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LawMakers have made significant and influential contributions to the legal field and include lawyers working in the public interest, for the government, and in the corporate realm. Judges, hearing officers, law professors, and deans of law schools are also included in this category.

Virgil Roberts

Lawyer Virgil Roberts was born on January 4, 1947 in Ventura, California. He attended Ventura College in Ventura, California and transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received his B.A. degree in 1968. After doing graduate studies for a year, Roberts earned his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1972.

In 1968, Roberts helped found the first African American studies program at the University of California, Los Angeles, and established the Center for Afro-American Studies, later known as the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. In 1972, Roberts joined the Los Angeles law firm of Pacht, Ross, Warne, Bernhard and Sears as an associate and civil litigator. There, he handled business litigation and did pro-bono work for civil rights organizations. In 1976, Roberts left the firm to found his own practice, known as, Manning, Reynolds & Roberts, where his clients included Associated Booking Corporation, Norman Whitfield and the Whispers. He also continued his pro-bono work and represented the NAACP from 1978 to 1981 in the Los Angeles school desegregation case, Crawford v. Board of Education. Years later in 1981, Roberts served as executive vice president and general counsel of SOLAR Records, the company known as “the Motown of the 80’s.” Roberts was named president and general counsel of SOLAR Records in 1990, where he was instrumental in creating Death Row Records. In 1996, Roberts founded the law firm of Bobbitt & Roberts along with Leroy Bobbitt, where their clients have included SOLAR Records, Gospocentric Records, Slip ‘n’ Slide Records, Blackground Records, Usher, Chaka Khan, NATPE International, Paramount Pictures, Black Entertainment Television and Barbara Taylor Bradford.

Roberts was a founder and serves as a director of Community Build, he also serves as chairman of Broadway Financial Corporation and Broadway Federal Bank FSB. In 2005, he founded and served as co-chair of Alliance for College Ready Public Schools; and, the following year, Roberts joined the Claremont Graduate University Board of Trustees. He joined the board of directors of The James Irvine Foundation. He founded and serves as chair of the African-American Board Leadership Institute and as director of Great Public Schools NOW. In 2018 a middle school, the Alliance Virgil Roberts Leadership Academy, was named in his honor.

Roberts and his wife, Brenda, have two adult married children, Gisele Simone (Roberts) Wilson and Hayley Tasha Roberts.

Virgil Roberts was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 6, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.011

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/6/2019

Last Name

Roberts

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Ventura College

University of California, Los Angeles

Harvard Law School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Virgil

Birth City, State, Country

Ventura

HM ID

ROB39

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $500 - $1,000

Favorite Season

Thanksgiving

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Tens - Audit

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

So good to be seen.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

1/4/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Favorite Food

Peach Cobbler

Short Description

Lawyer Virgil Roberts (1947 - ) worked as an entertainment lawyer for over forty years and served as president and general counsel of SOLAR Records and founded the entertainment law firm of Bobbitt & Roberts.

Employment

Pacht, Ross, Warne, Bernhard & Sears

Manning, Reynolds & Roberts

SOLAR Records

Bobbitt & Roberts

Favorite Color

Blue

Gail Berry West

Lawyer Gail Berry West was born on September 29, 1942 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Johnnie Mae Newton and Theodore Berry. She received her B.A. degree in history from Fisk University in 1964, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, her M.A. degree in history from the University of Cincinnati in 1965, and her J.D. degree from Howard University School of Law in 1968.

In 1969, West began her career in the New York office of the general counsel for the International Business Machine Corporation (IBM). Upon moving to Washington, D.C., she transferred to the data processing division and also served as an attorney in litigation analysis. In this position, she assisted with outside counsel in the preparation of litigation between IBM and the federal government.

In 1977, West joined the Carter administration as special assistant to Patricia Roberts Harris, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She went on to work for Sarah Weddington, assistant to President Jimmy Carter, in the White House and served on the White House Task Force on Sex Discrimination. In 1980, West became deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of the Air Force in Reserve Affairs and Installations. She was responsible for policy, program guidance and executive direction for all matters pertaining to compliance with equal employment laws and regulations. She then worked as an attorney and consultant for several companies seeking contracts with the federal government.

In 1983, she became executive director of government affairs for Bell Communications (Bellcore), where she served for twelve years until 1995, when she became director of government relations for Armstrong World Industries (AWI). From 2003 to 2007, West served as a consultant for AWI until her retirement.

West has served on the board of trustees for the Corcoran Gallery of Art, WETA, Meridian International Center and the Fisher House Foundation. She was also a board member of Arena Stage, the Decatur House Council, the D.C. Commission on Fine Arts, and the National Museum of American History. She served as the vice regent for the District of Columbia to the Mount Vernon Ladies Association. She also serves on the board of the White House Historical Association, the Hillwood Estate Museum & Gardens, and is a member of the dean’s council for the Washington National Cathedral.

West is the recipient of numerous awards including; IBM Regional Manager’s Merit Award for Outstanding Contribution, Air Force Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service, Bellcore President’s Recognition Award and the Armstrong General Manager’s Award for Team Excellence.

West and her husband, the late Togo D. West, Jr., have two daughters, Tiffany West Smink and Hilary Carter West.

Gail Berry West was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 17, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.001

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/17/2019

Last Name

West

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

Berry

Occupation
Schools

Fisk University

University of Cincinnati

Howard University School of Law

First Name

Gail

Birth City, State, Country

Cincinnati

HM ID

WES15

Favorite Season

Summer/Fall/Spring

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

South of France/Italy/Greece

Favorite Quote

Be Still And Know That I Am God.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/29/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chili

Short Description

Lawyer Gail Berry West (1942 - ) was general counsel for IBM and served as executive director of government affairs for Bell Communications and was director of government relations for Armstrong World Industries.

Employment

Armstrong World Industries

Bell Communications Research

Howard University School of Law

Department of Defense

Government of Washington, D.C.

U.S. Air Force

Department of Housing and Urban Development

International Business Machines (IBM)

Favorite Color

Rose/Pink

Margaret Burnham

Lawyer Margaret Burnham was born on December 28, 1944 in Birmingham, Alabama to Louis and Dorothy Burnham. She received her B.A. degree in history from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi, and her LL.B. degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1969.

Burnham served as a staff attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., in New York City from 1969 to 1972. Burnham then joined the Roxbury Defenders in Boston and worked there from 1972 to 1974. In 1973, Burnham was admitted to practice law in Massachusetts. In 1974, Burnham co-founded the Boston law firm of Burnham, Stern & Shapiro. In 1977, she was appointed by Governor Michael Dukakis as the first African American female to serve in the Massachusetts judiciary, when she joined the Boston Municipal Court bench as an associate justice where she served until 1983. She was also named executive director at National Conference of Black Lawyers in New York City. In 1985, Burnham was selected as the Bunting Institute Fellow at Radcliffe College. In 1987, Burnham established the Law Office of Margaret Burnham in Boston; and, in 1989, she joined Burnham & Hines as a founding partner while serving as a lecturer for the department of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1993, South African president Nelson Mandela appointed Burnham to serve on an international human rights commission to investigate alleged human rights violations within the African National Congress. Burnham joined the Northeastern University School of Law faculty in 2002, and served as associate professor. She was promoted to professor in 2006.

In 1992, she was named chair of the board of directors for National Center of Afro-American Artists. In 1993, Burnham was elected and served as member of the board of trustees for Old South Meeting House. Burnham also served as a member of the The Algebra Project and for the National Advisory Board for the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College.

In 1995, she received the Robinson Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Profession by the Women’s Bar Association in Boston, Massachusetts. Burnham was inducted into the YWCA Boston Academy of Women Achievers, in 1996. Burnham received an honorary doctorate degree of laws from Western New England College School of Law in 2000, and was the recipient of an honorary doctorate of education degree from Wheelock College in Boston, in 2002. Burnham received the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association Trailblazer Award in 2008. In 2008, Burnham was awarded a Newhouse Center for the Humanities Fellowship at Wellesley College. In 2009, Burnham was awarded the International Criminal Justice Research Fellowship at Grotius Institute, University of Leiden at The Hague, Netherlands. She was also the recipient of Massachusetts Lawyers’ Weekly Top Women of the Law Award, in 2011. In 2016, she was selected for the Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program. She also received an honorary doctorate degree from Lesley University.

Margaret Burnham was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 16, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.211

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/16/2018

Last Name

Burnham

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Margaret

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

BUR29

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barbados

Favorite Quote

Still Here

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/28/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Lawyer Margaret Burnham (1944- ) the first African American woman to serve in the Massachusetts judiciary was professor at Northeastern University School of Law.

Favorite Color

Blue

The Honorable Roderick Ireland

Judge Roderick Ireland was born on December 3, 1944 in Springfield, Massachusetts to Helen Garner Ireland and George Lovelace Ireland. Ireland received his B.A. degree in 1966 from Lincoln University, his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in 1969, his L.L.M. degree from Harvard Law School in 1975, and his Ph.D. degree in Law, Policy and Society from Northeastern University in 1998.

Ireland began his career as a staff attorney at Neighborhood Legal Services in New York City in 1969. In 1970, he worked as a staff attorney at the Harvard Center for Law and Education. Ireland cofounded the Roxbury Defenders Committee with Wallace Sherwood in 1971. In 1973, he worked as a hearing officer at the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission. Ireland joined the offices of Burnham, Stern and Shapiro in Boston in 1975, before being named assistant secretary and chief legal counsel at Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance. Additionally, he served as chair of the Massachusetts Board of Appeal on Motor Vehicle Liability, Policies, and Bonds. Nominated to the Boston Juvenile Court by Governor Michael Dukakis in 1977, Ireland began teaching criminology and criminal justice at Northeastern University in 1978. In 1990, he was nominated to the Massachusetts Court of Appeals. In 1997, Ireland was the first African American appointed to serve on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. From 2001 to 2016, Ireland taught in the Appellate Judges Seminar at New York University Law School and worked as an advisor and teacher for the Supreme Judicial Court’s Judicial Youth Corps. In 2003, he was among four of seven justices who ruled in favor of legalized same sex marriage in Massachusetts. Nominated by Governor Deval Patrick, Ireland became the chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 2010.

Ireland authored, Massachusetts Juvenile Law, (1993, 2007) a two volume treatise published by West Publishing. Ireland served on the board of trustees for Suffolk University in 2013.

In 1979, Ireland was one of three black men selected for ‘Ten Outstanding Young Men for 1979’ by the U.S. Junior Chamber. In 1982, Ireland was awarded the Boston Covenant Peace Prize in recognition of his efforts to promote racial justice. Ireland was awarded the Haskell Cohn Distinguished Award for Judicial Service by the Boston Bar Association in 1990. He was also awarded the St. Thomas More Award by Boston College Law School. In 2001, the Massachusetts Bar Association and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly newspaper awarded Ireland the Judicial Excellence Award.

He received honorary doctorate of law degrees from several universities and received the President’s Award at the 2016 Massachusetts Judges Conference. In 2015, Ireland’s childhood street was renamed in his honor and he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association. In 2017, Hampden County Hall of Justice in Springfield, Massachusetts was renamed Roderick L. Ireland Courthouse in his honor.

Ireland and his wife Alice, have three children: Elizabeth, Michael and Melanee.

Roderick Ireland was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 12, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.204

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/12/2018

Last Name

Ireland

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Roderick

Birth City, State, Country

Springfield

HM ID

IRE01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barbados

Favorite Quote

First things first.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/3/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bpston

Favorite Food

Seafood and Southern

Short Description

Judge Roderick Ireland (1944- ) became the chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 2010, nominated by Governor Deval Patrick. Ireland was the first African American appointed to serve on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 1997.

Favorite Color

Red

The Honorable Zulima Farber

Lawyer Zulima Farber was born in 1944 in El Caney, Cuba to Lourdes Portes Feraud and Castulo Feraud. She left Cuba along with her oldest brother and sister and moved to St. Mary, Jamaica to attend boarding school in 1958. She returned to Cuba in 1960 and continued her education until 1961, when she and her siblings then moved to West New York, New Jersey where she graduated from Memorial High School. Farber received her B.A. degree in Spanish in 1968, and M.A. degree in Spanish literature in 1970, both from Montclair State College. Farber then attended Rutgers School of Law-Newark where she earned her J.D. degree in 1974.

In 1974, Farber worked as a City of Newark Department of Health and Welfare legal specialist. In 1975, she was named Bergen County assistant prosecutor and served as grand jury section chief in 1976 and trial section assistant chief in 1977. In 1978, Farber was appointed assistant counsel to Governor Brendan Byrne. In 1981, she joined the law firm of Lowenstein Sandler LLP; and in 1986 became the first female to be made partner. In 1992, Farber served as the State of New Jersey public advocate/public defender. In 1994, she returned to Lowenstein Sandler, serving on the firm’s executive committee in 1995. Farber was appointed state attorney general in 2006 and became the first African American female and Hispanic in this role as well as the first Hispanic female to serve as acting governor of New Jersey. In 2007, Farber returned to Lowenstein Sandler as a partner, and began working more closely with their public relations firm, Issues Management. She retired from the law firm and the practice of law in 2011.

In 1983, Farber served as Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey board member and president. In 1992, she was the New Jersey State Bar Association’s nominating committee vice chair. She also served on boards of the New Jersey Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1987 to 2006; the New Jersey Center for Civic Education in 1990; and Institute for Social Justice in 1998. Named an American Bar Foundation fellow, Farber joined the New Jersey Lawyer editorial board in 1995. In 1996, she served as a member of the Electoral College from New Jersey, and as Leadership Newark trustee member, and American Law Institute member in 1997. In 2001, Farber served on the New Jersey Bipartisan Congressional Redistricting Commission, and was named member of the new executive committee for the Latinas United for Political Empowerment PAC.

She has been honored numerous times including receiving the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey’s Women of Achievement Award, Congresswoman Mary T. Norton Memorial Award from United Way of Hudson County and the YWCA of Central Jersey’s Height of Achievement Award in 1993. In 1996, Farber received the Mary Philbrook Public Interest Award from Rutgers Law School-Camden’s Women’s Law Caucus, and in 1997, the Outstanding Achievement Award from National Association of Cuban-American Women and the Equal Justice Medal from Legal Services of New Jersey. In 1999, Farber received the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey’s Barbara Boggs Sigmund Award. In 2006, she received the Montclair State University honorary doctorate of laws. She was the recipient of the New Jersey State Bar Association Mel Narol Award, Hispanic Bar Association Public Service Award and Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Foundation Award of Excellence.

Zulima Farber was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 23, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.200

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/23/2018

Last Name

Farber

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Zulima

Birth City, State, Country

El Caney

HM ID

FAR07

Favorite Season

Winter in the Carribean

Favorite Vacation Destination

Puerto Rico

Favorite Quote

We Lost More In Cuba, Move On.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

9/21/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

North Bergen

Country

Cuba

Favorite Food

Cuban Food

Short Description

Lawyer Zulima Farber (1944- ) was the former attorney general of New Jersey and the first Latina (Cuban) to serve as acting governor of New Jersey. She was appointed attorney general in 2006 by Governor Jon Corzine and resigned on August 31, 2006.

Favorite Color

Blue

The Honorable Ronald Adrine

Judge Ronald Adrine was born on April 21, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio to Russell T. and Ethel Adrine. He graduated from Shaker Heights High School in 1965 and then entered Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and then transferred to Fisk University, in Nashville, Tennessee, where he received his B.A. degree in history in 1969. He obtained his J.D. degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, in 1973.

Adrine passed the Ohio State Bar in 1973, and went to work as prosecuting attorney for the Cuyahoga County in the criminal division in 1974. He entered the private practice of law with his father, the late Russell T. Adrine in 1976. Adrine was appointed to serve as senior staff counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations, in Washington, D.C. in 1978. He then returned to Cleveland and spearheaded the successful merger of four African American legal organizations into the Norman S. Minor Bar Association in Cleveland in 1980. He first ran for a seat on the Cleveland Municipal Court bench in 1981, and was reelected five times, without opposition, to full six-year terms from 1981 to 2017. He chaired the Ohio Commission on Racial Fairness in 1994. Adrine served as administrative and presiding judge of the Cleveland Municipal Court, from 2008 to 2017. He led the effort to create a Family Justice Center in Cleveland in 2014. Adrine received national attention for his ruling in a Cleveland Municipal Court case that involved the actions of two Cleveland police officers that resulted in the death of twelve year old Tamir Rice. Adrine retired from the court after thirty six years of service in 2017. He joined Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law as a Leader-in-Residence, serving as its first jurist-in-residence in 2018.

Adrine served as chair of the Ohio Supreme Court’s Interpreter Services Advisory Committee and the National Board of Directors of Futures Without Violence; co-chair of Advisory Board of the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence and served as a member of the Supreme Court’s Criminal Sentencing Commission’s Ad Hoc Committee on Bail and Pretrial Services; as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts; and as a member of the Center’s National Task Force on Fines, Fees and Bail.

He was awarded the Ohio State Bar Association Ohio Bar Medal in 2000. The Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association also recognized Adrine in 2002, and he received the second Elizabeth Hines Domestic Violence Award, in 2013. He was the recipient of the: Cleveland State University Distinguished Alumni Award for Civic Achievement; Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Alumni Association’s Alumni of the Year; Association of Municipal/County Court Judges of Ohio President’s Award for Excellent Judicial Service in 2017; Lifetime Achievement Award of the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP in 2017; and the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the American Constitution Society in 2018.

In 2017, Adrine was an inaugural member inductee of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Hall of Fame, as was his father, Russell, a 1954 Cleveland-Marshall Law graduate.

Ronald Adrine was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 28, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.195

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/28/2018

Last Name

Adrine

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Ronald

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

ADR01

Favorite Season

Late Summer, Early Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Saint Croix in the Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

The Name Of The Game Is To Win Friends And Influence People.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

4/21/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Judge Ronald B. Adrine (1947- ) served thirty-six years on the bench of the Cleveland Municipal Court. He is known for spearheading the formation of the Norman S. Minor Bar Association in 1980.

Favorite Color

Purple

Carolyn House Stewart

Lawyer Carolyn House Stewart was born on November 11, 1952 in Richland County, South Carolina. She earned her B.A. degree in history and social science education from the University of South Florida in 1974 and her J.D. degree from the University of South Carolina Law Center in 1977.

Stewart was hired as assistant litigation counsel for the Jim Walter Corporation in 1977. Working in Tampa, Florida, she was the first African American woman lawyer hired by the company. Stewart left the Jim Walter Corporation in 1980 to work as assistant state attorney in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, which served Hillsborough County, Florida. She was the first African American woman hired as assistant state attorney in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. Four years later, she was named assistant county attorney for the Hillsborough Office of the County Attorney in 1985. She held this position for two years before moving into private practice at Tampa’s Butler and Burnette law firm. In 1989, Stewart returned to the corporate sector as staff counsel for the Travelers Insurance Company. After five years with the company, Stewart returned to private practice in 1994, joining the Law Firm of Macfarlane Ferguson and McMullen. She specialized in civil litigation, casualty, and labor law cases, and was elevated as the first African American partner in 1997.

Initiated as an undergraduate in 1972, Stewart joined the Gamma Theta Omega Graduate Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. after beginning her legal career. In 1998, she was appointed international program committee chair. In 2002, she was elected international secretary, and in 2006, she was elected vice president. Stewart became the twenty-eighth international president in 2010. She adopted Global Leadership through Timeless Service as the theme of her administration and developed Emerging Young Leaders as her signature program. She completed her term as international president in 2014.

Stewart served on the Florida Board of Bar Examiners from 2006 to 2011 and the Heifer International board of directors from 2014 to 2017. She was also a founding board member of the Tampa Organization of Black Affairs. Stewart has been honored by numerous organizations including the Florida Commission on the Status of Women and the National Bar Association. Stewart is a legacy life member of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW).

Stewart and her husband, Delano Stewart, have one daughter together, Delsha. Stewart also has five stepdaughters.

Carolyn House Stewart was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 10, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.185

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/10/2018

Last Name

House Stewart

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Carolyn

Birth City, State, Country

Richland County

HM ID

STE23

Favorite Season

Summer

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Kitts

Favorite Quote

Always Believe That You Can Do Anything.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

11/11/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tampa

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Shrimp and Pasta

Short Description

Lawyer Carolyn House Stewart (1952 - ) worked as an assistant state attorney, and assistant county attorney in Florida. She also served as the twenty-eighth international president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Favorite Color

Purple

Delano Stewart

Lawyer Delano Stewart was born on November 9, 1935 in Tampa, Florida to Beatrice Hill Stewart and Garland V. Stewart. He went on to earn his B.A degree in political science at his father’s alma mater, Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. From there, he attended Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., during which time he attended the March on Washington in 1963. He also served in the U.S. Air Force. Upon graduating in 1964, Stewart returned to Tampa, Florida, where he became the first African American board member for the Hillsborough County Young Democrats.

After graduating from Howard’s Law School, Stewart returned to Tampa to enter private practice with Francisco Rodriguez and S.J. Kenneth Rogers. Stewart also became the first African American Assistant Public Defender for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County. Stewart expanded his law practice to add fellow Howard Law graduate George Edgecomb and Arthenia Joyner, the first African American female to practice law in Hillsborough County. Edgecomb became Tampa’s first African American assistant state attorney and county court judge. The local George Edgecomb Bar Association bears his name and awards the Delano Stewart Diversity Award annually. In 1970, Stewart became the first attorney to head an integrated law firm in Florida. His civil rights and activist clients included Otha Favors (Askia Muhammad Aquil) and Connie Tucker. In 1967, Stewart played a critical role when the riots in Tampa ensued after the shooting of teenager Martin Chambers by a white police officer. After fifty years of practicing law, Stewart retired in 2015.

Stewart had a stellar career as a criminal and civil trial lawyer. He served as the first president of the George Edgecomb Bar Association from 1982 to 1983. Stewart was elected as the first African American on the Hillsborough County Bar Association Board of Directors.  He continued his community and political activism by running for the Florida House of Representatives in 1966 and Tampa City Council in 1970. Undeterred by these unsuccessful races, he continued to spend his Saturdays registering African American voters. Stewart is a Founder of the Tampa Organization of Black Affairs (1980), and the first African American member of the Rough Riders civic organization, of which he is a life member. He is also a member of the National Bar Association’s Hall of Fame.

Stewart is married to Carolyn House Stewart, who was the first African American female assistant state’s attorney in Hillsborough County. He has six daughters, eight grandchildren, and one great grandson.

Delano Stewart was interviewed The HistoryMakers on September 10, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.183

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/10/2018

Last Name

Stewart

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Delano

Birth City, State, Country

Tampa

HM ID

STE22

Favorite Season

None

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Kitts

Favorite Quote

N/A

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

11/9/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tampa

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Fish And Grits

Short Description

Lawyer Delano Stewart (1935 - ) was the first African American assistant public defender in Hillsborough County, where he also ran a successful law firm for fifty years.

Favorite Color

Tan

Jeraldine Williams

Journalist and lawyer Jeraldine Williams was born on January 14, 1946 in Ybor City, Florida to Mildred Williams and Judge Williams. Williams graduated from George S. Middleton High School in 1963, and enrolled at the University of Florida, where she and thirteen other African American students integrated the College of Journalism. Williams received her B.S. degree in journalism and communication in 1967, and was the first African American to be awarded the Hearst Journalism Award. Upon graduating, she accepted a position as a general assignment reporter at The St. Petersburg Times. Williams earned her M.B.A. degree from Atlanta University in 1972.

During the early 1970s, Williams worked as an assistant manager at First Federal Savings and Loan before becoming the first African American female manager of Freedom Savings and Loan in Tampa, Florida in 1973. She also worked as an education planner and state coordinator with the Model Cities Program for the City of Tampa. Williams enrolled at the Florida State University College of Law in 1977, earning her J.D. degree in 1981. She was then hired by the Florida Department of Insurance, where she worked as a staff attorney. In 1982, she became the owner and publisher of the Capitol Outlook newspaper in Tallahassee, Florida. In the early 1990s, Williams moved to South Africa, where she worked as a writer for Ebony - South Africa. She also established Management Consultancies and conceptualized her book Up to the Bottom while living in Johannesburg, South Africa. Upon returning to the United States in the late 1990s, Williams practiced law with her daughter, Salesia Smith-Gordon, in Palm Beach, Florida before moving to Hillsborough County, Florida, where she worked as an attorney in the 13th Judicial Circuit Court.

Williams helped to establish the Greater Tampa Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., and served on the board of the Bob Gilbertson Central City Family YMCA. She also served on the board of the Joshua House, Infants and Young Children of West Central Florida, Inc. and founded the East Ybor Historic & Civic Association, Inc. She was also a marathon runner, participating in a Lymphoma and Leukemia marathon in 2001, the 60-mile walk for Breast Cancer in 2006, and the Egyptian Pyramids Marathon for Infants and Young Children of West Central Florida, Inc. in 2011. Williams received the Tampa NAACP’s Living Legend Award in 2015 and the Griot Drum Award from the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists in 2017.

Williams has one daughter, Salesia Smith-Gordon, one son, Walter L. Smith, II, and one grandson, Walter L. Smith, III.

Jeraldine Williams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 9, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.182

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/9/2018

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Jeraldine

Birth City, State, Country

Tampa

HM ID

WIL86

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Africa

Favorite Quote

I Lift Up My Eyes Into The Hills, From Whence Cometh My Help. My Help Cometh From The Lord, Which Made Heaven And Earth.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

1/14/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tampa

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Guava

Short Description

Journalist and lawyer Jeraldine Williams (1946 - ) was the owner of the newspaper Capitol Outlook, in addition to practicing law for over thirty years.

Favorite Color

Earth Tones

Judith N. Batty

Lawyer Judith N. Batty was born on January 4, 1959 in Buffalo, New York to Constance Wheat Batty and Beauford Batty. Batty graduated one year early in 1975 from Friends Academy High School in Glen Cove, New York. Batty received her B.A. degree in political science from New York University in 1978, and was admitted to New York University School of Law. During the summer of her second year, she interned at the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division.

After obtaining her law degree in 1981, Batty became a staff attorney in the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. In 1985, she joined the law firm of Galland, Kharasch, Morse & Garfinkle, P.C. as an associate. In 1987, Batty became the senior counsel for Mobil Oil Corporation. She moved to Dallas, Texas in 1990 to work with Mobil New Exploration Ventures before joining the London offices of Mobil North Sea Limited in 1994. Upon her return to the United States in 1996, Batty began working in Mobil’s major transactions department. In 2006, Batty moved to Tokyo, Japan, where she worked as general counsel with ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha. After her relocation to Washington, D.C. in 2009, Batty specialized in government and public affairs at ExxonMobil Corporation until her retirement as senior counsel in 2014. Over her career, Batty worked on various policy issues, including patent reform, trade sanctions, and STEM education.

Batty served as president of ExxonMobil’s Black Employee Success Team (BEST), and was a member of the Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in Washington, D.C. In the early 2000s, Batty joined the board of trustees of the Levine School of Music and the Legal Aid Society of Washington, D.C. In 2010, Batty became an executive board member of Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, before beginning her tenure as chair of the board of trustees in 2016. Starting in 2014, Batty served as international commissioner of the Girl Scouts of the USA’s board of directors. Batty also served as chair of grants on the national board of The Links, Incorporated.

Judith Batty was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 25, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.175

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/25/2018

Last Name

Batty

Maker Category
Middle Name

N.

Organizations
First Name

Judith

Birth City, State, Country

Buffalo

HM ID

BAT11

Favorite Season

Spring, Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bali

Favorite Quote

What Goes Around Comes Around.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/4/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Rice

Short Description

Corporate general counsel Judith N. Batty (1959 - )

Favorite Color

Blue