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Gen. Colin L. Powell

General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) became the 65th Secretary of State on January 20, 2001. As he stated at his confirmation hearing, the guiding principle of U.S. foreign policy during his tenure was that “America stands ready to help any country that wishes to join the democratic world.”

Powell brought extensive experience with him to his office. Before becoming Secretary of State, he served as a key aide to the Secretary of Defense and as National Security Advisor to President Reagan. He also served thirty-five years in the United States Army, rising to the rank of Four-Star General and serving as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989 to 1993). During this time, he oversaw twenty-eight crises including the Panama intervention of 1989 and Operation Desert Storm in the victorious 1991 Persian Gulf War.

That experience served him well, both before and particularly after the events of September 11, 2001, the day of the greatest tragedy on American soil since Pearl Harbor. As Secretary, he stood shoulder to shoulder with the President and the other members of the President’s cabinet in fighting the war on terrorism. As he often said, “winning that war is our first priority, and it will remain so for as long as necessary.”

A fervent purveyor of democratic values, Powell stressed that fighting the war on terrorism is not just a military but also a diplomatic task – the two go hand in hand. He led the State Department in major efforts to solve regional and civil conflicts – in the Middle East, between Israel and its Arab neighbors; in Sudan, Congo and Liberia; in the Balkans, Cyprus, Haiti, Northern Ireland and elsewhere. He was especially concerned with the peace and security of Afghanistan and Iraq, countries where winning the peace is as important as Coalition battlefield victories. In all areas, he used the power of diplomacy and the universal ideal of democracy to build trust, forge alliances and then begin to transform these once unstable regions into areas where societies and cultures prosper.

Powell was devoted to grasping opportunities as well as to confronting the global and regional security challenges of the 21st century. He was at the forefront of the administration’s efforts to advance economic and social development worldwide – in the fight against HIV/AIDS, in the promise of the Millennium Challenge Account, the most significant change in helping needy nations since the Marshall Plan, and in pursuing a freer trading and investment climate worldwide. These efforts, too, are not separate from the nation’s security agenda. Indeed, in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, then Secretary Powell affirmed that our main purpose is to extend democracy, prosperity, and freedom to every corner of the world. It is a process that is establishing a balance of power that favors freedom across the globe.

Born in New York City on April 5, 1937, Powell was raised in the South Bronx. His parents, Luther and Maud Powell, immigrated to the United States from Jamaica. Powell was educated in New York City public schools, graduating from Morris High School and the City College of New York (CCNY), where he earned his bachelor’s degree in geology. He also participated in ROTC at CCNY and received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation in June 1958. His further academic achievements include a M.B.A. degree from George Washington University.

Powell is the recipient of numerous U.S. military awards and decorations including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star Medal, and the Purple Heart.

Powell’s civilian awards include two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President’s Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal. Over two dozen countries have bestowed awards on him, including a French Legion of Honor and an honorary knighthood bestowed by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.

Powell was the founding Chairman of America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth, a national crusade to improve the lives of our nation’s youth. Established at the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future in Philadelphia in April of 1997, and endorsed by every living U.S. President, America’s Promise aims to ensure all children in America have access to the fundamental resources needed to build and strengthen them to become responsible, productive adults. He has also been a member of the Board of Trustees of Howard University and the Board of Directors of the United Negro College Fund. Powell also served on the Board of Governors of The Boys & Girls Clubs of America and was a member of the Advisory Board of the Children’s Health Fund.

Since returning to private life, Powell has become a strategic limited partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the renowned Silicon Valley venture capital firm. He is also on the Board of Directors of Revolution Health Care, a company developing strategies for consumer-directed health care. Powell is the Founder of the Colin Powell Policy Center at his alma mater, the City College of New York, and he is helping to raise funds for the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial in Washington, D.C. and for the construction of an education center for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Powell is the author of his best-selling autobiography, My American Journey.

Powell is married to the former Alma Vivian Johnson of Birmingham, Alabama. The Powell family includes son Michael; daughters, Linda and Annemarie; daughter-in-law Jane, and grandchildren Jeffrey, Bryan and Abigail.

Accession Number

A2006.186

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/29/2006

Last Name

Powell

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

L.

Organizations
Schools

Morris High School

City College of New York

George Washington University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Colin

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

POW09

Favorite Season

None

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

4/5/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Military officer, cabinet appointee, and presidential appointee Gen. Colin L. Powell (1937 - ) served as the 65th Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , and National Security Advisor. Powell, a four-star general in the U.S. Army, is also the founding Chairman of America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth.

Employment

United States Army

United States Government

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - List of sponsors for 'An Evening With Colin Powell'

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Introduction to 'An Evening With Colin Powell'

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Juan Williams introduces Gen. Colin L. Powell

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Juan Williams greets Gen. Colin L. Powell

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gen. Colin L. Powell talks about meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1988

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gen. Colin L. Powell talks about his roots in the multicultural South Bronx, New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gen. Colin L. Powell describes his activities after retiring as Secretary of State of the United States

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gen. Colin L. Powell talks about the history of African Americans in the U.S. military

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gen. Colin L. Powell talks about his childhood in the South Bronx, New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gen. Colin L. Powell talks about joining the Pershing Rifles at City College of New York

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gen. Colin L. Powell describes his infantry training for the U.S. Army

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - A review of Gen. Colin L. Powell's life and military career during the 1960s

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Gen. Colin L. Powell describes his courtship of and marriage to HistoryMaker Alma Powell

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Gen. Colin L. Powell talks about the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Gen. Colin L. Powell describes serving in the Vietnam War

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Gen. Colin L. Powell describes his experiences in graduate school at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Gen. Colin L. Powell describes serving in presidential administrations in the 1970s and 1980s

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Gen. Colin L. Powell talks about the Buffalo Soldiers Monument at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

Tape: 1 Story: 19 - A review of Gen. Colin L. Powell's career during the 1980s

Tape: 1 Story: 20 - Gen. Colin L. Powell describes his tenure as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Tape: 1 Story: 21 - Gen. Colin L. Powell talks about the founding of America's Promise Alliance

Tape: 1 Story: 22 - A review of Gen. Colin L. Powell's tenure as Secretary of State of the United States

Tape: 1 Story: 23 - Gen. Colin L. Powell talks about the United States government's response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks

Tape: 1 Story: 24 - Gen. Colin L. Powell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 1 Story: 25 - Gen. Colin L. Powell talks about his hopes for the future

Tape: 1 Story: 26 - Conclusion of 'An Evening with Colin Powell'

DASession

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DATitle
Gen. Colin L. Powell describes his infantry training for the U.S. Army
Gen. Colin L. Powell talks about the Buffalo Soldiers Monument at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcript
Now, during this time, you went to--I think in '57 [1957], it's Fort Bragg [North Carolina]?$$Um-hm.$$And--for summer training, and then later, you go for infantry training to Fort--$$Benning.$$Fort Benning [Georgia]. So what was the first experience like at Fort Bragg, the summer training?$$Well, Fort Bragg, I took the bus at the New York [New York] Port Authority Bus Terminal. And my father [Luther Powell] was standing on the side, looking at me through the window of the bus as I headed off to North Carolina. And he swore he would never see me again (audience laughter). And nevertheless, I got there okay, and then driving back--I drove back with a couple of sergeants from my ROTC [Reserve Officers' Training Corps] detachment, members of the cadre. And I learned what it was like being in the South. Fort Bragg, itself, was okay, but we weren't ignorant of what the South was like. And so we drove straight through, as you used to do in those days. And we hit all of the gas stations with the three restrooms, you know, white men, white women and blacks--or whatever they put over the top. They had lots of names for us in those days. And I knew that this wasn't something I could ever be happy about. I was disappointed and mad that these kinds of things happened in the country that I was getting ready to serve. But once I got back to New York, things were fine. But I was also told by my commanders that you just do the best job you can. Don't try to change the society in the South. They were essentially saying, "Be a good soldier and let things change as you go forward." So they wanted me to do well, but they also wanted to make sure that I understood the social circumstances in which I was serving. But it wasn't always easy, especially after I got into the [U.S.] Army and [HistoryMaker] Alma [Powell] and I took our first trip south as a married couple in 1962, shortly after we married. And, you know, Alma was expecting Mike [HistoryMaker Michael Powell], and you had to just keep driving. You didn't stop. Some people forget that there were only two black motels on the north-south roads in those days. And if you couldn't get to one of them, you'd better have a relative and a lot of chicken in the back of the car (audience laughter).$$And infantry training? What was that like?$$Infantry training (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Was that segregated?$$No, no, no. The Army was completely integrated. In fact, an interesting story here is that, if I had come in ten years earlier or if any of the generals here this evening had come in ten years earlier, we never would have become generals. We sort of cut or caught the post-Truman [President Harry S. Truman] desegregation era. Truman did it as an executive order [Executive Order 9981] in 1948. He integrated the [U.S.] military. He did it as an executive order because he never would have gotten it through [U.S.] Congress to change the law. But it took another five years for the services to truly desegregate, and they did it under the pressure of the Korean War. Most of us here tonight came in, in that early '50s [1950s] to mid-to-late '50s [1950s] period when the Army looked itself squarely in the face and said, we have to do what we have been told to do and we have to do everything we can to correct for past discrimination. And as a result of that, all of us were able to be judged on the basis of our performance.$$So the bus that you rode down for the summer group and for infantry training, was that an integrated group or a segregated group that rode down?$$No, when you go into the South, then it was segregated.$$Okay.$$But coming back, of course, I drove in private cars, and that was integrated as long as you didn't try to go and eat anywhere.$$And was it difficult to get into that infantry training?$$No, no, no, no. The infantry training for me didn't turn out to be that difficult 'cause I was well prepared for it. And I discovered that I'd picked up a pretty good education in the public school system in New York, and I could compete from the very beginning with West Pointers [United States Military Academy, West Point, New York] and others from better schools. And in the [United States Army] Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, the only color they recognize is green, infantry, you know, and green and blue, infantry color being blue and green being your uniform. And that's the only thing that mattered to them. And if you perform, we'll move you on. If you don't perform, we don't care what color you are.$Now, around this time, you got involved in a remarkable project that we talked about earlier, the creation of the Buffalo Soldiers Monument [Buffalo Soldier Monument, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas]. Can you tell us a little bit about that?$$Yeah, it was just a simple case that at Fort Leavenworth, which is one of our most historic posts and one of our oldest posts, everyone that ever served there had been memorialized. And I was walking around the post and I never saw anything that recognized the black soldiers that were there. And finally, the historian said, "Oh, no, no. There are two streets down by the cemetery." So I went to look for these two streets, 9th and 10th Cavalry Avenue, and they turned out to be two unpaved roads going through an abandoned trailer park. So I went back to my headquarters. I was a brigadier general, and I called in the historian. And I said, that is not gonna make it. And so you need to put your thinking cap on, because I wanna see an equestrian statue with a Buffalo Soldier on it erected on a prominent place in this post, on this post. And it took years. I left and others followed and continued the work, but I was very honored to go back and dedicate the statue some eight or nine years later. That's one of the major tourist landmarks in eastern Kansas.

The Honorable Alphonso Jackson

Cabinet appointee Alphonso Jackson was born on September 9, 1945 in Marshall, Texas to Henrietta and Arthur Jackson and grew up in South Dallas as one of twelve children. Jackson learned the value of education and the importance of strong work ethic from his parents. He attended both Lincoln University in 1965 and A&M Commerce in 1966 on track scholarships before receiving his B.A. degree in political science from Northeast Missouri State University in 1968. In 1973, Jackson received his J.D. degree from Washington University School of Law.

Jackson's career began in 1973 as an assistant professor at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. From 1977 through 1981, Jackson became the Director of Public Safety for the City of St. Louis, Missouri. He also served as a director of consultant services for the certified public accounting firm, Laventhol and Horwath in St. Louis. Jackson was then appointed as Executive Director of the St. Louis Housing Authority. He held this position until 1983 and became the Director of the Department of Public and Assisted Housing in Washington, D.C. in 1987. In 1989, Jackson became president and CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of Dallas, Texas. Jackson’s executive title marked him as the first African American to head the agency, saving the Housing Authority from the racial discrimination law suits that had been mounting against it. During Jackson’s tenure, he worked to improve the dilapidated buildings and unsafe conditions that had become standard in the city’s neglected public housing units.

In 1996, Jackson left the public sector when American Electric Power-TEXAS hired him as President. There, Jackson ran the $13 billion company for the next five years, until he was appointed as the Housing and Urban Development’s Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer under the George W. Bush Administration. Working under then secretary, Mel Martinez, Jackson managed the daily operations of the $32 billion agency and its 9,300 employees. In 2004, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Jackson as the nation’s thirteenth United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. This distinction marked Jackson as the third African American in the Bush Cabinet after Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell and Rod Paige, the Education Secretary. He resigned from this position on April 18, 2008. Since 2008, Jackson teaches at Hampton University as a professor and Director of the Center for Public Policy and Leadership. Jackson also serves on numerous national and state commissions including the General Services Commission of the State of Texas and the National Commission on America’s Urban Families.

Alphonso Jackson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 3, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.225

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/3/2007

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

St. Anthony Academy

Lincoln University

Texas A&M University - Commerce

Truman State University

Washington University School of Law

H.S. Thompson Elementary School

St. Peter Academy

First Name

Alphonso

Birth City, State, Country

Dallas

HM ID

JAC26

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Chicago, Illinois

Favorite Quote

There's No Place Like America.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

9/9/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hampton

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Cabinet appointee The Honorable Alphonso Jackson (1945 - ) served as the nation’s thirteenth United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Employment

City of St. Louis

St. Louis Public Housing Authority

Department of Public and Assisted Housing

City of Dallas Housing Authority

Texas Southern University

United States Senate

Favorite Color

Gray

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Alphonso Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his mother's personality and accomplishments

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson reflects upon his memories of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson remembers the murder of his neighbor by a white policeman

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his role among his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his community in South Dallas, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson remembers suffering from asthma

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his experiences of discrimination in his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his religious background

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson talks about his education in Catholic schools

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his early writing talent

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson remembers joining the track team at St. Peter Academy in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his track and field competitions

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his decision to attend Lincoln University in Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls joining the Philadelphia Pioneer Club

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls transferring to the Northeast Missouri State Teachers College in Kirksville, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his transfer to East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his experiences of discrimination on the track team at East Texas State University, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his experiences of discrimination on the track team at East Texas State University, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson remembers Coach Kenneth Gardner

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls the death of his father

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his undergraduate degree program

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his graduation from Northeast Missouri State Teachers College

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson remembers earning a master's degree

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his acceptance to law school

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his experience at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his activism at the Washington University School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes the community of St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his political activism in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson remembers the Selma to Montgomery March, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson remembers the Selma to Montgomery March, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his focus as a lawyer

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson remembers Frankie Freeman

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson remembers Margaret Bush Wilson

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson talks about his hometowns

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his position at the University of Missouri - St. Louis

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his work with John Danforth

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls being selected as public safety director in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes the political climate of St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson remembers working for James F. Conway

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his role at the St. Louis Housing Authority

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson remembers running for comptroller of the City of St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his role at the District of Columbia Department of Public and Assisted Housing

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson talks about his start in public housing administration

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes the history of public housing in the United States

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson reflects upon the Model Cities program

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his work for the Dallas Housing Authority

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson remembers the integration of public housing in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his activism in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his relationship with President George Walker Bush

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his work at the Central and South West Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his role at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his experiences at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson talks about public housing programs

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his hopes for the future of public housing

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson talks about housing policy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson reflects upon his personality

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - The Honorable Alphonso Jackson reflects upon his legacy

DASession

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DAStory

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DATitle
The Honorable Alphonso Jackson recalls his track and field competitions
The Honorable Alphonso Jackson describes his work at the Central and South West Corporation
Transcript
You're--you know, you're active in, you know, in the track team, you're competing. You compete--do you--do you compete statewide at that point?$$Statewide.$$Okay. And you're developing a name for your--you know, yourself. Now, was your track team one of the best track teams in the state? No?$$(Shakes head) No, I was one of the--I ended up being the, the best sprinter in the State of Texas in '67 [1967], '68 [1968], public or private. There were three of us and you--one was George Aldredge who was at Highland Park [Highland Park High School, Dallas, Texas], a very rich community. The other was Warren McVea who you've heard about from San Antonio [Texas] and myself. And Mr. Lark [ph.] got me a chance to, to participate in the public school track meets, which was rare because at that point in time, they were segregated. So you couldn't run against--the black high schools could not run against the white high schools in Dallas [Texas], but I had a chance, opportunity to run and beat George Aldredge in high school, and to beat Warren McVea. Now, you have to understand how things were in Texas. If you were in south Texas, San Antonio and south, schools were integrated, but if you were in north Texas starting with Waco [Texas] above, schools were totally segregated. And so Warren McVea was in an integrated environment down in San Antonio at Brackenridge [G.W. Brackenridge High School] and I was--I was not. And so when I ran against George Aldredge, it was because I was at the Catholic high school [St. Peter Academy, Dallas, Texas] that they permitted that. Because the bishop at that time talked to the athletic director in the Dallas public school system [Dallas Independent School District] and he permitted me to run in the meet. And I was the only black to, to run in a white meet at that time and that was '67 [1967] and '68 [1968]. So, I knew there was a difference. Now, we could compete against all the Catholic high schools even though they were white all over Texas, but we didn't compete necessarily against public schools. So half of our, our--plus, plus I played football, too, my sophomore, junior, and senior year. We would play Catholic high schools in Texas, but when we played public schools, we would play segregated public schools like in Ennis [Texas], Waco, Tyler, Texas.$You decided to leave public sector and go and seek--you know, have your real first, you know, business, non-public sector job?$$By accident again. I was on the board of the Boy Scouts [Boy Scouts of America] and the chairman of Central and South West Corporation named Dick Brooks [E. Richard Brooks] was the chairman of the metropolitan area, Fort Worth, Dallas [Texas], Boy Scouts, and he was also on the executive board of the national Boy Scouts. And he was very concerned that we did not have enough blacks and Hispanic Boy Scouts. So, he asked the executive director, he said, "Who can we get to help us get more black and Hispanic kids in the Boy Scouts?" So, Earl [ph.] recommended me and I became vice chair for urban scouting. But what Dick didn't understand and no one understood, they wanted to have three hundred black and Hispanic boys within the next two years. Well, I ran public housing. All I had was black and Hispanics. So, what occurred is within six months, I had like 310 people signed up. It took them about another four months to get all the uniforms. So, after I did that, Dick said, "That is just wonderful." And he called me, he said, "Let's have lunch." So, I said--I told my wife [Jackson's second wife, Marcia Jackson], I said, "Well, probably he's gonna ask me to go on his board." And so I had lunch with him and we talked for a few minutes and he says, "What do you expect to do after you leave the housing authority [Dallas Housing Authority]?" I said, "Well, I hadn't thought about that because I don't plan to leave." He said, "Well, we have a division called Central South West International," and he said, "I really need someone to come in as the vice president to negotiate all of our deals." I said, "I don't want to be a human rights--I mean, a human resource person." He said, "No," he said, "I'm talking about negotiating deals around the world." I said, "Well, what does that mean?" He says, "Just what I said." And he says, "I think you've got the right skills." So, I said to him, I said, "Well, let me talk to my wife." And I talked to my wife and she said, "Well, pursue it further and see what." So, I ended up going back, having an interview a couple of weeks later and after talking, I said, "That sounds great to me." And what I did at that point in time was I said, "What is this job going to pay?" He never answered the question. But in the end when I went for the final interview, it was--it was quite a lot and I became a corporate executive, which means you're a principal in the firm. And so I ended up going there. And it was easy transition because I really didn't have to know anything about the utility business. I had to negotiate deals for us. And as an attorney, it was easy to negotiate deals. So, I negotiated our deal in India, China, Brazil, England, and around the country. And after negotiating those deals, a couple of years later, he comes to me and said, "Why don't you become president and chief operating officer of Central South West, Texas," which was our major corporation in Texas. I said, "I really don't know anything about the regulating side of the business." He said, "That's no problem." And so what he did for a week, he got me a tutor, a very--expert in regulatory affairs and for ten hours a day, I stayed with that tutor and learned it and became president and chief operating officer. And then we merged with EP [American Electric Power (AEP)] and I stayed there until I came here with the president [President George Walker Bush].

The Honorable Hazel O'Leary

Cabinet appointee and president of Fisk University, Hazel Rollins O’Leary was born Hazel Reid on May 17, 1937, in Newport News, Virginia to Dr. Russell Edward Reid and Hazel Palleman. Raised by her stepmother Mattie Ross Reid, O’Leary attended the Urban League’s camp in Atwater, Massachusetts every summer where she met Alma Brown and the Delany sisters. O’Leary attended Aberdeen Gardens School in Hampton, Virginia, Booker T. Washington School, John Marshall School and Huntington High School in Newport News, Virginia. O’Leary graduated from the High School of Fine and Performing Arts in Newark, New Jersey in 1955. She then graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Fisk University in 1959, at the cusp of the Civil Rights Movement. Among her teachers were Vivian Henderson, Robert Hayden, and T.S. Courier. O’Leary went on to obtain her J.D. degree from Rutgers University Law School in 1966.

From 1967 to 1969, O’Leary handled organized crime cases while serving as assistant county prosecutor in Essex County, New Jersey. Later, she joined the accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand. During the administration of President Jimmy Carter, O’Leary acted as assistant administrator of the Federal Energy Commission, general counsel of the Community Services Administration, and an administrator for the Economic Regulatory Commission of the newly-created Department of Energy. In 1981, O’Leary and her husband formed O’Leary and Associates, 1989 to 1993, where she served as executive vice president of Northern States Power in Minnesota.

Nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993, O’Leary became the seventh United States Secretary of Energy and the first African American woman to serve in that office. As Secretary, O’Leary changed the department’s Office of Classification to the Office of Declassification, initiated an aggressive clean-up of surplus plutonium, created an Openness Advisory Panel, and encouraged the Clinton administration to end nuclear testing in the United States. O’Leary established the Samuel P. Massie Chair of Excellence Professorship in Environmental Disciplines which benefited nine historically black colleges and universities. In 1996, O’Leary resigned and joined Blaylock and Partners, becoming CEO in 2002. In 2004, O’Leary was named President of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.

O’Leary served on the boards of Africare, UAL Inc. (parent company of United Airlines), Morehouse College; Alchemix Corporation; AES Corporation; The Center for Democracy; ICF Kaiser; Scottish Re, Ltd.; Nashville Chamber Orchestra; the World Wildlife Fund; Nashville Alliance for Public Education; ITC Holdings, Inc.; and Nashville Business Community for the Arts. O’Leary also received numerous honors for her work. O’Leary was widowed in 1987 and she also has one son, attorney Carl G. Rollins III.

Hazel O'Leary was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 15, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.090

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/15/2007

Last Name

O'Leary

Marital Status

Widow

Schools

Aberdeen Gardens School

John Marshall School

Booker T. Washington Middle School

Arts High School

Fisk University

Rutgers University

Huntington High School

First Name

Hazel

Birth City, State, Country

Newport News

HM ID

OLE01

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Reynaldo Glover

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Scuba Diving

Favorite Quote

I'm On It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

5/17/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Nashville

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

University president and cabinet appointee The Honorable Hazel O'Leary (1937 - ) was the first African American United States Secretary of Energy and the president of Fisk University. O'Leary was also the CEO of Blaylock and Partners.

Employment

State of New Jersey

Coopers & Lybrand

Jimmy Carter administration

O’Leary and Associates

Northern States Power

Federal government of the United States

Blaylock and Partners

Fisk University

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Hot Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:7347,250:19566,419:26532,530:27434,555:28090,565:28418,570:33010,695:37696,704:38156,710:38524,715:42350,740:56460,834:63800,907:67256,952:73560,991:80010,1101:82620,1142:88930,1188:89530,1197:90055,1206:90880,1218:92682,1230:94076,1253:94896,1264:101989,1305:102697,1320:106546,1341:106911,1347:114170,1450:114890,1461:121678,1525:122638,1536:123214,1543:123790,1550:130670,1609:131326,1618:136656,1692:139280,1745:149606,1976:153350,2053:153926,2063:154430,2071:154934,2080:155294,2086:155726,2093:156950,2115:178700,2414:185258,2480:185750,2487:187730,2492:189730,2536:204130,2838:204610,2845:226798,3082:227176,3089:227491,3095:227806,3101:228499,3114:229507,3136:230510,3148$0,0:1312,26:2378,39:7298,167:8036,183:8610,192:10578,223:11398,235:18690,321:20510,334:21070,342:23355,364:25901,426:26973,444:43032,606:48620,639:52210,649:54870,665:55680,676:59084,719:59750,730:60194,737:60638,745:61156,754:63006,787:69074,893:73292,967:79240,1011:79730,1020:80920,1041:81270,1047:81900,1058:82320,1065:82810,1074:83440,1085:84070,1100:86660,1163:87080,1171:87500,1178:91560,1186:91970,1192:93282,1211:93610,1216:93938,1221:95086,1246:102430,1301:102710,1306:102990,1311:103900,1336:107470,1406:108380,1421:115970,1524:116474,1532:117698,1559:118058,1565:118706,1575:119066,1581:119354,1586:120434,1607:120938,1615:121658,1626:122666,1642:123314,1653:136194,1806:143922,1969:148592,1992:150248,2022:151328,2040:155418,2078:159539,2142:159855,2147:176652,2376:184394,2491:188101,2508:189410,2541:190180,2555:190719,2564:192798,2609:193491,2619:198496,2724:198804,2729:199112,2734:205350,2761:206680,2775:208775,2787:212226,2831:212964,2852:222250,2960:229229,3014:229601,3019:236048,3076:236464,3081:236984,3087:237400,3092:247637,3205:248072,3212:248507,3218:249551,3241:249899,3246:252596,3327:276620,3580
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Hazel O'Leary's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her stepmother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her stepmother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary remembers her stepmother's mother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls her awareness of World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes the role of church in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls radio and television programs

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her early interest in reading

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls Camp Atwater in North Brookfield, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls the Aberdeen Gardens in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her elementary school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary remembers Collis P. Huntington High School in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary remembers the Arts High School in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her activities in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls her decision to attend Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary remembers her experiences at Fisk University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary reflects upon the social conventions of Fisk University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls her professors at Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her administration at Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes the history of Nashville's historically black colleges

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary remembers Charles S. Johnson

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls her peers at Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes Diane Nash

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls teaching civil rights history at Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls significant faculty at Fisk University

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
The Honorable Hazel O'Leary recalls her decision to attend Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
The Honorable Hazel O'Leary describes her administration at Fisk University
Transcript
How did you choose a college? Now most of your family you say went to Hampton [Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia], right, they were Hampton people (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Oh yeah, easy. And the other half, you know, at the beginning of integration they all went to, you know, majority schools, as did my sister [Edna Reid McCollum]. She went to Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. And I had three aunts who went, you know, to majority schools long ago. (Cough) I told you how close in age I was to my sister. So when I was a senior in high school [Arts High School, Newark, New Jersey], I would go up to see Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania to see my sister. There were three Negro women there, three. And my sense of them at Cedar Crest was that no one was mean to them, but no one knew what to do with them. And they were sort of foreign elements within the great sea. And then one weekend there was a social, yeah listen to this. The guys from Lehigh [Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania] came over to Cedar Crest College. And what I saw as these hordes of men came through, and my recollection is they may have been five Negro students from the engineering college. I will tell you that the chaperones were body blocking these black guys from talking to the white women, and the black women if it looked like, or Negro women. They were going to talk to the black, the white guys. And I thought to myself, and said so, why would I want to be in a place where A, apparently nobody really likes me, and B, someone is afraid that there will be this romantic flicker? So from that experience I go well, I guess I'm going to a Negro college. And I had a cousin here, recall though, my father [Russell Reid] and my birth mother [Hazel Pallemon Reagan] had gone to Meharry [Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee], so I said, "Hm, I think I'm going to Fisk [Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee]." And in the family, you know, among all of those first cousins, the routine was each kid ready for college would be given enough money to apply to ten schools. I took my ten school money, I applied to Fisk, and I went shopping with the rest of it. And then I thought, what would I have done if I hadn't been admitted? I guess I would have had to go to Hampton. I think they would have taken me there, but I was admitted to Fisk. And I was happy here, and yeah I loved Fisk, yeah, yeah.$$Okay. So was it, was a change from high school. So you went from a segregated school in Newport News [Virginia] to an integrated--$$Yeah, to an integrated school.$$And then to, now to Fisk--$$Take me to where they're gonna love me.$$So you graduated from high school in '55 [1955]?$$Um-hm, '55 [1955], yeah.$$Okay, so you came here the fall of--$$I came in August really. And my father brought me here, which was very interesting. My introduction to life at Fisk involved opening a dresser drawer in my dorm room in Jubilee Hall and having a huge thing fly out of the drawer (makes sound). It was a flying cockroach. My father stood there laughing and said, "Welcome to the real world."$So you were reflecting on your student days at Fisk [Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee] and comparing them to what's going on now at Fisk.$$Oh yeah, and I was--my insight is that there is still this deep involvement of faculty and administration and the lives and comportment of the kids. And I think it's a heavier burden today because they come with -- I'm just talking of my own sense of rebellion. But they come not understanding the boundaries. So they need, they need attention but it can't be heavy attention. And it's interesting, you don't see it, but we have a set of values at Fisk. We celebrate diversity, excellence, teamwork, accountability, integrity, leadership and service. And the reason we thought we should come up with the DETAILS, someone else pulled the acronym together, but we worked at settling on what our values would be, faculty, staff student. So it's right there behind you, the DETAILS. So you'll see signs hanging outside that say, "Our success is in the DETAILS." Which is also an attention to being careful to ensure that you follow the steps with the course that you lay out for yourself and your plan. But it is also to ensure that we model behavior, we don't just talk about the behavior. But that we model it. And so for these youngsters who now deal with their professors and the administration. There is the same involvement in their lives and the celebration of their victories, or you know, I don't want you to think it's all, as the kids would say, it's all good because sometimes it's a rough and rocky road. My first year here the head of the student government association got kicked out because she was on social probation for having a fight over something having to do with a Greek letter or whatever. And here is the bright kid with not enough discipline, I mean I don't even understand it, you know, two women going at it. And she was tremendously embarrassed. And I said to her, you have but one thing to do here. You will be on--she was on social probation for the entire year. I said you have but one thing to do here. You need to earn a 4.0 [grade point average] each semester and get yourself to law school. And you can come to me and talk about it. And then I told her, now they all know, I said but it's not so hard to stay in the dorm all semester, I've done it. And what you have to do is understand that this passage can be ugly or you can make something out of it. And so to continue, there are great teachers who are engaged in and involved in their students, who take the time. I talked early on about going down to admission because you know the students will be there. The so-called administrators who are involved, engaged and they will come to wherever they find simpatico and interest to seek help or seek advice. Or sometimes all because they were in trouble. And that's the glory of the small liberal arts black school [HBCU]. We're not tolerate--we don't tolerate our kids. We don't tolerate each other. We talk about the Fisk family, it exists and you know, you might talk about each other on this campus, but you don't leave here not doing anything other than lifting the kids who are here. And it's a great experience. There are nine hundred and I think fifty-six students here. By the time we get to next year, I will know all of their names. I mean, I mark the class I came in with, I came in a week before the class of 2008. So I'm a sophomore, I'm a sophomore this year, I'll be a junior--no I'm a junior this year. I'll be a senior next year, that's my class.

The Honorable Andrew Young

Andrew Jackson Young, Jr. was born March 12, 1932 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The son of Andrew Jackson Young, Sr., a dentist and Daisy Fuller Young, a teacher, Young grew up in a hostile multi-ethnic neighborhood where his father taught him how to box for survival. Graduating from Gilbert Academy in 1947, at age fifteen, Young was an avid reader who idolized Dr. Ralph Bunche. Attending Dillard University for a year, Young transferred to Howard University where he was on the track and swim teams. Graduating with a B.S. degree in pre-med in 1951, Young was admitted to Hartford Theological Seminary. In 1952, in Marion, Alabama, he met future wife, Jean Childs, as he pastored summer bible school, studied the works of Ghandi and agitated for voting rights. Later, Young met and befriended Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He earned his B.D. degree from Hartford Theological Seminary in 1955.

A product of the United Church of Christ's American Missionary Association (AMA), Young’s first pastorate was at the AMA-founded Bethany Congregational Church in Thomasville, Georgia. In 1957, he went on to the National Council of Churches in New York to work as associate director for youth work and as an administrator for United Church of Christ’s Christian Education Program. Young moved to Atlanta in 1961 and joined the senior staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Young played a key role in negotiating the 1963 Birmingham desegregation agreement. He would do likewise in Selma, Alabama. After Dr. King’s assassination in 1968, Young helped lead the Poor Peoples Campaign. In 1972, he was elected the first black congressman from Georgia since Jefferson Long, serving in the United States House of Representatives until1976. Young was appointed by President Carter as United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 1977 to 1979 and was Mayor of the City of Atlanta from 1982 to 1990. He was named chairman of the Southern Africa Enterprise Development Fund by President Clinton in 1995. In 1996, Young served as chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and co-chairman for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.

In 2003, Young was elected as the twentieth president of the National Council of Churches in New York. He has received numerous honorary degrees and awards including the Pax Christi Award from St John's University; the NAACP’s 1970 Springarn Medal; the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981; the Alpha Kappa Alpha, Peace and Justice Award in1991; and the ROBIE Award in 1998. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Young is co-chair of Good Works International and a director of the Drum Major Institute. The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University is one of the country's best policy schools.

Young who is an associate pastor of First Congregational Church in Atlanta, is married to the former Carolyn Watson. He and his first wife, the late Jean Childs Young, have four children, Andrea, Lisa, Paula, and Andrew, III.

Young was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 27, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.209

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/27/2005

Last Name

Young

Schools

Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center

Valena C. Jones Elementary School

Dillard University

Hartford Seminary

Howard University

First Name

Andrew

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

YOU04

Favorite Season

None

Sponsor

Herman J. Russell

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

3/12/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Civil rights leader, mayor, cabinet appointee, pastor, and U.S. congressman The Honorable Andrew Young (1932 - ) is a civil rights legend, former U.N. Ambassador, and the former mayor of Atlanta, Georgia.

Employment

United Church of Christ

National Council of Churches

Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Atlanta Community Relations Commission

United States Government

City of Atlanta

GoodWorks International

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:2916,73:3645,87:4050,94:4374,99:4698,104:7938,175:11269,191:14257,241:14921,250:21229,371:31536,460:33593,470:37750,507:38150,514:39190,532:39670,539:53370,685:55410,771:68544,905:81082,1089:85592,1140:86450,1153:88790,1227:96668,1368:98306,1401:101192,1457:102128,1479:110856,1564:114500,1585:115397,1600:116294,1615:119813,1689:120296,1699:120917,1711:121538,1722:122159,1732:137004,1855:137434,1861:157110,1987:167216,2136:167952,2147:175820,2195:176276,2203:179018,2215:183664,2227:191815,2342:193515,2367:193940,2373:197170,2423:197595,2429:222514,2756:222922,2763:223398,2771:223806,2778:229632,2838:235193,2948:241778,3003:242314,3012:242850,3022:243118,3027:245513,3044:245898,3050:248747,3105:249363,3116:249825,3124:255364,3176:255652,3181:256372,3192:257020,3203:257740,3233:263760,3301$0,0:289,6:725,11:5160,39:25845,247:26440,256:32760,336:35532,389:36288,400:37044,413:47728,534:50598,576:51992,605:53468,616:54124,627:54616,634:56420,662:60983,671:61498,677:66684,719:67308,730:67620,735:68166,743:68712,751:74280,812:74700,823:93030,967:93810,1008:94290,1018:100498,1089:101810,1111:103286,1136:106298,1163:106802,1171:111266,1258:112130,1274:119050,1312:122600,1416:122968,1422:123612,1430:124992,1451:128488,1501:132444,1555:134652,1588:136492,1608:143550,1623:144075,1629:147225,1689:148170,1704:152310,1717:153840,1739:161215,1837:161670,1843:162216,1850:165686,1865:167654,1894:167982,1899:170032,1936:170852,1954:171426,1963:171918,1970:172902,1986:191946,2219:192468,2226:197601,2327:204122,2362:206761,2395:226418,2643:226770,2648:231786,2716:242808,2818:256782,3001:257860,3007
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating for The Honorable Andrew Young's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his childhood community in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew Young recalls his relationship with his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about his philosophy of "Don't get mad, get smart"

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew Young relates how his maternal ancestors supported themselves in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Andrew Young recalls how some of his maternal ancestors passed for white

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about the moral codes of his father and paternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his paternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew Young recalls his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about the role of sports in his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about his brother, HistoryMaker Dr. Walter Young

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes the role of music in his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his experiences at Valena C. Jones Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Andrew Young recalls a disciplinary incident from third grade at Valena C. Jones Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about the violent atmosphere of Valena C. Jones Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his high school experiences at Gilbert Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his childhood responsibilities within the family

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew Young remembers the murder of his uncle, Walter Fuller

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his childhood dreams and aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes role models from his childhood in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his athletic career at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Andrew Young explains his decision to transfer from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana to Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his academic pursuits during his college years

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his first religious experience

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about the beginnings of his studies of religion

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about his social life at Hartford Theological Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his experiences attending Hartford Theological Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes how he met his wife, Jean Childs Young, while assigned to pastor a church in Marion, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Andrew Young reflects on his experiences living in Europe in 1952

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes events from his senior year at Hartford Theological Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes an encounter with the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about how the business community helps to promote social change

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about the birth of his first two children

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about his support for President Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about how he became involved with the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about working for the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. during the late 1950s

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes running citizenship schools with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about his tenure as executive director of Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about how he led negotiations with the white community during the 1963 Birmingham, Alabama campaign

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about how he became comfortable negotiating with whites

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - List of sponsors for 'An Evening With Andrew Young'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Introduction to 'An Evening With Andrew Young'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - HistoryMaker Charlayne Hunter-Gault introduces Andrew Young

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about his childhood in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - A scene from the Honorable Andrew Young's childhood

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about the educational tradition in which he was raised

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - A scene from the Honorable Andrew Young's college years at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about his calling to religious life

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes meeting his wife, Jean Childs Young in Marion, Alabama

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - A scene from the Honorable Andrew Young's tenure as pastor of Evergreen Congregational Church in Beachton, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes how he first got involved in the Civil Rights Movement as a preacher

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - The Honorable Andrew Young recalls facing and defeating the Ku Klux Klan in Thomasville, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 13 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his tenure working with the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.

Tape: 7 Story: 14 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about returning to the South and getting involved in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Tape: 7 Story: 15 - A scene about the Honorable Andrew Young's work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Tape: 7 Story: 16 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes how Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. assumed leadership of the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 17 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes how Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. assumed leadership of the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 18 - Film clip of the Honorable Andrew Young's political career

Tape: 7 Story: 19 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about being elected to the United States Congress in 1972

Tape: 7 Story: 20 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his tenure as United States Ambassador to the United Nations

Tape: 7 Story: 21 - The Honorable Andrew Young describes his tenure as mayor of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 22 - The Honorable Andrew Young talks about his work with GoodWorks International, LLC in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 23 - The Honorable Andrew Young reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 24 - Credits for 'An Evening with Andrew Young'

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
The Honorable Andrew Young talks about the beginnings of his studies of religion
The Honorable Andrew Young describes an encounter with the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia
Transcript
Well, that's when [Reverend Dr.] Nicholas Hood [Sr.] had just entered my life. And so when I came back from Kings Mountain [North Carolina], he asked me to drive with him to Texas. Well, I still wasn't quite converted, and my roommate was from San Antonio [Texas]. So I figured I would drive out there with Nick, drop him off at the church conference and go on to San Antonio and, you know, party with my roommate. But we were near San Antonio, but it was about 150 miles more, and Nick Hood and I, two young, black men driving across Texas, and we had not seen anybody black since we left Dallas [Texas]. And this was up in the panhandle. And there was nobody at the conference black. And he said, "You not gonna leave me here by myself, are you?" (Laughter) He said, "You really don't wanna get on that road by yourself and drive another 150 miles." So I ended up staying there, and with daily worship services. And we started every day with a Bible study which he led. And it was though the Bible study was prepared for me--$$(Laughter).$$--though he swears it was something that he had done. I mean the verses, "You did not choose me, I chose you and appointed that you should go and bear fruit, and your fruit should abide." [John 15:16] That was one. "Consider the lilies of the field. They toil not, neither do they spin. Yet Solomon in all his glory is not arrayed like one of these. If God so loves the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, how much more does your Heavenly Father love you?" [Matthew 6:28-30]. I mean it was the first time the Bible actually spoke directly to my condition. And I left there feeling that there had to be a purpose in my life, and that it was probably a religious purpose. Now, because there were no other blacks there, and this was a program hoping to involve young people to recommit their lives to Christ, they invited me to volunteer as a field worker, 'cause there were no black volunteers. So I volunteered and they sent me to Camp [Alexander] Mack in [Milford] Indiana for training. And at Camp Mack, which is a Church of the Brethren camp, I read--somebody gave me my first book on [Mohandas] Gandhi, and then I was sent to Connecticut where I was living on the Hartford [Theological] Seminary [Hartford Seminary, Hartford, Connecticut] campus and decided, since most of my work was with young people after school, and I had nothing much to do until three [o'clock] in the afternoon, I went into the dean and asked if I could audit some courses 'cause I didn't know anything about the Bible. And he said, "Well, if you'd sign up for three, we can probably give you a scholarship. There's a Rockefeller Brothers [Fund] grant for the Negro ministry, and it gives you a year to decide whether you're interested in the ministry or not. And we could--if you'll take three courses, we can give you a scholarship." So I took Old Testament, New Testament and philosophy of religion.$$And so after your mountaintop experience, a defining moment in your life, after your field work or your experience in Texas at the camp and after your field work at Camp Mack, Indiana and your exposure to Gandhi, and your experience taking the courses at Hartford, you felt that your life really had direction.$$It seemed to have a direction.$And I went back then, went back to the same church I'd been at that summer in Thomasville, Georgia. And Maynard Jackson's grandfather [John Wesley Dobbs] was speaking at a voter registration rally--well, actually, I think it was a March of Dimes rally in Columbus [Georgia]. And I went up to hear him, and he asked me, in addition to working for the March of Dimes, he asked, would I be willing to lead a voter registration drive. And I said, sure. But the day I was supposed to--the weekend that I was supposed to lead the voter registration drive, we went up to Albany, Georgia and coming back on a back road, just as we turned around the curve at Doerun, Georgia, right outside of Moultrie [Georgia]. It looked like there were several hundred people with sheets on. There was a gathering of a [Ku Klux] Klan [KKK] rally. Well, I slowed down and eased through the crowd, but my wife [Jean Childs Young] and my three-month old baby [Andrea Young] were in the back seat. And on the way back, we were trying to decide, you know, we had not seen the Klan. We hadn't had any trouble until we put up these signs announcing a voter registration drive. So we figured they were coming to try to intimidate us about voter registration. And there were two things happened that were formative in my life. One, coming out of Hartford [Theological Seminary; Hartford Seminary, Hartford, Connecticut], and Jean was a good, country girl, and one of the things we used to do when we were courting was go back out in the woods with her .22 [rifle] and have a shooting contest. And she could always, I mean we'd stopped off in Coney Island [New York, New York] and at a moving target, she hit sixteen out of twenty. And everything we did was competitive. I mean she'd--so, I mean she could handle a gun with no problem. I said, "Look, if these people come here, you cannot sit here and let them burn down this house." We were in an old house, not unlike this one except that it had not been repaired. We had no carpets on the floor. We were in the process of putting down some linoleum, and putting up sheetrock, and if somebody had thrown a match in there, it would have gone up in smoke. And we were living on the second story. So I said, "I'm gonna go outside and talk to 'em, but I want you to point the gun at the guy that I'm talking to just so we can talk on even terms." This is my translation of Reinhold Niebuhr realpolitik, negotiating from a position of strength, see. And she says, "I'm not gonna point any gun at a human being. I don't care if he is a Klansman." I said, "Woman, well, what do you want? You want them to burn down our house or our baby, kill our three-month old baby? I'm not afraid to die, but there's no need in us running this risk." And she said, "If you don't believe the stuff you're preaching, we just as well fold up and go home. And if you're not gonna trust God in this kind of thing, then you got nothing to preach about." Well, that put me in my place.

Constance Berry Newman

Constance Ernestine Berry Newman was born on July 8, 1935, in Chicago, Illinois. Her mother was a social worker and nurse and her father was a physician. Wanting to play a more active role in the civil rights movement, her father relocated the family to Tuskegee, Alabama. Newman attended Tuskegee Institute High School, located on the campus of the Tuskegee University, where she was an honor roll student and active in the Government Club. She earned her high school diploma in 1952. In 1956, Newman earned her B.A. degree in political science from Bates College, where she was active on the debate team and pre-law club. In 1959, she earned her law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School and then moved to France with her husband, who was a member of the United States Air Force.

Returning to the United States, Newman moved to Washington, D.C., in 1962, and despite having a law degree, the only employment she was able to obtain was as a clerk typist with the United States Interior Department. She remained at the Interior Department until 1967, working her way through the ranks serving as a personnel assistant and eventually personnel manager. From 1967 until 1969, Newman worked for the Office of Economic Development working with migrant farmers and then served as Special Assistant to Elliott Richardson, who headed what is now known as the Department of Health and Human Services. In 1971, she was appointed by former President Richard Nixon to serve as director of VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), the domestic Peace Corps. From 1973 until 1976 she served as the director of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Between 1976 and 1977, Newman oversaw the consumer unit focused on Indian and elderly affairs as the assistant director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 1977, she co-founded Newman and Hermanson Company, a consulting firm specializing in the government regulatory procedures. From 1982 until 1984, Newman worked for the Institute of American Business. In 1984, Newman served as a private consultant to on issues related to Africa, working on a World Bank project in which she lived and worked in the South African country of Lesotho. In 1989, President George H.W. Bush appointed her director of the Office of Personnel Management, and in 1992, she served as Under Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute.

In 2001, Newman was sworn is an Assistant Administrator for Africa of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the government agency that administers economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide. In 2004, Newman was appointed Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and sworn in by Secretary of State Colin Powell. She resigned in April 2005.

Accession Number

A2004.252

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/9/2004

Last Name

Newman

Maker Category
Middle Name

Berry

Organizations
Schools

Chambliss Children's House at Tuskegee Institute

Tuskegee Institute High School

Bates College

University of Minnesota Law School

Tuskegee Institute Middle School

First Name

Constance

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

NEW02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

Really now.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

7/8/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sushi

Short Description

Cabinet appointee and federal government appointee Constance Berry Newman (1935 - ) has served in numerous government posts starting in 1962. Newman has been the director of VISTA, a special assistant to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Assistant Secretary of State African Affairs.

Favorite Color

Purple

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Constance Newman interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Constance Newman lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Constance Newman recalls her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Constance Newman recalls her father and the family's move to Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Constance Newman talks about about her ancestors

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Constance Newman contrasts experiences in Minnesota and Alabama during her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Constance Newman talks about her siblings and memories of family life during her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Constance Newman recalls neighborhoods from her childhood as well as sights, smells and sounds

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Constance Newman discusses her early formal education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Constance Newman talks about her career aspirations and her impressions of Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Constance Newman details her early rejection of organized religion

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Constance Newman discusses her grammar school years in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Constance Newman recalls her youth and her close relationship with her brother

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Constance Newman talks about her high school experiences in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Constance Newman recalls her decision to attend Bates College in Lewiston, Maine

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Constance Newman describes her experiences at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Constance Newman talks about her father's sudden death and her family's move back to Minnesota

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Constance Newman recalls her experiences at the University of Minnesota Law School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Constance Newman describes her year residency in France after law school

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Constance Newman details her work with the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Kerner Commission

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Constance Newman talks about various governmental positions she's held

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Constance Newman describes her work with the Department of Heath and Human Services in the late 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Constance Newman recalls her duties at VISTA in the 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Constance Newman details the rigors of the Senate confirmation process

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Constance Newman discusses governmental opportunities for women in the 1970s and forming her consulting company

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Constance Newman details her work with the African Development Foundation

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Constance Newman describes her work with the Office of Personnel Management and her appointment to the Smithsonian

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Constance Newman talks about her business called Upstart, part I

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Constance Newman talks about her business called Upstart, part 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Constance Newman details her involvement with USAID

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Constance Newman discusses the perception of Africa in the United States and in the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Constance Newman talks about U.S. interests in the Middle East in relation to those in Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Constance Newman expresses her hopes and concerns for Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Constance Newman discusses her current role as the Assistant Secretary of State for Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Constance Newman talks about the highlights of her life and career

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Constance Newman reflects on her legacy and how she wishes to be remembered

The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace

Academic administrator and cabinet appointee The Honorable Joan Scott Wallacewas born in Chicago, Illinois on November 8, 1930. Her mother, Esther, worked as a social worker, and her father, William Edouard, was a painter during the Harlem Renaissance. Many of his works appeared as covers on the NAACP’s magazine, The Crisis. After graduating from Englewood High School in Chicago in 1948, Wallace attended Bradley University, earning a B.A. in social work. Wallace then went on to attend Columbia University, earning a master’s in social work in 1958, and later earned a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1973.

Beginning her career with the government during the Carter administration, Wallace was named Assistant Secretary of Agriculture in 1977. There she managed administration policy in personnel, equal opportunity and administrative law among other duties. She held that post until 1981, when she became the head of the International Cooperation and Development Agency. In that position, Wallace sent specialists to 100 foreign countries to provide technical assistance in agriculture and managed over 500 research programs. With the election of George H. W. Bush as president, Wallace was a diplomat with the rank of ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago and represented the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture.

Wallace retired from the government shortly after the election of President Clinton, and then became the CEO of Americans for Democracy in Africa, a non-profit organization that monitored elections in African countries. Wallace has also served as dean of the Howard University School of Social Work, the director of the Western Michigan School of Social Work and the vice president for administration at Morgan State University. She also was the first female vice president of the National Urban League under Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.

Wallace passed away on March 15, 2018.

Since 2000, Wallace has been the commissioner of Volunteer Florida: the Governor’s Commission on Community Service.

Accession Number

A2004.155

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/31/2004

Last Name

Wallace

Middle Name

Scott

Schools

Englewood High School

Austin O. Sexton Elementary School

Bradley University

Columbia University

Northwestern University

University of Chicago Charter School - North Kenwood/Oakland

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Joan

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

WAL06

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Adults, Seniors

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Spring, Fall, Winter

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: Moderate, plus travel and lodging expenses
Preferred Audience: Adults, Seniors

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Chicago, Illinois

Favorite Quote

When The Door Of Opportunity Opens, Be Ready To Put Your Foot In, And Leave It Open For Your Brother And Sister.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

11/8/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Pompano Beach

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream (Sugar-free)

Death Date

3/15/2018

Short Description

Academic administrator and cabinet appointee The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace (1930 - 2018) was the first female vice president of the National Urban League, and has served as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, head of the International Cooperation and Development Agency, Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, and CEO of Americans for Democracy in Africa.

Employment

United States Department of Agriculture

International Cooperation and Development Agency

Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)

Americans for Democracy in Africa

Howard University School of Social Work

Western Michigan University School of Social Work

Morgan State University

University of Chicago

Barat College

University of Illinois School of Social Work

National Urban League

Florida International University

Favorite Color

None

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about her maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes her mother's early life in West Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about her paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about her paternal great-grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes how her father, William Edouard Scott, began his career as a painter

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about living in the Rosenwald Apartments in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes her childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about the Abraham Lincoln Center in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes moving to a new elementary school in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about the ethnic makeup of the Oakland neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes her experiences at Austin O. Sexton Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about donating her father's work for the American Negro Exposition in Chicago to the Schomburg Center in New York

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about her father's work and religious affiliation

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes her academic interests

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace recalls her experience at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes her teachers and career aspirations at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace recalls attending Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about her interests at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois and HistoryMaker Reverend C.T. Vivian

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes her personality during her time at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace recalls traveling to Puerto Rico for a summer work program during her college years

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace recalls getting married while attending Columbia University School of Social Work in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes her experience at Columbia University School of Social Work In New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about eloping with her first husband, John H. Wallace, in 1953

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about the various work she did between getting her master's degree and her Ph.D.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes her dissertation project at Barat College in Lake Forest, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes the positions she held at the School of Social Work at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about her experience as vice president of the National Urban League in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes her experience as vice president of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about her two husbands and her remarriage to her first husband

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes being hired as assistant secretary for the administration with the United States Department of Agriculture

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about why she was considered for a job with the United States Department of Agriculture

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes the work environment at the United States Department of Agriculture in 1977

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes her work for HBCUs in the United States Department of Agriculture

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about her goals and challenges at the United States Department of Agriculture

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about her second husband's work during the late 1970s and early 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about her work with African American farmers at the United States Department of Agriculture

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes her work with the Office of International Cooperation and Development

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about living in Trinidad

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes her activities since retirement

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about visiting Nigeria with Americans for Democracy in Africa and the Abacha Administration in Nigeria

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace talks about the controversial 1993 election in Nigeria

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes her experience visiting Sudan with Americans for African Democracy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

9$2

DATitle
The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace recalls attending Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois
The Honorable Joan Scott Wallace describes her work for HBCUs in the United States Department of Agriculture
Transcript
Now tell us about Bradley. Now you went to Bradley University in Peoria [Illinois]. Were there many black students there when you arrived in Bradley?$$I integrated the dormitory at Bradley University because they thought I was white. I just came charging into Bradley fearless. I guess I've always been a little fearless, but I came down there and came to Sissen [ph.] House. It was a small dorm. From Chicago [Illinois]. The blacks that were there were men primarily because right before it became a university it was a Polytechnic Institute [Bradley Polytechnic Institute]. So it had all things like engineering and all kinds of technical subjects there. And a number of blacks were going there, especially graduate students, from Missouri because they couldn't go to school in Missouri to get degrees, so Missouri would pay Illinois, pay Bradley, to send them to school. So there were a number of black men. There was, in my, and the school was heavily men. In my class there were a thousand men and one hundred women. We had a lot of veterans also. So, and then we had that great football, basketball team, Bradley Braves. It was a wonderful basketball team and I remember standing in line from two in the afternoon 'til eight at night to get a ticket.$$Was Bradley winning a lot of games in those days?$$It was top. It won the pennant for several years and then it had a scandal.$$The NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] Championship, was it?$$That's right.$$All right. There was a scandal while you were in school?$$I had gone off to Puerto Rico on a special summer project and I read it in the newspaper or heard it on the news or something and I was just hurt, so hurt, because Bradley had been so good. They didn't have any black players in those days, all white. But everybody loved that Bradley basketball team. And there was one black fraternity which was the Alphas [Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity], I think, and, no it was the Omegas [Omega Psi Phi Fraternity], the Omegas. And then they had no sororities that were black so I became a Delta [Sigma Theta Sorority] by going all the way to the University of Illinois [at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois] and going through down there. But I didn't have, I mean, I never really had a lot of involvement because it was just too far away at Bradley. But, you know, I mean I learned, Bradley was a white world, primarily. A few blacks. Certainly enough guys to date (laughter) and I enjoyed Bradley.$I had a couple of things that I wanted to make a priority. One was the African American, the 1890 black colleges [historically black colleges and universities, HBCUs]. The 1890 colleges are the colleges that are land grant colleges and there are about seventeen of them. The 1862 colleges are land grant, but those are the University of Illinois [at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois], the, you know, the big ones. But the 1890s are the black land grant colleges, like the Alabama A&M [University; Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, Normal, Alabama]. Tuskegee [University, Tuskegee, Alabama] is included in that group. All the A&M [Agricultural and Mechanical] colleges that are primarily black. So I discovered that they had only about, when they started out getting money from the agricultural department [U.S. Department of Agriculture], it was like $280,000 for seventeen colleges, which was ridiculous given that the Ohio States [The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio] of the world got millions of dollars. And so I made that a priority to do something about that. And so I had under me, I had management, operations and finance, data services, equal opportunity personnel, contract appeals, administrative law judges and safety and health, which I created that unit. And so equal opportunity, I created an office for the 1890s in the equal opportunity area. And their job was to be an advocate for those, for those colleges.$$Now, did you have--was [HistoryMaker] James Cheek involved in any of this stuff?$$Uh-uh, because he's not an 1890 university. And I also met with those college presidents. I went and took delegations sometimes to visit those colleges. But when I left to go to Trinidad, it would be after the [President Ronald Wilson] Reagan administration, I, they took me to dinner, all the presidents and they also recommended that I get an honorary degree, which I did from Alabama A&M, just for that special thing. And they were now getting seventy-five million dollars and I feel, felt so--I don't know what they're getting now, probably twice or three times that much, but because of that work.

The Honorable Alexis Herman

The first African American to become the secretary of labor, Alexis M. Herman was born in Mobile, Alabama, on July 16, 1947. Her mother was a teacher in Mobile and her father was the first black politician elected in the South since Reconstruction. After graduating from a Catholic high school, Herman attended Xavier University in New Orleans, graduating in 1969.

Herman began her career in 1969 as a social worker for Catholic Charities, developing employment training opportunities for unemployed youth. From there, she was hired by the Department of Labor. At age twenty-nine, Herman became the youngest person to hold the position of Director of the Women's Bureau, and while there, Herman pressured Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola to hire female professionals. It was also during this time that she met future President Bill Clinton. She formed A.M. Herman & Associates in 1981, advising state and local governments on labor markets until 1989. She also later became the National Director of the Minority Women Employment Program of R-T-P, Inc., where she established programs to place minority women in white-collar and nontraditional jobs.

Returning to government service in 1989, Herman joined the Democratic National Committee as chief of staff on the suggestion of longtime friend Ron Brown, and by 1992 was the CEO of the Democratic National Convention. After Clinton's election in 1992, Herman was appointed assistant to the president and director of the White House Public Liaison Office in 1993. When Clinton was reelected, he appointed her the twenty-third secretary of labor. Her appointment was not without controversy, however, as many labor leaders did not support her. Later, Herman would be implicated in one of the improper fundraisers held at the White House. She weathered both of these storms unscathed, continuing to fight for minority and women's rights in the workplace.

Today, Herman tours the country in speaking engagements, speaking of her own entrepreneurial ventures, her time in the Department of Labor, and her grandmother's advice. She chairs the Coca-Cola Company Task Force and the Toyota Advisory Board on Diversity. She sits on the board of MGM/Mirage, Inc. and is actively involved in the National Urban League and the Ron Brown Foundation. Herman and her husband, Dr. Charles Franklin, live in Virginia.

Accession Number

A2003.087

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/23/2003 |and| 6/30/2003 |and| 7/15/2003

Last Name

Herman

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Xavier University of Louisiana

First Name

Alexis

Birth City, State, Country

Mobile

HM ID

HER02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Near Water

Favorite Quote

If The Time's Not Ripe, You Have To Ripen The Times.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

7/16/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beans (Red), Rice

Short Description

Cabinet appointee The Honorable Alexis Herman (1947 - ) is the former U.S. Secretary of Labor.

Employment

Catholic Charities

United States Department of Labor

A.M. Herman & Associates

Democratic National Committee

White House

White House Public Liaison Office

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alexis Herman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman describes her mother, Gloria Broadus

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman shares memories of her mother, Gloria Broadus

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman describes her father, Alex Herman

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman describes how her father's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement shaped her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman describes her earliest memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Alexis Herman describes growing up in segregated Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman describes the sights, sounds, and smells of Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman talks about being raised a black Catholic

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman talks about her father's activism

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman describes her father's lawsuit against the Democratic Party in the 1940s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman recounts the night that her father, Alex Herman, was beaten, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman recounts the night that her father, Alex Herman, was beaten, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman recounts the night that her father, Alex Herman, was beaten, pt. 3

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman talks about attending Catholic schools

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Alexis Herman describes experiencing segregation at the local May Day celebration

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Alexis Herman recalls confronting Bishop Thomas Joseph Toolen. pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman recalls confronting Bishop Thomas Joseph Toolen. pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman recalls the reaction of friends and family after her expulsion from school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman describes Sister Patricia's influence on her early years

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman talks about visiting her surrogate grandmother, Margaret Dozier in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman talks about her unwed parents

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman recalls trying to win her parent's favor in spite of her 'illegitimate' label

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman describes her childhood friends

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman describes her personality as a child

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman talks about race and Mardi Gras

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman talks about her plan to become a psychiatric social worker

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman talks about transferring to Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman talks about her job search in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman describes working as a social worker at Catholic Charities in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman recalls being selected as a delegate at the White House Conference on Children and Youth in 1971

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman talks about being a delegate at the White House Conference on Children and Youth in 1971

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman talks about recruiting Ingalls Shipyard to provide employment opportunities in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Alexis Herman describes her efforts to get African Americans into the skilled trades in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Alexis Herman recalls Ray Marshall's offer to work on a study of black women in corporate America

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman describes attending Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman recalls her classmates at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman recalls bringing black male friends to Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman talks about Elizabeth Duncan Koontz and other Southern leaders

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman recalls the difficulty of convincing companies to interview black women

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman talks about running her employment training program for black women

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman describes the success of her employment training program for black women

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman describes forming the Minority Women's Employment Program

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman talks about the many mentors who encouraged her to work in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman talks about being nominated as the Director of the Women's Bureau in 1977

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman talks about A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman talks about HistoryMaker Andrew Young

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman talks about merging her interests in counseling and labor economics

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman talks about the confirmation process to be named as the Director of the Women's Bureau in 1977

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman describes the Women's Bureau

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman recalls the highlights of her time as Director of the Women's Bureau

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Alexis Herman's interview

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman recalls efforts to amend Title VII as Director of the Women's Bureau

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman shares the lessons she learned about crafting public policy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman describes the key players advocating on women's issues in the late 1970s in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman talks about the role of race in displaced homemaker legislation

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman recalls lessons she learned about self-interest the legislative process

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman talks about the abrupt changes after President Jimmy Carter lost reelection

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman describes launching her own consulting firm

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Alexis Herman describes the client base of her consulting firm

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Alexis Herman describes the early contracts garnered by her consulting firm

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman talks about researching the retention of African American women scientists at Procter and Gamble

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman describes working on corporate assimilation strategies following mergers and acquisitions for Procter and Gamble

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman recalls working on HistoryMaker Ron Brown's campaign to be chairman of the Democratic Party

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman describes helping HistoryMaker Ron Brown to restructure the Democratic Party

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman talks about the Democratic Party administrative staff hired by HistoryMaker Ron Brown

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman recalls being hired as the Democratic Party Chairman Ron Brown's Chief of Staff

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman outlines the three keys to HistoryMaker Ron Brown's success as DNC Chairman

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman talks about the Democratic Party's electoral success in 1989

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman recalls the electoral victory celebration in 1989

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman talks about her one year commitment to being Ron Brown's Chief of Staff

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman describes HistoryMaker Ron Brown's unwavering commitment to electing a Democrat as President in 1992

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman talks about being the first woman as DNC Chief of Staff

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman talks about her mother's death and Bill Clinton

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman talks about the DNC's 1992 Presidential Election strategy

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman recalls being asked to run the DNC convention

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Alexis Herman describes being the first female CEO of the Democratic National Convention

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Alexis Herman describes her involvement in HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse Jackson's 1988 Presidential Campaign

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Slating of Alexis Herman's interview

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman recalls her experience with President Jimmy Carter's administration

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman describes the tenuous relationship between President Jimmy Carter and the black community

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman talks about Ambassador Andrew Young's resignation

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman recalls the start of her relationship with HistoryMaker Ron Brown

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman describes the logistics of the 1992 Democratic National Convention, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman describes the logistics of the 1992 Democratic National Convention, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman talks about Bill Clinton's breakthrough as a presidential contender

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Alexis Herman describes working on Bill Clinton's Transition Planning team in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Alexis Herman reflects upon her successful management of the 1992 Democratic National Convention

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman describes her role during Bill Clinton's presidential transition

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman describes managing President Bill Clinton's transition in 1992

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman recalls turning down five offers to be deputy secretary in Bill Clinton's cabinet

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman talks about Federico Pena being named Secretary of Transportation

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman talks about being appointed White House Public Liaison and her mentors help

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman describes being White House Public Liaison

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman talks about being President Bill Clinton's choice for Secretary of Labor

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman describes the nomination process to become President Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman talks about inquiries into her business operations

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman describes her confirmation as Secretary of Labor

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman describes successfully handling the UPS strike as U.S. Secretary of Labor

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman describes successfully handling the UPS strike as U.S. Secretary of Labor, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman describes her four priorities as U.S. Secretary of Labor

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman describes her accomplishments as U.S. Secretary of Labor

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman describes leaving office in 2000

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman talks about the contested 2000 Presidential Election

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman describes coping with the 2000 Presidential Election loss

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman describes her career plans following the 2000 Presidential Election

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman talks about her future plans

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman narrates her photographs, pt.1

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$3

DATape

3$12

DAStory

2$5

DATitle
Alexis Herman recalls the reaction of friends and family after her expulsion from school
Alexis Herman describes successfully handling the UPS strike as U.S. Secretary of Labor, pt. 2
Transcript
So I go get my books, and I got put out of school. And I walked, I walked all the way to my father's [Alex Herman] office. And I used to sometimes walk, you know, from school to my dad's office, and he'd give me a ride home. And so this particular morning I walked all the way to his office, and I went there and I cried all the way, carrying my books. I was just mad. I was just mad. And so I get there, and he hadn't even gotten there yet, and they called him and told him that I was, you know, at the office. And he came over there, and I told him what had happened. You have never seen my father so upset as he was at that moment. If I thought he was gonna curse in his lifetime, it would have been then. He was so angry that I had been expelled, and he was so proud of what I had done, you know, that, you know, it, it was like--he called my mother at school and told her what had happened. And the next thing I knew, my father had called all the parents. They had a meeting night, and everybody was boycotting the school. And they said until we get an answer to this question, and until we're able to come up with a plan to deal with our own racial problems in this diocese, in this high schools, we're not coming back. And so it became the genesis for the talks that actually started in our community to desegregate our high schools. And so they came up with a plan that the next year we were gonna have our first exchange of students who would go to McGill-Toolen [Catholic High School]. Those are white schools. No one, of course, was coming to Heart of Mary. The issue was integrating the white schools. And so they went through a process of selecting students that would be the first students to integrate the white Catholic high schools. But the good news was the next year we had a participant in the May Day procession. We ran the procession the next year, and the first woman to do it was, was Marie DeTage (ph.); she got to march in the first May Day procession at Hartwell Field. So, I tell you that story because I--I don't even remember what the question was you asked me now. But you asked me something about some of my earliest recollection, and I think for me, it was the first time of taking what I con--was a big risk I guess. But I got positive reinforcement from my parents, from the community, from my teachers, Sister Patricia. And, and it was like, you know, and we got change; we got results. I saw something happen, you know; I saw something happen. And so for me, it just kind of shaped me, you know. So I guess all that I was learning over the years, but that experience, it was sort of like getting past a fear of confronting Bishop Toolen has helped me over the years overcome lots of fears. Because, you know, I always say that you have to get into the habit of taking risks. You have to always keep practicing it, you know, and each time it gets easier and easier. And you never will lose the fear and anxiety, it just, you just get more courage each time you have to step out on point, you know.$So--and then, of course, the president was getting enormous pressure at the White House. And so finally we talked, and I just said you know, even though I know this is unorthodox, I feel like I have to get hands-on and involved directly because I believe I have the confidence and the trust of both sides. They are not willing to talk to one another yet, but they are willing to talk to me. And if I'm able to shuttle between the two, perhaps I can find a way to get them back to the table. And so that's what I did, and I did that for like two weeks. And I had secret meetings in my home. I had meetings away from the labor department, and no one even knew I was doing it. The White House knew, but no one else knew. And that was a part of winning the confidence, because I think, to the extent that I didn't talk about it, no one else knew what I was doing, and it didn't get into the media, I was able to win their trust and confidence, to, to give them some sense that perhaps we might be able to achieve some kind of a settlement. And I'll never forget, because I had to take a trip with the president on Air Force One to brief him on the opportunity that I thought we had to restart the negotiations, and that we might be ready to make that announcement. So I did that. I joined him one day. I can't remember where we were going now. It was some trip in the Midwest, but I have pictures 'cause that, for me that was the beginning of restarting the negotiations, me briefing him at that moment on Air Force One. And I did get a commitment from the teamsters and from UPS that they would come back to the table, but only with the condition that I was there. And, and I had to find a way to get them not to leave again. Because what had been happening, it was start, stop, start, stop, and either one party would walk out or the other party would work out, and you never could seal the deal. So I had to think of an environment where they couldn't walk out if I was there, so we decided to hold the negotiations at the labor department. That was the first decision, and they both agreed to come to the department for the negotiations. But then I said you know, that's too high profile. I have to have the labor department be ongoing, and if these things go into the middle of the night, I have no ability to, to sleep anybody at the labor department, and I didn't want anybody to leave. That was the whole notion here. So I said I'll tell you what, let's go to the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill; let's just set up camp there; and let's agree that we're gonna lock ourselves in until we get it done, and I'm prepared to lock up with you for however long it takes. And that's what we did, so I had my staff handle all the logistics, all the arrangements. We went to the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, and I took my deputy secretary. At the time, he wasn't my deputy secretary. He was my chief economist, Ed Montgomery. And we went to the Hyatt Regency, and I had teamsters on one wing, and UPS on another wing, and I was in the middle, and we had a whole negotiating floor downstairs. And that's what we did. We shot proposals, and we went back and forth, and we did shuttle diplomacy, and they met face to face until we hammered out a deal, and we finally got there. It was like around midnight one night. I just remember it was late.$$That's amazing. So you had brought all that together. Now, so you have this terrific success, you know, 'cause it could have gotten stalled then--$$Oh, no question, it was high risk.

Rodney E. Slater

Lawyer Rodney Slater was born on February 23, 1955, in Tutwyler, Mississippi. By the age of six, Slater was picking cotton with his mother in order to earn money for a bicycle, and he continued to pick cotton throughout his youth to supplement the family income. He attended Eastern Michigan University on a scholarship, where he was captain of the football team and star of Eastern Michigan's national championship forensic team, graduating in 1977. He went on to attend the University of Arkansas School of Law, earning a J.D. degree in 1980.

Slater became an assistant Attorney General upon graduation from law school, and he remained in that position until 1982. It was during that time that he met then-governor Bill Clinton. In 1983, Clinton named him one of his assistants, where he worked first in the economic and community affairs areas, and then later as special assistant for community and minority affairs. In 1987, Clinton named Slater to the Arkansas Highway Commission, where he became chairman in 1992. During this time, Slater served as director of government affairs for Arkansas State University. Following the election of Clinton as President of the United States, Slater was named the director of the Federal Highway Administration, and in 1997, he was named Secretary of Transportation, a position he held until the end of the Clinton administration. Today he is with the law firm of Patton Boggs LLP.

Slater is involved in numerous civic organizations, including the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Community for the Future, the Boy Scouts of America and the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, among others. He has been named one of the “100 Most Influential Black Americans” by Ebony, and has received an Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award and an honorary doctorate from Howard University. Slater and his wife, Cassandra Wilkins, have two children.

Accession Number

A2003.267

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/14/2003

Last Name

Slater

Maker Category
Middle Name

E.

Organizations
Schools

Anna Strong Elementary School

Anna Strong Middle School

Lee High School

Eastern Michigan University

University of Arkansas

First Name

Rodney

Birth City, State, Country

Tutwyler

HM ID

SLA01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

2/23/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Thanksgiving Dinner

Short Description

Transportation lawyer and cabinet appointee Rodney E. Slater (1955 - ) is the former U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

Employment

State of Arkansas

Arkansas Highway Commission

Arkansas State University

Federal Highway Administration

United States Department of Transportation

Patton Boggs LLP

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rodney E. Slater's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rodney E. Slater lists his favorites, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rodney E. Slater lists his favorites, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rodney E. Slater describes his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rodney E. Slater talks about his mother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rodney E. Slater recalls his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rodney E. Slater recounts stories from his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rodney E. Slater describes his stepfather's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rodney E. Slater recalls the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rodney E. Slater talks about the symbolic role of railroad tracks during his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rodney E. Slater recalls the intellectual community of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and the legacy of Mary Jane McLeod Bethune

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rodney E. Slater recalls his years at Strong Elementary School in Marianna, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rodney E. Slater describes the history of eastern Arkansas and its role in southern politics, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rodney E. Slater describes the history of eastern Arkansas and its role in southern politics, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rodney E. Slater reflects upon his education at Anna P. Strong Middle School in Marianna, Arkansas and his mentors growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rodney E. Slater talks about integration at Lee Senior High School in Lee County, Arkansas and throughout the South

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rodney E. Slater describes a student strike at Lee Senior High School in Lee County, Arkansas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rodney E. Slater describes getting a football scholarship to Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rodney E. Slater describes getting a football scholarship to Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rodney E. Slater recalls how he became interested in public speaking

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rodney E. Slater recalls those who helped him gained entrance into Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rodney E. Slater describes the social and intellectual environment at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rodney E. Slater describes the cultural environment at Eastern Michigan University, and his interest competitive public speaking

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Rodney E. Slater describes joining the forensics team at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rodney E. Slater describes a 1927 lynching in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rodney E. Slater describes a powerful after-dinner speech about stereotypes he watched at Eastern Michigan University, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rodney E. Slater describes a powerful after-dinner speech about stereotypes he watched at Eastern Michigan University, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rodney E. Slater recalls the 1977 college forensics championships in Washington, D.C. and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rodney E. Slater recalls public speaking advice from a colleague at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rodney E. Slater talks about President Bill Clinton's oratorical skills and about prominent African American athletes

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Rodney E. Slater reflects upon his role as a student athlete in raising awareness of Eastern Michigan University's forensics team

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Rodney E. Slater talks about college football since the 1970s