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Richard Hope

Educator and sociologist Richard Oliver Hope was born on April 1, 1939 in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Pearl High School in Nashville, Tennessee and received his B.A. degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1961. Hope went on to receive his M.A. degree and his Ph.D. degree in sociology from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University in 1964 and 1969, respectively.

Upon graduation, Hope was hired as an assistant professor of sociology at Brooklyn College, where he worked until 1972. He also became a research associate at the metropolitan applied research center in New York. From 1972 to 1974, Hope served as the first director of research and evaluation for the Defense Race Relations Institute (now DEOMI), where he was responsible for the creation, administration, and development of human relations research for early curriculum materials, and analyses of worldwide intergroup relations in the U.S. military. In 1974, Hope was hired as full professor and chair of sociology, as well as director of the National Science Foundation Project at Morgan State University. In 1982, he became chair of sociology and the coordinator of the Liberal Arts Workshop for the Lilly Foundation in Indiana. At that time, he created the Center for International Studies and served as its first director. In 1988, Hope accepted a position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he served as executive director of the Quality Education Project in conjunction with the Carnegie Corporation. In 1990, Hope was hired at Princeton University as full professor of sociology and senior vice president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (WWNFF). While at the WWNFF, Hope developed the Public Policy Partnership Program in South Africa and the Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program. He also directed the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowships, the Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellows Dissertation and Travel/Research Grants, and the Career Enhancement Fellowship. Hope was then named president of the 1971 DEOMI Foundation, Inc.

Hope has served on several public policy boards. He was a member of the board of directors of the National Urban League and Princeton University’s Center on African American Studies. Hope has also been elected to the Council on Foreign Relations and has served as an advisory panel member of The Brookings Institution.

Hope published numerous articles and books, including Racial Strife in the United States Military: Toward the Elimination of Discrimination, African-Americans and the Doctoral Experience: Implications for Policy, and Educating a New Majority: Transforming America's Educational System for Diversity. He has been the recipient for many awards for his work as well. Hope is the recipient of the Mellon-Mays Achievement Award for Leadership, the Gandhi-King-Ikeda International Peace Award, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Leadership in the Advancement of Minorities in International and Diplomatic Service.

Hope and his wife, Alice Anderson, live in Chicago, Illinois. They have two children: Leah and Richard, Jr.

Richard Hope was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 18, 2014 and July 16, 2017.

Accession Number

A2014.016

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/18/2014 |and| 07/16/2017

Last Name

Hope

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Oliver

Occupation
Schools

Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

Morehouse College

Syracuse University

First Name

Richard

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

HOP04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Palm Springs

Favorite Quote

I have a dream

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

4/1/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Educator and sociologist Richard Hope (1939 - ) , president of the 1971 DEOMI Foundation, Inc., has served as a professor of sociology at Princeton University and senior vice president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Employment

Brooklyn College

Metropolitan Applied Research Center

Defense Race Relations Institute (DEOMI)

Morgan State University

Lilly Foundation

Center for International Studies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Princeton University

1971 DEOMI Foundation, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Robert Bullard

Environmental activist and sociologist Robert Bullard was born on December 21, 1946, in Elba, Alabama, to Myrtle and Nehemiah Bullard. He was the fourth of five children. Growing up in Alabama during the 1950s, Bullard experienced the effects of a segregated community. After graduating from high school, Bullard went on to attend the Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. He received his B.A. degree in history and government with a minor in sociology in 1968. He continued his education at Atlanta University, where he earned his M.S. degree in sociology in 1972. During his graduate studies, Bullard started his work in urban planning and went on to complete his Ph.D. program at Iowa State University in 1976.

After receiving his Ph.D. degree, Bullard moved to Texas to teach at Texas Southern University. It was in Texas that Bullard met his future wife, Linda McKeever. In 1978, Bullard was asked by Linda to collect data for a lawsuit, Bean v. Southwestern Waste Corporation she had filed in federal court involving the placement of garbage facilities in mostly black Houston neighborhoods. This was the first lawsuit that charged environmental discrimination using federal civil rights laws. This inspired Bullard to learn more about careers in the environmental field. After Texas, Bullard taught at universities in Tennessee and California before returning to his alma-mater, Clark Atlanta University, where he was named the Edmund Asa Ware Distinguished Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. In this position, Bullard was able to do research and actively pursue the issue of environmental justice.

Bullard has been a pioneer in the field of environmental justice. Among his many accomplishments, Bullard helped to organize the 1991 National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit, the first meeting of its kind where various minority groups could discuss the problems associated with environmental justice. Just a few years later, he was instrumental in President Clinton’s signing of Executive Order 12898, the first legal document that defined the need for environmental justice in the United States. For his continued research on contemporary cases of environmental justice and his active presence in the community, Bullard has been called the “Father of Environmental Justice.” Bullard has delivered many presentations and he has written over fifteen books detailing his research and perspectives on environmental policy. A selection of his works include: Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality, Confronting Environmental Racism: Voices from the Grassroots and Race, Place, and Environmental Justice after Hurricane Katrina.

Among the many awards that Bullard has received is the American Sociological Association's William Foote Whyte Distinguished Career Award in 2007. He was also named one of Newsweek’s thirteen “Environmental Leaders of the Century,” in 2008.

Robert Bullard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 12, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.020

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

4/12/2011

Last Name

Bullard

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

D

Schools

Alabama A&M University

Clark Atlanta University

Iowa State University

Mulberry Heights Elementary School

Mulberry Heights High School

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Elba

HM ID

BUL02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

And justice for all.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

12/21/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Environmental activist and sociologist Robert Bullard (1946 - ) became director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark-Atlanta University in 1994. He is often considered the “Father of Environmental Justice."

Employment

United States Marine Corps

City of Des Moines

Texas Southern University

University of California, Riverside

Clark Atlanta University

Environmental Justice Resource Center

Favorite Color

Green

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Bullard's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Bullard shares his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Bullard talks about his mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Bullard recalls his mother's childhood neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Bullard talks about his mother's education and her career aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Bullard discusses his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Bullard talks about his family's land in Elba, Alabama, part 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Bullard talks about his family's land in Elba, Alabama, part 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert Bullard talks about his family's land in Elba, Alabama, part 3

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert Bullard discusses his father's family background and career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Bullard talks about his parents and siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Bullard describes his childhood in Elba, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Bullard describes the sense of ownership in Elba, Alabama, his childhood community

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Bullard describes his elementary school and high school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Bullard talks about his favorite school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Bullard talks about his childhood activities and interests

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Bullard remembers his father's interest in the news

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Bullard shares his perspective on the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Bullard discusses the conditions of his segregated high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Bullard describes his black high school teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Bullard remembers his high school principal

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Bullard recalls his high school extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Bullard recalls his high school aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Bullard describes his decision to attend Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Bullard recalls his experiences at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Bullard relates the lack of involvement of Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert Bullard remembers the Black Power Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Bullard describes the reaction of students at Alabama A&M University to the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Bullard talks about being drafted into the United States Marine Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Bullard talks about serving in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Bullard discusses his decision to pursue graduate studies at Atlanta University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Bullard recalls what drew him to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Bullard talks about his mentors at Atlanta University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert Bullard reflects on the legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois in sociology

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert Bullard discusses his decision to study sociology at Iowa State University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Bullard discusses his graduate dissertation at the University of Iowa

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Bullard describes his career at Texas Southern University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Bullard talks about his book, "Invisible Houston"

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Bullard discusses the black communities of Houston, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Bullard talks about landfills in black neighborhoods in Houston, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Bullard talks about landfills in black neighborhoods in Houston, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Bullard explains the relevance of his work in both civil rights and environmental protection

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert Bullard discusses the impact of his work in Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Bullard discusses his teaching positions at the University of California

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Bullard talks about his book, "Dumping in Dixie"

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Bullard discusses the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 1991

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Bullard describes the environmental justice movement

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Bullard talks about environmental justice and the black community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert Bullard discusses the need to fight cases of environmental injustice

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert Bullard discuses the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert Bullard talks about creating the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark-Atlanta University

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Robert Bullard emphasizes the connection between health and the environment

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert Bullard describes working with other environmental groups

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert Bullard compares the effects of different political administrations on environmental justice

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert Bullard shares his plans for his future

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert Bullard reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert Bullard discusses the status of his family members

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert Bullard describes how he would like to be remembered

Willie Pearson, Jr.

Sociologist Willie Pearson, Jr. was born on June 29, 1945 in Rusk, Texas. In 1968, Pearson graduated with honors from Wiley College with his B.A. degree in Sociology. Three years later, Pearson earned his M.A. degree in sociology (Presidential Scholarship) from Atlanta University. He received his Ph.D. degree in sociology in 1981 from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

After graduating from college, Pearson moved to Kansas City, Missouri where he worked as a benefits claims examiner at the Department of Health Education and Welfare and as an administrative and legal specialist for the United States Army. In 1972, Pearson was hired as an assistant professor in the sociology and anthropology departments at Grambling State University where he was named an outstanding teacher. Pearson moved to North Carolina where he worked as an assistant professor at Wake Forest University in 1980 while completing his dissertation. In 1985, Pearson completed his first book, Black Scientists, White Society and Colorless Science: A Study of Universalism in American Science. In 1988, Pearson was awarded a Congressional Fellowship from the Office of Technology Assessment, Congress and received tenure at Wake Forest University. In 2001, Pearson joined the faculty at Georgia Institute of Technology as a sociology professor and chair of the School of History, Technology and Society. During the same year, Pearson was named a National Associate (life-time appointment) of the National Academy of Sciences.

Most of Pearson's research has centered around the U.S. scientific and engineering workforce and on broadening participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering. In addition to having published numerous articles in newspapers and academic journals, Pearson has authored and co-authored seven books and monographs, including Blacks, Education and American Science , Who Will Do Science?: Educating the Next Generation, The Role and Activities of American Graduate Schools in Recruiting, Enrolling and Retaining United States Black and Hispanic Students, and Beyond Small Numbers: Voices of African American Ph.D. Chemists. Pearson has served on numerous committees, advisory boards and panels at the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, American Sociological Association and many more. He has a love of teaching, research and community service and he has mentored numerous undergraduate and graduate students throughout his career. Pearson has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Schoonmaker Faculty Prize for Community Service from the Wake Forest University Alumni Council and the Distinguished Lecturer award from Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.

Willie Pearson, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 13, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.014

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

4/13/2011

Last Name

Pearson

Schools

Wiley College

Clark Atlanta University

Southern Illinois University

Emmett J. Scott High School

W.A. Peete Elementary School

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Willie

Birth City, State, Country

Rusk

HM ID

PEA01

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

6/29/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Sociologist and sociology professor Willie Pearson, Jr. (1945 - ) was a sociologist whose research centered on the U.S. scientific and engineering workforce and increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering.

Employment

Louisiana Tech University

Southern Illinois University

University of Central Arkansas, Conway

Wake Forest University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Grambling State University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Willie Pearson, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his mother's roots in Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his mother's roots in Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his maternal family's landownership

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the African American community in East Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Willie Person, Jr. remembers his relationship with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. reflects upon the lack of knowledge about his family background

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls the African American communities in Tyler, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the Juneteenth celebrations in Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls exploring his neighborhood as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his early religious experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his activities at the Bethlehem First Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his experiences at W.A. Peete Elementary School in Tyler, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers his favorite elementary school teachers, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers his favorite elementary school teachers, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls the sports teams at W.A. Peete Intermediate School in Tyler, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers his teachers at Emmett J. Scott High School in Tyler, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls playing sports at Emmett J. Scott High School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his early understanding of gender roles

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his early curiosity about the social sciences

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers questioning religion

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his athletic experiences at Emmett J. Scott Elementary School in Tyler, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the professional athletes from Tyler, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his high school extracurricular activities

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Wiley College in Marshall, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the prominent alumni of Wiley College, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his first impressions of Wiley College

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers the diverse faculty at Wiley College

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his coursework at Wiley College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the prominent alumni of Wiley College, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers the civil rights activities at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the connection between Wiley College and northern educational institutions

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the ideologies of Malcolm X and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the benefits of a liberal arts education

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls organizing a protest after Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls graduating from Wiley College

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers being drafted into the U.S. Army

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his sports activities in the U.S. Army

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his experiences in the U.S. military

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls the lack of black faculty at Atlanta University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers the prominent figures at the Atlanta University Center

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the sociology curriculum at Atlanta University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his experiences at Atlanta University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers working for Kelly Spring Tire Company

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his decision to join the faculty at Grambling College in Grambling, Louisiana

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls marrying his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his teaching experiences at Grambling College in Grambling, Louisiana

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his accomplishments as a professor at Grambling College

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers teaching at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his students at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers his decision to focus on the sociology of science

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his research grant at Southern Illinois University

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers being mentored by his doctoral professors, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers being mentored by his doctoral professors, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his aspirations for his career

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the problems faced by professors with multiple departmental appointments

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his decision to join the faculty of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes how he was evaluated as a professor at Wake Forest University

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. remembers the African American professors at Wake Forest University

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the findings of his Ph.D. dissertation, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the findings of his Ph.D. dissertation, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the lack of visibility of African American scientists

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his book, 'Black Scientists, White Society and Colorless Science,' pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his book, 'Black Scientists, White Society and Colorless Science,' pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about science education in the African Americans community

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the Mid-South Sociological Association

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls serving on the editorial board of Contemporary Sociology

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his work with the Office of Technology Assessment

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his work with the National Science Foundation

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his work on Project Mosaic

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his edited volume, 'Who Will Do Science?'

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno's five city project, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno's five city project, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the prevalence of youth violence in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. reflects upon the consequences of defunding social programs

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the low retention of black high school students

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his book, 'The Role and Activities of American Graduate Schools'

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. reflects upon the credibility of social science research

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the sociology of education

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. reflects upon the public misunderstanding of the social sciences

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about higher education initiatives

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the repercussions of underperforming schools

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls joining the faculty of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his book, 'Beyond Small Numbers'

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his study of African American chemists, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his study of African American chemists, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. recalls his teaching experiences at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his current research projects

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about researching his family history

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his family

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. reflects upon his experiences at the Kelly Springfield Tire Company

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about his friendships

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - Willie Pearson, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. shares his advice to future scholars

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the underrepresentation of African Americans in sociology

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the importance of mentorship

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the importance of sociological research

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his concerns for urban communities

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the practical utility of sociology

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - Willie Pearson, Jr. reflects upon the benefits of a sociology background

Tape: 13 Story: 8 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about making science accessible to the everyday person

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the value of quantitative research methods

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the challenges faced by social scientists

Tape: 14 Story: 3 - Willie Pearson, Jr. talks about the importance of peer review

Tape: 14 Story: 4 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes the careers of his wife and children

Tape: 14 Story: 5 - Willie Pearson, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$7

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his maternal family's landownership
Willie Pearson, Jr. describes his students at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana
Transcript
Did your mother [Odessa Price Pearson] grow up on one of the big holdings of land that--?$$Yes. In the area of Rusk, Texas, Cherokee County and--$$Now, is that Rust or Rusk?$$Rusk, R-U-S-K.$$Okay, all right.$$And, yeah, she grew up there.$$Did she have any stories of growing up that she--$$No, that's what I'm saying. There was never really any--a lot of details. She talked about, you know, like her brothers and sisters and a little bit about her family, but you have to remember that--see, I was born when my mother was around thirty-three. So I was basically a very late child. So, and my sister [Vassie V. King] being like a child, a very gifted child, would have been there for that first fifteen years. So my sister would have known a little bit more, but as I was saying because she was skipped, my sister was not really interested in a lot of historical stuff. So she knew some of the relatives, but my mother only mentioned occasi- if I would ask when I got to be in high school [Emmett J. Scott High School, Tyler, Texas], I would ask question because I knew that the level of education was not very high. But I knew they were very good with finances and kind of economic issues. And then I kind of learned probably later on, much, much later on that being black, you didn't put your resources in one bank or something like that because bad things could happen to them. So I had a better understanding that they were able to live way below their means, but she never spoke of any details, you know, besides she and my sister would go occasionally and sell timber, 'cause both my sister and I went to small, private colleges and that's how tuition and stuff was paid.$$Okay, so they had to consciously sort of live below their means in order to escape the consequences of racism in Texas?$$Yes, yeah, it was, I guess by the time I got to college [Wiley College, Marshall, Texas], I was given kind of control of the estate or resources. And I was just stunned at how much it was in terms of value, but I also came to understand that if they did not, 'cause there was no purchase of cars, no fancy homes, anything like that. But we never had any, took out any loans or anything like that. That's what I'm saying, it was like, it was contradictory in many ways. But as I got older I understood that the consequences of being conspicuous with your resources, that it could have been taken away from you. So in the end, it was very clever, and I think from my mother--'cause my parents were divorced fairly, when I was young, that to see how sophisticated she was with finances. Actually helped me quite a bit. I was, my minor was economics.$So you could imagine, I go over to Louisiana Tech [Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana]. It's about 99 percent white. And then I'm going over to Grambling [Grambling College; Grambling State University, Grambling, Louisiana], it's about 98 percent black. So you're going between two worlds. And the resources were very different. I had a grader, of multiple choice kind of stuff, and of course, I graded the essays myself over at Tech; didn't have anything like that until, at Grambling until much later. And so things went extraordinarily well, but because of my own experience I knew that you had talents students at both places. It's just that some of the students at Grambling had more to overcome because of their, the quality of their high school experiences and that I mean it's some fantastic students at Grambling. So I think my second year, we had the club up and running and students were doing placements, to do their research. So they were actually collecting empirical data. Even at the same time, Louisiana Tech didn't have anything like that, but part, if you recall, when I was in undergrad [at Wiley College, Marshall, Texas], see I did a thesis. So I had a research experience as an undergraduate student that would be more typical of a graduate student, that I was passing on to these students. And unlike, probably students at most places in the social sciences, they were going to professional meetings and presenting. That was more typical for students in biology or chemistry that went to all-black scientific meetings. This was not the case. So they learned to write articles for the newsletter, showed them how to design the fundraising activities. So by the end, I was also preparing them to go on to graduate school. So a number of them began to get accepted to graduate schools, primarily in the North. Some went to Smith [Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts], some ended up going to other places, like Texas A&M [Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas], LSU [Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana], some of them went to the Midwest because keep in mind that they didn't have to be sociology majors to be part of the group. And then some of them went into industry. So part of my thinking by letting them know about my industrial experience [at Kelly Springfield Tire Company] and so some might wanna go that avenue. Some might wanna go to others, but at least they would have the skillsets and the tools to know what you might have to overcome because some time you could have the ability but because of certain kind of discriminatory practices that exists around promotion, access to the informal knowledge of the network, you can't let that deter you. You know, that's one thing you had to figure out, okay, if that's the case, what can I do to empower myself so I can still be competitive because eventually, competence, I believe out rules some of the other things.

Robert B. Hill

Robert Bernard Hill was born on September 7, 1938 in Brooklyn, New York. His mother worked as a domestic and his father was a cook. He attended New York City public schools. In 1956, Hill earned his high school diploma from Boys High School, where he was active in student government, the school paper, and the math and history clubs.

From 1956 until 1961, Hill attended City Colleges of New York, where he earned his B.A. degree in sociology. While attending City Colleges in 1960, he reactivated the campus Youth NAACP chapter and became its president. During his tenure, he befriended and invited civil rights activist Malcolm X to speak to students. Hill went on to earn his Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University in 1969.

Hill became a social researcher for the National Urban League in 1969, and continued to work in that capacity until 1981. In 1972, he published his first book, The Strengths of Black Families to counter negative stereotypes of blacks in the 1965 report on the Negro family by Daniel Moynihan. While working for the Urban League, Hill taught sociology course at Fordham, New York University, Princeton, the University of Maryland, Howard University, and the University of Pennsylvania. From 1981 and 1986, Hill worked for the Bureau of Social Science Research. From there, he worked as a consultant at the White House for the Reagan Administration where he researched and documented self-help groups around the country. From 1989 until 1998, Hill worked as a Research Director at Morgan State University. In 1999, Hill published his latest book, The Strengths of African American Families: Twenty-Five Years Later. During that same year, Hill was offered a position with Westat, a research firm in Rockville, Maryland, where he remains today.

Accession Number

A2004.140

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/24/2004

Last Name

Hill

Maker Category
Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Schools

Boys High School

City College of New York

Columbia University

Ps 42 Benjamin Altman School

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

HIL08

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Orleans, Louisiana

Favorite Quote

Achieving Against The Odds.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/7/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Sociologist Robert B. Hill (1938 - ) is the author of The Strength of Black Families, and has held positions with the Bureau of Sociology and Science Research and as a consultant at the White House for the Reagan Administration. Hill also served as a research director at Morgan State University, and in 1999, Hill published, The Strengths of African American Families: Twenty-Five Years Later.

Employment

National Urban League (NUL)

Fordham University

New York University

Princeton University

University of Maryland, College Park

Howard University

University of Pennsylvania

White House

Morgan State University

Westat

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert B. Hill's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert B. Hill lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert B. Hill describes his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert B. Hill describes his mother's work and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert B. Hill describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert B. Hill details his African ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert B. Hill talks about his maternal ancestors

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert B. Hill talks about his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert B. Hill describes his paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert B. Hill describes his earliest memories of growing up with his siblings in New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robert B. Hill describes his childhood activities

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Robert B. Hill describes his childhood neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Robert B. Hill talks about his teachers at P.S. 42 in New York, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert B. Hill talks about his teachers at P.S. 42 in New York, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert B. Hill describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Brooklyn, New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert B. Hill describes his experiences attending Antioch Baptist Church in New York, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert B. Hill describes his experiences attending Antioch Baptist Church in New York, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert B. Hill remembers encountering HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Antioch Baptist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert B. Hill talks about his junior high school experiences at P.S. 9 in New York, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert B. Hill talks about his junior high school experiences at P.S. 9 in New York, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert B. Hill recalls when Jackie Robinson presented him with a trophy for winning a table tennis tournament at his junior high school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert B. Hill talks about his mentors

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Robert B. Hill talks about his friendships during his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Robert B. Hill recalls his decision to attend Boys High School in Brooklyn, New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Robert B. Hill describes his experiences at Boys High School in Brooklyn, New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert B. Hill recalls working in a hardware store during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert B. Hill talks about choosing to attend The City College of New York in New York, New York for his undergraduate schooling

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert B. Hill talks about switching his major from engineering to sociology at The City College of New York in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert B. Hill talks about inviting Malcolm X to speak to the NAACP Youth Chapter at The City College of New York in New York, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert B. Hill talks about inviting Malcolm X to speak to the NAACP Youth Chapter at The City College of New York in New York, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert B. Hill talks about completing his master's degree in sociology at Columbia University in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert B. Hill reflects upon the publication of the 1965 Moynihan Report, 'The Negro Family: The Case for National Action' by Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert B. Hill talks about how he came to work for the National Urban League in the late 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert B. Hill talks about heading a census project for the National Urban League research department in 1970

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert B. Hill reflects upon his census research on African American families for the National Urban League

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert B. Hill talks about the national impact of the Coalition for a Black Count census project

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert B. Hill describes the genesis of his 1972 book, 'The Strengths of Black Families'

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert B. Hill talks about his research on African American families and publishing his report, 'The Strengths of Black Families,' as a book in 1972

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert B. Hill describes the responses to his 1971 report, 'The Strengths of Black Families'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert B. Hill talks about his relationship with Ron Brown of the National Urban League

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert B. Hill explains his decision to leave the National Urban League

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert B. Hill talks about his employment with the Bureau of Social Science Research

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Robert B. Hill talks about his work as a research consultant for the White House in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Robert B. Hill recalls his encounters with President Ronald Wilson Reagan

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Robert B. Hill considers the impact of welfare reform on African American families

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Robert B. Hill talks about his responsibilities as research director at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert B. Hill talks about his research responsibilities at Westat in Rockville, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert B. Hill talks about his findings in 'The Strengths of Black Families: 25 Years Later,' the sequel to his first report

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert B. Hill talks about the effects of the income gap for African American families

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert B. Hill details the sociological changes he observed among African American families from the time of his 1971 report and his more recent study

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert B. Hill reflects upon the impact of racism for African Americans

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert B. Hill talks about the role of the media in perpetuating negative myths about African Americans

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert B. Hill shares advice for African American parents

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert B. Hill describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Robert B. Hill describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Robert B. Hill reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Robert B. Hill narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert B. Hill narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

8$4

DATitle
Robert B. Hill recalls when Jackie Robinson presented him with a trophy for winning a table tennis tournament at his junior high school
Robert B. Hill talks about his research on African American families and publishing his report, 'The Strengths of Black Families,' as a book in 1972
Transcript
Tell me a little about what type of young man you were becoming around this time. The junior high school years [at P.S. 9, Teunis G. Bergen School, New York, New York].$$Well I mean there I think I really was--I was kind of, you know--again I told you I was studious so I really--you know, my friends tended to be more studious. Like I related 'cause I'm back in my neighborhood, I still live in my neighborhood. More of my friends were not as studious although there were a few of them who were--a few of them were. So I guess I began to develop a close relationship with some of the more studious kids because you'd homework and things together so it was that. The other thing in junior high school which I can't live out is sports. In my recreation in the junior high school they had a recreation area--you could play pool or you could play table tennis well then I decided--I couldn't get to the pool table so I played table tennis and this is very interesting because--so I was a very good table tennis player. So after school I played table tennis, I would play table tennis endlessly. They had a tournament in our school, table tennis they had for boys and girls and I won the table tennis tournament for boys but they had Jackie Robinson to come to give me my trophy. So Jackie Robinson, Jackie Robinson--he gave both of us our trophies. Jackie Robinson came 'cause he lived in Brooklyn [New York, New York] in the Brooklyn Dodgers [Los Angeles Dodgers], Jackie Robinson came and my uncle they thought he was a photographer from the newspapers and he took my picture, me and Jackie Robinson and Jackie Robinson gave me this trophy. And so that is an unforgettable moment but it was interesting for them to take this picture somehow we had to stand at each other and look at each other's eye for a long time. Of course, he has such a gracious smile, but I'm saying when are they going to take this picture and he was shaking my hand, we took this picture (simultaneous)--$$Were just in awe?$$I was kind of in awe 'cause it was Jackie Robinson everybody knew Jackie Robinson that he would take his time and everybody would talk about him and this school wasn't all that far from Ebbets Field [New York, New York] either. But since he lived in Brooklyn and stuff like that, he was in Brooklyn. For him to take his time to come to a school but that also showed me later on that school had those connections because they just--and Jackie Robinson showed up. And so that was a very, very awe experiencing, you know, moment in terms of that.$What were some of the things you discovered?$$Well let me say my strengths because that's the whole--you know, the strong achievement--that blacks had a strong achievement orientation, a strong work orientation, flexible family roles, strong kinship bonds and strong religious orientation. My book ['The Strengths of Black Families,' Robert B. Hill] used data to show how these five strengths are exemplified among not only middle income blacks but around working class low income blacks. And I used a lot of government data; I used [U.S.] Census Bureau data, labor department and other researchers to say their specific strengths. These weren't the only strengths but these were the strengths that I wanted to focus on to say that if you're talking about black families there's an omission, you never talk about any of these strengths that we are an achievement oriented people, we're work oriented. And so that pretty much--but let me just say that report, that book--that came out as a report not as a book, I've got to put that in context. That was released in 1971 at a conference in Saint--in Detroit, Michigan. But what happened was, let me say how it got such publicity, the newspapers--they released--the bureau at that time--the Census Bureau was releasing a report on black families but it was in the Moynihan [Report; 'The Negro Family: The Case for National Action,' Daniel Patrick Moynihan] tradition. Each year it would release it on black--but talk about the weaknesses. And apparently some of my people told me that the bureau was trying to undercut my report so they decided to release their report the same day as mine. They thought they would get more publicity, but it backfired. What happened was the newspapers picked up both reports. So this was [The] New York Times--both reports. My report was talking about strengths; the Census Bureau was talking about weaknesses, in the Moynihan tradition. So people across the country wanted to get copies of this report, it just got all over the whole world. So the Bureau--the [National] Urban League said look the only way we can do it is to make it a book. So they made it into a book, so it's a very small tiny book because it wasn't meant to be a book initially, it was to be a report. So the Urban League, you know, made it a book, it became a book quickly and that it was disseminated across the country but as a counter valance to the--to that Moynihan tradition.

Joyce Ladner

Sociologist Joyce Ladner was born in Battles, Mississippi, on October 12, 1943. She attended Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi, where she earned her B.A. in sociology in 1964 and went on to Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, to earn a Ph.D. in 1968.

At school, she also became involved in the civil rights movement. After earning her Ph.D., Ladner went on to teach at colleges in Illinois; Washington, D.C.; Connecticut; and Tanzania. Ladner published her first book in 1971, Tomorrow's Tomorrow: The Black Woman, a study of poor black adolescent girls from St. Louis. In 1973, Ladner joined the faculty of Hunter College at the City University of New York.

Leaving Hunter College for Howard University in Washington, D.C., Ladner served as vice president for academic affairs from 1990 to 1994 and as interim president of Howard University from 1994 to 1995. In 1995, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the District of Columbia Financial Control Board, where she oversees the finances and budgetary restructuring of the public school system. She is also a senior fellow in the Governmental Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C. think tank and research organization. She has spoken nationwide about the importance of improving education for public school students. She has appeared on nationally syndicated radio and television programs as well.

Ladner is active in a number of civic and professional organizations. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The American Sociological Association, the Washington Urban League, the Washington Women's Forum and the Coalition of 100 Black Women. In 1997, she was named Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian for her work in education.

Selected Bibliography

Ladner, Joyce. Tomorrow's Tomorrow: The Black Woman. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1971.
---. Mixed Families: Adopting Across Racial Boundaries. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1977.
---. The Ties that Bind: Timeless Values for African American Families. New York: Wiley, 1999.
---. The New Urban Leaders. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2001.

Accession Number

A2003.128

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/9/2003 |and| 6/11/2003

Last Name

Ladner

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Earl Travillion High School

Jackson State University

Tougaloo College

Washington University in St Louis

First Name

Joyce

Birth City, State, Country

Battles

HM ID

LAD02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Martin, Bahamas

Favorite Quote

Child, You Will Not Believe It!

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

10/12/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Sarasota

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peanut Butter

Short Description

Sociologist and academic administrator Joyce Ladner (1943 - ) is the former vice president of academic affairs and interim president of Howard University, and a senior fellow for the Brookings Institute in Governmental Affairs. She has served on the District of Columbia Financial Control Board, overseeing budgetary restructuring of the public school system.

Employment

Hunter College

Howard University

District of Columbia Financial Control Board

Brookings Institution

Experiment in Higher Education

Institute of the Black World

Favorite Color

Fuschia

Timing Pairs
0,0:2320,30:3920,51:12566,164:18706,239:27210,353:39290,465:39582,473:39874,478:40166,508:51965,640:52440,646:72386,948:91230,1179:111054,1389:122918,1577:133204,1667:154387,1893:180982,2228:185770,2341:205990,2699:211940,2770:212360,2777:235214,3008:235510,3013:246076,3137:251181,3182:261919,3404:262235,3409:275332,3618:283131,3727:290227,3792:302844,3917:316634,4095:339985,4312:344100,4408$0,0:6699,103:7221,111:44100,475:46732,502:54619,606:56759,629:72950,825:82960,940:83248,945:83680,952:104301,1212:113090,1313:119840,1478:120140,1500:137357,1728:166876,2174:173420,2240:173870,2250:206170,2629
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joyce Ladner's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joyce Ladner lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joyce Ladner describes her maternal family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joyce Ladner describes her maternal family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joyce Ladner describes researching her paternal family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joyce Ladner describes researching her paternal family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joyce Ladner talks about her maternal great-grandmother's Native American heritage

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joyce Ladner talks about her maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joyce Ladner talks about her maternal great-grandfather's double life and her white relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Joyce Ladner describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joyce Ladner describes her paternal family background

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joyce Ladner describes her relationship with her stepbrother

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joyce Ladner describes her parents' bad marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joyce Ladner describes the relocation of her paternal family to Chicago, Illinois and California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joyce Ladner describes her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joyce Ladner describes growing up in Hattiesburg and Palmer's Crossing, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joyce Ladner talks about her next door neighbors in Palmer's Crossing, Mississippi, the "Goat Sisters"

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joyce Ladner describes growing up with her sister, HistoryMaker Dorie Ladner

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joyce Ladner describes how her mother enrolled her in grade school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joyce Ladner talks about going through school with her sister, HistoryMaker Dorie Ladner

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joyce Ladner describes her favorite subjects in grade school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joyce Ladner describes the teacher who influenced her as an elementary school student

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joyce Ladner talks about the teachers that influenced her as a high school student

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joyce Ladner describes how teachers interacted with students during her youth

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joyce Ladner describes her extracurricular activities as a youth

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Joyce Ladner talks about one of her former classmates, Hattie Mae Nailer

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Joyce Ladner describes her experiences attending Earl Travillion High School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joyce Ladner talks about developing her leadership skills as a student at Earl Travillion High School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joyce Ladner describes the dedication of the teachers at Earl Travillion High School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joyce Ladner describes inheriting her mother's disciplinary style

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joyce Ladner describes the role of the Baptist church during her youth

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joyce Ladner talks about her Great Aunt Icie

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joyce Ladner remembers the first time she wore high heels

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joyce Ladner describes her social life as a youth

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Joyce Ladner describes the racism in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Joyce Ladner describes the racism in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Joyce Ladner describes her revenge for being racially mistreated while working as a domestic

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joyce Ladner describes how blacks eavesdropped on whites in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joyce Ladner describes the Palmer's Crossing community in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joyce Ladner talks about the brothel her neighbor ran in the Palmer's Crossing neighborhood of Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joyce Ladner describes how her sister fought back when a grocery store clerk tried to molest her in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joyce Ladner describes being expelled from Jackson State University in 1960

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joyce Ladner describes her experiences attending Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joyce Ladner describes being mentored by sociologist Dr. Ernst Borinski

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Joyce Ladner describes how her sister, HistoryMaker Dorie Ladner, became involved with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Joyce Ladner describes how a family friend exposed her and her sister to the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Joyce Ladner talks about the racism of the media in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Joyce Ladner talks about the Forrest County Chapter of the NAACP and Clyde Kennard

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joyce Ladner talks about Clyde Kennard

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joyce Ladner talks about Vernon Dahmer and the Forrest County Chapter of the NAACP

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joyce Ladner remembers the death of Medgar Evers

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joyce Ladner describes how her high school teacher spoke out against the Forrest County Chapter of the NAACP

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Joyce Ladner describes organizing a prayer vigil in support of a sit-in as a student at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Joyce Ladner describes organizing a prayer vigil in support of a sit-in as a student at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Joyce Ladner describes the demonstration that led to her expulsion from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Joyce Ladner describes transferring from Jackson State University to Tougaloo College

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Joyce Ladner describes a negative interaction she had with the Dean of Students at Jackson State University

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Joyce Ladner describes fundraising for the March on Washington and her sister's relationship with Bob Dylan

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Joyce Ladner describes fundraising for the March on Washington

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Joyce Ladner describes the changes that were made to HistoryMaker John Lewis' speech during the March on Washington

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Joyce Ladner describes the March on Washington

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Joyce Ladner describes how some members of SNCC compromised the organization's non-violent tactics

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Joyce Ladner describes becoming engaged in 1963, and ending her relationship with her fiance

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Joyce Ladner describes reconnecting with her ex-fiance, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Joyce Ladner describes reconnecting with her ex-fiance, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Joyce Ladner talks about the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Joyce Ladner describes how her perception of the Civil Rights Movement changed after the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Joyce Ladner talks about the concerns SNCC workers from Mississippi had about the Mississippi Freedom Summer

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Joyce Ladner describes murders that took place before and during the Mississippi Freedom Summer

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Joyce Ladner describes the cultural dissonance between black and white Civil Rights workers

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Joyce Ladner describes attending the 1964 Democratic National Convention as a member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Joyce Ladner describes attending the 1964 Democratic National Convention as a member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Joyce Ladner describes attending the 1964 Democratic National Convention as a member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, pt. 3

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Slating of Joyce Ladner's interview

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Joyce Ladner describes working for HistoryMaker Dr. Alvin Poussaint in 1966

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Joyce Ladner describes how she balanced her activism and her academic research

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Joyce Ladner describes researching for her first book "Tomorrow's Tomorrow"

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Joyce Ladner describes her first book, "Tomorrow's Tomorrow"

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Joyce Ladner describes the motivation behind her second book, "The Death of White Sociology"

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Joyce Ladner talks about the founding of the Association of Black Sociologists in 1970

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Joyce Ladner describes her first job in East St. Louis, Illinois

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Joyce Ladner describes the Institute of the Black World

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Joyce Ladner talks about being mentored by sociologist Lee Rainwater

Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Joyce Ladner describes her experiences working at the Institute of the Black World

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Joyce Ladner describes studying in Africa in 1971

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Joyce Ladner describes being hired at Howard University and getting married to HistoryMaker Walter Carrington

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Joyce Ladner describes writing her third book, "Mixed Families: Adopting across Racial Lines," pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Joyce Ladner describes writing her third book, "Mixed Families Adopting across Racial Lines," pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Joyce Ladner describes her experiences teaching at Hunter College and City University of New York in New York City, New York

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Joyce Ladner describes living in Senegal after her husband was appointed as U.S. Ambassador to Senegal in 1980, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Joyce Ladner describes living in Senegal after her husband was appointed as U.S. Ambassador to Senegal in 1980, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Joyce Ladner talks about getting divorced and raising her son

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Joyce Ladner describes her experiences serving as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Howard University, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Joyce Ladner describes her experiences serving as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Howard University, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Joyce Ladner describes how the student and faculty senates at Howard University challenged her as Vice President of Academic Affairs

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Joyce Ladner describes how the Howard University faculty senate sabotaged her candidacy for President of Hunter College

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Joyce Ladner describes the work culture of Howard University, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Joyce Ladner describes the work culture of Howard University, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Joyce Ladner describes the work culture at the Brookings Institution

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Joyce Ladner describes her experiences serving on the District of Columbia Financial Control Board

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Joyce Ladner describes why she wrote "The Ties That Bind"

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Joyce Ladner shares her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Joyce Ladner reflects upon her legacy, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Joyce Ladner talks about her parenting book, "Launching Our Black Children for Success: A Guide for Parents of Kids from Three to Eighteen"

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Joyce Ladner talks about her struggle with fibromyalgia

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Joyce Ladner reflects upon her legacy, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Joyce Ladner talks about her aspiration to become a painter and battling fibromyalgia

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Joyce Ladner talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Joyce Ladner narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Joyce Ladner narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Joyce Ladner narrates her photographs, pt. 3

DASession

1$2

DATape

6$9

DAStory

7$4

DATitle
Joyce Ladner describes the demonstration that led to her expulsion from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi
Joyce Ladner describes researching for her first book "Tomorrow's Tomorrow"
Transcript
So, but we were angry, so the next morning--I mean that night I mean the guys sent, sent a message to someone over to the dorm to give us a message. And we did it back and forth, you know, on the telephone, that we were gonna all meet at breakfast. Wear black or white. And that next morning at 7:00 when the dining room opened, thousands--hundreds, just a whole lot of students were there, and they all wore black or white if they'd gotten the message. And we said we were also boycotting class, and we were going to go to the gym. We didn't know what we were gonna do. I mean it was playing, playing out in real time, you know. So after breakfast, we went to the gym to have a program. And I remember going around to the classrooms, 'cause--to see if there were any students still in the class, and knocking on the door, telling the professor we wanna speak to the student. And we tell him y'all gotta come out of here. You can't be in class today, and we got them out. And everybody came out. It was, it was really--the movement [Civil Rights Movement] was successful, in part, because people were, were ready. No, nobody knew that the, that--they were ready for mass activity. I mean you didn't know it until--because there had been no mass activity in Mississippi. It was the only state that didn't have a sit-in, a lunch counter sit-in. Alabama didn't either I don't think. But, but Mississippi didn't have it. So, the--then we, we decided to march down to the arraignment of the students. And we got several blocks, and we we're at the corner of Rose Street and Pearl, West Pearl, one--we met a roadblock, and the police were there with the dogs again. And they--I heard these sounds, and I said oh, Lord, they're killing us 'cause they were like gun, gunshots. As it turned out it was teargas, and we scattered. My sister got a teargas pellet that hit her in her back, and then her hair came out. She has scars on her back now for it. And I went, I ran down the street, and I knocked on this door, and I knocked on it. It was, it was like a screen door, and I could hear this radio had some gospel music on in the background. And I was saying help, help! You know, and there was a hole in the screen. I put my hand in to open it, and I went inside. I saw this black woman who was coming toward me, and I told her what they were doing. And she said well, you sit down here. They're not gonna bother you. They're not coming in my house. And she had the radio on, and they were--she changed the station and heard what, what they were talking about, the demonstration. And, and as she ironed, she said low down dirty shame, low down dirty white folks. And she just kept ironing, and I was sitting there watching her while she kept saying that. I was just thinking--trying to kill these young children, you know. And I'm always intrigued by how people say things, you know, but she was just ironing and ironing and was like deep, you know, coming from someplace deep, deep inside her. And we'd--I'd been there, and then another girl had, another girl and I had run down--we said let's go here to this house together. And then about an hour later there was a knock on the door, and--the back door, and there as another girl back there. She had hidden by, behind the refrigerator on the porch (laughter), and the lady told her to come on in too. So we stayed in that house. Everybody--we were the last ones to get back to the campus. (Laughter) Dorie said we've been looking for y'all. Where have you been? I said we were at this lady's house. We thought they--cops were still arresting--she said no. We thought y'all had been kidnapped--oh, no, no, no. Anyway, they closed the college the next day. Spring break came two weeks early, and it expelled the student council president, Walter Washington--he's in Chicago as a lawyer--at that time. And when we came back after the spring break everything was quiet. And then the dean of students called us in, Dorie and me in, and told us he knew that we had been going to Medgar Evers' office and that we had organized a lot of this mess on the campus. And he went on and on and told us that we were expelled. We could not come back next year. And I was-- said I don't wanna come back here anyway. I hate this school. And then Dor--Dorie said, and we're going to Tougaloo [College, Tougaloo, Mississippi].$But I, I took my first job. You know, but getting back to the dissertation, I am pleased to say that, that my signature of all my work is my first book, "Tomorrow's Tomorrow." It is a classic in the field, and it has, it's, it was re-released a second time by the University of Nebraska Press, but now it is no longer in print. And it--the first two books I did, you know, were probably the best work I've done. Oh, the third book was, was very good too, very good solid scholarship. But I did my best work when I was in my twenties.$$What was the gist of "Tomorrow's Tomorrow?"$$That--I examined the impact of, of race and social class on the development of, of, of black adolescents. And so I did ethnographic research, which meant that I spent-- you know, four years is a long time to, to, to stay with one group of people. But I got to know them and all of their activities, and you know, even to the point of one time dressing, like having them dress me and, and passing me off as one of their, their friends. And what they really did was to set me up (laughter) big time.$$What'd they set you up for?$$Well, they proved to me that even--that I wasn't, you know an adolescent, and I couldn't be hip like them. They took me to this dance, and they started out by panhandling to get our--I told 'em I wanted to--I say you have a car so we ride in your car. And I said no, I've got to experience everything. I want to see how you get there. So we walked down this main street, Franklin Street in St. Louis [Missouri], and they started panhandling and you know, try and get a ride rather--and a man stopped and picked up and dropped us off at, you know, at the place where the dance was. Then we got there and the girls started--told me that we have to beg for money from other people so we could get in. And they got their money very quickly. One of 'em (unclear)--said how much do you have? I said I don't have any. They said ah, you don't even know anything. So then we got inside, and they--so they panhandled for me, and then we got inside and the sent a little guy who probably came up to my shoulders over to dance with me. And he was bumping and grinding, and I looked around and--at them, and they were sitting along the wall just laughing at me. So anyway, that, that's an interest--a funny story because it showed me--it gave me a bit--a, quite a lot of humility. And I was close to their age, so I think one of the reasons the book was so popular and made such an impact is because it, it--I put a lot of myself in it. And I was one of the first scholars to begin a piece of scholarship with I.

Iva Carruthers

Noted educator and social advocate Iva A. Carruthers was born on April 5, 1945, in Chicago, Illinois. Carruthers attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, graduating in 1967 with B.A. degrees in sociology and French. After completing her undergraduate studies, Carruthers enrolled at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, receiving both an M.A. in counselor education and a Ph.D. in sociology in 1972.

After finishing graduate school, Carruthers became a professor of sociology at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. In 1979, while still teaching, Carruthers founded Nexus Unlimited, an information and educational technology firm, and served as the company's president.

Carruthers has also become well known for using her ministry as a vehicle for addressing social issues, particularly those involving people of African descent both here and abroad. She authored The Church and Reparations - An African American Perspective, which was distributed at the 2001 United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance, where she also served as a delegate. In December of that year, Carruthers became president of the Urban Outreach Foundation, a nonprofit, interdenominational organization that assists African and African American communities with education, healthcare and community development.

Carruthers is a recipient of numerous awards, honors, and postdoctoral fellowships, such as the 1999 Life Achievement Award from Northeastern Illinois University; the 2000 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award, from the National Foundation of Women Legislators and the Small Business Administration; and Ebony's Outstanding Mother Award for Mentoring in 2001. She is a frequent guest speaker at the national and international level, an author and editor of numerous publications, and serves as a trustee for several organizations, including the Chicago Theological Seminary and the John Henrik Clarke Institute for African Research. In 2001, she received a master's degree in theological studies from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.

A widow of the late Ralph Wells, Carruthers is the mother of two sons.

Accession Number

A2003.308

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/12/2003

Last Name

Carruthers

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Haven Middle School

M L King Jr Lab Experimental Sch

Evanston Township High School

Northwestern University

University of Illinois at Chicago

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Speakers Bureau

Yes

First Name

Iva

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

CAR03

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Wherever It's Warm

Favorite Quote

Nothin' But A God

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

4/5/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Macaroni and Cheese

Short Description

Sociologist Iva Carruthers (1945 - ) is the founder of the information and educational technology firm, Nexus Unlimited, and served as president of the Urban Outreach Foundation.

Employment

Northeastern Illinois University

Nexus Unlimited

Favorite Color

Blue and Purple

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Iva Carruthers narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Iva Carruthers narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Iva Carruthers narrates her photographs, pt. 3

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Slating of Iva Carruthers' interview

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Iva Carruthers lists her favorites

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Iva Carruthers talks about her maternal and paternal family histories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Iva Carruthers talks about her father and family life growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Iva Carruthers explains the history of the African American community in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Iva Carruthers talks about her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Iva Carruthers talks about being raised by her community in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Iva Carruthers talks about the importance of the A.M.E. church to her family, and to the African American community in general

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Iva Carruthers describes being an avid reader as a child and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s visit to Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Iva Carruthers recalls experiencing instances of racial discrimination in school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Iva Carruthers remembers leading a walk-out at Evanston Township High School following the Birmingham, Alabama bombing in 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Iva Carruthers talks about her interest in sociology as a student at Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Iva Carruthers talks about getting married as a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago [UIC] in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Iva Carruthers talks about the death of her husband and the scholarship she created in his name at Northwestern University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Iva Carruthers describes getting her Ph.D. at Northwestern University and later teaching at Northeastern Illinois University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Iva Carruthers talks about the origin of the Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Iva Carruthers describes the Communiversity at the Center for Inner City Studies in Chicago, Illinois and the scholars there

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Iva Carruthers talks about her relationship with historian John G. Jackson

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Iva Carruthers talks about reconciling her identity as an African woman and a Christian woman

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Iva Carruthers talks about Chicago, Illinois as a center of African American thought, activism and art in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Iva Carruthers talks about meeting Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Iva Carruthers describes meeting Carlos and Shawna Moore

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Iva Carruthers describes Cheikh Anta Diop's participation in a 1974 UNESCO Symposium in Cairo, Egypt

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Iva Carruthers discusses eugenics as it relates to racism and her father's kidney transplant

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Iva Carruthers describes her relationship with John Henrik Clarke

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Iva Carruthers describes John Henrik Clarke's background and the type of man he was

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Iva Carruthers talks about what drives her to educate others about African American history

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Iva Carruthers talks about her business, Nexus Unlimited

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Iva Carruthers describes going to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois and her call to social justice ministry

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Iva Carruthers talks about her piece, 'The Church and Reparations: An African American Perspective'

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Iva Carruthers talks about the Orita Foundation and being president of Urban Outreach Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Iva Carruthers talks about Pan-African theopraxis

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Iva Carruthers describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Iva Carruthers reflects upon her legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

3$8

DATitle
Iva Carruthers recalls experiencing instances of racial discrimination in school
Iva Carruthers describes getting her Ph.D. at Northwestern University and later teaching at Northeastern Illinois University
Transcript
When I was in sixth grade, I had a white teacher, Mrs. Whitmore [ph.], who was one of the ones who had this notion that people were inferior who were people of color, and I did finish my work quickly most often; I did, at that particular time, finish an exam, and I tried to get the attention of another young lady who was still taking her test and I started making faces, and she reacted tryin' to respond back and she fell out of her desk, and it infuriated the teacher and she came over to me and she grabbed me and she hit me on the top of my head and I slapped her, and I told her she should not put her white hands on me. Well, my mother [Lois Banks Johnson] was president of the PTA [Parent Teacher Association], so I ended up in the office with the principal calling my mother up to the school, and the long and the short of that was that I was expelled from the school, which was a school where only the black children went. They then did psychological testing on me because how dare I hit a white teacher; and what they found out, accordingly, was that I was very bright and perhaps I was not being challenged at the black school. And so my punishment was to send me to the white school where I would be intellectually challenged. They saw that as the reward; I, of course, saw it as a, a gross punishment because it meant I had to leave my classmates and the, the sense of, of community that I had with my friends. And that experience--first of all, my mother never felt compromised as president of the PTA; she supported my action. I will never forget when we walked into the superintendent's office downtown in which they gave her the results of my test, my psychological test, et cetera, et cetera, and the issue was that I was just too bright to be around the other black children. The next particular benchmark for me in, in that situation was one in which--at the white school, then I excelled, and in the process of getting ready to graduate, I was one of the, the high honor students, and I was practicing for the ceremony, and I started having heart palpitations; as a result of that, the school nurse determined that I was probably on drugs and--because you know, a black child just couldn't have heart palpitations out of anxiety or nervousness; that wouldn't fit. And so she actually said that--she wrote that, and she advised the principal that that was her suspicion. Needless to say, my parents got her fired, and it was a clear call to me, though, about the nature, the systemic nature of racism and white supremacy in this country. I ended up graduating and going on to high school.$Well, what did you do next?$$(Laughter) What did I do next? Oh, that was a good question. Well, let's--after the shock of it all, I mean it was, it was a, it was a very challenging period one might suspect, but I also knew that I was--had to deal with the reality of taking care of an eleven month-old child [Christopher Wells]. I mean in those days, you didn't think about insurance; there wasn't money for insure--I mean there was--it, it was just like, you know, it's you and this child, what are you gonna do? And I decided that the practical thing to do was to go to graduate school, attempt to get a master's in counselling because a bachelor's in sociology meant nothing, and I didn't think a master's in sociology meant anything much, and so I decided I would get a master's in counsellor education. I went to Northwestern [University, Evanston, Illinois] and met with the dean and said that I would like to go to graduate school, and they admitted me and gave me a graduate assistance-ship, and so I ended up teaching at Northwestern, at the graduate level, to undergraduate students in terms of--a part of my area of expertise in teaching was curriculum development. My, my vision then was that if I could get a master's in counselling, I could make $10,000 a year and take care of my son for the rest of my life and I would be fine. I was on that path, and it became clear to the university as well as to, to me that I, I did have interest in, in moving forward with a doctorate, and they offered me a scholarship to continue to get a, a Ph.D. in sociology, which was my passion. And I said to them that I could probably--I was working two jobs at the time, but that if I could get the course work done in another year, I would certainly do that, and so that's what we agreed to. I ended up finishing the course work, and then writing my dissertation, and so from the time I went in with a bachelor's, I came out three years later with a Ph.D. in sociology, and I did not know at the time until, really, many years later, that I was the first African American woman to get a Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern. My mentor and advisor was Ray Mack, who was the President of the American Sociological Association, whose area of study was race, ethnicity, and power. And so my area of concentration was around those issues as well, along with medical sociology. And so I came out of Northwestern with a Ph.D., and began to teach part-time, and ended up being sought after because by now, you're in the height of the movement, the undergraduate students all across this country were beginning to demand certain kinds of, of equity in relationship to higher education and in relationship to the Black Power Movement, and I was sought after and I was--I ended up in Northeastern Illinois University [Chicago, Illinois] in the Sociology Department--recruited to absolutely start a, a, a curriculum around sociology of racism, which is a course that I taught every semester, for thirty years, at that institution.$$Hmm. Okay. And you did it the tough way too, you say you had two jobs, a baby, and (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--Yes; I had two jobs, I had a baby, and I was a student. And, again, when you go back and connect the dots, it was that sign that says "Prayer Changes Things," it was the notion that God was in control, it was growing up in an environment that was very affirming, that somehow I knew that despite this, I had two choices--I could turn lemon into lemonade, or I could just sit there and bemoan my situation. And so it was important for me to, to, to translate that trauma and those experiences into ways that had benefit for others as well as that helped to heal--to heal me and to strengthen me to move forward. I truly remember that--one of my jobs was on the Black Studies Program at Kendall College in Evanston, Illinois, and the chairperson at the time was a person a little older than me who is now president of a junior college in Chicago, Wellington Wilson, and we're good friends, and he introduced me to one of his best friends who at--about two weeks after the demise of my husband, her husband was killed on a train wreck, and he introduced us, and I remember that the difference between Barbara's reaction and my reaction to the death of our spouses was that Barbara didn't have anything to pull on in the way that I did, and that was particularly having the responsibility of a son, and when you look at a hopeless, helpless child, I mean you really got to, you know, get up and do something, and so I was challenged to do something.

Charles Willie

Educator and social activist Charles Vert Willie was born in Dallas, Texas, on October 8, 1927. Willie attended Morehouse College and graduated in 1948. The following year, he received a master's degree from Atlanta University and in 1957, he obtained a Ph.D. in sociology at Syracuse University. At Syracuse University, Willie served as chair of the Department of Sociology and Vice President of the University, at a time when African Americans were not holding such positions. He then was hired by Harvard University in 1974 where he served as the Charles William Eliot Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education.

Charles Willie is one of the nation's leading black sociologists. His expertise is in the area of school desegregation. Accordingly, Willie served as a court-appointed master, expert witness, and consultant in many school desegregation cases. In 1975, Willie served as a court appointed master in the Boston school desegregation case and later was retained to develop a controlled choice student assignment plan for Boston and several school districts. He was recognized in 1983 with the Society for the Study of Social Problems' Lee-Founders Award for effectively combining social research and social activism.

Willie is an applied sociologist concerned with solving social problems. Willie is the author or editor of more than 25 books and articles covering topics such as: race relations, urban education, public health, community development, family life, and women's rights. His books include A New Look at Black Families (1976), The Education of African-Americans (1991), Theories of Human Social Action (1994), and Mental Health, Racism and Sexism (1995). Willie has served as Vice President of the American Sociological Association and as President of the Eastern Sociological Society. In addition, he has served on the board of directors of the Social Science Research Council; the technical advisory board of the Maurice Falk Medical Fund; and, by the appointment of President Carter, the President's Commission on Mental Health.

Willie recently retired from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and was awarded emeritus status by the faculty.

Accession Number

A2001.079

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/13/2001

Last Name

Willie

Maker Category
Middle Name

Vert

Schools

N.W. Harllee Elementary School

Lincoln High School

Morehouse College

Clark Atlanta University

Syracuse University

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Dallas

HM ID

WIL05

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Adirondack Mountains, New Hampshire

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

10/8/1927

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Rice

Short Description

Sociologist and education professor Charles Willie (1927 - ) is an expert in the area of school desegregation. Willie served as a court-appointed master, expert witness, and consultant in many school desegregation cases. Willie is an applied sociologist and the author or editor of more than twenty-five books and articles covering topics such as race relations, urban education, public health, community development, family life, and women's rights.

Employment

Syracuse University

Harvard University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Willie interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Willie lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Willie recalls his family background and pursuit of education

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Willie describes his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Willie explains his parents' reluctance to talk about the past

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Willie recounts his parents' courtship and marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Willie remembers growing up with his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Willie shares childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Willie recalls his father's work as a Pullman Porter

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Willie describes himself as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Willie reflects on his siblings and his relationships with them

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Willie details his school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Willie discusses his brothers' college experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Willie lists his siblings' musical interests

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Willie recounts his experience at Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Willie recalls his Morehouse College experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Willie describes Martin Luther King, Jr. as a Morehouse College student

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Willie lists his famous classmates at Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Willie details his experience at Syracuse University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Willie discusses his strong sense of self and grounding in the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Willie recalls confronting racism in Syracuse University athletics

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Willie details how he handled 1960s student protests

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Willie explains how he landed a teaching position at Harvard University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Willie recounts teaching at Harvard University and Episcopal Divinity School

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Willie discusses his activism on behalf of female Episcopal priests

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Willie describes his involvement in school desegregation programs

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Willie expresses his views on desegregation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Willie discusses the sociological need for diversity

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Willie outlines his sociological theories

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Willie recounts his greatest achievements

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Willie reflects on his parents' influence on his career

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Willie expresses his concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Willie ponders his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Charles Willie with his students, Syracuse, New York, 1952

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Charles Willie, Dallas, Texas, 1983

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Charles Willie with Belford Lawson and his Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brothers, Atlanta, Georgia, 1947

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Charles Willie with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Syracuse, New York, 1961

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Charles Willie with Benjamin Elijah Mays and Willie Davis, Boston, Massachusetts, ca. 1979

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Charles Willie with Bernard Kramer, Bertram Brown, and Philip Hallen, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ca. 1969

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Charles Willie and his wife, Mary Sue Willie, with Rosalynn Carter, Washington, D.C., ca. 1978

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Charles Willie, Cambridge, Massachusetts, ca. 1993

Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Charles Willie's mother, Carrie Sykes Willie, and father, Louis James Willie, Dallas, Texas, 1971

Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Charles Willie, Syracuse, New York, 1956

Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Charles Willie with Samuel DuBois Cook, Atlanta, Georgia, 1998

Tape: 5 Story: 18 - Photo - Charles Willie with Kenneth Shaw, Syracuse, New York, June 2000

Tape: 5 Story: 19 - Photo - Charles Willie with Kenneth Shaw and others, Syracuse, New York, 1992

Tape: 5 Story: 20 - Photo - Charles Willie with Robert Johnson and others, Syracuse, New York, 1992

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Photo - Charles Willie with his family and Robert Johnson, Syracuse, New York, 1992

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Photo - Charles Willie's grandfather, Louis Willie

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Photo - Charles Willie's grandmother, Henrietta Sykes

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Photo - Charles Willie, Dallas, Texas, ca. 1933

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Photo - Charles Willie, New York, New York, ca. 1960s

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Photo - Charles Willie with the Morehouse College Marching Band, Atlanta, Georgia, ca. 1944

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Photo - Charles Willie with his wife, friends, and children, Cooperstown, New York, ca. 1960s

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Photo - Charles Willie with his neighbors, Dallas, Texas, ca. 1933

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Photo - Charles Willie with Cornel West, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Photo - Charles Willie with his family

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Photo - Charles Willie and colleagues, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1997

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Photo - Charles Willie, Cambridge, Massachusetts, ca. 1976

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Photo - Charles Willie, ca. 1987

Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Photo - Benjamin Elijah Mays with Charles Willie's children, Syracuse, New York, ca. 1970

Tape: 6 Story: 15 - Photo - Charles Willie, Concord, Massachusetts, 1995

Tape: 6 Story: 16 - Photo - Charles Willie with William Mangin, Syracuse, New York

Tape: 6 Story: 17 - Photo - Charles Willie with Melvin Eggers and John Palmer, Syracuse, New York, 1992

Tape: 6 Story: 18 - Photo - Charles Willie, Newfound Lake, New Hampshire, 1967

Tape: 6 Story: 19 - Photo - Charles Willie with Frederick Humphries and others, Boston, Massachusetts

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

2$1

DATitle
Charles Willie recalls his father's work as a Pullman Porter
Charles Willie discusses the sociological need for diversity
Transcript
Now, with your father [Louis J. Willie Sr.], did you have--how long, as a Pullman Porter, how long would he be away from home?$$Oh, for long periods of time. Sometimes--that's where my mother [Carrie Sykes Willie] was such a very important person. He did have regular runs like from Dallas [Texas] to--at one time to Minnesota. That's a long ways. He did have other runs like from Dallas to Amarillo, Texas and back to Dallas or from Dallas to New Orleans [Louisiana] and back. But certainly when the wartime, when the war [World War II] came around, he would go away and sometimes not get back for three weeks. So that was a very difficult time with only one parent in the family. But I think the railroad did something else for my father though. Remember he had only an eighth grade education, but the railroad enabled him to really see and know things. And, of course, he would pick up papers in different regions of the country. And I think his work as Pullman Porter enabled him to be what I would call a cosmopolitan person. And, of course, that rubbed off in the family too. So there was nothing parochial about our family, even though we lived in what I would call a black ghetto and did not have access to the full range of opportunities in Dallas [Texas]. But the fact that my father was able to see a lot of what goes on in the world outside of that neighborhood where we lived, I think it was a very important factor in, in our lives and in our growth and in our ability to reach out to distant regions when we finished school and continued in graduate school.$$Now, did he ever tell you any stories about, you know, did he ever bring stories back from the road or do you think those were just shared between he and your mother? Did he ever--$$No, he never did for a specific reason. My older brother asked my father, after he had graduated from high school, would he intercede and see if he could get him a job with the Pullman Company. And that was the worst thing my brother could ever ask my father to do. He was, went into a rage. "Nope, none of my youngsters are ever gonna work for the railroad." He did not feel that this was a demeaning job. But he did not feel it was the appropriate job that one should aspire for. So he never really brought us stories from the railroad because he never wanted us to feel enamored by it. That was deliberate. So, and, of course, now, after that encounter with my older brother, none of the rest of us ever thought that we would go on the road. He saw his work as a Pullman Porter as a means to an end. And the end, of course, was to educate his family, and to maintain, you know, a strong home.$I found, I've proven this from my own studies. I have found out that poor blacks and poor whites, even though they may be poor, do not believe in the same things. Poor whites have great belief in faith and the past. They want their youngsters to do better, but they don't want them to forget their origins. Poor blacks believe in the future. They want their youngsters to be better, and they don't want them to remember the past. Now, faith and hope both are necessary. So you need the poor blacks and you need the poor whites. I have found that poor whites know a great deal about contributive justice, the responsibility of the individuals to the group. This is what [President John F.] Kennedy was saying in his inaugural address. "And so my fellow Americans, ask not what, you know, America can do for you, but what you can do for America". That's the wisdom of poor whites. I have a case study where a youngster went to jail, professing to do a crime that he didn't because his brother, who committed the crime had just gotten married and had a little baby. And he thought that was no place for a father to be. Now, that's contributive justice, an individual trying to do something for his family group and making a real big sacrifice. Poor blacks are the opposite. The group will make a sacrifice to rescue one individual who's floundering, even if it pulls the rest out of the boat (laughs). They'll throw out the life line. Now, contributive and distributive justice are both important in social relations. So you need to have both of these. This is why I believe in diversity. My diversity is not the beauty of the rainbow. My diversity is that you need to have people who have developed different intelligences because of their life experiences. And therefore, they are able to supplement those for the other people. So when I talk about this, I don't talk about the advanced classes being great without having slow learners in them because I know that people in advanced classes need to learn the patience of dealing with slow learners because slow learners have something to teach the others. So I'm a great believer in diversity. My students always send me cards about Noah and his Ark. I, I used to lecture about that all of the time. Noah was really a new creation story. The only people who populated things were the people on Noah's Ark. But I also deal with Noah bringing big animals and little animals and bringing two of each. I said, I don't know why. And I'm not going to the barnyard to try to explain why. But Noah, I think, understood that diversity is needed. And that, and I take that image and move it on to all kinds of places. So I believe in, I'm a great believer in diversity because I know no one has knowledge that's sufficient unto one's self and one needs to call upon others.