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Laurence Morse

Investment executive Laurence Morse was born on July 2, 1951. He attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he was awarded the Luard Scholarship and spent his junior year at the London School of Economics (LSE). After obtaining his B.A. degree in economics from Howard University in 1973, Morse earned his M.A. degree in 1978 and his Ph.D. degree in economics in 1980, both from Princeton University. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University in 1983.

Morse began his career as an analyst at the venture capital investment firm, UNC Ventures, based in Boston, Massachusetts, where he was eventually promoted to associate and investment officer positions. Morse became a vice president of Equico Capital Corporation, a subsidiary of The Equitable Life Insurance Company of America in 1988. In May of 1992, president Duane Hill and vice presidents Divakar Kamath, Cleveland Christophe and Morse purchased the subsidiary from its parent company and renamed the entity TSG Ventures. In January of 1994, Morse was retained as a senior venture capital advisor for Coopers & Lybrand International Consulting Services, to advise on the establishment of a proposed $100 million USAID-sponsored Africa Enterprise Development Fund to be based in South Africa. Morse and JoAnn H. Price then founded Fairview Capital Partners, Inc. in September of 1994, where Morse oversaw the investment of over $3 billion in more than one hundred traditional and specialized venture capital and private equity limited partnerships. In 2004, Morse was appointed director of Webster Financial Corp. and Webster Bank, N.A.

In 2000, Morse began serving on the board of directors of the English-Speaking Union. He also served three terms on the board of trustees of the Princeton University Investment Company, and joined the Princeton University Board of Trustees in 2012. Morse has also served on the advisory boards of venture capital partnerships, including U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), Battery Ventures, Sierra Ventures, ICV Capital Partners and Trinity Ventures. In 2013, Morse became a trustee of Harris Associates Investment Trust, which oversees the Oakmark Family of Mutual Funds. In 2014, Morse became a trustee of Howard University.

In 2003, Morse was named one of “The Top Ten Minds in Small Business” by Fortune Small Business magazine. Morse also authored the novel, Sundial, while attending Princeton University. The book, inspired by Morse’s experiences at Howard University in the 1970s, was published in 1986.

Laurence Morse was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 20, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.216

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/20/2018

Last Name

Morse

Maker Category
Middle Name

C.

Organizations
First Name

Laurence

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

MOR20

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Never Give Up.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Birth Date

7/2/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hartford

Favorite Food

Crab Cakes

Short Description

Investment executive Laurence Morse (1951 - ) was the founding principal of the TSG Ventures investment fund under the TSG Capital Group. He also co-founded Fairview Capital Partners, Inc., a venture capital investment firm.

Favorite Color

Blue

Margaret Burnham

Lawyer Margaret Burnham was born on December 28, 1944 in Birmingham, Alabama to Louis and Dorothy Burnham. She received her B.A. degree in history from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi, and her LL.B. degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1969.

Burnham served as a staff attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., in New York City from 1969 to 1972. Burnham then joined the Roxbury Defenders in Boston and worked there from 1972 to 1974. In 1973, Burnham was admitted to practice law in Massachusetts. In 1974, Burnham co-founded the Boston law firm of Burnham, Stern & Shapiro. In 1977, she was appointed by Governor Michael Dukakis as the first African American female to serve in the Massachusetts judiciary, when she joined the Boston Municipal Court bench as an associate justice where she served until 1983. She was also named executive director at National Conference of Black Lawyers in New York City. In 1985, Burnham was selected as the Bunting Institute Fellow at Radcliffe College. In 1987, Burnham established the Law Office of Margaret Burnham in Boston; and, in 1989, she joined Burnham & Hines as a founding partner while serving as a lecturer for the department of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1993, South African president Nelson Mandela appointed Burnham to serve on an international human rights commission to investigate alleged human rights violations within the African National Congress. Burnham joined the Northeastern University School of Law faculty in 2002, and served as associate professor. She was promoted to professor in 2006.

In 1992, she was named chair of the board of directors for National Center of Afro-American Artists. In 1993, Burnham was elected and served as member of the board of trustees for Old South Meeting House. Burnham also served as a member of the The Algebra Project and for the National Advisory Board for the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College.

In 1995, she received the Robinson Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Profession by the Women’s Bar Association in Boston, Massachusetts. Burnham was inducted into the YWCA Boston Academy of Women Achievers, in 1996. Burnham received an honorary doctorate degree of laws from Western New England College School of Law in 2000, and was the recipient of an honorary doctorate of education degree from Wheelock College in Boston, in 2002. Burnham received the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association Trailblazer Award in 2008. In 2008, Burnham was awarded a Newhouse Center for the Humanities Fellowship at Wellesley College. In 2009, Burnham was awarded the International Criminal Justice Research Fellowship at Grotius Institute, University of Leiden at The Hague, Netherlands. She was also the recipient of Massachusetts Lawyers’ Weekly Top Women of the Law Award, in 2011. In 2016, she was selected for the Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program. She also received an honorary doctorate degree from Lesley University.

Margaret Burnham was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 16, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.211

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/16/2018

Last Name

Burnham

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Margaret

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

BUR29

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barbados

Favorite Quote

Still Here

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/28/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Lawyer Margaret Burnham (1944- ) the first African American woman to serve in the Massachusetts judiciary was professor at Northeastern University School of Law.

Favorite Color

Blue

Ben Davis

Football player and entrepreneur Ben Davis was born on October 30, 1945 in Birmingham, Alabama to B. Frank and Sallye B. Davis. He graduated at age fifteen, from Fair Lawn High School in Fair Lawn, New Jersey in 1961, and attended Bridgton Academy in North Bridgton, Maine from 1961 to 1963. He received his B.A. degree in business education from Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio and was a running back and wide receiver for the Yellow Jackets football team. He led the team to an undefeated season (9-0) during his senior year and received honors as a Little All-American.

Davis was the 439th overall draft pick in the 1967 NFL Draft, selected by the Cleveland Browns, as a defensive back in the 17th round. In his rookie season with the Browns, Davis led the league in punt returns, averaging 12.7 yards per return, including one 52 yard return for a touchdown. Davis also led the Browns in kickoff returns, with 27 returns totaling 708 yards, including one 63 yard return in 1967. In 1968, he started as a cornerback, and led the team with 8 interceptions. In 1968, he also led the NFL in interception return yards with 162, the third best in Browns’ history and he holds the record for seven consecutive games with an interception. That same year, he was named All Pro Defense Back by Sporting News. A torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) benched Davis for one and a half seasons from 1969 to 1970, but he started for the Browns for three more seasons from 1971 to 1973. He was traded to the Detroit Lions for a 5th-round draft pick in 1974, and played three more seasons for the Lions before retiring in 1977.

After retiring from a ten year NFL career, Davis joined the Xerox Corporation as a sales representative. In 1982, Davis co-founded and served as president of Telecable Broadcasting of America (TBA), a cable TV provider in the greater Cleveland area. TBA was one of the first African-American owned and operated cable TV companies in the U.S. Davis started another cable TV company in Jefferson Township, a suburb of Dayton, Ohio in 1986 which he later sold to the Centel Corporation. In 1989, Davis started a radio station in Tulsa, Oklahoma (94.1 FM) that he ran for five years, eventually selling the station to Shamrock Communications. In 1990, Davis created Britt Business Systems in Cleveland, Ohio which sold and serviced Xerox office equipment in Cleveland and surrounding suburbs. Davis operated Britt for seventeen years until his retirement in 2007.
 
He is also the brother of activist, author and professor Angela Davis.

Davis and his wife Sylvia have two adult children, Cecilie and Benjamin, III, and three grandchildren.

Ben Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 26, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.191

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/25/2018

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Ben

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

DAV43

Favorite Season

Spring, Early Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod

Favorite Quote

N/A

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

10/30/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Favorite Food

Salmon over Lettuce

Short Description

Football player and entrepreneur Ben Davis (1945- ) played for the Cleveland Browns from 1967 to 1973 and the Detroit Lions from 1975 to 1976. He also owned and operated Britt Business Systems a retailer for the Xerox Corporation.

Favorite Color

Blue and Brown

Maséqua Myers

Producer Maséqua Myers was born on January 7, 1953 in Birmingham, Alabama to Thelma and Willie Myers. She attended Cook Elementary School in 1966 in Chicago, Illinois, and graduated from Calumet High School in 1970 in Chicago. Myers received her dual A.A. degrees in nursing and theatre in 1974 from Kennedy-King College, in Chicago.

Myers served as project developer for Urban Gateways in Chicago from 1974 to 1976, and worked at LaMont Zeno Theatre/Better Boys Foundation in Chicago from 1974 to 1979. She became the equity union deputy representative at the Goodman and Victory Gardens Theatres in Chicago and the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. from 1979 to 1980. Myers served at the Wolftrap Institute for Early Learning as part of the Arts in Phoenix and Washington, D.C. from 1983 to 1985. She also handled contract negotiations at the Independent Professional Performing Artists Institute, in Phoenix, in 1985 and was co-owner and executive producer of Mixed Media Productions, Inc., in Phoenix and Los Angeles from 1986 to 1992. Myers also served as artist in residence at the Wolftrap Arts Institute, Washington D.C. and Phoenix, Arizona from 1986 to 1992.

Myers is credited for her work as producer/co-author of the internationally distributed educational video, Faces of Racism for the National YWCA of the USA in 1990. In 1992, she established and served as chief executive officer at Maséqua Myers and Associates; and, in 2014, she became the executive director, for the historic South Side Community Art Center.

Myers produced Miss Dessa, the romantic-comedy play, which received nine 1993 NAACP Theatre Awards Los Angeles, CA. She produced the pilot and episodes of Stories From the Soul, a half hour dramatic TV series for Robert Townsend, served as director of production for the Black Family Channel in 2005. She produced the documentary, Interview with A Chicago Cop, which was featured in the Arizona Black Film Festival in 2006. She was also the film training director for the feature film, Of Boys and Men starring Angela Bassett and Robert Townsend).

Maséqua Myers-Rami and her husband Pemon Rami have two adult children Babatunde and Tacuma.

Maséqua Myers was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 13, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.140

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/13/2018

Last Name

Rami

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Perspectives Charter - Calumet Leadership

Kennedy–King College

Northeastern Illinois University

First Name

Masequa

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

MYE04

Favorite Season

Warm

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Trinidad

Favorite Quote

Life Is Not Fair And Then You Die.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/7/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Producer Maséqua Myers (1953- ) founded Maséqua Myers and Associates, and was producer and co-author of the internationally distributed educational video, Faces of Racism, for the National YWCA of the USA in 1990.

Favorite Color

Red

Munir Muhammad

Community activist Munir Muhammad was born on March 27, 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama to Mary Henley Waller and Robert L. Waller. After graduating from Wenonah High School in 1968, Muhammad moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he first worked in the shipping and receiving department for DeMert & Dougherty, a hair care product and grooming supply company. Then, in 1970, Muhammad became an assistant code enforcer for the City of Chicago.

Muhammad joined the Nation of Islam in 1972, and began reading the texts of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Although he left the Nation of Islam following the death of Elijah Muhammad in 1975, he co-founded The Coalition for the Remembrance of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad (C.R.O.E.) in 1987, along with Halif Muhammad and Shahid Muslim. The organization started as a small group of individuals meeting at Muhammad’s home on the South Side of Chicago to study and discuss Elijah Muhammad’s teachings and speeches. In 1994, C.R.O.E launched C.R.O.E TV; and in 1997, the organization established the C.R.O.E. TV Production Studio in the West Englewood neighborhood. Muhammad served as the executive producer for C.R.O.E. TV. He also hosted several television programs, including The Munir Muhammad Show and Muhammad and Friends, in addition to radio programs Political Talk and The Muhammad Speaks Radio Show. Muhammad interviewed a number of notable individuals, including Minister Louis Farrakhan, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Illinois Representative Gus Savage, and actor Harry Lennix. C.R.O.E. TV’s programming broadcast in many cities across the United States, including in Chicago, Atlanta, New York City, and Charlotte. Muhammad and Colonel Eugene Scott also initiated an editorial partnership between The Chicago Defender and C.R.O.E. TV in 2001. In 2018, C.R.O.E. held its 31st Annual Founders Day celebration, which was attended by news anchorman John E. Davis, Judges Anne Burke and Dorothy Brown, and Reverend Al Sampson. Muhammad also served as the business manager of C.R.O.E. for over thirty years.

Muhammad served on the Illinois Human Rights Commission, and was also appointed to the Cook County Board of Corrections in 2004.

Munir Muhammad was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 5, 2018.

Muhammad passed away on July 9, 2019.

Accession Number

A2018.093

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/5/2018

Last Name

Muhammad

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Munir

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

MUH03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere People Are

Favorite Quote

The Uniting Of Knowledge And Finances And Wisdom Would Be Good For Us As A People.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

3/27/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Favorite Food

Salmon

Death Date

7/9/2019

Short Description

Community activist Munir Muhammad (1950 - ) co-founded the Coalition for the Remembrance of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad (C.R.O.E.) in 1987, and hosted The Munir Muhammad Show and Muhammad and Friends on C.R.O.E. TV.

Favorite Color

Navy Blue

Rickey Smiley

Entertainment host Rickey Smiley was born on August 10, 1968 in Birmingham, Alabama where he graduated from Woodlawn High School. Smiley then received his B.A. degree in English from Alabama State University in 1992 in Montgomery, Alabama.

Smiley’s career began when he participated in an amateur comedy night at The Comedy Club. After that, Smiley began touring with jazz singer Will Downing, comedian George Wallace, gospel singer Dottie Peoples and musician, Najee. He also served as the host of Black Entertainment Television's ComicView. In 2000, he entered into a five-year programming deal with Home Box Office (HBO) and in 2001, he became the host of the BET variety series The Way We Do It. Smiley made a cameo appearance in All About the Benjamins starring Ice Cube and Mike Epps, had a starring role as Santa in Friday After Next in 2002, and appeared in the character role of Ducktape in Sweet Hideaway in 2003. In 2004, he became the morning show host for Dallas’ KBFB-FM/97.9, won BET’s Platinum Mic Viewer’s Choice Award, penned an episode for his own one-hour standup special on BET's ComicView, and contributed to the documentary Super Secret Movie Rules: Sports Underdogs. In 2005, Smiley was cast in the Diamond Life reality TV series.

In 2006, Smiley scripted his own episode of Comedy Central Presents and was showcased at the 2007 Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. In 2008, he signed a Syndicated One deal to take The Rickey Smiley Morning Show nationwide. In 2010, he appeared in Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming in the role as Final MC. In 2011, he starred in the one-man show TV movie Rickey Smiley: Open Casket Sharp. In 2012, Smiley guest starred on the BET series Let’s Stay Together as well as executive produced and starred in the TV sitcom, The Rickey Smiley Show, which aired on TV One. Smiley also served as host of Dish Nation and appeared in the character role as Calvin in Baggage Claim. In 2015, Smiley served as executive producer for Rickey Smiley For Real a reality television show; and in 2017, he was featured as MC on the television series Star. That same year, he released his memoir Stand By Your Truth: And Then Run For Your Life, (Simon & Schuster, New York).

In 2017, Smiley received the Marconi Award for syndicated personality of the year.

Smiley has five children, including, Brandon, Malik, Craig, D'essence and Aaryn.

Rickey Smiley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 8. 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.035

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/8/2018

Last Name

Smiley

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Rickey

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

SMI36

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Fort Lauderdale & Behimi, Bahamas

Favorite Quote

The Difference Between Ordinary and Extraordinary is Only the 'Extra.'

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

8/10/1968

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Favorite Food

Pizza

Short Description

Entertainment host Rickey Smiley (1968- ) has been on the air since 2008 with The Rickey Smiley Morning Show.

Favorite Color

Purple & Gold

Monica Haslip

Arts administrator Monica Haslip was born on June 14, 1965 in Birmingham, Alabama to Cleopatra Cleveland Haslip and Willie Haslip. Haslip graduated from the Alabama School of Fine Arts in 1983, and completed two years at Atlanta College of Art. She went on to work in the photography department at Johnson Publishing Company in Chicago, Illinois. In 1989, Haslip was hired as a senior marketing manager for the mid-western region at Black Entertainment Television (BET).

In 1994, Haslip founded Little Black Pearl Art & Design Center, an after school program that she operated out of her home on the South Side of Chicago. She initially employed two artists to instruct children in painting, mosaic, and design from the Hyde Park, Oakland, Kenwood, Woodlawn, and Bronzeville communities. In 2000, Haslip used funding from the Empowerment Zone Initiative to begin expanding the organization. In 2004, Little Black Pearl Art & Design Center moved into a new forty-thousand square foot facility in Bronzeville; and in 2011, Haslip opened Options Laboratory School, a charter school that offered an arts, science, technology, engineering, math, and business centered curriculum to at-risk youth. Haslip secured a contract with Chicago Public Schools in 2013, and the school was renamed The Little Black Pearl Art & Design Academy. As executive director of both the art and design center and the academy, Haslip facilitated sponsorships from the W.K. Kellog Foundation, the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the Jordan Brand.

In addition to receiving a Grio Award in 2011, Haslip was named as a White House “champion of change.” She was also honored by the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, and was featured in O Magazine and in The Chicago Tribute. In 2017, Haslip was included in a mural painted by Kerry James Marshall on the Chicago Cultural Center. She was a recipient of the 2013 Mary McLeod Bethune Living Legends Award from the IDeaL Education Foundation. Additionally, Haslip served as a workforce innovation board member of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership.

Haslip and her husband, Leon Haslip, have one son.

Monica Haslip was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 20, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.018

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/20/2018

Last Name

Haslip

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Monica

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

MON11

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Julia Stasch

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Miami

Favorite Quote

You Have To Stand In Front Of The Truth.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

6/14/1965

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Favorite Food

Sushi

Short Description

Arts administrator Monica Haslip (1965 - ) was the founder and executive director of Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center and the Little Black Pearl Art and Design Academy.

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Gray

C. Virginia Fields

Legislator C. Virginia Fields was born on August 6, 1946 in Birmingham, Alabama to Peter Clark and Lucille Clark. Fields earned her B.A. degree in sociology from Knoxville College, located in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1967; and her M.S.W. degree in social work from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana in 1969.

Fields was active in the Civil Rights Movement as a teenager and marched with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Birmingham and spent six days in jail. After graduating from Indiana University, Fields moved to New York in 1970 to pursue a career in social work. She began her political career in 1981, when she was elected as chair of the Community Board 10 in New York City. Fields held that position until 1983. Fields was first elected to the New York City Council in 1989 as a representative of the 5th District. She was then re-elected to the New York City Council in 1993 as a representative of the 9th District. Fields served two terms as the president of the Manhattan Borough and was only the second African American woman to hold that position. She was also the highest ranking African American elected official at the time. Fields remained as president of the Manhattan Borough until her term ended in 2005. After her term as president ended, Fields became the first African American woman to run for mayor of New York City in 2006, although she lost in the Democratic Primary.

In addition to her political career, Fields was also active in her community. In 2008, she was appointed as president and chief executive officer of The National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. Fields also served on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Region II Health Equity Council after being appointed by Governor David A. Paterson in 2011. In 2014, she was appointed by Governor Anthony Cuomo to the New York State’s Ending the AIDS Epidemic Task Force. She has also served on the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, Policy Committee and Public Justice Project Steering Committee. Additionally, Fields is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the Links Incorporated and Abyssinian Baptist Church.

C. Virginia Fields was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 11, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.086

Sex

Female

Interview Date

04/11/2017 |and| 12/8/2017

Last Name

Fields

Maker Category
Middle Name

Virginia

Occupation
Schools

Hudson Elementary School

George Washington Carver High School

Knoxville College

Indiana University School of Social Work

New York University

First Name

C.

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

FIE04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barbados

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

8/6/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Legislator C. Virginia Fields (1945 - )

Employment

National Black Leadership Commission On AIDS, Inc.

Office of Manhattan

New York City Council

Favorite Color

Pink

Reverend Gwendolyn Cook Webb

Civil rights activist Reverend Gwendolyn Cook Webb was born on February 15, 1949 in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1963, Webb was arrested when she marched with hundreds of local students in The Birmingham’s Children’s Crusade, which took place following the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. She later graduated from Western-Jackson Olin High School in Birmingham, Alabama in 1967, and went on to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

In 1975, Webb joined the Birmingham Police Department as the second African American female hired by the law enforcement agency. The following year, she began working in the business services unit handling fraudulent financial activities. In 1979, Webb was assigned to the Birmingham Jail. She then served as a team investigative officer for James K. Baker, the City Attorney of Birmingham, in 1980. Webb subsequently served as a security staff member for Richard Arrington, the mayor of Birmingham, and became a personal security officer for the mayor and his family. In 1985, the documentary In The Name of Love was released. The film paid homage to the interracial marriage of Webb and her late husband, Lieutenant William Webb, who was a white officer in the Birmingham Police Department. In 2000, she began serving as administrative assistant to Gwendolyn Sykes, a member of the Birmingham City Council. Webb then began working as a code enforcement officer for Birmingham Public Works.

An active participant in her community, Webb was involved in establishing the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum, the Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail, and the Birmingham Black Radio Museum. Webb also served as vice president for The Travel Scene travel agency, and founded the charity and human rights organization, Foot Soldier International in 2012.

Webb’s participation in the Civil Rights Movement has been widely documented. In 2004, the documentary Mighty Times: The Children’s March, which featured Webb and won an Academy Award for “Best Documentary.” Her participation in the movement has also been documented by the Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trial and the Birmingham Black Radio Museum.

Webb has one daughter, Theresa.

Reverend Gwendolyn Cook Webb was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 5, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.095

Sex

Female

Interview Date

05/05/2017

Last Name

Webb

Maker Category
Middle Name

Cook

Organizations
First Name

Gwendolyn

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

WEB07

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

2/15/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Civil rights activist Reverend Gwendolyn Cook Webb (1949 - ) was the second African American female officer for the Birmingham Police Department and founded the human rights organization, Food Soldier International

Favorite Color

Red

Shelley Stewart

Media executive Shelley Stewart was born on September 24, 1934 in Birmingham, Alabama to Huell Stewart and Mattie C. Stewart. He graduated from Rosedale High School in Birmingham, Alabama and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he served from 1952 to 1953.

After his military service, Stewart returned to Birmingham and was hired by WEDR-AM as a radio personality known as, “Shelley The Playboy.” By 1958, Stewart left Alabama to work for WOKJ-AM in Jackson, Mississippi. In the 1960s, Stewart worked for WENN-AM and served as the on-air voice of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, in 1967, he co-founded Steiner Advertising, now known as O2. In the 1970s, Stewart left WENN-AM and began working at WATV-FM with Dr. Erskine Fausch. He and Fausch went on to acquire WATV-AM, which became the most popular radio station in Birmingham. In 2002, Stewart and Fausch sold WATV-AM to Sheridan Broadcasting and Stewart retired from broadcasting the same year. He then founded the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation in 2007, in an effort to reduce the dropout rate and increase the graduation rate of high school students. In 2015, he sold his shares in O2 to four members of the company’s management team.

Stewart also authored two books, The Road South: A Memoir and Mattie C.’s Boy: The Shelley Stewart Story.

Stewart was awarded the Footsteps to Freedom Award from the 16th Street Foundation in 1999, the Community Service Award from the National Association of Black Journalists in 2013, the Drum Major of Justice Award from the National Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the World Conference of Mayors’ Outstanding People of the World Award. Stewart was also named a Pioneer of Radio Inductee by the Smithsonian Institution in 1996, inducted into the Black Radio Hall of Fame, honored as a “Living Legend” by Warner Bros. Records, and recognized by Coca-Cola Bottling Company as one of the top ten most recognized African Americans in the State of Alabama. Stewart and Samford University President Andrew Westmoreland co-founded and lead Birmingham Kitchen Table, and in 2013, he was named alumnus honoris causa one of the university’s highest recognitions for non-graduates, for his role in the civil rights movement and his work in the community.

Stewart has two daughters, Sherri and Corlette.

Shelley Stewart was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 2, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.090

Sex

Male

Interview Date

05/02/2017

Last Name

Stewart

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Hudson Elementary School

Rosedale High School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Days

First Name

Shelley

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

STE19

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Youth & Teens

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No - Not required but should go to MCSF if provided

Favorite Season

Each day - they are all good.

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Budapest

Favorite Quote

Nothing starts at the top except a hole in the ground, and it keeps going down.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

9/24/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Good food

Short Description

Media executive Shelley Stewart (1934 - ) was hired by WEDR-AM, as radio personality “Shelley The Playboy,” and co-founded O2 Ideas and established the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation.

Employment

The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation

o2ideas

WATV Radio

WENN Radio

WWBCO Radio

Favorite Color

All colors