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Quintard Taylor

Historian Quintard Taylor was born on December 11, 1948 in Brownsville, Tennessee to Quintard Taylor and Grace Taylor. He graduated from Carver High School in Brownsville, Tennessee and received his B.A. degree in American history in 1969 from St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in American history from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis in 1971 and 1977, respectively.

In 1971, Taylor served as assistant professor of black studies at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. After he received his Ph.D. degree, Taylor was named professor of history at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California, where he taught courses on African American history, African history, U.S. history, and served in department leadership roles for thirteen years from 1977 to 1990. In 1987, Taylor was the visiting Fulbright-Hays Professor of History at University of Lagos in Lagos, Nigeria. In 1990, Taylor authored his first book, The Making of the Modern World: A Reader in 20th Century Global History. He later joined the faculty at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. During his tenure, Taylor also served as adjunct professor of Folklore and Ethnic Studies, and was acting director of the Ethnic Studies Program. He published his second book, The Forging of A Black Community: Seattle’s Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era, in 1994. He also held visiting professor positions at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington and at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Taylor was chair of the department of history at the University of Oregon from 1997 to 1999. In 1998, he published In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the America West, 1528-1990. In 1998, he was selected as the Philip H. Knight Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon; and was later appointed as the Scott and Dorothy Bullitt Professor of American History at the University of Washington in 1999. For nineteen years, he served in this role, teaching African American history, history of the black west, and U.S. history, until his retirement in June 2018.

In 2007, Taylor founded BlackPast.org, an online reference database on African American history, with over thirty million users since its launch. In 2008, Taylor published a collection of primary documents titled From Timbuktu to Katrina: Readings in African American History. In 2009, he published, America-I-Am, Black Facts: The Story of a People Through Timelines, 1601-2000. Along with Dr. Samuel Kelly, Taylor co-authored Dr. Sam: The Autobiography of Dr. Samuel Kelly, Soldier, Educator, Advocate and Friend in 2010. Taylor also served on the Board of HistoryLink Interactive History Project. 

Taylor has three children, Quintard III, and twins, William and Jamila.

Historian Quintard Taylor was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 9, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.179

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/09/2017

Last Name

Taylor

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Quintard

Birth City, State, Country

Brownsville

HM ID

TAY17

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring, and Summer

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii Islands, Oahu and Maui

Favorite Quote

Black History Is All Around Us.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Washington

Birth Date

12/11/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Seattle

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Baked Chicken and Eggplant

Short Description

Historian Quintard Taylor (1948 - ) was the Scott and Dorothy Bullitt Professor of American History at the University of Washington and founded BlackPast.org. an online reference tool.

Favorite Color

Blue

Mildred Bond Roxborough

NAACP executive Mildred Bond Roxborough was born on June 30, 1926, in Brownsville, Tennessee, one of three daughters of college sweethearts Ollie and Mattye Tollette Bond. Roxborough’s family background included a tradition of African American empowerment; her mother’s family founded Tollette, Arkansas, which was a post-Reconstruction, all-African American town, while her own parents chartered Brownsville, Tennesee’s first chapter of the NAACP. At the age of nine, Roxborough began selling subscriptions to The Crisis, the official publication of the NAACP.

Roxborough and her family moved to Kansas City after her father’s involvement in civil rights activities forced her family to leave Tennessee; it was there that she graduated from Charles Sumner High School in 1943. Roxborough worked towards her college undergraduate degree at Howard University and Washington Square College of New York University, finishing in 1947; she received her M.A degree from Columbia University in 1953, and attended the University of Paris extension at Marseilles and the University of Mexico at Cuernavaca.

Roxborough’s career at the NAACP began with her position as national staff field secretary in 1954; she became the executive assistant and the administrative assistant to executive director in 1963, and in 1975, she became assistant director. Between 1978 and 1984, Roxborough became director of operations for the NAACP. Between 1984 and 1986, Roxborough moved up to become director of programs; she was the first woman to serve the organization in that role. Roxborough served as director of development from 1986 until her retirement in 1997. Despite her retirement, Roxborough, a mainstay of the organization, remained intimately involved with the planning and core operations of the annual NAACP National Convention and the organization’s New York Bureau.

In addition to her service to and lifetime membership in the NAACP, Roxborough served as vice chairman of Intergroup Corporation, and on the boards of America's Charities and Morningside Retirement and Health, Incorporated. Roxborough’s honors and awards included the James Weldon John¬son Medal; the Medgar Wiley Evers Award; and America's Charities Distinguished Service Award.

Accession Number

A2005.129

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/8/2005

8/24/2005

Last Name

Roxborough

Maker Category
Schools

Charles L. Sumner High School

Northeast Middle

Haywood County Training School

Columbia University

New York University

Howard University

First Name

Mildred Bond

Birth City, State, Country

Brownsville

HM ID

ROX01

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Tennessee

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/30/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Crab Cakes, Tropical Fruit, Veggies

Short Description

Association executive Mildred Bond Roxborough (1926 - ) served as director of development for the NAACP and continued to work for the New York Bureau of the association long past her retirement.

Favorite Color

Blue, Green

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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261657">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Mildred Bond Roxborough's interview, session 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261658">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Mildred Bond Roxborough lists her favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261659">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Mildred Bond Roxborough describes her maternal family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261660">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Mildred Bond Roxborough recounts how her maternal grandfather founded Tollette, Arkansas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261661">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Mildred Bond Roxborough describes her mother's education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261662">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Mildred Bond Roxborough describes her paternal family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261663">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Mildred Bond Roxborough talks about her father's childhood and U.S. military service</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261664">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Mildred Bond Roxborough tells the story of how her parents met</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261665">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Mildred Bond Roxborough describes her parents' teaching careers at Haywood County Training School in Brownsville, Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261666">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Mildred Bond Roxborough lists her siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261667">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Mildred Bond Roxborough describe her earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261668">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Mildred Bond Roxborough describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261669">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Mildred Bond Roxborough recalls why her parents established an NAACP branch in Haywood County, Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261670">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Mildred Bond Roxborough remembers the backlash from the white community when her father tried to register to vote</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261671">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Mildred Bond Roxborough explains how she was affected by the violent response to her parents' voting rights activism</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261672">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Mildred Bond Roxborough remembers a threat to her father's life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261673">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Mildred Bond Roxborough remembers her father's narrow escape from an attempt on his life in Brownsville, Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261674">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Mildred Bond Roxborough remembers her father's return to Brownsville, Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261675">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Mildred Bond Roxborough recalls enrolling at Howard University in Washington, D.C. after her graduation from high school at age fifteen</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261676">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Mildred Bond Roxborough remembers her time at Howard University in Washington, D.C.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261677">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Mildred Bond Roxborough describes scholars at Howard University in Washington, D.C. during the 1940s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261678">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Mildred Bond Roxborough explains her decision to transfer to New York University in New York, New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261679">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Mildred Bond Roxborough recalls her introduction to leadership of the NAACP</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261680">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Mildred Bond Roxborough describes her recruitment to the NAACP</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261681">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Mildred Bond Roxborough explains her first assignment at the NAACP</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261682">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Mildred Bond Roxborough remembers working for Dr. Lillie May Carroll Jackson</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261683">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Mildred Bond Roxborough recalls working with notoriously difficult NAACP leaders</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261684">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Mildred Bond Roxborough recalls the first NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner in Detroit, Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261685">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Mildred Bond Roxborough describes the reaction to the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision at the NAACP</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261686">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Mildred Bond Roxborough remembers organizing in Arkansas following the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261687">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Mildred Bond Roxborough talks about Daisy Bates</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261688">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Mildred Bond Roxborough talks about NAACP community meetings in Arkansas in 1954</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261689">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Mildred Bond Roxborough remembers a funny story from her time traveling for the NAACP</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261690">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Mildred Bond Roxborough recalls going to Mississippi after her NAACP work in Arkansas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261691">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Mildred Bond Roxborough elaborates on her experience as an NAACP fieldworker in the 1950s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261692">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Mildred Bond Roxborough describes the gender dynamics of being a female NAACP fieldworker in the 1950s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261693">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Mildred Bond Roxborough recalls highlights from her NAACP fieldwork</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261694">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Mildred Bond Roxborough remembers Medgar Evers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261695">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Mildred Bond Roxborough talks about the relationship between the NAACP Youth Council and NAACP leadership</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261696">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Mildred Bond Roxborough's interview, session 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261697">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Mildred Bond Roxborough remembers NAACP leaders who were assassinated in Mississippi</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261698">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Mildred Bond Roxborough explains the importance of attaining the right to vote in primaries in 1948</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261699">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Mildred Bond Roxborough talks about her role as an NAACP field secretary</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261700">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Mildred Bond Roxborough traces how the NAACP's legal strategy for educational integration culminated in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261701">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Mildred Bond Roxborough talks about the relationship between the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and the NAACP</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261702">Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Mildred Bond Roxborough describes life on the road as an NAACP fieldworker</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261703">Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Mildred Bond Roxborough remembers women who were the backbone of the NAACP</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261704">Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Mildred Bond Roxborough recalls her marriage to John W. Roxborough</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261705">Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Mildred Bond Roxborough talks about the value of African American history</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261706">Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Mildred Bond Roxborough remembers the assassination of Medgar Evers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261707">Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Mildred Bond Roxborough reflects upon changes in Mississippi following the assassination of Medgar Evers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261708">Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Mildred Bond Roxborough talks about conditions that led to riots following the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261709">Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Mildred Bond Roxborough explains how the NAACP approaches civil rights issues in the 2000s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261710">Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Mildred Bond Roxborough talks about the proliferation of African American organizations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261711">Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Mildred Bond Roxborough explains Roy Wilkins' response to the Black Power movement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261712">Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Mildred Bond Roxborough responds to African American nostalgia for segregated education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261713">Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Mildred Bond Roxborough explains how the NAACP was a model for later activist organizations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261714">Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Mildred Bond Roxborough remembers assaults withstood by the NAACP</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261715">Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Mildred Bond Roxborough talks about the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the Democratic Party in 2005</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261716">Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Mildred Bond Roxborough describes her concerns for the future</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261717">Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Mildred Bond Roxborough talks about her stepsons' accomplishments</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261718">Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Mildred Bond Roxborough explains the importance of history</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261719">Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Mildred Bond Roxborough reflects upon the history of the NAACP</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261720">Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Mildred Bond Roxborough talks about the NAACP's founding</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261721">Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Mildred Bond Roxborough lists the African American executive directors of the NAACP</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261722">Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Mildred Bond Roxborough explains how Bruce S. Gordon was appointed director of the NAACP</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261723">Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Mildred Bond Roxborough describes how NAACP leadership changed during the early 20th century</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261724">Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Mildred Bond Roxborough lists recent directors of the NAACP</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261725">Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Mildred Bond Roxborough explains the organizational structure of the NAACP</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261726">Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Mildred Bond Roxborough reflects upon her legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261727">Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Mildred Bond Roxborough describes her hopes for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261728">Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Mildred Bond Roxborough recalls her father's principles</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261729">Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Mildred Roxborough recalls the NAACP's support of Ambassador HistoryMaker The Honorable Andrew Young</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261730">Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Mildred Roxborough recalls being convinced to participate in The HistoryMakers by HistoryMaker Paul Brock</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261731">Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Mildred Roxborough explains why Gordon S. Parks was appointed NAACP president in 2005</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/261732">Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Mildred Roxborough narrates her photographs</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

7$5

DATitle
Mildred Bond Roxborough remembers the backlash from the white community when her father tried to register to vote
Mildred Bond Roxborough describes the gender dynamics of being a female NAACP fieldworker in the 1950s
Transcript
Anyway, they got the charter, and so many people white people didn't know what NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] was, you understand. And they invited for the charter ceremony or meeting, they had it at the First Baptist Church [Brownsville, Tennessee]. And they invited the sheriff and the mayor and the somebody-else from the city. And some of them actually came and spoke, and it was later that they found out what they had--the NAACP was. They were calling it NAPC and AWC or whatever. But the--"It's a good thing for you coloreds," you know, that kind of thing.$$They actually tried to-they took it as a chance to compliment black people on doing it.$$Yes.$$They didn't know what it was (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) They didn't know what it was. But, when he [Roxborough's father, Ollie Bond] went up to register to vote, with the group. Went to the courthouse to register, so that they would be eligible to vote in the next election. And he said, "Now, you know you don't have no business up here," you know. But it was about that time when the blacks started coming back and asking for the right to register for vote, that they realized, they started learning about the NAACP. It didn't take them long. And as a result, they were threatening--they started threatening the members. They wanted--they could identify, in a small town, they could identify the people who were willing to go and do this. So, they could identify the members, and they started threatening them. And my mother [Mattye Tollette Bond] was a teacher. She was fired from her job, at that point. And they were threatening the other people. One was a shoemaker, and they had different kinds of vocations. And there were two or three teachers in the group. And, of course then they started threatening the black people for using my father's funeral business [Rawls Funeral Home, Brownsville, Tennessee], you know. And they arrested him a few times on charges like violating some local ordinance, or trespassing or jaywalking. And a couple of times they arrested him, and they--he was pretty badly beaten. So they brought him home one night and I was there. And brought him home, opened the front door and brought him into the living room where I was. And he was beaten. They had used brass knuckles to beat him. And said, "Here's your pa, you take care of him now." And put him in there on the couch and left him. So, those are childhood pictures, you know, that kind of thing.$$So what--you know, what a horrible thing to happen (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) He was a very gentle man. He wasn't very literate. You know he wasn't a--his militancy was determination, not overt and physical.$$What a horrible thing to happen as a child, to see your father beaten like that, and--$$I guess by then I was about nine; eight, nine. And he--and they told him that, that, "You should, you should know better. After all, you come from one of us, you know."$Did it make it easier for you to travel from--through those [southern] states, being a young woman rather than a young man?$$It made it easy in some respects and more difficult in other respects. Prior to--you have the situation, also, the social side of it, where people saw you freely traveling like this. At that time, that they would also think, "Well, she's an easy mark." This is the male thought now, you know, in terms of young, attractive woman, and respectable men. They--you all--let me back up and talk, say it again. The men will look at young, attract--what they call attractive women, and they're unfettered and free, and think that, "Well, it won't hurt for me to make a pass at her, or see how far this will go." Well, I had to deal with that like a young man would not have to do at that point. The female constituents of NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] weren't aggressive, and they weren't reaching out to the young men in that sense, as it was. That was that duality of treatment. Still, the dual standard occurred there. And apparently, to them, I was a young attractive woman. So, I have been in some places, I awakened one night and to have a--I just happened--just woke up for some reason, and there standing over me was my host in the bedroom, in the guest bedroom. And well, anyway. So (laughter), and you had to be very careful, because you did not want to insult people or offend them, because then they would complain, find a reason to complain about the fact that the work of the NAACP wasn't being done properly. And I've had branch presidents--like an idiot, one night out in Denver, Colorado, I went to let the man help me carry stuff from the meeting up to the hotel room. This is a long time ago, of course. I'm going back to my early days. And he came in to put the papers all--the garbage--the junk that we have left over from meetings, the important documents I should say. And, we deal in paper. So, the next thing I knew, he was chasing me around the hotel room (laughter). It caught me completely off guard. And he--now this one wasn't an old man, either. And some of them were the older ones who had less inhibitions. But these are things that go with the job, that went with the job. And, so you had that in the '50s [1950s], and probably the early '60s [1960s] too. It was still not usual for a young woman to go freely and travel in these kinds of circumstances. So, it was an extraordinarily good education for me, but I had to learn to follow a line, so that we would still be friends, and I could still go to that dinner the next day, and sit there at the dais, on the dais with him next to me, and we were friends, and there was no animus between us, because that was the thing. The volunteers are our bosses. And, that was one ingredient which was on the debit side of the ledger. But travel, I could get away with doing more things than a fellow could in many instances in the course of traveling. And being--getting into places and getting audiences and talking with mayors, or whatever my assignment would be at that time, because they would say, "She's inoffensive and she's--." You know, it's a matter of their having the power and the control, and they didn't feel threatened by having someone like me come in and talk with them. Then they would go out and see me leading a demonstration somewhere, and they would decide they had made a mistake after all.

Reverend Clay Evans

Civil rights leader Reverend Clay Evans was born on June 23, 1925, in Brownsville, Tennessee to Estanualy and Henry Clay Evans. After graduating from George Washington Carver High School in Brownsville, Evans moved to Chicago to attend seminary school. He studied at the Chicago Baptist Institute, the Northern Baptist Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Evans was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1950; and, in 1958, he founded the Fellowship Baptist Church, affectionately called "The Ship" by its parishioners on the South Side. He also sang with various church choirs and wrote gospel songs, including “By and By,” a 1950s hit for the Davis Sisters. In the pulpit, Evans developed a reputation as an innovative and passionate preacher. He also gained an extensive evangelical following throughout the Midwest and the South where his weekly sermons are aired on radio and television. Evans has also influenced scores of new evangelists, as over eighty ministers have studied under him. In 1965, Evans teamed up with the Reverend Jesse Jackson to start Operation PUSH, one of the country’s leading civil rights organizations; and, three years later, he ordained Jackson as a minister. Between 1971 and 1976, Evans served as chairman of Operation PUSH and set direction for the group. Evans published an autobiography, From Plough Handle to Pulpit, in 1982, chronicling his journey from the fields of his childhood home in Tennessee to the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. He released his first musical project in 1984, What He's Done For Me, and his second album in 1986, Things Are Going to Work Out Somehow. Evans was appointed to the International Committee of Reference in 1988, which worked to create a global ministry. He later released nine more albums: From the Ship (1987), He’ll Be There (1988), Reach Beyond the Break (1990), I’m Going Through (1993), I See A Miracle (1994), I've Got A Testimony (1996), Coming Home (1996), He’s a Battle Axe (1997), and Constantly.

Evans received a 1997 Soul Train Music Awards nominations for Best Gospel Album for I've Got A Testimony. He also served as Rainbow/PUSH’s national board chairman from 2008 to 2012.

Evans married Lutha Mae Hollingshed on October 15, 1946. They had five children. Evans passed away on November 27, 2019.

Evans was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 30, 2003.

Accession Number

A1993.001

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/4/1993

1/30/2003

Last Name

Evans

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Clay

Birth City, State, Country

Brownsville

HM ID

EVA01

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Tanqueray Interview date 7/4/1993

Sponsor

Tanqueray

State

Tennessee

Favorite Quote

Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart And Lean Not On Your Own Understanding; In All Your Ways Submit To Him, And He Will Make Your Paths Straight.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/23/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Soul Food

Death Date

11/27/2019

Short Description

Civil rights leader Reverend Clay Evans (1925-2019) founded the Fellowship Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois in 1958 before co-founding Operation PUSH with Reverend Jesse Jackson in 1965, and later releasing eleven gospel albums.

Employment

Rainbow/PUSH

Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church (Chicago, Ill.)

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Black, Blue, Gray

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399471">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the Civil Rights ministers who influenced him</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399472">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the role the church played in the black community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399473">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the impact the Civil Rights movement had on the U.S., pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399474">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the impact the Civil Rights movement had on the U.S., pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399475">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Clay Evans describes the tenets of the Bible</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399476">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Clay Evans describes how he wants to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399477">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Clay Evans' interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399478">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Clay Evans describes his parents and his siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399479">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Clay Evans lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399480">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about his family's background as sharecroppers in Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399481">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Clay Evans describes his maternal and paternal grandfathers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399482">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Clay Evans describes his father, Henry Clay Evans</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399483">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about working alongside his father, Henry Clay Evans, growing up as sharecroppers in Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399484">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Clay Evans describes his mother, Estanuly Evans</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399485">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Clay Evans describes the sights, smells, and sounds of his childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399486">Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the racism and discrimination he experienced growing up in Tennessee in the 1920s and 1930s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399487">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Clay Evans describes the violence and racism he experienced as a black youth growing up in Brownsville, Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399488">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Clay Evans describes himself as a slow learner as a student</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399489">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about attending Woodlawn Baptist Church growing up in Brownsville, Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399490">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the role of religion in his household growing up in Brownsville, Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399491">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Clay Evans describes attending Woodlawn School and then Carver High School in Brownsville, Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399492">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about moving to Chicago, Illinois in 1945 after graduating from Carver High School in Brownsville, Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399493">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about wanting to be an undertaker like the prosperous black undertakers in Brownsville, Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399494">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about spending his summers in Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399495">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about marrying his wife, Lutha Mae Evans, in 1945 and entering the Chicago Baptist Institute to become a preacher</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399496">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Clay Evans describes attending seminary at the Chicago Baptist Institute</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399497">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Clay Evans describes developing leadership skills as a preacher</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399498">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about his relationship with other denominations and religions</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399499">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about starting the Fellowship Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois, in 1950</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399500">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the growth of his congregation through his broadcast through WYCA in Gary, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399501">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about his influences and values when founding Fellowship Baptist Church</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399502">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the role of music in his ministry</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399503">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the split in the National Baptist Convention during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1961</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399504">Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reverend Clay Evans describes working with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he came to Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399505">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about getting involved with HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. and working with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he came to…

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399506">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the difficulty of getting the Fellowship Baptist Church built in the 1960s in Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399507">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Clay Evans describes working with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s, when he came to Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399508">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about beginning Operation PUSH with HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. in 1971</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399509">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Clay Evans describes his relationship with HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399510">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the death of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399511">Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Clay Evans describes working on the Poor People's Campaign in 1968 in Washington D.C.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399512">Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about his theology and religious philosophy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399513">Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Clay Evans describes what he wants his legacy to be</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399514">Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Reverend Clay Evans gives advice to young people seeking spirituality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399515">Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about his hopes and concerns for the black community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399516">Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Clay Evans narrates his photographs, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/399517">Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reverend Clay Evans narrates his photographs, pt. 2</a>

DASession

1$2

DATape

1$4

DAStory

2$7

DATitle
Reverend Clay Evans talks about the role the church played in the black community
Reverend Clay Evans talks about wanting to be an undertaker like the prosperous black undertakers in Brownsville, Tennessee
Transcript
(Laughing). Now, the other question... since you talked about the church, I want to ask this question. What, what role do you think the church has played--?$$The church... before you even finish the question... I want to say to you is most important, especially for African-Americans. It's the greatest institution. And I'd rather talk about that than try to name some individual who made contributions to freedom and liberation, and what have you. It's been an institution, which is the church... which is the church. It's greater than my home. Now, nothing could take the place of a home and a family. Because we could talk about that all night, and how important it is for family life. And we used to have good family life, but we didn't have, you know, much of a house to live in; we had a home. But now, we, we, we, we, we, we, don't have a home, and we just got a house. But it's played a very, very important part. But the church... out of the five institutions that kind of control or run our country... there was the family, the church, education, business, and government as far as black people are concerned. It has always been that church that has motivated them, that has encouraged them. And some of my greatest leaders--whether it be politicians, whether it be business people or what; whether it be school teachers, theatrical people... come from right from the church. That would be your second society. Home was first. Then your mother brought you to church, and then sent you to school. And some people have never entered into business recently in the last... 50's [1950s], and that kind of thing. We've gotten into the... So, the church plays a most important part when you're talking about the moral aspect, and teaching us principles and bringing the best out of us, or what the Lord would really have us to be, especially if there's a minister there that has what I would call a holistic ministry. See, the church is no longer just a pie in the sky. It has inspired people and kept us together, and gave us hope through slavery and all kinds of other problems we've gone through. If we could to church and get our spiritual bearings... it's kept us in all the other walks of life. It kept families together, kept you from killing somebody. It kept you from, you know, other people that have mistreated you. You kind of hold your peace, and let the Lord fight your battles. We've always had hope to believe that tomorrow is going to be better than today. So, it just kept us, as [HM Reverend] Jesse [Jackson, Sr.] would say, "Not only hoping, but hopping," moving along. And there is no substitute for the church. Like I said, there's no substitute for really a family. And sometimes we expect the church to raise our children, or the school to do it. That's the family's job to do it; we just assist, we're agents. Trace it back. All of the Civil Rights leaders, most of them, whether it was [Reverend] Dr. [Martin Luther] King or whether it was... whoever it was... they came out of the church setting. So, in one sense or another, we are very religious people, very religious people. Because man is trichotomy, and we believe in that--that he's body, soul, and mind. And I don't care how healthy your body and how good your education is--if your inner man, your soul, is messed up, then it affects the rest of that individual. So, in a holistic kind of gospel, not only do we come to church to worship on Sunday, but we go out to serve at other times. So, I've got to be interested in where my kids go to school. I've got to be interested in where people live, where people work. Their whole life somehow or another become my ministry, and not just over yonder. And as much as I believe in over yonder, I've got to be concerned about people every day in life, how they get along. And most ministers, when they're really committed--and it comes out of that kind of setting. That's the reason why the church is so, so, so, so important, and will always be. It's not perfect, it's made up out of human beings, and we're not perfect. But it's the best institution. See, we have not always had doctors. We have not always had lawyers. We have not always had mayors and governors. And one day the Lord is going to give us a president who is African-American, and is going to give us a woman. All of that is coming. But lest we forget our legacy and forget where we came from, you'll find your best people coming right from the church, and interested in liberation of our people.$That brings up an interesting question. Because I came here, really, as most people who migrated to the North, looking for better opportunities. I not only wanted to get away from the hostility of racism and bigotry and all of that kind of thing, but looking for better opportunities. I knew it wasn't no opportunities there. And the greatest thing to me was, I came here to be an undertaker, a mortician.$$Now, why did you... I mean how did you--?$$Because the most prosperous person in Brownsville [Tennessee], a black man, was a mortician. I remember dead business is good business for a mortician. (Laughter). It's funny, it's funny, but it's true. If nobody dies, you got no business. So, don't tell me all dead business is bad business. Dead business is good business. You don't go around wishing people would die. But if they don't, you ain't got no business. A man by the time of Al Rawls in Brownsville, Tennessee was the most talented. White folks and all respected him.$$His last name is spelled how?$$Rawls, R-A-W-L-S.$$Just like Lou[is] Rawls?$$Yeah. And he was respected by all, because he was part of the status quo. He didn't go against... But that was the man they also told to go down and get that man out of the Hatcher River. But this undertaker, Rawls, had that town sewed up with business, with cars and houses. And so I wanted to be an undertaker, a mortician. I never thought about no preaching.$$Now, this raises an interesting question. You know, a lot of people that you talk to from small towns in the South say that the undertakers were the most prosperous person in town. Why do you... I mean, black person in town. Why do you suppose that's true? Do you have any thoughts on that?$$Because they had to bury all the blacks. The whites wasn't going to bury them there. They weren't liberal enough... Now, I have gone to some cities down there near Cairo [Tennessee] where whites buried black folks. And that was so strange to me when I saw that. I went down there to a person's funeral, and here they come up ushering in our folks, handling the women and all. That upset me. But in Brownsville [Tennessee] they had to have somebody to bury them. It wasn't but two of them. It was [Al] Rawls, and I forget the other one's name. But he was the man. So, if you're burying all the dead, you've got to do alright. So when I came here and inquired about it... and at that time it would cost you a thousand dollars to complete mortuary school. And I didn't have a dime. So, I thought I would work until I did get it. And that's a long story. I started to work trying to save up some money to go to mortuary school. I met my wife in there. But that's the reason why I came to Chicago [Illinois].$$Okay.$$Yeah, if you want to be successful... and success meant making money.