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Nina M. Wells

Lawyer and state government appointee Nina Mitchell Wells was born in 1950 in Washington, D.C. She attended Immaculate Conception Academy, an all-girl catholic high school, and graduated from there in 1968. Wells then enrolled in Mount St. Joseph College, now Mount St. Joseph University, in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1970, she transferred to a women’s college, Newton College of the Sacred Heart, where she received her B.A. degree in 1972. Wells went on to receive her J.D. degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1976.

After a brief stay in Los Angeles, California, Wells began her legal career as assistant corporation counsel for the City of Newark legal department. In 1990, Wells served as head of the Division of Rate Counsel in the Department of the Public Advocate while Governor Jim Florio was in office. She then served as vice president and senior attorney at the CIT Group from 1994 until 1996. In 1996, Wells was hired at Rutgers University School of Law and served as the assistant dean for the Minority Student Program. In 1998, she was named vice president of public affairs at Schering-Plough Corporation and president of their philanthropic arm, Schering-Plough Foundation. Wells was then appointed to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine’s cabinet as the Secretary of State of New Jersey in 2006, and served in that position until 2010.

Wells has served on numerous boards including Seton Hall Preparatory School, Newark Day Center and Teach for America. In 2013, she served on the board of trustees of both the Victoria Foundation and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center Women’s Association. She received a nomination by President Barack Obama to serve on the board of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Wells has also been the recipient of several awards and honors such as the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association Women’s Initiative & Leaders in Law (WILL) Platinum Award and the Montclair Art Museum Honoree for Arts Education. Wells has received honorary degrees from Drew University and the College of St. Elizabeth.

Wells and her husband, criminal defense lawyer Theodore Wells, reside in Livingston, New Jersey.

Nina Wells was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 11, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.216

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/11/2014

Last Name

Wells

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Mitchell

Schools

Immaculate Conception Academy

Mount St Joseph University

Newton College of the Sacred Heart

Suffolk University Law School

First Name

Nina

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

WEL04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Grand Cayman

Favorite Quote

You Only Live Once.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/9/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

State government appointee and lawyer Nina M. Wells (1950 - ) served as the Secretary of State for New Jersey from 2006 to 2010.

Employment

City of Newark Legal Department

Department of the Public Advocate

CIT Group

Rutgers Law School-Newark

Schering-Plough Corporation

Schering-Plough Foundation

Governor Jon Corzine's Cabinet (New Jersey)

Garfinkel's

U.S. Social Security Administration

New Jersey Bell Telephone Company

Bell Communications Research

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nina M. Wells' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nina M. Wells lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nina M. Wells lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nina M. Wells talks about her paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nina M. Wells describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nina M. Wells remembers her relationship with her father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nina M. Wells describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nina M. Wells describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nina M. Wells describes her extracurricular activities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Nina M. Wells remembers her summer jobs in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Nina M. Wells remembers modeling for Garfinkel's in Washington, D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nina M. Wells remembers modeling for Garfinkel's in Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nina M. Wells describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nina M. Wells describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nina M. Wells remembers visiting her parental grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nina M. Wells talks about her aspiration to attend college

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nina M. Wells describes her social life during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nina M. Wells talks about her social activities

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nina M. Wells remembers dating her husband

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Nina M. Wells remembers transferring to Newton College of the Sacred Heart in Newton Centre, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Nina M. Wells describes her experiences at Newton College of the Sacred Heart

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nina M. Wells describes her decision to attend the Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nina M. Wells talks about the early years of her marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nina M. Wells talks about the differences between law schools

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nina M. Wells remembers studying at Langdell Hall in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nina M. Wells describes her experiences at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nina M. Wells remembers the first case as counsel to the City of Newark

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nina M. Wells describes her reasons for moving to Newark, New Jersey, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nina M. Wells describes her reasons for moving to Newark, New Jersey, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nina M. Wells describes her role as counsel to the City of Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nina M. Wells talks about the Garden State Bar Association

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nina M. Wells recalls the notable African American lawyers in New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nina M. Wells remembers the events of the 1970s in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nina M. Wells describes her role at the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nina M. Wells talks about the breakup of the Bell system

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nina M. Wells describes her experiences at Bell Communications Research, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Nina M. Wells describes her work with the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nina M. Wells talks about New Jersey Governor James Florio

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nina M. Wells describes her involvement on charitable boards, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nina M. Wells describes her involvement on charitable boards, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nina M. Wells talks about her two-year sabbatical

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Nina M. Wells describes how she came to work for CIT Financial Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Nina M. Wells recalls her assistant deanship of Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Nina M. Wells talks about balancing her career and her family

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Nina M. Wells describes her position at the Schering Plough Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Nina M. Wells remembers meeting New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Nina M. Wells talks about her relationship with New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Nina M. Wells describes how she became the New Jersey secretary of state

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Nina M. Wells remembers honoring Judge Robert L. Carter

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Nina M. Wells remembers the election of President Barack Obama

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Nina M. Wells talks about the political role of the New Jersey Department of State

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Nina M. Wells talks about New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Nina M. Wells describes her experiences as New Jersey secretary of state, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Nina M. Wells describes her experiences as New Jersey secretary of state, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Nina M. Wells talks about the defunding of the New Jersey Network

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Nina M. Wells talks about diversity and segregation in New Jersey

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Nina M. Wells talks about New Jersey politics

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Nina M. Wells recalls her appointment to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Nina M. Wells reflects upon her marriage to Theodore V. Wells, Jr.

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Nina M. Wells describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Nina M. Wells describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Nina M. Wells reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Nina M. Wells narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Nina M. Wells narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

8$5

DATitle
Nina M. Wells remembers dating her husband
Nina M. Wells remembers honoring Judge Robert L. Carter
Transcript
So tell, talk about meeting Ted [Wells' husband, HistoryMaker Theodore V. Wells, Jr.].$$Yeah. Well, I, like I said, I knew a lot of the kids from Coolidge [Calvin Coolidge High School; Calvin Coolidge Senior High School, Washington, D.C.], and a young man had asked me to go on a bus trip, and the bus trip was sponsored by the coach of Calvin Coolidge, the football coach. So if the team did well every year, he would take them on a bus ride to--we were going to see the Baltimore Bullets [Washington Wizards] play in Baltimore [Maryland], basketball game. So it was like a big deal. So this young man asked me to go, and I said, sure. So I'm on the bus, and sitting in front of me was Ted--excuse me, and his girlfriend. Then afterwards, he--Ted turned around and saw me, and then he said to my date, "Let's trade numbers, phone numbers," so they traded phone numbers, so Ted called me. But at the time, he was known as Tokey. He was a jock. And I kind of knew about him, and he was like in a nice crowd, but not exactly my crowd. Like if he'd come to the parties, he wouldn't get in the front door. They would end up coming in later when somebody would open the door for them.$$(Laughter).$$So I was like, I know this guy. I seen him come in the back door. I'm like, he's not one of the invitees, invited guests, so I told him I didn't--wasn't interested. I said, "No, I know you, and I know your friends, and that's--no, no thank you." So he kept calling me, and then he had a friend call and say, "Oh, I can, I can tell you, he's really a good guy. He's really smart. He does well in school. He's really nice." I was like, "No, I don't--I'm not interested." So he kept on, kept on, kept on calling. He goes, "Why don't you even give me a chance? Like one date." I was like, I don't know. So I said, okay. So I went out on one date with him, and I was like totally impressed 'cause I thought he was more of a--I used to say, "You're, you're just a hoodlum, and your friends are hoodlums." But I just meant that they were like, you know, kind of really out there, but he was so nice, and he was so well dressed, and I thought he was going come with some hip hop clothes on, and he had on Bass weejuns [G.H. Bass and Company], and I was like, oh, my god. You look nice. So from that point on, I thought maybe he was worthy of my attention, so--and then I found out that he was really like--really interested in going to college, too, which was really important 'cause at first my father [Ignatius Mitchell, Jr.] did not like him.$$Oh, he didn't.$$No.$$What did he say?$$No. He was I don't really--I don't know. He's--Ted was pretty much raised by his mom [Phyllis Wells]. He goes, "Oh, a single parent." I'm like, "I'm [sic.] a single parent." And my father said, "No, I don't think I really like him. I don't think he's a good date." And I said, "Well, you don't know him. You have to get to meet him, meet his family and everything." So once Ted--once my father met Ted's mother, he said, "Oh, she's really lovely." And then, believe it or not, Ted's family, once we started dating, his family, his mother and sister [Toni Wells] would join us for Christmas dinner for like years, and then when we decided to get married, we just got married at, at a Christmas dinner informally, so it was so interesting how the mothers really became friends.$$Oh, the two mothers became friends (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yes, yes.$$Okay. Not the fath--$$Yeah.$$The two mothers.$$The mothers 'cause Ted's father [Theodore V. Wells, Sr.] wasn't in the picture.$$Right.$$And then--$$Right.$$--my father thought Ted's mother was quite lovely, too.$$Okay.$$But my father didn't join us for dinner. My mother [Pearline Jackson Smith], remember, was (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I see.$$--remarried, yeah.$$So you know--$$So it was interesting how we kind of merged the two families, yeah (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Because I read that you went to see movies your first date, 'Fahrenheit'--maybe 45- (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) '451.' That was--well, that was the first date, but don't forget, when I met Ted, that wasn't a date.$$Right. That--$$They switched (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) that was on the bus.$$Yes. How did you read that?$$Go on, all right.$$Where did that come from? That's true, 'Fahrenheit 451,' yeah, absolutely. Thank you for refreshing my recollection, yeah. I--we used to--I used to keep track. I'd write down every date and give it a grade (laughter). For years and years I had a record of every place we went, and then I would evaluate it. I mean, how was it? And what was he like? (Unclear), right?$So (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah.$$--talk about what, what happened.$$Yeah.$$You became the--$$Yeah. I became the secretary of state for New Jersey, and previous governors had moved certain functions out of the department for a variety of reasons, and Governor Corzine wanted to put it back in. But one of the fun things I did was, I was part of the senior staff, which really meant that you met with the governor every single day at eight o'clock in the morning, and, basically, what you would do is you sat around with like ten people, and you talked about all the priorities for the administration, what we were going to do that day, what public events there were, how we were going to execute things, and, basically, you, you were like the pulse of state government every single day, you know. Were there key issues you'd heard about that the governor needed to be aware of? If he was, you know, considering certain actions, what was your reaction? How did you feel about things, and, you know, so you were sort of eyes and ears outside of your own cabinet position, so you got a chance to really see everything that was going on in the state government, and to--and, politically, and you were--you know, had the political, you know, you have to be attuned to what was happening politically, comment accordingly, and if you saw opportunities. One of the really fun, fun, fun things I did, and I have a picture to capture it, is Ted [Wells' husband, HistoryMaker Theodore V. Wells, Jr.] said to me, "While you're there, ask the governor--we got to give Judge Robert L. Carter [HistoryMaker Robert L. Carter], we got to get him a building, a school, a school, a building, something. Nina [HistoryMaker Nina M. Wells], you're on a mission. Let's go do it." So I talked to Jon Corzine, and he says, "I'm fascinated with Judge Carter's career." I said--twenty-four [U.S.] Supreme Court arguments, won twenty-three. You know, argued Brown versus Board of Education decisions [Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954], you know, before Thurgood [Thurgood Marshall] did, and Thurgood is getting feedback, and then they go and they come, the whole nine yards. 'Simple Justice' ['Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality,' Richard Kluger], you know, right, taking the pages out of 'Simple Justice.' And Corzine said, "What a phenomenal idea. Let's see what we can do." And I talked to Cory [Cory Booker], and it's like, "Cory, give me a school." "Everything is just so school board, and it's so difficult." So I said, "We got to find a building. We got to find a building, got a find a building." The department of education [New Jersey Department of Education], we said, "That's the perfect building," in Trenton [New Jersey], right. So I have this wonderful--we had a reception for Judge Carter here. Of course, we had a wonderful--at the department of education, we had the entire department, all of these great, you know, key people in state government, and governors come out and dedicate the department of education building [Robert L. Carter Building] to Judge Robert L. Carter. I'll show you the signage that is in front of it. And that morning, we were all set for the media and everything. That morning Judge Carter's wonderful son called and said Judge Carter was too sick to even get in the car. You know, he had coronary heart disease. I mean, this was maybe five years before he passed. He was very sick. And he said, "But we're coming," he and his brother [John Carter and David Carter]. He said, "We're coming and we'll speak and everything." And we're like, "No problem." So we have this wonderful, wonderful ceremony. Everybody in the department of education was going like really crazy. What's really nice, though, is that it's been memorialized in the lobby. First of all, there's a beautiful, huge sign which I'll show you. Then this--his, his bust, a plaque, the whole history of everything he did. They said busloads come to that building, it's like on the, you know, tour. If you come down to the statehouse in Trenton, that's one of the things that's a must see. Busloads of kids get out and read about Judge Robert L. Carter, which I think--who was a New Jerseyan, right?$$Now, so (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah.$$--talk about his relationship with New Jersey and his, you know--$$Yeah. Started school in Newark [New Jersey], and his father [Robert L. Carter, Sr.] died. His mother [Annie Martin Carter] was a nurse, and she moved the family to East Orange [New Jersey], and he went to high school in East Orange. And, I mean, a lot of people from Newark and from--of course, he was a top, top, top student at Barringer High School [Barringer Academy of the Arts and Humanities] in Newark. A lot of people do not know, and in East Orange and graduated with honors, but he had a lot of challenges, though, because East Orange, at that time, was primarily Caucasian, and they didn't want him even to use the swimming pool, and he talks about how, you know, he dealt with all of the racism and everything and still graduated the tippy top of his class, and, you know, and then went Lincoln University [Lincoln University, Pennsylvania] and then on to Columbia Law School [New York, New York]. But a lot of people in Newark do not know him, so it's so nice now to have the department of education building in Trenton dedicated to him, and so it's exposed people in a way that they never would have been exposed, and then Raymond M. Brown, the son of the famous lawyer [Raymond A. Brown], although, he is also very famous, has a program called 'Due Process,' and they did a whole segment on Judge Carter right as he passed, so it's a wonderful piece, and they've replayed it over and over and over again, and I wish it could be part of something in your library.$$I, I actually saw, saw the piece (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Did you see the program?$$I saw the program.$$Yeah.$$So--$$Letting people in Newark know--$$Right.$$--in New Jersey.$$So let me--I mean, that was a wonderful thing to do. Did he, did he get to see the wall, though?$$He, he never got to see it. Although, we had pictures.$$Oh.$$Because in his later years, he couldn't travel. Don't forget Trenton for him would have been two hours in the car, but his sons--you should see the pictures, amazing. We did a whole portfolio. But then we had a reception here at the apartment, and I, I brought it out so you could see it.

Lula Ford

Illinois Commerce Commissioner Lula Mae Ford was born on March 11, 1944 to a family of nine in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Ford’s father was a World War II veteran that worked most of his life in the Pine Bluff Arsenal, and her mother was a homemaker who also instilled in Ford, as a child, the importance of education. After attending Coleman High School in Pine Bluff, Ford went on to graduate from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 1965. She then relocated to Chicago, Illinois where she pursued her M.A. degree in urban studies at Northeastern University and later earned her M.A. degree in science, career education and vocational guidance from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

In 1965, Ford began her teaching career at Horner Elementary School. She served in that capacity until 1975 when she became a counselor for at-risk students. Then in 1976, Ford was hired as the mathematics coordinator at McCorkle Elementary School. She resigned from that position in 1979 to become a liaison for parents and the principal selection committee as the ESEA Reading Teacher and Coordinator. Later in 1984, while serving as a math teacher for John Hope Academy, Ford became the coordinator for the Effective Schools Campaign, organizing GED programs and the school’s black history programs. Ford went on to become the principal for Beethoven Elementary School and was awarded the principal of excellence award for her performance in 1992, 1993 and 1994. She also provided administrative leadership when she fulfilled the position of assistant superintendent of Chicago Public Schools in 1994. Afterwards, from 1995 until 1996, Ford served as the chief instruction officer, advising teachers and faculty on the best teaching practices.

Ford has received many awards and recognitions for her achievements in the field of education including: the Walter H. Dyett Middle School Women in History Award, the Kathy Osterman Award, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Arkansas, Pine Bluff and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Northeastern Illinois University. Ford was hired as the assistant director of central management services for the State of Illinois from 1999 until 2003. In 2003, Ford was appointed to the Illinois Commerce Commission and was reappointed to the same office in 2008.

Ford is an active member of many civic organizations including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Lakeshore Chapter (IL) of The Links, Incorporated, and the board of the Trinity Higher Education Corporation.

Ford lives in Illinois and is the proud mother of one adult daughter, Charisse Ford.

Ford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 21, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.022

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/21/2008

Last Name

Ford

Schools

Coleman High School

Coleman Elementary School

New Town School

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

First Name

Lula

Birth City, State, Country

Pine Bluff

HM ID

FOR11

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Favorite Quote

Help Me, Jesus.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

3/11/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Shrimp

Short Description

Education executive, state government appointee, and elementary school principal Lula Ford (1944 - ) held teaching, administrative and counseling positions at several of the Chicago Public Schools before becoming the district's assistant superintendent. She also served on the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Employment

Henry Horner School

Helen J. McCorkle School

John Hope Community Academy

Ludwig Van Beethoven Elementary School

Chicago Public Schools

Illinois Department of Central Management Services

Illinois Commerce Commission

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:4575,77:11700,232:19114,318:20588,358:28427,534:44734,756:46456,774:59308,950:59698,956:64144,1044:65938,1077:74839,1238:78993,1342:88480,1424:89160,1438:96615,1677:99188,1764:99644,1771:100252,1781:116010,1932:120400,2046$0,0:3610,20:4370,33:12578,208:13110,216:14630,266:15162,274:17214,359:29654,551:36623,719:38831,779:39521,787:48400,865:50575,902:51550,926:68202,1144:68586,1151:69994,1186:71594,1229:72106,1242:73066,1272:73386,1278:78680,1330:79618,1353:84628,1415:95238,1693:97086,1777:99858,1849:101244,1881:101904,1902:102300,1909:102564,1942:104214,1967:104610,1978:105534,2004:111792,2071:113808,2103:115824,2151:117420,2187:118428,2203:118848,2212:127254,2316:133622,2398:136943,2487:142300,2579:144736,2617:149758,2694:153858,2742:155055,2773:166374,2937:175895,3034:181220,3108:182195,3125:182720,3133:183095,3139:196898,3280:218855,3662:225755,3797:227890,3887:236947,3992:242000,4050:244457,4132:252778,4267:254940,4293
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lula Ford's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lula Ford lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lula Ford describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lula Ford talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lula Ford describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lula Ford talks about her father's experiences in the U.S. Army

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lula Ford describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lula Ford recalls her neighborhood in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lula Ford remembers her early religious experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lula Ford describes her elementary school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lula Ford recalls her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lula Ford remembers the civil rights activities in Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lula Ford recalls the discipline of Principal C.P. Coleman

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lula Ford remembers the African American community in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lula Ford remembers the Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lula Ford talks about her interests at the Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lula Ford recalls her civil rights activities in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lula Ford describes the black business district in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lula Ford remembers moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lula Ford describes the start of her teaching career

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lula Ford recalls her first impressions of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lula Ford remembers the influential figures in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lula Ford recalls teaching at the John Hope Academy in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lula Ford talks about the desegregation of the Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lula Ford describes her graduate studies

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lula Ford recalls her transition to educational administrative positions

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lula Ford talks about Harold Washington's mayoral campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lula Ford describes her work at the Ludwig Van Beethoven Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lula Ford recalls her accomplishments as the principal of Ludwig Van Beethoven Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lula Ford describes her administrative roles in the Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lula Ford talks about the underperformance of the Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lula Ford describes her assistant directorship of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lula Ford talks about her experiences as an Illinois Commerce Commissioner

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lula Ford describes her organizational memberships

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lula Ford talks about the Citizens Utility Board and Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lula Ford describes her social and political volunteer work

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lula Ford describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lula Ford reflects upon her life and legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lula Ford describes her family and how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lula Ford narrates her photographs

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Lula Ford describes the black business district in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Lula Ford recalls her accomplishments as the principal of Ludwig Van Beethoven Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois
Transcript
Okay, now before we leave Pine Bluff [Arkansas], tell us something about 3rd Street [sic. Avenue]? Third Street was a, I would call a, the black metropolis of downtown Main Street. You had all kinds of black businesses, the beauty colleges were there. Wiley Branton taxis [Branton's 98, Pine Bluff, Arkansas], their family owned the taxicab, black taxicab company.$$Wiley Branton [Wiley A. Branton, Sr.]?$$His family the Brantons owned the taxi cab company. Then there was a hotel there, exclusively for blacks. And everybody who would leave out of, if you wanted to go eat, where you could sit you would go to 3rd Street. You could find everything barber shops, beauty shops, every. And, and certainly juke joints, all that would be on 3rd Street. Downtown was Main Street, you know, where you have the stores, Kresge [S.S. Kresge Company] and Woolworths [F.W. Woolworth Company] all those kinds of things would be on the Main Street. And I think that was probably 5th [Avenue] or 6th Avenue but 3rd Street was where most blacks would come up from the rural areas and would be able to get food and just have a good time.$$Okay, so a lot of pe- people from the smaller towns would come, come into (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Small towns came to Pine Bluff.$$Would they come in on the weekends and something?$$They'd come in on a Saturday.$$Okay. Was there a lot of live music in those days?$$Yeah, you, I met, when I was in college [Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College; University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, Arkansas], that's the first time I saw Ike and Tina Turner Revue and Bobby Bland. We had what was known as the Rec- Townsend Recreational Center [sic. Townsend Park Recreation Center, Pine Bluff, Arkansas]. And that's where you would have the live acts. Bobby "Blue" Bland's band would come in. As I said Ike and Tina Turner Revue, that's where I first saw them.$$Okay, was it unusual for, for the big named acts to come through?$$No, not for Pine Bluff (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Okay.$After I, I, I added bicycles for perfect attendance all year, I got a--bought I don't know how many bicycles my first year. And iss- gave them out for perfect attendance. So, it improved my attendance but, because when, if you have five children in the family and monitor them and I say why is this child absent, they say, "He has chickenpox." I knew then that if he, he has five brothers and sisters next week they are gonna be out. So, I, then I told the board [Chicago Board of Education] I said, "You all got to give me a waiver, so I can get some perfect attendance here, because my children, there's an epic- chickenpox epidemic. Any time you have this close of quarters and you have this many children in a family you're gonna have that." So, I've had indicators of success always my first year. But, then I could see my children going out of a lower quarter, quartile. But, when I look back and saw that these children are getting ready to go to gym and taking out time away from task onto me. I must I need to, the second year I said I need to extend my school day. So, I brought my teachers in and I said, "I can pay you an hourly rate but I need you one hour after school. How many people," only wanted the names of the people who cannot stay. Only three people could not stay. That's because they were in school. I extended my school day from--to 3:30. And they could only teach reading, extend my reading. And that's when my scores began to improve. And that's the model that Paul Vallas took when he took over the Chicago Public Schools. He took the model that I had created at Beethoven [Ludwig Van Beethoven Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois] and that was extended day reading (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Really okay?$$If you know your children are not getting enough time on task and I know that my parents were not going to be able to do some of the kinds of things that I needed them to do, then I needed my children there longer. I also, brought another gym teacher. And then Compton [HistoryMaker James W. Compton] was the president of the school at that time and I did get the gym. That was one of my goals. The gym did come the year I left. And they named it after me the Ford Arena [ph.]. It was built but I was--$$Where, where is it?$$It's at the, it's in the school.$$At Beethoven?$$Beethoven yeah.$$Okay.$$Built it on the front side of the school.$$They call it the Ford Arena?$$Uh-huh.$$Okay.$$Oprah [Oprah Winfrey] adopted the school, when I was there. I did a grant with Stedman [Stedman Graham], I have a picture of that one over there. She adopted the school. And she would take my top reading scorers from kindergarten through eight out for lunch. She had, she did that two years and then she visited the school. So, we had a lot of support.$$Was it easy to get a hold of Oprah?$$I, I met her through Edmund, I mean Stedman.$$Okay.$$Uh-huh.$$Okay.$$But, you know, how that was, we did a grant together and then she got a lot, he got a lot of play out of that. And then she, the children went crazy, she would send limousines for them, of course they were excited about that. But, it was an interesting time to be in schools. But, I think I gained most of my weight being a principal. 'Cause you would be so tired at the evenings that you would go home and Gladys [Gladys Luncheonette, Chicago, Illinois] was in the area so I would get a dinner go home and go to bed. My daughter [Charisse Ford] was away in college and I had no husband at the time, so. But, it was very rewarding.$$Okay. Now, so you won, you won three awards during that period of time, you said. And Paul Vallas took your model. I mean did he ever officially acknowledge that was the model, he got?$$Yeah.$$Okay, all right.$$And the mayor came to our school.$$Okay.$$President Clinton [President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton] visited my school in 1994.$$Okay.$$Mrs. Edgar [Brenda Edgar], Jim Edgar's wife came out and read to my kindergarten children. I have pictures of that also over there. But, because and, and six legislators from the state came to see how I was spending my state Chapter I [Elementary and Secondary Education Act Chapter I] money. And that was the way I was spending it to make sure that my children got time on task.

Vel Phillips

State government appointee Velvalea Hortense Rodgers Phillips was born on February 2, 1924 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Russell Lowell Rodgers and Thelma Etha Payne Rodger. Growing up on Milwaukee’s South Side, she attended Garfield Avenue Elementary School, Roosevelt Junior High School, and North Division High School. There, Phillips won a prize for outstanding oratory for her speech, “The Negro and the Constitution,” which she wrote for the Elks Lodge Competition. She subsequently won a scholarship to Howard University in 1942. She earned her B.A. degree from Howard in 1946. Phillips became the first black woman to earn an L.L.B. degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1952.

Phillips became active in the NAACP and supported a redistricting referendum in 1950. Phillips lost a close race for a seat on the Milwaukee Common Council in 1953, but came back to become the first woman to win a council seat in 1956. Frequently involved in civil rights activities, Phillips introduced Milwaukee’s first open housing ordinance in 1962. In 1967, resistance to civil rights agitation turned violent when the NAACP headquarters was firebombed and the non-violent Phillips was the only city official arrested at a rally the next day. Joined by Catholic Father James Groppi and the NAACP Youth Council, Phillips led marches for fair housing in 1968, while riots swept the black community. Finally, that same year, Milwaukee’s open housing bill passed. In 1971, Phillips was appointed as the first woman to the Milwaukee County Judiciary, but lost the subsequent election to a white candidate. She then taught at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and became mentor to Black Student Union president and future member of the Common Council, Fred Gordon. In 1978, she became the first woman and first non-white to be elected as Wisconsin’s Secretary of State, making her the highest ranking female Wisconsin official in the 20th century. In 2002, Phillips was appointed “Distinguished Professor of Law” at Marquette University School of Law. She also chaired the successful congressional campaign of Gwen Moore in 2004 at age eighty. In 2006, Phillips founded the Vel Phillips Foundation which supports the work of people who are engaged in projects of social justice and change. She is also active on numerous civic boards in Milwaukee.

Phillips passed away on April 17, 2018.

Vel Phillips was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 2, 2007 and February 25, 2017.

Accession Number

A2007.338

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/2/2007 |and| 2/25/2017

Last Name

Phillips

Maker Category
Schools

North Division High School

Garfield Avenue Elementary School

Roosevelt Creative Arts Middle School

North Division Virtual University High School

University of Wisconsin Law School

First Name

Vel

Birth City, State, Country

Milwaukee

HM ID

PHI03

Favorite Season

September

State

Wisconsin

Favorite Vacation Destination

Camping

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Wisconsin

Birth Date

2/18/1924

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Milwaukee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Death Date

4/17/2018

Short Description

State government appointee Vel Phillips (1924 - 2018 ) was the former Wisconsin Secretary of State, the first woman and first non-white to be elected to the position.

Employment

State of Wisconsin

Milwaukee Common Council

Milwaukee County Judiciary

Favorite Color

Fall Colors

Timing Pairs
0,0:1138,23:2084,75:14640,321:20660,453:45628,936:88656,1580:122300,1972$0,0:510,6:8925,197:22225,355:27830,457:34010,480:41570,584:42110,591:48230,723:86083,1141:87093,1250:118686,1614:123292,1710:123782,1717:125448,1899:127996,1942:128388,1968:166265,2318:167630,2332:185710,2577:186985,2611:190210,2682:196620,2744:210988,2971:213844,3015:216868,3079:230458,3273:245282,3536:260000,3762
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vel Phillips' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vel Phillips lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vel Phillips describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vel Phillips talks about her maternal grandparents, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vel Phillips talks about her maternal grandparents, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vel Phillips describes how her mother was sent from Oklahoma to Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vel Phillips describes her parents' restaurant, Clara's Restaurant

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vel Phillips describes her mother's education

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vel Phillips talks about her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vel Phillips describes her parents' marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vel Phillips remembers thinking her family was poor as a child, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vel Phillips remembers thinking her family was poor as a child, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vel Phillips talks about Gwendolynne Moore

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vel Phillips describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Vel Phillips recalls earning a scholarship to Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vel Phillips describes her disciplinarian mother

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vel Phillips remembers her sheltered upbringing

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vel Phillips recalls competing in the Elks Oratorical Contest

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vel Phillips recalls her mother's reluctance to allow her to attend Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vel Phillips recalls her mother's rules for attending Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vel Phillips remembers arriving on campus at Howard University in 1942

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vel Phillips talks about her friendship with Mamie Hansberry

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Vel Phillips describes her orientation weekend at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Vel Phillips describes her childhood education and activities

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vel Phillips recalls serving as a mentor at Delta Theta Sigma Sorority

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vel Phillips remembers honoring her third grade teacher, Margaret Borkowski

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vel Phillips recalls being taught by Margaret Borkowski in the third grade

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vel Phillips describes how her third grade teacher influenced her career, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vel Phillips describes how her third grade teacher influenced her career, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vel Phillips recalls being discouraged from the Elks Oratorical Contest

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vel Phillips recalls composing her speech, The Negro and the Constitution

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Vel Phillips recalls being eliminated from the Elks Oratorical Contest

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Vel Phillips recalls a petition for her reentry to the Elks Oratorical Contest

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Vel Phillips remembers being readmitted to the Elks Oratorical Contest

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Vel Phillips remembers her winning performance in the Elks Oratorical Contest

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Vel Phillips' interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Vel Phillips recalls being ostracized by the members of the Milwaukee Common Council

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Vel Phillips talks about her experiences on the Common Council of Milwaukee, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Vel Phillips talks about her experiences on the Common Council of Milwaukee, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Vel Phillips remembers the support from the community during her tenure on the Common Council of Milwaukee

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Vel Phillips talks about Lloyd Barbee and Father James Groppi

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Vel Phillips talks about the racial discrimination in the television and film industries

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Vel Phillips reflects upon her political career, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Vel Phillips recalls the employment discrimination at the Common Council of Milwaukee office

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Vel Phillips talks about the governorship of Scott Walker

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Vel Phillips talks about her sons

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Vel Phillips reflects upon her political career, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Vel Phillips remembers her mother's advice on life

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Vel Phillips reflects upon her life

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

9$6

DATitle
Vel Phillips recalls earning a scholarship to Howard University
Vel Phillips remembers arriving on campus at Howard University in 1942
Transcript
When I wanted to go to Howard [Howard University, Washington, D.C.] and my mother [Thelma Payne Rodgers] had promised me, she had said, "You can't go, we can't afford it," and all like that. Then when she said--this is something that sort of shaped my life when, when I said, "Well suppose I win a scholarship?" I said that to my mother and she said, "Oh, if you win a scholarship, well of course if you don't, if I don't have to pay and say we can't afford--." So then I did, I won, I entered an Elk oratorical contest, and I won and John Daniels [HistoryMaker John W. Daniels, Jr.], who you interviewed--once when we were at a law, black lawyers [Wisconsin Association of African American Lawyers] meeting, their fundraiser was named after my husband, it was--their fundraiser was the W. Dale Phillips scholarship--they, you only had fundraiser a year. Two years ago they changed it; it's now called VelanDale Scholarship dinner, which is my husband's name and my name combined. But anyway, John got up and said, "You know I entered the Elk oratorical contest and I wanted to win to get a scholarship," he said, "but I didn't win," he was younger than me, "I didn't win," he said, "but I want you to know that [HistoryMaker] Vel Phillips who will be giving," I give the scholarship every year, "won the very scholarship that I did not win." So when I won this scholarship I said, I said, now can, oh, I, I was just fancying around the kitchen, we had a huge kitchen. I was going to be going to Howard. My mother said, "You're not going to Howard, you're, you're," and I said, "But you promised." Well she didn't care anything about rules like, if you promise a child--I mean Dr. Spock [Benjamin Spock] I guess hadn't even written a book--that you don't disappoint and change your mind. She thought she could change your mind, she was very strong willed and she said, I said well, "Why?" And she said, "Because I said so. It's too far away and this and that."$And I remember, we went to, all the--Truth Hall [Howard University, Washington, D.C.] was this, was the dorm for, for the freshman; and my mother [Thelma Payne Rodgers] took me to college and I'll never forget when we, we--she said, "We do not have enough money to fly, we're going on the train," and she had always told us that when the train stopped in Chicago [Illinois] that I just thought Chicago had, I felt, I actually thought that if you got off in Chicago there'd be men standing there with guns, you know. It was just (laughter) it was: "Do not get off the train ever. If you're going, if you take the train somewhere, don't get off in Chicago because you will be accosted and people will--they're ju- terrible people, a lot of gangsters live in Chicago," and stuff. So I, so we were on the train and this, the train stopped in Chicago and a lot of freshman with (gesture) 1946 Howard [Howard University, Washington, D.C.], 1946, which was--would be our graduating year 'cause this was '42 [1942]; and there were about oh, a bunch of them--five, six of them or so you know and they were just laughing and, and just being, being their age, but they were--Mother said that she saw a bottle being passed around and she said to me, "You see that, that's not--they're going to Howard and you're going to Howard. Just because they're going to Howard doesn't mean that they're not trash; they're trash because they're carousing, they're loud, they're drinking, probably smoking and you do not associate with any of those people who are on that, that." And I remember having to go to the bathroom and had to pass by this group. "Hey!" they said, said, said, "You with your momma, huh?" That's the first time I knew it wasn't so good to be with your momma (laughter). "I see you got your momma with you," you know. "You got big eyes, but you got your momma with you," and so I was just, boy that made me feel pretty good you know, is that I had, they had said that I had big eyes or something; and, but I then thought, oh gee, it wasn't cool to have your momma with you, and so I said, "Does everyone's parents take them to college?" I thought everyone's parents--she said, "But they probably don't have any parents if, some of them are probably drunk or in the tavern," you know (laughter). And I got to be friends, real close to all of them especially Mamie Hansberry, because Mamie Hansberry was--oh, oh when we were, the last day my mother said, "Well we're gonna move--," all the other parents, "and we're gonna visit the rooms." Now she had no pencil or paper with her, and we started from the third floor and the second--all, all the floors and we're going--and I remember Mamie Hansberry because she had on a little, she was smoking a cigarette and when we got back to our room, my mother said, "Now in," and then she named the numbers, "in 214 there was a girl, a young lady there, she was smoking a cigarette; do not associate with her. And such and such a person, the young lady that was from Ohio her name was Zoe Crumpler [ph.]," and the reason my mother said, "do not associate with her," and the reason was, think of this reason, because Zoe--her mother was still there, like my mother was still there, and Zoe, who I loved, from Youngstown, Ohio called her mother by her first name. "Oh, Bernice [ph.] would you hand me such and such," or whatever her name was. My mother--oh! So she was on the list because she called her mother by her first name and her mother said, "Oh, okay baby," you know. That was, that was their little thing. Her mother maybe said, "You can call me Bernice," or whatever her name was, and, and so she called her mother by her first name. My mother thought that was outrageous, and so she was on the list.

Myra McDaniel

Myra McDaniel was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Eva and Toronto Atwell on December 13, 1932. McDaniel attended the prestigious Philadelphia High School for Girls and went on to receive her B.A degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 1954. McDaniel then worked several administrative jobs at Baldwin Wallace College in Ohio and at Indiana University and received her J.D degree from the University of Texas School of Law at Austin in 1975.

McDaniel was hired by the Attorney General’s Office in Texas and worked her way up to chief of the taxation division in 1979. She then worked as counsel for the Railroad Commission. McDaniel then entered private practice in Midland Texas, but Governor Mark White appointed her as General Counsel to the governor. In 1984, she became the first African American in Texas history to serve as the Secretary of State. In this position, McDaniel was also the highest- ranked African American appointee in the history of Texas government. McDaniel then entered private practice in 1987 with Bickerstaff, Heath, Smiley, Pollan, Kever, and McDaniel, L.L.P., becoming the first African American woman to lead a major law firm as managing partner in 1995.

McDaniel has received numerous awards for her outstanding community service. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Bishop Quinn Foundation in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and past senior warden of Saint James Episcopal Church.

McDaniel is married to Dr. Reuben R. McDaniel, Professor of Management Science and Information Systems, at the University of Texas at Austin. McDaniel passed away on February, 25, 2010.

McDaniel was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 6, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.048

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/6/2007

Last Name

McDaniel

Maker Category
Middle Name

Atwell

Schools

Philadelphia High School for Girls

University of Pennsylvania

University of Texas at Austin School of Law

First Name

Myra

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

MCD02

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

12/13/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Austin

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chocolate (Dark)

Death Date

2/25/2010

Short Description

Administrative lawyer and state government appointee Myra McDaniel (1932 - 2010 ) was appointed the first African American woman in Texas history to serve as the Secretary of State. In this position, McDaniel was the highest-ranked African American appointee in the history of Texas government, later entering private practice as the first African American woman to lead a major law firm as managing partner.

Employment

Baldwin-Wallace College

Indiana University

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Naval Aviation Supply Office

Texas Attorney General's Office

Texas State Governor's Office

Bickerstaff Heath Smiley Pollan Keever and McDaniel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:2701,54:3285,64:6132,121:7665,148:8687,171:9198,180:12556,245:12921,251:13359,259:13651,264:22982,357:23297,363:23738,371:24305,377:24935,384:25376,392:25880,407:27329,436:27707,443:27959,448:32243,608:38685,666:39135,673:41235,708:41535,713:42285,728:45360,785:48960,891:49485,900:54903,909:55750,917:57565,936:61487,971:62177,983:62522,989:63419,1008:64661,1031:68525,1131:70112,1154:74640,1174:75306,1185:76416,1202:77304,1220:77674,1231:77970,1236:78266,1241:78784,1251:79302,1259:79820,1268:80190,1278:82262,1308:83964,1343:84778,1356:91836,1456:93576,1491:98738,1519:100118,1536:100854,1545:101222,1550:109797,1683:110211,1691:120874,1918:121166,1923:122845,1963:125473,2009:128028,2064:130948,2128:131240,2133:132189,2151:139702,2199:142222,2257:144454,2297:144814,2303:145246,2310:145822,2337:146686,2347:148414,2378:148702,2383:149998,2414:150574,2423:165263,2639:165691,2644:166440,2651:169526,2675:169931,2681:170255,2686:171389,2698:171956,2706:174143,2744:174629,2751:175034,2757:177059,2788:177626,2797:178679,2832:180704,2874:181109,2880:183782,2924:191733,3045:192146,3062:192913,3078:206480,3202:226610,3552$0,0:234,4:1322,19:2886,53:8258,162:8734,171:9482,185:9958,193:11318,230:24835,386:37755,700:38605,712:40475,737:46980,763:49990,817:50936,848:51366,854:56440,948:62890,1061:78376,1338:86503,1428:90479,1505:91544,1519:93248,1553:95946,1610:99425,1724:115735,1981:130122,2190:130596,2198:131070,2206:133993,2273:134309,2278:135257,2291:147200,2430
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Myra McDaniel's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Myra McDaniel lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Myra McDaniel describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Myra McDaniel describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Myra McDaniel describes her mother's ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Myra McDaniel describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Myra McDaniel describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Myra McDaniel describes her siblings

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

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Myra McDaniel remembers Jones Tabernacle A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Myra McDaniel describes her childhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Myra McDaniel remembers the impact of World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Myra McDaniel remembers the Philadelphia High School for Girls in Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Myra McDaniel recalls her parents' separation

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Myra McDaniel remembers her favorite literature

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Myra McDaniel describes her aspirations in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Myra McDaniel remembers the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Myra McDaniel recalls holiday celebrations

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Myra McDaniel describes her work experiences after college

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Myra McDaniel remembers meeting her husband, Reuben R. McDaniel

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Myra McDaniel remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Myra McDaniel remembers the deaths of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John F. Kennedy

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Myra McDaniel recalls working at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Myra McDaniel recalls her experiences at Baldwin-Wallace College

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Myra McDaniel recalls civil rights activism at Baldwin-Wallace College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Myra McDaniel describe her husband's 4-F draft status

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Myra McDaniel recalls moving to Bloomington, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Myra McDaniel remembers the University of Texas Law School in Austin

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Myra McDaniel recalls the lack of high profile female lawyers

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Myra McDaniel remembers being hired by the Texas attorney general

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Myra McDaniel recalls her work for the tax division of the Texas attorney general's office

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Myra McDaniel describes her cases for the Texas attorney general's office

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Myra McDaniel describes her work as general counsel to corporations in Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Myra McDaniel recalls her appointment as secretary of state in Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Myra McDaniel recalls her work as secretary of state in Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Myra McDaniel recalls meeting United States presidents

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Myra McDaniel describes her travels abroad, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Myra McDaniel describes her travels abroad, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Myra McDaniel recalls her managing partnership of Bickerstaff, Heath, Smiley, Pollan, Keever and McDaniel

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Myra McDaniel remembers defending the City of Austin

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Myra McDaniel describes her non-equity partnership at Bickerstaff, Heath, Smiley, Pollan, Keever and McDaniel

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Myra McDaniel shares her advice to young lawyers, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Myra McDaniel shares her advice to young lawyers, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Myra McDaniel remembers the attacks of September 11, 2001

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Myra McDaniel talks about Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Myra McDaniel describes her children

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Myra McDaniel reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Myra McDaniel describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Myra McDaniel describes her role at St. James Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Myra McDaniel narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

2$2

DATitle
Myra McDaniel recalls civil rights activism at Baldwin-Wallace College
Myra McDaniel recalls her appointment as secretary of state in Texas
Transcript
I'd also not lived in any small towns in the Midwest, which was very interesting indeed. In Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] people thought of me being very moderate, perhaps close to being the stodgy side of the world. I found out when I got to a small town in Ohio that I was kind of exotic (laughter). They thought of me as being very liberal indeed. You asked earlier about things dealing with the Civil Rights Movement. One of the things that happened while we were at Baldwin-Wallace [Baldwin-Wallace College; Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio] was there was a group of white couples who had got together who wanted to try to better understand the Civil Rights Movement and how African Americans felt about what was going on and all those things, and so they invited us to come, they met--I don't know whether they met every other week or once a month or whatever and they would have you come and discuss various things, so that was--it was very interesting, because you would find yourself, for example, defending the Black Panthers [Black Panther Party] who had just done something that at the moment you thought was pretty far out, on the edge, and trying to explain to someone else how people got to the point that they felt that way, because this was after the Black Panthers had left their beginning roots and gone out. The folks in Los Angeles [California] were just, you know, doing the kind of things that some of us who were African American, felt were kind of on the edge, trying to describe to someone else the feelings that they had as we never told them whether we agreed or disagreed with them. What we did was say, you know, "Well, this is how somebody gets to that point." And eventually, of course, we just held up our hands, said, "Gee, we've had all the fun we can stand, we don't wanna come back anymore," and they're like, "Well, you know, that keeps happening to us, you know, we have couples come in, and they'll come for a couple of months or so." And you think, "You just don't know how intense this gets to be for us. I understand that for you it's just a conversation, but for us to have somebody throwing questions at you for an entire evening is not a very relaxing evening as far as we're concerned." And so that was a very interesting part of the Civil Rights Movement that I don't know that many people know about, but part of what happened, even if you were not actively engaged in the movement in terms of marching and being part of SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] and all those good things and down there when Maynard Jackson just raising Cain, wherever you were, you were indeed representing all of the ideas that people were milling about in their minds, and so you were always being questioned by Anglos as to why this was happening, what do you think about that, what's going on there? So you were never really not part of the movement even if you were not actively marching in the streets along with Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.], you were still doing your little part out there wherever you happened to be.$$All right. So how long did you stay at the school?$$We were there, I guess, about four years.$$So what year did you get there?$$Sixty-five [1965], 1965. We left in 1969 and went to Bloomington, Indiana, where my husband [HistoryMaker Reuben R. McDaniel] started working on his doctor's degree--$$I asked you about (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) at the university [Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana].$$On his doctor's?$$Um-hm.$And that November, Mark White, who had been attorney general when I left the attorney general's office, was elected governor, and he had someone call to ask if I would be willing to be general counsel to the governor. It is very difficult to tell a governor no. You can say, "Well, you know, I'm--" et cetera, et cetera, but, you know, so in any event, I came back, I did that. That started in January of '83 [1983], and by June--and I told him when I did that that I wasn't gonna stay forever, but so I did that, and by June of '84 [1984] Bickerstaff Heath [Bickerstaff Heath Smiley Pollan Keever and McDaniel; Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP, Austin, Texas], the law firm I'm with now, was looking for someone to come at-trial attorney to come and work with them. I had worked with many of the lawyers who were here, it was a relatively small firm, and we had been in attorney general's office together and knew each other well, so they said, "Why don't you come do this?" I said, "Great," I said goodbye to the governor (laughter), got to make the client who had a telephone company. Long-distance type companies were just starting up then. AT&T [American Telephone and Telegraph Company; AT&T Inc.] had broken apart, so there were all kinds of companies down there, and so he went down and we looked at his switch, and he told them he would teach me all these words, dealing with that business, and the governor called and said, "Well, I think you should be secretary of state," and I had heard a rumor that I was on the list, and I had told his appointment secretary, "Dwayne [ph.], you know, just take me off the list, I know a lot of people who want to do this, I don't have any interest in doing this, I just got a new job started." You know, one of the things the people at the law firm said to me, you know, "If you're going to plan do a political career--" you know, then, like, "No, no, I have no further political ambition, I'd be happy to go back to the practice of law, it seems like a good plan." So the governor then called, and we sat and we chatted, and I told him well you know, "I just started, I got a new client," and all that, and he said, "Well, do I need to talk to your partners?" et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, so and eventually once again, I was persuaded that I needed to drop what I was doing and be of service to the community, the larger community, and so I was secretary of state.

The Honorable Basil Paterson

Lawyer Basil Alexander Paterson was born on April 27, 1926, in Harlem, New York. Paterson’s mother Evangeline Rondon was a secretary for Marcus Garvey. Paterson received his high school diploma in 1942 from De Witt Clinton High School in the Bronx neighborhood of New York City. After working for six months, Paterson entered St. John’s College from which he received his B.S. degree in biology in 1948, having spent two years in the Army. Paterson entered St. John’s Law School and received his J.D. degree in 1951. Paterson then began his professional career as a lawyer in Harlem where he became law partners with Ivan A. Michael and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins. Paterson and Dinkins became heavily involved in Democratic politics in Harlem, along with former Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton, and Congressman Charles Rangel.

Paterson was elected to the New York State Senate in 1965 where he remained until he won the primary to be the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor on a slate headed by Arthur Goldberg in 1970. The ticket lost to incumbent Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. Paterson's son, David Paterson, was elected Lieutenant Governor in 2006; in 2008 he became Governor when Eliot Spitzer resigned. Paterson became the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution in 1972; he remained in that position until 1977. Paterson was the first elected African American Vice Chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 1972. In 1978, Mayor Ed Koch appointed Paterson to the position of Deputy Mayor of Labor Relations and Personnel. In 1979, Governor Hugh Carey appointed Paterson to the position of New York Secretary of State, making him the first African American to hold that rank. In 1989, Paterson became a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a position he held until 1995.

Paterson chaired the New York City Mayor’s Judiciary Committee for four years, and the New York State Governor’s Screening Panel for the Second Department for eight years. Paterson also served for ten years as a member of the Board of Editors of the New York Law Journal. In 2003, Paterson was appointed to the Commission to Promote Public Confidence in Judicial Elections. That same year, Paterson was elected Chairman of the KeySpan Foundation Board of Directors. Paterson served as Co-Chairman of the New York State Governor’s Commission on Determinate Sentencing, and the New York State Commission on Powers of Local Government. Paterson received numerous awards including the Humanitarian Award from Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, and the St. John’s University Medal of Excellence. Paterson practiced law at the law firm of Meyer, Suozzi, English and Klein where he served as co-chair of the firm’s labor practice.

Accession Number

A2007.016

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/18/2007

Last Name

Paterson

Maker Category
Schools

DeWitt Clinton High School

St. John's University

St. John's University School of Law

First Name

Basil

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

PAT05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

Get Outta Here.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/27/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hot Dogs

Death Date

4/16/2014

Short Description

Lawyer, city government appointee, state government appointee, and state senator The Honorable Basil Paterson (1926 - 2014 ) was appointed Secretary of State for New York, and was a New York State senator.

Employment

Levy and Harten

Paterson and Michael

New York State Senate

Meyer, Suozzi, English and Klein

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:189,3:441,8:5481,122:6174,137:6489,143:7497,184:8379,203:10836,251:19578,382:23800,477:27944,626:33124,852:73355,1274:79172,1360:85004,1507:87812,1574:92660,1603:94935,1686:101000,1753:101328,1758:102804,1782:103624,1847:112132,1991:115324,2059:115780,2066:132388,2477:155737,2867:177570,3206:189285,3572:189640,3578:193687,3676:200538,3776:201208,3789:207305,3938:208042,3959:214550,4033:216050,4067:218600,4119:218900,4124:221225,4211:221525,4216:224225,4302:229166,4350:229670,4358:232694,4425:238094,4543:244510,4729:248420,4780:250260,4818:250580,4823:251220,4845:257460,5036:258660,5117:268671,5277:269085,5284:289408,5592:289778,5598:294810,5776:302139,5819:302584,5849:308620,5943$0,0:3444,103:13400,257:13684,263:24061,457:26889,544:34575,655:37140,710:42338,816:62160,1282:63095,1292:67234,1363:71060,1516:104190,2181:134440,2487:143482,2630:167170,3005:177586,3174:185734,3357:186070,3362:196750,3532
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Basil Paterson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Basil Paterson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Basil Paterson describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Basil Paterson describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Basil Paterson explains why his parents came to New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Basil Paterson recalls New York City's Harlem neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Basil Paterson reflects upon police conduct in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Basil Paterson remembers African American police officers

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Basil Paterson describes his religious upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Basil Paterson recalls his decision to pursue law

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Basil Paterson recalls his time at DeWitt Clinton High School

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Basil Paterson remembers being encouraged to pursue college

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Basil Paterson reflects upon his primary education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Basil Paterson talks about educational inequality

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Basil Paterson recalls experiences at St. John's College

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Basil Paterson reflects upon the impact of desegregation

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Basil Paterson talks about the gentrification of Harlem

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Basil Paterson remembers serving in the segregated U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Basil Paterson talks about the importance of protest

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Basil Paterson recalls St. John's College School of Law

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Basil Paterson talks about the history of black lawyers

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Basil Paterson remembers founding his law firm

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Basil Paterson describes what he learned by practicing law

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Basil Paterson remembers how he became a labor rights advocate

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable Basil Paterson recalls the New York City transit strike of 2005

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Basil Paterson talks about the Transport Workers Union

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Basil Paterson recalls moving his law firm to his Harlem neighborhood

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Basil Paterson remembers other lawyers in the community

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Basil Paterson recalls becoming involved in politics

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Basil Paterson describes the Harlem Clubhouse

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Basil Paterson remembers Robert Wagner and Robert Moses

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Basil Paterson recalls his early interactions with David N. Dinkins

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Basil Paterson remembers Adam Clayton Powell Jr.'s support

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Basil Paterson reflects upon the progress of the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Basil Paterson recalls his first political campaigns

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Basil Paterson describes fraternity life in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - The Honorable Basil Paterson describes his siblings

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

7$8

DATitle
The Honorable Basil Paterson reflects upon police conduct in New York City
The Honorable Basil Paterson remembers Adam Clayton Powell Jr.'s support
Transcript
At that time do you remember--I mean, just thinking on the street, were, were there the same kind of tensions between the police and the black community in Harlem [New York, New York] that exists or has existed in the past?$$I've tried to think about that at different times, because growing up I had trouble with the cops. I always had trouble with the cops, and one once told my mother [Evangeline Rondon Paterson] I had a bad attitude. Well, you know, when you're eleven, twelve years old, how can you have a bad attitude? I mean, there was a tension, but there was no confrontation with the cops. Nobody would dare do that, but I can remember being chased by cops. For what? For putting a--building a fire in the street, you know. Three of us would--I always remember this, we were chased around a corner. It was dark--it didn't have to be that late, it was winter--and the cop threw his nightstick at us. I always remember that, the nightstick clanging along as we're running on, and I said--you know, I thought about it years later, the eldest person with us couldn't have been more than thirteen years old, twelve maybe, and a cop throws a nightstick at us. As I got older, it got more difficult. There's been tension with people in Harlem with the police since I can remember. It's always been there. The strangest thing is we used to say that the very cops who--by the way, corruption was rife, you saw it, you saw the numbers men, who were the only ones who knew the cops, knew their first names. Numbers, if anybody doesn't understand that, it was a policy racket, you bet three numbers, if you came out, you got 550 to one, what happened to the other 450? You figure it out. Some people got rich, and some cops got rich. All this came out with the Knapp Commission [Commission to Investigate Alleged Police Corruption] investigation many years ago, it all got--it was laid right out. But everybody that lived in Harlem knew about it long before that. You knew that when you saw a police car stop in front of the local deli on a Sunday morning, they're stopping to get their pay-off because the deli was probably selling beer before two o'clock or whatever time it was, we had blue laws in New York and churches required that they not sell beer before a certain time. You saw it. It was--obviously, and the cops break up crap games and somebody says, "Stop and give them the money," and the crap game resumed, yeah, you saw this. It's not like that anymore. I mean, there may be graft, there may be corruption, but it's not systemic. I mean, even when Judge Mollen, Milton Mollen Commission [Commission To Investigate Allegations of Police Corruption and the Anti-Corruption Procedures of the Police Department] investigated the Dirty Thirty precinct, his report was you had certain precincts where you might have a gang of four or five cops who in many ways intimidated the other members and did things that were bad, but it's not like it once was. I mean, it's systematized, but the precinct got a certain amount of money every month from the numbers men, the cop on the beat got, the traffic cop got, you name them, they all got paid a certain amount, it was known. What was funny, I look back now, I remember all these big scandals and they're shaking up the police department [New York City Police Department], they're transferring people from one borough to the other, but when I got to law school [St. John's College School of Law; St. John's University School of Law, New York, New York], I found out what that was about. The black book stayed in the precinct, so whoever came to the precinct knew who it was who paid X number of dollars into the precinct each week or each month. That began--it was an interesting point in law, because that black book was entered into evidence--I think it was Tom (unclear) [ph.] and his special prosecutors way back on the grounds that these were entries made in the ordinary course of business, which is a fundamental law of evidence. Entries made into any document in the ordinary course of business are admissible into evidence, so that black book was admissible into evidence, and that's how they got a lot of people. But that black book was always there, they could shift cops around, but it didn't matter. The system remained and existed until--probably the biggest impact on it was when they legalized the lottery. When they had a legal lottery--when they legalized it (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Now, when did they legalize the lottery--$$Oh, that had to be--I was going to say I was in the State Senate [New York State Senate] when it happened, so it had to be around '68 [1968], 1968, '69 [1969], but there's still numbers men operating, the state and the government can't give credit, but private entrepreneurs can give credit. But it's not like it once was, and the graft is not there, but the tension still remained. You asked about the tension, the tension's still there, but they used to say the very same cops who were on the take would risk their lives to save you, there was a belief there, the very cops that might be abusing somebody (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Did you agree with it?$$Did I agree with it? Yeah, I think it was true. I think it was just a system that existed. They--some cops say, well, it was combat pay. Combat pay for what? For operating in a minority community, a black or Latino community? I literally have seen a cop cry, and asked--I was eating in a restaurant, what's (unclear)--I said, "What's that about," and another cop said to me, "He's being transferred." I said, "Where to?" He said, "Staten Island [New York]." I said, "Where does he live?" He said Staten Island, I said, he ought to be happy. He said, "He can't afford it." He was in a precinct where he could make money, he couldn't afford to be sent to a precinct where he couldn't make money, but that's--hopefully it's gone.$Rangel [HistoryMaker Charles B. Rangel] and Sutton [Percy Sutton], after I won, it was a one year term because they were doing reapportionment, they said, we're gonna reapportion you out, we've got, we got too--with our heavy hitters, and you're finished. Well, what happened--I was finished. I understood what they--they reapportioned me out of where I was strong, put me into mostly in Adam Powell's [Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.] district, so one of their people, unbeknownst to them, invited me to meet with Powell. He liked me, he said, "I like ya," he says, "Come meet with Powell." And Powell said to me--one day I went down to see Powell--here's a story, but it's true--went down to see Powell, took my wife [Portia Hairston Paterson] and one of my sons, my other--I have two sons, the other son--and Powell, only thing he wanted to know was, he said, "Are you Sutton's guy?" I said, "No, we used to be friends but he opposed me." He said, "Are you Sutton's guy?" And I said, "I don't think so, I think I'm my own guy." He said, "Well, okay." He said, "The four closest people to me all sing your praises." I said, "Who are they?" "Livingston Wingate [Livingston Leroy Wingate] says you're his protege." Wingate was his counsel, and I was Wingate's protege.$$What was that name again?$$Livingston Wingate.$$Livingston.$$He was his counsel, he later became a judge. Wingate had always kind of looked out for me. And then a guy named Chuck Sutton. Remember, he was the editor of a local newspaper one time, and then he was his press guy. Not Chuck Sutton--got the wrong name. Chuck Sutton's his nephew--Sutton's nephew--oh, his name'll come to me, but you know--you probably know the name, he was well-known in the black newspaper guild and all that--who I knew. And then a guy named Wellington Beal, who did a lot of economic stuff for him, and sometimes would ask me to sit down and work with him.$$Wellington--what was--$$Wellington Beal, B-E-A-L. And the last one was a fella named Lloyd Mitchell [ph.], who was his bodyguard, and Mitchell sang my praises to him, he said, he and his friends have always helped me. Well, we were street guys, so of course we were his help, he was a nice guy. So Powell said, "I'm interested, let me think about it." I was asking would he help me. He says, "Is that your wife and your son outside?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "Bring them in, I'd like to meet them," so I bring them in, introduced my wife and my son. About that time Daniel [Daniel Paterson] was--let me think. If this was '66 [1966]. He was born in '57 [1957], so he was nine years old. He hadn't yet turned nine, he was eight. So he said to him, "How old are you, Daniel?" He said, "I'm eight years old." "When's your birthday?" He said, "November 29th." And Powell stopped, he said, "Either you're the luckiest guy going or one of the slickest people I've ever met." He said, "Isn't this a school day?" He was smart. I said, "Uh-huh." "And you took your son out of school and brought him down here?" I said, "Uh-huh." It's his birthday. It's just one of those weird coincidences. Powell's birthday. So he said, I think I'm gonna support you (laughter). And you know what he did, he sent his secretary to bring all kinds of things that had his name on it, he used to send birthday cards to my--to my son, and by that night word was out I was Powell's candidate, and I was now Jones' [J. Raymond Jones] candidate. He called Jones. Powell said, "I want this guy," and Jones said, "Okay."

Deborah Prothrow-Stith

Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith is a nationally recognized public health leader with applied and academic experience ranging from neighborhood clinics and inner city hospitals, to serving as a state commissioner of public health, to being a dean and professor at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in Boston, Massachusetts. Prothrow-Stith is a pioneer in defining, researching, and treating violence, especially among youth, as a public health crisis/problem rather than as a law and order issue. Violence prevention via public health strategies is the hallmark of her work. Prothrow-Stith also serves as Associate Dean for Faculty Development at the HSPH.

Prothrow-Stith was born in Marshall, Texas on February 6, 1954. In 1959, she moved with her family to Atlanta and in 1969 back to Texas where she finished Jack Yates High School in Houston, Texas in 1971. Prothrow-Stith graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta in 1975 and went on to study medicine, graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1979.

Throughout her professional life, Prothrow-Stith has been involved with developing and implementing violence prevention programs ranging from local neighborhoods to statewide and national levels. Her interest in violence prevention was stimulated by her work as a resident at Boston City Hospital, where she discovered that street violence was as deadly to her patients as any disease or accident and led her to examine violence as a social “disease” that could be prevented by public health strategies. Prothrow-Stith developed and wrote the first violence prevention curriculum for schools entitled, Violence Prevention Curriculum for Adolescents.

Appointed in 1987 as the first woman and youngest-ever Commissioner of Public Health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Prothrow-Stith expanded treatment programs for AIDS and drug rehabilitation, and oversaw a department of more than 4,500 employees. During her tenure as commissioner, she established the first-ever Office of Violence Prevention in a state department of public health. Prothrow-Stith was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the National Commission on Crime Control and Prevention in 1995.

In the 1990s, Prothrow-Stith was tapped to be part of a broad-based coalition in Boston that included leaders in government, education, health, law enforcement, religion, and civic life and business. Their collective work became known as the “Boston Model”. By the mid to late 1990s, Boston had gone almost three years without a single juvenile homicide. In Murder Is No Accident, co-authored with Dr. Howard Spivak, Prothrow-Stith describes the “Boston Model” as well as factors that affect youth violence, such as poverty and domestic violence, and the means for its prevention, such as conflict resolution programs.

Prothrow-Stith is married to Reverend Charles Stith, a former U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania (East Africa). They have a son, Percy, born in 1978 and a daughter, Mary Mildred, born in 1980. Prothrow-Stith and her husband also raised her two nephews, sons of her sister – Trey Edmondson, born in 1972, and Tony Franklin, born in 1975.

Accession Number

A2005.103

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/20/2005 |and| 12/7/2005

Last Name

Prothrow-Stith

Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Collier Heights Elementary School

Jack Yates High School

Spelman College

Harvard Medical School

Harvard

First Name

Deborah

Birth City, State, Country

Marshall

HM ID

PRO01

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Martin, Bahamas

Favorite Quote

Don't let perfect get in the way of good.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

2/6/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo, Pie (Lemon Meringue), Chocolate

Short Description

Academic administrator, state government appointee, and public health professor Deborah Prothrow-Stith (1954 - ) was appointed as the first woman and youngest Commissioner of Public Health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 1995, she was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the National Commission on Crime Control and Prevention.

Employment

Harvard School of Public Health

State of Massachusetts

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:4505,99:5270,109:6120,117:6885,129:7480,138:8160,149:9520,173:10030,200:11815,218:24518,386:28454,460:29356,477:31406,507:31898,516:51910,724:57435,811:58030,819:61600,879:62195,891:66362,897:66674,902:69872,968:71666,993:71978,998:72524,1007:73070,1013:74630,1048:75800,1072:76658,1089:78530,1124:79466,1141:80246,1154:83132,1210:84224,1228:86486,1263:110178,1570:118006,1695:118918,1709:130231,1838:131241,1849:136260,1928:136816,1945:156252,2090:160140,2193:160464,2230:162003,2245:162570,2254:163785,2271:164109,2276:183000,2508$0,0:2986,102:3688,114:5014,138:6184,160:6730,168:7276,177:7978,187:8368,193:19780,344:21262,365:21808,373:22354,382:37902,598:38832,610:49560,723:52660,740:53300,750:54100,761:56900,813:57220,818:57940,834:66349,941:66721,946:69139,999:72115,1045:73138,1058:76858,1131:79183,1174:88535,1254:88923,1259:89796,1269:90669,1279:94452,1337:94937,1343:104002,1534:104437,1540:107917,1606:108874,1619:109396,1626:109744,1631:112093,1708:114442,1739:115225,1749:127690,1844
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Deborah Prothrow-Stith's interview, session 2

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith lists her favorites, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her mother's upbringing, pt. 3

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her mother's teaching career, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her father's personality, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her father's experiences of segregation

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her family life in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes Collier Heights in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes Atlanta's Warren United Methodist Church and her older sister

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith remembers Anderson Park Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her teachers at Anderson Park Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes Collier Heights Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith recalls integrating Therrell High School in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith recalls integrating Therrell High School in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith recalls the impact of school integration in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith recalls political assassinations from her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her aspiration to be a doctor

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes Jack Yates High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her stint at Madison High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith recalls Atlanta's Spelman College and her decision to attend medical school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her medical school application process

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her courtship with HistoryMaker Reverend Charles Richard Stith

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her impression of Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith recalls HistoryMaker Alvin Poussaint's support

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her residency options

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes beginning her family with HistoryMaker Reverend Charles Richard Stith

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith shares an anecdote from her surgery rotation at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her medical focus

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes formative clinical and research aspects of her career

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes becoming commissioner of public health for Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her contributions as commissioner of public health for Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith reflects upon her service as commissioner of public health for Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes joining a for-profit hospital management company

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith recalls joining the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her first book, 'Deadly Consequences'

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her public health interest in violence prevention

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes the Blueprint for a Safer Philadelphia Initiative

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes media coverage of violence prevention efforts in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes antecedents to violent behavior

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes the PeaceZone curriculum

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her Violence Prevention Curriculum for Adolescents

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes 'Sugar and Spice and No Longer Nice: How We Can Stop Girls' Violence'

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes similarities between girls' and boys' violent behaviors

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes alternating between Tanzania and Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her medical contributions in Tanzania

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes new strategies for faculty development at Harvard School of Public Health

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes public health issues she hopes to explore

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith considers the relationship between medicine and public health

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith shares advice for young people aspiring to a medical career

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her non-career goals

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Deborah Prothrow-Stith narrates her photographs

DASession

2$2

DATape

1$3

DAStory

10$8

DATitle
Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes Collier Heights in Atlanta, Georgia
Deborah Prothrow-Stith describes her medical focus
Transcript
Interestingly, my father [Percy Prothrow, Jr.], when we moved to Atlanta [Georgia], we lived in an apartment complex until I was seven or eight, and then we moved on Hermer Circle [Atlanta, Georgia], which was an area developed by Mr. Russell [HistoryMaker Herman Russell], a black--$$Herman Russell?$$Yes, Herman Russell, a black development and contractor, and I mean, they owned the land and built the houses and everything. So we lived on a cul de sac of basically middle class black families and, you know, my father was the community treasurer, so he went from door to door collecting the dues for the neighborhood association. And what made me think about it was when you asked about Halloween. Halloween was a big production on Hermer Circle. We not only trick or treated, but we trick or treated at certain times. So, it was divided by age groups, and then each age group had a house that represented the end of trick or treating and the parties. So for instance if you were you know three to five, then you probably trick or treated from three to five, and then at five you went to certain house and had your party and if you were five to eight you trick or treated the next you know and it was just the level of organization the--the neighborhood also had themes to Christmas. So everybody had an angel on their yard or everybody--that was cut out in wood and that you had to paint--or you got somebody to paint or a toy soldier, whatever the theme was. So every house would have that and a spotlight in front of the house.$$Where was this neighborhood located in Atlanta in terms of the sections of the city?$$It's in northwest Atlanta and it's actually right at the border of northwest and southwest Atlanta. It is, it was called Collier Heights [Atlanta, Georgia], so it was the Collier Heights area and that was the elementary school [Collier Heights Elementary School, Atlanta, Georgia] that I attended. It's the divider from northwest and--oh and the new street is Holmes, Hamilton--no the--with [HistoryMaker] Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Henry Hamilton Holmes, who desegregated the University of Georgia [Athens, Georgia]--$$Georgia.$$--they renamed what was Linkwood Road [Hamilton E. Holmes Dr.] after, after him. He became a cardiologist and died recently. And so the streets were re- the street was renamed, but it's in that area.$$Um-hm, okay.$$And the major divider north-south used to be Gordon Road and is now MLK [Martin Luther King Jr. Drive], so that's sort of the area.$I went to medical school [Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts] to serve urban adolescents. That was my passion. And I learned that homicide was the leading cause of death for young black men, but not in medical school. I think I learned it from Ebony magazine. And the leading cause of death--second leading cause of death for all teenagers, so the--a leading cause of death for the population I wanted to serve had not even been raised in medical school. Not only that, you know, we were stitching people up and sending them out--without any prevention effort. So my inadequacy and feelings of inadequacy fueled a real passion that made me want to change this. It didn't make any sense to me. I think the system was built around an assumption that violence was just inevitable. That there were some people who were just going to fight and kill each other and that that was the way it was. And I just happened to know too many black men who were not violent at all. And so I knew that wasn't the way it was. So it--in a very personal and professional way, because my son [Percy Stith III] was born--that was in January of '78 [1978] my son was born that September, you know, I just did a very, you know, personal and professional way this became an important issue for me to address, and that was, that's twenty-five years later, now twenty-seven of '78 [1978], how long ago is that, twenty-seven years (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Seventy-seven [1977], yeah.$$You know, I am still working to prevent violence, still looking at it as a public health problem. And obviously during my residency at Boston City Hospital [Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts] having the, the vast experience with trauma and the emergency room, it just, you know, further, you know, further made me committed to figuring this one out.

Vicki Hallman

Vicki Hallman was born in Dallas, Texas on October 20, 1954. She grew up in the Hamilton Park neighborhood in Dallas, attending public schools there. After graduating from Hillcrest High School in 1972, Hallman attended East Texas State University, where she earned her B.A. degree in pre-law and psychology in 1976.

After graduating, Hallman was hired by the Paris Outreach Clinic in Paris, Texas, and in 1977, she joined the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Over the ensuing years, Hallman rose through the ranks, and by 1989 she was a parole supervisor. In 1995, she was named the assistant regional director for Dallas, and on August 1, 2002, she became the region II director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice/Parole Division. There, she managed the development, implementation and planning of all parole-related functions for thirteen offices. She also instituted programs such as Females, First and Foremost (F3), Cognitive Restructuring, African American Male Survival Skills, Hispanos Survival Skills and anger management courses for parolees, all of which have been highly effective.

Hallman has received numerous honors and recognitions over the years, including the Governor’s Award, Outstanding Woman of the Year and the Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership Award. She is a member of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice and serves as a board member of EXODUS Ministries.

Accession Number

A2004.215

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/26/2004

Last Name

Hallman

Maker Category
Schools

Hillcrest H S

Hamilton Park Elementary School

Richardson H S

Texas A&M University - Commerce

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Vicki

Birth City, State, Country

Dallas

HM ID

HAL08

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Would accept honorarium, though not required

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

10/20/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbecue (Ribs)

Short Description

State government appointee Vicki Hallman (1954 - ) has served as the Assistant Regional Director for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and was later named Region II Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice/Parole Division.

Employment

Paris Outreach Clinic - Paris, Texas

Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:2948,66:3767,77:4131,82:5830,91:6244,99:7141,113:9004,161:17198,376:19565,400:19865,405:20165,410:20465,415:27935,571:43882,869:51089,1024:52630,1057:71888,1338:80185,1428:81054,1465:82713,1497:94434,1639:94762,1644:99026,1746:105824,1834:109928,1951:122602,2226:136430,2407:137536,2439:139748,2471:149660,2577$0,0:1878,31:2346,38:2892,49:3984,68:4452,80:5466,98:7416,141:7884,148:14670,317:15060,323:17088,362:18258,378:18882,387:19428,502:41800,760:42423,769:47072,807:57535,944:58444,1078:63790,1132:79710,1368:81530,1408:81894,1413:97514,1689:97982,1698:110470,1883:112655,1915:118268,1968:119820,1973:120486,2133:125888,2224:139350,2338:139646,2343:147046,2530:154650,2651:154930,2659:155420,2667:158132,2694:158606,2779:159396,2801:174780,2975:177480,3043:181660,3060:182188,3074:187270,3153
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vicki Hallman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vicki Hallman lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vicki Hallman describes her mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vicki Hallman talks about her mother's childhood in Arthur City, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vicki Hallman describes her father's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vicki Hallman talks about her father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vicki Hallman describes her mother's work and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vicki Hallman describes her childhood household in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Vicki Hallman describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Vicki Hallman describes the Hamilton Park neighborhood where she grew up in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Vicki Hallman recounts the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vicki Hallman recalls her temperament as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vicki Hallman describes the African American middle-class community of Hamilton Park, Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vicki Hallman remembers Reverend Zan Wesley Holmes, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vicki Hallman recalls transferring to the majority-white Richardson High School in Richardson, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vicki Hallman remembers playing a joke on her classmates

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vicki Hallman explains how she began to feel accepted at Hillcrest High School in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vicki Hallman remembers a difficult decision to participate in a walkout at Hillcrest High School in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vicki Hallman describes her role as a mediator during the integration of Hillcrest High School in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Vicki Hallman talks about her favorite school subjects

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Vicki Hallman remembers influential teachers from her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vicki Hallman describes her younger sister

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vicki Hallman describes the impact of her late sister on her family

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vicki Hallman talks about her decision to attend East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vicki Hallman describes the strong African American community at East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vicki Hallman talks about her academic interests and habits while attending East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vicki Hallman talks about the importance of her sorority advisor

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vicki Hallman talks about her lack of political involvement during her time at East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas at college

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Vicki Hallman recalls her first post-college job as an intake officer at Paris Outreach Claim Clinic in Paris, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Vicki Hallman describes her experience at Paris Outreach Claim Clinic at Terrell State Hospital in Paris, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Vicki Hallman describes meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Vicki Hallman recalls her hiring at Texas Department of Criminal Justice in 1977

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vicki Hallman talks about her job as a parole officer with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in 1977

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vicki Hallman describes challenges she faced as a young woman parole officer

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vicki Hallman describes her promotion at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vicki Hallman remembers the challenges of being a regional supervisor at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vicki Hallman describes her work as assistant regional director for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vicki Hallman recounts holding a job fair for ex-offenders, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vicki Hallman recounts holding a job fair for ex-offenders, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Vicki Hallman talks about opening a Day Resource Center in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Vicki Hallman describes implementing changes as Region II director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, parole division

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Vicki Hallman talks about her community outreach as a parole officer for the Department of Criminal Justice

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Vicki Hallman describes her innovative approach to countering recidivism among ex-offenders

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Vicki Hallman talks about her promotion to regional director for Region II of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, parole division

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Vicki Hallman talks about the cultural programs she implemented for parolees

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Vicki Hallman talks about the support of her staff at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Vicki Hallman describes an influential experience with a client, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Vicki Hallman describes an influential experience with a client, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Vicki Hallman describes the success celebrations for parolees organized by the community

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Vicki Hallman describes the contributions of her support staff

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Vicki Hallman describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Vicki Hallman talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Vicki Hallman reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Vicki Hallman reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Vicki Hallman describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Vicki Hallman talks about her plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Vicki Hallman narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Vicki Hallman narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$4

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Vicki Hallman describes an influential experience with a client, pt. 1
Vicki Hallman describes her promotion at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Transcript
And then I get a card like I got today through the mail that says thanks for your support. This is from a female client who I was about to send back to prison a year ago. I was so fed up with her addiction. And I really don't have, most directors [in Texas Department of Criminal Justice, parole division] don't have anything to do with clients one on one. They don't have that time. I can't get away from them because they're, they're in my blood, and they're what keeps me going. And so I do a lot of intervention counseling. When all my staff have done all that they can do before, in a lot of instances I wanna send 'em back to prison. I say send 'em to me. I either do one thing, have my come to Jesus meeting, close the door, or we sit down and we really talk. I'm going to get through a street game, 'cause they're gonna bring the game to, to, to me at first. But even though I wasn't from the streets, I've been educated. I got a Ph.D. in the streets because I spend so much time with my clients, so they teach me. I know the game. And this individual lady, so special to me, because I was about to give up. It was one of those days. It was a Friday evening. I'd been doing intervention counseling all day. Here she comes at 4:00 full of game, all the excuses, wanting to blame everything, the white man, the job situation. Broke it down, wasn't gonna deal with it. I'm real up front. I learned that that same negative connotation that, placed on me as a parole office became my strength. I'm an in-your-face, upfront individual. If I'm wrong I'm the first to apologize. That's what I like about me. And in this case, she and I were battling. I was tired. I was ready to go home. I was about to give up, and my spirit wouldn't let me do it. And so I said look, you're gonna go back to prison. She says I'm (unclear). I said you're gonna go back to prison, or you're gonna die on the streets, 'cause she was doing cocaine really bad. Her attitude was I'm going to die anyway. I'm HIV [human immunodeficiency virus] positive. Wow, diffused all that anger. I had immediately, instantaneously diffused me. I was at a loss for words. I am never at a loss for words. I was at a loss for words. So I said a silent prayer: God, with the words in my mouth, meditation in my heart, be acceptable in your sight, let me say something to this lady that's gonna cause her to think and feel, didn't even ask that he allow me to change her, just allow her to think and feel. And so I shifted, went from one hip to the other, had a whole new wind.$The biggest was believing in a system that I was working for. Man, people were coming out, going right back, because we had nothing. And I really just thought, I'm working; I'm doing a job, but it's not working. It's not impacting recidivism. It's not doing anything. And I will tell everybody around me: one of these days, if I'm an opport- in a, in, in a decision-making position here, if I'm ever--at the time the title was regional supervisor [at Texas Department of Criminal Justice]--if I'm ever regional supervisor, I'm gonna change some things. Everybody laughed at me. It's not gonna happen, [HistoryMaker] Vicki [Hallman]. You're black, girl. Did you look in the mirror? You're black, and you're a female, plus you got a big mouth, and you talk too much. You're so unorthodox, you make people mad; you piss 'em off. You're not, it's not gonna happen and lo and behold. I prayed about it. I kept saying, God, make me the person you'll have me to be. I told you earlier I come from a very spiritual family. And whereas we're not Bible toting evangelists that evangelize to people, this is within, and I know that I can do anything. That's why my favorite saying and scripture is, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," [Philippians 4:13] because he took me through a lot. I had a supervisor that could not stand my, the air that I breathe, and he gave me a really hard time. He tried to run me away. And I would have run. My daddy [Curtis McCarty] wouldn't let me (laughter). He was like you don't run away from anybody or anything, you know that. You stand there, and you fight, and you do the best you can. And so I went through several years of really being treated really bad by this guy. And I continued to do my job, and I continued to have trouble. But--(unclear)--things worked out. He was transferred out, and I prama- I applied for a unit supervisor's position probably about twelve times, never could go from this level. And he would tell me in an interview. I'd be one on one. As long as I'm regional supervisor, you're never gonna get promoted. And I'd leave out that interview, and I would cry, big crybaby. And I'd call my daddy, and he'd say shut up that crying, girl. (Unclear) go do better; next one come up, you apply again. And I'd go back in there. So the last time we were gonna be smart. We're take a recorder, a little bitty mini cassette recorder. We're gonna tape this guy telling me that I'm never gonna get promoted. It had nothing to do with my job performance or my abilities. It had to do he just didn't like me. Lo and behold, the one time I was ready, just as tickled pink. Well, the personnel person from Austin [Texas] sat in on the interviews, and so, of course, I didn't get that type of feedback from this guy. He was really sweet. I didn't get the job either, but I didn't that, to get a chance to record him. And so after he was transferred out, I got promoted the first time with the new regional supervisor. So that's my entrance into management, didn't really like it.$$Now what year is this when you finally get promoted?$$In 1987.$$Okay.

The Honorable Jesse White

State government appointee Jesse White was born on June 23, 1934 in Alton, Illinois. In 1943, he moved to Chicago with his parents, where he attended Schiller Elementary School. He went on to attend Waller High School, where he was active in school athletics, being named All-City in basketball and baseball. He also excelled at tumbling and hoped to play professional baseball after graduation, fielding offers from the St. Louis Browns and the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, White’s father insisted that he first go to college. White enrolled at Alabama State College, majoring in physical education. He also played baseball and basketball, earning All-Conference honors in both sports.

Upon graduation, White signed with the Chicago Cubs organization. However, four days before leaving for spring training, he was drafted by the United States Army, where he attended jump school and was trained as a paratrooper. White was soon assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. After his discharge in 1959, White returned to Chicago, where he finally began his professional baseball career, playing for several seasons with the Chicago Cubs organization.

Off-season, White also worked as a physical education instructor at Schiller Elementary School, the school that he attended as a child, as well as with the Chicago Park District. In December 1959, White was asked to organize a gym show at the Rockwell Garden Housing Project. This show laid the foundation for what would become known worldwide as the Jesse White Tumbling Team. For over forty years, the Jesse White Tumbling Team has served as a positive alternative for over 5,000 underprivileged Chicago children.

As White continued to juggle teaching and tumbling, he was approached to run for a seat in the state legislature, replacing Robert Thompson, who was retiring. In 1974, he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, where he served on the Committees on Aging, Elementary & Secondary Education, Public Utilities, and chaired the Committee on Children and Human Services. Among the bills proposed by White in the House was the Good Samaritan Bill, which allowed hotels to offer leftover food to soup kitchens without threat of liability.

With the exception of the 1977-79 term, White served in the Illinois General Assembly until 1992 when he was elected Cook County Recorder of Deeds. In 1996, he was reelected to the same office and served until 1998, when he made history by being the first African American elected Secretary of State for Illinois. The Secretary of State’s office is responsible for issuing license plates and titles, maintaining driver records and overseeing the State Library, State Archives and the organ and tissue donor program.

The father of two daughters, White has had a varied career and a strong impact both inside and outside the world of politics.

White was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 3, 2001.

Accession Number

A2001.085

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/3/2001

Last Name

White

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Lincoln Park High School

Schiller Elementary School

Alabama State University

First Name

Jesse

Birth City, State, Country

Alton

HM ID

PITS025

Favorite Season

None

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

6/23/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

State government appointee The Honorable Jesse White (1934 - ) was the first African American to be elected as Secretary of State for Illinois, and was the founder of the world renowned Jesse White Tumblers youth tumbling team.

Employment

United States Army

Chicago Cubs

Schiller Elementary School

Illinois General Assembly

Cook County States Attorney's Office

State of Illinois

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
201,0:1608,143:15946,495:53640,998:75188,1306:89715,1581:90007,1586:105476,1878:109868,1963:129922,2248:143200,2387$0,0:2970,8:11712,175:12088,180:73316,901:77674,947:112560,1368:122350,1476
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Jesse White narrates his photographs

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Jesse White's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jesse White describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jesse White describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jesse White describes his childhood in Alton, Illinois and Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jesse White talks about the diversity of Chicago's Near North Side

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jesse White shares memories of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jesse White describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jesse White remembers the men who mentored him

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jesse White talks about enrolling in Alabama State University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jesse White remembers his first encounter with segregation in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jesse White talks about athletics at Alabama State University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jesse White describes his experience at Alabama State University

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jesse White remembers travelling to receive his diploma from Alabama State University

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jesse White describes his service in the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Jesse White describes the success of the Jesse White Tumbling Team

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Jesse White talks about working three jobs

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Jesse White talks about beginning his political career

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Jesse White talks about getting sponsors for the Jesse White Tumbling Team

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Jesse White recounts his experience as a professional baseball player

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jesse White talks about the discrimination he faced while playing baseball in Plainview, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jesse White talks about the discrimination he faced while playing baseball in San Antonio, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jesse White remembers being attacked by a white man in Duluth, Minnesota, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jesse White remembers being attacked by a white man in Duluth, Minnesota, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jesse White recounts the baseball teams he played for between 1959 and 1968

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jesse White describes balancing playing baseball, teaching, and working for the Chicago Park District

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jesse White discusses his transition into politics

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jesse White talks about finding the strength to be a politician

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jesse White describes the Illinois General Assembly

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Jesse White describes the importance of the Illinois General Assembly

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Jesse White reflects on his achievements as an Illinois State Representative

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jesse White discusses his reputation in the Illinois General Assembly

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jesse White discusses becoming Cook County Recorder of Deeds

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jesse White discusses becoming Illinois Secretary of State

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jesse White talks about the challenges of being Illinois Secretary of State

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jesse White describes his accomplishments as Illinois Secretary of State, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jesse White describes his accomplishments as Illinois Secretary of State, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jesse White talks about being Illinois Secretary of State

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jesse White talks about his accomplishments

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jesse White discusses his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Jesse White talks about the importance of sports

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Jesse White talks about how to become involved in politics

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jesse White reflects upon his career

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jesse White reflects upon the key ingredients for success

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jesse White discusses what "Pioneers in the Struggle" means to him

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jesse White reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

10$11

DATitle
Jesse White describes the success of the Jesse White Tumbling Team
Jesse White reflects on his achievements as an Illinois State Representative
Transcript
After I got out of the military [United States Army], I began my baseball career [for the Chicago Cubs]. Then during the off season, I taught school during the day, worked for the Park District [of Chicago, Illinois] at night, was asked to put on a gym show at the Rockwell Gardens Housing Project on the West Side. One gym show in December, 1959 became the Jesse White Tumbling Team. At present, I have 116 young people on the team; 280 in training; 970 shows this year. We've taking young people six times--well actually three times to Tokyo, Japan, 16 times to Canada, Hong Kong, Bermuda. We're going to Jamaica in about a month and a half and I'm proud of the fact that we've have 15 young people that travel with the Ringling Brother's circus called the Chicago Kids. We have four who are traveling now with the Harlem Globetrotters. One of the mascots for the Chicago Bulls is one of my tumblers. He's called the "Da Bull." We've been involved with the making of three movies and 11 commercials and part of the fact too, that we've had over 5,100 young people to come through the program within the 42 year period of time and only 93 have gotten themselves in trouble with the law. It's been (unclear) combat juvenile delinquency. We spend about $4,000 a year on each kid, yet the Board of Education spends about between 5,000 and 6,000 to educate its students. In state government, we spend between 13,000 and $50,000 a year to incarcerate an individual. Then when you realize the fact that 83 percent of the people in prisons, that they have not graduated from high school, now you know who the people are who create problems for we in society. So that's why it's important for us to invest now with our young people. So all that I am today and all that I hope to be in life, I owe to someone. It's called give back.$$Now, I want to go back. How did the inspiration for doing this, how did that come about?$$It was just an outgrowth of my requirement as a park physical instructor. They asked me to do the show and there were about 350-400 people there who saw the show. They thought it was wonderful and beautiful. We did all kinds of things in the show, but tumbling was the highlight that was the finale. People were talking about how wonderful these kids had performed. They had never seen things like that before. From the one show came, 970 this year.$What of your, when you look back on your career there [in the Illinois General Assembly], what are you most proud of?$$I'm proud of a lot of bills that I passed. One was the Good Samaritan Bill, where if you had a party at the Hilton Hotel, so to speak and you ordered 500 chicken dinners, only 300 people showed up. The other 200 dinners are there, so what you could do is contact a soup kitchen, like the Pacific Garden Mission. They would come over, pick up the 200 dinners, take it back and feed the homeless and the hotel would get a tax write off for it and the food is not thrown away and the people at the shelter will have a wholesome meal. That's a bill that would exempt liability, they can sue them if someone were to get sick and die. But as it turned out, no one has gotten sick or died as a result of those gifts. So the restaurants, the hotels, the fast food stores can now take part in this program. There's an organization called the Greater Food Depository. They supply canned goods and food stuff to many of the pantries that we have here in Chicago [Illinois]. I passed a bill that would allow Stokleys, Campbell's, Van Camp; the list goes on and on, to donate these canned goods to these pantries or to the Greater Food Depository for a tax write off and not be held liable. So these two bills really spoke of the liability factor. As a result, thousands of canned goods, many items of foods have been distributed to the Greater Food Depository.