149:93504,1238:103990,1473:114310,1603:114730,1609:115465,1619:116095,1627:116620,1633:132588,1885:132856,1890:142258,2144:142550,2149:144886,2193:145324,2200:148171,2226:158106,2513:158430,2523:158916,2538:159456,2551:160968,2599:161238,2611:165147,2623:165678,2634:166150,2706:166622,2716:167153,2727:167743,2744:168274,2754:171958,2786:172511,2794:173064,2803:173696,2812:174170,2819:174644,2826:177860,2848:178188,2853:178926,2864:179336,2870:179910,2879:180484,2887:184584,2958:196566,3080:196946,3086:197250,3091:197630,3097:198010,3103:199758,3121:202190,3159:202494,3164:203026,3172:203558,3180:203938,3186:204242,3191:205458,3205:207434,3234:213620,3295:217300,3347:220580,3404:221300,3416:239010,3691:240264,3717:249320,3846$0,0:528,14:966,22:1258,27:2499,56:2937,64:4251,89:10980,112:21836,298:22347,307:34169,372:37661,381:38009,386:39724,400:40538,412:42018,466:42462,472:42832,478:43128,483:43794,493:44534,550:45422,574:45866,579:46680,590:47198,598:48086,647:55856,703:58780,728:59200,736:59920,750:61516,771:67440,844:77512,996:78030,1006:78548,1016:78992,1026:79436,1033:79732,1038:81138,1057:83898,1066:84794,1085:85298,1097:85634,1105:86026,1114:89694,1163:91074,1187:93075,1234:93489,1242:94938,1279:95628,1290:97077,1320:97905,1352:98871,1369:100044,1383:100527,1398:103701,1461:114657,1511:117231,1554:118811,1560:119095,1565:120302,1597:121012,1609:121438,1617:121793,1623:124340,1632:125231,1642:125636,1648:126365,1659:126932,1668:128760,1691:129160,1697:130760,1728:131240,1735:132520,1751:138404,1801:138756,1806:139636,1818:139988,1823:140950,1829:141274,1834:143137,1865:144791,1891:145067,1896:145481,1903:145757,1908:153245,1984:156582,2004:156830,2009:157512,2022:157946,2038:158194,2043:160860,2096:161294,2105:161542,2110:161852,2116:163774,2165:164022,2170:164270,2175:164828,2191:165076,2196:168342,2208:169602,2223:170190,2231:170694,2239:171030,2244:171618,2253:172206,2262:172626,2268:173130,2276:175230,2313:175566,2318:175986,2324:178170,2359:178758,2367:189284,2466:190098,2481:191430,2511:191800,2517:192096,2522:192540,2529:192836,2534:197904,2574:198332,2579:198760,2584:199509,2592:200472,2614:201649,2626:202291,2633:203575,2648:210910,2678:211575,2685:212525,2699:212905,2704:213285,2709:214330,2724:214995,2732:218900,2769
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Wenda Weekes Moore's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Wenda Weekes Moore lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about her father's experiences at the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls her family's move to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Wenda Weekes Moore lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her father's experiences during World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her father's medical accomplishments

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about her political influences

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers the 24th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls her influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about her father's friendships with black politicians in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her experiences at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about her transition to Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers Mordecai Johnson and William Montague Cobb

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls studying with Toni Morrison

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about Sterling A. Brown and Rayford Logan

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes John Hope Franklin's influence on her academic career

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about the student activism at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers graduating from Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers Mordecai Johnson's retirement from Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls the start of her relationship with her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about the influence of television on the activism of the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls marrying her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls working as a library researcher

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes the community in Minnesota's Twin Cities

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about the discrimination against African Americans in Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls her campaign for Minneapolis Board of Education

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her role in Minnesota Governor Wendell Anderson's administration

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about Hubert Humphrey

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers the naming of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers Eugene McCarthy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes Minnesota Governor Wendell Anderson

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers her appointment to the Minnesota Board of Regents

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls her start on the Minnesota Board of Regents

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls the search for a new president of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls her chairmanship of the Minnesota Board of Regents

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls developing an exchange program between China and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about the open enrollment policy at the University of Minnesota

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls her appointment to the U.S. Department of Education

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her transition to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers meeting with Russell Mawby

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about her experiences at Mount Vernon in Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls her first trip to South Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers meeting South African President Nelson Mandela

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her chairmanship of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's focus on health disparities, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's focus on health disparities, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls the impact of the Fourth World Conference on Women

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Wenda Weekes Moore shares her advice to aspiring foundation executives

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about the Girl Scouts of the USA

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Wenda Weekes Moore reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Wenda Weekes Moore reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls the election of President Barack Obama

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her hopes for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Wenda Weekes Moore narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Wenda Weekes Moore narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
Wenda Weekes Moore describes her transition to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Wenda Weekes Moore recalls the impact of the Fourth World Conference on Women
Transcript
When did you join the Association of Black Foundation Executives? Now that's some- I mean we probably should start with what--how did you first get involved on the board of the foundation (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh, Kellogg [W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, Michigan].$$Yeah, Kellogg.$$Let's see. When did I go to Kellogg? I think it overlapped a couple of years with the Board of Regents. And I wanna say '89 [1989] I went on the board--no, I think it was probably '88 [1988], I went on the Board of Regents--on the board at Kellogg. And the CEO at that time was Russ Mawby [Russell Mawby]. And I had friends from about, oh, maybe 1986 or 1985 was the first time, maybe '85 [1985]. A friend of mine called me and said, "You know, I was in Washington [D.C.] at a meeting. And Russ Mawby, the CEO at Kellogg Foundation came over and asked me if I knew Wenda Moore [HistoryMaker Wenda Weekes Moore]." And I said, "So what did you say?" He said, "'Yes, I know Wenda Moore,' and we talked and chitchatted a little bit, and he wanted to know what you were interested in. And I told him, it's easier to talk about what she isn't interested in." And I said, "Oh, isn't that nice." So I, you know, hung up, and then I told Cornell [Weekes Moore's husband, HistoryMaker Cornell Leverette Moore]. And Cornell said, "They're probably after you, they're looking at you for the board." And I said, "No, it can't be." And I thought, oh! So then I went to look up the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and I thought oh, this is nice. I'd heard a little bit about it; never heard another word. Four, five, six months, eight months go by. Another friend calls. "I was at a meeting, and I met Russ Mawby," and I said, "And I bet Russ Mawby said, 'Do you know Wenda Moore 'cause you're from Minnesota?'" (Laughter) She said, "How did you know?" So by then I was just--anyway, this goes on, three or four different people. And the next thing I know, Peter Magrath [C. Peter Magrath], the president of the University of Minnesota [University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota] said, "Wenda, I have to tell you. I was at this meeting and Russ Mawby--." I said, "Peter, please spare me." I said, "I've been hearing for two years about Russ Mawby asking people about me" (laughter). I said, "I'm gonna--," and he said, "Oh, you've heard it before?" I said, "Yeah." And he said, "Well, maybe they're looking at you for the Kellogg Foundation." I said, "Well, I might have thought that a couple of years ago." I said, "Now I don't know what to think, and I'm not concerned about it." Anyway, I'm getting my children [Lynne Moore Nelson, Jonathan Moore and Meredith Moore Crosby] ready for school one morning, and the telephone rings. And this man says, "I'm calling from the National School Boards Association. We have just received a grant from the Kellogg Foundation." I'm thinking, oh, gee (laughter). And he said, "They've suggested that as one of the advisors to the project that we've been funded for, that we contact you and ask you to serve along with three other people to be the, like the overseers or the advisors of this project because we're very interested in increasing the competence of people who serve on school boards. We think they need to be exposed to governance issues. We think they need a larger tool box of strategies to deal with the issues so that we can increase the effectiveness of school boards." And I said, "Oh, thank you." I said, "That's--what a compliment." I said, you know, I gave him my address. I said, "Please send me some information, and I'll let you know." And I said, "By the way, who was it at the Kellogg Foundation that suggested that you call?" So he gave me the name, and I said, "Okay, you send the information, and I'll look at it." I hung up the phone.$When you look back on your career, how do you think the role of women has changed in the foundation community?$$Well, I can tell you at the Kellogg Foundation [W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, Michigan], it's changed a lot. It's changed in the way we view women in the field, and the way we view our responsibility towards women. And I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I had an opportunity here, Hillary Clinton [Hillary Rodham Clinton] at the White House when President Clinton [President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton] was president, and this was just before the women's conference [Fourth World Conference on Women] in Beijing [China], UN [United Nations] world, women's--UN world, yeah, the world's women's conference in Beijing. It was the world conference in Beijing. I think it was ninety--'95 [1995]. At any rate, Hillary said that--no, it couldn't have been '95 [1995], '85 [1985] probably [sic. 1995], all right. I'm not gonna worry about the date. At any rate, she invited a number of people from foundations to say that the government was not going to be able to send the number of women that they normally sent to these world conferences. The last one had been at Nai- the previous one had been at Nairobi [Kenya], and they had sent a delegation headed by Maureen Reagan, but this time, they weren't--[U.S.] Congress was not going to fund that. And she wanted foundations to do it. So I went, I heard it and I went back. And Russ Mawby [Russell Mawby] who was the president of the Kellogg Foundation at the time, said that if I could go and head the delegation, that he would consider having us bring together a group of women. And it was the first time at Kellogg that they were really willing to say, maybe women might be different and might be worth some funding and some focus that would be different than in the past 'cause we didn't, we just didn't talk about it at Kellogg. And so we had staff identify women in our, who'd been grantees, who could take advantage of this, who could come back, go to the conference in Beijing, come back and share it with their groups. And that's what we did, but we did more than that because when we came back to the foundation, we decided that we were going to begin to focus more on women, the needs of women and girls; that there were real inequities, in the grant dollars focused on women and girls. And really, if you wanna move a community forward, it's the women who need to be the focus in a lot of ways. So I think it's really been different since then. And we don't shy away from talking about, at the Kellogg Foundation, racial inequities and racial inequality or equality around your sex, the fact that women are, are treated differently. So that's a good thing.

Martin Nesbitt

Transportation Chief Executive, Presidential Advisor, and City Government Official Martin Nesbitt was born in Columbus, Ohio on November 29, 1962, to Margaret and Martin Nesbitt. He graduated from Columbus Academy High School and went on to receive his B.S. degree from Albion College in 1985. He began working for the General Motors Acceptance Corporation as an analyst and while there qualified for a fellowship from GM to attend the University of Chicago to attain his M.B.A. degree. After he graduated from the University of Chicago, he went to work for LaSalle Partners as an associate. In 1991, he was promoted to vice president of the company. In addition to meeting his future wife during his time at the University of Chicago, Nesbitt became good friends with future President of the United States Barack Obama.

In 1996, while looking for investors in an airport parking company he was hoping to start, he became acquainted with Penny Pritzker of the Pritzker Realty group. She was impressed with Nesbitt, and invited him to become Vice President of her organization. Nesbitt served in that capacity for two years before receiving the funding to found his own airport parking and transportation corporation called The Parking Spot. Nesbitt began serving as president and CEO of the company.

In 2003, Nesbitt was appointed to the Chicago Housing Authority, which had recently come back under the city of Chicago’s control and had begun to implement the Plan for Transformation to completely overhaul the public housing system in Chicago. Three years later, Nesbitt began serving as vice chairman of the CHA and was quickly appointed chairman by Mayor Richard Daley. In 2007, Barack Obama announced his candidacy for president of the United States and Nesbitt became his campaign treasurer. Obama won the election and Nesbitt returned to work for The Parking Spot, although he and Obama have remained in close contact during his presidency.

Nesbitt has been active in the Big Brothers/Sisters of American program and has served as the Chairman of the DuSable District of the Boy Scouts of America. He is also a trustee of the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, a member of the University of Chicago Laboratory School Board, and was a member of the United Negro College Fund Advisory Council.

Accession Number

A2010.101

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/26/2010

Last Name

Nesbitt

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

H.

Schools

Crestview Middle School

Columbus Preparatory Academy

Albion College

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Buckeye Preparatory Academy

First Name

Martin

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

NES03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Luck Is Where Preparation Meets Opportunity.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

11/29/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Transportation chief executive Martin Nesbitt (1962 - ) was the founder, president and CEO of the airport parking corporation, The Parking Spot. He was also a close friend and advisor of President Barack Obama.

Employment

General Motors Company

LaSalle Partners

Pritzker Realty Group

The Parking Spot

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:3139,70:6862,148:7373,161:7884,209:9344,234:11826,282:18262,455:23310,495:24506,513:25242,530:25794,537:29290,589:30026,598:34074,684:35822,720:36282,727:40859,750:41237,757:41741,766:42371,784:42686,790:45590,816:46094,830:46514,836:49370,887:49874,895:50882,910:53370,915:53730,922:54510,944:54930,952:55530,965:55890,972:57430,979:57934,986:59698,1014:60118,1020:61042,1037:61378,1042:61882,1049:62554,1058:66065,1104:68001,1135:75335,1208:75651,1213:77073,1236:79522,1286:82592,1302:89464,1457:91324,1496:94393,1546:95137,1555:95974,1570:96346,1575:96904,1588:106030,1680:106714,1691:107246,1702:107550,1707:108386,1735:111170,1779:114005,1816:114740,1831:117155,1870:119670,1875:120182,1887:120630,1895:120886,1900:121974,1940:122870,1957:123382,1966:123638,1971:124918,2002:129285,2051:130672,2079:131256,2090:132132,2112:132789,2122:136901,2171:137571,2183:141410,2236:143930,2283:145010,2297:145460,2303:151223,2334:151871,2352:152195,2357:152762,2365:153329,2374:156567,2407:156963,2412:160230,2469:166090,2530:177552,2653:178564,2664:185980,2751:186456,2760:187068,2770:188564,2839:191080,2883:192032,2908:192712,2921:197580,2972:199032,2985:203730,3010:204566,3028:205706,3042:206010,3056:206466,3072:209695,3093:210325,3106:211690,3121:216454,3157:217126,3171:217990,3183:218374,3188:220582,3228:222406,3268:227632,3282:231266,3308:240430,3443:241950,3468:242406,3475:242786,3482:243242,3498:243926,3510:258804,3677:263090,3737:263678,3782:270970,3855:271290,3860:282230,3997:282824,4007:287774,4080:288078,4085:288534,4093:289750,4112:291954,4162:292714,4181:293474,4193:293854,4199:298410,4216:306660,4302:318470,4429$0,0:2225,48:6979,68:8112,81:8524,86:12984,151:28507,452:36844,512:50796,803:54092,876:54596,971:59936,1026:74222,1212:74550,1217:74878,1222:75206,1227:85550,1333:86229,1342:89020,1361:89643,1369:93026,1439:93439,1448:93970,1501:94560,1514:96570,1519:98470,1544:99770,1558:101170,1594:101670,1605:102170,1611:102970,1620:107370,1705:113092,1809:115765,1851:117142,1871:123534,1949:124173,1960:125096,1975:126658,2024:127084,2034:127510,2041:130120,2050:130824,2059:131176,2064:133464,2122:134960,2142:138776,2164:142988,2260:144122,2297:144770,2306:159510,2486:160134,2493:162862,2512:166096,2594:167482,2623:168021,2643:174456,2746:175248,2761:181436,2862:181740,2867:182196,2874:182652,2881:184613,2890:185858,2921:186190,2926:186605,2932:190140,2969:190440,2974:191340,2992:192015,3003:192315,3008:193215,3028:193965,3043:196365,3116:197415,3139:197715,3144:202712,3186:204434,3221:211685,3317:216055,3444:216530,3450:217100,3459:223718,3549:224158,3555:225302,3571:226182,3584:229614,3654:234407,3700:243166,3855:243662,3864:244220,3883:247740,3923:248060,3970
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Martin Nesbitt's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Martin Nesbitt lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Martin Nesbitt talks about the history of landownership in his father's family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Martin Nesbitt describes his father's personality and profession

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Martin Nesbitt remembers his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Martin Nesbitt describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Martin Nesbitt talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Martin Nesbitt describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Martin Nesbitt talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Martin Nesbitt describes his early years in Columbus, Ohio

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

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Martin Nesbitt remembers Crestview Junior High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Martin Nesbitt talks about his parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Martin Nesbitt describes his early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Martin Nesbitt recalls how he avoided dangerous behavior

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Martin Nesbitt describes his experiences at Crestview Junior High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Martin Nesbitt recalls his black peers at Crestview Junior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Martin Nesbitt talks about his teachers at Crestview Junior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Martin Nesbitt remembers applying for A Better Chance scholarship

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Martin Nesbitt remembers his start at Columbus Academy in Gahanna, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Martin Nesbitt remembers his classmates at the Columbus Academy in Gahanna, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Martin Nesbitt describes his mentors at the Columbus Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Martin Nesbitt recalls playing football at the Columbus Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Martin Nesbitt remembers his high school basketball coach, Jack MacMullan

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Martin Nesbitt describes the success of his classmates from the Columbus Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Martin Nesbitt recalls the deaths of his childhood friends

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Martin Nesbitt recalls his decision to attend Albion College in Albion, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Martin Nesbitt talks about his early career aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Martin Nesbitt recalls his interest in business

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Martin Nesbitt describes his first year at the General Motors Company

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Martin Nesbitt recalls leaving the General Motors Company to attend the University of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Martin Nesbitt describes the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Martin Nesbitt recalls working at the LaSalle Partners in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Martin Nesbitt remembers his early acquaintances in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Martin Nesbitt describes his role as equity vice president at the LaSalle Partners

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Martin Nesbitt recalls starting his company, The Parking Spot

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Martin Nesbitt talks about his partnership with the Pritzker family

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Martin Nesbitt describes his coworkers at the LaSalle Partners

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Martin Nesbitt talks about the early business plan for The Parking Spot

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Martin Nesbitt describes his company, The Parking Spot

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Martin Nesbitt talks about his goals for The Parking Spot

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Martin Nesbitt describes his approach to leadership

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Martin Nesbitt talks about his friendship with the Obama family

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Martin Nesbitt recalls playing basketball with Chicago's business leaders

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Martin Nesbitt describes his support of Barack Obama's U.S. Senate campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Martin Nesbitt talks about U.S. Senator Barack Obama's acceptance speech

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Martin Nesbitt remembers supporting Barack Obama's presidential campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Martin Nesbitt talks about President Barack Obama's election

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Martin Nesbitt describes a presidential campaign rally in Iowa

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Martin Nesbitt talks about the controversies during Barack Obama's presidential campaign

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Martin Nesbitt remembers the night of the 2008 presidential election

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Martin Nesbitt remembers President Barack Obama's first inauguration

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Martin Nesbitt recalls his optimism during Barack Obama's presidential campaign

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Martin Nesbitt describes his friendship with President Barack Obama

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Martin Nesbitt reflects upon his hopes for President Barack Obama's administration

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Martin Nesbitt describes his family, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Martin Nesbitt describes his family, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Martin Nesbitt describes his concerns about the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Martin Nesbitt reflects upon his hopes for the United States

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Martin Nesbitt reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

10$6

DATitle
Martin Nesbitt remembers his start at Columbus Academy in Gahanna, Ohio
Martin Nesbitt recalls starting his company, The Parking Spot
Transcript
I want--two things I want to ask you. Do you remember the day you got your letter of acceptance? Do you remember that day, and do you remember the first day of school [at Columbus Academy, Gahanna, Ohio]?$$I remember, yes, I--well I remember finding out that I got the scholarship through the counselor at school [Crestview Junior High School, Columbus, Ohio], and not getting a letter at my house. I don't know why. Maybe their letter did come to the house, I just wasn't aware of it, and I remember I played football, little league football once I got to the sixth grade. So I was a football player, I mean I had a lot of experience. First of all, we played football every day practically in the neighborhood and then I started playing little league football when I was in the sixth grade, and then so by the time I got to ninth grade I was, I knew I wanted to play football so I went to campus for two days before school started. So I started going to the school before school started, and I remember the coach asking me if I'd ever played football before and I said, "Yeah," and he said, "What position did you play?" And I said I played cornerback which is a defensive back, right. He thought I said quarterback which I've never played quarterback, right. So he made me a quarterback and that lasted for my whole freshman year 'til he really figured out I couldn't throw a football. You know I was not a very good quarterback, but I couldn't find the way to tell him, "No. I said cornerback not quarterback," (laughter), but so I remember that and I was very small at the time. I was kind of a late bloomer physically so I would--I mean I was, I weighed like 118 pounds and this was a high school. I mean these kids, some kids were over two hundred pounds, and then I remember--so when I got, when school finally started I, there were a certain set of guys that I knew because they were on the football team, but I wasn't respected on the football team because one, we hadn't started playing yet; and two, I was really small. And I remember walking--well, now this was a campus and there were different buildings and it was on you know, I don't know a hundreds of acres that this school was on and I remember walking from one of the academic buildings towards the cafeteria and being challenged by a kid and he was behind me, and we were walking down the stairs and there were a bunch of boys around and he was making you know sort of these, sort of derogatory jabs at me while I had my back turned and sort of poking me on my back and I stopped on the stairs, I turned around and I grabbed him around his neck and I wrapped his head around the rail, this metal rail and he had braces and his mouth started bleeding and I was--just made the statement that it doesn't happen this way, right (laughter). I'm--the guy you think I am, I'm not that guy. I mean I'm a nice guy, I'm gonna be a nice guy and respectful but I'm, you're not gonna bully me, and that sort of established who I was on campus, but I was still very, a very you know nice kid, but I grew up a lot at, at school, both physically and emotionally and.$$In what way?$$You know a lot of things were very different there, the traditions and the hierarchy and sort of the you know, you know the path that you were expected to take and the hurdles you had to cross and just the whole way things were systematized and traditionalized there and I had no, I had no respect for that kind of system when I came. I didn't know how to respect it and I you know, as a freshman I think I was a little immature and sort of ignoring some of the rites of passage and stuff that they had set up there, but I quickly adapted and, and learned to respect sort of the way things worked and, and what the expectations were, but it was also very challenging for me academically because up to that point I was never really challenged academically. I could you know get A's you know without really trying that hard and I--it took me a couple of years to figure out you know you gotta do the work, you gotta do all the work like in advance so you can review it, so you can (laughter) you know, and so there was a period while I was smart enough to do you know okay, I wasn't performing at sort of my potential because I just didn't have the skills. Nobody had taught me how to prepare for the rigor that was at that school. So there was a period of adjustment there.$And unbeknownst to me when we went to make this presentation, Penny Pritzker had been given my name by a headhunter as a potential candidate to fill a position that she needed to have filled in her real estate operations. So, they treated this whole thing like, "Man, not only do we have a chance to look at this parking, investment opportunity, but we get to interview this guy and he doesn't even know it," (laughter), right. So I go to this whole presentation and, and they like me. She called me back and said, "Hey, you know I probably would never do this deal with LaSalle [LaSalle Partners; Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated, Chicago, Illinois] but you know what's at some point I might think about doing it with you." I was like, "Here's ten reasons why you should do it with LaSalle. Here's twenty reasons why you should do it with LaSalle," we, so we started the dialogue between us and over the course of--once I realized she was serious about not doing it with LaSalle no matter what I said, we started talking about this other thing and this other job she had and all this stuff, and finally I just switched and went over to the Pritzker Realty Group [Chicago, Illinois].$$So what was she saying that they were wanting to do because Pritzker just for context they owned the Hyatt.$$So the Pritzker family has a broad array of holdings, but the, highest profile is the Hyatt Hotels [Hyatt Hotels Corporation] and the Marmon Group of companies [Marmon Holdings, Inc., Chicago, Illinois] which is you know eighty, ninety different manufacturing companies around the world and then there were other holdings like Conwood [Conwood Sales Company LLC; American Snuff Company] and Royal Caribbean cruise lines [Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.] and so forth that they have. So you know a broad array of holdings and they had--Penny Pritzker was responsible for the family's non-hotel real estate. So she had this function where she was doing office and industrial and retail investment and development, and she had a couple of retail projects that had gone sideways a little bit and she was looking for somebody to come in and sort of rescue 'em. So that's what she was interested in me for and I was like, "You know well that's interesting but this is really what I'm doing." I read this business plan and, and she said, "Well you come and help me fix these problems and then we'll do this parking thing as partners." So I went and I, I went over and fixed the, the couple of retail things and then we started off on the parking thing, went to her Uncle Jay [Jay Pritzker] and made a presentation on the business plan. "This is the business, this is what I want to do," and I was hoping that he'd say, "Okay, well go buy one asset and show me how it works," but we had this long lunch meeting. At the end of the lunch meeting he said, "You know what this sounds really hard and challenging and I'm really not sure about this," and Penny said, "Jay, you had your chance. You were willing to work hard, you wanted to make something successful. Marty [HistoryMaker Martin Nesbitt] wants his chance. He's young, he's willing to work hard, he wants a chance to do it," and he said, "Okay, okay, let's throw $50 million at the idea and see how we like it." So we walked away and I was off and running. She said, "You heard him say 50 million, didn't you?" I said, "Yeah." She said, "Go to work," and I said--and I went off and the first person I called was Kevin Shrier [Kevin J. Shrier] and I hired Kevin Shrier to come and he was the first employee of the company. We started it from scratch with $50 million.$$Marty, what year is this?$$That was 1990, let's see I was at LaSalle for seven years, so that's '96 [1996], so it was, this was '97 [1997] probably when I made the call to Shrier. So '96 [1996] I started with Penny. I got her problems started to get 'em fixed and then '97 [1997] I started the business [The Parking Spot, Chicago, Illinois].

E. Lee Lassiter

Newspaper columnist and journalism professor E. Lee Lassiter was born on July 11, 1936, in Carpenter, North Carolina. His father, Narvie Lassiter, was a tenant farmer while his mother, Margie Upchurch Lassiter, was a housewife and sold cosmetics. Lassiter’s parents made a pact that all of their children would graduate from high school and, unlike most tenant farmers, insisted they attend school every day. Lassiter attended the segregated Apex Elementary School in Apex, North Carolina and Barry O’Kelly High School in Method, North Carolina, graduating in 1954. He worked his way through college at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in, receiving his B.A. degree in secondary education in 1959. He earned his M.A. degree in journalism from Boston University in 1963 and his Ed.D. degree from Morgan State University in 1993.

While a student at Tuskegee, Lassiter joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps. In 1961, he served in the Adjutant General’s Corps of the Army as a correspondence officer and technical writer and remained in the Army Reserves for another ten years. Near the close of 1961, he joined the editorial staff at the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper before moving, in 1965, to the Baltimore News-American, where he remained until the newspaper ceased operations in 1986. During his time at the Baltimore News-American, Lassiter wrote editorials and worked in various positions in the editing department. In 1974, he became a regular columnist at the newspaper, with syndicated columns in newspapers around the nation. After the paper closed, Lassiter accepted a position as an associate professor of English at Coppin State University. He retired from teaching in 1999, and began working as a public relations associate for the University. In 2003, he retired from that position, but accepted a contract to work in the same capacity online from his home.

Lassiter is an active member of numerous associations, including the NAACP, the Baltimore Tuskegee Alumni Association and the Black Writers’ Guild of Maryland. He has been a member of Mount Ararat Baptist Church in Baltimore for forty-four years. Active in community service for almost forty years, among his numerous awards are the Tuskegee University Presidential Associate Award, African Methodist Episcopal Church Christian Service Award and the Council for Cultural Progress Public Service Award. In 1981, he was honored with a Giant in Journalism trophy. Lassiter lives in Baltimore with his wife, Hannah Louise Lassiter.

E. Lee Lassiter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 16, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.070

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/16/2010

Last Name

Lassiter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Lee

Schools

Apex Elementary School

Berry O'Kelly High School

Tuskegee University

Boston University

Morgan State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

E.

Birth City, State, Country

Carpenter

HM ID

LAS03

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Herb and Sheran Wilkins Media Makers

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

North Carolina

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

7/11/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hot Dogs, Beans

Short Description

Journalism professor and newspaper columnist E. Lee Lassiter (1936 - ) worked at the "Baltimore News-American" for twenty years, writing a nationally syndicated column for twelve of those years. He joined Coppin State University in 1986 as an associate professor of journalism and English before retiring in 2003.

Employment

Boston University

United States Army

Afro-American Newspapers

Baltimore News-American

Coppin State University

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Black, Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:1701,11:2286,17:10044,118:25373,322:34580,442:35175,451:35685,458:43810,537:44235,543:60048,860:60702,867:69256,950:69760,957:97449,1288:98539,1341:112920,1535:126898,1690:133110,1758:138484,1821:147842,2001:158758,2100:164416,2180:165844,2215:184635,2417:194864,2526:198057,2585:198778,2593:214020,2819:215140,2834$0,0:6560,106:6995,112:20588,391:54982,788:99536,1297:100052,1331:109720,1489:134104,1796:171298,2312:171682,2317:180272,2414:185698,2468:201664,2698:210527,2869:222816,3035:251965,3383:262525,3484:263630,3500:277236,3644:293767,3914:321120,4284:329150,4364
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of E. Lee Lassiter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - E. Lee Lassiter lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - E. Lee Lassiter describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - E. Lee Lassiter describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about his maternal grandfather, Claude Upchurch

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about her mother's lack of education, but her own emphasis on the importance of education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - E. Lee Lassiter describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about his paternal grandfather who was a farmer

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about his father's growing up in Chatham County, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - E. Lee Lassiter describes how his parents met and married

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - E. Lee Lassiter describes his parents' personalities and his likeness to them

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - E. Lee Lassiter discusses his parents' emphasis on their children's education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - E. Lee Lassiter describes her earliest childhood memories of Christmas with his family

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - E. Lee Lassiter describes the community where he grew up

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - E. Lee Lassiter describes his father's reputation as a farmer, and his efforts as a parent

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - E. Lee Lassiter recalls his favorite radio programs

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about the show 'Amos 'n' Andy'

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about his mother's entrepreneurship and his interest in magazines

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about being bused to his elementary school in Apex, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - E. Lee Lassiter describes his experience in elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about his elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about his family's car

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about his teachers in school and his extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about the importance and role of church in his upbringing

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - E. Lee Lassiter describes his experience in high school, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - E. Lee Lassiter describes his experience in highs school, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about how he learned about black history and black literary giants while in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about his extracurricular involvement in school

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about his father's taking he and his brother to the black museum in Raleigh, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about being the editor of his high school newspaper

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - E. Lee Lassiter discusses his awareness of civil rights and the 'Brown vs. Board of Education' ruling

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - E. Lee Lassiter discusses his decision to attend Tuskegee University, and he and his brother's long trip to high school during their senior year

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about graduating from high school and the teachers who influenced him

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - E. Lee Lassiter describes how his family raised the money for him to attend Tuskegee University in 1954

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - E. Lee Lassiter discusses his journey from North Carolina to Tuskegee University, and being away from home

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - E. Lee Lassiter describes his experience at Tuskegee University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about the five-year program at Tuskegee University, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about his education at Tuskegee University

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about the teachers who influenced him at Tuskegee University

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - E. Lee Lassiter talks about graduating from Tuskegee University and applying to Boston University for graduate school in journalism

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
E. Lee Lassiter discusses his journey from North Carolina to Tuskegee University, and being away from home
E. Lee Lassiter describes his experience at Tuskegee University
Transcript
We got the train ticket, and I got on the train. I took it, 900 miles, almost a thousand miles to Tuskegee [Alabama] from Raleigh [North Carolina]. And one of the experiences that I remember--two. One, my family was there, and I'd never been on a train. And they said their good-byes. And I walked away to get on the train, and I never looked back because I had read that when you--one of these philosophical things that I took too far, when you change directions, and you set a new sight, don't look back. So I didn't look back. Years later, I found out it broke my mother's [Margie Ree Upchurch Lassiter] heart. She wanted me to look back and give me that last wave as I get on the--you know how mothers are, any parent. I never looked back, and she cried and cried and hurt for years. I didn't know. But that was the reason. I'd heard, when you change course, don't look back (laughter), so I didn't. So I got on the train, and after thirty miles on the train, we went through Sanford [North Carolina]. That's where my grandparents on my mother's side had grown up, and I mean where she had kind of grown up. The nearest town was Sanford. And I realized, going to visit my grandparents in Sanford was the furthest I'd ever been from home. That was the last sign I saw that I'd ever seen, recognized, knew anything about, thirty miles from home, going 900 miles. It was the end of the world for me. I had never--and it registered with me, what you're really doing, you know, and this kind of thing. So I took the train ride to Tuskegee, and that's how I got there. And no pocket change, arrived on Saturday, and school doesn't really crank up till Monday. You can't register, you can't anything. I had no way to eat for two days, no money, no anything. But my friend who had been there one year before me, broke the rule and let me eat one meal on his meal ticket. And that's how I--I wouldn't have starved, but I had, didn't have a dime. Interesting that my wife had come from another town, same lack of preparation for (laughter) those two days. So she starved for two days too. But we didn't know each other (laughter). But the 150 [dollars], on Monday, you gave--I gave it to the school and started the five-year plan. And it was a hard experience, so I didn't go home for four years. I never saw my family again for four years. And that, when I went home for four years, it was just for overnight. And I went back to Tuskegee [University] to finish that one year. Then I went. When I finished, I didn't have money to go home. I had to borrow fifteen dollars to have enough to catch a bus to go home with my diploma. So--$$So nobody from your family was able to come to see you graduate?$$No. Her family--we had kind of gotten engaged by then. Her mother was there. No one from my family.$In the whole time I was at Tuskegee [University, Tuskegee, Alabama], I got eleven dollars from home. The first Christmas, I wrote home, and everybody was writing home or going home. And I wrote home and said, it'd be nice if I had a few dollars for Christmas. And my father [Narvie Hester Lassiter] didn't have it, which I should have remembered. But I forgot, you know. So I wrote and asked, and he sent me ten dollars, and that was it. And then I had one aunt, one cousin, who sent me one dollar in a card in those five years. And I still have it. I have the card, and the dollar. She's passed, but that's what it meant to me. And she was a special cousin because in all of these thirteen children that my mother's [Margie Ree Upchurch Lassiter] mother had, they had children that I grew up with, cousins. She was in an awkward age, and there were no girls. So she played with the boys. So, she was a special cousin to me. I knew her, you know, I think she knew me. So when I went off to college, she sent me a dollar (laughter). And when I went home years and years later, looking forward to telling her how much it meant to me that she had done that, she had been in an automobile accident, and her mind was damaged. She hardly knew me. So I never got the chance to tell her like I'm telling you, but I still have it. I can put my hand on the card and the dollar. But in those five years, that's all I got from home. So I had to work it. At one point, I had five jobs, back-to-back. I would do my Tuskegee regular job. Then I had a job cleaning the faculty clubhouse, and drinking their sodas and playing their music. Nobody came, nobody--two faculty members came to the clubhouse, two younger ones. The older ones never came over, so I had the run of the place. I studied, and I drank their sodas. I watched Bill Russell play his first game on their television (laughter) and listened to Edward Griggs [ph.]. There was only one classic album in the building. So I listened to it all--Pierre Gent suite over and over and over. I love it. And every time it plays, I can't resist telling her, that's Edward Griggs. She says, you know so much about classic music. [Whispering]. That's the only one I know (laughter). But that was--and then I'd leave that job and I went to a shoe store and sold, supposedly sold shoes. And then I would leave there and go to the Dean of Men's Office and work during the night in the Dean of Men's office, one summer--not every, but--$$Okay, now--(unclear) (simultaneous)--$$--that's how I got through it. And the one student who went before me, from Apex [North Carolina], he was majoring in veterinary medicine, and he never finished. He was brilliant--we were talking about Dr. Dibble, earlier, you and--(simultaneous)--$$Right, Dr. Eugene Dibble, yeah.$$--who managed the hospital, one of his friends was a Dr. Ford who had a daughter. And my friend became the boyfriend of Dr. Dibble--Dr. Ford's daughter, living the life, and had access to their home, had access to their car. So he got off the five-year plan. Then Dr. Ford moved to California. And his last year there, he couldn't eat because you--once you get off the plan, you can't get back on it. And he was real good in school, and I used to watch him--and I got to repay that favor where he let me eat on his card. I let him eat on my card, which was illegal, but we did it. And I used to watch him dissect those animals, eat crackers, soda crackers, white crackers. That's all he had. And eventually he just--and he would go down to the edge of the campus. There were some plum bushes. This is a true story. He wasn't the only one eating those plums (laughter). You know, a lot of five-year plan, you had to make it the best way you could. And he would eat plums, eat those crackers, dissect those animals, and keep trying, but it was just too much. So he never finished.$$Did he just leave school?$$He left school. I think he was a junior.$$Did he go back home?$$Went back home, and then what exactly became of him, I don't know. One of the reasons that's so significant to me is because that was my motivation to stay on the plan, to maximize the plan, don't get carried away with whatever might happen to you in this process. This is your ticket out from the farm and poverty and all of this. Act like it.

William A. Clement, Jr.

Entrepreneur and corporate chief executive William Alexander Clement, Jr. was born on January 22, 1943 in Atlanta, Georgia to politician Josephine Dobbs Clement and Executive Vice President for North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company William Alexander Clement, Sr. Clement received his B.A. degree from Morehouse College in 1964, majoring in mathematics and business administration, and his M.B.A. degree in finance and insurance from Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1967.

Clement worked as a credit analyst for NCNB Corporation (predecessor to Bank of America) in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a registered representative for Bache & Company as well as a representative for The Robinson-Humphrey Company prior to becoming vice president and senior loan officer of Citizens Trust Bank in 1973. In 1977, Clement was a political appointee in the Carter Administration and served as an associate administrator of the United States Small Business Administration. While in this position, he served as senior management officer for the federal government’s largest minority business development program. Clement also received a presidential appointment by President Jimmy Carter to join the board of directors of the National Consumer Cooperative Bank in Washington, D.C. In addition, he was founder and former chairman and chief executive officer of DOBBS, RAM & Company, a systems integration company. Founded in 1981, DOBBS, RAM & Company was engaged by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to maintain its E-Filing System.

Clement became an outside director of Atlanta Life Insurance Company in 1992, and in 2001, the board of directors named him chairman. In 2008, Clement was elected president and chief executive officer of the Atlanta Life Financial Group, Inc., and worked in this position for three years. He also served on the boards of two publicly-traded companies, Radiant Systems, Inc. and TRX, Inc.

Clement has been active in numerous civic and community organizations. He was former chair of the board of Opportunity Funding Corporation, a trustee of the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, and a former trustee of the Woodruff Arts Center. He served on the board of directors of The Commerce Club and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Clement was also a charter member of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, a former co-chair of the Atlanta Action Forum and a former chair of the Atlanta Business League. He has served as a member of the trustee board ministry of Antioch Baptist Church, as co-grantor of the Brown-Clement Endowed Scholarship Fund at Morehouse College, and a member of the Society of International Business Fellows.

Clement is married to R. Ressie Guy-Clement and is the father of two daughters and the grandfather of two grandchildren.

William Alexander Clement, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 27, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.114

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/27/2007

Last Name

Clement

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Morehouse College

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

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

Whitted Elementary School

Hillside High School

First Name

Willliam

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

CLE05

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Don't give in, don't give up, and don't give out.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

1/22/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Collard Greens, Potatoes, Cornbread

Short Description

Corporate chief executive and entrepreneur William A. Clement, Jr. (1943 - ) is the co-founder of DOBBS, RAM & Company and, as of 2008, serves as the President and CEO of the Atlanta Life Financial Group, Inc.

Employment

Atlanta Life Insurance Company

DOBBS, RAM & Company

United States Small Business Administration

Citizens Trust Bank

Robinson-Humphey Company

Bache & Company

NCNB Corporation (predecessor to Bank of America)

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:8356,89:13676,216:19224,320:19680,327:23480,403:28526,428:37956,580:48326,737:49859,772:75110,1043:85442,1285:96045,1359:115726,1671:117206,1702:123090,1795$0,0:26328,311:57692,738:61003,810:62774,853:63082,858:70880,907:84822,1123:88566,1178:89190,1187:89892,1198:97146,1320:109916,1471:110330,1479:113480,1487
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William A. Clement, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William A. Clement, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his maternal family history, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his maternal family history, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his father, William Clement, Sr.

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William A. Clement, Jr. remembers his grandparents' farm on Edisto Island in South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his childhood neighborhood of Buttermilk Bottom in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William A. Clement, Jr. recalls his childhood memories of Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his mother, Josephine Dobbs Clement

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his father, William Clement, Sr.

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - William A. Clement, Jr. begins to talk about his elementary school years

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his grandfather's emphasis on education, and his mother's sisters

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William A. Clement, Jr. continues to describe his elementary school years

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William A. Clement, Jr. remembers his childhood neighborhood in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his five siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William A. Clement, Jr. remembers attending majority white summer camps in Boston, Massachusetts as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William A. Clement, Jr. recalls his activities during his junior high years

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William A. Clement, Jr. remembers his favorite teacher at Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his decision to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about sit-ins in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his experience with segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William A. Clement, Jr. remembers his senior prom at Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his experience at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes Dr. Benjamin Mays and his professors at Morehouse College

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his jobs in college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about working for North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company as a college student

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William A. Clement, Jr. recalls the desegregation of Rich's Department Store and hearing Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes working for Connecticut General Life Insurance Company in Hartford, Connecticut

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his experience at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his first job out of graduate school with the NCNB Corporation and the bank's history

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his first wife

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William A. Clement, Jr. recalls working for Bache & Company, and for Robinson-Humphrey Company

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about Maynard Jackson's mayoral campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William A. Clement, Jr. recalls working with Herman Russell and Jesse Hill during Maynard Jackson's mayoral campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about the history of Citizens Trust Bank

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - William A. Clement, Jr. details his tenure as vice president of Citizens Trust Bank

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his work as an associate administrator of the Small Business Administration in the President Jimmy Carter Administration

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about the benefits of his experiences in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about the beginning of The Dobbs Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his company, DOBBS, RAM & Company

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his second marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about how he became the chairman of Atlanta Life Insurance in 2001

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his work on the board of Radiant Systems, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about the national reach of Atlanta Life Financial Group

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his church, Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his participation in 100 Black Men and the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his work on the Opportunity Funding Corporation and Friends of Morehouse

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his parents' deaths and managing Maynard Jackson's estate

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about politicians in his family

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his grandchildren

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William A. Clement, Jr. shares his advice for future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William A. Clement, Jr. shares his business advice

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William A. Clement, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about what he would do differently

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William A. Clement, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

9$8

DATitle
William A. Clement, Jr. talks about sit-ins in Durham, North Carolina
William A. Clement, Jr. talks about Maynard Jackson's mayoral campaign
Transcript
Now civil rights are heating up in Atlanta [Georgia], are your parents involved in civil rights?$$My father [William Clement, Sr.] was, my father was on the Durham Committee For [sic, On] The Affairs Of Black People which was a very, very strong activist organization in, in Durham [North Carolina]. And Durham was the second city in, in the 1960s for the sit-ins. Greensboro [North Carolina] was the first and Durham was the second. And we were in, involved in that, they took us down to Woolworth's or whatever the store, I can't even remember what it was and it, it, it, it just was--I hate to say this, but it was a thing to do. It was not dangerous at that time even though the kids in Greensboro--but it was nothing, you know, like what [HM] John Lewis faced or people in Selma [Alabama], and once again, Durham was a relatively small town and so it was a really a non-event just going down to, you know, sit in a, a luncheon counter at, at, at one of the five-and-ten stores there.$$Were things turned around easily there?$$No, no, eventually it became--but, it was not--even though it started in Greensboro then, an, you know, the images we have of the dogs and the hoses and all, and that was in places like Birmingham [Alabama] and maybe some cities in Mississippi. But that, for some reason just did not happen in North Carolina. I think one reason is that North Carolina's always been a fairly progressive state relative to the other southern states. We had a Governor, whose name was Luther Hodges, and he had a lot of industry there, a place called Research Triangle which had a lot of businesses there and so it was a, a different kind of place, it still is a, a more progressive place then some of the southern, you know, real southern states like Mississippi and Alabama.$During this time Maynard Jackson moves back to Atlanta [Georgia] and we grew up together, even though he was a little older--from the reunions and all, but when he gets back to Atlanta we kind of bound again and it was in the early '70s [1970] that he started talking about running for mayor. And so he called four of us together one Saturday--well, including him, four including him, David Franklin, who was married to Shirley Franklin at one time; gentleman by the name of Chuck Williams, who is dead now; and Maynard. And he talked about wanting to run for mayor, he had run now for the United States Senate against [Herman] Talmadge and then was the sitting vice chair, or vice chairman of the Aldermanic Board which is almost like President of the Atlanta City Council today. And he was still only his thirties, and people thought that he would wait until his, his turn, but he had noticed that the demographics in Atlanta changed and that the Atlan--the city of Atlanta registered voters become predominately black, and he thought that with the right campaign that he could win. And so I tell that because it was really a turning point of my life. I, I, I really got directly engaged in politics. David Franklin and I put up the first $40,000, I mean, back in the '70s [1970], that was a lot of money and we actually lent it to the campaign and he developed a staff and campaign staff and the election was next year and, you know, he won and the rest is, the rest is history.

Kenneth D. Rodgers

Civic minded mechanical engineer, Kenneth D. Rodgers was born September 20, 1951 in Lansing, Michigan. With family roots in Mississippi, his parents, Joe and Irene Rodgers were members of Paradise Baptist Church. As a child, Rodgers was mentored by Art Jones of the National Society of Civil Engineers. Attending Allen Street Elementary School, West Junior High School, Rodgers improved his grades and graduated from Sexton High School in 1969. At the University of Detroit, Rodgers instituted New Dawn, a youth enrichment project. He graduated with a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering in 1975 and earned a master’s in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University in 2002.

Starting as a schoolteacher, Rodgers was hired as an engineer for Goodyear in Lansing. Moving to Reading, Pennsylvania in 1978, he started a youth chapter, and became president of the NAACP. He also set up a program called Brothers and Sisters. In 1982, Rodgers moved to the Chicago area. Youth Action Ministries (YAM) was founded by Reverend Hycel B. Taylor at Second Baptist Church in Evanston, Illinois that same year. Rodgers became volunteer executive director for YAM shortly thereafter. Programs instituted by Rodgers include: youth mentoring, tutoring, and self esteem workshops. Since 1989, YAM has offered an annual college tour highlighting historically Black colleges and universities. Through the EdgeUp project, Rodgers introduces students to engineering.

A member of the Evanston Zoning Board, the Coalition for the Improvement of Education in South Shore, Rodgers also serves on the boards of the Chicago Children’s Museum and the Children’s Defense Program. He works as an engineer for Greely Hanson in Chicago and is vice president of the National Society of Black Engineers. Honored for his community service, Rodgers is a popular motivational speaker.

Accession Number

A2004.253

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/9/2004

Last Name

Rodgers

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

D.

Occupation
Schools

University of Detroit Mercy

Allen Street Elementary School

West Junior High School

J.W. Sexton High School

Northwestern University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Evenings, Weekends

First Name

Kenneth

Birth City, State, Country

Lansing

HM ID

ROD03

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York, New York

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/20/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Tacos

Short Description

Youth advocate Kenneth D. Rodgers (1951 - ) served as the volunteer executive director for Youth Action Ministries. Rodgers is also an engineer for A.M. Kinney Inc. in Chicago, and has served as vice president of the National Society of Black Engineers.

Employment

Commonwealth Associates Inc.

A.M. Kinney

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:1550,21:3188,94:5684,194:9272,290:14966,425:22352,500:24542,562:28703,646:31039,702:31477,710:31842,741:36368,813:38923,889:39215,894:39580,900:51000,999:52035,1117:62424,1308:64310,1349:66688,1410:68164,1450:68492,1455:71120,1461:71440,1466:71920,1474:75440,1542:76160,1563:78000,1596:78560,1606:79040,1613:95330,1843:95630,1865:97205,1955:111916,2259:113918,2295:121350,2404:123610,2409:124267,2418:124559,2423:129158,2545:129742,2554:130034,2559:142006,2860:143539,2893:151117,2943:157123,3088:157431,3093:167980,3411:181458,3586:181878,3592:186738,3622:189730,3665:199234,3888:202226,3970:212120,4085:226155,4457:226925,4514:227310,4524:227695,4530:236644,4658:237024,4664:237936,4678:238392,4685:238696,4690:241964,4776:242268,4781:242800,4789:244320,4817:244700,4823:250497,4867:252788,4914:253894,4934:255948,4972:260135,5037:267348,5184:271088,5280:271700,5292:274420,5350:275032,5360:280022,5399:282610,5458$0,0:3102,49:4376,69:11201,148:13112,186:13567,238:28954,421:29410,428:29790,437:32222,494:42540,601:47040,663:47670,672:52710,768:58990,793:59466,802:61030,853:62458,885:63070,901:63342,906:63614,916:64838,990:69258,1071:71230,1116:72046,1132:72454,1140:73066,1155:78190,1173
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Kenneth D. Rodgers' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Kenneth D. Rodgers lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about his parent's background and his paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes his parents' contribution to their local African American community

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes his paternal grandfather and father's work

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Kenneth D. Rodgers remembers growing up in Lansing, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes the values his parents instilled in their children

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Lansing, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes himself as a student

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Kenneth D. Rodgers reflects on the transformation from his childhood to his more responsible adult self

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about his extracurricular activities at J.W. Sexton High School and his influences during that time

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Kenneth D. Rodgers recalls dropping out of University of California, Los Angeles and then entering the University of Detroit in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about his involvement in community organizations as a young adult

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes working for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company while attending the University of Detroit in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about his involvement with civic organizations in Reading, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about moving to Chicago, Illinois and his involvement in community organizations in the Chicagoland area

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes his youth organization, Youth Action Ministry (YAM), in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes his approach with the children in Youth Action Ministry (YAM)

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes his motivational philosophy for Youth Action Ministry (YAM)

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about the leadership of children in Youth Action Ministry (YAM) and the program's college attendance rate

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes a Youth Action Ministry workshop

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about HistoryMaker Tavis Smiley's Youth to Leaders program and selecting topics to cover during Youth Action Ministry workshops

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about instilling self-esteem into young African Americans

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about the yam symbolism used in Youth Action Ministry (YAM)

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about Youth Action Ministry's connection to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes the history of Second Baptist Church in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about the racism experienced during Youth Action Ministry trips

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about HBCUs and the importance of African Americans knowing their history

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about the college scholarship opportunities available for African Americans

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes the importance of preparing African American children for higher education

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Kenneth D. Rodgers reflects upon an incident from his childhood he regrets and the life lesson learned from it

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Kenneth D. Rodgers reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about his parents' opinion of his success

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Kenneth D. Rodgers narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
Kenneth D. Rodgers describes his youth organization, Youth Action Ministry (YAM), in Evanston, Illinois
Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about instilling self-esteem into young African Americans
Transcript
Okay. Well, tell us about YAM [Youth Action Ministry, Evanston, Illinois]; that seems like a major act--volunteer activity (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well, Youth Action Ministry, like I said, when I got involved with it at the time, there was like--it was started at Second Baptist Church [Evanston, Illinois]; there was like five students in it. Dr. [Hycel B.] Taylor, one Sunday, announced that he was lookin' for somebody to take over his youth program. My wife [Toni Rodgers] and I--we came and we met with him and we told him that our goal was to make the youth program not a sec--not a church program, but make it community-based program, and he asked what did we mean by that, we said that we think that it's very important that we open up our doors not only to kids of the church, but kids--not only of Evanston [Illinois], but kids of the community. So we came up with this crazy idea; we said, "Why don't we do college trips during the summer?" And he goes, "Well, there's not that many people doing college trips; college trips are"--Dr. Taylor was sayin' at the time, were like really, really expensive. And we said, "Well, how about we have our kids raise money? Now, we'll show the kids how to do like car washes, we'll show 'em how to sell t-shirts, how to sell barbeque--things that we learned in Detroit [Michigan] in Lansing [Michigan]." And we took the kids to Michigan State University [East Lansing, Michigan] the very first year that we started the Youth Action Ministry. When we got back from there, we decided that what we wanted to do was--because of--my wife is a former educator and bein' one of the financial aid officers and directors at Michigan State University, we wanted to have the kids fill out a application, so we started tutoring kids, we started doing mentoring and things like that, and from there we decided that we wanted to focus--because we were dealin' with African American kids, we wanted to focus on, on African American colleges. So we took the kids--the next time we took the kids, we took the kids to Nashville, Tennessee. We took 'em to Fisk [University, Nashville, Tennessee], we took 'em to Meharry Medical School [sic. Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee], we took 'em to the colleges in the Tennessee area, the black colleges, and that's basically how YAM got started. And since then, we have had, I would say anywhere from three to four thousand kids have actually gone through my program. Ninety-five percent of the kids that go through my program actually graduate from college, and we do--and the program is basically--there's no money that exchange--all the adults who are in the program basically volunteer their services. The kids run the program; they are the ones who make the decisions about what they wanna do, how they wanna do it; we teach the kids everything from junior toast master, public speaking, to investments, to--they even do things with senior citizens as for doin' grocery shoppin' for 'em and things like that, but our main goal is gettin' kids off the street and givin' 'em some basis for education--for them to improve themselves. We have been in Essence magazine, we have recognized--recognized [HistoryMaker] Susan Taylor, [HistoryMaker] Senator Carol Moseley Braun has recognized us, we've been recognized by the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People], we've been recognized by [HistoryMaker Reverend] Jesse [L.] Jackson, [HistoryMaker] Jesse Jackson, Jr., we've been recognized by several different people. I mean we've been--every year we're getting different awards. We just got--we were just in Washington, D.C. just recently where we went to Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s office. The kids got a chance to go to the White House [Washington, D.C.], so we take--I mean this year we're takin' the kids--this spring we're takin' the kids to visit black colleges in Atlanta [Georgia]; in the summer we're takin' the kids to visit colleges in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. So, and like I said, we've been doin' this for about twenty-five years in this dynamic. It's dynamic; the kids love it.$$Now, you keep a full-time job; you're not--you don't do this for a living; this is volunteer (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) No, this is volunteer; this is, this is volunteer. I'm an engineer full-time; I'm a full-time engineer.$$All right, so do you have to write all the proposals for this organization, or--$$Actually, we have a board of directors that--actually we have a, a young lady name Jan Roy [ph.], who write proposals like for the school district; she's on the board of directors so she help us write grant proposals and things like that. My wife and I do a lotta the writing, a lotta the counseling, but we have a, a very dynamic board, and we try to select board members. Vickie Pasley, who's a well-known attorney here in Chicago [Illinois], she's our legal advisor; Bill Jackson [ph.] who's also the church's attorney, is also our legal advisor. Dr. Sandra Shelton who's a professor of accounting at DePaul University [Chicago, Illinois] is our financial advisor, so we have people--and all these people volunteer their services; everybody volunteer their services just--Judge Mary Maxwell Thomas is on our board of directors. She's been our counselor and do things for us, so we have different people, and the thing what makes it is that it's just constantly growing, it's constantly growing.$Okay. Now, in terms of the specific self-esteem issues that--I mean this is 2004. Do African American kids have different self-esteem issues than other kids in the city, you think?$$I think that--racism is, to me, is always a big thing that you gotta deal with, you know. You have to, you have to tell kids that you gonna be black all your life; no matter what you say, no matter what you do, you're gonna have to get around that. I think one of the things that--I have an adopted daughter that we adopted when she was very, very young, and she was a child who had some physical problems, medical problems. It's a thing that we--that you gotta teach kids is that you have to love yourself, pride--take some pride in yourself so--and I think African American kids sometimes feel as though that the system is always gonna be against them, so I think that yes, there are some issues that black kids deal with that other kids do not have to deal with, and I think that racism is something that, even though people keep sayin' that it doesn't exist, I--to me, I think it does exist, and I think a lotta the problems that black kids face is because of the racism in America.