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Earl "Butch" Graves, Jr.

Publishing executive Earl "Butch" Graves, Jr. was born on January 5, 1962, in Brooklyn, New York to Barbara and Earl Graves, Sr., founder of Black Enterprise magazine. Graves graduated from Scarsdale High School in 1980. He went on to attend Yale University, where he was captain of the basketball team and became the school’s all-time leading scorer and the second leading scorer in Ivy League history. In 1984, Graves graduated from Yale University with his B.A. degree in economics, and was drafted into the National Basketball Association in the third round by the Philadelphia 76ers.

After a brief professional career in the NBA, where he played for the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers, Graves enrolled in Harvard Business School and graduated in 1988 with his M.B.A degree. Upon graduation, Graves joined Black Enterprise as Vice President of Advertising and Marketing. In 1991, he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Advertising and Marketing, and was named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 1995. In 1998, Graves was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of Black Enterprise and, in January of 2006, was named President and Chief Executive Officer, where he is responsible for the strategic positioning and overall profitability of the corporation, which includes magazine publishing, television production, digital media, and business and lifestyle events.

In 2000, Graves co-founded the Black Enterprise/Greenwich Street Corporate Growth Fund. He also serves as a managing director of the Pinnacle Minority Supplier Development Fund. Graves serves on the board of directors of AutoZone, Bermuda Tourism Authority, and is a trustee for The Committee For Economic Development. In addition to serving on numerous non-profit boards, Graves is a national advocate for the importance of education and athletics, and has served as an AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Head Basketball Coach for more than ten years.

In 2002, Graves was inducted into the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Hall of Achievement; and in 2009, he was honored with the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. He was also awarded the Jack Avrett Volunteer Spirit Award from the Boy Scouts of America in 2006.

Earl Graves, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 21, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.028

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/21/2014 |and| 7/2/2014

Last Name

Graves

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

G.

Schools

Scarsdale Senior High School

Yale University

Harvard Business School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Earl

Birth City, State, Country

Brooklyn

HM ID

GRA15

State

New York

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/5/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Publishing chief executive Earl "Butch" Graves, Jr. (1962 - ) was president and chief executive officer of Black Enterprise.

Employment

National Basketball Association

Black Enterprise

Karen Hunter

Publisher and author Karen Hunter was born on April 24, 1966 in Orange, New Jersey. In 1983, she graduated from Marylawn of the Oranges Academy in South Orange, New Jersey. After high school, Hunter attended Drew University, where she received her B.A. degree in English.

In 1989, Hunter joined the New York Daily News where she worked as a columnist and covered numerous topics for the paper, including sports, business, and news stories. From 1996 to 1998, Hunter worked as a professor of journalism at New York University. In 1999, as a member of the Daily News’ editorial board, she received a Pulitzer Prize for the paper’s series of editorials that formed a campaign to save the Apollo Theater in Harlem. While still at the New York Daily News, Hunter also began writing music reviews, through which she met various musicians, including LL Cool J. It was through him that Hunter began writing books, starting with a collaborative effort to write LL Cool J’s memoir I Make My Own Rules. She also has collaborated in creating the celebrity memoirs of Queen Latifah and Kris Jenner, as well as Reverend Al Sharpton’s book Al on America. Other books that Hunter worked on discussed issues of African American culture, such as Karyn Langhorne Folan’s Don’t Bring Home a White Boy.

In 2002, Hunter took a new academic position as an assistant visiting professor at Hunter College in the Department of Film and Media Studies. From 2003 to 2006, she co-hosted a morning talk show with Steve Malzberg at the AM radio station WWRL. Hunter also became a contributor to many cable news channels, including appearances on the Paula Zahn Now show on CNN and MSNBC.

In 2007, Hunter became CEO of her own publishing company, Karen Hunter Publishing, as an imprint of Simon and Schuster Publishing. The label publishes mostly popular nonfiction targeted towards the market for African American titles. In 2010, she published a book as the sole author, called Stop Being Niggardly, which is addressed to African Americans and their successes. In 2011, Hunter began a separate business venture called First One Digital Publishing that focuses solely on e-books for electronic reading devices.

Hunter lives in New York City.

Karen Hunter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 3, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.166

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/3/2012

Last Name

Hunter

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Marylawn Of The Oranges Academy

Drew University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Karen

Birth City, State, Country

Orange

HM ID

HUN07

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida, Bermuda

Favorite Quote

I'm A Pie Maker. I Don't Worry About The Crumbs, I Make A New Pie.$

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/24/1966

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Publishing chief executive and author Karen Hunter (1966 - ) worked as a columnist for the New York Daily News where she won a Pulitzer Prize before becoming a frequent book collaborator. She also founded Karen Hunter Publishing and First One Digital Publishing.

Employment

Karen Hunter Publishing

First One Digital Publishing

Random House Publishing

1600 AM WWRL

Hunter College

St. Martin's Press

New York University

New York Daily News

Favorite Color

Money Green, Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Karen Hunter's interview

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Karen Hunter describes Geechee culture and talks about her maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Karen Hunter describes her maternal grandfather's relationships with his wife and children

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Karen Hunter talks about James Brown's impact on people from Augusta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Karen Hunter talks about the accommodationist attitude her mother's family had towards segregation

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Karen Hunter considers her mother's dreams and aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Karen Hunter describes her mother's educational background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Karen Hunter talks about her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Karen Hunter describes her father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Karen Hunter talks about her father's connections to the choir at Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Karen Hunter describes her father's response Southern to discrimination and how he met his wife

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter talks about the role of the church in her parents' childhoods

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter talks about her mother's miscarriages and her brother's birth

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Karen Hunter talks about her father's personality, and her likeness to him

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Karen Hunter describes her father's obsessive compulsive disorder

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Karen Hunter talks about her father's work ethic, occupations, and his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Karen Hunter talks about her father's store, Hunter Corner Store

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Karen Hunter talks about the 1967 Newark, New Jersey riots, and her father's reaction to them

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Karen Hunter describes her father's attitude towards playing Scrabble

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Karen Hunter shares her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Karen Hunter describes her childhood household

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Karen Hunter talks about her father's mentor and the robberies that occurred at her father's store

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Karen Hunter talks about her father's retirement at forty eight years old

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Karen Hunter describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter describes her childhood neighborhood in East Orange, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter talks about attending grade school, her stature, and quick wit

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Karen Hunter talks about transitioning from public school to Catholic school and her grade school crush

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Karen Hunter talks about skipping seventh grade

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Karen Hunter describes her fifth grade teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Karen Hunter talks about attending a Catholic all-girls high school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Karen Hunter talks about her experiences at Marylawn of the Oranges Catholic High School in South Orange, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Karen Hunter talks about her childhood and the role of reading and TV

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Karen Hunter talks about breaking her father's aquarium and the family's move

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Karen Hunter talks about her love of books as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Karen Hunter talks about her father's ideologies

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Karen Hunter talks about her parents and their love of music and parties

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Karen Hunter talks about how her view of religion has evolved, as well as about her interest in gospel music

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter talks about the individuals in the arts that influenced her as a youth

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter reflects upon the impact the nuns at Marylawn of the Oranges Catholic High School had on her

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Karen Hunter talks about traveling to Washington, D.C., Paris, and Spain as a high school student

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Karen Hunter talks about why she applied to Drew University in Madison, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Karen Hunter describes Drew University and the surrounding community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Karen Hunter talks about her college major

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Karen Hunter talks about her experience at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Karen Hunter talks about her fried chicken business at Drew University

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Karen Hunter talks about her perception of Black Studies and black culture as a student

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Karen Hunter talks about her last year at Drew University and her first job

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Karen Hunter describes attempting to audition for Saturday Night Live

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Karen Hunter talks about her first job after college graduation selling dictionaries

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter talks about her early career in newspaper writing and being hired at the New York Daily News

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter talks about writing for the New York Daily News

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Karen Hunter talks about the challenges of a sports writer

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Karen Hunter discusses the importance of looking for guidance during her early career

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Karen Hunter describes transitioning from sports writing to news writing at the New York Daily News

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Karen Hunter talks about the dynamic of being a female reporter covering male sports

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Karen Hunter recalls how covering a murder case in Brooklyn, New York changed her perception of journalism

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Karen Hunter talks about covering a school shooting at Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn, New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Karen Hunter talks about the change in ownership at the New York Daily News and a mentor who saved her job

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Karen Hunter talks about her work as a business writer at the New York Daily News

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter compares New York City's most popular newspapers

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter talks about the racist environment at the New York Daily News

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Karen Hunter describes how she has stayed true to herself

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Karen Hunter recalls being invited to sit on the editorial board at the New York Daily News

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Karen Hunter describes how sitting on the editorial board of the New York Daily news changed her perception of news writing

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Karen Hunter talks about broadening her understanding of diversity at the New York Daily News

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Karen Hunter describes her transition from writing editorials to music reviews at the New York Daily News

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Karen Hunter talks about her first book contract with LL Cool J, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Karen Hunter talks about her first book contract with LL Cool J, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Karen Hunter talks about the backlash her Pulitzer Prize-winning series on the Apollo Theater received

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Karen Hunter talks about investigating the poor conditions of the Apollo Theater in the 1990s

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter talks about how the New York Daily News' series on saving the Apollo Theater won her a Pulitzer Prize

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter reflects upon the state of Black America

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Karen Hunter talks about how black writers influence mainstream media

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Karen Hunter talks about the challenge of balancing cultural and racial bias in journalism

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Karen Hunter describes the challenge of being a black journalist in mainstream media

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Karen Hunter talks about the importance of holding black leaders accountable

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Karen Hunter talks about Marva Collins

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Karen Hunter talks about her journalistic integrity

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Karen Hunter talks about her experiences teaching at New York University and with the Legal Outreach program in Harlem, New York City

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Karen Hunter talks about the failure of her online women's sports magazine

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Karen Hunter talks about her morning talk radio show

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Karen Hunter talks about balancing radio hosting, news writing, and teaching in the early 2000s

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter talks about predicting Barack Obama's presidential candidacy and leaving the New York Daily News in 2004

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter talks about writing On the Down Low with J.L. King, as well as the impact of the book

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Karen Hunter talks about the 2007 launch of her imprint, Karen Hunter Publishing

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Karen Hunter reflects upon American achievement

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Karen Hunter talks about black publishing and her mission to publish books that appeal to all people

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Karen Hunter talks about the impact of publishing Kris Jenner's book

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Karen Hunter describes what inspired her to call for a boycott of Donald Trump

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Karen Hunter talks about the projects published through Karen Hunter Publishing

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Karen Hunter describes some of Karen Hunter Publishing's projects

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Karen Hunter reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Karen Hunter talks about her family

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Karen Hunter talks about how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

7$6

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Karen Hunter talks about how the New York Daily News' series on saving the Apollo Theater won her a Pulitzer Prize
Karen Hunter talks about the racist environment at the New York Daily News
Transcript
So I wasn't the lead on the editorials at all. We had a crack research staff, you know like Mike--Michael Aronson was--every I was dotted, every T was crossed, every number was--numbers were--this was a--this, this series was about the numbers not adding up. Wasn't personal, wasn't flowery writing, it wasn't like you know, a five year old crack head and that, you know that kind of--it was about the numbers not adding up and, and, and the malfeasance that led to the, the, the breakdown of a, of a Harlem institution. But the, the reason why the Pulitzer was awarded was because, because of these series, Time Warner came in and formed a new board that then restored it. So, so it wasn't just ooh, look at this. But now there's a solution. And that was the formula that Michael understood made sense and mattered. Because in order to win a Pulitzer, you have to have an impact on something. You can't just say you have a booger, you know you have to bring the tissue and wipe the nose. You know, you have to fix that, right. So the, the editorials led to a solution that then led to something really great happening in the city of Harlem. Which also kind of was the anchor for all of the gentrification and the wonderful stuff that's going on there now, right. So, so you look at the broader impact of something like that and you go wow, you know, it was not just this one piece and it wasn't picking on Charlie Rangel, and it wasn't just picking on Percy Sutton; but it was holding them accountable, which is what we should do, right? It's sort of our like our vote. You know you just go, go I'm gonna vote for somebody, but they're not taking care of your interests, right. They're not doing the things that, that are helping you get educated and helping you get a job and things like that, but you can just keep voting for them. And that's what was happening in Harlem. You know, you just gone pour your love and support on people and they're rich. You know, they're living like fat cats and you're hungry. There's a problem there. And it wasn't personal. And to be able to--and, and to--if you go back and see, there was no backlash. And it was easy to target the Daily News for racism; easy, easy, easy cause it had a history. But I think we, we did the groundwork in making sure that wasn't gonna happen by, by reaching out to the people in the community and explaining to them, instead of just going off and doing stuff. They were involved in it. They were whistle blowing. You see what I'm saying? So anyone who feels betrayed, look in your backyard because the Daily News pieces could not have gotten done without a lot of people helping.$And that--now they had to get sued to, to do it. It was the first paper on record to be actually convicted of racism in this country. Did you know that? Which is how I got there. I didn't tell you that story, right. So I get there the first week after this dude was telling me I'm not up to par and I'm already a little insecure now about my talents. And I get there the first week Bill Traverse, who was my direct supervisor in high school sports says to me well, you know you're only here because you're black. Who says that to a kid coming in? And I--so initially, and this is how I operate, I was taken aback but you can't show it. So I said okay, well I'm gone show you how a black person operates, you know, that was my mindset. Okay, I'm just here cause I'm black, well I'm gone let you know what that looks like. They had never had a black person in that particular department before, so that--the next week I got that front page piece, or two weeks after that. So that was my answer to that. And so he says to me I been here for twenty years, I never had a front page piece. I said maybe you need to work a little harder. Maybe, maybe there's something you're not doing right. Or maybe it's cause I'm black, you know. But--and there was another kid that wanted the job that I had and he was dating one of my coworkers who was in high school department. And somebody asked him to do something, he said get the nigger to do it. All this was going on with--without me knowing, you know, that there's these, these, these, these rumblings, these racist rumblings going on in this department. But I'm oblivious to it because I have a, an objective. It has nothing to do with their racism. I got my own plan. So it in many ways not knowing it probably helped fuel, you know, and then when he confronted me with that, that put me in a whole 'nother path. So then he was telling me about the, the lawsuit and how the slot was open for this many years because they had to fill it with a minority. And this and this and that, you know and it had to be, you know a black or Asian or something. So my being there was interesting because in many ways I, I kind of set the table. And then coming behind me a couple years later was Steven A. Smith. So he comes into that same cesspool of racism, same exact space, and he's experiencing the same thing. So we automatically bonded because I'm a little brash and out there. And at the time he was just out of his--I forgot what school he went to in North Carolina. But you know he's wearing these tight pants, and that wasn't in, in style then. But love you Steven. But he comes in and he's getting broadsided because he's, he's urban, you know he's very urban. But what he does know are the streets in a way that these people never will. So he's now talking to kids like Lamar Odom, you know and, and you know really developing relationships, which has been his hallmark. And he and I are talking, you know. And he's like well they told me I shouldn't hang out with you, that you're trouble, you know. This is what he tells me. I said well you can make this decision on your own, I'm still here doing things at a high level. They're in high school sports. So you make a decision about who you're going to listen to. Somebody who's been in high school sports for twenty five years, or someone who's moving and shaking over here. So he made his choice and it was the, I think the right choice. He didn't last there long, but as a result of kind of marching to his own beat, look where he is today. And I feel like--not that I empowered him cause Steven A was Steven A when I met him. But to have somebody there as a mentor at, at a place where you could really get damaged if you don't have someone showing you how to rock and sock and robot, you know, gives you more power to, to operate in your space, in your talent. So that was you know-

Tyrone Taborn

Publishing chief executive and civic leader Tyrone Taborn was born in Chicago, Illinois, on February 8, 1959, to Edith Taborn. Taborn was raised in an African American and Latino home in Los Angeles, California. Taborn attended Cornell University, where he held membership in the Quill and Dagger, the secret honor society, and was one of thirty-two academic scholars with membership to the Telluride Association. In 1978, Taborn was selected to be the first Lyndon B. Johnson intern in the office of late Congressman Julian C. Dixon.

In 1986, Taborn founded and became the Chairman and CEO of Career Communications Group, Inc., a multimillion-dollar talent management and career development company that publishes U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology, the nation’s only general-interest technology magazine for the African American community. He also produced the award–winning syndicated television show Success Through Education. In 2006, Taborn was a contributing author for The Covenant With Black America, The New York Times bestseller compiled by Tavis Smiley. Taborn was also a frequent contributor for the Baltimore Sun. Taborn is the founder of Black Family Technology Week, La Familia Technology Awareness Week and the Native American Technology Awareness Project. The goal of these public awareness campaigns is to promote the value of technology and its importance in educating and preparing minority children for future careers. Taborn is the editor-in-chief of Hispanic Engineer and Information.

Tyrone Taborn is a community leader, undertaking initiatives and serving on the boards of organizations to improve the education and career opportunities of African Americans and minorities in inner-cities. Taborn’s past and present board memberships include the Baltimore Engineering Society, the Afro-American Newspaper Company, the Baltimore Urban League, Granville Academy, Centro de La Comunidad, Morgan State University Foundation, The Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust, Women Legislators of Maryland, Baltimore Partners for Enhanced Learning and The Presidents' RoundTable. Taborn was named one of the 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology by Blackmoney.com, one of only nine internet and technology leaders honored by Sprint and MOBE IT. He was presented with a Congressional Black Caucus Honor as a Pioneer in Publishing by Congressman Major Owens. In 2005, he received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Morgan State University.

Taborn is married to Jean Hamilton and is the father of two children.

Tyrone Taborn was interviewed by The HistoryMakers July 28, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.218

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/28/2007

Last Name

Taborn

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

McCosh Elementary School

Susan Miller Dorsey High School

University High School

Cornell University

Johns Hopkins University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Tyrone

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

TAB01

Favorite Season

Late Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Stop Applauding The Headlines.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

2/8/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Jerk Chicken

Short Description

Publishing chief executive Tyrone Taborn (1959 - ) was the founder, chairman and CEO of Career Communications Group, Inc., which published "U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology," "Women of Color Technology," and other magazines. He was also a contributing author of the bestseller, "The Covenant with Black America."

Employment

Career Communications Group, Inc.

Favorite Color

Sky Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Tyrone Taborn's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Tyrone Taborn lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Tyrone Taborn describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Tyrone Taborn describes his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Tyrone Taborn remembers his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Tyrone Taborn talks about his grandmother's upbringing in the South

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Tyrone Taborn recalls the death of his brother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Tyrone Taborn describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Tyrone Taborn describes his paternal ancestry, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Tyrone Taborn describes his paternal ancestry, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Tyrone Taborn talks about his paternal family's Native American ancestry

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Tyrone Taborn recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Tyrone Taborn describes his start as a social activist

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Tyrone Taborn remembers the influence of his maternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Tyrone Taborn remembers his opposition to the Vietnam War

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Tyrone Taborn recalls his experiences of racial discrimination in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Tyrone Taborn remembers his experiences in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Tyrone Taborn describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Tyrone Taborn describes the Princeton Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Tyrone Taborn recalls the writings of the Nation of Islam and the Black Panther Party

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Tyrone Taborn remembers touring the Chicago Sun-Times' printing press

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Tyrone Taborn recalls the gang activity in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Tyrone Taborn describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Tyrone Taborn recalls his admission to the 'Student News' program

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Tyrone Taborn remembers KLCS-TV's 'Student News' program, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Tyrone Taborn remembers KLCS-TV's 'Student News' program, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Tyrone Taborn describes his work ethic

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Tyrone Taborn recalls the influence of Daniel Hirsch

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Tyrone Taborn remembers his admission to the Telluride Association Summer Program

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Tyrone Taborn recalls winning an essay contest held by 'The Lawrence Welk Show'

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Tyrone Taborn remembers Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Tyrone Taborn describes his organizational activities at Cornell University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Tyrone Taborn talks about the Quill and Dagger society

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Tyrone Taborn remembers Nelson Mandela

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Tyrone Taborn talks about racial discrimination in the labor movement

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Tyrone Taborn recalls working for Congressman Julian C. Dixon, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Tyrone Taborn recalls working for Congressman Julian C. Dixon, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Tyrone Taborn remembers Julian C. Dixon

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Tyrone Taborn recalls lessons from his congressional internship

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Tyrone Taborn describes Cornell University's African American studies program

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Tyrone Taborn remembers his cousin, Doris Nicholson

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Tyrone Taborn recalls leaving Cornell University to found a company

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Tyrone Taborn describes the start of Career Communications Group, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Tyrone Taborn describes the mission of the Career Communications Group, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Tyrone Taborn recalls his early challenges at the Career Communications Group, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Tyrone Taborn recalls the investors in the Career Communications Group, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Tyrone Taborn talks about his business role models

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Tyrone Taborn describes the success of the Black Engineer of the Year Awards

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Tyrone Taborn describes the Women of Color in Technology STEM Conference

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Tyrone Taborn describes the legacy of the Black Engineer of the Year Awards

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Tyrone Taborn recalls the development of the Black Engineer of the Year Awards

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Tyrone Taborn describes the readership of the Career Communications Group, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Tyrone Taborn talks about the 'Success Through Education' television program

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Tyrone Taborn talks about the importance of history

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Tyrone Taborn recalls hosting a panel of black U.S. military leaders

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Tyrone Taborn talks about his television show, 'Success Through Education'

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Tyrone Taborn describes his journalism, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Tyrone Taborn describes his journalism, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Tyrone Taborn talks about Sheila Dixon

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Tyrone Taborn describes his contribution to 'The Covenant with Black America'

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Tyrone Taborn reflects upon the success of 'The Covenant with Black America'

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Tyrone Taborn remembers meeting Cornel West

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Tyrone Taborn shares a message to future generations

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Tyrone Taborn reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Tyrone Taborn describes his children

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Tyrone Taborn talks about his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Tyrone Taborn reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Tyrone Taborn narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

2$2

DATitle
Tyrone Taborn remembers KLCS-TV's 'Student News' program, pt. 1
Tyrone Taborn recalls his early challenges at the Career Communications Group, Inc.
Transcript
Now, let me tell you what that Channel 58 [KLCS-TV, Los Angeles, California] experience was like for me, which was so incredible. One, I went to the Academy Awards [Oscars] as a reporter. 'Student News' aired once a week, it was an hour-long show, and it was a legitimate news organization because we were on the airwaves, so the argument really was we were working journalists. So, they sent me to the Academy Awards and it, it was a big hassle because orig- first they wanted to, to deny us, then they said, "No, let 'em go." So, the station paid for a tuxedo, they sent a camera, another student ran the cameras, right? And then we got to have a person with a tape recorder because our cameras did not have sound, okay? And we would come back and splice all of that together. When Vietnam [Vietnam War] failed, when Vietnam failed, I was the one sent to Camp Pendleton [Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, San Diego County, California] to cover the Vietnamese who were housed there, and one of the things that burns in my mind to this day is that there was a little boy, and there was a cameraman, and the cameraman was saying to the little boy, "You see that orange? Pick it up off the ground." Little boy wasn't interested in the camera, but the cameraman was telling the kid to pick that orange up off the ground so he could tape it, and that's the image that millions of Americans saw; it fell back to this issue of rhetoric. I, I stood there, I saw that. When the Concorde [Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde], which was amazing--when it came to Los Angeles [California], I didn't fly on it but I rode on it--they put me on the Concorde as a, as a, as a, as a person who was covering those stories, so I had some incredible experiences. Well, while I was at 'Student News,' there were some kids at University High School [Los Angeles, California]; I remember one particular young white male, Steven Wynn [ph.], that was his name, and I came in one day upset because they would not let me on the school newspaper, said--they said I couldn't write, at the school that I was attending in the Valley [San Fernando Valley, California]; said, "You can't write." And I was upset, and Steve Wynn said, "Come to University; I'm on the school newspaper, you will--we will put you on the school newspaper." And that's, and that's what happened.$$So, you went back to University?$$Well, that was--no, no, that was my first time at University. I can't remember the name of the school in the Valley that I had attended.$$So, what year were you doing this Channel 58, 'Student News'?$$Okay, let's back out the age--probably around 1970--let's see, I, I went to Cornell [Cornell University, Ithaca, New York] in '77 [1977], so we're talking about '74 [1974]. I was a freshman in high school, that's where I started--I spent my entire time.$So what did you do the first couple of years (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) It was technology.$$--as you were building this company [Career Communications Group, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland]? Take me through a couple of those turning point moments.$$Ah. They were very tough moments because, as I said, in many ways, it would have been easier to have started a new company with that concept rather than being saddled, you know, using the name Umoja Sasa, which means unity now in Swahili. I remember going into New York [New York] ad agencies and talking to them and they would laugh at the name Umoja Sasa. I remember some companies who looked at it said, "Why would we ever put an ad into this kind of, into this kind of publication?" And what, what struck me is that I sought what was my core belief, and I aligned it with what were their core beliefs. My core belief was helping the community find a path to wealth creation through technology; their belief was that we need good employees and we need people trained in technology--that was the common denominator, that's what I pursue. I don't pursue things that separate us, I pursue the things that maintain my integrity and can maintain our partner's integrity. But the thing (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) But what were the struggles the first two years? Give me some concrete struggles.$$Finances. One of the reasons I came to Baltimore [Maryland] was because of Billy Murphy [William H. Murphy, Jr.]--Billy Murphy being, you know--who ran for mayor, famous from the Murphy family. Billy Murphy's an MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts] engineer, and I was introduced to Billy. I moved into--the company moved into Billy's building on Calvert Street; he was behind the building, and we moved right into that immediately with Billy Murphy, with Dick Falcon [Richard V. Falcon], Jake Oliver [HistoryMaker John Jacob "Jake" Oliver] who's now the publisher of the Afro [Baltimore Afro-American; Afro-American Newspapers]. Jake was on the board of Maryland National Bank; he came to Baltimore, Maryland National Bank, gave me $100,000. The people were from Princeton [Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey]; I remember what they said, I remember the banker, John Black. He looked at me, he said, "You know, we're not betting on this publication, we're betting on you because we believe in you, and with a, with a sign of your hand, a $100,000 loan." That was critical. Some of the other critical pieces that we had were really convincing companies how important this role modeling piece was, so one of the early companies that came on board was IBM [International Business Machines Corporation]; IBM absolutely believed in diversity and reaching out, and put their name behind many of our activities.

Melvin E. Banks

Publisher Melvin E. Banks was born in Birmingham, Alabama on October 15, 1934. Banks graduated from Parker High School in Birmingham in 1952, and from there he attended the Moody Bible College in Chicago, where graduated in 1955. Continuing his education, Banks attended Wheaton College, earning a B.A. degree in theology in 1958 and his master’s degree in biblical studies in 1960.

Following his graduation, Banks was employed by Scripture Press Publications, where Banks helped bring their products into Black churches nationwide. In 1970, Banks founded Urban Ministries, Inc., which produces Bible study materials for people in urban communities with an emphasis on the African American community. Over the ensuing decades, his company has grown to serve over 100,000 Sunday school and vacation bible school teachers across the country, as well as materials for adult education. Four of the videos produced by Urban Ministries have been honored with either Chicago Emmy awards or Angel Awards.

Banks is also the founder of the Urban Outreach Foundation, which conducts training seminars around the country. He also sponsors yearly conferences, and a number of notables, including Dr. Michael Battle, Rev. Floyd Flake and Jesse Jackson. Banks serves as a trustee at his alma mater of Wheaton College, as well as the Circle Y Ranch, which is a children’s camp. He and his wife, Olive, have been married since 1955. They reside in Chicago.

Accession Number

A2004.156

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/2/2004

Last Name

Banks

Maker Category
Middle Name

E.

Organizations
Schools

A.H. Parker High School

Moody Bible Institute

Wheaton College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Melvin

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

BAN03

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

10/15/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

South Holland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweet Potatoes

Short Description

Publisher Melvin E. Banks (1934 - ) is the founder of Urban Ministries, Inc., which produces Bible study materials with an emphasis on the African American community, and is also the founder of the Urban Outreach Foundation, which conducts training seminars around the country.

Employment

Scripture Press

Urban Ministries, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Melvin E. Banks's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Melvin E. Banks lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Melvin E. Banks describes his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Melvin E. Banks talks about his mother's education and job as a school teacher in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Melvin E. Banks talks about his father and his parents' divorce shortly after his birth

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Melvin E. Banks describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Melvin E. Banks recalls the neighborhoods where he was raised in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Melvin E. Banks describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Melvin E. Banks discusses a few of the unique dietary practices in the southern United States

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Melvin E. Banks talks about witnessing the evolution of music from the Negro spirituals to quartet music to gospel music

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Melvin E. Banks talks about his participation in church while growing up in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Melvin E. Banks talks about attending elementary school and Bible school in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Melvin E. Banks talks about being home with his sister and cousin during the week while his mother worked

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Melvin E. Banks recalls the end of World War II in 1945

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Melvin E. Banks remembers heavyweight champion Joe Louis

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Melvin E. Banks describes his decision to spread the word of God

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Melvin E. Banks discusses his decision to get baptized a second time

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Melvin E. Banks describes his experience at A.H. Parker High School in Birmingham, Alabama, pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Melvin E. Banks describes his experience at A.H. Parker High School in Birmingham, Alabama, pt.2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Melvin E. Banks talks about his first time traveling outside the southern United States

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Melvin E. Banks describes race relations in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1940s and 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Melvin E. Banks describes his experience riding the bus in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Melvin E. Banks talks about his experience as a minority black student at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois in the early 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Melvin E. Banks describes his academics and extracurricular activities at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Melvin E. Banks talks about attending Brethren Assembly Church in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Melvin E. Banks describes meeting his wife, their courtship and their decision to get married

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Melvin E. Banks describes his experience at Wheaton College and the professors who influenced him there and at Moody Bible Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Melvin E. Banks compares his exposure to black history at schools in Birmingham, Alabama with its absence in his college education in Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Melvin E. Banks discusses the influence of Elijah Muhammad and Bishop Alfred Gilbert Dunston, Jr. on his realization of the Bible's connection to Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Melvin E. Banks describes his decision to work at a white publishing house, Scripture Press, in Wheaton, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Melvin E. Banks describes how United Ministries, Inc. was founded in 1970

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Melvin E. Banks describes the initial years of operating Urban Ministries, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Melvin E. Banks talks about the strong influence of his faith during the initial years of business at Urban Ministries, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Melvin E. Banks describes the evolution of biblical material published at Urban Ministries, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Melvin E. Banks talks about changing the leadership of Urban Ministries, Inc. with C. Jeffrey Wright becoming its CEO in 1994

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Melvin E. Banks talks about the influence of Urban Ministries, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois on the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Melvin E. Banks discusses the evolving acceptance of biblical publications that portray African heritage

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Melvin E. Banks discusses how Urban Ministry, Inc.'s biblical study materials and curricula help address social issues in the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Melvin E. Banks discusses Urban Ministries, Inc.'s publications and materials that depict role models in the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Melvin E. Banks describes the publications and publication process at Urban Ministries, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Melvin E. Banks discusses the rise and fall of black publishing houses and the works of black artists and authors

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Melvin E. Banks talks about where Urban Ministries, Inc. (UMI) in Chicago, Illinois sells its materials

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Melvin E. Banks describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Melvin E. Banks reflects upon his life and education

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Melvin E. Banks describes the positive work atmosphere at Urban Ministries, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Melvin E. Banks talks about Urban Ministries Inc.'s annual conference for Christian pastors and educators

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Melvin E. Banks talks about his mother and sister passing away before having a chance to witness the success of Urban Ministries, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Melvin E. Banks talks about his mother and sister passing away before having a chance to witness the success of Urban Ministries, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Melvin E. Banks reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Melvin E. Banks reflects upon the future of Urban Ministries, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Melvin E. Banks talks about his wife, Olive Banks; the church they co-founded and his involvement with the Christian Circle Y Ranch summer camp since 1956

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Melvin E. Banks describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Melvin E. Banks narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

5$2

DATitle
Melvin E. Banks describes his decision to spread the word of God
Melvin E. Banks describes his decision to work at a white publishing house, Scripture Press, in Wheaton, Illinois
Transcript
So, well--so, you were in grade school [Booker T. Washington School; Booker T. Washington K-8 School, Birmingham, Alabama] and you were a good student. And so, you--$$Yeah.$$You got interested in Bible study, right?$$Yes. Well, first of all this Bible class was being taught by a brother that, a man, that came down from Detroit [Michigan] as a missionary. It was the first time I'd ever seen a black--well, of course at that time you didn't see any missionaries at all. But he was a black man who had been led to the Lord by a man who originally had come from the Bahama Islands [Bahamas]. There were three brothers who migrated from the Bahama Islands to the United States, the Nottage brothers. They went from the Bahama Islands to New York [New York], and they stayed there for a while. And these three brothers decided they wanted to scatter so they could have a witness in different parts of the country.$$How do you spell their name?$$N-O-T-T-A-G-E.$$The Nottage Brothers.$$Yeah, right. So, one went to Philadelphia [Pennsylvania], one went to Cleveland [Ohio], and one went to Detroit. And the one that went to Detroit started to share the gospel in Detroit. And the first person that he led to the Lord in Detroit was William Rudolph, and that's the man that came down to Birmingham [Alabama] and was teaching this little Bible class there in Collegeville [Birmingham, Alabama]. And he pointed out to me how to really get into the family of God, and how to be a Christian, and that it was by believing in Jesus Christ, and not just running to church. And that's where my whole journey started, with him explaining to me how to become a Christian there in that little Bible class in Collegeville. And so, from there I spent two or three, several years, I was just going to that little Bible class and going to grammar school at the same time, of course. And when I was twelve years old, he asked me to go with him to go out into the back side of Birmingham. He said he wanted to preach the gospel to the people out there. So, he took me with him and we drove for--where we got to where we were. But it was a rural area, and he got permission from a family to hook up his record player. And he put it on top of his car and played some records. And then suddenly turned to me and said, "Now, [HistoryMaker] Melvin [E. Banks], after I play this record, I want you to give your testimony of how you got to be a Christian." And so, I took, you know, got my courage up and shared how I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. And it was after sharing that, that this old man sauntered up to me. And he had gray hair, and he was just sort of--hands behind his back, and he complimented me on my little testimony. And then he quoted this Bible verse from Hosea 4:6. He said, "You know, Hosea said it a long time ago, my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." I had never heard of that verse before, but when he quoted it, it suddenly became a very important verse for me. And I, in my own little twelve year old way, said "Lord, if knowledge of your word is what our people need, then I want to volunteer to help make that happen." I didn't know how it was going to happen, didn't know what the future held, but I just knew that I wanted to be part of giving the word of God to our people. And that's where this--I never got away from that concept, although as I went through high school [A.H. Parker High School, Birmingham, Alabama], you know, you do what high school kids do. But tucked away in the back of my mind was, someday I want to be a part of that, getting the word of God out.$$Okay.$$Yeah--$Let's just continue the story. Now, how did--did you start, when you came out of graduate school at Wheaton [College, Wheaton, Illinois], did you start working for the publishing company [Urban Ministries, Inc., Chicago, Illinois]? What was it?$$Well, not immediately. My objective at that point was to go back south. I was thinking I would leave-- when I graduated from Wheaton I would probably go back south and maybe start a little Bible school, or do something that would help to get the word of God across to people. But then I thought, I need to pay my bills. (Laughter) So I took a job as a caseworker for the county welfare in Chicago [Illinois]. And I worked there for four years with the intent of paying my bills and then packing up and going south. But while I was there, first of all, I got married [to Olive Perkins Banks]. But secondly, this brother wanted to donate some property to us in order to start a camp for black kids. And he says, "[HistoryMaker] Melvin [E. Banks], if you come and want for me," he was in the real estate business, "come work for me, and I'll let you have time off during the summer and you can help out with the camp." So, I took him up on it. I went to work for him and he gave us the property and we started this camp. But while I was working for him, I'd been there only four months, and somebody from this white publisher, Scripture Press [Wheaton, Illinois], came and asked me if I would come and work for them. And my first reaction was "Well, no. Because I just took this job at this realty, and what would four months on my resume look like? And besides, your company is located out in the white suburban area of Wheaton [Illinois], and my heart is with my black people. I don't see any connection." So, I turned him down. And about a month later this same guy called me and said, "Mel, can we have lunch again?" And I said, okay. But in my mind I'm saying, I'm going to tell you the same thing. But he came and we talked. And again, I told him I could not, I didn't feel the freedom to go work for them. But then he said, "But Melvin, would you just pray about this?" And it's kind of hard to tell a person you won't pray. I said, "Okay, I'll pray" (laughter). And then after--and I had to look for my commitment. I started then go give more serious thought to it. I said, "Now, Lord, you know it doesn't make any sense for me to go out there and work for those white folks, when all the black folks are in the city." And I struggled with it. But then the struggle started to come within, do you or don't you? And so one night I pulled into the parking lot where were staying in Lake Meadows [Apartments, Chicago, Illinois], and I had my head over the steering wheel, struggling. And again I'm saying to the Lord, "Lord, you know it doesn't make any sense for me to go work for them." And in that moment of frustration God brought back a Bible verse that I had memorized as a kid, from Isaiah 55 that said, "But my ways are not your ways, and my thoughts are not your thoughts." And that verse coming to me the way it did at that moment brought some clarity to my thinking. And I now realized that maybe God has something in mind that I can't see. And so, I decided to go ahead and work for Scripture Press. So I took the job, worked there for, I think I was there for about six years totally.

Linda Johnson Rice

President and CEO of Johnson Publishing Linda Johnson Rice was born in Chicago, Illinois, on March 22, 1958. Her father, John H. Johnson is founder of Johnson Publishing Company, and her mother, Eunice Johnson, is producer and director of the Ebony Fashion Fair. Rice began her career with the family business, traveling with her mother to fashion shows in Paris starting at the age of six. While a student at the University of Southern California (USC), where she earned her degree in journalism in 1980, she spent her summers as an intern with Johnson Publishing.

In 1981, after graduating from USC, Rice made her first solo business trip to Europe to purchase clothing for the Ebony Fashion Fair. Her knack for predicting fashion trends led to her becoming the vice president and fashion coordinator for Ebony Magazine, and later vice president and assistant to the publisher. During this time, Rice enrolled in Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and earned her M.B.A. in 1987. Immediately following her graduation, Rice was promoted to president and chief operating officer of Johnson Publishing, a job she held until being promoted in 2002 to her current position as president and CEO. In this role, Rice has increased domestic and international sales, and launched Fashion Fair Cosmetics, the number one selling makeup and skin care product line for women of color in the world.

Rice has been recognized numerous times. She has also been the recipient of many awards, including the Women of Power Award from the National Urban League, the Tower of Power Award of the Trumpet Awards, Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40 Award, the From Whence We Came Award and the Alumni of the Year Award from Kellogg Graduate School at Northwestern. She has also been named one of Chicago’s 100 Most Powerful Women and one of the Top 10 Women in Media by the Chicago Sun-Times.

At the time of the interview, she served on the board of directors of several companies and organizations, including Bausch & Lomb, the Magazine Publishers Association, the University of Southern California, the advisory board of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the women’s board of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Rice has one daughter, Alexa Christina Rice.

Linda Rice was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 11, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.232

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/11/2004

Last Name

Rice

Maker Category
Middle Name

Johnson

Organizations
Search Occupation Category
First Name

Linda

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

RIC08

Favorite Season

None

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

3/22/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Publishing chief executive Linda Johnson Rice (1958 - ) is the daughter of Johnson Publishing Company founder, John H. Johnson. She has worked in leadership positions, including CEO, at Johnson Publishing since 1987 and was vice president of the fashion department at Ebony magazine.

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:274,8:546,13:1498,43:1838,49:2994,68:3674,84:4626,104:8410,126:10360,137:10918,147:13150,206:13708,216:15764,233:16248,238:19655,253:20555,269:21155,278:25985,315:26339,322:27165,347:27578,355:29348,394:29761,399:30115,406:30528,415:31944,441:33714,486:33950,491:35425,522:35661,527:36487,545:36723,550:37077,565:37490,574:37844,610:44364,644:44796,652:45372,662:45876,671:46740,689:47316,702:48108,715:48756,726:52021,738:54034,778:54339,784:54705,791:55071,799:55498,809:55742,814:56108,822:59446,850:59824,858:60265,866:60769,879:62785,935:65053,988:65620,998:65872,1003:66817,1018:67258,1026:67510,1031:68077,1042:68455,1049:69400,1068:70471,1088:71038,1099:75160,1108:76084,1122:77932,1152:78856,1168:79241,1174:79549,1179:83168,1265:83861,1281:84323,1289:88850,1305:90850,1321:91485,1327:92250,1333:92530,1338:92810,1343:93300,1354:93650,1360:94210,1369:94840,1380:97610,1417:98716,1434:100296,1455:101244,1481:101639,1488:102271,1498:108072,1547:108498,1554:113539,1643:114249,1656:114533,1661:114959,1668:115456,1676:118644,1684:119574,1706:120008,1714:121665,1728:121940,1734:122490,1747:122710,1752:122985,1758:124430,1768:126644,1826:126968,1833:127184,1838:129510,1857:129930,1865:130560,1877:131050,1888:131400,1894:132260,1903:132722,1912:133382,1923:133646,1928:134042,1936:136770,1964:137960,1999:138450,2007:140742,2029:142260,2057:148505,2140:148991,2147:150206,2171:151016,2185:151664,2197:152150,2204:152960,2218:158352,2232:159048,2239:160208,2252:160904,2260:162220,2267:162855,2273:163490,2280:165362,2296:169543,2328:170153,2339:172228,2357:172592,2362:177798,2409:180346,2462:189972,2541:190260,2546:190692,2553:191628,2582:192348,2593:192708,2599:193068,2605:193356,2610:193932,2620:196600,2634:199288,2655:208960,2768:210640,2796:210976,2801:213964,2843:214349,2849:214657,2854:214965,2859:217708,2882:218138,2888:219342,2921:226060,3004:226620,3015:230714,3065:231317,3075:231585,3080:231853,3085:232724,3100:234734,3136:235337,3148:235605,3153:236543,3177:237146,3189:237414,3195:237682,3200:240862,3232:241352,3238:243090,3244:243454,3249:243818,3254:245830,3274:246250,3282:246810,3293:247440,3304:248210,3327:249959,3341:250324,3347:250981,3358:251273,3363:252745,3378:252997,3383:253312,3391:253564,3396:255924,3407:256332,3416:262620,3509:262840,3514:263060,3519:263500,3533:264930,3569:268694,3615:269179,3621:269858,3629:271507,3648:272089,3656:273059,3669:277330,3734:277680,3742:278100,3749:283490,3882:283770,3887:284610,3902:289882,3948:292258,3999:292762,4007:293770,4033:294274,4041:294778,4049:299093,4124$0,0:1680,40:3180,84:4320,121:6240,159:6660,168:6960,174:7680,189:10620,255:15510,308:16316,325:27575,521:28505,528:29125,533:30635,539:31145,547:31655,554:32760,570:33525,581:33950,587:35850,599:36855,619:37190,625:37927,639:43050,703:44426,722:44770,727:46232,760:48940,776:55240,900:55690,908:56065,915:57115,942:58015,963:66916,1051:67798,1069:87072,1291:87362,1299:87942,1310:89706,1331:90077,1339:91031,1371:91349,1378:98050,1466:99490,1490:99890,1496:104798,1543:105110,1548:105500,1554:112530,1600:112820,1606:113690,1626:114096,1635:114850,1649:115082,1654:115604,1664:116532,1687:117054,1696:117402,1703:117750,1711:124731,1787:125200,1796:125535,1803:126339,1818:127830,1826:128631,1838:132280,1917:133081,1928:141491,2055:141947,2063:142517,2076:142916,2084:143429,2095:145367,2135:145994,2149:146450,2159:147704,2193:148274,2204:148901,2218:149243,2225:149585,2233:150212,2245:150440,2250:151010,2266:155458,2303:155722,2308:156448,2322:156712,2327:156976,2332:157504,2341:158032,2350:158362,2357:159022,2368:160672,2402:161002,2408:161860,2429:165140,2457:165490,2463:165840,2469:166400,2485:166750,2491:167170,2502:167450,2507:168920,2538:169270,2544:169620,2550:173120,2584:173704,2594:174215,2607:175091,2617:175821,2628:179179,2705:179544,2711:180055,2721:180493,2726:181004,2736:182464,2761:184289,2796:184654,2802:185530,2818:185822,2823:186260,2830:186771,2838:187136,2844:187647,2853:191224,2904:196560,2910:197280,2921:197840,2929:200080,2964:202000,2998:202480,3010:202960,3018:207099,3050:207729,3063:208674,3085:210130,3090:213340,3133:219686,3238:220028,3244
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Linda Johnson Rice interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Linda Johnson Rice shares stories about her father's life

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Linda Johnson Rice remembers her mother Eunice Walker Johnson

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Linda Johnson Rice describes her grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Linda Johnson Rice shares childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Linda Johnson Rice remembers her elementary school

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Linda Johnson Rice recounts her first trip to Europe

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Linda Johnson Rice recalls her mother's contributions to African Americans in fashion

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Linda Johnson Rice defines "couture"

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Linda Johnson Rice recounts helping her mother with fashion shows

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Linda Johnson Rice shares childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Linda Johnson Rice talks about her brother

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Linda Johnson Rice discusses her parents' role in the Chicago black community

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Linda Johnson Rice reflects on being part of the upper echelon of black society

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Linda Johnson Rice remembers meeting famous people as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Linda Johnson Rice explains her early career aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Linda Johnson Rice recalls her undergraduate years at USC

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Linda Johnson Rice shares her career aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Linda Johnson Rice details her transition into her father's business

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Linda Johnson Rice recounts her work with Fashion Fair Cosmetics

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Linda Johnson Rice explains why she got her MBA

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Linda Johnson Rice describes her relationship with her father

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Linda Johnson Rice shares her plans for the future

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Linda Johnson Rice discusses the Ebony/Jet Showcase

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Linda Johnson Rice discusses her family's legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Linda Johnson Rice recalls her father's radio stations

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Linda Johnson Rice shares her views on the publishing industry

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Linda Johnson Rice expresses her hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Linda Johnson Rice discusses the role of the black elite in society

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Linda Johnson Rice talks about women in business

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Linda Johnson Rice illustrates her family dynamics

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Linda Johnson Rice reflects on her life and career

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

4$8

DATitle
Linda Johnson Rice recounts her work with Fashion Fair Cosmetics
Linda Johnson Rice discusses the Ebony/Jet Showcase
Transcript
Can you talk about that?$$Yes. Yes. I, I still love the cosmetics business. It's here, you know it's another, it's another incredible marketing business cause I'm a very marketing driven person. It's a marketing business. It is also another way to enhance African American beauty and to showcase it. And so I became very involved in, in the product development. I mean, and starting you know ground zero you know with color swipes of lipsticks on the back of your hand trying to test them to see you know do, do we like this color, do we like that color. I still do that till this very day. Till this very day I still do that. Naming shades, coming up with new products, working with product development, talking to vendors. I just now release, relinquished a few of those duties about a year ago, just about a year ago.$$And what was the goal of Fashion Fair? What, what--?$$Well let me tell you the genesis of it.$$Okay, that's what--.$$The, the genesis of the Fashion Fair Cosmetics came from the Ebony Fashion Fair because my mother observed the Ebony Fashion Fair models mixing and matching cosmetics and foundations to try to get the right blend for their skin tones. And she kept saying to my dad I don't know why we can't do that. Can't we do this? Can't we come up with a cosmetic line that's for black women that goes across the color spectrum because we come in all shades? And you know my father being the dynamic entrepreneur that he is, you know we'd never, never not accept a challenge, he said sure. And I mean it sounds easy and it wasn't, it wasn't but that really was the genesis for Fashion Fair Cosmetics which is why it's called Fashion Fair an offshoot of the Ebony Fashion Fair. And it first started as a mail order business, first ad ran in 'Ebony'. See, everything--'Ebony' is the engine that drives our train. That's, that's the, that's our power source. It's the subscriber base that we have with 'Ebony' and so it started out as what was called the capsule collection and it was just in a, in a box and you know lipsticks and blushes and eye shadows and we sold it mail order. And then my father said you know we really need to be in stores. We really need to be in retail and he always wanted to do things, always first class, always. And he decided that he wanted to be in department stores not in the mass market. And so he said now if I'm going to do this I'm going to test it at home so we tested it in Chicago [Illinois], our home base and he went to Marshall Fields. And he knew that Carson Pirie Scott which is another department store would have taken the line. But he said if I give it to Carson's then I don't think Fields would take it. If I give it to Fields, I know Carson's will take it. And he went to Fields and you know they were no, no, no we don't want you know we don't need this line. We don't need a black line. We don't need a--we don't need it. And my father kept selling them cause he's an unbelievable salesman, the best. The best hands down. And he said well you know I can advertise that this cosmetic is in Marshall Fields, in my magazine and this is how many subscribers we have and this is how many, many readers we have. And I can get those women into your store and I can get them to come to my counter in your store and buy the product. And while they're in your store they may just want to look around and they may just want to buy a pair of stockings and they might want to go up and buy a handbag. And if they have children they might want to go up to the children section and buy kid's clothes. So it was all about selling Marshall Fields on what we could do for them, not what they could do for us and that's how we got in the store. That's exactly how we got in the store. And of course you know they put us in a bad location in the back in the corner in the dark but you know what, we drove traffic to the counter and now we're, we're a mainstay. We're a mainstay there and now you know Fashion Fair Cosmetics is in over sixteen hundred stores. So that's the story. I want to make sure you understood all that.$Now the other thing I want to ask, I do want to go back and ask about the Ebony/Jet Showcase--.$$Yes.$$Because that was, that was a significant show. Can you tell the story about how that came about?$$Oh my goodness. The Ebony/Jet Showcase--.$$And what years too.$$Oh, you know what, I have to get you the documentation on that because that's been--I'm so not, I'm so bad with years.$$Okay, (unclear) it was--.$$This has been, in the '80s [1980s].$$Right it was in the '80s [1980s].$$This is in the '80s [1980s] and it really came from, this is really funny, from Tom Joyner the radio personality because when we had radio stations, Tom Joyner was one of our radio personalities. And in order for my father to lure him from another radio station to come to work for us, my father asked Tom, he said Tom what is it you want? And he said I want to get out of radio. My father was like, oh no, but this is what I want you to do. He said I really want to be in television. My father said okay, you come to our station, you build us up, you make us number one in the market, I'll put you on TV. And my father's a man of his word and Tom was a man of his word. Tom came to our radio station, he built up the station, made us number one in our market. My father said okay, we're going to start a television show and Tom was the hardest working man I'd ever seen in my entire life. He was the host, he booked the talent, he did the editing but he wanted to be on television. He was the first anchor for the Ebony/Jet Showcase. He was the very first anchor. And then Tom ended up leaving us and going back into radio and that was when he got a very lucrative offer I think to be in Dallas.$$That's when he became the "Fly Jock."$$The Fly Jock. And so we bought in other talent and that was when I stepped in and started working and producing and being executive producer of the show and you know it was, it was twenty six shows a year and it was a lot. It ran for seven years. And we interviewed everybody, everybody.$$And the whole, what was the nature, what was the concept behind the show? Let's talk--.$$What--the concept really was to bring the pages of 'Ebony' and 'Jet' to the television screen so the people that we interviewed were people that had been interviewed in the magazine and that really was to pull that magazine audience into a television audience. And we did do that for seven years. The show was syndicated and you know but after seven years, you know seven years is a long time to, to have a show on and after seven years we just said you know what, enough is enough and I think the television station said enough, the advertisers said enough and so you move on.$$Do you think that with that sort of a diversion from--I'm just wondering why not the intent to go there again unless--I know you're talking about other TV things, but to own--radio and TV were not the, the prime movers and shakers with the 'Ebony' and 'Jet' dynasty right?$$--Well you know, now I do want to get back to television, I clearly do. As I said I'm not sure I want to do you know twenty six shows you know a year. I'm not sure I want to do that but I definitely want to put us back in television, definitely. That's one of my goals.

Augustus Colson

Evangelist Augustus Colson was born to Minnie and Willie Colson in Chaires, Florida on May 25, 1936. He was the eldest of seven siblings and grew up in a religious family of four ministers. Determined to be in journalism, he practiced lettering art and graphics. Multi-talented, Colson graduated from Lincoln High School in 1955, with numerous awards in art. Colson's interest in journalism was finally realized at Alabama State College in Montgomery, under the tutelage of art professor Howard L. Oubre. In 1966, Colson graduated with a B.S. from Florida A & M University and turned his full attention to writing and art.

After several attempts to break into the media in Los Angeles, California without any success, Colson then returned to Tallahassee and started his own advertising production company. The company's resulting in-house publication, Church Times, was an instant success in showcasing local ministries. Furthermore, it provided a vehicle for the professional and personal growth and expansion of other graphic artists, illustrators, journalists, poets and photographers in the Georgia/Florida area. Church Times has been cited for its commitment to inspire and promote the rich traditions of Tallahassee's religious community since 1983.

Colson passed away on November 11, 2017 at the age of 81.

Accession Number

A2002.051

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/21/2002

Last Name

Colson

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Lincoln High School

Alabama State University

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

University of Southern California

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Augustus

Birth City, State, Country

Chaires

HM ID

COL05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Only What You Do For Christ Will Last.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

5/25/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tallahassee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

11/11/2017

Short Description

Publishing chief executive Augustus Colson (1936 - 2017 ) started his own publishing company, Church Times, which combined his artistic and writing abilities, and used them to increase communications in the African American church community.

Employment

Florida A&M University

Lively Technical School

Self Employed

Hughes Aircraft Corp.

U.S. Army

Favorite Color

Green, Orange

Timing Pairs
0,0:5930,132:8042,176:9186,253:44992,615:46942,664:53174,716:53854,729:55962,770:59634,847:96872,1368:98472,1398:98920,1407:99432,1416:102696,1491:137615,1996:140380,2050:140933,2058:155600,2263$0,0:1744,4:8298,100:13446,193:14148,203:15786,223:27734,368:34705,480:35380,492:36280,516:39130,527:41022,573:44806,650:46612,677:47128,687:47644,694:48504,713:51084,754:51686,762:56814,799:62862,933:63198,938:63618,946:78535,1075:79692,1096:82184,1137:86395,1179:86810,1185:88304,1217:89715,1241:92952,1297:106920,1458:107295,1464:107595,1490:114120,1596:114460,1601:119531,1642:119807,1647:134120,1830:134771,1838:137720,1869
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Augustus Colson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Augustus Colson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Augustus Colson describes his family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Augustus Colson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Augustus Colson describes his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Augustus Colson describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Augustus Colson describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Augustus Colson describes his parents' educational backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Augustus Colson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Augustus Colson describes starting first grade at Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Augustus Colson describes his household chores

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Augustus Colson describes his childhood interest in artwork

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Augustus Colson describes his childhood experience

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Augustus Colson describes the Mount Sinai Holy Church of America in Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Augustus Colson describes his experience with the Primitive Baptist church

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Augustus Colson describes his introducion to art as a sixth grade student at Lincoln High School

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Augustus Colson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Augustus Colson describes being inspired to become a better artist by Hodges and Rogers Glenn

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Augustus Colson talks about discovering his interest in journalism

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Augustus Colson talks about how his family responded to his drawing and writing talents

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Augustus Colson describes his childhood experiences with segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Augustus Colson talks about enrolling at Alabama State College in 1955

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Augustus Colson talks about the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Augustus Colson discusses getting drafted into the United States Army in 1958

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Augustus Colson talks about his experience in the United States Army

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Augustus Colson describes his experience with the United States Army in Germany in 1959

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Augustus Colson talks about the environment for black soldiers in Germany

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Augustus Colson talks about developing his interest in commercial art at Alabama State College and Florida A&M University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Augustus Colson describes his mentor at Florida A&M University, Dr. Howard Lewis

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Augustus Colson talks about his willingness to create art for free

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Augustus Colson describes his senior exhibition for Florida A&M University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Augustus Colson describes moving to Los Angeles after graduating from Florida A&M University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Augustus Colson describes being redrafted into the United States Army for the Bay of Pigs invasion

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Augustus Colson describes his reaction to the Watts riots in 1965

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Augustus Colson describes his experience living in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Augustus Colson reflects on his difficulty adapting to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Augustus Colson talks about his career in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Augustus Colson describes his decision to move back to Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Augustus Colson narrates his photographs

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Augustus Colson talks about his first paid design job for Florida A&M University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Augustus Colson describes his career working as a designer for Florida A&M University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Augustus Colson talks about the start of his "Church Times" magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Augustus Colson talks about becoming a minister

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Augustus Colson talks about his role as a commercial artist within the black community, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Augustus Colson talks about his role as a commercial artist within the black community, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Augustus Colson talks about his creative process

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Augustus Colson talks about the differences between his white and black clientele

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Augustus Colson talks about the role of an artist in the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Augustus Colson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Augustus Colson talks about comforting others with his art

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Augustus Colson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Augustus Colson talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Augustus Colson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Augustus Colson describes his mentor at Florida A&M University, Dr. Howard Lewis
Augustus Colson talks about the start of his "Church Times" magazine
Transcript
Now while at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University [Florida A&M University in Tallahassee], when do others start realizing this amazing talent that you have?$$The art teacher, and he was also--he was the director of the art program, but he was also one of the instructors. And he asked in class one day could someone interested--was there anybody interested in doing a, a, a job for him. So when he saw--when I turned the job in, he said "You did this?" He said "Man, you're really good at this thing." He says why don't I give you your classes--you, you do extra work and I can--you can get--you into this. This what--what you need to do is be in a school, a commercial art school. So he provided me with all the work that I needed in the commercial art field. Whenever there was something up he made sure I had this job. And so there where I was at Florida A&M doing nothing strictly but artwork. And I said what am I gonna do for my coursework when I supposed to graduate? Aren't all students supposed to have a show? He said "Whatever you do while you're here you document it with a camera and save the work, and we'll put that on display. It said you have to have exhibit, and so you exhibit what you learn." And so that's who influenced me at Florida A&M, Dr. Howard Lewis. He was my inspiration 'cause he believed I didn't have to follow this strict, hard set case of rules of learning something that I wasn't interested in. He was interested me in developing what I was interested in. Even though the university couldn't provide it, he, he provided it; he provided the occasion. And as for--at, at A&M I designed everything from the Governor's Ball all the way down to the (unclear) Ball, and the parades--and he just did it. He just--it was just like a, a--I was working in my career as a student. And that's, that's how I got into Florida A and M University. And Florida A and M University became such a part of my learning career till I guess it had mixed into me just like the paint, because I could think of nothing else but trying to promote Florida A&M through my artwork. So if someone wanted something from Florida A&M, I was there because like I said, my favorite colors by now is orange and green. So there I was.$Now also during this time when you get there, when you come back to Tallahassee [Florida], you went into your journalism again.$$Yes, I--$$And you started a magazine. Talk about this.$$When I came back with my--to help my mother [Minnie Colson] and, and I was in this business, it's funny how the "Church Times" started. I needed some way to promote my new business that in town. So and this promotion that I started for my business really have started a new promotion and new thing in my life. And so I thought about that most of my business--most places I'm familiar with is the church. I know all the churches, so I have to get this business from these churches. So I went to a church program and it was some pastor's anniversary, so I took the program home. And that Sunday I saw another program from another church. And I saw all these programs from these churches, and--but I knew nothing about these churches. I said what about a publication that just promoted churches, just promoted the good will, laugh at good things in life. So I took the best of those three or four church programs, and I put them where they were just to promote me. And I sent it out to these churches, threw 'em on a church porch and let them know that Augustus Colson was in town. And you can get your programs printed. Anything that you wanna get from anyplace, you can get it from me. But no one saw that. The only thing they saw in that paper was some news about some different priests in different churches. And a lady called me. She said "Ooh, I love your magazine so well--said when is the next issue coming out?" I said da, da. So I went home and, and just "Church Times" was born. And--but it was being born just as advertising, advertising gimmicks. In one year growing to two, three, four, five on up until fifteen, fifteen years that I just published it.

Tavis Smiley

The third oldest of ten children, Tavis Smiley grew up near an Air Force base in Kokomo, Indiana, where his father was a master sergeant and his mother a Pentecostal minster. Smiley took an interest in politics from an early age, and in high school was voted class president and "Most Likely to Succeed". He attended Indiana University where the death of a classmate at the hands of the police first made him aware of the issues facing the African American community. Convinced that he wanted to pursue a political career, he spent a semester as an intern in the office of Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, and graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Law and Public Policy.

After graduating, he returned to Los Angeles where he worked as an advisor to the City Council president and ran unsuccessfully for a council seat. Soon after his electoral defeat, Smiley started the Smiley Report, a 60 second radio news commentary. The report's popularity earned Smiley his own television talk show on Black Entertainment Television, BET Tonight with Tavis Smiley. The show was extremely popular among African Americans and Smiley earned national recognition for an eclectic program that featured interviews with the likes of Bill Clinton, Ice Cube and Pope John Paul II. In April 2001, thousands of Smiley's viewers were outraged when BET terminated his contract.

Since his departure from BET, Smiley is now a correspondent for ABC on Prime Time Thursday and Good Morning America, as well as a commentator for CNN. Smiley also hosts his own signature show on NPR, The Tavis Smiley Show from NPR, a first for an African American. He has authored five books, including How to Make Black America Better, and also writes for USA Weekend.

Throughout his career, Smiley has used his visibility to lead numerous successful public advocacy campaigns, among them, saving the popular Fox television show Living Single from a scheduled cancellation, convincing Sotheby's to donate slave artifacts intended for auction to an African American history museum, and pressuring prominent marketing and advertising firms to spend more money in the black community. In 1999, he founded The Tavis Smiley Foundation, which funds programs that develop young leaders in the black community.

Smiley's success has brought him numerous awards and honors. He received a Black Emmy Award in 2000, as well as a Congressional Black Caucus Harold Washington Award the same year. In 2001, he was honored with the NAACP President's Image Award, the Brotherhood Crusade's 2001 Walter Bremond Pioneer of African American Achievement Award and the Los Angeles Press Club Headliner Award.

Smiley lives and works in Los Angeles.

Accession Number

A2001.069

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

6/26/2001

Last Name

Smiley

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Nead Elementary School

Maconaquah High School

Indiana University

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

No

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Tavis

Birth City, State, Country

Biloxi

HM ID

SMI01

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

McCormick Tribune Foundation

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sleeping

Favorite Quote

If a task is once begun, never leave it till it's done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

9/13/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Publishing chief executive and television host Tavis Smiley (1964 - ) was a correspondent for ABC on Prime Time Thursday, and Good Morning America, as well as a commentator for CNN. Smiley also hosted his own signature show on NPR, The Tavis Smiley Show from NPR, a first for an African American. He has authored five books, including How to Make Black America Better. Smiley has used his visibility to convince prominent marketing and advertising firms to spend more money in the black community.

Employment

Los Angeles City Council

BET

National Public Radio

ABC

CNN

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating for Tavis Smiley Interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Tavis Smiley favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Tavis Smiley talks about his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Tavis Smiley shares his favorite story about his mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Tavis Smiley talks about his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Tavis Smiley talks about his father's quiet personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Tavis Smiley talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Tavis Smiley talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Tavis Smiley shares his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Tavis Smiley recalls familiar sounds from his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Tavis Smiley talks about the responsibility of being the oldest son

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Tavis Smiley talks about his experience moving from Mississippi to Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Tavis Smiley talks about going to school in a white environment

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Tavis Smiley talks about his shyness with women

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Tavis Smiley explains the role of church and family in his upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Tavis Smiley talks about growing up in poverty

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Tavis Smiley talks about the importance of faith, family, and friends in his life

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Tavis Smiley talks about his childhood ambitions

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Tavis Smiley describes how he acquired his interest in public service and politics

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Tavis Smiley briefly talks about his high school courses and activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Tavis Smiley describes his experiences at Indiana University

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Tavis Smiley talks about interning for the mayor of Bloomington, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Tavis Smiley describes how his parents' divorce affected him

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Tavis Smiley talks about wanting to intern with Mayor Tom Bradley

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Tavis Smiley explains why he chose to intern with Mayor Tom Bradley

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Tavis Smiley talks about his role in Mayor Tom Bradley's office

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Tavis Smiley talks about organizing a major project for Los Angeles, California at a young age

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Tavis Smiley tells his story of Mayor Tom Bradley's office nearly rejecting his internship application

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Tavis Smiley tells the story of accepting Mayor Tom Bradley's internship offer

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Tavis Smiley explains his monetary situation during his internship with Mayor Tom Bradley

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Tavis Smiley talks about working for the SCLC in Los Angeles after college

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Tavis Smiley talks about what he learned under Mayor Tom Bradley

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Tavis Smiley talks about running for City Council in Los Angeles

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Tavis Smiley tells what he learned from his experience running for Los Angeles City Council

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Tavis Smiley explains how he got started on the radio

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Tavis Smiley talks about initial support for his radio career

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Tavis Smiley compares and contrasts politics with being on the radio

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Tavis Smiley talks about his collaborations with radio host Tom Joyner

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Tavis Smiley explains how he uses radio as a tool for empowerment

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Tavis Smiley talks about speaking out against CompUSA on Tom Joyner's radio show

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Tavis Smiley talks about continuing to criticize CompUSA in defiance of ABC

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Tavis Smiley details the African American response to his criticism of CompUSA and ABC

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Tavis Smiley discusses his dismissal from the BET television network

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Tavis Smiley talks about gaining inspiration and a sense of purpose after his dismissal from BET

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Tavis Smiley talks about his future goals

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Tavis Smiley discusses his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Tavis Smiley with Rosa Parks [c. 1993]

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - President Bill Clinton signs a copy of 'Time' Magazine for Tavis Smiley [c. 1994]

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Tavis Smiley poses with his grandmother [c. 1980]

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Tavis Smiley and actress Lorraine Toussaint [2001]

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Tavis Smiley shakes hands with Pope John Paul II [late 1990s]

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Tavis Smiley shakes hands with Fidel Castro [1999]

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Photo - Tavis Smiley and Geraldo Rivera [late 1990s]

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Photo - Tavis Smiley and Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley [1985]

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Photo - Tavis Smiley at a reception [unknown date]

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Photo - Tavis Smiley with Bishop Noel Jones and Randall Robinson [date unknown]

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Photo - Tavis Smiley with Desmond Tutu [1986]

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Photo - Tavis Smiley and Tom Joyner at Johnson Publishing Company [2001]