The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

city

The Honorable Jon R. Gray

Judge Jon R. Gray was born on November 16, 1951 in Little Rock, Arkansas to Mai H. Gray and Reverend C. Jarrett Gray, Sr. After graduating from Paseo High School in Kansas City, Missouri in 1969, Gray received his B.A. degree in American Studies from Grinnell College in 1973. He went on to receive his J.D. degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law in 1976.

After graduating from law school, Gray was appointed assistant Jackson County Counselor and established a solo law practice, before joining the firm of Gray Payne & Roque as a principal and partner. He served as a Democratic Attorney for the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners from 1981 to 1986 and as a chair of the Liquor Control Board of Review of Kansas City, Missouri. In 1986, Governor John Ashcroft appointed him circuit judge in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit of Missouri. He served a term as the Administrative Judge of the Family Court of Jackson County and as a special judge of the Missouri Supreme Court. He also taught at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Emory University School of Law, and the Missouri Judicial College. In 2007, Gray retired from the circuit court and joined Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP as a partner in its Kansas City office, where he served as chair of the firm’s Professional Development Committee.

Gray served on the board of trustees of Southern Methodist University from 1988 until 2000. In 2007, he served a one year term as chair of the Judicial Council of the National Bar Association; and, in 2008, he joined the American Arbitration Association as a member of its panel of commercial arbitrators. Governor Jay Nixon appointed Gray to serve as a member of the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority in 2009, and as a member of the Missouri Citizens’ Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials in 2014. An active member of The United Methodist Church, Gray was elected to serve an eight year term as a member of its Judicial Council, and as a delegate to its General Conferences in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004. Judge Gray holds membership in The Missouri Bar, the National Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Jackson County Bar Association, the Association of Missouri Mediators, and the FINRA panel of arbitrators. He is admitted to practice before the Missouri Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Gray received the Difference Maker Award from the Urban League of Greater Kansas City in 2002, the Lewis W. Clymer Award from the Jackson County Bar in 2007, and the Spurgeon Smithson Award from the Missouri Bar Association in 2014. In 2018, he was honored with the Missouri Legal Icon Award from Missouri Lawyers Publications and the Raymond Pace Alexander Award from the National Bar Judicial Council.

The Honorable Jon R. Gray was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 6, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.122

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/6/2019

Last Name

Gray

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

R.

Occupation
Schools

Wendell Phillips Elem. Magnet

Park Elementary School

Northeast Junior High School

Paseo High School

Grinnell College

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law

First Name

Jon

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

GRA19

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Do All The Good You Can, In All The Ways That You Can, For All The People That You Can, In All The Places That You Can, As Long As Ever You Can - John Wesley

Birth Date

11/16/1951

Birth Place Term
Favorite Food

Desserts, Barbecue, and Vegetables

Short Description

Judge Jon R. Gray (1951- ) served as circuit judge in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit of Missouri from 1986 to 2007.

Employment

Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP

Sixteenth Judicial Circuit of Missouri

Gray Payne & Roque

Favorite Color

Blue

Michael A. Lawson

Lawyer Michael A. Lawson was born on August 8, 1953 in Little Rock, Arkansas to Ruth Ellen Jones and Milton Anderson Lawson. He received his B.A. degree in political science and economics in 1975 from Loyola Marymount University, in Los Angeles, California, and his J.D. degree from Harvard
Law School, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Lawson began his law career as a staff attorney for the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, in Washington, D.C. In 1980, he joined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, in Los Angeles, California, where he specialized in merger and acquisition transactions, bankruptcy, and litigation. Later, Lawson became a partner at the firm, where he worked for thirty-one years until 2011. In 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Lawson to serve as U.S. Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. Based in Montreal, Canada, Lawson served in this role from 2014 to 2017, coordinating and regulating international air travel. In 2018, Lawson was named president and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League.

From 2004 to 2014, Luster served as vice chair of the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County’s board of directors; and, from 2005 to 2011, he served as a member of the Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) for Los Angeles World Airports. In 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Luster to the California State Teachers Retirement System (CALSTRS) Board of Trustees, the second largest retirement system in the United States, where he served until 2014. In addition, he served as a trustee of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia and Loyola Marymount University of Los Angeles. He was also a board director and former chairman of the Constitutional Rights Foundation, and a board director of the Advancement Project and the Music Center Foundation.

Lawson was the recipient of the Strickland Excellence Award from the Loyola Marymount University African American Alumni Association in 2010. He was also recognized by Chambers USA as one of the nation's “Leading Lawyers for Business.”

Lawson and his wife, Mattie McFadden-Lawson, have two adult children, Michael Jr. and Jonathan.

Michael A. Lawson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 8, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.014

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/8/2019

Last Name

Lawson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Schools

Gibbs Magnet Elementary School

Manhattan Place Elementary School

Henry Clay Junior High School

Westchester High School

Loyola Marymount University

Harvard Law School

First Name

Michael

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

LAW07

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any Place With Camping, Skiing, Or Beaches

Favorite Quote

If You Want To Get Something Done, Find A Busy Person

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

8/8/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Favorite Food

Blueberry Cobbler

Short Description

Lawyer Michael A. Lawson (1953 - ) was a corporate lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom from 1980 to 2011, before serving as U.S. Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Employment

The Los Angeles Urban League

International Civil Aviation Organization

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, L.L.P.

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

Favorite Color

Blue

Patricia McGraw

Professor Patricia McGraw was born on May 6, 1935 in Little Rock, Arkansas to William and Ruth Washington. She attended South End Elementary School, Dunbar Junior High School, and graduated from Dunbar Senior High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. She attended Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and received her B.A. degree in language arts from San Francisco State College in San Francisco, California in 1957, where she was the first African American member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. She received her M.A. degree in special studies in literature from San Francisco State College in 1967 and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in 1982

McGraw went on to teach at Philander Smith College in Little Rock in the 1960s and then joined the faculty at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1971 as the first African American professor. She went on to establish the McGraw Learning Institute in Little Rock to teach kindergarten through sixth grade. McGraw left the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to join the University of Central Arkansas in Conway faculty in a faculty tenured position as professor of English and African/African American Studies. She served in this position from 1987 to 2000, a total of thirteen years, until her retirement.

During her career, McGraw traveled to Africa numerous times for her humanitarian work and educational training. In 1999, her work was honored by members of the Rwandese Parliament with the presentation of a lake in her honor by the name of Lake Kivu, which is located between the East African countries of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

McGraw, a scholar, professor, and author, has published several books, including the novel Hush! Hush! Somebody’s Calling My Name in 2000, and more than 500 articles and poems. She also received numerous teaching excellence and community service awards on the local, state, and national levels. In 2004, she was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. A longtime member of the National Association of Black Storytellers, she was a founding member of the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society in Arkansas, and a member of the Rufus K. Young Christian Church. She has co-hosted television shows and been the creator of a one-woman show, A Profile of Four Black Women: Look Upon Them and Be Renewed, which has been performed in Africa, the West Indies, and Canada. She has been committed to preserving her family legacy with the Washington Heritage House, the former residence of her parents, located across the street from the historic Central High School in Little Rock.

McGraw, the widow of the late Tyrone Power McGraw, has three children.

Patricia McGraw was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 13, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.047

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/15/2018

Last Name

McGraw

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Patricia

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

MCG11

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Niger

Favorite Quote

God Is Love.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arkansas

Birth Date

5/6/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Little Rock

Favorite Food

Turkey and Dressing

Short Description

Professor Patricia McGraw (1935- ) was named professor of English and African/African American Studies at University of Central Arkansas in 1987.

Favorite Color

Purple

The Honorable Lottie Shackelford

Political and civic leader Lottie Shackelford was born on April 30, 1941 in Little Rock, Arkansas to Bernice Linzy Holt and Curtis Holt, Sr. Shackelford graduated from Horace Mann High School in 1958, and later earned her B.A. degree in business administration from Philander Smith College in 1979. Shackelford also later served as a senior fellow at the Arkansas Institute of Politics and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

In 1978, Shackelford was appointed to a vacant position on the board of directors for the City of Arkansas. She was then elected in 1980, and re-elected in 1984 and 1988. In 1987, she became the first woman to serve as Mayor of Little Rock. In 1992, Shackelford worked as the deputy manager of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, and later served as a member of his presidential transition team. In 1993, Clinton appointed Shackelford as a U.S. Delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in Vienna, Austria. In 1994, Shackelford became the executive vice president of Global USA, Incorporated, an international business facilitator. She also co-founded the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas. Beginning in 1980, Shackelford has served as a delegate to every Democratic National Convention for over thirty years. A longtime member of the Democratic National Committee, Shackelford served as co-chair of the platform committee in 1984, the rules committee in 1988, and on the resolutions committee. She also served as the Democratic National Committee vice chair from 1989 to 2009; and in 2014, she was elected to chair the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Caucus. She also served as secretary, vice chair, and chair of the Arkansas State Democratic Committee, and was elected secretary of the National Association of State Democratic Chairs.

An active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Shackelford received numerous honors and awards from the organization, including the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Trailblazer Award in 1980, the Mary Church Terrell Award in 1998 at the National Convention, and the Delta Legacy Award at the 42nd National Convention. Shackelford was also named one of Esquire Magazine’s forty most influential African Americans in 1984. She was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1993. In 2017, she received a Humanitarian Award from the Just Communities of Arkansas. Shackelford served on the board of directors of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation from 1993 to 2012. She also served on the board of directors of Philander Smith College, Chapman Holdings, and eChapman Incorporated.

Shackelford has three children: Russell, Karla, and Karen, and six grandchildren.

Lottie Shackelford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 14, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.046

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/14/2018

Last Name

Shackelford

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Lottie

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

SHA10

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Wherever My Children Are.

Favorite Quote

Make It A Great Day.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arkansas

Birth Date

4/30/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Little Rock

Favorite Food

Grapes And Bananas

Short Description

Political and civic leader Lottie Shackelford (1941 - ) was the first female mayor of Little Rock. She also served as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee for twenty years.

Favorite Color

Red

The Honorable Richard Mays, Sr.

Lawyer and judge Richard Mays, Sr. was born on August 5, 1943 in Little Rock, Arkansas to Dorothy Mae Greenlee and Barnett G. Mays, a restaurant owner and real estate developer. Mays graduated from Horace Mann High School in 1961, and earned his B.A. degree in political science and business administration from Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1965. Mays then received his LL.B. degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law at Fayetteville in 1968, where he was the only African American in his graduating class.

In 1968, Mays worked as a trial attorney in the organized crime division of the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, D.C. He soon returned to Little Rock to work as a deputy prosecutor for the sixth judicial district in Pulaski County, making him the first full time African American prosecutor in the district’s history. In 1971, he joined the law firm of Walker, Kaplan, and Lavey, the first racially integrated law firm in Arkansas. From 1973 to 1977, Mays also served in the Arkansas General Assembly. He was among the first group of African Americans to serve in the Arkansas General Assembly in the twentieth century.In 1977, he co-founded the law offices of Mays, Byrd & Associates. Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton appointed Mays to the Arkansas Supreme Court as an associate justice in 1980, and that same year, he became an adjunct law professor at the University of Arkansas Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. From 1992 to 1996, Mays was the national co-chairman of the Clinton-Gore Presidential Inauguration Committee, raising over $1 million as a fundraiser. In 1993, Mays became the senior vice president of Cassidy & Associates. Mays also served as a consultant at CMS Energy and facilitated a contract with Ghana to develop a power plant. From 2005 to 2015, he served as vice chairman and chairman of the Arkansas Claims Commission. In 2013, Mays became the chairman of the board of directors of Soul of the South, a television network focused on African Americans and Southern culture.

Mays served on the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, The Arkansas Ethics Commission, and the Arkansas Banking Board. He also served on the U.S. South African Business Development Committee, and on the board of directors of the American Judicature Society. Mays was honored by the Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail in 2015, and inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2016.

Mays is married to Supha Xayprasith-Mays, and has four children, Richard Jr. and Tiffany, who are also practicing attorneys in the Little Rock area as well as Dr. Kimberly Smith, an orthodonist in Chicago, and Dr. Latisse Stovall, an emergency room physician in New Jersey.

Judge Richard Mays, Sr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 13, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.044

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/13/2018

Last Name

Mays

Maker Category
Schools

Bush Elementary School

Dunbar Magnet Middle School

Horace Mann High School

University of Arkansas Law School

Howard University

First Name

Richard

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

MAY09

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cabo, Mexico

Favorite Quote

Man, It’s Tough Out Here.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arkansas

Birth Date

8/5/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Little Rock

Favorite Food

Spaghetti And Meatballs

Short Description

Lawyer and judge Richard Mays, Sr. (1943 - ) served as an Arkansas Supreme Court Judge in 1980, a deputy prosecutor for the sixth judicial district in Pulaski County. He was also a founding partner of Mays, Byrd & Associates in Little Rock.

Employment

Mays, Byrd and Associates

Arkansas Claims Committee

Cassidy and Associates

Arkansas Supreme Court

Bowen School of Law

Arkansas General Assembly

Walker, Kaplan and Mays

U.S. Department of Justice

LR Prosecuting Attorney

Favorite Color

Green

Raye Jean Montague

Engineer Raye Jean Montague was born on January 21, 1935 in Little Rock, Arkansas to Rayford Jordan and Flossie Graves Jordan. Montague graduated from Merrill High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1952, and enrolled at Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical & Normal College (now called The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff). Initially, Montague aspired to study engineering, but received her B.S. degree in business because the engineering program did not accept African American students.

In 1956, Montague joined the U.S. Navy in Carderock, Maryland, and was stationed at David Taylor Model Basin (now the Naval Surface Warfare Center). Montague worked as a clerk typist for several years, before becoming a digital computer systems operator and a computer systems analyst at the Naval Ship Engineering Center in Washington D.C. Montague was promoted to program director of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) integrated design, manufacturing, and maintenance program; and she also served as the division head of the Navy’s computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing program. In 1971 Montague became the first person to design a naval ship using a computer, producing the first draft for the FFG-7 Frigate in under nineteen hours. Montague was the U.S. Navy’s first female program manager of ships and the first program manager of the information systems improvement program. Over the course of her career, Montague worked on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower as well as the Navy’s first landing craft helicopter-assault ship. She retired from the U.S. Navy in 1990.

In 1972, Montague received the U.S. Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and was also nominated for the Federal Woman of the Year Award by the secretary of the Navy. In 1982, Montague became the first female engineer to receive the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Achievement Award. She also received the National Computer Graphics Association Award for Advancement of Computer Graphics in 1988. Montague was the first woman to serve on the board of directors for the Numerical Control Society; and she also held memberships with LifeQuest of Arkansas, The Links Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the Arkansas Association of University Women, and the American Contract Bridge League. Montague was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2013, and Arkansas Women's Hall of Fame in 2018. In May of 2018, she was conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Montague passed away on October 10, 2018.

Raye Jean Montague was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 20, 2017.

Accession Number

A2018.041

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/12/2018

Last Name

Montague

Maker Category
Middle Name

Jean Jordan

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Raye

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

MON12

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Karaca Island

Favorite Quote

The Best Is Yet To Come

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arkansas

Birth Date

1/21/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Little Rock

Favorite Food

Chili

Death Date

10/10/2018

Short Description

Engineer Raye Jean Montague (1935 - 2018) was the first person to design a naval ship using a computer, and the first female program director in the history of the U.S. Navy.

Favorite Color

Blue

Elizabeth Eckford

Civic activist Elizabeth Eckford was born on October 4, 1941 in Little Rock, Arkansas to Oscar Eckford, Jr. and Birdie Eckford. She attended Horace Mann High School and transferred to Little Rock Central High School in 1957 as one of the Little Rock Nine. Eckford took correspondence and night classes during the 1958 school year to earn enough credits to receive her high school diploma. Eckford attended Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, then later earned her B.A. degree in history from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio in 1962.

Eckford moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1959 and became the first African American to work in a bank in a non-janitorial position in the City of St. Louis. In 1967, Eckford joined the U.S. Army and worked as a payroll clerk and information specialist. She worked for the U.S. Army for five years and was stationed in Indiana, Georgia, Washington, and Alabama. Eckford also wrote for the Fort McClellan, Alabama and Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana newspapers. In 1973, Eckford returned to Little Rock and worked at the state welfare agency. Eckford also worked as a history teacher and as a probation officer for Judge Marion Humphrey of the Pulaski County Circuit Court in Arkansas in 1999.

A photograph of Eckford integrating Little Rock Central High School, taken by Will Count of the Arkansas Democrat, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1958. Eckford, along with the rest of the Little Rock Nine, were the recipients of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Spingarn Medal in 1958. She was awarded the Joseph Blitz Award in 1997. In 1999, President Bill Clinton presented all the members of the Little Rock Nine with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the United States.

In 2018, Eckford was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Knox College. The same year, Eckford released a book for young readers, The Worst First Day: Bullied while Desegregating Central High, co-authored with Dr. Eurydice Stanley and Grace Stanley and featuring artwork by Rachel Gibson. Later that year, the Elizabeth Eckford Commemorative Bench was dedicated at the corner of Park and 16th streets, and she received the Community Truth Teller Award from the Arkansas Community Institute.

Elizabeth Eckford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 10, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.172

Sex

Female

Interview Date

09/19/2017

Last Name

Eckford

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Elizabeth

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

ECK01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hilltop in Wilburforce Ohio along a snaking road

Favorite Quote

The only way we can have true reconciliation with honest recognition of our painful but shared past

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arkansas

Birth Date

10/4/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Little Rock

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Civic activist Elizabeth Eckford (1941- ) was a member of the Little Rock Nine, the group of African American students who desegregated Little Rock Central High School in 1957.

Favorite Color

Cobalt blue

Charles Phillips, Jr.

Corporate executive Charles E. Phillips, Jr. was born in June of 1959 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He attended the United States Air Force Academy, where he received his B.S. degree in computer science in 1981. Phillips served first as a second lieutenant, and then as captain in the United States Marine Corps, 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines from 1981 to 1986 at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He received his M.B.A degree from Hampton University in 1986 and his J.D. degree from the New York Law School in 1993.

In 1986, Phillips was named vice president of software for the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. He worked as senior vice president of SoundView Technology Group from 1990 to 1993, and senior vice president of Kidder Peabody from 1990 to 1994. Phillips then landed a job as a principal with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's Institutional Securities Division in 1994, and was promoted to managing director in 1995. Then, in 2003, Phillips was hired by Oracle Corporation in Redwood Shores, California, as executive vice president of strategy, partnerships, and business development. He was appointed president and a member of the board of directors of Oracle in 2004, where he remained until 2010. In 2010, Phillips was named chief executive officer of Infor, an ERP software provider headquartered in New York City.

He serves on the boards of Infor, Viacom Corporation, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York Law School, the American Museum of Natural History, the United States Air Force Academy Endowment Fund, and Posse Foundation. Phillips is also a board member of his family foundation, Phillips Charitable Organizations, which provides financial aid for single parents, students interested in engineering, and wounded veterans. In February 2009, he was appointed as a member of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board in order to provide U.S. President Barack Obama and his administration with advice and counsel in addressing the late-2000s recession.

Phillips was recognized by Institutional Investor magazine as the Number One Enterprise Software Industry Analyst from 1994 to 2003. He was also named by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the Top 50 African Americans on Wall Street in 2002.

Charles Phillips was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 11, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.099

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/11/2014

Last Name

Phillips

Maker Category
Middle Name

E.

Schools

United States Air Force Academy

Hampton University

New York Law School

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

PHI07

Favorite Season

Late Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Madrid, Spain

Favorite Quote

Semper Fi

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/10/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Paella

Short Description

Corporate chief executive Charles Phillips, Jr. (1959 - ) is the CEO of Infor. He also served as president of Oracle from 2004 to 2010, and is a founder and board member of Phillips Charitable Organizations.

Employment

United States Marine Corps

Bank of New York Mellon Corporation

SoundView Technology Group

Kidder Peabody

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

Oracle Corporation

Infor

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:1532,16:10716,195:21163,353:21487,358:37700,573:45140,686:65210,946:66400,973:76407,1120:85385,1332:85854,1340:93680,1417:105818,1629:122042,1944:125354,1988:136434,2225:140154,2357:157674,2615:159599,2662:161293,2691:161986,2701:171250,2840:173410,2859:190434,3055:196428,3217:214910,3534:215900,3550:218144,3601:231315,3837:231840,3845:233415,3942:236040,4034:249902,4248:252289,4296:252674,4302:253213,4314:259730,4417:268480,4584:269810,4720:272610,4775:278280,4897:284970,4956:289180,5038:292348,5084:296452,5167:305020,5256:305670,5268:311520,5412:319350,5564$0,0:320,6:2156,21:28306,520:32414,596:37370,607:37766,612:38261,618:48827,809:64894,1076:70054,1132:73366,1195:73780,1203:83570,1333:83915,1339:86330,1395:90263,1508:90884,1546:93161,1606:128947,2255:167138,2808:173222,2921:178058,3045:185140,3113
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Phillips, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his childhood experience with the U.S. Air Force and enrolling at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his mother's family background and how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his brothers

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory and his experience living in Madrid, Spain

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the American schools abroad and his father's interest in current events

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's opinion of the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the American school in Madrid, Spain and Lakeshore High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes Lakeshore High School in Atlanta, Georgia and playing basketball

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his parents and brothers in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his decision to enroll at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his interest in computers and computer programming, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his interest in computers and computer programming, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. recalls his nomination by Nelson Rockefeller to attend the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes enrolling at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the student body population at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the challenges of increasing African American attendance at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the pressure of attending the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his decision to serve his commission in the United States Marine Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about meeting his wife, Karen Phillips

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his experience in the United States Marine Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes leaving the United States Marine Corps to attend an M.B.A. program at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes starting his career at the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation on Wall Street

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about working in investment banking with a background in technology rather than in finance

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the progression of his career on Wall Street

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his success as a software analyst on Wall Street

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes technology analysts on Wall Street during the late 1980s and 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about working with Mary Meeker and Frank Quattrone at Morgan Stanley

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about becoming a managing director in Morgan Stanley's technology group in 1995

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the leading people and companies in the software industry during his time as an analyst

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his investment strategy during the dot-com bubble

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the development of technology in the United States and abroad in the early 2000s

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about Stanford's University's role in Silicon Valley

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about technological innovation

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about Morgan Stanley's merger with Dean Witter Reynolds in 1997

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about leaving Morgan Stanley to work at Oracle Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his acquisition strategy at Oracle Corporation, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his acquisition strategy at Oracle Corporation, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his goals at Oracle Corporation and the difference between enterprise software and personal software

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the history and security of cloud computing

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes becoming the CEO of Infor in 2010

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the importance of design and ease of use in Infor's software

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about moving Infor to New York City, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the development of Infor's internal creative agency, Hook & Loop, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the development of Infor's internal creative agency, Hook & Loop, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the growth of Infor since he became CEO

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes Infor's acquisition of Lawson Software in 2011

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the percentage of cloud business at Infor

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the use of open source databases and operating systems at Infor

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the future of big data and automation

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. reflects on his career path

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the Phillips Charitable Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the legacy of the post-Civil Rights generation

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Charles Phillips, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$2

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Charles Phillips, Jr. describes starting his career at the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation on Wall Street
Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's opinion of the U.S. Air Force
Transcript
So this is your late twenties too, though.$$Yeah.$$You're still young. How do you end up with the Bank of New York Mellon [Corporation]? I mean, is that your first--$$That was my first job. I didn't know anybody in New York [New York City, New York]. Then, my mother-in-law was living in New York. My wife's [Karen Phillips] family is from the New York area. She said you just need to start applying and see what you can do. So all I did was start writing a bunch of different financial institutions like "I just got out of the Marines, I'd like to come live in New York, I don't have any financial experience but I'm a quick learner. I've learned engineering" and, to my view, it's harder than finance. I think I sent out 200 letters. I got like 190 rejections 'cause people didn't value the military experience at that time and the whole engineering, it just-- especially in New York without any military bases here, they hadn't been around it. It has changed some now, we respect it now. But back then--remember this is--remember this is '80s [1980] when--. People would tell me "You seem like you're so smart, so why would you go to the military if you're that smart?" I said, "Well, you can be smart--it's not oxymoron, people do things for other than money sometimes because they have a commitment," so I had to explain that. And so, it was looking pretty bleak actually and then the Bank of New York, I wrote the guy and said, "Will you meet with me?" He said, "Yes, let me know the next time you're in town." I came to town and had trouble pinning him down, but I finally badgered him into a meeting. I realized as soon as I walked into his office, I waited all day to see him. He had a name plaque on his desk with an eagle, globe, and anchor-- had his last name with an eagle, globe, and anchor next to it, which was the Marine Corp emblem, so I knew his dad was a Marine and that's why he met with me. Once I saw that, I was, "Okay, I know why I'm here. I know I'm going to get this job now," so we start talking and within twenty minutes, we're laughing and talking about everything. He said, "All right, I'll give you a shot." And I said, "That's all I'm asking for a shot, and let me get started, and if I fail, fire me in six months. You'll never hear from me again. I'll work for whatever you think it is. I didn't know what it was worth. You tell me. I'll work for anything. I just want a shot." And he gave it to me. And--$$And you were hired to do what, Charles?$$So he hired me into--they had a mini training program, so I went around to different departments and that lasted about six months. I worked in the credit department, analyzing financial statements, and then he assigned me in the research department for analyzing stocks because I like analyzing things. So I said, "I can do that. I'll figure that out." So I got there. And they weren't sure what to do with me. So I said, "The thing I know about is computers, why don't you let me follow computer stocks and I can tell you a lot about that?" But I didn't know about the stock market. I go, "I don't, but I know the products work and I know why people buy them. I know if they're good or not." That, what seemed to be important because everybody else was an accountant or had some finance thing they were really good at. I said, "Yeah, I'll get to learning the stock market," but none of them could tell you what the products--if the products--that's what I know. And that was the unique thing I had, so they said, "Okay, do that." And the computer industry stock market was just starting. That's when Microsoft [Corporation] was just becoming public. Oracle [Corporation] had just became public, so it was a little side industry, especially the area I specialized in, which was the enterprise area, the more complex software. There were very few people even paying--they were scared of those stocks because they didn't understand them, and they were small companies. No one paid attention to them, so I said, "I'm just going to do that, and I will explain the reason these companies exist, how it's gonna change, I think it's going to be a big industry. Computers are going to be more prevalent. I already knew all that from the last seven years working with the stuff that it was growing in importance, but I didn't how long it would take. But I knew it was going to be big at some point. And a lot of the ways they used to do things on the old, giant computers with the cards and all that stuff--all these new computers because I've been building them, are going to be more powerful and more efficient way to do it, and this is going to get big. And here are the software companies that are going to help automate that, and I'll just do that, and explain to people why that's going to happen, and the shift from mainframes to PCs [personal computers] and all that." And they said, "We don't understand a thing you're saying, but it sounds like you know what you're talking about, so go ahead and do that." So I started basically visiting those companies, writing reports about them, and explaining to investors why they should invest, and then eventually made it to the investment banking firm and started doing the mergers and acquisitions, and seeing how the industry worked. I knew everybody in the industry because that is all I was doing (unclear).$$Now you were at what investment bank firm?$$So I ended up at Kidder, Peabody [& Co.]--(simultaneous)--$$Kidder, Peabody--(simultaneous)--$$--and then to Morgan Stanley.$What, what rank does your father [Charles Phillips, Sr.] have, you know, what rank is he--?$$(simultaneous) He retired a Senior master sergeant [in the U.S. Air Force], which is, for the enlisted, the second highest you can go, so he did pretty well, but he was enlisted though, yeah.$$And so is he--do you ever hear discussions about him being frustrated at all, or, you know, is he of the generation that the service really opened up, you know, a lot of opportunities?$$He is grateful for the opportunity to serve his country and it gave him tremendous opportunities. So, there-- He told me a story that four years into the service, you have to decide whether you want to re-up, or reenlist, and continue; and he came home in his uniform, had some time off for a week. And one of the guys he went to high school with tried to talk him out of reenlisting and said, "Come back here to Clinton, Oklahoma," which really it's only 5,000 people, "and we'll open up a liquor store." And he said, "I thought about it, and I almost did it," and then said, "You know what, there's just gotta be better something. I haven't seen in four years, but there's--but I've seen enough to say, there's other ways of thinking and I want to learn more, and I decided against. I went and re-uped and went back and left." So he goes back, 10 or 15 years later, the guy actually did open a liquor store and, of course, is destitute, barely surviving, like a shack about to fall over, and selling liquor. He said, "You see, that would have been me if I had made that decision and said, "No, I just don't want to make that decision, no I don't want to do that, even though he was one of my best friends, I would have been stuck there for the rest of my life, you know." And so he views that, the fact that he got out through the military as a huge--so do I. I was so glad did. It changed his life. Nonetheless, the fact that that was his only choice is a function of many other things that he obviously not happy about. So it was just this dual feeling. On the one hand, I 'm grateful for this opportunity, and I want to serve my country because they gave me this opportunity; on the other hand, I should have had more opportunity like everybody else did and didn't like the way he was being treated, so--$$So this-- some of this you're hearing around the dinner table and at home.$$Yeah, this conflict and anger, and yet the appreciation of being part of the country, and yet "My country should have treated me better," all those things, you know. All those things were discussed and, you know, I'd tried to understand in a way because we grew up in an environment that I had never seen before and I tried to place myself there and see if I would be as angry, you know.$$So you're hearing a lot about, you know, this person, you know, I didn't get treated right, you know. And then the Marines are--they were still --the Marines were a hard place--you know, we had--well the Montford Point Marines [Montford Point Marine Association]. I think Navy was worse. Navy was worse as a branch of service.$$(simultaneous) Yeah.

Lee Ransaw

Fine artist and art professor Lee Ransaw, was born on March 24, 1938, in Little Rock, Arkansas, to Sylvia and Lee Lester. In 1955, Ransaw received his high school diploma from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. He later attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where he earned his B.A. degree in art education in 1962 and his M.A. degree in fine arts in 1966. In 1973, Ransaw received his Ed.D. degree from Illinois State University.

While Ransaw was a graduate student at Illinois State University, he travelled to Nashville, Tennessee where he met artist and scholar David Driskell. This visit inspired Ransaw to begin collecting artwork for his private art collection. After taking courses at Pratt Institute in New York, Ransaw moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he taught African art and Afro-American art at Emory University. In 1979, Ransaw was hired at Morris Brown College as an art professor where he painted the Centennial Mural which depicted the history of the college. The mural was considered to be a national project and was commissioned by the Atlanta Coca Cola Bottling Company. In 2002, Ransaw along with Lamar Wilson, director of Ruth Hall Hodges Art Gallery, founded The National Alliance of Artists from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (NAAHBCU) on the campus of Morris Brown College. Ransaw, then dean of arts and letters, and chair of the fine art department at the college, initially held a statewide exhibit that featured the artwork of the art faculty from Georgia based HBCUs. NAAHBCU held its first major traveling exhibition entitled Visions From Within at the James Kemp Gallery at The Black Academy of Arts & Letters in Dallas, Texas and featured thirty artists. In 2004, Ransaw was hired as an adjunct art professor at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Ramsaw retired as president of NAAHBCU in 2010 and served as chairman of the organization.

Among his many honors and awards were The Distinguished United Negro College Fund Scholars Award in Washington, D.C., The Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Ford Foundation Fellowship, and a Bronze Jubilee Award for artistic achievement given by PBS in Atlanta, Georgia.

Lee Ransaw was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April, 19, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.026

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/19/2011

Last Name

Ransaw

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Shortridge High School

Indiana University

Illinois State University

George Washington Carver Elementary School 87

Pulaski Elementary School

Indiana University Northwest

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lee

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

RAN09

Favorite Season

May

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southern France

Favorite Quote

Be Well, Do Good Work, And Keep In Touch.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

3/24/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Fine artist and art professor Lee Ransaw (1938 - ) was the dean of arts and letters and chair of the fine arts department at Morris Brown College and founder of The National Alliance of Artists from Historically Black Colleges.

Employment

Emory University

Morris Brown College

National Alliance of Artists from Historically Black Colleges

Spelman College

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:10136,170:13232,197:14006,237:15038,253:15898,265:21582,396:39068,567:40770,609:41954,630:43360,706:50408,776:50696,781:53072,839:53360,844:65145,1025:65620,1031:72430,1151:77302,1229:87552,1403:89820,1440:97848,1549:98530,1561:100100,1569:100471,1578:101213,1591:101425,1596:102008,1611:102432,1620:104763,1644:105675,1711:108858,1799:118296,1891:118544,1896:129720,2094:138708,2244:139247,2252:140094,2275:147528,2390:152255,2473:152595,2478:172154,2746:172602,2754:173050,2766:174330,2787:174586,2792:174842,2797:177594,2880:186274,2999:187309,3017:187585,3022:194184,3085:195496,3113:195906,3119:196234,3124:198770,3144:199210,3150:200002,3167:200442,3173:201234,3190:201850,3198:205458,3278:207148,3303:208204,3319:216510,3413:220535,3466:222430,3472$0,0:724,15:4296,87:11803,189:12127,194:12775,204:19294,273:19980,282:31315,416:34074,463:35409,483:39125,511:40169,526:49739,722:52200,760:53800,780:56760,854:57560,865:67287,948:68418,973:69027,981:78759,1145:79075,1150:79707,1161:80023,1166:80339,1171:90222,1356:92280,1406:92966,1415:104680,1592:108074,1640:108410,1645:108998,1653:109754,1676:114962,1776:126970,1930:127540,1941:132575,2032:133240,2046:135045,2067:140080,2220:145068,2236:145670,2244:148852,2312:149282,2318:149626,2323:153668,2402:154098,2408:164290,2549:164885,2557:167605,2618:167945,2623:171005,2674:171855,2686:178105,2743:184400,2884:184994,2895:185324,2901:189770,2970:190730,2989:192570,3034:196730,3122:210086,3270:214319,3380:225120,3515:229580,3566
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lee Ransaw's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lee Ransaw lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lee Ransaw describes his father's upbringing and education

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lee Ransaw remembers his stepfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lee Ransaw describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lee Ransaw remembers moving to Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lee Ransaw talks about his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lee Ransaw describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lee Ransaw remembers living with his maternal relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lee Ransaw recalls attending East Pulaski School in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lee Ransaw talks about his early interest in art

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lee Ransaw describes his earliest memories of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Lee Ransaw describes his neighborhood in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Lee Ransaw talks about housing segregation in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lee Ransaw recalls attending George Washington Carver Elementary School 87 in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lee Ransaw remembers his favorite subjects in school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lee Ransaw recalls attending Shortridge High School in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lee Ransaw talks about his childhood interests

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lee Ransaw recalls attending University United Methodist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lee Ransaw describes his neighborhood in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lee Ransaw recalls his teachers and classmates

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lee Ransaw describes race relations in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lee Ransaw talks about African American representation in the media

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lee Ransaw recalls his decision to attend John Herron Art Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lee Ransaw describes his mother's family background

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lee Ransaw recalls transferring to Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lee Ransaw describes race relations at Indiana University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lee Ransaw remembers his professors at Indiana University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lee Ransaw describes his art education at Indiana University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lee Ransaw recalls his experiences at Indiana University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lee Ransaw remembers his appointment to cryptologic linguist in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lee Ransaw recalls being stationed with the U.S. Army in Venice, Italy

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lee Ransaw describes his role as a cryptologic linguist in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lee Ransaw recalls his first teaching job

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lee Ransaw remembers the deaths of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lee Ransaw describes his dissertation on the Wall of Respect

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lee Ransaw recalls his introduction to African American art

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lee Ransaw describes his early knowledge of the black aesthetic

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lee Ransaw talks about his dissertation committee, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lee Ransaw talks about his dissertation committee, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lee Ransaw describes his children

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lee Ransaw recalls being hired at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lee Ransaw recalls becoming department chair at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lee Ransaw remembers receiving a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lee Ransaw recalls starting his art collection

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lee Ransaw describes living and working in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lee Ransaw talks about some of his art exhibits

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lee Ransaw describes his improvements to the art department at Morris Brown College

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lee Ransaw recalls painting murals for Morris Brown College

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lee Ransaw describes his artwork, 'Dance of the Chicken Thieves'

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lee Ransaw recalls receiving a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lee Ransaw describes Atlanta's artistic renaissance

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Lee Ransaw talks about strategy behind collecting art

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Lee Ransaw recalls the founding of the National Black Arts Festival

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Lee Ransaw describes his work at Morris Brown College in the late 1980s

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lee Ransaw talks about organizing an exhibit for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lee Ransaw recalls founding the National Alliance of Artists from Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lee Ransaw reflects upon his accomplishments and fellowships

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lee Ransaw recalls helping Dan Moore, Sr. to establish the APEX Museum in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lee Ransaw remembers painter Benny Andrews

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lee Ransaw describes the exhibit 'Coming by Force: Overcoming by Choice'

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lee Ransaw talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lee Ransaw describes his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Lee Ransaw shares a message for future generations of artists

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Lee Ransaw reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$2

DAStory

8$10

DATitle
Lee Ransaw recalls being stationed with the U.S. Army in Venice, Italy
Lee Ransaw recalls his decision to attend John Herron Art Institute
Transcript
So I got my assignment. Everybody got their assignments at Fort Gordon [Georgia]. Mine didn't come through. Everybody got their assignments. Some went to Vietnam and some went every place, and they didn't come to me. And they had a list of the top five or six graduates for crypto school[cryptologic school]. I was number four. The top five was supposed to go to Paris [France]. And, and four of 'em went, and I didn't go. They kept me there on post. And so I didn't know what it was, so I went to the IG, the inspector general and said, you know, "This is racism. Why didn't I get my assignment," which was a civilian status job in Paris. He said, "Well, I'm gonna look into this, we're gonna look into this and find out why you didn't get this school." So they came back with the excuse that they wanted me there on post to play basketball and play baseball. I said, "But you guys didn't know I play basketball. How you gonna put me on basketball team?" Said, "We'll cut you another assignment." So two or three weeks later--they didn't tell me where they were sending me, they put me on a plane to New York. And I ended up in New York at the fort up there, I can't remember the fort. But I went there. And they had APO 221 on my, for my mail. And so I went to the post office 'cause mother [Sylvia Hall Ransaw] and everybody was asking me, "Where are you going?" And I couldn't tell 'em. So I went to APO 221, and that was Italy. I was supposed to go to Italy, and I said, "Well, that's a pretty good assignment." But in this crypto school, which is interesting, they give you a lie detector test as I said. And on this test, they'll ask you a lot of questions, and then one of the questions they came to, they said, "Have you ever cheated on a college exam before?" I said, "No." Then they went down and asked some more questions. And they came back to that same question, "Have you ever cheated on a college--," they asked it a different way. My heart started jumping, and I remembered the time that I had looked on somebody else's paper for something, and I said, "No." So we got through the test, and he unstrapped me. He got me up, and he said, "Do you have anything to say?" I said, "Oh, yeah, on that college exam, you asked me one question, I remembered I had looked on somebody else's paper." He said, "I'm glad you told me that 'cause we were about to kick you out of school" (laughter). I was about to be gone. But I got a very nice assignment in Venice, Italy, Venezia, Italy, in crypto--and where I wanted to be. That's because it's a center of art, Venice, Venezia, Florence [Italy], Rome [Italy] and I stayed over there for several years playing basketball and finished up [U.S.] military.$$Because this is the time of Vietnam, you have this really nice assignment in Italy, but did you understand about the Vietnam War? At that time, did you understand what was going on?$$I understand--I understood when I got to Italy because several of my friends that were over there got killed. And I did crypto so Red Cross would send me messages, and I'd see their names come across. And I knew these people, a lot of these people that were getting killed over there. They were down at Fort Gordon, Fort Leonard Wood [Missouri] with me. And I knew the gravity of that situation over there, and it's just fortunate I didn't get sent over there.$$Okay, and so how long were you in Italy?$$I was there for about three years.$Who helped you prepare for college? Did you know that you were definitely gonna go to college?$$I knew a long time ago that I was gonna go to college, yes, I did. I knew. And I think my role model for that, it was interesting. I had, was out playing basketball one day with the guys on the, in the community center. And one of the guys who was playing, he was very good. And I was guarding him, and we started talking, and I said, "What do you do?" And he said, "I teach at a college." And he named the college out in California that he taught at. And I said, man, this guy plays basketball and doing real well, and he's teaching at a college, a young guy like this. You know, I think I might wanna do that, you know. And that was one of the things that got in my head early in life that I wanted to do. And the other thing, I was watching a television program. And I can't think of the actor's name, but he was, the scene of his, his series was that he was a college professor. And he used to wear a sweater all the time. And he was very mild mannered, and he spoke in a very mild mannered. And I said, "Man, that's an idea. I'd sure like to do what he's doing," you know. Well, those two things kind of stuck in my head, you know, for a long time. And I said, "Well, you know, I think I'd like to go to college," you know. And I always worked towards that at that point, you know. And then the things that I learned at Shortridge [Shortridge High School, Indianapolis, Indiana] kind of more or less cemented that desire to go and, go to college.$$How did you decide what college you would go to or apply to?$$Well, the most popular college in Indiana was Indiana University [Bloomington, Indiana]. Everybody, 'cause everybody started talking it up, kids from other areas, friends, and they wanted to go to IU. And so I was in art, and I wanted to go to IU too, but my mother [Sylvia Hall Ransaw] said, "No, you're not going down there your first year. We're gonna send you here to the extension, and you can take your art courses or take some courses over to John Herron [John Herron Art Institute; Herron School of Art and Design] or someplace like that." Well, John Herron was a very fine art school. It was located there too, in Indianapolis [Indiana]. Hale Woodruff and some of the other well known artists had gone to, had been a John Herron. So that's what I did. The first year I decided--and I worked. I went out to the, the state fair, got my first job at Allis Chalmers [Allis Chalmers Manufacturing Company], shining tractors. And I'd jump over the fence, go over there, go to work every day, and that gave me my first paycheck, all went toward college. Everything I started doing was directed toward college. So Mother could see that I was putting in and wanted to go that badly, she was gonna send me, but she wasn't gonna send me down on campus the first year. And it's a good thing she didn't because once I started going down there, I went down there, a lot of my friends who had gone down there partying and playing was coming back. They had flunked out. So when I went down, you know, I was pretty much prepared.$$And so what courses did you take at John Herron?$$I took still life painting, how to paint an apple so that if you put a fly on it, or paint a fly on it, it looks like it's real and all that stuff or one would be attracted to it. Those were the kind of courses I took, very varied (laughter). Then we'd go out sometimes and paint old sheds or old houses, draw 'em, and that was, that was very nice.

Terrence Roberts

Management executive, psychology professor and "Little Rock Nine" member Dr. Terrence James Roberts was born on December 3, 1941 to William L. and Margaret G. Roberts. His father worked for the Veteran’s Administration and his mother ran a catering service in Little Rock, Arkansas. Roberts attended Dunbar Junior High School in the early 1950s, and was only thirteen when the U.S. Supreme Court issued the Brown v. Board of Education decision to integrate schools.

Roberts had begun attending Horace Mann High School when, in 1955, Little Rock School System Superintendent Virgil Blossom submitted a plan to begin gradually integrating the public schools, a proposal the school board approved unanimously. Two years later, after an intensive selection process, the Little Rock Nine, with Roberts among them, entered Central High School. After the white community rallied in support of segregation, Little Rock mayor Woodrow Mann asked President Eisenhower to send federal troops to enforce integration, and one day later, the President sent the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock. Roberts endured conflicts and struggles throughout the 1957-1958 school year at Central High School. The following year, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus and the state legislature closed the school as an attempt to oppose integration. As a result, Roberts moved to Los Angeles, California to live with his relatives, where he completed high school in 1959. In 1967, he received his B.S. degree in sociology, and then received his M.A. degree in social welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1970. In 1976, he received his Ph.D. degree in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. Roberts confronted Governor Faubus on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America television program in 1979, where he argued that Faubus had violated the public trust in 1955 in Little Rock by pushing his segregationist policies. Roberts became the department chair of Antioch University Los Angeles’ psychology program in 1994. In 1994, he again made an appearance on television when seven members of the Little Rock Nine appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, coming face to face with several Caucasian students who had tormented them.

In 1998, the Little Rock School District hired Roberts as their official desegregation consultant; to this day, Roberts provides similar services throughout the United States. The following year, President Clinton awarded Roberts the Congressional Gold Medal, the country’s highest award for civilian contributions to society. Roberts is currently the chief executive officer of Terrence J. Roberts & Associates, a management consulting firm that focuses on equitable practices in both industry and business. He is married to Rita Roberts, Ph.D., and they have two daughters and two grandsons.

Terrence Roberts was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 9, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.201

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/9/2007

Last Name

Roberts

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Central High School

Dunbar Magnet Middle School

Horace Mann High School

Gibbs Magnet Elementary School

University of California, Los Angeles

Southern Illinois University

Los Angeles High School

First Name

Terrence

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

ROB14

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Ernest Green

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Pay Attention.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

12/3/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Community activist Terrence Roberts (1941 - ) was a member of the "Little Rock Nine." He was also the CEO of Terrence J. Roberts & Associates, a management consulting firm that focuses on equitable practices in both industry and business.

Employment

Antioch College

Little Rock School District

Terrence J. Roberts & Associates

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:3444,170:7958,257:9142,277:10104,299:10770,313:18680,422:22740,532:23720,549:27570,634:31560,733:31980,745:33100,762:33380,767:33660,772:49468,1023:51916,1064:52996,1091:56524,1153:70405,1339:70860,1349:75865,1444:82620,1539:83340,1549:87420,1621:87740,1626:88060,1631:89020,1647:92700,1723:108680,1970:109050,1978:111788,2027:113416,2062:116970,2068:129128,2272:130690,2315:131968,2435:133317,2465:134098,2481:134453,2490:134737,2495:136867,2539:137364,2547:141060,2556:141456,2563:145086,2653:146934,2687:149112,2740:151830,2768:160992,2984:164149,3041:169108,3097:172224,3155:172716,3166:179750,3263$0,0:585,6:10784,203:23100,518:23508,526:25140,623:25684,633:26092,640:28280,651:35246,731:36911,750:37355,755:40838,797:42054,833:42738,843:51913,940:53759,972:54043,977:55463,1010:55818,1017:57096,1041:57664,1050:58161,1058:58658,1066:60575,1114:61072,1122:62066,1136:62705,1146:67772,1212:72103,1299:73452,1332:73878,1339:74162,1344:74730,1354:77073,1457:77428,1463:83064,1522:84120,1536:85088,1555:86056,1567:92198,1642:93718,1687:94630,1703:97680,1732:99750,1762:100740,1777:101640,1789:103530,1818:104250,1828:104880,1837:105600,1843:111604,1912:112385,1929:113379,1944:119730,2039:120370,2048:122690,2086:123250,2095:128741,2151:129836,2176:131734,2210:132245,2220:133121,2232:137063,2303:138961,2342:142903,2426:143560,2436:151592,2495:155984,2646:156344,2652:157064,2663:160940,2708
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Terrence Roberts' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Terrence Roberts lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Terrence Roberts describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Terrence Roberts describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Terrence Roberts describes his maternal great-grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Terrence Roberts talks about his paternal relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Terrence Roberts describes his siblings and his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Terrence Roberts remembers his community in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Terrence Roberts describes the sights and sounds of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Terrence Roberts recalls his childhood pastimes

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Terrence Roberts describes his experiences of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Terrence Roberts remembers Gibbs Elementary School in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Terrence Roberts remembers his academic success

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Terrence Roberts recalls Dunbar Junior High School in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Terrence Roberts describes his health education

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Terrence Roberts remembers Horace Mann High School in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Terrence Roberts recalls his early understanding of racial discrimination

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Terrence Roberts describes his experiences at Horace Mann High School

Tape: 1 Story: 19 - Terrence Roberts talks about school segregation in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Terrence Roberts recalls the plan to desegregate the schools of Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Terrence Roberts recalls his decision to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Terrence Roberts remembers preparing for his first day at Central High School

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Terrence Roberts lists the members of the Little Rock Nine

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Terrence Roberts recalls Governor Orval Faubus' response to the Little Rock Nine

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Terrence Roberts describes his expectations about Central High School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Terrence Roberts remembers the school board's screening process

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Terrence Roberts recalls the black community's response to the Little Rock Nine

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Terrence Roberts recalls his first attempt to enter Central High School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Terrence Roberts recalls President Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower's inaction

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Terrence Roberts recalls his first day at Central High School

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Terrence Roberts remembers being protected by the 101st Airborne Division

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Terrence Roberts recalls his reception at Central High School

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Terrence Roberts recalls being harassed by his white peers at Central High School

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Terrence Roberts describes the Little Rock Nine's commitment to nonviolence

Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Terrence Roberts remembers the academics at Central High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Terrence Roberts remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's advice

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Terrence Roberts remembers his family's support

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Terrence Roberts remembers the closure of Arkansas' public schools

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Terrence Roberts recalls Los Angeles High School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Terrence Roberts remembers his academic aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Terrence Roberts remembers University of California, Los Angeles

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Terrence Roberts recalls his studies at the University of California, Los Angeles

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Terrence Roberts remembers his parents' move to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Terrence Roberts recalls transferring to the Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Terrence Roberts remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Terrence Roberts remembers working in child welfare

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Terrence Roberts recalls teaching at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Terrence Roberts remembers operating a mental health program

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Terrence Roberts remembers appearing on 'Good Morning America'

Tape: 3 Story: 15 - Terrence Roberts remembers his white classmate's apology

Tape: 3 Story: 16 - Terrence Roberts recalls working at St. Helena Hospital and Health Center in Deer Park, California

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Terrence Roberts remembers joining the faculty of Antioch University Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Terrence Roberts remembers appearing on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show'

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Terrence Roberts recalls working for the Little Rock School District

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Terrence Roberts remembers his Congressional Gold Medal

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Terrence Roberts describes his book, 'Lessons from Little Rock'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Terrence Roberts reflects upon the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Terrence Roberts describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Terrence Roberts describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Terrence Roberts shares a message to future generations

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Terrence Roberts talks about his education in segregated schools

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Terrence Roberts talk about his spirituality

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Terrence Roberts talks about the U.S. Supreme Court

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Terrence Roberts reflects upon the racial discrimination in the United States

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Terrence Roberts narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

13$1

DATitle
Terrence Roberts recalls his reception at Central High School
Terrence Roberts remembers joining the faculty of Antioch University Los Angeles
Transcript
Now going into the school [Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas], do you, do you still hear or can you recall the, the taunts and the things that were occurring at that time (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Oh yeah. That was constant, continuous, and kids would yell all kinds of things. You know, we were called every kind of nigger they knew how to, to say. I mean they used up all their adjectives. In fact, I used to laugh to myself because they, they had to repeat certain things because they'd run out of adjectives, which didn't get them, gain them any points with me for creativity.$$So you're in school, and there's school faculty; there's teachers there; there's principals there, people that are in charge of the school, the administration. What were their comments, or what were their attitudes to you all while you were there?$$Well, again, see, you have a group of people, and it is virtually impossible to identify them as being of one mind, okay, so there was a continuum as I see it. There were those who were absolutely opposed to our presence there; there were those who were fence riders; and there were some few who were actively supportive. So out of that group though, the stronger voices were those who were opposed. They tended to drown out the other voices. And they, the ones who were very opposed also used social sanctions to get their way. So even if the fence riders or the supporters wanted to do something, they had to face their neighbors, their friends, their relatives at times, who were adamantly opposed, and it was hard to go against that social tide. So, we had to deal with that. Fear was also present. Everybody was afraid, including the teachers.$$Fear for your actual life?$$Oh yeah.$$Now, yeah, I'd like to get some examples of, of what, of what they, of what they may have done, or how did they--I mean what did they do in a classroom setting to show that they were definitely opposed to you being there?$$Well, I suppose my, my English teacher would be the best example of that. She would be the chief antagonist. She said to me one day, "Why do you want to come to our school?"$$Did you recall her name?$$I don't know her name.$$Okay.$$I can't remember it. But she said, "Why do you want to come to our school? Why don't you go back to your own school [Horace Mann High School; Horace Mann Magnet Middle School, Little Rock, Arkansas]?" Which I thought was an odd question from an educator. I mean she knew I think at some point that you could not actually divide up schools based on racial group ownership, just wasn't possible. But any rate, then on, on another occasion in her class, I took up a handful of can openers, those beer can openers with the sharp edges that kids had thrown at me, five or six of them. And I said you know, "These were thrown at me." She said, "Well, I didn't see it." Then she said something very odd. She said, "Did you bring those in?" You know, accusing me of planting the things. Now, on the other extreme, there was my algebra teacher, who was one of the supportive people. And she actually made an announcement on day one when I showed up that there would be absolutely no harassment of me in the classroom, so that set the tone in that classroom.$Okay, it's '94 [1994], and you become the chair of the psychology department in Antioch University in L.A. [Antioch University Los Angeles, Culver City, California]. Can you tell me how that came about from, from, from the Napa Valley [California]? How did you get from Napa Valley?$$Well, there's an interim spot. From '75 [1975] to '85 [1985], I was there in St. Helena [sic.], at the hospital [St. Helena Hospital and Health Center; St. Helena Hospital Napa Valley, Deer Park, California]. Then I actually came back to UCLA [University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California] as an administrator in the school of social work. And from '85 [1985] to '93 [1993], I was the assistant dean in that school. Then I retired; I retired from UCLA. And because I was still relatively young, I decided to look around for something else to do. I found this ad for a department chair in psychology in Antioch. That intrigued me because ordinarily you, you got your department chair from within the ranks; people move up. So I'm thinking they're looking outside for a department chair, there must be a problem here, must be something going that people are afraid to face. And I proved to be right. When I got there, after I'd taken the job, I discovered there was a seventeen-year old problem that had been place, and people were afraid to tackle it. It involved (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) What was it?$$It involved a professor who was doing things he shouldn't be doing. And nobody told me this. I discovered it myself, and then I immediately confronted the guy and told him he had to cease and desist. And he agreed with me. This was on a Monday. However, on Tuesday, he was fuming; he was angry, and he resigned. So then eventually that meant the problem was resolved very quickly. So I spent the next few years being the department chair. But after time, I actually got weary of doing all of the administrative work, so I became co-chair. I, I don't remember the years, but I've been there now a total of fourteen years. So I would imagine about year seven or eight, I became a co-chair. And then about year ten or eleven, I gave up all of those responsibilities, and now I remain on faculty but without any undue administrative responsibilities. I still have a few things I do but nothing like being the chair.$$So now basically it's, it's lecturing a few lectures--$$Lecturing and I run something called the MPIC, which is the master's program independent concentration [Master of Arts in Psychology with Individualized Concentration] for those students who opt not to get a clinical degree but who want to study psychology with a particular focus. I run that program.