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Charles "Fred" Hearns

Municipal official Charles “Fred” Hearns was born on November 28, 1948 in the Bronx, New York to Grace Tillman Clark and Samuel Hearns. He attended College Hill Elementary School, Booker T. Washington Junior High School and George S. Middleton High School in Tampa, Florida. Hearns went on to receive his B.A. degree in English journalism from the University of South Florida in Tampa in 1970 and his M.A. degree from Springfield College Tampa Bay in 2011. He later obtained his second M.A. degree, this time in African American studies from the University of South Florida in 2014.

In 1970, Hearns briefly worked as a newspaper reporter for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida before returning to Tampa to accept a position as general news editor at the Florida Sentinel Bulletin. In 1971, Hearns became the sports information director for Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He remained there until 1974, when he returned to Tampa to work in the city’s Department of Community Affairs. Hearns worked for the city in this department for over thirty-two years, beginning as a community relations representative and working his way up to director. During his tenure, Hearns worked on several major projects including the reestablishment of his high school alma mater, and as a consultant for the revitalization of the Perry Harvey, Sr. Park project. He was also a founding member of several civic organizations in the city such as the 78th Street Improvement Association, the Ada T. Payne Friends of the Urban Libraries and the Robert W. Saunders Library Foundation, Inc. In 2005, Hearns started his own tourism business, Fred Hearns Tours, LLC, which included both bus and walking tours of Tampa’s African American history. The next year, he wrote an autobiographical book, ‘Getting It Done: Rebuilding Black America Brick By Brick.’ 

Hearns served as president of the local chapter of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and was a longtime member of the NAACP, the Tampa Urban League and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He also worked as a consultant for the ENCORE housing project in Tampa. Hearns served on the Friends of the Riverwalk committee and on the Florida Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In 2014, he was awarded the Robert Saunders Award for Community Service.

Charles “Fred” Hearns was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 11, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.187

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/11/2018

Last Name

Hearns

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Bronx

HM ID

HEA02

Favorite Season

Thanksgiving

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York, New York

Favorite Quote

Friendship Is Essential To The Soul.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

11/28/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tampa

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Turkey

Short Description

Municipal official Charles “Fred” Hearns (1948- ) served as director at the City of Tampa, department of community affairs. In 2005, Hearns started his own tourism business and wrote an autobiographical book, ‘Getting It Done: Rebuilding Black America Brick By Brick.’ 

Favorite Color

Purple

The Honorable Peter C. Harvey

Lawyer Peter C. Harvey was born in the Bronx, New York on February 2, 1958 to Lillian Holland Harvey and Reverend Raymond Harvey. In 1948, Harvey’s mother established at the Tuskegee Institute the first baccalaureate degree program in nursing in the State of Alabama.. His father also worked on campus, serving as chaplain of the Tuskegee Institute Chapel. Harvey went on to earn his B.A. degree in political science from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland in 1979, and his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in New York City in 1982.

After graduation, Harvey was hired as an associate at the New York law firm of Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays and Handler, where he worked on intellectual property litigation cases. In 1986, Harvey joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey as an assistant United States attorney. From 1986 to 1989, he worked on organized crime and drug trafficking. In 1989, Harvey joined the State of New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. As special assistant to Attorney General Robert Del Tufo, Harvey helped draft a landmark assault weapons regulation bill, which was passed by the New Jersey Legislature and signed into law by Governor Jim Florio in May, 1990. That same year, Harvey returned to private practice as an associate at the law firm of Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland and Perretti LLP. In 2002, he was appointed first assistant attorney general of New Jersey where he directed the Division of Criminal Justice. On July 10, 2003, Harvey was sworn in as the fifty-fourth New Jersey attorney general, becoming the first African American to hold this office. During his three year term, Harvey focused on police reform as well as anti-gang and anti-fraud initiatives. Harvey resigned in 2006 and returned to private practice as a partner at the law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb and Tyler LLP.

Harvey served as an active member of the Morgan State University Alumni Association. In 2012, the university named him alumnus of the year. Harvey has retained memberships in the National Bar Association, American Bar Association and National Association of Attorneys General.

Harvey and his wife, Tammy Ayers Harvey, have three children, Ayana Harvey, David Harvey and Aja Harvey.

Peter C. Harvey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 26, 2018 and March 25, 2019.

Accession Number

A2018.127

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/26/2018

3/25/2019

Last Name

Harvey

Maker Category
Middle Name

C.

Occupation
Schools

Chambliss Children's House at Tuskegee Institute

Tuskegee Institute High School

Boggs Academy

Morgan State University

Columbia Law School

First Name

Peter

Birth City, State, Country

Bronx

HM ID

HAR55

Favorite Season

September

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Foreign Cities with Museums, Restaurants, and Wineries

Favorite Quote

Imagination Is Sometimes Superior To Knowledge

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

2/2/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Italian, Chinese, and Barbecue

Short Description

Lawyer Peter C. Harvey (1958- ) was sworn in on July 10, 2003 as the fifty-fourth New Jersey attorney general, the first African American to hold the office. Prior to that, he worked in the New Jersey Office of Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Employment

Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler

U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey

New Jersey

Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP

Belknap Webb & Taylor LLP

Favorite Color

Purple

Hansel Tookes II

Corporate executive Hansel E. Tookes II was born on December 11, 1947 in the Bronx, New York to Leona Washington Tookes and Hansel E. “Tootie” Tookes. Tookes’ father was an associate professor of health and physical education at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Tookes earned his B.S. degree in physics from Florida State University in 1969, and received his M.S. degree in aeronautical systems from the University of West Florida in 1971.

Following his graduation from the University of West Florida, Tookes enlisted in the United States Navy. He reached the rank of lieutenant commander and piloted Lockheed P-3 Orions during his military career. Tookes was discharged from the Navy in 1977 and became a pilot for United Airlines. In 1980, Tookes joined Norden Systems, Inc. While working at Norden Systems, Tookes was named as contract project director with the U.S. Navy in 1988. The contract was for a new radar system for the McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II advanced tactical aircraft. He remained with Norden Systems until 1989, when he accepted a position as vice president of business planning at Hamilton Sunstrand. Tookes later became vice president of support systems at Hamilton Sunstrand, which placed him in charge of customer support for all of the company’s aircraft products. In 1997, Tookes became president of Pratt and Whitney’s government engines division. He joined Raytheon Aircraft Company as president and chief operating officer in 1999. Only a year later, Tookes became chairman and chief executive officer of Raytheon. He retired from Raytheon International, Inc. in 2001.

Tookes served as a board member for Harris Information Technology Services, Inc., FPL Group, Inc., Waypoint Aeronautical Corporation, and Florida State University. Tookes served as a director for Corning, Inc. beginning in 2001, for Ryder System, Inc. since 2002, and for NextEra Energy, Inc. starting in 2005. He also served on the board of directors for the Harris Corporation beginning in 2005. Tookes was the chairperson for the corporation’s governance and corporate responsibility committee in 2001.

Tookes and his wife, Paula Wyche Tookes, have two children, Heather Tookes and Hansel E. Tookes III.

Hansel E. Tookes II was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 21, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.138

Sex

Male

Interview Date

08/22/2017

Last Name

Tookes

Maker Category
Middle Name

E.

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Hansel

Birth City, State, Country

Bronx

HM ID

TOO02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Water and family

Favorite Quote

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind ...

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

12/11/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Palm Beach

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Steak and seafood

Short Description

Corporate executive Hansel E. Tookes II (1948 - ) held executive positions at Norden Systems, Inc., Hamilton Standard, and Pratt and Whitney. After twenty-one years working in the aerospace industry, he retired from Raytheon International, Inc. in 2001.

Favorite Color

Blue

The Honorable Bill Perkins

Political official and activist Bill Perkins was born on April 14, 1944 in the South Bronx neighborhood of New York City. After completing high school preparatory courses at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, Perkins was awarded a full scholarship to attend the elite Collegiate Preparatory School during high school. Following graduation, he received a full scholarship to attend Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he earned his B.A. degree in political science in 1972.

After graduating from Brown University, Perkins returned to New York City, where he worked as a social worker and tenant organizer. Encouraged by former Harlem politician, Bill Lynch, Perkins founded the Sojourner Truth Democratic Club as a base for his community activism. In 1998, Perkins was elected to the New York City Council, where he served as deputy majority leader during his seven year tenure. Perkins garnered national attention as an outspoken advocate for progressive issues, including public health, human rights, community services, and education reform. He sponsored the Childhood Lead Paint Poisoning Prevention Act of 2004, and tackled New York City’s rat infestation problem. As an advocate of public education, he also secured funding for scholarships, full-time staffing, and college preparatory courses for the City University of New York (CUNY) system. In 2006, Perkins was elected to the New York State Senate as a representative of New York City’s 30th District, which encompassed Harlem, East Harlem, the Upper West Side, and Washington Heights. Perkins supported raising the minimum wage, reforming the juvenile justice system to prevent minors from being sentenced as adults, setting limits on the solitary confinement of prisoners, and prohibiting eating on subways to minimize the rat population. In 2007, Perkins was the first New York City politician to support presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

After leaving the New York Senate in 2017, Perkins returned to the New York City Council as a representative of the 9th District. He introduced the Patriot Act Resolution in the City Council, and sponsored landmark legislation to protect the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender communities.

Perkins is married to Pamela Green.

Bill Perkins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 26, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.055

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/26/2016

11/10/2016

Last Name

Perkins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Dartmouth College

Brown University

Collegiate School

First Name

Bill

Birth City, State, Country

Bronx

HM ID

PER06

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

New York

Favorite Quote

Your health is your wealth.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/14/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Short Description

Political official and activist Bill Perkins (1944 - ) served on the New York City Council from 1998 to 2005, and the New York State Senate from 2006 to 2017, before returning to the New York City Council.

Employment

Unknown

New York City Council

New York State Senate

Malik Yoba

Actor and youth activist Malik Yoba was born Abdul-Malik Kashie Yoba on September 17, 1967 in the Bronx, New York to Erutan Abdullah Yoba and Mahmoudah Young Lanier. He was raised as a Sunni Muslim in East Harlem. Yoba earned his high school diploma in 1989 from City-As-School in Manhattan, New York.

In 1983, Yoba began working at the Negro Ensemble Theatre in concessions, as an usher, and in other roles. He joined the City Kids Foundation, an arts-education focused youth leadership organization, in 1986, beginning as a volunteer and eventually becoming vice president of the Foundation in 1991. Yoba’s acting career began in 1989 with a small AIDS-education film called Seriously Fresh. In 1991, he landed a starring role in the Disney film Cool Runnings. In 1994, while making an appearance in an episode of Law & Order, Yoba auditioned for a new Fox television police drama called New York Undercover, receiving the lead role of NYPD Detective J. C. Williams. He and his co-star Michael DeLorenzo made history as the first cop-drama featuring actors of color in both leading roles. Yoba went on to star in several television series, such as Bull, Thief, Defying Gravity, Alphas, and Revolution. He also continued his film career, starring in movies like Smoke, CopLand, Soul Food, Why Did I Get Married? and its sequel Why Did I Get Married Too?, and Betty and Coretta. Yoba starred in the David E. Talbert play His Woman, His Wife in 2000, touring the country with the production. In 2011, he began teaching a course entitled “The Working Actor” at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus. Yoba co-founded and launched iconic32, a lifestyle company and innovation studio, in 2014. That same year, he joined the cast of the Fox series Empire, starring alongside actor Terrence Howard.

In 1994, The New York Times named Yoba one of 30 young artists under the age of 30 who would change American culture in the next thrity years. Yoba was honored with three NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series in 1996, 1997, and 1998 for his work on New York Undercover. He founded the Malik Yoba Fatherhood Project in 2001, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. inducted Yoba as an honorary brother in 2009.

Yoba lives in New York, New York, and has three children, Josiah, Dena, and Pria.

Malik Yoba was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 9, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.262

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/9/2014

Last Name

Yoba

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Hs 560 City-As-School

P.S. 198

P.S. 109 Sedgwick School

Park West High School

Julia Richman High School

First Name

Malik

Birth City, State, Country

Bronx

HM ID

YOB01

Favorite Season

Warm Weather

State

New York

Favorite Quote

Lean Not On Your Own Understanding.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/17/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

New York Pizza

Short Description

Actor Malik Yoba (1967 - ) was best known for his roles in the film 'Cool Runnings' and the television series 'New York Undercover' and 'Empire.'

Employment

Negro Ensemble Company

City Kids Foundation

iconic32

Favorite Color

Gray

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Malik Yoba's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Malik Yoba lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Malik Yoba describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Malik Yoba talks about his father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Malik Yoba recalls his father's conversion to Sunni Islam

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Malik Yoba describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Malik Yoba describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Malik Yoba describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Malik Yoba describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Malik Yoba describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Malik Yoba talks about his family's living arrangements

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Malik Yoba describes his early experiences of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Malik Yoba describes the demographics of his neighborhood in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Malik Yoba talks about the influence of his Sunni Muslim upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Malik Yoba describes his home life

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Malik Yoba describes his siblings' experiences in his father's household

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Malik Yoba talks about his conversion to Buddhism

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Malik Yoba describes his mother's influence on his artistic ability

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Malik Yoba talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Malik Yoba remembers his early interest in acting

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Malik Yoba talks about his experiences with diversity in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Malik Yoba recalls working for the Negro Ensemble Company

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Malik Yoba describes his early acting aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Malik Yoba describes his early love for the theater

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Malik Yoba reflects upon his determination to succeed as an actor

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Malik Yoba talks about his current project, 'From Harlem to Hollywood'

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Malik Yoba remembers the World Peace Culture Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Malik Yoba recalls working with The CityKids Foundation, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Malik Yoba talks about his experiences with The CityKids Foundation, Inc. in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Malik Yoba recalls the celebrity support for The CityKids Foundation, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Malik Yoba remembers landing a role in 'Cool Runnings'

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Malik Yoba talks about the impact of Buddhism on his career

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Malik Yoba remembers reconciling with his father

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Malik Yoba reflects upon the early stages of his film career

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Malik Yoba remembers Bruce Willis' acting advice

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Malik Yoba describes his approach to screen acting

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Malik Yoba remembers joining the cast of 'New York Undercover'

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Malik Yoba talks about the initial success of 'New York Undercover'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Malik Yoba recalls the unfair treatment on the set of 'New York Undercover'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Malik Yoba talks about what he learned as an actor

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Malik Yoba talks about the inspiration for 'New York Undercover'

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Malik Yoba reflects upon his sudden success as an actor

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Malik Yoba talks about the lack of mentorship during his early career

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Malik Yoba reflects upon the prominence of black culture during the 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Malik Yoba talks about the importance of therapy

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Malik Yoba recalls advocating for better working conditions on the set of 'New York Undercover'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Malik Yoba talks about the cancellation of 'New York Undercover'

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Malik Yoba remembers the decline of his career after 'New York Undercover'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Malik Yoba talks about Will Smith's acting career

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Malik Yoba recalls his television roles after 'New York Undercover'

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Malik Yoba reflects upon his reputation in Hollywood

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Malik Yoba talks about the challenges of being an actor

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Malik Yoba remembers meeting and marrying Cat Wilson

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Malik Yoba talks about his business ventures and charitable work

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Malik Yoba recalls starring in Tyler Perry's 'Why Did I Get Married?'

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Malik Yoba describes the plot of the movie 'Why Did I Get Married?'

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Malik Yoba talks about the television series 'Alphas'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Malik Yoba talks about the television show 'Empire'

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Malik Yoba reflects upon his career

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Malik reflects upon his life and plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Malik Yoba talks about his spirituality

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Malik Yoba describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Malik Yoba reflects upon the legacy of his generation

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Malik Yoba reflects upon the black culture of the 1990s

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Malik Yoba reflects upon his life's journey

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

9$4

DATitle
Malik Yoba remembers landing a role in 'Cool Runnings'
Malik Yoba talks about the initial success of 'New York Undercover'
Transcript
And, then, like I said, I answered that ad one day. Got that job. Forgot about it. Actually, I--well, I did the first job, the first film, and then when I auditioned for 'Cool Runnings,' I just went in, as I had over the years and, didn't really expect much. It was an open call. I was the last person, on the last day. And, I was asked to do some improv. Two months later, I'm at Greenpeace [Greenpeace USA, Chicago, Illinois], at a meeting, and the phone rings and it's Disney [The Walt Disney Company], saying, "We tracked you down." I was like, "How the hell did you get my number?" "Well, we called your office, they told us you were here. And, we need you to fly to L.A. [Los Angeles, California] tomorrow to screen test." And, I thought it was a joke. "No, I have a job. I have to ask my boss." And, so when I, I left the meeting at Greenpeace, went back to my office and asked my boss, "Would it be okay to fly to L.A.," (laughter), "the next day to screen test?" She was like, "Boy, you better get outta here and go au- you know, go screen test." And, that's how I got the movie 'Cool Runnings.'$$So, can you talk about the making of that movie? You said it was somewhat--$$Of 'Cool Runnings'? Yeah. Well, 'Cool Runnings' for me was--the two things in my life early on that really drove home the power of positive thinking and the power of intention; probably three things. But, I used to always wonder what it felt like to get shot. Don't ask why, but I did. As, a kid, I was like what does that feel like? And, I got shot at fifteen. But, I also wanted to go to the Olympics and bobsled. And, when the Lake Placid Olympics [1980 Winter Olympics] happened in New York [Lake Placid, New York] in 1980, I remember looking at the bobsled competition thinking, I wanna do that one day. And, so every time the Olympics come around, I get all passionate. And, one of the reasons why I raced BMX is because in some way a BMX course if like a bobsled course without the jumps. And, I was into the speed and the turns and all that kind of crazy stuff. And, I remember shooting the movie 'Cool Runnings' at Calgary, Calgary Olympic Park [WinSport's Canada Olympic Park, Calgary, Canada] and being at the top of the bobsled run. We had our Jamaican bobsled uniforms on and a lot of the extras in the movies were actually people that were at the Olympics and this is where they actually did the bobsled run. And, I realized that here I was, bobsledding in the Olympic as I, as I wanted to do as a kid. And, that whole period of my life was pretty magical because I wasn't pursuing acting. I was really passionate about working with young people and I was pursuing more music. So, aside from all the stuff I did with CityKids [The CityKids Foundation, Inc., New York, New York], I was also playing my guitar and doing little band stuff, and writing music for the performances that CityKids would do. And, occasionally jump in on stage with them. And, you know, there were a lot of actors that were actively pursuing acting, and I just felt like, I don't wanna do that. I don't wanna run around and have people basically tell me no, all day long. 'Cause I'd see my friends come back and they were pissed off because they didn't get some job. But, with music, I could pick my guitar up and sing in the subway, or in the park, whatever, and that's what I did. I'd do showcases around the city.$'New York Undercover,' it had elements that you knew were special. Like, for me as a kid growing up in New York [New York], one of the things that I always felt when I'd see film that's depicting New York, there was, you know, if there was something inauthentic about the portrayal, it would just like, grate at me. And, so, there were times when I remember saying to myself, I can't wait 'til, like, have the opportunity to, like, represent New York, and--or that street dude in a way that I knew was authentic. And, so, we had that. And, we had the music and, you know, just felt good and, and you can see from very early--from the very first episodes airing just how people responded to it. If felt like it was special. I don't think we knew how special it was until it came out and ran for a couple of years and you saw how it changed people's lives. I mean, there are people who became cops because of that show. Or, the relationship that men had with their sons, or with their kids--their exes, and their baby mamas or whatever. How we gave a platform for musicians. That, you know, at that time, maybe people had Arsenio ['The Arsenio Hall Show'] as a way to be seen, you know, maybe if you can get on BET [Black Entertainment Television] or MTV [Music Television; MTV] at the time. But, we were a platform for people to be seen. For talent in the city, if you were an actor of color, even if you weren't an actor of color, you know, New York City, a lot of actors got a chance to work. And, a lot of actors that came through that show. Like, I'm doing 'Empire' now with Terrence Howard. Terrence Howard was a guest on that show. Where peop- you know, so many people, Mekhi Phifer, and you know, Taye Diggs, and I mean, even Naomi Campbell. Naomi Campbell's on 'Empire' now, you know doing a bit on 'Empire.' And, here we are twenty years later working together again. So, it was, it was a special time. And, personally, you know, I wasn't prepared for what came with that, in terms of the exposure and the adulations and all that stuff. I mean, that definitely took me for a loop, you know. It's very unnatural to be, you know, put out front and center like that and be expected to behave normally.$$Well, you're--first of all, you're in your hometown too.$$Um-hm.$$You know, and, and can you, and you are at this point, you are in your earl- your twenties (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) I'm twenty-six.$$That's, that's very, that's young.$$Yeah. I'm a baby.$$A baby. And--

Derek Ferguson

Entertainment company executive Derek Ferguson was born on April 20, 1965 in the Bronx, New York to Roberta Lewis Pieck and James Ferguson. He attended Stuyvesant High School, and, at the age of sixteen, was accepted into the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1985 with his B.S. degree in economics. Upon graduation, Ferguson was hired as an auditor and mergers and acquisitions analyst at Coopers and Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) and became a certified public accountant. In 1988, he co-founded and served as chief operating officer of Urban Profile Communications Inc., which produced the Urban Profile lifestyle magazine. In 1990, Ferguson received his M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School, where he was also vice president of the African American Student Association.

In 1991, Ferguson sold Urban Profile Communications Inc. and secured a position at Bain and Company in Boston, Massachusetts. At Bain, he became one of the first two African Americans to be promoted to manager. In 1996, he was named vice president of worldwide finance at Sony BMG Entertainment, and was then appointed vice president of finance and operations for BMG Special Products. In 1998, Ferguson was hired as Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group’s chief financial officer, where he was responsible for business development, business planning and forecasting, and financial operations of the Bad Boy family of companies. Ferguson has since been named chief growth officer of Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group and reports directly to the company’s chairman, Sean “Diddy” Combs.

Ferguson is a member of New York Covenant Church in New Rochelle, New York, where he is the leader of the Economic Justice ministry. Through this ministry, the Church has launched various businesses, including Cross Trainers Apparel, Covenant Building Services and Life Music. In addition, Ferguson has held bible studies for employees at Bad Boy Worldwide for a number of years.

His awards include the Maggie L. Walker Award for the African American at the Wharton School with the highest grade point average, and the Emma Higginbotham award for academic achievement and community involvement.

Ferguson is married to Regina Bullock Ferguson. They have three children; Reginald, Maya and Peri.

Derek Ferguson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 15, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.139

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

7/15/2014

Last Name

Ferguson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Talmar

Organizations
Schools

P.S. 69 The New Visions School

Cs 232

Ps 152 Evergreen School

Jhs 125 Henry Hudson

Stuyvesant High School

University of Pennsylvania

Harvard Business School

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Derek

Birth City, State, Country

Bronx

HM ID

FER05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

North Carolina, South Carolina beaches

Favorite Quote

For We Are God’s Workmanship Created In Christ Jesus To Do Good Work That Was Planned In Advance For Us To Do.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/20/1965

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Entertainment executive Derek Ferguson (1965 - ) was the chief growth officer for Combs Enterprises. He also co-founded Urban Profile magazine.

Employment

Bad Boy Entertainment/Combs Enterprises

Bertelsmann Music Group

Bain & Company

Urban Profile Communications

Coopers & Liebern

Favorite Color

Maroon and Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:4128,68:4608,74:7872,115:8352,121:9984,226:33370,561:34045,580:34495,592:35245,608:37870,701:38845,724:42445,828:43570,845:50995,1058:51295,1063:51895,1075:53695,1371:87680,1680:88000,1685:89600,1715:90240,1724:97600,1904:98400,1924:102740,1940:108633,2064:110127,2090:135160,2499:135440,2504:136700,2566:138450,2599:138800,2606:139220,2613:150860,2793$0,0:170,3:870,16:1290,23:1780,32:2060,40:2900,53:3810,72:4090,77:4650,87:9605,169:10474,181:12291,230:15767,305:17031,328:17426,334:18690,365:21376,410:21692,415:22087,421:22561,428:23509,447:31251,583:40010,644:42417,695:53620,867:54065,873:60295,972:60651,990:61007,995:68661,1155:69017,1160:73556,1246:86456,1327:88184,1346:89696,1369:93260,1396:95960,1474:102534,1563:107726,1657:108342,1668:111422,1714:114678,1773:128230,1960:130410,1968:132256,1999:132753,2008:135096,2074:139427,2173:142196,2231:143190,2249:143687,2272:152167,2333:153301,2351:153706,2357:161404,2435:162184,2450:164914,2580:180950,2745:181850,2762:188350,2843:190558,2880:195342,2951:198286,3007:204280,3104:205640,3121:206280,3130:215629,3261:216115,3268:218059,3292:224377,3384:226240,3419:226645,3425:233292,3496:244964,3717:245804,3728:252776,3885:263560,4094:266120,4152:266520,4158:267240,4169:271400,4266:283772,4422:284152,4428:285976,4478:288028,4541:288712,4557:289548,4569:292180,4577
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Derek Ferguson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Derek Ferguson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Derek Ferguson describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Derek Ferguson describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Derek Ferguson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Derek Ferguson recalls his religious upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Derek Ferguson talks about his parents' move to New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Derek Ferguson describes his brother, Gregory Ferguson, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Derek Ferguson describes his brother, Gregory Ferguson, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Derek Ferguson talks about his sister Robbin Ferguson

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Derek Ferguson recalls his early success in school

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Derek Ferguson talks about the benefits of keeping a gifted student among their peers in school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Derek Ferguson talks about his sister's interests

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Derek Ferguson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Derek Ferguson remembers his neighborhood in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Derek Ferguson describes the socioeconomic and racial demographics of his neighborhood in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Derek Ferguson talks about his father's trucking business

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Derek Ferguson remembers his parents' hospitality

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Derek Ferguson talks about the support from his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Derek Ferguson describes the sight, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Derek Ferguson describes his early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Derek Ferguson talks about his sports icons

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Derek Ferguson remembers being accepted to Stuyvesant High School in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Derek Ferguson remembers his first day at Stuyvesant High School in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Derek Ferguson describes his experience at Stuyvesant High School in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Derek Ferguson talks about his interest in music

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Derek Ferguson recalls his favorite music as a deejay

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Derek Ferguson recalls his decision to attend the University of Pennsylvania in in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Derek Ferguson describes his social experience at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Derek Ferguson talks about his academic performance at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Derek Ferguson remembers his summer internships

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Derek Ferguson talks about his mentors at Coopers and Lybrand

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Derek Ferguson remembers cofounding Urban Profile magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Derek Ferguson describes Keith Clinkscales

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Derek Ferguson talks about the content in Urban Profile magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Derek Ferguson describes the operating structure of Urban Profile magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Derek Ferguson talks about the distribution and marketing strategy for Urban Profile magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Derek Ferguson talks about the profitability of Urban Profile magazine and the Harvard Business School student handbook

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Derek Ferguson describes the network of Harvard Business School alumni

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Derek Ferguson remembers being hired at Bain and Company

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Derek Ferguson describes the merger of Camelot Music by Trans World Entertainment Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Derek Ferguson talks about minority recruiting at Bain and Company

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Derek Ferguson recalls his decision to leave Bain and Company

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Derek Ferguson describes his experience working at Bertelsmann Music Group

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Derek Ferguson talks about the music industry during his time at Bertelsmann Music Group

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Derek Ferguson recalls building professional relationships at Bertelsmann Music Group

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Derek Ferguson remembers interviewing with Sean Combs

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Derek Ferguson talks about the development of Sean John clothing line

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Derek Ferguson describes the organizational structure of Combs Enterprises

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Derek Ferguson remembers Benny Medina

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Derek Ferguson talks about corporate structuring

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Derek Ferguson describes his role in the first two years as CFO at Combs Enterprises

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Derek Ferguson describes the quality and success of Sean John clothing line

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Derek Ferguson remembers the executives at Combs Enterprises

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Derek Ferguson talks about the pressures facing the music industry

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Derek Ferguson recalls the artists signed to Bad Boy Records

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Derek Ferguson describes his role as CFO of Comb Enterprises

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Derek Ferguson remembers Comb Enterprises' joint venture partnership with Warner Music Group

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Derek Ferguson talks about the success of Combs Enterprises

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Derek Ferguson talks about Sean Combs' business acumen

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Derek Ferguson describes the Blue Flame marketing agency

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Derek Ferguson talks about the development of Revolt television network

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Derek Ferguson recalls recruiting Andy Schoen and Keith Clinkscales to Revolt television network

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Derek Ferguson talks about AQUAhydrate

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Derek Ferguson recalls Combs Enterprises' acquisition of Ciroc

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Derek Ferguson talks about the marketing for AQUAhydrate

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Derek Ferguson describes his role as chief growth officer of Combs Enterprises

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Derek Ferguson talks about merging his faith and his professional life

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Derek Ferguson recalls starting a bible study and worship service at Combs Enterprises

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Derek Ferguson talks about the unconventional nature of religion in the workplace

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Derek Ferguson shares his plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Derek Ferguson reflects upon the legacy of his generation

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Derek Ferguson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Derek Ferguson talks about the individual's role in collective action

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Derek Ferguson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Derek Ferguson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$5

DAStory

11$8

DATitle
Derek Ferguson recalls his early success in school
Derek Ferguson describes his role in the first two years as CFO at Combs Enterprises
Transcript
(Simultaneous) So when did you catch up in the grades?$$So I was in third grade, I did about a couple of months in third grade [at P.S. 69 The New Visions School; P.S. 69 Journey Prep School, Bronx, New York] and the teachers were, so I was doing really well and they decided to give me an IQ test and I took a bunch of these IQ tests and basically kind of a couple of months into third grade they're like, "We're moving you to fourth grade." And what was tougher about it is at the time, so I grew up in the Bronx [New York] so we're in the Bronx so I'm at a school where I can walk to the school, this is third grade, and I walk with my brother [Gregory Ferguson] and sister [Robbin Ferguson] went there, so I, you know, walked with them. And they wanted to move me to the fourth grade, but they also wanted to move me to a special program, which was at a different school [C.S. 232, Bronx, New York]. So now, I'm gonna be younger than all the kids, I'm in a different neighborhood, which is, you know, the Bronx is still the Bronx, right, so you don't know what you're walking into. And I had to take a bus to school, public bus, and I was eight years old or something, you know. So, back then, I look at it now and I'm like wow, my parents [Roberta Lewis Pieck and James Ferguson] were really, really trustworthy because they kind of showed me how to get to the school once and then I was like, I was taking the bus, like public bus myself to go to school in this new kind of foreign area to me with all these kids I didn't know, and it was like really, like there's a lot of times when I'm just like wow, you know, God was just on my side because the kids were so nice, they were so helpful, they were so friendly that they kind of welcomed me in and helped me out and like literally, you know, you had this program, there was a lot of kids that were, that were accelerated but the rest of the school was just the school. And so there was a lot of, you know, fights and, you know, everything you would expect in an inner city and I just had, I just had kids that just decided to protect me, like for no reason, like oh no you can't, don't bother him, you know like big kids that would just literally step in and diffuse any issue that anybody would have towards me. It was just like literally like kind of angels protecting me, but that, that's, but that's on the side so I did third grade, so third to fourth and so then I was a year behind my sister and then I did a program in junior high school [J.H.S. 125 Henry Hudson, Bronx, New York] where I did seventh, eighth and ninth in two years, versus three years. It's called an SP program, pretty popular program in, in the cities at that time, so at that point, so going into high school I, I basically caught up with my sister.$So what are the things that you play an instrumental role in, let's say your first two years [at Combs Enterprises]?$$So I think it was, you know there was always major initiatives that were going on, right, so I may not have the timeline right, but you know, so negotiations with Arista [Arista Records] always ongoing. After every deal there's a new deal you're working on, and then eventually negotiations with other record companies. When I first came on board, we really finalized the initial deal with Sean John, where we brought on a partner to partner with us and actually fund the launch of Sean John, so I was heavily involved with that.$$Now who was the partner?$$The partner was a company, an Indian family that was based out of Queens [New York] and their fashion, the name of their company was Fashion Ventures. The family was the Soni [ph.] family, great family. They were like kind of garmentos, but not your traditional Garmentos in that they learned that business but they were highly educated, highly sophisticated, you know not the kind of people that grew up in the garment world. They were also in real estate. I learned a lot from working with them. The key guy there, a guy named Ashok Soni [ph.]. I talked to him every day. He was a meticulous kind of business person, organized, analytical. Unfortunately died suddenly at the age of fifty, very young. About, that was maybe about eight, eight years ago or so, but, but he, so that was a great experience I had. So early on I would say, you know, probably Sean--and then know also figuring out the magazine which I knew was gonna be an issue, and eventually we ended up closing it down. But, you know, I knew how much money a magazine required, and just didn't think, you know, at the time I didn't know if that was the best use of funds. So we, so I sat down immediately with the magazine, Sean John. We opened a new restaurant [Justin's] in Atlanta [Georgia], and the ongoing negotiations or renegotiations with the record company [Bad Boy Records].$$Okay, so when did he, from the beginning would he [Sean Combs] bring you in at the beginning, or did, did it take time? Were you really a deal was sort of cut and then you were trying to figure out how to make the deal the best deal or, or how, and, and who was running, then who also was brought in to run these various enterprises?$$So several questions there, I think the--$$So, so let's start with the first question, so at what point is he, you know, do you get, are deals already in place and then it's your job to sort of figure that out.$$Right, so, so when I came on board there may have been some things in place, but I jumped right into the center of whatever was going on. And once I was there, as things initiated, either I would be initiating things, or as they were initiating I was always kind of front and center, you know, me, his attorneys, the business head, or him, depending on whose driving the deal, and at some point he would always get involved once we got it to a certain point. But yeah, so I mean at the end of the day we were a small company so anything significant going on, I was pretty much involved in.$$And what are you learning about yourself and the business, because Sean John became very, it probably put a different face on him, you know in a very, almost a classic, you know, kind of, it took him from hip hop--$$Yeah.$$--you know, urban music to respectable member--$$Yeah.$$--you know, or whatever.$$What's amazing is being around this environment and being around Sean at the time, you always had this feeling like we could do anything. You always had this, you know and like having had my own company, African American owned company, I knew the barriers we ran into and things relationship wise and how when we sat in a room, I know it felt. When we sat in a room it felt like we were really asking for a favor, you know what I mean? Whereas when I as in the room with him it was kind of like, we had the power, you know. So like you, you're either gonna wanna do this with us, or we're gonna go to somebody else. But we're getting this done. So it was a great feeling of empowerment and being in a position of power in these rooms, largely because of the mentality he created and really believed, and really because he was able to do a lot of these things and he proved he could do them, but you're right, Sean Jean was the first major one where he showed he could take something from other than the record company, take something from really zero to being a significant success.

Jeannette Brown

Organic chemist and historian, Jeannette E. Brown was born in Bronx, New York on May 13, 1934 to Freddie Brown, a building superintendant and Ada Brown. At age six, Brown was inspired by her family doctor, Arthur C. Logan, to pursue a career in science. Brown graduated from New Dorp High School on Staten Island in 1952 and in 1956, she received her B.S. degree in chemistry from Hunter College as one of two African Americans in the first class of Hunter College's new chemistry program. Brown then earned her M.S. degree in organic chemistry in 1958 from the University of Minnesota and was the first African American female to do so. Her thesis was entitled, “Study of Dye and Ylide Formation in Salts of 9-(P-dimethylaminophenyl) Flourene.”

After earning her M.S. degree, Brown joined CIBA Pharmaceutical Company as a research chemist, where she developed drugs for diseases such as tuberculosis and coccidiosis, which afflicts chickens. In 1969, Brown was hired by Merck & Co. Research Laboratories where she continued synthesizing compounds for testing as potential new drugs. In 1986, she was appointed chairperson of the Project SEED Committee for the American Chemical Society. She served on the faculty at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) from 1993 to 2002 as a visiting professor of chemistry and faculty associate. Beginning in 1998, Brown also served as the regional director of the New Jersey Statewide System Initiative, improving science education in Essex and Hudson counties. In 2008, Brown contributed seven biographies of African American chemists for the African American National Biography, including those of Dr. Marie Daly and Dr. Jennie Patrick, the first African American women to receive their Ph.D. degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering, respectively. She went on to publish her own book in 2011 entitled, African American Women Chemists .

Brown has received recognition including outstanding alumni awards from both Hunter College and the University of Minnesota. Throughout her career, she has been involved in countless professional societies including the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCCHE) and the American Chemical Society (ACS). In 2007, Brown was an Association of Women in Science (AWIS) fellow. She also earned recognition as an American Chemical Society fellow and a Chemical Heritage Foundation Ullyott Scholar.

Jeannette Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 16, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.010

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

1/16/2012

Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Middle Name

E

Occupation
Schools

New Dorp High School

Hunter College

University of Minnesota

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Jeannette

Birth City, State, Country

Bronx

HM ID

BRO51

Favorite Season

Winter

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

101 years ago.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Interview Description
Birth Date

5/13/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hillsborough

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

Organic chemist Jeannette Brown (1934 - ) is the first African American woman to earn an M.S. degree from the University of Minnesota's chemistry department and is the author of, 'African American Women Chemists'.

Employment

CIBA Pharmaceutical Company

Merck & Co.

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:4170,65:12604,188:13624,199:22294,331:31944,404:33424,423:36014,488:36902,503:37642,514:40890,532:42090,551:44940,607:51436,659:51768,664:53677,691:59170,742:68635,979:72640,1058:73174,1065:89540,1258:91380,1286:91840,1292:107134,1516:108443,1548:109983,1579:110599,1611:127764,1843:128622,1857:129402,1875:132756,1957:140074,2061:140366,2066:142072,2092:150739,2190:151320,2198:153080,2223:161260,2355:161710,2362:165318,2390:180029,2475:181135,2487:183426,2516:187692,2569:194988,2685:201229,2766:204078,2819:204771,2833:205849,2852:206234,2858:207543,2885:208005,2893:219426,3077:220518,3094:220908,3100:229432,3192:229971,3201:236901,3320:262422,3630:272016,3708:275712,3781:276132,3787:277140,3801:278568,3825:279240,3846:291850,3956:293930,3998:296970,4066:297450,4073:301098,4098:302580,4107:305450,4165:308530,4209:312660,4257$0,0:8462,151:11730,202:36435,527:36815,532:40045,573:40425,578:53654,704:53962,710:54424,718:58967,790:61690,803:62346,811:65134,880:68332,933:68988,941:69644,950:73865,979:74327,986:79948,1110:81488,1143:81950,1150:91355,1259:92070,1271:95611,1318:96006,1325:96401,1331:97586,1347:97902,1352:98771,1368:104904,1445:105544,1458:106696,1484:107144,1493:111944,1587:120158,1681:120898,1694:121194,1699:122304,1717:122748,1725:123118,1732:124006,1748:124894,1762:125412,1772:126374,1794:126744,1800:128076,1821:128372,1826:129112,1841:142488,2026:143882,2064:153896,2152:163404,2306:163700,2311:167400,2391:168214,2405:168954,2419:169398,2427:176732,2536:188006,2683:190058,2718:197435,2837:197695,2842:198020,2848:198475,2859:199450,2884:204606,2940:208960,3019
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jeannette Brown's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown describes her mother's history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about her mother's education and work experience

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown describes her father's history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jeannette Brown talks about racism in North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jeannette Brown discusses her father's education and work experience

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jeannette Brown describes her parents' early life together

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jeannette Brown describes her relationship with her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown talks about her relationship with her father

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown remembers the her early childhood years

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown talks about having tuberculosis and her early interest in science

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown reminisces about her early school days in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown talks about Winthrop Junior High School and growing up in New York's Flatbush area

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jeannette Brown remembers her time at Prospect Heights High School and New Dorp High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown talks about her study of science in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown talks about preparing for college and deciding which college to attend

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown talks about studying chemistry at Hunter College

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about why she chose to attend graduate school at the University of Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown discusses her research and her discovery of liquid crystals

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown remembers the racial climate in Minnesota in 1958

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown describes attitudes about blacks and women at University of Minnesota in the 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown talks about her days in the laboratory at Ciba Pharmaceuticals

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about the history of the United States chemical industry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown tells about her career at Merck Pharmaceuticals

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown describes her work on Primaxin at Merck Pharmaceuticals

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown reflects on her work as a chemist in the pharmaceutical industry

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown talks about NOBCChE, Dr. Marie Daley, and her interest in history

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about her difficulty at Merck Pharmaceuticals, including an adverse physical reaction

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown describes the atmosphere at Merck Pharmaceuticals and mentoring other black female chemists

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jeannette Brown talks about her work at Merck Pharmaceuticals to attract more African Americans chemists

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown talks about students she met at Grambling State University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown talks about her induction into Iota Sigma Pi Honor Society

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown talks about her work with the American Chemical Society and economically disadvantaged youth

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about her work with the National Science Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown discusses the Percy Julian Task Force and the research for her book

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jeannette Brown talks about the female scientists featured in her book about Africaa American Female Chemists

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jeannette Brown shares the response to her book and need for science education

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jeannette Brown talks about the need for quality science education

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown reflects on the ethical responsibility of chemists

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown reflects on her career, her successes, and her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about her family life

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown talks about her hobbies

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jeannette Brown tells how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jeannette Brown shares photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
Jeannette Brown talks about having tuberculosis and her early interest in science
Jeannette Brown tells about her career at Merck Pharmaceuticals
Transcript
Okay, now, tell me if I'm moving ahead too fast, but I know at a certain juncture, you got sick, right? And --$$Oh, yeah, when I was a little--okay, we, as I might have said, we lived in Washington Heights, New York [New York], and we lived at 436 West 160th Street. And that's where my father [Freddie Brown] was super. At age four or five, I got very ill, and they put me in the hospital. Columbia University Medical School [New York, New York] had a place called Vanderbilt Clinic which is up in Washington Heights, where we used to go all the time. One of the doctors there, and I think, as I look back on it, Arthur Logan, he was an intern there at that time. But he lived in the house that we lived in. And so he was my doctor. They put me in Babies Hospital [Babies and Children's Hospital of New York, New York, New York]. I remember being in a crib. I thought I was in jail (laughter). I think I saw all the bars around me. And so when I got better, I think what I had was living in New York, I had Infantile TB [Tuberculosis]. I think that's what I had. But anyway, so living in New York, when I saw Dr. Logan later on, 'cause he lived in my building, I said, "Well, how do you become a scientist?" And, oh, no, "How do you become a doctor?" He said, "Oh, you study science," you know. And I have a picture, in fact, when I saw the five year olds at the Science Museum the other day, I said, Ah, they were that small and so was I. You know, I looked up at him, and I said, "Okay." And I decided that, yeah, Science was something that I'm gonna learn because I wanted to be a doctor like Dr. Logan.$$Now, was Dr. Logan a black doctor?$$Um-hum.$$Okay.$$Yeah, Arthur Logan. There is a wing of Harlem Hospital [Harlem Hospital Center, New York, New York] named for him.$$Okay.$$I now talk to his--Adele Logan was his daughter, and they lived in the house. And she was about two or three years younger than I am. And we've met as adults. And I've got a, I've got to tell her that my book is out. I have, you know, because I've met, I've talked to her since. And she's a writer too.$$Okay, Adele--$$Adele Logan, yeah.$$Okay.$$Adele, I'm wanna think of what her married name is, oh, Adele Logan Alexander. That's her married name.$$What kind of books does she write?$$She wrote history. She's a historian. And she wrote her family history in, on her mother's side, not on her father's side.$$Okay, all right, all right. Okay, so then were you consciously thinking of concentrating on Science when you were in school then, as a result of that?$$Yeah, somehow or other, it's--I don't know. He [Dr. Arthur Logan] must have made an impression on me, and I decided, oh, yes, Science sounds like fun. The, where we lived in forty--in the Washington Heights, the library was right across the street. So I would go there for story hour. And my mother would take me across the street. It was, it wasn't a very big, you know, big street with a lot of traffic. And we'd go for story hour. And later on in years, I would go to the library, I started looking up books about what they called space at the time because there was no space travel. And as we moved from house to house 'cause my father, as I said, would get the job as a superintendent. And that included an apartment. So when he would lose that job, he would get to another job. We went to the Bronx [New York], and when I was in third grade. And I remember this, in third-grade class that I lived in--that I had there, was the Science room. So I sat right next to the fish, the goldfish bowl. I had goldfish too that I worked on as a Scientist. I think I killed 'em. And so we moved to the Bronx, and then the next job was in Brooklyn [New York]. So we moved to Brooklyn, and I was still interested in Science and things like that. So we had two jobs in Brooklyn that my father, you know, my father was the superintendent, the super's kid. And, but I was still, you know, I wanted to learn, and I wanted to be a scientist because I wanted to be a doctor. So I was always interested in, you know, learning everything there was to learn. One of the reasons why we moved out of Manhattan to the Bronx was the first grade--well, I, we skipped kindergarten.$$$Okay, well, tell us about Merck?$$Yeah, well, one of the reasons why I got to Merck was one of the women who worked with me in Ciba, her husband was a manager at Merck. And he was--this was, the Civil Rights Act had come. He was mandated to go out and look for African Americans in Science. Well, I said, well, I wanted to change jobs. So I was talking to my girlfriend, and she says, "Oh, I'll ask my husband." And so she did. And he brought me in for an interview. And they really wanted me. They wanted me, I guess, also because of my--I had, by that time I had some publications, I guess, from Ciba or pretty close and my expertise. But when I looked, later on when I looked at my personnel file, which I could, the very first page, which they forgot to take off, said, "to be filled by an African American", and I went "Umm". And the woman who was showing it to me happened to be, the personnel, head of personnel, an African American woman chemist. And she, she nearly died that they had forgotten to take that page out, the first page. But anyway, so I was hired at Merck. And all the guys said, oh, well, you came in as a legacy because of the Civil Rights. And, no, I came because of my, you know, my credentials, you know. I could do independent research, and while I was there I did. I mean what I liked about Merck was they would give me a project, and, you know, we all work in teams. So I would be, I would have a piece of the project that the team was going to work on. And you're gonna work, mostly I liked to do cyclopropyl compounds 'cause I had done that at Ciba. And so, okay, you'll do the cyclopropyl derivative. And so I would go off and study how to make this compound and come up with a plan and try to implement the plan. We would get together in group meetings and I'd get some advice from my bosses or the other members of the group. But most of the time in the lab, we were just doing our own thing. When we got together with a group, then they would say, okay, do this, do that, do other things. Once we got a target and a compound, then we'd just go do it and come up with it--and later on in our career, we started to have deadlines because it was management by objectives. And so we had to have objectives and by the year--by the third quarter, we will have, and by the fourth quarter, we will have. And we needed to have compounds ready for the biologists to test by Friday. Okay, if my compound is not ready, you know, totally analyzed and ready to go by Friday--well, if I didn't think it was gonna be there by Friday, I, you know, just worked, you know. You'd go in the labs, you know, 24 hours or whatever, Saturday, Sunday or whatever, to get the job done 'cause I had to have it there for the biologist who was gonna do the tests. And he was ready with--and he or she were ready with their animals or whatever they want to test it on.$$Okay, what kinds of things did you work on--well, let me pause here for a second. And then we'll pick up after--.