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Earl Lewis

Foundation president, historian and academic administrator Earl Lewis was born in 1955 in Norfolk, Virginia. Lewis attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, where he graduated in 1978 with his B.A. degree in history and psychology. After graduating from Concordia College, Lewis enrolled in the University of Minnesota and received his M.A. degree in history in 1981. He then went on to earn his Ph.D. in 1984 from the University of Minnesota.

In 1984, Lewis was hired as an assistant professor in the department of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Then, in 1989, he joined the faculty at the University of Michigan as an associate professor of history and African American and African Studies. One year after his arrival at the University of Michigan, Lewis was appointed as the director of the university’s Center for African American and African Studies. He became a full professor of history and African American and African Studies in 1995, and a faculty associate in the Program in American Culture. In 1997, Lewis was promoted to interim dean of the University of Michigan’s Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Shortly thereafter, in 1998, Lewis became the vice provost for academic affairs for graduate studies and dean; and, in 2003, he was appointed the Elsa Barkley Brown and Robin D.G. Kelley Collegiate Professor of History and African American and African Studies. Then, in 2004, he was hired as both provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and as the Asa Griggs Candler professor of history and African American studies at Emory University. Lewis was Emory University’s first African American provost and the highest-ranking African American administrator in the university’s history. In 2013, he left Emory University and assumed a new role as president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Lewis has edited, authored or co-authored seven books. They include the 1991 monograph In Their Own Interests: Race, Class, and Power in Twentieth-Century Norfolk, 2000’s To Make Our World Anew: A History of African Americans, 2001’s Love on Trial: An American Scandal in Black and White, and 2004’s The African American Urban Experience: From the Colonial Era to the Present. Lewis is also the author of more than two dozen scholarly articles and has served on several academic and community boards, including the American Historical Review, Council of Graduate Schools, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Academy of Science’s Board on Higher Education and the Workforce, and the Center for Research Libraries. He became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008.

Earl Lewis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 18, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.255

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/18/2013

Last Name

Lewis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Concordia College

University of Minnesota

Indian River High School

First Name

Earl

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

LEW14

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Favorite Quote

We Serve As, Rather Than We Are, Before Titles

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/15/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steamed Blue Crab

Short Description

History professor, academic administrator, and foundation chief executive Earl Lewis (1955 - ) , author of In Their Own Interests: Race, Class, and Power in Twentieth-Century Norfolk, was Emory University’s first African American provost and the highest-ranking African American administrator in the university’s history.

Employment

University of California, Berkeley

University of Michigan

Emory University

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

University of Minnesota

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Earl Lewis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis shares his memories of his father, Earl Lewis, Sr.

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis describes how his parents met and his father's death

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis describes the importance of education in his maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Earl Lewis describes his maternal grandmother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Earl Lewis describes his maternal grandfather's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Earl Lewis talks about the churches his family attended

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Earl Lewis shares his earliest childhood memories, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Earl Lewis shares his earliest childhood memories, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis recalls the diversity of his childhood neighborhood in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis describes his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis describes his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Earl Lewis reflects on the opportunities he had as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Earl Lewis describes how his mother took care of him and his brother after their father died

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Earl Lewis describes his childhood responsibilities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Earl Lewis describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Earl Lewis describes his experience attending Crestwood Elementary, Junior High, and High School in Chesapeake, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Earl Lewis talks about his experiences of racism at Indian River High School in Chesapeake, Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis talks about his experiences of racism at Indian River High School in Chesapeake, Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis describes integrating the Key Club at Indian River High School in Chesapeake, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis describes his mother's experience as a teacher at an integrated elementary school in Chesapeake, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis describes his decision to attend Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Earl Lewis describes his initial impressions of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Earl Lewis talks about the black community at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and why it has diminished

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Earl Lewis describes his experience studying psychology and history at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Earl Lewis describes his experience at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Earl Lewis talks about overcoming his ambivalence about an academic career

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis describes his experience as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis describes his experience as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis talks about his friends and mentors in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis talks about being hired as an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Earl Lewis describes his Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Earl Lewis talks about the reception of his doctoral thesis and his book, "In Their Own Interests"

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Earl Lewis describes what his dissertation taught him about the history of his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Earl Lewis describes the research methods he used on his dissertation at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Earl Lewis describes the quantitative study of social history at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Earl Lewis describes interviewing at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis talks about his mentors at the University of California, Berkeley and publishing his first book

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis talks about his conflict with Henry Lewis Suggs after the publication of his first book

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis describes his decision to leave the University of California, Berkeley for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis describes his decision to leave the University of California, Berkeley for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Earl Lewis describes the University of Michigan's Center for Afroamerican and African Studies in 1989

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Earl Lewis talks about his experience directing the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Earl Lewis talks about publishing "The Young Oxford History of African Americans"

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis talks about his interdisciplinary approach to African American studies

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis talks about the work of one of his students, Merida Rua, and how the study of African American history has changed

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis talks about writing his book with Heidi Ardizzone "Love on Trial," pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis talks about writing his book with Heidi Ardizzone "Love on Trial," pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Earl Lewis talks about the response to "Love on Trial"

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Earl Lewis talks about the structure of "Love on Trial"

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Earl Lewis talks about his approach to publication

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Earl Lewis talks about balancing his administrative obligations with his teaching, publishing, and family

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Earl Lewis talks about his family and divorce from Jayne London

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Earl Lewis describes his role in the University of Michigan's affirmative action cases, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis describes his role in the University of Michigan's affirmative action cases, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis talks about the importance of the University of Michigan's affirmative action cases

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis talks about the presidents of the University of Michigan during his tenure

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis describes becoming Provost of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in 2004

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Earl Lewis describes his experience as Provost of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Earl Lewis talks about the diversity of staff and faculty at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Earl Lewis talks about leaving Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Earl Lewis talks about becoming President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Earl Lewis talks about becoming President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Earl Lewis talks about the financial problems faced by universities

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis describes his plans for promoting diversity and performing arts through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis talks about the future of African American studies departments, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis talks about the future of African American studies departments, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis reflects on how race and his childhood affected his first book, "In Their Own Interests"

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Earl Lewis describes the problems facing African American historians in the academy

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Earl Lewis talks about other organizations that fund the arts, sciences, and humanities

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis shares his views on the future of the humanities

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis reflects on his life's journey, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis reflects on his life's journey, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis reflects on his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$7

DAStory

9$5

DATitle
Earl Lewis describes his experience at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Earl Lewis describes becoming Provost of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in 2004
Transcript
And when I got into the University of Minnesota [Minneapolis, Minnesota] right after I finished Concordia [College in Moorhead, Minnesota], so I left Concordia and went right to Minnesota with, to University of Minnesota, with a break in the summer where I worked for Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance Company and I designed an attitude survey for the whole company and implemented that attitude survey using my psychology degree. And then a few months later I left there, they hired someone else to do the data analysis and I went to graduate school at the University of Minnesota, initially just to get a masters. I was gonna get a masters. And I got into graduate school and I discovered I still, if, if I have something to work on, it was actually finding my own voice as a writer because I realized undergrad and even early graduate school, you're reading so many different people and you're trying to figure out how to be like one of them. And then Russ [Russell Menard] took me aside one day and he said, "Earl, let me tell you a secret." I said, "Sure Russ." He says, "I started out thinking I was gonna be the next generation Perry Miller and only discovered I couldn't do the work in intellectual colonial history the way Perry Miller did. And then I became an economic historian and it refocused who I was and I was able to find by own voice." He says, "Just think about who you wanna be. Stop thinking about who all these other folks have been, and see if you can't find your own voice." That was actually quite valuable and-- So my second year of graduate school in the masters program I thought, "You know what? I may be able to get a Ph.D." Meanwhile Joe Trotter [Joe William Trotter, Jr.] was ahead of me. So Joe pulled me aside and he says, "Earl," and I said, "What?" He said, "I got a prediction." I go "What's that's, Joe?" He goes, you gone be the next African American to get a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in the History Department. I said, "Well there are people ahead of me." He says, "I know. But you will be." And, and, and I to this day I thank him 'cause it was at that point where he was telling me something that I was just discovering about myself. That yeah, I could do this. And, and so after getting the masters then I talked to the professors and applied to get into the Ph.D. and, and with an understanding and said, "And this is how long I plan to be in graduate school." So I, tell me now if I can, I don't wanna be here more than six total years. I've had enough Minnesota winters. I know exactly how many more I plan. And they all agreed they thought I could move at pace and Joe had been able to do it in five and I figured I could do it in six. He was on full scholarship the whole time and I wasn't. And, and I did. And, and even in, even at the university I ended up discovering that I could do a lot of things in that graduate program and so I ended up my, my major was, area was U.S. History. But I also had a heavy secondary major in African Peoples History. And so I used to always joke with my own doctoral students who would complain about exams, I'd say "Look, I took an eight hour written exam in U.S. History. I took an eight hour written exam in African History. And then I took a two hour oral exam. So that was sixteen hours of writing. And four hours I think, you can survive." And, and, and that was the sense and I remember talking, Allen Isaacman and Lansine Kaba and I said "Why are you guys making me take this eight hour written exam.? I'm not an Africanist. I mean it's not my major area." And they, they said, "because we know you can do it."$So what made you decide to go to Emory [University in Atlanta, Georgia] then? What was that, that decision?$$It was probably driven by three factors. One, several people had come to me several times and said "Earl are you gonna be the next provost of the University of Michigan?" And I said, "I don't know." And my friend and colleague, Paul Courant, had been the acting provost when Joe [B. Joseph White] was the acting president. When Mary Sue [Coleman] came in, there were some who believed then there was gone be a search process for the next president, I mean provost. And Mary Sue decided that she was comfortable with Paul staying in that role. So she lifted the title of "acting" and made him provost. I said "Okay. So my, not gonna happen here at this moment." I get a call from Spencer Stuart's search consulting firm and the search consultant called me and says, "Earl last time we talked was about five years ago, and you said to me call you back in five years when your daughter is about to graduate from high school. By my records your daughter is about to graduate from high school. Would you be interested in thinking about being the provost at Emory?" And I said to her, "Paula (ph.) that is really good. I have dealt with a lot of search consultants but I've never known anyone to maintain a five year tickler file." I said, "You got, at least you got my interest here." And she said, "Well things have changed at Emory." And I said (unclear) 'cause I, I knew a little bit about Emory. And I go, I'm not sure to what the new president and at least consider it. And then several other peoples said to me, "Just think about it Earl." So I went and had a conversation in, with the folks at Emory. I met [James] Jim Wagner, who years older than I am and had grown up in the other place. If I had been a Virginia boy, he's a Maryland boy. And so, and we hit it off. And I thought "Okay. I, maybe I could be provost." So I went back to Michigan and I explained to them, to Mary Sue here's my, here's what I'm thinking. They offered me two more jobs (laughter). They were making me vice president of research and the head of international if I stayed. And I started to laugh. I had, and by that time I had remarried and, Susan [Witlock] and I were married, and I said and, and Susan had lived in Ann Arbor longer than I had and, and, I said "Well I can stay at Michigan and have three jobs and get paid for one, or I can go to Emory and be a provost and have the title that goes with those, in some ways, the elements of those three jobs." And so, and I went back to Mary Sue and just asked a question, a little bit about her view of the tenure of the provost and when that may open up again and whether or not I, help me think about whether or not I'd be better off biding my time at Michigan or going and being a provost in the next few months. And I didn't get the answer I wanted. And, and, and so I left. Now irony of ironies, right, I get to Emory, I'm there a year and I get a call back because Paul's stepping down as provost and, and would I come back and I go, "No." It was a missed moment. I several, board members had thought I was gone be the next provost and several, much of the campus had thought I would have been, it didn't happen, that door is closed. I had made at least a five year commitment to Emory, and I try not to renege on those kind of pledges and promises.$$And so you this, you're coming in as provost is historic--$$Yeah.$$--for Emory.$$It's historic for Emory--$$--because there's no African American provost--$$I was the highest ranked African American in Emory's history, ever period. I mean, and to be honest if you look across the South there probably have only been two African Americans that have been into the level of provost or above, or certainly the level of provost at one of the major southern universities. The other person was Bernadette Gray-Little at Chapel Hill [University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill]. And Bernadette and I were provost about the same time. And, but if you go through the history and, I mean, and truth, I mean sad truth is that right now and among the AAU [Association of American Universities] institutions, the leading research universities in the United States, there are no African American provosts. I mean in sixty-something institutions, there's one fellow who was African-born who I think has become a naturalized citizen who is provost at [University of Illinois] Urbana-Champaign [HM Ilesanmi Adesida], but when I stepped out of this role there is no one. So it's even more than Emory its, there's initial in my view, where the larger complex of American, higher education in particular at the major research universities.

Barbara Ransby

African American studies and history professor Barbara Ransby was born on May 12, 1957 in Detroit, Michigan. As an infant, Ransby was adopted by Charlie and Ethel Ransby. She completed her B.A. degree in history from Columbia University in 1984. During her time at Columbia, Ransby worked for the Institute of African Affairs and the Department of History as a research assistant. Ransby received her M.S. degree in history from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1987. While at the University of Michigan, she taught African American studies. Ransby founded the Ella Baker-Nelson Mandela Center for Anti-Racist Education in 1988 and the African American Women in Defense of Ourselves Organization in 1991. She served as an instructor of history at DePaul University from 1992 to 1995; and an assistant professor and director of the Center for African American Research from 1995 to 1996. Ransby received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1996.

Following the completion of her education, she joined the faculty of the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) as an assistant professor in the departments of history and African American studies. In 1998, Ransby co-founded the Black Radical Congress and in 2002, she was promoted to associate professor at UIC. In 2003, Ransby authored the award-winning biography of civil rights activist Ella Baker, entitled Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement. In 2004, she received the Coordinating Council for Women in History's Prelinger Award. Since 2008, Ransby has served as professor and director of UIC's Gender and Women Studies Department and in 2011, she was appointed interim vice provost for planning and programs at UIC. She has written many articles and contributed to several books on civil rights, black feminism and African American history.

Ransby has served on the board of directors for many organizations including the CrossRoads Fund, Chicago Reporter Magazine, Anti-Racism Institute and the Chicago Coalition in Solidarity with Southern Africa. She has been a member of the Association of Black Women Historians, the Coordinating Committee for Women in Historical Profession and the Organization of American Historians. Ransby serves on the editorial board of The Race and Class Journal and on the editorial advisory board of The Black Commentator, an online publication. She is married to Peter Sporn; the couple have two children Asha and Jason.

Barbara Ransby was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 19, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.016

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/19/2012

Last Name

Ransby

Maker Category
Schools

Columbia University

University of Michigan

Columbian Elementary School

St. Leo High School

Rosary High School

Wayne State University

First Name

Barbara

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

RAN10

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Lake Michigan

Favorite Quote

Give People Light And They Will Find The Way. And Ella Baker Quotes

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/12/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

History professor and african american studies professor Barbara Ransby (1957 - ) joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1996 and was the author of the book, 'Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement'.

Employment

DePaul University

University of Illinois, Chicago

Team for Justice, Inc.

Project Headline

North End Concerned Citizens Community Council

Progressive Media Project

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Barbara Ransby's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Barbara Ransby lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Barbara Ransby describes her adoptive mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Barbara Ransby talks about her adoption

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Barbara Ransby describes her adoptive father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Barbara Ransby talks about her adoptive parents' migration to Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Barbara Ransby describes her adoptive parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Barbara Ransby describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Barbara Ransby describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Barbara Ransby remembers the riots of 1967 in Detroit, Michigan, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Barbara Ransby remembers the riots of 1967 in Detroit, Michigan, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Barbara Ransby remembers her social column in the Michigan Chronicle

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Barbara Ransby describes her experiences at Columbian Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Barbara Ransby remembers an influential teacher at Columbian Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Barbara Ransby recalls her childhood pastimes

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Barbara Ransby talks about St. Leo High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Barbara Ransby describes her experiences at Rosary High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Barbara Ransby talks about the African American community in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Barbara Ransby talks about color discrimination within the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Barbara Ransby talks about her early influences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Barbara Ransby describes her work with the Team for Justice, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Barbara Ransby talks about her career and education in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Barbara Ransby describes her decision to move to New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Barbara Ransby describes her experiences at Columbia University in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Barbara Ransby talks about her studies at Columbia University in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Barbara Ransby describes her political involvement at Columbia University in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Barbara Ransby remembers her mentor, Eric Foner

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Barbara Ransby talks about the status of black female historians

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Barbara Ransby remembers attending anti-apartheid conferences

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Barbara Ransby describes her role in Columbia University's divestment from South Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Barbara Ransby talks about the Civil Rights Movement in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Barbara Ransby remembers her professors at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Barbara Ransby talks about her decision to study the life of Ella Baker

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Barbara Ransby describes her research on Ella Baker

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Barbara Ransby talks about the role of a community organizer

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Barbara Ransby describes Ella Baker's involvement with the SCLC and SNCC

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Barbara Ransby reflects upon the legacy of Ella Baker

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Barbara Ransby talks about her book, 'Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Barbara Ransby describes her anti-apartheid activism at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Barbara Ransby talks about Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Barbara Ransby describes her experiences with the African American Women in Defense of Ourselves

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Barbara Ransby recalls her work at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Barbara Ransby describes her role at the Progressive Media Project

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Barbara Ransby talks about her teaching position at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Barbara Ransby talks about her teaching experiences

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Barbara Ransby remembers the release of Nelson Mandela

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Barbara Ransby talks about the founding of the Black Radical Congress in 1998

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Barbara Ransby talks about her literary contributions

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Barbara Ransby describes her role as interim vice provost at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Barbara Ransby talks about her book 'Eslanda'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Barbara Ransby reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Barbara Ransby talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Barbara Ransby describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Barbara Ransby reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Barbara Ransby describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

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Barbara Ransby describes her role in Columbia University's divestment from South Africa
Barbara Ransby describes her research on Ella Baker
Transcript
Now, let me go back to Columbia [Columbia University, New York, New York] for--$$Oh, okay.$$--I mean, yeah, for a minute, and get you graduated.$$(Laughter).$$So, when you graduated, what were your prospects? Were you, did you--$$So I got, fortunately, I got a fellowship that was--I was considering, we were considering. I was married at the time, and pregnant with my first child [Jason Ransby-Sporn], who was born a few days before graduation, so I actually did not go to my graduation. I was looking for a parking space on the Upper West Side [New York, New York] to bring home this new baby. But I got a fellowship, a Mellon Fellowship, which was a portable--national graduate student fellowship, which was portable, and I could take it to, what, you know, whatever school I got accepted. So, that was helpful, and I decided to take it to Michigan in Ann Arbor [University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan], partly, my husband [Peter H. Sporn] made a commitment to do medical training there, but we had decided together. Our parents were in Detroit [Michigan]. We wanted to come back to the Midwest, and there were people at Michigan at the time who I--in the history department, who I respected and wanted to work with. So, that was the plan. But right as I was graduating, the antiapartheid struggle and divestment movement at Michigan, I mean at Columbia, really heated up in 1984. We had a, we initially had a vote of the student faculty senate [University Senate] for divestment. Then the trustees intervened, and said, "Wait a minute." (Laughter) "You may think this is a decision making body. It's more of an advisory body, and we don't know that we can really go along with this." So, then we had faculty allies, because the faculty was like, "Well, wait a minute. We thought this was a serious deliberative body," because we'd won the faculty over. So, the trustees intervened, and it was just a very intense period during which, you know, it was my first pregnancy, so it was very intense for me. And I remember just laying awake many nights thinking what should we do next, how should we handle this, who should we pull in, where should we draw the line, because the university was trying to sort of negotiate, and there were lots of other propositions on the table other than divestment of what, you know, what universities could do. So, they had a vote, and this sort of played out in 1984. And then you may recall, the year after I graduated, all the people I had worked with in the Coalition for a Free South Africa culminated in a takeover of buildings on Columbia's campus in 1985. And it, you know, it made national and international news. The people from the Harlem community [New York, New York], you know, Elombe Brath [ph.], and Sam Anderson and Baraka [Amiri Baraka], who was in New Jersey--but all these folks kind of converged on the campus to support the students. The campus was shut down and it was, you know, it was very dramatic. And ultimately, Columbia was pushed to divest, but it was at a point where other schools were coming to divest as well. But that was an important moment in that struggle. A lot of forces came together and I think it was a memorable moment for a lot of activists who had gone on to do other kinds of work. So, that was my closing chapter at Columbia. Now the interesting thing, you know, people have asked the question, you know, our current president was at Columbia during that time. And so, a number of people have asked--I did not know him then. You know, maybe he was in some demonstration, I had no idea.$$You're talking about Barack Obama [HistoryMaker President Barack Obama].$$I am talking about Barack Obama (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Okay.$$Yes. So, but we did not, we did not really overlap. And this was a struggle that I lived and breathed every day. So, you know, he wasn't in the inner circle of it. But, so, it's interesting that he was there at the time, so.$$Okay. Does it disturb you that he wasn't involved at all?$$No. And like I say, you know, he may have been on the periphery. But, you asked me the question about how many people. I mean, at times we had many hundreds of people in front of the library at Columbia. And at some times it would be like three or four of us, and we'd stand there looking around hoping someone else would show up. So, it wasn't something that was consistent in terms of a large number of people. Once it got some momentum we could count on, a critical core of people--when there were big actions, there were critical cores of people, but, I mean a mass of people. But, in an ongoing way, the majority of students, including the majority of black students, were not, you know, they were doing what people do. They were going to class and (laughter) trying to get out of there. So.$$As an activist though, when you look back on it, I mean, did the activists kind of know who was an activist?$$Oh, yeah.$$And I know how most activists think. They think everybody ought to be one (laughter).$$Well, you want that, you want that. But there, but I also understand there's lots of pressures on how people live their lives and so forth. Everybody doesn't choose to be a full-time activist, which is what some of us were for a number of years. And that was true at the height of the, you know, what we termed the civil rights and black freedom movement. The majority of people were not in SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] (laughter). The majority of people were not in the Black Panther Party, even though those organizations influenced thousands and thousands of people, and people supported to varying degrees for shorter you know, and longer periods of time. But in terms of a core of activists, the majority were not.$Well describe, I guess, what it was like trying to research El- Ella Baker.$$Well, it was energizing and exciting and difficult and frustrating, sometimes all at the same time. I did this first round of work on my dissertation, and then I did a whole other round of work on the book ['Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision,' Barbara Ransby]. I interviewed a number of people and--Ella Baker has papers. I did look at Ella Baker's papers. They're now at the Schomburg [Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, New York]. But I really also patched together an archive of Ella Baker material through all the different people she knew and organizations she was involved in. I spent a lot of time in the Library of Congress [Washington, D.C.] in the NAACP papers [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People]. She worked for the NAACP for a number of years. I looked at the papers of other individuals that she had had contact with, newspaper clippings. There was a lot of material at the Schomburg, bits and pieces in different collections. She had worked with George Schuyler on the Young Negroes Cooperative League in the 1930s, so I found information on that. And so it really was a kind of quilting process, of patching together all of these fragments of Ella Baker's life. I looked at census material, I traveled to Littleton, North Carolina where she grew up, and interviewed people there and went to the public library there, and the county courthouse and so forth. So, you know, it was a journey to really discover her life, and you know, this work of biography. I've just now finished a second biography on Eslanda Robeson ['Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson,' Barbara Ransby], Paul Robeson's wife. But the work of biography--you ask questions of other people's lives. You may not even know those answers about your own life. Like, you've just asked me questions about my own family history. I could probably better answer some of those questions about Ella Baker or Essie Robeson [Eslanda Goode Robeson], than myself. But you are a bit of a voyeur, you kind of wade into very personal areas of someone's life who you didn't know, and wasn't invited to do, necessarily. So it's always a balancing act, of what are you looking for, what do you want to know, what do you need to know, what does an audience and a reader need know to know this person? And then there's the issue of silences. I mean, what kinds of things are just not as important, because you never tell the whole story of a life. You tell a part of a life. And as a biographer, you decide what part gets told, right? Some of that's what, you know, what you find and don't find, but then there are choices. So, it was an interesting, wonderful journey to research Ms. Baker's life. And you know, there was sadness and inspiration, I think, in it.

The Honorable William E. Ward

History professor, political organizer, and mayor The Honorable William E. Ward was born on December 1, 1933 in Virginia to Annie Ward. Ward earned his B.A. degree in history in 1957 and his M.A. degree in history in 1960 from Virginia State University. He also earned both his M.A. and Ph.D degrees in American and African history in 1972 and 1977, respectively, from Clark University.

In 1963, Ward moved to Chesapeake where he began his public life as a grass-roots political organizer, helping to bring sewer and roads to poorer neighborhoods in Chesapeake and Norfolk. Between 1973 and 2000, he worked as a professor at Norfolk State University where he served as a professor and the chair of the history department. He was also the president of the Faculty Senate at Norfolk State University between 1975 and 1977 and chaired the Black History Month committee for the Faculty Senate of Virginia Benefits and Senate Grievance committees. In addition, Ward was a member of the college-wide Council of Teacher Education. In 1978, Ward ran for the Chesapeake City Council and was declared a winner forty-eight hours after having been declared a loser, when 123 uncounted votes were located. He was elected Vice Mayor under Mayor David I. Wynne between 1984 and 1986, and also in 1988 and 1990. Ward was then appointed as the city’s first black mayor in 1990 after Wynne faced allegations of fraud. Ward ran for re-election in 1992 and won and in 1996, Ward ran for re-election and defeated Republican challenger John Cosgrove, earning fifty-five percent of the vote and serving until 2004. Ward was Chesapeake’s longest serving mayor.

Ward was appointed to the Board of Visitors at Virginia State University in 2003 by Governor Mark Warner and in 2008 became a board member of the university. In addition, he served as the Executive Director of the Hampton Roads Partnership, Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, and Southeastern Public Service Authority. Additional past professional affiliations include the Virginia Society for History Teachers, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, the Southern Historical Association, the American Historical Association and the Virginia Social Sciences Association. Ward also served as the chairman of the Chesapeake Hurricane Katrina Relief Task Force.

Ward lived in Virginia and was married to Rose M. Ward. He was also the father of son, Michael, and daughter, Michelle.

Ward passed away on July 10, 2018.

William Ward was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 12, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.014

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/12/2010

Last Name

Ward

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

E.

Schools

Virginia State University

Clark University

Bluestone Harmony Academic and Industrial School

Central High School

University of Ghana

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Lunenburg County

HM ID

WAR13

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

New England

Favorite Quote

Epitaph: Public Servant

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

12/1/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chesapeake

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Death Date

7/10/2018

Short Description

History professor, political organizer, and mayor The Honorable William E. Ward (1933 - 2018 ) was a professor and the chair of the history department at Norfolk State University. Ward was appointed as the first African American and longest serving mayor of Chesapeake, Virginia in 1990.

Employment

Norfolk State University (Va).

I.C. Norcom High School (Portsmouth, Va).

B. Altman & Co.

Charles Hamilton Houston Junior High School

Rosemont Junior High School

City of Chesapeake

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable William E. Ward's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable William E. Ward lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable William E. Ward talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes how he lost his eye as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable William E. Ward talks about the Bluestone Harmony Academic and Industrial School in Keysville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable William E. Ward remembers the notable African American athletes of his youth

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable William E. Ward recalls listening to the radio as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable William E. Ward remembers listening to the party line in Keysville, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes his experiences at the Bluestone Harmony Academic and Industrial School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes the all-black public school in Lunenburg County, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable William E. Ward recalls his classes at Central High School in Charlotte Court House, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable William E. Ward remembers his elementary and high school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable William E. Ward talks about the lack of black press in Keysville, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes his decision to attend Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable William E. Ward recalls his experiences at Virginia State College

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable William E. Ward talks about the history of Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable William E. Ward talks about the civil rights activities in Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable William E. Ward remembers the visiting speakers at Virginia State College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable William E. Ward talks about his early work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes his early civil rights involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable William E. Ward recalls the civil rights activities at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable William E. Ward remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes his role as campaign manager for two minority Chesapeake City Council candidates

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes his summer abroad at the University of Ghana in Accra, Ghana

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable William E. Ward remembers studying at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable William E. Ward recalls his congressional campaign in 1972

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable William E. Ward remembers serving as a delegate at the 1976 Democratic National Convention

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable William E. Ward talks about his campaign for the Chesapeake City Council

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes how he became mayor of Chesapeake, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable William E. Ward talks about politics in the State of Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes his tenure as mayor of Chesapeake, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable William E. Ward recalls the racial issues he handled while mayor of Chesapeake, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable William E. Ward talks about his mayoral and city council campaigns

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes how he juggled his two careers

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable William E. Ward talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable William E. Ward reflects upon his tenure as mayor of Chesapeake, Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable William E. Ward reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable William E. Ward recalls his conflict with Congressman Tom DeLay

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable William E. Ward talks about the trial of Lee Boyd Malvo

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable William E. Ward reflects upon his tenure as mayor of Chesapeake, Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable William E. Ward describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable William E. Ward narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable William E. Ward narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

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DATitle
The Honorable William E. Ward talks about his campaign for the Chesapeake City Council
The Honorable William E. Ward describes his tenure as mayor of Chesapeake, Virginia
Transcript
And I ran for city council, I think, in '74 [1974]. That's where I'm getting, getting my--$$Okay (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) my dates are a little confused here.$$So, that was prior to working with the--$$Prior to the convention [1976 Democratic National Convention, New York, New York].$$Yeah.$$Yeah. Prior to the convention, I ran for city council, and I lost that by five hundred votes, and so forth. So I said, "Well, I'm not gonna run for anything else again." Spent all of my time concentrating on my work at Norfolk State [Norfolk State College; Norfolk State University, Norfolk, Virginia], and so forth. For the next two or three years, I helped to get Clarke and Owens [Hugo A. Owens, Sr.] reelected and kind of took a back seat. But then in '77 [1977] Clarke died and, and we [Chesapeake Men for Progress; New Cheesecake Men for Progress, Chesapeake, Virginia] worked to get somebody appointed to finish his term. His wife agreed to do that, so for a year or year and a half, Mrs. Clarke [Florine R. Clarke] served as the council appointed replacement for her husband, William Clarke [W.P. Clarke, Sr.]. So, in '78 [1978], she said, "I'm not gonna run again," and that's when we all looked around and said, "Well, Bill Ward [HistoryMaker William E. Ward], you gotta be the one. You gotta go for that seat. We gotta keep the two blacks on council." So I ran in 1978, had already created the model for the most part, and that is you work with your base, work with the black churches and the black neighborhood bosses, and so forth. And haven't been active in the Democratic committee over the next--over the previous seven or eight years. I had gained some white support like that. And so on election day in '78 [1978], I came in sixth, with the five, five seats, five vacancies on that--at that time. And when they counted the votes on election night, Bill Ward came in number six, and everybody said, "We thought you were gonna win." And I wasn't that far, I forgot how many votes I was behind. Two days later when they counted the votes in the official canvas, they discovered at one precinct that at one machine, votes had not been counted for Bill Ward. So, they found 123 votes at a southern city--near the southern precinct in the southern part of Chesapeake [Virginia] and moved me from the sixth place loser to a third place finisher. And so I was declared after a recount and all that, to be the winner, which knocked off one of the white winners by--and his closest competition had been about two votes or something like that. So anyway, I was finally elected to Chesapeake City Council in 1978, and served in that capacity as a councilmember until October 1990, when I became mayor. So, during the twelve years as a councilmember, I began to build up some support, you know, in the larger community working with the mayors at that time, and all the mayors were Democratic mayors and councils were primarily the Democratic council. Chesapeake didn't begin to shift until the '90s [1990s] to become a Republican city and now it's primarily Republican controlled.$The 1970s was an exciting decade where things began to stabilize. And in the, in the '80s [1980s]--here again, Chesapeake [Virginia] began to grow in the '80s [1980s], began to attract multinational businesses, residential units were come in, popping up. The population was growing at 3 and 4 and 5 percent, and then when I became mayor in 1990 for the next ten years, during my tenure, we continued to expand. I began to travel internationally and nationally to attract multinational businesses. I spent several trips into Japan, which was very lucrative for us, also in Europe and other parts of Asia, Taiwan, wherever we could--and also in this country, also I did a lot of travel. So all of this began to add to my persona as an aggressive weak mayor in a sense, and we were able to get some things done. We were able to get federal funding and approve and upgrade some of the old black neighborhoods, old traditional Chesapeake, rural Chesapeake, which was a county until '63 [1963]. Had two populations, us and them. And the us, the black people, all lived in little villages throughout the city, and so we didn't begin to integrate the city until the early '70s [1970s], and today it's much harder to determine your base if you're dependent solely on your black base, because it's no longer restricted to these, quote villages, just because it's a highly integrated city. There's 354 square miles, we have fifty-five voting precincts, black people live everywhere, all candidates, all officials are elected at large. I was always elected at large, never from a ward system, never from a precinct system. And that's the interesting part about my political life is that the demographics of Chesapeake has always remained stable, about 22 or 23 percent African American and 77, 76, 77, 78 percent majority race. So, for any candidate or any person, and any minority candidate to win, he or she must be able to build bridges, and that was one of my campaign themes, building bridges. Another one was promises made, promises kept. So, I always try to represent all the people, and in the neighborhoods, you know, I was always there. Wherever invited, I would appear; white churches, black churches, and ultimately I developed a good support base in the white churches. I had five white ministers who would meet with me on a monthly basis to pray once a month in my office. We would meet and they would pray with me, for me. And the National Day of Prayer, I had no problem in participating in that and taking on leadership in that, and, so and then I established a sister cities program, which got us into Brazil. I've been in and out of Brazil four, five, six, seven times, and we have a sister city in southern Brazil, in Joinville and Santa Catarina state. As a result of my first trip to Brazil, which was a business trip, I was able to bring Varga Brakes [TRW Brakes Brazil] to the City of Chesapeake. First trip to Japan I was able to bring Yupo [Yupo Corporation], which is a large Japanese Company. Oji-Yuka paper company [Oji-Yuka Synthetic Paper Company; Yupo Corporation], $100 million investment. So, you'll see some of the pictures I have here on the back table, the governors of Virginia, particularly George Allen. The Republican governor always came down and presented me a big check, a state incentive, a state investment check to bring a business here. So these are the kinds of exciting things that we were able to do during, during my tenure.

Cassandra Newby-Alexander

Award-winning historian and author, Cassandra Newby-Alexander was born on December 30, 1957 in Great Lakes, Illinois. She attended Maury High School in Norfolk, Virginia and in 1980, she graduated with her B.A. degree in American government and African American studies from the University of Virginia. She went on to receive her professional teaching certificate from Norfolk State University in 1983, where she would later return to as an educator. That same year, she attended an international graduate summer school program at Oxford University. The following year, she completed her M.A. courses from Old Dominion University. In 1984, she was accepted into the Ph.D. program in history at the College of William and Mary, working as a graduate teaching assistant and earning a teaching fellowship. She received her Ph.D. in 1992. During that time, she also taught secondary school for Norfolk Public Schools in the subjects of AP history, psychology and foreign policy.

Newby-Alexander next became an assistant professor at Norfolk State University, teaching American Survey and Modern American and African American History. She also co-created televised courses for her classes. In 1995, she also became an educational consultant and annual contributor to Norfolk’s Afr'Am Festival, one of the largest African American community celebrations on the East coast. From 1995 until 2000, Newby-Alexander served as an educational consultant with the ETS for American History. Since 2008, she has worked as an oral historian for the Supreme Court of Virginia, documenting the history of retired justices and lawyers in the twentieth century.

Newby-Alexander has co-authored several books including Black America Series: Portsmouth and her latest Remembering School Desegregation in Hampton Roads, Virginia in 2009. She also co-edited the book, Voices from within the Veil: African Americans and the Experience of Democracy in 2008. Also, she created the interactive websites Waterways to Freedom based on Virginia’s Underground Railroad Network and Race, Time, and Place dedicated to African American history in Hampton Roads, Virginia. She has won multiple honors including in 2005 when she was chosen by American Legacy magazine as one of the nation’s top teachers in African American history at a Historically Black College or University.

Cassandra Newby-Alexander was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 10, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.017

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/10/2010

Last Name

Newby-Alexander

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Lindenwood Elementary School

Willard Junior High School

Matthew Fontaine Maury High School

Sherwood Forest Elementary School

Old Dominion University

University of Virginia

College of William and Mary

First Name

Cassandra

Birth City, State, Country

Great Lakes

HM ID

NEW03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

A Contented Person Is A Disciplined Person.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

12/30/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Norfolk

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Shrimp

Short Description

History professor Cassandra Newby-Alexander (1957 - ) taught African American history at Norfolk State University. She also wrote several books and created multimedia websites about segregation and the civil rights movement in Virginia.

Employment

Norfolk State University

Norfolk Public Schools

Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:4428,141:4756,147:5494,164:6068,172:11420,219:14552,251:15480,259:16176,267:16756,273:17452,280:27067,348:27850,359:28633,369:29242,379:30634,398:31417,411:31939,418:33418,442:34114,459:37072,510:37681,519:41512,544:42124,554:43008,572:43824,588:44096,593:49400,720:49876,729:50148,734:50896,746:51236,752:51508,757:51916,767:55430,775:55906,783:57606,831:58762,852:59170,859:59646,868:61414,921:61686,926:62094,934:66310,967:66760,973:67840,983:72694,1020:73261,1028:75124,1072:75448,1077:76663,1095:78688,1124:79255,1132:82252,1194:86450,1208:88550,1235:89000,1243:89525,1248:90050,1257:90725,1269:92750,1299:93200,1307:93575,1313:95150,1346:95900,1358:96275,1364:96650,1370:97025,1376:98375,1397:101570,1402:105420,1479:106421,1493:107576,1513:107961,1519:108577,1528:109116,1536:109809,1546:111195,1568:111888,1578:114454,1587:116950,1632:117262,1637:121684,1687:122944,1708:126160,1719:127135,1734:128110,1749:128410,1754:129085,1770:129610,1780:130285,1792:130660,1798:131185,1805:131710,1814:132460,1828:133735,1850:134485,1866:135460,1884:135760,1889:136135,1895:140402,1909:140792,1915:141416,1930:142118,1945:142430,1950:143570,1955$0,0:231,4:1694,24:2464,35:4620,70:5159,78:5544,84:9009,143:10703,169:14380,180:15204,192:15925,200:16440,206:17779,242:19118,256:19530,261:21281,283:22517,300:23341,310:26440,316:29356,357:32434,397:33001,405:33730,416:34216,423:34783,431:35431,440:45486,589:47310,623:47690,629:50730,687:54637,765:64346,1057:65514,1078:66171,1089:66463,1094:66755,1099:67193,1107:67704,1115:68580,1141:78052,1199:79084,1215:79858,1226:83814,1298:84158,1303:84846,1317:86996,1353:87598,1361:88028,1367:92620,1396:94380,1423:97900,1487:99900,1524:110842,1697:112820,1713:113180,1718:113720,1726:114080,1731:114710,1740:118400,1795:119210,1805:119930,1813:120560,1818:121010,1825:121460,1831:122090,1839:126205,1855:126545,1860:127055,1867:130285,1921:131645,1941:136792,1982:141628,2050:142465,2061:144325,2105:154624,2244:154968,2249:156516,2274:157376,2284:169768,2445:170108,2451:173916,2535:174256,2541:175412,2557:176568,2579:177112,2592:177588,2600:182144,2669:182620,2678:188210,2712:189170,2721:190970,2737:192290,2748:196133,2782:196980,2795:197288,2800:198058,2818:200522,2877:203063,2928:207105,2956:207480,2962:209055,2986:209355,2991:210105,3002:211305,3025:211680,3031:212055,3037:213180,3058:213480,3063:214080,3073:214530,3081:217080,3139:217455,3145:218505,3188:222255,3255:222555,3260:223005,3267:223530,3275:224055,3283:224430,3289:225780,3320:226155,3326:231110,3332:231402,3337:231767,3343:233008,3369:237380,3501
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Cassandra Newby-Alexander's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes her maternal family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes her maternal family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander recalls her mother's education and teaching career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander talks about black figures and organization during the Reconstruction era

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander recalls her paternal grandmother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander talks about her paternal grandmother's career

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander remembers her paternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes her father

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander talks about the influence of her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander remembers her early understanding of the world

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander remembers her early education

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander remembers attending at Sherwood Forest Elementary School in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander recalls experiencing racism at Sherwood Forest Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander remembers a fight at Sherwood Forest Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes the treatment of African American students in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander remembers the misappropriation of funds in Virginia's public schools

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander reflects upon the lack of reparations to African Americans

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander recalls Matthew Fontaine Maury High School in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander remembers her early career aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes her political activism in junior high school and high school

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander remembers her history teacher, Robert Davenport

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes the importance of learning history

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander remembers the racism at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander recalls the racist faculty at the University of Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes her experiences at the University of Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander remembers her coursework at the University of Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander recalls her postgraduate education

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander remembers studying at Exeter College in Oxford, England

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander recalls her admittance to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander talks about creating a pre-graduate summer history program

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander remembers writing her Ph.D. dissertation

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes her research on Norfolk African American history

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes her research on government funded communities in Hampton Roads, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander talks about George Latimer, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander talks about George Latimer, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander remembers Sheridan W. Ford, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander remembers Sheridan W. Ford, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes the Henrietta Marie exhibit in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander reflects upon the complexity of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander talks about her teaching experiences in Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander talks about her teaching experiences in Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes her students' reactions to her African American history course

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander talks about her website

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander talks about American Legacy Magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander remembers John Hope Franklin

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander reflects upon the role of churches in the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes her hopes for American society

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander talks about her husband

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Cassandra Newby-Alexander describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$3

DAStory

5$10

DATitle
Cassandra Newby-Alexander talks about her website
Cassandra Newby-Alexander remembers her history teacher, Robert Davenport
Transcript
Now, you, you launched a website I think in the late '90s [1990s]. What was it called the (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yes, it's called Race, Time, and Place: African Americans in Tidewater, Virginia. And, and it really is a website designed to feature some of these topics that I've talked about and to be a place where, where the voices of people who helped to frame our communities can be heard by, by people from, you know from the world. I've had people from different counties who've, who've--you know who were, who had moved to a different country, but they might have been from Virginia or from Hampton Roads [Virginia] who said, you know, "I saw a mention of my great-grandfather," and you know, "Do you have any more information about this person?" Because Hampton Roads and Tidewater [Virginia] in general was a crossroads. You had people from all over the world who seem to pass through this area in some form or fashion, and so these different, these different topics have, have actually helped to educate people. The City of Norfolk [Virginia] got very interested in our Waterways to Freedom project talking about the Underground Railroad and so much so that they, they sponsored the establishment of a website just on that looking, based on my research and looking at where some of these people escaped from and you know telling the story about these individuals who left from Norfolk and from the waterfront of Portsmouth [Virginia]. And, and that was extraordinary that Norfolk would, would actually support something like this. But, it's something that was missing, you know, I mean Norfolk has all of this history. But they didn't publicize it and that's also why the City of Norfolk is sponsoring the publication of this book. It's the first, it will be the first time a city has sponsored the publication of a book focusing on the history of blacks from their city. And so we're hoping that it will be out by next year.$And then I, I took this absolutely wonderful class. It was an ethnic history class taught by a man by the name of Robert Davenport. He was a graduate of Norfolk State University when it was Norfolk State College [Norfolk, Virginia], and he became my all time favorite teacher. He inspired me. He taught me about history. He introduced me to historical works that resulted in me sitting down, because they had a social studies resource center that you could go to, and I would go in there and I would actually sit there and read history books, I mean, just read them and read them and read them. And that's when I was first introduced to [HistoryMaker] Lerone Bennett's 'Before the Mayflower' ['Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America'] and Carter G. Woodson's book and, and 'From Slavery to Freedom' ['From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans,' John Hope Franklin].$$So, so was Robert Davenport a black teacher? Right, okay, right (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yes, he was a black teacher and he had two sons that I had the pleasure of teaching because he sent them here to Norfolk State, and they were both history majors and became lawyers. And so they--I, I was able to I guess return the favor so to speak to try to inspire them as he had inspired me. I read more books in that year in his class, and I'm, I'm not talking about just you know books for fun, because I--we read all the time growing up, but you know historical works. I read more in that one year than I would say I did probably in college [University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia], you know reading history books. I have lost track of how many I read. And, and of course a lot of biographies. I just fell in love with the subject, and he was such a disciplined, organized, and inspiring teacher that when I first started teaching at the high school level after--when I was working on my dissertation, I decided I wanted to teach during that interim period. I was nominated for a first year teaching award that was sponsored by the Sallie Mae foundation [Sallie Mae Fund], and he was my teacher who inspired me, and I actually won that award. But he was, you know he was just, he was the guiding force for me, how to deliver this information to teach- to students, what to pull out, what to emphasize. He was the one who introduced me to [HistoryMaker] Nikki Giovanni's poetry and to Eldridge Cleaver's 'Soul on Ice' and the whole controversy about whether he did or didn't write the book. He got me into a lot of local history as well because it was in his class that I learned about Lord Dunmore's Ethiopian Regiment. And in 1975 when they were having a bicentennial contest I entered it creating this play, this short play about the, the Ethiopian Regiment soldiers and what happened. And in fact, Tommy Bogger [Tommy L. Bogger] who is a professor of history here at Norfolk State and an archivist was actually on the committee I later found out that reviewed that particular entry. And he told me years later that no one believed that there was ever an Ethiopian Regiment. They thought I had fictionalized the whole thing, and he had to actually educate them that she knew exactly what she was talking about. Here I was this high school student writing about this. So, that kind of was my first taste into local history, and it's been my passion ever since, but it all started with Robert Davenport in high school [Matthew Fontaine Maury High School, Norfolk, Virginia].

Christopher R. Reed

Historical scholar, Christopher Robert Reed was born on January 11, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois to Robert and Josephine Reed. Reed’s maternal great grandfather served in the 116th Infantry of the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War and took part in the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in 1865. Growing up in East Garfield Park on Chicago’s West Side, Reed attended John Marshall Elementary School and graduated from John Marshall High School in 1959. Starting at Crane Junior College, Reed earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in history from Roosevelt University in 1963 and 1968 respectively. While attending Roosevelt University, he met future colleagues John Bracey (professor of history at University of Massachusetts) and Juliet E. K. Walker (founder of the Center for Black Business History). The Roosevelt faculty included Charles V. Hamilton, August Meirer, St. Clair Drake and Lorenzo Dow Turner. At Roosevelt, Reed was also a member of the Negro History Club. From 1971 to 1980, he served as assistant professor of history at Northern Illinois University, and from 1980 to 1982, he served as Dean of Arts and Sciences at Malcolm X College (formerly Crane Community College). In 1982, Reed garnered his Ph.D. from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

From 1982 to 1987, Reed served as professor of Black Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He returned to Roosevelt University as professor of history in 1987 where he taught courses on North American Slavery, the History of Blacks in Chicago (1770 – 1960) and the History of Blacks in Chicago (1960 to the present). Reed is the author of a few books including The Chicago NAACP and the Rise of Black Professional Leadership, 1910-1966 in 1997; All the World is Here!: The Black Presence at White City, a book about African and African American participation in Chicago’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, in 2000; wrote the introduction for History of the Chicago Urban League (with Arvah E. Strickland) in 2001 and Black Chicago’s First Century, Volume 1, 1833-1900 in 2005. He retired from teaching in 2009.

Reed is often called upon as an expert on Chicago history and the history of black Chicago. He is a member of the East Garfield Park Coalition, the West of Western Housing Alliance, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Boys and Girls Club and was a member of the West Side Coalition for Unity and Political Action supporting the late Harold Washington. In 2001, at Roosevelt, he was the recipient of the St. Clair Drake Award for Outstanding Scholarship. Reed, Chicago’s Black History Forum, keeps his great grandfathers’ Army discharge papers in a bank vault. Reed is married and lives in the Chicago area.

Reed was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 17, 2009.

Accession Number

A2009.149

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/17/2009

Last Name

Reed

Maker Category
Middle Name

R.

Occupation
Schools

John Marshall Metropolitan High School

John Marshall Elementary School

Roosevelt University

Jacob Beidler Elementary School

Kent State University

Malcolm X College

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Christopher

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

REE05

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

No preference

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $500 - $1,000

Favorite Season

None

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: None

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Thank You, God.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/11/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

History professor Christopher R. Reed (1942 - ) was a professor of history at Roosevelt University. Reed’s books include 'The Chicago NAACP and The Rise of Black Professional Leadership'; 'All the World is Here!: the Black presence in the White City'; 'Black Chicago’s First Century: 1833 – 1900' and 'History of the Chicago Urban League.'

Employment

Roosevelt University

Northern Illinois University

Malcolm X College

University of Illinois at Chicago

Social Security Administration

Railroad Retirement Board

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:2754,51:3402,60:10935,210:15296,236:16316,249:19400,269:20192,280:21688,305:22128,311:27496,401:28112,406:34016,468:34364,473:34799,479:35321,487:36452,506:37670,529:41564,569:42230,581:43044,600:47820,620:48352,629:48732,635:49948,654:52456,693:52988,702:54280,720:58972,760:59344,767:60646,795:61018,804:61390,811:63064,850:63436,857:64428,877:64800,884:74830,983:77167,1014:86468,1092:90542,1184:91710,1207:92367,1217:92732,1224:96966,1304:98061,1321:98718,1331:99375,1343:102534,1358:103682,1381:104256,1395:104584,1401:104912,1407:105240,1412:106880,1441:110964,1475:111340,1480:113502,1521:116088,1544:116376,1549:117312,1565:117960,1575:122710,1615:123030,1620:125830,1664:126630,1674:128230,1704:128790,1713:133120,1745:134144,1762:134720,1772:135168,1781:135936,1806:137930,1818:139316,1836:139811,1842:142644,1876:143532,1891:144568,1913:151130,2015:156850,2097:160194,2140:163010,2181:172342,2298:172806,2307:174256,2354:176405,2374:176930,2382:177305,2388:180155,2463:182255,2584:182855,2595:183305,2602:184280,2621:195054,2683:195914,2695:199063,2731:200040,2749$0,0:3540,64:5515,95:16312,259:31050,514:31500,520:35816,559:38107,592:39924,617:47260,692:47806,700:49444,725:50224,748:51082,765:51706,775:52486,783:60725,1014:62219,1037:62551,1042:63464,1054:65690,1062:66086,1073:66416,1079:69584,1137:72750,1159:73240,1167:78070,1276:78420,1282:80940,1330:87740,1393:88308,1403:89941,1454:90438,1462:92497,1508:93136,1518:96828,1622:98390,1652:102734,1678:105604,1735:108146,1796:108884,1810:110524,1838:114560,1871:114816,1876:115136,1885:115904,1898:116800,1919:121120,1962:122104,1975:123006,1990:126092,2027:131318,2082:131606,2087:133694,2124:134126,2131:135782,2156:138712,2177:139288,2187:139864,2196:145948,2263:146293,2269:146638,2279:147397,2291:147673,2296:157524,2402:157992,2409:158304,2414:162438,2501:163608,2518:170295,2606:173870,2689:177965,2837:185512,2933:185852,2939:189592,3033:190204,3043:193972,3067:194308,3072:194812,3079:195232,3085:199345,3132:202987,3156:203683,3167:205249,3190:206989,3219:207424,3225:210550,3243:213710,3259:214165,3268:214555,3276:216115,3312:218615,3342:219140,3352:219515,3358:219815,3363:231490,3523:232250,3536:232858,3545:233618,3560:235062,3586:235670,3600:238980,3626:239662,3638:246110,3773:248020,3779
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Christopher R. Reed's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Christopher R. Reed lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Christopher R. Reed describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Christopher R. Reed talks about his family's migration to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Christopher R. Reed describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Christopher R. Reed describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Christopher R. Reed talks about the history of Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Christopher R. Reed describes his father's move to East St. Louis, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Christopher R. Reed remembers his father's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Christopher R. Reed describes the South Side of Chicago, Illinois during the 1930s

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Christopher R. Reed describes his parents' marriages

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Christopher R. Reed describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Christopher R. Reed talks about his parents' political involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Christopher R. Reed talks about the history of housing discrimination on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Christopher R. Reed describes his earliest memory of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Christopher R. Reed talks about his parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Christopher R. Reed describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Christopher R. Reed recalls Marshall High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Christopher R. Reed recalls the encouragement of his community

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Christopher R. Reed describes his early knowledge of black history

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Christopher R. Reed remembers the influence of African American historians

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Christopher R. Reed describes Jesse "Pop" Helton

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Christopher R. Reed remembers the black-owned businesses on State Street in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Christopher R. Reed describes his research on Jean Baptiste Point du Sable

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Christopher R. Reed describes the plans for DuSable Park in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Christopher R. Reed remembers his activities at Marshall High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Christopher R. Reed recalls his teachers at Marshall High School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Christopher R. Reed talks about community organizing on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Christopher R. Reed recalls his aspiration to attend Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Christopher R. Reed describes the changes in Chicago's city college system

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Christopher R. Reed remembers the black history scholars at Roosevelt University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Christopher R. Reed recalls founding the Negro History Club at Roosevelt University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Christopher R. Reed remembers St. Clair Drake and Lorenzo Turner

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Christopher R. Reed describes the chairmen emeriti of the Black Chicago History Forum

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Christopher R. Reed describes the scholarship on the black history of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Christopher R. Reed talks about the black historical archives in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Christopher R. Reed describes his education at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Christopher R. Reed recalls his Ph.D. degree program at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Christopher R. Reed describes his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Christopher R. Reed recalls teaching at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Christopher R. Reed remembers Harold Washington's mayoral campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Christopher R. Reed recalls debating with future President Barack Obama

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Christopher R. Reed reflects upon his scholarly work

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Christopher R. Reed describes the black political leadership of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Christopher R. Reed recalls the tenure of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Christopher R. Reed talks about African Americans' participation in the World's Columbian Exposition

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Christopher R. Reed describes the importance of history

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Christopher R. Reed describes his hopes for his scholarship

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Christopher R. Reed talks about the history of the black business community in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Christopher R. Reed reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Christopher R. Reed describes his hopes for the education of African American youth

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Christopher R. Reed reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Christopher R. Reed describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Christopher R. Reed talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Christopher R. Reed describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Christopher R. Reed narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Christopher R. Reed narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Christopher R. Reed recalls the encouragement of his community
Christopher R. Reed describes his doctoral dissertation
Transcript
What were you like as a little kid? What were you thinking about, what did you like to do, did--were you exposed to historical information when you were a youngster?$$As a youngster I was very shy, didn't say much, little frail fellow physically. Always protected by family and friends. I have friends today that I've known since the 1940s, guys that looked out after me. Everybody just seemed to look after me, tough guys, good guys, bad guys. Yeah, I knew some very tough people, they all seemed to recognize me as having potential. And I noticed that, I think back to the late '40s [1940s], early '50s [1950s], boys and girls were supportive in those days. This--this attitude today that you should be violent either in heart, tongue or head against people wasn't the way I remembered things. People were supportive. Some of the toughest people around, the softest people around. Everybody supported and encouraged me to reach my potential. And people said, "Oh you're smart, you're going somewhere, you'll be somebody." And that's a track I got on, that I entered and haven't been detoured from or derailed off.$$Okay so you (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I have to achieve, yeah, because everybody says I have to achieve, they expect me to achieve, belie- they believe in me. So I've always said on a religious level I was blessed and am blessed, and then on a social level, very, very, very fortunate. I don't have any enemies that I know of and I have many people who have supported me through the years. So I, I really feel happy. I get a Christmas present every day being alive and being well received. I--I do know that--I do remember that as a youngster I was told I should become a lawyer when I grew up, and I do also remember my neighbors down the street, the Phelps [ph.] family, who were oddly enough Roman Catholics. Their, their youngest daughter was a competitor of mine in school, you know, who would be the smartest, would get the best grades. Their--at their home, we had intellectual sessions in my preteens, you know, I remember after learning what an intellectual was and who, who composed the intelligentsia, you know, going on. But that was common in our block, you know. On our block, 3000 block on Warren [Boulevard], the north side of the block competed with the south side to see how many kids go to college. This is a working class neighborhood over in the East Garfield Park [Chicago, Illinois]. And then Marshall [Marshall High School; John Marshall Metropolitan High School, Chicago, Illinois] was a school, as I mentioned, that was a school where learning was encouraged and I think of the [U.S.] Marine Corps motto, "Our standard is excellence" [sic.]. So that was an inspiration to me.$Now you were working on a Ph.D. so what was your dissertation?$$Well I decided to follow up on Chicago [Illinois]. This is interesting. I--well I know why I st- I'd done a master's thesis in '68 [1968] on Chicago in the '20s [1920s]. Now remember I'd been inspired in a class in 1965 at Roosevelt [Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois] at the master's level to do a paper on 1920 Chicago. And at Kent [Kent State University, Kent, Ohio] I decided I would work on Chicago during the Great--the period of the Great Depression and New Deal period. So my dissertation was entitled 'Black Politics and Protests in Depression Decade Chicago, 1930 - 1939' so I studied the interrelationship between political organizations, Democratic, Republican Party, Communist Party and various community and activists groups, NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People], Urban League [Chicago Urban League, Chicago, Illinois], National Negro Labor Cou- [National Negro Labor Council] and those groups, small and odd groups. Very interesting enough, people are still reading my dissertation and are citing it in their works, which made me excited because their ci- of their citing of my work, it made me more appreciative of what I did. Now I remember when I was being examined during my oral exams, this follows the acceptance of your written dissertation. There was a question about the value of what I'd been doing. But then I remember walking over to the exam site when a professor of po- political science was part of my examining committee, I remember him asking, "Why did you do so much?" Because my dissertation was four hundred pages. He said, "This is like two hundred--two dissertations." I said, "I, I did what I was told to do, that was the assignment, I had a task before me. I completed the task." Now I wish I had been encouraged to do more with the dissertation after I finished it, that wasn't until 1982. But it was such a overwhelming project, I was worn out. And at the time I did not understand the valuable contribution I had made. I've only grown to understand that in the last twenty years with others citing work I had done, the result of this new appreciation of what I had produced convinced me after I submitted three books for publication this year to do one last article, that's it because I'm in retirement supposedly. So I star- I was gonna do a twenty page article and it happened to relate to the dissertation. I finally figured out what the dissertation was about, it was something very important. So that's--I wanted to follow up, so--no I got that wrong, no. When I figured out what I had do--that was a book I submitted for publication to Indiana University Press [Bloomington, Indiana], that's right, they published two of my other books. All right, but, but part of my dissertation work dealt with a subject that I'm now working on now for the seventh book, a very small book, a hundred pages of less dealing with Dr. Du Bois' [W.E.B. Du Bois] indor- embracing and endorsing segregation as a way of life during tough economic times. And this his embracing of, of segregation was to mesh with a new economic game plan for black America, cooperatives, labor unions, you know, activities that made the best of resources available in a segregated America. So that's a hundred page less short book entitled 'The Chicago Revolt' [ph.]. Because when Du Bois embraced segregation it was to the consternation of the leadership and the membership of the NAACP. That was the ideology that Booker T. Washington embraced. The NAACP and its supporters embraced what, integration into am- egalitarianism, equality of opportunity, full citizenship rights to be enjoyed. So that's what I'm working on. A very small study.

Charles Russell Branham

Historian Charles Russell Branham was born on May 25, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois to Charles Etta Halthon and Joseph H. Branham. Branham graduated from Manassas High School in Memphis, Tennessee in 1963. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rockford College in 1967 and earned his Ph.D. in history in 1980 from The University of Chicago where he was a Ford Foundation Fellow.

Branham has been a professor of history at various colleges in Chicago, including Chicago State University and Roosevelt University. From 1974 through 1985, he taught at The University of Illinois at Chicago where he was awarded the Silver Circle Excellence in Teaching Award. From 1985 through 1991, Branham was an Associate Professor at Northwestern University, and from 1991 through 1997, an Associate Professor at Indiana University Northwest. In 1984, Branham began working as an historian at the DuSable Museum of Afro-American History where he served as Director of Education and is now Senior Historian. Branham is the author of many publications on African American history and politics, including The Transformation of Black Political Leadership in Chicago, 1865 – 1943.

Branham is a member of the Organization of American Historians and the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History. He served on the Board of Directors for The Chicago Metro History Fair, DuSable Museum of African American History, the Illinois Humanities Council and on the Executive Committee for the Chicago Archives of the Blues Tradition. From 1989-1990, he was the Chairman of the United Way of Chicago’s Committee on Race, Ethnic and Religious Discrimination. In addition, Branham has served as a consultant to the Chicago Board of Education for their curriculum development for a Black History study unit. Branham also sat on the Board of Trustees for Rockford College from 1990 to 1992. He won an Emmy Award as the writer, co-producer and host of "The Black Experience," the first nationally televised series on African American History. In 1983, Branham was an expert witness in the PACI case which forced the City of Chicago to give greater political representation to African Americans, and in 1990, his testimony before the Chicago City Council laid the foundation for the city's minority business affirmative action program.

Branham was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 3, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.119

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/3/2008

Last Name

Branham

Maker Category
Middle Name

Russell

Occupation
Schools

Manassas High School

Lincoln Elementary School

Douglas Elementary School

Rockford University

University of Chicago

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

BRA11

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Tuscany, Italy

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/25/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

History professor Charles Russell Branham (1945 - ) was the senior historian at the DuSable Museum of Afro-American History and a professor of history at various universities, including Chicago State University, Roosevelt University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University, and Indiana University Northwest.

Employment

Roosevelt University

Chicago State University

University of Illinois at Chicago

Northwestern University

DuSable Museum of African American History

Indiana University

Favorite Color

Blue

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Russell Branham's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Russell Branham lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Russell Branham describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Russell Branham describes his mother's life in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Russell Branham describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Russell Branham describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Russell Branham talks about Olivet Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Russell Branham talks about Olivet Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Russell Branham describes his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Russell Branham describes his family

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Russell Branham describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Russell Branham describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Russell Branham describes the sights of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Russell Branham recalls his parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Russell Branham describes his home in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Russell Branham remembers his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Russell Branham recalls his influences during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Russell Branham remembers Manassas High School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Russell Branham recalls his speech at the American Legion Boys State

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Russell Branham recalls his activities at Manassas High School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Russell Branham recalls working for the Memphis World newspaper

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Russell Branham remembers his teachers at Manassas High School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Russell Branham describes segregation in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Russell Branham recalls civil rights efforts in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Russell Branham recalls applying to Rockford College in Rockford, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Russell Branham remembers his freshman year at Rockford College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Russell Branham recalls his experiences of racial discrimination at Rockford College

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Russell Branham recalls developing his confidence at Rockford College

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Russell Branham recalls meeting gubernatorial candidate Ronald Reagan

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Russell Branham recalls studying history at Rockford College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Russell Branham recalls winning a Ford Foundation fellowship

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Russell Branham recalls working in factories in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Russell Branham recalls his experiences at the University of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Russell Branham describes his studies at the University of Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Russell Branham recalls teaching African American history

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Russell Branham describes his activism in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Russell Branham remembers the Communiversity

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Russell Branham remembers 'The Black Experience,' pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Russell Branham remembers 'The Black Experience,' pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Russell Branham remembers 'The Black Experience,' pt. 3

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Russell Branham recalls completing his dissertation

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Russell Branham remembers being hired at University of Illinois at Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Russell Branham recalls working on Harold Washington's first mayoral campaign

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Russell Branham recalls testifying about disenfranchisement in Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Charles Russell Branham reflects upon his interest in black history

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Charles Russell Branham remembers working for the 1984 Democratic National Convention

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Charles Russell Branham recalls designing an exhibit about Harold Washington

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Charles Russell Branham recalls joining the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Charles Russell Branham describes the DuSable Museum of African American History

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Charles Russell Branham describes his publications

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Charles Russell Branham reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Charles Russell Branham recalls his exhibit on Provident Hospital, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Charles Russell Branham recalls his exhibit on Provident Hospital, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Charles Russell Branham describes his work on 'The Killing Floor'

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Charles Russell Branham recalls testifying about the City of Chicago's affirmative action policy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Charles Russell Branham describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Charles Russell Branham reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Charles Russell Branham reflects upon his family and friends

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Charles Russell Branham describes his experiences of police harassment

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Charles Russell Branham recalls being threatened with a gun by a police officer

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Charles Russell Branham describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Charles Russell Branham narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Charles Russell Branham narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$7

DAStory

5$9

DATitle
Charles Russell Branham describes segregation in Memphis, Tennessee
Charles Russell Branham recalls being threatened with a gun by a police officer
Transcript
Now I didn't ask you about high school, but did--was there any black history taught in high school in Memphis [Tennessee] (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) No. I'm glad you asked that because, Johnny Johnson [John Johnson, Jr.] was the coach, a wonderful guy, showed a lot of newsreels, because we had to reel--the reel thing. We had one day when they mentioned black history and it was virtually all about Booker T. Washington, and he didn't know anything about Booker T. Washington. He just mentioned him. So there really wasn't any teaching of black history. Black history was displayed in ironic ways. For example, of course, when I grew up you had the black and white signs. There was the Malco Theatre [Memphis, Tennessee], which was the most prominent theater downtown, and African Americans and whites, of course, sat separately and you did not know from the sign where the colored entrance was. What you did was you went to the side, and when you went in, there was a picture of Booker T. Washington and you knew from that picture this is where black people were supposed to go, so we would go up to the balcony. I remember watching 'The Ten Commandments' at the Malco Theatre in the balcony, which probably was better seats than on the main level, but that was your way of knowing African American history. I mean, there were stores in Memphis when I was growing up where African Americans could buy clothing, but they couldn't try it on, and so you learned your African American history through reality. I remember coming back from college [Rockford College; Rockford University, Rockford, Illinois] my freshman year and I had a button, "Goldwater [Barry Goldwater] in 1864," and I remember my mother [Charles Hurd Branham Halthon] ripping that button off of me and screaming at me. I thought I was a wise guy, Barry Goldwater, 1864. I was obviously making fun of what I considered his retrograde ideas. My mother saw it quite differently. You see, my mother remembers when African Americans were run out of Memphis for practicing with whites, like Jimmie Lunceford, who was run out of Memphis. My mother knew that I was only a few years older than Emmett Till, and she remembered Emmett Till and so she was not gonna, she said that she screamed at me. She said, "Those white people will kill you. Take that thing off your--those white people will kill you." And, my mother was being cautious. She was being protective. She was afraid that I would say something or do something or wear a button in front of the wrong white person and that I could be killed and, of course, she had enough practical history to support that. I mean, I remember my first civil rights demonstration in Memphis and not telling my mother. My mother had been very--had made it very clear. "I am a school teacher. If you're arrested in a civil rights demonstration and your name gets in the paper, they can fire me for being your mother." Whether or not they could, I'm sure they had in the past, and so I actually was arrested but never printed or fingerprinted or anything. They just brought us all in and let us all go. Probably because there were too many of us and also probably because we weren't doing anything really but just walking up and down the street.$$What was the issue?$$Well, Memphis was a completely segregated city in 19--in the late 1960s. As I said before, the first whites I met I met in the summer after I graduated from high school [Manassas High School, Memphis, Tennessee]. There was a white lady who actually put together a little group of blacks and whites. We would meet at her home and we read 'Lord of the Flies' [William Golding] and we read a number of other books and we would discuss it and there were four African Americans, all of us going to white schools; one was going to Yale [Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut], he flunked out. He had an eight hundred out of eight hundred--no a sixteen hundred out of sixteen hundred on the SATs and he was very, very smart. He bought a smoking jacket and just got too popular and just didn't do any work, but I don't remember any of us, after having been introduced to the whites at this group, ever speaking to them and I don't remember any of us ever saying anything when the book discussion was going on. We just listened to the white kids talk and it was her attempt to provide some integration, and it didn't work. The white kids were very nice, and we all sat in the same room which was startling. It was in her home, but we didn't interact. We were scared.$And my worst experience actually was when I was doing my TV show ['The Black Experience']. I had been introduced to a young lady by John Tweedle, and I had just been interviewing Lorenzo Dow Turner and Lorenzo Dow Turner was the author of 'Africanisms in the Gullah Dialect,' and he taught at Roosevelt University [Chicago, Illinois], although he'd retired by the time I started teaching at Roosevelt, and he was just the most gracious of people. He lived in Hyde Park [Chicago, Illinois] and so I went to his home and he pulled out this old phonograph with a pine needle, which he stuck in the arm and then he brought out these big metallic records and put them on the turn table, and put the pine needle on the turntable, cranked it and I could hear the actual voices of the people he'd interviewed when he wrote his famous book and so I was on cloud nine, because this was something we could use on the show. We could photograph this and we could show him as a pioneer scholar and I was one to promote African American scholarship, and at the same time we're learning something about Africanisms. We're talking about perhaps the most African people in America and it's a culture as you know that has virtually disappeared and so I was driving down Lake Shore Drive and I ended up at 71st [Street] and I just happened to drop by this girl's apartment building and I knocked on the door and they, I mean I was buzzed in and so I get on the elevator and go up and as I get ready to knock on the door, the door opens, a guy comes out, pushes me against the wall, puts a gun to my head, and says he's going to kill me. Apparently, she had a boyfriend. Apparently she was breaking up with the boyfriend. Apparently he thought I was the cause. He held me there for what seemed like two hours. It was probably more like twenty minutes. He was a police officer. He explained to me that he was going to say that I was breaking in, and that he was going to say he had to shoot me as a robber. I, of course, basically said nothing, except I looked him in the eye, maintained eye contact, which of course, is the worst thing you can do, basically. You're not supposed to maintain eye contact if people actually have a gun to your head, and basically said, "You know, you don't want to do this. You'll never get away with it." And I apparently learned later that you're not supposed to say that. He kept telling me he was going to kill me. After twenty minutes, he decided he wasn't going to kill me. He puts the gun away, gets on an elevator and leaves. Later he tells her mother, he calls her mother and says, "I almost killed a guy." I called several friends of mine because I have a lot of ex-students who are police officers and I talk to them about it, and to a man they said--now remember this is the 1970s--they said, "Leave it alone." I mean, Wilbourne Woods, who was Mayor Washington's [Harold Washington] guard. Wilbourne Woods was a student of mine and we got to be friends because he would always reassure me that he was not an FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] agent when he was in my class, and he said, "Look. These guys will put drugs in your car. They will not let one of their own go down, so just leave it alone." So, I don't know how many people have ever had a gun put to their heads, but I was actually kind of proud of the fact that I didn't panic. We now know a little bit about what you're likely to do, whether or not you can remain calm, when you have a gun put to your head, but I never want that to happen again.$$Yeah, Wilbourne was one of the members of the African American Police League [Afro-American Patrolmen's League; African American Police League], yeah.$$(Nods head) And he told me, he said, "Leave it alone." He says, "I'll talk to the guy but don't turn him in because they'll end up putting drugs in your car."

Frank Toland, Sr.

Educator and civil rights activist Frank Jefferson Toland, Sr. was born on June 1, 1920, in Helena, South Carolina, to Fred Toland and Lily Mae Sligh. The period following the Great Depression put a large strain on Toland’s parents, and they eventually went their separate ways. After moving to Newberry, South Carolina, after the third grade, Toland attended Drayton Street High School and graduated as class valedictorian in 1939. After finishing a forty-two week military service beginning in 1942, Toland earned his B.A. degree in English, history, and political science from South Carolina State University.

Soon after, Toland obtained a part-time English teaching position at Wilkinson High School in South Carolina. Toland was then accepted into the University of Pennsylvania’s masters program as a history major. During Toland’s time at the University of Pennsylvania, he was the only African American student in the entire program. While attending the University of Pennsylvania, Toland worked for six months at William Penn Business Institute teaching English and business math. After receiving his M.A. degree in history in 1948, Toland attended the University of Minnesota and received his Ph.D.

In 1949, Toland left William Penn Business Institute and began working in the history department at the Tuskegee Institute (later Tuskegee University). It was at the Tuskegee Institute that he met his future wife, Maree N. Morse, who was a Tuskegee Institute graduate, and got acquainted with the late Booker T. Washington. The couple married on August 16, 1950, and later had three children. In 1968, Toland became the chair of the Department of History, a position he held until 1984. Also in 1968, Toland was elected unanimously as a member of the City Council of Tuskegee. Toland went on to become the head of the membership committee, the Chairman of the Political Education Committee, and one of the vice presidents of the Tuskegee Civic Association. Driven by a passion to change the racial inequality that existed in Alabama, Toland became involved in the NAACP and the Macon County Democratic Club and used his membership on the various committees as a platform to voice his opinions on race relations, especially in regards to the Voters Rights Act. Through his involvement with civil rights issues, Toland met numerous leading activists including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Reverend Ralph Abernathy.

Frank Toland passed away on September 12, 2010.

Accession Number

A2007.102

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/20/2007

Last Name

Toland

Maker Category
Middle Name

Jefferson

Schools

Draden Street High School

South Carolina State University

University of Pennsylvania

University of Minnesota

First Name

Frank

Birth City, State, Country

Helena

HM ID

TOL04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Mountains, Seasides

Favorite Quote

I Believe, In Life, That The Best Opposition Is A Proposition.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

6/1/1920

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tuskegee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweet Potatoes

Death Date

9/12/2010

Short Description

Civil rights activist and history professor Frank Toland, Sr. (1920 - 2010 ) was chairman of the history department at Tuskegee University from 1968 to 1984; he was also involved in the Civil Rights Movement and was elected to Tuskegee's City Council.

Employment

Tuskegee City Council

Tuskegee Institute

William Penn Business Institute

Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School

Favorite Color

Brown, Gray

Timing Pairs
0,0:1601,19:3740,58:9352,212:9892,218:13132,256:13564,261:15400,281:16264,290:16696,295:23224,347:24706,369:25642,383:33094,585:38776,631:39462,640:43644,670:44279,679:45041,687:48724,723:52650,741:53020,748:53464,756:54352,772:56494,782:62480,831:75074,970:78288,996:79190,1006:80666,1032:93210,1190:94156,1200:95274,1219:95704,1225:99811,1255:103144,1313:104450,1322:104742,1333:113524,1443:114560,1464:117676,1490:118414,1506:121776,1562:131884,1645:132216,1650:134623,1681:136532,1710:140144,1744:154315,1929:158260,1961:163890,2009:171121,2084:172600,2089$0,0:412,6:8938,102:12034,150:23816,250:25031,267:27461,292:32483,420:32969,427:36432,445:36894,451:38896,519:40821,549:41591,560:41899,566:44825,619:49350,642:49900,648:53872,668:56880,716:61058,727:64014,749:68310,771:69570,779:73938,843:74946,858:76878,903:88461,992:89007,999:91828,1040:98370,1069:100993,1099:104028,1133:104383,1139:109720,1200:112932,1236:119173,1310:119528,1316:120451,1331:125040,1359
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Frank Toland, Sr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Frank Toland, Sr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Frank Toland, Sr. describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Frank Toland, Sr. describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Frank Toland, Sr. describes his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls his grandmother's defiance of the Ku Klux Klan

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Frank Toland, Sr. remembers his white relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Frank Toland, Sr. describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls his summer jobs as a boy

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Frank Toland, Sr. describes his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Frank Toland, Sr. remembers sharing textbooks

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Frank Toland, Sr. remembers learning to read

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls an incident with a white neighbor

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls moving to Newberry, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Frank Toland, Sr. describes Newberry, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls raising money for a new high school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls Drayton Street High School in Newberry, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Frank Toland, Sr. describes his parents' relationship

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Frank Toland, Sr. describes adjusting to Drayton Street High School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Frank Toland, Sr. remembers the Great Depression

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Frank Toland, Sr. remembers his kind employer

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls athletics at Drayton Street High School in Newberry, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Frank Toland, Sr. remembers learning a trade at Drayton Street High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls his motivations to attend college

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Frank Toland, Sr. explains his mother's fears for his safety

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls working while attending South Carolina State

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Frank Toland, Sr. remembers Bethlehem Baptist Church

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Frank Toland, Sr. remembers his favorite radio programs

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Frank Toland, Sr. describes his studies at South Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical Institution

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls his admission to the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls being drafted into the U.S. military

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls attempting to register to vote, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls attempting to register to vote, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Frank Toland, Sr. remembers segregation in the U.S. military

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls serving overseas during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Frank Toland, Sr. describes the racial discrimination in the U.S. military

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Frank Toland, Sr. remembers his return to civilian life

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls teaching in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Frank Toland, Sr. remembers being hired at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Frank Toland, Sr. describes his family

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Frank Toland, Sr. describes his grandchildren and great-grandchildren

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls joining the Tuskegee city council

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls his civic engagement in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Frank Toland, Sr. remembers speaking in Hayneville, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls his commencement address in Lowndes County

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls his dangerous travel through the South, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls his dangerous travel though the South, pt.2

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's assassination

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Frank Toland, Sr. recalls Macon County, Alabama's voting laws

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

9$3

DATitle
Frank Toland, Sr. remembers being hired at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama
Frank Toland, Sr. recalls his civic engagement in Tuskegee, Alabama
Transcript
So, when you leave Philadelphia [Pennsylvania], you go to work in the (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Tuskegee [Tuskegee Institute; Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama].$$Okay.$$Tuskegee.$$Okay. And tell me about that.$$When I came to Tuskegee as the last person hired, I was assigned five classes in world civilization. I had not had world civilization since my first year in college [Colored Normal Industrial Agricultural and Mechanical College of South Carolina; South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, South Carolina], and so what confronted me my first quarter was to study ahead of the students and prepare to be ready to teach the students, and I did that. I came to Tuskegee on a ten year--a ten month contract. At the time I came to Tuskegee, I was offered a better job in Maryland for more money, but I had this desire to come to Booker Washington [Booker T. Washington] school for a year, and I got here--I was interviewing persons who knew Dr. Washington or had studied under Dr. Washington or had studied under Dr. Carver [George Washington Carver]; those were two people I was interested in, and I did find an old gentleman, Jalice Purdue [ph.], who had studied under Dr. Washington and had begun working at Tuskegee under Dr. Washington, Dr. Moton [Robert Russa Moton]; and so when I told him that I was only in Tuskegee for a year to conduct these interviews and to do these classes, he said to me, "Son, you are never going to leave Tuskegee. Don't you know that when white people die, they want to go to heaven, but when colored people die, they wanna go to Tuskegee?" And so here I am in Tuskegee. Now, I did meet people who knew Dr. Was- a few people who studied under Dr. Washington, and among them was my future father-in-law [Levander Dew], and my future mother-in-law [Ettie Dew] was the mail person who delivered the mail to Dr. Carver. My future father-in-law had studied under Booker Washington and was the personal friend with Dr. Carver, so I got tied into that history, and my wife [Maree Morse Toland]--Dr. Carver was friendly with my wife.$But I became very determined in the movement, and went on to become head of the membership committee, became the political--chairman of the political education committee, and one of the vice presidents of the Tuskegee Civic Association. Here in the community, I got involved in interlocking organizations, the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People], which I had been a member of since I was eleven years old back in South Carolina, that my mother [Lily Sligh Toland] had brought--helped to bring there, the Macon County Democratic Club, which was the black organization of Democratic Party here, and the Tuskegee Civic Association. And I went vigorously at it; a passion--it was like a passion to change things. I got nasty telephone calls because they would trace my tag through the state licensing bureau, and thereby get my name out of the telephone book and telephone number, and they would call and to threaten me, and they called late at night and it was really getting on me nerves, my nerves. So, on this one night, I sat by the telephone, and as soon as the telephone rang, I started cussing South Carolina style, and I must have used five minutes of cursing combinations, and the person on the other end listened until I put his mama in the dozens, and he slammed the phone down and never called again. So it worked.

David Levering Lewis

Pulitzer Prize winning historian David Levering Lewis was born on May 25, 1936, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Lewis’s father, Yale educated theologian John Henry Lewis, Sr., was the principal of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and his mother was a high school math teacher. After attending parochial school in Little Rock, Lewis went to Wilberforce Preparatory School and Xenia High School, both in Ohio. Moving to Atlanta, Georgia, Lewis attended Booker T. Washington High School until he was admitted to Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, on a four year Ford Foundation Early Entrants scholarship. Graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Fisk University in 1956, Lewis then attended the University of Michigan Law School, but eventually earned his M.A. degree in history from Columbia University in 1959. Lewis earned his Ph.D. degree in modern European and French history from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1962.

After serving in the United States Army, Lewis lectured on medieval history at the University of Ghana in 1963. Lewis taught at Howard University, Cornell University, the University of Notre Dame, Harvard University, and the University of California, San Diego, before joining Rutgers University in 1985 as the Martin Luther King, Jr., Professor of History. In 2003, Lewis was appointed Julius Silver University Professor and Professor of History at New York University.

Winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for his biographies of W.E.B. DuBois, Lewis also won the Bancroft Prize and the Francis Parkman Prize. Lewis received fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study of Behavioral Sciences; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation; the American Philosophical Society; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Lewis also served as a trustee of the National Humanities Center; the commissioner of the National Portrait Gallery; and a former senator of Phi Beta Kappa. A former president of the Society of American Historians (2002-2003), Lewis serves on the board of the NAACP’s The Crisis magazine.

Accession Number

A2005.061

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/10/2005 |and| 6/9/2005 |and| 4/17/2007

Last Name

Lewis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Levering

Schools

Wilberforce Preparatory School, Xenia High School

Xeina High School

Fisk University

London School of Economics

First Name

David

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

LEW07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Costa Del Sol, Spain

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/25/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lamb

Short Description

Historian and history professor David Levering Lewis (1936 - ) is Julius Silver University Professor and Professor of History at New York University. He won two Pulitzer Prizes for his biographies of W.E.B. DuBois.

Employment

Howard University

University of Ghana

University of California San Diego

New York University

Rutgers University

University of the District of Columbia

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:4300,122:4816,129:7224,174:7568,179:12986,244:14190,260:14620,266:21758,367:22188,373:23564,393:32253,430:32648,436:33122,444:34149,456:36756,494:37625,510:39047,536:42760,591:43313,602:44261,629:44893,638:63771,871:65763,903:84380,1127:101413,1327:105600,1422:108681,1491:116795,1564:117280,1570:123779,1723:124458,1731:125331,1754:126883,1775:142040,1958:146600,2037:147240,2046:151960,2136:154200,2166:158360,2237:158920,2252:159960,2269:170694,2342:172214,2372:173050,2387:173582,2395:174038,2403:175482,2423:176546,2440:181106,2501:181486,2507:187110,2593:189770,2659:190150,2665:191594,2707:201040,2772:201490,2780:201865,2786:214465,3015:214765,3020:215740,3037:218140,3083:218665,3091:227740,3215:270910,3788$0,0:7002,85:7738,95:8290,103:8658,108:11694,128:14730,156:38716,452:39208,459:41914,499:49376,641:92186,1155:102532,1235:104004,1253:114328,1355:131904,1551:139560,1653:147020,1699:149578,1708:152502,1754:156028,1803:156458,1809:159210,1848:159640,1854:163618,1876:165242,1916:170362,1970:170878,2000:175110,2061
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of David Levering Lewis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis describes his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis describes his mother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis describes his parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis describes his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis describes his mother's college experience

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - David Levering Lewis describes his childhood household

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - David Levering Lewis describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis shares his family's experience of the 1906 Atlanta riot

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis describes his father's role in advocating for equal teachers' salaries in Little Rock

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis recalls his childhood neighborhood in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis remembers learning to read late

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis remembers losing a friend due to segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis recalls his childhood in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis recalls living in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis recalls his education Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis remembers his acceptance to Nashville's Fisk University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis names his schools

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis describes choosing Fisk University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis remembers the faculty at Fisk University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis remembers the speakers and culture at Fisk University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis remembers being almost expelled from Fisk University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis remembers studying at the College of Wooster in Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis remembers his Phi Beta Kappa induction at Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis remembers applying to law school

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis remembers attending the University of Michigan Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis describes his graduate school experience

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis remembers a trip with his father and his father's death

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes attending the London School of Economics

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis remembers his time in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis explains why he traveled to Ghana

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of David Levering Lewis' interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis shares memories from his childhood

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis describes teaching at the University of Ghana

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis recalls the atmosphere at the University of Ghana

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis describes the political climate of Ghana in the early 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes the United States' involvement in Ghana's 1965 coup

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis describes returning to the United States in 1964

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis describes his visits to West African countries

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - David Levering Lewis recalls traveling between Ghana and the Ivory Coast

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - David Levering Lewis describes teaching at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis describes meeting his wife and his mother's death

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis describes teaching at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis describes writing his biography of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis describes the reception of 'King: A Critical Biography'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis describes the FBI's surveillance of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes his admiration for Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis recalls leaving Morgan College for Federal City College

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis remembers historian Benjamin A. Quarles

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis remembers his plan to write 'Prisoners of Honor'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis recalls his son's medical diagnosis and working in France

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis recalls the reception of 'Prisoners of Honor'

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis describes his argument in 'When Harlem Was in Vogue'

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis remembers gaining access to Alain Locke's letters

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis reflects upon the organization of the Harlem Renaissance

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis describes the Dunbar News

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis describes his book on the history of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis remembers the reception to 'When Harlem Was in Vogue'

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis describes difficult times in his personal life

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis describes his time at the University of California, San Diego

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis recalls his research trip to Ethiopia and Sudan

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes his book 'Race to Fashoda'

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis remembers returning to Howard University

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis remembers the genesis of his biography on W.E.B. Du Bois, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis remembers the genesis of his biography on W.E.B. Du Bois, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis remembers researching W.E.B. Du Bois in the Soviet Union

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis describes his time in the Soviet Union

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis describes interviewing members of W.E.B. Du Bois' family

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' romantic relationships

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis shares biographical details about W.E.B. Du Bois

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis remembers meeting W.E.B. Du Bois

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' early development

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Slating of David Levering Lewis' interview, session 3

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' time at Harvard University

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis talks about William Monroe Trotter

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' studies in Germany

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis describes academia's response to W.E.B. Du Bois' dissertation

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' temperament

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' 'The Philadelphia Negro'

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' legacy in social science

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' 'The Souls of Black Folk'

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' development throughout his life

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis describes changes in W.E.B. Du Bois' position on economics

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' split with the NAACP

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' 'Black Reconstruction in America'

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' eccentricities

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes the end of W.E.B. Du Bois' life

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis reflects upon W.E.B. Du Bois' place in educational curricula

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis describes his book, 'God's Crucible'

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis remembers being in Morocco during 9/11

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis talks about the history of Islam, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis talks about the history of Islam, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis talks about Charlemagne's invasion of Al-Andalus

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis describes the inspiration for his book 'God's Crucible'

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes his book 'God's Crucible'

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis describes religious polarization in 11th century Europe

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis talks about the Moors

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - David Levering Lewis describes his position at New York University

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis reflects upon his life

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis talks about his family

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes his plans for the future

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis reflects upon the significance of his childhood pet

DASession

2$2

DATape

5$9

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
David Levering Lewis describes his visits to West African countries
David Levering Lewis shares biographical details about W.E.B. Du Bois
Transcript
Oh, I should mention by the way, that while I was in Ghana [at the University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana], I didn't spend the entire time in Ghana. And during one of the, those long breaks that the British academic calendar permits, I went off to Liberia and the Ivory Coast [Cote d'Ivoire] and a little bit of Mali in a Volkswagen with a Dutch colleague. And that was quite interesting, to see Liberia when it too was undergoing a great deal of superficial prosperity. I've forgotten the exact consolation and causes, but the Liberians finally had money to kind of dust off their, their old capital in Monrovia [Liberia]. And I remember that Van Dantzig [Albert Van Dantzig], and I, as we approached Monrovia, there was this skyscraper, sort of Trump-like, rising out of the, out of the savannah. What's this? We pull up, and a Frenchman comes out. And we break into French, and he says, "Would you like to see what we are doing?" Chandeliers, gold gilt, satin, everything--what, what was this? Well, this was to be the new presidential palace and also sort of parliament, everything would, would take place there, at no consideration for capital outlay well, so that was, that was kind of interesting, 'cause when you got into the town, the monies had not begun to seep down yet into the, the neighborhoods, the typical story, all too typical. And the bishop of, the A.M.E. [African Methodist Episcopal] bishop of Liberia was a student of my father's [John H. Lewis], and so we were welcomed and got a lot of the, the local gossip. And then we went on to Ivory Coast where we, we couldn't stay in the grand hotel, Ivoire [Hotel Ivoire; Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire], with its, with its ice skating rink and its five-star restaurant, and it's elegant French-speaking francophone staff. We stayed in the, sort of the ghetto. What was it called? I don't remember now. But it was an extraordinary experience because they had recreated Paris [France] in, in, in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. And the back, the Africans were in the front offices, but in the back offices the French were (laughter), were still running things, and, and, and repatriating huge sums of money because the Ivory Coast was one of the richest little countries in the world because of its cocoa monopoly. And so you thought well, you know, this won't, someday this will come to an end because what is happening is that a service class of very Europeanized people in a kind of artificial Golconda is being created. But, you know, the whole business of upward mobility, as ambitions grow, as people see what they're not benefiting from, they would have been quite happy if they didn't know what the others were having and that that would be problematic, and then too, of course, there were tribal fishers in Abidjan that you didn't have in--I mean in, in the Ivory Coast you didn't have in Ghana. We drove to the presidential palace compound outside Abidjan, Houphouet-Boigny [Felix Houphouet-Boigny], and he had just begun to lay the foundations for what would be, of course, the world's largest basilica [Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire], the Catholic basilica there that dwarfs St. Peter's [St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City]. And that again, you wondered if, how, how Catholic do you have to be to think that this is the best way to, to manage your GNP or GDP? So, and then in Guinea, where we were at, Sekou Toure [Ahmed Sekou Toure] was running things, and there you had a very different attitude. But you didn't have any prosperity at all because, of course, the French had embargoed everything, and so, he was--and his regime dependent on, on the Soviet Union. So all that was a, a quick impressionistic canvas of Africa in the mid-'60s [1960s].$What I found else about Du Bois [W.E.B. Du Bois] was simply that to be a genius, you really do have to work hard. And his, the organization of his life is quite fabulous. He got up at a certain time, and he went to bed at 10:00 without exception, the rest of his life, 10:00. If he found himself on a dais here in New York [New York] at town hall, and somebody is blabbering on when he's supposed to speak at 9:15, at 10 to 10, he would look at his pocket watch, and ostentatiously stand up, and walk off the platform. So people knew that if you have Du Bois here, all the bills comes later; let him, let him speak. And he was always a marvelous speaker, not emotional at all, but quite crisp and, and cogent. So he gets up. And I can't remember the order of the things now, but some much, so many hours are devoted to correspondence, so many hours to reading fiction, and the rest to research and, and writing. And he--I found rolls of an outline in blocks of everything he would do that month, and he did. So that--and yet there was a time for women, (laughter) a time for other things. The, this, the schematization of the life was a tour de force. So, on the other hand, the economy, he never wrote long letters, almost never, unless the letter was a policy letter, and so, and so that presents an imbalance in the correspondence. If he's writing to a woman he deeply loves, it's "Madam, as you know, I think well of you and, and plan to see you at this restaurant at 10:00 on Tuesday, November 10th. I hope you will present yourself there" (laughter), something like that. I'm caricaturing somewhat, but not by a lot. And the letter from the woman would be far more human, to be sure, so that if you looked at only Du Bois writing to people with whom he was emotionally engaged, you might miss that unless you paid attention to those letters and response, which are not always in the same box of course.$$Yeah, yeah, that, that's, that's interesting that we are known by not just what we do but how others respond to us.$$Right, yep.$$Right.

Evelynn M. Hammonds

Professor and science scholar Evelynn M. Hammonds, Ph.D., was born in 1953 in Atlanta, Georgia; her mother was a schoolteacher, and her father was a postal worker. Hammonds grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, where she attended public school. In 1976, Hammonds received two undergraduate degrees – one from Spelman College in physics, and the other in electrical engineering at Georgia Tech. In 1980, Hammonds went on to earn her master’s degree in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

After Hammonds earned her M.S. degree, she began a five-year career as a software engineer; finding this unchallenging, she decided to return to the academic world. In 1993, Hammonds received a doctorate degree in the history of science from Harvard University; she then was hired by MIT to teach, where she rose to the position of associate professor. While at MIT, Hammonds was the founding director of the MIT Center for the Study of Diversity in Science and Technology. Hammonds returned to Harvard University in 2002 to accept a joint appointment as professor of the history of science and African American Studies; she later became the fourth black woman to receive tenure within the faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. Hammonds's major field of research and writing at MIT and Harvard focused on the ways in which science has examined questions about human variation through the concept of race in the United States from the 17th Century to the present.

Between 2003 and 2004, Hammonds was named a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer by the Scientific Research Society. Hammonds has been a Visiting Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, and a Fellow in the School of Social Science at the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton University; in 2003, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Hammonds published articles and books on the history of disease, race and science, African American feminism, African American women and the epidemic of HIV/AIDS, and analysis of gender and race in science and medicine.

Accession Number

A2004.248

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/3/2004 |and| 1/29/2005

Last Name

Hammonds

Maker Category
Middle Name

M.

Occupation
Schools

Bazoline E. Usher Elementary School

Central Junior High School

Charles Lincoln Harper High School

Daniel McLaughlin Therrell High School

Southwest High School

Spelman College

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Harvard University

First Name

Evelynn

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

HAM02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Keep Your Eyes On The Prize.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

1/2/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

History professor Evelynn M. Hammonds (1953 - ) was the founding director of the MIT Center for the Study of Diversity in Science and Technology. Hammonds later became the fourth black woman to receive tenure within the faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. Hammonds' major field of research and writing at MIT and Harvard focused on the ways in which science has examined questions about human variation through the concept of race in the United States from the 17th Century to the present.

Employment

Harvard University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Polaroid Corporation

Digital Equipment Corporation

Software Arts

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Evelynn M. Hammonds' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Evelynn M. Hammonds lists her favorites, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Evelynn M. Hammonds lists her favorites, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Evelynn M. Hammonds describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Evelynn M. Hammonds recalls how her parents met and her father's United States military service in World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Evelynn M. Hammonds talks about her family members

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Evelynn M. Hammonds remembers her family traditions

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Evelynn M. Hammonds describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Evelynn M. Hammonds recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Evelynn M. Hammonds remembers her parents' careers

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Evelynn M. Hammonds recalls teachers who influenced her

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Evelynn M. Hammonds remembers developing a curiosity for history and science

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Evelynn M. Hammonds remembers attending Central Junior High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Evelynn M. Hammonds describes her childhood neighborhood of Collier Heights in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Evelynn M. Hammonds remembers encountering discrimination at the newly integrated Daniel McLaughlin Therrell High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Evelynn M. Hammonds talks about growing up near notable African American figures in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Evelynn M. Hammonds remembers the dual engineering degree program at Spelman College and Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Evelynn M. Hammonds recalls working on the student newspaper in her scant free time at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Evelynn M. Hammonds remembers her decision to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Evelynn M. Hammonds describes her experiences in the graduate physics program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Evelynn M. Hammonds recalls working in the corporate sector before returning to academia as a historian of science

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Evelynn M. Hammonds explains her motivation for studying scientific knowledge production in relation to race and gender

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Evelynn M. Hammonds recalls her history of science doctoral program at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Evelynn M. Hammonds remembers her mentors and the climate of Harvard University's history of science department

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Evelynn M. Hammonds recalls her hiring as an assistant professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1993

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Evelynn M. Hammonds remembers founding the Center for the Study of Diversity in Science, Technology, and Medicine at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Evelynn M. Hammonds explains her decision to leave Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a post at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Evelynn M. Hammonds talks about her initial accomplishments at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Evelynn M. Hammonds explains her current research on the history of scientific discourse about race in the United States, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Evelynn M. Hammonds explains her current research on the history of scientific discourse about race in the United States, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Evelynn M. Hammonds describes the significance of William Montague Cobb's work for her research

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Evelynn M. Hammonds reflects on Harvard University President Lawrence Summers' statements about women's inferiority in the sciences, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Evelynn M. Hammonds reflects on Harvard University President Lawrence Summers' statements about women's inferiority in the sciences, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Evelynn M. Hammonds offers advice for young African Americans interested in science and technology

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Evelynn M. Hammonds talks about pastimes she enjoys

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Evelynn M. Hammonds explains the importance of history of science

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Evelynn M. Hammond elaborates on her activities beyond the history of science

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Evelynn M. Hammond reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Evelynn M. Hammond describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Evelynn M. Hammond describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

2$3

DAStory

7$4

DATitle
Evelynn M. Hammonds remembers her decision to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Evelynn M. Hammonds remembers founding the Center for the Study of Diversity in Science, Technology, and Medicine at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Transcript
So you graduated in 1976?$$Um-hm.$$And, between 1976 and 1980, after you finished your undergraduate work, what did you do with those four years?$$That's when I came to MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts].$$Oh, that's right, okay. You finished MIT in?$$Eighty [1980].$$How do you remember coming from Boston [sic.] to Cambridge [Massachusetts] and--$$Oh my goodness (laughter) (simultaneous) (unclear)--$$--how did that feel like?$$I--well, I need to back up. Two, two important things happened when I was studying physics at Spelman [College, Atlanta, Georgia] and Morehouse [College, Atlanta, Georgia]. I was--spent two summers working in--at Bell Labs [Nokia Bell Labs] in New Jersey in a summer program--summer research program for women and minorities. That was partly--largely started by the African American members of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories who wanted to set up a program to get more African Americans and Latinos and women into science. And so, the program was great. We went to--we spent the entire summer in New Jersey. The first year we were in the dorms at Rutgers [The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey] and then we all were assigned to various labs and the pro--you know, we had a mentor and did our work. There were group activities for us and tours, and things like that, and it was my first exposure to the world of big science. It had a profound effect on me, and I really wanted to do well. So the first thing I ever published was part of--I was on a publication out of the work I did during my summer there. And I went back for a second summer. And that's how I learned about MIT, because it was there, that one weekend one of the other students there was from Wellesley College [Wellesley, Massachusetts] who was an economics major who is now a professor at Pomona [College, Claremont, California], and she was a student at Wellesley. And she said, "Well, let's go up to Boston {Massachusetts]." So we came up to Boston, and we were--came into town from Wellesley, and I saw MIT for the first time, and I just thought, "I have to go to school here."$$What was her name?$$Her name was Cecilia Conrad. And I couldn't believe it. The bus stops right--the bus stops right in front of 77 Massachusetts Avenue, those big columns. We walked up the stairs and walked down the infinite corridor, and there were all these people who just seemed--I'd never seen people (laughter) like them before, really. And that's when I decided I--that's when I first saw MIT. And then because of the Society of Physics Students, [HistoryMaker] Shirley [Ann] Jackson and Ron McNair [Ronald McNair], came down, talked to us at Spelman, and Shirley was the first black women I ever met who was a physicist. And I--and she went to MIT. So that's how I pretty much decided, that's the only place I wanted to go, was MIT.$In addition to research that you were doing at MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts] as a professor, assistant, associate professor, you also were the founding director of the MIT Center for the Study of Diversity in Science, Technology, and Medicine?$$Um-hm.$$Tell us about that center, and how you started it, and what you accomplished?$$Okay, okay. All right. As I said, my second project that I'm still working on is a book project on the history of race in science and medicine in the United States. And I wanted this history of race to be a really detailed look at how race was used by American scientists--that is biologists, but also anthropologists, also physicians--to explain human variation. Then, the American context is a very complicated issue. And what I had realized since no one in the history of science had written a book like--precisely like this. Lots of people have written histories of the idea of race starting as far back as the 16th century, some people have started back even further, and they talk about the ways in which scientists had laid claim to ideas about race and also informed ideas about race. And, but no one had tried to do what I hoped to do is really focus completely on the American context and to look broadly at the history of race and look at the ways in which studies of racial differences in medicine were influenced by studies of race in biology, which were also shaped by studies of race in anthropology. Because, for my view, all these things had come together, and I wanted to explore that. But, I looked around and not many people in the history of science were very--still, at that point when I began this project--very interested in studies of race. And while on the other hand, in African American history, people worked on--had done very sophisticated studies of race, but had never looked at race in terms of science or technology or medicine. At the same time, by the time I started this project, Ken Manning's [Kenneth R. Manning] book ['Black Apollo of Science: The Life of Ernest Everett Just'] was still the only, I think, you know, one of the few sort of full-length biographies of African American science that people in my field thought were, you know, credible books. And I thought, there are all these people who need biographies done of them, all these African American scientists and other scientists of color. There are--there's a need for all kinds of detailed studies about the intersection of race and technology and technological development in the United States. There needed to be much more detailed studies of race in medicine. And so I could envision this sort of entire research program that needed to be addressed. And that's how I came to think about the project that I proposed that was funded for this center. To be a place where research on race in science, technology and medicine could all be done under one umbrella. And that it would be some--a place for undergraduate students who wanted to do research projects on African Americans in particular fields or other scientists of color, you know, building, you know, building up a database of information of all these biographies that needed to be done, to look at that analyses of the numbers and participation of African Americans and other people of color in American science and engineering. So, for me, it needed a research--it needed a place to do all that and that's--and there wasn't one. So it was just one of those moments when I said, well there isn't one, so I was asked by John [Silvanus] Wilson who at the time was in the foundation relations office at MIT. He just called me up one day and he said, well, the president of MIT, Charles [M.] Vest, was going down to the [Andrew W.] Mellon Foundation for a talk about various things and he said, "Do you have any ideas?" And I said, "Do I have--I have lots of ideas."$$Because I was gonna ask you how you got it funded (simultaneous).$$(Laughter) I have lots of ideas. And so I wrote up this idea, and Chuck Vest initially presented it to the Mellon Foundation, and then I was asked to come down and present it in more detail. And they provided initial funding for the project, and then--for the establishment of this center. And then the Ford Foundation provided money to work specifically on issues of women of color in science, as well. So that's how it--that's how it came about. And one of the first things I did was sort of run a set of research workshops to bring young scholars who were interested in topics of race in the history medicine, so we had a research workshop for them, and the history of technology and one on the history of science. And, in all three cases, to bring people in from these fields to say, "Why have these fields been so slow to try to understand these sets of questions?" And then, the young scholars, to get to know each other, to begin to share their work, to begin to have a place where they could support each other in doing more of this work--

Rosalyn Terborg-Penn

Author and educator Rosalyn Marian Terborg-Penn was born on October 22, 1941, in Brooklyn, New York. Her father was a jazz musician who played with Tiny Bradshaw, and her mother was a clerical worker. She attended New York City’s P.S. # 70 until her family moved to Queens in 1951, and she transferred to P.S. # 123. She attended Shimer Junior High School and received her high school diploma from John Adams High School in 1959.

Terborg-Penn graduated from Queens College in Flushing, New York, in 1963 with a B.A. degree in history. She became involved in the Civil Rights Movement in 1960 and was a charter member of the college NAACP chapter. She and fellow students organized bus trips to Prince Edward County, Virginia, to help tutor black students who were not attending school in the county because officials had closed public schools in opposition to integration. In 1962, Terborg-Penn led a boycott at Queens College protesting the school’s decision to prevent Malcolm X from speaking at the school. In 1967, she earned her M.A. degree in U.S. history and diplomatic history from George Washington University where she also joined “D.C. Students for Civil Rights” and lobbied for the civil rights bill in 1964. Terberg-Penn earned her Ph.D. from Howard University in 1978 in U.S. history with a concentration in Afro-American history before 1865.

Terborg-Penn began her teaching career at Morgan State University in 1969 where she continues to teach today. She was hired as a history professor and in 1977, became the Coordinator of the African/Afro-American Studies Program, a post she held until 1995. From 1978 through 1989, Terborg-Penn served as the Morgan State University Oral History Project Director. From 1989 through 1992, she was the Project Director of the Ph.D. history program and has served as the Campus Coordinator of the Cornell-Morgan Distance Learning Project since 1996. From 1970 through 1974, Terborg-Penn was an adjunct faculty member at Howard Community College. From 1977 through 1978, she served on the faculty at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where she taught American Studies and History.

Terborg-Penn passed away on December 25, 2018.

Terborg-Penn is the author of numerous publications on the struggles and triumphs of African American women throughout history. She has also received scores of awards and honors for her accomplishments.

Accession Number

A2004.078

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

6/15/2004

Last Name

Terborg-Penn

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

P.S. 70

Shimer Junior High School

John Adams High School

Queens College, City University of New York

George Washington University

P.S. 123

Queens School for Career Development

Howard University

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Rosalyn

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

TER02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

What goes around, comes around.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

10/22/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

12/25/2018

Short Description

History professor Rosalyn Terborg-Penn (1941 - 2018) taught at Morgan State University in 1969, and is an expert in African American Women's history. From 1978 through 1989, Terborg-Penn served as the Morgan State University Oral History Project Director. She is the author of numerous publications on the struggles and triumphs of African American women throughout history.

Employment

Friendship House Association

Southwest Community House Association

District of Columbia

Howard Community College

Morgan State University

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rosalyn Terborg-Penn interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn talks about her mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn talks about her father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn remembers her ancestors and grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn reflects on growing up in Brooklyn

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn discusses spending holidays with family members

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn recalls her childhood in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn discusses her childhood involvement with the church

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn speaks about elementary school

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn's grandfather, great-grandfather and two great-aunts, Indianapolis, Indiana, ca. 1920s

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn talks about junior high school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn reflects on high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn discusses her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement during college

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn explains her decision to major in history

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn reflects on experiences in Washington, D.C. during graduate school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn remembers her first job after graduate school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn talks about changing careers and teaching at Morgan State University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn discusses her studies of discrimination of African American women

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn talks about the past, future, and significance of women's studies

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn tells of her favorite publications

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn expresses her thoughts on the importance of mentors

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn considers her future goals

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn shares her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn considers her legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn at her wedding with bridesmaids, 1965

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn with second husband and daugher, 1972

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn with her parents and daughter, 1996

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn and partner C. Michael Terry, ca. 1979-1980

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn's daughter, Jeanna with Oprah Winfrey and friend, ca. 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn with Darlene Clark Hine and Jacqueline Rouse, 2001

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn with her brother Jacques Arnold Terborg, Jr., ca. late 1940s

Tape: 3 Story: 15 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn with her daughter, St. Albans, New York, ca. 1975

Tape: 3 Story: 16 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn and her mother, Brooklyn, New York, ca. 1940s

Tape: 3 Story: 17 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn's father and his parents, ca. 1955-1959

Tape: 3 Story: 18 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn's grandparents, Indianapolis, Indiana, early 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 19 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn's graduation photo from Queens College, New York, New York, 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 20 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, ca. 1943-1944

Tape: 3 Story: 21 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn with U.S. First Lady 'Lady Bird' Johnson and unidentified children, ca. 1964-1965

Tape: 3 Story: 22 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn with actor Ossie Davis and C. Michael Terry, Baltimore, Maryland, ca. 1992

Tape: 3 Story: 23 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn with other Phi Delta Kappa members, Ozone Park, Queens, New York, ca. 1957-1958

Tape: 3 Story: 24 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn's father, guitarist for Tiny Bradshaw's band, ca. late 1930s

Tape: 3 Story: 25 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn's cousins, Indianapolis, Indiana, mid 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 26 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn in the second grade at PS 70 with her classmates, Brooklyn, New York, ca. 1948-1949

Tape: 3 Story: 27 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn's parents' wedding portrait, 1940

Tape: 3 Story: 28 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn's grandmother's wedding portrait, ca. 1907-1908

Tape: 3 Story: 29 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn's daughter, Jeanna Carolyn Penn, Baltimore, Maryland, 1994

Tape: 3 Story: 30 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn's grandmother as an infant with her mother and siblings, Suriname, South America, 1890s

Tape: 3 Story: 31 - Photo - Rosalyn Terborg-Penn's mother, grandparents and other unidentified family members

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

9$1

DATitle
Rosalyn Terborg-Penn discusses her childhood involvement with the church
Rosalyn Terborg-Penn discusses her studies of discrimination of African American women
Transcript
What was church like for your family?$$Well, in Brooklyn [New York], I don't remember significant participation other than going, as congregants. In Queens [New York], my father [Jacques Arnold Terborg, Sr.] was a deacon [at St. Albans Congregational Church, St. Albans, New York] and then a trustee. And so we were, and we were also charter members of the church. I used to sing in the choir for a while, and my mother [Jeanne Van Horn Terborg] was involved in like the flower club, and hostess club and things like that. So I do remember that church was also very community involved, Reverend Robert Ross Johnson was the minister. He's passed now, but Andrew Young was an assistant minister for a while. So we were very civil rights oriented, and I do remember the church participating in a picket, a boy--we were blocking the development of a housing community in Queens because there were no blacks--and this is in the sixties [1960s]--there were no blacks with contracts to work. So it was an activist church, and, and I think that was very important to me.$$What was the young minister, Andy Young, like?$$Well, he was, you know, starting a family. He had young children. I think two of his children were born there, the two daughters and his wife, Jean was--I know she was at Queens College [New York, New York] when I was at Queens College. She was an older student who was returning. And he would preach every now and then, and he's a dynamic preacher. I liked his, his preaching. And then shortly after that, they left. So they might have been, they were there in the very beginning of the church, and maybe within, oh, three years or so, three or four years, they left. But I do remember him specifically, and then later on, you know, in Atlanta [Georgia], I said, oh, I know him, I know them.$Dr. Penn, once you got to Howard [University, Washington, D.C.] to work on your Ph.D., how did you determine what you were gonna do it on?$$Well, you had to pick a, a major. And I selected U.S. History, before the Civil War, as my major. And then you had to have three minors and whatever. But you could concentrate in African American History, and that's why I picked that. I also had a minor in African History and Twentieth Century U.S. History. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but the first year, I wrote a paper in a class, a U.S. History class before the Civil War, was the time period. And I was exploring women, and it won a contest. It won the Rayford Logan Essay Contest for graduate students. So from there, I extended it, and that became my first successfully published article, which people still use, which I found, which I find interesting, 'Discrimination Against African American Women in the Woman's Movement' [sic, 'Discrimination Against Afro-American Women in the Woman's Movement, 1830-1920'] And from there, I narrowed the women's movement down to women's suffrage. So that's how I started that.$$And what did you discover about discrimination against African American women in the women's movement?$$That white women did not really want black women in, except in the very beginning when they didn't have supporters, they took the ones that they could get. I also found that they preferred black men, to white--to black women. I found it very interesting, and I'm still critiqued because this theme of discrimination is something I find all the time. I mean it's, it's everywhere, all the time.$$Critiqued by whom?$$Primarily white scholars who say, "Oh, no, no, no, no, all, all women are disenfranchised, all women are victims of patriarchy." I mean it's that kind of argument that you don't admit that down the road, your ancestors didn't like us either, you know. So there's this, a defensiveness. And when I "Call a spade a spade," as my father [Jacques Arnold Terborg, Sr.] used to say, they don't like it. You know, so, but, hey, that's the way it goes.$$And who's fault do you think it is? Do you think that African American women should have been more involved and demanded their rightful place?$$They did. They did, but they'd be--they were invisible. And I mean it's like today. I mean there are things that black people, other--not only black people, just marginalized people do that never make it to the newspaper, never make it to the television, you know. And what I found, to everybody's surprise, was that black women were very involved in the women's suffrage movement from the early days to, till 1920, when the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified.$$How--can you give us some examples, and tell us some stories?$$Well, a lot of the women's names we don't know, but, you know, there were groups of women who, whose leaders we probably know. The National Association of Colored Women was very active, and Mary Church Terrell from Washington, D.C. was a significant leader in that. Nannie Helen Burroughs, also from the Washington area, was very involved in the suffrage movement. I found a lot of women in the Washington area who were cohorts, either in terms of their high school or college education or organizations they belonged to, supported it. But I also found Southern women, like the women at Tuskegee [University, Tuskegee, Alabama] who were significant supporters of women's suffrage. A good example would be Adele Alexander who's a historian, who lives in Washington's grandmother, Adella Hunt Logan, who was from Tuskegee, was a major women's suffrage advocate. Lena Horne talks about her grandmother--who lived in Brooklyn, New York, in my grandmother's [Delia Bierman Terborg] neighborhood--was, who was a supporter of women's suffrage. So it's information that you learn by the way. It's not the kind of stuff that you find in the books. What I was finding was the argument in the '70s [1970s] that black women were, really not committed to suffrage, and that black men were against black--against women wanting the vote all together. So what I had to do was prove that was wrong. So that was my job, to find that this was wrong; that maybe here and there, there might have been some people who didn't support it. But the overall number who talked about suffrage, supported it for women.