The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

city

Margot Copeland

Corporate executive Margot James Copeland was born on December 4, 1951 in Richmond, Virginia. She was the only child to her parents, Reverend William Lloyd Garrison James, a Baptist minister, and Thelma Taylor James, an eighth grade math teacher. Copeland earned her B.S. degree in physics from Hampton University, and her M.A. degree in educational research and statistics from The Ohio State University.

Copeland began her corporate career at Xerox Corporation, Polaroid, and Picker International. In 1992, she was hired as executive director for Leadership Cleveland, a program of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association that develops community leaders. After seven years at Leadership Cleveland, Copeland became president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Roundtable, a nonprofit organization founded to improve multicultural and multiracial relations in the Cleveland area. She joined KeyCorp in 2001, and served as executive vice president - director, corporate diversity and philanthropy and as an executive council member. KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies and, within her position as chair and CEO of the KeyBank Foundation, she managed the company’s annual $20 million philanthropic investment program and oversaw diversity initiatives. KeyCorp has been included in DiversityInc magazine’s list of 50 Top Companies for Diversity in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009 and ranked 13th among the most generous cash giving companies in America in a 2003 list published by BusinessWeek. In 2013, the KeyBank Foundation was recognized as a Civic 50 Company by the National Conference on Citizenship, Points of Light and Bloomberg LP.

Copeland has participated in a number of community organizations and boards. In 2010, she became the fifteenth president of The Links, Inc. She has also served as the president of the Junior League of Cleveland, Inc., sat on the Kent State University board of trustees, acted as Mentor/Protégé Program Advisor for Morehouse College, and is a member of the Business School Advisory board at Hampton University.

Copeland was listed as one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in Cleveland” by New Cleveland Woman magazine, and in 2012, Savoy magazine included her in a list of the “100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.” She is also the recipient of the YWCA Career Woman of Achievement Award; was the 2006 Black Professional of the Year as recognized by Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation; received the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Community Service Award; and the W.O. Walker Excellence in Community Service Award, sponsored by the Call and Post newspaper. Copeland also received the distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award in 2013 from Hampton University.

Copeland lives in Cleveland, Ohio and has three children, Reverend Kimberley, Dr. Garrison, and Michael Copeland.

Copeland was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 10, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.045

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/10/2014

Last Name

Copeland

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Marietta

Occupation
Schools

Hampton University

The Ohio State University

Matoaca High School

Giles B. Cook Elementary School

Westview Early Childhood Education Center

First Name

Margot

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

COP01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

Cry Out Of One Eye.$

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Interview Description
Birth Date

12/4/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Blue Crab

Short Description

Corporate executive Margot Copeland (1951 - ) served as the executive vice president of diversity and chair of the foundation at KeyCorp from 2001. She was also national president of The Links, Incorporated.

Employment

Xerox Corporation

Polaroid Corporation

Picker International

Leadership Cleveland

Greater Cleveland Roundtable

KeyCorp

KeyBank Foundation

Ohio State Legislature

Ameritrust Bank

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:6890,146:7178,151:11354,247:13010,303:17906,410:18554,420:18842,425:26055,489:37305,734:38055,752:38505,762:38955,769:39330,775:45105,908:45405,913:49420,918:50455,937:55699,1040:55975,1045:56596,1057:57355,1069:57769,1076:59563,1115:60253,1126:64010,1143:66110,1180:68140,1227:68630,1236:69330,1249:72970,1331:74650,1374:77380,1434:88910,1648:89510,1658:94910,1760:102740,1830:103080,1836:103352,1841:105732,1906:106140,1913:107568,1950:107840,1958:109064,1980:114572,2082:115048,2094:115320,2099:118312,2201:118652,2207:119468,2223:119740,2228:124920,2259:125176,2264:125752,2274:126264,2291:132600,2429:133112,2438:137400,2535:138104,2549:138808,2563:139064,2583:141432,2631:147503,2650:148306,2665:150058,2699:151153,2717:154438,2777:155095,2788:155387,2798:163266,2921:166255,2995:166621,3002:168878,3049:169366,3059:169671,3066:170159,3075:170403,3080:178422,3206:179241,3224:179997,3240:180438,3248:181383,3259:181761,3266:182895,3287:183525,3298:184155,3311:185037,3328:186990,3372:189321,3431:190203,3453:190644,3465:196188,3586:202912,3626:204096,3661:206094,3715:210090,3851:215344,3995:215640,4007:217786,4026:218378,4036:218896,4049:219192,4054:221042,4089:228053,4112:228457,4117:229265,4127:229669,4132:231386,4156:243970,4308:259070,4644$0,0:672,15:8400,173:9240,186:13860,317:15372,352:17976,380:23730,426:25326,458:27530,491:31558,571:32242,584:32546,589:35890,648:36346,655:36878,664:37182,670:40906,738:47503,833:47838,839:48307,847:53220,938:53766,946:54156,952:58914,1078:62814,1176:63360,1184:64140,1197:76062,1361:76500,1369:77011,1378:77522,1386:79785,1456:80150,1462:81245,1488:82267,1510:82559,1515:82924,1523:84165,1535:91611,1689:92414,1708:92706,1714:92998,1719:93874,1733:94166,1738:104908,1823:105556,1833:113008,1954:114466,1976:115195,1986:117382,2021:117787,2027:118435,2037:126548,2130:128296,2156:128828,2164:129892,2181:130728,2226:131640,2240:132400,2253:133084,2264:135060,2295:137112,2329:141976,2422:142964,2438:143648,2448:145700,2493:153403,2550:153735,2555:156723,2605:157636,2610:161454,2689:162035,2697:164442,2746:165521,2769:167015,2790:167928,2803:168509,2816:169007,2823:173157,2906:181986,2992:182642,3001:185512,3047:186004,3054:191006,3100:193138,3180:197538,3203:197986,3212:200482,3272:207586,3451:208354,3467:208866,3477:210722,3513:210978,3518:211298,3524:211810,3535:212386,3545:223800,3718:224475,3733:225150,3744:226800,3777:227100,3782:228825,3808:236461,3922:237157,3931:237505,3936:238549,3955:238897,3960:239419,3968:239854,3974:242725,4024:245248,4079:247249,4120:249772,4153:251860,4199:264910,4349:265470,4363:266800,4400:267780,4437:268410,4449:269110,4464:270090,4481:270860,4497:271140,4502:275200,4598:275690,4606:275970,4611:276250,4616:283398,4672:283694,4677:284212,4686:286136,4720:286580,4728:287024,4736:287394,4742:287986,4755:288578,4764:289688,4788:290798,4809:291760,4833:292870,4859:293240,4867:293536,4872:294572,4897:295460,4912:295978,4920:301425,4978:301725,4983:302400,4993:303825,5017:306525,5078:306975,5086:308100,5143:308475,5149:314940,5186
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Margot Copeland's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland talks about her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland talks about the role of Petersburg, Virginia in the Civil War

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland describes her mother's upbringing in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland describes her mother's involvement with The Links

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Margot Copeland talks about her paternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland describes her father's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland talks about her father's career as a minister

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland remembers her community in Petersburg, Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland remembers her community in Petersburg, Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland recalls her early experiences of religion

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland remembers the racial tensions at Matoaca High School, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland remembers the racial tensions at Matoaca High School, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland recalls her elementary school education

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland talks about her early interest in science

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland remembers attending a pre-college program at the Hampton Institute, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland remembers attending a pre-college program at the Hampton Institute, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland remembers her time at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland remembers her astrophysics courses at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland talks about the environment at historically black colleges

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland recalls her admission to The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland describes her graduate programs at The Ohio State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland recalls her graduate math courses

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland remembers working for state legislator William L. Mallory, Sr.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland remembers joining the Xerox Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland talks about her role at the Xerox Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Margot Copeland remembers her transition to the Polaroid Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland talks about her maternal uncle, Theodore Taylor

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland remembers the economic boycott of Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland recalls her father's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland describes her work at the Polaroid Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland remembers leaving the Polaroid Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland talks about her early community involvement

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland talks about the history of The Links

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland describes The Links' organizational structure

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Margot Copeland talks about her involvement in The Links, Incorporated, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Margot Copeland talks about her involvement in The Links, Incorporated, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland recalls her start in the Junior League

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland describes her philosophy of organizational leadership

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland remembers her presidency of the Junior League of Cleveland, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland recalls serving as executive director of Leadership Cleveland

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland remembers hosting a gang leader as a guest speaker at Leadership Cleveland

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland remembers taking leaders to women's prisons in Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland remembers taking leaders to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland remembers her involvement on the Cleveland Bicentennial Commission

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Margot Copeland remembers the Cleveland Browns' departure from Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Margot Copeland talks about Michael R. White's mayoralty of Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland describes her work with the Greater Cleveland Roundtable

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland talks about her previous positions

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland describes her work with the KeyBank Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland describes the KeyBank Classrooms for STEM Education program

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland describes the role of civic engagement at KeyCorp

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland describes her plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland talks about the importance of community service

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland recalls her mentorship of an aspiring biomedical engineer

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Margot Copeland reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Margott Copeland narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Margot Copeland remembers attending a pre-college program at the Hampton Institute, pt. 2
Margot Copeland recalls serving as executive director of Leadership Cleveland
Transcript
I go down to pre-college and on the way down to Hampton [Virginia], you would've thought somebody was taking our family to a funeral. I'm in the back seat of the car crying, my father's in the front seat crying. He and I are both softhearted so that was natural. When my mother [Thelma Taylor James] started to cry, then I knew something was wrong. My mother was not a crier (laughter). But--so it was an emotional time taking your child even though it was pre-college and Hampton is much closer to Petersburg [Virginia] than going to Raleigh [North Carolina] to go to school--I mean not Raleigh, Durham [North Carolina] to go to school. But anyway we got over the sepera- we got through the separation if you will. And within about forty-eight hours I'd become quite acclimated to being not only away from home but to be in that beautiful Hampton Institute [Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia] at that time although I was not gonna be matriculating there for the fall. Well in the middle of the six week period, I got a note to come over to the registrar's office which I did, and I spoke to one of the admissions directors and he said that--he complimented me on how well I was doing. I was taking freshman level math and English, and what have you. He said I was doing well midterm, I was doing quite well and what have you, wanted to know if I 'wanna think about, you know, staying and going to Hampton for undergrad versus going to North Carolina [North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina]. And I was flattered, and I said wow, and I thought about it for a while, and my dad being a minister his big day off was always on Monday. So of course when I was in Hampton every Monday my father was in Hampton. He would drive on down there--he'd come and spend Monday afternoon with me anyway, so I don't know what day I was talking to this gentlemen. But all I know is the second meeting said, well my father will be here on Monday. Can I get him involved in this conversation? That's before cell phones, computers, and text, you know, and so daddy came and we went back to see the man and he told him, "Reverend James [William James], your daughter's done so well we would love to see her come here." And I began to ask him some questions about, you know, scholarship I said I had you know, I didn't have a big scholarship to North Carolina--if I had a nice one, you know it was recognizing my academic ability. And I said I've got a scholarship here, you know, what can you do help us do this. My father was so struck by the fact that he sat in that conversation and was proud of me--of how I negotiated getting money to go to school at Hampton, not a complete scholarship but a nice complement to what my parents were gonna have to pay. Anyway, he went back home and told mom, "Well it looks like she's gonna go to Hampton because she's done all these things, she's negotiated her money, got a little bit more money than I got to North Carolina." And my mother just revolted to him, she said, "She's not old enough to make a decision like that, how dare she decide--she's going to UN- North Carolina Central." And he said, "Margot's [HistoryMaker Margot Copeland] going to Hampton, because she has already committed. That's where it is," and my mother did call me, and there was a--one telephone booth on the floor that all these girls in the dorm had to share, and you could barely get a call through. But of course that call came through and my mom and I talked and I was very clear. I used the clarity I learned from her, I was very clear that this was gonna be my choice, and I said, "I don't wanna go to another place and get adjusted all over again." I said, "I'm adjusted, I like it." I said, "It's a topped named HBCU [historically black colleges and universities], you know, everybody's going to Howard [Howard University, Washington, D.C.], I'm going to Hampton." And so, and so that's what where--so Hampton chose me. Hampton pulled me back in and there are a lot of things in life, if you look back and you'd like to do over, or change, or adjust, the best decision, best decision in my life was going to Hampton. It was just incredible.$$We spent like the last two years interviewing black scientists. And we spent a lot of time at Hampton, now people who are there now undoubtedly were not there when you were there.$$Right.$$But they are associated with the Jefferson National Accelerator [Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Newport News, Virginia] over there and a lot of things going on at Hampton. The physics department is re- is really, you know, doing things.$Now during the same period of time, here comes Leadership Cleveland you go (laughter), you're like building steam.$$Yeah, yeah, yeah. Leadership Cleveland really came as a result of my presidency with the Junior League [Junior League of Cleveland, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio]. So as--when I was president elect, I was a member of the Leadership Cleveland class of 1991. Boy is this documentary dating me and--but anyway I was a member of the class and again a great set of peers that I got to know and meet. And then I was president from '91 [1991] to '92 [1992]. By the time I was a past president of the league, my active days as a Junior League member began to wane, because you know, you've been the president and I be- once you turn forty you can become an alum. So I, I applied for alumni status. I'd already actively served about fifteen years in the league so it was time. It was time to begin replenishing ourselves. We have younger women coming in and others, you know, moving on. I don't believe in older women, you know, holding up all the--holding all the top jobs so the younger women can't advance and move forward. I'm a real proponent of bringing along younger people. But anyway so Leadership Cleveland came in my life as a--first as a participant in the class of '91 [1991] and by the fall of '92 [1992] I found myself in the job. I'd taken a leave of absence from Picker International [Picker International, Inc.], had--with all their support. And when it was time for that year to come back, I remember my manager calling me, he said, "Okay you got your year back." He literally--it wasn't that he held the job for me, but he had a place for me at Picker and invited me to, you know, come back and, and come back and regain, you know, the te- be a part of the team at Picker. And during that time, the directorship for Leadership Cleveland had opened. God lines up all the stars. He has a plan and I tossed my hat in the ring as the director, executive director of Leadership Cleveland. Great mentor of mine, probably the mentor. I've had many along the way, Carole Hoover. Carole Hoover was a senior executive with the Greater Cleveland Growth Association [Greater Cleveland Partnership], which at that time was the chamber of commerce for greater Cleveland that Leadership Cleveland program reported up through to her and with her encouragement and the encouragement of others, I was selected as the executive director, Leadership Cleveland, becoming the first black director of Leadership Cleveland. And I ran that program for about eight years from '92 [1992], my last class was a class of '99 [1999] and in a class it was always fun putting those classes together. You would have CEOs or you would have clergy and head of the labor union and, and somebody who works in the social services or in the arts world or what have you. There was one meeting where I had this, this--the COO of Lincoln Electric [Lincoln Electric Company] and the CEO of the Midnight Basketball League and at the opening dinner I placed everybody where they were gonna be I sat them together. Where else would the two of them come together and meet. So and the learning, the learning that you would get, you know from that sort of thing. There was one session in Leadership Cleveland where you know, you can go and listen to the practitioners talk about, you know, issues. I like to demonstrate the issues, you know, for that the community had. These are established accomplished leaders so they don't need me to introduce them to problems (unclear) has the whole bombard of--of barrage of speakers coming talking about topics. I wanted to--them to actually touch and feel and see. So we had a session around quality of life. And I had them all arrive that morning around 6:30 A.M., most of them are up and moving, these are powerful folks, they're up early anyway. But it was a December, it was freezing cold outside, and I--we told them to leave their coats in the car. And when they got to the church where we were having this session, the door was locked and they were all lined up in the cold. And this real gruff, wiry looking man came out, pushing a cart and gave each one a pa- a brown paper bag, with a carton of milk, a Twinkie and a banana in their bag, well that was their breakfast. They were accustomed to coming into a place and getting a nice warm cup of coffee or tea and having continental breakfast. That was their breakfast and we made them stan- they were pounding on the door--they were so upset with me and we inside church looking at them pou- because they were freezing and we made 'em do that for thirty minutes and they were not happy. But the demonstration was this is what it feels like to be a homeless person getting ready to start their day on a December cold morning. They got it, they got the point. Same thing I took them to the Hospice of the Western Reserve [Cleveland, Ohio] so they--so the hospice was not just something that you heard about or maybe unfortunately experienced. But at least--you actually talk to people who are in--going through the process or families going through the process with a loved one.

Wesley Harris

Aerospace engineer Wesley L. Harris was born in Richmond, Virginia on October 29, 1 941. His parents, William Harris and Rosa Harris, worked in Richmond’s tobacco factories. As a child, Harris was intrigued by airplanes and learned to build different models. In the fourth grade, he won an essay contest about career goals with a paper on how he wanted to become a test pilot. After receiving his B.S. degree with honors in aerospace engineering from the University of Virginia in 1964, Harris enrolled at Princeton University and graduated from there with his M.S. degree in aerospace and mechanical sciences in 1966 and his Ph.D. degree in aerospace and mechanical sciences 1968.

After completing his Ph.D. at Princeton, Harris taught at the University of Virginia and at Southern University before joining the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1972 where he served as a professor of aeronautics and astronautics. He established MIT’s first Office of Minority Education in 1975 in order to help retain minority students and improve their performance. In 1985, Harris was appointed Dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Connecticut; and from 1990 to 1995, he served as vice president and chief administrative officer at the University of Tennessee Space Institute and then as associate administrator for aeronautics NASA. In 2003, Harris was named head of the department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT in 2003.

Harris’ many honors and achievements include serving as chair and member of various boards and committees of the National Research Council, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Army Science Board, and several state governments. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Helicopter Society. The National Academy of Engineering elected Harris as a Fellow for contributions to understanding of helicopter rotor noise, for encouragement of minorities in engineering, and for service to the aeronautical industry.

Wesley L. Harris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 25, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.004

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/26/2013

Last Name

Harris

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Princeton University

University of Virginia

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Wesley

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

HAR38

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

The Greatest Gift Is To Give.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

10/29/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Steak (Rib Eye)

Short Description

Aerospace engineer Wesley Harris (1941 - ) was head of the department of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. He was also elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Engineering for contributions to the understanding of helicopter rotor noise, for encouragement of minorities in engineering and for service to the aeronautical industry.

Employment

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

UTSI

University of Connecticut

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

University of Virginia

Southern University

Harris Analytics and Planning, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:6715,78:43854,613:51368,679:58582,733:72260,887:76024,915:79340,936:80460,954:101810,1306:116132,1453:117824,1478:137502,1686:138158,1696:145722,1810:149658,1852:156190,1938:156550,1944:157000,1950:161657,1994:169182,2081:170427,2105:173830,2162:181498,2263:182304,2278:183048,2293:183358,2299:187295,2338:188145,2349:190360,2359:206374,2498:207194,2510:207604,2516:208178,2524:210400,2540:210700,2546:211000,2552:214670,2602:216542,2642:224375,2797:251370,3117:252616,3140:253150,3148:256060,3175:257230,3191:257860,3200:263615,3251:265070,3278:265749,3376:273646,3431:279835,3484:284185,3677:284635,3684:285010,3690:286060,3707:299560,3861:318570,3997:330756,4112:331834,4126:336600,4141:337000,4147:337800,4159:346036,4255:346624,4265:347016,4270:353910,4338:354798,4352:355686,4365:356352,4378:356796,4386:363980,4440$0,0:40348,527:77043,966:77579,975:78115,984:80520,1006:80845,1012:93196,1215:104375,1322:106271,1359:109352,1411:109668,1416:110300,1427:118911,1596:154114,1842:170748,2023:171084,2028:189450,2249:190002,2263:199658,2374:205894,2551:261770,3168:278591,3379:293302,3664:296870,3670
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Wesley Harris' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Wesley Harris lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Wesley Harris describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Wesley Harris talks about the occupations of his mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Wesley Harris talks about his mother and his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Wesley Harris describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Wesley Harris describes his father's restaurant

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Wesley Harris describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Wesley Harris talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Wesley Harris talks about his twin brother William Harris pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Wesley Harris talks about his twin brother William Harris pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Wesley Harris describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Wesley Harris describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Wesley Harris describes walking through the white district to get to school as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Wesley Harris talks about his mentors in school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Wesley Harris talks about his high school science fair project

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Wesley Harris talks about his aspiration as a fourth grader to be a test pilot

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Wesley Harris talks about the University of Virginia-pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Wesley Harris describes his time at the University of Virginia-pt 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Wesley Harris talks about his mentors at the University of Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Wesley Harris describes the group of African American students at the University of Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Wesley Harris describes his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement at the University of Virginia pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Wesley Harris describes his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement at the University of Virginia pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Wesley Harris talks about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Wesley Harris talks about the 1963 March on Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Wesley Harris describes the impact of the U.S. space program on his education

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Wesley Harris describes his decision to attend Princeton University for graduate school

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Wesley Harris talks about his mentor at Princeton University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Wesley Harris talks about anti-Semitism in Ivy League schools

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Wesley Harris describes his doctoral research

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Wesley Harris describes how he was recruited by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Wesley Harris describes the findings of his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Wesley Harris talks about his time at Southern University pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Wesley Harris talks about his time at Southern University pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Wesley Harris explains why he left Southern University pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Wesley Harris explains why he left Southern University pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Wesley Harris talks about his time as a professor at the University of Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Wesley Harris talks about his children and his first wife

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Wesley Harris describes being a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Wesley Harris describes his research on helicopter rotor acoustics

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Wesley Harris talks about his research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Wesley Harris describes his work on coastal ocean radar with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Wesley Harris talks about receiving the Irwin Sizer Award

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Wesley Harris describes his time at the University of Connecticut

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Wesley Harris describes his time at the University of Tennessee Space Institute

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Wesley Harris talks about the University of Tennessee Space Institute

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Wesley Harris describes being an associate administrator at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Wesley Harris describes being an associate administrator at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Wesley Harris reflects on his work at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Wesley Harris describes why he left the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Wesley Harris talks about the Lean Aerospace Initiative and Lean Sustainment Initiative

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Wesley Harris talks about becoming a member of the National Academy of Engineering

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Wesley Harris describes his time at Arizona State University

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Wesley Harris talks about the aeronautics and astronautics department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Wesley Harris talks about Leon Trilling

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Wesley Harris describes the James Shirley incident at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Wesley Harris talks about the flight tests of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Wesley Harris provides his predictions on the direction of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Wesley Harris talks about STEM education in the United States

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Wesley Harris talks about his research on the fluid dynamics of blood flow pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Wesley Harris talks about his research on the fluid dynamics of blood flow pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Wesley Harris describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Wesley Harris reflects on his life

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Wesley Harris reflects on his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Wesley Harris talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Wesley Harris talks about his involvement in football during high school pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Wesley Harris talks about his involvement in football during high school pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Wesley Harris talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$7

DAStory

1$4

DATitle
Wesley Harris talks about his high school science fair project
Wesley Harris reflects on his work at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Transcript
You were talking about this cloud chamber in the break, but how did you build that? I mean you say kids ask you today, how did you do it without the internet, right?$$Right. So the idea was that you wanted to observe, in my case, the trajectory of alpha particles and so how do you do that? Alpha particles are fairly large and high energy so if you have a, an environment where they can collide and you visibly can see the collision or the results of the collision then you could in fact track them. So if you had in those days these old radioactive Rayon watches, you could clip off a piece of the dial and that would serve as your alpha particle. To get the condensement atmosphere you build a box that was insulated, put in that box dry ice, okay, and on top you would put a damp wet cloth which when it interacts with the dry ice would form a cloud. And then you look at the, look through the top, alpha particles projecting through the cloud coming down, you see the collisions and you could track it. So the idea was to generate the correct environment. And the cloud chamber is what we called it in those days, still call it a cloud chamber. But you had to build a box, put ice in there, dry ice, not water ice but it had to be very cold and get the condensation, get the alpha particles, there it was. So, but Eloise Bose Washington, who is this woman, who is she, why do I remember her name so distinctly, why do I remember her even more so than Edmonds and Street and Mrs. Hartley and even Judon? Eloise Bose Washington one of the rare black women that went north in the 40s [1940s] to the University of Pennsylvania [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] to earn a masters degree in physics, you may ask well why in the hell would a black woman go north in the 40s [1940s] for a masters degree in physics and come back to the south? What could possibly be on her mind? What was she going to do? What job was open to her? None, other than the classroom, but she had a degree in physics. So the blessing was that I was one of her students. Not only was she a good teacher but she had the foundation. She knew physics okay, and therein lies the success. Therein lies the opportunity. Therein lies the greatest gift, all right, that Eloise Bose Washington was there or I was there when she was, let's put it that way, a tremendous spirit, a short woman, rather wide, rather big, again the tough love. "Wesley, you will go to the University of Virginia, okay?" And she said that because she never forgave herself for the third place finish at the University of Virginia. We had won first in the black community, the black competition and then she said "Wesley, we'll go to University of Virginia [Charlottesville, Virginia] with the cloud chamber and we finished third and she always thought she was the reason for it.$$Hmm.$$Yeah, she did. She--so I said "Yes, Ms. Washington, I will go. But tell me why do you want me to go?" She said, "Two reasons." She says, "Wesley, you are black and there's no way those white folks up there would ever misinterpret who you are whenever they see you." Second, she says, "You will be successful and that's very important to us that you succeed at the University of Virginia." Okay.$$So this is, I just want to go back to that for a second cause she's saying something really significant here because it's often said when someone, some African American succeeds that it's because he's part white or something, you know, he's a lighter guy and that sort of thing.$$Right.$$So she's actually saying, she's focusing on your color?$$Yeah.$$She's saying--$$Yeah.$$--you're the perfect person to--$$Yes, yes.$$--you'll really shake things up to let people know what our capacity is cause you're unmistakably--$$Right, yeah that was a part of her calculation, make no doubt about it, yes, right.$$Okay.$$Because in her generation and also in mine--$$[BRIEF INTERRUPTION]$$Okay, all right. So--$$Yeah, so Eloise Washington did want to make that point that it was about demonstrating scholarship by, for and about black folks in a way that's unmistakable, that it is of this, it is of black folks. And that was something that she wanted me to understand that that's the--remember now just a rising senior in high school and she made that point very, very clear, "You are black and they will not misinterpret that and you will be successful."$$Okay.$$So that's Eloise Bose Washington.$While at NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration], you were elected a fellow of the American Helicopter Society?$$Yes, oh yes. Yes, that's--okay, so the rotorcraft community obviously since the work I did here at MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts] in main rotor acoustics has always been a part of my aero portfolio. In a lot of ways, rotorcraft was a stepchild. Most of NASA's effort was focused on fixed wing aircraft. The U.S. Military, especially the U.S. Army has always needed better, more efficient helicopters. So working with a man named George Stingley, we developed a joint program involving NASA and DOD [Department of Defense], three-headed program after-anyway, involving the rotorcraft industry to share, to develop and share common technology. And that, no one had done that before to bring those four, those three players, NASA, the rotorcraft industry and the U.S. Army together to solve common research problems related to rotorcraft where NASA put in money, DOD, U.S. Army put in money and the rotorcraft industry put in money. So that was bringing together those three stakeholders in a way to find a common solution to common problems and that's, was, I guess enough for the Helicopter Society to say, "Make this guy a fellow."$$Okay, okay. And also you were, you received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. I guess be-- is that just before you left?$$Yeah.$$Okay.$$I think those things just, you just breathe long enough you get them. I, I attach no significance to those things at all.$$Okay. So when you look back at your stint at NASA, what are you the most proud of?$$High-speed civil transport, that technology, fascinating stuff, fascinating stuff.$$Okay, okay. Now--$$There's something else too.$$Okay.$$Most Americans know of the Russia-U.S. Space Treaty. At the same time that was developed there was a treaty or an agreement on aeronautics okay? So a group of us went to Moscow [Russia] several times to develop the document that Chernomyrdin [Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin] on the Russian side and Vice President [Al] Gore on the U.S. side signed, so-called agreement in aeronautics, a similar one in space, okay?$$Okay, so this is signed by Al Gore the vice president?$$Right and the vice premier Chernomyrdin of, for Russia.$$Okay.$$Okay, so I led that delegation. A member of that delegation was Woodrow Whitlow and many others as well, but that was an interesting, exciting time, couldn't leave the hotels at night. We were certain our bags were always searched when we left, riots on the Moscow subway. In the early 90s [1990]s, they just had collapsed the Soviet Union so you saw abject poverty in Russia, I mean unbelievable poverty, buildings with holes in them, government buildings, no toilets, no heat in the winter.$$Yeah, that's really critical in Russia.$$Oh goodness, yes. We were in meetings all day with overcoats on and gloves.$$In a government facility?$$Yeah, this is (Saugi?) [ph.], that's--this was their corresponding, this was their facility corresponding to our Tullahoma [Tennessee]. We have AEDC, the Arnold Engineering Development Center, the world's largest aerospace test facility, they had something called (Saugi?), comparable with no heat, holes in the walls, grass never cut.$$Yeah.$$That was Russia in the early 90s [1990s]. Not like that now but they had a really down period man. We were told to do this by the way, to develop this agreement not by NASA but by the State Department because they didn't want the Russian scientists to find their way to Iran or North Korea or some other place that would cause trouble later.

Billie Allen

Actor, dancer, director Billie Allen was born Wilhelmina Louise Allen on January 13, 1925 in Richmond, Virginia to Mamie Wimbush Allen and William Roswell Allen. Allen grew up in Richmond’s West End, attending Randolph Street School and Elba Elementary School before graduating from Armstrong High School in 1941. At Hampton University, Allen was inspired by Romare Bearden and mentored by Billie Davis. Drawn to show business, Allen moved to New York City in 1943 to take ballet classes and to study acting at the Lee Strasbourg Institute. Soon, Allen was dancing professionally and auditioning for stage roles.

In 1949, Allen was featured in the film Souls of Sin with Jimmy Wright and William Greaves. In 1953, Allen performed in the Broadway play, Take A Giant Step with Lou Gossett, Godfrey Cambridge and Lincoln Kilpatrick. She was cast as “WAC Billie” in five episodes of television’s Phil Silvers’ Show from 1955 to 1959. During this period, she also played Ada Chandler in the soap opera, The Edge of Night. In 1964, Allen was cast in Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of a Negro, and in 1990, directed the play’s revival. She also portrayed “Vertel” in the movie Black Like Me in 1964 and appeared on stage in James Baldwin’s Blues for Mister Charlie. Since the 1960s, Allen was cast in a number of movies and television programs including Route 66, Car 54, Where Are You, The Wiz, Winter Kills, The Vernon Johns Story, Eddie Murphy Raw, and Law and Order. In the early 1980s, Allen directed the off-Broadway play Home featuring Samuel L. Jackson, and in 2001, she directed Saint Lucy’s Eyes starring Ruby Dee.

Allen was a founding member of the Women’s Project and Productions and served as a founding member and co-president of the League of Professional Theatre Women. In 1973, Allen with Morgan Freeman, Garland Lee Thompson and Clayton Riley founded Harlem’s Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop. She interviewed Rosetta LeNoire, Julia Miles and Ruby Dee for the theatre archives of the Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, and in 1999 and 2000, served as a voting member of the Tony Awards nominating board. Allen married the late composer, Luther Henderson with whom she received the 2002 Audelco “VIV” Pioneer Awards. She had two children.

Allen passed away on December 29, 2015 at age 90.

Accession Number

A2007.142

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/16/2007

Last Name

Allen

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Armstrong High School

Elba Elementary School

Hampton University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Billie

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

ALL04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Martin

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/13/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Yankee Bean Soup With Meatballs

Death Date

12/29/2015

Short Description

Actress and stage director Billie Allen (1925 - 2015 ) performed in The Wiz, Route 66, and Law and Order. Active in promoting the arts, Allen was a founding member of the Women's Project and Productions, and served as a founding member and co-president for the League of Professional Theatre Women.

Favorite Color

Royal Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1300,42:1816,50:2246,56:8782,198:14456,251:20592,299:21450,316:21918,323:23166,350:23868,361:25194,373:25818,382:26676,394:27066,400:28626,438:29094,445:30264,462:30654,468:32214,496:35100,558:37908,610:38922,628:39234,633:39546,638:40326,651:41028,666:49442,682:60746,788:61038,793:69436,882:70228,916:79058,1083:79330,1088:82186,1136:82594,1144:83138,1155:84294,1189:96442,1310:96882,1316:114429,1571:114745,1576:116088,1607:116641,1615:117036,1621:117589,1631:118221,1641:118853,1647:119169,1652:119564,1662:132642,1756:133216,1764:134840,1769:136062,1785:136532,1791:137002,1797:139674,1823:142610,1844:147910,1884:159576,2054:159931,2060:161635,2081:162132,2089:169871,2243:178012,2356:197480,2597:198280,2613:202507,2648:202855,2653:203812,2666:211360,2732:211680,2737:212000,2742:214376,2803:214811,2809:218204,2849:219074,2859:220466,2876:226382,2963:226730,2968:227600,2980:228122,2987:228557,2994:229079,3001:235992,3053:236304,3060:237786,3080:239814,3117:240126,3122:240438,3127:242076,3150:244416,3196:244806,3202:245586,3214:245976,3220:247146,3237:247536,3243:247926,3249:257484,3332:257812,3337:260846,3385:262978,3421:263388,3427:266750,3525:267324,3533:268144,3548:268472,3553:269210,3564:270358,3581:270686,3586:275842,3597:277064,3609:283730,3670$0,0:195,2:715,13:975,18:1235,23:1495,28:1820,34:2405,44:7104,121:7440,126:13514,235:16156,252:18697,309:19005,314:19313,319:20160,334:20776,345:22470,396:23702,416:39760,632:40570,642:40930,647:42373,659:49516,778:51144,817:55170,870:57260,879:61076,908:63556,962:71498,1057:72389,1070:80110,1184:80490,1193:81440,1207:89488,1337:89944,1378:91768,1411:92604,1428:92908,1433:103223,1579:103769,1586:104133,1591:105680,1616:107591,1646:108137,1653:123884,1906:124232,1911:124928,1921:129017,1989:129365,1994:132730,2143:133900,2183:165790,2595:194815,2881:210100,3033:232374,3285:234108,3309:242473,3536:245230,3590
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Billie Allen's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Billie Allen lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Billie Allen describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Billie Allen describes the women in her maternal family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Billie Allen describes her mother's civil rights activism

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Billie Allen describes her mother's teaching career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Billie Allen describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Billie Allen describes her parents' involvement in African American society

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Billie Allen describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Billie Allen describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Billie Allen describes her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Billie Allen describes her family's move to Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Billie Allen describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Billie Allen recalls her grade school experiences in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Billie Allen talks about the role of music in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Billie Allen describes her early activities in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Billie Allen recalls the entertainers she admired

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Billie Allen remembers the release of 'Gone with the Wind'

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Billie Allen remembers Armstrong High School in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Billie Allen recalls her influential teachers at Armstrong High School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Billie Allen recalls the segregated transit system in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Billie Allen describes her studies at Armstrong High School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Billie Allen remembers the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Billie Allen describes her social life at the Hampton Institute

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Billie Allen recalls her decision to move to New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Billie Allen recalls the arts community in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Billie Allen recalls meeting African American actors in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Billie Allen recalls her first film role

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Billie Allen remembers training under Lee Strasberg

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Billie Allen talks about her role on 'The Phil Silvers Show'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Billie Allen recalls being cast in a soap commercial

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Billie Allen describes her role in 'The Edge of Night'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Billie Allen talks about the play 'Blues for Mister Charlie'

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Billie Allen remembers acting in 'Funnyhouse of the Negro,' pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Billie Allen remembers acting in 'Funnyhouse of the Negro,' pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Billie Allen talks about her career as an actress in New York

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Billie Allen recalls the Frank Silvera Writers' Workshop

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Billie Allen talks about her screen acting career

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Billie Allen talks about her recent acting roles

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Billie Allen describes her organizational affiliations

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Billie Allen reflects upon the variety of her character roles

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Billie Allen talks about her plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Billie Allen describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Billie Allen reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Billie Allen talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Billie Allen describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Billie Allen narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Billie Allen narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Billie Allen narrates her photographs, pt. 3

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

5$4

DATitle
Billie Allen describes her mother's civil rights activism
Billie Allen recalls her first film role
Transcript
Now was your mother [Mamie Wimbush Allen] like an early member of the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People]?$$Oh yes, oh yes and she, she was like the mentor to Gloster Current [Gloster B. Current]. And the Church of the Master, was that Jimmy--and we--the NAACP was a great part of my social life. As a matter of fact because we went to the national conventions every year. And, you know, that's where my social life was. I met other people my age, teenagers or children or whatever it was, and we kept in touch, and it was like a network. No matter where you went, you knew somebody. But we were made aware of the issues and the struggle and my mother, she said, "You are no breath- you are no better than the least of your brethren. And you may not look down, you may bring them up."$$Now what--is there a story behind how she became the--not that it's unnatural, but a lot of people aren't activist? Is there a story that--behind her activism (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well I think that--it seems to me those women were born in what we call struggle. And they were aware of that--this is what we have to do this is why we are put here. And this is what we have to do. And you may be privileged 'cause your folks could read and went to college, but you have to share that. You have to share that. I don't know what incident in her life but I think it was just handed down. I know that it's a set--Atlanta [Georgia] was a very, very progressive city at that time. A lot of black-owned businesses, I mean, and homes and very enterprising. And they always bragged about that as a matter of fact, they said, "Oh well in Atlanta we owned everything." In Atlanta we had our pharmacists and so forth. And I thought that everybody had a black woman doctor if they wanted one because my birth was attended by a black woman doctor, Marie Jeanette Jones, we called her Dr. Janie. Can you imagine that, in 1925? It was amazing because of when I came through New York [New York] to work in the theater, I was doing improvisation. So I decided that my character wanted to be a doctor so, we--when we were being critiqued, the improvisation. This woman who was white she said, "Why couldn't you be something reasonable like a nurse or a secretary?" So she said, "There are no black doctors, there are no Negro doctors," then. And then I had to give her a little history lesson right there on the spot, you know. And tell her about Doctor Marie Jeanette Jones, who got her medical degree at Tufts [sic.] and practiced in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband who was also an M.D., Dr. Miles B. Jones. They practiced in tandem from that big stone mansion in the middle of town. And we were well attended (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) That's, that's--$$I think that was a decided advantage in my life because I never lacked for women heroes or black heroes. And you see during that time there were no hotels where Paul Robeson and Roland Hayes, Marian Anderson, and all these people could stay when they came. When they did these concerts with--my mother belonged to this club called the treble clef music and book lovers club. And they met the first Thursday of every month, and these women would prepare a reading or piano solo or they would present Langston Hughes. Give him a book party, and he'd talk about this new book he had just written. Or Muriel Ryan [ph.] would come there, and that's where I met [HistoryMaker] Katherine Dunham and this is what they would do because they wanted to keep abreast of everything. And they wanted the children to appreciate our heritage and appreciate--$$Okay.$$--our lives.$I also got a call from this black filmmaker named Bill Alexander [William D. Alexander], who said he wanted me to act in this film, and I said, "But I'm not an actor, I'm a dancer." And he said, "No, everybody tells me that you would perfect." Well, what, no you don't have to audition. He said, "I got to make this film before, I think, the first of the year," and I had something to do with taxes or alimony or something. And he had to make this film, so I thought, oh, how much do I make? He said, "Seventy-five [dollars] for a day." I said, "Wow," you know, oh yeah, 'cause I was about making seventy [dollars] a week or something like that. So I decided to do it. And I said, but you must know, here's, here's the deal. I didn't have an agent 'cause he called me direct. I didn't know about agents so much. I said, "I will do it, but you have to pay me each day after we shoot, seventy-five dollars. And the day you don't pay me is the day you don't see me again the next day, it's finished." That's what we agreed to. So who was in the film? Jimmy Edwards [sic. Jimmy Wright] and Della Reese [sic.], a lot of people in this film. It was called 'Souls of Sin.' Well, it ended up in a warehouse in Tyler, Texas. It was stored away somewhere, and I thought, nobody's ever gonna see this film. Oh, I kept my job at Macy's [R.H. Macy and Co.; Macy's, Inc.] because my friends punched me in every day at the time clock. And I went over on my lunch hour and made a lot of noise so everybody'd see me. And then they'd punch me in for overtime, and I split my salary with them, I gave the half my salary. And so I had half my salary from Macy's plus seventy-five dollars a day from film. So I was rich when I went home, and my nieces who became filmmakers when they finished Harvard [Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts] and Brown [Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island] were living in California. This is years after they went to see these, this black film festival. They started screaming, "That's Aunt Billie [HistoryMaker Billie Allen], oh my god, that's Aunt Billie." And they got on the phone, well this turned out to be a big cult thing, that (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) What's the name of the film again?$$'Souls of Sin.'$$'Souls of Sin.'$$Jimmy Edwards, you know who else was in it? What the name of--he's a filmmaker now. Carter, Terry Carter, Terry Carter [sic.]. I think that is, well he's in it, and it was hilarious. I never--I was always afraid to look at it, 'cause I hadn't studied yet. I was just doing it, and I think I was the only one that really got paid. The other people are interested in honing their craft and being, having a film. I was not an actor, I was not honing any craft. I was in debt (laughter) but it worked out. And it got me interested, then as a dancer, Elia Kazan came to see me dance in some show I was in, and auditioned me for 'Camino Real,' Tennessee Williams' play. Eli Wallach was--so I did all these things, improvisations with Eli Wallach, and I mean I was learning a lot and I didn't mind.$$Now about what year was this, this is about what year? Are the--like 'Souls of Sin.' What, about what year was that (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) I'm trying to think--$$Can you--$$Before children, it was before children.$$Yeah 'cause you left Hampton [Hampton Institute; Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia], was it '44 [1944] or so?$$No, this was like the late '50s [sic.].$$Oh this late, we've already gotten late '50s [1950s]. Now, we're in the late '50s [1950s] now, yeah?$$I think so.

William M. Lewis, Jr.

Investment banker William M. Lewis, Jr. was born on April 30, 1956, in Richmond, Virginia, to Essie Mae and William M. Lewis, Sr., a maid and roofer. Growing up in Richmond’s inner city, Lewis won a scholarship through an organization called A Better Chance to attend the private boarding school Andover Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. In 1974, Lewis graduated from Andover Academy with honors, earning a scholarship to Harvard University, where he graduated cum laude with his B.A. degree in economics in 1978. Upon graduation, Lewis joined Morgan Stanley’s Mergers and Acquisitions Department as a financial analyst. He then attended Harvard Business School of Management, where he earned his M.B.A. degree in 1982.

Returning to Morgan Stanley’s Mergers and Acquisitions Department as an associate, Lewis spent the next six years working on buyouts of AMF, Hammermill and Children’s World, to name a few. After a short stint as the department head for Morgan Stanley Midwest Mergers and Acquisitions, where he oversaw the sale of the Coleman Company, Lewis was made Managing Director for Morgan Stanley, becoming the first African American and the youngest individual to hold that title. Soon thereafter, Lewis was promoted to co-head of the Worldwide Real Estate Department as well as president and chief operating officer of Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds. Lewis also served as co-head of the company’s Worldwide Mergers, Acquisitions, and Restructuring Department. Lewis was then promoted to lead the Corporate Finance Department at Morgan Stanley where he oversaw the buyouts of Environdyne, Wilson Sporting Goods, and Moog Automotive, among others.

In 2001, Lewis was named Global Banking Co-Managing Director of Morgan Stanley; a year later, Fortune magazine ranked him the thirteenth most powerful African American executive in the country. In 2004, Lewis joined Lazard Ltd., an international financial asset and advisory firm, as their co-chairman of investment banking. In 2005, at Lazard Ltd., Lewis oversaw the sale of Maytag to Whirlpool, a $1.79 billion transaction. Lewis was also active as a community and civic leader; he chaired the A Better Chance Inc. Foundation, and served as the co-chair of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Foundation.

Lewis married Carol Sutton Lewis, with whom he had three children.

Accession Number

A2007.084

Sex

Male

Interview Date
3/12/2007
Last Name

Lewis

Maker Category
Middle Name

M.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools
Harvard University
Bellevue Model Elem.
Mosby Middle School
Phillips Academy
Harvard Business School
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

LEW10

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Now That's What I'm Talking About.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/30/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Lasagna

Short Description

Corporate executive William M. Lewis, Jr. (1956 - ) was the Managing Director for Morgan Stanley, becoming the first African American and the youngest individual to hold that title; he also served as the co-chairman of investment banking for Lazard Ltd.

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
290,0:626,5:4154,44:8186,103:8942,114:9362,120:23674,295:24104,302:24706,310:26168,328:62300,689:62652,697:63004,702:63620,708:65556,733:66084,741:69868,789:70220,794:79648,862:85920,950:96786,1032:99108,1068:106418,1188:128060,1632:143115,1907:144180,1933:160620,2185:180558,2461:181242,2471:181622,2476:183674,2512:183978,2517:184586,2527:189374,2600:195982,2659:217979,2864:246386,3223:246746,3228:249437,3244:253123,3276:253511,3281:266500,3437$0,0:6535,162:11134,281:19456,457:19894,464:26569,495:27661,516:39400,681:46980,722:47554,732:51162,798:53540,835:57810,851:62060,895:63720,903:64259,911:68417,975:75732,1097:85100,1186:85772,1196:87620,1231:88376,1241:90476,1271:91400,1284:91904,1292:92576,1302:93332,1320:100002,1377:104930,1451
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William M. Lewis, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William M. Lewis, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his mother, Essie Taylor Lewis

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recounts how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his half-sister, Jessie Taylor

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his childhood neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia's East End, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his childhood neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia's East End, pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about the black community in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about the caliber of students he attended school with in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recalls his mother's focus on education and his early love of reading

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his experiences at Bellevue Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recalls the racial composition of his neighboring childhood blocks

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his experience with doctors and medical treatment as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about learning African American history in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recounts limited racial tensions in his neighborhood as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes meeting middle class black students at Mosby Junior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his teacher, Gwendolyn Ragland Robbins, who introduced him to A Better Chance program

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his penchant for fighting as a boy

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recalls his parents' differing attitudes about his attending boarding school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recalls his acceptance into Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recalls the summer orientation program at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes how his pronunciation of words improved at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his experience at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his college application process and his decision to attend Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recalls his relationship with his brother and sister

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes deciding to major in economics at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his time at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his investment banking career at Morgan Stanley in New York

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes working in New York City's financial services industry

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about African Americans in investment banking at Morgan Stanley

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William M. Lewis, Jr. explains the investment banking industry's organizational structure

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about James Allwin and Eric Gleacher's role in his career

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about the role of race in the investment banking industry

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his passion for investment banking and how the industry has changed for African Americans over time

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William M. Lewis, Jr. questions the importance of mentors in a successful banking career

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his position at Morgan Stanley Midwest Mergers and Acquisitions from 1987 to 1991

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recalls his goal of becoming a partner at Morgan Stanley in Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recounts the mergers and acquisitions he orchestrated for Morgan Stanley

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about how his managerial position at Morgan Stanley

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William M. Lewis, Jr. details his ascent at Morgan Stanley

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about leaving Morgan Stanley, joining Lazard, and his not-for-profit work

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about HistoryMakers Vernon Jordan and Raymond McGuire

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about informal mentoring and business connections

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William M. Lewis, Jr. reflects upon challenging points during his career as an investment banker

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about investment bankers he admires

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his future aspirations

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recalls memorable deals from the 1980s

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about recent deals

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes family vacations in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about being named one of the most powerful African Americans on Wall Street

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his family's support

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes the challenges of being a woman on Wall Street

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his work with Phillips Academy, the Legal Defense Fund, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about the role of religion in his childhood and adult life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his hopes for African American youth

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - William M. Lewis, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

7$2

DATitle
William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his passion for investment banking and how the industry has changed for African Americans over time
William M. Lewis, Jr. describes family vacations in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Transcript
What makes you good at what you do?$$I have always been, my favorite word is passion. And I have been talking to young people about being passionate about their pursuits, regardless of what the pursuit, pursuits are. You know, for a long, long time I was passionate about investment banking. Once I decided that this was the career for me, I really, really took to it. I tried to learn everything there was to learn analytically and technically but I also tried to understand the art and the science of investment banking which fundamentally is about giving good advice to really senior and really important people. And I spent, I rejoined Morgan Stanley in 1982 and I spent the next four or five years working nonstop.$$Eighty hours a week?$$Yeah, eighty, sometimes more. I, I took very little in the way of vacation. And I just dedicated myself to that business. And there's no way around it. I don't care if you want to be a, a doctor, a lawyer, whatever. My attitude was, in investment banking in particular, the, the people who, who have been recruited alongside you, are incredibly hungry and incredibly passionate. So you might think you're working hard and in fact you might very well be, but there will be people around you who are gonna work harder. And you come into this office on the weekends and it look just like it does now.$$Yeah.$$I mean, so, so, passion.$$Did you know Reginald Lewis?$$No.$$Okay. But did--$$I mean, I, I met with him once.$$Did you know about the big deal in '87 [1987] though when he--(unclear) (simultaneous)$$Sure, sure, I was, yeah. Our company Morgan Stanley was advising. We were on the other side of the trade.$$Oh, okay.$$Yeah.$$All right. So do you--did Cleve Christophe [HM Cleveland A. Christophe]?$$I know Cleve very well.$$Okay. I interviewed him. Okay.$$Yeah, I know Cleve very well.$$So--$$Good man.$$He's, he's great. Did you know any, what, what, what--did you work on that deal at all with Beatrice Foods?$$No, no.$$No. But you knew it was happening?$$(Nodding)$$Was it big deal within the industry that an African American man would be at the head of--$$(Shaking head no)$$All right. No, no big deal at all. Just another deal.$$Just another deal. He had the money. If Drexel was backing him, he had the money. In the investment banking, business--$$Is there a quote unquote black Wall Street? I mean and by that I mean are there like you, we look at the article the most powerful blacks on Wall Street, I'm sure there are more now than there has been in the past. Is there collectively, collectively enough now to, to reflect back on I guess and say look at the progress that, that has been made?$$Oh, without a doubt. With, with, without a doubt there, there is an extensive array of African Americans on the Street in virtually all of the different areas.$$And has that changed, changed in your career?$$Yeah, yeah. There not enough--$$There not enough--(simultaneous)$$There are not enough in the right areas.$$But--okay.$$But, but, but oh, without a doubt. First of all I'd say that it is almost impossible for a, a student, an African American student coming out of college today with a GPA of 3.5 or better, that can't get a job on Wall Street. That's just how, how aware the broader Wall Street community is to diversity. And they're tripping all over themselves to find the same kids. So, so I'd say the environment has changed tremendously.$So do you vacation any other place like, like--(simultaneous)$$Oh, yeah, we vacation everywhere.$$I know everywhere but I meant like a (unclear) do you go to the Hamptons?$$We have a weekend house on Long Island [New York], yep.$$And then Martha's Vineyard [Massachusetts] is just your favorite?$$We spend--yeah, Martha's Vineyard is our favorite. We spend the month of August in Martha's Vineyard. It's our, its where we regroup to get ready for another school year, typically. And our kids work so hard they're exhausted and Martha's Vineyard is, is a place where we all recover. Where we all just sort of look forward to every single day to lots of laughs, lots of fun, the beach, the golf club, the food, lots and lots, and lots of friends. We started going up to Martha's Vineyard in the early '90s [1990s] with two or three friends and now there are probably thirty or forty families that we connect with and coordinate our vacations with. And so it's just, it's just, it's just a wonderful, wonderful time. And I happen to think that, that Martha's Vineyard itself is, is one of the best communities, if not, I'd say the best community I've ever been in as far as being a person of color. It is truly the only place I've ever been in, where you don't feel conscious of being a person of color, of being a family of color. And I've been to a lot of places, I've never had an experience like Martha's Vineyard.$$That's incredible.$$Yeah.

Roderick Pugh

Clinical psychologist Roderick Wellington Pugh was born on June 1, 1919, in Richmond, Kentucky. Pugh moved with his family to Dayton, Ohio when he was eleven years old. There, his father was one of several black doctors who lived in and served Dayton’s Westside community. Pugh graduated from Dayton’s integrated Steele High School in 1936. He attended Fisk University and graduated cum laude in 1940. Pugh went on to earn his masters degree in psychology from the Ohio State University in 1941. Pugh taught briefly at Albany State College in Georgia. He then enlisted in the U.S. military and attained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant under General George S. Patton. He served in Germany before returning to the United States. Back home, Pugh studied psychology under Dr. Carl Rogers at the University of Chicago, where he made the Honor Society in psychology. Pugh obtained his Ph.D. degree in 1949.

Pugh worked for a time as chief of psychological services at Hines V.A. Medical Center. Pugh also served as a professor of psychology at Loyola University Chicago from the 1960s until his retirement. Pugh has written extensively on African American issues in psychology and psychotherapy. His articles have been featured in several publications, the majority of them dedicated to African American issues in psychology and psychotherapy. Pugh’s most recognized work is his Psychology and the Black Experience, published in 1972, which was widely used in college classrooms.

A member of the American Psychological Association and the Illinois Psychological Association, Pugh served as a diplomat for the American Board of Professional Psychologists. An esteemed international orator, Pugh has given numerous speeches internationally in a variety of places, including Chung Chi College in Hong Kong, Fisk University in Tennessee, and the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He was a longtime resident of Chicago’s Hyde Park community, but often returned to Dayton’s Wayman A.M.E. Church to visit friends and family.

Pugh passed away on November 13, 2010 at the age of 91.

Roderick Pugh was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 16, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.264

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/16/2005

Last Name

Pugh

Maker Category
Middle Name

Wellington

Organizations
Schools

Steele High School

Colonel White Performing Arts High School

Central Elementary School

Fisk University

The Ohio State University

University of Chicago

First Name

Roderick

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

PUG01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barbados

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/1/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Health Food

Death Date

11/13/2010

Short Description

Psychology professor Roderick Pugh (1919 - 2010 ) was chief of psychological services at Hines V.A. Medical Center, and served as a professor of psychology at Loyola University Chicago from the 1960s until his retirement. Pugh has written extensively on African American issues in psychology and psychotherapy.

Employment

Albany State College

U.S. Army

Loyola University of Chicago

Favorite Color

Brown, Tan

Timing Pairs
201,0:670,9:938,14:3752,77:4020,82:4623,113:6030,163:6432,171:12127,292:12797,306:13467,319:13735,324:14539,341:34870,613:45166,702:46390,720:46750,726:47110,731:47542,738:49630,784:50278,797:52294,845:53590,872:55246,911:59566,1005:75703,1209:76225,1218:76834,1226:77443,1234:79444,1257:79879,1263:80401,1271:89710,1444:91363,1463:91972,1471:92581,1479:96744,1489:97016,1494:97492,1503:98444,1520:99124,1533:99600,1541:101990,1560:102760,1577:103695,1604:104135,1615:107064,1636:108968,1679:109308,1685:111008,1731:111280,1736:111756,1744:113796,1785:115700,1825:119610,1833:119965,1839:121030,1863:121740,1878:125077,1942:125503,1950:127065,1981:127846,1998:128130,2003:128414,2008:128982,2018:129621,2030:135926,2088:137066,2105:137750,2117:138738,2136:143906,2234:144514,2243:145502,2263:152331,2323:152947,2333:153255,2338:154641,2358:157490,2415:158029,2423:159184,2442:160724,2471:166590,2529:167220,2540:167710,2548:168340,2559:168830,2570:169110,2575:169670,2586:171560,2628:171910,2634:172890,2651:174220,2674:175480,2693:175970,2702:176530,2712:176810,2717:186172,2863:187096,2876:187432,2881:188020,2891:188524,2898:188860,2903:189196,2908:189784,2917:195210,2967$0,0:281,4:1744,40:26905,446:30070,453:36406,576:41968,630:43146,657:49640,730:50584,748:50997,756:51528,767:52295,778:52708,786:53003,792:53593,814:54478,836:55068,848:55304,853:55658,861:55953,867:64724,927:64956,932:68320,1019:68552,1024:68958,1032:72790,1083:73070,1088:75730,1152:76010,1157:80224,1186:82222,1238:82592,1245:85342,1262:85881,1272:86266,1278:87267,1294:93460,1376:93880,1385:94960,1414:95380,1422:97240,1466:101418,1485:106098,1537:111380,1574:115560,1630:120880,1702:141996,1884:142528,1893:143136,1902:143516,1908:152150,2012:153395,2029:154557,2045:159982,2072:160598,2081:160950,2086:170344,2164:185756,2371:186404,2381:186908,2389:190161,2402:198450,2485:199451,2498:199815,2503:201999,2523:202454,2529:203000,2537:218679,2697:224200,2719:225322,2740:236280,2903:245510,3009:246062,3025:254610,3129:257558,3198:274580,3386
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Roderick Pugh's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Roderick Pugh lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Roderick Pugh describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Roderick Pugh describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Roderick Pugh describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Roderick Pugh describes his parents' meeting

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Roderick Pugh describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Roderick Pugh describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Roderick Pugh describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Roderick Pugh remembers a childhood visit in Richmond, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Roderick Pugh describes his childhood in Richmond, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Roderick Pugh recalls Ku Klux Klan activity in Richmond, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Roderick Pugh describes his parents' decision to move to Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Roderick Pugh describes growing up in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Roderick Pugh remembers his neighborhood in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Roderick Pugh describes his childhood experience of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Roderick Pugh describes attending school in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Roderick Pugh describes attending school in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Roderick Pugh describes the legacy of Paul Laurence Dunbar

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Roderick Pugh remembers Colonel White High School in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Roderick Pugh recalls playing violin at Steele High School in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Roderick Pugh describes his social life in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Roderick Pugh remembers swimming at the Y in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Roderick Pugh describes influential adults in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Roderick Pugh remembers his decision to attend Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Roderick Pugh describes choosing his major at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Roderick Pugh describes the influence of Carl Rogers and B.F. Skinner

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Roderick Pugh remembers The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Roderick Pugh remembers becoming a professor at Albany State College in Albany, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Roderick Pugh recalls being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Roderick Pugh remembers Fort Lewis, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Roderick Pugh recalls being stationed in Northern Ireland during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Roderick Pugh describes segregation in the U.S. Army during World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Roderick Pugh recalls petitioning the U.S. Army inspector general

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Roderick Pugh recalls a conflict with his battalion adjutant

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Roderick Pugh remembers being promoted to Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Roderick Pugh remembers his discharge from the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Roderick Pugh describes his doctoral studies at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Roderick Pugh recalls studying electroconvulsive therapy at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$5

DAStory

10$5

DATitle
Roderick Pugh remembers a childhood visit in Richmond, Kentucky
Roderick Pugh describes his doctoral studies at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
Transcript
When you were growing up in Richmond [Kentucky], your household consisted of your mother [Lena White Pugh], your father [George Pugh]--$$And me.$$--you. That, is that--$$That was it.$$No grandparents stayed with you or anything like that or--$$No.$$Okay, all right.$$We had, we had a lot of friends so my mother was a very sociable sort of person and, as a matter of fact, it was in a Richmond, Kentucky, that I first became interested in psychology, however, at that particular time, what I, what I did in my interest was not labeled psychology, I can label it psychology now because I know what it was, but at that particular time. You wanna hear the story?$$Uh-hm.$$Very interesting. You know in those days in the small town people tend to know each other and in the summertime when, and my mother was a housewife, and there were a lot of women who were essentially housewives and their husbands were out working and they would be at home, so my mother said to me one afternoon, "Get yourself ready because I'm going over to Mrs. So and So to visit her for a while, and she has a little girl and while she and I are talking, maybe you and the little girl can play together and so on and so forth." So, this was nothing unusual whatsoever. My mother would come up with something like this quite often. So we got ready and went over to this lady's house and she took us into the living room and at first there was no sign of this little girl, but the lady started talking about the fact that her daughter was old enough to be walking independently, but although she was walking, she always had to hold on to something, and I sat there and listening. Say I was only about seven years old. I sat there and listening to this lady talking about this little girl and while she was talking the little girl appeared in the doorway doing exactly what her mother said. She was holding on to things as she walked and she finally made her way over to where we were and so on and so forth and by the time that happened, there was a loud noise in the back of the house. And the two mothers jumped up to run back to see what the noise was like, leaving the little girl and me in the living room by ourselves, but having heard the mother complain about the fact this child was not walking independently, I stood up and held my hands out like this, and suggested that she take hold of my hands, which she did. And so I started backing up and, of course, she followed me, and when we got to the opposite wall of the room, I turned us around and started backing up across the room again, but then I let go of her hand. But I kept my hands extended but not touching hers and kept backing up and she held her hands out like that, and she followed me, and interestingly while (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Did she learn how to walk at this point?$$--and while she was following me like that, her mother came back into the room and turned to me and said, "What did you do?"$Now what was the experience like at the University of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois] working on your Ph.D. (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Oh, fantastic. Totally fantastic. Yes and the interesting thing is that [The] Ohio State [University, Columbus, Ohio], I did not have a single class in which I was not the only African American in the course. And interestingly, another thing, at the University of Chicago, believe it or not, I had only one course during my doctorate studies, in which there was one other African American in the class. So throughout my entire graduate education in psychology, I found myself except in one instance, the only African American in the class. And that only shows that there weren't that many African Americans seeking degrees in psychology because there were a lot of African Americans in graduate school, but they were in other departments and so on and so forth. I don't know what that says about the interests of African Americans, but I think one of the things, of course, is most African Americans that I knew who were in graduate school, they were in graduate school because they wanted to make their lives more secure. They wanted to have some kind of credential where they could go out and make a living. And, of course, I think that, you know, psychologist, sure it's a credential and so on, but there were only a few ways of making a living as a psychologist and private practice at that particular time wasn't all that popular. But with me, you know, if I have a strong interest like that, I'm going to pursue and I have never regretted it. I have been a very, very fortunate individual and one of the early African Americans to so totally involve himself in psychology.$$Now what was your, what was the subject of your dissertation?$$I'm trying to think of how I can put it so that it might be reasonably understandable. You've heard of electric shock therapy perhaps, have you, ever heard of electric shock therapy? It's a, it's a particular therapeutic intervention for persons who are depressed. Well we didn't know too much about electroconvulsive therapy at that particular time, and here again, Carl Rogers was my supervisor, all right. Carl Rogers' approach to psychotherapy was certainly far from anything having to do with electroconvulsive therapy, but I decided that it would be interesting to try to determine exactly what effects electrical, electroconvulsive therapy, ECT, could have on hospitalized psychiatric patients who were assigned to get ECT three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you get your shock, electric currents passed through your brain. And so I setup a dissertation to study systematically the psychological changes that took place as a result of an individual receiving a series of ECT treatments. And so that was my doctorate dissertation under Carl Rogers who works were interesting because Carl Rogers would be one of the last psychologists in the world who would necessarily think about working with people who were receiving shock therapy. But, he, nevertheless, supervised my research and then there was another, the chairman of the psych department at the University of Chicago at the time, was, he had an M.D. as well as a Ph.D. He was on my dissertation committee, and he was really quite interested in my study because of the fact that he also had a medical background.

Effie Lee Morris

Public children’s library administrator Effie Lee Morris was born on April 20, 1921, in Richmond, Virginia, to Erma Lee Caskie Morris and William Hamilton Morris. Morris is the eldest of two daughters. She grew up in Richmond until the age of eight when her family moved to Cleveland, Ohio for her father’s job as head chef with the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company. Morris can trace her family history back to slavery and owns the slave papers of her paternal great grandmother. Morris loved to read at an early age and grew up trading books with her friends and family members. She attended Robert Fulton Elementary School and John Adams High School in Cleveland. Morris was her high school class's co-valedictorian with three other students. Morris earned her B.A. and M.L.S. degrees at Case Western University.

Morris began her career as a public librarian at the Cleveland Public Library in 1946. There, she specialized in working with children and children’s literature. Morris moved to New York in 1955 after working for the Philadelphia Public Library in order to work for the American Library Association. That same year, she went on to work for the New York Library for the Blind and served as the first female chairperson of the Library of Congress. Morris also served as president of the National Braille Association for two terms. In 1963, Morris moved to San Francisco, California and became the first Coordinator of Children’s Services at the San Francisco Public Library. In 1964, Morris established the Children’s Historical and Research Collection at the Children’s Center of the San Francisco Library. In 1968, she founded the San Francisco Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association, and in 1971, Morris became the first African American president of the Public Library Association. She officially left her position as Coordinator of Children’s Services of the San Francisco Library in 1977, and in 1981, the children’s literature collection that she started was officially named the Effie Lee Morris Historical and Research Collection.

Morris continues to be an advocate for children and children’s literature. Morris and the San Francisco Public Library hold an annual lecture series that features a children’s literature author and illustrator. Some of the lecturers have included children’s book authors Nikki Grimes, Milly Lee, Pamela Munoz and Tomie dePaola. Morris has received several awards for her work and contributions to children’s literature, including the Silver Spur Award for enhancing the quality of life and economic vitality of San Francisco; the Women’s National Book Association’s Award for Extraordinary Contribution to the World of Books; and the Grolier Foundation Award.

Accession Number

A2005.242

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/11/2005 |and| 10/13/2005

Last Name

Morris

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lee

Schools

John Adams High School

Robert Fulton Elementary School

University of Chicago

Case Western Reserve University

First Name

Effie

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

MOR09

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

It Is Only With The Heart That One Sees Rightly; What Is Essential Is Invisible To The Eye.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/20/1921

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Barbecue (Ribs)

Death Date

11/16/2009

Short Description

Library administrator Effie Lee Morris (1921 - 2009 ) founded the Children’s Historical and Research Collection, now known as the Effie Lee Morris Historical and Research Collection, at the Children’s Center of the San Francisco Public Library. She was the first female chairperson of the Library of Congress and the first African American president of the Public Library Association.

Employment

Cleveland Public Library

New York Public Library

Library of Congress, Division for the Blind

San Francisco Public Library

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:1078,30:1540,38:2233,48:3311,66:3619,71:4158,80:6160,118:7007,135:7315,140:7931,150:9163,173:9471,178:9779,183:11473,204:11781,209:12936,238:13552,249:17248,329:17556,334:25360,516:26937,535:31253,599:31585,604:35604,622:40092,656:50032,722:50908,737:55142,796:56675,826:57259,835:58719,861:64422,895:66003,933:66933,945:67398,951:76840,1060:77449,1068:79711,1088:93160,1242:95860,1273:96220,1278:97750,1306:101710,1352:102340,1368:102790,1374:103600,1387:104860,1418:111115,1466:111391,1471:113254,1501:113530,1506:115117,1535:115669,1544:115945,1549:117808,1579:118498,1591:132318,1798:133542,1812:134256,1820:137418,1853:137826,1858:141403,1884:141687,1889:142823,1907:144669,1936:149142,2010:149568,2018:149994,2026:150633,2037:153331,2090:154964,2117:166486,2218:167388,2233:168782,2278:170422,2304:171816,2355:175670,2406:186872,2508:187511,2518:187795,2523:191984,2629:192410,2636:194398,2677:195108,2688:217356,2888:218920,3005:221028,3047:223544,3103:224088,3118:234558,3364:235594,3380:236112,3388:237518,3411:239664,3438:240404,3446:245214,3526:245510,3531:247212,3567:260138,3694:263618,3760:287525,4068:288530,4091:288999,4100:290406,4135:293086,4210:297173,4285:297441,4290:297776,4296:298781,4319:299116,4325:304852,4345:305554,4355:305944,4362:313198,4478:315616,4519:316396,4531:325290,4663$0,0:1950,35:4875,98:26081,478:27395,512:28198,525:30169,586:47660,788:48892,809:50355,831:51972,920:52280,925:55437,979:56207,990:56746,998:74990,1265:76235,1283:78310,1310:78891,1318:83732,1332:84102,1338:84842,1353:85360,1361:85656,1366:87654,1400:88542,1413:89578,1431:90096,1440:90614,1447:91206,1456:93278,1484:97940,1569:98236,1574:99272,1596:99790,1605:100308,1613:101936,1630:102454,1638:103564,1658:104082,1666:110150,1690:111270,1708:113510,1748:114150,1758:132547,1995:133198,2004:146775,2178:149730,2188:151755,2226:152880,2243:153180,2248:153630,2255:155580,2299:155955,2305:156255,2310:157380,2334:160980,2406:164355,2455:164880,2464:165630,2476:165930,2481:176420,2606:180845,2705:181820,2722:182195,2728:183695,2749:183995,2754:184970,2771:185945,2789:187745,2812:188195,2820:189170,2833:189470,2838:194380,2850
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Effie Lee Morris's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Effie Lee Morris lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Effie Lee Morris describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Effie Lee Morris describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Effie Lee Morris talks about her father's brothers

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Effie Lee Morris describes her maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Effie Lee Morris talks about her generation

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Effie Lee Morris shares her family's artifacts

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Effie Lee Morris describes her sister's family

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Effie Lee Morris describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Effie Lee Morris describes her early family life in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Effie Lee Morris describes her neighbors in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Effie Lee Morris remembers Maggie Lena Walker and visiting Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Effie Lee Morris describes her childhood community in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Effie Lee Morris remembers visiting Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Effie Lee Morris remembers Richmond's Third Street Bethel A.M.E. Church

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Effie Lee Morris describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Effie Lee Morris recalls moving from Richmond, Virginia to Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Effie Lee Morris describes her educational experiences in Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Effie Lee Morris describes her educational experiences in Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Effie Lee Morris describes the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Effie Lee Morris remembers John Adams High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Effie Lee Morris describes her activities at John Adams High School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Effie Lee Morris recalls the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Effie Lee Morris recalls being unfairly banned from a pool in Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Effie Lee Morris recalls being unfairly banned from a pool in Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Effie Lee Morris remembers her high school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Effie Lee Morris describes notable personalities from Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Effie Lee Morris describes notable personalities from Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Effie Lee Morris describes her freshman year at the University of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Effie Lee Morris describes her experiences at the University of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Effie Lee Morris recalls studying at Cleveland's Flora Stone Mather College for Women

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Effie Lee Morris talks about her interest in children's literature

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Effie Lee Morris describes her work at the Cleveland Public Library

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Effie Lee Morris recalls her experiences as a teacher at Atlanta University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Effie Lee Morris describes her transition to New York Public Library

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Effie Lee Morris recalls her work at New York City's Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Effie Lee Morris remembers Helen Keller

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Effie Lee Morris describes her work for the Library of Congress and the National Braille Association

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Effie Lee Morris recalls Cardinal Francis Spellman's support of her pioneering work with blind children

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Effie Lee Morris describes the challenges she faced as a librarian

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Effie Lee Morris recalls her move to San Francisco, California

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Effie Lee Morris recalls Negro History Month at the San Francisco Public Library

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Effie Lee Morris explains why owls are significant to her

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Effie Lee Morris describes her work at the San Francisco Public Library

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Effie Lee Morris describes the Effie Lee Morris Historical and Research Collection of Children's Literature

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Effie Lee Morris recalls leaving the San Francisco Public Library

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Effie Lee Morris describes her involvement with the Ohio Library Association

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Effie Lee Morris talks about New York City

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Effie Lee Morris describes the Women's National Book Association Award

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Effie Lee Morris talks about her M.A. thesis and the Coretta Scott King Award

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Effie Lee Morris describes the Women's National Book Association and Grolier Foundation Awards

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Effie Lee Morris recalls her community involvement in San Francisco

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Effie Lee Morris talks about her awards

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Effie Lee Morris remembers her appearance on 'What's My Line'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Effie Lee Morris describes her husband, Leonard Jones

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Effie Lee Morris describes her husband's career and legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Effie Lee Morris talks about her favorite books and authors

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Effie Lee Morris reflects upon the significance of hip-hop

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Effie Lee Morris reflects upon the impact of technology for children's libraries

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Effie Lee Morris describes her international travels

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Effie Lee Morris talks about her future plans

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Effie Lee Morris describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

2$2

DATape

4$7

DAStory

7$6

DATitle
Effie Lee Morris recalls her work at New York City's Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Effie Lee Morris reflects upon the significance of hip-hop
Transcript
In Cleveland [Ohio], you have quite a community orientation. You work with the community, and you know where all the schools are, you know where the children hang out, you know what organizations are in your community. Well they didn't quite have that kind of orientation in New York [New York], because you had so many people just came to the library. So, to go to the Library for the Blind [Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped; Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library, New York, New York] meant to build the whole population, to build it. There were children, now it was very interesting. Up, beginning in the 1940s, there was just a sudden rush of blind babies and blind premature babies and finally it was discovered that these new incubators which were in all the special hospitals, the [U.S.] military hospitals, these were the children who were being blinded. Kids who were--poor kids who were put between hot water bottles in (laughter) the dresser drawer were doing fine, but it so happened that these new incubators had a greater quantity of oxygen, which was fed to these children to keep them alive, but damaged the optic nerve. So we called these babies retrolental fibroplasia, RLF babies, and they were all over. So the, but at that time they had been going to schools for the blind and as they began to be five years old, their parents, and many of them were middle class children, their parents didn't want them to go, they wanted them mainstreamed, and that started the mainstreaming of children with disabilities into the regular schools and classrooms, and I had a lot there in New York. I had those wonderful volunteers, Ruth Turkeltaub [ph.]. The sisterhoods in the Jewish faith [National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods] are the ones who are supportive of working with the blind, and so the group from Great Neck [New York] was very supportive of one little boy, his mother was a member of the group and this little boy said one day that he wanted to be able to look up things for himself. He wanted an encyclopedia. He had to do a report and so his mother's friends, who had all learned to braille books to be supportive, wrote Marshall Field to ask for, no, they wrote the World Book [Scott Fetzer Company] to ask for permission to braille the World Book [World Book Encyclopedia], and Marshall Field heard about it and underwrote the commercial production at the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville [Kentucky]. And so all of that generated from this one little boy who wanted, and now Bruce Bresnow [ph.] lived out here. I knew children all over the United States 'cause I was the only person with children's background in literature so they wrote to me from everywhere and even Red Wing, Miss--Minnesota [Red Wing, Minnesota]. There was a blind child there and that blind child wrote to the New York Public Library [New York, New York], and so I was helping him and interestingly in Michigan, the librarian for the blind at that time didn't want to be bothered with children at all and so I got all the Michigan children, came to me and this was crossing all kinds of lines and, of course, I had to discuss it with Library of Congress [Washington, D.C.], which the division for the blind [Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.] was responsible for talking books and so forth, so that the federal, it was a federal district that I lived, that I was in, and I had to serve my district, but I was also serving this--children all over the country because they could say I need a book on whatever and I knew how to find and send you. So it grew. They were getting, because they were mainstreamed, you see, they were in the regular schools. Now Mrs. Edith Thompson [ph.] was a wonderful volunteer and Mrs. Thompson made picture books for the blind. She did 'Little Blue and Little Yellow' [sic.] is one of the books and, of course, and then she cut the circles out of felt and, you know, she could apply them. So, oh, I had all kinds of children who wanted to stand in front of the class and give a book report like their friends did. Well, they could with the 'Little Blue and Little Yellow' because they could show pictures. They couldn't see them. They could feel them and we had a great time. She did many wonderful books, which I hope the New York Public Library still has. They were one of a kind, and there were many experiences, as I said. The children who were, played the children in Perkins [Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, Massachusetts] in Helen Keller on Broadway, 'The Miracle Worker' [William Gibson].$--You said you don't read a lot of current authors, but I know you're really interested in what's happening in the world. You're into hip-hop now.$$Oh, yes. (Laughter) I'm going to learn hip-hop. I'm going to learn with Tupac [Tupac Shakur] and I have met Wu-Tang [Wu-Tang Clan].$$That's right, it's over on the other side.$$Oh, Wu-Tang, I went to hear him speak, and I am very much impressed by Wu-Tang and Jamake Steptoe [sic. John Steptoe], who's a children's author, oh, comes to the farm for the various meetings and things we've had there at Children's--I haven't talked about that, the Children's Defense Fund, and he always brings along this tape recorder and music and he tells me what to listen to. I have not yet learned it, but I'm trying, and then at this last wonderful meeting at the farm, which was the Proctor Institute [Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry], now the farm is Alex Haley's farm in Clinton, Tennessee, it belongs to the Children's Defense Fund and Marian, every year, [HistoryMaker] Marian Wright Edelman, has the Proctor Institute, named for Samuel Proctor, who was president of Virginia Union [Virginia Union University], I believe, in Richmond, Virginia, and it, this is in his memory. So this Proctor Institute invites people from the community, various ministers and other people who are working with children, are being advocates for children for time at the farm, which is just a glorious experience. People stay in some of the cottages on the farm and they stay mostly in motels around. Also at the same time are the students from the Freedom Schools, for the Freedom Schools. These are college students who go out and teach the Freedom Schools in the summertime and there are about two hundred of them and they stay in the University of Tennessee [Knoxville, Tennessee] dormitories. And so it was Sam Moss, oldest Moss, the third [sic. HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.], whose sermon this year included literature from the Greeks through hip-hop. I am so impressed, I am so impressed and I bought the tapes and can't tell where I have got one. I know I've lent one to someone, she's got to send that tape back but I just, it was wonderful and it's not that, I know people think hip-hop is evil and it might be but I don't know because I haven't had a chance to understand it and learn about it and I want to learn about it before I say, no I don't believe in hip-hop, but it's the language of this generation and if you're going to stay current, I used to say to the children's librarians, now look at it like this, you're right in the middle, you've got one foot in the past, one foot in the future and so somehow you're standing up, but don't forget you're always five years, there's a generation in the life of a child and we have to think always five years ahead.

Valerie Richardson Jackson

Valerie Richardson Jackson, host of Atlanta, Georgia’s, public radio station WABE’s Between the Lines, a series of conversations with some of today’s brightest and most notable writers and thinkers, and former First Lady of Atlanta as wife of the first African American mayor of Atlanta, Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr, was born April 3, 1949 in Richmond, Virginia. Raised by parents Cora Ruth Feggins Richardson and Charles Hoover Richardson, Jackson integrated the high school she attended in Richmond and went on to major in business management at Virginia Commonwealth University. Jackson earned her M.B.A. degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania; after graduating in 1973, she worked as an advertising executive at Grey Advertising in New York City, and as Regional Marketing Supervisor for TWA’s corporate headquarters in New York.

Jackson met Maynard Jackson at a party hosted by Roberta Flack in 1976. In 1977, during Maynard Jackson’s second of three terms as Mayor of Atlanta, the couple was married; they had two children, Valerie-Amanda and Alexandra. During her twelve years as First Lady of Atlanta, Jackson served as Special Advisor to the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, helping to bring the 1988 Democratic National Convention and the 1996 Olympic Games to Atlanta. Maynard Jackson’s last term in office ended in 1993, but both Jacksons remained active in civic life as Maynard Jackson was considering a bid for the U.S. Senate in 2002. Jackson husband died at age 65 of a heart attack on June 23, 2003, while on a business trip to Washington, D.C.

As host of Between the Lines, Valerie Richardson Jackson interviewed such notable individuals as Hillary Clinton, Sidney Poitier, former President Jimmy Carter, Cornell West, Ayanla Vanzant, and Deepak Chopra. Jackson served as chair of Jackmont Hospitality, Inc., and as president of Jackson Securities, Inc. In addition to her executive and radio activities, Jackson worked with civic boards and organizations as a motivational speaker, and volunteered on numerous civic boards and organizations, including the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation; Habitat for Humanity; Leadership Atlanta; the Northwest Georgia Girl Scout Council; and the Alliance for a New Humanity.

Accession Number

A2005.148

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/23/2005 |and| 12/16/2012

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Richardson

Occupation
Schools

Henrico High

Virginia Commonwealth University

School of Medicine

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Woodville Elementary School

Whitcomb Court Elementary School

First Name

Valerie

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

RIC09

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Buford, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

Do Second Level Thinking.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/3/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Civic leader Valerie Richardson Jackson (1949 - ) was the widow of former Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson, and the host of Between the Lines, a radio interview show on Atlanta, Georgia’s, public radio station WABE.

Employment

Grey Advertising Group

Trans World Airlines

City of Atlanta

Georgia Public Broadcasting

Public Broadcasting Atlanta

Jackmont Hospitality, Inc.

Jackson Securities

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:22330,399:22810,408:40055,744:42755,798:55472,985:56732,1030:58244,1086:58832,1094:68655,1325:80280,1572:99670,1771:100055,1777:100594,1785:106730,1930:114820,2063:118135,2117:124170,2217:146960,2436$0,0:902,86:1394,93:2460,132:5002,154:5494,161:6068,170:7052,185:7790,197:8610,212:10660,262:11480,273:11808,278:12464,288:13038,297:14924,330:16892,363:17302,369:19024,404:19516,412:29446,601:33034,697:33793,712:39775,779:40454,788:42006,808:42685,818:43170,824:44043,839:44819,852:46953,880:47632,885:49281,914:49766,920:54400,927:54949,939:56169,965:56718,979:57267,989:59951,1052:68868,1184:72136,1238:72668,1247:74112,1272:76164,1310:88960,1556:92292,1662:92700,1669:93584,1687:94264,1705:96984,1764:106842,1895:124664,2302:125049,2308:125819,2320:136284,2434:141800,2497:142684,2514:143500,2528:143772,2533:144316,2544:147295,2580:150350,2631
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Valerie Richardson Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Valerie Richardson Jackson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her experience integrating her high school

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her maternal family being light skinned

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls an interview with Patricia J. Williams

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her mother working at a white bank

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her parents' education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her father's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls growing up with seven siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls finding relics of the Confederacy

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes the sights, smells and sounds of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls music and church during her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls being molested as a young girl

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her childhood interests and activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her personality as a young girl

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her elementary school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her aptitude for learning

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her experience in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls integrating Richmond's Henrico High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls being hired as a telephone operator

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her prom at Henrico High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls winning the Miss Warrior Contest

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her experience in college

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes being hired at Neighborhood Youth Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon the Neighborhood Youth Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon her family's slogans

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her admission to the Wharton School

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her experience at the Wharton School

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her position at Grey Group in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes how she met Maynard Jackson

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes meeting Maynard Jackson in 1976

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her courtship with Maynard Jackson

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her role as First Lady of Atlanta

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Charles, Prince of Wales' visit to Atlanta

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her family's challenges during her husband's mayoralty

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her involvement in Atlanta's 1996 Summer Olympics

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her first impressions of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Valerie Richardson Jackson's interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her wedding to Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls the construction on Atlanta's international airport terminal

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson's popularity

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes Atlanta after Maynard Jackson became mayor

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr. of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls the establishment of Turner Broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Atlanta's bid for the 1996 Summer Olympics

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her role as First Lady of Atlanta

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls the Atlanta Child Murders

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Atlanta's airport construction

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes Maynard Jackson's salesmanship

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon the preservation of The King Center

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls HistoryMaker Andrew Young as mayor of Atlanta

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Maynard Jackson's run for a second mayoral term

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon Maynard Jackson's legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon minorities being scared of using their power

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon Maynard Jackson's third mayoral term

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon her time as first lady of Atlanta

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes Atlanta as the "cradle of civil rights"

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Mayor Maynard Jackson's heart surgery

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her career in television broadcasting

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her career in radio broadcasting

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her radio show, 'Between the Lines'

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her commitment to leadership training

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes choosing guests for 'Between the Lines'

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her volunteer activities

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes Jackmont Hospitality, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Maynard Jackson's bid for the U.S. Senate

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her husband, Maynard Jackson

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Valerie Richardson Jackson talks about her family

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her hopes for Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon President Barack Obama's election

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon her life

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her parents and siblings

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Valerie Richardson Jackson narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

12$8

DATitle
Valerie Richardson Jackson describes how she met Maynard Jackson
Valerie Richardson Jackson describes the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, pt. 2
Transcript
(Simultaneous) Yeah, so how did you meet him [Maynard Jackson]? Yeah.$$I met Maynard at Roberta Flack's house in New York City [New York, New York]. Roberta was a mutual friend of ours. A great friend that worked with me in, in the advertising area, he and I were both friends of Roberta, and he called me one day and said, "Hey look, Valerie [HistoryMaker Valerie Richardson Jackson], Roberta's having a brunch for Maynard Jackson and we think you should come." You know, "Why don't you come and meet him." And so I'm like, you know, I knew who Maynard Jackson was, of course, but I was like, "Oh, you know--." He says, "Oh come on, Valerie, come and meet him." I said, "Well, I don't know, I've got to do this, I've got to do that." He says, "Look, I want you to meet Maynard Jackson." He said, "He's the kind of man you need, and you're the kind of woman he needs." And I said, "What are you talking about?" I said, "What are you talking about?" He said, "Well these guys that you're running around with aren't worth your time." And he said, "You're the kind of woman that Maynard Jackson needs." And I said, "Well, what are you talking about? Isn't he married?" And he says, "Oh, no, not anymore." I said, "What?" And he said, "Oh come on Valerie." He said, "[HistoryMaker] Quincy Jones will be there." I said, "Okay," (laughter). So, to this day, Quincy Jones laughs and jokes with us and says, "Well Maynard, if I hadn't been there, she wouldn't even have come to meet you," you know. But I did come and I did meet him and we did hit it off; and I think he was very impressed to meet, you know, a Wharton woman, you know, a black Wharton woman, right. And, of course, I was very impressed with him. And it was almost as if things were in divine order because when I was at Wharton [Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] working on my M.B.A., Maynard was elected for the first time as mayor [of Atlanta, Georgia]--in 1972 he was elected mayor for the first time. So Ebony magazine had done this four or five page spread on Maynard Jackson, "Brilliant young attorney, youngest mayor of any major American city," you know, yada yada yada. So I'm reading the paper, I mean the magazine article, and I'm about halfway through it and I just stop and I l- just look up and I say to myself, "Now that's the kind of man I want to marry." I said, "I want to marry a Maynard Jackson."$We [Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, Atlanta, Georgia] talk to them [students] about public speaking, about public demeanor, about public manners, about things like not chewing gum in public. We have etiquette classes where we'll bring them in and sit them in front of a full table set with six pieces of silverware and all the different glasses and so forth. Teach them how to use the silverware and then we always take them to lunch. We could take them to Paschal's [Paschal's Restaurant, Atlanta, Georgia]. We can take them to The Varsity [Atlanta, Georgia] or we can take them to a five-star hotel and see what they've learned about their etiquette and if they pull out the chair for the ladies, and so forth and open the doors, because we still teach all that. All of that old fashioned stuff, we think, is still crucial to the success of a person and it's the nuances that really make the difference. Chris Tucker came to the house for a surprise, for them, for the Christmas party, the comedian, Chris Tucker of 'Rush Hour' fame. He's a friend of ours and so I asked him to come by and say a few words to the kids. Well, the week before I had talked to the kids about chewing gum and how one should not chew in public and that the origin of chewing gum is really from the indigenous people who would pull gum from a tree, put it in their mouth and chew it to clean their teeth and then discard it. And so I said to them, you wouldn't brush your teeth in public, so why chew chewing gum if you're sitting on a dais or if you're speaking in public or, I said it's okay if you're doing sports and that kind of thing but if you're in a, you know, a public setting, then you really, you know, should not chew chewing gum, at least not where people can tell that you're chewing chewing gum. Okay, so, Chris Tucker comes over and Chris Tucker's chewing chewing gum. I mean, Chris is really chewing his chewing gum, right. At least five kids came up to me and said, "Ms. Jackson [HistoryMaker Valerie Richardson Jackson], you need to talk to Chris Tucker about his chewing gum." So I know they're listening, thank God, right, and that's what it's all about. I used to wonder, for ten years, how does Maynard [Maynard Jackson] get up every Saturday, every other Saturday and go down there after working all week and doing everything, how does he do it? And then when I started doing it, I found out, it's because of the children. They give us the energy. They give us the spirit. They give us the motivation to keep coming, to keep sharing with them because they really are the future. They really are the future.

Donald White

Retired Cleveland Orchestra cellist Donald White was a native of Richmond, Indiana. The middle of seven children, White started playing the cello when he was sixteen. After he was drafted into the United States Navy in 1943, White played bass tuba and peckhorn in the Navy band while continuing his cello studies; after leaving the U.S. Navy, he earned a music degree at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

In Chicago, White performed with an African American orchestra and the Chicago Civic Orchestra while studying cello with a member of the Chicago Symphony. Later, White studied privately in New York with Leonard Rose and Luigi Silva; he earned a fellowship from the University of Hartford, granting him the position of assistant principal cellist of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. White received his masters degree from the University of Hartford and worked four years with the University of Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

After a successful audition with Maestro George Szell, White was invited to join the Cleveland Orchestra in 1957; he was the first African American member of the orchestra. Before his retirement in 1995, White enjoyed a successful career with the orchestra, performing at Severance Hall in Cleveland and other venues throughout the world.

White and his wife, pianist, composer, and educator, Dolores White, lived in East Cleveland, Ohio, and raised two children, Diana and Darrow.

Donald White passed away on July 31, 2005, at the age of eighty.

Accession Number

A2005.015

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/13/2005

Last Name

White

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Edward

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Nicholson School

Richmond High School

Roosevelt University

First Name

Donald

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

WHI06

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Puerto Rico

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Interview Description
Birth Date

7/9/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Sushi

Death Date

7/31/2005

Short Description

Cellist Donald White (1925 - 2005 ) was the first African American member of the Cleveland Orchestra. After being hired by Maestro George Szell, he played with the orchestra for almost forty years.

Employment

Cleveland Orchestra

Hartford Symphony Orchestra

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
170,0:19720,221:20872,228:28840,334:29320,340:42067,476:42532,482:79492,876:86716,993:108376,1170:108752,1175:109316,1182:117118,1282:138811,1452:147916,1616:172270,1811$0,0:8722,117:14338,211:15742,234:37650,502:40082,537:43426,566:67340,845:67800,854:68812,864:69364,879:70100,888:71756,907:75068,964:86539,1118:88714,1143:96631,1250:105384,1316:108112,1346:108464,1351:118531,1446:119259,1456:121261,1479:121807,1487:122535,1496:133455,1633:157711,1879:180000,2125:253790,2973:269675,3196:272663,3236:273410,3247:274074,3256:275319,3274:282890,3311
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Donald White's interview

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

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donald White talks about his family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donald White talks about his family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donald White talks about his childhood activities and friends

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donald White talks about his experiences and musical inspirations at Nicholson School in Richmond, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donald White remembers his early musical experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donald White recalls holidays with his family growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donald White recalls learning to play the cello during high school in Richmond, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Donald White recalls his mother sending him a cello while he was training with the U.S. Navy

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Donald White remembers instances of racism while serving in the U.S. military during World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Donald White talks about his experiences in the U.S. Navy during World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Donald White talks about his involvement with music while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Donald White describes playing for bond rallies in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donald White remembers his friendship with Nicolai Zedeler of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donald White talks about his mother's support for his musical endeavors

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donald White talks about his college experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donald White remembers his time studying cello in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donald White remembers neighbors from his college years in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Donald White talks about his time in New York, New York after graduating from Roosevelt College in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Donald White shares recollections of Leon Barzin and Elayne Jones

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Donald White describes his impression of Leonard Rose

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Donald White remembers his opportunity to audition with George Szell for the Cleveland Orchestra and Musical Arts Association

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Donald White recalls being hired to play cello for the Cleveland Orchestra and Musical Arts Association

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donald White remembers his experiences integrating the Cleveland Orchestra in the late 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donald White remembers encountering racism while performing with the Cleveland Orchestra

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donald White comments on George Szell's political outlook and offers his opinion of the Iraq War

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donald White details his timeline with the Cleveland Orchestra

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donald White talks about Sphinx Organization

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donald White talks about his family members' musical careers

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Donald White reflects upon his retirement from the Cleveland Orchestra in 1995

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Donald White recalls his teaching experiences and friendship with opera singer John Fleming

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Donald White reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Donald White narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

4$10

DATitle
Donald White remembers his time studying cello in Chicago, Illinois
Donald White recalls being hired to play cello for the Cleveland Orchestra and Musical Arts Association
Transcript
Once he [Karl Fruh] had, once he wasn't able to play a string quartet engagement in the South Side [Chicago, Illinois], a very, very big hall for music lovers and all of that. And he got me to play in his place. And I, when I finished, they--there was an envelope, they gave each one of us, and I opened it when I got home. It was fifty dollars. In those days, that was a very big amount of money. And I was flabbergasted. I was, and I called Fruh--he died about two or three years ago. And the girl wrote her notes in that [HistoryMaker] Donald White was one time a pupil of Karl Fruh. And it was in his obituary, or things that they had done. And he was a very good friend. I studied also with the principal cellist for the Chicago Symphony [Orchestra], Dudley Powers, and he gave me a scholarship for a year in the orchestra. And then I, I had--I benefited from that. He gave me long lessons and everything, and it was--and I was in the orchestra, and we used to have sectional rehearsals for cellos alone where everybody would--and violins and cellos and so forth, and I--he took up a lot of time with me, and I was--there was a lot of cellists who were much better than me, but I was, I was--I didn't have a car. I couldn't drive in Chicago [Illinois], and I went from all over town with the cello in a cloth cover in cold weather and everything, you know. And then I, North Side and to the South Side, I was everywhere. I lived in such a bad neighborhood, but in those days, it wasn't, wasn't vicious. And everything--I used to get off the subway and go and walk home. It was about six blocks from, to my home, and I would say I was--on the North Side playing a session or something, you know, and guys wouldn't bother me. I, I never was harmed. And it was not a very good neighborhood.$Anyway, I went, I took the audition, and he [George Szell] asked me all the things that were most cellists had to go through in auditioning. And he was tough. And half way between the audition and when it was over, he was asking me questions and, oh what kind of cello did I have, where did I get my experience and all that. And so then it was--it went on for the audition. And then the audition was over with, and he said, "Thank you very much. We'll let you know." That was it. So I, I had so many auditions like that where the conductor (unclear) from the Midwest and New York [New York], everywhere. And so I said, well, that's the end of that. And so that was about--I went back to Hartford [Connecticut], but I didn't tell [Moshe] Paranov anything. I just said I was sick or something, and forgot about it. And so, and I--about three or four days later, I got a telegram from the Cleveland Orchestra [Musical Arts] Association, said that I'd been hired. I still, I get tears in my eyes when I think about it. I get tears in my eyes that I, I had been hired as the Cleveland Orchestra's cellist, but that time, the Cleveland Orchestra had gone on a tour of Europe before. This was the fall, but in spring, they went to Europe, and they were, they were world's famous orchestra. They were, you've read about it when they were, they were fantastic and everything. And so I, I went back and with the fellow that I worked for in Hartford, Connecticut, he always made me remember that he, he had done me a favor because a lot of guys in his position wouldn't hire, wouldn't think of hiring a Negro. And he, he threw that up to me, and I didn't like it, but I didn't say anything. And so, but, and so when I went back, I told him, I told him the day that I was out from the orchestra rehearsal and everything is that I went down to Cleveland [Ohio]--down to New York, and auditioned for Cleveland Orchestra. And I said, this morning I got it, yesterday, and I was sitting in his office in the morning. I said, and I got a wire from the Cleveland Orchestra (unclear) and said that I had been hired, and you should have seen his face. He was, he was--he smoked a pipe, no, a cigar, pipe. And he, he lit the cigar about five times--pipe about four or five times. And he said he couldn't, he couldn't believe it. He said, he was, he would talk about George Szell in the Cleveland Orchestra. It was, every year the Cleveland Orchestra would go to Hartford on southern--on the eastern tour, and he said, George Szell, the (unclear) the Cleveland Orchestra. And I was in, and he, he was dumbfounded. He was, he said, finally, he said, asked me questions and everything. And I said, "Well, yeah, I'm going to leave in a few days." And we lived in a low-rent apartment on the edge of town, and I, I didn't have a car. I told you that. I didn't--I couldn't drive. And so I got, I got that session with George, with Paranov was over, and I was going to work in the morning and I said, with my friend, and I said, I won't be riding with you much longer because I got a job in the Cleveland Orchestra. And he put on the brakes. And he says, "My God, you're going to be in the same orchestra with Marc Lifschey," and didn't say anything about Szell. But Mark Lifschey was a fantastic oboist.

The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder

Former governor of Virginia L. Douglas Wilder was born in Richmond, Virginia, on January 17, 1931. The second youngest of eight children, Wilder often spent time as a child at the local barbershop listening to political debates. After graduating from Armstrong High School at the age of sixteen, Wilder attended Virginia Union University, while he worked as a waiter to pay his way through college. Wilder earned his B.A. degree in chemistry from Virginia Union in 1951; the following year he was drafted into the army and sent to Korea. In Korea Wilder would lead a group of POW’s under his watch through artillery fire to rescue a group of wounded American soldiers, which earned him the Bronze Star.

Following his time in the Army, Wilder decided to become a lawyer, and in 1956, he entered Howard University. While at Howard University, Wilder met Henry Marsh, the future mayor of Richmond, and had the opportunity to watch Thurgood Marshall and a number of other notables hone their skills in moot court. Wilder also met Eunice Montgomery during his days as a student, and the two married on October 11, 1958. Wilder opened his law firm, which would become Wilder, Gregory & Associates, in 1961, and was soon asked by Spottswood Robinson, who had worked on the Brown v. Board of Education case, to take on some of his excess workload. While Wilder's legal career got off to a successful start, he refused to sit on the segregated side of courtrooms, and often argued with judges about the treatment of his clients. Over the next decade and a half, Wilder argued several famous cases, including his defense of William Penn, an infamous serial killer, which resulted in a hung jury. In 1969, Wilder successfully ran for the Virginia State Senate, becoming the first African American to hold a position there in almost one hundred years. In his first speech in the Senate, Wilder blasted the use of the racially offensive song, Carry Me Back to Old Virginny, and though his bill to repeal the anthem fell short, his reputation as an orator was secured.

During his time in the Senate, Wilder supported a number of bills that were beneficial to low-income residents, and was also a major proponent of anti-discrimination bills. Wilder was most active, however, in reforming legislation relating to juvenile criminal offenders. Beginning in the mid-1970s, Wilder also fought to secure a state holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, birthday, which finally succeeded in 1984. The following year, Wilder won an election to become the first black lieutenant governor in the United States in a landslide victory. After five years as lieutenant governor, Wilder was elected governor of Virginia, the first African American to become governor of a state in United States history. Coming into office in a budget crisis, Wilder was forced to make job and pay cuts, but in the end, Financial Magazine named Virginia the best-managed state in the country. Throughout his term in office, Wilder worked hard to support his low-income constituents and to promote equal opportunities for women and minorities.

Accession Number

A2004.105

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/22/2004

Last Name

Wilder

Maker Category
Middle Name

Douglas

Occupation
Schools

Armstrong High School

George Mason Elementary School

First Name

L.

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

WIL11

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I Never Succumb To Flattery Because Then Criticism Would Crush Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/17/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Richmond

Country

USA

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Governor The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder (1931 - ) was the first African American to hold a position in the Virginia State Senate in almost one hundred years. Following a long term in the senate, Wilder became the first black lieutenant governor in the United States; after five years in that position, he was elected governor of Virginia, becoming the first African American to become governor of a state in United States history.

Employment

Wilder, Gregory & Associates

Virginia General Assembly

State of Virginia

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:1623,27:8870,181:12695,246:15545,321:29354,528:38123,712:49850,841:51018,859:56460,932:56994,943:57528,950:62176,1004:63190,1020:66154,1071:83142,1396:83660,1404:95286,1580:108674,1779:109042,1784:110882,1825:111342,1831:133966,2177:138190,2243:138630,2249:152910,2423$0,0:2760,56:7659,146:18078,382:29652,561:31476,604:35040,639:40700,710:41100,715:64011,1007:70017,1109:76254,1157:83196,1322:84522,1347:84912,1353:85302,1359:86862,1548:113109,1755:113980,1771:114650,1783:118871,1844:120479,1872:132416,2035:133144,2043:143010,2232:173480,2682:174460,2711:180804,2918:200792,3255:217246,3401:217562,3406:240165,3669:240900,3677:244155,3737:257030,3863
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of L. Douglas Wilder's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes his father's childhood and paternal family ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes his mother's childhood in Charles City, Virginia, in New Jersey, and Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder lists his siblings and their birth order

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder recalls his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder remembers experiencing segregation and receiving his first lesson in racial pride

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes his childhood community in the Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder remembers developing his skills as an orator in the local barbershop

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder remembers seeing the Brooklyn Dodgers play against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1947

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder remembers playing semi-professional football and boxing with his brother

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about his relationship with his older sisters

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder remembers the community discussions his father hosted on the porch of their home

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes his father's personality and influence, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes how he financed his undergraduate education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes his father's personality and influence, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about his mother's aspirations for him

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes the sights, sounds, and smells of Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes his experience at George Mason Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about graduation from Armstrong High School in Richmond, Virginia at sixteen years old

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder remembers when HistoryMaker Oliver W. Hill became the first black city councilman in 1948

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about majoring in chemistry and the scarce job market in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder remembers his professors, mentors and speakers at Virginia Union University including Dr. Benjamin Mays and Belford Lawson, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about pledging Omega Psi Phi Fraternity

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about being drafted into the Korean War in 1952

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about his interest in African politics while serving in the U.S. Military

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about U.S. political activity in Asia and Africa in the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes his experience in the military, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes his experience in the military, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about the consequences of warfare

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes earning a Bronze Star in the Battle of Pork Chop Hill

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes working in the chief medical examiner's office and abandoning chemistry for law school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes his experience at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder remembers an interaction with civil rights attorney and Federal District Court Judge Spottswood W. Robinson, III

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder remembers Thurgood Marshall and Charles Hamilton Houston

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder remembers meeting HistoryMaker Henry L. Marsh III at Howard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about preparing for the bar exam

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes his experience at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about the shortage of black lawyers in Virginia in 1960

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes entering the Virginia bar in 1960, managing discrimination within the bar, and helping to organize the black bar

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about the influence of HistoryMaker Oliver W. Hill, Thurgood Marshall, Spottswood W. Robinson III and others

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about integrating courtrooms, law offices and the circuit bench

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes his litigating style

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about representing Curtis Poindexter for the murder of Judge S. A. Cunningham

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about the Bruce Tucker heart transplant investigation, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about the Bruce Tucker heart transplant investigation. pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks briefly about his relationship with his father and challenging his parents

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about Virginia's opposition to the Brown v. Board decision and the closing of Virginia schools in Prince Edward County

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder explains why he decided to run for the Senate of Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder explains how the annexation of Chesterfield County in 1960 affected the voter demographic in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about winning a seat in the Virginia General Assembly

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about introducing the bill to repeal the old Virginia state song, 'Carry Me Back to Old Virginny,' pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about introducing the bill to repeal the old Virginia state song, 'Carry Me Back to Old Virginny,' pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes his campaign strategy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about his relationship with Senator William Vincent "Bill" Rawlings and joining the Committee on Privileges and Elections

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about being elected lieutenant governor and working to balance duties of this position with that of his law practice

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about his relationship with Dr. William P. Robinson

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes Virginia's black legislators in the 1970s

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about his participation in the formation of the Democratic Black Caucus of Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about voting in opposition of capital punishment

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about passing the bill to observe Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday as a holiday

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about his relationship with Charles Spittal "Chuck" Robb and being elected lieutenant governor of Virginia in 1985

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes how he made use of his political clout as lieutenant governor

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about regulating gun control as lieutenant governor

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder explains why he decided to run for Governor of Virginia

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes his campaign strategy for lieutenant governor

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about winning the lieutenant gubernatorial election

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about his endorsement from Virginia Attorney General Gerald L. Baliles and Charles Spittal "Chuck" Robb in the 1985 lieutenant gubernatorial election

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about campaign fundraising and shooting a low-cost, improvised commercial in Lunenburg County, Virginia

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder remembers being asked by a Virginia resident his stance on abortion during his gubernatorial campaign

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes how he felt the night he was elected governor in 1989

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about Virginia's budget deficit in 1990 and establishing a

200 million dollar rainy day fund

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about having developed a reputation for fiscal conservatism

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder addresses criticism of his governorship

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about his contribution to Virginia handgun regulation

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder considers the importance of his election as governor

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about the risks of succumbing to flattery

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about his post-gubernatorial activity

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes his role in helping to reform Richmond, Virginia's mayoral election process

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about his 2004 mayoral campaign

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder addresses criticism of his mayoral campaign

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about fostering African American participation in politics

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder explains his definition of a public servant

Tape: 8 Story: 12 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 13 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 14 - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder explains the origin of his name

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$5

DAStory

9$7

DATitle
The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder remembers developing his skills as an orator in the local barbershop
The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder talks about introducing the bill to repeal the old Virginia state song, 'Carry Me Back to Old Virginny,' pt. 1
Transcript
The barbershop was a place that was my forum. And the older men would listen to me because they said the kid might know what he's talking about because I would come and argue with them, fuss with them about what I knew and what the encyclopedia said. Well I know--and I'd run home and bring the encyclopedia back, said this is it. So the men started betting on me in terms of the kid knows what he's saying. And it was I guess the first opportunity I had to engage in public speaking, in the barbershop, as most people do. Most neighborhoods. But I wanted to make certain that I knew what I was talking about. And if I didn't, checked it out and find out why I didn't.$$Who were some of the characters in that barbershop, the regular patrons of it?$$Well you had the know-it-alls, you had people who pretty much were into--one of the things that I did experience in that barbershop when--as well as in the shoeshine parlor. People who didn't have education didn't diss it. They encouraged young people to get a better education. They would say look, "Listen to this kid. He's, he's in school and you didn't finish, you didn't--why don't you learn?" And say, "Well I don't need to, I"--wait a minute. And they would provide opportunities for me to speak. Then you had those who knew everything about sports, they thought. And I was a sports enthusiast too. I could name all of the batting averages for all of the ballplayers. And I had favorite teams myself. And the, the characters were--they, they, they ran the gamut between those would come to speak of their sexual exploits, and those who would come to--and you learn gambling across the street at the shoeshine parlor. And you would know what shooting dice were and what craps were. And it was a, a very rich experience. You learn when the preacher would come in, no cursing. And no one would curse. And I guess it was one of the things that stopped--early on, I had six sisters. One of the things I hated was to hear the men talk about their exploits, as I've described them. Even naming the women, "Oh yeah, I know her." Oh my God I knew I would choke somebody if they ever said that about any sister of mine. So it was good for me to learn early on that you can't respect your community, nor womanhood, if you wanna do that. And it--I learned to be a bit more private too, in whatever it is I said because it'll spread and go everywhere.$After I got in the session, we got into the state song, which I never knew was the state song.$$You didn't, okay.$$I never knew it.$$Okay, before that.$$Yeah, never knew it.$$Okay.$$Knew the words, yeah, but everyone's forced to do it as a kid.$$$$The state song, though is 'Carry me Back to Old Virginia [sic, Virginny].'$$'Carry me Back to Old Virginia.' And many people thought that I objected to it because of the words, "There's where this old darkey's heart am long'd to go." And it wasn't the, the reason I objected to it. I objected to it because in addition to those words, if you get to the second stanza of the song, it says that that's--the slave is singing the song, see and he's lamenting the fact that his master and missus had passed. But when he dies, he's gone join them and they won't be separated anymore. So even in slavery, even in death, he wants to be a slave. Even in death he wants to be. So I said, "How can you cut this, the, the pie if you can't get past the crust? The social crust is so encircling and hard, that you'll never be able to penetrate what's taking place." This was three weeks after I'd been elected, my first speech on the floor of the senate [Virginia General Assembly]. They said my god, that's the end of him.$$They felt you had betrayed him, [Bob] Butcher [ph.], right? And some--was he upset about your speech? Did he feel--$$He wasn't happy.$$He wasn't happy, okay.$$Butcher said, "My god after you'd been getting along so well with those old men." I said I hadn't been getting along that well with them, they were tolerating me I guess, they were speaking. Said hello and how are you? And what happened though was in researching it, I, I became even more upset because if you look at the preamble to the resolution, which was only adopted into the, in the 1940s, this song was only adopted in 1940 in the administration of Governor [William M.] Tuck, who was certainly never considered moderate by any standards. So you can imagine he couldn't be considered anything leaning toward the rights of African Americans. And in the preamble it says in order to foster pride in the people of the Commonwealth [of Virginia], more importantly to foster pride in the young people, we hereby adopt this as the official state song and the Alliance Club had gone out to the gravesite of this man James Bland who had written the song, and they pointed did you know that he was an African American? I said so what? I said, "Do you know what else he wrote? He wrote 'In the Evening by the Moonlight' and 'Oh! Dem Golden Slippers.'" I said, "He was a smart, educated man, but he wrote what he could sell. So I don't knock it that he wrote it. You could tell me that anybody of color could have written it, it doesn't make a difference." I said, "But you think this promotes pride in the people of the commonwealth?" "But it's such a lovely song. What words would you like us to change?" None. So I introduced a bill to say repeal the state song. They came to me and they said, "Are you gonna force us to vote on this?" I said, "No I'm not gonna force you." Same thing I told the judge. I'm not trying to force you to do anything. If I felt I could force you to do something, it would be just to say, it's repealed. I knew there wouldn't be not--there would be not a single vote along with mine. But that isn't the real story. The real story is that when I did that, I was criticized all around the world. Letters came from all over the places, Maryland, I mean Ireland, Germany, Mexico. People who'd lived in Virginia, come back to Virginia. "How dare you do that?" How--and yet so many of the letters came that understood exactly what I was talking about. Now this is--you gotta remember, what, 1960.$$1969.$$Yes, 1969. They understood exactly what I was talking about. And stated so.

William Maurice Bennett

Distinguished athlete and coach William Maurice Bennett was born on October 15, 1915 in Richmond, Virginia. His mother worked in a tobacco factory and his father was a barber. His parents separated when he was a small child and his mother moved to Hampton and remarried. Bennett received his early education in Richmond at the Moore Street school until he moved to Hampton to live with his mother. He earned his high school diploma from I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Virginia, where he was a stellar a track and football athlete. While in high school he set a state record for the 440 that stood for twenty years.

Following his high school graduation, Bennett attended Virginia State University on a football scholarship. While at VSU, Bennett won two CIAA track championships, honors in the Penn Relays, three varsity letters in football and was selected to play in the College All-Star game against the Chicago Bears in 1941. Bennett received his bachelor’s of science degree in physical education in 1941. That same year he was also drafted into the army and stationed at Ft. Lee, Virginia. He served in the military until 1945, and while a soldier he developed an interest in boxing and was named the lightweight boxing champion. Following his honorable discharge from the army, Bennett earned his masters degree in education from Columbia University in 1946.

Shortly after marrying in 1946, Bennett received a job as a biology teacher and football coach at Phenix High School in Hampton, Virginia. He left Phenix in 1953 when he was offered the head football and track coach position at his alma matter Virginia State.

Bennett coached football and track at Virginia State for over thirty years, a duration in which he coached nearly 50 All-Americans including Wilber “Pony” Wilson. In 1954, under Bennett’s leadership, Wilson broke the long jump record and qualified for the Olympic Trials. Bennett also led the VSU Trojans to victory in ten conference championships and two CIAA championships. Bennett was named Coach of the Year in 1962, 1972, 1977, 1979 and 1983. In 1982, Bennett was inducted into the CIAA Hall of Fame.

Bennett passed away on June 6, 2007 at age 91.

Accession Number

A2004.106

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/22/2004 |and| 10/13/2004

Last Name

Bennett

Maker Category
Middle Name

M.

Schools

I.C. Norcom High School

Virginia State University

George Washington Carver Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

BEN02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hampton, Virginia

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

10/15/1915

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Steak

Death Date

6/7/2007

Short Description

College track coach and college football coach William Maurice Bennett (1915 - 2007 ) was recognized by the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association hall of fame for his work as head football and track and field coach at Virginia State University. In his thirty-year career, Bennett coached nearly fifty All-Americans, won ten conference championships and two CIAA championships.

Employment

United States Army

Phenix High School

Virginia State University

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Maurice Bennett's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Maurice Bennett lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Maurice Bennett describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Maurice Bennett describes his stepfather, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Maurice Bennett describes his stepfather, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Maurice Bennett describes his extended family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Maurice Bennett describes his earliest memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Maurice Bennett describes special memories and holidays from his early childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William Maurice Bennett describes his childhood neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William Maurice Bennett describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William Maurice Bennett describes his experiences at Moore Street School in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - William Maurice Bennett describes his experience attending Moore Street Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Maurice Bennett describes his childhood interest in sports and living in Portsmouth, Virginia as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Maurice Bennett talks about playing sports at I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Maurice Bennett describes his experiences at Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Maurice Bennett talks about playing sports at Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Maurice Bennett talks about his football and track coaches and balancing sports with academics

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Maurice Bennett recalls graduating Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia in 1941 with plans to be a teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Maurice Bennett describes being drafted into the U.S. Army and boxing while in the Army

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Maurice Bennett talks about meeting his wife, Katherine Bennett

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Maurice Bennett talks about being a coach and teacher at George P. Phenix School in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Maurice Bennett talks about being hired as a coach by Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Maurice Bennett talks about coaching Wilbur "Pony" Wilson

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Maurice Bennett describes changes at Virginia State University during his decades of coaching

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Maurice Bennett talks about preparing for big games against Virginia State University's rival Hampton University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Maurice Bennett describes influences on his coaching style

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Maurice Bennett describes his typical routine as a coach

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William Maurice Bennett reflects upon his successes as a coach

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Maurice Bennett describes what he looks for in a potential athlete

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Maurice Bennett reflects upon the quality of athletes at historically black colleges and universities

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Maurice Bennett reflects upon the quality of the athletic programs at historically black colleges and universities

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Maurice Bennett talks about the benefits and shortfalls of attending a historically black college or university

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Maurice Bennett reflects upon how to measure a coach's success

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Maurice Bennett describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Maurice Bennett offers advice for those who want to pursue coaching