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Dabney N. Montgomery

Tuskegee Airman Dabney N. Montgomery was born on April 18, 1923 in Selma, Alabama to Lula Anderson Montgomery and Dred Montgomery. He attended the Alabama Lutheran Academy and then Selma University High School, graduating in 1941. After high school, he joined the U.S. Army and was sent for basic training at Keesler Field in Biloxi, Mississippi. After that, Montgomery was sent to Quartermaster Training School at Camp Lee, Virginia (outside of Petersburg), where he received special training in supplies.

In 1943, Montgomery of the 1051st Quartermaster Company of the 96th Air Service Group, attached to the 332nd Air Fighter Group was deployed to Italy. He served there until the end of World War II. In 1946, after returning to the United States, Montgomery entered Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina. Montgomery became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and graduated with his B.A. degree in religious education in 1949. Between 1949 and 1950, he returned to Livingstone College and acquired thirty hours in economic study. He briefly studied economics at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University before going to Boston, Massachusetts, where he enrolled at the Boston Conservatory of Music, studying dance. Montgomery later studied dance with the New York City Metropolitan Opera Dance School before an injury forced him to end his career. In 1955, he began working for the city, first as a Social Service Investigator in the Department of Social Services and later for the Housing Authority. He retired in 1988.

Montgomery passed away on September 3, 2016.

Montgomery was heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement. He participated in marches in New York City and in the 1963 March on Washington. In 1965, Montgomery was one of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s bodyguards on the historic Selma to Montgomery march.

Since his retirement, Montgomery has worked as a Social Outreach Worker for Project FIND, a non-profit organization assisting older adults on Manhattan’s West Side. Montgomery is also very active with Harlem’s Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, which is the oldest organized black church in New York, founded in 1796. Montgomery is also active on the Parks Committee and Harlem’s Interfaith Committee of the Tenth Community Board of Manhattan.

Montgomery has been married to his wife, Amelia Montgomery, for thirty-seven years (as of 2007). They have no children.

Montgomery was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 7, 2007.

Montgomery passed away on September 3, 2016.

Accession Number

A2007.226

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/7/2007 |and| 2/5/2008

Last Name

Montgomery

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

M.

Schools

Selma University

Concordia College Alabama

Livingstone College

Metropolitan Opera Ballet School

Boston Conservatory at Berklee

University of Michigan

Wayne State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Dabney

Birth City, State, Country

Selma

HM ID

MON06

Favorite Season

None

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Los Angeles, California

Favorite Quote

If You Have A Problem, Look At Your Feet. You May Be Standing On The Solution.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/18/1923

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweet Potatoes, Greens (Collard)

Death Date

9/3/2016

Short Description

City government employee, tuskegee airman, and civil rights activist Dabney N. Montgomery (1923 - 2016 ) was a social services investigator in the Department of Social Services and for the New York Housing Authority.

Employment

U.S. Army Air Corps

New York City Housing Authority

Amsterdam Welfare Center

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dabney N. Montgomery's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dabney N. Montgomery lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his mother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dabney N. Montgomery talks about his father's marriages

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his half-brother, Joe Montgomery

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dabney N. Montgomery talks about his father's standing in his career

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his brother, Mitchel Montgomery

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dabney N. Montgomery talks about his sister, Fairrow Belle Montgomery Prewitt, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dabney N. Montgomery talks about his sister, Fairrow Belle Montgomery Prewitt, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his two youngest siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers the Clinton Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls his mother's death

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers the holidays

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his neighborhood in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers the black community in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his home life

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers the Alabama Lutheran Academy in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls his leadership at the Clinton Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls attending high school at Selma University in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers the Clinton Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls his decision to study religion

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes race relations in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls being drafted during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his assignments in the U.S. Army Air Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers his colleagues in the U.S. Army Air Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his experiences on segregated trains

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers the formation of the 332nd Fighter Group

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers serving as a chaplain to the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dabney N. Montgomery talks about his friends among the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes the Claude B. Govan Tri-State Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers the treatment of black soldiers in Europe

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes the missions of the 332nd Fighter Group

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dabney N. Montgomery talks about the integration of the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dabney N. Montgomery talks about his Congressional Gold Medal

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes the end of World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls his return from the U.S. military to Selma, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers studying economics

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers studying ballet at the Boston Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dabney N. Montgomery talks about his brief engagement in Spain

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls his return from New York City to Selma, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his first civil rights protest in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers the impact of the Selma to Montgomery March

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dabney N. Montgomery narrates his photographs

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Dabney N. Montgomery's interview, session 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes the civil rights march on Washington, D.C. in 1957

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers Paul Robeson

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes the influence of Dean John H. Satterwhite

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers his father's friendship with A. Philip Randolph

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers the March on Washington

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dabney N. Montgomery talks about his decision to study economics

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his experiences as an economics student

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls his ballet training at the Boston Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Dabney N. Montgomery talks about his interest in black history

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers traveling in North Africa

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls reconnecting with his Spanish fiancee, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls reconnecting with his Spanish fiancee, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers receiving a vision of angels

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his travels in Egypt

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his acquaintance wiht Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his start as an activist in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers staying at a hotel in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls speaking at the Clinton Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls drinking from a white water fountain in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers his decision to join the second Selma to Montgomery March

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls his arrival at the second Selma to Montgomery March

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes the second Selma to Montgomery March

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls his sister's role in the Selma to Montgomery March

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Dabney N. Montgomery talks about the decision to remain nonviolent during the second Selma to Montgomery March

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Dabney N. Montgomery recalls his experiences during the second Selma to Montgomery March

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Dabney N. Montgomery reflects upon his life

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers the Harlem community in New York City

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes the changes in New York City's Harlem neighborhood

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Dabney N. Montgomery talks about the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion church

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Dabney N. Montgomery reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers joining the Tuskegee Airman, Inc.

Tape: 11 Story: 10 - Dabney N. Montgomery talks about his membership at the Mother Zion A.M.E. Church in New York City

Tape: 11 Story: 11 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers meeting his wife, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Dabney N. Montgomery remembers meeting his wife, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. organization

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Dabney N. Montgomery talks about his great-grandfather's U.S. military service

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Dabney N. Montgomery describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Dabney N. Montgomery shares his memorabilia from the Selma to Montgomery March

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$10

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Dabney N. Montgomery remembers serving as a chaplain to the Tuskegee Airmen
Dabney N. Montgomery recalls drinking from a white water fountain in Selma, Alabama
Transcript
You see, what we did [as part of the 1051st Quartermaster Service Group Aviation Company], were to supply food and clothing, and that was it. We, we didn't have--for example, a chaplain of 332nd [332nd Fighter Group; 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group], because we were--we dealt with food and clothing. We needed a warehouse made out of brick. And they put us in brick warehouses, and we worked out of these warehouses. We tried tents, but tents would not do it. So we worked out of a brick environment. And because we worked out of a brick environment, we were isolated from the airfield. They had to come to us, and the chaplain seldom came to us. So I started, you know what? A Sunday school class, and every Sunday morning I would have service through my Sunday school class. I kept up with it a little bit too. And the lieutenant came to me one day and said, "You know, we haven't had communion in a long time. Since you teach Sunday school here, can you give us communion?" Well, I thought about it. I'm not a preacher, and I had no authority to give communion, to bless communion. However, in an isolated situation where there is no preacher, and I'm the one teaching Sunday school, I think that I also have the authority to give communion if the men want it. And on those grounds, I'll give you communion. And for the first time in my life, I went out and bought wine, went out and bought wine. And I knew the rituals. I came back, had the cook to cook me some bread that was without salt, broke it up, and had prayer over this. And then I served it to them, and we had communion (laughter). Maybe they'll put me in jail for being a preacher without license (laughter).$I went to the bus station which was three blocks or more away from the church, Clinton Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church [Selma, Alabama]. It was closed, locked, I couldn't go in there, but there was a Carter drugstore [Carter Drug Co.] on Broad Street [Selma, Alabama] that a good number of young white men just hung out there and I said, "I'll go there and sit at the counter and ask for ice cream, a Coke [Coca-Cola] or something and wouldn't move." I went there and they were closed. Okay. They're closed, I'll go to the jailhouse, the police headquarters, and that's where I went, to the police headquarters and asked to speak to the police in charge. And he came out with two other police, and I told them, "Sir, my name is Dabney Montgomery [HistoryMaker Dabney N. Montgomery]. I had come here to break segregated laws because it's wrong and it is the will of God that these laws be erased." And there was a fountain for white people only, for color peopled only, another fountain, I went and drank out of that fountain for white people only. He stood right there and said, "This man must be crazy," (laughter). "Take him out." Two cops came, grabbed me by the arm and took me out. I landed on the curb of the street at the jail. That's all. To show you how dangerous this was when the King's [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] movement came to Selma [Alabama], two white men ate at a black restaurant two blocks from that jail and both of them were shot, one was killed.$$Two--$$One died from the wound. Two white men--$$Two white men ate at a black restaurant?$$At a black res--$$Okay.$$Two black from that jail and one was killed, the other received the shots. And I thought at the time that SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] was there. I went to a SNCC movement when King movement was there and they said, "Look, never go out alone and break a segregated law (unclear) and never go at night if you're with a group of people, don't go at night." And there I was at night and alone and the angels of the Lord protected me. Well, as I sat on that curb, a black fellow in an automobile came by and said, "What are you doing out here, son? You don't see people sitting on the curb at night, not in Selma. What can I do for you?" "You can take me home." "Where you live?" "Corner, corner of Green Street and 1st Avenue." So he took me in his car home. When we arrived in front of my house, I noticed a few cars parked out in front of the house and the lights on in the house. All those people in the church had gone to my father's house and told them that Dab is in town breaking segregated laws (laughter). I knocked on the door, my father [Dred Montgomery] came to the door, the old man. "There he is." He opened the door and fell on the knees. They had told him about the experience. "Son, whatever you do, don't do it again. They'll come out and burn the house down; they might kill you, they might kill--we don't know what will happen. Please, son," down on his knee. I never had seen my father on his knees before and he was a fireman for forty years on the Southern railroad [Southern Railway]. Strong man. And I listened to him, and the people all left and words got out that Dab was in town and he was mentally deranged, a little crazy. My father get in a car and he goes up to the police office and tell them that my son is World War II [WWII] veteran and he is shell shocked. He is in town now, don't pay him any attention because he's shell shocked. The police went, "Yeah, that boy was up here. We knew something was wrong with his brain." That's why, for that reason, they didn't whatever they had planned to do.

Reed Kimbrough

Reed D. Kimbrough is the Director of Diversity Programs and Community Relations for Cox Communications’ Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). Kimbrough manages employee development and training at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is the eldest of three children of retired United States army officer William Reed and Ernestine Willis Kimbrough. Born in Selma, Alabama, on February 27, 1951, Kimbrough spent his formative years between West Germany and the southern United States.

Upon his return to the United States, Kimbrough graduated from high school in Fort Knox, Kentucky and entered Eastern Kentucky University where he graduated with a degree in business administration. In his second year at Eastern, he was instrumental in starting the first chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He served in the United States Army and rose to the rank of captain with his primary duties in the 101st Airborne Division as a helicopter pilot. He is a retired Major of the U.S. Army Reserves.

Kimbrough joined the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in the news circulation department. He was promoted to the production department where he managed building services, shipping, receiving, packaging, distribution and management-level employee development. He currently holds the position as Director of Diversity Programs and Community Relations.

Kimbrough is active in various organizations including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peopled (NAACP), the National Association of Minority Media Executives (NAMME), the Celebrate Life Foundation, Hands on Atlanta, Habitat for Humanity, and the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the board of Men Stopping Violence and is a long term member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Kimbrough is married to Charlcye R. Kimbrough and is the father of Anthony M. Kimbrough.

Accession Number

A2005.248

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/23/2005

Last Name

Kimbrough

Maker Category
Middle Name

D.

Schools

Custer Elementary School

The Academy @ Shawnee

Nurnberg American High School

Fort Knox High School

Eastern Kentucky University

Vilseck Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Reed

Birth City, State, Country

Selma

HM ID

KIM01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Porto Fino, Italy

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

2/27/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Newspaper publishing executive Reed Kimbrough (1951 - ) was Community Relations Director and Director of Diversity Programs at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Employment

United State Army

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

United States Department of Commerce

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reed Kimbrough's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reed Kimbrough lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reed Kimbrough describes his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reed Kimbrough describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reed Kimbrough describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reed Kimbrough describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reed Kimbrough describes his father's parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reed Kimbrough describes his mother's ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reed Kimbrough recalls drawing a plantation scene during grade school

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reed Kimbrough describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reed Kimbrough describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reed Kimbrough lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Reed Kimbrough describes the circumstances of his birth in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reed Kimbrough talks about where his father was stationed

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reed Kimbrough describes his experiences in Wiesbaden, West Germany

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reed Kimbrough descries the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reed Kimbrough recalls the diverse occupants of his U.S. military housing complex in West Germany

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reed Kimbrough recalls moving to Fort Sill, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reed Kimbrough recalls summer vacations in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reed Kimbrough describes his paternal grandfather's land ownership and passing

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reed Kimbrough describes his experiences in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reed Kimbrough describes his experiences on the Fort Sill U.S. military base

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reed Kimbrough recalls his elementary school years in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reed Kimbrough describes his childhood road trips to Selma, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reed Kimbrough recalls living with his paternal grandmother in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reed Kimbrough describes Bad Nauheim Elementary School in Germany

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reed Kimbrough recalls his experience of racial discrimination in Germany

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reed Kimbrough recalls moving to California as a young teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reed Kimbrough remembers the Cuban Missile Crisis

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reed Kimbrough recalls attending Shawnee Junior High School in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reed Kimbrough recalls attending Nuremberg High School in Furth, Germany

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reed Kimbrough remembers Nuremberg American High School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reed Kimbrough remembers his extracurricular activities in Vilseck, Germany

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reed Kimbrough talks about the teachers at Nuremberg American High School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reed Kimbrough recalls singing songs by The Temptations on street corners

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reed Kimbrough remembers his military mentors and the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reed Kimbrough remembers the Vietnam War and moving back to the United States

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reed Kimbrough recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reed Kimbrough remembers attending Fort Knox High School in Kentucky

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reed Kimbrough describes his social activities in Fort Knox, Kentucky

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reed Kimbrough describes his influential teachers at Fort Knox High School

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reed Kimbrough recalls the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reed Kimbrough describes the unrest after Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reed Kimbrough recalls deciding whether to go to college or enlist

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reed Kimbrough recalls his rejection from the United States Air Force Academy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reed Kimbrough describes his decision to attend Eastern Kentucky University

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reed Kimbrough remembers his motivation to persevere in college

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reed Kimbrough describes his college experiences

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reed Kimbrough describes Eastern Kentucky University's Black Alumni Association

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reed Kimbrough remembers his most influential teachers

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reed Kimbrough talks about the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reed Kimbrough recalls returning to Selma, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reed Kimbrough recalls his marriage to Charlcye Ritchie Kimbrough

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reed Kimbrough recalls working for Atlanta's Federal Reserve Bank

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reed Kimbrough describes his career at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reed Kimbrough recalls attending a three-day leadership development program

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reed Kimbrough describes his volunteer work

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Reed Kimbrough explains why he agreed to share his story

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reed Kimbrough reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reed Kimbrough describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Reed Kimbrough describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Reed Kimbrough shares his message to young people

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Reed Kimbrough talks about the importance of history

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Reed Kimbrough reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Reed Kimbrough narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Reed Kimbrough narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

5$8

DATitle
Reed Kimbrough remembers his military mentors and the Vietnam War
Reed Kimbrough recalls attending a three-day leadership development program
Transcript
And our role models were, were the men that we saw around us, [U.S.] military guys, that were doing positive things, at least moving in a positive direction. Did they have their own issues? Yeah, they probably did but those are the folks that we saw that were making decisions. They were primarily enlisted guys but they were sen- by this time they were senior enlisted guys.$$Now were these, these role models that you're speaking of, the older guys, were they black or were they white?$$They were primarily black--$$Okay.$$--about this time and now I'm talking about, you know, when I was, when I was a sophomore and then further on. Most of the officers were white, even then. I'm sure--I know there were black officers but they just weren't at, at our installation. Our installation was a training installation. So, and this is about the time that Vietnam [Vietnam War] was really getting hot. I remember it being, poking fun at a vet [veteran]. There was a group of us leaving the movie [in Vilseck, Germany], about four or five of us teenagers leaving the movie, and we saw this guy who was obviously intoxicated coming up the road and, and so we started picking fun of him. That's what, that is what military kids did. Military brats, they were teenagers and they, and they pulled pranks on folks and the only people they had to pull pranks on were soldiers who were about a few years older than them and we saw this guy coming up and he was staggering he and his buddy and we started poking fun of him and he looked at us, he said, "I'll kill you." He said, "I just got back from Vietnam," and he reached down to take his shoes off and we took off running. That was as close as Vietnam had gotten to me at that point. We had seen newsreels at the, at the movie theatre because at that time you go to the theatre, that you get, you get a newsreel and you get a cartoon and you get the feature.$$Okay.$$And I remember the bombing of the U.S. embassy, or the officers club, in Saigon [Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam] and because we kept getting fed that stuff. We were very patriotic.$And at that point somebody decided that maybe I should go away and get, get my perspective widened and I went to a, a leadership development program, a three-day course, through the National Association of Minority Media Executives [National Association of Multicultural Media Executives (NAMME)] where I met some folks with some national reputations. I learned more about the newspaper business and within a year of that, less than a year of that, I was tapped to become the, the operations manager of our packaging department, which is commonly named, known as our mailroom.$$Okay, now what, how do you feel that NAMME affected that, your change in position at the newspaper [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]?$$NAMME, NAMME helped me, and it was in Chicago [Illinois], it was in Chicago at, at Kellogg [Kellogg School of Management], Northwestern [Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois]. NAMME gave me an insight into what newspapers, how newspapers can impact people and I think I always knew that but didn't really know what role I could have in that but in that three day period and doing, listening to some presentations and talking to some people, I realized that there were a lot of things in my background that I brought to the table that I had not adequately applied.$$And just what are a couple of those things that you realized?$$That business is built on relationships and that companies seek actively, leaders, people who could lead other people. I'd always decided that I would take a, as much as possible, take the backseat in terms of being a driver of anything. I felt I was better suited as a support person because I could get people to do things for me but as I thought about what, what, some of the things I share with you today, I realized that over the years I've always been kind of at the forefront, if not the leader, at least the guy that was saying, well you know, we can do this. If we just do this, we could do this. If we just did this piece, we can do this too and, you know, who knows what it'll look like in ten years and I had not done that with the newspaper. I was more plotting, I was more methodical, I want to do this, I want to do this and then we'll see what that happens. Somehow I came away from that three day period with a clearer understanding of how I could apply some of those skills, some of that leadership skill, and how it would just require a little bit of risk. Me just taking a little bit of risk and stepping outside of the comfort of my confines and I did that.

The Honorable Joseph Roulhac

Joseph Daniel Roulhac was born on August 18, 1916, in Selma, Alabama. His father, Robert, was a Presbyterian minister and his mother, Minerva, was a teacher. Roulhac earned a reputation in Akron, Ohio, as a humane and fair judge who gave his personal attention to every individual who came into his courtroom.

Roulhac’s family moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, when he was ten, and to Titusville, Georgia, four years later. He attended religious schools and received his high school diploma from Stillman College in Tuscaloosa in 1934. In 1938, Roulhac graduated with his B.A. degree in sociology from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He worked there after graduation as a sociology instructor for a year while earning his M.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1940. He taught at Fort Valley State College in Georgia until 1941. The U.S. Army drafted him in 1942, and Roulhac attained the rank of master sergeant within months. Everything went well until he refused to justify the Army’s segregation to his black subordinates. Weeks later, Roulhac was shipped to the Philippine Islands. When he returned to the United States in 1946, he used the G.I. Bill to attend the University of Pennsylvania, earning his J.D. degree. In 1948, Roulhac moved to Akron and went into private practice as an attorney. He became an assistant county prosecutor in 1957. In 1967, Roulhac was elected as a municipal judge, serving thirty years before retiring in 1987.

Roulhac was a member of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and has served in the NAACP, the Urban League, the Methodist Church and the American Legion. He was honored with the Thomas More Award in 1979. He and his wife, Frances Phoenix, have one child, Delores.

Roulhac passed away on March 5, 2008 at the age of 91.

Roulhac was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 2, 2002.

Accession Number

A2002.125

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/2/2002

Last Name

Roulhac

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

D.

Organizations
Schools

University of Pennsylvania

First Name

Joseph

Birth City, State, Country

Selma

HM ID

ROU01

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Knight Foundation

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

Do Your Best.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

8/18/1916

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Akron

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Death Date

3/5/2008

Short Description

Civil rights lawyer and municipal court judge The Honorable Joseph Roulhac (1916 - 2008 ) was a former assistant county prosecutor and served thirty years as a municipal judge in Akron, Ohio.

Employment

City of Akron

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joseph Roulhac's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joseph Roulhac lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joseph Roulhac describes his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joseph Roulhac describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joseph Roulhac describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joseph Roulhac shares memories of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joseph Roulhac recalls his elementary schools

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joseph Roulhac describes his favorite teachers

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joseph Roulhac talks about attending Allen Normal School in Thomasville, Georgia and the Stillman Institute in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joseph Roulhac talks about his employer paying the deposit for his attending Lincoln University in Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joseph Roulhac describes attending Lincoln University in Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joseph Roulhac recalls his fellow students at Lincoln University, including Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah the future President of Ghana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joseph Roulhac describes the professors at Lincoln University in the late 1930s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joseph Roulhac describes attending the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joseph Roulhac talks about teaching at Fort Valley State College in Fort Valley, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joseph Roulhac describes race and social class in the 1940s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joseph Roulhac talks about his father's ministry

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joseph Roulhac talks about meeting black intellectual leaders like Alain Locke and Howard Thurman

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joseph Roulhac describes seeing Howard Thurman speak at Miami University in Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joseph Roulhac describes Benjamin Elijah Mays

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joseph Roulhac talks about James A. 'Billboard' Jackson

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joseph Roulhac talks about joining the U.S. Army during World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joseph Roulhac remembers being assigned to write procedural manuals during World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joseph Roulhac recalls being asked to leave Camp Lee for refusing to adhere to the U.S. Army's segregationist policies

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Joseph Roulhac describes his life path following World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joseph Roulhac describes meeting his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joseph Roulhac describes attending law school at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joseph Roulhac talks about moving to Akron, Ohio to practice law

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joseph Roulhac describes a case from his early legal career

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joseph Roulhac talks about winning his famous case, Douglas v. Hubbard

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joseph Roulhac describes his 1971 case the State v. Norwood

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joseph Roulhac talks about the role of judges in preventing unjust charges

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Joseph Roulhac describes how he became a judge

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joseph Roulhac narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

1$4

DATitle
Joseph Roulhac talks about his employer paying the deposit for his attending Lincoln University in Pennsylvania
Joseph Roulhac describes a case from his early legal career
Transcript
I want you do just recap that again. Now you were at Stillman [Institute] for high school and you went to junior college there.$$At Stillman, yeah.$$You were trying to save money to go to Lincoln [University, Oxford, Pennsylvania] so let's get that on tape.$$Well at Lincoln [University, Oxford, Pennsylvania] I went to--after I finished high school, I went back to Stillman for two years because I didn't have money to go to Lincoln but I could go to Stillman [Institute, Tuscaloosa, Alabama]. My dad was a Presbyterian minister and he got a special dispensation for the minister's children. So I went back and when the junior college--I attended junior college I had to get money to send to Lincoln [University] because each year they had sent me a letter of admission but they needed some advancement money to see whether they should reserve spaces for me and place it. So the last--so the year after I finished junior college that summer, I went to--went back home and the morning I got on the train, I went to the factory. I took a letter with me and asked the gentleman, I can't remember his name now, to advance me $35.00 to send to Lincoln and I showed them the letter and he wanted to take the letter home. So he took the letter home and a couple of days later he came back and gave me the $35.00 and he said that he was interested in that letter because he thought the letter was wrong, that one of the paragraphs was too long and he took it home and his daughter who had recently graduated from Duke [University] said there was nothing wrong with that letter, that must be a mighty good school. So he came back and gave me $35.00 and he was to take out some money each week and I would remind him that he didn't take it out but then he'd say well I'll get to it but he never got to it and when I got to where I could pay him he was deceased. His wife told me that he never intended to collect on that $35.00. So that was a great fellowship and underwriting in those days and it was a critical difference in my educational progress.$What kind of cases did you handle in the beginning?$$Oh I'd handle anything that would come in the door but I had one case where I have a picture of some boys up on the hill had found a cookie jar which had been buried in the earth over there from 1800s, back in there. They were rolling the dollars on the sidewalk, they were young boys, little boys and when some of the older boys saw them, they wanted to take them and they said, why not get your own, there is a whole bunch of them back there and that caused a lot of commotion. The different people who used to own the property years back--the folks who represented the estate where it was found on Large Street back up in that area and so forth all went to court because with that ruckus found with that money, the police came and took all of the silver dollars and took them to court--took them to the police station and turned them over to the court. So the people from Bath, this is out where we're living here now wanted to know who was representing those black boys who had found the money. So they sent them to me. So that was right down my avenue because at Penn [University of Pennsylvania] I studied under the--Penn taught you the common law and of course in England back in the old days, you know, they would finding treasure troves quite often. That came my way so I wrote some tremendous briefs in terms of who was entitled to it legally and of course I won the case and I have a picture of the Beacon Journal took of my giving the money out to the boys, two black boys who had found it. And of course I took some of them for myself but of course, in those days that was a way of getting some publicity. I took some, gave my friend, gave my wife some and I think I still have two or three of those old silver dollars. They have cankered now with a goodly portion of canker on them but that was one of my first cases.$$How much money was it altogether, do you remember?$$Around $300 and some dollars. So I just took some of the dollars and divided the other dollars which were there among the other children and I don't know but I had enough to kind of pass around some and then we still have some three or four.$$So you gained some notoriety with that.$$Yeah.