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McGhee Williams Osse

Advertising executive McGhee Williams Osse was born on November 10th in Columbus, Georgia to Sallie Mae Gamble McGhee and Nelson McGhee. After earning her B.A. degree in English at Spelman College and completing post-graduate coursework in advertising at the University of South Carolina. Osse worked as a traffic manager for WSB-Radio Atlanta and was later hired as a copy-editor and layout artist at Sears; and she went on to work as a field marketing manager for KFC, and a marketing manager at General Mills Restaurant Group, and a marketing director for RTM, Inc.

In 1986, Osse joined Burrell Communications Group, a black owned advertising agency and ultimately became general manager of the Atlanta office, working with clients like Coca-Cola, Georgia Power, and Bell South Yellow Pages. In 1996, Osse became an equity partner at Burrell Communications in Chicago, where she led the company’s entry into digital and interactive marketing. Osse also started Burrell’s Yurban marketing initiative which became the industry’s gold-standard in reaching youth and young adult during the early days of Hip Hop. Following the retirement of founder Thomas J. Burrell in 2004, Osse and Fay Ferguson became co-CEOs of Burrell Communications. Under Osse’s leadership, Burrell Communications launched several successful campaigns for Procter and Gamble, Verizon and American Airlines. In 2015, presidential candidate Hilary Clinton hired Burrell Communications to handle the advertising for her campaign – marking the agency’s official launch of a political practice.

Osse has served on several boards, including the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) Regional Board of Directors; Ad Council Chicago Leadership Committee; and the Mosaic Council Executive Committee (American Advertising Federation). She has also been actively involved with the Partnership for A Drug-Free America, the Clear Channel Community Board of Advisors, the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, and Medical Wings International.

Osse received numerous awards and accolades for her career in advertising, including the Chicago Minorities in Business Leadership Award in 2007, Ebony’s outstanding women in marketing and communication award and the ‘advertising legend’ award from the ADCOLOR industry coalition. She was also honored by the National Alliance of Market Developers and the Black United Fund of Illinois. Under her leadership, Burrell Communications was named Black Enterprises Advertising Agency of the Year as well as awarded the Minority Marketing and Communications Firm of the Year Award in 2015.

McGhee Williams Osse was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 19, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.016

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/19/2018

Last Name

Williams Osse

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

McGhee

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

WIL82

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

The World

Favorite Quote

The Sun Is Always Shining.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

11/10/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Favorite Food

Tacos

Short Description

Advertising executive McGhee Williams Osse (1952 - ) serves as the co-CEO of Burrell Communications Group since 2004, one of the nation’s largest African American advertising agencies.

Favorite Color

Black

Ann B. Walker

Radio host Ann B. Walker was born on November 1, 1923 in Columbus, Ohio. She graduated from South River High School in East Brunswick, New Jersey in 1940, and received her B.A. degree from George Williams College, in Chicago, Illinois in 1944.

She served as journalist, editor and columnist for the Ohio Sentinel, and is best known for her column “Ann Walker’s Party Line.” In the 1960s, she joined the radio station WVKO-AM in Columbus and served as assistant news director, community services director and the on-air host of the “Ann Walker Show” and “Youth Speaks”. In 1970, Walker also served as a member of the Columbus Consumer Protection Committee. In 1972, she became the on-air talent, producer and community services director for WLWC-TV in Columbus, and the first female in broadcast management at the station. In 1978, Walker was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame as the first woman broadcaster to report on the Ohio legislature. In 1980, Walker became the creator and host of WCMH-TV’s new public affairs program. In the same year, Walker was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as special assistant to the director of The White House Public Affairs Office. In 1991, Walker established her own company, Ann B. Walker and Associates. Then, in 2002, Walker wrote the introduction to A Piece of My Damn Mind! by Calvin H. Stillwell.

Walker received numerous acknowledgements and recognition for her contributions to the local media industry and the community. She was listed among the “Who’s Who in Black Central Ohio” in 2000. Her work is archived in the Columbus Metropolitan Library African American history collection. Her name and image are included among the honorees on the Long Street Cultural Wall in Columbus. As a lifetime member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Walker served as the 24th Alpha Sigma Omega Chapter President in Columbus, Ohio. She also served as a ruling elder at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Columbus. In 2004, she helped established the Linwood P. Walker Scholarship, named in honor of her late husband.

Walker is widowed and has four children.

Ann B. Walker was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 16, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.204

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/16/2017

Last Name

Walker

Maker Category
Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

George Williams College

Prairie View A&M University

East High School

Champion Avenue School

Mt. Vernon Elementary School

First Name

Ann

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

WAL24

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

11/1/1923

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Columbus

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Radio host Ann B. Walker (1923 - ) hosted the “Ann Walker Show” and “Youth Speaks” on WVKO-AM in Columbus, Ohio and was appointed special assistant to the director of The White House Public Affairs Office during the administration of President Jimmy Carter.

Favorite Color

Red

Linda Goode Bryant

Filmmaker and nonprofit executive Linda Goode Bryant was born on July 21, 1949 in Columbus, Ohio to Floyd Goode and Josephine Goode. Bryant attended Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she received her B.A. degree in studio art with a minor in drama in 1972. She went on to earn her M.B.A degree in management from Columbia University in New York, New York in 1980.

After graduation from Spelman College, Bryant moved to New York City and was a fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and worked in the education department of The Studio Museum in Harlem. In 1974, Bryan founded the Just Above Midtown gallery. The following year, Just Above Midtown gallery hosted the first New York solo exhibition for artist Davis Hammons. Bryant’s gallery also helped to launch the careers of artists such as Senga Nengudi, Maren Hassinger and Houston Conwill. In 1978, Bryant collaborated with Marcy S. Philips to write Contextures. In May 1982, Bryant and Janet Henry published the first issue of Black Currant, a publication that focused on the work of artists affiliated with JAM. From 1990 to 1991, Bryant worked as a senior policy analyst for economic development in New York under Mayor David Dinkins. In 2003, Bryant, with Laura Poitras, co-directed Flag Wars, a film about the gentrification of the Olde Towne East neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio during the late 1990s. The documentary won a Peabody Award in 2003 and its success led to Bryant receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship the following year. Apart from directing, Bryant was also a part of the film Colored Frames, a documentary that looked at the influences and experiences of black artists, over a fifty year period.

In 2003, Bryant founded the Active Citizen Project, which focused on the use of art and media to encourage teenagers to bring about social change. Through the Active Citizen Project, Open Caucus and Project EATS were established to engage teenagers in local political issues. Project EATS was founded in 2008, in the wake of the global food crisis, and focused on training urban communities to practice sustainable farming within their neighborhoods.

Bryant has one son, Kenneth Bryant, and three grandchildren.

Linda Goode Bryant was interviewed by The HistoryMakerson May 5, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.100

Sex

Female

Interview Date

05/05/2017

Last Name

Bryant

Maker Category
Middle Name

Goode

Organizations
Schools

Douglas Alternative Elementary School

Franklin Junior High School

Spelman College

Columbia University

First Name

Linda

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

BRY05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any beach

Favorite Quote

Use what you have to create what you need.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/21/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Avocados

Short Description

Filmmaker and nonprofit executive Linda Goode Bryant (1949 - ) founded Just Above Midtown Gallery, was the co-director for the 2003 documentary Flag Wars, for which she won a Peabody Award, and was the founding director of Project EATS.

Employment

Active Citizen Project, Inc.

Zula Pearl Films

Asset Consulting Group

Just Above Midtown Gallery

Studio Museum in Harlem

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Favorite Color

Blues and browns

A. Peter Bailey

Journalist and author A. Peter Bailey was born on February 24, 1938 in Columbus, Georgia to Upson and Alga Bailey. He was raised in Tuskegee, Alabama, and attended Tuskegee Institute High School, but graduated from Nuremberg American High School in Germany in 1955. Bailey served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1959, and went on to attend Howard University until 1961.

In 1962, Bailey moved to Harlem, New York City; and, in 1964, became a founding member of Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), where he was editor of the OAAU newsletter, Blacklash. From 1968 to 1975, he worked as associate editor for Ebony magazine. From 1975 to 1981, Bailey served as associate director of the Black Theatre Alliance (BTA), where he also edited the BTA Newsletter. He has also contributed articles to numerous publications including Essence, Black Enterprise, Jet, The New York Times, the Negro Digest, Black World, The Black Collegian, and the New York Daily News. He also writes a bi-monthly column for the Trice-Edney Wire Service.

Bailey has lectured on Malcolm X at thirty-five colleges and universities, and taught as an adjunct professor at Hunter College, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of the District of Columbia. In addition, he has written the play, Malcolm, Martin, Medgar, which has been presented at several staged readings. He is the author of Witnessing Brother Malcolm X, The Master Teacher: A Memoir; Harlem: Precious Memories, Great Expectations; co-author of Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey with Alvin Ailey; and co-author of Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X with Rodnell P. Collins.

Bailey served as president of the New York Association of Black Journalists from 1983 to 1985, and was a member of the Tony Awards Nominating Committee in the 1975-76 Broadway season. He also served on the board of the Bethune-DuBois Institute, and is a member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Bailey has received several awards, including Lifetime Achievement awards from the National Newspaper Publishers Association and the New York Association of Black Journalists.

A. Peter Bailey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 18, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.088

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/18/2014

Last Name

Bailey

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Peter

Schools

St. Joseph Catholic School

Tuskegee Institute High School

Nurnberg American High School

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Alfonzo

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

BAI10

State

Georgia

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

2/24/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Short Description

Journalist and author A. Peter Bailey (1938 - ) was a founding member of the Organization of Afro-American Unity and served as a longtime editor for Ebony magazine. He authored Witnessing Brother Malcolm X, The Master Teacher: A Memoir and Harlem: Precious Memories, Great Expectations; and co-author of Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey and Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X.

Employment

Ebony Magazine

The Black Theatre Alliance

Virginia Union University

Bethune-DuBois Institute

Keith Jackson

Physicist Keith Hunter Jackson was born on September 24, 1953 in Columbus, Ohio to Gloria and Russell Jackson. He earned two B.S. degrees, one in physics from Morehouse College and one in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Jackson then moved to California where he obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University in 1979 and 1982, respectively.

After obtaining his graduate degrees, Jackson began working for Hewlett Packard Laboratories. He became a member of the Gate Dielectric group and developed techniques to create thin nitride films on silicon layers. In 1983, he served as a professor at Howard University, working in the Solid State Electronics group. Beginning in 1988, Jackson worked for Rockwell International (now Boeing) in the Rocketdyne division where under the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program he performed research on diamond thin films, high powered chemical and Free Electron Lasers (FEL) and water-cooled optics. In 1992, Jackson began working for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as associate director of the Center for X-Ray Optics (CXRO). His research interests were in the Extreme Ultra-Violet (EVU) lithography, x-ray lithography, electroplating and injection molding. EUV lithography is the technology, which is used to build billions of nano-sized devices for use in computers and cell phones. X-ray lithography and molding is used to build micro-sized mechanical devices like micropumps, and tiny mirrors for large screen projection TV’s. In 2005, Jackson became Vice President of Research and Professor of Physics at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). On January 4th 2010, Jackson moved to Baltimore, Maryland and joined the faculty of Morgan State University as Chair of the Department of Physics.

Jackson served as president of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) from 2001 to 2006. He is also a fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists and the African Scientific Institute. In 2004, Jackson was selected as one of the 50 Most Important African Americans in Technology by U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology. In addition to his published papers, Jackson has written pieces on minority physicists including “Utilization of African American Physicists in the Science & Engineering Workforce” and “The Status of the African American Physicist in the Department of Energy National Laboratories.”

Accession Number

A2012.140

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/16/2012 |and| 9/10/2012

Last Name

Jackson

Middle Name

H.

Schools

Morehouse College

Georgia Institute of Technology

Stanford University

First Name

Keith

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

JAC29

Favorite Season

April

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

In Physics, We Don't Teach You What To Think. We Teach You How To Think.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

9/24/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Oranges

Short Description

Physicist and physics professor Keith Jackson (1953 - ) served as president of the National Society of Black Physicists, vice president of research at Florida A&M University and chair of the Department of Physics at Morgan State University.

Employment

Morgan State University

Florida A&M University

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)

Rockwell International

Howard University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Keith Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes his mother's experience growing up in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson talks about his mother attending Ohio State University

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Keith Jackson describes his father's service in the U.S. Air Force and his experience at Harvard Law School in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes his father's death in 1957

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes how his parents met and got married

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson recalls his memories of his father

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson talks about his brother, and describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson describes the sights, smells and sounds of growing up in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Keith Jackson describes segregation in Columbus, Ohio, in the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Keith Jackson describes his experience in school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Keith Jackson describes his interest in comic books and Estes model rockets

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes his childhood perception of the space race

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson talks about his secular upbringing

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson talks about his brother, David Jackson, and his childhood interest in slot cars

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes how slot cars work

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson talks about his technical problem-solving skills as a teenager - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson talks about his technical problem-solving skills as a teenager - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Keith Jackson describes his experience attending Champion Junior High School and Bishop Hartley Catholic School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes his mother's reasons for sending him to Bishop Hartley Catholic School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes his experience at Bishop Hartley Catholic School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes his experience at Eastmoor High School in Columbus, Ohio - part one

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes his experience at Eastmoor High School in Columbus, Ohio - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson talks about the activism of Dr. Charles O. Ross at Ohio State University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson talks about applying to colleges in the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes his decision to attend Morehouse College to major in physics

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes his experience at Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson talks about Carl Spight's role in improving the physics department at Morehouse College - part one

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson talks about Carl Spight's role in improving the physics department at Morehouse College - part two

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson describes his experience at Morehouse College - part one

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson describes his experience at Morehouse College - part two

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson talks about the physics department at Morehouse College

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson talks about his foundational education in physics at Morehouse College

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson talks about black professional societies in the 1970s, and the trends regarding black scientists at the time

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson discusses science education at historically black colleges and universities - part one

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson discusses science education at historically black colleges and universities - part two

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson discusses the importance of a foundational education for physics and engineering students

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson discusses recent discoveries and trends in the physical sciences and technology

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes the Higgs boson and the implications of its discovery - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes the Higgs boson and the implications of its discovery - part two

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson describes his experience as a graduate student at Stanford University - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson describes his experience as a graduate student at Stanford University - part two

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes his decision to work at Stanford University's Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes his doctoral research at Stanford University's Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory - part one

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes his doctoral research at Stanford University's Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory - part two

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes his doctoral research at Stanford University's Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory - part three

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson talks about the dangers of working with lasers

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes his decision to join the department of electrical engineering at Howard University

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes his decision to leave Howard University and accept a position at Rocketdyne

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes his work on the free electron laser at Rocketdyne

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes his work on diamond thin films at Rocketdyne - part one

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson describes his work on diamond thin films at Rocketdyne - part two

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson describes his work on the application of Rocketdyne's water-cooler mirrors in the synchrotron radiation community

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes the importance of finding the correct match in employment

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes his decision to join Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1992 - part one

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes his decision to join Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1992 - part two

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes the concept of Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson describes his work on Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson discusses the futuristic projects at Rockwell International's Advance Programs division

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes his involvement with the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) - part one

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes his involvement with the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) - part two

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson discusses the lack of African American professional physicists at laboratories funded by the Department of Energy - part one

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson discusses the lack of African American professional physicists at laboratories funded by the Department of Energy - part two

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson talks about what it takes to become a successful physicist

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson talks about the shortage of African American scientists in management and research roles

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson talks about the African American scientists employed at Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes his involvement with the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAEOHE) - part one

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes his involvement with the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAEOHE) - part two

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson describes his decision to become a professor of physics at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson describes his experience working at Florida A&M University, and the nature of the U.S. federal granting process

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes the mismanagement of research funds at Florida A&M University in the early 2000s - part one

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes the mismanagement of research funds at Florida A&M University in the early 2000s - part two

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes the state of research funding at Florida A&M University

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes his involvement in securing research funding for Florida A&M University - part one

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson describes his involvement in securing research funding for Florida A&M University - part two

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson describes his involvement in securing research funding for Florida A&M University - part three

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes his experience at Florida A&M University

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes his decision to leave Florida A&M University

Tape: 14 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes the challenges to science education at HBCUs - part one

Tape: 14 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes the challenges to science education at HBCUs - part two

Tape: 14 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 14 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 15 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson reflects upon his career choices

Tape: 15 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson talks about his family

Tape: 15 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

2$1

DATape

9$8

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Keith Jackson describes his work on the application of Rocketdyne's water-cooler mirrors in the synchrotron radiation community
Keith Jackson describes his doctoral research at Stanford University's Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory - part three
Transcript
About this time, there was, I made a reintroduction to the synchrotron light source community because we had, the company [Rocketdyne; rocket engine design and production company] had a contract or thought that they were competing for a contract to build a large free-electron laser. And this was a half billion dollar contract. A lot of effort went into it, and eventually, the [U.S.] Air Force decided that they weren't gonna go for it. They weren't gonna build this huge free electron laser to take out satellites because they didn't believe--I mean take out missiles because they didn't believe it would work, which left us with a number of technologies. One was the, one was, had to do with particle accelerators and magnetic structures called undulators that go around them. And it also left us with a division that built cooled mirrors, water-cooled mirrors, okay.$$What--okay.$$So you'd have a water-cooled mirror for the laser. That way you'd be able to keep the temperature rise at the surface, and the optics wouldn't distort and the laser would keep running. Now, the trouble is, when you looked at this, well, who else needed these kinds of technologies, you know? Who, who could, who had the pocketbook to pay for this and the technical need. And I argued within the company that the synchrotron radiations community needed these kinds of optics because the advance photon source at the Argonne National Lab [Illinois] was coming on line, and also the advance light source at Berkeley [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California] was coming on line. And when you looked--these were sources that were built for these small-cap, magnetic insertion devices called undulators. And when you put these undulators into being, they pulled out a tremendous amount of light at x-ray wavelength, at EUV [extreme ultra violet], and x-ray wavelengths. And they would, and when you had optics on there, they would build a tremendous amount, there would be a tremendous amount of thermo loading on the mirrors. And they had various schemes, technologies that they had developed that were, that relied on very exotic cooling techniques. One was a liquid gallium cooled mirrors. So gallium like mercury is a liquid, not quite at room temperature, but add a little bit above. And you have the, you can pump it as you would any liquid, and it has a tremendous thermo-conductivity. And so there was one scheme where you would use this to cool a mirror. Now, I never, the reason I smile is, I never believed that that would work. And the people at the Advanced Photon Source at the time said that something like 90 percent of their mirrors would be these gallium-based things. And this is, and plus, they did not have the technology--they would have to build the mirrors. That's how they, because that's why it was gonna be 90 percent of it so they would have a job for life. But, you know, we had a company, a little company that actually built these mirrors, these water-cooled mirrors. We had prototypes, we had some of the--Rocketdyne solved these technical problems like how you bond these mirrors together, how you actually, you had, we had different types of 'em, some of 'em which had, we called 'em pinFET. That means you stuck little pins in, and then you put it on top, and then you blow water through it. And you can change the size of this pin. You could change the concentration of the pins. So we needed something, one area cooler than the other. There were even schemes for being able to use the thermo differences to bend and focus mirrors, which was unheard of at these wavelengths.$But, so anyway, so we engineered an apparatus after we looked at the requirements, okay. So we have to have a window, something that shows us from the storage ring. And so we have to use a thin film metal window. Then the issue was, well, if you vent your chamber, you let it up to air, if there's atmospheric pressure there, it's gonna break through this window. I said, well, we're not, I'm naive and I say, well, we're not gonna let it vent. And they say, well, what we're gonna have is we're gonna have a fine. Anybody who vents their chambers, $10,000. And I said, well, maybe we'll get a thicker window. So I started to look into getting windows thick enough to take atmospheric pressure--and by the way, these foils are about a hundred times thinner than a sheet of aluminum foil. A sheet of aluminum foil is a hundred microns thick. These films, these foils were ten microns thick. Your hair is 125 microns thick. And it soon became clear, well, there's no foil on earth that's gonna be thin enough that I could put in there. So I, then I looked at supported films. And so there's a mesh there, and somehow, this guy miraculously gets aluminum foil on there that's three microns thick. And I say, well, that's still not gonna support this thing if I vent. And so the senior graduate student said--he wants to graduate. And so he's saying, well, we're gonna go back to the first suggestion of not venting the chamber and use the reputation of Dr. [Richard] Zare [Jackson's doctoral thesis advisor] and the desire that they had to get other people using this thing. And so we tried that, once. And this graduate student I was working for was from India. His name is Javed Hus--well, his ancestry is Indian. I don't think he was, I think he was born in the United States. And so we're running an experiment, and he's putting these things in, noxious gases. And I'm saying, well, Javed, you know, we don't really have the equipment to be handling this. And so we're doing that. We're getting some data, and the people come up there and inspect our apparatus. And we complete the experiment, and as I'm taking the thing down 'cause I was the only one authorized to use the crane, all right, the director of operations comes over to me. And I'll never forget, he says, well, Jackson, you're okay, but we don't want this Indian guy here anymore. And you need to go tell Zare. And in the meantime, 'cause I'm thinking, boy, you know, here I gotta go play, I gotta play rat. And in the meantime, he's getting impatient 'cause he wants to graduate. He's been there seven years, and he's not such a great experimentalist, all right. So he's starting an experiment in the lab using a laser and it's a gas laser, and he's got the gas plumb to it. And he got impatient and he didn't hook up the gas properly. So he took a big cylinder--and normally, you have a regulator that drops the pressure, he built an adapter where he was taking the straight pressure from the cylinder, with just some plastic tubing. And it's a low-pressure cylinder, but, no way. And the gas reacted with the plastic, burned away and the gas pours out into the room. The gas is poisonous. The other fifteen members of the group exit, you know, the lab, and they're out on the lawn. I came into the building from the back. I didn't see 'em. I come into the elevator. I go down into the lab. We're in the basement. And I opened the door and it was like a fist struck me from the gas that was in there. Happily, there was a graduate student, no, a post-doc that was there that was there with a gas mask or he made a gas mask. And he helped me back in the elevator, and we got up to the lawn where I was sitting up there coughing away. And after I regained my composure, I conveyed to Dr. Zare what the operations director said, and agreed with him (laughter). He's gotta go, you know. And then he got tremendous flack from the chemistry department and the university for the accident down there. And therefore, I, you know, that's where he worked out another experiment for the student to do, and I got to take over the experiment and, eventually got another assistant; engineered a system, a safety system that would shut two valves to protect the accelerator, sensor mat to go with it, utilized a new species of pump, turbo-molecular pump, to evacuate the chamber, all first for there, initiated collaborations with another scientist, David Shirley, director of Lawrence Berkeley [National] Laboratory [Berkeley, California], to get some experiments going, why this stuff was being built. And then got it, and did the experiment, did it on two gases, well, I did it on three gases, published the thesis on two, CO [carbon monoxide] and N2 [nitrogen] and was, you know, able to demonstrate for one of the first measurements, first that the alignment actually exist, what its value was, how to--the theory for coupling together the angular momentum so that it agrees with the experimental results and published that. That was my thesis. And then took a job in, at Hewett Packard [HP] in the semi-conductor device laboratory.

The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown

Ohio State Justice Yvette McGee Brown was born in Columbus Ohio to Sylvia Kendrick on July 1, 1960. After graduating from Columbus, Ohio’s Mifflin High School, McGee Brown attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She graduated with her B.S. degree in journalism from Ohio University in 1982. Three years later, McGee Brown graduated from Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law with her J.D. degree in law. In 1992, McGee Brown was elected to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations and Juvenile division. As lead Juvenile Court Judge, she led the creation of the Family Drug Court and the SMART Program, a truancy and educational neglect intervention program. After nine years on the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, she retired from the bench to create the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, a multi-disciplinary child abuse and family violence program. In 2008, McGee Brown was also elected to the Ohio Elections Commission. After serving as founding president for the Center for Child and Family Advocacy, McGee Brown became a candidate for lieutenant governor of Ohio, tabbed by then Governor Ted Strickland in 2010. Strickland appointed her to the Ohio Supreme Court after losing his gubernatorial bid. McGee Brown became the first African American woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Ohio.

An active community and corporate leader, Justice McGee Brown has served on the boards of Ohio University, The Ohio State University Medical Center, the National Council of the OSU Moritz College of Law, M/I Homes Inc. and Fifth Third Bank of Central Ohio. She is the former chair of the United Way of Central Ohio, The Ohio State University Alumni Association and the YWCA Columbus Board of Directors. In 2008, Justice McGee Brown was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. Among her many honors, she has received the Champion of Children Award, YWCA Woman of Achievement Award and several honors from Ohio University and The Ohio State University.

Justice McGee Brown is married to Tony Brown. They have three children and one grandson.

Justice Yvette McGee Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 6, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.087

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/6/2012

Last Name

McGee Brown

Maker Category
Schools

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Ohio University

Mifflin High School

Mifflin Middle School

Fairwood Alternative Elementary School

South Mifflin Elementary School

First Name

Yvette

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

MCG02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

It Doesn't Matter Where You Started In Life; It Matters Where You End.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

7/1/1960

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Columbus

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

State supreme court judge The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown (1960 - ) was the first African American woman to serve on the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas and the Supreme Court of Ohio. She also founded the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Columbus Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Employment

Supreme Court of Ohio

Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children's Hospital

Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations and Juvenile Division

Ohio Attorney General's Office

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown talks about her maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes her mother's experiences as a single mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes her relationship with her father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown remembers meeting her half-sister

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes her likeness to her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Browns talks about her mother's marriages

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown recalls her mother's diagnosis with Guillain-Barre syndrome

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown remembers visiting her maternal grandparents' home

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes her schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown remembers Mifflin High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown recalls the political climate of the late 1970s

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown remembers interviewing Judge Robert Morton Duncan

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes her early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown remembers studying journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes her mentors at Ohio University

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown talks about her experiences at Ohio University

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown recalls her decision to attend The Ohio State University College of Law in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Yvette McGee Brown remembers The Ohio State University College of Law in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Yvette McGee Brown remembers joining the Ohio attorney general's office

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Yvette McGee Brown talks about Judge Lillian W. Burke

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Yvette McGee Brown describes her career at the Ohio attorney general's office

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Yvette McGee Brown recalls implementing consent decrees in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Yvette McGee Brown remembers her decision to pursue a county judgeship

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Yvette McGee Brown remembers her election as a judge in Franklin County, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Yvette McGee Brown describes her judgeship at the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Yvette McGee Brown describes her judgeship at the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown talks about the juvenile court system

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown remembers the O.J. Simpson trial

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes the Student Mediation and Assistance to Reduce Truancy program

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes the Family Drug Court at the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes the Center for Child and Family Advocacy in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown reflects upon her early judicial career

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown remembers serving on the Ohio Elections Commission

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown recalls her decision to become Ohio Governor Ted Strickland's running mate

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown remembers Governor Ted Strickland's reelection campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown recalls her appointment to the Supreme Court of Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown talks about her colleagues on the Supreme Court of Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown talks about her speaking engagements

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown talks about her casework on the Supreme Court of Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes her family

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$6

DATitle
Yvette McGee Brown recalls implementing consent decrees in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown describes the Center for Child and Family Advocacy in Columbus, Ohio
Transcript
What did the court order the--$$The department [Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction] to do?$$Yeah (unclear) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Well, the department at that time was deemed to be discriminatory from race and sex. And the court, the federal court [U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio] had ordered the Ohio Penitentiary closed. The Ohio Penitentiary used to sit in what is now called the Arena District in Columbus [Ohio]. It was this huge prison that had been built in the 1800s. And the federal district--the federal courts had declared that it was cruel and unusual to have inmates inhabit that facility. So, it had to be closed and, ultimately, it was torn down. At the time, I came to the department we had been accused of race discrimination for not promoting African Americans, and not just in employment, but in how we dealt with inmates. We had a caste system inside the prison department where white inmates got cells, and black inmates got dormitories. And so, part of my responsibility was to help develop and write policies, and then train the wardens and the staff on how this was going to happen. It was very interesting to me because I would meet with the wardens, and they were very opposed to housing black and white inmates together. They were like, "You don't understand, they will not live together." And I looked at them and I said, "Oh, we don't let inmates choose any part of their existence. We don't let them choose what they're going to wear, what they're going to eat, when they go to the bathroom, what time they get up, and suddenly, we're going to let them choose who they live with? This is prison. These are your issues. We're going to assign cells based on security levels, and not based on race." But, oh, my gosh, it was so hard. And then, the other case we had was a serious case of sex discrimination. They would not allow women to work as correctional officers in maximum security prisons because, apparently, women are so weak, they would have sex with the inmates. And a woman couldn't get promoted to be a warden if she didn't have maximum security experience. So, the, the duplicity of their argument, though, is that, at the same time, they were prosecuting and--or, excuse me, defending a case as to why women couldn't work in maximum security prisons, we had men working in the female prison. And we had female inmates actually getting pregnant. And nobody was saying that men couldn't work in Marysville [Ohio Reformatory for Women, Marysville, Ohio] so, of course, we lost that case. And I can remember sitting with this old warden. His name is Arnold Jago [ph.]. And Arnold Jago, he used to call me Gal, 'cause Arnold was sixty-five years old. And he looks like what you would think a warden would look like, and he would say to me, "Gal, we are not letting women into this prison." And I said, "Warden, yes, you are. Women are going to work in this prison. That is what the federal court has ordered." And I had his supervisor with me who said to him, "Arnold, either women start working in this prison, or you're not going to be the warden anymore." So, it was a fascinating practice for somebody who was only twenty-seven years old.$$Yeah, it does. It sounds like a fascinating--Ohio State Pen, as you described it, was used as a model for a draconian prison in 'The Shawshank Redemption' (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) It was, that was Mansfield.$$Oh, Mansfield?$$The Mansfield Correctional [Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield, Ohio], yeah, 'cause that one is Mansfield, and I've been there several times. It, it was the only prison in the country that was built six tiers high, solid concrete. It was so noisy, like you could hear yourself as you would walk through. You hear every step you take, and the noise was deafening. Oh, my god, if they even started talking, they, and because they were stacked straight on top of each other, you have somebody on tier six yelling down to somebody on tier four, you would lose your mind. I don't know how people didn't go crazy in there. It was the loudest, most difficult prison to operate.$$Okay.$$And that was where 'Shawshank' was filmed.$$Okay. And I always thought it was Ohio Pen--$$Yeah, the Ohio Pen was, I think, gone or, or pretty decrepit by that time.$$I think they shot something before they knocked it down (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh, they probably--oh, 'Cool Hand Luke' maybe? Yeah, they did do, they did several movies at the Ohio Pen because to see it, you're right. It was pretty draconian looking, yeah. And then, there was that infamous fire there where several inmates died and, yeah, it was a bad place.$$Okay. Okay. So, you were trying to implement the federal consent, consent decree, and--$$We had several, yeah. We were being sued all the time (laughter).$What happened when you left the court [Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations and Juvenile Branch]? (Unclear).$$Well, I left the court to go over to Nationwide Children's Hospital [Columbus Children's Hospital; Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio] because I was in the middle of my second term. The second time I ran, they did not run anybody against me, so people were shocked that I was stepping down. But I'd al- I've always been one of those people guided by, where can I make the biggest difference? And, quite honestly, I was just getting burned out on the court. It was, it, the depravity that I was seeing every day, it just, I wasn't able to leave it at the office. And I'd always promised myself that when I reached the point where I couldn't see the humanity in the person across the bench from me, it was time for me to go. My youngest [David Brown] was four, my middle daughter [Laura Brown] was fourteen. It was time for me to go. And I started having quiet conversations with people, imagining I would just transition to a law firm. And Nationwide Children's, one of my friends was on the board and Nationwide Children's asked me to come and talk to them. And they wanted to create a one stop child abuse center because they had children who were sexually abused, spending hours in the emergency room, sometimes eight, ten, twelve hours waiting on detectives to get there, waiting on children's services to get there. So, they basically said, "This is kind of what we're thinking, but we'd like you with your experience to come in and design it." And so, I literally got the opportunity to plan, program, and build a center from the ground up. They had originally told me I had $3 million. I, I ultimately got $10 million, and we built a forty-two thousand square foot facility that, now in Franklin County [Ohio], we've been open now for, since 2005 for seven years. So, we have literally changed the paradigm on how you treat abused children. What we did is we moved all of the systems that deal with seriously abused children into one location. This beautiful building looks like you're walking into somebody's living room. It doesn't look like a hospital. It doesn't look institutional. We moved our five child abuse physicians, nurse practitioners, eight trauma treatment therapists, seventeen detectives from our special victims bureau at the Columbus police department [Columbus Division of Police], ten children services investigators, two Franklin County prosecutors, a domestic violence therapist, a child psychiatrist, and the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence [The Center for Family Safety and Healing, Columbus, Ohio] all in one location, all working together. It took us two years just to get the memorandums of understanding completed. But what--it's amazing what happens when you take six organizations that are used to pointing the finger at each other, which is what they used to do when I was on the bench; the police would blame children's services. Children's services would blame the prosecutor as to why nothing happened. But now, instead of being this anonymous name on a phone message, it's the person you see in the parking lot. It's the person you get coffee with in the morning. So, the beauty of this is that when a child is raped, they come to the center, and everybody they need to see is at the center: the detective's there, the children's services worker is here, the physician is there. We immediately get them into trauma treatment with a therapist. And so, oftentimes, the police detective is able to go and interview the alleged perpetrator before the mom can get home and say, oh, my god, this is what they found. So, it's a wonderful system. It was the work of my life. It's what I thought I was going to end my career doing. And then, Governor Strickland [Ted Strickland] called in 2010 (laughter).$$Yeah. For the record, the name of the place is the Center for Child and Family Advocacy [The Center for Family Safety and Healing, Columbus, Ohio]--$$At Nationwide Children's--$$--at Nationwide Children's Hospital.$$Yes.$$And this makes so much sense. Is this still going on?$$It is.$$And has it been replicated in others?$$Yeah, we, and we actually weren't the first people to come up with this concept. I mean, there are centers like this that exist. Chicago [Illinois] has one. I went to visit the Chicago one. It's twenty-seven thousand square feet. That's when I knew I had to make it bigger. And Chicago's is a house, it's really kind of whimsical. They have windows that are on the floor, and they have windows that go up outside down, so it's really entertaining for a child to look at. But one of the things I--when I met with the director there, and I asked her, I said, "What would you do if you were doing different--doing it today differently?" She said, "I'd build it bigger." Because what we, what we everybody underestimated, which we got the benefit of their experience, is that when you create a safe place for people to come, where they don't have to go down to the police station, where they don't have to into a hospital emergency room, it makes it easier for people to come forward. So, I went to San Diego [California], I went to Chicago, I sent a consultant to Denver [Colorado], I went to Cincinnati [Ohio]. I went to Houston [Texas]. Houston has a fifty-six thousand square foot facility, and they were adding on to it at the time I visited them in 2002. So, we didn't create the model. I'd like to say that ours is the most comprehensive model because we included domestic violence because what we found in interviewing our families is that 60 percent of our parents gave a current or prior history of domestic violence, so we believed in terms of healing the child, we had to heal the family.$$Okay.

Lewis E. Dodley

Youth Advocate and Motivational Speaker Lewis E. Dodley was born on December 25, 1940 in Columbus, Ohio. He graduated from East High School in Columbus and went on to attend Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. Dodley has received extensive training to become a Violence Prevention Certification Specialist and a Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor (CCDCIII). He is also a Certified Afrocentric National Rites of Passage Elder and Trainer.

Dodley joined Ohio’s Department of Youth Services in 1960 as a staff development trainer. Ten years later, he also began serving as director of family services for Rosemont Family Center. Dodley received his Ph.D. degree in psychology and guidance counseling from the Ohio State University in 1981. Since 1984, he has served as a trainer and consultant for Youth to Youth International, a drug and violence prevention organization. In 1987, Dodley became a project director and consultant for Salesian Boys Club. He organized the Simba Circle in 1993, a two-week male rites of passage program for African American youth, and heads the Outward Bound Program for the Simba Circle. Also in 1993, Dodley became a consultant for the Columbus Public Schools. From 2004 to 2011, he held the position of drug prevention coordinator for the Columbus Health Department. Dodley serves as a licensed counselor for the Federal TRIO Programs’ Upward Bound Program and a senior consultant for the Harambee Leadership Academy, Inc. He has over twenty years’ experience in criminal justice, children’s services, violence prevention, therapeutic intervention and drug prevention. With his expertise, Dodley is a sought-after speaker around the country including presenting at the Ohio Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel OAEOPP Student Leadership and Professional Conference and the S.A.V.E. (Stand Against a Violent Environment) Rapid City Youth Conference.

Dodley has been recognized for his commitment to youth issues and violence prevention including receiving the Community Against Violence and Abuse Award in 2005. He also has been recognized by the Columbus Urban League. Dodley was a member of the Raising the African-American Potential (RAAP) Leadership Committee in 2006. He has four adult children, Lewis, Traci, Mark and Kimberly.

Lewis E. Dodley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 6, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.103

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/6/2012

Last Name

Dodley

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

E

Schools

The Ohio State University

Otterbein University

East High School

Douglas Alternative Elementary School

Champion Avenue School

First Name

Lewis

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

DOD04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Near Water

Favorite Quote

It Is Better To Build Children Than Fix Adults. A Warrior Doesn't Build A Shield On The Battlefield.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

12/25/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Columbus

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Motivational speaker and youth advocate Lewis E. Dodley (1940 - ) was an expert on youth violence and drug prevention. He founded the SIMBA Circle, an Afrocentric rites of passage program for young African American men.

Employment

Columbus Health Department

HARAMBEE LEADERSHIP ACADEMY, INC.

Department of Youth Services, State of Ohio

Rosemont Family Center

Salesian Boys Club

Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority

Favorite Color

Pink, Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lewis E. Dodley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lewis E. Dodley lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lewis E. Dodley describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about the Flytown section of Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lewis E. Dodley describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about his father's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about his father's employment

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lewis E. Dodley describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lewis E. Dodley remembers his father's return from World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lewis E. Dodley lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lewis E. Dodley remembers a childhood friend

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lewis E. Dodley describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lewis E. Dodley remembers the black businesses in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about his childhood activities

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lewis E. Dodley remembers Douglas Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about his family members' alcoholism

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lewis E. Dodley remembers his activities at East High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lewis E. Dodley recalls his recruitment to Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about the schools near Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lewis E. Dodley remembers marrying his first wife

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about his relationship with his first wife

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about his work experiences after leaving Otterbein College

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lewis E. Dodley remembers enrolling at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lewis E. Dodley remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about the black male leaders in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about the black female leaders in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about his influences at The Ohio State University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about joining an all-white fraternity at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about his research for his master's degree

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lewis E. Dodley remembers working with Youth to Youth International

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about youth drug prevention programs

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lewis E. Dodley remembers working at the Ohio Department of Youth Services

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about developing rites of passage for black youth

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about the Afrocentric movement

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lewis E. Dodley remembers the influential black psychologists

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lewis E. Dodley describes his rites of passage program

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about the rituals in his rites of passage program

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about the SIMBA Circle summer camp

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lewis E. Dodley describes the SIMBA Circle's crossover ceremony

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about the mask making ceremony at SIMBA Circle

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lewis E. Dodley describes the final ceremony at SIMBA Circle

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lewis E. Dodley describes the teaching philosophy of SIMBA Circle

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about his rites of passage program for former prison inmates

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about the value of Afrocentric principles

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lewis E. Dodley reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lewis E. Dodley reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about the Safe in My Sister's Arms Circle (SISMA Circle)

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about the funding for the SIMBA Circle

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about working with youth from different cities

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Lewis E. Dodley describes his family

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Lewis E. Dodley talks about his grandchildren

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Lewis E. Dodley describes his love of fishing

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Lewis E. Dodley describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Lewis E. Dodley narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

3$1

DATitle
Lewis E. Dodley remembers working at the Ohio Department of Youth Services
Lewis E. Dodley talks about the rituals in his rites of passage program
Transcript
Let me go back a little bit to 1981 when you got your Ph.D., now did you, did you immediately go after a different job? Or did you get hi- did you get offers for any other jobs?$$I had a couple of offers. But I stayed with the Department of Youth Services [Ohio Department of Youth Services] for a while, because I wanted to, for one thing, to pay back the money, in order to not be bogged down with loans. They have what they call the Juvenile Justice Act [Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974], or the law enforcement act, LEAA [Law Enforcement Assistance Administration]. And whereas if you worked at an agency that paid your tuition, you'd pay it back by working there. This is why I liked that idea a lot. It keeps you in your field, you know. Yeah, so that was 1981. Okay, I became interested in--I got so tired of seeing our kids die. I met a young man from, he used to be a pastor at this church. Harvard Stephens [Harvard Stephens, Jr.] was his name. He had a program called Young Men with a Future, and he saw me working with kids at the detention center during the time I had my doctorate. I joined groups on Saturdays at the DH [ph.]. He said, "How about coming to my church and work with a group of boys on rites of passage programming?" I said, "Sure." So after that it branched off, and I met with people in Chicago [Illinois] through the Evangelical Lutheran [Evangelical Lutheran Church in America] headquarters on Higgins [Road].$$About what year is this?$$Ninety [1990].$$Nineteen ninety [1990]?$$Ninety-one [1991].$$Ninety-one [1991], okay.$$Yeah, because we started our first camp in '93 [1993].$$Now explain, what is the rites of passage program, and how do these programs get started? Were you aware of these in the past?$$Yeah. Dr. Kelsey [Moriba Kelsey] had always said that he feels like the biggest problem our kids have is not knowing what a real man is, or what a real woman is. And how you get that, every culture has a rites of passage program, but it had to be retrieved. And rites of passage, of course, are those events that you go through physically, emotionally, and psychologically to make you, quote, a responsible person. And those steps sometimes get lost. And I think I have to remind kids sometimes--they know what a bar mitzvah is, but they don't equate it with what they're going through, okay. So, rites of passage are those agreed upon activities and events you have to have in order to maintain who you really are. You've got to know who you are. If you don't know who you are, you set yourself up for abuse. Because people will say anything about you, but when you know who you really are, then you don't have to worry about hating somebody else, because you know who you really are. Plus, it's just fascinating when kids understand. For example, little facts like pyramids. They still--I mean they don't--when I say, "Somebody built a pyramid that looked just like you," you know, and there's some questions. I said, "Have you ever seen a brick of a pyramid, guys? One is big as this room."$Okay.$$Oh.$$You were walking us through (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah. And when they throw their pain in that fire, I'd tell them, "Look up, look at the stars. And write your name in the stars, connect the dots. And all the rest of the stars are ancestors, someone who died so that you could go on." And I remind them, "Your ancestors didn't bring you this far to let you down." Now, and I also tie that into another--it's about rituals, learning about rituals, and why we have rituals. We explained to them, why do we do libations or tambiko? Not to be just to be doing it, not worshipping. You're remembering. So for anybody who thinks that it's sacrilegious, it's not that we are worshipping. We're remembering, and honoring and understanding that there are people who came before us that allowed us to even be on this campus that we're all on here today, this sort of thing. And when you stand, you stand--like if you're playing football and you're a wide receiver, you don't stand on one foot, because then you standing on the ancestors' shoulders--heads. And we don't want that, so you stand firmly, like this. And then you--we had them--if you've never done libations or tambiko--I know you have. But it's a real teaching moment for kids to remember their ancestry. Because we first start out by asking them to remember someone before slavery, and then, "Where is Timbuktu [Mali]? I thought that was in Texas." Then we teach like that. So we always ask them to think about someone before slavery, and were talking about the first doctors, Imhotep you know. Of course you know all of that, but I'm saying that kids don't know it, you know. They say, "Well, maybe it's a mummy." I say, "Well, to mummify a body, you have to be a physician." I said. And they still are amazed at how they preserve those bodies. That sort of thing. So, that piqued their interest. And the more people they call out, you know, the better we are. And some of them don't know. Then now, they want to know. And then we ask them to answer the Moth [ph.], not the Middle Passage, and explain what that means. We don't use that term anymore, because it's a great tragedy, and it's not like we were able to ride back home and stuff like that. Slavery was one way. And so, you get a chance while you're doing libation to teach at the same time. And even when you get to the part where you have the boys to call up their own personal ancestors, like that, I say, "Somebody who makes you smile," and you ought to see the smiles on their faces. And sometimes they explain who it is. You don't have to. And then we always ask them to pour a libation for an event or something in your life that's meaningful to you. For example substance abuse, teenage mothers, people born with AIDS [acquired immunodeficiency syndrome], and all kind of stuff like this. Bring their consciousness up about what's going on with us during the rites of passage ceremonies. And the whole curriculum [at SIMBA Circle], that's just the ten days. I mean we do this in ten days, and then we come back and expand on each one of those points in our school and afterschool programs. That's why we have the Urban Warriors [ph.]. We have boys now at a conference in Toledo [Ohio], I think that's where it's at. In fact, the guy who took them, is one of our nation builders, which is a rank in rites of passage. And the nation builders are the ones who work directly with the Warriors. I'm an elder, so the camp is designed, you got the elders--well, you got the watoto's [ph.], or the warriors, the kids that have the war spirit. Then they're surrounded by nation builders. And the nation builders are surrounded by the elders. And the elders are the ones who help, if we need to.$$Providing overall guidance for them?$$Right. We have a--and we always make the difference between an elder and an older, like that.

Gene Harris

School superintendent Gene T. Harris was born in Columbus, Ohio on April 4, 1953 to Thelma Hunt and William Thomas, Sr. Harris graduated from Linden McKinley High School in Columbus, Ohio in 1971. After attending one year at Ohio State University, Harris transferred to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and obtained her B.A. degree in English in 1975. She then returned to Ohio State University and graduated with her M.A. degree in educational administration in 1979. Harris was then hired as an English teacher for the Columbus City Schools. In 1980, she was appointed assistant principal. Six years later, Harris was named principal in the Columbus City Schools district. She was appointed supervisor of principals for the Columbus City Schools before being hired as an assistant superintendent of curriculum. Two years later, Harris enrolled in Ohio University’s doctoral program, where she obtained her Ph.D. degree in education in 1999. Harris then became the 19th superintendent of the Columbus City Schools (CCS) in 2001, Ohio’s largest district, serving more than 51,000 students in 118 schools, and over 7,700 employees.

Under her tenure as superintendent, U.S. News and World Report ranked 12 of the district’s high schools among the nation’s best in their 2010 America’s Best High Schools report; one high school receiving the “silver” award designation and 11 others receiving a “Bronze” designation.

Harris has earned numerous accolades throughout her career. The Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) named her its 2012 Ohio Superintendent of the Year. She was the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree in community leadership from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. Harris has been twice awarded the Ingram Award for outstanding leadership as a principal, and in 1991, she was named a YWCA Woman of Achievement. Additionally, Harris received the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity African American Role Model Award and the Who’s Who in Black Columbus Master Achiever in Education Award. Other notable honors Harris has received include: the Columbus Metropolitan Area Community Action Organization (CMACAO) Community Impact Award, the Cavaliers Club Award for Outstanding Accomplishments, and the National Council of 100 Black Women-Columbus Chapter Personal Achievement and Devoted Service Award. She is also the recipient of the University Council for Educational Administration Excellence in Educational Leadership Award. Harris has received the Martin Luther King, Jr., Dreamer Award in 2004, the Champion of Children, the Children’s Hunger Alliance Educator of the Year and the Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs Stellar Performer awards in 2005. Two years later, Harris was honored with the Donald and Gail Anderson Award from the Ohio State University College of Education and Ecology in 2007.

Harris is married to Stanley Eugene Harris and lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Gene T. Harris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 5, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.081

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/5/2012

Last Name

Harris

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

T.

Schools

Ohio University

The Ohio State University

University of Notre Dame

Linden-McKinley STEM Academy

Linmoor Middle School

Garfield Elementary School

First Name

Gene

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

HAR34

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

It Is What It Is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

4/4/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Columbus

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

School superintendent Gene Harris (1953 - ) oversaw the Columbus City Schools from 2001 to 2013.

Employment

Columbus City Schools

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gene Harris' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gene Harris lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gene Harris describes her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gene Harris talks about her maternal family's move to Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gene Harris talks about her mother's upbringing and employment

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gene Harris describes her father's upbringing and employment

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gene Harris talks about her parents' values

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gene Harris describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gene Harris lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gene Harris describes her likeness to her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gene Harris describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Gene Harris describes the places she lived in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gene Harris describes her community in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gene Harris describes the sounds of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gene Harris recalls her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gene Harris talks about de facto segregation in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gene Harris remembers Garfield Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gene Harris describes her experiences during junior high school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gene Harris remembers her high school librarian

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gene Harris recalls the racial tension at Linden-McKinley High School in Columbus, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gene Harris recalls the racial tension at Linden-McKinley High School in Columbus, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gene Harris remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gene Harris recalls her time at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gene Harris recalls transferring to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gene Harris describes her experiences at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gene Harris talks about her teaching career in the Columbus Public Schools

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gene Harris remembers the desegregation of the Columbus Public Schools

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gene Harris describes her graduate studies in education

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gene Harris recalls her assistant principalship of Central High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gene Harris talks about the federal government's role in education

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gene Harris describes her experiences as a high school principal, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gene Harris describes her experiences as a high school principal, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gene Harris talks about the importance of educational stability

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gene Harris recalls her work as supervisor of principals for the Columbus Public Schools

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gene Harris talks about charter schools

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gene Harris describes her Ph.D. dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gene Harris talks about the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Gene Harris talks about the limitations of standardized testing

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gene Harris talks about income inequality in the public schools

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gene Harris talks about funding for education in the State of Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gene Harris describes the superintendent selection process in the Columbus Public Schools

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gene Harris describes her career as superintendent of the Columbus City Schools

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gene Harris recalls President Barack Obama's visit to Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gene Harris describes her trip to Ghana with students from the Columbus Africentric Early College

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gene Harris talks about the success of the Columbus City Schools

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gene Harris describes her initiatives in the Columbus City Schools

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gene Harris talks about Back to School With The HistoryMakers

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Gene Harris describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gene Harris reflects upon her career and legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Gene Harris talks about the use of technology in the Columbus City Schools

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Gene Harris describes her family

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Gene Harris describes the Capital Improvements program

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Gene Harris talks about arts education in the Columbus City Schools

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Gene Harris describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

3$8

DATitle
Gene Harris describes her experiences as a high school principal, pt. 1
Gene Harris describes her initiatives in the Columbus City Schools
Transcript
Nineteen eighty-six [1986], after six years as assistant principal, you were promoted to principal.$$I was.$$Now, and did it come on time, or do you think it was late, or what do you, what do you think?$$Oh, I, I think it was right on time. And in fact, I was promoted right in the middle of a school year. And it gave me the opportunity to see the school in motion as the principal. I, I was thirty-two years old, 1986, soon to be thirty-three years old. And so a relatively young woman promoted to the high school principalship, I think that the organization may have seen themselves taking a risk, because at that time I was the youngest high school principal in Columbus City Schools [Columbus Public Schools; Columbus City Schools], and a female, and one of only, at that time, I think two or three females who were high school principals at that time. So, I don't think it was late at all. Some may think that it was early. I didn't think that it was early because I, I felt prepared for it, and it, it was a great opportunity.$$Okay. What school were you the principal?$$So initially, I was principal at Briggs High School [Columbus, Ohio] from 1986 to 1987, really just eighteen months. And then the central administration asked me to go back to Mifflin High School [Columbus, Ohio], where I had served as assistant principal, and serve as principal. And, and I served there until 1991, when the superintendent then at that time asked me to supervise schools. So, I'd still be there being a principal if he (laughter) hadn't asked me to supervise schools probably.$$Okay, all right. So, well, what was it like being a principal (unclear) in these schools?$$I had a lot of energies, and, and that's what it took to, to be a principal. It, it was, it was, it was, it was the job that, before this one, that I enjoyed the most, again, because I got to help establish policy. I wasn't far away from the students, which is one of the reasons I went into the business. So I got to continue to work with students and parents, but I also had one foot in the policy arena, you know, in talking with the superintendent and others. And, and I also had the opportunity to develop teachers. And, and so that was very satisfying to me.$$Okay. Did you have like a philosophy in terms of how you approached, you know, dealing with parents and that sort of thing at the schools?$$And, and it's the philosophy that I, I have today, and it's the same approach that I use with parents and, and students as, as well as other com- and teachers and other community members. It, it's a philosophy of inclusivity. You know, I want to hear what you have to say. I want to hear your opinions. I want to work with you. I'm not here to dictate. Look, I have no problems making decisions at all. But I do want to hear your ideas. I know that I don't have the only idea, so that's one. But the second thing is, is all children, all of, all of the time. In my mind, there wasn't a, a special set of kids that got all the good stuff, and these are the kids that are going to college, and these are the kids--. And I think it's, it's, it's, it's probably largely because of my background. As much as we could expose all of the students to, and as hard as we can push them all to do their best, I want them to get as much education as they can possibly stand. High school graduation was a minimum. And then we need to look forward past that to what we need to do next; how we need to prepare you so that you can take the next level of learning, whether that's gonna be a four-year baccalaureate de, degree, a two year technical degree, or you know, a certificate of some kind at a technical school, we need to make sure that you're prepared. So those are my two philosophies: I want to include folks in the decision making, and it's all kids all the time.$What are some of the new initiatives that you're launching here at Columbus City Schools?$$Some, some of the things that we have done and, and then some of the things that we're, we're doing going forward, we were one of the first schools--we were the first high school--we had the first high school in Franklin County [Ohio] that had a, launched an International Baccalaureate program. That's Columbus Alternative High School [Columbus, Ohio]. And I think we have graduated either three or four classes of students with this IB diploma, which gives our students access to universities globally. And so there are some universities across the globe who would be interested--not just in the United States, but across the globe--interested in our students because they've taken this very, very rigorous curriculum. We have other schools at lower levels who are interested in pursuing the IB curriculum also, International Baccalaureate curriculum. We had partnerships with virtually every college and university in this region and some outside of the region, including--well, the ones in the region would include Ohio State [The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio], Columbus State [Columbus State Community College, Columbus, Ohio], Capital [Capital University, Columbus, Ohio], Ohio Dominican [Ohio Dominican University, Columbus, Ohio]; all of those. But we also have relationships with colleges and universities outside of the region, like Ohio University [Athens, Ohio], Miami [Miami University, Oxford, Ohio], Ashland [Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio]. And what this allows us to do is give our students some additional opportunities for early college learning. We have, for example, partnership with DeVry [DeVry University, Ohio] where we have students who, at the end of their tenth grade, if they qualify, they can actually take their last remaining two years of, of colle- of high school education on DeVry's campus. Simultaneously, their fulfilling the requirements for an associate's degree while finishing their high school diploma. So, in June, we have about twenty-five students who will get their high school diploma and an associate's degree from DeVry. And so we, we think that's very powerful. We have several other partnerships like that, where our students are spending their senior year on college campuses, and they're earning, they're amassing a year's worth of, of college credit in our senior and sophomore program [Seniors to Sophomores]. And, and we are extremely proud of that. We have a middle school redesign, where we have redesigned our middle schools so that our, our students can be more successful. And we have a very strong focus on reading and math literacy across the curriculum in Columbus City Schools.$$Yeah, that's a question I--the science, you know, the STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] (unclear)--$$Thank you. STEM, STEM is extremely important to us. We have a STEM, an entire STEM feeder, as we call it, elementary, middle, and high schools in a feeder pattern that are working on STEM. The Linden-McKinley feeder [Linden-McKinley STEM Academy, Columbus, Ohio] is a STEM feeder, and they're making great progress. We also are starting a STEM feeder with the West High School [Columbus, Ohio]--schools, that, that feed into West. And then our goal is to have one STEM feeder in every region. We also have STEM clubs. And one of the strongest ones we have is Northland High School [Columbus, Ohio]. In fact, we have the largest pre-collegiate STEM program. We believe--we've been told by the, by NSBE, the National Society of Black Engineers, that we have the largest pre-collegiate STEM program in the United States. And so, Northland High School, for example, just won three national recognitions at a STEM competition that we are very--every year they bring us back national recognitions. And this is an after school STEM club that is, is very large. They probably have fifty to sixty kids that are part of this club. And these students compete nationally, and, and they do very, very well.

Kojo Kamau

Photographer Kojo Kamau was born on October 11, 1939 in Columbus Ohio to Robert Jones, a railroad worker and Elizabeth Patterson, a housewife. Kamau grew interested in photography from an early age and bought his first camera when he was a teenager. He graduated from East High School in Columbus, Ohio in 1957 and went on to study at the Columbus Art School (now the Columbus College of Art and Design). In 1960, Kamau joined the United States Air Force where he worked as a information specialist editing the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base newspaper.

After four years of service, Kamau returned to Columbus and began working for the Ohio State University’s School of Medical Professions (now the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences) as a photographer in the medical illustration department. In 1974, Kamau began photographing one of his favorite subjects, the legendary barber and woodcutter Elijah Pierce. Kamau opened the Kojo Photo Art Studio in 1978 with his late wife, Mary Ann Williams. Williams was the host of WOSU’s TV program “Afromation.” On the set, Kamau was able to photograph many local and national celebrities. Disturbed by the negative images of African Americans in the ‘60s and ‘70s, he used his photography to show positive images of African Americans and people of the African Diaspora. Kamau first travelled to Africa in 1978, and has made eleven subsequent trips. In 1979, Kamau and Williams established the Art for Community Expression (ACE) non-profit venture to help promote African American artists. ACE was also able to sponsor trips to Africa for three local artists. In 1986, ACE opened its own gallery in Columbus, Ohio. Kamau retired from his position as chief medical photographer at the Ohio State University in 1994 and became a photography instructor at Columbus State Community College in 1997. Kamau published a book of photographs, entitled Columbus Remembered in 2006. Three years later, the Columbus Museum of Art celebrated Kamau’s seventieth birthday with an exhibition entitled, “Kojo: Fifty Years of Photography.” Kamau’s photographs are in the permanent collections of the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus Metropolitan Library and the Columbus Foundation. His photographs were exhibited throughout the United States, including the Indianapolis Art Center, Dillard University, Bowling Green State University, Northern Kentucky University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Akron University, Ohio University, the Chicago Center of Science and Industry and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. His work was also exhibited internationally at the Gallery 44 Center for Contemporary photography in Toronto, Canada; during Culturefest ‘93 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa; and the Central Bank of the Bahamas in Nassau, Bahamas.

Kamau was recognized numerous times for his photography and commitment to the community. He received the 2006 Ohioanna Library Career Award and the 2004 Columbus Winterfair Award of Excellence. Kamau was a member of the Columbus Museum of Art and Ohio Designer Craftsmen. He lived in Columbus, Ohio.

Kojo Kamau was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 5, 2012.

Kamau passed away on December 12, 2016 at age 77.

Accession Number

A2012.107

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/5/2012

Last Name

Kamau

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Occupation
Schools

East High School

Columbus College of Art and Design

Garfield Elementary School

Roosevelt Junior High School

Beatty Park Elementary School

Franklin Junior High School

Mt. Vernon Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Kojo

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

KAM03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

Always Remember What You Do Today Is Tomorrow's History.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

10/11/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Columbus

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pudding (Bread)

Death Date

12/12/2016

Short Description

Photographer Kojo Kamau (1939 - 2016 ) opened the Kojo Photo Art Studio in 1978 and founded the Art for Community Expression (ACE) non-profit in 1979.

Employment

United States Air Force

Ohio State University’s School of Allied Medical Professions

Kojo Photo Art Studio

Columbus State Community College

Call and Post

Columbus Children's Hospital

Columbus Symphony Orchestra

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Kojo Kamau's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Kojo Kamau lists his favorites

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Kojo Kamau describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Kojo Kamau talks about his family members' professions

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Kojo Kamau talks about his brother and stepfather

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Kojo Kamau remembers his homes in Columbus, Ohio

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

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Kojo Kamau recalls his childhood pastimes

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Kojo Kamau describes his early interest in photography

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Kojo Kamau remember his early educational experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Kojo Kamau remembers Garfield Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Kojo Kamau describes his early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Kojo Kamau remembers his junior high school experiences in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Kojo Kamau talks about his coursework at East High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Kojo Kamau remembers his radio teacher at East High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Kojo Kamau remembers his extracurricular activities at East High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Kojo Kamau remembers working for the newspaper companies in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Kojo Kamau talks about his employment prospects after high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Kojo Kamau remembers his stepfather

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Kojo Kamau recalls his position at the Columbus Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Kojo Kamau talks about his photographs of Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Kojo Kamau recalls the African American photographers in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Kojo Kamau describes his decision to enlist in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Kojo Kamau talks about his newspaper position at the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base in South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Kojo Kamau describes his experiences of racial discrimination in South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Kojo Kamau remembers segregation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Kojo Kamau recalls working as medical photographer at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Kojo Kamau talks about his volunteer work at the Call and Post

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Kojo Kamau remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Kojo Kamau talks about his photographs of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Kojo Kamau remembers photographing Roland Kirk

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Kojo Kamau remembers his wife's television show, 'Afromation'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Kojo Kamau describes Art for Community Expression

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Kojo Kamau talks about the African immigrant community in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Kojo Kamau remembers Elijah Pierce

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Kojo Kamau talks about the black artists in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Kojo Kamau describes his artistic philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Kojo Kamau talks about digital photography

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Kojo Kamau reflects upon his wife's legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Kojo Kamau talks about the arts community in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Kojo Kamau talks about his exhibit, 'Kojo: Fifty Years in Photographs'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Kojo Kamau reflects upon the response to his photographs

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Kojo Kamau talks about his teaching position at Columbus State Community College in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Kojo Kamau reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Kojo Kamau describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Kojo Kamau shares his advice to future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Kojo Kamau talks about his son

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Kojo Kamau describes The King Arts Complex in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Kojo Kamau describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

2$1

DATitle
Kojo Kamau describes his experiences of racial discrimination in South Carolina
Kojo Kamau describes Art for Community Expression
Transcript
So did, so were you stationed there the whole time in Myrtle Beach [Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, South Carolina]?$$I was, yeah the whole time I was stationed at Myrtle Beach.$$Okay, so that's like a couple of years right and?$$It was three years and ten months.$$Okay, so--$$The base was fine. It was after you left the base that's a whole different experience back in the '60s [1960s].$$Yeah, so this is South Carolina--$$Right.$$--and, okay well tell us, well did you have any incidents when you left the base that you--?$$No, I, I, well yeah I--at the time I didn't know. The, the newspaper, I worked with a civilian printing company okay, and my last day on the job, the last day that I went to, to the printing company, the publisher called me into his office and, and told me how I handled myself very well when his crew walked out on, on me. And I didn't, I did, at the time I didn't understand what had happened, but what he had told me is that, when I first came on the job, which would have been three years and ten months earlier, his crew did not want to work with me, but I wasn't aware of that. I knew what happened was when I walked in, everybody walked out, but I thought maybe I walked in during lunchtime or something (laughter), and I was naive and then, then they came back. So, what had happened was, they, they didn't want to work with me, and well I guess he told them was that, "We have a contract with the [U.S.] Air Force, and if we want this contract we had to work with whoever they send," and they had never worked with anybody that looked like me before. And so, but I wasn't aware of that and I, I off- at the time I was thinking well what if I had known that from the beginning. What I was told that, I was only supposed to deal with one person. I didn't have any problem with that. I didn't come to deal with the whole crew. So, when they said that, that was nothing unusual to me because that's how being in the [U.S.] military, that's how you think anyhow you got one person that you, you know, report to, not everybody. So, that was, that was shocking to me. The last day that I was there I found that out.$$That's interesting that they thought they were insulting you and you didn't know they (laughter)--$$I was, they must have thought I was nuts or something, 'cause I was treating everybody you know like we're all friends (laughter).$$Okay. It just never occurred to you that they would act like that in South Carolina, they would--?$$No. I mean I knew that happened. I mean, it's like the first time--I always remember this one. The first time I went downtown and, and you know about this moving over to let white people pass and stuff and I had my uniform on and, and this older white gentleman was walking towards me and, and I'm thinking am I supposed to get out the, I'm not getting off the sidewalk. So, I just kept on walking, you know, and he spoke to me (laughter). So, it was kind of okay (laughter), how you doing, and so being in the military you were treated a little differently than you know civilian townspeople were treated.$$Okay.$$A little differently.$$Yeah. They would expect anybody that was raised there to follow all those rules and those--$$Yeah. But there were some, at the same time there were some airmen who, they, they would, they got in trouble getting off the bus. You know 'cause they refused to adapt to whatever was going on, and they would get, they would really get kicked out the service before you even got to the base, which wasn't fair, but you know that's the way it was.$Tell us about Elijah Pierce.$$Okay, can, but can I take, are we gonna go back to 1970?$$We can.$$Okay, I think we lo- left off at I opened Kojo Photo Art Studio [Kojo Photo Art Studio, Columbus, Ohio].$$That's '78 [1978] right.$$Seventy-eight, '78 [1978], yeah '78 [1978]. Okay and then when I opened Kojo Photo Arts Studio I had quit the university [The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio], so that gave me time to do some things I wanted to do. And one of the things I wanted to do was go to Africa, and Mary Ann [Kamau's wife, Mary Ann Williams] and I had talked about what we would like to do in the future. My thing was to open up my studio, and her thing was to get her Ph.D. So, she got her Ph.D. and I opened up the studio in June of 1978. We heard about an opportunity to go to Africa shortly after we opened, and so we both wrote proposals to go to Africa, and we both were funded to go to Africa. So, I went to Africa for three weeks. It was a three week study tour. I shot photographs, and I come back and I presented my photographs of the trip to Africa. And because of our experience going to Africa, we felt that any artist who wanted to go to Africa should be able to go to Africa. So, we had a friend, Aminah, and we told Aminah about this trip to Africa and how she needed to go to Africa and that what we wanted to do was raise funds to help her get to Africa because we know it would have an impact on her art, on her artwork. So, we raised enough money to send Aminah to Africa. From that experience, we started a nonprofit organization called Art for Community Expression, which was, the mission was to assist artists, African American artists to get the work into mainstream basically and to go to Africa. And so we sent, we were able to send three artists to Africa, Aminah, Larry Winston Collins, and Charles Dillard all went to Africa and then the following year they exhibited at Art for Community Expression Gallery [Columbus, Ohio] (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Now this is Aminah Robinson we're talking about right?$$Beg your pardon?$$Aminah Robinson we're talking about.$$Yes.$$Okay.$$Yes, Aminah.$$And so where did the money come from for the--$$What?$$Where did the money come from for the trips?$$The money come from the commu- one, the Thomas Foundation [ph.] had funds to help send an artist to Africa, and so we used their funds and we raised money and the artist raised money. So, it was like one third of each of those entities would raise funds to help the artist go to Africa.$$Okay, that's a good--now is the organ- so you were able to send three artists to Africa, but (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Right. We sent three artists to Africa and then our focus kind of changed a little bit, because we had an opportunity to open up a gallery in the Short North [Short North Arts District, Columbus, Ohio], which was a new area for--that was developing up there. So, we were one of the first galleries to open in the building in which we were located, which was 772 North High Street in the Short North and now that's the place to be the first weekend, the first Saturday of every month they have what they call Gallery Hop, and the streets are just full of people every first Saturday.

Queen Brooks

Artist Queen Brooks was born in Columbus, Ohio on April 23, 1943 to Hattie Owens and Pomp Brooks. She graduated from East High School in 1971. After working for Central Ohio Transit Authority, Brooks apprenticed under Columbus photographer Kojo Kamau and began working at the J. Ashburn Jr. Youth Center as an arts and crafts instructor in 1980. While at the Ashburn Youth Center, Brooks discovered the art of pyrography or wood burning. Brooks then went back to school and graduated from Ohio State University with her B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees in art in 1990 and 1992, respectively. In 1993, Brooks won the Lila Wallace, Reader’s Digest International Artist Award, which granted her a residency in the French port city of Abidjan in the Republic of the Ivory Coast, West Africa. Brooks then served as an adjunct professor in art instruction at Otterbein University from 1995 to 2002 and then at Ohio Dominican University from 2002 to 2006. In 2008, Brooks was hired as the lead artist for the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s Art in the Houseprogram.

Her work has been featured in Essence magazine and twice in the International Review of African American Art, and other publications. Brooks also created the portal entrance for the Kwanzaa Playground, Ohio’s first African-centered playground in Columbus, Ohio. Through a project grant from the Columbus Cultural Arts Center, Brooks, working with middle and high school students, designed and painted a mural at Columbus’ Krumm park area.

Brooks’ art has been exhibited at numerous sites throughout Ohio, and her works are in collections across the United States and in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, West Africa.

Her work is among collections held in the collections of the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio Dominican and Otterbein universities as well as the King Art Complex, Columbus, Ohio.

Brooks has also won numerous awards for her artwork, including the Ohioana Career Award in 2008, the highest recognition bestowed on an artist in the state of Ohio. She has earned distinction the Arts Freedom Award designee and an Arts Midwest National Endowment of the Arts Award in 2004 and 1994, respectively. Brooks also won the Excellence in the Arts Award from Ohio State University.

Queen Brooks was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 3, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.082

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/3/2012

Last Name

Brooks

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Occupation
Schools

The Ohio State University

Central State University

Garfield Elementary School

St. Mary's South

St. Dominic's Elementary School

East High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Queen

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

BRO53

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Los Angeles, California

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

4/23/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Columbus

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbecue (Ribs)

Short Description

Visual artist Queen Brooks (1943 - ) received numerous awards for her artwork, including the Ohioana Career Award, the highest recognition bestowed on an artist in the State of Ohio.

Employment

Greater Columbus Arts Council

Ohio Dominican University

Otterbein University

J. Ashburn Jr. Youth Center

The University of Rio Grande

Art Genesis

Kojo Photo Art Studio

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Queen Brooks' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Queen Brooks lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Queen Brooks describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Queen Brooks describes the Blackberry Patch community in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Queen Brooks describes her mother's education and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Queen Brooks talks about her father's military service in World War I

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Queen Brooks remembers her paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Queen Brooks describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Queen Brooks talks about the origin of her name

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Queen Brooks describes her household

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Queen Brooks remembers her parents' boarders

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Queen Brooks describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Queen Brooks describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Queen Brooks remembers being molested at the Pythian Theater in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Queen Brooks recalls her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Queen Brooks recalls her influences at St. Dominic's School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Queen Brooks describes her childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Queen Brooks describes her early art education

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Queen Brooks describes East High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Queen Brooks recalls her influences at East High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Queen Brooks remembers her involvement in the Girls Athletic Association

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Queen Brooks recalls her preparation for college

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Queen Brooks remembers her first commissioned artwork

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Queen Brooks recalls enrolling at Central State College in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Queen Brooks talks about the birth of her son

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Queen Brooks talks about her experiences of childhood sexual abuse

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Queen Brooks recalls her employment after college

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Queen Brooks remembers meeting Kojo Kamau

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Queen Brooks recalls her mentors at the Kojo Photo Art Studio in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Queen Brooks remembers the Black Arts Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Queen Brooks talks about her commitment to her art

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Queen Brooks recalls her decision to attend art school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Queen Brooks describes her artistic influences

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Queen Brooks talks about the lack of black arts education

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Queen Brooks remembers The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Queen Brooks talks about Barbara Chavous

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Queen Brooks describes the network of African American artists in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Queen Brooks recalls opening the Art Genesis gallery in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Queen Brooks describes her transition from photography to mixed media art

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Queen Brooks talks about her philosophy of art

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Queen Brooks talks about the black aesthetic

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Queen Brooks describes the themes of her artwork

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Queen Brooks talks about the financial aspects of being an artist

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Queen Brooks describes the influence of African American folk art

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Queen Brooks recalls her trip to Cote d'Ivoire

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Queen Brooks recalls her experiences in Cote d'Ivoire, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Queen Brooks recalls her experiences in Cote d'Ivoire, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Queen Brooks recalls her research on the crafts of Cote d'Ivoire

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Queen Brooks reflects upon her experiences in Cote d'Ivoire

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Queen Brooks recalls her teaching positions

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Queen Brooks reflects upon her career

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Queen Brooks shares her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Queen Brooks describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Queen Brooks reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Queen Brooks reflects upon her family, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Queen Brooks reflects upon her family, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Queen Brooks recalls her father's death

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Queen Brooks recalls her mother's opinion of her career

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Queen Brooks describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Queen Brooks narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

3$3

DATitle
Queen Brooks remembers meeting Kojo Kamau
Queen Brooks describes her transition from photography to mixed media art
Transcript
So you were, you were basically working, raising your son [Leslie Brooks] and--$$Working and raising my son.$$--and were, were you doing artwork at all during this period of time?$$Not initially. I didn't start doing artwork until after I met Kojo.$$Okay. So, so when did you meet Kojo?$$Let me see, it had to--let's see, it had to be around 1970, 1969, '70, [1970]. I think it was 1970.$$Okay, and--well tell us about what happened? How, how did meet him and (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Okay. After I was injured, I was living on my own and my son was--he was on his own pretty much. I saw an article in the paper about Kojo and he was [HistoryMaker] Kojo Kamau was a photographer and I saw an article in the paper about him and so I got out of bed and I decided to go see, you know, see this gallery that he was at. So I went by and I kept looking in the window and I went there like three days and looked in the window and never went in and that--from that experience I know how people can be intimidated by art, by something that they're not quite familiar with and so--because I was--I wasn't familiar with it. I was just so curious because he was black and he was in the paper. And he had these pictures from Africa and, you know, so I just went to see it. So he came out and he said, "Why don't you come in?" And I said, "I don't have any money." And he said he said, "You don't need money to look at pictures." And I said, "You don't?" He said, "Not in the art gallery, you just come in and look at pictures." And from that time on I went to the gallery every day. I sat around and I talked to him and then he gave me a job and he said, "Well, you wanna assist me in the darkroom?" And I said, "Sure." So I started as his assistant and then I started to take care of his gallery [Kojo Photo Art Studio, Columbus, Ohio].$$(OFF CAMERA DISCUSSION)$$Now tell us a little bit about who Kojo Kamau is?$$Okay. Kojo Kamau is a wonderful person. He's a gentlemen, soft spoken, extremely knowledgeable about his community, (unclear) photographer, a friend to everybody and a stranger to no one, a welcoming person. He's a--he started the first--okay he had the first black, African American whatever art gallery and it was the first place that African American artists could go gather and meet each other, converse about art and show our work to the public. He made no distinction between the kinds of work we did. He loved fine art, he loved folk art. He just loved art, he didn't care whether it was photography or painting. And his wife--he--then he was married to Mary Ann Williams who was a professor at Ohio State [The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio], and she was into poetry, and there was another--Anna Bishop who was a living legend at the time, was a poet. Her and Mary Ann Williams were very close, and they spent a lot of time at the gal- at, at the gallery. Barbara Chavous was a, a well known artist, well known, Aminah [Aminah Robinson] is well known in Columbus [Ohio]--Aminah. But, at the time she was just a young artist like myself, and Barbara Chavous was the, the one that was the noted black artist here. And they would all come together. We'd come together and Kojo would just have a place for us to be welcomed in, you know, can collaborate and just, you know, encourage one another.$You got your B.F.A. from Ohio State [The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio] in '92 then you got your M.F.A.--$$No, I got my B.F.A. in '90 [1990].$$Ninety [1990], okay, all right.$$And my (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) The M.F.A.--$$In '92 [1992].$$In '92 [1992], okay, all right.$$I do know those two for sure.$$Okay, all right, all right, 1992. Okay, so we're straight now. So, what, what--now in terms of your artwork--I mean how, how did it progress it? What did you start doing or working on and, and how did it progress?$$I started as a photographer, and it evolved into wood burnings because I started to--I was working at J. Ashburn Youth Center [J. Ashburn Jr. Youth Center, Columbus, Ohio] even while I was going to school, while I was in college and someone gave me some art burn- some wood burning tools for the kids to use. And the kids didn't wanna use it (laughter) they--it was like it's too slow, they might get burnt, you know, they didn't have the patience so at six--let's see, I worked from three to nine [o'clock]. And at six o'clock all the little people that I worked with left and they had to leave, and it was supposed to from six to nine was supposed to be for the teenagers, and the young adults. Well the teenagers didn't wanna do art. They wanted to be in the gym. The boys wanted to do gym and the girls wanted to watch the boys do gym, so I had to be there regardless of who was in the room. I had to keep it open so I started to, you know, just play with the wood burning instruments because I had time. And it evolved into an art form for me. Now wood burning instruments are usually used in--for crafts or like--basically it's an art form with people that work on ducks. Those little ducks.$$Decoys?$$Decoys, yeah. There's an art form that they used that with, so it's like a craft. But I just started to create images and burn the images into wood as if I was drawing them. So it evolved. I, I got a more sophisticated art burning tool, and I just went on from there. And then the wood burning--I just started to do paintings and drawings, and then the paintings led to assemblages and, and so I'm a mixed media artist now. I just work in all medias and I put them all together however they'll work for me. My thing is one medium just can't speak to everything that I wanna say.$$Okay.$$So I choose the best medium for whatever it is that I'm trying to express.