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Amina Baraka

Poet Amina Baraka was born on December 5, 1942 in Charlotte, North Carolina. She then moved in with her grandparents in Newark, New Jersey, where she graduated from Arts High School in 1960.

In 1966, she and her husband, writer Amiri Baraka, founded the Spirit House in Newark, where she developed an African Free School the following year. Baraka was also active in the Committee for Unified Newark and the Congress of Afrikan People organizations. In 1974, she organized an African women’s conference at Rutgers University, followed by the first meeting of the Black Women’s United Front in Detroit, Michigan in 1995. In 1992, Baraka and her husband founded Kimako’s Blues People, a community art space that featured Newark artists. As a member of the Communist Party USA, Baraka was also one of the founding members of the Black Radical Congress in Chicago, Illinois in 1998.

In 1978, Baraka authored a collection of poems entitled Songs for the Masses. In collaboration with her husband, Baraka also co-edited Confirmation: An Anthology of African American Women and The Music: Reflections on Jazz and Blues, which were published in 1983 and 1987, respectively. The poetry book 5 Boptrees, also co-edited by Baraka and her husband, was released in 1992. Her works have been featured in the 1994 book Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry and the 2001 collection Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam. In 2014, Baraka released a collection of her poetry entitled Blues in All Hues. Her jazz and blues album, Amina Baraka & the Red Microphone, was released in 2017. She also appeared in films like Strange Fruit, The Pact, and Keep It Clean.

Baraka was the 2015 recipient of a certification of appreciation from the Black Nia F.O.R.C.E. (Freedom Organization for Racial and Cultural Enlightenment). That same year, she was also honored as a Lifetime Achievement Honoree by the New York Friends of the People’s World newspaper.

Baraka and her late husband, Amiri Baraka, had five children: Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Shani Baraka, Obalaji Baraka, Ahi Baraka, and Amiri “Middy” Baraka, Jr.

Amina Baraka was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 7, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.217

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/7/2017

Last Name

Baraka

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Amina

Birth City, State, Country

Charlotte

HM ID

BAR17

Favorite Season

Summer

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

12/5/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Newark

Country

United States

Favorite Food

I Like Food From Every Continent

Short Description

Poet Amina Baraka (1942 - )

Favorite Color

Beige

Oscar Robertson

Basketball player Oscar Robertson was born on November 24, 1938 in Charlotte, Tennessee to Mazell Bell Robertson and Bailey Robertson, Sr. During World War II, Robertson and his family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he played on the basketball team at Crispus Attucks High School. The team became the first all-black high school team to win a state championship in the United States in 1955; and in 1956, they secured their second title with an undefeated season. Robertson went on to attend the University of Cincinnati, where he played varsity basketball from 1957 to 1960. There, he led the nation in points per game for all three seasons, and became the all-time leading NCAA scorer by the end of his college career – twice leading the team to the NCAA Final Four. Robertson graduated from the University of Cincinnati with his B.S. degree in business in 1960.

Robertson won a gold medal as co-captain of the U.S. men’s basketball team at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. That same year, he was recruited to the NBA as the first overall draft pick. Playing for the Cincinnati Royals, he won the NBA Rookie of the Year award after scoring 30.5 points per game and leading the league in assists. In his second NBA season, Robertson became the first player to average a triple-double, also breaking the single-season record for assists. He was selected for the All-NBA First Team in each of his first nine seasons with the Royals. In 1970, Robertson was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, where he played alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He won his only NBA title in 1971, and retired from basketball in 1974. Additionally, Robertson served as the president of the NBA Players Association from 1965 to 1974, making him the first African American man to head a nationwide labor union in professional sports. He represented the organization in the class-action case Robertson v. National Basketball Association in 1976. The subsequent settlement included the Oscar Robertson Rule, which started free agency in the NBA.

After retiring, Robertson started several businesses, including OR Solutions and Orchem, Inc. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980. Robertson co-founded the National Basketball Retired Players Association in 1992, and was heavily involved in the Boys Club of New York and the National Kidney Foundation. He also started the Oscar & Yvonne Robertson Scholarship Fund to support minority students at the University of Cincinnati.

Robertson and his wife, Yvonne Crittenden, have three daughters: Shana, Tia, and Mari.

Oscar Robertson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 3, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.017

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/3/2016

Last Name

Robertson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Booker T. Washington School 17

Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School

University of Cincinnati

First Name

Oscar

Birth City, State, Country

Charlotte

HM ID

ROB29

Favorite Season

October

Sponsor

Laura and George Bilicic

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Colorado

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

11/24/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cincinnati

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salads, was pork chops, collard greens, cornbread

Short Description

Basketball player Oscar Robertson (1938- ) began his career with the Cincinnati Royals, and won an NBA title with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971. As president of the NBA Players Association, he negotiated the start of free agency in the NBA.

Employment

Cincinnati Royals

National Basketball Association Players' Association

Milwaukee Bucks

CBS

Orchem Corporation

OR Solutions LLC

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Beige and Brown

Darwin McBeth Walton

Author Darwin McBeth Walton was born Jane Darwin McBeth on September 16, 1926, in Charlotte, North Carolina, to John and Mary McBeth. Walton graduated from West Charlotte High School in 1944. After attending Johnson C. Smith University and Howard University, Walton received her B.A. degree in music from the Chicago Conservatory of Music in 1950. She later returned to school and received her M.E. degree in teaching from National-Louis University (NLU) in 1973. Since 1978, Walton has designed and facilitated five courses in teacher education for NLU and remains in the education arena as student teacher supervisor there.

Walton brings music and twenty years of public school teaching to her reading and writing audience. As a participant in the “Author in the Schools” Program and the “Open Book” After School Program in Chicago’s inner-city schools, she is a frequent visitor to classrooms and libraries throughout the Chicago Metropolitan area. Walton published her first book, What Color Are You?, in 1973. It was published by Johnson Publishing Company and was one of the first books about America’s diversity to be used in public schools. It was named a landmark book by the Chicago Historical Society. Her next book, Overcoming Challenges, is the story of astronaut Major General Charles F. Bolden, one of the first four black astronauts in the U.S., and the challenges he faced in his quest for education during the 1960s. Her highly acclaimed contemporary middle-grade novel, Dance Kayla, tells the story of a young girl who was uprooted from her beloved farm life in South Carolina to begin anew with a family in Chicago. It was chosen one of the best books of 1990 by the Banks Street College of Education Selection Committee. Her other books include Kwanzaa: A World of Holidays; Nana’s Kitchen; two books on the Underground Railroad: They Walked With Courage and Jetty’s Journey; and two early readers: Part of My Family and Families Are Special.

In 1998, Walton was elected Outstanding Woman Leader in the field of Racial Justice in DuPage County. She was honored again in 2003 with the Distinguished Alumni Humanitarian Award from National-Louis University.

Accession Number

A2008.142

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/22/2008

Last Name

Walton

Maker Category
Middle Name

McBeth

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

West Charlotte High School

Fairview Elementary

Biddleville Elementary School

Johnson C. Smith University

American Conservatory of Music

National Louis University

Howard University

First Name

Darwin

Birth City, State, Country

Charlotte

HM ID

WAL12

Favorite Season

Fall

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

North Carolina, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

Age Is What You've Done With What You Had And What You Have Left To Work With.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/16/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Lombard

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Broccoli

Short Description

Educator Darwin McBeth Walton (1926 - ) authored several acclaimed children's books, including "What Color Are You?" which was named a landmark book by the Chicago Historical Society. Walton also taught for over twenty years in the public schools, and was an instructor at National Louis University.

Employment

Playboy Clubs

Pedicone's

Head Start

Elmhurst Public Schools

National Louis University

Favorite Color

Yellow

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Darwin McBeth Walton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Darwin McBeth Walton lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes her maternal grandmother's ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Darwin McBeth Walton describe her maternal grandfather's ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Darwin McBeth Walton remembers visiting her maternal grandparents' farm

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Darwin McBeth Walton talks about her parents' move to Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Darwin McBeth Walton talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes her likeness to her father

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Darwin McBeth Walton lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes her neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes the sights and sounds of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Darwin McBeth Walton recalls her first experience as a performer

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Darwin McBeth Walton recalls the popular singers from her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Darwin McBeth Walton remembers the Grand Theatre in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes her elementary education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Darwin McBeth Walton remembers West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Darwin McBeth Walton remembers the music program at West Charlotte High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Darwin McBeth Walton recalls her activities at West Charlotte High School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Darwin McBeth Walton remembers matriculating at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Darwin McBeth Walton recalls winning a music scholarship

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Darwin McBeth Walton recalls her experiences of discrimination at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes her decision to attend the American Conservatory of Music

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Darwin McBeth Walton remembers singing on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Darwin McBeth Walton recalls her start as a professional singer

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Darwin McBeth Walton talks about raising her children

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Darwin McBeth Walton remembers performing with black celebrities

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Darwin McBeth Walton recalls working with Van Johnson

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Darwin McBeth Walton remembers living in an all-white hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Darwin McBeth Walton talks about passing for white in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Darwin McBeth Walton recalls the racial segregation of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes her success as a singer

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Darwin McBeth Walton remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes her early teaching career

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Darwin McBeth Walton recalls teaching at National Lewis University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes the challenges of teaching African American history

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Darwin McBeth Walton talks about teaching black history through literature

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes her collection of African American history books

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Darwin McBeth Walton recalls her start as a children's author

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Darwin McBeth Walton remembers the publication of 'What Color Are You?'

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Darwin McBeth Walton talks about the importance of diversity in the publishing industry

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Darwin McBeth Walton remembers republishing her second book, 'Dance, Kayla!'

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes her book about General Charles Bolden, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Darwin McBeth Walton recalls writing about the Underground Railroad

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes her book on Kwanzaa

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Darwin McBeth Walton talks about her fellow African American children's authors

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes the children's literature associations in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes the Underground Railroad reenactment at the Graue Mill and Museum in Oak Brook, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Darwin McBeth Walton reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Darwin McBeth Walton reflects upon her legacy and family

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Darwin McBeth Walton reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Darwin McBeth Walton describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Darwin McBeth Walton narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Darwin McBeth Walton narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

8$2

DATitle
Darwin McBeth Walton remembers living in an all-white hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana
Darwin McBeth Walton describes her decision to attend the American Conservatory of Music
Transcript
Now did you sing in mostly white venues 'cause it or?$$Most, most of the time I did (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, 'cause it seem to me when I was looking at the materials it seem like that you were--$$Yeah mostly I did.$$Were you the first black singer they, they had a lot of these venues?$$Well, sometimes I was. As a matter of fact when I sang in New Orleans [Louisiana] with, for the Playboy Club my contract had been trans- had been battered back and forth because they couldn't find a black trio to accompany me. And finally they decided oh well let's let her go. Nobody will know the difference. And so I sang. I had been singing for about a week, and it was, I was having a wonderful time and so I invited the cast, there were several other singers there, to, to my hotel. I was staying in the Royal Orleans hotel [Omni Royal Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana]. I just, just did it without even thinking about it, but (laughter) when some of the cast came over to, to swim they mentioned it, some, somebody talked about it. "We went over to, to Jane [HistoryMaker Darwin McBeth Walton] and she's living in the Royal Orleans hotel" and blah, blah, blah, and the manager came to me that night he says, "Well Jane, I hear that you, that you're living at the Royal Orleans hotel." I said, "Well yeah I just thought it was easy, I can walk to work and you know it's, it's closer here and so I--." He said, "Well you know it's against the law for a black woman to live in the, in the Royal Orleans hotel." I said, "Oh really? I hadn't, I didn't realize that." That was at the time of the Ole Miss [University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi], Ole Miss was being integrated, all this racial turmoil was going on all over. I said, "Gee I hadn't noticed that. I had forgotten all about that." Of course I knew perfectly well what I was doing because the, the black help at the hotel we had a good time about it, you know. I mean everybody was laughing and joking about it. So--$$So, the whites they really didn't know what to make of you (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) They didn't really care.$$--they and they didn't, yeah.$$I mean nobody cares.$$Okay.$$As long as you're giving them a service that they want, who cares. I mean only people who are on the outside looking in or have no real thing (unclear).$$So, it's not until somebody makes it an issue--$$Right.$$--that it became an issue.$$But any rate he thought, he said, "Well you know I told, I, I told you that if you wanted me to find you a place to live I would do so." I said, "Well I didn't want you to because I knew enough about New Orleans to know where I wanted to live." So he said, "But suppose the, the papers get a hold of this or suppose--." I said, "Well what can they do with it? What would they care?" He said, "Well it just might--." I said, "Well listen, you know, I'm singing with a white group here, and I think, and there was a little bit of mess, I think my agent told me there was some stuff about getting a black group." I said, "But this is to your advantage to have me sing with this white group, and it's to my advantage to live in the hotel. Now, if you want to make an issue of that go ahead, but I'm not moving" (laughter). So, he was very unhappy with me, but I mean he, he--what could he say.$$So, was it ever raised again by any of the hotel staff or?$$No, no, no, nobody ever thought about it. I, I'm sure, I'm sure people truly don't care. You know, I mean why, why would they, I mean I, at the time people only cared who, as I said rabble rousers cared. I mean you know people who wanted to get into--start something. But, at any rate we had a lot of fun in New Orleans because we were all being very--I went to, to the clubs with the, the other entertainers. All the entertainers at the club at that time were white. Many of them were from Chicago [Illinois]. Penny Pryor and I had been old pals for a long time. She was working another room there, so we would, we went all over. And even in New Orleans, even the clubs there were making fun of the racial issue. There was a, there was a comedy going on at the time ['Nobody Likes a Smart Ass'], a show going on time, ridiculing racial segregation in, in transportation, and they were using in bathrooms and in water- and it was so funny. It was just a riot. We would sneak over and, and watch the shows. It was just a riot and it was totally, the thing about it is there has been there has been a segment of white entertainers for so long that had been dealing with and working with racial segregation that we don't even know about. They do it on their own, and because it's, it was at that particular time a closed audience, only the people who were there knew how ridiculous it was, and the audience knew how ridiculous. Now I happen to be a black woman in this, in this mix at one time, and a lot of people were, a lot of whites were insulted and got up on several occasions and walked out of the program because it just showed how ridiculous segregation really was.$I don't know, I'm sorry but why did you go to Chicago [Illinois] again, I mean what was the reason to leave Howard [Howard University, Washington, D.C.] and go to Chicago?$$Well, the reason was that, that my, that the Chicago conservatory [American Conservatory of Music, Chicago, Illinois] had a great, had a wonderful reputation at the time. It was, it was located here, and as a matter of fact, I'm trying to remember that guy's name that was the representative of Shotwell Manufacturing [Shotwell Manufacturing Company]. They said, "Well if you, if you come to Chicago we can sort of give, give you some guidance, we can do thi- ," and they did indeed. They, the, the company found me a place to live and everything was set up you know. Now I could have gone any place that I wanted to go, but I had no contacts anywhere. I didn't really know anybody in New York [New York]. I didn't know anyone at Juilliard [Juilliard School of Music; The Juilliard School, New York, New York], which I should have done. I would have loved to gone to Juilliard and, and--but I didn't, so. Even though I was asked to--after I had been to conservatory for a couple of years I was sent a letter by a Maria (Unclear) who was a teacher at Juilliard and she asked if I would be interested in coming to Juilliard to study with her. Well, it was too much of a challenge for me at the time. I just didn't know how to go about doing that. I was, I was a junior at the Chicago conservatory, and I had my piano in my room, I lived at the, at the YWCA [Young Women's Christian Association], at the young woman's--thing. Everything, I had everything setup the way I thought I wanted it, and I just didn't have what it took to get up and move by myself and just go to New York. I just didn't know how, how to do that.$$So you finished at Chicago conservatory (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So, I just stayed in the Chicago conservatory and finished there.

Bishop Eddie L. Long

Pastor Bishop Eddie Lee Long was born on May 12, 1953 in Huntersville, North Carolina, to Floyd and Hattie Long. Long graduated from North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville, North Carolina in 1972. In 1976, he earned his B.A. degree in business administration from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina where he became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.

From 1979 until 1981, Long worked for the Ford Motor Company as a zone manager in parts and services. He then was hired at HoneyWell where he worked in the energy management division from 1981 until 1987. In 1986, Long received his M.A. degree in divinity from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 1987, he became the senior pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia. Since his installation, New Birth’s membership has multiplied to well over 30,000 members. In 2001, Long began serving as co-chair for the “Hosea Feed the Hungry” Project, and in 2004, he established a mentorship program known as the Longfellows Summer Academy in order to assist in the mental, physical and spiritual development of young men between the ages of twelve and sixteen. In 2006, Long earned his Ph.D. in pastoral ministry from the International College of Excellence in Tampa, Florida.

Long served as a member on several boards including the Morehouse School of Religion Board of Directors (Vice President); Board of Trustees for North Carolina Central University; Board of Trustees for Young Life; Board of Directors for Safehouse Outreach Ministries; and 100 Black Men Of America. Long authored numerous books, including I Don't Want Delilah, I Need You; Power of a Wise Woman; What a Man Wants, What a Woman Needs; Called to Conquer; Taking Over; It's Your Time!; Gladiator: The Strength of a Man; The Blessing in Giving and Deliver Me From Adam.

Long married Vanessa Griffin Long, a native of Columbus, Georgia on March 10, 1990. They were married at Central United Methodist Church. Long had two adult children, Eric and Edward, and two teenage children, Jared and Taylor.

Bishop Eddie Lee Long was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 28, 2008.

Long passed away on January 15, 2017.

Accession Number

A2008.035

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/28/2008

Last Name

Long

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Schools

North Mecklenburg High School

North Carolina Central University

Rand Elementary School

Robert Lacy Ranson Junior High School

Northwest Junior High School

First Name

Eddie

Birth City, State, Country

Charlotte

HM ID

LON03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

Watch This.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

5/12/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

1/15/2017

Short Description

Pastor Bishop Eddie L. Long (1953 - 2017 ) was the senior pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, in Lithonia, Georgia. He was co-chair for the Hosea Feed the Hungry Project, and in 2004, he established a mentorship program for boys known as the Longfellows Summer Academy.

Employment

Ford Motor Company

Honeywell, Inc.

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bishop Eddie L. Long's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bishop Eddie L. Long lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his mother's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls moving to Montclair, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes Rand Elementary School in Montclair, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers his relationship with his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers his elementary school teacher

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his home in Montclair, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his experiences in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls Northwest Junior High School in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes Ranson Junior High School in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers working for his father

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers his neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers working as a school bus driver

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his aspirations to become a preacher

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his father's challenges as a minister

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers his courses at North Carolina Central University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his activities at North Carolina Central University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bishop Eddie L. Long talks about developing his confidence

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers paying for his education

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his early career

DASession

1$1

DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his aspirations to become a preacher
Bishop Eddie L. Long talks about developing his confidence
Transcript
Your father [Floyd Long, Jr.] was a preacher. What church did he pastor, or did he preach at (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) What church he didn't pastor. This is the history of my dad. My dad is a pastor. My dad would go start a church, a lot of times from scratch, build a new building. He'd grow the membership, get in the new building, and within six months, on just a normal Sunday, he'd get up, cuss the deacons out, and telling my mom [Hattie Alston Long], "Let's go." And he'd walk down the aisle and leave, and we followed behind him, and would never come back. He'd go start another church. So, he was a church builder. He could grow a church with members, and then he would always build a nice building. And it never failed; within six months he's going to get up, cuss the deacons out, and leave.$$Did you ever find out what the problem, what problem he was having with the deacons (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well, as a--as a pastor myself, (laughter) it is very challenging at times to work. And he was always in a rural church. So in a rural church, the deacons generally always felt that they were supposed to run the church, and all the pastor was to do was to come and preach and do ceremonial things. But they controlled the pastor and everything else, and my dad just wasn't going for that. He would deal with it, and argue with them for a while, and after a while he'd get sick of them. I guess he was looking for a place where he would be the visionary, et cetera. But my dad was a tough man, too. He was a tough guy, I gotta, you know. So--$$So you spent your Sundays in church?$$Yeah, from the rising of the sun to the going down of the sun, all day.$$And what were your thoughts about church? Did you have any idea that you would become a preacher at that time?$$At one time, I really wanted to be a preacher. I used to be the little cute boy, and Mama would say, "He's going to be a preacher." And I'd be playing preacher. "Oh, look at him," you know. And then after a while, it's like I don't want nothing to do with this. I, I just didn't want it. I had seen what my daddy was going through and all that, and I wanted to be a businessman. That's the side of my daddy I caught. That's why I went to North Carolina Central University [Durham, North Carolina] and majored in business and marketing.$And why do you say you were shy?$$I was very shy. I was (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Really?$$Because I never, it took me a long time to grow out of secondhand clothes, and people always looking at me as a secondhand guy. I was a senior in high school [North Mecklenburg High School, Huntersville, North Carolina] before I got a pair of Converse. You either had Converse, or you had nothing. Converse was only ten dollars, and I, I couldn't afford them. And so if you had something from Kmart [Kmart Corporation] on, kids would make fun of you, you know. And so, you had to have some Chuck Taylor Converse. So, I always made myself second. I just--it was hard, and I never--because I didn't dress right, and I never thought a girl would want to talk to me. I was surprised when I went up to them. I just, I got my nerve up when I talked to my girlfriend in tenth or eleventh grade, and we got together. I didn't think she was going to pay me any attention. I just said, "I'm desperate now for a girlfriend (laughter)." But I just never--I had this thing in my head. Even now, my wife [Vanessa Griffin Long] pushes me, you know. I can deal with it. I was raised with three boys, wasn't no sisters. And the challenge me and my wife has, she was raised with--she's seven of seven girls, no boys. And I'm four boys, you know, and all of that. And so I said, "You don't know nothing about men." And she said, "You don't know nothing about women." I say but I'm very comfortable in ministering the men and addressing men. When it gets around to talking to women, I get nervous, you know. So, she pushed me to do the women thing--elect ladies. And it just, and I'm surprised that I have something to say. But it's more so a mental thing, that I'm still thinking I'm still in the secondhand clothes. I'm thinking I'm Cinderella after the carriage turned back to the pumpkin, you know. And so--pray I overcome.

Marshall Grigsby

Educational adviser Marshall Grigsby was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on August 18, 1946. After earning his B.A. in political science from Morehouse College in 1968, Grigsby relocated to Chicago, where he pursued a master's of theology and doctorate in ministry from the University of Chicago, completing his program in 1972.

Grigsby began his career after earning his master's in 1970, working as the executive director of the Black Legislative Clearing House, which provided educational and research services to the nation's black legislators. After completing his Ph.D., Grigsby moved to Ohio, where he became the associate director of the Association of Theological Schools of the United States and Canada. In that capacity, he worked with the schools to address the concerns of the minority students of the programs. In 1975, Grigsby was named assistant dean and an associate professor at the Divinity School at Howard University, where he remained for the next ten years. Continuing on in the academic world, Grigsby was named president of Benedict College in 1985, and in 1993 he was appointed to the positions of executive vice president, provost and CEO of Hampton University. After serving only a year at Hampton, Grigsby was summoned to Capitol Hill, where he served as the senior higher education specialist for Democratic members of Congress and as special adviser to Congressman William Clay. Grigsby left in 2001 to form his own company, Grigsby and Associates, an educational policy development consulting firm.

In addition to his consulting work, Grigsby serves on the Board of Trustees of USA Funds, which provides guaranteed loans of more than $10 billion a year to students across the country. He is also a managing consultant with the Council for Opportunity in Education and is the senior scholar with the Claiborne Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Education. Grigsby was one of five college presidents in 1991 to receive the Knight Foundation Presidential Leadership Award. Grigsby and his wife, Harriet, live in Maryland.

Accession Number

A2003.155

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/15/2003

Last Name

Grigsby

Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Phoenix Union Bioscience High School

Phoenix College

First Name

Marshall

Birth City, State, Country

Charlotte

HM ID

GRI03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/18/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Academic administrator, theologian, education chief executive, and education policy consultant Marshall Grigsby (1946 - ) founded Marshall Grigsby and Associates, an educational policy consulting firm. He also served as the former associate dean and associate professor at Howard University Divinity School, president of Benedict College, executive vice president, provost and CEO of Hampton University, and the senior higher education specialist for Democratic members of Congress.

Employment

Black Legislative Clearinghouse

Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada

Howard University School of Divinity

Benedict College

Hampton University

United States Congress

Grigsby & Associates

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:7198,118:7684,125:17323,265:17971,275:18457,282:51104,724:51452,729:52670,842:56150,888:76160,1080:77600,1101:92907,1290:93362,1296:96729,1350:97184,1356:104522,1446:106982,1482:109770,1525:114116,1596:117500,1616:121470,1664:158535,2209:158883,2214:159318,2220:161667,2249:166539,2332:167061,2339:171498,2414:179630,2451:180380,2462:181805,2489:185630,2575:186305,2589:187505,2615:187955,2622:192238,2663:192910,2689:194638,2694:197038,2725:197710,2733:198862,2750:201454,2784:202606,2801:214736,2895:215960,2925:217112,2945:217400,2950:217832,2958:224467,3034:230194,3149:230526,3154:233763,3212:246950,3342$0,0:5638,91:16330,269:38435,509:39030,517:40050,532:40475,538:52142,676:55086,711:55546,717:59134,761:59594,767:62262,802:62998,811:76819,918:77386,926:79897,974:82084,1010:87835,1092:91885,1157:103166,1278:103574,1285:104050,1293:104798,1307:107518,1376:113502,1504:113774,1509:131052,1728:136980,1773
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marshall Grigsby's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marshall Grigsby lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marshall Grigsby describes his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marshall Grigsby describes his paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marshall Grigsby shares the story of his parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marshall Grigsby describes the personality and occupation of his father, HistoryMaker Jefferson Eugene Grigsby

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marshall Grigsby describes Phoenix, Arizona in the 1940s

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marshall Grigsby describes segregation in Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marshall Grigsby talks about Carver High School, the former all-black school in Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Marshall Grigsby describes his love of school and reading as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marshall Grigsby talks about his favorite elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marshall Grigsby describes his experiences attending Phoenix Union High School in Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marshall Grigsby describes his and his parents' involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marshall Grigsby talks about leaving the NAACP Youth Council to organize a chapter of CORE

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marshall Grigsby talks about Elijah Muhammad's home in Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marshall Grigsby describes traveling from Phoenix, Arizona to Atlanta, Georgia by train to enroll at Morehouse College

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marshall Grigsby talks about his limited involvement in the Civil Rights Movement as a student at Morehouse College

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marshall Grigsby talks about Dr. Benjamin E. Mays

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marshall Grigsby talks about important figures associated with Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marshall Grigsby remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marshall Grigsby describes enrolling at the University of Chicago Divinity School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marshall Grigsby comments on the concept of "higher law"

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marshall Grigsby talks about studying under Charles Long at the University of Chicago Divinity School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marshall Grigsby describes why he chose to be ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marshall Grigsby talks about his civic involvement in Chicago during the early 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marshall Grigsby describes his experiences working for the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Marshall Grigsby describes his experiences working for the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Marshall Grigsby talks about Howard Thurman

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Marshall Grigsby talks about theological debates

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marshall Grigsby talks about the Mega Church Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marshall Grigsby comments on the black church

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marshall Grigsby describes his experiences teaching at the Howard University School of Divinity

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marshall Grigsby describes his experiences serving as President of Benedict College, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marshall Grigsby describes his experiences serving as President of Benedict College, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marshall Grigsby describes leaving Benedict College

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marshall Grigsby talks about reforming higher education policy in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Marshall Grigsby shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Marshall Grigsby talks about his future plans

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Marshall Grigsby talks about his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

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2$4

DAStory

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DATitle
Marshall Grigsby talks about Dr. Benjamin E. Mays
Marshall Grigsby describes his experiences serving as President of Benedict College, pt. 2
Transcript
Well what was life like on the campus, did you get the chance to know Dr. Mays?$$Oh yeah, yeah. We--and knew him and worked with him literally up until the time he died. We, as I said, he was my Advisor so I had to report--he and his wife Sadie Mays. And then a number of people that took me under their wing, he's one. Never will forget when Martin King was coming back from Oslo, having won the Nobel Peace Prize, I had to ride with Dr. Mays in his car to the airport, cause we went to the airport to meet Dr. King and his family. Dr. Mays couldn't drive a lick, and he wouldn't get on the expressway, and he drove all the way from campus to the airport with one foot on the brake and on the accelerator. And it was like that all the way out there.$$But he--I've interviewed, at least two people, James Compton [HM] being one of them that was a chauffeur for Dr. Mays. They were students, and their job was to drive him around, so there may be a good reason for that.$$Well, yeah, sure, absolutely. And in those days, and to some extent now, you know College Presidents were driven around. When I was a President I basically insisted on driving myself, but I didn't want the trappings of all of that and everything else. But he, we became friends over the years in a way that I never realized. One of the things, he would always come to every year to Howard University [Washington, D.C.] and speak in the Chapel. And while I was at Howard, I spent 11 years at Howard; several times I would pick him up from the airport and take him to the campus. But whenever I encountered him, I always gave him the respect of telling him my name. Cause I didn't expect him to remember who I was, I mean the man travelled in incessantly and was constantly involved. I remember the last time I spoke with him; I had picked him up from the airport. He had a plane ticket in his pocket, cause he was going someplace else, and I walked up to him and he said Grigsby, if you tell me your name again, I'm gonna scream (laughing) it was funny. But later on, I discovered something about him, and this was after he had died, he and a good friend of his, Sam Nabrit, and Sam was the first black recipient of a PhD from Brown University. He got a PhD in Chemistry and he was, [President Dwight D.] Eisenhower appointed him to the Atomic Energy Commission. I mean, he's involved in all kinds of stuff; Sam was also the President of the Southern Fellowship Foundation which was the organization that underwrote my graduate education, so he supported me through the years. Sam, he also ended up being the Chairman of the Search Committee for the Presidency of Benedict College and he is the one that basically engineered to get me elected President at the college. And told me a few years after that, said that he and Mays were traveling on a plane going somewhere, and he said that keep your eye on Grigsby and that if the right situation opens up, make sure he gets in it. And so you never know what kind of impression you're making on people, and you never know who's looking over your shoulder and who's making opportunities available that happened long before you even got on the scene. But he was a--and also there was and is a black good ol boy network too that looks out for folks. That was an interesting experience that I had with him.$As I said, I saw my mission as helping to strengthen the infrastructure of the institution which is what we did through the academic programs and were able to be recognized in a number of arenas as having a top notch quality programs. As again, I mentioned the Honors Program became one of the leading of its kind, certainly throughout the state and in throughout the Southeast and became a model for a number of other Institutions. We created an Environmental Science Program, the first of its kind in the state. Looking at the whole notion of helping minority youngsters get into the whole minority--in the whole Environmental Field and used in ways to address what, has emerge over the years. As another issue that is Environmental Racism, where much of toxic waste dump activity takes place in minority communities, that those become the expendable areas, and so that was another arena that we worked on. Our Teacher Education Program, now everybody recognizes the importance of identifying top notch teachers, well we had a program that was completely moribund, demoralized and the like. When I left there, it was at the top of its game. It was creating things that have since become kind of routine, such as we created something called the After Program, The Armed Forces Teacher Education for Retirees. We have Fort Jackson sitting right there, an awful lot of people retired from the Military out of Fort Jackson, tremendous resource. All they needed was--and many of them wanted to get into education, so we created a whole program and had a unit out at Fort Jackson where we created a cadre of black males, teachers for Elementary and Secondary schools. So doing a series of things like that, you know, good that we were able to accomplish much of that.

The Honorable Melvin L. Watt

The second son of Evelyn Harris and the second African American elected to Congress from North Carolina, Melvin Watt has lived the life of a frontrunner. Born to a single teenaged mother in rural North Carolina in 1945, Watt's childhood home lacked electricity and indoor plumbing. Watt's fervent work ethic was demonstrated in his youth when he drove a school bus before and after school in order to contribute to the financial support of his family. His mother's encouragement to read and excel in school prepared Watt to graduate Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina in 1963 and to subsequently earn a scholarship to Yale University Law School.

After graduation, Watt returned to Charlotte, entering the law firm of Chambers, Stein, Ferguson and Becton. Watt worked as a civil rights attorney for twenty-two years, during which time he served one term in the North Carolina State Senate from 1985 to 1986. Declining to run for a second term or any other elective office until his two sons graduated from high school, Watt chose to work behind the scenes politically. He managed Harvey Gantt's campaigns for City Council, mayor of Charlotte and U.S. Senate. In 1992, with the formation of North Carolina's 12th District that included his hometown, Watt opted to run for Congress, with his eldest son, Brian, as his campaign manager.

As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Watt served on the Financial Services Committee and Judiciary Committee and is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law. He is one of two black members elected to Congress in this century. Watt is known as a progressive Democrat and fearless defender of civil liberties. He has been repeatedly reelected to Congress, where he has developed and supported legislation affecting African American and Latino citizens in the areas of housing, welfare, reparations and education.

Watt also loves sports. He has been the State Democratic Baseball Team's star pitcher and also plays tennis. He is a lifetime member of the NAACP, was president of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association and still attends his childhood church, Mt. Olive Presbyterian Church, on Sundays. Watt and his wife, Eulada, have two sons, Brian and Jason, who are both graduates of their father's alma mater, Yale University.

Accession Number

A2002.218

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/2/2002

Last Name

Watt

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Yale University

First Name

Melvin

Birth City, State, Country

Charlotte

HM ID

WAT03

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Knight Foundation

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

North Carolina Mountains

Favorite Quote

Keep In The Road.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/26/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beans (Lima), Macaroni, Cheese

Short Description

U.S. congressman The Honorable Melvin L. Watt (1945 - ) was the second African American elected to Congress from North Carolina, serving on the Judicial, Financial Services and Joint Economic committees.

Employment

Chambers, Stein, Ferguson and Becton

North Carolina General Assembly

United States House of Representatives

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:12949,169:28268,320:37415,463:39599,521:39963,526:48923,627:49207,632:49633,639:49988,645:50272,651:51124,680:51408,685:52118,697:52402,704:53183,720:53751,731:54035,736:54674,746:59076,819:59928,833:60283,839:65965,934:69280,981:86970,1157:95381,1349:115018,1574:124110,1654:125440,1690:138250,1865:139060,1877:150482,2032:150834,2037:152594,2075:160663,2185:164522,2232:164874,2237:166018,2272:166370,2277:167074,2287:181580,2518:194520,2719:195168,2729:195735,2737:196383,2753:196950,2761:202020,2809:209770,2880:210670,2893:211170,2902:221874,3025:225796,3109:227720,3148:228164,3154:228904,3174:234880,3244:236500,3279:239200,3317:244240,3420:251691,3505:254295,3556:264498,3723:264990,3731:272283,3796:284392,3928:285576,3946:285946,3952:286390,3959:295976,4027:301404,4093:301994,4099:306158,4154:308281,4162:308848,4174:309334,4181:309901,4189:310468,4198:313060,4242:316930,4261:318830,4284:321300,4316:325100,4376:326430,4407:333998,4485:335000,4494$0,0:1032,4:9055,60:9620,66:11089,81:11880,88:12784,97:14253,111:15609,124:17078,138:19186,161:20304,175:21164,191:21852,200:27614,290:28646,305:29334,314:29850,320:45169,454:46042,462:46818,470:49922,514:50795,525:51571,534:57320,566:64100,597:68390,626:69278,640:72534,694:73496,708:76900,766:100115,1031:100794,1039:101279,1045:108671,1097:116944,1147:121850,1172:122651,1182:123007,1187:126420,1232:130080,1266:130800,1283:131304,1291:131736,1297:133752,1323:134400,1333:136200,1366:141366,1411:142430,1433:157215,1613:157590,1619:158265,1631:161115,1704:173235,1841:178701,1892:180540,1917
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Melvin Watt's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Melvin Watt lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Melvin Watt describes his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Melvin Watt talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Melvin Watt reads his great-great grandfather's words

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Melvin Watt talks about his great-great grandfather, Wesley Mauney

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Melvin Watt describes his father and how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Melvin Watt describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Melvin Watt describes the sights, sounds, and smells of Dixie, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Melvin Watt describes the bookmobile that came to his house as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Melvin Watt remembers his love of reading as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Melvin Watt recalls attending Mount Olive Presbyterian Church in Dixie, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Melvin Watt talks about school desegregation in 1961

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Melvin Watt describes threatening to strike for new school buses in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Melvin Watt talks about becoming an activist

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Melvin Watt talks about the Greensboro, North Carolina sit-ins

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Melvin Watt remembers his influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Melvin Watt describes his decision to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Melvin Watt talks about how his white roommates moved out of their room at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Melvin Watt describes his graduate student roommate, Marvin Moode

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Melvin Watt talks about being a dorm floor advisor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Melvin Watt talks about not making the freshmen baseball team at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Melvin Watt describes his experiences at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Melvin Watt talks about his decision to become a lawyer

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Melvin Watt describes his decision to attend Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Melvin Watt describes attending Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Melvin Watt talks about his classmates at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Melvin Watt talks about Justice Robert Bork and finishing Yale Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Melvin Watt shares how he met his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Melvin Watt talks about practicing law in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Melvin Watt talks about managing Harvey Gantt's City Council campaigns

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Melvin Watt describes Harvey Gantt's election as the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Melvin Watt describes Harvey Gantt's U.S. Senate campaign in 1990

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Melvin Watt talks about how he decided to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Melvin Watt describes his campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Melvin Watt talks about the Congressional Black Caucus in the 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Melvin Watt outlines his service in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Melvin Watt describes Trading Places and Wake Up 911

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Melvin Watt shares his view on reparations

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Melvin Watt describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Melvin Watt comments on the Clinton administration

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Melvin Watt talks about President Bill Clinton and the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Melvin Watt shares his views on diversity in the executive branch

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Melvin Watt talks about U.S. relations with Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Melvin Watt reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Melvin Watt talks about his mother's pride in his success

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Melvin Watt describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Melvin Watt narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

7$7

DATitle
Melvin Watt describes his decision to attend Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut
Melvin Watt talks about how he decided to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992
Transcript
Now why did you choose Yale Law School [New Haven, Connecticut]?$$Well, what I'd said to myself was, was two things. Number one, I wanna apply to all five of these law schools, and I wanna have the option of going to the best law school in the country if I get in. And so once I got into all five of 'em, I eliminated Duke [University], I eliminated Columbia [University], I eliminated Harvard [University] because it was too big, and I'd been in this gigantic setting at [University of North Carolina] Chapel Hill for four years. I was tired of it. And that left Yale and University of North Carolina still standing. And most people think that, that, you know, that'd be an easy decision to make. That was, that, that was a more difficult decision because I was applying for a Morehead Scholarship that only the University of North Carolina awards. [John Motley] Morehead [III], an old racist with plenty of money and Morehead Planetarium, had this scholarship program, the best scholarship of any, any scholarship in the United States really and one that any student would die for. But he had never had a black student. I mean he had an--he had a racially exclusionary policy. I mean they had--and--but I applied for the law school Morehead. And I said okay, if I get the law school Morehead, I can't afford not to go to college, to law school here because I mean you get a full ride; they give you extra money; they get you a job during the summer. I mean, you know, there's all, all kinds of things that went with that. And so I went through the application process. And you know, one side of me is saying you're just deluding yourself; this is a charade that you're going through. The other side of me is saying, yeah, I got a good academic record; I can, I can get this scholarship. So I end up getting--not getting the scholarship, and so I'm pretty much decided, look, that eliminates Chapel Hill. I'm going to Yale if I can figure out a way to financially afford to go to Yale. And so I'm sitting there in that posture, and then the dean of the law school at Chapel Hill calls me in. And he says, "Mel, I know you're disappointed you didn't get the, the law school Morehead, but we're gonna offer you the next best scholarship that we have. We have three law school Moreheads. You didn't get any one of those, the next best scholarship we're gonna offer you. And if you go to the University of North Carolina, you'll do well. If you go to Yale or Harvard or some- one of those other law schools, maybe you won't do so well." And I looked at him and I said, "What," (laughter)? I said to myself is this guy kidding me (laughter). I mean that was, that was really kind of the straw that broke the camel's back. I mean I already decided that I wasn't going to Chapel Hill, but that was the, kind of the nail in the coffin, you know. And so that's really how I made the decision. I mean I, I wanted to go to the best law school. And then he kind of drove me away from, from--you know, I was still sitting there--maybe I should go to Chap- Chapel Hill. It'll be cheaper, you know. Maybe I'm gonna practice law in North Carolina. It'll be some advantage to have gone to the University of North Carolina's law school, you know. You know, I was still kind of in that decision making mode, although I was leaning heavily toward Yale when I didn't get the, the Morehead scholarship. And then he nails the coffin for me, and I said okay, I'm gone (laughter). So a year, a year and a half later I was back at the law school speaking to the, to the students there and talking trash because I had made--you know--not trash. I wasn't talking trash, but you know, just kind of--they invited me back to speak at the law school. I was writing my way onto the Yale Law Journal, you know. And this guy--and, and, and to his credit, I mean he's a great guy. He was the dean of the law school, and I'm sure he never, he never really intended to offend me. He probably didn't even realize that he was driving the, the nail in the coffin, but he did. And ironically, years later, he had, he had ceased to be the dean of the law school, went to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and he was the judge who wrote the redistricting case opinion that upheld my congressional district. It got overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. But, you know, it's, it's interesting the way these cycles go around (laughter). You never, you just never know how these things work out.$And then in 1991 and 1992 the pressure got turned up on the state legislature to create minority congressional districts or congressional district, at least one congressional district that a minority candidate could win in. Because, as we were talking before we started the interview, the last member of Congress North Carolina had ever had was George White in 1898. We hadn't had anybody. Even though the population of North Carolina is about 23, 25 percent African American, no African American had ever been elected to Congress from North Carolina in the 20th century. And so they drew one congressional district. The Department of Justice said no, you can draw two minority influenced congressional districts, so the legislature went back in, drew a second minority district.$$Now, now, now one of the statistics on--out of North Carolina in terms of population, you know, who are--what per- percentage of the population is black or--$$Generally about twenty--somewhere between 23 and 25 percent black population. And of course, those blacks had been dispersed in so many ways to create Democratic congressional districts. And--for the first time in 1991, 1992 districts were redrawn in such a way that you could elect a minority candidate out in the 1st district, out in eastern North Carolina, and in the 12th district, which is the district that I now represent. Well, long story short, a lot of people think that the district was drawn for me. Truth of the matter is district was not drawn for me at all. I thought it was being drawn for Harvey Gantt. And so as soon as the district was drawn, first thing I was doing was calling Harvey Gantt saying, "Hey, I'm ready to manage another political campaign, let's go," (laughter). Harvey says, "No, I'm not running," and about an hour into the conversation he talks me into running, and here I am, a member of Congress, 12th district, North Carolina.

Gerald Johnson

Successful publisher Gerald Oren Johnson was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on March 2, 1947, to Willie L. Johnson and Thomasina Johnson. He graduated from West Charlotte High School in 1965 and went on to earn a B.A. in mathematics from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in 1969 and an M.A. in mathematics from Villanova University in 1972.

From 1969 until 1973, Johnson worked as a programmer for Univac Sperry Rand. From 1969 to 1973 he taught mathematics and computer science and directed the Computer Center at Johnson C. Smith University. In 1978, he began working for Bank of America as a programmer and was promoted to vice president. In 1986, Johnson became CEO and publisher of The Charlotte Post and chairman of the Consolidated Media Group.

Johnson has many civic and community affiliations. He has also received numerous
awards and honors for his contributions to the city of Charlotte. He has served as a member of the Mechanics and Farmers Advisory Board, the First Ward Community Reinvestment Board, and the Goodwill Industries Board. He has been an active participant in the Community Building Initiative, the Arts and Science Council, the Charlotte Chamber's Minority Business Leader Institute, "CHARLOTTE READS" leadership committee, and Partners For School Reform. He has also been co-chairman of the Finance Committee of the New Arena Committee, first vice president and publicity committee chairman of Theater Charlotte, and secretary and second vice president of the Discovery Place Board.

Johnson is a member of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church and has two daughters, Tania and Patrice, both living in North Carolina, and one grandson.

Accession Number

A2002.217

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/3/2002

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Lincoln University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Gerald

Birth City, State, Country

Charlotte

HM ID

JOH09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

3/2/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Charlotte

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lamb

Short Description

Newspaper publishing chief executive Gerald Johnson (1947 - ) is the CEO and publisher of the Charlotte Post in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Employment

Unicac Sperry Rand

Johnson C. Smith University

Bank of America

Charlotte Post

Consolidated Media Group

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gerald Johnson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gerald Johnson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gerald Johnson describes his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gerald Johnson talks about his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gerald Johnson shares the story of how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gerald Johnson talks about the black migration to Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gerald Johnson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gerald Johnson describes his childhood house

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gerald Johnson talks about the black community in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gerald Johnson talks about his father's involvement in black newspapers

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gerald Johnson describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Gerald Johnson remembers his school experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Gerald Johnson recalls his favorite teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gerald Johnson describes attending West Charlotte Senior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gerald Johnson recalls his high school extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gerald Johnson describes attending Lincoln University in Oxford, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gerald Johnson talks about his professors at Lincoln University in Oxford, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gerald Johnson remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gerald Johnson talks about cultural shifts in the 1960s and the lack of black papers on campus

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gerald Johnson describes computer programming at UNIVAC Sperry Rand in 1969

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gerald Johnson talks about earning his Master's degree at Villanova University in Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gerald Johnson talks about his early career and moving back to Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gerald Johnson talks about working at Johnson C. Smith University and Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gerald Johnson describes his father's editorial style of "The Charlotte Post" in the 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gerald Johnson explains his involvement with "The Charlotte Post"

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gerald Johnson talks about changing the philosophy of "The Charlotte Post"

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gerald Johnson describes the management of "The Charlotte Post"

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gerald Johnson describes his approach to news coverage at "The Charlotte Post"

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gerald Johnson describes covering the black community at "The Charlotte Post"

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gerald Johnson talks about police misconduct and the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gerald Johnson talks about covering racial conflict between African Americans and Hispanics in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gerald Johnson describes the reaction and impact of covering race relations between African Americans and Hispanics

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gerald Johnson talks about the problems with schools and housing in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gerald Johnson describes the quality of life in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gerald Johnson describes his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gerald Johnson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gerald Johnson describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gerald Johnson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

5$4

DATitle
Gerald Johnson remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Gerald Johnson explains his involvement with "The Charlotte Post"
Transcript
Now you were in college when Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] was assassinated right?$$Um-hm.$$What was the atmosphere on campus when that happened?$$Very, very bad, very bad. We--it--we were having a program of sorts at the university. I can't even remember what the program was about, but one of my frat brothers ran down, ran down the campus and started yelling that, that Dr. King had, had been assassinated and then the school just went berserk. And we did have some white students on the campus at the time and then people started going around hunting down--in fact, I had to pull him off of some, off of some people 'cause he just snapped. He was, he was from Dallas, Texas, and he just snapped, and so we literally had to pull him off of some people, and the school just went in turmoil and started burning down and tearing down the school and very, very sad situation. It got so bad that they closed--the president came and made an announcement he was closing school, announces, says, "We're closing the school, get your stuff and, and leave," and you know nobody had transportation. I mean a lot of people didn't have transportation and then a lot of people didn't have any arrangements to get home and it was just a mess and luckily some guys from Gastonia, North Carolina, had cars and they asked me if I needed a ride home and I told 'em yeah I'd ride with them to come home. And sad, even more sad than what happened on campus was the ride home. We had to go through cities like Baltimore [Maryland] and Washington, D.C. and so all down the 95 corridor going through cities was just, it was just really, really a sad sight for sore eyes because the cities were burning, people were looting, throwing stuff at cars, and it was just, it was a horrifying sight. It was a long sad drive home. Very little was said in the whole time. It took us almost sixteen hours to get home, and very little was said during the whole time on the drive and just the turmoil that we saw coming home was, was something. So, yeah that was, that was a moment in my life, yeah it really was.$$How did you feel about it, you know, personally?$$Very upsetting, very upsetting. It was very upsetting. I felt hurt, betrayed. I felt I couldn't trust anybody anymore. Just hurt, just hurt. He had spoken on campus before as well, and, and I looked at Dr. King as being a spokesman for the community, the African American community, and his assassination meant that we lost a spokesman and it also made me feel like we were, we were betrayed and that nobody wanted us to have a spokesman that could actually stand toe-to-toe and speak on our behalf and so I just had a lot of mixed, mixed emotions at the time.$$So, what did they--how, how did they--so what did they--how did they regroup and get you get, get the students back, you know, and graduate, you know?$$Well, that--we had to be back I think what he, he told us that they were gonna open the school back in, in a week. They were gonna close school down for a week, so we ended up having to come back in a week and, and it was tough. Everybody got back and just went through with what we had to do to get through and graduate. In fact, I was a junior, so I still had one more, one more year to go. No, what year was that, sixty--$$Sixty-eight [1968].$$Yeah, I was a junior, I was a junior and so we got back on campus and went through, went through the rest of the year, but that, for the rest of that school year it was just not the same. Just, the, the emotions were just too much.$Okay, so how did you gradually get involved with the paper?$$(Laughter) My father called me in--I would--he, he asked me to come and help him all along. Since '74 [1974] I would come in, but we would always bump heads, and I had another job and so I was just helping him on the side and, and anything I would suggest we'd bump heads 'cause he didn't want to do that. I wanted computers in here. I wanted to upgrade, do a lot of things, and he was, he was doing fine just the way, the way it was and so we would always bump heads. So, I would come in and, and help him out for a couple of months and just get fed up and, and leave. But, one time he called me in and told me that he was, that the doctors were gonna stop him from working for a couple of months because he was sick, and he asked me if I would come in and sit in for him while he was sick. I told him, "What you mean sit in for you while you're sick?" He said well, "I'm a, I'm a have to take a couple of months off and I just need somebody to oversee the place for me until I get back. It won't be but a couple of months," so I said, "Fine I'll do it," and started coming in and sitting in. Now he never said what he was sick from or, or what was bothering him. He just said his doctor told him that, and when I started coming in here a couple of things happened that just upset me in terms of how the employees were acting, and so I, I literally reprimanded several employees and immediately they ran off to tell him what had happened. And when they came back in, sort of with their tail between their legs, he told them that I was in charge and that whatever I said that was the way it had to be. And at that time, I knew he would never come back because otherwise he would have, we would have done that again. But, he said whatever I said was, was it and so I took over in March, had the con- had the conflict in April, in June he died. He had acute leukemia, which he never, he never let on that he had that until the, the final stages and once he died my family asked me to stay here and run it, and so I did. I stayed at the bank and did this for ten years and I left the bank in '96 [1996] and started doing this full time. But, I was tricked into it in other words. I was tricked into taking over the paper. Best trick that, that's ever happened, but he tricked me into it.$$All this time though, had you ever thought of yourself as one being involved in journalism at all (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) No, no, and that's, that's, that's very interesting because he, he, he would always ask us if we were going to get involved with the paper. I told him no I knew I wasn't gonna do it because I had no interest in it whatsoever, so I told him I had, I didn't have any interest in doing this and my other brothers none of, none of them took an interest either, and so we had no journalistic interest at the time. But the interesting thing to me about all of that was when, when he got ill and I had to come in and sit down and take over a job it was, it was no training. It was almost like when I got in the chair I knew exactly what to do and so just by hanging around him all this time and not necessarily working here, but I knew everything to do and so it was, it was sort of like a no-brainer, sort of like I was going through a training for this, for this position because it was, it was just a no-brainer, just coming in sitting down and, and start directing the ship the way I wanted it to run. And philosophically, we had several points of difference, but just changed the philosophy of the paper and moved on.

Ulysses Ford

Ulysses Grant Ford, III was born September 28, 1943 in Charlotte, North Carolina to Roberta and Ulysses Ford, II. Ford graduated from West Charlotte High School in 1961. Moving to Talladega, Alabama to attend Talladega College, Ford pursued his interest in mathematics and received a B.A. in 1965. That year, he married Beverly Odom Ford, who now owns the consulting firm ASM & Associates. They have three sons.

From 1965 until 1968, Ford worked as a math teacher and basketball coach at Charlotte Catholic High School. In 1968, Ford became an accountant and worked for Allstate Insurance and Equitable Life Insurance. In 1972, he began his career in civil service as an administrative assistant for the public works department of the City of Charlotte. In 1978, Ford left Charlotte to become the Director of Solid Waste Management for the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ford went on to hold the title of Director of City Services for seven years in Fort Worth, Texas. Then he moved to Houston and served as Director of Public Works until 1992.

At this point in his career, Ford moved from government service to business and became responsible for marketing as the Vice President of Waste Management, Inc., a post he held for six years. In 1998, Ford founded SDC Consulting, Inc. in Macon, Georgia. SDC represents private companies, helping them increase their access to local governments across the country and thus combines the two main areas of his life's work.

Ulysses Ford, III has been a member of 100 Black Men of America since 1998 and served as president of the Municipal Waste Management Association of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Ulysses Ford passed away on March 20, 2012.

Accession Number

A2002.020

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/18/2002

Last Name

Ford

Maker Category
Schools

West Charlotte High School

Fairview Elementary

Northwest School Of The Arts

Talladega College

First Name

Ulysses

Birth City, State, Country

Charlotte

HM ID

FOR03

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Sponsor

Knight Foundation

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Alaska, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Do The Things That You Fear And The Death Of Fear Is Certain.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

9/28/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Macon

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Collard Greens

Death Date

3/20/2012

Short Description

Business consulting chief executive Ulysses Ford (1943 - 2012 ) was the president of SDS Consulting.

Employment

Charlotte Catholic High School

Allstate Insurance Company

Equitable Life Insurance

Charlotte Department of Public Works

City of Ann Arbor, Michigan

City of Forth Worth, Texas

City of Houston, Texas

Waste Management

SDC Consulting

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:14636,204:30030,378:30435,384:31731,418:48524,667:58806,838:80090,1142$0,0:7781,115:47218,585:57265,781:71594,1020:79312,1484:138217,2211:161685,2695:178030,2872
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ulysses Ford's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford describes his maternal grandfather's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford describes his maternal grandfather's first job

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford talks about his maternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford describes his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford describes his relationship with his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ulysses Ford describes the difficulties his family faced after his father left

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ulysses Ford talks about his household chores

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ulysses Ford describes his mother's personality, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ulysses Ford describes his mother's personality, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Ulysses Ford describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Ulysses Ford describes his segregated childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Ulysses Ford describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford talks about his experience at the Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford talks about his experience as a Boy Scout, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford talks about his experience at West Charlotte High School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford talks about his experience as a Boy Scout, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford describes his pride at receiving his Eagle Scout badge

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford describes his mother's and grandfather's reactions to his receiving his Eagle Scout badge

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford talks about his childhood athletics

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ulysses Ford describes receiving a scholarship to Talladega College

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ulysses Ford describes being a good student

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Ulysses Ford talks about deciding to attend Talladega College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford describes his mother's interest in his athletics

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford talks about growing up without a father

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford talks about his mentor and teacher at West Charlotte High School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford discusses the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford remembers his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford remembers meeting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford describes his Civil Rights activism, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford describes his Civil Rights activism, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford describes his mother's reaction to his Civil Rights activities

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford discusses his grandfather's reaction to the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford talks about overcoming his fears about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford describes meeting his wife at Talladega College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford describes his wife Beverly Ann Odom's personality

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford talks about looking for jobs after college

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford describes becoming a high school teacher

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford describes his experience teaching at Charlotte Catholic High School in North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford talks about being hired as an underwriter for Allstate Insurance Company

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford discusses his experience as an underwriter for Allstate

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford discusses the racism he encountered at Allstate

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford discusses becoming an insurance salesman

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford discusses his alcoholism

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford discusses starting work for the Public Works Department in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford discusses someone he inspired

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford discusses his experience in the Public Works Department, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ulysses Ford discusses his experience in the Public Works Department, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford discusses recovering from his alcoholism, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford discusses recovering from his alcoholism, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford discusses leaving the Public Works Department of Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford discusses his experiences in the Public Works Department in Fort Worth, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford talks about the difference between a strong mayor and council manager forms of government

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford discusses privatizing garbage pickup in Fort Worth, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford discusses his growing reputation in Public Works Departments

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford reflects upon his grandfather's passing

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford discusses his move into the private sector

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford talks about his experience at Waste Management

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford talks about launching SDC Consulting

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford reflects upon his motivations and mentors

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford discusses books that have inspired him

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford narrates his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$7

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
Ulysses Ford remembers meeting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ulysses Ford talks about launching SDC Consulting
Transcript
But the momentous occasion in my life was when Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] came to campus. And again, as luck would have it, or fate, or whatever you want to call it... The three rooms that we would have for male guests on campus were in my dorm. And the one Dr. King was in was on my floor, right across the hall from... our doors faced each other across the hall. [HM] Jesse Jackson came with him, it was the first time I met Jesse. And I know if Dr. King were alive, I don't see a reason why he would remember me, as I don't see a reason why Jesse would. But I did get to meet them. And I can remember--because Dr. King came back a couple times--that we would sit in his room on his bed and talk till daylight. He was talking about all kind of things. He was very knowledgeable about what other things were going on in the world, whether it was sports or politics or whatever. And I can remember--not just me, I mean there were three or four of us. It was Tracy, my roommate at that time, and we sat there and talked with Dr. King. And sure enough, the day finally came, in the spring of '62' [1962], still my freshman year.$And then in October... Well, I formed my company in August of '98' [1998]. In October of '98' [1998], I began to work it. And those relationships that I had developed over the thirty years just did it for me. What I do is represent private companies desiring to do business with local governments. So, if you've got a good or a service that you want to market to anybody--to any city or county in the country--then I'd like to be on your team, to help you get that business. I mentioned getting to know the staffs of these professional organizations. I remember a client saying that they wanted to go to Salt Lake City [Utah], because the Olympics was coming. And they financed airport work, and they knew from Atlanta [Georgia] that Salt Lake City would be doing a lot of work at their airport, and they wanted to be the bond financier of it. And I said to myself, "I don't know anybody in Salt Lake City. I never... to my knowledge, I've never met a Mormon." (Laughter). So I said, "Um." So, I called the Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors [Tom Cochran]. I said, "Tom, who do I know in Salt Lake City?" He says, "You know Deedee." Deedee Corradini was the mayor. I said "Well, I know Deedee to speak, and she may know me to speak, but we don't know each other. You know, we're not buddy-buddy." "Oh yeah, you do." He said, "Hang around." About thirty minutes later, Tom calls back. He says, "See, I told you Deedee knows you, she's waiting on your phone call." Sure enough, I call up Deedee, take my client out, and we got the business. (Laughter). So, those kind of relationships worked, as well as me being able to pick up the phone and call a Solid Waste director, or a Public Works director. I remember when I was with Waste, and we were going after the city of St. Louis, and another company had the business. And supposedly the city, the Solid Waste director, really liked the other company, and wasn't interested in changing. The other company had had the business for 15 years or something. We put our bid on the table, and we were high bid. Not high, we were the second high bid. But we came in and did our presentation. And I'll never forget when we walked in to do our presentation, there was Steve sitting there. And he said, "Oh, hell, Waste Management has got to be serious now. They done brought that damn Euly Ford here." Well, I had forgotten Steve was a Solid Waste director in St. Louis. I'd flat-out forgotten. Steve and I had been on the Education Foundation for eight years; we had some real war stories to tell. (Laughter). You know, we got the business. And people say when we left that night, Steve was the one that converted everybody to vote for Waste Management. So, those relationships have come in very, very handy for me. And now, I'm able to help my clients that in turn help me.