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Chester Walker

Basketball player Chester “Chet” Walker was born on February 22, 1940 in Bethlehem, Mississippi to John and Regenia Walker. He attended Benton High School in Benton Harbor, Michigan, where he played basketball and graduated from in 1958. Walker then attended Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois where his basketball team won the 1960 NIT Championship and he was named a two time All-American before graduating in 1962.

Walker was selected by the Syracuse Nationals in the 1962 NBA Draft as the twelfth overall pick; and in his first season, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. In 1963, the Nationals moved to Philadelphia and became the 76ers. Walker played in the 1964, 1966, and 1967 All-Star Games before winning his only NBA Finals Championship in six games in 1967 against the San Francisco Warriors. After two more seasons with the 76ers, Walker was traded to the Chicago Bulls in 1969. He played six seasons with the Bulls, playing in four more All-Star games in 1970, 1971, 1973, and 1974. He led the NBA with a free throw accuracy rate of 85.9 percent in the 1970–71 season, and ranked among the top ten free throw shooters five other times. Walker retired from professional basketball in 1975 after the Bulls refused to raise his salary or release or trade him. During his career, he scored 18,831 points and only twice did his scoring average drop below fifteen. He joined the short list of players appearing in more than 1,000 games, never missing the playoffs or more than six games in any season. After retiring from the NBA, Walker began producing films through his firm, Chet Walker Productions. His works include a 1980 NBC miniseries called “Freedom Road,” starring Kris Kristofferson and Muhammad Ali; a movie titled The Fiendish Plot of Fu Manchu, starring the late comedian Peter Sellers in 1983; and a 1989 made-for-TV movie called A Mother’s Courage: The Mary Thomas Story, which detailed the life of the NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas’ mother and their struggles on the West Side of Chicago, and later won an Emmy. Walker also wrote a memoir called Long Time Coming: A Black Athlete's Coming-Of-Age in America, which was published in 1995.

In 1996, Walker was named amongst the NBA’s list of the fifty greatest players in history in honor of the league’s fiftieth anniversary. He was later inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts in 2012.

Walker resides in Los Angeles, California.

Chester “Chet” Walker was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 14, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.109

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/14/2019

Last Name

Walker

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Bard Junior High School

Benton Harbor High School

Bradley University

First Name

Chester

Birth City, State, Country

Bethlehem

HM ID

WAL28

Favorite Season

Autumn

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Rome, Italy

Favorite Quote

None

Birth Date

2/22/1940

Birth Place Term
Favorite Food

Fish, Pinto Beans, and Corn Bread

Short Description

Basketball player Chester “Chet” Walker (1940 - ) played seven seasons with the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers where he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, was a three time All-Star, and the 1967 NBA Finals Champion. Walker then played six seasons with the Chicago Bulls where he was a four time All-Star, before retiring to produce films, later winning and Emmy.

Employment

Syracuse Nationals

Philadelphia 76ers

Chicago Bulls

Chet Walker Productions

Favorite Color

Blue

The Honorable Angela Jewell

Federal judge Angela Jewell was born to Mary O’Neal Jackson and William Juzang, Jr. on April 2, 1952 in Montgomery, Alabama. Raised on an Air Force base in New Mexico where she attended San Jose Parochial School, she moved with her family to Ramstein Air Base in Germany and graduated from Kaiserslautern American High School in Vogelweh in 1969. After the family moved to Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas, she received both her B.A. degree in English and J.D. degree from the University of New Mexico in 1976 and 1979.

Jewell was first hired by Harold Parker in Albuquerque, New Mexico to work at his general practice where she focused on family law. She then served as a pro bono coordinator at the Legal Aid Society in New Mexico, which began her involvement with domestic violence issues. In 1981, Jewell married fellow lawyer, Tommy Jewell, and the couple opened their own private law firm with two others the following year called Jewell, Jewell, Kelly & Kittson, operating out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. She began working as a domestic violence pro bono attorney in 1986, before joining New Mexico’s 2nd Judicial Court District as a domestic violence hearing officer in 1988. In this role, Jewell presided over government agency investigations and hearings. In 1996, Jewell was appointed to a judgeship in New Mexico’s Domestic Violence division, which was the first position of its kind in the state, making her the first domestic violence judge in New Mexico. In this capacity, she focused on family and domestic relations and law, as well as personal injury and workers compensation law. Jewell and her husband later opened a general practice called Jewell Law Office in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She served the 2nd Judicial District of New Mexico until her retirement in 2010.

At the Race & the Law Conference in February of 2019, Jewell and her husband both received Asante Awards presented by the New Mexico Black Lawyers Association. They reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and have two adult children, Thomas and Taja.

Angela Jewell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 23, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.066

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/23/2019

Last Name

Jewell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

University of New Mexico

First Name

Angela

Birth City, State, Country

Montgomery

HM ID

JEW04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Napa Valley

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Mexico

Birth Date

4/2/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Albuquerque

Favorite Food

Curry

Short Description

Federal judge Angela Jewell (1952 - ) served the 2nd Judicial Court District of New Mexico for twenty-three years, and was the first domestic violence judge in the state, holding that position for fifteen years.

Employment

Harold Parker Law Firm

Legal Aid

Jewell, Jewell, Kelly & Kittson

2nd Judicial Court District of New Mexico

Favorite Color

Turquoise

Roy F. Eaton

Music producer Roy Eaton was born on May 14, 1930, in Harlem, New York, to Felix and Bernice Eaton, who were of Jamaican descent. Eaton graduated from the Music and Art High School in 1946 and simultaneously enrolled in two schools - the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied piano and musicology, and the City College of New York, where he studied history - graduating from both institutions in 1950. From 1950 to 1952, Eaton attended Yale University, earning his M.A. degree in musicology.

In 1951, Eaton made his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performing Chopin. He then performed Beethoven in his debut at the Town Hall in New York in 1952. That same year, Eaton began working with the Manhattan School of Music as a concert pianist, performer, and lecturer. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1953, serving at a hospital radio station at Fort Dix in New Jersey, where he wrote and produced radio programs for two years. In 1955, Eaton left the Army and was hired at the advertising agency, Young & Rubicam, as a copywriter and composer, where over a two year period, he produced seventy-five percent of all of the agency’s music for products like Chef Boyardee’s Beefaroni, Gulf Oil, and Kent Cigarettes. In 1959, Eaton joined another advertising agency, Benton & Bowles, as its music director. There, he helped to sign the Jackson Five to their first advertising contract deal with Post Cereal. He also helped produce advertisements for Texaco, Yuban’s Coffee, and Hardees. Eaton was then promoted to vice president of the agency in 1968. In 1980, Eaton left Benton & Bowles to launch his own company, Roy Eaton Music Inc., where he helped coordinate music production for various advertising agencies, worked with Michael Jackson, and produced advertisements for companies like Coca-Cola and the Ad Council. Eaton returned to the concert stage in 1986, performing Chopin at the Lincoln Center, and went on to perform there two more times. He also toured to other countries and released five albums, one being an international success.

In 2010, Eaton was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Fame. Eaton has five sons, and lives on Roosevelt Island in New York with his wife and twin boys, Ari and Ravi.

Roy Eaton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 17, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.045

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/17/2019

Last Name

Eaton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Manhattan School of Music

City College of New York

Yale University

First Name

Roy

Birth City, State, Country

New York City

HM ID

EAT02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Your Life Is A Drama In Which You Are The Star And Director, But Not The Writer.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/14/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Jamaican

Short Description

Music producer Roy Eaton (1930 - ) produced seventy five percent of all of Young & Rubicam’s music for products like Chef Boyardee’s Beefaroni, Gulf Oil, and Kent Cigarettes in the 1950s. He became vice president of Benton & Bowles before founding Roy Eaton Music, Inc. in 1980.

Employment

Manhattan School of Music

US Army

Young & Rubicam

Benton & Bowles

Roy Eaton Music, Inc.

Favorite Color

Yellow and Purple

Charlena Seymour

Academic administrator Charlena Seymour was born on December 3, 1943 in Washington, D.C. to Elizabeth Moten and Elmore Moten. At a young age, Seymour and her family, including sister Vera and brother Rahim, moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where she attended Girls’ Latin School and Jeremiah E. Burke High School for Girls. In 1965, Seymour received her B.F.A. degree in drama and theater arts from Howard University. She went on to receive her M.A. degree in speech and hearing science in 1967, and her Ph.D. degree in speech and hearing science in 1971, both from The Ohio State University.

In 1971, Seymour joined the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Department of Communication Disorders as an assistant professor. She served as the director of Communication Disorders Clinic at the University of Massachusetts in 1974, and was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor in 1978. In 1983, Seymour served as the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Communication Disorders for one year. The next year, she was appointed chair of the department. She was promoted to full professor in 1989, and was appointed dean of the Graduate School in 1994. In 2001, Seymour assumed the position of interim provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs; and in 2004 she was appointed provost. In 2009, Seymour retired from the University of Massachusetts Amherst to serve as provost of Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She retired from Simmons in 2013.

From 1990 to 1992, Seymour served as the vice president for quality of service of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). In 1996, she was elected president of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, a position she held in 1997. A Fellow of ASHA, she received the organization's highest award, the Honors award in 2007 for a distinguished career. From 2002 to 2003, Seymour served as president of the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools. During her career, she has served on many non-profit boards, including the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, the Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation, the Western Massachusetts Women's Foundation, the Amherst Ballet Theatre Company, the Amherst Chapter of A Better Chance, the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, the Yard Inc., of Martha’s Vineyard, and Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard.

Seymour has received many awards for her work in academia. In 1964 and 1965, she was included in Howard University’s “Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities.” Seymour also received the Harvard Foundation Medal of Recognition for Intercultural and Race Relations in 1997 and the Will Solimene Award of Excellence in Medical Communication in 1998 for her textbook. Seymour was invited as the Cecil and Ida Green Honors Professor, Texas Christian University, and has received Distinguished Alumni Awards from both the Howard University School of Communications and The Ohio State University Department of Speech and Hearing Science.

Seymour and her husband, Harry Seymour, have two children: Harry Alexander and Shayna.

Charlena Seymour was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 24, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.091

Interview Date

8/24/2019

Last Name

Seymour

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Charlena

HM ID

SEY02

Favorite Season

Fall and Spring

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard and Boston

Favorite Quote

This Above All To Thine Own Self Be True, Then Thou Cannot Be False To Any Person

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Food

Pasta, Fried Food, Cookies, Chocolate, Soul Food

Short Description

Academic administrator Charlena Seymour (1943- ) served as a professor, dean, and provost at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Favorite Color

Blue

Dr. Riley J. Williams, III

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Riley J. Williams III was born on March 16, 1966 in Los Angeles, California. He received his B.S. degree from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut in 1987, and his M.D. degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California in 1992.

Williams completed his surgical residency and post-graduate fellowship in sports medicine surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City. He was hired as a staff surgeon and specialist at HSS in 1998. Williams held dual appointments at HSS as a full-time member of the sports medicine and shoulder service, and the HSS Research Division as a clinician-scientist. He was also appointed instructor in orthopedic surgery at the Weill Cornell Medical College and became head team physician for the Iona College department of athletics. In 2000, Williams was promoted to assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the Weill Cornell Medical College. Later, in 2005, he was hired as head team physician and orthopedic surgeon of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Brooklyn Nets. That same year, he became the medical director and team orthopedic surgeon for the New York Red Bulls soccer team of Major League Soccer (MLS). In 2012, Williams served as founder and chief medical officer of R2T2 Laboratories, Inc., where he invented the Therma1 fast-recovery and injury prevention handheld roller. In 2014, Williams was named team physician for USA Olympic Men’s Basketball team and was also appointed director of the FIFA Center of Excellence at HSS. Throughout his career, Williams performed surgeries on a number of professional athletes including, Paul George of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, Al Iaquinta of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Tyreke Evans of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, WBC/WBA welterweight boxing champion Keith Thurman, D’Angelo Russell of the Brooklyn Nets, and Dustin Pedroia and Steven Wright of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox. In 2017, Williams was promoted to professor of orthopedic surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, and attending orthopedic surgeon at HSS.

In 1998, Williams received the Philip D. Wilson Jr. Award for Excellence in Research from the Hospital for Special Surgery, and the Ranawat Award for Excellence in Research from the Eastern Orthopedic Association. In 2003, Williams received the Charles C. Neer Award for Excellence in Research from the American Shoulder and Elbow Society. He also received the Aircast Award for Clinical Medicine from the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine in 2005. Williams was also named to the Castle Connolly Top Doctors in New York Metro Area list, and the Castle Connolly America’s Top Doctors list, since 2007 and 2010, respectively.

Williams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 29, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.026

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/29/2019

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Yale University

Stanford University School of Medicine

First Name

Riley

HM ID

WIL90

Favorite Season

Summer

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southern California

Favorite Quote

Living The Dream

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/16/1966

Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Southern Cuisine

Short Description

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Riley J. Williams III (1966 - ) served as professor of clinical orthopedic surgery at the Weill Cornell Medical College, orthopedic surgeon and specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery, and head team physician and orthopedic surgeon for the Brooklyn Nets.

Employment

Hospital for Special Surgery

Weill Cornell Medical College

Brooklyn Nets

New York Red Bulls

R2T2 Laboratories, Inc.

USA Basketball

Favorite Color

Blue

Laurence Fishburne

Actor Laurence Fishburne was born on July 30, 1961 in Augusta, Georgia to Hattie Bell Fishburne and Laurence Fishburne, Sr. He attended Julia Richmond High School and later graduated from Lincoln Square Academy in 1979.

In 1971, at age ten, Fishburne appeared in his first play In My Many Names and Days at the New Federal Theater. In 1973, Fishburne made his television debut in the role of Joshua Hall on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. He made his film debut two years later in Cornbread, Earl and Me; and, in that same year, he joined the Negro Ensemble Company. In 1976, at the age of fourteen, Fishburne was cast as Tyrone Miller in Frances Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, and was sent to the Philippines for location filming. Fishburne returned to the U.S. in 1979, and moved to Los Angeles, California. In 1983, he was featured in Rumble Fish based on the novel by S.E. Hinton, and later appeared in The Cotton Club as Bumpy Rhodes in 1984. The following year, he was cast as Swain in Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple and also starred Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey. Fishburne later portrayed Cowboy Curtis on Pee-wee’s Playhouse and also appeared in films such as Quicksilver, School Daze, and Cadence.

In 1991, Fishburne starred in John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood as Furious Styles. Two years later, he starred opposite Angela Bassett, portraying Ike Turner in What’s Love Got to Do with It, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. In 1994, Fishburne made his theatrical directorial debut and starred in Riff Raff. He was then cast in the title role for the film adaptation of Othello, and later portrayed Caleb Humphries in Miss Evers’ Boys. In 1999, Fishburne starred in The Matrix as Morpheus, co-starring Keanu Reaves. The following year, he made his screenwriting and directorial debut in Once in the Life. He also appeared in several films including: Mystic River, Biker Boyz, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Akeelah and the Bee, Mission: Impossible III, Five Fingers, Bobby, and voiced the role of the Silver Surfer in Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer. In 2007, Fishburne portrayed Thurgood Marshall in the Broadway production of Thurgood; and, in 2008, he landed a recurring role as Raymond Langston on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Fishburne was later featured in films such as, Contagion, Predators, Have a Little Faith, Man of Steel, The Colony, and Ride Along. In 2014, he was cast in the role of Pops in the television series Black-ish; and, in 2017, he portrayed the Bowery King in John Wick: Chapter 2, reprising the role in 2019, in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.

Among several awards and nominations, Fishburne was nominated for an Academy Award, has won two Emmy Awards and was nominated seven times. He also received a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Featured Role in 1992.

Laurence Fishburne was interviewed by on February 4, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.009

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/4/2019

Last Name

Fishburne

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

John

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

P.S. 321 William Penn Elementary School

M.S. 88 Peter Rouget School

Woodward School

Julia Richman High School

Lincoln Square Academy

First Name

Laurence

Birth City, State, Country

Augusta

HM ID

FIS06

Favorite Season

Autumn

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Tropical Places; Tahiti

Favorite Quote

Cool; See you around; Peace and love; Don't spend it all in one place

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

7/30/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Favorite Food

Moroccan

Short Description

Actor Laurence Fishburne (1961 - ) starred in films such as Apocalypse Now, The Color Purple, What’s Love Got to Do with It, The Matrix trilogy and in the television series Black-ish, and has received an Academy Award nomination, two Emmy Awards and a Tony Award for Best Actor.

Employment

Negro Ensemble Company

American Broadcasting Company (ABC)

American International Pictures

United Artists

Orion Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures

Columbia Broadcasting System

20th Century Fox Television

Columbia Pictures

Touchstone Pictures

Favorite Color

Orange

David L. Evans

Academic administrator and electrical engineer David L. Evans was born on December 27, 1939 in Wabash, Arkansas to Letha Canada and William Evans. Evans received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State College in 1962, and his M.S.E. degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1966.

In 1962, Evans joined the Boeing Company as an electrical engineer in Seattle, Washington. For six months, Evans served as an electrical engineer for Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Huntsville, Alabama in 1964, and as a researcher in electrical engineering at RCA Sarnoff Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey during the summer of 1965. From December 1967 to June 1968, he was part of a team of engineers sent from the Federal Systems Division of IBM to work on the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) at The Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation in Bethpage, New York. Grumman was the prime contractor for building the LEM, and IBM built the Launch Vehicle Digital Computer and the Launch Vehicle Data Adapter, all a part of the Apollo 11 vehicle that landed on the moon in July 1969. Also during his time at IBM, Evans started a college recruiting and placement service for young African American students which gained the attention of college administrators. In 1970, Harvard invited him to join the Harvard College Admissions Office, where he served as the assistant director of admissions and freshman proctor. Two years later, became associate director of admissions and senior advisor of freshmen. Evans was promoted to senior admissions officer at Harvard in 1975. In 1981, Evans joined the board of advisors of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations.

From 1979 to 1981, Evans was on the five person Human Relations Committee of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors. He joined the advisory committee for the Dorothy Danforth Compton Fellowships in International Affairs in 1981, and the advisory committee for the Frances Emily Hunt Trust Fund in 1983. Evans has also been a trustee of St. George’s School and Roxbury Latin School, on the community advisory board of WGBH in Boston, Massachusetts, and on the board of directors of Harvard Student Agencies.

In 1970, Evans was nominated as the Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer in the United States. He was chosen as the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year of Tennessee State University in 1972, and received the Distinguished Alumni Award given by the Association of Black Princeton Alumni in 1987. In 1990, he was named the 311th of President George H.W. Bush’s “Thousand Points of Light” for his community service work in Boston. Evans also received Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ top prize for Administrative Service in 2002. A year later, the Harvard Black alumni endowed the David L. Evans Scholarship Fund, which has raised over one million dollars. Evans was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2005.

David L. Evans was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 28, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.097

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/28/2019

Last Name

Evans

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Organizations
First Name

David

HM ID

EVA11

Favorite Season

Spring

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

The Optimist Sees The Doughnut, The Pessimist Sees The Hole, The Hungry Person Observing Only Wants To Eat The Roll

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Favorite Food

Fish or Fowl

Short Description

Academic administrator and electrical engineer David L. Evans (1939 - ) joined the Harvard College admissions office in 1970 and was promoted to senior admissions officer in 1975.

Favorite Color

Blue

Jabari Asim

Author and magazine editor Jabari Asim was born on August 11, 1962 in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Southwest High School in 1980, and attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

In 1988, Asim was hired by the startup African American publication, Take Five magazine, as a contributing writer. By 1990, he was promoted to senior editor of the magazine where he ran the magazine’s literary section until 1992, when he became a copy editor for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Here, he would take on the additional role of arts editor of the weekend section; and, in 1993, he was made book editor. In 1996, Asim moved to Washington D.C. when he was hired by the Washington Post to serve as an assistant editor before becoming senior editor of the newspaper’s Book World in 1999. The Washington Post Book World was a weekly book section in which Asim wrote, assigned, and edited reviews. He remained in this role until he became editor-in-chief of the NAACP’s magazine, The Crisis, in 2007. From 2008 to 2010, Asim served as a scholar-in-residence in African American Studies and in the Department of Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign; and, in 2009, he was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship in the general nonfiction category. Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts hired Asim in 2010 to work as an associate professor of writing, literature, and publishing. He left The Crisis in 2017.

Asim is the author of nonfiction, fiction, children’s and adult’s books, and poetry. His children’s literature includes The Road to Freedom: A story of the Reconstruction (2001), Whose Toes are Those? and Whose Knees are These? (2006), Daddy Goes to Work (2006), Girl of Mine and Boy of Mine (2010), Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington (2012), Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis (2016), and A Child's Introduction to African American History: The Experiences, People, and Events That Shaped Our Country (2018). His adult works include Not Guilty: Twelve Black Men Speak Out on the Law, Justice and Life (2001), The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t, and Why (2007), What Obama Means: …For Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Future (2009), A Taste of Honey (2010), Only the Strong (2015), and We Can’t Breathe (2018). Asim’s poetry has also been featured in the Black American Literature Forum, The Furious Flowering of African American Poetry, Step Into A World: A Global Anthology of The New Black Literature, Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature & Art, Beyond The Frontier: African-American Poetry for the 21st Century, and The Harlem Reader: A Celebration of New York's Most Famous Neighborhood from the Renaissance Years to the 21st Century.

Asim lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Liana Asim, and the couple has five children.

Jabari Asim was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 13, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.100

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/13/2019

Last Name

Asim

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Wade Elementary School

Central Visual and Performing Arts High School

Northwestern University

First Name

Jabari

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

ASI01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Newport, RI

Favorite Quote

Writing Is Work, But It's Joyful Work

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

8/11/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Favorite Food

Pasta

Short Description

Author and magazine editor Jabari Asim (1962 - ) was editor-in-chief of the NAACP’s magazine, The Crisis, from 2007 to 2017, and became associate professor of writing literature and publishing at Emerson College in 2010. He has also authored fifteen books.

Employment

Sears

Take Five Magazine

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Washington Post

Washington Post Book World

The Crisis

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

John Guggenheim Foundation

Emerson College

Favorite Color

Green

Skip Cunningham

Entertainer Skip Cunningham was born on April 24, 1936 to Geneva Davis and William Henry Cunningham in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Morgan Park High School and attended the University of Illinois at Navy Pier, before transferring to Woodrow Wilson Junior College where he received his A.A. degree in 1956.

In 1941, at the age of five, Cunningham started tap lessons at the Sadie Bruce Dance School in the Bronzeville area of Chicago. Starting at the age of eight, he performed throughout the city and won several dance competitions. He visited California in 1956, where he won a talent contest that earned him a week-long engagement performing at the Moulin Rouge on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. In 1957, while still in Los Angeles, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and completed basic training at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington. He was stationed at Fort Gordon in Georgia and Fort Banks in Winthrop, Massachusetts, where he found a talent agent and joined the American Guild of Variety Artists. In 1959, Cunningham completed his military service. He returned to Chicago, where he secured a role performing in the Billy Williams Revue. Over the next two years, the group toured Canada, New York, New Orleans and Las Vegas, where they established a six-month residency, before returning to New York City in 1961. Cunningham left the group and secured General Artist Corporation as his agent. During this period, he made appearances on television shows like On Broadway Tonight, The Merv Griffin Show, and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. As an entertainer, he performed with Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Richard Pryor, and Frank Sinatra. He was also a recording artist for such labels as Kapp Records, Coral Records, and Motown.

In 1968, Cunningham moved to Los Angeles, where he began performing on cruise ship circuits and making various television and movie appearances. Cunningham was featured on episodes of Sanford and Son and The Richard Pryor Show. He also performed briefly in Eubie! on Broadway and in a production of Evolution of the Blues at the Drury Lane Theater at the Water Tower Place in Chicago in 1980. In 1984, Cunningham worked on the films, The Cotton Club and later Taps, in 1989. Cunningham also worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District to teach performance arts and African American history. In 2002, Cunningham was cast in the David Whitfield production of Forgotten Treasures with Marla Gibbs and Lou Myers. Cunningham was then selected to perform for the 2003 Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, along with Fayard Nicholas, Arlene Kennedy and Arthur Duncan. Cunningham appeared with Century Ballroom Presents The Masters of Lindy Hop & Tap, before retiring from the stage in 2009.

As a tap master, Cunningham was awarded the Chicago Human Rhythm Project Juba Award, Rhythm Tap Hall of Fame Master Tapper Award, and the Los Angeles Tap Festival Leonard Reed Longevity Award.

Skip Cunningham was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 7, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.013

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/7/2019

Last Name

Cunningham

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Morgan Park High School

University of Illinois at Navy Pier

Kennedy–King College

First Name

Skip

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

CUN03

Favorite Season

Chicago - Four Seasons, California - All Year

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

United States

Favorite Quote

Got Dammit!

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

4/24/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Entertainer Skip Cunningham (1936 - ) toured with the Billy Williams Revue and made numerous appearances on The Merv Griffin Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and was featured in Eubie! on Broadway and in Evolution of the Blues.

Employment

U.S. Army

American Guild of Variety Artists

Billy Williams Revue

Genderal Artist Corporation

Los Angeles Unified School District

Favorite Color

Blue

Virgil Roberts

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2019.011

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/6/2019

Last Name

Roberts

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Ventura College

University of California, Los Angeles

Harvard Law School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Virgil

Birth City, State, Country

Ventura

HM ID

ROB39

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $500 - $1,000

Favorite Season

Thanksgiving

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Tens - Audit

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

So good to be seen.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

1/4/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Favorite Food

Peach Cobbler

Short Description

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

Employment

Pacht, Ross, Warne, Bernhard & Sears

Manning, Reynolds & Roberts

SOLAR Records

Bobbitt & Roberts

Favorite Color

Blue