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Rita Ann Turfley Powdrell

Nonprofit executive Rita Ann Turfley Powdrell was born on July 1, 1946 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Ann Scott Turfley and Richard Thomas Turfley. In 1968, Powdrell received her B.A. degree in sociology from the University of New Mexico.

In 1968, Powdrell served as a social worker in the county welfare system in Fresno, California. Four years later, she was hired as a California state regulations interpreter and trainer. In 1974, Powdrell and her family moved back to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she served as a counselor advisor at the Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute. At the Technical Vocational Institute, Powdrell worked on Preparatory Program, a new program that supported students who were coming out of high school. In 1983, Powdrell opened and managed a new location of the restaurant Mr. Powdrell’s Barbeque House with her husband, his brother and her sister-in-law. Mr. Powdrell’s Barbeque had been owned and operated by her husband’s family since 1962. In 1991, Powdrell co-founded the Griot Society with Brenda Dabney; and, in 1995, they curated and exhibited “New Mexico's African American Legacy: Visible, Vital, and Valuable,” a pictorial history of African Americans who were brought or migrated to the territory of New Mexico. In 2002, the Griot Society joined with numerous African American organizations in New Mexico to form The African American Museum and Cultural Center of New Mexico. The center, where Powdrell served as executive director, exhibited the wealth of African American history in New Mexico at museums and other venues throughout the state and served to increase awareness and understanding of the contributions of African Americans in New Mexico and the southwest.

Powdrell has received multiple awards for her work. In 2011, Powdrell received the Outstanding Service Award from the Office of African American Affairs. In 2012, the African American History Museum and Cultural Center of New Mexico received the Heritage Organization Award from the Department of Cultural Affairs, New Mexico Historic Preservation Division. In 2014, Powdrell received the “Living Legend” award from the University of New Mexico Black Alumni Chapter and the state of New Mexico’s Distinguished Public Service Award.

Powdrell and her husband and business partner, Joe Powdrell, have four children: Carmen Powdrell, Nataura Moore, Jovona Webb, and Richard Powdrell.

Rita Ann Turfley Powdrell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 25, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.057

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/25/2019

Last Name

Powdrell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Ann Turfley

Occupation
Schools

Johnston Elementary School

University of New Mexico

Chartiers Valley Middle School

Chartiers Valley High School

First Name

Rita

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

POW11

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

San Diego, California

Favorite Quote

Consider It All Joy

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Mexico

Birth Date

7/1/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Albuquerque

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Sauerkraut and Neck Bones, Chicken Enchiladas, Liverwurst

Short Description

Nonprofit executive Rita Ann Turfley Powdrell (1946- ) founded the African American History Museum and Cultural Center of New Mexico.

Employment

Fresno County Welfare System

State of California

Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute

Solar Energy

African American History Museum and Cultural Center

Mr. Powdrell's Barbeque House

John Kane Hospital

Henry's Barbeque

Favorite Color

Burnt Orange

Roderick Palmore

Lawyer Roderick Palmore was born on February 14, 1952 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Jefferson and Sophie Palmore. He attended Mellon Plan Elementary School and graduated from Gateway High School in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. Palmore received his B.A. degree in economics from Yale University in 1974, and his J.D. degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1977.

In 1977, Palmore began his career with the Berkman Ruslander Pohl Lieber & Engel firm in Pittsburgh. He went on to serve as assistant United States attorney in the Northern District of Illinois in 1980, before joining Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon as an associate in 1983. Palmore was promoted to partner in 1986. In 1993, Palmore joined Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal as a partner in the Chicago office. In 1996, he joined the Sara Lee Corporation, serving as general counsel from 1999 to 2008 and ultimately serving as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary from 2004 to 2008. Palmore joined General Mills, Inc in February 2008 as executive vice president, general counsel and chief compliance and risk management officer, and served in this capacity until his retirement from the company in 2015. Having previously been a part of the Sonnenschein firm, a Dentons legacy firm, Palmore rejoined the global law firm Dentons LLP as Senior Counsel in Chicago in 2015.

Palmore has served on the board of directors of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Express Scripts and the Chicago Board Options Exchange. He was a former chair of the Association of General Counsel. He has also served on the boards of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, the Public Interest Law Initiative, the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago and the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.

In 2010, Palmore was named one of the 40 Most Influential Lawyers of the Decade by the National Law Journal. His other honors include the Corporate Exemplar Award from the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, the Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association, the Scales of Justice Award from the Equal Justice Works Foundation, as well as the Pinnacle Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Bar Association. 

Roderick Palmore was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 10, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.051

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/10/2019

Last Name

Palmore

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Alan

Occupation
Schools

Mellon Plan School

Gateway High School

Yale University

University of Chicago Law School

First Name

Roderick

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

PAL06

Favorite Season

Late Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Kangaroo Island, Australia

Favorite Quote

At The Day Of Judgment We Will Not Be Asked What We Have Read, But What We Have Done

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Minnesota

Birth Date

2/14/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Minneapolis

Favorite Food

Mother's Pineapple Pie

Short Description

Lawyer Roderick Palmore (1952- ) served as executive vice president, general counsel and chief compliance and risk management officer for General Mills, Inc. and executive vice president and general counsel for Sara Lee Corporation.

Employment

Berkman Ruslander Pohl Lieber & Engel

U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Illinois

Wildman Harrold Allen & Dixon

Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP

Sara Lee Corporation

General Mills Inc.

Dentons US LLP

Favorite Color

Royal Blue

Charles J. Hamilton, Jr.

Lawyer Charles J. Hamilton, Jr. was born on October 16, 1947 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Geraldine Alma Taylor and Charles Jordan Hamilton, Sr. He received his A.B. degree in government from Harvard College in 1969; and then received a Henry Russell Shaw Fellowship to study at the Doxiadis Institute in Athens, Greece. In 1975, Hamilton obtained his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, where he served on the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. He also received his M.C.P. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

From 1983 to 2000, he served as partner at the law firm of Battle Fowler, LLP before joining the law firm of Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker, LLP following the firm’s merger with Battle Fowler. Hamilton specialized in real estate development and finance, government finance, corporate governance, media and non-profit organizations. In 2010, Hamilton became senior counsel in the New York office of the law firm of Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP. Throughout his career, he represented the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; the National Urban League, Inc.; Equity Office Properties Trust; Millennium Partners, L.P.; McFarlane Partners, LLC; Fannie Mae in American Communities Fund; Bessemer Trust Company; and Casden Properties, Inc. He served as outside general counsel to Essence Communications, Inc. and the Freedom National Bank of New York, and special counsel to the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc.; the Studio Museum in Harlem; the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation; and the Palau Mission to the United Nations. Hamilton was also an impartial arbitrator to the New York City Transit Authority and special fiscal counsel to the New York City Board of Education. In addition, he served on the faculty of the Practicing Law Institute’s program in Commercial Real Estate Financing.

In 2010, Hamilton was named chair of the board of directors of the Harlem School of the Arts. He has served on the boards of the Environmental Defense Fund, the Hudson River Foundation, the National Visionary Leadership Project, the Phoenix House Foundation, Inc., Granite Broadcasting Corporation, the Harvard Club of New York City, and the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. Hamilton was also on the Harvard College Board of Overseers’ Visiting Committee to the College and the Public Policy Committee of the board of directors of The Advertising Council, Inc. Additionally, he was a trustee of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Harvard Law School Association of New York City, Inc., and the Interest on Lawyer Account Fund of the State of New York.

Hamilton has received numerous awards throughout his career, including being named one of New York’s Most Powerful Lawyers by New York magazine in 1999, the W.E.B. DuBois Medal for Academic Leadership from Harvard University in 2000, named one of America’s Top Black Lawyers by Black Enterprise in 2003, and the National Urban League, Inc. Collins Award in 2006.

Charles J. Hamilton, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 27, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.023

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/27/2019 |and| 6/19/2019

Last Name

Hamilton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

J.

Occupation
Schools

Crescent Elementary School

Westinghouse Academy

Harvard University

Harvard Law School

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

HAM06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Thomas

Favorite Quote

Let's Get Busy

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

10/16/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Steak Salad

Short Description

Lawyer Charles J. Hamilton, Jr. (1947 - ) served as senior counsel at the law firm Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP and as partner at the law firms of Battle Fowler, LLP and Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker, LLP.

Employment

Pillsbury , Madison, & Sutro

Battle Fowler, LLP

Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP

Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP

Favorite Color

Green

J. Keith Motley

College president and academic administrator J. Keith Motley was born on January 28, 1956 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to John Jr. and Cornelia Motley. He attended James E. Rogers Elementary School and graduated in 1972 from Peabody High School in Pittsburgh. In 1972, Motley was recruited to play Division 1 basketball at Northeastern University in Boston. Motley received his B.S. degree in education, speech pathology and audiology in 1978 and his M.Ed. degree in higher education administration in 1981, both from Northeastern University. He went on to receive his Ph.D. degree in education administration from Boston College in 1999.

Upon graduating college, Motley was hired as an admissions counselor at Northeastern, and also as a part-time assistant coach for the university’s basketball team. In 1980, he served as an intern in the Office of Senior Vice President for University Administration. He also became assistant dean of minority affairs in 1982. In 1987, Motley served as associate dean and director for the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute and served as associate head basketball coach where he helped to lead the Northeastern Huskies to seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament. In 1989, Motley served as founder and director for Concerned Black Men of Massachusetts, Inc.’s Paul Robeson Institute for Positive Self Development, providing educational, emotional and personal support to young Black males and their families. In 1993, Motley was named Northeastern University dean of student services; and, in 1996, Motley helped to establish the Roxbury Preparatory Charter School. In 2003, Motley joined the University of Massachusetts at Boston as vice chancellor for student affairs. He was named interim chancellor for the university in 2004, and served as vice president for business and public affairs. In 2006, Motley’s role expanded to vice president for business marketing and public affairs. From 2007 to 2017, Motley served as chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Motley was inducted into the Northeastern University Hall of Fame in 1999. He was named one of the Power 50 Most Influential Bostonians by Business Journal for five consecutive years, from 2012 to 2016. He received the Harvard Club of Boston’s Friends of Education Award in 2014, the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute’s Vision Award in 2015, the Boston NAACP’s W.E.B. Du Bois Distinguished Service Award in 2016, and Emerson College President’s Award for Civic Engagement in 2017. In 2018, the Northeastern University established the Dr. J. Keith Motley Chair to Head New Sports Leadership and Administration Program in his honor.

Motley and his wife Angela are the parents of three adult children: Keith, Kayla and Jordan.

J. Keith Motley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 18, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.219

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/18/2018

Last Name

Motley

Maker Category
Middle Name

Keith

Organizations
First Name

J.

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

MOT01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Carribbean

Favorite Quote

It's a small thing to a giant.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

1/28/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bosonton

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

College president and academic Administrator J. Keith Motley (1956- ) was the eighth chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he served from 2007 to 2017.

Favorite Color

Blue

Brenda Lauderback

Corporate executive Brenda Lauderback was born on April 25, 1950 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She earned her B.S. degree in marketing from Robert Morris University and then entered a retail training program at Pittsburgh’s Gimbels department store. Where she quickly rose to a buyers in the children’s division.

In 1975, she moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota where she became a buyer for the Dayton Hudson Department Store Company’s women’s apparel division. After five years, Lauderback was promoted to divisional merchandise manager of the intimate apparel division for Dayton’s department stores. Lauderback was quickly promoted to vice president and general manager of the shoes, cosmetics, accessories, intimate apparel and children’s divisions in 1982. She was the first African American and youngest woman to assume this role in the company. Lauderback remained with the Dayton Hudson Corporation until 1993 when the United States Shoe Corporation hired her as the president of its footwear wholesale division. In this role, Lauderback managed sales, design and distribution of the US Shoe brands as well as oversaw the company’s offices in China, Italy, Spain and the manufacturing plants in the United States. When US Shoe sold its footwear division to Nine West Group, Inc in 1995, Lauderback became the president of the wholesale and retail group of Nine West where she was responsible for ten brands including Easy Spirit, Evan-Picone and Almalfi. Lauderback retired from Nine West in 1998.

Lauderback has served on numerous corporate boards including Irwin Financial Corporation, Big Lots Corporation, Jostens, Louisiana Pacific Corporation, Sleep Number Corporation, Wolverine World Wide, Inc and Denny’s Corporation. In 2016, she was named as the board chair of Denny’s, Inc. Lauderback has also served on the board of nonprofit organizations like Susan G Komen for the Cure, the South Carolina Aquarium and as a member of the Committee of 200; and in 2017 she was named to the National Association of Corporate Directors’ Directorship 100 list. Lauderback has been recognized in Ebony, Jet, Essence, Black Enterprise, Forbes and Savoy magazines.

Lauderback and her husband, Dr. Boyd Wright, have two children Phallon Wright and Adam Wright.

Accession Number

A2018.148

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/11/2018

Last Name

Lauderback

Maker Category
Middle Name

J.

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Brenda

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

LAU01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

To Whom Much Is Given Much Is Expected.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

South Carolina

Birth Date

4/25/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hilton Head

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Vegetables

Short Description

Corporate executive Brenda Lauderback (1950 - ) served as the president of the wholesale and retail group of Nine West Group, Inc. from 1995 to 1998. She was later named as the chairperson of the Denny’s Corporation board in 2016.

Favorite Color

Black

Vera F. Wells

Television executive Vera F. Wells was born on December 31, 1944 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She graduated second in her class from Pittsburgh’s Peabody High School in 1963. Wells went on to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C. to study psychology, but left before graduating to move with her husband to New Haven, Connecticut, where she worked for Community Progress, Inc. In 1969, Wells graduated from Yale University with her B.A. degree in psychology in 1971, the first coeducational graduating class. While at Yale University, Wells helped to create a new seminar called The Black Women and the Chubb Conference on the Black Woman, which brought Professor Sylvia Ardyn Boone to the university. Boone would become the first tenured African American woman on the Yale faculty upon her promotion in 1988.

After graduating, Wells became the director for School Volunteers for New Haven, Inc. She spent the summer of 1972 assisting Elga R. Wasserman on the Carnegie Council on Children alongside Sylvia Ardyn Boone, whom she had befriended at Yale University. In the 1970s, Wells spent two years at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts to study organizational management. She then became the associate director of the international division at the National Council of Negro Women where she conducted field research in East and West Africa. After returning to the U.S., Wells accepted a position in promotional research at NBC’s headquarters in New York City. She was eventually promoted to director of audience services. In this role, Wells oversaw the creation and standardization of closed captioning at NBC, following the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. After the death of Sylvia Ardyn Boone in 1993, Wells became the founder and director of the Sylvia Ardyn Boone Memorial Project at Yale University’s Timothy Dwight College. The memorial project houses the collection of Boone’s literary and personal papers and awards both undergraduate and graduate scholarships to students working in the fields of African and African American art.

Wells served as a member of the University Council at Yale University for ten years. Within the council, she was a founding committee member of YaleWomen, Inc. and the Theater Review Committee. Wells also served on the boards of the National Advisory Council of the Yale Black Alumni Association, the Yale Development Board and the Yale Tomorrow Campaign. In 2007, Wells was honored with the Yale Medal for her volunteer service to the university.

Vera F. Wells was interview by The HistoryMakers on June 28, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.135

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/28/2018 |and| 6/30/2018

Last Name

Wells

Maker Category
Middle Name

F.

Organizations
First Name

Vera

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

WEL07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa; Italy; Saint Croix

Favorite Quote

We all yearn for transcendence, ... (Sylvia Boone)

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

12/31/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Television executive Vera F. Wells (1944- ) was a member of the first coeducational graduating class of at Yale University in 1971, a long-time executive at NBC, and the founding director of the Sylvia Ardyn Boone Memorial Project at Yale University.

Favorite Color

Brown

Billy Porter

Actor Billy Porter was born on September 21, 1969 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and raised by his mother, Cloerinda Ford. Porter attended Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, as well as the Pittsburgh School for the Creative and Performing Arts, where he studied acting, music, and dance. He later attended Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama in Pittsburgh, graduating in 1991.

In 1991, Porter was cast in the ensemble of Miss Saigon, which won three Tony Awards and became one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history. Throughout the 1990s, he continued to appear in Broadway musicals, including Five Guys Named Moe, Smokey Joe’s Café, and the 1994 revival of Grease, in which he played Teen Angel. Porter pursued a career in the music industry, winning the 1992 season of the talent competition Star Search and releasing a self-titled R&B album in 1997 with A&M Records. Starting in 2000, he took a hiatus from acting on Broadway to direct productions like the music revue Being Alive at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Los Angeles staging of Once on This Island, and a revival of George C. Wolfe’s play, The Colored Museum. Porter wrote the solo performance piece Ghetto Superstar, which he debuted in 2005 at New York City’s Public Theatre. Porter went on to appear in the Pittsburgh premiere of Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog, as well as in the off-Broadway revival of Angels in America at the Signature Theatre in New York City in 2010, where he played Belize.

In 2013, Porter returned to Broadway as Lola in the musical Kinky Boots, winning the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, and the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album for his performance. In the years following, Porter wrote the semi-autobiographical play While I Yet Live, which premiered at Primary Stages in New York City in 2014, and played Aubrey Lyles in the 2016 Broadway musical Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. In 2018, Porter became a series regular in the television show Pose, and appeared on multiple episodes of American Horror Story: Apocalypse. He was a supporter and fundraiser for the Ali Forney Center, a community center for homeless LGBT youth in New York City.

Billy Porter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 7, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.052

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/7/2016

Last Name

Porter

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Reizenstein Middle School

Taylor Allderdice High School

Carnegie Mellon University

University of California, Los Angeles

First Name

Billy

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

POR04

Favorite Season

Spring and Fall

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beach

Favorite Quote

To Thine Own Self Be True.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/21/1969

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Collard Greens

Short Description

Actor Billy Porter (1969- ) won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for his role as Lola in Kinky Boots. He also wrote the solo piece Ghetto Superstar and the semi-autobiographical play While I Yet Live.

Employment

Broadway

A&M Records

Film

Off-Broadway

Reprise Theature Company

The Huntington Theatre Company

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Billy Porter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Billy Porter lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Billy Porter describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Billy Porter talks about his parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Billy Porter talks about his mother's second marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Billy Porter describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Billy Porter describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Billy Porter describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Billy Porter describes his early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Billy Porter describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Billy Porter remembers Florence Reizenstein Middle School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Billy Porter describes his early interest in musical theater

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Billy Porter remembers the influence of 'Dreamgirls'

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Billy Porter describes his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Billy Porter remembers the start of the HIV/AIDS epidemic

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Billy Porter remembers telling his mother about his stepfather's abuse

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Billy Porter describes his daily routine during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Billy Porter talks about the effects of his childhood sexual abuse, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Billy Porter talks about the effects of his childhood sexual abuse, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Billy Porter recalls his confrontation with his stepfather

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Billy Porter describes his decision to attend Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Billy Porter recalls his classmates at Carnegie Mellon University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Billy Porter describes his experiences at Carnegie Mellon University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Billy Porter describes the start of his career in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Billy Porter describes his experiences in the ensemble of 'Miss Saigon'

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Billy Porter talks about his early work as a vocalist

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Billy Porter remembers winning 'Star Search'

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Billy Porter recalls his experiences as an understudy for 'Five Guys Named Moe'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Billy Porter remembers his casting as the Teen Angel in 'Grease'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Billy Porter describes the first day of rehearsals for 'Grease'

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Billy Porter remembers seeing 'Angels in America' for the first time

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Billy Porter talks about his first album, 'Untitled'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Billy Porter describes his decision to move to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Billy Porter talks about his career in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Billy Porter talks about his return to New York City and Broadway

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Billy Porter remember auditioning for the role of Lola in 'Kinky Boots'

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Billy Porter describes the success of 'Kinky Boots'

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Billy Porter talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Billy Porter reflects upon the impact of HIV/AIDS

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Billy Porter reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Billy Porter reflects upon his life

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

5$4

DATitle
Billy Porter remembers the influence of 'Dreamgirls'
Billy Porter remember auditioning for the role of Lola in 'Kinky Boots'
Transcript
You know so then that summer was the summer that 'Dreamgirls' was on Broadway and I was washing (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) And what year is this now?$$This is '81 [1981], the summer of '81 [1981] I think at this point.$$Eighty-one [1981], yep.$$And I was literally--and everybody knows this story because I talk about it all the time. But I was washing dishes and the Tony Awards [Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre] came on, randomly once again, I didn't know what the Tony Awards were. They came on, I saw people in performance on a stage like I had, like I had never--it wasn't a television show. They were on stage singing and dancing and all of a sudden without knowing it they announced 'Dreamgirls' and there they were.$$And had you heard of 'Dreamgirls' before?$$I had never heard of it. I had never heard of it and I had not made--from 'The Wiz' to the musical that we were doing, which was 'Babes in Arms,' Rodgers and Hart [Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart], traditional white folks. I didn't make the connection that this was something that I could do for a living. Seeing 'The Wiz,' it didn't--I was just doing this show [at Florence Reizenstein Middle School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania] and I was singing 'cause I could sing. But it wasn't the way that I sang, you know I came from a Pentecostal church, I didn't sing like, you know. So it didn't register that that was an option for making a living. And then I saw 'Dreamgirls' on television and Jennifer Holliday sang "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" in the same way that I sang in church, you know. And it was like (makes sound), you know like it was so crazy. And I literally, once again literally was like a ball of like weeping, like emotion in the corner like not knowing what this was.$And as I was doing that ['Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes,' Tony Kushner], I went on playbill.com (laughter) and they announced 'Kinky Boots' [Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein]. And I had seen 'Kinky Boots' in the movie theater and I said to myself, and I may have said it out loud to the person I was with, "If I lived in London [England], Chiwetel Ejiofor would have been out of a job." No disrespect to him. He's brilliant. Brilliant in the movie too, but I had understood at that point the power of who I am. When I show up and I do the thing that I do, nobody else does it, and that is the thing, one of the things that I do. And once again, 'Kinky Boots,' you know they like to act like it was like, "Oh it was always you, it was always you." (Laughter) It was like, "No I remember the audition. I remember the concerns that you had about me"--$$What were those (simultaneous)?$$--(simultaneous) with 'Kinky Boots.' You know there was just, you know, I hadn't been in the business for a long--you know I, I had taken myself out of the business. You know I had lost my voice for a while, everybody knew that, you know what I mean? But when you don't talk about--and I don't talk--and I wasn't talking about why. It was a thirteen year break from the time that I was John in 'Miss Saigon' in '99 [1999] to 'Kinky Boots.' I didn't work on Broadway for thirteen years. So when that happens, and you're not talking about it and people don't know, they make shit up. "Oh, he's hard to work with." "Oh, he can't really sing anymore." "Oh, is he a team player?" "Oh, you know, will he be able to sustain--," you know all of that shit. (Pause) There was something about all of it. And it's so funny, the last audition, the final audition, because the acid reflux stuff I was still working through it, and the final audition, you know, I had come in and I had the audition and I did the songs and sang everything and then I went home and I got a telephone call and they said, "Oh, the musical director, they want you to work with the musical director and come back tomorrow." And the musical director is a friend of mine and a person who I had worked with in a creative capacity like, you know. And I walked in and I'm like, "What the fuck? What's happening?" "Oh, they're concerned about, you know, your voice," and da, da, da. And, you know, and I was like, "But it's--but I was singing it like a pop singer. I wasn't belting everything, you know, like it wasn't all balls to the wall." He said, "Just sing it balls to the wall, just sing it balls to the wall, and just sing it balls to the wall and then you get the part, you can do whatever you want." I'm like okay fine. I go home, stress activates reflux, so by the time I got home at six o'clock, I went to open up my mouth to speak and I couldn't utter a word. I couldn't make the sound. I couldn't make the sound. Ooh, I called my mother [Cloerinda Ford], I was like, "Get on, pray, come on" (laughter), "come on. I need all the Jesus you got because I gotta be able to sing tomorrow morning at 10:30--or 12:30. I gotta be able to sing tomorrow at 12:30, my life depends on it. I gotta be able to sing. Call on Jesus, the Jesus you're connected to 'cause you're more connected than I am, please call on him right now." And baby I stayed in that house, I (makes sounds), I did all my, you know, creams and unguents and potions and, you know, I went to sleep, I woke up at 7:30 in the morning, thank god for my training. This goes back to that. I was able to get in that shower. I was able to warm up my voice slowly--$$Carnegie Mellon [Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania] (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) exercise my voice slowly. Not just Carnegie Mellon, Joan Lader, since I got here, you know voice lessons all the time, you never stop learning, warming up my voice. I got it to the point where I can eek out an audition. At 12:30, I went in there, I sang those children under the table. Half hour later I couldn't speak. Jerry Mitchell called--I get a call from my agent the next day, "Jerry Mitchell, the director, wants to speak, wants you to come to his house. He wants, he wants to have coffee at his house, come to his house." And I called Jerry, who's been a friend of mine for twenty-five years, and I was like, "Listen, I don't need to come to your--is this good coffee or bad coffee? 'Cause I don't need to come to your house for bad coffee. You can just tell me over the phone." He was like, "Billy [HistoryMaker Billy Porter], just come over." (Crying) And I went to his house and he opened the door, he had a champagne glass in his hand and he said, "It's you, it's always been you. It's never been anybody else. It's never been anybody else and I'm sorry that the business is such that we had, that I had to put you through that." (Sighs) And the rest is history.

Bobby Bennett

Radio DJ Bobby Bennett was born on July 20, 1943 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From a young age, Bennett knew that he wanted to be a radio DJ. Following high school, he enrolled in a broadcasting school in Pittsburgh.

In 1967, Bennett worked as a news reporter for Pittsburgh's WAMO-AM and WZUM radio stations. One year later, in 1968, he moved to WOL-AM in Washington, D.C., where he became known to radio fans as “The Mighty Burner” and hosted a show until 1980. Bennett then hosted a sports talk show on WTOP in the early 1980s, and served as program director for WHUR-FM from 1987 to 1992. After his time at WHUR, Bennett was hired as a morning talk show host at WXTR; and, in 1997, he became the host of an R&B radio show on WPFW-FM. In 2000, Bennett created the “Soul Street” channel for XM Satellite Radio, and served as its program director until 2010. During his career, he also was employed as a record executive and as a voice over narrator.

Bennett was the co-author of The Ultimate Soul Music Trivia Book: 501 Questions and Answers About Motown, Rhythym & Blues, and More, which was published in 1997. In 1988, Bennett was presented with several awards from Washington, D.C., Maryland and Pennsylvania. In 1972, he was named Billboard magazine’s R&B Disc Jockey of the Year, and, in 1973, was recognized as Disc Jockey of the Year by the Gavin Report.

Bennett passed away on September 8, 2015 at age 72.

Accession Number

A2014.188

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/10/2014

Last Name

Bennett

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Dilworth Elementary School

Westinghouse Academy

Gladstone High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Bobby

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

BEN07

Favorite Season

May

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cancun, Mexico

Favorite Quote

Man Don’t Pay No Overtime And I Don’t Do None.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

7/20/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Punta Gorda

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Rib Eye Steak

Death Date

9/8/2015

Short Description

Radio dj Bobby Bennett (1943 - 2015 ) worked at several radio stations in Washington, D.C. from the 1960s to the 1990s. He also created the 'Soul Street' channel for XM Satellite Radio, and served as its program director for seven years.

Employment

WAMO-AM

WZUM

WOL-AM

WTOP

WHUR-FM

WXTR

WPFW-FM

Sirius XM Radio, Inc.

Capitol Records, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bobby Bennett's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bobby Bennett lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bobby Bennett describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bobby Bennett recalls his relationship with his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bobby Bennett describes his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bobby Bennett recalls his mother's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bobby Bennett describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bobby Bennett describes his father's personality and occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bobby Bennett recalls how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bobby Bennett talks about his father's military service

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bobby Bennett recalls his father's duty in the Korean War

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bobby Bennett describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bobby Bennett recalls his family's reaction to his aspirations of becoming a disc jockey

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bobby Bennett describes his brothers, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bobby Bennett describes his brothers, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bobby Bennett describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bobby Bennett recalls living in a housing project in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bobby Bennett remembers his early encounters with segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bobby Bennett remembers his favorite high school teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bobby Bennett recalls the fashionable clothing of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Bobby Bennett describes his maternal great uncle

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Bobby Bennett recalls his early interest in baseball, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bobby Bennett remembers being scouted by the St. Louis Cardinals

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bobby Bennett recalls the high schools he attended in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bobby Bennett remembers playing basketball

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bobby Bennett recalls his early interest in becoming a disc jockey

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bobby Bennett talks about the music scene in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bobby Bennett talks about the influence of the Pittsburgh Courier

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bobby Bennett remembers his challenges at Gladstone High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bobby Bennett recalls his high school activities

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bobby Bennett describes WAMO Radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Bobby Bennett remembers his early work in the radio industry

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bobby Bennett remembers working at WZUM Radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bobby Bennett talks about the movie 'Get on Up'

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bobby Bennett talks about movies about the African American music industry

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bobby Bennett remembers transitioning to WOL Radio in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bobby Bennett recalls Al Germany's guidance and advice

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bobby Bennett remembers receiving a draft deferment

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bobby Bennett talks about Petey Greene

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bobby Bennett recalls his disc jockey contemporaries

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Bobby Bennett remembers being given the nickname The Mighty Burner

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bobby Bennett talks about his time as an afternoon radio host

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bobby Bennett recalls singers that he enjoyed working with, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bobby Bennett recalls singers that he enjoyed working with, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bobby Bennett remembers the decline of Sly Stone, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bobby Bennett remembers the decline of Sly Stone, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bobby Bennett talks about maintaining his integrity in the radio industry

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bobby Bennett describes WOL Radio's place in the changing radio industry

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bobby Bennett recalls his coworkers at WHUR Radio in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bobby Bennett remembers his friendship with Chuck Brown

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bobby Bennett describes his work experiences after leaving WOL Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bobby Bennett recalls working at Capitol Records in New York City

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bobby Bennett remembers joining WXTR Radio in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bobby Bennett describes his experiences at WXTR Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Bobby Bennett remembers hosting cruise concerts

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Bobby Bennett talks about go-go music

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Bobby Bennett remembers working at XM Satellite Radio, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Bobby Bennett talks about the future of radio

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Bobby Bennett recalls moving from Washington, D.C. to Punta Gorda, Florida

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Bobby Bennett reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Bobby Bennett describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Bobby Bennett talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Bobby Bennett reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Bobby Bennett describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

4$9

DATitle
Bobby Bennett remembers transitioning to WOL Radio in Washington, D.C.
Bobby Bennett remembers working at XM Satellite Radio, Inc.
Transcript
Tell me how you got to WOL [WOL Radio, Washington, D.C.]. What, what happened, now you're at ZUM [WZUM Radio, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania], you're twenty years old. What happens?$$Well they had a program director by the name of Bill Sherard, and Bill Sherard, his mother and father lived somewhere in Pennsylvania. And I'm not sure, it was northern Pennsylvania. But he heard me, he was on his way home 4th of July for the 4th of July holiday and he heard me on the air on a Saturday afternoon. So soon as he got back to D.C. [Washington, D.C.] that Tuesday, 'cause I think the holiday was Monday. He got back on Tuesday, he called me up and I had heard, I had been to Dc and I had heard WOL and I said oh may I would love to work there, them guys are smoking. Well at, WZUM we had people that were really good, I mean we had two guys that left there and went to New York [New York], but, and I had an opportunity to go New York. But I'm saying well if Al's going to New York, this guy that started me in radio, Al Gee he went to New York and Jeff Troy who's another one and Frankie Crocker. Frankie went to New York also. So I said well I'm going to D.C., so anyway make, get back to the original. He heard me on the air, he called me said would I be interested in coming to D.C., "Are you kidding," (laughter), "yeah definitely." Said, "Well I might have an opening in a couple of months to do the a- the overnight show." Now overnight was midnight 'til five in the morning, I didn't wanna do overnights, but I'm a kid. I'm just starting in this business and I'll do whatever you want. So I go on the air and I said okay, and I didn't expect to hear from again, him again, I thought it was you know possibly a joke or what. He called me two weeks later, said, "All right, I'm ready, come on down." So me and my brother, Gary [Gary Payne], Gary was about ten years old I think, twelve years old, we get in the car and go down to D.C. And, and he told me what they were gonna pay me and I almost died, I almost, I fainted.$$How much more was it than?$$Well it was I was making seventy dollars a week, and I went from seventy-five to 250 [dollars], so you do the math, that's about 175 difference.$$Just for playing records (laughter)?$$Just for playing records (laughter).$$That's what your father [Marshall Payne, Jr.] said.$$And my show was sponsored by Ben's Chili Bowl [Washington, D.C.].$$The famous Ben's Chili Bowl?$$The famous Jim- well wasn't fam- it wasn't that famous then.$$Okay.$$They were sponsored, they sponsored the first two hours, so they would, every night they would call me and see what I'm, how many hot dogs or half smokes I wanted. And they would bring them up to the station, and I was so full, I mean that was my diet for about six months I guess. And I got the job, and in D.C. and I was doing overnights and it was, it was a great experience. So then I got drafted, Vietnam [Vietnam War] was smoking by then.$$So how, how long were you there before you were drafted?$$What six months, eight months.$Okay so I thought I'd ask you about it before we moved on to XM radio. This is, so XM's in 2001, right, you go to XM is that?$$No we went in 2000.$$Two thousand [2000]?$$Yeah we didn't go on the air 'til 2001.$$Okay all right, all right.$$Yeah.$$So well XM now this is satellite ra- radio?$$Right.$$And well, well tell us about how, how you got the opportunity and what you were trying to do.$$Well I was doing the show on, on PFW [WPFW Radio, Washington, D.C.], and Hugh Panero who became the general manager of XM Satellite Radio [XM Satellite Radio, Inc.; Sirius XM Radio, Inc.], Hugh used to listen to us every Saturday he would listen. 'Cause he'd be off and, he would le- he loved hearing the old R and B music and so forth. And I got a call one day, I'd just put a book out what was it, 501 Ways the R- to Listen to R and B Radio [sic. 'The Ultimate Soul Music Trivia Book: 501 Questions and Answers About Motown, Rhythm and Blues and More,' Bobby Bennett and Sarah Smith]. I'd just put, but he bought the book (laughter) and then he read, he went through the book and he cal- I had, they had me down for an interview. So I came in, at that point they had hired like three people, and I spoke to Lee Abrams, Lee was the guy that in charge of programming period, all 100 stations. And I convinced him that I knew more about R and B radio and R and B records than anybody else. So they, they said okay and you know this is what we want, this, "Now you're gonna have to be with this radio station until it, it," you know, "you're going have to build it from scratch," which is what I did. I, at that time I hired two other, two other jocks and what we would do would record, we do one show live, and then we would record another show. Say like you would be on twenty-four hours well twelve of them would be live, and twelve would be recorded. So that's what we did, did that for ten years, had a ball. It was, it was tough because this came along in two- in the year 2000 and all of the new technology was just coming about at this point. And I mean you're talking about me, I was a fifty year old jock, you know at that time, and you're trying to teach me new ti- all this new technology. And I'm like oh wow, so I remember one day riding down New Hampshire Avenue which I had to come on, do New Hampshire Avenue to get to work. And I'm like I'm quitting today 'cause I can't do this, I just can't do this, this is crazy. Something happened that day, I don't know what happened, and I still don't know what happened. All of a sudden all of this information that we had been de- being taught for the last four months, all of a sudden it all came together. And (laughter) all of a sudden I became the guy doing all this new technology, it was really, really wild. But after I got it, you know, I finally had it by now, and after I got it and build my station and the whole nine yards, then I really had a good time. Until the end at the end, they started hiring people that were really not ra- radio people, they were people, they were money people. And it, it didn't make no difference how you sounded as long as your station was making money. And as long, mean they would, they would play the same records like you know five times a day you know it was just crazy. So I remember Charlie Logan, Charlie Logan saying back in 2000, you know, "Those of us who build these radio stations won't be here ten years from now." And he was absolutely right, but it's funny how things happen. The, we had a new general manager 'cause our old guy he had left and his name was Jim Davis [ph.] and he came aboard and he said, "I'm a take care of all the people that helped to build this, this whole network." So what he did all of us are program directors, they offered us a year's salary, we got a year you know for not being there (laughter) that was great. Plus another year of here's a, another year, boom. So you know nobody was mad, we walked out, we said okay that's fine, they hired all new guys, they're out of New York [New York] now basically doing most of the shows out of New York. At that time they were doing everything in D.C. [Washington, D.C.], but it worked out very well and you know we were happy, and that's. That was ten years of my life that you know I really had a good time, and it was, it was fun to see something that had, didn't have legs before, all of a sudden it does now. That was fun; it was your baby it was you know. For the first year that this, this happened in two, two o-elev- '11 [2011] I believe. And I couldn't listen for the first year, I couldn't listen to my station, you know I just didn't wanna hear it. I didn't wanna hear what somebody else was doing with my station.$$I know they changed the name of the show from 'Soul Street' to 'Soul Town' (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yeah it became 'Soul Town,' well 'Soul Town' that was the name of, what they you know when I left, they just changed it around. Instead of the street 'cause we had a patent on the street, 'Soul Street,' they changed it to soul, 'Soul Town' so they wouldn't be sued (laughter), so.

Donald Hudson

High school and college football coach and athletic director Donald Edward Hudson was born on November 20, 1929, and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh, where he participated in football and gymnastics. He went on to play football at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, where, in 1953, he received his B.S. degree in physical education and commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army Engineers.

Hudson served his military obligation at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri as a platoon leader for the first eight weeks of basic training. He then spent the next year and a half on the DMZ in Korea, where he served as a first lieutenant platoon leader. After military service, he earned his M.Ed. degree from Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Hudson first worked at Lincoln University in the 1950s and 1960s, where he taught in the Health and Physical Education Department and was an assistant football coach, assistant basketball coach, assistant track coach and head golf coach. In 1968, he became the State of Minnesota’s first African American high school head football coach when he was hired at Central High School in Minneapolis.

In December of 1971, Hudson was appointed head football coach of Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, becoming the first African American head football coach at a predominantly white university in the United States in the modern NCAA era. He also served as assistant chairman of the Department of Physical Education and as the men’s head track coach. While at Macalester, he testified before the U.S. Congress on behalf of the NCAA National Summer Youth Program, which he also directed for six years.

Hudson left Macalester College in 1975 and returned to Lincoln University in 1976, where he served as head football coach, head girls track coach, and athletic director for three years. He was later hired as athletic director of Smoky Hill High School in the Colorado Cherry Creek school district, where he worked until 2000.

Hudson was honored for his accomplishments during the half time of a Macalester football game on October 6, 2007. The mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota declared that day “Don Hudson Day” and Hudson was given the keys to the city. In addition, the football offices at Macalester College have been named after Hudson.

Hudson and his wife, Constance, reside in Charlotte, North Carolina. They have six children, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Hudson passed away on September 30, 2018.

Donald Hudson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 12, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.185

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/12/2014

Last Name

Hudson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Edward

Schools

Westinghouse Academy

Lincoln University

Springfield College

Belmar Elementary School

Baxter Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Donald

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

HUD06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

Let's Do It Over Again.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

11/20/1929

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Charlotte

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Bananas

Death Date

9/30/2018

Short Description

College football coach Donald Hudson (1929 - 2018 ) served as the head football coach of Macalester College from 1971. He was the first African American head coach at a predominantly white university in the modern NCAA era.

Employment

United States Army

Lincoln University

Central High School, Minneapolis

Macalester College

Smoky Hill High School, Colorado

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Donald Hudson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Donald Hudson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donald Hudson describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donald Hudson describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donald Hudson talks about his maternal family's church band

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donald Hudson describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donald Hudson talks about his parents' early relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donald Hudson remembers his neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donald Hudson describes his likeness to his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Donald Hudson remembers the Great Depression

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Donald Hudson describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donald Hudson talks about the influence of Don Hutson

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donald Hudson remembers his first football team

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donald Hudson recalls his experiences at Belmar Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donald Hudson remembers Ahmad Jamal

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donald Hudson recalls his football practice routine, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Donald Hudson remembers playing football at Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Donald Hudson describes his experiences of discrimination at Westinghouse High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Donald Hudson remembers his positions on the football team at Westinghouse High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Donald Hudson describes his social activities at Westinghouse High School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Donald Hudson remembers his aspirations to attend college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donald Hudson recalls his football practice routine, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donald Hudson remember his football coach at Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donald Hudson recalls his recruitment to Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donald Hudson remembers his footballs heroes

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donald Hudson describes his experiences of size discrimination on the football team at Lincoln University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donald Hudson talks about his knowledge of football strategy

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Donald Hudson remembers Coach Dwight T. Reed

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Donald Hudson describes his experiences of discrimination in the U.S. Army, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Donald Hudson describes his experiences of discrimination in the U.S. Army, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Donald Hudson describes his U.S. Army service in the Korean War

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Donald Hudson remembers playing football in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Donald Hudson recalls the racial tensions during the Korean War

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Donald Hudson remembers becoming an assistant coach at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Donald Hudson recalls his master's degree from Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Donald Hudson recalls the changes in the football team at Lincoln University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Donald Hudson talks about Lincoln University's football league

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Donald Hudson recalls being hired as head football coach at Minneapolis Central High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Donald Hudson talks about his search for assistant coaches at Minneapolis Central High School

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Donald Hudson recalls his struggle to keep players on the football team at Minneapolis Central High School

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Donald Hudson remembers his early games at Minneapolis Central High School

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Donald Hudson describes his roles at Minneapolis Central High School

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Donald Hudson talks about his experiences at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Donald Hudson remembers coaching the Macalaster College football team

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Donald Hudson remembers recruiting black players for Macalaster College's football team in St. Paul, Minnesota

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

4$1

DATitle
Donald Hudson remembers becoming an assistant coach at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri
Donald Hudson recalls being hired as head football coach at Minneapolis Central High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Transcript
You got out in '54 [1954], right?$$I guess that's right.$$Finished in '54 [1954]. And what were your prospects? What did things look for you when you, when you got out? Where were you going? I think you came to Chicago [Illinois], but how did that ha- well, how did that happen? How did that happen?$$Well, I had a couple of friends, and they had heard--the word had gotten around that I was getting out of the [U.S.] Army, and I didn't have a job. And one of the guys I had asked, I think he's been here. No, he couldn't have been here. I asked him, you know, and he said yeah, he knew of a job. Well, I went over and applied for the job, and this is another job. I went over and I applied for the job, even though that they had, the [U.S.] Army had brought me out to put me in the, you know, the spot, I get the job as director at the OFC--no. I get the job, and lo and behold--as platoon leader, another platoon leader--and what do they do but send me over the--get ready to send me over to Korea again. And in the meantime, we get up a little basketball team and so forth. And I don't know how this happened. They took me out of the baseball team. I can't even play baseball. They took me out of that baseball team and brought me back to the camp. And I guess it was really a few days later that I ended up getting my divor- discharge. I don't know why, don't know how.$$Okay. So that's when you came to the United States, back (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Um-hm.$$--back to the states? And, so you worked with George Pruitt, you said, of Washington Park [Chicago, Illinois]?$$Um-hm.$$Okay. And George Pruitt was associated with the Chicago Bears in some way?$$Unh-uh.$$Nope?$$When I was a teacher at Lincoln [Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri] I came to Chicago, and I recruited George Pruitt to play basketball for Lincoln University.$$Okay, okay.$$He turned out to be a very, very great player. And he didn't play with the actual Glo- Globetrotters [Harlem Globetrotters], but he ended up, he did play with the team next to them [Kansas City Steers], whatever that was.$$The Generals, the Washington Generals (laughter)?$$(Unclear) I have no idea. And he, of course, had that (unclear) that little cup they gave him to take out. You know, I don't know what was in it. But anyhow, he played for the Army for three or four years. And I saw him maybe three or four times. He is probably the best guy I ever recruited. Yeah, as a, as an athlete.$$Okay.$$Then he died.$$And, but he played for Lincoln. You recruited him--$$Yeah, for Lincoln.$$--for Lincoln, okay. All right, so, what I was trying to figure out is when you got out of the Korean War--I mean the Army in '54 [1954], did you go back to Lincoln first, or did you go to Chicago? Well, let's just get--well, let's just take you up from Chi- from Lincoln then--$$Okay. I think--$$--when--$$--I went back to Lincoln.$$Yeah, okay. So when you went back to Lincoln you became the assistant football coach?$$Yes.$$All right, okay. All right, but you also taught track, gymnastics, swimming.$$Oh, yeah.$$It's a lot of things, right (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yeah.$In the interest of our time, I'm going to just ask you about Macalester College [St. Paul, Minnesota]. We're going to get right to this historic time pe- period here. Now you were the head coach at Minneapolis Central High School [Minneapolis, Minnesota] from '68 [1968] to '72 [1972]. And tell us how you found out about the job at Macalester.$$I found out through Bill McMoore [Donald "Bill" McMoore], a friend of mine who lived in Minneapolis [Minnesota] (clears throat). He wrote me and told me that the job was open, and he knew I should--he said, "You should apply for the job." And he said, "They don't have any black coaches in the school except the assistant coaches." And he said, "They're trying to go on the move," so he said, "Why don't you apply?" So I did apply.$$Okay. So this is for the job at--$$At Minneapolis Central.$$Okay. Minneapolis Central, okay, all right. (Laughter) It's like--okay, all right.$$Yeah.$$So, well, tell us about what, what happened in Minneapolis Cen- Central. Were you successful?$$Do you really want to know (laughter)?$$Yeah.$$All right, when I first got to Minneapolis Central, of course, they had me fill out some papers and stuff. And they wanted to know what my experience was and so forth. And for the most part, I had had more experience than any of the coaches that were already there. I had coached something like ten, fifteen years. And they were much less than that. And then I had coached in college against high school, although I had coached some high school ball before I got there. So as the story goes on at Central, they moved a guy up to be the athletic director. He was a very nice guy. And he came to me, and he asked me if I had any coaches that I would be bringing, and I said no. I was just coming myself as the head football coach. So he said, "I'll take you around." And he showed me around and all that kind of stuff. And we finally got down to the nitty gritty there. And I said, "Well, you know, how many coaches--?" They had had something--I think they had ten coaches. I said, "How many coaches will I have?" He said, "None." I said, "What do you mean none?" "They all quit because you got the job." And I said, "Well, can I have maybe--maybe I need to see a superintendent or the athletic director of the city. And here you, you know, here we are with a football, high school football team who's had a very good record, who has been known to have a good record, and all the football coaches on the team quit because you hired me." And, you know, I'd been all over the country, not necess- you know, coaching at different schools and so forth. And, you know, it's not like I don't know what I would be doing. So anyhow, they went a couple of days and said that they would have to check on some things. Make a long story short, I was still the head coach. And they hadn't come back yet. They hadn't made up their mind.

Susan Davenport Austin

Broadcast company executive Susan Davenport Austin was born in 1967. Her parents are Judith Davenport and Ronald R. Davenport, the founders of the Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation. Austin received her A.B. degree in mathematics from Harvard University in 1989, and her M.B.A degree from Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1993.

In 1993, Austin was hired as an investment banker at Salomon Brothers, Inc., where she went on to serve as a vice president in telecommunications finance. From 1997 to 2000, she worked as an associate director for Bear, Stearns & Company. Austin was subsequently appointed as a vice president in the communications, media and entertainment group at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where she served until 2001. Then, in 2002, she was named vice president of strategic planning for her family’s Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). In 2004, Austin became president of the Sheridan Gospel Network; in 2007, she was made senior vice president and chief financial officer of SBC. She was named vice chairman of SBC in 2013.

In 2011, Austin became the first woman and first African American elected as chairman of the board of directors of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). She also serves on the boards of Prudential Variable Annuities, Hubbard Radio, and Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation. In addition, Austin has served as vice chair of the National Association of Broadcasters’ Audit Committee, as president of the Stanford Business School Alumni Association, chair of the Lower Eastside Girls Club, board member of the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation, and as president of the board of the MacDowell Colony.

Austin was honored by Girls Incorporated in 1998 and received the inaugural John W. Gardner Volunteer Service Award from The Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2002. In 2008, she received the International Gospel Industry Service Honor and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Prestige Award. Radio Ink Magazine has named her one of the Most Influential African Americans in Radio and one of the Most Influential Women in Radio. She has been profiled in Womensbiz, Ebony and XII magazines.

Susan Davenport Austin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 15, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.161

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/15/2014

Last Name

Austin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Davenport

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Ellis School

Harvard University

Stanford University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Susan

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

AUS05

State

Pennsylvania

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

10/19/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Broadcast executive Susan Davenport Austin (1967 - ) has served as vice president of strategic planning and senior vice president and chief financial officer of Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation, as well as president of the Sheridan Gospel Network. In 2011, she became the first woman and first African American chairman of the board of directors of Broadcast Music, Inc.

Employment

Sheridan Broadcasting

Goldman Sachs

Bear Stearns

Solomon Brothers