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Nola Lancaster Whiteman

Education administrator Nola Lancaster Whiteman was born on October 25, 1938 in Harlem, New York to Ruby Lolita Davis Lancaster and Ernest Alfred Lancaster. She graduated from Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, New York in 1955 at sixteen years old, and received her B.A. degree in early childhood education from Queens College, City University of New York in Flushing, New York in 1959, and her M.Ed. degree from The City College, City University of New York in New York.

In college, Whiteman worked at Martin’s Department Store as one of few African American employees. After graduation, Whiteman worked at P.S. 90 Edna Cohen School in Brooklyn, New York. She then became a professor’s assistant while obtaining her M.Ed. degree and went back to teaching at P.S. 115 Alexander Humboldt in Upper Manhattan, New York. Whiteman was then promoted as curriculum assistant at New York City District 12 in the Bronx, New York, and during the decentralization of New York Public Schools, Whiteman became executive assistant to the superintendent. During this period, she also helped develop teacher centers with the United Federation of Teachers to conduct seminars for public school teachers. When Dr. Arnold Webb was named dean of the School of Education at The City College, City University of New York, Whiteman was hired as assistant to the dean and became director of the office of academic advisement, student teaching and teacher placement in 1979. In 1983, Whiteman returned to the New York Public Schools as executive assistant to the chancellor, Anthony Alvarado. She later took a leave of absence and secured a position at Bank Street College in New York, New York where she ran a principal retraining program. Whiteman returned to New York Public School and joined the Professional Development Center in 1991, and remained in the position of executive assistant to the chancellor until 1994.

Whiteman served on the board of directors for the Children’s Art Carnival. Young Audiences Arts for Learning, New York, and Young Audiences National, and was a member of the board of trustees of the Sigma Pi Phi, Boule Foundation. Whiteman also was a member of The Links, Inc. and served as the national president of the Girl Friends, Inc. from 2002 to 2004.

Nola Lancaster Whiteman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 20, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.144

Sex

Female

Interview Date

08/20/2017

Last Name

Whiteman

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lancaster

Organizations
First Name

Nola

Birth City, State, Country

Harlem

HM ID

WHI26

Favorite Season

All seasons

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Wherever I go.

Favorite Quote

Stamp out dependency.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

10/25/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Education administrator Nola Lancaster Whiteman (1938 - ) served as executive assistant to the chancellor of New York Public Schools and assistant to the dean of The City College, City University of New York.

Favorite Color

Powder blue

Arthur Mitchell

Dancer, choreographer and artistic director Arthur Mitchell was born on March 27, 1934 in Harlem, New York to Arthur Mitchell, Sr. and Willie Hearns Mitchell. He attended the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan. In addition to academics, Mitchell was a member of the New Dance Group, the Choreographers Workshop, Donald McKayle and Company, and High School of Performing Arts’ Repertory Dance Company. After graduating from high school in 1952, Mitchell received scholarships to attend the Dunham School and the School of American Ballet.

In 1954, Mitchell danced on Broadway in House of Flowers with Geoffrey Holder, Louis Johnson, Donald McKayle, Alvin Ailey and Pearl Bailey. He joined John Butler’s dance company in Europe before Lincoln Kirstein, general director of the New York City Ballet (NYCB), invited him to join NYCB’s corps de ballet. Mitchell became the first African American permanent member of a major American ballet company in 1955, when he performed with Tanaquil Le Clercq in Western Symphony. Then, in 1957, famed ballet choreographer George Balanchine choreographed Agon pas de deux, considered to be the first interracial duet in American ballet, for Mitchell and Diana Adams. Balanchine choreographed the role of Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Mitchell, as Mitchell performed in a succession of NYCB productions, including Bugaku and Arcade, throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In 1966, Mitchell organized the American Negro Dance Company, which represented the U.S. at the first World Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar, Senegal. Mitchell then founded the National Ballet Company of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro in 1968. Mitchell, with mentor and friend Karel Shook, co-founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem in 1969, the first black classical ballet company, which debuted at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City in 1971. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the Dance Theatre of Harlem produced ballets, including Dougla, Troy Game, The Firebird and Creole Giselle. When the Dance Theatre of Harlem performed in South Africa in 1992, it launched its international outreach program, Dancing Through Barriers, designed to educate children in dance through master classes and open rehearsals.

Mitchell received numerous awards. In 1993, he was recognized by the Kennedy Center Honors, and was named a MacArthur Genius Fellow in 1994. President Bill Clinton presented Mitchell with a U.S. National Medal of Arts in 1995. Then, in 1999, Mitchell was inducted into the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame, the only U.S. museum dedicated exclusively to dance. He received the Heinz Award in Art and Humanities in 2001, and was featured in a PBS American Masters documentary, Balanchine in 2004. Between 2009 and 2010, the exhibit “Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts” premiered in New York City and Los Angeles. Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library acquired Mitchell’s archives, its first major dance collection, in 2015.

Mitchell passed away on September 19, 2018.

Arthur Mitchell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 6, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.034

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/5/2016

Last Name

Mitchell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Organizations
Schools

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts

Junior High School 43

P.S. 86

School of American Ballet

First Name

Arthur

Birth City, State, Country

Harlem

HM ID

MIT14

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

The Arts Ignite The Mind. They Give You The Possibility To Dream And Hope.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/27/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Collard Greens

Death Date

9/19/2018

Short Description

Dancer, choreographer, and artistic director Arthur Mitchell (1934 - 2018 ) was a principal dancer for the New York City Ballet for fifteen years. In 1969, he co-founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the first African American classical ballet company and school.

Employment

Dance Theater of Harlem

New York City Ballet

Favorite Color

Black

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Arthur Mitchell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Arthur Mitchell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Arthur Mitchell describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Arthur Mitchell describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Arthur Mitchell describes his childhood in New York City's Harlem neighborhood, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Arthur Mitchell describes his childhood in New York City's Harlem neighborhood, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Arthur Mitchell describes his siblings and their children

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Arthur Mitchell describes his father's incarceration

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Arthur Mitchell describes his early activities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Arthur Mitchell recalls his audition for the High School of Performing Arts in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Arthur Mitchell remembers the High School of Performing Arts

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Arthur Mitchell describes his experiences of racial discrimination in dance companies

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Arthur Mitchell describes his role in 'Four Saints in Three Acts'

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Arthur Mitchell remembers his decision to study with Katherine Dunham

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Arthur Mitchell describes his early interest in dance and theater

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Arthur Mitchell describes his work on 'Shinbone Alley'

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Arthur Mitchell remembers performing with Eartha Kitt

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Arthur Mitchell talks about his dance scholarships

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Arthur Mitchell describes how he decided to study ballet

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Arthur Mitchell recalls the professional dancers with whom he worked in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Arthur Mitchell describes his decision to leave Katherine Dunham School of Dance and Theatre

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Arthur Mitchell describes his involvement with New York City dance schools and productions

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Arthur Mitchell describes his body type and dance technique

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Arthur Mitchell describes his experiences of racial discrimination in ballet

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Arthur Mitchell describes the production of 'House of Flowers'

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Arthur Mitchell describes his roles with June Taylor and Donald McKayle

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Arthur Mitchell remembers dancing in European productions

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Arthur Mitchell describes his perspective on religion

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Arthur Mitchell describes his performance in George Balanchine's 'Western Symphony'

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Arthur Mitchell describes the African American dance community of the 1940s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Arthur Mitchell describes the School of American Ballet and 'House of Flowers'

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Arthur Mitchell reflects upon being the first African American dancer in the New York City Ballet

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Arthur Mitchell describes how he became a member of the New York City Ballet

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Arthur Mitchell remembers learning ballet techniques

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Arthur Mitchell talks about the differences between dance companies

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Arthur Mitchell recalls Tanaquil Le Clercq's polio diagnosis

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Arthur Mitchell describes George Balanchine's interest in Josephine Baker

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Arthur Mitchell describes his relationship with George Balanchine

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Arthur Mitchell remembers George Balanchine creating 'Agon'

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Arthur Mitchell describes the production of 'Agon'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Arthur Mitchell describes George Balanchine's creative process

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Arthur Mitchell talks about his experiences at the New York City Ballet

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Arthur Mitchell remembers traveling to Russia with the New York City Ballet

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Arthur Mitchell remembers dancing for George Balanchine

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Arthur Mitchell recalls dancing in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Arthur Mitchell describes Tanaquil Le Clercq's role at the Dance Theatre of Harlem

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Arthur Mitchell remembers George Balanchine's reputation

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Arthur Mitchell talks about the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Arthur Mitchell recalls working with Doris Jones and Claire Haywood

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Arthur Mitchell recalls founding the National Ballet Company of Brazil

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Arthur Mitchell describes his ballet, 'Rhythmetron'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Arthur Mitchell remembers his Broadway roles

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Arthur Mitchell remembers 'House of Flowers' and Lincoln Kirstein

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Arthur Mitchell remembers choreographing 'The Cotton Club'

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Arthur Mitchell recalls founding the Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York City

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Arthur Mitchell reflects upon his teaching style

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Arthur Mitchell describes the Dance Theatre of Harlem's repertoire

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Arthur Mitchell recalls the Dance Theatre of Harlem's debut performance

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Arthur Mitchell remembers dancing in Spoleto, Italy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Arthur Mitchell reflects upon the state of the arts in New York City

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Arthur Mitchell remembers Geoffrey Holder, Katherine Dunham and George Balanchine

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Arthur Mitchell describes the Dance Theatre of Harlem's international tours

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Arthur Mitchell recalls his trips to Russia, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Arthur Mitchell recalls his trips to Russia, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Arthur Mitchell describes the funding for the Dance Theatre of Harlem

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Arthur Mitchell describes the faculty of the Dance Theatre of Harlem

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Arthur Mitchell reflects upon his work with the Dance Theatre of Harlem

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Arthur Mitchell recalls an instance of vandalism at the Dance Theatre of Harlem

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Arthur Mitchell remembers purchasing a studio for the Dance Theatre of Harlem

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Arthur Mitchell describes his ballet, 'Creole Giselle'

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Arthur Mitchell recalls the Dance Theatre of Harlem's principal dancers

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Arthur Mitchell describes the television broadcast of 'Creole Giselle'

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Arthur Mitchell reflects upon the success of the Dance Theatre of Harlem

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Arthur Mitchell reflects upon the Dance Theatre of Harlem's funding, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Arthur Mitchell reflects upon the Dance Theatre of Harlem' funding, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Arthur Mitchell recalls the Dance Theatre of Harlem strike

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Arthur Mitchell reflects upon men and women's patronage of the arts

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Arthur Mitchell talks about the Harlem Homecoming program

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Arthur Mitchell reflects upon his awards and honors

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Arthur Mitchell describes the Dance Theatre of Harlem's international appeal

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Arthur Mitchell describes his departure from the Dance Theatre of Harlem

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Arthur Mitchell reflects upon the future of the Dance Theatre of Harlem

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Arthur Mitchell describes his international travels

Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Arthur Mitchell reflects upon his impact on the black dance community, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 12 - Arthur Mitchell reflects upon his impact in the black dance community, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 13 - Arthur Mitchell describes his plans for the future

Tape: 9 Story: 14 - Arthur Mitchell describes his choreographic process

Tape: 9 Story: 15 - Arthur Mitchell remembers working with Marian Anderson and Aretha Franklin

Tape: 9 Story: 16 - Arthur Mitchell reflects upon his life

Tape: 9 Story: 17 - Arthur Mitchell talks about his archive

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

10$8

DATitle
Arthur Mitchell describes his performance in George Balanchine's 'Western Symphony'
Arthur Mitchell recalls founding the Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York City
Transcript
Can we talk about your time at New York City Ballet?$$Yeah (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) And working with Balanchine, because [George Balanchine]--$$Well the (laughter)--$$What?$$When you join a company, the, the small roles and things like that went to the latest dancer and Todd Bolender did a ballet called 'Souvenirs' and they wanted me to be the elevator operator and close the door. I said, "Now let's get, I, no, no, no, no, no, I will get in and close the door, but I'm not wearing white gloves." I, I've always been like, "No, no, no," and I've always fought for what I thought was right. And I started by da- I did 'Western Symphony' [George Balanchine]. Jacques [Jacques d'Amboise] was doing the movie 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' and he was in Hollywood doing the movie so I made my debut doing the fourth movement of 'Western Symphony' with Balanchine's wife at that time, Tanaquil Le Clercq. And it was historic. I mean, and I said to Mr. Ba- I said, "Now Mr. B," or Mr. Bal- not Mr. B, "Mr. Balanchine, I don't want any publicity, take me in the company and I will get everything I got due to my talent and hard work, not that I was gonna be black." So he said, "Oh, black man," I said, "Not a black guy breaks the bonds going to ballet and stuff like that," and that's one of the things I said to Mr. Balanchine, "If you put me in the company, just let me get it on my hard work not because of the black da-da-da-da-da." And I said, "Don't tell anybody that I'm in the company," there was no publicity that, Negro breaks barriers or like that. And I remember dancing opening night and there's this bald-headed guy sitting and when I came out he just shot up in his seat, he said, "Oh my God they got a nigger in the company." And I, and I always danced, when I star- for my mother [Willie Hearns Mitchell], my people and stuff like that. And I said, "Okay. I'm gonna be the best I can," and by the end of the evening, I got a standing ovation. And To- what's his name, John, no, John Martin from The New York Times he said oh, the--there's a terrible article that he wrote, he said the--there was something that, the way he phrased it, the novelty of the we- the novelty of the company, they've got a black guy. He said, "But ballet is not--is alien to the physiology, the psychological thing that, it's just not part of their makeup." I said, "Well I'll prove him wrong." And--and I would do little gigs, I mean I would do little thin- anybody that needed a dancer, I would go dance with them, but it was mostly modern dance. And the company, I had been at the school [School of American Ballet, New York, New York], I was eighteen, now this I was around twenty-one now. See there's so much pressed in all this, it's not like it was ten years at--$$Right, right. That's right.$$--that I was the first to do it. I said fine, I like that, but I want to be a ballet dancer and I want them to treat me right.$Let's go to the beginning of Dance Theatre of Harlem [New York, New York]. So, who, how does this--do you go to--how, how do you co--$$How did it come about?$$Yes.$$I never wanted to start it, I just wanted to get a school and give the young kids in Harlem [New York, New York] a chance to get the classical training. And I knew there was a lot of talent there, but I said now, okay. So I got my first grant from the Ford Foundation [New York, New York] and we had to match the money with earned income and contributions. So out of that, I had to make a company that could sta- a group of dancers, we would go around to the schools, we've got--and get earned income. And we went everywhere. And Tania Leon, our musical director, she came from Cuba and she came one day to play class, and I said, "Oh I'm gonna hire you (unclear)." She said, "Oh." "I want you to conduct." She said, "I don't know." I said, "Just move your hand big, keep the rhythm and da-da-da-da." So she became our conductor. The animosity and, well you can say hatred was, people said that, "[HistoryMaker] Arthur Mitchell's crazy. He's starting a ballet company in Harlem. Black people can't do ballet. They got." And so I said well that's what we're going to do. And I asked Balanchine [George Balanchine] to give me his ballets because it's always said that if you dance Balanchine's ballets you will automatically get better. So we did 'Concerto Barocco' [George Balanchine], we did 'Agon' [George Balanchine], 'Four Temperaments' [George Balanchine], 'Allegro Brillante' [George Balanchine] and I have to honestly say a lot of those ballets we danced them better than everybody else. And it was a very beautiful company. And Balanchine says, "You know my dear, you know my dear, ten years he will have the most beautiful company in the world." And it was.$$It was. So it was almost his dream though too, right, he had. This was the sixteen black--black females (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah. And he, he (laughter) he, he was, and we would talk about food, we would talk about clothing, we'd talk about the psyche and things like that, and he liked that 'cause no one I--we became like friends rather than my boss and his student. And he, and he knew that Lincoln [Lincoln Kirstein] liked me. I said, "Mr. Balanchine, I don't get involved with all that foolishness, that, that's silly." I said, "These people think they're gonna sleep their way to the top, it doesn't happen." And so they used to call me the man with the iron drawers. They said, "Nobody's gonna (laughter)." Because they say, "You know, Mitchell," and all the young designers, and such, they all wanted to work with me. And they made my clothes and then I would have things made for Mr. Balanchine. We'd do a ballet, he says, "No, no, no, no, costumes not right." Let me--I'd go home and bring clothes and those became the costumes for New York City Ballet. I mean I was enterprising, you know what I mean. And the Modern Jazz Quartet, Balanchine wanted to do a jazz ballet.$$So, so he blessed you starting the school (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well yes, in a sense, I, how can I say it. He was carrying over all the attraction that he had with [HistoryMaker] Katherine Dunham or Josephine Baker and he had worked with the Nicholas brothers [HistoryMaker Fayard Nicholas and Harold Nicholas], you know, they can romp, and I can't do that, but he always liked that fact. Like he said, "You know my dear, I do 'Slaughter on Tenth Av- Tenth Avenue' ['Slaughter on Tenth Avenue,' George Balanchine] who can tap." I'd say, "I can tap." "Not that kind of--." And he brought Ray Bolger in to coach me. And Ray Bolger said, "No, you know, it's just (gesture), it's no steps it's just an attitude." I said, "Okay fine." So that's what I did.

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels

Hip hop artist Darryl “DMC” McDaniels was born on May 31, 1964 in Harlem, New York. He graduated from Rice High School in Manhattan in 1982, and enrolled at St. John’s University in Queens, New York, but did not graduate.

In 1982, McDaniels formed Run DMC with group mates Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell. In 1984, Run DMC signed to Profile Records under the management of Russell Simmons, and released their first album, Run DMC. That same year, the group’s music video “Rock Box” became first rap music video played on MTV. In 1985, Run DMC released the King of Rock album. They became only the second rap group to appear on American Bandstand, performing the hit “Jam Master Jammin.” In 1986, Run DMC released the critically acclaimed Raising Hell album, which was their top selling album, reaching certified triple platinum status. Raising Hell featured the popular song “Walk This Way,” a cover of the 1975 Aerosmith single of the same name. In the same year, Run DMC became the first rap group to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, and the first rap group to perform on Saturday Night Live. The group followed their success with albums Tougher Than Leather in 1988 and Back From Hell in 1990. In 1993, Run DMC released Down with the King, and after an eight year hiatus, Run DMC released their comeback album, Crown Royal in 2001. McDaniels released his first solo album, Check Thugs and Rock N Roll, in 2006.

McDaniels co-founded The Felix Organization, a nonprofit focused on children who grow up in the foster care system. In 2009, he and Run DMC were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. McDaniels authored an autobiography entitled King of Rock: Respect, Responsibility, and My Life with Run DMC, and a memoir entitled Ten Ways to Not Commit Suicide. In 2014, McDaniels created the comic book publishing imprint, Darryl Makes Comics. Run DMC became the first rap group to be awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

McDaniels and his wife, Zuri McDaniels, have one son, Darryl “D’Son” McDaniels, Jr.

Darryl “DMC” McDaniels was interviewed by The Historymakers on August 26, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.018

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/26/2016

Last Name

McDaniels

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

St. Pascal Baylon School

Rice High School

St. John's University

First Name

Darryl

Birth City, State, Country

Harlem

HM ID

MCD08

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

“My Whole Life Is A Big Vacation.”

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/31/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Apple Pie, Rice Pudding and Red Velvet Cake

Short Description

Hip hop artist Darryl "DMC" McDaniels (1964 - ) was a founding member of the hip hop group Run DMC.

Employment

Run-DMC

DMC Enterprises

DMC Comics

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:1536,40:3136,122:3840,130:4160,136:8990,212:10992,244:12070,259:12917,271:15766,326:16613,343:52630,858:53270,867:53750,875:54070,880:54390,885:60980,1001:63500,1049:66440,1103:71270,1198:71620,1204:78810,1280:81040,1328:82318,1352:82602,1357:82886,1362:83454,1372:85550,1400:85998,1410:86278,1416:86502,1421:86894,1430:88182,1479:88798,1493:89022,1498:89246,1503:89694,1513:89974,1519:93447,1528:95470,1544:101263,1635:101844,1645:107766,1710:108635,1722:109662,1744:110926,1765:116781,1822:117033,1827:117285,1832:117537,1837:123625,1947:124335,1962:125471,1993:134417,2177:134772,2189:135056,2194:141787,2233:142744,2246:151096,2381:157274,2472:159710,2548:160130,2554:160466,2559:164162,2619:167858,2707:168194,2712:173790,2752:174430,2768:175310,2780:181616,2892:182600,2910:182928,2915:183502,2930:184486,2948:188258,3035:188996,3045:189406,3051:195814,3128:198090,3142:198354,3147:198816,3155:201126,3223:201720,3238:202710,3318:205482,3370:207462,3411:214535,3473:216490,3499:217255,3512:217595,3517:219380,3552:219720,3557:220060,3562:220655,3570:227052,3624:228636,3656:228996,3662:234041,3751:234593,3762:235007,3771:235697,3786:237905,3827:238664,3842:248030,3951:251585,3987:254060,4059:254885,4078:255410,4086:262685,4215:263435,4227:263735,4232:264485,4244:268390,4279:286140,4622$0,0:41555,428:42410,440:42980,447:53890,529:54760,542:55108,547:57979,621:58327,626:58849,658:59371,665:59719,678:66180,763:69840,788:72368,830:79794,981:82085,1018:90262,1091:90606,1096:94920,1136:95304,1144:98056,1198:98760,1255:105561,1289:107532,1332:108262,1347:109795,1375:110087,1380:111109,1402:113153,1438:113883,1449:114248,1455:114686,1462:115197,1472:120674,1512:120994,1518:123746,1581:124194,1590:124770,1600:127394,1652:127650,1657:128034,1664:135467,1776:139514,1874:139940,1883:143206,1977:152936,2051:153304,2057:158916,2167:161492,2205:163056,2225:177173,2332:183016,2403:187336,2488:190504,2528:194612,2550:195928,2573:196586,2582:197244,2595:197902,2604:199030,2617:201662,2661:202038,2666:202884,2678:203636,2687:216206,2780:222861,2856:223525,2867:224106,2886:228920,2945:229335,2951:229916,2959:230248,2964:230746,2971:235294,2993:236217,3007:242760,3136:243150,3143:243410,3148:244060,3159:244515,3167:244775,3172:245230,3180:246985,3217:247830,3234:248090,3239:253760,3323:254040,3332:256910,3419:261530,3518:265450,3657:265730,3662:268390,3726:277824,3791:280134,3844:280904,3860:285832,3960:289030,3978:289426,4006:292594,4107:294376,4150:303780,4292:305730,4330:306185,4339:307225,4361:307680,4369:308785,4396:311255,4450:314190,4473
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Darryl "DMC" McDaniels' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes his birth mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about his adoption

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Darryl DMC McDaniels talks about the adoption laws in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers meeting his birth mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes his adoptive parents' backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes the Hollis neighborhood of Queens, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about his early activities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes his interest in comic books

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls his early experiences of bullying

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes the demographics of his neighborhood in Queens, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes the celebrity residents of Queens, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls his introduction to hip hop music

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls selling his comic books to buy deejay equipment

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels explains the process of mixing music

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers 'Superrappin'' by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about disco and hip hop music

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls listening to early hip hop music

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers his childhood friends

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls his early friendship with Reverend Run

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers the early hip hop artists

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes the early hip hop battles

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about the decline of musical education

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes his high school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers recording Run-DMC's first singles, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers recording Run-DMC's first singles, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls signing a contract with Profile Records

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls his aspirations while in college

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers leaving college to tour with Run-DMC

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels explains the origin of Jam Master Jay's name

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes his friendship with Jam Master Jay

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about Reverend Run and Jam Master Jay

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about Run-DMC's visual style

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls the premiere of Run-DMC's first video on MTV

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about Run-DMC's song, 'Walk This Way'

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes the impact of Run-DMC's 'Walk This Way'

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls the introduction of hip hop music to the mainstream

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Darryl "DMC" talks about Run-DMC's contribution to hip hop music

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers a gang brawl at a Run-DMC concert

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about contemporary hip hop music

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels reflects upon the negative messages in hip hop music

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about parental advisory labels

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about the commercialization of hip hop music

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers the night that Tupac was killed

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about Run-DMC's original style

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about the labelling of conscious rap

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers President Barack Obama's election

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls listening to early hip hop music
Darryl "DMC" talks about Run-DMC's contribution to hip hop music
Transcript
What I was gonna say was when me and my brother [McDaniels' adoptive brother, Alford McDaniels] we got our turntables, my brother would leave and go, I would go in the basement. Before I heard 'Superrappin',' I heard a cassette tape of a live performance of Grandmaster Flash so I knew Flash was a deejay but I was still too little to put it together. Then when I heard the Furious Five record, I knew, I started paying attention. The 'Rapper's Delight' guys [Sugarhill Gang] is rapping over this music telling their stories then I heard the way the Furious Five did it I just started writing rhymes so I could have rhymes for a deejay, wasn't to be that and that was '78 [1978] that was eighth grade [at St. Pascal Baylon School, Queens, New York]. I was the class of '82 [1982] so '79 [1979], '80 [1980], '81 [1981], '82 [1982]. And '79 [1979] was my freshman year at Rice High School [New York, New York] so what I'm trying to say is we had these records out, we had these rap records--these, these, it wasn't even hip hop. See I'm--hip hop before it was labeled. We had records like 'Rapper's Delight' and 'Superrappin'' but it wasn't rap songs 'cause it was deejays and emcees so we had these records out where we were using a lot of disco records 'cause disco records always had the great beat the deejay could keep going but when I got to Rice High School in Harlem [New York, New York] which was right over from the Bronx [New York] but see I didn't know all this, when I got to Rice High School in ninth grade, I heard a form of this rapping emcee stuff that I didn't know exist. What I mean is when I got to Rice High School, I started hearing one of the guys who wrote 'Rapper's Delight' and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five before they was allowed to even go record in recording studios. I heard what they were doing at their block parties and their park parties and what I was gonna say was there was a hip hop that was already in the club. That's why a lot of the records, a lot of the rappers wanted to sound like your favorite jock. "I'm the disco deejay rapping man you know I say clap your hands and stomp your feet," those were older dudes. Those dudes were basically twenty-one and older. Maybe nineteen and older and they could get in a club they could (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Donnie Simpson style voice--$$Yes.$$Imhotep Gary Byrd.$$Gary Byrd yes. Exactly. Gary Byrd and what was the guy Hank Strand [sic. Hank Spann] and what the guy on WBLS [WBLS Radio, New York, New York]? Oh my goodness. So those guys were doing the hip hop deejay thing in that mode. They was already in the club so remember I was too young to get in the club. When I got to Rice High School to make you understand better, I started hearing Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five before they even thought about recording records. I started hearing the Treacherous Three. The Funky Four Plus One. The Plus One was this female girl [Sha Rock] it was four dudes and this female girl that was rapping but the beautiful thing about me hearing hip, hearing these emcees who were rapping before they made records, they were talking about stuff that I could relate as a young dude. They were talking about going to school. They were talking about going to eat at McDonald's. They were talking about going to the movies. They were talking about watching Bugs Bunny. It was the younger demographic doing--emulating the hip hop, there was a younger demographic emulating the radio deejay club style deejay performance thing but they were talking about what they did and that changed my perception of writing. Then I realized I can write about what Darryl [HistoryMaker Darryl "DMC" McDaniels] does. So that kind of--I had no idea where this was going but that started me okay I became Easy D. It was easy for me to write because I'm a good student and my name is Darryl begins with a D so originally my, my, my rap name was Easy D and I used to just write all these rhymes about what Darryl liked to do, going to the store, playing with my G.I. Joes, playing with my army men, listening to the radio, riding my skateboard, riding my bike. What I like to eat. So that all was what I was writing not even thinking of being them just you supposed to do this it's like playing with my G.I. Joe.$$So basically you just you know performed these raps for yourself or did you (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, yeah it was me believing--the same way I used to pretend to be Batman and Superman, it was me pretending to be Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five that's all (simultaneous).$Now here you are, from everything I read Run-DMC is as you said the emergent you know rap group and everybody who follows basically is looking at what Run-DMC is doing and following in a sense.$$(OFF CAMERA INTERRUPTION)$$But anyway Run-DMC is setting the tone for everybody else now right in this--$$No, no I mean what Run-DMC--we didn't--people say I know y'all didn't invent it but y'all started all of this but we did. The people that really started it is Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Fantastic Five, Treacherous Three, Funky Four Plus One, Cold Crush Four [Cold Crush Brothers], Afrika Bambaataa and the Zulu Nation [Universal Zulu Nation], Kurtis Blow, Busy.$$Busy Bee.$$Yeah. All of the rappers yeah all of the rappers Kool Herc [DJ Kool Herc] everybody before Run-DMC started this. Run-DMC's role in this was this on the record 'My Adidas' when we did the record 'My Adidas,' I said what Run-DMC did, "We took the beat from the street and put it on TV for the world to see." That was our role in this. We didn't start it. We came--everything Run-DMC does and did was what everybody before us was doing. But our role in this fell right in the timeslot of where were we--our role was to be the ones to present it to the world. But once we did that, you gotta think about it, once we did that, we showed that there could be diversity and uniqueness in this music. It didn't all have to be--in the beginning it was considered black ghetto music, is what hip hop was. And every record was about life in the ghetto, growing up in the ghetto, the struggles of this and that. Me personally I knew in the dirt poor ghetto there was good things going on. That's why I rhymed about family, that's why I rhymed about school, that's why I rhymed about eating chicken and collard greens. Everything did have to be my father's a pimp and pusher and this and that, he shot them and this and that, it didn't have to be about the dark bad things. You could rhyme about the good, but that being said, what Run-DMC did was allow for De La Soul, Public Enemy, Fat Boys [The Fat Boys], Naughty by Nature, A Tribe Called Quest, Slick Rick, you know what I'm saying, N.W.A. [Niggaz Wit Attitudes] even we allowed for everybody to bring what it is they wanted to present in a universal way you know what I'm saying. I think that one of the things that we, we can be untouched in is our show was always authentic hip hop. Meaning we never had dab machines, we never had props, we never had dancers. It was Run, Run-DMC just wanted to be the best deejay and emcees that you ever saw. I think we accomplished that but we didn't start it, we just showed that this is the starting point but you could go any place that you want to with it. But over the years, a lot of the business has diluted and polluted our culture. I'm not talking about music making, we created hip hop so that our, the viewer or the listener or the partaker in it could realize they didn't have to only be those circumstances that they come from. Now hip hop says it's cool to be a gangsta, it's cool to be a thug; it's cool to sell drugs. No those are things that people did because they thought they had no other alternatives. You know I got dudes that come up to me and say, "Yo D [HistoryMaker Darryl "DMC" McDaniels] just because you said it, just because you said you went to St. John's University [Queens, New York] and went to school I had dropped out of high school. I didn't think a diploma was important. But because you said it that's its cool to have that I went and got a GED [General Educational Development] just so I can say I got on glasses, I got on a gold chain, I got on Adidas and I got a GED too, that's part of that package." So I think that's what Run-DMC did, we made positive, positivity gangsta. [HistoryMaker] Wyclef Jean once said DMC is the only emcee that can rhyme about chicken and collard greens, St. John's University and Christmas and make it gangsta. That's what we did you know what I'm saying, we didn't brag about selling drugs, we didn't brag about having sex, we didn't brag about how many guns we had. We, we rapped about how many sneakers we had and where those sneakers went. It's different saying I got money and I got more sneakers than you. We talked about the places those sneakers went, which is more deeper than just talking about I got this and I got that. It's where can this all go. So Run-DMC showed where hip hop could go.

Art Norman

Broadcast journalist Art Norman was born in New York City, New York. Norman graduated with his B.S. degree in math and physics from Johnson C. Smith University, where he was a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He has also received a first class F.C.C. engineer’s license.

Norman began his broadcasting career in 1969 when he was hired as a television engineer at WCCB-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina. Throughout the 1970s, he worked as a reporter at WPCQ-TV and WSOC-TV, both located in Charlotte; and, in 1976, he served as a writer and photographer on the George Foster Peabody Award winning edition of NBC's "Weekend Magazine." Norman was then hired as a reporter and weekend anchor for Baltimore, Maryland’s WMAR-TV in 1979. In July of 1982, he joined WMAQ-TV NBC5 in Chicago, Illinois as a general assignment reporter. At WMAQ, Norman went on to cover breaking news, anchor broadcasts and cultivate community-oriented feature segments, including the popular “Art Norman’s Chicago.” He retired from WMAQ in 2009, but returned on a part-time basis as a special contributor in 2012.

Norman has received many awards throughout his career. He won North Carolina's RTNDA Award for his coverage of a fatal air balloon crash in 1975, and his documentary on the plight of poor children won a 1978 School Bell Award from the National Association of Educators. He received a 1984 International Radio and Television News Directors Award and a 1987 Wilbur Award; his hosted series, "Cops and Robbers," was honored with two prestigious awards: a national Investigative Reporters and Editors Award and an Associated Press Award for "Best Investigative Reporting." Norman was an integral part of NBC5's coverage of the Beirut hostage crisis, which earned him a 1986 Emmy Award. He also received Emmys for his contributions to NBC5's coverage of the Laurie Dann spot news story; his spot news coverage of the Fox River Grove Bus Crash; and his contribution to NBC5's coverage of the Chicago Auto Show. In all, Norman has earned six Emmy Awards.

Norman's involvement with the Chicago community has also been extensive. In addition to hosting numerous community events each year, he is a spokesman for the United Negro College Fund and serves as an on-air host of their telethon. He is also a frequent NBC 5 News ambassador.

Norman is married and lives in Evanston, Illinois.

Art Norman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 21, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.258

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/21/2014

Last Name

Norman

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Johnson C. Smith University

P.S. 186 Harlem

Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. School,

J.H.S. 43

Brooklyn Technical High School

Samuel Gompers Career and Technical Education High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Art

Birth City, State, Country

Harlem

HM ID

NOR07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Precious Lord Take My Hand

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/6/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potatoes, Collard Greens

Short Description

Broadcast journalist Art Norman (1947 - ) worked as a reporter, anchor and special contributor for Chicago’s WMAQ-TV station for over thirty years. He received six Emmy Awards for his news coverage.

Employment

WCCB-TV

WPCQ-TV

WSOC-TV

NBC

WMAR-TV

WMAQ-TV

Favorite Color

Blue, Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Art Norman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Art Norman lists his favorites, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Art Norman lists his favorites, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Art Norman describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Art Norman talks about his parents' move to New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Art Norman describes his mother's life in New York City's Harlem neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Art Norman remembers growing up in the Harlem community in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Art Norman describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Art Norman remembers his father's combat injuries from World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Art Norman remembers visiting relatives after his parents' separation

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Art Norman describes his half-brother

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Art Norman remembers his twin brother, Lionel Norman

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Art Norman talks about his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Art Norman describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Art Norman remembers his father's mindset about his war injuries

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Art Norman remembers his interests during grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Art Norman talks about the influence of his mentors at Camp Minisink

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Art Norman describes his experiences at Samuel Gompers Vocational and Technical High School in Bronx, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Art Norman talks about his time as a television repairman

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Art Norman remembers building the WJCS Radio station at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Art Norman remembers the criticism of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Art Norman recalls the aftermath of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Art Norman remembers his first professional broadcasting experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Art Norman talks about changing his accent

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Art Norman talks about Steve Jobs' approach to interface design

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Art Norman describes how he became a reporter at WSOC-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Art Norman remembers declining Ted Turner's offer to work at CNN

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Art Norman recalls covering a fatal air balloon crash in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Art Norman remembers his investigative coverage of a nuclear power plant in North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Art Norman remembers his experiences at WMAR-TV in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Art Norman talks about the founding of the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Art Norman remembers joining WMAQ-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Art Norman describes how Oprah Winfrey came to WLS-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Art Norman remembers the election of Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Art Norman talks about Mayor Harold Washington's relationship with the press

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Art Norman remembers the aftermath of Mayor Harold Washington's death

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Art Norman reflects upon the connections between Harold Washington and President Barack Obama

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Art Norman recalls the National Association of Black Journalists' research on the media representation of African Americans

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Art Norman remembers covering a shooting at a family court in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Art Norman remembers his journalistic mentors

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Art Norman talks about his coverage of Andrew Wilson's trial

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Art Norman recalls covering the Laurie Dann shooting

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Art Norman remembers his interactions with Mr. T

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Art Norman talks about covering unlawful searches by Cook County sheriff's deputies

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Art Norman remembers an investigation of racial profiling in the Highland Park Police Department

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Art Norman reflects upon his journalistic philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Art Norman remembers Barack Obama's first campaign for the U.S. Senate

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Art Norman remembers the proposal to hire Jerry Springer at WMAQ-TV

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Art Norman talks about his news segment, 'Art Norman's Chicago'

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Art Norman remembers John H. Johnson

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Art Norman remembers the death of his first wife

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Art Norman talks about his friendship with President Barack Obama

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Art Norman talks about his relationships with his mentees

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Art Norman remembers covering a Ku Klux Klan rally in Concord, North Carolina

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Art Norman reflects upon his experiences as a black reporter in the South

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Art Norman reflects upon his experiences of racism in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Art Norman talks about his favorite news stories

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Art Norman reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Art Norman talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Art Norman remembers meeting Terri Diggs Norman

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Art Norman reflects upon his mentorship of young journalists

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Art Norman describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$7

DAStory

2$1

DATitle
Art Norman talks about covering unlawful searches by Cook County sheriff's deputies
Art Norman remembers covering a Ku Klux Klan rally in Concord, North Carolina
Transcript
Let's, let's talk about the Cook County [Illinois] sheriff's deputy story--$$Yeah--$$--department story, rather.$$Yeah that's in Dixmoor, Illinois and one of the things that, every year I used to emcee the NOBLE [National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives] banquets, which is a black police officers organization, and I got a call from a group of police officers, sheriff's police officers, and they said, "Something is going on, is rotten in Denmark." "What do you mean?" And he says, "We're having raids in communities and they are strip searching women inside clubs for no apparent reason." I said, "What?" So what we did we got our camera crews out there and we started following the Cook County Sheriff's Office and I was no big fan of Sheriff O'Grady [James O'Grady] for doing this, but they went into a club in Dixmoor with a warrant for--marijuana warrant for someone who was in there, and they strip searched everybody in there including the sister of the mayor [David Johnson] of Harvey [Illinois] who was in there watching the Bulls [Chicago Bulls] game. And the point we were trying to make in our story is the fact that if you had marijuana cigarette in Schaumburg [Illinois], should everybody in that nightclub get strip searched? That only happened in the black community and here's another thing that was very upsetting according to the black police officer that approached me about it he said all the white officers were inside this club, the black police officers were on the perimeter, why? And these police officers were mad and they started leaking documents, I'm not going to use names but they started leaking documents to me showing everything. I got a copy of the warrant, I got everything. They're looking for an outstanding warrant for a guy named John Doe for marijuana, why are you strip searching in plain view of everybody in the nightclub in Dixmoor? Ah, that crossed the line. It was at the time when--$$So they did this in public? People were strip searched--$$Right in public. And at the time O'Grady was running for office and I was on the radio talking about it on WGCI [WGCI Radio, Chicago, Illinois] and V103 [WVAZ Radio, Chicago, Illinois] talking about my story, "Be sure and watch it that night," and who should I get a call--calls in Sheriff Michael Sheahan calls in and he says, "O'Grady ought to be ashamed." I said, "Mr. Sheriff Candidate I can't have this conversation with you. You have to be a listener like everybody else because you're running for office, and let the community talk this out." That's what I said on the air to him. I said, "Listen Michael Sheahan I appreciate you calling in, that means a lot but I need you to back off," (laughter) and he did. He did because it was--he was trying to politicize it. I think it was a fact of life that you can't strip search everybody in a nightclub. And they--they had everybody up against the wall then they started taking mug shots of everybody there in this black club watching the Bulls game that night. You couldn't do that in Schaumburg, no. So I did the investigative report on that with a lot of documents and won the investigative reporter of the year award for that series of reports. It was not just one report, it was over five straight days of these reports. And so it won a lot of accolades from IRE [Investigative Reporters and Editors], the investigative reporters organization (simultaneous).$When you look back on everything you've done to this point in your career is there anything major you would do differently?$$No because even your mistakes you learn from your mistakes. I remember going to a Klan rally--yeah I can't believe that either, but it was one of those things that--I'm in North Carolina and I'm going to a Klan rally and the speaker is David Duke the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan [KKK]. So I'm a wise bud and I said, "I'm going to call the Klan and say, can I do an interview, I'm not going to tell them I'm black." So I say, "Hello David Duke." "Yeah how you doing," he's coming in from Louisiana. I say, "Okay I'm in Charlotte, North Carolina. We are going to come over and meet you Concord [North Carolina] and we'll do a sit down interview where you're going to have the rally." He said, "Oh great, great, what time are you going to get there?" I said, "Two o'clock." "Beautiful." I said, "Oh man," I hang up the phone and said, "Whew what have I done?" See these are the kind of stories I put on my video tape resume that in the next bigger market--love. "What the hell did this Negro--?" Anyway I get, I'm getting to go to their rally and so my camera lady is a camera lady and she's white female. So I said, "Listen Marsha [ph.] when we get up there let me carry the bag." "No, no, that's not your job," and I said, "It's going to look kind of weird." "I don't care, my job is to be a camerawoman." She was trying to make a statement that she didn't want anybody to take--I said, "All right, okay, okay." So I'm getting ready to leave the station then I get a call from the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation]. They said, "Mr. Norman [HistoryMaker Art Norman]," I say, "Yes," he says, "You're going to be out there at the Klan rally today, we got a--this is the FBI and we got a feeling that your civil rights are going to violated." I said, "For real?" He said, "Yeah I just want to let you know if you hear any gun shots immediately fall to the ground, immediately, and tell your camera lady the same thing. We have agents and they've infiltrated the Klan and the Klan rally." So I said, "Okay." "So you just go out there and do the interview like you're going to do it but if you hear shots immediately go to the ground." I said, "Okay." He said, "We'll be out there but you won't see us." I said, "Okay," I hung up the phone I said, "Marsha that was the damn FBI." "Get out." So I called the station manager over there and he said, "Well should we do anything?" And I said, "No, they're going to be out there." So I get out there and as soon as I walk out there, get to the car everybody is like--it's a Klan rally. Everybody's got their sheets on and stuff like that and they're like, "Hey nigger." So I said, "Water on a duck's back, I'm not going to let it bother me," said, "I'm going to walk through this." I walked through all those name calling things and I felt like Jackie Robinson, I know what he felt like all right. So I went through it, got to David Duke he said, "I didn't know you was colored." I said, "Yeah you got me; I'm the same guy you talked to on the phone. You didn't ask me what color I was." He said, "You know what you're absolutely right, and you've got balls to come in here," I said, "Absolutely." So we sat down and did the interview. We did an interview for about a twenty minute interview. They gave me all kinds of awards for that interview but the point is I walked right into the lion's den and wasn't afraid and he had a lot of respect for me. We did a good job--good interview and no easy questions, no powder puff questions. I think I felt a little brave 'cause the FBI--I knew the FBI was somewhere nearby (laughter). But these guys they were drinking, they were drinking liquor, they were getting liquored up and it was getting late. I wanted to get out of there before it got night but the point is it was a hostile environment and I got out of there and I said, "Whew." There are other times--I've seen some (unclear) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Did Duke provide any escort for you to leave or (unclear)?$$No just, "Thanks for coming by to see me, can we walk you to the car?" And I said, "No I'm fine I know where, I know where it is." He took a picture with Marsha the lady, he wanted to take a picture of all three of us together, we took a picture of them together, they took a picture and I said, "Fine." I'm still alive (laughter) just one of those things you have to go through you know, it's North Carolina. Wow, it's--things are different in North Carolina, so--but you bring that to the table to your next city or your next town, to your next assignment that you can do that--that you can do that, you can talk to anybody.

John E. Oxendine

Media executive and entrepreneur John Edward Oxendine was born on January 20, 1943 in New York City, New York. He graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1959 and then received his B.A. degree in political science and sociology from Hunter College in 1965. Oxendine went on to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1967 to 1973, and, in 1971, earned his M.B.A. degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business, where he was awarded the John Hay Whitney Fellowship.

Oxendine worked first as a teacher for the New York City Board of Education, and then as a management advisor for the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. In 1971, he became a management consultant for Fry Consultants in San Francisco, California, and in 1972, was hired as a senior associate by Korn Ferry Associates in Los Angeles, California. From 1974 to 1979, Oxendine worked as an assistant manager at the First National Bank of Chicago, and from 1979 to 1981, served as assistant chief in the Finance Assistant Division of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation. Then, in 1981, Oxendine was named president and chief executive officer of Broadcast Capital Fund, Inc., a venture capital organization that provided assistance to minority controlled communications businesses.

In 1987, Oxendine founded and became chairman and chief executive officer of Blackstar Communications, Inc., a company that acquired, owned and operated commercial television stations. He then formed Blackstar, LLC with Fox Broadcasting in 1994, and purchased Broadcast Capital, Inc. in 1999. Oxendine went on to serve as chairman, president and CEO of both Blackstar, LLC and Broadcast Capital, Inc.

Oxendine served as interim CEO and a member of the board of directors of Equity Media Holdings Corporation from June 2008 until January of 2009. He also served on the boards of Paxson Communications Corporation; Lockhart Companies, Inc.; Medlantic Healthcare Group; Family and Child Services of Washington, D.C.; the Interracial Council for Business Opportunity; the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council; the Monterey Institute of International Studies; the National Capitol Area YMCA; HSN, Inc.; Black Student Fund; the Palm Beach International Film Festival; Adopt-A-Classroom; and the Palm Beach County Film and Television Institute. In addition, he has authored several articles on venture capital and media investing that have been published in the Bar Association Law Journal, Duke University Law Review, Journal of Minority Business Finance, and Sound Management.

Oxendine was inducted into the Hunter College Alumni Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council Hall of Fame in 2001. He lives in Boca Raton, Florida.

John E. Oxendine was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 9, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.207

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/9/2014

Last Name

Oxendine

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Edward

Occupation
Schools

P.S. 46 Arthur Tappan School

Jhs 123 James M Kiernan

Bronx High School of Science

Hunter College

Harvard Business School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Harlem

HM ID

OXE01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

It Ain't Easy Being Green

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

1/20/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boca Raton

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pizza

Short Description

Media executive and entrepreneur John E. Oxendine (1943 - ) was founder, president and CEO of Blackstar, LLC, and owner, chairman and CEO of Broadcast Capital, Inc.

Employment

Blackstar

Broadcap

Federal Home Loan Bank

First National Bank of Chicago

Korn Ferry

Fry Consultants

Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John E. Oxendine's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John E. Oxendine lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John E. Oxendine describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John E. Oxendine describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John E. Oxendine describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John E. Oxendine describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John E. Oxendine describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John E. Oxendine describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John E. Oxendine describes his older brother, James Oxendine

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John E. Oxendine recalls his childhood with his twin sister

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John E. Oxendine describes his two younger siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John E. Oxendine describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John E. Oxendine describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John E. Oxendine describes New York City's Harlem community, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John E. Oxendine describes New York City's Harlem community, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John E. Oxendine talks about skipping the fifth grade

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John E. Oxendine describes his experiences at P.S. 46 in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John E. Oxendine describes his involvement in New York City's Sportsmen gang, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John E. Oxendine describes his involvement in New York City's Sportsmen gang, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John E. Oxendine describes the role of religion in his family

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John E. Oxendine describes the role of television and movies during his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John E. Oxendine describes The Bronx High School of Science in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John E. Oxendine describes his childhood in Harlem

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John E. Oxendine recalls his enrollment at New York City's Hunter College

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - John E. Oxendine describes his coursework at Hunter College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John E. Oxendine describes his jobs upon dropping out of college

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John E. Oxendine reflects upon his decision to return to college

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John E. Oxendine remembers studying political science at Hunter College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John E. Oxendine describes his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John E. Oxendine recalls his Peace Corps training in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John E. Oxendine describes his time in Chile with the Peace Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John E. Oxendine describes his reasons for leaving the Peace Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - John E. Oxendine describes his decision to join the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John E. Oxendine describes his U.S. Marine Corps training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John E. Oxendine remembers the 20th Interrogation and Translation Team, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John E. Oxendine remembers the 20th Interrogation and Translation Team, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John E. Oxendine recalls interviewing for a position at the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John E. Oxendine recalls joining the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John E. Oxendine describes his role at Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John E. Oxendine describes his experiences at the Harvard Business School

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John E. Oxendine describes his position at Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John E. Oxendine recalls his mentor at Harvard Business School

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John E. Oxendine reflects upon image of African American entrepreneurs

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John E. Oxendine describes his corporate apprenticeships

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John E. Oxendine remembers joining Broadcast Capital Fund Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John E. Oxendine talks about the Minority Tax Certificate Program

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John E. Oxendine describes his experiences at Broadcast Capital Fund Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - John E. Oxendine reflects upon his investments in media properties

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - John E. Oxendine reflects upon the impact of Broadcast Capital Fund Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - John E. Oxendine describes his decision to found Blackstar Communications Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - John E. Oxendine recalls buying his first two stations for Blackstar Communications Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - John E. Oxendine describes the stations acquired by Blackstar Communications Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - John E. Oxendine recalls his purchase of Broadcast Capital Fund Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - John E. Oxendine remembers the financial collapse of 2008

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - John E. Oxendine reflects upon the future of black entrepreneurs in media

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - John E. Oxendine reflects upon his career choices

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - John E. Oxendine describes his positions at Fry Consultants Inc. and Korn Ferry

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - John E. Oxendine shares his plans for the future

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - John E. Oxendine describes his business philosophy

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - John E. Oxendine describes his hopes and concerns in relation to African American access to media

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - John E. Oxendine shares his thoughts on the sale of BET

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - John E. Oxendine reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - John E. Oxendine talks about his children

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - John E. Oxendine describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - John E. Oxendine describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - John E. Oxendine narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - John E. Oxendine narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$7

DAStory

7$2

DATitle
John E. Oxendine describes his experiences at the Harvard Business School
John E. Oxendine recalls buying his first two stations for Blackstar Communications Inc.
Transcript
I want to go to Harvard [Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts] now. Who was, what was your, what was your reaction at Harvard? Who was there? Who were the, how many African Americans were involved in the M.B.A. program at Harvard when you got there and, you know?$$Well it was the beginning of us being at Harvard in any big numbers. I think there were seven hundred and fifty in a class at Harvard. I was the Class of '71 [1971]. I mean, you got there in '69 [1969], two years we graduate in '71 [1971]. So there's Section A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, I was in Section I, one of ten and I suspect out of the seven-fifty, maybe we had thirty or forty blacks and a good percentage of us graduated but it was an extraordinary experience because it was brand new. Yeah, when you first arrived there, instead of having one drink at a cocktail party, they gave you three. Wait a minute, you know. We didn't have to do the reverse, you know. We weren't invited at all and now we're over-invited, you know, and I think, and the attitude was, even among, I think, the faculty, we'll give them a gentleman C and that's it and we're going like, eh, you know what? We are the bell curve, most of us are probably okay, some of us are very bright and some of us are at the end. So our grades ought to reflect that. Don't, we're not looking for a gentleman grade C, and so that had to be changed, you know. Those of us who don't belong and others, those who are doing great, let us know, and those who are in the middle, let us know but don't--$$Just so you think, there's a preconceived notion--$$Yeah.$$--that you're all the same?$$Yeah, so that changed over the years.$$Okay.$$And I was fortunate enough to work for Larry Fouraker [Lawrence E. Fouraker], a Texan, dean of the school of business, took me under his wing. He was a mentor, too, and when he invited me up there, "Well young man, how you going to, where you going to sleep because we're pretty much full in terms of enrollment." I said, "Well in the Marines [U.S. Marine Corps], sir, I could sleep anywhere," and I really meant that. So he liked that, and he kind of took me on his own, he made me his bartender. So whenever there were any events where he had deans of all the schools come, I'd be tending bar, with a couple of other people, and I'd throw the football with his son and I'd get there early and stay late. When you go, "So John [HistoryMaker John E. Oxendine], what you think about today," (laughter) he'd be asking me all these questions. It was almost like 'The Butler,' I swear (laughter), I mean, because he didn't need me as his bartender, you know. He didn't need me to stay late but, but he meant to me, you know, and he was always a great guy. I felt very fortunate and I would ask him to speak to certain events that we had, the, you know, African American Student Union, stuff like that.$$So did the African American students form the student union?$$Um-hm.$$I've heard about that before and--$$Yeah, but sometimes we got a little bit too militant, I'm going like, you know what? You guys are going to have to be a little bit more respectful of Dean Fouraker. Now I'm going to get him to come here but this is not a time for you to be saying, "Yeah, right on brother and I want to," you know, give a plaque for this one for making the discus. Why do we, you know, you got, we got to honor the dean for even coming here, doing this. We can party later on our own, we don't need that here, but this is an opportunity, so it was a whole learning experience. And then, you know, the second year we started to boycott, you know, well that was the first year we decided. We were supposed to take, we played this game and there were like, as I said, ten classes, ten sections, and it'd be like thirty students to a section and so we created an all-black corporation to go against all the rest. We came out number two, though, out of all of them, and the dean's going like, "John, I don't know, man, you changed, you guys are changing things up here, I mean, this is really crazy, you know." The few blacks that are in Section A should stay in Section A, B, B and C, but we did make a difference. He said, "You don't have to do this, man, because your grades are good enough that even if you didn't take a final exam, you're going to be okay," but some of these people, if you mess up, you're not getting your M.B.A. So it was an extraordinary experience and now that I think about it, Dean Larry Foraker was, you know, one of the great mentors I had.$Now the first one, let's, let's start with the first one and just, just walk us through what happened with the first station.$$Okay, two stations (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) How you got it.$$Okay, Bud Paxson [Lowell "Bud" Paxson] had some television stations. He had one in Portland, Oregon, was really, then he wanted to sell it to me for five million [dollars] and he had another one, right up the street from here, WMOD [sic. WBSF-TV; WOTF-TV, Melbourne, Florida], that he wanted to sell for five million dollars. And I think he owned WMOD and he had the ability to, or he was, he could assign the other one in the Portland area to me. So we started a company called Blackstar [Blackstar Communications Inc.] and I started Blackstar and I said, let's name it after Marcus Garvey's steamship lines [Black Star Line] 'cause that's what we did to take us to freedom, even though it came out of New York [New York] port and sank, I liked the symbolism. So this is going to take me to freedom, and Don Thurston [Donald Thurston] said to me, "John [HistoryMaker John E. Oxendine], it's always good to have, row your own boat. You can go on a cruise ship, fantastic, got a lot of fun, the problem is that when the cruise is over, you've got to go home but if you row your own boat, you meet somebody you like, you stay and you say to the big, who are those people, bye, how you going to get home?" I said, "Well, it'll take me a little longer but I'll get there when I get there." Well, I like to paddle my own canoe and so this was a chance to paddle my own canoe and I thought that Marcus Garvey was showing us that with a big boat that sank. So, I put up $55,000 and he put up $45,000. I had 55 percent of the company, he had 45 [percent] and said, "What are we going to do now?" He said, "Well I'm going to put $5 million in as preferred stock, we got common stock, preferred stock is like common stock but it's preferred, it gets paid first. Preferred stock, 5 million at 14 percent, that's 700,000 a year, hm. If you get 10 television stations, only 70,000 per station, 10 times 70,000, so let's shoot to get 10 television stations but I'm going to give you this preferred stock, that's what you're going to pay me plus my 5 million back." "Okay, let me," I didn't like that number, 14 percent and I changed it eventually down to about 9 but I wanted to get in the game. So we had a company, 55, 45, I had 55, he had 45, we had 5 million. Then he said, "You need to get $5 million, 'cause this first $5 million I will buy, you can buy, the company will buy 1 of my stations but you need another 5," so, I said, "Why? Where am I going to get $5 million?" He said, "Go borrow it." "And why would they even lend me 5 million?" I said--he said, "Well 'cause, you're going to have $5 million that you own in one station and if they lend you 5, you can buy another. The bank will have 2 stations, 10 million bucks [dollars], and they only put up 5 million, and I, Bud Paxson, will give you a loan, I will give you an affiliation agreement for 5 years at X number of dollars that will cover your debt service, operations, et cetera." "Let's dance, that's a good deal." I went to the bank and I said, "Banker, could I have 5 million." They said, "Why would I want to give you 5 million?" And I told them the story, he said, "Okay." So I closed on one in '88 [1988] and shortly after the second one and then in '89 [1989], there was an opportunity to get one in Ann Arbor [Michigan]. The first two, WMOD, made that WBSF for Florida, Channel 43, and those in Daytona Beach [Florida] really covers Orlando [Florida], which is a bigger market. And then the one I got in Oregon was for $5 million. That was, you got a--that's a K, KBSP [KBSP-TV; KPXG-TV, Salem, Oregon], for Portland, for 5 million. I didn't think either one of them was worth 5 million when I looked at it but when I got the affiliation agreement from Bud, then it made it all right.