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Dr. Glenn W. Cherry

Media company executive and veterinarian Glenn W. Cherry was born in Daytona Beach, Florida to Julia T. Cherry and Charles W. Cherry, Sr. His father founded the Florida Courier and Daytona Times, for which Cherry began selling advertising for in 1978. Cherry earned his B.S. degree in biology from Morehouse College in 1980 and his D.V.M. degree from Tuskegee University in 1984. He then served as a United States Air Force Captain from 1984 to 1988, as Chief of Public Health Service in the Netherlands and Turkey. Cherry was honorably discharged from reserve duty in 1991.

After his military service, Cherry worked in veterinary medicine as confidential assistant to the administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, state veterinarian for the Maryland Racing Commission, supervisory veterinarian at the National Institutes of Health, and as biologist at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. From 1994 to 1998, Cherry worked in the Clinton Administration in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel as an executive search manager. Cherry has also served as chairman and chief executive officer of Global Health Professionals, Inc., a Florida-based non-profit organization.

In 1989, Cherry, along with his father and brother, purchased the WPUL-AM 1590 radio station in Daytona Beach, Florida. Cherry went on to purchase WCSZ-AM in Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1996, and then WTMP-AM 1150 in Tampa, Florida in 1997, where he served as general manager until 2007.

In 2000, Cherry and his brother founded Tama Broadcasting, Inc., Florida’s largest privately held African American media group, and he served as its president and chief executive officer as well as a board director. Under Cherry’s leadership, Tama Broadcasting acquired Dade City, Florida’s WMGG-FM 96.1 in 2002 and changed its call letters to WTMP-FM. The company also expanded into the Jacksonville, Florida market with WHJX-FM, WSJF-FM, WJSJ-FM, and WOKF-FM. In 2004, acquisitions were made in the Savannah, Georgia market with WSSJ-FM, WMZD-FM, and WSGA-FM.

Cherry is married to Dr. Valerie Rawls Cherry. They have one son, Jamal.

Glenn Cherry was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 12, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.233

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/12/2014

Last Name

Cherry

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

W.

Organizations
Schools

Morehouse College

Tuskegee University

Campbell Street Elementary School

Basilica School of St. Paul

Campbell Middle School

Seabreeze High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Glenn

Birth City, State, Country

Daytona Beach

HM ID

CHE09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Hold Them In The Road.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

6/2/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tampa

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbecued Chicken

Short Description

Media company chief executive and veterinarian Dr. Glenn W. Cherry (1958 - ) was the president and chief executive officer of Tama Broadcasting, Inc. He worked as a veterinarian for several years, and was a political appointee in the Clinton Administration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Employment

Daytona Times

United States Air Force

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Maryland Racing Commission

National Institutes of Health

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

White House Office of Presidential Personnel

Global Health Professionals, Inc.

WTMP-AM

Tama Broadcasting, Inc.

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Glenn W. Cherry's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about the structural segregation of rural Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers visiting his maternal grandmother, Emma Troutman

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about his father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about his parents' college educations

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his father's experiences at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about his father's time in the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about the beginning of his father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about his father's involvement with the Citizens Coordinating Committee

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes the importance of self-defense during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers witnessing the violent response to the Civil Rights Movement in 1960s Florida, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers witnessing the violent response to the Civil Rights Movement in 1960s Florida, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his family's social status in his early neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers his early schooling

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls protecting his mother and sister during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers his family's dogs

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about aspiring to become a veterinarian, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about aspiring to become a veterinarian, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls attending Campbell Street Junior High School in Daytona Beach, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls attending Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about balancing academics and extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his decision to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers Benjamin Mays and Hugh Gloster

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls his experiences at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about his influences at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers his instructor at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his enrollment at Tuskegee Institute School of Veterinary Medicine, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his enrollment at Tuskegee Institute School of Veterinary Medicine, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers working to establish the Daytona Times with his family

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls his experiences as a zookeeper at the Audobon Zoo in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers his influences at the Tuskegee School of Veterinary Medicine

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes the racial barriers in equine surgery

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls his decision to join the U.S. Air Force as a public health officer

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his role at Soesterberg Air Base, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his role at Soesterberg Air Base, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls his experiences in Izmir, Turkey

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers being offered a position with the Maryland Racing Commission

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers working for the Maryland Racing Commission

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls his responsibilities at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers working at the National Institutes of Health

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his political appointment in the 1990s

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls his appointment to the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about the expansion of his family's media ownership

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls becoming the general manager of WTMP Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers his duties as general manager of WTMP Radio

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes WTMP Radio's relationship to the Tampa, Florida community

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers his colleagues at WTMP Radio in Tampa, Florida

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls his transition to working full time in radio

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes the obstacles for minorities entering into the broadcasting market, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes the obstacles for minorities entering into the broadcasting market, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls the impact of the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons his family's radio stations

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about the demise of black broadcasting companies, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about the demise of black broadcasting companies, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry reflects upon the future of Tama Broadcasting

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry reflects upon his family's legacy, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry reflects upon his family's legacy, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$7

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers his duties as general manager of WTMP Radio
Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about the demise of black broadcasting companies, pt. 1
Transcript
Okay. So, this is '97 [1997], right, 1997?$$Um-hm, um-hm.$$And, now, the, I know the next big thing that you--well, let's--well, you said, now, you were getting advice on how to be a, a general manager and--$$Yes, you know, I think that all this time talking with my father [Charles W. Cherry, Sr.] and that I had been a manager as a military officer, I managed people through every program that I worked as--in the government, you know. So, I had managed people before, you know, and processes and trying to get to a point to where, you know, we, we were successful. So, I wasn't new to--I'd, I had management experience from the time that I got out of the [U.S.] military--from going into the military, you know 'til that point, when I was at the racetrack, you know, I had at least fifteen people that worked for us there, you know. So, I didn't have a management problem.$$Well, what was--maybe I should put it like this. What was--was there a--what was the toughest part of managing a radio station versus some other kind of industry?$$Well, I think the biggest thing was, when you take over a station that was losing money--when I came in the station [WTMP Radio, Egypt Lake, Florida] was losing about $200,000 a year. And I had to figure out, how was I going to turn this around that we could, you know, get out of this hole immediately. And so, you know, I think that was really probably the dynamic. You know, I had to make some cuts and then I had to increase he revenue. And so, I got on the street and started selling and start trying see if I could make the kind of contacts that would get us back to a place where the station had been before. The station had basically been--had its ups and its downs. And the people that owned it before I got there were some football players and their wives, and the wives were running the station but they weren't really broadcasters. They just, just, you know, needed something to do. And I think that's how they kind of ran it. And so, the--actually the guys decided this is not going to work, we need to get out of this business and then they sold the station. So, the station was not being run in a manner that would make it profitable so inside of a year I'd turned the station around. The station was making a profit and that then is history as they say. Because once I started making a profit, then I started becoming seen as a real operator. And people started saying, hey, that, that guy knows what he's doing, you know. The station's turned around, it's getting ratings and revenue is up; and, you know, they started seeing me as a--somebody who could potentially be a player in the industry.$And, at that time, we had done our last final deal we had done with a hedge fund [D.B. Zwirn Special Opportunities Fund, LP]. And we didn't know much about them, because in 2004, there wasn't a lot of information about hedge funds in 2004. And this was a new hedge fund that had come to black broadcasters and said, you know, "We want to make sure that you guys have access to cash and, you know, we think this is a space that, that could be very successful for our business. And we want to be with you for the long term." That was their line. And that we can get a deal done fast. So, the speed at which they did the deals didn't allow for you to really find out who they were until after the deal was signed, 'cause they'd do a deal in thirty days. And they kept you busy on the paperwork telling you we can get this deal done. And so, by the time you got the deal done and figured out you were in bed with the devil, you were already in there, you know. So, that's kind of partly that speed of which we were all moving with, and that we really hadn't hit the, hit the wall with the economy yet. You know, after 9/11 [September 11, 2001] things were kind of getting softer, you know, through '04 [2004], '05 [2005] and then the hurricanes in Florida it may not have affected, you know, other folks but--so, '04 [2004], '05 [2005] it was, it was softening. And then it fell off '07 [2007], '08 [2008], you know, it just--it was all the way in the tank by that time. So, during that period of time, the hedge fund decided that--what we found out was that they decided that the best thing they could do is harvest all their investments as early as possible so that they could reap their money, you know, and that they weren't going to wait. So, when we fell into a technical default on our loans, not that we owed them any money, now. We didn't--we weren't behind on paying them. But they had these little technical defaults in the contract that said, if you didn't hit your revenue numbers, you know, for the quarter then you're in default. So, during the hurricane months where we did not hit our revenue numbers--no one did--you know, they would allow those bigger guys to readjust their numbers but we weren't allowed to readjust our numbers based on the hurricanes. So, they put us in a technical default, and doubled your interest rate, they basically called your note early. It's like they do your house, you know, they just, you know. And so, you know, "We need our $20 million now," when you just gave it to us not, not too, not that long ago, you know. So, we had a $20 million loan that called and that was about worth what half the properties was worth. So, then they basically wanted to take the whole shooting match. Then they'd take that and they'd sell it for a discount price and they'd still make a huge profit because they're making it off our equity. So, that's what started, you know, a whole big battle over black radio. It wasn't just us. This was done to a number of different people, you know, because they came in to that group of us and talked to everybody. So, you had--and I can tell you today, Inner City Broadcasting [Inner City Broadcasting Corporation], New York [New York], Percy Sutton, that station's gone. Sid Smalls [Sidney L. Small], who had National Urban Network [sic. National Black Network] and AURN [American Urban Radio Networks], he had stations, TV stations and radio stations up and down the East Coast, New Jersey, New York. Sid Smalls, he had a heart attack and died fighting these guys, right. Percy Squire in Columbus, Ohio lost his five stations. Us, we lost our nine stations, you know. It was one of these same hedge fund deals that were going on in that period of time. So, like, you know, you're talking about four of the, the largest minority owned broadcasters, groups, wiped out. So, you know, that was a period of time that--and, meanwhile, black consumers, black folks, they didn't know because things were going bad overall. So, it was hidden in the fact that the whole economy was going down what was happening to black media.

Debbye Turner Bell

Broadcast journalist and veterinarian Debrah Lynn Turner Bell was born on September 19, 1965 in Honolulu, Hawaii to Gussie Turner and Frederick C. Turner, Jr. Raised in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Turner Bell graduated from Jonesboro High School in 1983. She went on to attend Arkansas State University, where she received her B.S. degree in agriculture in 1986. In 1991, Turner Bell obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

In 1989, Turner Bell won the Miss Missouri pageant title. Later the same year, she became the first delegate from the State of Missouri to win the Miss America crown. After winning the title of Miss America, Turner Bell became the national spokesperson for Ralston Purina’s Caring for Pets Program. In 1995, she was hired as a host of the Public Broadcasting Service animal show, “The Gentle Doctor”, and as co-host of KSDK’s entertainment magazine show, “Show Me St. Louis”, where she was nominated for multiple Emmy Awards. From 2001 to 2003, Turner Bell worked as an on-air contributor to CBS networks’ “The Early Show”, and from 2003 until 2012, she served as a staff correspondent for CBS News. In 2013, she was hired as an anchor for Arise News.

Turner Bell has hosted “48 Hours on WE” and appeared on Animal Planet's “Cats 101” and “Dogs 101” series. She has also hosted the Miss Missouri, Miss Florida, and Miss Georgia pageants, and was a Miss America Pageant judge in 1997 and 2011. Turner Bell has appeared as a guest on numerous television programs including “The Late Show with David Letterman”, “Oprah”, and the “Today” show. In addition, she has served as a motivational speaker for over twenty years.

Turner Bell’s honors include the University of Missouri - Columbia, Black Alumni Organization's Distinguished Alumni Award; the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from the College of Agriculture, Arkansas State University; Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Missouri-Columbia; and the First Place award for Outstanding Reporting from the New York Association of Black Journalists. In 1998, she was named a Distinguished Alumna of Arkansas State University, where she established the Debbye Turner Scholarship and the Gussie Turner Memorial Scholarship. Turner Bell received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in October of 1994.

She has served on local, state and national boards, including the Children’s Miracle Network, the National Council on Youth Leadership, the Missouri Division of Youth Services, the Mathews-Dickey Boys Club, and the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council as part of the National Institutes of Health. She served as director of the Consortium of Doctors from 1994 to 1995.

Turner Bell lives in the New York City area with her husband and daughter.

Debbye Turner Bell was interviewed by “The HistoryMakers” on August 12, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.229

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/12/2014

Last Name

Turner Bell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Lynn

Schools

University of Missouri

Arkansas State University

Jonesboro High School

Douglas MacArthur Junior High School

East Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Debrah

Birth City, State, Country

Honolulu

HM ID

BEL07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Hawaii

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/19/1965

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pepperoni pizza and thanksgiving dinner

Short Description

Broadcast journalist and veterinarian Debbye Turner Bell (1965 - ) is a motivational speaker and anchor for Arise News. In 1989, she became the first delegate from the State of Missouri to win the title of Miss America.

Employment

Arise News

CBS News

Self Employed

DOGS 101/CATS 101 Television Shows

48 Hours on WE

CBS Networks' "The Early Show"

"ShowMe St. Louis"

PBS "The Gentle Doctor"

Ralston Purina's Caring for Pets Program

Miss America 1990

Dillard's Department Store

Safeway Food Store

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Debbye Turner Bell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Debbye Turner Bell lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Debbye Turner Bell describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Debbye Turner Bell describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about her mother's effort to find her biological father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about her great aunt, Gussie Lee Jones Turner's, domestic work in Kennett, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Debbye Turner Bell describes her paternal family ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about her paternal great-grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Debbye Turner Bell describes spending time at her paternal great-grandparents' farm in South Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about the history of Juneteenth and her great-great grandparents' freedom

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Debbye Turner Bell talks briefly about the farmland her uncle inherited from her great-grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Debbye Turner Bell describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Debbye Turner Bell describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Debbye Turner Bell describes growing up with a parent in the military and her father's teaching appointment at Arkansas State University

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Debbye Turner Bell remembers staying with her aunt while her father was serving in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about her father's experience in the Vietnam War

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about her parents' divorce and co-parenting

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Debbye Turner Bell describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Debbye Turner Bell describes home life, including her mother's taking in of mental health patients and Thursday night Bible study group

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about competing for her mother's attention as a girl

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Debbye Turner Bell describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood neighborhood in Jonesboro, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about developing a relationship with her older sister after the death of their mother in 1990

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Debbye Turner Bell describes her childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Debbye Turner Bell explains the unconventional spelling of her name

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Debbye Turner Bell describes wanting to be a veterinarian and volunteering in a veterinary clinic

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Debbye Turner Bell describes her houseful of pets

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Debbye Turner Bell describes her grade school years in Jonesboro, Arkansas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Debbye Turner Bell describes growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood in Jonesboro, Arkansas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Debbye Turner Bell remembers discussing race and current events at home

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about her racially integrated friend group

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Debbye Turner Bell describes her experiences in both St. Paul A.M.E. Church and Carter Temple CME Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about her acceptance of Christianity and learning to read the Bible

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Debbye Turner Bell describes how she first got involved in pageants

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Debbye Turner Bell describes her experience in the Southern pageant circuit

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Debbye Turner Bell describes entering the Miss Arkansas pageant three times and placing first runner-up twice

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about Vanessa Williams winning the Miss America title in 1984

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Debbye Turner Bell remembers the statement she made about her racial identity at her first press conference as Miss America

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Debbye Turner Bell remembers an article written about her by HistoryMaker Lynn Norment for Ebony magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about being the first brown-skinned African American winner of the Miss America pageant

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Debbye Turner Bell describes attempting to address a controversial statement she made at the Miss America press conference

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about differences between Miss America and Miss USA and describes how she financed pageant competitions

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about body type and typecasting in beauty pageants

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Debbye Turner Bell describes the Miss America pageant scholarship prizes

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Debbye Turner Bell describes differences in the contemporary Miss America pageant

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about controversy in the Miss America and Miss USA pageants

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Debbye Turner Bell describes winning the Miss America title in 1990, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Debbye Turner Bell describes winning the Miss America title in 1990, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Debbye Turner Bell describes Miss America's yearlong responsibilities

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Debbye Turner Bell remembers appearing on the David Letterman Show

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about her platform as Miss America and finishing her degree in veterinary medicine after giving up the title

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about her first job out of veterinary school as the spokesperson for Ralston Purina's Caring for Pets program

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Debbye Turner Bell explains how she got started in broadcast television anchoring 'Show Me St. Louis,' an entertainment show in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Debbye Turner Bell describes meeting her husband and getting married, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Debbye Turner Bell describes meeting her husband and getting married, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Debbye Turner Bell explains how she got to CBS Networks' 'The Early Show' as an on-air contributor and resident veterinarian

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Debbye Turner Bell explains why she left the CBS network in 2012

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Debbye Turner Bell explains how she was hired as an anchor for the global cable network, Arise News

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Debbye Turner Bell describes the mission of global cable network, Arise News

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Debbye Turner Bell considers her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about parenting

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Debbye Turner Bell considers her regrets

Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Debbye Turner Bell shares her advice for the up-and-coming generation

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Debbye Turner Bell describes her experience as an anchor-reporter on 'Show Me St. Louis'

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Debbye Turner Bell describes learning to be a broadcast journalist at 'Show Me St. Louis'

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Debbye Turner Bell describes her experience on CBS', 'The Early Show' and talks about the advantages and disadvantage of its number three time slot

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Debbye Turner Bell talks about traveling as a reporter for Arise News

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Debbye Turner Bell describes lessons from her career in broadcast journalism

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Debbye Turner Bell narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

9$2

DATitle
Debbye Turner Bell describes her experience in the Southern pageant circuit
Debbye Turner Bell remembers the statement she made about her racial identity at her first press conference as Miss America
Transcript
So the journey of being in these pageants as a smart young women who didn't necessarily buy into the pageantry of it, what was your journey? How did you experience going from contest to contest?$$What you first have to understand is not only was I in a pageant, The Miss America System, I was in the Miss America System in the South. And pageants to this day are a big, you know, bouffant business. And there were girls who were born, bred, and burped to be Miss Somebody, so I entered the system with, you know, no preconceived notions of a it would be like and no investment really in whether or not it affected my life. It was just something fun to do, win some scholarship money. And I entered with these girls who had been raised for this. And so first it served as a challenge because now in some ways, I'm in a foreign land. So now, I've got to learn a new language and a new way of being. You know, I didn't wear makeup, I barely wore dresses and I wasn't really a tom girl, just wasn't bothered with those things. So it was a challenge for me just to sort of figure out the game and to beat the others who had been playing it for a long time. So at first that's sort of what it was, it was just a game to me. And it took I believe three tries for me to win a local. I went to the Miss Arkansas pageant for the first time, again, this is a big hairy deal. And most girls on their first time don't do anything. I made the top ten and that got people's attention. And I remember one of the pageant people saying, "You really have potential. If you would actually apply yourself, you could do very well." So that was the first time it ever entered my mind that maybe I could excel at this, maybe I could be Miss America. So I set about to win another local to take me back to Miss Arkansas. It took a couple tries, went back to Miss Arkansas the second time and I got first runner-up, which again, big deal for a second try. And then I was told, if you can just win a state pageant, you will be Miss America. And that was when I set as my sight to be Miss America, it was no longer just about the scholarship. I'd learned more about the system; who this organization is; who Miss America is, what she does. I was like, oh that would be kind of cool.$I will tell you though, my aspiration to be Miss America was not connected to Vanessa [Williams] in any way, I was already involved in pageants by the time she won and I already had my own reasons for wanting to be there and wanting to win. So much so, that when I won, the first thing that Miss America does as Miss America, is goes into her first official press conference. There were dozens if not more than a hundred members of the press from around the world in the pressroom. And I remember after I walked the runway and waved and, you know, all the girls surround the winner and, you know, was congratulated and hugged by all my fellow contestants. The head of the Miss America Pageant at that time, Leonard Horn said, "I'm gonna walk you to your press conference. They're gonna ask you all kinds of things. We don't limit what you can talk about. You can say whatever you want to say; you can talk about whatever you want to talk about, but as an attorney"--because he was---"let me just caution you, what you say can and will be held against you." And I was so high on just winning Miss America, "Okay." And I, you know, I walk in, the flashbulbs go off. And it's important to understand, a part of competing for Miss America is preparing for a private, job-style interview. The most rigorous questioning I've ever endured. And so I knew how to answer questions. That's a part of what helped me win the pageant. So I didn't feel any intimidation, I felt like I was fully prepared for this because that's part of the competition. They want to know can you handle this. I was not prepared for the very first question. Second question, the first one was how did--what were you thinking when you walked down the runway? Second question. "How does it feel to be a representative for little black girls out there as the new Miss America?" I'd never thought of myself in that way. I was just this veterinary kid who wanted to pay for her education, from Arkansas. And while I was very aware of my ethnicity growing up, it didn't define me and I was caught of guard and I gave a poor answer. I said, "Being black is not everything that I am, it's just a part of who I am." And I went down, "I'm a veterinarian--or I'm a veterinary student, I play the drums, I was raised by a single--"I mean I went down this list of the things that define me and again I said it, "It's just part of who I am." And the next question came. As you might imagine, that didn't go over well with many members of the African American community, because what I didn't get in my youth at that time, was the significance of the achievement coming after Vanessa. We had a shot, didn't go so well, I was the next shot. And I only saw it as it related to me, not as the significance in society. And I spent a lot of my year explaining that statement.

Dr. Donald E. Jackson

Dr. Donald E. Jackson, Tuskegee Air Cadet and veterinarian, was born August 17, 1926, in Kansas City, Kansas. His father, Roy Jackson was an auto mechanic and his mother was a teacher and later the director of a children's home. As a child, Jackson was surrounded by black role models that inspired him to one day have his own business.

An excellent science student, Jackson graduated from Charles Sumner High School in Kansas City, in 1944, at the height of World War II. He was already enlisted in the Army Reserve Corps and dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot. After Jackson's basic training, he was sent to Tuskegee and there he was taught by some of the heroic veterans of the 99th Pursuit Squadron. He graduated at the close the war, in Class 45H, the last group of Tuskegee Airmen trained. However, due to the Excess Officer Act, Jackson was put on extended leave and allowed to attend college.

At Kansas State University, he earned a doctor of veterinary medicine degree in 1951. Jackson wanted his own practice, although most of the six black veterinarians he knew were employed by the government as meat inspectors. To get started, he assisted Dr. George Bronson in his small animal practice and in 1957; Jackson opened his All Pets Clinic in Wichita, Kansas. This small animal hospital treated cats, dogs and other pets and remained busy until Jackson retired in 2001.

Civic minded and committed to youth, Jackson volunteered for the Boy Scouts of America, serving as a scout leader and a district representative judging eagle scout candidates. Jackson served on the advisory board of Bank IV of Wichita from 1991 to 1996 and was an active tutor to young black males in the Wichita school system. Jackson, who attended classes at Wichita State in Medieval History, was a member of the Oz Bicycle Club and enjoyed cross-country skiing. He lived in Wichita with his wife and children.

Jackson passed away on February 21, 2018 at age 91.

Accession Number

A2002.166

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

8/29/2002

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

E.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Charles L. Sumner High School

Charles H. Sumner High School

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Donald

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

JAC07

Favorite Season

None

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Mountains

Favorite Quote

He who travels fastest travels alone.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Kansas

Birth Date

8/17/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Wichita

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

2/21/2018

Short Description

Veterinarian Dr. Donald E. Jackson (1926 - 2018 ) opened his All Pets Clinic in Wichita, Kansas, in 1957. This small animal hospital treated cats, dogs and other pets and remained busy until Jackson retired in 2001. Civic minded and committed to youth, Jackson volunteered for the Boy Scouts of America, serving as a scout leader and a district representative judging eagle scout candidates.

Favorite Color

Blue

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Donald Jackson interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Donald Jackson's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donald Jackson discusses his parents' backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donald Jackson remembers his ancestors

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donald Jackson shares memories from his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donald Jackson details life in the Kansas City, Kansas of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donald Jackson describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donald Jackson recalls his early interest in airplanes

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donald Jackson discusses his early athletic career

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donald Jackson discusses the state of education during his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donald Jackson describes his tenure in the Army

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donald Jackson explains his pursuit of veterinary medicine

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donald Jackson describes his experience in veterinary school at Kansas State University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donald Jackson describes his career as a veterinarian

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donald Jackson describes changes in veterinary medicine

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donald Jackson discusses issues in pet care

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donald Jackson discusses dogfights

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donald Jackson considers the practice of cropping the ears and tails of certain dogs

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donald Jackson reviews his career as a veterinarian

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donald Jackson discusses his involvement with the Boy Scouts of America

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Donald Jackson recalls an important mentoring experience

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Donald Jackson discusses his hobbies

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Donald Jackson describes his mother's attitude toward education

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Donald Jackson considers his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Donald Jackson emphasizes the need for improving education in the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Photo - Donald Jackson skiing the Boreas Pass Trail near Breckenridge, Colorado, March 1989

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Photo - Donald Jackson, Boy Scout leader, at the Medicine Lodge Indian Peace Treaty Pageant, Medicine Lodge, Kansas, 1988

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Donald Jackson with son Jason Jackson at a Boy Scouts of America event

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Donald Jackson with other members of Kansas State University's UNESCO, Manhattan, Kansas, ca. 1946-1951

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Donald Jackson with his first car, Peoria, Illinois, ca. 1951

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Donald Jackson at veterinary school at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, 1951

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Donald Jackson's mother, Viola Jackson, ca. 1946-1947

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Donald Jackson, a football player, in his junior year of high school, ca. 1943

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Photo - Donald Jackson upon graduating from Army air cadet training, Kansas, 1945

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Photo - Donald Jackson's grandmother and grandfather, 1864

Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Photo - Donald Jackson at his cadet school graduation, Tuskegee, Alabama, 1945

Tape: 4 Story: 17 - Photo - Donald Jackson, an Army air cadet, 1945

Tape: 4 Story: 18 - Photo - Donald Jackson with Army air cadet classmates, Tuskegee, Alabama, 1945

Tape: 4 Story: 19 - Photo - Donald Jackson's grandparents and their twelve children

Tape: 4 Story: 20 - Photo - Donald Jackson with his wife and children at a Jackson family reunion

Tape: 4 Story: 21 - Photo - Donald Jackson in a school photograph, ca. 1930s

Tape: 4 Story: 22 - Photo - Donald Jackson in junior high school, ca. 1930s

Tape: 4 Story: 23 - Photo - Donald Jackson, a trained air cadet, in front of a B-25 bomber, 1945

Tape: 4 Story: 24 - Photo - Donald Jackson with the entering class of Army air cadet training school, Tuskegee, Alabama, ca. 1945

Tape: 4 Story: 25 - Photo - Donald Jackson with his high school football team, Kansas City, Kansas, ca. 1930s

Tape: 4 Story: 26 - Photo - Donald Jackson as a baby, ca. late 1920s

Tape: 4 Story: 27 - Photo - Donald Jackson biking, July 2002

Tape: 4 Story: 28 - Photo - Donald Jackson at a Jackson family reunion, ca. 1992

Tape: 4 Story: 29 - Photo - Donald Jackson at the summit of Mount Elbert near Leadville, Colorado

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

3$1

DATitle
Donald Jackson explains his pursuit of veterinary medicine
Donald Jackson recalls an important mentoring experience
Transcript
Then [after leaving the Army Air Corps] you were free to go to school, I guess?$$Mm-hm.$$All right. So where'd you go to school?$$I went to K State--Kansas State University [Manhattan, Kansas]. Took pre-vet[erinary]. And then went into the veterinary school.$$Now--.$$And I finished--of course, the veterinary school is four years.$$Yeah.$$I finished that.$$Now let me--let me ask you this. Now when did you become interested in becoming a vet--a veterinarian?$$To some degree that was part of that prep school experience at Tuskegee [Army Air Field, Tuskegee, Alabama]. When the war [World War II] was over and we had graduated from pilot school. And we were all officers. Lived in the bachelor's officer's quarters. And, you know, as these guys were discharged some of those bachelor's or officer's quarters turned into college catalogue libraries. We had college catalogues from every place. Because we had guys, you know, from east to west, north to south. And as you can well imagine if you have, you know, fifty or seventy-five guys, you're gonna have at least, you know, fifty schools that people are interested in going to. So we use to really hold unprofessional placement conferences. You know, "What are you gonna take?" "You know, I'm going to engineering school." Some guy wants to be in aeronautical. You know, since he was in the Cadet Corps. That was all part of his interest to begin with, etc., etc. My--the aunt that I lived with had always had convinced me. She always said, you know, "Go into business." She said, "We have too many teachers, you know, in the--in our family." Because most of--a lot of the--my aunts and uncles, you know, were teachers in different locations. And so that was, you know, instilled into me. And so I was looking at what I was good at in the way of, you know, subjects in school. And what I was not good at in school. And so I knew that it have to be biological science. I sort of had it in mind. Picked out microbiology, you know, bacteria and viruses and things of that sort. But I looked at that, and says, "You know, I'll wind up a teacher." And here again the availability of things in Kansas City, Kansas for a black youngsters without, you know, within twelve or fourteen blocks of where I lived. There probably were three or four or five guys who had taken veterinary medicine. And most of them--as most veterinarians of that time had gone into meat inspection. And I didn't want to do that. And, of course, if I was gonna follow my aunt's, you know, instructions, you know, that would not be the thing to do. And so it became easy for me to transfer that biology area that I, you know, did best in, in high school to veterinary medicine. Or something where you could do and go into your own business. And with those role models--if you want to call 'em that, I--you know, I knew they were available. And so it was, you know, easy to make--make that choice.$Tell us about the young man who [went to prison]?$$Well--it was, you know, one of those learning experience type of things. You know, when I discontinued getting boys out of the juvenile court. And this kid, you know, who had broken my heart. And had, you know, wound up in prison. I got a telephone call many years later, you know, from this kid. "Dr. Jackson, can I come by?" And he came by and he told me, you know, what had happened to him and where he had been. And how much I had helped him in his life to see how his life was, you know, while he was in prison. And he wanted to come by and thank me. And to tell me he'd never do it again (begins crying).$$Well, what was he in prison for?$$Well he was just in prison. But it was one of those things that, you know, really broke my heart. It had to do with, you know, a parental failure. Which is a thing that I had the most difficulty accepting. Because his parents went in front of the court--in front of the judge says, "Do with him what you think you need to do. I can't do anything for him." And I'd never heard that before. And the guy has been exemplary, you know, since that time. He's gotten a job. He's gotten married. He's had kids. And, you know, when I would run into him. He would say--tell his kids, you know, "Come over here. I want you to meet this man. You know, because I wouldn't be anything if had not been for him." So, like I say, "You never know."$$You never know the impact you have on someone's life. One thing you do can stay with them for a long time I guess, right?$$Yeah.$$When we make a difference.$$But that was--(crying) I would say, you know, one of the defining moments in your life. That was one of 'em for me.