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Gloria Johnson Goins

Gloria Johnson Goins was born and raised in Miami, Florida on April 17, 1963 to Albert and Lillian Johnson. She graduated in the top five percent of her class from Ransom Everglade College Preparatory School in Coconut Grove, Florida. Goins received her B.A. degree in psychology from Stanford University in 1985 and her J.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1988, where she was also an editor of the Law Review. She received her M.B.A. degree from Mercer University in 2000.

After receiving her law degree, Goins joined the law firm of Fine, Jacobson, Schwartz, Nash, Block & England as an associate in the area of commercial and civil litigation. In 1992, she joined BellSouth Telecommunications as a General Attorney. Goins played a major role in the successful design and implementation of the 678 area code and mandatory ten digit dialing. She also co-authored an article on the Family and Medical Leave Act which was published in the October 1996 issue of the Georgia Bar Journal.

Goins continued her career at BellSouth in the roles of General Attorney and Vice President of Diversity at Cingular Wireless, a division of BellSouth, until May 2003 when she joined the Home Depot Corporation in Atlanta, Georgia as Chief Diversity Officer. Her primary responsibilities as Chief Diversity Officer include creating and implementing global company wide diversity and inclusion initiatives. Some of Goins’ key accomplishments include developing a corporate inclusion council charged with leveraging diversity as a competitive advantage, and the implementation of domestic partner benefits.

Goins is a member of the Home Depot Foundation, the Florida and Georgia Bar Associations and the National and American Bar Associations. She is active in the United Way of America, the NAACP and the Georgia Council of Child Abuse. In 2004, she was named Woman of the Year by Women Looking Ahead magazine.

Goins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 26, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.110

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/26/2007

Last Name

Goins

Maker Category
Middle Name

Johnson

Occupation
Schools

St. Stephen's Episcopal Day School

Ransom Everglades School

Stanford University

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Mercer University Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

First Name

Gloria

Birth City, State, Country

Miami

HM ID

GOI01

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Required.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/17/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chocolate

Short Description

Corporate lawyer Gloria Johnson Goins (1963 - ) served as a general attorney at BellSouth Telecommunications, where she played a major role in the implementation of the 678 area code and mandatory ten digit dialing. She also served as vice president of diversity at Cingular Wireless, before she joined the Home Depot Corporation in Atlanta, Georgia as its chief diversity officer.

Employment

The Home Depot, Inc.

Cingular Wireless LLC

Fine, Jacobson, Schwartz, Nash, Block, and England

Adorno and Zeder

BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gloria Johnson Goins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gloria Johnson Goins lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gloria Johnson Goins talks about her mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gloria Johnson Goins remembers her parents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gloria Johnson Goins talks about her parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gloria Johnson Goins remembers the Overtown neighborhood of Miami, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls her early education

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls her early influences

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Gloria Johnson Goins remembers her extracurricular activities

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes her family's Bahamian traditions

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Gloria Johnson Goins remembers visiting the Bahamas as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gloria Johnson Goins talks about the early influence of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes her relationship with her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes her relationship with her father

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gloria Johnson Goins remembers the Ransom Everglades School in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls her activities at the Ransom Everglades School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gloria Johnson Goins remembers her high school prom

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gloria Johnson Goins talks about her family's economic status

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gloria Johnson Goins talks about the Cuban community in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls her mentor at the Ransom Everglades School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls her transition to Stanford University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gloria Johnson Goins remembers her first experience of an earthquake

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes the black community at Stanford University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls joining the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes her undergraduate honors thesis

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes her decision to major in psychology at Stanford University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls her preparation for law school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls her first impression of the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls her first law internship

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes the demographics of the University of Pennsylvania Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes her first year of law school

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Gloria Johnson Goins remembers her second year of law school

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Gloria Johnson Goins remembers her second law internship

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls joining the University of Pennsylvania Law School Law Review

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls the demographics of the Fine, Jacobson, Schwartz, Nash, Block and England law firm

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gloria Johnson Goins remembers her third year of law school

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls her experiences as an associate at a majority-white law firm

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gloria Johnson Goins remembers joining the law firm of Adorno and Zeder

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls joining the legal staff of BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes her casework at the BellSouth Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls her article on the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls her regulatory initiatives at the BellSouth Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes her position at the BellSouth Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls her role as the vice president of diversity at Cingular Wireless LLC, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls her role as the vice president of diversity at Cingular Wireless LLC, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gloria Johnson Goins remembers the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gloria Johnson Goins talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gloria Johnson Goins reflects upon her faith

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls joining The Home Depot, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes her initiatives at The Home Depot, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gloria Johnson Goins recalls her challenges as chief diversity officer of The Home Depot, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gloria Johnson Goins reflects upon her plans for The Home Depot, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gloria Johnson Goins talks about her faith

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Gloria Johnson Goins reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Gloria Johnson Goins describes her advice to young people

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Gloria Johnson Goins reflects upon her legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$1

DAStory

9$13

DATitle
Gloria Johnson Goins recalls her mentor at the Ransom Everglades School
Gloria Johnson Goins recalls her early influences
Transcript
Before you graduate, is there a teacher or a counselor that lead you in the direction of what school you would go to?$$Yes. There's a teacher at Ransom Everglades [Ransom Everglades School, Miami, Florida] named Dan Bowden, who is an institution within the institution. Mr. Bowden probably taught at Ransom forty years. I mean the, the power of Ransom Everglades is that the teachers could go to public school and make more money. But they loved teaching, and they loved the students, so they, they're committed to the school. So he's, he taught there forty years plus before he retired. And I remember him--he's a hoot. He and my mother [Lillian Dean Johnson], their birthdays were near each other. And he would always send my mother a birthday card on her birthday. But I'll, I'll tell you the most salient thing I remember about Dan Bowden, apart from the fact he was my poetry teacher and taught me this incredible poetry. I remember one day I was walking down the breezeway, which was sort of the main atrium of Ransom. And Mr. Bowden said, "[HistoryMaker] Maya Angelou is coming to town, and I want to take you to see her. I want you to go get permission from your parents to go see her." And I said like a, you know, a confused teenager, "Maya Angelou, who's that?" And he said, "You don't know who Maya Angelou is, oh, oh, please." I mean he was just so hurt and disappointed. So I said, "Okay, wow, I've just offended my English teacher, but okay, I'll ask my parents if I can go." So, of course, you know, whatever Mr. Bowden said was fine with them. So they signed a permission slip, and he took me and no one else. I was the only student he took out of the entire school to go see Maya Angelou. And she was the most incredible individual I have seen to date. I have never seen someone so incredibly talented and elegant and gorgeous. I think I laughed and I cried all at the same time. I mean she sang. She recited poetry. I mean I was mesmerized. And so, Mr. Bowden said, after the performance was over, he said, "I'm gonna take you up to meet her." And I'm thinking, okay, well, there's like two thousand people in here. How are we gonna get to that stage to meet her? And certainly, you may have heard of her. I don't think you guys are old, old friends that have tea. So he literally took me by the hand and really just went through the crowd, pushing people aside, "Excuse me, excuse me," I mean just pushing people aside. He was like a weed whacker, just getting through the crowd. And finally, you know, he kind of, you know, you know, got his way up to the stage. And I was like, oh, my god, I hope these people aren't mad because, you know, this man just kind of knocked them over. And he went up to her, and he said, "Ms. Angelou, I'd like you to meet Gloria Johnson [HistoryMaker Gloria Johnson Goins]. She's one of my best and brightest students." And she--I'll never forget this--she leaned down from the stage, and she took my face in her hands, and she said, "Gloria, you're beautiful." And I'll never forget that because I said, "Wow. You mean I could actually be like Maya Angelou one day?" So, that, you know, changed my life. And then, coupled with the fact that when I was doubting my abilities even then, he said, "Look, you can go wherever you want to go. So you want to go Stanford [Stanford University, Stanford, California], even though nobody's gotten into Stanford for five years at this school, you can go there." And so he really kind of just really worked on my self-esteem and, and, and just told me, you know, "Wherever you want to go to college, you can go there. You want to go to Stanford, that's where you can go." And that's actually where I ended up going.$Do you remember any of the teachers at that school [St. Stephen's Episcopal Day School, Miami, Florida]?$$Yes.$$Tell me about them.$$I remember Ms. Betts. She was my fourth grade teacher. She was--her name was Marguerite Betts [ph.]. She looked like an angel, and she acted like an angel. She was so protective of me. I remember unfortunately my dad [Albert Johnson, Sr.] got in a really bad car accident. And my father was struggling trying to take care of me, get to school. And he had me stay with Ms. Betts for a couple of days. And she would take me to school and make sure I did my homework, and she was just an angel. And I, I remember in fourth grade that someone also called me the N word. And when she found that out, I mean she was just, you know, really, really angry about it and just took immediate reaction--immediate cor- corrective action of that situation, so she was an angel. I remember my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Reynolds [ph.]. Mrs. Reynolds was a no nonsense kind of teacher. And what I remember most about her is I remember her being fair. And what I mean is two things. We did 'A Christmas Carol' [Charles Dickens] as a play. And I was one of--I was the only black child in the class and only one of two in the whole school, and she gave me the lead. And a lot of my other classmates were like, "Wait a minute. How can you be Scrooge [Ebenezer Scrooge]? Number one, you're, you're not a man, and number two, you're black. So how can you, black girl, be the lead in this play?" So that was the first thing. I thought she was fair. But then, something interesting happened. Growing up for most of my life, I, I just naturally assumed that, that white people were smarter than black people. Having spent the first couple of years of my life in a basically all-black school, living in an all-black neighborhood [Overtown, Miami, Florida], going to an all-black church, I really didn't interact with white people extensively. And so, even though I was getting straight A's, and I was in advanced classes, I didn't think very much of it 'cause I assumed everybody else was. And of course we weren't talking to each other because they never talked to me. And my best friend [Madelaine Bertram Osborne], I loved her death, but I knew she wasn't an Einstein [Albert Einstein]. So I knew that, you know, she wasn't knocking it out of the ballpark, but I didn't care; she was my friend. And so I remember Mrs. Reynolds because when it was time to graduate from sixth grade, she decided to wait until graduation day to announce who the top students in the class were. So she got, she gets up, and she announces that the third place student is Olga Gomez [ph.]. So I said, "Okay, yeah, Olga's pretty smart." Then she gets up and says the second place student is Nancy Roth [ph.]. And I said, "Wait a minute. How can Nancy Roth be second place? There's nobody in this class smarter than Nancy; something's wrong." So then she gets up and says, "Our first place scholarship winner is Gloria Johnson [HistoryMaker Gloria Johnson Goins]," and I didn't get up. So I looked around and looked around, and she's like, "Come on, get up, get up. What's wrong with you?" And I'm like, "Me? How could I be the smartest person?" I mean it took a long, uncomfortable pause for me to get up there and realize I had the highest grades in the entire class, stark contrast from where I started, 'cause I was constantly in the principal's office. It was a, a religious school. I was always teasing the priests, putting cupcakes in his chair, and putting tacks in his hair, and you know, disrupting the class. So the fact that I had the highest grades, I, I couldn't accept that. So it, it took me awhile to kind of come to grips with the fact that I actually was bright, and I was talented, and that I could compete.

William T. Coleman, Jr.

William Thaddeus Coleman, Jr., was the first African American to clerk for a U.S. Supreme Court justice, served as secretary of transportation under the Ford administration, and helped try numerous important civil rights cases. He was born on July 7, 1920, in the Germantown district of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to William Thaddeus and Laura Beatrice Mason Coleman. Coleman’s father was a director of the Germantown boys club for forty years, and as a result, Coleman met many African American notables at an early age, including W.E.B. DuBois. After attending an all-black segregated elementary school, Coleman attended the mostly-white Germantown High School. After high school, Coleman attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated summa cum laude with his B.A. degree in 1941. Eager to work in law ever since childhood, Coleman attended Harvard Law School later that year. In 1943, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. As defense counsel for eighteen courts-martial, he won acquittals for sixteen. He returned to Harvard Law School after the war.

In 1946, Coleman received his L.L.B. degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, after becoming the third African American man to serve on the board of editors of the Harvard Law Review. He was a Langdell fellow, and was therefore permitted to stay at Harvard Law School to study for an extra year. In 1947, he was admitted to the bar and obtained a job working as a law clerk with Judge Herbert F. Goodrich of the Third Circuit’s U.S. Court of Appeals. The following year, he became U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter’s law clerk, and as such, he was the first African American to clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1949, Coleman joined Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison, a noted New York law firm, where he met Thurgood Marshall and worked pro bono to assist Marshall with NAACP cases. In 1952, Coleman became the first African American to join an all-white firm, and in 1966, he became partner at Dilworth, Paxon, Kalish, Levy and Coleman. Coleman worked in the Civil Rights Movement throughout the 1950s, including five cases for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) cases that led directly to the Brown v. Board of Education decision. He also served as co-counsel for McLaughlin v. Florida, a case that decided the constitutionality of interracial marriages.

In 1959, President Eisenhower convinced Coleman to work on the President’s commission on employment policy; Coleman continued to work in presidential commissions for Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, including the Warren commission’s investigation of Kennedy’s assassination. In 1971, Coleman was elected president of the NAACP-LDF. In 1975, Coleman was appointed President Gerald Ford's Secretary of Transportation, becoming only the second African American to hold a cabinet-level position. During his tenure, he created the first Statement of National Transportation Policy in U.S. history. When Carter became president in 1976, Coleman returned to the private sector, becoming a senior partner of the Los Angeles-based O’Melveny & Myers law firm. In 1995, Coleman was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contributions to the legal profession and to society.

Coleman passed away on March 31, 2017 at the age of 96.

Accession Number

A2006.132

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/7/2006

Last Name

Coleman

Maker Category
Middle Name

T.

Schools

Germantown High School

Roosevelt Middle School

Thomas Meehan School

John E. Hill School

Harvard Law School

University of Pennsylvania

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

COL09

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Vermont

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

7/7/1920

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Wife's Cooking

Death Date

3/31/2017

Short Description

Corporate lawyer and presidential secretary William T. Coleman, Jr. (1920 - 2017 ) was the second African American to hold a Cabinet position at Harvard Law School, the first African American clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court and the first African American to join an all-white law firm; he was senior partner of O’Melveny & Myers LLP.

Employment

U.S Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish and Levy

U.S. Department of Transportation

O'Melveny and Myers

Favorite Color

Dark Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:504,2:2520,26:2856,31:3276,37:4620,61:13272,190:24475,308:25975,364:27400,391:28825,423:30775,450:39325,666:41425,695:44425,754:59418,1042:63750,1107:64358,1115:65574,1152:70438,1252:73554,1314:76822,1357:90493,1524:91240,1536:93066,1561:93813,1572:109300,1842:109810,1852:110150,1857:116355,1991:122305,2095:127830,2187:128680,2198:136028,2246:136398,2254:140024,2329:145130,2434:147128,2475:147498,2481:162814,2689:164700,2730$0,0:900,18:1650,32:2400,43:6075,150:6750,167:10950,239:11625,251:12075,270:12825,286:13200,292:16050,342:16950,369:17550,375:44362,710:47974,776:48310,781:52762,847:75186,1166:84050,1260:85740,1265:86304,1272:86680,1277:87056,1282:87620,1290:94328,1334:95896,1354:97128,1367:100958,1380:101480,1387:104351,1437:104873,1444:105221,1449:107483,1487:111906,1538:112459,1547:114360,1553:118928,1595:119832,1604:122205,1625:122657,1632:132100,1717:132500,1730:132900,1736:137140,1809:137540,1815:138340,1838:138740,1844:141380,1899:141700,1904:149462,2000:149778,2005:150094,2010:150805,2027:155466,2136:157362,2153:158310,2168:164200,2231:168920,2340:169480,2348:170280,2361:173160,2453:174680,2484:175480,2498:186410,2605:186890,2614:191508,2738:192196,2747:192626,2753:193572,2771:196754,2824:197270,2832:199936,2877:202258,2934:206816,3059:207246,3067:211305,3079:213480,3117:213930,3124:217080,3179:218730,3228:219480,3241:227070,3356:227654,3370:229620,3412:232690,3425:235160,3469:235485,3475:243220,3682:251610,3802:253640,3852:256720,3928:257210,3937:257630,3944:260990,4079:266310,4177:266870,4187:272770,4209
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his siblings and the origins of his name

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his community in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr, describes his early racial identity

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his family traditions

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his reading disability

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. talks about his family's history

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls St. Barnabas' Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his early aspiration to become a lawyer

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. remembers his early interest in civil rights

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes the Quaker philosophy

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. remembers his friends from high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his high school influences and mentors

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his decision to attend the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls his initial experiences at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. talks about attending an integrated university

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. remembers his classmate from University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls joining Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his impressions upon leaving University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. remembers his motivation to pursue a law career

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes the influence of politics in his early life

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Harvard Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his experience at Harvard Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls his U.S. Army Air Corps pilot training

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. remembers the U.S. Army Air Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls his experience of discrimination in the U.S. military

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. remembers meeting Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his wife, Lovida Hardin Coleman, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls his return to Harvard Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his friendship with Elliot Lee Richardson

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his role on the Harvard Law Review while at law school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. talks about Charles Hamilton Houston and William H. Hastie

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his interest in jurisprudence

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his classes at Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls the debates at the Harvard Law Review

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. remembers his early legal career

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls being the first black clerk to a U.S. Supreme Court justice

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. remembers his clerkship under Felix Frankfurter

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes Justice Felix Frankfurter

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes the United States Supreme Court

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. remembers segregation in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his position at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls his experience at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls working on Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Mr. William Coleman, Jr. reflects upon his involvement in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes the research for Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls the attorneys involved in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes the roles involved in winning a legal case

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes the cases consolidated into Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls the arguments of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his relationship with Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes the impact of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. talks about the language of deliberate speed in integration

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls being hired at Dilworth, Paxon, Kalish, and Levy

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. remembers Dilworth, Paxon, Kalish and Levy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his clients at Dilworth, Paxon, Kalish, Levy and Coleman

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - William T. Coleman, Jr. remembers the Girard College desegregation case

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. talks about his corporate board involvement

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his casework at Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish and Levy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his role in the Warren Commission, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his role in the Warren Commission, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls Thurgood Marshall's appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. talks about the Watergate Scandal

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. talks about his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his appointment to the Department of Transportation

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. talks about President Richard Milhous Nixon

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. talks about President Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr.

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his leadership of the U.S. Department of Transportation

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls the busing crisis in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his aspirations as U.S. Secretary of the Department of Transportation

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. recalls joining the board of International Business Machines Corporation

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. remembers joining O'Melveny and Meyers LLP

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes the clients and counsel at O'Melveny and Meyers LLP

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. talks about law firm branches in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his career at O'Melveny and Meyers LLP

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. talks about the impact of globalization on law

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes the importance of business education for lawyers, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. talks about legal education

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes the importance of business education for lawyers, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. talks about education in the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. reflects upon integration

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. talks about President William Jefferson Clinton

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his children

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. talks about his autobiography

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. describes his early aspiration to become a lawyer
Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr. talks about the language of deliberate speed in integration
Transcript
I also read that you knew very early that you wanted to be a lawyer and you would, you know, sneak into courtrooms. Is that--what age was that?$$Oh, I, well, what it, what it was, or maybe about in the 1st of December they'd be two or three evening conversations between my mother [Laura Mason Coleman] and father [William T. Coleman, Sr.] as how much they could spend for Christmas. And, they finally would agree upon a certain amount and then my mother would say, "Well, tomorrow why don't you all meet me in town?" You know, we have to go in town to shop. And, my sister [Emma Coleman Dooley], when we got downtown would say, "Well, why don't you shop for me first? Because I could then take the trolley, go home and get dinner for you." And, I certainly didn't wanna stay around watching girls try on clothes and things like that. So, I'd go outside. But, it's cold as hell outside in '47 [1947]. So, and the city hall [Philadelphia City Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] was right across the street. And, I went in there and I went up to the fourth floor. And, they were arguing the case of Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Well, I went down the courtroom and I saw that. And, I said, when I went home I said, "People get paid just for talking (laughter)," and so that gave me some interest. And, then I also had heard about, by that time, Charlie Houston [Charles Hamilton Houston], and Bill Hastie [William H. Hastie] and I knew Raymond Pace Alexander, and I thought that's clear. I also thought maybe I should be a doctor. But, when I was sixteen or seventeen and the doctor at the camp [Camp Emlen, Norwood, Pennsylvania] took me to see an operation on cancer of the guts so I figured that wasn't for me. So, I, so I, therefore, became a lawyer.$$Now, what, what age were you though, when you went over and, you know, went into your first courtroom? Do you remember what--?$$Oh, I couldn't've been, I'm probably about twelve or thirteen years of age, yeah.$$Can you just describe what, what that courtroom sort of felt, you know, like--?$$When I saw it, there was, what nine or seven people sitting on the bench. And, I remember one case, may not have been the first day, where the judge or the justice asked the lawyer about a certain case and he said, "Oh, judge, I don't know about that case we just decided it about a month ago." And, so, thereafter it really developed me to have it whenever I go into court. I always read the late, the late cases because I don't want anybody to, you know, tell me. But, it was, you know, we had a good time. I mean, I just--I enjoyed being a kid and we got exposed to a lot of thing. And, there was a, you know, a lot happening in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania].$You know, there'd been a lot of discussion about the, you know, the ruling [Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954] in all deliberate, you know, with the ta- the line, "In all deliberate speed," you know. Do you think you understood that at the time? Whether you think there was great understanding of--?$$Well, there were, there was, there was great, there was great misunderstanding. And, what all deliberate speed meant because, what, it's 19--2006 now, and a lot of school are desegregated so, you know, and it was tough. And, obviously they--we did have two opinions. One was the Morton Salt case [United States v. Morton Salt Co., 1950] which says clearly that if somebody violates the law you have the right to make 'em end it immediately and the state could also make the violator do things which otherwise the violator wouldn't have to do. And, so, that's, so that, that was it and I had made a proposal to the, to Marshall [Thurgood Marshall] to handle the matter differently which he didn't follow. But, at the end of which I agree with what he did. But, I thought that if, if we had done something else, we'd probably could've done a little better than we did.$$Now, what was your, what was your--?$$Well, my provision was, was to say that you've said that this is illegal. Two, you gotta recognize that the life of a child for schooling is from the, is twelve years. I did not put kindergarten in 'cause I've always been suspicious of thirteen; so, I--twelve years. And, what you should do is go to court and tell the court that the governor of the state and/or the attorney general can, have to file a plan and it could start in the twelfth grade and desegregate downward. Or, it could start in the first grade descend upward, or if it would say, we'll start at the twelfth and first grade, you give 'em an extra year and leave it up to them to do it. Well, if you'd done that and then if the governor and the attorney general has to be the done to make the decision, that they will have made a difference. But, you know, we, people, everybody in the firm said, you can't do that 'cause you can't admit that once it's a violation that people can take their time to end it. And, so, as a result of that, we got what we got, which I don't think it certainly has not be as effective as it should be.$$Right. Because there was no time period or ways (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) No time period. And, nothing ever got done and you didn't, you know, recognize the real problems which is the, is, as--oh, I lost the case four to four so I can't say anything. But, in the Richmond school case [School Board of the City of Richmond v. State Board of Education of Virginia, 1973] where the judge below said that you can't desegregate these schools only by using Richmond [Virginia]. And, you have to bring in the force around the county and the court, hell no, you can't make 'em do that. Or, the San Antonio case [San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 1973] where Marshall filed a dissent. He lost it six to three. That if you have, or you did in parts of Texas, a school district which was so poor that it couldn't afford it, that the state would have to have another taxing plan so that school districts have enough money. If you've been able to get those two things through, I think that we would've probably been better off than we are today.$$But, that, that, okay. Because really what it, what it left to was doing things legislatively on the state level?$$Yeah. Yeah (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Right. And, doing cases, keep continue to do cases--$$Yeah. Yeah. But, if you've given them some incentive, you know, something. When you catch a guy doing wrong, if you say, well, if you decide to cooperate with me, I'll give you extra time. That's tends to appeal, you know. Or, you tell a guy, if you did something wrong if you don't plead guilty, I'm gonna give you twenty years. But, if you plead guilty so you could testify against somebody else, I'll give you five years. A lot of people would take the five. Even if nobody wants to go to jail for five--and I just think that psychologically that we never got that into the process.

James G. Potter

Corporate attorney James G. Potter was born August 1, 1957 in Muncie, Indiana. Orphaned with three brothers and a sister when his parents passed away, Potter was raised in Richmond, Indiana by librarian Maxine Embry. He attended Vaile Elementary School, Hibbard Junior High School and graduated from Richmond High School in 1975 as the top male student. Majoring in philosophy and behavioral science, Potter worked as a dialysis technician and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1978. In 1982, Potter graduated from Harvard Law School.

Potter worked for the firm of Keck, Mahin and Cate of Chicago in the corporate and securities area. His clients included Morgan, Lewis and Bockius of Philadelphia. From 1989 to 1997, Potter served as chief legal officer of Prudential Direct, a business unit of Prudential Insurance that included Prudential Bank and Trust Company. In this capacity, he provided direct support in the areas of banking, corporate, finance and securities law, and managed the law departments of the Prudential subsidiaries that make up the business unit. Potter served as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Provident Mutual Life Insurance Company, which comprises the fifth largest share of the variable life insurance market in the United States. At Provident, Potter managed the law, compliance, and corporate secretary departments. Joining Del Monte Foods Company in 2001, Potter was appointed general counsel and secretary for the food and pet products giant. He is now the company’s senior vice president and corporation counsel.

Concerned about diversity in the workplace, in 1999, Potter joined the legal counsels of 500 major U.S. corporations in signing a document entitled, “Diversity in the Workplace, A Call to Action”. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Minority Corporation Counsels and the Coalition to Promote Minority Health. He is also chairman of the steering committee of the California Minority Counsel Program.

Potter, the father of a son, Jameson, and daughter, Lauren, lives and works in San Francisco, California.

Accession Number

A2005.216

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/17/2005

Last Name

Potter

Maker Category
Middle Name

G.

Occupation
Schools

Richmond High School

Vaile Elementary School

Hibbard Junior High School

University of Chicago

Harvard Law School

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Muncie

HM ID

POT01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Los Cabos, Mexico

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Interview Description
Birth Date

8/1/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Corn (Caramel)

Short Description

Corporate lawyer James G. Potter (1957 - ) served as chief legal officer of Prudential Direct, a business unit of Prudential Insurance that included Prudential Bank and Trust Company. Potter also served as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Provident Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Employment

Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP

Keck, Mahin and Cate

Prudential Direct

Provident Mutual Life Insurance Company

Del Monte Foods

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:17058,114:19008,228:20802,291:21660,303:22128,311:26730,396:28446,438:33594,560:36480,615:40224,693:49869,771:60651,941:63000,987:63567,995:65187,1019:73611,1168:84551,1303:92729,1460:95948,1519:107059,1697:110370,1729$0,0:14581,302:15648,314:16424,333:19916,395:20595,404:25251,469:25639,474:26027,479:40484,678:43928,751:45692,777:46868,795:47708,808:54512,911:61442,974:66230,1054:66534,1059:67066,1075:68358,1096:75806,1226:77782,1266:78238,1274:79150,1291:80214,1310:80746,1318:94632,1485:95522,1494:100773,1577:101396,1585:111470,1710:121370,1872:139462,2111:145358,2189:152466,2270:153280,2286:155056,2319:155722,2329:157202,2352:157498,2357:162240,2407
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James G. Potter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James G. Potter lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James G. Potter describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James G. Potter describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James G. Potter describes his parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James G. Potter talks about being adopted

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James G. Potter describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James G. Potter describes growing up in Richmond, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James G. Potter describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James G. Potter reflects on his greatest childhood influences

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James G. Potter describes the Glen Miller Park Zoo in Richmond, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James G. Potter describes the historic homes of Richmond, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James G. Potter describes his mother's famous relatives

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James G. Potter describes Vaile Elementary School in Richmond, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James G. Potter recalls his favorite school subjects

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James G. Potter remembers the small black population in Richmond, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James G. Potter remembers an incident at Vaile Elementary School, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James G. Potter remembers an incident at Vaile Elementary School, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James G. Potter describes his demeanor at Richmond Senior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James G. Potter recalls deciding to attend the University of Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - James G. Potter reflects upon the influence of church

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - James G. Potter describes the campus culture at the University of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James G. Potter describes the students at the University of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James G. Potter describes the social and geographic boundaries of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James G. Potter describes his academics at the University of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James G. Potter remembers African American professors at the University of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James G. Potter describes his social life at the University of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James G. Potter remembers deciding to be a lawyer

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James G. Potter remembers working as a dialysis technician

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James G. Potter remembers his time at Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James G. Potter describes the teaching style at Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James G. Potter reflects upon the negative aspects of law school

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James G. Potter reflects upon how Harvard Law School changed his world view

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James G. Potter remembers being taught by HistoryMaker Derrick A. Bell, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James G. Potter recalls black student organizations at Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James G. Potter describes the time constraints of law school

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James G. Potter explains why his skipped his Harvard Law School graduation

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James G. Potter remembers working on Harold Washington's mayoral campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - James G. Potter remembers his experience at Keck, Mahin and Cate in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - James G. Potter describes his relationship with his ex-wife

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - James G. Potter explains how to succeed at a law firm

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James G. Potter tells humorous stories from his time in corporate law

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James G. Potter describes practicing corporate law

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James G. Potter explains how corporations slip into bad practices

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James G. Potter describes the qualities that make him a good lawyer

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James G. Potter describes his ethics

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James G. Potter reflects upon corruption in corporate law

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James G. Potter reflects upon changes in the law profession

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James G. Potter explains why he left Morgan, Lewis and Bockius

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James G. Potter remembers joining The Prudential Insurance Company of America

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James G. Potter compares law firms to corporations

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James G. Potter remembers proving himself at The Prudential Insurance Company of America

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James G. Potter reflects upon succeeding with integrity

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James G. Potter remembers leaving The Prudential Insurance Company of America

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James G. Potter describes his experience at Provident Mutual Life Insurance Company

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James G. Potter describes the diversity at Provident Mutual Life Insurance Company

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James G. Potter explains why he joined Del Monte Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - James G. Potter remembers working at Del Monte Corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James G. Potter describes some of the products Del Monte Foods produces

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James G. Potter describes his efforts to increase diversity at law firms

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James G. Potter describes his work with the Coalition to Promote Minority Health

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James G. Potter describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James G. Potter talks about his future plans

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - James G. Potter reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - James G. Potter describes his family

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - James G. Potter speaks about the reunion of African American Harvard Law School graduates

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - James G. Potter describes untold stories of struggle

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - James G. Potter describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

6$1

DATitle
James G. Potter remembers deciding to be a lawyer
James G. Potter remembers joining The Prudential Insurance Company of America
Transcript
Anything sig- else about University of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois] you wanna talk about before we move you to law school [Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts]? Or how did you decide to go to law school?$$I went to law school, I decided actually to go to law school because I had a fundamental lack of knowledge of what lawyers do. You know my background you either worked at a factory which was you know a shift so you had the first shift or your second or the gra- graveyard shift. Or you were like my mother [Maxine Embry Potter] who worked as a librarian and she left the house every day at 8:30 and came home every day at quarter til six. So that was my only experience and I thought that that's how the world kind of worked. So when I was finishing up college, I wanted to do two things. I'll get to law school first and in the interim but I thought you know what I need to go out here and get trained to actually earn a living and but I don't wanna give up you know reading philosophy and studying philosophy so why not become a lawyer and when you get home a quarter of six every night, you can read philosophy. (Laughter) I'm serious. I had no idea. And so I applied to, I applied to law schools and I done you know very well at the University of Chicago and so was able to get into law school and that's really how I, how I went off to law school. Now interestingly enough I had always thought when I was a kid that I wanted to be a counselor and obviously that is the title of what I do now because I mean it just seems to be my personality. I you know I talk to people about their issues and kind of bring to bear you know a certain amount of judgment et cetera. So that piece of it has worked out.$How did you get involved with Prudential [The Prudential Insurance Company of America; Prudential Financial, Inc., Newark, New Jersey], what happened?$$At- at the end of the day, at Morgan Lewis [Morgan, Lewis and Bockius, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] I think I departed because I didn't see me forming connections with the, with the partners. The world--the law firm world is kind of sterile. Most law firms are fairly sterile and so I had just by by coincidence our next door neighbor was a executive search person and she stopped over one evening to say we were talking about a host of things but she asked me if I--what kind of law I did and I said well it's shaded now to banking and securities work. You know her ears kind of picked up at the banking reference and she said well she was working on a project for Prudential who wanted to get into the retail banking business and would I be interested in talking with them? And I, and I was, I was interested. I was interested because it would allow me to vary my practice. It would allow me to work with you know a single client and it also would allow me to get onto the, on to the management side. And so went up and talked with talked with Prudential, liked the idea. They were basically assembling a team of executives to go build their retail banking business. The commute was gonna be a bear. I was gonna be commuting from Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] to Newark, New Jersey on a daily basis. But with the, with the trains I decided to give it a shot and moved to--moved up to Prudential, stayed in the same housing situation, but moved to Prudential in 1989.$$Okay. How long a commute was it?$$Two hours. If you took the train it was two hours. I ended up driving at some point when we moved out to Doylestown [Pennsylvania] from Malcas Park [ph.] and it turned about an hour and a half, sixty-three miles one way. So fortunately though when you drove the--you could really go on, on the highway 78 [Interstate 78] quite fast, so you covered sixty-three miles. Sixty-three miles is a long drive and you know again one of the things that people do these days is commuting you know sort of outrageous times cuts into family time et cetera but it was a great opportunity to go and, and to build the business and to start shading away from the pure technical practice of law to the more business you know business driven practice of law.

Keith H. Williamson

Keith Harvey Williamson, president of Pitney Bowes Capital Services Division, was born May 16, 1952, in St. Louis, Missouri. Williamson’s father, Irving A. Williamson, was a journalist and photographer for St. Louis based newspapers, such as the Argus, the Mirror, and the Sentinel. Attending Harrison Elementary School and Walnut Park Gifted School, Williamson graduated in 1970 from Thomas Jefferson High School in St. Louis, Missouri, after spending the summer after his junior year in Europe. Williamson earned his B.A. degree in economics and sociology from Brown University in 1974, and a combined M.B.A. and J.D. degree from Harvard University in 1978. Later Williamson would obtain his LL.M. degree in taxation from New York University.

In 1978, Williamson worked as a tax lawyer with the Washington, D.C., based firm Covington & Burling, and in 1981, he joined Revis & McGrath (later named Fulbright Jaworski). Pitney Bowes hired Williamson as director of tax in 1988; he later worked for the company as assistant general counsel for financial services, and deputy general counsel for mergers. In 1999 Williamson became president of the capital services division of Pitney Bowes; in 2002, he was chosen by Fortune magazine as one of the fifty most powerful African American executives. Williamson became the senior vice president, general counsel, and company secretary of Centene Corporation in 2006.

A member of the Executive Leadership Council and the Urban League’s Black Executive Exchange Program, Williamson, his wife Addie, and their daughter reside in suburban Connecticut.

Accession Number

A2005.051

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/16/2005

Last Name

Williamson

Maker Category
Middle Name

H.

Schools

Thomas Jefferson High School

Harrison School

Brown University

Walnut Park Elementary School

Harvard Business School

Harvard Law School

First Name

Keith

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

WIL23

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Life Is A Process Of Change.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Missouri

Interview Description
Birth Date

5/16/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

St. Louis

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Popcorn

Short Description

Corporate executive and corporate lawyer Keith H. Williamson (1952 - ) served as president of the capital services division of Pitney Bowes, and is the senior vice president, general counsel, and company secretary of Centene Corporation.

Employment

Pitney Bowes

Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon

Bryan Cave

Covington & Burling

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:600,18:4734,78:7429,144:8969,186:9277,191:9662,197:17208,299:17516,304:19364,337:29143,450:30690,463:31054,468:33511,524:33875,529:36241,561:36605,566:37697,579:38516,590:46563,661:47049,668:48426,682:49236,693:61804,860:74676,1028:75040,1033:76587,1052:77133,1059:78407,1080:85520,1121:86682,1138:88840,1158:89255,1164:91210,1174:91818,1184:108527,1567:109066,1576:122054,1796:124406,1828:125162,1839:135490,2000$0,0:3124,52:4473,66:7384,158:19406,315:20030,323:31283,470:35024,511:35807,521:36416,530:37373,547:45924,608:46398,615:47425,641:48531,655:48847,660:59964,826:62571,872:63045,879:64704,909:68417,952:71103,998:75448,1077:76870,1099:87463,1190:96049,1335:101557,1423:102043,1430:104635,1476:105202,1484:113645,1545:114320,1555:133055,1829:134240,1846:134872,1855:135820,1869:136215,1875:136610,1881:136926,1886:137874,1891:138269,1897:138980,1908:139454,1919:140086,1928:148144,2045:156441,2142:163833,2271:164372,2280:166990,2337:167837,2353:169146,2427:169608,2434:170532,2449:177765,2500:182234,2532:182522,2537:197850,2766:198525,2783:199350,2795:202725,2858:222447,3005:227514,3044:227884,3050:233508,3184:234618,3204:236098,3233:237060,3270:237800,3289:244114,3347:244446,3352:248015,3413:251335,3465:251750,3475:260336,3545:260864,3552:261304,3558:262008,3571:262448,3601:268256,3685:273090,3717
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Keith H. Williamson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Keith H. Williamson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Keith H. Williamson describes his mother, Elizabeth Giddings

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Keith H. Williamson describes his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Keith H. Williamson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Keith H. Williamson talks about his father's matriculation at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Keith H. Williamson describes his father's work in journalism and photography

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Keith H. Williamson describes his childhood neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Keith H. Williamson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Keith H. Williamson shares memories from his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Keith H. Williamson talks about his father's political interests and civic involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Keith H. Williamson describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Keith H. Williamson describes his elementary school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Keith H. Williamson describes his family life growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Keith H. Williamson describes his experience at Thomas Jefferson School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Keith H. Williamson recalls his challenges at Thomas Jefferson School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Keith H. Williamson remembers his experiences as the only African American in his high school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Keith H. Williamson explains how he adapted to Thomas Jefferson School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Keith H. Williamson recalls his aspirations as a high school senior

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Keith H. Williamson describes his studies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Keith H. Williamson recalls his motivations for pursuing a joint law and business degree

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Keith H. Williamson describes his joint J.D./M.B.A. program at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Keith H. Williamson remembers notable professors from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Keith H. Williamson remembers notable figures from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Keith H. Williamson remembers joining Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, D.C. as a tax lawyer

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Keith H. Williamson remembers his projects with Covington & Burling LLP and Reavis & McGrath

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Keith H. Williamson reflects on challenges he faced at Reavis & McGrath in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Keith H. Williamson talks about his transition to working at Pitney Bowes Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Keith H. Williamson describes his trajectory at Pitney Bowes Inc. between 1988 and 2002

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Keith H. Williamson explains the toughest aspect of his job at Pitney Bowes Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Keith H. Williamson talks about sales strategies at Pitney Bowes Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Keith H. Williamson talks about his mentorship efforts within the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Keith H. Williamson talks about his upcoming projects and ambitions

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Keith H. Williamson describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Keith H. Williamson offers advice for aspiring young professionals

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Keith H. Williamson explains his disinclination to start his own business

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Keith H. Williamson reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Keith H. Williamson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Keith H. Williamson talks about his wife and daughter

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Keith H. Williamson describes his vision of the ideal school curriculum

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Keith H. Williamson talks about his parents witnessing their children's success

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Keith H. Williamson describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Keith H. Williamson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

11$4

DATitle
Keith H. Williamson talks about his father's political interests and civic involvement
Keith H. Williamson remembers notable professors from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Transcript
I guess, what are some of the issues your father [Irving Williamson, Sr.] was working on when you were growing up? Or did--I mean, some of the issues in St. [Louis, Missouri]--did they talk about politics and that kind of thing at home?$$Oh sure. They talked about politics one of my father's very dear friends, I mean none of them--my father I can remember ran for alderman one time in an unsuccessful bid but you know, he was always interested in politics and Fred Weathers [Frederick N. Weathers] was one of my father's good friends and he was one of these very powerful men behind the scenes. So Fred, Mr. Weathers never ran for office himself but he was pretty active in the Democratic Party in St. Louis [Missouri] particularly among African Americans. And I think he was, you know I think he would have had a hand in some of the folks who did run for office. So obviously you had [HistoryMaker] William Clay [Sr.] come out and various others. So my father was fairly well--he was fairly outgoing even though he didn't talk about his personal family life growing up as a child, he actually was a fairly outgoing sociable type of person and was in a large number of clubs and organizations. He was an Alpha [Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity] and as I look back there was a group called the Frontiers that met, he was on the board of New Age Federal [Savings & Loan Association, St. Louis, Missouri] which was a savings and loan African American-owned that was formed and on the board of directors of the YMCA [Young Men's Christian Organization]. I mean there is just any number of civic organizations that he was involved with.$$Now what paper did you say he stayed with the longest? Was it the [St. Louis] Argus or the (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) It started with the Argus and then at some point then there's a paper called The Mirror [St. Louis Mirror] that was a small paper and then I believe he ended his career, the last couple of years was with a paper called the St. Louis Sentinel.$Well who were some of the professors--are there any professors or people at Harvard [University, Cambridge, Massachusetts] that you remember significantly in terms of helping you?$$Sure, let me see, so professors that I can remember pretty well Stephen Breyer, I probably had him my second year, he's on the [U.S.] Supreme Court now but I had him for anti-trust and I remember feeling pretty good. I think I got an A in anti-trust and so that was sort of a boost to my confidence and furthered my interests in corporate types of issues. I had a professor Marvin Chirelstein for tax and I had him during my second year, third year. He was visiting from Yale University [New Haven, Connecticut] and he was a fascinating guy very on the one hand low key in the sense that and of course you have a fair number of egos that are there at Harvard but this guy Chirelstein was always very self-deprecating and the like. But he made tax extremely enjoyable from an let's say an intellectual stimulation standpoint and a way of trying to get to really the essence of the issues that were presented by the cases. And, you know, so stripping out a lot of times cases you go through all this detail statements about dollar amounts of someone's income or dollar amounts of someone's deductions and so Mr. Chirelstein always stripped down to ten dollars or five dollars. But you know he was able to contrast the approach in one case versus another to sort of highlight the, some of the logical inconsistencies that might be presented by the approaches of different cases. So I just found that quite enjoyable and so those are a couple of professors that come to mind. Louie Loss was dean of securities regulations; I had him and did very well in that course. Then on the flip side I can remember--I used to always have a fair amount of confidence in my academic abilities and never shied away from being willing to take on an academic challenge. So I can remember my first year having Archibald Cox who you know, got some fame I guess in Watergate, a prosecutor and [President] Richard [Milhous] Nixon (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Well that was about the time Nixon was impeached in '74 [1974], he was just coming off the impeachment of Nixon.$$Yes.$$So he was as big as he ever was going to get (laughter).$$Yes he was. He was a very big name at the law school [Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts] at the time well in public affairs at the time. So I'm trying to remember--so I had him for constitutional law and I worked very hard I thought in this course. I actually thought that I had done very well and the like and it was like my--the one C that I got in the law school and so I just never could--I was dumbfounded by it a little. So I can remember going to him and complaining about my grade but it didn't do any good. But so that sort of stands out as a scar so that was my memory of those years. But Archibald Cox was a big name and yeah there were a few people that I had.$$Anybody else that you remember?$$Well okay the other person and of course I'm now starting to hit the less pleasant memories. It's the kind of thing, I was gonna say my first year in law school was my least favorite of the years that I spent there and actually I think the courses there were less to my liking but another professor I remember having Vern Countryman who taught bankruptcy law. Again now this was a course that I thought I was going to like but I did find it a little dry once we started down that topic. So, now certainly in law school there were certain areas that appealed to me and that I started gravitating toward, and those tended to be more on the corporate and commercial and tax related side.

Robert Bennett

Lawyer Robert Bennett was born April 14, 1947, in Columbus, near Fort Benning, Georgia. Raised primarily by his mother, Annie Mae Bennett, Bennett attended Claflin School in Columbus; the Harriet Beecher Stowe School in Cincinnati; and graduated from Chicago’s Parker High School in 1965. Beginning in high school, Bennett spent his summers working on the Santa Fe Super Chief passenger train from Chicago to Los Angeles. At Dartmouth University, Bennett was one of the founders of the Afro American Society and spent two years in discussions on how to build United States support for the African National Congress (ANC). Graduating with his B.A. degree in Political Science in 1969, Bennettt spent the summer in Europe and North Africa on $5.00 a day; he finished Yale Law School in 1972.

From 1975 to 1978 Bennett was an associate attorney with Winston and Strawn and later Rudnick and Wolfe. From 1978 on he operated his own law firm in which he handled corporate and commercial transactions and real estate development. Bennett regularly hosted ANC leaders in his Chicago home, including Alfred Nzo and Graca Machel, and volunteered his legal services in support of various pro ANC groups throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Bennett hosted Nelson Mandela’s fundraising visit to Chicago in 1993, and raised $87,000 to support his campaign for the presidency of the new South Africa. Bennett hosted a tour of selected U. S. cities for then President of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings, and became Honorary Consul of Ghana from 1996 to 2002.

Founder of Bennnett and Bailey International Consulting, Bennett was a consultant in the late 1990s on the King Shaka International Airport Project in Durban, South African, and on the West African Gas Pipeline. Bennett was a consultant for the movie, Ali, some of which was shot in Ghana. Bennett later became engaged in a long-term consultancy and exchange with the Ghanaian justice system.

Accession Number

A2004.260

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/14/2004 |and| 1/6/2005

Last Name

Bennett

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Parker High School

Claflin Elementary School

Harriet Beecher Stowe Fine and Performing Arts Academy

Dartmouth College

Yale Law School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

BEN04

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

Some Men See Things And Say 'Why.' Some Men Dream Of Things And Say 'Why Not.'

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/14/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Collard Greens, Turkey

Short Description

Lawyer Robert Bennett (1947 - ) is the founder of Bennett and Bailey International Consulting, which worked on the King Shaka International Airport Project and the West African Gas Pipeline in the late 1990s. Bennett later became engaged in a long-term consultancy and exchange with the Ghanaian justice system.

Employment

Republic of Ghana

Favorite Color

Black, Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Bennett's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Bennett lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Bennett talks about his mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Bennett talks about his familiarity with Fort Benning in Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Bennett talks about his maternal family's migration north

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Bennett shares a joke his maternal grandfather used to tell about the exploitation of African Americans

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Bennett talks about his maternal family's educational and religious experiences in Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Bennett describes his childhood household

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert Bennett describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert Bennett describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robert Bennett describes his childhood activities and temperament

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Robert Bennett remembers the racial and social demographics of Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Bennett talks about the media coverage of Africa in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Bennett recalls the impact of Patrice Lumumba and Kwame Nkrumah in his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Bennett talks about the unofficial censorship concerning the Civil Rights Movement in Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Bennett describes the orientation of his church, Antioch Baptist Church in Columbus, Georgia, during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Bennett lists the schools he attended in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Bennett describes the impressions of white people held by his childhood community of Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Bennett compares his neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio to his hometown of Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Bennett describes his interest in history as a young student

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert Bennett talks about the differences he saw between Columbus, Georgia and Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Robert Bennett explains the reason for his move from Cincinnati, Ohio to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Robert Bennett talks about the stability he gained from staying at the same school despite frequently changing homes

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Robert Bennett describes his performance as a student and his jobs during summer breaks

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Robert Bennett remembers working on the Super Chief train of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Bennett describes his working conditions on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Bennett explains the impact that working on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad had upon him

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Bennett recalls his aspiration to be a lawyer

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Bennett talks about mentors from Abigail Cutter Junior High School in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Bennett talks about his school activities and his mother's tenacity

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Bennett remembers being recruited by four-year universities as a student at Parker High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Bennett remembers playing football at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Bennett describes his experience at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire in the mid-1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert Bennett talks about memorable instructors from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Robert Bennett remembers founding the Afro-American Society at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Robert Bennett talks about his interest in becoming a lawyer after his college graduation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Bennett describes Malcolm X's impact upon him

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Bennett remembers the impact of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Bennett explains how winning an oratorical contest at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire funded his European travels

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Bennett describes his hitchhiking itinerary through Europe in 1969

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Bennett recalls meeting Eldridge Cleaver while traveling in Algiers, Algeria

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Bennett reflects upon the Africans and African Americans he met traveling through Europe in 1969

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert Bennett talks about his desire to pursue law as a means for social justice while at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert Bennett talks about his experiences at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Robert Bennett describes forming the Malcolm X Legal Studies Association at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Robert Bennett remembers establishing a consulting firm as a student at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Bennett's interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Bennett recalls civil rights discussions while traveling in Europe in 1969

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Bennett talks about black communities in London, England

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Bennett reflects upon his travels throughout Europe and North Africa in 1969

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Bennett contrasts the experiences of African Americans with African immigrants and black communities in Europe

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Bennett remembers encountering Mozambican and Angolan students in Portugal in 1969

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Bennett considers the influence of African American culture in Europe

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert Bennett challenges perceptions of Europe being more liberal with regards to race than the United States

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Robert Bennett talks about hitchhiking from New York, New York to New Haven, Connecticut after returning from his travels abroad

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Robert Bennett describes how his objectives differed from those of white students at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Robert Bennett talks about the racial demographics at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Robert Bennett describes the competitive environment of Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Robert Bennett recalls his initial career interests after graduation from Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Bennett talks about his experiences hitchhiking through Sub-Saharan Africa

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Bennett remembers interacting with African American expatriates in East Africa

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Bennett describes his impressions of East Africa in the early 1970s, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Bennett describes his impressions of East Africa in the early 1970s, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Bennett talks about differences and similarities he observed between West and East Africa

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert Bennett talks recalls the impact of his travels in Sub-Saharan Africa

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert Bennett considers negative perceptions of Africa promulgated by African Americans

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert Bennett talks about his love of travel and what he has learned from traveling

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Robert Bennett talks about his construction businesses in Nigeria and Ghana in the 1970s

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Robert Bennett talks about the impact of infrastructure built in Lagos, Nigeria for FESTAC '77

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Robert Bennett describes his involvement with the West African Gas Pipeline project as Ghana's honorary consul general, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert Bennett describes his involvement with the West African Gas Pipeline project as Ghana's honorary consul general, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert Bennett talks about his involvement with the filming of 'Ali' and its representation of pan-Africanism

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert Bennett talks about the impact of the West African Gas Pipeline for West African industries

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert Bennett shares his thoughts about Africa's economic development

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert Bennett talks about the neo-colonial exploitation of Africa and the promise of international trade within the continent

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert Bennett shares his perspective on the benefits of international and domestic development projects in Africa

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Robert Bennett remembers his initial involvement in freedom movements for southern Africa

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Robert Bennett remembers his involvement with the African National Congress

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Robert Bennett talks about his support of the African National Congress and anti-apartheid movement in South Africa

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Robert Bennett remembers attending anti-apartheid negotiations with Molapatene Collins Ramusi in South Africa in 1991

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Robert Bennett remembers attending negotiations between the African National Congress and National Party in South Africa in the early 1990s

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Robert Bennett talks about his interactions with Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Robert Bennett shares his impression of Afrikaners in apartheid South Africa

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Robert Bennett talks about the effects of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Robert Bennett talks about the effects of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Robert Bennett talks about Nelson Mandela's imprisonment on Robben Island and the demise of apartheid in South Africa

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Robert Bennett considers his ongoing political ambitions

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Robert Bennett describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Robert Bennett reflects upon his life

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Robert Bennett talks about his children's educational opportunities

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Robert Bennett talks about his ongoing relationship with his mother

Tape: 8 Story: 12 - Robert Bennett reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 13 - Robert Bennett describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$6

DAStory

7$11

DATitle
Robert Bennett talks about his desire to pursue law as a means for social justice while at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut
Robert Bennett describes his involvement with the West African Gas Pipeline project as Ghana's honorary consul general, pt. 1
Transcript
What were your objectives at that point? I mean, what did you, what was on your mind?$$Well, most law students, black and white, I think it's fair to say, were interested in corporate law, working for a major corporation and making a lot of money of some sort and some were, of course, interested in personal, public service, but in a traditional way. I was not. I had begun for, this was a continuation of my trying to think outside the box, so to speak. In other words, Yale [Law School, New Haven, Connecticut] was the best so how, for me, how would I be able to go to the best and try to take advantage of what the best had to offer and to try to make it applicable in some way to the need for real social change in America. How to do that. I remember going to a contracts class, my first year of law school, and we were talking, the professor was talking about contract law and I read the course material in the textbook before class and the discussion was all about the traditional ways of looking at contracts and this type of thing and the relationship between the consumer and the producer and this type of thing, et cetera, and the contract relationship that comes out of that. So I asked the professor, I said something like, this would be for the entire class, "Most of what you're saying don't, does not apply to a lot of what you're saying or you're now, so it doesn't apply to people who are outside of this parameter which you're discussing. In other words, people who don't have the money to afford this kind of vehicle. These are people who haven't reached this level and are not likely to reach this level of success in American society, so the amounts that you're talking about, the relationship between a consumer who has money to purchase this product and is well-read, has a contract before them, or whatever, that doesn't apply to them. So, it's important to think of a framework, or begin to think of frameworks, that apply to mass of people who don't, who are not in this, these parameters that you're talking about. This is for middle class people, for upper middle class people, et cetera, and so, let's focus on something that deals more specifically with their problems, their issues." He dismissed it, out of hand, and the class was ready to jump on me. There were snickers in the classroom, why was I even raising such a subject. These people were not there to talk about the kind of issues I was talking about. They were there to be trained in contract law, securities law and other kinds of subjects that would allow them to advance their careers, in a traditional way. So what I was trying to bring up as a subject, it had no relevance to what was being discussed in class. So that was a real eye-opener for me right from the beginning, but still it was important for me to do that searching, to try to figure out how this experience could, could help me try to find a way to make a difference in the lives of black people and move black people forward and as a result of that, the country as a whole forward, and I just saw that being a traditional lawyer wasn't going to do that.$Well what else? I mean, now you've been involved in several business ventures in Africa, right (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yes, I've been involved in a number of, some major business projects in Africa. One is the, probably the most significant one is the West African Gas Pipeline project. This was a project that the major oil companies in Nigeria wanted to build to accomplish several objectives. One, of course, to make money by selling natural gas that comes from the oil fields and gas fields in Nigeria, to West African countries, that's one. A second objective is that the gas has been flared, or burned off, for many, many years. There's been a lot of complaints about that from environmental groups around the world that this causes a great pollution to our atmosphere, world atmosphere, and so the big oil companies wanted to find an alternative to flaring this gas which is, obviously, wasteful, this gas, natural gas, obviously is a product that's heavily used around the world for a lot of very productive purposes. And a third mission, of course, is that by using this gas, the West African countries could begin to use a tremendous resource to boost their economies, to, to speed the development of their economies because it's a much cheaper source for fuel and energy needs than is oil. Back in nineteen ninety--1995, the Ghanaian government asked me, approached me and asked me if I would consider being honorary consul general for Ghana. I didn't fully know what they wanted me to do. I made, of course, full inquiries as to what they wanted me to do and they asked me if I would promote the country for business here in the United States. So, they said to me that they would give me access to all of their top officials, including the president, for the promotion of business. So as a result of that, I was able to do a number of business deals in Africa including the, playing a central role early on in the building of this West African Gas Pipeline. Chevron [Overseas Petroleum Inc., San Ramon, California] approached me and asked me if, they learned of my presence here in Chicago [Illinois], even though I'm far away from Ghana, they knew that I represented the government of Ghana and they asked me if I would assist them in making contact with the government of Ghana. They needed that contact in order to be able to facilitate the building of this pipeline, putting all the different pieces together. They obviously had very good relations in Nigeria with the government of Nigeria because they had been pumping oil in Nigeria since, what, late '50s [1950s] or so or early '60s [1960s], but they didn't have ties with the Ghana government but I did, working directly with the president of Ghana [Jerry Rawlings] and other top officials in Ghana, minister of energy, for example. I was able, over a period of three and a half years, to help Chevron and Shell [Oil Company], the two principal oil companies involved, to establish the relationships with the governments of, yeah.

Wayne Curry

Wayne Keith Curry was born on January 6, 1951, in Brooklyn, New York; his father was a teacher and his mother was a homemaker and later a secretary. Curry grew up in Cheverly, Maryland, a bedroom community outside of Washington, D.C., where his family helped to integrate the neighborhood in the 1950s. He and his older brother also integrated the schools, being the first blacks to attend Cheverly-Tuxedo Elementary in 1959; he earned his high school diploma from Bladensburg High School in 1968.

In 1972, Curry earned his B.A. degree in psychology from Western Maryland College, where he was president of the freshman class. Following graduation, he worked as a teacher and director of the Child Daycare Center of Prince George’s County. In 1974, Curry took a hiatus from the professional arena and traveled across America; during his trip he earned money working at truck stops and slept at campsites throughout the country.

From 1975 until 1980, Curry worked in the Winfield Kelly administration. Kelly was the executive for Prince George’s County from 1974 until 1978. Curry’s career began as a staffer responsible for writing constituent reply mail; he later went on to serve as community affairs assistant, administrative assistant to the county’s chief administrative officer and senior assistant to the executive. While working for Kelly, Curry also attended law school at night, earning his law degree from the University of Maryland in 1980. From 1980 until 1983, he worked as a real estate and development lawyer for the Michael Companies. In 1984, Curry started his own law practice and became a well-known, successful corporate attorney.

In 1994, Curry returned to the county executive’s office and made history when he became the first African American to serve in that office. Curry served two terms as Prince George’s County Executive. Curry continued to practice law in the county throughout this time, and long after.

Curry passed way on July 2, 2014.

Accession Number

A2004.185

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/29/2004

Last Name

Curry

Maker Category
Schools

Bladensburg High School

Cheverly-Tuxedo Elementary

McDaniel College

University of Maryland

First Name

Wayne

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

CUR03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Mountains, Lakes

Favorite Quote

It Is Hard, But It Is Fair.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/6/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

7/2/2014

Short Description

Corporate lawyer and county government official Wayne Curry (1951 - 2014 ) served as the first African American County Executive of Prince George’s County. In addition to holding public office, Curry also has a successful law practice.

Employment

Child Daycare Center of Prince George’s County

Winfield Kelly Administration - Prince George's County

Michael Companies

Meyers, Billingsley, Shipley, Curry, Rodbell & Rosenbaum

Prince George's County Executive’s Office

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Wayne Curry's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Wayne Curry lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Wayne Curry describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Wayne Curry describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Wayne Curry describes his extended family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Wayne Curry describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Wayne Curry describes his childhood routines growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Wayne Curry remembers holiday celebrations from his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Wayne Curry describes his childhood neighborhood in Cheverly, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Wayne Curry describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Wayne Curry talks about his job working in a pet shop during junior high school in Cheverly, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Wayne Curry reflects upon growing up during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Wayne Curry recalls his experience desegregating Cheverly-Tuxedo Elementary School in Cheverly, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Wayne Curry talks about his academic interests and influential teachers in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Wayne Curry describes the social and academic challenges of integrating Cheverly-Tuxedo Elementary School in Cheverly, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Wayne Curry recalls his neighborhood's response to his attending majority-white schools in Cheverly, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Wayne Curry talks about his drive to succeed during his elementary and junior high school years

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Wayne Curry describes his social experience at Bladensburg Junior High School in Bladensburg, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Wayne Curry describes his interests and pastimes during his years at Bladensburg Junior High School in Bladensburg, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Wayne Curry recalls influential events and figures from his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Wayne Curry describes his experiences at Bladensburg High School in Bladensburg, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Wayne Curry describes his extracurricular interests while at Bladensburg High School in Bladensburg, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Wayne Curry talks about his choice to attend Western Maryland College in Westminster, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Wayne Curry describes his dissatisfaction with the community at Western Maryland College in Westminster, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Wayne Curry recalls racist incidents at Western Maryland College in Westminster, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Wayne Curry describes how he became interested in the study of psychology at Western Maryland College in Westminster, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Wayne Curry recalls his initial jobs and travels after graduating Western Maryland College in Westminster, Maryland in 1972

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Wayne Curry recalls his travels throughout the United States during 1974

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Wayne Curry reflects upon the youth culture of the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Wayne Curry talks about working for Winfield M. Kelly, Jr., County Executive of Prince George's County, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Wayne Curry talks about his early experiences working on political campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Wayne Curry describes his experiences at the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Wayne Curry talks about his hiring at NAI Michael Lanham, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Wayne Curry talks about his working relationship with Kenneth H. Michael, principal of NAI Michael in Lanham, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Wayne Curry describes his law career during the mid-1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Wayne Curry talks about how and why he chose to run for the county executive of Prince George's County, Maryland in 1994

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Wayne Curry talks about how his background prepared him for political office in Prince George's County, Maryland in the 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Wayne Curry reflects on his election as the first African American county executive of Prince George's County, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Wayne Curry talks about the negotiations to build Jack Kent Cooke Stadium in Landover, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Wayne Curry talks about his contentious relationship with Governor Parris N. Glendening of Maryland during the 1990s, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Wayne Curry talks about his contentious relationship with Governor Parris N. Glendening of Maryland during the 1990s, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Wayne Curry talks about his future political plans

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Wayne Curry describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Wayne Curry reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Wayne Curry narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

3$1

DATitle
Wayne Curry talks about his early experiences working on political campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s
Wayne Curry reflects on his election as the first African American county executive of Prince George's County, Maryland
Transcript
I had become involved [in politics] once, in 1966 at the urging of these couple of buddies of mine, and I lasted two weeks, I mean, I'm not gonna be involved in this kinda mess, you know, and (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) What were you doing in 1966, what were you involved in?$$I think we were promoting, I can't remember the guy's name, but he [Spiro Agnew] was opposing some racist who was running here on the theme of, "Your Home is Your Castle, [Protect It]." George P.--$$--so it was a local--$$--Mahoney. That's who; George P. Mahoney was running for governor under the theme, "Your Home is Your Castle." And, I can't remember the gentleman who was opposing him but they dragged me into some campaign activity and subsequently they talked me into one more campaign with Joe Tydings [Joseph D. Tydings] who was running for U.S. Senate, and who did succeed at becoming a senator. But I really wasn't interested, didn't last long, you know, wasn't a good volunteer. But I've always been loyal and contentious so when I went to work for Winnie Kelly [Winfield M. Kelly, Jr.] and he was running for election and I was one of his guys, then I did what your guys do, you support the throne and you go down with the ship. And so that's when I became more interested in politics. At that time I had a girlfriend who was--who had also been a CETA [Comprehensive Employment and Training Act] employee and she worked in the [Prince George's County, Maryland] county executive's office and in the same election that Winnie lost, she was victorious and became the first black woman elected to our county council. So, you know, I was still covered (laughter) and we had done, you know, a good and fun job of maneuvering to get her in that position and she was a brilliant woman too, a lady by the name of Debbie Marshall [Deborah Marshall]. And, so Debbie won and then that's when it really began, in earnest, I spent a lot of time helping over the years, other people become politicians. And, learned a lot more about the synergy, the relationship between government and business, much more than I ever knew, much more than most citizens know.$So 1994 you're elected as county executive?$$Right.$$Prince George's County, Maryland.$$Right.$$The first African American county executive?$$Right.$$I just--I'm curious, what were your thoughts after you had gone to work as a constituent mail reply (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) As, as a grunt (laughter)--$$(Laughter).$$--yes.$$--in the '70s [1970s] for the county executive [Winfield M. Kelly, Jr.], here you were not only in the county executive's office, but making history as well?$$My feelings are actually indescribable, they were on the night of the election and they remain so. I can at least translate it a little bit into words now because it gave me an opportunity to do something that was unprecedented. At the time there were only two black elected county executives in the entire country of which there's three thousand plus counties. It was in my hometown [Cheverly, Maryland] with its checkered history of race relations and the personal sacrifices and battles which had been made from childhood forward through a lot of painful and anguishing stuff and through the election itself, which became rollicking because the traditional party fathers, when I decided to run, laughed and ignored this campaign until the first financial filing when they observed that I had a half a million dollars in the bank and at which point they decided then to destroy me, in essence, in political terms. And they invented opponents to run against me and things like that to split the black vote in predictable sorts of ways to influence the calculus, the metrics of the election, and it didn't work. And that--my father [Eugene Curry] had died in the year just before the election year and, you know, there were a lot of swirling sentiments and emotions going on all the way back to that decision he made about elementary school and the fulfillment. And as you observed, you know having worked up from the grunt level to this very eminent achievement in my hometown was overwhelming. And in a lot of ways, looking back at it, poetic in a sense, that I now believe that not my hand, but God's hand was at work in all of this and prominently, because in addition to all the things I thought about the campaign, and all the reasons that I postulated for doing it, once we had won and discovered that the jurisdiction was in far different shape than we had been told, that we were broke, that we confronted a structural deficit, that my predecessor [Parris N. Glendening] who had harvested 98 percent of the black vote had taken that vote, and used it and its future to mortgage his own and fuel his ascension to the governor's seat, all of those things then took on a different perspective in my own mind and had a different sort of prominence in my thinking. It's very rare, I think, to be granted an opportunity to be so influential in one's hometown. To actually stamp the future with the imprimatur of your service, to tattoo the future with the changes that you invoke as the leader of the jurisdiction and in a jurisdiction like this, highly political, highly publicized, on the threshold of Rome, the new Washington [D.C.] with the boys and a lifetime of political involvements here around this area. I'd be different if I was from Topeka [Kansas], I grew up around Washington and even the simple culture and climate of the community's different around here, and remains so. So the emotions are indescribable in a sense, I was very proud of the opportunity to elevate my hometown to make a difference. Everybody says it but not everybody does it nor does everybody get a chance to do it, and for innumerable reasons I got a chance to do it, we changed it, we completely reversed the direction of the place in economic terms. We changed its image, we contradicted expectation, we defied, obliterated stereotype. There were no big scandals; there were no economic and financial upheavals. There were no big mistakes in those terms. We ended a thirty-year-old bussing case that nobody else would touch. We demonstrated the courage to change the laws that had bankrupted us despite the opposition of unions who then totally and completely abandoned me as a Democratic leader. And over the objections of over the incumbent governor [William Donald Schaefer] and the Democratic Party that essentially abandoned me because I wasn't a good boy, but I was a right boy in the sense that we made this community better, and we've made it unprecedented and we've defied stereotype, we contradicted every adverse image that could be painted of a majority black political subdivision in ways that have never been replicated anywhere in this country including in those ascendant communities outside of Atlanta [Georgia]. So we're special, I had a significant role in that, the good Lord blessed me with opportunities I never dreamed of, we, the Washington Redskins play in Prince George's County because of the deal that we cut--

John Jacob "Jake" Oliver

John Jacob “Jake” Oliver, great grandson of Afro-American Newspaper founder John J. Murphy and current CEO of the Afro-American Newspapers, was born July 20, 1945 in Baltimore, Maryland. His entrance into sixth grade was used to integrate the previously all white John E. Howard Elementary School. Oliver attended Garrison Junior High School and graduated from Baltimore City College High School in 1963. He attended the University of Maryland for two years, but transferred to Fisk University in Nashville, where he flourished under the tutelage of Dr. Jimmy Lawson, Dr. Theodore Courtney, David Driskell and Arna Bontemps. Oliver graduated from Fisk University in 1969 where he was a student leader. He went on to Columbia University Law School where he earned his J.D. degree in 1972.

From 1972 to 1978, Oliver practiced corporate law as an associate with the firm of Davis, Polk and Wardell in New York City. It was founding partner J. W. Davis who had lost the landmark federal Brown v. The Board Education case. Returning to the Washington and Baltimore area, Oliver served as corporate counsel for General Electric from 1978 to 1982. However, Oliver decided to return to help with the family newspaper, the Afro-American, and then, in 1982, Oliver became its publisher, chairman and chief operating officer.

Since taking over the helm, Oliver has overhauled the Afro-American Newspapers and the African American (the AFRO) publishing business, resulting in increased circulation. Today, the AFRO is digitally connected to three offices in Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Richmond as well as its printer in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Oliver serves as a board member of First Mariner Bank, past president of the National Newspapers Publishers Association (NNPA) and chairman of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Accession Number

A2003.273

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/12/2003

Last Name

Oliver

Maker Category
Middle Name

Jacob "Jake"

Organizations
Schools

Baltimore City College

John E. Howard Elementary School

Garrison Middle School

University of Maryland

P.S. 112

Fisk University

Columbia Law School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

OLI01

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Youth, Adults, Journalism and Computer Technology

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Spring, Fall, Winter

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: $500-1500, plus travel and lodging

Preferred Audience: Youth, Adults, Journalism and Computer Technology

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

7/20/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Corporate lawyer and newspaper publishing chief executive John Jacob "Jake" Oliver (1945 - ) is the publisher and CEO of the Afro-American newspaper and is the great-grandson of Afro-American founder, John Murphy, Sr.

Employment

Davis, Polk & Wardell, LLP

General Electric Company

Afro-American Newspapers

Favorite Color

Blue, Gray

Timing Pairs
0,0:2698,56:3124,70:4473,96:4757,101:5041,129:17430,305:27590,676:30870,745:31750,759:32070,764:35590,832:36950,857:38310,876:45208,895:49422,983:50010,993:51970,1028:52362,1033:52852,1039:53244,1044:58641,1073:60342,1113:60846,1124:63430,1140:63790,1145:65680,1171:67300,1190:67750,1196:69640,1225:70900,1241:82998,1397:85940,1414:88020,1456:88280,1461:88540,1466:91400,1525:92115,1539:94715,1615:103605,1708:105050,1733:106240,1749:107345,1772:107940,1781:108450,1789:108790,1794:113034,1815:114070,1833:114958,1848:117178,1887:123690,2015:123986,2020:128962,2047:129664,2058:134656,2148:137308,2208:145894,2318:146286,2326:147182,2350:147518,2357:148190,2373:149646,2423:161620,2617:166342,2661:167512,2679:168058,2687:169150,2713:169540,2719:172330,2730:173254,2753:173650,2763:175036,2787:175564,2795:176158,2802:176488,2808:176950,2817:177280,2823:177544,2828:180774,2844:181990,2850:182886,2871:183654,2885:184230,2896:186010,2907:186910,2919:187360,2925:187900,2933:188260,2938:189840,2946:190140,2951:191490,2973:191790,2985:192240,2992:197590,3071:198940,3104:199540,3125:204115,3182:212485,3324:212833,3329:216990,3375$0,0:909,11:6750,104:7470,115:11532,194:12324,208:18100,286:19180,344:19684,353:22351,372:22789,379:23592,393:26293,459:26804,467:41712,672:47443,731:74484,1099:75444,1110:76212,1121:77076,1131:77652,1139:79832,1154:80966,1181:82748,1214:83072,1219:84692,1250:85016,1255:90129,1284:90541,1289:91880,1307:95718,1325:96030,1330:96498,1335:96888,1341:97434,1352:97980,1361:101256,1437:104724,1482:105064,1491:105744,1503:108124,1560:108396,1565:109620,1588:110096,1596:120303,1707:122214,1740:122669,1746:125945,1800:127219,1822:128675,1840:129039,1845:137286,1947:138352,1962:139582,1996:152108,2120:154711,2160:155896,2183:174856,2513:175567,2524:185670,2613:186045,2619:187245,2640:187620,2646:193020,2687:196770,2710:197260,2721:197820,2731:199080,2754:199850,2770:201740,2803:202020,2808:202790,2821:203560,2837:204050,2845:206290,2892:209000,2901:209385,2907:213774,2998:214236,3006:214929,3016:216084,3037:217008,3054:217316,3059:226627,3123:227015,3166:227403,3171:229920,3189:235608,3329:236082,3338:238057,3368:238373,3373:238689,3378:242501,3453:246888,3478:247304,3483:250008,3524:250528,3530:256144,3596:257550,3618:257920,3624:259844,3649:262360,3722:262804,3729:264284,3755:265912,3792:266430,3802:277014,3893:282576,3961:283656,3980:284160,3989:285168,4008:285600,4016:286032,4024:288330,4029
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John Jacob "Jake" Oliver's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about his father's education at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his father's relationships with members of the Murphy family of Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about his childhood home in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about his father's jobs at the Afro-American Company, later the Afro-American Newspapers

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes the sights and smells of his childhood in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his elementary school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver recalls the fear he experienced transferring to John Eager Howard Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his experience at Garrison Junior High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his experience at Baltimore City College in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about his academic performance and classes at Baltimore City College in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver recalls a homeroom teacher and a friend from Baltimore City College in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver explains how Emmett Till's murder affected his racial consciousness

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver explains his trepidation about attending the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver recalls the hostile campus atmosphere of the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland in the early 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver recalls disliking the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland as an undergraduate student

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver remembers transferring from University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland to Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his undergraduate experience at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes the 1967 campus riots in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his tenure as editor-in-chief of the Fisk Forum at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his professors at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about black power activists and his decision to attend Columbia Law School in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes living in New York City's Greenwich Village in 1969

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about his mother's death

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes working in the New York Times newsroom in 1969

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver recalls conversations he had with pressroom workers at the New York Times in 1969

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver recalls conversations he had with prostitutes in Times Square, New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his first year at Columbia Law School in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about the Socratic Method of law instruction and his interest in tax law

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about graduating from Columbia Law School and accepting a position at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes working at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver comments upon the experiences of African American lawyers on Wall Street in the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver recalls meeting Kenneth Chenault as an associate at Davis Polk & Hardwell in the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about working as corporate counsel for General Electric

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about acquisition deals he brokered for General Electric

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about reforming operating procedures as vice chairman of AFRO-American Newspapers

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver explains how he and his cousin, HistoryMaker Reverend Frances Murphy Draper assumed control of Afro-American Newspapers

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about reforming production procedures as CEO of AFRO-American Newspapers

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about reforming delivery procedures for the AFRO-American Newspapers

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver explains how new typesetting techniques made newspaper printing more efficient

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about healing family relationships and the future of Afro-American Newspapers

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about the Afro-American Newspapers' online presence

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about sports journalist, Sam Lacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about Romare Bearden's 1930s cartoons for the Afro-American Newspapers

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about cartoonists and journalists who have contributed to the Afro-American Newspapers, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about cartoonists and journalists who have contributed to the Afro-American Newspapers, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about the Afro-American Newspapers' plans to reach a younger audience

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about his initiatives as president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA)

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver considers what he would have done differently

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver comments upon the relationship between politics and African American newspapers

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about his work on the Maryland Higher Education Commission

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - John Jacob "Jake" Oliver describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

2$7

DATitle
John Jacob "Jake" Oliver recalls meeting Kenneth Chenault as an associate at Davis Polk & Hardwell in the 1970s
John Jacob "Jake" Oliver talks about reforming production procedures as CEO of AFRO-American Newspapers
Transcript
And, but it was a good experience and it was something, again, that I would do. And I met some very good people. I--one of the people that I met that I'd forgotten was in--when I was in my third year at Davis Polk [& Wardwell, New York, New York], they always had summer associates come in to spend the summer. And they, once in a while, you know, they were from Harvard [University, Cambridge, Massachusetts], Columbia [University, New York, New York], Yale [University, New Haven, Connecticut], and University of Virginia [Charlottesville, Virginia] or University of Pennsylvania [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. And, you know, they were always, you know, spend--encourage them to, to get to know everyone. And, and that summer, there was a young brother from Harvard. I remember him vividly now 'cause he stuck his head in my office. He was a little short but not real short. He had, of course, a tie on, and I think he had a pink button-down shirt on. And he, you know, he just slid into my office and sat down and we just spent some time talking. I'd forgotten about that conversation and, and forgot about that young man until last summer. I was invited to address all of the black executives of IBM at the IBM headquarters at Armonk [North Castle, New York] by--Ted Childs is a good friend, was senior vice president in charge of diversity there. He is a big wheel at IBM. And he convenes all the blacks once a year to--everybody check in with each other, which I think is good, but he does it also for gay, lesbians, and Hispanics and, you know, because IBM is a very different company, primarily because of what Ted Childs has done. And I was addressing the black executives for about an hour explaining what the black press was about and telling them where we need to work together. And after that, there was a reception, and then I got invited to hang out for the next speaker. And Ted grabs me and pulls me to the side and says, come on, I want you to intro- I want to introduce you to the next speaker. And I told him I really was rushing to get back. He said, no, we got time, so I got dragged across the room. And he says, "Jake, I would like to introduce you to Ken Chenault, chairman of American Express." So Ken looks up. He said, "Jake, I saw your name on the program and I was so excited that you were the--I am really glad to see you here, man, 'cause there's so much we need to talk about." I was like, "Do I know you?" He says, "You don't remember me?" I said, "I know who Ken Chenault is." He says, but I don't--he says, "Davis Polk." And then, suddenly, it came back. That was the young associate who spent that afternoon with me talking about various things. He never forgot it, which was an important lesson at that late stage for me, that it really never hurts to spend some time to try and share your experience with anyone who is willing to listen for purposes of being able to help them in some small way avoid maybe some of the things that you may not have been able to. The lesson also taught me that, you know, that, you know, there's a lot of people out there who just don't forget small things, and what I thought was a small thing to me was apparently not so small to him. So, but it was very gratifying. It was probably one of the highlights, but one of the many highlights of, of my experience at Davis Polk.$And so, we came in in '86 [1986], took over. It [Afro-American Newspapers] was not in shambles, but it really was difficult. Tony [HM Reverend Frances Murphy Draper] was just absolutely great because I was still at--I was still at, at practicing, the law firm, but I was chair- I was chairman of the board and CEO [chief executive officer]. Tony was president, but she really walked in and just grabbed the day-to-day stuff, and it was largely through her efforts that helped us get through the next two to three years, while I was still practicing. And I didn't stop practicing until '87 [1987]. I came in around '87 [1987], '88 [1988]. And when I came in, my real focus at that point was to implement the conversion of the automation, which eventually saved the paper only, because, keep in mind, we were seventeen, eighteen people in our production department. We were--I mean, our staff was so big, we were not automated in connection with anything. Tony held the reins when I got in. We started to--I started, we really started to move everything. And by 1990-'91 [1991], I'd cut the production staff from seventeen down to seven. We had converted to a totally new process, desktop publishing. We were looking at weak--encountered a very serious tax problem. And we were looking for a new location. And we took some major steps. We sold our building in [Washington] D.C. We got out of, out of, we got out of trouble with the IRS [Internal Revenue Service]. We sold our building in Baltimore [Maryland]. I mean, in, in Baltimore, because that building literally was falling down on top of us. And we moved into this building in 1991. And in 1992, I'm sorry, in 1992, we moved here. Nineteen ninety-three [1993], we threw away our paste-a-boards and our X-ACTO knives, and we became one of the few newspapers in the area that was completely automated.$$This is in '90 [1990]--$$Ninety-two [1992], '93 [1993].$$'92 [1992].$$Everything was done on the Mac [Macintosh]. And that was primarily a result of--from '87 [1987] to '92 [1992] through the move in '93 [1993], I took off my suits. I moved into the production department with Mac Classic and started to teach everyone, not only how to use a Mac Classic, how to lay out pages, and develop the process of getting people to put (laughter), to put the copy on floppy discs, if you can--I mean, can you imag- flop- we had, we had, we had a, a sneaker circuit going around where go upstairs from the editorial department. They have their stories on floppy discs. They run them downstairs to give them to me. I'd put them in--I laid out every major front page and every major section page of this paper in four years. I mean, I--not only did I teach the process, I learned the process, taught everybody how to do it, starting from classifieds, which you can't imagine what it's like laying out classifieds on a Mac Classic, which goes eight megahertz a second. I mean, it, it is like slow as can be. But we did it, and then we gradually moved up, got faster machines as they were developed. And now in '94 [1994], we blew the lid off by going ISDN [Integrated Services Digital Network] that connected us with terminals in our editorial department in the Washington [D.C.] office, and terminals in the editorial department in our Richmond [Virginia] office. Everything got connected in a wide area network. This is in '94 [1994] using ISDN. No one in the world knew what ISDN was. And then, the next year, we dropped ISDN, and went--we went frame relay. Folks thought we were crazy, but I had cut my operational expenses by one-third every time we made a move. It became so efficient. We became faster. Our paper became--came, hit the street faster. And my staff was reduced to now to the point where we have five people in production doing capacity-wise, maybe twice as much as we'd ever done. Took the savings and hired more sales people. It was a simple strategy, but someone had to sit down and learn how to do it step by step by step.

Charisse R. Lillie

Born to educators Richard and Vernelle Lillie on April 7, 1952, Charisse Lillie was made aware of the importance of service and education, and has made both part of her own legal legacy. Lillie received her B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1973, her J.D. from Temple University Law School in 1976, and her LL.M. from Yale University in 1982. Throughout her distinguished career, Lillie has shown a profound commitment to affecting change through the law. Among the first generation of students to integrate Houston's public schools in the 1960s, she was aware that attorneys were critical to dismantling the laws of segregation.

As a college student, Lillie wrote a monograph on the careers of African American federal judges. This experience helped shape her career by putting her in contact with early giants. After receiving her LL.M., Lillie taught law at Villanova University in Pennsylvania before embarking on a distinguished career in government service as assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Civil Division) from 1985 to 1988, general counsel to the Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia from 1988 to 1990, and as city solicitor for Philadelphia from 1990 to 1992. She joined Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll in 1992.

Serving as partner and chair of the litigation department of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, Lillie's practice centers on discrimination defense. She lectures widely and serves as an adviser on issues such as diversity, anti-discrimination and affirmative action. Lillie serves on countless boards, committees and organizations and was most recently appointed chairperson of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award from the Urban League of Philadelphia. Lillie is married to Thomas McGill, Jr. and has one daughter, Alison McGill.

Accession Number

A2002.185

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/9/2002

Last Name

Lillie

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

R.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Turner Elementary School

St Peter The Apostle

Mt. Carmel High School

Phillips Academy

Wesleyan University

Temple University Beasley School of Law

Yale Law School

First Name

Charisse

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

LIL01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/7/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Mexican Food

Short Description

Corporate lawyer Charisse R. Lillie (1952 - ) chairs the litigation department of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP in Philadelphia. She is also the chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Federal Reserve Bank.

Employment

Villanova University

United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia

City of Philadelphia

Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:1410,15:1790,20:14330,264:15660,286:17845,307:18225,313:18605,318:18985,323:19745,332:22215,357:30665,380:31835,400:40415,567:43275,612:43925,626:57854,846:63002,954:64190,1001:68744,1065:69272,1075:69932,1093:71252,1127:71714,1136:71978,1141:72308,1147:86540,1321:88219,1356:89825,1383:92599,1435:111795,1785:112236,1794:112614,1802:113748,1813:133460,2129:135560,2146:145950,2303:148534,2326:151422,2377:156058,2455:167204,2543:176920,2702$0,0:5320,130:9348,222:19608,430:29828,541:30404,549:35084,685:72277,1272:103820,1759
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charisse R. Lillie's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charisse R. Lillie lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charisse R. Lillie talks about her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charisse R. Lillie talks about her grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charisse R. Lillie describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charisse R. Lillie describes her experience at Turner Elementary School and Mt. Carmel High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charisse R. Lillie talks about her summer camps at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charisse R. Lillie talks about her interest in theater

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charisse R. Lillie describes her experience at Mr. Carmel High School

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charisse R. Lillie describes her inspirations for becoming a lawyer

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Charisse R. Lillie remembers Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charisse R. Lillie describes her motivations for attending Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charisse R. Lillie describes her mentor at Wesleyan University, Professor Clement Vose

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charisse R. Lillie describes two of her mentors at Wesleyan University named Jeffrey Smith

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charisse R. Lillie talks about her experience at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charisse R. Lillie describes her experience at Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charisse R. Lillie describes working with Judge A. Leon Higginbotham on his first book

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charisse R. Lillie describes her early career as a lawyer and her experience at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charisse R. Lillie describes the history of the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the National Bar Association, and the American Bar Association

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charisse R. Lillie describes the opportunities available to African American lawyers

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charisse R. Lillie describes her experience as an Assistant United States Attorney

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charisse R. Lillie describes her experience as Chair of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charisse R. Lillie describes her experience as City Solicitor for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charisse R. Lillie describes her experience working at Ballard, Spahr, Andrews and Ingersoll

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charisse R. Lillie talks about some of her organizational involvements

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charisse R. Lillie talks about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charisse R. Lillie talks about the high profile trials of Mumia Abu-Jamal and O.J. Simpson

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charisse R. Lillie talks about her experience as a lawyer

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charisse R. Lillie talks about the importance of corporate policies against racial and sexual discrimination

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charisse R. Lillie talks about her belief in affirmative action

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Charisse R. Lillie shares her views on reparations

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charisse R. Lillie talks about her plans for the future

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charisse R. Lillie describes her hopes and aspirations for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charisse R. Lillie talks about her current involvement with the arts

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charisse R. Lillie reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charisse R. Lillie reflects upon her parents' pride in her and her sister Marsha Lillie-Blanton

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charisse R. Lillie talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charisse R. Lillie narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$1

DAStory

2$7

DATitle
Charisse R. Lillie describes her experience as City Solicitor for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Charisse R. Lillie talks about her summer camps at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts
Transcript
Okay, now, you were also City Solicitor [for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]--(simultaneous)--$$Yes, yes. I was City Solicitor. I was the last City Solicitor to [HM] Mayor W. Wilson Goode, and Mayor Goode was, had a--was a two-term mayor [1984 to 1992]. During the last two years of his term the city was in very, very dire economic straits. And there were problems with the city getting the kind of financing that it needs. Any city--and it's just--the city's no different from you and me. With the city, the kind of payments that the city gets in the form of tax revenue tends to be bunched towards April to January. And during the course of the year, the city will both issue bonds as well as do some short-term borrowing, but when they get all of the tax receipts in, they can then pay that money back. And towards the end of the mayor's second term, the, there were political difficulties with the leadership in Harrisburg [Pennsylvania] in the State Capital. And they actually, I mean they actually stood up and said that they didn't think that the city should be allowed to borrow money. And the mayor was able to work out some deals with the local banks so that the city could do the long term--the short-term borrowing for the, to keep the city afloat. But it was tough times. And then at the end of the administration, the administration also was able to introduce legislation in Harrisburg, through the Philadelphia delegation, and a financial or fiscal review board was created. And I was actually appointed to that--after I left city government, I was actually appointed to the PICA Board. It's the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority. And that agency was then allowed to borrow funds, and during the [Mayor Edward] Rendell administration, the city was able to really get back on its feet financially, really able to get back on its feet financially. Now the job of City Solicitor under the Philadelphia City Home Rule Charter is, you are appointed by the mayor. You are confirmed by the City Council, and the City Solicitor serves as the lawyer to the mayor and the lawyer to the City Council. And in that capacity--at the time that I was with the Law Department, and we had 128 lawyers who were on the staff of the City Solicitor, and those lawyers handled every civil aspect, so that our lawyers--giving advice to City Council on legislation that they're gonna introduce. The lawyers defend the city in all kinds of proceedings from slip and falls, police--alleged police misconduct, commercial disputes, bond deals. So the City Solicitor is really the civil lawyer for the city and, of course, the district attorney is the criminal lawyer for the city.$Okay, tell me about high school at Mt. Carmel [High School in Houston, Texas].$$Mt. Carmel.$$Now, you were at Mt. Carmel, but you also had the opportunity to attend a prep school in Massachusetts?$$Andover, right. That's right. The Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts were--those were two--it was a summer program. At that time, Phillips Academy was all boys, and they had summer programs in the summer. And these were academic programs where you would go and study for eight weeks. We studied--I don't know, you know, I studied African American History at--well, let me tell you the story about the African American history. The first summer I went, there was no African American history. And there were a group of really amazing kids. And we sort of complained, and they said, well, you all think that we should have African American history, why don't you recommend somebody. I, and this is what Dr. Sheeler used to always say. He said, "Charisse got me a summer job" because I recommended Dr. Sheeler, and Dr. Sheeler and Mrs. Sheeler went up. And he taught African American history my second summer there. But it was an amazing program. Our advisors were college kids from Harvard [University], Wellesley [College], Wesleyan [University], and the teachers were both university professors as well as Andover teachers who came in for the summer and taught us for eight weeks. We also did a coffeehouse every Friday night, and we would do poetry readings. And it was, it was a great program. It was academic enrichment as well as developing friendships and sort of a summer camp, but very highly intellectual atmosphere.$$This is like 1966--$$It would have been the summer of '69' [1969], and the summer of '68' [1968]. Mm hm.$$Okay--