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Rufus Williams

Accountant and Chicago Board of Education President Rufus Williams, Jr. was born on December 30, 1956 in Chicago, Illinois to Dicye Belle and Rufus Williams, Sr. Williams was raised in a household of six children in the North Lawndale and West Garfield Park communities on Chicago’s Westside. During his childhood, he attended Crown Elementary School and Dvorak Elementary School before graduating from Morton Upper Grade Center. In 1974, he graduated from Orr High School where he was a member of the school’s basketball team.

Without the finances to pay for a higher education, Williams postponed his plans of attending college to work at a fast food restaurant. He eventually earned enough money, received a scholarship and with the help of his parents, enrolled at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 1978, he graduated magna cum laude with his B.S. degree in accounting in 1978. Williams was then hired as a certified public accountant for Arthur Anderson & Company. He worked there until 1988 when he became the corporate audit manager for the Baxter Healthcare Corporation. Williams later went on to work for Harpo Entertainment Group as a senior manager. There, he was instrumental in establishing the operational structure and financial management of Harpo Studios. Oprah Winfrey then encouraged him to follow his dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. In 2000, Williams founded Olympus LLC and began providing business management, contract negotiations and career development sources. His clients consisted of a variety of entertainers and athletes including veteran baseball player Gary Sheffield.

Williams was appointed to the Chicago Public School (CPS) Board in 2005 and served on the board of trustees of the CPS Teachers Pension and Retirement Fund before succeeding Michael Scott as the school board president in 2006. As president, Williams has helped to form the Charitable Fund for Inner-City Athletic Equipment, a fund that provides athletic shoes to CPS student athletes from low income families. In 2007, Williams launched Real Men Read which was designed to encourage a love of literacy in young boys, while encouraging long lasting school-community partnerships.

In addition to serving as president for the Better Boys Foundation, Williams has served as Vice Chairman and Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of Providence-St. Mel School and as the president of the Local School Council of Whitney M. Young Magnet High School.

Williams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 22, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.025

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/22/2008

Last Name

Williams

Schools

Orr Academy High School

Crown Elementary Community Academy Fine Arts Center

Dvorak School of Excellence

Morton Upper Grade Center

Lane Technical College Prep High School

Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

First Name

Rufus

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

WIL45

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bermuda

Favorite Quote

I Am The Master Of My Fate, I Am The Captain Of My Soul.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

12/30/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Catfish

Short Description

Accountant, education chief executive, and financial chief executive Rufus Williams (1956 - ) was the president of the Chicago Board of Education. Williams founded his own company, Olympus LLC, which provides business management, contract negotiations and career development sources for its clients, after working as a certified public account at Arthur Anderson & Company and as senior manager at Harpo Studios.

Employment

Arthur Andersen

Baxter International

Harpo Studios Inc.

Olympus LLC

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rufus Williams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rufus Williams lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rufus Williams talks about his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rufus Williams talks about his maternal family's migration to the North

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rufus Williams talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rufus Williams talks about his parents' migration to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rufus Williams considers how he resembles his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rufus Williams lists the neighborhoods where his family lived in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rufus Williams recalls his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rufus Williams describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Rufus Williams talks about gang activity on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois in the 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rufus Williams talks about his activities with the Boys Brotherhood Republic growing up in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rufus Williams remembers his experience at Anton Dvorak Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois and its principal, HistoryMaker Barbara A. Sizemore

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rufus Williams recalls his influential teachers at Anton Dvorak Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rufus Williams remembers meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1966 and the emergence of the Black Panthers in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rufus Williams remembers segregation in the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rufus Williams talks about his experiences at Albert Grannis Lane Technical High School and Orr Academy High School during the 1970s in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rufus Williams remembers the aftermath of the 1968 Chicago Riots on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Rufus Williams describes fashion styles in the 1960s and 1970s in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Rufus Williams describes his experience with religion while growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rufus Williams recalls the death of his oldest sister in 1977

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rufus Williams describes his freshman year at Albert Grannis Lane Technical High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rufus Williams describes his freshman year at Albert Grannis Lane Technical High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rufus Williams remembers his hopes and dreams during his time at Orr Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rufus Williams recalls life lessons he learned in eighth grade at Morton Upper Grade Center in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rufus Williams remembers playing on Orr Academy High School's basketball team in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rufus Williams talks about the gang presence on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois during the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Rufus Williams describes how his motivation to be successful protected him in his neighborhood

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Rufus Williams recalls selecting a college to attend

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Rufus Williams talks about his siblings' college education

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Rufus Williams remembers not being able to afford college

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Rufus Williams recalls being robbed while working at Burger King

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rufus Williams remembers an influential history teacher at Orr Academy High School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rufus Williams recalls being admitted into Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rufus Williams describes the impact of receiving an academic scholarship from the Better Boys Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rufus Williams talks about choosing a career path in college

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rufus Williams talks about playing basketball at Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rufus Williams remembers pledging Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity at Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Rufus Williams describes his social and academic experiences at Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Rufus Williams shares advice that made him successful at Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Rufus Williams describes the benefits of attending a historically black university

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Rufus Williams recalls joining Arthur Andersen and Co. in Chicago, Illinois right after his college graduation

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Rufus Williams describes being hired at Arthur Andersen and Co. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Rufus Williams describes the training process at Arthur Andersen and Co. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Rufus Williams recalls working toward a promotion at Arthur Andersen and Co. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Rufus Williams describes trying to become a manager at Arthur Andersen and Co. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Rufus Williams recalls two difficult assignments at Arthur Andersen and Co. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Rufus Williams talks about his family life and work with the Better Boys Foundation during his time at Arthur Andersen and Co. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Rufus Williams explains his decision to leave Arthur Andersen and Co. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Rufus Williams explains his decision to work at Baxter Healthcare Corporation in Deerfield, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Rufus Williams describes joining Harpo Studios, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois and moving to the Lincoln Park neighborhood

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Rufus Williams recalls his aspirations when he became vice controller at Harpo Studios Inc. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Rufus Williams remembers working with Oprah Winfrey to help set up the Oprah Winfrey Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Rufus Williams remembers his introspective conversations with Oprah Winfrey while working at Harpo Studios Inc. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Rufus Williams talks about his experience working at Harpo Studios, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Rufus Williams explains his decision to remain at Harpo Studios Inc. in Chicago Illinois in 1991

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Rufus Williams explains why he decided to leave Harpo Studios Inc. in Chicago, Illinois in 2000

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Rufus Williams talks about the origin and evolution of his wealth management company, Olympus LLC, in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Rufus Williams describes negotiating Gary Sheffield's baseball contract

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Rufus Williams comments on the Detroit Tigers 2008 baseball team

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Rufus Williams explains how he was appointed president of the Chicago Board of Education in 2006

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Rufus Williams reflects upon the importance of his role as president of the Chicago Board of Education in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Rufus Williams talks about former Chicago Board of Education presidents, HistoryMakers The Honorable Kenneth Smith, Sr. and Michael Scott, Sr.

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Rufus Williams considers the ways to improve the education of African American children

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Rufus Williams describes starting the Real Men Read mentoring and literacy program in Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Rufus Williams remembers Bill Cosby's 2006 speech at Chicago Public Schools' Power of Parents conference

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Rufus Williams reflects upon his goals as president of the Chicago Board of Education

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Rufus Williams considers some of the challenges he faces as president of the Chicago Board of Education

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Rufus Williams recalls a conversation about education with HistoryMaker Barbara A. Sizemore

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Rufus Williams considers how long he will serve as president of the Chicago Board of Education

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Rufus Williams reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Rufus Williams reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Rufus Williams describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$7

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Rufus Williams talks about the origin and evolution of his wealth management company, Olympus LLC, in Chicago, Illinois
Rufus Williams reflects upon the importance of his role as president of the Chicago Board of Education in Chicago, Illinois
Transcript
At that time, there was, there was a young lady who had been interning at Harpo [Studios Inc., Chicago, Illinois]. And I'd see her. She was clearly interning, clearly young, very attractive. I'd wave you know as we went through and I learned later that she had actually married this professional baseball player who she met at the basketball All Star game with another young lady who worked at Harpo who I knew very well because I had helped her get a job there because she had been a scholarship recipient of the Better Boys Foundation [(BBF), Chicago, Illinois] and they had become friends. And so she married--I learned that Deleon [Richards] had married Gary Sheffield and you know I thought that was, wow. In 2000, Gary had been involved in a lot of businesses and he was cap--just providing a lot of money for working capital for those businesses. And Deleon had talked to her friend. Her friend had told her you know what you should probably talk to [HistoryMaker] Rufus [Williams]. And she did and so we talked in that May. That was in '99 [1999]. We talked in May of '99 [1999], and then we talked again in October. Around Thanksgiving, Gary and Deleon came to Chicago [Illinois] because Deleon lived in North Chicago. And I met them for dinner. We hit it off. I flew down to St. Petersburg [Florida] where they lived right after Christmas and started helping Gary manage through these businesses. And, and really managing through them was kind of managing them away because I didn't think--as they were, he was putting in too much money. And I didn't think that they were really gonna be successful given what they were. So we started managing them away. And over that next six month period, I spent a lot of time working with Gary and a lot of time working with Harpo. And then came the conversation with Oprah [Winfrey] and just figured you know what, this is really what I was looking to do. I can't have a better client to start with. So, or this was about as good of a client to start with as you can have. And so I decided to leave and start my own business doing business management for athletes and entertainers.$$Okay, so what did you call your business?$$Olympus.$$Olympus?$$Olympus LLC [Chicago, Illinois]. It was right around, you know, that was right around the, right around the [2000 Summer] Olympics [Sydney, Australia]. And I think it was around the millennium [2000] and a lot of people were naming stuff Millennium. It was around the Olympics. I had gone down. I had actually gone down to the [1996 Summer] Olympics in Atlanta [Georgia] with my son [Bradford Williams]. We were two blocks away when the bomb went off. And it was just kind of in all of these things I decided you know in thinking about what my business was, I'm sure that was there and I thought about it and the people who I would work with and Mount Olympus [Greece] being the place where the gods alight from, it seemed like the right place to provide that stability. And so I named my company Olympus Incorporated and started, started providing that service to whoever I thought could use it focusing primarily on athletes and entertainers. Figuring that I--the work that I could do, it was really thinking about Oprah has a staff of people managing all these things for her. What about those people who come into the wealth and don't have the time or the capacity and have a staff working for them. This is the uniqueness of what I have because I probably, probably are not gonna encounter people who have as much money as she does. Probably have not, will not encounter people who have had as many options to do what a number of things that she does. So I will probably either not see anything I haven't seen before or certainly won't see anything I can't help figure out. And with that, I thought those were the uniqueness of my abilities and I started my business based on that. Over the years, things, things go as they go and as I would expect, I have an opportunity to show my full competency to my clients and particularly in Gary's case, it moves on beyond just managing his money to also negotiating his contracts. So it goes full circle. And that's what my business has become.$Okay. All right, now how has, how's it been being president of the [Chicago] Board of Education?$$There is no more important job that I can have. I am a product of Chicago Public Schools [CPS]. My son [Bradford Williams] is--my son left private school and picked Whitney [M.] Young [Magnet High School, Chicago, Illinois]. He didn't pick public schools. He picked Whitney Young of all the schools in the city and he could have gotten into all of them. So that was a very conscious decision. Watching him go through public school and my son decided that he wanted to go to Yale [University, New Haven, Connecticut]. And he decided to apply early. And he applied only to Yale and he got in. So he has been one of those that we continue to say--that I continue to say if this--we know the schools are good. We know that this is what they can do. And it is my push to try and get everybody not to go to Yale, but get everybody at a point that they can feel confident to go wherever they wanna go. I know that it works. I know that it worked for me. I know that it worked, it worked for him. It is one of the biggest challenges because there is so many things to do. And for me I am trying to change a lot of things and I know more than anything. I'm trying to change a culture. I'm trying to change a culture outside where we know that our children can be successful, that we know that parents are the key people that make that work. I'm trying to make sure that the right accountability and the right pressure is put in the right places. But I think more than anything else if we believe that we can get something done and we put forth the work to get it done, then we can get it done. I don't think we're putting forth the work to get it done. I don't think the people believe well enough that our children can be successful. And that is the culture that I'm trying to change. I'm trying to change it on the outside and I'm trying to change it on the inside. Our district is the third largest school system in the nation. I think that as we go the nation goes. When we show them we can do we can show the world that we can do. So it's a really big undertaking as we look to the future. And to me, you know I go out to schools as much as I can. I read to children. When I look in the eyes of a kindergarten kid, I was at a school today for their African American history month and as those children sat there and they looked up at me when they learned who I was in some awe, I know that that child is expecting me to do the best I can by him. And in some fifteen years or so, he will let me know one way or another whether or not I have. The mayor is responsible for our schools in Chicago [Illinois]. And under him is the board of education. And I'm the president of the board of education. He makes it painfully clear all the time that I am responsible for our schools and I take that responsibility very seriously. So as we try to move it and I try to move it with expecting excellence, I'm not accepting excuses, not accepting victimization. Recognizing that we don't have all the resources that we need, I expect everybody to do everything they can with the resources that we have. And we will work on the other hand to try to get more. But I think you know there were times and places and schools where there was nothing and people have gotten to a lot. We've got a lot of work to do and I fully believe that we can get it done.

Herman Marrel Foushee

Businessman H. Marrel Foushee was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on June 26, 1949, the oldest of eight children. After graduating from high school in 1967, he joined the U.S. Air Force, and in 1972 enrolled at Howard University on a football scholarship, earning a B.A. in political science with honors in just two and a half years. He later returned to earn an M.P.A. in 1977.

Foushee started his career with an internship at the National Bureau of Standards in 1974. After completing his M.A., Foushee went to work at Public Technology, Inc., as the assistant to the director, where he liased with federal authorities as part of its Urban Consortium Program. In 1978, he founded Foushee's Tax and Financial Management Services, where he remains president. He has also spent significant time working for federal and local governments, serving with the Department of Energy as a program analyst and with the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. From 1984 to 1987, he served as chief of the Washington, D.C. Office of Paternity and Child Support, and from 1989 to 1991 as an executive assistant and acting administrator in the D.C. Youth Services Administration. The mayor of Washington, D.C., appointed Foushee to the Department of Public Works as administrator of facilities management, where he served from 1996 to 1997.

Foushee has also been active in the media, working as an on-air personality for WHUR, the Howard University radio station, offering tax advice for thirteen years between 1982 and 1995. He expanded out to WDCU in 1992, producing and hosting Business Digest for three years. Foushee expanded his own personal business in 1997, opening Foushee's Business Management Services, where he is managing partner.

Over his career, Foushee has received many awards, including the Outstanding Professional of Washington, D.C., in 1987 and a Presidential Citation from the D.C. Chamber of Commerce. He has also been listed in Who's Who in Black Corporate America. He serves on the board of the Howard University Small Business Development Center and on the Metropolitan Baptist Church Foundation. He is also a founder of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators and was the first president of the Black M.B.A. Association of Washington, D.C.

Accession Number

A2003.160

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/18/2003

Last Name

Foushee

Maker Category
Middle Name

Marrel

Organizations
Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

H.

Birth City, State, Country

Chapel Hill

HM ID

FOU01

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Teens, Seniors, Special Interest

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Teens, Seniors, Special Interest

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Dominican Republic

Favorite Quote

It Won't Be This Way Always.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

6/26/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chapel Hill

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Financial chief executive and radio host Herman Marrel Foushee (1949 - ) was the owner of Foushee's Tax and Financial Management Services and Foushee's Business Management Services. He also served in a number of federal and local government posts with the Department of Energy and the D.C. Youth Services Administration, and was active in broadcasting with a weekly radio shows offering business and tax advice for thirteen years.

Employment

National Bureau of Standards (NBS)

Public Technology, Inc.

Foushee's Tax & Financial Management Services

United States Department of Energy

United States Department of Health and Human Services

District of Columbia Child Support Services Division

District of Columbia Youth Services Administration

District of Columbia Department of Public Works

WHUR Radio

WDCU Radio

Foushee's Business Management Services

Favorite Color

Blue, Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:3660,30:19996,328:62880,919:79891,1120:80263,1125:82123,1150:122000,1657:129138,1782:136891,1852:190846,2572:210370,2858:210850,2864:231494,3136:231818,3141:232142,3146:238980,3242:253996,3540:283080,3878$0,0:1328,6:3902,55:4166,60:8390,299:14396,431:14924,440:21570,478:21996,485:29018,595:43610,962:60896,1237:64127,1246:65821,1283:67669,1377:116310,2210:116870,2220:120550,2314:120950,2321:126504,2376:129232,2411:131256,2448:138698,2545:189664,3232:196714,3323:197106,3328:198510,3334
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Herman Marrel Foushee's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Herman Marrel Foushee lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his maternal family history, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his maternal family history, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his participation in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his childhood memories, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his childhood memories, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his grade school years

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his role in a production of "Show Boat" at Guy B. Phillips Junior High after the school was integrated

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his activism during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his aspirations as a student at Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his experiences of racial discrimination as a student at Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his social life and football career at Chapel Hill High School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his decision to join the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his experience in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about combating racism in the U.S. Air Force with the Brotherhood Association Serviceman

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about attending Howard University in Washington, D.C. after leaving the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his experience at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his professors at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his graduate studies in public administration at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his internship at the National Bureau of Standards while conducting graduate studies at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his time with Public Technology, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about working in the Office of Paternity and Child Support in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about Mayor Marion Barry

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about working as a radio personality on WHUR and WDCU

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes the guests and the subjects featured on his "Business Digest" show on WDCU

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Herman Marrel Foushee shares his advice for small business entrepreneurs

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Herman Marrel Foushee analyzes the downfall of small black businesses started in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his work for the National Black M.B.A. Association of Washington, D.C. and guarding his inner circle

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about the money management problems often faced by professional athletes

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Herman Marrel Foushee compares the difference in how black businesses are treated versus businesses started by other ethnic groups

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about the changing face of the service industry

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about various facets of the underground economy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Herman Marrel Foushee describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about what he would do differently

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Herman Marrel Foushee reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Herman Marrel Foushee talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Herman Marrel Foushee narrates his photographs

DASession

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DATitle
Herman Marrel Foushee talks about his participation in the Civil Rights Movement
Herman Marrel Foushee describes his time with Public Technology, Inc.
Transcript
Now, what were race relations like in Chapel Hill [North Carolina] when you were growing up?$$Well, growing up (unclear)--there are two different phases. In the '50's [1950s], the--I started elementary school [Northside Elementary School] in '55' [1955]. It was we had a elementary school for blacks, and we had an elementary school for whites. We had the same thing in--and we had one junior-senior high school for, for blacks. We--the Chapel Hill, the population, black population, is less than 20 percent. And the--when I grew up there, the total population was only 25,000. We--it was one of the, as you re--if you have read the book "[The] Free Men," [by John Ehle] it was one of the test sites that the Civil Rights, different civil rights organizations used because it was supposed to have been one of the more liberal cities in the South. And I was very involved with the Civil Rights Movement, with the Congress of Racial Equality, CORE was the basic organization, Civil Rights organization there. The--when we--when they, when they had the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee [SNCC] come in, but they were not as--they, they, they were not as ginger and did not fit in as well as the Congress for Racial Equality did because it, it was their perception of the different organizations at that time. And Floyd McKissick was the, was in charge of the Congress of Racial Equality back during there. We did sit-ins; we did the, we did the-- walked along Franklin Street. We--I did--I remember the summer of '62' [1962]; 1962 I think it was. I spent most of my summer on the picket line in front of the drugstore, trying to make it so that we could sit at lunch counters, now Colonial Drug. And the guy who was a pharmacist there, who owned it, was, name was John. We called--so it was Big John Drugstore. So, in--so that was, that was there. I had the fortune of meeting with--being in the, in the same room with the likes of, of [Reverend] Dr. Martin Luther King [Jr.] back then, 'cause see, they came to Chapel Hill, to Greensboro. [HM Reverend] Jesse Jackson, you know, was, was one of the players back there--back then. And when I was a little youngster and I was involved with the youth group, they had us divided between the, the adults and the youth. The, the race relations were really during, during the time when the, when the Civil Rights marches started. There was--it became very tense because a lot of the people in Chapel Hill, the blacks, worked for the white folks. So consequently, they did not have--they, they were very reluctant to come forward because their bosses would be--unless their boss gave them permission to participate in the civil rights marches or in the picket lines, they didn't do it. And as you know, most, a lot of 'em, were, you know, did domestic work, so they're boss--if they heard their boss talking about it, then they didn't do it, you know. If they did it they would get fired, and you know, they couldn't afford to lose their jobs. So a lot of 'em didn't do it. We, when we had the, the sit-ins, you know, one of the, one of my responsibilities was to make sure that we had--that I had the attorneys available and the bail bondsmen so that we could bail the people out of jail right away. And we--I, I remember I was like, you know, I'm always here. I was always there, but I couldn't--that's (unclear) like why can't I participate, you know? Why can't I, why can't I participate in the sit-ins? They said well, you do the picket lines, and you're too young; you know, you're a juvenile. But June 29th, I guess--I mean December 29th we didn't have enough people so they let me do the, do a sit-in, and I finally got, got my chance to be arrested with everybody else, but was treated as a juvenile. So I felt, really felt like I was a part of the, of, of making things happen at that time.$And I always believe in moving out on a high note so I left there [the National Bureau of Standards, now National Institute of Standards and Technology], and while I was working for him [Dr. Howard Sorrows], I was at a conference, and I got recruited by Public Technology, Incorporated. That's the technology arm of the National League of the cities, the U.S. Conference for Mayors, International City Management Association, the National Association of Counties and all those public interest groups. So, I worked with them. I worked with big cities, so I got to use my public administration knowledge there. At the same time, I set up my tax and financial management business [Foushee's Tax and Financial Management Services] here. So, this was in 199-1977 [sic, he founded his business in 1978], so it-- everything started to really propel when I, once I finished grad school [Howard University in Washington, D.C.]. That's when I bought the house as my graduation present to myself, and you know, decided to use the office here as, for my tax business, and then tax and financial management, and then went to work for Public Technology. And you know, I'll never forget the guy who was the director of personnel's--'cause I was still, I still had not finished school when I left. And he was trying to say that I had to pay back--had to pay for my--pay the government back, 'cause the government--I was on the G.I. Bill, plus the government was paying my tuition, and plus I was getting paid full salary as a, as a junior executive in the government. So, if you're wondering how I was able to buy a house when I finished grad school (laughter)--(unclear)--$$Yeah, yeah--(simultaneous)--$$(Laughter) So--$$--(unclear) allowed to keep all that money. I mean that was real money, not just a transfer between the government and the (unclear)--$$Right, that was real money, 'cause tui--the government paid tuition. I had took down there and paid my tuition for George Washington University, American University, Howard, University of Maryland, wherever I went, because Howard was in the consortium university for the city [Washington, D.C.], so I went to all the different universities. And so, as, as long as I made good grades, they--he really--they really didn't care.$$So it was, like I said, it was a sweet, sweet deal. And then I spent a year or so with Public Technology. There were four black professionals out of a staff of like fifty, and we all had the same story, you know, and we're all still buddies now, in senior-level positions. And in fact, one is, one of my colleagues, who was next door to me, is now the deputy director for (unclear)--we--I know the chief, chief executive officer for the D.C. Department of Health, Ron Lewis. And so, we--you know, it's a big racist organization, so in the meantime I recruited to come to work in the--by one of the gentlemen who was working for [President] Jimmy Carter in the White House. And they got me a position over--in, intergovernmental relations with the U.S. Department of Energy. So I worked for the, the deputy assistant secretary for energy for, until Jimmy Carter lost his election in 1980, for, for two years. And then after that, I went over to work in Health and Human Services as a small business advisor, and I left. I did that for four years.