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Reverend Byron Williams

In 2002, Williams was called to serve as pastor of the Resurrection Community Church. He regularly contributed to the The Huffington Post, and wrote a twice-weekly column on politics and social issues for the Bay Area News Group which includes the Oakland Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, and Contra Costa Times. The column, which appeared in thirty publications across the United States, was considered for a Pulitzer Prize. Williams was the only pastor in the United States who also authored a syndicated column. Williams has write articles and op-ed pieces for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Daily News, San Francisco Chronicle, Christianity Today, UK Guardian, Tikkun Magazine, and Public Theology.

He is the author of, Strip Mall Patriotism: Moral Reflections on the Iraq War, a series of essays covering a four-year span on America’s enterprise in Iraq, and, 1963: Year of Hope and Hostility (2013). Williams lectured throughout the United States and appeared on numerous television and radio news programs, including CNN, MSNBC, ABC Radio, Fox News, and National Public Radio. 

Williams served as a member of People for the American Way’s African-American Religious Affairs. In 2011, he was appointed as co-chair of the National Black Justice Coalition Religious Affairs Committee, and later served on the board of directors for Death Penalty Focus. In 2010 and 2011, Williams’ work was nationally recognized by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), which nominated him as “Columnist of the Year.”

Reverend Byron C. Williams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 4, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.252

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/4/2013

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley

Idaho State University

University of Nebraska-Omaha

Wenatchee Valley College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Byron

Birth City, State, Country

Berkeley

HM ID

WIL67

Favorite Season

Spring

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

The Hottest Places In Hell Are Reserved For Those Who, In Times Of Great Moral Crisis, Maintain Their Neutrality.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

9/22/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Winston-Salem

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beef Bourguignon

Short Description

Pastor and author Reverend Byron Williams (1959 - ) was called to serve as pastor of the Resurrection Community Church in 2002. He is the author of 1963: Year of Hope and Hostility (2013), and the he only pastor in the United States who a syndicated columnist.

Employment

Resurrection Community Church

Huffington Post

Bay Area News Group

Favorite Color

Black

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Byron Williams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Byron Williams lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his maternal grandmother's mental health and his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Byron Williams describes his mother's personality and her childhood growing up in Oakland and Berkley, California

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Byron Williams remembers his father's kindness to his sister

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Byron Williams describes his parents' personalities and his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about the area he grew up in in Berkeley, California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls his memories of his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls his elementary and junior high school years and politics in Berkeley, California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls attending Longfellow School in Berkeley, California

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about integrating John Muir Elementary School in Berkley, California and his favorite subjects

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King and being forbidden from watching 'Death Valley Days'

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Byron Williams describes his parents' political views and what he read as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his political opinions as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls a play he wrote in the seventh grade

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his favorite baseball players

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about playing basketball and playing against Earvin "Magic" Johnson

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his grades and mentors at Albany High School in Albany, California

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his high school activities and college expectations

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his basketball career at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lincoln, Nebraska

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls his years at Wenatchee Valley College and Idaho State University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls news of the 1978 Jonestown Massacre

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls his time at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about being drafted for and cut from the Washington Bullets

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about working at the Pacific Stock Exchange, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about working at the Pacific Stock Exchange, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about various jobs he held before volunteering for the Democratic Party in San Francisco, California

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about ghost-writing for California politician Jerry Brown and being hired by the California Medical Association

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about the deepening of his religious faith and meeting his first wife

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about deciding to start a church

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Byron Williams explains the definition of liberation theology and talks about attending the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about theologians Howard Thurman, Reinhold Niebuhr and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Byron Williams describes his notion of inconvenient love

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about the flawed public narrative of American exceptionalism

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about founding his church, Resurrection Community Church

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Byron Williams explains why his church, Resurrection Community Church, is nondenominational and explains his position on gay marriage

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about the demographics of Resurrection Community Church's congregation, and the beginnings of his column

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Byron Williams explains how he became a writer for the Huffington Post

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his church, Resurrection Community Church, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his church, Resurrection Community Church, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about programs held by Resurrection Community Church

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about HistoryMaker and President Barack Obama

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Byron Williams recalls what he talked about on MSNBC's 'Debating the Black Agenda'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about serving on the board of the National Black Justice Coalition

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his book 'Strip Mall Patriotism: Moral Reflections on the Iraq War'

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his book '1963: The Year of Hope & Hostility', pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his book '1963: The Year of Hope & Hostility', pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about what events of 1963 were captured on television and how they led to the events of 1968

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Byron Williams reflects on events of 1963 and Sidney Poitier's role in 'Lilies of the Field'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about the pacification of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Reverend Byron Williams asserts that white fear undergirds American politics

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about people he interviewed for his book '1963: Year of Hope & Hostility'

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his future writing plans

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Reverend Byron Williams reflects upon his successes

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Reverend Byron Williams describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Reverend Byron Williams reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Reverend Byron Williams reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Reverend Byron Williams talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Reverend Byron Williams reflects upon how he would like to be remembered

Lalita Tademy

Author and corporate executive Lalita Tademy was born in 1948 in Berkeley, California to Nathan Green Tademy, Jr. and Willie Dee Billes. She was the youngest of four siblings, including two older sisters, Theodorsia and Joan, and an older brother, Lee. In 1956, her family moved to Castro Valley, California, where her father worked as a contractor. She attended A.B. Morris Junior High School and Castro Valley High, where she was a National Merit Scholar. In 1964, Tademy was accepted at Howard University in Washington, D.C. with a full academic scholarship. Two years later, she transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles. Tademy graduated with her B.S. degree in psychology in 1970 and in 1972, she earned her M.B.A. degree from the Graduate School of Management at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Tademy worked for the Bay Area Rapid Transit, Memorex Corporation, and ITT’s printer company, Qume. In 1985, she helped found ALPS America, a unit of Japan’s ALPS Electric Company, where she was in charge of marketing high-performance dot-matrix printers. Tademy was hired as Vice President and General Manager of Sun Microsystems in Silicon Valley in 1992. In 1995, she quit her executive position to pursue other passions. Tademy researched her family history intensively for three years before deciding to write a novel. In 2001, her first novel, Cane River, was published to much acclaim and was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The book chronicled the lives of her maternal ancestors. In 2007, she published her second novel, Red River, whose content was also drawn from her family history research.
Tademy was featured in Fortune’s “People on the Rise” column and Ebony’s “Speaking of People” feature in 1989, and in 1998, she was named as African American Innovator in the New Millennium at the Silicon Valley Tech Museum of Innovation. In 2001, Cane River was chosen as part of Oprah’s Book Club Series, and became a New York Times bestseller. Red River was selected as Border’s Interactive Book Club Pick in 2007 and as an Essence Book Club Pick in 2008. Tademy lives with her husband, corporate executive Barry Williams, in Menlo Park, California.
Lalita Tademy was interviewed by the The HistoryMakers on November 7, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.240

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/7/2012 |and| 12/18/2015

Last Name

Tademy

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

University of California, Los Angeles

Castro Valley High School

Longfellow Middle School

Parsons Elementary School

Howard University

First Name

Lalita

Birth City, State, Country

Berkeley

HM ID

TAD01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

It Is What It Is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

12/26/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pie (Sweet Potato)

Short Description

Author Lalita Tademy (1948 - ) served as the vice president and general manager of Sun Microsystems before becoming a best selling novelist with Cane River and Red River.

Employment

Sun Microsystems

ALPS Electric

ITT Qume

Self Employed

Xerox Corporation

Philip Morris Incorporated

Bay Area Rapid Transit

Memorex Corporation

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lalita Tademy's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy describes her French heritage

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy talks about her maternal great-grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy talks about light skin privilege in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy describes her maternal great-grandfather's murder

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy talks about the Creole identity

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy describes her maternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy describes her mother's upbringing in Colfax, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy describes her approach to historical research

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy describes the history of the Colfax massacre

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy talks about the aftermath of the Colfax massacre

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy describes her paternal great-great-grandfather's role in the Colfax massacre

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy talks about the collapse of Reconstruction

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy talks about the Grant Parish Training School in Colfax, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy talks about her paternal family's educational background

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy describes how her parents met

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy talks about her father's military service

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy describes her likeness to her parents

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lalita Tademy remembers moving to Castro Valley, California

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lalita Tademy describes her father's occupation

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Lalita Tademy remembers integrating Castro Valley, California

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Lalita Tademy recalls the reprisals against her family in Castro Valley, California

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy remembers researching the Colfax massacre

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy recalls her elementary education

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy talks about the honors program at Parsons Elementary School in Castro Valley, California

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy remembers her social isolation in Castro Valley, California

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy recalls her early interest in reading

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy describes her social life at Castro Valley High School in Castro Valley, California

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy recalls her early talent as a writer

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy recalls her summer program at the University of North Dakota in Fargo, North Dakota

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lalita Tademy talks about her early aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Lalita Tademy recalls her decision to attend Howard University, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy describes her experiences of the protest movement at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy remembers her social life at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy recalls her decision to transfer to the University of California, Los Angeles

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy remembers the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy recalls working for the Xerox Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy recalls working for Philip Morris Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy recalls her return to the San Francisco Bay Area

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy remembers working at the Memorex Corporation, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lalita Tademy remembers working at the Memorex Corporation, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lalita Tademy remembers the original television broadcast of 'Roots,' pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy remembers the original television broadcast of 'Roots,' pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy recalls working for ITT Qume, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy remembers her success at Alps Electric (USA), Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy remembers working at Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy recalls her decision to leave Corporate America

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy recalls the start of her genealogical research

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy describes the research for her family genealogy

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy talks about the titles of her bestselling family chronicles

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy remembers developing the story of 'Cane River'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy compares 'Cane River' to other works of historical fiction

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy talks about her decision to write historical fiction

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy recalls the publishing offers for 'Cane River'

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy talks about the audience of 'Cane River'

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy talks about the focus on women in 'Cane River'

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy talks about the reception of her second book, 'Red River'

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy talks about the use of 'Cane River' in public schools

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Lalita Tademy's interview, session 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy recalls her decision to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy describes her transition to Howard University, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy describes her transition to Howard University, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy recalls the student protests at Howard University

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy recalls her professional aspirations

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy talks about her romantic experiences at Howard University

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy recalls her decision to leave Howard University

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Lalita Tademy recalls attending the University of California Los Angeles

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Lalita Tademy recalls her decision to attend business school

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy recalls her business aspirations

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy describes the M.B.A. degree program at the University of California, Los Angeles

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy recalls her experiences at corporate job interviews

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy recalls her challenges at the Xerox Corporation

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy remembers her training at Philip Morris Inc.

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy recalls working for the Bay Area Rapid Transit

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy describes her work for the Memorex Corporation

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy describes her duties at ITT Qume

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Lalita Tademy talks about Alps Electric (USA), Inc.

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy describes her career at Alps Electric (USA), Inc.

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy talks about business negotiations in Japan, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy talks about business negotiations in Japan, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy describes what she learned at Alps Electric (USA), Inc.

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy remembers the growth of Alps Electric (USA), Inc.

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy recalls her decision to leave Alps Electric (USA), Inc.

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy recalls her role at Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy describes the structure of Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy talks about her decision to leave Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy recalls starting to research her family genealogy

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy describes her training as a writer

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy describes her income while writing 'Cane River'

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy remembers finding an agent and editor for 'Cane River'

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy recalls the popular acclaim for 'Cane River'

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy describes her motivations for writing 'Cane River'

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy describes her writing process

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Lalita Tademy describes her approach to character development

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy recalls adjusting to the attention from 'Cane River'

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy remembers meeting her husband, Barry Williams

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy recalls the response to 'Red River'

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy describes her third book, 'Citizens Creek'

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy describes the process of writing 'Citizens Creek'

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Lalita Tademy reflects upon the reactions to 'Cane River'

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Lalita Tademy describes the reception of 'Citizens Creek'

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Lalita Tademy talks about her current writing projects

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - Lalita Tademy recalls a student's praise for 'Cane River'

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Lalita Tademy talks about her plans for the future

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Lalita Tademy describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Lalita Tademy reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Lalita Tademy reflects upon her life

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Lalita Tademy narrates her photographs

DASession

2$1

DATape

11$7

DAStory

2$4

DATitle
Lalita Tademy recalls starting to research her family genealogy
Lalita Tademy recalls the publishing offers for 'Cane River'
Transcript
Did you have financial consultation, like, someone to say, you know, this is how long you can live for?$$No. I figured it out myself. I had three years. I had three years. And for me, the--you know, I figured it out, and I knew--I, I didn't retire. I knew I would have to work, and I'd have to bring in money, but I had three years of living. And, and so, I said the first year I'm going to just--I made a bargain; I made a bargain with myself. So the first year is just going to be decompress, figure out what, what am I interested in, what else could, could there be, but you know, no huge pressure, just, just do whatever seems interesting. The second year was figuring out if I had made a mistake or not. And the third year was going to be looking for a new job if things didn't go--if I didn't find something, it would be looking for that next thing and that new job. So I had three years, and I figured that just had to do. And I didn't know what would happen year four, but I knew, I knew what could happen the first three years. I didn't know what would happen year four or beyond. So, that's what I did. And the first year, what I ended up doing--again, just because I'd always been so incredibly driven and so used to having my plate very, very full, working really, really hard at something, I ended up working really, really hard at genealogy of my own family. And you know, I did some other things. You know, I traveled. I did other things. But that's what drew me back again and again and again, as I started to uncover the stories of my ancestors. And so about that second year, I said well, somebody should, somebody should be documenting (laughter) this. These are amazing stories. And you know, who, who else had the time to do it? And so I said well, maybe it's me.$When did you get--have a serious offer for the--you know, to publish the book ['Cane River,' Lalita Tademy]?$$So I couldn't get an agent for a very long time, thirteen rejections over probably a year and a half. Nobody wanted it; nobody was interested. And finally I got an agent, and the agent then said, "Okay, I want you to work over the summer," the industry sort of closed down over the summer, "so I want you to rewrite it one more time, and I want you to make it shorter." And I said, "Okay," so I did. And I rewrote it one more time, and then it was ready to go out after Labor Day in I guess it was 1999. And we sent it out, and I knew that it was gonna get the same rejection. It was just gonna be the same process--the same horrible process I'd been through for the last eighteen months. And it went out, and it went out on a Friday, and Monday there was a bidding war in New York [New York]. Now these different houses--you know, the editors were calling me up saying, "Here's why you should come with me to my house, and here's why we want it, and here's how we'd treat it, and we really love this." And, and that was a huge surprise. It was a huge, huge surprise. And it sold by--you know, after this back and forth and back and forth it sold by that Wednesday. That just doesn't happen. That just does not happen and hasn't happened to me since. The--but it then took on a life of its own. It went out, did well, and was just starting to--you know. It had been out for maybe--I don't know--six weeks, eight weeks, something like that, and I was just starting to ease off of the whole publicity schedule thing and then Oprah [Oprah Winfrey] called, and then it took off again and in a huge way, just huge, huge, huge way. So that was--that was pretty gratifying and pretty surprising actually, very, very surprising.

Wendell Hill

Physicist and Professor Wendell T. Hill, III was born in 1952 in Berkeley, California to Wendell Hill, Jr. and Marcella Washington Hill, who met at Drake University in the 1940s. In the 1960s his father was the Chief Pharmacist at in the Orange County Medical Center, now the University of California Irvine Medical Center, and finished his career as the dean of Howard University’s College of Pharmacy in the 1990s. Hill III’s mother was a mathematics teacher who finished her career at the University of the District of Columbia. Hill III graduated from Villa Park High School in Orange, CA in 1970. He earned physics degrees from the University of California, Irvine (B.A., 1974) and Stanford University (Ph.D., 1980), where he was an IBM pre-doctoral fellow.

Hill was a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the National Bureau of Standards, now the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) from 1980 to 1982, after which he joined the faculty of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology (IPST) at the University of Maryland. In 1985 Hill was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Presidential Young Investigator Award, now known as a Presidential Early Career Award. Holding appointments in Physics and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, Hill became a full professor in 1996 and a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute in 2006. Hill has guest-worker status at NIST and Lawrence Livermore National Lab and has held visiting positions at the Université de Paris, Orsay in France, the Instituto Venezalano de Investigaciones (Venezuela) and JILA (University of Colorado). He directed the Laboratory for Atomic, Molecular & Optical Science, and Engineering at the University of Maryland between 1999 and 2002 and was the Program Director of the Atomic, Molecular and Optical (AMO) Physics program at NSF from 2010 to 2012.

Hill’s research focus is laser-matter interaction under extreme conditions – ultra-fast, ultra-intense and ultra-cold. Hill has written numerous scientific articles within AMO physics, co-authored the textbook entitled Light-Matter Interaction that explains the underlying principals of AMO research and penned the opening chapter entitled “Electromagnetic Radiation,” for the Encyclopedia of Applied Spectroscopy.

Hill is a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) as well as an active member of the Optical Society of America (OSA). He has served on numerous society committees including the APS Council and Executive Board, the APS Division of Laser Science executive committee, and the OSA Technical Council; he has chaired the National Academy of Science’s Committee on AMO Science along with several program and award committees. His interest in improving the diversity in physics has him serving on the National Advisory Board of the APS Minority Bridge Program; the goal of the program is to increase significantly the number of “underrepresented minorities” earning a physics Ph.D. over the next decade.

Professor Hill and Patricia, his wife, live in Maryland and have three children, Nayo, Eshe and Safiya.

Professor Wendell T. Hill, III was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 12, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.226

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/12/2012

Last Name

Hill

Maker Category
Middle Name

T

Occupation
Schools

Peralta Junior High School

Taft Elementary School

Burnside Elementary School

Villa Park High School

University of California, Irvine

Stanford University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Wendell

Birth City, State, Country

Berkeley

HM ID

HIL14

Favorite Season

Summer

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Favorite Quote

Have fun and be safe.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/21/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mexican Food, Spicy Food, Fish

Short Description

Physicist Wendell Hill (1952 - ) was known for his extensive research in atomic, molecular and optical physics at the University of Maryland.

Employment

University of Maryland, College Park

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

University of Colorado

Favorite Color

Los Angeles Dodgers Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Wendell Hill's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his mother's educational background and career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill describes his father's family background and their relation to Fredrick Douglass - part 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill describes his father's family background and their relation to Fredrick Douglass - part 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill talks about his father's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Wendell Hill talks about how his parents met and his father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about his earliest memory of Southern California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his brother and childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his childhood church, friends and social activities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his nursery and elementary schools

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his parents' involvement in his schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill compares the demographics of Los Angeles with that of Orange County

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Wendell Hill talks about his parents' move to Orange County, California

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about the racial tensions in Orange County

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about his early academic struggles

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his high school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his science preparation during his early education

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about Disneyland and Knott Berry Farm during his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill talks about his interest in rockets, space exploration, and solar eclipses

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his family activities

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill talks about his favorite high school teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Wendell Hill talks about his interest in baseball

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about Martin Luther King's assassination, the demographics of his high school and his grades

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about his attempt to connect with the Black community through music

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his struggle to integrate into the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his struggle to integrate into the black community and his religious development

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his involvement with the black community at the University of California, Irvine

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill talks about reconciling science and religion

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his studies at the University of California, Irvine

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill talks about his professors at the University of California, Irvine

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill reflects on his experience at the University of California, Irvine

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about his advisors at Stanford University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his dissertation in the area of laser physics and how he met his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his religious identity

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill discusses the varying religious affiliations of scientists

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill talks about his post-doctoral work at the National Bureau of Standards

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about his decision to join the faculty at the University of Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about the economic disparities between underdeveloped countries and developed countries- part 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about the economic disparities between underdeveloped countries and developed countries, part 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his visiting appointments in Maryland and Paris

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his transition into teaching

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill talks about his work with cold atoms at the University of Colorado

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his professional activities at the University of Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill talks about the Joint Quantum Institute and his textbook, "Light-Matter Interaction"

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about his research - part 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about his research - part 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his students and the reception of his book

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about the need for more African Americans in STEM

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill reflects on his life choices

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill reflects on his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$5

DAStory

7$6

DATitle
Wendell Hill talks about his professional activities at the University of Maryland
Wendell Hill talks about his post-doctoral work at the National Bureau of Standards
Transcript
You became a full professor here in '96' [1996], I take it, that's right?$$Sounds about right, yeah.$$Okay, alright, so in 1999, you became the director of the laboratory for Atomic Molecular and Optical Science and Engineering.$$Yeah, we had a, we had a small lab that no longer exists now. There was, several of us, we got together, and we formed this lab, and this was a way for us to sort of work together. At the time, there was much less atomic, molecular and optic physics on this campus. It's much broader now and much larger than it was then. And so, those of us working in that area tried to form this lab together and so I was, I was, I guess the second director of that. And, but it, it sort of, I mean we had a little group, but then we all started going our separate ways. And so that, that lab no longer exists now. The thing that, it's more along the lines that we were trying to start then is this, this Joint Quantum Institute that, that currently exists. But it was, it was a way to bring the atomic physicists and atomic, molecular, optical physicists together.$$Okay, so, but, okay, Joint Quantum Institute doesn't start till about 2006, right?$$Yes, right, right.$$So, so this, so did this ever last, the atomic molecular optical science lab last for ten years or--$$No, no, no. It, that probably lasted, oh, another three or four years after--probably about three years that we actively worked together. And then we all sort of started going different ways. I mean we put the book together. My, we wrote a book, and so some of us who were in that lab put the book together. We actually, there's a two-volume book. Four of us together wrote these two volumes. So Chi Lee and I--Chi was in electrical engineering. He was part of this lab. He and I wrote the second volume at the time. There's a guy in, in chemistry, John Weiner, who was the first director of this lab. And a guy, another guy in engineering, Ping Tong Ho wrote the first volume. And so this two-volume set came out of that, that laboratory. And they're sort of textbooks designed for first-year graduate students, sort of upper division undergraduates to, on atomic, molecular and optical physics.$$Okay, now, in, was it around 2006 that you initiated the collaboration between University of Maryland and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory? Is that true?$$It was probably before that. I'm trying to think of when we started. Yeah, it may have been the mid-2000s. Yeah, I have a colleague. We used to go to, we, we first met at, at the, one of the annual meetings of the society of, National Society of Black Physicists. And we'd always say, oh, we should do something together. And so we, we did, we, we said these things for a number of years. And then some money became available and so we put in a proposal and got funded. And so I sent a student out to, to work with him. So, yeah, it was in mid-2000s, I guess, that, that came about. And so, yeah, we, collab--I collaborated out there, and the student is still writing his thesis. And so we still sort of have a loose collaboration, and if we find the right student, we'll continue that.$Oh, okay, alright. Alright, so, alright, so post-doctoral studies. Now, you--$$Okay, post-doc, so okay. I came to, and my wife and I decided that-we, we had sort of this binary problem where she was, had just gone to the J school, the Journalism school at Columbia [University], and so she was, wanted to be a journalist. And so we had a couple of options. She was working at a, a news service in the Bay area, "Bay City News Service" was the name of it at the time. And so we could either go--well, we were looking at three different options, going to, going to Bell Labs area, which would be, you know, either in Murray Hill or Homedale, New Jersey, going to, coming here to Washington, D.C., what was then the Bureau of Standards, now NIST [National Institute of Standards and Technology] or going to Chicago where I had an offer from a guy named Charlie Rhodes who was at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle. He used to be at SRI which used to be called Stanford Research Institute, but it was split off from Stanford back in the '70's [1970s] because of, they did do some classified stuff. So it just assumed the name SRI. So he moved from SRI there. So I knew who he was and knew some of the people who worked with him. And so I got invited to come there. We ultimately ended up choosing to come to Washington because my parents, who spent seven years in Detroit--my father at Wayne State [University] and at Detroit General Hospital, then moved to Howard [University] to become the dean of the pharmacy school there. And so having not lived with my parents for almost ten years, I thought--lived near my parents for almost ten years, we thought well, it would be kind of fun to be close to them. We fully intended to go back to California within a couple of years, and so that two-year period hasn't come up yet, 'cause we--that in 1980 when we first got here (laughter). So I came here. I, I did a post-doc. I was what was known as a National Research Council post-doc at, at Bureau of Standards and worked when they, out at the facility here in Gaithersburg [Maryland], and so I did a lot of laser spectroscopy type things there. And from there I went on to, to the University of Maryland because again, we had this binary thing that my wife, during my post-doc years had a job. And so I didn't wanna displace her and Washington is a good place to get both of us working at the same time. So we decided that, well, you know, maybe I should just, at least for the time being, try to get, launch my career here at Maryland. And so I came over here. I had, had an offer here to, to work. So.$$So you were in the National Bureau of Standards in Gaithersburg, right?$$In Gaithersburg, that's correct.$$Okay, now, what were you working on at the Bureau of Standards?$$Well, I was in what's known as the Vacuum Ultraviolet Spectroscopy group or, or, I guess it was part of the radiation physics division. And so they had a technique, two, two gentlemen who hired me basically, had a technique for looking at spectroscopy of ions. And they did this by taking a laser and creating this long column of ions, which is very, highly unusual. And so that opened up a whole area of being able to do spectroscopy on species that you couldn't do before. And so my, my thesis topic, which was basically doing things that you couldn't do before on species because of a technique, this was another technique. So I worked on that technique and, and worked on a variety of experiments along those lines. So, again, doing sort of spectroscopy, this time on ions, and which you couldn't do absorption, absorption spectroscopy on ions before 'cause you'd never get enough of them in one spot to do that. So, that was what I've done. And then I started developing new techniques as I was thinking of moving on to, to Maryland. I missed looking, using continuous wave lasers, which is what I did all my thesis work on, continuous wave lasers. These lasers added, were repulsed lasers. And, and so I started doing techniques which got me back toward doing continuous wave lasers which is sort of what I'm doing now.

Teri L. Jackson

State superior court judge and county attorney Teri L. Jackson was born in 1957 to Beatrice and Alson Jackson in Berkeley, California, where she grew up with her sister, Portia Collins. After watching the movie To Kill a Mockingbird, she developed an interest in the justice system. Jackson graduated from Jefferson High School at the age of sixteen and began her studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she earned her B.A. degrees in politics and history in 1977. She then went on to earn her J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law School in 1980.

Upon passing her bar exam, Jackson was hired as a deputy district attorney of San Mateo County, where she works as a trial attorney. Three years later, she began work as a prosecutor for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, serving in the domestic violence unit, the felony charging unit, and the felony sexual assault unit. Throughout her career, Jackson has worked to combat domestic abuse in the Bay Area. In 1988, she became the first person to successfully introduce expert testimony regarding elder abuse syndrome in a court case. In 1995, she co-founded the First Offender Prostitution Program (FOPP), a rehabilitation course for individuals arrested for their involvement with prostitution. The program was replicated in other American cities within years of its founding. Jackson became the first woman to head up a homicide unit in the state of California upon her promotion to head district attorney’s homicide unit in 1997.

After working in private practice with the law firm, of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP, Jackson was appointed to Superior Court Judge of California for the County of San Francisco in 2002. She was the first African American woman to serve in this position. She worked with an assortment of cases, including litigation in employment, trade secrets, the environment, real estate, and bankruptcy. Jackson has worked to increase the number of minorities working within the legal system, serving as an adjunct law professor at Hastings School of Law. Jackson is the recipient of the 2006 Rosina Tucker Award from the A. Philip Randolph Institute and the 2007 Community Service Award from the National Council of Negro Women, Inc.

Jackson is married to Imro Shair-Ali.

Teri L. Jackson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 6, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.007

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/6/2011

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

L.

Schools

University of California Santa Cruz

Georgetown University Law Center

First Name

Teri

Birth City, State, Country

Berkeley

HM ID

JAC28

Favorite Season

None

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Italy

Favorite Quote

If you disagree with me, take me out.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

11/10/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

State superior court judge and county attorney Teri L. Jackson (1956 - ) was the first African American woman appointed to Superior Court Judge of California for the County of San Francisco.

Employment

University of California, San Francisco Hastings School of Law

County of San Francisco

University of San Francisco School of Law

Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, LLP, San Francisco

Office of the San Francisco District Attorney, San Francisco

San Francisco Law School

Office of the San Mateo District Attorney

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Teri Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Teri Jackson talks about her mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Teri Jackson talks about her father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Teri Jackson discusses her parents' upbringing and early adult lives

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Teri Jackson discusses her parents' marriage and decision to move to San Francisco, California

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Teri Jackson talks about her father's disposition and aspirations for his children

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Teri Jackson talks about her childhood and earliest memories

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Teri Jackson talks about religion and early childhood influences

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Teri Jackson talks about her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Teri Jackson discusses her early exposure to the legal profession

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Teri Jackson talks about her school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Teri Jackson discusses early experiences with racism

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Teri Jackson talks about recognizing a hurtful person from her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Teri Jackson talks about her junior high school experience during the 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Teri Jackson discusses her parents' reactions to the Civil Rights Movement and Student Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Teri Jackson talks about the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Teri Jackson discusses her heroes

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Teri Jackson talks about her evolving views and extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Teri Jackson discusses choosing a legal specialization, her early legal influences and choosing a college

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Teri Jackson describes her experience attending the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the important world events of 1973

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Teri Jackson talks about choosing a law school and her experience attending Georgetown Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Teri Jackson talks about her work as a Deputy District Attorney in San Mateo County, California

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Teri Jackson describes the challenges she faced as an African American female Deputy District Attorney

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Teri Jackson discusses her work with the San Francisco District Attorney's Office and domestic violence cases

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Teri Jackson discusses prosecuting elder abuse cases and developments in domestic violence laws

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Teri Jackson discusses her opinions of the O.J. Simpson trial

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Teri Jackson talks about her most significant cases as an Assistant District Attorney

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Teri Jackson discusses being appointed to a judgeship of the Superior Court of California

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Teri Jackson talks about her experience as a judge and her judicial approach

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Teri Jackson talks about memorable cases she has tried as a Superior Court Judge

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Teri Jackson describes the impact of presiding over criminal court cases

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Teri Jackson talks about the dangers of being a judge and her judicial philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Teri Jackson discusses her career activities and accomplishments

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Teri Jackson gives advice to future lawyers

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Teri Jackson discusses her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Teri Jackson reflects on her career and legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Teri Jackson talks about African American bar associations

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Teri Jackson talks about her family and how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

6$1

DATitle
Teri Jackson talks about her father's disposition and aspirations for his children
Teri Jackson discusses her work with the San Francisco District Attorney's Office and domestic violence cases
Transcript
So did he have relatives out here already?$$No, it was just kind of the thing, it was the black migration from the South. Let me back up a little bit too. My dad [Alson Jackson] came back with his brothers and a lot of them from World War II. My father talked about growing up in the south and his relatives said he had to leave. Cause they didn't think my father was going to live. My father was a very outspoken man. And the, the segregation--I mean this is, if you can think of something worse than Jim Crow. That--we were talking about Louisiana and during the time of my father's and my mom's upbringing. And Daddy often told me the story when he, when he went off to college, he didn't think that white people could be just. Because what he had experienced being a young African American man in the south. And he went to Southern [University, Louisiana] and one of the first classes, it was a literature class, and he read this book by this as he said, a great author, William Shakespeare. And the first story he read out of William Shakespeare was the 'Merchant of Venice'. And then he realized that not all white people were wrong or bad. He realized that there was always a struggle for good and evil and that his experience in Louisiana should not reflect on everybody. And another thing that Daddy learned from that book of the 'Merchant of Venice', is that there was a woman lawyer named Portia. And he said if he should ever have a daughter, she was going to be named Portia and she was going to be a lawyer. Now you look at my name, it's Teri. My older sister is named Portia. And my father always had plans. Survive World War II, take his education and to become a teacher, marry the homecoming queen, have a daughter, name her Portia, she would become a lawyer and she would fight for justice. Well he survived World War II, he did get his degree from Southern. But his Southern [University] education because it was from a black college, did not translate for him to be a teacher in California. And the only way he could be a teacher and to realize his dream to teach geography, was to go back and do another four years and my father said no. He was a very proud man. His degree in his mind was just as good as anybody else's. So he did not fulfill that part of the dream, but he did marry the homecoming queen, he did have a daughter named Portia, and Portia hated law. And my name Teri, is named after my sister's imaginary friend. She was four years old, she could spell Teri with to Rs, and I became the lawyer. And it, it was very interesting because my father did everything to make, to encourage my sister Portia to be a lawyer. My mother was on this master plan. Once my father said I want to do this, my mom [Beatrice Jackson] was the implementer, implementer. So what my mom would do was have Portia sit down and watch all the Perry Mason shows, the "Young Defenders", anything that had anything to do with law, they wanted--they put that poor little child in front of the TV set and made her watch TV that dealt with lawyers. She would--they would not allow her to watch "Dennis the Menace" because they said she was so bad, that she didn't--they didn't want her to get ideas. So it didn't work. I was born, not that I was an afterthought, but the whole focus was Portia to become a lawyer. And then the movie came out 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. My father and mother had this plan that okay, we're going to take Portia off to go see this movie 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and she'll realize her destiny. They couldn't find a babysitter for me cause I was about four or five years old when the movie came out. But they assumed that I would go to the movie, fall asleep and Portia would realize her destiny. Portia fell asleep, I watched the movie, I walked out of the theater and my mom said that I looked up at my dad and mom and said I want to be Atticus Fench. I want to be a lawyer, and I want to fight for justice. And the rest was history. And my--$$How old were you$$About four or five years old.$$Four or five.$$And I wanted--I saw an injustice. A man wrongly accused, a man wrongly convicted and ultimately died for something he didn't do. And I wanted to be a part of a system where I could make a difference. And what struck me most was--there were two scenes that struck me most about "To Kill a Mockingbird". Was when Atticus Fench walked out of the courtroom and everyone stood up who--in the balcony. And I remember those balconies when I would go down and visit my relatives in Louisiana when we would go to the movie theaters and we would have to go to the balcony. I remember that vividly. But when the minister turned to Scout and said stand because a great man is walking by, because he made an impact on these people. Another thing that was always in his, in my mind ever since I saw that movie was when the judge read the verdict, or the verdict was read and the judge stormed off the bench and slammed the door. I remember saying to my mom, why couldn't that judge--he is the judge, why couldn't he do something? Why did he just walk off the bench? He knew it was wrong. I was able to pick that up. And that has always been my guiding force of why I wanted to be a lawyer, and I guess ultimately to be a judge.$Okay now San Francisco, District Attorney's Office, 1984, okay. Okay now you were recruited?$$I was recruited by Arlo Smith. He wanted, he knew my interest in domestic violence cases, and the laws were just start--there were--I shouldn't even say laws. There was an awareness that these cases should be treated like crimes, like every other crime, and that this is not something that happens between two loving, consenting adults. It is something that needed to be dealt with and it was a big, passionate interest of mine.$$Let me ask you this: And I don't know how this plays out in the Bay area [California], but in Chicago [Illinois] there's a, a women's organization called Southwest Women Working Together. It was formed around the issue of domestic violence. It was formed by the wives of Chicago Police Officers.$$Interesting.$$Yes, who themselves were--$$Victims of domestic violence.$$Yes. That was (unclear) actually stuck, you know, and stayed in existence. It still exists.$$Well the organization here in San Francisco and that's the Family Violence Prevention Fund, many of those women were either victims of domestic--when I say victims, but their partner or spouse was battering them, or they grew up in domestic violence environments. And so that's what started here in San Francisco and became nationally recognized. And there were a group of us. One now is the DA [District Attorney] over in Alameda County, [California] Nancy O'Malley. There was a woman by the name of Pierce who's a DA, and she still is down here in Santa Clara [California]. And several people in southern California. We were kind of the California advocates as prosecutors in the area of domestic violence and domestic violence prevention. And I'm very proud of many of the laws that are here in California, I was involved in them. Testifying, writing them, implementing them, teaching. When the Violence Against Women Act took place, I was called upon to lecture around the country in how to effect prosecution and how to set up a Domestic Violence Unit in various DAs offices. And I do a lot of training with the police departments all over the country.$$Okay. How did things change?$$Oh, God.$$--the training and the laws.$$When I first--this is how even though my court that I sit on, and a judge who was well respected, who's now since passed. When domestic violence cases, when we were taking an active, you know, had a unit and we were pursuing these cases, I'll never--and it would take a great deal to convince a person of domestic violence to come and testify. To testify against this person who you've entrusted your life with, who you've shared a bed with, meals and so forth and sacrificed for. And now you're testimony may, I won't say responsible, but it will have a factor in whether or not this person goes to prison or not. And so it took a lot. Very fragile souls. And I'll never forget I just got this woman convinced to come in, in fact I, I used to go and pick them up and bring them to court. And she was crying. And I had to get--and she was just composed and I said don't worry. We're in there, the court, judges, we're going to all be there to protect you. Just tell the truth. So here she is, she's a little behind me. And I'll never forget the judge yells out, courtroom full of people, "Oh here comes Teri Jackson and her debutant." That was the attitude when we first started prosecuting domestic violence cases. Judges hated it. And I'll never forget another judge said if two adult people want to beat their brains out at their home, why do we need our criminal justice system involved? So when you're telling me that the domestic violence awareness and the organization started in Chicago by women who were officers of domestic violence, I am not surprised. Because people felt that when an officer arrives on the scene, just take that battering partner out of the house, walk him around the block, and bring him back home. Walking that person around the block only meant you're sobering him up, so therefore he can hit her more, you know. So I'm very happy that we made it a recognized crime. It's always been a crime, but a recognized crime. And we've even gone one step further. California was one of the first to acknowledge domestic violence partners, same sex partners. That this is just as prevalent in same sex relationships as in heterosexual relationships. And I'm very proud that we were able to get a voice for those who are in those battering or troubling situations.$$So it really changed the attitude, I mean police can no longer say that someone being battered or beaten to a pulp in their house is okay as long as somebody, they're married to or going with is doing this to them?$$Oh, yeah. To get that--and not only the police get, society get the courts. I mean I remember my first jury trial. There is no question. You know, here are the photographs, just getting jurors convinced that this is a crime, and get them to talk about it. And you know now, more and more people are forthcoming and said I grew up in a household of domestic violence, or I have heard of it. People didn't talk about that in '84 [1984]. You know I had a case where the young lady said the reason I didn't report it because I saw my mother being beaten, I saw my grandmother being beaten. I just thought it was a way of life. I've also when I was a prosecutor, saw the consequences of children growing up in households of domestic violence. Had a very unfortunate case where this young kid saw his mother being beaten, not by one, but by several men in her life. But the last one, this one, this child trusted this man cause he had been in his life the longest. And he turned around and beat, had beaten his mother and he was only 11 years old. He felt helpless. The man was convicted and this child would go and visit him in, in prison. And it only--what happened was this child then turned eighteen and he was only visiting him, this batterer, the one, last one who had battered his mother in prison just to keep tabs on him. And on the first day that the man was released, this child had him come to a certain location in San Francisco and had ambushed him and killed him. And that is the impact. This child felt, and I remember in his interview, watching his tape, he said I was helpless, I couldn't help my mother and now I could. But it was the wrong way.$$Yeah this is a serious matter, domestic violence. So, so what are the--what do you think is the most significant legislation or action that you took part in?

Mary Ellen Butler

Journalist Mary Ellen Butler was born Mary Ellen Rose on May 8, 1940 in Berkeley, California. Her mother, Virginia Craft Rose, is the niece of Harvard University graduate and editor/activist Monroe Trotter. Her grandfather was Henry Kempton Craft (d.1974), an early black YMCA executive and a direct descendent of William and Ellen Craft, famous for their daring escape from slavery in 1848. Butler’s father, Joshua Richard Rose, headed the Northwest branch of the YMCA in Oakland, California, where she attended Durant Elementary School, Herbert Hoover Junior High School and Oakland Technical High School. Butler, who was mentored by journalism teacher Crystal Murphy, graduated in 1957. She attended the University of California at Berkeley where she earned her B.A. degree in journalism. Butler covered the school’s refusal to let Malcolm X speak for the Daily Californian.

Graduating in 1961, Butler was hired as a writer by Blue Cross of Northern California and then by Bank of America World Headquarters to write business reports. In 1964, Butler joined the Berkeley Daily Gazette as a reporter covering the Free Speech Movement, City Hall, desegregation in the Berkeley public schools, and the Black Panther Party. Butler also taught the history of black journalism at Laney College in Oakland. From 1971 to 1972, she served as reporter and editor of the Berkeley Post. Entering the Congressional Fellowship Program, Butler wrote speeches, press releases and position papers for United States Senator Alan Cranston and Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm in 1972 and 1973. She was a metro and feature reporter for the Washington Star, from 1973 to 1978.

In 1979, Butler returned to Oakland as writer and public information officer for the Oakland Unified School District. In late 1979, she joined the Oakland Tribune as “Lifestyle” editor. There, Butler managed a staff of thirty, producing eight newspaper sections per week including the “Sunday Lifestyle” and “Entertainment” sections. Moving to editorial writer in 1983, Butler wrote daily editorials and managed the political endorsement process. From 1990 to 1994, Butler was named Editorial Page editor. After fifteen years with the Oakland Tribune, she opened Butler Communications.

In 1992, Butler received the Best Editorial Award from the Contra Costa Press Club and first place for editorial writing from the California Newspaper Publishers Association. In 1995, she won first place for her essay “Leadership in a Changing World” from the Center for Creative Leadership. Butler was a member of the National Conference of Editorial Writers and is a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists. She is the author of several books including Oakland Welcomes the World and Prophet of the Parks: The Story of William Penn Mott and edited Black Women Stirring the Waters.

Butler was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 13, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.136

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/13/2007

Last Name

Butler

Maker Category
Middle Name

Ellen

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Oakland Technical High School

Durant Elementary School

Herbert Hoover Junior High School

University of California, Berkeley

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Mary

Birth City, State, Country

Berkeley

HM ID

BUT05

Favorite Season

Fall

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Yosemite National Park

Favorite Quote

Keep On Keepin' On.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

5/8/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Concord

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fruit

Short Description

Newspaper editor Mary Ellen Butler (1940 - ) was the former speechwriter for U.S. Senator Alan Cranston and Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. She also served as a metro and feature reporter for the Washington Star, and the lifestyle editor for the Oakland Tribune.

Employment

Blue Cross of Northern California

Bank of America

Berkeley Daily Gazette

The Daily Californian

Oakland Post

The Oakland Tribune

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Mary Ellen Butler's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Mary Ellen Butler lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Mary Ellen Butler describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Mary Ellen Butler recalls her maternal ancestors, William Craft and Ellen Smith Craft

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Mary Ellen Butler describes her maternal ancestor, James Monroe Trotter

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Mary Ellen Butler recalls her maternal great uncle

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Mary Ellen Butler describes the Woodville Co-operative Farm School in Bryan County, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Mary Ellen Butler describes how her maternal grandparents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Mary Ellen Butler talks about her maternal ancestry

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Mary Ellen Butler narrates her family tree

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Mary Ellen Butler recalls visiting her maternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Mary Ellen Butler talks about her family's naming traditions

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Mary Ellen Butler talks about the Harlem YMCA in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Mary Ellen Butler describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Mary Ellen Butler describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Mary Ellen Butler recalls her maternal grandfather's start in the YMCA

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Mary Ellen Butler describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Mary Ellen Butler describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Mary Ellen Butler describes the demographics of her neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Mary Ellen Butler describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Mary Ellen Butler describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Mary Ellen Butler recalls her early interest in baseball

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Mary Ellen Butler talks about the black leadership in Oakland, California

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Mary Ellen Butler recalls her early interest in reading

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Mary Ellen Butler describes her relationship with her father

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Mary Ellen Butler talks about her early interest in journalism

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Mary Ellen Butler remembers Herbert Hoover Junior High School in Oakland, California

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Mary Ellen Butler describes the alumni of McClymonds High School in Oakland, California

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Mary Ellen Butler remembers Oakland Technical High School in Oakland, California

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Mary Ellen Butler remembers her high school journalism teacher

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Mary Ellen Butler recalls her journalistic activities in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Mary Ellen Butler remembers her early career aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Mary Ellen Butler recalls reading African American newspapers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Mary Ellen Butler talks about California's higher education system

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Mary Ellen Butler remembers the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Mary Ellen Butler remembers Malcolm X

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Mary Ellen Butler describes the black community at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Mary Ellen Butler describes the Civil Rights Movement in Oakland, California

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Mary Ellen Butler remembers studying abroad in Poland

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Mary Ellen Butler talks about the popularity of jazz music in Poland

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Mary Ellen Butler recalls the Shrine of the Black Madonna in Poland

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Mary Ellen Butler describes her experiences of gender discrimination

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Mary Ellen Butler talks about her early work experiences

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Mary Ellen Butler recalls working for the Berkeley Daily Gazette

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Mary Ellen Butler recalls the Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Mary Ellen Butler recalls the Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Mary Ellen Butler remembers the Black Panther Party

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Mary Ellen Butler talks about influential journalists and literary writers

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Mary Ellen Butler recalls working for the Oakland Post

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Mary Ellen Butler remembers the death of activist George Jackson

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Mary Ellen Butler describes her Congressional Fellowship in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Mary Ellen Butler describes her news articles for the Washington Star

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Mary Ellen Butler remembers author Alex Haley

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Mary Ellen Butler talks about Jim Jones and Harvey Milk

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Mary Ellen Butler remembers Huey P. Newton

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Mary Ellen Butler remembers Robert C. Maynard

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Mary Ellen Butler talks about Gary Webb's investigative journalism

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Mary Butler remembers hip hop artist, MC Hammer

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Mary Ellen Butler describes her freelance writing

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Mary Ellen Butler talks about her favorite news articles

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Mary Ellen Butler describes her books

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Mary Ellen Butler talks about writing her family's biography

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Mary Ellen Butler describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Mary Ellen Butler reflects upon her life and legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Mary Ellen Butler talks about her children

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Mary Ellen Butler describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Mary Ellen Butler narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$5

DAStory

4$6

DATitle
Mary Ellen Butler recalls her maternal ancestors, William Craft and Ellen Smith Craft
Mary Ellen Butler recalls the Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley, pt. 1
Transcript
Yeah, now this is a well-known story for those who know African American history, and if you can just give us a synopsis, so somebody watching this later on can, you know, will have a frame of reference (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yes. Well, the interesting thing about William [William Craft] and Ellen Craft [Ellen Smith Craft] is that they escaped, not on the Underground Railroad--in other words, by hiding and going from place to place--rather, they escaped by real railroad, and also real boats. They left Macon [Georgia] right around Christmastime when slaves were traditionally allowed to leave the plantation for a day or two to visit relatives. And they got on a train, which took them from Macon to Savannah, Georgia on the coast. And then, from Savannah, they took a boat to the next destination. And to make a long story short, they had several stops up in, up the coast of the Carolinas [North Carolina and South Carolina], and into Virginia. And they were, they were making their way to Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]. And so, in a series of train and boat travels, they actually got to Philadelphia without being caught, even though the master soon knew that they were missing. The way they did this, and what makes the story interesting, is that Ellen, who was very fair-skinned, pretended to be a white man. And she did this by cutting her hair, and putting on a top hat, and a pair of glasses to hide her face. William masqueraded as her slave. Now, the way that Ellen got through this charade was by not speaking, so that nobody knew she was a woman. And she also could not sign papers to take William out of slave territory because she couldn't read or write. So, when she got to one stop, and it may have been Baltimore [Maryland], the station master wanted her to sign to a paper to allow her to take her slave across a state line. So, she couldn't write her name, so she hesitated, and didn't know what to do. And, finally, people in the crowd said, "Oh, let the gentleman go, let this nice young gentleman go. He has his slave with him. It's okay, let him go." So, the station master let her through by the skin of her teeth. And they went on through Baltimore, and through Delaware, and into Philadelphia.$$Now, I've seen the pictures in books where she devises, she devises a sling for her arm actually (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yes.$$--to keep the, yeah.$$She also devised a sling for her arm to masquerade--again, the fact that she could not read or write. And then, to make the, the costume complete, she put a bandage or a poultice around her head and her face, and that way, she didn't have to speak. And she also pretended that she was deaf (laughter). So, when people would speak to her on the train, thinking she was a young white gentleman--William, if he were anywhere nearby, would say, "Oh, my master can't speak because he's sick. I'm taking, I'm going with him to Philadelphia for medical treatment, so he's not able to say anything." And people would say, "Well, what's this boy doing here, this slave boy? Why is he standing near this master?" And other people would say, "Oh, well, he looks like he's okay. He's not going to do anything. He's just helping his master." So, they were able to keep this going until they got to Philadelphia. And then, from Philadelphia, they went to Boston [Massachusetts], which was a hot bed of abolition and abolitionists. And in a few weeks or so, the slave catchers came from Georgia to capture them. And the Boston abolitionists pulled out their rifles and their shotguns, and said, "You're not taking William and Ellen Craft back to slavery."$$Yeah, and Boston had some serious abolitionists in those days (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Boston had some--$$They would actually fire on you.$$That's right.$$William Parker and a bunch of them that--$$Yeah.$$--you know, Lewis Hayden, and they were a tough group.$$Many wonderful abolitionists. And then, to make this story complete, the law was passed at some point that allowed slaves to be recaptured, and returned to the South. So, William and Ellen Craft then went to England. And they lived there for some many years, fifteen or twenty years--again, don't quote on me on my exact figures--until the Civil War ended. And then, they returned with four of the five children that had been born to them during that time. And they returned to Georgia, where they founded a school for freed slaves [Woodville Co-operative Farm School, Bryan County, Georgia], and that is where they ended their lives. Their lives ended in Georgia, and in Charleston, South Carolina.$$Okay. And that's, you know, there's also--I think William Craft actually went to Africa, and at some point, too (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yes, he did. While they lived in England, William Craft went to Liberia. And, again, I'm not sure about my facts, but he went to the West Coast of Africa where he asked chieftains to please stop, stop selling their brothers and their, their foes, and the people that they had defeated in, in tribal wars, to stop selling them into slavery. And he came back and felt that he had done the best he could to try to persuade the chieftains, those who were doing that, to stop doing so.$And not long after I started in '64 [1964], the Free Speech Movement broke out at, at Cal [University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California], and I was able to cover parts of that.$$Okay. Now, that's the Mario Savio, I think was the (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) That's right, the Mario Savio days, and I wasn't long out of college myself. So, they sent me up to the campus, which was within walking distance of, of the newspaper, right there in Berkeley [California]. And I was able to go into the crowds of students that were demonstrating because I looked like a student, and with my notepad, and take notes and cover it, as it was happening. And at that point, the students were, were occupying the administration building. They were sitting in. And so, I just went right in with them, and sat down amongst all these students. And then, I was embarrassed when the police officer came through with the bullhorn and said in-, into the bullhorn, Mary Ellen Perry [HistoryMaker Mary Ellen Butler]--that was my name at the time--and I hunkered down, you know, didn't want anybody around me to know that they were talking to me. And he repeated my name again. And I, you know, kind of went, yes. And they said, "Your editor says, come back to the office right now (laughter)."$$With a bull horn?$$So I, I--my cover was blown (laughter). So, I sheepishly got up and tiptoed out (laughter), you know.$$Now, as I've read, I've heard accounts of people who were there in those days that talk about the police attacking students and physically and (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) They did. Now, before I was sent back to the office, I saw the police dragging students out. First, they would say, "You, you need to leave." And the students would say, "We don't want to leave, or we're not going to leave." And after several warnings, the police then said, "Well, we're going to arrest you." And then, the students would go limp, you know, so as not to cooperate. And so, I saw the police take the, the male students, and pull them down the stairway because the holding pen for the UC Police Department was in the basement. So, they took the men and just dragged them down the steps. And the women--$$So, that hurt, didn't it?$$Yes, it did hurt.$$Yeah.$$And the women, some of them, they dragged, too, because they would practice--I've forgotten what it, it's called--passive resistance. And so, they, they dragged the women down, too. So, I was able to describe these things--went back to the rewrite man at the office, and, and they got into the paper. It was part of the, the coverage of the Gazette [Berkeley Daily Gazette], which I was very proud, that I had been an eyewitness to, to that, and was able to, to describe it. And so, people knew that's what happened so.

Elsie Rumford

Suicidologist Elsie R. Rumford was born in Berkeley, California, on January 15, 1945; her mother, Elsie R. Carrington Rumford, was a teacher in Berkeley, and her father, pharmacist William Byron Rumford, was the first African American elected official in northern California. Attending Longfellow Elementary School, Burbank Junior High School and Berkeley High School, Rumsford earned her B.A. degree in Spanish and sociology from San Francisco State University in 1967, and her M.S.W. degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1973.

Rumford’s graduate thesis on the rising black suicide rate challenged popular thinking on the subject. After speaking before the Charles R. Drew Post Graduate Medical School, Martin Luther King Hospital, and the Suicide Prevention Center of Los Angeles in 1974, Rumford presented to the California State Senate Subcommittee on Medical Education and Health Needs in support of SB1814, the Suicide Prevention Act of 1974. Rumford appeared on many television and radio talk shows to discuss black suicides and worked as a script consultant to a suicide-related episode of The Jeffersons in 1976. Rumford worked as a clinical social worker for the Dignity Center, a Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center program, from 1974 to 1975, and El Nido Services from 1976 to 1981. From 1985 to 1988, Rumford was a school-based counselor for the Carson Child Guidance Partnership Program for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and from 1988 to 1996 she was their outreach coordinator. After1997 Rumford began working as a team leader/DIS Counselor at the Los Angeles Unified School District’s School Mental Health.

A member of the American Association of Suicidology; the National Association of Black Social Workers; and the National Association of Social Workers, Rumsford received the Carson Coordinating Council’s Outstanding Service Award in 1996. Rumford, who had three sons, remained a resident of Los Angeles.

Elsie Rumford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 2, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.095

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/2/2005

Last Name

Rumford

Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

Berkeley High School

Burbank Junior High School

Longfellow Middle School

University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Los Angeles

San Francisco State University

Howard University

First Name

Elsie

Birth City, State, Country

Berkeley

HM ID

RUM01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Palm Springs, California; Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Don't Count Your Chickens Before They're Hatched.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

1/15/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Suicidologist and school social work coordinator Elsie Rumford (1945 - ) presented to the California State Senate Subcommittee on Medical Education and Health Needs in support of SB1814, the Suicide Prevention Act of 1974. Rumford worked with several public health and suicide prevention organizations to help raise awareness about the rising prevalence of suicide within the African American community.

Employment

Los Angeles Unified School District

Suicide Prevention Center

El Nido Services

State of California Dept. of Employment

City of Oakland, California

Favorite Color

Light Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Elsie Rumford's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Elsie Rumford describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Elsie Rumford talks about her maternal grandparents and her grandmother's life in Oakland, California

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Elsie Rumford talks about her maternal family's professional and educational achievements

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Elsie Rumford describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Elsie Rumford describes how her parents met and married

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's role as a civil rights advocate and his election as the first black assemblyman in Northern California

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's career as a pharmacist and his election to the California State Assembly in 1948

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford describes her parents' personalities and how she resembles them, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford describes her parents' personalities and how she resembles them, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's achievements as one of the first African American pharmacists in the San Francisco Bay Area in California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Elsie Rumford describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Berkeley, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Elsie Rumford talks about her brothers

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Elsie Rumford talks about her family's involvement with First AME Church in Oakland, California

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Elsie Rumford recalls the music, movies and television shows she enjoyed while growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's civil rights involvement, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's service civil rights involvement, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's interest in public health

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Elsie Rumford recalls her experience at Longfellow Elementary School in Berkeley, California and the ethnic make-up of her childhood neighborhood

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Elsie Rumford explains why her mother and her maternal aunts are her role models

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Elsie Rumford talks about attending Burbank Junior High School in Berkeley, California

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Elsie Rumford remembers attending Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Elsie Rumford discusses her interest in sociology and Spanish

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Elsie Rumford talks about the rise of the black power movement in Berkeley, California in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Elsie Rumford remembers the rise of the Black Panther Party in Northern California in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford talks about her coursework in sociology at San Francisco State College in San Francisco, California

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford recalls various cultural movements in the San Francisco Bay Area of California in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Elsie Rumford recalls her experience reporting discrimination while working for the State of California, department of employment

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Elsie Rumford talks about her brief employment with the City of Oakland, California

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Elsie Rumford remembers her graduate school experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Elsie Rumford talks about her master's thesis on black suicide, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Elsie Rumford talks about her master's thesis on black suicide, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Elsie Rumford talks about the findings of her master's degree thesis on suicide in the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford talks about the recognition that she received for her master's thesis on suicide in the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford talks about her social work career in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Elsie Rumford reflects upon the challenges of parenting

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Elsie Rumford talks about helping parents whose children are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Elsie Rumford reflects upon her role as a psychiatric social worker in the Los Angeles Unified School District

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Elsie Rumford describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Elsie Rumford reflects upon her life and career

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Elsie Rumford reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Elsie Rumford talks about her sons' and her parents' responses to her career as a social worker

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Elsie Rumford reflects upon her parents' personal and professional success and the values they instilled in her

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

1$4

DATitle
Elsie Rumford talks about her father's career as a pharmacist and his election to the California State Assembly in 1948
Elsie Rumford recalls her experience reporting discrimination while working for the State of California, department of employment
Transcript
(Simultaneous) Tell us about the Appomattox Club [Oakland, California]. Let's see, D.G. Gibson was one of the men that worked with your father [William Byron Rumford] (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh yes, D.G. Gibson, Frances Albrier. There were so many people that, let's see, Evelio Grillo is still around.$$Evelio Grillo?$$Yeah.$$How do you spell that (laughter)?$$E-V-E-L-I-O.$$Evelio, okay.$$Evelio Grillo, G-R-I-L-L-O. As a matter of fact, I think he wrote the foreword, didn't he write the foreword for this book ['William Byron Rumford, The Life and Public Services of a California Legislator: A Biography,' Lawrence P. Crouchett]? But he--.$$Now, is he an African American?$$Well, you know, I think that, you know I can't remember if it was Puerto Rican or Cuban descent, but he certainly identified and I don't know, you know, he was a light brown person and-- (laughter).$$He probably, I don't know, I'm thinking a lot of times, you know, anybody brown was discriminated against, you know, in terms of if you weren't white, you know, so--they tried to break down these covenants that restricted blacks from (unclear)--.$$Right, right, and one of the main things they were trying to do is to get somebody to run for office, and Tom [L.] Berkley, who died, let's see, he died in 2001, but he was major, major in the [San Francisco] Bay Area [California] as well. He's an attorney and he was part of that group. There was, they used to meet and get together to try to see how they could break down the barriers, and they were considering Tom Berkley because, you know, he had been very active but then he declined to run for office, this assembly seat that was vacant, and so my aunt, my mother's [Elsie Carrington Rumford] sister, who was, actually she ended up being a teacher in Berkeley [California], she wasn't a teacher at the time, but she nominated my father and he ran for the seat and he won the seat.$$What year is this when he wins the seat?$$He--1948. He was elected into the [California State] Assembly.$$Okay.$$He was a pharmacist, I should mention too. He was a pharmacist and had a drug store in Berkeley and I think that's real important because while he was an assemblyman, he never gave up his career as a pharmacist. When he was in Sacramento [California], he was working the drug store (laughter).$$What was the name of his drug store?$$Rumford Pharmacy. (Laughter) And it's still there, but they changed it to a health center and they named it after him. The building is still there. But actually, when he first opened, what happened he worked as a pharmacist for someone else in the early years, and then they retired and he bought the drug store from them, and then several years later, I guess 1950, he, it was a small store so he moved across the street and had a much bigger drug store, and that was where he could be found. (Laughter) That's where you found your assemblyman, in the drug store. And people would come down, you know, you want to talk to your assemblyperson, you just go to the drug store.$$Okay. And so you were three years old when he was elected?$$See, that's it. I was three years old when he was elected, so all of my life that, all my memory from the time I was three to the time I was a young adult in '66 [1966], he was in the assembly, and my whole recollection of him was as an assemblyman.$When you graduated from San Francisco State [College; San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California], in (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) San Francisco State. January '67 [1967].$$--in January '67 [1967], okay, and you went to Howard [University, Washington, D.C.] for grad school?$$Well, no, actually I worked--.$$You worked for the City--.$$I worked for the City of Oakland--I worked for the California state--State of California for a while, and the department of employment, where I ran across discrimination, and was naive enough to be surprised that employers were requesting white only, and I reported it to my--I was a minority rep [representative] and reported it to my minority rep boss who was based out of San Francisco [California], and they had a big investigation of the City of Oakland [California] department of employment and confiscated files and it was a real big thing, a real big thing. And, but, I think, I always look back on that now and I think, oh, my gosh, that was because I grew up in that whole civil rights thing where, you know, this is wrong, you can't do--and I didn't even try to smoothly talk to my supervisor and say well, you know, can we do something about--I was like indignant and youthful, you know, right out of college.$$That is something to be indignant about, if you look back at it. They've been doing that since they started it.$$But my boss later told me, my local boss in Oakland said, "[HistoryMaker] Elsie [Rumford], why didn't you come to me and say something to me?" I went to the minority employment rep in San Francisco, who was also my boss in a way, but I guess they wanted to handle it in house, and my minority employment rep boss in San Francisco reported to Sacramento [California]. I mean, it was just a problem to file. It was a big deal and my, the chief of the department of employment in Oakland ended up resigning early and I was so naive I went to his retirement dinner, you know, 'cuz I was like, I don't know, stuff just kinda, I didn't really see how I think it affected so much in my tunnel vision of like wrong, that's it, they shouldn't do this, and you know--.$$Well, you know that's by the same token they should have known it was wrong.$$Well, they did.$$It's a policy that was wrong from the time of its inception until we showed up and when we showed up it should have been a signal, hey, maybe we should change some of this before somebody blows a whistle (laughter).$$Like me. And then I was kind of, at that point, I was pretty much untouchable because of my dad [William Byron Rumford], you know, although I wasn't doing it for--it was wrong. People stopped speaking to me. Oh, my gosh. There was a lot of pressure. It was a really difficult time. Even my mother [Elsie Carrington Rumford] said something to me. She said, you know--these are peoples' livelihoods. They're gonna have to--you know, she was worried people were gonna get fired and what they might do to me. You be careful, is what she said.$$But is there really an unrisky way to create a social change of that kind?$$Well, I don't know. In hind sight, you know, maybe I could have gone to the local Oakland people and tried to work it out, but--$$You know, the usual mantra is be patient.$$No, but I wasn't--and the only thing, the young people, there were about three or four young people who worked in the office, it was a big office, and they kinda stuck with me through it, but it was, it was difficult. It was some real, real difficult times. I ended up moving to a different office, but I wasn't gonna move out till I was ready. They didn't move me out. I just waited, but there was a lot of pressure, lots and lots of pressure.

Leola "Roscoe" Dellums

Washington, D.C. attorney Leola "Roscoe" Dellums was born in Berkeley, California, on December 12, 1941, representing the third generation of her family to live there. Dellums' mother, Esther L. Higgs, was a musician and early crusader in the civil rights movement, and her father, Leo, was the first African American realtor in California. Dellums traces her ancestry back to Revolutionary War veterans. While attending high school, Dellums was a regular on TV's Dance Party and was inducted into the National Thespian Society. In 1959, she went to San Francisco State University, where she became the first black pom-pom girl and the first African American on the homecoming court. Dellums left school in 1962 to marry, and returned several years later to earn a B.A. in sociology. She later earned a J.D. from Georgetown University.

Dellums' early career found her teaching English as a second language in 1966, as well as working in television in both California and Washington, D.C. By 1974, she had combined the two into consulting on educational television programs in the D.C. area. She also worked as a reporter and broadcaster for various news programs throughout the Washington metro area from 1972 into the 1980s. In 1976, Dellums joined the American Civil Liberties Union as a publicist and remained there for two years. Dellums went to the House of Representatives in 1983 to work as a special assistant to Representative Mickey Leland, and in 1984 became a judicial law clerk in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. From 1985 to 1992, Dellums worked in the California Assembly Office of Research as a consultant to state representatives in Washington and leadership in California. Beginning her legal practice in 1993, Dellums went to work at Washington & Christian, specializing in government relations and lobbying. In 1995, she opened her own law firm.

In addition to her extensive experience in a wide variety of fields, Dellums has published poetry and written songs and also wrote the script for a Disney Channel movie about her family. She is the recipient of a Solid Image Award and the National Sojourner Truth Meritorious Service Award and is listed in Who's Who Among Black Americans. She is a board member of the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence, the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame National Advisory Board, and a former member of the San Francisco State University Alumni Board.

Dellums was married to California Congressman Ronald V. Dellums for thirty-seven years. She has three children and three grandchildren.

Accession Number

A2003.130

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/12/2003

Last Name

Dellums

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Berkeley High School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Leola "Roscoe"

Birth City, State, Country

Berkeley

HM ID

DEL02

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Depends on audience - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Holiday Season

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: Depends on audience-- plus travel and lodging expenses

Preferred Audience: Any

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Europe, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Sausalito, California

Favorite Quote

N/A

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

12/12/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pistachios, Watermelon, Spinach, Barbeque Ribs, Pound Cake

Short Description

Civic leader and lawyer Leola "Roscoe" Dellums (1941 - ) worked as a reporter and broadcaster for various news programs throughout the Washington metro area until she began her career in law specializing in government relations and lobbying. She has also written television scripts, songs and poetry.

Employment

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

United States House of Representatives

Superior Court of the District of Columbia

California Research Bureau

Washington & Christian

Favorite Color

Turquoise

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Leola "Roscoe" Dellums' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her family's involvement in the Revolutionary War

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her maternal grandmother, Esther Jones Lee

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her grandmother's involvement in the Anti-Lynch Campaign in California

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her family's involvement in the Civil War

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her grandmother and her desire to join the Daughters of the American Revolution

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her mother, Esther Lee

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her grandfather, Reverend J.W. Jones

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes meeting Mary Church Terrell

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her grandmother's political activism

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls her cultural and social activities as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her father, Leo Higgs

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her paternal family background

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her father's military service

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her father's career in real estate

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes being one of many girls in the family

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Berkeley, California

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about the racial and political climate of her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls her teacher who was removed for Communism in the 1950s at Berkeley High School in California

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums shares her school memories in Berkeley, California

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about attending McGee Avenue Baptist Church

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her social life at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her school activities at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes attending San Francisco State University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls the people she met at San Francisco State University, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls the people she met at San Francisco State University, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about socializing with athletes at San Francisco State University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about marrying HistoryMaker Ron Dellums in 1962

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums contrasts growing up in progressive Berkeley, California to racism in other parts of the country, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums contrasts growing up in progressive Berkeley, California to racism in other parts of the country, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls how she became involved in Civil Rights activism in Berkeley, California

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls the significant events and political figures of the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her exposure to black history

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls the multiculturalism of San Francisco, California

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes the Afro-American Society

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes the fear and danger associated with activism in the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her work on civil liberties and free speech

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls her social activism in the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls HistoryMaker Ron Dellums' U.S. Congressional race in 1970

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about the Peace and Freedom Party

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about black marginalization in social movements

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about Ron Dellums' first Congressional race

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes adjusting to life in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her life in Washington, D.C. as a Congressman's wife

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls a public comment she made about the Women's National Democratic Club

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes facing discrimination in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes how HistoryMaker Ron Dellums handled being a national voice for the black community as a Congressman

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums comments on the conservativism of HBCUs and decaying black communities

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about the black community in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about attending Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her work as a lobbyist

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her decision to host an African exchange student

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes realizing that her African exchange student is white

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about building a relationship with her white African exchange student

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls turning her story into the Disney Channel movie "The Color of Friendship"

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her children and grandchildren

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

7$1

DAStory

4$3

DATitle
Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about building a relationship with her white African exchange student
Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her family's involvement in the Revolutionary War
Transcript
And so, the big thing now was getting her home where the party was all being planned--the welcoming party, and all the kids and stuff; it was really something. And I walked her into that house with all that, you know, drums and (laughter), you know, and everyone running around in their little bubas (laughter)--even the white kids, you know. Everyone was like real excited, you know. And Piper was gonna have--my daughter Piper, she was really excited. "I'm gonna have a sister, I'm gonna have a sister." And here was this girl who was like--she said to me, "That's not your house." And I said, "This is my house." She said, "Oh, you can't live in a house like that, you gotta be kidding." She kept thinking I'm still pulling her leg, kind of thing. So she walks into all of that and then, as they depict in the, in the film, the music sort of stops--the drums, everything.$$Mouths open up.$$They do. And they said, "Well, where's the African? I thought you were gonna get us a African" (laughter); that's what they said. "I thought you were gonna get us an African; where's my--" and I said, "Well, she's a Afrikaner; she's from Africa." And no one--and they could not conceptualize that this was an Af--you know, that was--so the whole time was the learning experience; she had to learn. At first, she wanted to leave and I said, "You know, well, we'll just get--pack you on up and we'll get you outta here but, you know, you--we'd love you to stay"--that kind of thing. And she kind of--I gave her, her the little guest room and stuff, and she slammed that door and didn't wanna come out, and we just kinda went about our little lives and we said, "Okay, we're just"--and talked to the American Field Service person and she said, "We'll try to find an--someplace else to, to put her." And they said that was a real error. In fact, it caused a lot of controversy, but the (simultaneous)-$$(Simultaneous)--Were her parents--how did her parents feel about it in Swaziland?$$Well, you know something? The interesting thing is I don't really know, at that time, during this period, what her parents felt because I don't think--what happened is--because she did not leave the home; she didn't leave the home--that--everyone assumed that a congressional family was a white family; now that was the assumption being made, and the other thing is that they didn't realize that placing someone at this time, even from South Africa, was a very hard thing to do; it was a much harder thing to do at the (unclear). It wasn't like, you know--I hate to tell you--she was either gonna be here, or she was getting ready--they're gonna take her out of here and take her somewhere else; she was gonna come out of our area. And it's because of all the hoopla around it, and the American Field Service wanted this to be--you know, they couldn't really get involved with it on that level; they did not want this to be sort of a--the whole idea was a real exchange, and Americans are all lovely and friendly and these people--you know, they did not want this to turn into a political nightmare. And I think the, the way my kids sort of approached her, and also--I think that had a lot to do with her kind of breaking down a little bit of that wall. And before it was over, it was like a love story; we couldn't get her--we could not get her out of it; we couldn't get her on the bus to go back to where the next stop was. When they had to leave and they go--before they return to their homes, she wanted to stay. And when that student got back to South Africa, she was radicalized; she joined a student movement. Oh, we got--I mean--you thought we were in trouble here; I mean it was a mess there, and they wouldn't let us stay in contact with her, you know, and she's (unclear). Part of that is--when you're dealing with minors and, and it's a way to protect children, too. Sometimes, they don't want--there may have been some experiences, you know, where they did not want people to, to like locate these students. Just say if something else had happened, had transpired, these children have a--it's like a--I don't wanna call it a privacy issue, but it's a issue of minors.$$Hmm.$$Now, she wrote me, and I could--and we--I could write her back. I never heard from her parents; I know that they were disappointed because she had become politicized, they thought. She had never questioned the movement before, what was going on, and she saw the ANC and all these were like bad guys. And, and she actually thought of us as coloreds (laughter); that helped (laughter), you know, and--I mean we were like the coloreds; we weren't like really black, you know. You're not really black, you know what I mean?--kinda thing. And then I took her around to meet other Africans, and she got to see--like my kids, the Africans were--the black Africans were really living well (laughter); that was a real shock, meeting the African Diplomats and their--'cause I--we took them to parties and fest--her to parties and festivals.$Now, let me ask you about your family history, and I'm--how--first of all, how far back can you trace your history?$$I can trace it back to the Revolutionary War. I had--there was a member of--on my paternal [sic maternal] side of my family--my grandmother kept rather accurate information and data about her family and, and it was actually because her family were free, and so--and they arrived here on what was called an Allen (ph.) Grant--the Allen Grant; and you know the--King George would give certain land grants, and people would come to the colonies for various reasons, and they came, my side of the family, to raise tobacco, and they went to the Virginias to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.$$Now, are these black people we're talking about?$$We're talking about a white seaman and we're talking about an East African woman that was his, his woman. And we're talking about the off-spring of that Allen--of that family; and there were the Holcomb's (ph.), and there was an Officer Holcomb who fought in the Revolutionary War, and he fought--what was it? In the American--I think it was called the American--I won't say cavalry, but right I'm a little uncertain. And that makes my family part of the Black Patriot Society, and so this--are you familiar with the Black Patriots?$$No, (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--Okay. Black patriots are people who are trying to get others to recognize the contribution of blacks during the Revolutionary War, and to have--they're trying to also raise the monies to put up a memorial to acknowledge those persons who were actually here who made this country free from England.$$Now, is this the memorial that's being planned for the Mall?$$No, it isn't that; now, that's not to say that these people will not be mentioned; this is a separate memorial, not unlike the recent--the Civil War memorial that's been recently erected; I think it's been maybe two years now. They have that, and that's for blacks who fought in the Civil War, in which there are three members of my grandmother's family in that one as well. So, there's the Officer Holcomb and my family from the Holcomb's, the Wanzers, W-A-N-Z-E-R. And the Wanzers took up residence--they were in the Shenandoah Valley and had--and were farmers. And my maternal grandmother's mother is a Wanzer, and they have a very interesting history; they were involved in the Underground Railroad from the Virginias through Canada, they had family that died at Harpers Ferry--$$Who was it? Do you remember who it was?$$No, I just know it was members of--someone in the family--was--died at Harpers Ferry. Now, what other--I have different accounts. My grandmother has written most of this out; she used to talk to us as little kids, and always tell us about--give us these stories.