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Charles Connor

Musician Charles Connor was born on January 14, 1935 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Viola and William Connor. He began playing drums at age five. His first professional work as a drummer came in 1950 when he was hired by Roy Byrd (“Professor Longhair”) to play with him at a New Orleans Mardi Gras program.

He went on to perform with Smiley Lewis, Guitar Slim, Jack Dupree, and Shirley and Lee. At age eighteen, Connor became the drummer of Little Richard's road band, The Upsetters. Connor was a drummer for Little Richard throughout the 1950s, on records such as "The Girl Can't Help It", "Keep A-Knockin'", "Ooh! My Soul", and popular feature films as Don't Knock the Rock and Mr. Rock 'n' Roll. He was credited for creating the unique "Choo Choo Train" style of successive eighth notes with a loud back beat used by nearly all subsequent Rock 'n' Roll drummers. When Connor was not working with Little Richard, he worked with James Brown and The Famous Flames. In 1957, he toured with performer Sam Cooke. He also performed with other artists like Jackie Wilson, the original Coasters, and “Big” Joe Turner. He recorded with “Champion” Jack Dupree, Larry Williams, Don Covay, “Papa” George Lightfoot, Christine Kittrell, Larry Birdsong, and Dee Clark.

In 1994, Connor received a Certificate of Special Recognition from Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA). In 2010, Connor was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Connor released his second album in 2013, “Still Knockin'”, which debuted an original song written and sung by him, "Beginning of Rock n' Roll," including new recordings featuring the voice of Kate Flannery. Connor was featured in the 2015 documentary miniseries for BBC Music TV’s Rock N Roll America “Episode 1: Sweet Little Sixteen," exploring the genesis, explosion and legacy of rock 'n' roll in America. He published his autobiography, Keep A Knockin the Story of a Legendary Drummer," in August 2015 with Waldorf Publishing. Connor is also featured in BBC Four's 2017 documentary Sharon Osbourne Presents Rock 'n' Roll's Dodgiest Deals. Connor’s drumsticks are on display at the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

Charles Connor was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 13, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.107

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/13/2019

Last Name

Connor

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

CON09

Favorite Season

June

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii, Philippines, and New Orleans

Favorite Quote

Don't Give Up Your Dream, You Can Be A Winner Too

Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

1/14/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Musician Charles Connor (1935- ) was the original drummer for Little Richard's road band, The Upsetters. He performed with Sam Cooke, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, The Coasters, Big Joe Turner, Larry Williams, Don Covay, George Lightfoot, and Dee Clark.

Employment

The Upsetter

The Famous Flames

Favorite Color

Blue

Donald Sutton

Arts administrator Donald Sutton was born on May 7, 1948, in New Orleans, Louisiana to Helen Juanita Landix and Donald S. Sutton, Sr. He graduated from Kaiserslautern High School in Germany in 1965. Sutton received his B.A. degree in speech communications and history from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois in 1969, and went on to receive his M.F.A. degree in stage directing from Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., and his M.B.A. degree in marketing and operations management from New York’s Fordham University in 1988.

In 1972, Sutton joined the D.C. Black Repertory Theatre as assistant artistic director and production stage manager. In 1977, he worked as director of the special arts services program through the New York State Council on the Arts. Sutton then served as executive director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Foundation in New York, beginning in 1979. In September of 1993, Sutton became president of Global Artists Management of New York, Inc. While in this position, he served as the personal manager of the poet, playwright, and novelist, Ntozake Shange, as well as the historical and biographical playwright, Laurence Holder. In 1996, Sutton became the director of development at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. He then served as the vice president of external affairs for the Museum of Arts & Design in New York in 2001. He also worked for the Empire State Development Corporation as vice president for economic development. In 2006, Sutton was hired by Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey as director of development at the school of communication and information. In February of 2007, Sutton was promoted to assistant dean for external affairs at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, where he remained until 2014. Sutton also joined Planned Parenthood, serving as its principal gifts officer, where he managed client gifts of one million dollars and above.

Sutton served as a trustee at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in both the New York and national chapters from 1990 to 2006, and as trustee of Crossroads Theatre Company from 2010 to 2012. In May of 2014, he joined the board of trustees of WestBeth Artists Housing Corporation in New York City, and became vice president of the board in 2014. He also served as a trustee on the education and development committees at Rutgers Preparatory School.

Sutton and his wife, Hyacinth Reynolds, were married on October 18, 2008, and reside in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Donald Sutton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 21, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.043

Interview Date

6/21/2019 |and| 10/24/2019

Last Name

Sutton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

S.

Occupation
Schools

Douglas Elementary School

McDonogh Elementary School

Kaiserslautern High School

Elmhurst College

Catholic University of America

Fordham University

Military Families Elementary School

First Name

Donald

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

SUT04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida, Canary Islands,Jamaica

Favorite Quote

This Too Shall Pass

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/7/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Duck

Short Description

Arts administrator Donald Sutton (1948- ) was executive director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Foundation, president of Global Artists Management of New York, Inc., and served as assistant dean for external affairs at Rutgers University for seven years.

Employment

Arena Stage Co.

John F. Kennedy Center

Voices, Inc.

New York State Arts Council

Alvin Ailey American Dance Center

Dance Theater of Harlem

Studio Museum

New York State Urban Development Corp.

Preferred Management Group

Favorite Color

Blue

Jedda Jones

Comedian and actress Jedda Jones was born on August 8, 1952 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Audrey Lieteau and Louis J. White. She graduated from Xavier University Preparatory School in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1970 and received her B.A. degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1974.

After graduation, Jones was recruited to work at Bell South in New Orleans. She was later promoted to manager and remained in that position for ten years. She left Bell South in 1985, and moved to New York to pursue a career in standup comedy. During this period, Jones also worked as a writer and wrote monologues and speeches for actress and comedian Marsha Warfield. She served as the head writer for two seasons of The Martha Warfield Show. Jones later appeared on The Sunday Comics television program on Fox and was a featured performer at Montreal’s Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. Jones made her television acting debut on the series New Attitude, in the role of Celina. In 1991, Jones was featured in Whoopi Goldberg’s HBO show Chez Whoopi. That same year, she portrayed Rubie Lin in the film Talkin’ Dirty After Dark and appeared as Sadie in the film Shattered, starring Tom Berenger and Bob Hoskins. In 1993, Jones was cast in Indecent Proposal, starring Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore. She also appeared in the film CB4 with Chris Rock and had a recurring role as Mrs. Lawrence in the series Tall Hopes. The following year, Jones had appearances on the television series Murphy Brown and Coach. From 1994 to 1998, Jones had two recurring roles in the television series Sister, Sister as Charlotte and Marjorie. In 1998, Jones appeared in Warren Beatty’s Bulworth starring Halle Berry. She was later cast in the role of Agnes in the film Catfish in Black Bean Sauce in 2000. In 2004, Jones portrayed Mercedes in Ray, starring Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles. The next year, she was cast in the film Treasure n tha Hood as Ms. Minne and made several recurring appearances as Miss Dupree on The Tom Joyner Show. In 2009, Jones was featured in the films The Final Destination and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Two years later, she was cast in the film Snatched.

Comedian and actress Jedda Jones was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 28, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.032

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/28/2019

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Occupation
Schools

Tulane University

Xavier University Preparatory School

First Name

Jedda

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

JON45

Favorite Season

The Time Between Mardi Gras and Easter

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Greece, Pompei, Athens

Favorite Quote

Hey Baby, How You Doin' Cher?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

8/8/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Favorite Food

King Crab Legs

Short Description

Comedian and actress Jedda Jones (1952 - ) portrayed Miss Dupree on The Tom Joyner Morning Show and appeared in the films Talkin’ Dirty After Dark, Shattered, Indecent Proposal, Bulworth, and Ray.

Employment

Sister, Sister

Bell South

Marsha Warfield

The Marsha Warfield Show

The Sunday Comics

Just for Laughs Comedy Festival

New Attitude

Chez Whoopi

Tallkin' Dirty After Dark

Catfish in Blackbean Sauce

Ray

The Tom Joyner Show

Treasure n tha Hood

The Final Destination

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

Snatched

Favorite Color

Orange

Arnold Donald

Chief executive officer Arnold W. Donald was born on December 17, 1954 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He recieved his B.A. degree in economics from Carleton College in 1976 in Northfield, Minnesota, his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 1977, and his M.B.A. degree from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 1980.

Donald began his career in 1976, while still a student at Washington University in St. Louis, working as a summer employee in market research at the agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation Monsanto. He would serve in various positions over his 23 year tenure with the company, entering management in 1986 when he became general manager. From 1988 to 1993, Donald headed the Monsanto Lawn and Garden business, where he was credited for a fivefold increase in unit revenues from $40 million to $200 million in retail dollars. In 1993, he was named group vice president for North America and expanded his responsibilities one year later to include Latin America. In 1995, Donald was appointed to head Monsanto’s Crop Protection Unit, where he directed the company’s worldwide crop business, led the development, production, and marketing of herbicides, and some of the company’s early biotech offerings. In 1997, he was named co-president of the Monsanto Company’s newly reorganized agriculture sector. Donald served as both corporate senior vice president of Monsanto Company and president of its nutrition and consumer sector from 1998 to 2000. He joined a group of investors in 2000 who bought the company's Equal sugar substitute division to form Merisant, where he served as company CEO from 2000 to 2003, and chairman of the board from 2000 to his retirement from Merisant in 2005. From 2006 to 2008, Donald served as president and chief executive officer of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. He became president and chief executive officer of The Executive Leadership Council in 2010, serving until 2012. The following year, Donald was named president and chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation. He had served on the board of Carnival Plc. and Carnival Corporation since 2001.
Donald has served as an independent director of Crown Holdings, Inc. from 1999 until 2019. He was also a director of Oil-Dri Corporation of America from 1997 to 2013, and of the Laclede Group, Inc. from 2003 to 2014. Donald has served as an independent director at Russell Brands, LLC since 2004. Other board memberships include Bank of America Corporation, Bank of America California, National Association, Cruise Lines International Association, Inc. where he was global chair, director of BJC Health System, Inc., Global Velocity, Inc., DHR International, Inc., Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and Dillard University.

In 1997, Donald was named Black Enterprise Magazine’s Executive of the Year.

Arnold W. Donald was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 15, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.037

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/15/2019

Last Name

Donald

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

W.

Schools

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Washington University in St. Louis

Carleton College

St. Augustine High School

First Name

Arnold

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

DON04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

On A Cruise Ship

Favorite Quote

Prepare Yourself, You Are Going To Run The World

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

12/17/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Favorite Food

Soft Shell Crab

Short Description

Chief executive officer Arnold W. Donald (1954 - ) worked in various positions at Monsanto over a twenty-three year tenure before serving as president and CEO of Merisant, and later being named president and CEO of Carnival Corporation in 2013.

Employment

The Executive Council

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Merisant Company

Monsanto Company

Carnival Corporation

Favorite Color

Purple

Donna Brazile

Political strategist Donna Brazile was born on December 15, 1959 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Jean Marie Brown and Lionel Joseph Brazile Sr. Brazile attended Grace King High School, and participated in the TRIO Upward Bound Program. She received her B.S. degree in industrial psychology from Louisiana State University in 1981.

Brazile became interested in politics as a volunteer for the 1976 and 1980 presidential campaigns of Jimmy Carter-Walter Mondale. After graduating from Louisiana State University, Brazile worked as a lobbyist for the National Student Education Fund in Washington, D.C. Coretta Scott King hired Brazile to help with designating Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday. In 1984, Brazile served as the mobilization director for Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Democratic presidential campaign. In 1987, Brazile was hired as Dick Gephardt’s national field director, and then as the deputy field director for Michael Dukakis. Brazile then accepted a position with the Community for Creative Non-Violence organization, where she served as chief of staff and press secretary to congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton in 1990. In 1992 and 1996, Brazile served as an advisor for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns. In 1998, she ran the Voter/Campaign Assessment Program for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In 1999, Brazile was hired as the campaign manager for Democratic presidential candidate, Al Gore. Brazile was appointed chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Voting Rights Institute in 2000.

Brazile released her memoir, Cooking with Grease-Stirring Pots in American Politics in 2004. In 2011, and again in 2016, Brazile served as interim chair of the Democratic National Committee. Brazile released her second book, Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the Whitehouse in 2017. Brazile was a frequent contributor for Ms. Magazine and Roll Call. Brazile also served as a correspondent for CNN and ABC News, founded her own consulting firm named Brazile & Associates, and was a guest lecturer at Harvard University and Georgetown University.

Brazile was a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and the Louisiana Recovery Authority from 2005 to 2009. In 2017, she received the Torch Award from the National Newspaper Publishers Association and the W.E.B. Du Bois Metal from Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research. Brazile was a recipient of the 2018 Women of Power Legacy Award from Black Enterprise.

Donna Brazile was interviewed by TheHistoryMakers on March 20, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.053

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/20/2018

Last Name

Brazile

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Donna

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

BRA17

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Procrastination is the greatest thief of time. (MLK)

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

12/15/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Favorite Food

Seafood-Gumbo

Short Description

Political party executive Donna Brazile (1959 - )

Favorite Color

Blue

LaVetta Forbes

Fashion designer LaVetta Forbes was born on November 9, 1940 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Benjamin and Lillian Forbes. She began sewing at the age of six and in her teens worked for her aunt who was a dressmaker. In 1955, at the age of fifteen, Forbes moved to Los Angeles on her own and attended night school and found day work as a dress designer. Forbes then relocated to San Francisco and designed dresses for evening events. By the 1960s, Forbes was designing dresses for performers like Leslie Uggams, Lainie Kazan and the Supremes. Forbes entertained and hosted guests at the landmark Ambassador Hotel Coconut Grove and hosted luncheons to introduce and market her designs.

During the late 1970s, inspired by the use of scarf fabric, she created the LaVetta scarf dress. The collection of designs, made mostly from Oriental silk squares in flowered, geometric and paisley patterns, were 98% handmade with hems that were hand rolled, buttonholes hand bound and seams hand stitched. The scarves were used as dresses as well as tunics that were worn over pants. Elizabeth Taylor, Nancy Wilson, Alexis Smith and Helen Gurley Brown were among the La Vetta scarf dress collectors. With her business revitalized, the La Vetta clothing line became available at exclusive retailers including Giorgio’s and Neiman-Marcus in Beverly Hills, Saks Fifth Avenue and Martha’s in New York, Palm Beach and Bar Harbor. Her personal client list included; Lena Horne, Diana Ross, Nancy Walker, Beverly Sassoon, Alexis Smith, Jayne Meadows, Marge Champion, Mrs. Clark Gable, Mrs. Robert Stack, Mrs. George Woods, and Eleanor Howard.

In 1990, Forbes began publishing Beverly Hills 90212 a glossy bi-monthly magazine. Targeted to Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, and adjacent upscale neighborhoods with a readership of 60,000, the publication was delivered free to homes around Beverly Hills and sold at newsstands.

Forbes has been a member of the Los Angeles Museum Costume Council and the Blue Ribbon 400. She also served as a board member for The Southeast Symphony Association.

Forbes lives in Los Angeles and has one adult child, Tony.

LaVetta Forbes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers,/em> on February 27, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.025

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/27/2018

Last Name

Forbes

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

LaVetta

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

FOR17

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hong Kong, South America, South Africa

Favorite Quote

Don't Get Mad, Get Even.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

11/9/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Favorite Food

Shrimp and Lemon Pie

Short Description

Fashion designer LaVetta Forbes (1940- ) was a celebrity dressmaker and designer is the creator of LaVetta scarf dress and the publisher of BeverlyHills90212, an upscale magazine.

Employment

Beverly Hills 90210

Favorite Color

Blue

William Guillory

Professor William Guillory was born on December 4, 1938 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Merix and Agatha Guillory. He attended Joseph A. Craig Elementary School and graduated from Joseph A. Clark High School. Guillory received his B.A. degree in chemistry and physics and graduated magna cum laude from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1960. He received his Ph.D degree in chemical physics from University of California, Berkeley, and a National Science Foundation Fellowship to complete postgraduate studies at the University of Paris, The Sorbonne in 1964.

In 1965, Guillory served as assistant professor of chemistry at Howard University until 1969 and became associate professor of chemistry at Drexel University. In 1974, he joined the faculty at the University of Utah and served as chair of the chemistry department from 1980 to 1984. He also co-founded the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) in 1972. Guillory also held lecturer and visiting professor positions at Atlanta University, the University of Bielefield in Germany and was awarded the Ralph Metcalfe Chair at Marquette University in 1982, and received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Lectureship at University of California, Berkeley and was selected Ad Honorem professor of chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico, San Juan in 1983. Guillory also received an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and an Alexander von Humbolt Senior Scientist appointment at the University of Frankfurt.

He served as an advisor and worked in association with the United States Bureau of Standards, United States Naval Ordnance Laboratory, Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation, and Eastman Kodak Company. In 1983, Guillory established Innovations International to provide broad initiatives incorporating seminars and training on organizational issues such as diversity, high performance, and quantum-thinking.

Guillory has conducted seminars around the world including Creating Culturally Compatible Living and Working Environments; The New Leadership for the 21st Century—The FuturePerfect Organization; The Age of Human Potential—Creating Human Capital; Diversity–The Unifying Force of the 21st Century. His published books include Realizations; It’s All An Illusion; The Roadmap to Diversity, Inclusion, and High Performance; The Guides; Empowerment for High-Performing Organizations; The Business of Diversity; and The Living Organization—Spirituality in the Workplace. His most recent publications include The FuturePerfect Organization—Driven by Quantum Leadership; Tick Tock… Who Broke the Clock—Solving the Work-Life Balance Equation; Animal Kingdom—A Diversity Fable; and How to Become a Total Failure—The Ten Rules of Highly Unsuccessful People. He recently published four fiction books focused on global compatibility titled The Pleiadian Series: The Pleiadians; The Hunt for the Billionaire Club; The Consortium, and; The Aftermath.

Guillory has facilitated seminars for organizations, including Microsoft, Toyota Financial Services, NASA, Lockheed Martin, Dow Chemical, US Department of Health and Human Services, US Department of Agriculture, ChevronTexaco, Kodak, and many other Fortune 500 organizations.

Guillory has one adult son, Daniel, and two adult daughters Lea and Kayla.

William Guillory was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 16, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.009

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/16/2018

Last Name

Guillory

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Joseph A. Craig School

Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School

Dillard University

University of California, Berkeley

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

GUI05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris

Favorite Quote

That Which I Dislike In Others Is a Mirror Reflection of Myself

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Utah

Birth Date

12/4/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Salt Lake City

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Professor William Guillory (1938 - ) was professor of chemistry and department chair at the University of Utah from 1974 to 1984. He also established Innovations International to provide training on organizational issues such as empowerment and diversity.

Employment

Innovations Consulting

University of Utah

Drexel University

Howard University

Favorite Color

Gray & Black

The Honorable Sandra Hollins

State legislator Sandra Hollins was born on May 11, 1970 in New Orleans, Louisiana, to mother, homemaker Iola Robinson-Seals, and father, store clerk Freddie Seals II. A 1988 graduate of McDonogh #35 High School in New Orleans, she received her B.S. degree in business management from the University of Phoenix in 2002, as well as her M.A. degree in social work from the University of Utah, College of Social Work in Salt Lake City in 2009.

Hollins began working as a licensed clinical social worker, focusing primarily on substance abuse and advocacy for Salt Lake City’s homeless population. She also worked for Volunteers of America Utah, as manager of the organization’s homeless outreach program. In 2014, Hollins entered state politics, defeating Republican candidate Kristopher Smith to become the first African American woman elected to the Utah State Legislature, representing District 23 in Salt Lake City, Utah. As a legislator, she served as Minority Caucus Manager, and on committees including; Social Services Appropriations, Health and Human Services, the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice and Child Welfare oversight panel. Hollins authored legislation on state job applications, criminal and traffic code amendments, and school resource officer and administrator training. She also sponsored House Bill 156 – or "Ban the Box" bill – which supported removing questions and check boxes from job applications asking about criminal records.

Hollins has served on numerous boards and committees including: the Greater Salt Lake Alumnae Chapter-Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; National Association of Social Workers; Fairpark Community Council; Salt Lake County African American Caucus;
Women In Government; Martha Hughes Cannon Caucus; and the Salt Lake City Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Board. She served as a judge for the Youthlinc Utah Young Humanitarian Award in 2017, and was elected as the western regional director for The National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women, also serving as co-chair of the Women and Children Committee for the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. In 2016, Hollins received the Call to Serve award from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She received the Pioneer Award from the Utah African American Chamber of Commerce in 2017, as well as the Business Champion award from the Salt Lake Chamber that same year.

Hollins and her husband, David have two adult daughters, Jaynell and Canice.

Sandra Hollins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 18, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.010

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/16/2018

Last Name

Hollins

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Sandra

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

HOL22

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas

Favorite Quote

Let Your Faith Be Bigger Than Your Fears

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Utah

Birth Date

5/11/1970

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Salt Lake City

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

State representative Sandra Hollins (1970- ), the first African American woman elected to the Utah State Legislature in 2014 was previously the manager of Volunteers of America, Utah’s homeless outreach program.

Favorite Color

Earth Tones

Reverend Nicholas Hood III

Religious Leader Reverend Nicholas Hood III was born on October 25, 1951 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Reverend Dr. Nicholas Hood Sr. and Dr. Elizabeth F. Hood. He graduated from Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan in 1969 and earned his B.A. degree in economics from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan in 1973. In 1976, Hood earned his M.Div. degree from Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut and was ordained as a minister.

Hood began working under the direction of his father as an assistant associate minister at Plymouth United Church of Christ in Detroit. Hood became senior minister of Plymouth UCC. Hood, a former member of the NAACP board of directors, was elected to serve on the Detroit City Council in 1993. He was re-elected in 1997, but stepped down in 2001 in order to run his mayoral campaign. During his tenure at Plymouth UCC, Hood led mission trips to Liberia and Ethiopia. He also worked to combat homelessness in Detroit, with a homeless shelter program at Plymouth UCC. Hood also worked to provide new computers to inner city youth, and started a scholarship program for aspiring college students. Hood also appeared on local radio programs as a political commentator. In 2015, he published his book The Test, The Strength, The Endurance, and the Way Out.

Over the last three decades, Hood served as president of the Booker T. Washington Business Association, president of the Plymouth Non-Profit Housing Corporation, and President and Chairman of the Plymouth Day School. He is a trustee of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, on the board of directors of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and a trustee of McCormick Theological Seminary. He also served as co-chair of the Young Adult Committee of the Detroit Chapter NAACP, secretary for the Yale Divinity School Board of Alumnal Affairs, and chairman of the Amistad Slave Ship Visit to Detroit in 2002. In 2009, he received an honorary doctorate degree in ministry from Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan.

Hood and his wife, The Honorable Denise Page Hood, have two children, Nathan and Noah.

Reverend Nicholas Hood III was interviewed by TheHistoryMakers on October 19, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.195

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/19/2017

Last Name

Hood

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Nicholas

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

HOO07

Favorite Season

N/A

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Warm Places

Favorite Quote

N/A

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

10/25/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Favorite Food

N/A

Short Description

Religious leader Reverend Nicholas Hood III (1951-) was senior minister of the Plymouth Church of Christ in Detroit, Michigan, following in the footsteps of his father Reverend Dr. Nicholas Hood, Sr.

Favorite Color

N/A

Claudette Robinson

Singer and songwriter Claudette Robinson was born on June 20, 1938 in New Orleans, Louisiana and later moved with her family to Detroit, Michigan in 1950. She graduated from Commerce High School in Detroit at the age of fifteen and enrolled at Wayne State University, before joining the U.S. Marine Corps.

In her teen years, she sang in the female group The Matadorettes. While her brother, Sonny Rogers was away serving in the U.S. Army, Claudette met his friend and band mate Smokey Robinson of The Matadors. Robinson joined the group in her brothers’ absence, which was renamed The Miracles. She sang with Ronnie White, Pete Moore, Marv Tarplin, and Smokey Robinson, her husband. Together, the group created the first hit single for Motown Records, “Shop Around,” which sold millions of copies. The Miracles would later be known for a variety of songs, including “You've Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Mickey's Monkey,” “I Second That Emotion,” “Baby Baby Don't Cry,” and “The Tears of a Clown.” The song “The Tears of a Clown” was the group’s most popular single, selling over three million copies all over the world. Although Robinson left the group in 1964, she continued to singe back-up vocals for the group until 1972. That year, her husband, Smokey Robinson, left The Miracles to pursue his solo career. Robinson eventually rejoined The Miracles and performed with the group until 2013, when her cousin, Bobby Rogers, passed away.

After leaving The Miracles, Robinson became active in numerous community organizations, including the HAL Awards and the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, which was dedicated to the preservation of R&B music. Robinson has been nationally recognized for her contributions to R&B music through her work with The Miracles. In 2009, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Robinson was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, along with the rest of the members of The Miracles. As the only woman in the first band signed to Motown Records, she is often referred to as the first lady of Motown by its founder, Berry Gordy.

Robinson has two children, Berry William Borope Robinson and Tamla Claudette Robinson.

Claudette Robinson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 22, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.119

Sex

Female

Interview Date

07/22/2017

Last Name

Robinson

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Claudette

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

ROB34

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any place around the world, I like traveling

Favorite Quote

Know your worth

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

6/20/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All kinds of food

Short Description

Singer and songwriter Claudette Robinson (1938 - ) was a singer with the Motown group The Miracles, often referred to as the first lady of Motown.

Favorite Color

Purple