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Miles M. Jackson

Professor and librarian Miles M. Jackson, Jr. was born on April 28, 1929 in Richmond, Virginia to Thelma Manning and Miles Jackson, Sr. He graduated from Armstrong High School, in Richmond, Virginia and received his B.A. degree in English in 1955 from Virginia Union University. He then earned his M.S. degree in 1956 from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He later enrolled at Indiana University and completed his postgraduate coursework from 1961 to 1964. Jackson received his Ph.D. degree in communications in 1974, graduating from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Communications, in Syracuse, New York.

With a specialty in library and information science, Jackson served as an educator, librarian and researcher at selected libraries, including the Free Library of Philadelphia from 1955 to 1958, and territorial libraries in American Samoa from 1962 to 1964, to higher learning institutions including the C.P. Huntington Memorial Library at Hampton Institute from 1958 to 1962, and Trevor Arnett Library at Atlanta University from 1964 to 1969. In 1969, Jackson was named associate professor at the School of Information Studies at the State University of New York, in Geneseo, New York. He joined the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in 1975 as a professor and was named dean of the Graduate School of Library Science in 1983. He retired as professor and dean emeritus from the School of Library and Information Sciences in 1995.

Jackson has traveled widely in the South Pacific and Asia and was a Fulbright Professor at the University of Tehran, in Iran from 1968 to 1969. He was the recipient of a Ford Foundation Fellowship award for study in East and West Africa in 1969. He served as an Asia Foundation consultant to the Ministry of Education in Papua New Guinea in 1981, and was a U.S. State Department specialist in Pakistan and India from 1981 to 1983.

Jackson served as executive producer of Holding Fast the Dream, a one-hour documentary film on African Americans in Hawaii. The film premiered at the 2010 Hawaii International Film Festival and was selected for the San Diego Black Film Festival in 2011. Included in his published works are books: And They Came: A Brief History of Blacks in Hawaii, Four G Press, 2001, and They Followed the Trade Winds: African Americans in Hawaii, University of Hawaii Press, 2005. Jackson has also been a contributor to the Honolulu Advertiser and Mahogany Magazine

Jackson received the NAACP 2010 Martin Luther King, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award and was presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who in 2019.

Miles M. Jackson, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 12, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.140

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/12/2019

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

Merrill

Schools

Armstrong High School

Virginia Union University

Drexel University, College of Information Technology

Syracuse University, Newhouse School of Public Communications

First Name

Miles

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

JAC49

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Birth Date

4/28/1929

Birth Place Term
Country

USA

Favorite Food

Barbecue Ribs and Seafood

Short Description

Professor and librarian Miles M. Jackson, Jr. (1929- ) served as professor and dean at the University of Hawai’i-Mānoa School of Library and Information Sciences, in Honolulu, Hawai’i from 1975 to 1995.

Employment

Free Library of Philadelphia

C.P. Huntington Memorial Library, Hampton University

U.S. Government

Trevor Arnett Library, Atlanta University

University of Tehran

School of Information Studies, State University of New York

Graduate School of Library Science, University of Hawaii at Mānoa

University of Hawaii at Mānoa

Favorite Color

Brown

Linda Whitlock

Civic leader and corporate executive Linda Whitlock was born on December 3, 1947 in Richmond, Virginia to Kenneth Edward Whitlock and Sarah Johnson Whitlock. Whitlock attended Virginia Union University’s Lab Nursing School, Mary Scott Elementary School, Chimborazo Elementary School, Randolph Junior High School, and Maggie L. Walker High School. She received her B.A. degree in psychology from Mount Holyoke College in 1972. In 1981, Whitlock received her M.A. degree in psychology from the University of Michigan. 

In 1980, Whitlock served as an instructor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and as director of the Massachusetts Government Land Bank. Three years later, she was appointed director of the Massachusetts Office of Real Property. In 1984, Whitlock joined Tufts University as an instructor in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy. She served as vice president of Harvard Real Estate, Inc. in 1989. In 1990, she was hired by Concord Academy as assistant head for marketing and associate director of admissions. Two years later, she joined Buckingham Browne & Nichols School and became assistant head for enrollment management. From 1999 to 2008, Whitlock served as the Nicholas president and chief executive officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. In 2008, she founded and was principal of The Whitlock Group, through which she served as senior advisor to Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, senior advisor to John Fish, CEO of Suffolk, and strategic advisory board member of AesRx LLC.

She was a board member of numerous companies, including Cambridge Trust Company, and was the first Lead Director in 2011. She also was on the boards of the Red Sox Foundation, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, The Princeton Review, National Association of Corporate Directors New England, Museum of Afro American History, and Brandeis University.  Whitlock was co-chair of Women Corporate Directors Boston, and a member of The Boston Club’s Executive Advisory Council, the Boston Women Leaders Network, and the Boston Library Society. She was appointed to commissions by Democratic and Republican Governors and Mayors, and served as associate finance director for Dukakis for President in 1987, co-chaired Obama Victory Trustees in 2012, and was a leading national fundraiser for Hillary for America in 2016.

In 2009, Whitlock was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Bostonians by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. In 2003, she was named one of the Most Powerful Women in Boston by Boston Magazine, and was the Boston Municipal Research Bureau’s Shattuck City Champion. In 2008, she received the National Service to Youth Award from Boys & Girls Clubs of America as well as the Woman of Valor Award from the Anti-Defamation League New England. In 2011, she received the Advancing Women Award from the Boston Business Journal; and, in 2017, she received the Abigail Adams Award from the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. Whitlock received honorary doctorates from Babson College, Suffolk University, and Pine Manor College.

Whitlock and her husband, Marc Cumsky, have two children, Jake and Leah, and seven grandchildren.

Linda Whitlock was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 23, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.090

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/23/2019

Last Name

Whitlock

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Mary Scott Elementary School

Chimborazo Elementary School

Randolph Junior High School

Maggie L. Walker High School

Mount Holyoke College

University of Michigan

First Name

Linda

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

WHI27

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard and Italy

Favorite Quote

One Foot In Front Of The Other

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/3/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Newton

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Spinach

Short Description

Civic leader and corporate executive Linda Whitlock (1947- ) served as the Nicholas president and chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston from 1999 to 2008.

Employment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Government Land Bank

The Whitlock Group

Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston

Buckingham Browne and Nichols School

Concord Academy

Harvard Real Estate, Inc.

Dukakis For President Campaign

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Tufts University

University of Michigan

Favorite Color

Red

James F. Blue, III

Producer James F. Blue III was born on August 5, 1969 in Richmond, Virginia to James F. Blue, Jr. and Addie L. Wall. In 1991, Blue received his B.A. degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

In 1991, Blue was hired by NBC News as an editorial producer and guest booker for The Today Show. Two years later, he served as a field producer for a primetime magazine show at NBC News. In 1994, he was hired as a Nightline producer for ABC News in London, United Kingdom. During his twelve year career with Nightline, Blue produced stories on the Oklahoma City Bombing, the 1996 presidential elections, colorism within the Black community, and the auction of the estate of Jackie Kennedy. In 2006, he joined Discovery Communications as a producer with the Koppel Unit. The same year, Blue’s debut documentary for Discovery, Iran – Most Dangerous Nation, won the national Emmy Award for best long-form program. In 2008, Blue founded Public Affairs Media Group, Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland. He went on to serve as executive producer at BET Networks in 2011, where he produced the documentary "Michelle Obama on a Mission: Impact Africa." In 2013, Blue was appointed as the Washington Bureau Chief and White House Correspondent by ARISE News. In 2015, Blue joined PBS NewsHour as the senior content and special senior producer.

Blue served on the advisory board of The Samaritan Community beginning in 2008. In 2009, he was elected to the board of trustees of the Maryland Institute College of Art and the board of overseers of the Baltimore School for the Arts. In 2013, Blue became a member of the board of trustees of the Princeton Alumni Weekly. He was a member of the Overseas Press Club, the National Association of Black Journalists, and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

Blue has won every major broadcast journalism award including eight national Emmy Awards, two Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards, and two Overseas Press Club Awards. In 2012, he received the NABJ Award for Overall Excellence. Blue was also twice a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.

Blue and his husband have two children: Alden and Effie.

James F. Blue III was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 13, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.070

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/18/2019

Last Name

Blue

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

F.

Schools

Princeton University

Hillsdale High School

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

BLU03

Favorite Season

Autumn

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard and Cape Town, South Africa

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/5/1969

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Shrimp from Nancy's

Short Description

Producer James F. Blue, III (1969- ) served as a producer for NBC News, ABC News in London, and BET Networks before becoming the senior content and special senior producer at PBS News in 2015.

Employment

NBC News

ABC News

Discovery Communications

Public Affairs Media Group, Inc.

Black Entertainment Television

ARISE News

PBS NewsHour

Favorite Color

Purple

Carolyne S. Blount

Magazine editor Carolyne S. Blount was born on March 21, 1943 in Richmond, Virginia to Callie Brown Scott and Earl Scott, Sr. Blount graduated from Ruthville High School in Ruthville, Virginia, and received her B.S. degree in education, library science, and history from Virginia State University in 1963. She then earned her M.A. degree in library science from Drexel University in 1964.

From 1964 to 1967, Blount worked as an assistant librarian at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1967, she accepted the position of technical reports specialist in the federal systems division at IBM in Owego, New York. From 1969 to 1971, Blount worked as a reference librarian in IBM’s systems development division in Endicott, New York. Once Blount and her husband, James M. Blount, assumed ownership of About…Time Magazine, Inc. in 1972, she became the executive editor. Under her leadership, About…Time researched and published a six-part history series called “Rochester Roots/Routes” in 1984.

Since then About...Time Magazine has edited, designed, and printed other books: The City of Frederick Douglass: Rochester's African-American People and Places by Eugene E. Du Bois; Mount Olivet Baptist Church: 100th Anniversary History, 1910-2010; The State of Black Rochester 2013: Education Employment = Equity, edited by Dana K. Miller; Decades of Timeless Service and Divine Sisterhood: Delta Nu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated; 150 Ancestors Commemoration, which highlights pioneering African Americans in Rochester; and Beyond These Gates: Mountains of Hope in Rochester’s African-American History, a walking tour book of black history in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY.

About…Time published other notable articles such as “Last Mile of a 400-Year Journey,” which examined the spirituality of African burial grounds, and “Katrina Echoes: Storm Season Aftermath is Hard to Erase.” In addition to her publishing, Blount was involved with the Southern Black Heritage Collection’s research on black elementary and high school histories in Charles City County, Virginia.

Blount serves on the board of directors of the national Gateways Music Festival, celebrating classical musicians of African descent, and is a member of the Rochester Association of Black Journalists and Delta Nu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Blount received a number of awards over her career including the Howard Coles Communications Award in 1983 and 1985, the Media Achievement Award from Virginia State University National Alumni Association, Women’s History Month Award from the Rochester Board of Education, as well as a Global Ministries Humanitarian Award for international reporting, presented at the United Nations by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's International Division.

Blount and her husband, James M. Blount, have three children: James Ural, Christina, and Cheryl.

Carolyne S. Blount was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 20, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.069

Sex

Female

Interview Date

04/20/2018

Last Name

Blount

Maker Category
Middle Name

S.

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Carolyne

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

BLO04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Virginia

Favorite Quote

I Am Only One, But Still I Am One. I Cannot Do Everything, But Still I Can Do Something, So I Will Not Refuse To Do What I Can Do.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/21/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Rochester

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Banana Pudding

Short Description

Magazine editor Carolyne S. Blount (1943-) was the co-owner, editor, and executive director of About…Time Magazine in Rochester, New York since 1972.

Favorite Color

Purple

Cheryl Lewis Burke

Education administrator Cheryl Lewis Burke was born on June 16, 1953 in Richmond, Virginia to Octavia Harris Lewis and Edward Lee Lewis. Burke graduated from Powhatan High School in 1971, and enrolled at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina before transferring to Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virginia two years later. In 1976, Burke earned her B.A. degree in early childhood education, and began working as a preschool teacher at Clark Spring Elementary School in Richmond. Also, in 1981, Burke earned her M.A. degree in supervision and administration of education at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Burke went on to work for Overby-Shepard Middle School in 1981, but returned to Clark Springs Elementary School, where she taught the third and fourth grades for several years. She was then hired as a teacher specialist at Ginter Park Elementary School in 1991. In 1996, Burke became the principal of Chimborazo Elementary School. To improve the learning environment at the school, Burke completed the school development program at Yale University. Under her leadership, Chimborazo became the first elementary school in central Virginia to offer the International Baccalaureate primary years program. She also oversaw the installation of the city’s storm water rain garden as well as an additional floral and vegetable garden, which included an outside classroom. To reward students and staff for their hard work, Burke secured funding from organizations like Central Fidelity Bank, the PASS Initiative, and Dominion Bar Association to plan field trips to Nassau, Bahamas and the White House during President Barack Obama’s tenure. She retired as principal in 2014, but continued to work as a substitute administrator with Richmond Public Schools.

Burke was appointed as an interim board representative for the seventh district of the Richmond Public School board in October 2017. She was also a member of The Links Inc. Richmond chapter for many years. She has served on numerous boards, including the board of trustees of The Richmond Ballet of Virginia, the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Richmond, and The HistoryMakers National Advisory Board.

Burke and her husband, Emmett Burke, have two sons, Emmett Lewis Burke and Edmund Glasgow Burke.

Cheryl Lewis Burke was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 19, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.004

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/19/2018

Last Name

Burke

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lewis

Organizations
First Name

Cheryl

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

BUR27

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

When Working With People, If You Want To Take Them Where You THINK They Need To Go, You Need To Meet Them Where They Are.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

6/15/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Richmond

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Education administrator Cheryl Lewis Burke (1963 - ) worked as an elementary school teacher for over twenty years, and served as the principal of Chimborazo Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia for eighteen years.

Favorite Color

Purple

Curtis T. Jewell

Entrepreneur Curtis T. Jewell was born on September 8, 1943 in Richmond, Virginia to Thelma Jewell and Fletcher Jewell. Jewell attended 18th Avenue Elementary School in Newark, New Jersey and Manakin Elementary School in Manakin, Virginia. After graduating from Central High School in Goochland County, Virginia, Jewell enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1961, and served as a hospital corpsman. In 1975, Jewell earned his B.S. degree in social psychology from Park University in Parkville, Missouri.

Following his discharge from the military, he pursued a career as a physician. In 1966, Jewell began working as a technician at Harvard Teaching Hospital while taking pre-med courses at Northeastern University and Boston University. However, he returned to Richmond, Virginia in 1969 without completing his medical degree. In 1972, he was hired as the executive director of Uhuru, a substance abuse treatment center in Columbus, Ohio. Following his college graduation, Jewell became the President and CEO of Intercontinental, Inc. After four years with the company, he left in 1979 to join Nationwide Insurance as a sales agent. In 1985, he became a partner at Praxis, where he remained for four years. Then, in 1989, Jewell founded EXCEL Management Systems, Inc. and established the Jewell Group, LLC, a property holding company, in 1994. In 2004, he became the majority stockholder of J.B. Chart Development Company, LLC.

From 1990 to 2008, Jewell served on the board of the National Black Programming Consortium. He also served as a member of the Columbus State Community College Development Foundation, Inc. and the Advisory Council for the Center of Science Industry Columbus.

Jewell was awarded the Minority Small Businessman of the Year Award by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 1994, and named Businessman of the Year by the Black Presidents’ Roundtable. The following year, the Greater Columbus Chamber named him Small Business Person of the Year, and the Ohio Association of African American Business Owners named him African American Male Business Owner of the Year. In 2015, Jewell was inducted into the Central Ohio Business Hall of Fame.

Jewell and his wife, Beverly Jewell, have six children: Neonu, Nia, Sisi, Curtis, Clay, and Leah.

Curtis T. Jewell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on Novemeber 15, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.202

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/15/2017

Last Name

Jewell

Maker Category
Middle Name

T.

Occupation
Schools

Central High School

Northeastern University

Boston University

Virginia Commonwealth University

Park University

First Name

Curtis

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

JEW03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

You don't have to know how to do everything. You need to know how to get everything done.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

9/8/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Columbus

Country

USA

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Entrepreneur Curtis T. Jewell (1943 - ) was the president and CEO of EXCEL Management Systems, Inc., a company he founded in 1989. He established the Jewell Group, LLC in 1994.

Employment

Excel Management Company

Praxis

Nationwide Insurance

Intercontal

Utturu Drug Program

Rubicow Drug Program

Harvard Teaching College

Favorite Color

None

Randall Robinson

Human rights advocate, author, and law professor Randall Robinson was born on July 6, 1941 in Richmond, Virginia to Maxie Cleveland Robinson and Doris Robinson. He graduated from Armstrong High School in Richmond, Virginia in 1959; attended Norfolk State College in Norfolk, Virginia; and during his junior year, entered the U.S. Army. Robinson earned his B.A. in sociology from Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia in 1967, prior to receiving his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1970.

In his final year of law school, Robinson cofounded the Southern Africa Relief Fund, and after graduation, worked as a Ford Foundation fellow in Tanzania, East Africa. Upon his return to the United States, he worked as a civil rights attorney at the Boston Legal Assistance Project until 1975, when he served as speech writer in the office of Missouri Congressman Bill Clay. He worked as a staff attorney for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in 1976, prior to serving as administrative assistant, i.e. chief of staff, in the office of Michigan Congressman Charles Diggs.

In 1977, Robinson founded TransAfrica Forum to promote enlightened U.S. policies toward Africa and the Caribbean. He served as the organization’s president until 2001, when he and his wife, Hazel, moved to St. Kitts. In 2008, Robinson was named a Distinguished Scholar in Residence by The Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law, where he taught human rights law until 2016.

Robinson is a best-selling author, with his works including Defending the Spirit: A Black Life in America; The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks; The Reckoning – What Blacks Owe to Each Other; Quitting America: The Departure of a Black Man from His Native Land; An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President; and two novels: The Emancipation of Wakefield Clay and MAKEDA.

Some nineteen universities have conferred honorary Ph.D.’s upon Robinson in recognition of his work in the area of social justice advocacy, and he has been honored by the United Nations, the Congressional Black Caucus, Harvard University, Essence, ABC News (Person of the Week), The Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Change, the NAACP, and Ebony, among others. The Government of South Africa in 2012 conferred upon him the highest honor permissible to a non-citizen of South Africa, in recognition of his efforts to end apartheid. And the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill, New York, named him a 2017 medalist in honor of his work in the area of human rights.

Robinson has presented his views and policy recommendations on Nightline, CNN, CBS Evening News, CBS Sunday Morning, Face the Nation, Democracy Now, NPR, NBC Nightly News, ABC’s World News Tonight, The Today Show, C-Span, The Tavis Smiley Show, The Charlie Rose Show, and other leading American television programs.

Robinson has two children, Anike Robinson and Jabari Robinson, from his first marriage. He and his wife, Hazel Ross-Robinson, are the parents of one daughter, Khalea Ross Robinson.

Randall Robinson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 13, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.109

Sex

Male

Interview Date

06/13/2017 |and| 08/31/2017

Last Name

Robinson

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Randall

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

ROB33

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

No longer have one - Live on small island in St. Kitts

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

West Indies

Birth Date

7/6/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

St. Kitts

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Carribbean, Indan, Chinese, Soul

Short Description

Human rights advocate, author and law professor Randall Robinson (1941 - ) was an attorney for the Boston Legal Assistance Project and served as an administrative assistant for Michigan Congressman Charles Diggs. He later founded the TransAfrica Forum and published seven books.

Favorite Color

Orange, red and yellow

The Honorable H. Ron White

Judge and lawyer H. Ron White was born on February 10, 1941 in Richmond, Virginia to Ernest White and Mattie White. He graduated from Maggie L. Walter High School in 1958. White received his B.S. degree in biology and chemistry from Hampton University in 1962, and his J.D. degree from Howard University in 1971.

After graduation from Hampton University, White joined the U.S. Army in 1962. He was stationed in Kaiserslautern and Mannheim, Germany, and at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. From 1967 until 1968, White served a tour of duty in Vietnam, and was stationed in Quin Yan. By the end of his military service, he had reached the rank of captain. White began his professional career in 1971 at the Atlantic Richfield Oil Company as an environmental and labor attorney. He was promoted to the position of federal regulatory compliance counsel in 1974. Two years later, White joined Irvin & White, P.C., which became White, Mahomes, and Briscoe, P.C. the following year. In 1979, White established the Law Offices of H. Ron White & Associates. He then served as a district court judge in the State of Texas after being appointed to the position in 1983. White returned to his private law practice in 1985, and served as a partner at White & Wiggins.

In addition to his law practice, White has been active in a number of organizations. Specifically, he has been a board member of The General Counsel Forum for the Dallas and Fort Worth Chapter, and the Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Texas. White has also been a member of the Texas Bar College and the National Bar Association, as well as a Life Fellow of Texas Bar Foundation.

White has been recognized and awarded for his contributions to the community. In 2004, White was named as “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Dallas Bar. He also received the Dallas Bar Foundation Fellows Award for Outstanding Service to the Bar and Civic Community in 2006. White was named as one of the fifty “Lions of the Texas Bar” by The Texas Lawbook, as well as a Texas Super Lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell in 2005 and from 2010 through 2015.

White and his wife, Rita C. White, have one son, Eric.

H. Ron White was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 14, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.069

Sex

Male

Interview Date

03/14/2017

Last Name

White

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Ron

Occupation
Schools

George Washington Carver Elementary School

Benjamin Graves Junior High School

Maggie L. Walker High School

Hampton University

Howard University School of Law

Westwood School

First Name

H.

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

WHI24

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas, St. Martin

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

6/10/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Steak, Hamburger, Liver

Short Description

Judge and lawyer H. Ron White (1941 - ) was appointed State of Texas District Court Judge and was named “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Dallas Bar Association in 2004

Employment

White & Wiggins, LLP

Law Offices of H. Ron White & Associates, P.C.

State of Texas

U.S. Army

Atlantic Richfield Company

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of H. Ron White's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - H. Ron White lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - H. Ron White describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - H. Ron White talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - H. Ron White describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - H. Ron White talks about his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - H. Ron White describes his father's community involvement

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - H. Ron White recalls how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - H. Ron White describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - H. Ron White describes his father's military service

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - H. Ron White lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - H. Ron White talks about his son's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - H. Ron White remembers enrolling at Westwood School in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - H. Ron White talks about the desegregation of Virginia schools

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - H. Ron White describes Westwood School in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - H. Ron White describes his childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - H. Ron White remembers the Westwood community

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - H. Ron White recalls the business district of Richmond's Westwood community

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - H. Ron White talks about the African American businesses in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - H. Ron White recalls the schools he attended in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - H. Ron White describes his involvement in the school band

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - H. Ron White recalls his early interest in science

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - H. Ron White remembers influential high school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - H. Ron White recalls his decision to attend Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - H. Ron White remembers his early work shining shoes

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - H. Ron White describes his father's interest in golf

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - H. Ron White talks about his paternal family's tailoring experience

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - H. Ron White recalls his jobs in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - H. Ron White remembers attending the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - H. Ron White recalls his early experiences of religion

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - H. Ron White talks about his musical interests

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - H. Ron White remembers performing in the Hampton Institute Band and Orchestra

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - H. Ron White describes his academic interests at the Hampton Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - H. Ron White talks about the impact of the film 'Hidden Figures'

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - H. Ron White talks about his scientific interests at the Hampton Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - H. Ron White remembers his extracurricular activities in college

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - H. Ron White recalls joining the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - H. Ron White remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - H. Ron White talks about the civil rights activities at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - H. Ron White remembers the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - H. Ron White describes his experiences in Germany

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - H. Ron White recalls being deployed to Vietnam

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - H. Ron White describes Qui Nhon, Vietnam

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - H. Ron White talks about starting a jazz band in Vietnam

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - H. Ron White remembers considering his career options after his release from the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - H. Ron White recalls his decision to pursue a career in law

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - H. Ron White remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - H. Ron White recalls entering Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - H. Ron White remembers his favorite law school instructors

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - H. Ron White describes the most difficult aspects of law school

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - H. Ron White remembers being recruited by Atlantic Richfield Company in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - H. Ron White describes his experiences at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - H. Ron White remembers being interviewed by Atlantic Richfield Company in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - H. Ron White recalls his decision to move to Dallas, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - H. Ron White describes the creation of J.L. Turner Legal Association

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - H. Ron White remembers his supportive coworkers at Atlantic Richfield Company

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - H. Ron White recalls joining the Dallas Bar Association

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - H. Ron White remembers his organizational involvement while at Atlantic Richfield Company

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - H. Ron White recalls his involvement in the Dallas, Texas community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - H. Ron White talks about the migration of African Americans to southern cities

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - H. Ron White remembers guest speakers for the Committee of 100

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - H. Ron White recalls the formation of the Committee of 100

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - H. Ron White talks about the spread of information in the Dallas African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - H. Ron White talks about the gendered division of social organizations, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - H. Ron White talks about the gendered division of social organizations, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - H. Ron White recalls the changes in African American business markets

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - H. Ron White remembers working to educate Dallas' African American business community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - H. Ron White recalls Dallas' challenges with desegregation

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - H. Ron White describes the importance of city support for new residents

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - H. Ron White remembers African American elected officials in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - H. Ron White talks about organizations promoting African American politicians

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
H. Ron White describes his experiences at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.
H. Ron White recalls his decision to move to Dallas, Texas
Transcript
(Simultaneous) You were just talking off camera about you being the oldest student and having--giving, giving you a little advantage on (unclear) in law school [Howard University School of Law, Washington, D.C.] (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Right, 'cause I was, you know, I was at least five or six years older than the average student that would have been admitted at that time and then I had that real life experience being married [to Rita White] and having a child [Eric White] and having been in the [U.S.] military so you see things a little bit different than the student that's, who's just coming out of college who is going to law school with a few life experiences, okay. So that enabled me to, I think, develop a relationship with some of the faculty to the extent that I was selected, I guess, that last year to be the student faculty representative for the, for the law school and that was a time when Pat [ph.] and some of the others, Harrison [ph.], and some of the others were there and they were having issues trying to, you know, students began to not only boycott but raise issues at the school. Back during that time, they, they weren't that bashful about, about trying to improve the climate and ensure that we were getting the kind of resources that we felt we needed that we were investing in for our career. So, I did get a chance to participate in that capacity on behalf of the student body, the law school student body, my last year.$I came down, got a couple of people that were trying to be courteous and cordial and show me around a little bit. I realized when I got back, I didn't have a lot of information that I could share with my wife [Rita White] and they wanted to know, they said, "Well we're really interested, we'd like to make you an offer," you know, and I said, "Well, I'm--I'd be happy to consider that offer but I'm not sure I'm able to make any decisions regarding that offer without first having my wife to come down and take a look and so we can better determine what the alternatives are for my family," okay, 'cause at that time I had a wife and a son [Eric White]. And so they said, "Oh yeah, we'd be, we'd be happy to do that." So they, they did in fact arrange for me, I think a couple of weeks or so later. They said, "You let me know what time you can come and arranged for me to come back down to spend another weekend and, and to look around, to try to make that decision." We did, they got a slightly different crew. I told them, I don't want them to take me just to the white areas, I need to see where the black communities are, I need to talk with someone else who'll give me a better perspective of what, what's here really for African Americans. And so they arranged that also. Was there something you need to get?$$No, no, no. I keep hearing something but it's all right.$$Yeah, but anyways, so, so we did that and I, when I came down this time, I had to, I wanted to visit with the African American lawyers that were in town and I, my contact at that time was, was C.B. Bunkley [C.B. Bunkley, Jr.] who had been here for a while. L.A. Bedford [Louis A. Bedford, Jr.] was another prominent lawyer who had been involved, who was here. My classmate, Walter Irvin [ Walter L. Irvin] had been here a year before and Walter had graduated from Howard [Howard University School of Law, Washington, D.C.] also that year before and had been here and so those were the, the four, three or four persons that I spoke with on that second trip and I think but for the encouragement of, of C.B. Bunkley, whose son-in-law became the city attorney for Dallas [Texas] in subsequent years but he was well respected because he had been here practicing. He had primarily a civil practice, sole, sole practitioner, just like everyone in the city, primarily the sole practitioners except for a couple of them that had partnered together or working together, not so much partnered but that was the, that was the legal climate at that point. So, Bunkley said that, you know, he said, "Ron [HistoryMaker H. Ron White], I know you, you know, you'll be the first African American to be extended an offer or at least potentially accept an offer, we need you to accept this offer because that hopefully will begin to open some doors in terms of getting some more lawyers hired by some of these corporations and businesses and that, you know, that included the, the governmental entities too." So I said, said, "Well, I had told them I had to get with my wife, I need to see, see the various areas that, where we could probably live and see what we could, we could arrange." I said, "Well if I can't make it work, I'm going to get an agreement so they'll send me back to D.C. [Washington, D.C.] in two years." So, I got that agreement in place as a part of the condition of accepting the offer. There are several other things I think I discussed or was considered in making that decision. So my wife and I said, well, we'll give it a shot and see what we can do. So we established those conditions with the encouragement of the African American lawyers that were well respected at that time in the market, saying, "We'll help wherever we can, if you don't like it and you still want to practice, you've got an office here in my, in my building to work, to do some work," so that gave me another alternative that if it doesn't work I can still go out and practice with the, one or the other established lawyers and make a go of it. That was in part the dynamics of what, what evolved in terms of my decision to come down and give it a shot.

The Honorable Charles N. Clevert, Jr.

Federal judge Charles N. Clevert, Jr. was born on October 11, 1947 in Richmond, Virginia to Charles Nelson, Sr. and Ruby Clevert. He attended Armstrong High School in Richmond and graduated in 1965. He earned his B.A. degree from Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia in 1969, and his J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. in 1972.

Clevert began his career as the assistant district attorney of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. In 1975, he became an assistant U.S. attorney of the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Clevert then became a special assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois in 1977. During the same year, Clevert was appointed as a U.S. bankruptcy judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. He served as bankruptcy judge until 1995, during which time he held the position as chief judge from 1986 until the end of his tenure. Clevert also lectured at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Following his retirement from the bankruptcy court, Clevert was appointed as judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in 1996. Clevert served as chief judge from 2009 until 2012; at which time he became senior judge on the court. He assumed his senior status on October 31, 2012.

Clevert served as chair of the Federal Judiciary Center’s Advisory Committee on District Judge Education, as president of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and as chair of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges’ Endowment for Education. He was also a member of the American Bar Association House of Delegates the National Conference of Federal Trial Judges’ Executive Committee, and the American Jury Project. Clevert also established two programs, the Charles N. Clevert, Jr. Mentoring Program and the Charles N. Clevert, Jr., Internship Program.

In 1993, Clevert was awarded the Black Excellence Award by the Milwaukee Times. He was also the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from David and Elkins College in 1998.

Clevert and his wife, Leslie Clevert, have two children, Charles, III and Melanie.

Charles N, Clevert, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 22, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.057

Sex

Male

Interview Date

02/22/2017

Last Name

Clevert

Maker Category
Middle Name

N.

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

CLE07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

? ? ?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Wisconsin

Birth Date

10/11/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Milwaukee

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Catfish

Short Description

Federal judge Charles N. Clevert, Jr. (1947 - )

Favorite Color

None

Daryl Cumber Dance

Educator Daryl Cumber Dance was born on January 17, 1938 in Richmond, Virginia to elementary school teacher Veronica Bell Cumber and entrepreneur Allen Cumber. Dance graduated from Ruthville High School in Ruthville, Virginia; and went on to earn her A.B. degree in English in 1957, and her M.A. degree in English in 1963, both from Virginia State College, now Virginia State University. She received her Ph.D. degree in English from the University of Virginia in 1971.

Dance was hired as an English teacher at Armstrong High School in Richmond, Virginia in 1957. She remained at Armstrong until 1962, when she returned to her alma mater, Virginia State College, as an instructor of English. After obtaining her Ph.D. degree in 1971, Dance returned to Virginia State College for one year as an assistant professor of English. She left in 1972 to join the faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University as an assistant professor of English, becoming an associate professor of English in 1978, and obtaining full professorship in 1985. Between 1983 and 1984, Dance also served as the acting coordinator of the Afro-American Studies program at Virginia Commonwealth University. In 1993, she joined the faculty of the University of Richmond as a professor of English. She was named the Sterling A. Brown Professor of English at Howard University in 2013. Dance served as the Jessie Ball duPont Visiting Scholar at the University of Richmond as well as the visiting professor of Black Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Dance authored nine books, including Shuckin' and Jivin': Folklore from Contemporary Black Americans (1978), Fifty Caribbean Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical and Critical Sourcebook (1986), Honey, Hush! An Anthology of African American Women's Humor (1998), From My People: 400 Years of African American Folklore (2002), and In Search of Annie Drew, the Mother and Muse of Jamaica Kincaid (2016). Dance also served on several boards and committees, including the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, the Editorial Board of Encyclopedia Virginia, the University Press of Virginia Board of Directors, the Board of Visitors at Virginia State University, and the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada; in addition to her memberships in the American Folklore Society, the American Studies Association, the Modern Language Association, the Zora Neale Hurston Society, the Richard Wright Society, and the Virginia Folklore Society.

She received numerous awards for her work, including the VCU Arts and Sciences Lecturer Award, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education's Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award, the Sister Circle Book Award for Outstanding Anthology, the Zora Neale Hurston Award from the National Association of Black Storytellers Annual Conference, and The Sojourner Truth Award from The African American Studies Program of George Mason University. The Daryl Cumber Dance Lifetime Achievement Award was created in 2012 by the College Language Association in Dance’s honor.

Daryl Cumber Dance was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 7, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.100

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/7/2016

Last Name

Dance

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Cumber

Occupation
Schools

Ruthville High School

Virginia State University

University of Virginia

Speakers Bureau

Yes

First Name

Daryl

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

DAN08

Favorite Season

All 4 Seasons

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Many Different Places

Favorite Quote

She Who Laughs, Lasts.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

1/17/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Richmond

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Educator Daryl Cumber Dance (1938 - ) served as professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University for twenty years, and at the University of Richmond for nineteen years. She was named the Sterling A. Brown Professor of English at Howard University in 2013.

Employment

University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University

University of Richmond

Virginia Commonwealth University

University of California, Santa Barbara

Virginia State University

Armstrong High School

Favorite Color

Blue

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Daryl Cumber Dance's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Daryl Cumber Dance lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Daryl Cumber Dance describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about the founding of Ruthville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Daryl Cumber Dance describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about her maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about the history of Charles City, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Daryl Cumber Dance describes her family's history in Charles City, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Daryl Cumber Dance describes her maternal grandfather, Luther Winston Bell

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about her family's affiliation with Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about her father's education and career

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Daryl Cumber Dance describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Daryl Cumber Dance remembers meeting her half-sister

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Daryl Cumber Dance describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about the founding of Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about color discrimination within the black community

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about her early interest in storytelling

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Daryl Cumber Dance remembers enrolling at Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about her love of reading

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about her childhood activities and trips

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Daryl Cumber Dance describes her experiences at Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Daryl Cumber Dance remembers her professors at Virginia State College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about the role of African Americans in the Civil War

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Daryl Cumber Dance recalls her activities at Virginia State College

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Daryl Cumber Dance recalls her first year of teaching at Armstrong High School in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about the education and training of black teachers

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about her graduate education

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Daryl Cumber Dance remembers the mentorship of Joseph Jenkins

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about the works of William Faulkner

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about the representation of African American literaure

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Daryl Cumber Dance recalls the prominent civil rights activists in Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Daryl Cumber Dance describes her experiences at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Daryl Cumber Dance remembers Houston A. Baker, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Daryl Cumber Dance describes her dissertation on humor in African American folklore

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Daryl Cumber Dance recalls her decision to leave Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about developing courses on black folklore

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about the process of collecting folklore

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Daryl Cumber Dance describes her favorite stories from 'Shuckin' and Jivin''

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about the practice of storytelling

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Daryl Cumber Dance remembers Richard M. Dorson

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about the response to her book, 'Shuckin' and Jivin''

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about the folklore of the African diaspora

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Daryl Cumber Dance describes the differences between white and African American folklore

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about the comedy of Richard Pryor

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about her book, 'New World Adams: Conversations with Contemporary West Indian Writers'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about the Mecklenburg Six, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about the Mecklenburg Six, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about the public response to the Mecklenburg Six

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about her book, 'Honey, Hush!: An Anthology of African American Women's Humor'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about colloquialisms among African American women

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Daryl Cumber Dance describes her recent books on African American folklore

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Daryl Cumber Dance remembers her student, Anand Prahlad

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about her decision to leave Virginia Commonwealth University

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about her civic service

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Daryl Cumber Dance describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Daryl Cumber Dance reflects upon her career

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Daryl Cumber Dance talks about her recent projects

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Daryl Cumber Dance describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Daryl Cumber Dance narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$6

DAStory

5$4

DATitle
Daryl Cumber Dance describes her mother's family background, pt. 2
Daryl Cumber Dance talks about her book, 'Honey, Hush!: An Anthology of African American Women's Humor'
Transcript
So--and it doesn't hurt to name names in this interview (laughter)--you know.$$All right. Okay. Well, it's very interesting. My grandmother's family, for example, her name was Sallie Brown [Sallie Brown Bell]. Then, she married Bell, then she married Brown. So, Sallie Corona Brown Bell Brown, was a member of a family who were farmers for the most part, though her mother is said to have had a school. We don't have any actual documentation of that little school where she taught children in the community. They had twelve children, six boys and six girls. One boy died very young. The five boys went on all to be in the medical field. Two of them finished Harvard Medical Schools [Boston, Massachusetts], one dentistry. Others--one other finished medical school, one finished podiatry, and one was a pharmacist. But, that says something about the nature of the families there. When Virginia State [Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute; Virginia State University, Petersburg, Virginia], now university, opened in the 1880s, my grandmother, my--told me how her mother [Sidney Brown] was so excited about a school that her children could attend and how she got together with her first cousin and they decided to send their boys to Virginia State. And they did, indeed, not only send their boys, but they sent several of the girls to Virginia State as well. That's where they met the man who was to become my grandfather. He was in the very first class that entered Virginia State. And these brothers started coming two years after that and they became friendly with him. And so he met my grandmother when he visited Charles City [Charles City County, Virginia] with these boys, but they did not marry then. He went on to marry someone who was in school with him, and when she died later, he came back and began courting my grandmother. And his is a glorious history, too. He was very much involved in the early days at Virginia State. He was very active as a student there. And the president, first president--black president appointed there was John Mercer Langston, and he became friendly with Langston who was also a lawyer and in politics as well. But, they were trying to get rid of Langston because Virginia State was always a very--a school that had many conflicts with the state government, but they had a powerful black man who helped to establish the school, and he made many demands which he was able to get through. One of them was that all of their faculty would be black and not white because he said, "If people can't eat with you, why do we trust them to teach our students?" And so, he insisted on a black--in fact, he insisted on a college and not just an industrial school which, again, was very rare for early black schools.$$That's right. They were called these--$$So, Virginia State started with a college. And my grandfather came and studied there, and when he finished the first program he was studying, Langston invited several of the students to stay and read law with him, so he was then studying, we might saw law, that might be something of an overstatement, but no question--$$Now that's in those days, that's--$$--about that's the way it happened in those days. But in the meantime, they were trying to change things at the school and trying to get rid of Langston. And my grandfather came to Richmond [Virginia] from the campus--the campus is in Petersburg [Virginia]--and demanded a hearing with the governor to speak on behalf of Langston. And when he returned to the school, there was a motion made in the faculty to dismiss him from leaving the school without permission. Langston refused to carry the motion, but finally, they got rid of Langston and then they expelled my grandfather as well. And my uncles, my grandmother's brothers who were there left in protest, and all three of them, those two brothers and, and my grandfather ended up at Harvard [Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts]. My grandfather first took some classes in law somewhere else in the area but then enrolled in Harvard where he studied. So, he has a very interesting history as well.$$What, what, what is your grandfather's name, again?$$Luther Winston Bell [Luther Bell], B-E-L-L.$Now, your next project was 'Honey, Hush!' ['Honey, Hush!: An Anthology of African American Women's Humor,' ed. Daryl Cumber Dance], right?$$'Honey, Hush!'. 'Honey, Hush!'.$$This is an anthology of African American women's humor (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Humor. Humor. That's right. I received a call from Norton press [W. W. Norton and Company] saying that they wanted me to do a collection of African American folklore. I had just read a book from their press, which was on southern humor and I said to them, again, indignant (laughter), my militant self, "You have this book on southern humor that has almost nothing about black women." And most of what he had was from 'Shuckin' and Jivin'' ['Shuckin' and Jivin': Folklore from Contemporary Black Americans,' Daryl Cumber Dance] on black women. I said, "I've already done a book on African American folklore. What you need is a book on black women's humor." And the lady said, "Send me a proposal." So, I hadn't really planned to do this, but sounded like a good idea, and I sent the proposal in right away and started working on it. And already--it's interesting how things are in your mind without your realizing they're in your mind. I realized all these wonderfully funny, humorous, ironical tales, stories, proverbs from African American women. So, I got to work on that. That was the most fun ever. And by the time I was working on that, I was a member of a group called the Wintergreen Women [Wintergreen Women Writers' Collective], and we're a group of mainly African American, but at least one white member, of women who got together because most of us were isolated as, you know, one of one or two black women working in larger schools and a chance to get together and talk about some issues that were affecting us. So, we started meeting every year. It turned out to be a wonderful thing. We've been meeting constantly now for close to thirty years. I--oh--yeah, close to thirty years. And one of the things we do when we meet is to share research projects and to get ideas from each other and get support from each other. So, I said to them when I went, "I'm gonna do a collection of African American women's humor. Help me. Give me--," so, [HistoryMaker] Nikki Giovanni said, "Well, I'll do the introduction to it," and she, she did, and it was--it's a wonderful one. And I think just about everybody in the group contributed some story to it. But, I couldn't get a title for it. So, I was working on a title and I'd send titles to my editor. I had a wonderful editor, Amy Cherry, at Norton and just couldn't get a title, and she would send me back. And so finally I just wrote to all the Wintergreen women and I said--and they knew about the book. They had helped to plan it. They had made contributions. So, I said, "We're having trouble with a title." And Joanne Gabbin [HistoryMaker Joanne V. Gabbin] at James Madison University [Harrisonburg, Virginia], who--very good friend of Gwendolyn Brooks and--who has honored Gwendolyn Brooks in so many ways, wrote back to me and said, "Honey, hush." And it hit me as just perfect. If you've been around black women, you know how common that phrase is, and it's not just black women. Again, when I was doing something for my last book, I talked to a white American who has lived in Antigua for fifty years and she said, "Honey, hush." So, I named it 'Honey, Hush!' and it's, it's been one of my most fun books, even though every time I say that, I think about how much fun I had with others as well. But, you know, I've gotten--I told you one of the things is the way people respond to the books. Women have written to me and they say, "This book got me through my divorce. This book helped me deal with the death of somebody." One women wrote to me and she said, "I keep 'Honey, Hush!' on my bed table and every night before I go to sleep, I read a selection and I wake up in the morning with a smile on my face." So, these kinds of things, you know, just, just are the most important responses to books. To me, it got really good book reviews, probably more reviews than any other book I've done.