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Marvis Kneeland Jones

Elementary school teacher, travel agent, and public relations manager Marvis Kneeland-Jones was born on February 1, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois. She was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee and graduated from Hamilton High School with honors. After the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education mandated the desegregation of the Southern school system, Kneeland-Jones was among the first eight African American students to pass the entrance exam and enroll in Memphis State University. She and her fellow students eventually became known as the Memphis State Eight.

Kneeland-Jones graduated from Memphis State University with her B.S. degree in elementary education in 1974, after a four-year hiatus caused in part by the neglect and discrimination she experienced in her time there. During her time at Memphis State, Kneeland-Jones worked as a secretary for the NAACP. She went on to receive her M.S. degree in education and teach in the Memphis Public School system for the next twenty-five years. Kneeland-Jones also organized voter registration drives in Shelby County and worked to help her husband, Rufus E. Jones, run a successful campaign for State Representative in Tennessee, a position he held for sixteen years. Upon retirement from teaching, Kneeland-Jones went to work as Public Relations Manager for the government relations consulting company REJ & Associates, which her husband had founded.

Kneeland-Jones has been involved with numerous charitable and civic organizations, among them the Links Inc., the Friends of Memphis and Shelby County Libraries, Washington Chapel Church Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and the National, Tennessee, and Memphis Education Associations. Kneeland-Jones has been awarded lifetime membership in the NAACP, has been named a Civil Rights Pioneer Honoree, and has been honored with the Arthur S. Holman Lifetime Achievement Award by her alma mater, Memphis State University. Memphis State University also established the Memphis State Eight Best Paper Prize in 2000, for the best historical paper on the African American experience, in honor of Kneeland-Jones and her colleagues. In 2006 the Memphis State Eight were invited back to Memphis State to see the prize awarded at a conference on African American history and be honored for their pioneering roles in desegregation.

Accession Number

A2010.086

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/27/2010

Last Name

Kneeland-Jones

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

LaVerne

Schools

Hamilton High School

LeMoyne-Owen College

University of Memphis

Hamilton Elementary School

Douglass K-8 Optional School

Trevecca Nazarene University

First Name

Marvis

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

KNE01

Favorite Season

Birthday

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

God Help Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

2/1/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salad

Short Description

Travel agent, elementary school teacher, and public relations manager Marvis Kneeland Jones (1941 - ) helped to desegregate Memphis University and worked to promote civil rights and education throughout Memphis.

Employment

Memphis Public School System

For All Seasons

REJ & Associates

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:2387,55:7436,147:8426,160:12089,280:13277,293:24015,351:24355,356:38030,503:48130,628:52313,689:67755,822:72816,848:74046,869:76834,912:85286,1015:110530,1215:110790,1400:111115,1433:112090,1453:113715,1500:123980,1619:126814,1656:135290,1784:135610,1789:139050,1850:139450,1856:140330,1873:149545,1975:156983,2065:173741,2310:175743,2336:182200,2409:182800,2416:196280,2563:202805,2675:216520,2826:218104,2865:218808,2941:219248,2947:219688,2953:223052,2978:225382,2995:247690,3294:274206,3556:274574,3561:274942,3566:283982,3672:293300,3855:294690,3861$0,0:1245,54:50369,654:54720,672:55868,797:59312,899:59640,904:60214,912:60542,917:76421,1090:82645,1148:83041,1153:89575,1312:100988,1465:101332,1470:107340,1504:110654,1539:110994,1545:111266,1550:120300,1645:120628,1650:121120,1658:123416,1690:146656,1986:147344,1996:148118,2006:148462,2032:150440,2050:151128,2059:151730,2068:152418,2077:153278,2086:153794,2124:162950,2276:172588,2372:174884,2410:179230,2417:179746,2424:182498,2482:183960,2515:185078,2541:186024,2555:188690,2601:194366,2734:194968,2742:195312,2747:202604,2785:204073,2800:204525,2805:208593,2875:223476,3033:224064,3042:224484,3048:227844,3119:230448,3193:230784,3198:236732,3316:239554,3414:265925,3883:266225,3888:267200,3905:267500,3910:268550,3928:269150,3938:271775,4036:275460,4055:276435,4076:286714,4158:296642,4354:306960,4469:318153,4585:323900,4665
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marvis Kneeland Jones' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marvis Kneeland Jones lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about her mother's teaching career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about her father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marvis Kneeland Jones remembers her mother's death

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about the deaths of her maternal family members

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marvis Kneeland Jones remembers the Douglass community in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her experiences at Hamilton Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marvis Kneeland Jones recalls her childhood activities in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her early involvement in Memphis' Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about the civil rights leadership in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marvis Kneeland Jones remembers her early participation in sit-in protests

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marvis Kneeland Jones recalls the desegregation of the city buses in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marvis Kneeland Jones remembers moving to the Douglass community of Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her experiences at sit-ins in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marvis Kneeland Jones recalls the discriminatory admissions practices at Memphis State University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes the NAACP's first attempt to integrate Memphis State University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes the formation of the Memphis State Eight

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marvis Kneeland Jones recalls her reluctance to enroll at Memphis State University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about the Great Migration

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Marvis Kneeland Jones remembers her first day at Memphis State University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her experiences of racial discrimination at Memphis State University, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her experiences of racial discrimination at Memphis State University, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marvis Kneeland Jones recalls her academic experiences at Memphis State University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marvis Kneeland Jones recalls graduating with honors from Memphis State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marvis Kneeland Jones remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about her marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marvis Kneeland Jones recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Marvis Kneeland Jones recalls her graduation from Memphis State University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her career as an educator

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about her children's education and careers

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marvis Kneeland Jones remembers her students

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her husband's legislative career

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about Mayor W.W. Herenton of Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about the need for education reform

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Marvis Kneeland Jones reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Marvis Kneeland Jones reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about the need for job training programs

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Marvis Kneeland Jones narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Marvis Kneeland Jones narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her experiences of racial discrimination at Memphis State University, pt. 1
Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her experiences of racial discrimination at Memphis State University, pt. 2
Transcript
So, now after the dean [R.M. Robison] gave you all his rules of what he didn't want you to do and to get off campus as fast as you can (laughter), what did the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] tell you all?$$Well, the NAA- we told them about the registration process and the NAACP said, "Look, if you don't like what they have picked out for you go to them and tell them. And for your courses, your orientation and everything, and tell them that you are not happy with that. And if they say anything to you, give me a call." Well, you know we were so tense that we didn't do that. We just took what they gave us and went on.$$So you didn't tell the NAACP what the dean said or anything there?$$I didn't tell them.$$You, you didn't tell them, okay?$$Yeah, I--we told them, but I said--the NAACP said, "If you don't like what you got in terms of courses and--go and tell the dean that you don't like it and the administration," as they would say. But we didn't do that. We just took what they gave us and went on.$$But the NAACP didn't know that you all were just taking stuff you didn't like?$$No, they didn't know.$$That's what I--that's the point (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) They were saying, "Okay, so how was your day?" Mr. Turner [Jesse H. Turner, Sr.] every day, "Did you go to the cafeteria?" "No." "When you going?" "We, we don't know Mr. Turner. We, we don't really have time. We gonna have to get off the campus by twelve [o'clock]. We don't even have time to go to the library." And he said, "Well, I don't know why you can't, go on to the library." Well we ignored him because we wanted to get off of that campus like we were told. We just didn't do it.$$Now were you all afraid of the students?$$Sort of. Because--actually we didn't have very much socialization among each other. We were never in a class together, it was always one of us. And when we would go in, we would be sitting, if you sit in the middle you're gonna have seats vacant on both sides and behind you. And we used to wonder why people would be getting up. You know, how we had--how you go into class. And that's what would happen. And then we also--$$But, but did you really wonder why?$$Yeah--$$You didn't expect that (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) We wondered why and but we didn't--we just told the NAACP about that and of course they just said, "Well, you can't do anything with the people that move. But if they bother you, you must let us know." Well they didn't bother you, they just treated you indifferently. And you had to not pay attention to it. And when I, I noticed in my class, see I was the only one in there so I didn't have anybody to talk to in my group. I raised my hand and sometimes the teacher would just overlook it and somebody else would've answered the question. I didn't like that. So I ended up staying at Memphis State [Memphis State University; University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee] under these conditions for about two years and then I quit 'cause it was too much for me. Some of the others dropped out in the first year and went somewhere else.$$Did anybody finish there?$$Yes, Luther McClellan [Luther C. McClellan] was the first person to finish and he was from Manassas High School [Memphis, Tennessee]. And he finished and he was chemistry, mathematician and he started working for the government and he went into their service. And he did finish. The one--the next person to finish was Eleanor Gandy and she was from Douglass High School [Memphis, Tennessee]. And she majored in French. Now they went straight through. The rest of them, let's see, Sammie Burnett [Sammie Burnett Johnson] left in--after one year and she was my partner. And Ralph [Ralph Prater] finished, and I think he went--he didn't finish, but he went to Howard [Howard University, Washington D.C.] and got a law degree there.$That's Ralph Prater?$$Ralph Prater, uh-huh.$$You said that they put sugar in his gas tank?$$Oh, one day we were going home and he was trying to get the car started. He said, "I know there's nothing wrong with my car 'cause I just had a tune up." And so he tried to start it 'cause he was gonna take us to the bus, we were gonna miss our bus because it was about a couple of blocks up the road and he was just giving us a ride. And we could get a chance to interact with each other. But then we--Luther [Luther C. McClellan] and--not Luther but James Simpson [sic. John Simpson] and they looked and said, "Man, you got something in your tank." And that's when he found out that he had sugar in his tank. So somebody had to put it there. We don't know who. But anyway it was there. Another incident that happened is that Sammie [Sammie Burnett Johnson] and I were walking to catch the bus and we wal- went through what they call Jones Hall [Memphis, Tennessee]. And at Jones Hall, these football boys were standing out there and they said, "Okay, you niggers need to get outta here, we don't want you here." And of course, we were furious. We didn't know what to do, so we kept walking real fast and, and Sammie told me don't look back, we're just gonna walk and do what we have to do, and I did. Another incident that happened is the orange situation where some of the par- of Memphis State [Memphis State University; University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee] they said that they--oranges were thrown at them. And it was little irritating stuff like that, just irritating. So that pushed a lot of them away to go to other schools, to just leave that kind of environment. What got me out is that I got married and I had three children right away and I did not want to go under that kind of stress for life. I did not think I had a normal college life. I had experienced it at LeMoyne [LeMoyne College; LeMoyne-Owen College, Memphis, Tennessee], but when I went to Memphis State it was a whole lot different from what I was used to.$$What was the, the feedback that you received from Mr. Turner [Jesse H. Turner, Sr.] and the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People]? What did they say about--did they have anything to say about you all not staying in school?$$Well, sort of you know, by that time I wasn't working for him then, you know. I was at home being a homemaker. But I started school taking three hours, six hours.$$Okay, but I wanted to go back to when you all--when the, when the first, the black students first started dropping out of that bad situation at Memphis State. Did they--did they try to gather you all together and talk you back into going?$$Oh sure they talked to us a lot, but we just decided that this was not for us. Luther wanted to because he was very smart and he wanted to stay because he, he wanted to be a part of--he wanted to go on and get a higher form of education. And when he went in the [U.S.] Air Force he really did.$$Now did--did anybody--I'm sorry, but did anybody from the NAACP ever go up to Memphis State and talk to the dean [R.M. Robison] or the president [Cecil C. Humphreys] about how you all were being treated?$$You know what, I really don't think so. But I don't really know, because when I told my parent [Jones' father, James Kneeland] about it he said, "Well, you're just gonna have to keep going and do what you know to do." But by that time I had met my husband [Rufus E. Jones, Sr.] and I was ready to get married.$$Okay, well I just wanted to make sure I--how that worked 'cause if you (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I don't remember that. I do remember that the first year that we were there, they used to call us all together and we would go down to Mutual Federal [Mutual Federal Savings and Loan Association, Memphis, Tennessee] and have those meetings with those lawyers. But I really don't know what came out of that because it was at that time that the State Board of Education [Tennessee State Board of Education] allowed us to come to that school. And then I think they just said everything was okay, unless we complained, nothing else was done about it. And we just scattered. Now what? (Unclear) (laughter).$$Okay, well that--that's important 'cause I think we do need to know the dynamic of how the NAACP was working. And if they, they put you all, they, they organized you to go there, it seems like somebody would've, there'd been some follow through?$$Mr. Turner was trying to, you know. But you know, as I left and I wasn't working there anymore, because when I went to school, you know, I couldn't work. I had to spend most of my time studying. I just couldn't.

William Taylor

Colonel William M. Taylor helped the U.S. military manage media scrutiny in times of crisis for twenty-seven years. Born on December 24, 1930, in St. Paul, Minnesota, Taylor's media savvy served him and his country well as the military officer responsible for public affairs support to the secretary of defense.

Taylor grew up in Muncie, Indiana, and earned a journalism degree from Indiana University in 1952. He entered the U.S. Air Force in 1953 and soon after began working in public information posts for the Air Force. During the Vietnam War, Taylor was a public information officer stationed in Saigon, Vietnam, and Bangkok, Thailand. When he returned to the United States, Taylor worked at the Pentagon, and in July 1977 became the director of defense information. During his tenure, Taylor helped manage publicity for the military on a number of sensitive issues, from missing nuclear bombs to returned prisoners of war to the failed Iranian hostage rescue.

After retiring in 1980, Taylor became a public affairs adviser to the American Petroleum Institute. He served as a contact person for media on the oil industry and helped manage public awareness for petroleum issues. For eight years, Taylor organized and managed the oil industry's annual crisis management and communications seminar. This expertise became invaluable in 1989, when Taylor went to Alaska to provide on-site assistance to Exxon in the aftermath of the Valdez oil spill. Since 1996, Taylor has run Action Image, a public relations consultancy and sports photography enterprise. He has also served as a public affairs emergency response reservist for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Taylor and his wife, Phyllis Moxley, have three children and three grandchildren. They live in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Accession Number

A2003.241

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/13/2003

Last Name

Taylor

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

M.

Schools

Muncie Central High School

Indiana University

Boston University

McKinley Elementary School

Lake Elementary School

Wilson Junior High School

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

St. Paul

HM ID

TAY05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Minnesota

Favorite Vacation Destination

Asia

Favorite Quote

Do ye next thing.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

12/24/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Federal government administrator and public relations manager William Taylor (1930 - ) served as the Director of Defense Information for the U.S. Army, and has worked as an advisor to the oil industry.

Employment

Department of Defense

American Petroleum Institute

Action Image

Favorite Color

Air Force Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:12462,260:18855,278:20119,299:20435,304:23279,336:24306,350:24859,360:25412,373:26913,400:32025,426:32801,450:33189,456:34256,466:35323,484:35808,491:38427,527:38912,533:39785,541:40464,554:41628,570:45996,597:46716,609:47220,617:49812,667:51540,696:51900,702:55160,717:56960,743:58010,762:58535,772:58835,777:59735,795:60410,805:60710,811:61010,816:61460,823:61760,828:62060,833:62810,843:66935,915:67685,925:73172,946:73557,956:74404,968:75482,984:76098,993:76791,1003:79650,1018:83490,1125:84290,1141:88812,1169:89388,1176:91894,1184:93300,1206:93670,1212:94114,1220:94410,1225:95298,1242:95890,1254:99294,1320:99812,1329:101884,1359:102254,1366:103734,1389:104992,1404:113573,1493:118685,1571:120105,1594:120815,1605:121099,1610:121667,1620:130237,1703:132100,1726:133234,1744:135097,1784:135502,1790:139240,1815:140260,1833:140500,1838:141700,1865:141940,1870:149550,1988:154032,2035:154386,2042:155566,2069:157041,2110:160420,2133:160870,2139:162310,2162:163120,2172:167156,2195:167730,2203:168058,2208:168632,2216:169288,2229:170600,2250:171748,2269:189450,2419$0,0:7549,65:7945,70:9925,84:11806,110:12202,115:12994,125:16533,140:18237,171:20060,183:22403,217:23113,228:23397,233:23752,239:24036,244:24675,254:28752,290:29154,297:31231,340:31834,351:34830,384:35766,398:36054,403:36558,411:38646,431:39438,444:40230,456:41958,492:50415,597:50715,602:51015,607:51315,612:52665,632:53190,641:55420,658:56120,669:64035,782:68460,819:69900,840:72600,872:73320,881:77536,903:78256,916:79192,929:83800,1071:85168,1091:85600,1103:90640,1165:91288,1181:91666,1197:92530,1216:92962,1226:93934,1250:100168,1361:100948,1376:101572,1385:102820,1400:103756,1414:104458,1424:105316,1436:106330,1461:109776,1475:113088,1530:122920,1652:124740,1701:125715,1720:126365,1736:127210,1758:133455,1811:135630,1837:136239,1844:143387,1934:146413,2009:148193,2054:148549,2059:163780,2307:164100,2312:164420,2317:173280,2420:173976,2429:178585,2492:178963,2503:180034,2531:184870,2581:185422,2589:194954,2694:201730,2779
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Taylor interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Taylor's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Taylor describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Taylor describes his maternal grandfather and family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Taylor remembers his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Taylor discusses changes of residence and race awareness during his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Taylor recalls his first awareness of racial differences

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Taylor shares memories of Minnesota, his childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Taylor remembers the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, St. Paul, Minnesota

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Taylor recalls encounters with black celebrities in his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Taylor discusses his childhood interests

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Taylor recalls his school days

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Taylor describes life in Muncie, Indiana in the 1940s

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Taylor recounts his entry into a new tough school in Muncie, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Taylor discusses his early interest in the Third Reich

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Taylor discusses his interest in written communication

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Taylor discusses his high school activities

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Taylor remembers influential school figures

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Taylor discusses his college choices

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Taylor discusses his experiences as a journalism student at Indiana University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Taylor recounts an event in his college track career

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Taylor recalls the start of his professional life

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Taylor discusses his search for a journalism job

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Taylor recounts his first overseas tours with the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Taylor describes his experiences in the U.S. Air Force dealing with the press

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Taylor discusses public relations changes resulting from today's 'instant news'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Taylor discusses his ventures in the public relations field

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Taylor discusses African Americans in the U.S. Air Force's public relations department

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Taylor shares his professional philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Taylor recalls his military travels in Southeast Asia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Taylor recalls his PR involvement during catastrophic events in recent history

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Taylor preserves the stories of African Americans

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Taylor repeats a story from his friend Ernie Fears

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Taylor reflects on the state of the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Taylor considers his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Photo - William Taylor, age ten, with two unidentified boys before a church outing, Omaha, Nebraska, 1940

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Photo - William Taylor and other military personnel at the 58th parallel separating North Korea and South Korea

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Photo - William Taylor in Omaha, Nebraska, early 1940s

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Photo - William Taylor at a Pearl Harbor memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Photo - William Taylor on the set of an Air Force training film, ca. 1966

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Photo - William Taylor reading with his grandson, ca. 2000

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Photo - William Taylor, age five, at a birthday celebration, ca. 1935

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Photo - William Taylor's mother, 1920s

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Photo - William Taylor at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, ca. 1948

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Photo - William Taylor with a group of Japanese industrialists, early 1970s

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Photo - William Taylor with other Muncie Central Bearcats players, Indiana, 1948

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Photo - Co-captains of the Indiana University track team, 1952

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Photo - William Taylor with U.S. Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird at a government ceremony in his honor, early 1970s

Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Photo - William Taylor in his official military photograph, ca. 1970

Tape: 6 Story: 15 - Photo - William Taylor with family members upon his retirement from the U.S. Air Force, 1980

Tape: 6 Story: 16 - Photo - William Taylor with future wife at a Indiana University Christmas formal, Bloomington, Indiana, 1952

Tape: 6 Story: 17 - Photo - William Taylor makes a one-handed shot, 1947

Tape: 6 Story: 18 - Photo - William Taylor at a daily meeting with the Director of Defense Information, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., late 1970s

Tape: 6 Story: 19 - Photo - Col. William Taylor with Defense Department personnel, Southeast Asia, 1971

Tape: 6 Story: 20 - Photo - William Taylor informs U.S. Army Chief of Staff William Westmoreland of military information, ca. 1965

Tape: 6 Story: 21 - Photo - William Taylor's ancestors

Tape: 6 Story: 22 - Photo - William Taylor golfing, n.d.

Tape: 6 Story: 23 - Photo - William Taylor's daughters and their husbands, n.d.

Tape: 6 Story: 24 - Photo - William Taylor and Ray Connelly, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, ca. 1989

Tape: 6 Story: 25 - Photo - William Taylor's grandmother and two unidentified women, ca. 1920s

Tape: 6 Story: 26 - Photo - William Taylor's grandfather, ca. 1930s

Tape: 6 Story: 27 - Photo - William Taylor's grandfather while working on the Great Northern Railroad, n.d.

Tape: 6 Story: 28 - Photo - William Taylor with his cousin, aunt and unidentified woman, n.d.

Tape: 6 Story: 29 - Photo - William Taylor and Myrtle Carden, ca. early 1930s

Tape: 6 Story: 30 - Photo - William Taylor and his mother, St. Paul, Minnesota, ca. 1930s

Tape: 6 Story: 31 - Photo - William Taylor and Myrtle Carden, St. Paul, Minnesota, ca. early 1930s

Tape: 6 Story: 32 - Photo - William Taylor featured in a 'Muncie Star' newspaper article, May 31, 1980

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$2

DAStory

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DATitle
William Taylor recalls his military travels in Southeast Asia
William Taylor recounts his entry into a new tough school in Muncie, Indiana
Transcript
You served in the Defense Department [U.S. Department of Defense] in a similar capacity in the [President James 'Jimmy'] Carter Administration too, right? You served in the Pentagon?$$In--understand the operat--the news operations of the Pentagon. There is, there is the news department. And the news department has several, several branches, the Army, the Navy and the Marine Corps, the civilian representation, the audio visual, the same thing, Army, Navy, Air Force and there's still, still photography. And all of that comes under a manager, and that manager is called the, the chief, the director of defense information. Or to put it in laymen's terms, the chief, chief of the Pentagon press operation. My first tour in the, in the building, I was--I began, at that time they had the Southeast Asia, just having come from Southeast Asia, I was on the Southeast--I was the Air Force representative on the Southeast Asia desk. And then from that position, I moved up to the military assistant position. And when the [Secretary of Defense Melvin R.] Laird Administration [1969-1973] ended and that tour of duty was over, I went to Japan as the, as the senior public affairs representative of the Armed Forces, U.S. Forces Japan, in Japan. And then the second job, as you wore two hats, as they say, I was the chief of information for the fifth Air Force, which included all Air Force units in Japan, Okinawa [Japan] and Korea. Language-wise, I studied the Japanese language, spoke Japanese. When I was in Thailand, I spoke Thai. I always believed that you, that you, you know and understand more about the country you're in if you understand the language. And it does, it opens doors and opens, and gives you a recognition and a realization that--even though you don't speak well, you can still--and sometimes it's to your advantage not to speak too well because you throw, you throw your, your host off guard. But you have to speak well enough so that you can, you could understand what's being--and it's difficult to become proficient, but you should become proficient enough so that you can communicate in, in the local language. And we were fortunate enough to--Thai, I had trouble with because it's a tonal language, and I, you know, I can't sing anything on, on key. So, but as long as you keep things in context, you can, you can offset the, the inability to be accurate on your, on your tones.$Did you like Muncie [Indiana]?$$It's difficult to answer because very seldom do--my practice is to, you know, take things as they are. And situations that you are not in control of, that to, to view those situations negatively only makes that situation more difficult. So my practice has always been to try and deal with positives of the situation, regardless of, of, you know, the circumstances that brought about the negatives that exists, recognizing that there're always negatives, and recognizing that there're always positives. So if you dwell on those positives, in the long run, you'll just feel more comfortable and can make the best of whatever particular circumstances you're cast into.$$Okay, well, did you have to do that in Muncie (laughs)?$$Oh, yes (laughs). For example, I was told--they said that, that the really poor section of, outside the African American community was in, was right in the heart of the Wilson [now, Wilson Junior High School] area. It was called Shed Town. Shed Town was right--so they said, awe, that's a tough school, tough school, said, you'd better, you know, get ready. So I had a couple of weeks before I went to school, and not knowing, I mean this is gonna be a whole new adventure to me, so not knowing exactly what I was gonna be faced with, my mother [Alice Melker Taylor] had a sewing dummy. And I had read in 'Life' magazine about this new technique for defending yourself or fighting. It was called Jujitsu. And they had demonstrations of, of Jujitsu. And this was, this would have what? 1941 or '42 [1942], something like that, '42 maybe. So she had this sewing dummy. So I practiced with the sewing dummy. I'd grab it--I'd throw I around and toss it around, over my back and knew all the moves and everything. So I felt I was proficient in this new (laughs) unknown sport, Jujitsu. So on my first day in school, you know, I didn't know anyone, and so, you know, guys coming up, "Who are you?" And I told them who I was. " Where are you from?" I told them where I was from, "Moved here from Minnesota." I forgot and left out Nebraska. So they said, "Can you fight?" And I said, "Well, I don't, I don't box so good, but I'm a Jujitsu expert." And they said, "Oh, man (laughs), said, you don't want to mess with him, he's a--." So that then gave me a nickname. And no one ever tested my--I guess I was big enough so that, you know, as a, as a thirteen year old, you know, I'm 5 [feet] 10 [inches] or something. So people are just gonna take you at your word, you know. And so that then--in junior high school, that was nickname, 'JuJu'.$$'JuJu', after Jujitsu.$$Yeah, after Jujitsu. No one ever challenged it, but good thing, (laughs) cause I had never tried it except on that, on that sewing dummy.

A. Bruce Crawley

A. Bruce Crawley, one of six children, was born on March 24, 1946, in Philadelphia to Edith Marie Jenkins and Joseph McHerrin.

Mostly educated in Catholic schools, Crawley graduated from St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in 1963 and St. Joseph’s University in 1967. He studied marketing and management and has succeeded admirably in those fields. His first job after earning his bachelor’s degree was at First Pennsylvania Bank. Crawley was promoted to posts as director of branch marketing, vice president and advertising director before becoming senior vice president and director of public and investor relations. Crawley won the Bank Marketing Association’s Penny Award for outstanding public relations programs and annual reports. He also testified before the U.S. Senate Small Business Subcommittee and the U.S. Senate Banking Committee.

Crawley earned a master’s degree in journalism from Temple University in 1983. He left First Pennsylvania Bank in 1989 to found the public relations firm Crawley, Haskins & Rodgers, where he serves as president and CEO. Crawley also founded the African American Chamber of Commerce of Philadelphia.

Crawley has served as chairman of the Philadelphia Urban League and the Public Relations Society of America’s National Multicultural Affairs Committee, and as public relations chairman for the Pennsylvania State Caucus of Black Legislators. Other civic commitments include membership on the board of Independence Blue Cross, the National Urban League and Claridge Casino Hotel. Crawley has been politically active as well, serving as campaign manager and consultant for numerous elected officials.

Crawley has one adult child, Christopher Bruce Crawley, and has been married to Pamela Browner-Crawley since 2000.

Crawley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 9, 2002.

Accession Number

A2002.182

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/9/2002

Last Name

Crawley

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

St Joseph's Preparatory School

Temple University

First Name

A. Bruce

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

CRA01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

3/24/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sushi, Fried Chicken

Short Description

Public relations chief executive and public relations manager A. Bruce Crawley (1946 - ) founded the public relations firm Crawley, Haskins & Rodgers, where he serves as president and CEO. Crawley also founded the African American Chamber of Commerce of Philadelphia.

Employment

First Pennsylvania Bank

Crawley, Hasings & Rodgers

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:5835,192:10710,412:89812,1685:118402,1989:131883,2153:132987,2173:133539,2182:139542,2304:162130,2653:164300,2744:177141,2931:181029,3065:195182,3260:219965,3666:236920,3841$0,0:36790,493:40046,571:47002,684:47298,689:47816,696:48186,701:52108,773:52552,780:52848,785:55216,843:58842,917:68360,1019:68828,1026:99986,1485:104042,1555:119702,1770:120806,1784:121450,1796:134957,1947:137344,1997:137960,2006:156032,2286:156578,2295:178928,2623:180407,2661:191456,2993:210889,3214:217324,3388:272680,4075
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of A. Bruce Crawley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - A. Bruce Crawley lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about his absent father

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about his son

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - A. Bruce Crawley describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about his ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - A. Bruce Crawley describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - A. Bruce Crawley describes attending school at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - A. Bruce Crawley remembers learning to read

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about attending St. Joseph's Preparatory School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about his childhood friend Louis Tyler Brown

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about his school activities and jobs

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - A. Bruce Crawley describes attending St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - A. Bruce Crawley recalls working at First Pennsylvania Bank

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about maintaining his independence in corporate banking

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about martial arts

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - A. Bruce Crawley describes his mentor Daud

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - A. Bruce Crawley recalls learning about African American heritage from Daud

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about the importance of teaching African American history

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about his first wife

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - A. Bruce Crawley describes the decision to start his own business

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about starting his business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about starting the African American Chamber of Commerce in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - A. Bruce Crawley describes his work to help minorities get development contracts

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - A. Bruce Crawley describes his efforts to help create the United Bank of Philadelphia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about his communications plan for the United Bank of Philadelphia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about his firm's involvement in John Street's campaigns

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - A. Bruce Crawley shares his views on the importance of political involvement

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about the national network of black advertising agencies

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - A. Bruce Crawley describes his firm's shift to government contracts

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - A. Bruce Crawley describes how large agencies take over African American advertising agencies

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about racism in the advertising business

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - A. Bruce Crawley describes his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - A. Bruce Crawley reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about the starting the Leadership Institute

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - A. Bruce Crawley talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - A. Bruce Crawley describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - A. Bruce Crawley narrates his photographs

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
A. Bruce Crawley recalls learning about African American heritage from Daud
A. Bruce Crawley describes the decision to start his own business
Transcript
So I remember one--I was, I was taking a course at St. Joseph's [University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] and the course was rational psychology and we had this many-degree Jesuit teaching the course, and this guy was so arrogant that he thought that you didn't have to take a test to learn in his classroom; all you had to do was to be exposed to him. It was a five-credit course. Every single day we had that course, and all you had to do was be exposed to him, and through osmosis you would learn enough to have an A as long as you didn't miss any classes. If you missed two classes you got a B, if you missed four you got a C, and so on; no quizzes, no test--just be exposed to me. You also couldn't ask any questions, you also couldn't disagree with him because he knew everything, and so one day he was in there talking about the greatest period in the history of man as to the pursuit of education and knowledge, and he said that that was during the period--the Golden age of Greece--Socrates, Plato, Aristotle; and he said that there was no time in history where man was more fond of, of gaining knowledge and, and that was the center of all knowledge on the face of the earth. And I raised my hand and I said, "You know, I don't know; people will seem to be doing pretty well now; somebody just invented a polio vaccine that--and people are sending satellites up; I mean what are you talking about? I mean these guys were all right, but I mean they must have gotten their information from somebody, I mean"--he said, "Sit down; you don't know what you're talkin' about." So I, I was really upset and I went to get a haircut that day, and Daud was cutting my hair and he said, "Well, Bruce, what's wrong? You seem like there's something wrong." And I told him about this experience and he gave me a book. He went in the back, you know, and, and pulled out a book called The Stolen Legacy, and that book talked about why Socrates showed up mysteriously at the age of forty already with information and knowledge intact, and, and how the information that he had was so foreign to the people in Greece that they made him take hemlock, and detailed how he had actually been in Northern Africa and learning from the priest in Egypt and that's where he got most of his information. So I took this book back to school and--and I, and I, and I gave it to the professor after the class the next day and he said, "What is this?" And I said, "Well, you know, I read it maybe you should read it and we can discuss it." And he came in two days later and said, "We're not gonna have a normal class; we're gonna devote the whole class to this book that Mr. Crawley bought in; it's honestly nonsense. The publisher says that the Egyptians were a race of black and brown people, and we know how ridiculous that is." And everybody started laughing; I was the only black person in the class. He went through and he eviscerated this book, he, he destroyed the publisher, he talked about everything in it and said it was all lies, and at the end of the class, he said, "And that's it." And I said, "Well, you know, if that's true, if Greece was the center of all knowledge, why did they make Socrates take hemlock? Why did they send Aristotle into exile? Explain that to me--if they wanted knowledge and information so much and nobody else in Greece had this information, and yet they had that information in Northern Africa. And he said, "Class dismissed." And he gave me a C for the five-credit course, and I never saw him again; he went off to Europe to learn, again, some more misinformation. But, but Daud was very important to all of us. I mean we, we would go to the barber to get information about our heritage. And I just saw him at the Richard Allen Reunion Picnic a month ago; he's had a great impact on all of our lives.$How did you get the idea of starting your own business? A lot of people are satisfied with being an executive in a major corporation; they think they have it made and everything. How did you get that idea?$$Well, you know, I really got a little tired of working for new managers, none of whom knew anything about corporate communications, none of whom had degrees in journalism or marketing or advertising, but who had the responsibility of doing my annual performance review, and I thought that was kinda silly. And, and, and I also got a little put off by, by their insecurity. I remember when I was a vice president, and the person I worked for was an executive vice president with senior vice president between us, he gave me fair reviews; but then when I became a senior vice president and there was no level of management, I was the next step below him, he started to give me reviews that said, "Well, he's just a fair performer." And I said, "You know, I've never been a fair performer; you go back over my twenty years at this bank, look at all my reviews. Why did I start to become a fair performer now that I'm one step behind you? I don't want your job; I don't wanna do what you do." (Simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--Machiavelli (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--Yeah, yeah; you know--and it, it became obvious that it was time to go, and I was not a good soldier once I realized what his motivation was. So I got a guy who used to work with me, Mike Haskins and said to Mike and, and a woman who was in the Public Relations Society with me--I didn't know her very well but she did a lot of non-profit PR, and I called the two of them together and said, "Let's start a business; I'm ready to get outta here." And so Mike and I and her, we started meeting after work and on weekends for about four months; we put together a business plan, pooled our capital--didn't take very much capital--rented a space over in the, in the Bourse Building a couple blocks from here. And I remember when we signed a lease and the lease became effective on May 19th, and so it was time for us to resign and we had everything in place, and I called Mike and I said--Mike was now working upstairs for another manager. I said, "Mike, you know it's time for us to resign because the clock is ticking, and as of May 19th, we're paying rent at this new place." I said, "So we'll both resign today at 4:00 and then, you know, we'll talk about it later." And Mike said, "Okay, I'll resign to my guy and you resign to yours." And so he went off to do his thing and I called the guy I was working for. At this time, I was reporting to the vice chairman of the board, and I called him and he was out and his secretary said, "He won't be back today." And I said, "When is he getting back?" She said, "Well, he'll be in in the morning." I said, "Well, put me on the first thing in the morning with him." Said, "What's the subject?" "I can't tell you what the subject is; put me on with him first thing in the morning." She said, "Okay, Bruce, I'll put you on." So I hang up the phone and so then Mike calls me about 4:20, says, "I did it" "What did you do?" He said, "I resigned; how did you do?" I said, "I didn't get a chance to talk to him." And it was a dead silence on the other end of the phone. He thought I didn't have the nerve to quit and, and, you know, I could imagine that he was a little distraught and I explained it to him. The first thing the next day, I went in and I resigned too, but we just, we just had--had enough; it was time to move, it was time to, to see whether we could do what we told everybody was so easy to do. And, and most African Americans that you talk to in corporate America, in corporate life, will say, "In order to be competitive, we have to be twice as good as our white peers," and I said to Mike, "Well, we're twice as good, we shouldn't have a problem unless maybe we're not, and we'll find that out; we'll find out if we're twice as good." And so with that philosophy we, we decided to step away and never looked back.