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Maureen Forte

Teacher and radio personality Maureen Forte was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 1, 1950. Her parents, Georgia Ann Jones and Willis Jones, grew up in West Virginia and later relocated to Chicago. After graduating from Englewood High School in Chicago, Forte attended Chicago State University, earning her bachelor’s degree in education in 1974.

Forte began her teaching career at St. Thaddeus in Chicago, where she taught for ten years following her graduation from Chicago State University. During this time, Forte began her involvement in a number of organizations, and served as a delegate for the Chicago Teachers Union for ten years. In 1989, she began teaching at the Sawyer Elementary School in Chicago. She has also become highly active in the NAACP and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. She founded the South Suburban chapter of Rainbow/PUSH in 1990 and has continued to raise the bar for social commitment in the area. Since founding the branch, Forte served as president until stepping down in 2004.

Forte served as the vice-president of the South Suburban NAACP and hosted her own radio talk show, N’ the Know with Moe, which is broadcast on WCFJ-AM on Sunday afternoons. She is also a member of the Legislative and Women’s Rights Committees of the Chicago Teachers Union. On May 9, 2007, Forte became the first Black female village trustee of East Hazel Crest, Illinois, and on May 18, 2007, she became a delegate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Forte was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 27, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.150

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/27/2004

Last Name

Forte

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Englewood High School

Chicago State University

McCosh Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Maureen

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

FOR06

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - 0 - $500

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

10/1/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Mustard and Turnip Greens, Sweet Potatoes

Short Description

Elementary school teacher and radio host Maureen Forte (1950 - ) was a teacher at the Sawyer Elementary School in Chicago, and former delegate of the Chicago Teachers Union. She was also the host of N’ the Know with Moe on WCFJ Radio in Chicago.

Employment

St. Thaddeus School

Chicago Teachers Union

Sawyer Elementary School

Rainbow/PUSH

WCFJ Radio

NAACP South Suburban Branch

Favorite Color

Purple

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Maureen Forte's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Maureen Forte lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Maureen Forte describes her maternal family history in Elbert, West Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Maureen Forte talks about her familial relation to HistoryMaker Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and her family's move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Maureen Forte describes her parents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Maureen Forte recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Maureen Forte describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her first Chicago neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Maureen Forte reminisces about her community in the Park Manor neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois and childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Maureen Forte describes two influential teachers from grade school, Mrs. Knight and Mr. Stiegel

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Maureen Forte describes activities she enjoyed as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Maureen Forte remembers her time at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois and her first prom

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Maureen Forte talks about her experience at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Maureen Forte talks about racial discrimination in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Maureen Forte talks about her political engagement as a youth in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Maureen Forte recalls influential teachers at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Maureen Forte recalls her first jobs

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Maureen Forte remembers her start in community theater

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Maureen Forte talks about her studies at Chicago State University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Maureen Forte talks about joining the USO (United Service Organization) and life after graduating from college

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Maureen Forte talks about performing with the United Service Organization (USO) in Seoul, Korea

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Maureen Forte describes joining Operation PUSH and founding a Chicago chapter of Rainbow PUSH

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Maureen Forte describes her early involvement with the Decatur Seven

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Maureen Forte talks about the impact of the "Decatur Seven" on zero-tolerance policies in schools

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Maureen Forte describes how zero-tolerance policies target minorities

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Maureen Forte talks about educating voters and producing HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse Jackson's radio show

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Maureen Forte talks about her involvement with the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and the "Death Row Ten"

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Maureen Forte describes her radio talk show, "'N the Know with Moe"

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Maureen Forte details the importance of voting in one's residential district and gentrification in south suburban Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Maureen Forte explains the importance of voting

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Maureen Forte describes her campaigns for Illinois State Representative

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Maureen Forte reflects on her relationship with Rainbow/PUSH after her seven-year presidency

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Maureen Forte describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Maureen Forte talks about her divorce and her daughters

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Maureen Forte reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Maureen Forte talks about how she wants to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Maureen Forte narrates her photographs

Herman Marrel Foushee

Businessman H. Marrel Foushee was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on June 26, 1949, the oldest of eight children. After graduating from high school in 1967, he joined the U.S. Air Force, and in 1972 enrolled at Howard University on a football scholarship, earning a B.A. in political science with honors in just two and a half years. He later returned to earn an M.P.A. in 1977.

Foushee started his career with an internship at the National Bureau of Standards in 1974. After completing his M.A., Foushee went to work at Public Technology, Inc., as the assistant to the director, where he liased with federal authorities as part of its Urban Consortium Program. In 1978, he founded Foushee's Tax and Financial Management Services, where he remains president. He has also spent significant time working for federal and local governments, serving with the Department of Energy as a program analyst and with the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. From 1984 to 1987, he served as chief of the Washington, D.C. Office of Paternity and Child Support, and from 1989 to 1991 as an executive assistant and acting administrator in the D.C. Youth Services Administration. The mayor of Washington, D.C., appointed Foushee to the Department of Public Works as administrator of facilities management, where he served from 1996 to 1997.

Foushee has also been active in the media, working as an on-air personality for WHUR, the Howard University radio station, offering tax advice for thirteen years between 1982 and 1995. He expanded out to WDCU in 1992, producing and hosting Business Digest for three years. Foushee expanded his own personal business in 1997, opening Foushee's Business Management Services, where he is managing partner.

Over his career, Foushee has received many awards, including the Outstanding Professional of Washington, D.C., in 1987 and a Presidential Citation from the D.C. Chamber of Commerce. He has also been listed in Who's Who in Black Corporate America. He serves on the board of the Howard University Small Business Development Center and on the Metropolitan Baptist Church Foundation. He is also a founder of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators and was the first president of the Black M.B.A. Association of Washington, D.C.

Accession Number

A2003.160

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/18/2003

Last Name

Foushee

Maker Category
Middle Name

Marrel

Organizations
Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

H.

Birth City, State, Country

Chapel Hill

HM ID

FOU01

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Teens, Seniors, Special Interest

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Teens, Seniors, Special Interest

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Dominican Republic

Favorite Quote

It Won't Be This Way Always.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/26/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chapel Hill

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Financial chief executive and radio host Herman Marrel Foushee (1949 - ) was the owner of Foushee's Tax and Financial Management Services and Foushee's Business Management Services. He also served in a number of federal and local government posts with the Department of Energy and the D.C. Youth Services Administration, and was active in broadcasting with a weekly radio shows offering business and tax advice for thirteen years.

Employment

National Bureau of Standards (NBS)

Public Technology, Inc.

Foushee's Tax & Financial Management Services

United States Department of Energy

United States Department of Health and Human Services

District of Columbia Child Support Services Division

District of Columbia Youth Services Administration

District of Columbia Department of Public Works

WHUR Radio

WDCU Radio

Foushee's Business Management Services

Favorite Color

Blue, Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:3660,30:19996,328:62880,919:79891,1120:80263,1125:82123,1150:122000,1657:129138,1782:136891,1852:190846,2572:210370,2858:210850,2864:231494,3136:231818,3141:232142,3146:238980,3242:253996,3540:283080,3878$0,0:1328,6:3902,55:4166,60:8390,299:14396,431:14924,440:21570,478:21996,485:29018,595:43610,962:60896,1237:64127,1246:65821,1283:67669,1377:116310,2210:116870,2220:120550,2314:120950,2321:126504,2376:129232,2411:131256,2448:138698,2545:189664,3232:196714,3323:197106,3328:198510,3334
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Herman Marrel Foushee's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Herman Marrel Foushee lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his maternal family history, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his maternal family history, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his participation in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his childhood memories, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his childhood memories, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his grade school years

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his role in a production of "Show Boat" at Guy B. Phillips Junior High after the school was integrated

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his activism during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his aspirations as a student at Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his experiences of racial discrimination as a student at Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his social life and football career at Chapel Hill High School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his decision to join the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his experience in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about combating racism in the U.S. Air Force with the Brotherhood Association Serviceman

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about attending Howard University in Washington, D.C. after leaving the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his experience at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his professors at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his graduate studies in public administration at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his internship at the National Bureau of Standards while conducting graduate studies at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his time with Public Technology, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about working in the Office of Paternity and Child Support in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about Mayor Marion Barry

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about working as a radio personality on WHUR and WDCU

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes the guests and the subjects featured on his "Business Digest" show on WDCU

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Herman Marrel Foushee shares his advice for small business entrepreneurs

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Herman Marrel Foushee analyzes the downfall of small black businesses started in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his work for the National Black M.B.A. Association of Washington, D.C. and guarding his inner circle

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about the money management problems often faced by professional athletes

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Herman Marrel Foushee compares the difference in how black businesses are treated versus businesses started by other ethnic groups

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about the changing face of the service industry

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about various facets of the underground economy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about what he would do differently

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Herman Marrel Foushee reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Herman Marrel Foushee narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

6$6

DATitle
Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his participation in the Civil Rights Movement
Herman Marrel Foushee describes his time with Public Technology, Inc.
Transcript
Now, what were race relations like in Chapel Hill [North Carolina] when you were growing up?$$Well, growing up (unclear)--there are two different phases. In the '50's [1950s], the--I started elementary school [Northside Elementary School] in '55' [1955]. It was we had a elementary school for blacks, and we had an elementary school for whites. We had the same thing in--and we had one junior-senior high school for, for blacks. We--the Chapel Hill, the population, black population, is less than 20 percent. And the--when I grew up there, the total population was only 25,000. We--it was one of the, as you re--if you have read the book "[The] Free Men," [by John Ehle] it was one of the test sites that the Civil Rights, different civil rights organizations used because it was supposed to have been one of the more liberal cities in the South. And I was very involved with the Civil Rights Movement, with the Congress of Racial Equality, CORE was the basic organization, Civil Rights organization there. The--when we--when they, when they had the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee [SNCC] come in, but they were not as--they, they, they were not as ginger and did not fit in as well as the Congress for Racial Equality did because it, it was their perception of the different organizations at that time. And Floyd McKissick was the, was in charge of the Congress of Racial Equality back during there. We did sit-ins; we did the, we did the-- walked along Franklin Street. We--I did--I remember the summer of '62' [1962]; 1962 I think it was. I spent most of my summer on the picket line in front of the drugstore, trying to make it so that we could sit at lunch counters, now Colonial Drug. And the guy who was a pharmacist there, who owned it, was, name was John. We called--so it was Big John Drugstore. So, in--so that was, that was there. I had the fortune of meeting with--being in the, in the same room with the likes of, of [Reverend] Dr. Martin Luther King [Jr.] back then, 'cause see, they came to Chapel Hill, to Greensboro. [HM Reverend] Jesse Jackson, you know, was, was one of the players back there--back then. And when I was a little youngster and I was involved with the youth group, they had us divided between the, the adults and the youth. The, the race relations were really during, during the time when the, when the Civil Rights marches started. There was--it became very tense because a lot of the people in Chapel Hill, the blacks, worked for the white folks. So consequently, they did not have--they, they were very reluctant to come forward because their bosses would be--unless their boss gave them permission to participate in the civil rights marches or in the picket lines, they didn't do it. And as you know, most, a lot of 'em, were, you know, did domestic work, so they're boss--if they heard their boss talking about it, then they didn't do it, you know. If they did it they would get fired, and you know, they couldn't afford to lose their jobs. So a lot of 'em didn't do it. We, when we had the, the sit-ins, you know, one of the, one of my responsibilities was to make sure that we had--that I had the attorneys available and the bail bondsmen so that we could bail the people out of jail right away. And we--I, I remember I was like, you know, I'm always here. I was always there, but I couldn't--that's (unclear) like why can't I participate, you know? Why can't I, why can't I participate in the sit-ins? They said well, you do the picket lines, and you're too young; you know, you're a juvenile. But June 29th, I guess--I mean December 29th we didn't have enough people so they let me do the, do a sit-in, and I finally got, got my chance to be arrested with everybody else, but was treated as a juvenile. So I felt, really felt like I was a part of the, of, of making things happen at that time.$And I always believe in moving out on a high note so I left there [the National Bureau of Standards, now National Institute of Standards and Technology], and while I was working for him [Dr. Howard Sorrows], I was at a conference, and I got recruited by Public Technology, Incorporated. That's the technology arm of the National League of the cities, the U.S. Conference for Mayors, International City Management Association, the National Association of Counties and all those public interest groups. So, I worked with them. I worked with big cities, so I got to use my public administration knowledge there. At the same time, I set up my tax and financial management business [Foushee's Tax and Financial Management Services] here. So, this was in 199-1977 [sic, he founded his business in 1978], so it-- everything started to really propel when I, once I finished grad school [Howard University in Washington, D.C.]. That's when I bought the house as my graduation present to myself, and you know, decided to use the office here as, for my tax business, and then tax and financial management, and then went to work for Public Technology. And you know, I'll never forget the guy who was the director of personnel's--'cause I was still, I still had not finished school when I left. And he was trying to say that I had to pay back--had to pay for my--pay the government back, 'cause the government--I was on the G.I. Bill, plus the government was paying my tuition, and plus I was getting paid full salary as a, as a junior executive in the government. So, if you're wondering how I was able to buy a house when I finished grad school (laughter)--(unclear)--$$Yeah, yeah--(simultaneous)--$$(Laughter) So--$$--(unclear) allowed to keep all that money. I mean that was real money, not just a transfer between the government and the (unclear)--$$Right, that was real money, 'cause tui--the government paid tuition. I had took down there and paid my tuition for George Washington University, American University, Howard, University of Maryland, wherever I went, because Howard was in the consortium university for the city [Washington, D.C.], so I went to all the different universities. And so, as, as long as I made good grades, they--he really--they really didn't care.$$So it was, like I said, it was a sweet, sweet deal. And then I spent a year or so with Public Technology. There were four black professionals out of a staff of like fifty, and we all had the same story, you know, and we're all still buddies now, in senior-level positions. And in fact, one is, one of my colleagues, who was next door to me, is now the deputy director for (unclear)--we--I know the chief, chief executive officer for the D.C. Department of Health, Ron Lewis. And so, we--you know, it's a big racist organization, so in the meantime I recruited to come to work in the--by one of the gentlemen who was working for [President] Jimmy Carter in the White House. And they got me a position over--in, intergovernmental relations with the U.S. Department of Energy. So I worked for the, the deputy assistant secretary for energy for, until Jimmy Carter lost his election in 1980, for, for two years. And then after that, I went over to work in Health and Human Services as a small business advisor, and I left. I did that for four years.

Reverend T. L. Barrett, Jr.

Pastor, musician, and motivational speaker the Reverend Thomas Lee (T. L.) Barrett was born January 13, 1944, in Jamaica, Long Island, New York. His father, from the Mississippi Delta, was a part-time gospel performer with the Southern Wonders. At the age of nine, Barrett's family moved to Chicago, Illinois, and Barrett continued to struggle in school. After his father passed away, Barrett returned to New York and found work in a hospital removing brains from cadavers at the age of sixteen.

By that year, Barrett's musical talents were being noticed, especially his ability on the piano. He began performing at the Waldorf Astoria and the New York City Village Gate, as well as in several church choirs. He gave up his job in the hospital, and in addition to his music, worked as an executive shoeshine man. Feeling the call to the ministry, Barrett attended Bethel Bible College and passed the New York State Board of Regents ministerial exam. After marrying a young woman from New York, Barrett returned to Chicago in 1967. The following year, he was named the pastor of Life Center Church of God in Christ, and in 1968 he began purchasing airtime on local radio stations to spread his ministry. By 1973, he was a regular on WBMX, and he remained on-air there until switching to WJPC in 1980.

Barrett has been active in a number of causes, including the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., in 1995. During that event, he brought busloads of men from Chicago to the nation's capital. He was also one of the regional coordinators for the Million Family March in 2000. He has worked with other Chicago-area pastors and gangs to explore ways in which gangs could prevent crime in troubled urban areas. A strong believer in family values, Barrett was a supporter of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon and the Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who took a wife and was ostracized by the Catholic Church. Barrett has also recorded five albums and several sessions of taped sermons.

Accession Number

A2003.054

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/25/2003

Last Name

Barrett

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Joseph Medill Elementary School

Gregory Math & Sci Elem Academy

Wendell Phillips Academy High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

T.L.

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

BAR05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

I Am Alive In This Season For A Divine Reason.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/13/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chicken, Dumplings

Short Description

Radio host and pastor Reverend T. L. Barrett, Jr. (1944 - ) was co-convener of the American Clergy Leadership Conference, and an outspoken advocate of family values. He was also a regional coordinator for the Million Family March on Washington, D.C. in 2000. Barrett was pastor of the Life Church of God in Christ in Chicago, and had a radio presence since the late 60s.

Employment

Life Center Church of God in Christ

WBMX Radio

WJPC Radio

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend T.L. Barrett's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend T.L. Barrett lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the value of keeping a record of his daily life for future generations

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his parents' move from Itta Bena, Mississippi to New York, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his parents' move from Itta Bena, Mississippi to New York, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his family's musical involvement

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his parents' values

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his family's move from New York City to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood in New York City, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes living in the Ida B. Wells Homes in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes living in the Ida B. Wells Homes in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes having to move out of Ida B. Wells Homes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his experience in grade schools in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his experience in grade schools in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes returning to Chicago, Illinois after getting his GED in New York City, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his experience as a morgue attendant in Flushing Hospital in New York City, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his experience as a morgue attendant in Flushing Hospital in New York City, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes an experience he had as a morgue attendant at Flushing Hospital in New York City, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes an experience he had as a morgue attendant at Flushing Hospital in New York City, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes malpractice at Flushing Hospital in New York City, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the permanent back injury caused by lifting a body as a morgue assistant at Flushing Hospital in New York City, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his experience working at Flushing Hospital and Mcclean's Cleaning Service in New York City, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his belief system

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his musical performance and how his cousin recruited him into the shoe shine business in New York City, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his studying under Irwin Stahl and choosing faith over music

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his decision to stop his music lessons and become a preacher

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his belief system

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend T.L. Barrett talks about sharing his vision of God's presence in all of us

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend T.L. Barrett talks about recovering from an incurable blood disease

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes how he met his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the beginning of his career as a pastor in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes establishing his church in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the beginning of his career on the radio at WBMX

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his relationship with HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. Johnnie Colemon

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend T.L. Barrett shares his beliefs concerning self-improvement

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the difference between his theology and that of mainline Christianity, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the difference between his theology and that of mainline Christianity, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his conception of God

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the role of positive thinking in changing the course of slave thinking, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the role of positive thinking in changing the course of slave thinking, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes what his church teaches to children

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend T.L. Barrett talks about why God allows bad things to happen to people, pt.1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend T.L. Barrett talks about why God allows bad things to happen to people, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend T.L. Barrett talks about why God allows bad things to happen to people, pt. 3

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend T.L. Barrett talks about how positive thinking can end suffering

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend T.L. Barrett talks about whether God should be feared

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes some sections of the Old Testament

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the relationship between black ministers and their teachings and the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his wife's leaving him, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, and the return of his wife

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his studying under Irwin Stahl and choosing faith over music
Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his relationship with HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. Johnnie Colemon
Transcript
I met a couple, a Jewish couple, who just took a real liking to me. And they invited me to one of their house parties. They wanted me to mix the drinks at their house parties. And I told them I could do it. Any time anybody had asked me if I can do anything I say, yes, even though I didn't know anything about it--I didn't know jack about it, but I said yes because I just knew that the power of God in me would enable me to do it. All I would have to--they would have to show me and I would pretend like I needed some refresher. I went to their party and they had a piano there. And instead of me, you know, while there was a lull in the serving of the liquor, I started playing the piano. And the people were just, wowed, and they were wowed by my ability to play. And they said, well, where did you study? I said, I haven't--I've never studied music, I just wanted to play it. I started playing. So they wanted to make me their investment project. They said that we will--we see so much potential in you and we have connections with "The Tonight Show" and all of the things in Hollywood. We want to make you a star. I said--but we want to send you--you have to have some formal training 'cause with your raw talent, if you just get some formal training, you know, you'll be a mega star. So they sent me to Julliard School of Music. And I went right into Julliard saying that, you know, I've got, you know, my tuition paid and everything. And George Rhodes was there, and George was Sammy Davis Jr.'s music director, and he's the one who talked to me 'cause he was on staff there. And he talked to me and said that you cannot attend Julliard unless you are a graduate from another school. You know, Julliard is a graduate school. I didn't know that. And so he said, you would have to go and get training somewhere else. But he gave me his numbers and, you know, let me keep in touch with him and all. So they found one of the greatest piano teachers that money could buy. At that time Irwin Stahl charged $30 per half an hour and he took me on for an hour each, twice a week. And these people paid him for me. I don't know whether you remember the blackout in New York [1965].$$Yup.$$Well I was at Irwin Stahl's studio when it blacked out. I was late because I was still working my concession and he was very particular, very meticulous about being on time and doing your lessons because he was expensive. So I needed gas. I had a--I was driving a '58' [1958] Cadillac then that drank gas. But I was on "E", but I said, well I'll--rather than get gas now, I'll wait until after my lessons, then I'll get gas. The blackout hit while he was teaching me. And there were no gas stations open because they all run by electricity. I was way up in the Bronx and I lived in Queens. But I was studying the science of mind and the power of the mind and I said all right God, I gotta put you to the test. I'm gonna make it home on prayer and air 'cause my car was laying on "E." I got in my car, I drove on the expressway and to really show my faith, I let the windows down, put my arm out the window and just relaxed, instead of driving, you know, all--'cause I was really testing my own consciousness. And I made it all the way to my house. And when I pulled into my parking space, I'll never forget this, as long as I breathe, when I went to turn the gas--the engine off, the car died by itself. That, I swear to God, that happened. And I realized then that this is what I want to do, teach people about this.$I started on the radio. I became the hottest thing in the city [Chicago, Illinois] and one morning while I was on the air, getting back to [HM Reverend Dr.] Johnnie Colemon now, the spirit of God spoke to me and said, "You wanna meet Johnnie Colemon?" He said, "Johnnie's going through something right now, just open the mike and bless Johnnie Colemon and have a bless Johnnie Colemon week." So I opened the mike. I said, I'm blessing the Reverend Doctor Johnnie Colemon, pastor of the Christ Universal Temple Church. And I got the address and said, "Now what I want you all to do this week, I want you all to send Johnnie Colemon some cards and letters and just say God Bless you Johnnie Colemon." Johnnie Colemon told me that that morning she was going through a crisis in her life, in her ministry, said, "Lord, I just need some encouragement." She said she turned on her radio and while she was flicking, you know, turning the dial, she heard this preacher saying "This week is Bless Johnnie Colemon Week." She said my mouth flew open. She said, who is this? And what does he know about Johnnie Colemon and what does he know about what I'm going through right now to say "Bless Johnnie Colemon Week." And she said she kept listening and said she couldn't recognize the voice, she didn't know--and after a while I called my name, this is Pastor T. L. Barrett, blessing Johnnie Colemon. She said, well, Jesus, who is this man? I gotta find out who this man is, for him to pick up this. She said she got so many cards, so many letters, and that's how Johnnie and I met. That's how we became friends 'cause I sent her a card and sent her, you know, a letter or something. But we've been friends ever since and that's been, I guess, over twenty-five years ago.$$That's quite a story.$$Oh, God, yes it is. And that's why Johnnie and I know that God put us together. I mean, especially when she heard of what I was teaching, you know, so similar to what she was teaching. She said, because--and then I invited her to preach at my church and ministers, back twenty-five years ago, a woman preacher, invited to your church, that was unheard of 'cause men--the male preachers were putting her down and hindering her so and here was a man preacher on the radio saying, "Bless Johnnie Colemon", just when she really needed to hear it.$$Now, it's been said, by some ministers, that Johnnie Colemon is really not a Christian, as such, as they were defining Christians.$$Well, she's not--$$--as Christians--$$--neither am I--$$Okay.$$--as to what they define a Christian. Now, because we say we're not Christians, we are Christ. I mean, Jesus--I mean the scripture tells you, "Let this mind being you which was also in Christ." Jesus, who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be one with God, and that's exactly what we teach people. You and your father, mother, God, are absolutely one.

Angelo Henderson

After graduating from the University of Kentucky in Lexington with a degree in Journalism, Angelo Henderson first got a job in 1995 working for the St. Petersburg Times in St. Petersburg, Florida. He worked as a beat reporter and a business writer. He then moved on to the Louisville Courier-Journal where he continued to cover business before joining the staff of the Wall Street Journal's Detroit Bureau.

His first assignment at the Wall Street Journal was reporting on U.S. operations of non-American car companies. Eighteen months later, he moved to covering the Chrysler Corporation, writing on everything from labor talks to new car models. In 1997, he was appointed deputy Detroit Bureau Chief. This position called on him to write stories and manage reporters. In 1999, Henderson began writing exclusively for Page One of the Wall Street Journal. That year, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished feature writing. His prize-winning story, "Crime Scene", detailed the lives affected by an attempted drug store robbery that ended in the robber's death. In 2001, he joined The Detroit News as the special projects reporter. He travels the United States reporting on race, crime, and urban issues, giving a voice to many who have become voiceless.

Henderson was the recipient of several other journalism awards including the Detroit Press Club Award, the Unity Award for Excellence in minority reporting for Public Affairs/Social Issues, and the National Association of Black Journalists Award for outstanding coverage of the black condition. He served two terms as the parliamentarian of the National Association of Black Journalists. Henderson also serves as a deacon at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church and is a member of the gospel group Marc Ivory and the Excelled Praise Singers. He and his wife, Felecia, and their son, Angelo, resided in Pontiac, Michigan.

Henderson passed away on February 15, 2014.

Accession Number

A2002.152

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/20/2002

Last Name

Henderson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Louisville Male High School

University of Kentucky

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Felecia

Birth City, State, Country

Louisville

HM ID

HEN02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Amazing.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Interview Description
Birth Date

10/14/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Crab

Death Date

2/15/2014

Short Description

Newspaper columnist and radio host Angelo Henderson (1962 - 2014 ) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Detroit News, and previously covered the auto industry in Detroit for Page One of the Wall Street Journal.

Employment

St. Petersburg Times

Louisville Courier-Journal

Wall Street Journal

Detroit News

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:12166,241:17118,318:18280,331:18612,336:23094,437:23426,442:24920,513:29070,596:33967,688:35295,705:43440,798:43884,805:44994,825:46474,934:52468,1006:55354,1075:57352,1131:59646,1179:60016,1185:67050,1213:74648,1381:75358,1394:76920,1419:78979,1453:80790,1461$0,0:616,20:4312,102:8855,191:9471,208:27410,487:28450,517:28930,524:31410,567:34450,630:36130,662:50885,865:53585,941:54710,957:56660,992:57185,1000:62360,1121:73642,1369:81388,1520:83516,1613:90700,1673:96748,1809:107066,1912:126292,2430:130684,2530:133708,2628:136948,2704:141716,2728:142354,2748:143862,2806:144674,2826:145370,2844:145892,2854:146820,2887:148870,2896
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Angelo Henderson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Angelo Henderson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Angelo Henderson describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Angelo Henderson talks about his parents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Angelo Henderson describes being raised by his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Angelo Henderson describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Angelo Henderson describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Angelo Henderson describes his interests and activities as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Angelo Henderson talks about grade school

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Angelo Henderson talks about his childhood mentors and role models

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Angelo Henderson describes why he moved to Oakland, California

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Angelo Henderson compares Oakland, California and Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Angelo Henderson describes his schooling experiences in Oakland, California

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Angelo Henderson talks about the teachers that influenced him

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Angelo Henderson describes the minister who influenced him

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Angelo Henderson describes his experiences living with his sister in Oakland, California

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Angelo Henderson describes attending Louisville Male High School in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Angelo Henderson talks about participating in The National High School Institute's Cherub Program at the Medill School of Journalism, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 19 - Angelo Henderson talks about participating in The National High School Institute's Cherub Program at the Medill School of Journalism, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Angelo Henderson describes his sister

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Angelo Henderson describes how his father, mother, and sister shaped his personality

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Angelo Henderson describes why his sister moved to California and became a teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Angelo Henderson describes how The National High School Institute's Cherub Program at the Medill School of Journalism impacted him

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Angelo Henderson describes how participating in the Urban Journalism Workshop inspired him to attend the University of Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Angelo Henderson talks about writing for the University of Kentucky newspaper, the "Kentucky Colonel"

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Angelo Henderson describes his summer internship at WHAS-TV in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Angelo Henderson talks about his summer internship at the "Wall Street Journal" in Cleveland, Ohio and his independent study course at the University of Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Angelo Henderson describes working at "The Herald Leader" and attending job fairs as a student at the University of Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Angelo Henderson describes how he was hired at the "St. Petersburg Times"

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Angelo Henderson talks about his summer internship with the Magic Kingdom College Program at Walt Disney World

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Angelo Henderson describes moving to Florida to work at the "St. Petersburg Times"

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Angelo Henderson describes his experiences working at the "St. Petersburg Times", pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Angelo Henderson describes his experiences working at the "St. Petersburg Times", pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Angelo Henderson talks about developing a relationship with God

Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Angelo Henderson talks about transitioning from writing business news to neighborhood news at the "St. Petersburg Times"

Tape: 2 Story: 17 - Angelo Henderson describes the series on crack cocaine he wrote for the "St. Petersburg Times"

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Angelo Henderson describes working at the "St. Petersburg Times"

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Angelo Henderson describes challenges he faced working at "The St. Petersburg Times"

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Angelo Henderson describes how building a relationship with God impacted him

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Angelo Henderson describes his experiences working at the "Courier Journal"

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Angelo Henderson describes meeting and marrying his wife, Felicia Henderson

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Angelo Henderson talks about the African American entrepreneurial and business communities in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Angelo Henderson describes the minority business community in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Angelo Henderson describes the connections between the business and politics communities in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Angelo Henderson describes being hired at "The Wall Street Journal"

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Angelo Henderson describes his first front page story for "The Wall Street Journal"

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Angelo Henderson describes his experiences working for the Detroit Bureau of "The Wall Street Journal"

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Angelo Henderson describes being promoted to Bureau Chief for the Detroit Bureau of "The Wall Street Journal"

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Angelo Henderson talks about some of the stories he wrote for Page 1 of "The Wall Street Journal"

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Angelo Henderson describes a story he wrote for the "Wall Street Journal" about African American funeral homes

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Angelo Henderson talks about the historical significance of the African American funeral home and church fan industries

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Angelo Henderson describes a story he wrote for the "Wall Street Journal" about how African American entrepreneurs manage race

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Angelo Henderson describes a story he wrote for the "Wall Street Journal" about urban kidnapping

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Angelo Henderson talks about urban kidnapping

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Angelo Henderson talks about winning the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Feature Writing in 1999, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Angelo Henderson talks about winning the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Feature Writing in 1999, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Angelo Henderson describes the inspiration for his Pulitzer Prize-winning story, "Crime Scene"

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Angelo Henderson describes writing his Pulitzer Prize-winning story, "Crime Scene", pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Angelo Henderson describes writing his Pulitzer Prize-winning story, "Crime Scene", pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Angelo Henderson describes writing his Pulitzer Prize-winning story, "Crime Scene", pt. 3

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Angelo Henderson describes how the subject of his Pulitzer Prize-winning story, "Crime Scene", felt about killing someone

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Angelo Henderson describes his responsibilities as a journalist

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Angelo Henderson describes the impact winning the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Feature Writing had on his career

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Angelo Henderson describes the challenges he faced as a reporter

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Angelo Henderson talks about being transparent in his writing and reporting

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Angelo Henderson talks about the subjects of his Pulitzer Prize-winning story, "Crime Scene"

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Angelo Henderson talks about working as a special projects reporter at the "Detroit News"

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Angelo Henderson talks about his morning radio talk show, "Inside Detroit"

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Angelo Henderson talks about the books he is writing

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Angelo Henderson talks about being a Deacon at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church and attending Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Angelo Henderson describes how attending Ecumenical Theological Seminary changed his understanding of how people relate to God

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Angelo Henderson describes how his mother reacted to his winning a Pulitzer Prize

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Angelo Henderson talks about his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Angelo Henderson talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Angelo Henderson talks about the importance of living a balanced life

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Angelo Henderson shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Angelo Henderson shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Angelo Henderson talks about the importance of entrepreneurship in the African American community

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

16$14

DATitle
Angelo Henderson talks about transitioning from writing business news to neighborhood news at the "St. Petersburg Times"
Angelo Henderson describes a story he wrote for the "Wall Street Journal" about African American funeral homes
Transcript
And Merv Aubespin [Mervin Aubespin] who, at that time, I told you, had been the President of the National Association of Black Journalists.$$Can you spell his name for us?$$Merv, M-e-r-v, A-u-b-e-s-p-i-n, Mervin Aubespin. He just--in fact, just retired from the Courier-Journal. He called the President, the current President at that time, Al Fitzpatrick, who is a big Knight Ridder guy, African American, at Knight Ridder, and he was also President of NABJ [National Association of Black Journalists]. And he knew the guy who was like the publisher of the St. Petersburg Times. So they were able to talk to him, and this publisher was able to send a note and get me transferred from business news to neighborhoods. And the neighborhood section is usually considered, you know, sort of like a second class entity in the newsroom. You know, you have city desk and you have neighborhoods, but Greg Hamilton (ph.) was my editor in neighborhoods. And this guy, you know, was so caring, when coming from that horrible experience. And, you know, I still had a lot of great ideas, I thought, you know, but he helped me to sort of believe in myself again, and I started covering crack cocaine, in drugs, the drug culture, in all of south St. Petersburg [Florida], and I also started covering the African American community for the first time. And that was a blessing for me, too, because, you know, I saw how rich our community was as a source of news stories.$So "The Wall Street Journal," you know, really liked that story, too, so I was able to bring more and more stories to The Journal. I did a story about African American funeral homes. I was learning that at that time, there were, you know, the small white funeral homes were being purchased by conglomerates. And what happened was they would operate--they would keep on the management team, you know, and they would work, it's almost like glorified managers. And you would never know that this funeral home was no longer locally owned. Well, it started to happen with African American companies--funeral homes. The rumor was that, you know, this, you know, small African American funeral home is owned by white people, you know. So I started following this trend, and there was actually African American conglomerates, venture capitalists, that were buying up these African American firms. And the fear was that they were going to get them all neatly together, and then one major white company could go in and buy all the black funeral homes and wipe out an entire industry. So I wrote about that as well so--$$Is that a real fear? I mean--$$Oh, it was real fear--$$(Simultaneous) --based on real or--$$(Simultaneous) --real, because, yeah, there was a firm out of Chicago [Illinois] that had up to like--I don't know, twenty or more funeral homes all over the country. And, you know, and it was a fear because African Americans--small African American funeral homes, wouldn't sell--had issues about selling to whites, but they would sell to this black venture capital firm, not recognizing that venture capital is about making money. And after they got so many, they could sell them and, you know, and one signature, all of them could be gone. So I--$$This is serious business, too--$$Oh, serious business.$$(Unclear) --in the black community, and it's probably true in Detroit [Michigan]. I'm sure it's true in a lot of places, but the number one business in a lot of, especially small communities, is the funeral home. The funeral home is a place where the politicians emerge from.$$Exactly--$$And the ministers and (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) --source of wealth, source of income, source of pride, a lot of generational monies. But a lot of these older funeral home directors have kids who don't want to go be in the funeral home business anymore. They want to do other things, so they don't have anyone to pass it down to. And, at the same time, the requirements-- and I explored this in the story, too. When you're a funeral home owner, you don't get a break. Every time somebody dies, they want you there, not an assistant. You know you got to be there. So the demands are really high.$$Okay.$$So that was, you know, that was leading into the idea, they wanted to get out of business, so I mean they wanted to do something with it, and they could cash out this way.

Vernon Jarrett

Born on June 19, 1918, in Tennessee, Vernon Jarrett was one of the nation's most prominent commentators on race relations and African American history within the United States. Newspaper, television and radio broadcasts have all been forums for his insights. Jarrett began his journalism career at the Chicago Defender,/i> during the 1940's and later worked for the Associated Negro Press before making the transition to radio in 1948. For the next three years, Jarrett and composer Oscar Brown, Jr. produced "Negro Newsfront", the nation's first daily radio newscast created by African Americans.

In 1970, Jarrett became the first African American syndicated columnist for the Chicago Tribune. He used his editorial voice as a forum for commentary on the social and economic trends affecting African Americans, as well as the global concerns of pan-African politics. During this period, Jarrett served as host on Chicago's WLS-ABC TV, where he produced nearly two thousand television broadcasts. In 1983, Jarrett left the Tribune and began writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, where he continued his tradition of political and social commentary, which has always been firmly grounded in the African American experience.

In 1977, Jarrett created the NAACP-sponsored ACT-SO program. An acronym for "Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics", ACT-SO is an enrichment program for exceptional African American students nationwide. Through the program, over $1,000,000 in computers, scholarships and books have been awarded to top-ranking students, who are recognized and honored each year during ACT-SO's national television special. To date, hundreds of students across the United States have participated in the annual event.

Jarrett also became a columnist for the New York Times' New American News Syndicate and his social commentary could be heard during "The Jarrett Journal", a news show broadcast on WVON-AM, Chicago's only African American-owned radio station. He was also a member of the editorial board of the NAACP's ninety year-old magazine, The Crisis, which was created by W. E. B. Du Bois. Jarrett's outstanding journalistic efforts have earned him numerous honors and awards, including his being the first recipient of the NAACP's James Weldon Johnson Achievement Award and his 1998 induction into the National Literary Hall of Fame at the University of Chicago's Gwendolyn Brooks Center. Jarrett passed away on May 23, 2004.

Accession Number

A2000.028

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

2/10/2000 |and| 6/27/2000

Last Name

Jarrett

Maker Category
Organizations
Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Vernon

Birth City, State, Country

Saulsbury

HM ID

JAR02

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Sponsor

McCormick Tribune Foundation

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Profound.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/19/1918

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Greens (Turnip), Peas (Black-Eyed), Ham (Smoked)

Death Date

5/23/2004

Short Description

Newspaper columnist, television host, and radio host Vernon Jarrett (1918 - 2004 ) was one of the nation's most prominent commentators on race relations and African American history within the United States. Jarrett wrote for the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, as well as the Chicago Defender. Jarrett also worked extensively in radio and television including broadcasting his own show called The Jarrett Journal on WVON-AM, Chicago's only African American-owned radio station.

Employment

Chicago Defender

Associated Negro Press

Chicago Tribune

WLS TV

Chicago Sun-Times

New York Times

WVON Radio

Crisis

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Vernon Jarrett's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vernon Jarrett describes his childhood as wonderful

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vernon Jarrett recalls Joe Louis and how media and organizations served as "cement" for the mostly rural black population

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vernon Jarrett recalls the love and solidarity in the black community of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vernon Jarrett remembers his parents, rural schoolteachers in Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vernon Jarrett talks about the start of Negro History Week and its impact in his school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vernon Jarrett recalls his first grade teacher's creative way of teaching about black heroes

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vernon Jarrett recalls an essay in junior high that influenced him to become a writer

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vernon Jarrett describes the black community's strong support for higher education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vernon Jarrett remembers his ongoing literature contest with a daughter of a white family he worked for

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vernon Jarrett talks about soul food and philosophy

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vernon Jarrett describes Southern black communities' emphasis on educational achievement against the odds

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vernon Jarrett reveals his school suspension for kissing a white girl

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vernon Jarrett speaks with emotion about his mother's creative writing and frustrated ambition

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vernon Jarrett remembers the pride in education of his family and other African Americans

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vernon Jarrett discusses the hunger for education of black people like his grandmother who illegally learned to read as a slave

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vernon Jordan recalls a lesson from an ex-slave about respecting black women and their contributions to the race

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vernon Jarrett talks about the need for a renewal of blacks' learning their history

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vernon Jarrett talks about working at an Alcoa plant and joining the Navy in WWII

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Vernon Jarrett remembers his first impressions of Chicago in the 1940s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vernon Jarrett spells his name and discusses the date with the interviewer

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vernon Jarrett describes his vocation as a writer and gaining employment at The Chicago Defender

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vernon Jarrett talks about meeting W.E.B. DuBois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vernon Jarrett recalls librarian Vivian G. Harsh's influence on him

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vernon Jarrett explains the importance of academic role models and mentors for younger people today

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vernon Jarrett describes the post-war "new world" mood prevalent when he moved to Chicago to become a journalist

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vernon Jarrett describes the appeal of The Defender and the city of Chicago to Southern blacks

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Vernon Jarrett talks about the importance of Joe Louis and radio in the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Vernon Jarrett talks about a lost sense of community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Vernon Jordan talks about the significance of radio for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Vernon Jordan discusses the insidious racism and violence against African Americans

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Vernon Jarrett recalls the impact of black newspapers during his youth

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Vernon Jarrett recalls a lesson in race relations and pride from his father

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Vernon Jordan remembers his start at the Chicago Defender

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Vernon Jordan remembers covering white mob violence against integration of Airport Homes in Chicago, 1946

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Vernon Jarrett recalls learning that some black politicians collaborated against the interest of their people

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Vernon Jarrett explains his inspiration by courageous black journalists of his youth

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Vernon Jarrett discusses the dangers the NAACP faced in the American South

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Vernon Jarrett talks about black baseball players in the major leagues, an inspiration for African Americans

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Vernon Jarrett talks about interviewing Congressman William L. Dawson for The Chicago Defender

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Vernon Jarrett recounts some of the risks he became known for taking as a young reporter

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Vernon Jarrett explains his role in the Associated Negro Press clipping service

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Vernon Jarrett talks about black theater and radio plays in Chicago in the 1940s-1950s

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Vernon Jarrett discusses the African American housing crisis caused by restrictive covenants in Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Vernon Jarrett details changes in Chicago from the late 1940s through the early 1960s

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Vernon Jarrett talks about his radio programs and real estate involvement, from the late 1940s to early 1950s

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Vernon Jarrett recalls his years as a brewery sales rep and writer in Kansas City during the 1950s

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Vernon Jarrett talks about his work for the Chicago Community Conservation Board and a controversial speech

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Vernon Jarrett tells about a Chicago television special to discourage riots after King's assassination, part one

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Vernon Jarrett tells about a Chicago television special to discourage riots after King's assassination, part two

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Vernon Jarrett talks about beginning to work for WLS-TV in Chicago in 1968

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Vernon Jarrett tells how he began working for the Chicago Tribune in 1970

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Vernon Jarrett talks about a few factual errors that made it into his column

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Vernon Jarrett talks about attending national political conventions and interpreting them from a black perspective

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Vernon Jarrett talks about his role in the election of Harold Washington, Chicago's first black mayor

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Vernon Jarrett talks about his television show and moving from the Chicago Tribune to The Chicago Sun-Times

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Vernon Jarrett talks about the importance of mentorship to young African Americans

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Vernon Jarrett explains the Freedom Readers program and recalls how his own interest in reading developed

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Vernon Jarrett talks about founding the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Vernon Jarrett describes his notion of his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Vernon Jarrett explains what made him an effective journalist

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Vernon Jarrett discusses some of his values and beliefs

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Vernon Jarrett discusses his philosophy on life and religious faith

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Vernon Jarrett talks about the centrality of race in his worldview and the future of the black race

DASession

1$2

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$3

DATitle
Vernon Jordan recalls a lesson from an ex-slave about respecting black women and their contributions to the race
Vernon Jarrett talks about meeting W.E.B. DuBois
Transcript
This part of our heritage was every day. Somebody was always stopping me on the street. When I--they'd catch you using dirty language, you know how kids playing the dozens. "Boy what are you gonna make out of yourself? You know that's a disgrace to talk--" I used to play the dozens. Are you familiar with that? It's where kids talk about each other's mama. We used to practice the dozens. We didn't have a basketball court at the time. So we'd pla--One part of the town, one community, black community would play the dozens (laughing) with another part. And I remember one Saturday afternoon, we were practicing in an alley--back of this kid's house. And there was a man, an old ex-slave. Some people said he was 100 years old. We don't know how old he was. His name was Dumas (ph.) He was sitting back there in the bushes and we didn't know it. And he heard us talk about each other's mother in rhyme. And I could rhy--I had a way with words. And I--What I said about this little boy's mother, (chuckle) after he had said something about my mother [Annie Sybil Jarrett]. Mr. Dumas came out of the bushes. I remember this kid said something awful about my mother [Annie Sybil Jarrett] and father. And, it, it was directed at toward the fact that my brother [Dr. Thomas Dunbar Jarrett] had light skin and my father [William Robert Jarrett] was darker. And I didn't like that. I thought there ought to be some boundaries where (chuckle) they draw the line. And I was trying to think of the worst thing I could say about this kid. And I heard the train whistle. The L and N railroad train, and I heard that whistle. This is where Mr. Dumas was impressed but at the same time wanted to slap me. I said,"Around the bend comes the L and N, loaded down with your mama's men," (laughing). And everybody just cracked up and this little boy almost cried and Mr. Dumas came out and he said,"I've had enough of this. And he gave us a little lecture on what slavery was like. And on black women in slavery. It was an interesting thing. It's still with me. He said,"I never thought I'd live to see the day that little black children could be out here talking about the black woman! --black mothers--the way you all are doing. You'd think we just did all of this for nothing." He said,"You all are just down here degrading and insulting black women! And all that black women have done--" he said,"Don't you know that when they were selling us, somebody would always come up and become our mother? You always knew that there would be a black mother somewhere. Somebody who had never heard of you--would make you her son. That black woman kept us together." And we stood at attention and listened. Because we were ready to do anything to keep him from going down to our parents and telling them about the dirty language we were using. And he said," I don't want to ever hear or suspect any of you little boys, all of you came from nice families, talk about black women, the way I've heard you talk about them this afternoon." And then he turned to me. Now this is interesting, very interesting. And he says,"You, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. Anybody that can put words together the way you do," he says, "you oughta be on 'The Chicago Defender.' instead of out here talking about somebody's mama," He said,"You ever read 'The Chicago Defender'?" And I said,"I'm gonna start. No sir, no sir." We were ready to do anything. But he stood there for a half an hour and gave us an oral account of what black women had contributed to the survival of our people in slavery.$$Hmm. Okay.$$Isn't that something?$$It's really. And well guess what. Evidently he passed some of this on to his kids. One of his sons was one of the first blacks to go North and graduate from Northwestern University's dental school. You see. That old man--And even--This was way before my time. And I think his son was one of the first blacks to get a degree from Northwestern Dental School in the 1920'. That's remarkable isn't it?$And you say that you spent an evening with W.E.B. [William Edward Burghardt] DuBois. Talk us about that evening.$$(Simultaneously) Well, that was in the home of Dr. Metz T. P. Lochard [Associate Editor of the Chicago Defender] when I spent a social evening. He was in the city [Chicago, Illinois]. If I'm not mistaken, that could have easily have been 1948, either '48 or 1950. I get them mixed up a bit. But I and two other journalists were permitted to bring our little girlfriends in, which meant it must have been '48 because in '50 I was married. (Chuckles.) And we sat and he--and DuBois shocked us all. You know, he was a very rigid appearing man and she said, "Well, you young people, if you'd like, you can sit on the floor. We're going to listen to some classical music." So Dr. Lochard had some big pillows and we sat there and he said, "Why not turn down the lights, Doctor." He was talking to his friend. "Turn the lights down a little low." And I was just stunned. And he smiled and he loosened his collar up. Now he was not so loose that you'd say, "Hey, Doc" or anything. You didn't call him 'Doc' and you didn't call him 'Doobie,' or you didn't go around slapping him on the back and all of that stuff. But well despite all of this formality, he came through so well with us sitting on the floor that we were anxious to get out. We just wanted the honor of being with DuBois and we wanted to go out and try to get in a nightclub. Well, I think one of us might not have been old enough to go to a nightclub, but the majority, we were going to try to get into the Club DeLisa and the Rhumboogie, which was about four blocks from where we were on 55th Street. But, you know, we did not want to leave when he got through talking. We listened to him as he put on Antonin Dvorak's 'New World Symphony' and, and he said, "Just listen for a while. I want you to just observe and see if you hear any familiar music." And then when they got to that--I forgot which section of it. It's a largo section of 'New World Symphony.' I said, "I've been hearing that all my life." He said, "That's what I thought." And he was--and he began to talk all through the symphony as to where Dvorak had gotten sections of his composition. Then he introduced to us for the first time the name of the, we learned later, Harry T. Burleigh. We said Burleigh studied under Dvorak, you know, this was shortly after the turn of the century. And when he played the largo section, I said, "I--I used to hear that at our funerals and it was called 'Going Home'," and people would sing, (singing:) "I'm just going home--da..da..da, da, da, da. Friends I knew so--" And I said, "Yeah." Well, he said, "That's precisely where you he got it. This is African-Americans' contribution to classical music." And, of course Harry T. Burleigh later became a very famous orchestra composer and writer and director. But that was one of the most enjoyable non-youthful meetings I've had with anybody. We just chatted and he was so loose, and we were looking at him with degrees of respect, and we talked about his philosophy of life and just--I still look back at this and I can't believe he was eighty years old. So this is how I can tabulate about when this was. I think he was eighty years old and we would--had the impression he might have been sixty-five or something. The man was phenomenally healthy for a person that age. I had seen him before. But part of my pay for being on The Chicago Defender was just writing for the same paper as W. E. B. DuBois, who wrote a column every week in The Chicago Defender, and so did Langston Hughes at that time. And this was a very instructive period in my life, and this is why I deal so much with young people today. These older people really had an impact on me.