The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

city

The Honorable U. W. Clemon

Judge and state representative U.W. Clemon was born on April 9, 1943 in Fairfield, Alabama to Mose Clemon and Addie Clemon. He graduated from Westfield High School in 1961 and received his B.A. degree from Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama in 1965, and his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in 1968.

After his graduation from Miles College, Clemon was active in the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama. He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963 and helped desegregate the Birmingham Public Library. While enrolled in law school, Clemon worked part-time in the New York office of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. After receiving his J.D. degree, Clemon returned to Birmingham and joined the law firm of Adams, Burg, & Baker. In 1969, on behalf of the University of Alabama’s black student organization, Clemon brought a lawsuit against football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant to force him to recruit black athletes. In 1974, Clemon was elected to represent the 15th District in the Alabama State Senate. He was one of the first African Americans elected to the Alabama Senate since Reconstruction, and chaired the Senate Rules Committee and the Judiciary Committee. Clemon fought against Governor George Wallace’s exclusion of African American citizens from state boards and agencies, as well as his reinstatement of the death penalty. In 1977, Clemon was credited with the defeat of an effort by conservative lawmakers at the federal level to reform the Fifth Circuit Court. In 1979, Clemon’s representation of police brutality victims led to an establishment of a biracial committee to improve relations between the African American community and the police, as well as the election of Richard Arrington, Jr., the first African American mayor of Birmingham. The following year, President Jimmy Carter appointed Clemon as Alabama’s first African American federal judge. He served on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama and rose to the position of Chief Judge in 1999, a position he held until 2006. Clemon retired from the bench in 2009, after serving for twenty-nine years. Clemon then returned to his private law practice at White, Arnold, & Dowd.

Clemon and his wife, Barbara, have two children, Isaac and Michelle.

U.W. Clemon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 3, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.092

Sex

Male

Interview Date

05/03/2017

Last Name

Clemon

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

U.W.

Birth City, State, Country

Fairfield

HM ID

CLE08

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean - Mediterranean Cruises

Favorite Quote

Come my friends 'tis not too late to seek a new world ... etc. (Tennyson)

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

4/9/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweet potatoes

Short Description

Judge and state representative U.W. Clemon (1943 - ) was an Alabama State Senator and served for twenty-nine years as U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Alabama, and rose to the position of chief judge.

Favorite Color

Blue

Jennifer Lawson

Senior vice president, producer and general manager, Jennifer Karen Lawson was born on June 8, 1946 in Fairfield, Alabama. Her father Willie D. Lawson was the owner of a repair shop and her mother Velma Lawson, was a retired school teacher. She is the second of five children, Willie Dee, Frankie and James and Schuyler. Lawson attended Tuskegee University briefly before dropping out and dedicating her time to the civil rights movement. She has worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee (SNCC) and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) where she has worked on self-empowerment programs for rural women. She has also worked as deputy director for an adult education program in Mississippi’s Quitman County. Lawson eventually relocated to Washington, D.C. where she worked as art director for, Drum and Spear, a bookstore and publishing company. In 1970, Lawson moved to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania as coordinator of a joint publishing project, it was here that she decided to study film.

In 1974, Lawson graduated with her M.F.A degree from Columbia University in New York City. After graduation, Lawson worked as publicity director on a fundraising campaign for the United Church of Christ. She also worked as assistant editor for a small film company, William Greaves Productions. Lawson taught film at Brooklyn College for three years and worked as the executive director for the Film Fund, a grant making organization. In 1980, she worked as program fund coordinator for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in Washington, D.C. and attended Harvard University for an executive management program. She later became director of the Television Program Fund at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In 1989, Lawson was hired by PBS as their first chief programming executive, making her the highest ranking black woman to have served in public television. During her time at PBS she was responsible for the scheduling and promotional strategies that resulted in PBS’ most successful series, Ken Burns’, “The Civil War” and “Baseball”. Lawson also developed children’s series, “Barney and Friends”, “Lamb Chop’s Play-Along”, and “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?”

In 1995, Lawson resigned from PBS and founded Magic Box Mediaworks. Her company produced the eight part series “Africa”, in partnership with National Geographic and WNET, which was aired on PBS in 2001. In 2004, Lawson was hired by WHUT-TV at Howard University as general manager and co-produced, “Security vs. Liberty: The Other War”, for a PBS series, “American at the Crossroads”. She has been named one of “101 Most Influential People in Entertainment Today,” Entertainment Weekly, and was named to the Power 50 List by, Hollywood Reporter. Among her other awards are ones from the International Film and Video Festival, a Gold Camera Award and Cine Golden Eagle, for episodes of the “Africa” series. Lawson is married to Anthony Gittens, an arts administrator and film festival director. They have two sons, together Kai and Zac Gittens.

Jennifer Lawson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 1, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.066

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/2/2012 |and| 6/29/2012

Last Name

Lawson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Tuskegee University

Columbia University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Jennifer

Birth City, State, Country

Fairfield

HM ID

LAW03

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Herb and Sheran Wilkins Media Makers

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barcelona, Spain

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

6/8/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Paella

Short Description

Television producer Jennifer Lawson (1946 - ) Senior vice president, producer, and general manager, the highest ranking black woman to have served in public television.

Employment

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

National Council of Negro Women (NCNW)

Whitman County, Mississippi

Drum and Spear

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Government

United Church of Christ

William Green Productions

Brooklyn College

Corporation for Public Broadcasting

PBS

Magic Box Mediaworks

WHUT TV

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:2024,45:2336,50:6080,96:6860,107:7874,126:8186,131:8732,140:10604,166:21470,299:28508,369:29147,416:29502,422:30567,439:32768,490:33904,504:34401,513:34685,518:36176,541:41270,562:41718,571:44214,622:44598,630:44918,636:45174,641:48476,681:49372,689:50396,699:56208,756:65949,873:68150,924:68505,930:70706,987:76440,1030:76800,1035:80696,1063:80968,1068:82124,1090:91408,1213:91996,1221:92920,1237:93256,1242:93760,1250:102898,1333:103266,1338:104554,1360:104922,1365:105474,1373:106118,1382:110166,1422:115712,1458:119671,1489:123112,1528:126577,1546:127822,1560:128901,1574:130312,1597:130727,1603:132221,1619:132636,1625:133051,1631:135956,1668:136454,1675:141240,1689:142464,1711:142968,1720:144408,1743:146136,1776:158516,1866:163446,1888:164262,1900:166258,1914:170490,1980:173026,1992:174969,2012:175553,2021:177451,2050:178181,2067:179422,2088:180152,2103:184720,2147:186750,2190:187170,2198:189130,2241:189480,2247:190320,2261:191020,2275:196896,2313:203028,2400:205548,2463:206892,2483:208068,2503:214520,2531:216866,2578:217280,2585:221098,2609:222028,2631:223206,2659:224446,2692:227120,2719$0,0:8404,63:12616,105:19582,193:27763,305:28330,313:29059,323:29464,329:42566,481:42858,486:43150,492:55304,684:57482,715:57746,720:58010,725:59990,759:63092,795:63620,805:68490,828:71921,886:72432,894:76327,930:78949,977:91378,1138:92301,1155:95496,1212:105660,1320:106020,1326:106308,1331:107388,1351:107748,1357:112356,1451:112716,1457:114732,1497:115452,1510:119412,1578:120204,1590:128868,1653:130170,1676:130635,1682:143877,1796:147060,1815
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jennifer Lawson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jennifer Lawson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jennifer Lawson talks about where her mother grew up

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her paternal grandparents' memories of slavery

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her father's family home

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her father's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her father's work in coal mines and his entrepreneurial spirit

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her father's repair shop and his experiments

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jennifer Lawson remembers the fire at her father's repair shop and learning how to build a motor

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her parents' civic activities

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the company towns in Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jennifer Lawson talks about Phenix City and its criminal element in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her likeness to her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her family's first television

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the demographics and segregation of her childhood communities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jennifer Lawson talks about naming conventions in the South

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her siblings and family trips

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her siblings and traveling as an African American in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jennifer Lawson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Jennifer Lawson describes the role of church in her childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Jennifer Lawson describes the role of church in her childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the reading material in her childhood home

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jennifer Lawson talks about how the Emmett Till case affected her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the ethnic make-up of Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jennifer Lawson talks about starting elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jennifer Lawson talks about learning to read from her parents and her precociousness in school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jennifer Lawson discusses her favorite subjects in school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her teachers in high school and her father's eccentricity

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her father's eccentricity and creativity

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her father's influence

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her popularity and activities in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her decision to go to college

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jennifer Lawson talks about winning a scholarship to Tuskegee University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the Civil Rights Movement demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jennifer Lawson discusses her first connections to the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jennifer Lawson remembers first seeing the Imitation of Life and the dialogues about race that it triggered

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jennifer Lawson discusses why she chose Tuskegee for college and the 1963 events in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jennifer Lawson talks about becoming involved with a student activist group at Tuskegee

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jennifer Lawson talks about some of her teachers at Tuskegee

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jennifer Lawson talks about balancing college and her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the murder of one of her classmates at Tuskegee, Sammy Young, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jennifer Lawson discusses discontinuing her scholarship at Tuskegee and dedicating to the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her late father's endorsement of her decision to leave college and join the Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jennifer Lawson talks about becoming a member of SNCC and working in Gee's Bend, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jennifer Lawson talks about encouraging voter registration as a member of SNCC

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her promotion within SNCC and her move to Lowndes County

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jennifer Lawson talks about working in Lowndes County

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jennifer Lawson talks about designing billboards for SNCC and tension between North and South movements

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jennifer Lawson talks about being jailed for demonstrating and a near confrontation with the Ku Klux Klan

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Jennifer Lawson talks about Montgomery, Alabama and her promotion to the SNCC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Jennifer Lawson talks about working at the SNCC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jennifer Lawson talks about being arrested in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jennifer Lawson discusses the role of women in SNCC

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jennifer Lawson talks about Ella Baker and Bob Moses

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her departure from SNCC and her work in literacy and adult education

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jennifer Lawson talks about working in Washington, D.C. and her trip to West Africa

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the Hebrew Israelites and traveling in West Africa

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jennifer Lawson talks about returning to the United States from West Africa and moving to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jennifer Lawson talks about lecturing at the Museum of African Art

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Jennifer Lawson talks about Drum and Spear Bookstore, their Press, and working in radio

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Jennifer Lawson talks about Drum and Spear Press' books

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Jennifer Lawson discusses independent black presses, Ralph Featherstone's death, and being investigated by the FBI

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of session two of Jennifer Lawson's interview

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jennifer Lawson discusses the FBI's investigation of SNCC and being considered a subversive

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jennifer Lawson talks about whether she considered herself a subversive

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jennifer Lawson discusses the demand for African American history and the founding of Drum and Spear Press

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the publications of Drum and Spear Press

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her invitation to go to Tanzania and the Sixth Pan African Congress

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jennifer Lawson talks about Tanzania in the 1970s

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the historian, Walter Rodney

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the cultural figures in Tanzania in the 1970s

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Jennifer Lawson talks about how her experience in Tanzania inspired her to produce audiovisual media

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her return to the United States from Tanzania in 1972

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Jennifer Lawson talks about earning her MFA in Film at Columbia University, New York

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Jennifer Lawson talks about working as a film editor and at Brooklyn College

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the filmmakers that she met in New York

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Jennifer Lawson talks about working with the United Church of Christ

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Jennifer Lawson talks about working at the Public Television Station, New York

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the performance artists, filmmakers, and television hosts in New York

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the emergence of Blaxploitation and her fiction writing

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Jennifer Lawson talks about writing a script for a "B" movie, "Teammates"

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Jennifer Lawson talks about leaving "B" movies to work as the executive director of the Film Fund

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Jennifer Lawson discusses her accomplishments as executive director of the Film Fund

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her job offer from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1980

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Jennifer Lawson talks about organizations around the country that supported independent filmmaking, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Jennifer Lawson talks about organizations around the country that supported independent filmmaking, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her colleagues at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Jennifer Lawson talks about "Matter of Life and Death," "Crisis-to-Crisis," and other series she worked on

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her favorite projects in her nine years at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Jennifer Lawson talks about CPB shows that were produced at Howard University

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Jennifer Lawson talks about becoming vice president for International Public Television

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Jennifer Lawson talks about TV production in Africa

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Jennifer Lawson talks about attending International Public Television conferences around the globe

Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the distinctions between public television and state television internationally

Tape: 9 Story: 12 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the success of Sesame Street

Tape: 9 Story: 13 - Jennifer Lawson talks about news restrictions in some countries and the restructuring of PBS in 1989

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the restructuring of PBS and how it led to her job as its Chief Program Executive

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Jennifer Lawson discusses the difference between CPB and PBS

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the reception of her appointment as Chief Program Executive of PBS

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Jennifer Lawson discusses PBS's decision to discontinue voting and to appoint a sole executive, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Jennifer Lawson discusses PBS's decision to discontinue voting and to appoint a sole executive, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Jennifer Lawson talks about Ken Burns and the "The Civil War"

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Jennifer Lawson talks about "Lamb Chop's Play Along," Sherry Lewis, and children's programming

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Jennifer Lawson talks about Fred Rogers

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Jennifer Lawson talks about "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?" and "Reading Rainbow"

Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Jennifer Lawson talks about being one of the fifty most influential women in entertainment by the "Hollywood Reporter"

Tape: 10 Story: 11 - Jennifer Lawson talks about Bill Moyers

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Jennifer Lawson talks about Bill Moyers' interview with Joseph Campbell

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Jennifer Lawson discusses her controversial decision to air "Tongues Untied" by Marlon Riggs

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Jennifer Lawson talks about content regulation on television in the 1990s

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Jennifer Lawson talks about why, as a social activist, she chose to air "Tongues Untied"

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Jennifer Lawson discusses her decision to leave PBS

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Jennifer Lawson discusses leaving PBS to work on her documentary, "Africa"

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the research and preparation for her documentary, "Africa"

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Jennifer Lawson talks about securing partnerships to make the documentary, "Africa," pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Jennifer Lawson talks about securing partnerships to make the documentary, "Africa," pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 10 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the reception of the documentary, "Africa"

Tape: 11 Story: 11 - Jennifer Lawson talks about being in New York on September 11, 2001 for the "Africa" media tour

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the success of "Africa" despite 9/11

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the narration and the music for "Africa"

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her favorite moment from "Africa"

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Jennifer Lawson talks about other series on Africa and other projects from Magic Box

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Jennifer Lawson talks about transitioning WHUT of Howard University to digital, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Jennifer Lawson talks about transitioning WHUT to digital, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Jennifer Lawson talks about the programming changes she made at WHUT

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Jennifer Lawson talks about community support for WHUT

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - Jennifer Lawson talks about WHUT's support of student work and leaving WHUT in 2010

Tape: 12 Story: 10 - Jennifer Lawson talks about going back to work for CPB

Tape: 12 Story: 11 - Jennifer Lawson talks about "Nature" and the successful "Downton Abbey"

Tape: 12 Story: 12 - Jennifer Lawson discusses the future of CPB

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Jennifer Lawson talks about how she personally read all the viewer mail for WHUT

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Jennifer Lawson discusses Henry Hampton and Blackside Productions

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Jennifer Lawson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Jennifer Lawson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Jennifer Lawson talks about what she might do differently

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Jennifer Lawson talks about her family

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - Jennifer Lawson talks about how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

3$9

DAStory

8$1

DATitle
Jennifer Lawson talks about her father's eccentricity and creativity
Jennifer Lawson talks about her job offer from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1980
Transcript
Did, did his ideas embarrass you in front of your classmates sometimes?$$Yes, yes. And because everything that you had we--I just wanted a regular bicycle, you know just an--cause he--I'd wanted a bicycle and that he made a bicycle for me out of plumbing pipes. It worked, but it was the heaviest bicycle known to humankind. The thing was made out of lead pipes. I mean it was heavy as all get up. I mean now I would probably have it hanging, you know, over the sofa or something as a work of art. Same was true where he decided that, that our front yard, that the flowers looked so beautiful to him that he thought that he would make some permanent ones. So he got out his welding tools and just welded up a whole, you know, sort of slew of bed of flowers, metal flowers that then we proceeded to paint. We helped him paint them and so we had these flowers and of course the whites driving through the neighborhood would stop and want to buy them cause it was folk art. It was like folk art.$$Okay.$$But you didn't want that when you were [laughs], you just wanted to be a normal person.$$Okay. All right so, so yeah this is, yeah he was interesting.$$Yeah.$$It's an interesting thing.$$And there's an article that I have not been able to find, but in family lore they swear that there was an article about him in Life or Look Magazine. I have not been able to find any reference to it. But that he in 1945 I guess it was, apparently drove from Birmingham to Toronto and back using one gallon of gas because he had created an engine where he only needed gas to start the car. And he could really burn low grade fuels like kerosene, all you know, for the actual trip. And so they apparently did a story of Birmingham man goes to Canada on one gallon of gas, you know. And that he then did--moved towards applying for either applied for the patent for this, for this engine that he had created to do that. So as you can see, the bottom line is that my father looms large in my life because of the approach that he took towards his own life and towards encouraging us to do things. So he would, if he was going to add a room to the house, he'd say you kids design, you know, give me your thoughts about a design. And so we'd start sketching out designs. And that many cases he'd use them. So we actually had then a, a floor added to our house where--to our design. We had one room which was my room, the boys had another room in between us, in between us we had a giant playroom with skylights for our train set where you could go up under. We had the whole Lionel trains and so you had a nice, raised platform where you could then do the landscaping. I was big into the landscaping for the trains.$Okay, so this is exciting stuff here. So we're going into the early '80's [1980s] now. And so you were with the--$$I was with the Film Fund until 1980. And we continued to raise money, give grants to filmmakers. The films were award-winning films, and we gave the grants through, we had a peer review process involving other independent producers. And the work that we were doing came to the attention of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in Washington [D.C.]. The, at that time, Congress had mandated that the Corporation [Corporation for Public Broadcasting] would change its process, would alter its process and whereby its grants had been given through their board of directors. And the public had felt that that was not as transparent as it should be for an organization that, where the money was appropriated from Congress even though the Corporation itself is not a federal agency. So the Corporation, having heard about--when they talked about, well, how could we give these grants, how should we give them, people kept saying, you should do it the way the Film Fund does. So that led to, one day this group of men showing up at my doorstep at the Film Fund who then were representing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and asking if they could learn more about how we did our grant making. After that conversation, a few weeks later, I then received a job offer from CPB [Corporation for Public Broadcasting] asking if I would consider moving to Washington [D.C.] to work for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and managing their efforts with independent producers. So this was now 1980, and I thought, gee, I'd been with the Film Fund for three years. And I thought this would be interesting to take this on. So I moved to Washington in 1980 and began work that fall with CPB.

Nelvia M. Brady

Born in Fairfield, Alabama, on February 11, 1948, Nelvia Brady spent most of her life in Chicago, Illinois. Upon graduating from high school in Chicago, Brady went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she earned her B.A. degree in sociology in 1970. In 1973, Brady graduated from the University of Wisconsin with her M.S. degree in guidance and counseling, and in 1980 she earned her Ph.D. degree from Michigan State University.

After earning her master's degree, Brady went to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she spent the next five years working as the lead counselor for two local high schools and an elementary school. While working on her Ph.D. degree, Brady also worked as a research associate at Michigan State. After completing her doctorate, Brady took a job with the Educational Testing Service, working on the Chicago Public Schools for Student Desegregation Project. In 1981, Brady went to work directly for the Chicago Public Schools, first as an assistant to the associate superintendent, eventually rising to hold that position herself. In 1985, Brady went to work at the Chicago Community Trust, where she launched a $5 million education initiative, and served as the executive director of the Coleman Fund for Children and Youth. In 1988, Brady became chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago, where she was the first African American and only female to have held the post at the time.

Brady became involved in consulting in 1992, while maintaining visiting professorships at Chicago State and the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1994, Brady became senior vice president of Carrington & Carrington, an executive recruiting firm that specialized in helping Fortune 500 companies in the recruitment and placement of African Americans, Hispanics, women, and other diverse individuals, in executive positions. In 2002, Brady returned to academia part time, and left consulting behind completely in 2003, taking a post at Trinity Christian College as a professor in the business department and as director of ethnic diversity.

Brady was named by Executive Educator as one of the Top 100 School Managers in North America; she received the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Wisconsin's School of Education, and was named by Today's Chicago Woman as one of 100 Women Making a Difference. Brady also authored two books, This Mother's Daughter and 300 Pearls of Wisdom. Brady served on a number of boards of directors, including the Chicago State University Foundation and the Pullman Educational Foundation.

Accession Number

A2003.205

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

8/26/2003

Last Name

Brady-Hampton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

M.

Schools

Richard T. Crane Medical Preparatory High School

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Michigan State University

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Nelvia

Birth City, State, Country

Fairfield

HM ID

BRA03

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

published two books:

This Mother's Daughter
300+ Pearls of Wisdom

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

If you keep doing what you're doing, you're going to keep getting what you're getting.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

2/11/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Turnip, Greens (Mustard)

Short Description

Academic administrator and education administrator Nelvia M. Brady (1948 - ) She is the former senior vice president of Carrington & Carrington executive recruiters, and now teaches at Trinity Christian College.

Employment

Minneapolis Public Schools

Michigan State University

Educational Testing Service

Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Community Trust

City Colleges of Chicago

OMTE, Inc.

Chicago State University

Spertus Institute

Art Institute of Chicago

Carrington & Carrington, LTD.

Robert Morris College

Trinity Christian College

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:1078,62:2254,81:4606,143:15724,285:16116,290:23650,422:25605,450:26115,456:26540,462:26880,467:27560,477:28070,484:28665,492:30365,541:30875,547:34700,635:35465,647:36145,656:37675,679:38015,684:44930,709:45560,722:48080,802:48990,816:49900,838:50250,844:50670,852:62935,1021:63685,1034:64210,1042:64510,1048:65710,1069:66010,1074:69610,1140:72760,1205:73060,1210:73585,1220:74110,1228:75385,1248:82174,1258:82534,1264:87790,1350:88366,1359:89878,1381:90238,1387:90742,1396:91462,1408:91894,1415:92182,1420:93478,1448:94414,1463:95134,1474:99198,1487:100194,1501:101070,1517$0,0:4720,90:8160,156:8480,161:9360,173:10400,188:10800,195:11280,203:18460,244:20012,257:25890,310:26210,315:26530,320:27810,336:28290,343:29970,367:30530,375:31250,387:31970,397:32850,410:33570,420:34290,433:35090,446:36530,463:37250,473:37730,480:38050,485:38370,490:39410,505:43070,513:44084,528:44708,537:45176,545:46346,563:47048,573:47906,586:48608,596:50246,619:50714,626:51728,643:52820,667:54926,717:58630,730:58990,735:59530,743:59890,748:60520,757:61690,776:64378,787:65090,797:65891,807:68650,852:71053,880:71409,885:71765,890:93539,1121:96699,1166:97410,1177:98042,1187:99780,1220:100096,1225:106337,1336:107601,1358:108786,1383:119095,1412
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nelvia Brady interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nelvia Brady's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nelvia Brady talks about her family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nelvia Brady speaks about her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nelvia Brady speaks about her father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nelvia Brady remembers life in public housing

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nelvia Brady discusses her neighborhood surroundings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nelvia Brady describes being a little girl

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nelvia Brady tells about elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nelvia Brady discusses violence she encountered as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nelvia Brady speaks of her awards in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nelvia Brady tells how she decided on a college to attend

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nelvia Brady recounts her general experience at the University of Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nelvia Brady speaks about being involved in campus life at the University of Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nelvia Bradly talks about her marriage and various degrees and jobs

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nelvia Brady talks of her mentors in graduate school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Nelvia Brady describes why she relocated so much

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Nelvia Brady compares Chicago Public Schools to others in the country

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nelvia Brady talks about working for the Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nelvia Brady speaks of the battle to deregulate Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nelvia Brady describes the Chicago Public School desegregation plan

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nelvia Brady tells why the Chicago Public Schools desegregation plan did not fully work

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nelvia Brady discusses why she left her job with Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nelvia Brady speaks about her jobs at Chicago Community Trust and City Colleges of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nelvia Brady remembers working for City Colleges of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nelvia Brady talks about accomplishments at City Colleges of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Nelvia Brady works in independent consulting

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nelvia Brady works for Carrington & Carrington

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nelvia Brady teaches at Trinity Christian College

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nelvia Brady speaks about 'This Mother's Daughter'

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nelvia Brady's future plans

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nelvia Brady's hope and concerns for the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nelvia Brady's legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Photo - Nelvia Brady, Harold Pates and Bernetta Bush attending graduation at Kennedy-King College, Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1988-1990

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Nelvia Brady at Rockwell Gardens public housing project, Chicago, Illinois, 1961

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Nelvia Brady at Henry Horner Homes public housing project, Chicago, Illinois, 1960

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Nelvia Brady at age three, ca. 1950-1951

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Nelvia Brady in El Paso, Texas, ca. 1968-1969

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Nelvia Brady at Rockwell Gardens public housing project, Chicago, Illinois, 1966

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Nelvia Brady as a child, Chicago, Illinois, July, 1955

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Photo - Nelvia Brady's high school graduation picture from Crane Technical Preparatory High School, Chicago, Illinois, 1966

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Photo - Nelvia Brady with U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. Robert Green and an unidentified man, East Lansing, Michigan, ca. 1978-1980

Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Photo - Publicity photo of Nelvia Brady used for her book 'This Mother's Daughter,' 2000

Tape: 4 Story: 17 - Photo - Publicity photo of Nelvia Brady with her sister, Marian Carrington, ca. 1994-2002

Tape: 4 Story: 18 - Photo - Nelvia Brady with an unidentified woman at Rockwell Gardens public housing project, Chicago, Illinois, 1988-1989

Tape: 4 Story: 19 - Photo - Nelvia Brady with Julian Bond at Harold Washington College, Chicago, Illinois, 1988-1992

Tape: 4 Story: 20 - Photo - Nelvia Brady receiving her doctorate at Michigan State University graduation, East Lansing, Michigan, June 7, 1980

Tape: 4 Story: 21 - Photo - Collage of photographs of Nelvia Brady through the years compiled for her fiftieth birthday celebration, 1998

Tape: 4 Story: 22 - Photo - Nelvia Brady's first grade class photo at Washington Irving Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois, 1954-1955

Tape: 4 Story: 23 - Photo - Nelvia Brady with pianist, Ramsey Lewis, Chicago, Illinois, 1988-1989

Tape: 4 Story: 24 - Photo - Nelvia Brady with U.S. Congressman Charles Hayes and an unidentified woman, Chicago, Illinois, 1988-1992

Tape: 4 Story: 25 - Photo - Nelvia Brady with other women civic leaders, Chicago, Illinois, 1990

Tape: 4 Story: 26 - Photo - Nelvia Brady with Dr. Carol Adams, Chicago, Illinois, 1988-1992

Tape: 4 Story: 27 - Photo - Nelvia Brady with Nation of Islam leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan, ca. 1993

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

2$9

DATitle
Nelvia Brady speaks of the battle to deregulate Chicago Public Schools
Nelvia Brady works in independent consulting
Transcript
And this [the removal of members of the Chicago School Board] caused a political controversy and [journalist] Lou Palmer publicized it on the radio over and over. "We shall see in '83 [1983]." That was the beginning of--$$Um-hum. Well, I was there during the years. I was not--at that level, it would have been [Chicago Public School Superintendent] Ruth Love who, was in the mix of all of those politics. But I was certainly there. I was out there going from school to school talking about the deseg [desegregation] plan. I was out there when Bogan [High School, Chicago, Illinois], when they demonstrated against us and when people were throwing things at us. And the hate mail that we got.$$Well, what was the message, you think [Chicago Mayor] Jane Byrne was giving people--working on the desegregation plan, and in fact the whole city by appointing two anti-desegregation--I mean anti-desegregationists to the school board?$$Um-hum. Yeah.$$What did you think the message was, what she was saying?$$Well, I think it was exactly that, that she was not for this desegregation effort, but we had a court order. And we had to be responsive to that no matter what Jane Byrne was saying. And at that time, the schools were not run by the mayor, at least technically, they weren't run by the mayor. So we had, school deseg plan. We had an external consultant. We had a judge that was involved in making sure that all this got done with timetables and everything else. So we really had to keep going. So.$Well, what did you do next, when you left City Colleges [Chicago, Illinois]?$$When I left City Colleges, I sort of played around for a little while and did some independent consulting and then I went to work for Carrington & Carrington [Ltd.], which was an interesting new move for me because it allowed me to work with adults who were highly accomplished adults and placing them in, in strategic positions in corporate America. So Carrington & Carrington is an executive search firm that specializes in placing minorities and women in senior, very senior-level executive positions in corporate America. So I came in really just to help the family a little bit and doing, thinking of doing it for a short period of time. And I just fell in love with the work. It just--it combined a number of different things that I had done. It allowed me to do research. It allowed me to work with people. It allowed me to sort of use my, my counseling and career-building skills. And also it paid well. So I came in and built me a practice. I built a million dollar business with Carrington over that period of time. So, I started out specializing in education. That lasted for about six months. And I realized that the real money was to be made in corporate America. So I expanded and opened up and developed a client base, primarily Midwest, had a lot of clients in Minnesota and Ohio, in Michigan, yeah. So.