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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

USA

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

Archival Photo 1
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

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

The Banjo Player Should Never Follow The Banjo Maker.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/17/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

USA

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

USA

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

Archival Photo 1
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

Interview Description
Birth Date

3/13/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

USA

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.

Caroline Hunter

Anti-Apartheid activist and educator Caroline Hunter was born on September 5, 1946 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She attended Xavier University Preparatory School and graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana with her B.S. degree in chemistry in 1968.

After graduation, Hunter was hired as a research bench chemist for Polaroid Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1970, upon the discovery of her employer’s involvement in the South African apartheid system as the producer of the passbook photos, she and her future husband, co-worker Ken Williams, formed the Polaroid Revolutionary Workers Movement (PRWM). Hunter and Williams became the first American activists to challenge their employers’ South African investments. They led a seven-year boycott against Polaroid that included testifying before the United Nations and Congress about American corporations profiting from assisting the South African government. In 1971, Polaroid fired both Hunter and Williams, but the PRWM prevailed and by 1977 Polaroid completely pulled out of South Africa.

After her involvement in the PRWM, Hunter went on to work as an educator. She was a secondary science and math teacher, and volunteered on a number of school-community projects for at-risk youth, advocacy and support for diverse parents, and elimination of the achievement gap. She also taught math and science to Boston, Massachusetts’s public high school students in summers and Saturday workshops. In 1999, Hunter earned her M.Ed. degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and became the assistant principal of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.

Hunter was invited to give the keynote at the Dr. Effie Jones Memorial Luncheon at the AASA National Conference on Education, at the Music City Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and received the Dr. Effie Jones Humanitarian Award from the AASA – The School Superintendents Association on February 14, 2014. Hunter received the 2012 Rosa Parks Memorial Award by the National Education Association for leading the effort that led to sanctions against apartheid in South Africa. The South African Partners presented the Amandla Award to Hunter in 2012, and the Massachusetts Teachers Association presented her with the Louise Gaskins Lifetime Civil Rights Award in 2011. In 1998, after her husband, Ken Williams, passed away, she and her daughter, Lisette, founded the Ken Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund (KWMS), of which Hunter served as secretary and the annual golf tournament coordinator. The KWMS Fund has awarded more than $30,000 in college scholarships to needy high school students from Cambridge and Martha’s Vineyard for outstanding social justice work and art.

Caroline Hunter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 9, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.246

Sex

Female

Interview Date

08/09/2014

Last Name

Hunter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Lisetta

Schools

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Antioch Graduate Center

Xavier University of Louisiana

St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory Academy

First Name

Caroline

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

HUN10

State

Louisiana

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

9/5/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Country

USA

Short Description

Civil rights activist and educator Caroline Hunter (1946 - ) established the Polaroid Revolutionary Workers Movement with her husband Ken Williams as a boycott effort that led to sanctions against apartheid South Africa.

Employment

Cambridge Rindge and Latin School

Harvard Graduate School, Masters of Teaching Program

Cambridge Workforce

SchoolWorks, Inc.

Boston Area Self-Help Education Committee (BAHEC)

Education Collaborative

New England Aquarium, World of Water Program

DARE, Inc. & BAHEC

Polaroid Corporation

William Pajaud

Artist and insurance executive William Etienne Pajaud, Jr. was born on August 3, 1925 in New Orleans, Louisiana. His father, William Etienne Pajaud, Sr., was a trumpet player and bandleader; his mother, Audrey DuCongé, a college professor of social work. Pajaud and his mother moved around in his youth, from Nashville to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and then to Tyler, Texas. He returned to New Orleans to attend Xavier University, where he graduated with his B.F.A. degree in 1946.

Upon graduation, Pajaud moved to Chicago, Illinois and worked as a sign artist and a freelance designer. In 1949, he relocated to Los Angeles, California, where he enrolled at the Chouinard Art Institute and earned a certificate in advertising and design while working as a postal clerk. Pajaud was the first African American to be admitted to Chouinard’s day school and to complete a degree.

In 1957, Pajaud was hired at the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company in Los Angeles, California, where he later became vice president of public relations and advertising. At Golden State, he developed and was curator of the company’s African American art collection, which was considered one of the most important in the world. In his free time, Pajaud painted and exhibited his own artwork in Los Angeles at places such as the Heritage Art Gallery, black-owned Brockman Gallery, and later at the M. Hanks Gallery in Santa Monica, California. He retired from the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1987, but continued to paint and exhibit his art widely in museums and galleries throughout the United States.

Pajaud was a member of the Society of Graphic Designers, the Los Angeles County Art Association, and the National Watercolor Society, of which he served as president from 1974 to 1975. His honors include the 1969 PRSA Art Exhibition Award of Merit, the 1971 National Association of Media Women Communications Award, the 1975 University of the Pacific Honor, the 1978 Paul Robeson Special Award for Contribution to the Arts, the 1981 PR News Gold Key Award, the 1981 League of Allied Arts Corporation Artists of Achievement Award, and the 2004 Samella Award.

Pajaud passed away on June 16, 2015 at the age of 89.

William Pajaud was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 1, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.231

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/1/2014

Last Name

Pajaud

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Etienne

Schools

Corpus Christi Catholic School

Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

Xavier University of Louisiana

Chouinard Art Institute

First Name

June

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

PAJ01

State

Louisiana

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

8/3/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

USA

Death Date

6/16/2015

Short Description

Artist and insurance executive William Pajaud (1925 - 2015 ) developed and was curator of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company’s famous African American art collection. He was also an accomplished painter and exhibited his own artwork in Los Angeles, California and across the United States.

Employment

Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company

U.S. Postal Service

Stephanie of _______

Danny Bakewell, Sr.

Broadcast Entrepreneur Danny Bakewell, Sr. was born in 1946 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Also raised in New Orleans, he graduated from St. Augustine High School in 1965, and went on to attend the University of Arizona.

At the age of twenty-one, he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he was hired as a community organizer with the Neighborhood Adult Participation Project. During this time, he also worked as the director of new careers at the University of California, Los Angeles before becoming involved with the Black Congress. In the early 1970s, Bakewell was named president and chief executive officer of the Brotherhood Crusade, a Los Angeles-based civil rights and community development organization, where he served until 2006. During his long tenure, he raised over $60 million for community initiatives. He also co-founded the National Black United Fund in 1974.

In 1982, Bakewell became chairman and chief executive officer of The Bakewell Company, one of the largest African American-owned development companies in the United States. In 1986, Bakewell was named president of the Cranston Securities Company, a national investment banking firm. Then, in 2004, he purchased the Los Angeles Sentinel, the oldest and largest African American newspaper on the West Coast. Soon after, in 2007, Bakewell purchased the New Orleans radio station WBOK and in 2009, he was elected chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

Bakewell also established the Brotherhood Crusade Business Development and Capital Fund, the African American Unity Center, and the Taste of Soul of Los Angeles. In memory of his daughter, Sabriya, who lost her life to leukemia, Bakewell founded the SABRIYA’s Castle of Fun Foundation for hospitalized children. The Foundation has established over 200 units in hospitals around the country.

Bakewell’s numerous awards include the Trumpet Award from the Trumpet Foundation, the JFK Profiles in Courage Award by the Democratic Party, the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus Adam Clayton Powell Award, the Roy Wilkins Award, and the Martin Luther King Drum Major Award, among others. He has also been honored by the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. In addition, the Los Angeles Unified School District honored Bakewell by naming a school after him.

Bakewell lives in California with his wife, Alina. He has two children: Danny, Jr. and Brandi.

Danny Bakewell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 29, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.169

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/30/2014

11/10/2014

Last Name

Bakewell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Joseph

Schools

St. Augustine High School

University of Arizona School of Law

First Name

Danny

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

BAK07

State

Louisiana

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

10/17/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

USA

Short Description

Broadcast entrepreneur Danny Bakewell, Sr. (1946 - ) was the founder and owner of The Bakewell Company, which included among its holdings the New Orleans radio station WBOK and the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper. He was also president and chief executive officer of the Brotherhood Crusade for over thirty years.

Employment

Neighborhood Adult Participation Project

University of California, Los Angeles

The Brotherhood Crusade

The National Black United Fund

The Bakewell Company

Cranston Securities Company

The Los Angeles Sentinel

WBOK Radio Station

Andrea Roane

Broadcast journalist Andrea Roane was born on October 5, 1949 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Frederic and Ethel Roane. She attended the Holy Ghost Elementary School, and graduated from the Xavier University Preparatory School in New Orleans. Roane went on to receive her B.A. degree in secondary education in 1971, and her M.A. degree in drama and communications in 1973, both from LSU - New Orleans, now the University of New Orleans.

From 1971 to 1974, Roane worked as a middle school and high school English teacher. She was also coordinator of cultural services for the New Orleans Parish Public Schools, and served as an administrator and principal of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. In 1975, Roane was hired as an education reporter for the New Orleans public television station WYES, where she also hosted a weekly magazine show and was the station's project director of a federally funded education show. Roane then worked for WWL-TV, a CBS affiliate, as an education reporter from 1976 until 1978. She returned to WYES for one year, and, in 1979, was hired as a host and correspondent for WETA public broadcasting station. Then, in 1981, Roane was hired as the Sunday evening and weekday morning anchor for WUSA Channel 9 in Washington, D.C., where she went on to serve in a number of news anchor roles. In 1993, she initiated an innovative Washington, D.C. breast cancer awareness program called Buddy Check 9.

Roane has served as co-chair of the Kennedy Center Community and Friends Board; as a member of the Capital Breast Care Center Community Advisory Council; and as a trustee of the National Museum of Women In The Arts. She is also a sustaining director of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. She served on the Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center Health Disparities Initiative Community Advisory Board; the National Catholic Education Association Board; and served as a trustee of the Catholic University of America. Roane is also a Dame of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; and a member of the Women's Forum of Washington. She is a lifetime member of both the NAACP and the National Council of Negro Women, and a member of the LINKS, Inc, Metropolitan D.C. Chapter.

Roane has received many awards and honors for her work. She has won multiple Emmy and Gracie Awards. She was also named one of Washingtonian Magazine's "Washingtonians of the Year" in 2006, and was honored by the Sibley Memorial Hospital Foundation with its Community Service Award. In addition to being named the 2010 Rebecca Lipkin Honoree for Media Distinction by Susan G. Komen For the Cure, she received the 2012 Faith Does Justice Award from Catholic Charities.

Roane and her husband, Michael Skehan, live in Washington, D.C. They have two children: Alicia and Andrew.

Andrea Roane was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 27, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.039

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/27/2014

Last Name

Roane

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Holy Ghost School

St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory Academy

University of New Orleans

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Andrea

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

ROA02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Tuscany, France

Favorite Quote

Try It You May Like It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

10/5/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Soft Shell Crab

Short Description

Broadcast journalist Andrea Roane (1949 - ) served as a news anchor on WUSA-TV Channel 9 in Washington, D.C. from 1981.

Employment

WUSA-9 / Gannett

WETA / PBS

WYES / PBS

WWL / CBS

New Orleans Public Schools

Favorite Color

Egg Yolk Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Andrea Roane's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Andrea Roane lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Andrea Roane describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Andrea Roane talks about her Creole heritage

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Andrea Roane describes her maternal family's emphasis on education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Andrea Roane talks about her mother's community in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Andrea Roane describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Andrea Roane describes her father's military service

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Andrea Roane talks about how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Andrea Roane describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Andrea Roane talks about her brother

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Andrea Roane describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Andrea Roane describes her neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Andrea Roane describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Andrea Roane describes her family's food traditions, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Andrea Roane describes her family's food traditions, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Andrea Roane remembers the music of New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Andrea Roane remembers celebrating Mardi Gras

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Andrea Roane talks about the Mardi Gras krewes in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Andrea Roane recalls traveling with her paternal grandmother

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Andrea Roane remembers the Holy Ghost Catholic School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Andrea Roane recalls her early interests and activities

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Andrea Roane remembers the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Andrea Roane remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Andrea Roane recalls the exclusion of women of color from television news

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Andrea Roane remembers the Xavier University Preparatory School in New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Andrea Roane remembers the Xavier University Preparatory School in New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Andrea Roane recalls her decision to attend Louisiana State University in New Orleans

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Andrea Roane remembers her influential professors

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Andrea Roane talks about her teaching experiences in New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Andrea Roane talks about her teaching experiences in New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Andrea Roane describes her transition from teaching to education reporting

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Andrea Roane remembers her work at WYES-TV in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Andrea Roane talks about her programming for WYES-TV

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Andrea Roane remembers her time at WWL-TV in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Andrea Roane remembers moving to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Andrea Roane remembers reporting on Hurricane David in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Andrea Roane recalls joining WETA-TV in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Andrea Roane describes her transition to WDVM-TV in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Andrea Roane remembers the notable journalists on WDVM-TV

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Andrea Roane describes her experiences as a news anchor on WDVM-TV

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Andrea Roane remembers her co-anchor, Mike Buchanan

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Andrea Roane remembers the changes in the community of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Andrea Roane talks about the importance of balanced news coverage

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Andrea Roane remembers being removed from her news anchor position

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Andrea Roane recalls returning to the morning news at WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Andrea Roane remembers the attacks of September 11, 2001

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Andrea Roane talks about her colleagues at WUSA-TV

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Andrea Roane talks about the Buddy Check 9 program, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Andrea Roane remembers her awards and honors

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Andrea Roane talks about the Buddy Check 9 program, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Andrea Roane reflects upon the highlights of her career

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Andrea Roane describes her production work on WUSA-TV

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Andrea Roane talks about the representation of minorities in the news

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Andrea Roane talks about the changes in the media industry

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Andrea Roane talks about her J.C. Hayward's experience of breast cancer

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Andrea Roane talks about the criminal charges against her son

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Andrea Roane reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Andrea Roane describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Andrea Roane reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Andrea Roane talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Andrea Roane remembers her international travels

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Andrea Roane talks about President Barack Obama

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Andrea Roane describes her plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Andrea Roane describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Andrea Roane narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Andrea Roane narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

8$5

DATitle
Andrea Roane remembers her time at WWL-TV in New Orleans, Louisiana
Andrea Roane describes her experiences as a news anchor on WDVM-TV
Transcript
So I wasn't sure I wanted to leave a place like that, but what did my father [Frederick Roane, Sr.] say? "Try it, you might like it." So I met with Mickey [Mickey Wellman], took me out to a fabulous lunch at Galatoire's in the French Quarter [New Orleans, Louisiana], one of the finest restaurants we have there, and offered me a job in the documentary unit, and I said, "Yes." And I, I wasn't really happy there. They were all very nice and my husband worked in the same--at the same studio, this is WWL-TV, the CBS affiliate. It was owned by Loyola University [Loyola University New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana] at the time, and--but I never got to see him 'cause he was in the news department and I was in doc, and--you know, it, it, it was okay. Everyone was nice, but I didn't really feel great about that assignment and when the opportunity came to go back to YES [WYES-TV, New Orleans, Louisiana], I jumped at it, and when I went back, I was given the opportunity of working on some MacNeil Lehrer shows which is now the news hour that you see with Judy Woodruff and [HistoryMaker] Gwen Ifill. It was the Robert MacNeil, Jim Lehrer 'NewsHour' ['The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour'; 'PBS NewsHour'], and I co-anchored from New Orleans [Louisiana], with Robert MacNeil, a show on the emerging black Republican Party in the South, had never done a network anything, and this was network when you think about the PBS [Public Broadcasting Service] network. And their people (background noise) (pause)--I was asked to do a 'MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour,' and it was on the black Republican Party--the emerging black Republican Party in the South--had never done anything with any kind of network operation; this was network for PBS, and I was waiting to communicate with Robert MacNeil and the producers came in early in the morning and, "Oh, we're great--how do you say your name? Is it (pronunciation) Andrea, Andrea?" I said, "It's Andrea [HistoryMaker Andrea Roane]," and, "Oh, this is great. Where can we have lunch? Where do you recommend for lunch?" So went out to lunch with the producers and the director still had not talked with my co-anchor, Robert MacNeil, and when we got back, it's like maybe 3:30, 4:00, the phone call from--, "How do you say your name?" "Andrea." "Call me Robin, (pronunciation) Andrea, Andrea, Andrea, looking forward to talking with you on the air." That was it. And then we did the show, and it was a pretty good show, if I must say so myself, it was a really good show, and then they were gone. And didn't think any more about it, but then the phone started to ring and people had inquiries about me but I wasn't interested in leaving New Orleans [Louisiana] at all. And then had the opportunity to do another 'MacNeil/Lehrer,' this time Jim was the co-anchor and the subject was the wetlands in Louisiana. And who knew how important a subject matter that would be in the 1970s when we go forward to Katrina [Hurricane Katrina] and not having the wetlands and what that did as far as destruction. And we talked about that and after that, the phones really started ringing. So this is like '77 [1977], '78 [1978]. And opportunities came to go to Chicago [Illinois] with the NBC affiliate [WMAQ-TV]. Cleveland [Ohio] called and, and at this point, I was engaged to be married to my husband to be, Michael Skehan, and I wasn't interested in leaving my home town and besides, he was a news cameraman so I wasn't going to go anywhere where he couldn't go, and little did I know that there were friends at the station who knew people, and the woman who is my associate producer, she had been the secretary at one time for the guy who was the talent scout for NBC Chicago, and another friend, Dinney Bott [ph.], her cousin was vice president of radio for NBC, so all of these people were getting together and we ended up having an interview--my husband and I both had an interview. I said, "I'm not interested in leaving, plus I'm getting ready to be married; my husband's a cameraman, so--gotta find something for the two of us." "Where would you like to go?" I, you know, I said, "Washington, D.C.," that was his home town, "and New York [New York]." This is the number one market 'cause I knew it would never happen (laughter).$You went to the noon time show (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Went to the noon time show with Bob Dalton.$$This is in '83 [1983] then, right? Not sure?$$Eighty-two [1982], '83 [1983]? And got pregnant again during the ratings book (laughter), and this time our son Andrew [Andrew Skehan] was born on the first day of the book, May 1st, 1983, and I was out for the entire ratings period. My news director said, "Never do that again." I said, "I promise I won't do it ever again." And came back doing the noon show, doing reporting, covering the arts, what to do on the weekend kind of things, those segments--substituting on the five P.M. show which we had now expanded the five from a half hour to an hour, substituting for J.C. Hayward on that show at six o'clock, substituting at times for [HistoryMaker] Maureen Bunyan and then the, the news wanted to do a four P.M. newscast, and--wow, how about that? I mean we had, we had done some things, I think I had proved myself, and I remember when the Challenger [Space Shuttle Challenger] exploded, I was getting ready to do the noon show, and my news director, Dave Pearce, came out and said, on camera, "Do this." And it was literally a sheet of paper (unclear), the Challenger has exploded, and I think it was--what was it, seventy-three or eighty-three seconds after takeoff. And to the camera--we were on even before CBS came on with their breaking news about this story. And--keep going, keep going, still didn't have a whole lot of wire copy, but luckily I had interviewed Christa McAuliffe and her backup Elizabeth Morgan [sic. Barbara Morgan], as the teachers in space--before, so I was able to, you know, just kind of stretch and stretch. So I, I thought I could do this job and I went into the news director's office and I said, "I'd like to be considered for the position of an anchor on that four o'clock newscast." And he said, "Thank you for letting me know."$$I'm interested in the time management aspect of this, 'cause these times mean that you're sleep- I mean the morning show for instance, what was your routine (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) The morning show wasn't as hard as it is now (laughter). That morning show--literally when we first started in, in '81 [1981], it was a cut in, so it was 6:25, 7:25. I was here like five o'clock in the morning, and then--I've never really been a nine to fiver. I may have always been a little bit earlier or just a little bit later, but then it became a little bit more of a normal hour when our second child was born, so from '83 [1983] to about I guess, until about 1995, it was pretty much a, a normal, middle of the day kind of thing, which worked well with the family. When my children were young, I was home early. When they were older, I was either working a shift where I could do mommy stuff for one school, my husband [Michael Skehan] would pick up the other school. He was home doing homework when I, you know--it kind of worked out. But the schedule has been all over the place, but mainly I've been a morning person and in 2000, when I went back to mornings, it just started to get earlier and earlier, and earlier. But let's not jump around too much.

Patricia Andrews-Keenan

Media and public relations executive Patricia Andrews-Keenan was born in 1954 to Pearline Henderson and James Andrews. She received her B.A. degree in journalism from Grambling State University in 1977, and went on to graduate from the Executive Leadership Development Program at UCLA’s Anderson School.

In 1990, Andrews-Keenan was hired as Director of Public Affairs at Jones Intercable; and, in 1996, she was appointed Vice President of Communications of AT&T Broadband in Deerfield, Illinois. A year later, Andrews-Keenan became Executive Director of Communications at Tele-Communications, Inc., where she served until 2002, when she was appointed as Comcast’s Vice President of Communications in Chicago, Illinois. Then, in 2007, she was hired as Vice President of Corporate Affairs at The Nielsen Company.

In 2008, Andrews-Keenan founded The Tallulah Group, a public relations, communications, media relations and community affairs firm, where she serves as President and Chief Strategist. Her clients have included Quarles & Brady, LLP, Merit Medical, Chicago State University, IlliniCare, LINK Unlimited, Columbia College Chicago, C. Cretors & Company, and the 100 Black Men of Chicago. Additionally, from 2008 until 2010, Andrews-Keenan was an adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago, where she taught culture, race and media.

Andrews-Keenan has served on a number of organizational boards and committees. She has served on the board of directors of the Chicago Children's Choir, and was a past national president of the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC). She has also served on the boards of Volunteers of America, the Naperville Chamber of Commerce and the DuPage County Girl Scouts. Andrews-Keenan was a former board chair for the Quad County Urban League, and has been appointed to the YMCA’s Black and Latino Achievers Steering Committee. In addition, she holds memberships in the Executive’s Club of Chicago.

Andrews-Keenan has also received numerous awards for her community relations work, including both a Silver Anvil and Gold Anvil from the Public Relations Society of America, as well as several Beacon Awards from the Association of Cable Communicators (ACC).

Patricia Andrews-Kennan was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 23, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.030

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/24/2014

Last Name

Andrews-Keenan

Maker Category
Middle Name

Jean

Schools

Grambling State University

University of California, Los Angeles

Wright Elementary School

Tallulah High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Patricia

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

KEE02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York, Paris

Favorite Quote

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

7/19/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Savory Food, Spicy Food

Short Description

Media executive and public relations executive Patricia Andrews-Keenan (1954 - ) was the founder and chief strategist of the Tallulah Group. She worked as an executive in the cable and telecommunications industry for over twenty years.

Employment

Jones Intercable

AT&T

Telecommunications, Inc.

Comcast

Nielsen Media Research

Tallulah Group

Columbia College

News-Press

Denver Weekly News

Mountain Bell

Internal Revenue Service

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Patricia Andrews-Keenan's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes the African American community in Tallulah, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about her mother's education and aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan remembers the desegregation of Tallulah, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her experiences at Wright Elementary School in Tallulah, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan remembers her home life

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan recalls her early interest in reading

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about her favorite books

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan remembers integrating Tallulah High School in Tallulah, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan remembers her teachers at Tallulah High School in Tallulah, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her family

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her decision to attend Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her first impressions of Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan recalls her extracurricular activities at Grambling State University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan recalls her internship at The News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about her time at Grambling State University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her early career in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about her transition into the cable industry

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about the acquisition of Syntel, Inc. by Jones Intercable

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her position at Jones Intercable

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about how she came to work for the Comcast Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes the changes in telecommunication laws

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her position at the Comcast Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about the Comcast Corporation's acquisition of AT&T Broadband LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about C. Michael Armstrong's role at AT&T Broadband LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about her involvement in the National Association for Minorities in Cable

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her presidency of the National Association of Minorities in Cable

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her role as vice president of communications at the Comcast Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about her role at Nielsen Media Research

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about the Tallulah Group

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan remembers teaching at Columbia College Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan reflects upon her career in the cable industry

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about her civic involvement in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about the future of the cable industry

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her experiences of workplace discrimination

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$1

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about the Tallulah Group
Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes the African American community in Tallulah, Louisiana
Transcript
And then in 2008 I decided to kind of strike out on my own and see what we could do with media (laughter) and PR [public relations] with all the things that I'd learned over the years, so.$$So you established the Tallulah Group [Chicago, Illinois]?$$The Tallulah Group.$$Okay.$$Yeah.$$And named after your hometown?$$Named after my hometown. I'd always said if I decided to do something on my own, you know, I just wanted to pay homage to where I came from and have people remember Tallulah [Louisiana] for being something other than Tallulah Bankhead, but then by that time, I think Tallulah Willis, Bruce Willis had a daughter named Tallulah too, so I'm like, okay. And then there's a restaurant in Chicago [Illinois] named Tallulah, I found out about the same time, so (laughter).$$Now Tallulah Bankhead has a kind of a wild history--$$She did. She was kind of racy for her time, so. So I think that's kind of a nice thing to have all those, you know, those different thoughts about that name, so. And I don't know anybody--you know there aren't too many companies named that that I know of, so I thought it was a good one.$$Okay. It's a memorable name. So, your clients have included Quarles and Brady LLP, Merit Medical [Merit Medical Systems, Inc.], Chicago State University [Chicago, Illinois], AtlantiCare, LINK Unlimited [LINK Unlimited Scholars], Columbia College [Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, Illinois], 100 Black Men [100 Black Men of America, Inc.]?$$Yeah. The nice thing about it is doing the work that I did for Comcast [Comcast Corporation], specifically, I had a lot of relationships in the marketplace, 'cause that's part of your job is to cultivate relationships. And one thing that Comcast was, was a big supporter of education and that kind of fits with who I am. So, specifically, a lot of those education concerns were companies that I'd worked with while I was part of Comcast and some of the other cable companies, so it kind of fits, it really fits. We're really about helping people tell their story, you know, helping them communicate with the media, helping them, you know, developing relationships with the media and helping them, you know, do the things that they do better. So it's been--it's been interesting, especially considering, you know, the kind of downturn we've been in, so everything, you know, same skills, same things, so it works really well. And then the other thing that I've tried to do is maintain the work with the not for profits as well, 'cause during the Comcast years, I was just involved with a ton of not for profits. And some of them, you know, are doing amazing work and I've been fortunate to stay involved with those as well.$$Okay, okay. I read--now I read here that social media plays a prominent role in your firm's outreach tactic?$$Yes. It's--I love social media. I think it is just so amazing. The one thing I think you always have to be willing to learn something new. So in 2008 as I was making this transition, you know, I just kind of immersed myself to see what was going on and what people were doing in social media. So I don't think there's a social media that I haven't done, I mean, you know, from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn to Quora to, you know, it's just been really fun, because it's just--to me it's all tactical. It's just another way to share a message to communicate to connect with people. So I found it immensely fun to kind of look at this and say how is this--some things I think never change, I mean, you always gonna have to know how to write a press release. And if there's anything bad about these things is the fact that people don't write like they used to. Everything's an abbreviation, everything's you know a little bit different than it used to be, but--but taken correctly and used correctly, I think it adds to all these things that you're doing. Chicago State University, I'll use them as an example. Last year they--they decided to hold a gala concert with [HistoryMaker] Smokey Robinson, and we were able to use, you know, Facebook, specifically, and just really increase the visibility and really get people engaged. We were doing things like every day we were sending out old Smokey songs or putting out old pictures of Smokey, you know, with The Miracles, or telling his Motown [Motown Records] history. So it's just--I just think social media is a great way to kind of share with people and engage with people, so. It's been, it's been a lot of fun kind of learning those things, so.$Are there any family stories about what life was like in Madison Parish [Louisiana]?$$In Madison Parish?$$I mean in terms of the black community and (unclear)?$$Oh, yeah, yeah. Now we, you know, again, small southern town. And when I grew up, you know, still a lot of the vestiges of things, you know, from the, from, from the integration. I can--and I can barely remember them, but it seems to me that there was still a few signs I can remember, you know, kind of black and white things. Definitely, we lived on one side of the proverbial railroad track, which was actually, literally, a railroad track. So we lived on one side of town and, you know, the white population, for the most part, lived on the opposite side of town. Through the middle of Tallulah, Louisiana, there runs the brushy bayou. We're a river town so, you know, you can go maybe twenty miles and hit the Mississippi River on the one side and then in our town, there's brushy bayou, which kind of separated the town. So you know we lived on one side, the white community lived on the other side. I remember growing up and we would go to the little grocery store, you know, you'd have your neighborhood grocery store and we had a good--we had an interesting black community because one of the first black police chiefs in the country, Zelma Wyche, was from Tallulah, Louisiana, one of the early elected black officials.$$This is a man?$$Yeah, Zelma Wyche. I didn't even know I remembered that (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) W--W-Y-C-H?$$C-H, yeah.$$Okay. C-H-E, I guess?$$Yeah, I think so. I'm going to have to go back and look at that. But yeah, he was one of the first black elected police chiefs in Louisiana. And I want to say maybe, you know, pretty close to in the country, so I definitely remember that that was kind of--that was a really big deal for us, but you know, it's still cotton fields--still we're in--in our town. And when I was young, I used to go with my uncle [Andrews-Keenan's maternal great uncle, James Rucker]. In the summer when I got older (laughter), I made the mistake of saying, "Well, I want to make some money." He would take people to the field to chop cotton. And I remember I got to be a teenager. And it was like, "I want to make some money." He's like, "Well you can go with us." Oh, what a mistake. I'm like why did I choose to (laughter)--but yeah, still cotton field right across from my house. I could see it every day and people were still, you know, wasn't all mechanized then, it was still--there was still cotton being picked, people were going to manually chop cotton. When my c- my older cousin was coming along, and he was probably about ten or fifteen years older than I, there were still times when people, they let kids out of school to do that. Yeah, there was still that time when they might take a part time out of school when it was harvesting season. It didn't happen (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) It's a time sensitive crop.$$Right, right. It wasn't--when I came along we didn't do that; but I remember those kids, that were like ten years older than I was. Yeah, that was still that time when I was a little kid, so.

Radm. Stephen Rochon

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Stephen W. Rochon was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and enlisted in the U. S. Coast Guard in 1970. He received a commission as an ensign in 1975 from the Officer Candidate School at Yorktown, Virginia. He then was assigned to Marine Safety Office (MSO) in California as assistant port operations and intelligence officer. In 1979, he served in the Coast Guard Reserve while attending Xavier University of Louisiana and graduated from there with his B.S. degree in business administration. Rochon then graduated from the National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF) in 1999 with his M.S. degree in national resource strategy. In 2002, he also completed the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Program for National and International Security, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Management.

In 1984, Rochon returned to active duty and served as Chief of the Reserve Training Branch of the Ninth Coast Guard District in Cleveland, Ohio. In this capacity, Rochon organized the Coast Guard’s first combat skills course with the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia and served on temporary duty in the Middle East to train the Royal Jordanian Coast Guard. Rochon served as the Coast Guard's director of personnel management in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005 where he provided support for Coast Guard personnel and their families. In 2006, Rochon became the Commander of Maintenance and Logistics Command at the U.S. Coast Guard’s Atlantic Headquarters; and, in, 2007, he was named Director of the Executive Residence and Chief Usher at the White House for former President George W. Bush. The first African American to hold the position, Rochon ran the executive mansion for four years for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, executing all major events at the White House and preserving the nation’s most historic home.

His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, three Legion of Merit Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, two Department of Transportation 9/11 Medals, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, two Commandant’s Letter of Commendation Ribbons, among twenty service and unit awards. His civilian awards include the 1989 Coast Guard Equal Opportunity Achievement Award, the 1990 United Negro College Fund Leadership Award, the 1997 Port of Baltimore Vital Link Award, the 1998 Vice President Gore Hammer Award, the 1998 NAACP Roy P. Wilkins Renowned Service Award, the 2001 World Trade Center New Orleans C. Alvin Bertel Award, the 2002 Greater New Orleans Barge Fleeting Association Maritime Person of the Year, the 2007 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and the 2009 Spirit of Hope Award.

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Stephen W. Rochon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 8, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.184

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/8/2013

Last Name

Rochon

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Wayne

Occupation
Schools

Blessed Sacrament School

St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory Academy

Xavier University of Louisiana

National Defense University (ICAF)

University of Maryland

Northeastern High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Stephen

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

ROC02

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas, Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Find The Good And Praise It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

3/7/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Shrimp Po' Boy

Short Description

Rear admiral Radm. Stephen Rochon (1950 - ) served as director of personnel management in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005, and went on to become the first African American director of the Executive Residence and usher at the White House where he served under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Employment

Delete

Unites States Customs and Border Protection

White House

United States Coast Guard

United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Office

United States Coast Guard Ninth District

United States Department of Transportation

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Stephen Rochon's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon lists his favorites

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

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon talks about his maternal grandfather and his job as a Pullman porter

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon talks about his mother's growing up in Baltimore, Maryland and New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Stephen Rochon talks about how his parents met, his father's success as a pharmacist, his parents' divorce and his relationship with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon talks about his siblings, his similarities to his mother and his maternal grandfather, and his step-father's name

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon describes his earliest childhood memories of taking trips with his mother and brothers in his mother's car

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon discusses racism and segregation in the South, and contrasts this with his trip to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon talks about the schools that he attended in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon talks about his elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon describes Mardi Gras in New Orleans while he was growing up, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Stephen Rochon describes Mardi Gras in New Orleans while he was growing up, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon talks about the practice of throwing coconuts in the Mardi Gras parade

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon talks about his interest in chemistry in grade school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon talks about his high school in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon talks about his interest in music and his family's musical inclinations

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon talks about running for student body president and playing sports in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon talks about his interest in music, Xavier University's pharmacy department and joining the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon recalls Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Stephen Rochon describes his experience at Xavier University, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Stephen Rochon describes his experience at Xavier University, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Stephen Rochon discusses his decision to join the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon talks about joining the U.S. Coast Guard in 1970

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon talks about his early experience in the U.S. Coast Guard and his promotion after three years

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon talks about his early promotion, working in the U.S. Coast Guard recruiting office and his decision to stay in the service

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon talks about the end of his first marriage, his parents' support, and raising his son

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon talks about raising his son in California, resigning from active Coast Guard duty, and his father's business going bankrupt

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon talks about working in real estate, returning to Xavier University and going back into active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1984

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon talks about his tour as Chief of the Reserve Training Branch of the U.S. Coast Guard's 9th District in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Stephen Rochon talks about his tour as Chief of the Port Security Branch at the U.S. Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Stephen Rochon talks about his tours as Chief of Officer Recruiting and Chief of the Officer Programs Branch, and his promotion to lieutenant commander

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Stephen Rochon talks about the Haitian migrant crisis of the early 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon talks about his first day at the U.S Coast Guard headquarters and Alex Haley's significance in the Coast Guard

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon discusses the absence of an African Americans in the U.S. Coast Guard when he joined in the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon discusses his interest in black history in the U.S. Coast Guard, his mentor, Alex Haley, and dating and marrying his second wife

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon talks about his service as deputy commander of MIO/Activities in Baltimore and attending the National Defense University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon describes his experience as the commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in New Orleans, and becoming a rear admiral

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon talks about becoming the second African American rear admiral in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard, after Erroll Brown

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon describes his service and experience in the U.S. Department of Transportation

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Stephen Rochon recalls the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon talks about the Department of Transportation and becoming the acting director of the Office of Intelligence and Security

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon describes his experience as the acting assistant commandant for Intelligence in the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon reflects upon the communication between U.S. Intelligence agencies

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon discusses his assignment as the director of Personnel Management, his command in Norfolk, Virginia, and Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon talks about being recruited as the Chief Usher of The White House, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon talks about being recruited as the Chief Usher of The White House, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon describes the history of the role of the Chief Usher of The White House

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon talks about demographics of the White House staff members, and their longevity of service, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon talks about demographics of the White House staff members, and their longevity of service, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon describes his responsibilities as the Chief Usher of the White House

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon describes how the White House transitions between presidents, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon describes how the White House transitions between presidents, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon describes his experience in the White House with the Obama family, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon describes his experience in the White House with the Obama family, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Stephen Rochon talks about picking a swing set for President Barack Obama's daughters and the basketball court in the White House

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon talks about working in collaboration with the Secret Service at the White House

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon describes his experience at the White House State dinner for the Queen of England in 2007

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon describes his experience during Pope Benedict's visit to the White House

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon talks about the differences between the Bushes' and the Obamas' stay in the White House

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon talks about his family's reaction and support of his service as the chief usher of the White House

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon talks about his decision to retire as the chief usher of the White House

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon talks about the subject matter for his book, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Stephen Rochon talks about the subject matter for his book, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Stephen Rochon talks about the film, 'Lee Daniels' The Butler', pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon talks about the film, 'Lee Daniels' The Butler', pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon reflects upon his life

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon reflects upon opportunities in the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon talks about The Rochon Group, LLC

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Stephen Rochon talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Stephen Rochon describes his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Stephen Rochon talks about joining the U.S. Coast Guard in 1970
Stephen Rochon describes the history of the role of the Chief Usher of The White House
Transcript
Okay, so [U.S.] Coast Guard, you met a brother in bell bottoms (laughter)?$$Yeah, yeah, 6'2" [height]. I'll never forget him, SK-1, Henry Dillsworth, D-I-L-L-S-W-O-R-T-H. And he was the first one when I walked in that office. And I said, God, that's an impressive man, tall guy in these bell bottoms, and got this flack tie, kerchief around his neck and white piping, you know, coming down here, and I said, man, that looks pretty sharp. And so we started talking, and I said, my cousin told me I should check this out, you know. And he said, Ah, Rochon, you know, it's a good outfit. And I says, well, tell me what those stripes mean on your arm. He had an arm full of stripes we call hash marks, and each stripe means four years of service. But the rank was up here, and I said, what is that? He said, I'm a second-class petty officer. And I said, oh, okay, that sounds impressive. I says, what's the next step from there. He says, you become a first class. So I said, well, how long does it take to become a first class? And he says, well, you won't have to worry about that Rochon because you have you--you have to wait till your second term, your second hitch. He said, I've been in, you know, a good fifteen years, and I'm second class. So I says, well, how quickly can you make first class? And he says, well, there're some people that make it in under four years, and we call 'em "slick arm first." In other words, they have nothing on this arm 'cause they don't have enough years to have even one stripe representing four years. So sometimes people make it in less than four years. He said, but don't worry about that. That doesn't happen. I said, but is it possible? And he says, yeah. And I said, okay, great, not realizing he gave me my first big goal in the service. So to make a, to make it short, I signed up. Two weeks later, I told my mother [Ursula Bernice Carrere] good-bye, and my buds, gave my drums away to the church and went off to Alameda, California.$$Now, how did your mother feel about you joining the Coast Guard?$$Well, she knew it was either that or the [U.S.] Army. And she says, the lesser of two evils in her mind. And she said, my son might come back alive, if he's on a patrol boat. Now, there was a waiting list in the Coast Guard to get to Vietnam 'cause we had these patrol boats, and they, we had some significant casualties over there. But there were so many people that wanted that duty on the river that I thought my chances of going over there were kind of slim. And I was right.$$Okay, okay, so this is 1970?$$1970--$$And--$$November 21st.$Okay, okay, give us some little history on the origin of that position [Chief Usher of The White House] and what it entails?$$Well, it, the way it started, it was not a job titled "chief usher." There were ushers, and they actually, during the time of [President] Thomas Jefferson and other presidents, they--and [President] John Adams, people would be able to come knock on the front door of The White House and say I'd like to have an audience with the president. And so the person that answered the door would usher them in to the sitting room, and they would wait their turn to speak with the president. Now, there would be a few million people knocking on the front door, but that's the origin of that job. And then over time, it grew as the requirements of the house grew. It needed someone to run the staff, the chefs and the butlers and the housekeepers, and then the physical plant. And it was around 1886 that that title "chief usher" was given. I'm trying to think of the, I know J.B. West was one of them. The one just before me was Gary Walters, behind him was Rex Skalton (ph.), J.B. West, Dens Moore, you know, there were a couple other ones. But as years progressed, and after the Truman [President Harry S. Truman] renovation, and after the executive residence became an official ceremonial place, not just the home of the president, but where you would entertain heads of state, with state dinners, and entertainers, the staff had to grow to keep up with that. So that position now is the director. It's like the general manager of a five-star hotel, except you have some pretty important guests. And it does require a full team of engineers and carpenters and painters and butlers and chefs and florists and housekeepers and curators to preserve that house for hopefully, two--400 years from now. So it was a major responsibility, and it was a 12-14 hour days often, average, 11, 11-hour days for eight hours pay, by the way.$$Okay.$$But the house was riddled with loyalty and you just stayed. Not everybody got overtime, certainly not the ushers or the chief usher never got overtime. But you had a job to do, and it was putting a face on America that, when you have a foreign minister or foreign head of state, you wanna make sure the president and this country--that head of state leaves this country realizing that everything ran perfectly. And it was a great visit, and it facilitated maybe some major decisions in the Oval Office because of the whole experience of being there. So we took the job very seriously.