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Richard Washington

Stuntman and stunt coordinator Richard Washington was born on February 20, 1940 in Everett, Massachusetts to Edna Ford and Edward Washington. He graduated from Christian High School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1957 and attended Los Angeles City College in Los Angeles, California.

Washington worked as a machinist and commercial diver before beginning his career in film in 1968. He earned his first film credit as a stuntman in 1971 for the film, Dirty Harry. By 1973, Washington secured a role as a stunt coordinator, choreographing stunts in films. He worked on a number of Blaxploitation films during the 1970s, including Scream, Blacula Scream, Cleopatra Jones, Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde, and Sheba Baby. Washington’s film credits also include; Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Conquest for the Planet of the Apes, Interspace, The Abyss, The Goonies, U.S. Marshalls and Die Hard with a Vengeance. Washington also played KITT in Knight Rider and worked alongside Richard Pryor and Cecily Tyson as the stunt coordinator for Bustin’ Loose and Some Kind of Hero. In 1974, Washington doubled for Richard Roundtree and later for Billy Dee Williams. Washington’s other major film credits include; Mississippi Burning and Glory. Washington also served as a stunt double multiple times for Lou Gossett, most notably in The Deep, when he demonstrated his talent for underwater stunts. He retired in 1997.

During his career as a Hollywood stunt performer, Washington was active in the Black Stuntmen’s Association, where he and other members fought against the discriminatory practice of “painting down” white stuntmen in black makeup to double for African American actors. He later joined the Stuntmen’s Association of Motion Pictures in 1973, as African American stuntmen began being admitted to the organization. Washington was among the first African American stuntmen to work in Hollywood, and his accomplishments were recognized in an exhibit about the Black Stuntmen’s Association in the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Washington, an avid sailor, was the first black commodore of a major Los Angeles yacht club and has participated in numerous races in Antigua, St. Lucia and over twenty-five times in the Bequia Easter Regatta.

Washington and his wife, Carol Washington, have two daughters. Their daughter, Kym Washington-Longino, also pursued a career as a stuntwoman.

Richard Washington was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 15, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.131

Sex

Male

Interview Date

08/16/2017

Last Name

Washington

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Los Angeles City College

First Name

Richard

Birth City, State, Country

Everett

HM ID

WAS07

Favorite Season

Warm

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Somewhere warm - exotic, educational.

Favorite Quote

Fuggedaboutit

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

2/20/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Seasoned

Short Description

Stuntman and stunt coordinator Richard Washington (1940 - ) was among the first African American stuntmen in Hollywood and was featured in a number of films including, Dirty Harry, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Mississippi Burning, and Glory.

Favorite Color

Blue

Paula Ann Sneed

Retired corporate executive Paula Ann Sneed was born on November 10, 1947 in Everett, Massachusetts. She is the only child of Thomas E. and Furman Mary (Turner) Sneed. Sneed was raised in Malden, Massachusetts and attended Charles A. Daniel Elementary School and Malden High School. Sneed earned her B.A. degree from Simmons College, a women’s liberal arts college in Boston, Massachusetts. From 1969 to1971, Sneed worked as the Educational Supervisor and Female Coordinator for the Outreach Program for Problem Drinkers, an alcohol-rehabilitation program. From 1971 to 1972, she worked as the Director of Plans for Program Development and Evaluation at the Ecumenical Center in Roxbury. Between 1972 and 1975, Sneed served as the Program Coordinator for the Boston Sickle Cell Center at Boston City Hospital. In 1975, Sneed decided to return to school and obtain her M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School.

After completing her M.B.A. degree in 1977, Sneed embarked on a long and successful career in corporate marketing. Sneed first joined General Foods (which later merged with Kraft Foods, Inc.) in 1977 as assistant product manager. She then went on to hold a number of high-ranking positions within Kraft Foods, Inc., ranging from Senior Vice President of Kraft’s North American Food Service Division to Executive Vice President of the Desserts Division. In her role as Senior Vice President of Global Marketing Resources & Initiatives, Sneed was instrumental in guiding Kraft’s efforts in the areas of consumer relationship marketing, digital marketing, consumer insights, media services, packaging, multi-cultural marketing and advertising. In addition, Sneed was part of a companywide initiative to thwart childhood obesity. In 2006, Sneed retired as Kraft’s Executive Vice President of Global Marketing Resources and Initiatives when Kraft Foods, Inc., merged its global marketing unit with its global category development.

Sneed sits on the Board of Directors of The Charles Schwab Corporation, Airgas Inc., and Tyco Electronics Limited. Sneed is a trustee of Teach for America, the Chicago Children’s Museum, and Simmons College. She is also a member of the Executive Leadership Council and The Chicago Network.

Sneed married Lawrence P. Bass on September 2, 1978. They have one child, Courtney J. Bass.

Sneed was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 19, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.020

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/19/2008

Last Name

Sneed

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Ann

Occupation
Schools

Malden High School

Charles A. Daniel Elementary School

Simmons College

Harvard Business School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

First Name

Paula

Birth City, State, Country

Everett

HM ID

SNE01

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Amina Dickerson

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Dream Big, Preposterous Dreams.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

11/10/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Pizza

Short Description

Corporate executive Paula Ann Sneed (1947 - ) held a number of high-ranking positions within Kraft Foods, Inc., ranging from Senior Vice President of Kraft’s North American Food Service Division to Executive Vice President of the Desserts Division. In 2006, she retired as Kraft’s Executive Vice President of Global Marketing Resources and Initiatives.

Employment

Outreach for Problem Drinkers

The Ecumenical Center

Boston Sickle Cell Center

General Foods Corporation

General Foods (Kraft Foods)

Kraft Foods

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Black, Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:1020,21:3400,74:11628,226:12716,256:14212,295:14552,301:23068,385:31492,564:40034,678:40404,684:45732,828:46102,834:46546,841:48100,876:49728,943:60200,1049:60650,1056:61175,1065:65750,1134:69578,1217:71318,1253:72536,1282:101348,1630:108388,1765:109156,1780:120230,1992:121034,2015:121302,2020:122039,2032:127080,2099:128394,2135:131825,2196:133942,2232:135256,2263:135694,2270:137008,2301:141960,2317:142315,2323:145084,2401:150712,2540:152230,2590:152506,2595:152782,2600:169520,2909:170528,2926:184982,3191:185558,3201:195514,3385:196246,3395:196551,3401:202346,3525:202773,3533:208360,3619$0,0:280,2:700,9:1120,17:1470,23:4200,74:4620,81:5110,88:5880,105:6860,121:9520,190:17741,289:18938,319:21836,424:22340,434:23159,451:23726,463:30012,554:32064,615:34116,673:34420,678:35636,698:36016,704:38372,758:40348,792:40652,798:43312,858:48556,957:49088,966:49468,972:55590,1000:56290,1015:58740,1092:66860,1259:67210,1266:68050,1286:68470,1293:69660,1314:75350,1338:75770,1372:76050,1377:76540,1386:77240,1398:77520,1403:79410,1448:81790,1507:82420,1514:83050,1528:84450,1548:85640,1574:90470,1676:91100,1688:91870,1701:92500,1711:98835,1729:100485,1762:102010,1778
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Paula Ann Sneed's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Paula Ann Sneed lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paula Ann Sneed talks about her mother's early education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paula Ann Sneed remembers her mother's response to discrimination

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Paula Ann Sneed talks about her parents' courtship

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her parents' activities during World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her parents' personalities and her likeness to them

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her parents' occupations

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paula Ann Sneed remembers her parents' disregard for traditional gender roles

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paula Ann Sneed describes the sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls her family's involvement at the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Malden, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paula Ann Sneed talks about her early awareness of race

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paula Ann Sneed remembers her community in Malden, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls her mother's emphasis on education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her role at the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Malden, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Paula Ann Sneed remembers Lincoln Junior High School in Malden, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her activities at Malden High School

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Paula Ann Sneed remembers her chores

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Paula Ann Sneed remembers her social activities at Malden High School

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls lessons from her mother

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls her decision to attend Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paula Ann Sneed describes the curriculum at Simmons College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paula Ann Sneed remembers the Black Power movement

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls the occupation of the Simmons College president's office, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls the occupation of the Simmons College president's office, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls lessons about leadership from her time at Simmons College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Paula Ann Sneed remembers her first experience of community organizing

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her aspiration to become a social worker

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls the events that spurred her politicization

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls her start at a support program for alcoholics

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls her work at an alcoholic outreach program

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her role at the Boston Sickle Cell Center in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her decision to attend business school

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paula Ann Sneed remembers the Harvard Business School

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls her decision to enter the private sector

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her work at the General Foods Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her role as a brand manager

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paula Ann Sneed remembers marketing Kool-Aid

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her duties at the General Foods Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Paula Ann Sneed remembers her perspective on corporate diversity

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls her early career goals

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Paula Ann Sneed remembers a coworker's advice

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her strategy for career success

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls her promotion to vice president of consumer affairs

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls becoming a division head at the General Foods Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Paula Ann Sneed remembers heading the food service division of the General Foods Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Paula Ann Sneed remembers working with a racist client

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Paula Ann Sneed reflects upon her role as a trailblazer

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls the merger of the General Foods Corporation and Kraft Foods Group Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls being offered a position in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Paula Ann Sneed explains her decision to continue working for Philip Morris Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Paula Ann Sneed reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Paula Ann Sneed recalls her decision to retire

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Paula Ann Sneed narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Paula Ann Sneed reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Paula Ann Sneed describes how she would like to be remembered, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Paula Ann Sneed talks about the marketing of political candidates

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Paula Ann Sneed reflects upon the benefit of mentorship

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Paula Ann Sneed remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Paula Ann Sneed describes the early years of her marriage

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Paula Ann Sneed talks about her husband's support

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her relationship with her parents and parents-in-law

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Paula Ann Sneed describes her interest in African art

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Paula Ann Sneed describes how she would like to be remembered, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 13 - Paula Ann Sneed narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

4$5

DATitle
Paula Ann Sneed recalls the occupation of the Simmons College president's office, pt. 1
Paula Ann Sneed recalls her early career goals
Transcript
So the Simmons Civil Rights- Simmons Civil Rights Club evolved--which had whites and blacks--evolved and became the Black Student Organization, which was black students only and we tried to get the school to be what we called more responsive to our needs, which were more black professors, more black students, more scholarship aid, more black administrative people. We did something called the seminars, and we actually brought in--we tried to get a black history course, nobody wanted--the school wouldn't fund it. So we actually brought in black professionals across a variety of different disciplines and we had these seminars and we charged money and people came from the local community, students signed up from Simmons [Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts] and students from other places. And we filled an auditorium every single week for like seven or eight weeks with these lectures, as evidence to the faculty and administration that they should so something like this at Simmons and they didn't. So the next year, my senior year, we really tried to work with the administration to get some sort of response to what we were interested in, and didn't. And if you would think about back to 1968, schools were erupting about--it was, it was wonderful time to be a young person because you could get engaged and involved in things that, that you believed in. So you had white women you know asserting their, their rights for equality and so they had the start of the, the feminist movement. You had the anti-war movement that was running across all campuses and you had many students walking away from the, the civil rights philosophy and embracing a black power philosophy, and so my senior year we went to the faculty and administration after having worked for two years trying to get people to pay attention to us and they didn't so we took over the president's office. I was president and we issued, we had ten demands, we went in and we told him he wasn't leaving until he signed them. It was a very interesting situation because we worked for weeks trying to figure out what we would and how we would do it and as president I recognized we were only as strong as the weakest person in our organization and that meant that we had to develop a tactic that the girl who was the most skeptical about doing anything could buy into. So there were some people who said, "Let's burn the school down," you know, and then there were some people who said, "We'd better go study 'cause we'll flunk out," you know. And I needed to figure out how we could bring people together and make sure that nobody went back and told the administration that we were about to do something. So we just went in his office one day, we put the smallest girl at the door, she sat down. People just--it was a combination of the old sit-ins you know and the provost was there and the president's administrator and the president and we just sat there and we called people from the community, Mel King [HistoryMaker Melvin King] and John Brown [ph.] and you know we just sat in until we got them to sign. And he signed the ten demands and part of the ten demands was setting up a watchdog committee of community members, students, faculty and administration to ensure that these demands were implemented. It was a very interesting situation because we all graduated, the seniors graduated. The next year there were juniors who were then going to be responsible for having this happen. And a lot of things like happened at many of the schools where the administration said they were gonna do stuff and they started back pedaling.$I didn't think I would ever get to be some of--ever get to do some of the things that I wanted to, but I started telling people early on that I--that's what I wanted. I remember going to a boss once and saying when he gave me my--you got your annual review and then you had to write what your career goals were. So I wrote that I wanted to be vice president of General Foods [General Foods Corporation] and I'd been there about six years and he sat down and he said, "You know I wanna talk about your career goal." I'm like, "Okay", and he said, "You said you wanna be a vice president." "I think I do." And he said, "Well, I'm not even a vice president, and there are only like thirty-five to forty vice presidents here." And I'm like, "I know." And he said, "Well you know I'm not sure that, that's a reasonable goal." And I said, "Well, why?" And I said, "If I earn it, I expect to be given it, and I would expect that if that's my goal then as my boss you would help me achieve it." And I said, "I'm not working this hard for your job, Doug [ph.]." You know part of my problem at times was I engaged mouth before engaging brain, you know and that was probably an inappropriate thing to say to this guy 'cause he wasn't a VP yet, but the point was that I believe that if you wanted something you had to really put it out there that you wanted it and you had to work like you thought you were gonna get it. Again, get it in your head if you're ready and able and it comes you can have it, and of course what ended up happening was I was able to make VP and I was able to get to president of a division and group VP and executive VP and global--I mean I got all the things, the trappings of corporate success because I just refused to give up when the going got tough.

Reverend Albert Richard Sampson

Activist and civil rights minister Reverend Albert "Al" Sampson was born on November 27, 1938, in Everett, Massachusetts, and graduated from Everett High School in 1956. He won the high school oratorical contest his senior year. Called to the ministry, Sampson attended Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, receiving a B.A. in 1963. Sampson earned a masters degree in cultural studies from Governors State University in 1973 and a masters of divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1977.

While at Shaw, Sampson was president of the Shaw Student Body and the campus, city and state chapters of the NAACP. He was arrested during Raleigh's student sit-ins and was selected by his fellow students to introduce the first public accommodations bill in North Carolina history. Rev. Sampson became involved with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1962 and served as campaign manager for Leroy Johnson, Georgia's first black State Senator. This led indirectly to Sampson being ordained by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1966. He was selected to study organizing and later worked with Rev. James Bevel to help organize Resurrection City for Dr. King's Poor People's Campaign.

Rev. Sampson became pastor of Fernwood United Methodist Church in Chicago in 1975, where he continues today. He played an important role in the campaign of the late Mayor Harold Washington as a member of the Task Force for Black Political Empowerment. Sampson is president of the National Black Farmers Harvest and Business Trade Cooperative and serves on numerous boards and organizations that stress the economic development of the black community. He served as a scholar consultant for the Black Heritage Bible and is currently the president of the Metropolitan Council of Black Churches in Chicago.

Accession Number

A2002.159

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/19/2002

Last Name

Sampson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Richard

Organizations
Schools

Albert N. Parlin School

Everett High School

Shaw University

Governors State University

Interdenominational Theological Center

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Albert "Al"

Birth City, State, Country

Everett

HM ID

SAM01

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa, Caribbean

Favorite Quote

To throw all my ideas up to the moon; if I fail, I’ll land them on the stars, but at least I’ll be off the earth.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

11/27/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Civil rights activist and pastor Reverend Albert Richard Sampson (1938 - ) was ordained by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and then worked with Rev. James Bevel to help organize Resurrection City for Dr. King's Poor People's Campaign. Rev. Sampson became pastor of Fernwood United Methodist Church in Chicago in 1975. An activist minister, Sampson is a consultant on the Black Heritage Bible.

Employment

Fernwood United Methodist Church

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Al Sampson interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Al Sampson's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Al Sampson describes his family life

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Al Sampson discusses his path to Shaw University, Raleigh, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Al Sampson discusses his student involvement

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Al Sampson remembers his mentors

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Al Sampson reviews his professional associations after leaving the seminary

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Al Sampson expresses his admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Al Sampson discusses strategies for social change during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Al Sampson discusses his work with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Al Sampson describes the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s vision

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Al Sampson emphasizes an international and multicultural approach to social change

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Al Sampson explains the black church's responsibility in organizing for social change

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Al Sampson describes some of the results of the Million Man March

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Al Sampson describes the black church's potential for social change

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Al Sampson considers the evolution of black leadership

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Al Sampson discusses his life's path

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Al Sampson discusses the emphasis on character throughout his life

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Al Sampson remembers influential figures

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Al Sampson discusses changes in his life in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Al Sampson discusses his grandchildren

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Al Sampson considers his greatest accomplishment, maintaining his integrity

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Al Sampson expresses his admiration for Minister Louis Farrakhan

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Al Sampson considers how he'd like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Al Sampson discusses his plans for the future

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Al Sampson expresses his appreciation for the HistoryMakers project

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Al Sampson discusses sexism in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Al Sampson states the size of his congregation

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Al Sampson discusses the media's response to his leadership

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Al Sampson discusses the effects of the media on black leadership

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Al Sampson reflects on the core issues of liberation struggles

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Al Sampson discusses Angela Davis and black female leadership

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Al Sampson remembers Chicago's first black mayor, Harold Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Al Sampson discusses Chicago politics and economics in the 1980s

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Al Sampson explains the evolution of black leadership

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Al Sampson discusses the role of gender in the liberation of African Americans

DASession

1$1

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Al Sampson discusses his student involvement
Al Sampson emphasizes an international and multicultural approach to social change
Transcript
I was president of the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] youth and college chapters all over North Carolina, plus I was president on my campus [Shaw University, Raleigh, North Carolina]. And SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] was founded on my campus. We literally gave them the keys. I would have been involved with SNCC, but I was already president of the NAACP. I was in the room when Ezell Blair [Jr., now known as Jibreel Khazan] and the three boys [Franklin Eugene McCain, Joseph Alfred McNeil, David Leinail Richmond] who agreed to sit down at A&T [North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina]. We met with Roy Wilkins who was an executive secretary at the time. And we said, "Roy, you go in the courts. We're going into the streets." And so the whole Civil Rights Movement on the student level of desegregating the Woolworth grocery store--Woolworth chain stores, grew out of the whole NAACP youth movement. And a buddy of mine named James Fox and I became the first two students in Raleigh, North Carolina to get arrested in the sit-in demonstrations. We elected a black contractor named John Winters to be the first black councilman in Raleigh, North Carolina, while we were students. And we ended up meeting [Rev.] Jesse Jackson, who was a transfer student from Champaign-Urbana [University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois] on a football scholarship. He got transferred to A&T. I was a junior and Jesse was a sophomore. Every year in North Carolina you became state student legislators for a week. But they would always have the students come to St. Augustine [Saint Augustine's College, Raleigh, North Carolina] or to Shaw, segregated so that they wouldn't be able to go to any of the hotels. And they would stay on the campus. But we ended up passing the first public accommodations bill. I mean we're talking about black students who knew nothing about 'Robert's Rules of Order.' We were doing role-playing, how to make a motion, how to amend a motion. And we passed the legislation which shook the state. And the rest of it became history because we were deeply involved in the, in the movement all the way up until 1961. I, I pledged into the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. There were sixteen of us that made, that went through. Only nine of us made it. And so we ended up with, with all of that piece of history, president NAACP on the campus, president of the student body. And I was always moving towards this leadership strategy on campus.$$So your student group took the heat of water hosing and dogs.$$All of that, and, and my [adoptive] mother [Mildred Sampson] made me promise that I would go to school and get an education. And I promised her that, and then she looked up six months later, and I'm on my way to jail with my books (laughter) in the sit-ins, you know. But back to this moral authority, you know, we just didn't think it was right, that we could go to one section of wall at Woolworth's and buy school supplies, but couldn't sit at the counter and have a Coke and a cheeseburger. So it was out of that context that, that we moved into the sit-ins.$But I think the, the power of, of a Minister Louis Farrakhan--you know, in 1979, I'm the only preacher in the country that gave him the keys to my church. Farrakhan is, is somewhat from Massachusetts. He lived in Boston [Massachusetts]. He was Episcopalian. He went to school in Winston-Salem in North Carolina. He is to Elijah [Muhammad], who came out of Sandersville, Georgia, what I am to [Dr.] Martin [Luther King, Jr.], who came out of [Atlanta] Georgia. I'm from Massachusetts. He's from Massachusetts. I went to school in North Carolina. He went to school in North Carolina. So it's been a natural relationship for, for us, one Christian, the other one Muslim. I gave him the keys in 1979, never asked him for the keys back. And we've gone all over the world saying that Christians and Muslims ought to be able to work together. Whenever he went to any mosque in--from Africa or even in the, in the Middle East, he had to introduce me. And when he told the story, they gave me a standing ovation because they know that Christians are people of the book, that when Jesus said there are some, some, some voices--there are some sheep that are not of my fold, but they hear my voice--to us that's, that gives room for Islamic folk to sit, folk--the Hebrew children to come and sit at the table. The other day I was with him in Iraq, and, and I was the first Christian and the first African in America to touch the birth place of Abraham, where he was born. And all three faiths come out of, you know, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, all come out of Abraham, the father of all nations. So when you, when you move towards that perspective of looking at this thing from a global point of view--1976, in my church, we did the ZANU [Zimbabwe African National Union]-ZAPU [Zimbabwe African People's Union] Conference, when [Prime Minister] Ian Smith was trying to hold the people down on, on the liberation. Thirty-some odd, forty years later, I'm sitting at the table with President [Robert] Mugabe, who, who changed it from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. And he's talking about land and the right to have ownership of the land. 4,500 white folks shouldn't be sitting on 13 million acres of land. [Harry Frederick] Oppenheimer, who has the diamond mines in South Africa controls 40 percent of the investments in South Africa and at the same time, controls 13,000 acres of land in Zimbabwe. Nobody should eat all that food at the table while, while the Africans in Zimbabwe have no farmland. They have no, no mineral resources. And everybody knows that they're beating up on them today because if he proves correct with this farm program, then he'll--it'll end up having a rippling affect in Namibia and South Africa, Swaziland and, and Botswana. But sister, even my sitting here now, forty-six years later in the ministry, I'm talking internationally (laughs), and I started out with a hamburger at a lunch counter, you understand what I'm saying?