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John Matthews

Community activist and union organizer John Alderman Matthews, Sr. was born on March 3, 1910 in the Panama Canal Zone to Theresa and Christopher Sylvester Matthews, a homemaker and a school teacher from Jamaica. One of seven siblings, Matthews grew up and attended high school in Kingston, Jamaica. After high school, Matthews moved to New York City, where over the years, he studied at New York University, the New School of Social Research, City Colleges of New York, and Bronx Community College.

Matthews began working in the field of civil rights in 1935 when he and four other workers formed the first picket line against the Transport Workers Union. At the same time, he became a founding member of the Harlem Labor Union, forcing the union to accept African American as bus drivers. In 1943, Matthews attended military school in New Jersey and served in the 92nd United States Infantry Division in Europe.

After returning from the war, Matthews went to work as a salesman, but continued his community activism. He founded a bartenders’ and restaurant workers’ union that broke open employment barriers in Harlem and the rest of New York City in the mid-1950s. In 1963, he worked as a campaign secretary to U.S. Congressman Adam Clayton Powell. In the mid-1960s, Matthews spearheaded efforts that ended discriminatory hiring or membership practices by Bond Clothing Stores, Bronx State Hospital, Park Sheraton Hotel, Borden’s, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. This work culminated in Matthews, who had earlier become the first Vice President of the New York Chapter of the NAACP, being named chairman of the NAACP Labor and Industry Department in 1967.

Throughout the late 1960s, Matthews continued his political activism, founding the Kennedy Democratic Club. He was recognized for his accomplishments in Newsweek magazine in 1995. Throughout his life, Matthews continued to organize communities under tenants and youth organizations.

Matthews was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 17, 2006.

Matthews passed away on March 28, 2013.

Accession Number

A2006.176

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/17/2006

Last Name

Matthews

Maker Category
Schools

Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts

First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Panama

HM ID

MAT05

Favorite Season

Hunting Season

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica, Bermuda, Panama

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/7/1910

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

Panama

Favorite Food

Lobster, Clams, Oysters

Death Date

3/28/2013

Short Description

Salesman and community activist John Matthews (1910 - 2013 ) was the co-coordinator of the first picket line against the Transport Workers Union and became a founding member of the Harlem Labor Union. Matthews also founded a restaurant workers’ union that broke open employment barriers in Harlem, New York, and was named chairman of the NAACP Labor and Industry department.

Employment

Local 2

Favorite Color

Aquamarine

Timing Pairs
0,0:1816,30:3132,49:38163,421:43956,488:50559,610:70239,995:104560,1373$0,0:385,14:770,20:2541,52:3080,60:3388,65:3696,70:4235,78:6545,144:6930,150:8701,184:17313,282:17685,289:18057,294:32876,475:45840,615:46506,650:54360,759:69348,926:72090,931:75398,960:75992,970:77642,1016:81668,1093:83450,1121:83714,1126:88590,1147
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John Matthews' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Matthews lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Matthews describes his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Matthews describes his parents' move to the Panama Canal Zone

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Matthews describes his childhood in Kingston, Jamaica

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Matthews describes his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Matthews describes his childhood in Cuba

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Matthews recalls his high school education in Jamaica and New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Matthews describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - John Matthews recalls attending night school in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - John Matthews describes New York City's Harlem neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - John Matthews describes his life in New York City's Harlem neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Matthews describes his occupations in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Matthews recalls how he became involved in labor organizing

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Matthews remembers picketing the Transport Workers Union of America

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Matthews recalls Joe Louis' boxing matches in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Matthews remembers demonstrating with the Harlem Labor Union

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Matthews remembers serving in the segregated U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Matthews explains his decision to attend military school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John Matthews recalls being among the first black liquor salesmen in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Matthews recalls his work with the Liquor Salesmen's Union Local 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Matthews talks about marrying a white woman

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Matthews recalls the African American clientele of Frank's Restaurant

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Matthews recalls his initiatives against employment discrimination

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Matthews explains his organizing methods

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Matthews recalls Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.'s role in picket organizing

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Matthews remembers forming the Robert F. Kennedy Democratic Club

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John Matthews recalls working on Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.'s campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - John Matthews recalls the American Federation of Labor's discrimination against black workers

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - John Matthews describes his NAACP involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - John Matthews reflects upon his civil rights accomplishments

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - John Matthews talks about the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John Matthews remembers attending the March on Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John Matthews recalls the 156th Street Tenants and Friends Block Association

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John Matthews recalls serving on the Francis Delafield Hospital Community Board

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John Matthews talks about New York City's NAACP chapter

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John Matthews reflects upon his achievements as a civil rights organizer

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John Matthews talks about the Concerned Citizens Block Association

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John Matthews describes New York City's 161st Street

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - John Matthews talks about stereotypes of African Americans

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - John Matthews describes his relationship with David N. Dinkins

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - John Matthews recalls advancements in civil rights during his lifetime

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - John Matthews describes his involvement in Prince Hall Masonry

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - John Matthews reflects upon his volunteerism

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - John Matthews recalls meeting Malcolm X and Fidel Castro

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John Matthews talks about the New York City Fire Department and his current volunteer work

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John Matthews describes the boating community of Freeport, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John Matthews describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John Matthews reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John Matthews recalls famous members of New York City's Harlem community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John Matthews describes New York City's African American political leaders

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John Matthews describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John Matthews talks about his contact with the mafia

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - John Matthews describes his love of music

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - John Matthews recalls his campaign for district leader in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - John Matthews recalls his awards and recognitions

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - John Matthews remembers Charles B. Rangel

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - John Matthews recalls playing alto saxophone in a local band

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John Matthews recalls his presidency of the Bottle and Cork Club

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John Matthews remembers Evelyn Cunningham

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John Matthews reflects upon his life and the importance of history

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John Matthews narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

9$11

DATitle
John Matthews recalls the American Federation of Labor's discrimination against black workers
John Matthews reflects upon his civil rights accomplishments
Transcript
Now why did you decide to, to open the League of Construction Workers?$$The league? Because as I tell you before, trying to--not transfer--the unions had A Local, B Local. B Local was the fabrication shop where all the black people could work in there. But in the other high rise buildings and all that, black people couldn't work. And the A Local black people wasn't in the A Local. And the union was member of the American Federation of Labor. And that was a discriminatory union also, right. So this is where it's all starting. And then the Congress of Industrial Organizations which was founded by John L. Lewis, and then later on the CIO merged with the AF of L CIO [American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)]. But the Congress of Industrial Organizations started from discrimination in the AF of L, see.$$Now what did you do? And, and you fought them as well. The AF of L.$$Yeah I fought the AF of L, I had to. Well like Michael Quill and them, they belongs to a union, which was all black. And they was affiliated with the American Federation of Labor. So have to break a lot of barriers, man, lot of barriers. It take time to sit down to remember like if you were to get me when I was sixty, would I remember all that (laughter) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) You're doing a great job, you're doing a great job.$Well when you think about like the '60s [1960s] and working with Adam Clayton Powell [Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.] and the Kennedys, and of all of those things you've done, which are you most proud of?$$Well what can I tell you, I'm proud of all of them, man. I'm proud of everything that I have done. As I said to you before, probably the reason why I lived to be ninety-seven, I am wide open with everybody. I don't have no enemies that I know of. To say you don't have a enemy, you're gonna have enemy, I don't care what you do in life. But I am an open person. I like everybody, I don't care who the guy is, could be a junkie. 'Cause I never know when the junkie can help me cross the street. The same one that I don't like is the one gonna help me, right. So I have an open mind. And my life with the human race, I don't care whether you're white or you're black. To me everybody's the same. You was made by the same creator just like he put all different types of plant in the woods, different birds, different animals. And all of 'em seem together except the human being. We make discrimination against each other. So that's it.

J. W. Lemon

Postal worker and Georgia NAACP president James Windel Lemon was born on November 9, 1919 in Locust Grove, Georgia to Maggie Richie and James E. Lemon. Both of his parents were sharecroppers; as a result, Lemon and his five siblings worked the farm at a very young age. Lemon was accidentally shot by hunters in November of 1925, and lost his left eye. In 1935, his father went to work in the cotton mills when the dust bowl impacted their farming community. Lemon attended Shoal Creek Elementary School and graduated from Henry County Training School in McDonough, Georgia in 1939.

After graduation, Lemon went to Atlanta and worked for his Uncle George in a pressing plant. Soon after, under the National Youth Administration, he attended Forsyth State Teacher’s College in Forsyth, Georgia, where he studied to be a plumber. The cost to attend the school was ten dollars per month. In 1940, while attending the school, he met his future wife and they got married that same year. After leaving school, Lemon tried to get work in Detroit, Michigan, but was unsuccessful. He returned home to live with his parents in Georgia.

During the 1940s, Lemon became the founder and youngest chapter president of the Henry County NAACP, and found himself under regular threat by the Ku Klux Klan. He was actively involved in advocating for an improved education system in Henry County and successfully achieved the group’s goal of better training for teachers in African American schools. Lemon was also heavily involved in fighting for the rights of African American farmers and helped them purchase land through the Federal Home Loans Administration. In addition, Lemon was instrumental in persuading then-Georgia Governor Herman Talmadge in enacting civil rights legislation during the 1970s. During this time, Lemon worked for the U.S. military at an Army Depot credit union, where he remained until 1945.

Lemon next worked for the mail department at the railroad at Terminal Station in Atlanta, a branch of the United States Post Office. He worked there for twenty-one years, after which he left to work directly for the U.S. Post Office, where he remained for another twenty years. Lemon was involved in supporting Jimmy Carter’s run for the U.S. Presidency in the mid-1970s. Lemon retired from the U.S. Postal Service as a clerk and mail handler.

Lemon pass away on November 17, 2011 at the age of 92.

Lemon is the devoted husband of Mrs. Gladys Lemon, his wife of sixty-one years, the father of three sons, James, Jr., Kenneth and Wayman.

Lemon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 11, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.157

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/11/2006

Last Name

Lemon

Maker Category
Middle Name

W.

Schools

Locust Grove Elementary School

First Name

J.

Birth City, State, Country

Locust Grove

HM ID

LEM01

Favorite Season

None

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Detroit, Michigan

Favorite Quote

I'll Let No One Separate Me From The Grace Of God.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

11/9/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbecue (Pork)

Death Date

11/17/2011

Short Description

Community activist and postal worker J. W. Lemon (1919 - 2011 ) was the founder of the Henry County, Georgia Chapter of the NAACP. He helped Georgia farmers to purchase land through the Federal Home Loans Administration. He was also instrumental in the Civil Rights legislation of the 1970s.

Employment

United States Postal Service

Favorite Color

White

Timing Pairs
0,0:3972,28:4584,35:4992,40:8470,90:8950,97:9910,111:11510,158:23110,416:31436,507:38428,656:38888,662:42412,681:56338,804:56706,809:61600,849:65488,869:65776,874:66064,879:68530,893:69610,905:70042,910:87300,1008:92256,1058:92608,1063:102962,1136:121511,1249:122008,1258:130310,1278:131075,1288:134815,1350:135325,1357:144380,1413:144975,1422:150010,1443:159300,1505:159776,1514:169126,1592:169654,1606:185700,1784:186260,1790:187044,1797:197950,1910:201860,1932:203060,1947$0,0:12980,80:15850,91:16642,101:48380,387:60800,459:95649,820:106054,898:138830,1177:154780,1388:170748,1570:198938,1758:218260,1913:226520,1959:228360,1989:253220,2273
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of J.W. Lemon's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - J.W. Lemon lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - J.W. Lemon describes his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - J.W. Lemon talks about his paternal grandfather's land

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - J.W. Lemon describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - J.W. Lemon describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - J.W. Lemon describes his parents' sharecropping

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - J.W. Lemon describes his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - J.W. Lemon remembers working on his family's farm with his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - J.W. Lemon remember his childhood pastimes

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - J.W. Lemon recalls his childhood interactions with white people

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - J.W. Lemon lists the schools he attended

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - J.W. Lemon remembers his teachers at Shoal Creek Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - J.W. Lemon remembers his walk to Henry County Training School and its facilities

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - J.W. Lemon remembers attending a National Youth Administration school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - J.W. Lemon recalls Christmas with his family

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - J.W. Lemon remembers Shoal Creek Baptist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - J.W. Lemon remembers his interactions with the King family

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - J.W. Lemon describes African Americans' educational opportunities during his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - J.W. Lemon remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - J.W. Lemon recalls his marriage to Gladys Prince Lemon

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - J.W. Lemon recalls working at Georgia's Conley Army Depot

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - J.W. Lemon remembers forming a credit union at Conley Army Depot

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - J.W. Lemon remembers the change of leadership at Conley Army Depot

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - J.W. Lemon remembers working on the railroad for the U.S. Postal Service

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - J.W. Lemon remembers meeting A. Philip Randolph

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - J.W. Lemon recalls interviewing for a position on the McDonough Board of Education

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - J.W. Lemon describes the conditions of the schools in McDonough, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - J.W. Lemon remembers his presidency of the NAACP's Henry County chapter

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - J.W. Lemon remembers postal workers tampering with the NAACP's mail

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - J.W. Lemon remembers receiving threats from the Ku Klux Klan

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - J.W. Lemon remembers those who protected him from the Ku Klux Klan

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - J.W. Lemon remembers helping sharecroppers access government subsidies

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - J.W. Lemon recalls helping black farmers buy land through the Farmers Home Administration

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - J.W. Lemon remembers Eugene Talmadge

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - J.W. Lemon describes his interactions with Georgia's governors

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - J.W. Lemon remembers meeting President Harry S. Truman

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - J.W. Lemon remembers the desegregation of the U.S. Armed Forces

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - J.W. Lemon recalls buying his home through the Farmers Home Administration

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - J.W. Lemon recalls challenges to his NAACP chapter in Henry County, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - J.W. Lemon remembers holding voter registration drives

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - J.W. Lemon remembers meeting Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - J.W. Lemon remembers the murder of Emmitt Till

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - J.W. Lemon recalls advocating to build senior housing in Atlanta, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - J.W. Lemon recalls advocating to build senior housing in Atlanta, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - J.W. Lemon remembers the trial of Herman Talmadge

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - J.W. Lemon recalls Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassinations

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - J.W. Lemon recalls being offered the position of postmaster in Locust Grove

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - J.W. Lemon reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - J.W. Lemon describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - J.W. Lemon shares advice for future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - J.W. Lemon talks about his wife

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

7$6

DATitle
J.W. Lemon recalls interviewing for a position on the McDonough Board of Education
J.W. Lemon recalls advocating to build senior housing in Atlanta, pt. 2
Transcript
So now in 1943, thirty-four people were killed in the riots in Detroit [Michigan] and six people killed in New York [New York], and is this the year that you start the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] here [Henry County, Georgia]?$$Nineteen forty-three [1943].$$Okay, so what prompted you to found the NAACP at that time?$$Well, my wife [Gladys Prince Lemon] went to school and she finished Washington High School [Booker T. Washington High School, Atlanta, Georgia]. She said not to get ahead but I got to jump ahead a little bit. She enrolled at Clark College [Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia] and finished three years there, Clark College. She went to work for the YMCA [Young Men's Christian Association] and it's there that ex-president of Washington High School got in touch with me through the NAACP and asked me, they were trying to get somebody to take over and sign up to be the head of the schools, but they couldn't find a Negro school in Georgia, whereby we had a single Negro that was willing to take over and opper- and sign up as credit against the Georgia system for not operating schools whereby Negroes could attend. And I did. I signed up, went to McDonough [Georgia] before the board of education and I had something happened to me never happened before and I hope it never will happen again.$$Okay, what was that?$$The superintendent of the board of education gave me an interview. I accepted. Went in and had the interview at the board of education and when I finished with the interview, I asked them, said, "Do any member of the board have anything they want to ask me?" "No, no, no, superintendent, no, no, no. You asked for this interview, we granted it and so that's it, we're not going any further." First time I ever been in a meeting with white people and they didn't have a single question to ask a Negro, and it was a hot issue at that time, a real hot issue.$And how much did he give you, how much did he make sure that you got?$$In 1962, members of Morehouse College [Atlanta, Georgia] met and they was discussing Morehouse. Borders [William Holmes Borders] was talking about what he had did for the people around Atlanta [Georgia], and now he couldn't get a dime.$$And who is this you were talking about?$$William Holmes Borders. Couldn't get none of 'em to help him with nothing. So, I asked him, said, "Have you discussed with Senator Talmadge [Herman Talmadge]?" "No, no, you don't need no, he ain't do it, he ain't gonna do nothing but talk." I said, "Would you mind if I called him and talk with him?" He said, "No." I went in and picked up the phone and, if God had ever been with anybody, he was with me then. I picked up the phone and dialed the number, and was able to get Talmadge on the phone. I told him what I wanted, I told him what conditions Borders was facing at Wheat Street [Wheat Street Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia] and now he wanted to build a high rise and couldn't get a dime. He says, "Is he there?" I told him, "Yeah." "Put him on the phone." I put him on the phone, Borders talked with him, come back out on the little front porch there on the home. "You know he sound just like he gonna help me." I said, "Did he tell you he would help you?" He said, "Yeah." "Well he gonna do it. If he told you that he would help you, he'll do it." That was on a Wednesday. I told Borders to get his delegation together and be down to his house at Saturday, twelve o'clock. Borders got his delegation together, come back and ask me, said, "You going with us?" I said, "No, I'm not going with you." I said, "I done got your foot in the door," say, "you ought to be able to walk from there on in. That's as far as I'm going with you." So that year, everybody wanted to know how did Talmadge get to be the man they speak of at Wheat Street? And the word leaked out. He got the money to build that high rise tower [Wheat Street Towers, Atlanta, Georgia] and they've already started on it. And Lemon [HistoryMaker J. W. Lemon] was the one that got it for him. We got it started. It's still there, still flourishing and doing good (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yes, still flourishing. Yes.

The Honorable Lottie Watkins

Lottie Heywood Watkins is the retired CEO of Lottie Watkins Enterprises, Inc., a full-service real estate company specializing in property management. Watkins entered the real estate industry in the early 1960s and became the first African American female real estate broker in the Atlanta market. Watkins is known throughout the Atlanta business community as a shrewd businesswoman and is highly respected for the contributions she has made to civic and social affairs.

Watkins is the daughter of Susie Wilson and Eddie Heywood, a 1920s jazz pianist. Her brother, the second eldest of five children, gained critical fame with the Eddie Heywood, Jr. Trio throughout the 1940s as a songwriter, composer and pianist. Watkins was educated in the Atlanta Public School system and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School’s accelerated class in 1935. She graduated from Reid’s School of Business and became a secretary for Alexander—Calloway Realty Company. She worked as a teller/clerk at the Mutual Federal Savings and Loan Association until she started Lottie Watkins Enterprises, Inc.

Watkins became active with the voter’s rights campaign, the Civil Rights Movement and community–based organizations. In 1977, she was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. She served as Co-Chair of the YMCA Membership Campaign, the American Cancer Society, and the NAACP Membership Drive and Freedom Fund Banquet. She was Chair of the Christmas Cheer Fund for the Atlanta Inquirer. Watkins has received numerous awards and citations; the Pioneer in Real Estate Award (Providence Missionary Baptist Church), Appeal of Human Rights Award (30th Anniversary Celebration of the Civil Rights Movement), Pioneer Award for Community Leadership (Empire Real Estate Board) and Outstanding Achievement in Real Estate and Business Award (Empire Real Estate Board 50th Anniversary). She was listed in Who’s Who of American Women, in Finance and Industry, Black World and International Who’s Who in Community Service and World Who’s Who of Women.

Watkins resided in her native Atlanta with her daughters and their families, Joyce and Judy, who actively operated Lottie Watkins Enterprises, Inc.

Watkins passed away on February 20, 2017.

Accession Number

A2006.037

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/16/2006 |and| 4/12/2006

Last Name

Watkins

Maker Category
Schools

Edmund Asa Ware Elementary School

Booker T. Washington High School

Reid's Business School

First Name

Lottie

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

WAT08

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

6/4/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken, Fish

Death Date

2/20/2017

Short Description

Community activist and state representative The Honorable Lottie Watkins (1919 - 2017 ) was the first African American female real estate broker in the Atlanta market, and is the founder of Lottie Watkins Enterprises, Inc.

Employment

Mutual Federal Savings & Loan Association of Atlanta

Alexander-Caloway Real Estate Company

Lottie Watkins Enterprises, Inc.

Georgia House of Representatives

Favorite Color

Pastel

Timing Pairs
0,0:444,2:1221,10:10562,125:10972,131:36968,452:37616,470:38021,476:41828,569:46931,684:48065,710:65050,861:76436,1110:97726,1308:98595,1349:101202,1401:105547,1503:127676,1738:128044,1743:134929,1820:155100,2036:155870,2047:182890,2416:187550,2476:204450,2803:207570,2847$0,0:9367,116:10681,144:11411,154:13455,192:13747,197:14331,208:14988,219:15645,231:17178,262:17689,272:23230,325:28970,382:29738,434:69635,769:83600,927:94470,1283:142830,1658
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Lottie Watkins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins talks about her brother, Eddie Heywood, Jr.

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins describes her childhood community in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins remembers living near Zilla Mays

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins describes Atlanta's Providence Baptist Church

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins remembers Edmund Asa Ware Elementary School

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins remembers visiting Atlanta area churches

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins remembers Booker T. Washington High School

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls working at her aunt's restaurant in Atlanta

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins talks about her father's jazz career

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls attending business school in Atlanta

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls working in Atlanta University's registrar's office

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls working for the Alexander-Calloway Realty Company

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls her start at Mutual Federal Savings and Loan Association of Atlanta

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls building her home in Atlanta

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins talks about her marriages

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls her training with Remington Rand, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls how John Wesley Dobbs financed her daughter's education

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls her daughter's graduation from Clark College

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins remembers her daughter's wedding

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins describes Clarence A. Bacote

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins describes Atlanta's neighborhood clubs

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins describes Atlanta's African American voting districts

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls her voter registration work in 1962

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins describes her decision to start her own business

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls managing property on Atlanta's Anderson Avenue

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls residence managers whom she employed

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins remembers a tenant who stood up for her

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls joining Rich's Business Women's Advisory Board

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls the student protest of Rich's Department Store in Atlanta

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins describes forgetting an important protest at an Atlanta hotel

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins describes the current management of Lottie Watkins Enterprises, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls her run for the Georgia House of Representatives

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls her Democratic Party involvement

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls campaigning for James Earl "Jimmy" Carter

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins remembers campaigning for Ivan Allen, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins remembers Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls serving on the Democratic finance committee

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls moving to a new office in Atlanta

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls her office relocation from Hunter Street to Gordon Street

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins describes the loan for her building on Atlanta's Gordon Street

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins reflects upon her political campaigns

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins reflects upon her SCLC involvement

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins explains why she shared her story

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins describes her NAACP involvement

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lottie Watkins narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

4$1

DATitle
The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls managing property on Atlanta's Anderson Avenue
The Honorable Lottie Watkins recalls her Democratic Party involvement
Transcript
I decided that I wanted to go into business. Now there was not another black woman in business, real estate. So--$$All the other companies were men?$$Yeah, but I decided that it was time for a lady to do something, and with me being a lady I can make a difference, you know, appearance-wise, pleading and everything. So I had an office [for Lottie Watkins Enterprises, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia]--well you cut off my dining room just about this size.$$This was when you first started out?$$Yes.$$When you first opened up?$$Y- 774 Hunter Street [Atlanta, Georgia].$$And that was in 1960?$$It--near the en- in November near the end of the year in '60 [1960].$$November of 1960, and you were like forty-something years old?$$Yeah.$$Forty-one or so?$$So I stepped in the water and everybody was so happy, people were calling me. So with me--I, I--the business was growing and during those days the whites managed all the big complexes, blacks didn't have any. So a man named Bob Chennault [Robert L. Chennault] came by and said, "I want you to go with me when you have time." I said, "Where Mr. Chennault?" He said, "I have two friends, Victor Massey [ph.], and his friend is building ninety-six units on Anderson Avenue, and I would like for them to meet you." He said, "Two other real estate companies is trying to get, get them, but I just want them to meet you." I said, "Mr. Chennault, now you know I can't go any place during the week, now I gotta stay here and take care of this business." He said, "Let me call 'em and see will they come down on a Saturday to meet you." So Mr. Chennault took me to the Healey Building [Atlanta, Georgia] on a Saturday, and I met these gentlemen, and they told me they would let me know. The next week, they wrote me a letter and asked me to come back to talk to them and I went up there and they told me they were impressed by me and they would like to give me the opportunity of filling up these units for them. I couldn't believe it, so I got them, but I kept the lawn manicured and--$$This was a property management contract?$$Yes.$$Okay.$$And I kept the shrubs trimmed, and you didn't see nothing out there but clean, clean as a pin. Oh, I had--Jasper Williams [Jasper W. Williams, Jr.] was a tenant. He's one of the biggest preachers in this town now. I had Moses Norman [Moses C. Norman, Sr.], he was superintendent of the schools, and I--there was a guy was named L.C. Crow [ph.] and Daphne [ph.]. Now Crow has a big restaurant in East Point [Georgia].$$Okay.$$He was a teacher but he--but all these guys came from Anderson Avenue, and if they got out of hand, or the music was too loud, I would say "Hey, your music was too loud," blah, blah, blah, blah. "Well we didn't know it, Ms. Watkins [HistoryMaker Lottie Watkins], we apologize," but they stayed there until they bought a house.$Let's talk a little bit about your involvement with the Democratic National Committee, the membership committee for that, and then some of your political involvements, and what you've done to help people get elected to office, and some of the presidents and the mayors of Georgia that you've actually had affiliations with.$$Well--$$I see in 1966 [sic.] you were on President Jimmy Carter's [President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.] campaign.$$Well, I--when he announced to be the president I was on the invitation. It had two blacks on it; it had me and Andy Young [HistoryMaker Andrew Young]. My name was up at the top so I got involved with his campaign and there was some good blacks, like George Booker worked for the national Democratic Party, and he had been here to help us with [President] Lyndon Baines Johnson when we got the vote out for him. So he would always come to Atlanta [Georgia]. He knew us and Jimmy Carter, I met him when he was the governor, and there was always some women like me. We always joined a party just to have that card, and then there was the Democratic Women's Party [Democratic Women's Party of Georgia; Georgia Federation of Democratic Women], so we joined that and we would go, you know, all over the State of Georgia with them and they were just--turned out to be lovely people. I was shocked to know that they were nice and even Sam Nunn's wife [Colleen O'Brien Nunn] was nice.$$Sam who? Nunn (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Nunn, he was our senator then.$$Okay.$$She was nice, and whenever there was a big function here I was always on the dais because I held an office in the state Democratic Party.$$Okay.

The Honorable Melvin King

Across the landscape of neighborhoods and politics of Boston, Massachusetts, Melvin H. King is a household name. Simultaneously, for over fifty-five years, he has been an educator, youth worker, social activist, community organizer and developer, elected politician, author, and an adjunct professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is responsible for creating community programs and institutions that have positively changed the lives of low-income, grassroots people across the city of Boston. He is the founder and current director of the South End Technology Center.

King’s mother, Ursula, was born in Guyana, and his father, Watts King, in Barbados. They met and married in Nova Scotia and immigrated to Boston in the early 1920s. King, born in 1928 in Boston’s South End neighborhood, was one of eight children born to the Kings between 1918 and 1938. He graduated from Boston Technical High School in 1946 and from Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina in 1950 with his B.S. degree in mathematics. In 1951, he received his M.A. degree in education from Teacher's College of the City of Boston and then taught math, first at Boston Trade High School and at his alma mater, Boston Technical High School.

In 1953, King left the classroom to work with at risk youth, becoming Director of Boy’s Work at Lincoln House, a settlement house in Boston’s South End community. He continued his community work focusing on street corner gangs as Youth Director at United South End Settlements (USES). He also worked as a community activist and urban renewal and anti-poverty organizer. He was let go by USES when he promoted and supported neighborhood control versus USES and government control over the urban renewal and federal funds to assist poor people. King was then rehired after protests from the community over his firing and was given the job as a community organizer. King, then founded the Community Assembly for a United South End (C.A.U.S.E.), to give tenants and community residents a voice in their communities.

In 1967, King moved to the directorship of the New Urban League of Greater Boston. He brought job training for the unemployed and organized the community around public school, employment, and human services delivery issues.

King ran three times for a seat on the Boston School Committee in 1961, 1963 and 1965, being unsuccessful each time. However, his citywide political organizing for these campaigns paid off. In 1973, he was elected as a state representative for the 9th Suffolk District and served in the Massachusetts Legislature until 1982.

In 1983, King ran for mayor of Boston and nearly beat the incumbent, Raymond Flynn. Out of this historic campaign, King established a Rainbow Coalition Party, a first for Boston and a model for the Rainbow Coalition Party created by Rev. Jesse Jackson.

In 1981, King’s book, Chain of Change: Struggles for Black Community Development, was published by South End Press. It focused on development in housing, education, employment and politics in Boston from the 1950s through the 1970s.

In 1970, King created the Community Fellows Program (CFP) in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. He served as an adjunct professor of Urban Studies and Planning and director of the Community Fellows Program for twenty-five years until 1996. CFP, a nine-month long program, brought community organizers and leaders from across America to reflect, research and study urban community politics, economics, social life, education, housing and media.

Upon his retirement from MIT, King established the South End Technology Center to provide computer training for low-income people.

In 2003, King created The New Majority, an organization and program uniting Boston’s communities of color around candidates for elective office.

In addition to writing Chain of Change and journal articles, King has used poetry to share his messages.

King and his wife, Joyce, married in 1951, are parents of six children.

Accession Number

A2005.257

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/8/2005 |and| 2/6/2006

Last Name

King

Maker Category
Schools

Boston Technical High School

Boston State College

Claflin University

First Name

Melvin

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

KIN09

Favorite Season

None

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

10/20/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Community activist and state representative The Honorable Melvin King (1928 - ) has been active in the Boston community for over fifty years. He has served as a Massachusetts state representative, conducted a historic run for mayor of Boston, created the Community Fellows Program (CFP) in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, and founded several community organizations in Boston, including the South End Technology Center and The New Majority.

Employment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Massachusetts State Legislature

Lincoln House

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Melvin King's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Melvin King talks about his mother's life in Canada

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his mother's religious involvement

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Melvin King remembers helping with the housework

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls his mother's nickname

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his father's work in Canada

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his parents' return to Barbados

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Melvin King remembers a family reunion in Barbados

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his parents' move to Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his community in Boston's South End

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Melvin King talks about his father's career and union activity

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Melvin King lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his family's traditions

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Melvin King remembers his mother's cooking

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Melvin King remembers the foods of Boston's South End

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Melvin King talks about corporal punishment in schools

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls his elementary school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls the Quincy School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Melvin King describes Boston Technical High School in Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls his experiences of discrimination at Boston Technical High School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls his decision to attend Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his arrival at Claflin University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls his disappointment with Claflin University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls his positive experiences at Claflin University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his education at Claflin University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Melvin King talks about Jackie Robinson's career

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his summer employment

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his wife and children

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls his early community involvement

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Melvin King remembers the Lincoln House in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his work at the Lincoln House, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his work at Lincoln House, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls his accomplishments at the Lincoln House

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Melvin King explains his dismissal from the Lincoln House

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Melvin King remembers his return to the Lincoln House

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Melvin King describes the failures of Boston's schools

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls his campaigns for the Boston School Committee

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Melvin King describes the Community Assembly for a Unified South End

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls becoming a youth worker

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Melvin King describes the changes in youth culture

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his approach to youth work

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls the urban renewal of Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls founding the Community Assembly for a Unified South End

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls forming Tent City in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Melvin King talks about Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Melvin King his early political involvement

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls his first election

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls running for Boston School Committee

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls his work with the New Urban League of Greater Boston

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls his challenges as director of the New Urban League of Greater Boston

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Melvin King describes the programs of the New Urban League of Greater Boston

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Melvin King remembers his criticism of United Way Worldwide

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Melvin King reflects upon his leadership of the Urban League

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls the need for the Community Fellows Program

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Melvin King remembers founding the Community Fellows Program

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Melvin King describes the Community Fellows Program

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Melvin King reflects upon the Community Fellows Program

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls his decision to run for Massachusetts state representative

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his campaign for the Massachusetts state legislature

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Melvin King talks about the Black Legislative Caucus

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his legislative work

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his legislative achievements

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls his mayoral campaign in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - The Honorable Melvin King recalls creating the South End Technology Center

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - The Honorable Melvin King considers the uniqueness of the Community Fellows Program

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - The Honorable Melvin King talks about the New Majority Coalition

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his book, 'Chain of Change,' pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - The Honorable Melvin King describes his book, 'Chain of Change,' pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - The Honorable Melvin King talks about his love of poetry

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - The Honorable Melvin King talks about his relationship with his wife

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - The Honorable Melvin King reflects upon his life

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - The Honorable Melvin King describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - The Honorable Melvin King narrates his photographs

DASession

1$2

DATape

2$8

DAStory

4$1

DATitle
The Honorable Melvin King describes his community in Boston's South End
The Honorable Melvin King remembers founding the Community Fellows Program
Transcript
Tell me a little bit more about the immediate neighborhood around your home on Seneca [Street], Cobb [Street] and/or Seneca, and then the neighborhood just out- outside here in the suburb. How do you remember the neighborhood [South End, Boston, Massachusetts] as a youngster?$$Well, I have to tell you that--and I'm sure others say the same--however, this was the most dynamic neighborhood, street that you'll ever imagine. Life was on this street. And, okay, there were--'cause I have to talk about the neighborhood and the street and the schools at the same time. I lived in a neighborhood where there were thirty-two different racial cultural ethnic groups. In the tenement that I lived in, there was a black family on the first floor, we were on the second floor, there was a Polish family on the third floor, there was, let's see, Mr. Potter [ph.], he was a black person on the next floor, and then there was a Portuguese family or Cape Verdean, although mostly we called them Portuguese. So I lived on a place where there were five, five floors. Next door, my aunt [Wilhelmina King (ph.)] lived, above her Jewish family, above them an Italian family. Next door to them, Greek, Polish, Italian, all right? And it was like that up and down the street across from (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) This was all Seneca?$$This was Seneca Street. Across, Italian, English, a little further down the street Turkish, there was Chinese, you name it, they lived on the--on that street. And there were Armenians and what happened is that a lot of activities took place on this street, and particularly during the spring and summer and fall where then, we had these wind up Victrolas and they would bring one out, set it up on the sidewalk, and there were a couple of guys who danced. And we also--they brought out boxing gloves and we boxed. We played ball in the street, stick ball, all kinds of games in the street. But everything took place right out there. During the--we had--then, there were horses and the horses that were used for delivery, et cetera, well they always dropped their manure on the street. And it was very interesting because my mother [Urcilla Earle King], other folks would go pick it up and use it for fertilizing the plants, flowers they were growing. The older guys would come out with shovels and brooms and buckets of water and they would sweep it up, push it down the sewer because they were gonna play stick ball or squash as they--as they called it or two-hand tag with football. So that didn't matter what time of the year, what the conditions were, if there was snow, they wanted to play, they shoveled the snow, cleaned the street so that they could do all the kinds of things that they wanted. They didn't let weather conditions stop them from the activity of the street. Well, another thing is that I remember where there were these Armenian sisters, twins, and they got married the same day, and their wedding party was in the street, just to look out the window and see the dance, people, et cetera, that's how it was on Seneca Street.$$When we get to talk about your involvement in, in politics and the Rainbow Party [Rainbow Coalition Party] that you started here, you had your rainbow very early in life.$$Oh, it's a--$$Yeah, you had it (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) a major piece of--$$Yeah.$$--growing--of growing up.$Fortunately, you had a seat on an airplane, coming back to Boston [Massachusetts] with the president of MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts] and you were telling--$$Well, I sat down and I had met Mr. Wiesner [Jerome Wiesner] in the past through the efforts with the organizing around the METCO [Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, Boston, Massachusetts] program, et cetera, and his wife [Laya Wainger Wiesner] was very much involved in that. And I had been part of a summer study on--in--on education in which we came up with a systems analysis approach for, for the schools. Sat down next to him, explained to him what the role that I thought MIT should be playing with relationship to the community and how it would be important for folks to be able to come to rest, reflect, research, get revitalized around development of programs, and that he should wanna get that to happen as a role that MIT would be playing. We talked and when we finished and the plane landed, he gave me a couple of names of people to call, said he would call Lloyd Rodwin who was the department head for urban studies and Charlie [ph.], who headed the urban, oh boy, institute. In any event, he called both of them, they both called me, set up meetings. Lloyd put Larry Susskind [Lawrence Susskind] to work on writing a proposal. Prior to that, I had had some contact with the folks at the Rockefeller Foundation [New York, New York] and I'd explained to them why I thought for their leadership issue that this would be--the kind of idea that I had would make some sense. And so re-contacted them, they contacted, and so we got money from them. Plus, they had a contact with another foundation, so between them, we got the money to bring the first group of community fellows into the program [Community Fellows Program; Mel King Community Fellows] at MIT.$$And what year was that?$$Seventy-one [1971], '72 [1972].

Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray

Reverend Cecil L. Murray was born on September 26, 1929, in Lakeland, Florida, to Janie Belle Williams Murray and Edward Wilder Murray, Sr. Murray’s mother passed away when he was only four years old; he would be raised by his father who was devastated by his wife’s untimely passing. Growing up in the segregated South, Murray, his father, and his brother experienced profound racism firsthand.

Murray earned his undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University, but joined the United States Air Force after graduation where he served during the Korean War as a jet radar intercept officer in the Air Defense Command, and as a navigator in the Air Transport Command. Murray retired as a reserve major in 1958, after ten years, and was decorated with a Soldier’s Medal of Valor. After Murray left the U.S. Air Force, he attended the School of Theology at Claremont College in California, where he earned his Ph.D. degree in religion.

Murray’s first church was in Pomona, California, where he helped grow a congregation of just twelve members to a group of 150. Murray later served at Trinity A.M.E. in Kansas City from 1966 to 1971; the First African Methodist Episcopal (FAME) Church in Seattle; and Los Angeles’ FAME Church in 1977, after Bishop H.H. Brookins recruited him to join. Under Murray, the congregation grew from several hundred members in 1977, to roughly 18,000.

Murray became a nationally known figure in the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots; he also became actively involved in the issues of job-training, homeowner loans, affordable housing, condom distribution, and HIV/AIDS awareness. Murray started FAME Renaissance, a non-profit organization that focused on economic development.

Murray retired as Senior Pastor from the FAME church on September 25, 2004. In 2005, Murray became a senior fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC) and continues to work as a liaison to the Los Angeles area, and to African American and Latino constituents. Murray also works on the Passing the Mantle project, which aimed to train clergy from African American churches across California in effective community development and organizing skills.

Accession Number

A2005.225

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/3/2005 |and| 3/28/2006

Last Name

Murray

Maker Category
Middle Name

L. "Chip"

Schools

U.B. Kinsey/Palm View Elementary School for the Arts

Claremont School of Theology

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

First Name

Cecil

Birth City, State, Country

Lakeland

HM ID

MUR08

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Pacific Ocean

Favorite Quote

I Know That God's Tomorrow Will Be Better Than Today.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

9/26/1929

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ox Tails, Rice

Short Description

Community activist and pastor Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray (1929 - ) served as senior pastor of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles from 1977 to 2004.

Employment

Trinity AME Church

First A.M.E Church

University of Southern California

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:2400,91:3040,102:7440,181:7760,186:14105,240:30550,396:30878,401:32518,432:32846,437:33174,442:33830,524:36290,563:36700,569:45408,646:45905,655:46331,662:49597,731:53289,801:53928,812:66475,947:67045,955:69800,992:70940,1009:71605,1017:73030,1035:74075,1049:82150,1153:83860,1171:90278,1235:91310,1252:92342,1267:95524,1319:95954,1325:101974,1409:103952,1450:110920,1517:111340,1523:112096,1534:112516,1540:114868,1578:116128,1599:116464,1604:116884,1611:117640,1621:118564,1639:136360,1833:136728,1838:140132,1888:140960,1898:152525,1980:153350,1995:157400,2062:167619,2188:167984,2194:169809,2220:175941,2334:176233,2339:176744,2348:184510,2414:185105,2423:186550,2444:187230,2455:187655,2461:189015,2478:192080,2484:194622,2516:195852,2538:196590,2548:200280,2610:201018,2621:201838,2631:202330,2639:204626,2671:205282,2680:215100,2749:216514,2763:217120,2770:222877,2831:225907,2864:226715,2874:229341,2894:230856,2904:231720,2909$0,0:952,6:1768,14:7028,111:8000,123:8540,129:12644,166:13400,174:15236,197:21896,240:23156,265:23660,272:24416,282:26180,308:26768,317:28448,345:29036,354:29540,361:30800,377:31556,388:31892,393:32480,402:36752,418:37940,427:38912,435:40208,525:41180,535:47130,576:50426,613:57042,699:57386,704:61207,736:62542,755:68505,844:72777,907:73311,915:74112,925:77870,930:78890,940:81610,985:82120,992:84245,1028:84755,1035:85265,1042:87900,1086:88835,1100:95174,1132:96526,1148:97046,1154:105678,1259:106198,1267:110466,1292:111098,1301:111414,1306:112125,1316:115522,1421:115996,1428:116865,1441:121131,1509:122158,1522:122474,1527:130456,1582:133264,1616:139180,1678:140738,1706:146232,1805:146806,1814:149266,1858:150168,1879:150742,1890:157277,1924:157745,1929:168274,2050:168882,2059:169414,2069:172910,2121:181550,2171:183460,2183:185369,2230:186614,2250:195226,2371:195800,2379:197194,2400:200930,2434
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray describes his mother's upbringing in Hemingway, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray describes his father, Edward Murray, Sr.

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray describes his family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray describes growing up during the Great Depression

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray describes his father's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray remembers working on his maternal family's farm

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray recalls race relations in his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray describes his education in Florida and South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray remembers his influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray remembers Ulysses Bradshaw Kinsey and HistoryMaker Bernard Kinsey

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray recalls his favorite school subjects

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray describes his family's education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray describes his time at West Palm Beach's Industrial High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray remembers wanting to be a preacher

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray remembers deciding to join the ministry, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray remembers deciding to join the ministry, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray recalls being a Boy Scout

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray recalls attending college on a scholarship

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray describes Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray remembers meeting his wife, Bernardine Cousin Murray

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray recalls attending Southern California School of Theology

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray remembers pastoring in Pomona, California

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Pomona, California

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray recalls working at Trinity AME Church in Kansas City, Kansas

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray remembers working at First AME Church in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray gives the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray explains why Jesus Christ was African

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray recalls displaying images of Jesus Christ as an African

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray describes the community outreach of Los Angeles' First AME Church

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray remembers founding FAME Renaissance

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray remembers the 1992 Los Angeles Riots

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray recalls the private sector's support for his programs

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray describes his work at University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray describes his hopes for future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray describes the theologians who influenced him

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray remembers Malcolm X

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray reflects upon his philosophical influences

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray shares his message to America

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray remembers founding FAME Renaissance
Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray remembers the 1992 Los Angeles Riots
Transcript
Reverend Murray [HistoryMaker Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray] throughout your life you're known as a teacher, not only just a minister, but a very important teacher, especially in this community. And, of course, during the riots, not the first riots but the first following--$$Ninety-two [1992].$$King's death [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.]; the assassination. Tell us how you came to that position and why you wanted to make your church [First African Methodist Episcopal Church (FAME), Los Angeles, California] such an important element. We saw you every night on 'Nightline.' And, for the first time some of the truth got out of what was really going on. We saw the president of the United States--$$Yes.$$--come over and so forth. Tell us, how you came to that philosophy that you wanted the people, you wanted to educated, sensitize the people of Los Angeles [California].$$I think when the civil unrest of 1992 broke out, we were in place to do whatever good was done. Because we'd had fifteen years of steadily building, the machinery was there. A Skid Row ministry, a men's ministry, a business development ministry, a housing ministry, a youth ministry, an AIDS [acquired immunodeficiency syndrome] ministry because AIDS was decimating our people at the time. We sent out kits to all of the black churches and some of them were utterly offended that those kits condamed--contained condoms. And, we were saying, "Whatever happens abstinence is number one. But, if you can't abstain it at least protect by using this condom." Some of them sent them back. One gentleman came from a prominent church and in the midst of our worship he stood up and said, he's a prophet and we're all going to hell for sending those--he call them condos, to the churches. And, soon he, he went on out and we went on with, with church. But, the ministries needed to be there. Substance abuse ministry because in the '60s [1960s] and the '70s [1970s] drugs infused our community. At first it was the white community with powder cocaine but it was so expensive, we couldn't afford it. And, then when it was watered down and made sellable, the white marketers sent it into the black communities and the drugs began killing our people and we began killing each other. Then, in the '80s [1980s] and the '90s [1990s] weapons came into our community. And, then in 2000s negative imaging; the DVDs and CDs where we were painting a poor picture of black people. So, the black industry had to be there in the church. We had to do something about the negative imaging. We had to do something about the poverty of pocket so that we formulated FAME Renaissance, an economic development component. That ultimately would let us go and hire 180 people in the church totality. And, to have an inventory of about $60 million in properties and evaluations and a budget of about $13, $14, $15 million a year.$So we were in place [in Los Angeles, California]. We had been meeting with the mayor [Tom Bradley] for about a week to two weeks before the blowup came. We had been getting ready in the event the jury comes in with a negative verdict. We would send twenty men to twenty different locales. Your jobs is to keep the peace there. You job is to keep the people under control. Otherwise, this might be explosive. The night we were in First AME [First African Methodist Episcopal Church (FAME), Los Angeles, California] as a community meeting, the night of the verdict is the night we were ready to go out to the sites we had allotted. We were all different denominations and all. When we got the word that the city was on fire, and, walking out of the church quickly, you would look on the horizon and see it was like Dante's Inferno, fires were everywhere. And, crowds were everywhere. So, it was too late to implement that situation that we planned. And, now we had to go into damage control. I remember the men of the church coming together, it was some two hundred that were willing to go with us. We went down to Adams Boulevard where there were about 150 young street fellows and they were intimidating the firemen who were there to put out the fires. Included was the African American life insurance company right there on Adams--$$Golden State [Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company].$$And Western, Golden State. And, their wall was burning. And, we promised the firemen, if you would continue, we will protect you. So, they formed a double line, those two hundred brothers and they bounced back and forth between the gangs, them, a line of police were behind us. And, they, they really wanted to attack the crowds. But, we said that would only inflate it, if we could. So, we tried to keep them and the firemen working. We went from 10:00 P.M. that night 'til about 2:00 P.M.--a--2:00 A.M. the next morning, and the fires were out, the gangs had dispersed and we were able to go. Then it was a matter of going to those families that were burned out, bring them in to the plaza level of the church, feeding, clothing when necessary, housing temporarily until the Red Cross [American Red Cross] units came in. And, they just about took everybody. A couple of weeks later all were gone. And, we were able then to go into emergency feeding, working with families in the communities for a couple of years.

James L. Jackson

“Mr. East Point”, James Louis Jackson was born on April 18, 1926, in Griffin, Georgia. Jackson‘s parents Ola Mae Meadows and R.V. Jackson separated, and Jackson’s mother raised him in predominantly black East Point, Georgia. Jackson attended Bayard Street Elementary School and Booker T. Washington High School, before volunteering for the United States Army at age sixteen in 1942. Serving in France as a member of the 4253rd Quartermaster Truck Company, Jackson became part of the celebrated Red Ball Express. Obtaining the rank of Tech Sergeant, Jackson returned to East Point, Georgia in 1946.

In 1947, Jackson was hired as a mechanic’s helper at the United States Army Depot and would work as a mechanic or driver for the federal government until his retirement twenty-seven years later. Certified as a Lay Parish Associate of the United Methodist Church, Jackson was a member of East Point’s Mallalieu United Methodist Church for over sixty-nine years. Jackson also served as chairperson of the East Point Community Relations Commission; president of Mallalieu United Methodist Men and the Atlanta-College Park District United Methodist Men; president of the South Fulton Boosters Association of East Point; and president of the Gus Thornhill Scholarship Committee. Jackson was member of the East Point Housing Review Board; the Ethnic Minority Local Church Committee; the Department of Political and Human Rights; and the general boards of Laity, Discipleship, Church and Society.

Jackson was a recipient of the East Point Community Relations Distinguished Service Award in 1979, and both the George C. Burnett Citizen of the Year Award, and a life membership in the United Methodists Men in 1984. In 1996, the United Methodist Church’s Atlanta-College Park designated an official James L. Jackson Day. In 2002, East Point Mayor Patsy Jo Hilliard announced the opening of the James L. Jackson Pedestrian Community Foot Bridge, which spans two hundred ten feet and crosses six railroad tracks and the MARTA Line.

Jackson has had two children and five grandchildren with his wife, Gladys Phillips Jackson.

Accession Number

A2005.180

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/2/2005 |and| 12/7/2005

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Booker T. Washington High School

Baird Street Elementary School

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Griffin

HM ID

JAC14

Favorite Season

Summer, Fishing Season

Sponsor

Nicole Adams

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Be The Best At What You Can Be Where You Are And Give It All You Got.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

4/18/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Okra (Fried), Corn

Short Description

Community activist James L. Jackson (1926 - ) is a lifelong civil servant and resident of East Point, Georgia. Jackson served as chairperson of the East Point Community Relations Commission; president of Mallalieu United Methodist Men and the Atlanta-College Park District United Methodist Men; president of the South Fulton Boosters Association of East Point; and president of the Gus Thornhill Scholarship Committee.

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:23705,413:24037,433:28021,482:31394,529:37582,673:52148,1015:52658,1021:84053,1295:84361,1300:88612,1323:94925,1400:95888,1433:97493,1463:105035,1596:105935,1755:111426,1859:119356,2018:121057,2097:127450,2164:143260,2440:143660,2593:167901,2888:172810,2926:173570,2951:181350,2993:189296,3118:199160,3274$0,0:1920,27:2432,32:18224,195:18651,203:32148,468:42499,553:43021,561:46675,643:47110,649:48502,693:49198,702:53635,797:60777,857:67852,917:78840,1077:79490,1083:105948,1528:138804,1805:147140,2004:149390,2047:157340,2115:164434,2253:181130,2616:204280,3008:205162,3018:209324,3239:234731,3481:235635,3490:244792,3623:248670,3645:266648,3812:266944,3936:267314,3942:276028,4073:279510,4088:280380,4096
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James L. Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James L. Jackson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James L. Jackson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James L. Jackson recalls being raised by his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James L. Jackson describes his parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James L. Jackson describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James L. Jackson describes his parents' and grandparents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James L. Jackson describes how he raised his children

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James L. Jackson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James L. Jackson remembers his neighborhood in East Point, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James L. Jackson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James L. Jackson remembers Christmas in East Point, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James L. Jackson describes his childhood toys

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James L. Jackson describes the bicycle he bought as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James L. Jackson talks about Mallalieu Methodist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James L. Jackson describes his grandmother's discipline

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James L. Jackson recalls his sheltered childhood in East Point, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James L. Jackson describes his schooling

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James L. Jackson describes his classmates in East Point, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James L. Jackson describes Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James L. Jackson recalls joining the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James L. Jackson describes the Red Ball Express in WWII

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James L. Jackson describes his work in England and France in WWII

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James L. Jackson describes the French people he met in WWII

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James L. Jackson describes his furlough in Switzerland as a sergeant

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James L. Jackson recalls meeting the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James L. Jackson describes European race relations during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James L. Jackson remembers leaving the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James L. Jackson recalls playing baseball for the East Point Bears, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James L. Jackson recalls playing baseball for the East Point Bears, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James L. Jackson describes his employment upon leaving the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James L. Jackson talks about his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James L. Jackson recalls he and his wife dealt with gossip

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - James L. Jackson describes his job as an Atlanta Army Depot mechanic's helper

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James L. Jackson describes his experience of racial discrimination at the Atlanta Army Depot

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James L. Jackson recalls working as a driver at the Atlanta Army Depot

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James L. Jackson remembers retiring in 1974

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James L. Jackson describes his political career

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James L. Jackson remembers a riot in East Point, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James L. Jackson describes his response to criticism during his city council campaigns

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James L. Jackson describes his leadership in his church

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James L. Jackson lists awards he received for his community service

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of James L. Jackson's interview, session two

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James L. Jackson explains why he agreed to be interviewed by The HistoryMakers

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James L. Jackson describes his life's travels

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James L. Jackson gives advice to young people

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James L. Jackson gives advice to community activists

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James L. Jackson describes the example he tries to set for young Christians

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James L. Jackson reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James L. Jackson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James L. Jackson describes his concerns for the United States community

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James L. Jackson talks about the Civil Rights Movement and its leaders

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James L. Jackson shares his opinion on affirmative action

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James L. Jackson reflects upon religion

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James L. Jackson reflects upon the lessons from sports

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - James L. Jackson remembers serving on the General Board of Church & Society in Washington D.C.

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - James L. Jackson shares his values

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - James L. Jackson describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - James L. Jackson shares his message to future generations

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - James L. Jackson reflects upon the importance of history

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - James L. Jackson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$6

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
James L. Jackson recalls meeting the Tuskegee Airmen
James L. Jackson describes his life's travels
Transcript
We were getting ready to talk about the 99th Pursuit Squadron, the Tuskegee Airmen. You bumped into them in--$$Yeah.$$--in France or, or--$$In, in France and Etretat [France], at a rest center where I--they had brought back prisoners of war and they were getting' them prepared to bring 'em back home. We called it a rest center. And we were--we were operating that rest center. That was our function when we come back. We came back from Germany to France and we was operating that. And we ran into quite a few of 'em, not quite a few, maybe six or seven. They were officers. And the way they explained it to us is the only reason they ever got caught was the fact that they ran out of fuel and, and, and they got picked up. But a lot of 'em never got to be prisoners, they just got picked up by the French and they, they were there at Etretat. But I remember very vividly, they had a, a mark fight one day up over the campsite with a P-38 [Lockheed P-38 Lightning] and a thunder bird--thunder? What was that, that little old small plane, P-47 [Republic P-47 Thunderbolt]. But they, they had some kind of thunder-something, but it was--$$They called it--okay, the Mustang? The, the--$$I don't know what it was.$$Okay.$$But they had--they had one and then the P-38, they were saying that they couldn't maneuver that P-38, especially them boys 'cause they had never had no experience with them. And, boy, they, they took that thing up and you talking about a marked battle. They had a whole camp of people out watching them put on a performance. I had never seen a greater air show than what was put on that day. And that day brought that plane almost to the ground and done an impossible flip with a P-38. You could hardly do a P-38--had them twin tails on it. You couldn't hardly do it and he did it. And then everybody learned to respect them. And they would have little sessions, they'd tell their stories, and every time when somebody got a chance to go listen to them, they would go listen to them. They were authentic people. They, they were--they were--they were real people and they were good at what they were doing. And, and this, this boy was flying against them. He, he all but lost his life in that--in that thing trying to get that thing to maneuver with that. And he said he'd never seen nobody fly a P-38 like that, but them boys were good. They were good. And I was reading a story where one guy said that in all the flights that they took up to bomber flights, they never lost a bomber during that time. We had a friend here that belonged to them that lived out here in the City of East Point [Georgia]. And he--his name was Glenn [L.] Head and Glenn, Glenn turned one upside-down, one of them training planes going through Tuskegee [Alabama] and went under a bridge. That kinda wiped him (laughter) out. He would do some crazy things but they could fly. I just--I, I admired them so much. They--and they held their ground. Even in--even in conversation when we would be at camp there. They knew what they were doing. I never understood why they kept them down on that end. They come up from down at the Italy end. But if they'd been up there, it would've been a joyous time up there. There's a lot of stuff up there.$In that regard, how do you feel about the way you have lived your life and what is important to you now?$$I don't know whether I would exchange any part of my life for a different life. I often thought about that. When I came home [from World War II, WWII], I went out to Clark [University; Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia]. I--excuse me--I was gonna register for Clark, and I had three or four years of time to go. And there was something in, in there that disrupted me. I was phobic then in certain areas and, and I was invited to, to stay on campus. And I, I just left and I couldn't--I didn't think I could stand it after three years in the [U.S. military] service, being nineteen years old, and, and that's, that's just little bit too much confining. I didn't think I could stand it. But I wouldn't trade any of it. The three years that I spent in service, I wouldn't--I wouldn't--I wouldn't trade them three for no ten years of my life except maybe these last ten. These have been glorious days in, in, in love and everything else. But those, those first days, I wouldn't--I wouldn't--I wouldn't trade it and I wouldn't change anything, 'cause it shows, and that's what I like to demonstrate in my life, how you can--people say nothing from nothing leaves nothing, but you can go from nothing to something 'cause according to ingredients you put with it--you try to put natural things with it, it doesn't work, but if you put spiritual things with it, it adds up. One and one makes one, and one and three makes one, and one and four makes one, you keep going. Yeah, the godliness in you brings a different kind of happiness from the happiness I served when I was, you know, back in the war. Travel, I never would've seen the places I've seen, never would've come in contact with the people I come in contact with. Through the church [Mallalieu Methodist Church; East Point First Mallalieu United Methodist Church, East Point, Georgia]--I, I don't know whether I mentioned that or not, but it was through the church that I did my traveling within the country, it was through baseball that I did my traveling within the state, and then I came back to the church and we went all over the country, but it was the [U.S.] Army that took me over the world. Between the baseball, the Army, and the church, my life has been full and almost complete, complete in the church now, but it was--it was--it, it was something to, to live from. I had never been on a train when I was twelve years old; I had never been on a train. I rode a train first time at twelve. And I hadn't been out of the state. As far as I'd been was down in Griffin [Georgia] up to Atlanta [Georgia] from right here, and just start moving about the country. The Army put me in Fort Benning [Georgia], then down to Fort Lee, Virginia, Camp Lee [Fort Lee, Prince George County, Virginia] back down to Camp Swift, Texas [Camp Swift, Bastrop County, Texas], and then I started, out ho-boing then, you know, you go different place. We went to Massachusetts from there and to Scotland, England, France, Belgium, and Germany. I hit Czechoslovakia [Czech Republic and Slovakia] and Holland [the Netherlands] on trips just to visit, not to--not to have any fun or do anything, just to drive up and unload and come back. But I had a chance to see some things I never would've seen. I spent three weeks in Switzerland, two of 'em illegal, but (laughter) it's, it's--I wouldn't trade it. I wouldn't trade it for anything. And I saw some things that--like I said, we see charitable things here, but I saw in Switzerland things that Rockefeller had built around Lake Geneva. And I said, "You know, it's amazing if, if they could build some of them things around one of the colleges, you know, dormitories and things like that." I was always observing things and that's, that's what kinda--the attitudes. I, I observed attitudes and I tried to apply them to my Christian beliefs, and it didn't fit, and that's my, my, my object in life at this point is to try to make attitude fit situation, and that's--

Vera Thelma Shorter

Auditor, community activist, and writer, Vera T. Shorter, was born on December 22, 1922, in Huntington, New York. Raised in Huntington on the Long Island section of New York, Shorter and her family moved to nearby Northport when she entered high school in 1936. After graduating from Northport High School in 1940, Shorter studied bookkeeping at Eastman Business School in New York City. After several years as a secretary and bookkeeper, Shorter earned a certificate in accounting from Pace College in Brooklyn, New York. During her early career as an accountant, Shorter was an active member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and an activist with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Shorter was also a contributing writer to Black Odyssey, a travel and leisure magazine, and Our World, writing feature articles in the Fairs and Food section.

Between 1965 and 1973, Shorter served as the supervisor of tax auditors at the Internal Revenue Service headquarters in Manhattan. During her last three years at the IRS (1973-1976), Shorter was the equal employment opportunity officer; she was the first African American to attain these positions with the IRS in New York.

In 1976, Shorter moved to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts when her husband, Rufus B. Shorter (1920-1980), was appointed superintendent of the Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools. After the move to Martha’s Vineyard, Shorter became an influential and respected civic and community leader, becoming involved in virtually every aspect of the black community and in a range of educational and civic activities in the larger community. For ten years, Shorter coordinated a celebrity tennis tournament to raise money for the Nathan Mayhew Seminars, an adult education institution. Shorter served on the executive committee of the Martha’s Vineyard branch of the NAACP, and as a member of the Affirmative Action Advisory Committee to the Vineyard schools. Shorter also served as the president of the Lagoon Pond Association and was a charter member of the Island’s branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. For many years Shorter also assisted the elderly in preparing their income tax returns.

Accession Number

A2005.151

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/24/2005

Last Name

Shorter

Maker Category
Middle Name

Thelma

Occupation
Schools

Northport High School

Queens College, City University of New York

Eastman Business College

Pace University

First Name

Vera

Birth City, State, Country

Huntington

HM ID

SHO01

Favorite Season

Aqua

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Give Yourself Some Time.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/22/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Community activist Vera Thelma Shorter (1922 - ) was the first African American to serve as the supervisor of tax auditors and the equal employment opportunity officer for the IRS in New York. In addition to her work with the IRS, Shorter was an active member of Martha's Vineyard's black community.

Employment

Kanak Company

Dr. James Lee

New Jersey Contracting Company

Internal Revenue Service

Independent Consultant

Favorite Color

Spring Colors

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vera Thelma Shorter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vera Thelma Shorter lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls her mother's service with the Rockefeller family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her father, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her father, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls her father's jobs and sightseeing trips

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her siblings' lives and professions

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her relationship with her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her maternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her maternal grandparents' family background

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her paternal family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes growing up in Huntington, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes the sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her family's holiday traditions

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her school experiences in Huntington, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her experience at Northport High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls her family attending church

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls her aspirations in high school and college plans

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her high school's racial makeup and her babysitting job

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls working as an au pair in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vera Thelma Shorter remembers attending Eastman Business College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls forming a citywide youth committee in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes how she met her husband, Rufus Shorter

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls her career immediately after she was married

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her husband's career as an educator, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her husband's career as an educator, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls her career progression at the Internal Revenue Service

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her experience as an equal opportunity officer at the IRS

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls challenging situations at the IRS

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her community activism while working at the IRS

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her writings for the IRS and for periodicals

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her younger daughter, Beth Shorter-Bagot

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her older daughter, Lynn Shorter

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls moving to Martha's Vineyard in 1976

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her involvement in the Martha's Vineyard chapter of the NAACP

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her fundraising for the Nathan Mayhew Seminars

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her volunteer work for the Nathan Mayhew Seminars

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her involvement in the Lagoon Pond Association

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes the impact of her husband's death

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls her husband's professional achievements on Martha's Vineyard

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Vera Thelma Shorter learns about The HistoryMakers' digital archive

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Vera Thelma Shorter recalls her modeling agency in New York and tax practice in Martha's Vineyard

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Vera Thelma Shorter reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her grandson, Gabriel Bagot

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Vera Thelma Shorter gives advice to young people interested in community activism

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Vera Thelma Shorter describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Vera Thelma Shorter narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

4$7

DATitle
Vera Thelma Shorter describes how she met her husband, Rufus Shorter
Vera Thelma Shorter describes her involvement in the Martha's Vineyard chapter of the NAACP
Transcript
You were married in 1943.$$Yes.$$So when and how did you meet Rufus Shorter?$$(Laughter) Well I was out on a date with a fellow named Fitz and I loved music and dancing as you know. So we went to a place--I don't know if it was called--I think it was Lucky Millinder's club [Lucky's Rendezvous] in Harlem [New York, New York] somewhere and all the jazz musicians would come there from their various gigs and play. So you really--for a couple of drinks or what have you, you're really getting a concert. And he was there with this very beautiful girl, Leticia Bates [ph.]. I even remember what she wore, she had a white dress with a red cummerbund and here's this handsome fellow and I said to Fitz, "What a beautiful couple," because I always--if I see something and it's beautiful I can't help but resonate to it. He said, "Yeah he goes to college with me, he's a graduate or something, and we had been at the same college. All the girls are crazy about him and he just tosses them over one after the other, you know, he didn't care." I said, "Well I think he's beautiful." And I was just saying all this--so. Rufus came over to us with the girl, with Leticia, and greeted Fitz and stood there waiting to be introduced, so we got introduced. So Fitz and I got up to dance, so Rufus came and cut in, he had the girl with him and he just pushed her over to Fitz. As soon as we started dancing--the first topic we talked about and I'll never forget it, it was Spinoza [Baruch Spinoza], the philosopher and I don't know why but it came out and then the next one was about a farm boy, a book, another book, and it was a slow dance so naturally we had a chance to talk. So he said something. Then he came back again and Fitz said, "Don't take that man seriously because he doesn't take any girl seriously." I said, "Okay I'm not--I just think he's pretty." I thought he was pretty, and I danced with him again and that's when he said, "Where do you live?" I said, "966 St. Marks [Avenue, Brooklyn, New York], if you ever want to see me." That's it. And he came by, so that was it.$$And what was he doing at that time?$$He had just finished college, and he couldn't get a job which was happening to most of these young people, and so he was working at Grand Central Station [Grand Central Terminal, New York, New York] as a red cap or whatever they called them. I think they changed the name after a while. He was waiting around to take tests for something, you know, you need to--but he was really a nice guy.$$So you were married in 1943, your courtship then was short (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Short, very short and everybody was saying, "Oh, oh, oh, you're so young, don't do this, you're making a big mistake." Even though my mother [Susan Hendrickson Groves] adored Rufus and my father [Claude Groves] did too. He met everybody and I met his people. He had a wonderful mother and a very bright sister but none of them--nobody felt it was right. But we did, so we went on and got married.$$Okay.$So then, and then I saw the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] so I said, "Ah, ah, I'm going back to (unclear)--I'm starting back again." So I joined them and I had a nice interesting time with them and I just stayed quiet for the next few years. I worked with the NAACP, I didn't go on any--oh yeah I worked on one situation and that was because it was the actors people, the acting people. They came to me, they really did; and I don't know how they knew that I knew something about finance because they came and asked me would I be on their finance committee, and I didn't want to be on any board so I said yes. So I was on a committee and not a board but after I worked with them maybe through that year they said I had to come on the board. So that was the only two things I worked on and I was perfectly content and I was playing tennis, and taking walks, and enjoying myself. And he was (makes sounds).$$Well you have been a very important in the NAACP. Would you say a little bit more about your activities with this chapter over the years, were you president of the branch at any time, or?$$No, no I never really want to be pres- I don't like president--being a president. I think I could have, I really do, because those jobs go wanting, I mean people don't want those jobs (laughter). So it's no big deal, but I didn't want to be president. What I always was interested in was and is affirmative action. So I always worked from the background with that. It was not a designated committee way back there then, but we did things like talking to the merchants about hiring African Americans in their stores and they--we did it quietly, and they did. They cooperated, so those are the things I like that aspect of it. I don't care for the--all the bureaucracy stuff of it, you know, forty-five copies of this and that, but if you have a job, I will do it.

Nadine P. Winter

Former Washington, D.C. City Council member Nadine Poole Winter, founder of Hospitality House and Health Action Information Network, was born in New Bern, North Carolina on March 3, 1924. The daughter of Elnora Kenyon Poole and Sam Poole, Winter grew up in North Carolina and attended public school in Winston-Salem, where her family ran a brickyard. She graduated from Atkins High School in 1941 and enrolled in Livingstone College in nearby Salisbury, North Carolina. From there, she went to New York City where she worked as a cook while attending Brooklyn College. It was then that she first became involved as a community activist by opening a storefront community center to foster cultural understanding in her neighborhood.

In 1945, Winter came to Washington, D.C. to work on her master’s thesis on urban renewal at Federal City College. In D.C., she opened a center similar to her Brooklyn facility, which she called “Unity.” Throughout the 1950s, Winter worked in various positions in the federal government, yet remained committed to her outside organizing projects. In 1959, she founded Hospitality House, an organization helping low-income families in Washington, D.C. Winter’s community involvement ultimately led to her role in city government. Winter represented Ward 6 on the D.C. Council from 1974 to 1990. Her ward encompassed much of Anacostia and part of Northeast Washington, including the H Street corridor. After retiring from government, she founded Health Action Information Network, a non-profit agency providing health education and a community resource.

Winter belongs to the National Association of Social Workers. She is a founding member of the National Congress of Black Women and a member of the Self-Determination for D.C. Coalition. She is active in the community of breast cancer survivors and participates in many other activities and organizations.

Nadine Winter passed away on August 26, 2011.

Accession Number

A2005.115

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/2/2005

Last Name

Winter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

P.

Organizations
Schools

Atkins Academic and Technology High School

Fourteenth Street Elementary School

Hampton University

Brooklyn College

University of the District of Columbia

Livingstone College

First Name

Nadine

Birth City, State, Country

New Bern

HM ID

WIN02

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Washington, D.C., New York City

Favorite Quote

God Is Great And God Is Good.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/3/1924

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Death Date

8/26/2011

Short Description

Community activist and city council member Nadine P. Winter (1924 - 2011 ) is the founder of Hospitality House and Health Action Information Network, and a former member of the Washington, D.C. City Council.

Employment

The Pentagon

Hospitality House

Council of the District of Columbia

Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:2590,55:10884,156:11685,166:14622,231:15423,239:15868,246:16847,258:17559,267:24610,333:27426,352:27834,360:29330,390:29670,396:29942,401:30962,420:31438,428:38305,474:38645,479:48180,621:48765,632:49025,641:49610,653:49935,659:51365,695:57136,762:57551,769:59045,795:65784,834:69826,914:70578,923:72176,951:72834,959:75852,977:89425,1188:89959,1195:91650,1228:92184,1240:93519,1259:94231,1268:96011,1300:96634,1308:100902,1332:102234,1356:102752,1364:110912,1455:116410,1509:119064,1530:119922,1543:123125,1570:123470,1576:124022,1587:126950,1623$0,0:3108,104:3444,109:3780,114:4536,129:14000,241:16864,258:17259,264:17575,269:21448,307:25648,370:25984,375:26488,382:31210,436:31810,446:32110,451:35540,510:37060,534:37620,542:41620,615:42260,625:43060,637:48481,693:49174,702:51055,732:52144,747:54124,774:54718,782:56005,800:61749,836:62372,844:62728,849:64775,880:76275,1003:76737,1010:82270,1079:84342,1105:85674,1120:86636,1133:88869,1146:89161,1151:90402,1169:92320,1185:92616,1190:92986,1196:95147,1212:95542,1218:96490,1237:106839,1432:107471,1441:115552,1544:116020,1562:116722,1572:120700,1645:121052,1650:127652,1754:128004,1759:136670,1841:143859,1932:144860,1954:146771,1981:149592,2030:161798,2161:166540,2215:168283,2245:176235,2326:176495,2331:177145,2343:177405,2349:180005,2408:180720,2420:186890,2486:187198,2499:187506,2504:189739,2541:190047,2546:190355,2551:190663,2556:194235,2578:196440,2586:198100,2597:212204,2724:214694,2758:215856,2775:219840,2878:220587,2889:222247,2917:225870,2930:226150,2935:226430,2940:226710,2945:229504,2968:229864,2974:233175,3015:233825,3028:244660,3172:245085,3178:245510,3183:250015,3290:250525,3297:254265,3377:255880,3404:256305,3410:260070,3417:260460,3424:271922,3564:272728,3577:273410,3590:274490,3600
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nadine P. Winter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nadine P. Winter lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nadine P. Winter describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nadine P. Winter describes her maternal grandfather's logging business

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nadine P. Winter describes meeting her maternal half-uncle

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nadine P. Winter describes her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nadine P. Winter describes the role of churches in the South during the early 1900s

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nadine P. Winter describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nadine P. Winter remembers fleeing her burning house in New Bern, North Carolina as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nadine P. Winter describes helping her father at his brickyard

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nadine P. Winter talks about her family surviving the Great Depression

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nadine P. Winter describes searching for records of her family's house burning in New Bern, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nadine P. Winter describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nadine P. Winter describes growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nadine P. Winter recalls a moment of childhood defiance in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nadine P. Winter recalls a moment of childhood defiance in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nadine P. Winter describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Nadine P. Winter talks about studying home economics and history

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Nadine P. Winter describes encountering different religious views

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nadine P. Winter describes her organizing activities at church as a teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nadine P. Winter remembers being taught by Togo D. West, Sr. at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nadine P. Winter describes her time at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nadine P. Winter talks about working as a cook while attending Brooklyn College in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nadine P. Winter describes living in New York City and establishing a community center

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nadine P. Winter describes founding Unity community center while attending Federal City College in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nadine P. Winter describes her community work in Washington, D.C. during the late 1940s and 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nadine P. Winter describes working at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. during the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Nadine P. Winter talks about starting Hospitality House Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nadine P. Winter remembers prominent Washington, D.C. business owner Cecelia Penny Scott

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nadine P. Winter recalls raising money to fund Hospitality House Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nadine P. Winter recounts the impact of Hospitality House Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nadine Winter describes the mission of her organization, Hospitality House Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nadine P. Winter remembers HistoryMaker The Honorable Marion Barry

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nadine P. Winter describes her method of community outreach

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nadine P. Winter remembers the Kennedys and their impact on Hospitality House Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Nadine P. Winter describes her involvement with the Selma to Montgomery March and the March on Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Nadine P. Winter remembers the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and her relationship with the Kennedys

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Nadine P. Winter remembers a car accident while traveling to Arkansas for school desegregation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nadine P. Winter shares her thoughts about the funding of non-profit organizations

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nadine P. Winter describes her philosophy of community outreach

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nadine P. Winter describes running for a seat on Washington, D.C.'s school board in the early 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nadine P. Winter recalls being elected to the first Council of the District of Columbia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Nadine P. Winter talks about the Council of the District of Columbia's original members

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Nadine P. Winter describes issues she addressed on the Council of the District of Columbia

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Nadine P. Winter describes HistoryMaker The Honorable Marion Barry as a politician

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Nadine P. Winter talks about urban homesteading and her other accomplishments as councilwoman

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Nadine P. Winter shares her thoughts about the Electoral College

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Nadine P. Winter describes Health Outreach Information Network, Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Nadine P. Winter talks about founding Health Outreach Information Network, Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Nadine P. Winter describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Nadine P. Winter reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Nadine P. Winter reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Nadine P. Winter talks about her mother witnessing her academic success

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Nadine P. Winter talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Nadine P. Winter describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Nadine P. Winter recalls a moment of childhood defiance in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, pt. 1
Nadine P. Winter recalls being elected to the first Council of the District of Columbia
Transcript
But as I started to say, when this farmer came to town this time, another vivid story, he'd bring the eggs and the chicken. Well, we looked forward to the scrambled eggs and fried corn on Christmas morning. But by the time she'd crack a half a dozen eggs, three or four of them rotten or bad, that meant we didn't have six eggs or eight eggs. So he came to town that Saturday morning; I never will forget, one of the reasons they kind of shipped me out of town. When he came back, and I told him that, I said the eggs you're bringing--, "Where is Aunt Elnora?" "She's not your aunt," and I said, "and those eggs you brought in here the last two or three weeks, there's two or three of them rotten." And he was denying it. And in Winston-Salem we lived in what I call a lower middle-class neighborhood. And, "Elnora, you gotta take care of this one. This is one is feisty." And he went up on the porch to complain about me. And I opened the chicken coop, and all the chickens I just made come out, and they running all over the neighborhood. I mean the chickens were flying, and he was yelling. And when was this younger, and we had a couple of people in our neighborhood who taught school and all up the road. And people were running out to get this man chickens to put 'em back in the chicken coop. I don't think he lost about two chickens because they retrieved most of them. But then he wanted to take care of me. I mean nothing would satisfy him until mother whipped or reprimanded me in front of him. And I remember she would not do it. It's the first time I had remembered my mother defying anyone.$But then when we got chance to run for the council [Council of the District of Columbia] and I saw what they were doing, kind of drafting me out, I looked down and it was a heavy group of hitters running, all Capitol Hill [Washington, D.C.] residents, and I never will forget, well-funded. And none of the people supporting them would have supported me. It mostly the real estate industry, and you're not gon' leave here and find one person in real estate is a [HistoryMaker] Nadine [P.] Winter lover. As I said, I was giving away hundred dollars for one--houses for one dollar. I was taking the boards off the house and telling him what he wasn't gon' get. And it's money. I say again, it's all about money in this town, and that's where I have a problem. Let me go back to what you asked me about the election. And the people decided that they were gonna run me for the council, and I was running against two well-funded Capitol Hill people. I probably didn't have a quarter. And I had this little place over there in my basement running. I lived up on, not too far from the Hill, on the 800 block, the 500 block of 8th Street. And they collected all the petitions. And that night when I won, the press came in with their cameras and couldn't, and gon' take my picture. Oh, I was gonna be on the news I thought, and I, it was just a new adventure for me. And they said well, Mrs. Winter, we would like to meet your campaign organization. How did you get elected? I said there they are out there on the floor. We were in the church, [Peoples] Community Church [Washington, D.C.], there are 11th [Street] and Maryland Avenue. They were drunk, and half of 'em had urinated on themselves, and they were celebrating. The press would not take that. They did not want to see a group of winos, people with emotional problems, people who lived there in the ghetto running a campaign. And the thing that makes that so nice for me and I get excited, this is truly one time I can say I was elected by the people. The people got out there. I didn't have any money to pay all these (unclear) staff, and they had all the money. And these grassroots people had put the wine, and the beer, and the liquor down long enough to work on a campaign for me. God is great, and God is good. That's how I got elected. And from that day to this, because again, I had to decide whether I was gonna give up Hospitality House [Inc., Washington, D.C.] or do the council; I had to decide that. And I felt like if I got on the inside, I could make some real changes. Now I am so proud. People who were the, would have been considered the pit of Washington, D.C. - one guy who ran my campaign called High-Fi [ph.]. If there wasn't a shooting or a killing or something in the neighborhood every week, you thought you had moved up on the Gold Coast [Washington, D.C.]. These are people who worked, and lived, and knew people. And when they said come out and vote, you don't forget they had parents too. And people came out and vote, and I got elected overwhelmingly. And I haven't looked back sense, and I'm grateful.$$So this is 1974.$$Right.$$Right, okay, this is the first city council.$$Right.$$Along with you, [HistoryMaker] Marion Barry was elected.$$Doug Moore [Douglas E. Moore], Julius Hobson--$$Doug Moore.$$--all of us. The strange part about it, the council got elected I think about nine civil rights people right out of the street against the money stream in Washington. Money stream was heavy, and they were running their candidates. But money does not win elections in this town.

Leatrice Branch Madison

Civic leader, retired educator, and community activist Leatrice Branch Madison, was born September 5, 1922 in Washington, D.C. to Julia Bailey Branch and Hayes Branch. She was the oldest of three daughters. She attended the racially segregated public schools of Washington, D.C., graduating from Dunbar Senior High in 1939. Madison went on to earn a bachelor’s of science degree (cum laude) from Miner Teachers College in Washington, D.C. in 1943 and a master’s of arts degree in guidance and personnel from the University of Chicago in 1947.

Madison taught in the public schools of Washington, D.C. from 1943 to 1949 and Cleveland, Ohio between 1949-1951 and again later from 1954-1960, before becoming a fulltime wife, mother, homemaker and community volunteer in 1960. During this time, she also worked as an assistant librarian at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (1951-1952). Madison has served on the boards of numerous educational and human services organizations, including the Bingham Day Nursery, United Way Services, the Federation for Community Planning, Case Western Reserve University Board of Overseers, and Blue Cross of Northeast Ohio. Madison was a founding member of Heights Citizens for Human Rights—forerunner of Heights Community Congress--an organization established to ensure equal rights and fair housing for minorities moving into Cleveland Heights. She was also a founder of and one of the original board members for HARAMBEE: Services to Black Families, an agency designed to provide parenting skills to teenage parents and to recruit permanent adoptive homes for Black youngsters.

Madison’s devotion to community service also inspired committee work with the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, Friends of Karamu, the NAACP Fund Dinner, Case Western Reserve University’s Visiting Committee on the Humanities, the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra Advisory Council, the Planned Parenthood Long Range Planning Committee, and the Juvenile Court Youth Services Advisory Board, among others. In 1963, she helped launch the Cleveland Heights / University Heights Summer School Project, recruiting participants from the Cleveland Public Schools and raising funds to offer financial assistance to those in need. The project, which ended in 1969, helped pave the way for the integration of the Cleveland Heights / University Heights Schools.

Madison is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the NAACP’s Distinguished Service Plaque, the Federation for Community Planning’s President’s Award, Who’s Who Among Black Americans, and the University of Chicago Alumni Association’s Public Service Award. In 1999, Mrs. Madison and her husband Robert P. Madison received the Cleveland Opera Award for their visionary support of the arts in Cleveland. In 2004, she was honored by the Golden Age Centers for her many years of community service. Madison is an alumna member and former president of the Links, Incorporated, Cleveland Chapter.

Madison and her husband, Robert, reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio. They are the parents of two adult daughters.

Madison was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 14, 2004.\

Leatrice Madison passed away on March 30, 2012.

Accession Number

A2004.074

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/14/2004

Last Name

Madison

Maker Category
Middle Name

Branch

Occupation
Schools

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Miner Teachers College

University of Chicago

Shaw Junior High School

Lucretia Mott Elementary School

First Name

Leatrice

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

MAD03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

9/5/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pudding (Corn)

Death Date

3/30/2012

Short Description

Community activist Leatrice Branch Madison (1922 - 2012 ) is a co-founder of and one of the original board members for HARAMBEE: Services to Black Families, an agency designed to provide parenting skills to teenage parents and to recruit permanent adoptive homes for African American children.

Employment

District of Columbia Public Schools

Cleveland Public Schools

Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:9326,137:9950,146:17126,283:17516,294:21888,325:23608,354:42370,628:42706,633:47746,720:53543,822:67570,989:81402,1175:81948,1185:82650,1196:89280,1373:89670,1379:96922,1443:97546,1452:98248,1463:98716,1482:99184,1488:108159,1679:108726,1694:116340,1857:126655,1968:135795,2051:139697,2117:140082,2123:140929,2145:143855,2206:155380,2403:155800,2410:158810,2471:159090,2476:159510,2485:175271,2691:175805,2699:182558,2831:200834,3168:202490,3199:207840,3259:208184,3264:219780,3446:220170,3454:220755,3465:238678,3762:244720,3837$0,0:12130,246:13102,260:13534,265:13966,270:20370,382:20650,387:36310,574:43444,677:50326,828:54869,869:55161,874:56548,897:58300,973:59176,991:63827,1057:67916,1133:84485,1337:85232,1349:86145,1370:86975,1383:89797,1441:91623,1477:94777,1550:95192,1556:100900,1630:101320,1637:101880,1655:102580,1669:103000,1676:109238,1792:131080,2130
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Leatrice Branch Madison's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Leatrice Branch Madison lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her childhood home in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about the schools she and her siblings attended

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Leatrice Branch Madison describes her school years in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls being in teachers college as the United States entered World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls how she met and married her husband, HistoryMaker Robert P. Madison

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her husband's experience in the 92nd Infantry during World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Leatrice Branch Madison remembers the 1930s and 1940s

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her grandparents and the death of her grandmothers

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about the political affiliations of Washington, D.C.'s African American community during the 1940s

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about voting rights for Washington, D.C. residents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her membership in the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her mother's influence on her own civic engagement and her parent's attempt to buy a house

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about living in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls her time living in Paris, France, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls her time living in Paris, France, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls returning to the U.S. and teaching in Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her daughters and Karamu

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Leatrice Branch Madison describes enduring racist terror in Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Leatrice Branch Madison describes the racial demographics of Cleveland Heights, Ohio when her family moved there in 1960

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about people who lived in Cleveland Heights, Ohio and her involvement in community organizations

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her neighbors in Cleveland Heights, Ohio and integrating a summer school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her experience with the education system in Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls when she began to see changes in the racial demographics of students in Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about a recommendation she made for inner city schools in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about the HARAMBEE adoption program

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her involvement with the Women's Committee of the Cleveland Orchestra

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her volunteer efforts through Jack and Jill and The Links, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about Project Discovery and United Way Services

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about predominantly black organizations The Links, Incorporated and Jack and Jill of America

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about the importance of education reform and her concerns for the 21st century

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about fundraising

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her grandchildren

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Leatrice Branch Madison reflects upon her success and awards she has received

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Leatrice Branch Madison remembers moving to Paris, France and serving on the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library Board

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Leatrice Branch Madison narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

9$7

DATitle
Leatrice Branch Madison describes enduring racist terror in Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Leatrice Branch Madison recalls returning to the U.S. and teaching in Ohio
Transcript
Now Cleveland Heights [Ohio] is a rather exclusive suburb at that point in history isn't it?$$I guess it was. Guess it was.$$Was that a positive experience then integrating the neighborhood?$$Well we had some good neighbors.$$Okay.$$We got threatened before we ever moved. See one thing that happened, the Sun Press had an article, a very inflammatory article because some people had moved--(unclear) those areas. And the Sun Press, you know, in essence, the Negroes are comin'. And we got threatened. Somebody called my husband [HistoryMaker Robert P. Madison] and, you know, asked him why was he movin' and our house was just about complete. As a matter of fact, we were gonna move in the next weekend, the next week, we'd move on the weekend. And he told Monk [Robert P. Madison] he would buy his house, buy our house if we would meet. And Monk said okay I'll meet you at my office and he never showed up. But during that period, and I don't know why, [J.] Newton Hill came as director of Karamu [House, Cleveland, Ohio] and they bombed his house. And then he was gonna buy a house from a family named Garrd, no I got it backwards. The Garrd family, G-A-R-R-D, they said they would sell to Newton Hill, they bombed it. So when they sold to Newton Hill they bombed it again. So I heard both of those. And one of, this is the irony you deal with, and one of those occasions, Robert Madison had left home to get the model of the American Embassy to take to the [U.S.] State Department the next day. And I'm sittin' here with two little kids [Jeanne Madison and Juliette Madison] and the house is shakin'. And, you know, he is getting this kind of recognition and this is what's happening. And then one Mother's Day we heard, it was night, we had been out to dinner and come in, we heard a bomb and they bombed Rodger Saffold's house at one point. So I don't know. We never did find out. And I got a copy of the letter we used to get religiously in that box, the hangman's noose and the letter. And we called the Cleveland Heights police and I called the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation]. I never heard that they found anybody or that they knew who it was. But it ceased after a while. And we had some good neighbors who looked out for us.$$Okay. So you built the home in Cleveland Heights, is that one that Mr. Madison designed?$$As a matter of fact, there are two Madison design houses side-by-side. We moved, we were supposed to move the same time, we were a week apart. How it all got started, a guy who was a psychiatrist, who has since died, Charles DeLeon, came and said to Monk, "I have two adolescent daughters and I'm livin' in an apartment, I wanna build a house." So his wife, Sydney [ph.], and I, we'd go out and look at land, and we had looked in Bratenahl [Ohio], we'd lookin' out in Mayfield Village [Ohio], we're lookin'. And Robert came home one day and said, "Ya know, I was drivin' down North Park Boulevard and I saw two lots." So we got a white lawyer who bought those two lots for us and gave us a quick claim deed. And then Robert designed the houses, and the City of Cleveland Heights said okay if you go in straight up, you know, with no deception, it's okay. So (unclear) the contractor said the same thing. And so we moved in our house first, October the 27th, 1960. And I will never forget the first night we were there, all of a sudden I see all these people running out in the street, across the street to the ravine. I thought oh my God what has happened now. I didn't hear anything. But nothin' happened. And then one night somebody came up into our circular driveway and the light came down our drape, and Monk ran outside to see what it was and I was pleading with him, "Don't go out, don't go out, stay in here." We had some harrowing times, but we survived.$And so, when you came home in '53 [1953] where did you settle?$$Well, we went back to Washington [D.C.] and he [Madison's husband, HistoryMaker Robert P. Madision] taught a year and announced he was coming back here [Cleveland, Ohio] to open his office. So I said well since we like to eat, I got up and got a job teachin'. So I taught a semester before we came back here, and we came back here in '54 [1954] and he opened his office, you see. When I came here in '49 [1949] I had my master's [degree] and I went down--people told me, "Oh Cleveland board won't hire you, they don't hire colored teachers." What it is, they would only hire colored teachers and put up in an area where there were colored teachers and colored kids. It happens, thank goodness, I wrote to the state first and got my certificate for elementary schools and for guidance counseling, and went down and talked to Dr. Levinson [ph.]. And Miles Standish [Elementary School, Cleveland, Ohio] at that point was in transition. And so he said I'm--we didn't even have a car, so he said I'm gonna appoint you to Miles Standish--no I'm gonna appoint you to a school on a streetcar line. So every day I rode the bus and then I had to walk that long two blocks from 105th street to Miles Standish until we got a car. And so I taught there a year and a half. But while I was down at the board of education, I went to find out about guidance counseling. So I went to information, they said to go to the second floor. I went to the second floor and they said, oh no go to the sixth floor, this was 1949. And I went to the sixth floor, they said go to the second floor. I said, I just left the second floor and we just stood and looked at each other. Slowly it dawned on me I was getting the run around, and I don't have good sense. We came back in '54 [1954] and I went through the same thing again (laughter).$$But you got hired?$$Well I got hired to teach, but I got a degree to do some counseling, I think I could do some counseling as well as some of these other people.$$Did you ever get a position counseling?$$No, 'cause I came home, eventually.

Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter

Minister and community activist Rev. Kwame John R. Porter, Ph.D. was born on April 2, 1932 in Mineral Springs, Arkansas to Steve Porter and Retha Hendricks-Porter. In 1939, when Porter was eight years old, his family moved to Kansas City, Kansas. He graduated from Douglass Elementary School in Kansas City in 1945, then from Northeast Junior High School in 1948, and subsequently from Sumner High School in 1951. Porter received his Associate Arts degree from Kansas Community College in 1953. After attending Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa for one year, Porter enlisted in the U.S. Army in October 1954, and was stationed at Ft. Bliss in Texas, Ft. Smith in Arkansas, and Ft. Carson in Colorado. In 1955, Porter reported to Ulm, Germany, where he remained until receiving an honorable discharge in August 1957.

In September of 1957, Porter returned to the U.S. and enrolled at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. He graduated in 1959 with his B.A. degree in Sociology and minors in Religion, Philosophy and Education. Following graduation, Porter was awarded a three-year fellowship grant to explore the Christian ministry at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. In February of 1960, he co-organized the local CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) chapter. Under his leadership, the chapter protested Woolworth stores in support of the Southern Student Sit-In Movement. In 1961, Porter became the first African American elected as President of the Dempster League. In 1962, he received his M.A. degree in Divinity from Garrett Seminary. Following graduation, Porter was appointed as assistant pastor under Rev. Harry Connor at the Normal Park United Methodist Church (UMC) in Englewood, and then as full-time pastor at the Christ UMC in that community.

In August 1962, Porter joined Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and thousands of non-violent protesters at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s (SCLC) first mass anti-segregation demonstration in Albany, Georgia. Porter was jailed for six days following the event. In August 1963, Porter attended the March on Washington; and, in 1965, he assembled eighty Chicago residents to attend the voting rights march in Selma, Alabama. In the spring of 1964, Dr. King and the SCLC leadership gave Porter permission to launch SCLC’s first Chicago chapter. Porter mobilized ten thousand Englewood residents for Dr. King’s “Get Out the Vote Rally” on October 29, 1964. Porter’s church in Englewood served as one of the rallying points for a series of anti-segregation marches into all-white neighborhoods, when the Chicago Freedom Movement invited Dr. King and his staff to spend summer of 1966 in Chicago.

From 1968 to 1970, Porter taught as Adjunct Professor at Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Inner City Studies. In 1970, he taught an African American History course at George Williams College in Downers Grove, Illinois. From 1971 to 1974, Porter served as Dean of the Chicago Center for Black Religious Studies. He then served as Urban Vice President for Young Life International from 1974 until 1979. He also earned his Ph.D. degree in Interdisciplinary Sociology from Union Graduate School (now Union Institute & University) in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1975.

Porter is the author of six books and has received numerous honors for his commitment to social and racial justice. Porter and his wife, June, reside in Chicago’s Hyde Park community and have six children, thirteen grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Porter passed away on April 7, 2019.

Kwame John R. Porter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 10, 2003.

Accession Number

A2003.293

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/10/2003

Last Name

Porter

Maker Category
Middle Name

John

Schools

Sumner Academy of Arts and Science

Douglass Elementary School

Northeast Junior High School

Iowa Wesleyan University

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

First Name

Kwame

Birth City, State, Country

Mineral Springs

HM ID

POR03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southern United States

Favorite Quote

We Are Either Transformers Of The Society With Which We Live, Or We Are Transformed And Deformed By It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

4/2/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken, Fish

Death Date

4/7/2019

Short Description

Community activist and minister Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter (1932 - 2019) was a founder of Operation PUSH, and taught at George Williams College and at Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Inner City Studies. Porter also served as graduate dean of the Chicago Center for Black Religious Studies and Vice President of Urban Affairs for Young Life International.

Employment

Christ United Methodist Church

George Williams College

Northeastern Illinois University

Chicago Center for Black Religious Studies

Young Life International

Chicago Alliance for Neighborhood Safety

Fellowship United Methodist Church

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:4779,135:10206,306:10530,311:18822,405:19302,411:19878,423:21126,436:39940,702:45000,777:45360,782:62071,1181:84840,1287:117066,1551:156536,1976:157493,2214:158189,2261:159059,2481:167760,2823:168640,2843:171440,2926:183930,3088$0,0:26577,510:50785,934:70020,1082:71073,1302:75540,1533:95650,1766$0,0:4876,92:7998,170:10376,220:10786,226:11442,242:16772,413:17264,717:62590,1209:62970,1214:63350,1219:64205,1232:65250,1397:66485,1601:71140,1931:108667,2153:140048,2410:147346,2458:159072,2603:163910,2659$0,0:23018,488:32896,772:50210,1005:60860,1091
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter's interview, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about his mother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about his family tree

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter shares family stories from the Reconstruction era

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter shares a story about a folk hero from Tollette, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter shares a story about a traditional healer in his parents' community, "Aunt Caroline" Dye, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about the sixth sense present in his family

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about African naming rituals

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about his mother's troubled marriage to his stepfather

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about his father

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter describes his father

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about the rift in his father's family

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers meeting the woman his father went with to California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter explains why he did not have contact with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter recalls the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Kansas City, Kansas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers Douglass Elementary School in Kansas City, Kansas

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter recalls his experience at Northeast Junior High School in Kansas City, Kansas

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers his time at Sumner High School in Kansas City, Kansas

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers joining Mason Memorial United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Kansas

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about the importance of black heroes and black athletes in his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers seeing Satchel Paige and Joe Louis

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter describes his father-in-law's influence

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter lists the influential male role models from his youth, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter lists the influential male role models from his youth, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter describes his childhood home in Kansas City, Kansas

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about his experience at Kansas City Kansas Community College in Kansas City, Kansas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter recalls playing intramural basketball for a Jewish fraternity at Drake University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter details his travels with the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter explains why he left the U.S. Army upon learning about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about his experience at Iowa Wesleyan College

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers Dr. Warren Steinkraus

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers Tom Mboya

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about his evolving view of preachers

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter names some of his memorable professor at Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about his experience at Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers his first job as assistant pastor at Normal Park Methodist Episcopal Church

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter recalls being invited by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to a protest in Albany, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers his experience demonstrating in Albany, Georgia in 1962

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter recalls fighting against racism in Chicago, Illinois in 1962

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter explains the differences between the Baptist and Methodist churches

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about the support for social movements in the United Methodist Church

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers important civil rights events in Chicago, Illinois during the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter recalls the organizing that occurred for the marches in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter recalls HistoryMaker Jesse Jackson's involvement with SCLC and Operation Breadbasket

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter dispels rumors regarding HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter explains the aftermath of Dr. King's assassination in Englewood, Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter recalls the many programs that Christ United Methodist Church supported

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers the Chicago chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers the Chicago chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers the people involved in the Chicago Freedom Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter recalls giving a prayer at Harold Washington's mayoral campaign announcement in 1982

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers important figures in the Chicago Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter describes community organizations in Englewood, Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers Hal Baskin's community organizing in the Chicago, Illinois neighborhood of Englewood

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about various community groups that developed in Englewood, Chicago, Illinois in the 1990s

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about his family's accomplishments

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about the Black United Front

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter describes his theological philosophy, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter describes his theological philosophy, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter describes his theological philosophy, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter shares a story about a traditional healer in his parents' community, "Aunt Caroline" Dye, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter shares a story about an African shaman

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about the need for black theology

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter reflects upon his legacy, pt.1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about the formation of the New Englewood Historical Society

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter reflects upon his legacy pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers helping HistoryMakers Louis Farrakhan and Bobby Rush

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about the need for determination and concern in the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter considers what he would have done differently

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter describes how he would like to be remembered

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DATitle
Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter talks about the importance of black heroes and black athletes in his childhood
Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter explains the aftermath of Dr. King's assassination in Englewood, Chicago, Illinois
Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter remembers his experience demonstrating in Albany, Georgia in 1962
Reverend Dr. Kwame John R. Porter recalls giving a prayer at Harold Washington's mayoral campaign announcement in 1982
Transcript
You were not only an athlete, but you read a lot, went to the library. And you had an integrated library [Kansas City Public Library] there in--$$Yeah.$$--Kansas City [Kansas], right?$$Yeah, I--$$And what--$$--I probably--$$--kind of books did you--$$--read a book a week.$$--did you read?$$I liked books that were adventurous, that dealt with conquering, that is when I say conquering, where African or black people were involved and given the leadership to conquering or was it just something--and I had some white heroes to go to comic books and things like that, Superman, Captain Marvel, Popeye, you know, (unclear)--limited--but, but, but I also looked to see where I was in there, my image. I always looked. And what it (unclear) me was a--this was not taught in the high school [Sumner High School, later Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences, Kansas City, Kansas] like it should have been. They, they--'cause they--no, the curriculum was determined by the white superintendent, and so that very few blacks taught in world history. They had Negro History Week--didn't--(unclear)--Carter G. Woodson. We did the--(unclear)--always had somebody come in and espouse during that week and something like that, but a lot of kids had went over their head. So I wanted to read about that now, particularly the classic magazines. I just got a lot of the classics, colorful and I got a lot out of reading Booker T. Washington's story 'Up From Slavery' and George Washington Carver took the peanut and sweet potatoes and made a few other products. That really intrigued me. I got a lot out of reading about the--it was The Men of Morehouse ['History of Morehouse College'], Dr. [Benjamin Griffith] Brawley, and some great black men who made their way. The black man [A.G. Gaston] in Birmingham [Alabama] was a millionaire, insurance man.$$Right, I know who you're talking about, but I can't think of his name now, but--$$And in the course of, course of being an athlete, what got me was the, the athletic heroes, Jesse Owens; Eulace Peacock was right behind Jesse, Ralph Metcalfe [Sr.]. The boxing heroes, Sugar Ray [Walker Smith] Robinson [Jr.], Bobby Joe Gans, "Boston Tar Baby" [Samuel] Sam Langford, way back there, reading about them, Joe Louis. At that time we had radio. I remember when Joe would fight, and we'd have radio in the store, black store, black--a black guy owned a store right behind where I lived, Mr. Taylor [ph.]. He'd have a radio loud so we could hear it. Everybody didn't have a radio. And we'd stopped playing everything and just listened, and blow by blow, and this was through all the country, black folk glued to the radio, Joe, Joe. We didn't have he--visible heroes, you know. Jackie [Robinson] was a hero, but Jackie was not as well publicized as Joe. And this integration of baseball, you know, with the Kansas City Monarchs had a new Negro League, it didn't touch black people like the Harlem Globetrotters did. That's why the Globetrotters were much more, much closer to us, a lot more of our boys play ball than baseball, or than track.$Sixty-seven [1967] [H.] Rap Brown [later, Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin] spoke at the church out in Englewood [Chicago, Illinois], I think it was, had about 2,000 people out to hear Rap speak on new politics. He was the new chairman of SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee]. Sixty-eight [1968] [Reverend Dr.] Martin [Luther King, Jr.] was, Martin was, was assassinated, and the cities, 225 cities had riots (unclear). Englewood did not rebel, partly I think because [David] Dave Barksdale who was--he's dead now--was founder of the Black Disciples, Gangster Disciples. Dave was a Devil's Disciple. David sent a suicide squad to my home next to a church. So they heard about it. They asked [HM] Reverend [Dr. Kwame John R.] Porter respect they have for us 'cause we, he got introduction to Dr. King, chance to shake his hand, chance to march with him, you know. And for those guys to get a leadership in one of them gangs, that was the height of their career, meet such a great man, although they themselves were violent orientated somewhat. Now, David--I told David--I told the guys to tell David it's on. They burned up the West Side [Chicago, Illinois]; they burning in Woodlawn [Chicago, Illinois]. Don't do it in Englewood. Protect 63rd [Street] and Halsted [Street]. So the record will show that you guys saved 63rd and Halsted from burning down, to keep the looters out of there, and they did that, they did that. Now let the record show that. They were never given credit for that, Disciples gang. They did that, you know. That's the kind of relationship you can have in the community when you an indigenized member, a for-real member of the community. People trust you, believe it. You ain't, you ain't faked on 'em or gone west on 'em.$What happened when you got to Albany [Georgia]?$$Got to Albany, they met us at the [Albany] Airport [later Southwest Georgia Regional Airport]; then a bus took us to the church. Significance of the, of the, of the real black church, there's always a real black church in the midst of phony black church, I discovered too. And they took us to the church. The ministers with a real commitment, not afraid of the church being bombed, 'cause you all know they bombed about a hundred churches this whole period, '60s [1960s]. And these were the churches, the most active mostly. Ministers took the word of God serious--and took us to this--there was a meeting and so many people there meeting at about five churches, must have been three or four thousand people (unclear) world, all kind of people. There were mass demonstrations downtown, closed downtown down. These cash registers started backing up on the white segregation, they, they, they, they finally sit down. They took (unclear)--Albany was a hard nut to--didn't crack Albany in a month. It took, took a couple of years--got over into Birmingham [Alabama] '63 [1963] before Albany fell. But that effort loosened it up, jarred and loosened it. More than that, it put hope in black people's backbone in the black people of Albany, those who came there, and the white people who was decent, who were fair and willing to work with us, backbone in them. It made us better men and women. We were not afraid of suffering, not afraid of being killed, not afraid of being beaten, we're not afraid of even death. [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther] King [Jr.] had that kind of magnetism. If I would die with this man, I, I know why I died. This is rare occasion when you have this; a thousand years a man like this come along. That's the way we felt. Now, Albany, in jail, they treated us like any other prisoners. A lot of--most people in prison who were in the jail were, were black. That's a regular, regular prison--loud noise, clanging, screaming out and cussing. And we came in brothers got up off the cots, and we started singing the freedom song, praying the brothers eased up and help them, some of their cases, and writing letters, you know, so created a sense of community (unclear)--my inmates--created some sense of community. 'Cause most of us who came in were people that belonged to--Jews, Christians, or--there wasn't any Muslims at that time. Or something else where they didn't have no form of religion but morally committed to justice and peace and desegregate the society where they could bear it now. So, Albany was my first major experience at being arrested, demonstrating.$I think that's why when Harold Washington finally announced after [HM Lutrelle] Lu [F. Palmer, II] and a bunch of us and Starks [HM Robert T. Starks] and a whole bunch of people, [HM Reverend Jesse L.] Jackson, a bunch of us rallied enough votes and raised enough money to get Harold to the city running for mayor, I think it was either November the 10th or October 19th, one of those days, you know, the 10th at the Hyde Park Hotel [ph.], he announced to an audience of about a thousand people there. The press said that he was gonna run for mayor. And I was gathered, [HM] Renault [Robinson] called out of the crowd to give the prayer. And the prayer I gave had the lines in it: the man, the moment, and the movement have now met at a great juncture in history. And that went over the wire service across the country. But significantly, the Historical Society uses that theme for its display of Harold now. But they left out the moment. There is the man and the movement, but the theme was taken from the prayer. People don't--that yours truly gave I think November the 10th, 1982.