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James E. Payne

Lawyer James E. Payne was born on March 3, 1968 in Port Arthur, Texas to James C. Payne and Jessie Payne. He attended Port Arthur Lincoln High School in Port Arthur, where he played on the basketball team, winning the 1986 UIL Championship game. He then earned his B.S. degree in political science with honors from the University of Houston in 1989. He earned his J.D. degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 1993.

Payne interned for Florida Congressman William Lehman in 1989. In 1993, Payne was hired as an associate lawyer at Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. Wanting to gain more trial experience, he left the firm to join the Provost Umphrey Law Firm, L.L.P. There, Payne practiced products liability, industrial work site accidents, automobile accident, and premises liability law. He was certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and as a civil trial advocate and a pretrial practice advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. In one of his more high profile cases, Matthews Smith et al. v. Star Enterprise et al., Payne argued on behalf of 250 plaintiffs against Texaco’s discriminatory employee practices. The plaintiffs received a $9 million settlement. This case, along with a number of others, allowed Payne to become a certified member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In addition to his legal work, he served as a youth minister at Cathedral of Faith Baptist Church in Beaumont, Texas, where he organized the Sunday school program R.E.A.L. School for Young Adults.

Payne was featured on the “Texas Super Lawyers” list by Thomson Reuters in 2003, continuing to make appearances on the list for many years. He was also named one of their “Top 100: Houston Super Lawyers” in 2013. Payne was featured on the US News and World Report “Best Lawyer” list from 2006 to 2017. He also organized “The Buy 90 Campaign for BOBs (Black Operated Businesses)” in Southeast Texas. A life member of the NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Payne served as Grand Sire/national President of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.

Payne and his wife, Tracie Yvonne Wilson, have three children: Taryn, Joshua and Caleb.

James E. Payne was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 3, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.140

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/3/2016

Last Name

Payne

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

E.

Occupation
Schools

Franklin Elementary School

Memorial High School

Woodrow Wilson Early College High School

University of Houston

University of Houston Law Center

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Port Arthur

HM ID

PAY08

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere He Can Golf

Favorite Quote

I Play To Win.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

3/3/1968

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak, Rice

Short Description

Lawyer James E. Payne (1968 - ) worked as a personal injury lawyer for Provost Umphrey Law Firm, L.L.P. since 1995, and successfully argued a $9 million settlement in the case of Matthews Smith et al. v. Star Enterprise et al.

Employment

Dairy Queen

University of Houston

Congressman William Lehmont

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Provost Umphrey Law Firm LLP

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James E. Payne's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James E. Payne lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James E. Payne describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James E. Payne talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James E. Payne describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James E. Payne describes his father's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James E. Payne recalls how his parents met

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

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James E. Payne lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James E. Payne describes his early community in Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James E. Payne describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - James E. Payne talks about the racial demographics of Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - James E. Payne describes his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James E. Payne remembers being injured by a television explosion

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James E. Payne recalls his family's lawsuit against Magnavox

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James E. Payne describes the result of the lawsuit

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James E. Payne talks about lawyer Thomas A. Peterson's influence on his decision to practice law

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James E. Payne remembers playing basketball at Abraham Lincoln High School in Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James E. Payne describes his basketball team's training regime

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James E. Payne recalls the racial discrimination faced by the basketball team

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James E. Payne describes his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James E. Payne recalls his favorite teachers at Abraham Lincoln High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James E. Payne recalls his early interest in pursuing law

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James E. Payne remembers playing basketball at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James E. Payne recalls being chosen for a congressional internship

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James E. Payne remembers the death of his father

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James E. Payne describes his internship with Congressman William Lehman

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James E. Payne recalls his decision to attended University of Houston Law Center in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James E. Payne describes his organizational involvement in college

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James E. Payne talks about his experience with police brutality

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - James E. Payne recalls the results of the Rodney King trial

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - James E. Payne describes the racial demographics of his law class

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - James E. Payne remembers racial discrimination from his law school professors

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James E. Payne describes his involvement in moot court competitions

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James E. Payne recalls his first impressions of Vinson and Elkins LLP

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James E. Payne remembers leaving Vinson and Elkins LLP for Provost Umphrey LLP in Beaumont, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James E. Payne recalls being underestimated in court because of his race situations

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James E. Payne remembers the Matthews Smith, et al. v. Texaco, Inc., et al. discrimination case

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James E. Payne recalls results of the Matthews Smith, et al. v. Texaco, Inc., et al. trial

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James E. Payne talks about his board certifications

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James E. Payne describes the role of race in his representation of clients

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - James E. Payne talks about discriminatory practices in jury removal challenges

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - James E. Payne describes his bar association memberships

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James E. Payne describes the Buy 90 Campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James E. Payne recalls the public response to the Buy 90 Program

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James E. Payne talks about the impact of integration on black businesses, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James E. Payne talks about the impact of integration on black businesses, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James E. Payne recalls meeting and marrying his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James E. Payne remembers the formation of CUSH Magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James E. Payne shares his thoughts on prejudice and racial bias

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James E. Payne talks about his reasons for ending the distribution of CUSH Magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James E. Payne describes Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - James E. Payne talks about influential members of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James E. Payne describes the differences between Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and other organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James E. Payne talks about Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity's philanthropic approach

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James E. Payne remembers being elected as grand sire of the Boule

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James E. Payne recalls his accomplishments as grand sire of the Boule, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James E. Payne recalls his accomplishments as grand sire of the Boule, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James E. Payne shares his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James E. Payne talks about his youth ministry

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James E. Payne describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - James E. Payne reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James E. Payne describes his family

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James E. Payne talks about his personal philosophy for success

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James E. Payne reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James E. Payne narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$7

DATitle
James E. Payne describes his internship with Congressman William Lehman
James E. Payne talks about his board certifications
Transcript
Okay, so tell us about that. Now you, did you like, spend like a semester there or a quarter or what was it?$$I spent the semester there, I was there in the spring of nineteen eighty- spring of 1989, I worked for Congressman Bill Lehman [William Lehman] of Dade County, Florida [Miami-Dade County, Florida]. Mickey--Congressman Lehman was, was very good at making sure that we worked for a variety of people. And, and got the real experience of, of, of congressional interns, he didn't want us to come up there and be pages. Which is you know just going around taking petitions to get signatures; he wanted us to get into the congressional mindset. And, and basically work like a legislative assistant would of worked. And so and they, he did that, I mean Congressman Bill Lehman, when I got there, I immediately did work like the legislative assistants would do. I was meeting with the constituents, I was writing letters back to his, his people within his community. I became the liaison for the Haitian African American, at that time black versus Haitian disputes with the, the Coast Guards [U.S. Coast Guard]. Back in 1989 they were deporting Haitians who were coming close to the sou- to the United States. They would, they intercept them, the congressional--the Coast Guards would intercept them and send them back to Haiti. Well of course when they intercept them, sent them back to Haiti, they would die on their way back and so there was a fight between the United States and the Haitian group as to what you should do with those Haitians that were coming over. They didn't really have anyone in my congressman's area in Dade County, Florida who speak, who could speak on that issue. And I became the person to deal with that issue with the Coast Guard and Haitians. Now I'm twenty years old, twenty-one years old I'm having to go to Edison High School [Miami Edison Senior High School, Miami, Florida] which is the high school where the Haitians and the, and the blacks were having interactions. I'm dealing with a lot of the Haitians elected officials and both I, at that time it was Ba- Baby Doc [Jean-Claude Duvalier] in, in, in authority. My congressman worked for the, he was the federa- chairman of the Federal Aviation Committee [Federal Aviation Administration] which was during the Eastern [Eastern Air Lines] strike. So we were having the Eastern strike at that time, I'm having to fly back and forth to Miami [Florida], I'm twenty years old, I understand Haitian government. I understand you know cons, the, the Coast Guard's interactions and I'm the go to person in [U.S.] Congress for Dade County, Florida. You can't ask for a better (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Probably the whole Haitian situation, you're probably the go- yeah.$$It was a great experience for me, I mean I'm, I remember flying to Marco Polo Hotel [Ramada Plaza Marco Polo Beach Resort, Miami, Florida] and I would fly back and forth you know almost every month. To meet with the Haitian officials, meet with the Coast Guards, come back and report to my congressman, here's where we are. And then when the congress of constituents would come up to meet with Congressman Lehman, I would be in the room. Because I'm the guy so although I'm twenty, I'm from Port Arthur, Texas, I, I never studied Haitian government, I'm now the go between. And it was an awesome, awesome experience for me, you know because when we, we had various bills that were put forth because I knew the bill, I would actually go to the various congress people. I remember talking with Tip O'Neill, Speaker Tip O'Neill, he called and you know I'm sitting on the phone talking to him like, "Oh my god I'm talking to Tip O'Neill" (laughter). But you know I knew the information, it was my bill, you know I wouldn't say it was my bill, but I drafted the thing. So (laughter) it was a great, great experience and, and I was coming from an area where Congressman Jack Brooks was very high in the judiciary on the, he was chairman of the judiciary committee [U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary]. And so my congressman, Congressman Bill Lehman and Congressman Jack Brooks had a good relationship. And, and because I was from Jefferson County [Texas], I could always go see Congressman Brooks. So he could always get me bypa- could bypass me to the people that I really need to talk to, so I start learning to play the Washington politics at twenty. Okay, I got this congressman, I got this chairman, this chairman can get me to this guy, then I can get somebody to review my bill or, or my congressman's bill. And then I figured out who the players are in Dade County, Florida that need to come up to help me sit through the congressional insight when they do the, the bill, bill review. So that I got the right players sitting at the table asking- answering the right questions, you just start playing politics. And that's the kind of experience I received at twenty years old.$$Yeah that's incredible (laughter) you think you know, it's scary too although, a twenty year old is given that kind of you know. But that's you know (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) That's Washington [D.C.].$$Yeah but, yeah we have--we often interview people that find themselves in a situation that they couldn't've imagined like just a year before. And here you are at a Dairy Queen--$$Yes.$$--flipping burgers and now you're like the Haitian go to person in Congress.$$Yes.$Tell us about--now, I have a note here that you received a NBTA certification, National Board of Trial Ad- Advocacy [National Board of Trial Advocacy], as a certified civil trial advocate. Now what does that mean and--?$$That's similar to the board certification by the Texas State board of certification [Texas Board of Legal Specialization] that means you have reached a level of excellence. You've tried a certain amount of cases and many times with Texas board of specialization you actually have to go to Austin [Texas] take another test. You'll see many times in whatever state you practice, they'll say you, you see a lawyers advertising saying, "Hey I can help you, I can help you." And then at the very bottom in real, real smart print it'll say, "Not board certified by the board of specialization." That's a requirement that says you have not reached that level of sus- specification. And I look at it like this, if you, you have a heart problem, you can go see an internal medicine or you can go see a cardiologist. You have a heart problem you go see a cardiologist 'cause they're specialized in cardiology. The same thing I see when it comes to personal injury, you can go see a lawyer, you have a personal injury. Or you can go see someone who specializes in personal injury. To me I'd go to someone who specializes. So I want to make sure I got certification and board certified because again I understand 90 percent of the lawyers are not board certified. But I need to be in that exclusive, exclusive group because if I'm gonna be competitive, I gotta se- I gotta be better. And so I made sure I was board certified not only personal injury, the national trial advocacy. I have board certification in civil trial, and then also have national board certification by civil trial of national board certification in pretrial litigation.$$Okay.$$So--$$Now all of this, in 2003 you're identified as a Texas Super Lawyer now what does this mean?$$That is a very, that was probably one of the biggest honors I've received since I've been practicing in that you are nominated by your peers. The lawyers in Texas decide who they recognize as the top 5 percent lawyers in the State of Texas. That is not something that you can buy into, they nominate and I have been recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer since nine- 2003, which is when they started Texas Super Lawyer. And I've been recognized every since, and in 2003 I'm not sure but I think I was probably the only African American in the State of Texas that received that designation in 2003. And I've had that designation ever since.

Carla Harris

Investment banker and gospel singer Carla Ann Harris was born on October 28, 1962, in Port Arthur, Texas. She was raised in Jacksonville, Florida. Harris began singing at an early age, and by the time she was thirteen years old, she was singing in both Catholic and Baptist choirs. After high school graduation, Harris left Jacksonville and entered Harvard University where she graduated magna cum laude with her A.B. degree in economics and received her M.A. degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. While at Harvard, she sang with the world renowned Radcliffe Chorale Society, the oldest women’s singing group at Harvard and in her own band called Rhythm Company.

In 1987, Harris began her career as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley in the Mergers & Acquisitions department. She has become Managing Director in Global Capital Markets for the firm. She is responsible for the structuring, marketing and execution of public and private equity financings. She is also the active chair of the firm’s Private Placement Commitment Equity Committee. And, for more than a decade, she was a senior member of the Equity Syndicate desk, where she executed such transactions as initial public offerings for UPS, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and the $3.2 billion common stock transaction for Immunex Corporation, the largest biotechnology follow-on offering in U.S. history.

Harris has been named by Fortune magazine among The 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America. Black Enterprise named her one of the Top 50 African Americans on Wall Street. Essence magazine named her among The 50 Women Who are Shaping the World. Harvard’s Black Men’s Forum named her Woman of the Year in 2004.

As a gospel singer, in 2000, Harris performed a solo concert at Carnegie Hall and released her first album, Carla’s First Christmas. The album was featured on The Evening News with Dan Rather and was one of the top selling albums on Amazon.com in New York City. In 2006, Harris released her second album, entitled Joy is Waiting. She donated the proceeds to two high schools.

Accession Number

A2006.097

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/22/2006

Last Name

Harris

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Bishop Kenny High School

Harvard University

Harvard Business School

First Name

Carla

Birth City, State, Country

Port Arthur

HM ID

HAR20

Favorite Season

Christmas, Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Christ That Strengthens Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

10/28/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hamburgers

Short Description

Investment executive Carla Harris (1962 - ) is managing director in Global Capital Markets at Morgan Stanley and Company, where she has also served as a senior member of the Equity Syndicate desk and chair of the firm’s Private Placement Commitment Equity Committee. Her gospel albums include Carla's First Christmas and Joy is Waiting.

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carla Harris' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carla Harris lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carla Harris describes her mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carla Harris describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carla Harris talks about her mother's childhood community and role models

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carla Harris talks about her father's occupation and how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carla Harris talks about her paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carla Harris describes her earliest childhood memories in Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carla Harris describes the black community in Jacksonville, Florida during her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Carla Harris describes her experience in Claudezeal Alvin's bowling league in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Carla Harris talks about her teachers

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Carla Harris talks about how her mother inspired her, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carla Harris talks about how her mother inspired her, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carla Harris reflects upon how her generation has failed to pass on their sense of determination to their children

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carla Harris describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carla Harris recalls her consciousness of race in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carla Harris recalls her expanding consciousness of race at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carla Harris shares her opinions about the use of the N-word and recalls a racist experience at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carla Harris describes her decision to attend Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carla Harris describes her decision to attend Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Carla Harris recalls discovering that she could sing

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Carla Harris describes her experience in the Radcliffe Choral Society at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Carla Harris talks about how she became interested in finance at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carla Harris describes her experience on Wall Street and her decision to become an investment banker

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carla Harris talks about beginning her career at Morgan Stanley in 1987

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carla Harris talks about the importance of mentors and sponsors

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carla Harris talks about the challenges of working on Wall Street as a black woman

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carla Harris describes her experience working on UPS's IPO with Morgan Stanley in 1999

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carla Harris talks about recording her first CD and being promoted to managing director of Morgan Stanley in 1999

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carla Harris talks about her mentor, William Wright, II

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Carla Harris describes her positions at Morgan Stanley

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Carla Harris talks about the longevity of her career at Morgan Stanley

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Carla Harris describes the growing diversity of Wall Street during her career

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Carla Harris reflects on her career accolades

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Carla Harris describes her experience performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carla Harris describes her experience performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City, New York pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carla Harris reflects upon her biggest achievements

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carla Harris reflects on the importance of her faith in her personal life and business success

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carla Harris talks about the people she admires

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carla Harris talks about the lack of an organization for all African Americans on Wall Street

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carla Harris talks about her CDs and some of her organizational involvements

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carla Harris describes her hopes for her investment banking career

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Carla Harris describes her plans for her music and her book

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Carla Harris concludes her interview

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

5$12

DATitle
Carla Harris describes her experience working on UPS's IPO with Morgan Stanley in 1999
Carla Harris describes her experience performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City, New York, pt. 1
Transcript
Talk--let's talk about some of your achievements. You know, you were part of the largest acqui--was, was it the, the public--$$At the time--$$Yeah.$$At the time, it was the largest IPO [Initial Public Offering] in U.S. history and that was the IPO of United Parcel Service, UPS.$$UPS.$$Yes. And that was--I'd say that was a hallmark in my career for a number of reasons. Number one, it was the largest deal that--the largest IPO that had ever happened in the United States.$$What year was that?$$That was in 1999. Number two, it was, it was really a wonderful experience because for the first time, I had worked on a company that people knew. I mean, you--everyone knows "Brown," as they say today, "What can Brown do for you?" But there's no one that hasn't been touched by a UPS truck or hasn't seen a UPS truck, so to work with a company that, at that point, had been a ninety-two-year-old private company, it was a big deal for the company and its employees and its retirees to be coming to, to, to come to the public market, to become a public company. So it was really exciting to me just to be a part of that evolution in the company's history. The third thing, there was a wonderful management team, and a lot of the, the management teams that I've worked, worked with and worked for have been absolutely terrific. In fact, I can't think of any that haven't been, but again, maybe I was associating the warm and fuzzies of working with the UPS, with this management team. But the CEO, the CFO, and most importantly, there was a woman who was a senior woman, her name is Lea Soupata, and she's still the most senior person in the human resources area. She was the first woman that I had come in contact with at a major corporation who really had a lot of power and who I connected with right away. Now, I had worked with other women who were CEOs, but this woman's power transcended her, her title and that was--again, that was a big deal for me. And it was also an opportunity for me to work with a number of senior people within Morgan Stanley that I hadn't had a chance to work with before, that finally had a chance to really see what I could do, so that was important to me.$How did you get to Carnegie Hall [New York City, New York]?$$As the commercial says, "Practice, practice, practice." Well, I'll tell you, the, the whole Carnegie Hall process was one of divine intervention, and I believe that you get divine appointments, and especially if you're looking for them and God will speak to you through all kinds of people. June of last year [2005], I had gone to an event at The Apollo [Theater], and I'm on The Apollo Theater Foundation Board, and there was a man there, and forgive me because I'm blanking on his name. And, in fact, I just saw his poster at Carnegie Hall; and he said to me, he said--I said something about, "Yeah, one day, Carnegie Hall." And he said--and this--I had never met this man before in my life, you have to understand it, this is why I said this was divine appointment. He happened to be standing there, I happened to be standing here, we happened to start a conversation, somehow we talked--oh, I had sung that night, and he said, "Oh, you have a nice voice," blah, blah, blah. And I said, "Yeah, maybe one day Carnegie Hall." He said, "I do concerts at Carnegie Hall all the time." And I said, "Really?" He said, "Yes. I just go and I rent the hall and I just do a concert for free for my friends. I do it, every year because I'm a renowned singer, I've sung all over the world," blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And you know, I call them those cayenne pepper moments; you know, Oprah calls them the "aha moments," but for me they're the cayenne--you know, how when you have cayenne pepper, everything opens up? I thought to myself, "What if it's that easy?" I've only had that feeling one other time in my life when my pastor was giving--Monsignor Wallace Harris at St. Charles Borromeo, he was giving a sermon and he said, "Go have an extraordinary life. God intended for all of us to have extraordinary lives." And I remember sitting in the pew saying, "What if it's that easy? What if all you have to do is just decide that you're gonna have an extraordinary life?" Well, that's what happened to me that moment. I thought, "What if it's that easy? What if you just decide you're gonna give a concert at Carnegie Hall?" So I talked to him a little bit more and that's when the idea was born. And then I kept sort of chewing on it and then I went out on my friend's boat with the Monsignor and I said, "What about Carnegie Hall?" I said, "You know, I've, I've cut," by that point I had recorded my second album, and all the proceeds from the albums that I sell go to these two schools; St. Charles Borromeo up in Harlem, New York, and the other down in Bishop Kenny High School [Jacksonville, Florida], my alma mater. And I said, "But this would be a way of getting a big chunk of money to the schools instead of record by record by record." Because record by record is only a certain portion of the sales that actually go to the school. So I said--because you got distribution costs, you have all of that, so I said, "Okay. Let me think about it." And I remember feeling it in my heart, and that was the Holy Spirit said, "We can sell out. We can sell out," but I didn't know how because in the world of Gospel music right now, I'm nobody, so how could I sell out Carnegie Hall? And I started looking into it and decided I'd go talk to people at Carnegie Hall. Before you know it, I was in Zankel Hall, we got a band together, I put a show together, we sold out.

Sherman Beverly

Professor of history Sherman Beverly, Jr., was born in Port Arthur, Texas, on August 3, 1927. Beverly attended Bishop College in Texas, where he earned his B.A. in history and political science, and then attended the Chicago Teachers College to obtain teacher certification. He would later earn an M.A. from Illinois Teachers College and a Ph.D. in social studies education from Northwestern University.

After earning his bachelor's degree, Beverly began teaching adult education classes in Port Arthur in 1951 and remained there for two years. After relocating to Chicago, he began working for the Chicago Board of Education in 1957, and he would remain there for the next twelve years, with the exception of a single year off to work as an elementary teacher. In 1969, Beverly took a position with Malcolm X College in Chicago as an associate professor of history, as well as a position at Kendall College as an instructor in the African American Studies Department. He remained at Kendall for the next four years before taking a position with Union Graduate School in Cincinnati, Ohio, as a part-time consulting faculty member and a full-time position with Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. Beverly remained at Northeastern until his retirement in 1992, teaching education courses in inner-city studies social studies. Today, he is the senior consultant and owner of Making Schools Educational, Inc.

Beverly is a prolific reader, and serves on the board of the Caxton Club, a group of book collectors. He directed the Sigma Pi Phi fraternity Men of the Future program for five years, where he met with young men from the Chicago area to encourage them to develop into well-rounded citizens. He is a founder of the Bluestem Festival of Arts and Humanities and a board member of the Society for Values in Higher Education. He has written numerous articles and continues to be involved in speaking engagements on diverse topics. Beverly and his wife, Eve, live near Chicago. They have three children.

Accession Number

A2003.204

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/25/2003

Last Name

Beverly

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Bishop College

Chicago State University

Northwestern University

Memorial High School

First Name

Sherman

Birth City, State, Country

Port Arthur

HM ID

BEV02

Favorite Season

Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

Professor. Teaches non violence (Dr. King and Ghandi) North Shore Humanitarian Awardee. Historian. Retired from Northeastern Illinois U. Worked with Wayne Watson on a history of Blacks on the North Shore. Beverly taught oral history at Northeastern and has a collection of audio tapes.

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Yeah. Ok.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Washington

Birth Date

8/3/1927

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Seattle

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pork Chops

Short Description

Education consultant and education professor Sherman Beverly (1927 - ) is the senior consultant and owner of Making Schools Educational, Inc., and has had a long standing career as an educator, with eleven years of service with the Chicago Board of Education, and as a professor at Kendall College and Northeastern Illinois University.

Employment

Port Arthur Independent School District

Deerfield School District 110

Chicago Board of Education

Malcolm X College

National College of Education

Kendall College

Union Graduate School

Northeastern Illinois University

University of Illinois, Chicago

MSE, Inc.

Favorite Color

Brown, Tan

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sherman Beverly's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sherman Beverly lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sherman Beverly talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sherman Beverly talks about his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sherman Beverly describes his mother's work and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sherman Beverly describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sherman Beverly describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sherman Beverly recalls one of his earliest childhood memories, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sherman Beverly recalls one of his earliest childhood memories, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sherman Beverly describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sherman Beverly talks about some of his favorite activities growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sherman Beverly talks about his favorite teachers and school subjects growing up in Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sherman Beverly recalls the first family radio and his father's strict rules about listening to music

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sherman Beverly describes attending Rock Island Baptist Church in Port Arthur, Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sherman Beverly describes attending Rock Island Baptist Church in Port Arthur, Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sherman Beverly talks about his views on religion

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sherman Beverly describes Abraham Lincoln High School in Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sherman Beverly describes his activities at Abraham Lincoln High School in Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sherman Beverly describes Mr. Alton, his teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School in Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sherman Beverly describes his chemistry and algebra classes at Abraham Lincoln High School in Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sherman Beverly talks about his career ambitions as a student at Abraham Lincoln High School in Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sherman Beverly talks about attending Prairie View Normal and Industrial College in Prairie View, Texas before being drafted

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sherman Beverly talks about his experience in the U.S. Army Air Forces

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sherman Beverly talks about working for the Chicago Transit Authority following his graduation from Bishop College in 1954

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sherman Beverly describes his initial teaching experiences in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sherman Beverly talks about the demographics of Deerfield, Illinois in 1967

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sherman Beverly talks about teaching in Deerfield, Illinois in 1967

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sherman Beverly describes how his family came to live in Deerfield, Illinois, including its history

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sherman Beverly talks about his career experiences working at Kendall College in Evanston, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sherman Beverly talks about his career experiences working at Kendall College in Evanston, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sherman Beverly talks about Northeastern Illinois University's Center for Inner City Studies, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sherman Beverly talks about Northeastern Illinois University's Center for Inner City Studies, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sherman Beverly reflects on courses he taught at Northeastern Illinois University, including a course on the black church

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sherman Beverly describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sherman Beverly describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sherman Beverly describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 3

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sherman Beverly reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sherman Beverly describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sherman Beverly narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Sherman Beverly recalls one of his earliest childhood memories, pt. 2
Sherman Beverly talks about attending Prairie View Normal and Industrial College in Prairie View, Texas before being drafted
Transcript
You know, my mother [Katie Smart Beverly] said, "He wasn't talking to me, I'm a lady." Well, it does something to a young fellow--I think I may have been about seven or eight--it does something to know that his mother is--to know that the man was talking to her, and yet she is telling me that he wasn't, you know, and I know that it's not true that she doesn't believe that, and, you know, that kind of confuses a young fellow. Now, in retrospect, and it didn't take me long to realize what she was doing--you know, she was protecting me, and also her own dignity, you know, but that's one of the first memories I have about being directly confronted with, you know, that kind of attitude--that kind of racist attitude.$Now how did you choose Bishop College [Marshall, Texas]?$$I didn't, I went to Prairie View [Normal and Industrial College later, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas] first. I went to Prairie View first and interesting--(simultaneous)$$(Simultaneous) Prairie View is in Texas?$$Prairie View is in Texas.$$Prairie View A&M.$$Prairie View University, now. It was Prairie View AM&N at that time.$$AM&N?$$AM&N--agriculture, mechanical and normal, I guess, because that was teaching. I went to Prairie View--I-- graduated [from high school] in January '45 [1945], that's when I finished school. I didn't get my degree until June [1945] because they didn't have midterm graduations and went straight to Prairie View; in February I was in school at Prairie View. The first semester there I made the honor roll, the dean's list, the second I discovered girls and, unlike most kids where the first semester is the one where they blow, well I blew the second one and, was threatened with being kicked out or what have you. So I--the third semester I made the dean's list again which was an indication I could do it when I put my mind to it and made up my mind to do it. And then my mother called me and wrote me-yeah, she called and said that I had a draft letter and I said, "Okay." I didn't go home and she kept telling me, and I said, "Okay I'll be home for Christmas." So when I got home for the holidays, I went down to the draft board and said, "I understand you've been looking for me." They said, "What's your name," and I told them who I was, and they said, "Yes, where have you been?" I said, "I was in school; I just came here to find out if there is any need of my going back to school after the holidays." They said, "No, you're going right to the service; the first thing: smoking," those were their words. I said, "Where," they said I was going to Fort Benning, Georgia. I walked out of there and went down to the [U.S.] Army Air Force[s] [USAAF] recruiting station and volunteered for the Army Air Force. My wife [Eve Beverly] as I told her that story she said, "Well," "on the record you would be a volunteer." I said, (laughter) "That is true, but anybody that knows me, I wouldn't volunteer for the service," but that's exactly how the record shows, which says something about historiography, too--true history and that kind of thing.$$That's right, you're actually going down in history on the record as someone who (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) As a volunteer--$$Someone who took the initiative rather than as someone who had to be forced into it (simultaneous)--$$Right, I would go down in history as a volunteer, (laughter) I'm glad we're having HistoryMakers so that we can get that straight, you know. Actually, I did volunteer, and I stayed eighteen months, only eighteen months. This was in '46 [1946] when I went in and I got out in 1947 after spending eighteen months. But-- and it was in the Army Air Force, there was no independent [U.S.] Air Force at that time.