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Karen Slade

Radio station manager Karen E. Slade was born on October 18, 1955 in Cleveland, Ohio to Violette Crawford and Charles Slade. In 1977, Slade earned her B.S. degree in telecommunications from Kent State University, where she was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She went on to obtain her M.B.A. degree from Pepperdine University in 1991.

Upon graduation from Kent State University, Slade was hired as an account executive at Xerox Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio. For the next decade, she worked in various positions for Xerox, including as a marketing consultant, project manager and dealer sales manager. In 1988, Slade was promoted to a regional sales manager in Atlanta, Georgia. Then, in 1989, she returned to Los Angeles, California to work as vice president and general manager of KJLH, the radio station owned by R&B artist Stevie Wonder. As general manager, Slade led programming and sales as well as the station’s efforts to address local and national issues in the African American community. Under her leadership, KJLH Radio received the distinguished George Foster Peabody Award and the NAACP Image Award.

Slade has been honored by the California Legislative Black Caucus Foundation and the Black Business Association, and received the Phenomenal Woman Award from California State University, Northridge. Radio Inc. magazine named Slade one of the 25 most influential African Americans in radio. She served on the board of the Los Angeles Urban League from 1989 to 1995, and has been a member of the Black Media Network and the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters since 1989.

Karen Slade was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 28, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.213

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/28/2014

Last Name

Slade

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Eileen

Schools

Moses Cleaveland Elementary School

Robert H Jamison School

John F Kennedy High School

Pepperdine University

Kent State University

First Name

Karen

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

SLA03

State

Ohio

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

10/18/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Short Description

Radio station manager Karen Slade (1955 - ) was the vice president and general manager of Stevie Wonder’s KJLH radio station in Los Angeles, California.

Employment

Taxi Productions, Inc.

Xerox Corporation

KJLH Radio

Timing Pairs
0,0:3806,84:4142,89:6494,136:9098,192:9686,200:14584,231:15152,245:15720,255:16501,268:18276,353:22607,447:33500,578:43060,699:46012,756:47078,763:47488,770:48226,781:52940,831:53570,841:56230,905:57210,921:59100,959:60010,971:60850,985:66288,1038:66756,1045:68345,1055:68735,1062:69255,1073:71556,1101:72216,1112:73866,1138:74262,1146:74592,1152:74988,1159:75648,1170:76836,1193:86135,1303:89390,1345:95480,1446:100999,1481:102725,1494:108334,1650:110890,1698:114080,1725:114695,1731:123054,1940:125055,1967:130509,2120:132284,2145:141540,2217:141940,2222:142740,2233:146976,2264:149244,2308:152352,2371:152688,2376:155370,2386:156822,2433:157086,2438:157482,2446:158472,2469:164808,2599:176150,2768:181350,2862:182550,2881:186646,2911:187690,2941:188676,2966:190358,3015:198110,3132:200405,3165:202550,3171$0,0:392,3:888,8:3050,23:17158,175:17704,182:18068,187:18432,192:19797,209:20434,218:21708,237:22527,247:29520,267:29880,275:30120,280:33378,322:33650,327:33990,333:34398,340:35350,358:36642,402:41570,453:44580,529:45070,538:46260,566:48080,597:49340,621:52890,634:56874,699:57372,706:59613,744:71537,864:72169,873:73512,896:74144,905:76860,946:77140,951:77630,960:78330,972:95856,1224:98712,1279:99972,1299:100392,1305:100728,1310:117300,1627:139526,1867:141806,1905:142110,1910:142794,1925:154760,2074:155360,2083:158810,2164:159785,2181:167052,2293:167972,2307:171008,2350:174304,2406:174584,2412:174864,2418:175424,2432:175648,2437:177272,2473:177720,2482:178392,2497:178896,2508:179288,2521:179848,2532:183740,2574:186096,2580:187692,2624:189820,2665:190580,2676:191340,2687:198040,2780:198607,2788:199255,2799:199660,2805:202414,2873:202981,2881:203386,2887:203710,2892:208732,2971:209056,2976:209947,2994:215940,3036:216480,3043
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Karen Slade's Interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Karen Slade lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Karen Slade describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Karen Slade remembers her maternal grandfather's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Karen Slade talks about her maternal grandparents' life in Cleveland

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Karen Slade describes her mother as a young adult

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Karen Slade describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Karen Slade describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Karen Slade remembers the Lee-Miles neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Karen Slade describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Karen Slade recalls her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Karen Slade describes her favorite subjects in school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Karen Slade remembers her favorite teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Karen Slade recalls her maternal grandmother's influence on her academics

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Karen Slade talks about her high school activities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Karen Slade remembers the music of her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Karen Slade recalls her decision to attend Kent State University in Kent, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Karen Slade talks about her decision to major in telecommunications

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Karen Slade remembers Arsenio Hall and Steve Harvey

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Karen Slade describes her radio internships

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Karen Slade recalls her college extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Karen Slade talks about working at the Xerox Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Karen Slade remembers moving to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Karen Slade talks about her mentors at the Xerox Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Karen Slade remembers transitioning to radio broadcasting

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Karen Slade describes the origins of the call letters at KJLH Radio

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Karen Slade recalls her work at KJLH Radio in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Karen Slade talks about KJLH Radio's format

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Karen Slade describes the radio market competition in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Karen Slade recalls upgrading KJLH Radio's signal

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Karen Slade talks about the ratings system for radio broadcasting

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Karen Slade describes local disk jockeys at KJLH Radio

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Karen Slade talks about the community leaders of Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Karen Slade recalls her station's coverage of the Rodney King riots

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Karen Slade remembers winning a George Foster Peabody Award

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Karen Slade talks about LAPD violence against minorities

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Karen Slade describes her work as manager of KJLH Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Karen Slade recalls the creation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Karen Slade talks about KJLH Radio's identity as a black owned station

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Karen Slade remembers KJLH Radio's involvement with Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Karen Slade talks about the future of KJLH Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Karen Slade describes her hopes for the future

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Karen Slade reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Karen Slade talks about black owned radio stations

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Karen Slade reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Karen Slade remembers influential coworkers at KJLH Radio in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Karen Slade describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Karen Slade talks about her network of coworkers and friends

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Karen Slade describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

7$4

DATitle
Karen Slade talks about her decision to major in telecommunications
Karen Slade describes her work as manager of KJLH Radio
Transcript
Did you have any idea that you could make a living as a mathematician?$$You know at that time I didn't, I thought you could either be a teacher or you could be a nurse. I mean I had a really limited scope on what I could do and I knew I wasn't ready for marriage and family and I wasn't going to college [at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio] to get a husband, I was going to figure out how--what I was going to do with the rest of my life; so I remember watching--I must have been home for a break and I saw Dorothy Fuldheim, that's a name of the past. She was a female news anchor in Cleveland [Ohio] and I said I can do that, all she's doing is talking, I can do that, I can talk (laugher), so that was, you know, in my mind's eye I could do that, so that's when I declared a major in journalism. Well at--even though it was broadcast journalism at the time it was called telecommunications, it was before the word broadcast journalism, but you studied television, radio, print, which were the only platforms then. And I joined the Family Tree, the Family Tree was a production company--college production company. It had a public access, cable access television program and you cycled through all the jobs, so you started with the, I believe you started with the lighting and then the audio for sound and as you, I guess matriculated at some point you did the interviewing of the guests and I was lucky enough to interview [HistoryMaker] Angela Davis, which was big at the time and she came down with her brother who played for the Cleveland Browns, he was a good looking guy.$$Ben Davis, right?$$Ben Davis, oh, he was a good looking guy and subsequently I, I--Ben and I worked together at Xerox [Xerox Corporation], small world. Let's see, [HistoryMaker] Julian Bond, Angela Davis (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Did you know Fania Davis, the sister, the other sister?$$No, I never met the other sister.$$I know she spoke on her behalf when she was in, in prison, you know. Fania would go--she looked just like her pretty much, yeah.$$No, well I met the other brother [Reginald Davis]. I can't think of the other brother's name. I think he may have been at Xerox too. But, so, but what I determined at that time was I could not be on camera. I was terrible. I got nervous. I talked with my hands, which you see I'm consciously trying to hold them, hold them down, but when I was in college and interviewing I would talk with my hands and I would make gestures and I was so demonstrative it was distracting, so when I looked back and even though you're college kids you're there to learn. When I looked back I wasn't comfortable with what I saw, or how I sounded, I was so critical, but then I cycled through and we produced some shows and I, I liked that, you directed some shows, I liked that even more, so I--there were so many other aspects that you could--if this was your field you could just find what field you were comfortable. So where I initially thought I wanted to be in front of the camera and be a news anchor, I determined that that was not for me (laughter). So I ended up, from there I ended up going to Xerox and, and got into sales.$So does this, does the radio station's, I guess, community stance mirror the, the, the, I guess the, the outlook of Stevie Wonder, the, the owner?$$I'd say yes. I don't know anyone else that would commit the level of resources to their community that Steve does. I like to tell people I'm a capitalist and I usually say that right before people ask me for something (laughter) because I want them to understand that I'm really here you know, to run a business and it has to be successful, I've got to meet payroll, I've got to cover my expenses. It's got to be a profitable asset or there's no reason for the owner to keep it. Of course the owner is Steve and he is a philanthropist and he is a really good guy, so he would give, give away stuff and I'm trying to say, no, no. I remember we got into a discussion with Don Cornelius of 'Soul Train,' they were changing channels or something, changing stations and he's like, "Well you should just tell the people what station they can find it on," and da, da, da, da, da. And I said, "I will if you pay for advertising, right, you pay for advertising I'll tell you" (laughter). "Do you know I'm friends with Stevie," and da, da, da, da, da. And I was like, "Stevie's a good guy, I'm sure you are his friend, but this is his business and if you truly care about him you won't take advantage, you'll pay for advertisement." The next thing I know he gets Steve on the phone, I'm like--my boss is on the phone (laughter) and Don Cornelius is on the phone and I'm fighting to get money for the station so I held my own, so I said, "Steve he's got to spend money, that's how we make a living." "Well give him a break Karen [HistoryMaker Karen Slade]." "Okay, Mr. Cornelius I'll give you a break, what's your budget?" Now this is, I'm a little nervous because I'm playing hardball, right, but I want them to understand that this is a business and you can't just take advantage because it's owned by a fabulous philanthropist, this is his asset and it's got to make money for him to do with as he pleases, so I think I got two thousand dollars out of him. It wasn't a lot but it was a victory you know, 'cause Steve allowed me to do what I needed to do, and Don you know, he accepted it, so that's just one of the stories that I've had over the years. But I always try to put the business in the best light, so KJLH [KJLH Radio, Los Angeles, California], I don't think it's run like most companies, or especially most radio stations because it's a profit and loss, it's a commercial business, but we have an owner that has a heart that is sympathetic and has empathy for the community, so in that light we try to do worthwhile things and make good business sense. Like we do feeding for the homeless, we do all kinds of community related events, so we're very attached to the community and I think that is good business to support those that support you. The line you have to draw is, is the economics of it; what's the true value, what's the cost and can you afford it and what's the return.

Emil Wilbekin

Journalist and magazine executive Emil Kraig Wilbekin was born on September 16, 1967 in Cleveland, Ohio. His father, Harvey, was a lawyer and structural engineer; his mother, Cleota, a law judge and sociologist. In 1989, Wilbekin graduated with his B.S. degree in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University, where he was also editor of the Hampton Script. He went on to receive his M.S. degree in journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 1990.

Upon graduation, Wilbekin remained in New York City and worked as an in-house editorial assistant at Metropolitan Home and freelanced for a number of publications, including People Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, and The New York Times. In 1992, Wilbekin became a founding editor of Vibe magazine. He went on to serve as Vibe’s associate editor and style editor, and then as fashion director; in 1999, he was named editor-in-chief. In 2002, under Wilbekin’s leadership, Vibe won the coveted National Magazine Award for General Excellence from the American Society of Magazine Editors. Then, in 2003, he became vice president of brand development for Vibe Ventures, where he oversaw Vibe.com, mobile, books, and Vibe TV, and executive produced the first Vibe Awards.

In 2004, Wilbekin left Vibe and was hired as vice president of brand development for Marc Ecko Enterprises and became a contributor and editorial board member of Complex magazine. He then went on to serve as a reporter for AOL Black Voices; a freelance writer for Out magazine; a consultant for Microsoft; and a consultant for Epiphany Media, where he worked in writing, curation and brand development. In 2008, Wilbekin was named editor-in-chief of Giant magazine and Giantmag.com, and in 2009, was made managing editor of Essence.com. He was then appointed as editor-at-large of Essence magazine in 2012. Wilbekin resigned in 2014 and became an independent consultant and editorial content executive.

Wilbekin has served on the boards of LIFEbeat - The Music Industry Fights AIDS, The Stonewall Foundation, the American Society of Magazine Editors, the Design Industries Fighting AIDS (DIFFA), and the Black AIDS Institute. His honors include the Pratt Institute’s Creative Spirit Award, the Howard University Entertainment, Sports, and Law Club Media Award, The Anti Violence Project’s Courage Award, and The Hetrick Martin Institute’s Emory Award. Out magazine named Wilbekin as one of 100 most influential gay people in America in 2002, and he was inducted into the Hampton University Mass Media Arts Hall of Fame in 2007.

Emil Wilbekin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 16, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.204

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/16/2014 |and| 8/12/2014

Last Name

Wilbekin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Kraig

Schools

Our Redeemer Lutheran School

Walnut Hills High School

Hampton University

Columbia University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Emil

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

WIL72

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Stay In Your Lane and Always Be Your Best Self

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/16/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

West Indian Food

Short Description

Journalist and magazine executive Emil Wilbekin (1967 - ) was a founding editor of Vibe magazine and served as its editor-in-chief from 1999 to 2003. He has also worked as vice president of brand development for Vibe Ventures and Marc Ecko Enterprises, editor-in-chief of Giant magazine, managing editor of Essence.com, and editor-at-large of Essence magazine.

Employment

EW Consulting

Essence

Giant/Interactive One

MSN

Marc Ecko

Vibe

Metropolitan Home

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:2210,81:2550,86:11190,169:13890,231:21044,295:31000,361:37432,409:38013,417:38760,427:39341,436:41831,485:48886,582:50795,616:51459,626:58500,678:61430,705:62018,713:63110,730:64370,755:65042,765:65462,771:66806,790:69830,836:70166,841:70586,851:73190,893:74030,905:75458,925:75962,933:76718,943:77138,950:77558,956:78062,965:78398,973:82598,1029:83522,1042:84362,1061:105891,1233:109284,1281:119423,1395:120004,1404:122815,1427:123325,1434:124430,1450:124855,1456:125195,1461:125790,1470:126725,1483:128935,1515:129445,1522:134418,1539:134766,1544:135897,1558:136680,1568:137115,1574:137811,1583:138420,1592:140160,1615:140769,1629:141378,1640:142161,1657:143379,1680:143988,1688:145380,1711:151560,1773:154220,1843:154710,1851:157790,1908:158280,1916:166374,2019:168238,2031:168634,2038:169888,2071:173390,2117$0,0:4025,64:13264,146:15280,178:15952,190:17884,223:18388,230:20908,271:21412,278:22336,291:23092,302:23764,311:38059,495:56471,754:66466,907:66856,913:67246,918:67870,927:70132,991:70678,1000:73096,1049:77592,1072:78538,1083:79656,1097:82064,1129:83096,1149:86106,1187:90922,1268:91352,1274:92126,1285:96674,1301:96998,1306:98618,1327:99104,1335:102587,1390:103478,1411:103802,1416:104531,1426:105260,1436:108662,1493:113580,1510:114444,1519:115416,1529:116064,1536:117036,1546:120048,1567:120568,1573:124520,1615:126326,1637:126756,1643:127530,1654:128304,1664:128648,1669:128992,1674:129336,1679:131228,1707:143470,1829:146190,1879:146510,1884:146990,1892:147550,1900:147870,1905:149550,1932:154350,2030:154910,2038:155310,2044:159846,2061:164502,2127:168479,2175:169255,2184:172775,2215:180890,2325:181522,2337:184366,2399:184682,2404:188440,2418:188744,2423:189200,2430:190188,2451:190720,2460:191100,2466:191860,2482:194340,2499:195852,2520:196572,2534:197148,2547:197508,2553:197940,2560:198732,2573:199668,2590:200316,2601:200604,2606:201252,2616:205684,2640:206276,2649:206572,2654:206868,2659:207164,2664:212270,2752:212862,2762:213232,2768:213528,2773:214860,2801:227060,2970:227810,2981:229310,3007:230660,3034:232985,3077:234785,3117:235910,3212:236360,3219:236735,3225:240214,3234:240670,3241:241354,3251:242266,3266:242570,3271:244698,3315:247206,3358:247586,3364:248118,3376:251386,3443:251690,3448:255310,3468
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Emil Wilbekin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Emil Wilbekin lists his favorites, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Emil Wilbekin lists his favorites, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Emil Wilbekin describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Emil Wilbekin talks about his paternal family's Crucian heritage

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Emil Wilbekin talks about his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Emil Wilbekin talks about being adopted

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Emil Wilbekin describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Emil Wilbekin talks about his mother's membership on an all-white tennis team

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Emil Wilbekins talks about his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Emil Wilbekin describes his childhood home in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Emil Wilbekin describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Emil Wilbekins describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Emil Wilbekins describes the music played in his home as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Emil Wilbekin describes his childhood neighborhood, Kennedy Heights in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Emil Wilbekin talks about similarities between African American and West Indian culture

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Emil Wilbekin describes his relationship with his elder brother

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Emil Wilbekin talks about managing a learning disability as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Emil Wilbekin describes coming to terms with his sexual identity while studying abroad in London, England

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Emil Wilbekin describes his first impression of Hampton University and his desire to start a magazine and be a millionaire

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Emil Wilbekin describes his extracurricular activities at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia and his involvement with Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Emil Wilbekin talks about beginning to understand his sexual identity and being 'in the closet' at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Emil Wilbekin describes coming out to his parents

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Emil Wilbekin talks about influential professor Lottie Knight and being editor of the student newspaper at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Emil Wilbekin describes his summer internships at the Cincinnati Inquirer

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Emil Wilbekin talks about applying to magazine jobs and journalism school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Emil Wilbekin describes his summer internship at Company magazine in London, England

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Emil Wilbekin talks about studying at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Emil Wilbekin talks about getting his first job with Metropolitan Home magazine and being openly gay at work

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Emil Wilbekin describes his social life as a young journalist

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Emil Wilbekin talks about freelance writing while working at Metropolitan Home magazine

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Emil Wilbekin talks about Metropolitan Home magazine's partnership with Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA)

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Emil Wilbekin talks about joining the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) board

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Emil Wilbekin describes the development of Vibe magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Emil Wilbekin remembers creating the test issue of Vibe magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Emil Wilbekin talks about being editor of the new talent "Next" column in Vibe magazine, including interviewing Mary J. Blige

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Emil Wilbekin talks about his relationship with HistoryMaker Quincy Jones and his father, Harvey Wilbekin's, sudden passing in 1997

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Emil Wilbekin describes his first fashion week in Milan, Italy as fashion director of Vibe magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Emil Wilbekin remembers the night he was asked to be editor-in-chief of Vibe magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Emil Wilbekin describes some of his most memorable photo shoots as fashion director of Vibe magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Emil Wilbekin talks about Bevy Smith

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Emil Wilbekin talks about HistoryMakers Keith Clinkscales and Leonard Burnett, Jr. and also Johnathan Van Meter, Vibe's first editor-in-chief

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Emil Wilbekin describes the reputation of Vibe magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Emil Wilbekin talks about the murder of Biggie Smalls (Notorious B.I.G.) outside a Vibe after party

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Emil Wilbekin talks about the sale of Vibe magazine from Time Warner to Miller Publishing

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Emil Wilbekin talks about managing Vibe magazine's fashion budget

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Emil Wilbekin describes his vision for Vibe magazine as editor-in-chief

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Emil Wilbekin talks about Vibe magazine winning an American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) award in 2002

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Emil Wilbekin talks about his involvement with HIV/AIDS literacy organizations and LGBT media

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Emil Wilbekin talks about Vibe's December 2001 issue commemorating 9/11 and transitioning out of his role as editor-in-chief

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Emil Wilbekin talks about working for Marc Ecko

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Emil Wilbekin talks about leaving Vibe and blogging about LeBron James' life off the basketball court

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Emil Wilbekin talks about working at GIANT magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Emil Wilbekin talks about being recruited to run Essence.com

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Emil Wilbekin describes his experience as editor-at-large of Essence magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Emil Wilbekin recalls the controversy surrounding Essence magazine in 2010 when Elliana Placas was hired as fashion director

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Emil Wilbekin considers his future plans at the time of the interview

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Emil Wilbekin reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Emil Wilbekin considers what his father would think of his career and describes his mother's compassion

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Emil Wilbekin describes his mother's personality and accomplishments

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Emil Wilbekin talks about his mother's quilting

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Emil Wilbekin describes spending time with his parents as a child

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Emil Wilbekin talks about his childhood social activities

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Emil Wilbekin talks about his well-known extended family members

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Emil Wilbekin remembers his family reunions

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Emil Wilbekin talks about his maternal and paternal family ancestry

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Emil Wilbekin recalls being babysat by HistoryMaker Nikki Giovanni

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Emil Wilbekin talks about his involvement in Jack and Jill of America, Inc., pt.1

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Emil Wilbekin talks about his involvement in Jack and Jill of America, Inc., pt.2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Emil Wilbekin talks about his involvement in Jack and Jill of American Inc., pt. 3

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Emil Wilbekin talks about his social circle in New York, New York

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Emil Wilbekin talks about the Coffee Shop eatery in Union Square and discovering new talent as editor of the Vibe column "Next"

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Emil Wilbekin talks about Nicola Vassell

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Emil Wilbekin describes moving upward in the ranks in Vibe's fashion department

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Emil Wilbekin explains how the jobs of celebrity stylists and fashion editors intersect

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Emil Wilbekin talks about high fashion in Vibe magazine

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Emil Wilbekin talks about tension between high fashion and hip hop culture

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Emil Wilbekin describes watching the ascent of Sean "Diddy" Combs' career

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Emil Wilbekin talks about mediating tense situations at Vibe as editor-in-chief

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Emil Wilbekin describes balancing the editorial and business sides of Vibe

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Emil Wilbekin talks about maintaining journalistic integrity amidst blurred lines between celebrity and journalism

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Emil Wilbekin talks about iconic Vibe magazine celebrity covers

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Emil Wilbekin describes directing photo shoots as editor-in-chief of Vibe

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Emil Wilbekin explains how Vibe developed alongside hip hop culture

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Emil Wilbekin talks about how Vibe changed after the departure of HistoryMakers Keith Clinkscales and Leonard Burnett, Jr.

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Emil Wilbekin talks about his online arts and culture curating and sharing platform "WOW," World of Wilbekin

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Emil Wilbekin reflects on hip hop's appeal to upper-middle class African Americans

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Emil Wilbekin talks about negative aspects of hip hop culture

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Emil Wilbekin talks about Vibe magazine's role as an interpreter of hip hop culture

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Emil Wilbekin talks about fashion trends that emerged from hip hop culture

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Emil Wilbekin reflects over the legacy of hip hop culture

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Emil Wilbekin explains his digital platform "WOW" the World of Wilbekin

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Emil Wilbekin narrates his photographs

DASession

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DAStory

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DATitle
Emil Wilbekin talks about influential professor Lottie Knight and being editor of the student newspaper at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia
Emil Wilbekin describes balancing the editorial and business sides of Vibe
Transcript
At Hampton [University, Hampton, Virginia]--$$Emm-hmm.$$--when you were studying mass media arts--is that what it's called? Who, who were your teachers? Who were your great influences?$$My really great influence at Hampton was a professor; her name is Lottie Knight, and Lottie Knight was the hardest professor I had had to date in my career--she was not the last. And Lottie Knight was--I mean you had to turn in something that was spectacular; like if you did not do your best in your work, you were gonna re-do it until you got it right. She would call you out in class, she would read your stuff in front of people in class, and she was just tough; like she didn't--she didn't care, and she was a really, really, I think, powerful influence on me because I would have to say that a part of my editing and management style would come from her, which is the--the motto at Hampton is the standard of excellence. And so that is something that I carry with me, that is something that I reference a lot because I have had the privilege to work with a lot of other Hamptonians, and so Lottie represented--Mrs. Knight represented the standard of excellence, and she was phenomenal; she was a big influence. The other things that I remember about Hampton was studying French, and what was unique about studying French at Hampton was that we learned French by learning about the French-speaking parts of Africa and so that was really brilliant. The other part which is important to mention is as the editor of the school newspaper; I was very controversial because I would actually take the administration to task about student rights and things that were going on, and in fact, several times, funding for the school paper would miraculously be pulled, and I can remember having to drive to Williamsburg [Virginia], which is about forty-five minutes north of Hampton, to pick up the papers from the printer because there was no way to get them back and forth and going, and they were like, "Oh, the paper is not ready because the school didn't pay," and I was just, you know, just--and so that riled me up even more.$When were you editor-in-chief [of Vibe]?$$I was editor-in-chief from 1999 until 2002.$$And who owned the magazine when you were editor-in-chief?$$When I was editor-in-chief, Bob Miller, who used to high-up at Time Inc. and helped launch Vibe with Time Inc. Ventures, and Warner Brothers had bought the magazine from Time Inc., so he was the owner at that time.$$So, [HM] Keith [Clinkscales] and Len [HM Leonard Burnett, Jr.] never owned Vibe.$$No.$$They, they just--they had--$$Right.$$--their, their (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--Publisher and CEO [chief executive officer].$$So, as a business--now, obviously you're on the editorial side but you see the, the business--how the business is working. What--because Vibe told stories differently than other so-called black magazines, I mean they, they told it all in a way that was completely atypical of traditional black magazines.$$Emm-hmm.$$Did--was there ever conflict between the business side and the editorial side based upon the kinds of stories that you were telling and cover subjects that you selected?$$We always had conflict with editorial versus publishing and business. I mean I think that that is the very nature of magazines, and especially a magazine that was born out of Time Inc., which is so about church and state, and at a time where that ethos was really, really upheld. I think the lines are very blurred now because we live in a very different world and people need money. So--but there was a lotta challenges about, you know, business decisions versus editorial decisions. We did a story about MTV and literally were black-balled from anything MTV for years because we basically said that they were kind of racist and not necessarily uplifting people in their programming, and no VMAs [MTV Video Music Awards] for us. So these types of things happen, and it happened across the board; and you also have to realize that when you have high-profile people who are on the publishing side and the editorial side, the lines were often blurred to the outside world about who was in charge of what. It was like, "Oh, you're all Vibe." But outside people don't know that--well, in our construct, business doesn't dictate editorial, and editorial should do what it wants to do but does have to sway in certain times. So it was--there was a lotta that, and I think the other thing to keep in mind about Vibe was it was a very young staff. Most people that worked at Vibe, that was their first job outta school. So, you have a whole--like a majority of a staff that's never worked anywhere and suddenly they're working in this corporate structure that--and you want the kids that were into music and knew hip hop and knew the difference between the different genres of rap music and stuff like that. They're not gonna be great with doing their T&E [travel and expenses], they're not gonna be great in protocol and meetings. So a lotta the work that I would say the editors did at Vibe was mentorship because there was a lotta teaching and grooming. Of course, Keith and Len had gone to business school, of course I went to Columbia J. School [Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York, New York]. I mean we had people there that had higher education obviously, but most people hadn't worked anywhere else; a lotta people had worked at the Village Voice and other places, but many of the young staff never worked anywhere else before, so that also made it challenging.

The Honorable C. Ellen Connally

Judge C. Ellen Connally was born on January 26, 1945 in Cleveland, Ohio to George and Gwendolyn Johnson Connally. She attended St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School and graduated from the Notre Dame Academy in Cleveland, Ohio in 1963. Connally received her B.S. degree in social studies from Bowling Green State University in 1967, and her J.D. degree from Cleveland State University in 1970.

In 1971, Connally was hired as a law clerk for Ohio’s 8th District Court of Appeals. From 1972 to 1979, she worked as a trial referee in the Probate Division of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. In 1980, Connally was elected a judge of the Cleveland Municipal Court and became the first African American female elected judge in Ohio without being first appointed. She was re-elected in 1985, 1991 and 1997.

In 1998, Connally received her M.A. degree in American history from Cleveland State University. She then went on to attend Akron University and completed all coursework towards a Ph.D. degree in American history.

In 2004, Connally retired from the Cleveland Municipal Court and ran for chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. She then worked as an adjunct professor of history at Ursuline College from 2005 to 2006, and as a visiting and adjunct professor of law at the University of Akron College of Law from 2006 to 2008. In 2009, she was appointed special prosecutor for the City of Cleveland. In 2010, Connally was elected to the Cuyahoga City Council, the legislative branch of the county government, and was elected president of the council in 2010 and re-elected in 2012.

Connally has served as president of the Board of Trustees of Bowling Green State University, president of the Board of Trustees of the Breast Cancer Fund of Ohio, vice president of the Board of Community Action Against Addiction, vice president for Traffic Safety - Greater Cleveland Safety Council, and president of the Northern Ohio Municipal Judges Association. In addition, Connally served on the Mayor’s Task Force on Violent Crime, and on the Executive Committee of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable. She has also been a member of numerous boards, including the Cleveland Bar Foundation, the Cleveland Society for the Blind, the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, the Cleveland Public Theater, the Girls and Boys Club of Cleveland, and the Ohio Judicial College. A long time student of the Kennedy Assassination, Connally currently lectures on the subject in programs of continuing legal education and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Historical Society and the Cleveland State University Foundation Board.

Connally has received the 1997 Achievement Award from Cleveland State University’s History Department; a 1999 Certificate of Special Appreciation from Mothers Against Drunk Driving; the 2001 Alumni of the Year Award from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law; the Cuyahoga County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association’s John J. McMahon Outstanding Jurist Award; and 2004’s National Legacy Award, presented by Councilman Zachary Reed.

Connally lives in the Shaker Square area of Cleveland with her two rescue dogs. She is the mother of one son, Seth, an Iraq War Veteran.

C. Ellen Connally was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 14, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.070

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/14/2014

Last Name

Connally

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Ellen

Occupation
Schools

St Thomas Aquinas School

Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School

Bowling Green State University

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Cleveland State University

University of Akron

National Judicial College

First Name

Cecelia

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

CON06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

1/26/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Potato Chips

Short Description

Judge The Honorable C. Ellen Connally (1945 - ) served as a judge of the Cleveland Municipal Court from 1980 to 2004. She was the first African American female judge elected in Ohio without first being appointed.

Employment

Connally Insurance Agency

Carl J. Character and Samuel S. Perry

Law Department of the City of Cleveland

Cuyahoga County Court of Appeals - Judge Alvin I Krenzler

Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas - Probate Division

Cleveland Municipal Court

City of Cleveland's Fair Election's Committee

Ursuline College

City of Cleveland

University of Akron College of Law

Cuyahoga County Council

Cuyahoga Grand Jury

East Cleveland Municipal Court; South Euclid Municipal Court

General Election for Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court

Nominee for Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court

Court's Personnel

Probation Committee

Favorite Color

Orange

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable C. Ellen Connally's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes how her maternal grandparents met

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about her father's education at the Tuskegee Institute

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes her father's career, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes how her parents met and their personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes her father's career, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally remembers her family's first home in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about her early education in Catholic schools

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally remembers the politicians from Ohio during her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally remembers the St. Thomas Aguinas School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes her family's summer vacations

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally recalls her early political influences

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally recalls her decision to attend Bowling Green University in Bowling Green, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally remembers her first impressions of Bowling Green University

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes her activities at Bowling Green University

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally remembers President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally remembers President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about the response to the Warren Commission

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally remembers graduating from Bowling Green University in Bowling Green, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally recalls the election of Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally recalls a scandal in Mayor Carl Stokes' administration

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes her experiences at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally remembers her early legal career

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes her clerkship for Judge Alvin Krenzler

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally recalls her election to the Cleveland Municipal Court

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes her early experiences as a judge

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally remembers a domestic violence case

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally recalls her motivation to run for judicial office

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about ruling on prostitution cases

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about her efforts to rule fairly as a judge

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes her judicial philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about Carl Stokes' time as a judge

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes her graduate studies

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about prominent civil rights cases

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about Jefferson Davis, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about Jefferson Davis, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about her campaign for chief justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally recalls her experiences as a special prosecutor for Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about the discrepancies in criminal sentencing

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about her election as president of the Cuyahoga County Council

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about her work with the Ohio Historical Society

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about her editorial work

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally shares her views on the Ohio Democratic Party

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes her concerns for the African American community in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally reflects upon the education system in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about her plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally reflects upon President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes her family

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about her relatives who passed for white

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable C. Ellen Connally describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

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DATitle
The Honorable C. Ellen Connally talks about her efforts to rule fairly as a judge
The Honorable C. Ellen Connally reflects upon President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination
Transcript
And now, this is not a prostitution story, but I was going--I went to the federal building [Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building, Cleveland, Ohio] about two years, year and a half, and the guard said--you have to show your ID. And he goes, "I know who you are. You can go on in." And I go, "Like, did I do something wrong?" He says, "No," he said, "no. You gave me a break." He says, "I have this job because you gave me a break." He said, "I won't tell you what it was." He said, "But you were fair and you gave me a break, and I was able to get this job." So, you know, some kid would come in, and he had a marijuana charge, and, you know, he didn't have any other record, and he seemed like a good kid going to school. I'd say, you know, what, prosecutor, can you give the guy a disorderly conduct and he'll pay the maximum fine, and he won't have that mari- that drug charge. Because you know, thirty years from now, something comes up. You got a drug charge on you. So, you know, the people that can go to the first offender program. You know, the kid is going to go in the [U.S. military] service, and they got--he's got, you know, some kind of a little disorderly conduct, similar charge. Say, you know what? Can we put him through the first-offender program? He's got his recruiter here. He's going to the service. He'll be gone. You know, we get him through in a week or so (unclear). So I think those kinds of things, you know, are--a judge can do that, you know, you can, you can help somebody. These are not people that killed somebody. Now, if you killed a dog, that's it, maximum sentence.$$You had some cases like that, huh.$$Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. If you did something to a dog, the prosecutors would all be praying that I would get the case because I, I, you know, it's very hard for me to be fair to somebody--not fair--I'm fair, but be lenient on someone that does something to an animal.$$Okay. So not just dogs, but--$$Oh, yeah. Any kind of animal.$$Any animal. Did you have to deal with--I know Ohio at one time had more exotic animals than any other state.$$You know, we never had any of those. I never had any of those. Those are more out in the suburbs, yeah. I know because I went to a conference when I first became a judge, and they were talking about a wildlife violation. I thought they were talking about prostitution. They were like, no, no, like that jack lighting deer. Like, what the hell is jack lighting deer? You go out like you shine a light up and it scares the deer, and they freeze and you can shoot them or something. I was like, I was like I didn't know what that was.$$That's the first time I've heard of that.$$Yeah. It's called jack (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) What-- what's this--$$--lighting deer.$$Okay. So it makes them easier to shoot, just--$$Yeah. Because you, you--$$It freezes.$$--you shine the light in their eye, and the deer freezes, and you can shoot them.$$Oh, oh.$$Which is horrible.$$Yeah. It's really not sport (unclear) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Killing Bambi, you know.$$Yeah. Right.$Yeah. Well, I was, I was asking you about the psychic effect. I mean, the (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well, here, here's my--$$--the effect to, to the psyche of the American people of the--$$Here's, here's my presentation that, that the other assassinations when Lincoln [President Abraham Lincoln] dies, Booth [John Wilkes Booth] is killed within eleven days. When Garfield [President James Abram Garfield] is shot, Guiteau [Charles J. Guiteau] is arrested immediately, and he's ultimately hung after a trial. And, you know, he says that, you know, he's a disgruntled officer, so there's a logic behind--not logic, but, you know, people know. And then Czolgosz [Leon Czolgosz], who actually lived here in Cleveland [Ohio] shot McKinley [President William McKinley]. He's an anarchist and he's, he's hung within, I don't know, like a month or something. And then there's some other attacks on, on presidents, and there's very swift justice. Well, and they're all in plain view. You know, walk up to McKinley, shoot him. Walk up to Garfield, shoot him. But, you know, you got Oswald [Lee Harvey Oswald], you know, he shoots from the window, and, there's--now, there are actually eyewitness that see him shooting out the window, but they get always kind of lost in the shuffle, but--so no one ever knows the motive, and then, you know, when Ruby [Jack Ruby] shoots Oswald, you know, and then there's all this, you know, the, the trial is in the media, and, and Ruby is the executioner, so it, it affects the psyche that no one--there's no finality. There's no due process, and there's no finality, so people are, are wonderi- are never probably going to be satisfied, so that's why we like to--you know, there's me and these other people kind of like to get the word out, the anti--'cause conspiracy people--'cause I've written to a number of historians. They're like, why have the academic community really abandoned the Kennedy assassination? Because it's kind of been taken over by the crazies, and it's, it's hard to argue with them, you know. You have all your evidence there, and they come up with like, you know, well, this guy was walking down the street, and Oswald was like living in the same town, so, therefore, there must be a conspiracy.$$What, what did the Kennedy era mean to you and those who--I mean, writing about the assassination is one thing, but what did that era mean?$$I just remembered that was the first president that I had ever campaigned for. And I think I told you earlier that I went to my aunt's house, and she's this old line Republican, and she's got these Nixon [President Richard Milhous Nixon] signs on her door. I was like, what is this? So I remember that I had Kennedy buttons and my mom [Gwendolyn Johnson Connally] had never worked at the polls, and she actually worked at the polls the whole night that--counting votes, you know, for Kennedy, so I just remember, you know, kind of going--rushing home from school and watching press conferences and, you know, always, you know--we all wore like kind of the Jackie Kennedy [Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis] clothing, and it was just--you know, after this kind of stodgy Eisenhower [President Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower], who just kind of played golf. You know, it was exciting. You know, the, the whole Kennedy era was exciting, and so, you know, when he, when he dies, it's just--it's like a relative or something died. It just changed everything.

Dominic Ozanne

Construction entrepreneur and chief executive Dominic Ozanne was born on April 10, 1953 in Cleveland, Ohio to Betty and Leroy Ozanne. Ozanne earned his B.S./B.A. degree in finance from Boston University in 1975. He then attended Harvard Law School, where he was senior comments editor for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and received his J.D. degree in 1978.

Ozanne worked briefly for the law firm Thompson, Hine, & Flory, after which he joined the Ozanne Construction Company as general counsel. His father had founded the company in 1956, making it one of the nation’s first black-owned construction companies. In 1990, Ozanne was named president and Chief Executive Officer of the company. He expanded the firm beyond the greater Cleveland area and secured a number of significant contracts for projects such as the Cleveland Metropolitan Schools Rebuilding Program, the Orleans Parish Sherif’s Office Rebuilding Program, the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Administrative Campus, and the Elkton, Ohio Correctional Facility.

In recognition of his achievements, Ozanne was awarded the 1991 Engineering New Record Award for Excellence and served as president of the National Association of Minority Contractors from 1989 to 1990. The Ozanne Construction Company was ranked no. 61 on Black Enterprise’s list of the top 100 industrial/service companies in 1998, named the Best-in-Class in Workforce Diversity for middle market companies by the Greater Cleveland Partnership in 2011, and listed in the top 100 Construction Management-for-Fee Firms by Engineering New Record in 2011. The company is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council.

Ozanne has been a member of a number of civic, educational, and professional groups such as the Case Western Reserve University Board of Trustees, the Cleveland Museum of Art Board of Trustees, the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Advisory Board – Harvard Law School, the Construction Employers Association Board of Trustees, the Lay Finance Advisory Board, Diocese of Cleveland, the St. Ignatius High School Board of Regents, and member of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.

Ozanne is married to Gaile Cooper Ozanne and they have four children; Dominic II, Monique, Olivia, and Joshua. Dominic II has worked as a project engineer at the Ozanne Construction Company’s New Orleans office.

Dominic Ozanne was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 13, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.046

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/13/2014

Last Name

Ozanne

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Saint Ignatius High School

Boston University

Harvard Law School

First Name

Dominic

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

OZA01

State

Ohio

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

4/10/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Short Description

Construction chief executive Dominic Ozanne (1953 - ) served as president of the Ozanne Construction Company, one of the nation’s first black-owned construction companies.

Employment

Thompson, Hine, & Flory

Ozanne Construction Company

Sheila Talton

Technology executive and entrepreneur Sheila G. Talton was born on October 12, 1952 in Cleveland, Ohio. As a teenager, she became involved in the civil rights movement in Rockford, Illinois. Talton went on to graduate from Northern Illinois University with her B.S. degree in business administration and speech communications in 1980

Upon graduation, Talton was hired as a sales trainee at NCR Corporation. She became head of Midwest sales for Data Group Systems in Chicago in 1982, moving on to a position as team leader in the sales department of Applied Data Research (ADR) in 1984. Taking advantage of a void left by the breakup of AT&T, Talton founded Unisource Network Services, a provider of voice, data and video networking consultation and support services, in 1987. In 1996, while still leading Unisource, she helped establish the Information Technology Senior Management Forum, a mentoring group that cultivates executive talent among African American IT professionals. Talton sold her stake in Unisource in 2000, and was hired as the vice president of Cap Gemini, Ernst & Young’s Midwest technology consulting practice. In 2002, she was named president of global business innovation services for Electronic Data Systems (EDS). Talton was hired by the computer networking company Cisco Systems Inc. in 2004 where she became vice president of advisory services in the Customer Advocacy Group. She was promoted to a role as vice president of Cisco’s Office of Globalization in 2008 and helped the company identify growth opportunities in emerging markets around the world. She left Cisco in 2012 to found the consulting firm SGT, Ltd. In 2013, Talton established Gray Matter Analytics, Inc., a business providing consulting services and cloud hosting service for analytics.

Talton has served as a member of the board of directors of the ACCO Brands Corporation, the Wintrust Financial Corporation, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Lighthouse for the Blind, and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her honors include selection as a Congressional appointee on the US White House Women’s Business Council, as one of the “Top 10 Women in Technology” by Enterprising Women, and as “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the National Federation of Black Women Business Owners. She is also a recipient of the “Entrepreneurial Excellence Award” from Working Woman magazine and a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award. She was named a 2007 “Woman Worth Watching” by Profiles in Diversity Journal, received a 2008 Egretha Award from the African American Women’s Business and Career Conference, and was named a 2009 Business Leader of Color by Chicago United. In 2010 she was honored as a Woman of Achievement by the Anti-Defamation League, and as the Outstanding College Alumni of the Year by the Business School of Northern Illinois University. In 2011 she was named one of “25 Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal and received the “Diamond Leadership Award” from the Information Technology Senior Management Forum.

Sheila G. Talton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 23, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.216

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/23/2013

Last Name

Talton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Gayle

Schools

Harvard Business School

Northern Illinois University

West High School

Rock Valley College

Roosevelt-Perry Elementary School

Franklin School

First Name

Sheila

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

TAL01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Vail, Colorado

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

10/12/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Vegetables

Short Description

Technology executive Sheila Talton (1952 - ) had extensive global operations experience as a business leader and entrepreneur in the information technology industry. She founded Gray Matter Analytics in 2013.

Employment

Gray Matter Analytics, Inc.

Sterling Partners

Sgt, LTD. (Sheila Talton, LTD.)

CISCO Systems

EDS

CAP Gemini Ernst & Young

Unisource Network Services

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sheila Talton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sheila Talton lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sheila Talton describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sheila Talton describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sheila Talton describes her mother's personality and education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sheila Talton talks about her father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sheila Talton lists her father's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sheila Talton remembers her parents' divorce

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sheila Talton describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sheila Talton recalls living in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Sheila Talton remembers Perry Elementary School in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Sheila Talton describes her home life in Louisville, Kentucky, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Sheila Talton describes her home life in Louisville, Kentucky, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Sheila Talton remembers the holidays

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sheila Talton describes her family life in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sheila Talton describes the Hough neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sheila Talton recalls visits from her father after her parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sheila Talton remembers moving to Rockford, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sheila Talton remembers the Franklin School in Rockford, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sheila Talton remembers her parents' relationship

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sheila Talton talks about the African American community in Rockford, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sheila Talton remembers reconnecting with her father

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sheila Talton recalls her involvement in the Black Power movement

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sheila Talton remembers her teenage years

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sheila Talton describes her experiences at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sheila Talton talks about the Black Panther Party in Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sheila Talton recalls her decision to attend Northern Illinois University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sheila Talton remembers leaving Northern Illinois University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sheila Talton remembers entering the secretarial workforce

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sheila Talton recalls her return to Northern Illinois University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sheila Talton remembers studying business administration at Northern Illinois University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sheila Talton describes her motivation for completing her college education

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sheila Talton remembers joining the NCR Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sheila Talton recalls her decision to leave the NCR Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sheila Talton talks about her technological aptitude and training

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sheila Talton describes her salesmanship skills

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sheila Talton remembers her role at Data Group Systems

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sheila Talton remembers working for Applied Data Research

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sheila Talton remembers her prejudiced manager at Applied Data Research

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sheila Talton remembers founding Unisource Network Services

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sheila Talton describes what she learned at Applied Data Research

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sheila Talton remembers her divorce

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sheila Talton talks about her daughter

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sheila Talton remembers running Unisource Network Services

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sheila Talton remembers leaving Unisource Network Services

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sheila Talton describes her role at Ernst and Young

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sheila Talton remembers working at Ernst and Young

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sheila Talton describes her civic involvement in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Sheila Talton recalls her transition from Capgemini SE to Electronic Data Systems

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Sheila Talton talks about the importance of community service

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sheila Talton talks about her role as a mentor

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sheila Talton remembers her second marriage

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sheila Talton remembers being hired at Cisco Systems, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sheila Talton recalls working for Cisco Systems, Inc. in China

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sheila Talton talks about challenges for African Americans in Silicon Valley

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sheila Talton remembers working for Cisco Systems, Inc. in Mexico

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sheila Talton remembers working for Cisco Systems, Inc. in Brazil and Chile

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sheila Talton talks about her interest in big data

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Sheila Talton remembers founding Gray Matter Analytics

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sheila Talton describes the workplace culture at Sterling Partners

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sheila Talton describes her business plan for Gray Matter Analytics

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sheila Talton describes her hopes for Gray Matter Analytics

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sheila Talton reflects upon her values

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sheila Talton shares her advice to young people

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sheila Talton reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sheila Talton reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Sheila Talton talks about her plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Sheila Talton reflects upon her parents' lessons

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Sheila Talton narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$3

DAStory

9$7

DATitle
Sheila Talton remembers founding Gray Matter Analytics
Sheila Talton recalls her return to Northern Illinois University
Transcript
And when I went back out there I started looking around, who was investing in all the big data and then where the money was going, and it was pretty much going all in software; and I thought to myself, hm, that's probably not a good thing 'cause I think that there's an opportunity for the services piece, which is really more important because it's having the people that can read what the data's telling them. I ended up landing at a private equity firm here [Sterling Partners] that had not done a lot in technology but they said that they wanted to, and quite frankly, I believe because of the discrimination in those firms, I didn't have a lot of options. I mean, I wasn't getting firms, "Oh, yeah, Sheila [HistoryMaker Sheila Talton], come on in, come on in," but there was an African American principal at this firm and he wanted me to come into this firm. So I did. I joined the firm as, what they call an executive in residence, which means that, you're not making much money but you're looking to invest where you might end up running the new entity that they invested in. So, I wrote an investment thesis, spent about eight months doing that and I was becoming very, very bored and then I probably brought them about four different deals. They didn't like any of them.$$Right.$$And I went back out to California this past March and met with some old Cisco [Cisco Systems, Inc.] colleagues, met with some venture funds and told them all about this investment thesis I wrote and how I know that this is the sweet spot in big data, where there's a void. Consistently, I got asked, "So why aren't you launching the company?" I said, I don't know. Came back to Chicago [Illinois], thought about that, went skiing out in Vail [Colorado] with a couple of friends, talked to them about my investment thesis and they said, "So why aren't you launching it?" And I said, you know, I think I will. So, I came back to Chicago and started Gray Matter Analytics and we're nine people now, office in Silicon Valley, office in Chicago, thinking about whether we need one on the East Coast because right now our biggest customer is out there on the East Coast.$$Okay.$$I sit on a couple of public company boards and still on the Northwestern Memorial Hospital [Chicago, Illinois] board, Chicago Urban League board and the Shakespeare Theatre [Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Chicago, Illinois] board, so I've got a full life.$Then in, let's see, 1975, 1975, I met my husband--maybe '74 [1974]. And we were married and he was a machinist at a factory in Belvidere, Illinois and I was still working at the printing place, and then I became pregnant and I had my daughter. And when I had my daughter, life changed for me. I did not go back to work at the printing place, I went to work at a place called Allis-Chalmers [Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company], they manufactured forklifts and I was a clerk there. And my daughter was young, a baby, and there was a salesman there, first name Greg [ph.], I cannot think of his last name, white guy, and I had been working there for about, say maybe a year or so, and he says to me one day, he says, "Why are you working here?" And me being as militant as I am, I'm thinking, and why are you asking me that? And he said, "You're capable of so much more, why is it that you're a clerk here at this showroom?" And I said, "Well, I have to work, my husband works, we have a daughter." And he says, "Well, why didn't you go to college?" I said, "Oh, I did." I said, "That didn't work so well." He says, "What do you mean?" And I said, "Oh, I partied a lot, I was on academic probation." He says, "Why don't you go back?" I said, "Well they're not going to take me back." He says, "They would take you back." And I said, "What do you mean they would take me back?" He says, "Well, if you would go to a junior college and you take calculus and quantitative analysis, some really tough classes and ace those, they'd take you back at Northern [Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois]." And I said, (makes sound), I said, "Well, you know, I've never been really good at math." He says, "Well, I'll tutor you." So I took his advice. I went and enrolled in classes at Rock Valley junior college [Rock Valley College, Rockford, Illinois] and he kept his word. I would go to his house, his wife and he, and he would tutor me. I ended up taking about, I don't know, twelve hours there and then I reapplied back at Northern. I had a young child at this time. They accepted me back. I quit that job. I got a loan and a scholarship, a grant from Sundstrand [Sundstrand Corporation; UTC Aerospace Systems], it was one of them where I had worked as a secretary, and I was on the dean's list every semester.$$Can we hold that for a minute 'cause you're, you're going to where I'm going to be in a few minutes, but let's back up just a hair. You ended up getting married in 1970--$$I think we got married, my daughter was born in '77 [1977], so we must have got married maybe in '74 [1974], '75 [1975].$$Okay, and your husband's name?$$Henry [Henry Talton].$$Henry, thank you, and your daughter's name?$$Shannel [Shannel Talton].$$Shannel, thank you. These are important details, I want to make sure I get them.$$Ex-husband.$$Ex-husband, okay, no, I can deal with then-husband, later on, ex-husband. And this salesman, I'm sorry, what was his name?$$Greg was his first name. I wish I, I actually wish I could find him, but Greg was his first name.$$All right, and he just, so he took you under, under his wing (unclear)?$$Right.$$He's white?$$Um-hm.

Rodney Reynolds

Magazine publisher Rodney J. Reynolds was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended the University of Cincinnati where he studied graphic design and advertising. Reynolds undertook his first publishing venture with a national, general purpose publication targeted towards African American men, Spectrum Magazine.

In 1992, Reynolds and Corporate Cleveland Magazine developed Minority Business, a quarterly publication where he served as publisher and editor. He went on to publish New Visions and Renaissance Magazine. He also developed Today, a magazine that focused on African American families. Reynolds founded RJR Communications, Inc. in 1992. In 1995, Reynolds, along with Forbes, Inc., began publishingAmerican Legacy Magazine, which centered on African American history and culture. In February of 2001, RJR Communications and New Millennium Studios, founded by entertainer Timothy Reid, launched American Legacy Television, a nationally syndicated television program. Reynolds has served on the board of directors for the Mount Vernon Public Library, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Central & Northern Westchester, the Harriett Tubman Home, and the Rye Country Day School. He was appointed as the diversity chairperson for the New York Blood Center - Westchester Region. In addition, Reynolds is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

In 1998, Reynolds received the “Forty Under 40 Award” from The Network Journal. In addition, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. honored his work with the Lillian Award. He received the Percy E. Sutton Award from the Harlem Business Alliance; the Visionary Award from the African American Men of Westchester; the National Business Leader of the Year Award from the African American Chamber of Commerce of Westchester & Rockland County; and the 2002 Triangle of Service Award from the Southeast Regional African American Preservation Alliance. In 2004, Reynolds received the inaugural Earl G. Graves Entrepreneurial Award; and, in 2005 he was the recipient of the W.O. Walker Community Excellence Award.

Rodney J. Reynolds was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 13, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.203

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/13/2013

Last Name

Reynolds

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Jerome

Schools

University of Cincinnati

Dartmouth College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Rodney

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

REY03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Hang In There.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/9/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Magazine publishing entrepreneur Rodney Reynolds (1958 - ) , founder and publisher of American Legacy Magazine, serves as president of RJR Communications, Inc. and executive producer of American Legacy Television.

Employment

RJR Communications, Inc.

Reynolds Publishing Co.

Wesley & Associates

Favorite Color

Blue

Ernest Levert

Engineer Ernest D. Levert was born on March 15, 1954 in Cleveland, Ohio. Levert grew up in Cleveland where he attended Max S. Hayes High School and interned with NASA at the John H. Glenn Research Center as a sophomore. He graduated from Max S. Hayes High School in 1972. Then, after working briefly as a tool and die welder at Club Products in Cleveland, Levert served a tour of duty in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and attended the U.S. Navy’s C-1 Welding School. Levert went on to graduate from Ohio State University in 1982 with his B.S. degree in welding engineering, specializing in laser-beam and electron-beam welding.

In 1986, Levert joined Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Division in Dallas, Texas where he worked on projects under NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense that included International Space Station and the Army Tactical Missile System. Levert’s division created and implemented photovoltaic radiators for the International Space Station’s crew areas and the removal of excess heat. He also developed a system of elbow tubing designed to carry coolant gases in radiators that are part of the Space Station. In 1996, Levert was appointed senior staff manufacturing engineer at Lockheed Martin; and, by 2000, Levert’s team had successfully welded 284 missiles. Throughout his career, Levert has developed standard policies and processes that provide structural integrity for many Lockheed Martin products. He also contributed a chapter to the book, Sparking the Future: National Center for Welding Education and Training, published by the Welding Education Center in 2009.

In 2002, Levert became the first African American to serve as president of the American Welding Society. He was honored with the Outstanding Alumni Award from Ohio State University’s School of Engineering in 2004 and with the NOVA Award for Outstanding leadership from Lockheed Martin in 2006.

Ernest D. Levert was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 29, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.025

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/29/2013

Last Name

Levert

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

D

Schools

The Ohio State University

Max S. Hayes High School

Wilson Junior High School

John D. Rockefeller Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ernest

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

LEV02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Maui, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

With God in your life and faith in yourself, you can set and achieve your goals no matter what you were told.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

3/14/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak (Rib Eye)

Short Description

Material science engineer and welding engineer Ernest Levert (1954 - ) , the first African American to serve as president of the American Welding Society, has worked with the U.S. Department of Defense and NASA as an engineer at Lockheed Martin.

Employment

Lockheed Martin

General Dynamic - Convair Division

Ametek, Straza Division

United States Navy

Favorite Color

Black, Red

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ernest Levert's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ernest Levert lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ernest Levert describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ernest Levert describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ernest Levert talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ernest Levert talks about his relation to the O'Jays lead singer, Eddie Levert

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ernest Levert describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ernest Levert talks about his growing up and his childhood neighborhoods

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ernest Levert talks about his childhood influences

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ernest Levert describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ernest Levert talks about his childhood job at Cleveland Stadium

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ernest Levert talks about his interest in engineering

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ernest Levert talks about his interest in welding

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ernest Levert talks about the Hough, Ohio Riots

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ernest Levert talks about his high school and his first job at NASA

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ernest Levert talks about his mentor, Julian Earls

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ernest Levert talks about his favorite movie, "October Sky"

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ernest Levert talks about sports in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ernest Levert talks about the importance of communication skills

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ernest Levert talks about Star Trek

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ernest Levert talks about his extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ernest Levert talks about his involvement in the Boy Scouts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ernest Levert talks about his experience working at Club Products

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ernest Levert talks about his decision to join the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ernest Levert talks about his experience in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ernest Levert talks about his encounters with racism in the U.S. Navy, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ernest Levert talks about his encounters with racism in the U.S. Navy, part 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ernest Levert talks about his encounters with racism in the U.S. Navy, part 3

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ernest Levert talks about his decision to attend The Ohio State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ernest Levert talks about his experience at The Ohio State University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ernest Levert talks about his internships and summer employment during college

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ernest Levert talks about his professors at The Ohio State University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ernest Levert talks about his experience at Ametek Straza

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ernest Levert talks about his departure from Ametek Straza

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ernest Levert talks about his experience at Geodynamics

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ernest Levert talks about joining Lockheed Martin

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ernest Levert talks about his work at Lockheed Martin

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ernest Levert talks about his projects at Lockheed Martin

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ernest Levert talks about his conflicts with management

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ernest Levert talks about his NASA projects

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ernest Levert talks about the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and Ronald McNair

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ernest Levert shares his advice for aspiring welding engineers

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ernest Levert talks about Lockheed Martin

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Ernest Levert his impact internationally

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Ernest Levert talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Ernest Levert reflects on his life

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Ernest Levert reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Ernest Levert talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Ernest Levert talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Ernest Levert describes his photos

Robert R. Lavelle

Realtor and banker Robert Roselle Lavelle was born on October 4, 1915 in Cleveland, Tennessee, to Franklin Pierce Lavelle, a pastor, and Mary Anderson Lavelle, a domestic. Lavelle’s father passed away when he was nine years old, and Robert, his mother and his four brothers and three sisters met difficult times during the Great Depression, leading to Lavelle dropping out of high school to work several odd jobs.

In 1935, Lavelle reached a turning point when, while working as a dishwasher in a department store restaurant, he was approached by the president of the black-owned Pittsburgh Courier, who offered him a job. It would be the start of Lavelle’s life-changing twenty-one-year career with the paper, where he worked in the office, mailroom and later, in accounting. Lavelle met his future wife, Adah Moore, while working at the courier. The two wed in 1942. Lavelle left the paper for four years when he was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II, during which time, the Courier adopted the “Double V” campaign, signifying victory for African Americans at home and abroad. Lavelle pursued his education in night school while working at the Courier, and received both his B.S. and M.A. degrees from the prestigious University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business in 1951 and 1954, respectively. Lavelle started his own real estate business in 1951, and in 1956, he left the Pittsburgh Courier to work full-time at Lavelle Real Estate. In 1957, Lavelle was made an executive at a savings and loan business. Both Lavelle Real Estate and the savings and loan business focus on the poor black community. Lavelle maintains both of his businesses in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, where he continues to provide loans to black clients who would not otherwise qualify for bank loans.

Lavelle is a longtime member of Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church, where he is an elder, and he also serves on the Board of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He is currently a member of the Board of Visitors at the Katz Graduate School of Business, where the Robert Lavelle Scholarship is named in his honor. In 2008, Lavelle notably switched his voting registration from Republican to Democratic so that he could vote for Barack Obama in the Pennsylvania primary election. He resides in the Hill District of Pittsburgh with his wife, and the couple has two grown sons, Robert Moore Lavelle and John Franklin Lavelle.

Lavelle was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 15, 2008.

Mr. Lavelle passed away on July 4, 2010.

Accession Number

A2008.109

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/15/2008

Last Name

Lavelle

Maker Category
Middle Name

Roselle

Schools

University of Pittsburgh

Schenley High School

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

LAV02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape May Point, Maryland

Favorite Quote

Jesus Loves Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

10/4/1915

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Pittsburgh

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens

Death Date

7/4/2010

Short Description

Banker and real estate agent Robert R. Lavelle (1915 - 2010 ) was the owner and operator of Lavelle Real Estate and Dwelling House Savings and Loan.

Employment

Dwelling House Savings and Loan Association

Lavelle Real Estate, Inc.

Pittsburgh Courier

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert R. Lavelle's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert R. Lavelle lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert R. Lavelle describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers his mother's illness

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert R. Lavelle talks about his mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert R. Lavelle describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers his early experiences of segregation in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert R. Lavelle recalls his early understanding of racism

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers his father's commitment to his work

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert R. Lavelle recalls his father's death

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert R. Lavelle lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert R. Lavelle talks about the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert R. Lavelle describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert R. Lavelle talks about his experiences at Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert R. Lavelle talks about his experiences at Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers leaving high school to work

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert R. Lavelle talks about being hired at the Pittsburgh Courier

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers his first week at the Pittsburgh Courier

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Robert R. Lavelle recalls joining the NAACP

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert R. Lavelle recalls his first day at the Pittsburgh Courier

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert R. Lavelle describes his working relationship with Ira Lewis and Robert Lee Vann

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers boxer Joe Louis

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert R. Lavelle describes his famous acquaintances

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert R. Lavelle talks about finishing college after leaving the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers marrying his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert R. Lavelle recalls attending the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert R. Lavelle talks about a series of burglaries at his home during the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers his first promotion in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert R. Lavelle describes his experiences as a sergeant in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers applying for Officer Candidate School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert R. Lavelle talks about his decision to leave the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers fighting against discrimination

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert R. Lavelle recalls the beginning of his career in real estate

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers founding Lavelle Real Estate, Inc. and Dwelling House Savings and Loan Association

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert R. Lavelle talks about the mission of Dwelling House Savings and Loan Association

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers joining Pittsburgh's Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church after his mother's death, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers joining Pittsburgh's Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church after his mother's death, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert R. Lavelle talks about his challenges at Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert R. Lavelle talks about his challenges at Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert R. Lavelle recalls overcoming his academic obstacles

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers filing a suit against Greater East End Multilist, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers filing a suit against Greater East End Multilist, Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert R. Lavelle talks about his professional accomplishments

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert R. Lavelle recalls serving on the board of directors of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert R. Lavelle reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert R. Lavelle reflects upon the legacy of his parents

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert R. Lavelle reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert R. Lavelle talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers a confrontation with his son, John Lavelle, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert R. Lavelle remembers a confrontation with his son, John Lavelle, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert Lavelle talks about 'Bodies: The Exhibition'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert Lavelle describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert R. Lavelle narrates his photographs

Dr. Christopher Leggett

Clinical interventional cardiologist Dr. Christopher J.W.B. Leggett was born on November 8, 1960, in Cleveland, Ohio, the tenth of eleven children to Willie and Ethel Leggett. At thirteen years of age, Leggett was awarded a three year academic scholarship by the A Better Chance organization to attend Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. After his high school graduation, Leggett received a four year scholarship to attend Princeton University. While attending Princeton, Leggett was a campus leader and member of the Princeton University basketball team. In 1982, Leggett graduated from Princeton University with his B.A. degree in sociology.

In 1982, after attending the University of Cincinnati’s School of Medicine in Cincinnati, Ohio, Leggett attended Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, where he received his M.D. degree. At Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Leggett was also chairman of the Student National Medical Association. In 1986, Leggett interned in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland; after completing his residency at Johns Hopkins in 1989, Leggett completed his cardiology fellowship at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 1992, Leggett became a physician at the Cardiovascular Laboratory in the Veterans Administration Hospital at the Emory University School of Medicine in Decatur, Georgia. In 1993, Leggett became an interventional cardiology fellow in the Department of Cardiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. During his fellowship, Leggett was under the tutelage of world leader and pioneer, Dr. Gary S. Roubin.

In 2002, Leggett was appointed by the United States Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to serve on the National Practicing Physician Advisory Council in Washington, D.C. for a four year term. In 2002, a Georgia State Senate Resolution honored Leggett for his contributions to society; in May of that same year, Leggett was the recipient of the President’s Award at Oakwood College for being an exemplary role model for Alumni. Leggett is the Director of Cardiology at Medical Associates of North Georgia and practices medicine at Northside Hospital – Cherokee in Canton, Georgia; St. Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta, Georgia; and Gwinnett Health System in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Christopher Leggett was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 11, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.253

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/11/2007 |and| 2/26/2008

Last Name

Leggett

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Phillips Academy

Princeton University

University of Cincinnati

Mary M Bethune Elementary School

Harry E. Davis Junior High School

First Name

Christopher

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

LEG02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Itay

Favorite Quote

I Belong Everywhere I Go Because My Best Friend, Jesus Christ Owns The World.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

11/8/1960

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Cardiologist and healthcare executive Dr. Christopher Leggett (1960 - ) was the Director of Cardiology at Medical Associates of North Georgia and practiced at multiple medical institutions in the Southeastern region, particularly in Atlanta, Georgia.

Employment

Medical Associates of North Georgia

University of Alabama, Bimingham

Emory University School of Medicine

Johns Hopkins Hospital

Atlanta VA Medical Center

Piedmont Hospital

St. Joseph's Hospital, Atlanta

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Christopher Leggett's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett talks about his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his early experiences of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett lists his mother's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his father's discipline

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his father's occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his father's death

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his parents' relationship

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his likeness to his father

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls the aftermath of his father's death

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his mother's strength

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his brother, Robert Leggett

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers a lesson from his brother

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his early work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett talks about his early academic success

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his peers at Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remember a classmate at Harry E. Davis Junior High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his community in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his childhood activities

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his admittance to the Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his parents' attitudes about race

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his arrival at Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers John F. Kennedy, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls the rigorous coursework at the Phillips Academy Andover

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his friends at the Phillips Academy Andover, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett talks about his strength as a math student

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his exposure to white culture at the Phillips Academy Andover

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his teachers at the Phillips Academy Andover

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his friends at the Phillips Academy Andover, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his college aspirations

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Christopher Leggett's interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett talks about the Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his project on the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes the A Better Chance program

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls befriending his peers at the Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his activities at the Phillips Academy Andover

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes the campus of the Phillips Academy Andover

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers John F. Kennedy, Jr., pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls playing basketball at the Phillips Academy Andover

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his decision to attend Princeton University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his transition to Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his summer work experiences

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his religious life at the Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his coursework at Princeton University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his decision to pursue medicine

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls playing basketball for Princeton University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his decision to attend the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers attending Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his mentors at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers attending the University of Cincinnati

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes the challenges of his residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his influences at The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his experiences as a medical resident

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his wife's career

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers the mentorship of Dr. Benjamin Carson, Sr.

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes a lesson from Dr. Levi Watkins

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his experiences of discrimination at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his philosophy of mentorship

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers a lesson from his wife

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his decision to specialize in cardiology

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his decision to accept a fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes the field of interventional cardiology

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes the cause and treatment of a heart attack

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett talks about the advancements in interventional cardiology, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his training under Gary Roubin

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Dr. Christopher Leggett talks about the advancements in interventional cardiology, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers Gary Roubin

Tape: 8 Story: 12 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his decision to join the Medical Associates of North Georgia in Canton, Georgia

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his decision to join the Medical Associates of North Georgia

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls treating a heart attack in a pregnant patient

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Dr. Christopher Leggett lists the hospitals where he worked

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his appointment to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Dr. Christopher Leggett talks about his hobbies

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes his children

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Dr. Christopher Leggett reflects upon his life

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Dr. Christopher Leggett remembers his mother's lessons

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Dr. Christopher Leggett describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Dr. Christopher Leggett reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 12 - Dr. Christopher Leggett reflects upon his wife's influence

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Dr. Christopher Leggett narrates his photographs

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$8

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
Dr. Christopher Leggett talks about his strength as a math student
Dr. Christopher Leggett recalls his experiences of discrimination at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland
Transcript
What were some of the courses that you took there that you know that you probably would not have been exposed to in Ohio (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) You know, a lot of English, math. I, I think for me, the thing that--and it wasn't all positive; don't get me wrong. I mean I had this one teacher who was a jerk; she told me I had to stop writing black English--whatever that was, and I said, "Okay, I'm not sure what that is, but if you can help me understand what it is, I'll be happy to try and modify it." But the one--the mainstay for me that let me know I belonged was, was math is objective. Whether you liked me or not, there was one answer. You couldn't read my essay and give me a C because you just felt like, I'm not giving this African American student an A because this just, you know, because I don't like the way it sounds. But if you got the answer right in math--so, when I initially went there, my grades initially fell in like subjects like English and biology because it's more subjective, (unclear) written it. But math let me know that I belong, because it was objective and I always got great grades in math, and I just--and it always let me know that I was smart, so that I, I said to myself, I, I'll get this other stuff together, and I'll figure out what I gotta do to raise that up. But it was kind of the mainstay for me educationally because it was, it was non-subjective, it was objective, and it was scientific and, and so it helped me through that first semester not get depressed about going from always being a straight A student to having, you know, some different grades. And then, you know, by eleventh grade and twelfth grade years [at Phillips Academy Andover, Andover, Massachusetts], they were back up to what I was used to. But, you know, you, you have these challenges and you gotta meet them and you gotta have something inside you to meet them with. And those are the lessons, like I told you, about my brother [Robert Leggett], and watching my mother [Ethel Leggett] and father [Willie Leggett, Sr.]; that's--those are the lessons they give you, the sort of undergirding, that when you're swimming upstream, that you just don't quit.$You were gonna tell me a story about one of the patients during your residency [at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland] (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, well--you know, there, there are--I, I, I can think of two quick ones. I was on rounds one night with the other medical students--or one morning, and we had one African American dean, and he had admitted a patient and, on the rounds the next morning, just to give you a sense of kind of, you know, what students were used to, the students--well, the student who had worked this patient up--a medical student sent on rounds, he had given his presentation, then he said, you know, "Yeah, there was this, you know, there's this black guy sitting there by the patient's bed," and I said, "Well," I said, "did you ask him about his name yet?" He said, "Yeah, he said his name was Dr. Smoot [Roland T. Smoot]." I said, "Well, Dr. Smoot actually is the dean of this medical school." And the student then said, he said, "Well, he doesn't look like a dean." And I said to him, I said, "Well, what does a dean look like?" And, and, and, and, and basically, what he was saying is he had never seen a black dean, so all deans were white; it wasn't--he had a suit on, he looked intelligent, you know; it was his patient, but he just didn't look like a dean. And, and I, I just felt like I needed to take that opportunity to let him know that, "Frankly, you know, you know, you need to broaden your definition of what deans look like because this is a dean. He's the dean of this medical school and, and you, you should know that, being a medical student. But going forward, you know, you really need to guard yourself from comments that are fairly uninformed like this, so that you don't look so--just absolutely unintelligent when you say it." So, anyway, I mean I, I just felt like you gotta take opportunities. This is all about education because that same attitude can pervade another interaction with a patient and, and you just have to take opportunities to help people, you know, sort of be educated. But then there was another personal one that I had that I was taking care of this guy who was on a trach collar, which means he was on a respirator, an African American patient who had throat cancer, couldn't even talk, and I was going in to evaluate him 'cause I was--had to work him up, and he was gonna be on my service, and I kept, kept hearing him trying to mouth something through the respirator and, and I just leaned down and I got real close to him and he was mouthing out, in his words, "You--you ain't qualified," that's what he was saying. And, and I think, you know, what he was struggling with, which is an internal cultural pathology at times, is that, you know: I'm used to a white doctor taking care of me and, you know, I can't conceptually get my mind around having a black doctor take care of me, so--in other words, I want the qualified white guy. And, and it is funny, because I had just taken care of a Jewish individual earlier that day in the intensive care unit who had said the exact opposite; he said, "Dr. Leggett [HistoryMaker Dr. Christopher Leggett], I want you to take care of me," and I said, "Why?" He said, "Because if you're here, that means you're probably three times as qualified as some of the other doctors walking around, since the numbers are so low--it's only two of you." He said, "No, that--I want you to take care of me." So, you would have these social dynamic paradigms in, in care that would exist quite often and, and you'd have to have a very strong sense of self, and the resolve within yourself of, of who you are and what you represented intellectually so that you would not allow yourself to become angry or intimidated one way or the other. But there were sort of variety of experiences that, that you'd experience and, and quite frankly, people--you know, you would walk in rooms in, in that institution; they just did not--it is not commonplace, at that time, for them to interact with the--a physician of color; they, they would think that you're just a, a, you know, a transporter with a, you know, a doctor's coat on; I mean something--they just couldn't, couldn't grasp it, so--anyway, you just, you know, sort of work through that, kind of.

Phoebe Beasley

Collage artist Phoebe Beasley was born on June 3, 1943 in Cleveland, Ohio to Annette Davis Beasley and George Author Beasley, Jr. Beasley has two other siblings; she has one brother, George Author Beasley III and one sister, Annette Joyce Beasley Coleman. When Beasley was seven years old, her mother who was seven months pregnant died of a heart attack at twenty-nine years of age; her father, later remarried. During her early years, Beasley developed an interest in being an artist. During high school, Beasley received extensive artistic training. In 1961, she entered Ohio University, where she completed her B.F.A. degree in painting, with a minor in education, graduating in June of 1965. She later earned her M.A. degree from Kent State University.

In 1968, Beasley married Louie Gene Evans Jr; the union ended in divorce in 1969. It was during those years that Beasley's artistic efforts increased, culminating in the opening of a store front studio. She specialized in oils-on-canvas, as well as prints and collages. Her reputation as an artist grew, and she began meeting celebrities, including the legendary NBA player Bill Russell. It was through that relationship that she was introduced to Dr. Maya Angelou, who later became her mentor. Beasley simultaneously began a second career in radio marketing. She eventually worked more than twenty-five years in the radio industry.

Throughout the years, Beasley has become a world-renowned artist whose works are featured in the homes of Oprah Winfrey, Anita Baker, Dr. William Burke and Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, Tavis Smiley, Byron Allen, Grant Hill, Marla Gibbs, Roger Penske, Tyler Perry and Bill Cosby. Beasley’s commissions include being the official artist of the 1987 and 2000 Los Angeles Marathons, the 100 Black Men National Convention and the 2000 National Democratic Convention. Beasley became the first African American female president of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Beasley’s work honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution.

Phoebe Beasley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 18, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.148

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/18/2007

Last Name

Beasley

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Ohio University

John Adams High School

Charles W Eliot School

Moses Cleaveland Elementary School

Robert Fulton Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Phoebe

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

BEA07

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

The Future Is Not Some Place We Are Going To. It's Not A Destination. It's Some Place That We're Dreaming And That We're Making And That Activity Changes Both The Maker And The Destination.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

6/3/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Polish Sausage

Short Description

Collage artist Phoebe Beasley (1943 - ) was a world renowned artist whose pieces were commissioned by President Bill Clinton and President George Bush.

Employment

Beasley Art Studio

KFI Los Angeles

Sage Publications, inc.

Cleveland Public Schools

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Phoebe Beasley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Phoebe Beasley lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Phoebe Beasley describes her parents' birthdates and birthplaces

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Phoebe Beasley describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Phoebe Beasley lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Phoebe Beasley remembers her mother and father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Phoebe Beasley describes her the role of religion in her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Phoebe Beasley describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Phoebe Beasley recalls her early family life

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Phoebe Beasley describes her parents' roles at Manakiki Golf and Country Club in Willoughby, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Phoebe Beasley remembers segregation in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Phoebe Beasley remembers her paternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Phoebe Beasley describes her maternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Phoebe Beasley describes her childhood chores

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Phoebe Beasley remembers Sundays with her paternal grandparents, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Phoebe Beasley remembers Sundays with her paternal grandparents, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Phoebe Beasley describes her early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Phoebe Beasley describes her relationship with her sister

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Phoebe Beasley describes her relationship with her brother

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Phoebe Beasley talks about her tall stature

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Phoebe Beasley remembers the day her mother died

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Phoebe Beasley remembers the impact of her mother's death

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Phoebe Beasley describes her experiences following her mother's death

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Phoebe Beasley describes her father's second marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Phoebe Beasley describes her sister's lawsuit against their father

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Phoebe Beasley describes her relationship with her stepmother

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Phoebe Beasley describes her decision to study art at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Phoebe Beasley describes her experiences at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Phoebe Beasley recalls the riot at Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Phoebe Beasley reflects upon the impact of racial discrimination on children

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Phoebe Beasley talks about her first marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Phoebe Beasley remembers her art career in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Phoebe Beasley describes her relationship with Maya Angelou, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Phoebe Beasley describes her relationship with Maya Angelou, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Phoebe Beasley describes her position at KFI Radio in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Phoebe Beasley talks about the supporters of her early art career

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Phoebe Beasley remembers Maya Angelou's promotion of her artwork

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Phoebe Beasley describes her work with Oprah Winfrey, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Phoebe Beasley describes her work with Oprah Winfrey, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Phoebe Beasley describes her work with Oprah Winfrey, pt. 3

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Phoebe Beasley talks about her painting, 'Executive Order 9981,' pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Phoebe Beasley talks about her painting, 'Executive Order 9981,' pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Phoebe Beasley reflects upon her body of artwork

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Phoebe Beasley recalls being commissioned by Tyler Perry, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Phoebe Beasley recalls being commissioned by Tyler Perry, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Phoebe Beasley describes her relationship with Earl G. Graves, Sr.

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Phoebe Beasley describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Phoebe Beasley describes the book 'Sunrise Is Coming After While'

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Phoebe Beasley talks about her artwork commissions from presidents

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Phoebe Beasley reflects upon her life

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

2$4

DATitle
Phoebe Beasley describes her decision to study art at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio
Phoebe Beasley recalls the riot at Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio
Transcript
We'll forward a little because you went through Univ- you went to Ohio University [Athens, Ohio]--$$Yes.$$Graduated in June of 1965--$$Yes.$$--with a degree in painting--$$Yes.$$--major?$$Yeah.$$And a bach- and a minor in education?$$Yeah, that's absolutely, yes.$$Okay, okay.$$And--$$What was college like for you?$$College--well, first of all, let me, let me go back a few months before I went to college. And I had a counselor. Even though I was good in art, did very well in art, I wanted to major in it. The senior counselor, you know, when you to get be a senior, you get a different counselor. And I remember a counselor telling me that--I said, "Oh, I'm planning to major in art." And she kind of looked at me. It was kind of between a smirk and a laugh, and it was kind of like a slaugh [ph.], and it was like--I thought, no, that's not for me. And it was, "There is no such thing as an African American artist. You have to be serious about your career, and at some point, understand what your limitations are." And I was hearing her, but there was something wrong with what was coming out of her mouth. And she said, "Now, come see me tomorrow, let me know, I'll give you a day to decide what you're going to major in because I need to send this transcript in, and come back, and see me tomorrow." And I went home. And the good thing is I didn't hit her, I didn't react, I didn't (laughter), you know, all of that. What would my grandmother think (laughter) comes back to you. Oh, and since there was really nobody to talk to about, you know, there's not a mother and father there to say--and so, you think, well, now wait a minute, I thought I was good in art and, and to her, to her credit, I couldn't think of an African American artist either. I couldn't think--I could think of African American thespians. I could think of [HistoryMaker] Ruby Dee, [HistoryMaker] Ossie Davis. I could think of, of musicians--Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Little Richard. But I could not think, and I'd never, I'd never read about an African American artist when I was in high school [John Adams Senior High School; John Adams High School, Cleveland, Ohio], never saw a book on one. But I don't know--blood, guts, youth, nuttiness, and just pissantiness [ph.], I was determined to put down, I'm going to major in art. Went back the next day and said, "Look, put artist. I'm, I'm going put, art major--that's my major." And she looked at me, and, and realized that I was not to be trifled with at that point, you know. You almost had the, (speaking Arabic) "As-Salaam-Alaikum [Peace be unto you]," (laughter). Don't say another word to me (laughter). There is an attitude where you get particularly, when all of a sudden, we look much taller than we are (laughter).$But I taught for four years, and it was probably the most rewarding thing I'll ever do, teaching high school, because these students were about my age. You know, I was barely out of my, you know, into my twenties. And they were, some of them almost into their twenties, (laughter), so, so that age difference, you know, and it's just, and it was during black power and H. Rap Brown [Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin]; and Ron Karenga [HistoryMaker Maulana Karenga] and, you know, keeping the lid on Cleveland [Ohio]. And '65 [1965] to '69 [1969] is when I taught. And I remembered when I--we had actually a riot at the school [Glenville High School, Cleveland, Ohio]. And some of the students had beaten up teachers. They had taken over this, the cafeteria. They had masks over their faces or material, and the police were outside. All the teachers and, and students were, about three thousand students in the school, we were all down on the ground in the parking lot. And you had about forty students in the school. And on the bullhorn they said, "Send in Mrs. Evans [HistoryMaker Phoebe Beasley] and Mr. Dahdale." Well, I didn't mention that I'd gotten married [to Louie Evans, Jr. (ph.)] in that period (laughter), but I was Mrs. Evans, and I heard my name. And Dennis Dahdale [ph.], who is still my attorney today (laughter), said, "Pheeb, you'll have to go in. We have to go, and then save our kids." I thought, wait a minute, I've already given my notice two weeks ago. I'm leaving and going to Hollywood [Los Angeles, California]. I'm going to California (unclear). And the police were saying, "No, we can cover you." "Cover me? You're about as far as the Pacific Ocean is from this, this gallery [M. Hanks Gallery, Santa Monica, California] here (laughter). You're going to cover me (laughter)? Them's my kids in there (laughter)." Oh, but Dennis convinced me that the thing to do would be to go in this cafeteria, and to help them with their demands, to negotiate the demands. And we went in. They had this long table and sat us in the middle of the table. And I just wanted to, you know, I'd hear the voices, and I would want to smack the student, and rip off this, this, this cloth and say, "Stop it, just stop it right now." But these students were very serious. I mean, they had beaten up, put a couple of the teachers in the hospital--not that some of these teachers didn't deserve what they were getting, retribution, but it was still wrong on their part. Well, they had demands like, "We want to be able to wear afros as large as we want." Well, my way of negotiating was, "Whatever y'all want (laughter)." Dennis, on the other hand, was kicking me under the table saying--"And we want to be able to wear dashi- [dashiki]--." They had the long, they had long dresses, African garb, and now they had to put a limit on how long the train could be. And some of the students were objecting to the length of the train that could be on the garb. And I thought it ought to be as long as a wedding train out the front door and all the way, you make, making turns. But Dennis had said, "You know, we need to talk about the students. We have a safety issue." So, he was studying for the bar. I was studying to get the heck out of there until we leave for Los Angeles [California], but we did negotiate the demands. And they returned the school to the property of the (laughter) Cleveland public schools.