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Claibourne Smith

Chemist Claibourne D. Smith was born on January 6, 1938 in Memphis, Tennessee to Lessie Minor and James Smith, Jr. At Melrose High School, he decided that he wanted to become a chemist. Smith petitioned the Memphis School Board to bring higher-level trigonometry and math courses to his school. He graduated from the University of Denver with his B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry in 1959 and 1961, respectively. During college, Smith worked in chemical synthesis at the Denver Research Institute. He then went on to earn his Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from the University of Oregon in 1964.

Smith began his career at E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company as a research chemist where he remained for thirty-four years. Smith’s research in organic chemistry focused on the chemical properties and reactions of specific cyclic compounds. Throughout his career at E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, he held many management positions, including director of Marketing Liaison and Vice President of Marketing in the Corporate Plans Department. Smith retired from the company in 1998 as Vice President of Technology and Vice Chairman of Corporation Education Aid.

Throughout his career, Smith has served as a member of numerous organizations and advisory boards. After serving as the board chairman of Delaware State University, he was named the acting president of Delaware State University from 2008 to 2010. Smith was appointed to the Delaware State Board of Education in 1993, and reappointed in 1999. He also served on the Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform Advisory Board, the Delaware Council on Crime and Justice and on the board of directors of the Fair Housing Council of Delaware. For his service to public education, Smith was given the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of State Boards of Education in 2006. He was also the recipient of the Dean’s Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Oregon in 1989 and the Jefferson Awards Certificate of Excellence from the The News Journal of Delaware in 1994.

Smith lives with his wife, Roseann in Greenville, Delaware.

Claibourne D. Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 25, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.125

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/25/2012

Last Name

Smith

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

D.

Occupation
Schools

Melrose High School

University of Denver

University of Oregon

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Claibourne

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

SMI25

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Delaware

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/6/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Wilmington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Chemist Claibourne Smith (1938 - ) led a thirty-four year career at E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company as a research chemist and corporate executive.

Employment

Denver Research Institute

DuPont Company

Delaware State University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Claibourne Smith's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Claibourne Smith lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Claibourne Smith describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Claibourne Smith describes his mother's work ethic

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Claibourne Smith describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Claibourne Smith talks about his relationship with his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Claibourne Smith talks about his family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Claibourne Smith talks about the lessons that he learned from his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Claibourne Smith describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Claibourne Smith describes the segregated neighborhood and the house where he grew up in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Claibourne Smith describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Claibourne Smith describes his experience in school

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Claibourne Smith talks about his limited access a library while growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Claibourne Smith describes his interests and activities while growing up in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Claibourne Smith talks about segregation in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Claibourne Smith describes performing chemistry experiments in school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Claibourne Smith describes his experience at Melrose High School (part 1)

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Claibourne Smith describes his experience at Melrose High School (part 2)

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Claibourne Smith describes being a student in a segregated Memphis school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Claibourne Smith talks about his teenage years and his interest in blues music

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Claibourne Smith describes the music scene in Memphis during the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Claibourne Smith talks about the differences between his and his sister's academic performance

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Claibourne Smith describes his decision to attend the University of Denver

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Claibourne Smith describes his visit to Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Claibourne Smith describes his experience with race relations in Denver, Colorado in the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Claibourne Smith describes his experience at the University of Denver chemistry department and at the Denver Research Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Claibourne Smith talks about getting married and having his first child

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Claibourne Smith describes his decision to attend the University of Oregon to pursue his Ph.D. degree

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Claibourne Smith describes his Ph.D. dissertation research on the synthesis and study of 2H-benz[cd]azulene

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Claibourne Smith describes his decision to join DuPont as a research scientist

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Claibourne Smith describes his experience as a research scientist at DuPont

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Claibourne Smith describes his community involvement in Delaware

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Claibourne Smith describes his research on strained ring systems at DuPont

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Claibourne Smith describes his transition from a scientific track to a management track at DuPont

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Claibourne Smith describes his experiences in management at DuPont

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Claibourne Smith describes his role with minority science education at Delaware State University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Claibourne Smith describes his leadership roles and service at Delaware State University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Claibourne Smith talks about the strengths of Delaware State University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Claibourne Smith reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Claibourne Smith talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Claibourne Smith describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Claibourne Smith talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Claibourne Smith describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

3$1

DATitle
Claibourne Smith describes performing chemistry experiments in school
Claibourne Smith describes his decision to join DuPont as a research scientist
Transcript
Okay, so in terms of science what was the--, so school was your introduction to science?$$Yeah, yes.$$And did, in your opinion, when you look back on it now, did the school do a pretty good job of presenting science to you?$$Oh, absolutely. I felt--Joe Westbrook, Mr. Joe Westbrook was my chemistry and physics teacher, did an outstanding job of really capturing my imagination for science. And he allowed me and a few others to kind of do some probing of our own, knowing very little about some of the hazards of some of the things we were, (laughter), we were getting ourselves into. And one of the remembrances that I had of high school was my being able to put together a formula for an explosive. And (laughter) frightened the heck out of the teachers, but my teacher would just simply caution me to be careful and not do things that were overtly dangerous. But I was just kind of curious.$$What kind of explosive was it? I mean what did you make?$$Well, well, there were a couple of things that I did. One was putting together some nitrate salts and heating them to the point where they would, they would detonate. And the other one was making a material called nitrogen triiodide, which is made from iodine crystals and household ammonia. And it was a very unstable material when it was dry. Wet, there was no problem. And those were the two little curiosities that I had as a youngster in high school, being able to put that together and demonstrate to people what you could do with something that was very easy to come by.$$Now, could you make a pretty large explosion with these items?$$Oh, you put enough together, it would be fairly dangerous, yeah.$$Okay. Well, how did you learn just use just enough of it or--$$Trial and error (laughter). Trial and error. Sometime I'd, I used to tell my mother [Lessie Minor], I said, you know what? You were a very prayerful person. You prayed for me a lot, and the good Lord must have been listening to you because I really did some dumb things in my life. And I'm still around. But growing up, I really did some dumb things, looking back on it. But it was part of, you know, my nature, being curious.$$Did you get, was there someone who was a guide in terms of these kinds of things? Where did you learn about how to make an explosive?$$Read. Just read. Stuff was there in the literature, and you just read. I was a voracious reader.$$Now, where were you getting this? There's no library now, so where are you getting your reading materials?$$From school.$$Okay.$$Yeah, whatever books were available in school, that's what I latched onto.$$Okay. All right, so, now, did the school--this probably just a--, I know the school probably didn't have all the facilities that the white schools had--$$No.$$--in terms of chemistry lab and that sort of thing. Did you have any kind of a lab?$$It was, yeah, we had, we had a laboratory that doubled as a classroom and a lab, very rudimentary, no fume hoods, and we didn't have safety glasses. We didn't have smocks. We didn't have anything. We just, we came as we were and, and we had Bunsen burners and a gas line. And we could, had a few beakers and you could heat things up in the open. And it was, it was a miracle that no one either got hurt seriously or ended up being poisoned either by fumes or liquids that we shouldn't have had long exposure to or any exposure to for that matter. It was just, it was just, it was a bad scene, and we were just fortunate, very fortunate that no one either got hurt or became ill.$All right. So was it--, did you find--, was working on your Ph.D. easy?$$It was a lot of fun. Let me put it this way. It wasn't easy, but it was fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it because it just opened up all kinds of ways that I could express myself as a synthetic chemist. I'm a, like I say, I'm a synthetic chemist. And I like to make stuff. And this just offered up a number of opportunities for me to do that and that's what really fascinated me about the opportunity I had at DuPont [E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, American chemical company]. DuPont's a chemical company, and when I started there, they had research operations in almost all of their departments. They were broken up into various departments. And most of the operating departments, those departments who had commercial product responsibility, had research groups as well.$$Now, let me ask you this before, you entered DuPont, I mean how did you find out about the job at DuPont or did they recruit you or, and were you one of the first black folks to work for DuPont?$$Um-hum, yeah. My thesis professor [Virgil Boekelheide] was a good friend of the laboratory director in the Central Research Department at DuPont, a fellow named Ted Carrens (ph.). And Ted came out to [University of] Oregon and gave a talk, a lecture about some of the work that was going on in the Central Research Department at DuPont. Now, Central Research is a little different than regular, commercial departments. Central Research was a group of, a department made up of a group of scientists that were exploratory in nature. In other words, they did research that was not dissimilar from research that you would find in a college campus actually. And that kind of work really fascinated me. I was prepared to do, you know, commercial research, but if I had the opportunity to do this kind of research, I prefer to do that. And when I interviewed DuPont, this department interviewed me for the job as well as the other departments, namely, organic chemicals and films and, I forget the other departments, plastics department. And, and the job that Central Research offered me was the one that I really jumped at. And that's where I got my start to come into a department like Central Research because I'm a synthetic organic chemist. And I had an opportunity now to have some of the best equipment in the world and some of the most available scientists to collaborate with. I thought that was a real dream. And was I--I was among the first African Americans to come in with a Ph.D. at DuPont. There was probably three other scientists there with Ph.D.s, as I remember, a fellow named Dick Cooper who had started maybe about four years earlier than I, five years maybe; a fellow named Dan James who was a scientist at the organic chemicals laboratory across the river in Deepwater, New Jersey and a fellow named Dick Goldsby (ph.) who was there at DuPont. So I was the fourth African American at the time with a Ph.D. at DuPont. So I was not the first Ph.D. African American scientist.

Chrystine Ramsey Shack

Educator Chrystine Ramsey Shack was born on November 18, 1926 in Memphis, Tennessee. She attended The College of New Jersey where she received her B.A. degree and earned elementary education certification. She continued her education at Rider College in New Jersey where she received her M.A. degree.

In 1952, Shack became a document custodian for Project Matterhorn B, a magnetic fusion research project under the direction of Lyman Spitzer, Jr. at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Shack was in charge of filing and transferring top secret documents at the laboratory. After Project Matterhorn, Shack went back to school to earn her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in New Jersey. In the late 1960’s, Shack began working for the New Jersey State Department of Education in Trenton. She then moved to Michigan where she worked in the Department of Vocational Education in Lansing. While in Michigan, Shack contributed a chapter to a publication funded by the Michigan Business Education Association on business curriculum. In 1981, she was named president of Highland Park Community College and was the first woman president of a community college in Michigan.

Shack has served in several capacities as a leader of The Girl Friends, Inc. including as national secretary, parliamentarian, national advisory board chair, president of the Girl Friends’ fund, national budget chair, and national president in 1978. She was profiled in the book They Made It – So Can You, showcasing her career development and was the subject of a senate concurrent resolution praising her academic accomplishments in 1981. She also served on several business associations including the United Business Education Association and chaired their Consumer Economics board.

Chrystine Shack was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 24, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.087

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/26/2010

Last Name

Shack

Maker Category
Middle Name

Chrystine

Schools

Florida Street Elementary School

Booker T. Washington High School

Wilberforce University

Rider College

Rutgers University

Trenton State College

Colorado State University

First Name

Ethel

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

SHA06

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Tennessee

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Interview Description
Birth Date

11/18/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Seafood

Death Date

8/16/2010

Short Description

Education executive and civic leader Chrystine Ramsey Shack (1926 - 2010 ) was a member of the Project Matterhorn team at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and has served in several executive positions for the national organization, The Girl Friends, Inc.

Employment

Central State College

Hampton Institute

Bordentown Manual Training School

Princeton University

Hamilton Township Public Schools

State Department of Education

Mercer County Community College

Rider College

Rutgers University Graduate School of Education

New Jersey State Department of Education

Michigan State Department of Education

Michigan State University Graduate School of Education

Highland Park Community College

Wayne County Community College

Migrant Demonstration Schools

Trenton State College

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Timing Pairs
0,0:21410,300:22364,319:33500,397:33998,460:43540,594:43880,626:44560,679:48810,737:62152,857:65308,887:66168,898:66512,903:78783,1020:80602,1048:83170,1070:86808,1134:93814,1222:109567,1484:114272,1509:131668,1647:145455,1791:147240,1832:148855,1856:149365,1863:154340,1958:156290,2002:160270,2053:160680,2059:166470,2117:190020,2350:191295,2384:191635,2389:202600,2491:222907,2705:223183,2710:223666,2718:223942,2723:237340,2864$0,0:13556,179:38634,358:49003,411:49731,503:94368,895:100893,954:125610,1053:131082,1161:143156,1314:144695,1340:149040,1363:150480,1392:152160,1418:161140,1469:161996,1478:163580,1489:164924,1517:172165,1570:173948,1595:182158,1669:196638,1826:196886,1831:207850,1959:214106,1980:214953,1992:216570,2014:217571,2028:223355,2049:230680,2057:256180,2175:258010,2181:258998,2195:259302,2200:262190,2247:262646,2254:262950,2259:279838,2373:281500,2395
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Chrystine Ramsey Shack's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack talks about her maternal family's roots

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls her mother's career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack talks about her father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her early experiences of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack talks about the Great Depression

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her maternal family's grocery store

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her backyard

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her family's cars

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her parents' strict discipline

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls her childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers the Florida Street School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack talks about her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack talks about her experiences during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack talks about her decision to attend Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls her admission to Wilberforce University

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers the campus of Wilberforce University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes the tensions between students at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her mentors at Wilberforce University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls her social activities at Wilberforce University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers the reputation of Bishop Reverdy C. Ransom

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her graduation from Wilberforce University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes the split between Wilberforce University and Central State College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls obtaining a secretarial position at the Hampton Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers how she came to work for Project Matterhorn, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers how she came to work for Project Matterhorn, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers the physicists at Project Matterhorn

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her responsibilities at Project Matterhorn

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers the women at Project Matterhorn

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls her decision to leave Project Matterhorn

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack reflects upon her experiences at Project Matterhorn

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her transition to teaching

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers teaching business courses at Hamilton High School West in Hamilton Township, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her graduate education

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls earning a Ph.D. degree at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers moving to Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her experiences as the president of Highland Park Community College in Highland Park, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack talks about her work with Shriners International

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls joining The Girl Friends Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her leadership positions in The Girl Friends Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes the social activities hosted by The Girl Friends Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Chrystine Ramsey reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

9$3

DATitle
Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers how she came to work for Project Matterhorn, pt. 1
Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls joining The Girl Friends Inc.
Transcript
So in 1948, you went to Bordentown manual training school [Manual Training and Industrial School for Colored Youth] in Bordentown, New Jersey--$$Um-hm.$$--where you were secretary to the superintendent.$$Yeah.$$Okay. And, now that's near Trenton [New Jersey], I suppose that's where--. Now did you like living in New Jersey?$$I liked--loved New Jersey, uh-huh, um-hm. I wanted to go back there when we retired, but he [Ramsey Shack's husband, Arthur Shack] wanted to come to Memphis [Tennessee], so that's how we ended up here. I loved Trenton. I really did.$$Well, that's unusual because he's from New Jersey and you're from Memphis, but you would rather have lived in New Jersey, and he wanted to live in Memphis. So what did he like so much about Memphis?$$I don't know. I have no idea (laughter). But he, he's the one who came here, and left me working in New Jersey. And I ultimately came here. Well, it wasn't ultimately, I guess within a, before a year was over, I was home.$$Okay. Now, 1950, you were secretary to--you got a job with Lyman Spitzer at Princeton University [Princeton, New Jersey].$$With who?$$Lyman Spitzer, right, Dr. Lyman Spitzer at Princeton?$$Yes, and he was the Project Matterhorn director, the atomic energy research program [Project Matterhorn; Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory].$$Now how did you get this job? How did--I mean, how did you hear about that?$$I don't know. I guess I was the best thing coming down the pike (laughter) at that time. I was a good secretary, a damn good secretary. And I had to get top secret clearance to work on the job. And they had interviewed two or three other people, but they didn't pass the clearance procedure, and I did. And I guess, that's how, that's how I got it.$$You know, we know when we look back at that era that there was a lot of really, just ridiculous racial prejudice--$$Um-hm.$$--in the United States. And there's still some now. But, so I guess the question becomes even more so, how did, you know, how did you overcome that or--did--was it an issue raised by Dr. Spitzer or anybody else at the time?$$No, I never ran into a single ounce of prejudice at Princeton, not a one, not a one. When I went for the interview, I had no problem whatsoever until it came time for me to move into the Project Matterhorn office, and I hadn't gotten top secret clearance. And I couldn't work there without it. And I worked in another building completely from where Dr. Spitzer worked. And he would come over to--from Project Matterhorn to where I was and bring work to me there because I couldn't go into the building where they had the top secret, you know, investigations going on. But that didn't last long because they rushed through my clearance, you know. They, somehow they managed to get it going just like that. And I was cleared in a rather short time.$Tell me about The Girl Friends [The Girl Friends, Inc.]. How did you get involved? We don't know the date, but just tell me how you got involved with The Girl Friends?$$Yeah, I remember I was packing up maybe to leave--where was I? In Memphis [Tennessee]? No, I don't think I was in Memphis. I was moving to the Detroit [Michigan] area. I can tell you that. I don't know where I was moving from. And--$$From New Jersey, I guess, right?$$Uh-huh. And I had just gone into The Girl Friends in New Jersey. That's how. So when I moved, I affiliated with the Detroit group right away.$$Okay, so that's 1974 then.$$Um-hm.$$Yeah, that's when you moved to Lansing [Michigan]. So, okay. So you moved to Lansing and there was a chapter in Lansing?$$No, not Lansing. I moved to--when I moved to Detroit--$$Um-hm.$$--that's when I (unclear).$$Okay, and well, tell me, what are The Girl Friends about? What do they do?$$(Laughter) First of all, they're about fun, friendship. They do civic projects nationally, and I guess that's what they're about. They don't--they're not like The Links [The Links, Incorporated] at all where they're constantly asking for money. You pay dues in it, but whatever projects they have, the money, the financing of the projects must come from the dues that you pay. It's not an extra assessment like The Links, and they're not like The Links where they're constantly asking you for money, you know. Each chapter establishes its own national programs. They follow a pattern, it's true, but it's not a demand like The Links where you must put--participate in this paying. You must pay this or pay that. It's not that at all. It's really more of a fun group than it is--they do have projects, national projects, and they make wonderful contributions to, you know, community affairs. But they don't demand money like the other group does at all.$$Okay. So what kind of projects do--national projects do The Girl Friends work on or support?$$Scholarship programs with younger people coming along, I'm trying to think. Most of it is educational. They also have a, The Girl Friends have a Girl Friends Fund [The Girl Friends Fund, Inc.] where every chapter must make contributions to this fund, and then they invest that money in community affairs. I can't, I can't think of the many things they've done, though they do a lot of good work. They really do.

Maxine Smith

Civil rights activist, executive secretary, and state government employee Maxine Smith was born on October 31, 1929, in Memphis, Tennessee. She graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and went on to receive her B.A. degree in biology from Spelman College and her M.S. degree in French from Middlebury College. In 1957, Smith applied to the University of Memphis and was rejected because of her race. This brought her to the attention of the local NAACP chapter, which she joined and became executive secretary of in 1962.

Having helped to organize the desegregation of Memphis public schools in 1960, Smith also escorted the first thirteen Memphis children to benefit from the Memphis school desegregation. Smith continued to fight for civil rights and school integration throughout her career, organizing lawsuits, sit-ins, and marches, including the “Black Monday” student boycotts that lasted from 1969 to 1972. Smith served on the coordinating committee for the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike that Martin Luther King Jr. travelled to Memphis to support before his assassination.

In 1971, Smith won election to the Memphis Board of Education, a position which she held until her retirement in 1995. In 1978, Smith was instrumental in ensuring W.W. Herenton’s election as the first African American school superintendant in Memphis, kicking off his political career. Smith was elected president of the Memphis Board of Education in 1991, the same year that her protégée Herenton became the first elected African American Mayor of Memphis.

Smith received more than 160 awards for her efforts on behalf of educational equality and civil rights, including the National NAACP Leadership Award, the Bill of Rights Award from the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Whitney H. Young Jr. Award from the National Education Association. She was a member of the board of directors for many charitable and civic organizations, including The National Civil Rights Museum, the NAACP, the Women’s Foundation for Greater Memphis, and the National Kidney Foundation. Smith has also been featured in several documentaries about the Civil Rights Movement, including Oscar-nominated Witness From the Balcony of Room 306 and Memphis: The Promised Land . She passed away on April 26, 2013.

Accession Number

A2010.094

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/30/2010

Last Name

Smith

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Schools

Booker T. Washington High School

Spelman College

Middlebury College

Lincoln Elementary School

Porter Elementary School

First Name

Maxine

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

SMI23

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cruises

Favorite Quote

I Gave It My Best Shot.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Interview Description
Birth Date

10/31/1929

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Pasta

Death Date

4/26/2013

Short Description

Executive secretary, foreign languages professor, civil rights activist, and state government employee Maxine Smith (1929 - 2013 ) was a leader of the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis, Tennessee, where she served on the school board for twenty-four years.

Employment

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

Memphis City Government

LeMoyne-Owen College

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:3783,61:11422,162:14493,349:14908,355:21548,478:21963,542:60121,986:70586,1121:83000,1256:100611,1452:100903,1457:118526,1744:123282,1831:125988,1873:132980,1942:147090,2144:148450,2165:148770,2170:174096,2485:222850,3013$0,0:3242,79:4634,127:15023,328:23360,494:29040,581:29360,586:34774,674:37558,766:37993,776:46515,838:47919,855:52800,891:58956,1131:71730,1319:80852,1443:81284,1450:85020,1484:85525,1515:114245,1726:114815,1733:129798,1865:133546,1902:134051,1908:145141,2070:156715,2178:156990,2184:160850,2201:162560,2229:171960,2325:174191,2345:181600,2379:182880,2403:183440,2411:184320,2424:185120,2436:185600,2443:206956,2675:209374,2748:230798,3057:231158,3063:231518,3069:244688,3247:246776,3305:247064,3377:250736,3494:261550,3566:275450,3738:279574,3792:281212,3808:282094,3817:288819,3920:300950,4047:303140,4077:305040,4116
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Maxine Smith's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Maxine Smith lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Maxine Smith talks about her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Maxine Smith describes her mother's teaching career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Maxine Smith remembers her father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Maxine Smith describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Maxine Smith talks about her father's education and employment

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Maxine Smith lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Maxine Smith describes her community in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Maxine Smith remembers visiting her father at the Memphis Veterans Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Maxine Smith reflects upon her early family life, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Maxine Smith describes her early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Maxine Smith reflects upon her early family life, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Maxine Smith remembers her parents' finances

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Maxine Smith reflects upon her upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Maxine Smith describes her schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Maxine Smith remembers her father's burial

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Maxine Smith talks about being the youngest of her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Maxine Smith remembers the Tri-State Fair in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Maxine Smith recalls her family's periodical subscriptions

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Maxine Smith remembers Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Maxine Smith remembers enrolling at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Maxine Smith remembers joining the board of the NAACP

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Maxine Smith recalls the language program at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Maxine Smith describes her courtship with her husband, Vasco Smith, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Maxine Smith describes her courtship with her husband, Vasco Smith, Jr., pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Maxine Smith talks about her husband's upbringing

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Maxine Smith remembers returning to Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Maxine Smith talks about her social circle in Memphis, Tennessee, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Maxine Smith remembers joining the Memphis branch of the NAACP

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Maxine Smith talks about her experiences at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Maxine Smith talks about her social circle in Memphis, Tennessee, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Maxine Smith talks about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Maxine Smith recalls the agenda of the NAACP Memphis Branch, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Maxine Smith recalls the agenda of the NAACP Memphis Branch, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Maxine Smith describes Memphis Mayor E.H. Crump's political machine

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Maxine Smith remembers her high school principal, Blair T. Hunt, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Maxine Smith describes the voter registration drives in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Maxine Smith talks about voter disenfranchisement in Shelby County, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Maxine Smith remembers the elections of Russell B. Sugarmon and A.W. Willis, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Maxine Smith remembers attending the March on Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Maxine Smith reflects upon the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Maxine Smith remembers the death of Medgar Evers

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Maxine Smith talks about the Tennessee General Assembly elections of 1964

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Maxine Smith remembers confronting the Board of Education of Memphis City Schools

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Maxine Smith reflects upon her civic service

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Maxine Smith talks about the Black Monday boycotts in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Maxine Smith remembers the support for her school board candidacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Maxine Smith talks about the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Maxine Smith recalls meeting W.W. Herenton

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Maxine Smith recalls W.W. Herenton's election as superintendent of the Memphis City Schools, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Maxine Smith recalls W.W. Herenton's election as superintendent of the Memphis City Schools, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Maxine Smith talks about Memphis Mayor W.W. Herenton's leadership

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Maxine Smith talks about her support for congressional candidate Steve Cohen

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Maxine Smith talks about the political climate in Memphis, Tennessee, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Maxine Smith talks about the political climate of Memphis, Tennessee, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Maxine Smith reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Maxine Smith reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Maxine Smith describes the founding of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Maxine Smith talks about the National Civil Rights Museum

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Maxine Smith reflects upon the legacy of her husband, Vasco Smith, Jr.

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Maxine Smith describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
Maxine Smith describes the voter registration drives in Memphis, Tennessee
Maxine Smith remembers confronting the Board of Education of Memphis City Schools
Transcript
But then you all were registering voters and, now--$$Oh yeah this is (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) getting more voters.$$This is--$$Okay. So you're getting into the voter registration?$$Uh-huh.$$Okay.$$Now this is in f- my first little task on the NAACP [NAACP Memphis Branch, Memphis, Tennessee].$$Okay.$$We went in, in two years we had over fifty thousand and all since the history of Memphis [Tennessee], we had less than ten thousand. We had ten thou- fifty thousand black registered voters.$$New, new voters?$$New voters.$$Okay.$$Registered there.$$Now how, how did you do it? Did you go door to door or?$$Door to door, yeah, that's what I tell these politicians now; they got my old self out here trying to help our politicians (laughter). I said I'm too old, but, so they put me on the billboard (laughter). But you know everything is so technical, so computer now, which is good. But I still, well that's my age and that's you know how I was raised. See the good in that personal contact.$$Okay.$$You know I'll, I mentioned the political club, the Democratic club [Shelby County Democratic Club], you said, how did we get--? We organized, we had eighty precincts all with a significant amount of black votes organized block by block. Each block worker was assigned or responsible for his block, if it was too short, two blocks maybe. And, and we'd ret- we'd go get them 'cause we didn't have postcard voting, registration then. Take them down to the, you know, voter registration office and then peo- people got killed, this what Chaney [James Chaney], Schwerner [Michael Schwerner] and Goodman [Andrew Goodman] got killed for in Mississippi, and they aren't the only ones. But what we were doing in many places before they went crazy, and Memphis never tried to block us because Crump [E.H. Crump] wanted these folks voting, so they couldn't stop that. But block by block we'd call by telephone, well we'd get them registered. We'd have to pick them up, find somebody with a car, buy a little gas to help him 'cause we couldn't even--some of us couldn't even afford gas. Then we had to go get them on voting day or Election Day and see that they voted and we had a little card file; we didn't have computers then. With every registered voter, we'd spend our money instead of paying folks, getting voter registration lists. We'd have card files, and as they voted, we'd put the voters in one box and about two o'clock in the evening if whatever's left we start sending troops out there to get them. "Go on out of this house and vote." We could get--'cause it wasn't as many voters then, it wasn't as many of us, we could get a 75 percent turnout. And 90 to 95 percent of us were voting together, you understand what I mean? Now NAACP could work up to the point of who you vote for 'cause our dri- drive, voter registration drives was to get 'em out, get 'em to vote, but we couldn't tell them who to vote for. So that's where the political club came in and we were so effective.$I wanted to ask you a question about Fannie Lou Hamer. Did, did, did she ever come to Memphis [Tennessee] to talk or anything that you remember?$$Yeah I saw her somewhere, oh gosh she was quite a figure. I remember her better at the Democratic National Convention in '72 [1972 Democratic National Convention] when that was my first national convention. That was in Miami [Florida], Vasco [Smith's husband, Vasco Smith, Jr.] didn't even know I was going. I had, and I was--my heart troubles were beginning to show I guess.$$Well maybe let's wait to the end then.$$Uh-huh.$$Just talk about, now, 'cause what you, we, you, we had started talking about the school crisis in Memphis [Tennessee] and the Black Mondays--$$Yeah.$$Tell us about what Black Monday was all about and what?$$Well we had a list, I have them somewhere here, I'm so disorganized, of fifteen demands that we took to the school board [Board of Education of Memphis City Schools; Shelby County Board of Education].$$And you took them as, as what? As, as the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] or as--$$Yeah, as NAACP. I was the spokesperson because I was executive secretary of the NAACP [NAACP Memphis Branch, Memphis, Tennessee]. For years, see, we always had kept a pretty even balance racially--numerically and racially. You know some years it may be a few more whites, some years it may be a few more black, but we never had a black school board member. We didn't have any black administrators, the only administrators we had was black principals who were principals over black schools. And, and whatever, they did it over black schools. And we were demanding more black representation that kind of imaged the s- school system. Every time a vacancy would occur on the school board, we'd go down--you know by death or resignation or something, we'd go down and ask for a representative, a black person to be appointed. 'Cause it filled themselves, I think the, the mayor of the city commission in those days I think it was called, had to okay whatever the school board ruled it was filled. You know not by vote, but, but they just turned their backs on us. I'll never forget the straw that really broke them down that began, I told, I'm so glad I didn't know this lady was about to die. There was a group of white women, mostly Jewish women who had, they called funds for--their, their primary interest was feeding the hungry children. I think they called themselves funds for needy children, fund for something; they had a name for that movement. And I went to the school board, Laurie Willis Sugarmon [HistoryMaker Miriam DeCosta-Willis], she was one, I don't think I got four in that car (laughter) looked like I had a vacant space, I was kind of late getting to the school board. 'Cause I was trying to get at least one car full (laughter). But we went in there and Bailey (unclear)--what is his name? Ed Bailey, Edward Bailey [sic. Edgar H. Bailey] was president, and I threw, told him--you know I served on the board twenty-four years after that. I didn't know what the procedure was then, but he was telling me I couldn't speak and I kept walking. "I, I, I have something I would like to present to the board." Now these women--I just knew it was full of people. I didn't look around--and it happened that I knew most of them, I wasn't looking around, but I was just, see the cameras had closed up. And I wasn't looking for a camera, I never have looked for a camera, that's never really excited me. And these, all these women and these are white women now, jumped up and started clapping. How them cameras--and they thought, everybody, they thought I was with them (laughter). I didn't know what was going on (laughter). So I got there and presented my fifteen demands from the NAACP, and we had some kind of exchange of words or, I don't know, I don't remember what. But the big thing I had a roomful of women they were mostly women it maybe a few men. White women mostly if any blacks, I don't know, and that was headlines (laughter) that was the beginning of Black Monday.

Rochelle Stevens

Track and field athlete and fitness center entrepreneur Rochelle Stevens was born on September 8, 1966, in Memphis, Tennessee to the Reverend Beatrice Holloway-Davis. She attended Melrose High School and took to running competitively at an early age. By the time Stevens graduated high school, she was a TSSAA high school State Champion, a National High School All-American, a city champion, and an AAU Junior Olympics National Champion. She attended Morgan State University on a full track scholarship and received her B.S. degree in telecommunications and sales from that institution. She went on to receive an M.S. degree in public relations from Columbus University and then began her professional track career in earnest, coached by her mother who had also been a college track star.

After her first attempt in 1988, Stevens qualified for the Olympics and went to the Olympic Games in 1992, in Barcelona, Spain. She won the silver medal for her performance in the women’s 4x400 meter relay race and came in sixth in the world in the solo 400 meter race. At the next Olympic Games, held in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1996, Stevens competed in the women’s 4x400 meter race again and this time took home the gold medal.

Upon returning home to Memphis, Stevens founded the Rochelle Stevens Health and Wellness Spa, where she developed exercise, diet, and therapeutic programs. She also started and continues to sponsor the Rochelle Stevens International Track Invitational Meet, which is designed to expose high school students to college recruiters and formal track competitions. The event is certified to qualify runners for the junior Olympics, senior Olympics, and the Olympic trials.

Stevens retired from professional track competitions in 2000, and began substitute teaching and then serving as a behavioral specialist at Cherokee Elementary School, which she once attended. She has worked as a spokeswoman and motivational speaker for many Fortune 500 companies, including Nike, Maybelline, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the Bank of America. Stevens is a member of the Better Business Bureau, the Black Business Association, the National Speaker Bureau, and the Word of Life Ministry.

Accession Number

A2010.091

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/29/2010

Last Name

Stevens

Maker Category
Schools

Cherokee Elementary School

Melrose High School

Morgan State University

Columbus University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Rochelle

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

STE14

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Monte Carlo, France

Favorite Quote

Make It Happen.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/8/1966

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Soul Food

Short Description

Track and field athlete Rochelle Stevens (1966 - ) won the silver medal at the 1992 Olympic Games and the gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in the 4x400 women's relay, and now runs her own health center.

Employment

Rochelle Stevens Health and Wellness Spa

Memphis City Schools

Favorite Color

Purple, Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:10790,106:14502,179:28493,372:33473,494:33971,501:39170,525:48121,637:50445,673:53599,744:53931,749:55591,774:61050,831:61530,838:61850,843:62170,848:72478,998:75082,1043:79360,1107:84510,1181:90140,1264:90588,1272:91100,1281:94154,1319:98061,1382:98377,1387:101530,1427:101950,1434:110502,1560:111776,1630:129630,1880:142674,2036:143362,2046:144996,2087:147490,2144:156960,2269:160656,2353:175630,2583:176232,2591:177006,2603:189292,2821:190986,2848:191833,2862:193142,2963:205306,3107:208274,3152:215405,3212:216170,3238:217445,3265:217785,3270:220080,3308:221015,3323:221525,3331:255716,3804:256048,3809:282703,4255:285860,4339:292944,4484:300026,4594:302296,4631:303178,4642:308078,4748:310136,4779:310528,4784:311214,4795:331330,5036$0,0:4898,157:5372,164:14755,304:18583,370:19714,386:20062,391:20932,414:25103,448:25577,455:27710,494:31897,566:41890,698:42202,707:43528,746:47584,850:48130,859:48442,864:52434,891:53120,899:53512,904:59277,984:59681,989:62408,1029:65492,1046:66570,1066:67263,1081:68495,1108:69188,1118:70805,1151:76888,1289:81200,1369:87555,1489:102416,1684:107922,1729:108282,1735:109506,1763:114012,1814:140464,2157:140856,2162:144090,2262:144482,2267:145070,2274:146638,2296:151538,2380:151930,2385:158070,2409:162310,2511:162870,2521:163510,2532:165990,2582:167030,2611:179323,2771:179791,2776:180493,2781:184778,2800:185570,2811:185922,2816:193024,2970:197862,3012:200240,3085:203680,3099:206955,3143:216757,3239:217501,3248:218524,3261:218989,3270:219919,3282:223639,3352:234120,3498:236210,3530:238585,3560:250114,3664:252200,3691
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rochelle Stevens' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rochelle Stevens lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rochelle Stevens describes her mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rochelle Stevens describes her mother, Beatrice Stevens Holloway, as a young woman

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rochelle Stevens describes her father, John Ollie Holloway

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rochelle Stevens describes her mother's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rochelle Stevens describes her likeness to her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rochelle Stevens describes her sisters

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rochelle Stevens remembers attending church at Living Word Ministries

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rochelle Stevens describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Rochelle Stevens recalls living in Memphis' Orange Mound neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Rochelle Stevens lists athlete alumni of Memphis' Melrose High School

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Rochelle Stevens describes her childhood home in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rochelle Stevens describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rochelle Stevens remembers her elementary and junior high schools

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rochelle Stevens talks about her study habits in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rochelle Stevens explains the effects of 'Roots' airing on television

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rochelle Stevens remembers playing in the Cherokee Elementary School band

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rochelle Stevens remembers getting involved in running

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rochelle Stevens talks about Olympic history and popular black athletes in the 1970s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Rochelle Stevens speaks about playing basketball in junior high school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Rochelle Stevens remembers competing in the AAU Junior Olympics

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Rochelle Stevens explains how she became a sprinter

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Rochelle Stevens remembers beating Edward Temple's top recruits

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rochelle Stevens remembers her experience at Memphis' Melrose High School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rochelle Stevens explains why she attended Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rochelle Stevens recalls her studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rochelle Stevens talks about writing skills in her work as a behavioral specialist

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rochelle Stevens explains why she chose to major telecommunications at Morgan State University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rochelle Stevens remembers competing in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rochelle Stevens remembers competing in Yugoslavia and East Berlin

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Rochelle Stevens describes competing in the Penn Relays

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rochelle Stevens remembers setting track records at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rochelle Stevens talks about the events she ran

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rochelle Stevens describes her athletic diet

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rochelle Stevens remembers Greek life at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rochelle Stevens describes her social life at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rochelle Stevens describes her senior year at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Rochelle Stevens remembers the 1988 Olympic trials in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Rochelle Stevens remembers running club track

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Rochelle Stevens remembers her track career picking up

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Rochelle Stevens describes trying out for the 1992 U.S. Olympic team and being trained by her mother

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Rochelle Stevens describes her training regimen

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Rochelle Stevens lists the best European female runners in 1992

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Rochelle Stevens talks about steroid use at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Rochelle Stevens recalls the 1992 U.S. Olympic trials

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Rochelle Stevens describes her experience at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Rochelle Stevens describes her experience at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Rochelle Stevens remembers her fame after the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Rochelle Stevens describes Florence Griffith Joyner's style

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Rochelle Stevens describes her injuries in 1992 and 1996

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Rochelle Stevens remembers competing injured in the 1996 Olympic Games

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Rochelle Stevens remembers winning a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Rochelle Stevens recalls suffering a career-ending knee injury in 2000

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Rochelle Stevens describes the Rochelle Stevens Invitational Track Meet and sports camp

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Rochelle Stevens talks about her activities outside of track

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Rochelle Stevens reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Rochelle Stevens reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Rochelle Stevens talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Rochelle Stevens describes her hopes and concerns for the African-American community

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Rochelle Stevens describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
Rochelle Stevens describes her experience at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics, pt. 2
Rochelle Stevens remembers winning a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics
Transcript
How many roommates did you have [at the 1992 Summer Olympics, Barcelona, Spain]?$$I had, I believe it was eight to our suite. And the rooms had to be about 8 x 6 [feet], smaller than a dorm room. It was just twin-sized beds and that's it. No pictures, no curtains, no nothing--just the mattress and a pillow, and they gave you your sheets. I was like, this looks like prison, you know. (Laughter) It didn't seem like I was going to be staying in a five-star hotel. They don't prep you on things like that. And you got eight suite mates all in this--$$It seems, it sounds as if the Olympic provisions were a lot less than what you were used to on the track circuit?$$Right, because on the circuit you're staying in five-star hotels. But when you're accommodating ten thousand athletes--those buildings were brand new, so it wasn't like they were, you know, too bad. But they built them according to their custom. They didn't really use air-conditioning in Spain, so we were hot. And this coach by the name of John Smith, who trained some other Olympic medalists, gold and world record holders, he said, "Ro [HistoryMaker Rochelle Stevens], they're going through the same conditions you're going through--the Russians, the Germans, everybody. Nobody has special perks or privileges." He said, "So, don't let this hot room get to you. Just know they're going through the same conditions you are." And with him just making that comment I stopped complaining, and it was like okay, they hot, too. But then we were like, "They're used to being hot. They don't have air-conditioning anyway." (Laughter) But I still put that behind me and looked at it as, you're not going to beat me. I'm not going to let this hot room or this hot weather bring me down because you're sleeping in the heat too. You're eating the same foods I'm eating. I just started putting it into that perspective, and I was able to halfway re-focus at the games in Barcelona [Spain]. But I ended up finishing sixth in the open 400 in lane one. And I think the worst I was supposed to finish was maybe third, but I never had lane one. I always had lane six, seven, or eight. And it was, I know I couldn't have been too focused because I actually saw the cameras as we was sprinting around the track. And you've got eighty-five thousand spectators and people taking pictures. I actually saw cameras flashing. I knew I was not focused if I was able to see people flashing those cameras. And it's like, I'm not going to ever catch up those girls. And so I was like, I'll just run for time, not knowing that it was four of us all running for the bronze. And when we all leaned, they had to come back, and those times were so close. All I know is I got sixth place. And my mom [Beatrice Stevens Holloway] was on the practice field waiting on me, and I cried because I was embarrassed. I got sixth place. I went in there with the fastest time in the world. You get sixth place, okay, you're sixth in the world. That sounds so good. But to actually get sixth place, oh, it was horrible (laughter) to tell somebody that.$$That's one race. You ran in how many races?$$We had to run rounds. We had to eliminate athletes every day. Again, we had four rounds, and I was the only American to make the finals. And so, that was a big deal to just make it to the finals.$$Okay. So you got sixth place in the--$$In the finals.$$In the 400 [meter] finals?$$Uh-huh, in the 400 finals.$$Now, you ran the 4 x 400 [relay], too, right?$$And I was the anchor leg for the 4 x 400, and Olha Bryzhina of Russia [Soviet Union] out-powered me the last thirty or forty meters of the race. But the plan was to give me a big enough lead so I could get away from her. But my lead was one step. That's not a lead when this is the same person that Flo Jo [Florence Griffith Joyner] couldn't catch four years earlier. And you know, Flo Jo, she ran like a forty-eight [second] 400 meter split and Olha forty-seven [seconds]. So, forty-seven will catch a forty-nine any day. Give me a big, big, big, lead. I got a one-step lead. (Laughter) I was determined that I was going to run her to the line. You know, I was thinking about Orange Mound [Memphis, Tennessee], I was thinking about where I was from. I'm like, "I'm from Orange Mound, you know." I'd give her that elbow and cut in front of her. Because technically, she was in front of me, but technically I just kind of ran a little dirty and gave her that cute little elbow and got in front of her. And interestingly, she was the person that I had studied for eight months because I was trying to figure out what was her running style, to run forty-seven [seconds]. And when you pull that tape and watch the race with us, we shift gears in the same place. We were the same stride. She was right behind me. It was like as if she was marking me. But in my mind, I had saw her in my mind for six months, and we moved in the same places, except she out-powered me at the end. That was the only thing.$So, what was it like to get the gold medal in the [at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Atlanta, Georgia]--? And now, this, this is strange kind of, because you ran better before, but you didn't get the gold.$$Right.$$And here, you kind of limp into this one, and then get a gold medal. Does it cause you to be philosophical about life, or what?$$Well, the thing is, all I can think is all my life this is what I've been chasing after. This is what I've always wanted, was to win a gold medal for my country. And when my sister Catherine [Holloway] had died in 1989 of a brain tumor, you know, right before she died I had told her I was going to win a gold medal for her. And the press kind of brought that up, like, hey, you won this medal for your sister, and what does it feel like to win a gold medal for your sister and for your family? And it was just the most incredible moment. It was history that night, to be able to win and knowing that you're injured. And you know, it was just incredible. And to mention, I had this cosmetic make-up sponsorship at that time. I was a Posner girl, and they were promoting mascara to see, to make sure the mascara didn't run. And so, it was like I was this perfect model. I was sweating and it was a 100-and-something degrees outside, and my makeup is still flawless. My eye shadow and things were not running. I didn't have purple sweat and blue sweat and things. And I had told the president of the company--I had negotiated a bonus. I said, "If you all pay me this bonus, I can prove that your makeup is not going to run." You know, they was like, "Yeah, yeah, yeah," and they fell for it. And when I was on that award stand, I just thought about all the hard work and the years that was put into it, and I started crying on the awards stand. You know, the tears was just rolling. And the Jumbotron was on, and I'm like rocking. You know, I was all emotional, and no mascara was running. So it was an extra good race for me, considering I got paid the bonus because their makeup didn't run on national television during the awards ceremony. They was like, "Wow, she tricked us," (laughter).$$So what happened? Did they have a bigger parade when you came back to Atlanta [Georgia] this time?$$We had more people from the mid-South to make the Olympic team the second time around. Penny Hardaway was on the Dream Team this time. Nikki McCray was from the suburbs of Memphis [Tennessee], Collierville [Tennessee]. She was on the women's basketball team, and they won a gold. And then we had Cindy Parlow [Cone], who's from the suburbs of Memphis, which was Germantown [Memphis, Tennessee], and she was on the soccer team. So, we came back with four gold medals. And the city just honored all of us at the same time downtown. And the county and city mayors gave us proclamations and keys to the city, you know. But everybody was more excited for them, because that was their first Olympics and they was more like, "You've before, so it's no big deal." I was like, "Shoot, but I got the gold medal." And it is not an easy thing to make the Olympic team. And when you do the history on it, only forty-four or forty-three Americans won gold medals. So, when you have ten thousand athletes and only one hundred and some medals are going to be given out that are gold and you're one of them, it's more than, "You didn't do anything." And so, I had to kind of just overlook, you know, people because they truly don't understand the commitment, the dedication, the hard work, the sacrifice, the pain, the agony, the disappointments, the lack of sponsorship. They just don't have a clue what you go through to achieve a dream.

Walter Bailey, Jr.

County commissioner and lawyer Walter Bailey was born in 1940, in Memphis, Tennessee. He graduated from Booker T. Washington high School and went on to attend Southern University on a football scholarship. The student sit-in protests against segregation were sweeping the South at this point and Southern University was no exception. Bailey’s brother, D’Army Bailey, also attended Southern University and he became a leader of the Civil Rights Movement on campus. Bailey helped his brother with his civil rights organizing and went to protests with him, some of which were broken up violently. Southern University did its best to badger the Baileys into giving up their protests and boycotts, eventually expelling his brother and shutting down rather than accepting back its students who had been arrested in various protests.

Undaunted, Bailey went on to receive his J.D. degree from the Southern University Law Center and founded the Walter Bailey law firm. Bailey was involved in several important civil rights-related cases, including the case that desegregated Shelby County public schools and the legal defense of Martin Luther King Jr. during the sanitation workers’ strike in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968. In 1985, Bailey served as lead counsel on the favorably decided Supreme Court case Tennessee vs. Garner , which forbid police officers’ use of deadly force to make an arrest unless they had probable cause to believe that the fugitive posed a deadly threat to them or bystanders.

In 1971, Bailey was elected to an unexpired term on the Shelby County Commission and was elected to a full term in the same role in 1972. Bailey served in this capacity until 2006, when term limits required him not to run, and during his tenure on the commission he was elected chairman pro tempore and then chairman proper for two terms. While on the commission, Bailey fought to rename county parks that had been named after various members of the Confederacy. In 2010, once Bailey had waited the mandated period of time, he ran again for the Shelby County Commission and his victory was unopposed.

Accession Number

A2010.089

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

7/28/2010

Last Name

Bailey

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

L

Schools

Booker T. Washington High School

Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Walter

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

BAI08

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York, New York

Favorite Quote

Live In The Moment.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Interview Description
Birth Date

8/21/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Porterhouse Steak

Short Description

Lawyer and county commissioner Walter Bailey, Jr. (1940 - ) served on the Shelby County Commission for thirty-five years, and was involved with several important civil rights court cases, including the U.S. Supreme Court case Tennessee vs. Garner.

Employment

Memphis City Government

Walter Bailey Law Firm

Favorite Color

Red, White

Timing Pairs
0,0:11214,154:15342,190:20358,260:20710,265:23262,303:23614,308:28415,340:50814,651:59390,719:70115,779:79160,835:79528,840:80356,850:83484,920:85324,950:96690,1031:115664,1349:127070,1492:127390,1497:128110,1509:130936,1533:131766,1541:133343,1565:133758,1571:136912,1676:145500,1769:146200,1854:169903,1972:183778,2115:184308,2121:193696,2226:198524,2266:201145,2301:205380,2382$0,0:1932,42:3960,81:9732,193:19945,252:22570,283:43616,404:44904,416:49590,448:57414,501:68578,604:76450,669:76795,675:77416,686:84900,737:88670,754:115828,986:120493,1062:121678,1081:133298,1292:195891,1805:200310,1860:237440,2072:248370,2154:248670,2159:249420,2170:249795,2176:256703,2255:261030,2328:271378,2397:284758,2666:295120,2810:324430,3189:328450,3217:339962,3310:340298,3319:342514,3331:360620,3510:377200,3697:378880,3711
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Walter Bailey, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Walter Bailey, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes his paternal grandfather, D.A. Bailey pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes how he takes after his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes his paternal grandfather, D.A. Bailey pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes the home he grew up in in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes his experience at Rosebud Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes his experience at the Larose Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about the beginning of his football career and playing little league baseball

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about training with the Booker T. Washington High School football team as a student at Larose Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes playing football at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Walter Bailey, Jr. lists the black high schools in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1940s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about his social life at Booker T. Washington High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about his relationship with his brother, HistoryMaker D'Army Bailey

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about the absence of political discussion in his childhood home

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1958 and being recruited by Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Walter Bailey, Jr. remembers joining the Southern University football team

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Walter Bailey, Jr. lists notable black college football players from the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Walter Bailey, Jr. explains why he changed his major from physical education to political science at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Walter Bailey, Jr. remembers Adolph Reed at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about Dr. Felton G. Clark, the former president of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about a student boycott at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana led by his brother, HistoryMaker D'Army Bailey

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about Professor Adolph Reed's criticism of Southern University president Dr. Felton G. Clark

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana as largely Catholic

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes segregation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes the consequences of the anti-segregation demonstrations at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about deciding to become a lawyer

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about transferring into the Southern University Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes his experience as a student in the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about taking the bar exam in Louisiana and in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about joining HistoryMaker Russell B. Sugarmon and A.W. Willis' law practice in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes winning a housing discrimination lawsuit in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks briefly about his involvement in a Shelby County, Tennessee school desegregation case

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes his work with the American Civil Liberties Union on an obscenity lawsuit

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Walter Bailey, Jr. explains why Martin Luther King, Jr. had been in Tennessee when he was assassinated in 1968

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Walter Bailey, Jr. explains how the NAACP Legal Defense Fund works

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes the aftermath of the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks briefly about Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s killer

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about becoming the Shelby County Tennessee Commissioner

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about housing discrimination and white flight in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about the 1985 Tennessee v. Garner decision, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about the 1985 Tennessee v. Garner decision, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about arguing Tennessee v. Garner before the U.S. Supreme Court

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about being elected chairman of the Shelby County Commission

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes his responsibilities as Shelby County Commissioner in Shelby County, Tennessee

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about the election of former Memphis, Tennessee mayor Willie Wilbert Herenton

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for black leadership in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about the Confederate Park in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Walter Bailey, Jr. expresses his opinion about Memphis, Tennessee politicians' handling of race issues

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Walter Bailey, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about the 2008 election of HistoryMaker President Barack Obama

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about Nikki Tinker's run for U.S. Congress

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Walter Bailey, Jr. talks briefly about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Walter Bailey, Jr. considers what he would have done differently

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Walter Bailey narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$7

DAStory

3$1

DATitle
Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about arguing Tennessee v. Garner before the U.S. Supreme Court
Walter Bailey, Jr. talks about the Confederate Park in Memphis, Tennessee
Transcript
So we went up and argued the case before the United States Supreme Court. Thurgood Marshall was on the Supreme Court then. And in a split decision, 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court held that you can't shoot an unarmed fleeing felon except under rare conditions, and they enumerated those rare conditions. Number one, if his escape would pose a danger to others like a Jack the Ripper, some notorious potential killer, or if his activities while you were trying to arrest him posed a danger to the police officer and you shot in self defense or something of the sort. But no more of that, the Supreme Court said of shooting young kids running away from crime scenes who are obviously unarmed. And that decision has saved more lives, more lives than any, case of recent times. I mean nationally.$$I think that was the case that sent Cincinnati [Ohio] up in flames a couple of years ago.$$Oh, really?$$A case of the Cincinnati police shooting an unarmed young man running away from, you know, (unclear) like that.$$Yeah. In fact, Justice [William] Rehnquist, when the case was being argued, said well this could apply to the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] and the federal law enforcement officers, which, I mean, it does, that what it say. If you in law enforcement, whether it's the FBI, CIA [Central Intelligence Agency], some sheriff in a small town, you just can't shoot people who are unarmed running from and suspect that are running from crime scenes.$$Now in your opinion, is this a racially kind of charged issue. I mean how many young white men are shot running away from--were they any?$$No, not here in Memphis [Tennessee].$$Okay, during that period.$$No, you just had some trigger happy cops then. I mean they were on the force, they were, the thing is there were, there were a just a small number, about three or four of them, that were really just trigger happy. But they had black neighborhoods where burglaries would more than likely occur and they would snatch that shotgun off that rear panel, I mean off that front panel and unload.$$Now, okay, so this is a landmark court case?$$One of the most, in my opinion, this is one of the most important United States--I mean important court cases had been rendered.$$And the official name of it is?$$Tennessee versus Garner [Tennessee v. Garner, 1981].$$Okay, Tennessee versus Garner. Okay.$Yeah, we were talking about the nature of politics down here. Tell us about the Confederate Park [Memphis Park] and what that's about. This Confederate memorial park.$$Well, we've got in the downtown area, we've got a number of Confederate monuments dedicated to the memory of the Confederacy, and I think it's an outrage. We've got tributes to, as an example, to some of the most villainous and cruel Confederate leaders and it seems to me that that shouldn't be. I think paying homage and giving recognition to those type people like Nathan Bedford Forrest, Jefferson Davis, that is an outrage. It makes me want to puke. And what has happened is those monuments start popping up throughout the South right after the Civil War and Reconstruction. They were designed to let, as symbols to let the world know, and, of course, their fellow citizens here, to let people know we still love our Confederacy, and these are our heroes I don't care what you say about them, whether they, this is where our sentiment is. "We think we were right then, and we think we're right now." That what they symbolize to me and the got organizations like the sons and daughters of the Confederacy that give the thrust to these kind of monuments. So one day I was in my office, I had a different location that was across the street from Jefferson Davis' monument over there in the park and they had the Leonard [sic. Lennox] Lewis fight here in Memphis [Tennessee], him and [Mike] Tyson, and the lawyer out of the New York for Leonard Lewis was a, he and I were at my office, he associated me as counsel on a matter he needed handled here, and he was staying at the Peabody Hotel. We were walking in front of my office and we passed that Jefferson Davis monument, he said he couldn't believe it. He said, "Jefferson Davis." He said, "Only in Memphis, Tennessee." So at that point, I said I'm gone take some measures to try to get these monuments removed, especially we're in a majority black city and there we are paying tribute and homage to some of the most ruthless Confederate leaders that the world has known. So, I started a movement. I was on the Center City Commission Board which gives guidance to how downtown should be developed. I got them to pass a resolution and nobody, and Steve Cohen was on the board too. He was the only vote against, after an extensive study, against the Center City Commission passing a resolution raised in the city council to rename the parks and remove the monuments.$$Now there's a, is it called Confederate, was it called Confederate Park or what was it?$$There was a Confederate Park down there too. You got a Confederate Park, which is right here on Front Street, with Jefferson Davis statute in it, and then you got a Jefferson Davis Park [Mississippi River Park] right down the hill from it, and then you got Nathan Bedford Forrest.$$Now he's the founder of the Klan [Ku Klux Klan, KKK]?$$He's the founder of the Klans. Got him on a big horse being glorified right in the heart of midtown. They had, he was initially buried in the cemetery, and they removed his body, him and his wife, and brought them and put them in the park. They named that park Nathan Bedford Forrest Park [Health Sciences Park]. And those rebels go nuts when you attack those monuments. Now what has happened is that the, even though we've had two black mayors, neither one of them has had the guts to tackle the issue, on this everybody ought to love everybody premise of theirs. It ain't that they think everybody ought to love everybody, they just don't want to stir up any controversy. They want to, and that's not leadership. That not leadership. To duck tough issues, racial issues.

Larry Dodson

R&B singer Larry Dodson was born in 1951, and started his first vocal group, called the Temprees, when he was eleven years old. The Temprees went on to sign with Stax Records and record several hit songs, but by then Dodson had left the band to sing with The Bar-Kays and recorded his first record with them, called Black Rock .

The Bar-Kays had been formed in 1966, and by the time Dodson joined them they were already the number-two house band at Stax Records. None of the members of the Bar-Kays were formally educated in music, but that did not prevent them from being highly successful while writing many of their own songs. They sang backup for Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, and other popular soul singers under the Stax Record label and recorded many hit songs in their own right, including “ Soul Finger ” and “ Son of Shaft ”. They performed “ Son of Shaft ” at the Wyattstax music festival in 1972, and were featured in the Golden Globe-nominated documentary Wyattstax made about the concert.

After Stax Records went bankrupt in 1975, The Bar-Kays signed with Mercury Records and the band went on to have twenty-three singles on the R&B charts from 1976 to 1987. The Bar-Kays’ music has been featured in the soundtrack to several films, including Spies Like Us and Superbad . The group broke up in 1993, and reformed a year later with Dodson and one other member of the original band. They continued to tour and write songs, enjoying a renewed popularity.

Dodson is the co-founder of the Right Now Records record label, along with The Bar-Keys founding member James Alexander. Dodson is also a Downs Syndrome awareness advocate and serves on the board of directors of the Downs Syndrome Association of Memphis and the Mid-South. He wrote and helped organize the recording of the song “A Message from Memphis” by a large group of well-known Memphis-born musicians for the benefit of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake there. Proceeds from sale of the song and the short documentary about the song’s recording were donated to various charities in Haiti, including the American Red Cross.

Accession Number

A2010.090

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/28/2010

Last Name

Dodson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

George Washington Carver High School

Riverview Elementary School

Florida Kansas Elementary School

First Name

Larry

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

DOB03

Favorite Season

Early Fall

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

God Is Able.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/22/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Singer Larry Dodson (1951 - ) sang with the hit soul group The Bar-Kays, and co-founded Right Now Records label.

Employment

Stax Records

Mercury Record Company

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:10512,272:12337,361:18250,494:18688,502:24745,524:26360,572:39500,722:40953,808:55210,1037:57414,1078:68290,1184:68590,1190:72942,1250:95240,1596:98915,1672:99215,1677:99965,1688:115285,1903:117010,1947:118210,1980:125097,2033:145108,2313:164040,2586:164340,2591:185602,3052:187924,3093:188870,3114:208876,3367:211318,3420:214352,3508:218348,3554:219828,3591:224663,3633:250680,4080:255084,4090:263458,4241:277866,4462:278390,4470$0,0:5735,81:8922,139:12042,202:14148,250:15708,292:16020,297:33092,516:35608,573:36126,583:37162,609:40630,627:40910,632:47000,722:47380,728:59844,907:60092,912:60588,924:62758,1049:67842,1128:81758,1353:129209,1942:130012,1965:130596,1971:133443,2033:134980,2044
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Larry Dodson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Larry Dodson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Larry Dodson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Larry Dodson describes his mother's upbringing and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Larry Dodson talks about his maternal family's roots in Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Larry Dodson recalls his mother's emphasis on education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Larry Dodson describes his maternal family's move from Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Larry Dodson describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Larry Dodson describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Larry Dodson describes his father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Larry Dodson recalls his paternal great aunt who passed for white

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Larry Dodson remembers his parents' relationship

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Larry Dodson recalls his father's musical talent

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Larry Dodson lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Larry Dodson describes his home life

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Larry Dodson recalls his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Larry Dodson recalls his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Larry Dodson recalls his father's friendship with B.B. King

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Larry Dodson recalls his early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Larry Dodson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Larry Dodson talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Larry Dodson recalls his early interest in music

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Larry Dodson describes his early impressions of blues music

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Larry Dodson recalls the role of music in his community

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Larry Dodson recalls the television programs of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Larry Dodson recalls the popular singers of his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Larry Dodson recalls the influence of Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Larry Dodson recalls his encounters with Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Larry Dodson recalls the formation of The Temprees

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Larry Dodson remembers The Temprees' rehearsals and performances

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Larry Dodson recalls his difficulties in school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Larry Dodson remembers the plane crash that killed Otis Redding in 1967

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Larry Dodson recalls being recruited to join The Bar-Kays

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Larry Dodson recalls describes the relationship between Otis Redding and The Bar-Kays

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Larry Dodson talks about the artists at Stax Records

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Larry Dodson recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Larry Dodson remembers Ben Branch

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Larry Dodson remembers Isaac Hayes

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Larry Dodson describes the music studios in Memphis, Tennessee and Muscle Shoals, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Larry Dodson recalls the culture at Stax Records

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Larry Dodson recalls joining The Bar-Kays

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Larry Dodson talks about the 'Wattstax' documentary film

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Larry Dodson recalls the closure of Stax Records

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Larry Dodson describes his songwriting process

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Larry Dodson talks about his partnership with James Alexander

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Larry Dodson talks about earning a living as a musician

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Larry Dodson talks about the resurgence of soul music

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Larry Dodson remembers Wilson Pickett

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Larry Dodson talks about his relationship with his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Larry Dodson describes his recent ventures in the music industry

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Larry Dodson shares his advice for young musicians

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Larry Dodson describes his concerns for the music industry

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Larry Dodson recalls his role in the earthquake relief effort in Haiti

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Larry Dodson describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Larry Dodson reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Larry Dodson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Larry Dodson talks about his daughter

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Larry Dodson reflects upon his family

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Larry Dodson describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Larry Dodson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$3

DAStory

1$9

DATitle
Larry Dodson remembers Isaac Hayes
Larry Dodson talks about the artists at Stax Records
Transcript
Oh, I wanted to ask you about [HistoryMaker] Isaac Hayes. We're rolling again, and--$$Yeah.$$Yeah, Isaac Hayes. Now, I know he's older than you (unclear) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, Isaac's a few years older than I am. But I, you know, my earliest memories of Isaac was when he played with Isaac Hayes and the Doo Dads [Sir Isaac and The Doo Dads], which was, he was the keyboard player. And they're a small club, the Tiki Club [Memphis, Tennessee], you know, just a club--it held about a hundred people at the most. And James [James Alexander], my partner, would be the bass player. And he didn't really have a real band. It was just--you know, guys just played then. You know, you may have two guys who were just his regular guys, and the rest would be substitutes. But Isaac was just an incredibly nice guy, and all the way down--I didn't know him well then, but you know, we were both at Stax [Stax Records, Memphis, Tennessee]. And Isaac wasn't there a lot, because he was on the road. He was, of course, just a great big, a huge entertainer, you know, with 'Hot Buttered Soul,' and then he went on to do 'Shaft,' which we were a part of. He was just a real kind, generous, guy. And we did get, believe it or not, only one time to really tour with him and a couple of other acts. But he was the headliner, of course. And we all traveled on the same tour buses, you know, and stuff. Of course, he would fly and stuff. But we didn't work a lot, because we were busy; you know, The Bar-Kays were busy. We worked a lot, and he did too, but this was just one time that this was a tour in which we were there. And night after night, man, it was just incredible singing, you know, with him and--how he managed people, you know. And he had this uncanny ability to talk, and his monologues, long monologues which would probably bore people to death. But he, it was part of his thing, you know. And I'll tell you another special talent he had. He had a talent for picking covers to do, songs that had been record before, "I Stand Accused," "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Walk On By," big records for him. But these were all songs that he--past him, I would say one of the entertainers who had that same level was Luther Vandross. As great a voice as Luther had, most of his records were remakes, if you just think about. Some guys have that knack, and he was, Isaac was one, one of the first. He just had a knack for it, you know, just had a knack for it. And the combination of The Bar-Kays and Isaac Hayes in the studio was magic.$$Now when you were high school [George Washington Carver High School, Memphis, Tennessee], though, Isaac Hayes was kind of--well, on a national scene he was lower profile; nobody really--$$Didn't nobody know him. He just, he was a local guy.$$Yeah. I think until the '70s [1970s], he emerges as a national star. But we would see his name, and I didn't know who he was. It would be Cropper, Hayes--$$Steve Cropper, yeah.$$Yeah, and--$$Right, he was a songwriter. He was one of the great songwriter duets, David Porter and Isaac Hayes. That's really what he--$$Right.$$He and David wrote these incredible records, I mean just hundreds of them, you know. All the Sam and Dave "Hold On, I'm Comin'," and "Soul Man" and all those great records were just--that's where they were. And David tried a short solo career. It didn't really work, but David didn't really--I don't think he really liked--that wasn't--he didn't really yearn to do that, you know. They sort of talked him into that. But Isaac, when he got in, he sort of--he liked it, he was good, he was different. And from that, when he started going to the West Coast he got involved in the movies, and he ended up doing well in that, and kind of got to be accepted as one of the--you know, he was doing very well, very wealthy, and he got into the glitz and glamour part of it. And I would say that was probably one of the reasons for the beginning of his demise, financially. Because he was such a kind guy. He helped everybody, but he didn't watch his finances and his business. You can get caught up in all that, and your schedule can get so rigid and rugged, and you put a lot of trust in the people around you to handle your funds. And that can get to be a nightmare sometimes. And that's what happened to him. It wasn't because of his lack of popularity; it was just because it just, it got away from him. And that happens.$You were also were telling me before we started this interview that The Marquees were basically a combination of The Bar-Kays and--$$Well, they were a horn section. The Marquees, you know, they were a studio created group, you know. So it wasn't a band that was called The Marquees, it was just three guys. And they went on to be The Memphis Horns. So, but they didn't have a band, so some of the music that the--some of the songs that they made was actually The Bar-Kays being the rhythm section, and they were just the horn players, you know. But they, but on their label, on their album covers it was just three guys. They were the horn players, The Marquees. And The Bar-Kays ended up playing on [HistoryMaker] Isaac Hayes' stuff. And The Emotions came to Stax [Stax Records, Memphis, Tennessee]. Their very first record they made, The Bar-Kays played. And when The Dramatics came to Stax, we were there. The first day, Shirley Brown--we were in the recording session, and Albert King brought Shirley and just sort of burst in on our session. And he came in and he said, "Wait a minute, y'all." They just burst into our session, we were recording. "This is Shirley, and I want y'all, I want y'all to meet her," because he was kind of managing her. And Jim Stewart, who was the president then, he stopped and he--and we were all being just very nice to Albert, because he was Albert King. We'd never heard of Shirley Brown. So he asked us to play 'Respect,' so she could audition. And I'm like, "We're in a session, man." But we did it, and she sung 'Respect,' and she tore it up. And then she sang, 'Ain't No Way,' which we knew. And she got a record deal right there, that day. I mean, she was incredible. We hadn't never heard anybody, other than Aretha Franklin, we had never heard anybody sing like that. So, that was one of the many firsts we saw. Because we were there when a lot of the entertainers--their first, you know, their first record signings and record label signings, was there while we were there.

Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake

A co-pastor at one of the largest churches in New York, Reverend Elaine Flake was born on July, 2, 1948 an only child to Leroy and Lorene McCollins in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1970, she graduated with her B.A. degree in English from Fisk University and went on to get her M.A. degree in English from Boston University. In 1993, Flake earned her Masters of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York. She was also awarded a D.D. degree from United Theological Seminary in Ohio where her husband, the Reverend Floyd Flake was an alumnus.

In 1976, Flake assumed a leadership role at The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York alongside her husband. Through their work, The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral became the 57th largest church in America and was featured nationally in media like Ebony Magazine and The History Channel. In 1983, she co-founded the Allen Christian School in Jamaica, NY, serving over 500 African American students. She went on to found the Allen Women’s Resource Center providing services to women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. The Center is also partnered with New York’s ‘Superwoman Program’ to help women find untraditional career fields. That same year Reverend Flake began the Allen Prison Ministry, the Allen Cancer Support Ministry, and the Allen HIV/AIDS Spiritual Support Ministry. These resources together made the Cathedral a central point in Queens, New York. For twenty-seven years, she has also hosted annual spiritual retreats/conferences for women. In 1999, she became the co-Pastor of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York.

In the late 1990’s Flake contributed to publications about spirituality including the Women of Color Study Bible compiled by World Bible Publishing and Souls of My Sisters: Black Women Break their Silence, Tell Their Stories, and Heal Their Spirits edited by Dawn Marie Daniels and Candace Sandy. In 2003, Flake and her husband co-authored their own book Practical Virtues: Everyday Values and Devotions for African American Families Learning To Live With All Our Souls filled with historical narratives related to spiritual values. Together they also wrote the African American Church Management Handbook and in 2007, Flake alone wrote God in Her Midst: Preaching Healing to Hurting Women.

Flake lives in New York City with her husband Floyd and they have four adult children, Aliya, Nailah, Robert, and Harold.

Elaine Flake was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 27, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.006

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/27/2010

Last Name

Flake

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Hamilton Elementary School

Fisk University

Boston University

Union Theological Seminary

United Theological Seminary

Hamilton High School

Speakers Bureau

Organizations

First Name

Elaine

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

FLA03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Aruba

Favorite Quote

There Is No Substitute For Common Sense.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

7/2/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Greens (Turnip)

Short Description

Pastor Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake (1948 - ) was a pastor at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in New York City, a co-founder of the Allen Christian School and the author of God in Her Midst: Preaching Healing to Hurting Women.

Employment

Newton Massachusetts School District

Allen Christian School

Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

Favorite Color

Peach

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about her family's land ownership

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about her paternal uncles' departure from Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about her father's U.S. Navy service

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers segregation in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake compares the racial climate in Tennessee and Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers her schooling in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about the class distinctions within the African American community

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her early musical interests

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the integration of public accommodations in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her social life at Hamilton High School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her experiences at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers moving to Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the reactions to President John F. Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers joining the African Methodist Episcopal Church

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls founding the Allen Christian School in Queens, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes the Allen Christian School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the founding of the Allen Women's Resource Center

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about the challenges faced by female ministers

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls her reception as a female preacher

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the election of Bishop Vashti McKenzie

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers her calling to the ministry

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls her theological education

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes the ministries of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about her concerns for the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about the reassignment of pastors in the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about the importance of female ministers

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

1$6

DATitle
Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers her calling to the ministry
Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Transcript
I did not ask you, what was the nature of your call to the ministry (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) My call?$$Yeah.$$I think, to be honest with you--now, I've always loved church. I'd never seen a female preacher. And remember I said when I heard the Reverend Nurjhan Govan preach at the St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Cambridge [Massachusetts], I cried for a week. I just couldn't stop crying. So my pastor then, John Bryant [John Richard Bryant], said to me, "Are you okay?" He said, "Are you sure you're not being called to preach?" And of course that was a foreign concept to me, because I never knew that women--and I can't say that that was the call. But I think that may have opened the door, or that may have been the beginning of it. Then when we came--and I've always been involved in church, always loved church. So, I worked very hard at the church there in Cambridge. Then when I married Floyd [HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. Floyd Flake] and we came here [Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York, Jamaica, New York], it was just kind of a natural fit. I just do church; I just love church. And so I took the missionary society, I took the women's department. And then people began to ask me to speak, ask me to come and speak for Women's Day, and to speak for different occasions in the church. And so then I was out there doing it. And then finally somebody said, "Well, you may as well make it official." In fact, I think it was my former pastor who said, "You know, you're jack legging. You may as well make it official." So I cried and prayed, and I went to see Dr. Jim Forbes [HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr.] down at Union Seminary [Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York], because I needed a voice that was not--you know, kind of a detached voice--not my husband, not people who knew me well. And I had met Dr. Forbes and I asked for an appointment, and he listened to me. And he said, "I just think you just are hard to convince. But I think that, you know, God is really calling you." And he encouraged me to go to the seminary. And that's kind of how it happened. It was kind of a--you know, I was not knocked off my donkey on the Damascus Road. It was just kind of an evolution into ministry. I've always done ministry in terms of working and fundraising and missions, outreach. But all of a sudden, people were just asking me. I was getting all these invitations to come and preach, to speak, not preach. And so I just kind of went into it that way, very cautiously, asking for signs all along the way.$Now you were out of high school [Hamilton High School, Memphis, Tennessee] when Dr. King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] was killed.$$Well, I was at Fisk.$$You were at Fisk.$$I went to Fisk University [Nashville, Tennessee].$$Okay.$$On April 4, 1968. I remember we were, we were at--a friend of ours had gotten her boyfriend's car, or her brother's car, and we were driving around listening to the cassette tapes then. And when we got to campus, we saw the campus was deserted. And I remember the dean of students running across campus telling us, "Get in, get in." You know, they just, Dr. King had just been assassinated. So, I remember it was just hysteria. And we had to run to our dorms, because the riots, there were riots in Nashville [Tennessee] that night. And I can remember just the anger. And the girls, you know, they made stay in the dorm. The boys somehow got out. And I remember hanging out of a window throwing Coke bottles [Coca-Cola] down to the boys so they could go take them. And they were throwing bottles into the--I don't know if I should be telling this. They were throwing bottles into the car windows of people. You know, just the rage, the anger, that was felt. And the girls couldn't do anything. The only thing we knew to do was to give them ammunition. So, in the girls dorm--and then I remember the National Guard walking across our campus and surrounding our dorms trying to keep us calm.$$Now, what did Martin Luther King mean to you?$$Well, for us, Dr. King was the engineer of the Civil Rights Movement. He was our voice, he was our hero, he was our Moses. So, the idea that someone would assassinate him produced, evoked a kind of rage that--it was even hard--it was hard to contain, it was hard to express. The tears, the anger--you know, it was a mess in there, in that dorm, you know. People were just angry, but we couldn't strike out at each other. They were hitting walls and breaking bottles, you know, just--it was awful.

Eva Evans

The 24th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc. (1994 – 1998) and educational administrator, Eva Lois Evans was born in Memphis, Tennessee but lived most of her life in Detroit, Michigan. Under Evans’ leadership, the theme of Alpha Kappa Alpha became “Building the Future: The Alpha Kappa Alpha Strategy: Making the Net Work.”

Reared in Detroit, Michigan, Evans attended the city’s public elementary and high schools and went on to earn her B.S. degree from Wayne State University. She later attended Michigan State University where she received her M.A. degree and her Ph.D. While at Wayne State, Evans was initiated into the Xi Chapter of the AKA Sorority. For a period, she was affiliated with the Detroit Chapters and transferred her membership to the Delta Tau Omega Chapter after returning to Lansing.

With her career in education, Evans served as a classroom teacher, building administrator, Division Director, Assistant Superintendent and then the number two position of Deputy Superintendent of Lansing Public Schools when she retired.

Evans has served the AKA Sorority in a variety of key roles. At the local level, she served as graduate advisor, auditor and chapter Basileus. In addition, she served as Regional Director of the Great Lakes Region and at the national level, she was the National Program Chairman. She was also a frequent workshop presenter at Boulés and the Leadership Fellows Program. Evans worked with the Sorority’s 20th International President, Dr. Barbara K. Phillips, and helped to shape the national foci of her administration.

Evans was elected First-Vice President in 1990 in Richmond, Virginia. She was installed as the 24th International President in 1994 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The theme of Evans’ administration was “Building the Future: The Alpha Kappa Alpha Strategy: Making the Net Work.” She networked with major entities in the United States to make this a reality including, Elizabeth Dole of the American Red Cross and the Pillsbury Corporation for a partnership in mathematics and science (PIMS) which became her administration’s signature program. She also began the Public Policy Forums in Washington, D.C.

At the 1996 Boulé, the Sorority made a $50,000 contribution to the NAACP, a $75,000 contribution to UNCF, and in 1998, the Sorority made additional contributions to the NAACP and UNCF of $50,000 and $25,000 respectively.

In her home community of Lansing, Michigan, Evans has served as many “firsts.” The first female Deputy Superintendent of Lansing Schools; Campaign Chairman and Chairman of the Tri-County United Way; Vice Chairman of the Lansing Board of Water and Light; Chairman of the Lansing Community College Foundation; Sparrow Hospital Women’s Board of Managers and Trustee of the Michigan State University Board of the College of Education. Evans was appointed by the state governor to serve on the Michigan Council for the Humanities and was Chairman of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

Evans has received countless honors in her hometown including the YWCA’s Diana Award for Excellence in Education; the NAACP’s Educator of the Year; Lansing Chamber of Commerce’s Althena Award; Crystal Apple Award for Education from Michigan State University and the Applause Award from the Lansing Center for the Arts. She also has served as the Grand Marshall of the African American Parade and Family Picnic in Lansing which began in 1999. In 2006, Evans was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame.

Evans was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 28, 2008 as part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Centennial Boulé 2008 celebration. Segments of these interviews were used in a DVD entitled A.K.A. Sorority: A Legacy of Supreme Service.

Accession Number

A2008.036

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/28/2008

Last Name

Evans

Maker Category
Schools

Cass Technical High School

Northern High School

Wayne State University

Michigan State University

First Name

Eva

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

EVA04

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Alpha Kappa Alpha

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/14/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Lansing

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fried Clams

Short Description

Association chief executive and school superintendent Eva Evans (1935 - ) was the 24th international president of the AKA Sorority. She was also a retired education administrator who was the Lansing Public Schools Deputy Superintendent for Instruction in Lansing, Michigan.

Employment

Joyce Elementary School

Lansing Public Schools

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Light Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:246,18:1886,40:2624,53:3034,59:3362,64:4182,73:5002,85:5412,91:5822,97:9922,139:16988,203:19138,253:25332,301:25636,306:26624,321:27232,330:28220,345:30120,369:31716,391:33008,415:33388,421:34148,434:42750,545:43356,552:46083,586:52345,653:58110,687:61690,729:66793,816:67279,824:67603,829:69304,852:70276,871:70600,876:71167,887:71572,893:73273,933:73678,939:74407,949:74893,956:79014,970:79434,976:82122,1011:82962,1022:83298,1027:83718,1033:86154,1063:88086,1100:88842,1110:93512,1128:94372,1139:95146,1151:96264,1168:100134,1233:100736,1241:108954,1308:109566,1319:111606,1356:112082,1364:112830,1380:113850,1399:115142,1422:115414,1427:115686,1432:117250,1466:117590,1472:128531,1677:129827,1700:130232,1706:139384,1798:139880,1808:141820,1816:142634,1831:143078,1838:143596,1847:150790,1935:151030,1940:151990,1962:152230,1967:159214,2015:159865,2025:160423,2032:165592,2066:166240,2076:167779,2104:168265,2111:168670,2118:169723,2134:170371,2143:172396,2176:172801,2182:176122,2224:176689,2238:185275,2252:187525,2289:190235,2303:190487,2312:190928,2321:191684,2335:192062,2342:194408,2360:196462,2390:198121,2420:199464,2442:199859,2448:203177,2491:203730,2500:211248,2547:212886,2570:214212,2595:215304,2618:227320,2713:230928,2816:235396,2843:236132,2854:237328,2873:237880,2880:238892,2893:239628,2904:240548,2915:241192,2923:241560,2928:247607,2972:249245,2990:249882,2999:252703,3040:253249,3048:262746,3158:263186,3164:263714,3170:264242,3178:266970,3223:267322,3228:267938,3237:268290,3242:269522,3262:271018,3281:271898,3294:276794,3302:277577,3312:277925,3318:278447,3326:280448,3352:280883,3358:281318,3364:282188,3379:287707,3524:291794,3627:292129,3633:294180,3640$0,0:4888,99:5316,104:15294,187:16218,192:18932,214:19751,223:29125,362:29720,371:31505,408:32100,417:32610,424:33375,437:33715,442:34225,450:35245,472:41424,510:42162,520:42900,542:46344,604:61240,761:61800,778:62360,786:64458,802:65420,816:66012,824:66382,830:68010,859:68750,871:69268,879:70156,894:71044,909:71340,914:71858,922:72598,933:73042,941:73412,947:74448,971:74966,979:77630,1043:84120,1088:86600,1104:87368,1114:87752,1119:91030,1139:92086,1149:92614,1154:94990,1198:96178,1208:102179,1247:102644,1253:103109,1259:103853,1269:107785,1300:109113,1329:109694,1338:113595,1419:114674,1438:120902,1467:121310,1472:121718,1477:122942,1492:123452,1498:125288,1579:131372,1663:131842,1669:133910,1701:134380,1707:134756,1712:136260,1760:151821,1877:152514,1889:152976,1896:153438,1903:154285,1910:154593,1928:155286,1939:156056,1951:156518,1958:157519,1973:158751,1990:160291,2018:162293,2045:163294,2059:163679,2065:170958,2119:172250,2138:172554,2143:174530,2188:174834,2193:175442,2204:176582,2224:177038,2231:190268,2413:194610,2452
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Eva Evans' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Eva Evans lists her favorite things

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Eva Evans describes becoming Supreme Basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Eva Evans describes her vision for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Eva Evans explains how she implemented her vision for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Eva Evans describes her leadership style

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Eva Evans shares lessons she learned about leadership as Supreme Basileus in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Eva Evans describes her greatest achievements and moments as Supreme Basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Eva Evans reflects upon her legacy as national president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Eva Evans reflects upon the history and the future of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Eva Evans describes her mother's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Eva Evans talks about her maternal ancestry

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Eva Evans talks about the educational achievements of her maternal family

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Eva Evans describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Eva Evans describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Eva Evans describes how her parents met and moved to Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Eva Evans describes her parents' personalities and who she resembles

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Eva Evans recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Eva Evans describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Eva Evans remembers her childhood dance lessons

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Eva Evans talks about her love for radio and movies growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Eva Evans talks about her church and schools she attended in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Eva Evans remembers her love of studying and teaching English

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Eva Evans recalls her mentors in school

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Eva Evans remembers famous peers from Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Eva Evans describes her interests and activities at Northern High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Eva Evans talks about attending Eastern Michigan College in Ypsilanti, Michigan and Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Eva Evans describes her experiences as a student teacher in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Eva Evans talks about meeting her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Eva Evans talks about her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Eva Evans talks about her activism in the NAACP

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Eva Evans talks about the NAACP desegregation suit against Lansing, Michigan schools

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Eva Evans talks about the impact of desegregation on public education in Lansing, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Eva Evans talks about her dissertation on teacher expectations

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Eva Evans talks about her research on teacher expectations and its impact on students

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Eva Evans talks about the work of Alex Kotlowitz

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Eva Evans remembers Magic Johnson

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Eva Evans remembers her time as deputy superintendent for support services and deputy superintendent for instruction in Lansing, Michigan schools

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Eva Evans talks about being the first vice president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Eva Evans recounts her Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority presidential inauguration

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Eva Evans talks about preparation to becoming 23rd Supreme Basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Eva Evans talks about starting a public policy forum for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Eva Evans remembers the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority convention in Baltimore, Maryland in 1996

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Eva Evans explains Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's Take Five voter registration program

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Eva Evans explains how she averted a crisis with the Cleveland Jobs Corps

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Eva Evans reflects upon her achievements and her life

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Eva Evans describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Eva Evans talks about her matured perspective on Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's relationship to other African American sororities

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Eva Evans reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Eva Evans talks about her community

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Eva Evans shares her hopes for an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority senior residence

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Eva Evans describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Eva Evans narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Eva Evans reflects upon her legacy as national president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Eva Evans talks about starting a public policy forum for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in Washington, D.C.
Transcript
All right. This, this following set of questions is about your legacy. Compare the Alpha Kappa Alpha [Sorority, Inc.] you inherited from your predecessor to the one you left for your successor.$$Well, when I left--when I got to alpha ka--came into my presidency of Alpha Kappa Alpha [AKA], it was a good time to be the national president. My predecessor had built a headquarters, not the whole headquarters, the third floor of the headquarters and had gotten it paid for. Now, of course, there were repercussions from that but I was able to recoup some of the lost membership and I think move on from there. Alpha Kappa Alpha is an humungous sized organization, so it doesn't shift easily. Programs that [HistoryMaker] Dr. Mary Shy Scott in Atlanta [Georgia] put together, some people are still doing those as well as some people are still doing science and math. Some people are still working on the [American] Red Cross, so every president leaves something. I think that I left, though, the notion of partnering with other organizations to leverage our influence. When I was president, we partnered with Pillsbury to underwrite some of our programs and the quid pro quo of that was the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha who were science majors and math majors and et cetera, it helped Pillsbury with its program to diversify its workforce. So, we had science people and math people who went to work for Pillsbury and they were grateful and we were grateful for their underwriting our program, so, the notion of partnershipping. I partnershipped with Elizabeth Dole, as I told you, and I worked with HUD [U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development] and so on to get this building built in North Carolina. I think I left that idea, leverage. I left the idea I think, too, that programs should be global, that all of us should turn our attention to whatever it is the sorority is trying to accomplish.$$Okay. Now, which of your contributions had the most impact?$$Who knows (laughter)? I don't know, I started a public policy forum in Washington [D.C.] because I felt that a group like ours should have a presence in the nation's capital. That's continued and I think that was impactful for Washington to know about a group like ours. I think the understanding that we were bright and we were the best and brightest the nation could produce bar race or anything else, and we could use that for something, that if we decided--I think that I was forever articulating, we're the best and brightest and we can do whatever we choose. I think it resonated and whether it set or not, I think we, we know that better.$$Okay. All right. Now, what accomplishments of your administration do you want to be remembered for?$$I'd like to be remembered for the, the Ivy Acres [Winston-Salem, North Carolina], our center for the aging. I'd like to be remembered for the public policy. I'd like to be remembered because even though I didn't have girls, I was convinced that our sorority would be better off if our daughters had an equal shot at membership, so I campaigned for four years along with everybody else and me, but I had a focus on it, that we would leave legacy, that our daughters could be AKAs, as long as they held the same standards, the same academic averages, they had the same as everybody else, that we couldn't keep them out of Alpha Kappa Alpha. And my story I used to tell was, hey, if you went to Harvard [University, Cambridge, Massachusetts] or Yale [University, New Haven, Connecticut] or the University of Michigan [Ann Arbor, Michigan], you got extra points for being a legacy. We should give extra points.$Yeah, [HistoryMaker] Eddie Williams, yeah.$$Eddie Williams. I--when I was president, I told you I felt that we needed a presence in Washington, D.C. We're smart enough. And of--we had five members of the [U.S.] House of Representatives who were AKAs [Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.], so I figured, hey, let's use that to our advantage and we can help them, they can help us. So, we would have what was called a public policy forum each year in Washington when I was president, and one--we would focus on different things. And we would have the senators and the--well, the only--well, we had black people that--in the main, but I'm--I--if I'm not mistaking, I believe Mr. [Orrin] Hatch came over once because one of our themes was--you see, the president picks the [U.S.] Supreme Court and I was interested in Supreme Court justices that year and I was interested, equally interested, in people who got into federal judgeships down at these levels, 'cause I was in federal court two times on school deseg [desegregation]. One judge was wonderful, one was not, so I understood that process. I had wanted to work with Eddie Williams because I felt that we in the United States, we could have benefited from Alpha Kappa Alpha's presence in a Black Think Tank like that. He and--I, I ran out of time. I couldn't do all the things I wanted to do. I got to meet him one time and didn't get, get a chance before my time was up to, to finish all my stuff. We had very good friends in the White House [Washington, D.C.] thanks to [HistoryMaker] Ofield [Dukes], [HistoryMaker] Alexis Herman. We had Bob Johnson [HistoryMaker Ben Johnson], wonderful man in the White House. Oh, my. His office was right next door to [First Lady] Hillary [Rodham] Clinton's office and right around the corner from himself. But, he would arrange the speakers. He would help us get them for many of the public policy forums that we had. And because so many of the female members of the legislature were African Americans, I had an opportunity to address the Congressional Black Caucus at their--they met once a month, and I came to Washington once to meet with them. And guess who was waiting in the hall when I was waiting to get in? George Stephanopoulos. And I remember thinking, boy, go and shine your shoes (laughter). But, I did ask the [Congressional] Black Caucus to come to Baltimore [Maryland]. And do you know they came? We, we got a bus for them--

William Lucy

William Lucy is one of the most prominent labor leaders in recent U.S. history. He has been secretary-treasurer of American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) for the past thirty-five years, and was reelected in July 2008 to another 4-year term. As secretary-treasurer, Lucy holds the second highest ranking position within AFSCME, making him the highest ranking African American in the labor movement.

William Lucy was born on November 26, 1933 in Memphis, Tennessee. Lucy grew up in Richmond, California where his parents, Susie and Joseph Lucy, moved when he was a young boy. He studied civil engineering at the University of California at Berkeley in the early 1950s. Lucy then took a position as an assistant materials and research engineer for Contra Costa County, California. It was in this position that he first got involved in labor organizing. Lucy held that position for thirteen years until 1966. He became a member of AFSCME Local 1675 in 1956 at the age of twenty-three and then was elected its president in 1965 at the age of thirty-two. In 1966, Lucy left his job in civil engineering at Contra Costa County to work full-time for AFSCME’s national office in Washington, D.C., as the associate director of the legislation and community affairs departments.

During the 1960s, AFSCME chapters around the country organized marches and strikes to secure better wages and working conditions for its members. These actions were often met with a violent police response. During this period, many AFSCME members and leaders were beaten, tear-gassed, and jailed. Lucy was jailed by police several times in his capacity as union leader and activist. In 1968, at the age of thirty-five, Lucy worked on the historic Memphis sanitation workers’ strike. He coined the famous slogan, “I Am A Man!” that became the rallying call for the Memphis strikers. In the tumultuous aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination during the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike, Lucy helped maintain the labor-civil rights-community coalition that sealed the workers’ eventual victory and became the model used throughout the nation.

In 1972, Lucy co-founded the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) to ensure African Americans a voice in labor. In 1984, Lucy joined the Free South Africa Movement, a grassroots campaign that sparked widespread opposition to apartheid in South Africa. In 1994, Lucy became the president of Public Services International (PSI), the world’s largest union federation. Lucy was the first African American to hold this position, which coordinates the efforts of ten million members from over 100 nations. Ebony magazine frequently cites Lucy as one of “The 100 most Influential Black Americans.” Lucy has two children, Benita Marsh and Phyllis Manuel.

Accession Number

A2008.001

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/29/2008 |and| 5/1/2012

1/29/2008

5/1/2012

Last Name

Lucy

Maker Category
Schools

LaRose Elementary School

Roosevelt Junior High School

El Cerrito High School

University of California, Berkeley

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

LUC05

Favorite Season

Thanksgiving

State

Tennessee

Favorite Quote

It Is Better To Be Effective Than Right.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

11/26/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Greens (Collard), Peas (Black-Eyed)

Short Description

Civil rights activist, labor activist, and union leader William Lucy (1933 - ) was the first African American president of Public Services International. He co-founded the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, and served as the secretary-treasurer of American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

Employment

Mare Island Naval Shipyard

Contra Costa County Public Works Department

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:2133,75:4582,109:4898,114:6162,139:8058,163:8769,173:9717,230:10428,242:11376,257:18960,340:19440,347:20000,356:20640,365:32441,501:34710,510:35630,528:36182,535:37286,550:43830,620:45000,638:45450,644:46080,652:51912,703:56684,748:59776,753:60586,759:68242,816:68866,825:89420,1085:91330,1090:92698,1109:97714,1220:98018,1225:101818,1308:102122,1313:120730,1528:121632,1550:129704,1625:130306,1633:133574,1693:140780,1800:151298,1928:163474,2104:207110,2680:207593,2688:208076,2697:208628,2708:208973,2714:209594,2725:209939,2731:210422,2739:212350,2749:225130,2913:233953,3020:237487,3076:268440,3480:271890,3545:276780,3610:277308,3617:283260,3682$0,0:5040,48:6384,58:8760,73:14675,219:19407,327:19953,347:21136,358:25224,377:29760,467:30300,473:37990,580:44650,671:47550,729:51750,795:54150,825:59108,893:62492,940:63338,951:66346,1006:67944,1040:73010,1079:73354,1084:76278,1152:84358,1252:87180,1273:98090,1413:99410,1429:102706,1439:103050,1444:104082,1460:110376,1544:128490,1828:128940,1834:131550,1873:136434,1957:138550,1988:139286,1997:140206,2005:142230,2042:146754,2080:149346,2154:153980,2190:154680,2199:162490,2322:167838,2387:177860,2517:184460,2569:186020,2597:186540,2603:187996,2621:196136,2785:209122,2934:210788,2969:213532,3011:216276,3074:217158,3090:219608,3152:230320,3238:233539,3279:238041,3376:240910,3415
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Lucy's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Lucy lists his favorites, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Lucy describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Lucy describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Lucy describes his early school experiences in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Lucy remembers LeMoyne Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Lucy describes his community on Neptune Street in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Lucy remembers segregation in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William Lucy talks about his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William Lucy describes his school experiences in Richmond, California

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William Lucy remembers his community in Richmond, California

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - William Lucy recalls travelling by train to Richmond, California

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Lucy remembers travelling on a segregated train to Richmond, California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Lucy describes Richmond, California

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Lucy remembers his junior high school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Lucy recalls his high school design project

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Lucy remembers the industrial businesses in Richmond, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Lucy describes El Cerrito High School in El Cerrito, California

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Lucy talks about his work at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Lucy recalls joining the Contra Costa County Public Works Department

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William Lucy describes his engineering courses at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William Lucy remembers the impact of the unions in Contra Costa County, California

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William Lucy describes his work in the Contra Costa County Public Works Department, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - William Lucy recalls the unionization of the Contra Costa County Employees Association, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Lucy recalls the unionization of the Contra Costa County Employees Association, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Lucy describes the early years of AFSCME Local 1675

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Lucy remembers civil rights leader James Farmer

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Lucy talks about the labor movement in the San Francisco Bay Area

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Lucy recalls issues addressed by AFSCME Local 1675

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Lucy talks about the role of communism in the labor movement

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Lucy recalls AFSCME Local 1675's opposition to the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Lucy talks about his transition from local to national union leadership

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William Lucy describes his family

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Lucy describes his first impression of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Lucy talks about the AFSCME's Department of Legislation and Community Affairs

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Lucy remembers representing Panama Canal Company employees, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Lucy remembers representing Panama Canal Zone employees, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Lucy recalls the restructuring of city government in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Lucy describes the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Lucy remembers meeting with Memphis Mayor Henry Loeb

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Lucy recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Poor People's Campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William Lucy describes the labor movement slogan, "I Am a Man"

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Lucy recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Lucy describes the support for the labor movement in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Lucy remembers the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike march

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Lucy recalls the Memphis Police Department's involvement in the strike

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Lucy recalls the mobilization of Memphis' black community, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Lucy recalls the mobilization of Memphis' black community, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William Lucy remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech, I've Been to the Mountaintop

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William Lucy recalls the Memphis City Council's involvement in the strike

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - William Lucy remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - William Lucy remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Lucy recalls strategizing after Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William Lucy remembers organizing the workers' rights march in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William Lucy describes the public support for the labor movement

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William Lucy remembers Coretta Scott King's response to her husband's death

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William Lucy describes the conclusion of the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William Lucy recalls the impact of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - William Lucy reflects upon the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - William Lucy describes the founding of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - William Lucy describes the founding of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - William Lucy recalls becoming secretary-treasurer of the AFSCME

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of William Lucy's interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - William Lucy lists his favorites, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - William Lucy describes his mother's family history

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - William Lucy talks about his mother's education and employment

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - William Lucy describes his father's family history

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - William Lucy recalls his father's education and employment

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - William Lucy talks about his parents' marriage

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - William Lucy describes his mother's restaurant in Thomasville, Alabama

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - William Lucy recalls his family's move from Tennessee to California

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - William Lucy describes his likeness to his father

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - William Lucy describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - William Lucy remembers the World War II manufacturing industry in the San Francisco Bay Area

Tape: 7 Story: 13 - William Lucy lists his elementary schools

Tape: 7 Story: 14 - William Lucy describes his childhood activities

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

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - William Lucy remembers the World War II effort in the San Francisco Bay Area

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - William Lucy talks about post-World War II work opportunities for laborers

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - William Lucy describes the Richmond Unified School District

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - William Lucy remembers his parents' employment in California

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - William Lucy describes his early employment prospects

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - William Lucy remembers his junior high school teachers

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - William Lucy talks about black athletes from the San Francisco Bay Area

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - William Lucy recalls the music scene of the San Francisco Bay Area

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - William Lucy describes his post high school activities

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - William Lucy remembers Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond, California

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - William Lucy recalls his role at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - William Lucy describes his position in the Contra Costa County Public Works Department

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - William Lucy remembers the founding of AFSCME Local 1675

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - William Lucy talks about the California civil service system

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - William Lucy recalls the early agendas of AFSCME Local 1675

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - William Lucy describes the argument for collective union bargaining

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - William Lucy talks about the role of a union's negotiation committee

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - William Lucy describes his experience as spokesman of the negotiation committee

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - William Lucy recalls AFSCME's civil rights concerns

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - William Lucy remembers the March on Washington

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - William Lucy talks about collective bargaining in the public sector

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - William Lucy describes his transition from local to national union work

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - William Lucy talks about the discrepancies between public and private sectors

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - William Lucy recalls the catalyst to the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - William Lucy talks about the preconditions for a labor strike

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - William Lucy recalls organizing the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - William Lucy remembers Memphis Mayor Henry Loeb

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - William Lucy recalls the concerns of the Memphis sanitation workers

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - William Lucy describes the churches involved in the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - William Lucy remembers the Memphis City Council's African American members

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - William Lucy remembers role of the Memphis Police Department during the strike

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - William Lucy remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s involvement in the strike, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - William Lucy describes the civil rights group, the Invaders

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - William Lucy recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s involvement in the strike, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - William Lucy recalls the introduction of violence to the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - William Lucy talks about Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - William Lucy recalls the settlement of the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - William Lucy recalls the settlement of the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - William Lucy describes the creation of the labor movement slogan, 'I Am a Man'

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - William Lucy recalls the impact of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - William Lucy talks about Memphis Mayor Henry Loeb's opposition to strikers

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - William Lucy recalls his election as secretary-treasurer of the AFSCME

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - William Lucy describes the first meeting of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - William Lucy talks about the founding members of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - William Lucy describes the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - William Lucy remembers the economic boycott of South Africa

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - William Lucy describes the Free South Africa Movement, pt. 1

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - William Lucy describes the Free South Africa Movement, pt. 2

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - William Lucy remembers the end of apartheid in South Africa

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - William Lucy describes Nelson Mandela

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - William Lucy describes Public Services International

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - William Lucy recalls becoming president of Public Services International

Tape: 14 Story: 3 - William Lucy remembers joining the AFL-CIO Executive Council

Tape: 14 Story: 4 - William Lucy describes the role of the AFL-CIO Executive Council

Tape: 14 Story: 5 - William Lucy talks about his criticism of the Iraq War

Tape: 14 Story: 6 - William Lucy describes the circumstances of his retirement

Tape: 14 Story: 7 - William Lucy talks about the opposition to public sector unions, pt. 1

Tape: 14 Story: 8 - William Lucy talks about the opposition to public sector unions, pt. 2

Tape: 15 Story: 1 - William Lucy recalls the opposition to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's proposed budget reform

Tape: 15 Story: 2 - William Lucy talks about nationwide budget concerns

Tape: 15 Story: 3 - William Lucy describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 15 Story: 4 - William Lucy describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 15 Story: 5 - William Lucy reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 15 Story: 6 - William Lucy talks about his children's careers

Tape: 15 Story: 7 - William Lucy describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 15 Story: 8 - William Lucy talks about the legacy of racism in formerly colonized countries

Tape: 16 Story: 1 - William Lucy narrates his photographs

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
William Lucy remembers the founding of AFSCME Local 1675
William Lucy describes the creation of the labor movement slogan, 'I Am a Man'
Transcript
Was there any union activity involved in this job at all?$$Well, it wasn't what you'd call union activity at that time. We belonged to an association, the county employees association [Contra Costa County Employees Association], which was a mixture of all employees who worked for the county. We had, you know, public works, engineering, social workers, hospital workers; all of the various classifications that were employed by the county were a part of this in one--some numbers. But we began to find out later on that the system itself was not necessarily fair. And, and what struck me and I think others was the fact that--it's a civil service system, in some places, some types of merit system mixtures. But the, the unfairness of it was that civil service systems, which are responsible for supplying the names of people who have passed some examination and qualified for a position; that's advertised. And then in my estimation, and I think others too, you know, the system had become involved and decided on what kind of discipline you would get for assumed violation of some process, or decide what it--what level of salary you would get, which was not their, their original function, or would decide how many vacation days you got. You know, my view was that some of the people ought to sit down across a table and talk about it, but we didn't have collective bargaining in those days or any other thing that gave workers a voice in this process. And even if we had had it, the association was not necessarily committed to the idea that workers had the right to talk about these things. And when the civil service systems were designed, they were really designed to protect workers from, you know, political abuse. Well, they had gone far beyond that, and now they were judge and jury. And there are other folks felt the same way, that, that we were entitled to a voice in this process. And so a, a debate started in the association itself, you know, what do we want to be? And ultimately, it was put to a vote of all of the members to decide whether you want to continue to be an association or whether you want to really be a union. I mean we really--lived in a very heavily unionized county, and we thought that our lot would be better off if we were a union as opposed to an independent association. And we enjoyed, we enjoyed both because we came to Contra Costa County Employees Association, Local 1675 [American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1675]. So, at the end of a year's period, our membership decided we want to be a union, enjoy the privileges of pursuing collective bargaining, and at the same time, be able to present workers' issues and cases before the civil service employees commission. And we did, we, we, we did that, and I became involved in that, in that movement.$$Okay, okay. So you really just become involved from the inside out because of necessity, you know.$$Right.$$And--$$Right.$$All right. So, now--$$Well, even, even more, just that I mean I, I had, at a, at a point in this, in this process became responsible for the administrative affairs of our materials and testing laboratory [of the Contra Costa County Public Works Department], so I had staff employees who reported to me. And I was a part of this other process, determine what would happen to them. Well, this seemed a little, little odd to me because I considered myself a worker just like them. And to be told, here is what we're gonna do to them, (laughter) didn't quite strike me as, as right, so I, I really--I got heavily engaged in trying to form a strong union and to have a place where, you know, employees had a voice.$You are credited with coming up with one of the strategic slogans of the late '60s [1960s] and stuff the, the "I Am a Man." The, the garbage workers [of the Memphis Public Works Division] carried those signs, wore the placards, and it's, it has a historical--now I know you're credited with coming up with it, but I think you even agree it has a historical origin. And tell, tell us about how you, how you did that.$$Well, you know, the, that--somewhere during the early days of the strike [Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike], the mayor [Henry Loeb] had made some comment that, that, you know, about the workers and so and so forth. And Jim Lawson [James Lawson] at a community meeting you know, one night says--and there's a video out there says that when the mayor or some person tells you what you're gonna do, and you must do it, that's not treating you like a man; that's treating you like a child, or something like that. And the essence of racism is when you treat a man if he's not a ma- as if he's not a man. And we didn't--I didn't think a whole lot of it, but we knew that we had to have something to glue this thing together. So this white pastor I was telling you about, Malcolm Blackburn, he and I were tasked with trying to find a slogan that would do that. So we spent one evening at the Rivermont Hotel [Memphis, Tennessee] playing with words to see as few a number of words that we could find that would have glue that everybody could relate to as to why they are doing what they're doing. And finally we came up with four words. And the reason we, we didn't want a lot of words because we, we couldn't pay to get a lot of signs printed (laughter), and the church had committed a print and a sign for us if we get it worked out. So we came up with that, those four words, "I Am a Man." And while it means different things I'm sure to different people, to this whole effort, it, it meant that I'm--I want--I'm standing up for my rights; I will speak out; I am speaking back to someone who I have historically held fear of; and I'm, I'm confronting the system. And I'm, I'm not asking for a whole lot, just to be treated with respect and dignity. And we didn't have any idea that this thing would hit like it hit. And like you say, I mean the--everybody wanted a sign. I mean that was their statement. That was their challenge to the system to treat them right, to treat them with fairness. And to this day, it has, it has hung on. I mean I'd, I'd like to credit one of the strikers with coming up with it, I mean, you know, but after about two and a half, maybe three hours of fiddling around, that's what we came up with. And we took it over to the, the A.M.E. church [Clayborn Temple A.M.E. Church, Memphis, Tennessee], and they, they printed the first batch of signs for it (laughter). And it sent a statement to the broad community, you know. And, and it was, it was their sort of fight back statement, you know, to all of the problems they've ever had for the all the years they'd ever lived there, worked there, or grew up in the South. Then as someone was saying, and I think it's, there's a lot of truth, that in the South, you could go from boy to uncle to grandpa without ever passing the position of man. And man, you know, but these guys I mean, (makes sound) that was it. We didn't have to say nothing else. I mean their commitment to this thing was locked in.

Beverly Guy-Sheftall

Academic administrator and black women's studies professor Beverly Guy-Sheftall was born on June 1, 1946 in Memphis, Tennessee to Walter and Ernestine Varnado-Guy. Reared by her mother, who supported her three daughters by teaching math and later, working as an accountant, Guy-Sheftall was taught to work hard on her studies and to prepare for an independent, productive adulthood. Guy-Sheftall graduated with honors from Manassas High School in 1962, at the age of sixteen. That same year, she entered Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. There, Guy-Sheftall majored in English and minored in secondary education. After earning her B.A. degree in 1966, she moved on to Wellesley College for further study. Guy-Sheftall completed her M.A. degree requirements at Atlanta University in 1970.

In 1971, Guy-Sheftall returned to Spelman College as an English professor. She decided to help broaden the Women’s Studies Movement to include issues pertinent to African Americans. Guy-Sheftall began editing books of literature by African American women and publishing articles about black feminism. Her doctoral dissertation was titled “Daughters of Sorrow: Attitudes toward Black Women, 1880-1920”. Rarely are dissertations published in quantity, but Guy-Sheftall’s was, appearing in 1991 as a volume in the series Black Women in United States History. She received her Ph.D. in 1977 from Emory University. Two years later, Guy-Sheftall co-edited Sturdy Black Bridges: Visions of Black Women in Literature, the first anthology of African American women’s writings.

In the early 1980s, Guy-Sheftall helped to establish two seminal resources for Black Women’s Studies. The first was Spelman College’s Women’s Research and Resource Center which she founded and served as the director for over two decades. The second was the periodical SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women, which Guy-Sheftall co-founded with Patricia Bell-Scott. Her other books include Double Stitch: Black Women Write about Mothers & Daughters, which she co-edited with Bell-Scott; Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-American Feminist Thought and Gender Talk, which she co-authored with former Spelman College president Johnnetta B.Cole.

As a testament to her intellectual prowess, Guy-Sheftall was awarded Spelman’s Presidential Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship. She was also named to the Anna Julia Cooper Professorship, an endowed chair in the English Department that honors the daughter of a slave who earned a doctorate degree from the Sorbonne, in Paris. In addition to these accolades, Guy-Sheftall was a recipient of the Kellogg and Woodrow Wilson Fellowships.

Guy-Sheftall resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

Beverly Guy-Sheftall was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 11, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.255

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/11/2007

Last Name

Guy-Sheftall

Maker Category
Schools

Manassas High School

Spelman College

Clark Atlanta University

Emory University

First Name

Beverly

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

GUY03

Favorite Season

April

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Mexico, Italy

Favorite Quote

I Freed A Thousand Slaves And I Would Have Freed Many, Many More If They Knew They Were Slaves.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/1/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Lobster, Seafood

Short Description

Academic administrator and black women's studies professor Beverly Guy-Sheftall (1946 - ) was a feminist scholar who founded the Spelman College Women’s Research and Resource Center, and co-founded SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women.

Employment

Spelman College

Alabama State University

‘Daughters of Sorrow: Attitudes Toward Black Women, from 1880-1920’

‘Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-American Feminist Thought’

‘Traps: African American Men on Gender and Sexuality’

‘Gender Talk: The Struggle For Women's Equality in African American Communities’

Favorite Color

Orange

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Beverly Guy-Sheftall's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls her neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers her childhood homes

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers her mother's feminist views

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her father's personality and career

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about her parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her parents' education

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls the black business community in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her early education

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall lists her siblings and extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers Manassas High School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her family's holiday celebrations

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers her high school prom

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her experiences in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls her decision to attend Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her first impression of Spelman College

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers her professors at Spelman College

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about majoring in English

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls her social activities in college

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her early teaching career

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers teaching at Alabama State University and Spelman College

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls founding the Women's Research and Resource Center at Spellman College

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers Audrey Lorde and Toni Cade Bambara

Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers Johnnetta B. Cole

Tape: 2 Story: 17 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes the 'Double Stitch' anthology

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about her edited volumes

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her doctoral dissertation, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her doctoral dissertation, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about her anthologies

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers her marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her career at Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her involvement in women's organizations

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about the Black Women's Health Imperative

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls the protests against misogyny at Spelman College, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls the protests against misogyny at Spelman College, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about the importance of feminism

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about her academic publications

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls editing SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her fundraising plans

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Beverly Guy-Shefthall remembers her international travels

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about her international doll collection

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers studying Native American women

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls her experiences in India

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls her travels in Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about her creative interests

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall reflects upon her decision not to have children

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall shares a message to future generations

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about the future of the Women's Research and Resource Center

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall reflects upon her legacy

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls founding the Women's Research and Resource Center at Spellman College
Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about her anthologies
Transcript
So tell me what happens next.$$Well, in, in 1980, I'm exploring, women's centers are beginning to crop up in various places and so as a result of my foundation grant, I'm exploring the possibility of starting a women's center at Spelman [Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia] which I do in 1981. So I leave the English department and am the director of the women's center [Women's Research and Resource Center, Atlanta, Georgia] constructing a women's studies program which started out with a minor in '81 [1981] and that's what I've been doing for twenty-five years since.$$At Spelman?$$At Spelman.$$Okay, well tell me about the development of the women's studies program, how, well, it started in, tell me about how it evolves into what it is today.$$Well we start off in '81 [1981] with a small grant from the MOF Foundation [Microsoft Operations Framework Foundation] and we begin to work on a women's studies minor within the context of a women's center whose, whose mission is community outreach. So lots of activities outside of Spelman, the development of a women's studies program and research on African American women, so, the center has that broad mission. So that's, that's what we've been doing for twenty-five years. We now have a women's studies major. We have loads of community advocacy projects around issues of race and gender. For thirteen years we hosted a journal called, SAGE [SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women] and we managed a Spelman archive so we also are involved in programs that have to do with researchers coming to Spelman, dealing with the Spelman's archives as well as the special collections we have and we now have two. We have the Audre Lorde papers and we have the Toni Cade Bambara papers.$$Okay, well you, you, you said a mouth full so let's back up a little bit. The activities outside of Spelman, what were some of them or what are some of these?$$Well we, oh, there's so many of 'em. We, we have partnered with all kinds of organizations, Black Women's Health Project [Black Women's Health Imperative], probably it's the one that we had the earliest partnership with and most recently we partnered with black women's organizations around the world, Brazil, the Caribbean, South Africa, particularly around HIV/AIDS [human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome]. So, so we've, you know, we've been doing a lot, we go to international women's conferences. We took a delegation, for example, to Kenya and to Beijing [China] so we see ourselves as participating in something we call a, global women's movement and we also see ourselves having linkages with black women who are doing similar work outside the U.S.$The next book was, this was in 1991, I'm talking about 'Words of Fire' ['Words of Fire: An Anthology of African American Feminist Thought,' ed. Beverly Guy-Sheftall].$$Oh, 'Words of Fire,' okay.$$That came--$$That was later.$$Later on, okay.$$By this time, I mean, after doing the dissertation ['Daughters of Sorrow: Attitudes toward Black Women, from 1880-1920,' Beverly Guy-Sheftall], I, I also began to realize that there was a huge amount of, of material that we would put under the category of black feminist thought. And so what I decided to do, because I was totally tired of white feminist and black people saying that black women had not been involved in the production of feminist thought and I knew this was not true from the dissertation. So I decided to do an anthology which would trace the development of black feminist, started going all the way back to 1832 with Maria Stewart [Maria W. Stewart]. So that's what 'Words of Fire' is. It, it, and I could have had three volumes but I only could have one volume. So, I talked South End Press into, into publishing an anthology which would trace the evolution of black feminist thought, going from Maria Stewart to the present and so that's what that big anthology is and it's, one of the best things that I've done because it's used a lot in, in women's studies and black studies classrooms and so people don't any more have to go around making stupid statements like black women haven't been involved in feminism. And then I decided, with Rudolph Byrd [Rudolph P. Byrd], that I would do an anthology called, 'Traps: African American Men on Gender and Sexuality' [eds. Rudolph P. Byrd and Beverly Guy-Sheftall] because I was also interested in, in making visible progressive pro-feminist writing by African American men. And so that's what 'Traps' is.$$Okay, and in 'Gender Talk' ['Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women's Equality in African American Communities,' Johnnetta Betsch Cole and Beverly Guy-Sheftall]--$$'Gender Talk,' Johnnetta [Johnnetta B. Cole] and I were interested in synthesizing the work that both of us had been involved in for most of our academic life, that is working African American studies and women's studies and what, and so what that book is, is a black feminist analysis of the situation, broadly speaking, of gender issues within the African American communities.$$And, and what year was--$$Nineteen ninety-five [1995].$$Nineteen ninety-five [1995] (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) And we worked on it from 19--we worked on it for five years and then it was published in 1995.