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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

Richard Clayter

Lawyer Richard L. Clayter, Jr. was born on July 28, 1922, in Chicago, Illinois to Richard Clayter, Sr. and Bella Warren. Similar to many African Americans at the time, Clayter’s mother had taken part in the Great Migration of blacks out of the American South. During his childhood, Clayter still maintained ties to traditional African American communities in the South. His earliest memories are from his time in Wiggins, Mississippi. When he was only seven, Clayter experienced the Great Depression. Clayter attended William W. Carter Elementary located in the Washington Park neighborhood of Chicago’s south side. Aside from one year in Tuskegee, Alabama, Clayter attended Englewood High School located on Chicago’s south side. During this time he married his first wife, Mildred Warren, who was an orphan. Clayter graduated from high school in 1941 and soon after joined the U.S. military. His time fighting in World War II for the U.S. military would prove to be a transformative experience for Clayter.

After he returned from his service during the war, Clayter attended DePaul University. He earned his B.A. degree in sociology there in 1950. During this time Clayter married his second wife, Mary Lou Gullatt, and earned his M.A. degree in social work at Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work. At a meeting at his mother’s home, one of the guests pointed at Clayter and said that he looked like a lawyer. The experience left him determined to earn a legal degree. Despite being rejected by the law programs at Northwestern University and DePaul University due to their quotas, Clayter was able to enroll at Loyola University Chicago School of Law after a personal discussion with Dean John C. Fitzgerald. In 1956, Clayter became the first African American to earn his J.D. in the part time program at Loyola University Chicago.

Even after he graduated, Clayter continued to press for African American rights. In 1958, he served as counsel for Charles S. Jackson Company, Inc. in their suit against the Oak Woods Cemetery Association. The funeral association had refused, on the basis of race, to cremate several bodies brought to them by the Jackson Company. Clayter won the suit and effectively integrated the cemetery association’s crematorium. In 1959, he was the only African American in the Short Course for Prosecuting Attorneys at Northwestern University.

The recipient of many awards, Clayter was honored by two organizations with which he has a long history in 2005. He received the Outstanding Sole Practitioner Award from the Center for Disability and Elder Law with personal recognition by Attorney General Lisa Madigan. In March of the same year, Roland Burris presented Clayter with the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Original Forty Club of Chicago. A longtime member of the club of accomplished African American men, Clayter held every position in The Original Forty Club from Secretary to President.

Clayter passed away on July 22, 2013 at the age of 90.

Accession Number

A2010.110

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/11/2010

Last Name

Clayter

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

William W. Carter Elementary School

Englewood High School

DePaul University

Loyola University Chicago

Stone Middle School

Loyola University Chicago School of Law

First Name

Richard

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

CLA17

Favorite Season

None

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Freeport, Bahamas

Favorite Quote

Keep A Roof Over Your Head.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

7/28/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Death Date

7/22/2013

Short Description

Trial lawyer Richard Clayter (1922 - 2013 ) was the first African American to complete the Loyola University Chicago School of Law’s part-time program. He also argued successfully for the integration of Chicago's Oak Woods Cemetery.

Employment

Illinois School for Boys

Starke and Anglin

Frost, Clayter, Sherard and Howse

Gassaway, Crosson, Turner and Parsons

Rivers, Lockhart, Clayter & Lawrence

Favorite Color

Silver

Timing Pairs
0,0:1780,23:21540,224:22032,231:22688,245:43870,399:65442,599:80988,794:83335,827:101615,1030:121101,1148:136668,1272:150582,1366:168041,1418:168743,1425:206194,1724:233888,1875:234278,1881:242606,1976:264880,2162:282935,2421:292432,2525:327735,2872:330830,2880:335236,2911:349070,3006$0,0:845,22:5972,104:7625,132:11310,140:20840,214:21750,229:23847,245:24123,250:24675,257:27021,321:31840,376:32296,383:32904,394:39730,476:49497,621:60080,849:60396,906:104298,1285:113928,1364:148190,1681:151908,1782:172591,1977:172947,1982:173748,1994:178020,2081:178821,2094:179177,2099:213404,2396:228050,2575:228510,2580:228970,2585:237214,2732:267400,3026:296568,3237:306670,3331
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Richard Clayter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Richard Clayter lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Richard Clayter talks about his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Richard Clayter describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Richard Clayter talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Richard Clayter remembers his family's apartments in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Richard Clayter describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Richard Clayter recalls his experiences in Wiggins, Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Richard Clayter recalls his experiences in Wiggins, Mississippi, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Richard Clayter recalls his start at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Richard Clayter recalls his teachers and activities at Englewood High School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Richard Clayter describes his early employment

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Richard Clayter talks about his first marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Richard Clayter recalls being drafted into the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Richard Clayter remembers his U.S. Army training

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Richard Clayter remembers his combat flashbacks

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Richard Clayter talks about his U.S. Army service in World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Richard Clayter talks about divorcing his first wife

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Richard Clayter remembers DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Richard Clayter describes his early experiences in social work

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Richard Clayter talks about his second marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Richard Clayter remembers the Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Richard Clayter lists his children

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Richard Clayter describes his early law career

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Richard Clayter remembers the African American attorneys in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Richard Clayter talks about the Cook County Bar Association

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Richard Clayter recalls the start of the Oak Woods Cemetery desegregation case

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Richard Clayter lists the attorneys involved in the Oak Woods Cemetery desegregation case

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Richard Clayter describes the Oak Woods Cemetery desegregation case

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Richard Clayter talks about aversion to criminal law

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Richard Clayter remembers the African American judges in Cook County, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Richard Clayter describes his experiences of racial discrimination in the judicial system

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Richard Clayter recalls joining the law firm of Gassaway, Crosson, Turner and Parsons

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Richard Clayter describes his law career in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Richard Clayter remembers George N. Leighton and R. Eugene Pincham

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Richard Clayter describes his law career in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Richard Clayter talks about his working relationship with Wilson Frost, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Richard Clayter talks about his working relationship with Wilson Frost, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Richard Clayter lists the law firms where he worked in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Richard Clayter talks about the judicial appointment process in Cook County, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Richard Clayter talks about representing community organizations

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Richard Clayter describes his involvement in the Original 40 Club

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Richard Clayter talks about his friendship with James Weinstein

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Richard Clayter remembers the case of Friendship Medical Center, Ltd. v. Chicago Board of Health

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Richard Clayter remembers Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Richard Clayter talks about his memorable court cases, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Richard Clayter recalls securing a reduced sentence for a client

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Richard Clayter remembers applying to become a federal parole officer

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Richard Clayter describes his advice to aspiring lawyers

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Richard Clayter talks about his memorable court cases, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Richard Clayter reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Richard Clayter talks about his religious affiliation

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Richard Clayter describes his hopes for the world

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Richard Clayter shares a message to his children

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Richard Clayter reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Richard Clayter narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Richard Clayter narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

7$2

DATitle
Richard Clayter describes his early law career
Richard Clayter describes the Oak Woods Cemetery desegregation case
Transcript
Now you just graduated from law school [Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, Illinois], what was your first job?$$My first job was, the firm was Starke and Anglin [Chicago, Illinois], I believe. There--I was a social worker at the time and I was offered a job, I think, two hundred dollars a month, Golden State insurance company [Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company] and had a falling out with my supervisor so I quit that job, and I went in this law firm practicing with Starke and Anglin. I was not an employee, you know, I was on my own.$$So you just used their offices as your office?$$Well, there was, was a lawyer there; I shared expenses. They gave me a lower rate. I was, there was--Mary Lou's [Clayter's second wife, Mary Lou Gullatt Clayter] cousin, Adolphus Rivers [D. Adolphus Rivers], was there, as was Thaddeus Rowe [Thaddeus B. Rowe] and so forth. Yeah, so I was sharing expenses and they wised--every time I got a case, I got a, seventy-five dollars was a big fee. If I got seventy-five dollars, they got twenty-five and, yeah. I never had a job as a lawyer, I just practiced law, you know, representing people, representing companies, representing--as they used to say, rabble rousing.$$How did you get your clients?$$I got my clients by hanging out in taverns at night, even though I didn't drink, and I had a couple of people and I got, I guess as a result of my being a social worker, their friends, you know. But mostly I would hang out at these taverns at night, you know.$$So were you doing mostly criminal cases, or criminal and civil?$$Well I did criminal cases, I didn't have an awful lot, then divorce case, I did--I had near enough to do an appellate case. I did my first case, criminal case, second case, I think was, let's see (unclear), I did, called myself doing a divorce. I did a case involving a fight over a water cooler (laughter), it was an icemaker, is one of the, this in the years when they, before they really got popular, they finally came out with the idea of ice cubes. I think so, Harrison versus Crockett [Crockett v. Harrison, 1960] about the ice cooler, yeah, um-hm.$$So there was some kind of damage action?$$It was a civil suit. They were trying, (laughter) they, they had loaned him, they had loaned Crockett [Elzie Crockett] some money. Crockett wasn't too bright. They loaned (unclear) some money and he got, he borrowed some money from a guy named Harrison [Tommy Harrison]. I think money came from Harrison to Crockett and then this credit, by the way, they were trying to take the icemaker and I think they, I think they filed suit on behalf of Harrison, against Crockett, they're trying to use Harrison to get to the icemaker from Crockett.$$And you were representing Crockett?$$Oh yeah, that was my man. He was a ju- jukebox operator so that's how I met him, you know, in the various joints, so to speak, and I had some cases, I don't know how I got 'em. (Pause) Oh lord, lord, the fights that I had to fight.$Well tell us a little about, what were the kind of the facts for the Oak Wood Cemetery case?$$The facts were, it seems to me that I recall, that Cornell [Cornell Davis] had had an eye on these guys and they'd been discriminating forever, and he went there, Cornell, when they sent Cornell--they had a body they wanted to cremate, they sent Cornell there and he approached the people about this cremation, and I think they scheduled the cremation, but Corneal they thought was white. They scheduled the, the cremation, and when the folk got there to do the cremation, they saw they were colored and no way Jose, can't do that, you know, we don't allow, we don't--I've forgotten the exact word, we don't bury Negroes in this cemetery [Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois]. And they said well, don't have a Negro, I've got a non--how did they have that? They thought he had a, in other words, they, they were under the impression that he had a white person, that he was white, and he had a white person he wanted to cremate. They said, "We don't bury 'em, we don't create 'em, we don't cremate them, you have to go somewhere else." Lincoln [Lincoln Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois], I think Lincoln or Burr Oak [Burr Oak Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois] were the two black cemeteries, so to speak, and I think Cornell, he evidently prepared for this 'cause I distinctly remember he had some pennies, he had a jar of pennies that he saved to use for the fee, and once they found out that he was in charge of this committee and the committee had, I don't know, ways and means, is just what it was, committee had some power to cut off some funds, they had to rethink the thing. But in the meantime, I'll never forget this experience. These lawyers had a deposition scheduled--$$These were lawyers for the cemetery?$$Cemetery, they were on the top floor of this building, lavish office, I mean--$$Do you remember the name of the firm?$$(Laughter) No, I don't, and we had a deposition, when they saw me there, they, they evidently didn't realize what was going on. I guess they realized a lawsuit, but they were shocked when they, when I, they saw me there, you know, and we worked things out and they finally gave in. I've forgotten what happened. 'Cause they didn't, the case didn't get much publicity.$$Did it ever go to trial?$$No (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Or was it a settlement?$$There's a lawsuit filed, come to think of it, it was a settlement, not a trial, I don't think there was a trial. I don't remember there being a trial.$$What was the settlement agreement?$$That they would open the facilities to, people no matter what--I don't think they went so far as to say no matter what the ethic, ethnic configuration was. They definitely agreed to handle Negroes (laughter). And stuff, I can't remember. I didn't, I didn't figure, I was talking to my daughter [Ariana Clayter], I didn't figure why, I wondered why we didn't get more publicity about the thing. It seemed like it was just kind of kept undercover. They didn't blast out, say you know, "Well now we're open to Negro applicants and Negro cadav- cadavers," or whatever.$$They kind of wanted to keep it quiet even though they had settled.$$They did, they kept it quiet. There's no television, no radio, no--I don't recall any newspapers, kind of hush-hush.

The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr.

Andrew Leon Thomas Jefferson, Jr. was born on August 19, 1934, in Dallas, Texas, to Bertha Jefferson and Andrew Jefferson, Sr. After Jefferson and his family moved to Houston, Texas, in 1936, he attended Jack Yates High School which he graduated from in 1952. Jefferson received his B.A. degree from Texas Southern University in 1956, and his J.D. degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1959.

During his first year out of law school, 1960, Jefferson worked as a partner for Washington & Jefferson Attorneys at Law. In 1962, Jefferson worked as an assistant criminal district attorney for San Antonio County, and later in the year served as the chief assistant to the U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Texas.

In 1968, Jefferson was hired as a trial and labor relations counsel for Humble Oil & Refinery Company, which was renamed Exxon Corporation. From 1970 to 1973, Jefferson presided as a judge for the Harris County Family District Courts in conjunction with the Harris County Domestic Relations Office, before serving as a judge for the 208th District Court in Harris County until 1975.

In 1975, Jefferson worked in private practice with Jefferson, Sherman & Mims. During this time, Jefferson became the president of the Nu Boule’ chapter of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, an association considered to be the first African American Greek letter organization. Between 1986 and 1987, Jefferson served on the Presidential Search Committee of Texas Southern University and the Merit Selection of Judges Committee. In 1996, Jefferson became a member of the International Society of Barristers, a society of outstanding trial lawyers chosen by their peers on the basis of excellence and integrity in advocacy.

In 2001, the Andrew L. Jefferson Endowment for Trial Advocacy was established at Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas. The endowment seeks to preserve the jury trial in order to consider issues of ethics and excellence in advocacy and the role of litigation in society. Jefferson was a member of numerous professional and civic organizations including the American Bar Association, the Houston Lawyers Association, the Houston Area Urban League and the NAACP.

Jefferson passed away on December 8, 2008 at the age of 74.

Accession Number

A2007.231

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/10/2007

Last Name

Jefferson

Maker Category
Middle Name

Leon

Schools

Frederick Douglass Elementary School

Jack Yates High School

Texas Southern University

University of Texas at Austin School of Law

First Name

Andrew

Birth City, State, Country

Dallas

HM ID

JEF03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Pebble Beach, California

Favorite Quote

If You Can't Explain It To Your Mama, Don't Do It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

8/19/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbecue (Ribs)

Death Date

12/8/2008

Short Description

Federal district court judge and trial lawyer The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. (1934 - 2008 ) served for the 208th District Court in Harris County, Texas, until 1975. He was also the the president of the Nu Boule’ chapter of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. In honor of his contributions to the legal profession, the Andrew L. Jefferson Endowment for Trial Advocacy was established at Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas.

Employment

Washington and Jefferson, Attorneys at Law

Bexar (San Antonio) County

The Western District of Texas

Humble Oil and Refining Company

Court of Domestic Relations in Harris County

208th District Court in Harris County

Jefferson Sherman and Mims

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:240,3:720,11:1040,16:1600,25:34660,511:36635,543:44914,627:54756,711:55836,721:64590,907:65374,923:81846,1084:83222,1104:85028,1134:92294,1251:95033,1307:97794,1341:104025,1391:123140,1556$0,0:4916,53:10995,147:34476,581:37250,682:52357,864:74092,1119:79188,1320:81788,1379:89928,1461:92550,1472:112710,1684:113478,1691:116250,1708:116887,1723:117615,1732:118434,1742:128284,1931:139040,2087:143542,2135:145474,2163:152720,2248:153196,2257:153672,2265:156256,2318:156732,2326:157276,2339:172879,2513:181457,2642:189774,2738:207813,3084:208257,3089:224666,3524:232920,3603
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes how his parents met and their education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. recalls his childhood in Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. talks about his early role models

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes the role of religion in his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. recalls his early knowledge of African American history

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. remembers his influential teachers

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes the entertainment of his youth

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. remembers Jack Yates High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his early work experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. remembers his interest in architecture

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. talks about John S. Chase

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his mentors at Texas Southern University

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. remembers Barbara Jordan

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. recalls his employment during college

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. recalls his decision to pursue a law career

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes the Sweatt v. Painter decision

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his ink spot painting

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his experience at Texas Southern University

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. remembers the University of Texas at Austin School of Law

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his experiences of discrimination at the University of Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his experiences of discrimination at the University of Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. recalls his law professors and courses

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his graduation from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. remembers Washington and Jefferson, Attorneys at Law

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. recalls becoming an assistant district attorney

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his early law career

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his work with the Freedom Riders

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. talks about the Black Panther Party in Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. remembers Ovide Duncantell

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes the changes in the U.S Department of Justice

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. recalls his experiences of discrimination at the district attorney's office

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. recalls becoming the chief assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. recalls his recruitment to Humble Oil and Refining Company

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. remembers working at Humble Oil and Refinery Company

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. remembers the Petroleum Club in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. recalls joining the Harris County Family District Court

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his most notable legal decisions

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes the black community's relationship with the police in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. recalls his first election as a judge

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. recalls his consideration of running for mayor

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his private legal casework

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his legal philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. talks about his involvement with Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

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DAStory

18$12

DATitle
The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas
The Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. remembers the Petroleum Club in Houston, Texas
Transcript
So when it came close to graduation time had you--was your path laid out for you, did you know you were going to Texas Southern [Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas]?$$No, it was kind of an awkward situation as it developed. Because, I'd had these conversations with my friend Reverend Moore [John D. Moore]. And I had--something he had said somewhere along the way that led me to believe he was gonna see to it that I went to Yale [Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut]. And I had no idea what the mechanics were, or could be for that arrangement. But I had my heart set on that. And then it came time to go to college, nobody was saying anything about Yale. And I had all these little weekend jobs, you know, cutting grass, and painting houses, and painting the church [Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ, Houston, Texas] on the weekends, and all of that but I didn't have any real, you know, resources accumulated to pay any college tuition, or even transportation for that matter. And that's important as I'll demonstrate in a minute. So, the closer September came, the more concerned I became about where I was going to school. And at some point I broached the subject with Reverend Moore, and I don't know what he said but he made it clear that I, well was not going to Yale. But we had a member of the church, Mrs. Pearl Saunders [ph.], who was just a wonderful lady. And she--I guess Reverend Moore must've persuaded her--however it came about she loaned me seventy-five dollars to pay my tuition at Texas Southern.$I get a call one day from a friend of mine who was a member of the Petroleum Club [Houston, Texas]. Petroleum Club is, you know, the drinking and dancing club located on the top of the Humble [Humble Oil and Refining Company; Exxon Company, U.S.A.] building, and the, the guy who called me was Pete Schlumberger [Pierre Schlumberger], Pete of the Schlumberger family, and he was piping hot, he said, "Jeff [HistoryMaker Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr.]." I said, "What's up, Pete?" He said, "I had a lawyer visiting with me from Michigan the other day and he happened to be an African American and so I took him to lunch at the Petroleum Club and they wouldn't let us go to the grill. They ushered us off to a little private room," and he says, "I'm so pissed off about it, I don't know what to do." I said "Well, what do you wanna do about it?" He said, "Well you work for Humble," and he said, "I want to invite you to lunch and see if they'll treat you the same way they treated my friend from Michigan." I said, "Well, let's give it a shot." I--I don't supposed I'd been invited by anybody in the company up until that time to go. I might've been there at some private room meeting type arrangement. Anyway, Pete and I went and they wouldn't let us on the floor, and I came back to my office boy, and I wrote the damage letter. I said, look you people are put me in this situation and, and, and now you put me in a situation where I've been embarrassed because my employer won't let me eat lunch in my employer's cloth--club and that's not acceptable. Well, all hell broke loose, cause I'm one of the country--company lawyers, I mean, I'm just not, you know, anybody so, the letter goes to the, the manager of the employer relations department. A guy name Ed Dekorsha [ph.] and Ed calls me in the next couple of days and he said, "I think we worked this thing out. I've been in contact with the board of directors." And part of the problem is that, Humble didn't own the Petroleum Club, the club was a separate entity. Humble owned the building. The entity leased the space from the Humble Company. Part of the rent, the compensation for using this space was fifty memberships that were parceled out amongst various Humble employees, plus one special membership that was available for anybody with--at a certain level in the corporation you could just sign off on that special account with no questions asked and--but the club was actually run by a bunch of East Texas oil men and Ed was calling to tell me that he'd smooth the waters and--so he and I was going to lunch on--in the grill the next couple of days, so this is the manager of the employees' relations firm for the whole company, so he and I hit the door in the grill, and boy the teds--heads were turning and the tongues were wagging, so it went well, no problem, you know, and of course the waiters and everybody was just tickled to death to take care of it (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Well, the waiters were black, right? At the Petro club.$$Yeah. To take care of it, yeah, to take care of us and the next night or two Ed called me back and said, "Well, let's go to dinner in the dining room," which is a different room on the other end up on, so, I said, "Okay, let's, let's do it" (laughter) so we go to the dining room and Ed called me in the next couple of days and said, "I got a call." I said--he said (laughter) I said, "What was the call about?" He said, "They said don't rub it in our faces," (laughter). So that's how we turned that corner (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) (Laughter) Okay. We have to stop--

Louis O'Neil Dore

Trial lawyer Louis O’Neil Dore was the fifth of nine children born to Emily and Hezekiah Dore. He was born on March 14, 1945 in Beaufort, South Carolina. In the 1950s, Dore’s father changed the family name to Dore from Doe because he felt that Doe was a common name for anonymous persons.

Dore attended Robert Smalls Elementary School and heard Benjamin E. Mays speak at an assembly there. In 1963, Dore graduated from high school and was accepted into Morehouse College. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the commencement speaker at his graduation in 1967. Dore obtained a teacher’s certificate from Georgia State College and his J.D. degree from the University of Georgia. He was one of only four African Americans in his law school class.

Dore worked tirelessly to help bring about changes in health and economic development in many areas of South Carolina, including Beauford, Hilton Head and Daufuskie Island. He worked with the Beauford-Jasper County Comprehensive Health Department as the legal officer, drafting contracts and deeds, writing grants, obtaining funds and petitioning for African American doctors to have the right to treat patients in local hospitals.

In 1980, Dore was the only African American plaintiff trial lawyer in Jasper County, South Carolina, and he became the first African American attorney to make senior partner in a white law firm. Dore became the managing partner of his own law firm in 1991. Both of his sons are attorneys in his firm.

Dore has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Penn School, Benedict College, and Beauford Memorial Hospital, and as a board member of the South Carolina State Board of Education.

Dore lives in Beauford, South Carolina with his wife, Vernita.

Dore was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 31, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.038

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/31/2007

Last Name

Dore

Maker Category
Middle Name

O'Neil

Occupation
Schools

Morehouse College

Clark Atlanta University

University of Georgia School of Law

Robert Smalls School

First Name

Louis

Birth City, State, Country

Buford County

HM ID

DOR04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

South Carolina

Birth Date

3/14/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hilton Head Island

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Trial lawyer Louis O'Neil Dore (1945 - ) was the first African American attorney to make senior partner in a white law firm, and was the only African American plaintiff trial lawyer in Jasper County, South Carolina.

Employment

Moss, Bailey, Dore and Kuhn

Dore Law Firm

Beaufort-Jasper Comprehensive Health Services, Inc.

St. Helena High School

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1001,23:1547,29:2093,75:4641,108:11310,170:14266,184:20661,227:30362,287:36346,368:39258,411:49530,505:50250,518:53310,568:57691,607:77062,759:78534,788:79046,803:82096,821:82834,828:92448,933:93428,950:102414,1020:103188,1030:105070,1039:106220,1052:123685,1246:127824,1286:129325,1316:132203,1330:132548,1336:132824,1341:138871,1416:139306,1422:141568,1522:142550,1547$0,0:267,3:623,8:9542,213:9974,218:10622,226:18290,320:21132,341:21650,350:22020,356:22316,361:25054,411:42516,571:49329,621:53956,743:54441,749:57110,759:57875,769:59170,776:70417,925:70952,931:74814,966:75336,976:76820,983:85586,1063:97779,1197:98988,1219:108520,1319:108844,1324:111215,1339:122030,1430:124923,1447:125478,1453:140744,1584:141536,1597:142544,1669:145060,1678:146068,1692:153882,1755:162060,1842:174174,1999:174694,2005:175422,2013:180731,2064:182194,2084:182887,2094:191030,2175:199774,2210:202251,2229:205766,2270:210010,2314:210510,2320:217930,2446:229136,2605:230312,2624:234640,2687
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Louis O'Neil Dore's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Louis O'Neil Dore lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Louis O'Neil Dore talks about his mother's education and siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his early religious experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Louis O'Neil Dore talks about his paternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his maternal great-grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his maternal great-grandparents' land

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Louis O'Neil Dore lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his earliest memories of school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Louis O'Neil Dore remembers the Robert Smalls School in Beaufort, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his mentors at the Robert Smalls School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes the community of Burton, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Louis O'Neil Dore talks about his family's work ethic

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his siblings' education

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Louis O'Neil Dore remembers the influence of his older brother

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Louis O'Neil Dore recalls his arrival at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Louis O'Neil Dore remembers his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Louis O'Neil Dore talks about Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his experiences at Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Louis O'Neil Dore remembers teaching in Beaufort County, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Louis O'Neil Dore remembers the Vietnam War draft

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his decision to attend law school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Louis O'Neil Dore talks about Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Louis O'Neil Dore recalls his experiences of racial discrimination in law school

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his challenges at the University of Georgia School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his influences as an attorney

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Louis O'Neil Dore remembers Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his activism in Beaufort County, South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his transition to private law practice

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Louis O'Neil Dore recall serving as a trial lawyer in Beaufort, South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his legal casework

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his involvement in the Operation Jackpot trials

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Louis O'Neil Dore recalls opening a law practice with his sons

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his organizational involvement, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his organizational involvement, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Louis O'Neil Dore talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Louis O'Neil Dore reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Louis O'Neil Dore shares a message to future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Louis O'Neil Dore describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Louis O'Neil Dore narrates his photographs

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

6$6

DATitle
Louis O'Neil Dore talks about Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Louis O'Neil Dore remembers Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc.
Transcript
What are your thoughts about King's [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] March on Washington?$$Oh, it was just overwhelming. Martin Luther King is one of the greatest persons in my life. I idolize him. For me he is, he is like a prophet. And of course Dr. Mays [Benjamin Mays] was president while I was at Morehouse [Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia] and his last year as president was the year that I graduated and Martin Luther King was the commencement speaker for my graduation. And, and so this was the first time that I was exposed to the likes of Dr. Benjamin Mays, Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior and at Morehouse we had a tradition of chapel.$$Yes.$$Chapel was a requirement. We could only miss three days from chapel a semester and it was from breakfast to chapel and from chapel to class. There was always some interesting speaker that we had for our chapel services. Dr. Mordecai Johnson, Dr. Howard Thurman, just outstanding people. One of the persons that influenced me greatly my, my, my new religious thinking from the old church was Reverend Lucius Tobin [Lucius M. Tobin] who was my religion professor at Morehouse. There were a lot of people that impacted my life. I was in the economics department and Dr. E.B. Williams, a native South Carolinian was chairman of the Department of Economics and there were just a lot of impressive, impressive people around. It was, it was just a great experience coming from, coming from Burton [South Carolina] (simultaneous)$$(Simultaneous) Who were some of your classmates--$So what happens after law school [University of Georgia School of Law, Athens, Georgia]? You graduate in or you finished (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I finished in '73 [1973] and excuse me, and I intended to come back to practice with Charles Washington who is the only black lawyer in Beaufort [South Carolina] at that time and we had talked a great deal about me returning to Beaufort and practicing law with him and after my second year in law school, he passed. And so that kind of went out, went out the, out the window. But I came back to Beaufort and I was recruited by Beaufort-Jasper Comprehensive Health Services, Inc. [sic. Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc., Ridgeland, South Carolina], which was a local nonprofit community health organization headed at that time by [HistoryMaker] Thomas Barnwell from Hilton Head [Hilton Head Island, South Carolina] and they hired me as their legal officer and we were doing a lot of different things quite differently back then. And I'm sure if you've ever had an opportunity to talk to Tom Barnwell he's told you about all the things that were being done at that time in, in '73 [1973]. We, we were an activist group and an activist organization taking water, potable water to a lot of communities that didn't have potable water and that meant drafting contracts and agreements and easements and deeds and so forth in order to effectuate these arrangements for local water companies that we started. I also moved into the area of grants writing for the agency. For example I wrote a grant to the Campaign for Human Development [Catholic Campaign for Human Development] which was a Catholic foundation or nonprofit and the catalog foundation and they jointly funded a community store in Daufuskie Island [South Carolina]. Daufuskie is an isolated island separated by the Calibogue sound from Hilton Head and most--all of the people there went mostly shopped in Savannah [Georgia] once a month and didn't have a local grocery store and I wrote a grant and got it funded--got a local grocery store basically funded for Daufuskie Island and made a lot of trips to Daufuskie to organize the local residents over there and was basically the, the legal officer for that organization. We also had a few small legal battles with the local hospital, Beaut Memorial [Beaufort Memorial Hospital, Beaufort, South Carolina] didn't wanna give black doctors privileges to practice at the hospital, staff privileges, but more particularly, that was a problem I guess more so in Jasper County [South Carolina]. Jasper County wanted nothing to do with black doctors in the little twenty-two bed hospital over there.

A. Dwight Pettit

Alvin Dwight Pettit was born on September 29, 1945, in Rutherfordton, North Carolina. His mother worked as a beautician and his father worked as an engineer. His family migrated to Baltimore after his father was offered an engineering job in Maryland. In 1958, his father initiated a lawsuit against Harford County, Maryland school officials, forcing the school system to integrate the all white Aberdeen High School. Pettit, represented by Thurgood Marshall, won his suit and was admitted to Aberdeen and graduated in 1963. In addition to being the first African American male to attend the school, he also integrated the football team.

Pettit attended Howard University from 1963 until 1967, where he earned his bachelor’s of arts degree. While at Howard, Pettit played football, participated in the ROTC program, reaching the rank of colonel and pledged Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. While at Howard, he received the Holland Ware award for the student athlete demonstrating all around athletic and academic ability. Pettit earned his law degree from Howard in 1970.

In 1970, Pettit began his career as a trial attorney for the Small Business Administration under President Richard Nixon. His duties included preparing briefs for the Department of Justice on fraud cases involving SBA loans. He litigated his first private case, Pettit vs. the United States. The case received national acclaim and is considered a landmark decision, setting the standard for back pay awards in discrimination cases. In 1973, Petit brought the first suit in the country against Maryland for discrimination in the bar examination. The case would lead to other states changing its testing practices. In 1973, Petit left the SBA and formed Mitchell, Petit, David and Gill and later his own practice.

Pettit handled many high profile criminal and personal injury cases. In 1977, he won Scott v. Sutton Place, which determined that Maryland landlords have responsibility and are liable for criminal activity on their property. In 1983, he won his first million-dollar judgment against the Washington, D.C. Transit Authority in the accident case, Goodwin v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation. Pettit continues to practice law in Baltimore, where he resides with his wife, Barbara.

Accession Number

A2004.144

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/25/2004

Last Name

Pettit

Maker Category
Middle Name

Dwight

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Aberdeen High

Howard University School of Law

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical Nursery School

Fleming Elementary School

Bragg School

Havre De Grace Middle

Lemmel Junior High School

First Name

A.

Birth City, State, Country

Rutherfordton

HM ID

PET04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Islands

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/29/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pork Chops

Short Description

Trial lawyer A. Dwight Pettit (1945 - ) is one of the most prominent criminal and personal injury attorneys in Maryland. Pettit is responsible for bringing the first suit in the country against Maryland for discriminatory practices in the bar examination, which lead to other states changing their testing practices.

Employment

Small Business Administration

Mitchell, Petit, David & Gill

National Democratic Compliance Commission

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:3990,108:10010,272:10290,277:10570,284:11410,302:25792,603:28277,648:43491,934:44295,947:45233,963:47042,1031:58901,1309:64370,1316:67702,1385:76818,1521:78158,1550:78560,1559:78828,1564:82915,1678:97314,1924:100812,1995:102660,2030:103188,2041:104310,2064:105036,2082:105762,2096:109326,2175:123754,2480:126099,2546:126434,2553:130052,2674:140182,2796:140458,2801:146530,2935:147358,2989:157294,3237:170214,3458:172008,3509:173250,3533:175527,3605:180357,3707:187580,3771:188012,3794:188660,3805:190388,3854:193700,3915:201720,4032$0,0:2415,149:3588,171:4761,202:5382,212:6141,226:12903,452:14697,496:15732,522:19527,692:50048,1079:56928,1220:58132,1241:58992,1252:64256,1283:65894,1302:66349,1308:73002,1361:80402,1624:88272,1799:101530,2016:109850,2192:134132,2634:134497,2640:136979,2693:137855,2711:138658,2728:139315,2740:150454,2964:150799,2970:152248,3005:152731,3014:154939,3070:166700,3260
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of A. Dwight Pettit's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - A. Dwight Pettit lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - A. Dwight Pettit describes his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - A. Dwight Pettit describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - A. Dwight Pettit describes his paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - A. Dwight Pettit talks about his maternal and paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - A. Dwight Pettit recalls his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - A. Dwight Pettit describes his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - A. Dwight Pettit describes his paternal aunt, Dorothy Mae

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - A. Dwight Pettit explains his family's move to Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - A. Dwight Pettit recalls holiday celebrations during his childhood in Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - A. Dwight Pettit remembers his childhood in Turner Station, Dundalk, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - A. Dwight Pettit describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - A. Dwight Pettit describes his paternal family's educational, military and career achievements

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - A. Dwight Pettit recalls the challenges of growing up an only child and dealing with his father's alcoholism

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - A. Dwight Pettit remembers attending Fleming Elementary School in Turner Station, Maryland and Bragg School in Sparrows Point, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - A. Dwight Pettit describes his home and family life while attending elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - A. Dwight Pettit talks about his extracurricular activities and hobbies at Sollers Point High School in Sparrows Point, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - A. Dwight Pettit describes his family's move to Aberdeen, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - A. Dwight Pettit describes boarding with another family while attending Lemmel Junior High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - A. Dwight Pettit explains the origin of his early interest in law

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - A. Dwight Pettit explains his family's decision to send him to the segregated Aberdeen High School in Aberdeen, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - A. Dwight Pettit describes the trial to integrate Aberdeen High School in Aberdeen, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - A. Dwight Pettit explains the case law influencing the judicial decision to integrate Aberdeen High School in Aberdeen, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - A. Dwight Pettit describes Thurgood Marshall and Juanita Jackson Mitchell, who represented him in the case to integrate Aberdeen High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - A. Dwight Pettit remembers his principal at Havre de Grace Middle School in Havre de Grace, Maryland testifying against him in court

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - A. Dwight Pettit recalls racist encounters when he first entered Aberdeen High School in Aberdeen, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - A. Dwight Pettit describes his experience playing football at Aberdeen High School in Aberdeen, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - A. Dwight Pettit explains his decision to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - A. Dwight Pettit recalls his initial impression of Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - A. Dwight Pettit talks about challenging courses and professors at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - A. Dwight Pettit describes his experience at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - A. Dwight Pettit recalls his first job with the U.S. Small Business Administration after graduating from Howard University School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - A. Dwight Pettit describes working as trial attorney on the national litigation staff for the U.S. Small Business Administration

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - A. Dwight Pettit recounts filing an anti-discrimination suit against the Maryland State Bar Association

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - A. Dwight Pettit recounts representing his father in the civil rights lawsuit, Pettit v. United States, 1973

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - A. Dwight Pettit explains why he was deferred from U.S. military service

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - A. Dwight Pettit remembers winning Pettit v. United States, 1973

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - A. Dwight Pettit recalls memorable cases from his private law practice in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - A. Dwight Pettit recalls his initial involvement with President James "Jimmy" Carter's 1976 presidential campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - A. Dwight Pettit explains how losing the nomination to U.S. attorney for Maryland led him into corporate law

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - A. Dwight Pettit describes his work with HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - A. Dwight Pettit talks about Kweisi Mfume's 1986 campaign for U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - A. Dwight Pettit talks about why he lost his 1986 campaign for U.S. Congress to Kweisi Mfume

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - A. Dwight Pettit talks about why he lost a Baltimore City Council election to Elijah Cummings

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - A. Dwight Pettit remembers litigating police shooting and brutality cases in the 1980s and 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - A. Dwight Pettit explains why he supported Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. during the 2002 Maryland gubernatorial campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - A. Dwight Pettit talks about his relationship with Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - A. Dwight Pettit talks about his experience campaigning for Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. during the 2002 Maryland gubernatorial campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - A. Dwight Pettit explains why he believes Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend lost the 2002 Maryland gubernatorial election

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - A. Dwight Pettit reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - A. Dwight Pettit talks about his hopes for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - A. Dwight Pettit narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - A. Dwight Pettit narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

10$2

DATitle
A. Dwight Pettit describes the trial to integrate Aberdeen High School in Aberdeen, Maryland
A. Dwight Pettit describes working as trial attorney on the national litigation staff for the U.S. Small Business Administration
Transcript
(Simultaneous) Aberdeen [Maryland] is in Harford County [Maryland].$$Yes, so that's what brings in Thurgood Marshall, 'cause Thurgood is very upset at this point in time that Maryland is still trying to implement Brown [v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954], that he was very much a part of, and Jack Greenberg of the [NAACP] Legal Defense Fund, as I said, and Tucker Dearing, who was a local (unclear), so they bring the case, they put the case together and they bring the case in the U.S. Federal District Court here. Well, lo and behold, when the case hits the newspapers and everything, "Retarded child being put in white school," because of defense of the state, and the [Maryland State] Board [of Education], the superintendent and school board [Board of Education of Harford County], they go back to these old tests back in the fourth and beginning of the fifth grade, before this academic discovery, and they argue that I'm academically unqualified and they want to protect me from having to compete with white students, that it would be not in my interest because the court says you have to discriminate, but the court said "With all deliberate speed," the United States Supreme Court, so they gave the latitude, and this has become very historical, of different states to break up to manifest and create their own discrimination procedures, or integration procedures. So, what Harford County has done is put into place is a stair step integration system, where they are integrating a year at a time, but the problem is I'm ahead of this system. When they integrated the seventh, I would have been in the eighth, eighth, I'd have been in the ninth, and so the year that I applied, they did admit African Americans, but they admitted three African American females. They didn't, they would not allow the two, I think it was another African American male. So, they denied my admission, and then they based that denial on my inadequacies as a student and argued that the IQ test and achievement tests that I had taken back years before, that I was not qualified, though should not be allowed to be threatened academically in the competition with white students. Well, this was devastating to a kid. You know, you're walking around, even in [William H.] Lemmel [Junior High School, Baltimore, Maryland] and everybody's, are you the kid, are you the stupid kid (laughter), and the teachers, some of 'em, but you know, I had great teachers and Lemmel and one of 'em is still alive, Mr. [Ray] Carpenter. He was my homeroom teacher, so when I walked in he says, tells the kids, "Well, we have a star in class. We have a media star and we're happy 'cause it's all over the papers," and I think it was in the Washington Times and the New York Times, Washington Post, what-have-you, that this major integration battle is going on." Well, the kids loved me instantly, if I can use that word. They elected me chief judge of the school court, they elected me president of the class, because they immediately, the teachers and everybody, began to read automatically that this was a sham, what was in the newspapers.$$Because they knew what you could achieve academically.$$Well, they discovered me right away. In fact, my homeroom teacher, Mr. Carpenter, I mean if I was a minute late, it was like, "[HistoryMaker] Mr. [A. Dwight] Pettit, you are such a celebrity and we read about you, why don't you stand up and give us the Gettysburg Address?" Or, stand up and give us volume so-and-so of [William] Shakespeare. And I was always able to perform, 'cause now I'm into it. Now, I've got to prove something to me, I've got to prove something to the world. Here I'm in the newspapers where my whole life is being called into question, and so now it's not just my father [George Pettit] telling me that I've got to produce, now I'm getting to the realization of adulthood, moving toward as a young teenager, that I've got to prove myself and may have to prove myself over and over, and have to prove myself in a court of law.$And what were some of your responsibilities there [U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Washington, D.C.]?$$Well, here was the thing. All of a sudden, I mean, I had been smart enough to take some corporate courses in my senior year [at Howard University, Washington, D.C.]. I hadn't taken anything. I was a political science major, political science major, psychology minor in undergrad, and I hadn't taken any business courses. I didn't even take legal accounting. That was a struggle because when I was in law school [Howard University School of Law, Washington, D.C.], the kids had already taken legal accounting. They threw the accounting book out and said we're going to talk about law. If you don't know accounting, go home and learn it. (Laughter) So, but fortunately my senior year, I had taken a national law, labor relations, I had taken everything, I knew my weakness. So, I had taken everything that I could in terms of electives in terms of the financial area. And sure as it would be, I'm thrown directly into heavy-duty, white-collar litigation and research. What we would, what we did, we would prepare the briefs and do all the gut and grunt work for the [U.S.] Department of Justice in terms of major fraud cases with banks and SBA loans as well as when I went to the local office, I would be involved in loan lending, bonding issues and what-have-you. So, all of a sudden, I'm hired and Mr. [Bob] Webber told me, he said, "You know, [HistoryMaker A.] Dwight [Pettit], I don't believe in affirmative action. You don't live up. You're out of here, but I'm gonna hire you because you seem like you're everything that we want and the White House [Washington, D.C.] wants. And, I went into this library and I looked around and I saw the bankruptcy codes, I saw all this finance, I saw the, all the national reporters, I said, "Oh, my God. What have I gotten myself into?" (Laughter) I mean, it was like it was terrifying. I'll never forget the sweat. I could remember the sweat just dropping off. I had this one white Jewish kid, Eric Benson [ph.]. He kept looking me and looking at me and looking at me, and I'm trying to look intelligent. It was my first day on the job. I'm trying to--Uniform Commercial Code, I had never seen commercial code (Laughter) So, he came over and he said, "Dwight, c'mon, let's go to lunch." And he said, "Look man, calm down." He said, "I went through the same thing that you went through." He said, "If I can do anything to help you, I will", and so he and I became so tight; in fact, Mr. Webber, it became a fun thing up at the office, because we had about three black secretaries and they were urging and they were pushing for me so much. They were just hoping that I was the real deal. And so, when I first got there, I noticed how Mr. Webber, if something came from the White House, [U.S.] Congress, or if it was an emergency or justice department [U.S. Department of Justice], the first person he would buzz was Eric, and before I left, I know he must have had a staff of about, I guess sixty lawyers were there, but before I left, you'd always hear the buzzer go off twice, Eric's office and my office whenever an emergency came up, so I felt that I had really proved myself--

Chester Blair

Attorney Chester L. Blair was born in Streetman, Texas on July 2, 1928. Blair left home at an early age to seek greater opportunity in the state of Washington. After falling ill from manual labor, Blair returned to Texas to complete high school. Deciding that he wanted to become a lawyer, he arrived in Chicago in April 1947 with a letter of introduction to the famous lawyer Euclid Taylor.

After working as a busboy and attending Fisk University for one year, Blair was hired by the post office and transferred to Chicago State University. He received his B.Ed. in 1952 and taught for the Chicago Public Schools for seven years. While teaching, he pursued master's level work at Roosevelt University and went on to earn a J.D. in 1959 from the John Marshall Law School, where he excelled in real estate law.

Upon completing his law degree, Blair went into private practice as a partner in Blair & Cole. His practice included criminal defense and personal injury cases. Blair became the first African American president of the Chicago Bar Association.

Throughout his career, Blair had served on numerous advisory committees for the Illinois Supreme Court and the American Bar Association. He was a member and former president of the Cook County Bar Association and a member of both the Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. He served on the boards of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and the Chicago Bar Foundation. He was named a fellow of the American Bar Foundation in 1987. Blair had been a lecturer and professor for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. From 1984 to 1998, he wrote a weekly column for the Chicago Daily Defender.

Blair passed away on March 16, 2015 at the age of 86.

Accession Number

A2003.062

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/2/2003

Last Name

Blair

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Fisk University

Chicago State University

John Marshall Law School

First Name

Chester

Birth City, State, Country

Streetman

HM ID

BLA03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Freeport, Bahamas

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

7/2/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Death Date

3/16/2015

Short Description

Trial lawyer Chester Blair (1928 - 2015 ) was the first black head of the Chicago Bar Association.

Employment

Chicago Public Schools

Blair & Cole

Chicago Defender

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:21220,228:101564,1267:111772,1379:112476,1403:112916,1409:135244,1788:135649,1794:137350,1825:144788,1897:165110,2184:184033,2351:220666,2822:238624,3060:243578,3123:249366,3206:260935,3339:269160,3541:299507,3850:311920,3993$0,0:11766,167:17912,190:19367,213:20337,226:23688,249:25512,283:25816,288:27184,312:36334,435:39900,453:40340,458:40780,463:41220,468:51312,621:60762,768:61260,778:67602,856:68894,883:69198,891:70414,926:78698,1086:90032,1186:92550,1198:94251,1234:94899,1243:98350,1286:102200,1363:104048,1403:123790,1610:124315,1620:125215,1632:125515,1637:127315,1656:127840,1665:128590,1674:130015,1703:134630,1734:152540,1966
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Chester Blair's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Chester Blair lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Chester Blair talks about his paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Chester Blair describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Chester Blair describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Chester Blair describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Chester Blair describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Chester Blair describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Chester Blair describes the role of books and newspapers during his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Chester Blair describes his experiences in grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Chester Blair describes how his paternal grandfather influenced him

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Chester Blair talks about the lack of respect whites had for blacks

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Chester Blair describes his experience working for a grocery store butcher

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Chester Blair describes his move from Houston, Texas to Hanford, Washington as a teenager, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Chester Blair describes his move from Houston, Texas to Hanford, Washington as a teenager, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Chester Blair describes his experiences working in Hanford, Washington and Vanport, Oregon

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Chester Blair describes how an illness ended his career as a laborer

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Chester Blair talks about Vanport, Oregon

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Chester Blair talks about his group's singing on KALE radio in Portland, Oregon

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Chester Blair describes moving from Portland, Oregon to Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Chester Blair describes how a racist encounter at a library in Houston, Texas caused him to leave Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Chester Blair describes his search for a job in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Chester Blair describes his search for a job in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Chester Blair describes sleeping in train stations to save money for rent after moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Chester Blair describes the financial difficulties he faced after attending Fisk University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Chester Blair describes his experiences attending Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Chester Blair describes his experiences serving as a photographer in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Chester Blair remembers the murder of Chicago Alderman Benjamin Lewis

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Chester Blair talks about Walter Shumpert and U.S. Congressman George Collins, who succeeded Alderman Benjamin Lewis after his murder

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Chester Blair describes defending 24th Ward elections officials against "Operation Eagle Eye" in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Chester Blair describes how the Chicago riots caused by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death destroyed his private practice

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Chester Blair describes an explosion that destroyed his office on South Dearborn Street

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Chester Blair talks about becoming a member of the Chicago Bar Association in 1959

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Chester Blair describes how working with the Chicago Bar Association inspired him to run for president of the organization

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Chester Blair describes being nominated as the first African American president of the Chicago Bar Association, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Chester Blair describes being nominated as the first African American president of the Chicago Bar Association, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Chester Blair describes what helped his nomination as the first African American president of the Chicago Bar Association

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Chester Blair Chester Blair describes his election as the first African American president of the Chicago Bar Association

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Chester Blair talks about establishing the Earl B. Dickerson Award

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Chester Blair talks about the recipients of the Earl B. Dickerson Award

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Chester Blair talks about his role models

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Chester Blair describes his preparation for his court cases, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Chester Blair describes his preparation for his court cases, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Chester Blair describes the role of a defense attorney

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Chester Blair describes how African Americans disproportionately receive jail sentences

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Chester Blair comments on how African Americans repress one another

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Chester Blair shares his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Chester Blair reflects upon his legacy, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Chester Blair reflects upon his legacy, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Chester Blair describes the background of the 1940 "Hansberry v. Lee" case

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Chester Blair describes the 1940 "Hansberry v. Lee" case

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Chester Blair talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Chester Blair narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

7$2

DATitle
Chester Blair describes sleeping in train stations to save money for rent after moving to Chicago, Illinois
Chester Blair describes his preparation for his court cases, pt. 2
Transcript
In the meantime, I had to have someplace to sleep. I went to the bus station and I said I would sleep there because it was opened all night long. I sat down in one of the seats and the fellow came by to see me, and I told him that I had my luggage there and I was waiting for somebody to come bring me some money so I could get it out. So he didn't bother me and I went to sleep and after it got late, nobody came by to say anything to me, but I felt a little rumbling in my pocket. And I looked there was a guy right next to me. I woke up, you know. And I said what are you doing, he said, oh nothing I was just moving around. And I moved to another seat and the same thing happened to me by somebody else. So I said these people are trying to pick my pocket. I don't have any money. So what I did was to go to still a third place and I put my hands in my pockets like this and this is how I slept. Nobody bothered me cause they knew if they pull my arm out it would wake me up. And after I slept there that night, I think I went back to sleep again. I looked to see if there was an opportunity to go to a movie theater or something to sleep in and I saw they had a fifteen cent movie because I still had this two and a half and I had gotten a job at a restaurant, but I hadn't been paid, so I was eating a little food. I took and went into the fifteen cent movie that used to be over on Clark Street and when I got in there, the odor was just so stifling that I couldn't--I couldn't stay in there and I lost my fifteen cents because I just had to get out of there. And there was a thirty-five cent movie, but I didn't want to go to that because that was just spending more money than I wanted to spend for one-night's sleep. So I started walking around and I checked on train stations and I found the Union Station over there and I went into the Union Station. I saw they had a guard in a blue suit, a blue outfit, it wasn't a suit. He wore blue shirt and pants and some kind of a hat, like that and he walked around with a billy club in his hand. And he would go over and if somebody was sleep, he would take a--take the billy club and say get up and get out of here you. You can't sleep in here and cause the people to leave, you know, they'd be guys like me who didn't have any money. So I came up with a plan. I got on the bench and I layed down, had a point fairly close to where he was and when I did that, pulled my coat up over me. I had a little gabardine coat on. And by the way I was wearing blue (unclear) suit when I came here and I had--I wore that suit, man, for a week and a half. But I was always able to go to the bus station and give him a few pennies, he let me get a shirt out of my wardrobe and I'd put on a clear shirt and stick the dirty one back in there. In any event what I did was to pull my coat over my head and sooner than I laid down, I guess I was there three or four minutes, he came up, you can't sleep here, you gotta get outta here. I said, has my train come yet, I'm waiting for my train. He says what train are you on? Well I had gotten one that left a four o'clock in the morning, and I told him. He said oh, all right, you're okay. That meant, this was something like around eleven o'clock. This meant I got five hours of sleep uninterrupted. And I started doing that. And the station was so big, I could move to different parts of the station and they didn't remember me. And I would go at different times a night and I always had my train, and I was able to do that for a week and when I got paid then I went and started to--I rented a room. The room was so small that when I went to the door to go in the room, I had to climb over a half of one of these twin beds to get to where I could stand in the room, cause there was no other way they could put the bed in there without blocking the door, and that's the room I had, nine dollars a week. But--at any rate it was a rather interesting experience that I had.$One of the other things that's very important is the manner in which you prepare your client to testify. If it's a civil case and you've got experts in the case like doctors, or some other expert, he could be an engineer and architect or whatever, sometimes they know their subject very well but they have very little skill at testifying in front of a judge or a jury, and on the basis of that you have to spend enough time with that person so that he will gain some insight on how he's to present the evidence. It's not easy dealing with them because many times they think they know their subject so well and when you start trying to tell them how you want them to present something, they feel that it's an encroachment on their intelligence or training. And as a result of that what you have to do is to be very careful who you select an expert as to whether or not this is the kind of person you could work with. Is it somebody who's going to be so pompous that you can't tell em anything because he knows too much, if it is try to select a different expert. If you get trapped with a guy like that, you're better off being with a judge, because the judge is going to treat his information carefully rather than the manner in which he presents it. The jury won't do that. The jury will eat you up in a situation like that. The lawyer himself has to be careful now about being too pompous and being too flamboyant because many of the jurors don't like that anymore. Sometimes you think that you make a big flair in the courtroom and you gonna win your case and it destroys your case. There are any number of little tips that people can have in terms of handling cases successfully. But the most fundamental of all is the person who is presenting the case and that's the lawyer. He has to feel and believe in what he's doing or she is doing. If he does he has a chance, if you have no belief in it, you're in trouble. And that's the way I go about it.

The Honorable R. Eugene Pincham

R. Eugene Pincham, human rights activist, lawyer, former judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, and justice of the Appellate Court of Illinois, was a strident critic of the criminal justice system. He was born on June 28, 1925 in Chicago, Illinois but grew up impoverished in Alabama. After his high school graduation in 1942, Pincham became interested in becoming a lawyer. He attended college at LeMoyne College in Memphis, Tennessee, and in 1944, he transferred to Tennessee State University in Nashville, where he earned his B.S. degree in political science in 1947. In 1948, Pincham married his college sweetheart, Alzata C. Henry, and that same year enrolled in Northwestern University School of Law. Despite the fact that he had to wait tables at the Palmer House Hotel and shine shoes as a full-time student, Pincham earned his J.D. degree in 1951.

Pincham then began to practice law as an attorney in the state and federal courts. In 1954, he accepted an offer to practice law with the firm that became Evins, Pincham, Fowlkes and Cooper. In 1965, Pincham was admitted to the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1976, Pincham became a Circuit Court of Cook County judge and was assigned to the Criminal Division, where he served until 1984. He went on to become a justice of the Appellate Court of Illinois. There, Pincham gained a reputation as one who sought justice for the poor as well as the rich. Pincham resigned from the bench in 1989 and unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party’s nomination for president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. In 1991, he became the Harold Washington Party’s nominee for Mayor of Chicago. Although he lost, Pincham carried nineteen of the city’s fifty wards - a powerful endorsement from the African American community.

A member of the American Civil Liberties Union and a lifetime member of the NAACP, Pincham continued to lectured and instructed in trial and appellate techniques and advocacy after his retirement. He received numerous awards for his professional and community service and activism. Pincham passed away on April 3, 2008 at the age of 82.

Accession Number

A2002.176

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/13/2002 |and| 5/5/2003 |and| 1/17/2007

Last Name

Pincham

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

Eugene

Organizations
Schools

Trinity School

LeMoyne-Owen College

Tennessee State University

Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

First Name

R.

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

PIN01

Favorite Season

None

Sponsor

Northwestern University School of Law

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

As For Me And My House, We Will Serve The Lord.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

6/28/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Death Date

4/3/2008

Short Description

Civil rights activist, county circuit court judge, state appellate court judge, and trial lawyer The Honorable R. Eugene Pincham (1925 - 2008 ) grew up poor in Alabama before becoming a fixture in the Illinois legal system. As a judge Pincham, had a reputation of seeking justice for the poor as well as the rich.

Employment

Elvins, Pincham, Fowlkes and Cooper

Circourt Court of Cook County

Illinois Appellate Court

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:16093,153:16428,159:16696,168:26430,453:54552,725:102750,1373$0,0:56932,606:60200,683:60808,693:84919,867:94348,970:94758,1372:96398,1417:98120,1494:187180,2124
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of R. Eugene Pincham's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his maternal grandmother, Safronia Sowell

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his family's pride in their heritage

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his mother's interest for education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham shares memories of his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the American Missionary Association and how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about learning to love his father

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his expulsion from LeMoyne College

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham describes how he met his wife at Tennessee State University

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his college experience at Tennessee State University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham describes Northwestern University School of Law

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the 1964 Freedom Summer campaign in Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his participation in the 1964 Freedom Summer campaign in Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the distinction between equality and integration

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about provisions against African Americans in the U.S. Constitution

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham describes working as a day laborer in the cotton fields

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the lessons learned from working in the cotton field

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his Christian faith

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham recalls working through law school at Northwestern University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about arguing cases before the United States Supreme Court

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his wife's role in the courtroom

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his approach to the law

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his court rulings

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his children and marrying his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his wife's first job in Chicago, Illinois as a substitute teacher

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the birth of his three children

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about spousal roles in his marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his three children

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his experience of racial discrimination after graduating from Northwestern University School of Law

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham describes learning about being a front line lawyer

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his first appeal, which overturned a death sentence

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham describes inheriting Joseph E. Clayton, Jr.'s clients

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham remembers a case he took from Joseph E. Clayton, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about making ends meet

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his first United States Supreme Court Case, pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his first United States Supreme Court Case, pt.2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about when there are biases from the bench

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his experience in Mississippi as a lawyer in 1964

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about racial discrimination in Mississippi

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about successfully defending a white female demonstrator in Mississippi

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the personal impact of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his transition from Mississippi back to Evins, Pincham, Fowlkes and Cooper

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham describes People v. Alfano, pt.1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham describes People v. Alfano, pt.2

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his transition from lawyer to judge

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about Mayor Harold Washington and Chicago politics in the 1980s

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the political turbulence in Chicago after the death of Mayor Harold Washington in 1987

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the low voter turnout in Chicago's black community

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his 1991 campaign for Mayor of Chicago

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his 1990 bid for President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham reflects on his 1990 bid for President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about systemic inequality and cultural indoctrination in the black community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the leadership vacuum in the black community

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - R. Eugene Pincham describes what inspired the start of the non-profit organization Probation Challenge

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the memorable case that helped inspire the start of Probation Challenge headed by HistoryMaker Harold E. Bailey

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham describes two memorable court cases

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about People v. Smith

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham continues to recount several other memorable court cases

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his his work teaching appellate procedure and trial techniques

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the role of his wife in his career

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham defends free press and talks about its role in the O.J. Simpson trial

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the impact of technological advances on the legal process

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham describes why he took on the Ryan Harris case

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the Ryan Harris case, pt.1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the Ryan Harris case, pt.2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the media's role in the Ryan Harris case

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the Roscetti case

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Slating of R. Eugene Pincham's interview

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the Ryan Harris case settlements

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham discusses the Anna Gilvis case

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about taking the Ryan Harris case to Terry Hilliard, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about why Superintendent Terry Hilliard may have failed to discipline his officers

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham assesses the state of black political power in the City of Chicago

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about apartheid in South Africa

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the necessary conditions for black political empowerment in Chicago

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about HistoryMaker Obama's potential presidential bid

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about HistoryMaker Barack Obama's presidential candidacy

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the impact of outsourcing jobs on middle class Americans

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the consequences of African American underrepresentation in criminal justice jobs

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the cost of police misconduct

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the necessity of policing prosecuting misconduct

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham describes racial discrimination in Cook County's State's Attorney's Office

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the R. Kelly case

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about 2003 E2 nightclub stampede, pt.1

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about 2003 E2 nightclub stampede, pt.2

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about 2003 E2 nightclub stampede, pt.3

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about 2003 E2 nightclub stampede, pt.4

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the distinction between accidents and criminal conduct

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his case selection process

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham reflects on what he would do differently

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his heroes

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the American Missionary Association

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham describes meeting his wife, Alzata Pincham

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his marriage to wife, Alzata Pincham

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his children and grandchildren

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about educational inequity

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the importance of improving access to as well as the value for education

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham narrates his photographs, pt.1

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham narrates his photographs, pt.2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
R. Eugene Pincham describes his participation in the 1964 Freedom Summer campaign in Mississippi
R. Eugene Pincham describes the lessons learned from working in the cotton field
Transcript
I was not in Mississippi attempting to aid black folks in becoming integrated with white people. That's not why we were there. We were there trying to break down the barriers of racism and discrimination. We were there for equal chance, equal opportunity, that's what we were fighting for. And down the road the mission was diverted from tearing down the barriers and making opportunity equal, to integrating, and that was a mistake that we allowed that to happen. But it happened on purpose. And the reason they did let it happen was because it was more economically feasible for the white power structure to offer black folks "integration" than it would be to make things equal. I had no desire to go to school with white folks. I had no desire to live in white communities. I had no desire. I wanted the right to have a school as good as the whites. I wanted the right to have a neighborhood as good as the whites. I wanted the right to have a--make a mortgage without being penalized and paying extra premiums on my mortgage because I was black. I wanted good policemen. I wanted black policemen in my community patrolling my streets, just as good as the white policemen. I did not work in the movement to change from where I was or who I was. I worked in the movement to make who I was better. And I don't believe that integrating is making me better.$What Ms. Mary [Brown] would do, she would take the center row and put me on her left, and put my brother to the row to her right. The sun would be eternally hot. The days were unmercifully long. The humidity, at 90 percent humidity was a dry day. And she would admonish us as children about drinking water, don't drink too much. And as matter of fact, when the water boy would come around, she would take the dipper and make us swish the water in our mouth, spit it out and take no more than three or four swallows because it give you cramps if you drink too much water out in the field. And being a child trying to cool off, you just go gulp it down and have cramps. And she would not allow us to over drink, and she would take the water and pour it over our heads to cool us off. And when we couldn't keep up, we would fall behind. And we'd get to a point where Ms. Mary was chopping our row and my brother's row and her row. So we got too far behind, she'd start chopping, hit a lick for herself, she'd hit a lick for my brother, then hit a lick on my row. So we got, say from here to Cullerton behind. We got there, she'd made up for us, we'd run, catch up with her. And in that way at the end of the day, the boss would pay us the amount he's supposed to pay the children, rather than not pay us anything 'cause we couldn't keep up. And my pet story is that story because when she'd hit a lick for herself, she hit a lick for me. She carried my row. And I grew up to think that when you are strong, you're supposed to carry somebody's row, supposed to help somebody else.$$So therein lies the, the reasoning behind your own approach for never turning anybody down when they come to you for--$$It's a sin. It's a sin. It's a sin. You supposed to help. Help. I'm here on somebody's shoulder; I didn't get here by myself. Those teachers that came down from New England who were ostracized in the community because they were white folks trying to help black folks. And they would tell us I'm here to sacrifice to try to help you. And when you get in the position, you gon' try to help somebody else.

Earl Neal

For three generations the name Neal has been a benchmark of commitment, integrity and extreme professionalism. Earl Langdon Neal stands as one of the most respected attorneys on the Chicago legal scene. The son of Chicago attorney Earl James Neal, Earl Langdon Neal was born in Chicago on April 16, 1928. He received his B.A. from the University of Illinois in 1949, and his J.D. from Michigan Law School in 1952.

Following his graduation from law school, Neal served briefly in the United States Army. In 1955, he joined his father's law firm, Neal & Neal. Their first trial together took them to Lincoln, Illinois. The two were forced to commute from Chicago because Lincoln, nearly one hundred and seventy miles away, had no hotels that would admit African Americans. In 1960, Neal began working with the Chicago city government. That year Neal was appointed assistant Corporation Counsel and worked closely with the Bureau of Engineering in acquiring land for the Dan Ryan and Kennedy rapid transit extension projects. He also served as trial lawyer for the Land Acquisition Division and the Land Clearance Committee. In 1962, Neal accepted the responsibility as principal of his father's law firm after his father was appointed judge. In 1968, he formed his own firm, Earl L. Neal and Associates and continued to handle trial work for the city of Chicago and other public agencies.

In 1975, Neal was elected President of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. His election made him the first ever African American trustee in the United States. While serving his twelve-year tenure, he helped to guide debates over issues of minority medical school recruitment and the provision of health services to the surrounding community. He was also instrumental in launching land acquisition and development of the University of Illinois Circle Campus. In 1995, Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Neal chair of the Chicago/Gary Regional Airport Authority. As chair, Neal concentrated his efforts in support of an economic and strategic solution to the growing aviation transport demands on the region.

Earl Langdon Neal was the recipient of a host of honors and awards, including the Robert S. Abbott Memorial Award; the Justice John Paul Stevens Award; and the Defender of Justice Award. His community work included membership in the Chicago Urban League, the NAACP, and co-chairmanship of the Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science. He resided in Chicago with his wife, Isobel. Their son, Langdon Neal, is an attorney.

Neal passed away on February 13, 2005.

Accession Number

A2002.085

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/30/2002

Last Name

Neal

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Langdon

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Earl

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

NEA01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Kiawah, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

4/16/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Death Date

2/13/2005

Short Description

Trial lawyer Earl Neal (1928 - 2005 ) was assistant corporation council for the city of Chicago before forming his own firm. Neal was president of University of Illinois Board of Trustees and chair of Chicago/Gary Regional Airport Authority.

Employment

Neal & Neal

City of Chicago

Chicago Land Clearance Commission

Earl L. Neal and Associates

University of Illinois Board of Trustees

Chicago/Gary Regional Airport Authority

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Earl Neal narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Earl Neal narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Slating of Earl Neal's interview

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Neal Earl lists his favorites

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Earl Neal describes his mother and his mother's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Earl Neal describes his father and his father's background

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Earl Neal describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Earl Neal talks about his Native American relatives

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Earl Neal describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Earl Neal describes the sights, smells, and sounds of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Earl Neal talks about his family life growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Earl Neal describes himself as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Earl Neal talks about gang violence in his neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Earl Neal describes his childhood neighborhood of Hyde Park in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Earl Neal talks about his father's attending law school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Earl Neal talks about attending the Eighth Church of Christ Scientist in Bronzeville in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Earl Neal describes his father's legal representation of U.S. Congressmen William Dawson and Ralph Metcalfe

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Earl Neal talks about his experiences as a student at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Earl Neal talks about his parents' and teachers' influence as a student at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Earl Neal talks about working with Chicago politicians Alderman Kenneth Campbell and U.S. Congressmen William L. Dawson

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Earl Neal talks about experiencing discrimination while attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1945 to 1949

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Earl Neal talks about the relationships he formed with other black students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Earl Neal talks about his experience at the University of Michigan Law School from 1949 to 1952

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Earl Neal talks about being drafted into the U.S. Army after graduating from the University of Michigan Law School in 1952

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Earl Neal talks about being stationed in Orleans, France in the U.S. Army in 1953

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Earl Neal talks about becoming a lawyer in Chicago, Illinois, after being discharged from the U.S. Army in 1955

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Earl Neal describes working for the Land Acquisition Division and Land Clearance Committee in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Earl Neal talks about representing the interests of various departments in the City of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Earl Neal describes his relationship with Chicago, Illinois Mayor Richard J. Daley

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Earl Neal talks about representing the City of Chicago, Illinois during HistoryMaker's Renault Robinson's discrimination case in 1976

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Earl Neal talks about what his father's and his wife's, HistoryMaker Isobel Neal, views of his work for the City of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Earl Neal talks about how representing the City of Chicago in HistoryMaker Renault Robinson's discrimination case affected his career

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Earl Neal describes his move from employee to contract worker for the City of Chicago's Corporate Counsel's office

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Earl Neal talks about the opportunities for African Americans in the corporate world in the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Earl Neal talks about being elected as Chairman of the Board of First Federal Savings and Loan in 1983

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Earl Neal talks about Mayor of Chicago, Illinois, Harold Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Earl Neal describes his experience as Chairman of the Chicago Housing Authority in 1982

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Earl Neal talks about serving as President of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1975

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Earl Neal talks about his tenure as president of the Board of Trustees at the University of Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Earl Neal talks about what he learned serving as Chairman of the Board of First Federal Savings and Loan in 1983

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Earl Neal reflects on his father's advice

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Earl Neal describes his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Earl Neal reflects on his contributions to the black community

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Earl Neal reflects on the difficulties of the legal profession

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Earl Neal talks about the business of the legal profession

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ealr Neal describes how he wants to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Earl Neal reflects on his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

3$6

DATitle
Earl Neal describes working for the Land Acquisition Division and Land Clearance Committee in Chicago, Illinois
Earl Neal talks about representing the City of Chicago, Illinois during HistoryMaker's Renault Robinson's discrimination case in 1976
Transcript
Well, I want to--I hate to do this, but I want to because I would like to--for people to understand the significance of some things and I'd like to go back to the [Chicago, Illinois] Land Clearance Commission, just for a second. And, you know, these, both Lake Meadows [Chicago, Illinois] and Prairie-$$Prairie Shores [Chicago, Illinois]-$$Prairie Shores [Chicago, Illinois], those were very significant projects.$$Yes.$$And so I'd like for you to just create a context of what was happening and who were the significant people working on that project, you know-$$Yes.$$--all sides and it was some-$$With Lake Meadows [Chicago, Illinois public housing], it was very interesting. We were acquiring the land, which was to be purchased and sold to New York Life Insurance Company for development, which is now, of course, the real stable point of middle income, black America, living in it. But we had to buy the property which were then slum-invited property. The concept was--it was probably in 1945, there had been a [U.S.] Supreme Court ruling, Parker, I can't think of the first name, Berman v. Parker [1954], which said that you could acquire the land to clear a slum was a public purpose and was building on that and that was the theory. But we took cases to the [U.S.] Supreme Court, we were challenged by a black law firm, named Braden and--Barnes and Braden, who owned property in the area, and they challenged us and we tried those cases and we went to the Supreme Court and we managed to be successful. And then we acquired the land immediately south of that for the Prairie Shores [Chicago, Illinois public housing] development and almost all of that was land acquisition. In those days they were all juried trials. They moved rather quickly. So I tried, I would say ten to twelve jury trials a year, which was, as you know, is an enormous amount. Even our prove-ups were with the jury in those days because they said you--just compensation had to be determined by a jury and they didn't think you could waive a jury and it's changed since then, of course. And then from there we moved over to the University of Illinois [at Chicago] which had a great controversy and none of these things were without a lot of controversy and a lot of things that you were accused of being "Uncle Tom", this sort of thing. But we did then the University of Illinois at Circle Campus [Chicago, Illinois]. By then you didn't have a black versus white, you had the Florence [Italy] scholar, or Italians, claiming they were moved out of a neighborhood and we handled that during that period of time, with a couple of other lawyers, so I was probably number two or something of the sort. The other things that have occurred during that--yes--$$Just one thing, though. These were mainly eminent domain? Were they eminent domain-$$Eminent Domain.$$--cases?$$They were all condemnation, eminent domain, the right of a public body to take property for a public purpose. And from that developed a lot of other things that we did.$But let's--can we talk about what led up to [HM] Renault [Robinson]'s case, you know, what were the circumstances? Okay-$$Yes, yes, I'm sorry I assumed that. Police first--there was a lack of hiring of African Americans in the [Chicago, Illinois] police department and he thought the method of weeding out, or finding them unqualified was not appropriate for several reasons, one, the physical examination, which I alluded to before was prejudice and secondly where the written examinations that they thought were not appropriate to measure. And they filed--and the federal government came in and questioned the method of hiring because the percentages of African Americans were so out of kilter with the percentage of persons who applied or who were eligible Afro-Americans in the community. The [U.S.] Justice Department began to make inquiry in those areas and there was a change in the Civil Rights Act [1964] which made it apply to the City of Chicago [Illinois], or municipalities. And all of that brought about the--the standing shall we say, or the cause of action that was appropriate in the federal court. And the [U.S.] Justice Department started, and [HM] Renault Robinson joined, and Renault was represented by a very very fine lawyer in the firm of Kirkland and Ellis [Washington D.C.], who donated their time to do that. And Louie had become very good friends, of course. But during that period of time, I was hired to represent the City [Chicago, Illinois] which was very very difficult for me. But, as it worked out, during the period of time that I began to talk and chat with Mayor [Richard J.] Daley, he began to understand that there had to be a change and he actually advised me, encouraged me and supported me, in many of the compromises that I advanced in court, although I have never said that, nor would I say it politically.$$But you--so really, 'cause a lot of people when they look at lawyering, they look, you know, at trial cases-$$Yes.$$And there's another part of lawyering that is-$$Yes.$$--really compromised and sort of strategic position-$$Exactly.$$--and things like that.$$Exactly.$$And so what you're really addressing here is that part of that.$$That part of the role and I would say that my relationship with Mayor [Richard J.] Daley helped to advance the cause of the [HM] Renault Robinsons and their cause because he began to understand, when we would talk about these issues, that we had to find some kind of a compromise and, in fact, indeed we did. So that in the end result, I feel very good about it but at the time it was awful hard to do it because of the criticism that you got from the black community of being the quote, "Uncle Tom".