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Carol Sutton Lewis

Civic leader and attorney Carol Sutton Lewis was born on September 26, 1959 in New York City, New York. Her mother, Renee Sutton, was a public school teacher; her father, Oliver Sutton, was a judge and businessman. Lewis graduated from the High School of Music and Art in New York, now Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, in 1976. She went on to receive her B.A. degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980, and her J.D. degree from Stanford Law School in 1983.

Upon being admitted to practice law, Lewis was hired as an associate at the law firm of Dow, Lohnes & Albertson in 1983. She worked there until 1987, when she was hired as an associate at the Apollo Theatre. After a brief stint at the Apollo Theatre, Sutton Lewis worked at Home Box Office from 1987 until 1989 before being hired as an associate in business development at WTTW Chicago, where she remained until 1992. In 2011, Lewis launched, and began writing for, the website entitled Ground Control Parenting, a blog designed for parents of children of color with a particular focus on issues affecting boys. She and her husband, William M. Lewis, founded the Carol Sutton Lewis and William M Lewis, Jr. Charitable Foundation, which she manages.

Lewis has served on the boards of several educational organizations, including WNET.org, Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, East Harlem Tutorial Program, Harlem School of the Arts, and Early Steps, an organization devoted to increasing the presence of students of color in New York City private schools. Since 1998, she has served on the board of directors of the Studio Museum in Harlem, where she eventually became vice chairman of the board. In 2008, Lewis was elected to Stanford Law School’s board of trustees, and, in 2010, she began serving as a board member of the Collegiate School. Lewis was also elected a board member of the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies in 2011. She has also been honored by receiving the Humanitarian Award for Leadership in Education from the National Urban Technology Center.

Lewis lives with her husband in New York City. They have three children: Tyler, Carter and Andrew.

Carol Sutton Lewis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 22, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.272

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/22/2013

Last Name

Lewis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Sutton

Schools

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

University of Pennsylvania

Stanford Law School

Ps 116 Mary Lindley Murray School

First Name

Carol

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

SUT02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

That And Fifty Cents Will Get You On The Subway.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/26/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Asian Food

Short Description

Civic leader and education advisor Carol Sutton Lewis (1959 - ) , founder of Ground Control Parenting, has served on the boards of WNET.org, Early Steps, Stanford Law School, the Collegiate School, the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Employment

Dow Lohnes and Albertson

Apollo Theater

Home Box Office

WTTV TV

Ground Control Parenting

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carol Sutton Lewis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carol Sutton Lewis lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes her uncle, John Sutton

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes her paternal grandfather, Samuel Sutton

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about the education of her father's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carol Sutton Lewis remembers her father's desire for her to attend Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carol Sutton Lewis recounts her family's move to Harlem, New York where her father had a law practice with his brother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her uncles, Percy and Bill Sutton

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes her father's upbringing with twelve siblings in San Antonio, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about the Sutton family in San Antonio, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her mother, Renee Hopkins Sutton

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her mother's West Indian heritage

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes how her parents met, pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes how her parents met, pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carol Sutton Lewis remembers her father's promise to pay for her college education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carol Sutton Lewis remembers the opportunities afforded her by her parents including a trip to the South of France

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her family's political activity

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks explains why she did not attend private school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Carol Sutton Lewis remembers learning to read at an early age

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her third grade teacher, Portia Paterson

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her cultural education in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Carol Sutton Lewis remembers picketing with her parents in Rochdale Village in New York City as a young girl

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her religious background

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her grade school years

Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her father's early years as a judge in Manhattan, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her experience at P.S. 116

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carol Sutton Lewis recounts the academic challenges of her older brother, Paul Sutton

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes her half-brother, Oliver Sutton, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carol Sutton Lewis remembers family vacations and road trips as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carol Sutton Lewis recalls the fear she felt after being pulled over by a white policeman in Johannesburg shortly after the end of apartheid

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes her memories of Christmas as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her father's law practice

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes her political activism as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Carol Sutton Lewis remembers attending Attallah Shabazz's birthday party after the assassination of Malcolm X

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her family's associations with the Kennedys and President Lyndon B. Johnson

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about the political activism of her father and her uncle, Percy Sutton

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Carol Sutton Lewis remembers adapting to a new environment after moving from Queens to New York City's Harlem neighborhood

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about attending the High School of Music & Art in New York City, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes her experience at the High School for Music & Art in New York City, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carol Sutton Lewis recalls her mother's love of teaching

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes seeing her third grade teacher, Portia Paterson

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes New York City in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carol Sutton Lewis compares her experience of Jack and Jill of America in Queens and Manhattan, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carol Sutton Lewis describe the privilege the Sutton family name has afforded her throughout her life

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her affinity for English and the humanities

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Carol Sutton Lewis recalls her decision to become a lawyer

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her college application process

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes her experience at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Carol Sutton Lewis recalls Ralph Smith's encouragement for her to become a lawyer despite a white professor's attempts to dissuade her

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her decision to attend Stanford Law School in Stanford, California

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her experience at Stanford Law School in Stanford, California

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carol Sutton Lewis recalls watching one of her father's court cases

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her summer internships while at Stanford Law School and her desire to work for the FCC

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Carol Sutton Lewis recalls losing interest in the law after her father's death

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Carol Sutton Lewis remembers her father's death and taking the bar examination soon afterward

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about working at Dow Lohnes & Albertson after law school

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Carol Sutton Lewis remembers meeting her future husband, HistoryMaker William Lewis, and deciding to return to New York

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about working for her uncle, Percy Sutton, at the Apollo Theatre and his refusal to let her join the family business

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes her disappointment after her uncle, Percy Sutton, refused to let her join the family business

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about leaving a job she loved at HBO in New York City to move to Chicago with her future husband, HistoryMaker William Lewis

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes her experience living in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about starting a production company in Chicago, Illinois with Royal Kennedy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about working at WTTW

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her investment in the development of her three children

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Carol Sutton Lewis recalls becoming involved with the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her initial work on the board of the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Carol Sutton Lewis describes the birth of the Studio Museum in Harlem's annual fundraising gala

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about the Studio Museum in Harlem's annual gala in the wake of 9/11

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about state of the Studio Museum of Harlem

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her commitment to Harlem and changes in the neighborhood

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her next steps

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her children's education

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her parenting blog, Ground Control Parenting, pt.1

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her parenting blog, Ground Control Parenting, pt.2

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her parenting blog, Ground Control Parenting, pt.3

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about her marriage

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Carol Sutton Lewis talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Carol Sutton Lewis reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Carol Sutton Lewis narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$5

DAStory

7$11

DATitle
Carol Sutton Lewis remembers her father's desire for her to attend Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia
Carol Sutton Lewis talks about leaving a job she loved at HBO in New York City to move to Chicago with her future husband, HistoryMaker William Lewis
Transcript
But the funny story about their emphasis on education, and how it translated into my life is that my father [Oliver Sutton] decided, based on his family--two things: He decided where I was going to school and what I was going to do. He decided--and this always when I was very young (laughter) before, before I am--I am sure when I was five, he decided these things. He decided that I was going to go to Spelman [College, Atlanta, Georgia] because either a sister had gone to Spelman, or no one had gone to Spelman, but Spelman was a school that I should go to. And he decided that I should be a doctor because his sister, Carrie [Jane Sutton], had been a doctor, and there was time for another doctor in the family. Well, when I was twelve, he took--we went, we used to drive a lot from San Antonio [Texas], from New York to San Antonio. We would make road trips in the summer time. And on one road trip, we stopped in Atlanta [Georgia], and he showed me Spelman University. The purpose of this particular stop was to show me the university to which I, I would--it's a college, university? But he would show where I was going to college. My, my--11, 10, 12-year-old recollection of this, when I got out of the car, I, you know, it's sort of like, I can see it, like a scene from a movie in my mind. I got out of the car, and the tumbleweed blew by. And the sun beat down on me as this tumbleweed, and I didn't even know what a tumbleweed was, but some big dust ball blew by. It was very dusty. It was extremely hot. I saw the gates of this university, you know, the black gates, and I thought, there is no way, whatever this is (laughter). I'm in a prison in (laughter), and a hair dryer--it's really hot, it's a prison. I'm not going there (laughter). And I--what I, I, I, so it's like, thanks, daddy, this is great. I mean, we didn't do a tour. He just sort of showed me. He's like, this is Spelman, this is where you'll be going to college (laughter). And so, I said, great, daddy--got back in the car and thought, okay, I know one thing (laughter), I don't know anything this place, but I'm not going here (laughter). And so, I mean, no disrespect to Spelman. I had no clue. But it was a real hint in terms of parenting--do not take your child to the college you want them to attend when they are twelve in the middle of the summer if it's in the South. So, that was a bad move on my father's part, but I understood his desire. I mean, I don't want to paint him into the--I, I don't want to paint a picture of him of a guy that tried to dictate things. I mean, he did actually try to dictate things, but he knew enough (laughter). He was a smart enough guy to understand that he could, he could voice his opinion, but he wasn't--there was no, there was no desire to sort of make me do something that I didn't want to do. I mean, for example, when I decided to go to the University of Pennsylvania [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], he was completely and fully supportive, and there was no talk of, go or I'll say--I mean, something like that. He just, he wanted me to be happy.$$Right.$$But he figured, since he could probably figure that out me if I couldn't figure out for myself (laughter). Why not tell me what I should do.$$He had dreams.$$He had dreams.$$But, but the important part of that story, I think, it leads towards my family's emphasis in education. I mean, at twelve, he was telling me. I've always said that in my family, it really wasn't a question. It was never a question of are you going to college. It was a question of, okay, where you're to grad-, what are you going to do? You're going to college. You probably should go to graduate school. You probably think about what that is. And so, it was a presumption and expectation that, that it was, that was what would happen. My father would say to me when I was really young--$So, what, what happens next for you?$$Then I went to HBO, and they made a great job for me because I had a friend from college actually who was working in the HR. And they developed this--it, it wasn't just for me, but they were in the process of developing it. And I was the person that did it first--a, a program that took you through various departments of HBO. And so, I started out in business affairs which made sense because I was a lawyer. And then I went on to original programming. And it was there that I felt out, aha, the sun, like the, aha moment, like I really want to be in the making of TV. And I wanted to do a little bit of the negotiating, I wanted to be in the world of how to create a television show. And what better place than HBO that had subscriber money up the wazoo, and nobody to answer to in terms of critics or--not critics, but ratings. Because at that time, they just had all that money from the movies and they could just put on shows, so I was--it was thrilling. And so, I was very, very happy there. And that would have been the end of my story except that then, I was with my then-boyfriend, Bill [HM William Lewis] who--Morgan Stanley, the company for which he worked--gave him an offer he couldn't refuse to move to Chicago [Illinois] to run the Chicago investment banking office. And I had to face the question of what I would do. We were not engaged, but we had been going out for a while, and it was kind of heading in that direction. So what I made clear to Bill is that I'm not going to Chicago (laughter), I'm not going to Chicago as your girlfriend, so let's be clear. So then, he asked me to marry him. Then I thought, okay, well, I'll stay in New York and stay in my dream job, and I'll just be married to a guy that lives in Chicago. That didn't--I decided that, but he wasn't all that thrilled with that as a concept, like we're going to get married, and you're going to live here, and I'm going to live there? It would have made sense if I was running something in HBO, but it was--I was only there for a year. So, I had the unenviable--the decision was actually relatively easy to make. And I made it on this basis. What are the odds of me running HBO because that would be my, you know, it's like two paths. What are the odds of really, of great happiness in either one? If I ran HBO, that would make me really happy 'cause I love this company. What are the odds? And if I marry this guy and it works out, that would make me really happy, and what are the odds? And I looked at the structure of HBO, and there was already a ceiling with all these faces smooshed up against it because everybody who loved working at that company stayed there forever. And the guy--there was, the executive suite was filled with people who were waiting for their turn. And I was just what--twenty-something? So, the odds of me--I couldn't see the path where I could just blow through, and I was going to be at the top. It was going to take a long time, and I was going to have a lot of competition, and I couldn't see it. Maybe it would--if I had worked there for more years, I could see it, but I couldn't see it at that time. So that seemed like, although it was a great dream, that that was not going to happen any time soon, and if it happens at all. And, and on the flip side is if I don't, if I--by giving up the other one, how unhappy will I be? Like, if I don't make it to the top of HBO, how devastated--and I'm happily married, how devastated will that be? And if I am--if I don't get married or in the, how does that work (laughter), if I, but I, I, which would--how worse was the downside? If I stayed at HBO, I make it to the top, and this was the guy for me in life, and I miss that out, you know, is it worse to be in a very good position in my life, marriage-wise, or sort of outside of work-wise, and not good with work, or really good with work? And I figured, you know, how do I make decision? And I decided that, you know, what, I'm not going to run HBO--at least I don't know how, so that should not be the reason that I don't get married because if I had a clear path, maybe I would think that would--but I got to be realistic. I'm not even sure, you know, so.$$So, what date was the marriage? What--$$May, May 7, 1988. The interesting thing was I made that decision relatively quickly. I mean, because I could sort of--even though I am not known to be the most decisive person, there were the big issues. And I could sort of sort through, and then I made it instantly. Telling people was really difficult. I truly felt--I had all these women bosses, and I felt like I was really letting everybody down and myself to some degree. I felt like I was--how could I, after all this, I'd finally gotten to the job that I really wanted. And I sobbed--I couldn't see the pathway to the presidency, but I could see like I can flourish, and I had to give it up. I was really not happy about that, about saying that. I meant, I decided it, I was not happy about saying that. And it was hard to tell people. And I felt, and I'll never forget, that the guy that was running HBO at the time--Michael Fuchs said to me, how romantic, you're giving up your career for love. And if I could have been able to hit him, and not have been arrested, I really would have--and lose the job, did I still have a job? I was so angry that he had verbalized my greatest fear of the perception of what I was doing. It's like, no, I am not doing that. In fact, I worked for HBO in Chicago [Illinois], but it was some marketing position 'cause they didn't have production there. So that was, it was tough. It was a good life lesson though. It was sort of like--I mean, you know.$$But you gained a great life.$$I got a great life (laughter), you know. But that, it just tells you, you know, it's not easy. You have tough decisions in life because you know, I, I have, I, I had a great life, I have a great life. It was not the one that I perceived. I mean, and I don't know what would have happened if I had stayed at HBO. And, but it was interesting to have to make that decision--$$Right.$$--to stay, to, to like--rarely does it like face you like that, you know. Had I been married for a while, it might have been different. Had I been at HBO for a while, it might have been different. But I was sort at the beginning of both things, so.

Samuel Myers

University president, education advisor and economics professor Samuel Myers was born April 18, 1919, in Baltimore, Maryland to David and Edith Myers, Jamaican immigrants. He attended the city's segregated schools, graduating from Frederick Douglass High School in 1936. He enrolled in Morgan State College, but later took a semester off in order to earn money by working on a ship. In order to address the severe poverty that he witnessed on his travels, upon his return to Morgan State, Myers decided to major in the social sciences and graduated with his A.B. degree in 1940. He then earned an M.A. from Boston University in 1942 before being drafted to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II, rising to the rank of captain. After the war, he attended Harvard University, studying under John D. Black and John Kenneth Galbraith, and earned his Ph.D. degree in economics in 1949.

Myers began his career as an economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the U.S. Department of Labor in 1950. He then spent thirteen years at Morgan State College as a professor and chairman of the Social Sciences Department, where Earl Graves, Sr., the future founder of Black Enterprise, was one of his students. Myers then joined the U.S. State Department as an adviser on inter-American affairs from 1963 to 1967. As president of Bowie State University from 1967 to 1977, Myers successfully diffused a nationally-publicized 1968 student boycott, expanded the curriculum and increased student enrollment. In 1977, Myers was chosen to lead the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, where he helped persuade President Jimmy Carter to issue Executive Order 12232 in support of historically black colleges and lobbied Congress to pass Title III of the Higher Education Act.

From 1998, Myers served as chairman of Minority Access, an organization that seeks to recruit, retain and graduate minority students from predominantly white institutions. His numerous honors and awards include the Commandeur de L'Ordre National de Cote d Ivoire and the National Economic Association’s Samuel Z. Westerfield Award. Myers lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife, Marion, and has three adult children, Yvette, Tama and Samuel.

Samuel Myers was interviewed by TheHistoryMakers on September 16, 2003.

Accession Number

A2003.228

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/16/2003

Last Name

Myers

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Booker T. Washington Elementary School

Benjamin Bannekar Junior High School

Frederick Douglass High School

Morgan State University

Boston University

Harvard University

First Name

Samuel

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

MYE01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

Set Goals And Succeed.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

4/18/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo (New Orleans)

Short Description

University president, economics professor, and education advisor Samuel Myers (1919 - ) is the former president of Bowie State University. He served as president of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, where he helped ensure the passage of Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Employment

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Morgan State University

United States Department of State

Bowie State University

National Association for Opportunity in Higher Education

Minority Access Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:6740,94:12315,207:13420,223:20550,258:37230,373:37815,379:38283,384:48640,514:49858,533:60540,659:107842,1169:113071,1273:117553,1354:136458,1518:137122,1528:167500,1889:179306,1933:180442,1943:224780,2267:225290,2274:229030,2332:240890,2475:256870,2713:259580,2719$0,0:3060,49:3420,54:18435,342:22635,425:24135,456:25410,477:29085,554:30360,577:30660,582:38010,616:53060,813:63622,978:64126,985:64966,1040:75062,1146:76948,1170:154390,2229
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Samuel Myers' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Samuel Myers lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Samuel Myers talks about his Jamaican family heritage

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Samuel Myers describes why his parents migrated to the United States

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Samuel Myers describes his family's participation in the West Indian community in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Samuel Myers talks about growing up in Baltimore, Maryland and his teachers at Frederick Douglass High School

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Samuel Myers describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Samuel Myers describes his school experience in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Samuel Myers describes his favorite subjects in school and talks about passing a French exam at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Samuel Myers talks about his siblings and his activities at Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Samuel Myers talks about the Great Depression and his family's political affiliation in the 1930s

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Samuel Myers describes his decision to attend Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland and how he was able to afford it

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Samuel Myers describes his trip to India in 1937, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Samuel Myers describes his trip to India during in 1937, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Samuel Myers talks about his experience at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Samuel Myers describes deciding to attend Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts and, later, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Samuel Myers talks about being drafted for World War II and attending Officer's Candidate School [OCS]

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Samuel Myers describes his experience with racial discrimination in the U.S. Army during World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Samuel Myers talks about meeting his wife while in New Orleans, Louisiana with the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Samuel Myers recalls his duties in the Pacific in the U.S. Army during World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Samuel Myers reflects on his decision to leave the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Samuel Myers describes studying under John D. Black and John Kenneth Galbraith at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Samuel Myers describes economist John Kenneth Galbraith

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Samuel Myers talks about Gottfried Haberler and Joseph A. Schumpeter at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Samuel Myers talks about teaching at Morgan State University and HistoryMaker Earl G. Graves, Sr.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Samuel Myers talks about leaving Morgan State University for the U.S. State Department

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Samuel Myers explains the history of Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Samuel Myers describes the changes he made as President of Bowie State University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Samuel Myers talks about the 1968 student protests at Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Samuel Myers recalls joining the student protesters at Bowie State University and the changing demographics of the university

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Samuel Myers describes the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Samuel Myers describes the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Samuel Myers describes becoming chairman of Minority Access, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Samuel Myers describes the initiatives of Minority Access, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Samuel Myers describes his hopes for the African American community and reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Samuel Myers considers what he would have done differently in his life and describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

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DATape

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DATitle
Samuel Myers talks about Gottfried Haberler and Joseph A. Schumpeter at Harvard University
Samuel Myers describes his decision to attend Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland and how he was able to afford it
Transcript
So the work was--more was--you didn't find it very difficult. I mean you--$$Well, no. Well, well no Harvard [University, Cambridge, Massachusetts] was very difficult. But the--and I frequently mention to people that the difficulty for me and again I went through, I think I--with all A's. So, so I was able to move through. So I had no academic adversities. But, but there were people who were considered to be some of the greats in our society, one man named [Gottfried] Haberler in international trade was preaching a lot of things that only now people are coming around to. An even greater person was [Joseph] Schumpeter, who advanced some theories about economic development that now are considered to be out on the cutting edge. But they--$$How, how do you spell his name? I'm sorry.$$S-C-H-U-M-P-E-T-E-R.$$Okay.$$S-C-H-U-M-P-E-T-E-R.$$Okay.$$Joseph A. Schumpeter. He, he had a theory of economic development and a matter of how things become of obsolete and how you keep going and so I'm saying that I was saying great, great people. But, but for me, they--one was from Austria and, and indeed perhaps they were top world class people who came here in order to avoid [Adolph] Hitler. But the point is I understand that Harvard had a whole boatload of the best minds in the world coming because of the persecution in Europe. But it was extremely difficult to understand him for me in terms of the language and the like. Now in time it mattered not, but and--but it required trying to break through, what were they saying, what were they--and it required digging and digging and doing even more extensive reading that I could understand, than just getting it from the lectures. But I went back and it worked out, it worked out well. At the end, I was scheduled, had finished all of my work in 1949. Finished all of the requirements for the degree and had finished the dissertation. And when the fellowships for which Dr. Black, John D. Black, had recommended me, all of the came through at once. Got one from the [U.S.] Department of Agriculture, got one from the Rosenwald Fund, and a third one from the Rockefeller Foundation. And all of them came through. And so I did what I think many people not even thought of doing, in that I delayed really getting the degree in order to take advan--and then to go back and really dig into the kinds of study to understand all that I'd done. So I spent an additional year. And then I--Dr. Black wanted me, recommended and I was accepted, to become an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So I--after the semester ended, I left. But then--$$So you were, you were there a couple of years you said?$$No, I stay, stayed there only half a year--$So when you were on the verge of graduating from high school [at Frederick Douglass High School, Baltimore, Maryland], did you know that you were going to college or where you were going? Did you know?$$Yes.$$Okay.$$My brother was brighter than I and he was a brilliant student himself, even though I was a good student. And he had gone to college before me. So he had paved the way. So there was a very--it was just the expectation that I would go to college. And again, because he paved the way and people assumed that I was a good student, there were scholarships that were available to pay the way to go to college. So that--there was no question about whether. I mean it was just a matter of when I would go. And I looked forward to that. And as I've also indicated, I was the renegade in the whole class because there were--we had to pay our way to go to Morgan [State University, Baltimore, Maryland], even though I told you I was able to get scholarships. But Coppin State College [later, University, Baltimore, Maryland] which was the, or perhaps it was the normal school at that time, was free. Not only was it free, but the person could be assured that once they finished, they would step into a teaching position and so to have a job ahead. In liberal arts college, you come out and you have to begin searching and so on. But in spite of that, I knew I was going to college and I have never regretted that.$$Okay. So, so you didn't go to Coppin [State University, Baltimore, Maryland], but you went to--$$Morgan.$$Morgan State [University, Baltimore, Maryland].$$Yes.$$And you all had to pay, you had to pay some sort of tuition?$$That's correct, yes. But I was able to get scholarships. Plus I indicated to you that I was--my father [David Elcanah Myers] provided--was able to arrange for us to get employment and so we were able to work on the ship during the summer. And that, that opened, opened just, just whole new avenues for us. We--I was number one in my freshman class at Morgan. And I had the--received again at that time, parents aspired for their youngsters to be physicians. So I just knew I was gonna be in pre-med. Excelled in, I got the prize as the leading student in chemistry.

Ruth Love

Eminent educator Ruth Love was born on April 22, 1939 in Lawton, Oklahoma. As a child, Love's favorite game was playing school. One does not have to delve deeply into Love's family tree to uncover the roots of her passion for education. Her grandfather Andrew A. Williams, a former slave, founded Lawton's first school for African Americans. Williams' achievements instilled in Love a passion for reading, which she parlayed into a lifelong educational career. Love received her B.A. in Education in 1954 from San Jose University. She went on to receive her M.A. in Guidance and Counseling from San Francisco State University in 1961. In 1971, Love was awarded her Ph.D. in Human Behavior and Psychology from the United States International University, San Diego.

Love began her career in education as a teacher in the Oakland Public Schools. In conjunction with her duties, Love immersed herself in numerous educational projects taking her across the globe to Ghana and England as a Fulbright Exchange Educator. Love assisted in drafting important education legislation, specifically the National Reading Act. She accepted an appointment as Director of the National Right to Read Program. After four years with the program, she took a position as the Superintendent of Schools in the Oakland Unified School District. During her seven-year tenure as Superintendent, she made an indelible mark on the Oakland School system. Two of Love's programs "Scholars and Artists" and "Face the Students" brought such African Americans of achievement as Alex Haley, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin and Coretta Scott King to motivate and inform students. Love was then the first woman recruited to head up Chicago's Public School system.

Love is the founder and president of RBL Enterprises, LTD., an educational consulting company. She has also authored several articles and books including Hello World (1975) and continues to teach courses in Education Administration at San Francisco State University as well as speaking and lecturing to educational leaders around the world. Her audiences are global, but her professional interests remain local. She continues to strive for the reform and improvement of education in urban American schools.

Accession Number

A2002.103

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/3/2002

Last Name

Love

Maker Category
Middle Name

B.

Organizations
Schools

Bakersfield High School

San Jose State University

Lincoln Elementary School

First Name

Ruth

Birth City, State, Country

Lawton

HM ID

LOV02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

You Can Do Anything You Put Your Mind To.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

4/22/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Education advisor and school superintendent Ruth Love (1939 - ) served as the director of the National Right to Read Program, creating reading and literacy programs for children and adults. She then went on to serve as superintendent in the Oakland and Chicago public schools systems.

Employment

Oakland Public Schools

RBL Enterprises

Chicago Public Schools

Favorite Color

Black, White

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ruth Love's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ruth Love lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ruth Love talks about her mother, Burnett Love

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ruth Love describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ruth Love talks about her Native American heritage

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ruth Love talks about her father, Alvin Love

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ruth Love talks about how her parents met and then settled in California

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ruth Love describes her memories of moving to Bakersfield, California as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ruth Love talks about her four siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ruth Love describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ruth Love describes her childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ruth Love describes her mother's impact on her educational path in high school

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Ruth Love describes her family life as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ruth Love describes childhood road trips with her family

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ruth Love talks about Miss Fray, an influential teacher at Lincoln Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ruth Love describes her love of reading

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ruth Love recalls how her father fought racial discrimination in Bakersfield, California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ruth Love describes her mother's influence on her reading

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ruth Love describes her mother's perspective on slavery

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ruth Love talks about attending an integrated church in Bakersfield, California

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ruth Love talks about her experience at Bakersfield High School in Bakersfield, California

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ruth Love talks about the role the YMCA played in her life

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ruth Love talks about the Church of God

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Ruth Love talks about how she enrolled at San Jose State University in San Jose, California

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Ruth Love describes her experience at San Jose State University in San Jose, California

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ruth Love describe skipping two grades in elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ruth Love talks about her awareness of The Civil Rights Movement and the work of A. Philip Randolph

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ruth Love talks about how her upbringing prepared her for Chicago politics

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ruth Love talks about Brown v. Board of Education and her admiration of Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ruth Love talks about her experience as a Fulbright Scholar in England

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ruth Love talks about the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ruth Love talks about her experience with racial discrimination abroad

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ruth Love talks about her desire to go to Africa as a young teacher and her experience in Africa as an adult

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ruth Love talks about her trip around the world

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ruth Love describes her appointment as Bureau Chief for Program Development in Compensatory Education for the State of California in 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Ruth Love talks about working with Wilson Riles at the California State Department of Education

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ruth Love talks about addressing educational inequity in the State of California

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ruth Love talks about innovative teaching developments like small group instruction, community after-school programs, and inservice teacher training

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ruth Love describes California's role as an educational innovator for the nation in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ruth Love talks about how she became an advocate for teacher reform

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ruth Love describes being recruited as the superintendent of Oakland, California's Unified School District

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ruth Love talks about the impact of her experience in the U.S. Department of Education on her superintendency in Oakland, California

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ruth Love describes how she engaged local schools in reform by inviting guest speakers like Alex Haley, Coretta Scott King, James Baldwin, and Rosalynn Carter

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ruth Love talks about the impact of Marcus Foster's assassination on the city of Oakland, California

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ruth Love talks about her move to Chicago Public Schools as superintendent

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ruth Love describes HistoryMaker Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.'s opposition to her appointment as general superintendent of Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Ruth Love talks about the state of the Chicago Public School system upon her arrival

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Ruth Love talks about Chicago politicians during her superintendency like Mayors Jane Margaret Byrne and Harold Washington, and Edward Vrdolyak

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ruth Love talks about navigating Chicago politics

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ruth Love describes her experience of discrimination in Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ruth Love talks about systematic problems in urban schools

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ruth Love talks about ongoing disparity in schools

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ruth Love talks about her company, RBL Enterprises, LTD.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ruth Love criticizes charter school vouchers

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ruth Love discusses education reform in public schools, pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ruth Love discusses education reform in public schools, pt.2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ruth Love describes her proudest accomplishment in education

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Ruth Love reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Ruth Love talks about what she hopes to accomplish

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Ruth Love describes her mother's support

DASession

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DATitle
Ruth Love describes her mother's family background
Ruth Love describes how she engaged local schools in reform by inviting guest speakers like Alex Haley, Coretta Scott King, James Baldwin, and Rosalynn Carter
Transcript
Did she [Burnett Love] share with you, or did you know much about her family and the background or the history of the family?$$Well, it's interesting. I knew up to the point that the ancestors became white, and then she didn't want to share anymore about that. You know it was really something she was very embarrassed about. But I knew her father, you know, I knew a lot about him. And I knew her mother, less about her mother's family, because you can't go very far without running into slavery and all that that meant to her. But her father [Andrew A. Williams] was born in slavery. That's how--was born in 18, was it 50 something. Anyway, the story goes that he ran away. He was a boy and his mother was enslaved and he was helping his mom carry water, she had--she had a pail in each hand and one on the head. And so he decided to help her cause she was struggling. And it was discovered and he was chastised and told, tomorrow you'll have a job to do. And in his little child's mind, I guess he was supposed to be nine or ten years old, that's the story. He said if I have a job that means I'm a slave, so he ran away at that early age and had some really horrible experiences. But ultimately, found his way to Oklahoma, this was in Mississippi. Found his way to Oklahoma and worked at all kind of jobs, first for food and then for education and what have you, and helped to start Langston University [Langston, Oklahoma]. So it's a very, very rich background from his standpoint. He went back some years later and--to get his mom and she still thought she was enslaved, this was after the Emancipation Proclamation [1863]. So he brought her to live with him, but she couldn't quite adjust to up north, if you can think of Oklahoma as being up north. But I know a lot about--about that side of the family, but I don't know nearly as much about my maternal grandmother. I knew her brother. I don't know very much else about them.$$And when you said that there was this (unclear)$$Yes, well, she came to live with me. She passed away five years ago, but she lived with me for ten years, so I got--I was able to get into some of that. In fact, I recorded her, I taped her. I've been looking for the tapes, upstairs someplace. But she--she said that, and these are stories, so you don't know the complete validity of them, that her grandmother, her maternal grandmother, was the daughter of the slave owner, and I don't know whether there was ever a marriage to anybody else, but she had a number of children, including my grandmother. And mother said that she always disliked the fact that she was actually raped and impregnated. And so she--she didn't--she didn't want to talk very much about it, but she did tell her children about it in her later years. Now, my grandmother told my mother in her later years, and my mother told me in her later years. It was very interesting how it was passed down. She didn't go into a great deal of detail. She did have a photograph of this woman though, of which she gave to me. All of my childhood I had never seen that photograph. I mean, it is amazing that this was sort of kept. And it came out at a family reunion when I was trying to do some family research. And I had quite a lot on my dad's side, and I said, well, now let's get into these Williamses and this side, and she went back and looked up a trunk and found all these things that she shared with me. That her grandmother knew she was a slave, even though she could pass, she refused to pass. She absolutely refused. She refused to pass. And I guess she got an education by his sending her away to school someplace and for that period of time, I think, she did pass, but not--it wasn't something that she did on a daily basis, that was not her lifestyle, which was very interesting.$I found that we had to get them to feel good about their city [Oakland, California] and themselves. So we started to bring in people, this was all part of a grand plan, who would say, Oakland is important, you all are important. The first person I brought in was Alex Haley and this was two weeks after Roots had been televised. And I tell you he lit up that district like nothing else. And the students had to read about him and write something before they could see him. They could not just go to an assembly. I said, oh, no, no, no, you have to--you have to study about this man and what he's done. And we had district-wide competition and we wrote a book about him that we presented in poetry, narrative and what have you. It was just wonderful. He stayed two and a half days. He was our scholar-in-residence. And the students got to meet him, I took him to the airport, you know. It was really a good program and then we followed that with Coretta [Scott] King came. So we had every six weeks, we would have another person come, and it did, it lifted their spirits. They said all these people are coming to Oakland to see us. Dr. King's wife is coming, oh, really. They were just so thrilled, you know. We'd have--we'd have them speak at the auditorium then go to schools, speak at schools and then we had something, "Face the Students", where the students interviewed them and it was broadcast live over our closed-circuit television. So they had a chance to really--everybody got a chance to see them, you know, eventually. And who else, we had James Baldwin, we had Secretary of State who was a Latino man, we had Rosalynn Carter and she just wowed them and then invited me to bring our choir to the White House, which I did. Eighty percent of them were on welfare and we went to the White House to sing. Oh, it was just wonderful. So it got some people feeling good and then teachers said, you know, these kids read more about these people you bring here they ever read in these books we have. So they started feeling better about it. And I--I just--what I'm trying to say is you have to take some unusual steps when you have an unusual situation. That was a very unusual situation. Had I just gone on and said okay, we're just gonna reform. Reform, well you gotta get people to want to reform. So by this time now they're getting enthusiastic about it, let's change our curriculum, let's do this, and so that's when we got a big grant and we gave release time to people and they developed it, and it's theirs, it's not mine. I'm not imposing it on them. I said but you gotta have standards. By the third grade every child has to read. If not, there's an intervention right away. You don't let them to go to fourth grade, fifth grade, sixth grade. So we set some broad standards and then they could fill in. And it really worked very well they reached the national norm on the test after what, four years. They reached a national norm, but it was hard work. You give your whole life to it, you know, you give your whole life to it.