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Laurence Fishburne

Actor Laurence Fishburne was born on July 30, 1961 in Augusta, Georgia to Hattie Bell Fishburne and Laurence Fishburne, Sr. He attended Julia Richmond High School and later graduated from Lincoln Square Academy in 1979.

In 1971, at age ten, Fishburne appeared in his first play In My Many Names and Days at the New Federal Theater. In 1973, Fishburne made his television debut in the role of Joshua Hall on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. He made his film debut two years later in Cornbread, Earl and Me; and, in that same year, he joined the Negro Ensemble Company. In 1976, at the age of fourteen, Fishburne was cast as Tyrone Miller in Frances Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, and was sent to the Philippines for location filming. Fishburne returned to the U.S. in 1979, and moved to Los Angeles, California. In 1983, he was featured in Rumble Fish based on the novel by S.E. Hinton, and later appeared in The Cotton Club as Bumpy Rhodes in 1984. The following year, he was cast as Swain in Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple and also starred Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey. Fishburne later portrayed Cowboy Curtis on Pee-wee’s Playhouse and also appeared in films such as Quicksilver, School Daze, and Cadence.

In 1991, Fishburne starred in John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood as Furious Styles. Two years later, he starred opposite Angela Bassett, portraying Ike Turner in What’s Love Got to Do with It, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. In 1994, Fishburne made his theatrical directorial debut and starred in Riff Raff. He was then cast in the title role for the film adaptation of Othello, and later portrayed Caleb Humphries in Miss Evers’ Boys. In 1999, Fishburne starred in The Matrix as Morpheus, co-starring Keanu Reaves. The following year, he made his screenwriting and directorial debut in Once in the Life. He also appeared in several films including: Mystic River, Biker Boyz, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Akeelah and the Bee, Mission: Impossible III, Five Fingers, Bobby, and voiced the role of the Silver Surfer in Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer. In 2007, Fishburne portrayed Thurgood Marshall in the Broadway production of Thurgood; and, in 2008, he landed a recurring role as Raymond Langston on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Fishburne was later featured in films such as, Contagion, Predators, Have a Little Faith, Man of Steel, The Colony, and Ride Along. In 2014, he was cast in the role of Pops in the television series Black-ish; and, in 2017, he portrayed the Bowery King in John Wick: Chapter 2, reprising the role in 2019, in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.

Among several awards and nominations, Fishburne was nominated for an Academy Award, has won two Emmy Awards and was nominated seven times. He also received a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Featured Role in 1992.

Laurence Fishburne was interviewed by on February 4, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.009

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/4/2019

Last Name

Fishburne

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

John

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

P.S. 321 William Penn Elementary School

M.S. 88 Peter Rouget School

Woodward School

Julia Richman High School

Lincoln Square Academy

First Name

Laurence

Birth City, State, Country

Augusta

HM ID

FIS06

Favorite Season

Autumn

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Tropical Places; Tahiti

Favorite Quote

Cool; See you around; Peace and love; Don't spend it all in one place

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

7/30/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Favorite Food

Moroccan

Short Description

Actor Laurence Fishburne (1961 - ) starred in films such as Apocalypse Now, The Color Purple, What’s Love Got to Do with It, The Matrix trilogy and in the television series Black-ish, and has received an Academy Award nomination, two Emmy Awards and a Tony Award for Best Actor.

Employment

Negro Ensemble Company

American Broadcasting Company (ABC)

American International Pictures

United Artists

Orion Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures

Columbia Broadcasting System

20th Century Fox Television

Columbia Pictures

Touchstone Pictures

Favorite Color

Orange

Gwendolyn Quinn

Public relations expert Gwendolyn Quinn was born on November 12, 1960 in Augusta, Georgia to Queen Esther Bradshaw and Lonnie Edward Quinn. Quinn graduated from Potomac High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland in 1978, and received her cosmetology license from Robert Fiance Beauty School in New York.

After graduating from high school, Quinn served as the personal assistant to recording artist and performer, Gloria Gaynor. Quinn entered the music industry by joining the television and radio staff at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. She was then recruited as a personal assistant to Beverly Johnson, after which she joined ABC-Capital Cities and worked for several years in positions related to television development and production. In 1991, Quinn joined Mercury/PolyGram as its publicity coordinator. The company worked with artists such as Vanessa Williams, Oleta Adams, and Third World. She then joined Flavor Unit Entertainment as the national director of publicity, creating campaigns for artists such as Naughty By Nature, Zhané, and Queen Latifah. Quinn was named national director of publicity and media relations at Capitol Records in 1995. Two years later, she worked as senior director of publicity for Island Records, and worked with the Isley Brothers, and Dru Hill, among others. The following year, Quinn joined Arista Records as senior director of publicity, and organized campaigns for artists such as Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Deborah Cox, and Monica. When Arista Records and Bad Boy Entertainment launched joint ventures, Quinn was responsible for the artists’ media campaigns. These artists included P. Diddy, Notorious B.I.G., Faith Evans, and Mase. Quinn handled media and press activities for the company. Quinn then returned to Capitol Records as vice president of publicity. In 2002, Quinn founded her own firm, GQ Media & Public Relations (now Gwendolyn Quinn Public Relations).

Quinn was the founder and creator of the African American Public Relations Collective (AAPRC) and the Global Communicator. She also was a contributor to Souls Revealed and featured in Handle Your Entertainment Business. She was the curator of The Living Legends Foundation: The State of Black Music and Beyond, an essay series published by the Huffington Post.

Gwendolyn Quinn was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 29, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.078

Sex

Female

Interview Date

03/29/2017

Last Name

Quinn

Maker Category
Schools

Draper Elementary School

Charles Hart Middle School

Frank W. Ballou Senior High School

Potomac High School

Robert Fiance Hair Design Institute

First Name

Gwendolyn

Birth City, State, Country

Augusta

HM ID

QUI01

Favorite Season

Spring, Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Town, South Africa

Favorite Quote

No Weapon Formed Against You Shall Prosper.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/12/1960

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pasta, fish

Short Description

Public relations expert Gwendolyn Quinn (1960 - ) was vice president of publicity at Capitol Records and was founder and CEO of GQ Media & Public Relations.

Employment

Gloria Gaynor

Vidal Sassoon

American Society of Composers, Authors and, Publishers

Beverly Johnson

Capital Cities/ABC Inc.

Mercury/PolyGram Records

Flavor Unit Entertainment

Capitol Records, Inc.

Island Records

Arista Records

GQ Media and Public Relations Inc.

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gwendolyn Quinn's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Quinn lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Quinn describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Quinn talks about her mother's training as a nurse

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Quinn describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Quinn talks about her father's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Quinn talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Quinn describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Quinn lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gwendolyn Quinn describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gwendolyn Quinn remembers moving to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls her early interest in music

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Quinn remembers her civics class at Charles Hart Junior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Quinn remembers the music and film of her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls learning to braid hair

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls her transition to Potomac High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Quinn remembers moving to New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls becoming a professional hairstylist in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Quinn remembers meeting Gloria Gaynor

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls training at the Sassoon Salon in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls leaving her position at the Sassoon Salon

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Quinn describes her position at the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls working as Beverly Johnson's assistant

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls joining Capital Cities/ABC Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls her decision to leave Capital Cities/ABC Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls joining PolyGram Records

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls her position at Flavor Unit Entertainment

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls becoming a national publicity director at Capitol Records

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Quinn talks about working with hip hop artists

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls her interview at Capitol Records

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Quinn describes her responsibilities at Capitol Records

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls her time at Island Records

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Quinn describes how she ended her contract at Island Records

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Quinn remembers joining Arista Records

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Quinn describes the qualities of a successful publicist

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls her biggest celebrity client

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Quinn remembers returning to Capitol Records as a vice president

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Quinn talks about founding GQ Media Public Relations Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Quinn talks about her clients at GQ Media and Public Relations Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Quinn talks about the filming of 'VH1 Divas'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls the great vocalists among her clientele

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Quinn recalls great singers that she worked with

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Quinn talks about the African American Public Relations Collective

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Quinn talks about her birthday celebration in 2012

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Quinn remembers hearing about the death of Whitney Houston

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Quinn talks about the importance of black publicists

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Quinn talks about her work with white clients

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Gwendolyn Quinn reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Quinn reflects upon the changes in the music industry

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Quinn reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Quinn describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Quinn reflects upon her family

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Quinn describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
Gwendolyn Quinn recalls her time at Island Records
Gwendolyn Quinn talks about the African American Public Relations Collective
Transcript
Now you went to Island Records next, right?$$Yeah, I was back and under the PolyGram system [PolyGram Records], but it was under Hiram Hicks and Chris Blackwell. Chris Blackwell is a rock and roll hall of famer [Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio], and Hiram Hicks is very well established in the black music industry. He had The Isley Brothers there, Dru Hill, War soundtracks. I didn't stay there long because I had gotten another, I didn't like that job as much, and I knew I had to get out of there, so that's when I went to go work for Arista [Arista Records].$$What, what, what made it pressurized? What made it, you know, made you feel like you had to get out?$$I didn't like some of the people I was working with at the time. I just decided--$$Did they make unreasonable demands or were they just have (unclear).$$You know I'm probably gone get in trouble for saying this, but sometimes working with all your people is not always the best option, you know. I've been in some situations where it's been an entire black staff and it was cool, but then sometimes it's not cool at all. I just knew that with my temperament, it wasn't gone work. So I started looking to get out. I wasn't pushed out, I moved. And my roommate at the time, the one that, the one that actually had been responsible for all my key executive positions, Jackie Rhinehart, she, she, we were on the phone one day and she was complaining, she was at Arista, and she was like, she was ready to go into, she was in publicity, but she was ready to move into marketing, and she had a big job offer as a senior VP, and she was ready to go, and, you know, she couldn't get out of her contract, and, 'cause her boss hadn't found a person that she wanted to hire. So we, she was on the phone complaining about that, and I was on the phone complaining like, "Oh, I'm not gonna be able to work here. I've got to get out of here." And then she said, "Do you wanna, I mean do you wanna interview for my position?" And that was the house of Clive Davis. That was, you know, that was like the ultimate place to work, you know, Whitney Houston and everybody else, Aretha Franklin, and I was like, "Do I wanna--yeah." So I said, she said, "I'm a set up an interview for you, you ready to come in for an interview?" I said, "Girl, I could come in tomorrow." So she set up an interview for me, 'cause her boss who at the time, Michele Cucci, well her name was Michele Mena but her name was Michele Cucci. She had saw all these different people and she just was not, you know, ready to hire anyone. So I went over that day. I had on my big fur coat (laughter), I had my big hair, my big fur coat; and she told me, we laughed about it later, she said, "When you walked through that door with that big fur coat and that big hair, I knew you was perfect for this job."$Now you launched, in 2004, you launched the AAPRC monthly, right?$$It--well it's the African American Public Relations Collective. It was a group that I started of African American publicists across the board, so it was film, television, music, government, medical field, just from every industry and it was a group and we had a list served and we shared information and ideas. It was a wonderful. So that, I started that.$$Now was this the first time African American public relations and marketing people like them organized into?$$I won't say it's the first time, 'cause you had the black public relations society [National Black Public Relations Society]. They are organizations. They are 510--501 [501(c)(3)] organizations. I didn't get mine registered as an organization. It was more like a group, a collector of individuals that we, our main goal was to support each other in our different areas.$$And now the magazine is entitled the Global Communicator?$$Right. Which we haven't published anything in several years. Yeah, but it was a really great magazine. I mean we were fortunate to, we covered a lot of great people, like I, we did, I'll never forget that day we called Ed Bradley and he answered his phone. And wait a minute, and he was just so kind and generous and I, I think I had wrote him a note. I don't even know if he got the note, but I talked to him and he was like, "Yeah, I'll do the interview." And I think he knew, like these are young journalists and I mean Ed Bradley was a big deal. I mean he didn't do that kind of stuff, you know. He certainly, and it was a digital magazine and we, I couldn't tell you what the circulation was. We didn't know that, but he, he knew it was a group of publicists and let me tell you the most profound aspect of that story for me is he did the interview and was gracious, very, very gracious with his time. But when he passed away, we got a call from someone who is a very close family member, and he, they personally invited me to the funeral 'cause they said that, she told me, Maria Brown [sic. HistoryMaker Marie Brown] told me, she said, "You know what Gwendolyn [HistoryMaker Gwendolyn Quinn], he was, he was actually sick, started getting sick at the time that he did the interview, but no one knew he was sick." So she said he was not even doing interviews with anyone really. And, she said, "I don't know what you said to him on the phone, but, you know, he didn't really do any interviews and, and, and," she said, "We, his family read the story and we could tell that he really, really wanted to do the interview, and that we wanted to invite you (background noise), we wanted to invite you to the service." And I was just blown away from that. That was just, I was, I got a chance to interview [HistoryMaker] Gwen Ifill, another one, a top notch journalist. You know we interviewed all the top publicists too, you know, from [HistoryMaker] Ofield Dukes to, you know, [HistoryMaker] Terrie Williams, and all of the publicists in all industry, but the journalist I was most impressed. I mean we had [HistoryMaker] Soledad O'Brien, we had all these like big broadcast people, like, Gwen Ifill, you know. It was just amazing that people really respected what we were doing. It was just, I'm going to start it again one day, but I just need a budget.$$Okay, okay.$$We did, you know, we did Ava DuVernay, she was just like a budding publicist at the time. I said, called, I said, "Hey Ava." She said, "Hey Gwendolyn." She was a publicist and she was working in film. I said, "Ava you want to do a story?" She said, "I love that magazine,' and she did the story and, look at her now.$$Yeah, she's the--$$(Laughter) Just look at her now.$$--director and producer for 'Selma' (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Oh my god, 'Selma' and '13th'--$$And '13th,' right.$$--and she was a publicist just like the rest of us. So it was, it was great, we had some really amazing interviews.

Jessye Norman

Opera singer Jessye Norman was born on September 15, 1945 in Augusta, Georgia to Janie King Norman and Silas Norman. She graduated from Augusta’s Lucy C. Laney Senior High School. Following her participation in Philadelphia’s Marian Anderson Vocal Competition in 1960, Norman received a full-tuition scholarship to attend Howard University, where she completed her B.M. degree in 1967. She then earned her M.M. degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1968.

After Norman won the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, Germany in 1969, Egon Seefehlner invited her to perform as Elisabeth in Tannhauser with Deutsche Oper Berlin. She signed a three-year contract with the opera company and, in 1970, she performed in Deborah, followed by L’Africaine and Le nozze di Figaro at the Berlin Festival. In 1972, Norman sang Verdi’s Aida at La Scala in Milan. Norman continued to perform internationally as a soloist and recitalist. She returned to the stage, performing in Oedipus rex and Dido and Aeneas with the Opera Company of Philadelphia in 1982. The following year, Norman performed at the Metropolitan Opera for its 100th anniversary season. Following a 1987 performance with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Norman was featured in Erwartung, the Metropolitan Opera’s first single-character production, and Bluebeard’s Castle in 1989. In 1990, she performed in Tchaikovsky: 150th Birthday Gala from Leningrad along with Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman. Her first appearance with the Lyric Opera of Chicago was in the title role of Alceste in 1990. She was cast as Jocasta in a televised production of Oedipus rex at the inaugural Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto in 1993, the same year she was featured in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Metropolitan Opera, followed by The Makropulos Case in 1996. In 1998, she performed at Carnegie Hall in Sacred Ellington, featuring music by Duke Ellington, and released a jazz crossover project, I Was Born in Love with You, with Michel Legrand. In 2002, she established the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, a tuition-free, after school arts program in her hometown of Augusta, Georgia. In collaboration with New York City cultural institutions, Norman curated Honor!: A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy in 2009. With seventy-five recordings to her credit, in 2010, Norman released Roots: My Life, My Song.

A five-time Grammy Award winner, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Norman has received forty-five honorary doctorate degrees, is a Kennedy Center Honoree and holds the National Medal of the Arts. Graduate fellowships at the University of Michigan’s School of Music have also been named in her honor. Norman serves as a spokesperson for The Partnership for the Homeless and was named an honorary ambassador to the United Nations. Additionally, she serves on the board of trustees of the New York Public Library, The New York Botanical Garden, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, Paine College and Carnegie Hall.

Norman passed away on September 30, 2019.

Jessye Norman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 21, 2016 and April 27, 2017.

Accession Number

A2016.128

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/21/2016 |and| 04/27/2017

Last Name

Norman

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Walker Traditional Elementary School

A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet Middle and High School

Lucy C. Laney High School

University of Michigan

Howard University

First Name

Jessye

Birth City, State, Country

Augusta

HM ID

NOR08

Favorite Season

Fall, song: God will take care of you.

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere there's an ocean

Favorite Quote

When people show you who they are, believe them.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/15/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Smoked salmon

Death Date

9/30/2019

Short Description

Opera singer Jessye Norman (1945- ) began performing with international and American opera companies in 1969. She received multiple Grammy awards, founded the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, and wrote a memoir, Stand Up Straight and Sing!, published in 2014.

Employment

Deutsche Oper Berlin

Teatro Communale

Temple University Music Festival

Various

Jessye Norman School for the Arts

Favorite Color

Yellow

The Honorable Theodore Britton, Jr.

Ambassador Theodore R. Britton Jr. was born on October 17, 1925 in North Augusta, South Carolina to Bessie B. and Theodore R. Britton, Sr. His family relocated to New York City in 1936. Britton left high school in January of 1944 to join the U. S. Marine Corps where he served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After being discharged, he enrolled at New York University until the beginning of the Korean War. Britton was then called to active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps where he served until May of 1951. He then resumed his studies at New York University and graduated with his B.A. degree in banking and finance in February of 1952.

Britton worked as a mortgage officer and head of the mortgage department at Carver Federal Savings and Loan Association from 1955 to 1964. From there, he became president of the American Baptist Convention and a leader in the non-profit housing field. Britton was then invited to join the federal government by Harry Finger, who was head of Research and Technology in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Britton closed his offices in New York and Pennsylvania and decided to join HUD in 1971 as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology. As the HUD official managing international research, his volunteer program for the U. S. Information Agency attracted favorable attention. Britton was nominated by President Gerald R. Ford to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and Grenada and as the U. S. Special Representative to Antigua, Dominica, St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, St. Lucia and St. Vincent on November 17, 1974. Britton was elected as vice-chair of the Group on Urban Affairs at the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 1971, and later as president. His resignation as Ambassador was accepted by President Jimmy Carter in May of 1977.

Upon retirement, Britton was honored by the City Councils of Newark, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. He presented with the Congressional Gold Medal on June 30, 2012 in recognition of his services with the U.S. Marine Corps’ Montford Point Marines. Britton is a Life Member of the Second Marine Division, Montford Point Marine Association, and the Association for Intelligence Officers. On March 2, 2013, he joined the Marine Corps Commandant and other officials as a U. S. Navy ship was christened to honor the Montford Point Marines. Britton has served as Honorary Consul General for the Republic of Albania since 2006. He is also the Honorary Chairman of Kristal University in Tirana, Albania where her was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree in 2009.

Britton was married in 1950 to the late Ruth B. A. Baker of Fort Worth, Texas. He is currently married to Vernell Elizabeth Stewart of Jacksonville, Florida.

Ambassador Theodore R. Britton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 9, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.097

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/9/2013

Last Name

Britton

Maker Category
Middle Name

R.

Schools

High School of Commerce

New York University

American Savings & Loan Institute

Kristal University

Harlem Evening High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Theodore

Birth City, State, Country

Augusta

HM ID

BRI06

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

Equal opportunity means equal responsibility.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

10/17/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chili

Short Description

Sergeant and foreign ambassador The Honorable Theodore Britton, Jr. (1925 - ) served as the U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and Grenada and as the U. S. Special Representative to Antigua, Dominica, St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, St. Lucia and St. Vincent. On June 30, 2012, Britton was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his services with the U.S. Marine Corps’ Montford Point Marines.

Employment

National Housing Ministries

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Delete

United States Department of State

Amer Baptist Conv

United Mutual Life Insurance

Carver Federal Savings & Loan

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Theodore R. Britton, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. gives historical background on the education system in the South

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. explains how his parents met and which parent's personality he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his experience in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his high school teacher, Mr. L. Walter Stevens

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses his jobs in high school and the civil rights activist, Dr. Channing Tobias

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his high school courses and wanting to visit France

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his grades in high school and the 1940s labor movement

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his plans following his high school graduation

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about joining the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses his experience after arrival at Montford Point in North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his boot camp training

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes the treatment of blacks in the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about drill instructors in the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about graduating from boot camp and whites' reaction to black soldiers fighting overseas in World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his experience on the U.S. Navy Ship, "Sea Perch" and the Solomon Islands

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his tour of duty in Guadalcanal

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his experiences while at Camp Paukukalo in Hawaii

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about returning to the United States in 1946

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his involvement with the Society for the Study of Negro History in New York, pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his involvement with the Society for the Study of Negro History in New York, pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses his involvement in the Greater Harlem Christian Youth Council

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. explains why he pursued a career in banking and finance

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses his attendance at New York University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about African American singer, Paul Robeson, pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. speaks about his friend John L. Loeb, Jr., pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. speaks about his friend John L. Loeb, Jr., pt.2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about African American singer, Paul Robeson, pt.2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about Carver Federal Savings and Loan Association

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes the political climate of the early 1950s

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses his involvement in Republican politics

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his career at Carver Federal Savings and Loan Association

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. shares highlights from his career at Carver Federal Savings and Loan Association, pt.1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. shares highlights from his career at Carver Federal Savings and Loan Association, pt.2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his work at the American Baptist Convention

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses his recognition by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1969

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about being invited to speak for before the U.S. Information Agency and his nomination for ambassador

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. remembers learning about the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. reminisces about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about important African American leaders of the late 1960s and minority business

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses African American civil rights leader, James Forman

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about former President Richard Nixon's black capitalism initiative

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. speaks about African American diplomats, Horace Dawson and Edward R. Dudley, pt.1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. speaks about African American diplomats, Horace Dawson and Edward R. Dudley, pt.2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. explains how former Senator Strom Thurmond helped him become an ambassador

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his ambassadorship to Barbados and Grenada, and meeting Queen Elizabeth II

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about a special moment he had with former President Richard Nixon

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about columnist, Jack Anderson and entertainer, Danny Kaye

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. gives highlights from his career a as chief admission ambassador to Barbados and Grenada, pt.1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. gives highlights from his career a as chief admission Ambassador to Barbados and Grenada, pt.2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his experience as president of the United Mutual Life Insurance Company

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his position as head of international research for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. explains how photos he took of a police incident in London were used in a trial, pt.1

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. explains how photos he took of a police incident in London were used in a trial, pt.2

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. recalls his testimony before the Development Policy in the Caribbean Committee in 1988

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. recounts his international work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, pt.1

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. recounts his international work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, pt.2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about the Association of Black American Ambassadors, pt.1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about the Association of Black American Ambassadors, pt.2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses his professional activities during Bill Clinton's presidency and being Counsel General to Albania

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. reflects upon his professional legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about having a temperament for diplomacy and taking advantage of educational opportunities

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community and shares his regrets

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses his diplomatic work with Albania

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. discusses People to People International and the perks of being an ambassador

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes his photographs

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in New York City
Theodore R. Britton, Jr. describes the treatment of blacks in the U.S. Marine Corps
Transcript
All right, well, let's see. Well, what about New York City? What are your memories of New York City? You were ten [years old] when you moved there.$$Oh, boy, New York City was something, was a real trip. First of all, by the time I reached New York City, although I was 10 years old, I was already in the seventh grade. Whether I was smart or whether they liked me or whatever you--I had been promoted on, you know, quite regularly. Anyway, I, my mother enrolled me at a school in Harlem, P.S. 157. And they determined that children from the South weren't as smart as children from the North. So they put me back to fourth grade, three years, three years. Well, in those days, you didn't challenge authority, especially, if you came from the South. And that'll be something I tough on, later on about Marine Corp life. My parents accepted it, and what, as it was, almost three months later, my father lost his job because the recession came in 1936. Work was stopped on the subway, and people were fired. So he lost his job, and it became necessary to find a new place to live. We had a cousin who owned a little store down in 62nd Street in Manhattan on the lower, on the West side of Manhattan, about mid-Manhattan. She found a job there in the next building for a janitor. And my father took the janitor's job, and we moved down there. This was an entirely different thing. Now, for the first time in my life I was in an integrated type of setting. There were whites around in the block and near the block and so forth. Plus, the schools were integrated. And, again, for some reason, the teachers loved me. I did make some, make up some--a year or two in terms of school age. And throughout my school career, the teachers took a special interest in me. One of my cousins who is still alive tells me that when they were, when we were in class together, at the end of the Christmas or some of the holidays, everybody in the class knew that they were going to get something. The teacher would always bring them gifts. But they always knew that I was going to get something special. Now, I never thought of it. It must have gone straight over my head, but they were always assured that I was gonna get something special. The teachers loved me. Yeah, I went to school in 59th Street, which is right across from what's now John Jay College of Criminal Justice.$$What was the name of the school--$$P.S. 141.$$Okay.$$We had numbers. And from there, after the seventh grade, I went down to the P.S. 69, which is on 54th Street and 6th Avenue. It was about that time, by the way, that economics suddenly began to teach me something. My parents were on home relief. That's what they called it in those days. Welfare was still a new term in the future. And there wasn't much--by the way, Jim, James Dumpson became the first commissioner in the New York City government. He became the secretary of--no, the Commissioner of Welfare. And anyway, as I said, I--we were on home relief, but it didn't give me enough to take care of my needs. For example, when I was leaving P.S. 141, all of the boys were dressed up in different things. But I didn't have any special things. So I began to shine shoes for a living. And now, if you ever know anything about Manhattan, on the West side of Manhattan is where all of the major ships from Europe would dock. There were the Piers. The Kinnard Line which was British, the German line, the French line, the Italian line and others, Sweden line. So I began shining shoes, and within a week or so, I was giving money to the family to help them along. And to that date--it must have been about 1938, I've never had to ever ask my family for anything, nor anybody else. I've always taken care of myself.$In fact, it got many, some of them in trouble because they acted as if they wouldn't take any stuff off anyone. One of our sort of icons in the military, Edgar Huff, was a sergeant. He went home in Alabama and he was arrested for impersonating a Marine. And the colonel in charge of the camp who was in charge--who had, was from South Carolina--from Virginia, he had attended the Citadel in South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, personally drove down to Alabama and got him out of jail. And I have stories of my friend, Ed Fiser (ph.) who is up in the home in Massachusetts now recuperating from the amputation, who was sitting waiting for a bus to take him to Charlotte [North Carolina] so that he could get a train going to New Orleans [Louisiana]. And in the course of it--to Raleigh [North Carolina], I'm sorry. In the course of it, this big Marine came in who had been fighting in Guadalcanal and said, "When did they put you guys in the Marine Corps?" And he said, "Well, there's a lot of 'em over there." He said, we have a huge camp over there. And he said, I didn't know they had black Marines, and they got on talking. And he said, well, by the way, why aren't you getting on the bus? And he said, well, they take only whites first, and afterwards, they take us. And each time the bus gets filled up, they pull out, and so that's why I've been missing two buses so far. He said, "You're ready to go?". And he said, "Yeah". So this white Marine called the station manager over and said, listen, you see that man. He said, when the next bus goes out of here, I wanna see his ass on one of them seats or your brains on this floor, you hear? He's a Marine. And when the next bus pulled out, there was Fiser sitting on his seat, headed out. And this began something that I've begun to kind of retrace my steps and see how white Marines began to befriend the black Marines. For example, the buses, bus drivers at some times would become very arbitrary and would refuse to take the guys back to the camp. Now, this could have been serious trouble for them, except that when white Marines found out about it, they would throw the white drivers off the bus, take over the bus and drive the black guys back to camp. Yeah, and this happened so consistently. One night, one of the fellows had been mistreated in Jacksonville [North Carolina], the little town there. It was very racist, and so the guys had decided that they were gonna go into the town and tear the town apart. We had tanks at that time, plus cannons and machine guns and everything else. And the colonel came down in his nightshirt, and he said, boys, he said, please don't do it. It won't help. And the word got around that if they did, they would get the colonel in trouble. And the last thing the guys wanted to do was to lose this colonel. They loved him so much. So on that basis, they broke it up and went back. I've heard a lot of stories about some of the guys being mistreated and rough. I always said the Marine Corps was very democratic. It treated everybody like dogs.$$Or maggots really (laughter).$$Yeah, yeah (laughter). So I never, for some reason, I never--the extremes on either one never made me feel bad or demoralized, and the extremes on the other side never made me feel too exhilarated. And over the years, I've begun to conclude that people are people, and there's no such thing as the perfect one or that someone's extremely bad or extremely good because one of the people who did so much for me was a man named Senator Strom Thurmond, who asked me to help him to become adjusted to the Twenty-First Century. He had a young wife, of course, a young daughter.$$Now, that's a story that comes up later, right, but--$$Yes, yes, yes--$$About the--(simultaneous)--$$--and I've had so many other people as I said, who treated me so royalty. I'm not sure I ever deserved it, but nevertheless, that's the treatment I got.

The Honorable Horace G. Dawson

Former ambassador Horace G. Dawson, Jr. was born in Augusta, Georgia, on January 30, 1926. After graduation from high school, Dawson attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania for two years before being drafted into the U.S. Army, serving a two-year tour of duty in Europe and the Philippines. Dawson then returned to Lincoln University to finish his studies, earning a B.A. in English in 1949. Dawson went on to study English and comparative literature at Columbia University and received his M.A. the following year.

Dawson began his career as an English teacher at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he remained three years after earning his M.A. He then went on to teach at North Carolina Central University, where he worked as an associate professor of English and director of public relations. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1961.

In 1962, Dawson entered the Foreign Service, working as a cultural affairs officer in Uganda and Nigeria, and then as the United States Information Agency Director in Liberia. From 1973 to 1977, Dawson held a prominent position as the director of all American information and cultural programs in Africa. Subsequently, Dawson became the counselor of embassy for public affairs and the director of American information and cultural programs in the Philippines, where he remained until 1979. That year, he was named ambassador to Botswana by President Jimmy Carter. As ambassador, he worked to end apartheid in South Africa. Returning to the United States in 1983, Dawson remained with the State Department until his retirement in 1989. He then joined the faculty at Howard University and was appointed director of the public affairs program. In 1993, Dawson established the International Affairs Center at Howard University, and in 1997 became the director of that program as well.
Dawson is a member of the Peace Corps Advisory Board, chairman of the Selection Committee for the Franklin H. Williams Memorial Internship Program of the Council on Foreign Relations, and recently ended his term as chairman of the Association of Black American Ambassadors. Listed in Who's Who in America, Dawson has written extensively on the topics of mass media and international affairs. He is married to Lula Cole Dawson, a sociologist and employment specialist. They have two children.

Accession Number

A2003.122

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/6/2003

Last Name

Dawson

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

G.

Organizations
Schools

Lincoln University

Columbia University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Days, Evenings

First Name

Horace

Birth City, State, Country

Augusta

HM ID

DAW03

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Any

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

We Don't Mess Around

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/30/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beans

Short Description

Academic administrator and foreign ambassador The Honorable Horace G. Dawson (1926 - ) was ambassador to Botswana under president Jimmy Carter and established an International Affairs Center at Howard University where he was director of the public affairs program.

Employment

Southern University

North Carolina Central University

United States Department of State

United States Information Agency

Howard University

Howard University International Affairs Center

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:8225,101:13805,265:14642,275:16037,295:18176,331:57662,806:67932,922:69084,941:69372,946:70812,973:71172,979:87536,1170:88088,1177:100251,1331:104970,1352:106650,1369:107490,1377:118086,1518:118688,1527:148270,1865:155830,2121:157180,2156:158170,2170:163173,2190:175161,2361:192500,2574:197352,2596:198059,2605:198665,2633:225490,3024:230744,3121:233556,3198:234074,3207:239328,3275:239698,3282:248790,3360:249329,3368:249791,3376:250176,3382:251562,3411:252178,3421:272540,3659$0,0:1462,15:2182,30:2542,36:7006,103:9310,132:11614,162:12910,185:13918,205:14494,214:15430,229:18742,267:19246,299:19606,305:28760,384:33260,436:34160,448:34700,454:44385,488:47120,494:47840,503:48740,514:49730,531:51260,562:55130,623:66410,742:66682,747:67294,760:67566,765:70286,807:70558,812:76066,864:76474,871:77562,894:79806,900:97980,1112:107074,1181:107390,1186:107864,1194:114105,1290:118292,1369:122479,1437:124691,1465:138255,1558:138765,1564:140040,1589:153440,1702:153965,1709:159590,1785:165515,1885:166490,1901:166940,1908:168815,1942:169265,1948:177924,1987:178269,1993:180822,2031:181719,2052:189930,2195:192690,2238:194760,2280:195243,2288:202710,2343:205090,2370:206070,2383:206770,2392:207120,2398:207960,2413:208730,2426:209290,2436:209570,2441:222423,2575:231020,2711
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Horace G. Dawson narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Horace G. Dawson narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Slating of Horace G. Dawson's interview

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Horace G. Dawson lists his favorites

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Horace G. Dawson describes his family background

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Horace G. Dawson describes his father, Horace Greeley Dawson, Sr.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Horace G. Dawson describes his mother, Mary Bell Smith Dawson

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Horace G. Dawson describes his mother's education and personality

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Horace G. Dawson talks about his grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Horace G. Dawson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of Augusta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Horace G. Dawson remembers delivering the "Pittsburgh Courier" as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Horace G. Dawson recalls his involvement with the Boy Scouts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Horace G. Dawson shares his memories of elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Horace G. Dawson describes his favorite subjects in school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Horace G. Dawson recalls his school activities and favorite teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Horace G. Dawson describes his cousin, Louis Lomax

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Horace G. Dawson describes attending Lincoln University in Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Horace G. Dawson describes serving in World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Horace G. Dawson recalls his professors at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Horace G. Dawson recalls his professors at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Horace G. Dawson recalls African students at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Horace G. Dawson talks about attending graduate school at Columbia University in New York City, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Horace G. Dawson talks about Communism in 1950

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Horace G. Dawson describes teaching at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Horace G. Dawson describes meeting his wife, HistoryMaker Lula Cole Dawson

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Horace G. Dawson talks about Douglas Elaine Moore and early sit-ins

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Horace G. Dawson describes Edward R. Murrow's interest in his Ph.D dissertation

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Horace G. Dawson recalls meeting Edward R. Murrow

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Horace G. Dawson recalls being a diplomat in Uganda

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Horace G. Dawson describes Ugandan President Milton Obote

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Horace G. Dawson describes Ugandan politics

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Horace G. Dawson describes being the Cultural Affairs Officer in Nigeria

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Horace G. Dawson describes Nigerian President Nnamdi Azikiwe

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Horace G. Dawson describes being the Public Affairs Officer in Liberia

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Horace G. Dawson recalls serving in Liberia from 1973 to 1976

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Horace G. Dawson recalls being the Minister of Information and Culture in the Philippines

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Horace G. Dawson describes race relations between blacks and Filipinos

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Horace G. Dawson describes being the Ambassador to Botswana from 1979 to 1983

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Horace G. Dawson talks about apartheid in South Africa

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Horace G. Dawson talks about working at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Horace G. Dawson talks about how foreigners view African Americans

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Horace G. Dawson talks about representing the Unites States government abroad

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Horace G. Dawson describes his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Horace G. Dawson reflects upon his legacy

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Horace G. Dawson talks about Douglas Elaine Moore and early sit-ins
Horace G. Dawson talks about apartheid in South Africa
Transcript
Now she, she talked about an interesting character that was there that was--that she met in graduate school who--a man by the name of Moore, who--$$Yes, Douglas Moore. He was a graduate of North Carolina Central [University in Durham, North Carolina] and he was a Methodist minister and he had come there--he'd been assigned to a church there in Durham and so she had run into him in Boston. By this time we're back in Durham, he--by this time he was married and had moved back to Durham to take over this church and we both went over there and joined to be very helpful to him, to Doug Moore. And Doug was a radical, actually. He would have done much better in New York in those days of the communist than I would have--than I did. Anyway, he was a radical. He was always leading demonstrations and integrating his sentiments and so on and being hauled off to jail. And he--I'm sure she must have told you that he started the sit-in idea right there in Durham at a place called Royal Ice Cream Company. He took students from North Carolina College, they went there and sat down in Royal Ice Cream Company and the owners asked him to move, they refused, and the police arrested them. And, of course, that's what Doug wanted. And he immediately called the NAACP and said, you see they have used the instrumentality of the state to enforce the segregation in a private place. And the NAACP at the time said, well look, that's true, we know you're right, and so on, but we're not ready yet to tackle that. So that was probably around, oh I would say, 1955 or six [1956], maybe a little later.$$That's interesting because it's a--we recently heard a story from Dr. Ron Walters that they conducted a sit-in in Wichita in '58 [1958]--$$Uh-hum.$$--and it predates the '61' [1961]--it's the '61' [1961] or '60' [1960] or '61' [1961] date that everybody--I said it's the '60' [1960], right--$$Uh-hum.$$--that everybody thinks where the three students at North Carolina A and T [Agricultural and Technical State University]--$$Yup.$$--you know, everybody thinks that's the beginning of the sit-in movement but they say that--$$No, no, it's just that the NAACP was not ready yet to tackle that particular issue and so although there were those who--who sat in it before, they, you know, they were in jail. In Durham, I know this is true in Durham, the powers that be simply went down and bailed them out. And so you--and that was the end of it. The city didn't complain any more, the students probably went back to campus and planned their next move and so on. But the time was not right to test the notion that was involved in that kind of strategy.$$Okay, all right. That's interesting that--his story on this, I've never heard all these versions of this before and I'd think it'd be interesting for anybody doing research on this to look at all these different stories about start-ups.$$Uh-hum.$$Start-ups and stops and all that, you know, 'cause everybody assumes just one act creates a movement but it's a lot of little things--$$Oh, absolutely and Douglas Elaine Moore was trying all of them. I mean, he was sitting in at the bus station and sitting in at the private places, I think, this ice cream parlor and, in fact, he was such a radical in this regard and such a pain in the--in the side for the black establishment there which was actually working hand in glove with the white establishment trying to ease in some sort of version of integration. He was such a pain in the side that the Bishop moved him from Durham and sent him abroad as a missionary.$$Okay. So he was sent to--$$Congo.$$Africa.$$Congo, yes.$$Okay, he was sent to Congo.$And then after that, we had a great deal of input in the freedom struggle in South Africa. This was a time when the uprisings were really in full flower in this country, in the United States, and amongst students throughout the country. And the--unhappily with the time of the [President Richard] Nixon administration and, oh, actually the [President Ronald] Reagan administration, which was not--which was really opposed to bringing pressure on South Africa to end apartheid. And the chief American diplomatic officer for this government to that part of the world was a man named Chester Crocker who advocated with the administration, something called, "constructive engagement". That is to say, don't push South Africa too hard, reason with them, try to make concessions here and there and ultimately they will free Africans and bring in--free Africans in a stable society. Well, as you know, that wasn't happening and so the uprisings here led to the--and here and in Britain and other parts of the world, but especially here, and in Britain, and the boycotts, I mean, the--yes, the boycotts by American business and by--which the student uprisings forced, disinvestments, that type of thing brought about, largely account for the bringing about of independence for blacks in South Africa. And we were down there through--during all of that period of time and working in what I was working in and what was known as the "contact group". That is to say the countries which were supporting the boycotts of South Africa and pushing for independence in South Africa for all the black Africans. That is to say, Canada, France, Germany, Nigeria, they had brought Nigeria into this, Britain and the United States. Those were the contact group members in Liberia and we had to make representations to the government of Botswana to keep them aware of what was going on and why there should be--they should assist us in bringing pressure on South Africa. And it worked. We--I was the chief spokesman for the ambassadorial group because I had--I was closest to the president of Botswana. We had become very, very close friends, President [Quett] Masire, was president then. We'd become very close friends and so my colleagues sort of elected me as the chief spokesman for the contact group. They didn't buy constructive engagement, I can tell you that but they did react to the pressure being brought by the students and others in this country and very much opposed the apartheid in South Africa.$$Okay, now, how long were you in Botswana? You were there from--$$About three plus years.$$It was mid '80s [1980s]?$$No, I was there from '79 [1979] to '83 [1983].$$Seventy-nine [1979] to '83 [1983].$$Uh-hum.

Leonard Dawson

Educational consultant and former college president Leonard E. Dawson was born on February 5, 1934, in Augusta, Georgia. His parents, through hard work, managed to send all five of their children to college on a modest income. Dawson first attended Morris Brown College in Atlanta, where he earned a B.A. in English in 1954. He would later earn an M.A. in guidance and counseling from Columbia University in 1961 and an Ed.D. from George Washington University with a focus on counselor education in 1974.

Following his graduation from Morris Brown College, Dawson found a job teaching at Carver High School in Hamilton, Georgia, and in 1956 he joined the U.S. Army. Following an honorable discharge, Dawson returned to teaching, and by 1964, he was the head counselor at Johnson Junior High School in his hometown of Augusta. In 1967, Dawson joined the staff of Paine College, where he became the dean of academics in 1969. He went to work for the United States Department of Education in 1970, and the following year he became a senior program officer at the R.R. Moten Memorial Institute, working extensively with the federal government and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Dawson became the executive vice president of the Moton Institute in 1977, and in 1980, he left to become the director of special projects for the United Negro College Fund. In 1985, Dawson was named president of Voorhees College, where he served until retiring in 2001. While at Voorhees, Dawson worked to erase a massive deficit along with doubling the size of Voorhees’ student enrollment. In 2001, Dawson was named a senior consultant to the White House Initiative on HBCUs.

Dawson is active in a number of professional and civic organizations, including the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, the National Education Association and the Third Street Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. In 2001, he was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in the state, by the governor of South Carolina.

Dawson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 13, 2003.

Accession Number

A2003.265

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/13/2003

Last Name

Dawson

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Morris Brown College

Teachers College, Columbia University

George Washington University

First Name

Leonard

Birth City, State, Country

Augusta

HM ID

DAW02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

2/5/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Richmond

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens (Collard)

Short Description

Academic administrator and education consultant Leonard Dawson (1934 - ) is the former president of Voorhees College.

Employment

Carver High School

Johnson Junior High School

Paine College

United States Department of Education

R.R. Moton Memorial Institute

United Negro College Fund

Voorhees College

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:20880,175:21980,193:27323,204:28324,212:32782,270:39247,401:41179,436:42628,462:43111,470:43387,475:43870,483:55475,625:55900,631:56240,636:58620,652:65165,739:65675,746:66270,759:71710,848:72560,859:87240,972:87870,982:88230,987:88590,993:89040,999:104190,1219:105310,1237:105630,1244:106430,1257:108190,1271:113470,1338:121220,1389:121804,1399:123330,1451$0,0:19776,319:20286,325:21714,343:35260,523:36070,533:40390,596:40840,602:41830,614:42460,622:42820,627:43360,635:58074,767:59172,777:64040,846:64488,855:75460,980:76552,994:78330,1017:79565,1032:98588,1196:101750,1259:106461,1299:108178,1320:108582,1325:109693,1338:111511,1353:111915,1358:112622,1367:114036,1384:117440,1389:117895,1395:118623,1406:119533,1417:120534,1435:127996,1579:129270,1594:132273,1639:139117,1660:145674,1792:146543,1806:151125,1894:157970,1999:163976,2081:164324,2086:169195,2146:175027,2232:175432,2258:176809,2284:180024,2292:180636,2299:181350,2308:182268,2323:185532,2379:185940,2384:188490,2416:189918,2448:195986,2506:198098,2534:198626,2541:198978,2546:199330,2551:201990,2577
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Leonard Dawson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Leonard Dawson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Leonard Dawson talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Leonard Dawson talks about his father and paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Leonard Dawson talks about his parents' move to Augusta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Leonard Dawson describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Leonard Dawson talks about his parents' schooling

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Leonard Dawson lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Leonard Dawson describes growing up in Augusta, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Leonard Dawson describes growing up in Augusta, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Leonard Dawson recalls being a mischievous child

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Leonard Dawson remembers growing up in a segregated community and attending an A.M.E. church

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Leonard Dawson talks about R&B musician James Brown

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Leonard Dawson talks about the educational opportunities available to black students in Augusta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Leonard Dawson talks about attending Charles T. Walker Elementary School in Augusta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Leonard Dawson talks about attending Haines Institute in Augusta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Leonard Dawson recalls the faculty at Haines Institute in Augusta, Georgia pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Leonard Dawson recalls the faculty at Haines Institute in Augusta, Georgia pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Leonard Dawson talks about his high school activities

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Leonard Dawson talks about growing up in an all-black community in Augusta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Leonard Dawson talks about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Leonard Dawson talks about attending Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Leonard Dawson talks about his professors at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Leonard Dawson describes teaching and serving in the U.S. Army after graduating from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Leonard Dawson talks about receiving his M.A. degree from Columbia University in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Leonard Dawson talks about counseling and directing the Upward Bound program at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Leonard Dawson talks about the Moton Memorial Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Leonard Dawson talks about working for the United Negro College Fund

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Leonard Dawson talks about becoming the president of Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Leonard Dawson describes the start of Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Leonard Dawson describes how Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina became an Episcopal school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Leonard Dawson describes the problems at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina when he arrived in 1985

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Leonard Dawson describes working to improve the financial standing of Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina as president

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Leonard Dawson talks about campus improvements and increased enrollment at during his tenure at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Leonard Dawson talks about retiring from Voorhees College and being invited to work for the U.S. Department of Education

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Leonard Dawson describes his work at the U.S. Department of Education

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Leonard Dawson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Leonard Dawson considers his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Leonard Dawson considers what he might have done differently

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Leonard Dawson describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$5

DATitle
Leonard Dawson talks about working for the United Negro College Fund
Leonard Dawson describes his work at the U.S. Department of Education
Transcript
I left the [Robert R. Moton Memorial] Institute in '79 [1979] or so, maybe '80 [1980], probably '78 [1978], '79 [1979] and joined the United Negro College Fund. I opened the Washington [D.C.] office for federal relations and for the College Fund. The College Fund has regional offices--fundraising. An office in Chicago [Illinois]. An office in Atlanta [Georgia]. Office--offices Dallas [Texas], office around the country with the fundraising offices. The College Fund started getting into federal advocacy stuff--policy stuff and needed an office here in Washington [D.C.], which I was into at that time. So I made a shift into policy and left fundraising and came on the policy side. And so I started the first federal relations policy work here in Washington for the United Negro College Fund. And so I stayed there and we did a lot of management activities with the schools during those years. That was the height of our interaction with the UNCF schools of which, at that time, there were forty-one. We've since lost, two I think, there are thirty-nine but we would--we did a lot of management activities with those schools. A lot of financial aid management, improvement programs, work with governing boards and all of that. That was the height of the work that the College Fund did during those days. And so I stayed with the College Fund until '85 [1985], when I was called to come to Voorhees [College, Denmark, South Carolina].$Okay, so what's a--how would you define your job now with the [U.S.] Department of Education?$$My job now is one of doing what I did at Voorhees [College, Denmark, South Carolina] for 105 schools. The 105 HBCUs [historically black colleges and universities] that participate in our program. And our job, in the White House Initiative, is to encourage thirty-one agencies--that thirty-one agencies that relate to us, [U.S.] Department of Agriculture, [U.S.] Department of Treasury, Department of Education, the thirty-one different agencies that are part of our program, our job is to encourage these agencies to provide more access, more dollars, more support, more grants, more contracts, to HBCUs, that's our job. So, the assumption is that the HBCUs provide an excellent opportunity for the students that they serve within the country. So national resource is to the country's advantage and to its benefit to support these institutions and our job is to see to it that the Department of Defense, for instance, looks into its programs and divide those dollars up and to make sure that the HBCUs get their fair share. That's our role, and we take it very seriously.$$Okay. Do you have any stories or victories in this regard to, you know--$$No, I, you know, I've been here a year and a half, I've seen--I've seen some instances in which agencies have begun to understand a bit more about what it is that we're about. Ours is a constant selling job. I'm very pleased that our new chair, chair of our board--the White House Initiative is a presidentially appointed--has a presidentially appointed board. President [George W.] Bush appointed twenty-one members to a board, to oversee the work that we do. And [HM] Dr. Louis Sullivan, who was president emeritus of Morehouse School of Medicine, was appointed as our chair, and he's taken this very seriously so much so that he has asked each cabinet head, Secretary [Donald] Rumsfeld, Secretary [sic, Attorney General John] Ashcroft, to meet with him, individually, to talk to him about what they are doing for HBCUs. He's made seventeen of those visits already and I'm encouraged by the reception that he's gotten, I'm encouraged by the interest that has been shown by the other secretaries and the agency heads and I'm sure that it cannot help but benefit in the long run because these guys control the purse strings. What happens to the dollars that get into the pipeline to help these schools? And I'm responsible as liaison to the board for organizing those visits and making sure that they happen.$$Okay.$$Yeah.