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

James F. Blue, III

Producer James F. Blue III was born on August 5, 1969 in Durham, North Carolina to James F. Blue, Jr. and Addie L. Walls. In 1991, Blue received his B.A. degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

In 1991, Blue was hired by NBC News as an editorial producer and guest booker for The Today Show. Two years later, he served as a field producer for a primetime magazine show at NBC News. In 1994, he was hired as a Nightline producer for ABC News in London, United Kingdom. During his twelve year career with Nightline, Blue produced stories on the Oklahoma City Bombing, the 1996 presidential elections, colorism within the Black community, and the auction of the estate of Jackie Kennedy. In 2006, he joined Discovery Communications as a producer with the Koppel Unit. The same year, Blue’s debut documentary for Discovery, Iran – Most Dangerous Nation, won the national Emmy Award for best long-form program. In 2008, Blue founded Public Affairs Media Group, Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland. He went on to serve as executive producer at BET Networks in 2011, where he produced the documentary "Michelle Obama on a Mission: Impact Africa." In 2013, Blue was appointed as the Washington Bureau Chief and White House Correspondent by ARISE News. In 2015, Blue joined PBS NewsHour as the senior content and special senior producer.

Blue served on the advisory board of The Samaritan Community beginning in 2008. In 2009, he was elected to the board of trustees of the Maryland Institute College of Art and the board of overseers of the Baltimore School for the Arts. In 2013, Blue became a member of the board of trustees of the Princeton Alumni Weekly. He was a member of the Overseas Press Club, the National Association of Black Journalists, and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

Blue has won every major broadcast journalism award including eight national Emmy Awards, two Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards, and two Overseas Press Club Awards. In 2012, he received the NABJ Award for Overall Excellence. Blue was also twice a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.

Blue and his husband have two children: Alden and Effie.

James F. Blue III was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 13, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.070

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/18/2019

Last Name

Blue

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

F.

Schools

Princeton University

First Name

James

HM ID

BLU03

Favorite Season

Autumn

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard and Cape Town, South Africa

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Favorite Food

Shrimp from Nancy's

Short Description

Producer James F. Blue, III (1969- ) served as a producer for NBC News, ABC News in London, and BET Networks before becoming the senior content and special senior producer at PBS News in 2015.

Employment

NBC News

ABC News

Discovery Communications

Public Affairs Media Group, Inc.

Black Entertainment Television

ARISE News

PBS NewsHour

Favorite Color

Purple

Marquita Pool-Eckert

Journalist and Senior Producer at CBS News, Marquita Jones Pool-Eckert was born on February 19, 1945, in Aurora, Illinois, to Jeanne Boger Jones and Mark E. Jones. She received her B.S. degree from Boston University in 1966 and her M.A. degree in journalism from Columbia University in 1969. Pool-Eckert began her career at WABC-TV in New York as producer from 1970 to 1974. From 1974 to 1975, she worked as a producer for WNET/l3 Public TV and moved to CBS News as an associate producer in 1975. Pool-Eckert functioned as a producer there from 1984 to 1990, and became senior producer of Sunday Morning in 1990. She sat on the board of directors of Nzingha Society Incorporated from 1976 to 1989, and served as its president from 1976 to 1985. She has been a member of the New York Association of Black Journalists since 1985; the Women’s Media Group since 1986; and has been on the board of directors of New York Women in Film since 1994. From 1994 until 1998, Pool-Eckert sat on the board of directors of the Frederick Douglas Creative Arts Center. She has been member Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Friends of New York’s Museum of Modem Art since 1995. She is the Metro-Manhattan chairperson of The Links Incorporated.

Pool-Eckert’s honors and awards include Emmys for producing the segments “The Bombing of Beirut” and “The Vanishing Family - Crisis in Black America” in 1983. Dollars and Sense magazine named her one of the 100 Top Professional Black Women in 1986. She received a National Monitor Award in 1988 and an International Monitor Award for “80s Remembered” in 1990. Norfolk State University presented her with a Career Achievement Award in 1996, and she received a Black Career Women Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. Pool-Eckert received additional production Emmys for “Racism” in 1986; “Pan Am 103 Crash” in 1988; and “Diana, Princess of Wales,” a CBS Sunday Morning piece, in 1998. She received the Muse Award from New York Women In Film and Television in 1999. Pool-Eckert married Knut Eckert on May 21, 1988.

Pool-Eckert was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 29, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.211

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/29/2005 |and| 9/12/2005

Last Name

Pool-Eckert

Maker Category
Schools

George Howland Elementary School

St. Edmund's Episcopal School

William Penn Elementary School

Kenwood Academy

Hyde Park Academy High School

Boston University

Columbia University

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

First Name

Marquita

Birth City, State, Country

Aurora

HM ID

POO01

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

College Students, Especially journalism students

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $500 - $1,000

Favorite Season

Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: Travel Expenses
Preferred Audience: College Students, Especially journalism students

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Idlewild, Michigan, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

It Is All Too Much.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

2/19/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens, Ribs

Short Description

Television news producer Marquita Pool-Eckert (1945 - ) produced the CBS Evening News and CBS Sunday Morning. Pool-Eckert's production work has been honored with several Emmy Awards.

Employment

CBS News Corporation

Chicago City Hall

Chicago Tribune

Time Life Magazine

ABC

WABC-TV

Public Broadcasting Service (U.S.)

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:2815,33:3763,49:5343,79:6291,95:8740,152:12137,270:20274,525:21854,570:22881,586:25883,752:36570,830:36890,835:40890,912:42330,945:44570,975:61757,1078:62072,1084:62891,1102:67247,1194:75251,1353:79253,1439:79775,1446:80471,1456:80819,1461:87805,1526:91258,1592:91638,1598:100378,1833:116070,1987:116314,1992:116558,1997:116802,2002:120698,2062:121274,2072:121530,2077:145414,2374:148257,2400:148652,2406:151720,2432:151988,2451:153864,2533:163019,2641:170962,2717:185422,2914:186578,2936:191130,2952:193650,2991:194010,2997:194514,3005:194802,3010:201388,3100:208600,3174:213969,3280:214334,3286:215283,3303:216159,3318:216889,3332:217473,3342:217765,3347:222628,3411:225440,3480:225744,3485:239032,3868:242950,3886$0,0:234,8:2652,100:3042,106:4056,122:14690,242:15194,251:15642,259:20720,376:21020,381:21395,390:25146,429:33490,613:33774,648:48058,813:49210,836:49570,842:50002,850:51514,903:54610,1008:57490,1106:59146,1141:71892,1205:73564,1256:74324,1267:81250,1369:81754,1381:82342,1391:87130,1515:88894,1637:100222,1761:101582,1790:102670,1866:105390,1919:116085,1982:116701,1993:117009,1998:118472,2027:121970,2057:122370,2062:122770,2068:130085,2127:132764,2215:133172,2220:137762,2291:144080,2389
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marquita Pool-Eckert's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marquita Pool-Eckert lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her maternal grandfather's medical practice

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her maternal grandparents' family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her mother's personality and education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her father's service in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marquita Pool-Eckert recalls her father's involvement in Chicago politics

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marquita Pool-Eckert recalls her father's appointment to circuit court judge

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes racial tensions during her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her father's side of the family

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her family in Washington, D.C. in the 1920s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her notable ancestors

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her family trips to Idlewild, Michigan, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her family trips to Idlewild, Michigan, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her early education

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her time at William Penn Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marquita Pool-Eckert reflects upon her sense of racial identity growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marquita Pool-Eckert recalls her time at St. Edmund School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her high school activities

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marquita Pool-Eckert remembers the Links Cotillion, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marquita Pool-Eckert remembers the Links Cotillion, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her father's love of tennis

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marquita Pool-Eckert talks about African American tennis clubs

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes the importance of the Links and Jack and Jill

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes the discrimination her grandfather faced

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marquita Pool-Eckert reflects upon continued discrimination against the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marquita Pool-Eckert remembers her experiences at Boston University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her social life at Boston University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marquita Pool-Eckert recalls working at Chicago City Hall and the Chicago Tribune

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her early civil rights activities

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marquita Pool-Eckert recalls her decision to move to New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marquita Pool-Eckert remembers searching for a job in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marquita Pool-Eckert remembers attending Columbia University while working at Time Life

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her growing interest in broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her work at ABC

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marquita Pool-Eckert recalls her work at WABC-TV

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Marquita Pool-Eckert remembers covering Angela Davis' arrest on the TV show 'Like It Is,' pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Marquita Pool-Eckert remembers covering Angela Davis' arrest on the TV show 'Like It Is,' pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Marquita Pool-Eckert remembers being questioned by the FBI at New York City's WABC-TV

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her time at PBS

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her career at PBS and CBS

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Marquita Pool-Eckert recalls her work on 'CBS This Morning' and 'CBS Evening News'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Marquita Pool-Eckert recalls challenges at CBS

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her Emmy-award winning segments on CBS

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Marquita Pool-Eckert's interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes New Orleans' African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Marquita Pool-Eckert reflects upon the U.S. presidential election in 2000 and the Rodney King incident

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Marquita Pool-Eckert talks about Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Marquita Pool-Eckert recalls HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Marquita Pool-Eckert recalls HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Marquita Pool-Eckert recalls the controversy surrounding HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Marquita Pool-Eckert details correspondents' roles during presidential elections

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Marquita Pool-Eckert remembers covering the African Famine in Sudan in 1984

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Marquita Pool-Eckert recalls trying to interview John Garang in Kenya

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes the relief camps in Sudan

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Marquita Pool-Eckert recalls her work on the 'CBS Evening News'

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes how she was treated as a woman in Africa

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Marquita Pool-Eckert remembers the market in Suakin, Sudan

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Marquita Pool-Eckert remembers her breast cancer diagnosis

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Marquita Pool-Eckert talks about African Americans in television, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Marquita Pool-Eckert talks about African Americans in television, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Marquita Pool-Eckert talks about the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes the importance of internships

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Marquita Pool-Eckert reflects upon her life

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Marquita Pool-Eckert describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Marquita Pool-Eckert narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

5$2

DATitle
Marquita Pool-Eckert describes her work at ABC
Marquita Pool-Eckert remembers being questioned by the FBI at New York City's WABC-TV
Transcript
As a result of the riots, the TV stations needed people to cover them and like that. So, they started, you know, hiring people. So, when I got out of college, I guess that was '68 [1968] with King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.], so, it--and, so, when I got of college, BU [Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts], no, sorry, when I got of Columbia [Columbia University, New York, New York] in '69 [1969], I graduated in '69 [1969], and then I started looking around. It was like word of mouth, you know. It was like, okay, they're looking for--they have a black show over here. PBS [Public Broadcasting Service] is starting a black show. CBS--ABC is starting a black show. They're looking for people. And, the publicity department is looking for somebody, you know. I don't know, I don't know how I knew but, I went there and I worked. But, it was word of mouth, you know, it was just like a networking thing. You'd call up people, hello, I'm working, I don't know, but, you know, so and so told me to call you 'cause, you know. And, so, I, I got a job in their network publicity department [at ABC]. So, I was the press rep for the soaps. One of the press reps for the soaps. Had to put out these press releases, today, you know, on 'One Life to Live,' blah, blah, blah (laughter).$$(Laughter).$$Well, you know, and, and I was joining the union, and that was a good thing 'cause it was a union job. But, all the people around me were tired and burnt out, you know, they were, they didn't like their jobs. And, they lived for the year when they could go to the big press junket thing and all that. But, I couldn't go 'cause I was too low on the totem pole, and I wasn't sure I wanted to go anyway. I mean, I wanted to go but, you know. I was very sensitive to, you know, I was at the point where people would be making passes at me and stuff like that. And, you had to be like very discreet about saying no, and all this so. And, so, one day I get a call that they were looking for an associate producer, an assistant producer or something like that for this show called 'Like It Is.'$$'Like It Is'?$$Yeah. And, and ABC was kind of the WABC news division [WABC-TV, New York, New York] and, so. But, the only thing was, it was local and not network, you know, ABC. And, it was a per diem job not a staff job, and not union. So, and it was less money. So, I had to think what I wanted to do about that. But, I just decided that I would take the job because that's what I wanted to do. And, so, I went over there and interviewed and everything, a small little staff, black staff. We were in a room about this big, four desks. And, I got that job. And, I stayed there for a long time. I was per diem for four years. And, ultimately, I ended up producing the show in the end, you know, just at the very end for a few months. But, in between there I also, I worked, I worked there for a while and then I--I don't know why I left there. I think I left there because they hired a guy--they brought somebody in over me, who was a guy, who hadn't--didn't have the experience I did and, he was idiot, I thought. And, you know, and he was over me. And, I wasn't making mon- you know, like this is ridiculous. So, I left.$$But, before you talk about leaving, did the content on the show have any impact on your life outside of the show?$$Well--$$Because, 'Like It Is' was it like, I mean, 'Like It Is' is still around today.$$Yeah.$$Was it the same sort of--?$$Yeah--$$--program?$$--only more so.$$Only more so. Okay.$$Yeah. Because we, I think we had more money in those days (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So, it was still Gil Noble?$$Yeah, it was still Gil Noble. We had more money in those days, you know, and we could do anything we wanted to. They just didn't wanna hear from us, you know. We were always getting--doing things, agitating.$I mean, things happened to us [at WABC-TV, New York, New York], you know. And, I remember learning about standing up and telling our stories. I said, well, this is what we, you know, we're here to do. And, you know, I remember one time the Internal Revenue Service [IRS] came. We had Stokely Carmichael [Kwame Ture] on the show ['Like It Is']. And, one day, a few--like a week later or something, these guys showed up in the office and flashed their badges, FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation]. And, they wanted to see--I was in charge of paying, I'd pay the bills among other things. I did everything on that show. I did, I learned to do everything. And, one of the things I did was I paid guest. So, I realize now they were trying to get him--after Stokely on--he was living in Africa, anyway. But, they wanted to see the forms that we used to pay him. I don't know if they wanted to see where he was--I don't know what they were--look, they just wanted to see the forms. You know, which had everything, social security number, the address that the checks went to, where he went, you know, like that. They wanted to see all that. And, I wouldn't let them see it. And, you know, I mean, they went past the guards, they went past the news director's office, they went straight through the newsroom. They're in the back (laughter), you know, these guy came in and they were basically kinds of menacing and threatening, you know. And, they wanted to see, and I wouldn't let 'em see it. And, I was said, why, what did they do? "Well, we just wanna see." Well, what is it you wanna see, well, you know? They couldn't, they weren't--I don't know what they wanted to see. And, they were on a fishing expedition basically. You know, they knew where he was. He was in the country. He knew, they knew where every--he knew they knew that. So, what were they--what did they wanna see? And, then they, they said, "Well, and what's your name, and what's your--." I mean, then they were getting like personally intimidating, you know. And, they said, well, I forget what they said, but it was sort of implying that they were gonna look into my--and, I said, well, fine. Go ahead. And, they, they left their cards in case there was anything we thought of that we wanted to tell them. Only, you know, I don't know, I never heard any more, I never heard or saw them again.

Paul Mason

Paul Stanley Mason was born on September 14, 1955, in Cleveland, Ohio. Mason’s mother worked as a social worker and his father, a former Tuskegee Airman, was a dentist; his was the first black family in the Shaker Heights community where he grew up. In 1973, as senior class president, Mason graduated from Shaker Heights High School, where he played football and baseball and sang for the choir.

Mason attended Wesleyan University, earning his B.A. degree in classical civilization in 1977. During his senior year, Mason spent a semester studying abroad in Italy. Mason taught high school English at Friends Academy, where he also coached the basketball and football teams. Mason earned his masters degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in 1981; that same year, he received a fellowship to study the race riots in London, England. This assignment helped Mason land his first job with ABC News, working on the assignment desk and as an off-air reporter for the network.

After serving as operations producer for Good Morning America, Mason joined the Miami bureau of ABC in 1986, working as a field producer. In 1989, Mason was assigned to World News Tonight and later became the Miami-based producer for ABC News Primetime Live. In 1998, Mason joined the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley, teaching at the Graduate School of Journalism while continuing to produce segments for 20/20 and Primetime Live. Mason then went on to serve as executive producer of Monday editions of Primetime Live and executive producer of World News Tonight Saturday and Sunday. In the latter capacity, Mason was responsible for the editorial content and production of the weekend evening news broadcasts.

In 2004, Mason was promoted to senior vice president of ABC News with day-to-day responsibility for Nightline, This Week, ABC News Radio, World News Now, World News This Morning and Good Morning America’s news inserts. Additionally, Mason oversaw the network’s coverage of both political conventions and general elections.

Mason has received numerous awards and honors, including an NAACP Image Award and several Emmy nominations.

Accession Number

A2005.038

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/4/2005

Last Name

Mason

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Shaker Heights High School

Ludlow School

Woodbury Elementary School

Wesleyan University

Columbia University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Paul

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

MAS04

Favorite Season

April

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Rome, Italy

Favorite Quote

Everybody Got A Man. I Got You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/14/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Asparagus

Short Description

Journalism professor, media executive, and television news producer Paul Mason (1955 - ) was the senior vice president of ABC News and served as a professor of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Employment

Friends Academy

ABC

ABC News- Nightline

University of California, Berkeley

ABC News

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:9393,90:10044,102:10509,113:11346,118:13113,133:18600,227:48054,629:56437,765:67345,866:81930,1051:82420,1057:82770,1064:83120,1070:88020,1167:102872,1471:103712,1482:104384,1491:118138,1712:119428,1735:121750,1772:128372,1883:129490,1925:138778,2082:142648,2123:185510,2712$0,0:282,9:5546,134:5922,139:10075,204:10726,218:21514,514:38190,665:40280,765:48355,941:51775,991:59470,1111:60230,1128:60705,1134:69135,1190:78315,1375:80525,1422:84945,1473:85625,1482:93615,1629:94040,1635:95825,1661:96250,1667:97525,1697:114900,1884:123700,1969:124756,1987:125196,1994:125636,2000:131824,2056:133372,2086:139461,2140:142849,2211:147819,2273:151471,2430:156949,2467:159273,2524:166245,2659:174250,2700:175210,2733:181104,2833:186992,2939:187820,2950:191224,3028:191684,3034:194996,3071:196008,3086:199780,3161:204932,3255:208796,3412:230144,3729:232169,3750:251906,4019:252926,4051:254660,4069
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Paul Mason's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Paul Mason lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Paul Mason describes his maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Paul Mason describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paul Mason describes his paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paul Mason talks about his mother's career and civil rights work

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paul Mason describes his parents' lineage

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Paul Mason describes his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Paul Mason describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Paul Mason lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Paul Mason describes his family's large holiday celebrations

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Paul Mason remembers attending Ludlow Elementary School in Shaker Heights, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Paul Mason talks about his parents integrating Shaker Heights, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Paul Mason talks about his parents integrating Shaker Heights, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paul Mason talks about the history of integration in Shaker Heights, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paul Mason describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paul Mason remembers important teachers from Ludlow Elementary School in Shaker Heights, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paul Mason remembers the day President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paul Mason reflects upon his early awareness of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paul Mason remembers his interests and activities at Ludlow Elementary School in Shaker Heights, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paul Mason remembers meeting Jim Brown and watching the Cleveland Browns

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Paul Mason describes his childhood experiences of church

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Paul Mason talks about fitting in at Woodbury Junior High School in Shaker Heights, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Paul Mason remembers his influences while attending Woodbury Junior High School in Shaker Heights, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paul Mason recalls the impacts of black nationalism at Woodbury Junior High School in Shaker Heights, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paul Mason remembers his identity conflicts and ideals at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paul Mason explains how playing football at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut made him aware of social fissures

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paul Mason explains how his college studies of classics helped broaden his worldview

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paul Mason describes his experience teaching at Friends Academy in Locust Valley, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paul Mason talks about his initial interest in broadcast journalism at Columbia University in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Paul Mason remembers how his coverage of race riots in England in 1981 led to his first job at ABC

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Paul Mason remembers how his experience covering the Liverpool, England race riots confirmed his love of journalism

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paul Mason recalls quitting ABC in 1981 and being re-hired for a producing job

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paul Mason talks about the lack of African American representation at ABC

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paul Mason describes efforts to increase diversity in broadcast journalism in the 1970s and 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paul Mason talks about being an operations producer for ABC's overnights news and the importance of editing news footage

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paul Mason describes his hiring as producer for 'PrimeTime Live'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paul Mason talks about two episodes he produced on 'PrimeTime Live'

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Paul Mason talks about teaching at University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Paul Mason talks about the increasing commercialization of television news

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Paul Mason talks about his position as senior vice president of news at ABC

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paul Mason reflects upon the increased presence of African Americans in the media and in media representations

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paul Mason reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Paul Mason shares his future plans and goals

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Paul Mason describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$3

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
Paul Mason talks about his position as senior vice president of news at ABC
Paul Mason talks about his initial interest in broadcast journalism at Columbia University in New York, New York
Transcript
Let's talk about your current position now as senior vice president of news here at ABC. What do you think that that says about the network in general in terms of--well actually I mean is this where you want to be in terms of power, making decisions, that kind of thing?$$Today. For today. For today. I didn't expect this.$$Why didn't you expect this?$$'Cause part of why I left to go to [University of California] Berkeley [Berkeley, California] was because I, I had decided that, that something like this wasn't gonna happen. I'd wanted to be an executive producer for most of my career you know. I, I, I wanted to control content and broadcast. I did--you know and I didn't think it was gonna happen so I went to Berkeley. And you know they brought me back from Berkeley in order to be the executive producer of the evening news on the weekend. But for the most part, you know I did not--this is not something that I thought actually was gonna happen and I was very, very surprised when it did. Now, now that I'm here, this, you know, it's, it's, it's a great challenge, but is this my lifelong ambition? No, it's really kind of not, but what I realize is that this is a great credential. So they'll--I have other, I've got other thoughts and other things that I wanna do. But I'm not turning my nose down at this you know. I, I get to do, I mean you know I, I ran the--our coverage of the [2004] Democratic [National Convention, Boston, Massachusetts] and Republican national conventions [2004 Republic National Convention, New York, New York], I ran our coverage of all four debates. The three presidential debates and the vice presidential debate. I actually picked where was--a group of four people that picked the questions that were asked in the St. Louis [Missouri] debate this year, the town meeting debate. You know, I ran our coverage on election night. I never thought that, that I would be doing that. In the middle of the night we had to make a decision about whether we were gonna call Ohio for [President George Walker] Bush and there were 130 some thousand votes that were still uncounted that were still out there, the provisional ballots. Bush had a lead of about 100 and a fudgable lead maybe 130 maybe 120,000 votes and in, in consultation with David Wes [ph.] and the president of the news division you know, I made the recommendation, we're not calling Ohio. There's too many votes out there. We don't know what they are. We're not gonna check that box off and we're gonna--we'll be comfortable with the fact that we're not gonna call it right now. To be able to do that to be able to say that, that, that was a kick in the pants that was you know I was very pleased.$What, at that particular time when you went to Columbia [University, New York, New York] what was happening with TV and journalism at that time?$$To be absolutely truthful with you, I don't have a clue. Because what, what I, I was gonna go be a reporter for The New York Times.$$Um-hm. So you were gonna be a print man.$$I was, I was gonna go to print. You know, I--it didn't matter to me you know. Television was not something I was thinking about.$$Right.$$You know I wanted to go write. But it happened that, that everyone takes six weeks television and, and my mentor, a guy named Penn Kimball at Columbia, who was a senior faculty member, he, he noticed. He said, "You know you got a, you got a kind of knack in television. I think you ought to think about that." I said, "Penn, I wanna, I wanna be in The New York Times like you were." He said, "Don't be stupid. Go to television, you can go, you know, that's a license to print money, go into television." And, and it happened that I was--I entered the fall of 1980 at which it would mean I'd graduated the spring of 1981 and in March of 1981 Max Robinson went to Smith College [Northampton, Massachusetts] and he was, at the time he was one of the three anchors of, of Roone Arledge's 'World News Tonight.' Roone had started here at ABC in 1978. And he was revolutionizing what ABC News was. He was bringing some of what was ABC Sports and 'Wide World of Sports' into news and so what had been a staid and somewhat stodgy and also--ran news division was suddenly picking up and they hired Max to be an anchorman, so here was a black anchorman at ABC. And after three years of that Max went to Smith College and gave a speech and marched where he basically criticized the network for being, you know, basically back in the, back in the '50s [1950s] in terms of race and in terms of, you know, he was window dressing, that there was no one behind the scenes making any decisions. There was no one--you know you couldn't find a black anywhere in a position of power who actually called the shots and that all he did was came on and he, and he read the news. And, and at the time I was, you know, I wasn't paying much attention to this but I was excelling in television. And by then I was in our television workshop and I was kind of, I was kind of running the deal you know. We'd put on a weekly television show and, and--$$Was it a news show?$$Yeah we put on a weekly news show and when it--and we worked Thursday and Friday. And by Friday afternoon the show was on and whenever I had an opportunity to run the deal, that's what I was all about. Let's run it, let's go. Let's get it, you know. And you know I mean it was--I was back to being the captain of the football team. Back to being student council president you know, like here we go. And I was very, very comfortable and I loved the edit room and I loved being out in shooting and I loved everyday kind of talking to people, it just, it just you know I was in my, I hit my stride.$$Did you ever think about, were you loving the producing aspect and the decision making that went into producing or what was some of your thoughts about being on air?$$Well I loved it all; I loved it all you know. It just all was--it was a whole new world. It was, it was something that, you know. And my father [Theodore Mason] was a dentist as I said. My mother [Beverly Sinkford Mason] was a social worker. I had a--my mother has a cousin, had a cousin who worked for NBC in the '60s [1960s] and was a reporter at the White House [Washington, D.C.], a guy named Bill Madden. It was one of the few black people who ever you know, you know, you could imagine when I was growing up, when a black person was on television everybody would call out, oh my god quick--$$Right.$$--come look. But somebody was making decisions behind the scenes, unheard of. So, so by the spring of '81 [1981] Max gives his speech and I'm, I'm not paying attention, I'm just trying to, you know, keep my head down and do what my parents taught me to do which was achieve.

A'Lelia Bundles

Award-winning news producer and author A'Lelia Bundles was born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 7, 1952. After graduating high school in Indianapolis, Bundles went on to Harvard College, earning her A.B. in 1974, and then to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, earning an M.S.J. in 1976.

During her senior year at Harvard, Bundles began working at WTLC-FM as a news anchor. Later that same year she was hired by DuPont as an assistant in the public affairs department, and she remained there until 1975. Upon completing her master's degree, she went to NBC News, working as a producer for several programs across the country. In 1989, Bundles went to ABC News, where she became the Washington bureau chief and the producer of ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. Currently, she works with ABC as the director of talent development.

Bundles is also the author of a book, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker, based upon the business empire built by her great-great-grandmother. Walker was born in 1867 to freed slaves and went on to create a hair-care product to enable both herself and her saleswomen to become self-sufficient. The work has earned Bundles much praise, including a 2001 New York Times Notable Book mention and the 2001 Letitia Woods Brown Book Prize from the Association of Black Women Historians. She has had articles published in a wide variety of magazines and journals as well, including The New York Times Book Review, Essence, and Fortune Small Business.

Bundles serves as vice chairperson of the Madam Walker Theatre Center, chairperson of the National Association of Black Journalists Authors Showcase, and past president of the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association. She has also won an Emmy.

Accession Number

A2003.132

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/13/2003

Last Name

Bundles

Maker Category
Schools

North Central High School

Harvard University

Columbia University

Indiana University

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

First Name

A'Lelia

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

BUN02

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Adults and College Students. Madam C.J. Walker, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, women in business, television news, Harlem Renaissance

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $5,000 - $10,000

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: Can be negociated.
Preferred Audience: Adults and College Students. Madam C.J. Walker, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, women in business, television news, Harlem Renaissance

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

6/7/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon, Sweets

Short Description

Author and television news producer A'Lelia Bundles (1952 - ) is the former ABC News bureau chief of Washington, D.C., produced ABC World News Tonight, and serves as the director of talent development. Bundles is also the author of, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker, based upon the business empire built by her great-great-grandmother.

Employment

WTLC Radio

DuPont Company

NBC News

ABC News

ABC

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:4488,88:16735,220:20711,296:21208,304:22628,325:26604,423:27669,438:43320,775:63679,1069:70744,1177:72424,1215:72844,1221:76900,1266:77228,1271:77556,1276:81984,1409:92522,1478:94562,1525:99038,1588:100938,1629:102078,1652:106030,1740:111950,1811:112258,1816:113259,1842:116416,1915:117340,1931:117802,1938:118572,1950:119111,1958:120189,1980:120805,1989:121729,2002:128264,2067:128579,2073:129146,2083:129650,2091:132422,2158:133115,2172:133367,2177:151904,2477:153620,2530:155138,2572:155534,2579:156788,2607:157448,2618:159428,2642:159956,2651:161936,2715:162926,2736:173530,2882:176610,2992:179480,3059:180040,3073:180530,3114:192786,3279:198927,3441:200514,3474:202308,3518:202791,3530:208222,3559:209134,3574:215316,3656:215910,3666:219936,3752:220662,3764:223764,3831:225414,3863:225810,3870:227460,3898:228318,3920:228582,3925:228846,3931:238210,4047:240410,4077:241730,4094:242346,4102:246360,4129:249726,4198:252102,4249:252630,4259:255732,4322:256128,4329:256392,4334:259824,4421:264984,4446:266076,4460:267588,4492:268092,4499:268764,4509:276072,4641:276492,4647:282650,4683:283172,4690:284738,4715:288257,4745:288719,4753:289027,4793:295430,4854$130,0:850,13:2074,41:3226,84:3514,89:4090,98:5026,133:12208,245:20146,432:20875,444:23872,517:25492,550:26059,558:26626,566:27112,573:27922,589:45708,822:46692,840:70598,1266:71166,1275:71521,1281:74290,1335:75497,1356:90458,1624:90793,1631:92334,1661:96354,1754:98230,1781:100441,1838:101245,1863:101647,1869:109630,1951:110610,1971:121600,2211:122300,2222:130962,2335:131352,2341:134628,2400:138372,2449:150780,2623:152418,2681:154446,2762:166432,2924:167013,2933:178766,3100:179676,3111:182434,3123:184882,3171:187126,3297:204574,3555:211250,3631:214100,3691:216125,3723:216650,3731:219725,3786:220175,3793:224150,3870:224600,3877:228200,3942:252504,4369:253242,4379:253570,4384:254144,4391:261831,4441:263657,4462:266894,4500:268886,4530:276640,4610:278656,4793:284056,4913:300910,5079
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of A'Lelia Bundles' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - A'Lelia Bundles lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - A'Lelia Bundles describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - A'Lelia Bundles describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - A'Lelia Bundles describes her mother's background and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - A'Lelia Bundles describes her mother's education at Howard University and Palmer Memorial Institute

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - A'Lelia Bundles talks about her father's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - A'Lelia Bundles talks about growing up in a neighborhood of black professionals

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - A'Lelia Bundles recalls her childhood experience attending predominantly white schools

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - A'Lelia Bundles describes her personality and favorite books as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - A'Lelia Bundles recalls the lack of books about African Americans when she was a child

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - A'Lelia Bundles recalls the music she listened to growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - A'Lelia Bundles remembers the backlash she experienced at her predominantly white high school when she was elected Vice President of the Student Council, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - A'Lelia Bundles recalls connecting to the Black Power Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - A'Lelia Bundles describes her college decision process

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - A'Lelia Bundles recalls her time at Harvard University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - A'Lelia Bundles remembers her first jobs after college

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - A'Lelia Bundles remembers her professors at Harvard University, including Martin Kilson, Derek Bell, Orlando Patterson, and Pierre-Michel Fontaine

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - A'Lelia Bundles describes her senior thesis at Harvard University about the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - A'Lelia Bundles reflects on her gift for writing

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - A'Lelia Bundles recalls an internship at Newsweek Magazine in Chicago and meeting black journalists including Vernon Jarrett and Basil Phillips

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - A'Lelia Bundles describes beginning to research her great-great-grandmother, Madam C.J. Walker

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - A'Lelia Bundles reflects on the effect that Madam C.J. Walker's legacy had on her mother, A'Lelia Mae Perry Bundles

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - A'Lelia Bundles recalls her early career in network television at NBC

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - A'Lelia Bundles recalls covering the 1982 trial of Wayne Williams in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - A'Lelia Bundles remembers Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr.'s U.S. presidential campaign in 1984

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - A'Lelia Bundles remembers Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr.'s 1984 presidential campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - A'Lelia Bundles describes her work as a producer for NBC News shows and ABC's "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings"

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - A'Lelia Bundles describes her work with news anchor Carol Simpson

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - A'Lelia Bundles recalls becoming the Washington D.C. deputy bureau chief for ABC

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - A'Lelia Bundles describes her decision to leave NBC to write "On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker"

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - A'Lelia Bundles describes her research for "On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker"

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - A'Lelia Bundles recalls working with Alex Haley in 1982 on a novel about Madam C.J. Walker

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - A'Lelia Bundles describes fighting with the Alex Haley estate to publish "On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker"

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - A'Lelia Bundles recounts her legal battle with the estate of Alex Haley, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - A'Lelia Bundles recounts her legal battle with the estate of Alex Haley, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - A'Lelia Bundles describes her reaction to Beverly Lowry's book on Madam C.J. Walker

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - A'Lelia Bundles describes Madam C.J. Walker's political activism, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - A'Lelia Bundles describes Madam C.J. Walker's political activism, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - A'Lelia Bundles describes how her book "On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker" was received

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - A'Lelia Bundles talks about wanting to write about other relatives

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - A'Lelia Bundles reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - A'Lelia Bundles talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - A'Lelia Bundles narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

1$4

DATitle
A'Lelia Bundles remembers Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr.'s 1984 presidential campaign
A'Lelia Bundles describes Madam C.J. Walker's political activism, pt. 1
Transcript
--We're back to the '84 [1984] campaign?$$Yeah.$$Okay.$$Oh, I know that guy (unclear).$$Well, it was, you know, Jesse is amazing. We would--he would go somewhere. Jesse would over-schedule all the time. All the other campaigns, there were phone banks set up. There was the luggage call. The Jackson campaign had none of that. This was a campaign that I thought was operating on the biorhythms of Jesse. But it was a great ride. I remember we would arrive at a church two hours late and one of the things--this was before cellphones and as the producer, I had to find the phone. I had to find the phone to check in with the office. And I had become very adept at finding the phone in the church and getting to the office and make--being able to make the first phone call. And people would have been waiting in the church for hours. The churches would be hot. People would be fanning. They're in the aisles and you think, "Jesse, it's eleven o'clock, how are we going to do this?" And Jesse would get up and Jesse would get that spirit and Jesse would get that activism and everybody would be on their feet. And he, you know, especially when you went through the South, you would see a lot of elderly black people who you know hadn't been able to vote when they were younger and Jesse would say, "Hands that pick cotton can now pick a President". And he energized people and, you know, he knew that there were--Jesse was cutting corners here and there, maybe the campaign wasn't highly organized and maybe the campaign wasn't on time but he really made a difference and he really energized American politics. And recently I was talking with a friend who was also on the campaign, Bruce Talman, and Bruce said, "You know, we really ought to do some kind of conference or something and talk about what happened, what that--what that campaign meant" and I said, "You know, it's true, there are so many things." Jesse really changed the face of American politics, of American presidential politics. He--his campaign created or enhanced the careers of a large number of African American journalists and other journalists as well because Jesse's story was the most interesting story. And his story wasn't really covered properly by the mainstream press. He was dismissed by "The New York Times" and the Hymietown story in the "Washington Post" hurt him. And Jesse would make jokes from time to time. I remember when we went to Johnson Publishing on one trip to Chicago [Illinois] and we were--the journalists were getting a tour and I think he was--he was taking people who were part of the mainstream press on these tours or exposing them to different black institutions 'cause he knew they didn't really know anything about them. Now you know some of us knew something but these white journalists didn't really know anything about Johnson Publishing and to be in that building and to see it. But Jesse said, "That's all right, 'The New York Times' may not cover me but my people read 'Jet' [Magazine]," and it was true. We knew--you know that you knew that "Jet" was going to cover everything that Jesse did, and you know, and still to this point, I would never be without my "Jet Magazine" every week. But it was really--it was a great ride. I mean, from early January, I-I joined the campaign on a stop in Memphis [Tennessee]. I think the first night I was on the campaign there was a fire alarm. We got up in the middle of the night, and we were always having to leave really early and get back really late. We went to--after the primaries were over, we went on a trip to Cuba and Nicaragua and Salvador and Jesse released the political prisoners from Cuba. During the [Democratic National] convention, there was a lot of electricity because there was a lot of infighting and people were curious what Jesse was going to do. But I'm really glad that I participated in that campaign. Later that year, after covering the Democratic campaign, I then covered the [Geraldine] Ferraro campaign. And that was, I think, as exciting for women as Jesse's campaign was for African Americans but it wasn't as exciting for me. I wasn't, you know, I didn't feel like I connected with Ferraro. And later in the year, in November, after the election, I finally was at home, I had basically been gone the entire year except for coming home for two or three days at a time to do my laundry and then I was back on the road. And I remember, you know, November, or whatever the Friday after the election, waking up in my own bed and not having any idea where I was because I was so used to being in a hotel. But I-I made some great friends on that campaign and it was really fabulous to be a part of history being made.$$Okay.$$I think I feel that way more than any other story that I've ever covered. I was there in the midst of history.$What did you discover about Madam [C.J.] Walker that you had not known that was the most exciting things for you?$$You know what was really thrilling for me was to find what a political activist she was, you know. What everybody knows is Madam Walker had something to do with hair. They think she invented the straightening comb. She didn't invent the straightening comb. So there's more myth about her then there is, you know, reality and fact. And I think that's true of a lot of famous people, that the myths around them kind of overtake the details because people like, you know, really sort of, you know, simple, easy, you know catchwords that they can--that they can hook onto. But she's so much more interesting and so much more multi-dimensional than that. And in doing the research, I was thrilled to find that she had been really involved in the anti-lynching movement and she had helped finance the NAACP's [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] anti-lynching initiatives. She had spoken out for the rights of black soldiers during World War One [1914-1918]. She was an early feminist: a person who advocated economic independence for women. She--in 1917, the year before Mary Kay was born, she had her first convention of national sales agents and more than 200 women came from all over the country and she gave prizes, just like Mary Kay, but she gave prizes not just to the women who sold the most products, or who brought in the most new agents, she gave prizes to the women who contributed the most to charity and to political causes. At the end of the convention, the women sent a telegram to President Woodrow Wilson protesting the recent riots in East St. Louis [Missouri]. And then a couple of weeks later, she traveled with a number of Harlem leaders to--from New York [New York] to Washington [D.C.] to the White House to try to meet with President Woodrow Wilson to urge him to make lynching a federal crime. And then later, during World War One, when a lot of people were being investigated, she was investigated by a black spy, a black war spy named Walter Loving. She and Ida B. Wells [Barnett] were at a rally and I read some of the War Department classified documents and she was called a "Negro Subversive" and I just loved this because it was like being on a [Richard] Nixon enemies list in 1968 and I thought, "Go Madam." You know, you're speaking out enough that you're upsetting people but you're doing the right thing. So I loved finding that out about her. I also found out about a husband she never mentioned and, you know, a marriage and the fact that she didn't divorce this second husband but married a third husband, you know. So there were other things and those were the kinds of things that I felt, because my mother had given me permission to tell the truth, I could tell them. But to me it made her a more believable character and when I tell the story, one of my motivations is to inspire other women and I speak at, you know, across the country at a variety of places. I speak at Ivy League schools, I speak at elementary schools and last fall I spoke at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women [Bedford Hills, New York]. I had learned that they were reading my book in the college course there and I called the professor and asked if I could, could come to the prison and talk to the women. And she invited me and there were about 80 women who came to this evening assembly and they had written papers and they had, they read from their papers and they had great questions and it was just thrilling to me to know that these women in prison were inspired by Madam Walker's story because in her story there is, you know, early loss of family. There's abandonment, there's abuse, there are family members who commit crimes, you know, there is poverty. So there are lots of things that women who are having difficult times can, can relate to and after the visit to the prison, I wanted to do something for these women 'cause they were, you know, they were trying so hard in that environment to improve themselves intellectually and, you know, just make their lives better and make their children's lives better. And so I e-mailed a bunch of friends who are authors and I asked if they would donate a book, an autographed book, to the women to inspire them. And now we've collected more than a thousand books and a few weeks ago I spoke at the commencement for the prison, the college graduation at the prison. So that to me is the greatest reward in writing this book that there are people who are inspired and that there are kids who can do their reports on Madam Walker and tell her story, you know, 'cause you don't get rich writing a book and I didn't write the book to get rich. It would have been nice if I had gotten rich writing the book but that wasn't--that wasn't the motivation and it's born out, you know, almost every week I get a call from somebody who is inviting me to come do a speech or who wants to hear the story. And it's, you know, it's what I love to do.