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Sheryll D. Cashin

Professor Sheryll Cashin was born on December 15, 1961 in Huntsville, Alabama to Joan and John L. Cashin, Jr. She received her B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee in 1984, her M.S.c degree in English Law from Oxford University in England in 1986, and her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1989.

In 1989, Cashin served as a law clerk for Judge Abner Mikva for the U.S. Court of Appeal, D.C. Circuit. The following year, she served as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. In 1993, Cashin served as director of community development for The White House during the Clinton administration. As director of community development for the National Economic Council, she oversaw urban policy and community development initiatives and advised on community development in inner-city neighborhoods. She also worked as an advisor on urban and economic policy with a focus on community empowerment programs. As staff director for the Community Empowerment Board in the Office of Vice President Al Gore, Cashin worked on community-based revitalization strategies for urban and rural communities. In 1996, Cashin left public service and joined the faculty at Georgetown University Law Center, where she has taught Constitutional Law, Race and American Law, and other subjects. In 2018 she was installed as the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Civil Rights and Social Justice.

In 2004, Cashin published The Failures of Integration: How Race and Class Are Undermining The American Dream. Then, in 2006, she published The Agitator’s Daughter: A Memoir of Four Generations of One Extraordinary African American Family, which chronicles her family history from slavery to the post-civil rights era. In 2014, she published Place Not Race: A New Version of Opportunity in America; and, in 2017, Cashin published Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy. The following year, her book The Descendants, which focused on the role of segregation in subordinating African Americans, was released. She has also written commentaries for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Salon, The Root, and other media.

In 2004, her book, The Failures of Integration was an Editors’ Choice in the New York Times Book Review. Cashin is also a three-time nominee for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for non-fiction in 2005, 2009, and 2018. In 2014, her book Place Not Race was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction.

Sheryll Cashin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 21, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.006

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/21/2019

Last Name

Cashin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

D.

Schools

Vanderbilt University

University of Oxford

Harvard Law School

First Name

Sheryll

Birth City, State, Country

Huntsville

HM ID

CAS04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Morocco

Favorite Quote

Power Concedes Nothing Without A Demand, Never Did Never Will

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

12/15/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Favorite Food

Cuban

Short Description

Lawyer and professor Sheryll Cashin (1962 - ) served as the White House’s director of community development during the first Clinton administration before publishing several books and becoming a professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center.

Employment

U.S. Court of Appeals

U.S. Supreme Court

The White House

National Economic Council

Office of the Vice President of the United States

Georgetown University Law Center

Favorite Color

Aqua

Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr.

Professor Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr. was born on December 12, 1966 in Gary, Indiana to Marsha Dimmy Sullivan and Ronald S. Sullivan, Sr. Sullivan graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1985, and went on to receive his B.A. degree in political science and philosophy from Morehouse College in 1989. He then earned his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1994.

In 1994, Sullivan became a visiting scholar for the Law Society of Kenya, where he served on the committee responsible for drafting a new constitution for Kenya, and worked on the Kenyan Human Rights commission. Upon returning to the United States, Sullivan joined the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia as a staff attorney He went on to work for law firms of Baach, Robinson & Lewis, LLP and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP. In 1998, Sullivan served on President Bill Clinton’s legal defense team. In 2000, Sullivan returned to the Public Defender Service, and was named director two years later. Then, Sullivan joined the faculty of Yale Law School as a clinical professor of law in 2004. The following year, Sullivan became a founding fellow of the non-profit think-tank, The Jamestown Project. He also designed a defense delivery system, which led to the release of 6,000 wrongfully incarcerated inmates after Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, Sullivan chaired then-senator Barack Obama’s criminal justice policy group during his presidential campaign, and was recruited by Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan to join the Harvard Law School faculty as a professor and director of the criminal justice institute.

In 2009, Sullivan and his wife, Stephanie Robinson, were appointed faculty deans at the Winthrop House of Harvard College, making them the first African Americans to assume the roles. Sullivan was appointed to the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services in 2011. Sullivan was also tasked with the design and implementation of a conviction review unit in Brooklyn, New York. Sullivan successfully represented the family of Michael Brown after Brown’s fatal shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. He went on to represent Usaamah Abdullah Rahim in 2015, and head the defense team for ex-NFL New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez in 2016.

Sullivan and his wife have two sons.

Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 19, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.171

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/19/2018

Last Name

Sullivan

Maker Category
Middle Name

S.

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Ronald

Birth City, State, Country

Gary

HM ID

SUL02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Stay Strong.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/12/1966

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Soul Food

Short Description

Professor Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr. (1966- ) was a Harvard Law School professor and director of the criminal justice institute where he has focused on the release of wrongfully convicted prisoners.

Favorite Color

Orange

Erika George

Professor Erika George was born on July 8, 1970 in Chicago, Illinois to Betty Ann Zeno George and Alton Lloyd George. George graduated with her B.A. degree in politics, economics, rhetoric, and law with honors from the University of Chicago in 1992, and earned her M.A. degree in international relations in 1993. In 1996, George received her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, where she served as articles editor for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.

Upon earning her law degree, George worked as a litigation associate at Jenner & Block in Chicago, clerked for Judge William T. Hart on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and worked as a litigation associate at Coudert Brothers in New York City. In 1999, George accepted a fellow position at Human Rights Watch in New York City. She conducted research in South Africa on human rights, violence against women, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic, composing a book length report called “Scared at School: Sexual Violence Against Girls in South African Schools.” In 2003, George became an assistant professor of law at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, teaching courses on constitutional law, human rights law, civil procedure, and international environmental law. She became a full professor in 2008, and was promoted to Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law in 2017. George also served as co-director of the Center for Global Justice at the University of Utah. In addition to serving as a visiting professor at the University of Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa, George was also a visiting professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2010, and a visiting scholar at the American Bar Foundation in 2011. In 2015, George was appointed to the American Bar Association’s Center for Human Rights Board.

George received local and international recognition for her legal and civic contributions, including the 2008 Early Career Award from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, and the Sexual Assault Awareness Month Award from the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault in 2014. George also received recognition from Salt Lake City’s Human Rights Commission and the mayor’s Office of Diversity and Human Rights. She was honored for her work on the Migrant Women Project by Zion Bank at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival “Women’s Celebration Lunch” in Park City, Utah, and her research was featured by the Institute of Human Rights and Business. She was also elected to serve on the Pacific Council of International Policy. She has spoken at numerous United Nations human rights discussions, and authored over forty articles on topics ranging from human rights, women’s rights, environmental policy, business law, and corporate responsibility, appearing in the Michigan Journal of International Law, the California Law Review, and the New York University Journal of International Law and Policy.

Erika George was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 15, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.014

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/15/2018

Last Name

George

Maker Category
Middle Name

R.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Harvard Law School

University of Chicago

First Name

Erika

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

GEO03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Love traveling everywhere

Favorite Quote

Be The Change You Wish To See In The World

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Utah

Birth Date

7/8/1970

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Salt Lake City

Favorite Food

Curry - Thai or Indian

Short Description

Professor Erika George (1970 - ), a graduate of Harvard Law School, joined the faculty of the University of Utah in 2003, and was named the Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law in 2017. She authored over forty articles published in numerous law journals such as the New York University Journal of International Law and Policy.

Employment

University of Utah

Favorite Color

Green

Randall Robinson

Human rights advocate, author, and law professor Randall Robinson was born on July 6, 1941 in Richmond, Virginia to Maxie Cleveland Robinson and Doris Robinson. He graduated from Armstrong High School in Richmond, Virginia in 1959; attended Norfolk State College in Norfolk, Virginia; and during his junior year, entered the U.S. Army. Robinson earned his B.A. in sociology from Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia in 1967, prior to receiving his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1970.

In his final year of law school, Robinson cofounded the Southern Africa Relief Fund, and after graduation, worked as a Ford Foundation fellow in Tanzania, East Africa. Upon his return to the United States, he worked as a civil rights attorney at the Boston Legal Assistance Project until 1975, when he served as speech writer in the office of Missouri Congressman Bill Clay. He worked as a staff attorney for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in 1976, prior to serving as administrative assistant, i.e. chief of staff, in the office of Michigan Congressman Charles Diggs.

In 1977, Robinson founded TransAfrica Forum to promote enlightened U.S. policies toward Africa and the Caribbean. He served as the organization’s president until 2001, when he and his wife, Hazel, moved to St. Kitts. In 2008, Robinson was named a Distinguished Scholar in Residence by The Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law, where he taught human rights law until 2016.

Robinson is a best-selling author, with his works including Defending the Spirit: A Black Life in America; The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks; The Reckoning – What Blacks Owe to Each Other; Quitting America: The Departure of a Black Man from His Native Land; An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President; and two novels: The Emancipation of Wakefield Clay and MAKEDA.

Some nineteen universities have conferred honorary Ph.D.’s upon Robinson in recognition of his work in the area of social justice advocacy, and he has been honored by the United Nations, the Congressional Black Caucus, Harvard University, Essence, ABC News (Person of the Week), The Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Change, the NAACP, and Ebony, among others. The Government of South Africa in 2012 conferred upon him the highest honor permissible to a non-citizen of South Africa, in recognition of his efforts to end apartheid. And the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill, New York, named him a 2017 medalist in honor of his work in the area of human rights.

Robinson has presented his views and policy recommendations on Nightline, CNN, CBS Evening News, CBS Sunday Morning, Face the Nation, Democracy Now, NPR, NBC Nightly News, ABC’s World News Tonight, The Today Show, C-Span, The Tavis Smiley Show, The Charlie Rose Show, and other leading American television programs.

Robinson has two children, Anike Robinson and Jabari Robinson, from his first marriage. He and his wife, Hazel Ross-Robinson, are the parents of one daughter, Khalea Ross Robinson.

Randall Robinson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 13, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.109

Sex

Male

Interview Date

06/13/2017 |and| 08/31/2017

Last Name

Robinson

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Randall

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

ROB33

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

No longer have one - Live on small island in St. Kitts

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

West Indies

Birth Date

7/6/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

St. Kitts

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Carribbean, Indan, Chinese, Soul

Short Description

Human rights advocate, author and law professor Randall Robinson (1941 - ) was an attorney for the Boston Legal Assistance Project and served as an administrative assistant for Michigan Congressman Charles Diggs. He later founded the TransAfrica Forum and published seven books.

Favorite Color

Orange, red and yellow

Sherrilyn Ifill

Nonprofit director and law professor Sherrilyn Ifill was born on December 17, 1962 in New York City to Myrtle and Lester Ifill, Sr. Ifill graduated from Vassar College in 1984 with her B.A. degree in English, and went on to receive her J.D. degree from New York University School of Law in 1987.

From 1987 to 1988, Ifill served as a senior fellow with New York’s American Civil Liberties Union’s office. She then worked as assistant counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund from 1988 to 1993. While there, Ifill litigated the landmark case of Houston Lawyers’ Association v. Attorney General of Texas in 1991 which declared that the second article of the Voting Rights Act covered judicial elections. In 1993, Ifill accepted a faculty position as professor of law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, focusing on civil procedure and constitutional law. She also co-founded one of the first legal clinics in the nation dedicated to eliminating the legal barriers placed on recently released criminal offenders looking to re-enter society. Her book On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the Twenty-first Century was published in 2007. In 2012, Ifill was chosen as President and Director-Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. In this role, she led the litigation proceedings for Shelby County v. Holder in 2013 and Fisher v. University of Texas Austin in 2016.

Ifill is the recipient of numerous awards including the Award for Professional Excellence from Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession and the M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award from the Society of American Law Teachers. She served as the commencement speaker in 2015 for both Bard University and her alma mater, New York University where she was also awarded honorary doctorate degrees. A frequent guest and contributor on CNN, NBC, ABC, C-Span, National Public Radio, Ifill served on the boards of Equal Justice Works, the National Constitution Center, the Learning Policy Institute, the National Women’s Law Center as well as board chair of U.S. Programs for the Open Society from 2011-2013.

Ifill and her husband, Ivo Knobloch, have three daughters.

Sherrilyn Ifill was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 30, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.012

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/29/2016

Last Name

Ifill

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Organizations
Schools

Hillcrest High School

Vassar College

New York University School of Law

P.S. 219 Paul Klapper School

J.H.S. 218 Campbell Junior High School

First Name

Sherrilyn

Birth City, State, Country

Queens, New York

HM ID

IFI02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Spain

Favorite Quote

The Arc Of The Moral Universe Is Long, But It Bends Towards Justice.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

12/17/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Carribean Chicken

Short Description

Nonprofit director and law professor Sherrilyn Ifill (1962 - ) taught at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, and served as the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Employment

NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Favorite Color

Blue

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sherrilyn Ifill's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sherrilyn Ifill lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her mother's death from breast cancer

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sherrilyn Ifill lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sherrilyn Ifill remembers being bused to school

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sherrilyn Ifill talks about her early awareness of racial injustice

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her stepmother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sherrilyn Ifill talks about her experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sherrilyn Ifill remembers her early interest in literature

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sherrilyn Ifill talks about her father's strict discipline

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes the changes in her neighborhood in Queens, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sherrilyn Ifill recalls the influence of Barbara Jordan and Shirley Chisholm

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sherrilyn Ifill remembers Hillcrest High School in Queens, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sherrilyn Ifill remembers Hillcrest High School in Queens, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sherrilyn Ifill talks about her interest in baseball

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Sherrilyn Ifill remembers the music of her youth

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her experiences of bullying

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her relationship with her father

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sherrilyn Ifill remembers Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her influences at Vassar College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sherrilyn Ifill remembers meeting her husband in Spain

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sherrilyn Ifill recalls applying to the New York University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sherrilyn Ifill talks about her aspiration to become a civil rights lawyer

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sherrilyn Ifill remembers learning about civil procedure

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sherrilyn Ifill talks about the value of public education

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sherrilyn Ifill recalls the racial tensions at the New York University School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sherrilyn Ifill remembers her law internships

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her fellowship at the American Civil Liberties Union

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her family's opinion of her interracial marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her children's upbringing

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sherrilyn Ifill recalls joining the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her first case at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her first case at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes the importance of local politics

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sherrilyn Ifill recalls the appropriation of civil rights language by conservatives

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sherrilyn Ifill talks about responding to the changing forms of racism

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes the Thurgood Marshall Institute

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sherrilyn Ifill recalls joining the faculty of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her career at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her clinical program at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sherrilyn Ifill recalls her legal research on the Eastern Shore of Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes the research for 'On the Courthouse Lawn'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes Taunya Lavelle Banks

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sherrilyn Ifill recalls her writer's residency at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her book, 'On the Courthouse Lawn'

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes the history of lynching in Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sherrilyn Ifill recalls preparing to lead the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sherrilyn Ifill recalls preparing to lead the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her vision for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes the changes to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes the rapid response team at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes the work of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sherrilyn Ifill talks about the recent police shootings of African Americans

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her educational outreach efforts

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sherrilyn Ifill talks about youth activism against policy brutality

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes lessons from the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her hopes for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Sherrilyn Ifill describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Sherrilyn Ifill reflects upon her father's legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$6

DAStory

10$9

DATitle
Sherrilyn Ifill talks about her early awareness of racial injustice
Sherrilyn Ifill describes the rapid response team at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
Transcript
So what were some of the conversations around race?$$Oh gosh, everything. You know, things that we saw on television, you know, this was, you know.$$There's a lot happening?$$There's a lot happening and, and I, it grew up in a, we--you know, in a, in a bubble of a time, right? My, my conscious memories are maybe from 1967 to, you know, in, in that period in, in the ear- through the early, early '70s [1970s], I tell people all the time, like I watched the entire Watergate hearings, that summer, you know, with my sisters. So I grew up in this time where America was really reforming itself, and with a, the project of reforming America seemed like a possible thing that people could actually make change and make things happen. But issues around race were incredibly volatile during this period and, you know, Shirley Chisholm's run for president was a big deal, things happening in our, in our own community around policing. I mean I can remember a boy who was killed by the police during that period and I've talked about it recently, it only actually came to me recently to even remember that this happened. But I remember it being a big issue that people talked about at the bus stop and--$$Yeah, I was surprised by that because, you know I, it was, you remembered the name of the police officer that--$$Yeah.$$Thomas--$$It was weird.$$Thomas Shea, I thought that was, you know and that you went back and looked and--$$I didn't go back. So I went to, I went to, to St. Louis [Missouri] to give a speech right after Mike Brown [Michael Brown] was killed and when I was, I was interviewed on the radio about, and the question is the question many people ask, you know, is this a new issue or, you know, why are we suddenly seeing all these police involved killings? And, you know, I was on NPR [National Public Radio], and I just said, "Well I can tell you my first memory of the issue of police officers and violence, maybe even my first memory of really thinking about the, the police and it involved the killing of, you know, a boy in Queens [New York]," and I said on the radio, "I remember the officer's name, it was Shea. I didn't remember his first name, I remembered the boy was killed and they said, the officer said he thought that he had a gun, I remember that he was acquitted and the reason it stuck with me, it was so powerful is because I was ten and the boy was ten. And I remember the talking about it at the bus stop, and I remember what the front page of the Daily News [New York Daily News] looked like on my parents' coffee table, you know?" So I remember that and I got back to the hotel room and someone on social media said to me, "I found the case you're talking about," and they sent me the Daily News article and the officer's name was Shea, it was Thomas Shea, the boy's name was Clifford Glover and there was the story. And since then, The New York Times has done a story about it and so forth but, so it, it was interesting to me, I had, it wasn't that I had ev- had talked about Clifford Glover in the ensuing years. It's just somebody asked me that question and there I sat and I thought, well what's my first memory? And I had a memory that's forty years old of a ten year old boy being killed by an officer and being acquitted for this killing and he didn't have a gun, you know? And he was with his father [Glover's stepfather, Add Armstead]. And so, so it was a really important moment to say, you know, when you say wha- what were the conversations like about? It was happening, you know, and it was just a part of life that you dealt with and I think many of us have those very deeply embedded memories even if we're not in touch with them on a day to day basis, if pressed we discover that our memories are quite potent, and, and that unfortunately, they're quite connected to many of the things we see today.$$You know, and that's pretty--because what I'm hearing about you, 'cause a lot of times, you're, you and your household were very aware and maybe this is a lot of households around that time very, are very aware of what's happening on the outside--$$Very much so.$$--world.$$Very much so.$$Um-hm.$$Every, you know, every weekend we watched Gil Noble's 'Like It Is,' there wou- that was a, you know, an amazing program and we were expected to know about history and every documentary, you know, ev- every year they would, they would air, you know, 'King: from Montgomery to Memphis' ['King: A Filmed Record, Montgomery to Memphis'] you now, it was a documentary, every year. So we would watch it and it would close with that walk for his funeral and Nina Simone singing 'The King of Love is Dead' ['Why? (The King of Love Is Dead)'], like th- this is something I'm, you know, seeing when I'm nine, ten years old. So there are, and it came on every year, so that there was a reinforcement about race, my father [Lester Ifill, Sr.] talked about race all the time.$$Um-hm.$$He talked about the expectation that you had to be good and, and better and, you know, and he made clear what the expectations were of us dealing in that world. So the idea that there was unfairness and there was inequality with something that we knew, my father, as I said, was a social worker in Harlem [New York, New York] and he worked in the organization he led, he was the director of an organization called, HARYOU-ACT [Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited - Associated Community Teams, New York, New York], which was actually founded by Kenneth Clark, Dr. Kenneth Clark, who did the famous doll test in, that, that supported the work in Brown [Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954]. But he ran this organization HARYOU-ACT and it was focused on ha- it was Harlem Youth, that's where Harlem Youth came from. So he was very connected into young people and their needs and, you know, we always thought it was funny 'cause he was so strict to us and seemed so mean, but he really liked young people (laughter), other young people who, who, you know, who were struggling, who were struggling and his, and his job was to advocate for what they needed. So we would, you know, I don't ever recall feeling disconnected from the idea of, of race and racial inequality and I certainly don't recall feeling particularly disconnected from my own personal need to be engaged in it. That came very early for me, the feeling that somehow I would be a part of this thing.$Creating a rapid response team and a rapid response fund, so that when things happen, like Ferguson [Missouri], we can respond because, you know, you don't, you don't budget this happening, you don't plan for it to happen but, sometimes a moment happens in civil rights. That's been the history that changes things, you know. It's not that Rosa Parks called Thurgood Marshall, you know, and Fred Gray called and said, "This is what's gonna happen two weeks from now." It happened and then they called, we didn't--nobody got permission to do the Selma march [Selma to Montgomery March] from LDF [NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.], but LDF did represent the Selma marchers, right? So, the, they're these transformative moments that happen that we have no control over, but we need to institutionally be able to respond to the moment, that's as a matter of man power, as a matter of budgeting as a matter of bandwidth and so forth. So creating, creating that space, you know, it was vitally important I think and has proven to be really critical actually to our engagement and our centrality and some of the most important issues that we're dealing with today. And that's all at the same time that we're doing something like voting which we never stopped doing and we litigated the Shelby case [Shelby County v. Holder, 2013] and that's the issue and, and so being able to do the two at the same time is extremely challenging but I do think it's part of LDF's tradition actually, you know. I remind people all the time about the array of matters in which LDF was involved and sometimes people, you know, are surprised. When Muhammad Ali just died, it's like, well who represented Muhammad Ali in, you know, when he wanted to get his boxing license back from New York State? Who represented him before the [U.S.] Supreme Court that got his draft conviction overturned? That was LDF. So--but that's while we were doing all the other stuff that people tend to associate with LDF, we were doing that. So sometimes there are these moments when we, we, we have to get engaged and we have to get 'em even though we didn't plan it, and creating that bandwidth is important.

Peggy Cooper Davis

Professor and lawyer Peggy Cooper Davis was born on February 19, 1943 in Hamilton, Ohio to librarian and genealogist Margarett Gillespie Cooper and George Clinton Cooper, a member of the "Golden Thirteen," the first African American officers in the U.S. Navy. After graduating from Roosevelt High School in 1960, Davis went on to receive her B.A. degree in philosophy from Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio in 1964. She then earned her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1968.

Davis began her legal career as a staff attorney for the Community Action for Legal Services in New York. She went on to become an associate at Poletti Freidin Prashker Feldman & Gartner, before working as a clerk at the Federal District Court under Judge Robert L. Carter. During her time there, Davis attended the New York Society of Freudian Psychologists, graduating from there in 1973. She then became associate counsel for the Capital Punishment Project, an initiative begun by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. After working with the NAACP for four years, Davis became the first African American female professor at Rutgers University School of Law in 1977, where she taught criminal procedure and civil rights law. Davis worked as the deputy criminal justice coordinator for the City of New York in 1978, before serving as judge of the Family Court of the State of New York from 1980 to 1983. In September of 1983, Davis joined the New York University School of Law faculty, where she taught lawyering, evidence, and family law. In 1986, she obtained a full time professorship, and was named the John S. R. Shad Professor of Lawyering and Ethics at New York University School of Law in 1992. Davis also served as director of The Lawyering Program at New York University School of Law from 1998 to 2010, when she became director of the Experiential Learning Lab.

Davis served on the board of directors for several organizations, including the Equal Justice Initiative, the Brennan Center for Justice, the Balm Foundation, the Vera Institute of Justice, the Northside Center for Child Development, and the Russell Sage Foundation. In 2008, she received the Distinguished Teaching Award from New York University. Davis published Neglected Stories: The Constitution and Family Values in 1997, and, along with her daughter Elizabeth Cooper Davis, published Enacting Pleasure: Artists and Scholars Respond to Carol Gilligan’s Map of Love in 2011.

Davis and her husband, Gordon J. Davis, have one daughter.

Peggy Cooper Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 12, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.004

Sex

Female

Interview Date

07/12/2016

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Cooper

Schools

Hampton University Laboratory School

Weaver Elementary School

Jackson School

Roosevelt High School

Western College for Women

Barnard College

Harvard Law School

First Name

Peggy

Birth City, State, Country

Hamilton

HM ID

DAV37

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

2/19/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mangoes

Short Description

Professor and lawyer Peggy Cooper Davis (1943- ) was the first African American female professor at Rutgers School of Law, later serving as the John S. R. Shad Professor at the New York University School of Law.

Employment

New York University Experiential Learning Lab

The Lawyering Program, New York University School of Law

New York University Law School

Dreyfus Corporation

Family Court of the State of New York

City of New York

Rutgers University School of Law-Newark

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Southern District Court of New York

Poletti Freidin Prashker Feldman & Gartner

Community Action for Legal Services

Williamsburg Legal Services

Favorite Color

Purple

Theodore Shaw

Lawyer and professor Theodore Michael Shaw was born on November 24, 1954 in New York City to Theodore and Jean Audrey Churchill Shaw. He received his B.A. degree from Wesleyan University in 1976 and his J.D. degree from the Columbia University School of Law in 1979, where he was a Charles Evans Hughes Fellow.

Upon graduation, Shaw worked as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice from 1979 until 1982. He then joined the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) as an assistant counsel and director of the Education Docket in 1982. In 1987, Shaw established LDF's Western Regional Office in Los Angeles, and served as its Western Regional Counsel. In 1990, he left LDF to join the faculty of the University of Michigan Law School, where he taught constitutional law, civil procedure, and civil rights. In 1993, on a leave of absence from Michigan, he rejoined LDF as associate director-counsel. Shaw was lead counsel in a coalition that represented African American and Latino student-intervenors in the University of Michigan undergraduate affirmative action admissions case, Gratz v. Bollinger.

On May 1, 2004, Shaw became the fifth director-counsel and president of LDF after Elaine Jones retired, where he served until 2008. He then joined the law firm of Norton Rose Fulbright, where he is “Of Counsel.” Shaw is also professor of professional practice at Columbia Law School, and has held rotating chairs at the City University of New York School of Law and Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law.

Shaw has testified before Congress and state legislatures on numerous occasions. He has been a frequent guest on television and radio programs, and has published numerous newspaper, magazine and law review articles. He also has traveled and lectured extensively on civil rights and human rights in Europe, South Africa, South America, and Japan. Shaw serves on the Boards of the American Constitution Society, Common Sense, The Equal Rights Trust (London, England), The International Center for Transitional Justice, The New Press, the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, the Wesleyan University Center for Prison Education, and the Board of Deacons of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York. He also serves on the Legal Advisory Network of the European Roma Rights Council, and served on Wesleyan University’s Board of Trustees for fifteen years.

Shaw has received numerous awards, honors, and citations. He was an Aspen Institute Fellow on Law and Society in 1987; a Twenty-first Century Trust Fellow on Global Interdependence in London, England in 1989; and a Salzburg Institute Fellow in 1991. The National Bar Association Young Lawyers Division presented Shaw with the A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. Memorial Award. He also received the Lawrence A. Wein Prize for Social Justice from Columbia University, and was awarded the Baldwin Medal from the Wesleyan University alumni body.

Theodore M. Shaw was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 7, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.094

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/7/2014 |and| 4/9/2014

Last Name

Shaw

Maker Category
Middle Name

M.

Occupation
Schools

Wesleyan University

Columbia Law School

First Name

Theodore

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

SHA08

State

New York

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/24/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Lawyer and law professor Theodore Shaw (1954 - ) , professor of professional practice at Columbia Law School, served as the fifth director-counsel and president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund from 2004 to 2008.

Employment

United States Department of Justice

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

NAACP Legal Defense Fund Western Regional Office

University of Michigan Law School

Norton Rose Fulbright

Columbia University School of Law

James M. Douglas

Law professor and university president James Matthew Douglas was born on February 11, 1944 in Onalaska, Texas to Desso and Mary Douglas. He graduated from Texas Southern University in 1966 with his B.A. degree in mathematics. In 1970, Douglas received his J.D. degree from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School Of Law, where he graduated first in his class. He went on to receive his J.S.M. degree in computer law from Stanford University in 1971.

From 1966 to 1971, Douglas worked as a computer analyst for Singer Simulation Company, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contractor in Houston, Texas. In 1971, he was hired as an assistant professor of law at Texas Southern University. Douglas then worked as an assistant professor at Cleveland State University School of Law from 1972 to 1975; associate professor of law and associate dean at Syracuse University College of Law from 1975 to 1980; and professor of law at Northeastern University School of Law from 1980 to 1981. Then, in 1981, Douglas returned to Texas Southern University, where he was hired as dean and professor of law at the university’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law. He served as interim provost and senior vice president for academic affairs in 1995, and, later that year, was named president of Texas Southern University. After his presidency ended in 1999, Douglas was named a distinguished professor of law at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law. He also served as Florida A & M University’s interim dean from 2005 to 2007, and was made executive vice president of Texas Southern University in 2008.

Douglas has served on the board of directors of the Hiscock Legal Society, Gulf Coast Legal Foundation and the Law School Admission Council. He was also a member of the Minority Affairs Committee of the Law School Admission Council, served as the American Bar Association’s chairman of education for the Committee of Science and Technology Section, and was a member of The Texas Lawyer Editorial Board. He has also authored several articles that have appeared in scholarly journals.

Douglas lives in Houston, Texas and is married to Tanya Smith Douglas. He has three children: DeLicia, James and Erika.

James Douglas was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 4, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.068

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/4/2014 |and| 5/5/2014

Last Name

Douglas

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Matthew

Schools

Texas Southern University

Stanford University

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Onalaska

HM ID

DOU06

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

Sometimes You Have To Do What You Don’t Wanna Do In Order To Be Able To Do What You Wanna Do.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

2/11/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Law professor and university president James M. Douglas (1944 - ) served as president of Texas Southern University from 1995 to 1999.

Employment

Singer Simulation Company

Texas Southern University

Cleveland State University School of Law

Syracuse University College of Law

Northeastern University School of Law

Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Florida A&M University

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James M. Douglas' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas explains the spelling of his mother's last name

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas talks about his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas talks about an uncle fleeing Texas for Seattle, Washington

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James M. Douglas describes the Juneteenth celebrations in Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James M. Douglas talks about his mother's education in Onalaska, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James M. Douglas talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James M. Douglas describes how his maternal family's land was seized under eminent domain

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James M. Douglas talks about his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James M. Douglas talks about his parents' meeting and their migration to Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - James M. Douglas describes his parents' personalities and considers which parent he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - James M. Douglas lists his siblings and describes his father's perspective on education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James M. Douglas lists his siblings, where they went to school, and their professions, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas lists his siblings, where they went to school, and their professions, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas talks about living in the predominantly white area of Kashmere Gardens in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James M. Douglas explains his decision to attend an HBCU

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James M. Douglas talks about his fifth grade teacher, Ms. Sledge, at Atherton Elementary School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James M. Douglas describes his experience at E.O. Smith Junior High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James M. Douglas talks about his academic interests in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - James M. Douglas talks about Kashmere Gardens Junior/Senior High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - James M. Douglas describes growing up in the Baptist church

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James M. Douglas describes the two jobs he had growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas talks about his refusal to sit in a segregated waiting room at the doctor's office

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas remembers sitting in the front of a segregated bus

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas describes race relations in Houston, Texas during the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas describes his childhood career aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James M. Douglas describes the type of student he was in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James M. Douglas describes his high school extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James M. Douglas talks about the growing national interest in science during the presidential administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - James M. Douglas talks about attending an enrichment program for elementary school students at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - James M. Douglas talks about organizing a strike in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - James M. Douglas talks about being forbidden from walking across the stage at his high school commencement

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - James M. Douglas talks about the honors he earned in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James M. Douglas talks about Dr. Llaryon Clarkson at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas talks about the movement to integrate schools in Houston, Texas following the leadership of HistoryMaker Reverend Bill Lawson

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas talks about being an outspoken campus leader, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas talks about being an outspoken campus leader, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas talks about being an outspoken campus leader, pt. 3

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James M. Douglas talks about changing his major from political science to math

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James M. Douglas describes his lack of anxiety about the possibility of being expelled for his activism

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James M. Douglas talks about Dr. Samuel M. Nabrit, president of Texas Southern University from 1955 through 1966

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - James M. Douglas mentions HistoryMakers Bill Lawson and Pluria Marshall, Sr.

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - James M. Douglas talks about dropping out of law school, being hired at IBM, and taking a job at the Singer Company

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - James M. Douglas talks about working with computer programming languages

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - James M. Douglas talks about working at the Singer Company while completing law school

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - James M. Douglas talks about being active in the employee organization at the Singer Company

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James M. Douglas talks about his favorite professor at Texas Southern University Law School, Eugene Harrington

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas talks about completing research in computer law at Stanford University and teaching law

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas talks about being asked to teach at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas talks about being asked to teach at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas explains why he left Texas Southern University Law School for Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James M. Douglas talks about the first computerized legal research systems

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James M. Douglas talks about working at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James M. Douglas describes earning the respect of Dean Craig W. Christensen at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James M. Douglas explains how he became associate professor and associate dean at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - James M. Douglas explains how he connected with the dean of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James M. Douglas talks about his relationship with former president of Texas Southern University, Dr. Granville M. Sawyer, Sr.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas talks about establishing a training program at the Singer Company

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas talks about his reputation at the Singer Company

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas talks briefly about his father's work ethic relative to his own

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas talks about working on software systems for flight simulation

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James M. Douglas talks about the significance in giving back to African American communities

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James M. Douglas talks about his Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.) degree from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James M. Douglas describes his conflict with the dean of Stanford Law School over the policies for admitting minority students, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - James M. Douglas describes his conflict with the dean of Stanford Law School over the policies for admitting minority students, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - James M. Douglas talks about being investigated by the Ronald Reagan gubernatorial administration for his student work with legal services

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James M. Douglas explains why the dean at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law asked him to move into academic administration

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas remembers working with a difficult colleague at the Singer Company, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas remembers working with a difficult colleague at the Singer Company, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas talks about working in administration and simultaneously teaching

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas talks about deciding to join Syracuse University College of Law in Syracuse, New York

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - James M. Douglas talks about faculty and student response to his appointment as associate dean at the Syracuse University School of Law

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - James M. Douglas describes his effort to improve the Syracuse University School of Law and student opposition to his tenure appointment

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - James M. Douglas talks about negotiating with the Syracuse University administration over control of the law school library

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - James M. Douglas talks about joining the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - James M. Douglas talks about recruiting African American students to attend law school

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas talks about technology developments in the legal sector

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas talks about the Watergate Hearings in 1973, speaking with John Dean, and describes how Watergate impacted law schools

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas remembers President Jimmy Carter

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas talks about historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that have been approved by the American Bar Association

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - James M. Douglas talks about how the law school admissions formula disadvantaged students from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - James M. Douglas talks about a study completed by the American Bar Association on minority student success in law school

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - James M. Douglas talks about Northeastern University School of Law's experiential legal education program

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - James M. Douglas describes being offered deanship at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - James M. Douglas describes being offered deanship at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas describes the environment at the Northeastern University School of Law relative to other law schools

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas shares his legal education philosophy, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas shares his legal education philosophy, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas describes why he enjoyed law school

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - James M. Douglas talks about issues within Northeastern University Law School's cooperative program

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - James M. Douglas talks about being considered for deanship at Northeastern University School of Law

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - James M. Douglas describes knowing beforehand that he would be hired as dean at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - James M. Douglas describes the problems he encountered as dean of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - James M. Douglas talks about returning to Texas Southern University in 1981 as dean of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas talks about the history of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas describes his goals as dean for the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas talks about a dispute over the representation of Mexican American students on the academic standing and admissions committee

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas describes increasing revenue at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - James M. Douglas describes trying to get his improvement plans approved by the faculty at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - James M. Douglas describes trying to get his improvement plans approved by the faculty at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - James M. Douglas describes dealing with difficult faculty members as dean of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - James M. Douglas critiques the faculty at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law under his deanship

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas describes the culture of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University prior to his arrival as dean

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas recalls a conversation with a student about intelligence and work ethic

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas describes observing classes at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law as dean, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas describes observing classes at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law as dean, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - James M. Douglas talks about gaining the support of the Texas Southern University Board of Regents chairman

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - James M. Douglas talks about students struggling to pass the bar exam due to poor study habits

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - James M. Douglas talks about the level of rigorous study that law school requires

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - James M. Douglas talks about the significance of reading comprehension and analytical skills

Tape: 11 Story: 10 - James M. Douglas talks about his effort to increase the number of required classes at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - James M. Douglas talks about the governor of Texas, Mark White, publically showing his support, and president Dr. Leonard H.O. Spearman

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas talks about his relationship with Dr. Leonard H.O. Spearman

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas describes drafting a report on university budget cuts

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas talks about Texas Southern University President Dr. Robert J. Terry's absence from the Select Committee on Higher Education

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas talks about gathering support and representation for Texas Southern University before the Select Committee of Higher Education

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - James M. Douglas talks about the proposal that Texas Southern University merge with the campus of University of Houston-Downtown

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - James M. Douglas talks about the merger between Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee at Nashville

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - James M. Douglas describes the conflict he had with Dr. William H. Harris

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - James M. Douglas talks about his disagreement with Dr. William H. Harris, over the allocation of funds to the Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas remembers his first two encounters with Texas Southern University president, Dr. Joann Horton

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas describes the first big problem he handled as interim provost at Texas Southern University

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas talks about becoming interim president of Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas in 1995

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas explains why he wanted to be president of Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - James M. Douglas talks about being appointed president of Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - James M. Douglas talks about discrimination lawsuits filed by white professors against Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, pt.1

Tape: 13 Story: 8 - James M. Douglas talks about discrimination lawsuits filed by white professors against Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, pt.2

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - James M. Douglas talks about a study by the Law School Admissions Council on the performance of African Americans and Mexican Americans on the bar exam

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas talks about possible reasons African American students do not do well on the bar exam

Tape: 14 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas talks about the loss of a lawsuit against Texas Southern University

Tape: 14 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas talks about the resolution of a separate lawsuit against Texas Southern University

Tape: 14 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas talks about the U.S. Department of Education putting Texas Southern University on a reimbursement financing plan

Tape: 14 Story: 6 - James M. Douglas talks about successfully keeping Texas Southern University out of debt, pt. 1

Tape: 14 Story: 7 - James M. Douglas talks about successfully keeping Texas Southern University out of debt, pt. 2

Tape: 14 Story: 8 - James M. Douglas talks about Texas institutions of higher education

Tape: 14 Story: 9 - James M. Douglas talks about experiencing difficulty achieving the mission for the Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Tape: 14 Story: 10 - James M. Douglas refutes claims that the State of Texas ever had to bail out Texas Southern University

Tape: 15 Story: 1 - James M. Douglas remembers a conversation with Texas Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock

Tape: 15 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas talks about his conflict with HistoryMaker Alphonso P. Jackson

Tape: 15 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas talks about being fired as president of Texas Southern University

Tape: 15 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas talks about Willard L. Jackson

Tape: 15 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas talks about Priscilla Slade

Tape: 15 Story: 6 - James M. Douglas talks about negotiating his transition from president of Texas Southern University to teaching in the Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Tape: 15 Story: 7 - James M. Douglas talks about cases historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have brought against states for underfunding HBCUs

Tape: 15 Story: 8 - James M. Douglas talks about being asked to work at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 15 Story: 9 - James M. Douglas talks about faculty salaries at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Tape: 16 Story: 1 - James M. Douglas talks about the salaries at historically black colleges and universities

Tape: 16 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas talks about his relationship with Dr. John M. Rudley, who invited him to be executive vice president of Texas Southern University

Tape: 16 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas talks about being appointed vice president for governmental affairs and community relations at Texas Southern University

Tape: 16 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas describes the history of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University College of Law and the Florida State University College of Law

Tape: 16 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas describes what inspired him to establish an African American art museum on Texas Southern University's campus

Tape: 16 Story: 6 - James M. Douglas talks about muralist Dr. John T. Biggers and the University Museum at Texas Southern University

Tape: 16 Story: 7 - James M. Douglas talks about his involvement in 100 Black Men, the NAACP, and the Boy Scouts

Tape: 16 Story: 8 - James M. Douglas recalls a conversation he had with a student about maintaining pro-black ideology in white environments

Tape: 16 Story: 9 - James M. Douglas talks about the Black Law Students Association [BLSA] at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Tape: 17 Story: 1 - James M. Douglas considers what he might have done differently

Tape: 17 Story: 2 - James M. Douglas reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 17 Story: 3 - James M. Douglas describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 17 Story: 4 - James M. Douglas talks about his family, marriages and children

Tape: 17 Story: 5 - James M. Douglas describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

3$13

DAStory

5$6

DATitle
James M. Douglas describes his childhood career aspirations
James M. Douglas talks about being appointed president of Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas
Transcript
What was your experience like at Kashmere Gardens [sic, Kashmere Junior/Senior High School, Houston, Texas]? Now you're, you're involved--your, your focused on mathematics, I guess, right. Through, throughout high school?$$I'm, I'm, I'm--I don't know if I would say focus on mathematics. I'm excellent in mathematics. That, that's what I'm good at, that's what everybody thinks I am. That's what all my teachers think I ought to be.$$Okay, okay.$$I focused on becoming a lawyer.$$Okay, so were you focused on becoming a lawyer then?$$Yes.$$Okay, so when did you, you know, get the, the, the idea that you wanted to be a lawyer?$$When people really ask me, I tell 'em it was out of ignorance. I, I arrived at law as a profession out of ignorance. And when I was in the seventh grade, up until then I, I wanted to be a philosopher.$$Now what, what prompted that?$$Because I like to think.$$Okay. Did, did you know--I mean who--I mean did you have any you know, models?$$Socrates.$$Okay.$$Aristotle, Plato.$$So you had 'em in school and you--$$That's what I wanted to be. In fact it was really funny. I, I said that one day in class and one of my student's hand went up and he said, "We have a lot in common." He said, "I majored in philosophy." And I said, "No. I didn't say I wanted to study other people's philosophy." I said, "I wanted to be a philosopher." I loved [Henry David] Thoreau. I mean I was--I, I, I loved people who thought. And so that was--I wanted to be in. But in the seventh grade I did a paper on the great philosophers of the world. And discovered that most of 'em didn't live pleasant lives 'cause people thought they were crazy. Decided I didn't want people to think I was crazy. And so I started looking around for another profession that I thought had a lot of thought and analytical process to it, and arrived at law. And so that's when I decided I wanted to be a lawyer, I was twelve years old.$$Now, now did you know any of the black lawyers in Houston [Texas]?$$Didn't know a black lawyer, didn't meet a black lawyer until I was in the ninth grade.$$Okay, and who, who was that? Who was the first one?$$The first one was Henry [E.] Doyle. And it's really funny because Henry Doyle turns out he was the first graduate of Texas Southern University School of Law [Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Houston, Texas]. But Henry Doyle was the first lawyer I met in the ninth grade. We had a career day and he came and talked to the students. The students--it was like three of us who said we wanted to be lawyers. All my teachers thought I was crazy. At first they thought I was kidding, and then they thought I was crazy because they could not understand why someone with the scientific mind that I had, would want to be a lawyer. Especially in the segregated South. And everybody told me that I would not make a living as a lawyer in the South. So everybody tried to talk me out of being a lawyer, but I was really excellent in math, and I love math. I mean I loved it as an academic discipline.$$Now what did Henry Doyle say about the law when he spoke to you--your, your group of three students?$$Henry Doyle loved the law. He was the first graduate of the law school. In fact, the story is that they were almost ready to give up on creating the law school until Henry Doyle walked in at the last minute about two or three days before they said they was gonna give up the whole--and say I wanna go to law school. Now I later found out Henry Doyle was forty years old [sic, thirty-seven years old], he was a math teacher who decided he wanted to go to law school. But he later went on not only to become the graduate, first graduate of law school, but he later went on to become a leading jurist. He was a member of one of the appellate courts, the court of appeals here in Texas and, and really made a reputation for himself as a lawyer.$$So he became a judge.$$Yes.$$Appellate court judge.$$Yes.$But when I say it's a story in itself, because after they selected [Dr. William H.] Harris, I'm out with the, chairman and he tells me, he say, "Jim, he say I'm gon' be honest with you." He said, "When [Dr. Leonard H.O.] Spearman left, the board decided that we were gonna, we were gonna bring in an outsider, so you didn't stand a chance." I said, "Then why in the hell didn't you all tell me that? You know if you all already decided that you wasn't--you were gone bring in an outsider, I wouldn't have gone through the process."$$Well probably wouldn't have been good protocol for them to, to--I don't know if, if--but you know for them to say that.$$Yeah, I, I know. But I mean they could have told me, though. I mean it wasn't like I was not their friend, have me do all that work and then say well you wasn't gone get it anyway.$$So okay, so--$$With, with Harr--with, with [Dr. Joann] Horton it was funny 'cause a board member came and took me to lunch. And he said he was taking me to lunch 'cause the board asked him to take me to lunch. They, they were really concerned that I would leave the university when I didn't get the job when, when Horton got it. And, and I told him that I wanted them to know that I was not going anywhere. My commitment was to the university, it wasn't to the board. And because the board didn't have enough sense to pick the right person, it didn't that I was gonna leave the university.$$So, so, so, so there was a search and another round of interviews in '94 (1994) to pick a new president.$$Right.$$After Jo, Jo, Joann Horton left. And this time you were picked. Do you have any idea why?$$Well what, what happened, and that's what I'm getting to.$$Yeah.$$So that was in, that was in October we have a board meeting, they decide and they ask me if I would be the interim. I said, "Yes." They tell me that they're gonna do a national search and that they understand that I'm gonna be a candidate. And so I said, "Okay." And so in the December board meeting, two months later, they immediately called an executive session and I go in and they say, "We've decided that we like for you to be the permanent president. A search is gonna be a waste of our time 'cause we not gon' find anybody any better than you. And so we can do it." So they made me the permanent president with, without a search. The problem was, and it was funny because all my friends called me and they said, "This is shocking. Because the board is Republican. Do they know how Democratic you are?" But the chair was interesting because he called himself an independent, even though he was appointed by a Republican governor.$$So now let me just ask this--what's the composition of the board, the racial composition of Texas Southern [University, Houston, Texas]?$$It's always been majority black.$$Okay.$$It's always been majority black.$$But they're mostly Republicans you say.$$They are now. See when I came to Texas, they were mostly Democrat. And, and that was a strange thing because in 1978 I think it was, Texas elected its first Republican governor after Reconstruction. And it's been cra--it was crazy for about twelve years and now we've had twelve years of all Republican governorship. Who knows if they'll ever have another Democratic in Texas. I, I'm assuming we will. But the chairman told me, he said, "Look man," he say, "I don't care about your politics." He said, "I want somebody who can really run the university, and that's all I'm, I'm really concerned about." And, and so I say that because politics control a lot of what happened during my tenure as president. But anyway, the board decides that, that they want me to become president, and so in December I accepted the position as president of the university.$$Okay, so this is December of '95 [1995], I mean '94 [1994], and then you started in '95 [1995] as president.$$Right.$$Okay.

Marianne Camille Spraggins

Investment banker, entrepreneur and lawyer Marianne Camille-Spraggins was born in Harlem, New York. Her father, Roy Travers Spraggins, was a lawyer active in Harlem politics in the 1960s. Spraggins graduated from Boston University with her B.A. degree in English literature. She worked as a law clerk while attending New York Law School; where she went on to receive her J.D. degree. Spraggins also received her LL.M. degree in international law from Harvard Law School.

After receiving her LL.M., Spraggins was hired as an associate professor of law at the New York Law School and as the director of the school’s Urban Legal Studies Fellowship program. Then, in 1979, she was hired as an investment banker at Salomon Brothers, Incorporated, working in the Mortgage Finance Department. Spraggins was then promoted to vice president of the Municipal Finance Department in 1985. She would serve in that role until 1988, when she was hired as a first vice president at Prudential Bache Securities. Two years later, she was hired at Smith Barney in New York, where she became the first African American female managing director on Wall Street.

In the early 1990s, Spraggins was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and appointed by President Bill Clinton as the director of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. In 1994, she signed on as co-chair and chief operating officer at W.R. Lazard, an underwriting and asset management business, where, following the death of Wardell Lazard, she worked to revive the company. In 1998, she was hired by the asset management company Smith Whiley and Company as a senior managing editor, and then, in 2000, as the chief executive officer of Atlanta Life Insurance Company Investment Advisors. Then, after briefly working as the president of the consulting company Buy Hold America, Spraggins was appointed a superdelagate of President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. In 2011, she was hired by The BondFactor Company LLC, where she served as chief marketing officer.

Spraggins has served on a variety of national boards including FuturePac, Ft. Valley State College, Count-Me-In, and the Historic District Development Corporation in Atlanta, Georgia. She has also served on several governmental commissions including the DeWind Commission on Banking, Insurance and Financial Services, and Governor Cuomo's Task Force on Consumer and Mortgage Banking. Spraggins was a member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee and co-chair of its Credentials Committee. She was formerly a member of the Board of Directors of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the New York Law School and the Apollo Theater Foundation, where she chaired the Restoration Committee.

Marianne Camille-Spraggins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 20, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.263

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/20/2013

Last Name

Spraggins

Maker Category
Middle Name

Camille

Schools

Boston University

New York Law School

Harvard Law School

P.S. 46 Arthur Tappan School

J.H.S. 52 Inwood Junior High School

Walton High School

First Name

Marianne

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

SPR05

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Favorite Quote

Promise Little, But Do Much.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/2/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Shrimp

Short Description

Investment banker and law professor Marianne Camille Spraggins (1945 - ) was the first African American female managing director on Wall Street.

Employment

Covington, Howard, Hagood & Holland

New York Law School

Salomon Brothers, Inc

Prudential Bache Securities

Smith Barney

Securities Investor Protection Corporation

W.R. Lazard

Smith Whiley & Co

Atlanta Life Insurance Company

Buy Hold America

BondFactor Company LLC

Favorite Color

Lime Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marianne Camille Spraggins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marianne Camille Spraggins lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about her sister

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers her home life

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about her father's involvement in politics

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes the Harlem community in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her early education

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her early personality

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her childhood role models

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers her decision to attend Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her experiences of discrimination at Boston University

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her experience at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her father's encouragement

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers living in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her position with NBC

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers her father's death

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls earning her degree from New York University School of Law

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers passing the bar examination

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers developing an interest in finance

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers the mentorship of Russell L Goings, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her interview with Salomon Brothers

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her training at Salomon Brothers

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls securing a placement at Salomon Brothers, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls securing a placement at Salomon Brothers, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about Lewis S. Ranieri

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her role at Salomon Brothers

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her time at Prudential Bache Securities

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers learning to close a deal

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers the African Americans on Wall Street

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers David N. Dinkins' mayoral campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls joining Smith Barney

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her experiences at Smith Barney

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about her role at Smith Barney

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marianne Camille Spraggins compares her experiences at Wall Street firms

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her accomplishments at Smith Barney

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marianne Camille Spraggins reflects upon her experiences on Wall Street

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers Wardell Lazard

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her role at W.R. Lazard and Company

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers joining Smith Whiley and Company

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her involvement with Atlanta Life Insurance Company

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about her presidential appointments

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about her role at The BondFactor Company, LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about her work at The BondFactor Company, LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about the history of African American financiers

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marianne Camille Spraggins reflects upon the legacy of Travers Bell

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marianne Camille Spraggins reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her civic engagement

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about black politics

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about black entrepreneurship

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about her interest in African art

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Marianne Camille Spraggins reflects upon her career and legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about her father's hopes for her career

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

10$3

DATitle
Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers developing an interest in finance
Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls securing a placement at Salomon Brothers, pt. 2
Transcript
You liked law, then? Did you (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yes. It was a natural for me (unclear).$$Okay. And so, what courses did you gravitate to? That you sort of remember?$$The business law, the constitutional law, if I, if I practiced law, I'm sure I would have been a litigator. If I actually practiced.$$But you then come back to New York law school [New York University School of Law, New York, New York] and start as associate professor. But then, how long do you do that? You do that for a couple of years, and then how do you make the change?$$Make the transition? Well--$$Because, it just is like, you're on a track, and the next thing you know, you're at some, you know, at Salomon Brothers.$$Well, you know, there's a thread. When I was in law school, I took a seminar type course from somebody named Nicholas Deak, D-E-A-K [Nicholas L. Deak]. And there was something, a big foreign exchange operation called Deak-Perera in New York [New York]. And as it turned out, he was the Deak. And the course was international business transactions. And we used to go down to Wall Street, to Chase [Chase Manhattan Bank; JPMorgan Chase and Co.], to different banks and interview people and, and we had to do a paper for the course, rather than an exam. And I chose to do one on Swiss banks. Whereupon I learned that there was always something different about this Nicholas Deak. I think he was Hungarian. He was very suave, and there was something mysterious about him, and he always arrived with his driver and a different antique car, and I was just fascinated. Who is this, right? And I was always late for his class, and I would come in about ten minutes late, 'cause I was working [at Covington, Howard, Hagood and Holland, New York, New York]. And, and he would, and it was small, you know, maybe fifteen of us. And it was at, like ten o'clock in the morning, and he would stop what he was doing, and he would say, "Good afternoon, Miss Spraggins [HistoryMaker Marianne Camille Spraggins]." And I said, I came in like Loretta (Unclear) [ph.], "Oh, good afternoon." (Laughter) But anyway, I came to learn that he owned a Swiss bank. Well, that just knocked me out, right? Because I think the thread through it all for me is power. And, you know, I understood political power from this Harlem [New York, New York] vantage point of getting people in jobs and knowing city hall and getting people in judgeships. But I always knew there was something more. And when I took that course, and we went down into those bowels of Wall Street, I didn't know what they did, but there was a different energy, and just a, kind of like a veil being lifted for me. I didn't know what it was, but I knew it was really important and it was kind of a magnet. So when I realized that he owned a Swiss bank, that just took me to a whole other level and I just became very engaged in wanting to know more and about this whole world. Right? And so that is how my interest started, and then the more I was around it, which wasn't a lot, I really realized that this was the real seat of power. So going to Wall Street, I mean, naturally I wanted to make money, but that wasn't the driving force. It was the power that it represented, and knowing that this is a table that we did not sit at. And that we had to. So that's how I ended up going to Wall Street.$And he was from Georgia, by the way. He had run the Georgia office and had a horrible reputation in this regard. And so I, before I knew it, I was yelling, I was screaming, I was crying, and I was telling him. I said, "Let me tell you one thing." I said, "You can subject me to anything you subject everybody else around here to." I said, "That, and no more. Because you don't understand who I am." And I said, I said, "I am Roy Spraggins' daughter. That means nothing to you, but it means everything to me and it means everything to everybody who ever put anything into trying to make something out of me in this life. I will do that and no more, and do you understand?" Well he was like, "Nobody." One of the things that was my observation on Wall Street is that women, that men have done something that women typically have not done. They have been either in the [U.S.] military, or been engaged in some kind of active team sport, which means that, you know, I make this move, you make that move. You say yes, I say no. Right? All that. You go forward, I go back. To a woman, when you're confronted with a situation, really what you do is supply some kind of logic and common sense. So if somebody says something to me and it doesn't make sense to me, I don't just respond. I will ask why. And then typically, in certainly that environment, they really have no idea what to do with that. So that is what I was confronting at that moment. He was livid. He had never, he was purple, he was out of his chair, he was screaming at me. He had gone to a level I couldn't care less, and I said, "And everybody tells me I'm not supposed to cry, well, I don't care. This is what I do. I see those people out there and they cuss and swear and go to strip clubs and I cry. And if you don't like it, it's tough." This is how this was going, right? So he shut me up and he looks at me and he tells me, "You are gonna, you don't like it up there?" He goes, "You're gonna sit there." And he points to this desk outside his office. Okay? And he goes, "And you go there right now." So that's where he sent me. And so I went and I sat there, and I tried to get myself back together. And I said, "Marianne, this can't be happening, you know? Not like this, right?" So long story short, meanwhile, they had driven the other black woman out. And they didn't know I was around, that I heard them. One partner picked up a phone and called the other like, "Guess who's gone?" Like it's a game, a big joke, right? And I had said to myself at that time, "I'm leaving here one of two ways. Either I'm really gonna make it or they're taking me out on a stretcher. I am not going any other kind of way, period." So I gathered my things, and that next day, I went to the cafeteria. At Salomon Brothers, the cafeteria is a place where everybody comes to. You have your own private dining rooms, right? So that's where, you know, luncheons take place with customers and so forth. But as far as the firm goes, in the morning, partner, everybody comes to the cafeteria. So I set up my desk at a table right near the cash register. And had all my financial press, books, everything, and I said, "This is my office." I said, "Because one day," and I'd read everything cover to cover. I said, "One day, somebody is gonna have to say, 'Who is that black woman? Why is she sitting there every day reading the papers,' right? Reading books." And if anybody made eye contact with me, I went to their office. And I said, "My name is Marianne Spraggins [HistoryMaker Marianne Camille Spraggins], and I was in the last class." Meanwhile, another class has already started. "I was in the class and I didn't get placed. Do you have any work you need done?" Well, first of all, they were probably just so embarrassed and aghast and awkward, they didn't know what to do, right? I mean, I was, wasn't confrontational, I was just very nice, you know? "You need anything done?" And so, I guess they said, "Poor soul." They would give me something to do. And long story short, I did that a few times and I ended up working on some publication. I'll never forget, we were (unclear) write notes, and as a result of that, I got sent on another interview which led to me being placed in a job and it was in, with Lew Ranieri [Lewis S. Ranieri] who is the father of the mortgage securities market. It was at the very, very, very beginning of it and so that's where I started in an area that was completely brand new and made a way for myself. That's how I got started.$$So how long did it take you past that? You know, almost, you know from the time period that that happened, how long (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Of that, which thing happened?$$You know, when, when you set up in the cafeteria. How long did that take afterwards?$$Months, a few months.

Randall Kennedy

Legal scholar and law professor Randall LeRoy Kennedy was born on September 10, 1954 in Columbia, South Carolina as the middle child of Henry Kennedy Sr., a postal worker, and Rachel Kennedy, an elementary school teacher. Kennedy has two siblings: Henry H. Kennedy, Jr., a former United States District Court Judge for the District of Columbia; and, Angela Kennedy, a lawyer in the District of Columbia Public Defender Service. Kennedy’s father often spoke of watching Thurgood Marshall argue Rice vs. Elmore, the case that invalidated the rule permitting only whites to vote in South Carolina’s Democratic primary. His family moved from South Carolina to Washington, D.C. where Kennedy graduated from St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. and then enrolled at Princeton University where he received his A.B. degree in 1977. In 1979, he became a Rhodes Scholar in the Balliol College at the University of Oxford. Kennedy went on to earn his J.D. degree in 1982 from Yale Law School.

Upon graduation, Kennedy was awarded an Earl Warren Civil Rights Training Scholarship for African American Law Students. He served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1982 to 1983 and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court from 1983 to 1984. Kennedy was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in 1983. He was also admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court. Kennedy is a member of the American Law Institute, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association. In 1984, Kennedy joined the faculty at Harvard Law School as a full professor where he taught courses on legal contracts, freedom of expression, and the regulation of race relations.

Awarded the 1998 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Race, Crime, and the Law (1997), Kennedy has written for a wide range of scholarly and general interest publications. He has also served on the editorial boards of The Nation, Dissent, and The American Prospect. Kennedy is the author of Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word (2002), Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity and Adoption (2003), Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal (2008), and The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency (2011). Kennedy was awarded an honorary degree from Haverford College and is a former trustee of Princeton University. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Randall LeRoy Kennedy was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 27, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.111

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/24/2013

Last Name

Kennedy

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

St. Alban's High School

Princeton University

Yale Law School

First Name

Randall

Birth City, State, Country

Columbia

HM ID

KEN06

Favorite Season

Summer

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

For Us There Is Only The Trying, The Rest Is Not Our Business. - T. S. Eliot

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

9/10/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

Law professor Randall Kennedy (1954 - ) , the Michael R. Kline Professor Law at Harvard Law School, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Haverford College. He was also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Employment

United States Court of Appeals,D.C. Circuit

United States Supreme Court

Harvard University Law School

Favorite Color

Red