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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

ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Author and journalist ReShonda Tate Billingsley was born on September 7, 1969, in Kansas City, Missouri. Billingsley graduated from Madison High School in Houston, Texas in 1987, and attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her B.A. degree in broadcast journalism in 1991.

Billingsley began her career in 1993 as an associate producer for KTRK-TV, an ABC-affiliate in Houston, Texas. After a year at KTRK, Billingsley moved to the NBC-affiliate KJAC-TV in Port Arthur, Texas, as an anchor, reporter and talk show host. In 1996, she accepted a position in Houston, Texas as a reporter for KPRC-TV, the NBC-affiliate. From 1997-2003, Billingsley was a reporter and anchor for the NBC-affiliated KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In 2003, she returned to Houston as a reporter for KRIV-TV, the Fox-affiliate, where she remained until 2007. Billingsley published her first book in 2001 My Brother’s Keeper, which was picked up by publishing company Simon & Schuster the following year. She became a National Bestselling Author of over forty fiction, non-fiction, and teen fiction books. Billingsley has also served as a reporter and editor for the Houston Defender since 1993. She served as a host and producer for KPFT’s From Cover to Cover literary talk show from 2009 to 2013, and KTSU’s The Sista Xchange from 2011 to 2014. She, and fellow Simon & Schuster author Victoria Christopher Murray, co-founded Brown Girl Books in 2014. Her books The Devil is a Lie and Let the Church Say Amen were adapted into television movies for TV One and BET.

Billingsley has also served as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Jack & Jill of America, and the Durham Library board. Billingsley received the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature in 2012 for her book, Say Amen, Again, and was nominated in 2013 for The Secret She Kept, which was adapted into a television movie for TV One. She was nominated for the award once again in 2015 for Mama’s Boy.

Billingsley and her husband, Dr. Miron Billingsley have three children; Mya, Morgan and Myles.

ReShonda Tate Billingsley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 1, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.014

Sex

Female

Interview Date

02/1/2017

Last Name

Billingsley

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Tate

Occupation
Schools

James Madison High School

Petersen Elementary School

Retta Brown Elementary School

Audrey H. Lawson Middle School

University of Texas at Austin

First Name

ReShonda

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

BIL05

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Turks and Caicos

Favorite Quote

Stop Talking About Doing It And Do It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

9/7/1969

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Author and journalist ReShonda Tate Billingsley (1969 - ) served as a reporter and news anchor in Texas and Oklahoma, and was a national bestselling author of over forty fiction, nonfiction and teen fiction books.

Employment

Simon and Schuster

Houston Defender

KRIV-TV

KFOR-TV

KPRC-TV

KJAC-TV

National Enquirer

Favorite Color

Pink, Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of ReShonda Tate Billingsley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her mother's early years and education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her father's storytelling

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her love of reading

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her father's supper club

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her father's carpentry skills

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her neighborhood in Smackover, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her parents' divorce and moving to Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls her favorite middle school teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her first published story

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her active imagination

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her church involvements

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her early reputation as a writer

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls her early career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her favorite teacher at James Madison High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls enrolling at the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her activities at the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her favorite professor at the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls her early broadcasting experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers graduating from the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls working for the National Enquirer

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers working as a producer at KTRK-TV in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls her transition to anchoring for KJAC-TV in Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls worked as a reporter at KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas and KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her first book, 'My Brother's Keeper'

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls self-publishing 'My Brother's Keeper'

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her book, 'Let the Church Say Amen'

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about the controversy around 'Let the Church Say Amen'

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes the themes of her books

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her writing career

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her books 'Help! I've Turned into My Mother' and 'I Know I've Been Changed'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her books that were published in 2007

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her teen fiction books

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her books, 'The Devil is a Lie' and 'Holy Rollers'

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her acting career

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her book, 'The Secret She Kept'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her parenting style

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her book, 'A Family Affair'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her current projects

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about the film adaptations of her books

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her screenwriting aspirations

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her awards and accolades

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley reflects upon her writing career

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her writing process

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her favorite writers and books

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about the growth of her writing career

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her publishing company, Brown Girls Books

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

2$7

DATitle
ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her active imagination
ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her book, 'Let the Church Say Amen'
Transcript
Now didn't your mother [Nancy Kilgore Blacknell] tell you at one time that making up a story is a lie unless you write it down and then it's a fiction (laughter)?$$Yes, then it's a story. If it comes out of our mouth (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Then it's a story, right, right.$$--it's a lie, if you write it down.$$If you write it down then it's a story?$$Yes, and so you know and that was one of the things because I would--I remember when my mother, my parents were still together. I would just out of the blue start acting out a story. I had written a story about a little girl that had passed out and we were in Smackover [Arkansas], we were going from Norphlet [Arkansas] to Smackover, and my sister [Tanisha Tate] told my parents, "ReShonda [HistoryMaker ReShonda Tate Billingsley] won't, won't wake up, she won't sit up." And so, my father [Bruce Tate] pulled over to the side of the road, the truck actually broke down, and I would not lift my head. I just--my whole body was limp because that's what I had written in my story and so my parents were freaking out. They ended up flagging down somebody passing by, they took us to the hospital in Smackover to--there was a small like clinic and the doctor, who my grandmother [Tate Billingsley's maternal grandmother, Pearley Hicks Kilgore] cleaned for he examined me. My mother was crying and I'm just, I'm still not lifting up. My eyes are rolled back in the back of my head and Dr. Warren [George W. Warren] was his name and he came in, he examined me and then he said--my mother was like, "What's wrong with her?" And he told me he said, "Sit up gal," and I just kind of sat there, he said, "I said sit up, gal," and I just kind of sat up, and so my parents freaked out. They said, "Why would you do all of that?" And I said, "That's what the little girl did in my story, so I was just trying to carry it out," and my mother ended up having to leave the room before she killed me. My dad was always the, the buffer, but he, and he explained to me, "You know you can't do stuff like that." But I said, "That's how when I wrote it and she did--she never woke up." And so, little stuff that made no sense in my mind and I think I was ten at that time, no, I might have been eight at that time and it made no sense in their minds, but it made perfect sense because that's, that was the story that I wrote.$$So, you had a very active imagination.$$I did.$$And internal life that was--yeah.$$I don't know where it came from, I mean I just out of the blue I would come, and the reason my--the whole--my mother said that it was a lie 'cause I had come in, I said my sister broke her arm outside playing at--we used to gather up the leaves to burn the leaves and so I came in and my mother said, "Well, where's your sister?" I said, "Oh, she's out there. She just broke her arm jumping in the leaves." So, of course my mother ran out there and my sister is just playing in the leaves, and so my mother said, "That's, you know, that's a lie coming out of your mouth." And I said, "Naw I was trying to work through a story in my head," and so it would get me in trouble a lot (laughter) and so, I, I have no idea why I used to--I would, I just don't know why I did stuff like that, but it was just that imagination always at work.$And your next book in 2004 was 'Let the Church Say Amen' [ReShonda Tate Billingsley] which is the foundation of a trilogy, basically?$$Yes.$$Let--it's about two families, right?$$It's about a, about a family and a pastor who gives his all to the church, so much so that he doesn't see how he's neglecting his family and what I wanted to do was show--even though this is a pastor, this could be any man in any job who works so hard for their job that they don't realize how their family needs them just as much, and so that's what I wanted to write about. What ended up happening was because the book had a church title, people started classifying it as Christian fiction, and I caught a lot of flak behind that because it, is not Christian fiction. I did, I had a couple of curse words in it. I have--and you know I don't write gratuitous, I don't write gratuitous sex, I don't write gratuitous cursing. Everything I write has a purpose, but when you pick up a book and you think you're about to read Christian fiction, so I caught a lot of flak, to the point that sometimes I would read the reviews and they would have me in tears, but for every bad review, I would get ten great reviews, but you know how we do, we focus on the bad. But that book is what ended up putting me on the map.$$What were the responses good and bad to your work, I mean what did people like about it?$$A lot of people liked the truth, I mean because what happens is many of us will go to the club Saturday night and then we get up and to the club--go to church on Sunday morning, and so those are the type of characters that I would write about, so people could relate. So, one of the, the biggest things that I got from people and one of the most positive things were, "Your characters are so relatable. This story is relatable." There were people that would say, "I'm struggling, my family is struggling just like the people in this book," so in terms of the positive side, I got that a lot. The negative was the people that said, "I picked this up because I thought it was a Christian fiction book, and you had this character say a bad word, so I'm mortified." There was--I got a couple of, "You're gonna rot in hell" emails, and those are the ones that sent me to, to tears because they would said, "Well, your character is homosexual and he didn't pray hard enough," you know. And you'd wanna reply, "Write your own book," (laughter), but you know you take, try to take the high road, but I would get a lot--I caught the biggest amount of flak because my character didn't pray the gay away, and I think at that time when that was released you saw that was big, a big, the whole DL thing was a big, down low thing was a big thing going around.$$Right, I remember that.$$And people kept saying, "He could just pray this away," and I don't have--I didn't have that in my book. I had this family really struggling with one of their son's dealing with that, and I, let the family deal with it and not say okay, now he's cured at the end of the book. So, I caught that. One lady said she, the book was garbage and she was gonna use it to hold up, her coffee table that had a bad leg. So, I would get that kind of thing all the time. There was one station in Virginia that was going--had me come in for a book signing and they ended up canceling it because they said they read the book after inviting me, and they called the book soft porn, and I was mortified because I don't have any, I don't have anything like that in there, but they said they ended up canceling it and the bookstore was a Christian bookstore started selling the book behind the counter like it was a Hustler magazine, and so the way I found out was a woman contacted me and said, "I don't know who you are, but bought your book because they didn't wanna sell it to the woman in front of me." And so, that kind of, the controversy ended up making more people go and read the book, and then when they read it, they were like okay, this isn't bad, but that's what me on the map.$$Was the controversy had, did it have more to do with having gay characters or, infidelity, or what was the major issue (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) The, the primary one was the gay character, the gay son and then the only, what they considered soft porn there was a line that said, "She lowered her head in his lap," and I moved on, I didn't say anything else, but they considered that soft porn, which was just crazy to me, but that, you know that was their prerogative, but the, the biggest thing was not, not having him pray that gay away, and people kept saying in the black church, "He's a father, but he's a minister, so how is he gonna just accept that his son is gay," and so you know I, I caught that a lot. It just, it was really shocking to me, but that's what created a lot of the controversy.

Al Zollar

Corporate executive Alfred “Al” Zollar was born in 1954 in Kansas City, Missouri. He attended Paseo High School in Kansas City and then graduated from Mills High School in Millbrae, California. He went on to receive his M.A. degree in applied mathematics from the University of California at San Diego in 1976.

Zollar joined IBM Corporation in 1977 as a systems engineer trainee in the company’s San Francisco office. After working in systems engineering for ten years, he was transferred to IBM’s White Plains, New York headquarters in 1986 as a member of the corporate staff. Zollar was promoted to product manager for IBM's relational database software DB2 in 1989; and was made laboratory director at the IBM Software Group laboratory in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1993. In 1996, IBM bought software maker Tivoli and appointed Zollar senior vice president of development. He was promoted again to general manager of IBM's Network Computing Software Division in 1998; and, in 2000, was named president and chief executive officer of IBM’s Lotus Development Corporation. Three years later, Zollar left Lotus to become the general manager of iSeries, IBM's range of servers aimed at small and medium-sized companies. He then served as general manager of IBM Tivoli Software, a global, multi-billion dollar business within IBM's software division, from 2004 until 2011. Zollar retired from IBM in January of 2011 and became an executive partner of the Siris Capital Group in 2014.

Zollar has served on the boards of the Chubb Corporation and PSEG Incorporated. He is also a member of the Executive Leadership Council, and a lifetime member of the National Society of Black Engineers. He was ranked #15 on Fortune magazine’s 2002 list of Most Powerful Black Executives; named one of the 50 most important African Americans in technology by US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine in 2004; one of the 100 most powerful executives in corporate America by Black Enterprise magazine in 2009; and one of fifty distinguished alumni of the University of California at San Diego in 2011. In addition, Zollar was a Harvard University Fellow in the 2011 cohort of the Advanced Leadership Initiative, and was issued a U.S. patent for “Trust and Identity in Secure Calendar Sharing Collaboration,” in 2012.

Alfred “Al” Zollar was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 9, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.114

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/9/2014 |and| 5/10/2014

Last Name

Zollar

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Paseo High School

Mills High School

University of California, San Diego

First Name

Al

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

ZOL03

State

Missouri

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/18/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Corporate executive Al Zollar (1954 - ) was, executive partner with the Siris Capital Group. He worked at IBM for over thirty years in several leadership positions, including as president and CEO of IBM’s Lotus Development Corporation and general manager of IBM Tivoli Software.

Employment

IBM

Siris Capital Group

Sheila Brooks

Broadcast journalist and entrepreneur Sheila Dean Brooks, Ph.D. was born on June 24, 1956 in Kansas City, Missouri to Gussie Mae Dean Smith and Stanley Benjamin Smith. She received her B.A. degree in communications from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1978. Brooks paid for her final two years of college while serving in the Advanced Placement Program of the United States Navy Reserves from 1976 to 1978. She went on to receive both her M.A. degree in political science in 2003, and her Ph.D. degree in communication, culture and media studies in 2015, from Howard University.

In 1978, Brooks joined KCTS-TV in Seattle, Washington as a reporter and producer, where she worked until 1981. From 1981 to 1983, she worked for KREM-TV in Spokane, Washington, as a reporter and anchor. Brooks was then hired as a news director and anchor for KAMU-TV/FM in College Station, Texas, working until 1985, when she accepted a management trainee position at the Dallas Morning News in Dallas, Texas. She moved to Washington, D.C. in 1988, and worked as a senior producer at Vanita Productions in Baltimore, Maryland. From 1989 to 1990, Brooks served as executive producer for special projects and the documentary unit at WTTG-TV Channel 5 in Washington, D.C. She founded SRB Communications in 1990, a full-service advertising and marketing agency specializing in multicultural markets, serving as founder, president and CEO.

Brooks has served as a board trustee on the Federal City Council in Washington, D.C., on the boards of ColorComm and Morgan State University’s Global School of Journalism and Communication. She also served as chair of The Presidents’ RoundTable, a board member of the Greater Baltimore Committee and on the boards the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council and the Center for Women’s Business Research.

Brooks has won more than 150 entrepreneurial, marketing and journalism awards. She was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Science Silver Circle, an Emmy Award Hall of Fame by the National Capital/Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She was the first National Association of Black Journalists’ member to receive the President’s Award three times.

Her other honors include the 2016 Top MBE Award, 2015 Advocate of the Year Award, and 2012 and 1995 Supplier of the Year Awards from the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council; the 2014 Women in Business Champion from the D.C. Chamber of Commerce; the 2011 Pat Tobin Entrepreneurial Award from the National Association of Black Journalists; the 2011 Shining Star Award from the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women; the 2011 Entrepreneurial Trailblazer Award from Howard University’s School of Communications; the 2009 Black Rose Entrepreneur Award from New York State Black Women Enterprises; the 2005 Enterprising Women of the Year Award from Enterprising Women Magazine; and the 2002 and 1998 Women in Business Advocate of the Year Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration, among others.

Dr. Sheila Brooks was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 30, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.043

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/30/2014 |and| 11/2/2017

Last Name

Brooks

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Dean

Schools

University of Washington

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sheila

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

BRO58

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Stop selling what you have, sell what your client wants.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

6/24/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Broadcast journalist and entrepreneur Sheila Brooks (1956 - ) was the founder, president and CEO of SRB Communications. She received 47 national Telly Awards; a national Gracie Award; three Emmy Awards; and the inaugural Pat Tobin Entrepreneurial Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

Employment

SRB Communications

KCTS-TV

KREM-TV

KAMU-TV/FM

Dallas Morning News

Vanita Productions

WTTG-TV

Favorite Color

Purple

Teri Agins

Journalist Teri Agins was born on November 14, 1953 in Kansas City, Kansas. Agins graduated with her B.A. degree in English and political science from Wellesley College in 1975. She received her M.A. degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.

In the 1970s, Agins was hired as an intern at the Kansas City Star and the Boston Globe. She also worked as a writer for Fairchild Publications, now Fairchild Fashion Media, in New York City in the 1970s. Agins then moved to Brazil for five years with her former husband, and worked as a freelance writer for the New York Times and Time Magazine. In 1984, she was hired as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, where she wrote a small business column. Then, in 1989, Agins was assigned to develop the fashion beat for the Wall Street Journal, becoming one of the reporters at the paper to cover fashion from a business perspective. She was made senior special writer in 1995. Agins retired from her post at the Wall Street Journal in 2009, but continued to write freelance for the newspaper, including authoring the popular fashion column “Ask Teri.” She has also written for other publications, including Vogue, Town & Country, O: The Oprah Magazine, and Essence.

In 1999, Agins published her first book, The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Industry Forever. Her second book, published in 2014, examines the rise of fast fashion, the power of online shopping, the influence of social media and the rise of celebrity designers in the fashion and retail clothing industry.

Agins has received several awards, including the Atrium Award from the University of Georgia College of Journalism and the Atlanta Apparel Mart in 1990 and 1996; the Front Page Award from the Newswomen's Club of New York in 1991 and 2002; and the Missouri Lifestyle Journalism award in 1996 and 2000. In 2004, the Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded her with the Eugenia Sheppard Award for Excellence in Fashion Journalism.

Teri Agins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 16, 2013.

Accession Number

A2014.009

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/16/2014

Last Name

Agins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Lynne

Occupation
Schools

Wellesley College

University of Missouri

Quindaro Elementary School

Northwest Middle School

Wyandotte High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Teri

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

AGI01

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cascais, Portugal; Italy

Favorite Quote

The Hardest Person To Be Is The Person You Say You Are.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/14/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Broccoli

Short Description

Journalist Teri Agins (1953 - ) was the author of The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Industry Forever and worked as a fashion reporter for The Wall Street Journal for over twenty years.

Employment

Kansas City Star

Boston Globe

Fairchild Publications, Chicago Bureau of NY Publication

Wall Street Journal

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Teri Agins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Teri Agins lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Teri Agins describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Teri Agins talks about her parents' aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Teri Agins describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Teri Agins describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Teri Agins talks about her sister

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Teri Agins describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Teri Agins remembers her neighborhood in Kansas City, Kansas, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Teri Agins describes her mother's attitudes about race

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Teri Agins talks about the Faith Lutheran Church in Kansas City, Kansas

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Teri Agins remembers her neighborhood in Kansas City, Kansas, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Teri Agins describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Teri Agins describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Teri Agins remembers summer vacations

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Teri Agins talks about her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Teri Agins talks about her relationship with her sister

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Teri Agins recalls her early interest in fashion

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Teri Agins talks about her exposure to the media

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Teri Agins recalls how she became interested in journalism

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Teri Agins remembers learning to sew

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Teri Agins describes her parents' rules about dating

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Teri Agins recalls her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Teri Agins talks about her involvement in Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Teri Agins remembers her parents' social clubs

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Teri Agins remembers her debutante ball

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Teri Agins recalls her decision to attend Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Teri Agins remembers her arrival on campus at Wellesley College

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Teri Agins talks about her transition to Wellesley College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Teri Agins remembers her social life at Wellesley College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Teri Agins talks about her experiences at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Teri Agins describes her experiences while studying in Peru

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Teri Agins remembers working for the Daily News Record in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Teri Agins talks about her marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Teri Agins reflects upon her ex-husband's experiences at Citibank, N.A.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Teri Agins remembers living in Brazil

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Teri Agins recalls joining the staff of The Wall Street Journal

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Teri Agins remembers learning to write for The Wall Street Journal

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Teri Agins talks about the black journalists at The Wall Street Journal

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Teri Agins recalls how she came to develop a fashion beat for The Wall Street Journal

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Teri Agins remembers her covering retail for The Wall Street Journal

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Teri Agins remembers gaining recognition as a fashion industry reporter

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Teri Agins remembers an interview with Yves St. Laurent

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Teri Agins remembers the rise of casual dress codes in the 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Teri Agins describes the changes in fashion during the late 20th century, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Teri Agins describes the changes in fashion during the late 20th century, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Teri Agins remembers Zoran Ladicorbic's fashion marketing innovations

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Teri Agins talks about her early access to the fashion community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Teri Agins describes the accounting scandal at Leslie Faye Company, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Teri Agins talks about her coverage of the Leslie Faye Company, Inc. accounting scandal

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Teri Agins remembers building a reputation as a fashion retail journalist

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Teri Agins talks about approaching fashion as a business journalist

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Teri Agins recalls her decision to write 'The End of Fashion'

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Teri Agins remembers signing the contract for 'The End of Fashion'

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Teri Agins talks about the process of writing 'The End of Fashion'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Teri Agins remembers the critical acclaim for 'The End of Fashion'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Teri Agins describes the content of 'The End of Fashion,' pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Teri Agins describes the content of 'The End of Fashion,' pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Teri Agins reflects upon the changes in the fashion industry during the 2000s

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Teri Agins talks about her book, 'Hijacking the Runway: How Celebrities Are Stealing the Spotlight from Fashion Designers'

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Teri Agins talks about her journalistic integrity

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Teri Agins remembers Alan Millstein

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Teri Agins talks about the designers she covered

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Teri Agins talks about Armani and Daymond John

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Teri Agins reflects upon the role of fashion influencers

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Teri Agins talks about her award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Teri Agins talks about the community of fashion journalists

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Teri Agins reflects upon her position within fashion journalism

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Teri Agins reflects upon her contributions to fashion journalism

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Teri Agins reflects upon her relationship to race

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Teri Agins reflects upon her life, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Teri Agins reflects upon her life, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Teri Agins describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Teri Agins describes her hopes and concerns for the African American Community, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Teri Agins reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Teri Agins describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

4$7

DATitle
Teri Agins remembers learning to write for The Wall Street Journal
Teri Agins describes the accounting scandal at Leslie Faye Company, Inc.
Transcript
What--who are--what are the backgrounds of the people there? Are they journalism, are there business or economics (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Journalism. No, no we had some people who were actually like you know Ph.D.'s in economics and people like economists, but most of the people were just people who were reporters. Because The Wall Street Journal is basically you're just covering everything--the news through the prism of business. So now at that time it was more public companies and we had the Washington [D.C.] bureau to cover policy but for the most part you are in New York [New York] so you cover--we'd write about companies, write about public companies and marketing and unions and all that stuff that goes with that, manufacturing. And, you know, all of it is really quite interesting and the paper--but let me tell you there were a lot of people who were green like this and they--not just black people, everybody. So they also wanted women because they did, they did, they were trying to get more women to come to the paper. But I really liked the paper and I liked the fact it was the biggest newspaper in the country. It was really prestigious and it was you know you called and said you were from The Wall Street Journal people are like, "Oh," but then they'd say like, "You said you were from The Journal and you are asking these stupid questions?" I remember like I would go and interview somebody and I would write down what they'd say and then I'd come back and I couldn't write the story and I'm like now what the hell did they say because I didn't understand it. I remember Jim Hyatt [James Hyatt], this editor said, "Teri [HistoryMaker Teri Agins] call them back. You've got to call them back. Don't get them off the phone until you understand what's going on." But it was very intimidating.$$So were you doing small business at the beginning or you were doing general--$$But they tell you, it was highly supervised.$$Right so when then they--when you weren't doing well what were--was this in your review I mean they're telling you--$$No it wasn't that, it was just that I couldn't--you know The Journal was all about doing stories--okay. If a company made some announcement that day, you would cover that; that would be a news story, you knew what to do. That was pretty kind of like--there was no enterprise, there was no creativity. The creative stories on the front page was what we called leaders. Those were stories that everybody wanted to do but you have to come up with those ideas. You had write to story proposals, you had to figure out what the story was and then kind of figure out the angle. And that--it's almost like a magazine thing, that's hard to do. I wasn't getting on page one, I couldn't come up with ideas, I couldn't--it was just like I you know. So they kept me like just doing little menial stuff. So I didn't get bylines, I mean it was hard and it's frustrating because you're with all these fast people and you want to kind of be up with the crowd, you know.$$Right.$$But I--but then of course, then you are bound and determined, I'm going to learn, I'm going to figure it out.$And plus its business, all the, the--I mean that's, that's where the people with money and people, you know, who could make things happen. But what I'm asking is, when does this start to happen? That's what you to need to tell us.$$It started to happen I'd say like late--mid, late '90s [1990s]. When I did--I took book leave in 1990--oops I'm sorry. I took book leave in 1997 but it had already started to happen before then. I'd say like '94 [1994]. Okay the Leslie Fay [Leslie Fay Company, Inc.] accounting scandal that was another big story that I broke.$$Can you talk about that?$$Okay the Leslie Fay accounting scandal is a very interesting story. Okay Leslie Fay is one of the largest companies on 7th Avenue. It started--this was like second generation started in 1940s and the guy who runs it [John Pomerantz], his father John Pomerantz [sic. Fred Pomerantz] had started the company. And Leslie Fay at the end of the year during their audit, one of the controllers [Donald Kenia] turns and says is that, "The books are cooked here." He just basically turns himself in and says, "We've cooked the books here," and they are like what? So one guy--their back office was in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Anyway they had to restate their last quarterly earnings. Okay, so once they made this disclosure and you wonder when somebody makes disclosure like that then you are wondering what's going on. So that was the whole thing trying to find out the myth of this, of why they made this mistake. And what had happened was that a lot of companies when they have--when they do their reconciling with their books okay they ship this much manufacturing. They will ship like a shipment of, I'm just making this up, a hundred pieces and they get paid for like eighty some or so. Anyway they pad in the invoices from the future--from the next quarter, they pad those in to help them make their numbers for Wall Street. In other words, let me just break this down again. Erase that, let's start over. Companies on Wall Street, you give analysts an approximation of how much you think you're going earn. You know, we're going to earn ten dollars a share this quarter. And so they based that on, based on a lot of different things, on what they've sold in the past, how things are selling and everything else. And they--you give Wall Street guidance that's so--Wall Street is supposed--because Wall Street when you have these big stock fluctuations--price fluctuations that happens because something happened that people did not anticipate. And that often is a red flag that there is trouble. In the case of this, this company did not--they were not going to make their earnings targets. And so they were trying to figure out how to do it. So they had receivables for the next quarter. So what they did is they took some of those receivables to pad the numbers. So in other words they weren't really--all they were doing was taking from one box and moving it to another but they needed at that point to be able to make their targets. And they will say, "That's okay when we get through we'll just put it back." In other words, "We'll do it just for the reporting period and then we'll put it back." Well what happened is they'd been doing that. It's like nibble nibble, gouge. They started doing it every little quarter because they weren't making their numbers. So they would borrow from this other quarter and move into the next. Well then this thing--they found out when they re-did their earnings that's when they found out $81 million of net income the company had reported did not exist. Because they had just kept padding these numbers and it went back--we traced it back to almost like about four or five year, they had been doing this every quarter. And they had been doing it in Wilkes-Barre in that back office and they were doing it you know away from the prying eyes in Manhattan [New York] what was going on. And I--when the company--this controller announced that, "We cooked the books," it was clear that he didn't do it by himself. It came from someone high and I solved the accounting scandal. But it ended up being the chief financial officer [Paul F. Polishan] and he was the one who I talked about with the money and the woman's tampon machine that he was counting to make sure--I mean he was a real penny pincher and he was a real micromanager, because he was the one who was entering all these things that were bad in the books. They had all these controllers in Wilkes-Barre who didn't work on computers, they worked with pencil and paper and that was done on purpose because that way they could erase things. They didn't leave a paper trail. So this was something that they had orchestrated.

Jacqulyn Shropshire

Civic leader and non-profit executive Jacqulyn Shropshire was born on September 15, 1935 in Kansas City, Missouri. She was the first member of her family to attend college, and graduated from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri in 1957 with her B.S. degree in business and economics.

Upon graduation, Shropshire was hired by Trans World Airlines, where she became the company’s first African American employee in an administrative position. Shropshire then worked as a teacher in the Kansas City public school system until 1961, when she married Thomas B. Shropshire and moved to New York. She went on to receive her M.A. degree in education from Hunter College, and was hired as a teacher in the New York City public school system. Then, in 1968, Shropshire moved with her husband to Lagos, Nigeria, where she helped organize the first American Women’s Club, and also founded Fancy That, a newsletter for women.

In 1972, Shropshire’s family moved from Nigeria to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she began thirty years of service with the Milwaukee Urban League, first as a volunteer, and then as executive director. Shropshire also founded and served as president of Momentum Unlimited of Milwaukee, a firm specializing in management development, public relations and special event planning. In 2003, she organized and became board chairman of the Las Vegas Urban League, and, in 2012, she helped establish The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Shropshire has served on the boards of the Milwaukee Urban League, University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee); Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (YWCA); The Next Door Foundation; American Red Cross; National Endowment for the Arts Advisory Committee; Milwaukee Historical Society; Greater Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau; African World Festival; Inner City Arts Council; The Curative Workshop of Milwaukee; the Joint Center of Political Studies in Washington, D.C.; and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. She also organized the first African American debutante cotillion with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and was the first African American female corporate chairman of Wisconsin for the United Negro College Fund.

Shropshire has received numerous awards for her civic work, including the Caucus of African Americans Trailblazer Award; the Alpha Kappa Alpha Outstanding Contributions to the Black Family Award; the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (The Boulé) Judge William “Turk” Thompson Legacy Award; the Las Vegas–Clark County Black History Visionary Award; and the E-Vibe Phenomenal Woman Award. She was also named “A Woman of Excellence” by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation. In 2001, the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee passed a resolution naming a Jacqulyn C. Shropshire Family Literacy Center in Memphis, Tennessee at the Goodwill International School for Boys and Girls.

Jacqulyn Shropshire was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 25, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.349

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/25/2013

Last Name

Shropshire

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Schools

Lincoln University

Hunter College

Lincoln High School

Garrison School

First Name

Jacqulyn

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

SHR01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Lets Get It On.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nevada

Birth Date

9/15/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Las Vegas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Civic leader and non-profit executive Jacqulyn Shropshire (1935 - ) served as executive director of the Milwaukee Urban League. In Las Vegas, Nevada she founded the Las Vegas Urban League; and was a founding board member of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

Employment

Trans World Airlines

Kansas City Public School System

New York City Public School System

Milwaukee Urban League

Fancy That

Momentum Unlimited of Milwaukee

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jacqulyn Shropshire's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jacqulyn Shropshire lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her maternal family's relation to Strom Thurmond, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers her neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jacqulyn Shropshire lists her aunts and brothers

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers visiting Cedartown, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers her church in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her family's emphasis on education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jacqulyn Shropshire recalls her early exposure to the Urban League of Kansas City

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her community in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jacqulyn Shropshire recalls being hired at Trans World Airlines in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jacqulyn Shrosphire remembers her courtship with her husband

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers moving to New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her experiences in Lagos, Nigeria, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jacqulyn Shropshire reflects upon her experiences in Nigeria

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers the death of Whitney Young

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her husband's career

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her experiences in Lagos, Nigeria, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers moving to Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jacqulyn Shropshire recalls joining the Milwaukee Urban League

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her work with the Milwaukee Urban League

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Debutante Cotillion

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her experiences in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her husband's relationship with Virgis Colbert

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers the founding of the African World Festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her children's education

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers moving to Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jacqulyn Shropshire recalls the founding of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her donation to the Smith Center for the Performing Arts

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her community in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her children

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her philanthropy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her hopes and concerns for the black community in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jacqulyn Shropshire reflects upon her and her husband's legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her maternal family's relation to Strom Thurmond, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about Cedartown, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jacqulyn Shropshire narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jacqulyn Shropshire narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jacqulyn Shropshire narrates her photographs, pt. 3

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

6$6

DATitle
Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers meeting her husband
Jacqulyn Shropshire recalls the founding of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada
Transcript
You taught for maybe several years. Now how did you meet Tom [Thomas B. Shropshire]?$$Well Tom was traveling with Ebony Fashion Fair at the time with Miller Brewing Company and they always had a dress in the fair. I don't know you know, they always sponsored someone who had one of these beautiful dresses on. I had--I was teaching school [at Booker T. Washington School, Kansas City, Missouri], but Tom was ten years ahead of me and his classmate was also a friend of mine; we all taught together at the same school. So when they came in to do the f- Ebony Fashion Fair, I can't think of my girlfriend's name now, but she passed, she said, "Listen we have a friend coming in for the Fashion Fair. Would you like to go out with us?" So I said, "Oh, no, I gotta go home, work to do," and stuff like that. They said, "Oh, Jacquie [HistoryMaker Jacqulyn Shropshire] you need to get out. Come on, go to the Fashion Fair." So I went to the Fashion Fair, I saw Tom and just right away, you know our personalities just clicked. And we, Tom was (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Just right away?$$Well you know Tom had the kind of personality that you loved him or you hated him; there was nothing in between. But Tom had su- so much fun and then afterward we all went out to dinner and what have you. Now the other two girls are married. I'm not, so they said, "Well you know you and Tom should go to dinner or you and Tom should get to know each other," because they knew each other very well. So I say, "Oh yeah, okay." So I didn't think any more about it. Then the next thing I knew that Tom was calling and said that they would be in town and would I, would I have dinner with him. So I said okay, all right, I'll do that; and then I didn't hear from Tom for a long time. And at the time he was in Brooklyn [New York], you know, they were what they call paper hangers at that time, putting signs up. And you know, we just kind of communicated back and forth and back and forth; and then finally he was, he was going to I think Africa, or going someplace, Africa, so he sent my engagement ring through the mail. He asked me if I would marry him, and I said yes. And he sent my ring through the mail (laughter). I mean that, that's Tom.$Can you talk about your work with the Smith Center [Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Las Vegas, Nevada] 'cause I was very impre- you know, 'cause this is what you're starting to talk about that, you know, having Las Vegas [Nevada] establish a life outside of the Strip [Las Vegas Strip]?$$Um-hm.$$So tell me what, what the Smith Center is? Because--?$$Well when I first moved to Las Vegas, you know, I started the Urban League [Las Vegas Urban League] and we did all of that. And then once everything got started everything was fine, so finally Tommy [Thomas B. Shropshire, Jr.] or Teri [Terilyn Shropshire]--somebody said, "Give my mom something to do." Be sure she has something to do, so I knew that my mother [Bernice Thurman Goodwin] was a light opera singer and she never had the time or the place to sing, so--because Tommy's client was MGM, one of the guys who was involved with thinking about the Smith Center said okay we'll find something for her to do. So they came and they sat over here, and they said, "We want you to be on the board at the Smith Center and we're just starting it out, and we have--we don't have anything--we don't even have a plan yet. We're starting from scratch, but we want you to be involved." So I said okay, you know, I didn't have anything else to do. So we met constantly just talking about the Smith Center. Just thinking about what it's gonna look like and how it's gonna be built. I was with them from the architectural committee all the way through putting the last brick, and as a matter of fact, I have a picture of the last nail that went in over there. It gave me something to do. It gave me an outlet that I felt that we could do a lot of things that we didn't have to do on the Strip, that we could have entertainment, you know, that does not have to be inside of a casino; and there were a lot of things that we could do. So I was the only black and there were only two females on the architectural committee. So we, we have followed all the way through, from beginning to the end. And I'm very proud of that. That is one of the things that--a legacy that I'm very proud of.$$So, the chairman was Don Snyder [Donald Snyder]--$$Yeah.$$--right? And then there was Keith Boman, and Kim Sinatra, and Edward [ph.], and Jacobs [Gary Jacobs] and--so a whole host of people.$$They were on, they were on the architectural committee.$$They were on the architectural committee.$$Um-hm.$$I see, they weren't on the board?$$Not at that time.$$Okay.$$They're on the board now.$$Okay. I see. And then this name comes from--it's named in honor of Fred [Fred Smith] and Mary Smith, right?$$Um-hm.$$So you had to figure out as a group how to raise money, you know, where the money was gonna come from. In fact, I understand that you donated yourself a large sum of money, right?$$Yeah, we all agreed--and we knew going in how much money it was gonna cost. The people on the board--a lot of the people came in after it was built. But we had an architectural committee and we found it and we went out and we solicited people we knew who had money and was willing to put up enough for us build a cultural center and they did--I mean they came from every place. At first, we had--I think I was number sixteen if you see the wall, I'm number sixteen--that grew it into what it is. And now, you know, it speaks for itself.

Lt. Gen. Larry Jordan

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Larry R. Jordan was born on February 7, 1946 in Kansas City, Missouri. Jordan graduated from Central High School in Kansas City, Missouri in 1964 and was accepted in the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 1968, he received his B.A. degree in engineering from West Point and was commissioned into the U.S. Army as an armor officer. Jordan went on to earn his M.A. degree in history from Indiana University at Bloomington in 1975. His military education includes the U.S. Army Armor School, the U.S. Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, the U.S. Army Command and Staff College, the National War College at National Defense University as well as the U.S. Army Ranger Course and the U.S. Army Airborne Course. Jordan also received a certificate for completing the Harvard University Program in National and International Security Management in 1992.

Throughout his thirty-five years of service with the U.S. Armed Forces, Jordan has been assigned to a variety of staff and command assignments at the company, battalion, brigade, and installation levels. In 1993, Jordan reported to Fort Benning, Georgia where he served as the commanding general of the U.S. Army Armor Center and School. Promoted to lieutenant general in 1996, Jordan was appointed as the Inspector General of the U.S. Army where he worked closely with the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Army. In 1999, Jordan deployed as the deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army in Europe and the Seventh Army in Germany. He deployed in subsequent overseas missions to Germany, the Republic of Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. His last assignment from 2001 to 2003 was as the deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command headquarters at Fort Eustis, Virginia. In 2003, Jordan became senior vice president of Burdeshaw Associates.

Jordan’s military honors include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge as well as the Armor Association’s Order of St. George and the Field Artillery Association’s Order of St. Barbara.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Larry R. Jordan was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 14, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.040

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/12/2013

Last Name

Jordan

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

R.

Schools

Central Academy of Excellence

United States Military Academy

Indiana University

Harvard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Larry

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

JOR07

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

The only legacy most of us leave in life is the people we touch. Either manage your own career or someone else will mismanage it for you.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

2/7/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbecue

Short Description

Lieutenant general (retired) Lt. Gen. Larry Jordan (1946 - ) is the former Commanding General of U.S. Army Armor Center, Inspector General of the Army and deputy commander of U.S. Army Europe, in Germany.

Employment

United States Army

Burdeshaw Associates

Favorite Color

Blue, Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Larry Jordan's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Larry Jordan lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Larry Jordan describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Larry Jordan describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Larry Jordan talks about his grandfather's education and career as a doctor in the early 1900s, and his own interest in genealogy

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Larry Jordan talks about his mother's life in Missouri, her education at Emporia Teachers College and her career as a teacher

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Larry Jordan talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Larry Jordan talks about his paternal grandparents, and his father's service in World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Larry Jordan talks about his paternal family's migration to Oklahoma, and his father's experience in the Philippines during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Larry Jordan talks about his father's pride in his unit during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Larry Jordan talks about how his parents met and married

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Larry Jordan describes his likeness to his parents, talks about his sister, and his grandmother living with his family when he was a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Larry Jordan describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Larry Jordan describes the neighborhood where he grew up in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Larry Jordan talks about the layout of Kansas City, Missouri, school integration in the late 1950s, and moving to a different neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Larry Jordan describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Larry Jordan talks about elementary school, his childhood interest in science, space and reading, and his favorite dog, Lady

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Larry Jordan talks about attending an integrated high school system in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Larry Jordan talks about the changing demographics of his neighborhood in Kansas City after integration

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Larry Jordan talks about integration in Kansas City, and his newly integrated elementary and high schools

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Larry Jordan talks about his high school teacher, Mrs. Thumland

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Larry Jordan talks about his childhood jobs

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Larry Jordan talks about his family's involvement in the Baptist Church

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Larry Jordan talks about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Larry Jordan talks about his observation as a child of differing racial dynamics in different cities

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Larry Jordan talks about his interests as a young boy growing up in Kansas City

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Larry Jordan talks about his academic performance and his interest in sports in school

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Larry Jordan talks about his interest in the ROTC program in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Larry Jordan talks about attending the United States Military Academy at West Point

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Larry Jordan talks about his high school graduating class

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Larry Jordan describes his experience at the United States Military Academy at West Point

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Larry Jordan talks about his long term associations with classmates from the United States Military Academy at West Point

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Larry Jordan describes a typical day at the United States Military Academy at West Point

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Larry Jordan talks about the academic curriculum at West Point, and the teaching of African American history

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Larry Jordan talks about the training that he received at West Point

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Larry Jordan talks about mentorship and friendship at the United States Military Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Larry Jordan talks about the academic and athletic rigors of the United States Military Academy and his performance there

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Larry Jordan reflects upon the Civil Rights Movement and being an African American student at the United States Military Academy

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Larry Jordan reflects upon the civil unrest and riots in the U.S. in the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Larry Jordan talks about the Vietnam War

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Larry Jordan talks about the Vietnam War and graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Larry Jordan talks about his training and assignment to Fort Hood after graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Larry Jordan describes how he met and married his wife, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Larry Jordan describes how he met and married his wife, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Larry Jordan describes his experience in Vietnam in 1969

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Larry Jordan talks about his assignment as a company commander at Fort Riley, training with the Marine Corps, and his assignment at Fort Benning

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Larry Jordan talks about an opportunity to teach history at West Point, and getting a master's degree from Indiana University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Larry Jordan talks about the indigenous people of Vietnam and their views of American soldiers during the Vietnam War

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Larry Jordan talks about the diversity and close-knit nature of his unit in Vietnam

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Larry Jordan reflects upon the draft and racial problems within the U.S. armed forces in the 1960s and 1970s

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Larry Jordan describes his experience at Indiana University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Larry Jordan talks about his master's thesis about the black experience at West Point

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Larry Jordan talks about the history of African Americans at West Point and in the U.S. Army

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Larry Jordan talks about graduating from Indiana University and teaching history for three years at West Point

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Larry Jordan talks about attending the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Larry Jordan describes his family's experience in Germany from 1979 to 1982

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Larry Jordan talks about serving at the Pentagon in 1982, his promotion to lieutenant colonel, and his assignment at Fort Hood

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Larry Jordan talks about the commemorative monument to the 761st Tank Battalion, at Fort Knox, Kentucky

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Larry Jordan talks about his experience at the National War College

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Larry Jordan talks about his mentor, General Frank Franks, serving as his Chief of Staff in Germany, and serving in Desert Storm

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Larry Jordan talks about Operation Desert Storm, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Larry Jordan talks about Operation Desert Storm, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Larry Jordan talks about being promoted to the rank of a 2-Star general and taking command of Fort Knox, Kentucky

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Larry Jordan talks about Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Larry Jordan talks about presenting the Army Task Force Report on Extremist Activity, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Larry Jordan talks about presenting the Army Task Force Report on Extremist Activity, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Larry Jordan talks about serving as the Inspector General of the U.S. Army

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Larry Jordan describes his experience as Inspector General of the U.S. Army

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Larry Jordan shares his views on the U.S. Army's approval of women for combat duty

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Larry Jordan talks about his promotion to lieutenant general, and his assignment as the deputy commander of the U.S. Army forces in Europe

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Larry Jordan talks about the changes to TRADOC after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Larry Jordan talks about his retirement from the U.S. Army in 2003 and his activities after retirement

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Larry Jordan talks about his sons' careers

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Larry Jordan reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Larry Jordan reflects upon his life and career

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Larry Jordan describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Larry Jordan describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Larry Jordan describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

11$7

DATitle
Larry Jordan talks about the changing demographics of his neighborhood in Kansas City after integration
Larry Jordan describes his experience in Vietnam in 1969
Transcript
So, where did the white population go?$$They moved, they moved away. I can remember during those times as we were looking for our new home, and searching, there were a couple of things that happened. I think a lot of the veterans of World War II began to use their GI Bill to not only go to school, but for loans. I think in the case of my family, they had saved enough where it was time to move. And in our old neighborhood, which I described as being very stable and, you know, the whole neighborhood knew who you were, and took care of you. I mean, Hillary Clinton says "It takes a village [to raise a child]." It takes a block, you know. And you're doing something bad down the road, and somebody will wear you out right there and then send you home and call your folks and say I wore out your son. And then you'd get it again, for whatever you were doing (laughter). You don't find that now. In fact, you get sued. But by the time we left that neighborhood, it had begun to change, in that there were some of the old families dying out and moving. And it began to see a little blight. And so, blacks who could afford it, moved to better houses. I mean, these were old houses. People tried to keep them up, but they moved to better houses. And the whites just moved further out, moved to the suburbs, moved to the south of the city. And I can remember driving around as we were looking, and you'd see "For Sale" signs. And you'd get to a block where every house had a sign in the yard that said, "This house is not for sale, especially to colors." I mean, you'd see signs like that. And whole blocks would sign contracts that they wouldn't sell--because once the first person sells, and a black or a Mexican or a Puerto Rican family moves in, then you have flight. And everybody sells, and they were worried about their property values, and all the rest. So, those were some--and I should have mentioned that during sights and sounds, too. But that was, that's what happened. So, my neighborhood then, of course, in about six years became, went from two families out of thirty, to probably twenty families out of thirty who were African American.$Okay. Now in '69 [1969] when you were sent to Vietnam [Vietnam War], where were you sent?$$I was sent to north of Saigon, to the 1st Infantry Division. I went to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry. I went Bravo Company, B Company. And I said, the Italian commander put myself and two classmates together in that company. The captain who was over us, was a year ahead of us at West Point [United States Military Academy]. And so, that company really, the leadership, really clicked, because we all knew each other and respected each other. Now, if we had not known each other, I think the same thing would have happened, because we were of the same profession, we were all trained. But it was just very interesting to me to be in that situation where the other lieutenants were my classmates, and the company commander had been a year ahead of us at West Point. I served my time, went to--if you ever buy a Michelin tire for your car, I was at the Michelin rubber plantation. I spent a lot of time there.$$Now where is that? Is that in--$$Vietnam.$$Vietnam? I didn't realize that.$$Yeah. The Michelin family, French family, owned a huge tract of land, and Michelin was the largest rubber plantation in Vietnam. At one time it was divided into four sectors, and each sector had housing for the workers. It had schools for the kids. It was like a little city. By the time we got there, the war was roaring. Only about a third of the plantation was working rubber, still producing rubber. Nobody lived there, but they would come out and collect the rubber. And the Michelin family would come in and inspect about every three months, to look at it, what was left of it. But I spent my time there. From the Saigon River north, it was what we referred to as jungle. It was really thick forest with a lot of bamboo and a lot of bad guys--Vietnamese, North Vietnamese regulars and Viet Cong. And so, my job was to conduct operations, keep Americans alive, and dispatch bad guys. That's what I did. I saw a lot of the countryside and admired some of the people. I was amazed at the little kids, amazed at things I saw in that country. I learned a lot. I left there after a year, had a son. My oldest son was born while I was there. And I got a chance to see him when he was about two months old, when I had what was called R&R, rest and relaxation, for a week. I went to Hawaii, had a wonderful time, saw my wife [Nannette Pippen] for the first time in several months, and saw my young son.

Julius Jackson

Julius H. Jackson was born in 1944. He is the middle child of Virgil Lawrence Jackson, Sr. and Julia Esther Jones. He has two siblings, an older brother Virgil and a younger sister, Esther. Jackson received his A.B. and Ph.D. degrees in microbiology from the University of Kansas in 1966 and 1969, respectively. Jackson completed a National Institute of Health (NIH) Postdoctoral Fellowship from 1969 to 1971 at Purdue University. Following completion of the NIH fellowship, he continued to work at Purdue University as a postdoctoral research associate. In 1972, Jackson accepted an appointment at the historically black Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee where he worked in a number of positions that included the chair of the microbiology department. After leaving Meharry, he became the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Clark Atlanta University.

In 1987, he joined the faculty of Michigan State University as a professor in the Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics and as Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Affairs. Jackson directs the J-Lab, a research laboratory that incorporates mathematical and computer models to analyze the function of bacterial genes in cells. His work maps bacterial genomes to see how genes carry out the physiological processes of organisms. He has been an active mentor to students in his lab as well as a strong advocate for the importance of integrating math into study of biology. Further, Jackson has published numerous papers on the latter in addition to bacterial genomics. Beyond his research interests, he has been the director of several programs that recruit, support, and provide professional development to doctoral students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. These programs include the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate Program and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP), the latter supports underrepresented groups in these fields.

From 1995 to 1997, Jackson was the Director of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences of the National Science Foundation (NSF). Because of his research on model bacterial genomes, he has served on several panels that include the National Institute of Health (NIH), the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBM), and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). Jackson received the William A. Hinton Research Training Award from the ASM for his work on bacterial genomes in 2000. He lives in E. Lansing, Michigan with his wife Patricia Ann Herring. He has three children, Rahsaan, Felicia, and Sajida with his first wife Jalanda Lazelle Smith who is deceased.

Julius Jackson was interviewed by on October 24, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.179

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/24/2012

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

University of Kansas

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Julius

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

JAC30

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring, Summer

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Orleans, Louisiana, San Francisco, California

Favorite Quote

Who Steals My Purse Steals Trash; 'Tis Something, Nothing; 'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has Been Slave To Thousands; But He That Filches From Me My Good Name Robs Me Of That Which Not Enriches Him, And Makes Me Poor Indeed.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

1/6/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

East Lansing

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Kansas City Barbecue

Short Description

Microbiologist Julius Jackson (1944 - ) is a professor of Microbiology and Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Affairs at Michigan State University whose research examines bacterial genomes to see how genes carry out the physiological processes of the organisms.

Employment

National Institute of Health (NIH)

Purdue University

Meharry Medical College

Clark Atlanta University

Michigan State University

National Science Foundation (NSF)

American Academy of Microbiology

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Julius Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Julius Jackson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Julius Jackson describes his mother's family background - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Julius Jackson describes his mother's family background - part two

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Julius Jackson talks about Berea College in Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Julius Jackson describes his maternal family's educational history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Julius Jackson talks about the segregated school system in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Julius Jackson talks about his mother, Julia Esther Jones, and her family's hasty move from Kentucky to Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Julius Jackson describes his father's family background - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Julius Jackson describes his father's family background - part two

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Julius Jackson talks about his paternal grandfather, Virgil Hampton Jackson, and his great-uncle, Clarence Jackson

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Julius Jackson talks about his father's education at Howard University as a pre-med student and his various businesses

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Julius Jackson talks about his relatives from the town of Mexico, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Julius Jackson talks father's employment in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Julius Jackson talks about how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Julius Jackson describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Julius Jackson lists his siblings and talks about growing up near Twelfth Street in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Julius Jackson talks about baseball players in the 1940s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Julius Jackson talks about the baseball player Harry "Suitcase" Simpson

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Julius Jackson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Julius Jackson describes spending a large part of his childhood around his father's shop in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Julius Jackson talks about organized crime in Kansas City, learning how to play the piano and violin, and his father's collection of books

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Julius Jackson talks about his family's non-traditional approach to church, and his own perspectives on church as a social organization - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Julius Jackson talks about his family's non-traditional approach to church, and his own perspectives on church as a social organization - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Julius Jackson talks about starting school at a young age and skipping the first grade

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Julius Jackson talks about the importance of social maturation for a student's success in school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Julius Jackson talks about his desire to become a scientist, and how comic book characters served as his role models

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Julius Jackson talks about his childhood interest in science, books and poetry

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Julius Jackson talks about Kansas City, Missouri and integration in the 1950s - part one

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Julius Jackson talks about Kansas City, Missouri and integration in the 1950s- part two

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Julius Jackson describes his experience in junior high school and high school

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Julius Jackson describes his training in mathematics in high school, the importance of learning the fundamentals, and his use of mathematics in biology

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Julius Jackson talks about the teachers who mentored him in school

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Julius Jackson describes his family's financial struggles during the 1950s recession, and the life-lessons that he gained from his community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Julius Jackson describes his experience at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Julius Jackson talks about the people who influenced his decision to return to school

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Julius Jackson talks about developing an interest in biology at Kansas City Junior College, and being diagnosed with hypertension

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Julius Jackson talks about learning Russian at the University of Kansas

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Julius Jackson describes his Ph.D. dissertation on the effect of iron availability on the physiology of Listeria monocytogenes

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Julius Jackson talks about his experience as a postdoctoral researcher at Purdue University, his advisor, Edwin Umbarger, and getting married in 1966

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Julius Jackson talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Julius Jackson describes his experience at Meharry Medical College

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Julius Jackson describes his decision to leave from Meharry Medical College to accept a position at Michigan State University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Julius Jackson talks about his brief tenure at Clark Atlanta University as the Dean of Arts and Sciences

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Julius Jackson describes his research interest in the evolution of genes and chromosomes

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Julius Jackson talks about applying mathematics to biological studies, and his collaboration with African American mathematicians

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Julius Jackson describes his current work on computationally characterizing the chromosomal composition of bacterial genes

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Julius Jackson provides advice for aspiring scientists

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Julius Jackson describes his role as the director of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences of the National Science Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Julius Jackson describes his service as the director of the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, and talks about parallel mentoring

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Julius Jackson talks about his election to the American Academy of Microbiology, and receiving the William A. Hinton Research Training Award

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Julius Jackson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Julius Jackson reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Julius Jackson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Julius Jackson talks about his children

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Julius Jackson talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$7

DAStory

5$2

DATitle
Julius Jackson describes his research interest in the evolution of genes and chromosomes
Julius Jackson describes his role as the director of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences of the National Science Foundation
Transcript
Now, here, at Michigan State [University, East Lansing, Michigan], at some point, you directed the "J Lab?"$$"J Lab," it's just a nickname for my lab.$$Okay.$$"J Lab" is just my lab.$$The Jackson lab?$$The Jackson lab, that's right. And I put together a theoretical computational biology group, and it's a--I grouped together people who can work with me to accomplish a common purpose. And so, I can create a name in a minute. (laughing)$$Okay. You focused what it says here on the study of bacterial and archaeal genomes as information systems that determine the physiological states of an organism?$$Yeah, yeah. What I do here, my work from Purdue [University, West Lafayette, Indiana; postdoctoral work] set me on a path to study genes, silent genes, and in my early studies of silent genes, I'd found that there are genes on a chromosome of bacteria that are there, but they don't express; you don't know they're there unless you know they're there. And I--the curiosity is well, what's behind that, you know, how do you explain their existence and persistence? And that started me down a path of trying to understand where are all the genes that are involved in a physiological function, and how is it that they end up being located where they are, and what are the factors determining whether they're functional or not functional? And that has--that has been a sort of organizing framework for all the studies that I've done. And eventually, I began looking at Meharry [Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee] at the organization of genes on the chromosome, and that's where I began to apply mathematics intensively in looking at arrangements, organization patterns, and in looking--in working at Clark Atlanta [University, Atlanta, Georgia], I was able in the two years I was there to establish a working group with physicists and computer scientists as well as the molecular genetics people in my lab where weekly we would meet to focus our attention on biological and genetic questions and problems and look at how computer science and mathematics could be used to understand these problems better. And over a two-year period, I studied, literally, mathematics of various kinds that I had not prior exposure to and learned to apply these to understanding the information that's available in the chromosomal material and in the genes and to develop concepts of how the--how the information changes over time, so information dynamics, if you will. So what I study to this day is the evolution of genes and chromosomes, and I model--how I use mathematics to model how the information evolves and how to study, how to probe the chromosome and information in the chromosomes to understand how that information evolves. And so, that's what I do now and I reached the point where I stopped doing laboratory experiments, and all of my work now is computational theoretical, so I do things on paper and computers; I no longer go to the laboratory, but I work on models that can be experimentally tested. And I collaborate with people from time to time to accomplish that experimental testing.$Now, '95 (1995) to '97 (1997), you served as Director of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences of the National Science Foundation [NSF]--$$Correct.$$--Correct? So, that's basically assessing programs that have potential to be funded by the NSF?$$Yeah. It involves that as the core responsibility. I was brought--invited to come there at the National Science Foundation because there was an increasing awareness of the importance of what we would call microbial biology. There had been insufficient emphasis on the study of micro-organisms. The macro-organisms, the things that you can see, touch, feel, get most attention and funding. But the microbes constitute the basis for life on the planet. And I was asked to come there and help lead an effort to focus research on the microbial world, and that's what I did. So there, we launched programs like studies of organisms and extreme environments and the study of micro-organisms, to understand what is out there, and to look at the variety of micro-organisms that are there and the roles that they play, and this is an outgrowth of microbial ecology; what roles do microbes play in the eco-system of the earth and catalyzing an effort to study more about, and find out what is there, and how do they work. So, in that two and half years or so I was there, I did get a lot of what I went--meant to do done, in fact, I got everything on my list to do, done, plus some, in working with other agencies. And in the process, I directed a division where the program officers would--are the ones who make decisions and recommendations about funding individual grant projects, and those program officers reported to me. And what I did was challenge those program officers to go beyond their usual funding machinations and consider, what are you really funding now? Is this ground-breaking research, or is this something unusual that's going on, or is this the same old thing and is comfortable--a comfortable rut to get into because it's easy, and you can go home and relax? So pushing them to--to look at what you're doing and can we learn more, and is there somebody with real talent in a lesser known place and space who has an idea to contribute to the body of knowledge in ways that none of the standard models apply. Why not give them a chance to get started and identify to me some of those possibilities; it may be risky, but the possibilities. And I'll ask you, why not give them a little boost and let them get started. So, that role as division director was not only just to supervise the ordinary machinations, but to stimulate thinking and stimulate better stewardship of the fields. And, so, it was--it was a exciting experience that had, I think, real impact.

Teri McClure

Corporate executive Teri McClure was born in 1963, in Kansas City, Kansas. She received her B.A. degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in marketing and economics and went on to earn her J.D. degree from Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. McClure began practicing employment and labor law in Atlanta in 1988, and then began working for the United Parcel Service in 1995, as employment counsel to the Corporate Legal Department.

McClure became vice president of operations for UPS in 1999, the year UPS became a public corporation, and then was vice president of operations for the Central Florida district in 2003. During this time, McClure managed over four thousand employees and was responsible for all aspects of package pickup and delivery in that area. She also held an assignment with UPS Supply Chain Solutions during this time, which was the period that UPS was first expanding its supply chain capacities. From 2004 to 2005 McClure served as Compliance Department Manager for UPS, in which capacity she worked to ensure that the company followed ethical and legal business practices. After that, she was quickly promoted to compliance department manager and then was promoted again to corporate legal department manager. In 2006, McClure became the first African American senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at UPS. This was at a time when only 15.7% of top corporate executives were women and only 1.6% of them were African American.

McClure has served on the board of the UPS Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the UPS Corporation. She has also served on the board of The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Junior Achievement Worldwide, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Equal Justice Works, and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. McClure served as co-chair of the Georgia Supreme Courts Committee on Civil Justice and was involved with other civic, religious, and professional organizations.

Accession Number

A2010.077

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/12/2010

Last Name

McClure

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

P.

Occupation
Schools

Loretto Academy

West Middle School

Sumner Academy of Arts and Science

Washington University in St Louis

Emory University School of Law

John F. Kennedy Elementary School

First Name

Teri

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

MCC12

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All things Through Christ, Who Strengthens Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

12/31/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak, Pasta

Short Description

Corporate executive Teri McClure (1963 - ) served as an officer of UPS from 1999, and as a board member of several charitable and professional organizations.

Employment

United Parcel Service

Ford Harrison

Smith, Currie, and Hancock

Troutman Sanders

Hallmark Cards

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Teri McClure's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Teri McClure lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Teri McClure describes her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Teri McClure describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Teri McClure remembers her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Teri McClure describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Teri McClure talks about her father's ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Teri McClure describes her parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Teri McClure describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Teri McClure recalls her early aspiration to become an attorney

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Teri McClure recalls moving to the suburbs of Kansas City, Kansas

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Teri McClure describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Teri McClure recalls her early religious experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Teri McClure describes her early extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Teri McClure reflects upon her upbringing in a predominantly white community

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Teri McClure describes her early interest in learning

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Teri McClure talks about her transition to public schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Teri McClure recalls her activities at the Sumner Academy of Arts and Science in Kansas City, Kansas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Teri McClure remembers her influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Teri McClure describes her experiences of school desegregation

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Teri McClure talks about her senior year at the Sumner Academy of Arts and Science

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Teri McClure describes her internship at the district attorney's office

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Teri McClure talks about her emphasis on education

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Teri McClure remembers her decision to attend Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Teri McClure talks about her summer work experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Teri McClure remembers her family vacations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Teri McClure describes her family's holiday traditions

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Teri McClure describes her experiences in the INROADS program

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Teri McClure remembers her high school prom and graduation party

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Teri McClure describes her experiences at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Teri McClure talks about the black community at Washington University in St. Louis

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Teri McClure remembers her parents' disinterest in politics

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Teri McClure recalls her decision to attend the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Teri McClure talks about moving to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Teri McClure describes the African American community at the Emory University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Teri McClure talks about her involvement in the Moot Court Society

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Teri McClure recalls meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Teri McClure talks about her study techniques at the Emory University School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Teri McClure talks about her law internships

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Teri McClure recalls her early experiences with labor law

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Teri McClure talks about her experiences of gender discrimination

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Teri McClure remembers her first trial

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Teri McClure talks about her experiences at Troutman Sanders LLP

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Teri McClure describes her decision to work for the United Parcel Service

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Teri McClure describes the history of the United Parcel Service

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Teri McClure recalls expanding the legal department of the United Parcel Service

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Teri McClure recalls learning about the operations of the United Parcel Service

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Teri McClure talks about her promotion to general counsel of the United Parcel Service

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Teri McClure talks about the management training process at the United Parcel Service

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Teri McClure remembers the United Parcel Service's initial public offering

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Teri McClure describes her challenges as the head of the legal department at the United Parcel Service

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Teri McClure recalls becoming a senior officer of the United Parcel Service

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Teri McClure talks about her career goals

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Teri McClure describes her role as a mentor

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Teri McClure talks about her organizational affiliations

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Teri McClure describes her daughters

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Teri McClure shares a message to future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Teri McClure reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Teri McClure describes her plans for the future

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

8$3

DATitle
Teri McClure describes her experiences of school desegregation
Teri McClure describes her challenges as the head of the legal department at the United Parcel Service
Transcript
So you get ready to go to high school. And tell me about that.$$Well, at that point in time, as I mentioned before, Kansas was going through a desegregation plan. They were under a desegregation order. And at that time there was only, there was one predominantly, well, solely black high school. And then there were only four other, three other--four other high schools in the city. And so in order to integrate, they decided to make the predominantly black school a magnet school and take the top kids from all the other schools and bus them into the inner city to this predominantly black school and try to integrate it, reverse integration, that way, instead of bussing the black kids out. And then if you weren't in the top of your class, you got bussed out to one of the other high schools. And so, you had to maintain a B average to stay in the Sumner magnet school. It was called the Sumner Academy of Arts and Science [Kansas City, Kansas]. So it was designed to be a college preparatory school, and it was starting, it was going to start in the ninth grade. And although I went there in the tenth grade, I was in the first class to enter into the school at that stage. So, we voted on the school colors. We established all the school traditions. That was for the first cheerleaders for the school, you know, the first everything for the school. And we really kind of created the foundation for this new school. And again, my parents [Donna Mitchell Plummer and Louis Plummer, Jr.] had gone to the same building, but it was Sumner High School back then, and I went back to the same building as Sumner Academy of Arts and Science.$$Okay. Now since the building was there and it was an all-black school--$$Uh-huh.$$--and now they're bringing in white kids. Do you know if there was a change in what went on in the school?$$Oh, yeah, substantially. It was interesting because--kind of in both ways. From one perspective, there was a lot of history in Sumner High School, the black school. I mean, like I said, my grandfather went there and my parents went there. All of the blacks in the community went to that high school. A lot of very successful people who have gone on to do great things went to that high school. They had a very, a very good sports program. So Sumner High School had won state championships, and regional, and district championships in sports for many, many years. So, there were just trophy cases just full of trophies from over the years. A lot of the players there had gone on to Kansas University [sic. University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas] and other universities to do well in college, and some eventually made it to the pros, as I understand. There's a lot of history in that school, a lot of strong relationships and bonds. And even to this day, they continue to have Sumner High School class reunions. The group was just very, very tight knit. They all grew up in the same community and went to the same high school. So there was a, there was a lot of, I guess disappointment that a lot of those traditions and history was kind of pushed aside in an effort to desegregate and create these new traditions. So there was a little bit of a, I guess not tension, but I guess there was a little bit of tension. It wasn't negative in any sense, but you could just tell there was this tension between the past and the future, that existed as a result of the change. In terms of the education level, it's funny. My mom just told me to this day, and we didn't realize this, but Sumner High School probably had some of the best teachers in the country, largely because--as a result of a grant or either some sort of litigation, there was a decision made many, many years back, I think this was like maybe the '50s [1950s], that paid the teachers at Sumner High School the same as white teachers in the rest of the school district. And as a result of that, they were getting some of the best teachers from all across the country who were coming to Kansas to work at Sumner High School. So I think they had a very good program there, and they, you know, graduated a number of people who did very well and went on to college. When I say there was a change, the change was they just changed the whole format of the school. It became intentionally a college preparatory school. They determined all the kids would take a foreign language for so many years. We had to study Latin in the first two years of school. We did internships our senior year in school. So it became, it was a very planned college preparatory program as opposed to the more traditional educational program that existed in the past, although the quality of education I would say was probably very good at the old Sumner High School. Again, during the time my parents were there, the time just prior to when I arrived, I'm not sure what the quality of the education was. But, you know, this college prep curriculum that they established has been very, very successful for the school, and has gotten a great deal of recognition over the years.$$Well, they had really good teachers. As you said, they paid them like they paid the white teachers?$$Uh-huh.$$This is before you came there?$$Right, right. That was like--$$Did your parents, did your mother or father ever talk about having secondhand books? Because that was a lot that was going on during that time--$$Right.$$--where they would get the books from the white schools.$$From the white schools?$$Yeah.$$You know, I've never heard them talk about that. I can't say that that was an issue one way or the other. But I never heard them talk about that, yeah.$$Okay.$Back in Atlanta [Georgia], and the person who--you take over his position. And because you had the previous experience, did it make the job a little easier, or not?$$Well, it was easier in the sense that I was working with people I already knew, very familiar with, that I'd worked with prior to going out into the district. And so, it was very much home again. It had been where I had started out with the company. It was challenging in that, again, I was now responsible for areas of law that I hadn't practiced in previously. While a large part of our legal budget was spent on labor and employment matters, we also have litigation and other areas; real estate and compliance, and all sorts of areas. And so, I was learning as well as managing other areas of the company. So it was challenging and rewarding in that respect, in that I was doing things new, and being exposed to other areas of the company.$$Okay. Were you were involved with the UPS Foundation [United Parcel Service Foundation], any part of that?$$At some point. Actually, I didn't become a trustee in the UPS Foundation until I came to the management committee, until I was promoted to the management committee. I did at that time become involved with the Annie E. Casey Foundation [Baltimore, Maryland], which is a foundation that was started by our founder, Jim Casey. Jim Casey didn't have any children when he died, so he left all of his money to a foundation which was named after his mother, Annie E. Casey. And the Annie E. Casey Foundation is a substantial foundation now, focusing on children's issues and foster care, and advancing the issues. So when I was head of the legal department I became--some members of UPS [United Parcel Service] serve on the board of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, although it's an independently run organization. And so, I was elected to the board of the Annie E. Casey Foundation as a UPS representative to the board.$$So, okay, so what year do you become manager, department manager?$$It was, would be two thousand and--$$Five [2005]?$$Two thousand five [2005] and 2006 timeframe, yeah.$$Okay. And just tell me more about what you do, or what you did, or what you hoped to accomplish in that position?$$In that position, I felt when I came into the position there were a number of really structural employee relations issues and communication issues, just as a result of a number of changes that had been made prior to me taking on the role. And so, my first responsibility was to really build a team to understand the dynamics that were in place, some of the issues that had presented problems in the past, and to sort of bring the team together and create a sense of I guess clarity as such, as to the decision making that was being done that impacted the team members, and just help them feel a greater part of the business process, and not isolate lawyers that worked for the company. So I spent a great deal of time serving in more of a management role, helping bring the legal department into the fold as part of the business, and helping them view their jobs as advocates on behalf of the business, and educating them in that regard. So, that was a large part of it at that time.

Jamala Rogers

Newspaper columnist and community organizer, Jamala Rogers was born Terry Massey on October 11, 1950 in Kansas City, Missouri to Lollie Massey and Bennett Woodward Massey. Rogers attended Phillips, Ladd and Moore Elementary Schools and graduated from Central High School in 1968. An activist at Tarkio College, Rogers was a leader of the black student organization. She also tried to join the Kansas City chapter of the Black Panther Party during the time that its leader, Pete O’Neal, was leaving the country. After earning her B.A. degree in education in 1971, Rogers relocated to St. Louis, Missouri.

Rogers helped to found the St. Louis Chapter of the Congress of African People (CAP) under the leadership of Amiri Baraka in the 1970s. There, along with Haki Madhubuti, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Jitu Weusi and others, Rogers practiced a version of Maulana Karenga’s black nationalist Kawaida Theory. She was also involved in the African Liberation Support Committee and the National Black Political Assembly. In 1980, Rogers joined Herbert Daughtry, Conrad Worrill and other black activists to form the Black United Front. The Organization for Black Struggle (OBS) was founded in St. Louis, Missouri in 1980 by Rogers and other community activists, students and union organizers to help the black working class and extol the principles of Black Power. OBS programs include community civic, youth, education and cultural arts activities from the African oriented Rowan Community Center.

In 1993, Rogers was appointed director of the City of St. Louis’ Office of Youth Development by Mayor Freeman Bosley, Jr. and fostered innovative approaches to addressing youth services . She served in that capacity until 2001. During this period, Rogers also served as chairperson of the St. Louis Black Leadership Roundtable. In 1998, Rogers joined with Angela Davis, Bill Fletcher and 2,000 other activists to form the Black Radical Congress (BRC) in Chicago. The BRC is a grassroots network focusing on civil and human rights. Rogers has served in a number of leadership capacities with the BRC, including as a coordinating committee member and as national conference coordinator. In addition to being chairperson of OBS, she is co-chair of the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression (CAPCR) and sits on numerous boards of youth and education oriented agencies. Rogers is a prolific contributor to websites and blogs and is also a featured contributing writer for The St. Louis American and an editorial board member of the Black Commentator. Her writing focuses on issues like Hurricane Katrina, the Jenna Six, police brutality and the environment. She is married to veteran civil rights activist Percy Green II.

Rogers was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 16, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.290

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/16/2007

Last Name

Rogers

Maker Category
Schools

Central Academy of Excellence

Phillips Elementary School

Ladd Elementary School

Moore Elementary School

Wendell Phillips Elementary School

Tarkio College

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Jamala

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

ROG07

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any, does better with young people

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - 0 - $500

Favorite Season

Fall

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: $200-500
Preferred Audience: Any, does better with young people

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Forward Still

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Missouri

Birth Date

10/11/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

St. Louis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Community activist and newspaper columnist Jamala Rogers (1950 - ) served as Director of the City of St. Louis’ Office of Youth Development from 1993 to 2001. She founded the Organization for Black Struggle and writes for the St. Louis American.

Employment

Kansas City Public School System

Congress of Afrikan People

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jamala Rogers's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jamala Rogers lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jamala Rogers describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jamala Rogers talks about the importance of family photographs

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jamala Rogers describes her mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jamala Rogers describes her parents' move to Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jamala Rogers describes her relationship with her paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jamala Rogers describes her great-aunt, Sadie Gibson

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jamala Rogers describes her family's education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jamala Rogers describes her likeness to her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jamala Rogers describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Jamala Rogers describes her neighborhoods in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Jamala Rogers describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jamala Rogers remembers her interest in reading

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jamala Rogers describes the black media outlets in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jamala Rogers describes her relationship with her father

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jamala Rogers describes the St. Paul Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jamala Rogers remembers her involvement as a Girl Scout

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jamala Rogers remembers her early understanding of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jamala Rogers recalls her early advocacy

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jamala Rogers describes her mother's parenting style

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jamala Rogers remembers her influences at Central High School in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Jamala Rogers describes her activities at Central High School

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Jamala Rogers recalls her aspiration to attend college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jamala Rogers remembers her conflicts with her stepfather

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jamala Rogers describes her stepfather

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jamala Rogers recalls the aftermath of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jamala Rogers remembers her college scholarship

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jamala Rogers remembers the Black Panther Party in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jamala Rogers remembers Tarkio College in Tarkio, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jamala Rogers describes her student activism at Tarkio College

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jamala Rogers describes the history of Tarkio College

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jamala Rogers talks about attending a majority-white college

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jamala Rogers recalls attending the Communiversity in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jamala Rogers talks about the black nationalist perspective

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jamala Rogers remembers student teaching at Central High School in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jamala Rogers remembers her introduction to Afro-centrism

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jamala Rogers talks about Pete O'Neal and Charlotte O'Neal

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jamala Rogers remembers her move to St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jamala Rogers describes the history of the Congress of Afrikan People

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jamala Rogers describes the changes in the Congress of Afrikan People

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jamala Rogers describes her involvement in the Congress of Afrikan People

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jamala Rogers recalls the pushback against the Congress of Afrikan People

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jamala Rogers describes communal living with the Congress of Afrikan People

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jamala Rogers describes the changes in the Congress of Afrikan People

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jamala Rogers talks about the Revolutionary Communist League

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jamala Rogers describes the white members of the Revolutionary Communist League

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jamala Rogers describes her work with the Revolutionary Communist League

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jamala Rogers describes the Organization for Black Struggle

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Jamala Rogers talks about the National Black United Front

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

4$8

DATitle
Jamala Rogers remembers her introduction to Afro-centrism
Jamala Rogers describes the Organization for Black Struggle
Transcript
(Simultaneous) Is there a, a period of time, I mean, how did, prior to the late '60s [1960s], if you called somebody an African American, an African, you had a fight and they'd be mad at you, you called them black, there'd be a fight. There's a, w- when did you start actually learning something about Africa as such? I mean, where would you--$$I would say I was in, in college.$$Okay.$$I was in college.$$Can you remember a first time or that you heard anything about it or--$$No, I can't--$$--first time you wore anything African or--$$--nah, I can't but I remember after that freshman year it was totally solidified. So, 'cause initially, I stopped pressing my hair but I didn't have an Afro, I just stopped pressing it. And then by, I think, probably after that first year, I did, I did the Afro. And then, you know, during that period of time, we were, you know, dealing with, you know, love Africa, Mother Africa, you know, that's our homeland. And so, you know, started wearing African clothes, yeah.$$Okay, because I think it's--yeah (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) But by the time I graduated, I was actually wearing African clothes every day not like for event purposes but that was a part of who I was and who I wanted to be. So when I'm photographed, you know, there's a picture in the yearbook when I was working with the kids on the yearbook staff, that I'm in full-like, you know African clothes and I'm in the center of the picture and everybody else is sort of on this, going down the steps and so I'm at the top with this big old 'fro and these African clothes. So it, it, you know, I'm sure I shook up some people there at the high school [Central High School; Central Academy of Excellence, Kansas City, Missouri].$$So, were there any other teachers (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Wondering like, who is this person? Or what is she about or what's she teaching those kids and is she teaching them that black stuff and, you know, but, you know, I, I would, I had like special relationships with the kids in terms of doing things for them that they obviously had an interest in but had nobody to cultivate it so like there were a couple of students in there that were really into poetry so they would write stuff and let me look at it and critique it and stuff and I remember one child, I don't know how I got into this, but I ended up teaching her how to drive (makes sound). So I, you know, I had personal relationships with them outside of the classroom but we definitely did a lot of, you know, traditional things but trying to add like some, some flavor of who you are and what you need to be about and that kind of thing, so.$$But, but who, I guess I'm trying to figure out like who, who did you learn any of this from? You know, you're coming from, you go to Tarkio College [Tarkio, Missouri], who on campus was talking about wearing African clothes or naturals or how did you all get it (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well, one of the brothers, well, two, two or three people that I recall 'cause some of these folks were coming from bigger cities. I mean, so they were already, definitely into it like from D.C. [Washington, D.C.], a couple of people from Chicago [Illinois], folks from St. Louis [Missouri], so they were a little bit more advanced, just in terms of, you know, already doing this stuff, the communities doing it and one of the brothers that would actually take us back to the Communiversity, you know, that was a part of what they was doing so all of that was being sort of dealt with by peers and so, you know, and then we would like try to find out more of what was going on, get, you know, news articles. I mean, we didn't have the Internet then, obviously, but, you know, just trying to stay in communication, reading black newspapers and kind of seeing how other people were doing things. So it really was like just a learning thing say like, what does it mean to be black right now? Okay. Ooh, they're wearing that, you know. The black light, we need some fluorescent lights, you know, so you know, you just try to just mimic, you know, what it means to be a conscious black person and all of us we would go to different places, everybody was doing the same thing, listening to Coltrane [John Coltrane] and, and black light, you know, at the parties. So, so I think it was just really just trying to figure out what identity, what we really wanted to, to be and, and having the influence of peers 'cause I really don't recall, other than like the Communiversity, getting that kind of identity nurturing from anybody and certainly I didn't get it in Kansas City [Kansas], you know. So, I, I think it was really peer based and then, you know, whatever folks were learning in their cities and talking about what was going on, sort of just brought that into the fold.$Now how is Organization for Black Struggle [St. Louis, Missouri] different from the, what was it in '79 [1979], in '80 [1980], the, was it the Revolutionary Communist League or--$$Oh, it's, it's completely different 'cause it's a mass-based organization. There ma- there's a couple of us who are, you know, Socialist or Socialist leaning but basically it's, it's a mass-based organization from, you know, students to, you know, professionals, but it's basically working class organization.$$Okay. So, the, are the same people in it, that are in, they were in the Revolutionary Communist League or--$$No, the only, the only two that probably are remaining is myself and Brother Kalimu Endesha and we both played leading roles in the Congress of Afrikan People and so, you know, I think part of coming out of the Congress of Afrikan People and still seeing that there was a need to have a primarily black organization even though you are a Socialist, you know, or a Communist, was still, was still a valid demand. And so, that, I think that's one of the reasons that, that this group was founded, the Organization for Black Struggle, 'cause, you know, you had the period coming out of the '60s [1960s], the Black Power movement and then there was that lull, you know, because black organizations were being attacked, folks were, you know, ran out of the country, they were killed and so for like the '70s [1970s], there was just a lot of misguided things going on and, and people sort of trying to figure out where do we go from here and quite, you know, frankly, some people disillusioned by even the, the Communist movement, the new Communist movement. So, so, you know, we were part of a group that, that establishes but all of them were not Socialist on, neither were they all left, they were, you know, some of the progressive folks who wanted to set up something for black people to address the issues 'cause when we looked around, we saw that, you know, there was not a whole lot of groups that were addressing the issues of working class black people and you had the Urban League [National Urban League] and you had the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] and that was about it and, you know, they had their limitations. And so, so we became that, we filled that void here in St. Louis [Missouri].$$Okay, so when did the or- the Organization for Black Struggle start?$$Nineteen eighty [1980].