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Dr. June Jackson Christmas

Psychiatrist Dr. June Jackson Christmas was born on June 7, 1924 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Mortimer Jackson and Lillian Jackson. She earned her B.S. degree in zoology from Vassar College in 1945, and her M.D. degree in psychiatry from the Boston University School of Medicine in 1949. Christmas completed her psychiatric residencies at Bellevue Hospital, and Queens General Hospital. She also received a certificate in psychoanalysis from the William Alanson White Institute.

In addition to opening her own private practice, Christmas worked as a psychiatrist for the Riverdale Children’s Association in New York City from 1953 to 1965. In 1962, she became chief of the group therapy program at the Harlem Hospital Center and founded the Harlem Hospital Rehabilitation Center in 1964. From 1964 to 1972, she served as principal investigator on research projects for the National Institute of Mental Health; and in 1971, began teaching at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 1972, Christmas was appointed deputy chief of the New York City Department of Mental Health and Retardation Services by Mayor John Lindsay. She was re-appointed in 1973 by Mayor Abraham D. Beame and again in 1978 by Mayor Ed Koch. In 1976, Christmas headed the Department of Health, Education and Welfare transition team for then president-elect Jimmy Carter. In 1980, Christmas began teaching behavioral science at the C.U.N.Y. Medical School. While teaching at C.U.N.Y. she co-founded the think tank Urban Issues Group. Christmas also served as a member of New York Governor Mario Cuomo's Advisory Committee on Black Affairs in 1986, and as chair of New York City Mayor David Dinkins' Advisory Council on Child Health in New York City from 1990 to 1994.

Christmas was a member of Vassar College's Board of Trustees from 1978 to 1989. She was the first African American woman president of the American Public Health Association in 1980. In 2003, she became a member of the board for the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Christmas also received numerous awards for her work, including the 1974 Human Services Award from the Mental Health Association of New York and Bronx Cities, as well as the 1976 Award for Excellence in the Field of Domestic Health from the American Public Health Association. She was named Vassar College’s President's 1988 Distinguished Visitor, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Medical Fellowships in 1999.

Christmas has three children: Vincent, Rachel, and Gordon.

Dr. June Jackson Christmas was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 19, 2017 and February 3, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.004

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/19/2017 |and| 02/03/2017

Last Name

Christmas

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Jackson

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Kendall Square Elementary School

Russell School

Cambridge Rindge and Latin School

Vassar College

Boston University School of Medicine

First Name

June

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

CHR04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Do it

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/7/1924

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sushi

Short Description

Psychiatrist Dr. June Jackson Christmas (1924 - ) founded the Harlem Hospital Rehabilitation Center in 1964, and served as deputy chief of the New York City Department of Mental Health and Retardation Services under three consecutive New York mayoral administrations.

Favorite Color

Blue, variations of turquoise

Don West

Photographer Don West was born November 15, 1937 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Elise and Claude West. West attended Brookline High School, graduating in 1955, before going on to study math at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. In the 1960s, West studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and was a professional bass guitarist. He taught transcendental meditation in Detroit, Michigan throughout the 1970s.

In the early 1980s, West became a staff photographer for the Bay State Banner in Boston, Massachusetts, documenting the movements, struggles, and successes of Boston’s African American community. During this period, West worked as a press photographer for United Press International. In 1983, West was the official photographer for Melvin King’s “Rainbow Coalition” mayoral campaign. Also in the 1980s, West regularly documented performers, including B. B. King, Whitney Houston, and Diana Ross, at Boston’s Concerts on the Common. In 1990, West served as official photographer for Nelson Mandela during the South African anti-apartheid leader’s visit to Boston on June 23, 1990. The Museum of African American History on Beacon Hill exhibited his work in the exhibit Portraits of Purpose, which was well-received and featured prominent social leaders of Boston’s African American community. West photographed Governor Deval Patrick’s inauguration in 2007; and in 2009, was a Resident Artist in the African American Master Artists-in-Residence Program at Northeastern University in Boston. In 2012, West founded Blackwire News Service, a wire service for people of color worldwide. The Urban League commissioned an updated version of Portraits of Purpose in 2012. Then, in 2014, West co-authored Portraits of Purpose: A Tribute to Leadership with Kenneth J. Cooper.

West is the founder and owner of Don West Photography. His editorial and documentary work has taken him all over the world, including to Spain, China, Paris, Jerusalem, and the Caribbean. Prominent subjects photographed by West have included Alice Walker, Angela Davis, J. Keith Motley, and President Barack Obama during his 2012 campaign trail in the Northeast. West is a member of numerous organizations, including: National Press Photographers, Boston Press Photographers and National Association of Black Journalists. He has received multiple awards for his contributions in photojournalism, particularly for the City of Boston.

Don West was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 19, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.078

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/22/2016

Last Name

West

Maker Category
Schools

Edward Devotion Elementary School

Brookline High School

Morgan State University

First Name

Don

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

WES09

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Do It Now.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

11/15/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sushi

Short Description

Photographer Don West (1937- ) documented Boston’s African American community for over thirty years.

Employment

Fotografiks

Sickle Cell Anemia

Transcendental Meditation

Various Endeavors

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:4161,131:7022,209:7352,215:7682,221:7946,226:18301,425:26463,553:31330,589:32230,603:33130,614:39220,794:45396,849:62210,1118:62900,1129:90420,1582:93842,1635:101908,1794:114490,1932:129269,2140:129664,2146:138527,2262:139537,2274:142668,2313:156412,2448:169508,2631:169898,2637:172472,2696:173018,2704:180924,2806:184929,2944:211256,3298:213570,3378:217753,3420:243000,3737$0,0:11630,223:12730,229:13720,283:25675,483:38230,644:38995,654:49344,745:50174,757:56243,863:58401,976:65110,1042:65913,1055:68896,1093:83384,1300:93898,1436:98624,1523:129820,1966:133804,2042:144040,2165:153965,2470:177828,2831:196750,3028
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Don West's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Don West lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Don West describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Don West talks about his paternal family's move to Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Don West describes his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Don West talks about his father's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Don West talks about his mother's racial identity

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Don West reflects upon his family's experiences of racial passing

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Don West describes his likeness to his father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Don West remembers his relationship with his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Don West describes his family's house in Brookline, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Don West describes his community in Brookline, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Don West talks about William Dawes' ride through Brookline, Massachusetts in 1775

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Don West remembers his early experiences of social exclusion

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Don West talks about the Wampanoag community in Mashpee, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Don West remembers his childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Don West remembers the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Don West remembers rebelling against his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Don West describes his experiences of segregation in Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Don West recalls his high school art instruction

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Don West talks about his paternal uncle's career as a lawyer

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Don West remembers the Boston Braves, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Don West remembers the Boston Braves, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Don West recalls his experiences at Morgan College in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Don West remembers working at the post office in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Don West talks about his Boston accent

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Don West remembers reconnecting with a college classmate

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Don West recalls opening the Folklore Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Don West describes the guitar technique of Reverend Gary Davis

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Don West remembers the folk music scene of the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Don West talks about the blues musician Taj Mahal

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Don West describes the development of his artistic interests

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Don West remembers his early experiences of religion

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Don West reflects upon his early experiences of social isolation, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Don West reflects upon his early experiences of social isolation, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Don West remembers his introduction to transcendental meditation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Don West remembers becoming a transcendental meditation teacher

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Don West talks about the need for transcendental meditation in the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Don West describes his experiences as a transcendental meditation teacher in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Don West talks about the changes in the transcendental meditation movement

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Don West remembers teaching transcendental meditation at San Quentin State Prison

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Don West talks about his work with sickle cell programs

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Don West recalls his start as a freelance photographer

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Don West talks about becoming a professional photographer

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Don West talks about developing his photography skills

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Don West describes the Portraits of Purpose exhibit

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Don West talks about his book, 'Portraits of Purpose: A Tribute to Leadership'

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Don West recalls documenting Nelson Mandela's tour of Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Don West talks about his international travels

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Don West remembers photographing Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick's inauguration

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Don West talks about his early camera equipment

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Don West talks about amateur photography

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Don West describes his photographic process, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Don West talks about the skills of a professional photographer

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Don West remembers his transition to digital photography

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Don West talks about his plans for his career

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Don West talks about the photography of Sebastiao Salgado

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Don West describes his philosophy of photography

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Don West talks about the advancements in digital photography

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Don West talks the African American Master Artists in Residence Program at Northeastern University

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Don West talks about the history of African American photography

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Don West talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Don West reflects upon his legacy and how would he like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Don West narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

4$7

DATitle
Don West remembers his childhood activities
Don West remembers photographing Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick's inauguration
Transcript
Mashpee [Massachusetts] was a place that they used to vacation in the summertime. My father [Claude West] would have two or three weeks' vacation.$$Okay and thi- (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) And it was a place where they could buy land and buy property, and so he bought property down there, and that was his getaway. He fixed up, you know, an old house that was there, and I used to help him do that. I learned a lot from my father though, in the sense of carpentry, bricklaying--I mean all kinds of--he could do it all, you know. He graduated from Hampton Uni- Hampton Institute when it was a vocational school [Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute; Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia] around the turn of the 20th century. So, he graduated as a brick mason. And what he was good at was building chimneys. So, when my uncle, the lawyer, they both--the two of them were the ones who were really interested in Mashpee. And they built a house for my uncle, my--William [William West], and my father built the chimney. So, I learned how to--I was--I could brick lay, I could do carpentry, I could do electrical work. I could do--because he could do all that stuff. So I learned a lot from him on that side of the--we worked together on--I mean he shared that with me. So, you know, to go to back to what I said before about how we were distant; well, he did connect, we did connect in that area. So he had a house down there, and we would go down there. And I think I was coming to that around the kind of isolation that I experienced. Even though I had the friends around, there was still--I was different. I still had--you know, I knew what color my skin was and what color their skin was, but I didn't pay it a lot of attention. But I knew it was different--that's about, probably the extent of that. So, that made me some degree--you know, because my whole environment is white and I'm brown, I had a natural outlaw feeling, so to speak, if you--? But then going to the Cape [Cape Cod, Massachusetts] and my being an only child, there was nothing, there was nobody for me to really relate to in those two or three weeks, other than I'd helping my father do whatever he was doing. And so that was--so I had a general isolation in growing up, which made me do for myself--you know, create projects on my own and create my own world often. One of the things I did, probably I was nine or ten, eleven years old, I was interested in radio, because TV was just coming along in those days. But radio--and I created a radio station in my room, and I hooked it up by wire to the kitchen, and I used to do radio programs for my mother [Elise Thurston West] while she was cooking dinner. I would do--and the radio show I would do would be kind of a disc jockey show. I would have music and then a little banter. So, I had a record player and I had the microphone. I had a whole little setup in my room.$$So, did you like a Heathkit thing, or what was it (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well, it wasn't a--no, it wasn't a Heathkit. But it was just an amplifier, you know, that I bought. And the microphone, set that up to that and hooked the record player into the amplifier and ran the wires downstairs. So, that was sort of the beginning of my interest in media. I also used to draw a lot in my years of, let's say six to twelve years, thirteen years old. Because when I went into high school [Brookline High School, Brookline, Massachusetts], I thought I was going to be an illustrator. I wanted to a cartoonist or something like that, so I had a graphic sense, which I think then served me well as, when I finally became a photographer. I always had that sense of vision and applying it in some way.$One of the most famous photographs, or the one that, that I--when I was reading about you and people talked about the most, was the picture of Deval Patrick [HistoryMaker Deval L. Patrick] when--with the hands on him. You know, describe that (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Right. Well, that was the night before his inauguration to be the first African American governor in Massachusetts. And he went to a local church [Old South Meeting House, Boston, Massachusetts] for a very traditional ceremony, where many different pastors from around the community come together in a moment and place their hands on him to bless him and to give him spiritual powers and support going forward into the job that he's about to do. And there were many, hundreds of people in this big church that night. And this was up on a stage, and he was standing there. And all of these ministers up--eight or nine or ten of them were around him. And so all of the photographers--I mean there were seven, eight, nine, ten photographers there, and we were all jostling for position and so forth. And there are pictures from that moment where some photographer just got this broad shot. But I felt to get right in tight. And this picture of Deval is a tight shot, right up in his face, and you can see a hand on his shoulder and you can see a cross on the garment of one of the ministers right next to him, and another minister behind--so, it's a very intimate shot. And his eyes were closed, feeling the spirit. So, it was the hands on spirit piece that that picture was about. He then, in his inauguration the next day another unique picture that I don't know how many might have. But he did his inauguration al fresco, outside the front of the state house [Massachusetts State House] in Boston [Massachusetts], which nobody had ever done before. And they had this huge stage set up in front of the--and all the elected officials, everybody you can imagine, you know, in the political life was up on that stage. And I was on a press riser across the street, and I got this wide angle picture that has the state house up (gesture). And the interesting thing is when he was called to speak, it had been rainy--not rainy, but gray and overcast the whole morning, and a little chilly. When he came up to speak the sun came out--literally. I mean, it was just amazing (laughter). And I got that shot, you know. You can see the clouds kind of breaking, and the blue of the sky a little bit, and the light, you know, off the dome, the golden dome, and all of this wide stretch of stage and him speaking. So, that was my wide shot, and then I got a lot of close ups, you know, with the swearing in and all of that. But it was a very unique experience. And that's what I really cherished about being a photographer, is to be at events like that, to be where history is being made, and it's been good.$$Yeah, it places you right in the center of it. Yeah (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, yeah, and being around those history makers.

Gus Solomons jr

Dancer and choreographer Gus Solomons jr was born on August 27, 1938 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Olivia Stead Solomons and Gustave Solomons, Sr. He attended Cambridge High and Latin School before enrolling at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1956, where he studied architecture. During this time, he began studying dance as a student of Jan Veen and Robert C. Gilman at the Boston Conservatory of Music.

Upon graduation, Solomons moved to New York City to dance in Oscar Brown, Jr.’s musical Kicks and Company, with choreographer Donald McKayle. Solomons joined McKayle’s company shortly after, and began taking classes at the Martha Graham School. Solomons’ interest in postmodernism developed further at Studio 9, where he shared space with other modern dance colleagues and worked with avant-garde experimentalists, some of whom went on to form the Judson Dance Theater collective. While at Studio 9, Solomons caught the attention of Martha Graham’s student Pearl Lang, who cast him in Shira in 1962. In 1965, postmodern choreographer Merce Cunningham asked Solomons to join his company. There, Solomons created roles in How to Pass Kick Fall and Run, RainForest, Place, Walkaround Time, and partnered with Sandra Neels in Scramble. In 1968, Solomons left Cunningham’s company after sustaining a back injury. He then collaborated with writer Mary Feldhaus-Weber and composer John Morris on a dual-screen video-dance piece entitled CITY/MOTION/SPACE/GAME at WGBH-TV in Boston, produced by Rick Hauser. Solomons went on to found his own company, The Solomons Company/Dance, creating over 165 original pieces. He became known for his analytical approach and incorporation of architectural concepts as well as his exploration of interactive video, sound, and movement, as depicted in the piece CON/Text. In 1980, Solomons began writing dance reviews, which were published in The Village Voice, Attitude, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. In 1996, he founded PARADIGM with Carmen de Lavallade and Dudley Williams. Solomons also worked as an arts professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts until 2013.

In 2004, Solomons was named the American Dance Festival’s Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching. He received the first annual Robert A. Muh Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and served as a Phi Beta Kappa Scholar in 2006.

Gus Solomons jr was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 7, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.054

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/7/2016

Last Name

Solomons

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Occupation
Schools

Kennedy-Longfellow School

Boston Conservatory at Berklee

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge Rindge and Latin School

First Name

Gus

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

SOL02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Wherever I Have Work

Favorite Quote

Dance Like No One's Watching.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

8/27/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Dancer and choreographer Gus Solomons jr. (1938 - ) created over 165 dance pieces for his two companies, The Solomons Company/Dance and PARADIGM. He was known for his analytical approach, architectural concepts, and use of video and other forms of media.

Employment

Donald McKayle and Company

The Joffrey School

Barbara Dona and Associates

Studio 9

Jacob's Pillow

Barbara Dorn Associates

Dance Circle

Merce Cunningham Dance Company

Martha Graham Dance Company

Solomons Company Dance

Glimmerglass Playhouse and the Canadian Opera

PARADIGM Dance Company

Complexions

Favorite Color

Orange, Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:704,13:1496,24:1848,29:2288,35:3344,48:4312,71:5808,107:6864,126:19964,171:20354,177:21602,197:24242,224:32980,307:35418,333:37928,354:39134,384:39469,390:41211,421:42484,470:48940,551:50965,669:51340,675:62685,931:68114,1023:79654,1167:80474,1180:88839,1346:92832,1390:103795,1537:104619,1547:108376,1574:114750,1645:115185,1651:116577,1677:117795,1694:118404,1703:121888,1731:122785,1757:123268,1765:123958,1777:124234,1782:126925,1858:127339,1865:127753,1872:145318,2082:145780,2089:146319,2103:146781,2111:147782,2128:148090,2133:157270,2242:164354,2307:164975,2315:166760,2341:168590,2351:168974,2356:169646,2366:170030,2371:170702,2387:172142,2412:172910,2432:174770,2438:176062,2464:176402,2470:176810,2477:177082,2482:178442,2518:184474,2592:185956,2620:186736,2635:192508,2772:192898,2778:197570,2802:199219,2824:203390,2917:203778,2922:204360,2929:214808,3024:221008,3128:222412,3161:224284,3189:224908,3198:231852,3274:235480,3318:236558,3335:236866,3340:237482,3350:238637,3385:240947,3424:246464,3473:247928,3507:262058,3647:263085,3665:267272,3735:270350,3763$0,0:1764,31:3192,59:3948,70:47530,524:48055,530:63769,633:65188,645:69522,676:75350,710:76250,722:77240,736:77690,742:79490,764:80120,773:82190,819:82640,825:86330,878:88490,912:94080,936:95676,963:97680,971:98110,977:98454,982:101760,1002:107741,1058:108359,1065:109389,1081:114200,1162:115608,1196:116056,1204:135138,1338:136514,1353:136858,1358:137632,1370:138922,1393:139524,1401:148500,1536:148980,1543:151330,1586:152067,1605:152871,1619:166566,1737:170878,1810:174398,1864:175102,1874:175718,1883:176422,1893:182018,1932:185090,2037
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gus Solomons jr's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gus Solomons jr lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gus Solomons jr describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gus Solomons jr describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gus Solomons jr remembers his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gus Solomons jr describes his neighborhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gus Solomons jr talks about the lack of racial diversity in his neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gus Solomons jr describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gus Solomons jr describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gus Solomons jr recalls his early exposure to music and performance

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gus Solomons jr remembers the start of his career in performance

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gus Solomons jr describes his early academic success

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gus Solomons jr talks about his attitude towards racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gus Solomons jr recalls his decision to study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gus Solomons jr remembers studying dance at the Boston Conservatory of Music

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gus Solomons jr describes the start of his dance career in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gus Solomons jr describes his position at Barbara Dorn and Associates

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gus Solomons jr remembers performing in 'Kicks and Company'

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gus Solomons jr recalls joining the companies of Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gus Solomons jr talks about the techniques of Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gus Solomons jr remembers performing with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gus Solomons jr describes the formation of Solomons Company Dance

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gus Solomons jr describes his creative process for choreography

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gus Solomons jr talks about the theories of choreographic composition

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gus Solomons jr recalls the funding for Solomons Company Dance

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gus Solomons jr remembers the dancers in Solomons Company Dance

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gus Solomons jr describes the rehearsal space for Solomons Company Dance

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gus Solomons jr remembers touring with the National Endowment for the Arts

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Gus Solomons jr describes 'City Motion Space Game,' pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gus Solomons jr describes 'City Motion Space Game,' pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gus Solomons jr talks about the dance installations 'Red Squalls' and 'Red Squalls II'

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gus Solomons jr talks about his work as a dance critic

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gus Solomons jr talks about his committee service

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gus Solomons jr talks about his experiences of clinical depression, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gus Solomons jr talks about the Paradigm Dance Company

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gus Solomons jr talks about the loss of his family

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gus Solomons jr describes the live video dance 'CON/Text'

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gus Solomons jr talks about his collaborations with Jason Akira Somma

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gus Solomons jr talks about his depression's influence upon his work

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gus Solomons jr describes the Paradigm Dance Company

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gus Solomons jr talks about his experiences of dancing at an older age

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gus Solomons jr describes his involvement with the It Gets Better Project

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gus Solomons jr talks about his involvement in the piece 'Monument 0.1'

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gus Solomons jr reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gus Solomons jr shares his advice to aspiring dancers

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gus Solomons jr reflects upon the state of diversity in dance

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gus Solomons jr reflects upon his life

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

4$2

DATitle
Gus Solomons jr remembers studying dance at the Boston Conservatory of Music
Gus Solomons jr talks about the dance installations 'Red Squalls' and 'Red Squalls II'
Transcript
When did you perform in your first professional show?$$(Makes sound) I guess, I would say the Dancemakers. That was a company that I joined in 1958 maybe. It was Boston's first professional modern dance company. And, it was started by Martha Baird who lived out in Newton [Massachusetts] or somewhere. And, there was no modern dance company so that was, that was what I would call my first professional performing.$$And, when you were taking dance classes leading up to that, did you take traditional ballet and all of the--?$$Yes, when I went to the Boston Conservatory [Boston Conservatory of Music; Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Boston, Massachusetts]. See, in my first year at Tech [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts], I went out to audition for the show, the original musical. And, they said, "Wow, you can dance. Can you choreograph?" And, I said, "Oh, you mean make up dances? Yeah, I can do that." So, I was the lead in the show and choreographed it.$$What show is this now?$$It was called MI- the 'Tech Show.' It was an original--and the first one was called "Djinn and Bitters" [Harold Lawler]. And, I played the genie. But, when I--they said, "Can you choreograph?" I thought, well, maybe I should go and see what that's about. So, I went across the river [Charles River] to the Boston Conservatory and enrolled in a modern dance class, which was taught by Jan Veen, who was a German Viennese who had studied with Laban [Rudolf von Laban] and he taught us the Laban scales. Now, in the, in his system of teaching, making dance and technique and improvisation were all one. There were no categories, no sharp divisions. So, that was a wonderful way to learn to dance. And, then, they kept offering me more and more classes because men were scarce in dance in Boston [Massachusetts] at that time. And, then I started taking ballet classes with Rue Santon [ph.], and--Cecchetti technique, and jazz with Bob Gilman [Robert C. Gilman]. That was kind of Broadway jazz.$$And, this was all at the conservatory?$$Correct.$$So, you were taking, the entire time that you were in college you were also taking dance classes--$$Yes.$$--across the water?$$Yeah, (makes sound). Yes. Yes. As a matter of fact at one point in my senior year, or my, yeah, either the fourth or fifth year, I went up for jury with our projects. That week, the last week before the project, I had slept six hours in total that week, because I would sleep two hours before each performance. I was performing in an opera in Boston, 'Traviata' ['La Traviata,' Giuseppe Verdi] I think. And, when I got up to present my work one of my professors said, "Gus [HistoryMaker Gus Solomons jr], would you tell us how you managed to do a full time architecture course at MIT and still have time to be dancing professionally in the opera?" I thought, oops, busted (laughter).$$Right, right, right.$$But, yeah, I mean, 'cause when you're that age you don't need sleep. You just need more pasta and coffee. But, that--$$So, you knew, that you were gonna be a dancer?$$I did (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Some- in one way or another.$$I knew I wanted to do some kind of performing. And, I remember actually going to one of my professors, Richard Phillapolski [ph.], and saying, "You know, I really, I'm not sure I wanna finish that extra sixth year because I really wanna be a dancer." And, he said, "Oh, no, you will be a credit to your race if you become an architect." He--those were his words (laughter). And, I thought, okay, whatever. And, then when I graduated, I graduated in May--oh, and they gave me an award at MIT, a (unclear) or something, in recognition of my service as a performer in the 'Tech' shows, because I did 'Tech Show' every year when I was there.$Moving forward in time, what's another highlight?$$Another highlight, let's see. There were, I think the collaborations stand out for me with Toby Twining doing the music and Scott De Vere doing the installation in that company, especially--and, that was starting in '88 [1988] 'til '93 [1993] and culminating in a big site specific piece ['Red Squalls,' Gus Solomons jr] at Lincoln Center [Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, New York] in '93 [1993] on the North Plaza where the pool is. And, we took up that whole space with six dancers and twelve (pause) dancers, prop movers, chorus. An installation was a 150 foot long fabric wall that had, you know, posts each twelve feet. And, that could isolate the dancers or it could have its own dancers, become a solid if you zigzagged it from a cube. Or, it could become a streamer or it could be, if you twisted the opposite, via every other post it became a, like a bowtie arrangement. And, then the dancers would move around the plaza in relationship to this wall. That was the first time. The second time, we did it again in 1997 ['Red Squalls II,' Gus Solomons jr]. And, that time I collaborated with Walter Thompson whom I begun working with who did instrumental music. But, with a kind of a language that he had devised of directing improvisation by musicians. And, the musicians then were part of the spectacle because they marched around and they moved and they were in separate locations and so forth and he could conduct them all. And, this time also, there was a fabric designer [Stephanie Siepmann] who made the costumes. And, the costumes were three dimensional fabrics that she had invented essentially. So, the dancers were in these wonderful constructions in addition to moving.$$So, when you did these pieces on the plaza, did you also film them?$$Yes. Not, very comprehensively. But, there are bits and pieces of film that exist in the New York Public Library performing arts collection [New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, New York, New York].

Rashid Silvera

Model and educator Rashid Keith Dilworth Silvera was born on December 8, 1947 in Boston, Massachusetts to Don Hector and Phyllis Matilda Silvera. Silvera is the nephew of film actor, director and producer, Frank Silvera and second cousin of Albert Silvera, international car collector and Renaissance man. Silvera was raised in Roxbury, Massachusetts and graduated from Williston Academy in Easthampton, Massachusetts in 1967. He then enrolled at Colgate University, but, in 1969, transferred to Bennington College, where he received his B.A. degree in political science and anthropology in 1972. Silvera went on to obtain his M.T.S. degree from Harvard Divinity School in 1974 and his Ed. M. degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1976.

In 1975, Silvera was hired as a teacher in the history department of the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He taught at Gill St. Bernard’s School in Gladstone, New Jersey from 1976 to 1977, and then at San Francisco University High School in San Francisco, California from 1977 to 1979. Silvera returned to the East Coast in 1979, when he was hired as a social studies teacher at Rye Country Day School in Rye, New York. In 1981, he began teaching at Scarsdale High School in Scarsdale, New York.

Aside from teaching, Silvera worked as a fashion model for a number of years. While staying at the house of a friend in the early 1980's, Silvera was noticed by owners of a modeling agency, who then launched his career as a model. He first modeled for fashion photographer Rico Puhlmann. In April of 1983, Silvera became the fourth black male model to appear on the cover of GQ magazine. His appearance would mark the last time an African American male model would appear on a GQ cover. Silvera also appeared on the covers of Essence magazine and CODE magazine, and was the first African American male to model for a Polo Ralph Lauren advertisement campaign.

Silvera was profiled in Marci Alboher’s 2007 book, One Person/Multiple Careers: A New Model for Work/Life Success, as well as by Black Enterprise in 2011.

Rashid Silvera was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 13, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.247

Sex

Male

Interview Date

08/13/2014

Last Name

Silvera

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Keith Dilworth

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

The Williston Northampton School

Colgate University

Bennington College

Harvard Divinity School

Harvard Graduate School of Education

First Name

Rashid

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

SIL01

State

Massachusetts

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

12/8/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Model and educator Rashid Silvera (1947 - ) was the last African American male model on the cover of GQ magazine, as well as the first African American to model for a Polo Ralph Lauren advertisement campaign. He also taught history at Scarsdale High School in Scarsdale, New York, starting in 1981.

Employment

Scarsdale High School

Rye Country Day School

University High School

Gill St. Bernard's School

Buckingham Browne & Nichols School

H. Carl McCall

Government official and civic leader H. Carl McCall was born on October 17, 1935 in Boston, Massachusetts to Herman McCall and Caroleasa Ray. He and his five siblings were raised in Boston’s Roxbury community. In 1954, McCall graduated from Roxbury Memorial High School, where he was president of his class. He received his B.A. degree in government from Dartmouth College in 1958, and went on to attend the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. He also received his M.Div. degree from Andover Newton Theological Seminary and became an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.

McCall worked first as a high school teacher and a bank manager, and then joined the United States Army in the 1960s. By the late 1960s, he moved to New York City to work for church outreach and was subsequently appointed by Mayor John Lindsay to head the Commission Against Poverty. In 1971, McCall helped to found and served as president of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation. He was then elected to the New York State Senate representing the upper Manhattan district of New York City in 1975, and went on to serve three terms. In 1979, McCall was appointed as an ambassador for the U.S. delegation to the United Nations by President Jimmy Carter. He unsuccessfully ran for Lieutenant Governor in 1982, but was named the state’s commissioner of human rights by Mario Cuomo in 1983. McCall then served as vice president of Citicorp from 1985 to 1993, and from 1991 to 1993, he served as president of the New York City Board of Education under Mayor David N. Dinkins.

In 1993, McCall became the first African American elected as the New York State comptroller after winning a special election. He was reelected to the position in 1994 and in 1998. McCall then ran for and won the Democratic primary for Governor of New York in 2002, but was defeated in the general election. He stepped down from his post as comptroller in 2003, and later started a financial services firm called Convent Capital.

McCall was a member of the board of the New York Stock Exchange from 1999 to 2003. He also sat on the board of the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc., and is a member of the Fiscal Control Board for Buffalo, New York. He has also served on the boards of directors for TYCO International, New Plan Realty, TAG Entertainment Corporation, Ariel Investments, and as chair of the New York State Public Higher Education Conference Board. In 2011, McCall was appointed chairman of the State University of New York Board of Trustees. He is the recipient of nine honorary degrees and was awarded the Nelson Rockefeller Distinguished Public Service Award from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University of Albany in 2003.

McCall is married to Dr. Joyce F. Brown, the president of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. He has one daughter, Marci.

Carl McCall was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 18, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.146

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/18/2014

Last Name

McCall

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Carl

Schools

Henry Lee Higginson Elementary School

Roxbury Memorial High School

Dartmouth College

Andover Newton Theological School

First Name

H.

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

MCC17

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Dutchess County, New York

Favorite Quote

Keep Hope Alive.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

10/17/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Federal government official and civic leader H. Carl McCall (1935 - ) became the comptroller of New York State in 1994. He was the first African American to be elected to a statewide office in New York.

Employment

State University of New York

Office of the Comptroller of the State of New York

New York City Board of Education

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Citicorp

New York State Division of Human Rights

The United States Department of State

New York State Senate

Favorite Color

Green

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of H. Carl McCall's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - H. Carl McCall lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - H. Carl McCall describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - H. Carl McCall describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - H. Carl McCall talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - H. Carl McCall describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - H. Carl McCall remembers his community in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - H. Carl McCall describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - H. Carl McCall remembers the St. Mark Congregational Church in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - H. Carl McCall describes his early personality

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - H. Carl McCall remembers his schooling in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - H. Carl McCall talks about his academic success

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - H. Carl McCall talks about his relationship with his father

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - H. Carl McCall remembers segregation in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - H. Carl McCall remembers Edward Brooke

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - H. Carl McCall remembers teaching at Jamaica Plain High School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - H. Carl McCall talks about his interest in teaching

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - H. Carl McCall recalls his decision to attend Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - H. Carl McCall talks about his experiences at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - H. Carl McCall talks about the fraternities at Dartmouth College

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - H. Carl McCall remembers working at Breezy Meadows Camp in Holliston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - H. Carl McCall talks about his transition to college

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - H. Carl McCall remembers graduating from Dartmouth College

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - H. Carl McCall recalls his first experience of segregation in the South

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - H. Carl McCall talks about the segregated housing at Fort Benning in Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - H. Carl McCall talks about his decision to apply to graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - H. Carl McCall remembers studying at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - H. Carl McCall talks about developing his theology

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - H. Carl McCall remembers his missionary work in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - H. Carl McCall recalls becoming an organizer for the New York City Mission Society

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - H. Carl McCall describes his initiatives at the New York City Mission Society

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - H. Carl McCall talks about the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - H. Carl McCall describes the New York City Council Against Poverty

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - H. Carl McCall talks about the Urban League of Greater New York

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - H. Carl McCall remembers expanding the Opportunities Industrialization Centers to New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - H. Carl McCall talks about the relationship between the Congregational church and historically black colleges

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - H. Carl McCall reflects upon his political career in New York

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - H. Carl McCall talks about funding community programs in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - H. Carl McCall recalls his role in the administration of Mayor John Lindsay

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - H. Carl McCall remembers meeting Percy Sutton

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - H. Carl McCall remembers acquiring the New York Amsterdam News

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - H. Carl McCall talks about the founding of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - H. Carl McCall talks about his campaign for the New York State Senate

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - H. Carl McCall describes his experiences in the New York State Senate

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - H. Carl McCall describes the demographics of the New York State Senate

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - H. Carl McCall remembers his appointment as ambassador to the United Nations

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - H. Carl McCall talks about his position at WNET-TV

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - H. Carl McCall remembers his run for lieutenant governor of New York

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - H. Carl McCall talks about his work at Citibank, N.A., pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - H. Carl McCall remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - H. Carl McCall talks about his work at Citibank, N.A., pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - H. Carl McCall talks about the role of African Americans in the municipal finance industry

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - H. Carl McCall recalls his appointment to the New York City Department of Education

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - H. Carl McCall talks about minority participation in New York State governance

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - H. Carl McCall recalls becoming the comptroller of New York State

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - H. Carl McCall remembers his reelections as New York State comptroller

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - H. Carl McCall talks about the challenges of political campaigning

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - H. Carl McCall remember his campaign against Herbert London

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - H. Carl McCall remembers the election of Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - H. Carl McCall talks about the influence of the Republican Party in New York State

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - H. Carl McCall talks about his plans to run for governor of New York

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - H. Carl McCall remembers joining the board of the New York Stock Exchange

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - H. Carl McCall talks about the controversy over Richard Grasso's pension

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - H. Carl McCall remembers the effect of September 11, 2001 on the New York Stock Exchange

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - H. Carl McCall remembers his decision to run for governor of New York

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - H. Carl McCall talks about his gubernatorial campaign against George Pataki and Andrew Cuomo

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - H. Carl McCall describes the reasons for his unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in 2002

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - H. Carl McCall reflects upon his experiences as a politician

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - H. Carl McCall talks about his hopes for young black politicians

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - H. Carl McCall talks about his corporate board memberships

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - H. Carl McCall talks about his relationship with Andrew Cuomo

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - H. Carl McCall describes his role as chairman of the State University of New York System

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - H. Carl McCall talks about StartUp NY

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - H. Carl McCall talks about the future of public education in New York

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - H. Carl McCall talks about Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposal for public education funding

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - H. Carl McCall talks about income inequality in New York

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - H. Carl McCall talks about the neglect of the middle class

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - H. Carl McCall talks about the importance of black organizations

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - H. Carl McCall describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - H. Carl McCall reflects upon the legacy of his generation

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - H. Carl McCall reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - H. Carl McCall reflects upon his life

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

11$9

DATitle
H. Carl McCall remembers his appointment as ambassador to the United Nations
H. Carl McCall recalls becoming the comptroller of New York State
Transcript
And then, what happens at that point?$$At that point I, I felt that I--my opportunities were limited. I felt that, you know, being in the minority in the senate [New York State Senate] you were you're just limited in what you, what you could do. And that, that wasn't going to change because I didn't see the possibility of Democrats taking over the senate for a long time. And I figured that's something I hadn't done yet and this I never had except for my travels I never really hadn't an international experience. And I'd like to--and I wanted to do something that would expose me to the international community. So I called my friend Charlie Rangel [HistoryMaker Charles B. Rangel], and I said, "Charlie, you know, maybe it's time for me to do something else. How about the possibility of being an ambassador of some African country." So, right away Charlie Rangel sent me to Washington [D.C.] to meet with a fellow who was--at that time Jimmy Carter [President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.] was president. And there was a fellow named Louie Martin [Louis E. Martin] from Detroit [Michigan], who was a major political, national political figure. And he was the major main black person in the White House. And his job was to recruit black folks and a few other things. So Charlie sent me to see him, and I just happened to show up to see him as you remember Andy Young [HistoryMaker Andrew Young] had been the ambassador at the United Nations. And because of some difficulty around his meeting with Palestinians he left the job. And Donald McHenry [Donald F. McHenry] moved up to become the chief ambassador and what people didn't know there were four people with the title of ambassador at the United Nations. There's the chief representative, and then there were three deputies, all with the title of ambassador so, Donald McHenry had one of those positions. When he then took Andy Young's place as the chief representative, his spot was open. Just so happen when I went to meet with Louie Martin they were looking for someone to fill that spot. And since I was from New York [New York] and knew New York and had Charlie Rangel's support, Louie Martin said, "How would you like to be the ambassador of the--United Nations?" That's how I got that job, so I spent two years there, and it was the last three years of the Carter administration. I got to travel a lot I got to meet a lot of interesting people like it that time there was a young person from Ghana. At the UN by the name of Kofi Annan, who later, you know, became the secretary general. But it was a very good, rewarding, broadening experience in terms of the people I met and the contacts I'd developed and the places that I was able to travel to.$So but then people came calling, right?$$Yes, um-hm. Then I had this interesting opportunity where there--a very important position as comptroller of the State of New York became open. Because the person who been there for some twenty-seven years I think resigned and given the fact that he resigned--$$That's Edward?$$Ed Regan [Edward V. Regan].$$Regan.$$When there's an opening such as that, the legislature [New York State Legislature] determines who the next person will be to fill out that term. And it happens with a joint meeting of the legislature but the assembly people dominate that because they are more of them. There are a hundred and fifty assembly people and only sixty senators and the assembly [New York State Assembly] had a lot of minority candidates members rather. They had a lot of members from New York City [New York, New York], so it was clear that if you had a lot of support in the assembly. You could get that position, and what I had as advantages now I have been in banking. And the comptroller's position is a very important financial position. So therefore I had the financial experience and I'd been in the legislature so I had the legislative experience they knew me so I had government experience. I had already run statewide for lieutenant governor, and I'd done well in Upstate New York. So it--I, I think I had a lot of advantages, and it worked that there two bodies met. And I had the overwhelming support of people in the assembly, and I became comptroller. And that's a very interesting job the comptroller of New York is a very powerful position because of the variety of those responsibilities. The comptroller of New York is the chief financial officer of the state. Is the chief auditor of the state and significantly the comptroller is the sole trustee of the state pension fund [New York State Common Retirement Fund] which provides pension and benefits to over a million public employees. And what that job entails is, is managing this portfolio of, of funds. And investing those funds for the retirement system. When I took over that position we were the second largest and still are. Second largest public pension fund in the country second to California. And when I took over the pension fund we had some $69 billion in assets. And when I left nine years later it had grown to $120 billion in assets. So while I was able to significantly grow the pension fund and to be a very good steward of those considerable responsibilities because they were so important to people who are in public service, who needs those resources, you know, when they retire, were able to increase the benefits to retirees while I was there. So that was a very exciting, difficult, demanding job, but I, I really enjoyed it.

Andrea L. Taylor

Corporate executive Andrea L. Taylor was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1947, and grew up in Cambridge at a time when her parents, Della Taylor-Hardman and Francis C. Taylor, Sr., attended Boston University’s graduate school. Taylor’s family moved to Charleston, West Virginia in 1956, and she enrolled in the fifth grade at the former Mercer Elementary School. After graduating from Charleston High School in 1964, she moved to Boston, Massachusetts. She went on to receive her B.A. degree in journalism from Boston University in 1968, and later pursued post-graduate studies in international politics at New York University.

Taylor began her career as a journalist working as a reporter, producer and on-air host for The Boston Globe and WGBH-TV in Boston. In 1988, Taylor founded the Ford Foundation Media Fund, where, as executive director, she oversaw the global distribution of $50 million in grants. Taylor then served as president of the Washington, D.C.-based Benton Foundation from 2001 to 2003, before serving concurrently as vice president and director of the Center for Media and Community at the Education Development Center in Newton, Massachusetts. Taylor then founded and served as managing partner at Davis Creek Capital, a media technology firm. From 2005 to 2006, Taylor served as an adjunct professor of journalism at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While there, she developed and taught a new course, “New Media, Power, and Global Diversity,” which focused on the role of public policy in the age of digital media. In July of 2006, Taylor was named director of U.S. Community Affairs at Microsoft Corporation. While there, she has managed Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential program, the Puget Sound community engagement, and the company’s employee United States community program.

From 1989 to 2012, Taylor served as an associate of the Council of Foundations, where she was also appointed as a member of the board of directors. She was appointed as a trustee of Boston University, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Philanthropy Northwest and WNYC Public Radio. Taylor also served as a member of the board of directors for the Film Forum, Ms. Foundation for Women, and The Cleveland Foundation. In addition, Taylor served as a delegate to four global summits of the United Nations: Tunis, Africa in 2005; Geneva, Switzerland in 2003; Beijing, China in 1995; and Cairo, Egypt in 1994.

Taylor received the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University, and the 2013 Creative Spirit Award from the Black Alumni of Pratt Institute. She was also a finisher in the 2009 New York City Marathon.

Andrea L. Taylor was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 13, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.001

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/13/2014 |and| 1/16/2014

Last Name

Taylor

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Leigh

Occupation
Schools

Roberts School

Mercer School

Thomas Jefferson Junior High School

Charleston High School

Boston University

New York University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Andrea

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

TAY14

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Get started.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

1/19/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peanut Butter

Short Description

Media executive Andrea L. Taylor (1947 - ) founded and directed the Ford Foundation’s Media Fund, as well as Davis Creek Capital, where she was a managing partner.

Employment

Microsoft

Harvard University

Education Development Center

Benton Foundation

A.H. Brown Enterprises

Ford Foundation

Bay State Banner Newspaper

Boston Globe

Cleveland Plain Dealer

Favorite Color

Black

Marian Johnson-Thompson

Molecular virologist, research director, and professor Marian Cecelia Johnson-Thompson was born in Boston, Massachusetts on December 9, 1946. She grew up in Rivera Beach, Florida. After graduating from high school in 1956, Johnson-Thompson enrolled at Howard University and graduated from there with her B.S. degree in microbiology in 1969 and her M.S. degree in microbiology in 1971. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in molecular virology from Georgetown University Medical School in 1978.

Upon graduation, Johnson-Thompson was hired by the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) where she became a Professor of Biology in 1995. She also served as an adjunct professor of Pharmacology at Georgetown University, and as an adjunct professor in the Department of Botany at Howard University. In addition, Johnson-Thompson held appointments as a visiting scientist at the Lawrence Livermore Radiation Laboratory, and as a molecular virologist at the National Cancer Institute. In 1992, Johnson-Thompson was appointed as the Director of Education and Biomedical Research Development for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). While there, she developed K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education programs as well as minority training programs. Her major initiatives include the Bridging Education, Science and Technology (BEST) Program, Advanced Research Cooperation in Environmental Health (ARCH) program. Her publications include over forty-five articles, book chapters and abstracts that focus on training, mentoring, and developing public policy to advance underrepresented groups in STEM fields. In 2004, Johnson-Thompson was named Professor Emerita of Biology and Environmental Sciences at UDC and she began serving as an adjunct professor in the School of Public Health at the University of NC-Chapel Hill.

Johnson-Thompson served as chair of the NIEHS Institutional Review Board for the protection of human subjects. At the national level, she served as a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Subjects Research Advisory Committee and the Trans-NIH Human Microbiome Working Group. Johnson-Thomson is a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the International Congress of Black Women. In 1978, she was a founding member of the National Network of Minority Women in Science.

Her awards and honors include the Alice C. Evans Award from the American Society for Microbiology in 2004 for her contributions to the advancement and full participation of women in microbiology. Johnson-Thompson was elected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology in 1998 and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2001.

Marian Johnson-Thompson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 7, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.112

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/7/2013

Last Name

Johnson-Thompson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Cecilia

Schools

Georgetown University

University of Maryland

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Marian

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

JOH43

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

To whom much is given, much is required.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

12/9/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Durham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Molecular virologist Marian Johnson-Thompson (1946 - ) , Director of Education and Biomedical Research Development for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is Professor Emerita of Biology and Environmental Sciences at the University of the District of Columbia.

Employment

National Institute of Health (NIH)

University of the District of Columbia

Pharmacology Dept., Georgetown University

Lab of Bio Chemistry, National Cancer Institute, NIH

Howard University Department of Botany

Space Sciences Div, General Electric

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marian Johnson-Thompson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marian Johnson-Thompson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her mother's family background - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her mother's family background - part two

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her mother's growing up in Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her father's education and his employment at the USO in Galveston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about her father's medical training

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about her father's medical practice, his death and the help that she received from his friend

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about her siblings, and living with her father in Clewiston, Florida, in the first grade

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about spending her childhood in Boston and Florida, and her parents' complicated relationship

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about starting school in Boston, Massachusetts and Clewiston, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about being aware of her parents' complicated relationship as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her experience in the fourth grade in Miami, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her experience in grade school in Clewiston, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about living with her stepmother, and her father's death in 1961

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her experience in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about her father's microscope, and her extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about applying to Howard University, and her stepmother's denial of her family's inheritance

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her experience at Howard University and talks about her godparents

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about her teachers and scholars at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about HistoryMakers LaSalle Leffall, Georgia Dunston and Agnes Day at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about HistoryMaker LaSalle Leffall at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about anthropologist Montague Cobb, the rise of Black Power in America and the civil rights era in the late 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about pledging Delta Sigma Theta sorority, and how it helped her to improve her academic performance at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about the political activism at Howard University in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her decision to pursue a master's degree in microbiology at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about her master's thesis research on the ultrastructure of the fungus, Neurospora crassa

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about being appointed as an instructor of biology at the University of District of Columbia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree at Georgetown University - part one

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree at Georgetown University - part two

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her doctoral dissertation work on the effect of 5-azacytidine on Simian Virus 40 DNA replication and conformation

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marian Johnson-Thompson discusses the eradication of smallpox in 1979

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) as the place where she advanced scientifically

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about meeting her husband

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about her involvement in teaching and administration at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC)

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about her involvement with the National Network of Minority Women in Science

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about teaching part-time at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about the etiology of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about becoming a full professor at the University of the District of Columbia and her research and teaching roles

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her appointment as Director of Institutional Diversity at the NIEHS

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes the NIEHS Advanced Research Collaboration for Environmental Health (ARCH) Program

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about the Environmental Justice Program, and the importance of standard guidelines for research on human subjects

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about research on the Epstein-Barr virus in Uganda

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about the awards and recognition received for her career's work

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Marian Johnson-Thompson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about microbiologist William Hinton and the controversy surrounding his will - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about microbiologist William Hinton and the controversy surrounding his will - part two

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Marian Johnson-Thompson reflects upon her life's choices

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about Henrietta Lacks, HeLa cells, and author, Rebecca Skloot

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about her family

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about her involvement with mentoring

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

7$8

DATitle
Marian Johnson-Thompson describes her decision to pursue a master's degree in microbiology at Howard University
Marian Johnson-Thompson talks about her involvement with the National Network of Minority Women in Science
Transcript
So, well, back to--now, in the world of microbiology. Now, were you poised to go to graduate school when you were a senior [at Howard University, Washington, District of Columbia]?$$No, I was not, at all. Sad to say, I was like the rest of my fellow female students at the time. I was going to get married. That was all that was important. And of course, several friends had already identified their wedding dates. And I was going to be in a wedding in July. So, this guy, the law school graduate who was graduating from law school, you know, he really cared about me. And I kind of forced him into agreeing that we would get married. But he kept telling me that he would probably be drafted, and which he was. And so, we got engaged. He bought me a ring before I left, before he left. But I wanted to get married right then, you know. I couldn't understand why we couldn't get married, and then he would go to Vietnam. And so, I was probably very, very upset about that, that I couldn't get married. And he was trying to, he was a very logical person, you know. "We'll get married, we'll come back." So I said, "What am I supposed to do, just stay here and wait?" He said, "No, you can go out and have friends." I said, "I can go out with other people?" Well, he was kind of stupid, too, because he said, "Yes." So, that's what I did. And when I did that, I realized I was not ready to get married. And so, being the honest person that I was, I had to write and tell him. Of course, he was in Vietnam. So, I got my phone call to say, "Just put that ring back on, and forget you ever told me this." So, anyway he came home, and so it was a real big breakup. No--but, so when he decided, when he--when I realized I wasn't going to get married and he was going to Vietnam, I decided I was going to stay at Howard and work on a master's degree. So, that's how I ended up going to graduate school.$$Okay. So did they, was cost a factor? Were you, did you get a scholarship?$$I got a small scholarship. But, and I should say--I had, I had several job offers. I often tell the young people today, being a microbiology major with a B.S. degree--I had two government job offers--Food and Drug [Administration, FDA], [U.S.] Department of Agriculture [DOA]. I had a job offer with Bristol Laboratories.$$This was just with a B.S.?$$Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. They had actually flown me and my girlfriend up there for an interview. My girlfriend, Brenda, the one who has Alzheimers, she was a microbiology major, too. We did the same thing. We were really close friends. She ended up going to work for Food and Drug. And I went to graduate school.$$Okay.$$To work on a master's.$Well, tell us about Minority Women in Science. And what--now, when was it founded and who--$$So, it was founded in, I think it was 1978. And it really came out of the work of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, AAAS. The Directorate for Education in Human Resources, which was and is still headed--Do you know Shirley Malcolm [also a HistoryMaker; science education advocate]? Did you do Shirley--$$Yes.$$Okay, okay. So, at that time it was headed by Shirley Malcolm. And Shirley's division was interested in increasing opportunities for minorities, women and the disabled. And so, she put together a group of women--she and Yolanda George--put together women to look at the participation of minority women. She, she wrote 'Double Bind.' I don't know if you, do you remember that? She wrote 'The Double Bind', okay.$$Just, just tell anyone watching. What is the "Double Bind?"$$So, the Double Bind was a document that Shirley Malcolm put together, along with some assistance from AAAS, to talk about the barriers that prevented minority women from excelling in science. And so, that it was not just the gender issue, being a female, but it was also--well, it's--works both ways. It's not just being a minority, but it's also being a woman. And before that time it was like well, you know, women have these issues, and minorities have these issues. And so, for the first time, it was really focused on the fact that minority women are in a double bind. They have the race and the gender issue. And an interesting side note to that, is that working with Shirley and being president of Minority Women in Science, I got a chance to go around the country and talk a lot. In fact, that's how I met Mary Frances Berry. We were on the same panel here, at UNC [University of North Carolina] Chapel Hill. And I know at that time--well, she hasn't seen me since, but I was probably identified by Mary Frances Berry--because you know how she is--as just a lame brain in terms of what was really going on. Because at the same time that we were there for that panel, the students at UNC [University of North Carolina] had erected these shanty towns--these, they called them shanty towns. And they were living in the middle of campus in these housing units that resembled, I guess the houses in South Africa, because they were protesting against apartheid. So, Mary--so, the people that told us about it--because that was going on--and so Mary Berry said, "Well, let's go over there." And of course, at the time I really didn't know what was going on, because I was a bit a naive. And I sort of paved along behind her, and she was doing all the talking. And I'm sure she just thought I was just a, you know, just not--very ignorant about issues. That was one reason why I said I wanted to send her a note and tell her thank you for that book. She probably won't remember the time that we were on the panel together. But in any event--So, that's how I got involved with Minority Women in Science. And we started--the first that I know of--at that time in 1979, we had science discovery days on a Saturday, on Saturdays, for district resident middle school students. And we brought them in and had them attend these workshops where various scientists engaged in hands-on activities. Of course, the idea was to introduce them to what we now call STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] careers, at a very early age. But this was the very beginning of this whole--what we do now--when we talk about engaging students at a very early age. Because with this focus that we had at UDC [University of the District of Columbia, Washington, District of Columbia] on engaging minority students, it then became an issue of engaging women at an early age. And so now, I mean that's the buzz word, you know, engaging students.$$And this was in the early '80s [1980s]? This is--$$It was, this was 1979--$$1979, okay.$$--when we had our first Science Discovery Day.$$Okay, okay.$$Now the organization is not as active. I think they still have the Science Discovery Days, but it's not as active. In my estimation, it doesn't make the same impact as it did then, because there's so many different organizations now doing the same thing.

Melvin Miller

Newspaper publisher and editor Melvin B. Miller was born on July 22, 1934 in Boston, Massachusetts. Miller grew up in Boston’s middle-class Roxbury neighborhood and graduated from Boston Latin School. He then enrolled at Harvard College and graduated from there in 1956 with his A.B. degree. Following a six month stint as an executive trainee at Aetna Insurance in Hartford, Connecticut, Miller was drafted and served for two years in the U.S. Army. He went on to enroll at Columbia University Law School and earned his J.D. degree from there in 1964. Miller was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar and the Federal Bar.

Upon graduation, Miller joined the U.S. Department of Justice as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. In 1965, he founded the Bay State Banner and served as the newspaper’s publisher, editor, and chief executive officer. In 1973, the Massachusetts Banking Commission appointed Miller as the conservator and chief executive officer of the Unity Bank and Trust Company, Boston’s first minority bank. In 1977, Boston Mayor Kevin W. White named him as one of the three commissioners of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. Miller became Chairman of the Commission in 1980. Miller then became a founding partner in the corporate law firm of Fitch, Miller, and Tourse where he practiced law from 1981 to 1991. He also served as the vice president and general counsel of WHDH-TV, an affiliate of the Central Broadcasting Station, from 1982 to 1993. Miller was a director of the United States-South Africa Leadership Exchange Program (USSALEP). He has written editorials for The Boston Globe, The Pilot, and Boston Magazine, and is the author of How to Get Rich When You Ain’t Got Nothing.

Miller is a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the Harvard Club of Boston, and the St. Botolph Club. Miller is a director of OneUnited Bank and MassINC. He is also a trustee of the Huntington Theatre Company and a trustee emeritus of Boston University.

Miller received the Award of Excellence from the Art Director’s Club of Boston in 1970. The New England Press Association awarded Miller the First Prize in General Excellence and the Second Prize in Make-up & Typography in 1970. Miller is a recipient of the Annual Achievement Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored people. Miller received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Suffolk University in 1984 and an Honorary Doctor Humane Letters degree from Emerson College in 2010.

Melvin B. Miller was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 24, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.162

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/24/2013 |and| 4/27/2013

Last Name

Miller

Maker Category
Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Schools

Boston Latin School

Harvard University

Columbia Law School

David A. Ellis Elementary School

Henry Lee Higginson Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Melvin

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

MIL09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

God Dwells Within You As You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

7/22/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Newspaper editor Melvin Miller (1934 - ) was the founder, publisher and editor of the Bay State Banner, a weekly newspaper advocating the interests of Greater Boston’s African American community.

Employment

The Bay State Banner

Unity Bank and Trust Company

Fitch, Miller & Touse

WHDH TV, Channel 7

United States Department of Justice

Aetna Life & Casualty

NYC insurance company

Public Schools

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:803,17:2628,55:6935,153:7373,165:10074,217:11388,241:14454,302:15549,332:15914,338:17374,398:35078,589:36244,602:41455,633:50462,723:60392,829:67952,926:68428,994:78880,1076:88571,1206:89045,1213:89598,1222:90309,1235:94101,1353:103810,1473:104580,1487:106400,1538:122934,1747:128530,1800:129325,1822:133150,1884:139300,1994:139650,2000:144830,2131:154270,2221:158904,2279:159590,2287:160766,2301:164840,2383:167288,2451:173282,2590:175260,2633:176894,2666:177410,2674:178012,2683:180506,2726:193995,2892:200066,2962:201536,2998:202712,3052:205750,3110:209869,3132:215715,3275:220780,3316:227620,3429:236612,3546:236948,3558:237452,3566:240140,3626:240476,3635:245090,3675$0,0:370,15:1450,24:2170,31:3250,44:11128,204:11590,213:19491,312:20404,325:21483,341:24056,380:25218,398:25550,407:26380,419:34034,484:36383,514:38408,541:45430,628:46204,638:46978,648:58390,765:62714,815:63748,827:66568,869:69200,907:90270,1099:90550,1104:91040,1112:91530,1121:92090,1133:95998,1187:97230,1212:97934,1239:105348,1344:115640,1446:116360,1509:119744,1560:120824,1583:132000,1725:133330,1754:137600,1851:138230,1861:146570,1942:152520,2031:153283,2039:153937,2046:154373,2051:167604,2216:168930,2240:175441,2294:176134,2316:185130,2407:185694,2414:194088,2528:194392,2533:202236,2635:202740,2644:203820,2665:205548,2700:213108,2881:218220,2990:231348,3134:241280,3260:243800,3307:256723,3444:259077,3468:262560,3479:266824,3570:275390,3644:287637,3787:292124,3833:294410,3857
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Melvin Miller's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller talks about his maternal grandfather's musical background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller describes his maternal grandmother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller talks about his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller talks about the African American community in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller talks about his Uncle Charlie

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller talks about his paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller describes his family connection to the black loyalist colony in Nova Scotia, Canada

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller describes his father's career at the U.S. Post Office Department

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller talks about his parents' relationship

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller lists his siblings

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller describes his experiences at Henry L. Higginson Elementary School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller remembers the Washington Park neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller remembers his high school classmate, Minister Louis Farrakhan

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller describes his experiences at the Boston Latin School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller talks about the academic rigor of the Boston Latin School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller recalls the prevalence of bullying at the Boston Latin School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller recalls his experiences at the St. Mark Congregational Church in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller remembers his extracurricular activities at the Boston Latin School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller remembers his SAT scores

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller describes his involvement with the NAACP in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller recalls his classmates at Harvard University, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller recalls his classmates at Harvard University, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller talks about the H-Block Gang

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller describes his experiences at Harvard University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller talks about his academic difficulties at Harvard University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller talks about the African American faculty at Harvard University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller talks about Edward Brooke's political career, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller talks about Edward Brooke's political career, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller describes the African American community at Harvard University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller remembers his graduation from Harvard University

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller describes how he came to work at the Aetna Life and Casualty Company in Hartford, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller talks about his U.S. military service

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller talks about his maternal family's German ancestry

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller recalls his decision to attend Columbia Law School in New York City

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller remembers investigating insurance claims in New York City's Harlem neighborhood

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller recalls a confrontation with the New York City Police Department, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller recalls a confrontation with the New York City Police Department, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller remembers Adolf A. Berle, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller remembers Adolf A. Berle, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller recalls becoming an assistant U.S. attorney general

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Melvin Miller talks about the founding of the Bay State Banner

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Melvin Miller's interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller describes the start of the Bay State Banner

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller remembers Charles Stewart

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller talks about William Monroe Trotter

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller remembers the early years of the Bay State Banner

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller recalls the first editor of the Bay State Banner

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller describes the political climate of the 1960s

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller talks about the Moynihan Report of 1965, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller talks about the Moynihan Report of 1965, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller talks about the urban renewal program in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller talks about Edward Brooke's early election losses

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller recalls the start of Operation Exodus in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller remembers the busing crisis in Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller remembers Louise Day Hicks

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller remembers the busing crisis in Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller remembers the violence during the desegregation of the Boston Public Schools

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller recalls the opening of the William Monroe Trotter School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller talks about the Bay State Banner's audience

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller describes the Bay State Banner's financial challenges

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller remembers the demonstration at the Grove Hall welfare center in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller describes his efforts to increase black representation in the media

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller recalls his involvement with the Unity Bank and Trust Company, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller recalls his involvement with the Unity Bank and Trust Company, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller describes his role in the standardization of the welfare system

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller talks about the construction of the State Street Bank Building in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller recalls running for U.S. Representative from Massachusetts in 1972

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller recalls founding the law firm of Fitch, Miller and Tourse

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller talks about the Bay State Banner's competitors

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller describes his involvement with WHDH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller remembers partnering with Jobs Clearing House, Inc.

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller describes his support for minority hiring at the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Melvin Miller recalls serving as general counsel to WHDH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Melvin Miller talks about the Bay State Banner's website

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller describes the staff of the Bay State Banner

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller talks about the National Newspaper Publishers Association

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller describes his involvement with the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller talks about the impact of the internet on the newspaper industry

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller describes his plans for the future of the Bay State Banner

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller recalls his mentorship of young men in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller talks about the problems in the education system

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller remembers his mentorship of Tony Rose

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Melvin Miller describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller reflects upon his life

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller talks about his family

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$2

DATape

6$10

DAStory

5$8

DATitle
Melvin Miller recalls a confrontation with the New York City Police Department, pt. 2
Melvin Miller describes his support for minority hiring at the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company
Transcript
So they formed a circle around me and pulled out their clubs and decided they were gonna beat me down. I said, "Wait a minute, before you do anything, I want you to know that I submit peacefully to arrest. And if you have a--if I violated a criminal law and you wanna arrest me, I submit peacefully to arrest. You have that? It's a clear statement right now. I'm not resisting arrest. Do you wanna arrest me?" They didn't even answer that. Then they started swinging their clubs, and then I--that's when my karate went into effect. It would--I'll never forget this. Is a--it was a--it was probably the most extensive use--one of the most extensive uses I've ever--I ever had to make of it, and--but I had a strategy. And I said first of all, I'm, I'm not gonna hurt these guys because some fool will pull a gun, and once the gun comes out everything goes wild. So what I did is I just took a stand. And I know how to move and prevent them from striking me, and I might just use my hand to push them off or something. There had to be four to six cops. No, there were more than four. There must have been the six 'cause there, there, there were lots of 'em, and it was amazing. If, if you watch them, it was almost like the keystone ca- police 'cause they were falling all over themselves 'cause I would--I mean, I--you know, to tell you the truth, I was pretty good, you know. And so I started--you know, I moved and they fell all over the place. Now I told them that I was waiting for a friend, and then while this fight was going on she came out. She said, "Oh my god! What's going on here?" And I said to her, "They didn't believe, didn't believe you were coming" (laughter). And so it was funny. These--half of the policemen were on the ground because they took a swing at me inbalance- you know, when you take a swing sometimes at a person you think you're gonna hit, you put too much weight on it and you don't hit; you keep going. Well that--a lot of that happened. And so there were two still standing, and the other policeman--I said--I walked by him and I said, "Why'd you allow something--," I said, "somebody could have really been hurt here." And they looked at me, didn't say anything, and I left. But isn't that awful? But guess what? I had in my breast pocket the federal department of justice [U.S. Department of Justice] identification with my photo and everything. What do you think would have happened if I'd have shown that to the first policeman? He'd have backed up, said, "Sorry, Mr. Miller [HistoryMaker Melvin Miller]." I said--but I identified with my brother too much. I said the man in the street doesn't have these things, and you don't have to show all this identification to be able to walk the streets (unclear). I had a three piece suit on. What did I look like, a thug? Come on. And I, I--you know, I just simply wasn't gonna tolerate it. And so--and if, if necessary I would have hurt them rather than let them hurt me.$$Well, some of the stories out of New--New York [New York] are--you know.$$Yeah.$$You, you might have been lucky that you didn't get shot, you know, but.$$Well, they were lucky because I don't think they could have beaten me. I mean, you, you had to remember, I was a younger man, you know. I was not the old man you're looking at, at that time (laughter). But that just shows the kind of world we live in and, and I was gonna--I was gonna--I was, I was sort of hoping in a sense that I would get arrested all the way down. And then--what, what--if--once I got arrested, I would--they would have had to come up with a charge. Then I'd laid it on 'em. I said, "Okay." I'd call the press. All of a sudden we got a lawsuit.$Another aspect that was really important at that time is a telephone company, New England Telephone [New England Telephone and Telegraph Company], which is now Verizon [Verizon New England, Inc.], didn't have any blacks at all in any serious position in the company. There was one guy I know who might have been some kind of engineer in the office, but it was a totally all white organization. But what had happened is that the, the chairman was about to retire, and he was terrified because somebody had filed an antidiscrimination lawsuit against Southern Bell [Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company; AT&T Inc.]. Now, telephone companies have to--telephone companies have to get approval and get licenses from the FCC [Federal Communications Commission], which imposes certain nondiscrimination rules and regulations against them. So he thought that sin- the situation was bad up here that it was just inevitable that somebody would come and bring a campaign. So I took adva- took advantage of this and met with them, and we started running a campaign to, to begin to hire blacks. And the most amazing thing is that when I first did it, I had a delegation of blacks come to my office and tell me that, that it was an abomination that I would run ads [in the Bay State Banner] from the New England telephone company when I should have known they don't hire blacks. And I, I said, "Yeah, but," I said, "we're going to now." He said, "No, what they're doing now is they're just--they're just trying to cover their butts and, and you guys are gonna make some money and make us look foolish. We go down there, they'll turn us out." And I said, "No, they won't, so we'll go down together and, and we'll set up employment offices." So I went down and said, "Look, you gotta set up employment offices in the black community; you guys have created a situation which is very bad," talking to the telephone company. And they understood it and they did it. The only--the only sad thing about it is that the campaign was so effective that it wasn't long before they found it unnecessary to run those big ads (laughter). I guess they found it unnecessary to run those big ads anymore and so we lost that revenue. But to show you how severe the resistance is, the whites' unions who are running the company at the levels that we are trying to get people employed, those white unions went on--they took a strike, rather than agree to the terms of--see, what they had done is they set up an employment ladder where you had to start at this level and then move up to A to B, C, D, and then you move up. We, we, we rejected that and I insisted that the company reject that, because I said you have to take in people who are qualified who had collater- had collateral experience at some other place. They don't have to be at the telephone company. Let's say they came from another telephone company doing the same thing. According to your system, they'd still have to start at this low level. That's crazy. And so that's, that's how we had to break the union to do this, and, and the union took a strike. The interesting thing is that when the Boston [Massachusetts] papers wrote about it, they never understood the nature of the strike. They never got it right. Now, I didn't write about it in the right kind of way because it would have been impolitic. You know what I mean? I would have had to--it, it, it would have--it would have held the telephone company up to a line of criticism, which we were--we had already moved beyond. The executives didn't care about it because it didn't affect them. But once it was really pointed out to them, they were willing to take a strike to stop it, and I wasn't--you, you see what I mean?$$Okay.$$So this--so that was--to me, there was a lot of work like that changing the environment in Boston that, that we were able to do.

Jasmine Guy

Actress and entertainer Jasmine Guy was born on March 10, 1964, in Boston, Massachusetts to William Guy and Jaye Rudolph. Her mother is a former high school teacher, and her father, the pastor of Friendship Baptist Church of Atlanta. Guy was raised in the Collier Heights neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia where she attended the former Northside Performing Arts School (now North Atlanta High School). After graduating from high school, Guy was awarded a scholarship to the Alvin Ailey Dance Center in New York. She practiced performing arts at Ailey Center for several years, which prepared her for roles in musicals and television shows.

Guy landed a starring role as Whitley Gilbert in the television show A Different World, a spin-off of The Cosby Show, which ran on TV for six years. This is her best-known role. Guy received the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Award every year that A Different World was on the air. One year after she began acting in A Different World, Guy was cast in her first film role in Spike Lee’s School Daze. In 1989, Guy co-starred with Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor in the film Harlem Nights and went on to have roles in numerous films, televisions shows, and stage productions. She released a self-titled R&B album in 1990, which reached number thirty-eight on the R&B charts.

Guy has been active in projects that promote and preserve African American history and culture, including the miniseries rendition of Alex Haley’s Queen, the film recording of the 1930s WPA ex-slave narratives, entitled Unchained Memories: Slave Narratives, and the film version of activist-historian Howard Zinn’s, “A People’s History of the United States”, entitled The People Speak. Guy also wrote the autobiography of Afeni Shakur, mother hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur, entitled, “Afeni Shakur: The Evolution of a Revolutionary”. Guy also won several awards for her work. From 1990 to 1995, Guy was nominated for and won six consecutive NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

Guy lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Jasmine Guy was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 10, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.244

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/10/2012 |and| 10/2/2016

Last Name

Guy

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

North Atlanta High School

M. Agnes Jones Elementary

Sutton Middle Schol

First Name

Jasmine

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

GUY04

Favorite Season

Fall, Summer

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Come On!

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

3/10/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chowder, Barbecue, Fried Chicken, Sardines, Portuguese Food

Short Description

Actress Jasmine Guy (1964 - ) is best known for her starring role as Whitley Gilbert in the popular television sitcom A Different World.

Employment

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Viacom Productions

Columbia Pictures

Paramount Pictures, Inc.

Warner Brothers

Various

Simon & Schuster

True Colors Theatre Company

Alliance Theatre Company

Favorite Color

Black, Burgundy, Cream

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jasmine Guy's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jasmine Guy lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jasmine Guy describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jasmine Guy talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jasmine Guy describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jasmine Guy describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jasmine Guy describes her father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jasmine Guy talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jasmine Guy describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jasmine Guy describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jasmine Guy remembers her early interest in mimicking accents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jasmine Guy reflects upon her interest in character acting

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jasmine Guy remembers moving to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jasmine Guy describes her school in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jasmine Guy talks about the black community in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jasmine Guy recalls her aspiration to become a professional dancer

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jasmine Guy recalls her introduction to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jasmine Guy remembers attending The Ailey School in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jasmine Guy describes her training at the Northside School of Performing Arts in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jasmine Guy remembers performing in her first musical

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jasmine Guy talks about her social life during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jasmine Guy talks about her favorite music and graduating from high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jasmine Guy remembers joining the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jasmine Guy recalls her decision to join the cast of 'Fame'

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jasmine Guy remembers leaving the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jasmine Guy talks about her decision to move to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jasmine Guy remembers her role in Spike Lee's 'School Daze'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jasmine Guy talks about her experiences of color discrimination within the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jasmine Guy talks about her roles in 'School Daze' and 'A Different World'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jasmine Guy remembers filming 'School Daze,' pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jasmine Guy remembers filming 'School Daze,' pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jasmine Guy recalls auditioning for 'A Different World'

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jasmine Guy talks about 'A Different World'

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jasmine Guy talks about the character of Whitley Gilbert

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jasmine Guy remembers meeting Denzel Washington on the set of 'A Different World'

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jasmine Guy remembers the controversial episodes of 'A Different World'

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jasmine Guy talks about her role in 'Harlem Nights'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jasmine Guy remembers Tupac Shakur

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jasmine Guy remembers Afeni Shakur, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jasmine Guy remembers the death of Tupac Shakur

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jasmine Guy remembers Afeni Shakur, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jasmine Guy talks about her book, 'Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary,' pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jasmine Guy talks about her book, 'Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary,' pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jasmine Guy describes Afeni Shakur's family background

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jasmine Guy talks about her writing process

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jasmine Guy remembers balancing her writing and acting careers

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jasmine Guy recalls the attacks of September 11, 2001

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jasmine Guy talk about her favorite acting roles

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jasmine Guy remembers the rehearsals for 'School Daze'

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jasmine Guy talks about racial discrimination in the entertainment business

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jasmine Guy talks about her work as a theater director

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Jasmine Guy talks about the differences between stage acting and screen acting

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Jasmine Guy remembers directing the opera, 'I Dream'

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Jasmine Guy describes the music in 'I Dream'

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Jasmine Guy talks about her film roles

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Jasmine Guy talks about her role in 'Big Stone Gap'

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Jasmine Guy talks about her recent television appearances

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Jasmine Guy reflects upon her acting style

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Jasmine Guy talks about her singing career

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Jasmine Guy talks about the entertainment industry in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Jasmine Guy describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Jasmine Guy reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Jasmine Guy describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

5$6

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
Jasmine Guy remembers filming 'School Daze,' pt. 1
Jasmine Guy talks about her book, 'Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary,' pt. 2
Transcript
Tell us about the production nu- numbers in 'School Daze.' Those are, those are some of the great, really--$$Yeah. They were, they were, I mean great movie productions. Otis Sallid was our choreographer. And, you know, Otis was from--I knew him from Ailey's [Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater]. He had done Broadway. And, you know, Spike [Spike Lee] really studied those MGM [Metro Goldwyn Mayer Inc.; Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios Inc.] musicals because he had to edit them a certain way, you know, for them to flow. He worked very closely with Otis. And, Otis also choreographed 'Malcolm X.' The--all that jitterbug series. So, when we went into rehearsal for "I Don't Wanna Be Alone Tonight" ["Be Alone Tonight"] really young, Tisha [Tisha Campbell-Martin] is maybe seventeen. She's younger than I am. And, we're supposed to ooze sensuality. So, we got the steps early and we looked good. But, Otis spent so much time on bringing out our sensuality. And, at first it was so embarrassing. Like, how you gonna teach me how to, you know what I mean. And, it was something that, you know, I don't think we knew yet. We just didn't know it yet; what he was talking about, and how to emulate that, which didn't have anything to do with the steps; the music or the choreography. You're talking about an approach. You're talking about a motivation as an actor. Once you, once you access a certain emotional key then you don't worry about making a face or ooh, ooh. You just feel it and those things naturally happened when you have certain thoughts in your head. So, acting wise, "I Don't Wanna Be Alone Tonight" I think was a little challenging. And, as I said before, he let us add our little steps and our choreography in there because, I think by then, we realized that cameras were only gonna get you when the camera was on you. As opposed to being on Broadway where you can see everybody at the same time. So, we tried to get in on Tisha's shots whenever we could. So, that it wouldn't be, you know, Tisha and the three backup singers and they end up splicing a lot of our choreography out of it. So, that's why you see us, you know, traveling and doing things around her and breaking out as a rose, you know. It's like, "Otis I have a good idea, what if we stand behind Tisha and you can't see us and then we, you know." "Yeah, that's good, let's try that," so. I think ultimately it did make it very interesting, but you know, I do give Otis all that credit for letting us have our little input, you know. And, Tisha sharing the stage with us. But, that was my big lesson in that number; accessing your sensuality. And, then for "Good and Bad Hair." I mean, first of all we had musical rehearsal to learn that song for days with Spike Lee's father [Bill Lee]. And, I remember staying on cocka-bugs for about ten minutes 'cause we didn't know what a cocka-bugs was. And, he wanted to say it like a cocka-bugs, cocka-bugs, and we were like, like Coke--cocka-bugs. (Imitates accent), "No, cocka-bugs, cocka-bug." And, now I know what they are. They're those little our spiky seeds, I guess, that fall from pine trees.$$That stick in your--$$Yeah, that stick to you. And, our line was (singing), "Where you got cocka-bugs standing all over your head." I mean, every line that we learned, it's not like learning a pretty song. Every line is so derogatory and, and vice versa, you know, back at 'cha kind of thing. But, when we did it and we were in each other's face all day, I think we had fun on "Good and Bad Hair" 'cause by that time, we had gone through the worst filming day, which was the day of the big fight. And, it was the step show. Gammas [Gamma Rays] come on and the fellas bust in and do their own kind of mocking step of what the fellas believe. And, at the end of it, and we didn't know what they gonna do. They made up their own thing; the real actors. They unzipped their pants and hot dogs came out of it, in our, our faces. But, we didn't know that was gonna happen. It was not scripted. It was so profoundly offensive that one of the actors actually hit another actor, or grabbed him. And, a real fight ensued. And, Spike had it on film. The tension was so high because all day we had been going back and forth with the wannabes and the Gammas against the jigaboos. And, it was improv and people were saying horrible and nasty things. And, they were saying, you know, you're, "You're just an ape in the zoo." And you're just a, "You don't know you're black and you're a white--." I mean, and I couldn't improvise anything. I could say the lines that were scripted but I, you know. And, I felt like maybe I'm not a good actor 'cause I can't do this. I can't go there. I can go there, if you tell me what I'm supposed to say, but you know. And, then at the end we started, when we went to the parking lot to get on the bus, we started crying. 'Cause a lot of my friends were on the other side, and it was just very hard for us to do that with that kind of intensity.$Then my, and then my issue was, you know, how do I organize this so that the reader can, can flow, you know? So, I wrapped it around the times I would see her. Because I, you know, I lived in New York [New York]. I had an apartment in New York and a, and a house in L.A. [Los Angeles, California] But, I didn't always, we weren't always in the same city. So, some times those conversations were in New York. Sometimes they were in Marin County [California] where she lived and had house boat. Sometimes those conversations were in Atlanta [Georgia] where she lived in Stone Mountain. So, I tried to wrap around where we were in our real lives and what was going on. I think the greatest compliment that I have from people about the book ['Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary,' Jasmine Guy] is that it just sounds like me. Like it just, my, my friends that know me say, you know, "I just felt like it was just you talking. Like, it didn't feel like you were writing." And, that to me was the greatest compliment because I wanted it acceptable, you know. But, during the course of writing the book, I would sidetrack. Like she would mention something to me, and I didn't wanna stop her, her flow. But, sometimes I didn't know what she was talking about. Like, what was that, bembe? I think it was bembe. They were the drummers that would be in Central Park [New York, New York].$$Djembe, yeah, djembe.$$Well, the djembe, but it began with a B.$$Oh, okay.$$And, I don't, I, you know, but I didn't wanna stop her.$$Was that the name of the group that--?$$Yeah. And, then, another time she said her husband's father was a Garveyite. And, I didn't know what that was but I didn't wanna stop her. So, I go back and do research about Garveyites, which of course are from--followers of Marcus Garvey which--also, Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam and the Panthers [Black Panther Party]. So, now I'm starting to see this.$$See the lineage of all the groups--$$The lineage, yes, of these three ways of thinking; Du Bois [W.E.B. Du Bois], Garvey, and Wash- and Booker T. Washington. You know, 'cause people think all black people think the same way, but it depends. And, it depends on class and culture and, you know, I just saw a documentary about the Panthers and it feature Stoke- Stokely Carmichael [Kwame Ture] and how bright he was, and how brilliant he was. And, you know, what, what his friends were saying is that they missed that you don't see his personality in the footage. It's always him, you know, speaking in a public way. But, you didn't get to see how funny he was, how witty he was, how easy he was to be with, you what I mean. And, I wanted to, to make sure I gave Afeni [Afeni Shakur] that flavor that, you know, when I visited her home, and it was her first home, it was the first home that she owned and Tupac [Tupac Shakur] had bought it for her and, and they were in this area in Stone Mountain where the family was all near. And, she had this huge screened in back porch that overlooked woods and she was so happy. And, she talked to me about land and the importance of owning land. So, then when I got home, I started looking up landowners, black landowners and what happened. What happened to shar- why, why did we become sharecroppers? What happened during Reconstruction? So, all of that is just to say that, she would say something to me that I now have to ex- tell other people, so I had to do my research so I knew what I was talking about. I couldn't just throw, you know, he was a Garveyite in there and not know what a Garveyite was, and what that meant for that time of that generation.

Bill Overton

Actor Bill Overton was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and was raised by his mother and stepfather, Hessie and Eugene Waterhouse. As a child, Overton attended Boston’s Asa Gray Elementary, W.L.P. Boardman Elementary, Henry L. Higginson Elementary and Lewis Junior High Schools. As an adolescent, Overton was a premiere athlete and member of his school’s football and basketball teams. He attended the historical Boston English High School where he was voted vice president of his senior class.

Overton went on to attend one of Nebraska’s junior colleges and established himself as one his era’s phenomenal football players. His display of athletic talent at the junior college level earned him a full scholarship to attend Wake Forest University. Overton graduated in 1968 as a speech and drama major, and that same year, he was drafted by the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. In 1969, he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs and the following year, he began playing for the Canadian Football League. Then, in 1970, Overton moved back to Boston and worked as a sports agent for Pro Sports, Inc. While there, he was instrumental in the company’s signing of four-time Pro Bowler Raymond Chester, and worked to ensure fair contracts for African American football players.

In 1971, Overton began a career in modeling and was hired for various advertising agencies including Black Beauty and Ford modeling agencies. He helped to launch ad campaigns for Hanes, Benson and Hedges, Canadian Mist, Sears, and Montgomery Ward. During the 1970s, Overton also began appearing in television commercials. He honed his acting skills by enrolling at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York City and was mentored by actor Woody Strode. Overton starred in several films throughout the mid-1970s, often appearing in roles that required him to demonstrate his athleticism. He was featured in episodes of the New Perry Mason series, Firehouse and the films Cover Girl and Invisible Strangler. Then, in 1981, he starred alongside Harry Belafonte and LeVar Burton in the film Grambling’s White Tigers.

Overton married award winning actress Jayne Kennedy in 1985. He continued to make television appearances throughout the 1980s and 1990s, starring in classic sitcoms such as The Red Foxx Show, 227, and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

In 2002, Overton published The Media: Shaping an Image of a People. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and three daughters.

Accession Number

A2008.073

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/4/2008

Last Name

Overton

Maker Category
Schools

English High School

Asa Gray School

W.L.P. Boardman Elementary

Henry Lee Higginson Elementary School

George A. Lewis Middle School

Higginson-Lewis K-8 School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Bill

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

OVE01

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

If You Didn't Know How Old You Was, How Old Would You Be?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

2/26/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Soul Food

Short Description

Television actor and football player Bill Overton (1947 - ) played in the NFL and Canadian Football League before turning to modeling and acting. His television credits include roles on 'The Redd Foxx Show,' '227' and 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.'

Employment

Dallas Cowboys

Kansas City Chiefs

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Ford Modeling Agency

Various

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bill Overton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bill Overton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bill Overton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bill Overton describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bill Overton describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bill Overton describes his home life

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bill Overton remembers his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bill Overton remembers his community in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bill Overton remembers Lewis Junior High School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bill Overton recalls enrolling at the English High School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bill Overton recalls his experiences the English High School

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bill Overton describes his activities at the English High School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bill Overton remembers his football scholarship to McCook Community College in McCook, Nebraska

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bill Overton describes his first impressions of McCook Junior College

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bill Overton describes his experiences at McCook Junior College

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bill Overton recalls transferring to Wake Forest College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bill Overton remembers his experiences at Wake Forest College

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bill Overton talks about 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner'

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bill Overton talks about black athletes at Wake Forest College

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bill Overton remembers dating at Wake Forest College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bill Overton talks about interracial relationships among celebrities

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bill Overton remembers joining the Dallas Cowboys

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bill Overton describes racial discrimination in the National Football League

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bill Overton talks about the role of race in college basketball

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bill Overton recalls playing for the Dallas Cowboys

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bill Overton recalls playing for the Kansas City Chiefs

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bill Overton recalls joining the Canadian Football League

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bill Overton remembers his decision to quit professional football

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bill Overton describes his career after leaving professional football

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bill Overton remembers his modeling career

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bill Overton remembers his decision to pursue acting as a career

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bill Overton describes his acting career

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bill Overton talks about his marriages

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bill Overton recalls his colleagues in the entertainment industry

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bill Overton talks about his success in the entertainment industry

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bill Overton describes his marriage to Jayne Kennedy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bill Overton talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bill Overton describes his career as a real estate developer and author

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bill Overton describes his book, 'The Media: Shaping the Image of a People'

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bill Overton reflects upon the mass media

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bill Overton reflects upon the impact of stereotyping

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Bill Overton shares his advice to future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bill Overton talks about African Americans in the entertainment industry

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bill Overton describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bill Overton describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bill Overton reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

7$6

DATitle
Bill Overton recalls playing for the Dallas Cowboys
Bill Overton describes his book, 'The Media: Shaping the Image of a People'
Transcript
So, now you get drafted by Dallas [Dallas Cowboys] in what position?$$Linebacker.$$Okay, so you go to Dallas, tell us about that experience?$$(Laughter) It was an interesting experience, not necessarily positive. Which is something I don't even want--let me just say this. I--Dallas was a great team, it was an honor for me to go. I was excited because they had a very tough reputation. Gil Brandt was the--this hall of fame, one of the great minds of--in terms of recruiting and drafting and all of putting teams together. And it was an honor for me to go. And my training camp, I mean, all my--all of it was positive for me but at the same time what sticks out with me, and it shows you a lot, 'cause I've got an interesting quote in my book about Tom Landry. And he's renowned for it's either his way or the highway. Not you got to understand, I'm coming from Boston, Massachusetts, having gone to Nebraska to North Carolina to Texas.$$So you're playing under Tom Landry?$$Oh, yeah. Then it wasn't that long. Now, I come in what--part of--some of my time in training camp I can remember one particular meeting, I'm sitting beside Pete Gent [Peter Gent]. Pete Gent, 'North Dallas Forty,' renowned author, et cetera, et cetera, turned into a movie, all that stuff. Pete's sitting right here, I got a dashiki on, big afro and--$$Is this in the club room or--$$Yeah, I forgot what it was, team meeting or something like that. Linebacker, 'cause the linebackers and the ends--I forgot exactly--I know he was there, I just don't remember what else was happening. He said to me, "You know, Tom ain't gonna like that, you need to--what is that?" And it was really condescending.$$Your outfit?$$What I had on. And I had--I can remember it was burgundy with a yellow, mustard colored belt, with a mustard colored border. It was a dashiki. And I had just, you know, I'd come from Wake Forest [Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina]. I mean, I'd purchased this shirt from some women, you know, the civil rights era, and people were becoming Afrocentric all of that (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Had your fro on.$$Oh, man, and, I mean, they talk about Hollywood Henderson [Thomas Henderson], I was crazy, you know what I mean. I knew I came to play and I'm making the team and that, end of story. When he said that to me, it was an insult to me. I said, "I don't care about what he thinks, I don't care about what you think." Hey, I didn't like him, I tried to whip his ass every time I could as an end 'cause I'm a linebacker. But he took--we're about sports. It should all, it should just been about sports. He's now messing with my, with my--$$Your whole racial consciousness (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Oh, yeah, with who I was as a man. So, I didn't fit in with the Cowboys so I ended--that's why I ended up leaving, got released, went to Oklahoma. You know, the farm, what they call their farm team there.$$Farm team for the Cowboys?$$Cowboys.$$Okay.$$Played there a season, did pretty well, and went back--I don't know if I went back home, or went back to New York. I just forgot exactly where I went. No, sorry, excuse me, no when the season was over I went back to Wake Forest (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) A lot--okay.$$Okay.$Through the '80s [1980s] you start doing real estate development and different things into the '90s [1990s] and up 'til now. Talk about the book that you've authored, what is the title of the book and what is the thrust behind the book?$$Well, thanks for the question. The answer to your question is the book is entitled 'The Media: Shaping the Image of a People' [Bill Overton]. And, the book came from--I over--all this time I'm--as an athlete, I started in New York [New York] going back and forth from Boston [Massachusetts] to New York I stumbled on--in an antique shop, I stumbled on some old pictures and some old newspapers from the 19th century. And it blew my mind because I saw pictures of blacks, Irish, Jews, Mormon, Chinese, Native Americans. Folk that I knew but didn't know much about their history. Some of these pictures represented my classmates in high school [English High School, Boston, Massachusetts], and we never studied--the stuff that I saw, I didn't know anything about and I questioned if they knew anything about it, 'cause they never said anything to me about Irish potato famine, you know, or the Holocaust or a lot of these things. Okay, so I--this sort of became a passion and an interest. I say, I'm gonna have a big house one day, I'll take these pictures, I'll put 'em in frames on the wall. So, as I'm moving around five years, ten years, fifteen years, I'm buying pictures, putting em in storage in Boston, Maine, you know, California. Fast forward, I see life changing in front of me. I decide, as a project at Santa Monica College [Santa Monica, California], to take--to do something for kids 'cause it's a very diverse school. I took the pictures out and had them--had some copies and put 'em in a gallery. And the school flipped out. And I went, wow, I'm really on to something. So, I got a bunch of notes, comments in a book. I put it away, put the collection away. Two years later, I'm doing something--it's 1997, doing something at UCLA [University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California]. Mentoring students, doing whatever. And I say, well, you know, I got this collection and maybe this could work. So I brought it--brought some of the pictures, and they said, "Well, the only way we could do this at the museum here is you got to have it researched." So they assigned five historians from UCLA to do the research on my collection. And it was fascinating what they did. And so they basically established the connectivity between the 19th century and present day. And that time was 1997. So then I took the exhibit to Martha's Vineyard [Massachusetts] 'cause after I had showed it here for a month, I wanted to get an international feel, an international sense from people, travelers, what they thought about something like this. So I was at Union Chapel [Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts] on Martha's Vineyard and I had the exhibit there for a month. People flipped out, from all over the place.$$Now, how large is the exhibit?$$It's--I had sixty pictures. The pictures are 11" by 14", and some are 16" by 20". So there's sixty individual pictures with display panels that are 3' by 5'.$$Okay.$$And so, the reaction to that was great. I come back and many people said, "You know, we wanna buy something. You're not selling anything, you got to do something." So, I ended up talking to a publisher who was gracious enough to join me, write the check to get the book done. And he got his money back relatively quickly. The--I didn't have to--I didn't travel that much. And some things happened within the company that I didn't like, and some things that I thought should have happened didn't happen. So, I mean, I sold half, you know, half the inventory and the bottom line was I said, let me just--here's what I'm gonna do, 'cause I been--and on a daily basis I'm becoming more and more obsessed with the media, with what they're doing and what they're not doing. 'Cause I'm a bookworm and newspaper worm, and magazine worm. So, make a long story short, I ended up buying the rights back, so this book then and--'cause what it is--and I missed a key ingredient. The book is my collection, and then out of respect for you and Neculai [Neculai Burghelea], and Julieanna [Julieanna Richardson], I reached out to image makers of present day. The sculptors, the painters, the--this is a tribute to Daniel Pearl, the photographers, the last quarter of the book is their work. So people like [HistoryMaker] Lamonte McLemore who was renowned for taking beautiful pictures of women.$$He's a HistoryMaker (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) And the Jet magazine where David Kibuuka from Uganda, but lives in Toronto [Canada], spectacular, you know, paint, Jameel Rasheed, guy I grew up with who was like flesh and blood to me. I had no idea he was an artist when we were growing up. He did the picture of Rosa Parks, which they're trying to get--use as a stamp. So I--not only do I have four--three of my homeboys and home girls, let's see, Jameel Rasheed, Hakim Rakib [ph.], Artis Graham [ph.] did a picture of President Clinton [President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton] in the book. And then Gale, Gale Fulton Ross is a phenomenal artist, lives in Florida now. She did the picture of Du Bois [W.E.B. Du Bois] in my book as well. So this is a celebration of what the media does, what they can do, what they have done, and what they might do.