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Lyn Hughes

Museum director and cultural activist Lyn Hughes was born on March 1, 1945 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Otis and Alberta Cooper. She graduated from Spertus College in Chicago, Illinois before receiving her Ph.D. degree in education with a minor in museum studies from Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb, Illinois.

Hughes was a professional entertainer, singing in a girl’s group beginning in high school. She left the music business and began working in real estate and cultural economic development in Chicago. Hughes did this so more than a decade before founding the National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum in 1995. The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum is the first Black labor history museum in the United States focused on the story of the Pullman Porters, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters labor union, and its founder A. Philip Randolph. Since then, she served as a subject matter specialist on the Pullman Porters, and has been a consultant on numerous documentary films on the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, including the 2003 Showtime docudrama 10,000 Black Men Named George. Her work with the museum has been featured on ABC's Good Morning America, and in publications like USA Today, Essence, AARP, and the Chicago Tribune. She authored the book, An Anthology of Respect: The Pullman Porters National Historic Registry Of African American Railroad Employees in 2007, and created the companion national traveling exhibition, "From Servitude to Civil Rights.” In 2010, Hughes was elected museum president emeritus, and subsequently served as a consultant for Cultural Edutainment, LLC. In 2012, Hughes was the founding director of the Center For Black Labor Research, in Chicago; and, in 2016, she became the creator and host of Live From Pullman National Monument, a talk radio show focused on cultural economic development tourism.

Hughes received the Living Legacy Award from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), a Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars 2006 honor, the 2007 Distinguished Service Award from the Amistad Research Center, is listed in the Who's Who Registry Among Executive and Professional Women 2008, and received The Purpose Prize from Encore.org in 2013.

Lyn Hughes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 11, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.052

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/11/2019

Last Name

Hughes

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Chicago State University

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership

Northern Illinois University

First Name

Lyn

Birth City, State, Country

Cincinnati

HM ID

HUG08

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii and Bermuda

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

3/1/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Favorite Food

Crab Legs

Short Description

Museum director and cultural activist Lyn Hughes (1945 - ) founded the National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum in 1995, and is the author of An Anthology of Respect: The Pullman Porters National Historic Registry Of African American Railroad Employees.

Employment

National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum

Cultural Edutainment LLC

Center for Black Labor Research

Live From Pullman National Monument

Favorite Color

Turquoise

Henry T. Brown

Chemical engineer Henry T. Brown was born on June 16, 1932 to Elias Brown and Martha Gentry Marks in Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated from Walnut Hills High School in 1950, and attended the University of Cincinnati, where he was the first African American to earn a B.S. degree in chemical engineering in 1955. Brown then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a National Science Foundation Scholar, and received his M.S. degree in chemical engineering in 1956.

Brown became a research scientist at Esso Research and Engineering Company in New Jersey in 1956; and, from 1957 to 1965, he was active with the NAACP as an executive board member, membership chairman, advisor to the youth group, publicity chairman, and member of the labor committee. The labor committee originated the bias fight at the Union County Court House annex in 1963, which was the largest non-violent demonstrations in the state of New Jersey. In 1967, Brown moved to Metuchen, New Jersey to work as a development engineer for the Squibb Institute for Medical Research. He joined the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in 1968, where he helped develop a career guidance and minority affairs program. While a resident of Metuchen, Brown became the first African American in town government in 1970, serving as vice president of the education board in 1971 and 1972. In 1972, Brown left the board and Squibb when he accepted a managerial role at Polaroid. Residing in Weston, Massachusetts, Brown became the first African American town official in 1982 joining the town’s board of health and was Chairman for seven years. In 1983, Brown became the first African American director of AIChE, and the minority affairs coordinator; and, in 1984, he became the second African American fellow. He retired from Polaroid in 1996, having last served as plant manager of the Integral Coatings Division, and stepped down as the AIChE minority affairs coordinator in 2003.

Brown has received an array of awards for his work, which include: the Martin K. Simberloff Memorial Award in 1960, presented by the Urban League of Union County, New Jersey; the Big Brother Award for Outstanding Service to Youth in 1965, the Distinguished Alumni Award , presented by the University of Cincinnati in 1983; the F.J. and Dorothy Van Antwerpen Award for Service to the Institute, presented by the AIChE in 1996; an honorary doctorate of science degree from the University of Cincinnati in 2001; and the 2004 Grimes and 2015 Pioneer of Diversity Awards, both presented by the AIChE’s Minority Affairs Committee. In 2018, the AIChE renamed their Minority Affairs Committee Endowment Fund the Henry T. and Melinda C. Brown Minority Affairs Endowment Fund.

Brown was a Sunday school teacher at Myrtle Baptist Church in Newton, Massachusetts for thirty years, and a NAACP Diamond Life Member. He resides in Weston, Massachusetts, and has two adult children, Gregory and Mary Allyson, and two grandchildren, Ian and Camille.

Henry T. Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 11, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.098

Sex

Male

Interview Date
9/11/2019
Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

Thomas

Occupation
Schools
Walnut Hills High School
University of Cincinnati
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
First Name

Henry

Birth City, State, Country

Cincinnati

HM ID

BRO70

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Mexico

Favorite Quote

No Problem Is So Big Or So Complicated That You Can't Run Away From It and If There Is No Struggle, There Is No Progress

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

6/16/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Favorite Food

Home Made Ice Cream

Short Description

Chemical engineer Henry T. Brown (1932- ) was the first African American to graduate with a chemical engineering degree from the University of Cincinnati and the first African American fellow and director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Employment
Esso Research & Engineering Co.
E.R. Squibb for Medical Research
Polaroid Corporation
Favorite Color

Blue

Gail Berry West

Lawyer Gail Berry West was born on September 29, 1942 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Johnnie Mae Newton and Theodore Berry. She received her B.A. degree in history from Fisk University in 1964, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. West went on to receive her M.A. degree in history from the University of Cincinnati in 1965 and her J.D. degree from Howard University School of Law in 1968.

In 1969, West began her career in the New York office of the general counsel for the International Business Machine Corporation (IBM). Upon moving to Washington, D.C., she transferred to the data processing division and also served as an attorney in litigation analysis, where she assisted in the litigation between IBM and the federal government. In 1977, West joined the Carter administration as special assistant to Patricia Roberts Harris, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She went on to work for Sarah Weddington, assistant to President Jimmy Carter, and served on the White House Task Force on Sex Discrimination. In 1980, West became deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of the Air Force in Reserve Affairs and Installations. She was responsible for policy, program guidance and executive direction for equal employment laws and regulations. She then worked as an attorney and consultant for several companies seeking contracts with the federal government. In 1983, she became executive director of government affairs for Bell Communications (Bellcore), where she served for twelve years until 1995, when she became director of government relations for Armstrong World Industries (AWI). From 2003 to 2007, West served as a consultant for AWI until her retirement.

West served on the board of trustees for the Corcoran Gallery of Art, WETA, Meridian International Center, the Fisher House Foundation, the Arena Stage, the Decatur House Council, the D.C. Commission on Fine Arts, and the National Museum of American History. She served as the vice regent for the District of Columbia to the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, on the board of the White House Historical Association, the Hillwood Estate Museum & Gardens, and as a member of the dean’s council for the Washington National Cathedral.

West is the recipient of numerous awards including; IBM Regional Manager’s Merit Award for Outstanding Contribution, Air Force Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service, Bellcore President’s Recognition Award and the Armstrong General Manager’s Award for Team Excellence.

West and her husband, the late Togo D. West, Jr., have two daughters: Tiffany West Smink and Hilary Carter West.

Gail Berry West was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 17, 2019

Accession Number

A2019.001

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/17/2019

Last Name

West

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

Berry

Occupation
Schools

Fisk University

University of Cincinnati

Howard University School of Law

First Name

Gail

Birth City, State, Country

Cincinnati

HM ID

WES15

Favorite Season

Summer, Fall, and Spring

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

South of France/Italy/Greece

Favorite Quote

Be Still And Know That I Am God

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/29/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chili

Short Description

Lawyer Gail Berry West (1942 - ) served as executive director of government affairs for Bell Communications before serving as director of government relations for Armstrong World Industries.

Employment

Armstrong World Industries

Bell Communications Research

Howard University School of Law

Department of Defense

Government of Washington, D.C.

U.S. Air Force

Department of Housing and Urban Development

International Business Machines (IBM)

White House Public Liaison Office

Favorite Color

Rose and Pink

Anthony Jackson

Professor Anthony Jackson was born on June 20, 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Geneva Jackson and Houston Jackson. He attended Washburn Elementary School in Cincinnati. While briefly living in Cleveland, Ohio, Jackson attended Frederick Douglass Elementary School and Empire Junior High School. He then returned to Cincinnati where he graduated from Hughes STEM High School in 1964. As a member of the school’s track and basketball teams and the starting quarterback of the football team, Jackson received a full athletic scholarship to the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. There, he served as the first president of the United Black Student Association. Jackson earned his B.B.A. degree in accounting from the University of Cincinnati in 1968, and received his M.B.A. degree in finance from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 1970. He later earned his Ph.D. degree in accounting from the University of Cincinnati in 1985.

Jackson was invited to training camp for the San Francisco 49er’s football team, but was cut from the team and enrolled in graduate school. While there, Jackson helped establish the National Black MBA Association and helped organize the first annual conference in Chicago, Illinois that included twenty-six schools, two representatives from each school, area business persons, university deans and academic administrators. Jackson also worked with the Breadbasket Commercial Association, Inc. that helped support local black businesses in Chicago, Illinois, and co-founded an accounting practice with James Hill, Jr. After earning his Ph.D. degree, Jackson became a professor of accounting at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and remained for three years until he accepted a position at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, where he served as chair of the accounting department. He also held faculty positions at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana; Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois; and Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia. In 1998, Jackson secured a teaching position at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, where he remained until his retirement in 2005.

Jackson and his wife, Ellen Jackson, have two children; Anthony Jackson, Jr. and Meghan Jackson.

Anthony Jackson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 15, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.112

Sex

Male

Interview Date

06/15/2017

Last Name

Jackson

Middle Name

W.

Schools

Empire Junior High School

Hughes STEM High School

University of Cincinnati

University of Chicago

Washburn Elementary School

Frederick Douglass Elementary School

First Name

Anthony

Birth City, State, Country

Cincinnati

HM ID

JAC40

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Warm, wet places.

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

6/20/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Professor Anthony Jackson (1946 - ) co-founded the National Black MBA Association and served as an accounting professor for thirty years at institutions like Miami University in Oxford, Virginia and Hampton University in Virginia.

Employment

Miami University (Oxford, Ohio)

Operation Breadbasket

Central State University

Hampton University

Ball State University

Loyola University

Governors State University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

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

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Anthony Jackson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Anthony Jackson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Anthony Jackson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Anthony Jackson talks about his early household

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Anthony Jackson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Anthony Jackson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Anthony Jackson remembers the de facto segregation in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Anthony Jackson talks about his early interests in sports

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Anthony Jackson remembers attending Hughes High School in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Anthony Jackson talks about race relations in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Anthony Jackson recalls receiving an athletic scholarship at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Anthony Jackson talks about the racial issues at the University of Cincinnati

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Anthony Jackson talks about not being eligible for the draft during the Vietnam War

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Anthony Jackson describes Breadbasket Commercial Association, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Anthony Jackson recalls the founding of the National Black MBA Association, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Anthony Jackson recalls the founding of the National Black MBA Association, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Anthony Jackson talks about the growth of the National Black MBA Association

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Anthony Jackson talks about his experiences while pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Anthony Jackson remembers developing an interest in teaching

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Anthony Jackson recalls teaching at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Anthony Jackson remembers becoming the chair of the finance department at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Anthony Jackson reflects upon his teaching career and his former students

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Anthony Jackson talks about his retirement

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Anthony Jackson describes his family

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Anthony Jackson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Anthony Jackson reflects upon his life

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Anthony Jackson shares his advice for young African American entrepreneurs

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Anthony Jackson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

2$7

DATitle
Anthony Jackson describes Breadbasket Commercial Association, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois
Anthony Jackson remembers developing an interest in teaching
Transcript
So you, you are not drafted, you're, you're exonerated from that; you graduate from, then, the University of Chicago [University of Chicago Graduate School of Business; University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, Chicago, Illinois] with an M.B.A.?$$Yes.$$In, in what field?$$Accounting and Finance.$$And so what was your plan after going to get your M.B.A.?$$Well was--it was, it was, it was dealing with black business. I was in Chicago [Illinois] at the time and, you know, I wanted, you know, to be involved in the community and so forth. And (cough) Jesse Jackson [HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson] at that time, you know, was operating, you know, Operation Breadbasket [Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Chicago, Illinois].$$Um-hm.$$Okay. And he had a half-brother [Noah Robinson, Jr.] that came to town and started the Breadbasket Commercial Association [Breadbasket Commercial Association, Inc.]. And (cough) I think that was, who was that? I can't--I have to come back to it--$$That's--$$--don't remember that. But that's who I went to work for first.$$For Operation Bread- for--$$The Breadbasket Commercial Association.$$Okay.$$It dealt with small businesses--black businesses--that were apart of Operation Breadbasket.$$And what year was that?$$Well, I's was started--would have been, let's see, did I get out in--$$Seventy [1970], right?$$Seventy [1970]? Yeah. The summer of 1970. 1970.$$Okay. And what did you learn there, because this is grassroots, right? Helping black businesses in the community? What were you exposed to in that environment?$$Well for one that, you know, it was an environment where you could see that black folks could make money. But to go over the hump, to get to the next level, you know, we had to deal with white folks. You know, and that's where the problems happened, you know. So there was a construction division, you know, so, you know, we'd had a black plumbing company. And I that--I mentioned that because that was one of the firms that we worked with. But to get to that next contract, you know, the--to work on the new buildings, you know, you had to have some influence. You know, some play. So working with the black businesses was a routine, was a daily routine. There was black sanitation company, you know, that picked up debris and garbage. That was another situation where you needed to be, you know, careful. You know, you needed to be conniving, you know; and you had to, to put forth the effort, you know, to get the contracts.$What did you do for work during that time?$$Well in fact, I recall the beginning that, I guess, it was my second year down there. In the program, the Ph.D. program [at the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio], I was in, you know, you had coursework, you know, and you had a couple classes, you know, that were a part of the deal. Okay, that you went to school for. But I didn't see how I was going to do that, how I was gonna make it through. And literally, the weekend before the first class was starting up, the chairman called me--chairman of the accounting department--called me and asked me did I wanna be, you know, had, you know, an instructor, which gave me a full load of, I think, maybe three courses. But a base salary. So it was that base salary that allowed me to do that, to make that through.$$Okay. And making the choice to teach versus being an accountant, what drew you to teaching as opposed to, really, working in your own accounting firm and continuing along that path?$$Well it was something I'd done even as a kid, you know, interacting with folks, you know. We, like you said, the math thing, you know, was always something, I would interact with of the students about and so forth. And I kind of liked it, the teaching thing. The learning thing and, you know, when I got this first teaching thing that I was doing in Chicago [Illinois] at, I think was at Chicago State [Chicago State University], I said, "Well, you know, maybe I can do something about these kids." Maybe I can help this, you know. So that was the notion for, you know, going on pursuing the Ph.D. and thereafter, you know, going into it full time.

Ronald A. Crutcher

Academic administrator and cellist Ronald A. Crutcher was born on February 27, 1947 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Andrew and Burdella Crutcher. Crutcher graduated from Woodward High School in 1965, and went on to attend Miami University of Ohio, where he received his B.M. degree in 1969. He earned his M.M.A. degree from the Yale School of Music in 1972. Crutcher received a Fulbright Fellowship in 1972 to study in West Germany until 1977. In 1979, he became the first cellist to receive a D.M.A. degree from the Yale University School of Music.

Crutcher debuted at Carnegie Hall in 1985. He also performed around the world with a number of groups, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, the Klemperer Trio, and the Chanticleer String Quartet. In addition to his music career, Crutcher worked as an educator and school administrator. Crutcher was head of the string program at Wittenberg University School of Music from 1977 to 1979. He was then hired as an assistant professor of Music at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and was promoted to coordinator of the string area of their School of Music in 1984. In 1989, Crutcher became the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. In 1990, he joined the Conservatory at The Cleveland Institute of Music as a vice president for academic affairs and dean. He became the director of the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas – Austin in 1994. In 1999, Crutcher was hired as the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at his alma mater, Miami University of Ohio. In 2004, he was hired as president and professor of music at Wheaton College. In 2016, Crutcher became the first African American president of the University of Richmond.

Crutcher co-founded Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) within the Association of American Colleges and Universities, where he also served on the board. He also served on numerous community and corporate boards including the board of the American Council on Education, The Fulbright Association, and multiple boards for symphonies and music associations. Crutcher has received various awards and honors for his work in higher education and music including honorary doctorates from Muhlenberg College, Colgate University, and Wheaton College. Crutcher has also received the Presidential Medal of Honor from the University of Cordoba in Spain, The Cultural Excellence Award from The Cleveland Music School Settlement, and a Certificate of Merit from the Yale School of Music Alumni Association.

Crutcher and his wife, Betty Neal Crutcher, have one daughter, Sara.

Ronald A. Crutcher was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 6, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.099

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/6/2016

Last Name

Crutcher

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Andrew

Schools

Miami University

Yale University

University of Bonn

Frankfurt State Academy

Woodward Career Technical High School

First Name

Ronald

Birth City, State, Country

Cincinnati

HM ID

CRU03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Marthas Vineyard

Favorite Quote

I've been terrified all of my life but thats never stopped me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

2/27/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Richmond

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All food

Short Description

Academic administrator and cellist Ronald A. Crutcher (1947 – ) was the first cellist to receive a D.M.A. degree from the Yale University School of Music. He also served as president of Wheaton College before becoming the first African American president of the University of Richmond.

Employment

University of Richmond

Wheaton College (MA)

Miami University of Ohio

University of Texas at Austin

The Cleveland Inst. of Music

University of North Carolina, Greensboro

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Wittenberg University (Germany)

The Bonn School of Music (Germany)

Favorite Color

Blue

Lafayette Jones

Marketing chief executive and publisher Lafayette Glenn Jones was born on February 17, 1944. He credits his parents, who managed a small landscaping business, with his own entrepreneurial drive. Jones received his B.A. degree from Fisk University in 1965, and went on to attend executive management programs at Dartmouth College’s Amos Tuck School of Business and Stanford University’s School of Business.

Jones first worked for the Job Corps and the YMCA as a program director in the mid-1960s. He then directed client promotions at the Washington, D.C. radio station WOL from 1967 to 1969. From 1969 to 1974, he worked as a sales and marketing executive for Lever Brothers, Pillsbury Company and General Foods. From 1974 to 1979, Jones served as a marketing manager for Hunt-Wesson, where he created the Orville Redenbacher Gourmet Popping Corn and Hunt's Manwich strategies. In 1979, he was appointed as vice president of marketing and sales at Johnson Products Company in Chicago, Illinois. In 1981, Jones founded and served as executive director of the American Health and Beauty Aids Institute (AHBAI), the trade association of black hair care companies. He also founded Smith-Jones & Associates, an association management firm.

In 1988, Jones was named vice president and general manager of Supreme Beauty Products Company, the hair care subsidiary of Johnson Publishing Company. He then joined Sandra Miller Jones’ Segmented Marketing Services, Inc. (SMSi) in the early 1990s, where he went on to serve as president and chief executive officer of SMSi-Urban Call Marketing, Inc. and publisher of the company’s Urban Call magazine. Jones also became publisher of SMSi’s Shades of Beauty magazine in 1998.

Jones has authored articles for numerous publications including OTC Beauty Magazine and the Beauty Industry Report. He authored a column in Sophisticate's Black Hair Styles and Care Guide and the 1999 Green Book’s special section on ethnic hair care. Jones also wrote a column for ShopTalk magazine for fifteen years. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and has guest lectured at Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Wake Forest University, and Howard University. Jones has also served on the boards of several organizations including Urban Getaways, the Mardan Institute and the Promotion Marketing Association.

Jones is married to his business partner, Sandra Miller Jones. He is the father of four children: Kevin, Melanie, Tara and Bridgette.

Lafayette Jones was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 14, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.215

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/14/2014

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Fisk University

Dartmouth College

Stanford University

First Name

Lafayette

Birth City, State, Country

Cincinnati

HM ID

JON40

State

Ohio

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

2/17/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Winston-Salem

Country

United States

Short Description

Marketing chief executive and publisher Lafayette Jones (1944 - ) is the president and chief executive officer of SMSi-Urban Call Marketing, Inc. and publisher of Urban Call and Shades of Beauty magazines. He also served as a marketing executive for Lever Brothers, Pillsbury Company, General Foods, Hunt-Wesson, Johnson Products Company and Johnson Publishing Company, and founded the American Health and Beauty Aids Institute.

Employment

Job Corps

YMCA

WOL Radio

Lever Brothers; Pillsbury Company; General Foods

Hunt-Wesson

Johnson Products Company

American Health and Beauty Aids Institute

Smith-Jones & Associates

Supreme Beauty Products Company

Segmented Marketing Services

Urban Call Magazine

Shades of Beauty Magazine

Oliver McGee, III

Civil engineer and academic administrator, Oliver G. McGee III, graduated from the The Ohio State University (OSU) in 1981 with his B.S. degree in civil engineering. McGee went on to earn advanced degrees from the University of Arizona, receiving his M.S. degree in civil engineering and his Ph.D. degree in engineering mechanics and aerospace engineering in 1983 and 1988, respectively. He was a graduate teaching associate in the department of civil engineering and engineering mechanics, while attending the University of Arizona. From 1986 to 1988, McGee worked as a senior research associate at OSU. In 2004, McGee earned his M.B.A. degree in business administration and finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
 
In 1997, McGee was appointed senior policy analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of the U.S. President. In 1988, McGee began teaching at OSU as an assistant professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics. In 1992, McGee became the first African American faculty to be promoted to associate professor with tenure in the century and a quarter year history of OSU’s engineering college. He then became, in 1992, associate professor of civil and aerospace engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. Along the way, he served in a number of visiting professorships at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), including the first opening class of MIT’s Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professors. Later, McGee was promoted to full professor and chair of the Department of Civil Engineering & Geodetic Science in 2001, becoming the first African-American full professor and chair in the 150-year history of OSU’s engineering college. Between 1999 and 2001 McGee served as the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of transportation for technology policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and special assistant to the President at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Howard University hired McGee as the school's very first vice president for research and compliance in 2007. Under his leadership, the new office raised the profile of the Howard principal investigator, launched the first-ever research communications documents Research at The Capstone, and constructed a new central management for research facility at Howard University’s C. B. Powell Building, adjacent to the school’s Louis B. Stokes Science Library.
 
For his research and education initiatives, McGee has been awarded grants totaling more than $8 million. In 2007, he founded the Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm, Partnership Possibilities for America. The firm’s concepts on education, economics, and politics are covered in a number of McGee’s many books and publications. In 2012, he submitted three books for publication, including Bridging the Black Research Gap, available online through Amazon Create Space and Revilo Group Publishing, L.L.C. McGee has authored more than 50 articles appearing in academic journals such as, ASME Journal of Turbomachinery, ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering, ASME Journal of Applied Mechanics, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, International Journal of Solids and Structures, ASCE Journal of Engineering Mechanics, and Civil Engineering Systems. For his contributions, McGee has been honored by numerous organizations, including the American Council on Education (ACE), American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), National Science Foundation (NSF), and National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA).
 
Oliver G. McGee III was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 11, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.235

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/11/2012

Last Name

McGee

Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

George

Schools

The Ohio State University

University of Arizona School of Law

Woodward Career Technical High School

University of Chicago

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

First Name

Oliver

Birth City, State, Country

Cincinnati

HM ID

MCG05

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cambridge, England

Favorite Quote

Our Words Create Our World.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

10/28/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Civil engineer and engineering professor Oliver McGee, III (1957 - ) was the former chair of the Civil & Environmental Engineering & Geodetic Science Department at The Ohio State University. McGee was also a full professor of mechanical engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Howard University.

Employment

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

United States Department of Transportation

Ohio State University

Howard University

Georgia Institute of Technology

United Negro College Fund

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Favorite Color

Mulatto

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Oliver McGee's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Oliver McGee lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Oliver McGee talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Oliver McGee talks about his sister's artistry

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Oliver McGee talks about his interest in learning more about his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Oliver McGee talks about his mother's upbringing and her passion for education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Oliver McGee talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Oliver McGee talks about his paternal great-grandfather's relation to Sitting Bull and his interest in learning more about his ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Oliver McGee talks about Cincinnati Woodward High School

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Oliver McGee talks about how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Oliver McGee talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Oliver McGee talks about his likeness to his mother, her influence on him, and her career at the University of Cincinnati

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Oliver McGee describes his earliest childhood memory and talks about his father's career as a fireman in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Oliver McGee talks about his elementary school teachers and his early aptitude in math

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Oliver McGee talks about his struggles with reading as a child and how he overcame it

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Oliver McGee describes his childhood neighborhood, his interest in classical music, and the culture of Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Oliver McGee describes the sights, sounds and smells of Cincinnati, Ohio and talks about his mentors

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Oliver McGee talks about his academic performance in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Oliver McGee talks about race relations in Cincinnati, Ohio during his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Oliver McGee talks about his parents' difficult relationship, their divorce, and his decision to live with his mother

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Oliver McGee reflects on the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Kennedy family

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Oliver McGee talks about improving his reading skills, starting high school, and his mother's parenting and influence

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Oliver McGee talks about witnessing domestic violence during his childhood and the importance of perseverance

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Oliver McGee talks about his high school geometry teacher and learning Euclidean Geometry

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Oliver McGee talks about his experience as a drum major at Ohio State University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Oliver McGee talks about his high school band and his musical interests

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Oliver McGee talks about his high school math preparation

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Oliver McGee talks about the demographics of Woodward High School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Oliver McGee reflects on his high school counseling, his concerns about education policy, and his concerns for the education of future generations

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Oliver McGee talks about his job at McDonald's and his mother's aspirations for him

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Oliver McGee talks about his decision to attend The Ohio State University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Oliver McGee talks about Minnie McGee's influence on his decision to major in engineering at The Ohio State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Oliver McGee talks about the history of drum majors and the band at The Ohio State University and his experience as an understudy to Dwight Hudson

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Oliver McGee talks about football and his experience as a drum major at The Ohio State University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Oliver McGee talks about his professors and his experience in the engineering department at The Ohio State University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Oliver McGee talks about meeting Dr. Julian Manly Earls and his mentors at the NASA Lewis Research Center and the University of Arizona

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Oliver McGee talks about his dissertation

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Oliver McGee talks about the relevance of his doctoral research on the field today and the goals of scientific research

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Oliver McGee talks about adjusting to the environment in Arizona

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Oliver McGee talks about African Americans pursuing careers in academia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Oliver McGee talks about his experience teaching at The Ohio State University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Oliver McGee talks about his professional awards and his appointment to the faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Oliver McGee talks about Charles Vent's influence on his appointment to the White House Fellows Program

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Oliver McGee talks about being appointed as a White House Fellow

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Oliver McGee talks about his experience as a White House Fellow and his interest in science policy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Oliver McGee talks about his research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his mentee, Keith Coleman

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Oliver McGee talks about meeting Bob Nash and his influence on his appointment to the Department of Transportation

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Oliver McGee reflects on his experience serving in the White House and talks about the people who were instrumental in his career there

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Oliver McGee talks about leaving the White House, his decision to study business, and his experience at the Wharton School

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Oliver McGee talks about his experience at the University of Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Oliver McGee talks about his book, "Jumping the Aisle: How I Became a Black Republican in the Age of Obama"

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Oliver McGee talks about graduating from the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Oliver McGee talks about his interest in philanthropy

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Oliver McGee talks about his experience teaching at Howard University

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Oliver McGee talks about his desire to become a university president

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Oliver McGee reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Oliver McGee talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Oliver McGee reflects on his life choices and talks about his family and friends

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Oliver McGee talks about his books

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Oliver McGee talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Oliver McGee describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

9$6

DATitle
Oliver McGee talks about his experience as a White House Fellow and his interest in science policy
Oliver McGee talks about his book, "Jumping the Aisle: How I Became a Black Republican in the Age of Obama"
Transcript
Okay. Now, what--can you choose what kind of duty you would perform at the White House as a Fellow or did they have certain categories for you?$$You do have to answer the questions in the essays, "What would you like to do as a White House Fellow?" And I had expressed that I'd like to work for the president's science advisor. I wanted to do some work I science policy and, you know, and that was inspired by what Chuck Vest would inspire me on, the public understanding of science at the time, and making science understanding--helpful for society, and give back to society. We do our work and our calculus in our laboratories, but it's got to be useful for society. So that was my focus. And the top 30 national finalists' interview was at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. And you go there for about two or three days. They give you this big, giant matrix where they're interviewing all of the commissioners of the White House Fellows Commission. And the reason they choose 30 is because they're actually selecting about 14 or 15 final fellows. And typically, they choose three or four of those from the military, because Johnson actually formed his fellowship from the military. He wanted to have the military complex to understand the policy side of government, and that's why he formed this White House fellowship. So, they typically have, you know, military folks going through. And they have sort of like a two of a kind, two of every kind, like in Noah's ark. And that was my first experience of being like a "reality" television program, "The Apprentice" or you might say whatever television shows you see in that, you know, that thing that you see on television where they're going through. So we were like Noah's ark; two of every kind. And so, they had two scientists; me and a young lady from Minnesota. And we just kind of raced our way through that for two or three days. And it was an endurance match. You see if you can keep up with the endurance and last. And I was doing so fine, and then I got confused in the matrix one day, I missed one of my interviews. And that interview was with the one renowned Roger Porter, who was Bush One's Economic and Domestic Policy Advisor. I got mixed up, a matrix, and I got the wrong time, and he was sitting where and saying, "Where's Oliver?" (laughs). Of course, Larry, I was bounced out (laughs). But I'm pretty sure it's part of the discussion, you know. I learned a valuable lesson that you have to be on time and time is a very important thing in life. It was a very important lesson I had to learn. Still learning it. But I want to share with the young people. Watch your time.$$Okay. So, you didn't get a chance to be--now, okay, what. You didn't get a chance to serve as a White House Intern.$$That's right. I didn't get selected.$$Right.$$Along the way, I had the help of Uncle Chuck. He was disappointed. He said, "Oh, well, I'm sorry about that, Oliver. You got to learn a valuable lesson on that." And then he--two weeks later, I got a call from John Deutch, who was the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Ernie Moniz, who was the Undersecretary of Science in the White House Science Office. And they wanted for me to meet in their offices at MIT. Ernie Moniz was the chair of the physics department, and John Deutch was a faculty member of the physics department. And those were two of the most momentous meetings I've ever had at that time in my career. John Deutch was a wonderful gentleman. Very, very soft spoken; very stately. His office was a highly decorated place of plaques from presidents dating back to Nixon. And he's been on so many boards and commissions. And he just simply looked at my resume and he asked me one question: "Oliver, why do you want to serve?"$$And (unclear) (simultaneous).$$And I told him, "I want to serve because I want to make a difference. I want to make a difference in science and technology. I want to understand science policies so we can increase the public's understanding of science. It's a very simple answer." And he said, "Thank you." And then I spoke with Ernie Moniz afterwards and he gave me a book on "Science with a National Interest," that he had wrote for President Clinton. And he said, "What do you think of this?" And we went over it and talked about it, and we talked about the issues in it. And it was a very delightful interview. And then two weeks later I got a call from the White House from Daryl Chubin. He said, "Hello. I'm the Assistant Director for Science and we've been looking at your background here, and we would like for you to come and talk with us, and the President's Science Advisor would like to have a conversation with you." After I picked my jaw up off of the floor, I flew to Washington and had a day of interviews in the White House Science Office. It was--wonderful people. Wonderful people. Daryl Chubin and Bev Hartline and Arthur Bienenstock, who is in the upper administration at Stanford [University], and Duncan Moore. The science advisor was Jack Gibbons. I met Cynthia Chase, who was the secretary; and Donna Coleman. And they had a White House intern named James Bucksbaum (ph. splg.). And we all had lunch and everything. And then the two--oh, I'd say about a week later, they said, "When can you join us? We like you."$Now, what's the name of your latest book?$$"Jumping The Aisle: How I Became a Black Republican in the Age of Obama."$$Okay. Okay.$$That's a rhetorical question.$$Yes (laughs).$$It's really about belief in America. It's not about yea or nay or any candidate or anything like. Most people were looking at the book, "Why you're writing about America?" I find America fascinating under the [President Barack] Obama Era. You know, when we elected the first black president, we made America interesting. Whether you're for him or against him, you got to understand the ride is fun, and we're paying attention. And that's what black leadership does. We're so innovative when we do it. We have to be creative. We have to be nimble. We have to try and test things. Some things work, some things do not. We have to listen. We have to be able to mend our mistakes. We got to keep trying. And then we have to know when to step down. Because everything we're doing is history. So America is interesting under the Obama because it's about history. So I wrote a book about that, respecting the history and showing the way, and then looking to a future on getting to 2076. And those are wonderful principles of leadership learned from Mike Eusem (ph. splg.) at Wharton School in his leadership course. Oh, Mike Eusem. Mike Eusem had us climbing a tree to learn leadership at Wharton. When I went through that course, I was wondering, "Why are we climbing a tree?" But he was teaching us how leadership is dependent on those who are under you, as well as those who are pulling you up. The Age of Obama is doing that now. Valerie Jarrett, one of your HistoryMakers is doing that now. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are doing that now. The American people are doing that now. Because we're doing leadership and making the decision, independent decision.

Alfred Richard Fornay

Magazine beauty editor and consultant Alfred Fornay was born on June 8, 1941 in Cincinnati, Ohio. After graduating from high school, Fornay moved to New York City, where he attended the Wilfred Academy of Beauty and Hair Design. In 1966, Fornay went on to earn his A.A.S. degree from the City College of New York in merchandising and marketing, and another A.A.S. degree from the State University of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology.

In 1971, after completing his education, Fornay was hired as the Assistant Ethnic Marketing Manager for Clairol Cosmetics. The next year, he moved to Essence magazine, where he was the Associate Beauty Editor. In 1973, he returned to cosmetics as Beauty/Training Director for Fashion Fair. Five years later, he was hired by Revlon and became Creative Director for Revlon’s “Polished Ambers” Collection.

In 1980, Fornay became an editor for Elan magazine’s beauty section. Two years later, he was hired as Ebony’s beauty and fashion editor. When Ebony expanded with a new magazine, Ebony Man, in 1985, Fornay served as the magazine’s first editor in chief, and worked with the publication in various capacities thereafter. He also wrote contributing pieces for other magazines and in 1989 wrote and published Fornay’s Guide to Skin Care and Makeup for Women of Color.

Fornay has been affiliated with a number of organizations, including the National Association of Black Journalists, the Boys and Girls Choirs of Harlem and the nonprofit styleWORKS. Beginning in 2000, he has taught evening classes on color, cosmetics and men’s grooming at the New Rochelle High School. He published two additional books, The African American Woman’s Guide to Successful Make-Up and Skin Care and Born Beautiful: The African American Teenager’s Complete Beauty Guide. From 2005 to 2006, he served as a special assistant to David Paterson, then a New York state senator. Fornay is developing a new magazine, Luxe Living and another book, Beauty for Life, for older women. Fornay opened the Image Connection Institute, a personal development company, purveyors of business protocol, etiquette, manners, courtesy, fashion, beauty, grooming programs for men, women, young people and children. His first clients were professional interns for the Bill Clinton Foundation.

Fornay was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 19, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.211

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/19/2007 |and| 7/23/2007

Last Name

Fornay

Maker Category
Middle Name

Richard

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

Pine Forge Academy

Avondale School

Shiloh Preparatory School

Hughes STEM High School

Wilfred's Academy of Hair and Beauty Culture

City University of New York

Ophelia DeVore School of Self-Development and Modeling

Clairol Institute of Hair Coloring

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Alfred

Birth City, State, Country

Cincinnati

HM ID

FOR09

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bermuda; Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Develop A Skin As Thick As A Rhinoceros Hide.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/8/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Southern Style Garden Salad

Short Description

Magazine beauty editor Alfred Richard Fornay (1941 - ) was Ebony Man's first editor-in-chief and author of the book, "Fornay’s Guide to Skin Care and Makeup for Women of Color."

Employment

Losantiville Country Club

Essence Magazine

Elan Magazine

Ebony Magazine

Ebony Man Magazine

Jet magazine

Fashion Fair Cosmetics

Revlon, Inc.

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alfred Richard Fornay's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alfred Richard Fornay lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his father's experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his mother's upbringing in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about his maternal family's migration from Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his mother's religious background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers his maternal grandmother's occupation

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his maternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his father's childhood in Union Mills, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about his paternal family's relocation to Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers his paternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his father's religious background

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his father's professions

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his parents' siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his father's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his parents' marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his mother's conversion to Seventh-day Adventism

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alfred Richard Fornay lists his siblings

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his home life

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers the entertainment of his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls celebrating the holidays

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers his uncle

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his early education

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers a play at the Avondale School in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his mother's influence on his education

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers the Shiloh Preparatory School in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his experiences at the Shiloh Preparatory School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers his inquisitive personality

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his early aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about Seventh-day Adventism

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers the Pine Forge Institute in Pine Forge, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his experiences at the Pine Forge Institute

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his teachers at the Pine Forge Institute

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his personal growth during high school

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about the restrictions in Seventh-day Adventism

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Albert Richard Fornay recalls leaving the Pine Forge Institute in Pine Forge, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Albert Richard Fornay recalls his position at the Losantiville Country Club in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Albert Richard Fornay describes his parents' relationship

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Albert Richard Fornay recalls his decision to move to New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Albert Richard Fornay remembers his initial experiences in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Albert Richard Fornay recalls his decision to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Albert Richard Fornay recalls his parents' opinions of his studies

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Albert Richard Fornay recalls his experiences at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Albert Richard Fornay describes his coursework at the Fashion Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Albert Richard Fornay remembers the Ebony Fashion Fair

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers his stylistic influences

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his internship with Rose Morgan

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls the Wilfred Academy of Hair and Beauty Culture in New York City

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers Rose Morgan

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls the Ophelia DeVore School of Self-Development and Modeling in New York City

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls working as a makeup artist for Libra Cosmetics

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers becoming the ethnic marketing manager of Clairol, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about the expansion of African American cosmetics

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his training under Naomi Stern at Revlon, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls becoming an associate beauty editor for Essence magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers his colleagues at Essence magazine

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls the college issue of Essence magazine

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers his interview with John H. Johnson

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his position at the Johnson Publishing Company, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his position at the Johnson Publishing Company, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers joining Revlon, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about Reverend Dr. Gregory Smith

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls the theft of Johnson Products' formulas by Revlon, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about Johnson Products

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls working with Iman at Revlon, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers Beverly Johnson's Vogue cover

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about the impact of the Civil Rights Movement on the beauty industry

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes the history of the black beauty industry

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about the media's representation of black beauty, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about the media's representation of black beauty, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about the changing images of black beauty

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes the early black beauty products, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes the early black beauty products, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his experiences as a beauty editor at Elan magazine

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers Marie Brown

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his mentorship of younger makeup artists

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his role as Ebony's beauty and fashion editor

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls the launch of Ebony Man magazine

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about his beauty manuals

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his beauty book for teenagers

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls his work with the Boys Choir of Harlem

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his celebrity clientele

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Alfred Richard Fornay remembers Stephen Burrows

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls a white photographer's discriminatory remarks, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Alfred Richard Fornay recalls a white photographer's discriminatory remarks, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes the importance of depicting black beauty

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about the Procter and Gamble Company's approach to the beauty industry

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about the future of black glamour

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Alfred Richard Fornay reflects upon in his legacy

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about his magazine, Luxe Living

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his plans for the future

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his current book project

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about skin color bias in the black community, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Alfred Richard Fornay talks about skin color bias in the black community, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 11 - Alfred Richard Fornay describes his role at StyleWorks

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Alfred Richard Fornay narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Alfred Richard Fornay narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$2

DATape

5$9

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Albert Richard Fornay recalls his parents' opinions of his studies
Alfred Richard Fornay recalls the launch of Ebony Man magazine
Transcript
So you're hooked at FIT [Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, New York]. What's so fantastic about there?$$Oh, Lord, I went bananas at FIT. I mean that was to me utopia, you know. And of course all my religious friends or whatever, they'd say, "You're supposed to be at Oakwood College [Oakwood University] in Huntsville, Alabama." I said, "No, I'm at FIT at 27th Street and 7th Avenue in New York City," you know. And that's when I joined the church here in Harlem [New York, New York], and I've been a member there for forty-two years.$$And this is the Seventh-day Adventist church?$$Yes, it's the Ephesus Church [Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church] here at 123rd [Street] and Lenox Avenue [Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, New York].$$Would you repeat the name of the church?$$Ephesus, E-P-H-E-S-U-S, Seventh-day Adventist Church. And that's been my support. And I spoke to the minister there who is now deceased, who was a high achiever himself. He was the first union black president in the structure of the church. And I went to him, and I said, "Can I be a Seventh-day Adventist and be in fashion, beauty, or whatever?" He said, "Mr. Fornay [HistoryMaker Alfred Richard Fornay], this morning--I got up this morning and I had to put deodorant under my arms. I had to shave, I had to put on clothes; I had to do whatever." He said, "Who do you think made those things?" You know, he says, "Why can't you be?" And I said, "Oh, thank you so much." I was just so relieved. And that's all I needed.$$What was his name?$$Pastor Carter, Robert Carter. And he was oh, such a beautiful man, he and his wife. She was an accomplished musician and had studied to be a musician or whatever. They were beautiful people, but forward thinking and had a vision. And so, that was music to my ears. And so I enrolled in FIT. And--$$And what do your parents [Marguerite Weatherford Fornay and Alfred Fornay] think about these--$$They didn't know what to think.$$Okay.$$My father didn't know what to think. He said, "Oh, you're going to be sitting in a salon rolling up hair, you know, or whatever." I said, "What?" (Laughter) He said, "I thought you were going to--." And my mother said, "I don't, I don't understand." (Laughter) She kept saying, "I don't understand." She said, "I thought you wanted to be a teacher. I thought you wanted to be a, whatever." I said, "I am, I am going to teach, but I'm going to be a teacher in the area of fashion, beauty, grooming, or whatever." And she said, "How?" I said, "There are companies that need training directors. There are companies--." She said, "Oh, I didn't know that." I said, "Yeah." So I found that I had to educate them, because they didn't know the world that I was entering. So, every opportunity I got to share with them, they started really understanding what I was trying to do, you know. And then my mother became one of my strongest supporters, because she just didn't see that other side, you know. And then I realized that she didn't know about it, you know, so how could she? So, I became a model student at FIT. I became the first black vice president of student council. I had won all kinds of awards from the institution and whatever. It was just wonderful for me.$And how does Ebony Man magazine come about?$$We started doing a column for men in Ebony called Ebony Man, and the response was just tremendous. I mean, the inquiries--Mr. Johnson [HistoryMaker John H. Johnson] was just surprised of the response. And I was just doing it to keep everybody happy, you know. I really--my interest was female beauty; it wasn't really in the male spectrum at the time. And Mr. Johnson said, "We're going to expand your one page to a couple of pages. We'll do editorial spreads four times a year." So, I started doing formalwear, because black men were big in formalwear around the graduation times, et cetera. So, we attracted the formalwear industry as advertisers in the publication for the first time. We started doing fragrances for men, until Mr. Johnson brought out with his own fragrance and we had to kill that for a while. So, it was that kind of trend. And the momentum started building and I was called into Chicago [Illinois], because I was back and forth between New York [New York] and Chicago at the time. And Linda [HistoryMaker Linda Johnson Rice], his daughter, and Mr. Johnson met with me. And he said, "Mr. Fornay [HistoryMaker Alfred Richard Fornay], we're going to start a men's publication. And we can't think of anyone better to head the publication but you." Well, my mouth fell open, I just couldn't believe it. I mean, this is a dream come true. And that's how it got started. And then the plum was that we were going to do it out of New York. And so, I was able to work out of the New York office on this new publication. Developed the logo, developed the tagline, hired all the editors, hired all the creative help, and launched the publication.$$You said that you were doing some small--first just one column, and then the quarterly pieces. What were you including in the magazine to inform men about beauty in Ebony Man?$$We were talking about the problems that black men have, like razor bumps for example. We did things on shaving and what products were available, what methods were available. We would include interviews with doctors who specialized in problems with black men. And to my knowledge, that wasn't being done on a regular basis with a major black publication. We got the attention of the toiletry industry and the shaving industry, which was Gillette [The Gillette Company], that came in as advertisers at that time. We even got the Gold American Express card to come into Ebony Man, which had never come into Ebony. We got it first, before they even went into Ebony, because they liked the segment of the market that we were targeting at the time. We even got a complimentary letter from GQ and Esquire, complimenting us and welcoming us to the industry, you know. So it was--the kinds of articles were dressing, dieting, good health. We were talking about--we were ahead of our time, talking about some of the health issues with black men and grooming tips, et cetera, that kind of stuff.$$How long did you remain the editor of Ebony Man?$$Three years.$$And is the magazine still in existence?$$No, they moved it back to Chicago. And now, this is my personal opinion and assessment. They started putting centerfolds of--how can I say it? They weren't nude, but sort of like the Jet calendar, you know. And it was a turnoff for that segment of the market. They started talking about where to meet women in the bars, you know. We were beyond bars; we were talking about the elegant places that men who were spending money on good suits and fine wine were going to meet women, et cetera, you know. And in my opinion, I think that was the demise of the publication, because in my opinion it lacked the sophistication that we were trying to establish.

Abiodun Oyewole

Abiodun Oyewole was born Charles Davis on February 25, 1948 in Cincinnati, Ohio. At the age of three, he moved to Queens, New York, with his maternal aunt and her new husband. He was greatly influenced by the jazz and gospel music they played and by poets like Langston Hughes. At fifteen, he and a friend attended a Yoruba Temple in Harlem, New York. There, a Yoruba priest performed a ceremony, giving him the name Abiodun Oyewole, by which he is best known. Oyewole began learning about the Yoruba gods and developed a spiritual connection to the religion, which stressed the significance of praying to one’s ancestors for guidance and strength.

Oyewole is a founding member of the American musical spieling group, The Last Poets. On May 19, 1968, the anniversary of Malcolm X’s birthday, Oyewole and two others David Nelson and Gylan Kain read poetry in tribute to Malcolm X at a memorial for him, and the group was born. The group’s message, deeply rooted in Black Nationalism, quickly became recognized within the African American community. The Last Poets along with the artist Gil Scott-Heron are credited as having had a profound effect on the development of hip-hop music. In 1970, the Last Poets were signed by jazz producer Alan Douglas and released their first album. This album includes their classic poem Niggers are Scared of Revolution. The Last Poets' spoken word albums preceded politically laced Rhythm and Blues projects, such as Marvin Gaye’s What's Going On, and foreshadowed the work of hard-hitting rap groups like Public Enemy and Dead Prez.

After being sentenced to four years in a North Carolina prison for larceny, Oyewole was forced to leave The Last Poets. He served two and half years of his sentence and during that time attended a nearby college where he earned his B.A. degree. He went on to earn his Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York City, where he has served as a faculty member. Oyewole rejoined The Last Poets, during its 1990s resurgence. The Last Poets took part in Lollapalooza in 1994 and released a new album entitled Holy Terror in 1995 and a book called On a Mission: Selected Poetry and a History of the Last Poets in 1996. Oyewole continues to tour various venues giving lectures on poetry and politics.

Oyewole lives in New York City.

Accession Number

A2006.164

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/13/2006 |and| 2/22/2007 |and| 3/21/2007

Last Name

Oyewole

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Ps 48 William Wordsworth School

Drake University

Shaw University

Columbia University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Abiodun

Birth City, State, Country

Cincinnati

HM ID

OYE01

Favorite Season

Birthday

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Islands

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

2/25/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken, Fish

Short Description

Poet and spoken word artist Abiodun Oyewole (1948 - ) is a founding member of the American musical spieling group, The Last Poets. The group's message, deeply rooted in Black Nationalism, quickly became recognized within the African American community.

Employment

The Last Poets

Harlem Domestic Peace Corps

Columbia University

City College of New York

New York City Board of Education

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Abiodun Oyewole's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his favorite color and food

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Abiodun Oyeole describes his favorite time of the year

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Abiodun Oyeole describes his travels

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Abiodun Oyeole describes his favorite sayings, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Abiodun Oyeole describes his favorite sayings, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Abiodun Oyeole talks about parenting, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Abiodun Oyeole talks about parenting, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his maternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about his mother's childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about his infancy

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls choosing to move to New York City with his aunt

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his mother

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about Tulsa, Oklahoma's black Wall Street

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his aunt who raised him

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his uncle who raised him

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls attending P.S. 48

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls music from his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Abiodun Oyewole remembers celebrating Christmas as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls barbecues at his home in Queens, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls lessons about work ethic from his maternal uncle

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Abiodun Oyewole describes lessons about race from his maternal aunt and uncle

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his childhood impression of New York City's Harlem

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls his baptism at Southern Baptist Church

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Abiodun Oyewole remembers seeing the Gospel Caravan at the Apollo Theater

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls how he was affected by his baptism

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about sexuality

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his relationship to women

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls his childhood aspiration to become a doctor

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls reciting the Lord's Prayer at Southern Baptist Church

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his relationship with his maternal uncle

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls fighting at Woodycrest boarding school

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Abiodun Oyewole remembers an encounter with his school counselor

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his experiences at Haaren High School

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his reputation for fighting at Haaren High School

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his high school English teachers

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls becoming interested in poetry

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Abiodun Oyewole remembers his first encounter with African religion

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Abiodun Oyewole remembers adopting his name

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his poetry

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Slating of Abiodun Oyewole's interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about the universal nature of struggle and poetry

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls founding The Last Poets with David Nelson

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about his talent for poetry

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about his desire for self-expression

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Abiodun Oyewole reflects upon being a voice for others

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Abiodun Oyewole remembers preparing for his first poetry performance

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls the first performance of The Last Poets

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls his decision not to pursue medicine

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls attending Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls his maternal aunt's lessons about self-esteem

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Abiodun Oyewole describes the early performances of The Last Poets

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls hosting workshops and parties at the East Wind, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls hosting workshops and parties at the East Wind, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Abiodun Oyewole describes The Last Poets' finances

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls The Last Poets' changing lineup

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Abiodun Oyewole remembers becoming the sole member of The Last Poets

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Abiodun Oyewole remembers recruiting Umar Bin Hassan to The Last Poets

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls Jalal Mansur Nuriddin joining The Last Poets

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Abiodun Oyewole remembers recording the album 'The Last Poets'

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Abiodun Oyewole describes being a member of The Last Poets

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Abiodun Oyewole remembers his decision to leave The Last Poets

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls protesting the Harlem State Office Building's construction, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls protesting the Harlem State Office Building's construction, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Abiodun Oyewole remembers the police search and seizure of his car

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls fleeing New York City

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Abiodun Oyewole reflects upon being a revolutionary activist

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls attending Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his radio programs at Shaw University

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls organizing the robbery of two gun stores in Raleigh

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls being pursued after robbing the Ku Klux Klan, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls being pursued after robbing the Ku Klux Klan, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Abiodun Oyewole recounts the details of his robbery of the Ku Klux Klan

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Abiodun Oyewole narrates his photographs

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Slating of Abiodun Oyewole's interview, session 3

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about Gylan Kain

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Abiodun Oyewole remembers the tension within The Last Poets

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Abiodun Oyewole describes the East Wind Associates

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls recording 'The Last Poets'

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about the tracks on 'The Last Poets'

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about Frankie Crocker

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls the release of 'The Last Poets'

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls founding African societies in North Carolina, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 10 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls founding African societies in North Carolina, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about polygamy

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls being sentenced to twelve to twenty years in prison

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his experience in Raleigh's Central Prison, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about his first wife

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his experience in Raleigh's Central Prison, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his experience in jail before his trial, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his experience in jail before his trial, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls applying for Central Prison's school release program

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls attending Shaw University while incarcerated

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his radio shows at Shaw University

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his play, 'Comments'

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about reading Doris Kemp's poetry on his radio show

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls his return to Shaw University after receiving parole

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Abiodun Oyewole remembers a fellow student at Shaw University

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about founding the African Revolutionary Ensemble

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls meeting Angela Davis and Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

Tape: 13 Story: 8 - Abiodun Oyewole remembers recording with African Revolutionary Ensemble

Tape: 13 Story: 9 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls his company's cancelled show with Stevie Wonder

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about a girlfriend

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Abiodun Oyewole describes his connection to the Black Panther Party

Tape: 14 Story: 3 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls working at Columbia University's Community Education Exchange Program

Tape: 14 Story: 4 - Abiodun Oyewole remembers receiving the Charles H. Revson Fellowship, pt. 1

Tape: 14 Story: 5 - Abiodun Oyewole remembers receiving the Charles H. Revson Fellowship, pt. 2

Tape: 14 Story: 6 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls Columbia University's Science Technology Entry Program

Tape: 14 Story: 7 - Abiodun Oyewole describes The Last Poets' reunion

Tape: 14 Story: 8 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about reuniting with Umar Bin Hassan

Tape: 14 Story: 9 - Abiodun Oyewole recalls his son's music lessons with Babatunde Olatunji

Tape: 14 Story: 10 - Abiodun Oyewole talks about his return to The Last Poets

DASession

1$2

DATape

5$7

DAStory

3$2

DATitle
Abiodun Oyewole recalls becoming interested in poetry
Abiodun Oyewole recalls the first performance of The Last Poets
Transcript
I mean that was, I mean if, I guess if people had listened to me then when I was a kid or whatever, they would probably assume that I was gonna be a teacher. Because when it came, when we got to the section of poetry, oh my God, I actually did, I actually took words from Ann Carpenter's class and got real arrogant one day and said, "All right, these words what do you want us to do with these words?" She said, "Well put them in a composition, well come up first, get the definitions and always remember the primary definition is the one that we should go with." And she would break us down and say that you'll see two or three different definitions in the dictionary. And she says, "But then use these words in a composition." So then I'm thinking to myself composition, I said, "Could that be a poetic composition?" And she says, "If you can put these words in a poem, I'll give you, I'll give you not one but two extra credits." I said, "Oh really?" And that's what I did. I, I took vocabulary words from the board and I was going out with a sister, that was going to Boston--going to Borough of Manhattan Community College [New York, New York] and we were having difficulties. First of all I lied about my age, I lied about where I was going to school, I told her I was in NYU [New York University, New York, New York], I was in high school [Haaren High School, New York, New York]. I was a sophomore in high school, and, and I wrote a poem about our relationship. "She's a rose of many thorns tearing pride out of my heart / Though she blossoms in many forms, her thorns remain always sharp / She rips, she hurts yet stays projecting seductively fragrant perfumes / I protest in so many ways but my manhood she somehow consumes / I'm torn between love and masculinity and the ladder I need the most / The life of mine is separate entity, I'm a man this I cannot boast / She more woman than I am man, knows not her place by me / She thinks me a cactus living in sand, closing her ears to my plea / Let me free to roam in your garden, let me free to pride in your perfume / For the love I feel will soon be pardoned by the manhood I must quickly resume." Of course I got extra credit, and Miss Carpenter she told me she says, "I don't know if anybody's ever told you this before but you're a poet. And maybe that will come in handy in the future."$$Did you know you were a poet before, before this?$$(Shakes head) I had written a poem in elementary school with the help of a librarian who nobody liked 'cause he was soft. He was probably gay, I mean but Mr. Orr [ph.] was cool with me, and he didn't try no funny business with me. And I was asked when I was in the fifth grade to write a poem for graduation. I wasn't even graduating you know, this is the sixth grade is when you graduated I, I and I didn't understand until oh some years later that the reason I was asked because I was the best English, I was the best English student in the school at--in that elementary school, I, I had won spelling bees, I had written good reports. Whenever I had to do the oral report, I was always better than the rest of the kids, 'cause I had my mother [Oyewole's maternal aunt, Elvenia Robinson Davis] at home to help me. 'Cause remember I did anything she would, she was, she was serious night watchman over everything. She wants to see my work; she want to see everything, everything, nothing went unnoticed. So I actually you know I believe it's, it's like when I did this poem, I didn't know, I didn't have any idea how to do the poem. And I went to Mr. Orr and I told him I was asked to do the poem, and he laughed. And he says, "And you don't know why?" I said, he says, "Well it's okay." He says, "I'll help you write the poem." And he says, "Well what do you think about, do you think about graduation?" I said, (shrugs). I said, he says, "We're gonna make a list of words that rhyme that deal with graduation." So what comes to mind, I said school bells you know, I think that was the first that came to my mind, maybe first or second. And he said, "Well what, what rhymes with school bell?" He says like say, "What you, you leaving school you know what do you call that?" I said, "Well it's like you're saying goodbye to your friends and people that you knew, teachers that you knew." "So what's another word for goodbye that deals with school, but sounds school bell?" I said, "Farewell?" He says, he says, "All right, so then," and, and we took each pair and worked it you know, and had a poem. The poem was up in the school for a long time, but I never considered myself a poet though, at that time. I just 'cause first of all, he helped me write the poem, so I really kind of considered him to be my secret help you know. But this time I did 'Emancipation,' which is one I just recited I did that on my own, I was dipping and dabbing in poetry as a, as a just something to do. That I liked to, that I thought was interesting, it was interesting to me.$Now before we actually went on the stage, however, we went--David Nelson lived right around the corner from Mount Morris Park [New York, New York], he, it was convenient. So he, I, we went there to his house, he said I met this other guy named Gylan Kain, I met Kain in the park. Then we all went upstairs to David's house. Now Kain he had met at a poetry reading right here at Columbia University [New York, New York] about a week before, no two weeks before. And he invited him because he liked his poetry; he thought that that would be cool. So we went over to David's house and we sat there for a minute and we talked about how we gonna go on stage and we thought maybe we would sing. Somebody would do maybe a poem up on front so I, I had maybe someone try sing 'Ooo Baby Baby,' maybe that'll be slick you know. I mean that was one of the hit songs at the time 'Ooo Baby Baby,' Kain couldn't hold a note if you handed to him. David's all right, his voice is kind of weak but he, it wasn't, that wasn't not gonna be our forte. So I said, now I had just seen a demonstration on television, it was a demonstration by the students of Howard University [Washington, D.C.]. And it was to try to get, they were having issues with their president and if I recall his name was Nesbitt [sic. James M. Nabrit, Jr.]. And they didn't want him there anymore, they want him out, and they had an effigy of him hanging up in the tree. And they were marching around and they were chanting are you ready nigger is you got to be ready, are you ready? Then they go off into Beep, Beep, Bang, Bang, Un-Gowa, Black Power, Beep, Beep, Bang, Bang are you ready nigger is you got to. And I thought that was so hot, so I said now I know we can't sing together but everybody can chant. So I said we're gonna chant are you ready niggers, so we practiced it, I said we go on stage, that's what we gonna do. There was a brother named Hakim [ph.], he's now like a documenteur, he jock- he's a film guy, he does a lot, you see him in jazz concerts all over the place. He's got a long beard, he's got a camera always now, but he used to be one of the baddest djembe drummers. And he had a dance troupe and everything for a long time, he just changed courses and he's a Pisces and he can do that. And, and he was on stage with some drummers and dancers on that very first day. And then they were packed, getting ready to pack up and leave and give us the stage, and I said no, no, stay right there. So that's how the drums got involved right away, because I felt that that would give added rhythm you know. And it did, and we had the entire park are you ready niggers, you got to be ready, the drummers were playing. And David had his poem entitled 'Are You Ready Black People,' Gylan Kain had his poem entitled 'Niggers Are Untogether People' and I had poem entitled 'What Is Your Thing Brother' [Abiodun Oyewole]. And that was, those were the first three poems that graced the stage as The Last Poets. And, and we didn't have the name then, the name was something that was sought out by David, David did the research for the name. He read Sterling Brown's poem 'Strong Men Keep On Coming' [sic. 'Strong Men'] he read Margaret Walker's 'For My People' I know he read poem by Gwendolyn Brooks. But the poem that really captivated our name finally gave us the name was poem called 'Towards a Walk in the Sun' by a South African poet named Keroapetse Kgositsile. And Ko, Ko, Kgositsile, he has I think he does that in his name, he's Zulu. He's a great brother, good friend of mine, we were in South Africa two summers ago and we had a big party and also when we did our thing on the stage, he came out first. And the people gave him a standing ovation and we started doing the part of the poem that gave us our name, the entire audience was doing it. So it's like a creed, it was like when you hear is the birth of memory. When the moment hatches and times womb, there will be no art talk. The only sound you will he, the only poem you'll hear will be the spear, the only sound you will hear will be the spear point pivoted to the punctured marrow. The only poem you'll hear will be the timeless native son dancing like crazy to retrieved rhythms of desire fading into memory. Therefore, David added we are The Last Poets of the world. So it's like what all, whatever you know like the negotiations are over. And the marching's are over, the parade, the banners the shouting, yelling and screaming and throwing bricks and rocks are over you know. And this statement that we as poets represent is that final statement before it really hits the fan you know so.

Charles "Chuck" Turner

Boston, Massachusetts, civil rights activist Charles “Chuck” Turner was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1941. Turner was raised by his aunt, Mamie K. Faulkner, and his grandmother, Laura Troy Knight; his grandfather, Doctor Charles Henry Turner, was a pioneering animal behavior biologist, while his father, Darwin Turner, was a pharmacist.

Turner graduated from Harvard University in 1963 with his B.A. degree in government; he then spent a year in Washington, DC, reporting for The Afro-American Newspaper. Turner then moved north, first to New York, then to Hartford, where he joined the influential civil rights group the Northern Student Movement.

In 1966 Turner returned to the Boston area, joining the South End Neighborhood Action Program (SNAP) where he worked to help the community and assisted families who were losing their homes to gentrification. Turner formed a community action group which pressured the local government to provide trash clean-up in black neighborhoods and led demonstrations which highlighted how inadequately city inspectors enforced building codes in public housing.

A former leader of the United Community Construction Workers and one-time chair of the Boston Jobs Coalition, Turner spent several years crusading against job discrimination in the city. Turner campaigned for increased hiring of blacks on city construction jobs; in 1991, unsatisfied with the mayor’s enforcement of fair employment practices, he led a four hour sit-in at the mayor’s office, which resulted in a number of key concessions being made.

Turner also used his activism strategies and leadership skills to spearhead other community efforts; he played a leading role in a successful campaign to prevent the city from building a highway through predominantly black neighborhoods. Turner also chaired the Southwest Corridor Land Development Corporation.

Referred to as one of the best-known agitators in the city, Turner was elected to the Boston City Council in 1999, a position he held for over ten years. As a city council member, Turner continued his defense of civil and human rights; he authored an ordinance protecting transgendered people from discrimination. Turner successfully led an effort to protect the affirmative action guidelines of Massachusetts when Governor Mitt Romney sought to change them. As chairman of the Education Committee, Turner rallied against educational inequality in the Boston public schools.

Accession Number

A2005.080

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/25/2005

Last Name

Turner

Maker Category
Middle Name

"Chuck"

Occupation
Schools

Whittier Elementary School

Walnut Hills High School

Harvard University

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Cincinnati

HM ID

TUR03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Watermelon

Short Description

City council member Charles "Chuck" Turner ( - ) served as a member of the Boston City Council for over ten years. He has advocated for fair employment practices within the city of Boston, as well as the rights of those living in under-served and minority communities.

Employment

Washington Afro-American

Northern Student Movement

South End Neighborhood Action Projects

Boston City Council

Industrial Cooperative Association

Third World Workers Association

Circle Inc.

Northeastern University

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles "Chuck" Turner's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Charles "Chuck" Turner's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles "Chuck" Turner lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his mother's educational background and occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his maternal grandmother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his father's educational and occupational background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his paternal grandfather, scientist Dr. Charles Henry Turner

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his grandfather's research and his lack of recognition in the field of biology

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his earliest childhood memory and his childhood household

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his early relationship with his brother, Darwin T. Turner

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his experiences at Whittier Elementary School in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes his experiences at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles "Chuck" Turner remembers attending St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles "Chuck" Turner recalls his decision to attend Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles "Chuck" Turner remembers working on a riverboat that traveled down the Ohio River

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his activities at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles "Chuck" Turner remembers challenges adjusting to the culture at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his experience at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his knowledge of racial issues during his time at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles "Chuck" Turner explains why he decided to attend Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about arriving in Washington D.C. during the March on Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about writing for the Washington Afro-American and interviewing Fannie Lou Hamer

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his work for the Northern Student Movement in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about becoming an organizer for the South End Neighborhood Action Project

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his work as an organizer for South End Neighborhood Action Project

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about community issues he tackled with South End Neighborhood Action Project

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about leaving the South End Neighborhood Action Project

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Charles "Chuck" Turner remembers protesting against highway development projects in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about becoming the director of the African American institute at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his work as director of the Circle Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about forming Third World Workers Association to represent minorities in newly integrated construction unions

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about the development and dissolution of Third World Workers Association

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about becoming education director of Industrial Cooperative Association

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about the influence of his spiritual beliefs on his community organizing and political work

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his decision to run for Boston City Council

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his work on the Boston City Council

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about the committees that he has chaired on the Boston City Council and his current work

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his motivation to continue Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s work

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his wife's support of his career

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his work in building coalitions among people of color in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about his Fund the Dream campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about the importance and unique aspects of African American history

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about the importance of educational mentoring

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles "Chuck" Turner reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles "Chuck" Turner reflects upon his aspirations

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles "Chuck" Turner describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Charles "Chuck" Turner narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles "Chuck" Turner narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

11$9

DATitle
Charles "Chuck" Turner remembers protesting against highway development projects in Boston, Massachusetts
Charles "Chuck" Turner talks about the committees that he has chaired on the Boston City Council and his current work
Transcript
They were gonna come in with a highway and we organized against the highway couple of years later, but they had a whole plan just to re- kind of reconfigure the, the community, but weren't ultimately successful because people kept organizing and pushing back.$$You said they were coming with a highway. Who were they and what was this highway?$$Well, there had been a plan to build a, to complete I-95 through Boston [Massachusetts]. I-95 was the, kind of federal highway that was justified as a, security highway where you could move troops from Florida to, Florida to Maine, and there was a highway trust fund that provide money for the building of highways. Every gallon of gas you, you bought you paid some money and it went into a trust fund, and so everybody assumed that it was going to be built, they were going to building a sixteen lap lane highway. It was like the Dan Ryan [Expressway] in Chicago [Illinois] where you got the, about six lanes, four lanes of traffic on each side, parking lanes and then the railroad running down the center. That's what they intended to have run through Hyde Park [Boston, Massachusetts] and Jamaica Plain [Boston, Massachusetts] and into Roxbury [Boston, Massachusetts] and then downtown Boston.$$So you're saying this highway, super highway would have cut through four of Boston's neighborhoods--$$Oh yeah.$$--and particularly Roxbury on the South End [Boston, Massachusetts] that was predominately black and Spanish speaking peoples.$$Yep. And then there would be an interbelt coming from Cambridge [Massachusetts] that would meet at Ruggles [Street] and Columbus [Avenue] and so you'd have this interchange, these, this about six level interchange right between Whittier Street and the Mission Hill [Boston, Massachusetts] housing developments. And so we, you know, just a, I had helped from that point from a group called the Boston Black United Front that kind of came out some thinking that Stokely Carmichael [Kwame Ture] and others had about the need to form alliances between middle class blacks and working class, low income blacks to kind of fortify themselves against the attack that we thought that was going to come against those of us who re more radical. And so formed the United Front and then one of the first projects we focused on was the highway and it became part of a regional highway fight which fortunately we won and then the plans were, you know, were changed around. We actually wound up developing our own plan for how the land would be used while the struggle is going and then once the struggle is ended, our plan that had the RCC [Roxbury Community College, Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts] where it is now, and Marvin Gilmore is development, industrial development that he had conceived, was part of our plan, and what's interesting is the state spent probably millions of dollars designing, making this elaborate design of a plan that we had developed with $30,000 from Model Cities [Program] (laughter).$(Unclear) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) What committees have you chaired [on the Boston City Council]? You chaired one important committee which was--?$$Education. Education and now I chair the human rights, you know, committee and those are, those are probably the two main committees that I chaired, but we worked on the CORIS [Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI)] issue. We$$CORIS, what is that?$$Criminal Offenders Record Information System, where, because what we were finding was that people were not being, being discriminated against by employers because they had a record. They couldn't get housing because of federal law if they had a felony in public housing, they couldn't get money for education until five years after they had been out of jail, and nobody would talk about it, you know, the state was even moving to put these regulations in and everybody was just staying silent again, and so a group of us had a sit-in down at the department of public health, to make it a major issue, which, which worked, that is, that once, there's something magical about the power of people engaging in civil disobedience and magical in that it really kind of just triggers interest and so we were able to use that phenomena to put a spotlight and continue to work on now. What, the main thing I'm working on now are two things. One is, both of them are national. One is that we have to end the war on drugs. We have to legalize drugs. Prohibition, alcohol was made illegal from 1919 [sic. 1920] to 1933. In 1933 violent crime in the streets was rampaging, police corruption had reached an all-time high, people were killing themselves with what they were drinking and [U.S.] Congress said we can't afford to have alcohol be illegal. And it's the same situation, with drugs. Right now the United States government is overseeing the shipments of heroin out of Afghanistan into this country. The head of the drug unit, said at a hearing held last year that to evaluate the war on drugs, that he had to admit they couldn't stop the flow, the flow of drugs so they arrest people all the time, but they can't stop the flow of drugs. And in the community with the kind of poverty we have, then the reality is there's always a new supply of dealers and so my, my prospective is that when you look at the fact there were 500,000 people of all races in jail in 1973 and today there are two million and a million of them are black, black men and women. Eighty-three percent of the people in jail are there for drug related crimes. It's clear that this is, we've gotta, we've gotta be rational, we don't have money for, we don't have money for recovery, you know to deal with the problem itself. We're number one in Boston [Massachusetts] in heroin, two in cocaine, nationally. One in heroin, two in cocaine, one in OxyContin. So, essentially, I've got a bill now that I'm filing next week that would take half of the money now that the DA's office and police get from forfeiture of monies from drug dealers and give it to the Boston [Public] Health Commission. As the beginning of a campaign to eventually legalize, legalize drugs.