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The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton

Lawyer and political leader Eleanor Holmes Norton was born on June 13, 1937 in Washington D.C. to Vela and Coleman Holmes. She received her B.A. degree from Antioch College, and simultaneously earned her M.A. degree in American Studies and her J.D. degree from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

After graduating from Yale, Norton worked as a law clerk for Federal District Court Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. She was appointed assistant legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1965, where she represented sixty female employees of Newsweek in their gender discrimination lawsuit against the newspaper in 1970. That same year, she left the American Civil Liberties to head New York’s Human Rights Commission. An active civil rights and feminist leader, Norton served on the founding board of Women’s Rights Law Reporter, the first legal periodical focused on women, and was one of the women to sign the Black Woman’s Manifesto, arguing against the oppression of black women.

In 1977, Norton was appointed the first female chair of the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by President Jimmy Carter. She began teaching law classes at the Georgetown University Law Center in 1981, continuing to teach as a tenured professor of law even after being elected to office. Norton was first elected to the U.S. Congress in 1990 as a democratic delegate to the House of Representatives. Though Norton did not have voting power in Congress as a delegate, she did use her position to influence decisions in the House and in the Senate. Over the years, Norton has brought significant economic development to the District of Columbia throughout her service in Congress, while creating and preserving jobs in Washington, D.C. and securing the construction of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security headquarters in Washington, D.C., in addition to the development of the Southeast Federal Center.

Norton has been named one of the 100 most important American women, and one of the most powerful women in Washington, D.C. She has received more than fifty honorary degrees.

Norton has two children, Katherine Norton and John Holmes Norton.

Eleanor Holmes Norton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 16, 2017.

Accession Number

A2018.176

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/25/2018

Last Name

Norton

Maker Category
Middle Name

Holmes

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Eleanor

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

NOR09

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

6/13/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Lemon Meringue Pie

Short Description

Lawyer and political leader Eleanor Holmes Norton (1937 – ) served as democratic delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives for over twenty-five years, after having served as the first female chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Favorite Color

Yellow

The Honorable Barbara Lee

U.S. Congresswoman Honorable Barbara Lee was born on July 16, 1946 in El Paso, Texas. Her biological father, James Lewis, was a veteran of the Korean War; her mother, Mildred Massey, a clerk. In 1960, Lee’s family moved to the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California. As a teenager, she immersed herself in music and won two music achievement awards from the Rotary Club and the Bank of America. Lee graduated from San Fernando High School in 1964. She worked for one year in the California Department of Labor Statistics, and then went on to receive her B.A. degree in psychology from Mills College in 1973 and her M.A. degree in social work from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975.

Upon graduation, Lee worked for Congressman Ronald V. Dellums after serving as a legislative intern there during graduate school. While there, she managed Congressman Dellums’ offices in Washington, D.C. and Oakland, California for eleven years and eventually rose to the position of senior adviser. In 1990, Lee was elected to the California State Assembly; and, in 1996, she was elected to the California State Senate. As a Democrat, she worked successfully with California’s Republican administration in those years and sponsored sixty-seven bills that were signed into law by then-Republican Governor Pete Wilson. Lee’s political agenda focused on issues such as education, public safety, environmental protection, health, labor, and women’s rights. In 1998, she became the first woman to represent the State of California’s then-9th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and served as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus from 2009 to 2011. She was later elected as the first woman to represent the California’s now-13th Congressional District in 2013. Lee also published a memoir, Renegade for Peace and Justice: A Memoir of Political and Personal Courage (2008).

Lee’s honors and distinctions include receiving the Dean’s Appreciation Award from the University of California at Berkeley School of Social Welfare, and the Willie L. Brown, Jr., Leadership Award, both in 2001. Lee was also nominated for the Alfred R. Nobel Peace Prize. In 2009, The National Urban League honored her with the Congressional Leadership Award; and, in 2012, she received the Lifetime Legacy Achievement Award from the United Nations Association. Lee is the mother of two sons, Tony Lee and Craig Lee.

U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 5, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.249

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/5/2013

Last Name

Lee

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Jean

Schools

University of California, Berkeley

Mills College

San Fernando High School

San Fernando Junior High School

St. Joseph’s Elementary School

First Name

Barbara

Birth City, State, Country

El Paso

HM ID

LEE05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Grenada

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

7/16/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Oakland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

U.S. congresswoman and state senator The Honorable Barbara Lee (1946 - ) was the first woman to represent the State of California’s then-9th and now-13th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Employment

California State Senate

United States House of Representatives

California State Assembly

W.C. Parish/Lee Associates

Office of Representative Ronald Dellums

Far West Laboratory for Educational Research & Development

Glendale Welfare Office

California Department of Labor Statistics

Favorite Color

Orange

Timing Pairs
0,0:4992,196:8658,446:16146,564:17004,576:18018,603:24400,623:25366,640:25711,646:26332,656:26677,662:27091,669:34405,812:35026,823:41620,901:42302,919:43046,935:43480,948:45710,953:49088,1013:49772,1024:50380,1033:50836,1040:56840,1189:58056,1206:64496,1263:68024,1353:68384,1359:74585,1433:74940,1439:75437,1449:75721,1454:76218,1462:79058,1518:80691,1560:81969,1580:83460,1614:83957,1622:85519,1651:91196,1700:91604,1707:92012,1714:93576,1753:96160,1811:96500,1817:96976,1826:97656,1838:97996,1844:98540,1853:98880,1860:99220,1866:99696,1875:101192,1903:101804,1915:105204,2000:106496,2024:113207,2092:113864,2134:114959,2183:121050,2282$0,0:4536,116:5328,132:6336,148:9432,209:13458,227:13774,232:15038,256:17250,312:19699,347:21042,382:21595,393:21990,399:22306,404:22701,411:23017,416:24281,436:25229,453:25703,460:26019,465:26572,476:26967,485:33450,533:36040,641:36600,651:37230,664:44160,831:44510,837:48380,850:51878,927:54650,1042:54914,1047:55640,1060:57356,1098:58742,1123:59864,1146:66438,1232:66742,1237:70694,1340:70998,1345:71302,1350:78402,1487:80360,1526:80805,1706:96864,1863:97575,1875:99313,1908:99629,1913:100024,1919:104821,1963:105745,1977:106130,1983:107285,2003:107824,2011:109364,2039:111828,2082:112367,2090:113291,2113:113599,2118:115139,2137:124320,2199:126020,2232:127130,2283:132475,2399:134707,2485:140954,2563:141242,2570:141818,2579:147938,2794:150170,2838:150458,2843:154070,2854:155544,2887:156013,2896:156616,2936:160502,3008:160770,3013:161105,3019:162646,3053:163249,3061:165058,3167:166331,3195:167001,3206:173078,3259:173596,3264:174928,3287:175298,3293:176038,3327:177074,3348:177666,3357:178184,3366:194840,3525
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Barbara Lee's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Barbara Lee lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about tracing her African roots

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about her mother's experiences of color discrimination

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about her mother's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her father's family background and how he met her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her stepfather

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers moving with her family to California

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her likeness to her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Barbara Lee lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers her house in El Paso, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about her maternal grandfather's move to El Paso, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers her neighborhood in El Paso, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about the role of religion in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about her family's departure from El Paso, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her early political participation

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talk about her early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her experiences at San Fernando High School in San Fernando, California

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes how travel influenced her interest in politics

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers her high school graduation

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers the political events of the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Barbara Lee recalls her time living in Europe

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers her return to San Fernando, California

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers moving to Northern California

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers joining the Black Panther Party

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about her maternal grandfather's emphasis on education

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about her decision to attend Mills College in Oakland, California

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her experiences at Mills College in Oakland, California, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her experiences at Mills College in Oakland, California, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Barbara Lee recalls developing the African study abroad program at Mills College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Barbara Lee recalls the influential figures she met through her activism

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about the Black Panther Party

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about her psychological training

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Barbara Lee recalls the founding of the CHANGE, Inc. mental health center in Berkeley, California

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about the influence of Dr. Price Cobbs and William H. Grier

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes the importance of mental healthcare in the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers the Cal in the Capital program

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers Huey P. Newton

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers working as Congressman Ronald Dellums' chief of staff

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$2

DAStory

5$7

DATitle
The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about the influence of Dr. Price Cobbs and William H. Grier
The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her early political participation
Transcript
Now, now did you have any act- interaction in those days with Price Cobbs [HistoryMaker Dr. Price Cobbs] and--$$Yeah.$$--and William Grier [William H. Grier]?$$That's right yeah, yeah. They were over at Pacific Psychotherapy [Pacific Psychotherapy Associates].$$Um-hm.$$Um-hm, on Sacramento Street [San Francisco, California], yep a lot of interaction with them.$$Okay.$$Yeah.$$The authors of 'Black Rage.'$$'Black Rage.'$$Everybody was reading that during the--$$Yeah.$$--seventies [1970s].$$I was too--$$Yeah.$$--and that was part of my rage, is looking at how psychiatric services and mental health services were being presented to the black community which didn't work, I mean I ended, you know, and my model was based on yeah you gotta provide the counseling and psychoanalysis and psychotherapy 'cause if people are depressed and if they're a psychotic or schizophrenic or, you know, they need help, I mean they really do. But that doesn't mean that they don't need a job, you know, it's kind of like the social and economic issues that underline a lot of the mental health problems in the African American community need to be dealt with. And so my clinic, while it provided the services we had, what I called advocates, psychiatric advocates who would really go out and if you needed a job, or needed daycare, if you needed a home, you know, would help people in their real needs, their reality stuff, and so those people would work in a team setting with the clinical people to try to help a person really regroup and it worked. And then we had a community component where we tried to do what we call primary prevention and that was on a community level, have workshops and forums about mental health issues so people would really begin to understand mental health, and so people would know if the early signs of depression, early signs of anger, early signs of whatever, stress, you know, come to the clinic quick so we can kind of sort it through and the, you know? So we did a whole community mental health component of my clinic, so it was great and it survived 'til Ronald Reagan [Ronald Wilson Reagan] cut out the funding, OEO [Office of Economic Opportunity], I think, but I went on to D.C. [Washington, D.C.] and hired a whole staff and board to keep it going.$California is, of course there's no signs in California right, in, well like that?$$Oh California was horrible. No really, it, the segregation out here was it was de facto in a lot of ways. I wanted to be a cheerleader at my high school and the way they selected 'em, they had criteria and I assume you had to have blonde hair and blue eyes and white, but I couldn't for whatever reason, no black girl could, felt confident enough or assured, assured enough that they could pass the test to be a cheerleader. So, I got very upset about that, went to the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] and they got the school to change their rules where students could then tryout in front of the student body and then the vote, students would vote on who they wanted to be their cheerleaders, so that was my first election. I actually tried out in front of the student body and I won. And so I was the first black cheerleader that El Pa- at San Fernando High [San Fernando High School, San Fernando, California], but that just kind of shows you how the segregation and the discrimination worked in California. There was housing, you know, in California, I think the fair housing law didn't pass, the Byron fair housing act didn't pass until, shoot, '64 [sic. California Fair Housing Act of 1963], when I graduated from high school, I think that was when it was, I mean in the '60s [1960s]. So it was horrible, it was bad in California and, and you know it was varied, I didn't see any coloreds only signs, but the segregation was alive, it was real and it was very deep.$$Okay, so this is in the San Fernando Valley [California]?$$Um-hm.$$Wha- wha- what was the name of the town that you lived in?$$Pacoima [California], although it--$$(Unclear) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, Pacoima and San Fernando, we lived at 11920 Chadron Avenue, San Fernando, California, but it was like right next to Pacoima.$$Okay, okay.$$And it was a large, mainly black community, now it's largely Latino, and I think there's some of the old timers still there who are African Americans, but for the most part it's a Latino community now.$$Okay, now did you--in 1960, were you aware of politics? I know that was a big election the Kennedy [John Fitzgerald Kennedy] and Nixon [Richard Milhous Nixon] election which was, which was--$$Yeah.$$--national news and--$$Oh yeah.$$--I, I don't know--$$That was in the '60s [1960s].$$--if you were, you know?$$I was aware, but not really, it was like okay, you know, who's gonna win, fine, good, you know? I hope a Democrat wins but it wasn't nothing, nothing else, you--$$Wha- what--$$--know?$$Wha- was, what was your [maternal] grandfather [William Parish] and your, your family Democrats for the most part?$$Yeah, you know, actually my grandfather like many African Americans had been Republican because of, you know, it was the party of Lincoln [President Abraham Lincoln], by then he was a Democrat, I'm sure. But he, they oh yeah, they all would talk about elections and, you know, as being part of NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People], I mean that was the core civil rights organization that they were affiliated with, we talked a lot about it all the time and knew that Kennedy had to win for black people, you know, and we knew the Democrats had to, to continue with our fight for, you know, justice and equality, but in terms of being kind of in tune with the election and all the politics of the election and the debates, ah no.

The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson

U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson was born on December 3, 1935 to Lee Edward Johnson and Lillie Mae White Johnson in Waco, Texas. She and her three siblings grew up attending Toliver Chapel Baptist Church, where her mother was an active church member. After attending A.J. Moore High School, Johnson graduated at the age of sixteen and moved to Indiana to attend Saint Mary’s College of Notre Dame, where she graduated in 1955 with her nursing certificate.

Johnson then began work as a psychiatric nurse at La Rue Carter Psychiatric Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana until she passed the boards. Then Congresswoman Johnson returned to Texas and started working at the Dallas Veterans Administration Hospital in 1956. While still employed at the hospital, Johnson earned her B.S. degree in nursing in 1967 from the Harris School for Nursing at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. That same year, she was promoted to chief psychiatric nurse. She left the hospital in 1972 to run for public office in the Texas House of Representatives. There, she made a name for herself fighting for minority and women’s’ issues. In 1976, Johnson earned her M.P.A. degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and in 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed her as the principal official of Region VI for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (H.E.W.). She remained with the H.E.W. until 1981, when she left public office to found her own business, a real estate company. In 1986, Johnson was elected to public office once again, but this time to the Texas Senate, where she worked tirelessly to improve health care and to end racial discrimination. In 1992, Johnson ran for the U.S. House of Representatives and was elected.

As a U.S. Congresswoman, Johnson has led the battle on legislation to improve health care, the environment, civil rights, women’s issues, science research and education. She is a member of the Committee of Science and Technology and the Committee of Transportation and Infrastructure. In 2001, Johnson served as Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. In 1993 and 1994, she was named by Ebony magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans and in 2001, the magazine named her one of the 10 Most Powerful African American Women.

Johnson has one son, Dawrence Kirk Johnson, and three grandsons.

Eddie Bernice Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 7, 2012

Accession Number

A2012.094

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/7/2012 |and| 6/18/2012 |and| 6/26/2012

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Middle Name

Bernice

Occupation
Schools

Southern Methodist University

Texas Christian University

Saint Mary's College

East Waco Elementary School

A.J. Moore Academy

First Name

Eddie

Birth City, State, Country

Waco

HM ID

JOH39

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Hey! Gotcha!

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

12/3/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salad

Short Description

U.S. congresswoman The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson (1935 - ) serves in U.S. House of Representatives, where she has been a leading voice on issues of civil rights, health care and science education.

Employment

United States House of Representatives

Texas House of Representatives

Eddie Bernice Johnson and Associates

Texas Department of Health, Education and Welfare

Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:1900,146:14630,278:18128,295:18484,300:25669,527:30280,583:30628,589:33064,670:33760,679:34804,711:43156,858:45592,913:53299,951:54415,963:59258,1018:78772,1239:79324,1246:79876,1254:86485,1346:87200,1358:104132,1598:104960,1609:105972,1624:112060,1661:113325,1674:116200,1707:117350,1719:128380,1864:128864,1869:130921,1894:135277,1966:156226,2259:166274,2374:166940,2381:167384,2386:173540,2462:174340,2474:183096,2606:184812,2646:190500,2682:190996,2691:205220,2833:207060,2897:207384,2902:207708,2908:209652,2945:210705,2964:211515,2978:225665,3174:232800,3200:243470,3294:247815,3386:253102,3416:254124,3424:256262,3432:260030,3488:265380,3553$0,0:1408,28:1760,33:2112,38:8418,114:9062,123:9798,133:10258,139:24690,266:25290,272:25770,277:30090,331:32738,351:34567,369:35671,387:36223,397:36499,402:36775,407:39140,419:39700,429:40330,435:41870,461:42430,470:43270,486:50092,535:50428,540:51016,548:54750,600:56750,636:57230,643:65000,689:66425,718:67475,736:68000,747:71054,775:71566,780:79470,833:80150,843:82964,860:86680,899:87220,907:88210,925:90820,955:95833,1011:100550,1066:103720,1094:104040,1099:105320,1121:105720,1127:106120,1133:108401,1151:112228,1223:112851,1231:113563,1241:113919,1246:115165,1275:115966,1288:117390,1310:121825,1336:122425,1346:125670,1364:125998,1369:126408,1375:130358,1400:131726,1424:132334,1436:133094,1449:134158,1465:134462,1470:137198,1528:137578,1534:141059,1546:162846,1796:165344,1814:170014,1868:170761,1880:171508,1892:172006,1907:176326,1951:177658,1988:178028,1994:182630,2024:183055,2031:183395,2036:187815,2075:188131,2080:191190,2109:191706,2116:194150,2125:197060,2139:197573,2149:198257,2161:198485,2166:198713,2171:199112,2179:199340,2184:201496,2201:202168,2210:202504,2215:202840,2220:204352,2251:217834,2475:218570,2485:219030,2491:219858,2502:230806,2666:231171,2672:231463,2677:231755,2682:235843,2760:240190,2785:240470,2790:240820,2796:244715,2836:251514,2958:258670,3018:259438,3025:261450,3043:261940,3052:262640,3063:263130,3068:263620,3076:263900,3081:264250,3087:264600,3093:264950,3099:265510,3108:281990,3225:290875,3334:292492,3363:292877,3369:295034,3382:296690,3410:297150,3416:300462,3472:301382,3485:302026,3493:303314,3506:303682,3511:307920,3517:308844,3534:309174,3540:309834,3553:310560,3569:311748,3586:316166,3610:316518,3615:327108,3680:327573,3686:327945,3691:336104,3777:336536,3785:341481,3839:344380,3907
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her mother's ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers her community in Waco, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers East Waco Elementary School in Waco, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her interest in geometry

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers her paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her paternal grandmother's racial identity

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes the black business district in Waco, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls the tornado that destroyed the black business district in Waco, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her home life

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the demographics of Waco, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her aspiration to become a nurse

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers her admission to Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her arrival at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her experiences at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about segregation in Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers moving to Dallas, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls becoming the first black nurse at the Dallas VA Hospital

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about politics in the State of Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her start as a civil rights organizer

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the segregated department stores in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the aftermath of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the black female civil rights leaders in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls the integration of Dallas, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers Barbara Jordan, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes the response to the Civil Rights Act in the South

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers her civic work at the Dallas VA Hospital

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers Barbara Jordan, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about Barbara Jordan's reputation in Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers Mickey Leland

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers her complaint against Robert S. Calvert

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her decision to run for public office, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her decision to run for public office, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers working at Neiman Marcus

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers her election to the Texas House of Representatives

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her work in the Texas House of Representatives

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the School Breakfast Program

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the renewal of the Voting Rights Act

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her experiences in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson reflects upon President Jimmy Carter's administration

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her election to the Texas Senate

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her experiences of racial and gender discrimination

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the confirmation of Judge Craig T. Enoch

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the AIDS crisis

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the impact of AIDS in the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about minority representation on the Texas Board of Regents

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls implementing single member districts in Texas

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the political changes in Texas

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers her election to the U.S. House of Representatives

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her first term in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the Republican Revolution in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the attacks on the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the importance of minority congressional caucuses

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her legislative mentors

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls working on President Bill Clinton's healthcare plan

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the midterm elections of 1994

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her experiences as a Democrat in a Republican majority Congress, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her experiences as a Democrat in a Republican majority Congress, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls the Women's Health Equity Act

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the opposition to President Barack Obama

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls becoming a senior member of her congressional committees

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the NAFTA superhighway

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson shares her perspective on the impeachment of President Bill Clinton

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson reflects upon the Clinton administration

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about healthcare legislation

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers working with President George Walker Bush

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about President George Walker Bush's policy initiatives

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the Trinity River project

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about President George Walker Bush's trade policy

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the decision to invade Iraq

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about A World of Women for World Peace

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the Texas Eleven

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the Iraq War

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the criticism of the Bush administration

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her position on the Iraq War

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her policy on climate change

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson reflects upon No Child Left Behind

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about running for reelection

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection and Energy Efficiency Act

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about corporate influence on public policy

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the U.S. military

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the presidential candidates in 2008

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her support for John Edwards' presidential bid in 2008

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her support for President Barack Obama

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers her role in the Barack Obama's presidential campaign

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the night of President Barack Obama's election

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about President Barack Obama and the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson reflects upon President Barack Obama's first term

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the Obama family

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson reflects on her legacy as a U.S. Representative

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 12 Story: 10 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her home state of Texas

Tape: 12 Story: 11 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson reflects upon her career

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her family

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her philosophy and how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

3$10

DAStory

8$5

DATitle
The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her start as a civil rights organizer
The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about A World of Women for World Peace
Transcript
But you all had a--kind of a different Democratic leader in Texas, Lyndon Johnson [President Lyndon Baines Johnson], right? Who was a little bit different. Is that the--$$Yeah, um--$$Is that true? Or--$$Well I, I got a chance to know Lyndon Johnson on a personal basis. His family was very, very supportive of me. And I'm still very close to his daughters [Lynda Bird Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson]. I was close to Mrs. Johnson [Lady Bird Johnson] as well. As a matter of fact, I had just seen him the day he had that heart attack.$$Well, I want to go back to when you were, back in the '60s [1960s], you know, just before you--$$The '60s [1960s]?$$Yeah. Nineteen sixty [1960]. So you, did you, were you aware of them then? I mean as a politician?$$Yes. I became aware of Lyndon Johnson. I worked as a volunteer in his campaign, but I was also working for the government. So I wouldn't do too much partisan stuff. But I was still active with school board elections and (unclear) elections. I was always involved, civically, but during the days of desegregation. What they call open accommodations. I always volunteer-- I was always the youngest one of my peers, and my bridge club members used to tease me. But I always felt an obligation to do volunteer work. So during the time we were going through desegregation, I worked on a committee that was made up of the YWCA [Young Women's Christian Association], National Council of Jewish Women, National Council of Christian Women [sic.], kind of the leaders of the heads of different organizations. And we would dialogue around the city on how to approach open accommodations. And I remember one night, we were in a meeting, and sometimes I started the meeting. The police would stop wanting to know why I'm in their neighborhood. But the three people that were killed in Mississippi were found one night that we, while we were in the meeting. It came over the news that they had been found murdered.$$This is 1964 you're talking about?$$I think.$$Goodman [Andrew Goodman], Schwerner [Michael Schwerner], and Chaney [James Chaney]?$$Yeah.$$Sixty-four [1964], yeah.$$And, and we stopped and held hands and did a little prayer and everything. But we, we began to try to open and study the venue. But we, as we would go and visit these restaurant owners and everything, you know, everybody was saying that they were open. But what we would discover, we discovered once that in one restaurant, they had one menu for whites, and one for blacks. And the menu for blacks had ten dollars added to every, every price. And it was that kind of thing that we would try to work out. Well, frankly, the first downtown store that opened was Neiman Marcus. And it was the most exclusive store downtown Dallas [Texas]. As a matter of fact, later it was Marcus' that provided me the opportunity to run for office. But during that time, most of our major stores, Dallas has always been a city with a lot of money. Most of those downtown stores were family owned. Vogue [ph.], Sangers [Sanger Brothers; Sanger-Harris], Titche [Titche-Goettinger], A. Harris [A. Harris and Company; Sanger-Harris], very exclusive stores. And we just didn't seem to be able to get a solid commitment. So I went, I along with several other women, well we were active in the YWCA and membership drives and all. We organized a fifty sensitive black women, and we decided that we would test these stores to see if they were open. When they were not open, we sent the word out that we were boycotting.$Now tell us about--now that same year that 9/11 [September 11, 2001] took place, you began an initiative called A World of Women for World Peace.$$Yes.$$Tell us about that.$$Well, it was somewhat related. That encouraged it. I had been to Bosnia, and that was the first time that I'd experienced what a war torn country would be like, and it really troubled me. And then we had 9/11, which was even more troubling. About two weeks after 9/11, I picked up a magazine that had on the cover these two African kids dressed in war garb with machine guns in their hands. And I just thought to myself, this has just gone too far. And it stayed with me. And, and I was trying to figure out what I could do to see if we could help with a culture of peace in the world. And it just came to me to start working with women and mothers. Because I remember Another Mother for Peace, way back in my early career, that there were a group of peace oriented women started, I was working with in Texas. And I thought of that, and I hadn't heard of them, and I started to ask questions about what groups were involved in trying to bring about peace. And so my idea, I thought it was just too big for me to try to tackle, but then I thought about the fact that to achieve anything, it takes little pieces and steps at a time. So I thought about trying to establish a group that would work toward developing a culture of peace in the world. And that was the beginning. The name came to me as I woke up one morning, A World of Women for World Peace. And researching, I found that Mother's Day came out of the, a little bit of Mothers for Peace [sic.] after the Civil War. They didn't want to see all their sons get killed again in war. And so I had to put an infrastructure together that would help to direct steps at a time. And that's when I decided to do some educating here and to start to do some educating around the world. Bosnia was a, one of the first countries, 'cause that was the first time I had seen real war torn when I went there in the '90s [1990s], and I still work with Bosnia. When I saw the strong feelings that mothers, primarily women had a town hall meeting with them there. How strongly they felt about everything being torn up around them, what have you. And so I wanted to keep touch with them. I started to have dialogues here on the Hill [Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.]. I was in touch with the peace center there in Dallas [Texas] who told me about the peace program at Harvard [Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts]. That a Dallasite was running, Swanee Hunt. So I went in and visited with Swanee. We continued to stay in touch with each other. She's been very supportive of me and I've been very supportive of her program. So I wanted to join hands with every peace group and in the world that I could make contact with. I contacted the UN [United Nations], started working with the UN. They had a curriculum that had been developed in The Hague [the Netherlands] that taught techniques. They would be integrated into schools that would teach young children growing up. Conciliation and, and attempting to dialogue and understand respecting differences rather than going to fight for every different thing that came up. So that's how we initially got started.$$Okay.$$And the way I have continued it is I visit other countries, I make the requests before we leave here to, through the embassies to meet with the leading women in the various countries to talk about what the crux of peace might be and what leadership from women would impact. And so I admit with people all over the world, I've used Voice of America, I've used Radio Free Europe [Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] and dialogue back and forth interactively as well as visiting.$$Okay, and it's still, it's--this program's still going on over there today (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yes.

The Honorable Eva M. Clayton

U.S. congresswoman Eva M. Clayton was born in Savannah, Georgia on September 16, 1934. In 1955, Clayton received her B.S. degree in biology from Johnson C. Smith University. She then obtained her M.S. degree in biology and general science from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina in 1962. With the encouragement of civil rights activist and attorney Vernon Jordan, Clayton sought election to Congress in a north-central North Carolina district. Despite a losing bid, Clayton’s initial run generated black voter registration. In the early 1970s, she worked for several public and private ventures, including the North Carolina Health Manpower Development Program at the University of North Carolina. In 1974, she cofounded and served as the executive director of Soul City Foundation, a housing organization that renovated dilapidated buildings for use as homeless shelters and daycare centers. Clayton worked on the successful gubernatorial campaign of Jim Hunt, who later appointed Clayton the assistant secretary of the North Carolina department of natural resources and community development. Clayton served in that capacity from 1977 until 1981. In 1982 she won election to the Warren County Board of Commissioners, which she chaired until 1990.

When Representative Walter Jones, Sr. announced his retirement in 1992, Clayton entered the Democratic primary to fill his seat. She eventually won the special election to fill the last two months of Jones’s unexpired term in the 102nd Congress (1991–1993) and defeated Republican Ted Tyler for a full term in the 103rd Congress (1993–1995). Clayton became the first black woman elected to U.S. Congress in North Carolina. In her subsequent four bids for re-election, she won comfortably, with 60 percent or more of the vote. Clayton served with distinction for ten years as the U.S. Representative of North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. While in Congress, she served on Agriculture and Budget Committees and as ranking member of the Agriculture Department’s Operations Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry Subcommittees. Clayton is the past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. In 2003, her name was put forth as a possible Democratic vice-presidential candidate. Clayton completed a three year-assignment with the Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy in 2006 as Assistant Director-General and Special Adviser to the Director-General. In this post, Clayton helped to establish national alliances and partnerships in over 24 countries to fight hunger and poverty including the United States of America. She currently serves as the chairperson of Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW (PCPAN), a project of the Pharmacy Choice and Access Now (PCAN) coalition, which fights on behalf of patients to preserve access to quality and affordable health care and pharmacy services.

Clayton is the mother of four adult children, Joanne, Theaoseus, Jr., Martin and Reuben. She is married to Attorney Theaoseus T. Clayton, Sr. and they are proud grandparents of six grandchildren.

Eva M. Clayton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 22, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.059

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/22/2012

Last Name

Clayton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

North Carolina Central University

Johnson C. Smith University

Ursula Collins Elementary School

Lucy C. Laney High School

North Carolina Central University School of Law

University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill

First Name

Eva

Birth City, State, Country

Savannah

HM ID

CLA18

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Mountains, Beaches

Favorite Quote

That Too Shall Come To Pass. Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

9/16/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Raleigh

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Corn, Cabbage, Okra, Tomato, Fried Chicken, Fish

Short Description

U.S. congresswoman The Honorable Eva M. Clayton (1934 - ) was the first black woman elected to U.S. Congress from North Carolina, serving with distinction for ten years as an advocate for programs for disadvantaged African Americans and rural and agricultural interests in her district.

Employment

Soul City Foundation

North Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Community Development

Warren County Board of Commissioners

United States Congress

UN Food and Agriculture Organization

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of the Honorable Eva M. Clayton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her likeness to her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her parents' community involvement

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls public school, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers the Steed Street School in Augusta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about her role models

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers her influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls matriculating at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers her influences at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her activities at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about her early awareness of politics

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her introduction to civil rights activism

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about her work with the American Friends Service Committee

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her graduation from Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers James Brown

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers moving to Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes the political leadership in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about the importance of black institutions

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls moving to Warrenton, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eva M. remembers becoming a community organizer

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eva M. recalls attending the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Eva M. recalls her first campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Eva M. describes her economic development work in North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about Soul City, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers the Watergate scandal

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her role at the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Community Development

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her commissionership of Warren County, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her decision to run for the U.S. House of Representatives

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers her first term in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls the Republican Revolution of 1994

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about the U.S. Congress under President Barack Obama

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about her leadership in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers the class action lawsuit of Pigford v. Glickman

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls the solidarity among black women in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about the impact of Hurricane Floyd

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers her decision not to seek reelection

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her service at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls projects from her terms in Congress

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes the Eva M. Clayton Fellows Program Act

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her children

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

6$7

DATitle
The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers her first term in the U.S. Congress
The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers her decision not to seek reelection
Transcript
Well, this must have been exciting, going to [U.S.] Congress?$$Oh, it was exciting.$$So--$$It was a brand new--as you say you live several lives. There was a--it was a brand new life, a brand new opening, brand new awareness. And, also a very new opportunity to serve, share, and, and to give back.$$Okay, so you come in with the Clinton [President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton] administration, right?$$I did.$$Same time, so, so, just explain what was--how did you--well, what was your first day like in Congress?$$Well, I can't even remember, but exciting. So, you know, it was full of--well, the first day of my inauguration, you know, when everybody else came, was full of excitement and people giving briefings, and you getting to know new people. As I said, I met three of the people who had served as county commissioners so that started as a basis. There were a number of Afro Americans who were elected, more then than before so that was the highest number coming in at one time in 1993. Also significant, it was the largest number of women coming at one time to Congress in 1993. And, I think as a result of a combination of that, I was elected president of my class both with the women vote and I guess the black. I didn't go there to--in fact I didn't even know there was such a, an office as being president of the freshman class, but, anyhow, the freshman class was large freshman class. And, with a number of newcomers, and I was honored to serve as the president in--as co-president along with--now, Jim Clyburn [HistoryMaker James Clyburn] ran for it. I didn't, but both of us served as co- (unclear), we worked a compromised since I had the most votes, that we would serve as co-presidents of the freshman class. He's gone on now to be the whip, you know, Jim Clyburn is now the whip of the Democratic Party, Democratic congresspersons and is doing an exceedingly good job.$$That's true. Now, also, elected--was this Mel Watt's [HistoryMaker Melvin L. Watt] first term too?$$It was, two of us came from North Carolina.$$Mel Watt comes from Charlotte [North Carolina], right?$$Yeah, and he was very supportive of me and I supportive of him. We kind of were a tag team. I adopted him as my older, oldest son. You know, not that I'm that much older than he was. He, he's, he's doing a good job and we both came at the same time, both went through what we call redistricting here where our district (unclear) started off having about twenty-eight counties partial, you know, counties. He was gerrymandered obviously. And then they reduced it down to twenty-four, now it has twenty-two and, by the way, it's being redistricted again this year. It's going more urban now, it's moving more to Durham [North Carolina]. Before it came to Granville County [North Carolina] back to the coast and down. And the current congressman stops westward at Granville County and goes to (unclear). Now, he's losing the coastal counties and he's gaining 40 percent of his new congressional district will be in Durham, which would change the dynamics of the district. 'Cause, basically, when I went to Congress it was a rural area and I served on the agriculture committee [U.S. House Committee on Agriculture]. One, because we were a rural area and, of course, that served me well 'cause most of our people were in rural areas and we, we were able to do some things through agriculture.$$Okay, now, one of the things--now, this is the 103rd Congress?$$Um-hm.$$And, one of the things that you did was you voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement.$$I did.$$And, now, why did you vote against that? I know there were big demonstrations against it in Seattle [Washington] I think. Wasn't that in Seattle?$$Could've been. There were also demonstrations, smaller ones throughout, you know, the United States. Basically, I saw it as kind of a giveaway (unclear) the presidency away where it was, and, also the unions and the workers here were being put at a disadvantage I thought. And, the, and working with them I, I thought we should find ways of not outsourcing the jobs. And that's the real reason I voted for, 'cause I saw it as losing jobs here in the United States.$$Okay, did it adversely affect North Carolina?$$Oh, I thought it did. I mean, I saw there were a number of textile industries, a number of the manufacturer in furniture, others now find its way into foreign countries that could be produced there far less expensive. The workers cost less and they can ship it here. So, if you look through rural eastern North Carolina, you will find cotton mills, you will find textile industries no longer there because these jobs are now somewhere else.$$Okay, okay. Now, you're a, you're a member of the House agricultural committee like I said before and you were a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, right?$$I was, right.$$Now, what was the condition of Congressional Black Caucus when you arrived in Congress?$$Well, it became very strong because you had so many new ones come on at that time as, as one. And, the--I think they were not only a force but they also expanded their power in terms of exerting it. Obviously, it worked within the Democratic framework and to the extent that they were, you know, influencing change, they're more of the progressive arm of the Democratic Party, so I think that made a big, big difference in terms of the number of the bills they had.$Two-thousand one, now this is, I guess this is after the, a year after I guess the election of George Bush as, George W. Bush as president [President George Walker Bush], you declined to seek re-nomination for a sixth term.$$Um-hm.$$So, what, what was the--what went into your thinking about--$$In 2002 when I declined?$$Um-hm.$$Well, when I ran for congressman initially, I think I said publicly and privately that I did not run to serve a life term. I was gonna probably serve eight or ten years. Well, eight years came--oh, I think I might have paraphrased said I was gonna serve eight or ten years or as long as I was making a contribution and and enjoying it. Well, 2002 came I was still enjoying it and I was still making a contribution. But, if I was gonna kind of keep my word to myself and publicly, I thought it would be a--ten year made a good period of time that I would just step away and see what else the good Lord had for me to do.$$Now, this attitude is different from the attitude of a lot of people.$$Oh, sure.$$And, I guess (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well, I'm Eva Clayton [HistoryMaker Eva M. Clayton]. I'm not everybody else.$$That's right, yes ma'am, but you know, you look at African countries, the presidents are elected and they stay until there is a coup d'etat, you know--$$That is so true.$$--so many times, you know, not everybody, Nyerere [Julius Kambarage Nyerere] stepped away, you know, other people have stepped away but, but--$$It's hard, you know, I empathize that it's, it's--it wasn't easy and it would be harder for me now to step away if I'd been there now eighteen years. I think that's what it would have been, eighteen. It's harder at eighteen years or twenty years than it is ten, you know, so I, I understand when people stay there longer. You, you see so much happening and you are engaged in and then you wanna, you wanna keep serving. But I do think there is something both for the individual and for the office. Both for me as the individual I think I've grown, having stepped away I miss it sometime but not much. And I, and I--it was a wonderful experience. I made a--and I made a significant contribution, you know. History would bear that out, but, and, also it was--it helped me. I grew in many ways. But, taking on a different challenge, I also found that I've had opportunities to new growth in a much broader way, honestly, than I could have done in [U.S.] Congress. Or, or put it another way because I had the experience of being a congressperson, I now had other opportunities to grow in a different way and, and to make a contribution. And, also for my district [1st Congressional District] I think people say they you know miss me and I believe they are sincere but they also have been benefitted by having people to follow me, that we do have other good people. And part of democracy is not that we just have one person who can serve but we have several people who are good. That doesn't diminish my value because you now have value, you know, and, and what we need to do is create a variety of places to serve, a variety of platforms to make a contribution, not just the elected positions, if that makes any sense, you know. At least it makes sense to me, may not make sense to anybody else.$$Okay, it makes sense to me.$$And especially someone who's had many lives, right? Like you have, I got you.$$All right, so, now, so, what did you do after not--well who took your place first of all? Who took your place in--$$Frank Ballance, oh yes (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) did, did you endorse them?$$Oh yes.$$Okay.$$I sure did.$$All right.$$I sure did.

The Honorable Cardiss Collins

Former U.S. Congresswoman of Illinois's 7th district Cardiss Collins was born on September 24, 1931, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Finley and Rosia Mae Cardiss Robertson. When she was ten years old, she moved with her family to Detroit, Michigan, where she attended the Detroit High School of Commerce. After high school, Collins moved to Chicago, Illinois to find a job. She worked as a stenographer with the Illinois Department of Labor while simultaneously attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she earned her B.S. degree in accounting. She was promoted to secretary, then accountant at the Illinois Department of Revenue before becoming the revenue auditor. In 1958, Collins married George W. Collins, and in 1959, their son, Kevin, was born. Collins served as committeewoman of the Twenty-fourth Ward Regular Democratic Organization, where she gained her first political experience. She also participated in her husband’s campaigns for alderman, committeeman and U.S. Representative.

Tragically, on December 8, 1972, George W. Collins died in a plane crash. Six months later, Collins was elected to Congress in the June 5, 1973 special election to replace her husband. In 1978, she became the first African American and first woman to chair the Manpower and Housing subcommittee of the House Government Operations Committee and to be named Democratic whip-at-large in the House. One year later, she was elected president of the Congressional Black Caucus. From 1983 to 1991, she served as chair of the Government Activities and Transportation (GAT) Subcommittee, where she helped pass laws that controlled the transport of toxic materials and helped provide more secure air travel. She also introduced the Non- Discrimination in Advertising Act, which denied federal tax write-offs to major advertising firms that ignored black-owned communications media, both print and broadcast. In 1990, she wrote a law that expanded Medicare coverage for screening mammography for millions of elderly and disabled women, and in 1991, she was named chairwoman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Competitiveness. In Congress, she focused on establishing universal health insurance, providing for gender equity in college sports, and reforming federal child care facilities. In 1993, she authored the Child Safety Protection Act, which requires warning labels on dangerous toys and federal safety standards for bicycle helmets. In 1996, Collins chose to retire and did not run for re-election.

The recipient of honorary degrees from Barber-Scotia College, Spelman College, and Winston-Salem State University, Collins was elected to the Black Women’s Hall of Fame in 1982. In 1990, the Congressional Black Caucus presented Collins with the William L. Dawson Award for Legislative Development, and in 1991, she was honored with an American Black Achievement Award for government service. The American Advertising Foundation established the Cardiss Collins Scholarship for Diversity in Advertising at the University of Illinois in 1996, which provides a full-tuition scholarship to a freshman University of Illinois student in advertising.

Collins passed away on February 3, 2013 at the age of 81.

Accession Number

A2010.059

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/28/2010

Last Name

Collins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Occupation
Schools

Northwestern University

Banneker Elementary School

High School of Commerce and Business Administration

Sidney D. Miller Middle School

Bishop Elementary School

First Name

Cardiss

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

COL19

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/24/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens (Turnip)

Death Date

2/3/2013

Short Description

U.S. congresswoman The Honorable Cardiss Collins (1931 - 2013 ) served for eleven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she helped pass laws that fought discrimination, enforced gender equity, and reformed child care.

Employment

United States House of Representatives

University of Illinois, Chicago

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Cardiss Collins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers her great-grandfather, Erasmus White

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her likeness to her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls segregation in Cairo, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her home in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her after school routine

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers her early church experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her reasons for leaving St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers attending Banneker Elementary School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls moving to Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes Hastings Street in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls transferring to the High School of Commerce in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her early love of reading

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers Detroit, Michigan's music scene

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her experiences at High School of Commerce

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her mother's love of baseball

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers attending night school at Northwestern University

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her husband, George Collins

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her husband's entry into politics

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers prominent African American politicians in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her husband's election to the U.S. Congress

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes Chicago's South Side and West Side

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her husband's career on the Chicago City Council

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her husband's experiences in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s stay in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers the riots following Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about the problems on Chicago's West Side

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls being asked to run for U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her decision to run for U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her congressional campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her experiences serving in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls the priorities of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers notable peers in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her agenda on the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her biggest accomplishments and challenges in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her interactions with Ralph Metcalfe

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers Gus Savage

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about Chicago Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her retirement from the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about President Richard Milhous Nixon's administration

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers her black female contemporaries in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls Clarence Thomas' appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton's administration

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about President Barack Obama

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her role as chair emeritus of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her trajectory to the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins shares her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her biggest accomplishments and challenges in the U.S. Congress
The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers her black female contemporaries in the U.S. Congress
Transcript
So do you think you, you, do you think you accomplished, you know--I know you couldn't accomplish everything you wanted to do, but what were some of your major accomplishments in [U.S.] Congress?$$I think the thing that I am most proud of, and it doesn't sound like a great deal, but I am most proud of the fact that women have been given the opportunity to be in sports and recognized for their ability. For example, we now have the Women's National Basketball Association. I'm proud of that fact because when I looked at it, Title VII--Title IX didn't mean a thing to anybody. It had been out there for a long time, but nobody was doing anything about it. I'm very proud that I had hearings on that. I'm also proud of the fact that I authored legislation that enabled people on Medicare to get mammogram tests for cancer, breast cancer. People might think I'm silly, but every time you ride your bicycle and put on a helmet, that's my legislation. Every time you take your child or you know of a child being taken to daycare on federal property, that's my legislation. So I'm proud of those. Not a lot, but some.$$Okay, what were your toughest challenges in Congress?$$(Laughter) Getting legislation passed because you have so many, you have so much to go through to get legislation passed. And especially at a time--as long as we had both the House [U.S. House of Representatives] and the Senate [U.S. Senate], there wasn't that much of a problem. But once we lost either the House or the Senate, it was always difficult. Those were the toughest times, and people had to believe you. Legislation that dealt with women in sports was tough because the speaker, who was from Chicago [Illinois] at that time, was a wrestler, and he didn't see the need for women to have fair opportunities in sports. He wanted everybody to wrestle. Well, all of us don't wrestle.$$Now, who is this?$$I'm trying to think of his name now (laughter). He just left. Oh, what's--Kevin [Collins' son, Kevin Collins]? Oh what's his name?$$KEVIN COLLINS: Yeah.$$Who was the speaker of the house from Illinois, Kevin?$$Bennett, I wanna say, is it Benny. What was his name? Oh, shoot, I'm looking at him.$$KEVIN COLLINS: What was the question?$$Who was the speaker of the house from Illinois recently, in the Republican administration, Kevin (simultaneous)?$$KEVIN COLLINS: (Simultaneous) Oh, Hastert.$$Hastert, Denny Hastert.$$Yeah.$$Yeah. That was tough legislation to get through, you know, things like that. It all depends on what's happening in the House or in the Senate.$(Simultaneous) Did you have a very strong relationship with Shirley Chisholm?$$Yeah, not strong, but a good relationship with her. We, she sat on one end of, on the left side of the, of the [U.S.] Congress, and I sat about four or five seats from her most of the time.$$Okay, now, she ran--she had a high profile in the '70s [1970s], and she ran for president in, I guess in '76 [sic. 1972], right?$$I believe, yeah. But she, Shirley had her own agenda. Everybody had, you know, members of Congress have their own agendas. They have their own districts. So their focus is usually on wherever their district is and whatever their needs are or what the people are and in what's on in that district. You need to know what's going on in your district every day. So you call every day. You have people calling you every day from your office, letting you know. You don't really have time to be, to, to do a whole lot of getting together, per se, you know.$$Or networking with the other--$$Yeah, you just don't have that kind of time because you're focused on what's going on or you're not gonna be there.$$Okay, I thought I'd ask you about her and I know there were other black women in Congress at the time, [HistoryMaker] Yvonne Brathwaite Burke.$$I liked Yvonne a lot. She would come and sit next to me sometimes, you know, and say, "Girl, what's happening," that sort of thing. The day that Nixon [President Richard Milhous Nixon], it was found that Nixon had, indeed, been less than honest about what had happened, she came over. She was happy. She said, "Girl, he lied," (laughter), you know, that sort of thing. And that was the most of that, and then most of the time, she was going on, sitting around talking to somebody because what happens, during the time when you're in the hall, you're talking to other members about what's going on. There's this bill that you have or somebody else has. And how does it affect you and your district. You see members moving around a lot. You don't see 'em sitting in their chairs. They're moving from one person to the other. And they only have fifteen minutes to vote to start with. Many times you'll see member standing by the door to catch somebody who's coming in because you wanna know how this is going to affect you or your district or how is it gonna benefit somebody else's district that you're concerned about, a district that you might be getting in redistricting. And so you don't have enough time to be collegiate. You see what I'm saying. Yeah, you just don't have it.$$Okay, I thought I'd ask about her and, well, [HistoryMaker] Maxine Waters and--$$Yeah, I like Max. Max, Max is fun to be around because, I like to see her work. She has a very low tolerance level (laughter). When she wants something and she's not given it, she just explodes.$$Okay.$$She's fun.$$Okay--$$And smart. Max is very smart. Most people don't realize how smart she really is, but she is. She's very smart.$$Now, who was the one from Pennsylvania, C. Delores Tucker?$$C. Delores Tucker. I worked with her a lot.$$These are just some of the ones that came to mind, just immediately as I'm sitting here, but these are class (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) She was not a member, but she was always around members because she--she wasn't a lobbyist at first, but she became a pretty good lobbyist (laughter) for what she wanted.

The Honorable Diane E. Watson

Former U.S. Congresswoman and foreign ambassador Diane E. Watson was born on November 12, 1933 in Los Angeles, California in a devout religious household. Upon graduating from Dorsey High School (Los Angele) in the late 1940s, Watson attended Los Angeles City College. She went on to receive her B.A. degree in education from University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1956, and her M.A. degree in school psychology from California State University in 1958. In 1987, Watson earned her Ph.D. in education administration from Claremont Graduate School; and later, completed courses at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Watson began her professional career in 1969 as a psychologist with California State University. Then, from 1971 to 1975, she worked as a health occupation specialist with the Bureau of Industrial Education of the California Department of Education. In 1975, Watson became the first African American woman to serve on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. There, she worked to expand school integration and make academic standards more rigorous. In 1978, Watson became the first African American woman to be elected to the California State Senate where she played a major role in formulating the state of California’s TANF program. Watson also sought funding to help teen mothers complete their education and gain employment through the Cal-Learn program. In 1993, Watson authored the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program Act and the Residential Care Facilities Act. She introduced legislation to improve food health safety requirements for restaurants in 1997, and also played a key role in the enactment of legislation to promote breast cancer research. She served as chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee from 1981 to 1998, and also served on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

At the end of her senate term in 1999, President Bill Clinton appointed Watson to serve as the United States Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia. Watson continued in the role of U.S. Ambassador until 2001 when she was elected to fill the vacancy of the late U.S. Representative Julian Dixon under a special election. She was re-elected in 2002 and 2004 to serve two consecutive terms, and retired in 2011.

Former U.S. Congresswoman Diane Watson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 5, 2005, July 25, 2008 and November 26, 2012.

Accession Number

A2005.233

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/5/2005 |and| 7/25/2008 |and| 11/26/2012

Last Name

Watson

Maker Category
Middle Name

E.

Schools

Susan Miller Dorsey High School

University of California, Los Angeles

Harvard University

California State University, Los Angeles

Claremont Graduate University

Birdielee V. Bright Elementary School

James A. Foshay Learning Center

First Name

Diane

Birth City, State, Country

Los Angeles

HM ID

WAT06

Favorite Season

Holiday Season

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bermuda

Favorite Quote

It Is Going To Be All Right.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

11/12/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mexican Food

Short Description

Foreign ambassador and U.S. congresswoman The Honorable Diane E. Watson (1933 - ) was the U.S. Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia and was a representative to the U.S. Congress from California's 33rd congressional district from 2001 to 2011.

Employment

California State University

California Department of Education

Los Angeles Unified School District

California State Senate

Favorite Color

Red

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Diane E. Watson's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson relates how her maternal ancestors settled in Chicago, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson relates how her maternal ancestors settled in Chicago, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls the migrations of her maternal relatives, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls the migrations of her maternal relatives, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson lists her mother's siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson reflects upon her maternal family's history in California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her mother's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her father's creole heritage

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls visiting the convent as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson talks about her siblings

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her father's career in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls working with David Roberti in the California State Senate

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her father's career at the Los Angeles Police Department

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her friendship with Edward M. Davis

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson remembers her parents' divorce

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her childhood neighborhood in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls the changes that followed her parents' divorce

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her elementary school experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her family's Catholicism

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her elementary school teacher, Birdielee V. Bright

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls notable people from her elementary school years

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her experiences in junior high school

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes life during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her mother and father's parenting styles

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson remembers her ambition to attend college

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Diane E. Watson's interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her family's relationship with the University of California

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her experiences at the University of California, Los Angeles

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls athletes and student leaders on the UCLA campus

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her early career as an educator

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls teaching in Okinawa, Japan

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her experiences teaching in Okinawa, Japan and France

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls returning to the U.S. after teaching abroad

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls teaching at Selma Avenue Elementary School, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls teaching at Selma Avenue Elementary School, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls a scandal involving the principal of Selma Avenue Elementary School

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her students' parents at Selma Avenue Elementary School

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls studying counseling at California State University in Los Angeles

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls instituting a trial system in her classroom

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes working as a counselor in the Los Angeles Unified School District

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson talks about Leonard Deadwyler and the Watts riots

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls race riots in Los Angeles

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her decision to run for public office

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her friend and campaign manager, Tom Stewart

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson remembers Tom Stewart's murder

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her career in the California State Senate

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education campaigns

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls being attacked by the Ku Klux Klan

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson remembers Congresswoman Bobbi Fiedler

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls implementing busing in Los Angeles public schools

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls befriending Edward M. Davis

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls the early days of forced busing in Los Angeles public schools

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes the changing demographics of the Los Angeles Unified School District

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Diane E. Watson's interview, session 3

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes the Federated States of Micronesia

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her life as ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her duties as ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson talks about ancient cultures, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson talks about ancient cultures, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her decision to run for the U.S. Congress

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her African American predecessors in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her election to the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her decision to retire from the U.S. Congress

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes protests in the U.S. Congress against President George W. Bush

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls African American women who served with her in government

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls the controversy over the 2000 U.S. presidential election

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls how Congress changed during the George W. Bush administration

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson explains her complaints with President George Walker Bush

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls President George W. Bush's foreign policy in the Middle East

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson lists the congressional committees upon which she served

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls being in the U.S. Capitol on September 11, 2001

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson reflects upon the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her duties on the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes domestic healthcare debates of the 2000s

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes global health issues from her congressional tenure

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her policy work to address the AIDS crisis

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her work on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her U.S. Congressional subcommittee assignments

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her work for the Congressional Entertainment Industries Caucus

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson lists her U.S. Congressional caucus memberships

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson talks about African American Republican politicians

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls the 2008 presidential primaries

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson reflects upon Hillary Clinton's political career

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes Congressional opposition to President Barack Obama

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson talks about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls the legislative achievements of President Barack Obama

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes Congressional partisanship in the 2000s

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her legislative work for health and education issues

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes her Gang Abatement Plan

Tape: 14 Story: 3 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson reflects upon the early days of California's Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 14 Story: 4 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls African American political victories in California

Tape: 14 Story: 5 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson reflects upon her life

Tape: 14 Story: 6 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls campaigning to change racial identifiers on the U.S. Census, pt. 1

Tape: 14 Story: 7 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls campaigning to change racial identifiers on the U.S. Census, pt. 2

Tape: 14 Story: 8 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her experiences teaching in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, pt. 1

Tape: 14 Story: 9 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson recalls her experiences teaching in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, pt. 2

Tape: 15 Story: 1 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson reflects upon her family life

Tape: 15 Story: 2 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson reflects upon her role models as a child

Tape: 15 Story: 3 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 15 Story: 4 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 15 Story: 5 - The Honorable Diane E. Watson narrates her photographs, pt. 2

The Honorable Maxine Waters

Congresswoman Maxine Waters is considered by many to be one of the most powerful women in politics today. Her work has earned her the reputation of being an outspoken advocate for women, children, people of color and poor people.

Born on August 15, 1938, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Remus Moore and Velma Lee Carr Moore, Waters was one of thirteen children. In 1961, she moved to Los Angeles, California, where she found work in a garment factory and as a telephone operator. In 1966, Waters was hired as an assistant teacher with the newly formed Head Start program in Watts. Waters decided to attend college while working at Head Start, and in 1970 earned a sociology degree from California State University in Los Angeles.

Waters became the voice for frustrated Head Start parents. Her efforts encouraged these parents to make federal budget requests, to contact legislators and agencies for increased funding, and to lobby for Head Start components tailored to their community. Waters' concern for parents' rights led her to become involved in local politics and in 1973, she went to work as chief deputy to city council member David Cunningham.

In 1976, Waters quit her job and successfully ran for election to the California State Assembly. During her tenure in the State Assembly, Waters authored numerous pieces of legislation including: a law requiring state agencies to award a percentage of public contracts to minorities and women; tenants' rights laws; a law restricting police efforts to use strip searches; and the largest divestment of state pension funds from businesses involved in South Africa.

After serving for fourteen years in the California State Assembly, in 1990, Waters successfully ran for a seat in the 29th Congressional District of California. In 1992, Waters ran in the much larger 35th District, representing South Central Los Angeles, Inglewood, Gardena, and Hawthorne, and won eighty-three percent of the votes. Waters continues to represent the 35th District and has been active on a number of issues including affirmative action, community development, women's health and welfare reform. Waters focused attention on the plight of inner city communities as well as the allegations of CIA involvement in Contra cocaine drug trafficking in South Central Los Angeles in the mid-1980s.

Waters lives in Los Angeles and is married to Sidney Williams, former U.S. Ambassador to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. They have two adult children, Karen and Edward.

Accession Number

A2001.076

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

7/29/2001

Last Name

Waters

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Maxine

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

WAT01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/15/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fruit

Short Description

U.S. congresswoman The Honorable Maxine Waters (1938 - ) was an outspoken advocate for the rights of women, children, poor people and people of color.

Employment

Head Start Program

Los Angeles City Council

California State Assembly

United States House of Representatives

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Maxine Waters interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Maxine Waters's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Maxine Waters describes her mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Maxine Waters describes her father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Maxine Waters names her twelve siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Maxine Waters remembers her childhood home, Kinloch, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Maxine Waters remembers the St. Louis, Missouri of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Maxine Waters recalls the sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Maxine Waters discusses her religious affiliations

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Maxine Waters describes her childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Maxine Waters discusses her childhood responsibilities

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Maxine Waters describes her supportive teachers from her early schooling

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Maxine Waters explains her early interest in the U.S. Constitution

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Maxine Waters describes the black community of St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Maxine Waters describes the cultural institutions of St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Maxine Waters remembers her high school years

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Maxine Waters discusses her beginnings in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Maxine Waters describes starting a family in Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Maxine Waters explains what she learned from her first jobs

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Maxine Waters explains her decision to return to school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Maxine Waters discusses her employment with the Head Start program

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Maxine Waters describes her interest in political campaigning

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Maxine Waters lists the state and national campaigns in which she's participated

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Maxine Waters describes her tasks in organizing campaigns

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Maxine Waters details lessons learned about running campaigns

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Maxine Waters explains her motivation for seeking a public office

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Maxine Waters remembers her first election night

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Maxine Waters explains how she won her congressional seat

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Maxine Waters describes the women's rights movement of the 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Maxine Waters conveys the difficulties black women faced in securing their reproductive health

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Maxine Waters describes how Willie Brown came to the defense of her feminism

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Maxine Waters talks about her experience in the California legislature

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Maxine Waters discusses her transition from state to federal legislature

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Maxine Waters discusses her professional relationship with Gus Hawkins

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Maxine Waters recalls her involvement in Jesse Jackson's presidential campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Maxine Waters discusses her foreign policy interests

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Maxine Waters talks about lessons she learned in Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Maxine Waters recalls issues that fueled the Los Angeles riots of 1992

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Maxine Waters discusses the CIA's trafficking of cocaine in black communities

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Maxine Waters describes the scourge of drug abuse in public housing projects

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Maxine Waters discusses her dissatisfaction with Rebuild L.A.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Maxine Waters talks about the impeachment of President Bill Clinton

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Maxine Waters discusses the achievements of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Maxine Waters discusses the difficulties of leading the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Maxine Waters describes the leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Maxine Waters reflects upon her career

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Maxine Waters discusses her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Maxine Waters U.S. Congressional photo, ca. 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Publicity photo of Maxine Waters

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Maxine Waters with the U.S. Capitol in the background, Washington, D.C., ca. 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Maxine Waters with children from the Pueblo del Rio Housing Development, Los Angeles, California, ca. 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Maxine Waters with investors and developers, Los Angeles, California, ca. 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Maxine Waters with President Bill Clinton, Washington, D.C., August, 1994

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Maxine Waters with her husband, Ambassador Sidney Williams

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

6$9

DATitle
Maxine Waters explains how she won her congressional seat
Maxine Waters describes how Willie Brown came to the defense of her feminism
Transcript
So was it a close election?$$No, it was not that close. It was very competitive, but if you can remember, by the time I ran, I had learned to manage campaigns, so I knew a lot about campaigns and I had very supportive people around me working with me, and I did some extraordinary things in that campaign. Like I flew back to Washington [D.C.] overnight just to get a picture with [U.S. Senator] Hubert Humphrey because he was big. It was Humphrey-Hawkins Act [Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978] that had become very well known, and Hubert Humphrey was always known in the African American community as a good, solid, progressive Democrat that cared about working people and all. His name was big. So I flew back to Washington, got a photographer, caught him coming off the Senate floor, got a big picture with him, kind of talked to him for awhile, got back on with the negatives from the thing, produced a brochure, and boy that was a big hit. We mailed that thing out to every household with me and Hubert Humphrey, and people thought that was big time. You know, they loved it. They loved Hubert Humphrey and the fact that we were seen together, with me talking about the Hubert Humphrey Act, reduction of unemployment. It was big. Then we used some of the other stuff that we had learned in campaigns. We took the language of our community and translated it--translated the language of the women's movement into the language of our community. Even though I was in the women's movement, it was largely a white women's movement. But black women were talking about the same issues in different ways, and so we learned to take that language and put it into the language of the black community where women were seeking opportunity and fairness and all of that, but they talked about it in different ways and they would not say like in seeking to run for elective office, white women may say, "It's time for us to share in the power of, you know, the establishment, and you know, we have to serve on the corporate boards and all." Black women simply would say, you know, when they talked to me, "You know, we've given men the opportunity to run for all of these office, why not, you know, time for a black woman." And so we'd take that language and just write it back into our literature as we talked with the women. And then we tried some new things that we'd learned about. People in my community and that--they had gardens. A lot of gardens they had. They grew greens and tomatoes and all of that, so we decided to mail garden seeds, and we utilized our volunteers to fill up these envelopes and we'd put the--on the back of them, "A penny saved is a penny earned. A penny saved," or whatever that was, with collard green seeds and tomatoes and all that, and women were just in my office filling up these envelopes and we mailed them out and they was a big hit, and for years after, you know, walking through the community, people would remind me they had a collard green stalk in their yard from the seeds from my campaign, and people would cook for me and invite me to come over and eat, and all of that. So it was a wonderful experience. It really was.$$That's wonderful.$$The best campaign I've ever had was that campaign.$Tell me how you came to work with Willie Brown during that time, you know. How'd that happen and what--$$Well, I'd known Willie before I was elected to the California State Assembly because before I went and I'd managed campaigns, I'd become a part of Democratic Party politics. I had run for the county committee and I was going to conferences and conventions, and so I met Willie Brown and some of the very, very exciting black politicians from the Oakland [California] area and admired him greatly. By the time I got elected and went into the California State Assembly, Willie Brown was there and he had gone through a struggle for the speakership and he was just a prominent leader, and when I got there, I was not sure-footed, but again, I'd come out of the women's movement and I did not think it was right for them to call me 'assemblyman.' It just didn't make good sense to me, you know. So I thought, "Well, you know, I'll just change the language in the way they talk about women here." I didn't even know that I was going to create such a stir, you know. So my first piece of legislation was to redefine the title from 'assemblyman' to 'assemblyperson.' What did I do that for? The men went crazy. They said I was trying to neuter them. They were really just taken back by this new member who was going to come and change the language, and you know, this feminist background, and all of that, so they took me on. This fight went on the floor for days where I was clearly losing because they were more experienced and painting me as a wild eyed feminist coming to, you know, change this institution that's been around, you know, for all these years. Willie came to my defense, you know, because he's just a smart politician and he saw I was tangled up in the parliamentary maneuvers on the floor, and he came to my defense, and on and on and on. And of course, we looked to Willie to learn how to do the job. I mean just, you know, you just paid attention whether he would pay attention or not, and you know, a short time afterwards when we got into a speakership fight, and of course I aligned myself with Willie, and by that time, I'm growing and developing and able to put things together and became one of his great operatives in developing the strategy for his speakership. We became very good friends, and then, of course, after we won the speakership, I became one of the leaders working with him to carry out, you know, whatever we wanted to carry out in the Assembly.

The Honorable Carrie P. Meek

Former Congresswoman Carrie Meek was born on April 29, 1926, in Tallahassee, Florida. The granddaughter of a slave and the daughter of former sharecroppers, she spent her childhood in segregated Tallahassee. Meek graduated from Florida A&M University in 1946. At this time, African Americans could not attend graduate school in Florida, so Meek traveled north to continue her studies and graduated from the University of Michigan with an M.S. in 1948.

After graduation, Meek was hired as a teacher at Bethune Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida, and then at her alma matter, Florida A&M University. Meek moved to Miami in 1961 to serve as special assistant to the vice president of Miami-Dade Community College. The school was desegregated in 1963 and Meek played a central role in pushing for integration. Throughout her years as an educator, Meek was also active in community projects in the Miami area.

Elected as a Florida state representative in 1979, Meek was the first African American female elected to the Florida State Senate in 1982. As a state senator, Meek served on the Education Appropriations Subcommittee. Her efforts in the legislature also led to the construction of thousands of affordable rental housing units.

In 1992, Meek was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida’s 17th Congressional District. This made her the first black lawmaker elected to represent Florida in Congress since Reconstruction. Upon taking office, Meek faced the task of helping her district recover from Hurricane Andrew’s devastation. Her efforts helped to provide $100 million in federal assistance to rebuild Dade County. Successfully focusing her attention on issues such as economic development, health care, education and housing, Meek led legislation through Congress to improve Dade County’s transit system, airport and seaport; construct a new family and childcare center in North Dade County; and fund advanced aviation training programs at Miami-Dade Community College. Meek has also emerged as a strong advocate for senior citizens and Haitian immigrants.

Meek has received numerous awards and honors. She is the recipient of honorary doctor of laws degrees from the University of Miami, Florida A&M University, Barry University, Florida Atlantic University and Rollins University. Meek was a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, in addition to serving on the Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government and the Subcommittee on VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies.

Accession Number

A2001.049

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

6/19/2001

Last Name

Meek

Maker Category
Middle Name

P.

Occupation
Organizations
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Archival Photo 2
Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Carrie

Birth City, State, Country

Tallahassee

HM ID

MEE01

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Adults and Seniors

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: $2000-5000

Preferred Audience: Adults and Seniors

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Key West, Florida

Favorite Quote

Service is the price you pay for occupying your space on earth.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

4/29/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Orlando

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens

Short Description

U.S. congresswoman The Honorable Carrie P. Meek (1926 - ) was the first African American elected to represent Florida in the U.S. Congress since Reconstruction. Successfully focusing her attention on issues such as economic development, health care, education and housing, Meek led legislation through Congress to improve Dade County’s transit system, airport and seaport; construct a new family and childcare center in North Dade County; and fund advanced aviation training programs at Miami-Dade Community College.

Employment

Bethune Cookman College

Florida House of Representatives

Florida State Senate

United States House of Representatives

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carrie Meek interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carrie Meek's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carrie Meek discusses her father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carrie Meek remembers her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carrie Meek names her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carrie Meek contemplates her parents' migration

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carrie Meek recalls her earliest memories

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carrie Meek details school life

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carrie Meek considers her parents' influence on her sense of justice and equality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carrie Meek remembers her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carrie Meek recalls her childhood career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carrie Meek remembers influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carrie Meek details the pervasive segregation in Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carrie Meek explains how racism led her to attend the University of Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carrie Meek discusses her experience at Florida A&M University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carrie Meek describes several influential historically black colleges and universities

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carrie Meek discusses her post-college pursuits

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carrie Meek recalls her experience at the University of Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carrie Meek describes intra-racial relationships in the University of Michigan's black student population

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carrie Meek discusses her development as a teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carrie Meek remembers her mentor, Mary McLeod Bethune

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carrie Meek recalls Mary McLeod Bethune's influence at Bethune-Cookman college

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carrie Meek discusses her career move from Bethune-Cookman College to Florida A&M University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carrie Meek describes her experience teaching at a community college

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Carrie Meek discusses career, community involvement, and motherhood

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Carrie Meek discusses memorable former students

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Carrie Meek discusses lessons learned from sports participation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carrie Meek details the road to winning a seat in the Florida state legislature

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carrie Meek remembers her political mentor

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carrie Meek describes the sacrifices she made for her career

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carrie Meek discusses her career in the Florida state legislature

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carrie Meek considers her greatest accomplishments in the Florida state legislature

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carrie Meek discusses the challenges black politicians face

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carrie Meek discusses her career in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Carrie Meek describes her efforts as a U.S. congresswoman

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carrie Meek discusses the controversial 2000 U.S. presidential election

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carrie Meek describes her hopes for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carrie Meek considers family members' responses to her political success

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carrie Meek considers her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Photo - Carrie Meek with Reverend Jesse Jackson during his first presidential campaign, ca. 1984

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Photo - Supporters watch Carrie Meek being sworn into the U.S. Congress, Washington, D.C., ca. 1993

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Carrie Meek and other members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Carrie Meek with Congressman Alcee Hastings and President Bill Clinton

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Carrie Meek with students in Haiti, 1995

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Carrie Meek with South African president, Nelson Mandela

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Carrie Meek at the Florida state legislature, Tallahassee, Florida, 1979

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Carrie Meek with actor/activist, Ossie Davis, 2000, Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Carrie Meek is honored as an outstanding alumna by a girls basketball team, Florida, 1993

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Carrie Meek with family members and the speaker of the house at her swearing in, Washington, D.C., 1993

Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Carrie Meek being sworn into the Florida state senate, Tallahassee, Florida, 1982

Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Carrie Meek congratulates Haitian president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, 1994

Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Carrie Meek campaigning to become a member of the Florida state House of Representatives, Florida, 1979

Tape: 5 Story: 18 - Photo - Carrie Meek with U.S. Senator Robert Graham, Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 19 - Photo - Carrie Meek with Vice President Al Gore and presidential staff members at a White House picnic, Washington, D.C., 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 20 - Photo - Carrie Meek with students at the Carrie Meek Head Start Center, Miami, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 21 - Photo - Carrie Meek and a former senator marching in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 22 - Photo - Carrie Meek with Dade County politicians, Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 23 - Photo - Carrie Meek with son, Senator Kendrick Meek

DASession

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DATape

3$5

DAStory

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DATitle
Carrie Meek remembers her mentor, Mary McLeod Bethune
Carrie Meek discusses the controversial 2000 U.S. presidential election
Transcript
You were quoted by saying that a lot of Mary McLeod Bethune--a great deal of her rubbed off on you.$$It did.$$But I want you to talk more in detail about your relationship with--.$$(simultaneously) All right.$$Ms. Bethune.$$All right. Mrs. Bethune--the year I came to Bethune-Cookman College [Daytona Beach, Florida] was the year Mrs. Bethune was retiring. And she was still there. And she was ready then to be named the emeritus. So she was the one who gave us our orientation. And she taught us a lot. She was a very proud woman. And she taught us that the day was already here when we would be known for the color of--not for the color of our skin. That's the first time I'd heard that. And for the--but for the content of our character. Since then, that has become a shibboleth. And Mrs. Bethune had a shibboleth that she taught everybody and that was, "Leaning on the everlasting arms." And she was good at it. She related to how Christianity is so important and how you must carry it with you all of your life. And she was a strict disciplinarian. She used to get on me about short dresses, because they were very short dresses. And when I came to Bethune-Cookman, most of the clothes I had, my mother had made them. And they were short. And I was very little, and had very long legs. So she says, "Where're you going in those short dresses." I remember that. And she used to tell us that we would have to do what it took to be great. She talked about how it took to be great. And how she had been an advisor to presidents. And she always had someone great--with great status at Bethune-Cookman. If it weren't John D. Rockefeller, it was Mr. Procter from Procter & Gamble [Corporation]. If it weren't one of those people, it was [Mohandas K.] Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India [Jawaharlal Nehru] or his wife, [sic, daughter] Mrs. [Indira] Gandhi, or some great world figure Mrs. Bethune would have there. And she taught us to try to--and sometimes she used to turn around and say, "My heart goes out to you boys and girls here at Bethune-Cookman." She was very much interested in women. I think Mrs. Bethune was perhaps one of the earliest feminists now that I know what feminists are all about and how she keeps trying to inspire the woman to go further like she did and how she started with five little girls and a dollar and a half and how she parlayed that into a big fine institution like Bethune-Cookman. And how she used to over on Miami Beach and carry the choir over there just to raise money for that college. Ms. Bethune did it all. And she sort of taught us that this is the way you have to do if things don't exist. You have to make them exist. And she used to have all kinds of saying around the school like, "All signs points to God." And, "Enter to learn, depart to serve." And she was one that had all kinds of shibboleths and inspiring mottos around. And Bethune-Cookman was a very poor college during those days. And it was a very small college, but it was church-related. So we really, really--the worship part of education and how it--how leading a good life is so important. And how sticking with the family values is so important. She was teaching that long time ago. Now this was in the '40s [1940s]. And she was teaching this and she was inspiring us to do this. But she was a very strict disciplinarian. If you didn't do the right thing, Mrs. Bethune would fire you. And she let it be known that year that she had left there--that that's what she was there for, to sort of separate the ones who needed to be there and those who didn't need to be there. And she would--her example, you know, just to live by Mary McLeod Bethune's example was something--to have been counselor to presidents. President [Franklin D.] Roosevelt and Mrs. [Eleanor] Roosevelt always used Mrs. Bethune--not used her, but they sought her counsel. And she started the National Council of Negro Women, she started that. Years ago she saw the need to organize black women and she started it.$Nothing in my mind or in my research or in my experience as devastating as the last [2000 Presidential] election. First, it was devastating, number one, because many of my constituents' votes were not counted. Now, they talk a lot about irregularities, but the data is there to show that there was a disparity in the black vote in terms of their being able to count it. And what is an enigma, is why is it that so many precincts in black communities throughout the state of Florida were overlooked, discarded, just weren't counted. Either it was because they had been purged from the roles because of some kind of irregularity again in Tallahassee [Florida] in the elections department. The elections department said it wasn't their fault. They said it was the supervisor of the elections. No one takes credit for these problems. The governor of the state of Florida [Jeb Bush] doesn't--he said he's not responsible. The Secretary of State [Katherine Harris] say she's not responsible. She passes it on down to one of her staff members. He passes it on down to the supervisor of elections to say each one of them is an independent person in their own right. So they can do whatever they want to do. Number two, why is it that the absentee ballots were not handled administratively in such a way it would be fair? That they were allowed in some counties, particularly [U.S. Representative] Corrine Brown's district, they allowed people to break into the sanctity where the absentee ballots are kept. Well you aren't supposed to go in there. But they allowed elected officials and representatives of the Republican Party to go in and change or fill in information which was not on those ballots. So, the 'Miami Herald' [newspaper] came at the end and they made this big, big study and in the end it showed--at least it appeared to them that things that we knew all the time. That the poor voting machines, the inadequate ones were in black communities. They were in black precincts. Number one, what does that say? It goes back to same separate and unequal stuff that I faced in education all my life. Put the poor books in the black schools. Put the worn out machines in the black communities so that all the irregularities can happen there. Where you have whole communities are not counted. Also, make it so that Haitians who are limited in their language--there's no one on the polls to help them. So when they get there, they're turned around 'cause no one understands them. So you gonna to tell me that was not some kind of debacle? All the research has shown that it wasn't anything that was by design. But I'm not dealing with design. What happens is, there were people who were disenfranchised. They were African American people. They were people--poor people who should've had a better chance. They were disabled people who couldn't even get into the polls because of all of the trash and all of the blockages around. There were people on the polls who didn't know what they were doing in black precincts. And in black precincts when someone made a mistake at the polls and you tried to call elections, you couldn't call them. In white communities, they had computers, and these computers went right into the elections department. So no one could ever tell me that things were done in Florida that were abuses. Abuses were done in Florida. And I think they've been goin' on a pretty long time. But because it was a presidential election, and there was so much at stake, that the Ssecretary of State was able to be a member of President [George W.] Bush's election, team. She was a member of his, election committee and so was his brother [Jeb Bush], the governor. And I think they looked the other way when they shouldn't and I will say that until the end. I know that Katherine Harris, and I'm not supposed to call names, but I know that she was not as dutiful as she should've been as Secretary of State. She was not as dutiful as she was about when she should stop the vote. Or when it should not be counted. And also the [U.S.] Supreme Court helped to elect the last president [George W. Bush]. I'll say that as long as I live. Never in the history of this country has a Supreme Court ruled in favor of, of, of a candidate and they did it. And they used--what is it? Part of the law that gave them the chance to use it and they've never used it before. I'm sorry, it slips me--the part of the law that they use to be sure that they made the decision that they did. It was a law that was made way back when blacks were going through their frustration and segregation. It'll come to me but right now--it was one that they use. It's a legal term. I'm sorry. I can't remember it right now. But let me tell you what makes you know that things happen in Florida that should not have happened. It happened in other cities, other states. But Florida was much worse than anyone else. Much worse. Go over in Duval County [Florida]. You go to Daytona Beach [Florida] where students were turned around, where highway patrolmen were blocking the way into the polls. You go into a poll in Miami [Florida] where you're blocked. There's no one there who speaks Creole, so you can't vote because you don't understand. Everyone should have the right to vote. Our fathers, forefathers died for the right to vote. And it's just--I had to stand in line two hours and I'm a congressperson, to vote because I wanted to vote early. My supervisor of elections made it difficult to have someone go to the polls on Thursday and Friday before the election. He tried his very best to discourage it. Said he didn't have enough computers. Yet he had enough. He could've set it up. But he slowed it. And I call it by all deliberate speed. They slowed down the election. In Dade County [Miami-Dade County] they slowed down the count, and wouldn't count it at first. If it had not been for the Florida Supreme Court, they wouldn't have even counted it in Dade County. So it's been the worse abuse known to man, what happened in this past election.$$What do you think is gonna be done to change that? Or to make sure that things like that don't happen again?$$Well Florida has done what I call the first step. It's just in my opinion a cursory step. Because they outlawed--they're gonna give money. They passed an election law. They call it the Election Reform Bill that would give support to counties to buy voting equipment. So they no longer would have those punch card voting machines. But that's just a part of it. That's the fig leaf of phase one. But until they get to the place, they do some voter education, and they take some responsibilities in each county, to be sure that everyone who wants to vote will get a chance or the fact that if they made a false vote the first time, that they can correct it. I mean that's--you couldn't--if you marked it wrong or those chads were--or they were dimpled or they were floating or whatever, and you wanted to correct it, you could not. Because no one wanted you to get a chance to correct it. And it's just, it's just been something that's--it's something that has caused me a lot of trauma because I know how hard it was for us to get a chance to vote. And when we did, it was so flawed and so many irregularities, excusable irregularities which have now been documented by research as being not fair. But it did happen. So because it was an irregularity, we're supposed to move on and forget it. That's what we were told here in the [U.S.] Congress, to move on.$$So what do you think was for blacks in the political system? You know, because to hear this sort of, you know, what you say, you think God, we haven't come very far. If we're still losing elections because of a, you know, of voting box irreg-- I'm, you know, because you--the perception is that we're apathetic out there. You know. And black people--.$$But we're not. We had a sixteen percent increase in the voters in Florida. Sixteen percent more than the last time in Dade County and in Florida. That's a big increase. There were people who voted this time who never voted before. And that was a big frustration. They were not ready to deal with first-time voters. Particular first time voters in black precincts. They were not prepared. They didn't try to get prepared. They did--the people they hired to work on the polls couldn't help you any more than if you were a first-time person on the polls. So to me, they keep saying, "There were irregularities." Of course, you begin to see after so many irregularities--research teaches you that it's by design. Something that's repeated over and over again. So this last election just pulled the cloak off them. They've probably been doing this all the time. Cheating the black vote. Cheating black people out of the vote. But now they aren't gonna get away with that again. No matter what they have done or what they happen to do. It will not happen again. We are assured of that. We're gonna have our own poll watchers. We're gonna have our own people teaching voter education, more so. And we don't need the government to force us to do it. I mean we take pride in our own vote. And government should do it. I mean there should be some reparation for what we lost the last time. There really should. But the reparation now is our gettin' the vote out again. We're gonna come out again and we gonna do it this time. And we're not promising anybody where it'll go. But it'll go to people that push for our causes. And they don't all have to be black. As long as they have our concerns in mind, we will push them.

The Honorable Yvonne Brathwaite Burke

In the course of her long public service career, Yvonne Brathwaite Burke has made significant contributions to improve the quality of life for minorities, women and the poor. Burke’s college education began at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1949. She transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, in her junior year. In 1956, Burke received her J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School, graduating in the top third of her class. In law school, when Burke was refused admission to the women’s law society, she and two Jewish female law students started a rival organization. She also played a key role in organizing a legal defense team for those charged in the Watts Riots in 1965 and was soon appointed by the governor to the McCone Commission to investigate the causes of the riots.

Burke’s political career began in 1966 with her election as the first African American assemblywoman, representing the 63rd Assembly District of California. She served for three terms. Throughout her tenure in the California legislature, she was an ardent supporter of prison reform, childcare, equal opportunities for minorities and women, and education. Burke grew frustrated with the unresponsiveness of the state legislature and successfully campaigned for a seat in California’s 37th Congressional District in 1973. This gave Burke the distinction of being the first African American female elected to the U.S. Congress from California.

Burke served as Los Angeles County supervisor for the Second District, a position she has held since 1992. As a member of the Board of Supervisors, Burke has focused her efforts on improving the lives of children, encouraging economic development and improving transportation in Los Angeles. Burke held this position until her retirement in 2008.

Burke has amassed numerous distinctions and honors throughout her public service career. She became the first African American female to serve as chairperson of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors in 1993. She was vice chairperson of the 1972 Democratic National Convention, past chairman of the L.A. Federal Reserve Bank and vice chairman of the 1984 U.S. Olympics Organizing Committee. Time named Burke one of America’s 200 Future Leaders, and she was selected Woman of the Year by both the Los Angeles Times and UCLA.

Accession Number

A2001.005

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

7/23/2001

Last Name

Burke

Maker Category
Middle Name

Brathwaite

Occupation
Schools

University of Southern California

University of California, Los Angeles

University of California, Berkeley

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Yvonne

Birth City, State, Country

Los Angeles

HM ID

BRA02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Mexico

Favorite Quote

It is going to be alright.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

10/5/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Grapefruit

Short Description

U.S. congresswoman The Honorable Yvonne Brathwaite Burke (1932 - ) was the first African American woman elected to the United States Congress from California, representing the 63rd Assembly District of California.

Employment

California State Assembly

United States House of Representatives

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor

United States Olympics Organizing Committee

Favorite Color

Green

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Yvonne Brathwaite Burke

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke's Favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke talks about her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke tells of the colleges she attended

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke talks more about family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke describes her mother's life

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke speaks about her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke reminisces of being an only child

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke speaks of her birthname

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke explains what she was like as a young person

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Yyonne Brathwaite Burke describes growing up in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke tells about living restrictions for minorities in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Yvonee Brathwaite Burke explains segregation in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke tells of her father's job at MGM

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke tells of her family and family outtings

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke lists what traits she took from her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke talks about African American Indians

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke describes her career aspirations as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke tells about UC Berkeley

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke lists the many jobs she during school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke talks about being accepted and modeling

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke experiences racism

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke talks of how she got into USC

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke tells how she was accepted into a women's law society at USC

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Yvonee Brathwaite Burke leaves college, starts work

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke speaks of her first marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke leaves the California Department of Corporations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke explains the picture on her office wall

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke tells of the difficult times in 1968

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke speaks on how she came to run for office

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke's reflects on professional women

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke discusses the importance of lawyers in civil rights

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke lists issues she campaigned on

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke talks about her mother

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke talks about Barbara Jordan

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke runs for Congress

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke on the 1972 campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke goes to Washington D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke goes to Congress, has baby

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke returns to law

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke is elected to the Board of Supervisors

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke enjoys her position on the Board of Supervisors

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke speaks about the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke's opinion on today's African American generation

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke again speaks about the CBC

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and a new direction for the CBC

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Yvonne Brathwiate-Burke on the importance of politics

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke on the future of the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke speaks on interests outside of her career, marriage

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke's hopes for her children

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke's luck

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke discusses those she admires professionally

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke's legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke with her staff at her law office, Los Angeles, California, 1963

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke with other California politicial leaders, ca. 1972-1973

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke with entertainers and politicians on the steps of the Capitol, Washington, D.C., ca. 1975

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and her husband at the wedding of Jermaine Jackson and Hazel Gordy, December, 1973

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and others being greeted by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Washington, D.C., 1993.

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and Coretta Scott King, 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and her staff, Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Washington, D.C., ca. 1974-1977

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others, Anaheim, California, 1968

Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke with former California Governor, Ronald Reagan, ca. 1967-1975

Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and Dr. Henry Kissinger, ca. 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and Los Angeles, California Mayor Tom Bradley, ca. 1980s-1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 18 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke with U.S. President Gerald R. Ford and the Congressional Black Caucus, Washington, D.C., ca. 1974-1977

Tape: 5 Story: 19 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke receives a kiss from former U.S. Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey

Tape: 5 Story: 20 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke with singer Ray Charles and Kenneth Hahn, Los Angeles, California, ca. 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 21 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke giving the 'thumbs up', Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 22 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke with United Farm Workers union activist, Cesar Chavez and others, California

Tape: 5 Story: 23 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke's staff at the Los Angeles County Supervisor's Office, Los Angeles, California, 1999

Tape: 5 Story: 24 - Photo - Painting of Yvonne Brathwaite Burke