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William Whitley

Architect and business executive William N. Whitley was born on April 29, 1934 in Rochester, New York and raised in Warren and Cleveland, Ohio. Whitley’s father was a chemist; his mother an actress. He graduated from Kent State University in 1957 with his B.S. degree in architecture, and went on to serve as a captain in the United States Air Force from 1958 until 1960.

In the 1960s, Whitley joined his brother, James, in operating Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC, a full service architectural and planning firm specializing in institutional design, sport facility design, and commercial housing design, where he served as vice president and project principal. Whitley/Whitley Architects has provided a substantial amount of work in Cleveland and the State of Ohio for various city and state public agencies, as well as services for cities and community groups in cities throughout the United States, including Saint Louis, Missouri; Indianapolis, Indiana; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Gary, Indiana; Chicago, Illinois; Saginaw, Michigan; Buffalo, New York; Rochester, New York; New York City, New York; Orlando, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Reading, Pennsylvania; Washington, D.C. and San Diego, California. Whitley/Whitley was involved with work on Cleveland’s Tower City Center, the Cleveland State University Convocation Center, Lincoln Junior High School, the Lee-Harvard Branch of Cleveland Public Library, the Central Area Multi-Service Center, and the Cleveland Clinic Guesthouse development. Other projects have included Kent State University's Fashion Museum, Cuyahoga County Community College's Learning Center, and Cleveland’s John F. Kennedy Recreation Center. Whitley’s firm has also designed numerous housing units and worked on several rehabilitation projects.

Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC has received many awards and honors, including the Progressive Architecture Design Award, the HUD Biennial Design Award, Burlington Awards, the House and Home Award, the Ohio Prestressed Concrete Design Award, the Ohio Masonry Council/ASO Award for Excellence in Masonry Design, the Cleveland Chapter of Architect’s Building Design Award, the East Ohio Energy Conservation Award, and the ASO Honor Awards Certificate of Merit.

Whitley has three children: Kyle, Kym and Scott.

William Whitley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 12, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.036

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/12/2014

Last Name

Whitley

Maker Category
Middle Name

Nivens

Organizations
Schools

Kent State University

Nathaniel Rochester School No. 3

Roosevelt Elementary School

Rawlings Junior High School

Alexander Hamilton Junior High School

John Adams High School

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Rochester

HM ID

WHI20

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

4/29/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Catfish

Short Description

Architect and business chief executive William Whitley (1934 - ) served as vice principal and project principal of Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC.

Employment

Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC

United States Air Force

Joseph Baker and Associates

Damon, Worley, Samuels and Associates

Dalton and Dalton

Favorite Color

Earth Tones

Timing Pairs
0,0:720,13:1440,38:1680,43:23622,298:25446,325:31284,397:32363,423:34770,477:36513,508:36845,513:50750,700:52730,719:56020,731:58780,780:59585,789:63384,838:80870,1057:81600,1065:82038,1072:82330,1077:82622,1082:82987,1088:90786,1221:91122,1226:95540,1293:103754,1375:104164,1381:114900,1532:115220,1538:116180,1561:118090,1575:126370,1722:129730,1799:130360,1809:131480,1834:137632,1902:138070,1909:139165,1991:147920,2078:148760,2091:150356,2179:178645,2562:179919,2583:190130,2700:190704,2737:192426,2766:192836,2772:193738,2797:194230,2804:194804,2812:195378,2830:195706,2835:196280,2844:209316,3213:245708,3580:248704,3642:252150,3687$0,0:2108,48:4624,134:11900,294:15904,308:42220,698:43750,730:44110,735:45100,754:46000,766:57966,926:58542,935:60054,977:60414,983:66376,1049:68812,1121:69595,1132:70291,1143:72118,1188:74206,1221:74554,1226:82870,1341:85595,1346:86216,1359:90910,1403:91330,1411:95084,1464:108110,1677:112486,1700:112946,1706:126024,1822:131029,1924:141072,2042:142318,2055:149378,2156:159634,2257:168414,2396:169757,2423:172048,2479:179022,2587:192930,2810:204060,2950:205760,2977
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Whitley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Whitley lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Whitley describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Whitley talks about his mother's career aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Whitley talks about his father's upbringing and education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Whitley describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Whitley describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Whitley talks about his siblings, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William Whitley talks about his siblings, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William Whitley describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William Whitley remembers his family's move to Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Whitley remembers his early awareness of race

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Whitley describes his experiences as a twin

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Whitley describes his early education in Warren, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Whitley describes his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Whitley talks about his neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Whitley remembers his early interest in architecture

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Whitley remembers playing sports in junior high school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Whitley recalls playing football at John Adams High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William Whitley remembers his early instruction in architecture

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William Whitley recalls his decision to attend Kent State University in Kent, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William Whitley remembers his football teammates at John Adams High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Whitley talks about the Black Economic Union of Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Whitley recalls his experiences at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Whitley remembers meeting his wife at Kent State University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Whitley describes his experiences in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Whitley remembers his internship with Robert P. Madison

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Whitley recalls the start of his career as an architect

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Whitley recalls the founding of Whitley and Whitley, Architects and Planners

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Whitley talks about the impact of Mayor Carl Stokes' election

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Whitley talks about his experiences of racial discrimination in the architecture field

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Whitley remembers the development of Whitley and Whitley, Architects and Planners

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Whitley talks about how decisions are made in the architecture industry

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Whitley talks about mayoral politics in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Whitley describes his international travels

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Whitley remembers winning a Progressive Architecture Award

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Whitley talks about the role of risk taking in architectural design

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Whitley talks about the importance of listening to clients

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William Whitley recalls his work with the East Cleveland City School District, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Whitley recalls his work with the East Cleveland City School District, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Whitley talks about building the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Whitley talks about mandated architecture requirements

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Whitley talks about forging relationships with tradespeople

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Whitley talks about the staff of Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Whitley talks about securing architectural contracts

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William Whitley reflects upon his career

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William Whitley describes his advice to aspiring African American architects

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - William Whitley talks about the black architecture community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - William Whitley describes the material selection process

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - William Whitley describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - William Whitley talks about the leadership of Mayor Carl Stokes

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - William Whitley talks about his daughter, Kym Whitley

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - William Whitley describes his sons

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Whitley reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William Whitley talks about his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William Whitley describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William Whitley narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

6$1

DATitle
William Whitley remembers his early interest in architecture
William Whitley talks about his experiences of racial discrimination in the architecture field
Transcript
When did you ever, I mean was there a time when you were a youth, did you think of becoming an architect?$$Oh, well, you know architecture was--I didn't think about becoming an architect but I found out what I liked. When I lived in Warren, Ohio we used to make huts, and we used to go out in the woods and chop down little trees about that big around and we could--that was our timber, laid the floor out and we made the walls out of that. Made the roof out like that, come inside take mud and smooth and make your plaster inside. We were, we built a hut; then we got to the point, we said now, let's not--let's make a village, not just a hut, a village. My mother [Beatrice Nivens Whitley] had given us a--at the time it was Army goods and it was a little, a little hatchet that the soldiers had. It came with the--you went to the Army Navy store and got you a little hatchet and you could take, you could take a tree down with one good hatch--hack at it. So, I was in architecture then, I got a feel for it and I enjoyed it; and then we used to go play in houses that were being built, and we'd get run off, but you know there was a little sense there. But what turned on us on was I went to a movie ['Tycoon'] with John Wayne and he was an engineer, civil engineer. He was a civil engineer down in Brazil and you know at the end he got the girl, right? He built these bridges and things like that but at the end he won the girl. We said this looks kind of nice, maybe I'll be a civil engineer. So, I started thinking about being a civil engineer first; then I went to another movie, I gotta come up with his name, but he was an architect.$$This is Gary Cooper, right?$$Gary Cooper was sitting on top of the building, the wind was blowing through him, his--and he blew up a few of the buildings that he didn't like that people didn't build it the way he was supposed to build it. I said that's it's I'm gonna be an architect; and that was it, from then forward (makes sound), that was it.$$Yeah, that's 'The Fountainhead.'$$'Fountainhead,' 'Fountainhead.'$$Yeah, based on the novel ['The Fountainhead'] by Ayn Rand.$$That's it, 'Fountainhead' did it; saw that and that was--there was no turning back then. Started off in the tenth grade and said hey, they asked me what I wanted to do, I told 'em. They brought in an architect he told me, said, "Hey you, let me tell you, you unh-uh, you two, you two forget it."$$Now this is career day, right? When--$$Career day.$$--when--$$But they had broken us up: people that wanna be architects go here, people that wanna be doctors go there, pe- you know et cetera; dentists go over here, talk to these people.$$So this is, now you and your brother [HistoryMaker James Whitley] often go, you've done it for three years I think, go to the public schools here.$$Um-hm.$$In this area and encourage kids to become architects, right?$$That's right. That's right$$So, here's when flash back to your youth.$$Yeah, they were doing that but they were turning me, turning me around instead of turning me forward--trying to turn me around I don't know, but they actually they felt they were doing me a favor, they thought they were doing me--"Hey, don't go there, you're gonna have a problem."$$They knew I guess (laughter).$$They knew I was gonna have a problem; and I had a problem.$$Okay, so, these are the times, the times have changed.$$Yeah, times have changed but you know, you know the world had to change.$$Right, right. So, so you're in the seventh grade when this happens, right?$$Seventh grade.$$Seventh grade, you're twelve years old I guess?$$No, when I got the speech I was in just the tenth grade, so I was about fifteen.$All right, yeah I--off camera I was just saying that--$$Yeah.$$--people often say that Harold Washington in Chicago [Illinois] as the first black mayor made the process fair, and you had a reaction to that?$$Well, it's impossible, making it fair doesn't mean anything. President of the United States, who's that, Johnson [President Lyndon Baines Johnson], he made it fair, put it in the law. I went down to the Navy department [U.S. Department of the Navy] in, in where is Hampton [sic. Arlington, Virginia]? Hampton, Vir-?$$Yeah, Virginia. Yeah.$$Virginia--Hampton, Virginia. I walk in there and the guy says, "Hey?" I said, "I'm, here's my application. I wanna participate on these [U.S.] Navy jobs." They were building like crazy, I'm talking billions of dollars they're spending. I just want a little piece. Well, you know you're in Virginia now, and we got rules. You know the laws says you gotta do this, you gotta do that. (Unclear) no, no, don't worry about those rules. We got rules, you gotta go down and talk to So and So and then the AIA [American Institute of Architects] in the state has to say you're all right, and this is--you're blocked. There are too many people with a rule, there're too many people below that rule that control. So, you're not gonna, you know just by putting a rule, they had the law. At that time, it was mandatory. Nope, unh-huh the gates did not open up because the rules were changed. No; and that's true federal, state, everywhere. Every time I go--I can go anywhere and ask for a job. James [Whitley's brother, HistoryMaker James Whitley] may have told you about I had a buddy that was head of--classmate, got him through calculus. His final grade was dependent on, (whispers) "What's number three?" Helped him through calculus, he passed the course. They made him--he went on to be head of Kent State's [Kent State University, Kent Ohio] architectural--the school, the university, he was a university architect that controlled--he could say that he has developed millions of work for the campus. He went from there to Marriott hotels [Marriott International, Inc.] all over the world. I call him up and say, "Hey, you're doing all these hotels, how about giving me one?" Never happened, never happened, but after it was all said and done he called me. He said, "Hey, let me tell you the truth. I couldn't." And it wasn't a matter of you can't do the work, he said that, "These guys around here, they would question my judgment." That's what he told me, he said, "Man they would que-," I would be out of here just based on judgment, so that's true everywhere. It's not, and then the guy didn't even want to do it. The law can say, "Do it." (Makes sounds) That's what you--you're fighting. That's a head wind that you're fighting and it's a reality.$$Yeah, and that's a lot to go against.$$That's a lot to go against you know. Everybody is--"Hey, how will I look when I do this," you know (laughter)?

James Whitley

Architect and business executive James M. Whitley was born on April 29, 1934 in Rochester, New York and raised in Warren and Cleveland, Ohio. Whitley’s father was a chemist; his mother an actress. He graduated from Kent State University in 1957 with his B.S. degree in architecture.

In 1963, Whitley founded Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC, a full service architectural and planning firm specializing in institutional design, sport facility design, and commercial housing design, where he has served as president and designer. He went on to expand the firm alongside his brother, William, and his sister, Joyce, and moved Whitley/Whitley Architects to Shaker Heights, Cleveland in 1969.

Whitley/Whitley Architects has provided a substantial amount of work in Cleveland and the State of Ohio for various city and state public agencies, as well as services for cities and community groups in cities throughout the United States, including Saint Louis, Missouri; Indianapolis, Indiana; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Gary, Indiana; Chicago, Illinois; Saginaw, Michigan; Buffalo, New York; Rochester, New York; New York City, New York; Orlando, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Reading, Pennsylvania; Washington, D.C. and San Diego, California. Whitley/Whitley was involved with work on Cleveland’s Tower City Center, the Cleveland State University Convocation Center, Lincoln Junior High School, the Lee-Harvard Branch of Cleveland Public Library, the Central Area Multi-Service Center, and the Cleveland Clinic Guesthouse development. Other projects have included Kent State University's Fashion Museum, Cuyahoga County Community College's Learning Center, and Cleveland’s John F. Kennedy Recreation Center. Whitley’s firm has also designed numerous housing units and worked on several rehabilitation projects.

Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC has received many awards and honors, including the Progressive Architecture Design Award, the HUD Biennial Design Award, Burlington Awards, the House and Home Award, the Ohio Prestressed Concrete Design Award, the Ohio Masonry Council/ASO Award for Excellence in Masonry Design, the Cleveland Chapter of Architect’s Building Design Award, the East Ohio Energy Conservation Award, and the ASO Honor Awards Certificate of Merit.

Whitley’s son, Kent, is a project manager and architect at Whitley/Whitley.

James Whitley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 12, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.035

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/12/2014

Last Name

Whitley

Maker Category
Middle Name

M

Schools

Kent State University

Roosevelt Elementary School

John Adams High School

Alexander Hamilton Junior High School

Rawlings Junior High School

Nathaniel Rochester School No. 3

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Rochester

HM ID

WHI19

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

4/29/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Architect and business chief executive James Whitley (1934 - ) founded Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC.

Employment

Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC

Joseph Baker Associates

Keith Haag

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:11340,255:19020,334:23306,375:27954,420:30738,484:31602,504:33138,529:44230,734:62280,1108:72910,1232:78304,1309:96106,1573:101605,1657:104720,1677:105926,1704:114750,1773:115550,1787:127965,1950:134070,2032:135474,2069:137190,2113:139998,2174:146680,2241:146960,2247:148290,2279:148640,2285:149130,2293:177181,2630:183040,2825:183390,2831:183880,2839:185420,2872:207656,3191:208792,3270:216200,3466$0,0:6555,95:19100,220:31714,414:34298,481:48151,652:52797,799:55742,942:76643,1143:84442,1256:97434,1459:97702,1464:117164,1739:117448,1759:119791,1849:120075,1854:120856,1867:121637,1883:123909,1921:124264,1927:126039,1974:126607,1983:128027,2022:128311,2027:129092,2040:137220,2140:137520,2146:138060,2211:138420,2216:143971,2291:147832,2353:149911,2395:150406,2401:154160,2428:154640,2435:161234,2534:161502,2539:161770,2544:163244,2581:168510,2674
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Whitley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Whitley lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Whitley describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Whitley talks about his mother's education and occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Whitley describes the community of Marked Tree, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Whitley describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Whitley describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Whitley describes his parents' move Rochester, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Whitley lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Whitley describes his family's move to Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James Whitley describes his younger sister

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - James Whitley describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - James Whitley describes his experiences as a twin

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - James Whitley describes his neighborhood in Rochester, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Whitley describes his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Whitley recalls his favorite childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Whitley remembers Rawlings Junior High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Whitley recalls transferring to Alexander Hamilton Junior High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Whitley describes his influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Whitley describes his coursework at John Adams High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Whitley describes the history of football in Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Whitley describes his activities at John Adams High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James Whitley recalls his decision to become an architect

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - James Whitley recalls his decision to attend Kent State University in Kent, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - James Whitley describes his architectural training at Kent State University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Whitley recalls his internship with Robert P. Madison

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Whitley recalls his experiences at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Whitley describes his decision to join the track and football teams

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Whitley remembers his mentors at Kent State University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Whitley recalls joining the firm of Joseph Baker and Associates

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Whitley remembers serving in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Whitley recalls founding Whitley and Whitley, Architects and Planners

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Whitley describes his sister's career as an urban planner

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - James Whitley recalls the growth of black business during the Black Power movement

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Whitley recalls the election of Mayor Carl Stokes in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Whitley talks about the importance of networking in the construction industry

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Whitley remembers developing his architectural firm

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Whitley recalls his contract with the Cleveland Clinic

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Whitley describes his approach to architectural design

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Whitley describes the obstacles to innovation in architectural design

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Whitley describes the challenges facing African American architects

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Whitley describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Whitley reflects upon the African American leaders of Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Whitley describes his relationship with Robert P. Madison

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Whitley recalls building facilities for the East Cleveland City School District

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Whitley describes the challenges faced by architectural firms

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Whitley remembers winning a Progressive Architecture Award

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Whitley recalls his work with the General Services Administration

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Whitley describes his relationship with the American Institute of Architects

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Whitley talks about his mentorship of young architects

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James Whitley describes the role of lawyers in the construction industry

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - James Whitley describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - James Whitley reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - James Whitley shares his advice to aspiring architects

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - James Whitley talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - James Whitley describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$2

DAStory

8$2

DATitle
James Whitley describes his sister's career as an urban planner
James Whitley recalls his favorite childhood activities
Transcript
So your brother just came on over from--$$No, he just left, he just--but see, the fre- I'm single, I was single at this time. William [HistoryMaker William Whitley] was married [to Kaysonia Whitley] with children. I, I can live, I knew I could live six months and, and the fee was six thousand dollars no way, I mean. I was quite, quite free and able to do and with, with that, he came along. 'Cause the fee was set could do what he had to do.$$Okay, so where did you set up your offices?$$It's, the first offices was at Lee Road and, and Chagrin Boulevard.$$It's in, in Cleveland [Ohio]?$$In Cl- Shaker Heights [Ohio], really but--$$Shaker Heights (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) Cleveland, yeah.$$All right, and now, now your sister Joyce [Joyce Whitley] is I guess involved at some point. Does she--$$Now, here's what happened, then there's the (unclear). Now, now we're architects. My sister majored in anthropology. Case Western Reserve [Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio]. She went to Fisk [Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee] though, she went to Fisk. But, she smoked, so my mother [Beatrice Nivens Whitley] took her out of there. So, she finished at Reserve, anthropology. But, when she finishes school she says--and, and I don't know, happenstance, whatever. Urban, urban planning is a big deal at the University of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois]. Well, she somehow gets hooked up and take- goes to University of Chicago. Takes up planning city planning, all right. Comes out and she's working for a guy named Meltzer [Jack Meltzer] in Chicago [Illinois]. And as all of this comes together, I'm leave- I'm, we're going into architecture. She's getting trained as a city planner. The riots occur, the riots occur. Now when the riots occur all the federal funds go to solve that problem. But, to solve the problem you have to have a plan, you have to have a plan to solve the problem. Meltzer is, is right in position to do it. And he jumps on it immediately. Now, Joyce is in there with, with him and sees how it's done, and it's all over the country. I mean it's all over the, planning is all over the country. Joyce comes out city planner and works- experience with Meltzer every, every major city. Cleveland. So, all of a sudden she's getting work, Cleveland, Buffalo [New York], St. Louis [Missouri], Fort Wayne [Indiana], Cincinnati [Ohio], Chinatown in Washington D.C., New York City [New York, New York], New York City, Roosevelt Island, Roosevelt Island. I mean it was all over the place. But, when you get a planning, what comes after planning? Buildings. Now we're in a position, now we're in a position--we're open [as Whitley and Whitley, Architects and Planners; Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC], now this opportunity starts. Now, all over the, all these federal buildings I mean and I'm talking about multifamily, multifamily structures are going up in all the--where, where these plans are. So, then we're up and rolling then, I mean then, you know. We were knocking those things out, you know three or four a year, for many years. And the planning studies.$$So, so, so you get started in '63 [1963] but your, your sister gets involved in the late '60s [1960s] I guess--$$Yeah, it was the late '60s [1960s], '60s [1960s] (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Around when the riots are happening--$$That's right, that's right, that's right.$$--and post riots.$$And when that start happening--$What were you interested in as a little kid?$$Small, real s- just playing and--oh I'll say one thing the Warren [Ohio] experience I think probably was the most memorable. But we, we lived at--Warren's a small, you know, small basically a rural kind of community. And we lived close to the edge of town. So, the woods and the trees and all of that was accessible to us, and oh we played that to death. We played that to death. I mean it was just, just pure freedom, I mean pure freedom. And we ran out the door, you ran, you ran out to woods. You could do anything you want out there, you know what I'm saying. And that's what we did. And, I, I would say maybe that's when one of the start of the creative side, anyway. During the war [World War II, WWII], we're playing war. And you could play war in the woods. You can dig, you can dig trenches, you can build, build huts. And then we, we were famous 'cause we--tree huts. We'd have 'em swing the tree. And they had a popular tree which was about a inch and half, two inch diameter. Oh you could cut down with one or two hacks, tie 'em together or nail them together. Tied 'em together was basically what we did. And you could make anything you wanted. And we had a, a cement, we found a cement mixer--hands. Boy we made that a boat. We both--and had a creek out there. You could go down the creek and the creek is maybe, say it's eight foot wide. But, but enough to float and you know, play with what you had to do. And you, we knew how to swim, so we weren't afraid of water. But, as I think back on it those experiences were very, very nice, I mean that was a--you were free to do what you wanted to do. And it's kind of of nice, but I felt I was living in the city, I didn't feel like I was living in the country. It was a city life but freedom at the edge. You could play baseball out there, you know build yourself a--it's funny. Yeah we built baseball diamonds, it's not like there was the baseball diamond out there. But, you could put that together and play. And I remember the people that--but that was basically a white community. We were in a, all those people I remember those were, were white kids.$$Okay.$$Yeah, and none those problems in the South. I mean no southern kind of problems at all. That was like, you know I remember Paul Picerelli [ph.] lived behind me. I could come down with those, those guys names, you know. The pretty girl was Shirley Novak [ph.], you know, what I'm saying. But, a good experience, and Warren was a very good experience. Then we came to the big city, Cleveland [Ohio]. Now, that's the big difference. There's a big difference there now.

Marlene Johnson

Newspaper reporter and assistant editor Marlene L. Johnson was born on November 22, 1936 in Rochester, New York and raised by foster parents on a small farm in Avon. At age twelve, she was stricken with polio. Johnson attended Second Baptist Church in Mumford, N.Y. where Reverend Mordecai W. Johnson once was pastor. She graduated from Geneseo Central High School and then received her A.A. degree from the University of Buffalo. Johnson moved to Detroit, Michigan and earned her B.S. degree in secondary education and English from Wayne State University in 1973. She went on to earn her M.S. degree in media instructional systems from the University of the District of Columbia in 1983. In 2007, Johnson graduated from the Howard University School of Divinity with her M.A. degree in religious studies.

Johnson began her career in journalism as a general assignment reporter for the Associated Press in Detroit. She sued the Associated Press in 1973 on behalf of African Americans and women after being terminated without just cause. A court upheld her claims of discrimination and handed down a landmark decision. This ruling was the catalyst for the establishment of a formal training program for minority journalists at the Associated Press. In 1975, Johnson moved to Washington, D.C. to work for The Newspaper Guild. From 1976 to 1992 she was a public relations practitioner for nonprofit organizations including the National Urban League and the National 4-H Council.

Johnson served as the assistant editor of the “Features” and the “Arts & Entertainment” sections of the Washington Times from 1994 until 2004. She covered stories at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Gallery of the Arts, and the Warner Theater. In 2007, Johnson became the executive editor for the online newspapers owned by Redding Communications, Inc., which included the The Washington Continent and the Redding News Review. She left Redding Communications in April of 2008 to pursue personal writing projects. Johnson also has worked for the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged and the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing. She is an active member in the National Association of Black Journalists and has supervised student reporters for the NABJ Monitor. In addition, Johnson founded Grapevine Communications, a media consulting firm in Washington, D.C.

Johnson received the Excellence of Lifestyle or Entertainment Pages Award from the Virginia Press Association in 1998; and the SPJ Washington Dateline Award for Excellence in local journalism in 2000.

Marlene L. Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 2, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.066

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/2/2013

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Schools

University of the District of Columbia

Howard University School of Divinity

Wayne State University

State University of New York at Buffalo

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Marlene

Birth City, State, Country

Rochester

HM ID

JOH42

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

11/22/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

Newspaper reporter and assistant editor Marlene Johnson (1936 - ) , former assistant editor at the the Washington Times and past executive editor at Redding Communications, Inc., filed and won a class-action discrimination lawsuit against the Associated Press in Detroit, Michigan that led to a training program for minority journalists.

Employment

Office of Congressman John Conyers

Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Wayne State University

Chrysler Corporation

Hughes Aircraft Corp.

Johnson Publishing Company

Grapevine Communications

Washington Times

Delete

Associated Press (AP)

Favorite Color

Lavender

Timing Pairs
0,0:488,4:956,15:1268,20:11500,82:11756,87:12012,92:12588,107:13612,132:14124,141:15340,187:18370,222:21660,264:23408,297:25080,335:25764,345:29108,424:30400,467:36120,504:36420,510:38756,520:41188,566:41572,573:43290,578:50350,619:64886,800:66734,869:69710,894:70186,902:76236,996:76520,1001:77301,1019:105222,1277:108174,1335:113856,1420:114124,1425:114526,1433:116300,1440:122825,1560:123500,1610:128075,1723:133751,1754:134035,1759:145330,1890:150918,1915:151233,1921:151737,1931:157432,2013:161312,2064:163704,2101:164164,2107:165360,2133:165820,2139:171710,2194:171990,2199:177232,2234:191950,2427:193280,2443:197358,2459:198310,2488:199058,2505:202186,2571:208325,2697:208650,2703:209170,2712:221930,2910:222250,2918:229740,3012:238062,3177:238427,3183:245938,3265:246861,3286:249559,3337:250908,3363:252612,3402:253393,3416:257605,3430:258125,3444:263012,3539:264392,3569:269204,3633:269460,3638:279240,3793:280900,3809$0,0:3795,21:7036,52:12202,150:13022,161:25005,329:25716,357:30061,397:30456,403:30772,408:31246,415:38572,502:41800,536:42232,545:46634,599:50208,618:50888,631:58979,729:63050,755:63820,767:65220,797:65850,809:67250,846:74928,943:78390,961:78990,976:79530,987:80490,1005:82820,1043:83450,1055:83870,1062:84150,1068:89330,1213:94720,1352:99650,1381:100240,1394:100594,1402:111113,1530:111558,1536:112537,1559:116890,1613:118915,1659:127125,1786:128620,1811:146964,1930:147517,1941:151388,2011:151862,2018:152731,2033:161638,2100:162182,2109:166220,2130:167228,2152:176195,2244:180290,2333:180810,2342:184065,2364:190040,2438:190490,2445:191915,2476:196398,2517:197034,2530:198420,2549
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marlene Johnson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marlene Johnson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marlene Johnsons describes her mother's family background, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marlene Johnson describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marlene Johnson talks about not knowing her father's identity, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marlene Johnson talks about not knowing her father's identity, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marlene Johnson describes her biggest childhood influence

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marlene Johnson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marlene Johnson talks about her childhood community's church

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Marlene Johnson describes her school and high school education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marlene Johnson describes her experience in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marlene Johnson describes her relationship with her foster siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marlene Johnson talks about her love of reading

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marlene Johnson talks about moving with the Cottoms' and George Wilson

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marlene Johnson describes being separated from her foster siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marlene Johnson talks about her favorite extracurricular activities and her first mentor

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marlene Johnson describes her aptitude for basketball and her interest in French

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marlene Johnson talks about the popular music, television, and movies of her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marlene Johnson talks about her high school graduation and her aspirations for her future

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Marlene Johnson describes her first jobs as a bean picker and babysitter

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Marlene Johnson recalls the harrowing experience of living with her father's brother and his wife in Buffalo

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Marlene Johnson describes pursuing an associate's degree and her first secretarial job

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marlene Johnson talks about moving to Detroit and living with her biological mother

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marlene Johnson describes her negative experience with racial discrimination at work

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marlene Johnson describes her experience at Wayne State University and teaching at Miller High School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marlene talks about her work experience at General Motors and the political turmoil during that time

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marlene Johnson recalls her brief time in Los Angeles working for Hughes Aircraft and Ebony Magazine

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marlene Johnson talks about her poetry and how it developed into a Grammy award winning song

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marlene discusses her contact with local poets and her brief foray into songwriting

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Marlene Johnson describes how Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination personally impacted her work environment

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Marlene Johnson describes her work with Congressman John Conyers and being hired by the Associated Press

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Marlene Johnson describes working for the Associated Press, and the class action lawsuit that followed, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Marlene Johnson describes working for the Associated Press, and the class action lawsuit that followed, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marlene Johnson describes her suit against the Associated Press

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marlene Johnson describes her experience working at the Newspaper Guild in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marlene Johnson describes her work in public relations in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marlene Johnson talks about her role as the Assistant Editor for Features at the Washington Times

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marlene Johnson talks about her job as Assistant Metro Editor for the Washington Times

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marlene Johnson details the criticism she received from the managing editor of the Washington Times

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marlene Johnson talks about her work as Assistant Metro Editor at the Washington Times

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marlene Johnson talks about her decision to resign from the Washington Times

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marlene Johnson talks about the dream she had about going to Divinity School

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marlene Johnson describes her experience in Divinity School at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marlene Johnson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American Community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marlene Johnson describes how she incorporated her ministry into her journalism

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marlene Johnson describes her work with the National Urban magazine after her retirement

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Marlene Johnson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Marlene Johnson talks about the reasons for her limited role in the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Marlene Johnson describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

10$5

DATitle
Marlene Johnson describes working for the Associated Press, and the class action lawsuit that followed, pt. 1
Marlene Johnson describes how she incorporated her ministry into her journalism
Transcript
So, this is in what year?$$I got hired in, I think '72' [1972].$$1972, okay.$$And what they said to me was that they had a one-year training program, and they were going to hire me under that. And so, that's what, that's what happened. But actually, they didn't really have a training program. What they did was, they showed me the different wires and you know, walked me around the room, and they sat me in front of the computer, and then they sent me out on the street. And I covered stories and I wrote stories. There was one guy who was on the desk who was always like reluctant to give me stuff. And anyway, somebody amongst them had a complaint that I wrote too slowly. So--$$You had no training whatsoever, right? Except for how to, how things functioned--$$Right.$$--I mean you still trying to develop...$$Right, no training, no training. And so, like nine months in, the boss decides that he's going to retire, and he's going to dump me. And I said oh, my gosh. And so, I was very upset. And so, a friend of mine--well, a co-worker... There was a guy who I'm still in touch with who is now the--I heard he's the managing editor at the Detroit News. His name is John Wolman. John came in during that period of time when I was there. John, his dad was a newspaper guy in Madison, Wisconsin, so John grew up with newspapers. And John taught me a whole lot. If it wasn't for John, I wouldn't have been able to really work at the AP, but John taught me a whole lot. And I would write, and if was doing it too long, he'd say, 'Get up off that copy.' (laughter). I love John. And so, I would get up off that copy. But it wasn't that it was poorly written, it was just I kept re-writing myself, and John knew it. So, anyway when that happened, he and another co-worker named Marty Hirschman came to me. And I was in the Guild, and they said, 'Well, do you want to file suit, if we can get other people to join you?' And I said sure. And so, that's what happened. They got eight other people. I was--and they were all black except one woman, Francis Leewine, I believe, a white woman. And the rest were black guys and maybe a black woman. And that's how the suit went forward, until it got to the class action part, until it got to the--what do you want to call it? It split to the civil suit, it got to the civil suit. And that's when they--this woman who was going after the money who was an attorney in New York, dumped my name off. The reason I knew that happened is because a woman that I was working with in the Guild named Louise Walsh, I ran into her, and we were on a plane together. And she said, 'You know what?' We had become friends. She said, 'I don't remember seeing your name on the suit anymore.' And I said, 'Well, why wouldn't it be on there?' And so, she told me who to call, and I called the guy, Sid Wrightsman, and I asked him. And he waffled and told me about the attorney in New York who was doing the other part of the suit, the civil part. And when I talked to her, she was really nasty. And she was going, 'You know, it takes a lot to be a named complainant on a suit.' I said, 'I've already been on there seven years.' 'Well, you decided you wanted not to be on it.' I said, 'No, I did not. Nobody asked me, you just took my name off.' 'Well, we got, we want to represent women.' And so what happened is, the suit turned from black and one white, to all white and one black. And the one black--the one that went to the civil suit. They took my name off and put another woman's name on it--a black woman who I had never heard of before. And that's how it went down. So, when the money came out--of course Simeon Booker wrote about it in the Jet for me. But they got like eleven or twelve grand, and I got fifteen hundred dollars.$Okay. When you look back on everything you've done professionally... Now, you're not--well, let me just... You were telling me earlier you're not a practicing minister.$$No.$$You mean you got a degree in theology, but the calling is not to necessarily preach--$$Not to preach, no.$$--but to get the information, I guess, or--$$Right. It was a calling in that it was a calling to a ministry. I often tell people that I'm like Moses. Moses didn't like to speak in public, so Aaron did it. I'm like Moses. I bring you the news, but somebody else may voice it. Everybody is not supposed to be a pastor, and I know that I'm not supposed to be. If the time comes when I'm supposed to be in a pulpit, I'll know it. But I am a person who is very shy of speaking to large groups of people, and I always have been. I think I told you I was in a senior play, but I was trembling, (laughter) with my little having to say. And a lot of, if you know it, a lot of people who are actors and actresses are shy people. And I'm a shy in a way. And when I tell people that, they say you can't be shy. Yes, I am, in a way. And that's the way in which I'm shy. And if you're a preacher, you've got to preach. And you perform, and you've got to get people to listen. And if you're standing up there and your voice is trembling, you're not going to get the word across. And one of the things I had said to myself a long time ago, Dr, King is my model for oratory. If I can't get there (laughter), I'm not preaching. And I'm serious about that. If you can't be effective in it, why do it? And I'm not effective in that. I'm a writer. I can be effective as a writer. And so, I do write for my church. I do write for other people, but I'm not effective as a speaker to large groups of people. So, I'm leaving that alone, yeah.$$Okay. So, did you consider doing any counseling or any other kind of--?$$Well, one of the things I thought of when I got the calling was counseling, because it seems like a lot of people come to me for advice. But then I came to understand that pastoral counseling is somewhat different. It's for real, and you counsel people who are in grief and all of that. My soul was too fragile for that, I think. So, I don't do counseling. I didn't want to go into that on that level. I took one course in pastoral counseling and it was interesting, but I knew it wasn't going to be a fit for me, yeah. So, if people want my advice, I'm willing to give it on an ad hoc basis, but not as a professional pastoral counselor.

Andrea Zopp

Lawyer and Nonprofit Executive Andrea Zopp was born in Rochester, New York on January 25, 1957 to Reuben K. Davis, a prominent lawyer and judge, and Pearl Greta Davis, a human resources professional. As a child, Zopp was taught the values of education, service and hard work. Zopp completed her B.S. degree in the history and science at Harvard University in 1978 and received a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1981. After being licensed to practice law, Zopp worked as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge George N. Leighton.

In 1982, Zopp joined the law firm of Sonnenschien Nath & Rosenthal as a trial lawyer and litigator. In 1992, Zopp became the first woman and first African American appointed as a Cook County First Assistant State's Attorney where she prosecuted several high profile cases. From 2000 to 2003, Zopp served as executive vice president and general counsel at the Sara Lee Corporation and as president and from 2003 to 2004, general counsel of Sears Roebuck and Company. Zopp then worked as adjunct professor at several law schools including Northwestern University and Harvard Law School. In 2006, Zopp was made head of Exelon Energy Corporation's human resources division. She was promoted to executive vice president and general counsel of Exelon in 2009. Zopp left Exelon in 2010 to become president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. In 2011, Zopp was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to the Chicago Board of Education's Board of Trustees.

Zopp has served on many boards of directors for many organizations including Chicago Area Project, Leadership Greater Chicago, Harvard Alumni Association, National Urban League, Black Ensemble Theater and the Cook County Health and Hospitals Systems. She is a member of the Black Women Lawyer's Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The Chicago Network, and The Economic Club. Zopp has served on commissions for the Review the Illinois Death Penalty Process and chair of the blue ribbon commission for Magnet and Selective Enrollment School Admissions for the Chicago Public Schools. Zopp is married to William Zopp and they have three adult children Alyssa, Kelsey, and Will.

Andrea Zopp was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 19, 2012

Accession Number

A2012.006

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/18/2012

Last Name

Zopp

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Harvard University

Harvard Law School

Academy of the Sacred Heart

Martin B. Anderson School No. 1

Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Girls

First Name

Andrea

Birth City, State, Country

Rochester

HM ID

ZOP01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Mountains, Water

Favorite Quote

It Is All About Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/25/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Food

Short Description

Trial lawyer and nonprofit administrator Andrea Zopp (1957 - ) is president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League and has served as vice president and general counsel of Sears Roebuck and Company.

Employment

Chicago Urban League

Exelon Corporation

Sears Holdings Corporation

Sara Lee Corporation

Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP

Cook County States Attorney's Office

Narcotics Prosecution Buerau

McDermott, Will & Emery

State's Attorney's Office Northern District of Illinois

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Andrea Zopp's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Andrea Zopp lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Andrea Zopp describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Andrea Zopp talks about her mother's early years in Suffolk, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Andrea Zopp describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Andrea Zopp remembers her paternal great-grandfather and grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Andrea Zopp describes her father's life as a young adult

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Andrea Zopp recalls how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Andrea Zopp describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Andrea Zopp talks about her brother

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Andrea Zopp describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Andrea Zopp remembers her neighborhood in Rochester, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Andrea Zopp describes Academy of the Sacred Heart in Rochester, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Andrea Zopp recalls her childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Andrea Zopp describes her middle school and high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Andrea Zopp talks about her father's law career

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Andrea Zopp recalls her father's reputation as a civil rights lawyer

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Andrea Zopp talks about her mother's career

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Andrea Zopp remembers her early mentors

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Andrea Zopp describes Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women in Rochester, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Andrea Zopp recalls her social activities in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Andrea Zopp remembers applying for college

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Andrea Zopp recalls her admittance to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Andrea Zopp recalls her transition to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Andrea Zopp remembers the racial tension in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Andrea Zopp talks about her mentors at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Andrea Zopp describes the social organizations at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Andrea Zopp recalls her academic experiences at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Andrea Zopp remembers her aspirations to become a lawyer

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Andrea Zopp talks about 'One L' by Scott Turow

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Andrea Zopp describes her first impressions of Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Andrea Zopp describes her challenges at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Andrea Zopp remembers her classmates at Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Andrea Zopp recalls clerking for Judge George N. Leighton

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Andrea Zopp talks about the Bee Gees' copyright infringement trial

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Andrea Zopp recalls her father's election to the Supreme Court of the State of New York

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Andrea Zopp describes her decision to become a prosecutor

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Andrea Zopp remembers Chicago Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Andrea Zopp talks about corruption investigations in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Andrea Zopp shares her thoughts on the criminal justice system

The Honorable Theodore A. McKee

Judge Theodore A. McKee was born June 5, 1947, in a farming community near Rochester, New York; his mother, Etta V. Payne, was from Culpepper, Virginia, and his father, Clarence V. McKee, was the first black high school basketball player in the state of Indiana. McKee attended Chili Central School in Wheatland, New York, and graduated from Chili Central High School in 1965. McKee attended State University of New York (SUNY) at Cortland, where he played football, graduating in 1969.

McKee worked as director of minority recruitment at SUNY Binghampton and recruited students for Jackson State University in Mississippi before enrolling in Syracuse University College of Law. McKee graduated from law school magna cum laude and Order of the Coif; he began his legal career at the firm of Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen in 1975. From 1977 to 1980, McKee served as assistant United States attorney for the eastern district of Pennsylvania. McKee was appointed deputy city solicitor for the city of Philadelphia and then was hired in 1983 as general counsel for the Philadelphia Parking Authority. In 1984, McKee was elected judge of the Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District, Pennsylvania, where he presided over bench trials. McKee was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by President Clinton in 1994, occupying the seat vacated by Judge A. Leon Higginbotham.

McKee’s community activities include service on the board of the Crime Prevention Association; the Diagnostic and Rehabilitation Center of Philadelphia; and New Directions for Women, Inc. McKee is also is a member of the World Affairs Council and the Urban League of Philadelphia. McKee serves as a trustee of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and of Temple University. Father of two daughters, McKee is a volunteer at Germantown Friends School in Germantown, Pennsylvania.

Accession Number

A2005.045

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/10/2005

Last Name

McKee

Maker Category
Middle Name

A.

Organizations
Schools

Wheatland Chili MIddle School`

Wheatland Chili High School`

State University of New York College at Cortland

Syracuse University

First Name

Theodore

Birth City, State, Country

Rochester

HM ID

MCK08

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Lincoln Financial Group Foundation

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

Putting A Rabbit In A Hat.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

6/5/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peking Duck

Short Description

Appellate court judge The Honorable Theodore A. McKee (1947 - ) served as judge of the Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District, Pennsylvania, and was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by President Clinton in 1994.

Employment

State University of New York at Binghamton

Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen

First Judicial District of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Parking Authority

U.S. Attorney's Office, Philadelphia

City of Philadelphia

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
0,0:320,14:1200,44:4160,130:17760,413:19600,451:21200,523:35541,750:36963,776:37516,785:40755,878:41387,888:42335,1007:61230,1272:61600,1278:63228,1314:63598,1320:76203,1518:83007,1666:87867,1772:95652,1956:95940,1961:107388,2211:109980,2281:111132,2311:115380,2400:125702,2536:130616,2662:135760,2704:136740,2734:141850,2893:146680,3024:147660,3043:148290,3056:148570,3061:153164,3072:153590,3079:159128,3207:159483,3214:160477,3238:165447,3343:167009,3379:170914,3476:178638,3575:179046,3584:181970,3658:182582,3668:183058,3677:184962,3713:187002,3772:187546,3784:198520,3959:200550,3968$0,0:3420,81:4180,92:5320,110:15656,395:27810,645:29538,703:47374,1124:47719,1130:62728,1398:73522,1600:75446,1651:75964,1659:80108,1744:80404,1749:80700,1754:80996,1759:85266,1807:85749,1819:91131,1951:91407,1956:97400,2048:100200,2126:103480,2223:106620,2321:113670,2440:115770,2470:116070,2475:122965,2570:125090,2611:125940,2622:129085,2679:134646,2727:135000,2740:135472,2751:135767,2785:160150,3267:173995,3504:174311,3509:185275,3717:192035,3913:194635,4013:195610,4074:205440,4172:211280,4288:224380,4468
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Theodore A. McKee's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes his mother's birthplace

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes his mother's childhood in Rochester, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes his mother's young adult years

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes his father's childhood in Bloomington, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes his father's experiences in high school

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes how his parents met and their occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes the industries in Scottsville, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee recalls his father confronting racial discrimination at a local barbershop

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee recalls his father's ice fishing trip

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee recalls attending Wheatland-Chili Central School in Scottsville, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes his favorite high school teachers and subjects

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee talks about attending church as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes his love for football and respect for sports players

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee recalls his high school counselor discouraging his college plans

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee recounts his decision to attend State University College at Cortland in New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes his experiences at the State University College of Cortland in Cortland, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee remembers founding Uhuru, the black student union at his college

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee recalls advocating for a student expelled from college

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes his favorite professor at the State University College at Cortland in New York

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee talks about learning karate

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee recalls working in admissions at the State University of New York at Binghamton

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes his prisoner rehabilitation program

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee recounts his experience at Syracuse University College of Law in New York, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee recounts his experiences at Syracuse University College of Law in New York, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee recalls meeting his wife and moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes working for Wolf, Block, Schorr, & Solis-Cohen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee talks about working in the U.S. attorney's office

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes working as general counsel for the Philadelphia Parking Authority

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee recalls a case he presided over on the Court of Common Pleas, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee recalls a case he presided over on the Court of Common Pleas, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee explains how he approaches sentencing as a judge

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee shares his thoughts on drug legalization

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee explains his legal philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes his judicial philosophy of neutrality

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee shares his stance on the death penalty

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes encountering defendants that he sentenced

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee explains the insanity defense

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee shares his thoughts on juvenile violence and incarceration

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee talks about the cases of Ruben "Hurricane" Carter and Mumia Abu-Jamal

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee shares his opinion of television judges

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee talks about his father and brother

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes training judges in Ghana

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee talks about his mother and daughters

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Theodore A. McKee describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$2

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
The Honorable Theodore A. McKee explains how he approaches sentencing as a judge
The Honorable Theodore A. McKee recalls his father confronting racial discrimination at a local barbershop
Transcript
The other guy also who was sentenced in the case was a guy, and I can't remember his name, but I'll call him Larry. I always had this thing of probation that if you're on probation you ought to be doing something to get your life together on probation, don't just go pee in a little bottle once a week, and then go on about sleeping all day long and watching TV. So, I'd construct these conditions of probation that would almost always have the guy working on a GED [General Educational Development] if he didn't have it already, looking for employment, most of the time employs a curfew and it would be those kinds of things. Sometimes I remember that there was one guy, his first name was Paul [ph.], I can't remember his last name. I gave him homework. He had, he was still in school and I'd give him homework assignments. I'd make him do a paper and bring it in to me every two weeks and I would look at the paper, and then I'd stop doing that 'cause I realized I can't be sure this cat wrote the paper, and then I thought well, if he doesn't bring me the paper, what am I gonna do, am I gonna put him in prison because he doesn't do a homework assignment basically? So, fortunately he always did the paper but I began thinking about it and I thought, well, it makes sense to do this, but it's just too risky because the penalties for his failure are just out of sight. If I'm not going to put him in prison then what's the sense of having him do this, and I'm not giving him a grade, so I just, I thought that, I hadn't thought it through well enough. I thought the probation officer maybe could do that kind of thing because the probation officer had more flexibility than I did. But I stopped doing that. There was this one guy, I knew I had given him a curfew. I had him work on his GED and look for a job, and he had to keep a diary so that when he came into court periodically and I had him report to me, I think once a month he came into court and in addition reported to a probation officer. I'd ask him how he was doing and I'd look at his diary and I looked at the diary and I tried to see what he was doing and he was trying to find a job and I'd ask him to put phone numbers of the people that he was contacting for a job, and once or twice I actually called these people to try to find to try to check to see if he was looking for a job, but with this one guy I imposed that sentence with a GED, find employment within a certain period of time, keep a diary while looking for a job, and there was no other condition in there. He looked at me and he said, "Judge, I know what you're trying to do. You're trying to get me to fix my life 'cause it's broken." He said, "If I could do all the stuff you're expecting me to do, if I was organized enough to do that, I wouldn't be here right now. I would never have gotten in trouble to begin with." I thought about that for a second and I said, "Damn. You're right. You are absolutely right." I said, "Look. Just work on the GED, all right? That, you gotta do that, and do that much. But forget about the looking for the part time job, forget about it--," and he totally changed my philosophy of sentencing. After that, I never, ever put those kinds of conditions on a probationer. I'd always impose GED if they had a GED, or high school thing. I'd impose some kind of employment search, but that was it because I realized the cat's right. You know, if he was structured enough to do all that, plus he was giving up urine because he had a history of an addiction, and if he could do all that, he wouldn't be in the criminal justice system. For him, it was a big enough challenge just not getting high. But I do want him to work on the GED and I couldn't tell him, look, if you just keep giving clean urine you'll be okay, 'cause I wanted him to go beyond that because he could lay in bed all day and give up clean urine. That wasn't going to help him get himself back together.$Race was, I think, a factor in the town [Scottsville, New York]. In fact, I had situations where I went to a barbershop when I was, I think I was a junior in high school [Wheatland-Chili High School, Scottsville, New York] and, no, I was a freshman because I remember I was on the JV [junior varsity] basketball team, and the barber wouldn't cut my hair. I did not want to go to him because I heard he wouldn't cut black folk's hair. I told my dad [Clarence V. McKee] that, and dad said, "Well, how do you know he's not going to cut your hair?" And I said, "Well, I don't think he'll cut my hair." We would always go to Buffalo [New York], which was about an hour-and-a-half bus ride for me to get haircuts. Later on, we'd go to Rochester [New York], which was a lot closer, but we had friends from the railroad in Buffalo and we'd go there, visit them, and I'd go get a haircut. So, dad said we'll go there and see if he'll cut your hair. I went in and when I walked in the barbershop, he looked at me and asked me if I had an appointment. I said, "No, I don't have an appointment." There were about four or five other people in the barbershop at the time, so I asked each one of them, "Do you have an appointment?" And they all said, "No." So, I said "Okay" and I went back home, told my dad. I don't know what happened. Dad didn't drive a car until I was older, but dad got on his bicycle, went up to the barbershop, (laughter) and he was really somebody you didn't mess with. He did not take a lot of stuff. But, dad called me from the barbershop and he said, "You come up here. He's gonna cut your hair." And I remember, it was getting close to the time I had to be at the school for a basketball game, and dad was very, very much into sports. In fact, what he said to me when I was leaving for college, his parting advice was, "Make the football team," because he knew I wanted to play football and I never played football in high school. So, I was concerned I was gonna be late to the game. If I was late getting to the game, I was going to get benched. So, I said, "Well Dad, I'm not sure I have time now to get the haircut, because I'm gonna not get to the basketball game on time." And Dad said, "Fuck the basketball game. You get up here. He's gonna cut your hair." I'll never forget that, 'cause Dad, he cursed a lot but he never used the F-word, and for him to use the F-word, number one, and tell me that getting this haircut was more important than playing in the game that night, it shocked me. So, I got up there as fast as I possibly could. I came in and there was incredible tension, but he did cut my hair and then he gave me this lecture about how he didn't think that a lot of people would like to go where they weren't welcome--where they weren't wanted--and I'm just gonna try to keep my mouth shut while I cut my hair.$$That's what the barber--$$The barber said that, yeah. Daddy wasn't there, though; he wouldn't have said anything. Daddy had gone back home. And he did an okay job. He didn't do a Mohican [Mohawk] or anything on me, which I was afraid of. I got home and Dad said, "Well, let me see what he did to your hair." And he was okay with that, and I did get to the game on time. I remember I got home and maybe ten minutes later, the folks that I was riding up to the high school with came by and I got a ride uptown. That's a very vivid memory. As I said, that's not that early. That's probably--$$Yeah. You could imagine. Did your father ever talk about what happened when--$$He never told me, no (laughter).$$He was apparently highly agitated.$$Oh, yeah. He was upset. Dad was very upset. He was somebody who had to go through so much stuff growing up, and he never wanted us to have to go through that, and he was very upset. For him to get on the bicycle and ride up to there, and he was not a young man when this happened, and then telling me basically, "If you get benched tonight, or you miss the game and get thrown off the team, that's all right and you're gonna get your hair cut." That was something I could not have imagined Dad ever saying to me, given how important he viewed sports.$$Yeah, he would have had to have been, if you were in high school, he would have been in his sixties; early sixties.$$Yeah, probably close to that.$$Yeah. Born in 1904.$$Yeah, late fifties.$$He would have been--$$Because I graduated in '65 [1965], so probably early sixties.$$Yeah, yeah.

Quintin Primo, III

Quintin E. Primo III was born March 14, 1955, in Rochester, New York. His mother, Winnifred Primo, and late father, Episcopal Bishop Quintin E. Primo, Jr., were both raised in the South, both having ancestral roots in the Caribbean. Primo attended Lincoln Elementary in Rochester, New York, Friends School in Wilmington, Delaware, and Miller Junior High School in Detroit, Michigan. At Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Primo excelled as a musician. During this time, Primo’s father was appointed Bishop of the Episcopal Church and the family moved to Chicago’s Homewood-Flossmoor area where Primo graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School in 1973. He then attended Indiana University, where he earned a B.S. degree in finance and graduated with honors. In 1977, he enrolled in Harvard Business School, receiving his M.B.A. in 1979.

That same year, Primo started his career at Citicorps Real Estate, where he specialized in real estate lending. In 1988, he fulfilled a lifelong dream and opened his own investment banking business, Quintin Primo and Company. After several years, the company folded and Primo teamed up with friend and colleague Daryl Carter in 1992 to form CAPRI Capital Management. Today, CAPRI manages seven billion dollars in assets.

Primo serves on the board of the Chicago Sinfonetta, the Chicago Community Trust, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Advisory Board, University of Chicago Hospitals, the Real Estate Council and the Primo Women and Children Center. He lives in the Chicago area with his wife, Diane, and their children, Francesca and Quintin IV. Primo is writing a book about his father in the Episcopal Church entitled The Making of a Black Bishop.

Accession Number

A2004.001

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/12/2004

Last Name

Primo

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Homewood-Flossmoor High School

Lincoln Elementary School

Miller Junior High School

Cass Technical High School

Wilmington Friends School

First Name

Quintin

Birth City, State, Country

Rochester

HM ID

PRI02

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

Nadja Pappillon

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southern California

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

3/14/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pasta

Short Description

Investment chief executive Quintin Primo, III (1955 - ) was the founder of CAPRI Capital.

Employment

Citicorp Real Estate

Quintin Primo & Company

Capri Capital Management

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:1554,12:2373,24:13202,204:18389,273:19117,282:19481,287:20755,308:24213,364:24850,373:25487,386:26124,395:35130,423:39595,510:41590,549:44440,613:49285,706:51565,748:72933,1004:73281,1009:78675,1096:79458,1110:82242,1156:83112,1168:96336,1359:106752,1422:112580,1512:114742,1557:119102,1576:119418,1581:119734,1591:121314,1640:128424,1740:143829,2045:161026,2226:164129,2257:174936,2376:180286,2426:199819,2642:201601,2667:230690,3007$0,0:29200,216:29744,221:46860,367:50220,386:85715,693:86552,704:87296,714:100316,1014:120628,1168:122790,1200:123166,1205:125986,1250:133788,1409:134164,1414:145350,1573:165930,1793:166250,1798:169210,1855:176010,1949:176330,1954:183370,2177:184010,2187:185450,2215:185930,2222:194080,2259:196840,2286
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Quintin Primo, III's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Quintin Primo, III lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Quintin Primo, III describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Quintin Primo, III describes his mother's personality, work and schooling

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Quintin Primo, III talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Quintin Primo, III talks about his father's Episcopal priesthood, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Quintin Primo, III talks about his father's Episcopal priesthood, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Quintin Primo, III talks about his father's involvement in the Union of Black Episcopalians

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Quintin Primo, III describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Quintin Primo, III describes how he takes after his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Quintin E. Primo, III describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Rochester, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Quintin E. Primo, III talks about parish mergers in Rochester, New York, Detroit, Michigan and Wilmington, Delaware

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Quintin E. Primo, III talks about growing up in Rochester, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Quintin E. Primo, III talks about growing up in Rochester, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Quintin E. Primo, III talks about his childhood personality, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Quintin E. Primo, III describes his childhood personality, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Quintin E. Primo, III talks about the schools he attended in New York, Delaware, Michigan and Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Quintin E. Primo, III describes influential music teachers he had in Wilmington, Delaware and Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Quintin E. Primo, III talks about his music training opportunities before applying to college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Quintin Primo III describes his musical interests, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Quintin Primo III describes the impact of his father's consecration as an Episcopal bishop in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Quintin Primo III describes his transition to Homewood-Floosmoor High School in Homewood, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Quintin Primo III describes his musical interests, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Quintin Primo III explains how his interests switched from music to finance, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Quintin Primo III explains how his interests switched from music to finance, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Quintin Primo III describes his experiences at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Quintin Primo III describes his thesis at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Quintin Primo III describes his activities at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Quintin Primo III recalls attending Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Quintin Primo, III talks about lessons he learned while attending Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Quintin Primo, III describes his relationship to Dr. James Cash at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Quintin Primo, III talks about attending Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Quintin Primo, III reflects upon the absence of education in business school related to the pension fund industry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Quintin Primo, III talks about the exclusion of African Americans from asset management and capital investment

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Quintin Primo, III describes the exclusionary process for entering the capital investment industry

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Quintin Primo, III talks about working for Citicorp following his graduation from Harvard Business School in 1979

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Quintin Primo, III talks about the business of real estate investment

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Quintin Primo, III talks about opportunities for real estate development and investment in urban areas

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Quintin Primo, III talks about the demolition of high-rise public housing projects in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Quintin Primo, III talks about the demolition of high-rise public housing projects in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Quintin Primo, III talks about real estate development and investment opportunities for minority communities in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Quintin Primo, III describes the types of real estate investments in which his company engages

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Quintin Primo, III talks about redevelopment programs and opportunities in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Quintin Primo, III talks about his career trajectory following his work for Citicorp in the late 1980s

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Quintin Primo, III talks about losing Marshall Bennett's investment money and going out of business in the early 1990s, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Quintin Primo, III talks about losing Marshall Bennett's investment money and going out of business in the early 1990s, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Quintin Primo, III describes the formation of Capri Capital in the late 1990s

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Quintin Primo, III describes his relationship with his business partner, Daryl Carter, and their management styles, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Quintin Primo, III describes his relationship with his business partner, Daryl Carter, and their management styles, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Quintin Primo, III shares advice for African Americans interested in real estate investment

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Quintin Primo, III talks about the motivation for on-site, business training programs in the 1970s and 1980s

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Quintin Primo, III describes his civic activity in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Quintin Primo, III describes his civic activity in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Quintin Primo, III describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Quintin Primo, III reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Quintin Primo, III describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

6$8

DATitle
Quintin Primo, III describes the exclusionary process for entering the capital investment industry
Quintin Primo, III describes his civic activity in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1
Transcript
Inheritance plays a big part in all this. Inheritance and who you know--(simultaneous)$$(Simultaneous) Not only financial, but cultural and you know inheritance. I mean its--the ability it's--access to information and opportunity on an unleveled playing field. That you uniquely will have because of your family, friends, etc. That unfortunately--and not only that you have but you will not share outside of your--your acceptable group that you know we know, we know [HM] Quintin [Primo, III] because he's part of our--he's part of our accepted groups and therefore we're gonna let him in. We like him. And this if I were white. And we like him, we want him in our--we want--we want him--I want him working next to me. You know, I knew his father. I knew his grandfather you know and so forth and so on. And the real estate industry has heretofore for many years been a private industry. Only until recently in the last effectively, the last ten years or so has it been a publicly--a publicly held industry. Traded on the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ [Stock Market]. And with-- trading on an exchange comes transparency, you know. Comes regulation, comes oversight. But when you're private, you're primarily largely a private industry you can do things privately. So you can bring your nephew, your cousin, your daughter, your son into a business and you own the company. Do what you want. Okay. A publicly traded--publicly held real estate investment trust, you can certainly bring your cousin or your daughter or your son into the business, but it's much more of a meritocracy. And there--there better be a very, very good reason why they should succeed you as--as chairman or chairwoman. And so--or be a senior partner because of the view this nepotism that's not--that's viewed unfavorably in corporate America and it's viewed unfavorably in publicly traded real estate investment vehicles. So, real estate as the industry has changed significantly over the years. But its--and these are--these are, pension fund industry-- these are examples of industries that are huge. The real estate industry, commercial real estate--the institution of commercial real estate industry is between 3 and $4 trillion of market value. Yet there are maybe, possibly, 200 black professionals maybe working--$$Mm-hmm.$$--in the industry. Those numbers make no sense. Okay. Pension fund and let's try maybe 1 percent or less of what is now 6 to $8 trillion of capital. In fact these days I think there are more like $10 trillion--when you add up all the 401ks and everything else, more like 10 trillion dollars of capital. Maybe 1 percent, maybe 1 percent is managed by a minority-owned firm. So, you know, things are changing but there's still, there great discrepancies, there's great inequalities, and in my firm here we are the largest minority-owned real estate investment firm in the country.$$Okay.$$But that ain't saying much 'cause there are very few of us out there doing this.$Tell me about your civic activity and some of the--I know--you're involved in several initiatives and boards, you know, to improve the community.$$My community and charitable involvement, next to God, my family, and this business [Capri Capital Partners Llc, Chicago, Illinois] they represent the most important thing that I do. My community activities represent my ministry. In this city and in this country. I am a not a minister. I don't wanna be a minister. But the--the code of ethics, the--the constant assisting of the poor and those in need, the sick and the ailing, that I saw in my parents, obviously had a dramatic impact on me. So I am chairman of something called the Primo Center for Women and Children [Chicago, Illinois] which is named after my father [Quintin E. Primo, Jr.]. It's--it's a women's transitional shelter for first stage homeless. It sits in the middle of the battle field out there in West Garfield Park [Chicago, Illinois] on Washington [Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois], West Washington. And it's twenty-two beds. It's my passion. We've gone so far as to have over for Christmas the family and others that are in the shelter. They are the most needy and the most disenfranchised and the most difficult. And therefore they get most of my time. I'm involved in the--a member of the executive community of the Chicago Community Trust [Chicago, Illinois]. Which has a long tradition of investing in black and Hispanic areas across the city in the south and west sides. They're basically a philanthropic organization. You know I'm certainly on the art scene. I--remember I'm--I'm a musician. I love music I've been--I--sat on the board of Ravinia Festival Association [Highland Park, Illinois] and very much have been very interested in their inner city programs. I--I was a cofounder of Chicago Sinfonietta. Which is a multicultural, multiethnic symphony orchestra founded here by Maestro Paul Freeman many years ago. I serve on the board of University of Chicago Hospitals [University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois] which is on the South Side [Chicago, Illinois]. And the reason I serve on that board is so that people of color that are poor can get health care. Which, that emergency room is full of on any given night.

Famoudou Don Moye

Drummer extraordinaire Famoudou Don Moye was born on May 23, 1946 in Rochester, New York. In high school, he began playing drums, congas and bongos and went on to formally study percussion at Wayne State University in Detroit.

In 1968, Moye toured Europe with the Detroit Free Jazz Band and worked briefly in Italy for RAI (Italian Radio and Television). While abroad, Moye had the opportunity to work with Steve Lacy, Pharoah Sanders, Sonny Sharrock, Randy Weston and Art Taylor and to collaborate extensively with Moroccan musicians.

Moye joined the innovative, avant-garde quintet, the Art Ensemble of Chicago (AEC), in 1969 and he has been a permanent member ever since. Moye and the other members of AEC draw their influence from both Africa and the Caribbean, rural as well as urban spaces, from the whole spectrum of black music. Their radically experimental performances include painted faces, costumes and exotic instruments, which all contribute to their energetic improvisations. In addition to his work with AEC, Moye has been a member of The Leaders since 1984 and has recorded with the Black Artists Group, Joseph Jarman, Don Pullen, Cecil McBee, Hamiet Bluiet, Julius Hemphill, Chico Freeman and Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy. He also leads the Sun Percussion Summit, a group dedicated to exploring the traditions of African American percussion music.

Moye’s recordings have won him the praise of critics at such esteemed publications as Rolling Stone, Down Beat, Melody Maker, The New York Times, Audio Magazineand Stereo Review. He was the winner of the Downbeat International Critics Poll in 1977, 1978 and 1982; and the New York Jazz Poll in 1979 and 1980. He received performance grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in both 1974 and 1981. He lives in Chicago, with his wife Gloria and their son, Bongo.

Moye was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 4, 2002.

Accession Number

A2002.075

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/4/2002

Last Name

Moye

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Don

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Holy Redeemer Catholic School

Central State University

Wayne State University

McQuaid Jesuit High School

First Name

Famoudou

Birth City, State, Country

Rochester

HM ID

MOY01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

Damned if you do and damned if you do.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/23/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Martinique, Guadalupe

Short Description

Percussionist Famoudou Don Moye (1946 - ) performs with the Art Ensemble of Chicago and is considered one of world's best drummers. In addition to his work with AEC, Moye has been a member of The Leaders since 1984 and has recorded with the Black Artists Group, Joseph Jarman, Don Pullen, Cecil McBee, Hamiet Bluiet, Julius Hemphill, Chico Freeman and Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy.

Employment

Detroit Artists' Workshop

Art Ensemble of Chicago

Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACRM)

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Famoudou Don Moye interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Famoudou Don Moye's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses his parents' meeting

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Famoudou Don Moye remembers his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Famoudou Don Moye recalls the sounds of his childhood community, Rochester, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Famoudou Don Moye shares memories from his school life

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Famoudou Don Moye describes his early artistic pursuits

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Famoudou Don Moye remembers his high school years

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Famoudou Don Moye recounts his experience at Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Famoudou Don Moye describes his musical pursuits in Detroit, Michigan, late 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Famoudou Don Moye recalls his developing interest in percussion instruments

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses the Detroit Free Jazz's European travels

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Famoudou Don Moye remembers his mentor musician Randy Weston

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Famoudou Don Moye recalls his solo travels in Europe and North Africa, late 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Famoudou Don Moye describes his mother's response to his early career in music

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses his early involvement with the Art Ensemble of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Famoudou Don Moye evaluates cities from his international travels

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Famoudou Don Moye reflects on being a black American artist in Europe, late 1960s, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Famoudou Don Moye compares European cultures

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Famoudou Don Moye reflects on being a black American artist in Europe, late 1960s, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Famoudou Don Moye reflects on Europe's influence on his music

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Famoudou Don Moye recalls an artist network from his international travels, late 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses his introduction to Chicago musicians

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses his role in the Art Ensemble of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Famoudou Don Moye shares thoughts on artistic exchange between cultures

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Famoudou Don Moye details the Art Ensemble of Chicago's style of performance

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Famoudou Don Moye describes an Art Ensemble collaboration with South African musicians

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses the origins of his name

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Famoudou Don Moye describes the Art Ensemble's creative choices

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Famoudou Don Moye shares thoughts on the dynamics of musical groups

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Famoudou Don Moye recalls Chicago's musical scene, early 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses the politics of the musical community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses the delineation of musical genres

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Famoudou Don Moye describes the efforts of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses the future of black music

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Famoudou Don Moye considers his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses his mother's response to his musical success

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

2$2

DATitle
Famoudou Don Moye discusses the Detroit Free Jazz's European travels
Famoudou Don Moye shares thoughts on artistic exchange between cultures
Transcript
Tell us about the Detroit Free Jazz Ensemble.$$That situation evolved out of the--that [Detroit] Artists' Workshop collective I was telling you about. I met a guy there that came there--the person that actually formed that group, his name was Art Fletcher, he was a saxophone player, flutist and he played percussion. Our connection was more percussion, and he was like one of the cats just kind of working around gigs around the campus. He had come from California and he had been out there at Berkeley--the Free Speech Movement and they played all out there and everything and we got into it cause he was like a rhumba specialist. This cat would--played the shit out of rhumba, man. So we had our rhumba sessions all the time and that sort--then they formulated a group that was--that was just like--they were doing gigs around the college campuses--they already had a drummer and I think that band was called the Seventh Seal or something like that--that was more pop-band oriented and then the drummer cut out and they asked me to do something with them, but then my focus was more jazz oriented so that kind of--you change the drummer, you change the band, you know that's an old saying. So that--that whole--the Detroit Free Jazz situation evolved out of that because they--they said--gave you the ticket said, you wanna go to Europe? I said, (laughter), yeah, you know, okay. So that--and then when we were leaving to go to Europe we just came up with Detroit Free Jazz, cause the Seventh Seal was actually the drummer. It was has his band, but he cut out so the other band members, some of them continued on and we added a couple of more people and we formed that group.$$How did you--how you get an invitation to go to Europe? I mean how does the band--$$I mean they--they had--they were going. They was just--we just packed our bags and went on over there. I wasn't like going to tour or anything. It was just like going--let's go to Europe and see what's going on, cause by that time I had already pretty much--I was beyond the thing of the school situation, cause I was--I was at Wayne State [University] in the--I can't--Monteith College. That was like a special college they had like--it was an open program thing so I didn't really--I wasn't going to classes--I--that much. I was just hanging on to get that scholarship money, you know, and so when that chance came up--I was working a lot anyway, moving on into that, cause I played with a couple of little blues bands and was doing stuff at the Artists' Workshop and different around--playing congas whenever I could. So, they needed a drummer and they was--they was ready to go to Europe. I said, well I'm ready to roll. So I sold all my stuff and we went out jumped--stepped--jumped on over the pond and went--went to Europe.$$Now what year is this?$$'68 [1968].$$Okay.$$I remember it specifically because we left the week after [Dr. Martin Luther] King [Jr.] got assassinated, and we were--at that time I was living in Ann Arbor. There was a lot of work going on in Ann Arbor--around the University of Michigan. You know, it was like a whole little circuit around Michigan, Michigan State [University], Wayne State, it was like, you know, then we go down to Ohio or so far as Cleveland and everything, and I do remember now we were--we were out playing one week after King got assassinated and I was gone. I--I was in Europe.$$Yeah, yeah, how did you feel the King assassination?$$I said, I'm outta here (laughter), cause I think the States was getting ready to go into some anarchy--if they--if they assassinated King, this is really getting ready to get heavy, you know, so I mean had I not been given a choice to go to Europe, I'd probably wouldn't have gone on my own by myself. That was just good--once again good timing, cause they--they said, I mean--and the way I was thinking then cause the riots had been going on and I was there for those riots the year before that, cause they were rioting all over. I saw the riots in Rochester, New York, New York, and Detroit, and--.$$There was a big riot in Detroit right?$$Oh yeah, I was there with the curfews and everything so, you know, just the whole political climate at that time. They were--they were cracking heads left and right. I said, man, I'm outta here. So that was an opportunity to leave--connected with the music. Had that not come up, I'm--I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have went out and bought a ticket to Europe, I--you know, just to go to Europe (laughter). I would have got, you know, well, it's no telling what I--I'm sure I wouldn't have done that. So that was good timing. They needed a fellow. I was ready to roll. The political climate was incendiary (laughter), you know, so we cut on out and ended up in Paris, in the middle of the student riots in '68 anyway (laughter). That was--(simultaneously) like going from the frying pan to the fire or something (laughter). As soon as we got to Europe, they was--oh, they was tearing up the whole Latin Quarter. I said, (laughter), oh, man. (Laughter), you know (laughter).$$So there were like riots in Paris?$$Oh yeah, the students and the workers consolidated against anybody that you know represented any--I mean they had issues, but it was really like tear gas in the street. It was basically the same situation that I had just experienced in (laughter) Detroit. That was like, well--so we left. We went on, we--I jumped a head of myself a little bit, but I mean I went on to Europe and we bought a truck and just started going around getting gigs you know, it was the summertime so we had a piano, we had everything in there--in the house. We had--we had a whole acoustic piano. We bought an old Mercedes delivery truck--had the piano in there--had the a bass, a couple of mattresses, you know (laughter) and all the saxophones and my drums and congas and so we just went around Europe playing at all the--like flea markets, outdoor fairs, you know festivals and everything. That was the summer of '68.$$Now, had anybody in your band ever been to Europe before? Or were you just going there kind of cold?$$I think a couple--the piano--either the piano player or the bass player had been over there--like student exchange type thing or something, but that never--it never occurred to me. I don't know. I know I was ready to roll. I said, Europe, yeah, cause somehow several years before that I said, I probably want--I want to go to Europe. I had that idea in my mind, that I was looking for a means to get to do that and be playing too. I wasn't going to be going to Europe as a--you know a vacation (laughter) or as a student, but I--I've always--when I was in high school I was kind of toying with that idea seriously, and it came up you know. I don't know where I got that--where that came from. I think about that sometimes, but I was all--I was committed to go there--to go to Europe. I probably picked up some information at one of those sessions over at the university or something--they was talking about the European scene and all of that stuff.$$Now, you were about twenty-one--I guess--years old?$$Let's see. Yeah, twenty-one, twenty, twenty-one, right around in that yeah.$$So--so what did you think of Paris beyond the riots? I mean what--what did you think?$$I had to get--I had reserved my opinion about Paris til later, because that was--that was a lasting impression--but I mean they was blowing up--if you come outside the whole--I mean it was--it was to the point that we--we got out--we went on to Switzerland to Lucerne, Switzerland. It was time to get--Paris, it was too volatile, you know. I mean it was like the area that we wanted--that where all the clubs and everything they was beating up, you know, knocking heads and it was a--I said I don't need this, man (laughter). I just left that, you know. So we went to Lucerne, Switzerland, and I remember that was the summer when they had--[John] Carlos and those cats they were at the summer Olympics. I saw the summer Olympics sitting up in Lucerne, and you know we were getting some jobs around there--some gigs. See, the advantage I had--two things. Going to Europe with a band that was already--an established--an existing entity, so you are not just--you land there and then you got to find work with the musicians there, and secondly, the drummer--the drummers and all were good drummers and good bass players could always find work. So a lot of times I would--if the band wasn't working, I would be getting--you know make money and buying food and do different things and make contacts, cause I would always--would always people would be looking for a drummer. That was the situation in Europe. They always needed drummers and bass players. So that was a good thing for me. So we did that--we did that off Switzerland for a while, then we went to Morocco. That's where I met Randy Weston. He was like the mentor--major influence.$The Art Ensemble [of Chicago] studied, you know different forms of--of music, not with the intent necessarily of putting it on stage, but to understand more about music.$$Yeah, I mean--okay, we wanted to play--we--I studied reggae--I mean because we--yeah, we did reggae songs and everything when we did original music, but I mean we didn't try to make a jazz version of reggae. I studied reggae from the perspective of trying--I went to Jamaica and hung out with the cats and everything--I mean I'll never be--I'm not committed to being a reggae drummer, but I--I took the time to understand the form and then I wanted to see it as it was performed in the original--where it came from. So I went--that's part of my research for African music too. You want to learn about a musical form, you go where it came from and you--and you, hopefully you--you have something to offer that will put you on a level to where you can actually make an exchange with musicians of the same caliber, cause the worst you wanna do--you don't wanna go somewhere and be a student with somebody, cause you'll never get to see the masters (laughter). You have to go there bringing something to where--that the masters might come and check you out on the same level--not--that's not to say that I'm a master, but when I went to Africa, I--I had everything. I was teaching and hiring people. So I just hired all--all the music that I wanted to deal with--I hired the people that do that, and then by hiring them I had access--direct access to what they do and they by us performing together, that--that was the true exchange. I wasn't--I didn't go to Africa to study djembe in Africa, cause at the--if--I mean at the time when I--when 1970 I--you know Mor Thiam? He from--he's master drummer from Senegal. The reason--we collaborated at--in St. Louis at the Black Artists Group in 1971. He was--he was the artist-in-residence for Katherine Dunham at Southern Illinois University. So he would come to the Black Artists Group which was the equivalent--the St. Louis equivalent of the AACM--Association for Advancement of Creative Musicians. He would come down there because the scene was happening, you know and all, but he wanted to study trap drums. So, here's a Senegalese master wanting to study trap drums. That means I got direct access, so I've--if--I mean, he would kick my ass on djembe, I could kick his ass on trap drums, so it's an equal--you know what I mean. That's--that's the difference. If you don't have anything that--of an equal thing to give to provide them or that they need, how do you become in a position to even be studying with somebody at that level? You would be down there with the little kids (laughter). I mean they are really strict in the old--in the traditional forms they are very strict about access to--to top levelers. You just don't come like, you know, Western tradition is a quick fix. You can buy it--you can just get a program (laughter), buy the thing. I mean it's so--in traditional forms you have to--you have to--you have to have an apprenticeship--you might not play an instrument for--for some years before you know, before you actually play a note, you know, you might have to be listening or something. That's a generalization or over-simplification, but my thing on that is--is the best way to go to anywhere to study is to have a program that you're going--that you're taking over there and then the idea is to have an equal exchange with hopefully a chance--if it's not both people on the same program, even more better would be both people on the same program and then a collaboration at the end of the day or something where you all get together and the two forms merge. That's how you get to collaborate with the top people for--for advanced level of the music. I--I got kind of off today (laughter).$$No, that's important. You are talking about reciprocity and stuff like that--balance.$$Yeah, cause when I went to Africa I was ready to go. I went to see Famoudou [Konate] I had a tape recorder for him, a fifth of cognac, some Marlboro cigarettes, some cash and you know, plus I was--I was performing on the same stage. So this is like the cat--I'm named after Famoudou. When I got there, that's the whole African--you had the masters like--they have--they have to have their props. So when I--besides playing to the best of my ability of what I was doing, so I mean I was able to carry--he said, who is this guy Famoudou, you know (laughter)? Well, I said, well while you're figuring that out, then why don't you try this--why don't you have a sip of this cognac (laughter), you know I was like--that's just the way it goes. With the big boys you have to kind of like make them feel good, you know, the masters, you know.$$Now who is Famoudou (simultaneously)--?$$Famoudou Konate, the master drummer from Guinea. He's from--lives--I--I can't remember that town in Guinea. Anyway, I went to Africa. I went to Guinea specifically to--to meet him and to see him and everything,$$Guinea is the home of a particular style of drumming and--?$$Well, there's djembe drumming, it's Mandingo culture--tradition. The Malinke-Mandingo tradition. Another half hour?$$No, no. Can you spell his name for us please?$$Oh, F-A-M-O-U, well, actually, it's Konate family name. K-O-N-A-T-E, F-A-M-O-U-D-O-U, and he's like the one--one of the most renowned practitioners or masters of the craft of Mandingo djembe drumming. So I went there to see him since I had the audacity to (laughter)--to like think of how I was going to name myself that (laughter). So I got my name. I was sanctioned to have the name but I--I went there--you know we were touring in Africa. I played in Conakry and Sierra Leone and Liberia and different places, you know, but I have--like I said I was hired--I hired musicians. My clause was an exchange clause. I wanted to have, you know we each--we would both be involved in the same program. It was an international musical exchange. Like one guy was a--well it was an international music exchange, but then there'd be a valley of this thing or some kind of local renowned master or some instrument--then we would--we would be a double bill then at the end we would try to--you know we probably might have a rehearsal or something just to make something happen. With musicians of a certain caliber--the music's good, something can happen. So, that was--that was my way of having access to a lot--to Famoudou--to the Guinea Ballet. He was playing there the same day we were playing in the same place and he was right there so.$$The Guinea Ballet is a traditional--?$$The Ballet Nationale of Guinea--of the Republic de la Guinea.$$The traditional dance of the country?$$Right. I got some--you asked me about photographs. I got the photographs for you for that, but that's the traditional dance and traditional drumming various--all the various tribal ethnic groupings inside of Guinea and then like there's a lot of--there's a lot of--but it's--it's a whole show. You ever see the Guinea Ballet or the Sene--well, you know what I'm talking about (laughter)?$$People who don't--who--who (simultaneously)--?$$Oh, so we have to--I have to expand on that, okay? Well, if you don't know (laughter)--you have to get a video or go out or go out and see it, but it know they just deal with the whole Mandingo culture or tradition. I don't--don't get me too far into it because it's more to it than that, but I mean it's--it's the traditional music and dance and drumming and acrobats and all, etc. of the Guinea--that whole tradition in Guinea--then they got a ballet for Mali--they got one for Senegal too. Guinea is like always--well, I--that's debatable too because the Ballet Nationale de Senegal--they are all world class performing ensembles though.