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Theaster Gates

Visual artist and urban planner Theaster Gates was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1973. He was raised in Chicago’s East Garfield Park, where he sang in his church choir and helped with his father's roofing business. Gates graduated from Lane Technical College Preparatory High School and went on to receive his B.S. degree in urban planning from Iowa State University in 1996. He later obtained his M.A. degree in fine arts and religious studies from the University of Cape Town in 1998 and his M.S. degree in urban planning, ceramics and religious studies from Iowa State University in 2006.

In 2000, Gates was hired as an arts planner for the Chicago Transit Authority. He then went on to work at the Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center as director of education and outreach. Beginning in 2006, Gates purchased a small number of abandoned homes on Chicago’s South Side in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood. He restored the structures using repurposed materials and turned them into alternative cultural spaces, which he collectively called Dorchester Projects. Gates then founded the non-profit Rebuild Foundation to program the spaces.

In 2007, Gates was hired as a coordinator of arts programming for the University of Chicago’s Humanities Division. In 2009, he became an artist in residence and lecturer in the Department of Visual Arts and was appointed as the director of arts program development for the University of Chicago; in 2011, he was named the director of the Arts and Public Life initiative. In 2014, Gates was appointed as a professor in the Department of Visual Arts.

As an artist, Gates is represented by White Cube of London, England. Gates has exhibited his artwork and performed at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Punta della Dogana, Venice; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Milwaukee Art Museum; the Santa Barbara Museum of Art; and Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany; among others.

Gates has received awards and grants from the Knight Foundation, Anderson Ranch, Creative Time, the Wall Street Journal, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, Creative Capital, the Joyce Foundation, the Graham Foundation, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and Artadia. In 2010, Gates served as a Loeb fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design; in 2012, he became a fellow of United States Artists. In 2013, ArtReview ranked Gates fortieth on its list of the hundred most powerful people in the art world.

Theaster Gates was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 4, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.176

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/4/2014

Last Name

Gates

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Lane Technical College Prep High School

Iowa State University

University of Cape Town

First Name

Theaster

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

GAT04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Kyoto, Japan

Favorite Quote

Right On

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/28/1973

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sushi

Short Description

Visual artist and urban planner Theaster Gates (1973 - ) was the director of Arts and Public Life at the University of Chicago and founded the Dorchester Projects and The Rebuild Foundation. He has exhibited his artwork and performed at numerous cultural institutions.

Employment

Chicago Transit Authority

Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center

Rebuild Foundation

University of Chicago

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:202,3:2862,33:4686,78:15674,163:20240,177:20745,183:21351,190:21957,197:22866,204:24580,212:25196,222:26967,254:27737,270:28661,285:30910,293:31848,314:32250,321:35720,376:36165,382:38482,389:38818,394:43186,481:45370,517:45790,523:46378,532:69618,736:115390,909:115835,915:116369,922:116992,935:117437,941:119754,954:120798,973:123110,992:124276,1005:129190,1030:131940,1060:135680,1107:136120,1112:136890,1120:148275,1172:170424,1381:171908,1399:181480,1477:181985,1483:182591,1490:183500,1500:184611,1513:185318,1521:187177,1556:192556,1578:192820,1583:194620,1599:194900,1604:202340,1716:202700,1721:207488,1757:209480,1789:209812,1794:210725,1807:212136,1827:216990,1882:228928,2001:233726,2016:234166,2022:234782,2035:235134,2040:235662,2048:237510,2068:238302,2079:238654,2084:239974,2103:240326,2108:240766,2114:241294,2122:253799,2281:257097,2322:257970,2332:262390,2346:263280,2359:264259,2372:265060,2383:265950,2395:268353,2436:269243,2447:270400,2465:275800,2503:276350,2509:277010,2516:277560,2522:280758,2534:281595,2545:283269,2569:284106,2580:286617,2632:287082,2638:287733,2647:288105,2652:288477,2657:292726,2678:293054,2683:295596,2724:296252,2737:296580,2745:299520,2773$0,0:840,18:4284,106:4788,113:5124,118:8484,154:15540,230:16044,237:16548,244:17136,253:18144,269:18480,274:22512,351:24108,381:24612,388:25116,395:33620,424:34710,437:39830,460:40170,466:40578,474:42278,508:42822,517:43842,527:44182,533:45066,553:47720,566:48392,575:54966,667:63510,722:63866,727:65379,745:66981,765:69635,779:75196,812:78562,842:79452,857:86930,865:89522,892:94362,924:94866,933:95307,942:97323,978:107047,1078:107355,1083:109126,1125:117470,1153:118742,1171:119378,1178:126311,1236:127466,1254:128082,1264:131980,1281:132708,1290:137647,1332:138263,1341:138725,1349:140034,1377:140804,1388:148026,1433:149286,1456:150210,1469:160610,1531:161840,1553:163080,1562:163670,1574:164319,1590:164555,1595:170485,1660:171843,1677:172425,1684:173104,1693:178180,1724:180220,1742:182230,1759:182530,1766:186225,1821:187182,1837:190662,1899:192489,1925:193011,1933:194630,1941:195302,1950:196454,1964:197222,1973:197702,1979:201542,2017:202118,2024:202790,2032:203558,2042:204326,2053:207490,2081:208302,2104:208534,2109:208824,2115:209636,2131:210042,2140:211550,2171:216958,2214:219571,2229:223840,2278:224500,2285:226260,2308:227360,2320:228350,2330:229150,2335:229594,2342:232450,2371:235100,2406:235842,2414:237114,2441:244458,2479:244722,2484:245448,2496:248418,2554:249144,2570:249408,2575:249936,2585:250860,2601:251256,2610:251652,2617:253038,2645:253434,2652:253896,2661:254886,2678:258298,2698:258522,2703:258746,2708:259362,2720:263162,2738:268800,2778:270075,2817:280720,2917:284320,2961:284770,2967:289320,3027:289860,3039:300264,3133:300975,3149:303194,3171:307844,3236:308411,3252:313060,3297:314704,3311:319055,3335:322245,3350:324258,3405:326654,3430:327026,3435:328235,3453:328700,3459:330544,3466:337356,3586:348370,3738
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Theaster Gates' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Theaster Gates lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Theaster Gates describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Theaster Gates describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Theaster Gates remembers working on his maternal family's farm

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Theaster Gates describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Theaster Gates lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Theaster Gates remembers his household

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Theaster Gates describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Theaster Gates remembers his church's musical consecration ceremony

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Theaster Gates remembers the role of religion in his family

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Theaster Gates talks about his background in gospel music

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Theaster Gates remembers his influences at Sunday school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Theaster Gates remembers his decision to attend a majority-white magnet school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Theaster Gates describes his experiences at Frank W. Reilly Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Theaster Gates talks about the magnet schools in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Theaster Gates remembers Lane Technical College Preparatory High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Theaster Gates remembers his introduction to the house music scene

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Theaster Gates talks about gender roles in the black church

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Theaster Gates remembers his sense of style

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

1$1

DATitle
Theaster Gates remembers his church’s musical consecration ceremony
Theaster Gates talks about gender roles in the black church
Transcript
So when you, take us back to the church. Do you remember some of the wailing that, can you sort of recreate those sounds right now for us?$$Yeah, so what was the first in the, after Sunday school before church, there was consecration. Consecration was when all of the members of the church, more the adults, but almost everyone would come to the back of the church and they would sing. They were Dr. Watts hymns [Isaac Watts], and it was like that moment felt like some kind of secret society, some kind of sacred order that was really about remembering. And it was--usually oh maybe Sister Dyson [ph.], the church matriarch who would grumble (singing), "Oh, I love Lord, He heard my cry" ['I Love the Lord, He Heard My Cry']. And then (singing), "I, I, I, I love the Lord. He heard my cry." And it was like so low, it was like so--(singing), "Pity my every groan." And like I remember just as a very young person just kind of being caught up in this like from one voice to this like orchestra of harmonies and wails, and then as the, as the Dr. Watts would go on, it would turn to a hum (hums) and then someone would wail out (singing), "At the name of Jesus, we have victory" ['In the Name of Jesus']. And then folk would go for it again (singing), "At the name of Jesus, oh, we have victory." And I was always kind of curious about like who, who would, who would wail first or like was there a permission that needed to be granted or whatever. And I can remember being around twelve or thirteen and feeling like I needed to lead a call that, that we had gotten to this point and I had this feeling in my stomach and it was like just sing it, and I didn't do it. And then the next Sunday came and I, I just wanted to sing that song. And then like a few Sundays later, I, it just happened and then I, I opened my mouth. You know, I said you know, I, I don't remember which phrase it was, maybe it was (singing), "I was glad this morning to see the rising sun, sun." And I can remember like, like all these people, like just kind of like with wails and smiles and like more loud then I'd ever heard kind of responding to me saying this and I was glad this morning. And that kind of affirmation, you know, different from a, "You did a good job today kid," or it was something about this kind of deep vocal, spiritual affirmation. That was the beginning of forging my interest in music and, and my in kind of a long term engagement with the power of sound, the power of gospel music, the power within one's body to, to change the nature of the day or to change the hearts of man to, you know, it was like there was a power that was much more complicated than the song itself or, or, or the influence that one person could have on another by saying something.$I want to explore this the, the juxtaposition of, of the church life and can we, 'cause we've, we've, the church life that is gay, queer, you call queer, that life and what's happening there and with the music because who are the people coming into the gospel scene at this point? You, you just talked about people coming in and it seems to becoming more secular, but who are the people you're following, what is the music that you are looking at?$$Right, so maybe some of these names will fail me, but I'm thinking about the first time that I went to Cosmopolitan House of Prayer [Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer, Chicago, Illinois]. And Daryl Coley was in concert, important gospel soloist come, Minister Bishop [ph.]. That there's something about Daryl Coley's presence, his sound, his voice that, you know, that one made him legend, but also seemed to attract just, it created a wave of style, a way of singing. And I remember being in Cosmopolitan and Cosmopolitan had a reputation for, yeah I'm thinking so much about the Pentecostal church and it's almost difficult to talk about. But there was, but there was like such fiercely feminine male presence. Wasn't always necessarily gay, it was, it was, you know, it's, it was a generation of men raised by women. It was a religion that didn't offer a way out while God was offering ways of understanding. It was like completely unforgiving and forgiving. And the, the way that you could see the sincerity of this, to me, feminine evocation of God was through the shout, through the wailing. Through, through the presence of the Holy Ghost these men would lose it. And when they would lose it, all gender normative values would be given up. And it was actually really for, for a young guy who, I mean I wouldn't have known that I was heterosexual, but for a young guy who's heterosexual, I mean I didn't, you know, maybe I didn't think about gender much at ten, eleven, twelve; fifteen, sixteen I was thinking about gender and why I was feminine and how having sisters impacted, just how I acted, not what I thought. That it was, it was in this place where I saw not only the complexities of God, I saw the complexities of people, kind of behavioral complexity and maybe even behavioral acceptance. And so it was really like in this period of fourteen to seventeen that gender construction, how, how a man acts, who a man is, how, how a man acts in relationship to who he is, that those things were like they were just wonderfully complicated to, to try to sort through and I think in the same way that I talk about the complexities of race and double consciousness. There was a moment where my understanding of gender, I felt, was much more complicated than my peers who acted male, acted manly, but so much so that they actually never kind of dealt with gender normative things, they just kind of accepted gender- gender norms. Yeah, so, so it was interesting to see the flamboyance presence among black men like, the you know, the dress, the style that it, that it was reminiscent of a earlier time, you know, the black dignity '20s [1920s], teens [1910s], when, when there were stakes around how you look and what you say and how you talk and stuff. And so I feel like I, I got a little bit of that, got a little bit of that generosity of gender and some clarity around what it means to be a per- a person in the world, a man in the world, and what that can look like and how, how those values which are maybe my mom's [Lorine Allen Gates] values. How feminine values move through a male body. How feminism, how politics might, might force us to imagine manliness differently than the way my dad [Theaster Gates, Sr.] was a man or the way my grandfather was a man.

Morris Robinson

Small business owner and city economic adviser Morris E. Robinson, Sr. was born on January 20, 1945, in Chicago. He was raised in Chicago and educated in its public schools, graduating from Marshall High School in 1963.

In the fall of 1963, Robinson enrolled at Loop Junior College, which he attended until the following year. In 1964, he attended Luther College in Decora, Iowa, where he spent a year before transferring to Roosevelt University. After his first year at Roosevelt, Robinson entered the Army and served from 1966 until 1970. When he returned to Chicago from active military duty, Robinson re-enrolled at Roosevelt University, where he received his B.A. in political science in 1973.

After completing his education, Robinson worked as the first black officer at First National Bank, and later was employed by Allstate Insurance. In 1990, he started his own graphic design business, Robinson Designs, and opened a wireless telephone service franchise. Robinson later joined the Economic Development Department of the city of Evanston, Illinois, and became its economic development planner. In 1999, the United Way honored him as the city's employee of the year. Robinson married Emma Scarborough in 1989 in Little Rock, Arkansas. They live in Evanston.

Accession Number

A2003.197

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/20/2003

Last Name

Robinson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

John Marshall Metropolitan High School

Roosevelt University

Luther College

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Evenings

First Name

Morris

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

ROB08

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

To Be Rather Than To Seem.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/20/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Italian Food

Short Description

Bank executive and urban planner Morris Robinson (1945 - ) is an economic development planner for the City of Evanston, Illinois, in addition to operating a small business.

Employment

First National Bank

Allstate Insurance Company

Robinson Designs

Favorite Color

Navy Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:591,7:1006,13:1670,22:2334,32:2749,93:3330,101:3911,109:5737,166:10717,337:15946,398:27521,578:29812,635:35898,700:36608,711:42215,802:42563,812:42911,817:45872,828:46168,833:46538,839:47722,866:48758,895:51348,951:56680,1011:57670,1023:63415,1091:64306,1104:66580,1114:66964,1121:71466,1170:72357,1183:76569,1298:77217,1307:78756,1331:85446,1422:87579,1458:90739,1528:98449,1605:116592,1870:117036,1877:118072,1895:118516,1902:119404,1918:125324,2088:129172,2174:129616,2182:129986,2188:131984,2239:134944,2298:135684,2313:136054,2319:147365,2431:148865,2460:149465,2472:151940,2525:158035,2588:159062,2613:165132,2696:165444,2701:165756,2706:166458,2724:167784,2749:170670,2813:177460,2881:179610,2920:179954,2925:181846,2961:184942,3028:189506,3060:189770,3065:194340,3125:196640,3154:210387,3333:210663,3338:211146,3346:211422,3351:211974,3362:214596,3428:224838,3527:225190,3545:227830,3588:228358,3595:236454,3775:237950,3812:243840,3844$0,0:8502,161:9594,201:9984,207:10686,212:14118,261:24533,374:24995,381:25919,408:34389,602:34697,607:37084,662:53765,847:55990,879:56524,887:60974,962:67649,1065:73612,1170:84014,1256:84406,1261:93625,1334:100648,1415:101116,1422:102442,1439:103534,1455:107292,1475:107604,1480:108228,1490:116380,1600:120830,1686:129590,1778:130178,1800:130598,1805:134526,1850:141607,1991:142264,2003:151553,2123:152120,2133:168126,2308:168478,2313:175870,2412:182900,2520:186300,2576
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Morris Robinson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Morris Robinson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Morris Robinson describes his maternal family history, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Morris Robinson describes his maternal family history, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Morris Robinson talks about his parents' childhood friendship and marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Morris Robinson describes his paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Morris Robinson talks about his father and uncles' singing abilities

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Morris Robinson describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Morris Robinson talks about his family's migration out of the South during the Great Depression

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Morris Robinson recalls early memories of growing up on Chicago, Illinois's northwest side in a European immigrant neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Morris Robinson talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Morris Robinson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Morris Robinson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Morris Robinson recalls his experiences at Andersen Elementary School and in black schools in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Morris Robinson recalls some of his elementary school teachers in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Morris Robinson describes Gousters' and Ivy Leaguers' fashion styles

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Morris Robinson talks about his parents' discipline and his own parenting practices

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Morris Robinson talks about his activities at Marshall Metro High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Morris Robinson talks about how he chose to attend Luther College in Decorah, Iowa

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Morris Robinson recalls the year he spent studying at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Morris Robinson shares how he met his wife

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Morris Robinson remembers getting into trouble with his wife's father prior to their marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Morris Robinson talks about going into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Morris Robinson recalls his time in Italy as a soldier

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Morris Robinson describes his trajectory after being discharged from the U.S. Army in 1970

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Morris Robinson recalls how he was able to survive in the banking world

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Morris Robinson talks about advising a colleague to comply with the standards of dress at First National Bank in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Morris Robinson talks about coming home from his first year at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Morris Robinson recalls working at First National Bank of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Morris Robinson remembers the hostility of First National Bank of Chicago and reflects upon racism in the U.S. military

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Morris Robinson talks about his hopes for African American youths, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Morris Robinson talks about his hopes for African American youths, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Morris Robinson talks about working for Allstate

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Morris Robinson talks about being in business with his son

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Morris Robinson talks about living in and working for the City of Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Morris Robinson talks about working as an economic development planner for the City of Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Morris Robinson talks about challenges to economic planning and development in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Morris Robinson talks about his son's work documenting the history of Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Morris Robinson reflects upon civic engagement in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Morris Robinson talks about plans for redeveloping the downtown area of Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Morris Robinson talks about Evanston, Illinois' black community and other features

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Morris Robinson talks about the relationship between Northwestern University and the surrounding community in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Morris Robinson talks about his sons and their ties to Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Morris Robinson recalls buying Abner Mivka's former home in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Morris Robinson talks about his hobbies and his deceased older brother

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Morris Robinson talks about his interest in science, timepieces, and astronomy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Morris Robinson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Morris Robinson describes his concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Morris Robinson describes his concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Morris Robinson describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Morris Robinson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$3

DATitle
Morris Robinson recalls working at First National Bank of Chicago
Morris Robinson talks about challenges to economic planning and development in Evanston, Illinois
Transcript
I have mixed feelings about the bank [First National Bank of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois]. I enjoyed working there. I met some wonderful people and I met some awful people, and I guess that could be said for any place. But these--$$What were some of the awful things that were done in the bank, you know? Then may, may, maybe tell us some good things. But, but what were some the awful things, things, 'cause you said there--$$Well--$$--really are some, some, some terrible characters there.$$There were, and let me just give you an example. In any environment, employment environment, you have performance standards and you have performance reviews. And I'll never forget I worked in this one particular area that was notoriously staffed by bigoted people. I, I don't know any other way to say that, but they were. And I'll never forget, I didn't, I didn't work in that area. I was in training in that area. I reported to an executive vice president who started this training program. And so in the performance review the, the VP in charge of the area wrote: "Although Morris is friendly and outgoing, nobody likes him." Now I had done enough reviews in my lifetime for people, and as well (unclear)--and this, this absolutely makes no sense. I knew what kind of person he was, but I couldn't believe how he could be this dense. I couldn't believe that he was a vice president using the word "uses" when he spoke. But that was a level of the people we're dealing with. So I took the review and I went to see my boss. And I said, "You know, here's a review. I want you to read this." I said, "If it says Morris is friendly and outgoing, but nobody likes him, whose fault is that?" And I'll never forget, he just threw it back at me and said, "Prove him wrong." And I appreciated that he did that. Because I, I, I'm not in any way paralleling it to Jackie Robinson, but I'm saying that he had the same kind of attitude, go out there and prove 'em wrong. Nobody's gonna hold your hand. Prove 'em wrong. And so when you did get the promotions and what have you, you knew you got them legitimately. I, I can't imagine what Jackie Robinson went through when he would come out to bat, and all the invectives that were, were hurled at him, and--I mean (unclear). But you needed someone who is tough enough to open that door and keep that door open. So I believe that Toussaint and I did a tremendous job. And what we did at that bank, in opening the door and keeping it open. And you know, generations later, we look at--now you're looking at executive VPs who are black and what have you, someone blazed that trail. I think on a larger scope I look in the same way. All this talk about affirmative action and this and what have you, if it wasn't for affirmative action, doors would have never been open. The, the, the, the, the, the playing field is not level, and it's not gonna be level for some time. But why I think it's been so distorted is that this is nothing new. There has been affirmative action since, since the dawn of this country, not for us, but for the majority. So that it only became a bad thing when it's supposedly was used to rectify centuries of wrongdoing. Now it's one that covers, it, it covers everybody, regardless of what you are, if you're a minority, if you just moved to this country from Syria, you know, you can, you can use it as a redress. But that's what--not what its original intent was. But I guess--and I know I'm kind of digressing a bit here--it was a sign of the times that when you got in those doors you could either open the door a little wider, or you can wash out. And, and experiences like that--and that was just an example. There were experiences that I could tell you time and time again that you had to deal with, on top of what your responsibilities were.$Well, now, being in charge of economic planning and development in Evanston [Illinois] has got to be a challenge because you have--it's the seat of Northwestern University [Evanston, Illinois]. And a great many social activists and people that are equipped to criticize development--$$Right.$$--live in Evanston.$$Absolutely.$$And so I, I would just--in fact, a lot of the people that are act--activists in Chicago [Illinois] actually live in Evanston, and so, I--$$You, you, you hit it right on the head. I mean it may, I may exaggerate it, but if we wanted to paint a street down--paint a, paint a line down the street, we get people coming out, determining which is the best white shade to use for the strip, you know. So, so you're, you're absolutely right. It's, it's a constant managing to facilitate the, the citizens, the project, and keeping the core straight as to what is good for the city. It's interesting, if it's about design, everybody's an architect. We know--but we may not know what we like--we, we know what we like. We may not know what that is, but we know what we like, so. If it's economic, everybody becomes a financial person. If it's what impact it's gonna have on the city, everyone becomes a traffic engineer. That's your right, and I support that 100 percent. And because in, in this city the democratic process--not party, process--is always in effect. And so, one of the things that adds to the time of doing a project is the fact that there are countless town meetings, and, and open microphones, and facing objections to this or that or whatever. And I think that's one of the beautiful things about Evanston. I think that's why Evanston people love Evanston: that you can get involved in city government; that you can be heard. Last night I was at a city council meeting--I'm sorry, the night before last. Monday I was a city coun- city council meeting where citizens can go to the mic and, and talk about everything they want to. And you have to sit there and listen and address it. One of the last speakers was an elderly man who had been living out of his van in the city. And unfortunately, he had parked it in a tow away zone, and they, in effect, towed away his home. And he made a very impassioned, eloquent speech to the city council. And I say this because it, it--even the least empowered have a voice in Evanston, and that's good. Has it always been that case? No, and that's why it's important that you, you see my son's [Morris "Dino" Robinson, Jr.] journal that he publishes, which has been well-received.