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McGhee Williams Osse

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2018.016

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/19/2018

Last Name

Williams Osse

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

McGhee

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

WIL82

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

The World

Favorite Quote

The Sun Is Always Shining.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

11/10/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Favorite Food

Tacos

Short Description

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

Favorite Color

Black

Esther "E.T." Franklin

Media and advertising executive Esther “E.T.” Franklin was born on July 21, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. Her mother, Dolores Johnson, was a teacher; her father, Leon Johnson, a teacher and minister. Raised in Wilberforce, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois, Franklin graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1975. She received her B.S. degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1979 and her M.M. degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Business School in 1993. Franklin has also completed certificate programs at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

In 1980, Franklin was hired as a field project director at Market Facts, Inc. in Chicago. From 1982 to 1993, she worked for Burrell Communications, first as a market research analyst, and later as vice president and associate research director. In 1984, Franklin took a brief hiatus from Burrell Communications to work as a research manager for the Johnson Publishing Company. She was hired by Leo Burnett Advertising in 1993 and worked on various Philip Morris brands as vice president and planning director for Marlboro USA until 2001. At Leo Burnett, Franklin was instrumental in launching several corporate trend initiatives, including LeoShe, Foresight Matters and 20Twenty Vision, focused on the female consumer and twenty-something audience. She also appeared on Oprah, where she discussed LeoShe's research on beauty myths.

In 2002, Franklin was named senior vice president, director of consumer context planning for Starcom USA, a Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) company. She was appointed as executive vice president, director of cultural identities of Starcom MediaVest Group in 2006, and was later promoted to executive vice president, head of SMG Americas Experience Strategy in 2011. During her time at SMG, Franklin pioneered Cultural Communication Anthropology and worked on Beyond Demographics, a research study exploring the vital role of culture and identity in reaching consumers.

Franklin has received numerous honors for her work. She was named an AdAge “Women to Watch” and received the “Changing the Game” honor from Advertising Women of New York (AWNY). Franklin was honored with the prestigious “Legend Award” at the 2011 AdColor Ceremony, and was identified as one of the Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing by Black Enterprise in both 2012 and 2013. In addition, she has published several multicultural and subculture targeting pieces, and is sought out as a speaker and panelist on all topics related to the evolving consumer landscape.

Franklin has chaired The HistoryMakers National Advisory Board's Advertising/Marketing Committee and sat on the global advisory committee of the World Future Society. She has also served as a board member of the Family Institute at Northwestern University and the Chicago Urban League.

Esther Franklin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 21, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.257

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/21/2014

Last Name

Franklin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Northwestern University

University of Chicago

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Evanston Township High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Esther

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

FRA12

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I'll Be Waiting For You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

7/21/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Frozen Custard, Jelly Belly's, Popcorn

Short Description

Media executive and advertising executive Esther "E.T." Franklin (1957 - ) was the executive vice president and director of Starcom MediaVest Group Americas Experience Strategy. She also served as a vice president at Burrell Communications and Leo Burnett Advertising.

Employment

Starcom MediaVest Group

Starcom

Leo Burnett

Burrell Advertising

Johnson Publishing Company

Market Facts, Inc.

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Esther "E.T." Franklin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her family's trips to the segregated South

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her parents' education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her early social interactions in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her early personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Esther "E.T." Franklin lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her neighborhood in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her childhood in Wilberforce, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her childhood in Wilberforce, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her early experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her commute to school in Xenia, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her father's illness

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers joining the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the development of her spirituality

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her employment after college

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers joining the Burrell Advertising Agency in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the culture of the Burrell Advertising Agency

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls working for John H. Johnson at Johnson Publishing Company

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her first marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her second husband

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers working for Philip Morris Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls the changing perception of tobacco products

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the LeoShe initiative

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her work at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her decision to join Starcom Worldwide

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her early career at Starcom Worldwide, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her early career at Starcom Worldwide, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her position at Starcom Worldwide

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her work on The History Channel's 'Band of Brothers'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her recognition as an Ad Age Woman to Watch

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about female advertising executives

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls becoming the director of cultural identities at Starcom Mediavest Group, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her role as the director of cultural identities

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the female leadership at Starcom Worldwide

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about the Beyond Demographics project

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her relationship with her second husband

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her current position at Starcom Mediavest Group, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about the impact of digital media

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about the discrimination against African American consumers

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about the future of advertising

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin shares a message to aspiring marketing professionals

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin reflects upon her life and how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$3

DAStory

2$7

DATitle
Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her work on The History Channel's 'Band of Brothers'
Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the culture of the Burrell Advertising Agency
Transcript
Now while you're in this role I believe was when you worked on the project with The History Channel [History]?$$The HistoryMakers?$$History Channel's 'Band of Brothers.'$$Yes. Yes.$$Can you describe that project and what your role was?$$History Channel 'Band of Brothers.' That was--at that time we were trying to think about how we're going to innovate in the media space and how is that going to--how we are going to be bringing it closer to consumer experience. The industry had been growing driven by technology and we felt if we can bring the consumer perspective into the mix that it would distinguish us from our competition. So there was an opportunity by the-'Band of Brothers' was being developed and there was an opportunity to place that--I'm sorry that was being placed on The History Channel. The History Channel came to our media organization [at Starcom Worldwide] with a traditional package. For X amount of money you can have thirty second spots here, you can have integration in this way you know the traditional media package. What we said is we want to do it a little bit different, we don't want to just place advertising in the, in the programming. We want to create lead in and lead out interstitials if you will. So if the 'Band of Brothers' is a series of episodes people might not necessarily be able to be see every, every segment of the series. What if instead of taking the traditional media package we use that time and create summary vignettes of the previous episode. So that if a person missed the previous episode when they sit down to watch instead of seeing a commercial leading in they'll see the summary from the previous episode and at the end of the program they'll see a lead in into the next one. So we used our media dollars to create those interstitials and place them in that manner and that was new and innovative at the time. It was a way to think about placing and using media and programming in a way that was--reflected consumer behavior versus placing advertising in programming.$$And what year is this?$$That had to have been around 2003.$$So HBO [Home Box Office] at this point is huge. Right? HBO is one of the main players in creating new content and now you're using interstitials in a different way because interstitials are not new but this use of interstitial is new--$$Yes.$$--and how effective was it?$$That was very effective. People were writing in about--we were able to increase people's engagement, in other words, time spent. They were talking about these interstitials as a new way of seeing how media was being used. So the [U.S.] Army was very happy and The History Channel was happy so that was very effective for us.$$So was the Army the advertising end of this?$$No, not necessarily. I can't remember exactly the clients that were involved in advertising. I don't, I don't remember.$$Um-hm.$And Tom Burrell [HistoryMaker Thomas J. Burrell], who's the leader of this organization that is in Chicago [Illinois]--most of advertising is in New York [New York] but Burrell is here in Chicago and he's quite a force. So you're a young woman working at this agency. Did you interface with them and what was your relationship like working with this powerhouse?$$It was great. I mean again my background--I come from a black family that was--I had a lot of exposure to black people that had a lot of power whether they were ministers or whatever. So it was--I was accustomed to that but Tom was great, he knew everyone and everyone knew him. At that time I think when I started at the agency maybe there were fifty people so I wasn't in the beginning but I was close to the beginning. There were some unique things that happened in those days. One of the things that happened was there was such a sense of camaraderie. And we had these talent shows. So I was there the year that the talent show started and I told you that I sew and I made my own--at that point I was making my own clothes. So I entered the talent show just like everyone else. It wasn't, it wasn't a big deal it was just fun you know do what you can do. We had it at [HistoryMaker] Howard Simmons' studio on Chicago Avenue. So my talent was the fact that I made my clothes so I found other women in the agency that were about my size and I put on a fashion show. So we're in the back, you know, drinking and eating and they're announcing the winner and somebody said well, "You've won," and I was like--I just kept eating and drinking, and they said, "No you won." So I won the first Burrell [Burrell Advertising Agency; Burrell Communications Group, Chicago, Illinois] talent show with my fashion show clothes that I had made. So that was something that--so Tom of course was giving the award so that happened. But again it was such a small environment and he was present all the time so I knew him just like other people.

Marian Cullers

Advertising executive Marian Barnett Cullers was born in 1927 in Webster Grove, Missouri. She graduated from Douglass High School in 1943 before attending Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. She transferred to the University of Illinois at Champaign in 1945 where she graduated with her B.A. degree. In 1946, Cullers married Vince Cullers, a graduate of the Chicago Art Institute and apprentice at Kling Studios in Chicago. The two opened an advertising art studio in 1947.

Frustrated with the lack of work, the Cullers opened Vince Cullers Advertising Agency, Inc. in 1956, the first black advertising agency in the United States. While her husband was behind the art, Cullers was in charge of office administration. Their first major national client came in 1968 with the Lorillard Tobacco Company who hired the Cullers to create a Newport cigarette campaign. That same year, the agency was chosen to market the Johnson Products Company’s Afro-Sheen product line. Cullers was named vice president of the agency and was a finalist for Chicago Advertising Woman of the Year. The firm was restructured in 1997 and dubbed “the oldest, newest African American ad agency.” In 2002, Cullers and her husband retired leaving their son Jeffrey to head the agency.

Marian Cullers was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 28, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.037

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/28/2010

Last Name

Cullers

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Schools

Frederick Douglass High School

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Lincoln University

First Name

Marian

Birth City, State, Country

Urbana

HM ID

CUL01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Everything Is In Divine Order And God Is In Charge.$

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

?

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Advertising executive Marian Cullers (? - ) was the co-founder of Vince Cullers Advertising, the first black advertising agency in the United States.

Employment

Vince Cullers Advertising

Favorite Color

Blue, Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:1036,31:3182,89:3700,98:16806,252:25519,333:25964,343:27121,359:27566,364:36140,439:36884,447:42474,494:46170,619:47754,641:48370,656:56964,726:57332,731:61748,873:64692,938:71746,981:77720,1102:78710,1117:79790,1142:83390,1210:86336,1223:86912,1233:87232,1239:87552,1246:88128,1257:88512,1268:89600,1298:89856,1303:90560,1318:94960,1393:110090,1517:110906,1611:146406,2036:149850,2051:155273,2164:175670,2396:192356,2553:216480,2773$0,0:672,8:1092,15:1848,25:3024,43:13256,340:13646,346:15674,380:17702,407:18326,416:20276,469:25768,519:26356,555:26944,565:30640,613:32992,664:33412,670:35932,709:40115,725:45557,795:50541,940:51431,953:52054,961:53923,1005:55347,1023:55703,1028:56326,1036:57394,1057:57750,1062:64840,1112:65808,1127:71240,1183:72440,1207:72740,1230:79486,1306:80662,1327:81754,1346:82174,1352:83434,1375:104844,1701:105192,1706:115710,1780:129453,1923:129745,1928:130037,1933:137292,2054:139752,2110:144730,2155
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marian Cullers' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marian Cullers lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marian Cullers describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marian Cullers recalls her maternal family's relocation to Champaign, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marian Cullers describes her relationship with her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marian Cullers describes her father's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marian Cullers recalls how her parents met and married

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marian Cullers describes the racial discrimination in Mattoon, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marian Cullers recalls her parents' marital separation

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Marian Cullers describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Marian Cullers remembers her home life

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marian Cullers talks about her mother's occupation

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marian Cullers describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marian Cullers recalls her early childhood in Champaign, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marian Cullers describes the sights, sounds and smells of childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marian Cullers recalls her experiences in Webster Groves, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marian Cullers talks about her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marian Cullers recalls her career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marian Cullers describes the role of church in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marian Cullers recalls her classmates at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Marian Cullers recalls her extracurricular activities at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Marian Cullers remembers segregation in Jefferson City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Marian Cullers talks about her professors at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Marian Cullers recalls meeting her husband, Vince Cullers

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Marian Cullers describes her husband's personality

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marian Cullers recalls her husband's tenure at Kling Studios, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marian Cullers recalls her husband's work for George Johnson

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marian Cullers describes Vince Cullers Advertising, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marian Cullers recalls the first major account at Vince Cullers Advertising, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marian Cullers talks about the other black advertising agencies

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marian Cullers recalls working with the Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan Association

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marian Cullers recalls the early campaigns by Vince Cullers Advertising, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Marian Cullers remembers the Brother in the Blue Dashiki campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Marian Cullers talks about working with the Lorillard Tobacco Company

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Marian Cullers remembers 'Lu's Notebook'

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marian Cullers talks about black advertising executives in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marian Cullers describes her role at Vince Cullers Advertising, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marian Cullers recalls the milestones at the Vince Cullers Advertising, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marian Cullers recalls the major accounts at the Vince Cullers Advertising, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marian Cullers recalls her nomination as the Chicago Advertising Woman of the Year

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marian Cullers recalls her favorite advertising campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marian Cullers talks about the Communications Excellence to Black Audiences awards

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Marian Cullers talks about the portrayal of African Americans in advertisments

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Marian Cullers talks about her son's advertising firm

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Marian Cullers reflects upon the legacy of Vince Cullers Advertising, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Marian Cullers recalls the models hired by Vince Cullers Advertising, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Marian Cullers describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Marian Cullers talks about her sons

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Marian Cullers remembers her parents' support

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Marian Cullers talks about the black community's perceptions of advertising

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marian Cullers reflects upon her career

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marian Cullers remembers housing discrimination in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marian Cullers shares her hopes for the future of the Vince Cullers Group

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marian Cullers describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marian Cullers narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marian Cullers narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

13$8

DATitle
Marian Cullers recalls meeting her husband, Vince Cullers
Marian Cullers talks about the portrayal of African Americans in advertisments
Transcript
When you were getting ready to graduate, had you--did you have a job lined up or did you have any ideas?$$Yeah. I, I, I lined up Vince [Vince Cullers].$$Okay. Now, how did you and Vince meet?$$Okay. My--he was in the [U.S. military] service with my cousin. And I had sent my cousin a picture of me, and Vince said--only he could tell this story. When he said when Gene [ph.] showed him the picture, he said, "I got to meet her." And when he came home on leave, I didn't know him. And my grandmother [Ava Barnett] who lived with my [paternal] aunt in Webster [Webster Groves, Missouri], she said, "Some man keeps calling you up." You know how older people are. They'd get into a discussion like that, and she said, "I keep telling him that you are away at school [at Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri] and you're not going to be in until such and such a time," you know, what have you. But he was persistent. He kept calling until--. I mean, he'd called back when she told him to, which was several--because I would go home lots. Missouri Pacific [Missouri Pacific Railroad] ran from Jefferson City [Missouri] into St. Louis [Missouri], and that's what I would catch going home to spend time. And I went home quite often, because it wasn't but about an hour and something's ride from Jefferson City. And so, I looked up one day and there stood a man in a raincoat and that was Vince. He tracked me.$$Okay. So what did you say to him and what did he say to you?$$I don't know (laughter). I guess hello. But it wasn't a--I was still in school, so, you know, he didn't stay down there that long. And then there was a hiatus in there, and then I transferred into Champaign, and--$$To the University of Illinois [University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois].$$Um-hm.$$Okay.$$Then I looked up and one day when I came home, my mother [Edna Glover Johnson] said, "There's a man who's been calling you and he wants to come by here." And I said, "What kind of man," you know, "Who?" You know, "What?" Because I was dating then. And so, she knew his name and she called it. So he did call me, and he came by, you know, to see me. And he was just down there for a day in Champaign [Illinois]. And after that, you know, he kept in touch until we got married.$$Okay. Oh, you kept in touch until you (laughter) (unclear).$$Well, it didn't happen that fast (laughter). Don't get me wrong. But that's the way--you said, "How did you meet?"$$Yes.$$And that's how we met. And, of course, over a period of time, you know, we became fond of each other and then married.$$Okay. Now, what day did you--when did you all get married? What year was that?$$We got married in March the 1st in '46 [1946].$$Nineteen forty-six [1946].$You all make a conscious effort in Cullers Advertising [Vince Cullers Advertising, Inc.; Vince Cullers Group, Chicago, Illinois] to--well, you already said that you did, but I, I notice when I'd see ads that Cullers would do, and Burrell [Burrell Advertising Agency; Burrell Communications Group, Chicago, Illinois] especially, I would see black women with natural hair. I'd see images of Africa. I'd see positive images of black people. Did you have some kind of a special, I mean, a code that you would--I mean of what you wanted to portray, how you wanted to portray black folks on--$$Yeah, that's what I'm saying. His whole thing was that he was stressing black pride, and along with trying to make a living. And he never gave up on that. He continued to do it. And I don't know what Burrell [HistoryMaker Thomas J. Burrell] had to do with it. I think Burrell, you know, copied after us, Barbara [Barbara Gardner Proctor] too. After we got started with it, you know, and they saw that it was taking hold, then they started doing, you know, the same thing. Not only did they start doing it, but the white agencies started doing it. And this is where they began to hire blacks by the droves at that time. And at one time, you couldn't put your foot in the door. Okay.$$So it's some kind--at some point there's a recognition of the black dollar being spent and advertising, advertising's trying to make sure that they went after the black--$$Who was making sure?$$I guess the advertisers were trying to attract black consumers or going after the black consuming public, right?$$Yeah, well, though only that I can only speak from Vince's [Cullers' husband, Vince Cullers] side of it. He went after the accounts. So he was trying to earn a living and, as I said, as well as stressing the pride issue along with it. You can't live off of pride, you got to have something else. And he did stress that, but he also knew that he had to produce. And they finally honored him last year. Jeff [Cullers' son, Jeffery Cullers] and I went to New York [New York], you know, 'cause they honored Vince as being a pioneer in that, you know, direction.

Eugene Morris

Pioneering advertising executive Eugene Morris, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 25, 1939. The youngest of four siblings, Morris was raised in Chicago’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood. Owning several restaurants, Morris’ parents, Eugene Morris, Sr. and Willie Mae Morris, instilled an entrepreneurial spirit in their son. At the age of twelve, Morris and a childhood friend started a junk resale business with local thrift and resale shops as their clients. In 1952, Morris graduated from Forestville Elementary School. He then attended Tilden High School, graduating in 1956.

Morris attended several community colleges, and was later drafted into the U.S. Army in 1962. He was stationed in Kentucky at Fort Knox, in South Carolina at Fort Jackson, and overseas in Germany. By 1968, Morris returned to Chicago and obtained a job with the advertising agency of Foote, Cone, and Belding. He worked for several years at Foote, Cone, and Belding while attending Roosevelt University. In 1969, he received his B.A. degree in business administration and his M.B.A in 1971 from Roosevelt University. During the period between 1974 and 1986, Morris worked as an account supervisor and senior vice president management supervisor at Burrell Advertising Agency. He developed advertising programs for clients including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Johnson Products.

In 1987, Morris founded his own advertising agency entitled Eugene Morris Communications, Inc. (EMC). EMC has been ranked as one of Black Enterprise’s top fifteen advertising agencies. EMC’s clientele have included American Family Insurance, Tyson Foods, Illinois Department of Transportation, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. EMC has created major multi-cultural and multi-dimensional advertising campaigns that have generated $37.7 million in billings. Morris received the 2005 Martin Luther King Legacy Award from the Martin Luther King Boys and Girls Club for his philanthropic efforts. He has also received the 2006 Illinois Governor’s Small Business Person of the Year Award.

Accession Number

A2006.006

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/24/2006 |and| 2/1/2006

Last Name

Morris

Maker Category
Schools

Edward Tilden Career Community Academy High School

Carter G. Woodson South Elementary School

Roosevelt University

Kennedy–King College

First Name

Eugene

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

MOR10

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Africa

Favorite Quote

Common Sense Ain't Common.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

7/25/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Italian Food

Short Description

Advertising chief executive and advertising executive Eugene Morris (1939 - ) owns his own advertising company called Eugene Morris Communications (EMC).

Employment

E. Morris Communications, Inc.

Burrell Advertising

Foote, Cone and Belding

U.S. Post Office

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:888,8:6134,86:18948,333:33832,515:35128,533:51306,696:55128,742:55518,748:64020,859:65424,881:66282,896:68700,927:69168,934:69480,939:74074,954:75946,983:92560,1221:93600,1239:98080,1319:98560,1326:99520,1343:100640,1367:101360,1377:102960,1406:134005,1842:137645,1918:147690,2061:148070,2067:160686,2381:169130,2466:181106,2687:181496,2693:181886,2699:190310,2892:208678,3076:215822,3217:237853,3618:238145,3623:238583,3630:261160,3985:261880,3999:276280,4168:280669,4355:294180,4619$0,0:395,25:16595,299:30789,500:32997,547:34860,614:46394,806:47252,818:48890,860:49202,865:54584,985:54896,990:57470,1033:59186,1066:59888,1077:71390,1198:73640,1237:76490,1286:82650,1341:87393,1401:96735,1509:100335,1590:106840,1694
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Eugene Morris' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Eugene Morris lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Eugene Morris talks about his birth

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Eugene Morris talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Eugene Morris describes his maternal and paternal family histories

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Eugene Morris describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Eugene Morris describes moving to the Near North Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Eugene Morris talks about his experience at Sexton Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Eugene Morris remembers his sixth grade teacher, HistoryMaker Frances T. Matlock

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Eugene Morris describes his experience at Tilden Career Community Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Eugene Morris talks about renting a horse to collect scrap metal

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Eugene Morris describes the racial tensions at Tilden Career Community Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Eugene Morris talks about his experience on the wrestling team at Tilden Career Community Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Eugene Morris talks about his shop teacher at Tilden Career Community Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Eugene Morris talks about his father's restaurants

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Eugene Morris talks about what kind of student he was at Tilden Career Community Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Eugene Morris talks about his experience in the City Colleges of Chicago between 1956 and 1962

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Eugene Morris recalls being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1962

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Eugene Morris describes being stationed in Germany as a U.S. Army clerk

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Eugene Morris describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Eugene Morris describes his experiences with segregation while in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Eugene Morris describes his experience as a company clerk in the U.S. Army at Coleman Barracks in Sandhofen, Germany, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Eugene Morris describes his experience as a company clerk in the U.S. Army at Coleman Barracks in Sandhofen, Germany, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Eugene Morris talks about his entrepreneurial experience on Coleman Barracks in Sandhofen, Germany

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Eugene Morris describes returning to the United States and enrolling at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Eugene Morris talks about his mother's religion

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Eugene Morris recalls being hired at the advertising firm Foote, Cone and Belding in 1968

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Eugene Morris recalls working at Foote, Cone and Belding and studying at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Eugene Morris recalls working at Foote, Cone and Belding and studying at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Eugene Morris talks about being oblivious to the 1968 Democratic National Convention protests in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Eugene Morris recalls the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Eugene Morris talks about the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Eugene Morris talks about how his car was stolen after his return from Germany in 1965, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Eugene Morris talks about how his car was stolen after his return from Germany in 1965, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Eugene Morris describes his experience as an account executive at Foote, Cone and Belding, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Eugene Morris describes his experience as an account executive at Foote, Cone and Belding, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Eugene Morris describes being hired as an account supervisor and media director at Burrell Advertising in 1974

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Eugene Morris recalls working on advertising campaigns for McDonald's and Coca-Cola at Burrell Advertising

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Eugene Morris describes the state of black advertising in 1976

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Eugene Morris talks about changing general market advertising campaigns to work for black audiences

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Eugene Morris recalls his departure from Burrell Advertising in 1986 and his relationship with HistoryMaker Thomas J. Burrell

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Eugene Morris describes starting Morris Randall Advertising and E. Morris Communications, Inc. in 1987

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Eugene Morris recalls the deaths of his parents and his likenesses to them

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Eugene Morris talks about his early clients at E. Morris Communications, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Eugene Morris shares his total marketing concept

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Eugene Morris describes losing Oldsmobile as a client in 2001 and how it affected E. Morris Communications, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Eugene Morris describes the quick turnover of business in advertising

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Eugene Morris describes how E. Morris Communications, Inc. rebounded from the loss of Oldsmobile in 2001

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Eugene Morris describes his experience working on advertising campaigns for Wal-Mart Stores

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Eugene Morris describes his approach to marketing to different segments of the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Eugene Morris talks about founding the Association of Black-Owned Advertising Agencies

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Eugene Morris describes his experience working with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Eugene Morris describes his experience working with the Illinois Department of Transportation and the reconstruction of the Dan Ryan Expressway

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Eugene Morris talks about the "Double Dutch" advertising campaign for Tyson Foods, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Eugene Morris describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Eugene Morris reflects on how his parents would view his career

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Eugene Morris shares his advice for young entrepreneurs

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Eugene Morris reflects on his faith and marriage

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Eugene Morris narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$6

DAStory

9$3

DATitle
Eugene Morris remembers his sixth grade teacher, HistoryMaker Frances T. Matlock
Eugene Morris talks about founding the Association of Black-Owned Advertising Agencies
Transcript
But the teacher who impacted me the most in, in, in, in, in grade school was my sixth grade teacher [at Forestville Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois], and her name was [HM] Frances T. Matlock. And she was a little bitty lady, although she didn't look very little to me, 'cause I was a little bitty kid. I mean I, I grew very late. But she was, she was very tough, very tough, physically tough. I mean she would, she would get very physical. She couldn't exist today, but in those days, I mean she didn't hesitate to lay a little corporal punishment on you if, if you got out of line. But she was a tremendous teacher. She was the first and only teacher until I, I guess sometimes in college where I--she taught us anything about black history. And she was doing this in 1950. And she used to bring, during, during February, she would bring all kinds of materials to school, and we would have skits and plays and things like that. But she taught us a lot about having black pride, I mean, you know, long before anybody ever, ever mentioned it. You know, and she taught us a lot about black historical figures who, at, at a time when nobody was taking about it. And I always--you know, she, she taught us just about, about life and wanting to excel and wanting to live a better life. And she taught us social skills, and, and music, and all kinds of different things that, that went above just the regular curriculum. In fact, I, I might be getting ahead of myself, but I had not, had not seen her for a very long time. And one of the things we, we might talk about this later, but I'm real big on, on celebrating my birthdays. And the, the--my E. Morris [Communications] team here, they know that I really like this, and so they always try to do something to surprise me for my birthday. And so one day I had planned to take off for my birthday, and they called me and told me that something had happened, and I need to come in. And so I came in, and they said it's in, in the conference room. And I went in the conference room, and all these people were in there. And so, I--(unclear)--ah, man, they're just trying to trick--it's a birthday surprise, and I thought it was just the staff. But then when I started looking around, I could see, well, wait a minute, there're some other people here, was a friend who I grew up with, who I, I main--maintained contact with. His mother was here and several other people. And then so I see this little lady, and, but she had her back turned, and I couldn't figure out well, who is this? And at first I thought it might have been one of my aunts, and then I said no, it's not her. And she turned around. It was my sixth grade teacher. They had found her.$$How had the found her?$$And they found her--$$That's so awesome.$$--they found her, and, and I just started screaming: Ms. Matlock, Ms. Matlock, 'cause I had not seen her in forty-five years or something, you know--$$And she was still alive.$$She, she was still alive. In, in fact I found a picture of her that we took that day, because we, we, after the, after we had our little champagne and cake celebration, we, we--they had rented a bus, and we went on a tour of all, a lot of the places where I used to live and where I went school. And Ms. Matlock rode the bus with us and spent the whole day with us. And it was just, it was just a fabulous birthday present.$$That's beautiful--$$Yeah.$$Oh, my goodness.$$Yeah.$$I love that.$$Yeah.$$That's so sweet. Was she proud of you?$$Oh yeah. I mean she brought me, she brought all kinds of--she had these clippings and stuff. She had some things that, some clippings that, of, of, that were written about me in the school newspaper, all kinds of things, you know.$$She had been following you all of these--$$Yeah.$$--years.$$Yep.$$That is such a beautiful story. Ah, I wish it was like that still.$$Yeah.$$Oh, I wanted to ask, were, was your--was Forestville [Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois] integrated at that time?$$No, it was an all-black school. It was located on, on 45th and, and St. Lawrence.$$Oh.$$So it was, it was all-black school.$$So wait now, I guess--were you still living here on the north side then, or--$$No, no, we had moved, we had moved back to the South Side.$$Okay, right, that's what--$$We were always moving.$$Okay, I just wanted to get that--$$I don't know why. I don't know if we were trying to stay one step ahead of the rent man or what, but we moved a lot.$$Okay, that's what I was trying to figure out. I'm like, wow, you had a black teacher here on the North Side. That's really cool.$$Yeah.$And the, the other thing that you've done is, is to form the Association of Black-Owned Advertising Agencies.$$Yes.$$What, what led you to start that?$$Well, it's, it's something that's long overdue, and we've tried to do this before. I mean it's been tried a number of times. And for a number of reasons it, it, it never worked before. But it's important that African American agen--agencies be able to speak with one voice. I'm very vocal, and I'm always mouthing off about what's wrong in our industry, and why do you do this? And I write letters to people, you know, to companies and to the media and all that. But they can blow me off, like well, who are you? You know, you're a little guy. You got a little $40 million dollar agency, you know, what do we care about you? But if you have ten agencies or twenty agencies, and we're all saying the same thing, we write a letter, and everybody is on the, you know, is a signatory to it, then people have to pay a little bit more attention to it. And so, we have a lot of problems and a lot of challenges within our industry, and some of them are very specific to African American agencies. And so we need to be addressing those. And I think fortunately, because I have been around a very long time, and I think that I have always conducted myself in a way, tried to make people respect me, tried to operate above board, be a person of my word, know the people, people know that they can count on me, so I, I, I think I was able to get a bunch of agencies in the room, and they know that I didn't have a real agenda, other than this is something that we all need to do for our collective good. It's not just for, for Eugene Morris.

Donald C. Richards

A leading proponent of diversity and affirmative action in the marketing and entertainment industries, advertising executive Donald C. Richards was born in Chicago on February 24, 1938. Richards earned a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1959.

Richards taught high school for a year in Chicago before returning to the University of Chicago to earn his M.A. in history in 1962. He then spent three years at IBM as a systems manager before joining Leo Burnett Worldwide, one of the world's largest advertising agencies, in 1966. During his twenty-two years at Leo Burnett, Richards became the company's first African American vice president and managed accounts for such clients as Proctor and Gamble, McDonald's, Pillsbury and United Airlines. In his thirty years in advertising, Richards also worked on projects for Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch. He returned to Leo Burnett in 1990 to manage the company's global diversity program.

After serving as president of D.C. Richards & Associates, an ad agency specializing in multicultural marketing, Richards joined the Screen Actors Guild in New York as its associate national director of affirmative action and diversity. Richards develops and promotes educational programs, conferences and workshops designed to raise diversity awareness across the entertainment industry. He also works with professional associations of broadcasters and recording artists to help increase minority participation.

Accession Number

A2003.085

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/21/2003

Last Name

Richards

Maker Category
Middle Name

C.

Schools

Burnside Elementary Scholastic Academy

Christian Fenger Academy High School

University of Chicago

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Donald

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

RIC05

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Flexible

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Fall, Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

Availability Specifics: Days in NYC, Weekends in Chicago
Preferred Audience: Flexible

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Italy

Favorite Quote

A Long Journey Begins With One Step.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

2/24/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Thanksgiving Dinner

Short Description

Advertising executive, media executive, and association chief executive Donald C. Richards (1938 - ) worked for twenty-two years at Leo Burnett becoming the company's first African American vice president. Richards is a leading advocate for diversity and affirmative action in the advertising and entertainment industries.

Employment

IBM

Leo Burnett Company, Inc.

D.C. Richards & Associates

Chicago Public Schools

DuSable High School

Screen Actors Guild

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:10792,205:13832,254:14136,259:14440,264:17632,318:19000,340:21888,399:36290,550:37002,560:37536,567:44478,659:48216,704:54160,740:54685,748:55210,756:61303,854:62723,877:65918,937:71456,1041:71882,1048:72592,1060:72876,1065:74722,1093:80090,1117:81895,1141:86880,1181:97628,1340:101778,1405:102525,1416:103189,1443:109580,1527:111323,1542:111738,1548:121674,1598:123480,1625:123824,1630:128296,1706:139901,1882:140517,1895:141364,1915:142365,1935:148100,1995:148997,2010:154260,2048:155856,2090:165540,2241$0,0:11780,133:16452,227:16963,232:17620,243:29879,377:32750,418:33533,432:50868,626:56904,696:60102,759:64776,838:71346,908:72550,926:74012,937:74700,946:86128,1063:94489,1158:95270,1173:95554,1178:97045,1207:111521,1396:113061,1419:113369,1424:113985,1439:116526,1476:116834,1481:117219,1487:122280,1557:134724,1680:136668,1718:140844,1812:141708,1829:148750,1902:149205,1912:153855,1948:154259,1953:155690,1968:156070,1973:156925,1984:158350,1998:181788,2250:182228,2256:185572,2302:185924,2307:186364,2316:193359,2351:194016,2362:197505,2384:199020,2400:202353,2442:203969,2461:204676,2469:208318,2480:209382,2500:213790,2573:218777,2619:221537,2679:222089,2688:222434,2694:223770,2706
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Donald Richards' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Donald Richards lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donald Richards describes his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donald Richards describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donald Richards describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donald Richards describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donald Richards describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donald Richards describes confronting race issues for the first time

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donald Richards describes his experiences playing in Abbott Park as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Donald Richards describes his experiences attending Fenger High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Donald Richards describes his extracurricular activities as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Donald Richards talks about his high school graduation speech and studying the liberal arts in high school and college

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donald Richards describes the courses he took at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donald Richards talks about William Boyd Allison Davis and the lack of black instructors at the University of Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donald Richards describes his experiences attending the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donald Richards describes the social culture of the University of Chicago during the early 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donald Richards talks about majoring in anthropology at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Donald Richards describes his experiences working as a teacher at DuSable High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Donald Richards describes why he quit teaching and to become a systems engineer for IBM

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Donald Richards describes his experiences working for IBM

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Donald Richards describes being hired as a market research analyst at Leo Burnett

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Donald Richards describes working at Leo Burnett

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donald Richards talks about the history of the advertising business

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donald Richards describes his experiences working in the advertising business

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donald Richards describes his experiences working as an account executive for Leo Burnett

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donald Richards talks about some of his clients

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donald Richards describes issues surrounding race in the advertising business

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donald Richards describes how African American audiences were marketed towards over time

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Donald Richards comments on subliminal advertising

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Donald Richards describes the work that goes into advertising

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Donald Richards describes how African American music and culture has become mainstream

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Donald Richards describes his role as Associate National Director of Affirmative Action and Diversity for the Screen Actors Guild

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Donald Richards describes the evolution of diversity in the film and television industries

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Donald Richards describes how marginalized groups can increase their visibility in the film and television industries

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Donald Richards talks about increasing the quality of film and television roles afforded to minorities

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Donald Richards describes the challenges surrounding diversity in the film and television industry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Donald Richards shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Donald Richards reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Donald Richards talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

1$10

DATitle
Donald Richards talks about the history of the advertising business
Donald Richards describes his role as Associate National Director of Affirmative Action and Diversity for the Screen Actors Guild
Transcript
Well tell us about the advertising business. What--?$$Well the advertising agency business really started back in the last part of the nineteenth century out in Philadelphia, New York, and it really was a different business than it is today. Basically, they were publishers' representatives. You know they could get some business for the publications, and that's what an advertising guy did. The publications would actually do the ads. But it evolved into an industry where the advertising agency became the specialist in actually doing the ads, doing the market research, finding out what consumers wanted, what they wanted to hear about a product. But really was big in the 1920s, I mean, I think that was really where people really started talking about the advertising business was a big, big business and it was primarily out east in New York, primarily a rich boy's business. And I say boy, man, because women weren't really that involved at the beginning. And it was a rich boy's business because if you graduated from the ivy league schools and your father had some contacts in business, you would use those contacts to bring business to your advertising agency, so that was--that's kind of the connection that I went on. The heyday of advertising initially was in the '20s' (1920s) when industry was really booming and the building was going on and products were being developed, and the consumers, after World War I you know were beginning to have money and during the '20s' (1920s). So advertising agencies sold or helped these companies sell their products to people. African Americans are nowhere near this business obviously since it was conducted at the highest levels and at that time, African Americans weren't considered worthy enough to be involved in that. So when I got involved in the business in the '60s' (1960s), we were kind of pioneers. Ebony Magazine had started back in the late '40s' (1940s), advertisers had gone to them and placed ads for liquors and cigarettes and other businesses for black consumers, people who made products for black people like hair pomades. Of course they advertised in those publications. But there really weren't any African Americans in these big advertising agencies.$Okay. Now tell me about how you'd get involved with the Screen Actors Guild [SAG]?$$Ah-ha. Actually it's kind of a--it's part of the advertising milieu, if you will. When I was in the advertising agency business, obviously we used actors and actresses in commercials, but we were on the other side of the table, we were the employer. As a consultant in my later years in the business, I got concerned about a lot of issues in the business, particularly behind the scene, etc. I also met somebody in the business who worked in our business who was going to work for the Screen Actors Guild and asked me to come over. And I wasn't that interested in doing it, but the more I talked to him, the more I got interested, and I thought it was an aspect that I'd like to do the other side. I had actually retired from the advertising agency business and I thought I could use a lot of my experiences to do this specific job. He became the national director of affirmative action and diversity, and asked me to become the associate national director. Basically, he runs LA [Los Angeles], I run New York. And so I thought it would be fine and I'd lived in New York before so that wasn't that intimidating. I still have my home in Chicago, my wife is still in Chicago, I have an apartment here in the New York area and I go to Chicago every weekend. But I spend all of my weekdays working for the Screen Actors Guild in that position. Now that position is interesting because what we're trying to do is get certain groups of actors more in front of camera, more into the casting sessions, more into the TV programs, more into the commercials and that's what appealed to me. I've always been involved in trying to get more of the minorities into these positions, behind the camera, in front of the camera. So I really work with four groups--four committees of the Screen Actors Guild, quite a bit. I work with seniors, I work with the performers with disabilities. Many actors and actresses are disabled. I work with the ethnic groups that have been under-represented in the business, African Americans, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans. And I also work with the Women's Committee. After the age of about thirty-five or forty, women have a tough time in this business. So it's a broader job than just the racial minorities, but it involves talking to producers, monitoring data on casting data and audition data, looking at the TV series, talking to casting directors, taking initiatives, coming up with ideas on how to get the story of those groups in front of producers and casting people, screen writers, writers in the advertising agency business so that they can consider these groups more.