The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon

Search Results

Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

city

James Shoffner

Organic chemist James Shoffner was born on January 14, 1928 and raised on a rural plantation in New Madrid, Missouri. Shoffner's segregated school was open only five months a year; the rest of the time was reserved for growing cotton. He transferred to a boarding school in Kansas City, Missouri where he was first introduced to chemistry and biology. However, Shoffner still had to help in the cotton fields and school for him did not begin until late November. He attended Lincoln University for a year before joining the United States Army, where he earned tuition benefits through the G.I. Bill. After completing his military service, Shoffner returned to college and received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Lincoln University in 1951.

Following graduation, Shoffner worked at the United States Post Office before returning to school and earning his M.S. degree in organic chemistry from DePaul University. Schoffner worked at a local paint company before being hired as a carbohydrate researcher at Corn Products International. After six years, Shoffner returned to graduate school to pursue his doctoral degree in organic chemistry at the University of Illinois, Chicago. After receiving his Ph.D. degree in 1965, Shoffner joined Universal Oil Products Company (UOP) where he would spend the next thirty-six years working in petroleum chemistry, specifically studying NMR spectroscopy and additives for plastics. Shoffner started a second career with the American Chemical Society (ACS) becoming active in the Division of Petroleum Chemistry. He held a series of positions in ACS' Chicago Section including serving as a board member and co-chair of Project SEED, a program to help disadvantaged students pursue a career in chemistry. He became a councilor of the ACS in 1974. In 1993, Shoffner retired from Universal Oil Products and joined Columbia College in Chicago as a science professor and science education consultant. In 2006, Shoffner organized the American Chemical Society conference honoring the famed chemist, Percy L. Julian. He was also instrumental in the development and served as a consultant for the 2007 PBS NOVA program, Forgotten Genius , about the life of Percy L. Julian.

James Shoffner has been active with the American Chemical Society for over forty years and received his thirty-year councilor plaque in 2005. Shoffner was awarded the ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences and the Henry Hill Award. Shoffner lives in Elk Grove, Illinois.

James P. Shoffner was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 18, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.116

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/18/2012

Last Name

Shoffner

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Lincoln University

DePaul University

University of Illinois at Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

New Madrid

HM ID

SHO02

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

San Diego, California, San Francisco, California, New York City, New York

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/14/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chitterlings

Short Description

Organic chemist James Shoffner (1928 - ) worked as a research chemist at Universal Oil Products and has dedicated over forty years of service to the American Chemical Society including serving on the national board of directors.

Employment

United States Postal Service

Corn Products International

Universal Oil Products

Columbia College

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Timing Pairs
0,0:6499,103:30180,304:30605,311:41704,450:52810,544:58130,625:67565,736:80157,882:80562,888:83883,930:101093,1156:105282,1232:105850,1242:120560,1384:128530,1449:129270,1460:132674,1516:139408,1630:147454,1708:149896,1756:163300,1863:166920,1871:170160,1911:170608,1919:171120,1941:203940,2214:217048,2371:218561,2403:220697,2473:223278,2524:223990,2533:232180,2570:238712,2597:239024,2603:239336,2608:239648,2613:256386,2795:274380,2991:274968,3000:275556,3008:280008,3114:282192,3152:293302,3285:293876,3293:300436,3414:314914,3595:317202,3624:317642,3630:333937,3766:341690,3833$0,0:7854,71:18306,138:47732,479:48202,485:49142,501:57910,567:72290,658:73330,669:77622,718:78374,728:79784,737:81570,759:84610,770:91544,831:92318,842:110284,1057:110740,1065:111196,1072:113096,1103:113628,1112:114084,1120:122064,1240:122824,1255:128244,1288:133305,1332:133900,1342:155410,1447:155674,1453:157060,1474:157324,1479:158248,1497:158578,1503:163478,1552:180292,1760:180687,1766:181793,1780:185664,1835:189296,1859:191360,1867:192530,1889:192920,1897:193765,1914:194545,1929:198460,1960:200990,1985:201430,1990:202750,2003:206540,2038:208002,2058:240495,2407:242875,2435:254770,2565:259620,2640:262045,2655:268360,2700:269710,2719:271960,2759:278422,2808:280060,2832
DAStories

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

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Shoffner talks about his mother's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Shoffner describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Shoffner talks about his father

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Shoffner describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Shoffner describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Shoffner talks about the seismic activity of New Madrid, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Shoffner talks about his siblings and his childhood home in New Madrid, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Shoffner describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Shoffner talks about growing up in the church

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Shoffner talks about working in the fields

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James Shoffner talks about his elementary school experience, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Shoffner talks about his elementary school experience, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Shoffner talks about listening to radio during his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Shoffner talks about his high school experience, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Shoffner remembers his introduction into chemistry

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Shoffner talks about his decision to attend Lincoln University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Shoffner talks about his peers and his experience at Lincoln University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Shoffner talks about his studies at Lincoln University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Shoffner talks about his experience serving in the Army, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Shoffner talks about his experience serving in the Army, part 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Shoffner talks about his mentor, Dr. Monty Taylor

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Shoffner reflects on his aspirations to be a medical doctor

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Shoffner talks about his graduate school pursuits and how he met his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Shoffner talks about his work at Corn Products Refining Company

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Shoffner considers the health concerns of corn by-products

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Shoffner talks about his decision to pursue his Ph.D. and his experience at Johnsteen Paint and Varnish Company

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Shoffner talks about his dissertation on the structure of pyridinium compounds

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Shoffner talks about meeting Percy Julian

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Shoffner talks about Percy Julian's scientific contributions and NOBCChE

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Shoffner talks about his decision to join Universal Oil Products

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Shoffner talks about Project SEED

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Shoffner talks about his patents, part 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Shoffner talks about his appointment as Councillor to the American Chemical Society

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Shoffner talks about his patents, part 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Shoffner talks about his professional affiliations and black scientific organizations

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Shoffner reflects on his career at Universal Oil Products

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Shoffner talks about the nation's discourse about science policy and education in the U.S.

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James Shoffner talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James Shoffner talks about teaching at Columbia College

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - James Shoffner talks about the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - James Shoffner reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - James Shoffner talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - James Shoffner talks how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

1$4

DATitle
James Shoffner talks about his work at Corn Products Refining Company
James Shoffner talks about his patents, part 1
Transcript
Alright, so you lived in Lawndale [Illinois] and had to commute to Argo, Illinois working for the corn starch. What kinds of products were you all trying to form from, I mean from corn starch?$$Okay, well, I did a lot of work with dextrose or glucose. We were trying to, they were trying to make glucose into a commercial product beyond, beyond just selling it as Dextrose. You can still, you know, go to the drugstore, and--I guess you can, and buy dextrose, you know. That's just a simple sugar, and it's not as sweet as sucrose which is the table sugar that we, cooking sugar that we use. But dextrose is a product which, which they made and still do I guess, and sell, but they sold it as dextrose. And it, you know, it wasn't that much of a market because it's not sweet enough to be a substitute for, for table sugar. And, of course, there had always, there had been attempts going back a hundred years, 200 years to try to convert glucose to fructose and everybody tries a little bit of that. But they're still doing it with not too much success. It's only going to go so far, and it'll stop, and you'll get a, what's sort of an equilibrium mixture with a whole lot of other stuff in it. So you can't make a saleable product trying to convert glucose to fructose. But everybody tries it at some time or another so I did a little bit of that. And we also did some, some glucose reduction, and not--and that's probably still done and sold as a commercial product. Out of that, you get Sorbitol, that's the main reduction product you get from glucose. And so everybody gets, gets introduced to that.$$Now, what is, I'm sorry. What is Sorbitol used for?$$Huh?$$What is Sorbitol used for?$$Oh, you know, I don't know what the big use is for it now. It's used in some formulations, some--you know, I really don't know what they--I don't recall it. It used to be used in cigarettes to a certain extent, certain tobacco products used to put, used to have a little Sorbitol in them. But it's been a long time since I followed up on, on what the sugars are, or what sugars like sorbitol are used for. But if, if you look on some--I, I don't recall now. It's been too long ago (laughter). But, you know, we did little work on that, on reducing sugars and reducing starches and things like that. And I did some work on caramel products. I worked on caramel for a while.$$Now, this is caramel that you put on popcorn here in Chicago [Illinois] and that sort of thing?$$Huh?$$The same caramel we put on popcorn?$$It might be. It's slightly different probably. Carmel is a very complex product, and so we were, they were making it at that time and selling it, I suppose. I think they were selling the product that Coca-Cola uses for coloring.$$Okay.$$And that's one of the ways in which it's used. So I worked on that for a couple of years and did, did I think, you know, some very fine work on it. They were very sorry to see me leave because I was, I had, I had begun to, to break caramel down to find out exactly what was in it. It's a mass of stuff in it (laughter), but they don't, they don't use much of it. You can take a drop of caramel and cover, and color, you know, a barrel of Coca-Cola with it. So.$$So this is caramel coloring then--$$Um-hum.$$--primarily, right?$$Huh?$$This is caramel coloring you're talking about?$$Yeah, right. And they put it in a lot of, a lot of different products. And, and so I did work on that, and find, I found out some of the products that were in there. There's a million in there, but we were just, I wasn't going to discover all of 'em, but I had, for the first time, I think, for the first time laid out what the, what the, what it looked like, what the products looked like in terms of a chromatographic exposure. And we had found out just that it was, it was just a monstrous number of them.$In 1972, you had an important, a product, I mean process patented, the manufacture of n-2-arylthiazole [sulfonamides] (laughter), I don't know if I can say it. But can you help me out here. What are we talking about?$$Oh, I think that's when I was doing some work on rubber at that time, rubber accelerators and it's part of the vulcanization process. UOP [Universal Oil Products], although its main business has been the development of oil, of oil products and methods for, for their production, you know, it's always been big in developing catalyst that could make gasoline, for example or some kind of petroleum products. But it's also been active in, in developing materials for other purposes. And so there are a number of areas of organic synthesis and production that UOP has contributed toward. You know, you just can't be focused on doing one thing. If you do, you're liable to find yourself out of business. And so UOP has always been a company, and I'm saying UOP now because that's what I'm most familiar with, and although it's a part of, of a bigger, larger corporation now, particularly, when you take me back to 1972, it's, it's UOP then. It's all UOP. That's what I was, that was the company that I was hired by, and I was working for at that time. And I was doing some, some good synthesis at that time, and good, very good process work at that time. And so, these, these compounds were good accelerators for rubber. Now, as you know, when you make, well, they were accelerators which prevented scorch. It might be called anti-scorch products. And you could, you could vulcanize the rubber if you're making tires or whatever you were doing. You were, you were curing, curing the rubber and you'd have to use various curing agents. And these, these materials, by having what we would call aromatic amines as a part of them, could cure rubber without causing it to undergo what we call scorch, and therefore, you would get tires which would be much more structured--be more structurally sound and would last longer if you would use materials that are anti-scorch agents. And one of the reasons that rubber products undergo what's called starch is that--scorch, is that you usually have to cure them, cure the rubber with protective agents. And so these protective agents are usually amines. And those amines, although you know you need them in there, particularly, the phenylene diamine and aromatic a-mean derivatives that you, that you have in there. You know you need them in there as antioxidants and anti--and, and anti- [?] but you don't want their scorch. You don't want it to scorch. So if you put in an accelerator which slows it down, you can inhibit some of the scorch and therefore, get the kind of structural build up in the tire that you want to have. And that will cause it to last a whole lot longer.

Jorja Palmer

Consummate community activist and people's strategist Jorja English Palmer was born Jorja Williams on June 16, 1930 in New Madrid, Missouri. Her parents, Elizabeth and Frank Williams, moved Palmer and her seven siblings to Chicago in 1933. Palmer attended Forestville Elementary, graduated from DuSable High School in 1948 and attended Woodrow Wilson Junior College (Kennedy-King College).

Keenly interested in history as a youth, Palmer was a voracious reader who loved to discuss local and international issues. As a young mother, she was drawn to neighborhood meetings and by 1960 she was head of the West Chatham Improvement Organization Education Committee and sent by that body to the newly formed Chicago Community Council Organization (CCCO). The CCCO's issue was the elimination of the "Willis Wagons," portable trailers authorized by school superintendent Benjamin Willis that supplanted new school construction in Chicago's overcrowded segregated black neighborhoods. Palmer was an important leader in the CCCO's historic school boycott, in which 80 percent of black families kept their children out of school. In the 70s, she engaged in the fight for an African American School Board President for the Chicago Public Schools. Palmer made history as a delegate to the National Black Political Assembly in Gary, Indiana. She also joined with Thomas Todd, Lu Palmer and Congressman Ralph Metcalfe in the formation of the Black Crime Commission to combat police brutality.

In 1976, she married journalist and political pundit Lu Palmer. Together, they were determined to fight the status quo. In the 80s, Lu and Jorja made a move for real community power when they convened "Toward A Black Mayor" at Malcolm X College in 1981. It was Jorja Palmer who came up with the process for selecting a black mayoral candidate. The Palmers launched the largest voter registration drive in U. S. history, solidifying a core constituency of black voters that persuaded Harold Washington to run for Mayor of the City of Chicago. On October 22, 1992, Palmer established the Stanford English Home for Boys, the first group home for African American children in Illinois, named for her later autistic son. Palmer lived with her husband on Chicago's south side until her death on December 29, 2005.

Accession Number

A2002.086

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/24/2002

Last Name

Palmer

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

English

Occupation
Schools

Carter G. Woodson South Elementary School

Du Sable Leadership Academy

Kennedy–King College

Forrestville Elementary School

University of Illinois at Chicago

First Name

Jorja

Birth City, State, Country

New Madrid

HM ID

PAL04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Orleans, Louisiana, Toronto, Canada

Favorite Quote

What Goes Around, Comes Around.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/16/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Watermelon

Death Date

12/29/2005

Short Description

Community activist Jorja Palmer (1930 - 2005 ) is the founder of the first group home for African American children in Illinois as well as a delegate to the National Black Political Assembly and a founding member of the Black Crime Commission.

Employment

Stanford English Home for Boys

West Chatham Improvement Organization Education Committee

Favorite Color

Orange

Timing Pairs
0,0:17610,264:17960,271:18310,277:19360,298:20060,318:22720,399:23000,404:25800,462:26150,468:40500,631:47075,731:47725,743:48050,749:48310,754:61192,888:65708,935:66138,941:66654,948:72444,1008:87470,1234:106124,1469:106718,1476:107114,1481:108840,1486$0,0:12583,191:30198,424:31439,453:36430,473:38606,518:39082,526:39762,537:45140,682:70553,952:82436,1125:92978,1250:93413,1256:94718,1279:110540,1496:113927,1554:116204,1583:116738,1590:143756,1909:144308,1917:152038,1994:159966,2085:163218,2120:170956,2253:172236,2284:178440,2366:181750,2410
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jorja Palmer's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jorja Palmer lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jorja Palmer shares family stories

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jorja Palmer describes why some of her family members fled from the South to the North

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jorja Palmer talks about her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jorja Palmer describes the deaths of each of her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jorja Palmer describes her paternal family's educational philosophy

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jorja Palmer describes what she learned from her maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jorja Palmer describes her maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jorja Palmer describes her family origins

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jorja Palmer talks about her extended family that lived in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Jorja Palmer describes growing up on welfare in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Jorja Palmer talks about having enough to eat as a child, despite being poor

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jorja Palmer talks about grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jorja Palmer talks about excelling in grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jorja Palmer talks about her love of reading as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jorja Palmer talks about her brother's gang involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jorja Palmer describes South Side Chicago's gang culture during the 1940s

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jorja Palmer describes her childhood community in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jorja Palmer talks about restrictive covenants in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jorja Palmer talks about the community organizing she witnessed as a youth in the 1940s

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jorja Palmer reflects upon the tragedies of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Jorja Palmer describes her experiences attending DuSable High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jorja Palmer describes working with Walter Henri Dyett as a student at DuSable High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jorja Palmer talks about the newspaper she started at DuSable High School, the DuSable Dial

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jorja Palmer describes her experiences attending DuSable High School during World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jorja Palmer describes how the teachers at DuSable High School influenced her

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jorja Palmer talks about the French Literature she studied as a student at DuSable High School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jorja Palmer describes her career aspirations as a student at the University of Illinois-Navy Pier

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jorja Palmer talks about getting married and having children

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jorja Palmer describes the Chicago Public School overcrowding issues of the early 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jorja Palmer talks about becoming involved with the PTA as a vehicle to organize against Chicago school overcrowding in the 1950s, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Jorja Palmer talks about becoming involved with the PTA as a vehicle to organize against Chicago school overcrowding in the 1950s, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Jorja Palmer describes how the Chicago Public Schools boycott was conceptualized

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Jorja Palmer describes organizing the Chicago Public Schools boycott of the 1960s, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Jorja Palmer describes organizing the Chicago Public Schools boycott of the 1960s, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jorja Palmer describes how she learned to organize and her organizing strategies for the Chicago Public Schools boycott of 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jorja Palmer describes what caused the Chicago Community Council Organization and other organizing groups to boycott Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jorja Palmer describes the organizing strategies for the West Side and South Side of Chicago for the 1963 boycott of the Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jorja Palmer describes the Chicago Public Schools boycott of 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jorja Palmer describes how Dr. James Redmond was pressured to revoke Chicago's neighborhood school policy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jorja Palmer talks about chairing the education committee for the first National Black Power Conference in 1967

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jorja Palmer describes working with Anderson Thompson and HistoryMaker Harold Pates to start the Black Communiversity

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jorja Palmer describes her philosophy on success and education

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jorja Palmer talks about the Chicago Community Council Organization meeting with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Jorja Palmer describes how the Chicago Community Council Organization's focus shifted from education to fair and equal housing

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Jorja Palmer describes the Chicago Community Council Organization's organization strategies for fair and equal housing

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Jorja Palmer describes how white block clubs responded to the Chicago Community Council Organization's fight for fair and equal housing

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jorja Palmer describes the violent opposition marchers faced in the fight for fair and equal housing in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jorja Palmer describes the violent opposition marchers faced in the fight for fair and equal housing in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jorja Palmer describes the violent opposition marchers faced in the fight for fair and equal housing in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 3

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jorja Palmer describes how white supporters reacted to the violence black marchers faced during a 1966 march for fair and equal housing

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jorja Palmer talks about the protests that took place during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jorja Palmer remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jorja Palmer recalls the early stages of the riots following the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jorja Palmer talks about the Community Action Training Program

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Jorja Palmer talks about working with sex workers through the Community Action Training Program

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Jorja Palmer talks about teaching classes on police corruption through the Community Action Training Program

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Jorja Palmer recalls the riots that followed the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Jorja Palmer recalls the riots that followed the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jorja Palmer shares her thoughts about the Center for Black Strategy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jorja Palmer talks about the Black Communiversity

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jorja Palmer describes the National Black Political Assembly

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jorja Palmer describes how she developed her relationship with her second husband, HistoryMaker Lu Palmer

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jorja Palmer talks about calling for a "white curfew" after the murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jorja Palmer talks about HistoryMaker C.T. Vivian announcing the "white curfew" order in 1969

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jorja Palmer talks about writing the "white curfew" order with HistoryMaker Lu Palmer

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jorja Palmer describes the philosophy behind the "white curfew" order, and why it was not successful

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Jorja Palmer describes an incident where she and her girlfriends were profiled by the police

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Jorja Palmer talks about how people of different cultures are infiltrating business districts in black communities, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Jorja Palmer talks about how people of different cultures are infiltrating business districts in black communities, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jorja Palmer talks about growing old with her husband, HistoryMaker Lu Palmer

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jorja Palmer describes how the Women's Auxiliary of the Lu Palmer Foundation organized the plebiscite to elect a black mayor of Chicago

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jorja Palmer lists individuals on the plebiscite to elect a black mayor of Chicago

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jorja Palmer describes public response to the plebiscite to elect a black mayor of Chicago

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jorja Palmer describes the results of the plebiscite to elect a black mayor of Chicago

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jorja Palmer describes what was taught in political education classes during the campaign to elect Mayor Harold Washington, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jorja Palmer describes what was taught in political education classes during the campaign to elect Mayor Harold Washington, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Jorja Palmer describes the strategies used to select and de-select candidates for the Democratic Party

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Jorja Palmer describes how students in the political education classes she led were assigned to organize in predominately black wards

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Jorja Palmer describes the organizing strategies she employed during the campaign to elect Harold Washington Mayor of Chicago

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Jorja Palmer describes how public relations strategies aided the campaign to elect Harold Washington Mayor of Chicago

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Jorja Palmer describes the rally she organized in support of Harold Washington's campaign for Mayor of Chicago

Tape: 7 Story: 13 - Jorja Palmer describes election day during Harold Washington's campaign for Mayor of Chicago

Tape: 7 Story: 14 - Jorja Palmer reflects upon the contributions she and her husband, HistoryMaker Lu Palmer, made to Mayor Harold Washington's election campaign

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$7

DAStory

3$13

DATitle
Jorja Palmer describes the violent opposition marchers faced in the fight for fair and equal housing in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 3
Jorja Palmer describes election day during Harold Washington's campaign for Mayor of Chicago
Transcript
And one nun turned around and asked one of the gang leaders that Bevel [Reverend James Bevel, HM] had taken on the marches with us to pick me up and they carried me all the way back to the church in their arms. But by that time we were nearing Ashland Avenue and it's a funny thing, we talk about being in integrated communities. And we were so glad we were getting near Ashland Avenue, we didn't know what to do because Ashland Avenue would be the end of the white community and the beginning of us. And just as darkness was falling they brought up the guns then they started standing on the top of all them stores all the way down to Damen and started shooting at us. And the bullets would go whizzing by us into store front windows and stuff like that. And that's when Bevel lifted his cane up in the air and showed us there is Ashland Avenue and we ran for it. And we could see Ashland, we could see hundreds and hundreds of black people standing on their porches and back porches with weapons and things in their hands as if to say come on across. And the white people as soon as they saw that up ahead, soon as we got to about ten or twelve feet of Ashland Avenue corner itself, they turned around. It was just amazing, just gone. They left us and we were saved by a street. We got back into the church and started trying to regroup.$$Did anybody get shot?$$Hmm?$$Did anyone get shot?$$Not get shot to get hurt and killed. A lot of them got grazed and things like that.$And by February it was escalating and all of a sudden, Lu Palmer [Lutrelle "Lu" F. Palmer, HM] cut about twenty-four tapes to put on sound trucks. Reverend Jesse Jackson [HM] got on flatbed trucks and started riding through the communities. And as Jesse would ride through the corners and we had advanced people going ahead and saying Reverend Jackson will be at the corner of Madison and such and such a thing. Reverend Jackson will be at Adams and this. Then at WJPC which is the black radio station from out of Johnson Publishing Company, a boy up there cut tapes and had Lu Palmer's voice on it with an overlay of music like what is it, Curtis--this thing, We're a Winner. What's his name?$$Curtis Mayfield [Curtis Lee Mayfield].$$Mayfield, We're a Winner. And it said, this is Lu Palmer and so, and the people started running to their windows. And then on the morning of the election Dr. Andrew Thomas who was very active in that movement, he's dead now. And he paid this boy up at JPC [WJPC] to cut other tapes and brought them by our house and on those tapes in those morning, twenty-four sound trucks hit the streets and had, All things are ready. Come to the feast. And Precious Lord, take my hand and all that. And then when the black people heard these old black Christian songs and said this is Lu Palmer. If you hear my voice, you must come out and vote. This is Lu Palmer come to the window. If you hear my voice, you must come out and vote. People didn't understand that Lu couldn't be on but one of the trucks. They could just hear that voice and the people responded. So by the time the polls closed the last thing I saw and I broke down and started crying, was a man so old that walked up to our place which was a voting booth and said to one of our worker's daughter, where can I go to vote for that boy. Help me. And Brenda Lett helped him in to vote for that boy. And then we went home and went to bed. It was raining and I told Lu that I am not going down there to that crowd cause if Harold doesn't win, they're going to through the City of Chicago into Lake Michigan. If he does win, it's going to be the greatest stomping thing. And honestly when I was saying that after the polls closed, all of a sudden cars were parking all up in my street at 37th till the outer drive and everyplace else near me became a gigantic parking lot. You couldn't get to McCormick.