The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

city

C. Bernard Fulp

Bank executive C. Bernard Fulp was born on October 9, 1935 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to Amanda Murray Fulp and Cyrus Fulp. Fulp graduated from Atkins High School in Winston-Salem in 1953, and received his B.S. degree in elementary education from Winston-Salem State University in 1957. Fulp then served in the U.S. Air Force until 1962, and went on to earn his M.A. degree in education from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut in 1963. He also completed a program in management development at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration in 1978.

Fulp began his career in banking as a loan manager at the Wachovia Bank and Trust Company branch in Winston-Salem in 1964. He also worked at State Street Bank and Trust Company and Unity Bank and Trust Company before joining the New England Merchants National Bank in 1970, where he eventually worked his way up to the position of senior vice president. In this role, he was responsible for the bank’s emerging middle market group. When New England Merchants National Bank merged with The CBT Corporation in 1983, creating the Bank of New England – then the second largest bank in New England – Fulp was promoted to executive vice president in charge of the bank’s private banking division, making him the first African American to assume the role. Fulp left the Bank of New England after it was acquired by FleetBoston Financial in 1991. He then worked for the accounting and advisory firm of Grant Thornton LLP until 1994 when he co-founded Middlesex Bank and Trust in Newton, Massachusetts. Fulp led Middlesex Bank until 2002, when it was acquired by Connecticut’s Westport National Bank. In 2004, Fulp became the president of GoBiz Solutions, Inc.

Fulp received numerous awards, including the 2005 Mary Hudson Onley Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Hall of Black Achievement. He served on the Small Business Administration Boston Advisory Council from 1972 to 1982. Fulp was named by Governor Deval L. Patrick to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, and chaired its Fiscal and Administrative Affairs Committee. He served as a member of the Lesley University Board of Trustees, and on the board of directors for the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay, the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, and The Ron Burton Foundation.

Fulp is married to Carol Fulp, and has three children: Deanna, Rachael, and Cyrus.

C. Bernard Fulp was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 21, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.076

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/21/2016

Last Name

Fulp

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Bernard

Occupation
Schools

Harvard Business School

University of Connecticut

Winston-Salem State University

Atkins Academic and Technology High School

14th Street School

First Name

Cyrus

Birth City, State, Country

Winston-Salem

HM ID

FUL01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

10/9/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Bank executive C. Bernard Fulp (1935 - ) was the executive vice president of private banking for the Bank of New England, as well as the founding president of Middlesex Bank and Trust and GoBiz Solutions, Inc.

Employment

GoBiz Solutions, Inc.

Middlesex Bank & Trust Co.

Grant Thornton

New England Mercantile/Bank of New England

Unity Bank and Trust Company

State Street Bank & Trust

Wachovia Bank & Trust

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:14625,258:15045,299:23430,405:24095,416:24665,441:31340,522:33500,554:34100,562:39458,680:39850,685:42554,701:46270,739:46655,745:47656,763:48580,777:50890,819:58676,850:64932,909:72406,955:72798,960:75282,991:78007,1021:82803,1117:94766,1284:95194,1289:109549,1412:110164,1420:112378,1444:112993,1450:116810,1467:120580,1519:139250,1679$0,0:289,4:5480,118:6236,127:23638,412:33272,539:34460,553:36330,573:38469,609:38934,615:39492,620:40143,628:48644,703:54580,873:56806,923:63960,1085:65400,1106:65960,1146:67640,1194:68120,1201:68440,1206:69160,1216:78831,1300:97585,1498:98280,1504:104947,1608:116452,1756:119200,1796:121670,1815:122486,1823:123982,1835:125750,1850:131060,1950:133916,2015:135176,2055:138788,2124:142650,2132:158945,2401:159503,2412:160247,2421:160619,2426:162386,2458:166106,2517:173958,2578:175698,2597:177090,2611:189106,2683:190102,2698:191762,2723:192509,2735:193339,2745:193920,2754:194335,2760:197481,2776:198123,2787:225085,3198:225545,3203:233337,3278:241472,3399:242480,3408:248186,3451:251680,3493
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of C. Bernard Fulp's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - C. Bernard Fulp lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - C. Bernard Fulp describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about his mother's career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - C. Bernard Fulp describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about his relatives' service in the U.S. military

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - C. Bernard Fulp describes his likeness to his father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - C. Bernard Fulp lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - C. Bernard Fulp describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - C. Bernard Fulp recalls the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - C. Bernard Fulp describes the black community in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about the black business district in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - C. Bernard Fulp describes his teachers at the 14th Street School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - C. Bernard Fulp remembers the 14th Street Community Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - C. Bernard Fulp recalls his family's emphasis on work ethic

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - C. Bernard Fulp remembers playing sports

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - C. Bernard Fulp describes his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about his experiences of academic tracking

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - C. Bernard Fulp remembers his mentors at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - C. Bernard Fulp describes the State of North Carolina's influence on the Winston-Salem Teachers College

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - C. Bernard Fulp remembers the student unrest at the Winston-Salem Teachers College

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - C. Bernard Fulp recalls his graduation from Atkins High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about the alumni of the Winston-Salem Teachers College, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about the alumni of the Winston-Salem Teachers College, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - C. Bernard Fulp recalls his aspiration to become an educator

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - C. Bernard Fulp remembers his mentors at the Winston-Salem Teachers College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - C. Bernard Fulp describes his social life at Winston-Salem Teachers College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - C. Bernard Fulp remembers Coach Clarence E. Gaines

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - C. Bernard Fulp recalls the influence of Simon Green Atkins and Francis Atkins

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about the student sit-ins in North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - C. Bernard Fulp recalls his service in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about his master's degree from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - C. Bernard Fulp remembers applying for the management training program at Wachovia Bank and Trust Company

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about the history of black banking in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - C. Bernard Fulp describes his loan management training

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - C. Bernard Fulp remembers providing loans to African Americans in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - C. Bernard Fulp describes the impact of redlining on the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about his promotion to assistant treasurer of State Street Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - C. Bernard Fulp recalls the founding of the Unity Bank and Trust Company in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about the history African American banking

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - C. Bernard Fulp describes his experiences at New England Merchants National Bank

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about his mentors at New England Merchants National Bank

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - C. Bernard Fulp recalls his decision to attend Harvard Business School

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - C. Bernard Fulp describes his start at the Harvard Business School

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - C. Bernard Fulp describes his education at the Harvard Business School

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about Donald Trump's business strategy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - C. Bernard Fulp remembers returning to the New England Merchants National Bank

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about the consolidation of the banking industry around 1990

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - C. Bernard Fulp recalls the founding of the Middlesex Bank and Trust Company

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - C. Bernard Fulp remembers the acquisition of the Middlesex Bank and Trust Company

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - C. Bernard Fulp describes his accomplishments at the Middlesex Bank and Trust Company

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - C. Bernard Fulp describes the mission of the Middlesex Bank and Trust Company

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - C. Bernard Fulp describes his involvement with GoBiz Solutions, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about the competitors of GoBiz Solutions, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - C. Bernard Fulp describes his civic activities

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about his service on the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - C. Bernard Fulp describes the impact of massive open online courses

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - C. Bernard Fulp shares his concerns about for-profit universities

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - C. Bernard Fulp describes his position on charter schools

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about the future of banking in the black community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - C. Bernard Fulp describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - C. Bernard Fulp talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - C. Bernard Fulp reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - C. Bernard Fulp reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - C. Bernard Fulp narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - C. Bernard Fulp narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$1

DAStory

8$12

DATitle
C. Bernard Fulp describes his accomplishments at the Middlesex Bank and Trust Company
C. Bernard Fulp describes the black community in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Transcript
I don't want to minimize the accomplishment of it. But founding a bank is a big accomplishment and just want to ask you like what were, what were you able to do as a founder of this bank [Middlesex Bank and Trust Company; Eastern Bank], you know, that, you know, you're proud of and that's part of your legacy today?$$Well, as you've said, I mean, one of the local newspapers, the Herald [Boston Herald] said, "You know, there are a lot of things easier to do than start a bank." And Newton Graphic [The Newton Graphic] called it adventures in banking which I wasn't too happy about thinking (laughter) about, investing my life savings and they're calling it adventure. But we were able to provide services, we had talked earlier about small businesses, small companies and families. Here I was actually able to do that full time. So there were companies, both owned by people of color and of Caucasians that we financed that we helped grow. We had some impact, you know, in a smaller neighborhood within a wealthy suburban community of Newton [Massachusetts]. I mean, it was a big deal. It received a lot of newspaper coverage. We actually were covered on a couple TV stations, Channel 5 [WCVB-TV, Boston, Massachusetts] and Channel 68 [WBPX-TV, Boston, Massachusetts]. We were able to finance some real estate companies. We financed an automobile operation. We financed a summer camp. We did, you know, a number of buildings for small businesses and a number of homeless families around Newton. So, you know, it accomplished its mission and it's--it is still there. It, you know, did not do any bad or crazy things. It was owned by people who wanted to sell it.$The community in east Winston-Salem [East Winston, Winston-Salem, North Carolina] was a very tight black community in terms of business and of the, I mean, the relationships of the people there. From what I understand from--we interviewed Togo West [HistoryMaker Togo D. West, Jr.] years ago, and I forgot what town he grew up in, but he spoke really, he spoke a lot about growing up and the kind of bonds that people had in Winston-Salem.$$Well, you know, again, the professional community there cooperated and worked together in a very unique way at that time. I mean, there was a community of teachers. There were several physicians and dentists who--most of us knew who the players were. Togo's mother [Evelyn Carter West] was the music director in my elementary school, at 14th Street elementary school [14th Street School, Winston-Salem, North Carolina]. Togo's father [Togo D. West, Sr.] was a math teacher and assistant principal at Atkins High School [Atkins Academic and Technology High School, Winston-Salem, North Carolina]. He, in fact, was my geometry teacher. In addition to Safe Bus Company [Winston-Salem, North Carolina] that we talked about earlier, there was Winston Mutual Life Insurance Company [Winston-Salem, North Carolina] run by the Hills brothers. The--there were several funeral homes that--where the owners did pretty well and got involved in real estate matters. Also of significance around Winston-Salem was the fact that in 1947, Winston-Salem elected its first black alderman, Kenneth R. Williams. Williams went on to become, in addition to an alderman, to become president of Winston-Salem State University [Winston-Salem, North Carolina] at a longer time. But as far back as 1947, Winston-Salem elected black people to the board of aldermen. A few years ago, I, as I recall, four out of eight aldermen were African Americans.$$Okay. So, and Winston-Salem--now, you know, when you, when I hear stories about the South, you know, we--I grew up, you know, watching te- television and hearing about the voting right struggles in the South. But they seem to be mo- mostly in the smaller communities, not in the larger ci- cities, like black people could vote in Memphis [Tennessee], they could vote in Atlanta [Georgia] and they could vote in Winston-Salem. Right?$$That's true. And as I said earlier, they actually voted in a black person. The stories around the South or life around the South--in the larger cities, at the time I grew up, Winston-Salem was a city of around 120, 125,000 people. And I believe the percentage of people, of African Americans was around 38 percent, so it was a fairly high representation there. As we understood it, life in the rural areas, life in the mountains could be quite different. But within the cities, R.J. Reynolds didn't want disturbances. He wanted his tobacco factories to run smooth. The (unclear) wanted their tobacco factories to run on time. Piedmont Airlines [Piedmont Airlines, Inc.] didn't look for disruptions. And Western Electric [Western Electric Company] was mak- wanted people that make telephones and spend money. So the city was segregated, but the kinds of stories you hear about some parts of the rural South, Mississippi and other places, you know, were not part of the daily life around Winston-Salem. It was a manufacturing driven town with the, some of the companies I named earlier, several very large banks, so the corporate community wanted things to remains stable.

Sheila Robinson

Marketing chief executive and publisher Sheila A. Robinson was born on September 20, 1961 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She graduated from Parkland Senior High School in Winston-Salem in 1979, and went on to receive her B.A. degree in pre-law/political science from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina in 1986. Robinson later received her Masters of Entrepreneurship (M.S.E.) degree from Western Carolina University in 2011, as well as a Chief Learning Officer Certificate from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. In 2012, she entered the Chief Learning Officer Ed.D. program at the University of Pennsylvania. She has also completed Stanford University’s Professional Publishing Program.

From 1987 to 1989, Robinson worked for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company as a market research assistant. In 1990, she was hired by DuPont, where she went on to serve as a marketing director with the company’s apparel division. When her division at DuPont was sold in 2004, Robinson established Robinson & Associates Communications, LLC and became founder and publisher of North Carolina Career Network magazine. In 2007, Robinson expanded Career Network nationally and launched Diversity Woman magazine, where she served as chief executive officer and publisher. Robinson also hosted the Diversity Women's Business Conference and founded Iamaleader.org, the nonprofit extension of Diversity Woman in 2012.

In 2009, Robinson was honored with a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Image Award for her career achievements and for being a positive role model for young women. She was named in 2009 as one of the Top 50 Women in Magazine Publishing by Publishing Executive. Robinson was also the keynote speaker at the 2008 wives luncheon at the NFL Pro Bowl, and was honored as the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce Minority Business Person of the Year in 2011. Her Diversity Woman magazine was nominated for The 2011 North Carolina Small Business of The Year.

Robinson is a member of the National Association for Female Executives and the National Association for Women Business Owners, and serves on the boards of Women in Periodical Publishing and Business and Professional Women. She is the author of Lead By Example: An Insiders Look at How to Successfully Lead in Corporate America and Entrepreneurship, which was published in 2014.

Sheila Robinson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 15, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.180

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/15/2014

Last Name

Robinson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Annette

Schools

Parkland Sr. High

Hill High

Griffith Elementary

Diggs Elementary

Mineral Springs Elementary

North Carolina Central University

Western Carolina University

University of Pennsylvania

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sheila

Birth City, State, Country

Winston-Salem

HM ID

ROB27

Favorite Season

Fall

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Near The Ocean

Favorite Quote

What Someone Else Says Or Does, Is A Reflection Of Who They Are And What You Say Or Do, Is A Reflection Of Who You Are.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

9/20/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Burlington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Marketing chief executive and publisher Sheila Robinson (1961 - ) was the founder, publisher and CEO of Diversity Woman magazine and author of the book Lead By Example: An Insiders Look at How to Successfully Lead in Corporate America and Entrepreneurship.

Employment

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

DuPont Company

Robinson & Associates Communications, LLC

North Carolina Career Network Magazine

Diversity Woman Magazine

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:14454,160:19227,231:20670,246:22446,268:26406,287:40990,491:42520,513:43200,522:47110,586:49405,619:49745,624:50425,635:51275,653:51615,658:51955,663:52635,674:56693,685:57584,704:61229,768:61553,773:61877,781:62201,786:73443,954:74190,964:75020,977:75684,987:77593,1040:78091,1048:87054,1136:87891,1148:90760,1167:91028,1172:93239,1217:94512,1251:94847,1257:95718,1275:96254,1289:96723,1297:99068,1346:100006,1366:108542,1463:108846,1471:109530,1485:109910,1491:113710,1574:114242,1585:114774,1593:115686,1611:116446,1627:116902,1634:119106,1686:119790,1696:122602,1742:122906,1747:127305,1753:130725,1794:131960,1806:134905,1837:135855,1849:136520,1857:144250,1951:144586,1956:145174,1965:146686,1991:147778,2007:148198,2014:148702,2021:149290,2029:158560,2139:165202,2247:168072,2296:168564,2302:169630,2320:170286,2329:170614,2334:173238,2359:173812,2367:176108,2414:176682,2423:177420,2434:178404,2448:181520,2501:182012,2509:182422,2516:182914,2522:189410,2531:189872,2538:191027,2554:191335,2559:191951,2572:192336,2578:193029,2588:195493,2626:195955,2633:202962,2758:203655,2769:203963,2774:205503,2797:210017,2810:210373,2815:211263,2831:211619,2836:212242,2846:213221,2858:213844,2866:216158,2901:216781,2909:217671,2923:218561,2937:219095,2945:219540,2951:221409,2977:230596,3065:230991,3071:232571,3092:233677,3110:234941,3131:235731,3144:236758,3159:237311,3167:258755,3466:259087,3471:260830,3502:261162,3511:261743,3519:266972,3627:267719,3638:268632,3676:269545,3692:269877,3697:276866,3726:281265,3807:281680,3813:284336,3842:285249,3854:285996,3861:286494,3869:291670,3920$0,0:8546,116:10226,182:10646,188:14090,256:14678,264:16190,320:28207,526:38719,773:46137,817:52221,884:52923,891:56050,905:56690,914:58290,943:61810,1032:62770,1046:63250,1053:64450,1071:65890,1092:77354,1266:77998,1274:80758,1318:81402,1326:84254,1365:85450,1379:93914,1499:94282,1505:98330,1527:102067,1567:102471,1572:102875,1577:108430,1654:109238,1663:113910,1729:121560,1846:122730,1862:123090,1867:124440,1889:124800,1894:125250,1900:126420,1910:127230,1921:131910,2011:133440,2026:135060,2052:135600,2060:142133,2078:143510,2099:144806,2118:145616,2131:145940,2136:149666,2189:150800,2206:152825,2242:154202,2272:162220,2310:162612,2315:168786,2402:174078,2459:178880,2468:179600,2478:179960,2483:183020,2541:185090,2573:186440,2591:189410,2636:196475,2709:197225,2721:198875,2764:199400,2773:200150,2785:201125,2803:201875,2815:206075,2886:206525,2895:207275,2903:208175,2916:208475,2921:213152,2936:214700,2956:216592,2989:216936,2994:218340,3000
DAStories

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

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

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sheila Robinson talks about how her parents met and their personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sheila Robinson lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sheila Robinson describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sheila Robinson remembers her neighborhood in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sheila Robinson recalls Jefferson Davis Diggs Elementary School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sheila Robinson describes the sights and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sheila Robinson remembers her favorite elementary school teachers, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sheila Robinson remembers her favorite elementary school teachers, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sheila Robinson lists the high schools she attended

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sheila Robinson describes her early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sheila Robinson remembers joining her high school cheerleading team

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sheila Robinson recalls facing discrimination on the cheerleading team, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sheila Robinson recalls facing discrimination on the cheerleading team, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sheila Robinson describes her social activities at Parkland Senior High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sheila Robinson remembers her early career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Sheila Robinson recalls attending North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sheila Robinson describes her first impressions of North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sheila Robinson recalls her experiences at North Carolina Central University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sheila Robinson remembers her early work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sheila Robinson talks about the decline of the tobacco industry

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sheila Robinson recalls her transition to the textile industry

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sheila Robinson talks about her work with E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sheila Robinson remembers her challenges at E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sheila Robinson recalls her transition to the marketing department of DuPont Textiles and Interiors

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sheila Robinson describes her experiences as marketing assistant at DuPont Textiles and Interiors

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sheila Robinson recalls leaving E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sheila Robinson talks about the highlights of her career at E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sheila Robinson remembers her mentors and opportunities at E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sheila Robinson recalls founding the North Carolina Career Network magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sheila Robinson remembers rebranding her magazine as Diversity Woman

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sheila Robinson describes the mission of Diversity Woman magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sheila Robinson talks about the success of Diversity Woman magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sheila Robinson recalls founding the I Am A Leader organization

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sheila Robinson recalls pursuing a doctorate at the Wharton School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Sheila Robinson describes her book, 'Lead By Example'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sheila Robinson describes her public speaking career

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sheila Robinson shares her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sheila Robinson reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sheila Robinson reflects upon her professional legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sheila Robinson describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sheila Robinson talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sheila Robinson describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

4$1

DATitle
Sheila Robinson recalls founding the North Carolina Career Network magazine
Sheila Robinson describes her public speaking career
Transcript
Now in 2005, you founded Robinson and Associates Communications, LLC?$$Yes.$$And tell us what that, what you intended to do?$$Well, I, it, it came about, I had never thought I would ever try to have my own business. It came about after numerous rejections. I had an incredible load of experience from DuPont [E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company] and I went out to all of these organizations. I can remember the president of the division I was in, a $6.5 billion industry, was used, as a reference. I had the greatest references, I had fascinating interviews but I was not given an opportunity, particularly in the area that I was living in and the last time that I was told, "You have a boatload of experience and more marketing and brand marketing that we could ever need at this organization but I'm concerned you're not the right fit," you know. I knew then that I was no longer going to go job hunting, that I needed a break, I was going to do something different, I needed to explore. I don't know if I'm going to explore going back to school, explore relocating to another area, explore, you know, just, I had to just stop because the rejection was just more than, two years of rejection, it just seemed like it, I had been out there two years looking for a job because I had started looking in advance when they told us we would be laid off, and I had this vision when I was at DuPont to start a magazine to support women in business. It's sort of like an Essence and a Black Enterprise but for women and then I thought, well, you know, I want to help anyone with their careers because there was something I had always been known for, if someone asked me how to do their resume or practice for an interview and I've always had this love, love affair with magazines and I took my passion for magazine journalism to, and my passion for helping others advance in their careers. I brought it to one and I had designed the template and the idea before I left DuPont and one of my friends told me that I should explore that vision I had for the publication and I told her, you know, there was no way that I had any funding to do that and she said, "Well I didn't tell you to do it, I just told you to explore it," and I did. I, at that time, I thought it was a great shift going on in North Carolina, we were shifting from becoming a tobacco and a textile industry, the two industries I had just gotten laid off from, to a biochemistry, biotechnology and a logistics and I thought, why not come up with a North Carolina career publication and talk about all of these different industries and opportunities that are taking place in my state. And so that's what I was passionate about. I was, I wanted to bring awareness to how our industries had shifted in this area and put it into a magazine and help people that had been laid off, significant layoffs like I had been in the textile and tobacco industry, and help them get jobs in other industries and long story short, North Carolina Career Network was in the market in 2005 and it was just a little small regional publication that got a lot of attention, including being on the newsstands and Borders bookstores [Borders Group, Inc.] and Barnes and Noble bookstores [Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Inc.].$$Okay, okay. So, so did you distribute any in the black churches or the, or any of the other, well, black colleges [historically black colleges and universities (HBCUS)] or--$$No, because it, at that time, it was not a, it was not just for African Americans. It was for anyone in the State of North Carolina, men and women, and so I distributed it at the chamber of commerce [North Carolina Chamber]. I started, I knew from having events at DuPont, how successful I could be if I had an event. So I had an event and I distributed it there because I knew how to create promotional events from my experience there and that was the way I got it out.$Well tell us about your public speaking career.$$Well my public speaking career took off unexpectedly. It actually started at DuPont [E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company], a funny story where I was at a PR [public relations] event and the agency we were working with said, "Sheila [HistoryMaker Sheila Robinson]," and this was an event I was doing with Queen Latifah in front of Bloomingdale [Bloomingdale's] store and E! Entertainment was there and she said, "I have an opportunity to get you on camera," and normally they just want the celebrities and the stars but I know where she was like, "You got a chance to plug Lycra, you know. This is how you do it," and I was like, "Okay." So they put the mic to my phone, to my mouth and all I could see is Queen Latifah, lights, cameras, paparazzi and I freeze. I freeze, and the next day they, my boss, enrolls me in a course for public speaking, ten thousand dollars. They fly me to New York [New York], and I'll tell you how this fascinating career was I had at DuPont and I started doing public speaking, being a spokesperson for the company at DuPont. That's how I had the opportunity to do the on air interview with Sara Blakely of Spanx [Spanx, Inc.], and in, rolled over into entrepreneurship. Schools started asking me to come speak to the students and college students and then as my business grew, organizations have asked me to speak. And so one of the things I learned, when the publishing industry, anyone that is in publishing that, that, that's watching this now or even any consumer will know that this industry, the print industry, has hit a fall and one thing that I learned at Stanford University [Stanford, California] was, if you're going to stay in publishing, then you have to have multiple streams of revenue. So, it was an idea to create an additional arm to my business and at that time, I worked with a very small agency on creating a packet and sending it out and we sent it out to the NFL [National Football League] in New York and I got hired to speak at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii and it was just awesome. I was interviewed, I was hired by the vice president of the NFL, out of New York, and I was the keynote luncheon speaker for the wives doing the Pro Bowl and they had asked me to speak on entrepreneurship and how, at that time, women, entrepreneurship for women was very, very good and I think the league was really wanting to inspire and support any spouse or mate that had access to this disposable income and to put it and invest it in someone, where they could pay off in the future and it was great thinking on their part because so many times you hear about, you know, they blew their money and had, you know, millions of dollars gone down the drain but, you know, they had programs in place to help the players and their spouses invest for the future. So, speaking engagements such as that, as well as corporations that have diversity programs or women's conferences and I continue to do that today.

Sandra Miller Jones

Marketing executive Sandra Miller Jones was born on August 6, 1946 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 1968, Jones received her B.A. degree in sociology from Howard University, where she was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She then became the first African American woman to graduate from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Business when she received her M.B.A. degree in 1971.

Upon graduation, Jones was hired as the first African American woman manager at Quaker Oats Company, where she managed several of the company’s major franchises including the $100 million-plus Quaker Oatmeal franchise. In 1978, Jones left Quaker Oats and founded Segmented Marketing Services, Inc. (SMSi), a national marketing services company. SMSi’s client list includes Procter & Gamble, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Revlon, Quaker Oats, Kraft Foods, General Mills, and the United States Postal Service, among others. In 2013, Jones founded SMSi Health Insurance Solutions, whose mission is to help underserved consumers acquire affordable health insurance. She also became an adjunct professor of marketing at Wake Forest University’s Babcock School of Management.

Jones helped establish the National Black MBA Association and the Chicago Minority Purchasing Council, and helped start a business initiative for the League of Black Women in Chicago, Illinois. She has served as board chair of the Jack and Jill of American Foundation’s WIN (We Invest Now) for Tomorrow, a program that teaches financial and investment skills to African American teenagers. She has also served on the boards of Family Services, Inc. and Summit School in Winston-Salem, as well as board chair of the Winston-Salem YWCA. In addition, she was active in women’s and youth activities at Goler Memorial AME Zion Church in Winston-Salem.

Jones is married to her business partner, Lafayette Jones. They have one daughter, Bridgette.

Sandra Miller Jones was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 14, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.214

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/14/2014

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Miller

Schools

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business

Kimberley Park Elementary

Paisley IB Magnet School

Howard University

First Name

Sandra

Birth City, State, Country

Winston-Salem

HM ID

JON39

Favorite Season

Summer

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

8/6/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Winston-Salem

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Marketing chief executive Sandra Miller Jones (1946 - ) was the founder and CEO of Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Employment

Quaker Oats Company

Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Job Corps RCA

Winston-Salem Journal

First National Bank of Chicago

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:5250,62:9436,198:49136,840:49808,848:58040,984:60315,1047:71680,1206:74110,1261:74470,1266:76360,1294:91136,1478:97080,1561:97935,1574:104015,1695:104490,1701:108005,1747:117442,1911:119193,1935:119914,1944:120532,1950:124432,1976:126588,2009:126980,2014:127960,2022:128352,2027:128842,2033:129724,2045:130704,2056:131586,2068:132272,2078:138924,2113:140902,2178:141762,2207:142106,2212:144084,2324:145116,2391:161630,2563:184712,2845:187400,2867:187958,2873:188702,2882:189167,2889:190748,2914:191957,2931:192329,2936:192794,2942:195677,2989:196049,2994:196700,3006:197630,3018:198188,3024:206050,3121:206626,3128:208930,3174:215503,3226:219598,3283:220334,3292:227786,3438:233377,3566:233791,3572:235630,3595:236070,3601:240646,3663:241174,3669:247450,3740:248300,3751:249745,3791:250595,3803:250935,3808:260030,3906:260800,3920:269348,3987:270644,4001:271940,4014:273776,4047:289442,4220:290351,4234:291664,4249:292775,4263:296613,4317:305568,4403:306304,4412:306856,4419:307316,4425:307684,4430:313960,4492$0,0:2772,43:14060,123:23606,286:30394,359:37090,458:37927,468:38671,477:39415,489:39787,494:47070,561:48855,594:49620,604:49960,609:50470,616:50810,621:58029,726:61935,801:62400,807:72260,869:72685,875:74130,896:74895,906:76255,923:77105,950:100758,1095:106510,1356:115950,1540:123089,1838:142700,1950:144026,1965:152989,2077:156742,2118:157066,2123:160954,2187:162979,2228:167824,2262:171432,2311:174248,2390:180510,2432:193748,2548:207610,2644:208576,2710:218340,2855
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sandra Miller Jones' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sandra Miller Jones lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about her father's education and profession

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sandra Miller Jones lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sandra Miller Jones describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers Kimberley Park Elementary School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Sandra Miller Jones describes the African American community in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers John W. Paisley Senior High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the Safe Bus Company in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers Goler Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sandra Miller Jones recalls her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers the entertainment of her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers her favorite teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the influence of Winston-Salem Teachers College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sandra Miller Jones recalls her decision to study sociology at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sandra Miller Jones recalls the takeover of the administration building at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her decision to attend the Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about her extracurricular activities at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her experiences at the Graduate School of Management in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the influence of sociology in business

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her position at the Quaker Oats Company

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers the black business leadership of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sandra Miller Jones recalls the founding of the National Black MBA Association

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers Charles H. Curry

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the administration of the Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her role at the Quaker Oats Company

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers working with minority businesses at the Quaker Oats Company

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her accomplishments at the Quaker Oats Company

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her reasons for founding Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers her first client at Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about her parents' involvement in her company

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the early clientele of Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers meeting her husband, Lafayette Jones

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers Harold Washington's mayoral campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the logistics of Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her civic involvement

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sandra Miller Jones reflects upon her success as an entrepreneur

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sandra Miller Jones reflects upon the success of Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the development of SMSi Health Insurance Solutions

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the future of SMSi Health Insurance Solutions

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sandra Miller Jones reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her business philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sandra Miller Jones reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sandra Miller Jones shares her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about her adopted daughter

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Sandra Miller Jones describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sandra Miller Jones narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$3

DAStory

2$8

DATitle
Sandra Miller Jones talks about the development of SMSi Health Insurance Solutions
Sandra Miller Jones remembers working with minority businesses at the Quaker Oats Company
Transcript
Oh, 1999, you launched Shades of Beauty. Now that, that's--is that again Lafayette's, or (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) That's Lafayette's.$$Okay.$$Yes, yes.$$But--okay. And how is that different from Urban Call? Did it have the--did it focus on the cosmetology industry?$$Well, that's a Lafayette [Jones' husband, HistoryMaker Lafayette Jones] question, so--$$Okay. All right. All right (unclear).$$(Laughter) All that is his--all that publishing stuff is, is his area.$$Okay. Well, then I'm going to jump way ahead, you know (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Okay (laughter).$$Past the election of Barack Obama [HistoryMaker President Barack Obama] and everything else to 2013--$$Okay.$$--to the founding of SMSi Health Insurance Solutions [Winston-Salem, North Carolina].$$Yes.$$Yeah.$$Yes.$$So this is an affordable health--$$Yes, yes. When we found out that the Affordable Care Act [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010] was coming into existence, we knew that the message was not getting out to our community, African American community especially and Hispanic community secondarily, because we weren't hearing anything. All that we knew was what we heard on the media, and that was so often very negative, and we knew that there was--that, that having people insured was a good thing, so we had to find a way to get that message out. We wrote to the president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina [Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina], Brad Wilson [J. Bradley Wilson, Jr.], and asked him if we could come in and talk to his people about sponsoring an outreach effort, and we were able to get that done, so we went in, and we talked to Blue Cross Blue Shield about starting an outreach effort to inform African Americans throughout North Carolina about the Affordable Care Act, and although our business [Segmented Marketing Services, Inc., Winston-Salem, North Carolina] is national, to be able to focus on North Carolina, we had to build territories that--just as though they were in some other part of the country or part of the world, so instead of our territory being the Chicago [Illinois] market, now we built a territory that was the Greensboro [North Carolina], High Point [North Carolina] market, and the Durham [North Carolina], Wake [Wake County, North Carolina] market until each one of our markets in North Carolina we treated as a separate market as opposed to just a part of the--of one whole state execution. So we built teams in each of those markets just like we have in our other cities, and these teams of people went out and developed relationships and continue to do so now with the gatekeepers in churches and community organizations; beauty salons, barbershops, to help us get the message out about the Affordable Care Act. We were able to do this. We were able to reach about a half million households in North Carolina with a message and face to face presentations to over three thousand opinion leaders, and, as a result, we were part of the movement in North Carolina that enabled us, as North Carolina, to be the fifth largest state in terms of number of people signing up for the Affordable Care Act in the nation, and by far, the largest state in the nation that did not accept Medicare [sic.]. North Carolina--the Medicare expansion that was offered as a part of the Affordable Care Act, North Carolina was one of the states that didn't accept that Medicaid expansion. South Car- (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) With a Republican governor [Pat McCrory] or something or--$$Absolutely.$$Yeah.$$And South Carolina, for example, right next to us, North Carolina did about 350,000 enrollments, and South Carolina did about thirty-two thousand enrollments, so you can see the difference between the efforts that were made here despite the fact that we didn't have the support of the government here and the results. One of the things that we learned as we were doing our executions is that there just are not enough agents servicing our community to even sign up or enroll, help the people to enroll, into the Affordable Care Act, so that's why we decided to start an agency, and that's SMSi Health Insurance Solutions, so that we could; one, provide this excellent job opportunity to people in our community to be their own boss because that's what an insurance agency is, their own boss. They're an entrepreneur. And to--to develop some residual income while also being of such a significant service to the community at large.$And would you--how--now how did you--were, were you able to--well, how much of your job had anything to do with, you know, marketing the products to the black community specifically?$$None.$$Okay.$$But I did connect with the black community only because I had an interest there and did some outreach to the community, and that's why I knew all of the African American advertising agencies. I worked very hard to get agencies both advertising and promote and marketing research agencies at that time. I didn't know of any black promotion agencies, but marketing research, yes. Tried to get them contracts with Quaker Oats Company. I brought them in and introduced them to the powers that be who could make those decisions, and whenever I was able to make a decision that would enable me to work with a black supplier, I did that, so I was quite aware of the need to, to bring more blacks into the marketing world, to the--$$Were they working with any black or, or contractors before you started?$$Probably not. Probably not, yeah.$$That's what I would guess. Just--$$That's what I would guess at that (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I, I figured I would ask.$$Yeah. (Laughter) Yeah.$$And were you ever criticized for, for bringing in too many black people?$$No.$$No, okay.$$No, no, no, never was. I, I think it was quite a fascination for them. We brought groups in to, to do things with us, and, so, yeah.$$Well, that's good because there's some many times I hear the story that someone gets into a position to hire black contractors that have never been involved before in, in the--that--in a particular business, and then they criticize for you're, you're only, you know, you're trying to make our organization--make all the contractors black and that sort of thing.$$Yeah. No. It wasn't that.$$But, but you never did get that.$$Never that problem.$$Okay.$$[HistoryMaker] Byron Lewis who started UniWorld advertising agency [UniWorld Group, Inc.] recently had a tribute to him in New York [New York] and invited us to come and speak at--to be one of those people who talked about him. And, oh, he always credits me with saving his agency, and that can't be so, but he credits me with that. He says that his agency was on the skids, and we came to Quaker Oats Company. And I was able to help them get a major contract to do a black soap opera ['Sounds of the City'], as a matter of fact, that was what they had proposed, and that contract he maintained saved his agency. He was able to go on and build from there, and so I'm always pleased about that.$$Right. Well, that's, you know, heretofore, and I guess, prior to '68 [1968] or so, there were very few blacks in business that had--that got any contracts from major corporations.$$Absolutely.$$For any reason, so--$$Yeah.$$--so this is, this is all ground breaking at this time, so Byron Lewis, okay.

E. Don Sarreals

Meteorologist E. Don Sarreals was born on September 22, 1931 in Winston Salem, North Carolina to parents Espriela Sarreals and Sadie Scales. While still a young child, Sarreal’s family migrated to New York City. He attended New York City Public School No. 46 and New York City Junior High School No. 164 before graduating from Bronx High School of Science in 1949. Sarreals went on to earn his B.S. degree in meteorology from the City Colleges of New York in 1955 and his his M.S. degree in meteorology from New York University in 1958.

Before his career as a meteorologist began, Sarreals served in the U.S. Army in 1954 and worked as a part-time lecturer while earning his graduate degree. In 1961, Sarreals began his career as a weather radar supervisor in the National Weather Service (NWS) New York Forecast Office. In 1976, Sarreals accepted a position as the television meteorologist for the National Broadcasting Corporation’s WRC-TV in Washington, D.C., from 1969 to 1975, while concurrently serving as president and consultant for Storm Finders, Inc. As the dissemination meteorologist for the NWS Headquarters from 1976 to 1980, Sarreals helped to develop the nation’s first government-funded radio working system, NOAA Weather Radio. Sarreals also worked as the television meteorologist for the Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting. From 1980 to 1992, Sarreals was assigned as chief of Operations and Requirements for the Next Generation Weather Radar Project (NEXRAD). In 1984, Sarreals was appointed chairman of the Working Group for Doppler Radar Meteorological Observation. Sarreals also served as a staff member in the NWS Modernization Division, and as as assistant federal coordinator for DOC/NOAA/NWS Affairs in the Office of the Federal Coordination for Meteorological Service.

Sarreals is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, a recipient of the Ward Medal for proficiency in meteorology, and he is a member of the American Meteorological Society. Sarreals is also the author of the Federal Meteorological Handbook No. 1: National Weather Radio Operations supervised the development of Federal Meteorological Handbook No. 2: Doppler Weather Radar Observations. For his contributions and accomplishments, Sarreals was selected for inclusion in Who’s Who Among Black Americans.

E. Don Sarreals was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 15, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.010

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/15/2013

Last Name

Sarreals

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Don

Schools

P.S. 46 Arthur Tappan School

Junior High School 164

Bronx High School of Science

City College of New York

New York University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

E.

Birth City, State, Country

Winston-Salem

HM ID

SAR01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches, Southern United States

Favorite Quote

Oh My God!

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/22/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish, Flounder

Short Description

Atmospheric scientist E. Don Sarreals (1931 - ) is a leading Doppler radar specialist for the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Employment

National Weather Service Operations Branch

Nexrad Joint System Program Office

Working Group For Doppler Radar Meteorological Observation

National Weather Service Modernization Division

Office of Federal Coordinator For Meteorological Services

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:3234,38:3936,49:4404,56:4716,61:10582,105:10978,110:12364,129:13255,140:16356,168:22978,265:23322,270:23666,275:24268,283:28979,306:29494,312:33095,365:33752,376:37548,443:37840,448:38132,453:39227,475:39519,480:42630,487:43162,492:44150,506:45062,520:45518,527:45822,532:53738,577:54066,582:54394,587:55050,598:57693,619:58383,632:59418,661:59694,666:64515,690:66725,735:67375,746:67895,755:68350,764:68675,771:69585,790:70560,816:74730,857:75090,866:75510,875:76110,887:76410,893:79045,941:79810,951:80490,961:80830,966:83465,1018:87601,1068:89792,1087:90428,1107:91806,1138:99738,1191:100958,1203:113648,1306:114122,1313:114438,1318:114912,1325:115623,1335:115939,1340:116255,1346:117835,1373:119020,1393:121412,1401:124756,1452:125060,1458:125364,1463:128976,1495:129444,1502:129834,1508:130770,1523:138108,1580:141591,1633:142158,1642:143130,1653:145074,1681:145398,1686:148719,1753:149205,1761:149772,1769:151311,1800:151635,1805:152040,1811:153741,1840:155361,1861:155685,1866:162326,1911:162758,1918:163118,1924:169004,1990:171524,2028:171944,2033:173372,2063:176984,2126:177320,2135:183858,2180:184837,2193:188795,2225:189140,2231:192659,2308:192935,2313:194940,2334:195579,2357:195934,2363:197212,2389:200549,2458:200904,2464:201188,2469:201472,2475:210392,2500:211130,2542:215148,2584:215558,2590:216706,2608:218838,2617:220560,2639:221216,2654:221790,2663:222282,2671:231324,2769:231684,2775:232044,2782:234708,2821:236292,2846:236724,2854:239532,2911:244148,2927:244583,2932:245279,2943:245888,2951:248585,2991:252413,3049:253370,3063:259620,3120:260070,3127:260670,3136:260970,3141:261495,3148:262095,3167:262545,3180:262995,3187:263295,3192:266985,3211:267330,3217:268641,3240:268986,3246:277894,3330:278966,3354:279234,3359:279703,3368:280172,3377:281177,3397:281914,3411:287202,3445:287530,3450:288022,3460:289252,3489:290236,3503:291384,3516:293680,3553:294828,3569:295402,3577:296140,3585:297206,3600:303426,3641:304173,3651:304588,3657:305916,3678:311144,3740:314092,3804:317330,3821:321019,3852:321637,3860:328792,3916:332726,3954:334742,3990:335414,3999:336170,4010:336590,4016:341500,4063:341962,4071:343018,4100:343612,4111:348000,4133:349177,4148:350461,4159:351317,4171:353136,4198:359984,4308:374088,4416:374634,4424:377022,4438:377659,4447:379115,4468:380116,4488:380571,4496:383986,4517:384476,4523:384966,4529:385946,4543:388004,4575:389866,4598:390454,4629:391434,4642:394944,4658:396078,4670:398080,4675:401938,4702:402282,4707:402970,4716:404002,4730:404518,4737:404948,4743:405292,4748:406152,4761:407442,4791:407872,4797:408646,4811:409162,4818:410022,4831:414045,4851:414425,4856:414900,4862:419460,4947:422672,4958:422992,4965:423248,4970:423824,4982:425180,4989:425540,4994:426170,5003:427160,5020:430670,5077:431660,5090:432380,5101:432920,5109:437173,5128:438086,5142:439414,5161:440410,5180:441738,5200:442402,5210:444394,5241:444892,5248:454356,5309:457263,5335:458540,5355:463475,5423:464525,5436:473586,5499:478496,5573:480116,5597:480440,5602:481169,5613:491365,5759:494290,5804:494590,5809:495490,5825:495940,5832:496990,5849:498640,5860:499465,5875:506778,5921:507426,5930:510970,5971:511390,5977:511894,5985:512482,5993:514170,5998:515190,6011:516890,6039:517400,6047:517910,6054:518845,6068:519185,6073:520375,6089:520970,6097:521565,6105:521905,6110:525224,6130:531552,6210:532928,6235:534304,6256:538595,6296:539270,6310:540320,6330:541670,6359:542420,6372:542720,6377:544070,6396:545195,6424:548270,6484:548795,6492:550145,6513:550445,6518:554220,6526:554857,6534:555221,6539:557132,6570:557769,6579:560270,6590:561582,6610:561910,6615:563580,6626:564260,6635:565705,6660:566130,6666:569895,6690:570504,6698:570939,6704:572766,6734:573201,6740:574680,6756:577350,6764:578133,6772:579003,6786:580047,6803:581178,6824:581700,6832:582657,6846:583440,6859:587240,6877:587880,6886:589240,6905:590840,6931:592120,6953:593160,6972:594200,6987:594920,6999:595240,7004:601618,7044:604692,7088:605434,7094:615677,7212:616132,7218:617224,7233:617861,7242:623150,7254$0,0:5250,32:7890,92:9410,114:10050,123:10770,134:13410,185:14690,259:20992,341:23314,380:24604,397:25206,412:25894,421:26926,436:27872,450:28732,467:29334,475:32688,543:33462,553:34408,563:35182,575:43667,647:45025,668:45801,678:48129,709:56580,768:56985,774:57309,779:58767,802:60792,835:61521,845:66624,903:68163,922:69216,934:69783,942:74902,1012:75266,1017:86093,1141:86661,1151:87158,1159:88081,1198:96330,1306:103255,1371:104780,1394:105451,1406:119743,1458:122764,1464:136774,1556:137418,1564:138522,1573:139350,1584:139718,1589:140822,1600:141466,1608:146820,1661:148100,1680:149060,1697:149620,1705:150020,1711:152100,1743:153540,1771:154980,1789:155700,1800:165590,1881:166290,1890:166990,1899:169390,1933:174876,1995:175272,2002:175866,2013:176394,2024:176856,2032:178638,2066:179100,2074:179694,2085:180222,2095:189390,2165:189971,2174:191714,2202:193374,2227:194785,2247:196279,2267:196611,2272:197939,2291:198935,2305:199516,2316:200180,2328:200678,2335:203790,2346:206065,2382:206429,2387:206975,2394:208067,2412:208704,2420:215318,2465:215892,2473:216712,2485:218106,2505:219582,2528:223865,2567:224133,2572:224535,2579:224803,2584:225071,2589:225607,2602:228273,2632:229653,2654:230136,2662:231033,2683:231585,2694:232275,2706:234621,2763:234897,2768:239760,2805:240440,2814:244180,2856:244945,2866:247320,2875
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Don Sarreals' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Don Sarreals lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Don Sarreals describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Don Sarreals talks about his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Don Sarreals talks about his mother growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Don Sarreals describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Don Sarreals talks about his father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Don Sarreals talks about his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Don Sarreals describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Don Sarreals describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Don Sarreals talks about growing up in New York (part 1)

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Don Sarreals talks about growing up in New York (part 2)

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Don Sarreals talks about his artistic talent

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Don Sarreals talks about playing tennis

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Don Sarreals talks about his experience at P.S.46 in Harlem, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Don Sarreals describes what inspired him to become a meteorologist

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Don Sarreals talks about the process of naming storms

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Don Sarreals talks about the quality of weather reporting prior to the advent of advanced communication technologies

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Don Sarreals describes his experience during the 1938 New England hurricane

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Don Sarreals talks about his experience at Bronx High School of Science

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Don Sarreals talks about his studies at City College of New York

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Don Sarreals talks about being drafted to the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Don Sarreals describes his experience in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Don Sarreals talks about his return to City College of New York

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Don Sarreals talks about his experience teaching at City College of New York

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Don Sarreals talks about how he met his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Don Sarreals talks about why he chose not to write a thesis

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Don Sarreals talks about his experience of being recruited by CBS and NBC

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Don Sarreals describes how he helped Air Force One land during a storm

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Don Sarreals talks about being the first black professional meteorologist in the U.S.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Don Sarreals talks about his experience as a television meteorologist (part 1)

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Don Sarreals talks about his experience as a television meteorologist (part 2)

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Don Sarreals talks about the ratings at Channel 4

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Don Sarreals talks about the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Don Sarreals describes his mentor, Richard Holgren

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Don Sarreals talks about his company, Storm Finders

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Don Sarreals talks about his professional activities

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Don Sarreals talks about Doppler weather radar and the farmer's almanac

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Don Sarreals talks about his professional activities

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Don Sarreals shares his advice for aspiring meteorologists

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Don Sarreals discusses global warming and the effects of climate change

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Don Sarreals reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Don Sarreals talks about his family and his son's death

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Don Sarreals talks about his granddaughter's interest in meteorology

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Don Sarreals talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Don Sarreals describes his family photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
Don Sarreals talks about his experience at Bronx High School of Science
Don Sarreals talks about his professional activities
Transcript
Okay. So now did you have a favorite teacher in junior high school [Junior High School 164]?$$In junior high school no, I can't identify a single teacher but it was a blessing to be in the, in what they called the rapid advanced course where they--other words you went into greater detail you know in, on every concept whether it was you know English. I think we started to take language, I think it was Spanish. What--you went deeper into what they knew about science at that time. They made learning mathematics a little more difficult but you advanced yourself. And at that time when I was interviewed as I was coming near, into, near the end of junior high school the, I guess the person who was in charge of interviewing the graduating students asked me what I wanted to be and I told him I wanted to be a meteorologist and he was shocked. And I told him what I'm telling you today that I had read 'Storm' [George R. Stewart] and blessedly because I said that that's how I got into the Bronx High School of Science or else I would have been sent to another school.$$Okay. So this is what year? What are we talking about now, this is--?$$(Unclear).$$And you would have been what thirteen or fourteen?$$Yes, right at that age. (Unclear).$$So 1940--$$So maybe about 1945 before I graduated from junior high school something like that, that I was asked and so my name was put on the list of students for Bronx High School of Science. It was very, very competitive. It was one of the highly rated schools in the country and a very serious school. You know they taught science in a broad range, great depth. Other words, biology, chemistry, physics whereas an ordinary high school it might be limited. A student might only have to take one type of science course. There you had to take just about everything in science to get started so you would know what, how to make a decision some day in the future about what you wanted to do in science.$$Okay. So were there very many other students from your neighborhood that were able to go to Bronx High School?$$No, there were not. There were--it was scattered all over the city. I ran track with a young man, I can't remember his name. He lived in Brooklyn and years later I saw him at a tract meet. He went to Brooklyn College when I went to City College [CUNY]. You know and there was one young lady I think you know she lived in Harlem [New York]. I'm talking about African Americans but there were very, very few.$$Okay. So you mentioned three. Were there anymore than three you think there?$$Yes, but it was a large school and so you know you didn't interface with everyone. You know you went to school, you get there on time, walk into a class and go to the next class. And in my case two or three days a week, maybe I practiced track or cross country. But you--there were so many students in that school you couldn't interface with them all. So I said there were several young African Americans I think who ran track. I met them and there was a young black lady in my class and she told me where she lived in Harlem and so forth. But you didn't actually have time. This was a serious school. You didn't have time to socialize, stand around and socialize a great degree.$$Okay, all right. So now what--with the idea that you're going to become a meteorologist, what was your focus in terms of study at Bronx High School or was there a focus?$$Well in the Bronx High School of Science, of course you can't specialize in that but the idea is to try to get good grades in mathematics and physics because meteorology is really the movement of air particles. It basically comes down to really being physics. It is--there are particles in motion. We call them raindrops, we call them air particles and wind and so forth but actually you saw what is going to happen by the laws of physics so to speak. So physics was very important and mathematics if you wanted to become a physical scientist. It's a form of physical science in other words, meteorology.$$Okay. Now were there any special teachers there in Bronx High School for Science?$$No, I can't remember. The only one I remember is someone I didn't like. In biology on all my tests I got a 98 or a 99 and New York State had a test they called the Regent Test. It was state wide. And while I was taking that in biology, a professor was--a teacher, high school teacher looked over my shoulder. He said you have two wrong and I looked up at him, I said, I know. It's a little funny story there. I was studying for the New York State Biology Regents and my mother [Sadie Beatrice Scales] called me to dinner. On one page of the book there was a one celled you know creature drawn out and inside there were parts of his body and you were supposed to learn that. And my mother called me to dinner and I didn't move right away and then she said there will be no dinner if you don't come. So I got up and I went. And when I came back to the book I went from the left page to the right page, I didn't go back to the first page. And one question was right from where I stopped and at the bottom of the page a new subject started and in the first few sentences there was something written that was the second question and so I got 98 on the Biology Regents instead of a hundred. And speaking of teachers, she--as a term grade she only gave me 95. So I went to her and asked, I said what are you doing? I said I never--I got 98 on the biology regents and on some of my tests I got a hundred, some 98, 99 in her tests. And well her attitude was she had to give somebody a lower score so she gave it to me if you--I was black in other words.$$So she had to give somebody a lower score to (unclear)?$$She wanted to make somebody seem as the best in the class and I just about was. And nobody else got--no one else got a hundred, but I always regret not getting that 100 just for a lifetime achievement if nothing else. But it was doing well in biology that made me turn temporarily to a thought of being a doctor because I did very well meteor--in biology without even trying. And it was later I would turn back to meteorology.$$Okay.$$But in the Bronx High School of Science, it turned me to into wanting to be a doctor temporarily.$$Okay. Now you say there weren't many, there weren't really any teachers that you really liked that much at Bronx High School. What--how were you generally treated, you and the other black students?$$I was treated fairly. The classes were large. Classes were very large and so there wasn't time for them to be very personal. The only person who could be kind to you, there was a track coach, Sam Levinson for example would talk to you or something as a human being. But the classes were so intense. You walk in, you sat down and you did not waste a minute and so there wasn't time for you know personal considerations for example. You just got in there and learned all that you could and then take that home and do your homework.$$Okay, all right. So you ran track I know and did you participate in any other student activities or did you have time for that?$$No, I did not. Remember, I was a poor young boy. I ran track and cross country in the fall and that was it.$Okay, all right. Okay. So now from '76 [1976] to '80 [1980], it says that you were the TV meteorologist for the Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting too, right?$$Yes. While I was working on NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] Weather Radio, the Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting wanted to have an agricultural program but they wanted a professional meteorologist on there. So the director assigned me to appear on the show. Now I did receive funds from the Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting but that was permitted because I paid my own travel, I paid for my own clothes, you know to appear on the air and so forth. And so for a number of years I appeared on 'Up On The Farm' and provided weather broadcasts. And I had a talent which they enjoyed. For example, when apples let's say were being harvested they would name this type of apple is 40 percent--the red apples, they're 50 percent, 30 percent harvested and they would give this to me as I walked in the door. An hour later I would have it memorized and so I could not only do the weather but I would give this agricultural information. The brain was working well then, that's what I--let's put it that way.$$So you're pretty, you had a pretty sharp mind.$$Right, right.$$Yeah, okay, able to hold a lot of information. Let me--tell us about, did you have anything to do with the Joint Doppler Operational Project?$$JDOP [Joint Doppler Operational Project], that, that's specifically not--I worked with--I've forgotten what JDOP did. I--after I left NOAA Weather Radio, I joined the next generation weather radar project. It was a multi-agency office for the development of the nation's Doppler weather radar system. JDOP I believe, was an organization out in Norman, Oklahoma that was working on various aspects of Doppler weather radar. I was with the project to develop the program, select a contractor and eventually build a system for the United States of America and that included the United States Air Force, the Federal Aviation Agency and of course the Weather Service to serve the people. But I was with the, what they call NEXRAD.$$Okay.$$And I was Chief of Operations and Requirements originally to define the requirements of all three agencies, get that information to the contractor so they could develop the system properly. Others who had that task failed. I also became Chief of Training Program Development so I had two jobs. And then The Weather Service was supposed to develop Federal Meteorological Handbook No. 11, but it turned out for some reason they said they weren't able to. So Tony Durham, the manager of the NEXRAD program said you're going to have to be chairman of this too. So I was supposed to have one job, I wound up with three but the Federal Meteorological Handbook when finished was said worldwide to be an excellent document.

Sondra Akins

Education professor and chemist Sondra Akins was born on March 16, 1944 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She became interested in chemistry by the time she graduated from Atkins High School in 1962. Akins earned her B.S. degree in chemistry in 1967 from the University of California, Berkeley where she also worked as a laboratory technician. She received her M.S. degree in chemistry with a minor in higher education from Florida State University in 1970.

After earning her master's degree, Akins taught physical science at Greco Junior High School in Tampa, Florida. Between 1971 and 1974, she served as instructor of chemistry at St. Petersburg Junior College which is currently known as St. Petersburg College. She left St. Petersburg in 1974 to teach at Hillsborough Community College where she rose to the rank of associate professor. In 1978, she taught at Northern Virginia Community College, and in 1980, Akins worked as an honors physics teacher in Lexington Massachusetts Public Schools. She also spent two years as an industrial hygienist at Hewlett Packard, Co. from 1981 to 1983. Akins began her long career with the Englewood Public School District in Englewood, New Jersey in 1983 where she started as a science and mathematics teacher. In 1988, she became the director of mathematics, science, and technology. In 1993, she received her Ed.D. degree in science education from Columbia University. She returned to teaching at Englewood Public Schools between 1995 and 1997 and served as a high school principal for one year in 1997. From 1998 to 2001, Akins was a staff developer for Englewood Public Schools where she served as a mentor, giving advice to teachers. Since 2001, Akins has worked as a professor in the Department of Secondary and Middle School Education at William Paterson University. She has written numerous essays on science education including a chapter in the National Science Teachers Association book, Exemplary Science: Best Practices in Professional Development.

Over her long career in science education, Akins has been recognized many times by her community including the Award for Dedication to Science Teaching from Sigma Xi of Ramapo College. She has been a member of the American Chemical Society, the National Science Teachers Association and the Association of Science Teacher Educators. Sondra Akins lives with her husband Daniel Akins, a chemist, in Teaneck, New Jersey.

Sondra Akins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 15, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.108

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/15/2012

Last Name

Akins

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Barber

Schools

University of California, Berkeley

Brandeis University

Teachers College, Columbia University

Florida State University

Atkins High School

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sondra

Birth City, State, Country

Winston-Salem

HM ID

AKI02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Favorite Quote

Keep an open mind.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

3/16/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Englewood

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cake (Strawberry Shortcake)

Short Description

Education professor and chemist Sondra Akins (1944 - ) was an authority in the field of science education with over thirty-nine years of professional teaching and consulting experience.

Employment

William Paterson University

Englewood Public Schools

Hewlett Packard Co.

Northern Virginia Community College

Hillsborough Community College

St. Petersburg Jr. College

Greco Jr. High School

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:4148,62:4552,67:9501,189:12430,222:16240,228:16640,233:17140,239:19300,250:21540,289:21860,294:22420,303:40930,558:41330,564:42610,587:43010,593:54540,739:55395,750:58055,802:59195,818:61592,840:62554,856:62850,861:63960,885:66180,926:72075,1076:77260,1160:84315,1305:90322,1324:91258,1340:91882,1350:92896,1368:96406,1431:96718,1436:97888,1457:105415,1556:105985,1567:111840,1671:133660,1877:137347,1934:147176,2169:149464,2203:163028,2323:164018,2336:164711,2344:168581,2374:174434,2449:176296,2481:177276,2495:178648,2517:181940,2529:182550,2536:187556,2597:188060,2605:188732,2614:194292,2656:194740,2661:199003,2691:199667,2700:201244,2722:202821,2739:204481,2758:204896,2764:208714,2820:217802,2884:218594,2897:228600,2990:228975,2996:231825,3043:232125,3048:233025,3064:233400,3070:235875,3107:236400,3113:240428,3130:245444,3211:246128,3221:246432,3226:247040,3237:255850,3283:256705,3296:257275,3303:260553,3337:261009,3346:261237,3351:261921,3373:262434,3386:270715,3465:277227,3608:277642,3614:284296,3733:284716,3739:285136,3745:288916,3803:289252,3808:289672,3815:291016,3846:291352,3851:291940,3861:292276,3867:305518,3971:308206,4029:312863,4078:313430,4088:313682,4095:315635,4142:315887,4149:316517,4162:316832,4170:317147,4177:317399,4182:318155,4193:319037,4204:319478,4212:320738,4242:327910,4317:328182,4322:329240,4337$0,0:425,68:4760,109:6970,133:7310,138:8330,153:9605,177:12325,218:13260,236:18490,261:19015,269:19465,276:20065,286:20740,297:21040,302:22090,315:25165,366:27190,403:27790,412:29290,432:29890,441:31615,464:47047,672:48461,686:48865,691:49471,698:55560,760:56058,768:57220,784:57718,791:76488,1045:76900,1050:78548,1062:79166,1072:79887,1081:80814,1093:85120,1117:86560,1144:87220,1156:94440,1238:96002,1257:104049,1405:104939,1416:106185,1435:106808,1446:107609,1457:117006,1540:123638,1590:123974,1595:126195,1610:126535,1615:127045,1622:127725,1632:128745,1646:130445,1671:131210,1683:133080,1701:138126,1728:138600,1736:139548,1756:141444,1784:142076,1794:142550,1802:142866,1807:145236,1847:149897,1927:153980,1939:157646,1985:158398,1997:159244,2007:163446,2043:163999,2053:165342,2068:166053,2079:166764,2089:167396,2099:168660,2118:171267,2167:173163,2193:173558,2199:178002,2218:178650,2229:179217,2237:181971,2282:182700,2292:184158,2318:190010,2351:195097,2439:196098,2455:199871,2527:200179,2532:202643,2650:203182,2659:209762,2729:213096,2761:213420,2766:213987,2776:215040,2796:218199,2850:219495,2875:224355,2949:224760,2955:226056,2974:226461,2980:230950,2987:232438,3011:233554,3027:235660,3036:236452,3049:237178,3061:252030,3232:253475,3377:253985,3384:260960,3453:277910,3691:284454,3743:284916,3751:287534,3795:294490,3847:295050,3855:296170,3872:297290,3898:298170,3912:299610,3936:300090,3943:300410,3950:301210,3961:302090,3978:306835,4008:309959,4059:311947,4092:312373,4108:317630,4138
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sondra Akins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins describes her mother's growing up in Greensboro, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins talks about the Mary Potter School in Oxford, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sondra Akins talks about her mother's desire to have a long-lasting marriage and family-life

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sondra Akins describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sondra Akins talks about how her parents met, and describes their long marriage and employment at Winston-Salem Teachers College

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sondra Akins lists her siblings, and talks about her name

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sondra Akins describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after, and talks about them being her role models

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Sondra Akins describes her childhood home and her close-knit family

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Sondra Akins talks about her childhood neighborhood in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Sondra Akins describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina - part one

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sondra Akins describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina - part two

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins describes her childhood experience on the Winston-Salem Teachers College campus

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins talks about the towns of Winston and Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins talks about segregation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in the mid-1900s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins talks about segregation in the public school system in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and describes her experience in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sondra Akins talks about the influence of Zion Memorial Church on her awareness of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sondra Akins talks about her introduction to television in the 1950s, and her interest in science programs and talent shows

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sondra Akins describes her experience with science experiments in the eighth grade

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins talks about her family's travels when she was growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins talks about the demographics of Winston-Salem Teachers College, and the schools for African American students in Winston-Salem

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins describes her academic excellence, her extracurricular involvement, and her interest in science at Atkins High School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins talks about her role model, Togo West, Jr. and her scientific mentor, Togo West, Sr., at Atkins High School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sondra Akins describes her experience with the integration of her high school advanced placement chemistry class in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sondra Akins talks about her decision to pursue chemistry as her major in college

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sondra Akins describes her decision to attend Howard University for her undergraduate studies

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sondra Akins recalls the Civil Rights sit-ins at the Woolworth's store in Greensboro, North Carolina, which led to its desegregation in 1960

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sondra Akins describes her early experience studying chemistry at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins describes her experience studying science at Howard University, and her love for science

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins describes the 'black is beautiful' cultural movement in the United States in the early 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins talks about the advent of the space age in the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins talks about her exposure to black history and culture at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sondra Akins talks about her decision to pursue research, and not go to medical school

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sondra Akins talks about getting married to HistoryMaker Daniel Akins, withdrawing from Howard University, and moving to Berkeley, California

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sondra Akins describes her experience at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sondra Akins talks about becoming a parent while pursuing her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sondra Akins describes her and her husband's relationship with their advisor, C. Bradley Moore, at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins talks about her employment as a lab technician at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins talks about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Black Panther Party's presence in the San Francisco Bay area in the late 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins talks about her family's move to Florida State University in 1968 and their experience there

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins talks about her interest in physical chemistry, and the growing interdisciplinary nature of science

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sondra Akins describes her different experiences as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley and as a graduate student at Florida State University

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sondra Akins talks about her role model, Lidia Vallerino, and other women who are scientists

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sondra Akins talks about her decision to become a physical science teacher at Greco Junior High School in Tampa, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Sondra Akins describes her experience as a physical science teacher at Greco Junior High School in Tampa, Florida

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sondra Akins reflects upon the diverse styles of learning and teaching in the classroom

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins talks about her decision to move from St. Petersburg Junior College to Hillsborough Community College

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins talks about balancing her family life and her career

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins talks about her experience as a science teacher at Northern Virginia Community College and at Lexington High School

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins talks about her decision to discontinue her graduate studies and become an industrial hygienist at Hewlett-Packard Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sondra Akins describes her experience as an industrial hygienist at Hewlett-Packard Corporation in Waltham, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sondra Akins describes her experience as a teacher at Dwight Morrow High School and her decision to pursue a degree in science education

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sondra Akins describes her doctoral dissertation on restructuring the math and science curriculum, with a focus on elementary school - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sondra Akins describes the importance of teaching students to think scientifically in their early childhood education

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins describes her doctoral dissertation on restructuring the math and science curriculum, with a focus on elementary school - part two

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins describes the findings of her doctoral dissertation on restructuring the math and science curriculum in elementary school education

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins talks about her involvement in professional development programs for the teachers in the Englewood School District

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins talks about the African American Educational Center of Northern New Jersey

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sondra Akins describes her professional activities in the Englewood School District

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sondra Akins reflects upon the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Sondra Akins describes her experience as a professor of science education at The William Patterson University of New Jersey

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Sondra Akins talks about her article entitled 'Exemplary Science: Best Practices in Professional Development'

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins discusses the balance between inquiry and discipline as part of the process of learning

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins describes her involvement with the New York African Burial Ground Project General Audience Report at Howard University

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins describes the history of the New York African Burial Ground Project and her involvement with the General Audience Report

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community today - part one

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Sondra Akins describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community today - part two

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Sondra Akins talks about her plans to write a book about her experience with learning and teaching science

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Sondra Akins reflects upon her life

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Sondra Akins reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins talks about her family

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins reflects upon the significance of teaching and science

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins describes her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$8

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Sondra Akins describes her experience with the integration of her high school advanced placement chemistry class in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Sondra Akins describes the history of the New York African Burial Ground Project and her involvement with the General Audience Report
Transcript
Now, how did that work? Did they segregate you after you got over there [white high school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina]?$$No, no, no, no. All of a sudden, twelfth grade, I had to be ready to go and hold my own in a class with white students. That was an experience. There was one girl from the school who took biology, advanced biology, while I took chemistry. So we practically went hand-in-hand because, you know, actually, our fathers [Akins' father, Alexander Eugene Barber] drove us there, kind of--it gave us moral support. And then the bus would bring us back. And we would stay, I guess maybe an hour and a half, then come back to our own high school [Atkins High School, Winston-Salem].$$So, but you weren't, you were allowed to participate? There's no--$$In twelfth grade.$$--no problems at the school?$$Nothing like what I had, had been afraid of because, as I mentioned before, I had seen actually on television the little, Little Rock [Arkansas] Nine [a group of African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957]. And I knew it was coming, as I said, from the time I was in maybe sixth or seventh grade, that I was gonna have to go to school (laughter) with white kids, you know. So I was anticipating, I didn't know what to anticipate, but it was very civil. As it turned out, the class had only six or seven students in it, and they came from the other high--, the white high schools. And it was held at Reynolds [High School]. So they must have had one or two kids who went to Reynolds, and a couple who went to Gray [High School]. And then there was Sondra Barber who came over from Atkins (laughter) High School and very cordial. Nevertheless, it was not easy.$$Okay, so this is Reynolds High School, named after R.J. Reynolds [tobacco industrialist]--$$After R.J. Reynolds.$$--Tobacco thing. Okay. So, now, this is interesting because, you know, there are so many stories that are still to unfold in the South where there's like big conflict when a black student comes to the door, and then later on, even in the North, the bussing--$$Oh, yes. Well, I--$$--crisis in the '70s [1970s] where even--$$Right.$$--the breaking of defacto segregation caused violence.$$Um-hum, now, it turns out there had been a black girl at Reynolds, and she was there. We knew she was there. That was like the token. I'm sure it was, it couldn't have been easy for her, but we didn't hear horror stories. We didn't hear horror stories. I'm sure she went through something. When I went, it was a, it was not so publicized. After all, it was just an advanced placement [AP] class. It wasn't all day, real desegregation. So, but I can remember walking in there, and students staring just like a sea of white children or students, and they were staring, but nobody said anything out of, out of the way. Nobody said anything. I remember the teachers' names, Dr. Hounshell (ph.) and Mr. Gerald (ph.). There were two teachers. And we would have our class and our lab all together in the same place, and they would have coffee at the--you know, it was quite interesting, but nevertheless, it was not easy because I felt different. I mean I was in a place different from what I was used to, and I felt self-conscious. But, no, there was, I cannot speak of any negative comments or anything like that. We worked with partners. I remember the girl I worked with. She was very nice, very quiet (laughter). I remember we went on a field trip. We must have gone to Raleigh [North Carolina]. I don't believe it was Chapel Hill [North Carolina], to the state university [North Carolina State University]. And then we kind of hung together because we were these little, we were these young kids with, in the midst of these college students. And I felt like I belonged to them (laughter) at that time, you know, because we were on that field trip.$$Okay, so, but you did all right?$$Yeah.$$Did you? Okay.$$Yes.$$All right.$$I did all right, and I did all--and the reason is because of, well, it's just the nurturing of the community that I came up in. You know, everybody was concerned that I would do all right. When I came back to my school, my physics teacher asked, "Well, how are things going? How's Dr. Hounshell?" Somehow he knew of him. He must have been talking to him.$It [New York African Burial Ground Project General Audience Report] tells how when they were digging for the building, how the bones were discovered and what had to happen as a result of that and how the community got involved, how the community wanted to know certain things about the people who were buried and a researcher listened to them. And then, of course, there are different parts. Now, the original research covers the skeletal biology. So they were looking at the diseases that they obviously had based on what they learned about the--$$I think the first thing they'd probably wanna know is how do we know they're Africans, right?$$Well, there is, there is history about that burial ground and when it, when it first--I can't, I don't wanna say when it first. But the report tells, it puts it all in a historical perspective of the company, the, what do you wanna, is it the Manhattan? No, they don't call it Manhattan. I'm trying to think of the Dutch, the Dutch settled the--$$Right, the Dutch West India Company.$$Yes, yes, they settled the area, and what was going on in history. And there are some records they found of this burial ground. So--$$And then what you were saying, you were just saying the, you know, conditions, I mean under which the people died--$$Exactly.$$--what their physical condition was.$$Right, and then there was some study, and I don't wanna try to quote everything because there's so much. The people who came over after--how do I wanna put it? For those who were born and brought over, that they have some of the same kinds of diseases that people who had been living under the conditions of slavery and were already here. They somehow looked at that as well, but I--and I will do this. I'm gonna go back and re-read everything because I plan to make that a unit (laughter). We do a lot of unit, unit work in my methods class, one of my methods classes, where I get the students to develop a unit and develop lessons where they embed these standards that we want in those lessons. And what I do with my middle school and secondary students, different from the elementary where they only do lessons, I get the students to develop their units collaboratively so that it is ensured that it is interdisciplinary and that it has different perspectives, and they're working together, like teachers, like the teachers that I worked with in the [Englewood] school district [New Jersey] in restructuring. That's the way they worked. They worked collaboratively. So I brought that into my courses at William Patterson [University, The William Patterson University of New Jersey, Wayne, New Jersey], that the science methods students, some of them, would work collaboratively on curriculum and bounce ideas off each other and ensure that they're looking at, you know, chemistry and biology and earth science, all in the same unit. And some are pathology majors, some are chemistry majors, some are earth science majors, it works nicely that way. So those are some of the new ideas in professional development that I've been pushing since I've been at William Patterson.$$Okay, now, just on the African Burial Project, I think it was Dr. Rick Kittles [geneticist] was important in that. He was a scientist at Howard [University, Washington, District of Columbia]. Did you have a chance to meet him?$$No, no. Now, the thing that's probably, I don't wanna say disappointing. I didn't get a chance to work with, and I don't wanna say I didn't get a chance, they didn't give me a chance. It's just the way when I got involved and how much time there was before this general report had to be done, I was, I talked with a writer, the Howard writer who really didn't write the book either, but she's a writer. And Dean [James] Donaldson, who is also a HistoryMaker, and Oscar Cole (ph.) who was a special assistant to the president, and who was in charge of the project, those were the people that I interacted with and gave my recommendations to. And as I said, when the drafts came back, I read and I made recommendations along with other people who were also reading the draft.$$Okay.

Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin

Library director and theater executive Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin was born on April 25, 1945 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to Thelma N. Holtzclaw, a custodian, and Arthur William Henry Sprinkle, Jr., a factory worker. She received her B.S. degree in education from Winston-Salem State University in 1967 and her M.S. degree in library science from Clark Atlanta University in 1968.

After the completion of her studies, Sprinkle-Hamlin joined the staff of the Free Library of Philadelphia as a children’s librarian. In 1970, she became an information specialist at the Benjamin Banneker Urban Center and in 1973, she became the instructional media center director for the Philadelphia Public Schools while taking education administration classes at Cheyney State University. Sprinkle-Hamlin returned to Winston-Salem State University in 1978 where she served as a public services librarian and assistant director of the university library. In 1979, she joined the Forsyth County Public Library system as department head for children’s outreach. Also in 1979, Sprinkle-Hamlin met her future husband, Larry Leon Hamlin, who was the founder of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company. They married in 1981 and Sprinkle-Hamlin became secretary of the National Black Repertory Company in 1983. Hamlin would go on to found the National Black Theatre Festival in 1989, with the fundraising support of Dr. Maya Angelou. Sprinkle-Hamlin has served on the board of directors for The National Black Theatre Festival since 1991. The Festival grew from thirty performances and 10,000 in attendance in 1989 to over 100 performances and 50,000 in attendance in 2005. In 2007, Hamlin died after an extended illness and Sprinkle-Hamlin carried on her husband’s work becoming executive producer for the National Black Theatre Festival. In 2010, she became president of the board of directors for the North Carolina Black Repertory Company. During this time, Sprinkle-Hamlin also continued to work for the Forsyth County Public Library serving as assistant library director , extension division, associate library director and becoming the library director in 2000. She also served as a library consultant for W.H. Roberts & Associates.

Sprinkle-Hamlin has worked extensively in the Winston-Salem community serving on the board of directors for Family Services, Inc., Forsyth County Smart Start, The Shepherd Center of Greater Winston-Salem and The Diggs Gallery of Winston-Salem University. She has also served as a council member of the American Library Association (ALA), president of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Public library Association Board member and chair of the African American Issues Roundtable of the Southeastern Library Association. Sprinkle-Hamlin has received the Roundtable for Ethnic Minority Roadbuilder’s Award, the DEMCO/ALA Black Caucus Award for Excellence in Librarianship and The Chronicle Women of the Year Award. She lives in Pfafftown, North Carolina.

Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 23, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.037

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/23/2012

Last Name

Sprinkle-Hamlin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

Yvonne

Schools

Winston-Salem State University

Clark Atlanta University

Carter High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sylvia

Birth City, State, Country

Winston-Salem

HM ID

SPR04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

All Things Are Possible With Help From God. I Get My Strength From The Lord.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

4/25/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Winston-Salem

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cake (Strawberry Shortcake)

Short Description

Theater chief executive and library director Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin (1945 - ) was executive producer of the National Black Theatre Festival, and board president of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company. She also directed the Forsyth County Public Library.

Employment

Forsyth County Public Library

Winston-Salem State University

Benjamin Banneker Urban Center

Free Library of Philadelphia

W.H. Roberts & Associates

Fashion Two-Twenty Cosmetics

North Carolina Black Repertory Company

Favorite Color

All Colors

Timing Pairs
0,0:7920,198:16997,250:17867,263:18737,275:24752,337:28620,382:34244,491:34540,496:44402,587:66748,866:67076,871:68634,895:71586,951:76834,1024:78146,1050:79294,1068:79622,1073:84122,1096:85024,1116:90026,1218:90682,1229:91666,1243:92322,1254:104058,1412:104434,1417:111095,1511:116075,1609:123270,1763:131542,1918:147926,2317:153080,2381:153505,2387:155630,2421:156055,2427:158350,2463:158860,2473:161070,2559:169926,2659:170321,2665:171032,2676:178859,2764:179440,2772:180021,2780:180436,2786:185665,2847:186163,2854:186744,2859:187491,2870:188072,2877:200352,3104:208240,3213:209054,3236:215048,3370:215492,3377:216306,3404:225462,3504:233730,3583:234162,3588:240255,3661:240547,3666:240985,3673:241277,3678:242372,3698:243321,3714:243613,3731:251470,3823:253085,3871:256750,3926$0,0:1001,19:12518,199:16100,205:20830,328:23754,392:25044,412:27918,425:31870,494:36780,535:38012,550:41184,577:44894,629:53783,718:71760,1060:101466,1493:106098,1628:111577,1695:112756,1704:117710,1777:126254,1870:134921,1958:135326,1989:139376,2048:140024,2058:145011,2075:145346,2081:148830,2153:152262,2197:152634,2204:152882,2209:153254,2216:159006,2310:159422,2315:162183,2323:170420,2456:176346,2534:176927,2542:177342,2549:178172,2571:178587,2577:178919,2582:181658,2632:185227,2662:187402,2699:187924,2706:188968,2727:191143,2769:194101,2822:194710,2831:195667,2845:204846,2973:207870,3025:212514,3094:222274,3231:231330,3356:232030,3384:237240,3447
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin talks about her maternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sylvia Hamlin-Sprinkle describes her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin talks about her mother's upbringing and education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin describes her father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin talks about her upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin recalls Center Grove A.M.E. Zion Church in Tobaccoville, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin remembers Carver Consolidated School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin talks about the book mobile in Forsythe County, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin recalls segregation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin talks about the history of Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin recalls her early exposure to television and radio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin remembers her early interest in reading

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin recalls her start at Winston-Salem State College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin remembers her college classmate Earl Monroe

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin describes her decision to pursue a master's in library science

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin remembers Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin talks about the education qualifications of a librarian

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin describes her career in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin remembers her return to Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin describes how she met her husband, Larry Leon Hamlin

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin talks about Larry Leon Hamlin's theater background

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin recalls the founding of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company Theatre Guild

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin describes the development of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin talks about funding for the North Carolina Black Repertory Company

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin remembers the inaugural National Black Theatre Festival

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin talks about the cost of the National Black Theatre Festival

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin describes the content of the National Black Theatre Festival

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin talks about the North Carolina Black Repertory Company staff

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin describes North Carolina Black Repertory Company's guest artists

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamline talks about the North Carolina Black Repertory Company's marketing strategy

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin describes the highlights of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin talks about support for the North Carolina Black Repertory Company

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin reflects upon Larry Leon Hamlin's legacy, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin reflects upon her career

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin talks about the relevance of public libraries

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin reflects upon her life and legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin talks about her family

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin reflects upon Larry Leon Hamlin's legacy, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin talks about the 2012 season of North Carolina Black Repertory Company

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

6$2

DATitle
Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin remembers the inaugural National Black Theatre Festival
Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin describes the highlights of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company
Transcript
Tell us about the National Black Theatre Festival and how that idea (unclear) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Okay, so I think in 1988 Larry [Sprinkle-Hamlin's husband, Larry Leon Hamlin] went to a conference that was held in Atlanta, Georgia, and I think he was supposed to write an article on black theaters in America, and I think in writing that article he realized that it was quite a few black companies in America, but they weren't communicating with each other, and they all had the same problem: funding, how do you really get funds? So at first he just thought about having a conference and bringing these theater companies together, but then he decided it would be probably more fun to have a festival, so the idea of the festival came up. So what he did was invited some theater companies that he had relationships with to come to the festival and Dr. Maya Angelou, he went to her with his plans and she gave him a lot of pointers as to what he should do, and she also recommended that he bring in celebrities because, you know, if you have celebrities, that would get a lot of the people who wouldn't come to a theater festival, to come to the festival to see the celebrities. So she helped him to get some named people, known people, to come to the first festival. And Oprah was our first celebrity guest.$$Okay, now from what I've read here, he sort of accidentally bumped into [HistoryMaker] Maya Angelou in the airport, is that true?$$Yeah, yeah, yeah.$$So how does that, well tell us that story.$$Well that's all I know, he started--he bumped into her at an airport and he talked to her about what he wanted to do, because you know she had moved here. She was living here.$$Oh no, I didn't know that.$$Oh, yeah, she lives here now.$$Okay.$$She's a Reynolds Scholar [Nancy Susan Reynolds Scholar] at Wake Forest, Reynolds Scholar for life.$$Wake Forest is?$$Wake Forest University.$$Yeah, that's close by Winston-Salem [North Carolina].$$It's here.$$It's in Winston-Salem?$$Yeah, yeah.$$Okay, all right. A lot of people don't know 'cause the name is Wake Forest and we don't know where it is (laughter).$$It used to be in Wake Forest--$$Okay.$$--North Carolina.$$Yeah.$$Then they moved to Winston-Salem in the '50s [1950s].$$Okay. All right.$$Yeah.$$Okay.$$So she helped him to get it off the ground in 1989.$$All right, okay. So it was her clout that got Oprah Winfrey?$$Yeah, yeah, um-hm.$$And Oprah Winfrey was one of the most popular people in America, if not the most popular.$$Right, (laughter) but I like to tell the story, is that when Larry said he was going to have a festival and Oprah was going to be here and some of the other people who came in 1989, the people in Winston-Salem didn't really believe it. And so you know we have an opening night gala and in 1989 gala tickets were only fifty dollars so the people from across the United States was real excited and so they bought a lot of the tickets. So two weeks before the, the festival then the people around here started believing it. Oh yeah, it's really gonna happen, it's really gone happen, but we were sold out, so a lot of people missed out on the first one. But they haven't missed out any more since then.$$Okay. So how was that first festival? What I read here is that Oprah was there, [HistoryMaker] Ruby Dee, [HistoryMaker] Ossie Davis.$$Yeah.$$Esther Rolle, Cicely Tyson.$$Yeah, all of those people were there.$$Maya Angelou too, was she, was she?$$Oh yeah, she was, yeah, she was chair, the first chair we had, co-chair, the first chair we had for the festival. It was very exciting because it happened, people came. I think we were most excited that people came from all over: from California; New York [New York]; Chicago [Illinois]; Atlanta [Georgia]. You know, they saw it, they believed in us and they came and they had a really good time and we had some really good shows. And so that was the beginning.$Now what have been some of the highlights of the, the Black Repertory's [North Carolina Black Repertory Company] seasons over the years?$$Some of the highlights. Well I think--the milestones that I think that we've--? Creating the guild [North Carolina Black Repertory Company Theatre Guild], I think was a high point. Well, first we'll start with the living room theater, how we start at first marketing the company then creating the guild. We now have what we call--at one point we had a music division, where we had singers and musicians that were involved. I think we have what we call now, Marvtastic Society; that was created in 2003. And in order to be a member of the Marvtastic Society you had to pay a thousand dollars to be a part of that society, and you get some discounts, and that has really worked really well.$$Well tell us what--this is a good time I guess to tell us what does marvtastic mean and where did it come from?$$(Laughter) Well Larry [Sprinkle-Hamlin's husband, Larry Leon Hamlin] coined that word, marvtastic, marvelous and fantastic together, so (laughter) that's what it means. And he came up with that word and then it caught on and everybody started using it, everybody started asking what does it mean and so he decided he would come up with a Marvtastic Society, and these people donate, especially to the festival [National Black Theatre Festival].$$Okay, all right, well keep going. I didn't want to, I just wanted to have you say something about that.$$Yeah, yeah, the Marvtastic Society I think is a milestone. I think the teen theater, having actual--doing the teen theater has been a milestone. And I think our longevity, you know, we been in business since 1979 and we've been through a lot and we're still around and we're still doing the festival. And, of course, the biggest thing is the festival in 1989. And I think in 2007 when Larry passed, people didn't know what was going to happen. You know that year, he passed that--the festival was that year. The festival was in August and he passed in June, so we--the board decided that we should go on and do the festival 'cause we were already working on it. And everybody was there and people were having conversations because they really didn't know what was gonna happen with the festival. But I knew that he really loved the festival and sometimes I feel that the festival probably was one--working really hard late at night, not doing what you're supposed to do health wise probably contributed to his early death. I decided that I would do all I could, along with some other supporters, to make sure that it still happened. And you know I was always in the background. I was the person that worked with the community. I knew a lot of people in the community. I worked a lot with the volunteers and I would be around at the meetings and all of that, so I was in the background so I knew some of the things that were involved. And then he had a lot of people who had worked with him before. We call 'em consultants. Lawrence Evans from New York [New York]; lark hackshaw from Atlanta [Georgia], Artie Reese [Arthur Reese]; those people had worked with him before. So we knew that it had to continue. So we just did what had to be done and we just had to do it without him, but we are doing okay, but his presence, we feel that his presence is still here. We feel his spirit, you know, when we start planning the festival.

Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr.

Medical doctor and epidemiologist Charles Lovell, Jr. was born on September 17, 1946 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to Charles Lovell, Sr. and Rachel Lovell. After Lovell’s freshman year in high school, his family sent him to New York City, where he lived with his uncle James Floyd and his aunt Martha. Lovell attended Seward Park High School and after graduation, he was accepted and attended Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After graduating Harvard College, Lovell went on to attend medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York where he earned his M.D. degree in medicine. After graduating from Columbia University, Lovell interned at Harlem Hospital Center. In 1976, Lovell was named chief resident of Harlem Hospital and later went to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Epidemic Intelligence Service [EIS], where he investigated national and local epidemics.
In 1978, Lovell opened his private medical practice, York Clinical Research and was also appointed assistant professor of clinical research at Eastern Virginia Medical School [EVMS]. That same year, Lovell worked with U.S. Rep. George William Whitehurst to enact legislation to include preventive health services as a part of Medicare. As a result, both Lovell and U.S. Rep. Whitehurst were awarded the American Lung Association’s Annual Award in 1981. In 1993, Lovell was the first African American to serve as president of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Board of Medicine. In 2006, Lovell’s private practice was distinguished as a Cardiovascular Center of Excellence by the Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control in 2006. Lovell divided his time between his private practice and his medical initiative entitled, the 3 Diseases Project, whose mission is to diagnose and treat hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol through the utilization of cutting edge technologies. In 2007, Lovell was awarded Dominion’s Strong Men & Women: The Series, which highlights African-American men and women whose accomplishments and determination demonstrate true excellence in leadership. Lovell is a former member of the National Vaccine Advisory Board. He is a current member of Sigma Pi Phi fraternity and the Sigma Xi scientific research society. Lovell’s wife is Barbara Lovell and they have one daughter, Sarah Rachel.
Charles Lovell, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 5, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.021

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/5/2012

Last Name

Lovell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

F.

Occupation
Schools

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Harvard University

Seward Park High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Winston-Salem

HM ID

LOV06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Let he among you that is without sin cast the first stone.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

9/17/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Norfolk

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Turnip Greens

Short Description

Medical scientist Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. (1946 - ) served as a catalyst for the federal passage of a bill that provided elderly Medicare patients improved access to pneumonia vaccines, setting a precedent for preventive health care nationwide.

Employment

Sentara Healhcare

C.F. Lovell, MD, PC

United States Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control

Favorite Color

Navy Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr.'s interview (part 1)

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his role in changing the direction of Medicare

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Slating of Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr.'s interview (part 2)

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. talks about J.J. Jones High School

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. talks about his parents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. talks about his father's and his uncles' service in the military

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. talks about his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. talks about his family's religious affiliations

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes the diverse landscape of North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes growing up in Pilot Mountain, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his experience in J.J. Jones High School and his interest in nature and science

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his interest in science during school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his family's political activism

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. talks about leaving Pilot Mountain to attend high school in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his experience at Seward High School in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his decision to attend Harvard University and reflects on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his interview with Jackie Robinson in 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his brief encounter with Malcolm X in 1962 as well as the influence of his uncle

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his experiences in New York City in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his experience at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. talks about the growth of the department of African American studies at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. talks about others who attended Harvard University during his time there

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes civil rights activism in Harvard in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his experience in the Air Force ROTC and his decision to attend Columbia University's medical school

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his experience at Columbia University's medical school and the role of his mentors

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his experience at Columbia University Medical School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his experience at Harlem Hospital

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. talks about refraining from political activism during medical school

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his experience with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. talks about his private medical practice and his clinical research

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his role in establishing Medicare reimbursement of preventive health services

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his honors and his service appointments

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes the 'Three Diseases Project' in Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. talks about childhood health in the U.S. and his daily routine

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. talks about his wife and daughter

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. reflects upon his career

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. talks about promoting a healthy lifestyle

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. talks about his current personal interests

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. provides a history of blacks at Harvard University and Columbia Medical School

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Charles Lovell, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Jackee Harry

Jackée Harry was born Jacqueline Yvonee Harry on August 14, 1956 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, but was raised in Harlem, New York, by her mother Flossie Harry. At the age of fourteen, Harry landed the lead role of the “King” in her school’s production of The King and I. After graduating from New York City’s High School of Music and Art, Harry attended the University of Long Island in Brooklyn, New York, where she earned her B.A. degree in education.

Harry began her career as a history teacher at Brooklyn Technical High School. After two years of teaching, she departed from her profession and pursued a career in acting. Harry received acting lessons at the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side in New York City and made her acting debut in 1973, with a small part in a play written by Richard Wesley. She then starred in A Broadway Musical as a chorus girl. In 1983, Harry made her television debut by acting opposite the then-unknown Morgan Freeman in the daytime soap opera, Another World.

In 1985, Harry found her signature role, starring as “Sandra Clark” on the NBC sitcom 227. As the breakout star of the show, she became the first African American to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Her performance on 227 inspired NBC producers to create at television pilot for her entitled Jackée. After leaving the cast of 227 in 1989, Harry starred opposite Oprah Winfrey in the adaptation of Gloria Naylor’s novel, The Women of Brewster Place. In 1991, Harry was a part of an all-star cast that included Redd Foxx and Della Reese when she played the role of “Ruth ‘CoCo’ Royal” in The Royal Family. From 1994 to 1999, Harry starred as the adoptive mother of Tia and Tamera Mowry’s characters in the ABC sitcom, Sister, Sister and won NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for two consecutive years in 1999 and 2000.

In 1994, Harry made her return to the theater by starring as “Billie Holiday” in the play Lady Day at Emersons Bar and Grill. Following that stage production, she fulfilled the role of “madam who runs a bordello” in the Broadway Musical The Boys From Syracuse, a play based on William Shakespeare’s classic The Comedy of Errors. Harry appeared on the second season of VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club in 2005, where she lost a total of thirty-nine pounds over 100 days. Her achievement marked one of the top weight losses in the history of the show. Harry’s other television credits include guest appearances on Amen, Designing Women, Dave’s World, Hollywood Squares, 7th Heaven, That’s So Raven and Everybody Hates Chris.

Accession Number

A2007.323

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/6/2007

Last Name

Harry

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts

P.S. 197 John B. Russwurm School

Riverdale Country School

Junior High School 136

Long Island University

First Name

Jackee

Birth City, State, Country

Winston-Salem

HM ID

HAR28

Favorite Season

Fall

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Show You Better Than I Can Tell You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

8/14/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chinese Food

Short Description

Television actress Jackee Harry (1956 - ) was best known for her role as Sandra Clark on the sitcom, "227," for which she became the first African American woman to win an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Harry's other television credits included "The Women of Brewster Place," "Amen," and "Sister, Sister."

Employment

HARYOU-ACT

Brooklyn Technical High School

'The Wiz'

Favorite Color

Rust Orange, Teal

Timing Pairs
0,0:4958,169:6142,194:6660,203:7326,213:18753,451:19910,498:22936,648:25517,687:26407,710:28098,735:49793,1382:50077,1387:50503,1397:55590,1438:55870,1443:56290,1451:56920,1470:57760,1485:58320,1495:58600,1500:58880,1505:59370,1513:67182,1642:78312,1851:80512,2029:86273,2231:109128,2527:111718,2593:117368,2682:120394,2730:142830,3207$0,0:8358,169:11802,325:13278,340:27044,491:44075,868:44975,882:46700,920:49603,932:51165,973:51591,982:53295,1072:55070,1108:58712,1159:59248,1169:60990,1221:61258,1226:65160,1264:66048,1287:66344,1298:67380,1326:69082,1360:69378,1417:72116,1449:86440,1657:88205,1675:88975,1707:89283,1713:89745,1722:90053,1727:90361,1732:93133,1811:93441,1816:95135,1866:95520,1872:95828,1877:101372,2006:101680,2030:107710,2061:108221,2069:108659,2119:112747,2189:120720,2247:124860,2360:126660,2400:129360,2446:138780,2563:140408,2614:140704,2619:154580,2880:156380,2916:167650,3179:171106,3311:173050,3367:174058,3394:178882,3540:179818,3559:186900,3593:189336,3689:190570,3698
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jackee Harry's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jackee Harry lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jackee Harry describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jackee Harry describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jackee Harry describes her grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jackee Harry describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jackee Harry recalls her early life in Barnwell, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jackee Harry describes the Harlem neighborhood of New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jackee Harry describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jackee Harry describes her early education

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jackee Harry describes her relationship with her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Jackee Harry remembers the Riverdale Girls School in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Jackee Harry describes her experiences of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Jackee Harry remembers Junior High School 136 in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Jackee Harry remembers her introduction to acting

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jackee Harry remembers her friendship with Norvalla Nelson

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jackee Harry recalls her admission to the High School of Performing Arts in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jackee Harry describes her start at the High School of Performing Arts

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jackee Harry remembers the assassinations of the 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jackee Harry remembers her first boyfriend

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jackee Harry recalls her peers at the High School of Performing Arts

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jackee Harry remembers the Henry Street Settlement in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jackee Harry describes her early acting career

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jackee Harry remembers Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jackee Harry remembers teaching at Brooklyn Technical High School in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jackee Harry recalls working as a dresser on Broadway, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jackee Harry recalls working as a dresser on Broadway, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jackee Harry remembers the national tour of 'The Wiz'

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jackee Harry remembers her principal role in 'A Broadway Musical'

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jackee Harry talks about 'Eubie!'

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jackee Harry describes her marriage to Jerry Jemmott

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jackee Harry describes the rehearsals for 'New Orleans'

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jackee Harry describes her role on 'Another World'

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jackee Harry remembers her divorce from Jerry Jemmott

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jackee Harry remembers her audition for '227'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jackee Harry describes the filming of '227'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jackee Harry remembers starring in 'The Women of Brewster Place'

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jackee Harry reflects upon her divorce

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jackee Harry describes her television career in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jackee Harry remembers the death of Redd Foxx

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jackee Harry talks about her mentors

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jackee Harry recalls starring in 'Sister, Sister'

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jackee Harry talks about her roles on 'That's So Raven' and 'Celebrity Fit Club'

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jackee Harry describes her work on 'Everybody Hates Christ' and 'Damn Yankees'

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jackee Harry reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jackee Harry describes her advice for aspiring actors

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jackee Harry describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Jackee Harry reflects upon her life and values

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Jackee Harry reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Jackee Harry talks about the importance of history

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

2$5

DATitle
Jackee Harry recalls her admission to the High School of Performing Arts in New York City
Jackee Harry describes the filming of '227'
Transcript
So you were hanging out with the Nelsons, getting trained, having, having a functional family life (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Hanging out with white folks all the time. You know, my whole life was different from what I was living at home. I'd just go home to sleep and I'd be gone.$$So you, so you do 'The King and I' [Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II] and you get a standing ovation--$$And I loved it.$$--screams, so the bug catches at that point.$$Bad.$$(Laughter).$$And it was the last day of school [at Junior High School 136, Harriet Beecher Stowe Junior High School, New York, New York]. You know, the end of school year so was going on. And I--this a powerful thing that happened to me, a turning point. We took a test for a performance arts school--me, Valjean Dean [ph.], my then best friend, Norvalla [Norvalla Nelson], quite a few other people--for the High School of Music and Art [Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts, New York, New York]. There was the Performing Arts [High School of Performing Arts; Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts, New York, New York], there was Juilliard [The Juilliard School, New York, New York], there was the Music and Art. There were quite a few schools, but you had to take a test--academic and performance-wise. So I took the one for Music and Art, the High School of Music and Art. And me--all of us--and we came back to school and we were sitting in the class and they were talking about who got in and, and they were congratulating my best friend, Norvalla, and Valjean. And, you know, they went on. And I was very disappointed that I didn't make it. And then they all left and my teacher came up to me. She says, "Congratulations." I said, "What?" She said, "You made it, too." I said, "Nobody told me." She said, "We always knew you would--that's why." And I'll never forget it 'cause even today I carry that with me. Even as we speak--'Damn Yankees,' I've never been had--nobody has to tell me that I'm good anymore 'cause they assume you're going to be. You know, I don't need a pat on the back.$$So now they, they didn't, they--it was just so that--it was assumed they--that you were going in. That's why (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) That's what she said--$$--there was nothing--there was no reason--$$I mean she said it with such a natural face. She said, "We always knew you would." And I, I'm going, "Somebody could have told me. I could have celebrated." 'Cause I was in class--I'm happy for them but I was like how come I didn't get it, you know, inside. And when she told me, I couldn't celebrate with them. She said--she told me--she said, "Never push it," she said, "'cause you're always gonna shine," she said. "Always pull back." And, you know, I, I've tried--we know I didn't succeed (laughter).$$Do you recall her name who told you about the school announcement?$$I'm gonna get it--Ms. Klemperer, K-L-E-M-P-E-R-E-R, Nancy Klemperer.$$So she told you--so basically she was teaching you a lesson just to relax (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) And modesty.$$--at that point. She--$$Yeah, 'cause I was bit--I told you I was conceited. And she could see that.$So now developing this character. How did this get started for you to, to develop the character we all know and love?$$On the set [of '227'] on the stoop the very first scene when I come up it just--she said, "Sandra [Sandra Clark], how come you not a work?" I said, "I'm sick." The director came up. He said, "Why you doing that line like that?" He said, "Just do it normal." And, you know, we had done it in the f- "I men- I'm sick. I'm taking off." But, you know, he said, "Why you doing that?" And so I start to say, okay. She said, "Sandra, you going to work?" I said, "Oh, yeah, I'm sick, you know, I'm taking off" so-and-so. Brandon Tartikoff called down to the set, rings it, "What's going on down there? She was funny for the--what you all doing?" And he told the director. The director said, "Uh, go back to what you were doing." And--$$He's up in the booth listening and watching.$$He's on his monitor in his office. And they said--and he told me, the director, then, he said, "Jackee [HistoryMaker Jackee Harry], you can't upstage the star." And I didn't know that. I was just being funny like I always--. Had I known then what he's telling me, I would not have done--I'll tell you the truth 'cause I did not know that. I was just being funny. And she said, "No, more, more, more." And they kept going more, more, more. Well, honey, once they said that I just turned loose.$$The horse was out the barn at that point.$$And they came back that day and gave me a new contract for a regular on the show, so--$$So the writers got busy.$$Now, tell us about Ms. Gibbs and you and her, your association on the set with her, especially after you've done this now.$$We're, well, I'll just start by saying this, life can come full circle. And I, I tell this to everybody. Me and [HistoryMaker] Marla Gibbs and like this now (gesture). We weren't then. I adore her. She's good people. And she told me, she said people were just putting stuff in her ear and she was listening to it--that she's stealing the show. She's doing this, she's doing--I was being funny because that's way I naturally am even today. But, I hear what they're saying now. I was pushing that envelope and you don't do that. You know, I recognize it now. But, I had been other shows and I, I thought, well, if they're so funny why don't you spin 'em off. They're so funny, spin 'em off and have two. That's the way I thought, you know. And--but it was, it was stressful and a strain. It really was 'cause I had no idea. The day I got my Emmy [Emmy Award]--I won the Emmy. I came back to work. Nobody congratulated me--not a single soul. But it goes back to what my teacher told me, "We just knew you would." So--and it still happens to me today. I don't get, "Oh, that's great! I was so happy for you!" I always get, "Oh, we knew," you know.$$So, so things are kind of strained on the set--as, as we hear many shows are because what we see as an audience is not, you know--oh, and actually (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Absolutely.$$--any kind of--any kind of production of anything--$$Any kind.$$You never know from, from six o'clock news.$$You don't know who's gonna be the breakout.$$Right. So you stay there for--how long was '227'? How many years?$$Five years.$$Five years, a five-year run.$$And they tried to spin me off. It didn't make it for different reasons--$$Right.$$--which I know about, so--but it was very successful--$$What was the name of the spinoff show?$$'Jackee.'$$Yeah, that's right.$$It didn't work. But I didn't have stuff in place. You gotta have your stuff in place to--you know, I didn't know that meant. What I know now, even if I knew it then, wouldn't have made any difference--TV, the politics.

The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr.

Former United States Secretary of the Army and former United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs Togo Dennis West, Jr. was born on June 21, 1942 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to Togo D. West, Sr. and Evelyn E. Carter West. His grandmother named him after Japanese Admiral Heihachiro Togo, hero of 1905’s Russo-Japanese War. West grew up in East Winston, North Carolina where his mother was a teacher and his father was the principal of Atkins High School. West attended Atkins High School, graduating in 1959 as a member of the National Honor Society, valedictorian and an Eagle Scout with Bronze Palm. In 1965, he earned his B.S. degree from Howard University and worked briefly as an electrical engineer. West entered Howard University Law School and in 1967 worked as a legal intern for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. West became managing editor of the Howard Law Journal and graduated first in his class with his J.D. degree in 1968.

After clerking for Harold R. Tyler, Jr., a federal district court judge, West was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army. West served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps where he was recognized with the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service Medal. He subsequently practiced law with Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. before being appointed associate deputy attorney general by President Gerald Ford in 1975. West served in several capacities in President Jimmy Carter’s administration including general counsel to the Navy from 1977 to 1979; special assistant to the secretary and to the deputy secretary of defense in 1979; and general counsel to the United States Department of Defense from 1980 to 1981. He returned to private practice as managing partner at Patterson, Belknap, Webb and Tyler and later served as senior vice president for government relations with Northrop Corporation. In 1993, West was appointed United States Secretary of the Army by President Bill Clinton. In 1998, President Clinton appointed West as United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs. West succeeded Eddie Williams as president and CEO of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in 2004. In 2006, he founded TLI Leadership Group and served as its Chairman.

West was the recipient of numerous honors including being named Distinguished Eagle Scout in 1995. He later received scouting’s coveted Silver Buffalo Award and the Silver Beaver Award for his work with youth. West was married to the former Gail Berry.

West passed away on March 8, 2018 at age 75.

West was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 8, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.054

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/8/2007 |and| 7/24/2008

Last Name

West

Maker Category
Middle Name

D.

Organizations
Schools

St. Benedict The Moor

Atkins Academic and Technology High School

Howard University School of Law

Howard University

First Name

Togo

Birth City, State, Country

Winston-Salem

HM ID

WES03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

I Think Therefore I Am.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

6/21/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Spaghetti, Chili

Death Date

3/8/2018

Short Description

Government lawyer and presidential appointee The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. (1942 - 2018 ) was the Secretary of the U.S. Army, and also held positions as associate deputy attorney general and general counsel to the Navy. West served as the deputy secretary of defense, general counsel to the United States Department of Defense and became President and CEO of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in 2004.

Employment

Covington & Burling LLP

Judge Advocate Generals Corps

Favorite Color

North Carolina Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:4488,86:6379,124:6623,129:6989,141:11610,302:12100,310:13220,325:22150,435:28200,510:28488,515:30072,549:31224,572:31800,579:32088,584:33312,607:33600,612:33888,617:35328,651:36192,667:49238,899:49708,905:50084,910:56370,978:60385,1007:60677,1012:61845,1038:62283,1045:62575,1050:63086,1058:63378,1063:69510,1211:70605,1248:70970,1254:72357,1426:84296,1562:87143,1655:87873,1694:96791,1804:97400,1815:99401,1873:104524,1930:114528,2105:115737,2129:120945,2232:132680,2403:149760,2875:150320,2884:157567,2977:161945,3015:162229,3020:163365,3052:169120,3146:169678,3153:171259,3232:176150,3272:179550,3323:187690,3447$0,0:10020,163:14622,263:21980,431:26108,612:29462,649:30666,665:46644,840:55100,959:60211,1037:83660,1343:90504,1413:90864,1419:91512,1434:91800,1439:92952,1459:103720,1665:105743,1677:107163,1702:109932,1761:110926,1779:120302,1923:120806,1931:130402,2012:147092,2288:153000,2347:154420,2356:155284,2370:160952,2460:161736,2469:190174,2773:190984,2785:210009,3068:220109,3184:226124,3252:226654,3258:228816,3280:230150,3308:230382,3313:235400,3378:236048,3387:243596,3510:249894,3704:255450,3754
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr.'s interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers his paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. talks about his Chinn ancestors

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his paternal relatives

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls his father's early teaching career

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. talks about his father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. talks about being an only child

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls the East Winston neighborhood of Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his early interest in sports

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. talks about North Carolina's colleges

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers the popularity of tobacco use

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls the business community in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his early education

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes the Safe Bus Company

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls the black business community in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls the entertainment of his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his home life

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers joining the Boy Scouts of America

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers a naval cruise with the Boy Scouts

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his travels with the Boy Scouts

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers becoming an Eagle Scout

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls his experiences as an Eagle Scout, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls his experiences as an Eagle Scout, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers his academic success

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his father's legacy as an educator

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his interest in literature

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers his high school teachers

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his high school activities, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his high school activities, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr.'s interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers school segregation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers school segregation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. talks about segregation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls his peers at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his involvement in the Boy Scouts

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls his father's interest in the U.S. military

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his experiences at Atkins High School

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes the student body at Atkins High School

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his high school graduation

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Togo D. West Jr. recalls his decision to attend Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers his first impressions of Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his engineering coursework

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls his peers at Howard University, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers Stokely Carmichael

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls his peers at Howard University, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls his summer activities

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. talks about his love of reading

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls his decision to attend law school

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls learning about the history of Howard University

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls the Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. talks about segregation in the South

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls his influences at Howard University

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his law school professors, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers Patricia Roberts Harris

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his law school professors, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers Jeanus B. Parks

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers Carl Edwin Anderson

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes the mentorship of Jeanus B. Parks

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls meeting his wife

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes the start of his legal career

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls working for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls Thurgood Marshall's appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes his peers at the Howard University School of Law

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers JeRoyd W. Greene, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers JeRoyd W. Greene, Jr., pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes the legacy of the Howard University School of Law

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers Judge Harold R. Tyler, Jr.

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. describes Harold R. Tyler, Jr.'s legal career

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls serving in the Judge Advocate General's Corps

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. remembers Nathaniel R. Jones

DASession

1$2

DATape

2$9

DAStory

4$6

DATitle
The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. talks about his father's career
The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. recalls serving in the Judge Advocate General's Corps
Transcript
This is what happened. The interesting thing about Dad [Togo D. West, Sr.] is he was recruited by the then principal at my high school, the school I ended up graduating from, Atkins High School [Atkins Academic and Technology High School, Winston-Salem, North Carolina], to teach math. He eventually coached basketball and football, eventually became head of the math department. Before I get to the end of it, the point is, he was employed by the same employer all his life. He went there to teach in the high school there, Atkins High School, just as it was getting going, high school for--it was the only high school for African Americans, for blacks, for the colored, in those days for Negroes, in Winston-Salem [North Carolina]. There was another one out in the county, Carver High School [Winston-Salem, North Carolina], named obviously, for George Washington Carver. Similarly, the one black high school, very competitive, the principal actively recruited from all over the East Coast. And so most people who taught at that school held degrees from outside of North Carolina by and large. And that's interesting because Winston-Salem had its own teachers college, Winston-Salem Teachers College, still there. It's now Winston-Salem State University [Winston-Salem, North Carolina]. A and T [Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina; North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University] was just up the road in Greensboro [North Carolina]. They were turning out lots of college graduates, but this principal wanted to recruit from outside of, of North Carolina. They had the same incentives that I assume other public schools had at that time, systems, and that is, you were paid ultimately based on tenure, how long you successfully stayed there, and on educational level. So that all of them, in Dad's and Mom's [Evelyn Carter West] circle, were trying to work on their master's degrees to increase their pay. And I think, the farther along they got, the more their pay increased. And that's why I came to Washington [D.C.] so often in summer. Mom and Dad would finish up, school would close. I'd be out of school, pack us in the car--we didn't travel by train, didn't travel by bus, and drive up to Washington, D.C. We'd spend some time at the home place. Grandmother [Mary Chinn West] was there, Carlton [Carlton S. West] was there. They would leave me, drive to New York [New York] where Dad dropped Mom off and she went to Columbia [Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York] to the teachers college there, stayed with some friends. He went on up, initially, to Penn State [Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania], where he was getting his degree. Well, eventually, he changed that and started going up to Clark University in Worcester, Mass [Worcester, Massachusetts]. And they did that for years until they got their master's. But in all that time, he taught at Atkins, progressing until he became, by the time I was in high school, the vice principal, the assistant principal and head of the math department. And then he became the principal of the school after I had gone off to college [Howard University, Washington, D.C.]. But he worked in that one school, in that high school, teaching there, for essentially thirty-two years.$$Okay, okay.$$Who does that anymore?$$Very few people.$$(Laughter).$$At the same place all the--yeah, not these days.$So then I was on active duty as a JAG [Judge Advocate General's Corps], something I'd--my wife [Gail Berry West] and daughter [Tiffany West Smink] who were in New York [New York] with me when I came on active duty, and they stayed for six months up there while I went to my couple weeks at Fort Lee [Virginia], to get used to wearing the uniform again and then eight weeks at the University of Virginia [Charlottesville, Virginia] which is where the Army JAG school [The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School, Charlottesville, Virginia] has always been, separate building always right next to the law school. Whenever they moved the law school, the JAG school moves to a brand new building next to it, historically, I think. And then I thought I was gonna be assigned--they gave me orders assigning me to Fort Ord, California, which was the practice, brand new JAG. You go to a spot for a year and being assigned to Fort Ord, I knew that a year later, I'd go to Vietnam for a one-year tour, and then come back and have two years. So that, so that the--that was the expectation. My wife was ready. IBM [International Business Machines Corporation], for whom she worked as a lawyer, had said, they'd move her and us out there because we, by then, had acquired two cars, and assign her to a job near me. So we were all set. We were gonna pack up that car and get going, and we drive out. But the night before I got a call from the JAG career office saying, "We've got a spot opening in the Military Justice Division in the Pentagon [Washington, D.C.]." I was third in the class, in the JAG class, which made me a distinguished graduate. And they said, "That position is yours if you want it. We don't advise you to take it because it's poor preparation for a career in the JAG Corps." Well (laughter), I didn't intend a career in the JAG Corps. And so I called my wife and just like that, we ended up back in Washington [D.C.] with me assigned to the Pentagon as a captain. And six months after I got there, one of the deputy assistant secretaries in manpower in Veteran Affairs [U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs], a lawyer himself, who had been at Harvard [Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts] and had been in the general counsel's honors program, was looking for an assistant and interviewed me. And so I was moved up from the army staff to the army secretary, to the office of the assistant secretary, the (unclear) in a position called assistant for civil rights, because in 1969 and '68 [1968], the [U.S.] Army, indeed, the [U.S.] military were going through some severe problems, both in Vietnam and in Europe. In Vietnam, they were in a combat theater; in Europe, they were a garrison state, but waiting for the big one. And so problems of drugs and race were cropping up everywhere. The secretary of the army then, Stan Resor [Stanley R. Resor], Democrat, wanted his assistant secretary and John Kessler [sic. Gary K. Kessler], the deputy assistant secretary, to have the ability to focus on those issues. I was not the first in that job. The other captain, not African American, who had left active duty. And so for three and a half years, I was involved--and I don't wanna overstate this, but it was right there. In the Army's development of its policies with respect to drugs and race, especially race, around the world. I traveled with the secretary. I wrote speeches for the secretary. I went to meetings in the office that years later would be mine, except that a little captain, going to a meeting in the office of the secretary of the army doesn't get to sit near the secretary. He sits way back against the wall and all the colonels sit in front of him. But that was an extraordinary time.

Mahlon T. Puryear

Former deputy director of the National Urban League, Mahlon Puryear was born January 27, 1915, in Winston Salem, North Carolina. One of six children of a contractor, Puryear attended Columbian Heights High School, graduating in 1930 at age fourteen. He also received a diploma from Hampton Institute in 1936 and a B.S. in 1942 before earning a master’s from Columbia University Teachers College in 1948. He later studied at Colorado College in Greely, Colorado.

From 1936 to 1940, he was part owner with his father of Puryear and Sons Builders before teaching at Hampton Institute and Delaware State for three years. From 1943 to 1945 Puryear worked as personnel counselor for Wright Aero Company in New Jersey, when he left to work for the American Red Cross in Maryland and Okinawa. Puryear then went on to serve as a dean at Arkansas A.M.& N College from 1947 until 1951. That year, the National Urban League hired him, and he went on to hold twenty-five different titles including Director of the Southern Field Division. In 1957, Puryear left to direct Tuskegee Institute’s Technical Education Program in Indonesia. Returning to the Urban League after a year, Puryear was transferred to New York in 1962. By 1972, he was Director of the Economic Development Department with a staff of seventy-five persons and a budget of more than $30 million dollars. He opened new affiliates in Charlotte, North Carolina, and in Orange County California in 1982 and 1983, respectively. Primarily focused on education, Puryear worked along side Whitney M. Young and Vernon Jordan to bring opportunities to African American youth.

Retiring after fifty-three years of service, Puryear lives in Baltimore where he enjoys visits from his two daughters and grandchildren.

Puryear was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 15, 2003.

Mr. Puryear passed away on September 26, 2007.

Accession Number

A2003.268

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/15/2003

Last Name

Puryear

Maker Category
Middle Name

Tasker

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Columbian Heights High School

Hampton University

Depot Street School

First Name

Mahlon

Birth City, State, Country

Winston-Salem

HM ID

PUR02

Favorite Season

None

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hong Kong

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/27/1915

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweet Potatoes

Death Date

9/26/2007

Short Description

Nonprofit executive Mahlon T. Puryear (1915 - 2007 ) is the former deputy director of the National Urban League. He also served the Urban League as Director of the Southern Field Division and Director of the Economic Development Department.

Employment

Puryear & Sons

Hampton Institute

Delaware State University

Wright Aero Company

American Red Cross

Arkansas AM&N College

National Urban League (NUL)

Tuskegee University

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:8266,222:35138,509:35603,515:37938,532:41836,564:50284,709:54195,734:54790,743:66483,847:67147,856:69139,891:91892,1128:93014,1155:93344,1161:97184,1188:101430,1233:107560,1329:107910,1336:108190,1341:109520,1411:160605,1978:168850,2075:169570,2084:170290,2094:173944,2124:174440,2133:206764,2547:227842,2775:229114,2834:237544,2881:244624,2980:246460,2988:260132,3148:263060,3184$0,0:5245,62:6669,86:7292,94:9844,164:18059,333:20980,373:22456,395:24506,427:28084,524:41532,641:43716,680:46135,693:46499,698:49957,763:64091,904:64709,912:65121,917:71953,972:125478,1506:128110,1577:128430,1582:130686,1592:133010,1602:133659,1621:134721,1642:135193,1651:137782,1663:143506,1883:145354,1913:147868,1931:148460,1940:151422,1966:151730,1975:152654,1993:155720,2004:157430,2024:161503,2076:178366,2253:193941,2375:194209,2380:196794,2477:197026,2489:198302,2526:202482,2576:211208,2673:220080,2740:220320,2745:229342,2797:232672,2844:232916,2852:241550,2950:241830,2955:245522,3004:245894,3009:256678,3120:258064,3142:263290,3210:263898,3222:271638,3330:272506,3339:273622,3349:279980,3424:295430,3651
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Mahlon T. Puryear's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Mahlon T. Puryear describes the origin of his first name

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about his birth

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about the importance of a college education in his family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about the origin of his last name

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about his mother's parents working for the Hanes family of Hanesbrands Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Mahlon T. Puryear describes his parents' education and his family life

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Mahlon T. Puryear states his birthdate and talks about his career

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Mahlon T. Puryear finishes slating his interview

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Mahlon T. Puryear lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about the older members of his mother's family

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Mahlon T. Puryear describes his father's activities and registering to vote

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about how his parents met, his siblings, and the family business

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Mahlon T. Puryear describes riding in the drawing room of a Pullman train car and being punished for lying about it

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about his childhood home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and his father's painting business

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about attending Depot Street School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about everyday life growing up in the Puryear household

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Mahlon T. Puryear describes his family's eating habits

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Mahlon T. Puryear describes attending Columbia Heights High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Mahlon T. Puryear describes the history of Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about attending Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Mahlon T. Puryear describes working for the family business, Royal Puryear and Sons

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Mahlon T. Puryear remembers the first time he danced

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Mahlon T. Puryear describes meeting his wife and her education background

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Mahlon T. Puryear describes avoiding the draft for World War Two

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about working for the American Red Cross during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about the Tuskegee Institute's Technical Education Program in Indonesia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Mahlon T. Puryear describes meeting Julius A. Thomas and working with the Urban League

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about his role as deputy executive director for the National Urban League in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about the function of the Urban League and its branches

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about the Urban League's mission to open jobs to African Americans

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about the strategy of the Urban League

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Mahlon T. Puryear explains how each Urban League branch is different

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about the importance of breaking down racial barriers, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about the importance of breaking down racial barriers, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Mahlon T. Puryear talks about the importance of schools preparing students for future employment

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Mahlon T. Puryear considers what he would have done differently in his life

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Mahlon T. Puryear describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Mahlon T. Puryear narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
Mahlon T. Puryear remembers the first time he danced
Mahlon T. Puryear describes meeting Julius A. Thomas and working with the Urban League
Transcript
Now, where did you meet your wife [Ruby Hamilton Puryear]?$$At Hampton [Institute, later, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia].$$Okay. You didn't tell us that part now, you were shy when you got up there.$$She--I was a senior, and I played football. I made a couple (unclear) when I was playing football. I was secretary of the varsity club, and we had a dance after dinner, and before what happened in Ogden Hall [Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia] on Saturday night for the visiting dean. For the first game, we invited senior women to be there, to be escorted to this dance by the visiting football players. And, the coaches usually brought thirty-five guys. So, we had to identify thirty-five senior women to be their date for that Saturday night. And, we arranged for them to go to whatever happened in Ogden Hall at no cost. I remember going to one of the dances, a girl asking me, "Don't you dance?" And, I lied and said, "Yes." And she said, "But I don't ever see you dancing on the floor." I said, "Okay, I'll take you to the next dance." I met her after dinner on Saturday night, escorted her to the museum where the dance was being held. And, stopped at the door and said, "You wanna come to the dance, you're here, goodnight." And, walked off. I went down to my room, listening to the radio, and when I came back up to what was happening in Ogden Hall, it was a movie. She was standing on Ogden Hall steps, and saw me coming and stood there until I got there and said, "I waited for you." And, I said, "Go ahead and buy the tickets I'll meet you inside." She went in there and bought herself a ticket go to--took her seat and left me standing outdoors. And, I went and bought my own ticket and went to the movies. And, a girl from Norfolk [Virginia] said to me a little later, "The reason I didn't dance is I didn't know how to dance." She said, "I'll teach you to dance." And, I said, "Okay, I'll come to the, the Christmas--no, the New Year's dance, for the students who did not go home, the school had a dance for them. And, I was standing under the tree, under the light, wasn't thinking about any dance. And, somebody tapped me on the shoulder, and it was Adeline Monroe [ph.] saying, "This is the New Year's night, and this is the night you promised to learn how to dance. I dropped my head and went with her to the guy and we got there, everybody out on the floor dancing, I'm over on the side talking. And, I didn't know where Adeline was. And she was a good dancer. At intermission time, she came over and said, "I know what you've been doing. You've been trying to stay out of my way so you don't have to dance. As, soon as intermission's over, we're going out there and dance." And, she told me, you know, "You can march so you know how to keep time. You just march to the music sideways and forward." The students had never seen me on a dance floor. So, I take Adeline and we go to the middle of the floor, into the crowd. When the kids saw me, they all pulled away and left Adeline and me in the middle of the gym floor, and that's, and that's where I had to stay. And, that's the first dancing I ever did in my life.$Now, how did you get involved with the Urban League?$$In 1940 when Julius [A.] Thomas came to Hampton [Institute, later, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia], he came to meet with the Committee on Fair Employment [sic, Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC)]. The president of Hampton [Malcom MacLean] was the chairman of the committee. [President Franklin Delano] Roosevelt, President, signed the order setting up the committee, but congress wouldn't give them any money; like a hundred thousand dollars, that's no money. So, all the meetings of the committee were held at Hampton, where Dr. [Malcom] MacLean was, you see. And, I happened to have arrived at Hampton to teach at the same time the committee was in session. 'Cause I taught on the night program, and these meetings were during the day. Julius Thomas, who represented the [National] Urban League [New York, New York], I did not know at that time that Julius Thomas' mother and my grandmother was sisters. I didn't find out 'til eighteen years later, eighteen years later. I happened to be in Winston-Salem [North Carolina], and my grandmother's brother Bob--Cortez [Puryear] carried me by, and he said "How's your cousin Julius?" I said, "I don't have a cousin Julius." He said, "Don't you know Julius Thomas at the Urban League?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "Well, he's my sister's son." That's how I found out. I was working for the man all those years. In 1949, Julius Thomas got some corporations to come to, to meet at Tuskegee [Institute, later, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama] to talk about the automated programs that were coming. It was also computer work. And, they were meeting at Tuskegee to get Foster [Dr. Luther Foster, Jr., president of Tuskegee Institute from 1953- 1981 ; Dr. Frederick D. Patterson was president of Tuskegee Institute from 1945-1953] the president, to let these corporations put up the money to set up a training program so the kids could take the program and go to work. The mistake was made in calling it maintenance because as soon as you said, maintenance, to black students, you're talking about mopping and sweeping. And, the students wouldn't come to the sessions. If they came to the sessions, wasn't answering the question. They don't need to come to a meeting this much for a mop job. They were at Tuskegee to learn how to do better than that. After about a day and a half, I realized what had happened, and I got with Mr. Thomas and some of the corporate folk, and said, "We got to change the name." And, we called it, 'Industrial Technology.' And, boy the students came out of the wall. Because that was a new name, and they found out that all these tools, and the processes and corporations were having that requires automated equipment wasn't any good unless there was somebody on the scene to keep it working. And, this was the program they wanted to set up at Tuskegee, see. And, Mr. Thomas, for some reason liked the way I operated it, and his mind went back to 1940. Then to 1950. And, I looked up and they had gotten a grant at the National Urban League to run career conferences in selected black colleges. And, he told Ms. [Ann] Tannehill, who was running the program to get in touch with me. And, that's how I got on the staff of the Urban League. See, I had spent sixteen, seventeen years as a volunteer with the--with Mr. Thomas and with the Englewood, New Jersey Urban League [Urban League of Bergen County, Englewood, New Jersey]. And, now I'm on the national staff, and I took off.$$Okay. Now, what year was that when you--$$Nineteen fifty-one [1951].$$Nineteen fifty-one [1951].