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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

Annie Abrams

Educator and civic activist Annie Abrams was born on September 25, 1931 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas to Queen Victoria Annie Katharine Reed. Abrams attended the Peake School in Arkadelphia until she was thirteen years old. Then, she transferred to Dunbar High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1944. Abrams graduated from Dunbar High School in 1950 and earned her certification in education from Dunbar Junior College in Marianna, Arkansas in 1952. Abrams earned her B.A. degree in special education from Philander Smith College in 1962.

In 1956, Abrams accepted a position with the Arkansas Teachers Association (ATA). Through her work with the ATA, Abrams became involved in the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School, working alongside Daisy Bates. She campaigned to rename streets in Little Rock after both Daisy Bates and Little Rock Mayor Charles Bussey. Abrams also led a campaign to rename High Street in honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and established Little Rock’s Martin Luther King, Jr. parade. In 1978, she represented the Young Women’s Christian Association at a United Nations conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Abrams was a member of the Democratic Party in Arkansas and served as treasurer for the Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus. She also served as commissioner for the Fair Housing Commission and was an honorary co-chair of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission. Abrams served as a member of the Little Rock Central High Integration 50th Anniversary Commission, and also served as a board member of the Central Little Rock Community Development Corporation, and was as an advisory board member of the Martin Luther King Heritage and Enrichment Center. In 1978, she was selected to serve as a board member for the national Young Women’s Christian Association.

In 2010, Abrams was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. She was also awarded an honorary doctorate degree and a Community Service Award from Philander Smith College. Abrams was the recipient of the Brooks Hays Award for Civil Rights Champions and the Making of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Award.

Annie Abrams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 18, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.170

Sex

Female

Interview Date

09/18/2017

Last Name

Abrams

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Annie

Birth City, State, Country

Clark County, Arkadelphia

HM ID

ABR03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Ghana and Egypt - wants to visit Rome

Favorite Quote

Service is the rent you pay to live on this earth.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arkansas

Birth Date

9/25/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Little Rock

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Vegetables - Green leaf vegetables

Short Description

Educator and civic activist Annie Abrams (1931 - ) was a member of the Arkansas Teachers Association and worked to desegregate Little Rock public schools.

Favorite Color

Blue

Charles Evers

Civic activist and political leader Charles Evers was born on September 11, 1922 in Decatur, Mississippi to Jess Wright and James Evers. Evers received his B.S. degree from Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in Lorman, Mississippi in 1950.

Evers enlisted in the United States Army and served overseas during World War II. After his return to the U.S., he began working as the first African American disc jockey at WHOC Radio station in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1951. There, he worked for a family-run funeral home, operated a taxi service, a bootleg liquor business and operated the Evers Hotel and Lounge, which featured blues bands. Evers was active in the Mississippi branch of the NAACP and became the chapter’s state voter registration chairman in 1954. He also became involved with the Regional Council of Negro Leadership in 1952, and often spoke at its national conferences. In 1956, Evers moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he operated Club Mississippi, the Subway Lounge and the Palm Gardens nightclubs. After the assassination of his brother, Medgar Evers, he returned to Mississippi in 1963 and became the field director for the Mississippi branch of the NAACP. In 1969, Evers was elected as mayor of Fayette, Mississippi, the first African American to be elected to this position in the state of Mississippi during the post-Reconstruction era. Evers ran unsuccessfully for governor of Mississippi in 1971 and for United States Senate in 1978, each time as an independent candidate. He remained as mayor of Fayette until 1989. After losing the mayoral election in 1989, Evers became the store manager of WMPR 90.1FM in Jackson, Mississippi.

Evers has often been honored for his work in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1969, the NAACP named him Man of the Year. He was also selected as a Mississippi delegate for the Democratic National Convention in 1972. Evers, has also published two autobiographies, Evers, in 1971, and Have No Fear, in 1997. He has served as an informal advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson, George C. Wallace, President Ronald Reagan, and Robert Kennedy.

Evers has seven children; Patricia Murchinson, Charlene Evers-Kreel, Carolyn Crockell, Shelia Evers Blackmond, Yvonne Evers, Wanda Evers and Rachel Evers.

Charles Evers was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 24, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.105

Sex

Male

Interview Date

05/24/2017

Last Name

Evers

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Decatur Consolidated School

Newton High School

Alcorn State University

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Decatur

HM ID

EVE02

Favorite Season

All Seasons Except Winter

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

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

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Mississippi

Birth Date

9/11/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Jackson

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Anything

Short Description

Civic activist and political leader Charles Evers (1922 - ) the brother of slain civil rights leader, Medgar Evers, was the first African American mayor elected in Mississippi post-Reconstruction era.

Employment

WHOC Radio

WMPR Radio

Fayette City Government

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Evers' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Evers lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Evers describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Evers describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Evers lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Evers remembers his community in Decatur, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Evers describes his relationship with his brother, Medgar Evers

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

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Evers talks about his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charles Evers describes his father's lumber stacking business

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Charles Evers recalls his decision to enlist in the U.S. Army

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Charles Evers remembers B.B. King

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Charles Evers recalls his start in the funeral business

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Charles Evers talks about his experiences during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Evers remembers picking pecans with Medgar Evers

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Evers remembers his family traditions

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Evers recalls his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Evers remembers his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Evers remembers the lynching of James Tingle

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Evers remembers his friendship with Jackie Robinson and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Evers remembers returning to Mississippi after World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Evers describes his early involvement with the NAACP

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Evers remembers his reason for moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Evers talks about his employment as a bootlegger in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Evers describes his brothel on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Evers recalls his confrontation with the mafia in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Evers talks about his daughters

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Evers remembers Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in Lorman, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Evers remembers investigating the death of Emmett Till

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Evers describes the assassination of his brother, Medgar Evers

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Evers remembers his role in the NAACP after Medgar Evers' death

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Evers remembers the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles Evers recalls his decision to run for mayor of Fayette, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Charles Evers remembers the Selma to Montgomery March and the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Evers recalls his election as mayor of Fayette, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Evers remembers his gubernatorial campaign in Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Evers talks about the acquittal of Medgar Evers' murderer

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Evers talks about William Waller and Barack Obama

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Evers talks about leaving the Democratic Party

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Evers remembers his campaign for U.S. Senate

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Evers describes his relationship with President Ronald Reagan

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Evers remembers President Richard Nixon

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charles Evers reflects upon his contributions to the City of Fayette, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Charles Evers talks about joining the Republican Party

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Charles Evers talks about his work in the radio industry

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Evers describes his management of WHOC Radio in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Evers talks about his support for President Donald John Trump

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Evers reflects upon his legacy and message to future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Evers reflects upon his family

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Evers narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

8$8

DATitle
Charles Evers describes his early involvement with the NAACP
Charles Evers remembers the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy
Transcript
So, when do you get involved with civil rights or the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People]?$$Medgar [Medgar Evers] and I started NAACP, before I went, before I went to Chicago [Illinois]. Here's what happened. Roy Wilkins, Gloster Current [Gloster B. Current], the so called big shot darkies who's head of the NAACP, had heard and, and President Kennedy [President John Fitzgerald Kennedy] had heard about Medgar and I trying to get Negroes to do certain things. Let me tell you how got that, here I go again. One day Medgar and I was in Decatur [Mississippi] standing on the courthouse square. I like to tell this story. And an old white man, half bent over, walk by me and look at me and said, "Let me tell you niggers something." I flinched and Medgar said, "No, no Charles [HistoryMaker Charles Evers]." "You all niggers won't never be nothing. Until you all learn how to vote." I looked at him, "You hear me? Until you learn how to vote." I say, "What do you mean by that?" He said, "Who's the mayor?" I said, "I don't know." "Who the sheriff?" I said, "I don't know." "You see what I'm telling you? You see what I'm telling you niggers?" So, Medgar kept telling me, "No Charles, no Charles," 'cause he, he's always the peace maker. So, he said, "Until you all learn how to vote, you ain't gonna never be nothing." And that stuck with me. And I told her [sic.], I say, "You know what?" I went home and I asked my women, then they didn't know. And they didn't know, I mean I think they knew but they didn't know, they just knew of them. And from that day on, we went back, went back to Alcorn [Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College; Alcorn State University, Lorman, Mississippi] and started getting our school mates to go back home in their neighborhood up in Delta [Mississippi Delta] and get our folks and go register and they had hell broke out. That's when we started. And John Kennedy was president and just become president. And he heard about the Evers boys. Course, I mean, 'cause at that time, for, for, for niggers trying to register in Mississippi was, that was headlines and he got up and he, and he called Medgar, President Kennedy called Medgar. And Medgar went and met with him and they became friends. And then when he was killed and Bobby [Robert F. Kennedy] and I were friends before when that sort of put the family together. Between Medgar and John and me and Bobby. And then when John was killed--they both came to Medgar's grave, and when John was killed I went up and Ethel [Ethel Skakel Kennedy] and we had, by that time we had gotten to be good friends, the Kennedys and, and me. And that's how it happened one of those kinds of crazy ways.$$All right.$$And then we, then after that I became--Medgar became head of the NAACP.$$Okay, well (unclear) let me see we're in 1948 now. So let's, let's before we go forward. You all start the NAACP, now was first chartered in, in Vicksburg [Mississippi] right? And then they had to recharter it again? But, do you know about the Misssis- Mississippi State Conference, which led a lot of the, the demonstrations and voter registrations (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Medgar was the head of that, yeah.$$--in Mississippi.$$Yeah.$$Okay.$$And Medgar was the one that lead that. 'Cause became Medgar took over it was quiet, it was very quiet. But, Medgar became the field secretary of the NAACP.$$Do you know these names like Aaron Henry?$$Oh yes indeed. Aaron was president of the branch up in Clarksdale [Mississippi]. He was the first black elected official in state--Mississippi State Legislature.$$Okay.$$My dear friend.$$And, and what about Winson Hudson?$$Oh yeah. The Hudson sist- big women they call them like they call them the big women, two sisters. And they all from--they were over Leake County, Carthage [Mississippi].$$Okay. And the C.C. Bryant?$$Oh yeah, C.C. them was down there in Hattiesburg [Mississippi].$$Okay, so they all these were all people who worked (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) All of them, part of--$$Now, C.C. worked with the--establishing the first Freedom School or what?$$Yeah.$$Tell me of what, what was a Freedom School?$$Freedom was just a school trying to teach us how to become citizens what to do, and what a citizen should do. And C.C. headed up in Hattiesburg. And he's gone too now. All of them gone, I'm the only one left. Isn't that something, and, and I look around all the time say, "Charles [HistoryMaker Charles Evers] are you next. Stop kidding yourself," I'm not kidding myself. Because all them old friends of mine, all my dear friends gone. 'Cause we were in there together. And I when I was in Philadelphia I started a movement in Philadelphia, Mississippi. With my funeral home [Charles Evers Funeral Home]. And I, and I, I'm black disc jockey ever worked in a white radio station [WHOC Radio, Philadelphia, Mississippi].$$Right, that comes next. I was just gonna ask you about one other person and that was Gilbert Mason [HistoryMaker Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr.]?$$Oh yeah Gilbert yeah from--he died a few years ago.$$Okay.$$Dr. Mason.$$And, and what did he do down in Biloxi [Mississippi].$$He was the pres- he was a doctoring, he was a doctor, he was president of the NAACP in the Biloxi branch.$$Okay, so they wanted to inte- integrate the beaches down there?$$Yeah, yeah we all inte- yeah he integrated, he lead the, I was there with him. He led the, the march on the beaches. We couldn't go on the beaches down there. But, Dr. Mason along with the rest of us. He led us and we followed him on the beaches. And they (unclear) but see, I ain't never turned the other cheek. And we weren't supposed to, but I'd fight them, I'd fight them rascals like nothing. And we all got fighting down there and totally, finally we totally integrated the beaches. Now we can go, you can go around there now. And slip on your, your bathing suit and sit down there as long as anybody else, there, whites all around you don't think nothing about it.$$Okay.$$Under Gilbert Mason, sure did.$After that, then Kennedy [President John Fitzgerald Kennedy] is killed, and--$$Oh god.$$--you talk about that you were friends, you know, with the, Medgar [Medgar Evers] was friends with John and you were very good friends with Bobby [Robert F. Kennedy]. So, tell me what, what that was like? And about your re- tell us about your relationship with the Kennedy family?$$Well, we just became like Evers family, Kennedy family, that's all, that's all I can say. I'm close to Ethel [Ethel Skakel Kennedy] and all them now. In fact, I was with Bobby when he was shot, I was there when he was killed.$$Were you?$$I was right there, I was right there, yeah. When he was killed. We were in Los Angeles [California], campaign, we'd won the election. And when, and the when he went down stairs to the big ball, down to receive it and greet the people. And he said, "Come on Charles [HistoryMaker Charles Evers]." "I'll watch you on TV." "Oh come on damn it." I said, "Okay I'll be on down." He and Ethel and the rest of family went on down before me. I said, "Well hell, I'll go on down." I know I like that cracker, used to call him old peckerwood cracker all the time. I knew that cracker (unclear). So, I went on down by myself and I always stand right in front of him because he spoke too long. I always, I always do this (gesture) to him, when time was up. And so, I, I was came in as I always do, stood right by in front of him. He was on the stage speaking. And when he got--kept going, I (gesture) he was always watch me 'cause, I knew he's, he's, "Well I see it's time for me to go, I guess I spoke too long," or something like that. And thanked the people for it over and over again. And he turned, I thought he was coming down and let's go out the front [of the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, California]. When he turned he went back through the ki- I never understood that to this day, why'd he go out through the kitchen. I guess that's the way he was supposed to go. Went back through the, that's where they shot him back in the door. And now I heard the shot. I thought it was balloon, had balloons everywhere. And so I heard, "They shot the senator." I broke on the stage he was laying I picked him up just held him. (Unclear), "Bobby please don't leave me, please don't leave me, please don't leave me us Bobby," and Ethel is screaming, I told Rosey Grier, "Hold Ethel." And, "Somebody call, call an ambulance, call a hearse quick, an ambulance." So, we got an ambulance I went with him to the hospital I stayed with him. He died I was right there. I, and we carried him back to New York [New York]. And that's another violated, then the men I saw going in to sit, I said no, they put in a casket, they, in there with the casket from New York, from California to New York. Right beside Bobby all the time. And then we left there on the train coming back from there. We had nothing but a stop, they brought him back to, to Washington [D.C.] to bury him. You know I couldn't go to that funeral. I just couldn't, I tried and I just couldn't. And that was the last time I saw him.$$Oh okay.$$I don't want to talk about it.$$Okay, all right.$$I'm sorry. We were so close and he believed in me and I believed in him. He, he would have made the greatest president. I'm sorry.$$No, that's, that's fine.$$And here gone, my brother and him. I have nobody left. So, but the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh. That's what I have live by that. I'm sorry. But that, that's why I'm very remorseful about Bobby and Medgar so. And Ethel and I are supposed to go up there next month. She's down in Florida right now.$$Who is that?$$Ethel, Bobby's wife, Ethel Kennedy.

Reverend Marcia Dyson

Civic activist and public relations expert Marcia L. Dyson was born on October 29, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Arthur J. Dixon Elementary School and Bowen High School in Chicago, Illinois. Dyson received her B.S. degree in business administration from the University of Illinois in 1983, and went on to complete the University of Chicago Executive Business program.

In 1973, Dyson was hired as a teacher at the Holy Angels School in Chicago, Illinois. She then worked as an external auditor for James Fields CPA. From 1980 to 1982, Dyson served as the first chief of staff for Reverend Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s Operation Push International Trade Bureau. She then briefly served as Black Family Magazine’s community relations director before establishing Marcia L. Dyson Public Relations in 1982. From 1983 to 1985, Dyson worked as an account executive for Aaron Cushman. She was then named senior manager for Margie Korshak Associates in 1985, and then worked as senior vice president of R. J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations from 1987 until 1990.

In 1990, Dyson was hired as the public information officer for the Mayor's Office of Special Events for the City of Chicago, where she hosted foreign dignitaries and served as the liaison to the Illinois Tourism Board, McCormick Authority Convention Center Board, Illinois Film Office and Chicago's religious community. In 1992, Dyson co-founded and served as president and CEO of M and M Dyson, LLC, an international consulting firm. She also founded Women’s Global Initiative, a for-profit organization that works to enhance the lives of women. In addition, Dyson became an ordained minister in 1999.

Dyson served as a presidential scholar at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina; was a social justice think tank executive board member for Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas; and served as an advisor to Howard University’s international programs. She has also contributed to Essence magazine, New Deal 2.0, The Grio, The Root and Huffington Post online media, and has been a reoccurring political strategist on MSNBC’s Martin Bashir Show.

Dyson was selected to serve on the Women’s Global Summit Leadership board, and co-hosted the Africa’s First Ladies Summit in the Washington, D.C. area. She also helped create a Modern Narrative for Muslim Women. Dyson was named the first Chaplain for the Coalition of Hope, and has been an executive advisor and consultant to the Conference of Black Mayors. She was also a consultant to the Clinton Foundation on behalf of the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC). Dyson served as a board member of Nap Advanse (We Advance), and has also been a member of many women's organizations, including the Black Women's Round Table, Face to Face, and the Middle East Peace Civic Forum.

She has received numerous awards, including a Unita Award from the National Conference of Black Mayors; the U.S. Coast Guard’s Citizens Award; an Appreciation Award from the Institute for Diversity-Health; and a Humanitarian Award from the Global Institute.

Dyson is married to Michael Eric Dyson. They reside in Washington, D.C.

Marcia L. Dyson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 21, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.092

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/21/2014

Last Name

Dyson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Louise

Schools

Francis Parkman Elementary School

Carrie Jacobs Bond Elementary School

Arthur J. Dixon Elementary School

Hirsch Metropolitan High School

DePaul University

Bowen Environmental Studies High School

University of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago State University

University of Chicago

First Name

Marcia

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

DYS03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Haiti

Favorite Quote

I Am My Sister's Keeper.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

10/29/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Macaroni And Cheese

Short Description

Civic activist and public relations chief executive Reverend Marcia Dyson (1951 - ) worked on the political campaigns of Barack Obama, Harold Washington and Hillary Clinton, and founded the Women’s Global Initiative.

Employment

Holy Angels

James Fields CPA

Operation PUSH

Black Family Magazine

Marcia L Dyson Public Relations

Aaron Cushman

Margie Koshak Ass.

R.J. Dale Advertising

City of Chicago

M and M Dyson

Clinton Foundation for Reconstruction of Haiti

Ordained Minister

Favorite Color

Pale Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Marcia Dyson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Marcia Dyson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about her mother's move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about her stepfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her mother's marriages

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her likeness to her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers living in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Marcia Dyson lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers living in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes the Chatham community in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her involvement with black militant organizations

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her experiences at Arthur Dixon Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers Hirsch High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Marcia Dyson recalls her experiences at James H. Bowen High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about her motivation to join the Nation of Islam

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her interest in math and science

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about the Black Peoples Topographical Research Centers

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Marcia Dyson recalls her decision to leave the Black Peoples Topographical Research Center

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about the legacy of the Black Peoples Topographical Research Centers

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers teaching at the Holy Angels Catholic School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about the Communiversity

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Marcia Dyson recalls joining the Operation PUSH International Trade Bureau

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her decision to leave Operation PUSH

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about her exploration of religion

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Marcia Dyson recalls her start in the public relations field

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her experiences at Margie Korshak and Associates

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Marcia Dyson recalls working on Harold Washington's first mayoral campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Marcia Dyson reflects upon Harold Washington's mayoralty, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Marcia Dyson reflects upon Harold Washington's mayoralty, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers attending the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her time at R.J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers working with Mayor Richard M. Daley

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers meeting her husband, Michael Eric Dyson

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her marketing activities for Barack Obama and Michael Eric Dyson

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Marcia Dyson recalls her activism in Providence, Rhode Island

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her experiences in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her introduction to racial violence in the South

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Reverend Marcia Dyson recalls serving on the executive committee of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about her move to New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers writing about sexual exploitation in black religious communities

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Marcia Dyson reflects upon her interest in black spirituality

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about her writing and speaking engagements in the early 2000s

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes the Coalition of Hope Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her advocacy for the victims of Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers founding the Women's Global Initiative

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Marcia Dyson reflects upon her support for Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about the response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Marcia Dyson reflects upon the importance of local politics

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about her work with the African First Ladies Initiative

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her role in the Middle East Peace Working Group

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes the focus on entrepreneurship at the Women's Global Initiative

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about the World Leaders Forum Dubai

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Marcia Dyson reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Reverend Marcia Dyson reflects upon her relationship with her father

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about her children

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Reverend Marcia Dyson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Marcia Dyson narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her involvement with black militant organizations
Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her time at R.J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations
Transcript
As a teenager, now you had a teenage life that sounds a lot like a friend of mine we were discussing, Pat Simpson Turner [Patricia Simpson Turner].$$Yes.$$Who's a part of a--did you become a part of the topographical research center [Black Peoples Topographical Research Center, Chicago, Illinois] too?$$I--gave my mother [Rosa Fields Smith] a heart attack. The Nation of Islam, they wanted to adopt me. I think I was the only girl in the '60s [1960s] who would leave the house in a mini skirt, go into a phone booth, which we had phone booths back then, and change into a long skirt, long sleeves and a scarf, and go off to Mosque 51 [sic.]. And I was so great at what I was doing and learning the language and taking in the culture of, of this new religion, that when they found out, the minister found out that my mother was displeased with my joining the Nation, that he and sister Sarah [ph.] were going to adopt me. But I was inquisitive as always, and asked them some questions around the message to the black man and black superiority, of some kind of form or fashion. I was--put in my hand was 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X' [Malcom X and Alex Haley]. And I was so excited. I was working at Herbert Muhammad's [Jabir Herbert Muhammad] Tastee Freez in fact and I was telling the brothers when they came back from a meeting, I wanted to take a hajj, I wanted to go to Mecca [Saudi Arabia]. And they said, "How do I know these things?" I said "'Cause I'm reading this book by Malcolm X, who is this man?" And they told me that I was committing treason and that he was a traitor. And because I had that closeness to the minister, I sat down and asked him those questions about Malcolm X. And I asked him about you know, him saying that God was a God of all men and that he saw white men with blue eyes and they were all--there was only one God and we were all God's children. And because I've always been this kind of Marcia Dyson [HistoryMaker Reverend Marcia Dyson], sort of in your face and inquisitive and adventurous, they put me out. So I left as Marcia X striving for my Marcia Shabazz, my chosen name if I'd completed it because they told me I had too much power and influence over the young women, and I asked too many questions and I was not a girl of faith. And so that really sort of busted my bubble because I was seeking something then. So my future brother-in-law, my current boyfriend at that time who became my first husband and my children's father, came back from Vietnam War and joined the topographical center. And he (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Now Vietnam vets founded the topographical center.$$Yes, that's right. And Jimmy [ph.] was a Ivy League sort of guy, the (unclear), Brooks Brothers shirt and khaki pants and I'm going like wow, what, what changed your life to go into this deep black-centric sort of phenomena happening in Chicago [Illinois]? And so I followed him in there blindly. Did this study, took the tours, you know, this topographical tours in Wisconsin and you know all of a sudden becoming aware of the man and scaring my mother again to death because her adventurous daughter was now going into these more dangerous waters because it was a little bit more militant. I used to call it quasi-Black Panther [Black Panther Party] to explain it to my friends who didn't understand what the topogra- topographical center was, but one thing I learned about it was cooperative communities. We had our own school. We had--would go to the farms together. We had fish shops and record stores and we worked this together. I'm not embarrassed to say I used to sell 8 track tapes collectively with some of the women and men at the "L" station [elevated train]. I've done it all, so. But it was very entrepreneurial. We bought buildings in South Shore [Chicago, Illinois] when there was a migration of the Jewish community into the suburbs more, or further north.$$Right, 'cause you're right. South Shore was Jewish largely (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) It was Jewish. And at twenty-five I bought a building with my first husband for twenty-five thousand dollars on 68th [Street] and Paxton [Avenue].$$So your first husband was a member of the top- ?$$He was also a member of the topographical center, yes.$$All right. And I know they built a black martial art--$$Black martial arts, yeah, it was all of it. We owned a good piece of property, you know, collectively, in South Shore. We helped to develop with our collective money, the South Shore Bank [ShoreBank, Chicago, Illinois] where people like Carol Adams [HistoryMaker Carol L. Adams] who took the lead on that to stabilize it. And these were very intelligent, young, African Americans. They had Ph.D.'s, they were going to school, they were, you know, accountants. So we had a little bit of a great community within the South Shore area during the early and mid-'70s [1970s].$$Okay. Yeah the South Shore was making that transition. I didn't realize it when I lived there, you know, how recently it had been Jewish.$$Yeah it was, yes.$And in '87 [1987] also you changed employment again and started working for Robert J. Dale (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, I did. And I wanted to do that because of the things that I was doing for Margie Korshak [Margie Korshak and Associates; Margie Korshak, Inc., Chicago, Illinois]. Again, I was the only black person in the agency of forty women, all young Jewish women. And it was a wonderful position to have. I learned a lot. But it was also stressful because it was--I would say a little bit racist too. You know, anything that happened in agency, the black woman did it, you know. And I was the oldest person as well. But because I had a sense of community and had so many various experiences, I could do the work quick because I knew how to connect people. And they couldn't believe that the black woman could do something successful unless she honestly slept with somebody, you know, and that to me was very demeaning. And when I met Bob Dale, who was also my profess- one of my professors in marketing at Chicago State University [Chicago, Illinois], he hired me and appreciated what I had done for Margie Korshak and wanted to bring those skills and consecutiveness to the agency [R.J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations, Chicago, Illinois]. And I was more than happy to go there.$$Okay. Yeah, [HistoryMaker] Robert Dale, one of the advertising, the black ad agencies, directors in Chicago [Illinois]. So what was it like working for Robert J. Dale? What, what ad campaigns did you work on?$$We worked on the Illinois State Lottery, which was great. The executive director happened to have been African American as well. We worked a little bit somewhat on McDonald's [McDonald's Corporation]. But what was great about the Illinois State Lottery is that it was at a time when corporations during Black History Month only wanted to talk about the black kings and queens of Africa. They wanted to talk about the black athlete or the black businessperson. But I collaborated with Bob and told him again from my teaching experiences and always connecting back to the community, that our children were undereducated and I saw so much promise in the kids because of my own children [Mwata Dyson and Maisha Dyson Daniels] and some of their classmates as well. So we created a campaign called the Illinois Young Black Achievers. We didn't want them to be stellar students. These were the students who got up and went to school with bullets pouring over their heads, whose parents were in prison or drug infested communities. And we made it statewide because Illinois lottery was statewide. And what was amazing about that is that we got applications from people who were not the best writers, who told us stories about kids who got up early in the morning, who didn't have clothes, who mother may have been on the streets, but yet they went to school, was a B student. To me that was an achiever. And Mr. Johnson [HistoryMaker John H. Johnson] was alive at the time. And Mr. Johnson let us host these kids to have a judging, and Oprah Winfrey was one of my honorary chairpersons for that honor, to honor these students. And so when they selected these students who were not the stellar students, who were not the children from middle class environments, but came throughout the state. We had some of those students; we didn't try to ostracize those students who were great, but I really wanted the opportunity for those unseen children who had potential to know that, so their commu- they could go back to their community and have a badge of honor that other kids in their neighborhood might want to aspire to. What was so great about that, was that we took those students down to the state capitol [Illinois State Capitol, Springfield, Illinois] because Illinois lottery was a state entity. And the legislators in their communities who did nothing for those kids, had to acknowledge them because they were actually placed in the records of Illinois as being Illinois Young Black Achievers. They were written in their state's history, and they had to take pictures with them. That to me was one of my proudest moments in marketing. Those kids being acknowledged, being seen, the parents who wrote those letters in broken English being heard, was one of the most important things to me in my career as a marketing person.$$Yeah that's--so what did--are there some follow up stories to some of the kids that were involved that?$$Only the fact that that program itself continued. The students, no because again I'm moving on to other things and trying to engage children like the Beatrice Foods Marathon [Chicago Marathon], Chicago's marathon, the same thing. It was a sleepy marathon. Ten thousand people would come from around the world to run in Chicago. I looked at the city map where they were running. Most of the tour was around projects, and no black people were out there. So I was able to take some of those world citizens to the schools in the ghetto so that they can know off the map what that person language was like, what that person's culture was like. They got a chance to meet people from Ethiopia, they got a chance to eat their food. We had community events. The bands came out and lined the, the track, the, the racecourse of the marathon. Harold Washington was alive, he came out and we took pictures with the banners. And it because a lot--it was written up in Wall Street Journal [The Wall Street Journal]. And from that, we trained some of the children in the projects for the marathon to actually run in the marathon. Never had happened before. Some of them almost finished, I mean never a winner, but a lot of them finished at a very early pace. And from that training, too came Midnight Basketball 'cause we used basketball as one of the sports to train the children to run. So that was another proud, proud moment.

Harry Edwards

Sociology professor and civic activist Harry Edwards was born in 1942 in East St. Louis, Illinois to Harry and Adelaide Edwards. Edwards grew up in East St. Louis, Illinois as the second child in a family of eight children. He attended the newly integrated East St. Louis Senior High School where he excelled in sports. After graduating from high school in 1960, Edwards moved to California where he attended Fresno City College. Edwards then transferred to San Jose State University where he majored in sociology and graduated summa cum laude with his B.A. degree in sociology in 1964. In 1966, Edwards went on to receive his M.A. degree in sociology from Cornell University where he was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. In 1970, he received his Ph.D. degree in sociology from Cornell University where he helped to found United Black Students for Action and the Olympic Project for Human Rights.

Due to his negative experiences as a student athlete on predominately white university campuses, Edwards became heavily involved in exposing the relationship between race and sports in society. By the late 1960s, Edwards began actively organizing protests and demonstrations like the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute at Mexico City involving John Carlos, Peter Norman and Tommie Smith. In 1970, Edwards was hired at the University of California, Berkeley where he taught courses on race relations, the sociology of sport and the family. In 1985, he was hired as a consultant for the San Francisco 49ers and developed the Minority Coaches Internship and Outreach Program with Coach Bill Walsh. Two years later, Edwards became special assistant to the Commissioner of Major League Baseball to help increase representation of minorities and women in baseball. From 1987 through 1995, Edwards worked with the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association, specializing in player personnel counseling and programs. The programs and methods he developed for dealing with challenges facing professional football players were adopted by the entire National Football League in 1992 and in 2000, he retired from the University of California, Berkeley.

Edwards has written extensively on the connections between race, sport and society. He is the author of "The Struggle That Must Be: An Autobiography," "The Sociology of Sports," "The Revolt of the Black Athlete," and countless articles on race, sports, and the sociology of sport in books, academic and popular press. Considered a leading authority on the sociology of sports and diversity, Edwards has appeared on nationally syndicated television shows and documentaries while traveling extensively to perform public engagements. He has been the recipient of several awards and honorary doctorate degrees.

Harry Edwards was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 6, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.008

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/6/2011 |and| 11/9/2012 |and| 11/6/2013

Last Name

Edwards

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

East St. Louis High School

San Jose State University

Cornell University

First Name

Harry

Birth City, State, Country

East Saint Louis

HM ID

EDW03

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

North Coast of California

Favorite Quote

Keep The Faith.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

11/22/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Berkeley

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Grilled Salmon

Short Description

Civic activist and sociology professor Harry Edwards (1942 - ) is known for his contributions to the study of the sociology of sport, his role as a consultant for professional sports teams, and his involvement in the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute in Mexico City.

Employment

San Francisco 49ers

University of California, Berkeley

Favorite Color

Black

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Harry Edwards' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Harry Edwards discusses his maternal family in Southern Illinois, part 1

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Harry Edwards talks about his maternal family, part 2, racism in the United States and the 1917 East St. Louis riots

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Harry Edwards describes his father and his paternal family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Harry Edwards describes his father and his father's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Harry Edwards talks about his father's life after his release from prison during the 1930s

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Harry Edwards describes his parents' marriage, siblings, and earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Harry Edwards describes losing a family friend in a railroad accident

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Harry Edwards talks about his first encounter with the police and integrating East St. Louis High School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Harry Edwards describes the sights, sounds, and smell of his neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Harry Edwards talks about his early education, elementary school and teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Harry Edwards describes East St. Louis, Illinois during the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Harry Edwards describes his father's love of books, his favorite teachers and the academic expectations of him as a student athlete

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Harry Edwards talks about his parents' separation

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Harry Edwards talks about his strained relationship with his mother and his home life after his parents separated

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Harry Edwards compares his early home life to that of his neighbors

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Harry Edwards talks about his sports heroes, broader influences and the effects of segregation on high school sports

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Harry Edwards continues discussing his sports heroes and East St. Louis High School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Harry Edwards describes his relationship and conversations he had with his father and mentor

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Harry Edwards describes neighborhood businesses in East St. Louis and his experience being part of the integration of East St. Louis High School

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Harry Edwards discusses the change in his relationship with his father

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Harry Edwards describes his academic experience in high school and his plans to attend college

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Harry Edwards talks about conflicts he had with students, coaches and authority figures

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Harry Edwards discusses his exposure to the Civil Rights Movement and his traveling to California for college

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Harry Edwards talks about his experience with the admissions process in California and his first year of college

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Harry Edwards describes the benefits of attending community college and his experience at San Jose State University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Harry Edwards talks about the 1960 Olympics and meeting several Olympic athletes at San Jose State University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Harry Edwards discusses his challenges as a black student athlete in sociology

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Harry Edwards discusses sociology and the lack of black emphasis

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Harry Edwards links the incorporation of an African American emphasis into sociology, as part of the larger social and civil rights movements

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Harry Edwards describes attending Cornell University under his Woodrow Wilson Fellowship

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Harry Edwards discusses being recruited by the National Football League and pursuing graduate school before professional sports

Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe

Photographer Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe was born on July 9, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois. Art has been a life-long pursuit for Moutoussamy-Ashe. Her mother, Elizabeth Moutousammy, an interior designer and father, John Moutoussamy, an architect, encouraged her artistic side. Taking advantage of the opportunities available to them in Chicago, she began her formal training at age eight when her parents enrolled her in classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. When it was time for undergraduate studies, Moutoussamy-Ashe moved east to New York and received a B.F.A. degree in photography from The Cooper Union School of Art. After graduating in 1975, she worked as a graphic artist and photojournalist for WNBC-TV. In October 1976, Moutoussamy-Ashe was hired to take photographs at the United Negro College Fund tennis event, where she met tennis great, Arthur Ashe. The two married on February 20, 1977.

Throughout her career, Moutoussamy-Ashe has had frequent group and solo exhibitions at museums and galleries around the world including the Leica Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York; the Smithsonian and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.; Galerie Herve Odermat in Paris and The Excelsior in Florence among others. Publications such as Life Magazine, The New York Times, People and the Associated Press have also featured her photography, disseminating it to a wider audience. In 2001, she hosted the documentary Crucible of the Millennium, which PBS broadcast nationwide.

Moutoussamy-Ashe also taught photography courses at the high school and college levels and continues to lecture about this subject matter at many educational and cultural institutions. Outside of the field of photography, she has been actively engaged in philanthropic efforts involving social, health, and community-based issues. As an activist and civic leader, she has served as the director of the Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of AIDS, a former trustee of her alma mater, The Cooper Union, and a one-time Alternate Representative of the United States to the United Nations, a presidential appointment.

Her photographs contain strong narrative and documentary elements. Moutoussamy-Ashe has displayed a proclivity towards African and African American art. This is evident in the three full collections documenting her travels in West Africa or her book about the Gullah community of South Carolina, Daufuskie Island: A Photographic Essay. She reveals her immediate personal experience in Daddy and Me, which features photos of her late husband, Arthur Ashe, and her daughter, Camera. She has published numerous books featuring not only her own work, but also that of unknown black photographers of the past. In 2001, her fourth book of photographs was published, titled The African Flower: The Singing of Angels. The narrative of her photographs extends beyond a picture or a series of pictures to create a greater context for the artist herself within photography, womanhood and the African American experience.

Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 15, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.008

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/15/2007 |and| 4/15/2007

Last Name

Moutoussamy-Ashe

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Schools

Burnside Elementary Scholastic Academy

Chicago International Charter - Bucktown Campus

The College of New Rochelle

Cooper Union

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Jeanne

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

MOU01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anguilla

Favorite Quote

If It Is To Be, It Is Up To Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/9/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chocolate

Short Description

Photographer and civic activist Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe (1951 - ) had many exhibitions and publications that captured the African and African American experience through photography. Wife of the late tennis star Arthur Ashe, she served as the director of the Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of AIDS.

Employment

Marshall Field

Johnson Publishing Company

NBC

Favorite Color

Sage Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe and her aunt list their favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe recalls her paternal grandfather's move from Guadeloupe to New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her aunt's home

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe recalls her paternal grandfather's move from New Orleans to Chicago

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jeanne Ashe-Moutoussamy describes her father's childhood in Chicago

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe recalls her father's relationship with John F. White

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her father's architectural work in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her father's architectural work in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe's aunt describes her teaching career in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe's aunt reflects upon her teaching career

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her aunt's interest in dancing

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe's aunt remembers her upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe's aunt reflects upon her life

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her mother's family background

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe remembers her mother's talent for singing

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her maternal grandmother

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her mother's childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe remembers her parents' marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe recalls visiting the Art Institute of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe remembers becoming interested in photography

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe recalls her schools in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe recalls her favorite school subjects

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her college education, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her college education, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe remembers the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her style of photography

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe talks about the types of cameras

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jeanne Ashe-Moutoussamy talks about the significance of visual images

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe remembers her first exhibition of photographs

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe recalls Arthur Ashe's victory at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes Arthur Ashe's reception at West Point

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe remembers meeting Arthur Ashe for the first time

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe talks about Arthur Ashe's congenital heart condition

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe recalls traveling to South Africa with Arthur Ashe in 1977

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes Arthur Ashe's views on apartheid

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe recalls a lesson from Arthur Ashe

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her first book project, 'Daufuskie Island,' pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe talks about preserving the Gullah culture

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her second book project, 'Viewfinders'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe's interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her first book project, 'Daufuskie Island,' pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes the impact of development on Daufuskie Island

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe talks about republishing her book, 'Daufuskie Island'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her research on African American female photographers, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her research on African American female photographers, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe recalls the impact of her second book, 'Viewfinders'

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her family life in the 1980s

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe remembers Arthur Ashe's HIV diagnosis

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes how Arthur Ashe contracted AIDS

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe recalls Arthur Ashe's decision not to disclose his AIDS diagnosis

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe recalls Arthur Ashe's announcement of his AIDS diagnosis

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her children's book, 'Daddy and Me'

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her life after Arthur Ashe's death in 1996

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe talks about her grieving process

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe remembers publishing her book, 'The African Flower'

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes how Arthur Ashe might have responded to Don Imus' racist comments

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe talks about the Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of AIDS

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe recalls creating a website in memory of Arthur Ashe

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes the Arthur Ashe Tennis Center and Library in Soweto, South Africa

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her enjoyment of film photography

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe reflects upon her life

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes her future projects

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe talks about her daughter, Camera Ashe

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe talks about the death of her aunt

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

8$3

DATitle
Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe recalls visiting the Art Institute of Chicago
Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe remembers meeting Arthur Ashe for the first time
Transcript
(Simultaneous) Do you have any interest in taking photographs in those days? I mean when you were little (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) No, I was definitely into art though and my father [John Warren Moutoussamy, Sr.] recognized that early on. On Saturday morning since I was eight years old my dad had me going to the Art Institute of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois] for the early Saturday morning classes. And I remember going with my mom [Elizabeth Hunt Moutoussamy] who would take me on the--on the bus that stopped on 89th Street and King Drive [Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive], or South Park [South Parkway], and would stop right in front of the Art Institute and what I thought was fifty stairs leading up--because when you're really young it seems like this mammoth you know accomplishment to get up all these stairs to get into this gigantic museum--I was completely awed by it. Of course I was there about five years ago and I counted every step and there were eleven (laughter) even though it felt like eleven hundred. I would go to art classes and--so he really encouraged my love of art very early on and eventually my mom would just walk me to the bus stop on 89th Street and South Park and put me on the bus. I'd have the same bus driver every Saturday and he'd make me sit right up front and we'd get to the Art Institute. He'd say, "Have a good day." It was just great. And I'd get off the bus--I was maybe you know eight or nine years old and walk up the stairs and when I'd come out I would be escorted to the bus and put back on Chicago public transportation and it would stop right at the bus stop where my mom would meet me. It was very much timed. I remember that and I remember walking through the Art Institute as a little kid, just being completely awed by the magnitude of this place and the arts. And there was one room that I particularly liked. There was a--remember going through the museum, of course it's a completely different place now, to get to the classrooms. There was a hallway that veered off to the right, and there was a miniature furniture room. And it was a--everything was dark in the room. And to look at the miniature furniture you had to look in these little boxes that were lit like little rooms. But the entire room itself was dark and I thought that was the most incredible, mysterious room--to go in there and look at all those little images. They were like little rooms unto themselves and I would escape in that and inevitably be late for my class but that was sort of my sidetrack that I would do and then walk through and see the--the real images of the posters that my parents had. Picassos [Pablo Picasso] and Van Goghs [Vincent Van Gogh] that they had prints that they had on the walls in my home growing up. To actually see the original work in the museum and the connection that that was very much a part of my life and very much encouraged.$Now you met him in 1976?$$I did.$$What happened?$$Good question, what happened (laughter)?$$(Laughter) See how skilled I am here (laughter).$$We met in October of 1976 at a United Negro College Fund [UNCF] tennis event that he actually hosted in his name to raise money for United Negro College Fund. I was still working at NBC [WNBC-TV, New York, New York] at the time having graduated from Cooper Union [Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, New York] and I stayed on at NBC in the graphics department and was doing more and more photography and [HistoryMaker] Gordon Parks was playing in this United Negro College Fund event. And Gordon said, "You know--," he called me Moutoussamy [HistoryMaker Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe]--, "you know, Moutoussamy, you should come and photograph this event because there's going to be you know all of these people there and I think you should come and photograph this event." I said, "Great." So I went to the sports department at NBC and asked for a press credential and I went to Madison Square Garden [New York, New York] and I photographed the United Negro College Fund Arthur Ashe tennis event. And I don't know--I took--I was taking pictures of everyone there and--and I went out to get a bite to eat or a drink or something and I was walking back into the stadium and I tripped over somebody's foot. It was Arthur [Arthur Ashe]. And I said, "Oh, I'm sorry." Then I looked up and I said, "Oh," and he said, "That's okay, I have another one." (Laughter) I said, "Oh, okay, thanks." I was so embarrassed. But you know saw him--it was a weekend event and I saw him the next day and he came over and asked me my name and could he call me and I said, "Well, sure," he said, "What's your name?" and I said, "Jeanne Moutoussamy." He said, "What?" (Laughter) I said, "Moutoussamy." He said, "Moutoussamy." "Well just--I'm at NBC," and I didn't give him the number, I just told him I worked in the graphics department at NBC and I told him that--he knew another woman photographer who worked at NBC because he mentioned her name and I knew her, Jess- Jessica Burstein. And he asked me if I knew her and I said, "Yes, I know her," and he said, "Okay." So the next day Arthur called NBC and asked me if I would like to go out to dinner with him. And he said, "I've got a--," I thought this was interesting, he said I've got to fly to St. Louis [Missouri] or someplace and I'm coming back and I'll pick you up at such and such a time. And I thought hm, fly to St. Louis and take me out to dinner. This was new (laughter). And he did. He was right on time. And it's a very sweet--it was a very sweet thing because when I came down from the sixth floor, from the graphics department, maybe it was the seventh floor graphics department because that was the news room for the NBC local news channel, and I walked out of the elevator bank and sitting at the bottom of the escalator on the--sitting on the escalator ledge was Arthur with one red rose. And I came out and there he was and I said, "Oh, how are you?" And that was our first date and he gave me this red rose. (Laughter) It was very romantic and he was very sweet and what can I tell you except that four months later, having endured Arthur traveling to Australia and various places around the world and we had a--basically a telephone--we dated when he was in New York [New York] and we kind of fell in love on the telephone. And he said, "Well, why don't you come and travel with me on the tour?" And I said, "Because I have a job and I can't do that," you know. So he said, "Well, why don't we get married?" (Laughter) And I said, "Okay," to make a long story short. And he had a bone spur in his left heel that he wanted to have operated on. And Arthur being very methodical, decided in February of 19- February 10, 1977 he was going to have his heel operated on and on February 20, 1977 we were going to get married. So come February 20, 2007, it will have been our thirtieth year. Yeah, it was thirty years so--that's how I met Arthur and I fast forwarded you all the way up to February of 2007 (laughter). Not fair but that's the way my artistic brain works (laughter).$$Yeah, well that's keeping things in perspective also.$$Trying to.$$Well that's the way to solve the problem of a long distance relationship.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Award-winning journalist, author, and school desegregation pioneer Charlayne Hunter-Gault was born on February 27, 1942, in Due West, South Carolina, to Charles and Althea Hunter. Because her father, a chaplain in the United States Army, was often re-assigned, Hunter-Gault and her siblings attended schools in California, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia and Alaska. Hunter-Gault graduated third in her class from Atlanta’s Henry McNeal Turner High School in 1960. Backed by a group of black businessmen and accompanied by fellow student Hamilton Holmes, Hunter-Gault applied for admission to the segregated University of Georgia. Initially denied admittance, she enrolled at Wayne State University in Detroit, but Constance Baker Motley of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and a group of Atlanta lawyers won her admittance to the University of Georgia in January of 1961. Hunter-Gault transcended the expected racial hostility, served a summer internship with the Louisville Times and graduated with her B.A. degree in journalism in 1963.

That same year, Hunter-Gault accepted a job as an editorial assistant with the New Yorker magazine. She won a Russell Sage Fellowship for a year and then served as a reporter and evening anchor for WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. She returned to print journalism by accepting a post with the New York Times in 1968, establishing the newspaper’s Harlem bureau. In 1978, Hunter-Gault joined PBS’s McNeil-Lehrer Newshour where she served as national correspondent and filled in as an anchor. She joined NPR in 1997 as chief correspondent in Africa. In 1999, Hunter-Gault became the Johannesburg, South Africa bureau chief for CNN.

Hunter-Gault has received numerous awards for journalism including two National News and Documentary Emmy Awards and two George Foster Peabody Awards. She has been recognized by the National Urban Coalition and the American Women in Radio and Television. Named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists, Hunter-Gault has written articles for Essence, Ms., Life, and Saturday Review. Her courage as a pioneer integrationist has been chronicled by Calvin Trillen and recognized by the University of Georgia, where a hall is named for her and fellow student Hamilton Holmes. Her autobiography, In My Place, was published in 1992. Hunter-Gault’s exploration of modern Africa, entitled New News out of Africa: Uncovering Africa’s Renaissance, was published in 2006.

Hunter-Gault is the mother of a grown son and daughter and currently lives in South Africa with her husband, banker Ron Gault.

Accession Number

A2006.092

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/15/2006 |and| 6/17/2006

Last Name

Hunter-Gault

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Henry McNeal Turner High School

Frank L. Stanton Elementary School

E. R. Carter Elementary School

University of Georgia

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Charlayne

Birth City, State, Country

Due West

HM ID

HUN05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

My Values Are A Suit Of Armor.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

2/27/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Sarasota

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Newspaper reporter, television news correspondent, and civic activist Charlayne Hunter-Gault (1942 - ) won admittance to the segregated University of Georgia in 1961. She has reported for 'The New York Times', PBS’s 'McNeil-Lehrer Newshour', NPR, and CNN, for whom she is the Johannesburg, South Africa bureau chief.

Employment

The New Yorker

Washington University, St. Louis

NBC News

The New York Times

The MacNeil/Lehrer Report

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:465,7:837,12:2139,29:6455,185:7145,198:13416,285:15480,316:15824,321:19041,355:19753,364:24292,428:24826,435:30700,509:46010,690:52130,781:52940,791:54290,825:56000,868:57800,913:70220,1033:72950,1069:80275,1099:80770,1105:85258,1148:85530,1153:85938,1160:87502,1193:90594,1222:91080,1230:91728,1239:92538,1251:93834,1274:94401,1282:103837,1389:104596,1402:109538,1423:114172,1481:114480,1486:115019,1495:116174,1527:116713,1536:117406,1546:121270,1573:123140,1602:124245,1615:125435,1634:125775,1639:130568,1675:151957,1942:152636,1951:153606,1962:156940,1978:165506,2071:166370,2092:166946,2105:167378,2112:167666,2122:169538,2180:170042,2188:179700,2369:184459,2414:184767,2419:186384,2447:186846,2454:187539,2493:193853,2592:194623,2605:196856,2631:200937,2709:201322,2718:213810,2978:218420,3063:221232,3126:222120,3145:223082,3161:223378,3166:231898,3256:232618,3269:234410,3287$0,0:2160,47:3360,75:3920,83:6720,164:7040,169:7840,180:9360,200:15726,307:16474,312:17086,325:17426,331:17698,336:20470,356:21964,380:34375,634:84430,1146:84790,1151:91062,1214:92994,1264:96214,1293:97410,1309:98146,1325:104400,1403:104984,1413:105276,1418:109802,1522:110240,1533:110751,1542:112138,1586:113306,1607:114912,1671:115423,1679:122122,1758:122650,1768:122914,1773:123178,1778:125158,1807:125422,1812:126610,1837:137547,2014:148840,2108:149120,2113:152445,2171:154020,2207:158900,2255:161960,2291:162770,2308:164750,2343:171412,2420:173181,2467:173730,2477:173974,2486:174340,2493:182101,2603:188452,2708:189148,2718:189670,2725:192367,2782:199150,2849:215250,3039:216330,3052:222777,3120:229497,3197:230012,3203:232587,3228:233308,3238:255136,3468:259648,3515:272210,3666:273302,3681:274849,3704:277397,3749:277761,3754:278671,3774:280764,3807:281310,3817:281856,3831:282948,3853:292880,3964
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charlayne Hunter-Gault's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault explains the significance of the church in her life

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls the origins of her love for Africa

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls how her family valued education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes her father's U.S. military service

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls her father's experience as a U.S. military chaplain

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recounts how her parents met, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recounts how her parents met, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers moving to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers visiting New York City with her maternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes her middle-class background

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers moving to the Alaska Territory in 1954

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes her time in Anchorage, Alaska Territory

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes her year in Anchorage, Alaska Territory

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers Henry McNeal Turner High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls her high school accomplishments

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes her influences as a high school student, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes her influences as a high school student, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes the impact of historically black schools in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers volunteering to integrate the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers the process of applying to University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault explains the policies used to exclude African Americans from public universities in Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls being admitted by court order to University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes her state of mind as she prepared to enroll at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers registering at University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls the riot on her second night at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers leaving the University of Georgia after the riot

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls the drive back to Atlanta, Georgia after the riot at University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes returning to the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls her time at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls her supporters at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers her friends at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls a breakthrough she had with fellow students at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault compares her experience at University of Georgia with Hamilton Holmes'

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes Hamilton Holmes

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault reflects upon the courage of her generation

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault talks about her marriage to Walter Stovall

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism at University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls moving to New York City to work for The New Yorker

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes writing for the The New Yorker

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers New Yorker Editor William Shawn helping her develop as a writer

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls why she cut short her fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes her accomplishments at NBC

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault shares her thoughts about being a news anchor

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls reporting on Ralph Featherstone's funeral

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers white editors' discomfort with black journalists

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers opening a bureau of The New York Times in Harlem, New York City

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls changing The New York Times' standard term for African Americans from Negro to black

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault talks about being mistaken as white in Africa

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault reflects upon how she grew as a reporter at The New York Times

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls leaving The New York Times to work for 'The MacNeil/Lehrer Report'

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers discrimination suits against The New York Times

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls the first African American wedding announcement in The New York Times

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault explains how she landed an interview with President Hafez al-Assad of Syria

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers her interview with President Hafez al-Assad of Syria

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault talks about 'Apartheid's People'

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls covering Nelson Mandela's release from prison

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes her relationship with Nelson Mandela

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault explains what made 'The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour' unique

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault explains her motivation for creating 'Apartheid's People'

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls 'Apartheid's People' interview subjects, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls 'Apartheid's People' interview subjects, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers interviewing Thabo Mbeki

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault compares public broadcasting to corporate broadcasting

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault remembers interviewing Mengistu Haile Mariam

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault reflects upon the treatment of African leaders accused of crimes against humanity

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault reflects upon reporting in Zimbabwe

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault talks about Robert Mugabe's rule of Zimbabwe

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault considers the future of Zimbabwe

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes the African American community's response to her work

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault talks about cultural production in South Africa

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes her current work

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault considers the history of post-colonial Africa

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault talks about the contemporary African renaissance

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes issues facing African women and children

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes her hopes and concerns for the African American and African communities

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault reflects upon her life

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault talks about her family

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$8

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls being admitted by court order to University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia
Charlayne Hunter-Gault talks about 'Apartheid's People'
Transcript
But we were determined to do this, and so, I enrolled at Wayne [State University, Detroit, Michigan] and Hamp [Hamilton Holmes] enrolled at Morehouse [College, Atlanta, Georgia], and I think he was enjoying it. I certainly was enjoying Wayne. It was a--you know, it wasn't a typical university, it was more like a city college. You know, there was one building that was about fifteen or sixteen floors, and it had university office building, offices, et cetera, and I think the student dormitories were in there, student rooms on the, you know, on three of the floors--three of the higher floors, one for graduate students, one for guys and one for girls. So, it wasn't a huge boarding school, because most of the students who went there were from Detroit [Michigan] or within commuting distance. And a lot of them were older, too, you know, because it, it was a city college. Some of them were coming back from [U.S] Army stuff or, you know, having to work their way through. But still, I got into it and enjoyed it and, you know, made a lot of friends and, in fact, I came back in--for the court case in December of '60 [1960], and it was just before Christmas, and the case lasted a week, and I had wanted to go after I finished testifying, because it was all the parties that were leading up to the end of the term and the judge--the state refused to let me go. I think it was just totally punitive. And so we stayed and then I flew back to Detroit, got my things and came home for Christmas. It was home however long the Christmas holidays were. And then I went back to Detroit for the next term in January, and I had just arrived. And one day, I had walked from one of the buildings into my dormitory and everybody was saying, "You got a phone call, you got a phone call," and I found that it was a reporter. I must try and remember her name, I thought I would never forget it, and she said it was such and such, so and so from the Associated Press. And she said, "Congratulations." And I said, "For what?" She said, "Oh, you haven't heard?" And I said, "No." And she said, "Well, you've just been admitted to the University of Georgia [Athens, Georgia]. Federal Judge [William Augustus] Bootle has just ordered you admitted to the University of Georgia." And I said, "Oh, my God, I can't believe it!" And of course, you know, I hadn't heard from [Donald] Hollowell who was like--he was more than a lawyer to me, he was almost like a father, and I certainly thought that, you know--but he just hadn't had--I mean, they just--it was just so big they hadn't--because this was the first major desegregation case in the South, other than Little Rock [Arkansas], but at certainly at the level of higher education.$$This was before the University of Alabama [Tuscaloosa, Alabama], I think that was in '63 [1963], or before [University of] Mississippi [Oxford, Mississippi]?$$Well--actually, Autherine Lucy had applied [to University of Alabama] earlier and been admitted under court order, but had been suspended for the riots which happened similar to us, but that's getting ahead of the story. And she wasn't re-admitted because she was very critical of the administration.$$Now she was in, in--$$Alabama.$$Alabama. Okay.$$And, so this was the first big opening.$But then I went to South Africa in '85 [1985]; that was one of the biggest stories that I did for them ['The NewsHour'; 'PBS NewsHour']. We did a five-part series that ultimately became 'Apartheid's People,' and we got a Peabody Award for that, the highest award in broadcast journalism, and it recognized that this was the first time that, you know, any television had actually looked at the people of apartheid, as opposed to the caricatures of the good and the evil and, you know, the oppressed and the oppressor. We actually tried to understand why an Afrikaner might be the way he was and, you know, what he thought and all of that. And--$$What conclusion did you reach, I mean, what, what were some of the insights gained?$$Well, you know, those who practiced apartheid or believed in apartheid could give you justification in the Bible for the supremacy of whites, and they--I think they actually believed it. That they had these God-given--this God-given right to rule. They actually could find in the Bible the justification for oppression. They believed it. And one of the people I interviewed told me that one of the Afrikaners said that, you know, "Well, we believe in giving black people their rights, but we have to first bring them up to the first world standards," that South Africa is first world and third world. Of course, it was a rationalization. He may have believed it. Because I went back and visited some of them after the end of apartheid and then said, "Okay, now how do you feel that blacks are about to take over?" "Well, you know, those who are taking over, they're first world, they, you know, they're different." And you know, without being racist, I mean, when I heard that I was so appalled. But, you know, now that I've been over there, it's--I would say the same thing, but for different reasons and for different motivations. I mean, it is first world and third world, I mean. Johannesburg [South Africa] is like Atlanta [Georgia] or New York [New York], or you know, city. Skyscrapers. High tech. Boutiques. Anything you wanna find. But five minutes from Johannesburg is third world. It's just when I analyze it that way, I'm not meaning it to say that black people will never be able to achieve rights 'til they're educated to the rights. I mean, that was the whole point of saying that, then. But Thabo Mbeki, the president of South Africa, talks about two economies now, and it's very much like the two societies that the Kerner Commission [National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders] talked about in 1968, you know, there's a white, prospering, economically stable white society and then there's the black one. And South Africa is doing things to change that equation, but it's gonna take a long time. So, you still have those two societies--one white and prospering, with few blacks joining it, and then one massively deprived, black, poor black community. So, anyway, those were--that was a critical intervention on our part in those days, '85 [1985]. And then I subsequently went many other places around the world to--I think I went Haiti, I think for [Jean-Bertrand] Aristide and, you know, some of the big stories of those times. I went abroad to cover, as well as, you know, big domestic stories, but we did analysis and in-depth reporting of these issues, and it was a great growing experience for me.$$Did you think in the late '80s [1980s] when you were there, in '85 [1985] and on, that apartheid would be over as soon as it was over?$$No, nobody did. Not even the African National Congress [ANC]. They were totally surprised when, when [Nelson] Mandela was released. I'd been planning to go back around about that time and had sent a producer down to kind of nose around and see what stories we might do, and she got back on a Friday, and I think it was Saturday that [F.W.] de Klerk said he was going to release Mandela. So we left on a Sunday. She was back for two days.

Hannah H. Thomas

Civic activist and elementary school teacher Hannah H. Thomas was born in Florence, Alabama on December 25, 1916. The eighth of ten children, she is the daughter of Evernee Hubbard and Everett N. Hawkins. Thomas graduated from Burrell High School in Florence, Alabama in 1939 and earned her B.S. degree in education from Alabama A & M University in 1951. She later earned her M.S. degree in education from the University of Cincinnati in 1964.

Thomas taught school for more than ten years in Alabama, and was given a Teacher of the Year award in 1956 before she moved to Cincinnati in 1958. She taught in the public schools in Cincinnati for twenty-two years. Although officially retired from teaching, she continues working as an educator. She also founded Cincinnati’s African American Heritage Day and the Sojourner Truth Drama Group.

Thomas has received many awards and honors, including her selection as one of 200 Greater Cincinnatians during the bicentennial in 1988, a Cincinnati Enquirer Woman of the Year Award in 1992, and the Zeta Phi Beta, the Beta Zeta Zeta Chapter, Woman of the Year Award in 1998. Thomas is also listed in America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals and Who’s Who in the World. She passed away on January 22, 2014.

Hannah H. Thomas was interviewed by The HistoryMakers March 15, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.065

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/15/2005

Last Name

Thomas

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

H.

Schools

Burrell-Slater High School

Alabama A&M University

University of Cincinnati

John F. Slater Elementary School

First Name

Hannah

Birth City, State, Country

Florence

HM ID

THO08

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

You Can Be Anything You Want To Be.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

12/25/1916

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cincinnati

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Death Date

1/22/2014

Short Description

Civic activist and elementary school teacher Hannah H. Thomas (1916 - 2014 ) taught school in Cincinnati for twenty-two years and established the African American Heritage Day and the Sojourner Truth Drama group.

Employment

Laurderdale County Board of Education

Lincoln Heights Board of Education

Cincinnati Board of Education

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:2849,80:3311,86:3619,91:4697,116:6314,156:16290,312:16546,317:21154,454:22562,486:23394,502:33625,679:37388,776:41932,899:60621,1177:65164,1343:66858,1396:75328,1586:75636,1591:84322,1745:85750,1786:87926,1840:88674,1857:88946,1862:89694,1876:94092,1897:95536,1925:98500,1975:100552,2012:103370,2035:107474,2109:110818,2261:123895,2390:126625,2457:126950,2463:131360,2539:137730,2670:138080,2676:139130,2699:139480,2706:140600,2726:141440,2746:141930,2756:143190,2783:145640,2891:151083,2922:158580,3097:158832,3102:160722,3155:160974,3160:161226,3165:161478,3170:161730,3175:161982,3180:168889,3249:170488,3283:170744,3288:171192,3297:175672,3370:175928,3375:178360,3426:180170,3453$0,0:546,20:2964,63:7488,137:9282,166:11466,194:11778,200:12090,205:19232,268:20048,286:21816,316:24672,367:30520,515:30792,520:38544,700:39360,718:44968,761:45272,766:47932,841:48844,882:65520,1162:65800,1167:66290,1175:67690,1210:69300,1255:70210,1277:70490,1282:72800,1348:81777,1503:82069,1508:85281,1586:87106,1623:88274,1635:107910,1901:109730,1953:111680,2031:116230,2115:116490,2120:117140,2133:120910,2139:122406,2160:122950,2170:126815,2228:127855,2251:128570,2267:129350,2285:129870,2294:130130,2300:130845,2316:136565,2466:146972,2636:147312,2642:148060,2667:150032,2700:150304,2705:160690,2844:162330,2856:164247,2893:166803,2942:170921,3030:172270,3052:179100,3109
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Hannah H. Thomas' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Hannah H. Thomas lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Hannah H. Thomas describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Hannah H. Thomas describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Hannah H. Thomas recalls her family's sharecropping

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Hannah H. Thomas lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Hannah H. Thomas describes her schools around Florence, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Hannah H. Thomas describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Hannah H. Thomas remembers Florence, Alabama during the Great Depression

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Hannah H. Thomas describes political shifts in rural Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Hannah H. Thomas remembers attending Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College when her marriage ended

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Hannah H. Thomas describes Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College in Huntsville, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Hannah H. Thomas describes teaching and attending the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Hannah H. Thomas remembers teaching public school in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Hannah H. Thomas describes her family

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Hannah H. Thomas describes creating the Harriet Beecher Stowe Historical Cultural Association

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Hannah H. Thomas describes the Soujourner Truth Troupe and African American Heritage Day

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Hannah H. Thomas describes history in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Hannah H. Thomas describes relations between police and civilians in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Hannah H. Thomas describes her goals for the future

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Hannah H. Thomas talks about her influence in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Hannah H. Thomas talks about the NAACP

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Hannah H. Thomas talks about the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Hannah H. Thomas describes continuing school segregation in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Hannah H. Thomas describes problems with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Hannah H. Thomas comments on proficiency tests for students and teachers

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Hannah H. Thomas reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Hannah H. Thomas describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Hannah H. Thomas narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

3$2

DATitle
Hannah H. Thomas talks about her influence in Cincinnati, Ohio
Hannah H. Thomas reflects upon her legacy
Transcript
Well, Mrs. Thomas [HistoryMaker Hannah H. Thomas], when you, you look back over your, your life, especially here in Cincinnati [Ohio], what are some of the things that you're most proud of? The accomplishments that you're most proud of?$$There are so many things, I'm just trying to think of which might be the most important one. Well one, I, when I was teaching at Lincoln Heights [Ohio], as I said that was a very poor, you know, area, and I always told the, the children that the world is bigger than Lincoln Heights. So I was teaching just fifth grade then we had, I was teaching a division and I was teaching language arts for fifth graders, and I decide now we need to take these kids, you know, out of Lincoln Heights, take them somewhere. So I arranged a trip to take them to Columbus, Ohio, and we went to the governor's and they, each child they let through the line, I think we took about a 105, we had a 125 but all didn't go, and each child had a chance to go through and sit in, they let them sit in the governor's seat so they were governor, they were governor of Ohio for one second (laughter). And then we toured the city and we had made arrangements to have lunch at The Ohio State [University, Columbus, Ohio] and that's where we went. Little country kids from Lincoln Heights and I don't guess they'd ever been to a university, we took. And that was one of the things that I was very proud of because I at least exposed those children to more than just the little part that they had there in Lincoln Heights. But it, it's been a lot of good memories that I have here in Lincoln Heights. And I think the Day on the Square [African American Heritage Day] would come in too as one of the important days that I, I feel like it was really an accomplishment and some of the others were just things I felt like I was doing but I feel like those was two pretty, pretty major things.$$'Cause when I look over some of the articles based on your record of service, you were named Woman of the Year for more than one year. Now, now what led to, to those honors and, and who's bestowing the honor on you?$$Well it's the Cincinnati Enquirer Women of the Year, the Enquirer Women of the Year is done by the Cincinnati Enquirer. And, of course, they have a staff and names are submitted and the write-up of their bios, what they have done et cetera, et cetera. At the year when I was nominated there I think they said there was eighty-four names that was submitted and they reduced them down to thirty and then out of the thirty they pulled out ten. And I didn't have any idea that I would be that, I was hoping I would, but I was one of the ten. And after that year they were, I guess, they were impressed with me or whatever they said about me, so the next year when they was ready to advertise so to speak for the next Women of the Year, the next ten, they asked me if they could use my, my name and they said we are looking for more Hannah Thomas and that's what they trailblazer, you know, and they said that I was trailblazer, you know, that kind of stuff. And I figured that that was more important than being woman of the year that they felt that they wanted other women, you know, like me, it was, it was really, it was really, touching (laughter).$$And what year was that, please?$$Well I was a Woman of the Year in 1992 and it was in 1993 that they wanted to use my picture to advertise for the next ten women of the year.$I'm wondering as we come to the end of this formal part of our discussion, and your, the story of your history, if there's anything else that you'd like to add about your life and your work and your, your legacy, especially here in Ohio?$$Well I don't consider that I have so much of a legacy (laughter) I just feel like that I'm doing good work. So many people say when I get a, you know, an honor, well you deserve it because, and I say well don't everybody else observe it, you know, don't other people deserve what they get. But everybody wants to say well you deserve it, I say well what am I doing differently from other people. So I don't, I don't look at myself as any different from any, anybody else, you know, that's, that's doing good work, it's just that I'm hardworking and I've been hardworking, you know, all my life. My mother [Evernee Hubbard Hawkins] was one that were, were very, you know, I mean she was very efficient in whatever she did and you had to toe the mark she didn't have you just, just doing anything, even if you were sweeping the floor, she made sure that you did it right. And she instilled in us to do your best. And I have brought that, you know, through life. And perhaps a lot of people in Cincinnati [Ohio] have not had that and when they see, you know, what I'm doing they think I'm doing something extraordinary. And I tell 'em that, you know, I didn't just start working when I came to Cincinnati, I was doing some of this same work, you know, all my life that was part of our growing up in, in our school and in, in our churches and everything. So I don't see anything that I have done so outstanding (laughter) really, really. And as far as a legacy, the only thing I'd like to leave as a legacy, even to my family, and I leave this to my family, support each other, support each other. You might have a little difference of opinion, you might have different little arguments and little spats at time, I know we had growing up as a big family but my mother always taught us that you overcome that because you're a family. And that's what I teach to us as a race that I don't think that we are together enough to support, you know, each other. And if I could, get leave that as a legacy of my work is, all my work has been for somebody else, even raising my family. And I tell 'em, I say I'm not my age, I say I'm at forty that's when I started, you know, you know, taking on the responsibility, the family responsibility. And I tell people that if you want, they say well how you live long and how you be so happy, forget about yourself and concentrate on how you could help other people. And when you do that you, you, you magnify your, your problems because you're so busy trying to help other people with theirs. So if I could leave a legacy, mine would be a legacy of helping, supporting, togetherness. And in all our little group we talk about unity. All the editorials I write, the main thing is unity, putting all the puzzle pieces together. We got to come together as a race of people, work together, supporting, my legacy is together.

Lillian Dickerson

Lillie Benning Dickerson was born in the 1100 block of Fitzwater Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 12, 1902. Dickerson’s grandmother was a slave from Sierra Leone who was raised by the family of Philadelphia financier Nicholas Biddle; her grandfather, an escaped slave, worked for the Thayer family in Mainline, a prosperous area on the outskirts of Philadelphia. Dickerson’s mother, Julia Capps Benning, and father, George Edward Benning, travelled to Philadelphia by stagecoach from Charleston, South Carolina, and bought the house on Fitzwater Street in 1910. Dickerson attended Pollack Elementary School and graduated from South Philadelphia High School in 1920.

As a teenager, Dickerson was a piano accompanist for her friend and neighbor, Marian Anderson. Dickerson was also friends with Paul Robeson’s sister, Marion, and songwriter Oscar Hammerstein II. Dickerson supported NAACP Attorney Raymond Pace Alexander’s successful campaign and lawsuit to integrate restaurants and shops on Philadelphia’s Chestnut Street between 1933 and 1935. During World War II, Dickerson and other black women were hired by the United States Post Office but, because of unequal pay and unfair treatment, she wrote an appeal to Eleanor Roosevelt on behalf of her colleagues.

Dickerson’s husband, Earl, the chauffer of baseball’s Connie Mack, lived with her until his death in the 1960s. In 2006, at the age of 104, Dickerson honored by her community for being the oldest gardener participating in the award-winning 2120-2124 Fitzwater Street Garden Project.

Dickerson passed away on August 12, 2010 at the age of 108.

Accession Number

A2005.040

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/7/2005

Last Name

Dickerson

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

South Philadelphia High School

Pollack Elementary School

Robert Blair Pollock Elementary School

First Name

Lillian

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

DIC02

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Lincoln Financial Group Foundation

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York, New York

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

6/12/1902

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Junk Food

Death Date

8/12/2010

Short Description

Civic activist Lillian Dickerson (1902 - 2010 ) was a life-long resident on Fitzwater Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An active member in her community, Dickerson was honored in 2006, at the age of 104, for being the oldest gardener participating in the award-winning 2120-2124 Fitzwater Street Garden Project.

Employment

United States Postal Service

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:14280,304:24256,405:38328,615:71126,975:77209,1064:98437,1415:148460,2002:165170,2222$0,0:231,5:693,10:1463,26:13475,190:34644,522:38340,594:40727,657:54197,955:100635,1613:137730,2149:143088,2301:177042,2789:193080,3009:199800,3140:212392,3289:218208,3353:220864,3393:221279,3400:227096,3450:241264,3642:242408,3736:247160,3802:258990,3913:275330,4178:293670,4286:294876,4306:313850,4657:323670,4740
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lillian Dickerson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lillian Dickerson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lillian Dickerson describes her maternal family history, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lillian Dickerson describes her maternal family history, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lillian Dickerson describes her paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lillian Dickerson talks about her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lillian Dickerson describes her father's lawsuit to attend school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lillian Dickerson talks about her family's work

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lillian Dickerson describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lillian Dickerson remembers growing up in a strict household

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lillian Dickerson describes the townhouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania her family has owned since 1910

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lillian Dickerson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lillian Dickerson talks about her family life

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lillian Dickerson describes her childhood schools

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lillian Dickerson talks about her childhood dancing and music lessons

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lillian Dickerson talks about growing up with Marian Anderson

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lillian Dickerson describes Marian Anderson's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lillian Dickerson describes working for a real estate broker after high school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lillian Dickerson talks about knowing Paul Robeson and his sister, Marian Robeson

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lillian Dickerson remembers Paul Robeson's declining health and spirits in the 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lillian Dickerson remembers organizing against gender discrimination at the post office during World War II, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lillian Dickerson remembers organizing against gender discrimination at the post office during World War II, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lillian Dickerson describes her husband's journey to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lillian Dickerson talks about her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lillian Dickerson talks about segregation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Raymond Alexander

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lillian Dickerson talks about the Civil Rights Movement and various famous people from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lillian Dickerson describes her living situation

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lillian Dickerson talks about changes to her neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lillian Dickerson describes the community garden in her neighborhood that was destroyed

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lillian Dickerson describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lillian Dickerson reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lillian Dickerson talks about her habits for maintaining a long, healthy life

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lillian Dickerson remembers the only time she got drunk

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lillian Dickerson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lillian Dickerson remembers celebrating her 100th birthday

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Lillian Dickerson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Lillian Dickerson narrates her photographs

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Lillian Dickerson talks about knowing Paul Robeson and his sister, Marian Robeson
Lillian Dickerson talks about segregation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Raymond Alexander
Transcript
When you were coming along did you ever meet Paul Robeson or--$$Who?$$Paul Robeson?$$Yes, I did meet Paul Robeson. My sister lived here at 18th [Street] and Fitzwater [Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], that's just three blocks from here. And Paul Robeson's sister lived next door to her. She was a school teacher, taught right down here in South Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]. And Paul was--Paul was very outspoken. He had this beautiful voice, as you know. And--but he didn't like the prejudice we were going through. And he spoke out all the time and he wasn't very--he got in trouble a lot of times with that. So he went abroad on a trip, you know, when he was--a singing engagement, and some things happened and he talked about them. And he just--he was just--he gave this country, gave them a very bad name and they began to follow him around and check up on him, give him a hard time. So this last trip that he took abroad, when he came back, he had been so outspoken over there, they really hurt him because he wasn't getting the engagements and things that he used to get, he wasn't making the money, and he began to go down. He had this magnificent voice, but they'd follow him every place. So he came to live with his sister, Marian [Robeson]. Not to live with her 'cause he had a family in New York, but his son, I think, went away for a while and he came over to stay for a while with his sister, Marian. And who is this--who is this man--was it--a very well-known white man had the place up the state here, he was a friend of Paul Robeson's. And he heard that he was--he couldn't get in touch with him and he called Marian. 'Cause Marian told my sister, she said that--oh what was his name--and anyhow, he said, "Where is Paul now?" She said, "Well he's with me now for a while until his son comes back." And he said, "Well I want to see him." And she told this man, she said, "You'll find him very different. He doesn't talk. He's very withdrawn," and she said, "he just sits." He said, "I can't believe--," he said, "he'll talk to me." And--Oscar Hammerstein, Oscar Hammerstein [II]. So he said, "I'm coming to see him," so she said, "All right." So he came down there to see Paul.$Now, what have been--now, you're 102 now--$$Um-hm.$$--and when's--your birthday is--$$June the 12th.$$June the 12th okay. What've been I guess the significant changes that you've seen, you know, in your lifetime. I mean what, you know, I guess they could be in any area, politics or civil rights or (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well I think the thing is that this new segr- won't say no, but segregation's gone. And when I was young everything was segregated, everything. You couldn't go in the restaurants. I was working then. You couldn't go in the restaurants.$$We're talking about Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]?$$I'm talking about Philadelphia.$$This is not down South, everybody thinks the North is--okay (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) No I'm talking about Philadelphia. And they segregated you in the movie houses. Now I remember my father [George Venning] liked baseball and he'd be off on Saturdays and he always went to the movies, the little cheap movies someplace around Market Street. And one day my mother [Julia Capps Venning] was going someplace and he said, "Come on go along with me, I'll take you to the movies." She was going to Wanamaker's or something. He said, "I'll take you to the movies and you go on to Wanamaker's, I'll go on up to the ballgame." So she went with him. And when they got in--my father looked like white. When they got in, he bought the tickets, they went in, the usher told him (gestures). So he told him, "No, we're together." So he said, "Yeah, but she is colored she can't sit over there." So he said, "What?" He said he didn't realize before. He said, "And I've been coming here give you my money and now I've got my wife and I can't sit with her." So of course that was the end of that. He said he never went there anymore. And then my sister had an incident at--they built a beautiful movie house not far from here. And Saturday she'd go shopping and she'd go up to the movies or the show, they had a stage show and everything was beautiful, beautiful place. And I suppose she didn't--I can't--she didn't look like white, but maybe some white people might have taken her for white. And she would go up there and she didn't have any trouble sitting where she wanted to sit. And one day she went in there and somebody else was there and the usher ushered her upstairs or wherever they sit colored people. And she said, "No, I always sit at such and such a place, I prefer sitting." He said, "You can't sit--," he said, "Are you colored? Are you white?" And she said then she realized, she said, "What's that to you?" He said, "Because if you're colored you can't sit here," wherever it was she wanted to sit. She said, "Oh I see. Well, I'm not gonna sit there, so I want my money back." So she got her money back. Have you ever heard of Raymond Alexander?$$Right.$$Raymond. Well we knew Raymond very well.$$Raymond Pace Alexander the lawyer, right?$$Yeah Raymond Pace. So Mose [ph.] came home and she called Raymond. And he said, "Don't worry about it, Mose." He said, "Because we have a case coming up," you know, the restaurants, there was a series of restaurants, I think Childs Restaurants. And he said, "They've brought a case up and we have a lot of these white girls are on--are gonna appear in court with us." And he said, "So you don't have to worry about your case--we're goi--," he said, "this time I think we're gonna win." So sure enough, the case came up and they won the case and they didn't had any more trouble about segregation in those restaurants on Chestnut Street. And then that meant the movies and everything else. They didn't have any more trouble here.$$So he sued the restaurants on Chestnut Street?$$Yeah, it was the restaurants on Ches--they--that was the case. When they did that that settled it for everything.$$Okay. And--$$And then that place closed and they didn't get--it cost a lot of money to run that movie house where she was going and they closed up anyhow.$$So about what time--what year is this or when they finally achieved this victory? Was this before the war or after the war or?$$Let me see, where was I at that time? What was I doing at that time? I--it might have been during the war, I don't know. I can't give you dates, I don't know. But there was a case, a court case.$$And was Raymond Alexander working for--was he working with the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] at that time?$$Well he was the--he was the lawyer in the case and I don't know whether him--whether they were involved too, I guess they were.$$Okay, all right. Anything else?$$No, I can't think of anything else. But that broke that down and little by little it broke a lot of things down.

Ann Cooper

Ann Louise Nixon Cooper was born on January 9, 1902 in Shelbyville, Tennessee and attended school in that rural community. After the death of their mother, she and her six siblings were separated, and an aunt raised Ann. In 1922, Ann Nixon married Albert Berry Cooper, a young dentist in Nashville, Tennessee. Soon after, the Coopers moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where Dr. Cooper established a highly successful dental practice, and the young couple started their family of four children. Cooper served as a homemaker for most of her life, working briefly in 1923 as a policy writer for the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, which had been established in 1905 by African American barber Alonzo Herndon.

Cooper was a vibrant member of Atlanta’s African American elite for more than eighty years. During the first half of the 20th century, she and her husband counted as friends or acquaintances such luminaries as educators W.E.B. Du Bois, Lugenia Burns Hope and John Hope Franklin, Benjamin E. Mays and E. Franklin Frazier. She was an adult eyewitness to life in Georgia during two world wars, the Great Depression, and the efforts of whites to maintain segregation.

Cooper has worked to improve conditions in the African American community for much of her adult life. For more than fifty years, she has served on the board of directors of the Gate City Nursery Association. She was a founder of a Girls Club for African American youth in Atlanta, and in the 1970s, she taught people to read in a tutoring program at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.

In 1980, Cooper received a community service award for her activism from Atlanta’s WXIA-TV. In 2002, she was awarded the Annie L. McPheeters Medallion for community service from the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.

The centenarian was the oldest living member of the Atlanta Chapter of the Links, Inc. and had been a member of the Utopian Literary Club since 1948.

On the evening of November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected the first African American president of the United States. That night, in his acceptance speech, President-elect Obama mentioned Ann Cooper and stated that her life exemplified the struggle and hope of the African American experience of the 20th and 21st centuries. She saw the changing times from the Depression and the Jim Crow South to new technologies and the election of the first African American United States president.

Cooper passed away on December 21, 2009 at the age of 107.

Cooper was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 24, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.035

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/24/2004 |and| 12/8/2005

Last Name

Cooper

Maker Category
Middle Name

Louise

Occupation
First Name

Ann

Birth City, State, Country

Shelbyville

HM ID

COO06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

To Thine Own Self Be True.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

1/9/1902

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

12/21/2009

Short Description

Civic activist Ann Cooper (1902 - 2009 ) served on the board of directors of the Gate City Nursery Association for more than fifty years, was a founder of a Girls Club in Atlanta and was the oldest member of the Atlanta Chapter of the Links, Inc.

Employment

Atlanta Life Insurance Company

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ann Cooper's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ann Cooper lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ann Cooper describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ann Cooper describes her husband's roots in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ann Cooper describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ann Cooper describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ann Cooper describes the fragmentation of her extended family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ann Cooper describes her father's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ann Cooper describes her experiences at fairs in Tennessee and movie theaters in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ann Cooper talks about changing her name as a child, pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ann Cooper talks about her memories of Gallatin, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ann Cooper talks about her family's experiences at Langley Hall in Gallatin, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ann Cooper talks about childhood mischief with her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ann Cooper describes her brother, James Henry Nixon, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ann Cooper describes the original namesake of her husband, Albert Berry Cooper, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ann Cooper talks about the lives of her sisters

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ann Cooper describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ann Cooper recalls her father's talent as a shoemaker

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ann Cooper describes the relationship between whites and blacks in Gallatin, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ann Cooper talks about leaving home after the death of her mother in 1913

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ann Cooper describes her experiences with organized schooling

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ann Cooper describes her first meeting with her husband, Albert Berry Cooper, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ann Cooper describes her courtship with her future husband, Albert Berry Cooper, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ann Cooper describes her courtship with her future husband, Albert Berry Cooper, Jr., pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ann Cooper talks about moving to Atlanta, Georgia with her husband in the early 1920s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ann Cooper talks about the homes where she has lived in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ann Cooper describes visits from famous African American singers to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ann Cooper talks about Charlotte Hawkins Brown of the Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ann Cooper talks about her friendship with sociologist E. Franklin Frazier

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ann Cooper talks about her interactions with W.E.B. Du Bois

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ann Cooper talks about the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1940s

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ann Cooper talks about her friendship with Jessie Herndon

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ann Cooper describes the dance halls in Atlanta, Georgia during the mid-20th century

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ann Cooper describes her relationship with the Rucker family of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ann Cooper talks about her membership in the Utopian Literary Club

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ann Cooper talks about John and Lugenia Burns Hope

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ann Cooper talks about Benjamin E. Mays and Sadie Mays

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ann Cooper describes her experiences with racial discrimination on public transit in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ann Cooper describes her experiences with racial discrimination on public transit in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ann Cooper describes her volunteer activities at the Gate City Day Nursery

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ann Cooper describes her volunteer activities with the Girls' Club of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ann Cooper describes her tenure as a den mother with the Cub Scouts

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ann Cooper describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ann Cooper talks about why history is important

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ann Cooper reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ann Cooper describes nearly drowning as a small child

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ann Cooper narrates her photographs

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Ann Cooper's interview, session two

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Ann Cooper reflects on her process for running meetings

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Ann Cooper talks about her mother's origins, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Ann Cooper talks about her mother's origins, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Ann Cooper describes her family life during childhood in Bedford County, Tennessee

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Ann Cooper describes her mother's death in 1913

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Ann Cooper talks about her father's death in 1915, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Ann Cooper talks about changing her name as a child, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Ann Cooper talks about changing her name as a child, pt. 3

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Ann Cooper shares memories of her childhood in Tennessee

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Ann Cooper talks about her father's death in 1915, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Ann Cooper lists her siblings

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Ann Cooper describes her father's extended family

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Ann Cooper talks about her aunt, Joyce Nixon

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Ann Cooper describes her grade school experiences

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Ann Cooper describes the family background of her aunt, Joyce Nixon

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Ann Cooper describes her social surroundings in Nashville, Tennessee during World War I

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Ann Cooper describes the romantic drama from her early relationship with her husband

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Ann Cooper talks about moving to Atlanta, Georgia with her husband

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Ann Cooper describes her father-in-law, a preacher in the A.M.E. church in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Ann Cooper describes her marriage to her husband, Albert Berry Cooper, Jr., in 1922

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Ann Cooper talks about her involvement with the A.M.E. church in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Ann Cooper describes looking for her first job in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Ann Cooper talks about working at the Atlanta Life Insurance Company

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Ann Cooper describes her experiences with the Herndon family

DASession

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DAStory

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DATitle
Ann Cooper describes her experiences with racial discrimination on public transit in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 1
Ann Cooper describes her volunteer activities with the Girls' Club of Atlanta, Georgia
Transcript
If you don't mind moving forward a little bit in time to--back perhaps to the 1950s and the incident on the bus.$$Oh yeah (laughter), yeah, let's see that might have even been after the '50s [1950s]. I was living here [Atlanta, Georgia], and you see there's a trestle right up the street there, and as far as the buses would go would be at that trestle and we were at that time having trolleys, you know the thing controlled by the trolley up there you had to get out and change that trolley to go back in the other direction, so by the time it got out here I would be the last one on there and usually I'd been sitting, when I got on it was crowded and I'm sitting on that side seat, and but when the old trolley man got off to change his trolley and jumped out the front door and I jumped right out behind him. And I was always going to town on--a friend and I caught ourselves having a day off, so I think Tuesday was our day off and I'd just go, and we just go 'cause our day off--and we bought, we'd buy things you know. And my husband [Albert Berry Cooper, Jr.] would always try to kind of keep up with what I'm buying, and by the time we got down here if he beat me home he's down there to see whether I got off, walked up with (laughter), and so I was gonna beat him home that day and I jumped off the trolley right behind the wrong man, though my old man wasn't on there that day, there was a young man on there and so he looked up and said, "Nigger get back on that bus and go out that back door!" (Laughter) See you got on the front, but all black folks had to get out the back door no matter how crowded, you gotta find your way to get out that back door. I thought, what, I'm down on the ground, feet headed this way. I thought, you and who else gonna make me get back on (laughter) you get on that--oh no, I got my feet headed this way, I'm, and I'm trying to beat my husband home (laughter). Anyway, you know any other lady, any lady would have just walked on, but I'm walking on home, now he telling me, "You get!" I thought, I said, "Look, my husband be driving along here in a few minutes." I said, "He catch you meddling with me he'll beat your head to a pulp." (Laughter) He jumped on that (unclear) (laughter). So you felt better doing something like that than you did walking on home after he done told you twice, "Get back on that bus, go out that back door" (laughter), and the next incident that got me, we had about--they tell me now we weren't paying but a nickel I think. You get on there and you could ride all the way down to Rich's [Atlanta, Georgia?] from Davison's [Atlanta, Georgia]. I don't remember how much it was, but when I got on, it was all full. There was that one seat there and the man sitting this way, you know, right behind the driver and there was that seat there. He's sitting there with his feet up on that seat, that side seat. So, I'm looking all around everywhere and didn't see any place, so I thought when I sat down he'd just move his feet, but I sat down and he said, "Nigger don't sit down in front of me." I said, "Oh you great white man," (laughter) and I got up and I said, "you sit there," you know, then he'd be sitting in front of me. "Oh, baby come on back here you can have my seat," all the colored folks you know sitting all the way back, "you can have my seat." I said, "No, let him move. He don't want me sitting in front of--" (laughter), so no he ain't gonna move.$That [Gate City Day Nursery Association, Atlanta, Georgia] went on and on and did well, and then they asked me to come on the committee to make plans for a black Girls Club. And the man who was head of the YMCA [Young Men's Christian Association] called us together for that. So one friend who was on this board of Gate City with me, we answered that call and they--all these projects were getting up, apartments were just getting started, so there was a Grady Homes [Atlanta, Georgia] place over there. We took on a--the girls, you know, being left at home alone and getting attacked and all that sort of thing, we took on, I took on this auxiliary and we organized and finally got things going. We were into the United Way, not, that what used to be the, what did we call it first, not United Way, but it was--what was the organization that you could get all these help from? Community Chest, maybe (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Community Chest.$$Well anyway we got in touch with different people and a Mr. [Walter H.] Kessler who ran the Kessler department store [Kessler's, Atlanta, Georgia], was one of our board members. He gave us the first one thousand, I believe he gave us eleven hundred dollars to qualify to get into the United Way, and then he and his son served, we all would be on that board and we did everything. I'd bring the little girls out here and have graduation parties for 'em and they went from--first out of elementary school. We didn't have all of these middle schools and everything then. And my chapter of The Links [Incorporated] would give me gifts for--and make gifts for them as they graduated. That went well for the longest, then they decided they'd make us integrate. White women built a club out there on Donnelly Avenue. So, when they made us integrate and we went out there, well they took all their white girls away, you know, so (laughter), and they had--the women always said when they got all these things going if it got going and we took in men or white women and all that, they'd take it away from them, they'd lose all the credit, so sure enough they got in there and somebody would have the--a president of a bank or something, president of the Grady Homes [Community] Girls Club [Atlanta, Georgia]. Well, when they made us integrate they fussed, now who gonna be the executive director, should it be white or colored. We fought and fought and we finally got a lady to come down here from Chicago [Illinois] to be president. She didn't know anything about what all that was about, so of course they had to let her go on back about her business, so then we had no fight any longer, the white woman would take it and we learned after it was all settled that it was--the woman who took it was the wife of the man who'd been running the Boys Club all the time. So, you know that was a national thing, Girls and Boys Clubs [sic. Boys & Girls Clubs of America]. It wasn't the Girls Club, a black girls' club. So, when we knew anything, they had joined. It's not Boys Club and Girls Club, it's Boys and Girls Club, so of course then they, nobody was using this building out here on Donnelly, they had us going over to a little place over there on Edgewood Avenue, so tight over there, no parking and I thought well--and then we had a white man president of all of it, so I gave that up, but we had put on some wonderful programs for those girls. But, I gave that up, and the other woman who had worked with me, I had brought her in, she worked for the gas company, Gladys Powell was her name. I think she's out there, and she came in, you know we taught those girls a lot 'cause we were in one to one with them, and I'd say I'd bring 'em out here, bring 'em out here to Mozley Park [Atlanta, Georgia] and we'd put on carnivals and I, well we did everything to raise a little money. That's when my husband [Albert Berry Cooper, Jr.] would fuss about I wouldn't be at home at night. I'd go have a party and I got to chaperone that and so (laughter), but those are the things that I'd spent my time doing.