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The Honorable Tyrone E. Medley

Judge Tyrone E. Medley was born on December 21, 1951 in Camden, New Jersey, and graduated from Camden’s Woodrow Wilson High School in 1970. He was awarded a basketball scholarship to University of Utah, and credited for his role in helping to lead the Utes team to the 1974 National Invitational Tournament championship. He received his B.S. degree in 1974, and his J.D. degree in 1977 from S.J. Quinney College of Law, from the University of Utah.

In 1978, Medley was hired as a law clerk for the Utah attorney general's office. That same year, Medley was also admitted to the State of Utah Bar, the State of Utah Federal District and the 10th Circuit Bar. He served as Deputy Salt Lake County Attorney from 1978 to 1981. He was then hired as an associate at the law firm of Cotro-Manes, Warr, Green & Shand in Salt Lake City where he worked from 1981 to 1984. His responsibilities included litigating civil matters, including transportation, personal injury, business, domestic relations, and criminal matters. Medley was appointed judge to the State of Utah Fifth District Court by Governor Scott Matheson in December 1984 and served in this capacity for eight years where he was assigned to the civil department. He presided over settlement conferences, jury and bench trials in areas of personal injury, medical, dental and legal malpractice, construction, commercial and domestic relations matters. In 1992, Medley was appointed by Utah Governor Norman H. Bangerter as a State of Utah Third Circuit Court Judge, serving Salt Lake, Summit and Tooele Counties, presiding over criminal and civil matters until July 1, 2012 when he retired and served as an active senior District Court Judge, handling private arbitration and mediation.

Medley’s affiliations included membership in the Utah State Bar, Utah Board of District Court Judges and David K. Watkiss-Sutherland II Inn of Court, Salt Lake City Chapter. Medley served as Co-Chair for The Utah Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Legal System, and past member of Utah Courts Alternative Dispute Resolution Team.

He has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the NAACP Albert B. Fritz Award in 1996, Utah State Bar Judge of the Year Award in 1998, Utah State Bar Raymond S. Uno Award in 2000, University of Utah Crimson Club Hall Of Fame in 2000, The National Conference for Community and Justice Humanitarian Award in 2005, and NAACP Dr. Martin Luther King Civil Rights Award in 2012.

Tyrone E. Medley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 17, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.015

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/17/2018

Last Name

Medley

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

William F. Powell Elementary School

Pyne Point Family School

Woodrow Wilson High School

University of Utah

S.J. Quinney College of Law

First Name

Tyrone

Birth City, State, Country

Camden

HM ID

MED01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere That Has An Ocean

Favorite Quote

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Utah

Birth Date

12/29/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Salt Lake City

Favorite Food

Chicken Wings

Short Description

Judge Tyrone Medley (1951- ) was appointed Third Circuit Court Judge by Governor Norman H. Bangerter in 1992, and Fifth District Court Judge by Governor Scott Matheson in 1984.

Employment

Third District Court

Salt Lake County

Fifth Circuit Court

Favorite Color

Green

The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr.

Judge John W. Peavy, Jr. was born on April 28, 1942 in Houston, Texas to Malinda Terrell Peavy and John W. Peavy, Sr. Peavy graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School in 1960, where he began his lifelong engagement in local politics as a member of the Young Democrats of Harris County. He then enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he earned his B.A. degree in business administration with an emphasis in accountancy in 1964. Peavy worked for Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson’s office as an undergraduate student, and later as a White House staffer during Johnson’s presidency. In 1967, Peavy received his J.D. degree from the Howard University School of Law.

Upon graduating from law school, Peavy returned to Houston, and opened a private law practice focused on criminal and civil cases. In 1967, he joined the Harris County Community Action Association as an associate senior coordinator; and, in 1969, he became an executive assistant to Harris County Judge William Elliot. He then worked as an expert for the American Bar Association’s Project Home, where he handled real estate cases for the NAACP. Funded by the Ford Foundation, the program provided legal and technical assistance to federal housing programs. Peavy also served on the Houston City Council. In 1973, Judge William Elliott appointed Peavy as justice of the peace for a newly formed, majority-black district in Harris County. He was later elected for a full term in 1974, serving until 1977 when he was appointed by Governor Dolph Briscoe as judge of the 246th District Court. There, he presided over family law cases, and helped reform the family court system through his endorsement of mediation programs within the court system in 1985. In 1990, Peavy was placed in charge of family law courts for all of Harris County. Peavy retired from his district court judgeship in 1994.

Peavy was a member of the Houston Area Urban League, the NAACP, and the U.S.-China Friendship Association. He also served as the director of the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas. In 2018, Peavy was honored with a historic portrait at the Harris County District Civil Courthouse.

Peavy and his wife, Diane Massey, have four children.

Judge John W. Peavy, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 2, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.130

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/2/2016

Last Name

Peavy

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

W.

Occupation
Schools

Blanche Kelso Bruce Elementary School

E.O. Smith Middle School

Phillis Wheatley High School

Howard University School of Law

First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

PEA02

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Galveston, Texas

Favorite Quote

If You Can’t Make It In Houston You Can’t Make It Anywhere.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

4/28/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Collard Greens, Fish

Short Description

Judge John W. Peavy, Jr. (1942 - ) served as justice of the peace from 1974 to 1977, and as district judge from 1977 to 1994 in Houston, Texas, in addition to directing Houston’s Contemporary Arts Museum.

Employment

State of Texas

Harris County, Texas

Favorite Color

Blue, Gray

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes the U.S. Supreme Court decision that banned all-white primary elections

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls the discrimination against black attorneys

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers the Fifth Ward of Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls the rivalry between the black high schools in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his interest in business

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers his early awareness of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his influences at Phillis Wheatley High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers his political activities during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers working as an aide at the White House

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers Louis E. Martin

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls his experiences in the White House

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers Stokely Carmichael and Henry "Hank" Thomas, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers Stokely Carmichael and Henry "Hank" Thomas, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his experiences at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls his influences at the Howard University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. reflects upon his time at the Howard University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers joining the Harris County Community Action Association

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his role in the Harris County Community Action Association

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers the issues addressed by the Harris County Community Action Association

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes the accomplishments of the Harris County Community Action Association

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers the local leaders involved with the Harris County Community Action Association

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his role as the executive assistant to Judge William Elliot

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls his appointment as a justice of the peace

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his role as a justice of the peace

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his challenges as a justice of the peace

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his first election as justice of the peace

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his experiences as a family law judge

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers his retirement from the judicial profession

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. remembers being acquitted of bribery charges

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. reflects upon his experiences as a family law judge

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about the death of Sandra Bland

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his recent business venture

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls incidents of racism from his judicial career

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his judicial philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$6

DAStory

4$1

DATitle
The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. talks about his mother's upbringing
The Honorable John W. Peavy, Jr. recalls incidents of racism from his judicial career
Transcript
Okay so she went to Prairie View [Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College; Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas] too and?$$Right, she went to Prairie View also.$$Now did she always want to be a teacher or were there limited opportunities or what?$$I think that there were limited opportunities at that time but clearly having just gotten from--freed from slavery and experiencing all that they felt that the way for black people to progress is to have an education. And--and at that time, you know, teaching was one of the avenues that you could do something, you know, unless you went into a trade. But they went into teaching.$$So it was a good position to have in those days.$$Yeah.$$As it is now.$$Yeah$$But, okay. So did your mother [Malinda Terrell Peavy] grow up in Anderson--in Grimes County [Texas]?$$Yeah she grew up in Anderson but she eventually moved to Houston [Texas] with my father [John W. Peavy, Sr.] when they got married. He was from Grimes County also, Anderson. They moved to Houston and she got a job teaching Houston Independent School District and she taught the fourth grade up until her retirement.$$Okay. Now did she--do you have any stories your mother told about growing up in Anderson or the early days of Houston?$$Well one thing, my grandfather [Alexander Terrell] in addition to being in charge of the Negro school system in Grimes County, he also owned land, and what was unique in Anderson, Texas, their home--and they had a big two story home on the main street of Anderson and they were the only black family that stayed, you know, in town. And the town is sort of like on a hill like and you've got the courthouse--the Grimes County Courthouse [Anderson, Texas] to the right, you've got an inn to the left and right there is the Terrell--where the Terrells had their home. It was like four or five lots, as I was saying it was a two story house. He also founded the black church in Anderson, Texas and he was very business minded because of the fact that when people lost their property for taxes, he would buy property at the courthouse and get a tax sale and buy property. So she talked about Anderson and growing up. She didn't talk too much about the Depression [Great Depression] but one of my mother's sisters who was older than my mother, experienced the Depression and she talked about the Depression. I can remember as a little boy going to their house where in their pantry they had a lot of flour, you know, they had a lot of staple products because of the fact that they had experienced the Depression and they didn't want to experience it again. You know, so they made sure that staples--that they had plenty of it in their pantry at home.$You had another bench story you wanted to tell us before we talked about your (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well I was about to mention--tell you that, you know, experiences--and, and I've got two experiences I want to tell you. One when I first ran for district court judge you had to run countywide and so I went all over the county trying to get votes but there's a conservative portion of Harris County [Texas] called Pasadena, Texas. I don't know if you've heard of that or not but it's conservative. So I went there and it's somewhat--it's a blue collar area and it was at a labor hall, chemical workers and people like that and I went there and my wife [Diane Massey Peavy] was with me. She was standing on the side and I was standing on the front and my wife told me that she heard one of the people say that, "I can't believe that Negro came out here." So my wife was nervous and she was getting concerned and so anyway she said that I finally talked to the people and when I get through talking the people were clapping and the guy who had made that statement said, "You know, he sounds all right and I'm going to vote for him." So, but she always tell the kids about that. One other thing when I was, too, running, the Ku Klux Klan [KKK] had my signs out in Pasadena and the Chronicle [Houston Chronicle] called me and they asked me about it and I said, "Well I don't know anything about it but obviously they feel that I must be a fair judge." Anyway that was the end of that story. But, you know, and then I had another incident that happened where my court coordinator was on the elevator and I was on the top floor in the courthouse and she rode up the elevator with this white attorney with his white client and he was talking to his client trying to comfort his client trying to explain the procedure and keep him relaxed and everything. My court coordinator who was black--who is black, said that just as the elevator opened the attorney told his client, he said, "You know the judge is a nigger, don't you."$$This is an uncloseted speech, I mean--$$Yeah.$$--I mean closeted speech that you don't really hear, but here it is. So what are you--are you surprised by that kind of thing?$$Well I was, but I didn't let it impact my ruling.

The Honorable Craig Strong

State of Michigan, 3rd District Circuit Court Judge Craig Stephen Strong was born on September 5, 1947, in Detroit, Michigan. Strong was raised in the Old Westside neighborhood of Detroit by his parents, Erman and Manila Geraldine Powers Strong. Growing up near the Blue Bird Bar and St. Cyprian Episcopal Church, Strong played the saxophone with the Junior Flips and was a patrol boy and a Boy Scout. Strong attended Sampson Elementary School and Cass Technical High School, where he excelled in the sciences. Graduating from high school in 1965, Strong entered Howard University, where he earned his B.S. degree in 1969. Drafted in 1971, Strong served as the only African American in the Navy’s Judges Advocacy Corps at that time. In 1973, Strong received his J.D. degree from the Detroit College of Law.

While in law school, Strong worked for Wayne County Legal Services and later the Trade Union Leadership Council; during that time, he was influenced by legal activists Milton Henry, Damon J. Keith, Kenny Cockrell and Mike Walls. Passing the Michigan State Bar at age twenty-nine, Strong became an officer of the Wolverine Bar Association and eventually its youngest president at age twenty-nine. Active in Democratic politics, Strong was elected a judge of the Detroit Recorders Court at age thirty-one. Strong would later be elected to the 3rd District Michigan State Circuit Court in 2001. Strong was a founding member of the Association of Black Judges of Michigan and also served as its president. Strong served as judicial chair of the National Bar Association; was a member of the National Bar Association’s delegation to South Africa; helped develop the International Black Bar Association; and served on the Supreme Court of South Africa.

In 1997, Strong, an avid collector of African art and African American memorabilia, was instrumental in the establishment of the Charles Wright African American History Museum in Detroit; he has been honored with the Outstanding Museum Service Award for his extensive fundraising efforts. Strong was a mason, a member of the NAACP and the Black United Fund of Michigan, in addition to being well known nationally for his celebrity photographs, and his sartorial taste in clothing.

Accession Number

A2007.076

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/7/2007

Last Name

Strong

Maker Category
Middle Name

S.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Cass Technical High School

Sampson Elementary School

Sampson Academy

Harvard Kennedy School

First Name

Craig

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

STR06

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Venice Beach, Los Angeles

Favorite Quote

The Quickest Way To Get Where You're Going Is To Look Like You've Already Arrived.$If Something Is Important, Always Act Your Best, Do Your Best, And Look Your Best.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

9/5/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Watermelon, Barbeque, Steak

Short Description

State court judge The Honorable Craig Strong (1947 - ) served as State of Michigan, 3rd District Circuit Court Judge, judicial chair of the National Bar Association, was a member of the National Bar Association’s delegation to South Africa, and a founding member of the Association of Black Judges of Michigan.

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:4182,49:10806,231:11598,245:12318,259:13326,281:13830,290:23774,395:24720,409:25494,421:26698,438:31113,482:33543,528:34272,540:46340,691:51858,753:53282,773:61105,879:61785,889:62380,901:65140,924:65596,932:65900,937:66204,942:66964,954:68990,966:69670,977:70435,989:71625,1000:71965,1005:75025,1047:75450,1053:80389,1083:81298,1095:88080,1159:89520,1180:89840,1185:90960,1205:97350,1266:103330,1306:107622,1392:108436,1406:115596,1510:116415,1526:116870,1532:117416,1539:122298,1586:146540,1809:147142,1818:147486,1823:149292,1856:150066,1868:154576,1928:166480,2093:169763,2122:172029,2159:176059,2201:177445,2239:177830,2245:178292,2258:179216,2272:180140,2283:180910,2294:181295,2300:193439,2441:206352,2632:220048,2862:220534,2921:230213,3000:235364,3081:240936,3158:242490,3167$0,0:3700,39:12800,143:15600,208:17360,241:31130,344:31738,354:32878,371:36222,439:36906,449:38806,484:40858,527:41314,535:46634,620:47926,639:57751,775:63358,848:64159,859:68520,918:87904,1111:90478,1177:91072,1187:94108,1241:95098,1269:95362,1274:95692,1280:97606,1321:109160,1420
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Craig Strong's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Craig Strong lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about his paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about his family's migration to Detroit

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about his family's land and his relationship to his father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about his siblings and childhood neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Craig Strong describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Craig Strong recalls working as a paperboy

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Craig Strong recalls churches in Detroit, Michigan and meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Craig Strong reflects on growing up with significantly older siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about music and other aspects of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Craig Strong recalls fashion and etiquette of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about attending Sampson Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about political activity in his neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about attending Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Craig Strong describes life in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about changes in his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about visiting Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Craig Strong recalls political figures he knew growing up in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Craig Strong recalls religious figures of his childhood such as Sweet Daddy Grace

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about learning to "rap" to women

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about his time at Howard University, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about his time at Howard University, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about attending Detroit College of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about serving in the U.S. military

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about lawyers he admires

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about cases he volunteered for

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about being appointed a judge

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Craig Strong reflects on adjudicating drug cases, pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Craig Strong reflects on adjudication drug cases, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Craig Strong describes the court system in Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Craig Strong describes helping a young man through Jackets for Jobs

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about his transition from traffic court referee to criminal law judge

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about what keeps him hopeful

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Craig Strong details organizations he has been involved with

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Craig Strong describes his collection of African American memorabilia

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Craig Strong notes what groups he is affiliated with

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Craig Strong describes the Association of Black Judges of Michigan and the merger of his court with the county court

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about the Wolverine Bar Association

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Craig Strong discusses elections and the importance of names

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Craig Strong discusses meeting celebrities through his public service

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Craig Strong reflects on his life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Craig Strong reflects on his future

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Craig Strong describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Craig Strong reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about his hat collection

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Craig Strong reflects on his military time

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable Craig Strong reflects on the Million Man March

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - The Honorable Craig Strong reflects on achieving success

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - The Honorable Craig Strong talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - The Honorable Craig Strong reflects on how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Craig Strong narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

9$9

DATitle
The Honorable Craig Strong talks about being appointed a judge
The Honorable Craig Strong reflects on his military time
Transcript
Okay, how did your appointment as the judge take place? Did you did you run or were you appointed what? What happened?$$I was appointed a referee (simultaneous).$$Okay.$$And by that time I'd became the president of Wolverine Bar Association. These are the black lawyers for the State of Michigan, and I was vice chairperson of the Wayne County neighborhood legal services, so I stay with the program. And since I had started going to court as a student, as I indicated a lot of judges knew me, a lot of lawyers knew me, and there was a vacancy. One of the judges--strike that--and one of the referees was appointed a judge. That's a lady right there Judge Jessie Slate, who robed me. When her vacancy came about Judge William Hayes ask me was, I interested in being appointed to that, and I just couldn't believe it that he would give me this opportunity. I was somewhat scared to take on the responsibility, but he told me that he's given me an opportunity that I may never get a life in my life again. And I should seriously, seriously think about it and I did. So I was appointed a referee in the same year it was an election for judges. And by becoming a referee I felt comfortable in that position that I could actually become a judge and adjudicate cases, and so I ran and won.$$Okay, and that was, was it difficult to run for (simultaneous)?$$Yeah.$$Okay.$$It was difficult because I was young I was the youngest person out of 23 who were running. And but one thing I had was I had a lot of support. I had young people helping me. The Bar Associations gave me good ratings. A lot of people helped, and I had resolved myself that if I did not win I would just run again but I won.$$Okay this is 1978 right?$$Yes.$$Okay, all right (simultaneous).$$But, you know, it was just I just had to smile on this because just remember when I was appointed a referee coming into the courtroom. When they would say all rise hear ye hear ye Honorable Craig S. Strong presiding. It would take a few minutes for me to stop smiling I mean I'd come on the bench, I was so happy, I was so proud I had to cover my face sometimes. The idea they're talking about me, I couldn't believe it. And the people liked it, I mean because I was young people would just treat me different. Especially young people, I mean, they just really like the idea that I was a young judge and had an afro. And people could identify and I really, really was committed to the community in terms of speaking in schools and showing up at events. I was proud to, to be a member of the other judiciary and I wanted people to feel that--especially young people (simultaneous).$$Okay.$$If I could do it, they could do it.$$I can imagine yeah you probably got a lot of attention in the public school black history month, and he can bring you out (simultaneous).$$Yeah, plus I was still active in the organizations. I, I was a member of so many organizations I couldn't even keep track. And then demands on the time was so great but I could do it 'cause I had just gotten married. And I didn't have any children so I could do things like that, and I did stay on a committee and I still do.$Now is there anything I have not asked that you think we need to talk about before I ask my last question?$$Well I felt very honored about the military. That was a very important part of my life. I was the only African American judge that anyone knew of in the Navy period. And that was important in my career being a member the Million Man March, or participating in that, was important just like being in the election in South Africa extremely important. Being on some of these boards (simultaneous).$$What was the--well just go back to the--being a commander in the Navy and being a judge in the Navy. Was there ever a time where, where it really made I mean do you think it really made a real big difference in how a case you being a black judge?$$I don't know, the military least while I was there was a pretty fair. I think the biggest impact was just being an African American judges because attitudes do change. And people do have a sense of fairness when they see diversity on the bench. Also as a naval officer I would go to schools dressed in, in the uniform, and even if I talked about law, sometimes I'd have on my Navy uniform. And the Adopt-a-Child for Christmas program, I have photographs in uniform with them. So people could see this and I talk about careers in the military. I think it's a great opportunity and still do, so I encouraged that. What haven't we talked about (simultaneous)?

The Honorable Brenda H. Cole

Judge Brenda H. Cole was born on January 25, 1943 in Joaquin, Texas to Eulalia and Garfield Hill. She attended Weldon High School, in Gladewater, Texas where her father was the principal, and her mother a teacher. An excellent student, Cole was valedictorian of her graduating class in 1959. She attended Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, received her B.A degree in English in 1963, her M.A degree in library science at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University) in 1967 and her J.D degree from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in 1977.

After her admission to the State Bar of Georgia, Cole began her law career as the Assistant Attorney General in the Fiscal Affairs Division of the Georgia State Law Department, a position she held for five years. After moving to West Virginia, she was employed as counsel for the West Virginia Department of Corrections in Charleston, West Virginia and was admitted to the West Virginia State Bar. Cole served as Assistant Attorney General in the Tax Division of the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office, and as Deputy Attorney General of the West Virginia Environmental and Energy Division.

Returning to Atlanta, Cole rejoined the Georgia State Law Department, serving first as Assistant Attorney General for the Environmental Division; then, Senior Assistant Attorney General, heading the Business and Professional Regulations Division; and later, Deputy Attorney General before her appointment as a State Court Judge in 1998. She retired in 2012 and was appointed as a Senior Judge by Governor Nathan Deal.

Cole has served as President of the Council of State Judges, and as a member of Links, Inc., the Dogwood Chapter and Atlanta’s Women Foundation. She is the founder of the Clark Atlanta University Guild, an organization which provides scholarships for arts and humanities students at Clark Atlanta University. She also serves on the boards of the Children’s Museum of Atlanta and Bar Fitness of Georgia.

Cole is married to Thomas Winston Cole, Jr., President Emeritus, Clark Atlanta University. They are the parents of Kelley S. Cole and Thomas Winston Cole, III.

Cole was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 19, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.018

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/19/2007

Last Name

Cole

Maker Category
Middle Name

H.

Occupation
Schools

Weldon High School

Joaquin Colored School

Spelman College

Clark Atlanta University

Emory University School of Law

First Name

Brenda

Birth City, State, Country

Joaquin

HM ID

COL13

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Christ That Strengthens Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

1/25/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Turkey

Short Description

State court judge The Honorable Brenda H. Cole (1943 - ) is a Georgia State Court Judge, and has held additional appointments as counsel for the West Virginia Department of Corrections in Charleston, West Virginia, Assistant Attorney General in the Tax Division, and as Deputy Attorney General of the West Virginia Environmental and Energy Division.

Employment

Georgia State Law Department

West Virginia Attorney General

Fulton County State Court

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Brenda H. Cole's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Brenda H. Cole lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Brenda H. Cole remembers her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Brenda H. Cole remembers her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Brenda H. Cole talks about her father's childhood and career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Brenda H. Cole talks about her mother's childhood and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Brenda H. Cole talks about how her parents met and her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Brenda H. Cole recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Brenda H. Cole describes her childhood neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Brenda H. Cole talks about her relatives who "passed" for white

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Brenda H. Cole shares her memory of her first day of school

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Brenda H. Cole recalls her experience in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Brenda H. Cole describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Brenda H. Cole talks about race relations in her hometown of Joaquin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Brenda H. Cole talks about her experience in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Brenda H. Cole describes moving to Gladewater, Texas and attending Weldon High School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Brenda H. Cole recalls her teachers at Weldon High School in Gladewater, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Brenda H. Cole describes her community in Gladewater, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Brenda H. Cole recalls her extracurricular activities at Weldon High School in Gladewater, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Brenda H. Cole recalls meeting her husband, HistoryMaker Thomas W. Cole

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Brenda H. Cole talks about attending a debutante ball while attending Weldon High School in Gladewater, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Brenda H. Cole describes her decision to attend Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Brenda H. Cole describes enrolling at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Brenda H. Cole recalls her childhood experiences of racism

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Brenda H. Cole recalls integrating the staff of the drugstore in Gladewater, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Brenda H. Cole describes her civil rights activities at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Brenda H. Cole describes her civil rights activities at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Brenda H. Cole talks about meeting Hamilton Holmes and HistoryMaker Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Brenda H. Cole talks about the speakers and entertainers who visited Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Brenda H. Cole describes her semester as an exchange student at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Brenda H. Cole recalls her engagement to HistoryMaker Thomas W. Cole

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Brenda H. Cole recalls important incidents for the African American community in 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Brenda H. Cole remembers her reaction to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Brenda H. Cole describes her experience in Texas and Chicago, Illinois after graduating from Spellman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Brenda H. Cole describes leaving Chicago, Illinois for Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Brenda H. Cole remembers hearing about Juneteenth for the first time at Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Brenda H. Cole describes her experience returning to Atlanta, Georgia and receiving her master's degree in library science

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Brenda H. Cole describes volunteering at the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia and her decision to attend law school

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Brenda H. Cole describes her experience attending Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia while raising two children

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Brenda H. Cole describes beginning her work in the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Brenda H. Cole describes her experience working in tax law under Georgia Attorney General Arthur Bolton

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Brenda H. Cole recalls living in Atlanta, Georgia during the "missing and murdered children case"

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Brenda H. Cole describes her experience living in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Brenda H. Cole describes their decision to return to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Brenda H. Cole describes returning to the Office of the Attorney General in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Brenda H. Cole recalls being appointed as a State Court Judge for Georgia in 1998

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Brenda H. Cole reflects on her personal development

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Brenda H. Cole talks about her civic, social, and professional organizations

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Brenda H. Cole reflects upon her lack of regrets and her message for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Brenda H. Cole talks about her family, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Brenda H. Cole talks about her family, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Brenda H. Cole describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Brenda H. Cole narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

7$6

DATitle
Brenda H. Cole describes her civil rights activities at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 2
Brenda H. Cole recalls being appointed as a State Court Judge for Georgia in 1998
Transcript
And that continued until--I kept marching, kept picketing until one day we had a march at Grady [Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia]. Can you imagine Grady being segregated (laughing), but it was? And they had--the waiting room, they had separate waiting rooms and so we were marching to protest the segregation at Grady Hospital. And I'm just marching, I had been marching this time for some time, I mean not on this event, I mean on other occasions, without incident. The police were there, and in fact, one time we saw [Reverend Dr.] Martin Luther King [Jr.], he was just standing on the, you know sidewalks watching us and encouraging, us you know. But it got so that it was kind old hat in a way, I mean you just weren't expecting violence, it was tiring, and I mean to walk from Spelman's [Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia] campus to Grady was that was a nice hike. I (laughing) but anyway, we're marching going around at Grady, and we had not been at Grady very long and we heard police sirens. And I thought, "Uh oh, this is not good" (laughing) because I'm trying to--at this time I'm thinking my parents [Eulalia Hill Allen and Garfield Hill] are still saying, "Please do not participate in this protest." And Spelman, unbeknownst to me at the time, had sent them a letter saying "The students are protesting and do you want your daughter to participate," and they of course said "no." So, next thing I know police wagons are pulling up, loading up students. They packed up students, but it was a bunch of us down there, and do you know they ran out of paddy wag-paddy wagons just before they got to my group (laughing)? And I was so grateful, and so but I still, I waited there; they said "If you all are still here when we come back from processing these kids, we're coming back for you." I don't know if they ever came back but it was getting dark by then, and I was part marching with my girlfriend Mona [Rae Norman (ph.)], the one I met on the train? And she said, "I'm getting sick," I said, "Okay, she said you wanna go before it gets dark," 'cause I'm not sure I could've made it back to campus by myself. But the two of us made our way back with some other kids, we walked back.$Okay, and your next move would be?$$To the bench. I--actually the first person that put being a Judge on my brain was [Georgia Attorney General Michael] Mike Bowers. He called me in his office; he said he was on the Judicial Nominating Commission. And he said, "I want you to think about being a Judge, I want you to go through the process, apply for it. You not gonna get it the first time, but you'll be comfortable with the process." So I did what he told me to, I went through the process and I didn't get it and I didn't think about it again (laughing). I just, I was busy with my work and I was enjoying my work and so I just didn't think about it. But I had a friend who had been my classmate at Emory Law [Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia], she had been my co-worker at the attorney general's Office and she had been named to the Superior Court Bench, Judge Stephanie Manis. And Stephanie said "Well, this is the best job you'll ever have, you need to you know go ahead try this process one more time." So I said, "Well, I don't know," by then we had a new attorney general, [HM] Thurbert Baker. And Thurbert was the first black attorney general, so I wanted to help Thurbert out and I just said "Oh, I don't need this may not be a good time." So they said, well--Stephanie said well you know, Governor Zell Miller appointed her and he was appointing a lot of women (laughing). And she said, "You better at least give Zell a try, you don't know who the next Governor will be" (laughing). So, I was nominated and this time I allowed the nomination to go in, I asked Thurbert for his support, he gave to me. And he was the former floor leader for the Governor, so he appointed me.$$And that was in 1998?$$Um-hum.$$Okay. And you've been elected two other terms, is that right?$$Yes.$$Okay. Talk about after your appoint--appointment--after appointed as a Judge, this had to be quite different from what you were doing previously. You wanna talk about that?$$Well I was really afraid of the Criminal Law, because I've never done any Criminal Law. All of my practice had been in Civil, and in fact, Administrative Law, which is even different from Civil. But at least I got to go to court, argue rules of evidence, I went up on appeal, had the appellate practice, so I figured I could handle the Civil. But the Criminal I thought, "Oh, I'm really gonna have to go to school with this." Well it turns out that Criminal is easier that the Civil (laughing), Civil really is very grueling. But I went to several judicial training courses and there is a Council of State Court Judges that has training every year. So I would participate in that and my fellow Judges would help out, if there were problems or if I would run into, you know tough issue. So I was able to get over the freshman jitters and (laughing) and turned out to be a good career for me.

The Honorable William H. Murphy, Sr.

Community activist Judge William H. Murphy, Sr., has been a progressive force in Baltimore, Maryland, society for well over a half century. He was born on April 20, 1917, into the Baltimore black elite. However, his life has been spent upholding the rights of the underprivileged. His concern for others came from his parents- both of whom were politically and socially active. In fact, it was his paternal grandfather who founded Baltimore's African American newspaper The Afro-American. His father worked as a high school principal and was also extremely involved in various community organizations, including the NAACP and the Urban League.

After graduation from Oberlin College in 1939, Murphy enrolled at the University of Maryland Law School. He was the third African American student enrolled there. The President of the University even attempted to dissuade Murphy from attending by offering to pay for his tuition and expenses to Harvard Law School. Rejecting this offer, Murphy continued his studies at the University of Maryland Law School for two years, until he was drafted to fight in World War II. He completed his J.D. in 1946 and went into a private practice in Cherry Hill, the working class neighborhood of Baltimore where he and his wife, Madeline, resided. Murphy and his family continued as active members of the Cherry Hill community until 2003.

In 1970, Murphy won a seat on the Maryland District Court, where he continued on as an active retired judge. Murphy was chairman of the board of Provident Hospital and a member of both the Elks and Alpha Phi Alpha. He was also the father of five children. Judge Murphy passed away on May 22, 2003.

Accession Number

A2001.052

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/23/2001

Last Name

Murphy

Maker Category
Middle Name

Hughes

Organizations
Schools

Oberlin College

University of Maryland

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

MUR01

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Chicago, Illinois, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

4/20/1917

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Death Date

5/22/2003

Short Description

Civic leader and state court judge The Honorable William H. Murphy, Sr. (1917 - 2003 ) Murphy won a seat as a judge on the Maryland District Court in 1970. Murphy graduated from Oberlin College in 1939, and then enrolled at the University of Maryland Law School. He was the third African American student enrolled there. Murphy completed his J.D. in 1946 and went into a private practice in Cherry Hill, the working class neighborhood of Baltimore where he and his wife, Madeline, resided.

Employment

District Court of Maryland

Favorite Color

Gray

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Murphy interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Murphy's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Murphy talks about his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Murphy talks about his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Murphy explains how his grandfather escaped slavery and purchased the Afro-American Newspaper

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Murphy recalls his childhood community

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Murphy tells of his father's involvement with the Afro-American Newspaper

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Murphy discusses memories from his youth

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William Murphy describes his childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Murphy comments on his priviledged upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Murphy recalls early employment in his family's catering business

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Murphy describes his relationship with his parents during his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Murphy discusses personality traits he shares with his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Murphy details the impact of the Depression on his family

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Murphy discusses his early political affiliation with the Republican party

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Murphy names important members of the black community during his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Murphy recalls influential members of his childhood community

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Murphy recalls racial issues Oberlin College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Murphy talks about his academic interests

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Murphy explains his "country cousins"

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Murphy comments on passing for white

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Murphy details his decision to attend law school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Murphy recalls experiences at University of Maryland Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Murphy talks about meeting his wife and their marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Murphy comments on his career after law school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Murphy details his reasons for moving to Baltimore's Cherry Hill neighborhood

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Murphy explains why he left the Catholic church

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Murphy comments on his politically oriented life

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Murphy tells of the Afro-American Newspaper's influential role

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Murphy recalls presiding over a contrversial case

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Murphy discusses issues surrounding is admittance into University of Maryland Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Murphy recalls a successful law partnership

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William Murphy talks about his campaign for Maryland District Court judge

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Murphy talks about his experience in financing a fraternity

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Murphy discusses his brothers' political affiliations

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Murphy shares his hopes for more blacks involvement in business

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Murphy remembers family dinner table discussions

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Murphy shares humorous anecdotes about his wife and children

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Murphy continues talking about his children

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William Murphy looks back on his career as a judge

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William Murphy recalls living in Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Murphy discusses his parenting philosophies

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William Murphy talks about his involvement in the stock market

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William Murphy explains his bond to black lawyers

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William Murphy comments on lawyers he's influenced

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William Murphy shares his hopes for the black community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William Murphy explains the importance of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - William Murphy considers his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - William Murphy opines on integration, LBJ, JFK and politics

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

5$5

DATitle
William Murphy explains how his grandfather escaped slavery and purchased the Afro-American Newspaper
William Murphy comments on passing for white
Transcript
Your grandfather, the Murphy grandfather owned the Afro-American paper? Right.$$Yeah.$$Can you talk a little bit about that? You were starting to do that, you know, before we started. You were saying that the--I think you were saying (unclear). That the paper was bought at an auction?$$The Afro [American] Newspaper was a church paper. And it was owned by two or three ministers. And, some how or another the, the paper became available. And my grandfather Murphy didn't have any money, and because he was a whitewasher, a laborer, a church person. But his wife Martha Howard was the daughter of George Enoch Howard, a prosperous farmer in Montgomery County [Maryland]. And, he owned 888 acres, that he bought out of slavery. In other words, he was a field hand. He was a foreman for this wealthy white farmer. And, he, he would take the farmer's produce into Baltimore [Maryland] to sell it. And, and slaves could have their private plots. Their own gardens. So he took some of his produce with him and he sold it. And he accumulated $3000 in 1857. And the slave owner began to have financial difficulties. So he brought Howard up to the big house and said, "Look here Howard," He said, "I here you got some money." He said, "I'll, give you your freedom for the money you have." So my gran-- great grandfather said, "I want my wife's freedom and my two children's freedom." And the, the, slave owner went into a rage and put him in chains in a dungeon. And so his economic situation began to deteriorate. And so he brought him out and said, "Okay, I'll give you your freedom, your wife's freedom and your two children's freedom." And he said, "Yeah, but I want those two farms." And one was named Little Egypt and the other was named hard to Get and Dearly Paid For. And he got the freedom and, and the farms. So now when my grandfather--Oh, so my great gran-- great grandfather gave his children each a hundred acres. So when Martha Howard married John H. Murphy Senior, she sold her 100 acres to one of her brothers for about $200. And then she loaned the $200 to her husband so he could buy the Afro. And that's how the Afro became Murphy owned.$$Now one thing I, I want not to belabor things, but I find curious. Was it common that--you said slaves often were given plots of land. Was that common? Or were some slaves given plots of land? You said,$$(Simultaneously) Some, some.$$Okay.$$But, Maryland, Maryland, was not a deeply entrenched slave, state. Montgomery County had maybe 25 or 30 big plantations, if that many. And, the, the wives of the plantation owners were primarily antislavery. And they encouraged people to try to buy their freedom. The White women didn't, didn't cotton to slavery like the Deep South people were. And, it was not as brutal as it was in, in the southern states. two, the Howard family have a reunion every two years. And one, and one year we meet in Montgomery County, and then the next year we meet in, some place in Canada. Because some of my cousins, two of them, I can't think of their names, fled slavery. And they walked all the way from Montgomery County to Detroit [Michigan] and then crossed the river into Canada and started a big branch of the Howard family up there. we had a reunion this past--last year, and there were 350 of my cousins there and another 250 who didn't make it. So it's a huge family. But, my great grandfather was a great farmer. He prospered--had a great farm. Wealthy man.$I want to ask about passing.$$About what?$$Passing.$$Oh.$$Did you--did any of the Hughes' just pass over-- did you lose members of the family?$$No. No. No one went over for good. In my wife's family, her uncle went over and they lost him.$$Was that ever discussed at all when people would do that?$$Oh yeah. Yeah 'cause my mother use to pass when she would go downtown. Her father would pass.$$And it was just a way of getting, getting, getting what you needed.$$Yeah. My aunts passed. And their children passed. Of course I couldn't pass. the only time I ever passed was I was on a train from Chicago [Illinois] going to San Antonio [Texas]. And I was able to get a Pullman [sleeping berth]. Because I couldn't get it out of Baltimore [Maryland]. They wouldn't sell black people Pullmans you know. So I went to Chicago. And, they--and I got a Pullman. And so the next morning you know I woke up and the porters dismantled the Pullman. Because you know what a Pullman is don't you?$$It's a sleeping--it's a sleeper car. I've--$$You never were--That was before your time.$$(laughing) No I sa--I never slept on a--a, a train but I mean I understand--.$$Yeah.$$Right. Okay.$$So anyway, this white couple and their two children were in the same compartment with me and they said--we were talking about this, that and the other. And the train was going into the station. And the husband said, "You know we, we were wondering what nationality you. We know you're not a nigger." and I said, "No, I'm not a nigger. I'm a colored person." And he tried to die! So I, so I stayed overnight in San Antonio. I had to go to Alexandria, Louisiana. So, I got a early train going toward Alexandria. And they stopped in--I forget the name of the town. And I went up--I wanted to get some breakfast. So I went upstairs and there were two, two dining rooms. I, I looked at both of them. They both looked alike, identical. So I went into the one on the right and took a seat and a little black kid came over and said, "Pardon me mister, but the boss man wants to know is you colored." I said, "No, I'm not colored!" And he went back and told him that I said no I wasn't colored. So the white waitress waited on me. And that's the only time I ever passed. Accidentally.$$Did, did anyone ever think you were Jewish?$$(nods head no) White people ask me from time to time what nationality I'm--I'd say, "I'm from lower Slobovia."$$(laughing)$$You don't know that one do you?$$(laughing) No.$$Al Camp, Lil' Abner [ref. to comic strip 'Lil' Abner']?