The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon

Search Results

Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

city

Carol Randolph-Jasmine

Television anchor, journalist and literary agent Carol Randolph-Jasmine received her B.A. degree in biology from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and her M.A. degree in science education from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She went on to earn her J.D. degree from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

Randolph-Jasmine entered television broadcasting in the early 1980s as the co-host of the morning talk show, “Harambee,” which aired on WDVM-TV, a CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C. While there, she also worked as an anchorwoman and interviewed politicians and celebrities such as Senator Ted Kennedy, comedian Richard Pryor, former first ladies Roselyn Carter and Nancy Reagan, and musician Stevie Wonder. Randolph-Jasmine then joined Court TV, where she served as an anchorwoman, and as the host and moderator of the show, “Your Turn,” until 1986.

In 1987, Randolph-Jasmine joined the literary firm of Goldfarb, Signer & Ross (now Goldfarb, Kaufman & O’Toole), where she specialized in representing authors and clients in television from 1988 to 1991, and, during that time, she also wrote a bi-weekly column, “Metropolitan Life,” for the Washington Times. She then served as general counsel for New African Visions, Inc., the non-profit organization responsible for editing the book, Songs of My People (1992). She is the co-founder of Akin & Randolph Agency, LLC, a firm that represents authors, artists and athletes. Randolph-Jasmine was later appointed as the vice president of strategic communications for Miller & Long Concrete Construction, and was then named senior vice president of legal affairs for Walls Communications, Inc., a minority-owned public relations firm in Washington, D.C.

Randolph-Jasmine is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, and The Links, Inc., where she served as chair of the Hurricane Katrina Relief Committee. In 2005, she launched a “Construction Academy” at Cardoza Senior High School in Washington, D.C. for students interested in the construction business. Randolph-Jasmine is also a member of the board of directors for the Center for Dispute Resolution.

As co-host of “Harambee” in the 1980s, Randolph-Jasmine won several awards including an Emmy Award and the George Foster Peabody Award for “Outstanding Local Programming.”

Carol Randolph-Jasmine was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 5, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.335

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/5/2013

Last Name

Randolph-Jasmine

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Catholic University of America

Washington University in St Louis

Fisk University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Carol

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

RAN11

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

Better To Wear Out Than To Rust Out.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

2/10/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Broccoli

Short Description

Television anchor, newspaper columnist, and book publisher Carol Randolph-Jasmine (1941 - ) , co-founder of Akin & Randolph Agency, LLC, is the former co-host of the morning talk show, “Harambee,” which aired on WUSA-TV, a CBS affiliate in Washington D.C. She received an Emmy Award and the George Foster Peabody Award for “Outstanding Local Programming."

Employment

Miller & Long Concrete Construction

New African Visions, Inc.

Walls Communications

Akin & Randolph Agency

Court TV

Washington Times

Goldfarb, Kaufman & O' Toole

WDVM TV

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:37400,493:45856,563:72740,829:94590,1200:105746,1330:108650,1366:109266,1375:112611,1404:113007,1409:117140,1471:120092,1529:120666,1574:153860,1964:159790,2026:175066,2314:182416,2376:185188,2449:187234,2501:187696,2509:217639,2983:229690,3216:236830,3349:244860,3424$0,0:2001,66:11560,202:15129,263:15627,270:15959,275:16540,284:17951,304:18366,311:18698,316:35045,559:35450,597:51804,813:55089,888:66888,1028:73155,1097:74104,1150:85076,1309:89407,1400:89762,1406:90117,1412:90472,1418:91821,1447:103335,1604:108226,1743:116698,1862:138410,2211:138896,2218:143108,2284:144647,2311:146348,2348:157050,2501:157405,2507:165845,2633:167495,2686:168095,2697:176120,2872:178970,2923:192290,3145:201192,3295:201852,3306:204162,3364:207200,3379
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carol Randolph-Jasmine's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her maternal grandfather's education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes the neighborhood where her parents grew up

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her grandfathers

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her similarities to her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her childhood neighborhood in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine remembers learning to read and beginning kindergarten at age four

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine remembers learning about black history at Riddick Elementary School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine remembers a social science project in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about her early desire to become a psychologist and her high school biology class

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about St. Louis, Missouri's black entertainment scene during her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her high school activities

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her childhood career ambitions

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about her decision to attend Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her experience at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her experience at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee as a married woman

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about various professions as well as her professors at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes experiencing racial discrimination as a graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes experiencing racial discrimination as a graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes going to the 1963 March on Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about teaching at McKinley High School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about life in Washington, D.C. and working for the United Planning Organization

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes the 1968 riots in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about auditioning for the television show 'Harambee' in 1969

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine recalls her early days on 'Harambee'

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes a black history segment on 'Harambee'

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes the African American community of Washington, D.C. during the early years of 'Harambee'

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes the impact of producer Beverly Price on the show 'Harambee'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes the organization Blacks in Broadcasting group

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about how 'Harambee' evolved as a television show and a special segment on Eubie Blake

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes 'Harambee's AIDS segment

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about earning her law degree and taking the bar exam

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine recalls traveling to Israel to cover the First Intifada

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about working at Goldfarb, Kaufman, & O'Toole

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her role in the publication of "Songs of My People"

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine explains how she was hired at Court TV

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes covering the O.J. Simpson Trial for Court TV

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine analyzes the O.J. Simpson trial

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine explains how she came to work with Miller and Long Concrete Construction

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her civic engagement

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine reflects on her hopes and what she would do differently

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about the portrayal of black people in the media

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about the importance of teaching black history

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine recounts a memorable experience from her time as a teacher

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her family and second husband

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about how 'Harambee' evolved as a television show and a special segment on Eubie Blake
Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes covering the O.J. Simpson Trial for Court TV
Transcript
Okay, okay. So now 'Harambee' lasted until?$$I don't remember when it went off the air.$$Okay. But it morphed?$$Yeah, it did. I morphed into "Everywoman" was (unclear) the show that followed and it had Rene Carpenter as the hostess and she at one time had another person hosting with her, I think it was JC Hayward. Well I came over and replaced JC, so I would get off the set of Harambee and then go over and walk across the studio and get on the set for "Everywoman". And then they put that together and it became "Nine In The Morning". They added a male host. It was 90 minutes that we did and Doug Llewelyn was the male host. Then they cut it back to an hour again for "Morning Break" and I did that by myself. And then I did the Carol Randolph Show by myself.$$Okay. Did the format change?$$It was still very much like you see today. You know, we had--sometimes we would--we'd have, sometimes a theme, dependent upon what the topic was, segments, musical, phone-in. I remember doing a show, and I don't know why this sticks in my mind, but we were talking about homosexuality and there was a tendency for the members of the panel that was up there to be condescending to some of the questions that were coming in, cause some of them could be really rather ridiculous and show a definite lack of knowledge. And I remember saying that if you hear it from one person then you know there's many more behind him that believes this. You need to give them an answer. And the guy on the program said she's absolutely right. And then he went around and answered that question. Now stands out in my mind simply because it was an open phone question. One of the best fun shows I ever did was with Billy Eckstine and Joe Williams. That was--cause as a teenager I had a crush on Billy Eckstine. And who didn't love Joe Williams with that deep voice of his and they performed. So it was a great show that I'm so sorry that we don't have. And we did a special with Eubie Blake. Claude Matthews was the co-host at that time. And we did a--that was just before Eubie actually died and he played. It was a wonderful, wonderful experience.$$Now he's a pioneer black (unclear). How old was he when he died?$$Was he in his nineties or something like that when he died, I think he was. His fingers could still move up and down the piano, you know, so. Yeah, I think they did this show. What was the Broadway show did in his--$$Oh, "Scott Joplin." Oh no, "Ragtime." Was that what you were talking about. Oh, no, not "Ragtime".$$--It was a Eubie Blake show and he was on '60 Minutes.'$$Yes. Uh-huh, but we were before them. And I don't know how we happened to get him before them, but we did, you know, and we did a special with him that aired at night time. Now I remember doing a show, who was the co-host of that one. I don't even remember now, but we did a late night show cause somebody had decided that there was an audience for late night, and we were talking about sex and a whole bunch of things on that one. That was an interesting show. That was a fun show.$$So it lasted for a few years, or--$$That was only for a pilot. We just did it just to see if there was an audience out there. There was. I don't remember now why they didn't decide to go on and, in fact, just sitting here talking to you about it has brought that back to me, you know, to my mind. But I had forgotten about it, yeah.$So did you have to move out to L.A. [Los Angeles, California] for that?$$No. They had a reporter out there. Actually, I was on the air when they had just gone into making the decision, cause you know these views about what was gonna happen and so forth. And I always felt that the prosecution had not done a very good job in terms of laying out their case. They'd over done it in terms of the DNA evidence, etc. And I remember one of my professors in law school said, "If you gonna go out to shoot a king, you better have a kings-sized rifle." I didn't think they had it and especially with that bit about with the glove, you know, if it doesn't fit, you must have acquit which is the way it was presented in the closing arguments.$$Yeah, by Johnnie Cochran?$$By Johnnie Cochran. And I thought--I remember when O.J. Simpson put on those gloves, I think he was just as surprised as anybody that the things didn't fit. 'Cause you know, I had done domestic law, not a lot of it when I was in Washington [D.C.], and the one thing I always thought, when a woman--when a man finally understands that a woman may really, one who has been abused, is really leaving you, she's in the most danger at that point. Because they don't see whatever, the beating up or any of these other things that they've done as being criminal because she deserved it, I'm entitled, that kind of thing. And so when the first story broke that she was dead and he was arrested, I thought he had done it. I just didn't think the prosecution ever proved it. So I was on the air talking to Ricky Clemmon [ph.], she was out in California, and all of a sudden they said, oh, oh, we got a verdict. But they didn't know what it was 'cause they had to bring in all the people, but it was very quick. So everybody thought it was gonna be a guilty verdict. And Steve Brill [ph.] had sent around this notice to saying there would be no outburst, you know, if you did that, you would be fired. But that was Steve Brill, you know, he would give you these extreme kind of you know notifications. And then when it came in, it was a not guilty thing. It was like most amazing to a lot of people. But it really wasn't to me because I think Marcia Clark thought she could handle that kind of a jury. I understand black people, I understand black women, whatever. Well, I have been, since, on a jury here and I can't tell you I can understand black people because we don't march in the same way. You know, you can say, you know, black people are gonna do this that and the other as she thought she could identify with and what they did was, you know, they were waiting for some kind of a hook, and Johnnie Cochran gave it to them with this, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." And there you have it. But it was on the air, and then O.J. Simpson called in and I was on the air one time. I didn't recognize his voice. I don't remember now exactly what it was he wanted to talk about-$$Did he call incognito or did he-$$--He even--no, he said this is--I was on the air and somebody came flying into the studio and said, O.J. Simpson is on the air. And he was trying to explain, I think, this was when his--the second trial was up, you know about the civil trial. I don't remember his question, but he and I got into a discussion about that, so those are things that stand out in my mind about Court TV.

David James

Army Air Corps officer and attorney Lt. David F. James was born on November 17, 1923 in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1941, after graduating from Lane Tech High School in Chicago, James attended Loyola University. During his freshman year in 1942, James entered the U.S. Army Air Corps Aviation Cadet Training Program in Tuskegee, Alabama. Upon arrival at Tuskegee Air Field, James was assigned to the 332nd Fighter Group where he trained to fly single seat fighter planes.

From 1944 to 1945, James flew combat missions with the 332nd Fighter Group over Germany as well as other countries in Eastern Europe during World War II. In 1946, James completed his tour of duty with the Army Air Force and re-enrolled at Loyola University. Later, in 1949, James graduated from Loyola University with his B.A. degree. James was hired by business machine manufacturer Burroughs Corporation in 1950 and became the company’s first African American salesman. In 1956, James found a job with the University of Chicago before he was appointed as a deputy director with the State of Illinois in 1961. While there, part of his responsibilities involved working on the “War on Poverty.” James then graduated from DePaul University College of Law with his J.D. degree in 1963. James was hired by the American Bar Association (ABA) in 1967 and became the first African American attorney to be hired by that organization. He worked at the ABA until 1984.

In 1967, James became the first African American homeowner in Winnetka, Illinois. Soon after moving to Winnetka, James became involved in groups that were forming on the North Shore to promote better race relations and open housing. In 1967, James and his wife, Mary, established Together We Influence Growth (TWIG) Day Camp that brings together children from South Side neighborhoods and children from the North Shore. In 1972, James helped found the North Shore Interfaith Housing Council (now the Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs), which is organized to fight housing discrimination. In the late 1980s, James was appointed as an administrative law judge for the U.S. Department of Labor. In 1990, James went into private practice as an attorney and remained there until 2000. In 2009, James, along with more than one hundred other Tuskegee Airmen, attended the Inauguration Ceremony of President Barack Obama.

Army Air Corps Officer Lt. David F. James was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 21, 2013.

James passed away on July 23, 2016.

Accession Number

A2013.201

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/21/2013

Last Name

James

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

F.

Organizations
Schools

De Paul University School of Law

Loyola University Chicago

Lane Technical College Prep High School

McCosh Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

David

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

JAM06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Fon Du Lac, Wisconsin

Favorite Quote

Don't look back. Someone might be gaining on you.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

11/17/1923

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Tempura Fried Calamari

Death Date

7/23/2016

Short Description

Military officer and lawyer David James (1923 - 2016 ) served as a Tuskegee Airman with the 332nd Fighter Group. In 1967, James was employed as the first African American attorney at the American Bar Association.

Employment

Alterman Drug Store

Burroughs

University of Chicago

State of Illinois

American Bar Association (ABA)

Department of Labor

Delete

Favorite Color

Light Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:2610,27:2906,32:3424,40:7272,146:7864,160:12822,250:58738,636:86654,845:97180,941:158841,1470:159444,1480:169796,1627:170160,1632:173709,1679:178360,1712$0,0:183354,1614:183789,1620:257120,2251
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of David James' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - David James lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - David James talks about his mother's education and career as a teacher in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - David James talks about his mother's personality and his maternal grandfather's business in St. Louis

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - David James talks about his maternal family's migration from New Orleans, Louisiana to St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - David James talks about his mother's upbringing in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - David James talks about his maternal grandmother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - David James talks about his maternal grandparents marrying in St. Louis, and his grandmother's death

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - David James discusses his maternal family's Creole heritage

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - David James talks about his mother's personality and her sheltered upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - David James talks about his father's personality and his goals and ambitions

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - David James talks about his siblings' education and his own likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - David James talks about his father's Native American heritage

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - David James describes his earliest childhood memories in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - David James talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - David James talks about the high achievers in his neighborhood of West Woodlawn in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - David James talks about the high achievers in his neighborhood of West Woodlawn in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - David James talks about the smells of growing up in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - David James describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - David James talks about his family's mealtimes together and attending Holy Cross Catholic Church in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - David James describes his experience in elementary school, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - David James describes his experience in elementary school, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - David James describes his decision to attend Lane Technical College Prep High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - David James describes his experience in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - David James describes his commute to high school and his extracurricular activities in school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - David James talks about his high school friend, Jim Onitas, and his decision to attend Loyola University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - David James talks about becoming interested in aviation while he was in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - David James talks about the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - David James talks about African Americans training for and serving in World War II, in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - David James talks about being drafted into World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - David James talks about his trip from Chicago, Illinois to Tuskegee Airfield in Alabama, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - David James talks about his trip from Chicago, Illinois to Tuskegee Airfield in Alabama, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - David James describes his experience at basic training at Tuskegee Airfield in Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - David James talks about his pilot training with Alfred "Chief" Anderson

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - David James talks about Alfred "Chief" Anderson, and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's visit to Tuskegee Airfield

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - David James talks about his first solo flight and reflects upon flight training school

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - David James talks about relying on instrumentation in flying planes

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - David James talks about Albert Stewart, the first African American admitted to the U.S. Navy's Officer Training Program

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - David James talks about race relations stationed at Tuskegee Airfield in Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - David James talks about becoming a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army and serving in Europe with the 15th Air Force

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - David James talks about the fighter planes he flew during his assignment in Europe with the 15th Air Force

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - David James talks about the engineering of the fighter planes flown during World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - David James talks about the end of World War II in 1945, and the end of his tour in 1946

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - David James talks about returning to Loyola University, graduating in 1946, and the Great Migration during the 1940s

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - David James talks about meeting his wife in 1946

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - David James talks about his wife and their involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - David James talks about being hired as the first African American salesperson at Burroughs Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - David James talks about working at the University College at the University of Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - David James talks about his role as the Minority Representative of the State of Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - David James talks about the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King's visit to Chicago in 1964, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - David James talks about the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King's visit to Chicago in 1964, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - David James talks about becoming the first African American attorney to work at the American Bar Association and to purchase a home in Winnetka, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - David James talks about his decision to move to Winnetka, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - David James talks about his children transitioning into their new schools in Winnetka, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - David James talks about his and his wife's involvement in community activities in the North Shore area of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - David James talks about his service as an administrative law judge for the Department of Labor, and his private law practice

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - David James talks about attending President Obama's inauguration with the Tuskegee Airmen, the "Dodo Club" and his high school alumni meetings

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - David James talks about his children's education and their careers

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - David James talks about his grandchildren

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - David James reflects upon his legacy, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - David James reflects upon his legacy, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - David James talks about his high school history teacher, Dr. Walner

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - David James describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$7

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
David James talks about Alfred "Chief" Anderson, and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's visit to Tuskegee Airfield
David James talks about his and his wife's involvement in community activities in the North Shore area of Chicago, Illinois
Transcript
Okay. Mr. James, you were just talking about [Alfred] "Chief" Anderson before our break. I asked you what you thought about him, you know, as a person and an instructor of, whatever he was.$$He was partly responsible for the fact that the Tuskegee Airmen--. He was a guy--there was a--Tuskegee had a civil, civilian aide program. And he taught there. And a very distinguished white lady visited Tuskegee. Her name was Eleanor Roosevelt.$$President [Franklin D.] Roosevelt's wife, right?$$Yes.$$Thank you.$$And she had heard the legend that African Americans weren't intelligent enough to fly. And she heard about this experiment that Tuskegee. No, wait a minute. The general was telling me that. She asked somebody, "Why aren't there African American pilots?" "Oh, no, they can't. They're too dumb. They're not, they don't have any intelligence to fly." But she had read about this civilian air program at Tuskegee. She was a contributor. "This doesn't make sense." So, being Eleanor, she arranged to go to Tuskegee Air and see what this program was all about. And though--she asked Chief Anderson, "Would you take me up?" (laughter) And she did, and he did. And the rest, of course, is history. You know, she told Franklin, you know, (laughter) of all the tricks these guys are trying to tell me--of all the myths I had to--I just--you know--(laughter). And it became (unclear).$$Well, thanks for telling me that story and confirming it, because sometimes people think those are just legends.$$No, this is a fact. That's Eleanor.$$And I think during the pause you also said that Chief Anderson trained more pilots--$$Right.$$At Tuskegee.$$Than any other person, yeah, responsible for it.$And your wife [Mary Gallaway], both of you apparently became very active, maybe in part because she was radicalized before, in North Shore community activities. One in particular was TWIG, "Together We Influence Growth." And I'll talk about another one in a little bit. But what was that about, TWIG? Was it a day camp or?$$It was a day camp. But more than that, my kids were--having been dropped among all of this privilege, wondered about, "What about my kid? What about my friends back on Indiana Avenue? What about them? You know, they don't have, you know, this." And so, we invited--we got together a group of kids through the public school system in Winnetka [Illinois], using their facilities. Eventually, I began a summer camp where we invited children from the south side to a day camp--an eight week day camp where they--and it has its own history. But it has survived.$$It still exists today?$$Oh, we have a--we had a problem getting suburban campers initially when we started out. This year we had 125 campers, probably 75 white, and the rest of them from the city. Unfortunately, it's become--fortunately--we used to draw from the various public housing projects. And now, the base is in the Jackson Park Highlands. (laughter) It's become a middle class thing, just about.$$And I think you were talking about Dr. [Martin Luther] King before, speaking at the Village Green. Was that Winnetka's? Where was the Village Green when he spoke?$$Oh yeah, in Winnetka, right.$$It was back in the mid-60s [1960s]?$$Uh huh.$$Okay. And there was another organization that you helped found, the North Shore Inter-Faith Housing Council. What was that?$$Well, the whole purpose was to attract, open up, the communities on the North Shore to people of color. And it's still going. And I got into all kinds of activities that--making housing opportunities available to people who would not otherwise have that opportunity.$$And that's in the North Shore?$$It's based in Winnetka.$$Right.$$Right.$$But in terms of sort of trying to help African American or other folks of diverse backgrounds--you're talking about the North Shore--$$Right.$$--and integration?$$Right. Opening up the communities and making them welcoming.$$Excellent.

Anthony Reed

Marathoner Anthony R. Reed was born in St. Louis, Missouri on July 2, 1955. At the age of eight, Reed was diagnosed with a pre-diabetic condition. He graduated from John Burroughs High School in St. Louis, Missouri in 1973. Reed graduated from Webster University with his B.A. degrees in mathematics and business management in 1978. After enrolling at Abilene Christian University in Dallas, Reed received his M.B.A. degree in business administration in 1982. He went on to earn his M.S. degree in accounting and his certification in supply chain management from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1992 and 2008, respectively. Reed is a Certified Public Accountant and certified Project Management Professional.

In 1977, Reed began his professional career as a computer programmer. He moved from St. Louis to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area in 1978, and worked in IT management and executive positions for various Dallas-based organizations. In these roles, Reed was responsible for overseeing US or worldwide information technology applications. As an adjunct professor, Reed taught management, IT, accounting, and project management courses; and has authored over fifty books and articles. Since 1994, he has managed his own international accounting and project management consulting firm, Anthony R. Reed, CPA P.C. In addition to his academic and professional achievements, Reed is an accomplished marathoner. He began long-distance running in 1975 to combat his pre-diabetic condition. Reed, a certified running coach, is the first African American to compete in marathons (26.2 miles/42.2K) on all seven continents, including Antarctica. He also completed over one-hundred and twenty marathons in forty-eight states, and won trophies in various age groups and weight divisions. Reed is also on the Dallas (formerly White Rock) Marathon board of directors.

Reed’s published memoir is Running Shoes Are Cheaper than Insulin: Marathon Adventures on All Seven Continents. Additionally, he has written for publications such as Runner’s World and Computerworld. Reed has been featured in Southern Living, Ebony, the Journal of Accountancy, the Black MBA Magazine, and Runner’s World, among others.

In 2004, Reed, along with Charlotte Simmons-Foster, co-founded the National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA), which is the nation’s largest not-for-profit organization that promotes distance running in the Black community. Reed is a charter member of the Black Data Processing Association’s (BDPA) Dallas Chapter and was active in the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). Reed has worked as a professional speaker for corporations, educational institutions, and professional organizations and was a member of the National Speakers Association. Reed is a member of Transforming Life Christian Church, where his wife, Deborah, is a minister.

Anthony R. Reed was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 28, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.027

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/28/2013

Last Name

Reed

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

R.

Occupation
Schools

University of Texas at Arlington

Albilene Christian University

Webster University

Madison Elementary School

Ashland Elementary School

Clark Elementary School

Enright Middle School

John Burroughs School

Texas Christian University

Washington University in St Louis

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Anthony

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

REE07

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Hills Build Character.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Interview Description
Birth Date

7/2/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Spam

Short Description

Marathoner Anthony Reed (1955 - ) was the first African American to compete in marathons in all seven continents of the world. He also co-founded the National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA).

Employment

Texas Instruments

Efficient Networks

Motel 6, Accor North America

United Advertising Publications

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Board

Ernst & Young

Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory, EG&G

Amberton University

DeVry University

El Centro College

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:2822,65:3154,70:5893,155:6972,179:7387,185:12510,242:13710,264:15390,299:16190,310:18830,366:20750,391:21310,399:21870,408:25310,480:29517,495:29833,500:30307,507:30702,513:32632,525:33190,535:33562,543:35933,586:36238,592:36482,597:38068,639:38495,647:38922,656:44668,771:46768,806:48280,835:48616,840:53442,872:55000,896:58580,945:58980,951:60020,969:60580,979:60900,985:61380,992:62580,1010:63540,1026:72890,1146:73366,1151:75746,1201:77531,1240:78602,1250:79078,1259:85634,1330:86273,1342:88190,1384:92810,1418:93270,1424:94834,1448:98422,1521:99342,1535:112199,1659:112694,1665:113090,1670:119327,1768:119723,1773:120416,1781:123002,1794:127990,1850:128454,1855:131149,1865:131494,1871:131770,1876:132046,1881:132322,1886:132667,1892:133012,1898:133495,1906:135384,1922:137298,1957:137562,1962:138618,1986:138948,1992:143886,2038:144600,2049:145110,2055:146028,2071:150414,2121:153010,2126:158622,2316:160094,2336:162210,2375:173687,2534:174653,2553:176102,2584:176585,2595:176930,2601:177275,2607:181150,2620:190753,2745:191098,2751:196273,2848:197032,2861:201748,2886:202078,2898:202606,2907:207441,2953:209110,2968:217563,3121:220091,3161:220644,3172:221355,3181:221987,3190:222856,3207:223646,3237:224278,3246:226016,3334:240005,3499:240895,3509:241251,3514:247432,3602:249722,3628:249994,3633:251898,3670:260540,3758:261882,3794:262980,3869:273773,3987:276540,4012:278940,4052:280300,4073:281100,4092:303690,4377:304330,4386:306426,4405:306718,4410:308105,4441:311828,4480:312530,4490:314012,4524:314792,4535:316118,4559:319930,4658:320246,4663:320641,4669:322270,4693$0,0:2584,54:4624,106:7072,169:8704,206:9520,228:10132,239:10744,250:15510,283:16000,289:28054,525:28544,531:29230,540:29720,546:40260,648:41548,664:42928,687:45693,705:46017,710:46341,715:46746,721:47394,731:50592,760:51256,769:51671,775:53165,794:56315,815:56995,824:68623,951:69088,957:85490,1110:88040,1144:88754,1154:89876,1169:94814,1246:95318,1255:95678,1261:96470,1276:97334,1296:98486,1323:100070,1349:100646,1358:108000,1403:110635,1441:113925,1474:115336,1498:120283,1550:122555,1589:124401,1617:124685,1627:125821,1652:126815,1671:131650,1709:133600,1755:134650,1776:138528,1839:138838,1845:142454,1893:143138,1909:144810,1933:145494,1944:145874,1950:148154,2015:157736,2117:158064,2122:159048,2131:159868,2143:161426,2170:162082,2179:162820,2198:165034,2232:166592,2258:166920,2263:167658,2274:168068,2280:174944,2363:176092,2386:176584,2394:176912,2399:177240,2404:178470,2424:178798,2429:179290,2436:194469,2572:194804,2578:196010,2608:197015,2626:198870,2632:203242,2672:203582,2678:204262,2690:204738,2705:206548,2719:207020,2728:207964,2747:208200,2752:209085,2771:209970,2788:210206,2793:213580,2823:214090,2831:214430,2836:215875,2908:217150,2928:217490,2933:220648,2963:222508,2986:222880,2991:223531,2999:223996,3005:229370,3049:231900,3104:232340,3115:232780,3120:236849,3152:237965,3168:239081,3181:239825,3191:242010,3205:242610,3212:243800,3220:245590,3230:250465,3305:250797,3310:252125,3344:254710,3359:255760,3387:256040,3392:256460,3399:256740,3404:257020,3409:257510,3417:260826,3450:262118,3478:265507,3538:268170,3572
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Anthony Reed's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed talks about his maternal family's connection to the Windsor plantation

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed describes his paternal family's move to Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed talks about his father's young adult years and career

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed remembers his uncle Prince Coleman, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed talks about his parents' separation

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed talks about his brother

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed describes his childhood household

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed talks about his relationship with his brother

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed describes his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed talks about his early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Anthony Reed remembers his childhood interests

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed remembers visiting Washington, D.C. after the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed remembers visiting Mississippi as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed describes his early interest in bowling

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed talks about his childhood in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed recalls his early interest in music

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed remembers his church activities

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed recalls attending John Burroughs School in Ladue, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed remembers being diagnosed with prediabetes as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed talks about overcoming his speech impediment

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Anthony Reed remembers the impacts of race and class on his experiences at John Burroughs School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed remembers influential figures from John Burroughs School in Ladue, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed recalls enrolling at Washington University in St. Louis in Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed remembers the death of a friend

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed describes how he managed his prediabetes condition through running

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed talks about his running habits during college

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed remembers influential peers from Washington University in St. Louis

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed recalls attending Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed remembers applying to Texas Christian University for graduate school

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed recalls transitioning from Texas Christian University to Abilene Christian University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed talks about working at Texas Instruments Incorporated in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed recalls studying business at Abilene Christian University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed remembers a business philosophy course at Abilene Christian University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed remembers his decision to run in his first marathon

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed talks about influential black marathoners

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed describes distance runner Ted Corbitt

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed talks about the technological changes in running gear

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed remembers training for his first marathon

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed talks about pacing himself while running

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Anthony Reed describes the phases of distance running

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed talks about his plans to run in the Boston Marathon

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed remembers running marathons in China, Antarctica and Kenya

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed talks about his sponsorship deal with Spira Footwear, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed remembers becoming the first African American to run a marathon on each continent

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed talks about his most challenging marathon

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed describes experimental running procedures

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed recalls competing in a biathlon

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed talks about his running mentors

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed recalls forming the National Black Marathoner's Association

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed describes his consulting and professional speaking work

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed talks about his book, 'Running Shoes are Cheaper than Insulin'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed shares his advice to young runners

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed talks about his children

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$2

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
Anthony Reed remembers influential figures from John Burroughs School in Ladue, Missouri
Anthony Reed describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
Transcript
Tell us about Bernice [Bernice Curlett]?$$It's when I started at John Burroughs [John Burroughs School, Ladue, Missouri]. Like I said, I had a--had a job working there every day after school cleaning up the--cleaning up the paint room. And Bernice was a lady, a black lady there who worked on the janitorial staff. And so she was the one that was responsible for assigning me my work and looking over the different things that I was doing. And Bernice was what I would call a very strong--a very strong black woman. She basically took me under her wing. And I can remember my--my first year there at Burroughs. Bernice would see me walking down the hall and she would say, "Tony [HistoryMaker Anthony Reed], look up, don't look down at the ground. Don't let these people see you looking down at the ground." I mean she put her foot squarely up my rear end and was really pushing, she was saying, 'cause she knew black history and I knew black history, and it's like, you know, you're representing, you have to do good here. You can't let them see you sweat, you can't let them see you fail. And so Bernice was a person who drove me for four years while I was there. And I think without her being there, I probably would not have graduated from the school. When I left Burroughs she was the only reason that I would go back to the school, to check up on her and to see how she's doing. So she for me was a major inspiration while I was there at Burroughs.$$Now that raises another question too, was there any instructor or administrator or any--any adult at Burroughs that took any interest in you succeeding or recognized talent in you or?$$No. There were some teachers there that I liked, Mrs. Ferber [ph.], Mr. Schmertz [ph.], and ironically they were both English teachers. I think I liked them because of--with them wanting to--to read books. I think they read more books about African Americans and I think they were able to sympathize more with my plight then the other teachers.$$But there's no real relationship?$$Right, but there wasn't any real relationship. In fact, at Burroughs they wrote a book about the athletes there at Burroughs, 'The Athletes Through the Decades' [sic. 'Teammates for Life: A History of Burroughs Athletics, 1923-2011,' Jim Lemen and Jud Calkins] and they talked about the different football teams that they had that, for example, won state in track and all of that. And then they talked about famous athletes who had since graduated from Burroughs and went on to--to doing other great things. And ironically when they wrote the book, they never wrote about my--my achievements as a distance runner. And yet they were aware of me being the first black in the world to run marathons on all seven continents, being one of the few people in the world who has run over 100 marathons, who has won trophies for running marathons. They never wrote anything about it. So to me that said a lot about the school.$$Yeah, well it's not much of a relationship there so, I guess. But, now did you make the National Honor Society yourself?$$No I didn't. It was just--it was a struggle for me to keep up there at the school. I made the national accounting honor society [Beta Alpha Psi] as a graduate student [at the University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas], but again that was years after I left Burroughs.$$Okay, at Burroughs, so at the time of graduation from Burroughs, you had played soccer, you ran some track, you were taking, you know, math courses. What were you, what was your counseling? What did the counselor tell you at Burroughs?$$Not much. They were, I think they were pleasantly surprised that I was still there. I was like--I was in the bottom 10 percent of my class. And so they were just, I think shocked and surprised that I made it there for four years. And like I said, the thing I learned there was just how to fight, just how to stick in there. You know, when other kids were able to go out and you know, have fun, I was going to school full time, working two part time jobs and studying as much as I could in order to try to keep up. I will kind of compare it to being in a 100 yard race and I have to start 125 yards back. So it was just struggling to stay up and catch up. All the students there graduated and went to college. It was like as soon as you set your foot in the door in your freshman year, you know, in high school, everyone there goes to college, it's just a given. So when I graduated from Burroughs, I got accepted to Washington University there in St. Louis [Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri]. And I stayed there for two and a half years before I got kicked out.$Okay so it was a lot of moving too involved. And one question we always ask and just considering all the places you moved in St. Louis [Missouri], just kind of tell us about some of the neighborhoods, and what were some of the sights and sounds and smells of growing up?$$Okay. My first recollection of where we lived was when we lived in the Blumeyer projects in St. Louis [Arthur Blumeyer Village].$$That's Blue--$$Blumeyer.$$M-I-R-E?$$I believe it's M-Y--$$M-Y-E-R?$$--I believe it's M-Y-R-E [sic.].$$M-Y-R-E.$$Yes. So there were two major housing projects in St. Louis, there was Pruitt Igoe and there were the Blumeyer projects. And I can remember we had concrete floors in the projects, I think they were about twelve to fifteen stories tall. I can remember there being fires in the trash chutes. I can remember smelling urine in the elevator having to go up to our apartment. It was--it was rough. Then we moved from there to north St. Louis where we lived in a duplex, and I can remember walking to school, which was kind of interesting 'cause a lot of kids today don't walk to school. And it would be snowing outside and they still had school. I can remember at Ashland [Ashland Elementary School, St. Louis, Missouri] when it would be heavy snowfall, we'd still go outside to play and I can remember us building forts and having snowball fights between the forts in the schoolyard. When I returned to St. Louis to run a marathon, unbeknownst to me, the course literally ran by places in St. Louis I used to live. And I remember running by the area where the Blumeyer projects used to be at that time, and they had since torn them down and built low rise government housing there. And I remember running by there and there were some black kids that were sitting on the curb. And they got up and they started running along with me. And I got real emotional 'cause I was thinking, oh my goodness, am I being an example to these kids, kind of being a role model to them, and they're sitting up there thinking, wow, you know, if this black guy can run this marathon, maybe we can run it too. And that actually planted the seed for us organizing the National Black Marathoners' Association, was if we can be out there en masse, we can be role models for black kids to get out of their communities and to start seeing the rest of the world and realize that there was more to life than just, you know, the half square mile that they were growing up in. So for me that was really emotional. Other parts of St. Louis we lived in, it was--it was pleasant being there, and I guess one of the things that I say about growing up not--not having a lot is you never realize how much you don't have. 'Cause everyone around you has the same thing, everyone is experiencing the same things, but it wasn't until I went to high school, went to John Burroughs [John Burroughs School, Ladue, Missouri] that I realized how much more was out there and got an opportunity to see how very wealthy white people lived and how--$$Well, before we get there, I just want to have you just describe like, you know, some more about where you grew up?$$Okay, because we were moving every couple of years, it was really hard to establish friends with people in the neighborhood. It's--I can almost compare it to some people who--who are in the [U.S.] military. You really don't want to get to know people very well because they may be dead. So it was the same thing as we would move into a neighborhood. We really didn't get to know a lot of people that were living around us.

Gary May

Electrical engineer and academic administrator Gary Stephen May was born on May 17, 1964 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was one of two children born to Warren May, Jr., a postal clerk, and Gloria Hunter, a teacher. As a high school student, May participated in a summer program called “Developing Engineering Students” at McDonnell Douglass Corporation in St. Louis, Missouri for three summers. He was subsequently employed by the company as a cooperative education student. May received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1985, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987 and 1991, respectively.

May joined the George Tech College Engineering in 1991 as a member of the microelectronics research group. In 1992, May created the Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering/Science (SURE) program with a grant from the National Science Foundation. May is also the co-founder and director of the Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Sciences (FACES) program, for which he has received over $10 million in funding from NSF to increase the number of African American Ph.D. degree graduates produced by Georgia Institute of Technology. In 2001, May was named Motorola Foundation Professor, and was appointed associate chair for Faculty Development in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). Then, in 2005, May was promoted to Steve W. Chaddick Chair of ECE; and, in 2011, he became Dean of the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech.

Throughout his career, May has published numerous articles in academic journals, including Journal of Applied Physics, the International Journal of Materials and Manufacturing Processes. He also served as editor-in-chief of IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing. In 2006, May was the co-author of Fundamentals of Semiconductor Manufacturing and Process Control; and in 2003, he co-authored Fundamentals of Semiconductor Fabrication. May is also the recipient of professional and academic awards. In 2004, May received Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, as well as the Outstanding Minority Engineer Award from the American Society of Engineering Education. In 2006, he received the Mentor Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). For his academic contributions, May was named a fellow of the AAAS, the IEEE, and received an honorary doctorate from the Universidad Latina de Panama.

May and his wife, LeShelle Mary, live in Atlanta, Georgia with their two daughters, Simon and Jordan.

Gary Stephen May was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 10, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.207

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/10/2012

Last Name

May

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Stephen

Schools

University of California, Berkeley

Georgia Institute of Technology

First Name

Gary

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

MAY07

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Interview Description
Birth Date

5/17/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Electrical engineer and academic administrator Gary May (1964 - ) is the Dean of the College of Electrical Engineering of Georgia Institute of Technology.

Employment

Georgia Institute of Technology

University of California, Berkeley

Bell Laboratories

McDonnell Douglas Technical Services Company (MDTSC)

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:1248,20:5772,135:6474,150:16692,335:17472,346:20846,363:21102,368:21742,384:23534,432:23982,440:24302,446:25646,468:26094,481:27246,504:28782,545:31772,556:32213,571:32591,578:33851,603:34355,616:36119,651:37064,667:38009,688:38639,704:39836,725:40088,730:40592,740:41348,759:50477,853:51686,865:52895,881:57178,922:57700,932:57932,937:58396,946:58802,956:59092,962:59904,981:62688,1045:63094,1057:64254,1094:64486,1099:65530,1129:66632,1164:67038,1172:67386,1180:67676,1186:68488,1205:69300,1230:70518,1258:70982,1267:72722,1324:73476,1346:73998,1369:78872,1395:79574,1409:81194,1450:81626,1459:82436,1477:82652,1482:83138,1492:83354,1497:83894,1508:84326,1516:85028,1534:93950,1622:94800,1636:95735,1648:96755,1669:98200,1699:98625,1705:99305,1716:99985,1728:106013,1779:110210,1821:111330,1842:113708,1872:113992,1881:114418,1888:114915,1898:115554,1923:118820,1973:121305,2020:122299,2031:122583,2036:123222,2048:123577,2054:128760,2065:129112,2070:131630,2095:132174,2104:132922,2118:136118,2164:136662,2173:138280,2181$0,0:7022,71:8094,100:8630,109:27150,416:28151,432:29306,453:33772,559:34234,568:34619,574:35620,591:36544,606:41910,634:43830,670:45670,699:47830,743:52070,813:60110,902:60830,912:61310,919:62510,938:66030,1003:68030,1044:70110,1077:70430,1082:75472,1127:79882,1255:80953,1279:81457,1288:81709,1293:82024,1299:84355,1369:85678,1404:86056,1411:91450,1468:96065,1594:96845,1618:99835,1690:101590,1719:102175,1731:102500,1737:103020,1746:103475,1755:103930,1764:104385,1770:104710,1776:109520,1789:114020,1889:119345,2016:119720,2022:120095,2032:121145,2054:131750,2215:135390,2306:135670,2311:138190,2335:139870,2382:142180,2437:142810,2449:156945,2666:158254,2744:160333,2784:160949,2794:162335,2820:164260,2890:164568,2895:164953,2901:165261,2907:166185,2923:166570,2929:177588,3046:179991,3100:189614,3244:190334,3261:192422,3303:192710,3308:194438,3350:202142,3530:203438,3565:212490,3628:219962,3653:220520,3667:223992,3724:224674,3737:236636,3968:239048,4040:239986,4071:245653,4163:249771,4262:253889,4355:257013,4402:257936,4417:275841,4587:276633,4596:277326,4604:278428,4648:279907,4768:305232,5125:306072,5136:306744,5145:307500,5156:310356,5227:312036,5256:312708,5265:315144,5364:320716,5467:323994,5502:327990,5592:330506,5645:331320,5660:331616,5665:332208,5674:341310,5822
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gary May's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gary May lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gary May describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gary May describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gary May describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gary May describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gary May describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gary May describes his interest in comic books and science fiction

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gary May talks about his elementary and middle school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gary May describes his reaction to the television mini-series, 'Roots'

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gary May describes his experience in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gary May talks about his experience in the Developing Engineering Students summer program

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gary May describes his teenage interests

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gary May describes what influenced his college choice

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gary May talks about his experience at the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gary May describes his experience at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gary May talks about the University of California at Berkeley

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gary May talks about his doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gary May describes his decision to stay at Georgia Tech for his Ph.D.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gary May describes his work with science education at Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gary May describes his computer preferences

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gary May talks about programs to increase minority representation in engineering

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gary May talks about his professional activities and awards

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gary May talks about his career at the Georgia Institute of Technology, part one

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gary May talks about his career at the Georgia Institute of Technology, part two

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gary May describes his goals as dean of the engineering school at Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gary May reflects on the effects of automation on the loss of jobs

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gary May discusses the balance between his research and administrative responsibilities

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gary May describes cutting edge research in semiconductors and electrical engineering

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gary May reflects on his career

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gary May shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gary May reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gary May talks about his family

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gary May describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Gary May describes his reaction to the television mini-series, 'Roots'
Gary May describes his work with science education at Georgia Institute of Technology
Transcript
Yeah, well, we were talking off camera about 'Roots' [Alex Haley]--$$Emm hmm.$$--now that came out in 1977--$$Right.$$--and you'd have been ahh what, thirteen?$$Yeah, I was like ahh eighth grade or so.$$Yeah, thirteen years old?$$Emm hmm.$$And tell us about your reaction to "Roots."$$I was fascinated by it. It was probably the most compelling television I had ever seen, and maybe still to this day have seen 'cause, you know, I watched every episode. My face was glued to the television, riveted by every, every--'cause I had never--had no concept of slavery in the middle passage and what sort of things black people had endured. I mean we had some of this in school, but you know reading it in a textbook just didn't come alive the same way it did on television there with, you know, the story was so well-done and well-acted, and it was just a significant milestone in my life, seeing that series.$$Okay, and you expressed some surprise that your white classmates weren't watching.$$Yeah. So, you know, at school we'd get there in the morning and everyone would say, "What did you do last night? What did you watch on television?" And, you know, I was stunned that my white classmates weren't watching it. I couldn't imagine anybody wouldn't be watching this (laughter), but, you know, and they didn't, and not because they were bad people or anything; it just wasn't part of their experience or interest, and that was also something--a learning experience for me that there was some difference between myself and my, my classmates.$$Okay, okay. So did your teachers discuss it at school at all?$$We did not discuss it in school very much at all. It was more of a family--you know my whole family was watching it together and we'd discuss it, you know, during and after.$$Okay, okay. Did you have a sense that your own family history was--part of that was your own family history?$$Well I would ask a lotta questions. You know, it was the same kinda thing that our family experienced, and I was able to generalize that show to the black experience more broadly, and didn't have specific details on my family like Alex Haley did, but could sort of identify with it.$Okay. All right. So you became professor of engineering and computer engineering?$$Electrical and Computer Engineering--$$Okay.$$--that's the way we were organized here, but I still do electrical engineering myself, but we also had computer engineering degree and we're in the same department.$$Okay. Okay. It's interesting here and like almost the second year you're here, in '92 [1992], you founded and became director of the Summer Undergraduate Research and Engineering Science program, SURE--$$Right. The SURE program.$$--the SURE program.$$So, you know, my other real passion, in addition to my research, was in attracting other minorities to engineering and science and helping grow the field and replicate myself, if you will. I never could understand why there were so few of us. You know, if you believe, as I do, that the types of talents that make for good engineers are distributed uniformly across populations, there should be--you know, we should be a parity in engineering--black people, but we're not. So that's been a real passion of mine to contract more people to engineering, more African-American people to engineering. So at this program, the SURE program that you mentioned was an offshoot of something we did in graduate school where we brought students from other universities to campus at [University of California] Berkeley for the summer to recruit them to graduate school there.$$Now was that the Superb program?$$Superb. So my colleagues and I, when we were still graduate students, started the Superb program at Berkeley. And so the SURE program--the first name actually was called GT Supreme and forget what--it was another long acronym, but the same general model where the idea was to bring students from all over the U.S., black students who were at that time just electrical engineers, to Georgia Tech to (1) get them interested in graduate school, and (2) to hopefully recruit them to Georgia Tech for their graduate education. And I did that--that's probably, as I think about it, that was actually the first proposal I ever got funded as a faculty member, was for the SURE program. And starting that, as you said, right after I came in 1992, and it's been going strong every year since then so--the program is twenty-two years old now.$$Now did you get this program funded for $2.3 million back in '92 [1992]?$$No, no. The very first grant I got was for about $50,000, yeah.$$Oh, so this is the accumulation of all years, I guess (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--yeah, that's (unclear). Yeah.$$--'cause I was gonna say "Wow, it's astonishing."$$(Laughter) That would be great if that was my first grant, no. That first--it was just for one summer, a 50,000 grant--$50,000 grant for one summer, for '92 [1992], that would fund about ten students. And then after that, I wrote a, you know, renewal proposal and have been renewing it ever since then, typically every three years. The cumulative amount of funding there has been more than two million dollars.$$Okay. So it's funded by the National Science Foundation [NSF].$$Primarily. There have been a few other foundations, but that's been the bulk of the amount.$$Okay. Well--and that's for approximately how many students?$$So we started out with just ten students that summer, but now we have about thirty-five or forty students every summer. Cumulatively, we've had over 400 students since the program started. No students themselves have gone on; some of them have started similar programs and gone to graduate school and are professors at other universities, and it's been quite a success story.$$Okay. All right. Now, let's see. What were you working on? Was your time at Georgia Tech split between research and teaching?$$It was. At any research university, the responsibilities of the faculty member include both the research mission of the university as well as your teaching--your educational mission of the university. And there's some service and professional things that you do as well, but you have to be good at all those things to be successful, to get tenure and get promoted. And I was doing what I was supposed to doing.$$What kind of research were you (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) (unclear)--work. I was continuing that. I had students working on, you know, various sensors and modeling and process control systems, and all again designed to improve the efficiency and productivity of integrated circuit manufacturing.$$$$Okay. All right. So it says here that in 1997, you're thirty-three years old, you take on a leadership role at the National Science Foundation.$$Yeah, I was working as a--on a committee for NSF [National Science Foundation], and I think what I was doing then, if I remember that particular role, that was the--that's probably--it could be one of two things. It was a Committee on Equal Opportunity and Science Engineering. Is that the one you're talking about?$$Yeah, right.$$Yeah. So I was on that committee for a while and I eventually became Chair of that committee. I guess I was Chair in 2000.$$Okay. (Coughing). And in 1998, you founded the Facilities Academic Careers in Engineering and Sciences (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--So that's a FACES program. Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science. That was another grant from NSF that we got through a program that was originally called Minority Graduate Education, but now it's called The Alliances for Graduate Education (unclear). And the idea there was (1) to increase the number of underrepresented minorities getting PhD's in STEM fields, and more importantly than to get those folks with the PhD's into academic careers. And that was--we were one of the first cohort of universities that got one those grants and I was the principal investigator of the grant.

Maya Angelou

Poet, author, and professor Maya Angelou was born as Marguerite Johnson on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, to Bailey and Vivian Baxter Johnson. Angelou’s older brother, Bailey Jr., nicknamed her “Maya” when they were children. When Angelou was three years old, her parents divorced and sent her and her brother to live with their grandmother in the harshly segregated Stamps, Arkansas. Angelou and her brother moved back and forth between Stamps and St. Louis throughout their formative years. During World War II, Angelou attended George Washington High School and San Francisco’s Labor School, dropping out for a short while to work as the first Black female streetcar conductor in San Francisco, but eventually graduating at the age of seventeen. Three weeks after her graduation, she gave birth to her only son.

Around 1950, Angelou, then a calypso dancer, changed her name from Marguerite Johnson to the more theatrical Maya Angelou. From 1954 to 1955, Angelou toured Europe with a production of the opera Porgy and Bess, and three years later, she moved to New York City in order to concentrate on her writing career. Around the same time, she served as the Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) under Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1961, Angelou moved to Cairo, where she wrote for the weekly newspaper, "The Arab Observer", then to Ghana, where she taught at the University of Ghana's School of Music and Drama and worked as a feature editor for "The African Review". Angelou returned to the United States in 1964 to help Malcolm X build the Organization of African American Unity. Unfortunately, when Malcolm died, so too did the organization.

In 1970, Angelou published her famed autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, for which she received a National Book Award nomination. This autobiography was followed by five other volumes, released in 1974, 1976, 1981, 1986, and 2002. Angelou’s first volume of poetry, "Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Diiie," was published in 1971, and nominated for the Pulitzer Prize the next year. In 1981, Angelou returned to the South, where she became the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 1993, she recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton.

The recipient of a Tony Award nomination for her role in the 1973 Broadway play Look Away, Angelou was granted three Grammy Awards for her spoken word albums and an Emmy for her supporting role in the television miniseries "Roots." In 1998, Angelou was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. She was the recipient of the National Medal of Arts in 2000 and the Lincoln Medal in 2008. Later in life, Angelou divided her time between Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Harlem, New York. She had one son, two grandsons, and two great-grandchildren.

Maya Angelou passed away on May 28, 2014 at the age of 86.

Accession Number

A2010.109

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/31/2010

Last Name

Angelou

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

George Washington High School

California Labor School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Maya

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

ANG01

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

Mamma Know, You Gonna Teach All Over The World

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/4/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Winston-Salem

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chili

Death Date

5/28/2014

Short Description

Poet Maya Angelou (1928 - 2014 ) was the author of the famed autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Employment

Wake Forest University

Favorite Color

All Colors

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Maya Angelou's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Maya Angelou describes her earliest childhood memory and her brother Bailey

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Maya Angelou talks about her childhood and describes the sights, sounds and smells of her youth

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Maya Angelou discusses her experience with sexual abuse

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Maya Angelou talks about her favorite poets

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Maya Angelou discusses her six year period of silence

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Maya Angelou discusses her music and dance career

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Maya Angelou talks about leaving the entertainment industry to join the Harlem Writers Guild

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Maya Angelou describes her relationship with John Oliver Killens and James Baldwin

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Maya Angelou talks about her relationship with Oprah Winfrey and her legacy

The Honorable Cardiss Collins

Former U.S. Congresswoman of Illinois's 7th district Cardiss Collins was born on September 24, 1931, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Finley and Rosia Mae Cardiss Robertson. When she was ten years old, she moved with her family to Detroit, Michigan, where she attended the Detroit High School of Commerce. After high school, Collins moved to Chicago, Illinois to find a job. She worked as a stenographer with the Illinois Department of Labor while simultaneously attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she earned her B.S. degree in accounting. She was promoted to secretary, then accountant at the Illinois Department of Revenue before becoming the revenue auditor. In 1958, Collins married George W. Collins, and in 1959, their son, Kevin, was born. Collins served as committeewoman of the Twenty-fourth Ward Regular Democratic Organization, where she gained her first political experience. She also participated in her husband’s campaigns for alderman, committeeman and U.S. Representative.

Tragically, on December 8, 1972, George W. Collins died in a plane crash. Six months later, Collins was elected to Congress in the June 5, 1973 special election to replace her husband. In 1978, she became the first African American and first woman to chair the Manpower and Housing subcommittee of the House Government Operations Committee and to be named Democratic whip-at-large in the House. One year later, she was elected president of the Congressional Black Caucus. From 1983 to 1991, she served as chair of the Government Activities and Transportation (GAT) Subcommittee, where she helped pass laws that controlled the transport of toxic materials and helped provide more secure air travel. She also introduced the Non- Discrimination in Advertising Act, which denied federal tax write-offs to major advertising firms that ignored black-owned communications media, both print and broadcast. In 1990, she wrote a law that expanded Medicare coverage for screening mammography for millions of elderly and disabled women, and in 1991, she was named chairwoman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Competitiveness. In Congress, she focused on establishing universal health insurance, providing for gender equity in college sports, and reforming federal child care facilities. In 1993, she authored the Child Safety Protection Act, which requires warning labels on dangerous toys and federal safety standards for bicycle helmets. In 1996, Collins chose to retire and did not run for re-election.

The recipient of honorary degrees from Barber-Scotia College, Spelman College, and Winston-Salem State University, Collins was elected to the Black Women’s Hall of Fame in 1982. In 1990, the Congressional Black Caucus presented Collins with the William L. Dawson Award for Legislative Development, and in 1991, she was honored with an American Black Achievement Award for government service. The American Advertising Foundation established the Cardiss Collins Scholarship for Diversity in Advertising at the University of Illinois in 1996, which provides a full-tuition scholarship to a freshman University of Illinois student in advertising.

Collins passed away on February 3, 2013 at the age of 81.

Accession Number

A2010.059

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/28/2010

Last Name

Collins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Occupation
Schools

Northwestern University

Banneker Elementary School

High School of Commerce and Business Administration

Sidney D. Miller Middle School

Bishop Elementary School

First Name

Cardiss

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

COL19

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/24/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Greens (Turnip)

Death Date

2/3/2013

Short Description

U.S. congresswoman The Honorable Cardiss Collins (1931 - 2013 ) served for eleven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she helped pass laws that fought discrimination, enforced gender equity, and reformed child care.

Employment

United States House of Representatives

University of Illinois, Chicago

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:12632,199:13780,215:14354,225:19674,255:20019,261:20364,268:20709,274:23785,307:24093,312:26786,328:27034,333:27530,343:28522,364:31192,375:32284,390:32704,396:35577,410:36918,426:40380,443:41060,452:41910,463:44800,490:45144,500:49358,598:51680,651:54385,666:54645,671:54970,677:55880,700:59271,711:59699,716:60662,729:61090,734:66824,775:71322,829:71766,836:78610,925:79060,933:86555,1037:87192,1045:89220,1055:101362,1154:116056,1331:117442,1355:118058,1401:118905,1436:119983,1465:120445,1473:121138,1489:125081,1517:125543,1524:130410,1599:131125,1611:131385,1616:131710,1622:132425,1636:134457,1647:139442,1726:141434,1767:142015,1776:142430,1781:148323,1923:158125,2081:173712,2285:182250,2436:185234,2496:187178,2550:187754,2566:189270,2573$0,0:936,30:1248,35:17128,218:17573,224:17929,232:18285,237:19531,264:21868,301:22136,306:24347,351:36586,482:37135,493:37623,502:37867,507:38843,547:39514,562:39819,568:40246,577:41222,603:43113,656:45614,727:46163,739:47505,772:47749,777:48481,798:49274,817:49762,827:50006,832:50250,837:55571,874:55949,881:56201,886:59006,923:59517,931:61707,974:64043,1031:64335,1036:65941,1069:66452,1101:67766,1158:78120,1299:78672,1310:80052,1354:84045,1395:89758,1459:94190,1493:94652,1500:95037,1506:95345,1515:96346,1534:100427,1667:103430,1746:103738,1751:105971,1795:111253,1819:111618,1825:112129,1833:112494,1839:112932,1846:113954,1865:114611,1875:115341,1892:115925,1901:116728,1919:117750,1942:118042,1947:121984,2078:122641,2105:126836,2132:129230,2204:129923,2219:131309,2247:137560,2328:138096,2337:139235,2365:139838,2375:140776,2393:141245,2402:141714,2411:142250,2422:144595,2478:154624,2670:156464,2704:170074,2874:170478,2917:185773,3091:186199,3169:188329,3269:188755,3276:189252,3284:191311,3322:196510,3398
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Cardiss Collins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers her great-grandfather, Erasmus White

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her likeness to her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls segregation in Cairo, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her home in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her after school routine

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers her early church experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her reasons for leaving St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers attending Banneker Elementary School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls moving to Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes Hastings Street in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls transferring to the High School of Commerce in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her early love of reading

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers Detroit, Michigan's music scene

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her experiences at High School of Commerce

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her mother's love of baseball

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers attending night school at Northwestern University

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her husband, George Collins

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her husband's entry into politics

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers prominent African American politicians in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her husband's election to the U.S. Congress

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes Chicago's South Side and West Side

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her husband's career on the Chicago City Council

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her husband's experiences in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s stay in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers the riots following Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about the problems on Chicago's West Side

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls being asked to run for U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her decision to run for U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her congressional campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her experiences serving in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls the priorities of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers notable peers in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her agenda on the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her biggest accomplishments and challenges in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her interactions with Ralph Metcalfe

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers Gus Savage

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about Chicago Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her retirement from the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about President Richard Milhous Nixon's administration

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers her black female contemporaries in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls Clarence Thomas' appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton's administration

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about President Barack Obama

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her role as chair emeritus of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her trajectory to the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins shares her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her biggest accomplishments and challenges in the U.S. Congress
The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers her black female contemporaries in the U.S. Congress
Transcript
So do you think you, you, do you think you accomplished, you know--I know you couldn't accomplish everything you wanted to do, but what were some of your major accomplishments in [U.S.] Congress?$$I think the thing that I am most proud of, and it doesn't sound like a great deal, but I am most proud of the fact that women have been given the opportunity to be in sports and recognized for their ability. For example, we now have the Women's National Basketball Association. I'm proud of that fact because when I looked at it, Title VII--Title IX didn't mean a thing to anybody. It had been out there for a long time, but nobody was doing anything about it. I'm very proud that I had hearings on that. I'm also proud of the fact that I authored legislation that enabled people on Medicare to get mammogram tests for cancer, breast cancer. People might think I'm silly, but every time you ride your bicycle and put on a helmet, that's my legislation. Every time you take your child or you know of a child being taken to daycare on federal property, that's my legislation. So I'm proud of those. Not a lot, but some.$$Okay, what were your toughest challenges in Congress?$$(Laughter) Getting legislation passed because you have so many, you have so much to go through to get legislation passed. And especially at a time--as long as we had both the House [U.S. House of Representatives] and the Senate [U.S. Senate], there wasn't that much of a problem. But once we lost either the House or the Senate, it was always difficult. Those were the toughest times, and people had to believe you. Legislation that dealt with women in sports was tough because the speaker, who was from Chicago [Illinois] at that time, was a wrestler, and he didn't see the need for women to have fair opportunities in sports. He wanted everybody to wrestle. Well, all of us don't wrestle.$$Now, who is this?$$I'm trying to think of his name now (laughter). He just left. Oh, what's--Kevin [Collins' son, Kevin Collins]? Oh what's his name?$$KEVIN COLLINS: Yeah.$$Who was the speaker of the house from Illinois, Kevin?$$Bennett, I wanna say, is it Benny. What was his name? Oh, shoot, I'm looking at him.$$KEVIN COLLINS: What was the question?$$Who was the speaker of the house from Illinois recently, in the Republican administration, Kevin (simultaneous)?$$KEVIN COLLINS: (Simultaneous) Oh, Hastert.$$Hastert, Denny Hastert.$$Yeah.$$Yeah. That was tough legislation to get through, you know, things like that. It all depends on what's happening in the House or in the Senate.$(Simultaneous) Did you have a very strong relationship with Shirley Chisholm?$$Yeah, not strong, but a good relationship with her. We, she sat on one end of, on the left side of the, of the [U.S.] Congress, and I sat about four or five seats from her most of the time.$$Okay, now, she ran--she had a high profile in the '70s [1970s], and she ran for president in, I guess in '76 [sic. 1972], right?$$I believe, yeah. But she, Shirley had her own agenda. Everybody had, you know, members of Congress have their own agendas. They have their own districts. So their focus is usually on wherever their district is and whatever their needs are or what the people are and in what's on in that district. You need to know what's going on in your district every day. So you call every day. You have people calling you every day from your office, letting you know. You don't really have time to be, to, to do a whole lot of getting together, per se, you know.$$Or networking with the other--$$Yeah, you just don't have that kind of time because you're focused on what's going on or you're not gonna be there.$$Okay, I thought I'd ask you about her and I know there were other black women in Congress at the time, [HistoryMaker] Yvonne Brathwaite Burke.$$I liked Yvonne a lot. She would come and sit next to me sometimes, you know, and say, "Girl, what's happening," that sort of thing. The day that Nixon [President Richard Milhous Nixon], it was found that Nixon had, indeed, been less than honest about what had happened, she came over. She was happy. She said, "Girl, he lied," (laughter), you know, that sort of thing. And that was the most of that, and then most of the time, she was going on, sitting around talking to somebody because what happens, during the time when you're in the hall, you're talking to other members about what's going on. There's this bill that you have or somebody else has. And how does it affect you and your district. You see members moving around a lot. You don't see 'em sitting in their chairs. They're moving from one person to the other. And they only have fifteen minutes to vote to start with. Many times you'll see member standing by the door to catch somebody who's coming in because you wanna know how this is going to affect you or your district or how is it gonna benefit somebody else's district that you're concerned about, a district that you might be getting in redistricting. And so you don't have enough time to be collegiate. You see what I'm saying. Yeah, you just don't have it.$$Okay, I thought I'd ask about her and, well, [HistoryMaker] Maxine Waters and--$$Yeah, I like Max. Max, Max is fun to be around because, I like to see her work. She has a very low tolerance level (laughter). When she wants something and she's not given it, she just explodes.$$Okay.$$She's fun.$$Okay--$$And smart. Max is very smart. Most people don't realize how smart she really is, but she is. She's very smart.$$Now, who was the one from Pennsylvania, C. Delores Tucker?$$C. Delores Tucker. I worked with her a lot.$$These are just some of the ones that came to mind, just immediately as I'm sitting here, but these are class (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) She was not a member, but she was always around members because she--she wasn't a lobbyist at first, but she became a pretty good lobbyist (laughter) for what she wanted.

Reverend Bill Lawson

Reverend William Lawson is a retired pastor and the namesake of an Institute focused on helping the community. He was born on June 28, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri to Walter and Clarisse Lawson. Raised in Kansas City, Kansas, Lawson attended Summer High School and graduated with his B.A. degree from Tennessee A and I state University in 1950. While at Central Baptist Theological Seminary he married Audrey Lawson. He then graduated in 1955 and received his Master of Theology and his Bachelor of Divinity degrees majoring in New Testament Interpretation while holding an appointment as a Teaching Fellow in Homiletics.

From 1960 to 1970, Lawson served as the director of the Baptist Student Union and a professor of Bible at Texas Southern University. While at Texas Southern University, Lawson helped build the first Afro-American Studies Program at the University of Houston and taught classes in sociology and the Black Church. His involvement with the Civil Rights Movement began when fourteen TSU students held a sit-in protesting segregation at a lunch counter. After founding the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Lawson invited the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. to speak at his church in 1963. Lawson served as a pastor for over thirty years. In honor of his dedication to the community, the community created a non-profit organization called the William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity. Through the organization, Lawson brought attention to the oldest African American cemetery in Houston, helped created The Main Street Coalition, and founded the WALIPP Preparatory Academy for boys. The Academy was the first charter school created for boys grades six through eight in the U.S. The Institute also houses a Seniors Residence for independent-living adults.

Lawson headed the Houston chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for over three decades. In 1968, he received his honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Howard Payne University and in 1993 he received his honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Houston. For his outstanding work with the Boy Scouts and his organization of the area’s largest scouting program, in 1991 Lawson was given the Silver Beaver Award. Lawson is also the author of Lawson’s Leaves of Love: Daily Meditations, published in 2004.

William A. Lawson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 11, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.010

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/11/2010

Last Name

Lawson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Tennessee State University

Central Baptist Theological Seminary

Sumner Academy of Arts and Science

Frederick Douglass High School

Northeast Junior High School

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

LAW02

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Close to Home

Favorite Quote

It Is What It Is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/28/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Pastor Reverend Bill Lawson (1928 - ) was the founding pastor of the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church and the namesake of the William A. Lawson Institute for Peace & Prosperity. He was a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement in Houston, Texas.

Employment

Texas Southern University

Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church

William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:470,3:940,8:6740,68:14854,265:31812,329:33308,351:40900,424:41312,429:50994,595:55835,668:61510,760:65065,791:65618,800:98666,1325:98982,1330:99930,1347:100246,1352:102932,1410:107882,1447:108766,1464:109242,1473:109922,1486:113246,1510:114326,1525:115190,1535:123412,1619:123748,1624:126100,1662:135315,1769:135995,1779:136420,1785:137100,1794:138460,1813:142175,1868:142650,1874:147970,1956:156438,2087:156823,2093:169949,2262:186826,2542:187418,2551:193668,2650:193996,2655:195882,2708:202852,2823:203262,2829:204820,2860:206214,2899:211490,2950:211770,2955:212120,2961:217973,3060:223212,3145:224004,3161:224292,3166:224580,3171:227100,3224:227676,3234:229620,3282:235596,3360:236316,3375:236892,3387:237324,3394:238044,3406:238404,3412:239052,3427:241510,3440$0,0:6484,134:6904,140:8920,211:14044,301:14464,307:15052,387:18244,436:26285,504:27447,526:29024,550:31514,619:39675,691:46803,867:51270,894:51872,902:58666,1034:59010,1043:66015,1084:67668,1151:73824,1236:76080,1273:77208,1286:78336,1314:80780,1349:85620,1403:88525,1441:89050,1447:95180,1513:95720,1539:96080,1544:97160,1566:97700,1579:98150,1585:113085,1768:116695,1833:117075,1838:133078,2004:138438,2081:139996,2108:140570,2115:141554,2142:143850,2233:151840,2294
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Bill Lawson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Bill Lawson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Bill Lawson remembers his early household

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his early religious experiences and family gatherings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Bill Lawson remembers his neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Bill Lawson talks about his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Bill Lawson reflects upon the Great Depression

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his experiences at Northeast Junior High School in Kansas City, Kansas

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Lawson recalls adjusting to his new stepfamily

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Bill Lawson talks about his relationship with his step siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his conversion to the Baptist faith

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Bill Lawson talks about the history of the Baptist church

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his experiences at Northeast Junior High School in Kansas City, Kansas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Bill Lawson remembers his experiences at Sumner High School in Kansas City, Kansas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Bill Lawson recalls his decision to attend the Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his social activities at Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Bill Lawson remembers his experiences as a junior preacher

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Bill Lawson recalls attending the Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his early career as a pastor

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Bill Lawson remembers his introduction to the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Bill Lawson recalls his work with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Bill Lawson recalls founding the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes the programs at the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Bill Lawson talks about the Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his efforts to obtain a public defender for Harris County, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Bill Lawson talks about his retirement

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Bill Lawson reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his children and grandchildren

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Bill Lawson talks about Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s role in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Bill Lawson describes his spiritual philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Bill Lawson remembers his calling to the ministry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Bill Lawson talks about the William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Bill Lawson reflects upon his life and legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Bill Lawson shares a message to future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bill Lawson narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Bill Lawson narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Reverend Bill Lawson remembers his introduction to the Civil Rights Movement
Reverend Bill Lawson recalls his work with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Transcript
So what year do you finish your master's and bachelor of divinity?$$Nineteen fifty-five [1955]. At this time Audrey [Audrey Hoffman Lawson] and I are married and we live in the seminary dormitory [at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Shawnee, Kansas] for that first year.$$(OFF CAMERA DISCUSSION)$$Now 1955, civil rights is starting to heat up a little bit, things are going on. Claudette Colvin and the bus rides and Rosa Parks comes right behind that, what's going on? You, your, you live in Pittsburg [Kansas] until, until what--until '55 [1955]?$$Until '55 [1955].$$And then you move where?$$(Cough) Move to Houston [Texas]--$$Houston, okay.$$--and came to Texas Southern [Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas].$$Tell me about the civil rights time in Houston at that time. Were you involved at all?$$Not originally. I was Baptist and fairly well Southern Baptist [Southern Baptist Convention] more than I was National Baptist [National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.]. I was National Baptist, but was pretty well Southern Baptist and we simply did not get involved in stuff like that. But I'm called now to Houston and came to Houston on August 28th, 1955. And the reason that I can remember that so well was that--that--that was the day when a young fellow, Emmett Till, was killed in Mississippi. And that probably was the real beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, not Rosa Parks so much, but the killing of Emmett Till which raised the level of anger in our community. And so Rosa Parks made her first bus ride in 1955, December 1955. So I'm here when all that is going on, but I'm fairly well insulated from that by, by the notion that Baptist remain religious and did not get involved in civil unrest. But I'm a student chaplain on the campus of Texas Southern University and the unrest of the--of the Civil Rights Movement is growing among students. And, and I can remember that one night a group of students came by the Baptist Student Center which is where we worked and lived, and they said, "Reverend Lawson [HistoryMaker Reverend Bill Lawson], we would like to go down and, and protest and sit-in at a lunch counter. Can you direct us." And that threw me for a loop and I tried to tell them, "Now your mother sent you to college so that you can get an education. You don't need to get beaten up and be thrown in jail behind the Civil Rights Movement." And, and so while I'm trying to argue with them about that. They're saying to me flatfooted, "If you won't give us direction then, then we'll find somebody else who will." They walked out of the Baptist Student Center and left me standing there. In the next hour, they were down at a local supermarket that had some lunch counters. They sat in at these lunch counters and they were thrown in jail. I believe that there were seven seats and the students went in seven at a time knowing that they were going to be jailed. And then when the first seven were taken away, then the next seven went in. And Audrey and I were introduced to the Civil Rights Movement, first of all by our--by our bewilderment by the determination of these students, and secondly by the fact that somebody had to get them out of jail. And she and a couple of neighbors on that street and I went out raising money to bail these kids out. That was how we began our involvement in civil rights. After that we did become involved in civil rights, but it started then.$Let me add one thing, Dr. Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] came to Houston [Texas] and he came to Houston to raise money for SCLC [Southern Christian Leadership Conference]. He brought with him [HistoryMaker] Harry Belafonte and Aretha Franklin, [HistoryMaker] Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson [HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson], the number of celebrity types that he brought with him, and they were going to have a concert in Houston to raise funds for SCLC. And this was my first time to see how black Baptist preachers treated Dr. King. I had--hadn't really known about it except having heard about it. But that term persona non grata fitted him. There was virtually not a Baptist preacher in Houston who would let him into their pulpit. So, so we invited him into the Wheeler Avenue [Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Houston, Texas] pulpit. There was another Baptist preacher and there was a Methodist preacher--two other Baptist preachers and a Methodist preacher and I who did accept King, and we felt all alone. But we went with him down to the coliseum [Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, Texas] which is where the concert was to have been held and there were far too few of us down there. And then somebody put a smoke bomb in the air conditioning system and, and many of the people were driven out. King then asked me if I would come to Atlanta [Georgia] to work with him. Our church was then two or three years old, excuse me, so I couldn't very well go to Atlanta and I told him that I'd have to stay here. I had an infant church which would probably die if I just left. And so he said, "Well then, well then will you let Wheeler Avenue be the SCLC chapter in Houston?" And I said, "We can do that." So here I am now as a person who is leading a march against school segregation and now have become the--the leader of an SCLC chapter in Houston. And ultimately when, when King was assassinated in 1968, virtually, virtually everybody idolized him, even the people who, who hadn't liked him began to sing his praises. And now there's probably not a city in the United States that doesn't have a school or a hospital or a street or something named after him. We eulogized him after his death, but he was very definitely ostracized during his life.

Hilary Shelton

NAACP lobbyist and policymaker Hilary Otis Shelton was born on August 12, 1958, in St. Louis, Missouri. Shelton received his B.A. degree in political science from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and went on to attain his M.A. degree in communications from the University of Missouri in St. Louis.

Shelton first worked as the federal program policy director for the United Methodist Church’s social justice agency, The General Board of Church and Society. There, he worked on the church’s public policy agenda, particularly on issues pertaining to black colleges and universities. He was highly involved in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and also advocated for several other important acts including the Violence Against Women Act. A champion of causes affecting the African American community, Shelton then went on to serve in the position of federal liaison/assistant director to the government affairs department of The College Fund/UNCF, also known as The United Negro College Fund, in Washington, D.C. There, Shelton worked with federal government agencies and departments, as well as colleges and universities to secure the survival, growth, and educational programming excellence of the forty private historically black colleges and universities throughout the United States.

From there, Shelton moved on to the NAACP’s Washington bureau, where he handles federal and legislative affairs as well as public policy concerns for the organization’s Washington, D.C., office. Shelton serves on a number of national boards of directors including The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, The Center for Democratic Renewal, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute among many others. Shelton has been honored numerous times for his work. He was the recipient of the National NAACP Medgar W. Evers Award for Excellence, the highest honor bestowed upon a national professional staff member of the NAACP; the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Excellence in Advocacy Award; and the Religious Action Center’s Civil Rights Leadership Award in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Shelton lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Paula Young Shelton, and their three sons, Caleb Wesley, Aaron Joshua, and Noah Otis Young Shelton.

Accession Number

A2008.098

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/28/2008 |and| 3/5/2012

7/28/2008

3/5/2012

Last Name

Shelton

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Harrison School

Beaumont High School

Humboldt Academy of High Learning

University of Missouri - St. Louis

Northeastern University

Howard University

First Name

Hilary

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

SHE04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

There's Nothing You Can't Get Done If You're Willing To Let Someone Else Get Credit For It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

8/12/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Crepes (Fruit)

Short Description

Civic leader Hilary Shelton (1958 - ) was the head of the NAACP Washington Bureau. He helped to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the Violence Against Women Act. He also served as the United Negro College Fund's federal liaison, and as the federal program policy director for the United Methodist Church’s social justice agency, The General Board of Church and Society.

Employment

NAACP Washington Bureau

Washington Office on Africa

National Impact

United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society

United Negro College Fund

Greater Boston Legal Services

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:664,17:4068,94:4620,101:5448,111:6368,127:15188,232:15650,247:15958,252:17190,271:18884,308:19423,316:25562,414:26178,427:27487,452:29566,493:30105,501:32030,541:32646,556:34186,589:35110,603:39922,630:41434,659:42442,675:43306,688:43666,694:44458,707:45394,732:46042,744:55658,900:56346,910:60130,961:60474,966:62108,984:66770,1013:67586,1026:69014,1062:69490,1071:73230,1153:74250,1180:75814,1214:76086,1219:76630,1229:77174,1238:81839,1280:82115,1285:83081,1301:90671,1471:91016,1477:91361,1483:104670,1758:109710,1860:113280,2108:114190,2122:114470,2127:121242,2199:122016,2204:126230,2421:136921,2488:137407,2498:137812,2504:139999,2560:147630,2669:148120,2678:149170,2702:150080,2721:155470,2826:156800,2859:157640,2875:158550,2899:159110,2909:159670,2958:163150,2970:163540,2976:164320,3001:164970,3012:167310,3057:167830,3067:171210,3126:171535,3132:172250,3145:173030,3163:173810,3178:174395,3188:175890,3221:176735,3245:177515,3260:177970,3268:179985,3312:180830,3325:181155,3331:181805,3355:182325,3370:182585,3375:183040,3383:189860,3440:190490,3450:190910,3459:191820,3490:192730,3504:193850,3527:194900,3569:195180,3574:195460,3579:195880,3597:196790,3611:197210,3619:206306,3772:206554,3777:206926,3785:208786,3881:209964,3919:211700,3959:212878,3985:213374,3995:213746,4002:215916,4044:216908,4063:217714,4078:223074,4131:223538,4146:224176,4158:224930,4173:225394,4187:227250,4239:227540,4245:230816,4283:231248,4293:231626,4302:232004,4326:232706,4338:235942,4379:236865,4394:237149,4399:237575,4406:242261,4514:243184,4530:244178,4550:245740,4583:249858,4682:250213,4688:252485,4756:260970,4863:261510,4874:263430,4925:264750,4954:265290,4964:265590,4970:268834,4997:269698,5011:270490,5025:271426,5041:280660,5200$0,0:204,4:2244,44:5100,111:9860,236:11288,271:12036,284:17408,392:19584,439:25119,471:27455,522:27893,528:28696,543:33733,630:34171,637:40449,756:45100,770:57506,939:57989,950:63302,1120:65165,1178:66683,1204:67373,1215:68408,1239:68822,1252:70409,1284:70754,1290:71720,1305:72065,1311:72479,1318:74135,1349:74549,1356:88860,1563:91345,1618:91771,1626:94895,1691:96102,1714:96812,1727:97309,1735:98374,1761:104834,1802:106120,1813:106400,1818:107240,1834:108710,1867:108990,1872:110530,1904:114450,1978:118090,2056:118370,2061:118790,2069:129967,2248:135004,2364:138385,2432:139903,2465:149760,2546:152055,2577:152480,2583:153160,2593:153585,2602:153925,2607:154690,2618:155370,2631:160090,2668:160505,2674:167477,2772:172878,2814:177170,2916:178354,2939:178724,2945:179242,2954:180944,2982:181240,2987:181610,2993:185216,3007:185654,3013:186895,3030:189085,3065:189523,3071:190034,3079:191348,3113:192954,3167:195509,3205:196093,3220:197334,3239:197772,3247:198210,3255:207145,3363:208180,3388:212458,3480:212941,3488:213217,3493:215839,3557:219013,3629:221221,3670:227689,3695:228103,3703:230242,3753:231829,3804:234934,3853:239005,3926:240799,4012:241351,4021:242800,4091:243076,4096:248335,4116:248579,4121:254435,4283:268214,4587:273398,4713:275254,4762:275638,4769:278390,4826:281974,4922:286590,4934:294585,5139:296340,5280:296795,5288:304654,5391:305206,5400:307414,5508:312727,5634:313624,5647:313969,5653:314659,5664:317488,5712:324270,5788:326719,5828:331222,5914:339122,6056:353813,6316:354129,6322:362173,6424:370660,6571
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Hilary Shelton's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton remembers the attacks on his maternal family in Gore Springs, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton describes the African American community in Gore Springs, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton talks about his maternal grandparents' land

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Hilary Shelton describes his parents' courtship

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Hilary Shelton describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Hilary Shelton describes his father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Hilary Shelton talks about his parents' marriage and move to St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton describes his father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton describes the personalities of his parents and grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton remembers his household in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton describes the North City neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Hilary Shelton describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Hilary Shelton recalls the prevalence of crime in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Hilary Shelton talks about the '20/20' investigation of segregation in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Hilary Shelton describes his experiences of racial discrimination in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Hilary Shelton remembers the gang violence in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton remembers the faculty of the Harrison School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton talks about his parents' interest in politics

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton recalls his introduction to the NAACP at the Antioch Baptist Church in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton recalls the civil rights leadership of St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton describes his experiences at the Humboldt School in St. Louis, Missouri, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Hilary Shelton describes his experiences at the Humboldt School in St. Louis, Missouri, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Hilary Shelton describes his experiences at Beaumont High School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Hilary Shelton remembers the band at Beaumont High School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton recalls the music of his youth

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton remembers the Black Student Union at Beaumont High School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton recalls the films and television shows of his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton recalls the films and television shows of his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton describes his involvement with the NAACP Youth Council

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Hilary Shelton talks about Clarence Thomas

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Hilary Shelton describes his early aspirations

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Hilary Shelton's interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton recalls his influences at Beaumont High School in St. Louis, Miss

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton talks about the demographics of St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton describes his early involvement in civil rights activities

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton remembers meeting Frankie Freeman

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton describes the activities of the Black Student Union at Beaumont High School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Hilary Shelton recalls his decision to attend Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Hilary Shelton describes his involvement with the American Indian Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Hilary Shelton talks about his experiences at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Hilary Shelton recalls the notable speakers at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton describes his work at Greater Boston Legal Aid, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton describes his work at Greater Boston Legal Aid, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton remembers the United States Student Association

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton describes his forensics professor at the University of Missouri - St. Louis

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton talks about the administration of President Ronald Reagan

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Hilary Shelton talks about the administration of President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Hilary Shelton describes his master's thesis on the Iran Contra Affair

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Hilary Shelton remembers lobbying the University of Missouri to divest from South Africa

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton describes how he came to join the Washington Office on Africa

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton describes his work with the Washington Office on Africa, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton describes his work with the Washington Office on Africa, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton talks about the Civil Rights Act of 1991

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton recalls the appointment of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Hilary Shelton recalls his experiences at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton recalls his experiences at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton remembers the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton describes his position at the United Negro College Fund

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton describes how he came to head the NAACP Washington Bureau

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton remembers the Million Man March

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Hilary Shelton describes the history of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Hilary Shelton describes his work at the NAACP Washington Bureau

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Hilary Shelton talks about racial profiling, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton talks about racial profiling, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton reflects upon President Barack Obama's administration, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton reflects upon President Barack Obama's administration, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton describes the NAACP's current lobbying activities, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Hilary Shelton describes the NAACP's current lobbying activities, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Hilary Shelton reflects upon the racism in the United States today

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Hilary Shelton describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Hilary Shelton reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Hilary Shelton reflects upon his life

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Hilary Shelton talks about his family

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Hilary Shelton talks about the influence of his grandfathers and uncles

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Hilary Shelton describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

2$2

DATape

8$7

DAStory

4$1

DATitle
Hilary Shelton describes his position at the United Negro College Fund
Hilary Shelton remembers lobbying the University of Missouri to divest from South Africa
Transcript
How long did you work for the United Methodist?$$About ten years.$$Ten, okay.$$And I left the United Methodist Church to go to work for the, for the United Negro College Fund.$$Okay.$$Of course, the, the name is slightly different. It's still the same organization. They just changed their name to UNCF, the college fund. So I spent some time working with Bill Gray [HistoryMaker William H. Gray, III], who at the time was the president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund or U--UNCF the college fund, working at the government affairs office here in Washington, D.C., to try to help find, really, resources, money and other resources for those--at that time, forty-one historically black colleges and universities.$$Okay, now this is the beginning of the Bush administration, right?$$Yes--$$Okay.$$--it, it was part of the Bush administration. But interestingly enough, when it comes to HBCUs, there's a tendency for even Republican administrations to be very helpful to HBCUs. Education seems to be one of those areas, most of the time--sometimes it gets used for political pra- in, in a politically problematic way as well, but most of the time education, particularly in support for those HBCUs, seems to rise above the partisan fray. It is something good to see. So the Bush administration, both Herbert Walker Bush, and more so than, than George W. Bush [President George Walker Bush], was very, very supportive of HBCUs and, and other programs, including the White House office on HBCUs [White House Initiative on Historically Black College and Universities], in addressing those concerns.$$Yeah, I think George W. Bush during this period made his famous statement that a Negro is a terrible thing to waste [sic.]--$$Oh--$$--or something, it was something (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) I, I, and I think that was Dan Quayle. Yeah, yeah--$$Oh, that, yeah, yeah--$$--his vice president at the time (laughter).$$--the convoluted--yeah, during the old Bush (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, they've got--$$I'm sorry.$$No, no, but you're right; that was, that was [President] George Herbert Walker Bush's vice president at the time. And I remember how, how he kind of sloshed that, that slogan, but (laughter)--$$A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and he added convoluted--$$Yeah, ex- exactly, exactly (laughter).$$Right. Okay, all right--$$I think he had a little problem swallowing potato too during that time.$$Okay, UNCF, so, so what were--well, the, the issue was always to raise money for--$$Absolutely, absolutely. It was a different approach for me. You know, I've, I'd always been more actively involved in not for profit organizations that focus on really bringing as many people on board to support moving the agenda forward. So in essence, we leveraged our policy positions by educating as many people and then coordinating how they approached their members of [U.S.] Congress, House [U.S. House of Representatives] and [U.S.] Senate, the White House, and even, and the government agencies and the like. So, but the UNCF, the focus was less that and more focusing on engaging those historically black colleges and universities, the support of the corporate community along those lines, but also the engagement and support of the federal government to address, you know, helping to secure those black colleges, to be able to provide a good high quality education at an affordable price. So it was a little bit different than the work we'd done around the more controversial issues. As a matter of fact, you kind of, in, in that arena, you stay away from a lot of the controversial issues. You're primarily go- primary goal all the time is to raise money. And I, I remember sitting down with Bill Gray the first time. And I had in my mind the same kind of construct we use here at the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] that we'd use at the United Methodist Church and other groups I'd worked for, which is the construct in which you engage members, have them join a network, set up coalition partners throughout the country, and then leverage them when we're trying to pass pieces of legislation throughout the House and the Senate or trying to, to engage the president of the White House in what we're trying to do. But there was always a concern that if we went that route, that it might become too partisan in its perception and that having people engaged along those lines, writing letters to those businesses and so forth, might actually create a problem for the continuation of the fundraising. Even though we knew that everything we'd be doing would be quite legal within the construct of a 501(c)(3), there were those concerns, so we kind of changed the approach. Quite frankly, that's also why I ended up missing the civil rights community, missing that engagement for those membership units across the country, whether it's in churches or, or whether a small civic organizations or groups in local communities. I missed that engagement of people in the process and the struggle for civil rights advancement. And the, and of course, that's why I decided to leave the United Negro College Fund and, and come to work for the NAACP.$Now what did you do after graduate school?$$That came to the--I came to Washington, D.C. As I was finishing my program at the University of Missouri - St. Louis [St. Louis, Missouri], one of the big issues for us was apartheid in South Africa. And the big movement among colleges and universities was to divest holdings in all corporations that do business in South Africa. This is a time in which, of course, Nelson Mandela was in Robben Island [South Africa]. It was a time in which apartheid was the law of the land in South Africa, and of course, the colonial power of the, the, of South Africa was one that was affecting the entire region. So it was an amazing time along those lines. We were working then as students in a progressive movement to not support those corporations or U.S. interests that would exploit people of African descent in South Africa. So, I had, I met with a guy named Damu Smith. Among other things I did as a student, I also sat on advisory board while with the U.S. Student Association [U.S. National Student Association], with the American Committee on Africa out of New York [New York], with TransAfrica [TransAfrica Forum; TransAfrica] here in Washington, D.C., and the Washington Office on Africa, which also here in Washington, D.C. These were the three premier Africa focus groups working on apartheid and South Africa issues and focusing on those nine southern states of South Af- of Southern Africa and how the Republic of South Africa was affecting even their stability. So, Damu Smith was someone I'd met in some of those meetings. I was finishing up and really wanted to come back to Washington and get involved in an advocacy type organization and position but wanted to focus on the federal government, on the [U.S.] Congress and the government agencies, of course. We were finishing up my program at the same time we were also finishing up a disinvestment of corporations doing business in South Africa that were in the university's portfolio, both their endowment portfolios as well as their pension funds. We were able to convince then Governor Ashcroft [John Ashcroft] from Missouri, that later became the attorney general of the United States and Senator Ashcroft prior to becoming attorney, as, as well as a Republican treasurer in Missouri, a guy named Wendell Bailey, that it was not in the best interest of the State of Missouri nor the University of Missouri to invest funds in corporations that do business in South Africa that many argued took over 750,000 jobs out of the United States to South Africa, where they force black people to work for less money than white folks, where the law of the land prohibited black folks from supervising over white folks, or moving to high--and corporate structure, so and where security and--well, where, where calm was created through force, the guns. And we were seeing all the videos of Soweto [South Africa], the, the videos of uprisings in other parts of South African, and, and the very harsh response from South African military forces and others, killing so many South African blacks along the way. So with all that going, we were able to convince the governor--at first the, first the treasurer of the state, who was also a Republican, that it made no sense for Missouri to invest money in corporations that are taking jobs out of Missouri anyway and actually working against the very issues of the students. Most students were going to college to prepare themselves for jobs. Doesn't make sense for us to take student money and put it into corporations that are taking those jobs our students want out of the country to have people doing it that were, they pay much less money. We shouldn't have to compete with that, especially with our money. And they got it, and indeed the governor signed a bill that was introduced and passed through the state legislature that the students were actually involved in pushing. We were able to get the board (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) So this is--I'm sorry. This is nineteen eighty--'84 [1984]?$$Yeah.$$Eighty-four [1984], okay.$$Yeah, yeah. We were able to get the, we were able to get the university to divest all of this money from holdings in corporations doing business in South Africa through its Board of Curators. It's what they called their board of regents, and they call it in some other place the Board of Curators. And I remember those fights and whatnot during my years at the University of Missouri.$$You all were good then. You, you were really paying attention in class.$$We, we, we worked it out. As a matter of fact, I, I think I, I had to be, be too pushy about it, but I think in some ways we, we added something to those classroom conversations with what we did outside. Some of the professors really appreciated it. As a matter of fact, because this was as much a movement in the political science arena, most of the political science apret- professors were really fascinated by the work we were doing and very supportive along those lines. But also, when you talk about disinvestment, that's actually a business term, and the University of Missouri also had a business school [University of Missouri - St. Louis College of Business Administration, St. Louis, Missouri]. And we were able to engage the business student government as well into some of the things we were doing that draw a parallel for us to even Harvard's business school [Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts]. I mean, the arguments we were making were not just social justice arguments. They were business arguments. They were investment stabilities arguments. They were arguments about which divet- which investment portfolios would derive the best return for the university, for its professors as they retired, but also the running of the school, as we're talking about programs along those lines. See, it was a, it was a fascinating thing, getting those different sectors, and very eye opening for me, involved in a movement to actually impact what was going on in South Africa by involving ourselves into social corporate behavior here in the United States.$$Okay. Now, were you getting paid to do any of these, these activities at that time?$$Not really. As a matter of fact, while I was at the University of Missouri, because I held office, we got a stipend, you know, which went to pay my tuition and that kind of thing and whatnot. So it freed me up in some ways to be able to do this kind of work, but it was all voluntary.$$Yeah, so I figured you kind of on a lean budget there.$$Oh yeah, yeah, I was poor student.

Ken Page

Actor Ken Page was born on January 20, 1954 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was raised by his mother and step-father, Gloria and Garvin Gilstrap. As a youth, he attended St. Louis’ St. Bridget of Erin and St. Nicholas Elementary Schools. While attending St. Nicholas, Page was inspired by the founder of the school’s speech club, Sister Ruth Cecilia, and his older cousin to pursue a career in theater. In 1973, he graduated from Bishop Dubourg High School where he received special training in theatrical arts.

In 1973, Ken Page received a full scholarship to attend Fontbonne College located in Clayton, Missouri where he majored in theater. While attending Fontbonne College, he was cast in his first paid role as “Stewpot” in a theatrical production of South Pacific, a musical that featured Frank Sutton, Mary Travers, and Theresa Merrit. A year later, Page moved to New York, where he began working with the Fanfare Children’s Ensemble. While performing with the Fanfare Children's Ensemble, he made appearances as Jim in a production of Huck Finn. He also worked with the Amas Repertory Theatre and the Henry Street Settlement, starring in the musicals Ragtime Blues and Louis.

Ken Page made his Broadway debut in 1976 starring in an all black revival of Guys and Dolls. Then in 1977, he played the role of the Lion in the hit musical The Wiz. In 1978, Page would later go on to be featured as an original cast member in the Fats Waller musical revue Ain’t Misbehavin’ and was subsequently awarded the Drama Desk Award for his performance. He would later duplicate this performance in an NBC television special and in Paris, France. In 1982, Page originated the role of Old Deuteronomy in the Broadway production of Cats and repeated his performance in a PBS version of the play. During the 1980s, Page made appearances in several films and television sitcoms including Gimme A Break (1984); Sable (1987); Torch Song Trilogy (1988) and Polly (1989). He continued his work in the entertainment industry during the 1990s and was hired to appear in such television shows as Family Matters (1990); South Central (1994) and Touched By An Angel (1995). In 2000, Page starred in the Broadway show Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues, and in 2006, he was hired as cast member in the musical film DreamGirls .

Ken Page was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 4, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.074

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/4/2008

Last Name

Page

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Bishop DuBourg High School

St. Bridget of Erin Elementary School

St. Nicholas Elementary School

Central Catholic St. Nicholas School and Academy

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ken

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

PAG01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Egypt

Favorite Quote

No Fools, No Fun.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Missouri

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/20/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

St. Louis

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Pork Fried Rice, Fried Chicken

Short Description

Actor Ken Page (1954 - ) portrayed the Lion in The Wiz, Old Deuteronomy in the American Broadway debut of Cats, and was featured as an original cast member in the Fats Waller musical revue Ain’t Misbehavin’, for which he was awarded the Drama Desk Award.

Employment

AMAS Repertory Theatre (New York, N.Y.)

Municipal Theatre Association of St. Louis. Municipal Opera Orchestra

Broadway Theatre

46th Street Theatre

Manhattan Theater Club

Winter Garden Theatre

NBC

ABC

Goldcrest Films and Television

CBS

Warner Brothers

Prince Edward Theatre

Touchstone Pictures

La Jolla Playhouse, Inc.

Goodman Theater

Fox Broadcasting Company

Dreamworks Pictures and Paramount Pictures Corporation

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:1656,46:1932,51:3726,153:4968,178:11547,303:12045,310:12543,318:12875,323:16112,410:16776,423:18353,450:18851,457:19183,462:26404,573:26728,578:28267,610:29401,652:30211,665:34354,693:34749,699:35381,712:40516,844:48865,969:49363,976:63980,1211:65730,1251:66640,1266:66920,1302:67340,1377:67620,1382:73974,1529:114076,2110:122066,2215:127874,2350:134705,2466:135239,2473:138087,2538:138710,2565:141291,2608:141647,2613:142448,2624:142804,2629:146898,2719:154198,2798:154568,2804:155160,2813:155752,2823:158046,2904:159526,2974:160192,2994:164081,3018:164486,3024:165134,3039:167888,3097:170723,3159:171371,3170:174125,3259:193360,3444:199632,3535:201186,3568:204960,3702:205626,3727:210584,3799:211990,3814:212360,3820:229200,4127:231970,4154:232306,4159:232642,4164:234070,4185:240202,4329:240622,4335:242806,4395:248224,4478:249918,4535:251381,4557:251766,4565:252690,4576:253922,4599:254230,4604:259200,4632:262044,4678:262360,4683:266626,4769:266942,4775:267574,4785:272314,4870:272630,4875:284425,5030:303210,5238:303510,5243:304110,5252:314185,5329:315460,5352:321440,5485$0,0:4880,165:6230,234:14240,396:24230,509:28048,594:45940,845:46472,853:51722,950:53636,973:62012,1102:74020,1353:83830,1660:95717,1803:96033,1811:97218,1831:97771,1839:98956,1888:102590,1965:111138,2133:112924,2231:116684,2359:121687,2397:122255,2407:126231,2520:126515,2525:132337,2716:132692,2857:151502,3069:152000,3076:159056,3242:159412,3247:167070,3384:188597,3789:189754,3821:191890,3854:192246,3859:198600,3923
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ken Page's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ken Page lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ken Page describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ken Page remembers his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ken Page describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ken Page describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ken Page talks about his household in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ken Page describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ken Page recalls the Kerry Patch neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ken Page describes his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ken Page recalls developing his musical talent

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ken Page describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Ken Page recalls his experiences at St. Nicholas Grade School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Ken Page talks about his parochial school education

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Ken Page recalls his early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ken Page recalls his experiences in the Bellarmine Speech League

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ken Page talks about the role of the Catholicism in St. Louis' African American community

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ken Page remembers his early mentors

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ken Page recalls attending Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ken Page talks about his idols, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ken Page talks about his idols, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ken Page recalls his high school performances

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ken Page remembers his involvement in the Upward Bound program

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ken Page recalls his graduation from Bishop DuBourg High School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ken Page describes his decision to attend Fontbonne College in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ken Page recalls the progressive nature of Fontbonne College in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ken Page remembers his friend, Mary Lee Nigro

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ken Page recalls his mentors at Fontbonne College in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ken Page describes the acting methods he learned at Fontbonne College in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ken Page recalls joining The Municipal Opera Association of St. Louis

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ken Page talks about his decision to move to New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ken Page recalls moving to New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ken Page remembers his temporary employment in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ken Page recalls joining the Fanfare Children's Ensemble

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ken Page talks about his role in 'Purlie' at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Ken Page recalls his first impressions of Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Ken Page talks about the premiere of 'Purlie' in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ken Page remembers being cast in the all-black production of 'Guys and Dolls'

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ken Page recalls the criticism against the all-black cast of 'Guys and Dolls'

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ken Page describes the black theater scene in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ken Page recalls being cast in the play, 'The Wiz'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ken Page remembers his cast mates in 'The Wiz'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ken Page talks about notable African American actors on Broadway

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ken Page recalls playing Fats Waller in the play, 'Ain't Misbehavin''

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ken Page describes his creative process

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ken Page describes the play, 'Ain't Misbehavin''

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ken Page talks about the television production of 'Ain't Misbehavin''

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Ken Page remembers auditioning for 'Cats'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ken Page recalls his role as Old Deuteronomy in 'Cats' on Broadway

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ken Page remembers Andrew Lloyd Webber

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ken Page recalls his decision to move to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ken Page describes the theater environment in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ken Page reflects upon the African American actors in the theater industry

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ken Page shares his advice for young African American entertainers

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ken Page describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ken Page describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

7$11

DATitle
Ken Page recalls his high school performances
Ken Page remembers auditioning for 'Cats'
Transcript
So, you're going through school and you're in high school [Bishop DuBourg High School, St. Louis, Missouri] now and are you still in the--in the speech, speech, speech league at that point? Are you still doing--$$Yeah because the Bellarmine Speech League went into--I think I stayed with it through my second year of high school and then I dropped out.$$Your sophomore year.$$Yeah 'cause then I started doing more theater things in school so then I didn't feel like I wanted to continue with the speech league.$$What were some of your, your highlight roles for you in, in high school, roles that you played?$$Well, there were only a few 'cause we did only one big show a year, you know. The first year of high school, what did I do? It's funny because, you know, there were all other kinds of shows. But any rate, first year, we did 'Funny Girl' [Isobel Lennart] and I was the Ziegfeld Tenor. It was a singing part, so it was really about my voice, you know. And nobody else, interesting enough, could sing it. I was the only--big deal, but I was the only one who could sing it, so I got it, you know what I mean? Second year, we did 'Hello, Dolly!' [Michael Stewart] which interesting--what I think is most interesting about it is it was the first year--my high school was 5,558 students, big school, and there were fifty-eight black students.$$Out of the rest of the five thousand and whatever.$$Out of the 5,550, yeah. And I say that to say that it was the first time there had been an interracial coupling in a show there. I played Horace Vandergelder which is the male lead and this white girl played Dolly [Dolly Gallagher Levi] and it was a big deal. I mean, it--you know, I think back on it and you think, oh god, but it really was a big deal because it had not--$$Did it cause controversy? Did it--$$Oh, yeah.$$Tell us about that.$$It hadn't happened.$$Describe that. Were there--$$From what I know, you know--$$--opposition?$$Yeah. And, again, of course, I'm the student so I'm sure I didn't hear as much of it as, as went on, but I caught the drift of a lot of it. And, you know, her parents had issues whether they wanted her to be on stage with a black man on--you know, and it was that time that everything was--the doors were just creaking open just a little bit.$$This, this would've been early '60s [1960s]?$$This was about '69 [1969], yeah.$$Okay.$$Seventy [1970].$$Okay.$$And in that kind of neighborhood, again, remember I went to school outside of my area, it was a big deal. That we were even in the school was a big deal, you know, because all of us who were there had been brought in from elsewhere 'cause we didn't live in that area.$$How was the--how was the racial climate in school generally or in the neighborhood around there?$$The neighborhood around there probably wasn't as great, but then I didn't really participate in the neighborhood around there. I came in and I went home, you know what I mean, so--$$How about in the school itself?$$The school itself wasn't--I don't remember there being a lot of racial tension. It could be the fact that there were so few of us and, again, because it was a Catholic school, it wasn't tolerated. It was just that simple, you know. And I don't say that every nun or every priest was pro-black either, you know, but the exercise of prejudice was not allowed.$$The blatant open exercise, yeah.$$Right.$$Okay.$$Right.$$So, you're, you're, you're in high school now, you're, you're becoming a--well, before we go further, so what was it--so, the play went on as--'Hello, Dolly!' occurred.$$Yeah, it happened. And, and I'm told now even in retrospect that it changed everything for them because then--and, again, with so many issues like that, it isn't that people are as opposed to it as they think they are, they just have never seen it before.$$It's change.$$It's change, right. So, once it happened, well, they were kind of like, "Oh well, I guess it wasn't so bad after all," you know. They weren't gonna get married and run off into the woods, you know. And then the next year, we did 'Oliver!' [Lionel Bart] and I played Fagin, which was, you know, not a role that required sort of the same thing but, again, they were seeing an African American on the stage. And I should say, my friend, Luther [Luther Clark (ph.)], was in the shows also. He didn't get to do the leads like I did, but he was also there and there was that, you know, so there were the two of us. And then my senior year, we did 'Fiddler on the Roof' [Joseph Stein] which (laughter), you know, I still talk about it in my one man show because here we were in the early '70s [1970s], a Catholic school doing a show about Russian Jews with a black as the lead [Tevye]. And, you know, at the time, you know, there was controversy. But it was interesting because I don't think anybody realized how many real barriers were coming down all at the same time 'cause at that time, even that the Catholic school was doing 'Fiddler on the Roof' was a big deal.$$Give us just a couple bars of 'If I Were a Rich Man' (laughter).$$(Laughter) (Adopts performance voice) "Dear God, you made a lot of poor people. It's no great crime to be poor, but it's no great honor either. So, what would've been so terrible if I had a small fortune?"$$Very good, yes, thank you.$$I'm still waiting to do it again (laughter).$$Yeah, I, I think you should.$$I will. I'm determined. Before they put me in a box, I'm going to do it somewhere.$So, when you left aunt mis- 'Ain't Misbehavin'' [Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby, Jr.], pardon me, then what did you do?$$What did I do (laughter)? What did I do after I left ain't mis- a lot of my club act and I'm trying to think what was the next real work? There was other things, you know, different--$$Different parts.$$--New York [New York] things, yeah, that came in between. I did a wonderful piece called 'Louis' [Don Evans] which was a play about Louis Armstrong at the New Federal Theatre and they had hopes of it coming to Broadway. And it was myself, Debbie Allen, Ernestine Jackson, Northern J. Calloway played Louis, Tiger Haynes, so we were sort of this hybrid of all the Broadway, all the Broadway shows. They got us all to come do this one show. It didn't go anywhere, unfortunately, but we had a great time doing it. Shortly after, I want to say--I forget, this was about '79 [1979], so somewhere around '81 [1981], there were rumblings of this show that was--I think it had opened in, in London [England], 'Cats' [Andrew Lloyd Webber] and that they were bringing it to New York and blah blah blah blah. You know, everybody was talking about it. I mean, I really didn't think anything of it 'cause I just didn't think anything about it. And I went to the closing performance of 'Ain't Misbehavin'' on Broadway and Bernard Jacobs [Bernard B. Jacobs] who was the head of the Shubert Organization said to me that he thought there was a role in the show for me. And I--to my experience, to my knowledge, I thought the show was really like a dance show, for dancers and so forth. I didn't know it. He said, "I think there's a role that you might really be right for," really--you know. And interesting enough as it comes out now I'm thinking of it chronologically, when he told me about that, we were getting ready to go to L.A. [Los Angeles, California] to film 'Ain't Misbehavin'' so I actually took the music to learn for 'Cats' to L.A. with me and rehearse it. And Armelia [HistoryMaker Armelia McQueen] used to always laugh 'cause she said she could hear me in the shower. Our rooms were back to back and I'd--(singing), "You've heard of several kinds of cats" ["The Ad-Dressing of Cats"]. She said, "I used to hear you in the shower, like, oh god, there's Page [HistoryMaker Ken Page] rehearsing again."$$So, once again, someone--$$Yes.$$--you happened to be where you were--$$Right.$$--just watching the closing performance.$$Right.$$And there it was.$$Right. And I really had no clue about it and they had already been seeing people by this point.$$So, what did you do, just, just go down to the--to the director?$$Well, he--well, he gave me--you know, told me to go get the music and blah blah blah blah and learn it. And they called me in, and this was at the end of the process. They had been seeing people for about seven months at this point. It was a big deal. Everybody was just--as they say in London, their knickers were in a twist about it, you know. And they had me come in the beginning of the week to sing for Trevor Nunn, the director, Gillian Lynne, the choreographer, and Stan Lebowsky [Stanley Lebowsky] was the musical director. And I sang, and they said, well, we want you to come back and do a dramatic reading. I'm thinking, well, I thought this show was music and dance, they want a dramatic reading. So, I did a monologue that I had in Louis ['Louis,' Don Evans] where I played King Oliver, Joe Oliver, and I didn't know that Trevor Nunn--I thought I'd do something, they wouldn't know it, they'd just--you know. And Trevor Nunn was a big jazz (laughter)--and says (adopts British accent), "Oh, Joe Oliver and he was Louis' mentor from--." He had all of this information. I was like (makes noise)--so I had to talk about it. Luckily, I knew, you know. And I realized later that more than the reading, my conversation with him was more my audition.

Deborah Lathen

Attorney and former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Cable Bureau Chief, Deborah Ann Lathen was born on March 28, 1953, in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduating from Cornell University with her B.A. degree in 1975, Lathen went on to earn her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1978.

Lathen then practiced law at the law offices of Foley and Lardner LLP, and of Keck, Mahin & Cate. In 1982, she became a litigation attorney at The Quaker Oats Company where she was honored with the Quaker Oats Chairman’s Award in 1988. That same year, Lathen was hired as the Senior Counsel for TRW, Inc.

In 1991, Lathen began working as managing counsel for the Nissan Motor Corporation and specialized in the provision of legal services in the areas of general corporate law, logistics, finance, environmental compliance and other general business matters. Lathen worked for the Nissan Corporation until 1998, when she was hired at the FCC as bureau chief of the Cable Services Bureau. In addition to advising the chairman and commissioners on issues related to internet industries, broadband and cable, as bureau chief, Lathen oversaw some significant changes in the communications industry such as the America Online and Time Warner merger, the implementation of the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act (SHIVA) and the federal regulation of instant messaging.

In 2001, Lathen founded Lathen Consulting in Washington, D.C. and began providing consulting services to telecommunications and media companies. In 2007, she was asked to serve as a board member for British Telecommunications (BT), where she serves on the Remuneration Committee.

Accession Number

A2008.003

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/30/2008 |and| 1/30/2008

4/30/2008

1/30/2008

Last Name

Lathen

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Mckinley Elem School

Larsen Middle School

Elgin High School

Cornell University

Harvard Law School

First Name

Deborah

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

LAT03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Nobody Gets It All.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

3/28/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Bananas

Short Description

Corporate lawyer Deborah Lathen (1953 - ) was the former Federal Communications Commission Cable Bureau Chief. She also founded Lathen Consulting, which provides consulting services to telecommunications and media companies.

Employment

Foley and Lardner

Quaker Oats Company

TRW (Northrop Grumman)

Nissan

Federal Communications Commission

British Telecom

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
70,0:32142,439:36630,508:52175,588:91804,1115:111095,1321:136586,1740:159937,1908:166178,2009:212950,3968$0,0:5775,122:9009,169:28761,505:29230,514:48817,888:49547,900:51372,929:55533,1023:77996,1347:81326,1420:82658,1442:90132,1617:90502,1623:100013,1721:100378,1727:103663,1807:104393,1818:114175,1991:125901,2248:128640,2296:131047,2334:131379,2339:131877,2346:146585,2562:147935,2589:148460,2601:166850,2738:167660,2878:171467,2955:187140,3217:188700,3257:188940,3262:189360,3296:208260,3488:213371,3542:218684,3838:237580,4016:237900,4023:255907,4297:259441,4357:272813,4599:291070,4941
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Deborah Lathen's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Deborah Lathen lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Deborah Lathen describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Deborah Lathen talks about her mother's upbringing in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Deborah Lathen describes her mother's later adolescence in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Deborah Lathen describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Deborah Lathen talks about her father's childhood in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Deborah Lathen talks about her father's education at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, and his teaching career

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Deborah Lathen recounts how her parents met and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Deborah Lathen recalls her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Deborah Lathen remembers the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Deborah Lathen talks about her earliest school years in Momence, Illinois, Kankakee, Illinois, and Ypsilanti, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Deborah Lathen recalls her hobbies and interests during her childhood in Elgin, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Deborah Lathen reflects upon her family's engagement with the Civil Rights Movement during her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Deborah Lathen talks about her determination, from an early age, to attend Harvard University Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Deborah Lathen describes her years at Larsen Middle School and Elgin High School in Elgin, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Deborah Lathen recounts her decision to attend Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Deborah Lathen describes her parents' response to her 1970 decision to attend Cornell University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Deborah Lathen recalls her discouraging guidance counselor at Elgin High School in Elgin, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Deborah Lathen describes her teachers at McKinley Elementary School and Elgin High School in Elgin, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Deborah Lathen recalls her professors and classmates at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, including HistoryMaker Yosef Ben-Jochannan

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Deborah Lathen describes Ujamaa, the black residential community at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Deborah Lathen talks about studying abroad in Europe and Africa during her years at Cornell University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Deborah Lathen recalls her acceptance into Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Deborah Lathen recalls her professors and classmates at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Deborah Lathen describes her coursework at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Deborah Lathen talks about how she worked in corporate law at Foley & Larnder in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1978

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Deborah Lathen describes working for the Quaker Oats Company in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Deborah Lathen talks about living in Chicago, Illinois from 1980 to 1988

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Deborah Lathen describes working for TRW, Inc. and Nissan in Long Beach, California

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Deborah Lathen describes negotiating a contract between Nissan and the Ford Motor Company

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Deborah Lathen describes her relief efforts with HistoryMaker Cecil L. "Chip" Murray's First A.M.E. Church during the 1992 Rodney King Riots in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Deborah Lathen recounts how she became head of the FCC's cable bureau in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Deborah Lathen describes working at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Deborah Lathen talks about FCC regulation in the early years of high-speed Internet

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Deborah Lathen talks about leaving the FCC in 2001 and reentering the private sector

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Deborah Lathen describes working for British Telecom and her service with Rails to Trails

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Deborah Lathen talks about her hopes for HistoryMaker Barack Obama and the black community

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Deborah Lathen reflects upon her life and legacy

DASession

2$2

DATape

3$4

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Deborah Lathen recalls her acceptance into Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Deborah Lathen describes negotiating a contract between Nissan and the Ford Motor Company
Transcript
What else before--well, now you, we know you went to Harvard [Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts]. Now, how, how, how did you finally arrange to--$$I just--$$--go to Harvard Law School?$$Well, I had to cur, I found my courage.$$Okay.$$And I had done very well at Cornell [University, Ithaca, New York]. And so I applied, and I was accepted, and, but--and I was accepted and which was great. I mean I was, I was making everybody crazy because I was just so nervous about it. There were five, five of us that lived together, five of us. We had a house, and we lived off campus. And that poor mailman, he, we would all be hovering, waiting for him to come with the mail. And he knew where everybody had applied in the house. He says, "Nothing from Harvard today," or he'd say to my girlfriend, Myra, "Nothing from the University of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois] today, but I got something from Princeton [University, Princeton, New Jersey] for you" (laughter), 'cause he knew where we wanted to go. And so when the Harvard letter came he handed it to me, and I went it's thin, it's thin. He goes, "Now, now, that doesn't, it doesn't necessarily mean"--'cause you know, in the old days if it was thin it meant you didn't get in, 'cause if it was thick they would give you all the information you thought, you know, with it. I'm like, oh, my God, it's thin. I didn't get in. And I'd been waitlisted at Yale [University, New Haven, Connecticut]. And the day I got wait, waitlisted at Yale, my girlfriend, my roommate got into Yale. So I was all, you know. So, I opened the Harvard letter, and it said, "You've been accepted." And I was like, wow. And it was like, like, but the paper is supposed to be different. I mean it was like just, it was almost like they had just xeroxed the paper and just written your name in it, 'cause it's the same acceptance letter. But you're expecting something like, you know, really special 'cause you got in. And it was April. I think it was April, whenever that stuff comes out. And I called Big Granny, my grandmother in Missouri. And my great-grandfather, Knox, Sullivan Knox, was living was her then and my grandfather, Granddaddy DeWitt. They were all at home. And I said, "Big Granny, Big Granny, Big Granny, I got into Harvard, I got into Harvard." 'Cause for me, Harvard was this--I was still this competitive--it's number one and the whole ego, all that stuff was wrapped up in it. "I got into Harvard, I got into Harvard, I got into Harvard. I'm so excited, I'm so excited." And I--she, she said, "Baby, that's really great, that's really great." I hear her scream. She screamed in the background to my grandfathers: "Debbie got into Howard [University, Washington, D.C.; Debbie got into Howard Law School." And I said, "No, grandma, it's Harvard not Howard." And then she paused, and then she said, "Well, that's okay, baby, we're still mighty proud of you, okay." And you know what? I, I tell that story because it tells me what's important in life. Because I know why she was proud about Howard, 'cause Howard was our school. She knew Howard. We used to have a collection in church that you'd put money in for the different Historically Black Colleges and stuff. But it also reminded me of, you know, of where I came from and what was important. And yes, it was great that I had gotten into Harvard. And she would go to church and tell everybody Debbie's at Howard, Debbie's at Howard (laughter).$$That's a great story. So, well, did, did, did you work the summer before you went to Harvard?$$Oh yeah, I worked every summer (laughter). I had to work every--there are six kids in my family, remember? And plus I had to work 'cause we--if I didn't work, my mother was gonna have me cleaning that house, 'cause boy, she didn't--idle minds, you didn't get to lay around Olean Lathen's house. She would have you--we, we did spring cleaning four seasons out of the year, okay (laughter).$And I'm sort of getting off track here, but let me, let me sort of move back. At Nissan I was assigned by default a very large project, and it required me to work with Japanese businessmen directly from Tokyo [Japan]. It was a project that nobody wanted 'cause it was just in shambles. And it was a joint venture between the Ford Motor Company and Nissan. And things had just gone awry in terms of negotiations between Nissan and the Ford Motor Company, in terms of cost-sharing for the product. All kinds of things were--$$It was the van project.$$Exactly.$$Nissan Quest and the--$$It was the Nissan Quest--$$--Ford--$$Villager.$$Villager, okay--$$Okay.$$--the Mercury Villager.$$Yeah, exactly. And this was I think the first joint venture between Nissan and Ford in this country. And it was a joint product development. It wasn't a legal joint venture. And so we got called in because the contracts were, there either were no contracts, or the contracts were in disarray. And so the called us in to help us--to help out the Japanese negotiation team from Tokyo. And so I was a lawyer assigned to the case 'cause, I mean, pretty much a lot of the contracts that had been entered into hadn't been reviewed by Nissan. And we were kind of stuck, so how are we gonna fix this mess? And I always like challenges. So, I was brought in to work on that. And it took a very long time for me, you know, to build a relationship with the Japanese businessmen who aren't used to working with women period, let alone a black American woman. They don't work with women in, in those days. But, you know, I tell the story about we'd go to these negotiations with Ford, and Ford would have their cadre of lawyers sitting right next to the, the negotiator. And I'd be sitting somewhere way off to the side, because in Japanese culture it is, you know, it's bad form; you're seen as being weak if you had to show up with your lawyer. I mean, it's like, you can't negotiate. You got to have your lawyer. So I'd be off, and so it was very frustrating for me to try to figure out, well, how am I going to help out my client when I'm over here and he's over there. And over time I inched my way over to the point where I was actually sitting, yeah, next to the negotiator, and they were asking my thoughts and opinions and developed a very strong bond with the men that I worked with, you know, Mr. Yurabe (ph.) and just the guys from, from, from Tokyo, from--we developed a very strong bond. And they, they had a nickname for me, which I didn't learn till much later. They, they used to call me the tornado. I said, "Well, why they call me the tornado?" They said, "'Cause when you come in the room, there's nothing left on the table when you negotiate. You just wipe it all off" (laughter). And so, I guess what I'm saying what I was learning is, and what I would say to people is don't believe in stereotypes. People will say oh, "Japanese don't like black people"; Japanese this, "They don't deal with women." They dealt with me, and I learned a lot about them, their culture, and I think they learned a lot from me. And it was probably one of, one of the most rewarding experiences of, of my career, was working for almost a year and a half on that project with working very closely with members from Tokyo.$$Okay, all right, so, so you, you were with Nissan for--$$About eight years, eight--$$About eight years--$$--seems to be my number (laughter).$$Any other stories from that relationship with the--$$Oh, I remember we were, before we go into, into negotiations, there was Mr. Yurabe, who was head of the project, and we were in Michigan--that's where the project was based--and I had said something. This is after we, he'd finally gotten to know me. And, and I said--he was talking about a negotiating strategy, and I said, "That's not gonna work. I'mma tell you, this is what Ford's gonna say. You're gonna say this, and they're gonna say that." And he says, "No, no, no, they would never do that. That is not honorable." I'm like, "Mr. Yurabe, this is not about honor. This is about money. And so, trust me, you don't wanna follow that strategy because this is how Ford's gonna react." We're in the meeting, and he followed his strategy, and they said exactly what I said they were gonna say. So afterwards, we go back and he says: "You are very smart." (Laughter), I'm like, "We've only been doing this for a year." Finally I have some credibility, finally I have some credibility. And you know, you know, never wish for something. You just might get it, because after that, they only wanted to deal with me as their lawyer, you know, it was a lot of work. And I, you know, because with the time difference between Tokyo and here, I'd be getting faxes and phone calls at all kinds of strange hours and stuff. But it was, it was a feeling of accomplishment. But when the "you are very smart" (laughter).