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The Honorable Audrey Collins

Federal District Court Judge Audrey B. Collins was born on June 12, 1945 in Chester, Pennsylvania to Dr. Furman L. Brodie Jr. and Audrey Moseley Brodie. She attended Yeadon High School in Yeadon, Pennsylvania, where she graduated as valedictorian of her class. Collins attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. and graduated Phi Beta Kappa, earning her B.A. degree in political science in 1967. That year, she received Howard University’s Woman of the Year Award and married her husband, Dr. Tim Collins. In 1969, she earned her M.A. degree in public administration from American University’s School of Government and Public Administration. In 1974, Collins returned to school to earn her law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. She was a member of the UCLA Law Review, and earned her J.D. degree in 1977, graduating with the Order of the Coif.

In 1977, Collins served as an assistant attorney of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and in 1978, she was hired as a deputy district attorney of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. In 1987, Collins was promoted to head deputy at the Torrance Branch office. She was then appointed as the assistant director of the Bureaus of Central and Special Operations the following year. In 1992, she was named the assistant district attorney and a deputy general counsel in the Office of the Special Advisor, where she served as counsel to the Los Angeles Police Department Board of Commissioners. Two years later, President Bill Clinton nominated Collins for a seat on the District Court for the Central District of California. She served as chief judge for the court from 2009 through September, 2012.

In 1988, Collins received the Loren Miller Lawyer of the Year Award by the John M. Langston Bar Association. In 1994, she was awarded the National Black Prosecutors Association’s Distinguished Service Award, and, in 2006, she was presented with the Bernard Jefferson Judge of the Year Award by the John M. Langston Bar Association. In 2012, Collins was awarded both the Outstanding Jurist Award from the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Joan Dempsey Klein Distinguished Jurist Award. She is a member of the National Bar Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Black Women Lawyers of Los Angeles County, the John M. Langston Bar Association, Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, and the National Association of Women Judges.

Collins and her husband have two adult children, one whom is an actor and the other an attorney.

Judge Audrey B. Collins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 18, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.344

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/18/2013 |and| 11/14/2014

Last Name

Collins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

B.

Schools

Yeadon High School

American University

University of California, Los Angeles School of Law

William B. Evans Elementary School

Howard University

First Name

Audrey

Birth City, State, Country

Chester

HM ID

COL25

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Santa Barbara, New York City

Favorite Quote

Let's Just Get It Done.$

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

6/12/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pie

Short Description

Federal district court judge The Honorable Audrey Collins (1945 - ) served in the Central District of California from 1994 to 2013. She was the court's chief judge from 2009 to 2012.

Employment

United States District Court

L.A. County District Attorney's Office

University of Southern California

Los Angeles Unified School District

Model Cities

District of Columbia Public Schools

Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher LLP

California Court of Appeal, District 2

Favorite Color

Blue

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Audrey Collins' interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Audrey Collins lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her mother's intelligence

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers ice deliveries at her maternal grandparents' home

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her paternal relatives' migration to the North

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her family's roots in the Presbyterian church

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Audrey Collins lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her parents' reasons for leaving Chester, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls the discrimination against her family in Yeadon, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her friendship with Donald Bogle

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers her mother's students

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers her elementary school teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes the grade levels at Yeadon Junior Senior High School in Yeadon, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers the music and television of her youth

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her father's political affiliation

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls her summer employment

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers visiting the campus of Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her professors at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers the civil rights activism at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers President Lyndon Baines Johnson's speech at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls the start of her interest in law

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers joining the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls teaching at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her husband's dental career

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her early jobs in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers the Watergate scandal

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers the School of Law at the University of California, Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her experiences of discrimination she faced at the University of California, Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers her transition from private practice to the district attorney's office

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls her work at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls her work at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her neighborhoods in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about the civil unrest in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about the case of the State of California v. Soon Ja Du

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers the Rodney King trials

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers her role on the Committee of Bar Examiners

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers her nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her work as a federal district judge

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her staff

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about the need for new judicial positions

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers her ruling on Humanitarian Law Project v. Reno

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls upholding the removal of nativity scenes from public property

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers a child custody case involving the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Audrey Collins' interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers her work with Johnnie Cochran

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls serving as the legal advisor to the grand jury

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her career at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls serving as a head deputy of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her position in the Association of Deputy District Attorneys

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls her role as an assistant bureau director of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her awards and honors

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her role in the Los Angeles County Bar Association

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about police brutality in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes the changes in criminal justice in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers applying for a federal judgeship

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers her judicial confirmation hearing

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes the history of African American judges in California

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about the duties of a federal district judge

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes the outcome of her challenge to the USA PATRIOT Act

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her brother's legal work

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her notable cases

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about the Myspace anti-spam ruling

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers the challenges to the City of Los Angeles' billboard ordinance

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her position as chief district judge

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her programs to lower recidivism

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers enforcing the rights of disabled prison inmates in Orange County, California

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls serving as chief justice of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her decision to remain an active judge

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her appointment to the California Second District Court of Appeal

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about the duties of an appellate judge

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her judicial philosophy

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her plans for the future

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - The Honorable Audrey Collins reflects upon her life

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her children

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

12$5

DATitle
The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls the start of her interest in law
The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her work as a federal district judge
Transcript
Well in terms of p- political science, I know that Howard's political science department had to be a lot different from the civics classes you had in, in Yeadon [Pennsylvania], so what--what did you learn?$$ (Pause) I'm sorry?$$So what did you learn at Howard [Howard University, Washington, D.C.] that was different from what was at, taught at Yeadon High School [Yeadon Junior Senior High School, Yeadon, Pennsylvania], you know.$$ Well Yeadon, I mean you know that was high school. I'm sure I had civics of some kind because that's what they did then; they don't do it anymore, they don't have civics, which is a great loss. And I know Justice Sandra Day O'Connor you know, one of her goals in life now is to try to restore civics to the curriculum. So I'm sure we had it. But I mean Howard of course was just more in depth, examination of both our political system and then, and then others and some comparisons with other, other countries, essentially, parliamentary system, et cetera. So I mean it was, it was a very good program, and I can't say that there was any one thing that made me think I wanted to study law. But just being in that environment at that time, even from high school on, although high school was very different. You began to realize I mean people like Thurgood Marshall are in this environment. You know we have the [U.S.] Supreme Court downtown and all of these changes taking place. And this is an area in which you could do some good. To tell you the truth, I initially was interested in criminal defense because that seemed--I mean very logical at the time. You wanna defend people. It wasn't until later events took place that I switched over and became a prosecutor, both because that was where the opportunity was at the time, and I came to realize that you--there's really a lot of power in the prosecution. They are the people who decide whether to bring the charges in the first place. They have a lot of discretion in how a case is disposed of, which has to do with sentencing, and most of the victims are black or people of color across the country, and certainly here in L.A. [Los Angeles, California]. But the goal, at the time you know, you thought well I'm going--I wanna obviously gonna defend, you know. So certainly being in that atmosphere at Howard. I mean there were so many things going on. Even the fine arts, you know, was amazing. I didn't know Debbie Allen at the time, I think she was behind me. But just that--here you are and you know, you can do anything. Which was something my mother had already instilled in us of course that there's no limit because you're African American or a woman or whatever. And in fact I remember when I went through that phase, Future Nurses of America, I'm gonna be a nurse. My mother said, "Well why don't you wanna be a doctor?" And I thought okay. But I, I, I didn't at the time. I mean to me it was a nurse. And she's like, "No, why don't you wanna be a doctor?" So our--I think our, our parents [Audrey Moseley Collins and Furman Brodie, Jr.] raised us to obviously you're gonna get educated, you're--and you can do whatever you want. You decide what to do.$How'd you like the job? I mean you're still do- doing it, so you must like it (unclear).$$ Yes. No it's, it's a wonderful job. Both being a trial, trial judge and then the time I was chief judge. The variety is one of the best things. I mean there's some negative things about the system that aren't working right now; we're not getting new judgeships. We haven't had any new judgeships since 1990 and look how our population in the Central District [Central District of California] has boomed since then. So our caseload has just sort of gone up exponentially. But the variety is fun because you get to do everything, unlike many courts that are divided into departments, which makes a lot of sense. You know you either do criminal or you do civil, you do probate, you do family law, you know you do long cause trials, you do juvenile. We do everything. I mean I get civil and criminal cases, all at the same time. I get motions in criminal and civil all at the same time. You might be doing a criminal trial, you might be doing a civil trial. And the variety of cases within the civil arena is breathtaking. From constitutional law to things that are removed from state courts. You get your Fair Labor Standards Act [Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938], as well as your state labor code violations. You can get many employment law discrimination cases under both federal and state law. Discrimination based on sex, age, gender, race. Your Americans with Disabilities Act [Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990]. And again a lot of these also have state law counterparts. You get a lot of Americans Disabilities Act. And then you just get cases that are removed from state court because the defendant is not a California corporation. So again, a lot of California labor code, wage and hour violations, you know I didn't get my overtime, I didn't get my rest period, breach of contract. Just regular old breach of contract. I have a huge one involving Boeing [The Boeing Company] and some international corporations over some big deal they tried to do, Sea Launch [Sea Launch Company, LLC; Energia Overseas, Ltd.]. They were gonna launch satellites into space and it failed and everybody's suing everybody else. It's breach of contract. But they're from all different places, so there's diversity. So I've got, I've got breach of contract. It, it's just amazing--like copyright and intellectual property. Copyright, trademark, patent, just a little bit of admiralty law, not much but you know, if, if it's admiralty law, it has to come here [U.S. District Court for the Central District of California]. A little bit of--occasionally like a railroad case under the railroad act has to come here. So you truly never know what you're gonna get. I mean after nineteen years, I still see new stuff where I look at--I go, "What is this? I've never seen this before."

Brent Staples

Journalist and author Brent Staples was born on September 13, 1951, in Chester, Pennsylvania. His father, Melvin Staples, was a truck driver; his mother, Geneva, a homemaker. The oldest son of nine children, Staples grew up in Chester, but, due to his family’s financial problems, moved seven times before finishing junior high school. After being approached by the only African American professor at Widener University, then the Pennsylvania Military College, Staples was accepted into Widener through a program called Project Prepare. He graduated from there in 1973 with his B.A. degree in behavioral science. Staples was awarded two doctoral fellowships; one from the Danforth Foundation and another from the Ford Foundation. He went on to receive his Ph.D. degree in psychology from the University of Chicago in 1982.

From 1977 until 1981, Staples taught psychology at various colleges in Pennsylvania and Chicago. Then, in 1983, he was hired at the Chicago Sun-Times as a science writer. In 1985, Staples moved to The New York Times, where he was hired as an editor of The New York Times Book Review. Staples also frequently contributed to the Times Magazine and the Book Review. In 1986, he published the essay, “Just Walk on By” in Ms. magazine, a piece that would eventually be required reading for college courses throughout the country. Staples became an assistant editor for metropolitan news at The New York Times in 1987, and was appointed a member of The New York Times Editorial Board in 1990.

In 1994, Staples’ autobiography Parallel Time: Growing Up in Black and White, was published. Parallel Time was awarded the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 1995, and was also a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In 2000, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Mount St. Mary College. In 2006, Staples was awarded a Fletcher Foundation Fellowship for his book-in-progress, Neither White Nor Black: The Secret History of Mixed-Race America. He has also served as a visiting fellow for multiple organizations including the Hoover Institution, the University of Chicago and Yale University.

Brent Staples was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 18, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.274

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/19/2013

Last Name

Staples

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Widener University

University of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Brent

Birth City, State, Country

Chester

HM ID

STA09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/13/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

No Favorite Food

Short Description

Author and editorial writer Brent Staples (1951 - ) , author of Parallel Time: Growing Up in Black and White, has served on the New York Times editorial board for over twenty years.

Employment

Chicago Sun-Times

New York Times

Favorite Color

Purple

Howard Dodson

Historian and lecturer Howard Dodson was born June 1, 1939, in Chester, Pennsylvania. After completing high school in 1957, he attended West Chester State College, where he studied social studies and English, with an emphasis on secondary education. Graduating in 1961, he went on to Villanova University where he earned an M.A. in U.S. history and political science in 1963. Currently, Dodson is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley.

Upon earning his master's degree, Dodson went to Ecuador in 1964 as part of a Peace Corps assignment where he was the director of credit union education programs for the National Credit Union Federation. In 1967, Dodson moved to Washington, D.C., and became the director of minority recruitment and deputy director of campus recruiting for the Peace Corps, where he remained for a year. Dodson became the executive director of the Institute of the Black World in Atlanta in 1974, remaining there until 1979. At the same time, he taught classes at Emory University. Dodson returned to Washington, D.C., in 1979 as a consultant to the National Endowment for the Humanities. However, he remained active with the Institute of the Black World, working as a project director on a number of programs until 1984. After leaving the NEH, Dodson was hired as the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library. Under his guidance and direction, the Schomburg Center sustained tremendous growth.

Dodson has been active throughout his life in a number of other projects. He was part of the Black Theology Project Conference held in Cuba, which brought Fidel Castro into the religious community for the first time in decades. He has produced a number of exhibitions and festivals celebrating black history and African American life. Dodson is also the author of several books and articles and the recipient of numerous awards, including being named to the President's Commission on the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Malcolm X Museum Award. He serves on the board of directors of the Apollo Theater Foundation and the UNESCO Slave Route Project, among many others.

Accession Number

A2003.080

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/16/2003 |and| 4/22/2003

Last Name

Dodson

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Howard

Birth City, State, Country

Chester

HM ID

DOD01

Favorite Season

Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

Theresa Martin (Secretary) (212) 491-2263 / tmartin@nypl.org/Joan Harris (Public Relations) jkharris@nypl.org 212-491-2259

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Nassau, Bahamas

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

6/1/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlantic City

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Historian and library director Howard Dodson (1939 - ) is director of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and Howard University Libraries. He served as chief of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York from 1984 to 2011.

Employment

National Credit Union Federation

United States Peace Corps

Institute of the Black World

Emory University

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Schomburg Center For Research In Black Culture

Favorite Color

Earth Tones

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Howard Dodson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Howard Dodson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Howard Dodson describes his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Howard Dodson describes his father, Howard Dodson, Sr.

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Howard Dodson describes his mother, LouBirda Jones Dodson

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Howard Dodson talks about his father's hobbies and his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Howard Dodson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Chester, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Howard Dodson describes attending school in Chester, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Howard Dodson recalls his favorite teachers in school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Howard Dodson describes his influential teacher, Dr. Leah Jordan

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Howard Dodson recalls his social activities at Bethany Baptist Church in Chester, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Howard Dodson describes growing up in a tough neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Howard Dodson recalls his decision to attend West Chester State College in Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Howard Dodson describes staging a sit-in in West Chester, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Howard Dodson recalls the strong athletic programs at West Chester University in Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Howard Dodson talks about the successful black students at West Chester University in Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Howard Dodson recalls pledging Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at West Chester University in Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Howard Dodson describes majoring in social studies and English at West Chester College in Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Howard Dodson describes attending Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Howard Dodson talks about joining the Peace Corps in 1964

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Howard Dodson describes earning his master's degree at Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Howard Dodson describes serving in the Peace Corps in Ecuador, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Howard Dodson describes serving in the Peace Corps in Ecuador, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Howard Dodson describes the people in Ecuador

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Howard Dodson describes coaching basketball in Ecuador

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Howard Dodson recalls becoming a recruiter for the Peace Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Howard Dodson recalls the Washington, D.C. riots following Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Howard Dodson recalls the Washington, D.C. riots following Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Howard Dodson talks about working in the press office for the Poor People's Campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Howard Dodson recalls traveling and reading African American history in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Howard Dodson describes his interest in African American history

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Howard Dodson remembers enrolling at the University of California-Berkeley and meeting his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Howard Dodson talks about joining Andrew Billingsley at the Institute of the Black World in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Howard Dodson describes the Institute of the Black World

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Howard Dodson describes the split between the Martin Luther King Center and the Institute of the Black World

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Howard Dodson describes the rich intellectual life at the Institute of the Black World

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Howard Dodson talks about the size and funding of the Institute of the Black World

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Howard Dodson describes the intellectual debates at the Institute of the Black World

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Howard Dodson describes his career trajectory in the 1970s and 1980s

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Howard Dodson talks about a television documentary series on black history and culture

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Howard Dodson describes his intellectual influences

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Howard Dodson describes his interdisciplinary approach to his graduate education at the University of California-Berkeley, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Howard Dodson describes his interdisciplinary approach to his graduate education at the University of California-Berkeley, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Howard Dodson describes working at the National Endowment for the Humanities

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Howard Dodson recalls his wife taking a job at Union Theological Seminary in New York City

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Howard Dodson describes applying for a position at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Howard Dodson talks about his research projects with the Council of Interracial Books for Children and the National Council of Churches

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Howard Dodson recalls traveling to Cuba with HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse Jackson

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Howard Dodson describes the history of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Howard Dodson talks about Arthur Schomburg

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Howard Dodson talks about former directors of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Howard Dodson describes renovating the Schomburg Center

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Howard Dodson talks about acquiring funding to build an auditorium at the Schomburg Center, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Howard Dodson talks about acquiring funding to build an auditorium at the Schomburg Center, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Howard Dodson describes acquiring collections as the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Howard Dodson describes acquiring the Leon Damas collections as the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Howard Dodson describes the success of cultural programming at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Howard Dodson describes research scholarships at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Howard Dodson describes the importance of highlighting lesser known African American history

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Howard Dodson recalls the Schomburg Center's acquisition of the Malcolm X papers, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Howard Dodson recalls the Schomburg Center's acquisition of the Malcolm X papers, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Howard Dodson describes his role in making the African burial ground an historic site in New York City

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Howard Dodson describes his hopes and concerns for the black community, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Howard Dodson describes his hopes and concerns for the black community, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Howard Dodson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Howard Dodson describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

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DATitle
Howard Dodson describes the rich intellectual life at the Institute of the Black World
Howard Dodson describes acquiring the Leon Damas collections as the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Transcript
But a lot of--I was saying to you earlier, that virtually anybody who was involved in critical thinking about the black experience in any way, shape, or form ended up coming to the Institute [of the Black World] at one time or another. And it was a broad range of folk. I mean the black foundation executives, when they decided they were going to organize, they came and spent like two or three days at the institute consulting with staff and other folk there, trying to figure out how they can structure themselves to function both on behalf of the, their own career interests while serving interests and needs of the broader black community in the earliest meetings, planning meetings for the Congressional Black Caucus took place. Charles Diggs came there with a fellow by the name of Ofield Dukes [HM] and spent several days kind of thinking through what the Congressional Black Caucus might look like as an organized entity within the congressional body, and what kind of agendas it might set and that kind of thing. Louis Farrakhan [HM], when he split with Wallace D. Mohammed--well, before he actually went through, the split came, spent several days with us. And he had a number of major concerns. One of them was that he could not support the direction that Wallace was taking the Nation of Islam and which was a more traditional Islamic one and, and really breaking with most of the economic principles that had undergirded the Nation during his father's tenure.$$(Simultaneous)--was hardcore Nationalist principles about owning your own--$$Yeah--$$--(unclear)-$$And so Farrakhan, a) could not continue to follow but didn't want to create any major split in the movement. And part of the reason why they definitely didn't want any big split was because Farrakhan's kids were married to Wallace Dean's kids. (Laughter) He just begin (laughter)--(unclear). And so, we kind spend a lot of time with him kind of talking through a lot of that stuff. But when Stokely Carmichael first announced his Pan-Africanism philosophy, he came and delivered a speech at the institute that kind of laid out this, his new Pan-Africanist vision. We beat him up--Stokely, that stuff don't make no sense; it don't make no sense to you (laughter). But what was, what was wonderful about the institute and--is that it had a reputation for being a place where one could come and exchange ideas and where all ideas, if you were generally committed to the struggle of black people for freedom and human dignity, all ideas had value. In other words, you--we would, we would have debates with you about the ideas without personalizing, without attacking you, and people felt comfortable from the broad spectrum of the political world coming--excuse me--and having those kinds of, kinds of conversations. There was some important, you know, bodies of work came out of the institute. Steven Henderson did a major book on, on poetry and the, the kind of--(unclear)--and, and the evolution of kind of African American, a language systems and, and its, its relationship to poetry. And people like Joyce Ladner [HM] did her, one of the first major books on black, the history of black women, which was--(unclear). Vincent, of course, did his various books on the history of black struggle. We did a special edition on, of a Harvard education review called "Education in Block--Black Struggle: Notes from the Colonized World," which was a major piece. We did several--some of our earliest work was on the evolution development of black studies. And we convened the first meeting of black studies directors to try to collectivize our knowledge and consciousness about issues involving shaping black studies programs around the country. And we convened the first major national assessment of black studies curriculum across the nation.$The second story is equally fascinating one. One of the leading figures in the negritude movement during the thirties [1930s] was a fellow by the name of Leon Damas, Guyanese intellectual who was studying in France and met [Leopold Sedar] Senghor and a number of other folk, and they kind of fashioned this concept of negritude. Well, Damas eventually ended up at Howard University and was living in Washington, D.C., and after a rather long tenure there, decided he would--he was working on a project on the black Brazilian experience. And so he decided to go to Brazil and spend some time there doing research. Prior to leaving, he put all of his stuff in storage, and he goes down to, to Brazil and eventually dies in Brazil. His wife, turns out was a friend of a friend of mine who lived in Brazil, Abdias do Nascimento and his wife. And they started getting these notices about the stuff that was in storage. And the final one that came said basically that the warehouse was shutting down, and they had about four or five days to clear all the stuff out of the warehouse otherwise it was gonna be trashed. The friend suggested that she call me from, from Rio [de Janeiro]. She called and explained what the situation was. I said to her that if they will basically donate the collection to the center, we would pay for the arrearages in storage, in storage fees, and we'll provide for the transportation, physical transportation. They agreed to that, and the Leon Damas Collection ends up here at the Schomburg Center. There are a few thousand other stories like that of material that was at risk in various kinds of ways that we've been able through a variety of strategies to preserve and make available to the public. And that's probably one of the most exciting things about this job, that we do have those successes. One of the most painful things about the job is that we're also aware of how many times things do, in fact, get lost or destroyed, and we're not able to ensure their preservation. But we're, we're pleased with what we've been able to achieve thus far. So, that's the, the building of the collections is one of the, the, the things I think I'm, I'm proudest of--