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Eleanor Traylor

Professor Eleanor Traylor was born on December 12, 1933 in Thomasville, Georgia to Esther and Philip Williams. She graduated with her B.A. degree in English from Spelman College in 1955, and went on to receive her M.A. degree in English from Atlanta University in 1956. She also received a Merrill Scholarship to study at the University of Stuttgart in German in 1957. She later earned her Ph.D. degree in English from Catholic University of America in 1976.

From 1959 to 1965, Traylor taught English courses at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She went on to become a professor of English at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, where she taught from 1965 to 1990. While there, Traylor was a collaborating author alongside Toni Morrison on the textbook, College Reading Skills. She also served as the English department chair for the graduate school of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Traylor taught as a guest lecturer at Georgetown University in 1966; as a visiting professor at the African Studies and Research Center of Cornell University in 1979; and as an adjunct professor of drama at Howard University in 1968, where she produced a dramatic reading of Owen Dodson’s The Dream Awake. In 1973, Traylor received a research fellowship to study African drama in Ghana and Nigeria. In 1990, she was hired as a graduate professor of English at Howard University. She also chaired the humanities division until 1993 when she was named chair of the Department of English at Howard University. As chair, Traylor established the annual Heart’s Day Conference which honored African Americans in literature. During her tenure at Howard University, Traylor co-wrote several textbooks, worked as a consultant on the film Amistad and directed the production of Stepping Out of the Negro Caravan in collaboration with George Faison, Debbie Allen and other Howard University alumni.

Traylor served as director of evaluation procedures at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts as well as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. She also served on the board of the D.C. Black Repertory Theater Company. She was also an evaluator for the Afro-American Museums Association. In addition to working as a script writer and consultant for the Smithsonian Institution, Traylor also assisted the National Black Arts Festival as a literature consultant.

Traylor received several awards and honors for her work, including the Hazel Joan Bryant Award in 1987 as well as the Marcus Garvey Award, the Catholic University Alumni Achievement Award in literary criticism, and the Larry Neal-Georgia Douglas Johnson Award for literature and community service in 1989. In 1993, Traylor was honored with the African Heritage Studies Association Community Service Award and the Amoco Foundation’s Excellence in Teaching Award. In addition to receiving a Doctor of Humane Letters from Spelman College in 2002, Traylor was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Howard University in 2017.

Eleanor Traylor was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 23, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.133

Sex

Female

Interview Date

06/21/2018

Last Name

Traylor

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Schools

Catholic University of America

Clark Atlanta University

Spelman College

First Name

Eleanor

Birth City, State, Country

Thomasville

HM ID

TRA03

Favorite Season

Autumn

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Everywhere I Go

Favorite Quote

My, My, My.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

12/12/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Professor Eleanor Traylor (1933 - ) was a graduate professor of English at Howard University, and chair of the Howard University Department of English from 1993 to 2009.

Employment

Howard University

Montgomery College

Tougaloo College

Department of Agriculture

Favorite Color

Cobalt Blue

Andrea Young

Civic leader Andrea Young was born on August 3, 1955 in Thomasville, Georgia to Andrew Young, Jr. and Jean Childs Young. She attended Trinity Elementary School in Atlanta, and received her B.A. degree in history and philosophy in 1976 from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. In 1979, Young obtained her J.D. degree in law from Georgetown University Law Center, in Washington, D.C.

Young served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy from 1982-1985 where she worked on the Martin Luther King Holiday legislation and Kennedy's visit to South Africa on South Africa sanctions legislation in 1984. Young then worked for the United Church of Christ before returning to Capitol Hill in 1993 to serve as chief of staff for Cynthia McKinney, the first woman elected to represent Georgia in the U.S. Congress. Serving in this role for two years, Young managed more than twenty legislative and field staff in four offices, wrote and edited speeches, and monitored fundraising and compliance with the campaign finance and ethics regulations. In 1999, Young was named vice president of the National Black Child Development Institute in Washington, D.C. She served in this role for more than six years and led a school readiness initiative funded by the Kellogg Foundation as well as a campaign for universal pre-kindergarten. From there, in 2006, Young served as a senior program officer for the Southern Education Foundation where she worked to improve pre-kindergarten across the South and to foster collaboration among Latino and African American communities on issues of educational equity and excellence. In 2007, she became the founding executive director of the Andrew Young Foundation where her efforts focused on philanthropy and leadership training both nationally and internationally.

Young served as a Morehouse College scholar in residence in 2010, a Georgia State University Andrew Young School of Policy Studies adjunct professor in 2013, and a professor of practice in 2015. Young was named executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia in 2017.

She was a co-author of Andrew Young and the Making of Modern Atlanta, and author of Life Lessons My Mother Taught Me. She collaborated with her father, Ambassador Andrew Young in writing his memoir An Easy Burden: Civil Rights and the Transformation of America.

Young has one child, Taylor Stanley Iyoho, with the late A. Knighton Stanley, and one grandchild. She is married to the attorney and art consultant, Jerry Thomas.

Andrea Young was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 9, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.038

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/09/2018

Last Name

Young

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Andrea

Birth City, State, Country

Thomasville

HM ID

YOU08

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

I like to Travel and See New Places.

Favorite Quote

There But for the Grace of God Go I.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

8/3/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Favorite Food

Red Beans & Rice

Short Description

Civic leader Andrea Young (1955- ) was named executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in 2017, having previously served in as executive director of the Andrew Young Foundation. She is the daughter of Ambassador Andrew Young.

Favorite Color

Red

The Honorable Olly Neal

Judge Olly Neal was born on July 31, 1941 in New Hope, Arkansas to Ollie Neal, Sr. and Willie Beatrice Jones Neal. Neal grew up on a small farm as one of thirteen children. He graduated from Moton High School in Marianna, Arkansas in 1958 and attended LeMoyne-Owens College in Memphis, Tennessee from 1960 until 1962. While at LeMoyen-Owens, Neal organized local sit-ins to protest the segregation of public spaces. He earned his B.S. degree in chemistry from LeMoyne-Owens College in 1974 and received his J.D. degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1979.

In 1962, Neal moved to Chicago, Illinois and began working for the United States Postal Service. He was then drafted into the U.S. Army in 1964 and served in Vietnam, during which time he reached the rank of specialist. After his military service ended, Neal became executive director of the Lee County Cooperative Clinic in Marianna in 1970. In 1971, he helped organize and lead a boycott against white merchants in the downtown business district of Marianna. In 1990, Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker appointed Neal to serve as prosecuting attorney for the First Judicial District. Three years later, he was elected as a circuit court judge for the First Judicial District. Governor Tucker then appointed Neal to the Arkansas Court of Appeals in 1996, where he remained until his retirement in 2007. Neal accepted an interim position as a circuit court judge for the First Judicial District in 2010.

In 2003, Neal was awarded the Community Service Award by the Arkansas Judicial Council. He was also named an Outstanding Trial Judge by the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association in 2010 and was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2014.

Neal served as a member of the board of directors for the Arkansas Judicial Council. He was also active with the Lee County School District, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the National Demonstration Water Project, and the Arkansas Land and Farm Development Cooperation.

Neal lives in Marianna, Arkansas. He has one daughter, Karama; and one son, Nakia.

Judge Olly Neal was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 19, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.173

Sex

Male

Interview Date

09/19/2017

Last Name

Neal

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Robert R. Moton High School

LeMoyne-Owen College

William H. Bowen School of Law

National Judicial College

First Name

Olly

Birth City, State, Country

Thomasville

HM ID

NEA03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Clarksdale/Jackson Mississippi

Favorite Quote

Use pre-caution.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arkansas

Birth Date

7/13/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Little Rock

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ham hocks and greens

Short Description

Judge Olly Neal (1941 - ) was the first black district prosecutor in Arkansas, and served on the Arkansas Court of Appeals for eleven years.

Favorite Color

Blue