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Clarence Irving, Sr.

Cultural activist Clarence L. Irving, Sr. was born on August 21, 1924 in Prince George County, Virginia. His father, Paul Irving, was a farmer; his mother, Elizabeth Claiborne, a housewife. After attending Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School and Randall, Jr. High School in Washington, D.C., Irving moved to New York City where he graduated from the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard in 1952 and Brooklyn Technical Evening School in 1960.

From 1944 to 1953, Irving worked mechanist at the U.S. Naval Yard. In April of 1946, he organized his first baseball team in Brooklyn, New York. Then, in 1949, Irving’s team, the Falcons, became the undefeated championship team in the Betsy Hyde Park Baseball League Junior Division. He began working for Con Edison in 1953 as an electrical planner in the electrical power plant. Irving continued coaching youth baseball and went on to organize the Bisons, which by 1955 became very successful in the Brooklyn Kiwanis League, winning seven championship seasons in three divisions. On September 9, 1955, the Bisons won the New York State Kiwanis Baseball Senior Division Championship at Abner Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, New York, making it the first time a baseball team with an African American manager and coach played on the field. In 1956, Irving retired from managing youth baseball teams and developed the Bison Athletic Club where he served as a mentor.

In 1972, Irving conceived the idea of commemorating African American Women on U.S. postage stamps. Two years later, the U.S. Postal Service created a new series of stamps commemorating African Americans, “The Black Heritage U.S.A. Series.” Then, in 1984, Irving founded the Black American Heritage Foundation (BAHF) to document, preserve, and disseminate information about the accomplishments of African Americans. He also founded the Music History Archive in 1989, which serves as a repository for many original scores, early recordings, instruments, costumes, photographs, sheet music, and other artifacts related to musicians.

Irving holds the sole distinction of being honored by three elected women borough presidents of New York City: the Honorable Claire Shilman of Queens; the Honorable Helen M. Marshall of Queens; and the Honorable C. Virginia Fields of Manhattan. In 1996, New York Governor George E. Pataki, along with New York Senator Alton R. Waldon and New York City Assemblywoman Barbara Clark, named April 8th “Clarence L. Irving, Sr. Day.” He received the 1999 Carter G. Woodson Award and the 2000 Humanitarian Award from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. In 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives honored Irving by renaming the U.S. Postal Service Office in Jamaica, New York the “Clarence L. Irving, Sr. Post Office Building.”

Irving passed away in March of 2014 at the age of 90.

Clarence L. Irving, Sr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 11, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.198

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/12/2013

Last Name

Irving

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Occupation
Schools

Brooklyn Technical High School

Brooklyn Naval Ship Yard

Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School

First Name

Clarence

Birth City, State, Country

Prince George County

HM ID

IRV01

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Rocky Mountains

Favorite Quote

I've Always Wanted To Leave Something On This Earth The Way Somethin' Was Left For Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

8/21/1924

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Middle Island

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beets

Death Date

3/27/2014

Short Description

Cultural activist Clarence Irving, Sr. (1924 - 2014 ) founded the Bison Athletic Club in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. He also created the Black American Heritage Foundation, and proposed the Black Heritage Series of U.S. postage stamps.

Employment

Consolidated Edison

Brooklyn Navy Yard

Time Herald Newspapers

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Clarence Irving, Sr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Clarence Irving, Sr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about his mother's ancestry, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes his mother's ancestry, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Describes his mother's education, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers his early guidance from Carter G. Woodson

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes his mother's education, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes Benjamin A. Quarles' perspective on selfishness

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers his sister's elopement

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes his father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about his parents' relationship

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Clarence Irving, Sr. lists his siblings, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Clarence Irving, Sr. lists his siblings, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Clarence Irving, Sr. recalls his early education

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers the guests in his family's household

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Clarence Irving, Sr. recalls his parents' emphasis on education

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes his early interest in engineering

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers the Great Depression

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes his father and sister's relationship

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Clarence Irving, Sr. recalls his childhood mischief

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers joining his sister's household in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers living in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes the influence of Carter G. Woodson, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes the influence of Carter G. Woodson, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers meeting Carter G. Woodson

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes Carter G. Woodson's emphasis on reading

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about his decision to become a machinist, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about his decision to become a machinist, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers his early interest in Negro League baseball

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers playing for the Baltimore Black Sox

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers playing for the Baltimore Black Sox

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about his time as a nightclub singer

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers his exemption from World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers his decision to form a youth baseball team

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes his youth baseball team's first season

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers the discrimination faced by Jackie Robinson

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about the influence of Jackie Robinson

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Clarence Irving, Sr. recalls his decision to continue as a youth baseball coach

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers his changes to the Bisons baseball team

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Clarence Irving, Sr. recalls the Bisons' baseball game in Peekskill, New York

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers winning the state championship, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers winning the state championship, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about the name of the Bisons' baseball team

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers Operation Elevation

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes the members of the Bisons baseball team

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about professional baseball players

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes his reason for participating in The HistoryMakers project

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Clarence Irving, Sr. recalls studying to become an electrician

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about the disregard for history in the engineering profession, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about the disregard for history in the engineering profession, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about the problem of police coercion

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers developing community programs in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about the Boys Choir of Harlem

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Clarence Irving, Sr. recalls joining the Queens Bicentennial Committee

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes his experiences of discrimination on the Queens Bicentennial Committee

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Clarence Irving, Sr. recalls his proposal for a black history stamp

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about the Black Heritage Series of postage stamps

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about the Bisons Bicentennial Committee

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about his interest in music history

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers his record shop in New York City

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Clarence Irving, Sr. recalls the establishment of the York College-Black American Heritage Foundation Music History Archive

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Clarence Irving, Sr. recalls a friend's experience of police discrimination

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about his interest in preserving black music history

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers his collaboration with York College President Milton Bassin

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about the Black American Heritage Foundation

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Clarence Irving, Sr. reflects upon his legacy as a community activist

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Clarence Irving, Sr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Clarence Irving, Sr. shares his advice to young people

Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about his family, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 12 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about his family, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about his concerns for the United States, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about his concerns for the United States, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Clarence Irving, Sr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

7$8

DATitle
Clarence Irving, Sr. remembers his early guidance from Carter G. Woodson
Clarence Irving, Sr. talks about his decision to become a machinist, pt. 2
Transcript
Now did your mother [Elizabeth Claiborne Irving] have a chance to finish school or, or to go to school herself?$$ Well, my mother didn't--now remember, in that time, African American people, a lot of them were educated without getting a formal education. Now, if you--what I'm trying to say is there was the case of Duke Ellington. Duke Ellington never went to a conservatory, but he learned it from two guys. Two gentlemen, I guess I should say, taught him more than he would have learned in the conservatory because they cared that much for him and they gave him a--the bell never rang--the bell never--three o'clock bell never rang. In other words, if they were working on a song, they might have a sandwich, or eat some dinner--soup, or whatever, and say, and say, "Hey, let's go--let's, let's give that song another shot." So, that was--one of the advantages--I, I hope I'm not being too talkative, but one of the, one of the advantages of--my brother [Paul Irving] went to Virginia State College [sic. Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute; Virginia State University, Petersburg, Virginia], and one of the advantages of going to these smaller schools was the fact that you developed a, a friendship with your professors that developed into the kind of a relationship that you, you felt like was a part a you--it was just--was, was your, your, your, your school, or whatever you did--the things that was done with, with pride. W.C. Handy came out of a small school like that, and Wilberforce [Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio]--if you--not to take you too far, and I hope I'm not saying too much--but those, those people who learned, and the reason that they learned is they knew how difficult it was for them to get in, and they would just grab you, and if you didn't straighten up--the same thing with--what's his name? Woodson--$$Carter G. Woodson?$$ Carter G. Woodson. He, he knew us as little kids, and you would go down there and you would say--and he would say to you, "Did you do your--did you do your homework?" And you'd say, "Yes, sir." And he said--he would say, "Well, let me see it." He wouldn't always do it, but he did it enough for--to keep you on your toes; you wouldn't dare lie to him 'cause you were afraid (laughter) that me may say, "Well, okay." And--'cause he would do it, though. I've seen him times he'd say, "Well, I want you to--." I'm just gone throw something very elementary out. "I want you to learn your three times tables." That's the way we learned 'em in those days. And he says, "Do you know your tables?" And you would say, "Yes, sir." He'd say, "Okay, good, well, say 'em." And he might let you slide, but the point was he always had you in the position where you were afraid not to do your work because--I don't know what he would do to you, but he, he would--it was that respect; I won't call it fear.$$Okay. I, I understand.$So, he sees me about a month or so later, and we get into this machine shop thing again, and he said, "You're serious, aren't you?" I said, "Yes, sir, I'm serious--I'm very serious." He say, "Oh," he says, "oh, yeah, by the way, where is your brother [Paul Irving]?" Huh? What do he know about my--I, I'm not even gone dare ask him. What do he know about my brother? So he said--he put his arm around me and he said, "Let me tell you something, son." He said, "I know you think I'm the meanest man in the world, and I wanted to be the meanest man in the world. I went to school with your brother. I was there when he graduated." He say, "I knew when your mother [Elizabeth Claiborne Irving] was pregnant with you." And he ran the whole, the whole fam- told me about the whole family. And he said, "I just don't wanna see you waste your time." Well, in the meantime, I'm this aspiring young baseball player. So, he says to me, "Where, where is your brother?" I said, "He's in New York [New York]." So he says, "Your brother's in New York?" He says, "Well, I'm gone tell you something right now; you're not gonna get what you want here. They don't have any equipment here in the black schools," he said, "but what you can do is, if you go to New York and stay with your brother, you could do--." So I go, and I talk to my brother. I went up there with my two little pair a pants, so--and a shirt, and I said to him that I wanted to stay with him and I wanted to go to school. And so my brother told me, he says, "I'm gonna tell you something right now. You'll stay here as long as you behave yourself. The first time that I hear anything about you, you're gonna break the world's record of (unclear) how to get back to Washington [D.C.]. You understand that?" So I said, "Yes." Anyway, I had a heck of a summer that summer--that year, and the Newark Eagles were gonna give me a tryout; they--'cause they have a way every year. They take two rookies and they try them out, and if they show some promise, they let them travel with the big team. Well, Larry Doby was on the--on that same (unclear). I would of been on the same team with Larry Doby. Well, what happened was--I had a good summer, and when the summer was over, I came down with appendicitis. At the time that, that this appendicitis, my colon ruptured, so now I got a problem. It's either a machine shop, or nothing. So--but I didn't know at the time that I was gonna wind up in the machine shop but--this is 1940; in 1942, I get this letter. First of all, after I got sick, I was disgusted, and I gave up everything and I went back to Washington. And they say, "Well, what are you gonna do now?" Well, I could sing a little bit, so I used to--you see, I used to sing on Pearl Bailey's night off at the Crystal Caverns [Washington, D.C.].

C. T. King-Miller

Researcher and activist Carolyn (Tasmiya) King-Miller was born in 1947 and is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. Her father, Floyd King Sr. was a reverend at a Baptist church in Birmingham. King-Miller attended Wenonah High School for three years and then transferred to Jones Valley High School where she graduated in 1965. King-Miller attended Miles College in 1965 and later transferred to Brooklyn College.

King-Miller was the first African American to integrate and graduate from Jones Valley High School in 1965. Her parents successfully petitioned the school board to admit her at the all white school. While there, she suffered from harassment from both her classmates and teachers. The dance was held at a secret location to intentionally exclude her from participating. After high school, she attended Miles College, an all African American school known for its work in civil rights activities, for two years. Later, she transferred to Brooklyn College in New York and studied communications. In New York, she married and had two children. From 1980 to 1989, King-Miller worked as a supervisor at Dean Witter in San Francisco. From 1989 to 1991, King-Miller worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco as a supervisor. She worked at Charles Schwab Company, from 1994 to 1999, as a researcher. In 1999, King-Miller worked at Creative Genealogy Services and Research as a researcher. King-Miller’s interest in genealogy extends to her own family, having conducted extensive research on both sides of her family. In 2000, King-Miller worked at Each One Teach One, an employment recruitment service for high school students. She also published, Mama, I was the only one there!, about her experience as a student in 1964.

King-Miller has continued her activism with her involvement at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, where she has participated in many events and programming, including a conciliatory forum that coincided with her first-ever appearance at the Jones Valley High School reunion for alumni from 1961-1969. The forum provided a space for the community to address past events. King-Miller was given the key to the City of Birmingham and honored with a street dedication for her role in desegregation. Her achievements have been recognized by President Bill Clinton, The St. John Missionary Baptist Church and many others. Her oral history is included in institutions such as the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham Black Radio, and the Smithsonian Institute.

King-Miller was interviewed by Larry Crowe on March 7, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.009

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/8/2011

Last Name

King-Miller

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Schools

Powderly Elementary School

Wenonah High School

Jones Valley Kinderg-Eighth Grade

Miles College

Brooklyn College

First Name

Carolyn-Tasmiya

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

KIN16

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Birmingham, Alabama

Favorite Quote

People So Seldom Say I Love You, But When They Do, It Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Want You To Go, I Wish You Wouldn’t Have To.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

7/7/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon Croquettes

Short Description

Archivist and cultural activist C. T. King-Miller (1947 - ) is best known for integrating Jones Valley High School in 1964.

Employment

Creative Genealogy

Chas Schwak Co.

Federal Reserve Bank

Morgan Stanley

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of C.T. King-Miller's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - C.T. King-Miller lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - C.T. King-Miller describes her mother's family background, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - C.T. King-Miller describes her mother's family background, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - C.T. King-Miller describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - C.T. King-Miller talks about her father's service in World War II, his work in the coal mines, and how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - C.T. King-Miller describes her similarities to her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - C.T. King-Miller talks about her father's work at Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - C.T. King-Miller lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - C.T. King-Miller describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - C.T. King-Miller recalls childhood memories of watching baseball and football

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - C.T. King-Miller describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - C.T. King-Miller describes her grade school years at Powderly Elementary School in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - C.T. King-Miller talks about her mother's work as a maid

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - C.T. King-Miller talks about segregated busing in Birmingham, Alabama and the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - C.T. King-Miller describes the protective measures her brothers were taught to observe outside of the black community

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - C.T. King-Miller recalls her father's gospel singing group, the McMillan Gospel Singers

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - C.T. King-Miller describes her childhood memories of music

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - C.T. King-Miller describes her experience at Wenonah High School in Birmingham, Alabama and her personality as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - C.T. King-Miller describes her experience with racial discrimination in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - C.T. King-Miller reflects on her father's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - C.T. King-Miller describes her father's friendship with HistoryMaker Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - C.T. King-Miller recounts the beginning of her involvement in the Birmingham youth movement

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - C.T. King-Miller talks about preparing for the 1963 Birmingham Children's Crusade, pt.1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - C.T. King-Miller talks about preparing for the 1963 Birmingham Children's Crusade, pt.2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - C.T. King-Miller recalls being arrested as a teenager during Birmingham's Children's Crusade in 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - C.T. King-Miller describes participating in the 1963 March on Washington, pt.1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - C.T. King-Miller describes participating in the 1963 March on Washington, pt.2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - C.T. King-Miller remembers the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church and President John F. Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - C.T. King-Miller recalls the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - C.T. King-Miller talks about the impact of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - C.T. King-Miller describes her integration of Jones Valley High School in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - C.T. King-Miller recounts registering for school at Jones Valley High School in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - C.T. King-Miller describes the absence of white people in Birmingham, Alabama's black community

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - C.T. King-Miller describes her experience integrating Jones Valley High School in Birmingham, Alabama pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - C.T. King-Miller describes her experience integrating Jones Valley High School in Birmingham, Alabama pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - C.T. King-Miller describes the support she received from her church and mixed reactions from the black community after integrating Jones Valley High School

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - C.T. King-Miller recalls experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - C.T. King-Miller recalls losing all of her black friends after integrating Jones Valley High School in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - C.T. King-Miller describes her graduation from Jones Valley High School in Birmingham, Alabama in 1964

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - C.T. King-Miller remembers preparing for the prom

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - C.T. King-Miller talks about being excluded from the prom

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - C.T. King-Miller talks about dearth of stories from the African American community on school integration

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - C.T. King-Miller describes apologies from her classmates at Jones Valley High School in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - C.T. King-Miller describes her experience at Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - C.T. King-Miller describes moving to Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - C.T. King-Miller explains her name change

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - C.T. King-Miller describes her career path

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - C.T. King-Miller describes attending her 35th high school reunion, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - C.T. King-Miller describes attending her 35th high school reunion, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - C.T. King-Miller talks about her business, Creative Genealogist Services

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - C.T. King-Miller talks about the lasting effects of her work injury

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - C.T. King-Miller reflects upon being honored in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - C.T. King-Miller talks about her father's radio show, American Trailblazers, and her other family members

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - C.T. King-Miller describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - C.T. King-Miller describes what she would have done differently in her life

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - C.T. King-Miller reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - C.T. King-Miller talks about how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

7$2

DATitle
C.T. King-Miller describes her experience integrating Jones Valley High School in Birmingham, Alabama pt. 2
C.T. King-Miller describes attending her 35th high school reunion, pt. 2
Transcript
Okay.$$Okay.$$Now what about--$$I was told that at lunchtime I could not go outside. I had to stay within the cafeteria. I think I was told not to go in the bathrooms, but I don't remember that. I just remember that I was told where I could go. Now, all the people in the cafeteria who served the food, except for one supervisor, were black. And I remember going through the line for my food, and I remember they used to pile all this food on, like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables. I mean, nothing like any school I'd gone to. Even at Wenonah, we took our own lunch. But they had that, and I would go through there and--chocolate milk, I didn't get chocolate milk on a regular basis. I mean, that's when I had my first chocolate milk, and I enjoyed it. And I used to have to, my father [Floyd King, Sr.] said always try to sit closest to where adults were, because you would be more safe, you'd be safe and more secure around other adults. Even in the classroom, he said you'll be secure in the classroom because the teacher's there. They cannot let anything happen to you. I didn't realize later when he kept on saying nothing would happen to me, is that the most that could happen, I could have been killed. I didn't think about them being concerned with that. I felt like I had a right. I was exercising the right, and I know he used to teach us the 14th Amendment and the 15th Amendment and used to read it to us and help us understand it, me and my siblings. And I used to remember him saying, "This is our right that's guaranteed to us. And the civil rights bill that Kennedy thought of and Johnson signed, this is your right. You're doing this for the black community." And I did begin to feel like I had the whole black community on my shoulder. I had to make sure I dressed right, I spoke right--and I was naturally a smart person, so, you know, that wasn't a problem, and I had nothing else to do. But, I would go in the cafeteria almost everyday, and they had fixed this beautiful food and I would sit at this tray and I'd sit there and I'd look at all those black women that my father said that I could not talk to, or I would get them fired. And the white kids would come by and spit, hark and spit in my food. So, I seldom ate lunch at school. And I went through a pattern of this, and I would just drink my chocolate milk and go on to class. And they would see it, I'd see tears were coming down their eyes, you know, and things like that. But it was nothing they could do. And he basically said that they would get fired, and that I was doing the right thing. And I could not react.$$Even with a principal that seemed like he was sympathetic?$$The principal wasn't there.$$Okay. He thought--$$But he knew what was happening, because I told my father, and my father told him.$$Okay. So, did you have a locker?$$No. I didn't have a locker. However, from going from class to class, passing classes, they would let me leave the classroom first. But if other classes were changing classes also, I didn't walk down the hall by myself. As I walked by, they would jump against the lockers, you know, and call me names. They would--it was never any physical violence, I should say that. But one of the things they did do, especially during--I guess it was some type of gun crap in school, they would have water guns, where they would run behind me and they would spray me with this water gun. And I remember one time a guy just came, a man, a boy, came right up in front of me and I had glasses on, and just sprayed that water gun right in my face and my glasses. And I remember one time that I used to have wear the type of clothes that dry fast, you know, to school. And they'd shoot it in my hair and my hair would curl up and stuff like that. And I'd get to the class and I'd have to dry off or go back to the office to the principal's wife and she would take me in the bathroom where I had to dry myself off. And I just didn't talk, you know.$And what they did once it was in the news, I was there and I was going to black and white radio stations in Birmingham [Alabama], telling my story and everything. Well, I guess people found out where I was living, and the night before the prom, the hotel I was staying at started getting what I would call now, terrorist telephone calls. I meant, it became so bad that the manager came up and said that you guys are getting these calls--and we'd gotten two up to the room--they told them to hold those calls. So, we went back to the church I grew up in, St. John Missionary Baptist Church, and told the pastor. And it was an FBI guy and a policeman, a Birmingham [Alabama] policeman, that goes to the church. And they provided security, not only from the FBI, but also from the Birmingham [Alabama] police department. They came up and they talked to us, and you know, told us to be careful, that we'll be here. And when we left going from the hotel, they put security around the hotel so nothing would happen there, because they were scared, and they wanted to put us out. So, what they did was they provided escorts to the prom. And with that, I took along with me as my guest the newslady reporter named Vicky Howell, who had written the story that appeared on the first page. She had called out here and I'd given her everything--a beautiful article that captured everything, including the prom. When she got there--and she just wanted to keep knowing about my feelings, my feeling. I didn't have no feeling. First of all, when I asked people who did come around that were in my class at the time, and I didn't know anybody from my class--I had met Ken Battles--and when I got to the prom, I met the committee and they told me who they were and what role they played during that time. But I didn't know them from Adam or Eve. Of course, they all apologized and told me things. "Well, you know, I own a car dealership. If you're ever here and you need a car, call me." And the other one was a real estate agent, "If you ever need a house, call me." That sort of thing. And, so they all wanted to know what's my feeling, what's my feeling, you know? I'll say out of the maybe 500 or 600 people there, maybe about 50 came up and said I'm sorry. And out of the class I graduated out of, it was 107 of us. And for that class picture maybe it was about, I'd say it's about 80 or 90. These are all adults now. And I re-created that picture by standing in the middle, and I'll share it with you after this, and they all stood this time by me. And all of them said they were sorry. Everybody wanted to hug me. When I asked them point blank, "Why didn't you do anything?" And that's when they said that they were afraid that something would happen to them, that they would be teased. When I asked them about the prom, they said, "We thought you were going to bring the whole black community to our prom, and we were scared." When I asked them about meeting with the mayor during Senior Week, and this was 35 years ago, they said, "We didn't think you wanted to go, because you didn't come to school." I said, "But the principal told me not to come." They said, "Well, we know." So, all those were lame excuses, and I told them I didn't buy it, and please don't tell me nothing like that anymore. For those who said--the taunting things they did to me--it looked like all the boys were in the gun club at the school. During that time, gun clubs in school was popular. And as far as I'm concerned, they all sprayed me, shot me with those little plastic water guns. And they said, "I don't remember doing that, I don't remember doing that." But they all were there, and when they--I looked at a picture of them during that time, in the yearbook. I said, "Yes, you were, this is you right?" They said "Right, yeah, yeah, I'm sorry. Can you forgive me?" And I told them what my father said, "I forgave you at that time." I was raised that you had to forgive at that time if you were going to go ahead, and that's what has gotten me this far. You have to let go, you have to let go.

Harold Pates

Educator and cultural activist Harold Pates was born October 31, 1931, in Macon, Mississippi. His great aunt, raised in slavery, lost two fingers to her master for attempting to read. Pates’ parents, Amanda Beasley Pates and Squire Pates were graduates of Bolivar Training School in Mound Bayou, Mississsippi. Migrating to Chicago, Illinois, Pates attended Forestville Elementary School and DuSable High School graduating in 1948. Taught music by DuSable’s Captain Walter Dyett, Pates played with Eddie Harris, Richard Davis, John Gilmore, Jimmy Ellis and other future greats. Pates graduated from Wilson Junior College in 1952 and DePaul University with his B.A. degree in English in 1954. He earned his M.A. degree from DePaul in 1956 and received his PhD degree from the University of Chicago in 1976.

Pates taught at Fuller Elementary School and Forestville Elementary School, and was assistant principal of DuSable Upper Grade Center from 1964 to 1968. He served as a counselor at DuSable Upper Grade Center and High School and as a guidance counselor for the Hyde Park Evening School. As teacher and administrator, Pates joined Lawrence Landry, Lu and Jorja Palmer, Rev. C.T. Vivian, Lorenzo Martin, Bobby E. Wright, and others in agitating for African American concerns in the Chicago Public Schools. In 1968, he joined Loop College where he became director of the Admissions Department. Pates also taught at Loyola University, George Williams College, Northeastern Illinois University, and Concordia College. He also helped plan the first Upward Bound Program. Appointed dean of career programs at Malcolm X College in 1981, Pates moved on to Kennedy-King College as a dean in 1983. In 1986, Pates was named president of Kennedy-King College, serving until 1997. At Kennedy-King, he provided access for cultural and civic organizations and events at an unprecedented level.

Active in efforts to generate an African version of the history and culture of Africa and to infuse the black experience into the educational system, Pates was a founder of the Chicago Communiversity and the Association of African Educators with Anderson Thompson in the late 1960s. He was a founding member of the Kemetic Institute, the Association of Black Psychologists, the National Association of Black School Educators, the Black United Front, the Chicago Task Force for Black Political Empowerment, the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations, and the Harold Washington Institute. Recipient of numerous awards, ranging from the Chancellors Award for outstanding Leadership to the Muntu Dance Theatre’s Alyo Award, Pates currently serves on the board of the Black United Fund of Illinois and the advisory board of the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies of Northeastern Illinois University. He is founding director of the All African World Virtual University. Fit, playing full court basketball into his 70s, Pates, now retired, enjoys golf and playing jazz on the cornet.

A widower, Pates has a grown daughter and son.

Accession Number

A2005.263

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/12/2005 |and| 7/10/2006

Last Name

Pates

Maker Category
Schools

Du Sable Leadership Academy

University of Chicago

DePaul University

Kennedy–King College

Forrestville Elementary School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

First Name

Harold

Birth City, State, Country

Macon

HM ID

PAT04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Palm Springs, California

Favorite Quote

Ain't Nobody Right But God.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

10/31/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pie (Sweet Potato)

Short Description

Cultural activist, college president, and teacher Harold Pates (1931 - ) is the former president of Kennedy-King College in Chicago. He has worked with numerous organizations dedicated to infusing the African American experience into the educational system, and is founding director of the All African World Virtual University.

Employment

Fuller Elementary School

Wisconsin Steel Mill

Forestville Elementary School

DuSable High School

Loop College

Malcolm X College

Kennedy-King College

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Harold Pates' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Harold Pates lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Harold Pates describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Harold Pates describes his mother's family history in the A.M.E. church

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Harold Pates recalls working conditions in his maternal family's community in the South

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Harold Pates recalls traveling to Mississippi as a boy

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Harold Pates explains why his parents sent him south for the summers

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Harold Pates describes his mother's personality, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Harold Pates describes his mother's personality, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Harold Pates describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Harold Pates relates his paternal family's stories from the era of slavery

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Harold Pates recalls spending summers in Macon, Mississippi as a boy

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Harold Pates describes confrontations with whites in Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Harold Pates recalls confrontations with whites in Mississippi, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Harold Pates describes his father's community in Mound Bayou, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Harold Pates recalls his father's move from Mississippi to Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Harold Pates recalls his father's work for the post office

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Harold Pates describes his siblings

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Harold Pates describes his sister's career as an opera singer

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Harold Pates describes his earliest childhood memory, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Harold Pates describes his earliest childhood memory, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Harold Pates describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Harold Pates remembers learning to drive at the age of twelve

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Harold Pates recalls Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood during his childhood

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Harold Pates recalls performers who lived in and visited Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Harold Pates recalls his activities as a child in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Harold Pates describes being a paperboy in Chicago's white neighborhoods

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Harold Pates recalls running policy as a child in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Harold Pates describes influential figures in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Harold Pates recalls famous musicians from Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Harold Pates describes the geography of his childhood neighborhood on Chicago's South Side

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Harold Pates describes his father's civil rights activism

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Harold Pates talks about systemic racial oppression

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Harold Pates recalls segregation in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Harold Pates describes racial tension in Chicago's South Side neighborhoods

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Harold Pates recalls Chicago's political machine in Bronzeville

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Harold Pates recalls institutions in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Harold Pates describes businesses in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Harold Pates recalls a teacher at Chicago's Forrestville Elementary School

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Harold Pates describes his grade school experiences in Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Harold Pates describes his extracurricular activities during grade school

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Harold Pates recalls his childhood neighbor William Cousins, Jr.

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Harold Pates describes his favorite activities at Chicago's DuSable High School

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Harold Pates describes politically radical community groups in Chicago

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Harold Pates recalls hearing W.E.B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson speak, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Harold Pates recalls hearing W.E.B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson speak, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Harold Pates describes the social atmosphere of Chicago's DuSable High School

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Harold Pates recalls musicians who studied at Chicago's DuSable High School

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Harold Pates remembers working as a musician as a teenager

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Harold Pates recalls graduating from Chicago's DuSable High School

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Harold Pates describes working for Wisconsin Steel, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Harold Pates describes working for Wisconsin Steel, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Harold Pates describes his initial setbacks at Chicago's Wilson Junior College

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Harold Pates reflects on his father's support for his education

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Harold Pates describes his experiences at Chicago's DePaul University

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Harold Pates explains how his DePaul University degree helped him to find a job

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Harold Pates describes his academic pursuits at DePaul University

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Harold Pates recalls befriending Italian Americans at DePaul University

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Harold Pates describes his impressions of DePaul University

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Harold Pates describes his own and his brother's careers during the 1950s

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Harold Pates recalls his first position as a teacher in Chicago

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Harold Pates describes teaching at an all-girls school

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Harold Pates describes the lessons he learned early in his teaching career

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Harold Pates recalls his fellow teachers at Chicago's Fuller Elementary School

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Harold Pates recalls his concern over expulsions at Fuller Elementary School

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Harold Pates describes discrimination against black teachers in Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Harold Pates recalls students from Chicago's Forrestville Elementary School

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Harold Pates recalls how he enjoyed teaching at Forrestville Elementary School

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Harold Pates recalls his decision to leave Forrestville Elementary School

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Harold Pates describes his disagreements with the principal of Forrestville Elementary School

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Harold Pates recalls becoming a teacher at Chicago's DuSable Upper Grade Center

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Harold Pates recalls tension between the students and teachers at DuSable Upper Grade Center

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Harold Pates describes a violent incident with a student at DuSable Upper Grade Center

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Harold Pates recalls the overcrowding of Chicago's black schools

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Harold Pates explains how the Willis Wagons controversy mobilized black leadership

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Slating of Harold Pates' interview, session 2

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Harold Pates recalls racial discrimination in Chicago's trade schools

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Harold Pates recalls biases in the hiring of principals in Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Harold Pates describes working for Galeta Kaar at DuSable Upper Grade Center

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Harold Pates talks about Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Harold Pates recalls joining Loyola University Chicago's Upward Bound program

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Harold Pates describes his career ambitions during the late 1960s

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Harold Pates recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Harold Pates describes tensions around integration in Chicago during the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Harold Pates describes the reaction of Chicago's black community to Dr. King's death

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Harold Pates recalls incidents that led to the Selma to Montgomery marches

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Harold Pates recalls his experience in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Harold Pates recalls becoming director of admissions at Chicago's Loop College

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Harold Pates remembers black organizations in Chicago in the late 1960s

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Harold Pates describes the influence of the University of Chicago in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Harold Pates recalls the rise of the Blackstone Rangers

Tape: 14 Story: 3 - Harold Pates recalls mediating between gangs in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 14 Story: 4 - Harold Pates recalls the growth of African American studies programs

Tape: 14 Story: 5 - Harold Pates recalls his involvement in the National Association for College Admission Counseling

Tape: 14 Story: 6 - Harold Pates recalls the founding of Chicago's Communiversity

Tape: 14 Story: 7 - Harold Pates recalls the rise of the Black Power movement in the late 1960s

Tape: 15 Story: 1 - Harold Pates reflects on the importance of black institutions

Tape: 15 Story: 2 - Harold Pates talks about the educational philosophy of Chicago's Communiversity

Tape: 15 Story: 3 - Harold Pates describes problems with the Eurocentric version of history

Tape: 15 Story: 4 - Harold Pates describes the structure of Chicago's Communiversity

Tape: 15 Story: 5 - Harold Pates recalls a quarrel with Sol Tax at the University of Chicago

Tape: 15 Story: 6 - Harold Pates reflects upon the mission of the Communiversity

Tape: 16 Story: 1 - Harold Pates describes his administrative tenure at Chicago's Loop College

Tape: 16 Story: 2 - Harold Pates recalls fellow faculty members at Chicago's Loop College

Tape: 16 Story: 3 - Harold Pates recalls becoming a dean of Chicago's Malcolm X College

Tape: 16 Story: 4 - Harold Pates recalls being appointed president of Chicago's Kennedy-King College

Tape: 16 Story: 5 - Harold Pates describes the politics of Kennedy-King College

Tape: 16 Story: 6 - Harold Pates recalls a negative news story about Kennedy-King College

Tape: 16 Story: 7 - Harold Pates recalls community engagement at Kennedy-King College

Tape: 17 Story: 1 - Harold Pates describes his policies as Kennedy-King College president

Tape: 17 Story: 2 - Harold Pates describes programs he introduced at Kennedy-King College

Tape: 17 Story: 3 - Harold Pates talks about plans for a new facility for Kennedy-King College

Tape: 17 Story: 4 - Harold Pates describes life after his retirement from Kennedy-King College

Tape: 17 Story: 5 - Harold Pates talks about a controversy at Kennedy-King College

Tape: 17 Story: 6 - Harold Pates reflects upon his life

Tape: 18 Story: 1 - Harold Pates describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 18 Story: 2 - Harold Pates describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 18 Story: 3 - Harold Pates considers contemporary leaders in the African American community

Tape: 18 Story: 4 - Harold Pates reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 18 Story: 5 - Harold Pates reflects upon his family life

Tape: 18 Story: 6 - Harold Pates talks about the importance of rejecting materialism

Tape: 18 Story: 7 - Harold Pates reflects upon the role of music in his life

Tape: 19 Story: 1 - Harold Pates describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 19 Story: 2 - Harold Pates narrates his photographs

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$16

DAStory

5$4

DATitle
Harold Pates describes being a paperboy in Chicago's white neighborhoods
Harold Pates recalls being appointed president of Chicago's Kennedy-King College
Transcript
I remember the first time I ever got afraid of a policeman. I told you I was twelve years old, I was tall. I started delivering papers in the white neighborhood; the paper branch was in the alley between Cottage Grove [Avenue] and Drexel [Avenue]. We would, I would go from 46th [Street] and Evans [Avenue], down 47th Street into this alley. There was a drugstore on the corner of 47th and Cottage Grove, it was called Orenstein's [ph.], there was also a newspaper stand right in front of it. One day I had my paper bag, 4:30 in the morning, I'm going to the paper branch. I walk down 47th Street, a white woman was coming in front of me, she saw me and ran across to the south side of 47th Street. It was a policeman standing at the newsstand, and this is one of these pivotal experiences too. I saw this lady, I knew that this lady was afraid of me, it was very clear, she went across the street and walked to the newsstand. There was a policeman at the newsstand, and I saw her doing like this, the policeman took out after me running. And I saw that, I started to run but I didn't because you know how white policemen dealt with black people at that time was no myth. I mean it was very real, I started to run but I didn't, I continued to walk, and I tried to act like I didn't know that he was coming behind me. He came up to me, right when I got in front of the Vee show, he pulled his gun out, put it up to my head and he said, "What are you doing over here?" He said, "Turn around," where my back would be to him, he put the gun up against my head, and he said, "What are you doing over here?" And I went to turn around to talk to him; he said, "If you turn around, I'll blow your head off." So I just stood there, but I said, "You see this paper bag, I'm about to go to the paper branch," but it occurred to me I can't see this man's face. If he killed me nobody will know who he is, but I wouldn't have been able to tell it anyway, you know. So I'm standing there and he's--then he cocked the gun and I thought, Crowe [Larry Crowe], I really thought I was gone then, as a young boy you know. So finally I said, "See the paper bag, see the paper bag, I'm going right back here, the paper branch is right here." So then he, I guess he took the latch off the gun and then he turned around and went on away. And there was a florist shop and when I got back in the paper branch, I thought about that because I never told any of the fellows. See back at that time, there was only one white boy working in the branch, his name was Tommy North, N-O-R-T-H, and he lived in the white community. All the rest of us who delivered papers in the white community were black. My brother [Henry Pates] delivered the papers over in five hotels which are now, which have--many of them have been replaced by 50th on the Lake [50th on the Lake Motel, Chicago, Illinois]. There was also an [U.S.] Army barracks over there that was called the [U.S.] Fifth Army, now that's important. Because in the '60s [1960s], the Fifth Army came out in the '60s [1960s] after Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] was killed and posted a .50 caliber machine gun right there on--this is what I saw with my eyes. Right there on Stony Island [Avenue] and 63rd Street, I guess they decided they were gonna shoot down 63rd Street. Because young people were setting 63rd Street on fire, you understand? And they didn't know what to do, so the Army--I came out that night to see, but I was, you know. This is not when I was young; this is when Martin Luther King got killed.$My presidency, I think I became president either in '86 [1986] or '87 [1987], I don't remember the exact date. And that was a very interesting experience, the presidency of Kennedy-King [Kennedy-King College, Chicago, Illinois] because my orientation for the presidency was to make sure that the pres- that the school reflected of the community and its values. And that it took the community to a higher level with respect to the offerings and with respect to, to--it operating as a resource for community development.$$Before I get, I just want to ask you did you, were you surprised when you became, when you were appointed, I mean did, you went after the job I'm sure. But, but were you, I mean how, how was the lay of the land? I mean were you assured of (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well--$$--of being, of becoming the president at that time? Did you have, was it a done deal or what?$$Well you know no, it wasn't a done deal. It was very interesting because you see there was, within the college, the faculty council had decided on another person. I'm coming in out of the community with a community support, but also with the, with the support of the student government, who was both a part of the school and a part of the community at the same time. Well, my coming into the presidency, when the selection committee, it just so happens that members of the selection committee, the president of the selection committee--now this just so happens, the president, the chairman of the selection committee was a fellow named Mayo [ph.]; I can't remember his first name, simply because we were in third grade together in elementary school [Forrestville Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois], and when he discovered that they were searching and that they were looking at me as the president, he came to see me. He said, "[HistoryMaker] Harold Pates," he said, "do you realize that, do you realize how far we go back?" And I begin to talk, I said, "Look, I remember when we were in elementary school." We started talking about--. He says, "With your credentials," because everybody knew me in the City of Chicago [Illinois], you know, "you got to be the president over here." He says, "You got to be the president." Well, I don't know what went on in the selection committee, but the student government chairman came out one day and told me while I was in the counseling office he says, "Now Dr. Pates are you ready to be president?" I said, "Oh?" He said, "Are you ready?" I said, "Of course," and that's the way that happened.