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Cheryl Lewis Burke

Education administrator Cheryl Lewis Burke was born on June 16, 1953 in Richmond, Virginia to Octavia Harris Lewis and Edward Lee Lewis. Burke graduated from Powhatan High School in 1971, and enrolled at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina before transferring to Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virginia two years later. In 1976, Burke earned her B.A. degree in early childhood education, and began working as a preschool teacher at Clark Spring Elementary School in Richmond. Also, in 1981, Burke earned her M.A. degree in supervision and administration of education at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Burke went on to work for Overby-Shepard Middle School in 1981, but returned to Clark Springs Elementary School, where she taught the third and fourth grades for several years. She was then hired as a teacher specialist at Ginter Park Elementary School in 1991. In 1996, Burke became the principal of Chimborazo Elementary School. To improve the learning environment at the school, Burke completed the school development program at Yale University. Under her leadership, Chimborazo became the first elementary school in central Virginia to offer the International Baccalaureate primary years program. She also oversaw the installation of the city’s storm water rain garden as well as an additional floral and vegetable garden, which included an outside classroom. To reward students and staff for their hard work, Burke secured funding from organizations like Central Fidelity Bank, the PASS Initiative, and Dominion Bar Association to plan field trips to Nassau, Bahamas and the White House during President Barack Obama’s tenure. She retired as principal in 2014, but continued to work as a substitute administrator with Richmond Public Schools.

Burke was appointed as an interim board representative for the seventh district of the Richmond Public School board in October 2017. She was also a member of The Links Inc. Richmond chapter for many years. She has served on numerous boards, including the board of trustees of The Richmond Ballet of Virginia, the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Richmond, and The HistoryMakers National Advisory Board.

Burke and her husband, Emmett Burke, have two sons, Emmett Lewis Burke and Edmund Glasgow Burke.

Cheryl Lewis Burke was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 19, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.004

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/19/2018

Last Name

Burke

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lewis

Organizations
First Name

Cheryl

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

BUR27

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

When Working With People, If You Want To Take Them Where You THINK They Need To Go, You Need To Meet Them Where They Are.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

6/15/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Richmond

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Education administrator Cheryl Lewis Burke (1963 - ) worked as an elementary school teacher for over twenty years, and served as the principal of Chimborazo Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia for eighteen years.

Favorite Color

Purple

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
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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

1$1

DATape

3$4

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.

Yvonne Sanders-Butler

Yvonne Sanders-Butler was born on November 27, 1957 in Vaughan, Mississippi. Sanders-Butler is the daughter of Ruthie and West Sanders, and the stepdaughter of Otis Lee Sly. Educated in the Durant Public School System and graduating from high school in 1975, she received her B.S. degree in communications from Jackson State University in 1979, her M.A. degree in counseling from West Georgia College in 1992 and her Ph.D. from Jacksonville University in 2002.

Sanders-Butler’s early years began as a radio personality. Later, she would hold positions in the collection and customer service industries until 1987. She began her career in education in 1987 with the DeKalb County School System. In 1995, Sanders-Butler became the principal of Browns Mill Elementary School in Lithonia, Georgia. As principal, Sanders-Butler became an advocate for student health care. After being admitted into the hospital for high blood pressure, Sanders-Butler was diagnosed with diabetes.

In 1998, Sanders-Butler began her healthy eating crusade at Browns Mill Elementary School. She created the first “Sugar Free Zone” in the United States, banned soft drinks, and instituted a new breakfast program that included oatmeal and other healthy foods. Sanders-Butler organized eating workshops, exercise classes for students and staff and worked to get local stores to carry nutritious snacks. Since the beginning of her crusade, student test scores have improved and disciplinary issues have declined. Nearly 100 teachers and administrators have contacted her about starting a similar program at their schools.

Sanders-Butler is the founder of Ennovy, an organization created to help ignite wellness and healthier lifestyles. She is the author of Dessert Lovers Choice and Healthy Kids Smart Kids.

Sanders-Butler and her husband live on their horse farm in Ellenwood, Georgia.

Sanders-Butler was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 25, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.109

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/25/2007

Last Name

Sanders-Butler

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Ebenezer Elementary School

Durant Attendance Center

Jackson State University

University of West Georgia

First Name

Yvonne

Birth City, State, Country

Vaughan

HM ID

SAN04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Mississippi

Favorite Quote

When You Know Better, You Do Better.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

11/27/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Watermelon

Short Description

Health advocate and elementary school principal Yvonne Sanders-Butler (1957 - ) became the principal of Browns Mill Elementary School in Lithonia, Georgia. She was the founder of Ennovy, an organization created to help ignite wellness and healthier lifestyles and the author of Dessert Lovers Choice and Healthy Kids Smart Kids.

Employment

Durant Attendance Center

WKKY Radio

DeKalb County School District

Browns Mill Elementary School

Ennovy, Inc.

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:7294,109:10509,118:11239,127:11823,136:12188,142:13867,174:15181,193:15765,202:23222,341:23652,347:24254,355:24942,365:25716,375:26232,384:27178,396:27522,401:28554,429:30016,478:38328,551:40378,587:41608,607:47430,725:51770,749:52130,754:52490,759:54020,830:54470,836:54830,845:55370,852:60500,944:60860,949:63470,1002:64100,1010:70760,1051:74660,1131:75485,1149:83210,1352:85535,1394:87185,1425:89435,1479:89960,1488:102787,1619:104499,1641:104927,1646:106230,1656:115570,1760:116020,1766:123579,1848:124216,1857:125945,1892:129767,1952:130586,1964:134350,1971:134944,1983:135340,1990:135604,1995:141940,2146:142468,2157:142996,2169:145240,2177$0,0:2187,42:3564,62:4455,76:4941,83:6966,151:9477,186:9801,191:11907,231:15390,353:15876,360:21880,370:22264,375:23704,421:24376,430:25240,440:25912,449:28216,475:35090,553:40050,638:44930,673:45356,681:45711,687:46563,698:47770,725:50539,772:51178,784:51462,789:52243,800:62487,950:64857,994:66516,1022:67148,1033:68807,1063:69123,1068:75214,1110:77592,1153:80298,1214:80626,1251:83414,1316:83906,1323:84398,1331:87924,1387:97050,1422:97620,1428:98076,1433:99102,1447:105203,1519:105689,1526:109800,1545:110892,1560:111396,1567:113263,1580:114154,1597:115207,1616:115774,1624:118123,1660:118690,1669:120500,1679:121004,1688:121292,1693:121580,1698:123230,1708:127744,1793:128188,1800:129002,1816:129964,1840:135552,1891:136454,1906:141428,1958:141896,1965:142208,1970:144236,2005:145484,2022:145796,2028:146108,2033:147200,2050:148682,2078:149228,2087:150086,2108:154922,2170:155546,2179:160148,2263:166540,2294:167020,2301:167340,2306:168700,2329:169900,2352:170220,2357:170540,2362:170940,2368:171340,2374:171980,2384:172780,2398:173580,2409:182060,2579:183500,2625:184940,2642:194753,2728:197183,2784:199856,2828:200423,2836:200828,2842:201557,2853:209140,2923:215890,3004:216430,3017:217690,3037:226216,3195:227294,3216:229932,3249:231390,3272
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Yvonne Sanders-Butler's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler lists her siblings, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler lists her siblings, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler remembers the community of Vaughan, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes Ebenezer Elementary School in Ebenezer, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler lists her siblings, pt. 3

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes her parents' personalities and careers

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler remembers her early educational experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler recalls her elementary school teachers, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler remembers picking cotton in Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes her struggle with attention deficit disorder

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler talks about her weight

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes her early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler remembers the entertainment of her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler recalls her early religious experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler talks about the services of the Church of God in Christ

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes the Durant Attendance Center in Durant, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler recalls her start at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes her semester in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes her career in the radio industry

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler recalls moving with her husband to New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes her start as an educator

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler talks about her eating disorder

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler remembers her stroke, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler remembers her stroke, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes Overeaters, Overcomers

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler talks about changing her diet

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler recalls noticing the correlation between diet and learning at Browns Mill Elementary School in Lithonia, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler remembers talking to parents about their children's diet

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes her nutrition plan for Browns Mill Elementary School in Lithonia, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes the effects of her nutrition plan

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes the teachers' response to her nutrition plan

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler talks about her publications

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler talks about her recipes

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes Ennovy, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler shares a message to future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Yvonne Sanders-Butler narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

5$4

DATitle
Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes her struggle with attention deficit disorder
Yvonne Sanders-Butler describes her nutrition plan for Browns Mill Elementary School in Lithonia, Georgia
Transcript
You talked about having attention deficit disorder [ADD].$$Um-hm.$$They didn't call it that then. Was there anything that the teachers might have recognized or is this just something that you realized after growing up (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) I realized it, I realized it. I always knew I was different. I always knew that. But I think because there was something about my personality that people liked. I don't know what it was. I was a pleasure, you know. I was that person, if the teacher thought it, you know, I was right there, you know, with this big smile. And so, sometimes kids have personalities that's just sort of grate, I think, person's nerves, they did then. But I had a way of sort of reading people and figuring out what they wanted, even my parents [Ruthie Waters Sanders and West Sanders]. And those were the things that I did. But now that I know what kids with attention deficit with hyperactivity [ADHD] look like, and I've been a counselor, I know that I was a classic case. They would let me run errands. I would dust all of the erasers. Anything extra to do because once I finished my work, I wanted to talk to everybody and I wanted to--my boyfriend was in kindergarten through fifth grade with me. So I wanted to sit and help him read because he stuttered. And it was very important that he learned to read and so I would sit with him. And he never learned to read anything except what I wanted him to read. And I was just all over the place. Just--and so, really, I guess, they would let me go outside and play by myself. I could go outside and play, you know, by myself. And then I'd come back in.$$What type of student were you?$$I was a good B student, a good B student. I was a strong B student. I could make A's and perhaps if worked at it, I probably could have. I just thought that that was painful. I hated math. It was so painful to me. And I, I like art. I like drawing. I like acting, you know. Those other things were painful, you know, because you have to concentrate, you had to sit still, you couldn't talk, you couldn't move and I'm saying, "Oh, my god. Why do we have to do these other things?"$What did that plan consist of?$$Well, the first thing that we looked at and people always say, "Oh my god, she took all the sugar out of the school." Well, we came up with a plan well, well before the wellness policy came out two years ago, we created our own wellness policy in our school [Browns Mill Elementary School, Lithonia, Georgia]. We had a health committee that consisted of PTA [Parent Teacher Association] members, cafeteria workers, people on the school--the teachers, cafeter- the custodians, anybody that would touch a child's life in some way, we had to have representative. And we looked at the menus, what we served every day, how often we served it, what we could take away, what we needed to add. We looked at all the fried foods that we had. We look at how much fruit, how much dessert, which you had to have dessert every day. And of course, we had a southern state. I mean, just comes with the territory. We wanted as much fresh fruit and vegetables as we could have. We wanted to bake as much as we could. We looked at ordering more fish, chicken and turkey for protein. Of course, seven years ago, I wanted a lot of fiber. I wanted yogurt. I wanted soy milk. And I was told that, "Oh, my god, are you insane or what?" Well, today of course, we have that. But those were the things that we wanted. No more chocolate milk, no strawberry milk, no milk of any color. Parents had to agree that they wouldn't send fried chicken, the dinner from the night before, hot fries and all things that just were not supporting our health policy. And they agreed. We also looked at any parties that we had, Valentine's and winter holiday, Christmas parties, that they would not have every cake and pie in--that they could imagine and candy. Those were no longer things that would be a part of our school. We created our own list, preferred snack list for our students. And parents have abide- they've abided by that. But it didn't come without educating them. It wasn't something I told them; it's something we did together. And I brought in anybody, everybody that could educate them on how food worked with or against the body, how physical activity with or against the body. We looked at our physical activity program. We also bumped that up to include things that kids could relate to. Instead of things that they were doing fifty years ago when I was in elementary school; twenty-five sides drill hop, bend, touch your toe. You know, kids like dance, they like movement, they like yoga, they like aerobics. And so we looked at doing stations in PE [physical education]. And so, everybody agreed that we would move forward with a contract that every parent and student signs during registration. If they're new entering the school, they sign a contract saying what they will do to support their health and academics. And so, we became the first sugar free zone school in the country, in '99 [1999], 1999. And the kids actually said that because when they came for the first day of school that year said, "Oh my god. There's no chocolate milk, there's not even cookies, Dr. Butler's [HistoryMaker Yvonne Sanders-Butler] taken all the sugar out. This must be a sugar free school." And so, actually, that is how it started.

Sister Patricia Ralph

Sister Patricia Anne Ralph was born on August 15, 1960, in Jersey City, New Jersey. Ralph attended elementary and junior high school at Blessed Sacrament Catholic School in Newark, New Jersey. While attending junior high school, in the eighth grade she decided she would dedicate her life to God and become a nun. In 1979, she earned her high school diploma from Benedictine Academy, a private Catholic school in Elizabeth, New Jersey. While in high school she was a cheerleader, baton twirler and a member of the dance team.

In 1985, Ralph graduated from Jersey City State College where she earned her degree in teaching. This same year she entered the Community of St. Joseph to begin her journey as a nun. There, Ralph became known as “Sister Patty” to her friends and the hundreds of students she’s taught. Currently, out of 1200 nuns, she is the only African American nun in the St. Joesph community.

In 1988, Ralph received and her first teaching assignment at St. Martin De Porres Catholic School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she taught first grade. Two years later, she was missioned to Holy Family Catholic School in Hilcrest Heights, Maryland where she was a first and second grade teacher. The following year, Ralph accepted a teaching position at Holy Name Catholic, School in Washington, D.C. She continued to teach at Holy Name for the next five years until she was named principal, a position she continues to hold today.

In 1994, she made her final vows in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, thus completing her journey to become a nun. Surprisingly, her twin sister, Lynne Marie, decided to follow in Ralph’s footsteps and also became a nun although entering a different community, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.

Ralph currently resides in Washington, D.C. Her twin sister is also a teaching nun at an elementary school in Memphis, Tennessee.

Accession Number

A2004.049

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/17/2004

Last Name

Ralph

Organizations
Schools

Blessed Sacrament School

Benedictine Academy

Jersey City State College

Xavier University of Louisiana

Trinity College

First Name

Patricia

Birth City, State, Country

Jersey City

HM ID

RAL01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Little rugrats.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/15/1960

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hamburgers

Short Description

Elementary school principal and nun Sister Patricia Ralph (1960 - ) is the only African American nun in the Community of St. Joseph. Ralph is currently a school principal in Washington, D.C.

Employment

Holy Name School

St. Martin De Porres High School

Holy Family Parish Elementary School

Blessed Sacrament School

Favorite Color

Periwinkle

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Patricia Ralph interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Patricia Ralph's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Patricia Ralph remembers her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Patricia Ralph remembers her father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Patricia Ralph remembers her grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Patricia Ralph discusses her family life, part I

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Patricia Ralph recalls her childhood environs

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Patricia Ralph talks more about her family life

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Patricia Ralph reflects on her early school years

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Patricia Ralph discusses her calling to the sisterhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Patricia Ralph reflects on her junior high school years

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Patricia Ralph recalls her high school years

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Patricia Ralph describes her high school activities

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Patricia Ralph discusses her parents' occupations

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Patricia Ralph recounts her college years

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Patricia Ralph discusses her beginnings with the Sisters of St. Joseph

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Patricia Ralph discusses her trials in the sisterhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Patricia Ralph describes her coursework at Xavier University of Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Patricia Ralph discusses her advancement in the Sisters of St. Joseph

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Patricia Ralph reviews her career as an educator

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Patricia Ralph recalls making her final vows

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Patricia Ralph reflects on her sister's similar occupational choice

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Patricia Ralph shares her experiences as an African American nun

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Patricia Ralph discusses her tenure as principal of Holy Name School, Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Patricia Ralph describes the environs of Holy Name School, Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Patricia Ralph describes interactions with her students

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Patricia Ralph reflects on her life's course

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Patricia Ralph describes life in the sisterhood

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Patricia Ralph discusses her relationship with her students

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Patricia Ralph discusses changes in the Catholic Church

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Patricia Ralph discusses her twin sister

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Patricia Ralph talks more about her life's course

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Patricia Ralph expresses her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Patricia Ralph reflects on how she wants to be remembered

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Patricia Ralph shares her thoughts on history

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Patricia Ralph considers her legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Patricia Ralph reflects on life obstacles

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Photo - Patricia Ralph and her twin sister as infants, ca. 1961

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Photo - Patricia Ralph's mother, aunts and uncles, 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Photo - Patricia Ralph's grandparents and uncle, 1920s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Photo - Patricia Ralph's aunt, Daisy Fleming's eighth grade graduation portrait, ca. 1940-1959

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Photo - Patricia Ralph's grandparents, ca. 1960-1979

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Photo - Patricia Ralph's mother on her wedding day, January 29, 1954

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Photo - Patricia Ralph's aunt, Daisy Fleming as a child, ca. 1920s

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Patricia Ralph's great aunt Lila Mae, ca. 1940s

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Patricia Ralph's Aunt Lily and her husband, ca. 1940s

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Patricia Ralph and U.S. Congressman John Boehner of Ohio at an event dinner, Washington, D.C., 2003

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Patricia Ralph and U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy at an event dinner, Washington, D.C., 2003

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Patricia Ralph with her twin sister on the day of her final vows, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1994

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Patricia Ralph with her twin sister and two priests at a conference, 1996

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Photo - Patricia Ralph with her superior general at her final vows ceremony, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1994

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Photo - Patricia Ralph celebrates with other sisters after making final vows, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1994

Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Photo - Patricia Ralph celebrates with family members after making final vows, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1994

Tape: 4 Story: 17 - Photo - Patricia Ralph's grandfather, ca. 1967-1968

Tape: 4 Story: 18 - Photo - Patricia Ralph with her mother and twin sister outside of Kless Diner, Irvington, New Jersey

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Patricia Ralph discusses her advancement in the Sisters of St. Joseph
Patricia Ralph discusses her tenure as principal of Holy Name School, Washington, D.C.
Transcript
We had started talking a little bit about when--in 1985--when you entered the community of [Sisters of] St. Joseph [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], what happened next? So after--so tell us a little bit about what that process is like.$$Well once I entered, I was a postulant, and that's the beginning stages. And we attended classes with our director, learning more about the community and doing community services. One of my services was working at a shelter, getting on the el train and going, going there. I think we did that once a week. But we also took the responsibilities of leading the community in prayer and I think there were about seventeen of us that lived in the house with professed sisters and the postulant sisters. And, once again, some of the sisters were older sisters and you listening to their stories also that were an influence on me and they would say, "Oh Patty, you just don't know." (laughs) And I'd say "Okay, Sister Elizabeth." You know, and just--just their gentleness, that was their present.$$And, tell me what it was like when you made your final vows. When did that happen?$$Well, before final vows, then we--I became a novice, and so I moved from St. Michael's to the motherhouse, and--as I call the corporate headquarters. And, again, we had a novice directress. We had classes with her and we also went out to a place called Marian [Convent, Scranton, Pennsylvania], and we met other people who were novices from different communities and we had classes together with the different groups, and that was, like, once a week, every Thursday. And, being at the motherhouse, we had to lead morning prayer or evening prayer and had to get on the altar into the mic, and I'm looking out, "Oh, my God," (laughs) the first time I did it. But I remember one sister saying to me, she said, "I always like it when you do prayer, cause I can always hear you." And she sits in the back--an older sister. So, I guess it was the way I was projecting my voice, or something, I don't know. But, we used to do fun things with the older sisters--cause there were a lot of sisters that lived at the motherhouse. So I was there for one year and then we were missioned--we were still novices but we were missioned. So I was missioned to St. Martin de Porres [School], in Philadelphia, and I taught--no, I interned there first, with first grade--first grade, fifth grade and kindergarten. And kindergarten was my best experience. I mean the teacher, Joanne, she was excellent. And, that was for September to December, and then I had to decide--.$$(Simultaneously) Of what year?$$Of what year? I would say late '80s [1980s]--I wanna say '88 [1988]--between '87 [1987] and '88 [1988] of that year.$How did you become principal of Holy Name [School, Washington, D.C.] and when did that happen?$$That happened three years ago. Sister Owen was the principal for seventeen years, and she knew it was time for her to move on and she wanted to pass the torch. And, she asked me if I would consider it, and my first response was "No, I do not want that job." But she wanted to keep a religious in the school and I finally said, "Yes." And I keep telling her it must have been a weak moment when I said yes. So, actually, I'm the first African American principal at Holy Name School.$$Are you the--and, assumingly, the first African American religious, as well?$$In--?$$At Holy Name School.$$At Holy Name, yes. And we--the school was established in 1924, so I'm the first one.$$And tell me a little bit about your students, your kids and your families here.$$I love my kids and I love my families. My families are very supportive. Anything I need, I can always call--call them up. The kids I love, and with Pre-K and Kindergarten, I call 'em--"I'm not going down there--I'm not going down there." (Laughs). But my Pre-K, Kindergarten--she's excellent with them and I give her a lot of credit. I say, "You are going to heaven--that--that's an automatic--you are going to heaven." But the kids, they come from Maryland, Virginia--one comes from Baltimore [Maryland], and, a lot from [Washington] D.C.--the D.C. area, and, they bring a lot to school. And you can tell from their family whatever it is that they're going through that they're carrying a heavy burden on us, but they know that they're safe here in this environment no matter what surrounds them. And they also know that the teachers care about them, also, and they can feel free to come to anyone and speak with anyone about anything that's going on. And just being--being there for our kids is so important.

Kent B. Amos

Born May 21, 1944, Kent Amos was raised in northwest Washington, D.C., where he was a track star at Calvin Coolidge High School before graduating and serving the U.S. Army in Vietnam. After his tour of duty, Amos graduated from Delaware State University and was hired by Xerox Corporation.

At Xerox, Amos became one of the company's most successful salespersons and was instrumental in increasing the number of African Americans in its sales force. Amos was promoted many times, becoming the youngest corporate director in Xerox history. Although Amos and his family relocated to several cities across the United States, they were able to return to Washington, D.C., where Amos and his wife first became involved in caring for at-risk children, offering shelter, financial support, and a nurturing environment to local youth. Amos felt compelled to do even more, and in the 1980s he left corporate America to devote himself full-time to helping families take care of their children. In 1991, Amos founded the Urban Family Institute (UFI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating urban neighborhoods where every family has the resources they need to ensure that children grow up with the close guidance, discipline, and nurturing, of caring adults.

In 1994, Amos also founded Kids House, a program designed to provide a safe, academically supportive after school program. Four years later, recognizing the unique opportunity of charter schools, Amos founded the Community Academy Public Charter School, where he served as principal and CEO. The Community Academy grew to become recognized as one of the leading charter schools in Washington, D.C., functioning as a national model.

Amos was featured on many local and national radio and television programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, and in newspapers, magazines, and books. Amos also frequently spoke on the issue of child-related public policy and received numerous citations, awards, and honors, for his community service. In 2002, Amos was ordained a deacon, serving the congregation of Washington's Shiloh Baptist Church; he also served as the chairman of the Shiloh Community Development Corporation.

Amos and his wife, Carmen, remained close to their extended family in Washington, D.C.

Accession Number

A2003.126

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

6/9/2003

Last Name

Amos

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

B.

Organizations
Schools

Calvin Coolidge Senior High School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Archival Photo 2
Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Kent

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

AMO02

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Adults, Education Community

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Christmas

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Adults, Education Community

Amy Billingsley, Roscoe Dellums referred

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cayman Islands

Favorite Quote

In whom to much is given, much is required.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

5/21/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pie, Ice Cream

Short Description

Corporate executive, education chief executive, and elementary school principal Kent B. Amos (1944 - ) is the founder of Community Academy Public Charter School and the Urban Family Institute. Before leaving the corporate realm to focus on his work supporting children and families, Amos worked for the Xerox Corporation.

Employment

Xerox Corporation

Urban Family Institute

Kid's House

Community Academy Public Charter School

Shiloh Baptist Church

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Kent Amos interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Kent Amos's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Kent Amos shares his paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Kent Amos shares his maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Kent Amos discusses his father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Kent Amos discusses his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Kent Amos remembers the streetcars of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Kent Amos describes childhood movie theaters

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Kent Amos describes his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Kent Amos describes segregated sports

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Kent Amos describes his segregated educational experience

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Kent Amos discusses his religion

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Kent Amos describes his integrated educational experience

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Kent Amos as a student

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Kent Amos discusses his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Kent Amos discusses popular childhood dances and music

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Kent Amos remembers the emergence of television

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Kent Amos reflects on cultural and social changes

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Kent Amos discusses growing up in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Kent Amos reflects on his career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Kent Amos drops out of college

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Kent Amos describes the riots after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Kent Amos reflects on his experience as a soldier in the Vietnam War

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Kent Amos discusses the benefits of the military experience

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Kent Amos describes the race relations in the United States Armed Forces

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Kent Amos graduates from college

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Kent Amos returns to Vietnam

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Kent Amos begins his career at the Xerox Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Kent Amos organizes black employees at Xerox

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Kent Amos discusses the formation of the National Black Employees Association at Xerox

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Kent Amos and Xerox black employees meet with senior management members

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Kent Amos becomes a vice president of Xerox Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Kent Amos gets married

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Kent Amos receives the NAACP Image Award

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Kent Amos discusses the dangers of public schools

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Kent Amos meets his son's public school friends

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Kent Amos "adopts" eighty-seven children

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Kent Amos discusses his reason for success

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Kent Amos discusses the importance of values

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Kent Amos reflects on his parents and mentors

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Kent Amos reflects on the tragedies of his adopted children

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Kent Amos discusses the need for social change

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Kent Amos discusses social dysfunction

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Kent Amos discusses the power of collective organizing

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Kent Amos discusses the value philosophy of his school

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Kent Amos reflects on popular culture influences

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Kent Amos discusses the value of diversity

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Kent Amos shares his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Kent Amos discusses his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Kent Amos's paternal great-grandmother Davis, ca. mid-1800s

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Kent Amos's grandmother Virginia Davis Amos and his great-grandfather, ca. 1930s

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Kent Amos's grandfather Ernest Amos, aunt Alezea Amos and grandmother Virginia Davis Amos, ca. 1950s

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Kent Amos with U.S. Chairman of the Democratic Party, Ron Brown, Washington, D.C., ca. 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Kent Amos with U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Kent Amos at his residence in Washington, D.C., ca. 1980s

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Kent Amos with wife, Carmen Amos, Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Kent Amos's wife Carmen Amos, his parents and his adopted children, ca. 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Kent Amos dressed as a clown at Halloween, Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Kent Amos's grandparents, Ernest Amos and Virginia Davis Amos, Washington, D.C., ca. 1940s

Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Kent Amos as a child with his older brother, Benjamin F. Amos, Jr., ca. 1948-1949

Tape: 5 Story: 18 - Photo - Kent Amos at the Million Man March, Washington, D.C., October 16, 1995

Tape: 5 Story: 19 - Photo - Kent Amos as an infant with older brother, Benjamin F. Amos, Jr., ca. 1944-1945

Tape: 5 Story: 20 - Photo - Kent Amos in front of his U.S. Air Force barracks, ca. 1964

Tape: 5 Story: 21 - Photo - Kent Amos at home in his Junior ROTC Captain's uniform, Washington, D.C., ca. 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 22 - Photo - Kent Amos learning to skydive

Tape: 5 Story: 23 - Photo - Kent Amos and wife, Carmen Amos, Washington, D.C., ca. 1983

Tape: 5 Story: 24 - Photo - Kent Amos with his family and others at graduation party, Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 25 - Photo - Kent Amos as a child in front of Gage Elementary School, Washington, D.C., ca. 1950-51

Tape: 5 Story: 26 - Photo - Kent Amos as a speaker for commencement ceremonies at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., 1986-87

Tape: 5 Story: 27 - Photo - Kent Amos with his wife, Carmen Amos

Tape: 5 Story: 28 - Photo - Kent Amos with his daughters and their friends on prom night, Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 29 - Photo - Kent Amos as a child and dressed as ring bearer for a neighbor's wedding, ca. 1949

Tape: 5 Story: 30 - Photo - Kent Amos' class portrait from Calvin Coolidge Senior High School, Washington, D.C., 1962

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Photo - Kent Amos performing the high jump at Calvin Coolidge Senior High School, Washington, D.C., 1959

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Photo - Kent Amos's aunt, Helene Brooke Amos with her friends, Washington, D.C., late 1920s

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Photo - Kent Amos and one of his adopted sons, Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Photo - Kent Amos as member of the President's Commission on Model State Drug Laws, Washington, D.C., 1993

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Photo - Kent Amos ca. 1974

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Photo - Kent Amos with Rosa Parks, Elaine Steele and an unidentified woman at Community Academy Public Charter School, Washington, D.C., 1998

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Photo - Kent Amos with U.S. President Ronald Reagan and the Deputy Superintendent of Schools, Washington, D.C., ca. 1981-1989

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Photo - Tony Epson, Kent Amos and Wendell Butler with Rosa Parks at Community Academy Public Charter School, Washington, D.C., 1998

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Photo - Kent Amos speaking before the U.S. Congress, Washington, D.C., ca. mid-1990s

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Photo - Kent Amos and wife, Carmen Amos on a cruise with the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, Washington, D.C., June, 2003

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Photo - Kent Amos interviewing gospel singer CeCe Winans at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 2000

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Photo - Kent Amos with George Stephanopoulos and an unidentified woman at the Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C., ca. 1992-1996

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Photo - Kent Amos with talk show host, Phil Donahue, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1988

Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Photo - Kent Amos with talk show host, Oprah Winfrey, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1988

Tape: 6 Story: 15 - Photo - Kent Amos at his home in Washington, D.C., ca. 1980s

Tape: 6 Story: 16 - Photo - Kent Amos with 'Sweet' Alice Harris and a Frederick Douglass impersonator at the Hall of Fame for Caring Americans, Washington, D.C., 1991

Tape: 6 Story: 17 - Photo - Kent Amos with Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder, Washington, D.C., ca. 1989-1994

Tape: 6 Story: 18 - Photo - Kent Amos with Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, Washington, D.C., ca. 1980s

Tape: 6 Story: 19 - Photo - Kent Amos with Vernon Jordan at a function at the Xerox Corporation, ca. 1990s

Tape: 6 Story: 20 - Photo - Kent Amos with Johnny Ford, Mayor of Tuskegee, Alabama, at the National Conference of Black Mayors

Tape: 6 Story: 21 - Photo - Kent Amos's brother Benjamin F. Amos, Jr. and his sister-in-law, Brenda on their wedding day, 1962

Tape: 6 Story: 22 - Photo - Kent Amos's graduation portrait from Delaware State College, Dover, Delaware, 1970

Tape: 6 Story: 23 - Photo - Kent Amos with U.S. President Bill Clinton in the White House Oval Office, Washington, D.C., ca. 1993-2001

Tape: 6 Story: 24 - Photo - Kent Amos with U.S. President Bill Clinton and others in the White House Cabinet Room, Washington, D.C., ca. 1993-2001

Tape: 6 Story: 25 - Photo - Kent Amos with Rosa Parks, Dorothy Height, and his family, Washington, D.C., 1998

Tape: 6 Story: 26 - Photos - Two views of U.S. President Bill Clinton meeting with Kent Amos and his wife Carmen Amos, Paris, France, 2000

Tape: 6 Story: 27 - Photo - Kent Amos, actor Omar Sharif and Carmen Amos, Paris, France, 2000

Tape: 6 Story: 28 - Photo - Kent Amos's parents, Benjamin F. Amos, Sr. and Gladys Capp Amos, ca. early 1980s

Tape: 6 Story: 29 - Photo - Kent Amos and his family celebrating his parents' fiftieth wedding anniversary, Washington, D.C., October, 1987

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$2

DATitle
Kent Amos discusses the formation of the National Black Employees Association at Xerox
Kent Amos "adopts" eighty-seven children
Transcript
Then I get summoned to Rochester [New York] to say, "Okay, now we're going to make this specialist a manager." And when I get up there, they start--I get a visit by the, the President of [Xerox Corporation's] U.S. Operations, a man by the name of David Kearns. And he asked me to come to his office. And, of course, he's the President of U.S. Operations and I'm a, a lowly trainee. I said, "Okay. Of course, I'm going to go." Training to be Manager. So I go to his office. And he asks me the question. He says, "Kent, I may as well be candid. We don't want this national meeting that you've planned and can you call it off." And I'm sitting there. I didn't know what he was talking about. I said, "What national meeting?" He said, "It's our understanding"--he's there with the President of--the Vice President of Personnel, Doug Reid, the two of them now in his office. Now, I'm on the twenty-ninth floor of the tallest building in Rochester. And again, I'm training to be a manager. I'm on my third year in the company. This man's President of U.S. Operations, so he's the biggest thing that I know in the company. And he says, "We want you to call the meeting off." I said, "Tell why you want me to do that?" First of all, I didn't know what he was talking about. He says, "There's some concerns that senior management has." I said, "Well, I can't do that." He says, "Why not?" I said, "Because I didn't call the meeting," which is true. First of all, I didn't know what it was about. So therefore, I know I didn't call it (laughter). So he says, he says, "Who can?" So I said, "Well, lets assume we call this meeting off. What's in it for us, the black employees?" "Well we'd be wiling to do a number of things to help our, our mutual interest in seeing to it that black employees can, can rise." I said, "Okay, that's fair." I said, "But I still can't call it off." And he says, "Who can?" I said, "The council." Now, you got to realize I'm making this up as we go (laughter) 'cause I don't know what this guy's talking about. I said, "The council." And he says, "Okay, who's on the council?" Well, since there was no council, I couldn't give him any names. I said to him, "Well, I think--I got to talk to"--(phone ringing) So I said, I said "The council," I said, "I'll have to talk to my colleagues on the council before I give out their names because, obviously, it could potentially affect their careers and I wouldn't want to be the one put in that position." Again, there was no council, so therefore, there were no names. So he says, "Okay, that's fair. Would you talk to them, tell them that I want to talk to them and could you arrange a meeting?" I said, that's fair. I'll see what I can do." So I go back to the hotel that night, and I call my friend Barry [Rand] up. And I say, "Barry, I met with David Kearns today." Of course, he's all excited. "What? yeah?" And he said, "What about?" I said, "Because he wants to call off the national meeting in Chicago [Illinois]." Now, again, this is my best friend. He got me the job originally. First question he says, "You didn't tell me you called a meeting in Chicago." I said, "I didn't, man." He said, "What are you talking about?" I said, "I don't know what he's talking about. Yes, but he wants to talk to the council." Of course, his first question is, "What council? Who is the council?" I said, "I'm making this up, man." So that night he knew a guy he had gone to basic sales training school with, and from Chicago. We called him, Bill Sykes. And Bill Sykes said, "Okay, I'll, I'm in to be a part of the council." He's a rep (unclear) Midwest. I knew a guy in, in New York [New York] who I'd been in a meeting with, Art Crawford. And he said, "Okay." I called him, and he said, "I'm in." He knew a guy in L. A. [Los Angeles, California], a guy by the name of Gene Ruffin. He said, "Okay, I'm in." So now we had Barry in Mid- Atlantic and I was in the Mid-Atlantic. And we both wanted to be on the council. So Barry became the representative from the region and I was the President (laughter) since I'm the man in contact, right? So, so now, I'm the President of the now new council. And the Barry's the mid-Atlantic region, even though Barry was a sales manager and I was just training to be one. Gene Ruffin in the West; Art Crawford in the Northeast; Bill Sykes in, in Chicago, and we knew--Bill and Art both knew the guy in Rochester, CARI [Concerned Association of Rochester, Inc.], Bill Hamilton. So we got hold of Bill, but nobody knew anybody in the South. We just called the Affirmative Action Manager up and said, "Hey, man, this is what we're doing. You want to be a part?" He, he, he joined, Kerney Laday. So we banded together, the six of us. There were five regions and Rochester and became this council.$My sensibilities, my training, my God force, all those things say, no [not to turn away his son's troubled teenaged friends]. So instead, I hired them. I'm a vice president, in those days, of a Fortune 50 company [Xerox Corporation], if I can't give, you know, a bunch a kids a summer job, who can? Now, admittedly I had nothing I could do with them. So I gave them to the [basketball] coach [at Calvin Coolidge Senior High School, Frank Williams]. I said, "I will pay them to be on your basketball team." So they probably violated any chance of being (laughter) for college and whatever, but the truth is that was their job, right? So they went to, to go there to be with the coach. In the meantime, I also paid a teacher at the school, through Xerox, to be their tutor. And I surround them with another set of kids and we had this summer program. And Howard [Brown]--what's Howard's last name? Interestingly enough, from that very early experience, Howard, the, the teacher guy, now runs all extracurricular training for all the high schools in the city [Washington, D.C.], actually all the schools in the city. And he started working under us, twenty some years ago. But anyway, Howard Brown. So anyway, so now these kids are going through training, working for the coach. But at the end of my work day, I'd pick them up and would bring them home. And not surprising, these kids had the same hopes and visions and desires and capacities as my own child. And we said by the end of the summer, "Since you're going to be our friends--our son's friends, you're going to be our sons too. And we will house you, cloth you, feed you, educate you, give you everything that we have to offer to allow you to have the same opportunity for a life's outcome as our own child." And in order to save Wesley [son], we had to save Darryl, Milton and T-Bone. And then we surrounded them with another set of boys. So by the Fall of 1982, we had taken in nine teenaged boys every single day, eating. And we had a regimen, learning and training and--and over the next eleven years, from 1982 to 1993, we took in some eighty-seven children.$$Now, when you say take in, do you mean that all these kids lived here--$$No. No.$$--or what?$$The deal was house, cloth, feed, educate. What we call "affectionate adoption." For those who needed housing because they had a bad living circumstance, they'd either live here or we would pay somebody to house them, and we did that. Those who had a decent place to live went on home. But they just came here every day where the family operated as a unit under the same set of expectations with the same enforcement mechanisms, if you will--namely me. But I had dozens of kids go off to college, dozens have graduated from college. Darryl, that first big boy who has a masters degree today. In fact, day before yesterday, we were together, he and his wife and he has two children. So we're still family. Last night I was on the phone with Milton who was the second of those three boys. He's got his masters degree and he and his wife just had their first child after eight years of marriage. Darryl has three. Milton has one. So those are grandchildren, if you will, of mine--of ours. And T-Bone is in jail. And his last job when he wasn't in jail was for me, he worked for me in the school as a custodian. And his daughter was in the school. And, unfortunately, the drugs and--he has never been able to shake that, but that's another whole story. But we've seen, you know, any number of our kids go on to college and, and be successful and get degrees and go with their lives. But we've also had the tragedies that go with that era and that, that ilk of children, if you will. Five were, were murdered. Five boys murdered--three shot, one stabbed and one hung.$$Out of the eighty-seven?$$Yeah, and then one committed suicide. He shot himself. And, and that's when the life thing changed again. When, when you start burying children to the tragedies of, of violence at home. And again, we, we know now that I've served in Vietnam. I understand that. But not here with your own children. So I left Xerox on a crusade to save children, and that's where I am today. I'm in that journey. I left Xerox fourteen years--fifteen years ago now, started a non-profit organization called The Urban Family Institute with the idea that, that we as learned, capable adults can create a different paradigm to save children. And that's the journey I'm on.

Sanford T. Roach

Educator and basketball coach, Sanford T. Roach, was born in Frankfort, Kentucky. Roach graduated from Danville Bate High School in 1933 in Danville, Kentucky, where he was a basketball and football star and salutatorian of his class. In 1937, Roach earned his B.S. degree in natural sciences from Kentucky State University, where he was the captain of the basketball team, a track and field star, editor of the student newspaper, and a student council member. In 1955, Roach earned his M.A. degree in education from the University of Kentucky.

After graduating from college, Roach returned to his old high school to teach and coach basketball. Over the course of three years, Roach's coaching record was 98-24; in 1941 he gained notoriety for benching his five starting players the day of the district tournament for disobeying his curfew rule. Roach's strict sense of discipline on the court caught the attention of the principal of Lexington's Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, and he was soon hired as teacher and coach. Roach taught biology, physiology, and anatomy classes; by 1943 he had become head basketball coach. In his twenty-two years as head coach, Roach led Dunbar High to a 512-142 record.

In 1965, Roach's first wife, Mary, herself a basketball enthusiast, died unexpectedly. Shortly after, Roach retired from coaching. Between 1965 and 1966, Roach served as principal of George W. Carver Elementary School, becoming the first black principal of an integrated elementary school in Lexington. Between 1966 and 1975, Roach worked as an administrator at Lexington Junior High, and became the first black principal of a Fayette County secondary school. From 1975 to 1988, Roach worked as a minority recruiter and principal assistant for the state secretary of transportation, and from 1989 to 1995 he worked for Mayors Scotty Baseler and Pam Miller.

Roach received numerous awards and honors for his educational and coaching career. In 1974, Roach became the first African American board member of the University of Kentucky Athletic Association; in 1991, the new Paul Laurence Dunbar High School dedicated its S.T. Roach Sports Center in his honor. Roach was featured in the National High School Sports Hall of Fame; the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame; and the Kentucky State University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Roach passed away on September 2, 2010 at the age of 94.

Roach married Lettie in 1967, and had two children: Sandra Cole and Tom Roach.

Accession Number

A2002.225

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/10/2002

Last Name

Roach

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

T.

Organizations
Schools

Bate High School

Kentucky State University

University of Kentucky

Danville Bate High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sanford

Birth City, State, Country

Frankfort

HM ID

ROA01

Favorite Season

Football, Basketball Season

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Kentucky

Birth Date

2/26/1916

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Lexington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Death Date

9/2/2010

Short Description

Elementary school principal, high school basketball coach, and high school principal Sanford T. Roach (1916 - 2010 ) coached Lexington's Dunbar High basketball team for twenty-two years, in addition to teaching and becoming the first African American principal of an integrated elementary school in Lexington, Kentucky.

Employment

Bate High School

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

George W. Carver Elementary School

Lexington Junior High School

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sanford Roach interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sanford Roach's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sanford Roach discusses his family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sanford Roach remembers his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sanford Roach recalls his childhood home, Danville, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sanford Roach recalls his childhood activities

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sanford Roach recalls his high school years

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sanford Roach remembers his days playing high school basketball

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sanford Roach recounts an injury suffered while playing basketball

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sanford Roach discusses the successes of his high school basketball team

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sanford Roach remembers his father's death

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sanford Roach shares stories about his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sanford Roach recalls a humorous story from his college years at Kentucky State College

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sanford Roach discusses his sports career at Kentucky State College

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sanford Roach remembers his first teaching position after college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sanford Roach describes a rewarding professional experience

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sanford Roach remembers his mentors

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sanford Roach talks about his high school basketball coaching career during the 1940s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sanford Roach describes working for the Merchant Marines in the Great Lakes

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sanford Roach recalls episodes in courtship

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sanford Roach reviews his career at Bate High School, Danville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sanford Roach discusses basketball strategy

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sanford Roach describes the concerns of a high school basketball coach

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sanford Roach discusses the discipline of his basketball players at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sanford Roach recalls the travels of his Paul Laurence Dunbar High School basketball team

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sanford Roach remembers basketball stars he coached at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sanford Roach discusses issues in mentoring youth

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sanford Roach discusses the successes of his teams at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sanford Roach explains why he retired from coaching basketball

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sanford Roach discusses segregation in the University of Kentucky's basketball program

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sanford Roach describes an instance of racism at a University of Kentucky basketball game

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sanford Roach explains how he helped Tubby Smith become head basketball coach at the University of Kentucky

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sanford Roach discusses race relations in the University of Kentucky's athletic department

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sanford Roach considers his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sanford Roach describes his mother's response to his career in basketball

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sanford Roach describes how he'd like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Photo - Sanford Roach and wife with P. G. Peeples at a Magic Johnson reception

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Photo - Sanford Roach with Earvin 'Magic' Johnson and Jacques Wigginton

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - 'Transition Game' by Billy Reed

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Sanford Roach receiving a hall of fame award in Tampa, Florida

Barbara Farmer

Elementary school principal and education professor Barbara W. Farmer was born in Newport News, Virginia on February 16, 1946 to Rebecca and John Wilson. After graduating from Huntington High School in Newport News in 1963, she went on to earn her B.S. degree in business education from Hampton University in 1967. Farmer worked as an English teacher at Campbell County High School in Lynchburg, Virginia for one year. She married Edgar I. Farmer in 1968 and moved back to Hampton, Virginia where she taught business education at Kecoughtan High School from 1968 until 1974. Farmer continued teaching at various schools and community colleges, mostly in North Carolina, until 1994. She went on to receive her M.S. degree in education administration and supervision from North Carolina A & T State University, and her Ph.D. degree in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In 1997, she became the first African American principal hired in the State College, Pennsylvania area school district. Farmer has also served as professor at Pennsylvania State University and hosted several shows. She is the former host of “What Matters” (a call-in television/radio show about diversity issues) and an “Issues Program” on WPSU Inside/Out series. Farmer’s research interests include organizational structures of teachers in traditional and magnet schools, cultural diversity initiatives, and leadership initiatives. In 2007, she co-edited Diversity in America: Visions of the Future, a textbook that discusses various issues of diversity. She also contributed a chapter to Leading with Character.

Farmer has served as a member of the Committees That Care/ Care Partnership Education Committee for Centre County, the Minority Policing Committee Community Task Force for Center County, a chairperson for the Professional Development Committee for the State College Area School District, and a chairperson for the ACT 48 Professional Recertification Committee. Farmer sat on the board of Leadership for Center Centre County, United Way of Centre County, and the Centre County Women’s Resource Center. Her hard work and dedication have been recognized with numerous honors

Farmer and her husband have three children: Becky, Eric, and Edgar, Jr.

Barbara W. Farmer was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 12/01/2002.

Accession Number

A2002.230

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/17/2002

Last Name

Farmer

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Huntington High School

Booker T. Washington Middle School

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Weekends

First Name

Barbara

Birth City, State, Country

Newport News

HM ID

FAR02

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

No small children, High School age and older

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: No small children, High School age and older

Sponsor

Knight Foundation

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Australia

Favorite Quote

You Can't Make Chicken Salad If You Don't Have Any Chickens.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

2/16/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

State College

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweet Potatoes, Chicken

Short Description

Elementary school principal and education professor Barbara Farmer (1946 - ) was the first and only African American principal hired by the State College Area School District.

Employment

Campbell County High School

Kecoughtan High School

Houserville/Lemont Elementary Schools

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:303,4:3535,57:12520,195:17810,285:19343,318:22117,422:49711,814:68979,1096:88030,1444$0,0:2098,33:8000,83:8300,89:8660,97:8900,102:9560,118:9800,123:10640,140:11300,154:11600,164:15380,254:15800,262:18140,315:18560,323:19580,343:19820,348:25526,373:27108,391:34664,467:35096,474:37832,522:38120,534:38624,548:43872,599:44412,613:44682,619:44952,626:45870,646:46410,657:46896,667:51528,715:52705,730:63195,864:63762,877:64896,899:66219,931:67101,953:71426,987:73142,1033:75782,1079:76244,1092:83242,1195:83686,1202:84944,1226:85240,1231:86942,1263:87386,1271:91160,1290:91448,1295:91952,1304:92240,1309:98425,1404:99015,1417:100077,1438:103428,1474:106188,1514:106648,1520:109830,1529:113270,1584:114710,1615:115590,1656:117830,1677:119030,1706:119830,1736:120390,1750:120710,1755:128892,1834:129774,1851:130152,1861:130404,1866:133610,1911:134810,1925:137490,1935:139450,1968:141244,1987:141649,1993:142945,2012:147076,2108:149830,2183:158234,2347:160740,2358:161154,2365:162465,2416:164604,2455:166950,2520:167295,2530:167778,2539:171800,2575:175240,2657:178920,2755:182350,2778:182642,2783:183007,2789:184540,2832:188774,2928:191110,2989:192205,3022:193081,3039:194760,3071:198918,3086:199262,3091:200566,3105:200958,3114:202022,3140:202246,3145:203142,3165:203758,3179:203982,3184:204206,3189:204654,3206:205550,3227:206222,3241:216298,3439:217936,3476:224689,3558:225091,3572:229312,3706:239536,3891:243488,3978:245996,4047:247592,4082:250632,4158:251240,4167:259140,4249:262116,4288:262581,4294:263325,4302:269650,4350:270695,4376:270915,4383:273005,4440:274710,4488:275205,4498:282540,4581:284570,4628:285860,4635
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Barbara Farmer's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Barbara Farmer lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Barbara Farmer talks about her father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Barbara Farmer describes her parents' lives in South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Barbara Farmer talks about her father's work

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Barbara Farmer remembers her father's pride in owning cars and a home

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Barbara Farmer talks about her mother and how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Barbara Farmer describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Barbara Farmer remembers her older brother, John Wilson, Jr.

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Barbara Farmer recalls being burned as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Barbara Farmer describes the close-knit community in Newsome Park, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Barbara Farmer remembers her elementary schools

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Barbara Farmer talks about her experiences at Collis P. Huntington High School in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Barbara Farmer describes her teachers at Collis P. Huntington High School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Barbara Farmer recalls participating in the high school band

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Barbara Farmer describes her decision to attend Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Barbara Farmer recalls her desire to become a teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Barbara Farmer remembers participating in the March on Washington in 1963

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Barbara Farmer talks about her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Barbara Farmer recalls the segregation in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Barbara Farmer recounts her mother's handling of shopping experiences in a segregated society

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Barbara Farmer talks about adapting to integration

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Barbara Farmer describes Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia in the mid-1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Barbara Farmer recalls her teachers at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Barbara Farmer talks about her husband, Edgar Farmer

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Barbara Farmer describes the various places her family has lived

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Barbara Farmer talks about how she adjusted to living in State College, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Barbara Farmer remembers integrating the Kecoughtan High School staff in 1969

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Barbara Farmer remembers living in Greensboro, North Carolina from 1979 to 1984

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Barbara Farmer recounts how she became an educational trainer

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Barbara Farmer talks about how her views on race evolved in adulthood

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Barbara Farmer describes her decision to attend graduate school at North Carolina A&T State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Barbara Farmer describes attending North Carolina A&T State University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Barbara Farmer talks about earning her doctorate from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Barbara Farmer remembers moving back to State College, Pennsylvania in 1996

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Barbara Farmer describes how she became a school administrator in Centre County, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Barbara Farmer talks about being the first black principal in State College, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Barbara Farmer reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Barbara Farmer describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Barbara Farmer narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Barbara Farmer recalls her desire to become a teacher
Barbara Farmer describes how she became a school administrator in Centre County, Pennsylvania
Transcript
Now when you were in high school did you have an idea of what you wanted to--what career you wanted to pursue you know--?$$I did and I'll tell you how the bug hit me. I knew that college was an expectation because my--that was important to my parents and it became important to me of course. But we were playing for graduation, the band, and during that time they would be outside on the football field and the teachers would dress in academic regalia. So as we're sitting there playing Pomp and Circumstance and the teachers walked out in their caps and gowns, it was almost like I was in awe. And I thought oh my goodness I want to be one of those. And connecting that to the relationship I had with my teachers who pretty much all took pretty--really good care of me. But I--that was common though in our community. Again, a sense of family and a sense of high expectations because you have to replace us and you have to--in order to do better than your family did, you have to be educated. So I decided okay, I want to be a teacher and because my typing and shorthand teachers and my business teachers were so influential in my life and my sister remember was a business person, I decided to be a business education teacher. So I went to Hampton University. I went there in 1963 and graduated in 1967, wonderful experience. Nothing like HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] and we, we shall not allow them to die.$Tell me about how you became the first black principal in Centre County.$$Well the first year we were here, I did not work outside the home because I was doing the research for my dissertation and trying to help be there to be supportive of our daughter getting acclimated being here. So since my days were open I started volunteering at the high school and there I met a school counselor, Karen Stoehr. Karen's last name is S-T-O-E-H-R. And Karen and I connected almost immediately. And in interacting she discovered some of the things that I used to do and the trainings that I've had and she asked me if I would make a presentation to the district's diversity committee. Thought, okay I can do that. And a member of that committee at the time was the former superintendent, Bill [William] Opdenhoff, O-P-D-E-N-H-O-F-F, I believe. And Dr. Opdenhoff was a part of that committee so I did my preparation and I went to their meeting and I made my presentation on diversity. After that I got a call, I received a call from his secretary Elaine Skidel, S-K-I-D-E-L, to be a part of that committee, the diversity, the district's diversity committee and I thought okay, I'd like that. And I became involved in that and we were preparing for the Martin Luther King in service day and we were having a well rounded diversity program. I mean we covered the spectrum from one end to the other. And the meetings and preparation for that became interesting. I was the only black professional person. There was a black student, Gary Abdullah, A-B-D-U-L-L-A-H. Just an aside, Gary's parents were students here the first time I lived here and they've been here ever since. So Gary is now a senior at Penn State [University] but at the time he was a high school sophomore maybe and he was a part of the committee. And as I sat there listening to the issues we were discussing and how many times people weren't reality based about how people lived life outside of the Happy Valley and I found myself speaking to that and every now and then Gary or someone else. And then I made, I forged friendships on the committee and Gary said, "Okay, Mrs. Farmer you need to help. You need to help them." He'd lean over and say, "Help them understand." And then I'd have somebody else say, "Barbara please help them understand that." And I began to be a broker for people understanding and hearing each other's voices many times. And then when they wouldn't, I stepped outside of character every now and then to have my voice heard and that was necessary. And Bill and I formed a friendship and a relationship during that time so as--and that in-service year in preparation for it was very volatile in many, many ways, and our meetings ended up like that many times. But you know I kept going back because I was determined. Oh another couple, Claudia Hutchinson was a part of it, black female, and her husband Dave Hutchinson is a white guy and wonderful people. I've known them for almost, from when I lived here the first time too. So we found ourselves in the midst of people who had good intentions, I must say that, the right heart and good intentions and good direction for what they wanted to do and provide for district personnel and students. But if not having lived a certain kind of life or even been exposed to people who have lived that life, sometimes I found myself being a clarifier of whatever, whatever was needed at the time. Toward the end of that year I said to Bill, "You know I'm going to be coming to see you for a job so--because I need to go to work." He said, "Haven't you been able to tell that I've been courting you and hoping that you would do that?" And I said, "Okay, I like that." So he said, "Call my secretary and make an appointment." Make a long story short, he offered me a job as an administrator in the district and the interviewing process was interesting. I interviewed with him, interviewed with the parent committee and my PTA president at the time was on that committee, and some other district personnel. And then I interviewed with the district's A team, walked into a room and I think there were about thirteen people. I thought whoa, we can do this. So the training that I had had made the difference for me in that. And was my being African American a part of that? I've been asked that question in presentations that I make at the university or anywhere around town or in the State of Pennsylvania and I say that they saw a qualified person who happened to be black and that's why they chose me. Am I wise enough to understand that that had a big part of it? Of course.

Manford Byrd, Jr.

Educator Manford Byrd, Jr. was born on May 29, 1928 in Brewton, Alabama. He studied mathematics at Iowa Central College and graduated in 1949. He then pursued graduate work, earning his M.A. from Atlanta University in 1954 and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1978.

Byrd began his career in education teaching in Quincy, Illinois from 1949-1954.
From 1954-1967, he worked for the Chicago Public School system as a teacher, assistant principal, elementary and high school principal and assistant to the General Superintendent of the Chicago Public Schools. In 1968, he was appointed Deputy Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools. In this role, he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the school system. He was later appointed Deputy Superintendent for Instruction and Deputy Superintendent for Pupil Services and System-Wide Reorganization. In 1985, he was appointed General Superintendent of Schools, a position he would hold until he retired in 1990. Since retiring, Byrd works in private practice, as an educational consultant.

Byrd has sat on the boards of directors of the Chicago State University Foundation, Joint Negro Appeal, the Mid-America Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Council of the Great City Schools, the Chicago NAACP and the United Church Board for World Ministries. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Central College, Pella Iowa and the Adler Planetarium, Chicago. All together, he is a member of over 70 professional organizations.

Byrd has been the recipient of over 100 awards and commendations for excellence in teaching and academic administration, including honorary doctoral degrees from Central College, Hope College and the National College of Education. He and his wife, Cheribelle, have three sons.

Accession Number

A2002.076

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/1/2002

Last Name

Byrd

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Speakers Bureau

Yes

First Name

Manford

Birth City, State, Country

Brewton

HM ID

BYR01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

N/A

Favorite Quote

That's The Way It Is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/29/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Grits

Short Description

Elementary school principal, school superintendent, and high school principal Manford Byrd, Jr. (1928 - ) has worked for the Chicago Public Schools as a teacher and administrator, and served in several deputy superintendent positions before he was appointed general superintendent of schools.

Employment

Chicago Public Schools

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:3460,42:15648,176:16264,185:17111,201:17496,207:17804,212:18266,219:19267,240:19575,245:29050,354:29450,360:30410,375:37030,419:44046,507:44532,514:46864,522:47732,538:48042,544:51200,567:63880,707:66314,730:70070,769:70362,774:70800,781:81000,923:81350,932:81550,937:88743,1036:91792,1052:92536,1066:99150,1143:101150,1178:103070,1216:104510,1240:111182,1308:111566,1313:112238,1321:112622,1326:123470,1454:139807,1662:140122,1668:142740,1698:143180,1714:143675,1726:150912,1802:154440,1870:154944,1877:161910,1960:171880,2083:172860,2097:173350,2106:182630,2234:189238,2338:198230,2452$0,0:23164,301:24188,323:24508,329:25660,344:28988,413:29436,422:29820,429:32892,505:35452,557:49982,728:50540,738:55395,777:55929,784:61988,868:62366,875:62618,880:65455,919:69290,984:71266,1030:74838,1076:75294,1083:80002,1119:81826,1165:83118,1197:86766,1271:87070,1276:87450,1285:105545,1496:105920,1502:106220,1507:107720,1530:108170,1540:108620,1547:109220,1556:119175,1705:122620,1747:123061,1756:126884,1805:127415,1815:132530,1872:144823,2114:167408,2357:169516,2400:169992,2541:171420,2597:172780,2623:173256,2635:174072,2657:177095,2698:193755,2854:197454,2865:202208,2907:202496,2919:205736,2990:206096,2996:206744,3008:209768,3050:213874,3072:215206,3086:217650,3115:218130,3122:220850,3159:221170,3164:222930,3186:224850,3218:233588,3314:233993,3320:234722,3332:244540,3421:257216,3578:257678,3585:262836,3619:268945,3695:277085,3784:282164,3814:283958,3831:305650,3999
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Manford Byrd's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Manford Byrd lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Manford Byrd describes his parents, Evelyn and Manford Byrd, Sr.

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Manford Byrd talks about his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Manford Byrd describes his segregated community in Brewton, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Manford Byrd describes himself as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Manford Byrd talks about his influential teachers in school

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Manford Byrd talks about attending Iowa Central College in Pella, Iowa from 1946 to 1949

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Manford Byrd describes his experience as the only black man in Pella, Iowa while attending Iowa Central College

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Manford Byrd describes experiencing discrimination in Pella, Iowa while at Iowa Central College

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Manford Byrd talks about his teaching job in Quincy, Illinois after graduating from Iowa Central College in 1949

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Manford Byrd describes Quincy, Illinois, where he worked for the public school system from 1949 to 1954

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Manford Byrd talks about teaching in Quincy, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Manford Byrd describes moving to Chicago, Illinois to teach in 1954

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Manford Byrd talks about issues that affected black students in Chicago, Illinois in the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Manford Byrd describes becoming one of the few black assistant principals in Chicago, Illinois public schools in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Manford Byrd talks about meeting his wife, Cheri Byrd

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Manford Byrd talks about obtaining his Master's Degree from Atlanta University in Georgia in 1954

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Manford Byrd describes being appointed Deputy Superintendent of the Chicago, Illinois Public School system in 1968

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Manford Byrd describes the controversy around appointing the interim Chicago, Illinois Public School Superintendent in 1979

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Manford Byrd talks about the Chicago, Illinois Public School teacher's strike in 1987

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Manford Byrd talks about the controversy surrounding the appointment of HistoryMaker Ruth Love as the Chicago, Illinois Public School system Superintendent in 1981

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Manford Byrd describes the response of the black community to HistoryMaker Ruth Love's appointment as Chicago, Illinois Public School system Superintendent in 1981

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Manford Byrd talks about his role as an administrator in the Chicago Public School system during HistoryMaker Ruth Love's tenure as Superintendent from 1981 to 1985

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Manford Byrd talks about Jospeh Hannon's appointment to Chicago, Illinois Public School Superintendent in 1975

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Manford Byrd describes becoming the Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools system in 1985

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Manford Byrd talks about the reaction in the black community to HistoryMaker Ruth Love's appointment to Chicago Public School Superintendent

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Manford Byrd talks about the challenges he faced as Chicago Public School Superintendent from the years of 1985 to 1990

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Manford Byrd talks about his community recognition as the Chicago Public School Superintendent

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Manford Byrd talks about his three sons becoming engineers

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Manford Byrd describes his philosophy of education

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Manford Byrd talks about improvements needed for the public school system

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Manford Byrd talks about the need for parental support of students

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Manford Byrd talks about the independent education movement, the charter school system, and the voucher system in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Manford Byrd talks about how the public school system can serve the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Manford Byrd describes what he thinks his legacy will be

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Manford Byrd reflects on his career as an educator

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Manford Byrd narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Manford Byrd narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Manford Byrd narrates his photographs, pt. 3

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

2$5

DATitle
Manford Byrd talks about his teaching job in Quincy, Illinois after graduating from Iowa Central College in 1949
Manford Byrd talks about the challenges he faced as Chicago Public School Superintendent from the years of 1985 to 1990
Transcript
The other one that had an influence on my career as I told you when I changed from becoming an engineer because engineers weren't working and started toward teaching, I did my practice teaching at the local high school with one of the best math teachers in the, in the county and I did an excellent job, and she gave me A and I got superior markings and great potential as a teacher. Our placement office communicated with superintendents of schools and placed many of their students and in the fall of my senior year my colleagues were being interviewed for jobs. Nobody interviewed me. No superintendent interviewed me for a teaching job. But, I wasn't the only one who noticed that. The dean of the college noticed it. I hadn't spoken to anybody about it, but just before Christmas the dean met me on campus and said, "What are you gonna do for Christmas?" I said, "Well I'm going home." He said, "Enjoy it, but when you come back come in to see me. I wanna talk to you." Well that was disturbing to me because I was in my senior year and everybody was expecting me to graduate come June and here it is this stern dean wanting to talk to me. It can only mean that something has cropped up in my, in my record that's causing a problem was my thinking. But when I went in to see him, he said we have noticed that nobody has interviewed you and we're sorry about that, but we think that's the way it's gonna be too. He said, "Now because of that we reached out in some other directions. I have a, I have a son-in-law who's an administrator in a school system in Illinois down on the Mississippi River called Quincy, Illinois." He said, "There are black people there and so on and he said they'll be looking for teachers and so I have alerted the placement office that if you agreed that they would forward your credentials to the Quincy [Illinois] public school system for review." I said, "Well thank you, thank you very much." They sent the credentials, they invited me an interview, I went down, and I got the job. And I subsequently found out once I joined the school system that the recommendations and my record was so strong one of the interviewers told me later, he said, "The job was yours to lose. We had made our decision about you prior to your coming. You had to lose this job," and proudly I didn't, but that was my beginning in, in Quincy [Illinois]. I stayed there five years before coming up to Chicago [Illinois].$Right. So, what were the, the, your challenges. The black community achieved success. You were like one of the goals of the black community to get you in office-$$Right.$$--and how you, how did you feel, you know, finally coming into office and what were the challenges facing you?$$Well, the same basic challenges that would face anyone of trying to come up with an educational plan, trying to get funding to keep the system going and so on. I thought we did some things. As a matter fact if you go back during the term of, of my service, we probably came as close to the national norms in achievement on the Iowa Test than we have in the last twenty-five or thirty years, so we, we were able to do some things, but--as a matter of fact, it was, it was almost, it was an uphill battle. In the press I felt it almost immediately. The feeling is, oh yeah you're making some progress, but when are you going be at national normal? We want to know, we're inpatient. And so, now that you're finally there, you wanted it, and they say this often, yes it's tough, yes it's almost impossible, but he wanted this. He wanted it and now he's got it and now let him deliver. So, that was a lot of that, but I thought we did some things, I thought we, we planned. When I came into the system, into the superintendency, there was a lot of difficulty, a lot of dissatisfaction with the reading program, math program. We revamped all that. We'd started a staff development procedures. We started doing some rehabbing of buildings using the public building commission, so we did some things. Matter of fact, we got out on what was thought to be a role, we just rolled along, but those labor problems, the strikes, this, this hurt us and we didn't have the clout in Springfield [Illinois], didn't have the political clout to raise the monies to give us the support. And I told you what [Alderman John] D'Arco [Sr.] said to me, he looked around-$$He's an alderman in--(unclear)--(simultaneous)-$$He was from the [Chicago, Illinois] 1st ward. I think there was a, there was a--maybe I got the wrong name. It was a senator who ran into some difficulties himself.$$--(Simultaneous)--yeah, I always associate him with [Alderman] Fred Roti and [Alderman] John D'Arco.$$Yeah, and that's right, that's the group down in that 1st ward. So, [Alderman John] D'Arco said to me, he was a very nice senator, he said, "Yeah Manford, we looked around and we saw that the, the union president was black, superintendent was black, the mayo of the city was black, and we said let the blacks settle it. Well, the blacks couldn't settle it without the support of some other people in Springfield [Illinois], and we came up short of the money." But, there was such a ranker in the community that it was tough to, to overcome and unfortunately later after that horrendous strike the mayor expired and didn't stay around, but some of the things he hadn't planned. We did have a big meeting after that strike where there was a plan made to get a, a contingent from the business community, a contingent of parents, and a contingent of school board members and administrators and work together on a plan, a school plan, a new plan for the future, and the mayor promised that whatever came out of that summit, that agreeable summit, he would take as his educational platform and fight to get it supported in Springfield. Well, we died before that summit's work was completed, but the summit did go through. [HM] Eugene Sawyer followed the mayor and did work on some things, but, but had some other issues facing him and we just didn't get rolling all, everything that came out of that summit. And then there was a change in mayors and each of the mayors wanted to put their stamp on whatever it was so, when my contract expired they extended it by a year and in the meantime the new mayor came in and, and so I wound up serving as a, as a consultant to the board the final three or four months of, of that add on year.

Janet Purnell

Educator and minority advocate Janet Purnell was born in Akron, Ohio on August 30, 1936 and has been a life-long resident. She studied education at the University of Akron, where she earned both her B.S. (1959) and her M.S. (1971).

For twenty-two years, Purnell worked for the Akron Public Schools as both an elementary school teacher and principal. In 1967, she led alumni in successfully lobbying for the establishment of an anti-segregation policy on the University of Akron campus. In 1982, she became the Executive Director of the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority. In this role, she oversaw the public housing for 20,000 residents and served as a lobbyist on behalf of the 40 largest housing authorities. She later entered the private sector, acting as the CEO of Navic & Associates, where she served as a local and national consultant on establishing diversity in the workplace. In 1990, she returned to her alma mater to sit on the president's cabinet, overseeing all minority initiatives on campus. This position led to her subsequent role as the first Executive Director of Minority Development at the University. Purnell was responsible for securing funding to support minority initiatives and distributing annual scholarship funds to minority students. In honor of Purnell's appointment to chair the University of Akron's Board of Trustees, the Zeta Theta Omega Sorority established the Janet B. Purnell Project Self-Sufficiency Endowment, which annually awards a scholarship to a single mother.

Since 1985, she has provided leadership to historic preservation efforts in Akron. She designed and implemented the Dr. Shirla R. McClain Gallery of Akron's Black History and Culture program and spearheaded the establishment of the Gallery's endowment fund and curriculum guides. She has been a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for over forty years; has acted a Trustee for the Akron Urban League and Akron Musical Association; serves as the Secretary of the Akron Chapter of the NAACP; is the Vice-Chairman of the Akron Black Women's Leadership Caucus and Chair of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church Trustee Ministry. In 2001, Purnell was honored as one of 100 outstanding women of Summit County. She is the mother of two sons.

Accession Number

A2002.131

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/2/2002

Last Name

Purnell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Schools

University of Akron

North High School

First Name

Janet

Birth City, State, Country

Akron

HM ID

PUR01

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Houston, Texas

Favorite Quote

Do Not Go Where The Path May Lead. Go, Instead, Where There Is No Path And Leave A Trail.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

8/30/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Akron

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Broccoli

Death Date

11/30/2008

Short Description

Academic administrator, elementary school principal, and elementary school teacher Janet Purnell (1936 - 2008 ) was the first executive director of minority development at the University of Akron. She also taught in Akron Public Schools for twenty-two years before becoming executive director of Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority and CEO of Navic & Associates.

Employment

Akron Public Schools

Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority

University of Akron

University of Akron Shirla R. McClain Gallery

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Janet Purnell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Janet Purnell lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Janet Purnell describes her parents' family backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Janet Purnell talks about her maternal great-grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Janet Purnell talks about the traditional family stories that were passed on to her

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Janet Purnell describes why her parents moved to Akron, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Janet Purnell describes the sights, smells, and sounds of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Janet Purnell describes the role of Mt. Zion Baptist Church during her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Janet Purnell describes her mother's involvement with the Republican Party

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Janet Purnell describes her upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Janet Purnell describes her childhood interests and activities

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Janet Purnell talks about her favorite childhood holidays

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Janet Purnell describes her mother's strict personality

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Janet Purnell describes her parents' civic involvement

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Janet Purnell describes her experiences in school

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Janet Purnell describes her parents' educational backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Janet Purnell describes the first black teachers in the Akron Public School system

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Janet Purnell talks about her experiences attending Jennings Junior High School in Akron, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 19 - Janet Purnell talks about her parents' involvement with Freemasonry

Tape: 1 Story: 20 - Janet Purnell talks about her parents' care for others

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Janet Purnell talks about her parents' civic involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Janet Purnell describes her childhood chores

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Janet Purnell talks about growing up in Akron Metropolitan Housing

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Janet Purnell describes her experiences attending North High School in Akron, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Janet Purnell describes her social life as an African American student at North Senior High School in Akron, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Janet Purnell talks about the teachers that influenced her at North High School in Akron, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Janet Purnell describes why she enrolled at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Janet Purnell talks about attending the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Janet Purnell describes volunteering with the Akron Urban League as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Janet Purnell talks about police checkpoints in Akron, Ohio in the 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Janet Purnell talks about social unrest in Akron, Ohio during the 1960s and 1970s

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Janet Purnell describes her early teaching career

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Janet Purnell describes the dynamic between teachers and parents during her early teaching career

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Janet Purnell talks about developing partnerships with parents in the classroom

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Janet Purnell describes the "integrated learning experience" she helped develop in the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Janet Purnell talks about helping her students develop a sense of cultural identity and self-sufficiency

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Janet Purnell describes why she ended her career as an elementary school teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Janet Purnell talks about trying to integrate "private" parks with the National Urban League in Akron, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Janet Purnell talks about developing programs and services to encourage voter registration

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Janet Purnell talks about being active in Republican politics

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Janet Purnell comments on being a Republican in an era of declining black Republican involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Janet Purnell describes her Republican ideology

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Janet Purnell talks about arranging an interview between her students and Alex Haley, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Janet Purnell talks about arranging an interview between her students and Alex Haley, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Janet Purnell describes addressing discipline in schools during her time as a school principal

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Janet Purnell shares a story of a teacher disciplining a student without context

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Janet Purnell describes how a partnership with Akron Children's Hospital transformed the way she and her teachers approached students

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Janet Purnell talks about being the Vice Chairman of the Summit County Republican Party

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Janet Purnell talks about being hired as the Executive Director of the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Janet Purnell describes the challenges she faced as Executive Director of the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Janet Purnell talks about developing a formal pest control system for the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Janet Purnell describes the challenges she faced when hiring staff for the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Janet Purnell compares public housing developments in large cities

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Janet Purnell talks about the services offered to tenants during her time as Executive Director of the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Janet Purnell talks about gang violence in Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Janet Purnell talks about retiring as Executive Director of Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Janet Purnell talks about serving as interim Director of Minority Affairs and Executive Director of Minority Development for the University of Akron

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Janet Purnell talks about serving as Regional Coordinator of Leadership Development Training for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Janet Purnell talks about curriculum design

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Janet Purnell talks about working with every day people to acquire historical materials

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Janet Purnell comments on what it takes to contribute to history

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Janet Purnell describes the effects the Dr. Shirla R. McClain Gallery of Akron's Black History and Culture has had on the public

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Janet Purnell talks about her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Janet Purnell talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Janet Purnell narrates her photographs

DASession

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DATape

4$4$1$3

DAStory

5$6$13$2

DATitle
Janet Purnell describes the challenges she faced as Executive Director of the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority
Janet Purnell talks about developing a formal pest control system for the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority
Janet Purnell describes her mother's strict personality
Janet Purnell describes the "integrated learning experience" she helped develop in the 1950s
Transcript
Okay. Now, tell us about that. I mean, what was that like? Because I think the previous administration was Democratic or whatever, and you came in. And what kind of issues did you have to face?$$Well, not only the issue of blackness, but the issue of being a female. Because not only on a local level was it interesting to be received in that setting. I would run into situations because I... It called for a lot of traveling on a national basis to affiliate with the Council of National... large public housing authorities, etc., etc. And generally, I would travel with at least one other administrator. Like, it might be legal counsel or the vice president of finance. And there would be two of us who would come into a setting. And someone would say, "I'd like you to meet the new Executive Director of AMHA [Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority]." And say, if you and I were together, the person would immediately reach for your hand. (Laughter). This happened to us all the time that no one ever guessed that it could possibly be the tall black woman. No one ever guessed. And so, that happened throughout the whole six and a half years. When I first arrived even on the national scene at a conference, someone made the joke... made the comment, "Why would a little schoolteacher think that she could succeed in public housing?" Now six and a half years later by the time I was retiring, then they were angry because I was leaving because I'd become one of the leading lobbying voices before the Congress. Then they were upset, and I said, "Well, this little old schoolteacher is moving out now. Remember you thought this wasn't going to work." So, on all fronts--on the front of sexuality, on the front of race--from many perspectives there was the challenge. Because it is an autonomous political sub-division, and that was the climate in which I came in that could not be changed suddenly. And so, the fact that I had the ability to make multi-million dollar decisions day to day, and to really have the authority to run the Housing Authority, notwithstanding that the board was, you know, a governing board. As long as I was producing... as long as I was attracting the millions of dollars that were needed to run it, and producing the proper profits and enhancing the image of just what that housing authority was, then the board was pleased. And so, we were able to have a successful administration.$Okay. What kind of changes did you feel compelled to make in the administration of public housing here in the City of Akron? I mean what had it come to since you, since the days that you lived in public housing as a child? And what did you have to change to try to make it better?$$Well, one of the first things I had to do was to establish a system for our... a formal system for pest control. We had a very informal system for that. And that was major, in that we had something like 9,000 units of housing in six cities and two townships. And so, we did develop a full-scale program of that. One of the things--$$I'm sorry. The scope of what you were doing was not just in Akron [Ohio] then. It was in other cities?$$Right.$$Okay.$$Right. They were all in the county. But it was six cities and two townships.$$So it was Canton--$$Most of the others were smaller.$$Smaller.$$Were smaller than Canton [Ohio]. They were some of the smaller townships and villages, but it still made up nearly 10,000 units of housing.$Okay. So, you were a pretty happy child then, I suppose? I guess what you're describing is pretty--$$Yes. We felt our parents [Millard Walter and Nannette Victoria Johnson] were too strict, because we had a life where folks did care where you went and who was supervising. And like I said, in terms of the time curfew, in terms of things we wanted, you had to wait longer. But really, that was by virtue of the fact that there were six kids. And so, for your name to come up in the hat for a Schwinn bicycle, you had to be patient. They got you a Schwinn bicycle. You got a new one when you got it, but it had to be in the context of paying the family bills and everybody sharing the resources. And so, we came to learn that if we would prevail in terms of being patient, that our parents really extended themselves to a reasonable extent to see that we had the major things that we wanted in life that were important to us.$$Did any of you all ever rebel against your parents, in terms of the rules and--$$Oh, yes. We were very normal. (Laughter). I was probably one of the best children, because my mother [Nannette Victoria Johnson] could anticipate, before I even got into doing something that was out of order--she could sort of read my eyes and she would predict that I had in mind doing something. So, that cancelled it out. But no, we were normal children who had to be spanked and who had to be grounded. I even got as far as college days, and dating my husband. And no one in my family had ever gone to a drive-in movie. And we came home after 1 o'clock in the morning, and my mother would not believe there was such a thing as a movie theater open after that time. And so, she grounded me for thirty days. But my eldest brother got me bailed out, because he had a talk with her. We had a young adult club that met on Sundays at the Urban League. And he talked with her and explained that if she took me out of circulation, I might be with her forever. And I didn't what conversation had transpired; I just know that she called me upstairs and said, "Get dressed and go to your meeting." (Laughter). And she subsequently told me about this conversation, and reflecting on as much as she loved me... having me forever... (Laughter).$Okay, alright. So, what other things did you do, I guess, and were involved in (unclear)--?$$Well, we had the first bussing for integrated learning experience when I was yet in the classroom. I taught fourth grade. And a colleague of mine, Dr. Patricia Stewart, taught fourth grade. She taught at a predominantly white elementary school, and I taught at a predominantly black elementary school. We secured permission to transport my class to spend the afternoon with her class once a month, and we alternated months they would come to us. And we would have a social studies experience. We'd also have a time when they teamed up with specific buddies that they would look toward every month... find out what their hobbies were. They would take something... If Joe was interested in kites, then I might take a kite or something that I had found related to kiting on my next visit, to exchange. So, we had the social studies experience. They would have sack lunch together so that they could interact informally. And at the end of the school year, we had an international buffet luncheon that was more like a picnic, in which we had them bring dishes that related to whatever nationalities were reflected in the group. Some folk got to know what potato pie was for the first time. And by first, in terms of other dishes reflecting other cultures. And what we found was not only was it an excellent experience and they learned to work extremely well together--they fashioned such close bonds that at the end of that first summer when it was time to say good-bye, they were hugging and in tears, as though they had a summer camp experience and had been inseparable for many, many months instead of coming together once a month. And many of them to this day have relationships that have continued to go on into adulthood. But we were able to do that. The public schools provided public transportation for us to--$$Approximately when was this?$$This would have been in the late 1950's.