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Willie Taylor

Vice President of Operations, Willie J. Taylor was born September 2, 1932 in Centerville, Mississippi. His parents were Tena and Lois Taylor and he is the youngest of three children. In 1946, Taylor graduated from Forestville Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois and in 1950; he graduated from Dunbar Vocational High School in Chicago, Illinois. At the age of twenty, Taylor worked as a clerk for the United States Postal Office before joining the United States Army Signal Corp.

Post World War II, there was technology growth and Cold War inspired emphasis on cutting edge research and development, Taylor took a job as a research assistant for the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Research Institute. In 1966, Taylor joined Sonicraft Inc. as Vice President of Operations. In 1982, Sonicraft Inc. signed a manufacturing contract with the U.S. Air force that resulted in a two hundred and sixty-eight million dollar deal for the company. The contract was expected to last until 1989; making it the largest single series of contracts the government has ever awarded a minority owned business. Taylor was responsible for overseeing production and installation of equipment to automate radio communications from control tower to plane, including self-diagnostic electronic systems that are supposed to lower maintenance costs in FAA facilities. He also, produced a remote control mechanism for airport lighting systems; power sources so that they can be regulated from control towers and develop equipment for a new visual plane approach system.

Taylor has served as Trustee for Northeastern Illinois University and the Board of Governors Universities. In 1996, Taylor retired after serving thirty-years as the Vice President of Operations at Sonicraft Inc. He currently resides in Bryan, Texas with his wife Ollie Taylor. They have three children together, Theresa Doughty, Louis Taylor, Jr. and Valerie Taylor.

Accession Number

A2012.188

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/13/2012

Last Name

Taylor

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Forrestville Elementary School

Dunbar Vocational Career Academy High School

Kennedy–King College

Illinois Institute of Technology

First Name

Willie

Birth City, State, Country

Centerville

HM ID

TAY10

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Alaska

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

9/2/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bryan/College Station

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish, Pork, Soup

Short Description

Business chief executive Willie Taylor (1932 - ) was the vice president of Sonicraft, Inc., and managed one of the largest single series contracts the United States government has ever awarded a minority owned business.

Employment

Sonicraft, Inc.

United States Postal Service

IIT Research Institute

United States Army

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:285,69:4465,120:9975,240:14300,256:19314,290:23280,309:23672,317:24358,326:27530,349:30310,358:34224,429:39462,446:42046,490:42350,495:42806,503:44250,531:48726,578:49455,590:54890,623:62624,683:63570,697:81584,947:83201,970:83817,979:84587,991:88430,1012:89126,1021:93832,1059:97036,1099:100590,1121:101030,1127:102526,1146:109008,1239:109418,1245:111058,1268:111550,1275:112124,1284:112616,1292:112944,1297:115932,1311:129774,1428:134092,1455:137312,1493:141164,1521:141940,1530:144810,1544:145941,1616:150378,1684:154640,1722:156400,1751:157600,1771:158320,1779:160240,1805:163544,1816:171620,1891:172064,1898:172360,1961:175098,2011:186150,2200:197938,2328:200790,2387:201526,2397:202170,2406:206544,2441:206800,2446:207504,2460:207760,2465:209168,2494:209680,2504:210320,2515:210768,2524:211216,2532:214242,2550:214734,2558:223672,2732:224164,2739:231302,2817:231614,2822:234188,2892:234890,2905:244960,3019:245760,3033:250745,3160:257972,3232:259484,3247:264450,3278:264985,3284:269158,3325:271957,3336:283850,3472:284202,3477:284818,3485:289865,3526:293792,3557:297059,3613:310057,3786:313820,3813$0,0:3800,111:10070,174:10790,183:11150,188:13104,208:15702,217:22177,316:23221,331:23656,337:24874,352:25918,569:26266,625:83618,1031:84128,1037:89738,1112:93818,1162:98468,1174:98972,1186:106224,1296:107044,1307:110242,1381:122030,1466:123550,1490:130830,1600:131793,1628:135324,1665:136073,1690:145741,1775:146073,1780:149878,1801:153404,1873:154224,1886:157102,1900:157630,1909:163010,1997:165990,2012:166638,2019:170363,2042:170818,2048:189130,2211:190210,2232:194524,2246:195829,2268:196438,2276:198700,2312:206880,2418:208580,2442:210705,2496:211300,2504:214530,2597:215380,2608:215720,2651:220731,2687:221607,2703:221899,2708:223651,2734:224162,2742:224600,2749:230751,2805:233158,2857:233739,2866:235150,2887:236229,2911:242055,2989:242355,2995:242730,3001:243405,3011:243705,3022:246555,3079:247080,3090:247830,3101:249780,3133:250080,3138:257192,3196:257544,3201:260431,3231:261124,3241:261916,3259:267393,3288:271119,3353:271848,3363:276346,3409:276970,3418:277282,3423:279690,3448
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Willie Taylor's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Willie Taylor lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Willie Taylor describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Willie Taylor talks about his maternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Willie Taylor remembers his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Willie Taylor talks about race relations in the South

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Willie Taylor describes his mother's profession as a teacher

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Willie Taylor describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Willie Taylor talks about his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Willie Taylor recalls his parents' move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Willie Taylor describes his father's quartet singing group

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Willie Taylor talks about his father's roles on 'I Love a Mystery'

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Willie Taylor describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Willie Taylor remembers his neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Willie Taylor recalls his early musical talent

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Willie Taylor remembers Forrestville Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Willie Taylor remembers the rationing during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Willie Taylor describes his experiences at Dunbar Vocational High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Willie Taylor remembers his Boy Scout troop

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Willie Taylor talks about his early interest in engineering

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Willie Taylor recalls working as a tester at Spiegel, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Willie Taylor describes his early employment

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Willie Taylor talks about his experiences in the U.S. Army Signal Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Willie Taylor remembers Wilson Junior College in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Willie Taylor recalls meeting and marrying his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Willie Taylor remembers the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Willie Taylor describes the founding of Sonicraft, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Willie Taylor recalls the early contracts at Sonicraft Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Willie Taylor talks about Sonicraft Inc.'s contract with the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Willie Taylor describes the communications systems developed by Sonicraft Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Willie Taylor recalls the locations of the Sonicraft, Inc. facilities

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Willie Taylor describes the production system at Sonicraft, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Willie Taylor reflects upon his achievements and challenges at Sonicraft, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Willie Taylor describes his role as the vice president of Sonicraft, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Willie Taylor remembers the downfall of Sonicraft, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Willie Taylor recalls his organizational memberships at Sonicraft, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Willie Taylor remembers working with Chicago Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Willie Taylor talks about the importance of business networks

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Willie Taylor talks about the contemporary telecommunications industry

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Willie Taylor talks about his work with the eta Creative Arts Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Willie Taylor describes the eta Creative Arts Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Willie Taylor talks about the history of Brazos Valley, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Willie Taylor describes the Brazo Valley African American Museum in Bryan, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Willie Taylor describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Willie Taylor reflects upon his life and legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Willie Taylor talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Willie Taylor talks about his civic life in Chicago, Illinois and Bryan, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Willie Taylor describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Willie Taylor narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

10$3

DATitle
Willie Taylor describes the communications systems developed by Sonicraft Inc.
Willie Taylor reflects upon his achievements and challenges at Sonicraft, Inc.
Transcript
Now, some of the other--what were some of the other projects? I got some written here, but what were some of the other projects of, of Sonicraft [Sonicraft, Inc., Chicago, Illinois]?$$Well, you know, we did a contract where we developed a communications, secure communications for the Air Force One that--so that it would be able to broadcast, you know, in conditions of, you know, air--atmospheric interference. And so we had that one. That, that was one of the major contracts that we were able to acquire and that was in the early '80s [1980s] that we got, got that. And that was to develop it, to also test it, and also to install it and to do field testing, and then to--if necessary, to build additional units. We did build additional units for the--as backup for those items. And then we did what was called a precision approach path indicator. That was for FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] for guiding planes onto runways. We also did omnidirection lighting systems for lighting, for giving lighting systems to--also at airports. And we also did the transmissometer calibrator that was to calibrate light transmission along runways, that they could measure the light so that if a plane was landing or something, they would know how far the plane lights would be able to come down. And we also did a lot of them for the [U.S.] Navy. We--not only the shipboard things, but we did the--we developed one for measuring the depth of the water or depth of anything within the water, and that was for the National Oceanographic Association [sic. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration]. We also did one for their buoy systems. You know, they have buoys all over the, the--large buoy systems for ships and for guiding around certain structures, that we developed a communication system for controlling the--controlling those buoys out there. At one time, they had people that they would put in those buoys. People don't know it, but they have buoys that's, that's almost as large as this room here below water, you know. You, you don't see it. You just see the thing sticking up with the light.$$Just the top of it, yeah.$$But, down below, they have a place for them to sleep, you know, and they have a toilet, you know, and those facilities down below that deck, and they also have generators for electricity and everything. So, what we did is we built a system to take the place of a person there and mainly that person was to make sure the communications, the light and everything else was working properly. So, we built a system to do all that monitoring. And if the generator go down--'cause there was two generators there, so that if one go down, you could start the other one and, and send a signal back saying one of my generators went bad. Or if the light goes bad, you can send back and say the light is bad. And you don't have to have anyone out there 'cause nobody wanted to stay out there, but they were, were forced to go out there, you know, but that was their job.$$I would imagine that would be a lonely assignment.$$Yeah, right. So, anyway, we built that for the [U.S.] Coast Guard. That was one of their projects that we did. So, we've done a lot of programs. We also did a communications network for jeeps and vehicles that, that you can install within the jeeps or trucks and also the--we had the handheld walkie-talkies that we developed. So, we've done a, a lot of developing. At one time, we had upwards of five hundred employees and we were--had facilities at five locations. There was two locations in Chicago [Illinois] and then we have one in Washington [D.C.], one in Massachusetts, and another one in--I forget where that fifth one was. But, anyway, we had, you know, locations all over the United States, mainly close to the installations.$Now, what, what was the high point of, of Sonicraft [Sonicraft, Inc., Chicago, Illinois] when you were there?$$Well, the high point I believe was when we had--we went into a contract with AT&T [AT&T Inc.] in which we were doing a design and development job for FAA [Federal Aviation Administration], and this was to upgrade all of their communications equipment at airports, and that was a major contract that would've lasted somewhere on the order of ten to twenty years.$$Okay.$$And that was the, the high point of, of all the years, that was the contract, you know, that we had come up to.$$Okay. Is there--is there--was there ever a time when it looked like the whole thing was gonna cave in?$$Oh, we had those, too. I mean, you don't--you don't be (laughter) in business without that. I mean, not and, and grow and expand. You know, the--I mean, you gotta be able to flex when it's required and also to--if you gotta back off sometimes, you have to back off. But, we learned that early on, that the key was not to try to cover anything up or to get around things, to go ahead and hit it head on and go ahead and be truthful about what you found and to quickly get back to the customer and, therefore, sit down and see what you can do to resolve it. And usually, if you--and you have a reasonable customer, they want it resolved, too, 'cause they want to go ahead and be successful. So--but, yes, you, you will find out that, yes, you will run into those pitfalls and those pits that you gotta get down in and dig your way out. Somehow, you gotta get out of them, you know. And usually, like I was saying, you find that they, they--as you grow and you become more--I would say more adaptable, you will find that the--it's, it's less and less of them and they're less severe. And so, you know, that's--and you get that mainly from experience. A lot of it you will not get from books or anything else. You know, you get it from experience. And one of the things that I found out is that you can't really take anything for--you can't take it lightly and, and don't try to go around and skip items. You know, don't--go ahead and do it, you know, especially--one of the, the key elements we had is that we did a lot of testing. Our testing costs and our testing criteria was the highest element of what we were involved with, was in the testing, especially with the government and especially with [U.S.] military and especially also with the FAA.$$Now, now, did, did the government provide much oversight in terms of coming in and inspecting stuff and monitoring--$$Oh, yeah, we had inspectors that were permanent. You know, they, they were there every day and they would walk out to see what you're doing and also see whether you're following the specifications. So, we had permanent FAA inspectors, permanent government inspectors, and we also had permanent inspectors like when we were doing work for Ford Motor [Ford Motor Company]--Ford had their own inspectors. And also, other companies have their inspectors that come in. So, you had inspectors all the time. You always had inspectors. And so, therefore, that also kept you so that you were pretty rigorous, you know, with your operations and that, you know, you wanted all of the personnel to be rigorous and also to be, you know, quality conscious 'cause, you know, that's something that no one, especially nowadays, will accept anything less than the best of quality.

Reginald Hudlin

Reginald Alan Hudlin was born on December 15, 1961, in Centreville, Missouri. He was raised in East St. Louis, Illinois, by his parents Warrington W. Hudlin, Sr. and Helen (Cason) Hudlin. In 1983, Hudlin received his B.A. degree from Harvard University where his senior thesis project was the first version of the film, House Party. Hudlin was supported as an artist-in-residence by the Illinois Arts Council from 1984 to 1985.

At the age of seventeen, Hudlin co-founded the non-profit Black Filmmakers Foundation (BFF) with his brother, Warrington Hudlin, Jr., in 1978. The brothers then formed Hudlin Bros., Inc., a production company which made several popular music videos for MCA and Polygram Records for artists like Heavy D and the Boyz, Guy and Blue Magic. In 1990, Hudlin expanded his Harvard thesis project into the full length feature film House Party, starring the rap duo Kid ‘N Play. Hudlin directed the hit movie Boomerang in 1992, starring Eddie Murphy. Later that year, Hudlin co-executive produced Bebe’s Kids, an animated musical comedy based on the comic monologues of the late Robin Harris. In 1994, Hudlin created and directed the animated series Cosmic Slop which combined fantasy and social commentary. He received a Cable Ace Award for his work on Cosmic Slop in 1995.

The Hudlin Brothers then founded Hudlin Bros. Records in 1996 and signed a distribution deal with Epic Records, a division of Sony. Between 1996 and 2002, Hudlin directed or produced a number of films including The Great White Hype (1996), Ride (1998), The Ladies’ Man (2000) and Serving Sara (2002). Starting in 2004, Hudlin began writing the story line for the Marvel Comic series Black Panther, the first modern Black superhero. In 2005, Hudlin co-wrote a comic novel, Birth of a Nation, with The Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder. He also serves as executive producer for the animated version of The Boondocks on the Cartoon Network. On July 12, 2005, Hudlin was named President of Entertainment for Black Entertainment Television (BET) Networks. At BET, Hudlin is chief programming executive in charge of the network’s music, entertainment, specials, sports, news and public affairs, film and program acquisitions, home entertainment and programming development units. Hudlin married Chrisette Suter on November 30, 2002. They have a daughter, Helena Grace, and reside in Los Angeles, California.

Accession Number

A2008.067

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/31/2008 |and| 12/12/2018

Last Name

Hudlin

Maker Category
Schools

Alta Sita Elementary School

St. Francis Xavier School

Assumption Catholic High School

Harvard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Reginald

Birth City, State, Country

Centerville

HM ID

HUD05

Favorite Season

None

Sponsor

Black Entertainment Television

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

12/15/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Indian Food

Short Description

Film director, broadcast executive, and television director Reginald Hudlin (1961 - ) was the president of entertainment for Black Entertainment Television (BET) Networks. He wrote, produced, executive-produced and directed several films and televisions shows including House Party, Boomerang, The Great White Hype, Cosmic Slop,The Bernie Mac Show, Everybody Hates Chris and The Boondocks.

Employment

Black Entertainment Television

Self Employed

University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee

Ogilvy and Mather

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Orange

Timing Pairs
0,0:23123,386:36338,620:51383,751:65043,999:68336,1069:78720,1186:81690,1231:83220,1259:90892,1320:95242,1430:100480,1476:101962,1498:102760,1509:104584,1542:110050,1590:110610,1599:111090,1607:111410,1612:112130,1627:112850,1637:115090,1679:126948,1815:128828,1937:130050,1948:135592,1973:136384,1983:136912,1991:141312,2091:146435,2130:147540,2172:150005,2223:150430,2229:151535,2254:151875,2259:154850,2341:155275,2353:156040,2375:167910,2534:168230,2567:170630,2626:178739,2740:179342,2751:187413,2919:187808,2925:190968,3095:207604,3317:217960,3425:224160,3490:226899,3543:228393,3592:230966,3626:234701,3708:238480,3713:241840,3786:242400,3794:244240,3827:247360,3888:250800,3937:251520,3954:255400,3959$0,0:2475,75:2925,82:4650,117:5025,123:8400,182:8700,187:9000,192:10200,218:10950,229:19880,380:28112,496:28784,505:35168,669:36092,688:43820,940:66350,1208:68270,1305:73390,1410:89638,1670:91839,1732:92549,1748:93046,1757:94182,1806:99507,1945:109865,2060:114474,2131:121635,2389:129625,2515:130135,2532:153912,2866:155148,2925:164046,3055:165099,3075:172886,3153:173366,3159:173750,3164:174422,3172:180949,3302:184598,3368:186111,3389:190383,3486:200202,3696:212236,3815:217494,3940:219132,3976:230638,4309:256766,4629:262500,4729:264944,4775:274032,4865:275688,4906:279549,4928:286568,5055:294225,5201:294745,5210:304539,5371:322510,5685
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reginald Hudlin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reginald Hudlin lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reginald Hudlin describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reginald Hudlin describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reginald Hudlin describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reginald Hudlin describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reginald Hudlin talks about his paternal aunts and uncles

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reginald Hudlin describes his father's professions

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reginald Hudlin describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reginald Hudlin recalls his father's personality and discipline

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reginald Hudlin describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reginald Hudlin describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reginald Hudlin recalls his neighbors in East St. Louis, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reginald Hudlin remembers his childhood adventures in East St. Louis, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reginald Hudlin describes the Katherine Dunham Centers for Arts and Humanities in East St. Louis, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reginald Hudlin talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reginald Hudlin describes his relationship with his brothers

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reginald Hudlin talks about his paternal family's dinnertime activities

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reginald Hudlin describes his early interest in storytelling and comic books

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reginald Hudlin describes his brother's academic success

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reginald Hudlin talks about his experiences in private schools

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reginald Hudlin remembers Mor Thiam

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reginald Hudlin describes how he came to attend the Assumption Catholic High School in East St. Louis, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reginald Hudlin describes his early interest in filmmaking

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reginald Hudlin recalls the television programs of his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reginald Hudlin describes his decision to enroll at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reginald Hudlin talks about his introduction to independent filmmaking

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reginald Hudlin remembers his classmates at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reginald Hudlin describes his first day at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reginald Hudlin reflects upon his time at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reginald Hudlin talks about the black community at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Reginald Hudlin describes his film assignments at Harvard University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reginald Hudlin remembers creating his short film, 'House Party'

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reginald Hudlin talks about his influences as a filmmaker

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reginald Hudlin recalls his start as an independent filmmaker

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reginald Hudlin describes his break into the motion picture industry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reginald Hudlin recalls New Line Cinema's purchase of 'House Party'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reginald Hudlin remembers the Black Filmmaker Foundation's film festivals

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reginald Hudlin talks about the rise of African American popular culture

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reginald Hudlin recalls the production of his feature film, 'House Party'

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reginald Hudlin remembers the cast of 'House Party'

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
Reginald Hudlin remembers his childhood adventures in East St. Louis, Illinois
Reginald Hudlin describes his break into the motion picture industry
Transcript
And, we'd go ride bikes or whatever, and we went to red hill. You know, a lot of the kind of, you know, when you go on kind of a, an adventure trip, kind of a Huck Finn [Huckleberry Finn] type thing with your boys. It was always somewhere profoundly unhealthy (laughter). Because East St. Louis [Illinois] is full of all these bad post-industrial wastelands, right. So, you'd go to red hill, which was some kind of mining thing. So, literally, it was this big hill, or you know, kind of thing you would climb and it was all red. Kind of a red smudge, sand combination. I don't know why it was red. Maybe it was red clay that had been churned or whatever. So, it felt like you were on Mars. And, you'd be walking, then you see these bones. And, you're like, "Where are those bones from?" And, someone would say, "From the pack of wild dogs." Which was, you know, it probably--I mean, or were there wild dogs there? Absolutely (laughter). Were there feral dogs roaming through red hill? Yes. Which of course, for the excitement of going to red hill (laughter). What--was that a leftover bone from one? I don't know. But, it was part of the excitement. Or, it was a big grain factory. Not factory, but, you know, they would store the grains and the trains would come and load up. And, one day that caught fire. And, it was amazing 'cause it was a giant fire. So, of course, everyone comes to watch the fire. And, all of a sudden you heard all the popcorn pop (makes noise). But, like, it sounded like Iraq. And, then the popcorn smell. Then the smell of burnt popcorn which is not so fun. So, what was left of that plant, we'd go rummaging around in, just like an old factory, weed covered, and you'd see a mattress and then somebody would say, "Man, you should bring a girl out there. It's a mattress." And, you'd be like, "How's that supposed to work?" Some mattress in a weedy lot. That's not romantic (laughter). And, then there was a, there was, there was this elaborate sprinkler system, right. And, there's this, and there was water and kids were literally playing in this. And, we were like, "That is chemical water." That's some kind of fertilizer or something. So, like, I don't know what kind of chromosomal damage those kids got from playing in that water, but I knew not to get in it. And, on occasions you'd look down there and a snake would just pop out. We were like, "Ho! It's chemical water and it's a snake" (laughter). We were--they were like, "Whatever, it's all good," (laughter). Or, we would walk down to Lincoln Park [East St. Louis, Illinois], which was the park. And, none of us knew how to swim. But, each of us knew a little bit of how to swim. So, we were determined to teach each other how to swim. And, we each learned as much as three kids who don't know how to swim (laughter) could learn. Eventually, I took real swimming lessons but (laughter). So, yeah, it was, we had--and there were apple trees. So, there'd be apple wars where you know, you go--a big thing full of apples and they're hard apples, they're not ripe yet. So, you throw 'em (gesture), right and they would sting. So, you'd be running through the neighborhood (gesture), you know, hitting people, attacking people, which is, you know--and, that's not nearly as bad a chat war. And, chat are those little smooth stones that you put in a driveway or whatever. And, now that could put your eye out (laughter). So, there would be that kind of action too.$$So, you're describing a typically boy, young, adventuresome boys--?$$(Nods head).$$Playing, playing in the neighborhood.$$I mean, there were some like heavier stuff like, the park I remember, you know, occasionally they'd be like a gang fight and they'd be some people pulling out guns and stuff. So, yeah, it sometimes it would go to another level. But, again, that's before drugs became big. I mean, in the '60s [1960s] it was not the same kind of thing as later when drugs drove the stakes up really high.$And, then 'She's Gotta Have It' came out and everything changes.$$So, tel- that's what I was gonna ask 'cause 'She's Gotta Have It' came out in 1985 [sic. 1986].$$Um-hm.$$Right? So, what does that, what do you mean by everything changes?$$Well, all of sudden Hollywood's like, "Hey, there's another kind of filmmaker that's resonating with the audience. We don't know how to make that. Let's figure out who these people are. Is there another one? Can we buy it?" I remember a big party at Nelson George's house and, you know, Nelson is the hub of all things. In fact, if you haven't done Nelson, you really--$$We haven't done--I don't remember--$$That's the number one person you need to profile in this thing (laughter). It's like what you need, a day (laughter). So, we're at Nelson's house, so [HistoryMaker] Russell Simmons is there. And, I know he's working on--he's planning this movie called 'Tougher Than Leather,' and I'm pleading with him to let him--let me direct 'Tougher Than Leather.' He's like no my partner is gonna direct it. And, later I find out he's just like, "Who's this Harvard [Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts] guy? He doesn't know anything about hip hop and wants to do this movie?" So, I was like--and, Spike [Spike Lee] gives me script. 'Cause Spike lives down the street.$$Now, do you--how did you meet Spike? Like, I mean, do you know him at this point? And, I'm just wondering if he was in the BFF [Black Filmmaker Foundation] circle or not?$$Yeah. What happened was, Warrington [Hudlin's brother, Warrington Hudlin] in 1979, 1980, does this big film conference in New York [New York], and everyone's there. There's filmmakers from Africa, all kinds of folks. [HistoryMaker] Julie Dash is there. Just all kinds of folks are there. And, there is this film student from NYU [New York University, New York, New York], comes in at the last minute. Warrington waives the fee, lets him in. And, he shows his first film, 'The Answer,' which is a student film. He's doing it at NYU. So, that's when I meet Spike. So, Spike's there and he goes, "Yeah, A and M Films want me to do the Otis Redding story. I don't wanna do it. I gave him your name Reggie [HistoryMaker Reginald Hudlin]. Here's the script." So, I'm like, 'Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay' [ph.]. Fine, I'm in." So, I'm so--I call them up--$$Wait, but year is this? I'm sorry.$$Oh, I'm sorry. This was (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) 'Sittin' on the Dock of Bay'? I mean--okay.$$No, no. This was, this was--$$Is this, this is not a--$$This is eighty--what year did 'She's Gotta Have It' come out?$$Eighty-five [1985].$$Yeah. Eighty-five [1985]. It's '85 [1985].$$Okay.$$So, I called them on Sunday. (Laughter) 'Cause I'm like, "Hey, I want a job." So, finally I get a call back. And, they go--I said, "Well, I love Otis Redding." They said, "Okay. But, we're not doing that movie. We're gonna do a movie, 'Janet Jackson and The Time'." I'm like, "Whoa. That beats Otis, Otis Redding any day," (laughter). So, I get my--they fly me out to Hollywood. I get my first Hollywood job writing the movie 'Janet Jackson and The Time,' which never happens. But, the money from writing that script--for, A, I learned how to write a script. I had never written hundred pages of anything--$$Wait a minute, okay. Okay, Spike Lee has success with 'She's Gotta Have It,' okay. Then they contact him, am I--$$About an Otis Redding movie.$$Otis Redding movie.$$So, I--$$But, he doesn't wanna do it?$$No. He says, "You should call Reggie, he's talented." So, I call them, they call me back. They say, "But, great we wanna meet with you but not about the Otis Redding movie. About this movie with Janet Jackson and The Time," which is a hundred times more interesting than Otis Redding. So, they fly me out, and A and M Films has the old Charlie Chaplin Studios [A and M Studios; Jim Henson Company Lot, Los Angeles, California].$$Can I just ask, are you showing anything? I mean, do they wanna see some of your work?$$Yeah. I showed 'em--$$Okay.$$--'House Party,' and you know.$$They like--okay.$$Yeah. Well, it was, you know, one of those people. It's interesting--$$(Laughter).$$--like now, if you've written a black play on the Chitlin' Circuit like Tyler Perry, you can get a job in Hollywood, okay. So, that's what it was for black film in '85 [1985]. So, they were like, like you're a kid, you're paying your tui- like, nothing to lose, right. So, they fly me out, (makes noise) give me the job. I'm like, "How can I write a hundred pages?" If, if you took everything I wrote all together it's not a hundred pages (laughter), right. So, I write this script. It's a hundred and fifty pages of mess. So, the executive works with me and we beat it into shape. And, you know, and it's still not great but, it's a, kind of a movie. But, then you know, it goes nowhere, right. But, with that movie, I have enough money to buy a computer. And, with a computer I can write, I don't have to write longhand and ask some friend of my brother's to type it on a computer. So, I buy a computer, and that's then I write the spec for 'House Party.'$$So, how much did you get paid on that job? That first job, do you remember?$$Forty thousand dollars I think, forty-five thousand, something like that. They just gave me money. I mean, from what I've been living on. You know, 'cause I said, "I can buy a computer and still catch cabs." 'Cause, I always says, "My thing is like, I'm the guy going home with my date at three in the morning on the subway." So, I'm like, "I can catch a subway [sic. cab] late at night." I was living. I was balling out. I could eat in a restaurant. (Laughter) You know, I was balling out.

Simon Estes

Renowned opera singer and educator Simon Estes was born on March 2, 1938, in Centerville, Iowa. Estes is the youngest of three siblings. Raised in a spiritually-centered family, Estes sang in his church choir as a young boy and throughout his young educational years.

Estes began his university career as a pre-med student in 1957 at the University of Iowa. In 1961, a voice teacher, Mr. Charles Kellis, heard Estes sing in one of the university choirs. Kellis introduced Estes to several classical recordings which led Estes to change his professional career path to singing. Upon graduating from the University of Iowa, Estes enrolled in the Juilliard School in 1964. In 1965, he received a music grant from the NAACP and the New York City Trust Fund to audition for the role of Ramfis in Aida. Estes was cast in the role, and made his professional debut at the Deutsche Opera in Berlin. He later won third prize in the Munich International Music Competition in 1965 and the bronze medal at the 1966 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Also in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson invited Estes to sing at the White House.

Estes has performed at many major opera houses around the world, and with top opera singers including Leontyne Price and Luciano Pavarotti. Some of his most memorable operatic performances have been performing for Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town, South Africa, and in The Flying Dutchman and Porgy and Bess. Estes also sang at the 1999 Nobel Prize Committee where he was introduced to Nelson Mandela.

In 1999, Estes published his autobiography, Simon Estes: In His Own Voice. Estes has worked as a voice, humanities, and foreign language professor at Iowa State University, Boston University, and Wartburg College. He has also established several foundations including the Simon Estes Iowa Educational Foundation; The Simon Estes Music High School near Cape Town, South Africa; and the Switzerland-based Simon Estes International Foundation for Children.

Accession Number

A2006.011

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/6/2006

Last Name

Estes

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Centerville Campus of Indian Hills Community College

University of Iowa

Centerville High School

First Name

Simon

Birth City, State, Country

Centerville

HM ID

EST01

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Iowa

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

Let's Love Each Other As Neighbors

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

3/2/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken, Corn (Cob)

Short Description

Opera singer Simon Estes (1938 - ) has performed all over the world, with all major international opera companies and in over one hundred roles. He was the first African American male artist to sing at the Bayreuth Festival.

Employment

The Juilliard School

Favorite Color

Beige, Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Simon Estes' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Simon Este defines opera

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Simon Estes lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Simon Estes describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Simon Estes talks about his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Simon Estes describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Simon Estes describes his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Simon Estes describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Simon Estes describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Simon Estes recounts the discrimination that led to his father's premature death

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Simon Estes recalls his mother's lessons in facing discrimination

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Simon Estes describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Simon Estes describes his childhood home

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Simon Estes describes his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Simon Estes recalls his childhood neighbors' occupations

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Simon Estes describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Simon Estes describes his family life growing up, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Simon Estes describes his family life growing up, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Simon Estes recalls his parents' pride in his accomplishments

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Simon Estes reflects upon the power of encouragement

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Simon Estes describes the role of religion in his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Simon Estes describes Second Baptist Church in Centerville, Iowa

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Simon Estes reminisces about his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Simon Estes recalls his early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Simon Estes remembers his time in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Simon Estes recalls discrimination in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Simon Estes remembers joining the Centerville High School choir

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Simon Estes talks about singing in junior high school

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Simon Estes recalls attending Centerville High School

Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Simon Estes describes his experience of segregation in Iowa

Tape: 2 Story: 17 - Simon Estes recalls his favorite subjects at Centerville High School

Tape: 2 Story: 18 - Simon Estes recalls transferring from Centerville Junior College to the University of Iowa

Tape: 2 Story: 19 - Simon Estes recalls being the first black member of the University of Iowa's The Old Gold Singers

Tape: 2 Story: 20 - Simon Estes remembers joining the Deutsche Oper Berlin

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Simon Estes recalls his performance at the International Tchaikovsky Competition

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Simon Estes recounts his teaching at The Juilliard School in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Simon Estes describes the discrimination he faced from American opera houses

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Simon Estes recounts his most memorable performances in Europe

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Simon Estes talks about his family

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Simon Estes describes founding the Simon Estes Music High School in South Africa

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Simon Estes recalls founding the Simon Estes Educational Foundation

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Simon Estes describes his philanthropic efforts and his honors in Iowa

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Simon Estes relates stories that he shares with his students at Boston University

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Simon Estes recalls meeting Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela and HistoryMaker Maya Angelou

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Simon Estes remembers meeting President Lyndon Baines Johnson

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Simon Estes describes his 102nd operatic role

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Simon Estes explains how opera roles are chosen

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Simon Estes describes his gift for memorization

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Simon Estes shares his plans for the future

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Simon Estes describes how his voice has changed during his career

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Simon Estes talks about writing his autobiography

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Simon Estes recalls meeting Roland Hayes

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Simon Estes talks about his awards and honors

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Simon Estes describes his hopes for people of color and women in opera

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Simon Estes describes African Americans' contributions to opera

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Simon Estes describes his frustrations with discrimination in classical music

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Simon Estes reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Simon Estes describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Simon Estes narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

10$1

DATitle
Simon Estes recounts the discrimination that led to his father's premature death
Simon Estes recalls his performance at the International Tchaikovsky Competition
Transcript
I remember after he [Estes' father, Simon Estes] passed away in 1961, really due to a sociological problem which we call discrimination, in a certain hospital. I was a student at the University of Iowa [Iowa City, Iowa], my mother [Ruth Jeter Estes] said, "Son come, son come to the hospital immediately, your father is very ill." And I went there my dad was crying tears, "Ah, oh my stomach hurts." I can still remember this. He said, "My stomach hurts, please do something," and they had said that he had a heart problem. My father had no history of heart problems at all. So I went to a doctor who was looking after my father, and I stopped him in the corridor, I said, "I'm [HistoryMaker] Simon Estes, I'm a student at the University of Iowa, that's my father, very ill." I said, "My father, I wondered will you get a cardiologist to check my father." He said, "A what?" I said, "A cardiologist." He said, "Where did you learn that word? What is a cardiologist?" Well, immediately the light bulbs went in, went on, I thought, uh oh, he's upset, 'cause I was in pre-med. So I wasn't trying to show off or anything, I was just trying to like talk in his language. I said, "Well, why are you asking me that?" I said, "Cardio, meaning vascular and logos, a Greek stem of the word meaning to study, to study the heart, a heart specialist." I said, "But my father's not complaining about any pains in his thoracic area or his arm," I said, "He's, I think my," oh no it wasn't, I thought the speaker fell off. What is that? It is, is that?$$(OFF CAMERA VOICE): Yeah, put it on top of the mic. Thanks.$$Is that okay?$$(OFF CAMERA VOICE): Yeah, mic's good.$$I don't have one. Does it make any difference?$$(OFF CAMERA VOICE): No.$$And so, he, he said, "Well I'm a doctor of internal medicine" and then "As you know, the heart's on the inside of the body so that's in my area." He said, "He's an old man, he's probably going to die anyhow." And I really sensed, he did not say this, but I sensed he wanted to say, "He's an old black man, it's time for him to die, anyhow" but he didn't put the word black or colored, he probably would've said colored, he's an old colored man, and I said, "Well you have to understand," I said, "My father is really crying out, he's asking me to help." I said, "I love my father and so I'm representing my mother, my sisters [Patricia Estes, Erdyne Estes Whiteside, and Westella Estes]," or whatever else I said to him, I said, "So I just wanted to see if we could find out if it's not his heart. Will you check something else?" I said, "Because he's complaining of pains in his abdomen." "Well, I'm doing all I can do for him. If you want me to withdraw from the case, I will." We had no money to pay. He's in a hospital, he didn't have to pay. I said, "Well I don't want you to withdraw." My father died, it was either that same night or the next night. We had an autopsy performed, he died of a ruptured appendix, and see that didn't have to be. But to let you know the faith of my mother and the way my father and mother both trained us, my mother said to me, "Son," she said, "even though that doctor might have been responsible for your father's premature death, you must not hate him, you must pray for him."$Nineteen sixty-five [1965], West Berlin, Germany, 1966, Moscow [Russia], tell me about what happened in '66 [1966]?$$Well, I was, I was singing in that opera house [Deutsche Oper Berlin] in Germany, in Berlin, and also in Lubeck, Germany and I came back to the states for something and the state department [U.S. Department of State] heard about my having won third prize in the Munich [Germany] international competition [ARD International Music Competition] in 1965, and that I was singing in an opera house in Germany. And to this day I don't know how they knew and yet they invited me down, and I went down and spoke to some people in New York City and they said, this is the first year they're having the Tchaikovsky Competition [International Tchaikovsky Competition] open to singers, vocalists, we would like to send you there, the state department, and represent the United States. I was honored and they, I said, "But what are the requirements?" Well you had to sing a certain number of songs in Russian, I said, "I don't know any Russian." They said, "We'll send you some money, you can study Russian." And I went back to Germany, at the opera house [Theater Lubeck] in Lubeck where I was singing at that time, the money never arrived. It was something told me to go, kind of like, something said for me to, that other situation I told you about. And so, I, I went ahead and went. I flew from East Berlin [Germany] to Moscow with Aeroflot, this horrible Russian airline, and a lady sitting next to me was a German, it was a Russian movie actress who spoke German and I spoke a little German at that time so she asked why I was going, I told her. I said, "Could you tell me a song that is a very famous Tchai- song by Tchaikovsky [Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky] that I could sing," and she taught it to me, she said, "Yes, 'Ni slova, O drug moy,' which means 'Not a word, O my friend.'" And so I learned that song phonetically, from East Berlin to Moscow because the first round of competition you've got to sing one, you only had to sing one song in Russian. And I sang something in Italian and English, or whatever. So, the first round, I was thrilled, I was, advanced to the second round and they only have three rounds, of course. And so my accompanist's name, her name was Irina Zorina [ph.], I will never forget that, she said, in her broken English, "What sing you the second round of Russian" 'cause you know the Russian, the second round you do three songs in Russian, I said, "Ah, ah, ah, that's, I don't know anything." Well, she almost had a heart attack. "No, you must study hard." To make a long story short, in two days I memorized, it was four songs in Russian and, but in one of the arias from the opera 'Eugene Onegin' [Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky] I forgot a big section of it so I forget, I was finished. Well, because I didn't fall apart, 'cause George London was on the jury, he was one of our great opera baritones in the United States, he has since died, he told me back in America when I came back, because I didn't fall apart because I left out a big section of a big Russian aria from, they advanced me to the finals and they, I ended up winning the, the third prize and the third prize was enough that I got invited to the White House [Washington, D.C.] to sing for President Johnson [President Lyndon Baines Johnson] and that helped catapult my career and then that year I would sing in the Hollywood Bowl [Los Angeles, California] singing Tanglewood [Lenox, Massachusetts] with Erich Leinsdorf that same year and just, my career just took off then. And since then, you know, I've sang in every major opera house in the world.

Reverend Dr. Johnnie Colemon

The Reverend Dr. Johnnie Colemon, founder-minister of Christ Universal Temple, had a message: "Teaching People How To Live Better Lives". Often referred to as the first lady of America's religious community, she was the pastor of the thriving, spirited and progressive New Thought Church, which has nearly 20,000 members. Born in Columbus, Mississippi, Colemon was raised in a rich spiritual environment. Her parents, John and Lula Haley, were active members of the church and encouraged their only child to participate. Colemon demonstrated leadership skills early at Union Academy High School, graduating as valedictorian of her class. She received her B.A. at Wiley College and first became a teacher for the Chicago Public Schools and later an analyst for the Quarter Masters.

Open Your Mind and Be Healed is not only the title of her book, but her remarkable personal story of the use of universal principles of healing. After learning that she had an incurable disease in 1952, with encouragement from her mother, Colemon enrolled in the Unity School of Christianity, Lee's Summit, Missouri, where she received her teaching certificate and became an ordained minister.

Colemon was a builder and a teacher. She built six structures to spread the better living teachings: three churches, two institutions of learning and a restaurant and banquet facility. The first church was Christ Unity Temple built in 1956 and its addition in 1973. The congregation expanded to the current Christ Universal Temple, located on the sprawling campus grounds at 119th Street (named Rev. Johnnie Colemon Drive in 1996) and Ashland Avenue in Chicago. Close to 4,000 people flock every Sunday and are taught how to think, rather than what to think. Her experiences compelled her to share with others: "Change Your Thoughts and Change Your Life." Out of a sense of knowing that a need for a vital, new affiliation of independent New Thought Churches existed, Colemon's dynamic leadership led to the organization of the Universal Foundation for Better Living, Inc., an international association of New Thought Christian Churches and study groups located in the USA and abroad.

Her civic positions include Director of the Chicago Port Authority and Commissioner of the Chicago Transit Authority Oversight Committee, recognition as one of Chicago's Living Legends by the Institute for African American Youth Development. She was honored by DuSable Museum as an African American History Maker.

Colemon was the recipient of numerous honors and awards. She held the distinction of advancing the New Thought movement and received the Minister of the Century from the International New Thought Alliance (INTA). Colemon was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity degree from her alma mater, Wiley College in Wiley, Texas; the degrees of doctor of humane letters and doctor of divinity from Monrovia College, Liberia; and a Ph.D. in humane letters from Gospel Ministry Outreach (GMOR). Other honors include proclamations from the States of Illinois and Michigan; the City of Chicago; the Ohio House of Representatives; the Michigan Legislature; the City of Oakland, California; Miami, Florida and many others.

Colemon passed away on December 23, 2014 at the age of 94.

Accession Number

A2000.016

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

6/15/2000

Last Name

Colemon

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Union Academy High School

Wiley College

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Johnnie

Birth City, State, Country

Centerville

HM ID

COL01

Favorite Season

February

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

2/18/1920

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbecue (Ribs)

Death Date

12/23/2014

Short Description

Minister Reverend Dr. Johnnie Colemon (1920 - 2014 ) was the pastor of the New Thought Church, which has nearly 20,000 members. Colemon was the founder of Christ Universal Temple, the largest African American-owned public facility in Chicago.

Employment

Chicago Public Schools

Christ Universal Temple

New Thought Church

Favorite Color

None

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Johnnie Colemon interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Johnnie Colemon's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Johnnie Colemon describes her relationship with her father

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Johnnie Colemon remembers her grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Johnnie Colemon remembers her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Johnnie Colemon recalls her home life

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Johnnie Colemon describes her childhood environs, Columbus, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Johnnie Colemon describes a happy childhood experience

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Johnnie Colemon recalls her early interest in playing the saxophone

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Johnnie Colemon shares her personal philosophy

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Johnnie Colemon explains her choice of college

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Johnnie Colemon discusses her activities while at Wiley College, Marshall, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Johnnie Colemon reflects on the death of her father

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Johnnie Colemon discusses her early awareness of skin color

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Johnnie Colemon remembers her post-college pursuits

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Johnnie Colemon recalls her early occupational changes

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Johnnie Colemon recounts her experience at the Unity School of Christianity, Unity Village, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Johnnie Colemon describes her leadership roles in the Unity Church

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Johnnie Colemon recalls her efforts to integrate Missouri hotels

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Johnnie Colemon discusses her religious philosophy and the expansion of her ministry

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Johnnie Colemon speaks about her vocation

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Johnnie Colemon describes her relationship with the Divine

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Johnnie Colemon talks about the healing process

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Johnnie Colemon discusses her belief in reincarnation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Johnnie Colemon explains the beliefs of her church, particularly with regards to the individual

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Johnnie Colemon discusses the role of women in the church

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Johnnie Colemon describes the impact she has had on others through her ministry

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Johnnie Colemon discusses ministering to Della Reese and Ben Vereen

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Johnnie Colemon considers her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Johnnie Colemon shares her views on the future through the interviewer

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Johnnie Colemon advises Julieanna Richardson on following her own vocation

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Johnnie Colemon speculates on what her father might think of her success

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Johnnie Colemon addresses the allegation that her church is a cult

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Johnnie Colemon relates her understanding of the spirit, soul and body

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Johnnie Colemon shares her hopes for the African American community and reiterates her views on race