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Robert Parris Moses

Civic leader and educator Robert Parris Moses was born on January 23, 1935 in New York City to Louise Parris and Gregory Moses. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1952, and enrolled at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he received a Rhodes scholarship. Moses received his B.A. degree from Hamilton College in 1956, and his M.A. degree from Harvard University in 1957.

Moses began teaching mathematics at the Horace Mann School in the Bronx, New York in 1958. In 1960, he became active in the Civil Rights Movement, joining the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC) branch in Harlem. The following summer, Moses traveled to Atlanta where he worked for SCLC and registered members for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s (SNCC) fall conference. In 1961, Moses resigned from his teaching position at the Horace Mann School and returned to the South, where he worked to register Black voters in McComb, Mississippi. Moses then became the co-director of the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), and helped to launch the freedom vote, a mock gubernatorial election to register black voters in Mississippi. In 1964, Moses co-organized the Freedom Summer campaign, recruiting hundreds of student volunteers to conduct a Black voter registration drive in Mississippi. That summer, Moses and others organized the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) to challenge the all-white representation of the state at the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Shortly after, Moses was actively recruited by the Vietnam draft board, but moved to Canada to avoid the draft. He spent two years in Canada before moving to Tanzania and working for the Ministry of Education. There, he served as chairperson for the mathematics department at the Same Secondary School. Moses returned to the United States in 1976, under President Jimmy Carter’s amnesty program for draft resisters. Moses settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he resumed his doctoral studies at Harvard University and taught mathematics at a local high school.

In 1982, Moses received a MacArthur Fellowship, and launched the Algebra Project to improve mathematics competency for low-income students and children of color. By 1985, the Algebra Project was officially recognized by the Cambridge School Committee, and was incorporated in 1990. Two years later, Moses launched the Delta Algebra Project in Mississippi. Moses published his book entitled Radical Equations in 2001. In 2006, Moses was named a Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of ’56 Professor at Cornell University. That same year, he was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree from Harvard University.

Moses and his wife, Janet Jemmott, have four children: Maisha, Omowale, Tabasuri and Malaika.

Robert Parris Moses was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 16, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.215

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/16/2018 |and| 11/18/2018

Last Name

Moses

Maker Category
Middle Name

P.

Organizations
First Name

Robert

HM ID

MOS08

Favorite Season

In Boston, Fall.

Favorite Vacation Destination

Friend's island in middle of a lake in Maine.

Favorite Quote

Take Care.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/23/1935

Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Favorite Food

Cereal, his home baked biscuits. Beans, rice. Ugali (Tanzanian dish)

Short Description

Civic leader and educator Robert Parris Moses (1935 - ) served as co-director of the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) and was the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and founded the Algebra Project.

Favorite Color

Blue

Harry Seymour

Educator and painter Harry N. Seymour was born on August 30, 1942, in Detroit, Michigan, to Matilda Dawson and famous black golfer Robert Seymour. Raised in Ecorse, Michigan, Seymour attended Miller Elementary School, Ecorse Junior High School, and graduated from Ecorse High School in 1960. He attended Howard University where he earned his B.A. degree in business administration in 1964. After graduation, he worked as a manager and buyer at F&R Lazarus & Co., and in 1998, he entered graduate programs at The Ohio State University, earning his M.A. degree in speech pathology in 1968, and his Ph.D. degree in speech and hearing science in 1971.

Seymour served as a professor of speech and hearing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1971 to 2002, becoming a full professor in 1987, and chairing the Department of Communication Disorders from 1992 to 2002. Seymour’s scholarship focused on child language disorders, and he published over 40 articles, and made over 100 professional presentations addressing nonbiased assessment of speech and language disorders among African American children. He was the lead author of the Diagnostic Evaluation of Language Variation (DELV), and was the principal investigator on the $2,700,000 National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders grant to develop the DELV, the only test in speech and language designed and standardized specifically to reduce linguistic and cultural bias in testing African American children who speak nonmainstream American English. After retiring from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2002, Seymour moved to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, where he began a professional career as a painter, and developed a unique method and style of painting, combining traditional scratchart methodology with pan and wax pastels.

Seymour is a fellow of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Kellogg National Fellowship Program, and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Howard University’s School of Communications. He also received the Honors of the National Black Association of Speech, Language and Hearing for his research and mentoring of African American students. His other awards include the ASHA Multicultural Service Award, was commended in Resolution #63, by the Mississippi State Senate for his research on behalf of African- American children, and the editor’s Award: Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools. In 2003, Seymour was presented the highest recognition from his professional association—the Honors of the ASHA for distinguished contributions to the field of Speech-Language Pathology.

Seymour and his wife, Charlena Seymour, have a son and daughter, Harry A. Seymour and Shayna Seymour Carr.

Harry N. Seymour was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 19, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.160

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/19/2018

Last Name

Seymour

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Harry

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

SEY01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cruising

Favorite Quote

Live In The Moment.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

8/30/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Educator and painter Harry N. Seymour (1942-) taught in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Communication Disorders for thirty-one years, before retiring and becoming a professional painter.

Favorite Color

Blue

Annie Abrams

Educator and civic activist Annie Abrams was born on September 25, 1931 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas to Queen Victoria Annie Katharine Reed. Abrams attended the Peake School in Arkadelphia until she was thirteen years old. Then, she transferred to Dunbar High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1944. Abrams graduated from Dunbar High School in 1950 and earned her certification in education from Dunbar Junior College in Marianna, Arkansas in 1952. Abrams earned her B.A. degree in special education from Philander Smith College in 1962.

In 1956, Abrams accepted a position with the Arkansas Teachers Association (ATA). Through her work with the ATA, Abrams became involved in the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School, working alongside Daisy Bates. She campaigned to rename streets in Little Rock after both Daisy Bates and Little Rock Mayor Charles Bussey. Abrams also led a campaign to rename High Street in honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and established Little Rock’s Martin Luther King, Jr. parade. In 1978, she represented the Young Women’s Christian Association at a United Nations conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Abrams was a member of the Democratic Party in Arkansas and served as treasurer for the Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus. She also served as commissioner for the Fair Housing Commission and was an honorary co-chair of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission. Abrams served as a member of the Little Rock Central High Integration 50th Anniversary Commission, and also served as a board member of the Central Little Rock Community Development Corporation, and was as an advisory board member of the Martin Luther King Heritage and Enrichment Center. In 1978, she was selected to serve as a board member for the national Young Women’s Christian Association.

In 2010, Abrams was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. She was also awarded an honorary doctorate degree and a Community Service Award from Philander Smith College. Abrams was the recipient of the Brooks Hays Award for Civil Rights Champions and the Making of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Award.

Annie Abrams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 18, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.170

Sex

Female

Interview Date

09/18/2017

Last Name

Abrams

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Annie

Birth City, State, Country

Clark County, Arkadelphia

HM ID

ABR03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Ghana and Egypt - wants to visit Rome

Favorite Quote

Service is the rent you pay to live on this earth.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arkansas

Birth Date

9/25/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Little Rock

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Vegetables - Green leaf vegetables

Short Description

Educator and civic activist Annie Abrams (1931 - ) was a member of the Arkansas Teachers Association and worked to desegregate Little Rock public schools.

Favorite Color

Blue

Lawrence J. Pijeaux, Jr.

Educator and nonprofit executive Lawrence J. Pijeaux, Jr. was born on April 11, 1944 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He graduated from McDonogh 35 High School in 1962. Pijeaux attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and received his B.S. degree. He later earned his M.A.T. degree from Tulane University in New Orleans; and his Ed.D. degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. Pijeaux also completed a post-graduate program at the Getty Leadership Institute for Museum Management at the University of California, Berkeley.

Pijeaux worked for nearly twenty years in the New Orleans Public School System. While in this system, he served as Principal of L.B. Landry High School. During his tenure, he helped reduce the dropout rate from nearly thirty percent to only fifteen percent. He later worked at the Indianapolis Museum of Art before being recruited to lead the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Pijeaux retired as President and CEO of the Institute in 2014 only one month shy of a twenty-year tenure. He led the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute through its accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 2005; becoming an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in 2007; and receiving two national awards—both presented by First Lady Laura Bush at the White House in Washington, D.C.—the “Coming Up Taller Award for Community Service” in 2007 and the “Inaugural National Medal for Museum Service” in 2008.

In addition to his professional career, Pijeaux served as a board member in a number of organizations. From 2006 until 2008, he served as president of the Association of African American Museums, in addition to being named to the National Museum and Library Services Board in 2010 by President Barack Obama. Pijeaux has also served on the board of the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science, and the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel.

Pijeaux has been recognized and awarded for his contributions to the education community during his career. In 1989, he was named as one of ten “American Heroes in Education” by Reader’s Digest and was named Alabama Tourism Executive of the Year in 2006 as well. Pijeaux was also the recipient of the Smithsonian Institute’s Award for Museum Leadership and the Association of African American Museum’s Service and Achievement Award. In 2015, Pijeaux was inducted into the Alabama Tourism Hall of Fame.

Lawrence J. Pijeaux, Jr., Ed.D. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 3, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.091

Sex

Male

Interview Date

05/03/2017

Last Name

Pijeaux

Maker Category
Middle Name

J.

Schools

George Washington Carver Junior High School

McDonogh No. 35 Senior High School

Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

Tulane University

University of Southern Mississippi

First Name

Lawrence

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

PIJ01

Favorite Season

I like all.

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Orleans

Favorite Quote

Stay positive

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

4/11/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Educator and nonprofit executive Lawrence J. Pijeaux, Jr. (1944 - ) was an educator and served as the leader of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute for nineteen years.

Employment

Birmingham Civil Rights Insititute

Indianapolis Museum of Art

East Orange High School

L.B. Landry High School

Favorite Color

Red

Virginia Edwards Maynor

Educator Virginia Edwards Maynor was born on April 1, 1945 in Savannah, Georgia to Freddie Mae Jones-Williams and John Roger Williams. She graduated from Alfred Ely Beach High School in 1963. Maynor earned her B.S. degree from Savannah State University in Savannah, Georgia in 1968, her M.Ed. degree in history from Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia in 1974, and her Ed.S. degree from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia in 1982. She also earned a leadership certificate from Harvard University’s Leadership Institute in 1985.

Maynor began her career in education as a third grade teacher in the Horry County School system. From 1969 to 1970, she taught in the Ridgeland South Carolina Public School system. Maynor then joined the Savannah-Chatham County Public School system as a teacher in 1970. She was promoted to the positions of assistant principal, principal, executive director of secondary schools, and deputy superintendent of instruction. In 1998, Maynor became the superintendent of Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools, where she remained until 2001. She was the school district’s first African American female superintendent. Maynor also represented the First Congressional District on the Georgia State Board of Education.

Maynor received the Outstanding Leadership Award from Savannah State University, the Omega Citizen of the Year Award from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s Mu Phi Chapter, the Outstanding Educator Award from the Georgia Retired Educators Association, the Citizen of the Year Award from the Mutual Benevolent Society, Inc., an Award of Appreciation from Myers Middle School P.T.A., the Spirit of Education Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha, and the Civil Rights Museum Award from the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum.

Maynor was a member of the Chatham Retired Educators Association, BAPS, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She also served as president of the Savannah Chapter of The Links, Inc. from 1995 to 2015, as fund development chair of Greenbriar Children’s Center, Inc. from 2000 to 2012, on the Board of Directors for the Telfair Museum from 2009 to 2011, and on the Board of Directors for Hospice Savannah from 2008 to 2011.

Virginia Edwards Maynor was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 10, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.050

Sex

Female

Interview Date

02/10/2017

Last Name

Maynor

Maker Category
Middle Name

Edwards

Occupation
Schools

George W. DeRenne Middle School

Alfred Ely Beach High School

Savannah State University

Georgia Southern University-Armstrong Campus

Georgia Southern University

Harvard University

First Name

Virginia

Birth City, State, Country

Savannah

HM ID

MAY08

Favorite Season

Late Summer and Early Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

4/1/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Savannah

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweets

Short Description

Educator Virginia Edwards Maynor (1945 - ) served in various positions in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School system for over thirty years. She was the school district’s first African American female superintendent, from 1998 to her retirement in 2001.

Employment

Horry County Schools

Ridgeland South Carolina Public School System

Savannah -Chatham County Public Schools

Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools

Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Virginia Edwards Maynor's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Virginia Edwards Maynor lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Virginia Edwards Maynor lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers the Cann Park neighborhood of Savannah, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers the Cann Park neighborhood of Savannah, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Virginia Edwards Maynor talks about her extracurricular activities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls her influential teachers

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers her early love of reading

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her family's Christmas traditions

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls the entertainment of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls her experiences at Cuyler Junior High School in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers her aspiration to become a psychologist

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers joining the Presbyterian church

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her involvement at the Butler Presbyterian Church in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls the construction of a middle school annex at Alfred E. Beach High School in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers her social activities at Alfred E. Beach High School in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers her prom

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls going to the movies at the Star Theatre in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers attending high school football games in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls her decision to attend Savannah State College in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers registering to vote

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Virginia Edwards Maynor talks about the civil rights leadership in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers Savannah State College in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Virginia Edwards Maynor talks about her experiences of hiring discrimination in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls her start as a teacher in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her experiences at Armstrong State College in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls her promotion to curriculum specialist

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers divorcing her first husband

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers filing a discrimination complaint against the Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her transition from teaching to administration

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her involvement with the Greenbriar Children's Center in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Virginia Edwards Maynor talks about her civic activities

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her involvement with The Links, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Virginia Edwards Maynor talks about her book club

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes the MOLES organization

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Virginia Edwards Maynor talks about her promotion to interim superintendent of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls her challenges from the board of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers her accomplishments in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Virginia Edwards Maynor talks about her role as a mentor

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her mentorship of young educators

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Virginia Edwards Maynor talks about her second marriage

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her travels

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Virginia Edwards Maynor reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers the election of President Barack Obama

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Virginia Edwards Maynor reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Virginia Edwards Maynor shares a message to future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Virginia Edwards Maynor narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

5$8

DATitle
Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers joining the Presbyterian church
Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers her accomplishments in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System
Transcript
Were you in- involved in church? What church did you attend?$$Butler Presbyterian Church [Butler Memorial Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Georgia] and what's interesting about that is, my family for years were Methodist, A.M.E. [African Methodist Episcopal], when they were on the Eastside. When they moved to the Westside, it changed. My family decided to become Catholic. I didn't want to be a Catholic, and I started attending Butler Presbyterian Church, which was in our neighborhood [Cann Park, Savannah, Georgia], actually, with some of my friends at school, Sunday school, and church was a church that welcomed young people and had quite a number of activities for young people, and I enjoyed the spiritual climate in the church. So I asked my mother [Freddie Mae Jones Williams] if I could become a Presbyterian, and they agreed that I could. So I became Presbyterian while they converted to Catholicism.$$And what were some of the activities that you were involved in at your church?$$Bible school, summer camp. I was chosen by our church to be one of the representatives to go to a summer retreat (clears throat) for--it was an interracial group. And in fact, it was not far from my mother's hometown, in--outside of Burke County [Georgia], Boggs Academy [Keysville, Georgia] (clears throat), excuse me, and that was the first experience I had in terms of any interracial interaction with the young people, and the white kids came to us from Indiana, and the interesting thing was, and this was another incident that stayed with me, was in Louisville, Georgia, was a slave market where slaves were tr- traded and the group, they planned a field trip and when we gathered for the field trip, outside of Boggs Academy we could not ride together. All the white kids had to be in one car and the black kids had to be in another car and, of course, we got to be friends, and we couldn't understand, well, why we can't ride together. You know, kids can't ride together, and they said we would be arrested. So, you know, those were hard things to fathom without developing (clears throat) some feelings of hate, you know, and that's where our parents came in to help us understand that you don't get anything accomplished by hating. You learn to think and plan and, so, you know.$Let's talk about as--let's just step back a little bit and because you're first deputy superintendent [of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System] and I want you to talk about what it was that you accomplished in that position, if you might?$$One of the things I accomplished was im- implementing a reading warranty that guaranteed that the students would be reading by third grade. Some of that was happening at the time I became superintendent but it was dismissed, you know, because that--it was a political thing, you know, so the other is, I think, that principals felt supported and that I was a superintendent that was for the best benefit of the schools and as a deputy superintendent I worked to accomplish that. I also worked to train school leaders. We had an in- internal school leadership program. In fact I have a little plaque in there that some of the graduates, when they finished, remembered a lecture that I gave and they summarized it about tips on being a leader. I think my greatest contribution as a leader was being, setting a good example for what leadership was all about because programs come and go and they can be very political and the impact this made is actually in the schools with the principals and with the students and I think that the reading warranty was one of the things that we im- that was impacted and also I--we implemented the, what's it, the early childhood education program where we had family advocates for children in the kindergarten program. We--that was implemented. It was successful, too, because it helped to guaranty that kids would be ready to start school, first grade. Let me see. I think those would be two of the things that I would point to.$$Okay. So even though you've had a challenging term as superintendent, what are you most proud of as superintendent?$$I would say I'm most proud of the fact that I did not lose my dignity nor did I compromise my principles while I tried to do--and I won't say try, why I did the best for the schools in the school district and the children. There were gains made, there were accomplishments and I think I, not think, I walked away feeling that there were lessons learned and as--one of the things that stood out was when I was, I took the oath. The headline in the paper was "Dream the Impossible Dream" and I think that that was an impossible dream (laughter), a dream that I didn't think was possible and to walk away with, one, no money mismanaged, no scandals, the only thing that could be said is that there were some that just did not get along with Virginia Edwardss [HistoryMaker Virginia Edwardss Maynor] at the time and to me that--the most important thing was to leave that--a position as contentious as being a superin- and as political as being a superintendent. When you can walk out the door with your dignity intact, that's an accomplishment as far as I'm concerned because you have to live beyond that.

Merline Pitre

Historian and educator Merline Pitre was born on April 10, 1943 in Opelousas, Louisiana to Robert and Florence Pitre. Pitre graduated from Plaisance School in Plaisance, Louisiana; and went on to earn her B.S. degree in French from Southern University, and her M.A. degree in French from Atlanta University. She also earned her second M.A. degree and Ph.D. degree in history from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1972 and 1976, respectively.

In 1967, Pitre taught French at St. Augustine College in Raleigh, North Carolina before returning to her hometown in 1971 to teach French at Plaisance High School. After receiving her Ph.D. degree, Pitre was hired as an assistant professor of history at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. In 1980, she served as group leader for the Texas Consortium of Black Colleges and Universities trip to Haiti, and then as group leader in 1981 for the Texas Southern University Fulbright Fellows Trip to Haiti and Santo Domingo. From 1983 to 1985, Pitre served as the associate dean for the College of Liberal Arts & Behavioral Sciences at Texas Southern University, later serving as dean of the college from 1990 to 1994 and again from 2000 to 2008.

Pitre released her first book in 1985, Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868 to 1898. Pitre’s book In Struggle against Jim Crow: Lulu B. White and the NAACP, 1900-1957, was published in 1999. She also served as co-editor, with Bruce Glasrud, of the 2008 book Black Women in Texas History, and the 2013 book Southern Black Women in the Modern Civil Rights Movement. During her career at Texas Southern University, Pitre served on the boards of several organizations. She was on the 1993 Editorial Advisory Committee of The Griot Journal for the Southern Conference on African American Studies, Inc., and served as president of SCAASI from 2007 to 2008. She also served on the nominating board for the Organization of American Historians, and the advisory committee of the OAH Magazine of History. In 2011, she became the first African American president of the Texas State Historical Association. During that time, she also became the editor of the African American Handbook of Texas. She authored the book Born to Serve: A History of Texas Southern University, published in 2018.

Pitre received numerous awards for her work over the years, including the Liz Carpenter Award from the Texas State Historical Association in 2008 and 2014. She was also named the 1988 Outstanding Black Texan by the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, and awarded the Black Caucus Award in 1989. She received the Lorraine Williams Leadership Award from the Association of Black Women Historians in 2014, and Texas Southern University named her the 1987 Scholar of the Year, in addition to awarding her the 2014 President Achievement Award. She received special recognition for her research from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

Merline Pitre was interviewed by The Historymakers on November 28, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.116

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/28/2016

Last Name

Pitre

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Occupation
Schools

Plaisance High School

Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

Clark Atlanta University

Temple University

First Name

Merline

Birth City, State, Country

Opelousas

HM ID

PIT34

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Washington, D.C.

Favorite Quote

There Is No Progress Without A Struggle.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

4/10/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

Historian and educator Merline Pitre (1943 - ) worked as a history professor and administrator at Texas Southern University since 1976, and became the Texas State Historical Association’s first African American president in 2011.

Employment

Texas Southern University

Plaisance High School

St. Augustine's College

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Merline Pitre's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Merline Pitre lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Merline Pitre describes her mother's upbringing and education

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Merline Pitre talks about her father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Merline Pitre talks about her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Merline Pitre describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Merline Pitre lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Merline Pitre describes her early experiences of sharecropping

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Merline Pitre describes her education in Opelousas, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Merline Pitre talks about her community in Plaisance, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Merline Pitre describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Merline Pitre talks about the Creole identity, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Merline Pitre talks about the Creole identity, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Merline Pitre describes her education in Opelousas, Louisiana, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Merline Pitre recalls her decision to attend Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Merline Pitre describes her experiences at Southern University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Merline Pitre remembers the student demonstrations at Southern University

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Merline Pitre recalls her master's degree program at Atlanta University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Merline Pitre remembers teaching at Saint Augustine's College in Raleigh, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Merline Pitre describes her family's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Merline Pitre describes her doctoral dissertation, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Merline Pitre describes her doctoral dissertation, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Merline Pitre talks about her academic success

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Merline Pitre describes her academic career at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Merline Pitre describes her research on black legislators in Texas during Reconstruction

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Merline Pitre talks about the challenges faced by African American legislators in Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Merline Pitre remembers her experiences in Haiti and the Dominican Republic

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Merline Pitre talks about her article, 'Frederick Douglass and the Annexation of Santo Domingo'

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Merline Pitre remembers founding the women's studies program at Texas Southern University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Merline Pitre describes her research on civil rights activist Lulu B. White

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Merline Pitre remembers hosting a teacher's workshop on Jim Crow at Texas Southern University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Merline Pitre talks about her experiences of segregation

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Merline Pitre describes her organizational involvement, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Merline Pitre recalls her work with the National Endowment for the Humanities

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Merline Pitre recalls winning the Liz Carpenter Award for Best Book on the History of Women

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Merline Pitre describes her organizational involvement, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Merline Pitre talks about the Handbook of African American Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Merline Pitre describes the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Sweatt v. Painter, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Merline Pitre describes the U.S. Supreme Court case of Sweatt v. Painter, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Merline Pitre recalls the amendments to the social studies curriculum in Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Merline Pitre describes 'Southern Black Women in the Modern Civil Rights Movement'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Merline Pitre talks about the history of Texas Southern University, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Merline Pitre talks about the history of Texas Southern University, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Merline Pitre remembers her travels to Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Merline Pitre talks about Quintard Taylor's BlackPast.org

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Merline Pitre describes her article, 'Black Houstonians and the Separate but Equal Doctrine'

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Merline Pitre describes her scholarship on black historical source material

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Merline Pitre talks about peer reviewing the Journal of American History

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Merline Pitre describes her awards and honors

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Merline Pitre talks about the Association of Black Women Historians

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Merline Pitre talks about her conferences and lectures

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Merline Pitre recalls the police riot at Texas Southern University in 1967

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Merline Pitre talks about her community in Plaisance, Louisiana

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Merline Pitre reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Merline Pitre talks about her plan to write a history of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Merline Pitre shares her advice to students

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Merline Pitre talks about the importance of The HistoryMakers

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Merline Pitre narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

6$8

DATitle
Merline Pitre remembers founding the women's studies program at Texas Southern University
Merline Pitre describes the U.S. Supreme Court case of Sweatt v. Painter, pt. 2
Transcript
Now, in '83 [1983], you become the associate dean of the liberal arts college [Texas Southern University College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences, Houston, Texas].$$Yes.$$Okay.$$I was associate dean of the liberal arts college then (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) All right. All right, so--$$That--that lasts only--we had a change in administration, so that lasts only, what, a year, year and a half, so not very much occurred (laughter).$$Occurred during that time. Okay. So now we're back to '85 [1985] and the--you know, the--your book 'Many Dangers, Toils and Snares' ['Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: Black Leadership in Texas, 1868-1898,' Merline Pitre] was written and published on that. And so what happens next after 19--after you write your book? And so, '85 [1985]?$$Yeah, '85 [1985], then I started doing research on the other, the, the next book ['In Struggle Against Jim Crow: Lulu B. White and the NAACP, 1900-1957,' Merline Pitre]. See, after I wrote this book, then the women movement was up and coming, and so I said, now, I have written a book on forty-two men of color and nothing about women, and (laughter) everybody is talking about women. So I, I started doing research, and as I did research, I said, well, I need to look at something here in Houston [Texas] where the sources are close by. As I started looking at the, the papers, the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] papers, I kept seeing this name Lulu White [Lulu B. White] come up, Lulu White. And I said, who is this lady? And she was--she really, as one of her classmates describe her, as someone who didn't take stuff from anyone, and she was cursing and doing--I said, now, I wonder. So as I start--then I started looking at that. At the same time that I started researching on Lulu White, I discovered that we did not have a program on women's studies. Now, I don't know what happened prior to my coming here, but TSU [Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas] used to have in the '50s [1950s] and '60s [1960s], a women, a women's day, where they would recognize women, but somehow, it fell off the radar, and so there was nothing on women, so that's why I decided I would come up with a plan to have a women's studies minor 'cause you got to have something. So at the time I'm doing Lulu White, I came up with the women's student minor. The question was as, as it came to (unclear)--who's gonna take women's history? You know, the men probably won't take it, and so if you put it as a major, you probably won't have anybody majoring in it. And then you have to write some new courses, so what we did, we said, well, I got together with group of women here. "How many of you teach a history--," or, I mean, a course, I'm sorry, "how many of you teach a course that deals with women?" So we got a sociologist. We got social work. We have human services. You have women literature. You have the one in history. So we came up with enough courses to have a minor, and that's how we still have the minor now. And then we started having--during Women's History Month, we'd have a program and a luncheon and invite people to come. And, and what has happened, one of those, we got four women, a black, a Hispanic, a white, and one--and it was really good because then we could collect data from that. So while that was going on, then I wrote the book on Lulu White.$When he took his case to court, the State of Texas decided that they would make Prairie View [Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas; Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas] a university overnight. They would change the sign (laughter). They passed a bill saying--they passed the bill, but they changed the sign overnight. That we're going to make it a university overnight. Sweatt [Heman Marion Sweatt] did not accept the offer. Then they decided that they would tell Sweatt, "Well, if you can come to a building downtown Houston [Texas], we will get some black lawyers to teach you, and that will be a branch or a link to the University of Texas [University of Texas at Austin School of Law, Austin, Texas]." He did not accept this. So then they came up with their final offer to rent a space in a petroleum--a building downtown and let white lawyers from UT, or white professors from UT teach him. He rejected that and took his case to the [U.S.] Supreme Court. When he took his case to the Supreme Court in 1950, the Supreme Court ruled that Texas--there was no comparison between Texas--or but before that, before the ruling of the court, then they decided, after he does not go to the Supreme Court, that this area here, you can't see it. It's a building far from here. There was a private college called Houston College for Negroes [Houston, Texas]. The state purchased Houston College for Negroes, and established a law school; and that's how Texas Southern came to be, March 3rd, 1947, a bill passing the senate [Texas Senate]--bill 140, 140--and approved by the house [Texas House of Representatives] that this would become Texas State University for Negros with a law school. Texas--and that would eventually become Texas Southern University, but Sweatt took his case--he still pursued his case to Supreme Court; and when it got to the Supreme Court, the State of Texas argued, "But we have separate but equal. They have a law school." The court ruled that there was no comparison between the two; and, therefore, Sweatt had to be admitted to the University of Texas. So what did Sweatt v. Painter [Sweatt v. Painter, 1950] do? It set precedent for Brown versus the Board of Education [Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954]. In Sweatt v. Painter, the court would imply separate but equal is unconstitutional. In Brown versus the Board of Education, it would say in black and white, separate but equal is unconstitutional and has no place in American society. And so that's how Texas Southern came to be. This case, most historians would argue Brown versus the Board of Education is the one that gave rise to the modern Civil Rights Movement. But I'm saying the precedence for the Brown versus the Board of Education was Sweatt v. Painter here in Texas and here at Texas Southern University.

The Honorable Gabrielle Kirk McDonald

Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald was born on April 12, 1942 in St. Paul, Minnesota to James Kirk and Frances English. McDonald was raised in Manhattan, New York and in Teaneck, New Jersey, where she graduated from Teaneck High School in 1959. In the early 1960s, she attended Boston University and Hunter College. She then went on to attend Howard University School of Law, where she was Notes Editor for the Howard Law Journal and received several academic awards. McDonald graduated cum laude and first in her class with her LL.B. degree in 1966.

Upon graduation, McDonald was hired as a staff attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. From 1969 to 1979, she was a founding partner, with her then-husband, attorney Mark T. McDonald, of the Houston, Texas law firm of McDonald & McDonald. While in private practice, she also taught law as an assistant professor at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University, and then as a lecturer at the University of Texas School of Law.

In 1979, McDonald was appointed as a judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. She was the first African American to be appointed to the federal bench in Texas (and the South) and only the third African American woman federal judge in the country. McDonald resigned from the bench in 1988 and joined the law firm of Matthews & Branscomb. She also returned to academia, teaching first at St. Mary’s University School of Law, and then at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law. In 1991, she became counsel to the law firm of Walker & Satterthwaite, and later served as Special Counsel to the Chairman on Human Rights for Freeport-McMoRan, Inc.

In 1993, McDonald received the highest number of votes from the General Assembly of the United Nations and served as one of eleven judges on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. In 1997, she became the Tribunal’s president. Then, in 2001, McDonald was called to serve as an arbitrator on the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, where she remained until her retirement in 2013.

Her publications include the co-edited volume, Substantive and Procedural Aspects of International Criminal Law: The Experience of International and National Courts, and numerous articles including The International Criminal Tribunals: Crime and Punishment in the International Arena, and Problems, Obstacles and Achievements of the ICTY.

McDonald was a member of the Board of Trustees of Howard University for twenty-three years. She also served on boards for the American Bar Association Human Rights Center and the American Arbitration Association, as well as on the Genocide Prevention Task Force. In 2014, she was elected Honorary President of the American Society of International Law. Her honors include the National Bar Association's first Equal Justice and Ronald Brown International Law Awards; the American Society of International Law's Goler T. Butcher Award for Human Rights; the Open Society Institute's first Women Groundbreakers in International Justice Award; the Dorothy Height Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa from several institutions. She was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993 and the National Bar Association Hall of Fame in 2008.

McDonald has two children, Michael and Stacy, who are both lawyers.

Gabrielle Kirk McDonald was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 27, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.184

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/27/2014

Last Name

McDonald

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Kirk

Occupation
Schools

Howard University School of Law

Hunter College

Boston University

Teaneck Senior High School

The Manumit School

JHS 101

Ps 108 Philip J Abinanti School

St Peter Claver School

First Name

Gabrielle

Birth City, State, Country

St. Paul

HM ID

MCD07

State

Minnesota

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/12/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Judge and educator The Honorable Gabrielle Kirk McDonald (1942 - ) was the first African American to be appointed to the federal bench in Texas and the third African American woman federal judge in the country. She also served as a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and as an arbitrator on the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal.

Employment

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

McDonald & McDonald

Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

University of Texas School of Law

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Matthews & Branscomb

St. Mary's University School of Law

Walker & Satterthwaite

Freeport-McMoRan, Inc.

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Iran-United States Claims Tribunal

Rashid Silvera

Model and educator Rashid Keith Dilworth Silvera was born on December 8, 1947 in Boston, Massachusetts to Don Hector and Phyllis Matilda Silvera. Silvera is the nephew of film actor, director and producer, Frank Silvera and second cousin of Albert Silvera, international car collector and Renaissance man. Silvera was raised in Roxbury, Massachusetts and graduated from Williston Academy in Easthampton, Massachusetts in 1967. He then enrolled at Colgate University, but, in 1969, transferred to Bennington College, where he received his B.A. degree in political science and anthropology in 1972. Silvera went on to obtain his M.T.S. degree from Harvard Divinity School in 1974 and his Ed. M. degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1976.

In 1975, Silvera was hired as a teacher in the history department of the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He taught at Gill St. Bernard’s School in Gladstone, New Jersey from 1976 to 1977, and then at San Francisco University High School in San Francisco, California from 1977 to 1979. Silvera returned to the East Coast in 1979, when he was hired as a social studies teacher at Rye Country Day School in Rye, New York. In 1981, he began teaching at Scarsdale High School in Scarsdale, New York.

Aside from teaching, Silvera worked as a fashion model for a number of years. While staying at the house of a friend in the early 1980's, Silvera was noticed by owners of a modeling agency, who then launched his career as a model. He first modeled for fashion photographer Rico Puhlmann. In April of 1983, Silvera became the fourth black male model to appear on the cover of GQ magazine. His appearance would mark the last time an African American male model would appear on a GQ cover. Silvera also appeared on the covers of Essence magazine and CODE magazine, and was the first African American male to model for a Polo Ralph Lauren advertisement campaign.

Silvera was profiled in Marci Alboher’s 2007 book, One Person/Multiple Careers: A New Model for Work/Life Success, as well as by Black Enterprise in 2011.

Rashid Silvera was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 13, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.247

Sex

Male

Interview Date

08/13/2014

Last Name

Silvera

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Keith Dilworth

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

The Williston Northampton School

Colgate University

Bennington College

Harvard Divinity School

Harvard Graduate School of Education

First Name

Rashid

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

SIL01

State

Massachusetts

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

12/8/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Model and educator Rashid Silvera (1947 - ) was the last African American male model on the cover of GQ magazine, as well as the first African American to model for a Polo Ralph Lauren advertisement campaign. He also taught history at Scarsdale High School in Scarsdale, New York, starting in 1981.

Employment

Scarsdale High School

Rye Country Day School

University High School

Gill St. Bernard's School

Buckingham Browne & Nichols School

Caroline Hunter

Anti-Apartheid activist and educator Caroline Hunter was born on September 5, 1946 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She attended Xavier University Preparatory School and graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana with her B.S. degree in chemistry in 1968.

After graduation, Hunter was hired as a research bench chemist for Polaroid Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1970, upon the discovery of her employer’s involvement in the South African apartheid system as the producer of the passbook photos, she and her future husband, co-worker Ken Williams, formed the Polaroid Revolutionary Workers Movement (PRWM). Hunter and Williams became the first American activists to challenge their employers’ South African investments. They led a seven-year boycott against Polaroid that included testifying before the United Nations and Congress about American corporations profiting from assisting the South African government. In 1971, Polaroid fired both Hunter and Williams, but the PRWM prevailed and by 1977 Polaroid completely pulled out of South Africa.

After her involvement in the PRWM, Hunter went on to work as an educator. She was a secondary science and math teacher, and volunteered on a number of school-community projects for at-risk youth, advocacy and support for diverse parents, and elimination of the achievement gap. She also taught math and science to Boston, Massachusetts’s public high school students in summers and Saturday workshops. In 1999, Hunter earned her M.Ed. degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and became the assistant principal of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.

Hunter was invited to give the keynote at the Dr. Effie Jones Memorial Luncheon at the AASA National Conference on Education, at the Music City Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and received the Dr. Effie Jones Humanitarian Award from the AASA – The School Superintendents Association on February 14, 2014. Hunter received the 2012 Rosa Parks Memorial Award by the National Education Association for leading the effort that led to sanctions against apartheid in South Africa. The South African Partners presented the Amandla Award to Hunter in 2012, and the Massachusetts Teachers Association presented her with the Louise Gaskins Lifetime Civil Rights Award in 2011. In 1998, after her husband, Ken Williams, passed away, she and her daughter, Lisette, founded the Ken Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund (KWMS), of which Hunter served as secretary and the annual golf tournament coordinator. The KWMS Fund has awarded more than $30,000 in college scholarships to needy high school students from Cambridge and Martha’s Vineyard for outstanding social justice work and art.

Caroline Hunter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 9, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.246

Sex

Female

Interview Date

08/09/2014

Last Name

Hunter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Lisetta

Schools

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Antioch Graduate Center

Xavier University of Louisiana

St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory Academy

First Name

Caroline

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

HUN10

State

Louisiana

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

9/5/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Country

United States

Short Description

Civil rights activist and educator Caroline Hunter (1946 - ) established the Polaroid Revolutionary Workers Movement with her husband Ken Williams as a boycott effort that led to sanctions against apartheid South Africa.

Employment

Cambridge Rindge and Latin School

Harvard Graduate School, Masters of Teaching Program

Cambridge Workforce

SchoolWorks, Inc.

Boston Area Self-Help Education Committee (BAHEC)

Education Collaborative

New England Aquarium, World of Water Program

DARE, Inc. & BAHEC

Polaroid Corporation

Harold Haizlip

Educator Harold C. Haizlip was born in Washington, D.C. in 1935 to parents Allen Joshua Haizlip and Nellie Hill Haizlip. In 1953, he graduated as the valedictorian of Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. Haizlip then attended Amherst College and graduated with honors with his B.A. degree in Latin, Greek and classical philology in 1957. He went on to earn his M.A. degree in classics and education and his Ed.D. degree in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While earning his M.A. degree, Haizlip taught English and Latin at Wellesley High School and during summers was assistant director of the Harvard Newton Summer School. While pursuing his doctorate, he served as education director of Action for Boston Community Development, a Ford Foundation funded antipoverty program. Haizlip subsequently worked as an associate director of educational planning at Xerox Corporation’s Basic Systems, Inc. before being hired as the headmaster of the New Lincoln School in New York City.

In 1971, Haizlip was appointed as the Commissioner of Education to the U.S. Virgin Islands for St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John. He then worked for seven years as vice president of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York. From 1996 to 2000, Haizlip served as the western region director of Communities in Schools, Inc., where he supervised support for minority education and training in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. From 2000 to 2002, he served as the executive director of the “I Have A Dream” Foundation of Los Angeles and Pasadena, California. In May of 2003, Haizlip was appointed as the executive director and corporate consultant for the After School Arts Program (ASAP) of LA’s BEST, where he worked until 2010 designing, funding and implementing arts residencies in Visual Arts, Music, Dance and Theatre Arts taught by professional artists to 50,000 low income students.

Haizlip has consulted for numerous organizations, including Earth Force, The Film Directors’ Guild of Hollywood, the Los Angeles Unified School District, The Archdiocese and diocesan schools of Los Angeles, The Western Synod of the Lutheran Church, the University of Southern California, the University of California-Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, and the Los Angeles Museum of Science and Industry. He has served as board member of The American Museum of Natural History (NYC) and chair of the Education Outreach Committee of Southern California’s Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic; as a board member of Child Advocates for Children; chair of the Multicultural Commission of the United States Environmental Protection Agency; board member of Harvey Mudd College; advisor to The Natural Guard; and board member of The New Visions Foundation of Santa Monica, California.

Haizlip lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, Shirlee Ann Taylor Haizlip, author of the bestselling memoir The Sweeter the Juice. In 1999, Haizlip and his wife co-authored In the Garden of Our Dreams: Memoirs of Our Marriage. They have two daughters, both Yale alumnae.

Haizlip passed away on January 31, 2018.

Harold C. Haizlip was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 30, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.238

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/30/2014

Last Name

Haizlip

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Cornelius

Occupation
Schools

George Washington Carver Elementary School

Brown Junior High School

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Amherst College

Harvard Graduate School of Education

First Name

Harold

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

HAI04

State

District of Columbia

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

5/30/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Death Date

1/31/2018

Short Description

Educator Harold Haizlip (1935 - 2018) was Commissioner of Education to the U.S. Virgin Islands for St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John. He served as vice president of Manhattan Community College, CUNY, as the executive director of the “I Have A Dream” Foundation and Communities in Schools, Inc. in California, and as the executive director for the After School Arts Program (ASAP) of LA’s BEST.

Employment

LA's Best

I Have A Dream Foundation

Communities in Schools