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The Honorable James Clyburn

United States Congressman James Enos "Jim" Clyburn was born on July 21, 1940 in Sumter, South Carolina to Enos Lloyd Clyburn, a fundamentalist minister, and Almeta Clyburn, a beautician. Clyburn was elected president of his NAACP youth chapter when he was twelve years old, and went on to help organize many civil rights marches and demonstrations as a student leader at South Carolina State College (now South Carolina State University), where he graduated in 1962 with his B.S. degree in history. He later attended the University of South Carolina Law School.

Upon graduation from South Carolina State College, Clyburn was hired as a social studies teacher at C.A. Brown High School in Charleston, South Carolina. From 1965 to 1971, he worked as an employment counselor, a director of youth programs and led the South Carolina Farm Workers Commission. After an unsuccessful run for the South Carolina General Assembly, Clyburn joined the staff of Governor John C. West in 1971 and was appointed as the first minority advisor to a South Carolina governor. In 1974, he was named the South Carolina Human Affairs Commissioner. He served in that position until 1992 when he stepped down to run for U.S. Congress. In November of 1992, Clyburn was elected the U.S. Representative for South Carolina's 6th Congressional District, becoming the state’s first African American to serve in Congress since 1897.

As a Congressman, Clyburn was elected co-president of his freshman class in 1993, and was unanimously elected chair of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1998. In 2002, he won an election among three House members to serve as vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus. Clyburn rose to the position of caucus chair in January 2006, and in 2007, he became the first South Carolinian to serve as house majority whip. In 2011, he became the assistant house democratic leader and the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives.

Clyburn has served as Steering Committee Chairman for the International Museum of African American History in Charleston, South Carolina, and as a member of the governing boards of Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina; Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina; and The Palmetto Conservation Foundation. In addition, he has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees by numerous colleges and universities, and has authored two books: Uncommon Courage: The Story of Briggs V. Elliott, South Carolina's Unsung Civil Rights Battle (2004); and Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black (2014).

Clyburn and his wife, Emily, live in Columbia, South Carolina. They have three daughters: Mignon, Jennifer Reed, and Angela Hannibal.

U.S. Congressman Jim Clyburn was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 20, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.108

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/20/2014

Last Name

Clyburn

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Enos

Occupation
Schools

Boylan-Haven-Mather Academy

South Carolina State University

Lincoln High School

Liberty Street School

Savage Glover School

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Sumter

HM ID

CLY01

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

While I Breathe, I Hope.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

7/21/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish (Fried)

Short Description

U.S. congressman The Honorable James Clyburn (1940 - ) , assistant house democratic leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, was elected to Congress in 1992. He was the author of 'Uncommon Courage: The Story of Briggs V. Elliott, South Carolina's Unsung Civil Rights Battle' and 'Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black.'

Employment

C.A. Brown High School

SC Employment Security Commission

Neighborhood Youth Corps and New Careers

SC Commission for Farm Workers

State of South Carolina

SC Human Affairs Commission

U.S. House of Representatives

Favorite Color

Gray

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable James Clyburn's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable James Clyburn lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable James Clyburn describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable James Clyburn talks about his family's affiliation with the Church of God

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable James Clyburn talks about his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable James Clyburn describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable James Clyburn describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable James Clyburn talks about George Washington Murray

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable James Clyburn talks about his research on George Washington Murray

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable James Clyburn describes the end of George Washington Murray's political career

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable James Clyburn talks about Francis L. Cardozo

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable James Clyburn talks about the decision of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable James Clyburn talks about the importance of historical fact checking

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable James Clyburn describes his father's experiences at Morris College, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable James Clyburn describes his father's experiences at Morris College, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable James Clyburn talks about his father's honorary degree from Morris College

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable James Clyburn talks about his father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable James Clyburn describes his father's first wife

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable James Clyburn describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable James Clyburn lists his siblings

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable James Clyburn describes his relationship with his brothers

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable James Clyburn recalls a lesson from his father about diplomacy

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable James Clyburn describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable James Clyburn remembers his neighborhood in Sumter, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable James Clyburn describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable James Clyburn remembers Lincoln High School in Sumter, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable James Clyburn recalls his early influences

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable James Clyburn remembers enrolling at the Mather Academy in Camden, South Carolina

DASession

1$1

DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
The Honorable James Clyburn describes his earliest childhood memory
The Honorable James Clyburn talks about his mother's education
Transcript
Now I'm going to go way back for a minute covering some real early ground, do you have an earliest childhood memory?$$My earliest childhood memory is in my mother's kindergarten. I remember being in kindergarten. My mom [Almeta Dizzley Clyburn] started a kindergarten in our church. I guess I was about four or five, four years old or was four because I went to regular school at five, and neighborhood children attended the kindergarten. It was not a big kindergarten, but I remember. Those are my earliest memories of being in my mother's kindergarten.$What did your mother [Almeta Dizzley Clyburn] say about growing up? I mean, or what was your sense of what her growing up was like?$$Well my mom was a very interesting woman. I don't know how she did it but my grandfather [John Dizzley], her father was all about the land, farming. Back in those days every--all the famers had big families. There were thirteen children. My mom--for how she did it, I don't know. She talked her grandfather [sic.] into letting her go away to school. She became the first one in the family to finish high school because they grew up, they got old enough they worked on the farm--that was it. Now a lot of them you know to escape their life, left and went north. My mom never did. She went to Camden [South Carolina], twenty-two miles away and lived in with a family. That's basically looked upon today as a Chicago [Illinois] family but they're rooted in Camden, South Carolina, the Dibbles. She lived with the Dibbles, kept house for them and in return they sent her across the street to Mather Academy [Camden, South Carolina]. When she went there it was called Browning home [Browning Model Home and Industrial School]. In later years, it became Browning Home Mather Academy [Browning Industrial Home and Mather Academy], and even later years after I graduated from what was then Mather Academy, it became Boylan-Haven-Mather Academy after combining with a, with a similar school in Florida [Boylan-Haven School, Jacksonville, Florida]. So my mom went there through the tenth grade. When she and my dad [Enos Clyburn] decided to get married, she decided to transfer from Mather Academy across the street to the public high school which was Jackson. Now the reason for that was because Mather Academy being a private school, sponsored by the United Methodist Church required twelve years to graduate. During this time, the public schools went through the eleventh grade, so in order to finish a year early and get married, she went across to Mather Academy.$$You mean to Jackson?$$Right across.$$Yeah.$$To Jackson High School [Camden, South Carolina].$$Okay.$$And, so she graduated from Jackson High School after going to Mather through the tenth grade.$$Now, do you know--well, one question first of all. The Dibbles she stayed with would they related to Eugene Dibble [Eugene H. Dibble, Jr.], the doctor at Tuskegee [Alabama]?$$Absolutely.$$Okay.$$Absolutely.$$Those are Chicago Dibbles we're talking about?$$That's exactly right.$$They're related to the Robert Taylor. And the Taylors and all of them (unclear) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Sure, the Palmers.$$Yeah.$$And quite frankly if my memory serves, [HistoryMaker] Valerie Jarrett is in that family.$$She certainly is, she is (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah.$$Yeah, so, yeah, that's interesting so, 'cause they do have roots in South Carolina.$$Sure, I knew all of 'em. In fact, they were big property owners. The main street in Camden is Broad Street and they own more property on Broad Street than anybody else back in those days.$$Okay, all right. And, now did--Jackson High School was a colored high school, right, you know?$$Yes.$$And did--was there--now Jackson went to the eleventh grade. Do you know if the white high school went to twelfth?$$No, all public schools went to eleventh grade.$$O- okay, so all of 'em. Okay, all right.$$But the private schools went to the twelfth.$$Okay, all right. And, you know, so if you finished the eleventh grade in Jackson, you could qualify to go to college (unclear) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yes, you were high school--you were a high school graduate.$$Okay, all right, all right, all right. So your mother got married, you know, after she graduated?$$My mother got married, she married my dad. She was my dad's second wife.$$Okay.$$His first wife [Rebecca Rambert Clyburn] died in childbirth.$$All right. Now did your mother--was she at this point, or did she have a--or even before that, this point, did she have aspirations for some career or anything that she wanted to do that she, you know?$$Well, she wanted an education and she basically wanted to go to school, and I'm told that after she and my dad were married, they basically accepted a call to pastor in Sumter [South Carolina] because Morris College was there and they wanted to go a place where they could both go to college.$$Okay.$$And, so that was the reason for going to Sumter where they went before I was born.

The Honorable Andrew Young

Andrew Jackson Young, Jr. was born March 12, 1932 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The son of Andrew Jackson Young, Sr., a dentist and Daisy Fuller Young, a teacher, Young grew up in a hostile multi-ethnic neighborhood where his father taught him how to box for survival. Graduating from Gilbert Academy in 1947, at age fifteen, Young was an avid reader who idolized Dr. Ralph Bunche. Attending Dillard University for a year, Young transferred to Howard University where he was on the track and swim teams. Graduating with a B.S. degree in pre-med in 1951, Young was admitted to Hartford Theological Seminary. In 1952, in Marion, Alabama, he met future wife, Jean Childs, as he pastored summer bible school, studied the works of Ghandi and agitated for voting rights. Later, Young met and befriended Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He earned his B.D. degree from Hartford Theological Seminary in 1955.

A product of the United Church of Christ's American Missionary Association (AMA), Young’s first pastorate was at the AMA-founded Bethany Congregational Church in Thomasville, Georgia. In 1957, he went on to the National Council of Churches in New York to work as associate director for youth work and as an administrator for United Church of Christ’s Christian Education Program. Young moved to Atlanta in 1961 and joined the senior staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Young played a key role in negotiating the 1963 Birmingham desegregation agreement. He would do likewise in Selma, Alabama. After Dr. King’s assassination in 1968, Young helped lead the Poor Peoples Campaign. In 1972, he was elected the first black congressman from Georgia since Jefferson Long, serving in the United States House of Representatives until1976. Young was appointed by President Carter as United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 1977 to 1979 and was Mayor of the City of Atlanta from 1982 to 1990. He was named chairman of the Southern Africa Enterprise Development Fund by President Clinton in 1995. In 1996, Young served as chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and co-chairman for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.

In 2003, Young was elected as the twentieth president of the National Council of Churches in New York. He has received numerous honorary degrees and awards including the Pax Christi Award from St John's University; the NAACP’s 1970 Springarn Medal; the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981; the Alpha Kappa Alpha, Peace and Justice Award in1991; and the ROBIE Award in 1998. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Young is co-chair of Good Works International and a director of the Drum Major Institute. The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University is one of the country's best policy schools.

Young who is an associate pastor of First Congregational Church in Atlanta, is married to the former Carolyn Watson. He and his first wife, the late Jean Childs Young, have four children, Andrea, Lisa, Paula, and Andrew, III.

Young was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 27, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.209

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/27/2005

Last Name

Young

Schools

Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center

Valena C. Jones Elementary School

Dillard University

Hartford Seminary

Howard University

First Name

Andrew

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

YOU04

Favorite Season

None

Sponsor

Herman J. Russell

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

3/12/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Civil rights leader, mayor, cabinet appointee, pastor, and U.S. congressman The Honorable Andrew Young (1932 - ) is a civil rights legend, former U.N. Ambassador, and the former mayor of Atlanta, Georgia.

Employment

United Church of Christ

National Council of Churches

Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Atlanta Community Relations Commission

United States Government

City of Atlanta

GoodWorks International

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating for The Honorable Andrew Young's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his childhood community in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew Young recalls his relationship with his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about his philosophy of "Don't get mad, get smart"

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew Young relates how his maternal ancestors supported themselves in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Andrew Young recalls how some of his maternal ancestors passed for white

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about the moral codes of his father and paternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his paternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew Young recalls his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about the role of sports in his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about his brother, HistoryMaker Dr. Walter Young

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes the role of music in his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his experiences at Valena C. Jones Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Andrew Young recalls a disciplinary incident from third grade at Valena C. Jones Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about the violent atmosphere of Valena C. Jones Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his high school experiences at Gilbert Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his childhood responsibilities within the family

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew Young remembers the murder of his uncle, Walter Fuller

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his childhood dreams and aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes role models from his childhood in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his athletic career at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Andrew Young explains his decision to transfer from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana to Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his academic pursuits during his college years

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his first religious experience

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about the beginnings of his studies of religion

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about his social life at Hartford Theological Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his experiences attending Hartford Theological Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes how he met his wife, Jean Childs Young, while assigned to pastor a church in Marion, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Andrew Young reflects on his experiences living in Europe in 1952

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes events from his senior year at Hartford Theological Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes an encounter with the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about how the business community helps to promote social change

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about the birth of his first two children

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about his support for President Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about how he became involved with the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about working for the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. during the late 1950s

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes running citizenship schools with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about his tenure as executive director of Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about how he led negotiations with the white community during the 1963 Birmingham, Alabama campaign

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about how he became comfortable negotiating with whites

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - List of sponsors for 'An Evening With Andrew Young'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Introduction to 'An Evening With Andrew Young'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - HistoryMaker Charlayne Hunter-Gault introduces Andrew Young

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about his childhood in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - A scene from the Honorable Andrew Young's childhood

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about the educational tradition in which he was raised

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - A scene from the Honorable Andrew Young's college years at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about his calling to religious life

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes meeting his wife, Jean Childs Young in Marion, Alabama

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - A scene from the Honorable Andrew Young's tenure as pastor of Evergreen Congregational Church in Beachton, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes how he first got involved in the Civil Rights Movement as a preacher

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - The Honorable Andrew Young recalls facing and defeating the Ku Klux Klan in Thomasville, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 13 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his tenure working with the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.

Tape: 7 Story: 14 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about returning to the South and getting involved in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Tape: 7 Story: 15 - A scene about the Honorable Andrew Young's work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Tape: 7 Story: 16 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes how Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. assumed leadership of the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 17 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes how Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. assumed leadership of the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 18 - Film clip of the Honorable Andrew Young's political career

Tape: 7 Story: 19 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about being elected to the United States Congress in 1972

Tape: 7 Story: 20 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his tenure as United States Ambassador to the United Nations

Tape: 7 Story: 21 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his tenure as mayor of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 22 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about his work with GoodWorks International, LLC in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 23 - The Honorable Andrew Young reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 24 - Credits for 'An Evening with Andrew Young'

DASession

1$1

DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
The Honorable Andrew Young talks about the beginnings of his studies of religion
The Honorable Andrew Young describes an encounter with the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia
Transcript
Well, that's when [Reverend Dr.] Nicholas Hood [Sr.] had just entered my life. And so when I came back from Kings Mountain [North Carolina], he asked me to drive with him to Texas. Well, I still wasn't quite converted, and my roommate was from San Antonio [Texas]. So I figured I would drive out there with Nick, drop him off at the church conference and go on to San Antonio and, you know, party with my roommate. But we were near San Antonio, but it was about 150 miles more, and Nick Hood and I, two young, black men driving across Texas, and we had not seen anybody black since we left Dallas [Texas]. And this was up in the panhandle. And there was nobody at the conference black. And he said, "You not gonna leave me here by myself, are you?" (Laughter) He said, "You really don't wanna get on that road by yourself and drive another 150 miles." So I ended up staying there, and with daily worship services. And we started every day with a Bible study which he led. And it was though the Bible study was prepared for me--$$(Laughter).$$--though he swears it was something that he had done. I mean the verses, "You did not choose me, I chose you and appointed that you should go and bear fruit, and your fruit should abide." [John 15:16] That was one. "Consider the lilies of the field. They toil not, neither do they spin. Yet Solomon in all his glory is not arrayed like one of these. If God so loves the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, how much more does your Heavenly Father love you?" [Matthew 6:28-30]. I mean it was the first time the Bible actually spoke directly to my condition. And I left there feeling that there had to be a purpose in my life, and that it was probably a religious purpose. Now, because there were no other blacks there, and this was a program hoping to involve young people to recommit their lives to Christ, they invited me to volunteer as a field worker, 'cause there were no black volunteers. So I volunteered and they sent me to Camp [Alexander] Mack in [Milford] Indiana for training. And at Camp Mack, which is a Church of the Brethren camp, I read--somebody gave me my first book on [Mohandas] Gandhi, and then I was sent to Connecticut where I was living on the Hartford [Theological] Seminary [Hartford Seminary, Hartford, Connecticut] campus and decided, since most of my work was with young people after school, and I had nothing much to do until three [o'clock] in the afternoon, I went into the dean and asked if I could audit some courses 'cause I didn't know anything about the Bible. And he said, "Well, if you'd sign up for three, we can probably give you a scholarship. There's a Rockefeller Brothers [Fund] grant for the Negro ministry, and it gives you a year to decide whether you're interested in the ministry or not. And we could--if you'll take three courses, we can give you a scholarship." So I took Old Testament, New Testament and philosophy of religion.$$And so after your mountaintop experience, a defining moment in your life, after your field work or your experience in Texas at the camp and after your field work at Camp Mack, Indiana and your exposure to Gandhi, and your experience taking the courses at Hartford, you felt that your life really had direction.$$It seemed to have a direction.$And I went back then, went back to the same church I'd been at that summer in Thomasville, Georgia. And Maynard Jackson's grandfather [John Wesley Dobbs] was speaking at a voter registration rally--well, actually, I think it was a March of Dimes rally in Columbus [Georgia]. And I went up to hear him, and he asked me, in addition to working for the March of Dimes, he asked, would I be willing to lead a voter registration drive. And I said, sure. But the day I was supposed to--the weekend that I was supposed to lead the voter registration drive, we went up to Albany, Georgia and coming back on a back road, just as we turned around the curve at Doerun, Georgia, right outside of Moultrie [Georgia]. It looked like there were several hundred people with sheets on. There was a gathering of a [Ku Klux] Klan [KKK] rally. Well, I slowed down and eased through the crowd, but my wife [Jean Childs Young] and my three-month old baby [Andrea Young] were in the back seat. And on the way back, we were trying to decide, you know, we had not seen the Klan. We hadn't had any trouble until we put up these signs announcing a voter registration drive. So we figured they were coming to try to intimidate us about voter registration. And there were two things happened that were formative in my life. One, coming out of Hartford [Theological Seminary; Hartford Seminary, Hartford, Connecticut], and Jean was a good, country girl, and one of the things we used to do when we were courting was go back out in the woods with her .22 [rifle] and have a shooting contest. And she could always, I mean we'd stopped off in Coney Island [New York, New York] and at a moving target, she hit sixteen out of twenty. And everything we did was competitive. I mean she'd--so, I mean she could handle a gun with no problem. I said, "Look, if these people come here, you cannot sit here and let them burn down this house." We were in an old house, not unlike this one except that it had not been repaired. We had no carpets on the floor. We were in the process of putting down some linoleum, and putting up sheetrock, and if somebody had thrown a match in there, it would have gone up in smoke. And we were living on the second story. So I said, "I'm gonna go outside and talk to 'em, but I want you to point the gun at the guy that I'm talking to just so we can talk on even terms." This is my translation of Reinhold Niebuhr realpolitik, negotiating from a position of strength, see. And she says, "I'm not gonna point any gun at a human being. I don't care if he is a Klansman." I said, "Woman, well, what do you want? You want them to burn down our house or our baby, kill our three-month old baby? I'm not afraid to die, but there's no need in us running this risk." And she said, "If you don't believe the stuff you're preaching, we just as well fold up and go home. And if you're not gonna trust God in this kind of thing, then you got nothing to preach about." Well, that put me in my place.

The Honorable Chaka Fattah

U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah, United States Representative of Pennsylvania’s second District, was born November 21, 1956 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fattah’s mother, Falaka Brown Fattah, and stepfather, David Fattah, raised him in the commitment-driven environment of The House of Umoja (Unity), one of the only urban boys homes in the country. David Fattah was a leader in The House of Umoja’s “No Gang War Campaign” and “The Youth Movement to Clean Up Politics.” Fattah attended city public schools, the Community College of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government where he earned a Master’s Degree in Government Administration. He also completed the Senior Executive Program for State Officials at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

In 1977, at age 21, Fattah ran unsuccessfully for the Office of City Commissioner of Philadelphia. He was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1982 and to the Pennsylvania Senate in 1988. In 1995, Fattah defeated an incumbent to win his United States congressional seat. Fattah, in 1998, spearheaded educational initiatives such as GEAR UP, which partners low income high school students with colleges and universities and The William H. Gray College Completion Grant. His top legislative priority is the Student Bill of Rights, which identifies seven fundamentals for learning. Fattah supported the Reauthorization to Higher Education Act and the Workforce Investment Partnership Act. Fattah co-sponsored the African Growth and Opportunities Act, the Drug Free Communities Act of 1997, and the District of Columbia Financial and Management Assistance Act, which became law in 1995. Fattah designed “Read to Lead,” a free summer reading program, and since 1986, convened the annual Fattah Conference on Higher Education. He has also played a key role in both the Pennsylvania Higher Education Facilities Committee and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Authority.

Fattah is co-chair of the Friends of the Caribbean Caucus and serves on the House Appropriations Committee, the Subcommittee on Virginia/U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies and is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on the District of Columbia. He also co-chaired The Web-based Education Commission. Identified by Ebony magazine as one of the 100 most important African Americans and by Time magazine as one of the 50 most promising leaders in the country, Fattah is married to Renee Chenault Fattah and has four children.

U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 5, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.119

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/5/2005

Last Name

Fattah

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Independence Charter School

Shoemaker Junior High School

Overbrook High School

University of Pennsylvania

First Name

Chaka

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

FAT01

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

Sponsor

Lincoln Financial Group Foundation

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

11/21/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

U.S. congressman The Honorable Chaka Fattah (1956 - ) was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1982. In 1988, he was elected to the State Senate, and in 1995, Fattah beat an incumbent to win the congressional seat. Fattah has been identified by Time magazine as one of the 50 most promising leaders in the country.

Employment

Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Pennsylvania Senate

United States Congress

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Chaka Fattah's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his mother's civil rights work

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his biological father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his stepfather, David Fattah

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes how his parents influenced him

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his parents' political activism

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his childhood activities in Philadelphia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his experiences at Philadelphia's Durham Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his experiences at William H. Shoemaker Junior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes the origins of the House of Umoja

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah remembers growing up in the House of Umoja as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah recalls meeting leaders of the Black Power Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes the structure of the House of Umoja

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah reflects on the legacy of the House of Umoja

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his experiences at Overbrook High School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his early political campaigns

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah remembers working for the Youth Citizenship Fund in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his academic ambitions at Overbrook High School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his experiences at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah recalls being elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

7$4

DATitle
The Honorable Chaka Fattah recalls meeting leaders of the Black Power Movement
The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his early political campaigns
Transcript
In those days, I mean, did some of the political figures involved in the black movement, like, come by, you know, and participate or help [at House of Umoja, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]?$$There were a variety of people who helped at times. I wouldn't say there weren't necessarily political figures, but there were people involved in the, what you might want to refer to as the movement, everyone from Queen Mother Moore through, you know, Amiri Baraka. I mean, you know, you could go through the--who, because of the connections to the black power conference [Conference on Black Power], you know, spent time in and around. There was Imari Obadele, the president of the Republic of New Afrika, who spent time there. So, you know, there was this connection via the magazine [Umoja] and then there was this, you know, this home for boys, and then, it was kind of merged together. And then as--the staff at Umoja decided that helping fifteen or so young people wasn't enough, that there needed to be a broader outreach around this whole issue of youth violence and gang warfare. Then there was a series of conferences, you know, and campaigns, the No Gang War in '74 [1974] campaign; and the Stay Alive in '75 [1975] campaign, which were, in many respects, like political campaigns. I mean, there were posters and there were leaflets, and there were rallies and conferences, and peace talks. And so, I mean, you could roll up the front page of The [Philadelphia] Inquirer and see me in '74 [1974] on the front page with a group of young men in Wynnefield [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], the Wynnefield section of West Philadelphia [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], negotiating with my father [David Fattah]--when I refer to my father, my stepfather--you know, a peace agreement. They had kind of had some arguments and in the result of this argument, two young people had been killed. And, you know, we went over--that is, I went over with my stepfather to try to see to what degree we could find some meeting of the minds. So I was involved in these matters, you know, in a variety of different ways. I was young, but I got lot of exposure to a lot of things in my early teenage life.$But we also--but even before that, we went and took over the citywide student unions, and so, citywide student unions. We had a political convention for young people in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] in which I remember we got [HistoryMaker] Eddie Williams, who was the head of the Joint Center [Joint Center for Political and Economics Studies, Washington, D.C.], to come in and speak to this group. We had about--we thought we were going to have, you know, five hundred high school students. When we picked him from the train station and checked in back at the convention, where we were having the convention, you know, we had about fifty kids. So we were scooping kids up off the street so that we'd have some audience for him to speak to. Yeah, we had, you know--we went up, rounded up the guys at the House of Umoja [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], got them there (laughter). Yeah, yeah. So we were involved in a lot of--we started some group that was called the Youth Movement to Clean Up Politics [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. Got a little office. And, you know, we were, I'm sure, an aggravation to some of the more established political figures.$$The Youth Movement to Clean Up Politics?$$Right.$$Wow. That--so you all were, you know, not getting into regular teenage trouble, you all were causing a different other kinds of troubles, huh (simultaneous)?$$Absolutely. And when we were twenty-one, me and Curt [Curtis J. Jones, Jr.], he was at Millersville [Millersville University, Millersville, Pennsylvania], I was over at Penn [University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. We ran for a citywide--I ran for something called city commissioners. And we ran as a team. The top two finishers would win. It was a field of twenty-two. I placed fourth, he placed, I think, sixth, you know. But we got on the ticket of Charles Bowser, who was the first--this was the first significant race for mayor of an African American. There were other races. I won't say the first significant. This was the first race in which somebody really had a, you know, a reasonable opportunity to be competitive. And we were--got on his ticket, because there was another conference. There was a black political convention in that year, like in '75 [1975]. They endorsed the ticket and so--$$Did you go to the National Black Political Convention in Gary [Indiana] in '72 [1972]?$$My parents [Falaka Brown Fattah and David Fattah] went. I didn't go. But the point is, is that--so we ran for office when we were twenty-one, and we didn't win, but we placed very well in the process; couldn't wait to run again. I ran in--a couple of years later, I was twenty-three--for the state house. Curt ran my campaign. It's kind of, we kind of flip-flopped. We set up our office at 59th [Street] and Oxford [Street], right across the street from Overbrook High School [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. And if you go and read the newspapers from the day I won, you will see a picture that says, and this--you know, talk about my victory and says, you know, "The Pied Piper of Independent Politics." Right? And the reference was to, like, four hundred kids from Overbrook, essentially being the army for this campaign. So we had all these young people, including Will Smith, who was in Overbrook at that time that I campaigned. And the whole campaign was made up of, even though we were in our early twenties, in large measure to younger people who were, you know, 17, 16, 18, who were at Overbrook. They were, like, the army that we beat the entrenched the Democratic incumbent. Mayor Frank Rizzo, at the time, was quoted in the Sunday paper after this victory saying that I had groups of young people dragging senior citizens out of their homes and go vote on Election Day. And that was the only reason I beat the incumbent at that time, Nicholas Pucciarelli. Now dragging was probably not the term that I would have used, but it was a very assertive campaign in which I think the community was impressed that there were so many young people, some of them who could not even vote themselves, who were actively engaged.

The Honorable William H. Gray, III

Politician William Gray III was born August 20, 1941, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; his father Rev. Dr. William II was a college president, and his mother, Hazel Yates Gray, a dean. Gray attended Scott Street School in Baton Rouge; the Lab School of Florida A&M University; Meade Elementary School in Philadelphia; Cook Junior High School; and graduated from Simon Gratz High School in 1959 as vice president of student government and a four time varsity athlete. The Gray’s often hosted then young Martin Luther King, Jr. when he was at Crozier Theological Seminary. Gray graduated from Franklin Marshall College with a degree in history in 1963; he received his M.A. degree in divinity from Drew University in 1966, and his M.A. degree in church history from Princeton University in 1970.

Gray became pastor of Union Baptist Church in Montclair, New Jersey, in 1966, and later succeeded his father as pastor of Bright Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia in 1972. Elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1978 from Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District, Gray was an active member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Gray became chair of the Democratic Caucus and the Democratic Party whip; he was the first African American chairman of the Budget Committee. Gray wrote the legislation that led the fight to impose economic sanctions on South Africa in 1985 and 1986. Resigning from Congress in 1991, Gray was appointed president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund and served until 2004; during his tenure, he raised $1.1 billion of the $2 billion raised in UNCF’s entire 58-year history. Following a 24-day hunger strike by TransAfrica’s Randall Robinson, Gray led a Congressional Black Caucus Task Force to Haiti in 1994. Gray then served as special advisor to the President on Haiti in 1994/95. In 1995, Gray received the Medal of Honor from Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide.

A former professor of history at St. Peters College, Jersey State College, Montclair State College Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Temple University, Gray was awarded eight honorary degrees over the course of his career. Gray also was awarded the distinguished Franklin Delano Roosevelt Freedom of Worship Medal, and was consistently listed as one of Ebony’s 100 Most Influential African Americans. In the latter part of his career, Gray served as the vice chairman of the Pew Commission on Children and Foster Care.

Hon. William H. Gray passed away on July 1, 2013.

Accession Number

A2005.120

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/5/2005 |and| 6/15/2012

Last Name

Gray

Maker Category
Middle Name

H.

Schools

Simon Gratz High School

Cook Junior High School

Meade Elementary School

Scott Street Elementary School

FAMU Developmental Research School

Gen. George G. Meade School

Jay Cooke Elementary School

Princeton University

Franklin & Marshall College

Drew University

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Baton Rouge

HM ID

GRA06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Florida, Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

8/20/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Death Date

7/1/2013

Short Description

Foundation executive and U.S. congressman The Honorable William H. Gray, III (1941 - 2013 ) served as the chair of the Democratic Caucus and the Democratic Party whip; he was the first African American chairman of the Budget Committee. In addition to his government service, Gray also held high ranking positions in the nonprofit sector, including a thirteen year tenure as the president of the United Negro College Fund.

Employment

U.S. House of Representatives

United Negro College Fund

Gray Global Advisors

Bright Hope Baptist Church

Union Baptist Church

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:12472,257:16196,345:16686,351:19136,392:20410,408:24330,480:25114,493:40996,808:43933,888:52032,1047:54079,1078:54613,1092:56927,1127:57728,1139:63424,1257:76025,1406:107300,1799:111860,1851:113060,1865:113540,1870:133841,2105:135418,2181:135833,2187:143552,2363:146374,2413:147038,2424:147951,2436:159402,2520:160535,2534:170452,2610:175231,2698:175636,2704:186792,2809:188424,2844:191382,2894:194800,2941$0,0:5550,75:6470,88:7666,105:8862,119:14658,259:15762,273:17234,303:17878,311:18798,319:19442,328:19810,333:20362,340:21190,351:21926,360:22570,373:23030,384:23490,390:23950,396:30140,409:31456,438:32114,446:37942,530:38600,541:39070,547:40856,569:58843,858:59258,864:61167,899:65234,1008:66147,1021:66562,1027:68222,1080:68803,1089:71874,1144:72704,1172:75277,1222:89668,1352:90152,1357:98008,1448:101452,1520:102108,1530:102682,1538:104158,1561:104978,1581:114980,1685:120740,1786:121380,1796:121780,1802:122180,1808:135490,1902:146266,2051:151810,2248:152398,2256:154414,2301:165450,2421
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable William H. Gray, III's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about the heritage and education of his mother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes his mother's growing up in Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes the educational and religious traditions of his family

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes his earliest memory of racism, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes his earliest memory of racism, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III recalls spending time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana during his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about the role of religion in his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III traces the history of historically black colleges and universities

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes his elementary school education

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes his experience at Simon Gratz High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes the popular music scene in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes the student body at Simon Gratz High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III recalls his experience at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes the African American community in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about his family's relationship with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III relates why he attended Franklin and Marshall College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes his history major at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about Civil War history

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III remembers the March on Washington in 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes the white community's perceptions of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III recalls how Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. achieved national prominence

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about the shifts in American political parties during the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about how African Americans joined the Democrat Party during the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about his civil rights activities in New Jersey during the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of the Honorable William H. Gray, III's interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III remembers deciding to enter the ministry

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III recalls significant mentors at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes his family's relationship with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III remembers his time at Drew Theological School in Madison, New Jersey

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about returning to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to pastor Bright Hope Baptist Church

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes the African American communities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1960s and 1970s

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III recalls taking a stand against Mayor Frank Rizzo of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes his graduate studies in divinity

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III remembers flouting the Democratic political machine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes shifts in the Democratic Party in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about the rise of the independent Democratic movement in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes the origins of his independent Democratic movement in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about his first campaigns for U.S. Congress during the 1970s

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about the people who supported him during his early campaigns for U.S. Congress

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes the success of his independent coalition in the 1979 Philadelphia City Council races

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about the progressive figures in Philadelphia politics whom he supported

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III recalls his freshman term in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about his tenure as chairman of the U.S. House Committee on the Budget

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about spearheading legislation to impose economic sanctions on South Africa, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about spearheading legislation to impose economic sanctions on South Africa, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III recalls how he adjusted to the U.S. Congress

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III recounts balancing his responsibilities as a pastor and congressman

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about his decision to step down from the U.S. Congress in 1991

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III reflects upon the leadership qualities that made him successful

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III reflects upon his life

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

2$2

DATape

5$7

DAStory

4$2

DATitle
The Honorable William H. Gray, III describes his family's relationship with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Honorable William H. Gray, III talks about the progressive figures in Philadelphia politics whom he supported
Transcript
In 2002 [sic.] we talked about your relationship with [Reverend] Dr. Martin Luther King [Jr.], someone who would visit your home and knew your father [William H. Gray, Jr.] well and--$$Yeah, well we were very close. Our families had been friends for three generations. Daddy King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr.] and my father were very close friends. And we had spent time in their home, my father speaking at Ebenezer Baptist Church [Atlanta, Georgia]. Daddy King and later Martin speaking, Martin went to school at Crozer Theological Seminary [Upland, Pennsylvania; Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rochester, New York] which was like twenty miles south of Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] in Chester, Pennsylvania [sic.]. And on the weekends he'd come by and visit, you know, sort of like typical of what happened in black families, you went off to a school and if the school was in Atlanta [Georgia] and your parents knew somebody in Atlanta, they'd say make sure you go by and see aunt so and so. And you'd go by and see her because she'd have great food, even give you some money. And so Martin used to come by and visit us, especially on the weekends. And as a student minister, he occasionally preached at the Bright Hope Baptist Church [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. And when he became a civil rights leader, he would come to Philadelphia and stay at our home and preach at the church and to raise money for the movement in the South.$$Okay. Now in 2002, we talked about this, and after 1963, you were saying that Dr. King was the only black public figure that, or the first black public figure to speak to the entire nation and so here he is, right after this speech he writes a recommendation for you to attend Drew University [Madison, New Jersey].$$Well, yeah, as a part of the closeness of our families, I asked him, really it was late fall of 1962, would he write one of my recommendations, you know. At that time Martin was a very controversial figure (laughter). And some people said, "Why are you asking him, he's a little controversial, there are people who don't like him, it may not help you." But I liked him and, you know, I thought a great deal of Dr. King and the work he was doing in the Civil Rights Movement and I asked him to write a recommendation for graduate school and he wrote one for me to go to graduate school and for me to become a Rockefeller fellow, which is a scholarship program for ministry. And I got in and I also got the Rockefeller scholarship as a result of his recommendation. And so I knew him very, very well personally, and he was a great human being. Did I ever think he would be a Nobel Laureate, you know, an icon of human rights and deliverance? No, I didn't know him that way. And so by 1963 I had been accepted to graduate school, I was gonna go to graduate school, and I went with my father to the March on Washington, prior to going to graduate school--$We then every year put together a progressive slate. And the next year, a young kid, a lawyer beat this establishment figure [F. Emmett Fitzpatrick], you know, you know, Eddie Rendell [Ed Rendell], then Lynne Abrahams [sic. Lynne Abraham] got elected on the back of this, this kind of a coalition. We started getting more and more blacks elected as judges. Roxanne [H.] Jones, the first black woman in the state senate, who had been a welfare rights advocate, you know. I mean, this was not an elitism in the black community, this was a cross section, you know, of people who--Gussie Clark [HistoryMaker Augusta Clark] was well trained, she was a librarian, very articulate. Roxanne, I don't even think Roxanne had even finished high school, you know, but she was one articulate, grassroots sister who was committed and had the right principles and the right values. And so we got people like that. Young [HistoryMaker Chaka] Fattah out of West Philadelphia [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], then when he moved to the state senate, we got another young man [Vincent Hughes] to take his place, and so we just kept building and building. And that young man who took his place is now a leader of the state senate and the chairman of the appropriations committee in Harrisburg [Pennsylvania] in the [Pennsylvania] State Capitol. So, you know, you can just look at the whole garden of flowers came out of that movement that led to very independent thinking on the part, and we were trying to say to the black community, don't let anybody select our leaders, we select our leaders, people who are loyal to the community, who have the values that the community want, not what some party downtown wants. And that was a very radical kind of movement. I ended up becoming the banker of it because I would raise money for my campaign and, of course, I never had a big campaign and I would be the banker of this movement. But we elected a lot of people, you know.$$Was it hard to raise money?$$No. You know, it was not hard to me. I mean, I was raising money for me, you know, Congressman Bill Gray [HistoryMaker William H. Gray, III] reelection campaign, but I didn't have a reelection campaign so what did I do with the money? I used the money to support local candidates and national candidates who represented progressive thinking and the kind of values of empowerment that I thought were important in our communities.

The Honorable Louis Stokes

Politician, attorney and civil rights champion Louis Stokes was born on February 23, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio. Raised by his mother, Stokes graduated from Central High School in 1943 where he was a member of the track team, the school newspaper, and the Latin club.

Soon after graduation, Stokes was inducted into the United States Army and he served in World War II. After his discharge in 1946, Stokes enrolled in Case-Western Reserve University and in 1953, Stokes earned his doctor of laws degree from Cleveland Marshall Law School.

Starting his law career as the in-house attorney for Carmack Realty Company, in 1955 Stokes established the law practice of Minor, Stokes and Stokes. During his fourteen year law career, Stokes participated in three cases before the United States Supreme Court including the landmark case of Terry v. Ohio, a search and seizure case which he argued and is taught in every law school. Elected to the United States Congress in 1968, Stokes became the first African American congressman from Ohio. He served fifteen consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

A co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1969, Stokes served on a number of congressional committees including Appropriations, Intelligence and Ethics. In 1976, Stokes chaired the House Select Committee on Assassinations where he conducted hearings on the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John F. Kennedy.

A recipient of many awards for his service to the community, Stokes retired from Congress in 1999 and worked as senior counsel at Squire, Sanders, and Dempsey and as a faculty member at Case-Western Reserve University. His brother, Carl, was the first black mayor of a major American city when he was elected mayor of Cleveland in 1967.

Stokes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 7, 2007. Stokes passed away on August 18, 2015.

Accession Number

A2005.071

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/18/2005 |and| 2/7/2007

Last Name

Stokes

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Central High School

Giddings Elementary School

Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

First Name

Louis

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

STO03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

Aim high.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

2/23/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Bass (Chilean Sea)

Death Date

8/18/2015

Short Description

U.S. congressman The Honorable Louis Stokes (1925 - 2015 ) was the first African American member of Congress from Ohio. During his thirty-year tenure, he served on a number of committees including Appropriations, Intelligence and Ethics. He was also a co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Employment

Stokes and Stokes

Minor, Stokes and Stokes

Stokes, Character, Terry, Perry, Whitehead, Young and Davidson

Squire Patton Boggs

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Louis Stokes' interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes lists his favorites, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his earliest memories of his neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the holidays

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his neighbors

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his early career ambitions

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his activities at the St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his experiences at Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his prospects after graduating from high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls being drafted into the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes Camp Stewart in Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his coursework at the Cleveland-Marshall Law School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls the start of his career as a lawyer

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the exclusion of black lawyers from majority firms

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers working with Norman S. Minor

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls the law firm of Minor, Stokes and Stokes

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers partnering with his brother, Carl Stokes

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the case of Terry v. Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the case of Terry v. Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his experiences at the U.S. Supreme Court

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about Carl Stokes' mayoral campaign, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about Carl Stokes' mayoral campaign, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers his decision to run for the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his congressional campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the history of African Americans in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the founding of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls the Congressional Black Caucus' meeting with President Richard Nixon

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the early goals of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the achievements of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his appointment to the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the findings of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Louis Stokes' interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes lists his favorites, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his mother's family history

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his father's family background

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the Outhwaite Homes in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his childhood community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his early household

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the residents of the Outhwaite Homes in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his relationship with his brother, Carl Stokes

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the discipline of his maternal uncle

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his favorite childhood activities

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the black newspapers of his youth

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his early ambition to become a lawyer

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his experiences at Giddings Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers his favorite teachers

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his experiences at Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls working at an army surplus store, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls working at an army surplus store, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his experiences of racial discrimination in the U.S. Army

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls leading a protest against discrimination in the U.S. Army, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls leading a protest against discrimination in the U.S. Army, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers his discharge from the U.S. Army

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the conditions for black soldiers in the U.S. Army

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the education of his brother, Carl Stokes

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his undergraduate and law degrees

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the Jewish and black communities of Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his start as a lawyer

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers meeting Norman S. Minor

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls founding the Minor, Stokes and Stokes law firm

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his early involvement with the NAACP

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his first marriage

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the influential black legislators in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes Carl Stokes' mayoral election

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls the case of Craggett v. Cleveland Board of Education

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about school segregation in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about success of Craggett v. Cleveland Board of Education

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the case of Terry v. Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the case of Terry v. Ohio, 1968, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about racial profiling

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the legacy of football player Jim Brown

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about Carl Stokes' mayoral election

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about racial discrimination in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his congressional committee chairmanships

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his campaign for the U.S. Congress

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the Glenville riots in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the depollution of the Cuyahoga River

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the radicalism of Fred Ahmed Evans

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the black members of the U.S. Congress

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers President Richard Nixon

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his working relationship with U.S. Senator Edward Brooke

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the 1972 Black National Political Convention, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the 1972 National Black Political Convention, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes shares his perspective on the Vietnam War

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the Congressional Black Caucus' role in congressional committees

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the importance of African American participation on congressional committees

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his role on the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the Iran-Contra Affair

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes reflects upon his career as an attorney

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes reflects upon his career in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his homes in Washington, D.C. and Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 12 Story: 10 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers his mother and brother, Carl Stokes

Tape: 12 Story: 11 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes reflects upon his life

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his family

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

2$11

DAStory

5$4

DATitle
The Honorable Louis Stokes describes Camp Stewart in Georgia
The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the black members of the U.S. Congress
Transcript
Can you share some of them with us?$$Well, I remember in, at Camp Stewart, Georgia [Fort Stewart, Georgia] where all the black soldiers were required in the morning to get up, get in a truck and they took us down to the white part of the, of the base. And then it was our job to, what they called police the white soldiers barracks or the grounds around their barracks. That is, they gave us some long sticks that had nails in them in order--and they gave us some bags, some shoulder burlap bags. And it was our job to walk around and stick, that stick into any type of mess or paper or anything that was on the ground and to clean the grounds that way by taking all the trash in these burlap bags. And we resented having to do that. So a group of us were taken down one morning, and we took the sticks and the burlap bags, and we put 'em up under the barracks there. And then we went across the street to the library and we sat there until time for us to, to go back for a pick up, where they came back to pick us up. Well, on this particular, someone had told, I guess the military police, what we had done. So they came into the library, raided the library, arrested all of us and took us back, took us over and actually put us in a little area there where they retained you. I forget what you call it now, but anyway, even in there, they had toilets for black prisoners and toilets for the white prisoners. And after they released us from there, they took us down to, back to our barracks. And at our barracks, we were called in by the company commander, and he told us that we were going to be made an example of for the other black soldiers in our company and that that punishment was to--for us to carry mud packs on our backs and have to parade up and down in front of our company barracks. And I was sort of spokesperson for the group. And I, I told 'em that, that what they were asking us to do was unreasonable and protested what they were doing. And I remember that they changed it somewhat. We--they took the packs off of us, but we still had to walk up and down in front of the barracks and be an example to the others. That was just, I guess one of the many kind of incidents that occurred [in the U.S. Army].$$And so did you say--did you stay stateside during your tour (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yes, we, went out to the port for a shipment and evidently, we were going to go to a hot climate because the equipment given us was for a hot climate. But we were there about two or three days and V-J Day [Victory over Japan Day] occurred. And that's when President Truman [President Harry S. Truman] declared V-J Day. We had just bombed Hiroshima [Japan], and the war [World War II, WWII] had been ended. And so then we were turned around and sent up to Portland, Oregon. So I never went overseas--$Now you were on the ground floor of putting together the Congressional Black Caucus. Can you--$$I was one of the founders.$$Yes, one of the founders, you and John Conyers [HistoryMaker John Conyers, Jr.] and--well, tell, tell us about--$$Okay.$$--who else helped do this and why?$$When I went to Congress in January of 1969, Shirley Chisholm had just been elected as the first black congresswoman from New York. Bill Clay [HistoryMaker William Clay, Sr.] had been elected as the first congressman from Missouri. The three of us went to Congress in January of 1969. When we got there, there were only six black congressmen. And so, this made a total of nine of us in the 91st Congress, which was a historic moment. The earliest--the largest number we had ever had there previously was in the post-Reconstruction period, 1875 or 1877, when we had seven black members in the House [U.S. House of Representatives] and one in the [U.S.] Senate. And so, when we came in that day, the nine of us, that meant we had the largest number ever. But it carried with it much more than that. Between 1875, 1877, and 1900, there had been a total of twenty-two blacks that served; twenty in the House and two in the Senate. The two in the Senate were both Republicans; both were from Mississippi. The twenty that served in the House were from various southern districts, all southern districts. But by 1900, because of the black laws that had been enacted through the South, the intimidation by the Ku Klux Klan [KKK] and other surreptitious means and manner, every black senator and congressman had been defeated. That was in 1900 when the last one went out. He was a man by the name of George White [George H. White]. Politicians--or historians rather, describe him as being a militant Negro politician from North Carolina. He made a famous speech just before he left the House on his last day. In his speech he said, "This, Mr. Speaker, is perhaps the Negroes' temporary farewell to the United States House of Representatives, but phoenix like, we will rise up and come again." Now his prediction was accurate. We did come again. But it took us twenty-eight years to come again; from 1900 to 1928, not a single black face represented any part of America in the United States Congress. We came back again as he predicted in 1928 [sic. 1929] when Oscar De Priest [Oscar Stanton De Priest] was elected from Chicago, Illinois, and he was Republican. Then from 1928 to 1968 when we were elected, there were a total of six blacks elected to the House.

The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III

Parren James Mitchell was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 29, 1922, to Clarence M. Mitchell and Elsie Davis Mitchell. Though their street address was an alley, Mitchell, his brother Clarence, Jr., and sisters Elsie and Anna Mae were all strivers. Mitchell attended Garnet Elementary School, Booker T. Washington Junior High School, and graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in 1940. Mitchell joined the United States Army and served as a commissioned officer of the 92nd Infantry Division during World War II, receiving the Purple Heart. He graduated from Morgan State University with honors in 1950, but segregation barred Mitchell from attending the University of Maryland Graduate School. With advice from his brother (who was an official of the NAACP) and his brother's mother in law (Lilly Mae Carroll Jackson, the state NAACP director) and with Thurgood Marshall as counsel, Mitchell successfully sued the University of Maryland for admittance to graduate school; he received his M.A. degree in sociology from the University of Maryland in 1952, and returned to teach at Morgan State.

Mitchell served as a supervisor of probation work for the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City from 1954 to 1957; executive director of the Maryland Human Relations Commission from 1963 to 1965; executive director of the Baltimore Community Action Agency from 1965 to 1968; and president of the Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc. from 1969 through 1970. He was a pivotal player in the passage of Maryland’s Public Accommodations Law of 1963. A constituency Mitchell helped organize backed his nephew, Clarence Mitchell, III’s, successful run for the state legislature in 1963, and in 1970, backed by the same political organization, Mitchell was elected to the 92nd United States Congress, representing Maryland’s 7th District.

Reelected to seven consecutive Congresses through 1987, Mitchell served as a member of the Committee on Banking; Finance and Urban Affairs; the chair of the Subcommittee on Access to Capital and Business Opportunities; the Joint Economic Committee; was chair of the Subcommittee on Minority Economic Development and Housing; and was House at Large Whip. As one of the thirteen founders of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971, Mitchell was part of a 20th century resurgence of black political strength. In 1976, Mitchell attached to President Jimmy Carter’s $4 billion Public Works Bill an amendment that compelled state, county, and municipal governments seeking federal grants to set aside ten percent of the money for minority contractors and subcontractors; his amendment to the 1982 Surface Transportation Assistance Act also required ten percent set aside for minorities.

In 1980, Mitchell founded the Minority Business Enterprise Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. (MBELDEF) and served as its chairman of the board.

Mitchell passed away on Monday, May 28, 2007 at the age of 85.

Accession Number

A2004.072

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/11/2004

Last Name

Mitchell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

James

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Parren

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

MIT07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

4/29/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Death Date

5/28/2007

Short Description

U.S. congressman The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III (1922 - 2007 ) successfully sued the University of Maryland, which had denied him entrance into their graduate school because of segregation, and was able to earn his graduate degree from there. He held a number of government positions and was influential in compelling government agencies receiving federal grants to set aside ten percent of the money for minority contractors.

Employment

Supreme Bench of Baltimore

Maryland Human Relations Commission

Baltimore Community Action Agency

Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc.

United States House of Representatives

Minority Business Enterprise Legal Defense and Education Fund

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
0,0:52372,587:61856,612:76143,806:111200,1232$0,0:1968,30:2995,44:4259,62:47260,503:82876,804:157180,1535
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Hon. Parren J. Mitchell, III's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III talks briefly about his family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III describes experiencing segregation in Baltimore, Maryland and picketing the Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III describes political activity at Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland, including the 1945 student boycott

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III talks about his first job with the Maryland Human Relations Commission

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III talks about racial segregation in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III remembers influential teachers at Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III talks about Lillie Carroll Jackson and civil rights groups at Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland in 1945

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III talks about winning a discrimination lawsuit against the University of Maryland in 1950

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III talks about his graduate school experience at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III remembers influential teachers at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III describes challenging segregation in Baltimore with the Maryland Human Relations Commission

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III talks about fellow community organizers in Maryland including HistoryMaker Reverend Vernon Dobson

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III talks about working in the Maryland Human Relations Commission

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III describes Maryland's limited interest in integration

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III talks about his brother, Clarence Mitchell, Jr.'s civil rights activity

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III talks about his reputation as a community organizer

Tape: 1 Story: 19 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III talks about his nephew HistoryMaker Clarence Mitchell, III's election into the state legislature

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III talks about challenging segregation in the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III describes how he earned a Purple Heart in World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III describes entering the congressional race in 1969 and winning the seat in 1970

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III describes community issues in 1970s Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III talks about Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III talks about the formation of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III describes issues addressed by the first Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III describes the success of his public works bill

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III describes his hopes and concerns for the black community

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

10$1

DATitle
The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III talks about winning a discrimination lawsuit against the University of Maryland in 1950
The Honorable Parren J. Mitchell, III talks about challenging segregation in the U.S. Army
Transcript
Okay. Now, you were, you sued the University of Maryland [College Park, Maryland], right, when you went to graduate school, right?$$Yeah.$$So tell us about that. That's 1950, right?$$Yeah, and that was really a joke. They always set up another school for me at the high school where I would be the only graduate student there and I told them, no, and it was, it was a little struggle but the most interesting thing was the judge who heard the case and he was known as a very conservative judge, Judge Shaun Tucker, and I told my counsel when, when I saw he was our judge, I said, "Now look, we aren't going to have a ghost of a chance with this man", and surprisingly enough, on the very same day he heard the case, he ruled in our favor. He said, "You can't deny this man his right to go to any school that is state-owned." And he said, "I hereby order you to admit him immediately." And I was, and all of us were amazed because we certainly did not expect that from Judge Shaun Tucker, but that's the way it ended up.$$Was there any explanation as to why he made the decision he made that you know of?$$I, I don't know why he made that decision, it was certainly out of character for him but he, he made it and I was satisfied.$Sir, before we talk about the congressional election, tell us about your World War II [WWII] experiences with General [George S.] Patton and the Purple Heart.$$I felt sure I was going to be court martialed because I broke every rule in the book. I just, I, my introduction to the military was bad. We were on the train and there's some German white prisoners and they took those prisoners all and put them on the dining car to eat and for us they had sandwiches in the bag and I told the guys I said, look, take those sandwiches and throw them off and we did. And the guy who was in charge of the, of the train said we're going to court martial you. I said, I'm not going to eat these darn sandwiches either. Nothing happened, nothing happened. So we made out all right and I just kept on, I had a little devil in me. Once I get a victory, I just take, I ran with it. And I just, from that point on, I just made sure that any vestige of segregation was wrong.$$Well what else did you challenge in the [U.S.] Army?$$Well, I was an officer and I remember two other guys and I walked over to the officer's mess to eat and they told me we couldn't eat in there and man, you talkin 'bout raising some hell. We sat right there and got what we wanted and the Major came and said, okay you can eat in there, go ahead. And I said, I know, I know I can eat in there 'cause I'm doing it. When they had segregated, segregated movie pictures, just no, no we wouldn't do that. The whole face of segregation in the military we challenged.

The Honorable Danny K. Davis

United States Congressman from the 7th District of Illinois, Danny K. Davis was born a sharecropper’s son on September 6, 1941, in Parkdale, Arkansas. He attended Savage High School in Parkdale, where he graduated in 1957. A history major with an education minor, Davis earned a B.A. from Arkansas A. M. & N. College at Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1961. Moving to Chicago, he clerked for the United States Post Office before going to work as a teacher at Ferdinand Magellan School in 1962. Davis received an M.S. in school guidance from Chicago State University in 1968 while continuing his education in 1969 and 1970 with courses in administration, supervision, psychology, and political science. In 1977, he was awarded the Ph.D. in public administration by Union Institute.

During the 1960s, Davis, like many others, became involved in the modern day Civil Rights Movement. He also became active in politics on Chicago’s West Side. In 1969, he became executive director of the Greater Lawndale Conservation Commission, and then left to become director of training for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Health Center. By 1971, Davis was a manpower consultant for the Westside Health Planning Organization (WHPO), and in 1972, became executive director of WHPO. From 1976 through 1981, he served as special assistant to the president of Mile Square Community Health Center. Davis also taught college courses at Malcolm X College, National College of Education, Illinois Benedictine College, Roosevelt University and the University of Illinois School of Public Health.

In 1979, Davis won the aldermanic seat for Chicago’s 29th Ward as an independent. He then became 29th Ward Committeeman in 1984. Active during Chicago’s Harold Washington years, Davis served until 1990 when he resigned from the Chicago City Council to take a seat on the Cook County Board of Commissioners. After an unsuccessful bid for mayor in 1991, he ran for and won the U.S. 7th Congressional District seat in 1996. Davis is now one of three African Americans representing Chicago in the United States Congress. Considered a grassroots progressive like former mayor Harold Washington, Davis is fond of quoting nineteenth century abolitionist Frederick Douglass on the nature of struggle. Davis, a popular public speaker as well as an effective legislator, connects with constituents on education, criminal justice and housing issues.

Davis has two children and lives with his wife, Vera, on Chicago’s West Side.

Accession Number

A2003.298

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/15/2003

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

K.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Savage High School

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Chicago State University

Union Institute & University

First Name

Danny

Birth City, State, Country

Parkdale

HM ID

DAV11

Favorite Season

Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

Gwendolyn Burnett (assistant)
F. 773-533-7530; Kimberly Stevens; Amy Billingsley

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Arkansas

Favorite Quote

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has, and it never will.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/6/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens (Turnip), Cornbread

Short Description

U.S. congressman The Honorable Danny K. Davis (1941 - ) is one of three African American congressmen representing Chicago in the Illinois congress. Davis represents the 7th District of Illinois.

Employment

United States Postal Service

Magellan School, (Chicago, Illinois)

Greater Lawndale Conservation Commission

Martin Luther King Jr. Health Center, (Chicago, Illinois)

Westside Health Planning Organization

Mile Square Community Health Center,

City of Chicago

Cook County Board of Commissioners

United States House of Representatives

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Danny K. Davis interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Danny K. Davis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Danny K. Davis talks about his mother's family and distant relatives he has found in recent years

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Danny K. Davis talks about his father's family origins

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Danny K. Davis recalls stories about Confederate treasure and seeing "haints"

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Danny K. Davis recalls his father's stories about whites playing "supernatural" tricks and swindling blacks

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Danny K. Davis remembers his mother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Danny K. Davis remembers his father

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Danny K. Davis remembers his father's prayers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Danny K. Davis explains the effects of seasons on sharecropping families

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Danny K. Davis discusses his parents' meeting

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Danny K. Davis describes struggles in his early school life

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Danny K. Davis remembers the Parkdale, Arkansas community of his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Danny K. Davis remembers an influential teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Danny K. Davis describes highlights from his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Danny K. Davis shares lessons from his high school days

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Danny K. Davis discusses his college prospects

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Danny K. Davis shares an anecdote about his sharecropper father insisting on fair pay

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Danny K. Davis remembers his college experience at Arkansas AM & N

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Danny K. Davis talks about civil rights events while he was a student at Arkansas A.M. & N.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Danny K. Davis recalls race relations in Arkansas during the 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Danny K. Davis remembers his experiences in college and the value of education for African American males

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Danny K. Davis talks about his move to Chicago and job search after college

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Danny K. Davis recalls his work in Chicago schools and community organizations and his entry into politics

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Danny K. Davis talks about his early years as a Chicago alderman

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Danny K. Davis recalls black Chicago aldermen's split with Mayor Jane Byrne

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Danny K. Davis discusses his election as an alderman from Chicago's West Side, where black politicians had previously been controlled by white ward bosses

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Danny K. Davis talks about Otis Collins, Harold Washington, the Sims-Carothers family and other black Chicago politicians

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Danny K. Davis recalls the origins of Harold Washington's 1983 campaign for mayor of Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Danny K. Davis discusses groups and individuals that worked together for Harold Washington's 1983 election as mayor of Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Danny K. Davis remembers the 'Council Wars' in Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Danny K. Davis comments on Mayor Harold Washington's ability to share his vision of Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Danny K. Davis reflects on the death of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and the power grab afterward

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Danny K. Davis discusses his unsuccessful campaign for Mayor of Chicago in 1991

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Danny K. Davis talks about his election to U.S. Congress and his successful legislation

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Danny K. Davis recalls the highlights of his U.S. Congressional career

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Danny K. Davis talks about how individual constituents and grassroots groups influence his public policy work

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Danny K. Davis comments on the seniority system in legislatures and how he wishes to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

4$3

DATitle
Danny K. Davis talks about his move to Chicago and job search after college
Danny K. Davis talks about Otis Collins, Harold Washington, the Sims-Carothers family and other black Chicago politicians
Transcript
Back in school, now, when you were on the verge of graduation [from Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical, and Normal College, later University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff], did you still have it in your mind that you wanted to teach history if you could find a place to teach history?$$Yep, absolutely. I mean, I, I wanted to teach, came to Chicago [Illinois], didn't teach the first year because I ended up getting a job working at the post office, and I actually was making more money working as a postal clerk than I would make teaching.$$Your sister was here, right? That's why you came--(unclear) (simultaneously)--you had a sister here.$$Right, I had two older sisters who lived here. And so I knew I had a place to stay. And I, I came and lived with them. They both lived in the same apartment building. I mean they both, and their families. And so--.$$Did you ever consider staying in Arkansas?$$I thought about it, but I just simply decided that--I mean I had a job offer to teach that paid twenty-seven hundred dollars a year ($2,700) and three hundred dollars ($300) to coach junior high basketball, which means that I would have been earning three thousand dollars a year ($3,000). And I just decided that rather than do that, I'd take my chances in the big city. Plus, Count [William] Basie and Joe Williams were ambassadors. And they were singing "Going to Chicago, sorry but I can't take you." And Chicago just sounded so glamorous and great and all of that, 63rd Street. You know, (sings) "Going to Chicago, sorry but I can't take you" And so I decided to come to Chicago. But really, I came because my, my sisters were here, and I knew that, that I could survive until I could get on my own feet. And, and, and if, had not it been for that, I maybe, perhaps would not because I had a brother who was finishing high school about the same time. And he came. Of course, he was going to college that, that September, and we'd go places looking for jobs. And, you know, people would tell me that I had too much education, and they'd tell him, you know, he didn't have enough. And we'd compare all of that. But, but I got a job. I was disappointed because I just knew that I was going to get a job immediately. And my brother-in-law had a reputation of helping people find a job. He worked at a steel foundry, and he took me. I didn't have much money, I had--to get here, I had to borrow fifty dollars ($50.00) from my father [Hezekiah Davis] who borrowed fifty dollars (laughs) from another fellow. I mean this is in the part of the year when there's no money. You know, I mean I came to Chicago in July because I decided that I'd help my father get his crop finished before leaving. And so money was kind of hard to come by. And so I just knew I was gonna get a job that next day after I got here. And my brother-in-law took me to this foundry, and the guy says, "No, we're not gonna hire you because you've got a college degree. And you're not gonna stay with us. And so by the time we train you--," and I wanted to tell the cat, "Nah, don't worry about that, that, that ain't no big deal. I want a job, man. I want to work. Give me a break, give me a play." And, and, and so my money was running out. And so I took the first thing I could connect with and, and did that. But then I got a job, I mean I worked at the post office for about a year. But I decided even though I was making more money, more money than I was gonna get teaching school, that I would go ahead and teach school. So I took a job teaching in an EVG [education and vocational guidance] Center in the heart of the North Lawndale community.$So even though much of the poverty area was the West Side [Chicago, Illinois], the people who ran the poverty programs came from the South Side. I'm, I'm say--.$$So these two different black communities, right?$$Yeah, and, and that created somewhat of, of some friction. I'm saying here were guys who would come over to run social service programs who were policemen from the South Side, but who were members of the third ward Democratic organization and were sponsored by, initially, [William L.] Dawson, and then after Dawson, [Ralph Metcalfe] for their city jobs because these were the [African American] political heavyweights who had the relationship with City Hall. And so that created, you know, some, some, some riff and some concern. Of course, we had one fellow on, in this area, Otis Grant Collins, who was in the [Illinois] legislature who were, who was somewhat of an independent-minded gentleman, and so ultimately was David Rhodes who became the [24th Ward] alderman after George Collins came to Congress and, and all. But Harold Washington would come over because he and Otis were good friends. And that's how I met Harold Washington and really got to know Harold Washington. Otis Collins was my friend and I used to help him and do some things with him. And we'd sit in Otis's house with Harold. And Harold would come over, and he and Otis would commiserate and talk politics and have a little Jack Daniels or a little Canadian Club or whatever (laughs) they may have been having. And, and that was really one of the ways that I really got to know Harold Washington and, and, and, and you know, was, was through my relationship with Otis Collins. Well, I was able to win, and got elected and, and hung with this little group of independents in the City Council, and, and that was sort of the political grounding that I had and, and pretty much stuck with that, to that, and, and still maintain that and maintain the position of a, a political independent in terms of not having been captured by the regular Democratic organization machinery, relating to interacting with but always serving, as far as I'm concerned, the people, my constituents. And, and, and I guess that's why I get challenged from time to time and all of that, matter of fact, I'm challenged right now in terms of an opponent for the upcoming [2004] election Isaac ['Ike' Sims] Carothers, whose grandfather was part of the political machinery, Isaac, "Ike" Sims, one of the originals. And then, of course Bill [William] Carothers and Ike [Isaac Sims Carothers] and I guess he's--there's a lady named Anita [Rivkin-]Carothers who's going to run against me supposedly for [U.S.] Congress in the upcoming [2004] election, who is Bill Carothers's brother's wife, and I guess Ike, Isaac Carothers or Isaac "Ike" Carothers's aunt. [Note: Congressman Davis was re-elected.]

The Honorable Charles B. Rangel

New York Congressman and Harlem native Charlie Rangel was born in New York on June 11, 1930. Raised by his mother and maternal grandfather, a Pullman porter and elevator operator, Rangel grew up in the streets of New York. After dropping out of high school, Rangel served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, where he was seriously wounded in battle and received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

After his return from Korea and near-death experience, Rangel enrolled at New York University, earning a B.A. in 1957 and receiving his law degree from St. John's University Law School in 1960. In 1961, Attorney General Robert Kennedy appointed Rangel assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. In 1967, Rangel won election to the New York State Assembly. In 1971 Rangel ran for U.S. Congress and defeated the famous Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in a historic election. Rangel's victory inaugurated the first of his seventeen consecutive terms as representative of the Fifteenth Congressional District of New York. This district contains the neighborhood of Harlem.

Rangel's tenure in Congress has been marked by a continued activism and concern for his constituency. Rangel was one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus and served at one time as its chairman. He has also been active on issues of trade and human resources. In 1987, Rangel, one of the leading opponents to South African apartheid, pushed the Internal Revenue Service to eliminate tax credits for taxes paid to the apartheid government of South Africa. In 1995, he helped to create a federal "empowerment zone" in Manhattan and authored the low-income tax credit to stimulate the development of affordable housing in urban areas. Early in 2003, Rangel proposed the reinstatement of the military draft as a way to deter the use of force and promote a peaceful resolution to the standoff in Iraq. In 2007, Rangel became the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Rangel and his wife, Alma, have two children, Steven and Alicia. The Rangels, active still in many civic and community organizations, maintain their home in Harlem.

Accession Number

A2003.201

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/22/2003 |and| 10/22/2018

Last Name

Rangel

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

P.S. 89

New York University

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

RAN02

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Reading

Favorite Quote

I Haven't Had A Bad Day Since. God Is Good.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/11/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hot Dogs

Short Description

U.S. congressman The Honorable Charles B. Rangel (1930 - ) has represented the Fifteenth Congressional District of New York since 1971. Rangel was a founder of the Congressional Black Caucus and became the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in 2007.

Employment

United States District Court, Southern District of New York

New York State Assembly

United States House of Representatives

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:109900,1280$0,0:3780,11:5824,43:6481,53:6773,58:37328,357:42132,401:42834,411:51815,512:55520,578:59940,691:63990,704:67518,783:69030,813:81490,953:81810,958:86373,1029:101210,1238:108145,1344:119784,1510:123832,1567:125120,1584:127880,1629:131560,1646:141206,1788:141510,1793:142118,1802:142650,1810:153348,1942:165822,2059:174836,2205:175132,2210:178528,2235:180170,2249
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Charles B. Rangel's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel talks about his father and the origin of his last name

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel reflects on his decision to become a lawyer

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel describes his grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel describes his relationship with his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel talks about his older brother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel talks about his younger sister

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel recalls his earliest memories of growing up in Harlem, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel recalls receiving neighborhood support while running for office

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel recalls neighborhood reactions while being investigated by the FBI

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel talks about living in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel reflects on his love for Harlem, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel talks about growing up in Harlem, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel talks about working as a clerk at Hotel Theresa in Harlem, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel recalls his childhood jobs

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel recalls his elementary school years

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel describes getting in trouble with police as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel recalls working in a drug store

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel recalls being lured into a car when he was a child

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel talks about his childhood friends and social activities

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel describes social clubs in Harlem, New York

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$1

DAStory

5$12

DATitle
The Honorable Charles B. Rangel reflects on his decision to become a lawyer
The Honorable Charles B. Rangel recalls neighborhood reactions while being investigated by the FBI
Transcript
I never knew when I went to the VA [Veterans Administration, now U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs] out of clear frustration that they said I couldn't go to college. They said I didn't have enough time since I had to complete high school. But what I knew that I was going to win and they were asking me just what I wanted to be, I didn't have the slightest clue. And the, the, the evaluation, the occupation, the examination that was taken, they interpreted that I should have been an electrician or mortician. And they tried to explain it because it would take less time. But they never asked me what was it I wanted to be. And I didn't have the slightest idea; all I knew is that I wanted to get out of the streets and I said lawyer so fast and stuck with it, and it took me a long time to figure out why would I have said that until I realized that my grandfather who I admired so much, and wanted him to care for me so much 'cause he didn't think I was gonna amount to anything anyway. He was the elevator in the criminal court building, and he just took up lawyers and judges and district attorneys. And I think I wanted to get even with him and show him what I could be, being an elevator operator. But in any event, it was the best decision I've made in my life.$I remember that when I was appointed as an Assistant U.S. Attorney by Robert Kennedy, I had no idea that I had to be investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI]. And when I thought all of the things I had done as a teenager and in the [U.S.] Army, I said, "Well so much for the appointment." And when they asked me for references, there was nobody in the neighborhood, I mean the most respected person was the number runner and I knew I couldn't put his name down. But there was a fellow in law school that I befriended, Ned Frank, his father was a civil court judge. I asked him could I put his father down since I had studied in his house; I knew his father. He says of course. And when the father called me down to the chambers to tell me that he shouldn't be talking with me about it, but that the FBI was having a problem with me, I knew that my past had swiftly caught up with me and I asked what was the problem. And he said it's where you live; you've got to tell 'em where you really lived. I said judge I got a lot of problems, but where I live isn't one of the problems. He says I shouldn't be talking with you, but I'm just letting you know that the FBI's having a problem where you live. I got on the subway and I wondered what were these white folks up to now. They must be out to get me. How could they possibly say it's where I live? I got off on 35th Street and Lenox Avenue [Harlem, New York], I walked south down to 32nd and there were all the guys from the block looking at me asking me what the hell have I done? What trouble was I in that the FBI had been looking for me for two weeks. And they told him not only they didn't know me, but they had knocked on every door in the block to let people know that nobody knew Charlie Rangel. I just couldn't believe that they had done it.$$We're gonna change tapes. That's a wonderful story. They were protecting you.$$No question. Some of them would see me and they'd say, "What is it they say that you're doing now?" I said, "I'm a federal prosecutor." They said, "You're a federal prosecutor? Good, that's good. You take care of yourself Charlie, you know, good to see you." And--just getting out of high school in that block was quite a thing.

The Honorable William Jefferson

Congressman William J. Jefferson was born in Lake Providence, Louisiana, on March 14, 1947. Jefferson graduated from Southern University A&M and went on to graduate from Harvard University's School of Law. In 1996, Jefferson received his LL.M. degree in taxation from Georgetown University.

After graduating from Harvard, Jefferson established the law firm of Jefferson, Bryan and Gray, which went on to become the largest predominantly African American law firm in the South. Entering public service, Jefferson spent some time as an officer in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, and then as a law clerk for Alvin B. Rubin of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Jefferson later served as a legislative assistant to Senator J. Bennett Johnson. In 1980, Jefferson was elected to the Louisiana State Senate, where he was twice named Legislator of the Year by the Alliance for Good Government. Jefferson's move to Washington, D.C., came in 1991 with his election to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he continued to serve. In the House, Jefferson served on the powerful Committee on Ways and Means, and served as co-chairman of the Africa Trade and Investment Congressional Caucus. Jefferson was also chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Jefferson was active in spreading technology and education to individuals in his own district, and across the country, as he sought to remove the technological barriers that divide many people. For his efforts in bolstering technology initiatives, the Information Technology Industry Council named Jefferson Legislator of the Year. Jefferson also worked hard in Congress to bolster both domestic and international trade, leading both the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act and the New Markets Initiative to passage. For his efforts with the economy, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce presented Jefferson with its annual Spirit of Enterprise award. Jefferson and his wife, Dr. Andrea Green Jefferson, raised five daughters.

Accession Number

A2003.127

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/10/2003 |and| 6/11/2003

Last Name

Jefferson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

East Carroll Parish Training School for the Colored

G.W. Griffin High School

Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

Harvard Law School

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Lake Providence

HM ID

JEF01

Favorite Season

Fall, Summer

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Disney World, Africa

Favorite Quote

A Man Born Of A Woman Is But A Few Days And Those Days Are Filled With Trouble; Don't Worry, Don't Hurt, Don't Forget To Smell The Flowers.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

3/14/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

U.S. congressman The Honorable William Jefferson (1947 - ) established the law firm of Jefferson, Bryan and Gray, which went on to become the largest predominantly African American law firm in the South. In the course of his career in politics, Jefferson served in the Louisiana State Senate; the U.S. House of Representatives; and served on the Committee on Ways and Means and as co-chairman of the Africa Trade and Investment Congressional Caucus.

Employment

New Orleans, Louisiana

United States Senate

Jefferson, Bryan and Gray

Louisiana State Senate

United States House of Representatives

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:16666,306:17946,329:18522,368:18778,373:24224,473:30558,607:34258,706:36330,751:36848,779:37144,784:46268,913:47769,939:48322,955:52509,1040:57012,1146:65950,1242:66325,1248:67150,1260:67450,1265:68950,1277:69250,1282:75966,1351:76536,1357:78070,1363:78465,1370:78781,1375:81467,1417:82020,1430:85575,1497:86444,1519:91098,1559:92658,1611:92970,1616:93282,1621:94374,1646:94764,1652:95778,1684:96480,1710:104900,1828:106375,1872:108070,1880:112003,1946:112486,1956:115384,2017:115729,2023:116419,2037:117109,2054:117454,2060:122092,2086:122676,2095:123114,2103:123552,2111:123844,2116:124209,2122:126618,2183:130268,2309:131217,2339:134721,2406:135816,2433:136254,2441:136692,2449:148260,2635:153716,2671:156455,2726:157451,2783:164341,2861:165145,2879:165547,2886:170170,2992:170840,3008:173051,3092:173386,3098:173855,3109:174860,3126:175731,3141:177071,3166:189254,3366:189686,3373:191082,3381$0,0:6140,150:15790,272:16542,283:18140,301:19362,317:27144,414:32603,477:33005,484:36159,534:36475,539:36949,550:37265,555:37581,560:38450,572:40583,622:41136,631:43585,670:51416,734:51744,739:53302,771:54450,788:55844,808:56254,814:56992,824:57648,834:63485,892:64145,908:65355,938:66070,965:66345,971:66840,990:67060,995:67830,1017:68490,1035:70965,1098:72175,1131:73990,1182:78956,1213:79676,1226:80900,1256:83276,1293:86012,1379:87092,1399:87380,1408:92204,1516:92492,1521:92996,1534:94868,1583:95228,1589:99044,1657:105640,1674:107578,1729:117228,1874:117660,1938:119892,2020:122052,2072:122412,2078:124140,2115:125004,2130:128270,2137:130202,2177:130616,2212:130892,2220:132065,2244:132479,2251:133652,2268:133928,2273:137792,2346:141468,2368:146758,2450:154012,2598:156430,2666:156742,2684:157132,2690:158146,2700:158692,2709:164895,2767:168845,2860:169319,2871:170820,2924:173822,2968:174454,2977:179615,3028:179993,3038:182009,3085:186358,3151:186610,3156:186862,3161:187114,3166:188878,3195:189256,3202:189760,3217:191335,3243:192217,3279:192532,3286:193036,3303:198845,3356:199170,3362:199690,3372:204324,3448:204852,3455:207452,3468:208608,3478:208880,3483:209900,3494:210308,3502:211192,3528:214048,3600:215816,3636:216972,3658:220045,3668
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Jefferson interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Jefferson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Jefferson recalls his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Jefferson describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Jefferson remembers his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Jefferson shares childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Jefferson discusses his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Jefferson recounts his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William Jefferson reflects on how his mother's civil rights work affected his development

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Jefferson details racial violence in Louisiana and the dangers of civil rights work

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Jefferson recalls his college years at Southern University

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Jefferson lists his travel experiences as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Jefferson discusses his marriage and his law school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Jefferson recounts his work for Judge Alvin Rubin and Senator J. Bennett Johnston

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Jefferson remembers his army service

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Jefferson describes running for the Louisiana state senate

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Slating of William Jefferson interview

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Jefferson recalls his work as a Louisiana state senator

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Jefferson details his decision to run for Congress and his 1990 election campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Jefferson analyzes why Democrats lost their House majority in 1994

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Jefferson recounts some highlights of his Congressional tenure

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Jefferson details his work with the Congressional Black Caucus and African trade groups

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Jefferson discusses how Democrats could take back control from Republicans

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Jefferson evaluates African American presidential candidates

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Jefferson expresses his thoughts on reparations and affirmative action

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Jefferson discusses African Americans in the criminal justice system

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Jefferson considers his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

9$1

DATitle
William Jefferson reflects on how his mother's civil rights work affected his development
William Jefferson details racial violence in Louisiana and the dangers of civil rights work
Transcript
Now when you were coming along, did the Civil Rights-you know, did the Civil Rights Movement started up I guess in '57. You would've been in grade school?$$I'd've been ten years old.$$Yeah. You know, did it--did any parts of the Civil Rights Movement hit Northeast Louisiana when you were coming up?$$Not much. By the time--My mother [Angeline Harris Jefferson] was very involved in voter registration. She and a fellow named Reverend [Francis Joseph] Atlas and Reverend John H. Scott. He was our leader. He was an NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] head. They were the first five black people to get on the vote-on the voting roles in Lake Providence [Louisiana]. My mother took the test, the so called literacy test, I don't know three or four times. And later on taught it at our house in our little front room there. The literacy test was, of course, as an obstacle, an impediment to voting. It wasn't meant to test anybody's literacy, 'cause nobody passed the thing unless the guy wanted you to pass it. And so all the school teachers failed, everybody failed who was bold enough to go and take it. Most folks weren't bold enough to take it anyway. My mother took it over and over I guess six, seven times. And then they put so much pressure on the literacy test business till finally in 1962, she and these other three, four folks were put on the rolls. And she was told she had passed it. Now the literacy test has certain features I remember, because I remember my mother teaching it in the-in the-in our house. And the old folks who were illiterate had a hard time with it, as were the old white folks who were illiterate would have had too--they didn't have to take it, of course. But they couldn't--They had to recite the preamble of the [United States] Constitution. They had to recite the [U.S.] presidents in order. They had to be able to compute their--compute their ages with the year, the month and the day, all of which they did. They labored with great difficulty in trying to figure these things out. And so I got involved with my mother, with these people in our house and this little instruction. You got to remember up there, parents were deathly afraid of us--children getting involved in anything. They'd beg us, "Please don't do this. Please don't go here. Please don't go to the wrong window. Please don't go to the wrong place in the movie house. Please, please, please." Because they knew the consequence. Whether you got run out of town, or you got killed or something. You know, something happen to you that was awful. There was no recourse and there was no appeal. You were just done for. And so you had these horrible stories about young men who were--from Emmett Till to all the rest who were killed or run away. And so there was this great fear on the part of the parents. Well my mother would do all these things. But she wanted us to just really stay real close to her. So I remember going with her to the school board, to the P.T.A. [Parent Teacher Association] where she would raise-just raise hell about school books and conditions and teachers and pay for the school teachers as a part of her responsibility as NAACP head. But the other part was on the Civil Rights voter registration. My mother was always there, which is why I think I got this interest in public service.$And we were talking about Reverend [John H.] Scott. Can you tell us something about him, the Civil Rights leader?$$Reverend Scott was a tremendously courageous man. He was a wisp of a man. I guess about (chuckling) 5'3", 120 pounds, a little bitty guy. But he had the heart of a lion. And he was courageous to a fault. And he led our Civil Rights efforts in Lake Providence [Louisiana]. And we all lined up behind whatever he did. And the biggest efforts there was for voting rights. And in North Louisiana, you had three or four people who were just outstanding leaders. In our parish Reverend Scott. And right down the road in Tallulah was Zelma Wyche. And over in--down in Bogalusa was A. Z. Young. And then you had so many people in every parish that was somebody who was involved with, with doing something along the lines we're talk--folks you never heard of. But who were just absolutely committed, involved in taking risk. 'Cause they lived in these places. It wasn't like coming in and leaving town and making a speech and going away. I mean every day they had to go to bed there, and had to go through the routines of what happens if somebody comes to your house at night. And how do you protect your children and all that sort of business. So it was a tough-a tough deal. In fact, by the time when I was fifteen my father [Mose Jefferson] was already telling us how, you know, if somebody encountered you here or there, how you oughta handle yourself and how you oughta beg folks to--for your life and for this and that. You have to kind of find a way to fight back on things in order to--And this is what you had to talk to the children about. Because when you got old enough to walk away from your house and leave your parents, there was no telling what would happen to you.$$Now did you--Do you remember stories of lynchings or harassment of people down there?$$When I came along, I don't remember anybody being lynched. A lot of people beaten. A lot of guys run out of town for looking somebody in the eye, for saying they looked at some white woman, who was in the store, was not talking to her right. That kind of craziness. My mother's-My mother [Angeline Harris Jefferson] told me about a lot of cases of people being lynched or shot dead for these sorts of so called infractions. But the most serious one that I remember was a black physician who was in town. His name was Dr. Green--before I was born who'd come there. And he had, you know, a new car and he had an office. And he looked like a professional man. And he was for that reason told to leave town. And they didn't want him there, giving black folks the wrong idea about--ideas about what they might be able to do. And he didn't leave. And finally, they burn some office or whatever. He decided to--Well he needed to get out of there. And he got his things and went to the depot and was shot at the train station. Shot dead in daylight. They told us that a thousand times. But you could image if you were somebody's mother or father and you were worried-you were concerned about your child, whatever. You would do everything you could to keep them from getting involved or taking a chance here or there. Because they would take a chance, but they didn't want you to take a chance. But, of course, we did anyway. We pushed the issues. 'Cause young people do that. But we were--there were--Reverend Scott and the rest didn't-They did things themselves. They were very careful to keep us from doing it. Unlike in Birmingham where when things got going, a lot of kids were asked to get involved. That--In our part of the country, it was quite different.

The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins

Augustus “Gus” Hawkins was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on August 31, 1907. Moving to Los Angeles with his family in 1918 to escape prejudice, Hawkins attended public schools. After graduating high school in 1926, Hawkins attended the University of California, Los Angeles, earning his A.B. degree in economics in 1931. He went on to take graduate level courses from the University of Southern California’s Institute of Government.

In his first attempt at political office, Hawkins won election to the California State Assembly in 1934, upsetting an incumbent of sixteen years. During the twenty-eight years he served, he authored more than 100 laws and rose to the position of chairman of the Rules Committee. His legislation resulted in African Americans being appointed as judges and state commissioners, and he also championed for the rights of the poor, such as his Fair Housing Act and old age pensions. In 1962, Hawkins was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he would serve until 1990. During his tenure, he continued to champion equal rights and also pressed for legislation to protect youth with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. Hawkins also helped push through the Minority Institutional Aid Act, which gave financial aid to traditional minority colleges, and was the author of the Full Employment Act.

Over the course of his career, Hawkins authored more than 300 laws and succeeded in restoring an honorable discharge to the 170 black soldiers of the 25th Infantry Regiment who were falsely accused of a public disturbance in Brownsville, Texas, in 1906, and removed from the U.S. Army.

Hawkins and his wife, Elsie, lived in Los Angeles until his death on November 10, 2007. Hawkins was 100 years old.

Accession Number

A2003.255

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/12/2003

Last Name

Hawkins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Freeman

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

George Washington Carver Middle School

Thomas Jefferson High School

University of California, Los Angeles

University of Southern California

First Name

Augustus

Birth City, State, Country

Shreveport

HM ID

HAW01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Monterey, California

Favorite Quote

Gus for US and US for Gus.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/31/1907

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lamb Chops

Death Date

11/10/2007

Short Description

U.S. congressman The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins (1907 - 2007 ) served in the California State Assembly for twenty-eight years and then for another twenty-eight years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Employment

California State Assembly

United States House of Representatives

Favorite Color

Dark Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1998,9:5694,70:11238,209:16362,275:18210,369:24908,396:31704,409:44167,612:51171,698:52407,712:61240,722:63976,773:64508,781:75462,916:77226,940:79480,966:91694,1103:92104,1109:95466,1168:111460,1308:118768,1406:119116,1411:138322,1608:140896,1632:141481,1638:159918,1829:173984,1881:175604,1912:191384,2125:194418,2145:203118,2217:251291,2741:254954,2783:280248,3047:305280,3300$0,0:215180,2005
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about his paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about historical legacy

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about his early childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes growing up in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes Los Angeles, California in the early 20th century

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins recalls Thomas Jefferson High School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes the racial dynamics of the Los Angeles, California school system

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about the racial politics of Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about political organizing

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins explains how he became a member of the California State Assembly

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes his 1934 campaign, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes his 1934 campaign, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about his early years in the California State Assembly

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about his relationship with the black community

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about college friendships

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins outlines early legislative achievements in the California State Assembly

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about Japanese internment

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about the California State Assembly in the 1930s and 1940s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes his election to the United States Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about federal education legislation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about federal employment legislation, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about federal employment legislation, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about the development of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about the importance of education

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

4$2

DATitle
The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about the racial politics of Los Angeles, California
The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes his election to the United States Congress
Transcript
Okay, so when you, when you were on the verge of graduating from high school [Thomas Jefferson High School, Los Angeles, California], you, you wanted to go into the sciences, you said, right? Not--okay.$$The sciences were my main interest.$$And what did you major in in, in UCLA [University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California]?$$In UCLA, I majored in economics. The--as I say, they did not have engineering as a part of the--engineering department. I was still hopeful that one day I'd get to the University of California at Berkeley [Berkeley, California]. I never made it because--getting into another part of my life--in the '30s [1930s], we, as young people were very much interested in trying to control the leadership, or to get some leadership, largely through people like Leon Washington [Jr.], who was the editor of the [Los Angeles] Sentinel. And so, we became interested in the only black who had ever been elected at that time to a statewide office, an individual by the name of Fred Roberts [Frederick Madison Roberts], who was a Republican member of the [California] State Assembly in Sacramento [California]. And we felt that the fact that we didn't get good jobs and didn't get restrictive covenants outlawed and so forth, we blamed on the lack of leadership, the fact that the person who represented us in Sacramento happened to be of the Republican persuasion. At that time most blacks were Republican because of historical reasons. [Abraham] Lincoln had freed the slaves and therefore, they became Republicans in order to fight the Democrats. And from that led-- that led, many of us as young people, to want to change the leadership. Most of the organizations and leaders in Los Angeles [California] were Republicans. The ministers were Republicans. The civil rights groups were still not yet well known. That movement, the civil rights movement in Los Angeles largely came out of the [The Benevolent and Protective Order of] Elks [of the United States of America] organization--the civil liberties union of the Elks. And every week a forum was held at the Elks auditorium featuring the civil liberties union. That became almost classified as a left wing group at that time.$$Usually the Elks are associated with parties and music in most black communities--and I, they, perhaps they do more, but that's what the public sees mostly. But the Elks of Los Angeles were, were involved in reforms.$$At that time, the civil liberties union of the Elks was a place to be on Friday night at their forum. And as young people, many of us began to participate in their forum because we had an opportunity therefore, to talk about the leadership. The newspapers were Republican. The organizations largely were Republican led. Most of the professionals were Republicans. Even the leaders of the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples] in Los Angeles were Republican. At that time one of the high positions among blacks was superintendent of the county employees in the Los Angeles [County] Hall of Records [Los Angeles, California] and administrative buildings were Republican. So to get a job you had to be really a Republican or a supporter of the Republican Party. And so we had to break through that, that glass ceiling.$Okay, anything else--do you want to mention anything else from the [California] General Assembly days? Or should we--$$Well, I think we've covered the General Assembly. In 1962, I figured that I'd been in Sacramento [California] long enough-twenty-eight years. As I say, it wasn't my first selection to be in. Even a politician wasn't my first selection--to be in public office, but I figured that that was long enough. So I decided in 1962--when [John Fitzgerald] Kennedy was running for president, that this was a good time to get on the national scene because in Sacramento you--the best thing was speed limits, the weight of--the weights that people could handle. Local issues became--were important, but to me the greater issues were national. So I ran at--with the support of John F. Kennedy for the [United States] Congress and also with the support of the delegation--the congressional delegation because I had supported many individuals as Congress--for Congress from my area who had always been white, obviously. Franklin [Delano Roosevelt, FDR]--not only Helen Gahagan Douglas, but I had supported FDR's son, James Roosevelt and others. They supported me in carving out a district [21st district] from the ghetto area that I could be elected from, and I succeeded in doing so. The--$$So you, you, you represented, when you were initially elected, the South Central, Los Angeles?$$South Central area. Although--$$What we would call Watts [California] and--$$It did not include Watts.$$It didn't include Watts, okay.$$As a matter of fact, it included other small towns that Huntington Park [California] and Southgate [California], that--where there were few minorities, possibly a few Hispanics, but mostly white districts. So, I was very fortunate in getting a district that, that was carved out in such a way that not only minorities, but pro-labor people were the dominant voters, and I had no trouble being elected, and that started a twenty-eight year career on the federal level.