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David A. Wilson

Journalist and media executive David A. Wilson was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1977 to Vernon and Beverly Wilson. One of ten children, he was raised in the Georgia King Village housing projects in Newark. Wilson went on to attend Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. In 1997, during his sophomore year in college, he was hired as an intern at WABC-TV in New York City, where he worked on the show Like It Is and was mentored by Gil Noble. Wilson received his B.S. degree in communications from Rowan University in 1999.

Upon graduation, Wilson worked at the assignment desk for local news outlets. In 2000, he was hired at Network News Service (NNS), where he served as lead producer and oversaw newsroom operations. Wilson went on to research and develop content for the award-winning CBS News program 48 Hours. In 2005, he left his job at CBS, co-founded the film production company Three Part Media LLC, and began work on the film Meeting David Wilson, a documentary that chronicles Wilson’s personal journey to find answers to today's racial disparities in America, where he served as director and writer. Meeting David Wilson premiered on MSNBC in 2008, and won the Radio-Television News Directors Association/UNITY: Journalists of Color Award.

In 2009, following the success of Meeting David Wilson, Wilson and Three Part Media founded NBC News’ TheGrio.com, the first video-centric news community site devoted to providing African Americans with stories and perspectives that are underrepresented in existing national news outlets. Wilson first served as managing editor of TheGrio, and was named executive editor in 2011. In 2013, TheGrio became a division of the MSNBC cable channel.

Wilson has been honored as one of The Network Journal‘s 40 Under 40.

David Wilson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 19, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.063

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/19/2014

Last Name

Wilson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Andre

Organizations
Schools

Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School

Milton Hershey School

Arts High School

Rowan University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

David

Birth City, State, Country

Newark

HM ID

WIL71

Favorite Season

May, September

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahia, Brazil

Favorite Quote

You Are The Best You That Anyone Can Be. Don’t Forfeit That One Advantage In Life By Trying To Be Someone That You’re Not.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/15/1977

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Thai Chicken Red Curry

Short Description

Journalist and media executive David Wilson (1977 - ) wrote and directed the film Meeting David Wilson and cofounded TheGrio.com.

Employment

Network News Service

CBS News

Three Part Media LLC

TheGrio.com

WABC-TV

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of David Wilson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - David Wilson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - David Wilson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - David Wilson talks about his father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - David Wilson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - David Wilson lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - David Wilson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - David Wilson remembers the hardships of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - David Wilson remembers the Georgia King Village housing project in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - David Wilson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - David Wilson describes his home in the Georgia King Village projects

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - David Wilson describes his family life

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - David Wilson talks about his father's abuse

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - David Wilson reflects upon his relationship with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - David Wilson remembers growing up with ten siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - David Wilson talks about the 13th Avenue/Dr. MLK, Jr. School in Newark, New Jersey, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - David Wilson describes the quality of the education system in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - David Wilson talks about the 13th Avenue/Dr. MLK, Jr. School in Newark, New Jersey, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - David Wilson describes his decision to enroll at the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - David Wilson recalls his family's response to his enrollment at the Milton Hershey School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - David Wilson describes his decision to leave the Milton Hershey School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - David Wilson remembers returning to Newark, New Jersey to attend Newark Arts High School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - David Wilson describes his early interest in art

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - David Wilson talks about the alumni of Newark Arts High School in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - David Wilson remembers his interests during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - David Wilson remembers his friends at Newark Arts High School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - David Wilson recalls his decision to attend Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - David Wilson remembers developing an interest in documentary film

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - David Wilson remembers the influence of Gil Noble

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - David Wilson talks about his experiences at Rowan University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - David Wilson recalls the influence of Professor Ned Eckhardt

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - David Wilson talks about his internship with Gil Noble

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - David Wilson remembers covering the assault of Abner Louima

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - David Wilson recalls covering the death of Betty Shabazz

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - David Wilson describes his short film 'Hidden Heroes: African American Women in WWII'

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - David Wilson remembers his first job as a production secretary for '48 Hours'

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - David Wilson describes his experiences of racial discrimination at CBS

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - David Wilson talks about 'The Ananda Lewis Show'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - David Wilson remembers the production tactics on 'The Ananda Lewis Show'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - David Wilson describes the beginnings of the 'Meeting David Wilson' project

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - David Wilson remembers the production of 'Meeting David Wilson'

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - David Wilson talks about the release of 'Meeting David Wilson'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - David Wilson talks about the creation of 'Meeting David Wilson'

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - David Wilson reflects upon the documentary filmmaking process

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - David Wilson remembers the premiere of 'Meeting David Wilson'

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - David Wilson recalls lessons from the making of 'Meeting David Wilson'

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - David Wilson talks about the reception of 'Meeting David Wilson'

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - David Wilson remembers launching TheGrio

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - David Wilson describes the process of creating TheGrio

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - David Wilson talks about TheGrio's early competitors

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - David Wilson describes the challenges of building an online news source

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - David Wilson talks about his plans for TheGrio

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - David Wilson talks about the racial gap in digital entrepreneurship

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - David Wilson describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - David Wilson describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - David Wilson talks about the legacy of TheGrio

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - David Wilson reflects upon his generation's legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - David Wilson reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

6$6

DATitle
David Wilson remembers the influence of Gil Noble
David Wilson describes the beginnings of the 'Meeting David Wilson' project
Transcript
And, you know, are you familiar with Gil Noble?$$Yes.$$A legend--TV legend.$$We had wanted to do his interview and didn't get a chance.$$Oh. He, he changed my life. He changed my life. I was a bumbling, super stuttering, under confident kid. And the ritual with Gil was that, I would get there at WABC [WABC-TV, New York, New York] around eight o'clock in the morning. He would have me read the newspapers, and he would then have me come into his office and have me talk about what are the top stories and to explain and to articulate my views on those stories. And that did more for me than anything else. And he said, "Well," and he would give me exercises, you know, because at that time, I thought--I flirted with the idea of actually being on air. So he said, "Okay. Take a newspaper and you read the newspaper and you do it as if you're reading the news--the teleprompter." And I'll go home, read, you know, as I practiced. And it--you know, what it really got me comfortable with doing is being able to talk in public, and being able to be opinionated and share my thoughts in public. And he would have me sit down and watch interviews of--with, you know, Adam Clayton Powell [Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.]; interviews with Betty Shabazz. Every morning I would get a call, and, you know, I would answer his phone and I'll hear this voice, like, "Hello, David [HistoryMaker David Wilson]. Is Gil there?" I was like, "Who is this?" "It's Charlie Rangel [HistoryMaker Charles B. Rangel]," every, every morning. And, you know, calls from Charlie Rangel, Nipsey Russell, Percy Sutton; you know, giants. And, you know, they'd come by. Dr. ben-Jochannan [HistoryMaker Yosef ben-Jochannan], you know, the Egyptologist. These were his friends. And it was just really good. And that summer was really important because it's also--two big stories broke that summer. The Abner Louima case? And then also the, the death of Betty Shabazz. And so that was important that summer. I learned a lot that summer. And he taught me one thing that was really important, because, before I was not one who wanted to--you know, I come from Newark [New Jersey], and I didn't want to--I always wanted to distance myself from being the (gesture) black guy. The guy who did the black things. And I had an opportunity at NYABJ [New York Association of Black Journalists] when they were honoring Gil Noble, and his daughters were there, and I was so happy they were there, 'cause I got the opportunity--I was being--we received--TheGrio [thegrio.com] received an award, and I got to say something to his daughters, which was, "Look, you know, Gil taught me that it was no less of a virtue to cover news that impacted my community." You know, I had always wanted to be--do mainstream stuff and just stay mainstream, and he taught me that there was no shame and it was just as virtuous to cover black topics and to be a black journalist. And that--I can tell you right now with 100 percent certainty that if I had not encountered Gil Noble in my life, we wouldn't be here right now, because I certainly wouldn't be doing TheGrio [thegrio.com]--I don't know where I would be. And then, you know, my first student documentary project, when I got back to school [Rowan College of New Jersey; Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey], was a documentary called 'Hidden Heroes: African American Women in WWII.' And I that doc--it was about a ten minute doc--and I got Gil Noble to voiceover, do the voiceover on it. And we won several awards. The documentary was inducted into the women's memorial [Women in Military Service for America Memorial] in Arlington, Virginia.$$So let me ask you, did he ever tell you what he saw in you? Because he died when?$$Just maybe two years ago (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Two years ago.$$Um-hm.$$'Cause--his collection, you know. What happened to his collection?$$Oh, he had all of, you know, tons of foota- he has the largest--$$I know but what happened to it?$$I don't know. I mean it's (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) That was the thing, I think, people were questioning.$$Oh. He owned that, and he, he, he--$$He owned that--$$--and that was the pride of his life, his collection.$$Right. I just don't know what had happened to it. But 'cause he had gotten ill, right?$$Yeah.$And so, as, you know, I left and, and I--just so happened that, November, I'd done a little gig to help make ends meet for Victoria's Secret Fashion Show shoot, and I ended up meeting my, still business partner today, at that shoot. And had I never left that, you know, 'The Ananda Lewis Show,' I would have never met my current business partner. And we started doing some things. We had a business that we had started doing TV pilots. That didn't go anywhere. And then we launched another business doing sort of CD business cards. We had these business--CD business--CD business card CDs--business sized CDs that we would then go out and produce content for different corporations for, and put them on these cards. Somebody forgot to tell us that the Internet existed, and the business failed. But we did have some good clients. We had Penguin Books, was one of our clients. We had some other folks. And we got a lot of press coverage. We were in Newsweek, Black Enterprise, you know. We got some good coverage. And then it--$$Now did you ever come across [HistoryMaker] Clayton Banks and Ember Media in the--and that--'cause he had been doing that too? But he's older than you.$$No. Not that I--$$Okay. Okay.$$No.$$All right.$$No. No. I don't recall ever meeting him or that name.$$So your business partner, say his name again.$$Dan Woolsey.$$Dan Woolsey.$$Um-hm.$$Okay. And can you tell us about Dan?$$Dan is from Chevy Chase, Maryland. Sort of, you know, just a very white bread sort of guy, all-American white guy. We come from sort of completely different backgrounds, you know. He grew in middle of, you know, Chevy Chase, Maryland. His father is R. James Woolsey [R. James Woolsey, Jr.], former head of the CIA [Central Intelligence Agency]. And we still to this day have a very contentious relationship, but it's always good, you know. I always say that we're always on the same page, but never on the same paragraph or we're least, we're always on the same page, but not reading the same line. And--but we work well together because we're always making each other better. And so, at this particular time, doing the business, I just started to get interested in my family history. I always had an interest in my family history, because I always was curious about how did, you know, how did we end up in Newark [New Jersey], and you know, all of this. I always had this awareness of, well, how did I end of here? And so I started doing research, and I, obviously, worked at '48 Hours,' and so now I knew how to actually do research and find people and dig up information. And so I used that sort of skillset and knowledge from doing investigative reporting to start looking into my family's history. And I would tell Dan some of the things that I found out about my family. I told him that I found out about this white guy in North Carolina who was a direct descendant of my family's former slave owners, and, you know, his name is the same of mine, David Wilson, and that he owns this plantation--the--still the plantation--the plantation that used to be the plantation where my family was enslaved on, the land. So Dan was like, "Oh, you have to do a documentary. You got to do something with that." And I'm like, eh, I wasn't motivated by it. I never wanted to be on camera. And, you know, I had had my time where with the idea of being an on camera reporting, and I just knew that it wasn't something for me, and I didn't want to do it. And he kept on convincing me, and so eventually I relented. And at this particular time, I had gotten a--I had started working at CBS again. They had called me back to be--for a job at CBS in--Network News Service [Network News Service, LLC], which is an ABC, CBS, and Fox News conglomerate. And I eventually rose up the ranks and became lead producer there. It was never anything I was interested in. It was just a job. But Dan convinced me, he said, "Okay. Let's do this documentary." And I called my other buddy, Barion [Barion Grant], who went to high school with me [at Arts High School, Newark, New Jersey], and I said, "Well, Da- Barion, we're about to do this documentary ['Meeting David Wilson']. You should come." Barion had worked on 'Tupac Resurrection' documentary for MTV [Music Television; MTV]. And we, we started working on it.

Al McFarlane

Media executive Al McFarlane was born on September 15, 1947 in Kansas City, Kansas. He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia from 1965 to 1966, and the University of Minnesota School of Journalism from 1969 to 1971and graduated from there with his B.A. degree in mass communications.

McFarlane worked as a reporter for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press before moving to General Mills where he worked as the community relations coordinator from 1971 to 1972. He then was hired by the Midwest Public Relations division of Graphic Services as vice president, a position he held from 1973 to 1976. In 1974, McFarlane became editor-in-chief at Insight News, a community newspaper serving African and African American residents of Minnesota. He also established McFarlane Media Interests, Inc., a multimedia marketing and information services firm with newspaper, internet and broadcast properties. McFarlane purchased the rights to Insight News in 1975.

In 1992, McFarlane served as chairman at Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium, a marketing and advertising sales advisory for Minnesota African & African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American newspapers. He also was named president of the Black Publishers Coalition, which managed regional and national advertising contracts for Black newspapers and the member group of print media investor-owners in Chicago, Toledo, Detroit, Milwaukee and Minnesota. In 1996, he organized ethnic newspaper owners in the formation of the Minnesota Minority Media Coalition.

In 1997, Insight News initiated a series of public policy forums, “Conversations with Al McFarlane.” McFarlane served as host of the series that aired in partnership with the community radio stations KFAI and KMOJ, in Minneapolis. In 2002, McFarlane worked as president and CEO at Midwest Black Publishers Coalition, Inc. In 2010, McFarlane won a Federal American Recovery and Restoration Act grant that provided the University of Minnesota a $3.7 million grant to create public computing centers in targeted ethnic and urban communities to increase broadband access and awareness. McFarlane also launched Garth McFarlane & Mudd, LLC, a national media buying and promotion firm in 2011. McFarlane was also elected chair of the National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation Board of Directors from 2015 to 2017.

Al and his wife Bobbie P. Ford McFarlane have five adult children.

Al McFarlane was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 20, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.124

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/20/2018

Last Name

McFarlane

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Al

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

MCF01

Favorite Season

N/A

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica, Cuba, Ghana, Uganda

Favorite Quote

Inform, Instruct, Inspire.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Minnesota

Birth Date

9/15/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Favorite Food

Arugula and Tomato

Short Description

Media executive Al McFarlane (1947- ) served as chairman of the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium in 1992 as well as the president of the Black Publishers Coalition. McFarlane was president and CEO, Midwest Black Publishers Coalition, Inc. in 2002.

Favorite Color

Yellow, Blue, and Purple

Shelley Stewart

Media executive Shelley Stewart was born on September 24, 1934 in Birmingham, Alabama to Huell Stewart and Mattie C. Stewart. He graduated from Rosedale High School in Birmingham, Alabama and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he served from 1952 to 1953.

After his military service, Stewart returned to Birmingham and was hired by WEDR-AM as a radio personality known as, “Shelley The Playboy.” By 1958, Stewart left Alabama to work for WOKJ-AM in Jackson, Mississippi. In the 1960s, Stewart worked for WENN-AM and served as the on-air voice of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, in 1967, he co-founded Steiner Advertising, now known as O2. In the 1970s, Stewart left WENN-AM and began working at WATV-FM with Dr. Erskine Fausch. He and Fausch went on to acquire WATV-AM, which became the most popular radio station in Birmingham. In 2002, Stewart and Fausch sold WATV-AM to Sheridan Broadcasting and Stewart retired from broadcasting the same year. He then founded the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation in 2007, in an effort to reduce the dropout rate and increase the graduation rate of high school students. In 2015, he sold his shares in O2 to four members of the company’s management team.

Stewart also authored two books, The Road South: A Memoir and Mattie C.’s Boy: The Shelley Stewart Story.

Stewart was awarded the Footsteps to Freedom Award from the 16th Street Foundation in 1999, the Community Service Award from the National Association of Black Journalists in 2013, the Drum Major of Justice Award from the National Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the World Conference of Mayors’ Outstanding People of the World Award. Stewart was also named a Pioneer of Radio Inductee by the Smithsonian Institution in 1996, inducted into the Black Radio Hall of Fame, honored as a “Living Legend” by Warner Bros. Records, and recognized by Coca-Cola Bottling Company as one of the top ten most recognized African Americans in the State of Alabama. Stewart and Samford University President Andrew Westmoreland co-founded and lead Birmingham Kitchen Table, and in 2013, he was named alumnus honoris causa one of the university’s highest recognitions for non-graduates, for his role in the civil rights movement and his work in the community.

Stewart has two daughters, Sherri and Corlette.

Shelley Stewart was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 2, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.090

Sex

Male

Interview Date

05/02/2017

Last Name

Stewart

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Hudson Elementary School

Rosedale High School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Days

First Name

Shelley

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

STE19

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Youth & Teens

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No - Not required but should go to MCSF if provided

Favorite Season

Each day - they are all good.

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Budapest

Favorite Quote

Nothing starts at the top except a hole in the ground, and it keeps going down.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

9/24/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Good food

Short Description

Media executive Shelley Stewart (1934 - ) was hired by WEDR-AM, as radio personality “Shelley The Playboy,” and co-founded O2 Ideas and established the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation.

Employment

The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation

o2ideas

WATV Radio

WENN Radio

WWBCO Radio

Favorite Color

All colors

John E. Davis

Broadcast journalist and media executive John E. Davis was born on November 3, 1947 in Wichita Falls, Texas to Tommy Christian and Myrtle Donaldson. Davis was raised in Wichita Falls and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1966. He went on to attend Henderson County Junior College in Athens, Texas before transferring to Washington State University, where he received his B.S. degree in broadcast communications in 1970.

Upon graduation, Davis was hired as a news reporter for Fresno, California’s KMJ-TV. In 1977, Davis moved to KGW-TV in Portland, Oregon, where he served as a news reporter and anchor until 1982. Then, for the next twenty years, he worked as a general assignment reporter and later as a weekend anchor for Chicago, Illinois’ WBBM-TV. During his time at WBBM, Davis became the first United States news reporter to interview Nelson Mandela after he was released from prison in 1990. In addition to his work on television, Davis served as a news director and anchor for WVAZ Radio, and has hosted a real estate show on WLS-AM Radio and WIND-AM Radio.

In 2003, Davis founded and served as president of John E. Davis Media, a firm that serves politicians, corporate executives, celebrities and athletes by providing them high-end political consulting, media crisis management and public speaking coaching. Through his media company, Davis has worked on numerous political campaigns, including Scott Lee Cohen for Governor of Illinois; the Terrence J. O’Brien Campaign for Cook County Board President; Howard B. Brookins, Jr.’s Campaign for Cook County State’s Attorney; and Dorothy Brown’s Campaign for Mayor of Chicago.

Davis has earned many honors throughout his career, including a 1988 local Emmy Award for his coverage of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington’s death; an Ada S. McKinley Youth Services Mentor of the Year Award; the Better Communicator Award from the League of Black Women; and a Monarch Award for Outstanding Communicator. He has served as a board member of the Harold Washington Library and of the Greek-American Rehabilitation and Care Centre, and as a charter member of the Saltpond Redevelopment Institute and member of the We Care model program of the Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Police Department.

John E. Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 21, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.259

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/21/2014

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Edward

Schools

Booker T. Washington Elementary School

Booker T. Washington Junior High School

Booker T. Washington High School

Henderson County Junior College

Washington State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Wichita Falls

HM ID

DAV36

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Thessaloniki, Greece

Favorite Quote

Can't Nobody Hurt You Like Them that Supposed to Love You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

11/3/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beans and Rice

Short Description

Broadcast journalist and media executive John E. Davis (1947 - ) , founder and president of John E. Davis Media, is best known for his Emmy-winning twenty-year career as a reporter and anchor for Chicago’s WBBM-TV.

Employment

John E. Davis Media

WVAZ Radio

WBBM-TV News

KGW-TV News

KMJ-TV News

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John E. Davis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John E. Davis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John E. Davis talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John E. Davis describes visiting his maternal great-grandmother in Cooper, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John E. Davis talks about his maternal great-grandmother's spirituality and the segregation in Cooper, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John E. Davis talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John E. Davis describes living with his maternal grandparents as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John E. Davis describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John E. Davis describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John E. Davis talks about his stepfather

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John E. Davis describes his two childhood homes in Wichita Falls, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John E. Davis talks about his school experience in Wichita Falls, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John E. Davis talks about his decision to attend Washington State University on a football scholarship

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John E. Davis talks about racial dynamics at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington during the late 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John E. Davis recalls conversations with black student union members at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John E. Davis describes studying broadcast journalism at Washington State University during the late 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John E. Davis talks about reuniting with his father in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John E. Davis describes his and his father's disparate aspirations for a professional football career

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John E. Davis talks about the broadcast communications department at Washington State University in the late 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John E. Davis recalls the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John E. Davis talks about joining the broadcast team at KMJ-TV in Fresno, California

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John E. Davis talks about working at KMJ-TV in Fresno, California from 1970 through 1977

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John E. Davis describes reporting on the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John E. Davis describes reporting on the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - John E. Davis describes interviewing for CBS in Chicago, Illinois in 1982

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - John E. Davis talks about his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John E. Davis details his wife's family history

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John E. Davis talks about the early years of his marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John E. Davis describes the cross-cultural interaction in his home in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John E. Davis talks about working as a reporter for CBS in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John E. Davis recalls one black cameraman's positive reaction to his hiring by CBS in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John E. Davis describes covering Harold Washington's 1983 mayoral campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John E. Davis talks about Harold Washington's relationship with black journalists and the media

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - John E. Davis talks about the death of Harold Washington and winning an Emmy

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John E. Davis describes traveling to South Africa to report on the end of apartheid in 1990

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John E. Davis describes reporting on a February 1990 incident of police violence in South Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John E. Davis recalls meeting Nelson Mandela the day he was released from prison in 1990

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John E. Davis describes a series of interviews in South Africa after Nelson Mandela's release from prison

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John E. Davis recalls the end of his career for CBS in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John E. Davis talks about working as a media consultant for Chicago politicians

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John E. Davis talks about the election of HistoryMaker Barack Obama as president of the United States in 2008

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John E. Davis talks about his radio work in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John E. Davis reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John E. Davis talks about lessons he has taught his children and the regrets in his life

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John E. Davis talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John E. Davis talks about his annual visit to Greece

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John E. Davis narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - John E. Davis narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

5$2

DATitle
John E. Davis talks about joining the broadcast team at KMJ-TV in Fresno, California
John E. Davis describes reporting on a February 1990 incident of police violence in South Africa
Transcript
So, in 1968, which is the same year that [Reverend] Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] is assassinated, President [Lyndon Baines] Johnson created the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders [Kerner Commission], which was really indicting the broadcast community for not having, for excluding African Americans in the newsroom and not covering black life. So, this is at the same, so this indictment comes down in the midst of all the other things that are happening in our country while you were in school [at Washington State University, Pullman, Washington] preparing to, to move into broadcast. Were you aware of that and--$$Not at the time no.$$And when it comes time for you to graduate what are the opportunities available to a young black male graduating in broadcast journalism?$$I really didn't think that there was any opportunity. I never even sought it. I was, I had a little group in, in college and we were singing. We had a good time, didn't make much money of course. When I graduated, I went over to Seattle [Washington] in the summer, and I was pursuing a singing career. And we went over to American Recording and we slapped egg cartons against the wall for acoustics and we sang and we sang and we sang and we sang and nothing happened, so I was, was visiting Washington State, the campus, and this guy, [Eugene] Pat Patterson, who was a real mover and shaker in the legislature in Washington state. He asked me to, if I would give a call to a guy in Fresno, California. They were looking to hire an African American their first, but give them a call. This is something that, that you may be interested in. So I did and they agreed to fly me down to Fresno, California, on the hottest day of the world. I was picked up at the airport by a wonderful brother who was the only black cameraman at the time in all of central California named Earl Bradley. Earl Bradley picked me up in a station wagon with no air conditioning, took me to KMJ-TV, channel 24 [later KSEE] in Fresno, and I was interviewed there, went through all the departments, and I was interviewed and came back to the general manager's office after the interviews with the news director and others and his name was John Edwards, a diminutive little man, wonderful human being, knew Chet Huntley, Tippy Huntley, Chet's wife at NBC, and he said to me, "What do you think?" I said, "I like it, I like the place and I like the people. They seem nice." He says, "Well would you take the job?" I said, "Well I don't, I don't know." "Here's what I'mma promise you, said I'mma promise you that we will not embarrass you, ourselves, or the black community if you take this job. We will train you and you will be ever as professional as anybody else. Would you take the job?" I said, "Yeah, oh yeah I'm taking this job," (laughter).$And we, we took off and we went to, to South Africa and we get there and on the very first day that we're in Johannes- arrived in Johannesburg [South Africa], went over to the Carlton Hotel, checked in, went to over to the CBS bureau, got to meet the people there Larry Doyle who was a bu- bureau chief, great guy, and he says, "You guys wanna go out on the streets at all or?" "Well sure." So we, we went out, and he says, "There's a little celebration going on at St. Mary's Church [St. Mary's Anglican Cathedral] in downtown Johannesburg. It's an announcement that they're, they're celebrating the unbanning of the ANC [African National Congress] and other outlawed, you know, organizations." So Randall [Blakey] and I went over there and the people were coming out and they were so joyous, very peaceful, very orderly, but doing the toyi toyi, a little dance that they do--within seconds it seems there was a huge presence of South African police and one guy stepped forward and reading from this little booklet indicating that they were in violation of this particular, this particular law and you have two minutes to break up this illegal assembly, and I'm talking about less than thirty seconds he unleashed holy hell upon these people and a, we have footage of a, a young guy, tall strapping young man in South African police uniform, with the most cherubic face you've ever seen and he turned to be one of the most violent people you have ever seen. He took the barrel of his rifle upside, and he hit this man and killed him. There were three people killed that day in front of us on the first day that we were there for--(simultaneous)--$$Did you film it?$$--doing nothing more than celebrating coming out of a church to cel- celebrate peacefully.$$Did you get all that on film?$$We got it all on film, and when they came to confiscate our footage Randall popped the, the, the housing on the camera where the tape was and gave them the tape and I was incredulous. I said, "Randall why did you do that?" He says, "Just be cool, be cool," and he had actually dropped the original in the trash can and so they had a blank, and when we got back to the bureau Larry Doyle says, and [HM] Carole Simpson was there with ABC. Carole's producer had run off somewhere, but I had pinned her against the wall of the church. I pinned her--$$To protect her.$$--to protect her. She was just totally stunned. She says, "I'll never come back." Of course that mellowed after a few days, but we got back to the bureau and Randall was sitting in his chair and he was just numb and Larry Doyle says, "Well what did you guys see over there?" And we started describing you know how these people came out of the church peacefully and they were just celebrating and then all of a sudden the police came and just unleashed upon them this, this torrent of hate and Larry says and, "So that's not what you saw." And we said, "What do you mean that's not what we saw. We got it on tape." He says, "Look I'm not arguing here. I'm just saying that what you saw is the truth. What the rest of the world will either hear or be reported from the South African government as to what happened," he says, "Read this." He tore off the South African press wire and it says three police office- officers were slightly injured today by a rock and bot- a bottle-throwing mob outside of St. Mary's Church. He says, "That's what, that's the importance of what you shot today. That will negate what they are just saying here. Your footage will offset what they have been saying." No police officers were ever injured. Those people didn't throw anything. They ran. That was our introduction to South Africa and almost every day after that there was some violent occurrence, incident. There was bombings. There were bombings at, at, at bus stations. There were bombings at the ANC building, bombings every single day.$$And were you able to run that footage?$$Oh absolutely, every day.$$And each day?$$I did, I did two stories generally a day from South Africa.$$Did you fear for your life as you were do, running these counter-stories?$$I only, only one time. I made friends with--my father [Felley Donaldson] and mother [Myrtle Donaldson] as domestics always taught us to, to be nice to the people who bring the service. Oh you'll get to meet the kings and the queens, but you'll get to meet them maybe even faster if you're nice to the people who bring the service. So, when we'd had checked into, to the Carlton Hotel in Johannesburg, I met these, these bus, these bellmen and these, these, these young guys who carried our luggage up to the room and we invited them to stay and of course they couldn't stay. They were not allowed. So, but they said if you want to talk to us you know come after work and catch the jitney with us to go to Soweto [South Africa]. So, I did one day and it was a great experience. Riding on these jitneys, overcrowded, going to, to Soweto and not knowing how the heck I was gonna get back into Johannesburg at night. That was kind of frightening because I was dropped off probably about six blocks or so from the hotel and I had to walk and of course I got stopped, I got thrown against the wall, all of my belongings were taken out, and when they saw the American passport they called me kaffir and of course I scraped all my stuff and went back to my hotel.$$And you were by yourself at this point?$$By myself. That was the most fearful.

Esther "E.T." Franklin

Media and advertising executive Esther “E.T.” Franklin was born on July 21, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. Her mother, Dolores Johnson, was a teacher; her father, Leon Johnson, a teacher and minister. Raised in Wilberforce, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois, Franklin graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1975. She received her B.S. degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1979 and her M.M. degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Business School in 1993. Franklin has also completed certificate programs at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

In 1980, Franklin was hired as a field project director at Market Facts, Inc. in Chicago. From 1982 to 1993, she worked for Burrell Communications, first as a market research analyst, and later as vice president and associate research director. In 1984, Franklin took a brief hiatus from Burrell Communications to work as a research manager for the Johnson Publishing Company. She was hired by Leo Burnett Advertising in 1993 and worked on various Philip Morris brands as vice president and planning director for Marlboro USA until 2001. At Leo Burnett, Franklin was instrumental in launching several corporate trend initiatives, including LeoShe, Foresight Matters and 20Twenty Vision, focused on the female consumer and twenty-something audience. She also appeared on Oprah, where she discussed LeoShe's research on beauty myths.

In 2002, Franklin was named senior vice president, director of consumer context planning for Starcom USA, a Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) company. She was appointed as executive vice president, director of cultural identities of Starcom MediaVest Group in 2006, and was later promoted to executive vice president, head of SMG Americas Experience Strategy in 2011. During her time at SMG, Franklin pioneered Cultural Communication Anthropology and worked on Beyond Demographics, a research study exploring the vital role of culture and identity in reaching consumers.

Franklin has received numerous honors for her work. She was named an AdAge “Women to Watch” and received the “Changing the Game” honor from Advertising Women of New York (AWNY). Franklin was honored with the prestigious “Legend Award” at the 2011 AdColor Ceremony, and was identified as one of the Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing by Black Enterprise in both 2012 and 2013. In addition, she has published several multicultural and subculture targeting pieces, and is sought out as a speaker and panelist on all topics related to the evolving consumer landscape.

Franklin has chaired The HistoryMakers National Advisory Board's Advertising/Marketing Committee and sat on the global advisory committee of the World Future Society. She has also served as a board member of the Family Institute at Northwestern University and the Chicago Urban League.

Esther Franklin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 21, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.257

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/21/2014

Last Name

Franklin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Northwestern University

University of Chicago

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Evanston Township High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Esther

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

FRA12

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I'll Be Waiting For You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

7/21/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Frozen Custard, Jelly Belly's, Popcorn

Short Description

Media executive and advertising executive Esther "E.T." Franklin (1957 - ) was the executive vice president and director of Starcom MediaVest Group Americas Experience Strategy. She also served as a vice president at Burrell Communications and Leo Burnett Advertising.

Employment

Starcom MediaVest Group

Starcom

Leo Burnett

Burrell Advertising

Johnson Publishing Company

Market Facts, Inc.

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Esther "E.T." Franklin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her family's trips to the segregated South

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her parents' education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her early social interactions in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her early personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Esther "E.T." Franklin lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her neighborhood in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her childhood in Wilberforce, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her childhood in Wilberforce, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her early experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her commute to school in Xenia, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her father's illness

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers joining the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the development of her spirituality

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her employment after college

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers joining the Burrell Advertising Agency in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the culture of the Burrell Advertising Agency

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls working for John H. Johnson at Johnson Publishing Company

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her first marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her second husband

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers working for Philip Morris Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls the changing perception of tobacco products

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the LeoShe initiative

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her work at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her decision to join Starcom Worldwide

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her early career at Starcom Worldwide, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her early career at Starcom Worldwide, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her position at Starcom Worldwide

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her work on The History Channel's 'Band of Brothers'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her recognition as an Ad Age Woman to Watch

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about female advertising executives

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls becoming the director of cultural identities at Starcom Mediavest Group, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her role as the director of cultural identities

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the female leadership at Starcom Worldwide

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about the Beyond Demographics project

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her relationship with her second husband

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her current position at Starcom Mediavest Group, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about the impact of digital media

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about the discrimination against African American consumers

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about the future of advertising

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin shares a message to aspiring marketing professionals

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin reflects upon her life and how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$3

DAStory

2$7

DATitle
Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her work on The History Channel's 'Band of Brothers'
Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the culture of the Burrell Advertising Agency
Transcript
Now while you're in this role I believe was when you worked on the project with The History Channel [History]?$$The HistoryMakers?$$History Channel's 'Band of Brothers.'$$Yes. Yes.$$Can you describe that project and what your role was?$$History Channel 'Band of Brothers.' That was--at that time we were trying to think about how we're going to innovate in the media space and how is that going to--how we are going to be bringing it closer to consumer experience. The industry had been growing driven by technology and we felt if we can bring the consumer perspective into the mix that it would distinguish us from our competition. So there was an opportunity by the-'Band of Brothers' was being developed and there was an opportunity to place that--I'm sorry that was being placed on The History Channel. The History Channel came to our media organization [at Starcom Worldwide] with a traditional package. For X amount of money you can have thirty second spots here, you can have integration in this way you know the traditional media package. What we said is we want to do it a little bit different, we don't want to just place advertising in the, in the programming. We want to create lead in and lead out interstitials if you will. So if the 'Band of Brothers' is a series of episodes people might not necessarily be able to be see every, every segment of the series. What if instead of taking the traditional media package we use that time and create summary vignettes of the previous episode. So that if a person missed the previous episode when they sit down to watch instead of seeing a commercial leading in they'll see the summary from the previous episode and at the end of the program they'll see a lead in into the next one. So we used our media dollars to create those interstitials and place them in that manner and that was new and innovative at the time. It was a way to think about placing and using media and programming in a way that was--reflected consumer behavior versus placing advertising in programming.$$And what year is this?$$That had to have been around 2003.$$So HBO [Home Box Office] at this point is huge. Right? HBO is one of the main players in creating new content and now you're using interstitials in a different way because interstitials are not new but this use of interstitial is new--$$Yes.$$--and how effective was it?$$That was very effective. People were writing in about--we were able to increase people's engagement, in other words, time spent. They were talking about these interstitials as a new way of seeing how media was being used. So the [U.S.] Army was very happy and The History Channel was happy so that was very effective for us.$$So was the Army the advertising end of this?$$No, not necessarily. I can't remember exactly the clients that were involved in advertising. I don't, I don't remember.$$Um-hm.$And Tom Burrell [HistoryMaker Thomas J. Burrell], who's the leader of this organization that is in Chicago [Illinois]--most of advertising is in New York [New York] but Burrell is here in Chicago and he's quite a force. So you're a young woman working at this agency. Did you interface with them and what was your relationship like working with this powerhouse?$$It was great. I mean again my background--I come from a black family that was--I had a lot of exposure to black people that had a lot of power whether they were ministers or whatever. So it was--I was accustomed to that but Tom was great, he knew everyone and everyone knew him. At that time I think when I started at the agency maybe there were fifty people so I wasn't in the beginning but I was close to the beginning. There were some unique things that happened in those days. One of the things that happened was there was such a sense of camaraderie. And we had these talent shows. So I was there the year that the talent show started and I told you that I sew and I made my own--at that point I was making my own clothes. So I entered the talent show just like everyone else. It wasn't, it wasn't a big deal it was just fun you know do what you can do. We had it at [HistoryMaker] Howard Simmons' studio on Chicago Avenue. So my talent was the fact that I made my clothes so I found other women in the agency that were about my size and I put on a fashion show. So we're in the back, you know, drinking and eating and they're announcing the winner and somebody said well, "You've won," and I was like--I just kept eating and drinking, and they said, "No you won." So I won the first Burrell [Burrell Advertising Agency; Burrell Communications Group, Chicago, Illinois] talent show with my fashion show clothes that I had made. So that was something that--so Tom of course was giving the award so that happened. But again it was such a small environment and he was present all the time so I knew him just like other people.

John E. Oxendine

Media executive and entrepreneur John Edward Oxendine was born on January 20, 1943 in New York City, New York. He graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1959 and then received his B.A. degree in political science and sociology from Hunter College in 1965. Oxendine went on to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1967 to 1973, and, in 1971, earned his M.B.A. degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business, where he was awarded the John Hay Whitney Fellowship.

Oxendine worked first as a teacher for the New York City Board of Education, and then as a management advisor for the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. In 1971, he became a management consultant for Fry Consultants in San Francisco, California, and in 1972, was hired as a senior associate by Korn Ferry Associates in Los Angeles, California. From 1974 to 1979, Oxendine worked as an assistant manager at the First National Bank of Chicago, and from 1979 to 1981, served as assistant chief in the Finance Assistant Division of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation. Then, in 1981, Oxendine was named president and chief executive officer of Broadcast Capital Fund, Inc., a venture capital organization that provided assistance to minority controlled communications businesses.

In 1987, Oxendine founded and became chairman and chief executive officer of Blackstar Communications, Inc., a company that acquired, owned and operated commercial television stations. He then formed Blackstar, LLC with Fox Broadcasting in 1994, and purchased Broadcast Capital, Inc. in 1999. Oxendine went on to serve as chairman, president and CEO of both Blackstar, LLC and Broadcast Capital, Inc.

Oxendine served as interim CEO and a member of the board of directors of Equity Media Holdings Corporation from June 2008 until January of 2009. He also served on the boards of Paxson Communications Corporation; Lockhart Companies, Inc.; Medlantic Healthcare Group; Family and Child Services of Washington, D.C.; the Interracial Council for Business Opportunity; the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council; the Monterey Institute of International Studies; the National Capitol Area YMCA; HSN, Inc.; Black Student Fund; the Palm Beach International Film Festival; Adopt-A-Classroom; and the Palm Beach County Film and Television Institute. In addition, he has authored several articles on venture capital and media investing that have been published in the Bar Association Law Journal, Duke University Law Review, Journal of Minority Business Finance, and Sound Management.

Oxendine was inducted into the Hunter College Alumni Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council Hall of Fame in 2001. He lives in Boca Raton, Florida.

John E. Oxendine was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 9, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.207

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/9/2014

Last Name

Oxendine

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Edward

Occupation
Schools

P.S. 46 Arthur Tappan School

Jhs 123 James M Kiernan

Bronx High School of Science

Hunter College

Harvard Business School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Harlem

HM ID

OXE01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

It Ain't Easy Being Green

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

1/20/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boca Raton

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pizza

Short Description

Media executive and entrepreneur John E. Oxendine (1943 - ) was founder, president and CEO of Blackstar, LLC, and owner, chairman and CEO of Broadcast Capital, Inc.

Employment

Blackstar

Broadcap

Federal Home Loan Bank

First National Bank of Chicago

Korn Ferry

Fry Consultants

Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John E. Oxendine's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John E. Oxendine lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John E. Oxendine describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John E. Oxendine describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John E. Oxendine describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John E. Oxendine describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John E. Oxendine describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John E. Oxendine describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John E. Oxendine describes his older brother, James Oxendine

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John E. Oxendine recalls his childhood with his twin sister

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John E. Oxendine describes his two younger siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John E. Oxendine describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John E. Oxendine describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John E. Oxendine describes New York City's Harlem community, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John E. Oxendine describes New York City's Harlem community, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John E. Oxendine talks about skipping the fifth grade

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John E. Oxendine describes his experiences at P.S. 46 in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John E. Oxendine describes his involvement in New York City's Sportsmen gang, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John E. Oxendine describes his involvement in New York City's Sportsmen gang, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John E. Oxendine describes the role of religion in his family

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John E. Oxendine describes the role of television and movies during his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John E. Oxendine describes The Bronx High School of Science in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John E. Oxendine describes his childhood in Harlem

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John E. Oxendine recalls his enrollment at New York City's Hunter College

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - John E. Oxendine describes his coursework at Hunter College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John E. Oxendine describes his jobs upon dropping out of college

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John E. Oxendine reflects upon his decision to return to college

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John E. Oxendine remembers studying political science at Hunter College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John E. Oxendine describes his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John E. Oxendine recalls his Peace Corps training in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John E. Oxendine describes his time in Chile with the Peace Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John E. Oxendine describes his reasons for leaving the Peace Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - John E. Oxendine describes his decision to join the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John E. Oxendine describes his U.S. Marine Corps training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John E. Oxendine remembers the 20th Interrogation and Translation Team, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John E. Oxendine remembers the 20th Interrogation and Translation Team, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John E. Oxendine recalls interviewing for a position at the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John E. Oxendine recalls joining the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John E. Oxendine describes his role at Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John E. Oxendine describes his experiences at the Harvard Business School

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John E. Oxendine describes his position at Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John E. Oxendine recalls his mentor at Harvard Business School

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John E. Oxendine reflects upon image of African American entrepreneurs

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John E. Oxendine describes his corporate apprenticeships

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John E. Oxendine remembers joining Broadcast Capital Fund Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John E. Oxendine talks about the Minority Tax Certificate Program

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John E. Oxendine describes his experiences at Broadcast Capital Fund Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - John E. Oxendine reflects upon his investments in media properties

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - John E. Oxendine reflects upon the impact of Broadcast Capital Fund Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - John E. Oxendine describes his decision to found Blackstar Communications Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - John E. Oxendine recalls buying his first two stations for Blackstar Communications Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - John E. Oxendine describes the stations acquired by Blackstar Communications Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - John E. Oxendine recalls his purchase of Broadcast Capital Fund Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - John E. Oxendine remembers the financial collapse of 2008

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - John E. Oxendine reflects upon the future of black entrepreneurs in media

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - John E. Oxendine reflects upon his career choices

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - John E. Oxendine describes his positions at Fry Consultants Inc. and Korn Ferry

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - John E. Oxendine shares his plans for the future

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - John E. Oxendine describes his business philosophy

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - John E. Oxendine describes his hopes and concerns in relation to African American access to media

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - John E. Oxendine shares his thoughts on the sale of BET

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - John E. Oxendine reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - John E. Oxendine talks about his children

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - John E. Oxendine describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - John E. Oxendine describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - John E. Oxendine narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - John E. Oxendine narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$7

DAStory

7$2

DATitle
John E. Oxendine describes his experiences at the Harvard Business School
John E. Oxendine recalls buying his first two stations for Blackstar Communications Inc.
Transcript
I want to go to Harvard [Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts] now. Who was, what was your, what was your reaction at Harvard? Who was there? Who were the, how many African Americans were involved in the M.B.A. program at Harvard when you got there and, you know?$$Well it was the beginning of us being at Harvard in any big numbers. I think there were seven hundred and fifty in a class at Harvard. I was the Class of '71 [1971]. I mean, you got there in '69 [1969], two years we graduate in '71 [1971]. So there's Section A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, I was in Section I, one of ten and I suspect out of the seven-fifty, maybe we had thirty or forty blacks and a good percentage of us graduated but it was an extraordinary experience because it was brand new. Yeah, when you first arrived there, instead of having one drink at a cocktail party, they gave you three. Wait a minute, you know. We didn't have to do the reverse, you know. We weren't invited at all and now we're over-invited, you know, and I think, and the attitude was, even among, I think, the faculty, we'll give them a gentleman C and that's it and we're going like, eh, you know what? We are the bell curve, most of us are probably okay, some of us are very bright and some of us are at the end. So our grades ought to reflect that. Don't, we're not looking for a gentleman grade C, and so that had to be changed, you know. Those of us who don't belong and others, those who are doing great, let us know, and those who are in the middle, let us know but don't--$$Just so you think, there's a preconceived notion--$$Yeah.$$--that you're all the same?$$Yeah, so that changed over the years.$$Okay.$$And I was fortunate enough to work for Larry Fouraker [Lawrence E. Fouraker], a Texan, dean of the school of business, took me under his wing. He was a mentor, too, and when he invited me up there, "Well young man, how you going to, where you going to sleep because we're pretty much full in terms of enrollment." I said, "Well in the Marines [U.S. Marine Corps], sir, I could sleep anywhere," and I really meant that. So he liked that, and he kind of took me on his own, he made me his bartender. So whenever there were any events where he had deans of all the schools come, I'd be tending bar, with a couple of other people, and I'd throw the football with his son and I'd get there early and stay late. When you go, "So John [HistoryMaker John E. Oxendine], what you think about today," (laughter) he'd be asking me all these questions. It was almost like 'The Butler,' I swear (laughter), I mean, because he didn't need me as his bartender, you know. He didn't need me to stay late but, but he meant to me, you know, and he was always a great guy. I felt very fortunate and I would ask him to speak to certain events that we had, the, you know, African American Student Union, stuff like that.$$So did the African American students form the student union?$$Um-hm.$$I've heard about that before and--$$Yeah, but sometimes we got a little bit too militant, I'm going like, you know what? You guys are going to have to be a little bit more respectful of Dean Fouraker. Now I'm going to get him to come here but this is not a time for you to be saying, "Yeah, right on brother and I want to," you know, give a plaque for this one for making the discus. Why do we, you know, you got, we got to honor the dean for even coming here, doing this. We can party later on our own, we don't need that here, but this is an opportunity, so it was a whole learning experience. And then, you know, the second year we started to boycott, you know, well that was the first year we decided. We were supposed to take, we played this game and there were like, as I said, ten classes, ten sections, and it'd be like thirty students to a section and so we created an all-black corporation to go against all the rest. We came out number two, though, out of all of them, and the dean's going like, "John, I don't know, man, you changed, you guys are changing things up here, I mean, this is really crazy, you know." The few blacks that are in Section A should stay in Section A, B, B and C, but we did make a difference. He said, "You don't have to do this, man, because your grades are good enough that even if you didn't take a final exam, you're going to be okay," but some of these people, if you mess up, you're not getting your M.B.A. So it was an extraordinary experience and now that I think about it, Dean Larry Foraker was, you know, one of the great mentors I had.$Now the first one, let's, let's start with the first one and just, just walk us through what happened with the first station.$$Okay, two stations (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) How you got it.$$Okay, Bud Paxson [Lowell "Bud" Paxson] had some television stations. He had one in Portland, Oregon, was really, then he wanted to sell it to me for five million [dollars] and he had another one, right up the street from here, WMOD [sic. WBSF-TV; WOTF-TV, Melbourne, Florida], that he wanted to sell for five million dollars. And I think he owned WMOD and he had the ability to, or he was, he could assign the other one in the Portland area to me. So we started a company called Blackstar [Blackstar Communications Inc.] and I started Blackstar and I said, let's name it after Marcus Garvey's steamship lines [Black Star Line] 'cause that's what we did to take us to freedom, even though it came out of New York [New York] port and sank, I liked the symbolism. So this is going to take me to freedom, and Don Thurston [Donald Thurston] said to me, "John [HistoryMaker John E. Oxendine], it's always good to have, row your own boat. You can go on a cruise ship, fantastic, got a lot of fun, the problem is that when the cruise is over, you've got to go home but if you row your own boat, you meet somebody you like, you stay and you say to the big, who are those people, bye, how you going to get home?" I said, "Well, it'll take me a little longer but I'll get there when I get there." Well, I like to paddle my own canoe and so this was a chance to paddle my own canoe and I thought that Marcus Garvey was showing us that with a big boat that sank. So, I put up $55,000 and he put up $45,000. I had 55 percent of the company, he had 45 [percent] and said, "What are we going to do now?" He said, "Well I'm going to put $5 million in as preferred stock, we got common stock, preferred stock is like common stock but it's preferred, it gets paid first. Preferred stock, 5 million at 14 percent, that's 700,000 a year, hm. If you get 10 television stations, only 70,000 per station, 10 times 70,000, so let's shoot to get 10 television stations but I'm going to give you this preferred stock, that's what you're going to pay me plus my 5 million back." "Okay, let me," I didn't like that number, 14 percent and I changed it eventually down to about 9 but I wanted to get in the game. So we had a company, 55, 45, I had 55, he had 45, we had 5 million. Then he said, "You need to get $5 million, 'cause this first $5 million I will buy, you can buy, the company will buy 1 of my stations but you need another 5," so, I said, "Why? Where am I going to get $5 million?" He said, "Go borrow it." "And why would they even lend me 5 million?" I said--he said, "Well 'cause, you're going to have $5 million that you own in one station and if they lend you 5, you can buy another. The bank will have 2 stations, 10 million bucks [dollars], and they only put up 5 million, and I, Bud Paxson, will give you a loan, I will give you an affiliation agreement for 5 years at X number of dollars that will cover your debt service, operations, et cetera." "Let's dance, that's a good deal." I went to the bank and I said, "Banker, could I have 5 million." They said, "Why would I want to give you 5 million?" And I told them the story, he said, "Okay." So I closed on one in '88 [1988] and shortly after the second one and then in '89 [1989], there was an opportunity to get one in Ann Arbor [Michigan]. The first two, WMOD, made that WBSF for Florida, Channel 43, and those in Daytona Beach [Florida] really covers Orlando [Florida], which is a bigger market. And then the one I got in Oregon was for $5 million. That was, you got a--that's a K, KBSP [KBSP-TV; KPXG-TV, Salem, Oregon], for Portland, for 5 million. I didn't think either one of them was worth 5 million when I looked at it but when I got the affiliation agreement from Bud, then it made it all right.

Keith Clinkscales

Media executive and magazine publishing entrepreneur Keith T. Clinkscales was born on January 7, 1964 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He received his B.S. degree in accounting and finance from Florida A&M University in 1986, and his M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School in 1990.

In 1988, Clinkscales co-founded Urban Profile magazine and served as publisher and editor-in-chief until 1992, when he sold the publication to Career Communications Group. He then helped Quincy Jones establish Vibe magazine in 1993 and was named president and chief executive officer. He also founded the publication's digital counterpart, Vibe.com, in 1994, and helped launch Vibe’s Blaze magazine in 1998. From 1999 to 2003, Clinkscales co-founded and served as chairman and chief executive officer of Vanguarde Media, publisher of Honey, Heart & Soul and Savoy magazines.

In 2005, Clinkscales was hired to work for ESPN as senior vice president and general manager of ESPN Publishing. In 2007, he was named ESPN’s senior vice president of content development and enterprises, where he served as executive producer for ESPN Films’ documentaries, and scripted and unscripted projects including the 2011 launched Year of the Quarter Back; the acclaimed and Emmy-nominated 30 for 30 documentary series, Black Magic; Ali Rap; Kobe Doin’ Work; Renee; Catching Hell; A Race Story: Wendell Scott; The Tribeca Sports Film Festival; Elite 24; and the highest rated documentary in ESPN’s history, The Fab Five. Clinkscales was co-creator of ESPN’s award-winning TV magazine show E:60, the Homecoming with Rick Reilly show, and the adapted SportsNation show. He also oversaw the ESPN Classic network, ESPN Books, the ESPYs, and the X Games.

In 2011, Clinkscales founded and became chief executive officer of Shadow League Digital, a multi-platform sports news organization in partnership with ESPN. Under Shadow League Digital, he developed Shadow League Films and co-produced the 2012 Muhammad Ali 70 Special which aired on ESPN, as well as executive produced the ESPN documentary Benji. In 2013, Clinkscales was named chief executive officer of Sean “Diddy” Combs’ REVOLT Media.

His honors include two National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Excellence in Journalism Awards, two Peabody Awards, the National Magazine Award, and an Emmy nomination. In 2008, he was named one of Diversity MBA Magazine’s “Top 100 under 50 Diverse Corporate Executives.” In 2007 and 2009, Clinkscales was listed among the “Top 50 Minorities in Cable” by Cableworld Magazine; in 2014, he appeared on the CableFax Magazine “Top 100 Executives in Cable” list. Clinkscales has served as treasurer of the Apollo Theater Foundation Board of Trustees, as a member of PepsiCo’s Multicultural Advisory Board, and a member of the Advisory Board at UrbanWorld Media, Inc. Since 2012, he has served on the Board of Directors for Florida A&M University (FAMU) Foundation and the Board of Visitors for Howard University’s School of Communications.

Keith Clinkscales was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 18, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.150

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/18/2014

Last Name

Clinkscales

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Terrence

Schools

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Harvard Business School

Hillcrest Middle School

Center School

St Joseph High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Keith

Birth City, State, Country

Bridgeport

HM ID

CLI05

State

Connecticut

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/7/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Magazine publishing entrepreneur and media executive Keith Clinkscales (1964 - ) , CEO of REVOLT Media & TV and Shadow League Digital, co-founded Urban Profile magazine in 1988 and Vanguarde Media, publisher of Honey, Heart & Soul and Savoy magazines, in 1999. He also helped establish Vibe magazine, serving as president and CEO of Vibe Ventures from 1993 to 1999.

Employment

Urban Profile

Vibe Magazine

KTC Ventures

Vanguarde Media, Inc.

ESPN, Inc.

The Shadow League

Revolt TV

Albert Fitzpatrick

Journalist and media executive Albert Fitzpatrick was born on December 30, 1928 in Elyria, Ohio to Mary and Ben Fitzpatrick. He was the seventh of twelve children. Fitzpatrick developed an interest in journalism in high school, during which he worked part-time as a sports reporter for Elyria’s local newspaper, the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram. He earned his B.A. degree from Kent State University where he studied sociology and journalism. Fitzpatrick also served terms in the U.S. Army and Air Force. He is a veteran of World War II and the Korean War.

In 1956, Fitzpatrick joined the Akron Beacon Journal, where he was the only African American employee in the company. Fitzpatrick was promoted to news editor of the Beacon Journal, where he directed the paper’s Pulitzer Prize winning coverage of the 1970 Kent State shooting. In 1973, Fitzpatrick was named managing editor of the newspaper, making him the first African American to run a major metro newsroom. In 1977, he was named executive editor. Then, after writing a letter to the chairman of Knight-Ridder, Inc. about the lack of diversity in their workforce, Knight-Ridder offered him a job as director of minority affairs. Fitzpatrick worked in that position from 1985 to 1987 and then as vice president of minority affairs, also at Knight-Ridder, from 1987 to 1994. He created diversity programs which enabled Knight-Ridder, which owned forty-five newspapers at that time, to become the top news entity in the country in diversity. Fitzpatrick has since taught classes at Kent State University, was an associate professor and interim chairman at Howard University from 2001 to 2002, and served as a diversity consultant for corporate, government, and non-profit firms.

Fitzpatrick has been a member of a number of professional organizations, including the National Association for Minority Media Executives, where he served as the first chair, and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). He joined the NABJ in 1976, just months after it had been founded, and was elected president in 1985. Fitzpatrick has also been involved in a number of civic and charitable organizations, serving as president of The Coming Together Project and as board member of the Beacon Journal Charity Fund. He is a member of Beta Rho Boule of Sigma Pi Phi, and is a Sigma Delta Chi fellow. Fitzpatrick served two terms as president of the Akron Press during the 1980s, and chaired the United Negro College Fund in Miami, Florida in 1997 and 1998.

Fitzpatrick has received the NABJ’s Frederick Douglass Lifetime Achievement Award; the Ida B. Wells Award for outstanding contributions to journalism; the Chairman’s Citation for Editorial Excellence from the National Press Foundation; and the Distinguished Service Award from Howard University. He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Broadcast Editorial Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, Region 4 of the National Association of Black Journalists, and Elyria High School.

Fitzpatrick lives in Akron, Ohio with his wife, Derien Fitzpatrick. Together they have three children: Sharon, Karle, and Albert II. Fitzpatrick also produces three newsletters for his church family and fraternity.

Fitzpatrick was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 11, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.041

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/11/2014

Last Name

Fitzpatrick

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Earl

Schools

Kent State University

Elyria High School

Hamilton Early Childhood Center

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Albert

Birth City, State, Country

Elyria

HM ID

FIT01

State

Ohio

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

12/30/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Akron

Country

United States

Short Description

Journalist and media executive Albert Fitzpatrick (1928 - ) became the first African American to run a major metro newsroom through his work at the Akron Beacon Journal. He also served as the vice president of minority affairs for Knight-Ridder, Inc. and as president of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Employment

Akron Beacon Journal

Knight-Ridder, Inc

Patricia Andrews-Keenan

Media and public relations executive Patricia Andrews-Keenan was born in 1954 to Pearline Henderson and James Andrews. She received her B.A. degree in journalism from Grambling State University in 1977, and went on to graduate from the Executive Leadership Development Program at UCLA’s Anderson School.

In 1990, Andrews-Keenan was hired as Director of Public Affairs at Jones Intercable; and, in 1996, she was appointed Vice President of Communications of AT&T Broadband in Deerfield, Illinois. A year later, Andrews-Keenan became Executive Director of Communications at Tele-Communications, Inc., where she served until 2002, when she was appointed as Comcast’s Vice President of Communications in Chicago, Illinois. Then, in 2007, she was hired as Vice President of Corporate Affairs at The Nielsen Company.

In 2008, Andrews-Keenan founded The Tallulah Group, a public relations, communications, media relations and community affairs firm, where she serves as President and Chief Strategist. Her clients have included Quarles & Brady, LLP, Merit Medical, Chicago State University, IlliniCare, LINK Unlimited, Columbia College Chicago, C. Cretors & Company, and the 100 Black Men of Chicago. Additionally, from 2008 until 2010, Andrews-Keenan was an adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago, where she taught culture, race and media.

Andrews-Keenan has served on a number of organizational boards and committees. She has served on the board of directors of the Chicago Children's Choir, and was a past national president of the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC). She has also served on the boards of Volunteers of America, the Naperville Chamber of Commerce and the DuPage County Girl Scouts. Andrews-Keenan was a former board chair for the Quad County Urban League, and has been appointed to the YMCA’s Black and Latino Achievers Steering Committee. In addition, she holds memberships in the Executive’s Club of Chicago.

Andrews-Keenan has also received numerous awards for her community relations work, including both a Silver Anvil and Gold Anvil from the Public Relations Society of America, as well as several Beacon Awards from the Association of Cable Communicators (ACC).

Patricia Andrews-Kennan was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 23, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.030

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/24/2014

Last Name

Andrews-Keenan

Maker Category
Middle Name

Jean

Schools

Grambling State University

University of California, Los Angeles

Wright Elementary School

Tallulah High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Patricia

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

KEE02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York, Paris

Favorite Quote

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

7/19/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Savory Food, Spicy Food

Short Description

Media executive and public relations executive Patricia Andrews-Keenan (1954 - ) was the founder and chief strategist of the Tallulah Group. She worked as an executive in the cable and telecommunications industry for over twenty years.

Employment

Jones Intercable

AT&T

Telecommunications, Inc.

Comcast

Nielsen Media Research

Tallulah Group

Columbia College

News-Press

Denver Weekly News

Mountain Bell

Internal Revenue Service

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Patricia Andrews-Keenan's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes the African American community in Tallulah, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about her mother's education and aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan remembers the desegregation of Tallulah, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her experiences at Wright Elementary School in Tallulah, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan remembers her home life

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan recalls her early interest in reading

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about her favorite books

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan remembers integrating Tallulah High School in Tallulah, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan remembers her teachers at Tallulah High School in Tallulah, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her family

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her decision to attend Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her first impressions of Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan recalls her extracurricular activities at Grambling State University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan recalls her internship at The News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about her time at Grambling State University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her early career in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about her transition into the cable industry

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about the acquisition of Syntel, Inc. by Jones Intercable

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her position at Jones Intercable

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about how she came to work for the Comcast Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes the changes in telecommunication laws

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her position at the Comcast Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about the Comcast Corporation's acquisition of AT&T Broadband LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about C. Michael Armstrong's role at AT&T Broadband LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about her involvement in the National Association for Minorities in Cable

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her presidency of the National Association of Minorities in Cable

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her role as vice president of communications at the Comcast Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about her role at Nielsen Media Research

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about the Tallulah Group

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan remembers teaching at Columbia College Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan reflects upon her career in the cable industry

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about her civic involvement in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about the future of the cable industry

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her experiences of workplace discrimination

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$1

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Patricia Andrews-Keenan talks about the Tallulah Group
Patricia Andrews-Keenan describes the African American community in Tallulah, Louisiana
Transcript
And then in 2008 I decided to kind of strike out on my own and see what we could do with media (laughter) and PR [public relations] with all the things that I'd learned over the years, so.$$So you established the Tallulah Group [Chicago, Illinois]?$$The Tallulah Group.$$Okay.$$Yeah.$$And named after your hometown?$$Named after my hometown. I'd always said if I decided to do something on my own, you know, I just wanted to pay homage to where I came from and have people remember Tallulah [Louisiana] for being something other than Tallulah Bankhead, but then by that time, I think Tallulah Willis, Bruce Willis had a daughter named Tallulah too, so I'm like, okay. And then there's a restaurant in Chicago [Illinois] named Tallulah, I found out about the same time, so (laughter).$$Now Tallulah Bankhead has a kind of a wild history--$$She did. She was kind of racy for her time, so. So I think that's kind of a nice thing to have all those, you know, those different thoughts about that name, so. And I don't know anybody--you know there aren't too many companies named that that I know of, so I thought it was a good one.$$Okay. It's a memorable name. So, your clients have included Quarles and Brady LLP, Merit Medical [Merit Medical Systems, Inc.], Chicago State University [Chicago, Illinois], AtlantiCare, LINK Unlimited [LINK Unlimited Scholars], Columbia College [Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, Illinois], 100 Black Men [100 Black Men of America, Inc.]?$$Yeah. The nice thing about it is doing the work that I did for Comcast [Comcast Corporation], specifically, I had a lot of relationships in the marketplace, 'cause that's part of your job is to cultivate relationships. And one thing that Comcast was, was a big supporter of education and that kind of fits with who I am. So, specifically, a lot of those education concerns were companies that I'd worked with while I was part of Comcast and some of the other cable companies, so it kind of fits, it really fits. We're really about helping people tell their story, you know, helping them communicate with the media, helping them, you know, developing relationships with the media and helping them, you know, do the things that they do better. So it's been--it's been interesting, especially considering, you know, the kind of downturn we've been in, so everything, you know, same skills, same things, so it works really well. And then the other thing that I've tried to do is maintain the work with the not for profits as well, 'cause during the Comcast years, I was just involved with a ton of not for profits. And some of them, you know, are doing amazing work and I've been fortunate to stay involved with those as well.$$Okay, okay. I read--now I read here that social media plays a prominent role in your firm's outreach tactic?$$Yes. It's--I love social media. I think it is just so amazing. The one thing I think you always have to be willing to learn something new. So in 2008 as I was making this transition, you know, I just kind of immersed myself to see what was going on and what people were doing in social media. So I don't think there's a social media that I haven't done, I mean, you know, from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn to Quora to, you know, it's just been really fun, because it's just--to me it's all tactical. It's just another way to share a message to communicate to connect with people. So I found it immensely fun to kind of look at this and say how is this--some things I think never change, I mean, you always gonna have to know how to write a press release. And if there's anything bad about these things is the fact that people don't write like they used to. Everything's an abbreviation, everything's you know a little bit different than it used to be, but--but taken correctly and used correctly, I think it adds to all these things that you're doing. Chicago State University, I'll use them as an example. Last year they--they decided to hold a gala concert with [HistoryMaker] Smokey Robinson, and we were able to use, you know, Facebook, specifically, and just really increase the visibility and really get people engaged. We were doing things like every day we were sending out old Smokey songs or putting out old pictures of Smokey, you know, with The Miracles, or telling his Motown [Motown Records] history. So it's just--I just think social media is a great way to kind of share with people and engage with people, so. It's been, it's been a lot of fun kind of learning those things, so.$Are there any family stories about what life was like in Madison Parish [Louisiana]?$$In Madison Parish?$$I mean in terms of the black community and (unclear)?$$Oh, yeah, yeah. Now we, you know, again, small southern town. And when I grew up, you know, still a lot of the vestiges of things, you know, from the, from, from the integration. I can--and I can barely remember them, but it seems to me that there was still a few signs I can remember, you know, kind of black and white things. Definitely, we lived on one side of the proverbial railroad track, which was actually, literally, a railroad track. So we lived on one side of town and, you know, the white population, for the most part, lived on the opposite side of town. Through the middle of Tallulah, Louisiana, there runs the brushy bayou. We're a river town so, you know, you can go maybe twenty miles and hit the Mississippi River on the one side and then in our town, there's brushy bayou, which kind of separated the town. So you know we lived on one side, the white community lived on the other side. I remember growing up and we would go to the little grocery store, you know, you'd have your neighborhood grocery store and we had a good--we had an interesting black community because one of the first black police chiefs in the country, Zelma Wyche, was from Tallulah, Louisiana, one of the early elected black officials.$$This is a man?$$Yeah, Zelma Wyche. I didn't even know I remembered that (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) W--W-Y-C-H?$$C-H, yeah.$$Okay. C-H-E, I guess?$$Yeah, I think so. I'm going to have to go back and look at that. But yeah, he was one of the first black elected police chiefs in Louisiana. And I want to say maybe, you know, pretty close to in the country, so I definitely remember that that was kind of--that was a really big deal for us, but you know, it's still cotton fields--still we're in--in our town. And when I was young, I used to go with my uncle [Andrews-Keenan's maternal great uncle, James Rucker]. In the summer when I got older (laughter), I made the mistake of saying, "Well, I want to make some money." He would take people to the field to chop cotton. And I remember I got to be a teenager. And it was like, "I want to make some money." He's like, "Well you can go with us." Oh, what a mistake. I'm like why did I choose to (laughter)--but yeah, still cotton field right across from my house. I could see it every day and people were still, you know, wasn't all mechanized then, it was still--there was still cotton being picked, people were going to manually chop cotton. When my c- my older cousin was coming along, and he was probably about ten or fifteen years older than I, there were still times when people, they let kids out of school to do that. Yeah, there was still that time when they might take a part time out of school when it was harvesting season. It didn't happen (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) It's a time sensitive crop.$$Right, right. It wasn't--when I came along we didn't do that; but I remember those kids, that were like ten years older than I was. Yeah, that was still that time when I was a little kid, so.

Andrea L. Taylor

Corporate executive Andrea L. Taylor was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1947, and grew up in Cambridge at a time when her parents, Della Taylor-Hardman and Francis C. Taylor, Sr., attended Boston University’s graduate school. Taylor’s family moved to Charleston, West Virginia in 1956, and she enrolled in the fifth grade at the former Mercer Elementary School. After graduating from Charleston High School in 1964, she moved to Boston, Massachusetts. She went on to receive her B.A. degree in journalism from Boston University in 1968, and later pursued post-graduate studies in international politics at New York University.

Taylor began her career as a journalist working as a reporter, producer and on-air host for The Boston Globe and WGBH-TV in Boston. In 1988, Taylor founded the Ford Foundation Media Fund, where, as executive director, she oversaw the global distribution of $50 million in grants. Taylor then served as president of the Washington, D.C.-based Benton Foundation from 2001 to 2003, before serving concurrently as vice president and director of the Center for Media and Community at the Education Development Center in Newton, Massachusetts. Taylor then founded and served as managing partner at Davis Creek Capital, a media technology firm. From 2005 to 2006, Taylor served as an adjunct professor of journalism at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While there, she developed and taught a new course, “New Media, Power, and Global Diversity,” which focused on the role of public policy in the age of digital media. In July of 2006, Taylor was named director of U.S. Community Affairs at Microsoft Corporation. While there, she has managed Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential program, the Puget Sound community engagement, and the company’s employee United States community program.

From 1989 to 2012, Taylor served as an associate of the Council of Foundations, where she was also appointed as a member of the board of directors. She was appointed as a trustee of Boston University, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Philanthropy Northwest and WNYC Public Radio. Taylor also served as a member of the board of directors for the Film Forum, Ms. Foundation for Women, and The Cleveland Foundation. In addition, Taylor served as a delegate to four global summits of the United Nations: Tunis, Africa in 2005; Geneva, Switzerland in 2003; Beijing, China in 1995; and Cairo, Egypt in 1994.

Taylor received the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University, and the 2013 Creative Spirit Award from the Black Alumni of Pratt Institute. She was also a finisher in the 2009 New York City Marathon.

Andrea L. Taylor was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 13, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.001

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/13/2014 |and| 1/16/2014

Last Name

Taylor

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Leigh

Occupation
Schools

Roberts School

Mercer School

Thomas Jefferson Junior High School

Charleston High School

Boston University

New York University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Andrea

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

TAY14

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Get started.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

1/19/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peanut Butter

Short Description

Media executive Andrea L. Taylor (1947 - ) founded and directed the Ford Foundation’s Media Fund, as well as Davis Creek Capital, where she was a managing partner.

Employment

Microsoft

Harvard University

Education Development Center

Benton Foundation

A.H. Brown Enterprises

Ford Foundation

Bay State Banner Newspaper

Boston Globe

Cleveland Plain Dealer

Favorite Color

Black