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Peter F. Hurst, Jr.

Peter Frederick Hurst, Jr., founder and chief executive officer of the Community’s Bank in Bridgeport, Connecticut, was born on October 29, 1955, in Houston, Texas. Raised in the Third Ward of Houston by parents Peter and Ophelia Hurst, Sr., Hurst was an Eagle Scout at the Wheel Ave. Baptist Church. Attending E.L. Blackshear Elementary School and Sidney Lanier Junior High School, Hurst graduated from Mirabeau Lamar High School in 1974 as a member of the National Honor Society. Hurst earned his A.B. degree in accounting, magna cum laude, from Duke University in 1978, and his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1981.

Hurst clerked for Judge Damon Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 1981, and a year later he joined the Steptoe and Johnson Law Firm in Washington, D.C. From 1984 to 1986, Hurst served in the General Counsel’s Office of the Federal Reserve Bank. Moving to New York City, Hurst worked as an investment banker with E.F. Hutton, and in 1987, became senior vice president with Dean Witter. Going into business for himself in 1990, Hurst worked with smaller clients through Bahia Partners and Hurst Capital Partners. In 2001 Hurst created the Community’s Bank, opening branches in the Connecticut cities of Hartford, Bridgeport, and Bloomfield. As founder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president of the Urban Financial Group, the company which controls Community’s Bank, Hurst runs the only independent, minority owned bank in Connecticut.

Hurst has served on the boards of the Republic New York Corporation; the Bridgeport Area Foundation; the Community Service Society of New York; Boy Scouts of America (Bronx Council); the University of Scranton; and the United American Healthcare Corporation. Hurst was honored in 2003 by the African American Affairs Commission of Connecticut, and in 2004 became the first African American to serve as grandmaster of the Phineas T. Barnum Parade and Festival in Bridgeport.

Accession Number

A2005.049

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/15/2005

Last Name

Hurst

Maker Category
Middle Name

F.

Occupation
Schools

Harvard Law School

Sidney Lanier Junior High School

Blackshear Elementary School

Lamar High School

Lanier Middle School

Duke School

First Name

Peter

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

HUR01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Often Wrong, but Never in Doubt.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Interview Description
Birth Date

10/29/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hartford

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Bank executive Peter F. Hurst, Jr. (1955 - ) was the founder and chief executive officer of the Urban Financial Group, which controls the Community’s Bank in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Employment

Steptoe & Johnson

Federal Reserve Board

E .F. Hutton

Dean Witter

Bahia Partners

Hurst Capitol Partners

Community's Bank

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:11680,180:13108,206:13584,215:20248,393:25620,439:26040,445:27132,456:28140,486:29568,507:31332,549:31752,555:32340,563:35616,625:38976,700:42550,705:43353,713:46054,749:46565,757:46930,763:55560,890:56835,907:57210,913:62050,968:62831,984:69079,1115:85322,1402:90470,1486:100218,1619:100574,1624:102799,1660:106092,1713:106448,1718:118036,1850:118558,1857:118993,1862:121342,1905:123169,2017:123604,2023:124561,2040:127084,2078:130958,2098:132068,2114:132512,2121:140060,2279:149308,2394:149672,2399:157953,2534:158863,2546:160410,2569:162321,2627:180310,2794$0,0:1066,21:2050,40:2624,51:5904,119:8200,168:11150,173:14038,220:14418,226:17914,324:22170,402:26114,432:26438,437:28139,462:28706,469:32027,541:32675,557:33080,563:36482,630:37049,637:39236,683:39722,690:40370,699:44262,757:47814,798:49294,830:49590,839:50108,846:53586,938:55954,1006:56250,1011:62410,1064:67165,1143:67615,1153:70540,1218:73315,1298:76240,1319:84720,1450:90080,1587:101000,1723:102944,1749:103268,1754:107966,1833:108371,1839:120454,1984:124070,2047
DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253206">Tape: 1 Slating of Peter F. Hurst, Jr.'s interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253207">Tape: 1 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253208">Tape: 1 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. describes his maternal family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253209">Tape: 1 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. describes his paternal family background and his parents meeting</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253210">Tape: 1 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. describes his parents' personalities and his resemblance to them</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253211">Tape: 1 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. talks about being adopted</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253212">Tape: 1 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253213">Tape: 1 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253214">Tape: 1 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. talks about his formative reading experiences</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253215">Tape: 1 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. talks about attending Blackshear Elementary School and Sidney Lanier Junior High School in Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253216">Tape: 1 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. talks about playing the trumpet in school and at church</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253217">Tape: 2 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. talks about the band at St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253218">Tape: 2 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. talks about his extracurricular activities at Mirabeau Lamar High School in Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253219">Tape: 2 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. describes his involvement in the Boy Scouts of America</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253220">Tape: 2 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. recalls his high school academics and his decision to attend college</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253221">Tape: 2 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. explains his decision to attend Duke University in Durham, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253222">Tape: 2 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. describes his activities at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253223">Tape: 2 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. explains his initial plan to pursue an accounting career</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253224">Tape: 2 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253225">Tape: 2 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. remembers his experience at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253226">Tape: 2 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. talks about overcoming a financial hurdle in order to graduate law school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253227">Tape: 3 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. reflects on what he learned as a law clerk for HistoryMaker Judge Damon Keith</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253228">Tape: 3 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. tells a story of HistoryMaker Judge Damon Keith in the courtroom</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253229">Tape: 3 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. remembers attending the NAACP Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner with HistoryMaker Judge Damon Keith</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253230">Tape: 3 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. describes working for Steptoe and Johnson LLP and the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253231">Tape: 3 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. recounts switching from a law career to investment banking in 1986</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253232">Tape: 3 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. recalls the trajectory for founding Hurst Capitol Partners Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253233">Tape: 3 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. describes the process of starting The Community's Bank</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253234">Tape: 3 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. reflects on the development of The Community's Bank</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253235">Tape: 3 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. describes the diverse clientele and staff at The Community's Bank in Bridgeport, Connecticut</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253236">Tape: 3 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. talks about The Community's Bank involvement in community development</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253237">Tape: 4 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. talks about his civic involvement as leader of The Community's Bank in Bridgeport, Connecticut</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253238">Tape: 4 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. talks about the future of The Community's Bank in Bridgeport, Connecticut</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253239">Tape: 4 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. describes his concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253240">Tape: 4 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. reflects upon his life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253241">Tape: 4 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. shares two stories of the The Community's Bank assisting its customers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253242">Tape: 4 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253243">Tape: 4 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. talks about his mother witnessing his success</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253244">Tape: 4 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/253245">Tape: 4 Peter F. Hurst, Jr. narrates his photographs</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

10$2

DATitle
Peter F. Hurst, Jr. talks about The Community's Bank involvement in community development
Peter F. Hurst, Jr. tells a story of HistoryMaker Judge Damon Keith in the courtroom
Transcript
What significant projects has the bank [The Community's Bank, Bridgeport, Connecticut] supported, you know, in the community, would you--?$$Well two things. Let me describe--we're designated, when I say we both the bank and our holding company. Our holding company is called the Urban Financial Group. We're designated by the U. S. treasury department [U.S. Department of the Treasury] as a community development financial institution. Which means that both the bank and the holding company have, as our primary missions, community development. Which doesn't mean we're doing bad loans it just means the kind of you know market Bridgeport [Connecticut] is and the kind of things we're doing as a bank will by definition improve this community. Because we're focusing on you know residential real estate loans which you know enhances and supports homeownership. We're focused on doing commercial loans which enhances and supports entrepreneurship. So, you know, because we're a community development financial institution a lot of our lending activities qualify for something that the treasury department has called a bank enterprise award. Where it's, it's almost like a Discover Card you get cash back for lending that you've done in certain markets. So based on our lending activities in Bridgeport, Hartford [Connecticut] and New Haven [Connecticut] respectively, you know, we got an award earlier in our fiscal year, our fiscal year starts July first and ends June 30. So October we got a bank enterprise award of over $300,000. So, you know that's an example of, you know, something that, you know, the bank directly does in, in fulfilling its mission of lending that's had a positive impact. We also support a lot of causes and, you know, like I'm active on a lot of local boards of directors. And the bank is, you know, supported things like there's an organization in town called The Music and Arts Center for Humanities [sic. The Music and Arts Center for Humanity, Bridgeport, Connecticut] and every year they have a show put on by the Ailey II traveling production. And we support that by buying tickets for kids in Bridgeport schools to go to that performance. Because the theory is, is that, you know, a significance cultural event, the kids wouldn't have the money to go otherwise and, and you know we want to support that. I've done things like they, they have a read aloud day and I go, you know if not every month, every other month to a school here in town that's on the, you know, one of the poorer sections of town call the Newfield School [Bridgeport, Connecticut] and I read to a group of first grades. And I actually went you know last Thursday and read a Langston Hughes book, you know signif--you know in significance of, you know, Black History Month.$Can you remember the cases you all were working on when you were clerking there?$$Yep, a lot of, you know, significant cases that we worked on. But I guess one of the most significant things I saw during that year, the Sixth Circuit [U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit] sits in Cincinnati, Ohio, so like every six weeks or so we would, you know, you know go down to Cincinnati, and have like three days of hearings. And I'll never forget there was a social security appeal, a lot of cases you never write opinions on, they, they just, the lower court decision gets aform- affirmed on order. But there was a, it was a social security appeal where a woman had applied for social security benefits, had been denied and, you know, she had appealed that denial. And you know so they would always send, you know, a lawyer from the social security to represent the government. And I'll never forgot this, you know, the lawyer was making his argument and [HistoryMaker] Judge [Damon J.] Keith leans over smiles and said, "Excuse me sir, but I just have one question for you, does ice water run through your veins?" And the lawyer just said, "No judge, I don't want to appeal this case I agree with the woman's position but they're their making me do this." And I just thought that was the most amazing thing. That, you know, he didn't brow beat the guy, didn't say it in a nasty way he just said it very you know succinctly, very matter of fact and the guy just cracked (laughter). So I mean we, we dealt with a lot of very important cases during my year with the judge, but that one incident, you know, stands out in my memory, as to you know what the Judge was all about you know. And, and how he did things because he essentially in open court you know with a stenographer present got a lawyer to just throw away his whole position (laughter) with a simple question, so.$$That's quite a story though--$$Yeah.$$--that's a--yeah. That's a story you'd have to hear from somebody else other than Judge Keith about his--$$Right.$$Yeah.

Edward J. Williams

Born on Chicago’s South Side on May 5, 1942, Ed Williams has risen to the top in the world of banking. He attended Tilden Tech, and transferred to Englewood High School after two years. Following his high school graduation, he attended Clark College in Atlanta on a scholarship, though he returned to his native Chicago before graduating. Williams later returned to school, earning a B.S. degree in business administration from Roosevelt University in Chicago in 1973.

Upon his return to Chicago from Atlanta in 1961, Williams, with help from an alumnus of Clark College, bought a newspaper distributorship for the Chicago Tribune on the city’s West Side. The neighborhood at the time was turbulent, and the franchise was sold to him for $6,000, ten percent of the average value of similar operations. Soon, Williams had twenty-five employees. He left the business in 1962, however, after seeing his employees get hurt in robberies. Under the advice of Supreme Life Insurance chairman Earl Dickerson, Williams attempted to get a job with one of their partners, but was turned down for being too light skinned. Undeterred, he continued to apply at banks, and after working briefly with Continental Bank, he was hired as the first African American male employee of Harris Bank in 1964, and he would remain there until his retirement.

Williams rapidly advanced at the bank, first supervising tellers and later managing the department that worked with African American entrepreneurs. In 1980, Williams was named senior vice president of commercial banking, and in 1991 he was named executive vice president of community affairs. He retired from the bank in February of 2004.

Throughout his career, Williams served as a mentor to those who have sought him out, offering his time and advice to others. He has also been active in the community, serving with the Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Chicago since 1978, spending more than twenty years as a trustee of the Adler Planetarium and currently serving as a trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2003, Williams was presented with the Gale Cincotta Neighborhood Partnership Award by the NHS. He and his wife, Ana, reside in Chicago.

Accession Number

A2004.008

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/16/2004

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

J.

Occupation
Schools

Edward Tilden Career Community Academy High School

Englewood High School

Clark Atlanta University

Roosevelt University

William W. Carter Elementary School

First Name

Edward

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

WIL13

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Harris Bank

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Charleston, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

What You Learn After You Think You Know It All Is Most Important.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

5/5/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Barbecue (Ribs)

Short Description

Bank executive Edward J. Williams (1942 - ) was the first African American male to work at Harris Bank and served as its Executive Vice President of Community Affairs. He was on the boards of the Adler Planetarium, the Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Employment

Continental Bank

Harris Bank

Mutual Home Delivery

Chicago Tribune Distribution

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1948,51:2556,60:3696,81:6100,102:6468,107:8400,144:31950,402:32580,410:33570,424:34020,430:37530,480:38250,489:39150,500:57667,905:58165,912:81365,1270:82058,1278:87022,1292:88030,1300:89326,1310:91880,1318:99264,1368:102634,1386:103180,1394:112488,1480:119953,1557:126448,1645:127492,1658:130830,1702:140148,1802:140706,1812:142510,1831:161617,2027:162427,2088:166882,2166:168340,2190:168907,2198:171013,2236:171337,2246:173119,2273:173686,2281:188361,2497:188859,2504:191432,2570:191764,2575:192096,2580:199420,2648:204910,2720:206820,2731$0,0:2805,31:4675,65:7990,123:8585,131:12155,185:12580,191:13260,202:13770,214:14450,223:15045,231:23880,300:28680,446:32040,491:32520,521:35800,563:36200,570:36520,575:42824,636:46380,684:50300,693:51266,701:55980,717:56332,722:57036,732:57388,737:60380,754:65476,799:66134,808:75910,948:82140,987:82640,993:83140,999:92757,1096:94500,1125:96907,1159:97322,1165:98982,1185:100476,1213:103381,1260:103713,1267:104543,1296:109847,1327:110211,1332:110575,1337:111303,1347:112941,1379:116170,1401:119058,1427:122038,1456:122718,1462:129608,1521:131610,1549:132429,1558:133066,1567:133430,1572:137396,1616:137732,1621:144166,1695:145112,1712:145542,1721:147950,1775:149240,1797:154257,1847:154731,1855:155363,1864:161579,1887:163919,1905:167210,1925
DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209656">Tape: 1 Slating of Edward J. Williams' interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209657">Tape: 1 Edward J. Williams lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209658">Tape: 1 Edward J. Williams describes his mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209659">Tape: 1 Edward J. Williams describes his father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209660">Tape: 1 Edward J. Williams lists his siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209661">Tape: 1 Edward J. Williams describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209662">Tape: 1 Edward J. Williams recalls his childhood neighborhood on Chicago, Illinois' South Side</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209663">Tape: 1 Edward J. Williams describes his childhood home in the Washington Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209664">Tape: 1 Edward J. Williams describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood neighborhood of Washington Park in Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209665">Tape: 1 Edward J. Williams remembers his Boy Scout leaders, Clarence Crook and Ted Moran</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209666">Tape: 1 Edward J. Williams talks about his experience as a Boy Scout</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209667">Tape: 1 Edward J. Williams recalls being encouraged to read by teacher Beulah Dorsey and librarian Ms. Rollins during elementary school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209668">Tape: 2 Edward J. Williams recalls his childhood love of horses</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209669">Tape: 2 Edward J. Williams describes visiting his brother in the rural neighborhood of Morgan Park in Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209670">Tape: 2 Edward J. Williams recalls holiday dinners and listening to the radio with his family as a child</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209671">Tape: 2 Edward J. Williams remembers the spacious apartment of a childhood friend</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209672">Tape: 2 Edward J. Williams talks about his childhood responsibilities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209673">Tape: 2 Edward J. Williams describes his childhood personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209674">Tape: 2 Edward J. Williams talks about his childhood dream of becoming a foreign news correspondent</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209675">Tape: 2 Edward J. Williams remembers Coppin Memorial AME Church in the Washington Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209676">Tape: 2 Edward J. Williams talks about his childhood perception of his light skin color</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209677">Tape: 3 Edward J. Williams recalls his next-door neighbors and his childhood realization of socioeconomic difference</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209678">Tape: 3 Edward J. Williams talks about his Chinese maternal grandfather</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209679">Tape: 3 Edward J. Williams recalls his father's illness and death from cancer</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209680">Tape: 3 Edward J. Williams remembers the impact of his father's death on his family and his mother's strength</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209681">Tape: 3 Edward J. Williams talks about attending Tilden Technical High School and reflects upon his friendships at Englewood High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209682">Tape: 3 Edward J. Williams remembers attending Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209683">Tape: 3 Edward J. Williams recalls his favorite academic subjects</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209684">Tape: 3 Edward J. Williams talks about obtaining a scholarship to Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia with the help of Charles Chisholm</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209685">Tape: 3 Edward J. Williams recalls visiting the South with relatives and attending Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209686">Tape: 3 Edward J. Williams talks about notable peers and African American social hierarchies at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209687">Tape: 3 Edward J. Williams talks about dropping out of Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia to get married</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209688">Tape: 4 Edward J. Williams recalls moving to Chicago, Illinois with his wife and buying a Chicago Tribune distribution franchise</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209689">Tape: 4 Edward J. Williams describes his Chicago Tribune franchise territory on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209690">Tape: 4 Edward J. Williams talks about selling his Chicago Tribune franchise after a paper boy was hurt during a robbery</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209691">Tape: 4 Edward J. Williams remembers being recommended to run a Chicago Tribune franchise by his former employer, Charles Chisholm</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209692">Tape: 4 Edward J. Williams remembers gangs and community leaders on Chicago, Illinois' West Side</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209693">Tape: 4 Edward J. Williams describes the violent character of Chicago, Illinois' West Side</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209694">Tape: 4 Edward J. Williams recalls selling his distribution franchise back to the Chicago Tribune and starting his banking career at Continental Bank</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209695">Tape: 4 Edward J. Williams talks about Supreme Life Insurance president Earl B. Dickerson</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209696">Tape: 4 Edward J. Williams recalls being hired as a teller at Harris Bank in Chicago, Illinois in 1964</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209697">Tape: 4 Edward J. Williams talks about not understanding the banking industry when he began his career as a teller at Harris Bank</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209698">Tape: 5 Edward J. Williams remembers being recruited to volunteer for Talent Assistance Program and working with Sid Barnes of Rotary Connection</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209699">Tape: 5 Edward J. Williams recalls helping Sidney Barnes, Jr. obtain a loan through Harris Bank while working with Talent Assistance Program</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209700">Tape: 5 Edward J. Williams remembers deepening community involvement during his early years at Harris Bank</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209701">Tape: 5 Edward J. Williams talks about his involvement in the Chicago Economic Development Corporation (CEDCO) during the late-1960s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209702">Tape: 5 Edward J. Williams explains the African American business community's need for access to financing in the 1960s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209703">Tape: 5 Edward J. Williams recalls his coworkers while he was a teller at Harris Bank</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209704">Tape: 5 Edward J. Williams recalls his career trajectory at Harris Bank and African American hires at other banks in Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209705">Tape: 5 Edward J. Williams talks about navigating the hierarchy and taking charge of his career at Harris Bank</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209706">Tape: 5 Edward J. Williams describes how he became an integral part of Harris Bank management</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209707">Tape: 6 Edward J. Williams talks about the popularity of First National Bank of Chicago among African Americans</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209708">Tape: 6 Edward J. Williams remembers attending Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois and earning his bachelor's degree in 1973</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209709">Tape: 6 Edward J. Williams recalls his charitable work with the United Way of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools and other civic organizations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209710">Tape: 6 Edward J. Williams describes his experience as chairman of the board of Provident Hospital in Chicago, Illinois during its bankruptcy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209711">Tape: 6 Edward J. Williams reflects upon what he learned as chairman of the board of Provident Hospital in Chicago, Illinois during its bankruptcy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209712">Tape: 6 Edward J. Williams describes his work with Neighborhood Housing Services, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Botanic Garden</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209713">Tape: 6 Edward J. Williams talks about passing</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209714">Tape: 6 Edward J. Williams talks about his retirement party</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209715">Tape: 6 Edward J. Williams remembers being subject to racist remarks from coworkers and clients who did not recognize him as African American</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209716">Tape: 6 Edward J. Williams talks about dealing with racist clients and Harris Bank's policy toward racial discrimination</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209717">Tape: 6 Edward J. Williams talks about becoming head of community affairs at Harris Bank in 1991</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209718">Tape: 7 Edward J. Williams explains how the banking industry has changed since the 1980s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209719">Tape: 7 Edward J. Williams talks about redlining and the impact of the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act on retail banking</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209720">Tape: 7 Edward J. Williams recalls opening a branch of Harris Bank in Chicago, Illinois' West Garfield Park neighborhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209721">Tape: 7 Edward J. Williams talks about the significance of banks to low income communities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209722">Tape: 7 Edward J. Williams recalls Harris Bank's philanthropic foundation's work in Chicago, Illinois' North Lawndale neighborhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209723">Tape: 7 Edward J. Williams reflects upon the future of the banking industry</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209724">Tape: 7 Edward J. Williams gives advice to young people interested in financial careers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209725">Tape: 7 Edward J. Williams describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209726">Tape: 7 Edward J. Williams describes his involvement in the Asian American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209727">Tape: 7 Edward J. Williams talks about his plans for civic involvement during retirement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209728">Tape: 7 Edward J. Williams reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209729">Tape: 8 Edward J. Williams narrates his photographs, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209730">Tape: 8 Edward J. Williams narrates his photographs, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209731">Tape: 8 Edward J. Williams narrates his photographs, pt. 3</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/209732">Tape: 8 Edward J. Williams narrates his photographs, pt. 4</a>

DASession

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DATitle
Edward J. Williams recalls helping Sidney Barnes, Jr. obtain a loan through Harris Bank while working with Talent Assistance Program
Edward J. Williams talks about navigating the hierarchy and taking charge of his career at Harris Bank
Transcript
Anyway, [Sidney Barnes, Jr.] he needed money, like everyone needed starting up a business. And I was just coming out of the teller area at the time, by then. And I had no lending authority--didn't know anyone as a loan officer. But I had gotten to meet one of the senior vice presidents whose checks I used to cash as a teller. And I explained to him how I'd gotten involved, and this person I was working with, and the stage where we were--where this man now needed money to take his production business and get it going. So he says, "Okay, [HistoryMaker Edward J. Williams] Ed." And I don't know why he said he'd do this, but anyway, he did. We got in a cab, went out to [East] 19th [Street] and [South] Calumet [Avenue] [sic. 1900 South Calumet Avenue, Chicago, Illinois]. He met Sid. They talked about stuff that--I didn't understand what they were talking about. But he, you know, he was a senior vice president of the bank [Harris Trust & Savings Bank; BMO Harris Bank, Chicago, Illinois]. We got in a cab going on our way back to the bank. And he says, "What do you think we should do, Ed?" I said, "Well, I think we should make the loan." So he says, "What the hell, let's do it." He made the loan. And so, Sid got the money he needed to get the records pressed. The records were then shipped back to his studio. And he'd gotten the radio to start playing the records that he had cut and for the people he'd signed. And then, there was a strike, and he couldn't get the records. I forget now. He couldn't get the records to the stores. So, they were being aired on the radio, but they couldn't get delivered to the distribution points. And so, by the time the strike was over, the music had run its course, and because people couldn't buy it, and the DJs are going on to something else. And so, the strike lasted, you know, a month and a half or so because he couldn't get it. Anyway, long story short--he couldn't pay back the loan. And it didn't break my career though, and they didn't hold that against me. It didn't hurt me at all. But that was my first loan at the bank--was--this is it, yeah.$$You know, what I find amazing about that--one, you're dealing with the senior vice president at the time, and getting him to go on a car over to look at--was that typical of Harris?$$No.$$I mean, so how did that--you had the chutzpah enough to ask or I'm--$$I didn't know any different--$$You didn't know any different?$$--didn't know any different. And I got myself involved with this organization [Talent Assistance Program (TAP)] with this individual. And I was supposed to be his advocate and so, I had to deliver, or do the best that I could. And so I tried to carry out that commitment.$You become assistant, you say, manager, and then--$$A manager--$$Manager--$$--in personal banking.$$--okay.$$Of a personal banking unit, and meaning I was the manager of an area on the first floor as a part of the personal banking division. I eventually went on to become the division administrator taking on the responsibility for all the retail banking for Harris [Trust & Savings Bank; BMO Harris Bank, Chicago, Illinois] eight or nine years later.$$Okay. And now, as you move up, what things are you learning about that, you know, about the corporate? And it's a very structured, you know, the corporate America at this point is extremely sort of structured.$$Um-hm. What I'm learning most is that you had to take charge of your career yourself; that you had to--that the bank, except for a very few people, or any company for that matter, was going to design or set out a career for you, or to put you on a track that led you to the upper parts of the bank. And so, I tried to think about where I wanted to be, and who I needed to get to know to get to my next position. And so, I was always thinking, you know, a year or two down the road. And I never thought or even had designs on trying to be the president of the bank because I just--that was just a waste of time to think about that sort of thing. But I did feel that there was more growth for me there at the company, and I had to figure what are the areas that I can grow into where I would have the skills to do very well in that area, and tried to avoid being placed in areas where it would be very difficult for me to succeed. And so, I was very fortunate or lucky in that I landed in places that played to my strengths because I didn't have the background or the training for, you know, many of the jobs in the bank, but also very fortunate in that I had very supportive bosses, managers along the way, who did what you'd want a good manager to be--

Morris Robinson

Small business owner and city economic adviser Morris E. Robinson, Sr. was born on January 20, 1945, in Chicago. He was raised in Chicago and educated in its public schools, graduating from Marshall High School in 1963.

In the fall of 1963, Robinson enrolled at Loop Junior College, which he attended until the following year. In 1964, he attended Luther College in Decora, Iowa, where he spent a year before transferring to Roosevelt University. After his first year at Roosevelt, Robinson entered the Army and served from 1966 until 1970. When he returned to Chicago from active military duty, Robinson re-enrolled at Roosevelt University, where he received his B.A. in political science in 1973.

After completing his education, Robinson worked as the first black officer at First National Bank, and later was employed by Allstate Insurance. In 1990, he started his own graphic design business, Robinson Designs, and opened a wireless telephone service franchise. Robinson later joined the Economic Development Department of the city of Evanston, Illinois, and became its economic development planner. In 1999, the United Way honored him as the city's employee of the year. Robinson married Emma Scarborough in 1989 in Little Rock, Arkansas. They live in Evanston.

Accession Number

A2003.197

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/20/2003

Last Name

Robinson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

John Marshall Metropolitan High School

Roosevelt University

Luther College

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Evenings

First Name

Morris

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

ROB08

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

To Be Rather Than To Seem.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/20/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Italian Food

Short Description

Bank executive and urban planner Morris Robinson (1945 - ) is an economic development planner for the City of Evanston, Illinois, in addition to operating a small business.

Employment

First National Bank

Allstate Insurance Company

Robinson Designs

Favorite Color

Navy Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177425">Tape: 1 Slating of Morris Robinson's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177426">Tape: 1 Morris Robinson lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177427">Tape: 1 Morris Robinson describes his maternal family history, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177428">Tape: 1 Morris Robinson describes his maternal family history, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177429">Tape: 1 Morris Robinson talks about his parents' childhood friendship and marriage</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177430">Tape: 1 Morris Robinson describes his paternal family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177431">Tape: 1 Morris Robinson talks about his father and uncles' singing abilities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177432">Tape: 1 Morris Robinson describes his father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177433">Tape: 1 Morris Robinson talks about his family's migration out of the South during the Great Depression</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177434">Tape: 1 Morris Robinson recalls early memories of growing up on Chicago, Illinois's northwest side in a European immigrant neighborhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177435">Tape: 1 Morris Robinson talks about his siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177436">Tape: 1 Morris Robinson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177437">Tape: 1 Morris Robinson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177438">Tape: 1 Morris Robinson recalls his experiences at Andersen Elementary School and in black schools in Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176277">Tape: 2 Morris Robinson recalls some of his elementary school teachers in Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176278">Tape: 2 Morris Robinson describes Gousters' and Ivy Leaguers' fashion styles</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176279">Tape: 2 Morris Robinson talks about his parents' discipline and his own parenting practices</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176280">Tape: 2 Morris Robinson talks about his activities at Marshall Metro High School in Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176281">Tape: 2 Morris Robinson talks about how he chose to attend Luther College in Decorah, Iowa</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176282">Tape: 2 Morris Robinson recalls the year he spent studying at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176283">Tape: 2 Morris Robinson shares how he met his wife</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176284">Tape: 2 Morris Robinson remembers getting into trouble with his wife's father prior to their marriage</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176285">Tape: 2 Morris Robinson talks about going into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176286">Tape: 2 Morris Robinson recalls his time in Italy as a soldier</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177439">Tape: 3 Morris Robinson describes his trajectory after being discharged from the U.S. Army in 1970</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177440">Tape: 3 Morris Robinson recalls how he was able to survive in the banking world</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177441">Tape: 3 Morris Robinson talks about advising a colleague to comply with the standards of dress at First National Bank in Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177442">Tape: 3 Morris Robinson talks about coming home from his first year at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177443">Tape: 3 Morris Robinson recalls working at First National Bank of Chicago</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177444">Tape: 3 Morris Robinson remembers the hostility of First National Bank of Chicago and reflects upon racism in the U.S. military</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177445">Tape: 3 Morris Robinson talks about his hopes for African American youths, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177446">Tape: 3 Morris Robinson talks about his hopes for African American youths, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177447">Tape: 3 Morris Robinson talks about working for Allstate</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177448">Tape: 3 Morris Robinson talks about being in business with his son</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176297">Tape: 4 Morris Robinson talks about living in and working for the City of Evanston, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176298">Tape: 4 Morris Robinson talks about working as an economic development planner for the City of Evanston, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176299">Tape: 4 Morris Robinson talks about challenges to economic planning and development in Evanston, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176300">Tape: 4 Morris Robinson talks about his son's work documenting the history of Evanston, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176301">Tape: 4 Morris Robinson reflects upon civic engagement in Evanston, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176302">Tape: 4 Morris Robinson talks about plans for redeveloping the downtown area of Evanston, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176303">Tape: 4 Morris Robinson talks about Evanston, Illinois' black community and other features</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176304">Tape: 4 Morris Robinson talks about the relationship between Northwestern University and the surrounding community in Evanston, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176305">Tape: 4 Morris Robinson talks about his sons and their ties to Evanston, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/176306">Tape: 4 Morris Robinson recalls buying Abner Mivka's former home in Evanston, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177449">Tape: 5 Morris Robinson talks about his hobbies and his deceased older brother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177450">Tape: 5 Morris Robinson talks about his interest in science, timepieces, and astronomy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177451">Tape: 5 Morris Robinson reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177452">Tape: 5 Morris Robinson describes his concerns for the African American community, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177453">Tape: 5 Morris Robinson describes his concerns for the African American community, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177454">Tape: 5 Morris Robinson describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/177455">Tape: 5 Morris Robinson narrates his photographs</a>

DASession

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Morris Robinson recalls working at First National Bank of Chicago
Morris Robinson talks about challenges to economic planning and development in Evanston, Illinois
Transcript
I have mixed feelings about the bank [First National Bank of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois]. I enjoyed working there. I met some wonderful people and I met some awful people, and I guess that could be said for any place. But these--$$What were some of the awful things that were done in the bank, you know? Then may, may, maybe tell us some good things. But, but what were some the awful things, things, 'cause you said there--$$Well--$$--really are some, some, some terrible characters there.$$There were, and let me just give you an example. In any environment, employment environment, you have performance standards and you have performance reviews. And I'll never forget I worked in this one particular area that was notoriously staffed by bigoted people. I, I don't know any other way to say that, but they were. And I'll never forget, I didn't, I didn't work in that area. I was in training in that area. I reported to an executive vice president who started this training program. And so in the performance review the, the VP in charge of the area wrote: "Although Morris is friendly and outgoing, nobody likes him." Now I had done enough reviews in my lifetime for people, and as well (unclear)--and this, this absolutely makes no sense. I knew what kind of person he was, but I couldn't believe how he could be this dense. I couldn't believe that he was a vice president using the word "uses" when he spoke. But that was a level of the people we're dealing with. So I took the review and I went to see my boss. And I said, "You know, here's a review. I want you to read this." I said, "If it says Morris is friendly and outgoing, but nobody likes him, whose fault is that?" And I'll never forget, he just threw it back at me and said, "Prove him wrong." And I appreciated that he did that. Because I, I, I'm not in any way paralleling it to Jackie Robinson, but I'm saying that he had the same kind of attitude, go out there and prove 'em wrong. Nobody's gonna hold your hand. Prove 'em wrong. And so when you did get the promotions and what have you, you knew you got them legitimately. I, I can't imagine what Jackie Robinson went through when he would come out to bat, and all the invectives that were, were hurled at him, and--I mean (unclear). But you needed someone who is tough enough to open that door and keep that door open. So I believe that Toussaint and I did a tremendous job. And what we did at that bank, in opening the door and keeping it open. And you know, generations later, we look at--now you're looking at executive VPs who are black and what have you, someone blazed that trail. I think on a larger scope I look in the same way. All this talk about affirmative action and this and what have you, if it wasn't for affirmative action, doors would have never been open. The, the, the, the, the, the playing field is not level, and it's not gonna be level for some time. But why I think it's been so distorted is that this is nothing new. There has been affirmative action since, since the dawn of this country, not for us, but for the majority. So that it only became a bad thing when it's supposedly was used to rectify centuries of wrongdoing. Now it's one that covers, it, it covers everybody, regardless of what you are, if you're a minority, if you just moved to this country from Syria, you know, you can, you can use it as a redress. But that's what--not what its original intent was. But I guess--and I know I'm kind of digressing a bit here--it was a sign of the times that when you got in those doors you could either open the door a little wider, or you can wash out. And, and experiences like that--and that was just an example. There were experiences that I could tell you time and time again that you had to deal with, on top of what your responsibilities were.$Well, now, being in charge of economic planning and development in Evanston [Illinois] has got to be a challenge because you have--it's the seat of Northwestern University [Evanston, Illinois]. And a great many social activists and people that are equipped to criticize development--$$Right.$$--live in Evanston.$$Absolutely.$$And so I, I would just--in fact, a lot of the people that are act--activists in Chicago [Illinois] actually live in Evanston, and so, I--$$You, you, you hit it right on the head. I mean it may, I may exaggerate it, but if we wanted to paint a street down--paint a, paint a line down the street, we get people coming out, determining which is the best white shade to use for the strip, you know. So, so you're, you're absolutely right. It's, it's a constant managing to facilitate the, the citizens, the project, and keeping the core straight as to what is good for the city. It's interesting, if it's about design, everybody's an architect. We know--but we may not know what we like--we, we know what we like. We may not know what that is, but we know what we like, so. If it's economic, everybody becomes a financial person. If it's what impact it's gonna have on the city, everyone becomes a traffic engineer. That's your right, and I support that 100 percent. And because in, in this city the democratic process--not party, process--is always in effect. And so, one of the things that adds to the time of doing a project is the fact that there are countless town meetings, and, and open microphones, and facing objections to this or that or whatever. And I think that's one of the beautiful things about Evanston. I think that's why Evanston people love Evanston: that you can get involved in city government; that you can be heard. Last night I was at a city council meeting--I'm sorry, the night before last. Monday I was a city coun- city council meeting where citizens can go to the mic and, and talk about everything they want to. And you have to sit there and listen and address it. One of the last speakers was an elderly man who had been living out of his van in the city. And unfortunately, he had parked it in a tow away zone, and they, in effect, towed away his home. And he made a very impassioned, eloquent speech to the city council. And I say this because it, it--even the least empowered have a voice in Evanston, and that's good. Has it always been that case? No, and that's why it's important that you, you see my son's [Morris "Dino" Robinson, Jr.] journal that he publishes, which has been well-received.

Alma Arrington Brown

Widow of the late Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, Alma Arrington Brown was born in Brooklyn, New York, on February 14, 1940. After high school, she attended Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she received her B.A., and then later attended Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York, where she earned her master's degree.

Brown and her husband Ron were married after he completed his Army basic training in 1962. In 1963 he was called up to active duty, sent first to Germany and later to South Korea. After he completed his service in 1967, the Browns returned to New York, and in 1973 relocated to Washington, D.C., where Ron headed the offices of the National Urban League. In 1975, Alma began working for the National Black Child Development Institute as a program specialist, and from there she became the program director of the National Council of Negro Women. Brown moved into the public sector in 1984, serving as executive assistant to the acting director of the Office of International Business in Washington, D.C., a post she later assumed.

Brown became involved in broadcasting in 1989 when she took over as director of public affairs and public relations for WKYS-FM. She remained there for six years before joining Chevy Chase Bank as a vice president. Later, when Chevy Chase Bank and Black Entertainment Television joined to form BET Financial Services, she became vice chairperson of the venture. After the bank severed the relationship in 1999, Brown stayed on with Chevy Chase, where she presently serves as senior vice president.

With the death of her husband in a plane crash in 1996, Brown remained strong, and together with her children established the Ronald H. Brown Foundation, which established a policy center for domestic and international commercial growth, as well as the Ron Brown Scholars Program. She was also named to serve as an honorary co-chairperson of President Bill Clinton's reelection campaign in 1996. She remains active with the National Urban League, the United Negro College Fund and the Girl Scouts of America. The Ford Foundation, the National Council of Negro Women and the National Association of Broadcasters have all honored her for her work. Brown has also been active in keeping the memory of her husband alive, participating in the christening of the U.S.S. Research Vessel Ron Brown and presenting awards in his honor.

Brown passed away on April 3, 2016.

Brown has two children, Tracy and Michael, and two grandchildren. She lives in Maryland.

Accession Number

A2003.238

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/24/2003

Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

Arrington

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Alma

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

BRO12

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sag Harbor, New York

Favorite Quote

Oh my God!

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

2/14/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Rice (Vegetable Fried)

Death Date

4/3/2016

Short Description

Bank executive Alma Arrington Brown (1940 - 2016) is senior vice president of Chevy Chase Bank. Brown is the widow of the late Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, and after his death founded the Ronald H. Brown Foundation, which established a policy center for domestic and international commercial growth, as well as the Ron Brown Scholars Program.

Employment

National Black Child Development Institute

IBM

WKYS Radio

Chevy Chase Bank

BET

Favorite Color

Black

DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4079">Tape: 1 Slating of Alma Brown interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4080">Tape: 1 Alma Brown's favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4081">Tape: 1 Alma Brown discusses her family history</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4082">Tape: 1 Alma Brown describes her parents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4083">Tape: 1 Alma Brown remembers her childhood home, Brooklyn, New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4084">Tape: 1 Alma Brown discusses school life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4085">Tape: 1 Alma Brown describes her multicultural youth</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4086">Tape: 1 Alma Brown remembers high school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4087">Tape: 2 Alma Brown reflects on her high school years</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4088">Tape: 2 Alma Brown lists famous Fisk University students</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4089">Tape: 2 Alma Brown describes her limited participation in Civil Rights Movement sit-ins</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4090">Tape: 2 Alma Brown discusses social networks at Fisk University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4091">Tape: 2 Alma Brown pursues a historically black university</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4092">Tape: 2 Alma and Ron Brown pursue a long-distance courtship</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4093">Tape: 2 Alma Brown delivers her first child, Michael, in a German hospital</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4094">Tape: 3 Alma and Ron Brown enjoy their time in Germany</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4095">Tape: 3 Alma Brown discusses international media coverage of the Civil Rights Movement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4096">Tape: 3 Alma Brown notices that America changes in the late 1960s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4097">Tape: 3 Alma and Ron Brown build a home in the United States</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4098">Tape: 3 Alma and Ron Brown begin new lives in the nation's capital</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4099">Tape: 3 Alma Brown embarks on a career in Washington, DC</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4100">Tape: 3 Alma Brown changes to a career in communications</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4101">Tape: 4 Alma Brown's husband, Ron Brown, becomes involved in party politics</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4102">Tape: 4 Alma Brown's husband, Ron Brown, runs for Chairman of the Democratic National Committee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4103">Tape: 4 Alma Brown's husband, Ron Brown, wins favor in the Democratic National Committee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4104">Tape: 4 Alma Brown takes part in Ron Brown's political ascent</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4105">Tape: 4 Alma Brown describes husband Ron Brown's supporters and opponents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4106">Tape: 4 Alma Brown's husband, Ron Brown, is appointed as President Clinton's Secretary of Commerce</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4107">Tape: 4 Alma Brown encounters few spousal privileges following Ron Brown's appointment to President Clinton's Cabinet</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4108">Tape: 4 Alma Brown's, husband, Ron Brown dies in a plane crash</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4109">Tape: 5 Alma Brown discusses conspiracy theories around Ron Brown's death</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4110">Tape: 5 Alma Brown discusses her career</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4111">Tape: 5 Alma Brown imagines black self-sufficiency</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4112">Tape: 5 Alma Brown describes Ron Brown's legacy as well as her own</a>

The Honorable Clark Burrus

Clark Burrus was born in Chicago on November 5, 1928. He grew up on Chicago's south side and graduated from Englewood High School in 1946. He began studies at Texas State University before returning to Chicago to complete both a B.S.C.(1954) and a M.P.A.(1972) at Roosevelt University.

From 1954-1979, Burrus worked for the City of Chicago, and served under Mayors Martin Kennelley, Richard J. Daley, Michael Bilandic, and Jane Byrne. In 1973 he was named City Comptroller, the city's Chief Financial Officer. Under his capable supervision over Chicago's Department of Finance, the City achieved its first Double-A-Bond rating for conformance in accounting.

In 1979 Burrus entered the private sector, serving as the Senior Vice President of the First National Bank of Chicago in the Asset and Liability Management Department, a position he would hold for the next twelve years. In 1991 he was made the Vice Chairman of First Chicago Capital Markets, Inc. and co-head of the Public Banking Department.

Though he retired in 1998, Burrus remained active in Chicago's business community for many years, serving in an advisory capacity on numerous boards and committees. He acted as the Chairman for the Chicago Council on Urban Affairs - Advisory Board, and Co-Chairman for the Health Care Sub-Committee of the Cook County Citizens Budget Review Committee. In addition, he sat on the boards of directors of twelve organizations, including the Economic Development Council, The Harold Washington Foundation, and Urban Gateways. He was a member of the Union League Club of Chicago, The Economic Club of Chicago, The Executives' Club of Chicago, and the Mid-Day Club. He also published articles on minority issues in public finance. Burrus and his wife Lucille had one son, James.

Burrus passed away on June 17, 2015 at age 86.

Accession Number

A2002.193

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

10/1/2002

Last Name

Burrus

Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Englewood High School

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Clark

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

BUR07

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southeast Florida

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

11/5/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Seafood

Death Date

6/17/2015

Short Description

Bank executive and city comptroller The Honorable Clark Burrus (1928 - 2015 ) was a financial expert and was the first African American comptroller for the City of Chicago.

Employment

City of Chicago

First National Bank

First Chicago Capital Markets

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4436">Tape: 1 Slating of Clark Burrus interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4437">Tape: 1 Clark Burrus's favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4438">Tape: 1 Clark Burrus discusses his family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4439">Tape: 1 Clark Burrus recalls his father Lemmie and Mississippi</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4440">Tape: 1 Clark Burrus talks about his parents' move to Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4441">Tape: 1 Clark Burrus discusses his father's work</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4442">Tape: 1 Clark Burrus recalls Chicago in the 1930s and 1940s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4443">Tape: 1 Clark Burrus remembers his childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4444">Tape: 1 Clark Burrus talks about his participation in athletics</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4445">Tape: 1 Clark Burrus recalls his elementary school years</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4446">Tape: 2 Clark Burrus recalls his father's disciplinary technique</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4447">Tape: 2 Clark Burrus tells a story about receiving a punishment</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4448">Tape: 2 Clark Burrus tells about how he avoided trouble as a youth</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4449">Tape: 2 Clark Burrus discusses his participation in athletics</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4450">Tape: 2 Clark Burrus talks about his choice of college</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4451">Tape: 2 Clark Burrus recalls a racial incident in Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4452">Tape: 2 Clark Burrus talks about revisiting Texas Southern University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4453">Tape: 2 Clark Burrus discusses working his way through college</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4454">Tape: 3 Clark Burrus discusses his search for a job</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4455">Tape: 3 Clark Burrus describes his promotions</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4456">Tape: 3 Clark Burrus describes his roles as Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4457">Tape: 3 Clark Burrus talks about former Chicago mayors</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4458">Tape: 3 Clark Burrus discusses his work with Harold Washington</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4459">Tape: 3 Clark Burrus talks about the Eugene Sawyer administration</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4460">Tape: 3 Clark Burrus recalls mentoring Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4461">Tape: 4 Clark Burrus discusses Chicago city politics</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4462">Tape: 4 Clark Burrus recalls the Jane Byrne administration</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4463">Tape: 4 Clark Burrus discusses several former Chicago mayors</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4464">Tape: 4 Clark Burrus talks about working in Chicago city government</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4465">Tape: 4 Clark Burrus discusses his role in city government</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4466">Tape: 4 Clark Burrus reflects on his power in city government</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4467">Tape: 4 Clark Burrus recalls mentoring a young African American</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4468">Tape: 5 Clark Burrus discusses his move into banking</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4469">Tape: 5 Clark Burrus talks about his start at First National Bank of Chicago</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4470">Tape: 5 Clark Burrus describes the dynamic at First National Bank of Chicago</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4471">Tape: 5 Clark Burrus talks about working at First National Bank</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4472">Tape: 5 Clark Burrus describes his views on banking</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4473">Tape: 5 Clark Burrus recalls a big move at First National Bank</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4474">Tape: 5 Clark Burrus discusses public life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4475">Tape: 5 Clark Burrus talks about East Coast banks</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4476">Tape: 6 Clark Burrus describes his banking career</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4477">Tape: 6 Clark Burrus describes different types of banking</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4478">Tape: 6 Clark Burrus talks about changes in the banking industry</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4479">Tape: 6 Clark Burrus talks about African American banks</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4480">Tape: 6 Clark Burrus discusses the state of black banks</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4481">Tape: 6 Clark Burrus talks about black banks in Chicago</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4482">Tape: 7 Clark Burrus discusses his work with the Chicago School Board</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4483">Tape: 7 Clark Burrus talks about bailing out the Chicago School Board</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4484">Tape: 7 Clark Burrus discusses his term on the Chicago School Board</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4485">Tape: 7 Clark Burrus describes his move from the RTA to the CTA board</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4486">Tape: 7 Clark Burrus recalls a scandal at the Chicago Housing Authority</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4487">Tape: 7 Clark Burrus discusses an incident at the CTA</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4488">Tape: 7 Clark Burrus discusses his financial work in Washington, D.C.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4489">Tape: 8 Clark Burrus discusses his hopes and concerns for the black community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4490">Tape: 8 Clark Burrus talks about black employment</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4491">Tape: 8 Clark Burrus discusses the lack of black-owned businesses</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4492">Tape: 8 Clark Burrus discusses black culture and business</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4493">Tape: 8 Clark Burrus talks about black income versus capital</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4494">Tape: 8 Clark Burrus discusses his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4495">Tape: 8 Clark Burrus talks about his parents and his success</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4496">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus in his office at First National Bank of Chicago</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4497">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus is crowned king of the DuSable Museum Carnival</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4498">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus and entertainer, Danny Thomas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4499">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus giving a speech</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4500">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus, Illinois State's Attorney Dick Devine, and John Schmidt</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4501">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus with other Chicago politicians on a golf outing</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4502">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus with other Chicago-area businessmen on a golf outing</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4503">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and an unidentified man</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4504">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus with Mayor Harold Washington and John Stroger</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4505">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus, Mayor Michael Bilandic and colleagues from the City of Chicago</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4506">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus and colleagues from the City of Chicago</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4507">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus in his college graduation portrait</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4508">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus and wife Lucille at Michael Bilandic's wedding</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4509">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus on the cover of 'Dollars and Sense' magazine</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4510">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus and Cook County, Illinois State's Attorney Cecil Partee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4511">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus with his wife celebrating the 25th anniversary with the City of Chicago</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4512">Tape: 9 Photo - A newspaper clipping featuring Clark Burrus, Dr. Ruth Love and Richard Thomas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4513">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus in a clipping announcing his appointment to a national finance post, ca. 1973</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4514">Tape: 9 Photo - Drawing of Clark Burrus in an advertisement for First National Bank of Chicago</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4515">Tape: 9 Photo - Clark Burrus, his wife and his assistant at the Carnival Ball held at the DuSable Museum, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1988</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4516">Tape: 9 Photo - Jewel Lafontant MANkarious and son John Rogers at a Carnival Ball at the DuSable Museum, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1988</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4517">Tape: 9 Photo - Jewel Lafontant MANkarious and Clark Burrus at a Carnival Ball at the DuSable Museum, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1988.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4518">Tape: 9 Photo - Drawings of Clark Burrus and others in an advertisement for First National Bank of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 1981</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$7

DATitle
Clark Burrus discusses his work with Harold Washington
Clark Burrus recalls mentoring a young African American
Transcript
But what I did was surround myself with the best and the brightest [for Harold Washington's mayoral transition team]. Nothing ecumenical about this committee I had. I had the best folks that, that, that were in the business. Didn't care whether they were white or black, I didn't care whether republican or democrat. I didn't care whether they were Chicagoans, suburbanites. And we did it. And, and we got it from academia, from the law firms, from the investment bankers, from the commercial bankers. Basically, the general consulting fields, folks who really understood the dynamics of local government, and we put the, put 'em together. And they had this great big, you know, Harold Washington [former Chicago, Illinois mayor], he had a couple hundred people doing something. I took one look at that, and I says--I took my group aside, says, you know, I'm not reporting up to any steering committee, which is a committee I was on. And I was vice, vice-chairman, I mean co-chairman of it. And I met Ed Berry [Edwin C. Berry] from the [Chicago] Urban League. I said, well, I'm not, I'm not gonna be--you know, my effort is gonna be subjected to all this scrutiny and I don't want to be encumbered by any of the, the issues that Ed Berry and his group were looking at. And we published this report. And they came in, and they came from all around the country looking at the, this report. And we sent them out of town with their tails between their legs. I was very proud of that. Harold Washington says, you know, Clark, please, come work for me. I'll give you whatever job you want, because I need somebody to help me form this government and administer this--the dynamics of this, this organization. And I told him in all sincerity, which I hadn't planned on saying, because I didn't think he was gonna be serious about offering me the job. But at this time, I'm at the bank. I'm making three times what, you know, I was making when I was CFO [Chief Financial Officer] or more, and not including bonuses. And I told him, I says, you know, Mayor, I'm so proud of you. And I knew him, you know, back when he was a state legislator and a congressman. I says, I'm so proud of what you've done, but you need to understand, you simply can't afford me, you know. I'm too much money. But what you can't afford to pay for, I'll give to you, free. And I was in his office and I--. The initial ninety days, I practically ran the government. But don't forget, I've got twenty five years of experience to draw on. And so I did, you know, and I loved every moment of it, you know. And, matter of fact, I had a meeting with him, scheduled with him, seven minutes before he--after he died. And he died and I was on my way over there, and I got the word that he had died. And--Chicago will never forgive you for doing this, Harold, you know. And I was so, I was very proud of him, you know.$Tell me this. Do you think that because of the intense kind of racial discrimination in the private sector that a lot of very, very talented black professionals end up working in the public sector? And when you--?$$That's not a thought. It's not that I think it. It's a fact. I know it, you know. Not just for me, because of my experience of going, you know, carrying a gun down in Albuquerque [New Mexico]. But you didn't, you didn't have opportunities to, to work in the private sector at, at significantly high levels of position. Let me, let me explain that to you. At the bank, you know, I was a manager, and I was a senior-level manager. And I mentored a lot of my minorities. And we have something called the First Scholar Program where we bring the real bright kids, youngsters in from the better schools. And we call them First Scholars. 'First' for the First National Bank and 'Scholars' because of their achievement at a young, young age. And we had, I remember we had two, an Irish kid from Chicago [Illinois] suburbs who went to University of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois] graduate school, doing extremely well. We had a young African American, same age, who went to Harvard [University, Cambridge, Massachusetts], was at Harvard doing graduate, doing graduate--no, undergraduate work and going into Harvard for his combination law and MBA [Masters of Business Administration]. And after, you know, four, five--four, five, six months, I had to bring--I was very disappointed in the young African American. I brought him in and told him that, you know, we brought the two of you in. You're both really on a fast track, and here is Vince, who was the young white, white youngster who was just, you know, taking chances and making recommendations and going all over the place, you know. And here's this little African American who said that, who was doing well, but moving at a snails pace compared to the horse race rate that Vince Kelly was--excuse, take the names out--the young white, white youngster was doing. And I explained to him, how disappointed I was, and told him, "you have to--if you want to go into, to move up, you've got to assume risks, you know, and take a chance, you know, and, and move on, you know, because you've got to catch up with these other fastrackers," you know, according to the young man to the young man that is peer of the young white fellow. And he listened very intelligently, and articulate. When I finished, I says, "now you go out there, you know, and full speed ahead." And he says, "Mr. Burrus, may I say something." And I said, "of course." "You need to understand, sir,"his words to me, "that when Vince takes a chance and he's wrong, it's chalked up as a learning experience." And I says, "that's absolutely, you're correct. That's right." He said, "when I take it, it's career threatening. I can't, I don't--. I have a chance to succeed just as much as Vince does. I don't have a chance to fail and survive." I fumbled around a few words and dismissed him because--and I thought about it. I mean he's absolutely right. You know, even in, you know, over the past century, the century before the past century, blacks had opportunities to succeed because you can look at the George Washington Carvers and, you know, Booker T. Washingtons and so forth. You can look at World War II, you had Jews who survived and prospered. Jewish scientist who was trying to a-bomb. What we don't have and what we need in terms of achieving parity and equality is opportunity, not to succeed, but opportunities to fail and survive. That we don't have. And you're absolutely correct. And, and it's more so in the private sector, even as we speak, than in the public sector, although it exists in the public sector also now.