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Clyde Martin

Award-winning regional manager for Jay’s Potato Chips Clyde Martin never ate snack foods until he moved to Chicago in 1955. Born on September 28, 1936, on land his father owned in Bolivar County, Mississippi, Martin attended school at the White Star Missionary Baptist Church and later graduated from Cleveland (Mississippi) Colored Consolidated High School (CCCHS) in 1955. An honor student and an activist, young Martin led a student strike for a more relevant curriculum. Later, he refused to cooperate with an agreement his principal made with the state of Mississippi to impress the federal government, under which the school was to receive new school buses, and then exchange them with the white school in Cleveland, for their old ones.

In 1956, Martin was working in Chicago when he found out about a job at Jay’s Potato Chips. Hired as the first black route salesman, he determined that he could sell more Jay’s by distributing more of the smaller five cent bags. Martin was right and he more than doubled his sales. Consistently the top salesman during the 1960s and 1970s, he made assistant regional sales manager in 1967 and was the first African American to rise to regional sales manager in 1973. Martin fought racism and personally made sure that Jay’s hired other African Americans as drivers and salesmen.

Martin became an inspector for the Internal Affairs Division of the Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Department in 1978. He was a beloved behind-the-scenes activist in Chicago politics and civic life.

Martin passed away on November, 21, 2017 at age 81.

Accession Number

A2003.309

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/10/2003

Last Name

Martin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Colored Consolidated High School

First Name

Clyde

Birth City, State, Country

Bolivar County

HM ID

MAR06

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Go To Work.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/28/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Potato Chips

Death Date

11/21/2017

Short Description

Regional sales manager Clyde Martin (1936 - 2017 ) staged protests as a student and later worked to integrate Jay's Potato Chips. The regional sales manager for Jay's, he also served as inspector for the Internal Affairs Division of the Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Department.

Employment

Jays Foods

Cook County Sheriff's Department

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:1328,31:6225,121:6723,128:7304,140:14431,213:18020,258:19960,292:21221,310:28652,395:31436,443:37292,540:40268,644:76375,1011:77227,1055:82320,1100:90652,1159:93094,1272:93390,1277:94796,1368:108970,1570:119474,1705:124769,1765:128695,1825:129895,1881:135203,2037:139460,2240:149808,2370:189920,2706:214634,2873:228548,3131:242406,3314:259038,3504:265302,3614:272820,3708$0,0:5383,230:31694,411:127484,1212:146690,1421:147022,1426:149814,1459:157515,1658:176976,1854:180938,1917:182660,1971:187814,2045:194696,2179:237660,2685:241489,2717:245000,2750:245500,2763:246100,2771:277856,3195:292544,3352:300042,3444:300310,3449:300712,3461:320710,3830:323974,3867:328160,3939:372480,4573
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Clyde Martin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Clyde Martin lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Clyde Martin talks about his mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Clyde Martin talks about methods of survival employed by black farmers in the South

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Clyde Martin talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Clyde Martin recalls advice from his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Clyde Martin talks about his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Clyde Martin recalls watching his parents bury money in the ground as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Clyde Martin recalls his childhood in Bolivar County, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Clyde Martin talks about his schooling, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Clyde Martin talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Clyde Martin talks about his schooling, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Clyde Martin recalls household appliances from his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Clyde Martin talks about his brothers' enlistment during World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Clyde Martin talks about attending church on Sundays

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Clyde Martin recalls his experience at Cleveland Colored Consolidated High School in Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Clyde Martin describes his role in distributing new buses to black schools as a high school student

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Clyde Martin talks about attending Cleveland Colored Consolidated High School in Cleveland, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Clyde Martin talks about moving to Chicago, Illinois after graduating from high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Clyde Martin talks about the beginning of his career at Jays Foods

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Clyde Martin talks about his career at Jays Foods, pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Clyde Martin talks about his career at Jays Foods, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Clyde Martin describes a memorable interview he conducted with a black candidate at Jay Foods

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Clyde Martin talks about his definition of an "Uncle Tom"

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Clyde Martin describes how he defines the difference between "Uncle Toms" and "sambos"

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Clyde Martin describes his friendship with Richard M. Daley

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Clyde Martin talks about boards he served on under Richard M. Daley

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Clyde Martin talks about working for the Cook County Sheriff's Department

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Clyde Martin talks about his role models

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Clyde Martin talks about political positions he has run for

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Clyde Martin describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Clyde Martin talks about why he seldom returns home to Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Clyde Martin reflects on his life and legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Clyde Martin narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
Clyde Martin describes his role in distributing new buses to black schools as a high school student
Clyde Martin talks about his career at Jays Foods, pt. 2
Transcript
I just wanted to ask you to go back to that bus story again.$$Well, when Dwight Eisenhower, who was the president of the United States, the first Republican president in, I guess, forty years, he desegregated the schools and then they began to go across the South and try to make the playing field as level as possible. They had a thing saying separate but equal. So separate but equal meant, meant to me, that we go get these buses, that's what it meant to me as a person, a kid, that these buses are ours. The principal told me of the school, his name was Dan Smith, God bless his soul, to take these buses to the white school. Didn't do that. We carried a bus to Mound Bayou, Mississippi. They're all black town. We carried a bus to Shaw, Mississippi. We carried a bus to Rosedale [Mississippi]. Then we brought the rest of 'em to Cleveland [Mississippi] and they were scared to use those buses. And then--then they started to use 'em because the white people didn't come to get 'em. They knew if they came to get 'em and anybody protested, that they would be in trouble. So they were just forgotten. And then I started driving school bus and went to--$$While you were still in school (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) High school, yes.$$High school, okay.$$High school kids drove buses and we made, I think--I think I made two hundred dollars a month. That was a lot of money but I would leave home at four o'clock in the morning on my run 'cause I would make three trips and when I got to the school, there would be so many kids on the bus that the bus would just, sitting down, and I would make three runs. When I got through, and I started my evening taking the kids home, it would be seven o'clock at night. And I did that all the way through school and I was glad to see the kids able to get a ride to school then but that bus thing was something that I did that I often thought about and, and people said, "You're crazy." You see, white folk think black people, you either militant or you're crazy. Now, do you know where I fit in? I was crazy. So I played it. I played the crazyism.$$All right that's--$$Now, and I remember a white guy--white bus driver ran me off the road with a bus and I shot up in his bus because I carried a .22 rifle with me. So then I ran and hide. I hid, so I know they're going to kill me now for shooting up in this bus but I'm prepared to die. But I was smart enough to go to the sheriff's house and sit in his garage. And he came home, his name was Will Earl Kent. He came home, I'm sitting up in his garage and he jumped out and pulled his gun out. He said, "We've been looking for you." I said, "I know it." I said, "Well can I tell you what happened before you kill me?" He said, "Yes." I told him. He said, "I believe that 'cause you wouldn't be here if you hadn't had done that." He said, "Do you know who I am?" "Yes." And he told me this, he says, "I got enough land to take a blackbird all day to fly across it, starting at sun up to sun down, he wouldn't fly across it." He had a lot of land, didn't he? He was awfully rich. So he took me in the house and he told his maid or cook, said, "Make him a pallet on the back porch 'cause I'm going to ride with him tomorrow morning on his bus." And he did. And they were running out there and I always remember, he had two .45s on him. He buckled them guns on and rode on the bus with me and I made my runs and they left me alone. And the bus story is history.$$That's a remarkable story. So, the sheriff just believes you, huh?$$He believed me.$$All right.$$I think going to his house, waiting on him to come home, was the turning point and I never had no problem with him.$So you stayed with Jays [Foods] (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Stayed with Jays. Then I worked and worked and every year, they would take enough stops away from me to give another black guy a job, had to be black, I insisted on that, give another black guy a job. And I worked and I worked and I went, found that boy that paid my way to Chicago [Illinois] (pause), gave him a job. He ended up being king of sales for (gesture) (crying)--$$Take your time.$$Sometimes I think about all these shit they put me through. So I found him and I gave him a job and he went (gesture) skyrocket. In the meantime I was playing the politics of a con man, moving along and in 1967 the same Silas Mattila [ph.] came to me. I was at 47th Street at the little Greek store and he was not going to fire me and he came in and touched me on the shoulders and I said, oh, I knew his feet. I said, oh shit, I've got these two kids with me. And he said, "When you're finished son, can I see you?" And I said, oh my god. I'm making big money now, helping a lot of people. And so I went on out to--he always bought convertible Eldorados and he always wore two guns 'cause he was nothing but a gangster and he said, "Follow me back to the branch and bring the kids with you." And I said, oh shit, I lost my job. I get a new truck every year now and you name it, I got it. Well, if I wanted somebody get a job, they got the job. So, went back to the plant and these, guy named C.J. Collier and Bruno Grund, they opened the door. Then I learned later that when he bought a new car, he would come by and let them hear that horn 'cause he was only gonna blow his horn one time. And he blew the horn and I'm right behind him with the two kids on the truck; I'm right behind this Eldorado. Oh, man, they fainted. They hit the floor. So he got out and got 'em up and says, "Come on in." I parked my truck. He says, "What do you want these kids to do?" I said, "I'll take the empty boxes off" 'cause you got a nickel per box then 'cause it would cost them fifteen cent to make a box so they'd bring 'em back and use them seven, eight times, many more time than that. So they made a ton of money on returned boxes. So, I went in the office and we had a sales room and a office where the girls sat. So he closed the door and he spin a chair around and sit back. He said, "I've got a job for you." I said, "I've got a job." I said, "I got a job." He says, "I want you to be assistant branch manager." I said, "I don't re- ." I'm sure I didn't ask him what the description of the job was. I didn't use those terms but it was in essence, what will I have to do? He said, "I want every route just like yours." I said, "Who will be my boss?" He said, "All three of you will be working together and I'm the boss." I, "Suppose I fail?" He said, "You're fired. If you don't take this job, you quit." The little Irish guy kicked me on the foot, he said, "Take the damn job." So I took the job and boy I went to work. We had two routes in the Loop. When I left there we had ten and I worked day and night and I built it from--when I took over, the division was running two hundred thousand dollars a week. When I left it was over ten million. And I worked and I worked and I worked more. And then the old guy that gave me the job, he got sick. He loved that sauce, he loved to drink but he was all right with me. And I had gone somewhere and I came back in the office and he was sitting at his desk with his head down crying, I said, "What's wrong, man? Your wife die or something or kids die? He said, "No, they fired me." I said, "Fired you?" So I picked up the phone off his desk and I called Mattila. I said, "Why'd you fire this man. I'm on my way out to see you." I went out there and I asked the guy, "How much more time do you need to work to get your house paid for and your car paid for?" He said, "If I can work another eighteen months, I'll be straight." I said, "Okay." I went out there and I walked in Mattila's office and I said, "If you fire him, I'm leaving." He told me, "You're a damn foolish ass nigger." I said, "If you fire him, I'm leaving too." I took my keys and threw them on his desk. He picked up the phone and called the payroll and said, "Reinstate Clarence Collier." I said, "You're not doing the work, I'm doing the work." And then it went on and went on and then Collier died and Bruno Grund got sick and they moved me into regional manager.$$Now this is 1973, right?$$Yes, it's about 1973 now.$$Seventy-three [1973], right.

Adjoa Aiyetoro

Civil rights lawyer and civic activist Adjoa Aiyetoro received an A.B. degree from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1967, and two years later graduated from George Warren Brown School of Social Work with an M.S.W. degree. In 1978, she graduated cum laude from St. Louis University School of Law and was admitted to the Missouri Bar that year.

Aiyetoro worked as a community mental health specialist from 1970 to 1977. After obtaining her law degree, she served as staff attorney with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (1978-1982) and then as an attorney with the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (1982-1993). As director of the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL) from 1993 to 1997, she intensified its advocacy efforts and strengthened the organization's fiscal position. Her legal activism within the NCBL has included criminal justice issues, the environmental justice movement, the D.C. statehood movement, and reparations for Africans and African descendants.

A leader in the reparations movement - which seeks acknowledgment that the transatlantic slave trade, slavery and colonialism were crimes against humanity - Aiyetoro is chief legal consultant to the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N'COBRA) and co-chairperson of the Reparations Coordinating Committee. She has also represented the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom's UFORJE (United for Racial Justice: Truth, Reparations, Restoration and Reconciliation) campaign. In 2001, she was selected by the African and African Descendants Caucus to contribute to an international presentation and declaration and program of action concerning reparations.

As a visiting professor and scholar in residence at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Aiyetoro focused on chattel slavery and its legacy and taught a seminar on reparations. She is an adjunct professor at Washington College of Law, American University, where she teaches a course on litigating reparations for African Americans. Aiyetoro has served on the board of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR) and the Steering Committee of the National Association of Black Social Workers. She is a popular speaker at international conferences and on national and local television and radio programs. She has testified before Congress and other legislative bodies concerning issues of race, class and gender injustices within the United States.

Accession Number

A2003.165

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/23/2003

Last Name

Aiyetoro

Maker Category
Schools

Gundlach Elem.

Beaumont High School

Clark University

Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis University

First Name

Adjoa

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

AIY01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

4/1/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream (Thai)

Short Description

Civil rights lawyer and civic activist Adjoa Aiyetoro (1946 - ) was a leader in the reparations movement, and the chief legal consultant to National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America. Aiyetoro also worked as the director of the National Conference of Black Lawyers on issues ranging from criminal justice to environmental justice.

Employment

United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

National Conference of Black Lawyers

National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America

University of California, Santa Barbara

American University Washington College of Law

St.Louis Community Mental Health Department, Malcom Bliss Hospital

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:13639,226:16997,277:19990,321:27156,373:27758,382:28102,387:33864,468:37390,518:46600,600:48184,622:49408,639:49840,646:53080,717:53944,728:55456,755:55744,760:56032,768:59992,790:61288,814:61864,823:69352,965:75720,1023:76435,1035:76955,1044:77215,1053:77475,1058:78060,1068:80075,1123:80335,1128:84755,1217:85730,1238:86055,1244:86315,1249:87160,1266:90800,1354:92750,1397:102748,1500:107140,1602:117861,1718:118153,1723:119321,1741:126402,1885:127716,1904:129760,1939:130417,1951:138740,2036:139424,2046:154065,2250:154780,2262:164216,2434:167474,2461:170738,2519:175022,2618:177674,2674:181074,2738:190180,2852:191300,2881:193960,2955:194660,2967:196200,2996:211385,3181:212447,3229:213037,3239:213686,3253:217934,3366:218406,3376:223410,3424:230820,3556:232458,3572:232848,3578:234954,3623:235344,3629:235812,3644:241970,3693:244350,3739:253360,3951:260603,4014:261776,4031:263639,4069:264122,4077:266882,4141:267158,4146:268883,4188:271298,4243:272195,4255:278620,4284$0,0:21069,317:21404,323:21739,329:22275,339:22811,354:26362,427:28573,478:32325,541:34804,588:42466,672:43186,683:45706,725:54346,859:62661,944:62969,949:63277,954:65280,959:68580,1007:69702,1019:71286,1044:71616,1050:80196,1207:93296,1351:102236,1430:115500,1604:116760,1620:117040,1625:117950,1654:119070,1683:121100,1729:121520,1736:124180,1780:124600,1787:124880,1792:125440,1802:126280,1812:126770,1820:127120,1826:128030,1843:129080,1868:129710,1879:129990,1884:131110,1902:131810,1913:135678,1929:138654,1995:140452,2034:143056,2091:146510,2105:150098,2163:151580,2193:156104,2270:160862,2361:161252,2367:169888,2449:181140,2602
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Adjoa Aiyetoro's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Adjoa Aiyetoro lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her maternal family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her maternal family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about how her parents met and her sibling

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes growing up in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her childhood interests and activities

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her family's civic and political involvement

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes being raised in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her religious views as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her father's response to her opposing religious views

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her grade school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the deep roots of her mother's family in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about her favorite subjects in school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Adjoa Aiyetoro comments on not studying black history in school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her father's experiences with discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the type of student she was in grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her experiences attending Gundlach School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her experiences attending Beaumont High School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes watching Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech on television with her father

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes how attending Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts increased her race consciousness

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the cultural experiences she missed because she attended a predominately white university

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about her black classmates at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her social life as a student at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes how attending Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts shaped her identity

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about the teachers and students who influenced her as a student at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her student activism at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes attending the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her activism in the early 1970s in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes intertwining her mental health social worker and her activism

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes how the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. affected her community in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes working with the Community Mental Health Department in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about mental illness and the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the conditions in the Pruitt-Igoe housing projects in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about enrolling at St. Louis University School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her experiences attending St. Louis University School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes how she acquired her African name

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her involvement in the National Conference of Black Lawyers

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Adjoa Aiyetoro comments on the term "radical"

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her involvement with the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes representing Geronimo Pratt

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Adjoa Aiyetoro comments on the data surrounding criminal punishment in the United States

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about working for the Civil Rights Division for the U.S. Department of Justice, and the American Civil Liberties Union

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Adjoa Aiyetoro recalls consulting with Tupac Shakur regarding his treatment in prison

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes representing Minnesota Judge Lajune Lange, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes representing Minnesota Judge Lajune Lange, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her role as the Director of Administration for the Congressional Black Caucus and serving as a university visiting professor

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the nineteenth century Reparations Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes General William T. Sherman's Special Field Order No. 15

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the Freedman's Bureau Act

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the system of slavery

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about the legal foundations of the Reparations Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Adjoa Aiyetoro explains how the vestiges of slavery contribute to contemporary issues surrounding race and class

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about the people and groups who support reparations

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes how the legacy of slavery and the failure of Reconstruction shaped an oppressive American system, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes how the legacy of slavery and the failure of Reconstruction shaped an oppressive American system, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the intricacies of reparations

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about the H.R. 40 Reparations Bill, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about the H.R. 40 Reparations Bill, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about the Durban 400 Conference, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about the Durban 400 Conference, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the United States' withdrawal from the Durbin 400 Conference

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Adjoa Aiyetoro shares her hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Adjoa Aiyetoro reflects upon her legacy, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Adjoa Aiyetoro reflects upon her legacy, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Adjoa Aiyetoro comments on oral history

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes what she would have changed in her life

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Adjoa Aiyetoro narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

8$4

DATitle
Adjoa Aiyetoro describes representing Geronimo Pratt
Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the nineteenth century Reparations Movement
Transcript
And you worked on the case of Geronimo Pratt, too?$$Um-hum. Um-hum. Right. I did, I did a--my primary work around Geronimo was I represented him in two appearances before the parole board. There was a decision made by his defense committee that they really wanted to begin making the parole issue a real issue. And, really presenting him as a, you know, in a way that makes it such that denying him parole raises the real contradiction in the criminal punishment system, around black, around political prisoners, black political prisoners, but also around blacks in general. It was a difficult position for Geronimo because Geronimo always felt, which he shows that he was correct, that he needed to get out of prison not through parole but through some form of exoneration. And, he felt at some point that actually attempting to get parole would be selling out him and his family. Because, it would be in some way, even if he never said it, it would be in some way a way of conceding that perhaps he was in fact a traditional prisoner that had done something wrong, whether or not he ever admitted it or not. So, that what we had to do in representing him on parole was to make sure that we didn't crossing that line. That not cross that line to say--for example, one of the things we did very strongly in both parole appearances, both in the papers that we submitted as well as in our presentation in defense of him, or in support of him, was that it was fundamentally unfair for them to require him to show remorse for crime that he had consistently said, he did not do. That he is sorry that the crime happened. He has no remorse because remorse means that he must have done it. So, that we had to do that kind of thin line because we did not want--in keeping with not only--first of all because he is as our client had a strong view that he did not want ever to have anything out there that, that would even appear as if that he was saying that he did this awful crime, which he didn't do. But, second of all, it was important from the perspective of his supporters that we, we did not want to--you know some times in activism and in radicalism, as I would call it, when you're dealing with fundamental changes, sometimes you make compromises that basically comprise your principal. You don't mean to. Sometimes you do, but many times you don't. But, you don't understand, many times we don't understand that by making this statement, you know, we may have been, we may be buying into an argument that we really are fundamentally opposed to. And, that's something we had to work very hard on in presenting the case for Geronimo and parole. We had to work very hard, because we did not at all--I mean, I read every record, I mean, I prepared myself to represent him. I read every page of his record. And, when I finished that, even though on--before I did that I had believed in his innocence. I was involved with the group, the Alliance as well as the NCBL that always supported him. Yet, it was not until I read every page of his record that I was conv--I was convinced in the bottom of my soul that this man could not have done this crime. It wasn't that he didn't do it, he didn't do it. But, he could not have done it, which was to me a different way of looking at it. Not only didn't he do it, but he could not have done it. You could not have a man that cared as much for human beings, that saved people's lives in Vietnam, that had been--had won all these medals for valor in Vietnam, that had the kind of compassion that he had for human beings. Not just black human being, but for human beings, and he could not have committed that crime. And, so in presenting him and representing him, I had to also convey that. That he couldn't admit to it because not only didn't he do it, he could not have done it, you know. So, that was, you know, fortunately for Geronimo, he did not get out on parole. He got out through, almost an exoneration. I mean, they, they had enough evidence to show that he had not gotten a fair trial. Johnnie Cochran came in on the case. He had represented him some, from very early on. He came in on the case and was able to get the--get him out and the government didn't have enough evidence to retry him.$$Okay.$How old is the struggle for reparations?$$Whoa (laughter).$$(Unclear). I wonder, did it start right after the Civil War?$$Well, if you really wanna count, David Walker's Appeal in 1929, 19--18, oh God, 1829, 1830, it started. I mean, he made the call for reparations in his appeal. I mean, he said that, you know, white folks needed to declare to the world that, you know, the inhumanities and brutalities in which they had treated black people, which is the acknowledgement aspect of reparations. And, that they had a responsibility to lift us up as he said, out of our brute state, which is the form of reparations. If you lift us up, it meant (unclear) and all of that to do that, I mean. So, if you, if you, if you look at that as the, a demand for reparations and I'm sure there were others in his community of like-minded people that believed the same. I would say, that the demand for reparations predated the end of slavery. We also know that after slavery in the 1890s, an organization was formed that called for a pension for black people who were an--ex--ex-enslaved black people, or African people or their descendants and that was the Ex-slave Mutual Bounty Pension Associ--and Pension Association. Its leaders were Callie House and Isaiah Dickerson, is two national leaders. And, they lobbied and got around 600 thousand or so people to sign on and support legislation. It was a senate bill for seven one eight that had been introduced--I'm blanking on the senator's name that introduced it--for a pension. And, they went the way of, they were pre-Marcus Garvey as I say. They were accused of mail fraud. There was a ten-year investigation. Nothing they could come--the government could come up with except looking at this poster where they solicited twenty five cents for people to support their work. And, they decided to use that as a charge for mail fraud, itself for fraudulent charge. Callie House spent about two years or so in prison. When she got out of prison, she didn't stop her demand for reparation. She raised money to fund a lawsuit that was filed here in Washington, D.C. seeking reparations.$$This was in 1800?$$This was--no, this was in the early 1900 by now, you know. 'Cause the organization was formed in like the first documents I saw were like 1896. So, let's say it might have been formed a couple of years earlier. But, the first documents I saw were dated 1896. So, that's kind of the precursor. So, the demand is as long as, as at least, I would say, from the 1830s. That began the demand with David Walker for some form of reparation.

Kenny Gamble

Singer, songwriter, and producer, Kenny Gamble, was born on August 11, 1943, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Gamble got his start in the music industry in the early 1960s as a member of a band called the Romeos. From performing, Gamble eventually switched to song writing and producing alongside colleague Leon Huff; the partnership lasted over three decades. Through song writing, Gamble explored the themes of social change and empowerment of inner city inhabitants. Gamble and Huff became known for originating the Philly Soul Sound, a popular genre of the 1970s. Gamble and Huff's hits include: "Expressway to Your Heart," "Only the Strong Survive," "Me and Mrs. Jones," "If You Don't Know Me By Now," "Back Stabbers," "Love Train" and "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now."

In the 1970s, Gamble began to purchase run-down houses, beginning with his own childhood home, to improve conditions in blighted areas. By the early 1990s, Gamble had purchased over one hundred abandoned homes; he and his wife then moved from the suburbs back into the inner city neighborhood in South Philadelphia where he had grown up in order to help rebuild the community.

Gamble founded the nonprofit Universal Companies to establish a workforce development center offering adult education and job training to individuals of all skill levels; a construction company to provide training and jobs; a business support center; a charter school; and other entities aimed at empowering the inner city and its residents. Gamble also founded a nonprofit community development corporation, Universal Community Homes, to provide low- and moderate-income families in Philadelphia with freshly-built or refurbished homes at affordable prices. The community revitalization programs Gamble launched and nurtured created hundreds of jobs; well over one hundred and twenty homes that have been constructed or renovated; and developed over 70,000 square feet of commercial space to support local needs. Gamble received various awards and honors for his work and dedication to the community.

Accession Number

A2002.183

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/7/2002

Last Name

Gamble

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Franklin School of Science & Arts

First Name

Kenny

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

GAM01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

8/11/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mother's Cooking

Short Description

Civic activist and lyricist Kenny Gamble (1943 - ) is part of the songwriting team of Gamble and Huff and an originator of the "Philadelphia sound."

Employment

Universal Companies, Inc.

Favorite Color

Green

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Kenny Gamble interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Kenny Gamble's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Kenny Gamble discusses his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Kenny Gamble considers the significance of knowing one's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Kenny Gamble describes his mother's background in segregated Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Kenny Gamble recounts his parents' meeting

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Kenny Gamble lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Kenny Gamble describes his childhood environs, South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Kenny Gamble recalls gangs in South Philadelphia and a mediation effort in the early 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Kenny Gamble recalls gang activity in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Kenny Gamble recalls church activities and entertainment during his childhood in South Philadelphia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Kenny Gamble describes worsening crime in his childhood neighborhood, South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Kenny Gamble gives examples of his creativity during his childhood and youth

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Kenny Gamble evaluates his school performance

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Kenny Gamble remembers learning guitar from a local musician and trying to play his aunt's piano

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Kenny Gamble remembers his growing involvement with music as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Kenny Gamble describes how 'American Bandstand' and white cover groups exploited black music and dance

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Kenny Gamble remembers talented musicians from South Philadelphia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Kenny Gamble briefly shares his early thoughts on the record business

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Kenny Gamble recalls balancing music-making and side jobs

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Kenny Gamble recalls studying medical technology and finding the human body inspirational

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Kenny Gamble tells about the 'day jobs' he and other musicians worked

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Kenny Gamble recalls encountering discrimination while operating a record shop

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Kenny Gamble reflects on his first musical hits

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Kenny Gamble discusses developments in music and radio technology

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Kenny Gamble details Gamble and Huff's successful collaborations

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Kenny Gamble emphasizes the message in the music

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Kenny Gamble lauds hip-hop's musical contributions

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Kenny Gamble discusses his community revitalization project in South Philadelphia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Kenny Gamble expresses his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Kenneth Gamble describes his sources of inspiration

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Kenneth Gamble shares his reflections on humanity and spirituality

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Kenneth Gamble talks about blacks in politics in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Kenneth Gamble discusses his plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Kenneth Gamble considers his legacy

Abner Jean "Val" Jackson

For nearly sixty years, the Jackson Mortuary has been an institution in Wichita, Kansas. The family-owned and -operated mortuary and its owners, twin brothers Abner Val Jean Jackson, Sr. and Anderson Eugene Jackson, hold a place of honor in the community of Wichita.

Abner Val Jackson, Sr. was born in Wichita in 1933. He graduated from North High School. He served in the U.S. Army and had the distinction of being one of the first African American to serve with the Wichita Fire Department. He left the department in 1967 after twelve years to join the family business. While running the business, he and his wife, Erma, operated Jackson Realty and Skin Appeal Cosmetics, managed Calvary Towers Senior Citizen Housing Project and had other business holdings. In 1982, Jackson retired and turned the mortuary business over to his twin sons.

Along with his position as vice president of Jackson Mortuary, earning his funeral director’s license in 1961, Jackson served his community through his membership in organizations like the National Urban League and the NAACP. He was involved in policymaking for the City of Wichita and was honored by the city and the State of Kansas in acknowledgment of his commitment to the community. He served as chairman of the Metropolitan Planning Commission, the Board of Directors for the City of Wichita and the Board of Trustees for Wichita’s Calvary Baptist Church. Jackson has four children: Val Jean Jackson, Jr.; Michael E. Jackson; Kimberly Jackson-Landrum; and Stephanie Jackson Cousin. He also has eleven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Jackson passed away on October 14, 2002.

Jackson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 30, 2002.

Accession Number

A2002.171

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

8/30/2002

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Jean

Organizations
Schools

Wichita North High School

Wichita State University

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Abner

Birth City, State, Country

Wichita

HM ID

JAC06

Favorite Season

November, December

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Whatever it takes.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Kansas

Birth Date

4/22/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Wichita

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cabbage, Spinach, Ham Hocks

Death Date

10/14/2002

Short Description

Mortuary owner and civic activist Abner Jean "Val" Jackson (1933 - 2002 ) is co-owner of Jackson's Mortuary in Wichita, Kansas.

Employment

Jackson Mortuary

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Abner Jackson interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Abner Jackson's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Abner Jackson describes his family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Abner Jackson remembers his grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Abner Jackson discusses his parents' avocations

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Abner Jackson recounts his childhood in Wichita, Kansas

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Abner Jackson reflects on life with his twin brother, Genie

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Abner Jackson recalls growing up with his twin brother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Abner Jackson details his high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Abner Jackson recounts his early career

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Abner Jackson describes running a family funeral business

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Abner Jackson discusses the rewards of living in a community where everyone knows each other

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Abner Jackson discusses different types of funeral wakes or repasts

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Abner Jackson reflects on his life and career

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Abner Jackson discusses his community activities

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Abner Jackson ponders his legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Abner Jackson illustrates his parents' pride in his career

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Abner Jackson reflects on how he'd like to be remembered

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Photo - Newspaper clipping about Abner Jackson, Wichita, Kansas, ca. 1967-1968

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Photo - Abner Jackson with his brother in the Army, Bayonne, New Jersey, ca. 1954-1955

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Photo - Abner Jackson with his wife, Erma Jackson, Wichita, Kansas, ca. early 1990s

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Photo - Abner Jackson with his twin brother, Wichita, Kansas

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Photo - Abner Jackson with his brother, Anderson Eugene Jackson, Charles McAfee, and Cendant representative, Wichita, Kansas

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Photo - Abner Jackson with his family, Wichita, Kansas, ca. 1989-1990

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Photo - Abner Jackson with his twin brother, Eugene, and neighbor, Leila Mae Baker, Wichita, Kansas, ca. 1935

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Photo - Abner Jackson with his twin brother, Anderson Eugene Jackson, Wichita, Kansas, ca. 1936

Tape: 3 Story: 15 - Photo - Abner Jackson 'hanging' on telephone pole with his brother below, Wichita, Kansas, ca. 1930s

Tape: 3 Story: 16 - Photo - Abner Jackson with his twin brother and parents in front of their company hearse, Wichita, Kansas, ca. 1934-1935

Tape: 3 Story: 17 - Photo - Shiloh Baptist Church, Wichita, Kansas, 1943

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

4$4

DATitle
Abner Jackson remembers his grandfather
Abner Jackson describes running a family funeral business
Transcript
My grandfather [Abner Jackson, Sr.] used to be mail--on the mail, mail run for the railroad. And I don't know which railroad it was either. They never did talk too much, and, of course, you might have run in the same situation. They didn't, they didn't talk too much about yesterday, yeah, didn't talk too much about yesterday. So everything we know right now, we done had to go through obituaries and, and funeral programs and all that stuff to kind of get some background. And my dad [Abner Jackson, Jr.] put, and my dad said, "I don't have to have no obituary." So they put on his, nothing but 'The Lord's Prayer' (laughs), in lieu of obitu--in lieu of the obituary. So--.$$(Simultaneously) He didn't have any obituary about himself at all? Just you say, 'The Lord's Prayer'.$$Yeah, he just had 'The Lord's Prayer'. He, he didn't want no obituary on there. He said, "I ain't"--he said, "I lived, and that's it." And so mama [Janett Jackson] put on his tombstone out there, "Rest in Peace" (laughs)--R.I.P., he'd like that.$$Okay, now how did you grandfather--did you know your grandfather who started this business?$$Oh, yeah, oh, yeah, yeah. Yeah, gramps, 'Dapper Gramps' [Abner Jackson], that's what we used to call him.$$What was that again?$$Dapper Gramps. Yeah, he loved to play Coon Can, you know the game?$$No, I don't.$$Okay, he said, "Some coons can, some coons can't." That's all (laughs). But, yeah, yeah, Gramps--see, we moved over--we moved out of the house over here on Cleveland [Street, Wichita, Kansas] over into the basement of the mortuary over on Water Street, the one you see the picture out there on the wall. We moved over there when I was four years old, stayed there thirteen years. And Gramps stayed in one part of the basement, and we stayed in the other part, which it wasn't nothing but three rooms. So it had one room for us and one room for Gramps. And he was quite a character, quite a character, loved his cigars. He'd smoke them till the ash get that long. And then just nod his head (laughs), wherever the ash went, yeah. But he was a good businessman.$$What did he do for a living before he started the mortuary? How did he do it?$$He went to--he moved to Kansas City, Kansas, and it was a cat name--a guy, a funeral director named Nathan Thatcher, Thatcher['s] Funeral Home, still in Kansas City, Kansas, they started hanging around as old [Masonic] lodge buddies. And Gramps was a Thirty-Third Mason and so was Mr. Thatcher, is the way I understand it. And they just, Gramps just started hanging around the mortuary, and then he decided to go to school there in Kansas City, embalming school. And twenty-six, like I said, July the tenth, 1926, he decided to move to Wichita [Kansas]. And we had a storefront over on Main Street. And then he--in 1932, he built that mortuary, the building, single-purpose building. Of course, couldn't get no financing, but he had--I remember him stating he--twelve, all of $12,000 to build that building. I said, "You sure stayed with the twelves, didn't you?" He said, "Yeah, twelve, $1,200 of capital to, to keep me open for a few days and it cost me $12,000 to build the building." And saved all this money, saved all this money. My, my dad would turn over in his grave if he figured out that Genie [Anderson Eugene Jackson] and I had, had, had gone through the processes of financing, financing some of the improvements we made around here and the acquisitions. He didn't believe in borrowing no money. Said, "Well shoot, all you got to do is set it over there." But, it came right down to a very, very independent family, very independent. Seven [days a week], twenty-four [hours a day], 365 [days a year], they say. That's, that's how much time they put in the business, and afraid it wore off on us. It really wore off on my son [Michael Jackson] here lately cause he, he gets home, he gets home whenever. Genie and I, we--he takes a lot of that off of us now, so we don't have to really do seven, twenty-four. We got a answering service, now after seven o'clock in the evening. Shoot, when my dad was running this place, shoot, we had one line, and one phone. Nobody was the, nobody went anywhere without somebody manning the phone, manning the door. So we started out early putting in that seven, twenty-four.$$Now, when your grandfather started this business, was he the first black funeral home director here in Wichita or were there others?$$No, there was, there was a Butler Funeral Home here, and he ran them out of town. That's the way he likes to brag about it, said, "I run one of them out of town" and say, "Bring them on, bring on the rest of them (laughs)." But he was very confident in his--he always told us, said, "Don't worry about the money anyway" and he said "It's the service that counts." He said, "The service bring in the money," and, and he believed that. He believed that. In all he--there's been one, two, three other funeral homes here, and we're the only ones that's, that have stayed or sustained three other black funeral homes. One of them is in, in Topeka [Kansas], it's Johnson Funeral Home now, and Butler, he just closed up.$I guess in the funeral business, correct me if I'm wrong, there're two different aspects to the businesses it seems to be or maybe even three. One aspect is the embalmment of a person, and that's quite different from actually serving the grieving family and--,$$(Simultaneously) Oh, yeah.$$--and being a host for a funeral service.$$Right.$$And then the other aspect, I guess, is dealing with the place of internment, wherever that is, right?$$Oh, you can--.$$(Simultaneously) (Unclear) make that arrangement with the graveyard.$$Right.$$So tell, just tell me about how does one conduct this business and what are the components of it?$$The first, the first aspect of it is very important, the embalming and, and cosmetology and, and getting the person ready for, for the family's approval, of course. And that takes a lot of it. I mean that, that's, that's one of the things that Genie [Anderson Eugene Jackson], Genie and Michael [Jackson] both were very well schooled in. And they still do a good job. But that son of mine, he takes pride in that, which I'm glad. And he gets a lot of compliments, and he kind of shrugs them off, you know, a forty-two year old--forty, Michael's forty-six. And, but then the next phase runs into where you meet the family. You meet the family and, and set some arrangements together and make the arrangements for the cemetery and make arrangements for, for the actual carrying out the funeral program in itself. But the real test, the real test is when you're conducting--at least I think it is, when you're conducting the services and so forth at the church or chapel or whatever--cause you got folks come in there, "I'm her cousin. I want a seat up in the front." "You should have come with the original family, son." And it's a way you say that, you know. And, and usually goes down, but it's dealing with folk on, on a one-on-one basis that--we tell, we tell them, we got this young lady up in the front, Stephanie, that is very good. We were blessed to get her as far as I was concerned. She, her daddy and I was raised up together about two blocks from each other over on the West side, and we never lost contact. And she always wanted to work in the business so John asked, John asked if maybe we might have a opening one of these days. And we, we dealt with that. We're very concerned about who represents us in whatever capacity, and I think that's one of the, one of the things that wears some folk out. There was a story, there was a story that--I don't remember who told it to me, but it's been a few years ago, that a dad would send his son to college, got him a, got him a B.A. degree and almost a Masters in Business Administration, and blah, blah, blah; and waiting on, waiting on him to graduate, put a little sign on the door with his name on it and blah--and then called him in and had a conversation with him. And he said, "I want you to start, start out there in the, in the garage and the yard with so and so, and learn everything that he does and then we'll talk again, and I'll see if I'll move you inside and turn you over to one of the counselors. And you'll learn everything here." And the son kept saying, "No, I don't think so, dad." He said, "Well, what do you want?" He said, "I want to sell you my fifty percent." (laughs) His dad gave his fifty percent of the business when he got out of college. "I want to sell you my fifty percent." Was it dad [Abner Jackson, Jr.] or somebody or another--it had to be a funeral director that had to tell me that story. But he said, "That's what you call an ingrate." And I, I never want to put myself in that position, but there's not too many, as you, as you probably know, there ain't too many people across the country can go back four or five generations, cause it's always a break off at some time. There's nobody with a family name that, that's actually running, running a operation. A lot of, a lot of funeral directors nowadays, especially the older ones, they'll pick up somebody and make them general manager of the mortuary and, and just go home and send me a check. Yeah, and we haven't been that fortunate. We haven't had to do that part of it, but it's a seven [days a week], twenty-four [hours a day] and a lot of folk don't want to be in this business. When mama wants, got to go to the PTA [Parent-Teacher Association] meeting, and there's something, something that mama's planned for the children or either for herself personally, you know. You do the best--next best thing, whatever keeps you at home, (laughs) which a lot of times you turn down those invitations cause you got something else to do so far as the business is concerned. I think that's about probably, that's probably the most restriction that I've ever run into this business anyway. Of course, they, like you say, they got telephones and pagers and all that kind of stuff now, and first thing I do when I walk in a room, I put my telephone there on the side, and set, on the table or either the chair next to it. I turn the volume up on the boy 'cause ain't no telling when I get a call. And if I get call, "Bye y'all, I'm gone." (laughs) So it's, it's challenging. It really is. It is challenging.

Anderson Jackson

Businessman and community leader Anderson "Gene" Jackson has taken the family business, Jackson Mortuary, to new levels. Founded in 1926 by his grandfather, Jackson Mortuary was opened to serve Wichita's African American community and under Jackson's leadership, continues to do so today. Born on April 22, 1933, to Janett and Abner Jackson, Jr., Jackson's commitment to maintaining the family tradition has resulted in national recognition, growth, and commitment to service.

Jackson has spent the majority of his life in the family business. After returning from military service in 1955, he began work at Jackson Mortuary. In 1968, Jackson received his mortician's license from California Mortuary of Science. In 1982, after the death of his father, Abner Jackson, Jr., he became president of Jackson Mortuary and has grown the business significantly.

In addition to being a successful mortician, Jackson is extremely active in the Wichita community in both business and civic capacities. Jackson sits on the boards of many organizations committed to community economic development, including the Private Industry Council and the Kansas Department of Commerce. Additionally, Jackson was elected to the Kansas Gas and Electric Company's Board of Directors in March 1994 and he serves as president of the Wichita Chapter of the National Business League. He formerly served as president of the Kansas State Board of Mortuary Arts.

Jackson's business leadership and the commitment of the Jackson Mortuary to family service continues into a fifth generation. Jackson is married to Barbara Jackson and they are the parents of two daughters, Debra Dudley and Timna Jackson, and the grandparents of three.

Anderson Jackson passed away on September 9, 2012.

Accession Number

A2002.165

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/30/2002

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

E.

Organizations
Schools

Wichita North High School

California College of Mortuary Science

First Name

Anderson

Birth City, State, Country

Wichita

HM ID

JAC05

Favorite Season

October, November

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Dallas, Texas

Favorite Quote

I'm still putting up with it.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Kansas

Birth Date

4/22/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Wichita

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken, Beans (Green)

Death Date

9/9/2012

Short Description

Mortuary owner and civic activist Anderson Jackson (1933 - 2012 ) is the co-owner of Jackson's Mortuary in Wichita, Kansas. Founded in 1926, by his grandfather, Jackson Mortuary was opened to serve Wichita's African American community and under Jackson's leadership, continues to do so today. He formerly served as president of the Kansas State Board of Mortuary Arts.

Employment

Jackson Mortuary

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
0,0:483,71:11064,188:11820,228:16831,267:17266,273:21007,389:24139,475:26314,513:27184,527:27706,534:28489,547:38440,633:39474,659:40226,669:40602,674:45772,749:48874,805:51976,855:65233,936:66277,956:67147,968:71932,1023:72337,1029:78493,1171:80275,1229:94332,1336:97491,1391:105562,1501:111841,1616:112478,1633:123182,1716:124835,1743:125183,1748:125966,1763:127271,1782:128228,1800:128837,1807:133776,1857:134840,1877:139280,1906:142077,1937$0,0:4200,36:5160,51:15886,219:16835,234:24790,284:29047,331:31930,368:32581,377:39582,442:40184,452:40614,458:41818,477:57312,718:60908,745:61619,757:62725,772:63041,777:64226,791:64858,800:65885,815:75107,899:80446,954:81184,966:87971,1061:92536,1165:93034,1172:93366,1177:94777,1192:100458,1214:101034,1237:104240,1263:109190,1319:120290,1442:121322,1458:122956,1546:136353,1698:137933,1718:140224,1765:142866,1826:145771,1857:146352,1866:146767,1872:152292,1917:152836,1926:153788,1946:156508,2002:163079,2096
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Anderson Jackson interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Anderson Jackson's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Anderson Jackson remembers his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Anderson Jackson discusses his family history

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Anderson Jackson remembers the Wichita, Kansas community of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Anderson Jackson describes his childhood avocations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Anderson Jackson recalls his home life

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Anderson Jackson discusses the birth of he and twin, Abner Jackson

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Anderson Jackson describes life with his twin brother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Anderson Jackson discusses his family's values

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Anderson Jackson recalls his educational and career pursuits in the 1950s, 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Anderson Jackson describes his family relations

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Anderson Jackson describes the philosophy behind his family's funeral home

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Anderson Jackson discusses trends in the mortuary services industry

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Anderson Jackson describes the diverse funerals he has arranged

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Anderson Jackson discusses the role of empathy in the mortuary services industry

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Anderson Jackson recalls his tenure on the Kansas State Board of Mortuary Arts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Anderson Jackson discusses the vision of the National Business League of Wichita, Kansas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Anderson Jackson considers successors to his family's business

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Anderson Jackson discusses his civic involvement in Wichita, Kansas

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Anderson Jackson reflects on the economic prospects of young African Americans

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Anderson Jackson shares his personal philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Anderson Jackson describes how he'd like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

2$4

DATitle
Anderson Jackson discusses his family's values
Anderson Jackson recalls his tenure on the Kansas State Board of Mortuary Arts
Transcript
We'd [Anderson and his twin brother Abner Val Jean Jackson] get out of school at 2:30, sixth hour, and we'd have to come home and, and either work in the yard, clean up the cars, clean up this. Dad [Abner Bernard Jackson, Jr.] always had something for us to do in a sense because he, he and Mother [Janet Lorraine Jones Jackson] bought the business [Jackson Mortuary] in '50 [1950] from, from my grandfather [Abner B. Jackson, Sr.]. And so they needed our help. And so we didn't get a chance to participate in sports in our senior year at all, football, track, basketball, baseball, even though the coaches wanted Daddy, and, and spoke to Daddy and Mother about the fact that, well, let one of them play basketball or let one of them play , play baseball, and the other come. And says, nah, we, we've always treated 'em exactly--if one, if one works, both of 'em work. I find it very comforting now, Larry, that my dad would never finish a job, never intended to finish a job. If he started cutting the grass, he, he never intended to finish cutting it. You're supposed to have the instinct and the initiative to come out there (laughs) and finish it and send him back in the house or something--washing a car--and I find that today, you know, to the extent that, that I, I've never--well, my, my children especially, they, they always step to the forward cause I tell them the story about my dad. I said, if I start washing these dishes, you know you gonna finish them, or if I start cutting this grass, you know you gonna finish it. And I've taught them work ethics, and, and that's, that's what I gained from it too, the ability to work. But sports wise and other wise, we were good, but we just wasn't able to participate in, in high school or even college sport. We played during the summer because Dad was, allowed us to really--because he really wanted us to play, but work was a--at the business was, had its priority.$I served on the state board here in Kansas for ten years.$$This is the state board of--?$$[Kansas] State Board of Mortuary Arts now. And I served on the--I was a-appointed by three governors, different governors, some Republican and Democrat. And I was president of the state board three times. First anybody that had been ever elected to the state board for three years as president. I hear kids now that I've licensed, and my name's on their, on their licenses and I run into 'em around the state some time, and they say, "Hey, Mr. Jackson, your name's on my license." I say, you (laughter), you mean I've been around that long? He said, yeah, I remember. He said, you was a tough cookie, but I learned a lot from you. And especially, most of the communications that came to us as consumer complaints was about insensitivity and the, and the communications that professionals quote, quote related to families. And, and some couldn't, couldn't stand to be around this person because he said, like--acted like he was in a hurry or he, he had something else to do and we were inconveniencing him and, and those kinds of things. You, you know, you can give people like that, attitude wise feeling too, but they always--well, not always, I guess, but they tell me, they says, I'm glad you stayed there that long because I, I, I--when I did go off, Governor [Bill] Graves who's there now, he says, I would have appointed you again, Mr. Jackson, but he says, it was a funeral director over there in my old hometown of Salina [Kansas], that, that wanted to be on the board. And I said, that's fine. So I calls up--I, I knew him, and I called up [Stephen C.] Ryan, and I said, Ryan, I want to congratulate you on being appointed to the state board. Now, do a good job. And he says, is this you Gene? I said, yeah. He said, man, I thought maybe you might be upset about it. I've done my time. It's time for somebody else, but if it was necessary for me to be there another term, I would have been there. And I wouldn't have to apologize to nobody else for being there three more years.

Bernice Hutcherson

Social worker and educator, Bernice Hutcherson, was born on April 4, 1925, in Newton, Kansas, to Henrietta and Albert Ray, Sr. Hutcherson was educated in public schools, and eventually received her B.A. degree from Langston University in 1950; she was further trained at the Chicago Teacher's College and received an M.S.W. from the University of Kansas in 1969.

Throughout her nearly five-decade-long career, Hutcherson worked as an educator, beginning as a remedial reading teacher in the Chicago Public Schools system, and later as a social worker in her native Kansas. Hutcherson spent nearly twenty years with Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services in various supervisory and training positions before taking a position as a professor of Social Work at Wichita State University in 1970. Hutcherson served on numerous university committees, including a three-year-long term as gerontology faculty chair before her retirement in 1996.

Retirement did not impede Hutcherson's commitment to the social service field; an active lecturer, she was regularly asked to run workshops and participate in academic forums. Hutcherson's numerous professional affiliations and memberships represented years of commitment to service and leadership; she remained active in the National Association of Social Workers, and the Kansas Conference on Social Welfare, and was the founding president of the Kansas Multicultural Association of Substance Abuse.

Hutcherson continued to be involved in the field of social work by volunteering through committee and board structures dedicated to substance abuse research and program development. The recipient of numerous community, professional, and academic accolades, the Wichita city council named an elder housing facility, the Bernice Hutcherson Complex, in Hutcherson's honor in 1980. In addition to her professional activities, Hutcherson and her late husband of forty years, Hubert Hutcherson, raised two daughters.

Accession Number

A2002.170

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/28/2002

Last Name

Hutcherson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Organizations
First Name

Bernice

Birth City, State, Country

Newton

HM ID

HUT01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Freeport, Bahamas

Favorite Quote

I'm never alone.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Wisconsin

Birth Date

4/4/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tomah

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Breakfast Foods

Death Date

5/3/2012

Short Description

Civic activist, social work professor, and social worker Bernice Hutcherson (1925 - 2012 ) is a former social worker with Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services, where she served in various supervisory roles before becoming a professor of social work at Wichita State University in 1970. There, she served on numerous university committees and completed a three-year term as gerontology faculty chair before retiring in 1996.

Employment

Chicago Public Schools

Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services

Wichita State University

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bernice Hutcherson interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bernice Hutcherson describes the location of The Kansas African American Museum, Wichita, Kansas

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bernice Hutcherson's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bernice Hutcherson details her father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bernice Hutcherson describes her mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bernice Hutcherson recounts her parents' courtship and marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bernice Hutcherson remembers her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bernice Hutcherson describes her relationship with her brothers

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bernice Hutcherson remembers her father

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bernice Hutcherson recalls growing up in her Newton, Kansas community

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bernice Hutcherson recalls a fight from her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bernice Hutcherson describes her lifelong love of reading

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bernice Hutcherson describes memorable teachers from elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bernice Hutcherson describes her pursuits upon college graduation

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bernice Hutcherson explains her decision to attend Langston University, Langston, Oklahoma

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bernice Hutcherson describes the courtship of she and her future husband

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bernice Hutcherson describes a memorable college professor

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bernice Hutcherson recalls her college experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bernice Hutcherson discusses her marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bernice Hutcherson discusses her pursuits following her college graduation

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bernice Hutcherson recalls her efforts to reform social work practices

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bernice Hutcherson details her experience as a community organizer

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bernice Hutcherson details the efforts of Wichita, Kansas community organizations

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bernice Hutcherson shares motivational ideas

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bernice Hutcherson details her efforts to stem drug and alcohol abuse

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bernice Hutcherson shares reflections on prejudice

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bernice Hutcherson reflects on her life's course

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bernice Hutcherson hopes for unity in the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bernice Hutcherson considers her legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

5$2

DATitle
Bernice Hutcherson describes her mother's background
Bernice Hutcherson recalls growing up in her Newton, Kansas community
Transcript
What about your mother's side of the family? Where did they come from, and did they have any stories about slavery or, or reconstruction or migration?$$They came out of Kentucky. On my father's side were the house slaves. And on my mother's side were the field slaves. And my grandmother left Kentucky and went somewhere and got near the Mississippi River, and she and two mules somehow made it across the Mississippi River because she was trying to get away from the master who was molesting, of course, all the young girls her age. That grandmother was twelve years old when slavery ended. So, she had been born, well, both sets were born in slavery. And she had actually somehow--.$$So she was born about 1850, I guess, 1851, 1850--.$$Fifty, forty--forty-nine, forty-eight [1848]. And was about the time I was getting good and grown, why, she was almost a hundred years old. She came out of there and landed, landed someplace on the other side of the Mississippi and then came back from Kentucky--.$$(Simultaneously) Now this is from Kentucky.$$Yeah, from Kentucky. Now I, I don't know where her travails took her with this, these two mules, but she was determined that she was not going back. And so for some reason she ended up swimming the Mississippi River--her and these two mules that we heard about. And then she finally landed--when she finally landed in Georgia, I believe, is where she met--came back to Georgia is where she met my grandpa. And they then got together and started traveling toward California where all the gold was supposed to be. And they ended up in Oklahoma, between Oklahoma and Kansas. Since he was kind of a farmer, kind of a--and he would farm here and then he would move, and then he would farm someplace else. What did they call them? Share-, sharecroppers, sharecropper.$$Okay.$$And he'd stay there a season and if it didn't come out right there, why, he would move again. And so between Kansas and Oklahoma is where they were. I'm also told that she didn't get to know her mother very, very well because the mother and her sister was sold off before she ever left there. And she doesn't know where they landed. And she was more left on her own by the time she was twelve and had heard that the slaves had been emancipated. But she does know that her mother spoke highly of education, and she's the one who pushed the education for everybody. Everybody had to get as much education as they possibly could because that's what was gonna make it a better place for all of the Negroes that were needing to know how to read and write 'cause they didn't know how to read and write. And she always said if you don't, if you can't read and write, why, you don't know what's going in the world around you. So, she constantly pushed education. She had ten children and, what, eight of them, I guess, got the eighth grade education, which was like our high school now, I guess. And she instilled it in them that their children should get as much, much education as they could. So most of us have. We still push it in our family.$Can you tell me about some of the sights and sounds and smells of growing up in Newton [Kansas]? What was it, you know, what was your neighborhood like and--?$$Oh, yeah, my neighborhood was fun, really. I didn't realize then how unique we were that in our neighborhood we had blacks, we had Mexicans, we had whites, we had middle class, we had very poor, and we had lived and worked and all of us kids there played together. We pretty much run in and out of each other's houses like kids do except one. I'll never forget it. Her name was Mrs. Speen (ph.), and she lived on the corner. She was a little white lady who seemed to have no children, no family, and she was, she would yell at us so much until especially the boys would deliberately do things to make her mad. So simple things like--she didn't want you step on her grass, okay. And when they would walk by her house they would just take their toe and put it over on her grass. So she would come to the door and begin to hol--"Ray row row row," and they would laugh and run. But everybody else--we got along very well. We--now my father [Albert Ray] had a job as I think back to the Depression time, the Great Depression that you read about--.$$Sure, in the 1920's--that was the year of the war.$$Yes, that was a tough time. And lots of people didn't have jobs. They just had to do whatever they could do to live. And my father had a job and so I can remember it on, especially on Sundays, we would have all kinds of people at our house from our neighborhood because the people--whoever had something, they would bring it to our house and go in there and with my mother they would all be cooking 'cause we had some meat. We had goats on the yard, we had chickens on the yard, we had a--we called it a bill I think then--they call it a tab or something now. But we had a bill down at the main grocery store where we could go and buy some pork or buy some beef every once in a while. So since we had the meat, why, the neighbors could come to bring whatever they had. And we always had us a scrumptious dinner on Sundays. But we usually had somebody else there, too--some other family or two families or three families--just whoever decided to come. So I got used to all kinds of people and being able to relate to all kinds of people and understanding that we--people are people. Human beings are pretty much the same. And I think that has served me well as I have moved to adult career of social work. I don't meet any strangers. In fact, right now I've always traveled alone a lot. Right now, if I'm needing to go into a restaurant and I'm alone and somebody else seems to be alone, I'm gonna just ask them if they would like to eat with me. I'd say, you know, are you alone, no, you eat alone? They say, yes. I, I'll say, well, would you like to meet, sit down and eat with me and then we can go our separate ways? And sometimes they'll say, no. Other times they'll say, yeah, you know. And it doesn't bother me when--whichever they do is fine.

The Honorable Dorothy Jackson

Dorothy Ola Jackson stands as a respected pillar of the Ohio political landscape. Just prior to her birth, her family uprooted itself from dustbowl-ravaged Oklahoma to settle in Akron, Ohio. Born in Akron, on November 9, 1933, Dorothy was the youngest of seven children. She attended Akron's Robinson Elementary School and East High, where she graduated in 1951.

After high school, Jackson worked in a local grocery store and attended night classes at the Actual Business College. Forced to quit her job and drop out of classes when her mother became ill, Dorothy spent the subsequent four years caring for her mother, who died in 1952, and brother, who died in 1956. Following the sudden death of her father in 1957 from a fatal heart attack, Dorothy took a position as a secretary for the Goodwill Industries. While working with the Goodwill, Jackson learned sign language and worked to assist disabled workers. It was during this time that Jackson developed a deep sense of dedication to issues that concerned the disabled. She quickly rose through the ranks from secretary to assistant public relations director.

After twelve years with Goodwill, Jackson left to begin her sixteen-year career with the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority as the social and tenant services administrator. By working to bring programs of fun and education to the residents, and providing a high level of personalized tenant care Jackson transformed the agency. She understood that providing housing was only the first step, providing a sense of community was the next. In 1984, Jackson was nominated for deputy mayor for the City of Akron.

In her role as deputy mayor, Jackson has been a tireless social activist. She has given her voice and support to issues that concern the poor and disabled. She is the recipient of many awards and honors including the Women in History Week Woman of the Year, the United Way Distinguished Service Award and the Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award.

Accession Number

A2002.147

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/1/2002

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Middle Name

O.

Organizations
Schools

East High School

Hammel Actual Business College

Akron University

Gallaudet University

Kent State University

Robinson Community Learning Center

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Dorothy

Birth City, State, Country

Akron

HM ID

JAC04

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Knight Foundation

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Vienna, Austria

Favorite Quote

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as the eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

11/9/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Akron

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Dessert

Short Description

Civic activist and city government official The Honorable Dorothy Jackson (1933 - ) was the Deputy Mayor of Akron, Ohio. After twelve years with Goodwill Industries, Jackson left to begin her sixteen-year career with the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, as the social and tenant services administrator. In her role as deputy mayor, Jackson was a tireless social activist.

Employment

Goodwille Industries

Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority

City of Akron, Ohio

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dorothy Jackson interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dorothy Jackson's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dorothy Jackson discusses her parents' backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dorothy Jackson describes her early family life

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dorothy Jackson remembers her family members

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dorothy Jackson shares memories from her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dorothy Jackson remembers her school years

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dorothy Jackson recalls her high school years

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dorothy Jackson discusses her early career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dorothy Jackson remembers her mother's death

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dorothy Jackson remembers trials early in her career

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dorothy Jackson describes her training for those with special needs

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dorothy Jackson discusses her career as a sign language interpreter

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dorothy Jackson discusses her volunteer efforts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dorothy Jackson discusses her appointment to political office

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dorothy Jackson reveals her plans for the future

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dorothy Jackson shares her hopes for the black community

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dorothy Jackson considers her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dorothy Jackson describes how she'd like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dorothy Jackson signs an inspirational message

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson and her third grade class at Robinson Elementary School, Akron, Ohio, early 1940s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson's sister, Lucille

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson's daughter and sister, August 1957

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson's daughter, sister and sister's friend, December 1957

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson returns from roller-skating

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson and her brother

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson and her sister in the driveway of their home, Akron, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson on senior day at East High School, Akron, Ohio, early 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson at her daughter's wedding, April 1995

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson with Olympian Wilma Rudolph, Akron, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1992

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson's mother, Akron, Ohio, 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson's father, William Jackson, Sr.

Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson interprets for Reverend Jesse Jackson during his 1984 presidential campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 17 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson and her deaf choir attend chapel services

Tape: 4 Story: 18 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson chaperones a Goodwill Industries field trip to Washington, D.C., ca. 1956

Tape: 4 Story: 19 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson interprets for President William 'Bill' Clinton at an Akron, Ohio rally, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 20 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson interprets for President William 'Bill' Clinton at an Akron, Ohio rally, part 2

Tape: 4 Story: 21 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum with contest winners, her daughter, granddaughter, and Congressman Tom Sawyer, Washington, D.C., 1999

Tape: 4 Story: 22 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson with fellow cabinet members of City Council, Akron, Ohio, late 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 23 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson volunteers with children from Stewart Afrocentric School, Akron, Ohio, 2000

Tape: 4 Story: 24 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson plants the first tree in Dorothy O. Jackson Park, named in her honor, Kiryat Ekron, Israel

Tape: 4 Story: 25 - Photo - President William 'Bill' Clinton, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Al Gore at the presidential inauguration, January 21, 1993

Tape: 4 Story: 26 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson at sixteen and her granddaughter

Tape: 4 Story: 27 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson at an awards dinner with her daughter and granddaughter

Tape: 4 Story: 28 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson's mother, Dueallie Jackson

Tape: 4 Story: 29 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson's father, William Jackson, Sr.

Tape: 4 Story: 30 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson's baby picture, 1930s

Tape: 4 Story: 31 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson with President William 'Bill' Clinton at a town meeting on race, Akron, Ohio, December 1997

Tape: 4 Story: 32 - Photo - Dorothy Jackson with Bishop Desmond Tutu at an event at Walsh Jesuit High School, Akron, Ohio

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Dorothy Jackson discusses her career as a sign language interpreter
Dorothy Jackson signs an inspirational message
Transcript
You were on your way to Gallaudet College [Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C.], you know, on a special scholarship to learn sign language, right?$$Yes. And I had--before I learned that I was going, I actually learned--my boss said to me, "Can you go away for a month?" And I said, "No." Couldn't go away for a month. I made twenty-five dollars a week. And I paid a dollar a day for the babysitter. So, no way I could go--take off for a month. And one day in the cafeteria a girl said to me, "Congratulations." I said, "For what?" And she grabbed her mouth. And I went to my boss and said, "Why is she congratulating me?" And she said, "Well it's never mind now." I said, "Why?" She said, "Well we got you a scholarship for Gallaudet. But you said you couldn't go away." Oh I said, "Oh I can go." So I went to my babysitter. And I said to her--well I went to my sister first that I lived with. My sister, Lucille [Jackson]. And I said, "I have a chance to go to Gallaudet to learn sign language. Will you keep [daughter] Rene [Lynn Jackson-Aniere] for me? And will you pick her up from the babysitter?" And she said, "Yes." And I went to the babysitter. And I said, "I have a chance to go to Gallaudet to learn sign language. Lucille will pick up Rene. And will you keep her for me? And I won't be able to pay you. But one day I will. One day I'll be able to pay. I can't--I won't be able to pay now." And she said, "Oh yes." She would. So at that point I went to the church. And I said, "I have a chance to go to Gallaudet and learn sign language. And I want you to pray for me. Because I know, I can learn. But if they give me the test, I can't pass the test." And so they didn't give me the test until two weeks after I was there. And I could see Professor Phillips standing over me shaking his head saying, "I don't believe you. According to this test, you are not to be able to learn sign language. And I'm watching you do it everyday." And before I left, I said to all the deaf, "I'm going to go to Gallaudet. And I'm gonna to learn to talk for you." And my boss would hear me. And she'd say , "Stop telling them that. You're not going to learn. This is a language. You don't know how to speak the language. You're going for an orientation." And I'd go see the next deaf. And I'd say, "I'm going to Gallaudet. I'm gonna learn to talk for you." And she would get so upset. She would continue to call me in her office. "You must stop telling them that. You're not going to learn to talk. You're just going for an orientation." But I knew I was going to learn to talk for them. And when I came home, I knew seven hundred words. And I started interpreting the day I came home. I've interpreted for [U.S.] President [William] Clinton. And one of those pictures is in there with me and [U.S. President] Jimmy Carter. That I met to talk about the needs of the handicapped. I think I really put interpreting on the front burner in Akron [Ohio]. And I taught the first beginners' sign language class at Akron U [University of Akron, Akron, Ohio]. I taught classes at the Y [YMCA, Young Mens Christian Association]. I've interpreted for many, many people. I interpreted for the Gospel Meet Symphony. I coordinate still that program. I've founded the deaf ministry at our church. At the--several other churches, not only our church. And I've taught hundreds of people. And I still speak and teach fluent sign language. In fact, I've had the deaf say to me when I sing, "I feel like I can hear when I watch you interpret." So it to me is a gift that the Lord has given to me.$$There's a certain rhythm you have to have--,$$(Simultaneously) Oh yeah.$$To really make it flow.$$And to make it beautiful. And I believe in that very, very strong--I try to keep up with the speaker as they speak. So I've interpreted for Lou Rawls and for Ruby [Dee] and Ossie Davis. You're gonna be doing them. Give them my love. I love them dearly. They spoke here for me when I was chairing the Life Membership for NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People]. And I count them as my friends. I had the privilege of being invited to their anniversary. And I went to New York [New York] for that. So I've interpreted for many, many people. And taught many classes.$(Signs message simultaneously) Thank you for coming to Akron [Ohio]. We hope that you feel the wonderful spirit that's here. And, and thank you for telling our story. I know all the people that you'll meet while you're here. I saw the names. And I know them all. And I know they all have a story to tell. And I hope that it will inspire young people to know that especially--young African Americans to know that yes you can be anything that you want to be if you try to be you can. And just put your hand in the hand of God and let him lead you. And he will do that.

Lois Martin

Educator and civic activist Lois Martin was born on September 23, 1928 in Boca Raton, Florida to Sallie and Jasper Dolphus. Originally from Georgia, Martin’s family relocated to Boca Raton several years before she was born. She is the youngest of seven children. After graduating in 1946 from Carver High School in Delray Beach, Florida, Martin went on to earn her A.A. degree in 1948 from Florida Normal College and her B.S. degree from Florida A&M College in 1950 before beginning to pursue graduate studies at Boston College.

Martin returned to Boca Raton in 1950 and taught math for nearly forty years at Carver High School, Booker T. Washington High School and Carver Middle School.

In addition to her career as an educator, Martin had always been an active member of her community. For several years, she acted as secretary to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and later served as the vice chairman for the Housing Authority. Since retiring from teaching in 1988, Martin has participated in a number of organizations: she has been a contributor to Habitat for Humanity since 1991, sat on Boca Raton’s Historic Preservation Board since 2001, and has held the offices of vice chairman of the Pearl City Blue Ribbon Committee and treasurer for the Martin Luther King Memorial Committee. She has also served as a Sunday School teacher and treasurer for the Ebenezer Baptist Church. The Lois Martin Community Center serves the underprivileged communities of Boca Raton with a variety of services for children and teens, including tutoring and after school programs.

Martin is the mother of one son, Edward.

Lois Martin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 17, 2002.

Accession Number

A2002.061

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/17/2002

Last Name

Martin

Maker Category
Schools

Carver High School

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Florida Memorial University

Boston College

Speakers Bureau

No

First Name

Lois

Birth City, State, Country

Boca Raton

HM ID

MAR03

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Knight Foundation

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Israel

Favorite Quote

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

9/23/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tallahassee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Casserole (Eggplant)

Short Description

Civic activist and high school math teacher Lois Martin (1928 - ) taught math for nearly forty years at Carver High School, Booker T. Washington High School and Carver Middle School. Today, the Lois Martin Community Center serves the underprivileged communities of Boca Raton with a variety of services for children and teens.

Employment

Booker T. Washington High School

Carver Middle School

Carver High School

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:2036,36:2774,46:23528,372:29380,396:35676,442:39758,476:40138,482:70636,929:81270,1050:113470,1458:114262,1474:114592,1479:115252,1491:116638,1521:117298,1535:118618,1570:122890,1626:123520,1636:136395,1792:169174,2173:171968,2191:180008,2335:190216,2472:214573,2898:220900,2914$0,0:3552,48:6936,108:8440,139:8816,144:9568,153:25198,370:32670,441:57460,735:58580,755:59770,780:60120,786:71710,919:105942,1329:107489,1355:112234,1413:112738,1422:124174,1573:124844,1589:153797,1954:161786,2091:162074,2096:169940,2191:170525,2243:191656,2455:192716,2474:198740,2511
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lois Martin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lois Martin lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lois Martin talks about her parents' family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lois Martin describes her maternal grandparents and paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lois Martin recounts how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lois Martin describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lois Martin talks about her relationship with her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lois Martin describes her father's experiences as a sharecropper and their relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lois Martin talks about her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lois Martin describes the tight-knit community in Pearl City, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lois Martin details the history of the black community in Pearl City, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lois Martin describes her childhood personality and her father's favoritism toward her niece

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lois Martin talks about her parents' lack of educational opportunities

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lois Martin talks about attending Pearl City Elementary School, Roadman Elementary School, and Carver High School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lois Martin talks about her high school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lois Martin describes how her commute to Carver High School limited her participation in after-school activities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lois Martin talks about the role of teachers in her community

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lois Martin talks about how her academic achievements improved her relationship with her father

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lois Martin describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lois Martin talks about the importance of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church to the Pearl City community in Boca Raton, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lois Martin talks about her church activities

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lois Martin talks about the church activities she participated in as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Lois Martin reflects on how her Christian faith helped her to endure segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Lois Martin describes personal encounters with police brutality and segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Lois Martin talks about the factors that influenced her views on segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Lois Martin talks about her parents' reluctance to fight for civil rights violations

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Lois Martin remembers having to use outdated books in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lois Martin talks about standing up to police misconduct in Pearl City, Boca Raton, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lois Martin talks about becoming the salutatorian of Carver High School in 1946

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lois Martin talks about college tuition and her decision to transfer to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University after two years at Florida Normal College

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lois Martin describes unpleasant memories from Florida Normal College in St. Augustine, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lois Martin talks about her decision to go to Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University [FAMU] in Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lois Martin describes her resolve to succeed as a math major

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lois Martin talks about finding a job to pay her college tuition

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lois Martin reflects upon her decision to major in math as a woman

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lois Martin talks about how she became a math teacher at Carver High School in Delray Beach, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lois Martin talks about graduate work at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Lois Martin remembers her first years of teaching at Carver High School in Delray Beach, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Lois Martin describes the delayed effect of Brown v. Board of Education

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lois Martin talks about inequity in schools and winning a lawsuit for equal pay led by C. Spencer Pompey and Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lois Martin describes how she prepared her students for future opportunities

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lois Martin describes the integration of Booker T. Washington High School in Montgomery, Alabama, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lois Martin describes the integration of Booker T. Washington High School in Montgomery, Alabama, pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lois Martin talks about how economic competition between black and white business owners in Montgomery, Alabama improved customer service

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lois Martin talks about the day Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lois Martin reflects on the process of integrating Carver High School in Delray Beach, Florida in 1970

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lois Martin describes the friction between black and white teachers after the integration of Carver High School in Delray Beach, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lois Martin talks about her volunteer work in Boca Raton, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Lois Martin talks about her work in the Boca Raton Housing Authority and her commitment to the Pearl City community in Boca Raton, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lois Martin describes her work on Habitat for Humanity's selection committee

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lois Martin talks about her work at the Historic Preservation Board and her role in designating Pearl City as a historic district in Boca Raton, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lois Martin talks about her work at The Haven, the Lois Martin Community Center, and Ebenezer Missionary Baptist church

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lois Martin explains how her spirit of determination is driven by her Christian faith

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lois Martin talks about her dedication to her students

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lois Martin reflects upon how broken homes impact the education system in America

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lois Martin shares her hopes for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lois Martin explains why prayer needs to be put back in public schools

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lois Martin talks about her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lois Martin describes her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

12$8

DATitle
Lois Martin describes personal encounters with police brutality and segregation
Lois Martin describes the friction between black and white teachers after the integration of Carver High School in Delray Beach, Florida
Transcript
Do you have any specific stories or instances where you had face-to-face situations of segregation, society here in Boca [Boca Raton, Florida] as a child or Pearl City [Boca Raton, Florida]?$$During the time when [Police] Chief [Hugh] 'Brownie'[Brown] they call it, was the [police] chief of Pearl [City], of Boca Raton. He was the chief for many, many years. They were looking for a black man that had a rifle or whatever. Anyway, he ran across my brother hunting I guess about eight miles from here out in the woods and he had a rifle. He didn't ask him any questions. He just beat him to a pulp almost. And then finally he came up and he said, "Who--what is your name?" And he told them the name. "So why you didn't tell me that before? Cause I know you're Jasper's [Dolphus] son." He said "You never asked me or gave me a chance to say anything." So he brought him home. And he said--didn't say I'm sorry, but he said, "I brought your son in and if he had spoke out earlier, he wouldn't be in the shape he's in." And I looked at the situation and I said, "You know, one day you're going to have to reap what you sow." And my mother [Sallie Dolphus] says, "Don't say anything," you know, cause she was afraid because he was the [police] chief. But I told him, I said and my mother said go, go, go, get back out of here, whatever. So anyway that was one situation. I had a situation happen to me down in Fort Lauderdale [Florida]. I went down to shop at Fort Lauderdale; that was one of the places we used to go to shop, Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach [Florida] cause you didn't have any stores, dress stores or what have you, around here [Pearl City]. And I was in the ten cent store there and I had to go to the bathroom. And I looked up, white only, women, white only. I walked right in. So one of the cashiers run in behind me. She says, "You can't come in here." I said, "Wait till I finish." So when I finished, I came out, she had gone out and she had gotten the manager and he came to the door. And he said--was at the door when I came out. He said to me, "Can't you read?" I said, "Read, read what?" He says, "That sign up there says 'white women only.'" I said, "I didn't know we had any white women in these United States. I see some of you look a little flush in the face, but it's not white." So anyway the other girl was with me say, "Hey, you know, don't push it now." So anyway he told the lady, say, "Well she's out already so we can't do anything about it." So he says, "Get on out the store," so I left. But I got time for the most part. There was a parking lot to the north of that dime store where we used to park the old car if we came in a car. And usually if you had to go to the bathroom, just go around the side of one of those cars in the parking lot, you know. But that particular time I decided that I'm going to go right in here, and I did.$And your experiences with it.$$Right.$$With the teachers and having an integrated staff and everything like that. Do you think that was a more positive situation than it was when it was the separate situation?$$It was. But on the other hand, some of the teachers thought that they too were a little bit better than some of us. And you had problems there sometimes in connection with them. Or you might have had someone that was over you that was not quail--that was under qualified and you're overqualified and they're over you. And so you have friction sometimes. I give you an example. They hired a lady--they gave her a title and she had to check the lesson plans of the teachers and make a report and whatever. So when she came to Carver, she said to me, she says, "I don't know any math. And I need your help. I want you to teach me how to check the lesson plans and all, and what's needed and something about the goals and all of this." So I did, I taught her. The next year I turned in a lesson plan to her. She had all these red marks on there. So I went to her and I had quadratic equation on there. I said, "What equation is this?" She said, "You know I don't know any math, I don't know what that is." I said, "And how did you put these red marks out here on my paper?" She said, "Well I had to show some indication that I at least checked it." I said, "But you didn't check it, you just put some red marks down." I said, "Now I tell you what. You find yourself some whiteout and get every red mark out of my lesson plan book. Then turn it back to me." I said, "And the next person you hear from will be the principal." I went to the principal. I said, "Well I, I said I didn't know what was coming up," I said, "but the Lord prepared me for this." I said, "I have individualized my textbook that I'm using. And because the kids are gonna be on all kind of levels, I cannot do lesson plans. I can give you my scope what I'm doing. I can give you the booklet of where they're going next and everything else and all of that. But just a lesson plan for this week I can't do it." I said, "And I thank God that I have it all ready and here it is. And I will not be doing anymore lesson plan." And that's when I stopped doing lesson plan because of those red marks in my lesson plan book. And she didn't know anything about quadratic formula that she was markin' up.$$So you had more difficulties dealing with white staff members than with children.$$Children, no problem.