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

Em Claire Knowles

Librarian Em Claire Knowles was born on June 6, 1952 in Sacramento, California to Sidney Stanley Knowles and Almeana Early Knowles. Knowles received her B.A. degree in international relations in 1973 from the University of California, Davis and her M.L.S. degree in 1975 from University of California, Berkeley. She later obtained her M.P.A. degree in public administration in 1986 from California State University, Sacramento, and her D.A. degree in library and information science in 1988 from Simmons College.

In 1975, Knowles worked as coordinator of bibliographic instruction, social sciences and humanities at the University of California, Davis and as a faculty member, she also taught courses in library science there until 1988.

In 1988, Knowles became the first African American to serve as the assistant dean at the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences in Boston where over the years she was responsible for overseeing student and alumni affairs. In 2001, Knowles was appointed to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, being only the second African American to be appointed to the board, and in 2006, Knowles became the first African American to serve as the chair. In 2018, when Simmons College became a university, Knowles was appointed to a position responsible for all of student and alumni engagement for the Simmons University's College of Organizational, Computational and Information Sciences.

During her career, she has served on numerous boards, including the boards of the Massachusetts Library Association, the New England Library Association, the Design Team of the National Association of Black MBA Association (1995-2006). She has also been active in the American Library Association as well as the Black Caucus of the A.L.A., where she served as executive board member and secretary. Knowles was elected to the board of directors of Beta Phi Mu in 2016. She also served as board liaison to the Simmons Library and Information Science Alumni Association Board for over twenty years. She served as chair of the Awards and Scholarships committee and member of the Steering Committee of the 2018 Joint Conference of Librarians of Color.  As a lifetime member of the American Library Association, Knowles became the first legacy member designating a financial gift to the ALA Spectrum Scholarship Initiative. 

A trustee of the Massachusetts State Library Association, Knowles was elected trustee of the Freedom to Read Foundation, and served as an active member the Massachusetts Black Librarians Network, Inc. She was honored with the 2011 BCALA Distinguished Service Award, the 2013 BCALA Professional Development Award, the Sojourner Truth Award by the Boston & Vicinity Club, an affiliate of the National Association of the Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc in 2015, the A.L.A. Spectrum Scholarship Program, the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color, and the Beta Phi Mu Award in 2017.

Knowles was profiled in the book African-American Firsts in Science and Technology, authored by Raymond B. Webster, Gale Group, (University of Michigan, 1999).

Em Claire Knowles was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 16 and 24, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.210

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/16/2018

Last Name

Knowles

Maker Category
Middle Name

Claire

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Em

Birth City, State, Country

Sacramento

HM ID

KNO03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any Place Warm Outside the US

Favorite Quote

People won't remember what you said, people won't remember what you did. They will remember how you made them feel.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

6/6/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Favorite Food

Chicken Wings

Short Description

Librarian Em Claire Knowles (1952- ) became the first African American assistant dean of student affairs at the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences in 1988.

Favorite Color

Purple

Ruth Edmonds Hill

Librarian Ruth Edmonds Hill was born on March 5, 1925 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts to William and Florence Edmonds. She attended Reed School and Central Junior High School in Pittsfield, and graduated from Pittsfield High School. Edmonds received her B.S. degree in biological sciences from Massachusetts State College in 1946, and her B.S. in library science from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts in 1949. She went on to obtain her certificate in theatre librarianship from Columbia University School of Library Science in New York.

Edmonds Hill worked at Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield in 1943 and then in 1947, in the catalog department at Massachusetts State College. Edmonds Hill served as a cataloger at Bennington College and then became a catalog librarian at the Baker Library at Harvard Business School. She was later hired as a reference librarian for the New York Academy of Medicine and served in the catalog department at Yale University. She also worked as a cataloger at Berkshire Community College, a librarian at the Widener Library at Harvard University and at The Louis Agassiz Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University

In 1977, Edmonds Hill joined the Schlesinger Library staff at Radcliffe College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She served as the audiovisual and oral history coordinator, and later as oral history coordinator, overseeing the library’s projects for forty-two years. The oral history exhibition and book projects supervised by her include: Black Women Oral History project in 1977, capturing the lives and stories of women of African descent; Women in Federal Government Oral History project from 1981-1983; The Women of Courage: An Exhibition of Photographs book and traveling exhibition, in 1984; Cambodian American Women’s Oral History project, from 1987 to 1993; Latina Women’s Oral History project, in 1989; Tully Crenshaw Feminist Oral History project from 1990-1993, conducted by and with past officers and members of the National Organization for Women (NOW); Chinese American Women Oral History project, in 1990; and Oral History of Radcliffe College project, from 1998 to 2005.

In 2000, Edmonds Hill joined The Oral History Review as an editorial board member. In 2004, she was named honorary member of the board of trustees for Samuel Harrison Society, an organization dedicated to preserving the homestead and history of her great, grandfather Reverend Harrison, pastor of the Second Congregational Church in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and of Sanford Street Congregational Church in Springfield, Massachusetts. Edmonds Hill was a member of the Oral History Association and served as chair the Nonprint Format Award Committee. She also sat on the admissions committee for fellowships of the Cambridge Arts Council in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

She was the recipient of numerous honors, awards and acknowledgments including the Harvey A. Kantor Memorial Award from New England Association of Oral History, the Lucy Miller Mitchell Heritage Award from Psi Omega Chapter, the Alpha Kappa Alpha and Greater Boston YMCA Black Achievers Awards. Edmonds Hill received a Harvard Hero Award from Harvard University in 2017.

Ruth Edmonds Hill was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 13, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.206

Sex

Female

Interview Date
11/13/2018
Last Name

Hill

Maker Category
Middle Name

Edmonds

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Ruth

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsfield

HM ID

HIL18

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florence, Italy

Favorite Quote

No

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

3/5/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Favorite Food

Bananas

Short Description

Librarian Ruth Edmonds Hill (1925- ) served as librarian and oral history coordinator at the Radcliffe College Schlesinger Library for forty-two years including the Black Women Oral History project.

Favorite Color

Blue/Purple/Green

Andrew P. Jackson

Librarian Andrew P. Jackson was born on January 28, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York to Bessie Lindsey Jackson and Walter Luther Jackson, Sr. Jackson graduated from Forest Hills High School in the East Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens, New York, and joined the U.S. Air Force in 1964. After receiving the bronze star for his service with the 4th Air Commando Squadron in Vietnam, Jackson was honorably discharged in 1968. He then completed several semesters at Bernard M. Baruch College in Manhattan, before working for the New York City Human Resources Administration and the Agency for Child Development. Jackson went on to complete his B.S. degree in business administration at York College (CUNY) in 1990, and his M.L.S. degree from Queens College in 1996. He also earned his public librarian’s professional certificate from the University of the State of New York Education Department in 1996.

In 1976, Jackson moved to California, where he worked as a car salesman. He later returned to Queens, where he was hired at the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center. In 1980, he was promoted to executive director of the center. Under his leadership, the Langston Hughes Library established a partnership with the Queens Public Library in 1986. In 2001, Jackson became an adjunct professor at his alma mater, York College (CUNY). He was appointed vice president of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) in 2002, serving as president of the Black Caucus from 2004 to 2006. Jackson also worked as a training, operations, and development consultant for the Roosevelt Public Library System; and in 2007, he became an adjunct professor at Queens College. Jackson authored the book Queens Notes: Facts About the Forgotten Borough of Queens, New York, and co-edited The Black Librarian in America: Issues and Challenges of the 21st Century. In 2016, Jackson retired from his position as executive director at the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center.

Jackson received numerous awards and accolades, including the Governor’s Award for African Americans of Distinction in 1994, the Literacy Advocacy Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association in 1999 and a Professional Achievement Award from the BCALA in 2007. From 1997 to 2010, Jackson served on the executive board of the BCALA as well as on the board of directors for Queens Public Television and the Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights.

Andrew P. Jackson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 26, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.080

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/26/2018

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Middle Name

P.

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Andrew

Birth City, State, Country

Brooklyn

HM ID

JAC43

Favorite Season

Spring-Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Ghana, West Africa

Favorite Quote

If You Want To Be The Best For Yourself, Do It For Those Who Are Denied The Opportunity To Be The Best.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/28/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Spaghetti

Short Description

Librarian Andrew P. Jackson (1947 - ) was the executive director of the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center from 1980 to 2016. He also served as president of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association from 2004 to 2006.

Favorite Color

Blue

Samuel F. Morrison

Librarian Samuel F. Morrison was born on December 19, 1936 in Flagstaff, Arizona. Morrison received his A.A. degree in English from Compton Junior College in Compton, California in 1955, his B.A. degree in English from California State University in Los Angeles, California in 1971, and his M.L.S. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Champaign, Illinois in 1972. Morrison completed his studies at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1989.

Morrison served in the United States Air Force from 1955 until 1959. In 1972, he was hired as director of the Frostproof Living Learning Library. Two years later, he joined the Broward County Library System as assistant to the director and was promoted to deputy director in 1976. In 1987, Morrison was hired as chief librarian and deputy commissioner of the Chicago Public Library. Morrison was responsible for the planning, design, and initial construction phases of the Harold Washington Library Center. In 1989, Morrison became the director of the Broward County Library System, which received the accolade of “Library of the Year” by the Library Journal and Gale Research in 1996, under his leadership. The year previous, Morrison announced his goal of building the African American Research Library and Cultural Center, which opened in 2002. He retired in 2003.

Morrison was the chairman of the Greater Hollywood Arts Foundation, a trustee of NOVA Southeastern University, and served on the Broward County Children’s Service Council. He was a member of Southeast Florida Library Information Network, Bonnet House, Boys and Girls of Broward County, Gold Coast Jazz Society, and the NAACP. Morrison is an honorary life member of the American Library Association and the Florida Library Association.

Morrison received the Publisher’s Award from Sun Sentinel in 1997, the Diversity Champion Award from the Urban League in 1998, the NAACP’s President Award in 1998, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science in 1999, the Cato and Margaret Roach Award for Exemplary Human Relations in 2003, and the Citizen Recognition Award from the City of Fort Lauderdale in 2003.

Samuel F. Morrison was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 7, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.046

Sex

Male

Interview Date

03/07/2017

Last Name

Morrison

Maker Category
Middle Name

F.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Paul Dunbar Lawrence School

Mary McLeod Bethune School

George Washington Carver High School

Compton High School

California State University, Los Angeles

First Name

Samuel

Birth City, State, Country

Flagstaff

HM ID

MOR17

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Arizona

Favorite Vacation Destination

I like to travel

Favorite Quote

Never give up

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

12/19/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Tacos

Short Description

Librarian Samuel F. Morrison (1936 - ) was chief librarian and deputy commissioner of the Chicago Public Library and served as the director of the Broward County Library. In 2002, he opened the African American Research Library & Cultural Center in Broward County, Florida.

Favorite Color

Blue

Jessie Carney Smith

Librarian, author and educator Jessie Carney Smith was born on September 24, 1930 in Greensboro, North Carolina to James Ampler and Vesona Bigelow Carney. Smith attended Mount Zion Elementary School and James B. Dudley High School in Greensboro. She graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with her B.S. degree in home economics in 1950. Smith pursued graduate studies at Cornell University and then received her M.A. degree in child development from Michigan State University in 1956, and her M.A.L.S. degree from the George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in 1957.

In 1957, Smith was hired as an instructor and head library cataloger at Tennessee State University. In 1960, she enrolled in a Ph.D. program at the University of Illinois, and worked as a teaching assistant from 1961 to 1963. Smith then returned to Tennessee State University, where she was hired as an assistant professor and coordinator of library services. In 1964, she became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. degree in library science from the University of Illinois; and, in 1965, she was hired as a professor of library science and the university librarian of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. She was named the William and Camille Cosby Professor in the Humanities at Fisk University in 1992, and appointed dean of the library in 2010. Smith has also lectured part-time at Alabama A&M University, the University of Tennessee and the George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.

Smith served as consultant to the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, the U.S. Office of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and the American Library Association. She directed three institutional self-studies at Fisk University, resulting in the institution’s reaffirmation of accreditation by SACS. In addition, Smith has directed multiple projects funded by NEH and the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and served on several Fisk University campus committees.

Smith has published numerous research guides and reference books. In 1991, she released the award winning, Notable Black American Women, and went on to publish Notable African American Men in 1999. Her other books include Black Heroes of the Twentieth Century, Freedom Facts and Firsts: 400 Years of the African American Civil Rights Experience, and Black Firsts: 4000 Groundbreaking and Pioneering Historical Events, among others.

Smith received the Martin Luther King Black Authors Award in 1982 and the National Women's Book Association Award in 1992. She received the Candace Award for excellence in education, Sage magazine's Ann J. Cooper Award, and distinguished alumni awards from both the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and the University of Illinois. She was named the Academic/Research Librarian of the Year from the Association of College and Research Libraries in 1985; and, in 1997, received the key to the city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In 2011, Smith was awarded the Global Heritage Award from the Global Education Center and the Outstanding Achievement in Higher Education Award from the Greater Nashville Alliance of Black School Educators.

Jessie Carney Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 22, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.011

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/22/2014

Last Name

Smith

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Carney

Schools

Mt. Zion Elementary

James B. Dudley High School

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

Cornell University

Michigan State University

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

First Name

Jessie

Birth City, State, Country

Greensboro

HM ID

CAR28

State

North Carolina

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

9/24/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Nashville

Country

United States

Short Description

Librarian, author, and educator Jessie Carney Smith (1930 - ) is the dean of Fisk University’s library and the William and Camille Cosby Professor in the Humanities. She has worked at Fisk University since 1965, and has published numerous research guides and reference books, including the award-winning Notable Black American Women. In addition, Smith was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. degree in library science from the University of Illinois.

Employment

Fisk University

Tennessee State University

Peabody College of Vanderbilt University

University of Tennessee

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Carla Hayden

Library Director and Administrator Carla Hayden was born on August 10, 1952. She received her B.A. degree from Roosevelt University and began work as a library assistant at the Chicago Public Library in 1973. She later received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago’s Graduate Library School.

She worked as library service coordinator for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and as a professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Library and Information Science. In 1991, she returned to Chicago where she worked as the Chicago Public Library System’s deputy commissioner and chief librarian. She is also the second African American to become the executive director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, one of the oldest free libraries in the United States.

Hayden was elected president of the American Library Association in 2003. She succeeded in getting Attorney General John Ashcroft to declassify reports on the Act’s provisions and eventually, through her efforts and the efforts of other civil liberties organizations, the section of the Act that allowed the F.B.I. to demand private individuals’ library records was rescinded.

Hayden has continually championed the cause of civil liberties and freedom of information. She spearheaded the A.L.A.’s efforts to overturn legislation that forced all libraries receiving federal funding to install internet content filters on their computers. Eventually the Supreme Court upheld the right of adult library users to request the filter’s deactivation, though they did not overturn the requirement that the filters be installed. Hayden has worked with the A.L.A. to publicize and uphold the right to deactivate the filter.

She has been honored with the Andrew White Medal by Loyola College, the President’s Medal by Johns Hopkins University, and the Legacy of Literacy Award by the DuBois Circle of Baltimore. Hayden was named one of Ms. Magazine’s 2003 Women of the Year and one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women of Maryland. She is also the first African American to receive the Librarian of the Year Award from Library Journal Magazine. She is a member of the Boards of the Maryland African American Museum Corporation, Goucher College, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and Library and Maryland Historical Society.

Accession Number

A2010.082

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/16/2010

Last Name

Hayden

Maker Category
Middle Name

D.

Occupation
Schools

Roosevelt University

University of Chicago

Ps 96 Joseph C Lanzetta School

St. Edmund's Parochial School

South Shore International College Prep High School

First Name

Carla

Birth City, State, Country

Tallahassee

HM ID

HAY10

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Living Well Is The Best Revenge.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

8/10/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream (Chocolate)

Short Description

Librarian Carla Hayden (1952 - ) has served numerous library systems and fought for civil liberties and freedom of information. She was appointed the 14th Librarian of Congress in 2016.

Employment

Enoch Pratt Free Library

Chicago Public Library

Museum of Science and Industry

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:4914,138:5915,155:7007,172:8463,201:9282,216:9919,224:15106,298:15834,307:19747,362:20384,371:26936,477:37140,603:37924,612:38316,617:63892,1005:64228,1010:71872,1143:74896,1193:75736,1206:76072,1211:86488,1442:87160,1447:87748,1455:88504,1465:88840,1470:96514,1504:97372,1520:98230,1537:99880,1577:111211,1828:124242,2080:124806,2087:127908,2146:132317,2176:136776,2271:137595,2284:138596,2298:139597,2310:140143,2317:140780,2325:141144,2330:142236,2348:144966,2396:145603,2404:146786,2422:154430,2540:163910,2602:172891,2774:173377,2781:174916,2805:175645,2815:177751,2849:178966,2874:184960,3001:185851,3013:188524,3057:195940,3097:196570,3127:200830,3165$0,0:15968,288:24804,405:26966,458:28000,480:33624,523:34353,533:35082,544:36702,569:43749,664:45045,686:45936,705:46503,716:49419,788:49824,794:51039,816:71934,1147:72891,1162:78981,1281:80982,1315:89920,1393:90460,1402:91090,1410:93340,1462:99770,1524:100170,1529:100770,1537:101370,1544:102070,1552:103470,1571:104370,1584:107270,1628:108470,1644:108870,1655:109970,1668:128540,1882:134575,1992:134915,2002:135340,2013:139165,2089:145622,2138:147426,2178:148574,2192:149148,2201:154314,2271:170110,2442:175006,2526:175390,2531:182181,2597:189344,2716:190191,2729:191115,2753:192039,2764:195658,2827:197044,2849:201250,2874:202960,2900:206020,2934:228510,3321
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carla Hayden's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carla Hayden lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carla Hayden describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carla Hayden describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carla Hayden relates stories from her mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carla Hayden describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carla Hayden recalls the stories her paternal grandmother told her about family history

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carla Hayden talks about her father's upbringing in central Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carla Hayden talks about her father's career as a musician

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carla Hayden talks about how her parents pursued careers in music during the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carla Hayden talks about how her parents' marriage ended after the family moved to New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carla Hayden shares memories of the music scene her father belonged to during her childhood in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carla Hayden describes her earliest childhood memory

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

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carla Hayden explains why she chose not to pursue a career in music

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carla Hayden talks about her childhood interest in reading

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carla Hayden recalls Margaret Pendergast of Springfield, Illinois, one of her role models as a librarian

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Carla Hayden describes her experiences in grade school in New York, New York and Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Carla Hayden talks about the impact of her parents' divorce

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carla Hayden talks about the factors that led to her parents' divorce

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carla Hayden describes her experiences at St. Edmund's School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carla Hayden recalls her cultural experiences in Chicago, Illinois during the late 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carla Hayden describes the changes in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois during her high school years

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carla Hayden describes her experiences at South Shore High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carla Hayden talks about why she did not attend her prom at South Shore High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carla Hayden recalls her impression of radical politics in Chicago, Illinois during the late 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Carla Hayden talks about her aspirations while attending South Shore High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carla Hayden describes her experiences at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carla Hayden describes her experiences at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carla Hayden talks about how she decided to become a librarian

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carla Hayden describes her early career as a librarian in the Chicago Public Library system in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carla Hayden describes her graduate studies in library science at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carla Hayden talks about her decision to specialize in children's literature

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carla Hayden recalls her time as a professor at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carla Hayden talks about returning to Chicago, Illinois as the chief librarian of the Chicago Public Library

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carla Hayden recalls the completion of the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago, Illinois in 1991

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carla Hayden talks about her decision to become the director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carla Hayden recalls the dedication of the Bruce K. Hayden Center for the Performing Arts at Malcolm X College in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Carla Hayden talks about the history of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Carla Hayden describes her tenure as director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Carla Hayden talks about how she became president of the American Library Association

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Carla Hayden talks about her opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act as president of the American Library Association

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Carla Hayden talks about the future plans of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Carla Hayden offers her perspective on how reading will change in the future

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Carla Hayden reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Carla Hayden talks about her plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Carla Hayden reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Carla Hayden talks about her family's pride in her career

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Carla Hayden offers advice to young people considering a career in library science

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Carla Hayden describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

7$8

DATitle
Carla Hayden talks about how she became president of the American Library Association
Carla Hayden talks about her opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act as president of the American Library Association
Transcript
Tell me about the American Library Association [ALA] and your involvement in the American Library Association.$$Well, I was elected to be president of the American Library Association. And that's the oldest and the largest organization that is involved with libraries. So it has about sixty-five thousand members, mainly librarians and it represents--it's the voice of public libraries in particular in this country. And I was elected and--to be president, my first elected position. And it (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) This is the first--okay.$$I never ran for anything, school, president, and anything like that.$$How do you get to be the president of the American Library Association?$$You actually have to campaign, and you have to have a platform, and you have to present to the different groups, and you have to do interviews. And you have to actually run for it, and I had an opponent. And I guess that, a little bit of that Chicago [Illinois] rubs off on you. So (laughter), I won by a wide margin, and we--there were no dirty politics though. But it was a clean election, but it was an interesting experience. And it was also interesting because I had, by that time made friends with some political figures in the Baltimore [Maryland] area. And they helped me with the campaign. The other person who helped me with the campaigning came out and did a fundraiser for me, was [HistoryMaker] Tavis Smiley. We had had him here several times for book signings, and he heard that I was running for the American Library Association president. And he actually came out and gave a donation, one of the first donations to my campaign that allowed me to buy T-shirts and buttons to give to the librarians at the conference. You have to really do that kind of electioneering. And that, and I've been grateful for that ever since. And he's been back to the [Enoch] Pratt [Free] Library [Baltimore, Maryland] to do book signings.$$Okay, does he have a connection here locally at all, I mean in terms of (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) No, I don't think there's any direct connection. I think he--what I've found is he can be very supportive of people that are trying to do things. So.$$Okay, now, what was your platform?$$Well, my platform was equity of access, that people of all backgrounds should have as much access to library services as possible. And sometimes we may not realize that in libraries that the policies that we put in place are actually barriers to access. And homeless--if you have a requirement that someone has to show a driver's license to get a library card, that can eliminate a lot of people, or if there has to be a residency thing. You have to show a piece of mail. Well, what about the homeless people. So there're lots of things that we do in libraries sometimes that are actually blocking people from using us freely and that we should look at all of our policies. We should look at the people we hire to make sure that sometimes they reflect the communities that they're working in. So, it was really asking the library community to look at everything we do to make sure that our libraries stay free and open.$After 9/11 [September 11, 2001]--$$Right.$$--[U.S. Department of] Homeland Security came up with some--there's even legislation, right, to (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yes, the [USA] PATRIOT Act [of 2001].$$PATRIOT Act, right.$$And that, and during my term, that, the PATRIOT Act was enacted, and there was a section--and there still is a Section 215 that related to library records. And while I was president, I had to represent the [American Library] Association [ALA] and take a stand basically saying that we were concerned about that section that allowed the federal government to look at and confiscate library records without the library being able to tell the person who's being investigated that their records were being examined. And, in fact, we couldn't even tell other staff members or our boards that the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] or whatever agency had visited us. We would be put in jail if we revealed that we were even asked for records, much less the names. So (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) These are records of the kind of books you check out or--$$The books, the use of computers. We also and still at this time, are able to, say you sign in for a computer session. There's a way, as everybody knows, that you can track what someone's looking at, what websites they're going to. And we have that information. And so the government, without--and this was another aspect of it that we were concerned about, could go into and get a court, a closed court, and get the warrant for this type of search without showing cause. So they did not have to say we suspect Larry Crowe of this, this and this. They could just say, we want to look at his records. That's all they had to do. So they did not even have to show any proof. And so what bothered, and in a true sense, the librarians who had this covenant of trust with our patrons, is that you may be interested in jihad, just because you're interested in it. You've heard the name. You wanna know more about it. That doesn't mean that you intend to join. So interests and intent are not necessarily equal. And that's what we wanted to protect and make sure that people could still want to find out information about anything without being investigated and not knowing that they were being investigated. And it really escalated to the point that the government was able to just find out, not even particular names of people coming in to a search, but would say, be able to say, we want to see the names of everyone who has ever looked at this. So that's really broadening to it, to the extent that it was unacceptable.$$Okay, so did you achieve any success with (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) We did have some successes in terms of that, and each subsequent passage or reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act, there have been modifications to that section so that there is notification. Librarians will not be jailed if they reveal that the FBI--so each reauthorization, we've been able to effect some modification.$$Now, you, you've actually had to speak with John Ashcroft who was then attorney general (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Right.$$--about these--$$Right, so it--as my grandmother said at the time, "I never thought being a librarian would get you to do this kinda thing." (Laughter) She was very amazed.

Julia Bond

Librarian Julia Agnes Washington Bond was born on June 20, 1908, in Nashville, Tennessee, where her parents graduated from Fisk University. Bond's mother, Daisy Agnes Turner Washington, worked as a teacher, and her father, George Elihu Washington, served as the principal of Pearl High School. Both stressed the importance of education. Bond attended Meigs Middle Magnet School until the eighth grade, and then went on to Pearl High School, where she graduated in 1924 when she was sixteen years old. Like her parents, Bond attended Fisk University and graduated with her B.A. degree in English in 1929. In her senior year at Fisk University, she met a young instructor, one of the few African American teachers at Fisk University in those days, Horace Mann Bond. Soon they were courting. They both attended graduate school at the University of Chicago, Illinois where they got married. They later had a marriage ceremony in Nashville in order to satisfy their parents. Unfortunately, Bond did not return to school due to their finances. Horace earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, Illinois.

Her husband, Dr. Horace Mann Bond, was appointed president of Georgia’s Fort Valley State College in 1942. In 1945, he became president of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. In 1956, Dr. Bond was named president of Atlanta University. Julia Agnes Bond acted as First Lady for her husband in all of these positions. She also traveled with her husband to Europe and Africa on behalf of the University. She attended the inauguration of Osageyfo Kwame Nkrumah as Ghana’s first president in 1957.

Returning to school at Atlanta University, Bond earned her Masters of Library Science degree and was a mainstay at the Atlanta University Library beginning in the 1960s. Bond and her husband supported their daughter and their sons Jane, Julian and James, in their civil rights activities including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s. The venerable Bond retired from the Atlanta University Library in 2000, at the age of ninety-two years. Her husband, Dr. Horace Mann Bond, passed away in 1973.

Bond passed away on November 2, 2007 at age 99.

Accession Number

A2006.119

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/14/2006

Last Name

Bond

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Agnes

Occupation
Schools

Meigs Middle Magnet School

Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

Fisk University

University of Illinois at Chicago

Clark Atlanta University

First Name

Julia

Birth City, State, Country

Nashville

HM ID

BON03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Near Water

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

6/20/1908

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

11/2/2007

Short Description

Librarian Julia Bond (1908 - 2007 ) worked as a librarian at Atlanta University. She was the wife of Horace Mann Bond, former president of Lincoln University, and the mother of civil rights leader Julian Bond.

Employment

Atlanta University; Clark Atlanta University

Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:2139,100:3910,191:15715,380:41000,681:54010,794:106325,1337:118090,1460:136630,1704:137198,1715:146310,1802$0,0:24095,315:57161,708:57525,713:60892,754:61529,800:77654,923:96702,1109:110152,1330:112466,1362:116471,1419:122080,1451:124080,1486:130780,1654:146362,1797:146678,1802:150628,1872:151181,1880:181774,2253:197680,2491
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Julia Bond's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Julia Bond lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Julia Bond describes her parents' family backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Julia Bond describes her parents' educations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Julia Bond describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Julia Bond describes her childhood community in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Julia Bond describes her childhood activities in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Julia Bond describes her experiences at Pearl High School in Nashville

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Julia Bond describes her experiences at Fisk University in Nashville

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Julia Bond recalls the community of Fisk University in Nashville

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Julia Bond recalls meeting and marrying Horace Mann Bond

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Julia Bond describes her experiences at the University of Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Julia Bond describes her married life with Horace Mann Bond

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Julia Bond recalls her friendships with African American intellectual leaders

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Julia Bond recalls her husband's years as a college president

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Julia Bond recalls the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Julia Bond talks about her work as a librarian

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Julia Bond reflects upon her life and legacy

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Julia Bond describes her family and how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Julia Bond narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Julia Bond narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

2$5

DATitle
Julia Bond recalls meeting and marrying Horace Mann Bond
Julia Bond recalls her friendships with African American intellectual leaders
Transcript
Now you met your husband [Horace Mann Bond] at Fisk [Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee], right, when you were a senior?$$Yes.$$Okay. Now what--tell us what happened.$$Nothing. We heard that he was coming and my mother [Daisy Turner Washington] and grandmother were very impressed because they had known his mother [Jane Browne Bond] and thought very highly of her. So they were very receptive to him.$$Okay. Was he from Kentucky, too?$$Yes.$$Was he from Mount Sterling [Kentucky]?$$Huh?$$Was he from Mount Sterling, too?$$No. He was from Louisville [Kentucky], I think.$$Louisville, all right.$$Yeah.$$Okay. So I heard that some of the girls tried to get in his class so they could talk to him (laughter)?$$Yeah.$$So what--but you didn't do that, right?$$No, I didn't. He--they knew that he was coming and we would--and several had a young black teacher, and they were all trying to be in his class, but I decided I wouldn't rush into it.$$Okay. So, how did you become acquainted? Did he--what happened?$$I don't remember how we first met. I guess somehow on the campus.$$Okay. So did you like him?$$Huh?$$Did you like him when you met him?$$Yes. Uh-huh. And my parents liked him because they knew his mother.$$Okay. So, how long--so I guess you--did you date him when you were a senior?$$Huh?$$Did you go out with him when you were a senior? Did he--?$$Go out with him?$$Yeah. Did he court you or, you know?$$Yes.$$What was dating like in those days? I mean, how--did you?$$It was very supervised, very curtailed.$$Okay. Did one--did your mother have to be around when he was there or your father [George Elihu Washington] have to be present or something or--?$$What?$$Did someone have to be there when he was--?$$Yes, most of the time. Very close if not in the room.$$Oh, okay.$All right. So (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I remember once Dr. Du Bois [W.E.B. Du Bois] came and I was going somewhere and he was at the station, and I spoke to him and he was very haughty because he didn't know me (laughter) and he thought I was just pushing myself on him.$$Okay. Yet, do you have any other stories about Dr. Du Bois?$$Huh?$$Do you have any other stories about him?$$I don't know. We were sitting down before the fire and he was reading the newspaper and I was taking care of my children, and somebody said, "Some students are coming over to see Dr. Du Bois," and he got up and went upstairs right away (laughter).$$So, he wasn't the most friendly person, I guess?$$Huh?$$He was not very friendly, I guess?$$No, he was all right once you knew him, but it was--he was hard to know.$$Okay. Did you like him?$$Yes, I did.$$Okay. What did you like about him?$$Well, I liked to listen to him talk and people would of course ask him many, many questions.$$Okay. Was he as smart as people say now?$$Huh?$$We always hear about how bright he was, how intelligent he was.$$Yes, he was.$$Was that true?$$Uh-huh.$$Okay. Did his wife [Nina Gomer Du Bois] ever come with him when he traveled?$$No. She was busy at the Du Bois' chasing dirt. (Laughter) She was a good housekeeper.$$Okay. Who else do you remember that came by?$$Who taught?$$No, that stayed with you. Who stayed at your house in those years? Who else stayed at your house?$$Who else--$$Stayed at your house when--during those days?$$Oh, anybody who spoke at the school [Fort Valley State College; Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Georgia] and they would have various speakers during the year. Let's see, Franklin Frazier [E. Franklin Frazier]. I can't think of anybody else. Maybe Langston Hughes.$$What about E. Franklin Frazier? What--tell us about him. Do you have any stories about him?$$He was a neighbor and he was a friend. He was full of fun and jokes.$$Okay. What about Langston Hughes? Do you have a story about him?$$I know he took Julian [HistoryMaker Julian Bond] and Jay [James Bond] to eat at Paschal's [Paschal's Motor Hotel and Restaurant, Atlanta, Georgia] for lunch and--$$(JAMES BOND): That's here in Atlanta [Georgia].$$I don't know. Jay was kind of critical of Julian and he defended Julian.$$Yeah. Okay. All right. But that's here in Atlanta [Georgia], right? That's--$$Huh?$$That's here in Atlanta (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Atlanta, yes.$$Right, right.

Mayme Clayton

Curator and librarian Mayme A. Clayton was born to Mary Dorothy Knight Agnew and Jerry Modique Agnew in Van Buren, Arkansas on August 4, 1923 . She graduated high school at the age of sixteen, and moved to Los Angeles, California in 1946. She earned her B.A. degree from the University of California-Berkeley. She earned her master’s of library science degree from Goddard College via correspondence to their Vermont campus and a Ph.D. degree from Sierra University in Los Angeles.

Clayton began her career as a librarian in 1952, working at the Doheny Library at the University of Southern California. In 1957, she left the University of Southern California to become a law librarian at the University of California, Los Angeles,and also served as a consultant and founding member of the Afro-American Studies Center Library. After working at University of California Los Angeles for fifteen years, Clayton took a position at Universal Books in Hollywood, California. When the store closed, the partners in the store divided the remaining volumes between themselves. Clayton received all of the books that pertained to Black society and culture – more than 4,000 volumes. Clayton’s collection of African American ephemera has continued to grow; it now contains more than 20,000 pieces, including films, books, magazines, music and advertisements. Some of the items in this collection include signed first editions of works by Zora Neale Hurston, handwritten correspondence from George Washington Carver, as well as a rare signed copy of Phyllis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral . Currently, the collection resides in the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum in Culver City, California. Clayton served as the president of the center.

Clayton was the founder of the Black American Cinema Society, which awards scholarships and hosts film festivals. She was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Phoenix Award and the Paul Robeson Award.

Clayton passed away on October 13, 2006 at the age of 83.

Accession Number

A2004.196

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/7/2004

Last Name

Clayton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Schools

Douglass School

University of California, Berkeley

Goddard College

Sierra University

First Name

Mayme

Birth City, State, Country

Van Buren

HM ID

CLA08

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

If You Don’t Know Where You're Going, You’ll Never Know Where You Have Been.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

8/4/1923

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Death Date

10/13/2006

Short Description

Curator and librarian Mayme Clayton (1923 - 2006 ) was the collector and founder of the Mayme Clayton Library and Museum, which houses an extensive collection of African American literature, music and other cultural artifacts that she amassed over four decades.

Employment

Doheny Library at the University of Southern California

University of California, Los Angeles

Afro-American Studies Center Library

Universal Books - Hollywood

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:890,21:1874,35:12776,216:21890,366:26636,411:42434,565:61912,816:62500,825:63172,835:66616,890:67120,897:70060,941:78587,987:78903,992:79219,997:105894,1295:106262,1300:119200,1491:134904,1674:138492,1786:162890,2073:163415,2079:166040,2099:174930,2158:175530,2165:175930,2170:206617,2475:210264,2514:224574,2657:236000,2814:238573,2864:246873,2999:247537,3015:255837,3153:261620,3170$0,0:764,18:10536,81:10980,86:16641,144:17196,150:26156,228:38720,363:59232,551:60149,559:62963,574:65546,597:69785,621:96010,867:102660,921:103234,929:107744,982:114890,1088:123765,1181:124025,1186:126830,1200:127206,1206:127864,1219:137144,1315:137921,1323:140474,1340:140918,1345:142028,1357:143693,1376:154310,1469:160416,1538:165920,1627:167038,1641:167468,1647:178618,1745:180638,1767:183366,1780:183654,1785:207140,2100:208288,2122:212490,2170
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Mayme Clayton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Mayme Clayton lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Mayme Clayton describes her mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Mayme Clayton describes her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Mayme Clayton recalls her father's grocery store in Van Buren, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Mayme Clayton describes her father and how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Mayme Clayton recalls her father's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Mayme Clayton describes her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Mayme Clayton recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Mayme Clayton remembers the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Mayme Clayton describes a midnight ramble from her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Mayme Clayton describes her childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Mayme Clayton remembers her experience at Frederick Douglass School in Van Buren, Arkansas, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Mayme Clayton remembers her experience at Frederick Douglass School in Van Buren, Arkansas, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Mayme Clayton recalls church activities at New Hope Baptist Church in Van Buren, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Mayme Clayton describes her experience at Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Mayme Clayton remembers meeting Jackie Robinson while attending Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Mayme Clayton explains her decision to leave Lincoln University to become a photographer in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Mayme Clayton talks about performers she met in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Mayme Clayton remembers her exposure to African American history visiting the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Mayme Clayton recalls moving to California after her marriage in 1946

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Mayme Clayton talks about her career as a university librarian

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Mayme Clayton describes how her interest in African American history and publications developed in California

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Mayme Clayton talks about her group affiliations regarding black writers and literature

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Mayme Clayton lists the higher education institutions she attended and degrees acquired

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Mayme Clayton describes the origins of her book collection

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Mayme Clayton lists notable items in her collection of African American books, film, and photographs

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Mayme Clayton talks about the origins of the Western States Black Research Center in Culver City, California

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Mayme Clayton talks about plans for developing the Western States Black Research Center

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Mayme Clayton describes her work with the Black American Cinema Society

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Mayme Clayton talks about other notable collections joining with her the Western States Black Research Center

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Mayme Clayton describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Mayme Clayton reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Mayme Clayton talks about how she acquires films for the Western States Black Research Center

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Mayme Clayton reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Mayme Clayton describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Mayme Clayton explains how a bad financial decision by the owner of Universal Books led to a windfall for her collection

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Mayme Clayton reflects upon the historical importance of her collection and the Western States Black Research Center

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Mayme Clayton narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

6$1

DATitle
Mayme Clayton describes the origins of her book collection
Mayme Clayton describes her work with the Black American Cinema Society
Transcript
You've got this huge collection of books, now. Now when did it start becoming a large collection of books?$$Actually when I left UCLA [University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California], when I retired from UCLA and started working in this bookstore, Universal Book Store [sic. Universal Books, Los Angeles, California], where they had all these black books. I started really purchasing a lot of things because they had so many things there that I wanted and so it just started growing from there.$$Okay, tell me about now how did you, you purchased most of these new, because I saw some old ones out there too?$$No, no, no, half of them were used, you know. Universal was a used bookstore and I remember I purchased quite a few things from them, then I got on the antiquarian book dealer's list. I became a member of that organization. And people would send me a list of things that they had for sell and you know, then I would order those things.$$Okay. This is the days when people weren't collecting a lot of books, black books I guess.$$No, no, no.$$So were they, were they fairly cheap to acquire?$$Not, well, it was cheaper than they are now. I mean, but the average book I guess, was, maybe we paid about 10, 12, or 15 dollars. And some--I knew I went to, I went to swap meets and a lot times I would find books out there. For instance, I found a book written by Walter White, who was over the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] years ago. And the guy, I said--picked up the book, and I said, "How much is this book?" He said, oh, that's just a little bitty book you can have it for a dime. So, but he didn't have any idea of what, what the book was (unclear) (laughter). So a lot of times, you know, I would luck up on things like that. People would--I had a couple of ladies to call me and say, "I want you to come over and get all this stuff out of my garage. I'm getting ready--I want, need the space in the garage." And one time I went and I found volume one, number one of the Ebony magazine and a whole series of, of Ebony magazines and, and some other black magazines that started around that time.$$Okay. So, did, did you go to, I mean did you go to I guess, antique dealers, and used (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$Oh yeah, yeah, we use to go to the bookstores.$$--rummage sales and that sort of thing?$$Yeah. I use to go to the bookstores and, and when the, some of the sales people would see me coming in and they kind of followed me around to see what I was looking at, what books I was interested in and if I didn't show a lot of interest in a book, well, they, after I left they would mark the books up if I was really interested in them. When I'd go back to get the book the price had gone up on the book, they had marked it up, because they figured that must have been a really great book if I was, you know, kept the book out and, and looked at it. But, some of the other books, you know, if I didn't--I got so that I wouldn't even spend much time, I'd just look at the book and the title and, and not ask him how much is the book, you know, and it would be normal price (laughter).$--I organized the Black American Cinema Society [BACS] and we started out giving cash grants to independent student filmmakers. We were giving three thousand dollars for a first prize, second prize, two thousand [dollars], one thousand [dollars] for the third prize and three honorable mentions at $250.00 each. And we would do that each year. And it was--the students would make the films and we would have filmmakers, film critics to come and look at the films and decide whose going to win the prize, who had the best film. And we did that for sixteen years. We had sponsors to donate the money.$$What facilities would you use to show the films?$$Well, we'd have it in--we've had them in some of the big auditoriums, hotels, you know, big hotels, along with a dinner, you know, and a big event. So, we would, we would treat them royally you know (laughter). Plus we would give a, the Phoenix Award, which is the highest award you know, you could get. Then we'd, then we'd give a Paul Robeson [Pioneer] Award. Then we had one called The Star Bright Award. And all these people were selected, you know, like some big celebrity would come and receive these awards from us each year.$$Okay. When, when did you start giving the awards out?$$That was in, I guess that was in the '80s [1980s]. We did it for sixteen years. And then what happened is that the sponsors, when they had the Seven-Eleven, I think, I think it was in 1998 was the last one we gave out because people were donating money for other things and the sponsor, sponsorship kind of dried up. But we're planning to do it over again. It was--we had a film festival every year. It was called Black Talkies on Parade Film Festival. And we do that along with the, right after we give out the awards. The next week we would have a Black Talkies on Parade Film Festival. And we had that at the Four Star Theater [Los Angeles, California], might have it at the, let's see where else. Oh, we had it at the (unclear) (unclear), they had a big huge film auditorium, you know, just different places we would have the films. And people would, used to come out in busloads you know, to see the films.

Vivian D. Hewitt

Art lover and librarian Vivian Hewitt was born on February 17, 1920, in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Hewitt was the fourth of five children, her elder siblings all born in North Carolina. Her father, Arthur, was a skilled laborer, and her mother, Lela, worked as a teacher and housewife. After completing high school, Hewitt attended Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, where she earned a B.A. in 1943. The following year, she graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh with an M.S. in library science. She attended the University of Pittsburgh for further graduate studies in 1947 and 1948. Geneva awarded her an honorary degree in 1978.

Hewitt began her career working in libraries in 1944, when she was hired by the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh as the senior assistant librarian. Relocating to Atlanta in 1949, Hewitt took a position as a librarian and instructor at Atlanta University's School of Library and Information Science. Hewitt and her husband, John, had a son in 1952, and Hewitt returned to work in 1954 as a researcher for Crowell-Collier Publishing. Hewitt joined the Rockefeller Foundation in 1956, and in 1963 she was hired by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to serve as chief librarian. She remained there until her retirement in 1983. Since then, she has served on the Council on Foreign Relations and on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin.

A lover of travel, Hewitt and her husband began buying works of art wherever they would go, and gave them as gifts on special occasions. They began their collection in earnest by collecting Haitian art for fifteen years. Living near and knowing many of the African American artists from New York, they began to collect their works, as well. In recent years, the collection, considered one of the finest of African American art in the world, was bought by Bank of America and given as a gift to the Afro-American Cultural Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Hewitt is also active in other areas, serving on the Board of Governors of the Laymen's Club of the Episcopal Church of the Diocese of New York, and has served as the secretary of the board of the Graham Windham Child Care & Adoption Agency. She has also received the Distinguished Service Award of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Special Library Association.

Accession Number

A2003.136

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/18/2003

Last Name

Hewitt

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

D.

Organizations
Schools

Martin Gantz School

North Street School

George Washington Intermediate School

New Castle Junior/Senior High School

Geneva College

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Vivian

Birth City, State, Country

New Castle

HM ID

HEW01

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Flexible - Any age - the joy of collecting (African American) Art

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $500 - $1,000

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: plus travel and lodging expenses

Preferred Audience: Flexible - Any age - the joy of collecting (African American) Art

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean, Italy, Paris, France

Favorite Quote

That's Absolutely Right.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

2/17/1920

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Art collector and librarian Vivian D. Hewitt (1920 - ) served as the chief librarian at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace until 1983. She and her husband also collect artwork, especially Haitian art, and in recent years, the collection, considered one of the finest of African American art in the world, was bought by Bank of America and given as a gift to the Afro-American Cultural Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Employment

Carnegie Library

Atlanta University

Crowell-Collier Publishing

Rockefeller Foundation

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

University of Texas, Austin

Council on Foreign Relations

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:6216,72:10212,153:56324,716:56940,725:59316,757:59668,762:64772,840:68380,904:74012,988:83450,1032:90193,1109:91172,1122:91528,1127:97313,1193:98648,1210:107080,1250:108120,1265:108840,1279:109320,1287:129004,1521:129316,1526:129862,1534:130642,1546:131110,1554:133060,1591:133684,1600:135010,1617:137038,1643:146309,1715:147002,1724:166504,1944:168344,1971:168804,1977:169172,1982:191755,2309:220742,2653:222434,2670:222904,2676:238690,2861:239548,2876:248180,3026:263055,3293:264585,3318:265010,3324:274784,3424:275252,3431:275954,3442:278450,3499:304996,3813:309178,3879:311064,3909:320370,3982$0,0:32280,343:35466,364:38459,401:39043,411:43131,510:43642,520:44080,528:51380,670:67892,846:71719,900:82399,1027:86493,1073:97165,1129:100290,1155:118510,1353:122794,1417:124222,1433:125398,1450:135486,1545:137510,1568:138246,1580:146840,1638:150170,1672:150800,1680:153889,1705:155948,1732:156658,1744:157652,1768:159711,1796:172738,1931:174025,1952:189172,2109:189676,2116:196648,2204:197068,2210:206224,2363:215793,2439:217410,2476:221029,2559:221491,2571:237067,2772:237676,2780:240199,2827:240721,2834:241939,2854:247544,2899:248048,2907:248336,2912:248912,2922:249560,2932:250352,2944:256256,3054:265780,3134:269794,3144:271489,3165:282130,3243:286774,3277:295594,3378:296178,3387:298806,3436:328790,3851:329385,3859:334770,3897
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vivian Hewitt's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vivian Hewitt lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vivian Hewitt describes her maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her extended family which includes HistoryMaker Melvin L. Watt and Karen Grigsby Bates

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her father, Arthur Davidson, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her father, Arthur Davidson pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vivian Hewitt describes her mother, Lela Mauney Davidson

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vivian Hewitt describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Vivian Hewitt continues to describe her mother, Lela Mauney Davison

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vivian Hewitt describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vivian Hewitt describes the town of New Castle, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vivian Hewitt describes her grade school years

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her early interest in Haiti

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her favorite teachers in grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vivian Hewitt describes her experience at New Castle High School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the influence of the A.M.E. Church on her social life and formation

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vivian Hewitt talks about Youngstown, Ohio and her decision to attend Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vivian Hewitt talks about Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vivian Hewitt describes her experience at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her son's education at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vivian Hewitt describes her admission to the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vivian Hewitt describes her training as a librarian and her work practicum in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her library work in the Hill District of Pittsburgh

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the Pittsburgh Courier and her social activities in the Hill District

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Vivian Hewitt talks about working in Harlem and Pittsburgh's reputation as the "Smoky City"

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vivian Hewitt describes her work practicum in Harlem

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vivian Hewitt talks about Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood and August Wilson

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vivian Hewitt describes how she became a librarian at Atlanta University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vivian Hewitt talks about meeting her husband, John Hewitt

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vivian Hewitt talks about Charles "Teenie" Harris, her wedding photographer

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vivian Hewitt talks about HistoryMaker Evelyn Cunningham at the Pittsburgh Courier

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the numbers game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Vivian Hewitt talks about baseball in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Vivian Hewitt describes her experience in Atlanta, Georgia while teaching at Atlanta University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her initial interest in special libraries

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Vivian Hewitt talks about working at Crowell-Collier Publishing Company

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her appointment at the Rockefeller Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Vivian Hewitt talks about Dean Rusk and working at the Rockefeller Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Vivian Hewitt describes her introduction to the Rockefeller Foundation's partnering librarians

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her work at the Agricultural Library of the Rockefeller Foundation in Mexico City, Mexico

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Vivian Hewitt talks about Mexico and HistoryMaker Elizabeth Catlett

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Vivian Hewitt talks about Mexican artists and Dolores del Rio

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Vivian Hewitt talks about Mexican influences in the art of Jean Charlot

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her job at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Vivian Hewitt talks about training aspiring diplomats at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Vivian Hewitt talks about meeting Brian Urquhart and Robert Rhodes James

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her professional life after retiring in 1983

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the Hewitt Collection and becoming president of the New York Chapter of the Special Libraries Association

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Vivian Hewitt talks about facing challenges as the national president of the Special Libraries Association

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the death of the executive director of the Special Libraries Association, Frank McKenna

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the death of Frank McKenna, executive director of the Special Libraries Association

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the appointment of David Bender as the head of SLA

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her legacy at the Special Libraries Association

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the Bank of America's acquisition of the Hewitt Collection

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the touring Hewitt Collection, pt.1

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the touring Hewitt Collection, pt.2

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the black aesthetic and how she chose pieces for the Hewitt Collection

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Vivian Hewitt describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Vivian Hewitt reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Vivian Hewitt talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the importance of oral history

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Vivian Hewitt narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

2$1

DATitle
Vivian Hewitt describes the town of New Castle, Pennsylvania
Vivian Hewitt talks about Mexican artists and Dolores del Rio
Transcript
When the Depression came, and they reduced their staffs, then my cousin became the chauffer-butler for the same family. And my father [Arthur Davidson] worked in a, in the Lawrence Club, the private club and then later became a skilled laborer in one of the mills and--because by this time he had bought his home, reared his family, and didn't want to uproot them to, to move. And Depression was on, but those rich families lived very, very well. And of course they networked with other rich families from Ohio, from Cleveland, Ohio, from Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania]. One family had a square block for their two homes, and they gave that, their homes to the city of New Castle [Pennsylvania], and now they are the arts and cultural center. And I went up some years ago to, to a mu--to see an art show there. They had a ballroom. They, they just had everything. They had about an acre of land where they had a gar--a full-time gardener who grew their vegetables, their flowers. But there were, there were a number of families like that. But the town--oh, and then the Italian people over the years got educated and came into the ascendency and became politically savvy, so there was an Italian mayor at least 30, 40 years ago. But the Jewish population had shrunk. They used to have two synagogues; they only have one. And for many years my optometrist was a Jewish man originally from New York who, who was also a personal friend, and, and I see him when I go home. And they, their, their two sons have, have left because there's not much to keep them there. And New Castle has actually become a bedroom community for Pittsburgh, which is just 50 miles away. The highways are very good. You can tool down the highway in, in an hour. And Pittsburgh is thriving. And Pittsburgh, which used to be steel and mill--the mills and everything--is now high tech. Education is the hu--biggest employer, and then the hospitals, and then technology. Those are the three main industries, so a lot of the people from New Castle, many of them, commute to, to, to Pittsburgh to work.$$Now, when, when you were a little girl growing up in New Castle, was there--was the black community separate? Was it a separate black community, or were people scattered around, and, and were, were, were the steel mills close by? Could you smell the mills and all--$$No, no, no, we, we didn't live near the mills. They--you had to--'cause my mother [Lela Mauney Davidson] would drive the men to, to, to work. No, we didn't live near them. Some people did, some who would come up from, from Alabama and Georgia. But the black people lived--there was a heavier concentration in First Ward and, and the Sixth Ward, but they were--there were some families who were scattered about on the south side and the east side, and even a few on the north side, which was the posh section of the city. I go back now and they live anywhere they got the money, you know.$$So did your family live near the family that your, that, that, that, that, that your father worked for, or did you (simultaneous)--$$We lived, we lived about a mile away, and we lived on the, on the same street. We all knew each other. We had fun growing up. It was a mixed neighborhood. I grew up in a neighborhood of African Americans, Italian Protestants, and Irish Catholic. And we were all friendly, and we were in and out of each other's homes. And the Italian family across the street, if my mother was sick, Mrs. Perilla (ph.) would, would make Italian soup and spaghetti and bring over to us. And she baked bread in an outdoor oven, and it smelled heavenly. And the Irish Catholic family who lived down the street took her--they had the same doctor, country doctor, and they would drive to--we were very, very friendly. So we, we--and that was true with the, with all of my--all of us who lived on, on, on the street, on the hill. We were just about five doors from the church too, so we spent Sundays in church.$So we're wrapping up the trip to Mexico.$$Yeah.$$All right, so what happened--what was the highlight in the trip to Mexico you think?$$Oh, getting to see the Mexican artists. You know, when, when John [Hewitt] and I married in 1949 we got some money as wedding presents, and we honeymooned here in New York. And remember I told you we had a faculty suite, so we went to the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and in Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania], to the Carnegie. And we brought good prints, and we took them back to Atlanta [Georgia], had them framed, and hung them in our suite. We wanted it decorated as, as, as cozy and as nice as possible. But we were always on the same wavelength as far as art was concerned. And the paintings that we bought, we bought Orozco's "Zapatistas". And we bought a Picasso still life, and a Brach still life, and (unclear)--(unclear). But I like the Mexican paintings. And in Mexico, I got to see in, in Cuernavaca, the murals that Diego Rivera had done-- was very privileged because our experi--agricultural experimental station for the Rockefeller foundation was at Chapingo, which was a little suburb from Mexico City. And in the chapel at Chapingo, Orozco had done beautiful, beautiful murals. And this is off the tourist beat, so I had--was privileged to see those. But everywhere I went I saw wonderful paintings. And then this journalist-lawyer friend of Langston Hughes introduced me to some of his friends. And one of them was--depending on to whom you talked, she was either the greatest patron of the arts or the greatest courtesan in Mexico City. Her father had been a general under Pancho Villa in the Mexican Revolution. And she was married to one of Manuel's classmates, another lawyer, who was much younger than she. And they lived in El Pedregal, which was a very rich, very lovely section of Mexico City. And Manuel took me out to her home, and she was living in the little cottage while the big house was being built. And then a couple of years later I went back and it was--she had been sculpted and painted by every one of the famous painters in Mexico City by Tamayo, by Siqueiros, by Orozco, by all of them. And all of these paintings were there, so I said to her, I said, do you mind? She said oh, Vivian, this is just a small house. There are only two bedrooms. But what a house. The guest house was their library. So I said do you mind if I take pictures? She said oh, take all you want. So I said, (unclear) where are you going to leave your paintings? She left them to the Mexican government (unclear), and the books, she left to the library in Oaxaca. But her name was Maria Asunsolo [Dolores del Rio]. So that was one of the highlights of--a really true highlight of my Mexican experience. And she was very close friends to Nelson Rockefeller and his first wife [Mary Rockefeller]. And--but she thought that because I worked at Rockefeller Foundation that, that maybe I was one of them, ha--had news for her (laughter). But she had a lovely, lovely place in El Pedregal. What else did I like in Mexico? I liked--this is 1958. This is a Spanish country, and women do not go about alone, okay. But I had to eat, so I made it a habit to take my main meal of the day in a Mexican restaurant. And Manuel wanted to improve his English, and I wanted to learn a little bit of cocktail Spanish. So he would come and accompany me most times to a restaurant with his dictionary, and we would sit there and eat, you know. So I ate in all the really good restaurants. I was living in the Zona Rosa. Then occasionally friends would be visiting in Mexico, and I would have dinner out with them. Other times, I just stayed at the, at the hotel, 'cause I was just a block or two from the, from the office. But I, I had a wonderful time. I appreciated Mexican culture, mainly Mexican art, loved it.