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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

Lawrence J. Pijeaux, Jr.

Educator and nonprofit executive Lawrence J. Pijeaux, Jr. was born on April 11, 1944 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He graduated from McDonogh 35 High School in 1962. Pijeaux attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and received his B.S. degree. He later earned his M.A.T. degree from Tulane University in New Orleans; and his Ed.D. degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. Pijeaux also completed a post-graduate program at the Getty Leadership Institute for Museum Management at the University of California, Berkeley.

Pijeaux worked for nearly twenty years in the New Orleans Public School System. While in this system, he served as Principal of L.B. Landry High School. During his tenure, he helped reduce the dropout rate from nearly thirty percent to only fifteen percent. He later worked at the Indianapolis Museum of Art before being recruited to lead the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Pijeaux retired as President and CEO of the Institute in 2014 only one month shy of a twenty-year tenure. He led the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute through its accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 2005; becoming an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in 2007; and receiving two national awards—both presented by First Lady Laura Bush at the White House in Washington, D.C.—the “Coming Up Taller Award for Community Service” in 2007 and the “Inaugural National Medal for Museum Service” in 2008.

In addition to his professional career, Pijeaux served as a board member in a number of organizations. From 2006 until 2008, he served as president of the Association of African American Museums, in addition to being named to the National Museum and Library Services Board in 2010 by President Barack Obama. Pijeaux has also served on the board of the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science, and the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel.

Pijeaux has been recognized and awarded for his contributions to the education community during his career. In 1989, he was named as one of ten “American Heroes in Education” by Reader’s Digest and was named Alabama Tourism Executive of the Year in 2006 as well. Pijeaux was also the recipient of the Smithsonian Institute’s Award for Museum Leadership and the Association of African American Museum’s Service and Achievement Award. In 2015, Pijeaux was inducted into the Alabama Tourism Hall of Fame.

Lawrence J. Pijeaux, Jr., Ed.D. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 3, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.091

Sex

Male

Interview Date

05/03/2017

Last Name

Pijeaux

Maker Category
Middle Name

J.

Schools

George Washington Carver Junior High School

McDonogh No. 35 Senior High School

Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

Tulane University

University of Southern Mississippi

First Name

Lawrence

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

PIJ01

Favorite Season

I like all.

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Orleans

Favorite Quote

Stay positive

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

4/11/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Educator and nonprofit executive Lawrence J. Pijeaux, Jr. (1944 - ) was an educator and served as the leader of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute for nineteen years.

Employment

Birmingham Civil Rights Insititute

Indianapolis Museum of Art

East Orange High School

L.B. Landry High School

Favorite Color

Red

Timothy Francis

Lawyer Timothy Francis was born on April 17, 1958 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Norman Francis and Blanche Francis. He received his B.A. degree from Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1980, and his J.D. degree from Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1984.

Prior to receiving his J.D. degree, Francis served as an assistant to Moon Landrieu, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Development in Washington, D.C. While in Washington, D.C., Francis worked on research projects, and reviewed and recommended projects for funding under the Urban Development Action Grant program. Following his graduation from Tulane University, Francis practiced law with the firm of McGlinchey Stanford. He then returned to Washington, D.C. to serve as a legislative assistant and counsel to U.S. Senator John Breaux. In this position, Francis served as an advisor on numerous legislative issues, including banking, urban affairs, housing, labor, civil rights, and health issues. In 1989, Francis moved to Los Angeles, California to become the chief operating officer of Stevie Wonder Enterprises. He managed the company’s daily operations, including film production, music publishing, and marketing. Francis also negotiated licensing, endorsements, and publishing agreements, in addition to providing financial and strategic analyses on new business opportunities. In 1994, Francis returned to New Orleans to practice law with the law firm of Sher, Garner, Cahil, Richter, Klein, & Hilbert, LLC, where he specialized in litigation, business transactions, and government relations.

Francis was involved with a number of civic organizations and social causes. He worked closely with Stevie Wonder and the United Nations in an effort to pass a global treaty to help the visually impaired gain affordable access to braille and electronic information. Francis also played an integral role in Xavier University of Louisiana’s decision to become the first historically black college in the country to open a Confucius Institute. He also served as a board member for Tulane University, The Norman C. Francis Leadership Institute, The Louise McGehee School, and The New Orleans Sugar Bowl. Francis is a member of The HistoryMakers’ National Advisory board, Lionel Hampton’s designee on the National Committee for the Lionel Hampton Center, and a member of the New Orleans tri-centennial committee as well.

Recognized within the New Orleans community for his contributions to the city, Francis, in 2015, was named in the Young Leadership Council’s list of the “25 Role Models of 2015.” He was also named as one of the Family Service of Greater New Orleans’ “10 Outstanding Persons,” as well one of the city’s top 50 leaders in the legal industry as compiled by New Orleans City Business magazine.

Timothy Francis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 23, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.104

Sex

Male

Interview Date

05/23/2017

Last Name

Francis

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

St. Rita Catholic School

St. John Vianney Preparatory School

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Xavier University of Louisiana

Tulane University Law School

First Name

Timothy

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

FRA14

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamiaca

Favorite Quote

The Banjo Player Should Never Follow The Banjo Maker.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

4/17/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Oysters, Crawfish Etouffe, Gumbo, Salmon, Sweet Potatoes

Short Description

Lawyer Timothy Francis (1958 - ), lawyer with the New Orleans law firm of Sher, Garner, Cahill, Richter, Klein & Hilbert L.L.C., legislative assistant and counsel to a U.S. Senator and chief operating officer of Stevie Wonder Enterprises.

Employment

McGlinchey, Stafford, Mintz, Celline and Lang

Senator John Breaux

The Wonder Foundation

Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein McAlister and Hubert, LLC

Favorite Color

Blue

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Timothy Francis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Timothy Francis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Timothy Francis describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Timothy Francis describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Timothy Francis lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Timothy Francis describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Timothy Francis remembers his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Timothy Francis talks about his early experiences of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Timothy Francis talks about his early interest in art and athletics

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Timothy Francis remembers St. John Vianney Preparatory School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Timothy Francis talks about his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Timothy Francis recalls his experiences at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Timothy Francis remembers his time at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Timothy Francis remembers working for Moon Landrieu in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Timothy Francis talks about Marc H. Morial and Harry Connick, Sr.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Timothy Francis describes his experiences at Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Timothy Francis remembers serving as counsel to U.S. Senator John Breaux

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Timothy Francis recalls how he came to work for Stevie Wonder

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Timothy Francis talks about his experiences as a screenwriter and art publisher

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Timothy Francis describes his business ventures in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Timothy Francis remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Timothy Francis describes his business ventures in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Timothy Francis talks about Stevie Wonder's song for Desmond Tutu

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Timothy Francis remembers his experiences as Stevie Wonder's speech writer

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Timothy Francis talks about his relationship with Lionel Hampton

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Timothy Francis describes his role in Mayor Marc H. Morial's administration

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Timothy Francis describes his legal work in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Timothy Francis remembers his experiences during Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Timothy Francis talks about the challenges faced by universities after Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Timothy Francis talks about his civic involvement in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Timothy Francis describes his cases regarding marsh salinization and municipal surveillance

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Timothy Francis reflects upon the impact of Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Timothy Francis talks about the rebuilding of New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Timothy Francis talks about the government of New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Timothy Francis reflects upon the presidency of Barack Obama

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Timothy Francis talks about his honors and recognitions

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Timothy Francis describes his recent projects

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Timothy Francis reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Timothy Francis reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Timothy Francis shares a message to future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Timothy Francis talks about his parents' influence

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Timothy Francis talks about Stevie Wonder's song for Desmond Tutu
Timothy Francis talks about the challenges faced by universities after Hurricane Katrina
Transcript
Okay. So, let's just go back just a little bit because I know that there's more information that you can tell me about Stevie. Do you have a great story about Stevie Wonder and the time that you were working for him?$$Sure. One of--one of the interesting stories that's sort of revealing about Stevie I think is when we were working together, Archbishop Desmond Tutu would call Stevie up and say, "Look, we want to--I want to get to come see you, I want to get together," and Stevie was in the middle of making an album, and when he sort of goes into the creative space, he's really unavailable. And so--and this was at a time when, you know, apartheid was still a hot issue and the walls having come down, so to speak. And, and the archbishop people would keep calling and calling and I would say, "I'm, I'm--archbishop, look, he'd love to help you, he'd love to be on your board, but he's not ready to commit right now." And so finally the archbishop called up and said--or his people called and said, "Well, archbishop says he'd like to meet with you. Can you come to Washington [D.C.] and just visit with him and talk to him about where Stevie is and all this sort of stuff?" And so I said, "Sure. I--let me get permission," and went back to Stevie and he said, "Sure, go, go meet with him." I said, "What should I tell him?" He said, "Well, you know what to say." You know, it was like (laughter) he wouldn't give me any guidance. So, I'm, you know, young at the time, thinking, oh my god, I'm gonna go meet this amazing man and I, I really don't know what to say. And so I fly to Washington to meet with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his--all of his guys are with him, Allan Boesak and a few of the other folks who were part of the movement. And the archbishop was so gracious and nice and he--you know, he says, "Tim [HistoryMaker Timothy Francis], how--what's Stevie--I know he supports, you know, our cause, but why won't he give me an answer?" And it was one of those moments where (laughter) you look at this icon. I, I, I think he got a Nobel Peace Prize, asking you directly what's up with your boy, right (laughter)? And so--and, and, and, and, and it's one of those things where I could honestly look at him and say that--'cause I knew Stevie so well that, "He wants to help you and typically when people ask for things and he's not ready to say yes or no it's because he wants to give you something more than what you're asking for." And he said, "If you tell me that's the case, I'll believe you." And I said, "I promise," (laughter), "you that's the case." And then ultimately fast forwarding, I don't know if it was three months later or six months later, there was a major event at the Kennedy center [John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum] in Boston [Massachusetts], one of the Kennedy centers I think--I can't remember the name of it--where Mandela [Nelson Mandela] was there. It was just unbelievable group of people from Jacqueline Onassis [Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis] to Paul Simon, et cetera, and Stevie showed up and, and it was there that he announced that he had written a song and he was dedicating all the proceeds to the cause, which was more than what they asked for and more than him just writing a check and more than him just lending his name to their foundation or whatever he wanted as board--joining the board. And, and, and, and knowing what I know about Stevie, had he said, "I'm writing a song for you and I'm gonna donate all the proceeds," the phone would've rang 24/7 until that moment. "Where's the song? When is it gonna be released?" And he just was--he just knew that, you know, "Guys, you know I'm good. You just gotta be cool." And I said that as well as I--and I didn't know he was gonna give a song, so--but, it happened.$$Wow.$$And so that's one of my favorite Stevie stories. I have others but, you know, it's one of them.$$Well, you can tell us more. But, so do you remember the name of the song or?$$I don't.$$You don't? Okay.$$Yeah.$$Okay. And how surprised was everyone--$$Shocked.$$--when they announced that?$$And he played it and sang it. It was--people were in tears. It was amazing.$$Okay. And, and what did bishop--archbishop--Bishop Tutu say to you? Did you talk to him after that?$$I didn't--I didn't get a reaction after the fact, but I'm sure he, he--you know--$$Okay.$$--may--he and Stevie may have had a moment together, but I, I, I did not sense that the first time we had gotten together.$$Did you have an opportunity to, to meet Mandela [Nelson Mandela] during that time?$$I did not, unfortunately.$$Um-hm. Did you ever get a chance to meet him?$$No.$$No? Okay.$Okay. So, back to the firm [Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein and Hilbert, LLC, New Orleans, Louisiana] and, and representing, you know, the different institutions and during--or after Katrina [Hurricane Katrina], is there a story about any one thing in particular that you can remember as far as getting things done for any institution?$$The, the--wow, there's so many stories. Let me just think. I mean, one of the big stories was just representing Xavier [Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana] and helping them get the money they needed, I mean, from both FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] and from their, their insurance company [Travelers Property Casualty Company of America] who was battling because, you know, one of the interesting things about these instances is, you know, it's sort of like when you have health insurance and you--they say, "Well, you have two insurances? I don't want to pay." "No, you pay." "No, I'm not gonna pay. You're gonna--." So, you have this dance you have to do with, with FEMA, your insurance companies, and what's the set off because, you know, it's like the chicken and egg--who wants to pay, who doesn't want to pay, and, and trying to explain to them that your costs are really way beyond--your actual costs are way beyond what may be covered and why certain things ought to be in this bucket versus another bucket and they're not to pay the same thing. One's claiming that, "Well, this is paying the same thing they're gonna pay." I said, "No, this one's for this and yours is for that," and, and so it was really tricky. And when you think about--and for Dillard [Dillard University, New Orleans, Louisiana], too, I mean these institutions that are educating young African Americans and at a critical point that if they don't open their doors and start getting revenue in, they would collapse forever. It was not just another flood or storm. It was, will the faculty leave and take jobs someplace else and never come back? And you--and you lose your accreditation. Will the students not come back? And a lot of students didn't come back. A lot of these schools have--are finally getting back up to their pre-Katrina enrollment. But, it was so critical that you be able to send the message to your faculty and students, "We will be open, we will survive," because if you didn't, they'd be gone forever. I mean, once you lose your faculty and they're gone and you lose a year, you can't just--you can't just redo it. And so--I mean, when I say it was desperate and the fight was fierce and it's unbelievable at how certain institutions didn't understand how critical it was to give them the money.$$I absolutely understand, but let--let's pause here.

The Honorable Edwin A. Lombard

Judge Edwin A. Lombard was born on June 11, 1946 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lombard graduated from Xavier University Preparatory School in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1964. He was one of the first African Americans admitted to Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he was a Rockefeller Scholar and earned his B.A. degree in 1967. Lombard attended Southern University Law School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and received his J.D. degree from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law where he was a Roosevelt Fellow, in 1970. He also attended the New York University School of Law Institute for Appellate Judges.

After receiving his B.A. degree, Lombard worked for the “Voter Education Project” as part of its voter registration drive. Following his admission to the Louisiana State Bar in 1973, Lombard was elected to the position of Clerk of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court. He was one of the youngest African American elected officials in the United States at the time. Soon after, Lombard was selected as the chief election officer for the Orleans Parish, as the first African American to hold this position in the South. Lombard remained in his position on the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court until 2003, when he was elected to the Fourth District Court of Appeals in New Orleans. He was reelected to the position in 2012.

In 2004, Lombard was selected to sit ad hoc on the Louisiana Supreme Court for In Re Ellender case, which was about racial misconduct by Judge Timothy C. Ellender. After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, he was appointed as Supernumerary Judge pro tempore of the Criminal District Court for Orleans Parish by the Louisiana Supreme Court to help rebuild. Lombard was also appointed as a member of the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana by the Supreme Court. He also served as president of the National Bar Association’s Louisiana Judicial Council, the Algiers-Fischer Community Organization and was a member of the New Orleans Legal Assistance Corporation, and TOTAL Community Action Inc.. In 2012, Lombard was awarded the George W. Crockett, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Bar Association.

Edwin A. Lombard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 22, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.108

Sex

Male

Interview Date

05/22/2017

Last Name

Lombard

Maker Category
Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Xavier University Preparatory School

Tulane University

Loyola University New Orleans

First Name

Edwin

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

LOM02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York

Favorite Quote

To thine own self be true.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

6/11/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Oysters

Short Description

Judge Edwin A. Lombard (1946 - ) has served the courts of Louisiana for over thirty years.

Employment

Court of Appeals, Fourth District

Criminal District Court

Southern University

Nelson and Lombard

Collins, Douglas and Elie

New Orleans City Attorney's Office

Secretary of Utilities

Favorite Color

Blue

Terence Blanchard

Jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Oliver Blanchard was born on March 13, 1962 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Wilhelmina and Joseph Oliver Blanchard. Blanchard began playing piano at the age of five, but switched to trumpet three years later. While in high school, he took extracurricular classes at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. From 1980 to 1982, Blanchard studied at Rutgers University in New Jersey and toured with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra.

In 1982, Blanchard replaced trumpeter Wynton Marsalis in Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, where he served as musical director until 1986. He also co-led a quintet with saxophonist Donald Harrison in the 1980s, recording five albums between 1984 and 1988. In 1991, Blanchard recorded and released his self-titled debut album for Columbia Records, which reached third on the Billboard Jazz Charts. He also composed musical scores for Spike Lee’s films, beginning with 1991’s Jungle Fever, and has written the score for every Spike Lee film since including Malcolm X, Clockers, Summer of Sam, 25th Hour, Inside Man, and Miracle At St. Anna’s. In 2006, he composed the score for Lee's four-hour Hurricane Katrina documentary for HBO entitled When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. Blanchard also composed for other directors, including Leon Ichaso, Ron Shelton, Kasi Lemmons and George Lucas. In all, he has written over fifty film scores.

Blanchard has also recorded several award-winning albums for Columbia, Concord, Sony Classical and Blue Note Records, including Simply Stated (1992), The Malcolm X Jazz Suite (1993), In My Solitude: The Billie Holiday Songbook (1994), Romantic Defiance (1995), The Heart Speaks (1996), Wandering Moon (2000), Let's Get Lost (2001), Bounce (2003), Flow (2005), A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina) (2007), Choices (2009), and Magnetic (2013).

In the fall of 2000, Blanchard was named artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at the University of Southern California. In 2011, he was appointed artistic director of the Henry Mancini Institute at the University of Miami. Blanchard also composed music for a number of Broadway plays, and, on June 15, 2013, he premiered his first opera, Champion, with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Throughout his career, Blanchard received thirteen Grammy Award nominations and won five. His other honors include an Emmy nomination, a Golden Globe nomination, a Soul Train Music nomination, two Black Reel nominations, and the Miles Davis Award from the Montreal International Jazz Festival. He received honorary degrees from Xavier University and Skidmore College in 2012.

Terence Blanchard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 8, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.248

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/8/2014

Last Name

Blanchard

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Oliver

Schools

Mary D. Coghill Elementary School

P. A. Capdau School

St. Augustine High School

John F. Kennedy High School

New Orleans Center for Creative Arts

Rutgers University

First Name

Terence

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

BLA17

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Orleans, Louisiana

Favorite Quote

When You’re Creating Your Art Never Speak Above Nobody, Never Speak Beneath Them, Just Speak Straight To Them.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

3/13/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Okra Gumbo

Short Description

Trumpet player and music composer Terence Blanchard (1962 - ) was a five-time Grammy Award-winning musician and a prolific film score composer. He released twenty jazz albums and wrote over fifty film scores for Spike Lee and other directors.

Employment

Henry Mancini Institute

Terence Blanchard

Herbie Hancock

Thelonious Monk Institute

Donald Harrison & Terence Blanchard

Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers

Lionel Hampton

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Terence Blanchard's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Terence Blanchard lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Terence Blanchard describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Terence Blanchard remembers his father's musical talent

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Terence Blanchard describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Terence Blanchard talks about his French heritage

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Terence Blanchard describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Terence Blanchard describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Terence Blanchard describes his childhood homes

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Terence Blanchard remembers living with his maternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Terence Blanchard talks about his early interests and aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Terence Blanchard describes his relationship with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Terence Blanchard talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Terence Blanchard recalls his decision to attend the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Terence Blanchard describes his education at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Terence Blanchard recalls his friendship with Wynton Marsalis and Branford Marsalis

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Terence Blanchard recalls his decision to play the trumpet

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Terence Blanchard remembers meeting Alvin Alcorn

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Terence Blanchard recalls his decision to study music formally

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Terence Blanchard recalls his aspiration to become a musician

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Terence Blanchard recalls his early interest in jazz music

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Terence Blanchard recalls his decision to attend Rutgers University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Terence Blanchard remembers the jazz venues in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Terence Blanchard remembers his teacher, Ellis Marsalis, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Terence Blanchard remembers William Fielder

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Terence Blanchard talks about the importance of breath for musicians, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Terence Blanchard talks about the importance of breath for musicians, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Terence Blanchard recalls his introduction to Buddhism

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Terence Blanchard remembers playing in Lionel Hampton's band

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Terence Blanchard remembers leaving Rutgers University to tour with Art Blakey

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Terence Blanchard remembers touring with Art Blakey

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Terence Blanchard remembers Miles Davis

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Terence Blanchard recalls signing a contract with Columbia Records

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Terence Blanchard describes his composition and recording process

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Terence Blanchard talks about the messages in his music

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Terence Blanchard remembers the birth of his son

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Terence Blanchard remembers meeting his half-sister

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Terence Blanchard recalls the start of his collaborations with Spike Lee

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Terence Blanchard remembers scoring 'Malcolm X'

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Terence Blanchard describes his composition process for 'Malcolm X'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Terence Blanchard remembers the other contributors to 'Malcolm X'

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Terence Blanchard describes his relationship with Spike Lee

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Terence Blanchard lists his film scores

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Terence Blanchard remembers scoring '4 Little Girls'

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Terence Blanchard remembers Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Terence Blanchard remembers the destruction of his mother's home in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Terence Blanchard remembers the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Terence Blanchard talks about the response to Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Terence Blanchard remembers scoring Spike Lee's 'When the Levees Broke'

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Terence Blanchard talks about teaching young musicians

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$2

DAStory

1$5

DATitle
Terence Blanchard remembers leaving Rutgers University to tour with Art Blakey
Terence Blanchard describes his education at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts
Transcript
So when did you graduate college?$$I never graduated college.$$Oh, okay.$$No.$$So what's--tell me more about Rutgers [Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey]?$$(Laughter).$$And what, how do we go from, where do we go from Lionel Hampton--$$Yeah.$$--Rutgers (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) (Unclear) right.$$--and--$$Well, I was at Rutgers in 1980 and I was playing with Lionel Hampton. I was the first one in my immediate family--my aunt [Alice Ray Douglas] went to college but my mom [Wilhelmina Ray Blanchard] and my dad [Joseph Blanchard] didn't so I was the first one to go to college. And they were--and I went to an Ivy League school [sic.]? Please, you know, they wanted me to be a classical musician remember so I'm going, I'm going to Rutgers, "My son is at Rutgers," you know, that was a big thing. Had to come back with all the paraphernalia for everybody. And I was playing with Lionel Hampton who they also knew. And that was like--he was--I remember Ebony magazine took a picture of Lionel Hampton at some place and I was a speck in the corner of the picture, I think, I bet you Ebony sales went up that month 'cause everybody was buy- in my family was buying the magazine. So they were cool with me doing that. That was about a year and a half. All of a sudden Wynton [Wynton Marsalis] calls me up and he goes, "Hey, man, I'm leaving Art Blakey's band and I want you to audition." I'm like, "Cool." I go up and audition, didn't tell my parents, I got the gig. And I'm like oh, killing. They say we're gone leave for Europe for ten weeks and I went, "Uh-oh." So I had to call my parents and I had to tell 'em, I said, like, "Guess what? I got this gig playing with Art Blakey." "Oh, well, that's nice, that's nice." And I said, "But I think I'm gone have to leave school." (Makes sound) It was like the piano thing but even worse (laughter). Yeah. My father told me, he said--I'll never forget it--he said, "You're not my son." Yeah, that hurt me. He said, "You're not my son," he said "'cause my son wouldn't do nothing that stupid." 'Cause he didn't know who Art Blakey was, you know. And it didn't make sense to him, I was playing with Lionel Hampton on the weekends, making money and still in school and I'm gonna leave that to go play with some dude they don't know? You know, oh, man, it was, it was really, it was--it was amazing. But the thing that was cool about it, you know, me and my dad had a great relationship because at that moment he didn't talk to me for a little bit but I'll never forget when I made my first record with Art Blakey, right? Art--they called the album, they used my song as the title track, 'Oh-By the Way,' which is something that I had written when I was in high school, right. I come back with the album and I give it to my dad, like, "Man, see this is what I've been doing, this is, I'm, I'm telling you, this is the guy," then they got a picture of us on the back, you know. Like, "This, this is what I've been doing." My dad was kind of like, "Yeah, all right, whatever." But you gotta remember my dad had some jazz friends, right. So (laughter) I don't know if it was like a month, or a little while later, I get a phone call from my dad, I'm back up here in New York [New York] and my dad goes, "Hey, I was talking to Clem." Clem Tervalon [Clement Tervalon] was a trombone player in New Orleans [Louisiana], great trombone player. He said, "Yeah, I was talking to Clem and Clem told me this Art Blakey is somebody," (laughter). I said, I said, "Well, I was trying to tell you that," (laughter) you know. And that's when things started to turn around for, for me and him. And I'll never forget it--boy, I don't know what, how we got in this conversation. My dad was talking to me one day and he goes, "I'm proud of you." And I'm like, "Well, thank you," and, and he goes, "No, you don't understand." I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "If you would have listened to me," he said, 'cause he wanted me, he didn't want me to go away to school--he said, "if you would have listened to me you would have been in New Orleans, probably not doing what you wanna do, and you'd probably be bitter." He said, "And I'm proud of what you turned into." That was huge, that was really huge.$So I went to Kennedy [John F. Kennedy High School, New Orleans, Louisiana] in the morning and then at lunch time a bus would pick us up and bring us to NOCCA [New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, New Orleans, Louisiana] and my life changed overnight.$$How so?$$It was the first time in my life--and I'm not ashamed to say this--it was the first time in my life I wanted to go to school every day. I'll never forget, it hit me, you know, really hard because I was sick, I had like a flu and I was getting out of bed to get dressed and my mom [Wilhelmina Ray Blanchard] was like, "Boy, where are you going?" I'm like, "Ma, I gotta go to school," 'cause I know we were gonna be learning, I was learning something every day, you know, about music and I loved it, man, I, I loved it. I, I, I can't tell you how much, Dr. Bert Braud was my theory and analysis and composition instructor and he would challenge us, you know, to no end. And he would do things like, hey, man, you know, he knew I wanted to be a writer and he said, "Well, listen, man, you may be called upon in a session, you may have to write this horn line for five horns, all right, you got five minutes," (snaps fingers), "go do it." You know, and he would do things like that. And then he'd say, "Oh, listen, you may be in a session one place where you have to write out something so look I'm gonna give you thirty minutes to write out a whole tune, just give me the lead sheet." I'm like, "Thirty minutes?" He said, "Go" (snaps fingers). You know, and then we would, we would do things like serious analysis, you know, we'd sit down and break down, Liszt [Franz Liszt] 'Piano Concerto No. 2.' You know, and we'd sit down and have to go through the whole thing and break it down, what's the first theme, second theme, transitional phrases, and all of that stuff, what is this, what is the correct form of the piece, whether it's sonata-allegro form, all of those things. And I was doing that when I was fifteen, sixteen years old, you know. So I was like in a whirlwind. And the other thing I felt like was--see I only went to NOCCA for my junior and my senior year and most kids were going from sophomore so I felt like I was behind, so that's another reason why I didn't wanna miss 'cause I saw what it was doing for me, you know. And I'm, I'm always talking about NOCCA because they didn't sugarcoat things. They used to tell us. Well, the- they told us at orientation, they said, "Look around." They said, "After the first half of the year, half of y'all are not gonna be here." 'Cause they put you out if you didn't have, if your grades weren't up, you couldn't go. And they were right. My theory class had, when I first got there maybe it was, it was still relatively small, maybe it was about twenty, twenty-five people, at the end of that Christmas break, come back, it was only about ten or twelve of us.$$Wow.$$Yeah, no, they were no joke.