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Joan Small

Commissioner Joan F. Small was born on September 12, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois. She attended the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana for three years before transferring to Roosevelt University where she received her B.A. degree in psychology and social work in 1964.

Small was employed by the Cook County Department of Public Aid in 1964 as a caseworker where she worked in public housing at the Robert Taylor Homes. In 1969, Small became a member of the administrative staff of Metropolitan Family Services (originally the United Charities of Chicago). Small played a key role in the expansion and implementation of Metropolitan Family Services’ development program. She was hired by the City of Chicago in 1987 as the director of development for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. In that role, she organized and implemented various fund-raising campaigns. She also developed marketing strategies and established sponsorships with corporate partners and local cultural institutions and arts agencies. In 1988, Small was appointed as the First Deputy Commissioner for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs by Mayor Richard M. Daley. Over the sixteen years she held that position, she managed the daily operations of the department. With a staff of 160 employees and an annual budget of $16.4 million, Small oversaw most program divisions and administrative activities, including grants, visual arts, performing arts, public art, cultural tourism, fundraising, the Chicago Sister Cities International Program and other international projects. Small developed and implemented programming, personnel procedures and oversight for the department’s seven non-profit entities. She also served as the department liaison to the mayor’s office for key governmental functions and legislative issues.

Small has been active in various local and national non-profit organizations. These include serving as a director of Americans for the Arts for twelve years and chair of the Leadership Advisory Committee of The Art Institute of Chicago. Small also served as a member for Know Your Chicago, the Chicago Chapter of The Links Inc, Chicago Chapter, National Smart Set, and The Friday Club. Previous board affiliations include the Alliance Franchise of Chicago; the Chicago Chapter of the National Conference of Community and Justice (formally National Conference of Christians and Jews); the women’s board of The Goodman Theatre; the International Visitors Center of Chicago; the Advisory Board of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and the Women’s Board, Metropolitan Family Services.

Commissioner Joan F. Small was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 21, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.217

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/21/2013

Last Name

Small

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Roosevelt University

Hirsch Metropolitan High School

Austin O. Sexton Elementary School

First Name

Joan

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

SMA04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Italy, France, Hawaii, New Buffalo, Michigan

Favorite Quote

If You Don't Know What You Don't Know, You'll Never Be Able To Learn.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

9/12/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Bacon

Short Description

City government official Joan Small (1941 - ) served as the Director of Development for the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and as First Deputy Commissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.

Employment

City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

Metropolitan Family Services

Cook County Department of Public Aid

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joan Small's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joan Small lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joan Small talks about her mother's personality and career

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joan Small describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joan Small describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joan Small talks about her maternal great-great-great-grandfather, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joan Small talks about her maternal great-great-great-grandfather, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joan Small describes her maternal aunts and uncles

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joan Small remembers her maternal great uncle

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joan Small describes her research into her maternal relatives in Canada

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joan Small talks about her father's early years

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joan Small recalls her parents' bridge playing skills

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joan Small remembers her father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joan Small describes her early years in the Washington Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joan Small talks about Chicago's Washington Park neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joan Small recalls running for Snowball Queen at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joan Small remembers facing discrimination at Hirsch High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joan Small describes her favorite teacher at Austin O. Sexton Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joan Small talks about her experiences at Hirsch High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joan Small recalls her decision to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joan Small remembers transferring to Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joan Small describes her husband's career

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joan Small talks about becoming a social worker at the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joan Small recalls the shortcomings of the Robert Taylor Homes

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joan Small describes the political motivations behind Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joan Small talks about becoming an intake social worker for the United Charities of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joan Small recalls transitioning to development fundraising for the United Charities of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joan Small remembers her challenges as a development fundraiser for the United Charities of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joan Small describes her strategy for fundraising with the United Charities of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joan Small talks about her volunteer work as a development consultant

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joan Small recalls joining the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Joan Small remembers the start of city government fundraising for arts programs in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Joan Small describes Lois Weisberg's impact on arts and culture in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Joan Small talks about her role as first deputy commissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joan Small describes the organizational focus of the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joan Small talks about the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs' budget

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joan Small recalls the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs' relationship with the Chicago City Council

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joan Small remembers the staff at the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joan Small describes the history of Sister Cities International

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joan Small talks about the cities involved with Sister Cities International

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joan Small recalls her travels with Sister Cities International

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Joan Small describes the Chicago CityArts program

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Joan Small remembers Black Creativity at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Joan Small talks about her accomplishments at the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joan Small recalls retiring from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joan Small talks about her favorite programs led by the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joan Small recalls the corporate sponsors of the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joan Small remembers the successful organizations funded by the Chicago CityArts program

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Joan Small reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Joan Small shares her views of the current arts community in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Joan Small talks about the naming of the Muriel Williams Battle High School in Columbia, Missouri

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

7$7

DATitle
Joan Small recalls joining the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
Joan Small recalls her travels with Sister Cities International
Transcript
And you left there, in what year?$$Oh, let's see. Charlie [Charles Feldstein] came into my office quietly and said, "Please, don't tell Jerry Erickson [A. Gerald Erickson]," that was the head of the agency at the time, "and John Purdy [John D. Purdy] that I'm going to do this" (coughs). He said, "But Joan Harris [Joan W. Harris]," who was Irving Harris' [Irving B. Harris] wife who was, had just been appointed commissioner of Department of Cultural Affairs [City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events] and she wanted a direct, she wanted to start a development office at city government which was unheard of. It took her months to get that position into government but he said, "I told her when she gets the position I have the perfect person." I looked at him, I said, "What would make you think I would want to do that?" And he said, "'Cause I know where your volunteer work has been done," and it was true. I had been doing a lot of volunteer work with [HistoryMaker] Margaret Burroughs at the DuSable Museum [DuSable Museum of African American History, Chicago, Illinois]. Part of my, and it was an outgrowth of social work, part of my belief was that I began to realize that the children I had seen at Robert Taylor [Robert Taylor Homes, Chicago, Illinois], children I had seen in Woodlawn [Chicago, Illinois] at United Charities [United Charities of Chicago; Metropolitan Family Services] and just through other contacts, we had nowhere to see ourselves reflected on the walls of museums and major institutions and iconic places and I thought that was sad that if kids would--could go to the Art Institute [Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois] all the time, they could on really rare occasions see a black face, but one of the reasons I thought Margaret had done such a good job in starting up DuSable Museum was that children could just flock there and see their culture and themselves and their images reflected and, of themselves, reflected on the walls of institutions and quite, frankly, it, an eight year old doesn't really know the difference between the sophistication of an Art Institute and the DuSable Museum, I mean, you can take them to the DuSable Museum and if it's, works for them. So that was where I was doing a lot of volunteer work for that reason and Charlie knew that. So his comment was, "I know of your interest in culture and I think you need to try and look at this." So I met with Joan and a couple of months later went to work, or maybe three months later, went to work for her and she did get through a development office position and within a year or a year and a half, or less, I, she pr- she promoted me to first deputy commissioner.$$Who was the mayor at that time?$$When I first started looking at the position, Harold Washington was the mayor. And then, by the time, and it took a long time for her, I shouldn't say three months, it must have taken several months for her to get that through the budget process, by the time I took the job, and it was approved, I guess the position was approved in the fall but they wouldn't let her fill it, and then he died, and then there was a change, so it was Gene Sawyer [HistoryMaker Eugene Sawyer] to answer your question, but there were a number of things that happened in that process. So Gene Sawyer was there and then after that it was Rich Daley [Richard M. Daley].$How many of the cities did you actually get to go to?$$You know, she had a very, very hard fast rule and so did the mayor [Richard M. Daley] and so did I that we, the easiest thing to come, for sister cities' downfall is to, that it begins to look like a boondoggle. So we didn't go to that many cities. It was only after, maybe six, seven years that, oh, I know the North African city was Morocco, just (laughter), in Casablanca, I mean, Casablanca in Morocco. He would not go until five or six years, he would say, "Nope, nope" because taxpayers start talking about it as a boondoggle, the press picks it up and, you know, they're quick to jump on anything and should. I'm not saying they shouldn't, but they should. So we finally convinced him, one of the rules of the sis- International Sister Cities program is that you have to have a signing, a formal signing of the mayor, with the mayor of each city in each city. So when he signed the one for Lucerne [Switzerland], he had to, you know, the mayor of Lucerne, for example, would come to Chicago [Illinois] and he signed an agreement here. It isn't fully established until Chicago's mayor goes to Lucerne. So whenever he would find himself for some other reason in another part of the world, he would, we managed to convince him to go by and formalize this agreement. Eventually he began, as the business contacts for Chicagoans began to increase, he began to say, "Okay, I can justify this." It isn't that he didn't see the value in it, he had to justify the value because, and you never could justify the value of Lois [Lois Weisberg] and I traveling that much, so she never went. I think she may have gone on one sister cities trip. I went with Mrs. Daley [Maggie Daley] to Prague [Czech Republic]. I went to, where else did I go? I went to Durban [South Africa] but that was not because of, I mean it was because of sister cities but it wasn't on a sister cities trip, it was because they wanted me to come and give a paper in Johannesburg [South Africa], Durban and Cape Town [South Africa] on cultural tourism at their request right after Mandela's [Nelson Mandela] administration took hold. I had to go over an expert, as an expert and do that which was wonderful. I went to, where else did I go? I went to, didn't go to Asia. I can't remember, maybe three, four, oh, Milan [Italy]. I went to Milan.$$How did you track the business flow in terms of what benefits Chicago or the sister city got out of the relationship?$$Import, export through the staff. Our sister cities staff did it and the committees and the volunteers. If you're a businessman who wants to do business in, and our two Chinese sister cities were Shanghai [China] and Shenyang [China], and let's say you had something you wanted to do import, ex- import or export to or from Shanghai then you got involved on that committee and we knew that. I mean, it wasn't a negative, it was, you had to have access and you monitored it. You made sure it wasn't abused but you, we could, we could track it because we knew who was involved and then we could track how many exports were done. We could track how many new businesses were set up. We could track how many new businesses would fail.

The Honorable Carl Snowden

Civil rights activist and politician Carl Snowden was born on June 17, 1953, to Ora and William Snowden, in Baltimore, Maryland, and was raised in Annapolis, Maryland, where he attended Annapolis Elementary School. As a student, Snowden was greatly influenced by The Autobiography of Malcolm X. In 1970, Snowden, along with fourteen other students, were expelled from Annapolis High School after they boycotted classes to protest the school’s lack of African American teachers and African American studies courses. Local benefactors raised funds for him to attend the private Key School. While still a young adult, Snowden organized an African American group called VOTE.

1976, Snowden successfully sued the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for illegally spying on him through the COINTELPRO program, which was established by the FBI to keep activists under surveillance. Snowden was kept under surveillance by the FBI from the age of 16 until 24. Snowden was awarded $10,000 and the FBI was required to expunge his files. Snowden received his M.A. degree in human services from Lincoln University in 1985.

In 1982, Snowden founded Carl Snowden & Associates, a private civil rights firm that specialized in civil rights issues. After building a reputation as a leading civil rights activist, Snowden was elected to serve as representative for the majority black Fifth Ward on the Annapolis City Council in 1985. As alderman, Snowden introduced landmark legislation that prohibited private clubs from discriminating against people based on their race, color, gender, and national origin; and also passed legislation prohibiting stalking and sexual harassment. Snowden then spearheaded the removal of Arthur G. Strissel, Jr. from the position of executive director of the Annapolis Housing Authority after he was charged and convicted of bribery and fraud. In 1988, Snowden founded the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, Inc., which hosts an annual Awards Dinner honoring people who, through their deeds, words, and actions, help to keep Dr. King’s legacy alive. Following Snowden’s unsuccessful run for mayor of the City of Annapolis, Snowden worked for Governor Parris N. Glendening as an administrator in the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services and as the president for the Anne Arundel County Economic Opportunity Committee. In 2007, the State of Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler appointed Snowden as the first Director of the Civil Rights Program. While there, Snowden campaigned for civil rights for all people and led an investigation into the Annapolis Housing Authority’s banning practices.

Snowden has campaigned for numerous local candidates, including Janet S. Owens, the first woman elected as county executive in Anne Arundel County, Maryland; and Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen. Snowden, who spearheaded a successful two-year $800 thousand capital fund campaign to create the first Coretta Scott King Memorial Garden and the first Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in the State of Maryland. Snowden was honored with an award at the 23rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Dinner in Glen Burnie, Maryland in 2011.

Carl Snowden was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 9, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.038

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/9/2011

Last Name

Snowden

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

O

Schools

Lincoln University

Annapolis Elementary School

Annapolis Junior High School

Annapolis High School

University of the District of Columbia

Howard University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Carl

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

SNO01

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Adults

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Civil Rights Topics

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brazil

Favorite Quote

No One Can Do Everything, But Every One Can Do Something

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

6/17/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chinese Food

Short Description

Civil rights activist and city government official The Honorable Carl Snowden (1953 - ) was the director of the civil rights division in the Maryland Attorney General's Office and served as a city councilman of Annapolis, Maryland.

Employment

Office of the Attorney General of Maryland

Office of the County Executive - Anne Arundel County

Annapolis City Council

Carl Snowden & Associates

Community Action Agency

Community Viewpoint

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Carl Snowden's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Carl Snowden lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes his father's U.S. military service

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes segregation in Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Carl Snowden remembers his playmate's father, Mr. Marshall

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls Mr. Marshall's mistreatment by his white employer

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Carl Snowden talks about his mother's response to racism

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Carl Snowden lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls his maternal grandfather's death

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Carl Snowden remembers Annapolis Elementary School in Annapolis, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes his first home in Annapolis, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Carl Snowden remembers President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Carl Snowden remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Carl Snowden talks about WANN Radio in Annapolis, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls reading 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X'

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls boycotting classes at Annapolis High School in Annapolis, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls negotiating with the NAACP

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls his expulsion from Annapolis High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls attending the Key School in Annapolis, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Carl Snowden remembers being investigated by the FBI

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes his radio program, 'Community Viewpoint'

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls attending Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls working for the Community Action Agency

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls the birth of his first son

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls gaining access to his FBI file

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes his housing activism in Annapolis, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls how he came to found Carl Snowden and Associates

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes Carl Snowden and Associates

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Carl Snowden remembers appearing on 'Square Off'

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls meeting Oprah Winfrey

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Carl Snowden talks about publicizing Carl Snowden and Associates

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls his election to the Annapolis City Council

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes the structure of Annapolis City Council

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls introducing a South African divestment bill

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Carl Snowden remembers traveling to South Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls passing South African divestment legislation in Annapolis, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls a lesson from Parren J. Mitchell, III

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Carl Snowden talk about Maryland's Mitchell family

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls his decision to run for mayor of Annapolis, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls his bill to integrate private clubs in Annapolis, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes the political history of Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls securing the posthumous pardon of John Snowden

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls the creation of a memorial for Maryland's lynching victims

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls honoring Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. in Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Carl Snowden talks about Coretta Scott King's legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls meeting Governor Paris Glendenning

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes the government of Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls becoming director of Maryland's civil rights division

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes the psychological effects of racism

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes his hopes for public housing

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Carl Snowden talks about economic development

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Carl Snowden describes the progress of African Americans

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Carl Snowden reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Carl Snowden talks about his family

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

2$2

DATitle
The Honorable Carl Snowden remembers being investigated by the FBI
The Honorable Carl Snowden recalls securing the posthumous pardon of John Snowden
Transcript
Now how are your father [William Snowden] and you getting along during this period?$$One of the things that happened that I was not made aware of until many years later, the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] has opened up, there's a program called COINTEL- COINTELPRO, it's a counterintelligence program, it's run by J. Edgar Hoover and it was set up in the late '60s [1960s] and early '70s [1970s] and it was designed to target activists. And so the government would open up these files on people and I didn't realize it at the time. I would later come to discover that I would have one but they had opened up a file on me right after the incident at Annapolis High School [Annapolis, Maryland] and so during my final year at Key School [Annapolis, Maryland], because now I'm active in anti-war movement, anti-Vietnam War movement, during my final years at Key School, the FBI came and they interviewed my professors, they interviewed fellow students and, they interviewed my parents, who never told me this that they were being interviewed by the FBI. And when I asked my mother [Ora Brown Snowden] why she didn't tell me this she said, "Well, they said not to tell you," because you know they were conducting this investigation, they were really concerned with my wellbeing and all this kind of stuff, and so she never told me. So during this period with my parents, I think the great struggle was, was I getting myself involved in something that could ultimately do me harm because from their perspective when the FBI comes to visit you, they wanna know things about your child, something is terribly wrong. So I think at this period it was great, great concern.$$And, and that was a strained relationship--$$Yep.$$--I hear, that's what I hear.$$It was strained only because I think the views were so different.$As a result of becoming a member of the city council [Annapolis City Council] I got very much involved in the history of blacks on the city council and one of the things that I discovered when I was on city council was a man named Louis Snowden who is not related to me, came to me one day and he said to me, "I want you to look into something." And what he wanted me to look into was his brother was named John Snowden. John Snowden was the last African American that was hanged by execution in Anne Arundel County [Maryland]. His crime was that he allegedly raped and murdered a pregnant white woman [Lottie Mae Brandon]. He was an ice man, he being John Snowden. So partly because his name was Snowden, the surname, I was curious a little bit about who he was, I decided to do some research and what I found out was that indeed in 1918 [sic. 1917] when the alleged crime took place, he was arrested for that crime and February 28, 1919, he was executed by hanging. But what made this a fascinating story was that African Americans who was alive during that era including my mother [Ora Brown Snowden] who was born in 1917 had heard the story about John Snowden being handed down from generation to generation, saying that he was unfairly hanged for a crime he didn't commit. So while a member of the city council, I wrote to the then governor William Donald Schaefer same man I had a problem with 'Square Off' and relayed to him this story about John Snowden, asked that he investigate and see whether or not this guy get a posthumous pardon now that he--'cause he was deceased but see whether or not there was any truth to the, to the story that he had been unfairly executed. The governor then promised to look into it, never did anything. I had then left the city council and got appointed to the cabinet of Janet Owens [Janet S. Owens] who is the first woman elected county executive. The first day of going to work at what was called the Arundel Center [Annapolis, Maryland] which is where the sheriff's office used to be where John Snowden was hanged, I run into a black man who's walking back and forth in front of the building and I'm under the impression that he's elderly, that he doesn't know where he's going. So I started to tell him this is the building where you pay your taxes, et cetera, et cetera. And he quickly tells me, "I know what this building is. The reason I don't wanna go in this building 'cause this where they killed that Snowden guy." And I thought it was providence that he would bring that up. As I went up now in my new position as a cabinet member and I wrote the current governor at that time was Parris Glendening who was the governor that succeeded William Donald Schaefer and wrote him the same identical letter that I written to Governor Schaefer. Governor Glendening promised that he would look into it. He did look into it. They did an investigation and they concluded that in all likelihood, John Snowden did not commit the murder and had been put to death for a crime that he didn't commit. And they based that on three things that they later discovered. One is that when John Snowden was executed an anonymous letter was sent to the local newspaper saying that they killed the wrong person. Twenty-one of the--sorry, eleven of the twelve jury members during that day asked that the--asked that the governor reconsider the sentence that had been given to John Snowden 'cause now they had doubt as well and the governor thought given the racial climate that occurred during that period of time in all probability he probably didn't get a fair trial so John Snowden was the first man in Maryland's history to be pardoned for a crime that had to do with race and violence.

The Honorable Frank Brown

Omaha, Nebraska’s, District Two City Councilman, Frank Dee Brown was born on August 18, 1953, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Lyda Montgomery and Warren Hugh Brown. Brown grew up around his father’s lounge on North Omaha’s 24th Street. His family lineage includes black fur trappers, Scotch Irish and Mexican. His uncle, nicknamed “Little Frank” Dee Brown, was a successful businessman and actor. He appeared in the movie, Bedlam with Boris Karloff and in the Wizard of Oz. Brown’s uncle was the first husband of actress/activist Ruby Dee and a friend of Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte. Brown, who enjoyed CYO basketball, attended St. Benedict’s Elementary School and graduated from Holy Name High School in 1971. He attended Virginia Union University from 1971 to 1972 and graduated from the University of Omaha in 1975 with a B.A. degree in communications.

Brown’s career began as a researcher for Omaha’s KAFB-AM Radio’s Walt Kavanaugh Show, the top rated radio show in the Midwest in 1975. Next, he was an investigative reporter for KMTV-TV and KETV-TV. As a journalist, Brown investigated the Iowa School for the Deaf, a hotel collapse, the John Joubert murder case and the United Airlines’ crash in Sioux City, Iowa in 1989. In 1995, Brown became director of the Jimmy Wilson, Jr. Foundation which was named for a fallen police officer. Brown gained a reputation in the community which led to his candidacy as an Omaha city councilman in 1997, when the seated black councilwoman from the second district, Brenda Council, unsuccessfully ran for mayor.

Brown is an advocate for jobs, gun control and better housing. He was an avid supporter of a new sports stadium, library renovation and a new jazz complex on 24th Street. Always a defender of and advocate for the impoverished African North Omaha community, Brown is also the Executive Director of Housing In Omaha, Inc., a nonprofit in Omaha, Nebraska.

Accession Number

A2007.283

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/7/2007

Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Holy Name High School

St. Benedict the Moor School

University of Nebraska-Omaha

Virginia Union University

First Name

Frank

Birth City, State, Country

Omaha

HM ID

BRO48

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Nebraska

Favorite Vacation Destination

Atlanta, Georgia

Favorite Quote

Get It Done.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nebraska

Birth Date

8/18/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Omaha

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

City council member and city government official The Honorable Frank Brown (1953 - ) was the executive director of Housing In Omaha, Inc., a nonprofit, affiliate corporation of the Omaha Housing Authority in Omaha, Nebraska.

Employment

Housing In Omaha, Inc.

Omaha City Council

KFAB Radio

KMTV-TV

KETV-TV

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1001,23:1309,28:3080,40:6083,122:6622,128:6930,133:14708,235:16065,277:29128,446:29674,458:30844,478:33496,520:37474,596:38410,624:39502,650:39970,657:40282,662:40594,667:50034,764:54246,831:60229,928:60685,937:61027,945:61768,962:65724,1004:66608,1019:66880,1024:74080,1150:77370,1240:77720,1246:79470,1288:79750,1293:80800,1314:81850,1331:83530,1367:83810,1372:89850,1427:98884,1551:101400,1607:105136,1654:105528,1662:105920,1671:107040,1709:112633,1783:112917,1788:118266,1857:118914,1866:120372,1894:126160,1961$0,0:5082,110:5621,118:10016,160:10308,165:11914,197:16311,265:16950,276:22062,453:23908,507:24405,516:24831,523:26109,548:29588,596:30227,606:31008,621:36446,656:37994,675:42656,728:43124,735:51140,875:57300,1004:58100,1016:62980,1121:63460,1128:64740,1157:65140,1163:80112,1347:80976,1366:81624,1382:82920,1406:83424,1414:84720,1434:85008,1439:85368,1445:86592,1467:90080,1478:93304,1542:97834,1583:99509,1623:100246,1635:102792,1689:103395,1700:104802,1728:105070,1733:105405,1742:116720,1858:123662,1971:124201,1979:127326,1990:128874,2015:129476,2023:130422,2046:130852,2052:134330,2082:134970,2091:135770,2104:136330,2117:144638,2221:147366,2283:149102,2317:155688,2397:159249,2433:163436,2508:168340,2559:168765,2565:171655,2606:175625,2632:184096,2708:184642,2719:185370,2779:187392,2807:187722,2813:191286,2871:192078,2906:198552,3044:198944,3052:199784,3076:200176,3084:200736,3103:206280,3184:207380,3191
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Frank Brown's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frank Brown lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Frank Brown remembers segregation in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Frank Brown remembers his uncle, Frank Dee Brown, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Frank Brown remembers his uncle, Frank Dee Brown, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Frank Brown talks about his paternal uncle's photography collection

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his paternal uncle's political views

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his likeness to his father

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Frank Brown reflects upon his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Frank Brown remembers his involvement in sports

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Frank Brown remembers his high school prom

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls the academic tracking at Holy Name High School in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Frank Brown remembers his exclusion from extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls his decision to attend Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls his arrival at Virginia Union University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Frank Brown talks about the gang violence in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frank Brown remembers his studies at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls his experiences at the University of Nebraska-Omaha

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Frank Brown remembers joining KFAB Radio in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his early investigative reporting

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls his coverage of the abuse at schools for the deaf

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls his investigative reporting for KETV-TV and KMTV-TV

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Frank Brown talks about covering tragic news stories

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls his campaign for the Omaha City Council

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Frank Brown talks about the North Omaha Freeway

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frank Brown talks about the political districts in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes District 2 of Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Frank Brown talks about the employment opportunities in District 2 of Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his early experiences on the Omaha City Council

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his accomplishments as an Omaha City Council member

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls his work for the Omaha Housing Authority

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his work with Housing In Omaha, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his advice to aspiring legislators

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his hopes for the black community of Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Frank Brown reflects upon his career

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Frank Brown talks about the social problems in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Frank Brown reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Frank Brown reflects upon his service to District 2 in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

5$8

DATitle
The Honorable Frank Brown describes his early experiences on the Omaha City Council
The Honorable Frank Brown describes his work with Housing In Omaha, Inc.
Transcript
Now, did you have very much cooperation from the mayor of the city? I mean--$$The first one [Hal Daub], no, but, but--my first four years it was a real learning experience. He taught me how to fight this even when we're at odds. He taught me, "You gotta read everything," I knew that going in, but he said--. But we didn't get along at all, but it, it taught me how to, how to read, read--but read between the lines, he taught me how to read between the lines and made me a better politician and, and a--really a, a fighting politician, I was a fighter before, but there's--it's different in politics. And you've gotta stand up and you've gotta really work your project and build allegiances. That's, that's, that's huge and tremendous, and so I did that my first year. When I got on, I knew that I was gonna have a problem because I knew--and there was this mistrust of me being a reporter--a former reporter. So I got together with my colleagues and I said, "We all can be city pre- be council presidents and vice presidents." And there was animosity, I knew, on the previous council [Omaha City Council], and five of the people were--got reelected, and there was myself and a new guy. So I went to all of them and I said, "You three guys will not--," three of the five, "you will never become council president, never become a council vice president, it will always be these others." But I found a way in the law that if we would just vote for each other and then resign after our first year, all of us could be council presidents, vice president--. And that, that built a great relationship because we did that. We got criticized for it because it's two years you have to serve, but we'd all resign after our first year and let someone else be council president and vice president, and it wasn't illegal. So we did that, and so, if we had projects that we wanted to do in our district, the mayor would say no, but we had the votes to override.$The biggest fight I had--you could--the government said--or the judge said you could only put so much in each council district; you've gotta spread it out. We went into what's called the Keystone area [Omaha, Nebraska] at 87th [Street] and Boyd [Street]. And the Sisters of Mercy [Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community, Omaha, Nebraska], they've got a developing arm and they were our developers at the time. They went into this neighborhood and I told the board, "Don't do it." Because I had covered stories, racial stories, in the area, in that Keystone area. They have very few African Americans living in that district, you could probably--it's probably under ten families. And I knew it was gonna be a fight to put public housing in that neighborhood. They fought us for two years, the board was--the board--and this is what I was telling the board. The board said, "You know, we're gonna--we've been sued, let's give up." I said, "No, if we give up here in Omaha, Nebraska and can't put housing for minorities--." 'Cause that's what we were being accused of by, by the all-white neighborhood, they were saying that, "You're just gonna put black people in here." And I was receiving letters saying that they were just gonna date my, my, my girlfriend--or my kids, rape 'em, there'll be shootings, there'll be murders, and it was just awful, it was just--. It was extremely one of the--I thought that I'd been--gone back forty years in time, it was that bad. Just the hatred. And here we are, trying to put public housing right in the heart of the neighborhood. First, it was sixty homes, but that was unrealistic because of the acreage, and I told 'em that, the, the Sisters of Mercy. "You can't do that, it's just too condensed." We finally narrowed it down to thirty-six homes, beautiful homes, and they still fought us, took us to court, and we won. We beat 'em in court, it was against the law to discriminate--you know the housing law- fair housing laws. And during the course of the lawsuit that the neighbors had filed against us, I had them run an economic study of the area, and an area of income. Most of all the residents could qualify to move into public housing from that Keystone area; that's what it showed. So they were two che- paychecks away from being in public housing most of 'em, but yet they didn't want that in their district. There's even one lady who applied whose parents were against moving us in, their daughter wanted to move in--into Keystone, and it's just--the development now is beautiful. They still watch us. It's, it's a year old, but no problems at all. Not one problem. And then I was asked later--I was asked this past--a year ago, to become the director [of Housing In Omaha, Inc., Omaha, Nebraska]. The director left, and is now a state senator, and they, they asked me--the board asked me if I would run for--not run, but put my application, I did, now I'm waiting for a callback from HUD [U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development] to see if they'll grant me waivers because you can't be an elected official and run a housing authority. So, I'm in limbo there, but I'd love to do that just to help people.

The Honorable Charles Yancey

Boston city councilman Charles Calvin Yancey was born on December 28, 1948, the sixth of nine children of Howell Yancey, Sr. and Alice W. Yancey. He grew up in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood where, at the age of twelve, he wrote a letter to the Mayor of Boston requesting that a vacant lot across the street from his home be turned into a playground. The playground became Yancey’s first political success. Yancey graduated from Boston Technical High School in 1965. Yancey received his B.S. degree in economics from Tufts University in 1970 and his M.A. degree in public administration from Harvard University in 1991. Attending Tufts during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Yancey founded the Afro-American Society and the African American Cultural Center at Tufts.

In the 1970s, Yancey co-founded the Community for Human Rights. Before his election to the Boston City Council, Yancey worked with the Urban Finance Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the UDI Community Development Corporation in Durham, North Carolina.

Yancey, a lifelong resident of Boston, Massachusetts, was first elected to the Boston City Council in 1983. He is the longest serving elected public official in the history of Boston politics. He served as president of the Boston City Council in 2001 and the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials in 1999.

Yancey also served as Chair of the Council’s Committee of Employment and Workforce Development and Finance Services and Community Investment.

Yancey championed equal employment opportunity for “people of color” in the city government. The annual Charles C. Yancey Book Fair has provided over 100,000 free books for Boston children since its beginning in February 1987. Yancey gained national and international attention in 1984 for his involvement in the Free South Africa Movement. He also established a Sister City relationship between Boston and Sekondi-Takoradi in Ghana, West Africa.

Yancey and his wife Marzetta (married in 1970) are the parents of three sons, Charles, Jr. (born in l970); Derrick (born in 1972); Sharif (born in 1977); and a daughter Ashley (born in 1987).

Accession Number

A2006.012

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/7/2006 |and| 4/6/2006

Last Name

Yancey

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Phillips Brooks Elementary School

The John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science

Martin Luther King, Jr. K-8 Inclusion School

Tufts University

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

YAN02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Aruba

Favorite Quote

If You Don't Use It, You Lose It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/28/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pasta

Short Description

City government official and civic leader The Honorable Charles Yancey (1948 - ) was first elected to the Boston City Council in 1983, and is the longest serving elected public official in the history of Boston politics. He served as president of the Boston City Council in 2001 and the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials in 1999.

Employment

Community for Human Rights

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

UDI Community Development Corporation

Executive Office of Communities and Development

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Boston City Council

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:6531,112:8260,136:8624,141:9443,151:12355,189:15540,227:16268,236:17087,246:17542,252:17997,258:23548,378:25095,393:35260,473:35860,482:49497,774:50802,790:54369,843:55065,853:56805,892:57501,903:60372,954:69661,1092:74796,1215:75507,1225:78272,1280:78588,1285:78904,1291:79536,1329:82301,1368:82933,1378:87278,1471:88621,1508:100670,1615:101132,1622:101825,1635:102364,1645:102980,1655:104443,1677:104905,1684:106599,1717:106984,1724:108139,1747:108601,1754:109063,1761:110757,1784:112451,1812:113529,1834:114145,1843:121044,1914:121542,1921:123197,1939:124458,1955:126495,1975:126883,1980:128532,2011:133964,2078:138250,2094:140383,2126:141647,2157:142121,2164:143701,2208:144728,2240:146624,2265:147098,2273:147651,2296:148283,2306:150179,2341:151443,2364:151838,2370:156110,2377:156821,2388:157216,2394:157927,2405:158322,2411:158875,2420:159270,2425:159744,2432:160218,2439:160613,2445:161166,2456:164484,2525:164800,2530:177450,2722:180250,2811:187452,2887:187878,2897:188304,2912:189014,2926:198084,3079:209386,3210:210420,3223:211830,3247:216718,3324:217940,3341:218316,3346:221532,3359:222352,3370:222680,3375:223418,3385:224074,3395:224812,3406:225550,3418:226534,3433:229896,3519:230388,3526:234078,3594:237276,3657:237850,3665:243050,3714:244285,3740:244740,3748:245000,3753:245715,3767:248250,3821:249095,3836:251240,3886:251630,3893:252020,3900:253450,3941:257331,3963:257736,3969:258222,3977:259275,3992:259842,4001:261867,4037:262272,4042:263001,4053:263811,4065:265917,4101:267699,4146:268266,4154:269724,4173:271587,4204:272559,4222:273288,4232:285275,4381:296236,4565:298780,4657$0,0:620,4:1740,19:3660,34:13552,194:18076,263:18388,268:19324,281:20026,300:20416,306:20884,314:21196,319:22522,346:23926,365:24706,374:25408,391:26344,404:27358,428:40500,586:45470,683:45890,690:57160,891:64650,938:66260,972:70740,1062:74356,1081:75148,1094:76270,1117:76798,1126:77194,1133:80626,1219:81022,1226:81352,1232:82408,1253:82804,1260:85774,1322:91064,1371:91320,1376:97976,1511:99320,1537:99704,1544:104808,1567:105104,1572:106510,1598:111380,1655:114960,1740:121296,1865:124266,1927:127698,2008:134078,2056:137804,2125:142496,2245:145601,2340:162688,2639:163546,2651:163936,2657:164482,2666:165028,2675:165964,2689:166666,2699:167212,2708:169552,2754:174388,2840:175636,2866:176104,2874:176416,2879:176728,2884:184230,2953:191990,3098:199270,3212:199590,3217:207019,3279:214414,3404:215371,3432:215806,3438:221252,3476:236044,3828:236732,3837:237076,3842:256873,4141:257318,4146:259632,4186:260789,4205:264220,4238
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Charles Yancey's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Charles Yancey lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Charles Yancey lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his childhood home in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his childhood neighborhood in Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes Boston, Massachusetts' racial composition during the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his grade school years at Phillips Brooks Elementary School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his experience at Patrick T. Campbell Junior High School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about resistance to the integration of Boston Public Schools in the 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about Boston's school boycott in 1964 and meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his experience at Boston Technical High School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Charles Yancey recalls his early years at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes the reaction in Boston, Massachusetts to the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his involvement in campus organizing at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Charles Yancey details a campus protest at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes the Tufts Summer Institute at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Charles Yancey reflects upon his years at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about Boston, Massachusetts in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his career in the financial sector

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his first attempt at elected office

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about working in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his political appointments

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his early years as a Boston City Councilor

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his work on municipal legislation in Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his work on municipal legislation in Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about Boston public education

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about public safety in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about various leadership positions he held while on the Boston City Council

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his election to Boston City Council president

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes the ethnic composition of his district in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about the influx of immigrants to Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about establishment and growth of the Charles C. Yancey book fair

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about the City of Boston and his identity as a Bostonian

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Charles Yancey reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Charles Yancey describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Charles Yancey narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

4$3

DATitle
The Honorable Charles Yancey talks about his mother
The Honorable Charles Yancey details a campus protest at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts
Transcript
Your mother [Alice White Yancey], did she have a job or occupation that she worked?$$Yes, she did. Her primary occupation was to raise nine children. Seven boys and--and two girls but she also had a job. She, she served as a licensed practical nurse which basically meant that she took care of the patients at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital [Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts]. She also created a number of organizations including the Women's Improvement League, and she was a founding member of the Roxbury Multi-Service Center [Boston, Massachusetts], and the Marlowe City [ph.]--she served on the Marlowe City's boards as well as the Board of--I think she was one of the first board members of ABCD [Action for Boston Community Development, Boston, Massachusetts]. She was a great community activist. She got me involved in politics at a very young age when she asked me to write a letter to Mayor John Collins asking that a vacant lot across the street from our home on Savin Street in Roxbury [Massachusetts] be converted to a tot lot. I wrote the letter, I, I think I was in the sixth or seventh grade, and lo and behold, they cleared the lot and they put a tot lot up there. So that was the first instance of political success that I felt very good about. I reflected upon this many, many years later and my assumption is that all my mother did was pick up the phone and called Mayor Collins and told him what to do, 'cause she had that type of relationship with, with the mayor at the time.$$She was also a very prominent activist in terms of improvement in the Boston Public Schools [BPS], is that right?$$That's correct. In fact, she served as president of the Home School Associations and various schools that I attended in the Boston Public School System. And she had a presence in all of the, the schools that her nine children attended through the years. She would spend a lot of time down at the Boston School Committee, challenging the committee to, to be more equitable in the allocation of resources. She fought for the integration of the schools. And she again, insisted that the parents be the driving force within the Boston Public School system. And that sort of stayed with me as well. In fact, I patented a law that I got passed in the city of Boston [Massachusetts] after her efforts. It's called the Parental School Leave Ordinance which allows parents to spend upwards of three days per year during school hours with their children in the schools without losing any employment benefits. And that became a law in 1994. And it was my mother who actually inspired me to write that because I know she was omnipresent (laughter) when I was student in the Boston Public Schools. I never knew when she and my father [Howell Yancey, Sr.] would be walking through the corridors of my schools and just peering through the rear door. So, it, it made me think a couple of times before I misbehaved in schools and I was always on best behavior 'cause I never knew when she was gonna walk through.$$How do you remember your mother? What was she like as a person? What was her personality?$$She was very, very warm, loving person. She, she strove very, very hard to nurture all of her children and grandchildren. She had about thirty-seven grandchildren when she passed. But she was always a warm individual. But very strong, very committed, very concerned about the quality of life in the community. In addition to having me write that letter to the mayor, she even recruited me and other family members to work with the neighbors to clean up Savin Street. Every spring we, you know, she organized a Savin Street neighborhood cleanup program. And at the time it, it seemed somewhat mundane but what I didn't realize that while she was organizing those cleanup campaigns, she was literally organizing the community and dealing with a lot of other issues, public safety issues, as well as other quality of life issues. So she had a great deal of compassion and love and energy. Where she got it, I do not know because in addition to raising nine of us she seemed to be outside raising the entire community as well without anyone feeling any loss in terms of the amount of time she spent in community efforts. I just don't understand how--$$That's amazing--$$--How she did it.$$'Cause often times when parents get so involved in, in out of the home activities, you know, sometimes things do suffer but--$$She had a way of recruiting us--$$Yeah.$$--To be a part of that effort.$$She got you involved in it.$$Yes, and so we never felt that she was absent at all. In fact more often than not we were with her (laughter).$$Good.$And this coincided with a largely white student movement, anti-war movement, against the Vietnam War [1955-1975]. So we combined forces at Tufts [University, Medford, Massachusetts] in 19-- in November of 1969, we said okay, the black students are gonna move on this construction site, and we had a great deal of help from [HM Melvin] Mel King, from Leo Fletcher, from the United Community Construction Workers [UCCW], and Mel King was working with the new Urban League at that time, along with a, a very strong and positive person, Marty Gopin [ph.], and we got the community support from, from, Roxbury [Massachusetts] primarily but also we got support from the white students on campus because we, as leaders of the Afro-American Society and George Cox at that, at that time was a very strong and active member strategist for us. He was also a student on the, at Tufts University at the time. So we had the black students occupy the site but we asked the progressive white student organizations to form a buffer (laughter) between the black students on the site and the angry construction workers and the Boston Tactical Police Force [TPF], even though this was Medford [Massachusetts], it was the Boston Tactical Police Force that was sent to the campus with their dogs and rifles and all, you know, an intimidating force. But we went ahead and we executed and we shut down that construction site for several days. It spread and we ended up occupying the administration building at Tufts University. We essentially shut down the entire campus. But something else interesting happened when that was going on. We were approached by a very radical national organization called the Weathermen [also known as The Weather Underground], which was bent on destroying the United States of America and--and had produced plans to us, as leaders of the Afro-American Society where they showed us the basic infrastructure for the campus at Tufts University and they told us where they were gonna plant bombs on campus.$$Interesting.$$And we did not intend to destroy Tufts University so we essentially kicked the Weathermen off campus and we were very aggressive about it. Said we don't want you to get involved. We kicked them off, you know, go back to Columbia [University, New York, New York] where ever it is you came from. And we were successful in, in preventing a lot of damage to the university infrastructure, while at the same time maintaining discipline and negotiating with the president [Burton Crosby Hallowell]. And virtually every one of our demands were met on the campus of Tufts University. And we had meetings in the president's house where he signed a memorandum of agreement that was signed and it was written verbatim by us. In fact, we regretted that we didn't ask for more. But we did ask for a, a clerk of the works on the construction site to make sure that we had people of color and women employed on that site. We did play a role in the recruitment of staff in other aspects of the university. We did organize the committees which included, and which focused on recruiting of students of color. So we went from maybe a half dozen African American students to, in 1970 we had four hundred. It was that dramatic.$$Wow.$$And we were very, very successful in that effort.$$And you had your bachelor's degree in economics too?$$Yes, I did.$$It didn't suffer or--$$It was difficult.$$Yeah.$$I mean I found myself writing a lot of papers till 3 o'clock in the morning but, but I got 'em all in and I did in fact get my degree from Tufts University.$$Were you father [Howell Yancey, Sr.] and mother [Alice White Yancey] living at the time? Your mother was--$$Yes both, both, both parents were--$$Living at the time--$$--Living at the time. Again, I was the first member of my immediate family to graduate from college even though I was number six. I did have an uncle who graduated from MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts] back in 1950. I, I think it was 1951 because he came up to Boston [Massachusetts] for his fiftieth reunion and, and when I was president of the Boston City Council in 2001.$$And his name?$$Victor Yancey. He was my father's youngest brother.$$Okay.

John Bynoe

John Garvey Bynoe, born in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 25, 1926, had a distinguished career in the federal government and as a civic and community leader that spanned more than three decades. His parents, Edna V. Bynoe and John Leo Bynoe, immigrated from Barbados, in the British West Indies, in the mid-1890s. Growing up in Boston, Bynoe attended public schools, and after high school, he attended Boston University and the New England School of Law, where he received a bachelor’s of law degree in 1957.

As a veteran of World War II, Bynoe was one of the youngest veterans to lead a Veterans of Foreign War Post when he was elected commander of Post 953 in Boston in 1947. He also served as chairman of the Veterans Committee of the Boston Branch of the NAACP. Following his military service, Bynoe became an employee of the federal government in 1948, starting as a supply clerk in the regional office of the Federal Security Agency in Boston, which later became the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW).

In the early 1950s, Bynoe became a claims representative in the Social Security Administration district office in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He remained in that post until 1954, when he was promoted from the position of field representative to assistant district manager in Salem. The following year, he became manager of the Social Security Administration district office in Norwood, Massachusetts. In July of 1966, Bynoe returned to the HEW regional office and assumed the position of program coordinator for civil rights on the staff of the HEW regional director. The following year, the Regional Office for Civil Rights was established, and Bynoe was named director, a position he held until his retirement in 1982. Under his tenure, the largest number of Blacks, Asians and Hispanics ever to enter federal service in New England did so with his guidance and training.

Throughout his career, Bynoe was active in many social and civic organizations. He was a founder and director of Boston’s first Black-owned bank, Unity Bank and Trust. He also served on the board of directors for the Boston branch of the NAACP, the Boston Legal Aid Society, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists and the Massachusetts Pre-Engineering program. Between 1979 and 1982, Bynoe also served as the chairman of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts.

Between 1969 and 1989, Bynoe owned and operated the Professional and Business Men’s Club. The P&B Club served as a vital community site for community meetings, forums and social and professional networking for Boston’s black men and women of all classes and backgrounds. Bynoe and his wife, Louise, had two children, James and Jonathan. He had a son, John, Jr., and a daughter, Sandra, from a previous marriage.

Bynoe passed away on August 13, 2009 at age 82.

Accession Number

A2004.209

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/16/2004

Last Name

Bynoe

Maker Category
Middle Name

Garvey

Schools

Lafayette Elementary School

Sherwin School

English High School

Boston University

Portian Law School

First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

BYN02

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barbados

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

10/25/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Death Date

8/13/2009

Short Description

Civil rights activist and city government official John Bynoe (1926 - 2009 ) coordinated the civil rights program at U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and served as director of the Boston-area Regional Office of Civil Rights.

Employment

United States Army

Federal Security Agency

Social Security Administration

United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare

Favorite Color

Red

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John Bynoe interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Bynoe names his occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Bynoe's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Bynoe describes his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Bynoe remembers his father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Bynoe discusses his parents' immigration to Canada and the U.S.

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Bynoe names his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Bynoe describes his father's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Bynoe recalls his childhood home, Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - John Bynoe describes his family's connectedness to Barbados

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - John Bynoe discusses his school years

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - John Bynoe discusses his early career aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - John Bynoe discusses his high school activities

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - John Bynoe describes his involvement in the church as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - John Bynoe describes his family's association with Marcus Garvey

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - John Bynoe remembers his older brother

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Bynoe describes his employment after high school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Bynoe recalls his law school years

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Bynoe describes his career trajectory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Bynoe describes his community involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Bynoe discusses his involvement in electoral politics

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Bynoe describes his affiliation with the Professional Businessmen's Club, Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Bynoe discusses his career with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Bynoe details his involvement with the Urban League

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Bynoe discusses his involvement with the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Bynoe describes an organized effort to end segregation in Boston, Massachusetts schools

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Bynoe describes his efforts toward the preservation of historical sites

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Bynoe reflects on his life

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Bynoe predicts racial unity

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Bynoe evaluates the state of black youth

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John Bynoe considers highlights in his life

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - John Bynoe considers his legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Photo - John Bynoe as a baby, ca. 1927

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Photo - John Bynoe in the St. Cyprian's Church drum and bugle corps, Boston, Massachusetts, 1938

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Photo - John Bynoe's mother, age ninety-four, ca. 1990s

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Photo - John Bynoe on the Fort Devens football team, Ayer, Massachusetts, 1947

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Photo - John Bynoe in the U.S. military, Goettingen, Germany, ca. 1945

Tape: 3 Story: 15 - Photo - John Bynoe, ca. 1958

Tape: 3 Story: 16 - Photo - John Bynoe graduates from Portia Law School, Boston, Massachusetts, early 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 17 - Photo - John Bynoe is appointed as District Manager of the Social Security Administration District Office, Norwood, Massachusetts, 1965

Tape: 3 Story: 18 - Photo - John Bynoe and others at the NAACP Convention in Boston, Massachusetts, 1967

Tape: 3 Story: 19 - Photo - Button from John Bynoe's campaign for a seat in the Massachusetts State Senate

Tape: 3 Story: 20 - Photo - John Bynoe serves as Grand Master of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, late 1990s

Tape: 3 Story: 21 - Photo - John Bynoe with John Maddox of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 22 - Photo - Chairman John Bynoe with other participants of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge conference, Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 23 - Photo - John Bynoe with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Wilks at a forum event, Boston, Massachusetts, ca. 1956

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Photo - John Bynoe with relatives in Canada

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Photo - John Bynoe's relatives visiting his mother at a nursing home

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Photo - John Bynoe with his wife and sons at a birthday party, 2004

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Photo - John Bynoe's son and his family at a christening

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Photo - John Bynoe's eldest son with his family

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Photo - John Bynoe with his wife and sons at a birthday party, 2004

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Photo - John Bynoe's brother and other relatives celebrate their mother's birthday at a nursing home

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - John Bynoe with Michael Dukakis during his campaign for president, Des Moines, Iowa, 1988

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - John Bynoe's family members attend a Prince Hall Lodge event in his honor

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - John Bynoe in Mashpee, Massachusetts, 2003

The Honorable Dorothy Jackson

Dorothy Ola Jackson stands as a respected pillar of the Ohio political landscape. Just prior to her birth, her family uprooted itself from dustbowl-ravaged Oklahoma to settle in Akron, Ohio. Born in Akron, on November 9, 1933, Dorothy was the youngest of seven children. She attended Akron's Robinson Elementary School and East High, where she graduated in 1951.

After high school, Jackson worked in a local grocery store and attended night classes at the Actual Business College. Forced to quit her job and drop out of classes when her mother became ill, Dorothy spent the subsequent four years caring for her mother, who died in 1952, and brother, who died in 1956. Following the sudden death of her father in 1957 from a fatal heart attack, Dorothy took a position as a secretary for the Goodwill Industries. While working with the Goodwill, Jackson learned sign language and worked to assist disabled workers. It was during this time that Jackson developed a deep sense of dedication to issues that concerned the disabled. She quickly rose through the ranks from secretary to assistant public relations director.

After twelve years with Goodwill, Jackson left to begin her sixteen-year career with the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority as the social and tenant services administrator. By working to bring programs of fun and education to the residents, and providing a high level of personalized tenant care Jackson transformed the agency. She understood that providing housing was only the first step, providing a sense of community was the next. In 1984, Jackson was nominated for deputy mayor for the City of Akron.

In her role as deputy mayor, Jackson has been a tireless social activist. She has given her voice and support to issues that concern the poor and disabled. She is the recipient of many awards and honors including the Women in History Week Woman of the Year, the United Way Distinguished Service Award and the Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award.

Accession Number

A2002.147

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/1/2002

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Middle Name

O.

Organizations
Schools

East High School

Hammel Actual Business College

Akron University

Gallaudet University

Kent State University

Robinson Community Learning Center

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Dorothy

Birth City, State, Country

Akron

HM ID

JAC04

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Knight Foundation

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Vienna, Austria

Favorite Quote

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as the eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

11/9/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Akron

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Dessert

Short Description

Civic activist and city government official The Honorable Dorothy Jackson (1933 - ) was the Deputy Mayor of Akron, Ohio. After twelve years with Goodwill Industries, Jackson left to begin her sixteen-year career with the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, as the social and tenant services administrator. In her role as deputy mayor, Jackson was a tireless social activist.

Employment

Goodwille Industries

Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority

City of Akron, Ohio

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dorothy Jackson interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dorothy Jackson's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dorothy Jackson discusses her parents' backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dorothy Jackson describes her early family life

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dorothy Jackson remembers her family members

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dorothy Jackson shares memories from her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dorothy Jackson remembers her school years

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dorothy Jackson recalls her high school years

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dorothy Jackson discusses her early career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dorothy Jackson remembers her mother's death

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dorothy Jackson remembers trials early in her career

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dorothy Jackson describes her training for those with special needs

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dorothy Jackson discusses her career as a sign language interpreter

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dorothy Jackson discusses her volunteer efforts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dorothy Jackson discusses her appointment to political office

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dorothy Jackson reveals her plans for the future

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dorothy Jackson shares her hopes for the black community

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dorothy Jackson considers her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dorothy Jackson describes how she'd like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dorothy Jackson signs an inspirational message

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson and her third grade class at Robinson Elementary School, Akron, Ohio, early 1940s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson's sister, Lucille

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson's daughter and sister, August 1957

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson's daughter, sister and sister's friend, December 1957

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson returns from roller-skating

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson and her brother

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson and her sister in the driveway of their home, Akron, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson on senior day at East High School, Akron, Ohio, early 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson at her daughter's wedding, April 1995

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson with Olympian Wilma Rudolph, Akron, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1992

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson's mother, Akron, Ohio, 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson's father, William Jackson, Sr.

Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson interprets for Reverend Jesse Jackson during his 1984 presidential campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 17 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson and her deaf choir attend chapel services

Tape: 4 Story: 18 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson chaperones a Goodwill Industries field trip to Washington, D.C., ca. 1956

Tape: 4 Story: 19 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson interprets for President William 'Bill' Clinton at an Akron, Ohio rally, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 20 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson interprets for President William 'Bill' Clinton at an Akron, Ohio rally, part 2

Tape: 4 Story: 21 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum with contest winners, her daughter, granddaughter, and Congressman Tom Sawyer, Washington, D.C., 1999

Tape: 4 Story: 22 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson with fellow cabinet members of City Council, Akron, Ohio, late 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 23 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson volunteers with children from Stewart Afrocentric School, Akron, Ohio, 2000

Tape: 4 Story: 24 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson plants the first tree in Dorothy O. Jackson Park, named in her honor, Kiryat Ekron, Israel

Tape: 4 Story: 25 - Photo - President William 'Bill' Clinton, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Al Gore at the presidential inauguration, January 21, 1993

Tape: 4 Story: 26 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson at sixteen and her granddaughter

Tape: 4 Story: 27 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson at an awards dinner with her daughter and granddaughter

Tape: 4 Story: 28 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson's mother, Dueallie Jackson

Tape: 4 Story: 29 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson's father, William Jackson, Sr.

Tape: 4 Story: 30 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson's baby picture, 1930s

Tape: 4 Story: 31 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson with President William 'Bill' Clinton at a town meeting on race, Akron, Ohio, December 1997

Tape: 4 Story: 32 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson with Bishop Desmond Tutu at an event at Walsh Jesuit High School, Akron, Ohio

DASession

1$1

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DATitle
Dorothy Jackson discusses her career as a sign language interpreter
Dorothy Jackson signs an inspirational message
Transcript
You were on your way to Gallaudet College [Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C.], you know, on a special scholarship to learn sign language, right?$$Yes. And I had--before I learned that I was going, I actually learned--my boss said to me, "Can you go away for a month?" And I said, "No." Couldn't go away for a month. I made twenty-five dollars a week. And I paid a dollar a day for the babysitter. So, no way I could go--take off for a month. And one day in the cafeteria a girl said to me, "Congratulations." I said, "For what?" And she grabbed her mouth. And I went to my boss and said, "Why is she congratulating me?" And she said, "Well it's never mind now." I said, "Why?" She said, "Well we got you a scholarship for Gallaudet. But you said you couldn't go away." Oh I said, "Oh I can go." So I went to my babysitter. And I said to her--well I went to my sister first that I lived with. My sister, Lucille [Jackson]. And I said, "I have a chance to go to Gallaudet to learn sign language. Will you keep [daughter] Rene [Lynn Jackson-Aniere] for me? And will you pick her up from the babysitter?" And she said, "Yes." And I went to the babysitter. And I said, "I have a chance to go to Gallaudet to learn sign language. Lucille will pick up Rene. And will you keep her for me? And I won't be able to pay you. But one day I will. One day I'll be able to pay. I can't--I won't be able to pay now." And she said, "Oh yes." She would. So at that point I went to the church. And I said, "I have a chance to go to Gallaudet and learn sign language. And I want you to pray for me. Because I know, I can learn. But if they give me the test, I can't pass the test." And so they didn't give me the test until two weeks after I was there. And I could see Professor Phillips standing over me shaking his head saying, "I don't believe you. According to this test, you are not to be able to learn sign language. And I'm watching you do it everyday." And before I left, I said to all the deaf, "I'm going to go to Gallaudet. And I'm gonna to learn to talk for you." And my boss would hear me. And she'd say , "Stop telling them that. You're not going to learn. This is a language. You don't know how to speak the language. You're going for an orientation." And I'd go see the next deaf. And I'd say, "I'm going to Gallaudet. I'm gonna learn to talk for you." And she would get so upset. She would continue to call me in her office. "You must stop telling them that. You're not going to learn to talk. You're just going for an orientation." But I knew I was going to learn to talk for them. And when I came home, I knew seven hundred words. And I started interpreting the day I came home. I've interpreted for [U.S.] President [William] Clinton. And one of those pictures is in there with me and [U.S. President] Jimmy Carter. That I met to talk about the needs of the handicapped. I think I really put interpreting on the front burner in Akron [Ohio]. And I taught the first beginners' sign language class at Akron U [University of Akron, Akron, Ohio]. I taught classes at the Y [YMCA, Young Mens Christian Association]. I've interpreted for many, many people. I interpreted for the Gospel Meet Symphony. I coordinate still that program. I've founded the deaf ministry at our church. At the--several other churches, not only our church. And I've taught hundreds of people. And I still speak and teach fluent sign language. In fact, I've had the deaf say to me when I sing, "I feel like I can hear when I watch you interpret." So it to me is a gift that the Lord has given to me.$$There's a certain rhythm you have to have--,$$(Simultaneously) Oh yeah.$$To really make it flow.$$And to make it beautiful. And I believe in that very, very strong--I try to keep up with the speaker as they speak. So I've interpreted for Lou Rawls and for Ruby [Dee] and Ossie Davis. You're gonna be doing them. Give them my love. I love them dearly. They spoke here for me when I was chairing the Life Membership for NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People]. And I count them as my friends. I had the privilege of being invited to their anniversary. And I went to New York [New York] for that. So I've interpreted for many, many people. And taught many classes.$(Signs message simultaneously) Thank you for coming to Akron [Ohio]. We hope that you feel the wonderful spirit that's here. And, and thank you for telling our story. I know all the people that you'll meet while you're here. I saw the names. And I know them all. And I know they all have a story to tell. And I hope that it will inspire young people to know that especially--young African Americans to know that yes you can be anything that you want to be if you try to be you can. And just put your hand in the hand of God and let him lead you. And he will do that.

Bishop William L. Sheals

Teacher, preacher and evangelist, Dr. William L. Sheals has been the Senior Pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church in Norcross, Georgia since 1980. He received a business degree from New York University and holds theological degrees from Florida Memorial Seminary and International Bible College.

Sheals' experience in the business world includes acting as the former Vice President of the Mortgage Department of Carver Federal Savings and Loan Association in Harlem, New York. Subsequently, he managed the branch office of Beneficial Financial Company in the Bronx and worked as a disc jockey, a concert promoter and an actor and director off-Broadway. In Florida, he served as the Assistant Director of the Lakeland Housing Authority while pursuing his advanced studies there. He moved to Atlanta in 1979 to work as the Assistant Director of the Atlanta Housing Authority, but left the position after ten years to devote himself entirely to the rapidly-growing Hopewell Baptist Church, which was founded by former slaves after the Civil War.

Under Sheals' direction since 1980, Hopewell has grown from a two-acre, one-building facility with 200 members to a thirty-acre campus called "The City of Hope," with a membership of nearly 17,000, including over 60 ministries and auxiliaries. The City of Hope includes a senior citizens facility, a 500-member youth church, a child development center, a Christian Academy that teachers pre-school through eighth grade and a Bible College.

Sheals' leadership and civic service has been honored with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major Award for Community Service (1999) the Civic Leader of the Year Award, Gwinnet County (1995) the African American Community Service Award (1994) the Outstanding Humanitarian Award, National Kidney Foundation (1988) and the Presidential "Special Citizen" Award for acting as Director of "Ministries Against Drugs" (1989). He is the founding President of the North Metro 100 Black Men and member of the United Way Special Committee, the Rotary Club, the Human Relations Commission and the Mayor's Advisory Council.

Accession Number

A2002.026

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/13/2002

Last Name

Sheals

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Lakeland

HM ID

SHE01

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Depends on audience

Favorite Season

Fall

Speaker Bureau Notes

Availability Specifics: No Sundays
Preferred Audience: Any

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cruises

Favorite Quote

Father, Nothing Is Going To Happen To Me Today That You and I Together Cannot Handle.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

1/15/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak (T-Bone Smothered)

Short Description

City government official and pastor Bishop William L. Sheals (1947 - ) was the director of the Hopewell Baptist Church in Norcross, Georgia and the winner of the 1999 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major Award for Community Service.

Employment

Carver Federal Savings & Loan

Beneficial Financial Company

Lakeland, Florida Housing Authority

Atlanta Housing Authority

Hopewell Baptist Church

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Sheals' interview

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

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Sheals describes his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Sheals describes his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Sheals talks about his childhood business, The Sheals Theater

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Sheals talks about delivering groceries as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Sheals talks about his childhood love of football and acting

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Sheals shares stories about his childhood experiences with discrimination

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William Sheals talks about the teachers who influenced him as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William Sheals describes the role of the church in his childhood community

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William Sheals describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - William Sheals describes how the Civil Rights Movement affected his childhood community

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - William Sheals describes when he discovered his dream of being an actor

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - William Sheals talks about being drafted to serve in the military

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Sheals describes the work he performed during his military service

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Sheals describes his occupations in the years after the Vietnam War

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Sheals talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Sheals talks about being a radio disc jockey in Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Sheals describes being a concert promoter

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Sheals remembers being called to the ministry, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Sheals remembers being called to the ministry, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Sheals talks about ending his career as a disc jockey

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William Sheals talks about being hired as Deputy Director of the Lakeland Housing Authority

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William Sheals describes acknowledging the call to the ministry

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William Sheals recalls his first sermon

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - William Sheals considers how his experiences in radio, acting, and banking shaped his preaching skills

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - William Sheals describes what influenced him to move to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Sheals talks about being hired by the Atlanta Housing Authority

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Sheals describes how he was called to preach at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Sheals describes how he was called to preach at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Sheals talks about the vision he received for The City of Hope

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Sheals describes how he acquired the property for The City of Hope, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Sheals describes how he acquired the property for The City of Hope, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Sheals talks about church bonds

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Sheals describes how he acquired the property for The City of Hope, pt. 3

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William Sheals talks about the 1993 dedication of the City of Hope sanctuary

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - William Sheals describes how relying on faith allowed him to fulfill his vision

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - William Sheals describes the significance of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church to Norcross, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - William Sheals comments on the significance of the black church

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - William Sheals talks about the programs and services The City of Hope offers, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - William Sheals talks about the programs and services The City of Hope offers, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Sheals talks about chartering 100 Black Men of North Metro Atlanta

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Sheals describes how Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church serves the community

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Sheals describes what motivated him to become an author

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Sheals describes what motivated him to write 'Pastor Help! My Marriage is in Trouble!'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Sheals talks about some of the themes in 'Pastor Help! My Marriage is in Trouble!'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Sheals shares his plans for the future of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Sheals shares his plans for the future of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Sheals talks about his beard

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William Sheals describes his church's annual reenactment of the Upper Room scene

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - William Sheals describes the sights, smells, and sounds of his childhood

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - William Sheals shares a message for the youth

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Sheals talks about the challenges and advantages mega-churches face

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Sheals comments on the concepts of "black theology" and "black Christianity"

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Sheals reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Sheals narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Sheals narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

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DATitle
William Sheals talks about his childhood business, The Sheals Theater
William Sheals talks about the vision he received for The City of Hope
Transcript
But--I think I was sharing with you earlier about the Sheals Theater. At the age of twelve, of developing a movie theater out of a cardboard box, mom's [Elma Sheals] lamp off her end table, a magnifying glass that was then wedged in a piece of construction paper, and then I would cut out the comics from Sunday newspaper or from a color comic book, turn the image upside down, and place it between the light and the magnifying glass, and it would show right side up onto a white wall, and I would cut off the bottom script on the bottom so I can make up the stories. On Saturdays after mom would leave to go to her job at the hospital, her room, bedroom, had the largest clear, pretty white wall, and she didn't know until I was a young adult that we used her bedroom for my theater. We would have kids lined up--sometimes 35, 40--a dime to come in for a 15-minute movie, and a nickel for your ice cup, and we would buy--my sister and I would go to the store, buy three packs of grape, orange and strawberry Kool-Aid and make the cups. And by the time the Saturday afternoon rolled around, we'd have a pocket full of money to go to the real theater. But then I would save monies; I didn't know--we didn't go to the bank at that time--go save money so that by the end of the year I would have quite a lump sum of money; we would do sometimes fifteen, $20.00 on a Saturday.$Tell me about the vision.$$The vision occurred 10 years ago. While standing at the top of the hill looking down at the--what was then the junkyard; it was a junkyard that was filled with old cars, filled with tires, filled with just ditches and holes in the ground; it was a very unattractive piece of property that was right in the back door of my church. The church then had grown to about 1500. Being 1500 and not havin' the space to expand and to grow, we built an intermediate building, which was a multi-purpose building, a metal frame building, and we began worshipping then a couple-a times a Sunday, then three times a Sunday. The first service was 6:45 a.m. in the morning, then 8:00, then 11:00, then at 6:00; we have four services--three morning services to accommodate, and we could seat a thousand people at that time, and the growth was phenomenal to be, again, in a rural area outside the city. The media start coming and writing about this little church bursting at the seams, and television cameras started coming. And while standing up on the trailer that's still there--my office used to be in that trailer--one Wednesday evening before bible study, I saw the vision of the church rising up out of the junkyard like the Phoenix, and I have a drawing right there by my desk that I drew of this vision. I ran back into my office; when I came back, the vision was gone, so I prayed and asked the Lord to bring it back and he did. And I didn't have any paper left because I drew--there was one sheet left on a legal pad, and I drew what I thought I saw, and so then the cardboard backing for the legal pad, I took a pen and began to sketch this church that you see here now, in the middle of the junkyard. And you'll see then 10 years ago, almost a duplicate drawing, except that one building is--this building we're in now is on the left instead of the right.

Maudine Cooper

Maudine Cooper was born on September 30, 1941, in Benoit, Mississippi. Her family soon moved north to St. Paul, Minnesota, in search of a better life. Cooper received both her undergraduate degree in Business Administration (1964) and her J. D. degree (1971) from Howard University. She joined the National Urban League in 1973 as an Assistant Director for Federal Programs and became their Vice President for Washington Operations Legislative Office in 1980.

In 1983, Cooper left her post at the National Urban League to join the Washington, D.C., government as Director of the Office of Human Rights under Mayor Marion Barry, Jr. The post excited Cooper, because it provided her the opportunity to put her legal training and her commitment to social justice to action. Within the next several years, Cooper took on several high profile cases and in 1987 she was appointed to head the Minority Business Opportunity Commission. Mayor Barry approached Cooper in 1989 to become his Chief of Staff. She served in this position for the last two years of his third term.

Since 1990, Cooper has served as President and CEO of the Greater Washington Urban League, an affiliate of the National Urban League and an organization devoted to education and training, housing and community development, services for the aging and the environment. Cooper is a member of numerous organizations and boards, such as the District of Columbia Bar Association, the NAACP, the D.C. Agenda Project, and Leadership Washington. In 1992, Cooper received the prestigious Isaiah Award for the Pursuit of Justice, presented by the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the American Jewish Committee and in 1998, she was named McDonald's Black History Maker of Today in the Washington, D.C., area.

Accession Number

A2001.019

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

6/22/2001

Last Name

Cooper

Maker Category
Middle Name

R.

Organizations
Schools

Howard University School of Law

Howard University

Speakers Bureau

No

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Maudine

Birth City, State, Country

Benoit

HM ID

COO01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Martin

Favorite Quote

I did it my way.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/30/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Soul Food

Short Description

Nonprofit chief executive and city government official Maudine Cooper (1941 - ) was the president and CEO of the Greater Washington Urban League. Before that, Cooper joined the Washington, D.C., government as Director of the Office of Human Rights under Mayor Marion Barry, Jr., and later became his chief of staff.

Employment

National Urban League (NUL)

District of Columbia Office of Human Rights

District of Columbia Minority Business Opportunity Commission

District of Columbia Mayor's Office

Greater Washington Urban League

Favorite Color

Red

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Maudine Cooper interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Maudine Cooper's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Maudine Cooper recalls her mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Maudine Cooper examines how her father's home behavior was affected by racist abuse he endured at work

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Maudine Cooper recalls living with her aunt in Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Maudine Cooper describes herself as a child eager to please adults

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Maudine Cooper recounts her transition from living in Mississippi to St. Paul, Minnesota

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Maudine Cooper recalls how her mother influenced her to go to college instead of getting married after high school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Maudine Cooper recalls counselors urging her toward a clerical job instead of college, despite her good academics

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Maudine Cooper recounts her experiences at majority-white schools in St. Paul, Minnesota

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Maudine Cooper discusses her academic experience at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Maudine Cooper describes the social atmosphere at Howard

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Maudine Cooper explains how her time at Howard University influenced her

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Maudine Cooper remembers a mentor, Dr. H. Naylor Fitzhugh

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Maudine Cooper shares her concerns about Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Maudine Cooper reflects on her marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Maudine Cooper describes how she decided to attend law school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Maudine Cooper details the challenges of balancing law school and being a perfect wife and mom

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Maudine Cooper recalls her brief tenure as a tax attorney

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Maudine Cooper describes her work for the National Urban League during the 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Maudine Cooper discusses the Urban League under Vernon Jordan

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Maudine Cooper recounts the assassination attempt on Vernon Jordan

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Maudine Cooper details her civil rights enforcement work for Marion Barry's administration

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Maudine Cooper recalls her work on a case of sexual orientation discrimination at Georgetown University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Maudine Cooper describes directing two D.C. offices under the Marion Barry administration

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Maudine Cooper details her appointment as Mayor Marion Barry's chief of staff

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Maudine Cooper recounts Mayor Marion Barry's arrest on drug charges

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Maudine Cooper discusses the aftermath of Marion Barry's arrest and prosecution

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Maudine Cooper remembers deciding to leave the mayor's office for the Greater Washington Urban League

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Maudine Cooper recalls leaving Mayor Marion Barry's administration

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Maudine Cooper discusses her budgetary work for the Urban League

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Maudine Cooper discusses the changing role of the National Urban League

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Maudine Cooper discusses personnel management and handling bad publicity

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Maudine Cooper shares her hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Maudine Cooper recounts overcoming sexism in her career

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Maudine Cooper describes her parents' reaction to her career

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Maudine Cooper considers her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Maudine Cooper with her mother, Mary Louise Rice, Bahamas, ca. 1995

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Maudine Cooper with Don King and Mike Tyson, Washington, D.C., ca. 1988

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Maudine Cooper with Mike Tyson, Don King, and various others, Washington, D.C., ca. 1988

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Marion Barry at a press conference announcing his arrest, 1990

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Marion Barry with his wife Effi and mother Mattie, ca. 1990

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Maudine Cooper with Dr. H. Naylor Fitzhugh

Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Maudine Cooper with members of the National New Lights Youth Leadership Conference

Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Maudine Cooper with Earl Graves, Washington, D.C., 1991

Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Maudine Cooper arrested at a sit-in, Washington, D.C., ca. 1970

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Photo - Maudine Cooper's father at his job on the Great Northern Railway

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Photo - Maudine Cooper's father and uncle, Renzie Flowers

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Photo - Maudine Cooper, ca. 1943

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Photo - Maudine Cooper at her home in Benoit, Mississippi, ca. 1941

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Photo - Maudine Cooper at her home in Benoit, Mississippi, ca. 1941

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Photo - Maudine Cooper during her high school years in St. Paul, Minnesota, ca. 1956

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Photo - Maudine Cooper's junior high school yearbook, St. Paul, Minnesota, ca. 1953

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Photo - Students participating in an Urban League educational program

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Photo - Maudine Cooper with Ron Brown at a National Urban League Conference, ca. 1990s

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Photo - Maudine Cooper reading to children at the Greater Washington Urban League office

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Maudine Cooper describes her work for the National Urban League during the 1970s
Maudine Cooper details her appointment as Mayor Marion Barry's chief of staff
Transcript
Okay. So you got with the Urban League and this is the National Urban League Office. Right?$$Right.$$And so what was your role there?$$I was--I started out [in 1973] as assistant director for federal programs. I was hired by the late Ron Brown And I worked with Ron for seven years until he decided to leave and go work for [Senator Edward] Kennedy [in 1979]. The Kennedy campaign. And I succeeded him as vice-president. Was appointed by Vernon Jordan [Executive Director of the National Urban League 1972-1981], from his hospital bed no less. So it was kind of an interesting period. That was right after Vernon had been shot that this happened. He made the appointment. But, you know, it was--Ron was a wonderful person to work for. And he's someone when you talk about people that you'll always remember, he's one. And clearly it wasn't because of what he did at [the U.S. Department of] Commerce. It's what I learned from him in those seven years when I worked for him directly. But had a very interesting career. I worked for some exciting people.$$But tell me--So what was the experience? What did you like about the Urban League?$$One, it wasn't a bureaucracy.$$Right.$$And this is a time--the Urban League is very vibrant at this time--Too. Right?$$Right.$$So tell us some of the things that you were involved in and, you know, initiatives that you were involved in there.$$Right. Well working under Ron--initially I came there in my tax background. I worked on the revenue sharing programs that [President Richard] Nixon had proposed. And I would go to different cities. Urban League cities to talk about those programs. Talk about the tax implication. To talk about what people could do to get the best benefit out of the program, out of the legislation for their constituents. I did a lot of that. But I also got the energy issue. At that time, we were also beginning to get the--had the [gasoline] shortages. And I was the black expert on energy for our folks. And things like, for example, we weren't lobbying, we were educating. When the proposals were to close government buildings at night or after a certain time, we lobbied against that. We educated against that by letting folks know who worked at night. It was a single mom who had four or five children. She would get home in time to get her children to school. And then she would go to sleep and get up when they got home and then she'd go to her night job. A lot of those people were also using this as their second job. To make ends meet and stay off welfare and public assistance. So those were exciting activities. To tell decision-makers, "Look if you do this, these are the implications." The other thing that I learned to do under Ron was to give testimony on the [Capitol] Hill [Washington, D.C.]. The thought of going up there and testifying before Congress was terrifying. I mean Ron would just, "What's the problem? You know, you speak before groups. You represent the League. Why can't you go up there and read this testimony?" I said, "Well Ron, these are elected officials from all over the--" "Do it." And I did it. And I was shaking so badly at the first time, it wasn't--No one knew it but me. I was so terrified. And it went over so well. I said, "Oh! I can do this" (laughs). So Ron and I--I did the [U.S.] House [of Representatives] and he did the [U.S.] Senate. It worked out well. I learned a lot from him. And he was one of those men who--You know, if you could do this, you did it! He didn't stand over your shoulder. He didn't micro-manage. And when he was gone, the world's gonna find this out now. I would just write all these letters for him and sign his name. I was pretty good at that. I would sign his name and send them out. And he'd come back and I'd say, "Ron this is what you did while you were gone." And I'd show him. He's fine with it. We had a great working relationship. And, you know, he'd just--I learned and I grew so much under him. 'Cause I knew nothing about a Washington office. As a matter of fact, I didn't go looking for a job. A young lady who was there, who I had known said there was a vacancy. And she said, "You wanna come over and apply?" I said, "Well what the heck. Okay." Didn't have any notion of leaving where I was. At the time, that was the law firm. And I said, "Well Ron, in order to come over here, I'll need this." He said, "Okay." And I said, "I'll need that." "Okay." And everything I put on the table he said yes to, there was no reason not to come. And so I did. And I loved it. He's a wonderful person to work with and for. But those days--I mean when he left to go work for Kennedy, then I was in charge. And I did a couple things. And Ron called me and he said, "How come you didn't do these things when you were working for me?" I said, "Well Ron I did what I thought you wanted me to do. And the few things I recommended we did." I said, "But I'm in charge now. So I have all these ideas." Anyway he was wonderful. And a great sense of humor. I mean have you laughs. And he was just charismatic. All those things that they wrote about him were true. That is that he could get people's attention and make them do the things that he wanted them to do.$$Now what--do you remember any specific thing that the two of you worked on that you were particularly proud of? Or you know. It was--sort of an anecdotal story?$$I guess--I hate to say this 'cause it sounds so silly. I just loved coming to work everyday. The issues that we worked on ranged from everything from racism to economic rights and civil rights. And when his daughter [Tracey Brown] wrote the book ['The Life and Times of Ron Brown'], she asked me the same thing. That, "What do you remember most?" And I couldn't remember anything that was really memorable. It was such a wonderful time to be working with him. He let me represent the League in so many exciting places. To speak for the League in so many exciting places. I couldn't remember one thing that really like shot out. I remember him working aggressively and me behind the scenes when he was trying to get the Congress to abide by the civil rights legislation that everybody else had to abide by. 'Cause they were exempt. I remember him working on all kinds of issues with women's groups. And we were one of the few groups initially that joined the women's groups on things like you know, choice and constitutional amendments. All those kinds of things. We were there. I mean everything that we did was always was new and I want to say exciting.$So how did that--tell us about how that evening came--the meeting that you had.$$Oh that was scary. Actually I was at the office and some staff and I had gone downstairs. There was a restaurant in the Reeve Center [Washington, D.C.]. And we were in the restaurant. And I get this call from--you know, a staff member comes running out. "Marion Barry wants you!" "Oh Lord what have I done?" I thought maybe I'd, you know, ticked off another big supporter or something. And so I, you know, went upstairs and took the call. And he wanted to have dinner. Well I had been with the mayor's office maybe seven or eight years. I'd never had dinner with the mayor. So I knew I was in trouble. He was gonna take me to dinner and fire me. I just knew this was gonna happen. So we went to dinner and I'm sitting there trying to eat this food, which is stuck right here. It was not going down anywhere. And I--you know, he's just sort of chatting and--and I said, "You know, get to it! What is the issue here? Am I fired? Am I gonna have to go and move out of my house?" And he says, "Well, you know, what do you plan to do next?" I said, "Well Mr. Mayor, to be very candid, when this term is over, I really would like to go and do something else outside of the government." And he was kind of surprised I guess. But he says, "Well I need a chief of staff." And again I'm--the food is still right here. Now it's really backing up. I said, "Okay." You know. Waiting for--"You know, you need one so what?" And he said, "And your name keeps coming up." And I'm, "Who in the world is doing this to me raising my name?" And so he said, "I wanna offer you the position." So I couldn't think of any--I said, "Well what exactly does the position entail?" And we talked about it. I said, "Well let me think about it." And I tried to get this food to go down (laughs). And I went home. I called my father. He was then alive. And I told Daddy what it was about. And I thought my father would say no 'cause he was no fan of Marion Barry's. He said, "You need to take it. He needs help." Okay? I call my minister. And he said well--my minister initially said, "No don't do this." 'Cause that was the time when the administrations' reputation was in the papers every day. And my minister being closer to it than my father was saying, "Well you know, you have to be careful that this doesn't come back on you." And then the next morning he called me. He said, "You know, I was shaving this morning. And this particular Bible verse kept coming to me." And whatever it was I can't remember the time. But to him it meant I needed to do this. So the people that were closest to me at the time said do it. And so I called the mayor and told him, "Okay I accept." Then the mayor took forever to finalize the appointment. So I called him back and said, "Look Mr. Mayor if you want me to do this, you better make the appointment. 'Cause otherwise I--you know, there won't be enough time. And I need to move on." So he announced the appointment and I took the job. And again I'm a little smart. So I figure this out. A bad reputation in the office, bad stuff happening all the time. So I managed to do this thing where--you know, the building--the old district building looked awful. When you walked in, it was dusty. There were spider webs. The chandelier, most of the light bulbs were out. So I got some folks in there to clean up the hall. I bought some plants. I had flags posted. I mean--so the ['New York] Times,' the 'Washington Times' did this article on me. And it said, "Chief of Staff cleans up City Hall." And what it meant was I actually got somebody in there to dust, to wax, to put in light bulbs. I cleaned it up literally. And every morning I would come in early. And I'd say, "Wait a minute. You know, you didn't--call maintenance. Tell 'em to git down here." To me that entrance was so non-indicative of a office of a mayor of a major urban center--city. So I stayed on folks. I had to have a memo of understanding between Public Works and General Services. Because one was responsible for dusting. The other was responsible for light bulbs. My thing was, "While you're up on that ladder dusting that chandelier, you can't put a light bulb in?" Those kinds of things always boggled my mind. I mean I tell one person to go and clean up the place and that person also puts in the light bulbs. What is this bifurcated responsibility? So you know, I hired somebody a minority vendor who had plants. Her role was to come in every day and make sure these plants were pretty. When you walked into City Hall, the floors were clean. The courts made us turn it into a homeless shelter for women at night and that was a mess. But I didn't care. The next morning that cleaning staff had to be in there to clean up that hallway. "We can't do that. Don't you see all this?" "That is not my issue. This is the hallway for the City Hall. You clean this up." And I had little tiffs with those folks but finally they got the message I was not gonna let up. If they wanted to keep those jobs, then they had to clean up that entrance to the building. And I was--I wanted people to know I was there too. And this was a way of saying that. Something different is happening here. I mean the floors were waxed and shiny. And after a while, the guys got the hang of it. I'd walk in the door. There was a security station where you put your bags through. They had a piece of paper taped on the security belt saying, "Place your bags flat on the surface." I said, "You walk in here in the mayor's office and there's a piece of paper up there? DPW [Department of Public Works] made signs. They made license tags. You know, got them made. "So why can't they do a sign that says this? "Stop. Place bags--" Nice little pretty signs put up there. It took a couple weeks to get 'em out of DPW, Department of Public Works. But I did all those things to say, "This is a new day. And people must care." Because this is the image of the mayor, which was pretty tarnished. But at least this part doesn't have to be tarnished. So I did things like that. And tried to keep, you know, chin up. 'Cause the papers were giving us a really rough time.