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Rick Jennings

Nonprofit executive and government official Rick Jennings was born on April 17, 1953 in Houston, Texas to Clara J. Hopkins and Richard Jennings. Jennings was raised in Washington D.C. by his mother and stepfather, Estis Jack Hopkins. He graduated from Calvin Coolidge High School in 1972, and received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Maryland, College Park. Jennings graduated with his B.A. degree in criminal justice in 1976.

Upon graduating in 1976, Jennings was drafted by the Oakland Raiders, and played with them in Super Bowl XI, but retired from professional football in 1977, after two seasons. In 1980, Jennings was hired as a sales representative at the Xerox Corporation, and was promoted to regional sales manager in 1990. In 1992, he became the chief executive officer of St. Hope Academy. Jennings was elected to serve on the Sacramento Unified City School Board in 1996; and the next year, Jennings served as the chief executive officer and executive director of the Center for Fathers and Families, a nonprofit organization offering parenting classes and mentoring programs in Sacramento. As executive director, Jennings launched the Making After School Time Rich and Rewarding (MASTERS) program and the Check In/Check Out program. Jennings was re-elected to the Sacramento Unified City School board of directors in 2000, and again in 2004. In 2014, he was elected to represent district seven on the Sacramento City Council. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson appointed Jennings to serve on the Law and Legislation Committee and the Budget and Legislation Committee. He was also appointed to represent the City of Sacramento with The Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, the Sacramento Public Library Authority, the Sacramento Regional Transit Authority, the Regional Water Authority, and the Sacramento Groundwater Authority. In 2016, Jennings was named Vice Mayor of Sacramento.

Jennings served on the board of directors of the Sacramento Sports Commission and the Wells Fargo Advisory Board. He also served on the board of the Los Rios Advisory Foundation. In 2017, Jennings was named a Dream All-Star by the Sacramento Kings.

Jennings and his wife, Cassandra Jennings, have two children, TJ and Asha.

Rick Jennings was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 5, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.064

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/5/2018

Last Name

Jennings

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Shepherd Elementary School

Paul Public Charter School

Calvin Coolidge Senior High School

University of Maryland

First Name

Rick

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

JEN12

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

He Or She Who Is Behind In The Great Race Of Life Must Run Faster Or Forever Remain Behind.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

4/17/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Sacramento

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Nonprofit executive and government official Rick Jennings (1953 - ) served on the Sacramento Unified School District board of directors for twelve years, and on the Sacramento City Council, in addition to serving as the chief executive officer of the Center for Fathers and Families.

Employment

Various D.C. Papers

Oakland Raiders Football

United California Bank

Xerox Corporation

St. HOPE Academy

Fathers & Families Center

City of Sacramento

Favorite Color

Blue

Gabriella E. Morris

Foundation chief executive Gabriella E. Morris was born on March 26, 1956 in Houston, Texas to Elise LeNoir Morris and John E. Morris. After graduating from high school, Morris received her A.B. degree in architecture and urban planning, and a certificate in African American studies, from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey in 1978. She later earned her J.D. degree from the University of Texas Law School in Austin, Texas. Morris has also received certifications from Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program in corporate social responsibility, and from Stanford University’s Center for Social Innovation.

Morris was hired as real estate council for The Southland Corporation in Dallas, Texas. She then became associate counsel of the Houston-based law firm of Baker and Botts in its securities, real estate and oil and gas practices. In 1985, she was hired by Prudential Financial as a regional counsel and associate general counsel for the company’s real estate operations. Morris then became president of the Prudential Foundation in 1994, and also served as vice president of community resources. In that position, Morris helped develop a number of community programs focused on education, including the Prudential Young Entrepreneurs Program, founded in 1999. She also helped form the New Jersey Statewide Education Summit, which aided the development of new education standards for the City of Newark and was influential in creating one of the first charter school lending programs in the nation. After over twenty years of service, Morris left Prudential in order to form her own consulting firm, Connective Advisors LLC. In 2014, she was named as the senior vice president of the UNICEF Bridge Fund.

In addition to her professional career, Morris has been involved in her community through membership in many organizations. She was a founding member of United States Artists, the Brick City Development Corporation, and the Newark Trust for Education. Morris also served as a board member for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Harlem School of the Arts, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center Women’s Association, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Gabriella E. Morris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 27, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.074

Sex

Female

Interview Date

03/27/2017

Last Name

Morris

Maker Category
Schools

Clinton Park Elementary School

Incarnate Word Academy

Fidelity Elementary School

Princeton University

University of Texas at Austin

First Name

Gabriella

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

MOR18

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Fake It Till You Make It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

3/26/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Newark

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lamb Chops

Short Description

Foundation chief executive Gabriella E. Morris (1956 - ) worked for twenty-seven years in senior legal, philanthropic and community relations positions at Prudential Financial.

Employment

US Fund for UNICEF

Connective Advisors

Prudential Financial

The Southland Corporation

Baker & Botts

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gabriella E. Morris' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gabriella E. Morris lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her mother's upbringing and education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her father's aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gabriella E. Morris describes how her parents met and married

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her adoption

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the sights and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Clinton Park neighborhood of Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her early interests and personality

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers her mother's role on 'Queen for A Day'

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers her elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers being mistaken for Latina in Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Incarnate Word Academy in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls her experiences of discrimination at the Incarnate Word Academy

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls her decision to attend Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls her aspiration to become a lawyer

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her decision to study architecture

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers her arrival at Princeton University

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls the senior awards ceremony at the Incarnate Word Academy

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her social life at Princeton University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her architectural education

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers her professors at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers national events fromn her time at Princeton University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her skin color privilege

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls the notable alumni and faculty of the University of Texas Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers working at Baker Botts LLP

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her casework at Baker Botts LLP

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers meeting her first husband

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls her start at Prudential Financial, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers the birth of her first child

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers the financial downturn of the late 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls meeting President George W. Bush

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers becoming president of the Prudential Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the Prudential Foundation's philanthropic strategy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the Prudential Foundation's impact in the community of Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gabriella E. Morris reflects upon her career at the Prudential Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the Prudential Foundation's volunteer programs

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the Prudential Young Entrepreneur Program

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the United States Artists initiative

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Brick City Development Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls marrying her second husband

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her duties as president of the Prudential Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Newark Trust for Education

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls founding Connective Advisors LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Harlem School of the Arts in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the UNICEF Bridge Fund

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her involvement in the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the Stanford University Center for Social Innovation

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Gabriella E. Morris reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Gabriella E. Morris reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Gabriella E. Morris describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gabriella E. Morris narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

6$7

DATitle
Gabriella E. Morris recalls her experiences of discrimination at the Incarnate Word Academy
Gabriella E. Morris remembers working at Baker Botts LLP
Transcript
But I started my hapless career there with my mother [Elise LeNoir Morris] coming to our first open house, which was my first sh- first semester of freshman year [at Incarnate Word Academy, Houston, Texas]. And then when you walk in, it's the list of everyone on the honor roll, and she said, "Your name is not up there." And we went around and we collected all of my cards and of course I should've been on the honor roll, I had all A's. So she goes to the principal, "My daughter's name is not here, why?" "Oh yeah that's a mistake, we'll correct it," she said, "No, you'll correct it now. Today is the day when everyone sees who's on the honor roll. You will put her name there now." And of course I'm sort of semi-embarrassed, but I witnessed lot of this stuff from my mother with her own way of holding her righteous indignation through all kinds (laughter) of scenarios. That's what it takes to make that difference. And that was very, that was very important to me, because it was really about standing up for what even- everyone else is entitled to. You know that makes a diff- even that small little thing. So ah, that's how they got to know my mom (laughter), I'm sure they didn't forget it, she was a piece of work, so.$$Well, she did the right thing.$$Yeah so you know it was--you know as, as dedicated as the nuns were to teaching girls, they didn't have a vision for women. And it was you know funny tracks, you know almost like homemaker, secretary, they didn't have a vision that they're train- they're training girls for the world. I think even today I'm not sure how much, how equipped they are to say women can do anything they want. And I, I say that because you know counselors are supposed to say well you know you should go to school here. Or here's some good, they never did any of that for me. And when I got a notice from Princeton [Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey], I went there and I said aren't they supposed to tell you? Oh yeah they said you're a likely, as if (makes sound) why would you wanna do that? So that always bothered me you know that they did not, they sort of had in their mind limitations for girls, for black girls, brown girls.$$You think that, there's a difference in the limitations they had for, they had limitations for all girls. But then for black and brown girls--$$Absolutely.$$--special limitations.$$Absolutely my mother to this day said they, well not to this day but she would say they, they really cheated me out of the valedictory, I was salutatorian. Because my number had all zeroes behind it, no well you can't average out four years and get all zeroes, you know to the decimal point. And that it was important to them that I not be the valedictorian, so you know once again it's religious. It's you know it's, it's important to challenge, but it's just important to keep plowing ahead as well.$$Okay.$$Yeah.$So you're, you're interning with Baker and Botts [Baker Botts LLP, Houston, Texas] and do, do they offer you a job while you're in law school [University of Texas at Austin School of Law, Austin, Texas]?$$Yeah they offered me a job after my second summer with them, and it was interesting, they had more Princeton [Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey] alums there. They're very different field, more you know very eastern in their approach to things and I'd say Vinson and Elkins [Vinson and Elkins LLP, Houston, Texas] at the time was a little, little more homegrown. And they're both great firms but it was sort of like it was the last experience I had. I had both of those experiences, there were only, each firm had one black male attorney, who really was the groundbreaker. Sherman Stimley at, at Vinson Elkins unfortunately passed very, very young, but he was a terrific guy who was a mentor. He wanted, he was really responsible for gathering young people even those still in high school. Those interested in being lawyers, those in college, those in law school, just really trying to direct them to work in the big firms, he was a great guy. And then at Baker and Botts, [HistoryMaker] Rufus Cormier who recently retired was the only black attorney partner at, at Baker and Botts, he was a terrific guy as well, little different manner. But sort of austerely and calmly, confident great leader just a, a quiet man more of a quiet, quiet leader. So I worked there for three years and, and basically the system, these are basically guys that didn't wanna hire women, I gotta tell you in that day. And I only thing I think that really moved them was that they were having daughters who also wanted to be lawyers. You see they have these, these movements actually just really helped propel us forward. And they had to ask themselves why can't women work here, so there weren't that many women and they were very few, I think I was the second black person to work at the firm, so. But not a lot of mentorship overall in the firm, so I decided I should go to a corporate, a corporate law practice after that.

Kenneth Bacon

Corporate executive Kenneth Bacon was born on October 12, 1954 in Houston, Texas. He earned his B.A. degree in anthropology from Stanford University in Stanford, California in 1976, and earned his M.Sc. degree in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science where he studied as a Marshall Scholar in London, England in 1980. Bacon received his M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1982.

Bacon began his career as a vice president at Kidder, Peabody & Co. in New York in 1982. In 1987, he joined Morgan Stanley as a vice president. Bacon then became director of the office of securitization for Resolution and Trust Company in Washington, D.C. in 1990. He remained in that position until 1993, when he became an executive vice president at Fannie Mae. In 1998, he was hired to lead Fannie Mae’s American Communities Fund. In 2005, he became the executive vice president of housing and community development at Fannie Mae until 2012. Bacon co-founded Railfield Realty Partners in 2012 and served as its managing partner. In 2017, he was named as the director for the Fannie Mae Foundation.

Bacon was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to the Marshall Scholars program.

Bacon served on the board of directors for Comcast Corporation, Ally Financial, Forest City Realty Trust, the National Multifamily Housing Council, the Real Estate Roundtable, The Urban Land Institute, the Stanford Center on Longevity, Bentall Kennedy Management (U.S.) Limited Partnership, and Welltower, Inc. He also served as the vice chairman of the Real Estate Executive Council. Bacon was a member of the Pension Real Estate Association and a member of the advisory board at Shift Capital, LLC as well. Bacon also was active in several non-profit and trade groups serving on the boards of the Corporation for Supportive Housing and the Real Estate Executive Council. A former Stanford University trustee, Bacon was a member of the Stanford Parent’s Advisory Board.

Bacon and his wife, Judy; have one son, Daniel and one daughter, Kimberly.

Kenneth Bacon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 2, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.015

Sex

Male

Interview Date

02/02/2017

Last Name

Bacon

Maker Category
Middle Name

J.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Turner Elementary School

Sidney Lanier Junior High School

Evanston Township High School

Stanford University

London School of Economics

Harvard Business School

First Name

Kenneth

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

BAC03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

A hard head leads to a sore behind.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

10/12/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbeque

Short Description

Corporate executive Kenneth Bacon (1954 - ) served as a senior vice president and executive vice president for Fannie Mae from 1993 to 2012. He co-founded Railfield Realty Partners in 2012.

Employment

Railfield Realty Partners

Fannie Mae

Resolution Trust Corporation

Morgan Stanley

Kidder Peabody

IBM

Favorite Color

Blue

Phylicia Rashad

Actress and stage director Phylicia Rashad was born on June 19, 1948 in Houston, Texas. Rashad graduated from Howard University in 1970, magna cum laude, with a B.F.A. degree.

Best known for her role of Clair Huxtable on the long-running NBC sitcom The Cosby Show, Rashad has enjoyed a distinguished acting career on television, stage, and film. Her theater credits include Broadway productions of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof , Gem of the Ocean, Into the Woods, Jelly’s Last Jam, Dreamgirls, Ain’t Supposed To Die A Natural Death; also Cymbeline and Bernada at Lincoln Center. Rashad has appeared in films: The Old Settler, For Colored Girls, Creed, and Creed II.

A critically acclaimed stage director, Rashad has led productions at prestigious venues throughout the United States including the Mark Taper Forum, the McCarter, the Goodman, the Long Wharf, the Steppenwolf, Ebony Repertory and the Signature Theatre. Among her growing list of directorial credits are: August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, for which she received the 2014 NAACP Theatre Award for Best Director, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun; Paul Oakley Stovall’s Immediate Family and Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Our Lady of 121st Street.

Respected in the academic world, Rashad was the first recipient of the Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre at Fordham University, and has been bestowed with numerous honorary doctorate degrees from institutions like Providence College, Tuskegee University, Carnegie Mellon University, Fordham University, Howard University, Barber-Scotia College, Bennett College, Brown University, Clark Atlanta University, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College, presented to her by former First Lady Michelle Obama at the 2011 commencement. Together, she and her sister, Debbie Allen Nixon, established the Dr. Andrew A. Allen Scholarship Award for theater students at Howard University. Rashad also conducts Master Classes at colleges and universities across the country, and served as a master teacher for the 2015 Lunt Fontanne Fellows at the Ten Chimneys Foundation.

Throughout her lifetime, Rashad has maintained a commitment to community service exemplified through her participation as a Director of Brainerd Institute Heritage in Chester, South Carolina. An active member of several organizations devoted to arts education and philanthropic endeavors, Rashad is honored to serve as Brand Ambassador of the National Trust for Historic Preservation African American Cultural Heritage Fund.

Inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2016, Rashad counts among her many honors: People’s Choice Awards, NAACP Image Awards, The Will Award from the National Shakespeare Theatre, the Spirit of Shakespeare Award from the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Drama Desk and Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Play for her riveting performance as Lena Younger in the Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, and the 2016 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play for her performance as Shelah in Tarrell Alvin McCraney’s Head of Passes at the Public Theater.

Phylicia Rashad was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 13, 2016 and February 2, 2017.

Accession Number

A2016.150

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/13/2016 |and| 02/02/2017

Last Name

Rashad

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Phylicia

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

RAS02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii, Oman, Muscat

Favorite Quote

Honey please.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/19/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Palak paneer, yellow daal...

Short Description

Actress Phylicia Rashad (1948 - ) was best known for playing Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992. She made her Broadway debut as a munchkin in the original production of The Wiz in 1975, and would star in the Broadway productions of A Raisin in the Sun, Gem of the Ocean, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Favorite Color

Red

The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr.

Judge John W. Peavy, Jr. was born on April 28, 1942 in Houston, Texas to Malinda Terrell Peavy and John W. Peavy, Sr. Peavy graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School in 1960, where he began his lifelong engagement in local politics as a member of the Young Democrats of Harris County. He then enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he earned his B.A. degree in business administration with an emphasis in accountancy in 1964. Peavy worked for Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson’s office as an undergraduate student, and later as a White House staffer during Johnson’s presidency. In 1967, Peavy received his J.D. degree from the Howard University School of Law.

Upon graduating from law school, Peavy returned to Houston, and opened a private law practice focused on criminal and civil cases. In 1967, he joined the Harris County Community Action Association as an associate senior coordinator; and, in 1969, he became an executive assistant to Harris County Judge William Elliot. He then worked as an expert for the American Bar Association’s Project Home, where he handled real estate cases for the NAACP. Funded by the Ford Foundation, the program provided legal and technical assistance to federal housing programs. Peavy also served on the Houston City Council. In 1973, Judge William Elliott appointed Peavy as justice of the peace for a newly formed, majority-black district in Harris County. He was later elected for a full term in 1974, serving until 1977 when he was appointed by Governor Dolph Briscoe as judge of the 246th District Court. There, he presided over family law cases, and helped reform the family court system through his endorsement of mediation programs within the court system in 1985. In 1990, Peavy was placed in charge of family law courts for all of Harris County. Peavy retired from his district court judgeship in 1994.

Peavy was a member of the Houston Area Urban League, the NAACP, and the U.S.-China Friendship Association. He also served as the director of the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas. In 2018, Peavy was honored with a historic portrait at the Harris County District Civil Courthouse.

Peavy and his wife, Diane Massey, have four children.

Judge John W. Peavy, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 2, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.130

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/2/2016

Last Name

Peavy

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

W.

Occupation
Schools

Blanche Kelso Bruce Elementary School

E.O. Smith Middle School

Phillis Wheatley High School

Howard University School of Law

Howard University

First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

PEA02

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Galveston, Texas

Favorite Quote

If You Can’t Make It In Houston You Can’t Make It Anywhere.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

4/28/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Collard Greens, Fish

Short Description

Judge John W. Peavy, Jr. (1942 - ) served as justice of the peace from 1974 to 1977, and as district judge from 1977 to 1994 in Houston, Texas, in addition to directing Houston’s Contemporary Arts Museum.

Employment

State of Texas

Harris County, Texas

Favorite Color

Blue, Gray

Timing Pairs
0,0:3760,195:4982,215:8554,277:12032,332:19100,371:19484,376:48328,665:48664,670:49588,682:54608,750:55064,755:74220,993:99571,1250:100076,1256:106250,1328:107090,1340:112153,1369:113011,1376:125820,1461:129218,1556:159000,1834:160344,1853:165066,1901:165806,1907:169706,1918:171202,1935:171642,1941:181388,1999:182766,2029:183402,2036:183826,2041:184356,2047:200080,2152:200524,2159:205084,2178:218736,2332:221457,2351:222003,2358:230095,2448:235841,2484:242505,2574:247707,2635:253640,2724$0,0:29884,323:41930,386:74470,607:75270,619:96120,790:102010,833:109203,884:126060,974:128760,985:140184,1088:151306,1159:159888,1226:168586,1265:211212,1575:216512,1712:229566,1806:230310,1818:248570,1926:266739,1998:279180,2215:284560,2264
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes the U.S. Supreme Court decision that banned all-white primary elections

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls the discrimination against black attorneys

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers the Fifth Ward of Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls the rivalry between the black high schools in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his interest in business

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers his early awareness of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his influences at Phillis Wheatley High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers his political activities during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers working as an aide at the White House

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers Louis E. Martin

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls his experiences in the White House

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers Stokely Carmichael and Henry "Hank" Thomas, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers Stokely Carmichael and Henry "Hank" Thomas, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his experiences at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls his influences at the Howard University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. reflects upon his time at the Howard University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers joining the Harris County Community Action Association

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his role in the Harris County Community Action Association

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers the issues addressed by the Harris County Community Action Association

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes the accomplishments of the Harris County Community Action Association

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers the local leaders involved with the Harris County Community Action Association

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his role as the executive assistant to Judge William Elliot

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls his appointment as a justice of the peace

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his role as a justice of the peace

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his challenges as a justice of the peace

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his first election as justice of the peace

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his experiences as a family law judge

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers his retirement from the judicial profession

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers being acquitted of bribery charges

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. reflects upon his experiences as a family law judge

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about the death of Sandra Bland

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his recent business venture

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls incidents of racism from his judicial career

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his judicial philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his mother's upbringing
The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls incidents of racism from his judicial career
Transcript
Okay so she went to Prairie View [Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College; Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas] too and?$$Right, she went to Prairie View also.$$Now did she always want to be a teacher or were there limited opportunities or what?$$I think that there were limited opportunities at that time but clearly having just gotten from--freed from slavery and experiencing all that they felt that the way for black people to progress is to have an education. And--and at that time, you know, teaching was one of the avenues that you could do something, you know, unless you went into a trade. But they went into teaching.$$So it was a good position to have in those days.$$Yeah.$$As it is now.$$Yeah$$But, okay. So did your mother [Malinda Terrell Peavy] grow up in Anderson--in Grimes County [Texas]?$$Yeah she grew up in Anderson but she eventually moved to Houston [Texas] with my father [John W. Peavy, Sr.] when they got married. He was from Grimes County also, Anderson. They moved to Houston and she got a job teaching Houston Independent School District and she taught the fourth grade up until her retirement.$$Okay. Now did she--do you have any stories your mother told about growing up in Anderson or the early days of Houston?$$Well one thing, my grandfather [Alexander Terrell] in addition to being in charge of the Negro school system in Grimes County, he also owned land, and what was unique in Anderson, Texas, their home--and they had a big two story home on the main street of Anderson and they were the only black family that stayed, you know, in town. And the town is sort of like on a hill like and you've got the courthouse--the Grimes County Courthouse [Anderson, Texas] to the right, you've got an inn to the left and right there is the Terrell--where the Terrells had their home. It was like four or five lots, as I was saying it was a two story house. He also founded the black church in Anderson, Texas and he was very business minded because of the fact that when people lost their property for taxes, he would buy property at the courthouse and get a tax sale and buy property. So she talked about Anderson and growing up. She didn't talk too much about the Depression [Great Depression] but one of my mother's sisters who was older than my mother, experienced the Depression and she talked about the Depression. I can remember as a little boy going to their house where in their pantry they had a lot of flour, you know, they had a lot of staple products because of the fact that they had experienced the Depression and they didn't want to experience it again. You know, so they made sure that staples--that they had plenty of it in their pantry at home.$You had another bench story you wanted to tell us before we talked about your (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well I was about to mention--tell you that, you know, experiences--and, and I've got two experiences I want to tell you. One when I first ran for district court judge you had to run countywide and so I went all over the county trying to get votes but there's a conservative portion of Harris County [Texas] called Pasadena, Texas. I don't know if you've heard of that or not but it's conservative. So I went there and it's somewhat--it's a blue collar area and it was at a labor hall, chemical workers and people like that and I went there and my wife [Diane Massey Peavy] was with me. She was standing on the side and I was standing on the front and my wife told me that she heard one of the people say that, "I can't believe that Negro came out here." So my wife was nervous and she was getting concerned and so anyway she said that I finally talked to the people and when I get through talking the people were clapping and the guy who had made that statement said, "You know, he sounds all right and I'm going to vote for him." So, but she always tell the kids about that. One other thing when I was, too, running, the Ku Klux Klan [KKK] had my signs out in Pasadena and the Chronicle [Houston Chronicle] called me and they asked me about it and I said, "Well I don't know anything about it but obviously they feel that I must be a fair judge." Anyway that was the end of that story. But, you know, and then I had another incident that happened where my court coordinator was on the elevator and I was on the top floor in the courthouse and she rode up the elevator with this white attorney with his white client and he was talking to his client trying to comfort his client trying to explain the procedure and keep him relaxed and everything. My court coordinator who was black--who is black, said that just as the elevator opened the attorney told his client, he said, "You know the judge is a nigger, don't you."$$This is an uncloseted speech, I mean--$$Yeah.$$--I mean closeted speech that you don't really hear, but here it is. So what are you--are you surprised by that kind of thing?$$Well I was, but I didn't let it impact my ruling.

Nell Irvin Painter

Historian and educator Nell Irvin Painter was born on August 2, 1942 in Houston, Texas to Frank Edward Irvin, a chemist, and Dona Lolita McGruder, a writer and personnel officer. As an infant, Painter’s family moved to Oakland, California, where she attended public schools. In 1964, Painter received her B.S. honors degree in anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley. As an undergraduate, she studied French medieval history at the University of Bordeaux, France, in 1962 and 1963. She also studied abroad at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana from 1965 to 1966. Painter went on to receive her M.A. degree in African history from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1967, and her Ph.D. degree in American history from Harvard University in 1974.

Upon graduation from Harvard University, Painter was hired as an assistant professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania; and in 1977, was promoted to associate professor. From 1980 to 1988, she worked as a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Then, in 1988, Painter was hired as a professor of history at Princeton University, and was named acting director of the university’s program in Afro-American Studies in 1990 and 1991. She served as Princeton University’s Edwards Professor of American History from 1991 to 2005, and as director of the Program in African American Studies from 1997 to 2000. Painter retired in 2005 and was named the Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita. In addition to her work as a scholar, Painter received her B.F.A. degree in painting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2009; her M.F.A. degree in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011; and has exhibited her artwork in solo and group shows.

Painter has published numerous articles and reviews, and has written seven books, including Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction (1976); The Narrative of Hosea Hudson: His Life as a Negro Communist in the South (1979); Standing at Armageddon: The United States, 1877-1919 (1989); Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol (1996); Southern History Across the Color Line (2002); Creating Black Americans: African American History and Its Meanings, 1619 to the Present (2005); and The History of White People (2010). She is the editor of Narrative of Sojourner Truth (1998) and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (2000).

Painter has held numerous fellowships, been awarded five honorary doctorate degrees, and was named a Fulbright Scholar in 2011. She has served on a number of editorial boards, and as an officer of many professional organizations, including the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the American Antiquarian Society, the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, the Society of American Historians, and the Association of Black Women Historians. In addition, she served as president of the Southern Historical Association in 2007 and of the Organization of American Historians from 2007 to 2008.

Painter lives in Newark, New Jersey with her husband, Glenn Shafer.

Nell Irvin Painter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 18, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.095

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/18/2014 |and| 6/20/2014

Last Name

Painter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Irvin

Occupation
Schools

Rhode Island School of Design

Rutgers University

Harvard University

University of California, Los Angeles

University of Ghana

University of Bordeaux

University of California, Berkeley

First Name

Nell

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

PAI01

State

Texas

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

8/2/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Newark

Country

United States

Short Description

Historian and educator Nell Irvin Painter (1942 - ) , former president of the Southern Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians, was a leading historian of American history. Her books include Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction; The Narrative of Hosea Hudson: His Life as a Negro Communist in the South; Standing at Armageddon: The United States, 1877-1919; Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol; and The History of White People.

Employment

Princeton University

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of Pennsylvania

Pluria Marshall, Sr.

Civil rights and media activist Pluria W. Marshall, Sr. was born on October 19, 1937 in Houston, Texas. After graduating from high school, Marshall enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He served from 1956 to 1960 and was honorably discharged as an Airman, First Class. Marshall went on to graduate from Texas Southern University with his B.A. degree in photography.

In 1969, Marshall was instrumental in the creation of Operation Breadbasket of Texas. His civil rights work evolved both in scope and mission when he established the National Black Media Coalition (NBMC) in 1973. The organization’s mission was to increase the presence of African American media professionals. He later served as national organizer, treasurer and chairman of NBMC. In 1975, Marshall also helped in founding the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). Throughout his career, Marshall worked for and also served as the official photographer for NABJ, the National Association of Radio and Television Announcers (NATRA), and mainstream publications including the Jet and Ebony magazines.

Marshall is a member of the Texas State Advertising Commission and was appointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In 1973, Marshall was the recipient of Community Service Awards from the National Association of Marketing Developers (NAMD) as well as the Houston Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Marshall was also honored in 1974 with the Outstanding Ex-Student Award from Texas Southern University and the Marketeer of the Year Award from the Houston Chapter of NAMD.

Marshall is married to Carmen Corbin. He has five children: Pluria Marshall, Jr., Mishka Marshall, Jason Marshall, Natalie Marshall Hughes and Christopher Marshall.

Pluria W. Marshall, Sr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 6, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.345

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/6/2013

Last Name

Marshall

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Texas Southern University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Pluria

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

MAR18

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

No Favorite Vacation Spot

Favorite Quote

You either respect us or expect us. (fr. Op. Breadbasket)

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

10/19/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Thanksgiving Dinner - Barbeque Ribs

Short Description

Civil rights activist and media activist Pluria Marshall, Sr. (1937 - ) founded Operation Breadbasket of Texas and the National Black Media Coalition. He also co-founded the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

Employment

National Black Media Coalition

Rainbow/PUSH

National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)

National Association of Radio and Television Announcers

Jet Magazine

Ebony Magazine

Favorite Color

Blue

Pluria Marshall, Jr.

Publisher and broadcasting executive Pluria Marshall, Jr. was born on January 17, 1962 in Houston, Texas. His father, Pluria Marshall, Sr., is a professional photographer and a civil rights activist in the media business. Marshall graduated from Clark College, now Clark Atlanta University, in 1984 with his B.S. degree in business administration and management.

In 1981, while attending Clark College, Marshall was hired at KLTV in Tyler, Texas, as a management-training intern. He spent the next two summers in Lufkin, Texas, and continued his management-training program. He then worked for WXIA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia and for Turner Broadcasting in 1982 and 1983. From 1984 to 1985, Marshall completed his management training and development position at WLBT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1986, he served as the station manager and then as vice president of WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi. Marshall entered into an agreement to purchase WLBM in 1990, but the transaction did not consummate due to a suspicious fire at the facility in April of that same year. In 1992, he purchased The Informer & Texas Freeman in Houston, Texas. Then, in 1993, Marshall became general manager and owner of WLTH Radio in Gary, Indiana, and also purchased the KHRN radio station licensed to the Hearne, Texas, Bryan College Station radio market in 1994. He ran both the AM talk radio station in Gary and the radio station in Bryan College Station for several years.

In 1997, Marshall joined the board of the Wave Community Newspapers, and purchased a controlling interest in 1998. He then purchased the Los Angeles Independent in 2000. After the purchase of the Los Angeles Independent, Marshall merged both operations to form the Los Angeles Wave Publications Group. In 2013, he launched Integrated Multicultural Media Solutions; a media planning and buying firm that specializes in placing ads that target multicultural audiences.

Marshall has been a member of the National Black Media Coalition, the National Association of Broadcasters, and the National Association of Television Programming Executives. He has also served on the boards of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the Texas Association of Broadcasters, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation. Marshall is chairman of the board and president of the Watts Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club.

Pluria Marshall, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 15, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.295

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/15/2013

Last Name

Marshall

Maker Category
Schools

Clark Atlanta University

Lockhart Elementary School

Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School

James Madison High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Pluria

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

MAR17

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Don't Make Dollars That Don't Make Cents.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

1/17/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hamburgers

Short Description

Broadcast executive, publisher, and newspaper publishing chief executive Pluria Marshall, Jr. (1962 - ) was the owner and publisher of the Houston Informer and Texas Freeman and the Los Angeles Wave Publications Group. He also operated WLTH Radio and Integrated Multicultural Media Solutions.

Employment

KLTV

WXIA TV

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

WLBM TV

WLTH Radio

KHRN

Informer & Texas Freeman

Los Angeles Wave Publications Group

Integrated Multicultural Media Solutions

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Pluria Marshall, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his mother's upbringing in the Third Ward of Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his father's civil rights activism

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his paternal grandparents' professions

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his father' role in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his father's accomplishments as a photojournalist

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his household

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls accompanying his father on photography shoots

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his neighborhood in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his early interest in sports

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about the influence of his father

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his experiences of integration busing

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers Johnston Middle School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes the racial demographics of James Madison High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his participation in athletics at James Madison High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his part-time position at KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers the black publications in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his father's relocation to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his decision to attend Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes the communications department at Clark College

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his college internships, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his college internships, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers the Atlanta Missing and Murdered Children cases

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about the historically black college experience

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his decision to major in business

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his training at WLBT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his first impressions of Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his role at WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his management approach at WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers the programming on WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls the major news stories in Meridian, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers the fire at WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his sales position at KBXX Radio in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls acquiring WLTH Radio and KHRN Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his partnership with Lorenzo Butler

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about the programming on WLTH Radio in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers the programming changes at KHRN Radio in Hearne, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his decision to settle in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about the Houston Informer and Texas Freeman

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his editorial philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his role at the National Newspaper Publishers Association

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls joining the board of Wave Community Newspapers, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes the history of Wave Community Newspapers, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his challenges at the Wave Community Newspapers, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes the Los Angeles Wave Publication Group's role in the community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his business strategy for Los Angeles Wave Publications Group

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers filing for bankruptcy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his hopes for African American broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. reflects upon his family

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about the Black Media Preservation Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

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DATitle
Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his role at WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi
Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls joining the board of Wave Community Newspapers, Inc.
Transcript
So you were there fif- fifteen months. What happened? Why did you, well why didn't you stay longer?$$Well, as you can probably tell by my, my history, I, I like to work, and there was really not a whole lot more for me to do. I mean I had been in three years--three summers of training, been at WLBT [WLBT-TV, Jackson, Mississippi] for, you know, a little over a year. And so Frank [Frank Melton] would, you know, we'd have board meetings, and he was, he'd allow me and my cohort to attend the board meetings, you know, for the exposure. And so, they would always talk about this little station [WLBM-TV; WGBC-TV] in Meridian [Mississippi]. They said, "Oh, man, that station's not making money." The guy would come, and he would have a song and dance every month. Why we're losing money, why we're doing this, why we're doing that or whatever. And so I said to Frank, you know, I'm twenty-two, twenty-three years old, I'm like, "Frank, come on, man, you know, if it's losing money, I mean, you know, give me a shot. Let me run it," you know, and I'm, yeah, as they say full of piss and vinegar. And so he said, "Well, hell, Pluria [HistoryMaker Pluria Marshall, Jr.], you know, you can't do any worse than what's going on there now. We're losing money." And so I said, "Okay, great." So he says, "All right, you can move to Meridian." And so, I said, "Okay, great." So we had to renegotiate my little package that I was getting paid and everything. And so he said--so I said, "So what do I do?" He said, "You make it make money." I said, "Okay, so how do I do that?" He said, "You cut your expenses, raise your revenue." I said, "Oh, okay, great. That's easy, you know." And so literally, I got there and the guy that ran the station, it was a guy named Glenn Rose. Glenn was a nice old guy, but he's just not really good at raising or selling ads and things of that sort. And he used to always say, "Pluria, you just, you're just too aggressive, you just, you know, you just, you gotta be patient." I said, "Dude, I have no patience, you know, I've gotta get this done." So--$$This sounds like a clash in cultures of--in Mississippi, they do, they move slower. They move slower.$$Oh, they do. They do.$$So I mean you're like, you know--$$Yeah, I (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) anybody watching this can see.$$Oh, yeah, yeah, I'm like, hey, guys, you gotta move. You know, I mean I'm, I can't sit here and wait, you know. So, finally, after probably about, you know, two or three months, you know, Glenn gave me, through Frank, he said, "All right let him be a--," I was a station manager. And so I'd go in, "I'm sorry, fine. We can fire this person. We need to do this. We're gonna raise the rates. We're gonna make the--," I did all the things that I was trained to basically do. And so ninety days after I got there, the station made money. And so, you know, I said, "Frank. I did it, all right? So make me the general manager," (laughter). And so he was like, "You know, you're being a little impatient, Pluria." I'm like, "Yeah, I am, you know." And so I kept pushing and pushing and pushing. And so finally Glenn said, you know--and Glenn was a little bit older and been around the business for quite some time. He said, well, he's gonna basically retire. And so I said, well, you know, the station's mine at that point. And so Frank, you know, put me in as the vice president and general manager. And it also helped that NBC was on its rise in the mid-'80s [1980s]. So we had 'The Cosby Show' and we had all this great programming. Although the station was a bit of a, less than a full powered station, it covered the Meridian area. But it wasn't as big as the station in Jackson [Mississippi]. And so, you know, I kept it, it never lost a dime as long as I ran it. It was always very profitable. And so I ran it from, essentially, '85 [1985], '86 [1986] until 1990.$$Okay, and you got a large black viewing audience down there, I would imagine?$$We do, we do. Yeah, the state's about 50 percent black.$$Right.$$Yeah.$$So anything you put in the air, there's gonna be a lot of black folks, at least by this time, having--with TV sets. They can check it out.$$Right, oh, yeah, definitely, definitely.$$And watching a lot of TV.$$Yeah, 'The Cosby Show' was a hit. It definitely was.$$Okay, okay, so you were there--you weren't there that--were you there very long? I mean--$$From, from, as I said, from about '85 [1985] to '90 [1990], roughly 'cause when I spent--I was in Jackson for about fifteen months. So, and that was from '84 [1984] to '85 [1985]. So, late '85 [1985] to 1990. So I was there about, you know, for five and a half years.$Is it now talk, time to talk about the Wave?$$Sure, sure, sure, sure.$$'Cause there's--$$(Simultaneous) So, so all right, so we segued, so we have Houston [Houston Informer and Texas Freeman]. We had Gary [WLTH Radio, Gary, Indiana], we had KHRN [KHRN Radio; KVJM Radio, Hearne, Texas]. I mean we got all these properties, and so as I said, when they, they deregulated radio, it made it difficult for me to one, find stations, two, acquire financing. And, and so our offices in Houston [Texas] were domiciled within the 610 loop [Interstate 610]. So Houston has a loop system. So 610 is the loop. So there was this company that was getting a fairly large bit of notoriety called Enron [Enron Corporation]. And, you know, I knew who they were. They were big. They were doing all kinds of things.$$That's the big energy company that--$$Enron, oh, yeah.$$--the big energy that got in trouble.$$This is the big one.$$Enron, all right.$$Enron, so, you know, as I'm out looking for money, I get a phone call from someone who says, "Hey, Enron company is looking to do things locally in a local community." And so they said, "Okay, so--," I'm like, "Great, that was good. How does that help me?" "Well, they have money to invest." I said, "Oh, fantastic." So they said, "One of the first requirements--," (laughter), which was you had to be within the 610 loop. I said, "Really?" I said, "As long as my business is inside the loop, I'd qualify for one of their possible loans?" And he said, "Yes. I said, "Wow, okay," I said, "that's great." So I'm involved with NNPA [National Newspaper Publishers Association] and I'm out scouting and talking to people and so, they, I get a call that there's this paper in Los Angeles [California] called the Wave. And so I said, "Okay, fine." So I went and did my research on L.A. There was a Wave, the Los Angeles Wave was a community paper. The Los Angeles Sentinel was a black paper. So I said, "Well, heck, let's just, you know, run the gamut and see what we can find out." I contacted the people over at the Sentinel, had a real difficult time getting to the owner, just never could get any traction there at all. So I talked to the, this gentleman that was running the Wave, C.Z. Wilson. And so, you know, I talked to him, and, he says, "Oh, yeah, man, we're doing great things. We got a bunch of people, and I'm taking over, and we're looking to acquire, had some challenges." And so I said, "Okay." He said, "Oh, I want you to come over and join my board [of Wave Community Newspapers, Inc., Los Angeles, California]?" I said, "Really?" I said, "C.Z., I mean, I know I'm a young, young guy," probably thirty-eight, thirty-nine years old, "but I'm buying businesses just like this. I mean I would buy this newspaper." He said, "Oh, don't worry about it--," he used to call me young buck, "Oh, don't worry about it, young buck. You come on in." So I said, "No, I'm gonna have my lawyer write you a letter to basically let you know that essentially, I'm a fox and you're a henhouse. And I like eggs," (laughter), you know. "So I want you to be very clear that if you add me to your board, there's a possibility that I would acquire, acquire this newspaper, you know, from you guys." And so, you know, he said, "Oh, fine." I said, "Okay, no worries. I'll come in, and I'll join the board."

Reginald Van Lee

Management consultant Reginald Van Lee was born on May 8, 1958 in Houston, Texas to Tommie Lee and Eva Elnora Jefferson Lee. Van Lee received his B.S. degree in engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1979; and, in 1980, he earned his M.S. degree in civil engineering from MIT. Upon graduation, Van Lee was hired by Exxon Production Research Company as a research engineer. In 1982, he entered the M.B.A. program at Harvard Business School, and he interned at Booz Allen Hamilton during the summer of 1983. In 1984, after graduating with his M.B.A. degree in business administration, Van Lee was hired at Booz Allen Hamilton.

In 1993, Van Lee was promoted to partner at the Booz Allen Hamilton; and in 2003, he was promoted to senior partner. Van Lee leads Booz Allen Hamilton’s health and not-for-profit businesses, where he has helped numerous private and public health organizations and not-for-profit organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity and the American Cancer Society. As an industry expert on strategy implementation, Van Lee has contributed a number of articles on the topic. His articles have appeared in The Journal of Business Strategy and Business Horizons. Van Lee also co-authored the book, Megacommunities: How Leaders of Government, Business, and Non-Profits Can Tackle Today’s Global Challenges Together. He has appeared on ABC-TV’s “World News This Morning” and CNBC, and co-led the Urban Enterprise Initiative with the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, where he focused on driving enhanced competitiveness for small businesses in Harlem. Van Lee is also a founding member of the Clinton Global Initiative.

Van Lee’s many recognitions include the 2008 Black Engineer of the Year Award and New York University’s C. Walter Nichols Award for community service. He was also chosen as one of the 2009 Washington Minority Business Leaders by the Washington Business Journal. Van Lee served as chairman emeritus of the board of the Evidence Dance Company, trustee of the Studio Museum in Harlem, and chairman of the Washington Performing Arts Society. In 2008, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

Reginald Van Lee was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 14, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.149

Sex

Male

Interview Date
9/14/2012
Last Name

Van Lee

Maker Category
Schools
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Harvard Business School
James R. Reynolds Elementary School
Crispus Attucks Middle
Carter G. Woodson K-8 School
Evan E. Worthing Senior High School
First Name

Reggie

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

VAN06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

The Two Most Important Days In Your Life Are The Day You Were Born And The Day You Understand Why.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/8/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Management consultant Reginald Van Lee (1957 - ) is an executive vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Employment
Exxon Mobil
Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:3752,109:5494,144:8174,227:12127,326:14338,381:38222,851:38698,859:39174,888:39514,894:51915,1132:58440,1274:58890,1285:62790,1385:63165,1391:63465,1396:68050,1425:68310,1430:68960,1461:71820,1566:82536,1740:86752,1831:87636,1848:88384,1862:90084,1911:101406,2059:101714,2064:114313,2363:114605,2368:116503,2456:136528,2823:137860,2859:138748,2961:147188,3050:153268,3162:161079,3232:161673,3242:171020,3435$0,0:637,31:922,37:18704,475:26474,756:27066,765:28324,809:28620,814:32024,970:32542,978:33134,987:33652,998:34022,1004:41190,1032:42165,1048:43890,1083:44565,1093:46140,1123:48540,1167:48990,1192:57756,1293:58862,1312:59415,1321:59968,1329:61943,1364:62259,1369:62654,1375:63602,1397:64155,1405:69843,1486:74017,1518:74638,1534:74983,1540:75466,1548:76708,1572:76984,1577:77881,1592:78157,1597:80503,1649:81124,1660:85678,1778:91020,1814:95445,1897:96345,1912:101985,1993:102310,2001:104390,2058:104780,2065:105495,2095:106600,2122:106860,2127:107315,2139:107575,2144:107900,2150:108745,2178:109655,2195:110175,2215:110890,2229:111280,2239:111865,2250:112320,2259:112645,2265:119219,2402:119786,2412:120272,2419:120596,2428:133454,2560:134766,2576:137718,2625:141850,2687
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reginald Van Lee's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reginald Van Lee lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reginald Van Lee describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reginald Van Lee describes his mother's childhood in Houston, Texas

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reginald Van Lee describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reginald Van Lee lists his siblings

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

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reginald Van Lee describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reginald Van Lee remembers James R. Reynolds Elementary School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reginald Van Lee describes his childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reginald Van Lee remembers his mother's parenting style

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reginald Van Lee recalls his junior high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reginald Van Lee talks about his family's influence

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reginald Van Lee remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reginald Van Lee describes his early academic success

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reginald Van Lee talks about his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reginald Van Lee remembers Evan E. Worthing High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reginald Van Lee remembers developing an interest in engineering

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reginald Van Lee remembers entering the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reginald Van Lee describes his experiences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reginald Van Lee describes the racial makeup of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reginald Van Lee remembers his influential professors

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reginald Van Lee describes the racial tensions in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reginald Van Lee remembers the black community at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reginald Van Lee recalls his mentors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reginald Van Lee recalls earning a master's degree from at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reginald Van Lee recalls the start of his career at the Exxon Mobil Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reginald Van Lee recalls his decision to attend the Harvard Business School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reginald Van Lee remembers enrolling at the Harvard Business School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reginald Van Lee describes the black student community at Harvard Business School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reginald Van Lee remembers his coursework at the Harvard Business School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reginald Van Lee recalls his start at Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reginald Van Lee talks about his mother's role in his success

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reginald Van Lee describes his early career at Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reginald Van Lee remembers his projects at Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reginald Van Lee describes the highlights of his career at Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reginald Van Lee describes the Harlem Small Business Initiative, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reginald Van Lee describes the Harlem Small Business Initiative, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reginald Van Lee describes the formation of the Urban Enterprise Initiative

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reginald Van Lee talks about his awards and recognitions

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reginald Van Lee remembers coauthoring 'Megacommunities'

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reginald Van Lee describes his involvement in the arts

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reginald Van Lee talks about his career plans

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reginald Van Lee reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reginald Van Lee reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reginald Van Lee describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Reginald Van Lee describes how he met his husband, Corey McCathern

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Reginald Van Lee describes his wedding

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Reginald Van Lee talks about his racial and sexual identity

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reginald Van Lee describes his parents' views on his sexuality

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reginald Van Lee describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reginald Van Lee narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

9$1

DATitle
Reginald Van Lee remembers developing an interest in engineering
Reginald Van Lee describes the Harlem Small Business Initiative, pt. 2
Transcript
In high school had you figured that you were going to become an engineer, in high school?$$When I was in the eighth grade, I was watching 'Star Trek,' well actually when I was in kindergarten I told my mother I wanted to be an artist and she said, "Well artists starve so you need to be something else like an architect." So from kindergarten to eighth grade I was going to be an architect. Then in eighth grade my mother said, "Well the latest thing is engineering so you should be an engineer. You can be an architectural engineer but you need to be an engineer." I was very obedient, my mother said do it, made sense to me. So I'm watching 'Star Trek' and this guy comes on the USS Enterprise who had gone to MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts], Ph.D. MIT, master's [degree] MIT all this stuff and they were, Captain Kirk [James T. Kirk] and Mr. Spock were like bowing to this guy like he was a deity and to me Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock were deities. So if they are bowing to this guy he must be something. So I asked my mother, "What is MIT?" Actually to my surprise she said, "It's a school of engineering in Massachusetts." And I said, "Well I want to go to MIT," and she says, "You're going to MIT," just like that. So she called the school and they sent the bulletins. When the recruiters came from MIT they didn't come to my little black high school, they came to I think Rice University [Houston, Texas] or something. My parents [Eva Jefferson Lee and Tommie Lee] put me in the car and we went over to meet the recruiters and I did the interviewing and everything filled out the forms and wrote the essays and then I went to MIT. So that's what got me--my mother got me interested in engineering and at that time, once I really did my research, I discovered that MIT was the best engineering school in the world, highest rated. So that's where I went to school.$$So counseling played virtually no role in this, I guess?$$No as a matter of fact not Mrs. Freddie Gaines [ph.], my senior counselor who is very encouraging, but one of the other counselors basically told me that I should go to University of Houston [Houston, Texas] or Texas Southern [Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas] or maybe University of Texas [University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas] because while I was smart for Worthing High School [Evan E. Worthing High School, Houston, Texas], you know, I probably wouldn't be smart enough to compete with those other kids and she didn't want me to go and be disappointed, she didn't want me to feel failure. So she felt she was protecting me. As you can imagine once I got my MIT degree I went back and showed her the degree and said, "Thank you for the encouragement because I decided that I had to go to MIT and graduate after you were so discouraging to me."$$Now this is a white counselor?$$No this is a black counselor, black counselor, yeah (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Black counselor, okay, interesting so was Worthing High School mostly black since it was closer to the neighborhood?$$Yeah, yep, at the time I graduated because we'd gone through the majority/minority zoning sort of thing, we had probably twenty white students and maybe twenty or thirty Hispanic students, but it was more than predominantly black.$$Okay. So you graduated in what nineteen seventy- (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Seventy-five. [1975].$$Seventy-five [1975].$Yeah we were talking about the small business initiative [Harlem Small Business Initiative; Urban Enterprise Initiative] in Harlem [New York, New York], and--$$And, so the small businesses came to the president [President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton] and said, "We need your help so that we can continue to be competitive and live and grow in Harlem." So the president went to a number of consulting firms to ask them if they would do this pro bono and we wanted to do this partnership as a collaborative approach. So we had the Clinton Foundation [New York, New York], we had the Harlem Small Business Alliance [sic. Harlem Business Alliance, New York, New York], we had Congressman Charlie Rangel's [HistoryMaker Charles B. Rangel] office, we had Columbia University [New York, New York], we had New York University [New York, New York], we had the National Black MBAs [National Black MBA Association], we had Booz Allen Hamilton [Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.] all working together with these small businesses to add different resources as we could deliver to them. We did the technical assistance and the consulting thing. We had attorneys to give them legal help on their leases, on their rent. We had the M.B.A.s to give us some leverage of students doing analysis, et cetera. And what we did was to create a program that actually changed the lives of many small businesses in Harlem. Several hundred have gone through the program now since 2001. We started with ten pilot businesses and it's interesting because when we first started looking at who would be good candidates for this program we said well we want the program to run for almost two years so we have enough time to really help them and test the results and see the progress we've made. So let's make sure that the businesses either own their building or they have at least a two year lease. We discovered that some 80 percent of the businesses of Harlem at that time operated on a month to month lease. So at any point a landlord could say, "I can get more for this, you've got thirty days, you've got to get out," right. And they were okay with that in the lean years because they didn't want to sign a long term lease and go out of business in a couple of months and still be stuck with having to pay the lease. So it was a good deal for them and it was a good deal for the landlords at the time. But long story made short, we worked with the businesses to bring just modern management 101 techniques to them, inventory management, receptionists for people, marketing plans, business plans, analysis of their consumer base through surveys, just very simple things; and we turned some businesses around.

The Honorable Sylvester Turner

State representative and lawyer Sylvester Turner was born on September 27, 1954 in Acres Homes, Texas. His mother was a maid at the Rice Hotel and his father, a commercial painter. Turner was raised with eight brothers and sisters. In 1973, he graduated as the valedictorian of Klein High School. Four years later, Turner received his B.A. degree in political science from the University of Houston, after which he attended Harvard Law School, where he received his J.D. degree in 1980.

Turner was hired at the Houston-based law firm Fulbright & Jaworski. After three years, Turner left and formed his own law firm with partner Barry M. Barnes. Barnes & Turner specialize in corporate and commercial law. In 1984, Turner ran for a Harris County Commissioner seat, but he lost to El Franco Lee. In 1988, he won the seat in the Texas House of Representatives for District 139, a mostly minority district. Turner also taught at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, the South Texas College of Law, and at the University of Houston Law School’s continuing legal education program. He also ran for the mayor of Houston twice, once in 1991 where he lost in a hotly contested race, and again in 2003, where he lost to Bill White. In 2003, Turner became the Speaker Pro Tempore in the Texas House of Representatives, a post he held until 2009. His major legislative accomplishment, HB 109, expanded access to the children’s health insurance program and was passed in 2007.

Turner sits on the State Affairs committee and is the Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee. He is also on the Subcommittee on the Current Fiscal Condition. He is a member of Brookhollow Baptist Church and has one daughter, Ashley Paige Turner.

Sylvester Turner was interviewed by The HistoryMakers<\em> on August 15, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.156

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/15/2012

Last Name

Turner

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

Harvard Law School

University of Houston

Klein Forest High School

Garden City Elementary and Junior High School

Klein Intermediate School

First Name

Sylvester

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

TUR07

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Africa

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Christ That Strengthens Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

9/27/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Spaghetti, Ox Tails

Short Description

Mayor, state representative, and lawyer The Honorable Sylvester Turner (1954 - ) represented district 139 in the Texas House of Representatives from 1988 to 2016, when he became the mayor of Houston, Texas. He also founded the law firm of Barnes and Turner LLP.

Employment

Texas House of Representatives

Barnes & Turner

University of Houston

South Texas College of Law

Texas Southern University

Fulbright & Jaworski

City of Houston, Texas

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:380,8:1604,36:7724,163:8156,170:10316,223:18750,252:22422,313:26358,341:27285,351:50377,577:57466,610:77669,792:78024,798:78734,811:79799,830:80083,835:92624,969:94016,988:106892,1136:140006,1522:141014,1533:144934,1619:167844,1904:173690,1994:180690,2087:181880,2120:191646,2255:208620,2463:208990,2469:213334,2656:219318,2808:259770,3011:266990,3079:281530,3243:285824,3263:286164,3269:292840,3443:299198,3492:302405,3528:304170,3536:304548,3549:304764,3554:305142,3563:308916,3627:313108,3672:313888,3683:317554,3751:325020,3807:325460,3812:366638,4401:367070,4416:370785,4464:371050,4470:371262,4475:372240,4499$0,0:27348,354:28086,361:28988,373:33062,403:35174,434:39650,465:53194,619:54118,632:54454,637:72446,774:91845,962:94811,990:97624,1076:123530,1376:123850,1381:129690,1507:141350,1624:142946,1649:165488,1935:186730,2255:204944,2400:212130,2475:212410,2481:212802,2490:233200,2640
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Sylvester Turner's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers working with his dad

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his roots in Chappell Hill, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers the Acres Homes community in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his experiences of school integration in Houston, Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his experiences of school integration in Houston, Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about African American political representation in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes the African American community in Houston, Texas

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

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers the Bethel Baptist Church in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers being bused to an all-white school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his experiences of school integration

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his early ambitions

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes the demographics of Klein High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his influences at the Bethel Baptist Church in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his community in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his valedictorian speech

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his father's death

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his decision to attend the University of Houston in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his early aspiration to become a lawyer

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his decision to attend the Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his friendships with Leroy Hassell

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his social life at Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers Derrick A. Bell, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about the faculty of the Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his club football team at Harvard University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls hearing a female preacher for the first time

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his internship at Fulbright and Jaworski LLP in Houston, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes a memorable legal case

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers founding Barnes and Turner LLP

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers losing his first political campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his campaign for the Texas House of Representatives

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his election to the Texas House of Representatives

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his interest in healthcare reform

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls arguing a civil suit against the Phillips Petroleum Company

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his first campaign for the mayoralty of Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about the aftermath of the 1991 mayoral election in Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers Lee P. Brown

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about politics in Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about political redistricting in Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his legislative achievements

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his second campaign for the mayoralty of Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers the passage of Texas House Bill 109

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers meeting President Barack Obama

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his work in the Acres Homes section of Houston, Texas

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes how he would like to be remembered

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The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes a memorable legal case
The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls arguing a civil suit against the Phillips Petroleum Company
Transcript
Now, is there a memorable case from that period of time that you can tell us about?$$I guess it's, it's one in particular. The plaintiff was a guy by the name of Willie Harris [ph.]. I guess it is memorable since I still remember it, and that's been years ago. But, anyway, Willie was an entrepreneur, African American, and he was in his company's truck, and he was coming over the Ship, Ship Channel Bridge [Sam Houston Tollway Ship Channel Bridge, Houston, Texas]. And this 18-wheeler hit him, and he was seriously injured, and he sued the 18-wheeler. I represented the company. And, and I made him an offer through his attorney, and he did not, he did not accept the offer to settle. It end up--it went to trial. I made him another offer, and his attorney did not accept it. And, quite frankly, you know, I had, I had much more to give, okay. And, but, and so, we went to trial. During the trial, I made him another offer, attorney didn't accept it. And then, the attorney came to me during the trial, and asked me, was the offer still on the table? And I said, "Well, if you accept it now." Now, mind you, I had a lot more to give. And in many ways, I said to myself, the attorney is crazy as hell (unclear) to be accepting--I mean, I represent my client, so if, you know, and so, I say, "Yeah, if you, if you accept it now, it's on the table." This is during the course of trial. And he went over and talked to Willie, and I could, and I could kind of hear and see the exchange, where Willie was not liking the offer. And his attorney kept talking to him, kept talking to him, kept talking. And Willie finally relented and said, "Okay." And the attorney came to me and said, "We'll accept." And in my mind, I was saying, "You're crazy as hell but, okay, no problem." So, when he stood before the judge to announce that the case had settled, and the judge said, "All parties in agreement?" I said, you know, "It's the best terms for the defendant, judge, yes, I'm in agreement." Asked the other attorney, the attorney said, "Yes." And the judge asked Willie Harris. "Mr. Harris, are you in agreement with the settlement?" And he kind of said, "Oh, well," and said, "You should, well, you don't have to--are you in agreement with it?" And attorney, his attorney looked at him, and he finally said, "Yeah, yeah." And she said, "Okay, all parties in agreement. This case is dismissed." It's over. So, I was packing up, and Willie comes over to me. And he said, "Mr.," he said, "Mr. Turner [HistoryMaker Sylvester Turner], you know, I'm hurt, you know, I'm hurt, and this does not cover me for my injuries," and stuff like that. And I said, I said, "Mr. Harris, I'm not your attorney. I represent, I represent my client, and I did my job." And he said, "But, brother, you know, I'm--," he said, "Brother, you know, I'm hurt." I said, "Mr. Harris, I'm not your attorney. I represent my client. I did my job." And, and my client and I got up, and we walked out. That one, that one stands out because it's one of those deals that, yeah, you know, he had a poor lawyer. Had a poor lawyer, but it's not a case where I can be the lawyer for my client, and be the lawyer for his client as well. Okay. Now, subsequently, a few years later, I'm no longer at Fulbright [Fulbright and Jaworski LLP], and now I'm in my own shop [Barnes and Turner LLP; Barry Barnes and Associates PLLC, Houston, Texas]. Willie comes to me, and became my client, you know, but that one stands out. And, and, and because it's nothing like having a good lawyer. It's nothing like having somebody that's going to advocate for you, and fight for you, and get everything that's on the--that's potentially is on the table for you. Nothing like having a good lawyer. And in his case, his lawyer fell short, and he paid the price.$$I heard such cases before when cold--cold aspects of law sometimes, you know, the people don't know. They--$$You know--$$--don't give, give a thing (unclear).$$Right, but you can't be, you know, the way the system is designed, you know, I can't be the lawyer for my client, and be the lawyer for you at the same time. And my job is, as a lawyer is to represent my client, and represent my client zealously, and do the best I can, so but it points out the importance of having quality representation, and not only quality representation, you've got to have people who are willing to advocate for you.$$Okay.$$And if you don't have that, you'll fall short.$Now, in 1989, you sued Phillips Petroleum [Phillips Petroleum Company; Phillips 66]. That's when the big Phillips plant explosion--$$Um-hm.$$--okay, that's the Phillips plant explosion case. Tell us about that.$$(Cough) I represented Janet Little. She was an employee at Phillips Petroleum. Interesting story on how we met--I was speaking at a, at a church association banquet in--I want to say, in Sealy, Texas. And she and her parents were in the audience. Later, goes the Phillips Petroleum explos- explosion. And her mom calls me here at the firm and says--she introduced herself, Ms. Foy, and she says, "My daughter has been seriously burnt. And there are a lot of lawyers that are around here at (unclear). But she asked me to call you because she wanted, she wanted the lawyer that spoke at the banquet, and that was you." And then, we--I met with them and signed on, and represented her, and I had a very favorable outcome. She's been a client with this firm ever since. From the proceeds, her father [Charles H. Foy] was a pastor in Dickinson, Texas. And from part of the proceeds, she, she built, she constructed a new church in Dickinson [Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church] and paid for it herself, which is one of the, one of the largest churches now in Dickinson, Texas. You know, it was, it was, it just started the ball, the ball just--things just started changing in the, in the life of the firm.$$So, the plant was caused by some negligence of Phillips?$$Yeah, they were, they were negligent and then caused the explosion. And I represent Anna Brooks [ph.] and her, and a couple of other people. Ironically, the people that were defending, the lawyers that were defending Phillips came from Fulbright and Jaworski [Fulbright and Jaworski LLP]. And one of, and one of my mentors, Blake Tartt, was the lead attorney.$$That's, that's interesting.$$Yeah. And we were in, we were in a conference room which it was a settlement meeting. And we were talking and, you know, and Blake says, "Sylvester [HistoryMaker Sylvester Turner], are we going to get this case settled?" And I said, "I hope so, Mr. Tartt." He would call me Sylvester and I called him Mr. Tartt 'cause I'd looked up to him. And then, he asked me, how much was I asking for. And I, I wrote him a note on a sheet, on a sheet of paper, and I forwarded it to him. And he crossed it out, and sent a note back and, and I told him, I said, "If I accepted this, you would, you would lose all respect for me, and I would not be the, the student that you had taught well." So, I crossed it out, and sent him another note. And he said, "Done."