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Chalmers Archer, Jr.

Combat medical technician, author and education administrator Chalmers Archer, Jr. was born on April 21, 1928 in Tchula, Mississippi to Eva R. Archer, a teacher and Chalmers Archer, Sr., a farmer. As a child, his father and uncles rented a hilltop of more than four hundred acres known as the “Place”, where they farmed, cultivated orchards, raised livestock and built smokehouses. The land was sold when Archer was twelve years old and his family moved to Lexington, Mississippi. After graduating from Ambrose High School, he attended Tuskegee University for one year before volunteering for the United States Army Air Corps.

Archer was in the United States Army Air Corps for one year and then transferred to the Army. He served on a medical crew as a master sergeant technician during the Korean War, where his unit’s job was to retrieve wounded soldiers. In 1952, Archer began training at Fort Bragg’s Psychological Warfare Center as part of the newly formed United States Army’s Special Forces. His unit was one of the first to enter Vietnam where he trained original Special Forces teams of the South Vietnamese army. On October 21, 1957, Archer’s unit was ambushed and he witnessed the first American combat deaths in Vietnam, as well saving the lives of American and Vietnamese soldiers. He did not see action in Vietnam again, however, he did see action in Cambodia and Laos. Archer went on to serve in the Philippines, Hawaii, Korea, Taiwan, and Panama, as well as in Southeast Asia. He ended his army service in 1967 and went back to school, receiving his B.S. degree from the Tuskegee Institute in 1972. Archer earned his M.Ed. degree in 1974 and his Ph.D. degree in counseling and psychology from Auburn University in 1979. He then completed a twelve month, post-graduate study at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. In 1983, Archer became a professor of counseling and psychology at Northern Virginia Community College. He later served as assistant to the president at Saints Junior College in Lexington, Mississippi and assistant to the vice president at the Tuskegee Institute.

Archer wrote two memoirs, Growing up Black in Rural Mississippi published in 1991 and Green Berets in the Vanguard published in 2001. He received the Afro-Achievement Award in 1994 for distinguished lifetime achievement in education from the Dale City Afro-Achievement Committee. Archer also served as president of the Jennie Dean Project.

Archer passed away on February 24, 2014, at the age of 85.

Accession Number

A2012.147

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/12/2012

Last Name

Archer

Marital Status

Single

Organizations
Schools

Tuskegee University

Auburn University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Chalmers

Birth City, State, Country

Tchula

HM ID

ARC11

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

Let's get with it.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

4/21/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish (Fried), Vegetables

Death Date

2/24/2014

Short Description

Soldier and psychology professor Chalmers Archer, Jr. (1928 - 2014 ) joined the newly formed United States Army’s Special Forces in 1952 and was one of the first units to enter Vietnam in 1957. He was the author of two memoirs, 'Growing up Black in Rural Mississippi' and 'Green Berets in the Vanguard'.

Employment

Northern Virginia Community College

United States Army Special Forces

Tuskegee University

Saints Junior College

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Chalmers Archer's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Chalmers Archer lists his favorites

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

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Chalmers Archer describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Chalmers Archer talks about his mother's education and employment, as well as where he grew up

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Chalmers Archer discusses the book he wrote and how he was not permitted to have a book signing in Tchula, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Chalmers Archer describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Chalmers Archer recalls a story about his paternal grandfather from slavery that is in the book he wrote

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Chalmers Archer remembers the stories his father told him about growing up, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Chalmers Archer remembers the stories his father told him about growing up, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Chalmers Archer talks about how his family came to live at "The Place"

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Chalmers Archer talks about his grandparents and his father hearing Booker T. Washington speak

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Chalmers Archer discusses his father's service in the military, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Chalmers Archer discusses his father's service in the military, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Chalmers Archer talks about his siblings and how his parents met

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Chalmers Archer talks about his brother, his father's restaurant and his mother's cooking

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Chalmers Archer describes his parents' personalities and college plans

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Chalmers Archer describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Chalmers Archer talks about his uncles

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Chalmers Archer describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Mississippi, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Chalmers Archer talks about the barn fire at his family home in Lexington, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Chalmers Archer discusses the differences between growing up white and growing up black in Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Chalmers Archer talks about blacks' rights in Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Chalmers Archer talks about the schools he attended as a child

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Chalmers Archer talks about his elementary school experience

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Chalmers Archer talks about leaving "The Place"

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Chalmers Archer talks about his father's involvement with the U.S. Federal Housing Administration program

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Chalmers Archer discusses his high school experience, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Chalmers Archer discusses his high school experience, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Chalmers Archer talks about a gunfight he was involved in Lexington, Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Chalmers Archer talks about a gunfight he was involved in Lexington, Mississippi, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Chalmers Archer talks about the summer he spent in Detroit, Michigan after being involved in a gunfight

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Chalmers Archer talks about attending Tuskegee University, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Chalmers Archer talks about attending Tuskegee University, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Chalmers Archer talks about leaving college to join the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Chalmers Archer talks about the Tuskegee Airmen and the prejudicial evacuation of blacks from the Philippines

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Chalmers Archer talks about his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Chalmers Archer talks about becoming an army medic and his combat experience in World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Chalmers Archer recalls the integration of the U.S. Armed Forces and the Korean War

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Chalmers Archer discusses his experience with integration in the military after President Harry Truman's desegregation order

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Chalmers Archer talks about being a member of the U.S. Special Forces, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Chalmers Archer talks about being a member of the U.S. Special Forces, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Chalmers Archer discusses his first mission with the U.S. Special Forces

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Chalmers Archer talks about his missions in Southeast Asia and Japan

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Chalmers Archer talks about his service during the Vietnam War, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Chalmers Archer talks about his service during the Vietnam War, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Chalmers Archer talks about his involvement with the civil rights protests in Mississippi

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Chalmers Archer talks about the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the students killed at Jackson State University

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Chalmers Archer talks about his experience at Tuskegee Institute, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Chalmers Archer talks about his experience at Tuskegee Institute, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Chalmers Archer talks about his experience at Auburn University and the University of Alabama

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Chalmers Archer talks about his book, "Growing Up Black in Mississippi"

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Chalmers Archer talks about working for Northern Virginia Community College and publishing his second book

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Chalmers Archer talks about his second book, "Green Beret's in the Vanguard"

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Chalmers Archer talks about school desegregation efforts in the U.S. with the King of Thailand

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Chalmers Archer talks about his first book, teaching career and interest in farming

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Chalmers Archer talks about his legacy and his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Chalmers Archer talks about his parents

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Chalmers Archer talks about his relationships with his siblings

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Chalmers Archer speaks about social changes for blacks in Mississippi and in the military

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Chalmers Archer talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Slating of Chalmers Archer's interview

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Chalmers Archer describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$7

DAStory

1$8

DATitle
Chalmers Archer talks about the summer he spent in Detroit, Michigan after being involved in a gunfight
Chalmers Archer talks about his second book, "Green Beret's in the Vanguard"
Transcript
So let me ask you about Detroit [Michigan]. Now--$$Oh okay.$$--you said this is your first time in a major city right?$$Yeah, it was the first time in a major city.$$So what did you do all summer in Detroit?$$Oh, I think I went to Canada but I'm not certain so if anybody ask me if I ever been to Canada, I say I'm not certain because I don't know whether I went--it's right across the river you know. But I went to Bell Island, that's the first one of those things that I'd ever gone to. I really enjoyed that back and forth. And they made a big to-do over me. You know I was the littlest and all of their children were grown you know and so I had a wonderful time. It was only three months. But I got a job shining shoes. That's the only thing I could find fairly quickly you know and I did well. Whatever, of course whatever I tried to do, I did the best I could. And, but going to Bell Island and--oh, I also, I went from shining shoes to pressing clothes. They taught me, I was the only young boy there, young person there and they taught me how to press clothes and how to clean clothes. I thought I, said I just might want to be a, have, start a business you know some day. But that never materialized, but--$$Now who did you stay with, your--?$$Huh?$$Who did you stay with in Detroit?$$Oh, my cousins. They were my cousins but they were like my father's sisters. They were cousins so--in those days though people were close you know, sisters and brothers. Two steps backwards, it was twelve people in my father's family and two of them were adopted and adopted in those days mean they just took them in you know and made certain, and made no distinction between the one they took in and their natural born ones you know. One got drowned and they never did get over that the people in papa's family, immediate family. He talked about that. He's just like you, he didn't talk much. (Laughter). She claims I don't talk much.$$So did you get a chance to experience any of the entertainment in Detroit?$$Um-um.$$No? Okay.$$No, I don't think so. I don't remember. Oh, I had been to Chicago [Illinois], you know maybe I went to Chicago later and a lot of entertainment. I think that was later though.$$Yeah.$$It was.$$I think all your brothers and sisters moved to Chicago at one point, right? So well, so you spent a summer in Detroit and you came back to--and went to Tuskegee [University], right?$$Yeah, almost kept going.$$Okay.$$Almost.$Well just to summarize it. I mean it's about the Special Forces, the beginning of the Special Forces--$$Yeah.$$--being formed in the early 50s [1950s] and--$$Then we went to--$$--then their use in Southeast Asia prior to the Vietnam War, right?$$Yeah. And we went to Hawaii for a year. Why I do not know. Why the Pentagon sent us to Hawaii for a year to do nothing and no particular training. We did some parachute jumping and we went hunting boars. I think that's the way they pronounced it, boars--the hogs, wild hogs.$$Right.$$We went hunting them. I didn't want to kill any so I just took it easy while the other, the rest of us hunt for boars and gave it to the local people you know the ones you kill. And, which was a good idea I guess. And we left there and we went to Thailand. Thailand was one that the president thought that from what was it, the--you told me the other day, the game that the whole game went--$$Oh, domino.$$The dominoes, yeah.$$Domino theory, right.$$He was afraid that they would you know fall under that and that was Thailand and two or three more. Vietnam was one.$$Cambodia, Laos and--$$Cambodia and Laos and maybe some more.$$Burma yeah.$$But we went to Thailand and we put them through a complete Special Forces training that, same as we had but not quite as rough as ours was. So--I don't think. But unless it was just easier for me since I had gone through it not too long ago. Maybe that was it, I don't know. But we put them through jump school and we also put them through ranger school, a brief, lack of a better road--a better word, put them through there in less time than it took them in the infantry school, about half the time. But it was rough. And we got to know all of the dignitaries and most of those dignitaries, some of them got to be premier and all of them were top dignitaries that we dealt with. They felt it was important if [Dwight D. Eisenhower] you know sent us over there and Colonel Manning talked us up, you know said the president sent us and so on. And I got a chance to meet the King. The King sent for me and he wanted--$$This is the king of--?$$I've forgotten his name. It's in the book ["Green Beret's in the Vanguard"] though. It's in here. He sent for me because I was black and I think--but he was educated in the United States and he was interested to talk particularly about the music, Woody Herman and all of the black--Woody Herman of course wasn't black but all of the black--$$Musicians?$$Musicians, yeah.$$Okay.$$And he seemed to--if he was--what I couldn't understand was if he was educated in the United States and--but he seemed to have thought all black people played music. He seemed to, he asked me which instruments did I play you know?

Florence Farley

Politician and university professor Florence Saunders Farley was born on May 28, 1928 in Roanoke, Virginia to Neoda and Stacious Saunders. She attended Harrison Elementary School in Roanoke. After graduating as the salutatorian of her class from Lucy Addison High School in 1946, Farley graduated from Virginia State College (now Virginia State University) with her B.S. degree in psychology and her M.S. degree in educational psychology in 1950 and 1954, respectively. In 1951, Farley was commissioned in the United States Women’s Army Corps (WAC) as a second lieutenant, and became the first African American female training officer at Fort Lee, Virginia.

Farley served as Chief Psychologist at Central State Hospital in Petersburg, Virginia, and was the first African American clinically licensed, by examination, psychologist in the state of Virginia. Farley then joined the faculty at Virginia State where she taught graduate and undergraduate students for over forty years and also served as the chair of the department of psychology. Farley obtained her Ph.D. degree in psychology in 1977 from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Farley also began her political career in 1973 when she was the first woman elected to the Petersburg City Council and became a member of Virginia’s first majority black city council. Farley won re-election in 1978 and 1982. In 1984, after the resignation of Mayor R. Wilson Cheely, Farley became the first female mayor of Petersburg and the first African American woman to become mayor of a Virginia city.

From 2002 to 2006, Farley served on the Petersburg School Board and held the post of vice chair during her time on the school board. Farley has also received acclaim as a textile artist, exhibiting her needlework in libraries and museums across the state. In 2010, Farley was recognized by The Library of Virginia as an “African American Trailblazer in Virginia History.” Farley maintains an independent psychology practice in Petersburg.

Florence Farley was interviewed was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 10, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.019

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/10/2012

Last Name

Farley

Middle Name

S.

Schools

Kent State University

Virginia State University

Harrison School

Lucy Addison High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Florence

Birth City, State, Country

Roanoke

HM ID

FAR06

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Casinos

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

5/28/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Petersburg

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beans (Pinto)

Short Description

Visual artist, psychology professor, and mayor Florence Farley (1928 - ) was the first woman to be elected to a city council seat in Petersburg, Virginia and the first African American woman to become mayor of a Virginian city.

Employment

Virginia State University

Petersburg (Va.)

Women's Army Auxiliary Corps

Central State Hospital

Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Florence Farley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Florence Farley lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Florence Farley describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Florence Farley talks about the origin of her maternal relatives' names

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Florence Farley describes her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Florence Farley talks about her family's homeownership

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Florence Farley describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Florence Farley recalls her father's militant views of the South

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Florence Farley describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Florence Farley describes her relationship with her maternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Florence Farley talks about her community in Roanoke, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Florence Farley remembers the Harrison School in Roanoke, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Florence Farley talks about her academic experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Florence Farley remembers Lucy Addison High School in Roanoke, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Florence Farley remembers the segregated movie theaters in Roanoke, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Florence Farley talks about her favorite films

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Florence Farley describes her early interest in reading

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Florence Farley recalls her aspiration to attend college

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Florence Farley remembers her influential teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Florence Farley describes her graduation from Lucy Addison High School in Roanoke, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Florence Farley talks about Negro History Week at Lucy Addison High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Florence Farley recalls working part time at Burrell Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Florence Farley talks about the relocation of Virginia State College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Florence Farley describes her first impressions of Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Florence Farley recalls changing her major to psychology

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Florence Farley describes her favorite psychology professors

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Florence Farley talks about her job prospects after graduating from Virginia State College

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Florence Farley describes her social activities in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Florence Farley remembers the presidents of Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Florence Farley recalls teaching at the Bellevue School in Hollins, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Florence Farley recalls joining the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Florence Farley describes her experiences in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Florence Farley recalls her master's degree program at Virginia State College

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Florence Farley remembers Vernon Johns, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Florence Farley remembers Vernon Johns, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Florence Farley talks about the public school shutdown in Prince Edward County, Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Florence Farley talks about the public school shutdown in Prince Edward County, Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Florence Farley remembers the Crownsville State Hospital in Crownsville, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Florence Farley describes her experiences at the Central State Hospital in Petersburg, Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Florence Farley describes her experiences at the Central State Hospital, in Petersburg, Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Florence Farley describes the psychiatric hospitals of the 1950s

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Florence Farley describes the conditions at Central State Hospital in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Florence Farley recalls her reason for resigning from Central State Hospital

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Florence Farley remembers her early teaching experiences at Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Florence Farley talks about the founding of the Association of Black Psychologists, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Florence Farley talks about the founding of the Association of Black Psychologists, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Florence Farley describes the early accomplishments of the Association of Black Psychologists

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Florence Farley talks about the civil rights protests in Petersburg, Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Florence Farley talks about the civil rights activities in Petersburg, Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Florence Farley remembers the black elected officials in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Florence Farley recalls obtaining a doctoral degree at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Florence Farley talks about her experiences as mayor of Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Florence Farley describes the community of Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Florence Farley remembers her mayoralty of Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Florence Farley describes her introduction to city politics in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Florence Farley recalls serving as a professor during her mayoralty of Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Florence Farley talks about her students at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Florence Farley describes the history of psychiatric drugs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Florence Farley describes the history of psychiatric drugs, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Florence Farley talks about the prevalence of mental illness in the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Florence Farley describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Florence Farley reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Florence Farley reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Florence Farley recalls learning to cross stitch

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Florence Farley describes her family

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Florence Farley recalls her mother's reaction to her dismissal from Virginia State College

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Florence Farley talks about her pendant necklace from Africa

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Florence Farley recalls the challenges of integrating higher education in the State of Virginia

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Florence Farley narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$5

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Florence Farley talks about her family's homeownership
Florence Farley describes the psychiatric hospitals of the 1950s
Transcript
Did your grandmother [Lula Ware] and your mother [Neoda Ware Saunders] own their own land? I mean, did they, I mean did your grandmother own the land that she--?$$Oh, when my grandmother, as I said, she moved to Roanoke [Virginia], and she brought the family to Roanoke. So my mother grew up in Danville [Virginia] until she was I guess maybe ten or twelve years old, and then she came to Roanoke--okay, my mother moved to Roanoke. And my grandmother bought--and my uncle [Alfred Ware], see, and my grandmother lived together. So, my uncle worked full time for the railroad [Norfolk and Western Railway]. So he bought his home, he bought the home, and that's where my grandmother and he lived. And then right around the, on the next block--well, her house was on the corner, and if you go around the block, that was where my--she bought another house, and in that house she put my mother on the first floor and my aunt and uncle on the upstairs. So, she had her two families there, and she was right on the corner. She could watch the house, you know. We could as we--as my mother had more children and all, but my mother, after she married my father [Stacious Saunders], they moved to Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania]. And so my older brothers and sisters, some of my older brothers and sisters, were born in Pittsburgh. My grandmother, of course, was very unhappy, but she just couldn't get her back to Roanoke. And so my mother and father had a home in Pittsburgh and it caught fire and it burned all of their possessions. So that gave my grandmother an opportunity to get her hands back on my mother. So she brought her back, it was supposed to be temporary, to Roanoke, and they came back to Roanoke and stayed, and that's where the rest of us were born, and that's where we lived. So she bought this house and as I said before, initially the two families lived in it. As the family started expanding, my grandmother bought another house, and my uncle and his wife and children moved from the second floor of that house into the second house that my grandmother--it was the third house then--that she bought, which was again right there in the neighborhood. But, you know, my mother and father finished paying for the house, but she was the, she was the one who started both of those houses.$$Okay.$$So, so we always lived in a house that was owned by us.$These were the days when you could, you were committed to a hospital if you were supposed to be insane or something?$$Yes, yes.$$And just kind of talk about it a little--because people don't often understand that now (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Okay. This--basically, you know I forget that, I do. I forget time. It was, Central State [Central State Hospital, Petersburg, Virginia] was the only hospital in Virginia that blacks could go. Usually in every state you would have a psychiatric facility or a hospital for the severely mentally ill in that region. So we had Southwest Hospital [sic. Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute, Marion, Virginia], Western State Hospital [Staunton, Virginia], Eastern State Hospital [Williamsburg, Virginia]. So whites had, could go to a hospital that more or less was close in their region, which meant that their relatives could come and visit them and so forth. Blacks all had to come to Central State. So no matter where you lived, if you lived far west, southwest Virginia, you had to come all the way down to Petersburg [Virginia] if you had a relative who was committed to the hospital. When I was there, the last day I was there, the patient population was about forty-five hundred. It was, at the time before, this is the time before tranquilizers. I was working at Central, Crownsville State Hospital [Crownsville Hospital Center, Crownsville, Maryland] when the first drugs came. There were no drugs for mental illness. The patients were given electroshock therapy, they were given lobotomies--it was like if you ever saw the movie 'Snake Pit' ['The Snake Pit'], it was 'Snake Pit', okay. And we worked, we were there, we worked. The odors--like it was not clean, they were not clean. Patients were hurdled into rooms and just seated, just there all day long, very few things going on. I will say this: before I left, I had some of the newsletters. We'd even gotten newsletters out. And it described the activities that we were able to do. I stayed at Central State seven years and we were able, I was able to pull in young black psychologists from different, who had gone to historically black schools [historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)], who were not trained as clinicians. But I trained them on the spot, and trained them how to be clinical psychologists right there at the hospital. And so we made, things changed, but this was a transitional period also where they were moving from what I would call a snake pit kind of environment to a more hospital like environment. And the patients now, I think, they may have three or four hundred patients at the hospital. But they had, it was over four thousand patients the last day I was there. That was the census report, we got a census report every day. But all black people came there, and some of them, they were in locked wards. I was there when we first decided that we would have what you call unlocked wards. Some patients hadn't touched the ground in twenty-five years, but when we unlocked those wards, we let them be able to walk on the dirt surface. They didn't even know, see, how a human being would walk on the ground when they had never walked on anything but those wooden floors in those buildings. They had to change their whole gait, their whole way of walking, you know. So it was quite, quite a time.

Lez Edmond

Distinguished professor Lez Edmond was born in Jacksonville, Florida. He was on the faculty of one of America’s leading Catholic institutions of higher learning, St. John’s University in New York City. As a child, Edmond attended a Seventh Day Adventist school, where he received his high school diploma. Edmond continued his education and received his B.A. degree and his M.A. degree from Adelphi University. He then received his PhD degree from the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 1962, Edmond co-authored with Earl Sweeting African History: An Illustrated Handbook, presenting the accomplishments of the continent of Africa and its people. In 1964, Edmond wrote the Harlem Diary, chronicling his thoughts and observances about Harlem’s 1964 race riot. Harlem Diary appeared in the Catholic magazine, Ramparts, and was reprinted in Reporting Civil Rights: American Journalism. By the late 1960s, Edmond had become a known civil rights activist in Harlem. He worked closely with several civil rights leaders including Malcolm X, who invited him to attend meetings at the Nation of Islam.

Edmond began his professional career in research and development at Radio Engineering Lab in Long Island, New York. Joining Seton Hall University, Edmond began his teaching career. He continued his studies with psychologist Carl Rogers before joining St. John’s University as an associate professor of Psychology and the Social Sciences at the school’s College of Professional Studies. Edmond was the recipient of the Spirit of St. John’s Award.

Edmond lived in New York City.

Edmond passed away in April 2017.

Accession Number

A2006.110

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/10/2006

Last Name

Edmond

Maker Category
Schools

Seventh Day Adventist School

Adelphi University

First Name

Lez

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

EDM01

Favorite Season

All Seasons Except Winter

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

I Believe In Peace, Justice, And Truth.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/9/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

4/10/2017

Short Description

Civil rights activist and psychology professor Lez Edmond (1932 - 2017 ) was known for his writings on the Civil Rights Movement in Harlem in the 1960s, where he worked with Malcolm X and other leaders. He was associate professor of Psychology and the Social Sciences at the College of Professional Studies at St. John's University.

Employment

Seton Hall University

St. John's University

Radio Engineering Lab, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:9277,13:41740,271:52650,396:69955,653:87988,984:88681,994:92762,1066:121409,1405:121824,1411:127678,1491:174966,2082:175758,2094:184755,2186:188835,2222:189175,2227:207722,2477:226980,2772$0,0:4934,43:5942,61:6302,67:7310,80:7670,86:7958,91:8894,108:9398,117:10046,128:10550,137:13920,148:14570,161:16000,198:16260,203:21190,309:29024,411:30146,436:39266,579:44840,633:54947,686:55242,692:55714,701:84881,1111:85285,1116:90376,1157:97050,1240:97362,1245:101184,1318:103680,1376:114347,1509:114881,1516:116127,1535:125440,1626:126610,1641:127150,1649:127960,1660:130840,1703:141346,1796:142866,1825:143246,1831:143930,1844:145222,1863:145906,1874:154666,1956:155104,1963:170790,2205
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lez Edmond's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lez Edmond lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lez Edmond describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lez Edmond describes his maternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lez Edmond describes his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lez Edmond describes his mother's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lez Edmond describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lez Edmond talks about his family members who migrated north

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lez Edmond describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lez Edmond describes his community in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lez Edmond recalls his role models in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lez Edmond recalls popular musicians from his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lez Edmond remembers reading African American newspapers

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lez Edmond describes his childhood understanding of race, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lez Edmond recalls his childhood understanding of race, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lez Edmond describes his Seventh-day Adventist school in Jacksonville

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lez Edmond describes his experiences of discrimination in Jacksonville

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lez Edmond recalls learning about the murder of Emmett Till

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lez Edmond talks about witnessing racial violence in New York City's Harlem

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lez Edmond describes the meetings of the Organization of Afro-American Unity

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lez Edmond remembers the bookstores he frequented in New York City, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lez Edmond remembers the bookstores he frequented in New York City, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lez Edmond describes his decision to attend Adelphi College

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lez Edmond describes Adelphi College in Garden City, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lez Edmond recalls joining the Civil Rights Movement in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lez Edmond remembers his relationship with Malcolm X

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lez Edmond talks about his career in electronics, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lez Edmond talks about his career in electronics, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lez Edmond describes his coworkers at Radio Engineering Laboratories, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lez Edmond remembers President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lez Edmond remembers Malcolm X

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lez Edmond talks about his Native American ancestry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lez Edmond describes the ethnic diversity of Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lez Edmond describes his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lez Edmond describes the events leading to the riots in Harlem in 1964

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lez Edmond remembers writing about the riots in Harlem in 1964

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lez Edmond remembers his decision to pursue a teaching career

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lez Edmond describes his opposition to the Vietnam War

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lez Edmond recalls lessons from Malcolm X

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lez Edmond describes his early teaching career

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lez Edmond remembers joining the faculty of St. Johns University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lez Edmond recalls lessons from psychologist Carl Rogers

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lez Edmond describes Malcolm's X's role in the community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lez Edmond recalls being offered positions in journalism

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lez Edmond recalls the First World Festival of Black Arts in Dakar, Senegal

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lez Edmond describes his relationship with psychologist Carl Rogers

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lez Edmond talks about the stories of the Bible

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lez Edmond talks about his master's degree in education

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lez Edmond talks about psychic phenomena

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lez Edmond talks about relations between African Americans and Jewish people

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lez Edmond remembers Lewis H. Michaux, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lez Edmond remembers Lewis H. Michaux, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lez Edmond reflects upon his career

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Lez Edmond recalls serving as a consultant to filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lez Edmond remembers creating his film, 'Zabriskie Point'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lez Edmond reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lez Edmond describes his family

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lez Edmond remembers being hired at St. Johns University in Queens, New York

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lez Edmond narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Lez Edmond remembers the bookstores he frequented in New York City, pt. 2
Lez Edmond describes his early teaching career
Transcript
And then the third bookstore was down at 52-54 West 13th Street and it was on--owned by Mr. Andrew Curtese [ph.] and he was from the Soviet Union, he was a Marxist and he had literature from all over the world, and for some reason or another, and he owned the building. There was a restaurant downstairs, he owned the building. His wife played the piano beautifully, his son was very smart, on drugs. All he wanted to do was to sit in that beautiful park [Washington Square Park, New York, New York] there at NYU [New York University, New York, New York] and, and play chess. That's all he wanted to do, and whom else? I just happened to go in his bookstore one day. It was not really a bookstore; he was really more of a book distributor and we would just start talking and I let him know I was in grad school [Adelphi College; Adelphi University, Garden City, New York] and everything and he says, "Well, what are you doing in grad school?" and I let him know and he says you should be reading this, you should be reading that and he was the one that really educated me on Europe. It was him and he made me look good but I'm not the only one that he made look good. Guess who else he made look good? [HistoryMaker] James Forman of SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] when he was going for his master's [degree], that's also whom was tutoring him (laughter) yes and, and it, it's I think that you must sometimes be fortunate because Mr. Michaux [Lewis H. Michaux] was telling me things, and, and just being so nice to me Mr. Moore [Richard B. Moore] the same thing and Mr. Moore's book on the word Negro and it's evil use ['The Name "Negro": Its Origin and Evil Use,' Richard B. Moore] is a classic. He had a committee, Earl Grant was that committee and there's--you're fortunate to have the original first edition of that book, I, I know it's worth something and they have a photo in there on Earl Grant and Earl Grant is in that photo. So that was a great experience for me, meeting all those different people. In fact he and his wife, I guess they were teaching me culture, had taken me to see Vladimir Horowitz, the great pianist. They took me to see the great pianist Vladimir Horowitz and they were into that just like my uncle that I told you about, the uncle that was the fighter.$$Ali [Ali McArthur (ph.)]?$$Yeah, him he, his wife was also from the Caribbean and she to use to like to go to those teas. Aunt Ida [Ida McArthur (ph.)] use to like to go those teas on Sunday and that's how I got to meet Joe Louis. I was at one of those teas one time and he sat there and he talked with me, answered all of my dumb questions 'cause I didn't know, I wasn't old enough really ask him an intelligent question and that's how I met Joe Louis.$And from that day until this, I have loved teaching, and I'm happy that my aunt lived long enough for me to tell her before she made the transition that she was right, 'cause she told me when I was five years old I was gonna be a teacher. My mother's [Ruth McArthur] sister that was next to her, she told me that I was gonna be a teacher, and I asked her, I said, "Aunt Emma [Emma McArthur (ph.)], how did you know I was going to be a teacher?" She said, "By the way you addressed the other children." Isn't that interesting? And she always told me I was gonna be a teacher, always when I was a little kid. I says, "But I don't like teaching," and--really interesting, and--$$Your first teaching assignment?$$My first teaching a-? You know how I started teaching really, I'm talking about legitimately, Lenny McCree [ph.] I worked for asked me to take--I worked with Lenny McCree. Lenny was from England and he was teaching and he said, "Lez [HistoryMaker Lez Edmond], would you take my class?" I said, "Sure I'll take your classes for you," and the people loved me they says and I remember it was, his last name was Buchan [ph.], he says, "Lez, we need you in the system," and that's how I got into the system, that's how I got my file number and everything. 'Cause if you checked it out you'll know that my file number is a very low number so you'll know I've been around for a while.$$So how did you get from--how did you get to Seton Hall [Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey]?$$Some ladies were having dinner together and Judy Miller [Judith Miller] whom was head of the department at Seton Hall was describing the kind of person she wanted to come to Seton Hall. So Charshee McIntyre, I don't know whether you read her book says, "Oh, you need Lez." And, and I owe a great debt to Charshee. I'm happy that we were able to discuss it before she made the transition because Charshee thought so much of me until she says, "I can always tell when students have had you." I she, said says, "Any student come to my class I can tell when they had you for a professor," so I don't know what it was that she picked up about me but it was because of her that I ended up at Seton Hall.

June Dobbs Butts

Therapist and family counselor June Dobbs Butts was born on June 11, 1928 in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the youngest daughter of Irene and John Wesley Dobbs, one of Atlanta’s most prominent African American leaders before the Civil Rights Movement. Butts is also the aunt of the late Honorable Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first black mayor. Butts received her B.A. degree in sociology from Spelman College in 1948, setting a national education record – six sisters graduating from the same college. That same summer, Butts worked with her close friend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Then, in the fall of 1948, she entered the Teacher’s College of Columbia University in New York City, where she received her Ed.D. degree in family life education.

Butts’ professional career began in 1950 as a professor in the psychology department at Fisk University. She went on to work at Tennessee State University, Howard University College of Medicine and Meharry Medical College, where she was also a researcher. While serving on the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood in the 1970s, Butts met famed sex researchers, Masters and Johnson, who invited her to join their staff at the Reproductive Biology Research Foundation (later called Masters and Johnson Institute) in St. Louis, Missouri. There, Butts became the first African American to be trained as a sex therapist by Masters and Johnson. She later served as a visiting scientist at CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) in Atlanta.

Butts authored four book chapters on human sexuality and wrote several articles in popular magazines. Her insightful articles include Ebony magazine’s first feature piece on human sexuality, “Sex Education: Who Needs It?,” which was published in 1977. She was also the author of “Sex and the Modern Black Couple”, which appeared in Ebony in 1991; “Why Some People Consider Celibacy”, in Jet magazine in 1997; and “Spirituality and Sex: A Program for Women in Alcoholism Recovery”, which appeared in the American Journal of Health Studies in 2001. From 1980 to 1982, Butts authored Essence magazine’s most popular monthly column, “Sexual Health.”

Butts resides in Atlanta and is completing her autobiography. She is the mother of three children (one deceased), and one granddaughter.

June Dobbs Butts was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 13, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.076

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/13/2006

Last Name

Butts

Middle Name

Dobbs

Schools

Oglethorpe Elementary School

Booker T. Washington High School

Atlanta University Lab School

Spelman College

Teachers College, Columbia University

First Name

June

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

BUT03

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Mark D. Goodman

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Singapore

Favorite Quote

Hello, Darling.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

6/11/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chocolate

Short Description

Psychology professor and sexologist June Dobbs Butts (1928 - ) was the first African American woman to work on the staff of the renowned Masters & Johnson Institute.

Employment

Master and Johnson Institute

Meharry Medical College

Fisk University

Tennessee State University

Howard University

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Interdenominational Theological Center

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of June Dobbs Butts' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - June Dobbs Butts lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - June Dobbs Butts describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - June Dobbs Butts describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - June Butts Dobbs describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - June Dobbs Butts describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - June Dobbs Butts recalls her father's retirement

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - June Dobbs Butts describes her father's leadership of Prince Hall Freemasonry

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - June Dobbs Butts describes her birthday party with the Prince Hall Freemasons

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - June Dobbs Butts describes her schooling in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - June Dobbs Butts lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - June Dobbs Butts describes her father's experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - June Dobbs Butts talks about the riots in Atlanta in 1906

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - June Dobbs Butts describes her teachers from Atlanta University

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - June Dobb Butts recalls discrimination against darker skin complexions

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - June Dobbs Butts recalls her childhood aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - June Dobbs Butts describes her sisters' legacy at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - June Dobbs Butts recalls her childhood friend, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - June Dobbs Butts remembers Columbia University's Teachers College in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - June Dobbs Butts recalls teaching at colleges in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - June Dobbs Butts remembers marrying Hugh F. Butts

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - June Dobbs Butts describes her mother

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - June Dobbs Butts describes her husband's illness

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - June Dobbs Butts describes how she became involved in sex therapy

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - June Dobbs Butts recalls meeting William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - June Dobbs Butts describes William H. Masters' human sexuality experiments

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - June Dobbs Butts describes her work in the field of human sexuality

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - June Dobbs Butts talks about the early research into human sexuality

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - June Dobbs Butts recalls working with William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - June Dobbs Butts recalls her research at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - June Dobbs Butts describes her struggles with alcoholism

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - June Dobbs Butts recalls her work as a public health consultant in Sweden

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - June Dobbs Butts recalls advocating for initiatives to prevent HIV

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - June Dobbs Butts explains her dedication to sexual education

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - June Dobbs Butts describes the responses to her occupation as a sexologist

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - June Dobbs Butts remembers teaching in the Atlanta University Center Consortium

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - June Dobbs Butts talks about writing her autobiography

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - June Dobbs Butts reflects upon the impact of her career on her family

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - June Dobbs Butts describes her therapy patients

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - June Dobbs Butts talks about human sexuality and drug addiction

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - June Dobbs Butts narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

7$5

DATitle
June Dobbs Butts recalls her childhood friend, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
June Dobbs Butts describes William H. Masters' human sexuality experiments
Transcript
So in 1948 you graduated from Spelman University (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Uh-huh, Spelman College [Atlanta, Georgia], um-hm.$$Spelman College, and what did you do after that?$$That summer I worked with Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.], he was my dear friend. We had a lot of sociology classes together. I called him M.L. as everybody did in Atlanta [Georgia], who knew him. His brother, younger brother was A.D. Williams King [Alfred Daniel Williams King], named for his grandfather [Adam Daniel Williams]. And so we called him A.D., and we called Martin Luther King, M.L. And his sister Christine [HistoryMaker Christine King Farris] is still my friend today. And they became neighbors when I was thirteen. And once, a couple of summers we'd just played Monopoly all the time, a couple of girls who were cousins, the King children, and Mattiwilda [HistoryMaker Mattiwilda Dobbs Janzon] and myself. And we would rotate and whoever was the hostess or host would be serving lunch. We'd do our little chores in the morning and then we'd play Monopoly in the afternoon. And A.D. started cheating. He had an extra Monopoly set and so we would pass me hundred dollar bills and I'd become monopolist you know. When M.L. found out about it he was just so outraged he cuffed his brother he hit him across the face you know and I was really afraid he was going to hit me but he didn't. And Mattwilda was furious you know. And I thought I was funny at first, but then I, I saw that they were really angry. Christine wasn't angry, and the two girls, who were cousins, were annoyed. They thought it was stupid, but they weren't angry. But Mattiwilda and M.L. were put out with us for cheating.$$Now what was M.L. like during, because this is 1949 or '48 [1948], he's a child (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) He was, he was such a darling, he was very sincere, he was very honest and he was trying to find where he was, in his own self.$$Would, did you, at this time because all of you were young adults, did you talk about race relations, racial issues?$$Oh all the time.$$What were your conversations?$$Well we were trying to understand, how such hatreds got perpetuated, why people couldn't get passed some of the biases of their ancestors or their relatives and, and, and we were trying to do something within our lives to, to, my father [John Wesley Dobbs] used to put it like this, he said, "Strike a blow for the race," that was his little slogan. Well I used to think, I don't want to strike a blow. I'd like to create something, or to do something that brings the kind of harmony or happiness or release something you know. But the idea to strike a blow for the race. Well he had such a rough time working with people who would, would tell him, "We're gonna throw you off this train," you know. He never got thrown off but he met with brutality. And he had all kinds of trouble getting loans and that kind of thing, thing from businesses. Like when they were building the Masonic Temple [Prince Hall Masonic Temple and Tabor Building, Atlanta, Georgia], which is still standing on Auburn Avenue now. They--$$Well as a group of teenagers did you have any concept that you, did you all decide together that we are going to do something to improve?$$Oh we were, we were all possessed of that. When I finished college, M.L. and I finished in 1948, Christine was in the same class, even though she was a year older. He had skipped several grades and I had skipped the twelfth grade. And our class of '48 [1948], at Spelman and Morehouse [Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia] we did more to get education, than any other class before or since. He was just a leading light among us. But there were more people who were turned on, to go as far as you could. Whether was law, medicine, journalism whatever, get a terminal degree and then do what you wanted to do. And his goal was to finish his degrees, get his ministerial degree, his doctorate, and marry someone whom he really loved and go wherever the first church called him. And my best friend was engaged to him, and she said, "I can't do that, I'll go crazy. I can't live in any little hick town, let's go back to Atlanta [Georgia]." And he said no, "I've got to do this 'cause God wants me to do this," so he knew exactly what he wanted to do. And it's annoying to me when I read, white authors who say--and they've never had an interview with anybody in the King family--and they say oh he wanted to do this, or he was very depressed, or these were his suicidal tendencies.$$What was your best friend's name, that he?$$Juanita [Juanita Sellers Stone], Juanita Sellers, she's now Stone. Yeah and, and she couldn't marry him. But the weekend they broke up his, his one of his good friends that, who was a doctorial stu-, who was a ministerial student with him at Crozer [Crozer Theological Seminary, Upland, Pennsylvania], sent him a telegram, "Have I got a girl for you," come to Boston [Massachusetts]. And he met Coretta [Coretta Scott King] and she was made for him, they were wonderful.$Had Kinsey's Report ['Sexual Behavior in the Human Male' and 'Sexual Behavior in the Human Female'] come out before that (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) His was more verbal, he had interviewed people. He'd interviewed people in prison, he'd interviewed people that he could get to, college campuses. He was criticized for his sampling, because, it wasn't that he tried to be selective, he couldn't get to people at first. And he thought if he just got to, whomever he could get to, that would be great. But then people started saying, maybe people who'd been in prison act like that, but my wife wouldn't do that. Or my daughter wouldn't do that, and that kind of thing. So Masters [William H. Masters] wanted to study with as much scientific equipment as he could. What happens to the brain, what happens to your breathing, what happens to the heart, what happens to your respiration, during orgasm, during excitement, during the calming down period? And so he wanted a little laboratory and he talked first to his people in medicine, where he was at Washington University [Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri]. He was an OB/GYN [obstetrics and gynecology] doctor. And they told him, "Yes he could get permission, but where was he gone get the people," they weren't sure, they didn't know that anybody would come into a lab, get hooked up with electros and masturbate. Or have intercourse or something like that. So he, they said, "Ask the police permission first if you're gonna get maybe prostitutes." So they had red light district in St. Louis [Missouri] in those days, this was in the '50s [1950s]. He was inspired by Kinsey's [Alfred C. Kinsey] work. And he got permission from the police to set up a lab where he could do sexual experiments. And he decided after he interviewed one or two prostitutes, he said there was one woman who was very intelligent. And she asked him, "Shall I fake it," he said, "I don't understand what do you mean?" She said, "Well in my business we try to get the man, happy and satisfied, as quickly as possible to get paid. I don't allow myself to enjoy it." And he didn't know that, she said, "I fake it," he said oh (laughter), she said, "You need an interpreter, of women." 'Cause there are differences you see. So, I mean a male orgasm is kind of hard to miss, you know when that's happening, and it's coupled with ejaculation, usually, not always, but usually. And so because sometimes the ejaculate can go retrograde, go back into the bladder. And there some men who know how to do this. It's taught to younger guys, this is a way of contraception, that make the ejaculate go back into the bladder. Our Western men don't know how to do it, but urologist don't want them to try learn, 'cause it weakens the bladder, it's not good for the bladder. But it is contraceptive. So at any rate, the human sexuality has never been studied and it's so broad it's, it's, such a landscape. And if you try to be moralistic and say those who are married, those who are Christian, you know what I'm saying, isn't it ridiculous. We're talking about human sexuality.$$So (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) And we're saying you gotta be heterosexual. So it's much bigger than that. And Masters was trying to study something, and he wasn't saying people have to be heterosexual. He was studying who people were and what they did and had they ever had an orgasm. And how would they define it, what did they think about it? And if they were with a partner, how did they feel? And if they were by themselves how did they feel, so how they felt was a big part. And they had electros all over the body, that would register whether they achieved orgasm or not. But then they'd ask them how they felt. What they found with women, women were much more variable, all over the place than men. Men were pretty much alike, a bank president, a sharecropper, whoever they were male first. And they were pretty much alike. But women came in about three varieties, and all that's interesting research. Masters wanted to come back and do more research with electronic equipment. It would have been so beautiful, it's never been done, the government never gave him any money for research.

Beverly Daniel Tatum

Educator and clinical psychologist Beverly Christine Daniel Tatum was born on September 27, 1954, in Tallahassee, Florida, to parents Catherine Faith Maxwell and Robert A. Daniel. After completing high school, Tatum received her B.A. degree in psychology from Wesleyan University in 1975. She went on to receive her M.A. degree in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1976 and later returned there to receive her Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1984. In 2000, Tatum received her M.A. degree in religious studies from Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut.

Tatum began her career in higher education in 1980 as a lecturer in the Department of Black Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. During her teaching career, she held professorships in psychology at Westfield State College and Mount Holyoke College. During her tenure at Mount Holyoke College, she was promoted to chair of the Department of Psychology and Education. In 1998, Tatum was appointed as dean of the college and vice president for student affairs. By 2002, she was appointed acting president of Mount Holyoke College before assuming the presidency at Spelman College.

Along with distinguishing herself as a notable educator, Tatum has enjoyed a celebrated career as a clinical psychologist. She worked in independent practice from 1988 to 1998 focusing on individual and group counseling. She specialized in consultation and training related to diversity and multicultural organizational development. Tatum has also written two widely acclaimed books, Assimilation Blues: Black Families in White Communities: Who Succeeds and Why? and ”Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” And Other Conversations About Race, which was named 1998 Multicultural Book of the Year by the National Association of Multicultural Education.

In addition to serving as president of Spelman College, Tatum serves as a member on many boards, including the Board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C., and the Woodruff Arts Center Board in Atlanta, Georgia. She is also active in many professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association, American Educational Research Association and the American Association of University Women among others.

Tatum is married to Dr. Travis Tatum and is the mother of two sons, Travis Jonathan and David.

Accession Number

A2006.039

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/17/2006

Last Name

Tatum

Maker Category
Middle Name

Daniel

Schools

Burnell Laboratory School

Bridgewater Middle School

Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School

Wesleyan University

University of Michigan

First Name

Beverly

Birth City, State, Country

Tallahassee

HM ID

TAT01

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Oceans

Favorite Quote

Breathe Deeply.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

9/27/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Tofu

Short Description

College president and psychology professor Beverly Daniel Tatum (1954 - ) was chair of the Department of Psychology and Education and, later, acting president at Mount Holyoke College, before becoming the president of Spelman College. She has also enjoyed a celebrated career as a clinical psychologist and author.

Employment

University of California Santa Barbara

Westfield State College

Mount Holyoke College

Spelman College

Favorite Color

Pomegranate Red

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Beverly Daniel Tatum's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Beverly Daniel Tatum lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Beverly Daniel Tatum remembers visiting Danville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her father's side of the family, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her father's side of the family, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes the book 'Twenty Families of Color In Massachusetts'

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her parents, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her parents, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her mother's side of the family, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her mother's side of the family, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her father's side of the family, pt. 3

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her earliest childhood memories and her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Beverly Daniel Tatum remembers her family's move to Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Beverly Daniel Tatum recalls growing up in Florida, Pennsylvania and Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes growing up in Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Beverly Daniel Tatum remembers her neighbors in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Beverly Daniel Tatum remembers Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Beverly Daniel Tatum remembers her neighbors in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Beverly Daniel Tatum recalls Bridgewater's Burnell Laboratory School, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Beverly Daniel Tatum recalls Bridgewater's Burnell Laboratory School, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Beverly Daniel Tatum remembers her elementary and junior high school teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes holidays and her church in Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Beverly Daniel Tatum remembers her time at Bridgewater Middle School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Beverly Daniel Tatum recalls her Cape Verdean neighbors

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her childhood personality and her time in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Beverly Daniel Tatum recalls Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Beverly Daniel Tatum remembers choosing Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes applying to college and her interest in psychology

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Beverly Daniel Tatum recalls choosing Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Beverly Daniel Tatum remembers her instructors at Wesleyan University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Beverly Daniel Tatum remembers her time at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Beverly Daniel Tatum recalls developing her sense of black pride in college

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her work between college and graduate school

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes the development of her racial identity, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes the development of her racial identity, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her older brother, Eric Daniel, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her older brother, Eric Daniel, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Beverly Daniel Tatum remembers attending the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her dissertation advisor, Eric Berman

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Beverly Daniel Tatum remembers completing her dissertation

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her research about black families

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Beverly Daniel Tatum recalls teaching a course on racism

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Beverly Daniel Tatum reflects upon her experiences with racism, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Beverly Daniel Tatum reflects upon her experiences with racism, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her move from California to Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Beverly Daniel Tatum remembers her career at Westfield State College

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her career trajectory in Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Beverly Daniel Tatum recalls joining the Mount Holyoke College faculty

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her book 'Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Beverly Daniel Tatum talks about her research on racial identity, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Beverly Daniel Tatum talks about her research on racial identity, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Beverly Daniel Tatum describes her career at Mount Holyoke College

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

10$7

DATitle
Beverly Daniel Tatum describes the development of her racial identity, pt. 2
Beverly Daniel Tatum recalls teaching a course on racism
Transcript
But when I was at Wesleyan [Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut], I became a resident advisor in the residence halls, and in my--on my residence hall, I had two black girls who also had grown up in predominantly white communities and one of them did it the way I did it in the sense that she came to Wesleyan and she really became part of the black community, and another one didn't. She seemed to be uncomfortable, not able to make that transition, and hung out mostly with other white students and I wondered at the time what made the difference. What made the difference for me, what made the difference between these two girls, and that was really my research question when I went off to graduate school. It was like, what makes the difference? And, I studied that question when I did my doctoral dissertation, and I tried to answer the question in my book, 'Assimilation Blues' ['Assimilation Blues: Black Families in a White Community,' Beverly Daniel Tatum], and in the book I described three kinds of families. I discovered, as part of my research, that there were three kinds of families that I described. One was families that were what I would call race conscious. These were black families living in white communities that, even though they were in a white community, they really worked hard to try to make sure that their kids developed a strong sense of black identity. And maybe they did that by visiting their relatives other places, or sending the kids to a black church, or, you know, maybe joining Jack and Jill [Jack and Jill of America, Inc.], or you know, they did things (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Just immersing themselves in some kind of black environment--$$Trying to find some way to maintain that kind of ongoing connection for their children. And then there were some families that said it was important but didn't really do it, that they were kind of neutral. And then there were families that didn't think it was important, didn't really talk about it, didn't, you know, kind of avoided the whole topic of race, and I called them race-avoidant. If I had to characterize my family, I would call my parents [Catherine Maxwell Daniel and Robert A. Daniel] race neutral.$$Okay.$$You know, they didn't talk a lot about race, they really talked, they talked--or when they did, it was in the spirit of judging people by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. They were really humanitarians in the sense of I can honestly say I never heard my parents make negative comments about white people or anybody, you know. They were very much guided by the golden rule: treat people the way you want to be treated. That was a clear principle in my household, so I would not give my parents credit for my own desire to establish--to connect with black people because it wasn't necessarily something that they talked a lot about. They didn't say you should do this or you should not do that and, in fact, when I went off to college with my Angela [HistoryMaker Angela Davis] and came home, I went off to college, came home, you know, looking like Angela Davis and talking about power to the people (laughter), you know, my mother thought I had really become kind of anti-white, and she and I had a long conversation about this in my summer after my first year of college, when I said to her, you know, "It's possible to be pro-black without being anti-white," you know. It's not necessarily both--you know, you don't have--I still had white friends, I still saw my high school friends, but clearly my focus had shifted.$So, I got invited to teach a course in the black studies department. The first course I was invited to teach was a course called--was really about black children and education. It was called Education and the Black Child. So, I taught that course and it went pretty well, and then I was asked to teach another one, and the second course I was asked to teach was called Group Exploration of Racism, and I had not ever taught a course like that before, but I, as a psychologist, had facilitated groups, you know, assertiveness training groups, all kinds of groups. And I had done all this reading about coping patterns and responses to racism on the parts of black families and so, anyway, to make a long story short, I thought I could do it and so I, and I needed the money (laughter) so I was offered the opportunity and I took it and I wasn't, I was twenty-five years old, I mean I was still young. Maybe I was twenty-six. I got married when I was twenty-four, going on twenty-four, so maybe I was twenty-six at this time, but I was a new professor and even though I wasn't very experienced, I had a very powerful teaching experience, because at the end of the semester, teaching this course, Group Exploration of Racism, my students said, "This course was the best course we've taken at this university. Everybody should take this course. It should be required." And I just felt like, wow, this is really powerful, and what was it that was making the course such a powerful learning experience? And, what I concluded was it was really about giving young people the permission to talk about a topic that had been a taboo up to that point for them. I mean, it was a very uncommon thing to be able to come together in a racially mixed class and talk about race. Most people hadn't had that experience before.$$Now were there as many whites as there were blacks, or were there--$$Oh, there were more whites, it was mostly white, so it wasn't evenly divided. The University of California at Santa Barbara [University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California] was the least diverse of the University of California campuses at the time that I was there, and that's probably still true. The black student population was about two percent, the Chicano student population was maybe five percent, the Asian population was a little higher perhaps, but it was still largely white campus.$$Well, a lot of times black students will shy away from classes on racism, but in that particular instance, you still had black representation (simultaneous)--?$$(Simultaneous) Yes, I did. I did. So, you know, if their class had maybe thirty students in it, maybe five of the students were black, and that's not a huge number but it is certainly, you know maybe 20 percent of the students would be black, and that, for most of the white students, was a new experience, being in a class with 20 percent of the students being of color, because most of the time, maybe there'd just be one or two. And, but anyway it was a very powerful teaching experience, and as the result of it, I made a personal decision that I wanted to always teach a course on racism. I thought it was an important social duty that I should engage in.

Roderick Pugh

Clinical psychologist Roderick Wellington Pugh was born on June 1, 1919, in Richmond, Kentucky. Pugh moved with his family to Dayton, Ohio when he was eleven years old. There, his father was one of several black doctors who lived in and served Dayton’s Westside community. Pugh graduated from Dayton’s integrated Steele High School in 1936. He attended Fisk University and graduated cum laude in 1940. Pugh went on to earn his masters degree in psychology from the Ohio State University in 1941. Pugh taught briefly at Albany State College in Georgia. He then enlisted in the U.S. military and attained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant under General George S. Patton. He served in Germany before returning to the United States. Back home, Pugh studied psychology under Dr. Carl Rogers at the University of Chicago, where he made the Honor Society in psychology. Pugh obtained his Ph.D. degree in 1949.

Pugh worked for a time as chief of psychological services at Hines V.A. Medical Center. Pugh also served as a professor of psychology at Loyola University Chicago from the 1960s until his retirement. Pugh has written extensively on African American issues in psychology and psychotherapy. His articles have been featured in several publications, the majority of them dedicated to African American issues in psychology and psychotherapy. Pugh’s most recognized work is his Psychology and the Black Experience, published in 1972, which was widely used in college classrooms.

A member of the American Psychological Association and the Illinois Psychological Association, Pugh served as a diplomat for the American Board of Professional Psychologists. An esteemed international orator, Pugh has given numerous speeches internationally in a variety of places, including Chung Chi College in Hong Kong, Fisk University in Tennessee, and the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He was a longtime resident of Chicago’s Hyde Park community, but often returned to Dayton’s Wayman A.M.E. Church to visit friends and family.

Pugh passed away on November 13, 2010 at the age of 91.

Roderick Pugh was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 16, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.264

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/16/2005

Last Name

Pugh

Maker Category
Middle Name

Wellington

Organizations
Schools

Steele High School

Colonel White Performing Arts High School

Central Elementary School

Fisk University

The Ohio State University

University of Chicago

First Name

Roderick

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

PUG01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barbados

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

6/1/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Health Food

Death Date

11/13/2010

Short Description

Psychology professor Roderick Pugh (1919 - 2010 ) was chief of psychological services at Hines V.A. Medical Center, and served as a professor of psychology at Loyola University Chicago from the 1960s until his retirement. Pugh has written extensively on African American issues in psychology and psychotherapy.

Employment

Albany State College

U.S. Army

Loyola University of Chicago

Favorite Color

Brown, Tan

Timing Pairs
201,0:670,9:938,14:3752,77:4020,82:4623,113:6030,163:6432,171:12127,292:12797,306:13467,319:13735,324:14539,341:34870,613:45166,702:46390,720:46750,726:47110,731:47542,738:49630,784:50278,797:52294,845:53590,872:55246,911:59566,1005:75703,1209:76225,1218:76834,1226:77443,1234:79444,1257:79879,1263:80401,1271:89710,1444:91363,1463:91972,1471:92581,1479:96744,1489:97016,1494:97492,1503:98444,1520:99124,1533:99600,1541:101990,1560:102760,1577:103695,1604:104135,1615:107064,1636:108968,1679:109308,1685:111008,1731:111280,1736:111756,1744:113796,1785:115700,1825:119610,1833:119965,1839:121030,1863:121740,1878:125077,1942:125503,1950:127065,1981:127846,1998:128130,2003:128414,2008:128982,2018:129621,2030:135926,2088:137066,2105:137750,2117:138738,2136:143906,2234:144514,2243:145502,2263:152331,2323:152947,2333:153255,2338:154641,2358:157490,2415:158029,2423:159184,2442:160724,2471:166590,2529:167220,2540:167710,2548:168340,2559:168830,2570:169110,2575:169670,2586:171560,2628:171910,2634:172890,2651:174220,2674:175480,2693:175970,2702:176530,2712:176810,2717:186172,2863:187096,2876:187432,2881:188020,2891:188524,2898:188860,2903:189196,2908:189784,2917:195210,2967$0,0:281,4:1744,40:26905,446:30070,453:36406,576:41968,630:43146,657:49640,730:50584,748:50997,756:51528,767:52295,778:52708,786:53003,792:53593,814:54478,836:55068,848:55304,853:55658,861:55953,867:64724,927:64956,932:68320,1019:68552,1024:68958,1032:72790,1083:73070,1088:75730,1152:76010,1157:80224,1186:82222,1238:82592,1245:85342,1262:85881,1272:86266,1278:87267,1294:93460,1376:93880,1385:94960,1414:95380,1422:97240,1466:101418,1485:106098,1537:111380,1574:115560,1630:120880,1702:141996,1884:142528,1893:143136,1902:143516,1908:152150,2012:153395,2029:154557,2045:159982,2072:160598,2081:160950,2086:170344,2164:185756,2371:186404,2381:186908,2389:190161,2402:198450,2485:199451,2498:199815,2503:201999,2523:202454,2529:203000,2537:218679,2697:224200,2719:225322,2740:236280,2903:245510,3009:246062,3025:254610,3129:257558,3198:274580,3386
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Roderick Pugh's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Roderick Pugh lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Roderick Pugh describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Roderick Pugh describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Roderick Pugh describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Roderick Pugh describes his parents' meeting

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Roderick Pugh describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Roderick Pugh describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Roderick Pugh describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Roderick Pugh remembers a childhood visit in Richmond, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Roderick Pugh describes his childhood in Richmond, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Roderick Pugh recalls Ku Klux Klan activity in Richmond, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Roderick Pugh describes his parents' decision to move to Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Roderick Pugh describes growing up in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Roderick Pugh remembers his neighborhood in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Roderick Pugh describes his childhood experience of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Roderick Pugh describes attending school in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Roderick Pugh describes attending school in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Roderick Pugh describes the legacy of Paul Laurence Dunbar

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Roderick Pugh remembers Colonel White High School in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Roderick Pugh recalls playing violin at Steele High School in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Roderick Pugh describes his social life in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Roderick Pugh remembers swimming at the Y in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Roderick Pugh describes influential adults in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Roderick Pugh remembers his decision to attend Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Roderick Pugh describes choosing his major at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Roderick Pugh describes the influence of Carl Rogers and B.F. Skinner

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Roderick Pugh remembers The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Roderick Pugh remembers becoming a professor at Albany State College in Albany, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Roderick Pugh recalls being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Roderick Pugh remembers Fort Lewis, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Roderick Pugh recalls being stationed in Northern Ireland during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Roderick Pugh describes segregation in the U.S. Army during World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Roderick Pugh recalls petitioning the U.S. Army inspector general

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Roderick Pugh recalls a conflict with his battalion adjutant

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Roderick Pugh remembers being promoted to Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Roderick Pugh remembers his discharge from the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Roderick Pugh describes his doctoral studies at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Roderick Pugh recalls studying electroconvulsive therapy at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$5

DAStory

10$5

DATitle
Roderick Pugh remembers a childhood visit in Richmond, Kentucky
Roderick Pugh describes his doctoral studies at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
Transcript
When you were growing up in Richmond [Kentucky], your household consisted of your mother [Lena White Pugh], your father [George Pugh]--$$And me.$$--you. That, is that--$$That was it.$$No grandparents stayed with you or anything like that or--$$No.$$Okay, all right.$$We had, we had a lot of friends so my mother was a very sociable sort of person and, as a matter of fact, it was in a Richmond, Kentucky, that I first became interested in psychology, however, at that particular time, what I, what I did in my interest was not labeled psychology, I can label it psychology now because I know what it was, but at that particular time. You wanna hear the story?$$Uh-hm.$$Very interesting. You know in those days in the small town people tend to know each other and in the summertime when, and my mother was a housewife, and there were a lot of women who were essentially housewives and their husbands were out working and they would be at home, so my mother said to me one afternoon, "Get yourself ready because I'm going over to Mrs. So and So to visit her for a while, and she has a little girl and while she and I are talking, maybe you and the little girl can play together and so on and so forth." So, this was nothing unusual whatsoever. My mother would come up with something like this quite often. So we got ready and went over to this lady's house and she took us into the living room and at first there was no sign of this little girl, but the lady started talking about the fact that her daughter was old enough to be walking independently, but although she was walking, she always had to hold on to something, and I sat there and listening. Say I was only about seven years old. I sat there and listening to this lady talking about this little girl and while she was talking the little girl appeared in the doorway doing exactly what her mother said. She was holding on to things as she walked and she finally made her way over to where we were and so on and so forth and by the time that happened, there was a loud noise in the back of the house. And the two mothers jumped up to run back to see what the noise was like, leaving the little girl and me in the living room by ourselves, but having heard the mother complain about the fact this child was not walking independently, I stood up and held my hands out like this, and suggested that she take hold of my hands, which she did. And so I started backing up and, of course, she followed me, and when we got to the opposite wall of the room, I turned us around and started backing up across the room again, but then I let go of her hand. But I kept my hands extended but not touching hers and kept backing up and she held her hands out like that, and she followed me, and interestingly while (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Did she learn how to walk at this point?$$--and while she was following me like that, her mother came back into the room and turned to me and said, "What did you do?"$Now what was the experience like at the University of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois] working on your Ph.D. (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Oh, fantastic. Totally fantastic. Yes and the interesting thing is that [The] Ohio State [University, Columbus, Ohio], I did not have a single class in which I was not the only African American in the course. And interestingly, another thing, at the University of Chicago, believe it or not, I had only one course during my doctorate studies, in which there was one other African American in the class. So throughout my entire graduate education in psychology, I found myself except in one instance, the only African American in the class. And that only shows that there weren't that many African Americans seeking degrees in psychology because there were a lot of African Americans in graduate school, but they were in other departments and so on and so forth. I don't know what that says about the interests of African Americans, but I think one of the things, of course, is most African Americans that I knew who were in graduate school, they were in graduate school because they wanted to make their lives more secure. They wanted to have some kind of credential where they could go out and make a living. And, of course, I think that, you know, psychologist, sure it's a credential and so on, but there were only a few ways of making a living as a psychologist and private practice at that particular time wasn't all that popular. But with me, you know, if I have a strong interest like that, I'm going to pursue and I have never regretted it. I have been a very, very fortunate individual and one of the early African Americans to so totally involve himself in psychology.$$Now what was your, what was the subject of your dissertation?$$I'm trying to think of how I can put it so that it might be reasonably understandable. You've heard of electric shock therapy perhaps, have you, ever heard of electric shock therapy? It's a, it's a particular therapeutic intervention for persons who are depressed. Well we didn't know too much about electroconvulsive therapy at that particular time, and here again, Carl Rogers was my supervisor, all right. Carl Rogers' approach to psychotherapy was certainly far from anything having to do with electroconvulsive therapy, but I decided that it would be interesting to try to determine exactly what effects electrical, electroconvulsive therapy, ECT, could have on hospitalized psychiatric patients who were assigned to get ECT three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you get your shock, electric currents passed through your brain. And so I setup a dissertation to study systematically the psychological changes that took place as a result of an individual receiving a series of ECT treatments. And so that was my doctorate dissertation under Carl Rogers who works were interesting because Carl Rogers would be one of the last psychologists in the world who would necessarily think about working with people who were receiving shock therapy. But, he, nevertheless, supervised my research and then there was another, the chairman of the psych department at the University of Chicago at the time, was, he had an M.D. as well as a Ph.D. He was on my dissertation committee, and he was really quite interested in my study because of the fact that he also had a medical background.

Na'im Akbar

Publisher, psychologist, psychology professor, and public speaker Na'im Akbar was born on April 26, 1944, in Tallahassee, Florida. Originally given the name Luther Benjamin Weems, Jr., Akbar changed his name in 1971, after joining the Nation of Islam. Akbar attended the Florida A & M University Laboratory School from grades K-12, graduating in 1961. Akbar attended the University of Michigan for the completion of his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in psychology.

Prior to attending the University of Michigan, Akbar lived within a completely African American social environment. His freshman year of college marked the first time that he had real contact with whites. At the University of Michigan, Akbar was active with the Black Action Movement (BAM) strike that closed down classes for three weeks during the late 1960s. After receiving his Ph.D., Akbar accepted a position in the psychology department at Morehouse College in Atlanta. There, he instituted Morehouse's first Black psychology course and eventually developed probably the first Black psychology program at a Historically Black College or University. Within two years, he became chair of the department.

Akbar left Morehouse after five years to work with the Nation of Islam's headquarters in Chicago to start their Office of Human Development. After two years, Akbar joined the faculty of Norfolk State University, again instituting courses in black psychology. In 1979, Akbar accepted a faculty position at Florida State University. In 1971, Akbar became active with the Association of Black Psychologists, the largest Black mental health professional organization in the world. He has served on the association's board for numerous terms and was elected its president in 1987. The association has bestowed all of its most prestigious awards on Akbar due to his professional contributions.

Akbar continues to teach a specialized course on the psychology of the African American at Florida State University. In the late 1980s, he formed his own publishing company, Mind Productions, and private consulting company, Na'im Akbar Consultants, to bring his teaching to a wider audience.

Accession Number

A2002.048

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

4/22/2002

Last Name

Akbar

Maker Category
Schools

FAMU Developmental Research School

University of Michigan

Hampton University

Speakers Bureau

No

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Na'im

Birth City, State, Country

Tallahassee

HM ID

AKB01

Favorite Season

Fall

Speaker Bureau Notes

The state of his health prevented him from participating.

Sponsor

Knight Foundation

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Accra, Ghana

Favorite Quote

This too shall pass.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

4/26/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tallahassee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cauliflower, Okra

Short Description

Psychology professor and publisher Na'im Akbar (1944 - ) pioneered the African-centered approach to psychology and founded one of the first Black psychology programs in the United States at Morehouse College.

Employment

Miner, Barnhill & Galland

Norfolk State University

Florida State University

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Gold

Timing Pairs
0,0:5120,85:9201,193:9509,198:10125,207:11049,222:11973,234:12358,240:13282,256:14822,285:15361,295:15669,300:16593,316:17440,328:17748,333:18210,341:18672,349:18980,354:19519,362:24615,383:24980,389:26221,407:26513,412:26805,417:29579,451:32470,461:32908,470:33638,481:34149,490:34733,534:35317,546:36777,573:39040,613:39405,619:39989,628:42909,676:43639,688:44223,697:44807,707:45683,721:46267,731:51720,744:52377,755:53107,766:54567,792:55005,799:56465,823:57195,836:58144,851:58509,857:59604,876:59896,881:60407,896:61429,922:62013,933:62670,947:63984,964:64495,972:64787,977:65079,983:65444,989:65882,997:66904,1013:67269,1019:67853,1029:73935,1063:74460,1073:76010,1081:76298,1086:76658,1092:77378,1103:78026,1114:79106,1128:80834,1158:81266,1166:81914,1177:82274,1183:82994,1194:83354,1201:84290,1217:84794,1228:85874,1247:86162,1252:86450,1257:87026,1266:88106,1284:88970,1309:92498,1374:92786,1379:93074,1384:93362,1389:93650,1394:94514,1408:94874,1415:95378,1424:95882,1435:96530,1448:96818,1453:97394,1463:97826,1470:105550,1525:105790,1530:106150,1537:106390,1542:106690,1549:107650,1573:108310,1590:114540,1667:119028,1718:119358,1724:120084,1738:120414,1744:122790,1792:123054,1797:124374,1824:124638,1840:125892,1870:126618,1883:127080,1892:127410,1898:130970,1910:131390,1918:131880,1926:132510,1939:133000,1951:133560,1960:135940,2007:136640,2023:138880,2071:139930,2093:141190,2119:143010,2150:144130,2171:148636,2191:150186,2220:151426,2245:152728,2270:153596,2297:154774,2332:155642,2349:155890,2354:158990,2434:159486,2443:160354,2456:160664,2462:162834,2515:168264,2540:169496,2556:170112,2565:172295,2586:176784,2672:180902,2707:181298,2712:182156,2730:182882,2743:183542,2756:183872,2767:184136,2773:184400,2778:185852,2814:186314,2824:187436,2843:192300,2873:192868,2883:193720,2897:194572,2912:195282,2925:195850,2934:196418,2944:196986,2954:197341,2960:198122,2976:198690,2987:199045,2993:202731,3018:204180,3045:206511,3103:207015,3112:207393,3119:208653,3148:209031,3155:209535,3165:209913,3174:211047,3194:211362,3200:212055,3216:212496,3225:213630,3248:214197,3260:214638,3268:218090,3274:219117,3291:219749,3301:220776,3310:221329,3318:221645,3323:221961,3328:224015,3373:224568,3382:228066,3399:229034,3411:229386,3416:229738,3421:230178,3427:230706,3435:231146,3441:232202,3457:232642,3463:235450,3506:235746,3511:237152,3543:238114,3560:238484,3566:238780,3571:240696,3579:241426,3592:241791,3598:242229,3607:245149,3655:245660,3664:246171,3672:246609,3679:249011,3697$0,0:4480,86:4724,91:6371,133:8445,178:9055,190:9360,196:9726,203:11556,235:12105,259:12349,264:13935,316:14789,335:15216,343:15887,360:16253,368:16680,378:17168,387:17778,403:18083,409:18693,427:19181,437:21865,502:22109,507:23573,540:23878,546:24610,565:25220,575:25464,580:25830,587:26501,604:26806,610:28331,638:29612,659:31076,708:31625,716:32113,727:33333,760:33760,768:41500,779:41780,784:42760,803:43320,808:43810,817:44370,827:44720,833:45420,847:46470,866:46890,873:47310,880:47660,886:48150,895:48430,900:49900,918:51440,946:52210,961:53050,975:53470,982:54100,992:55150,1010:55780,1020:59790,1038:66070,1109:68030,1149:68730,1160:69220,1169:72160,1222:72440,1227:73140,1240:73840,1253:75170,1287:75660,1295:76570,1312:82430,1325:83080,1337:83470,1345:83730,1350:84055,1356:84640,1372:85225,1379:85615,1387:86135,1396:86785,1408:87695,1429:89190,1459:89580,1468:89840,1473:91270,1509:92245,1529:93155,1547:93415,1553:94000,1572:94585,1584:94845,1597:95235,1604:96210,1624:97835,1661:98225,1668:98485,1673:103966,1703:104956,1717:105220,1722:105682,1731:106276,1742:106738,1751:107200,1759:108982,1796:111028,1843:115648,1964:117100,1990:117892,2003:118354,2012:119278,2033:119608,2039:120598,2056:122314,2091:122908,2107:123370,2117:124294,2133:125416,2151:127132,2183:127858,2213:128518,2229:128980,2237:130366,2265:130894,2274:131488,2286:132280,2299:132544,2304:133006,2313:142815,2359:143312,2368:144022,2382:146791,2427:147359,2436:147856,2445:150918,2462:151608,2477:155334,2552:156369,2572:156921,2581:157542,2592:158508,2620:159543,2634:160992,2666:161268,2671:161751,2679:162165,2689:163200,2707:163476,2712:164097,2723:164649,2732:165270,2745:165822,2754:168513,2805:169341,2819:170997,2848:171549,2858:172377,2879:174861,2929:175758,2950:176793,2981:183790,2986:184070,2992:184406,2999:184630,3005:185582,3027:186086,3037:186310,3042:187094,3062:187486,3071:187878,3083:188438,3095:189390,3115:189670,3121:190230,3133:190790,3146:191350,3159:191574,3164:192134,3181:192974,3199:193422,3208:194598,3235:195046,3245:195326,3251:198500,3259:200355,3321:200567,3326:201044,3339:201362,3346:201627,3352:202263,3368:202740,3378:203429,3395:203641,3403:203959,3411:204489,3427:206053,3465
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Na'im Akbar Interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Na'im Akbar's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Na'im Akbar's parents' names

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Na'im Akbar shares memories of his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Na'im Akbar shares memories of his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Na'im Akbar shares memories his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Na'im Akbar shares memories of his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Na'im Akbar talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Na'im Akbar discusses his parents' first meeting

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Na'im Akbar discusses his aunt

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Na'im Akbar shares his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Na'im Akbar remembers his childhood household

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Na'im Akbar as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Na'im Akbar shares memories of Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Na'im Akbar discusses his neighborhood's mentors and role models

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Na'im Akbar remembers his childhood paper route

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Na'im Akbar discusses the influences of his childhood community

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Na'im Akbar discusses the role of schools in his community

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Na'im Akbar remembers an childhood emphasis on education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Na'im Akbar remembers his childhood teachers and coaches

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Na'm Akbar discusses additional father figures

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Na'im Akbar as a student

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Na'im Akbar discusses his elementary and high school extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Na'im Akbar discusses skills gained through childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Na'im Akbar discusses the 1956 Tallahassee Bus Boycott

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Na'im Akbar explains the early history of Tallahassee's black neighhorhoods, Frenchtown and Smokey Hollow

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Na'im Akbar explains his understanding of the 1956 Tallahassee Bus Boycott as a teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Na'im Akbar remembers reactions of Tallahassee's black community to demonstrations

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Na'im Akbar reflects on his community's fear of retaliation

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Na'im Akbar describes his fear of the white response to the demonstrations

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Na'im Akbar remembers lessons of needing to staying in one's place

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Na'im Akbar reflects on his admission to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Na'im Akbar reflects on competing with whites in an academic environment

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Na'im Akbar discusses the race relations at Michigan universites in early 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Na'im Akbar comments on the resistance to legitimize Black Studies

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Na'im Akbar discusses his decision to major in psychology

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Na'im Akbar remembers his research mentors at the University of Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Na'im Akbar discusses his mentor, Dr. Howard Wolowitz

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Na'im Akbar reflects on the 1960s and its influence on his research

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Na'im Akbar confronts his own feelings of racial inferiority

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Na'im Akbar discusses his dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Na'im Akbar joins the Association of Black Psychologists

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Na'im Akbar talks about his birth name

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Na'im Akbar remembers his first academic job search

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Na'im Akbar discusses his experiences at Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Na'im Akbar's introduction to the Nation of Islam

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Na'im Akbar joins the Nation of Islam

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Na'im Akbar describes the reactions of the Morehouse College community to his joining the Nation of Islam

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Na'im Akbar explains the correlation between the Nation of Islam's teaching and Black Psychology

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Na'im Akbar describes the development of African Psychology

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Na'im Akbar moves to Chicago, Illinois to work for the Nation of Islam

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Na'im Akbar discusses working with the Nation of Islam in Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Na'im Akbar meets and marries his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Na'im Akbar joins the faculty at Norfolk State University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Na'im Akbar joins the faculty at Florida State University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Na'im Akbar's exposure in the media

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Na'im Akbar discusses academia's response to Black Psychology

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Na'im Akbar discusses the Association of Black Psychologists

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Na'im Akbar describes the need for continued growth of Black Psychology

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Na'im Akbar discusses the black community's view of Black Psychology

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Na'im Akbar describes the practical use of Black psychologists

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Na'im Akbar discusses cultural differences among blacks and whites

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Na'im Akbar discusses the Black Church and Black Psychologists

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Na'im Akbar discusses the difference between Eurocentric and Afrocentric Psychology

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Na'im Akbar's hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Na'im Akbar describes his legacy and how he wants to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar and Father on Toledo, Ohio Beach (1958)

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar (Luther Weems, Jr) as High School Senior (1961)

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar wih Dr. Art Mathis and Nigerian Psychologist at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria (1973)

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar with Rev. Herbert Alexander (1987)

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar (Luther Weems, Jr) at Eight Years Old on Easter Sunday (1952)

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar and Daughter, Shaakira, at Elmina Slave Castle in Ghana, West Africa (1995)

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Photo -- Shaakira Akbar with Maternal Grandparents in Ghana, West Africa (1995)

Tape: 7 Story: 13 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar with Mother, Bessie; Father, Luther; and Aunt, Eunice (1965)

Tape: 7 Story: 14 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar with Wife, Renee, and Children, Shaakira, Tareeq, and Mutaqee (circa 1987)

Tape: 7 Story: 15 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar with Minister Louis Farrakhan in Accra, Ghana (1995)

Tape: 7 Story: 16 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar with Drs. John Henrik Clarke and Asa Hilliard at the University of Louisville (circa 1998)

Tape: 7 Story: 17 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar (Luther X) (1973)

Tape: 7 Story: 18 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar at the Temple of Edfu, Upper Egypt (circa 1985)

Tape: 7 Story: 19 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar with Sons, Tareeq and Mutaqee, at Cape Coast Slave Castle, Ghana (1996)

Tape: 7 Story: 20 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar with Tony Brown and Drs. A. Hilliard, M. Asante, M. Karenga, L. James Myers, F. Cress Welsing (1995)

Tape: 7 Story: 21 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar "Instooled" as Development Chief in Abono Village, Ghana (1995)

Tape: 7 Story: 22 - Newspaper Photo -- Na'im Akbar with Dick Gregory, Tyrone Brooks and Dr. Ralph Abernathy in Selma, AL (1976)

Tape: 7 Story: 23 - Newspaper Photo -- Na'im Akbar with Khalilah Ali in Chicago, IL

Tape: 7 Story: 24 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar Speaking at the Million Man March in Washington, D.C. (10/16/1995)

Tape: 7 Story: 25 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar Pouring Libation at Inauguration of Tougaloo College President, Dr. Adib Shakir (5/13/1989)

Tape: 7 Story: 26 - Photo -- Na'im Akbar (Luther Weems, Jr.) on Senior Prom with Joan Bailey (1961)

DASession

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DATape

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DATitle
Na'im Akbar describes the development of African Psychology
Na'im Akbar discusses working with the Nation of Islam in Chicago
Transcript
Was there any written books or anything, you can pull from to see, the way you were about to go and move psychology?$$No, we were invent -- we were inventing it as we went along. I wanted to come back to mention to you again this, these people who, who became really kind of key in terms of this whole scholarly development that became, what we call African Psychology. One of those people was my, my very good friend who I met, Phil McGee, who became my kind of connection with the Stanford [University, Stanford, California] group. And Stanford was where Cedric Clark was, who I mentioned to you. And their graduate student was Wade Nobles. Now, Wade Nobles was finishing a graduate degree in psychology at Stanford University. Through my connection with Phil, the four of us became kind of the Africanist group in the Association of Black Psychologists. So each year at their conventions, you know, we would do a major kind of presentation and dealing with this whole kind of redefinition of black people as basically African people. And to begin to somehow talk about psychology within the context of us continuing an African way of life as opposed to being deviations from a European way of life. And Cedric and I were very much directly influenced by the Nation [of Islam] in our thinking. And both Phil and Wade, who never joined the Nation, were also very much influenced by those kinds of ideas. In fact, Wade's wife became an active member of Nation for a period of time. And so all of that became very much a part of the way that we began to sort of like develop this whole kind of paradigm of what became kind of Africentric psychology. Interestingly, Dr. Molefi Asante some years later did the first book on Afrocentricity and he mentioned at the very beginning of the book that like, you know, this whole kind of notion of beginning to think of black scholarship from an African context with that whole paradigm shift where we began to see the world from our center, whether it's economics, whether it's art, whether it's theater, whether it's literature, whether it's psychology, whatever it is, to think of it from our center. He sort of like, he, he referenced the black psychologists, the African psychologists as having, you know, sort of started that paradigm. And he had reference to the work that, you know, the four of us had done. We did a paper back in, in -- it was actually published in first issue of the 'Journal of Black Psychology.' It was called "Voodoo or IQ: An Introduction to African Psychology." And we really kind of laid out -- the four of us, Phil McGee, Wade Nobles, Cedric Clark and myself, laid out the perimeters of this like paradigm of beginning to think of the world, you know, from this kind of Africentric, you know, point of view, and the, the work we began to do. So Wade coming in experimental psychology, he began to get research grants to study the black family. And to study the black family, not as a deviant European family, but as an African family. So he began to look at notions like the extended family system. He began to look at things about the role of spirituality in the black family. And he began to look at how, when that family was working well, people performed better in schools, staying away from socially deviant kinds of behaviors. So he began to like empirically demonstrate that when black people acted consistent with being African, we didn't -- we (unclear), we had more successful lives. You know, I began to sort of write much more in terms of the whole kind of importance of us understanding who we were as a means of finding mental health, you know.$Tell me about your experiences in Chicago [Illinois] when you go there to become, to work directly within the Nation of Islam?$$The first year was really exciting. I mean I -- because all these people came, Sonia Sanchez was in the Nation [of Islam]. She came there. Minister [Louis] Farrakhan was moved out to Chicago, so he was working there. So I was able to begin to interact with all of the major leadership of the Nation of Islam, Muhammad Ali was, you know, very active at the Nation at that point. Khalilah Ali, who he was still married to at the time, was very active around -- so all these people who had been sort of icons, like for the black community as a whole and certainly for the Nation, became my colleagues. We were all kind of working together. What happened, however, like shortly after the first year I was in Chicago, it really became fairly clear that the real agenda that Imam Wallace Muhammad had was to really kind of transform the Nation primarily into an Orthodox religious movement. And to really kind of de -- de-culturalize its, its impact. So, the move he began was to get rid of the businesses, really the schools themselves began to -- he closed the schools down in most parts of the country and eventually kind of phased out the schools altogether. And basically to convert the Nation from being like a, kind of like a social, cultural movement to being exclusively a religious movement. And, and this was very different from what we'd expected. However, during the beginning of that year, like, you know, we began to do some of the things that I indicated in terms of writing those pamphlets and things like that. And by the end of two years, it was much that the Nation was going in another direction altogether, you know. So those of us who had moved to Chicago, one, one very brilliant man who was a lawyer out of Richmond [Virginia], his name was Sa'ad -- well his name Gerard X. Green he became Sa'ad El-Amin, who subsequently became a city councilman and major prosecutor and a judge out of Richmond when he went back. But he'd moved to Chicago, two or three accountants from PriceWaterhouse out of New York [New York] had moved to Chicago. So we brought together this kind of brain trust of people who were kind of like parts of various [Black] Muslim communities around the country, parts of the Nation who (unclear) like, the (unclear) all centered there in Chicago. But it didn't go the direction, you know, that we had anticipated. But it was be -- it, it, it introduced me to a national network of people, number one. And it began to give exposure to the ideas that I'd been working with on a national basis as well because my articles were in the national newspaper of 'Muhammad Speaks.' I did the -- I, I published the first little pamphlets, the first one being, I think, 'The Community of Self' and then which I subsequently revised. And then a couple of others that I did as well which became like these little readable pamphlets that people could use to begin to develop and understand their psychology as black people. So that was the start of the work that, you know, subsequently I, I expanded much later on. So I spent those two years there. After finding out that the Nation was really not going to go that kind of way, really going much more to a religious movement, then I went to back to work at Norfolk State [University, Norfolk, Virginia].