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Mary C. Curtis

Newspaper editor and news correspondent Mary C. Curtis was born on September 4, 1953 in Baltimore, Maryland. She was the youngest of five children born to Thomas Curtis and Evelyn Curtis. After graduating from Seton High School in Baltimore, Maryland in 1971, she enrolled at Fordham University in New York City and graduated form there in 1975 with her B.A. degree in communications. In 2006, Curtis was awarded a Nieman Fellowship from Harvard University.

From 1985 through 1994, Curtis served in a variety of editing positions at The New York Times, including as editor of “Home, Education, Life” and “The Living Arts,” a section in the National Edition that she helped to develop. She also served as the Features editor for the Arts and Entertainment section at The Sun in Baltimore. In addition, Curtis held positions as a reporter and as an editor with The Associated Press in New York, Hartford, Connecticut and with the Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. She also contributed news articles to TheRoot.com, theGrio.com, National Public Radio Creative Loafing , and served as a national correspondent for AOL’s PoliticsDaily.com. In 2011, she joined the The Washington Post as a contributor for the blog, “She the People.” She covered the 2012 Democratic National Convention for The Charlotte Observer.

Curtis is a member the National Association of Black Journalists. Curtis received the Carmage Walls Prize in 2005 for commentary in a competition sponsored by the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association. She is the recipient of several Green Eyeshade Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). The North Carolina Associated Press recognized Curtis with the Thomas Wolfe Award for her writing “My Rebel Journey,” an examination of Civil War heritage groups. She received the Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications in 2010 and 2012. Curtis was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Region IV National Association of Black Journalists in 2004.

Curtis and her husband, Martin F. Olsen, live in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Mary C. Curtis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 8, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.156

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/8/2013

Last Name

Curtis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

C.

Schools

Harvard University

Fordham University

The Seton Keough High School

St. Pius V Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Mary

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

CUR05

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Tropez

Favorite Quote

To whom much is given, much is required.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

9/4/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Charlotte

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Newspaper editor, newspaper correspondent, and newspaper columnist Mary C. Curtis (1953 - ) former reporter for The Baltimore Sun and editor at The New York Times, was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Region IV NABJ.

Employment

Washington Post

Creative Loafing Atlanta

Fox Charlotte

AOL

Grio, The

CNN

Charlotte Observer

New York Times

Baltimore Sun

Arizona Daily Star

Associated Press (AP)

Traveler's Insurance, Co.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Mary C. Curtis

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Mary C. Curtis lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Mary C. Curtis describes her mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Mary C. Curtis talks about her maternal great-grandmother, who was born into slavery

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Mary C. Curtis recalls her mother's upbringing in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Mary C. Curtis continues to describe her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Mary C. Curtis describes her father's family background and her father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Mary C. Curtis describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Mary C. Curtis describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Mary C. Curtis lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Mary C. Curtis describes being the youngest of five children

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Mary C. Curtis recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Mary C. Curtis describes her neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Mary C. Curtis describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Mary C. Curtis remembers being on the television show 'Romper Room'

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Mary C. Curtis describes her elementary school, St. Pius the Fifth, run by the Oblate nuns

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Mary C. Curtis recounts how books influenced her as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Mary C. Curtis describes her impressions of her family's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Mary C. Curtis shares her love of the Arts and how the Arts have shaped her life and career

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Mary C. Curtis talks about Seton High School, an integrated Catholic high school in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Mary C. Curtis discusses her experiences at Seton High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Mary C. Curtis remembers attending her fortieth high school class reunion

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Mary C. Curtis shares her memories attending Fordham University in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Mary C. Curtis recalls meeting her husband at Fordham University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Mary C. Curtis talks about her favorite professors and guest speakers at Fordham University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Mary C. Curtis reflects on her family's upward mobility

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Mary C. Curtis discusses the journalists she admired in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Mary C. Curtis describes working with the Associated Press after graduation from Fordham University, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Mary C. Curtis describes how she was treated as a young black female reporter in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Mary C. Curtis describes taking a break from journalism during the years of 1977-1981

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Mary C. Curtis recalls attending the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education in 1981

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Mary C. Curtis talks about her experience in Tucson, Arizona from 1981-1983

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Mary C. Curtis describes being a black female journalist in the 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Mary C. Curtis shares some memories of living and working in Tucson, Arizona

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Mary C. Curtis describes moving back to the East Coast and working at The Baltimore Sun in 1983

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Mary C. Curtis talks about joining the National Association of Black Journalists in 1984

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Mary C. Curtis talks about diversity and the benefits of being involved with the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Mary C. Curtis talks about the importance of diversity of views in news stories

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Mary C. Curtis talks about her work at the Baltimore Sun

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Mary C. Curtis describes her transition to the New York Times

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Mary C. Curtis describes moving to Charlotte, North Carolina to work for the Charlotte Observer

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Mary C. Curtis talks about her son, Zane, and the move to Charlotte, North Carolina from New York

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Mary C. Curtis describes the vibrancy of Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Mary C. Curtis talks about her Neiman Foundation Fellowship at Harvard University in 2005, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Mary C. Curtis talks about her Neiman Foundation Fellowship at Harvard University in 2005, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Mary C. Curtis talks about her Neiman Foundation Fellowship at Harvard University in 2005, part 3

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Mary C. Curtis describes her return to Charlotte, North Carolina after her 2006 year at Harvard University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Mary C. Curtis talks about her 2004 Thomas Wolfe award-winning article

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Mary C. Curtis talks about the aftermath of her Thomas-Wolfe award winning article in 2004

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Mary C. Curtis talks about her coverage of the 2007-2008 primary elections

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Mary C. Curtis recalls covering the 2008 elections and interviewing President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Mary C. Curtis talks about being laid off at the Charlotte Observer in 2008 and her journalism work since then

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Mary C. Curtis talks about how she covers conservative news stories

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Mary C. Curtis talks about her journalistic philosophy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Mary C. Curtis talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Mary C. Curtis talks about interviewing Franklin McCain of North Carolina

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Mary C. Curtis describes her different journalist affiliations

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Mary C. Curtis describes the arts events she covered

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Mary C. Curtis talks about her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Mary C. Curtis talks about her family and her son, Zane

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Mary C. Curtis talks about the future

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Mary C. Curtis talks about being on 'Jeopardy'

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Mary C. Curtis describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Mary C. Curtis narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

2$4

DATitle
Mary C. Curtis talks about diversity and the benefits of being involved with the National Association of Black Journalists
Mary C. Curtis talks about her coverage of the 2007-2008 primary elections
Transcript
Now, this is something I hear from a lot of black journalists, that they really feel, there's a particular kind of loneliness working at a white newspaper, basically, where you just don't have the--they feel, you know, it takes a lot of stamina to, you know, to stay, you know, withstand it, I guess, and you know, that's what I--that's what people keep saying, that it's a lot of pressure (unclear) (simultaneous)-$$Well, I'm not sure I'd use the word stamina as much as, you know, you are, you're doing your job, but say, if you're talking about news judgment or how a story is played or you wanna make sure that when you have people of color in the paper, that you--I'm in features. So most of the minorities you would see on the pages are in Metro or news, when they're doing something or is the face of welfare or poor people or--I mean not always. But it's usually news. And to me, I love features because it humanizes people. And you have the universal experiences. We all garden, we all cook, we all go to church. We have these experiences we share, so it's especially important that minorities are represented in stories in the food section, in the feature section, in the faith section, you know, all of these--in the entertainment section, and all of these sections. So you see people doing the same things you do. When you have a home story that is about a minority family in a home, these kinds of things. So you're always trying to make sure that happens, to make sure if you do a feature story, say, on romance, on couples, that there's diversity, and not just diversity of race, but of income level, of geography, so you're not just picking people from some part of the city, certain neighborhoods, of age. So if you have a romance story, maybe older people, and so you're mindful of that. But when you're making that, you're making that case every day in the newsroom, and you are doing your job and trying to make people understand that this is just not an extra to be put in a story, but it makes the story more complete and more accurate. So it's good journalism, and sometimes that's pressure because people are under deadline pressure. People, of course, relate more to people like themselves, so when you are alone in the newspaper or in any media organization, you're it or there's a few of you. So it is, I would say it's not stamina, but it's every day, it's--it takes energy. It takes energy, and I do think, you know, people kid about the parties at NABJ [National Association of Black Journalists], but part of it is the relaxation of being there and of knowing, when you say--it's, you're talking in a shorthand because when you say, I was trying to convince my editor, and they say, oh, I know, you know (laughter). So it's a meeting, you don't have to explain yourself. You don't have to be anyone but yourself. And I think there's a certain comfort level in that. It's the people, the way, reason people belong to any club. And I think a misnomer when people say, well, we, there's no national organization of white journalists. Well, first of all there're people of every color that belong to NABJ [National Association of Black Journalists]. White people do belong to it, Hispanic people, it's, if you believe in the mission of diversity. So it's not an exclusive organization. It's an inclusive organization, just like NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] or any of those organizations. It is inclusive. It's about the message, and it's just nice knowing you're with people that, people who, that particular message is important to those people. And so, yeah, I think it is relaxing, and when, that very last night before you come back, there usually is a dance. And there's music and people are dancing, and it is a release of sorts. And I think there's nothing wrong with that. You know, you've worked hard, you're--you know, even at NABJ [National Association of Black Journalists], you're wearing your business clothes. You never know who you're gonna run into, that give you a future job. You're going to the job fairs. So it's about business and it's about skills development, but it's also about being with folks, you know, who--I like to say it is a shorthand. And it's about catching up with people that you haven't seen for a while because the nature of the business is that you travel to different places. You get a job here or there. So it's saying, oh, my goodness, you know. I haven't seen you. You're working in Detroit [Michigan] now, that kind of thing. So I, it's work and it's therapy (laughter). We all need that, so I agree, I agree. It's, you know, I've never--I don't think that newspapers or media organizations are any more discriminatory or whatever as any part of society. But I do think sometimes we have to emphasize that they are, indeed, a part of society. So it's not as though the people who work there--I do think sometimes journalists think, we don't have those problems because we're more open minded than that. Well, the people are human beings. When you go into the door of whatever organization, you don't drop society's roles. You don't drop any prejudices at the door because you're a journalist. You hope to, and you work at it, but we all bring something to it. So that's a part of it.$And Ed Sanders was just--and later, they made him the principal of the school, a white school that--and he hired the first black teacher there, B.B. Delaine, I think, who was the son of the Reverend Delaine of the Clarendon County case in South Carolina that was part of the 'Brown v. Board of Education' [1954]. So there's so much Civil Rights history here. But it's, you're right, you know. It, sometimes it takes a lot, but if you just say, "I'm gonna do what I have to do." So he taught me something, but I was--so that was in the '[Charlotte] Observer' too, and then when the South Carolina primaries happened in 2000--started going in 2007, I went to the debate in South Carolina, the first Democratic debate. And I saw on the stage, [President] Barack Obama and [Senator] Hillary Clinton and [Senator] John Edwards and [Governor] Bill Richardson and all these folks, [Senator] Joe Biden, I thought, you know, this is gonna be something. This is gonna be something. So I really hadn't been that involved in politics, but, you know, sometimes you see a story and you gotta grab a hold of it. And you go to that debate and then you go to the Republican debate, and you have to, you need a cheat sheet because they all look the same, you know, well, you know who [Mayor Rudy] Giuliani and [Senator John] McCain and [Governor Mitt] Romney are, but, and you realize how different it's gonna be, and this is gonna be historic. So I just got a hold of that story, tried to make it mine, got the paper's first two interviews with [President] Barack Obama, the only interview with [Senator] Hillary Clinton, followed [Governor] Mike Huckabee around South Carolina, just tried to tell that story, and that--tried to tell that story, tried to tell it.$$Now, this is a campaign that North Carolina's favorite son, [Senator] John Edwards, kind of went down and the--he had issues with his marriage and all that got in the press and-$$Yeah, although, not at the beginning there. I mean in 2000--the 2008 campaign, remember that famous debate in Myrtle Beach [South Carolina] where [Senator] Hillary Clinton and [President] Barack Obama were going at each other, and their supporters were in front with dueling cards. And [Senator] John Edwards was sort of the peacemaker.$$Oh, sure, John Edwards was-$$So calm.$$--a favorite of a lot of people, you know-$$Yeah, and then there were some people who thought, "Well, this isn't gonna be the time for a woman or a minority, that the Democrat--he would be the white guy Democrat that people come back to" because, remember that was the year after [President George W.] Bush where it was such a prime year for a Democrat. So, that's why a lot of people got frustrated when what came out, came out because if he had gotten it, of course, it would have come out, and that would have totally ruined it for it. But, yeah, it was obviously, another great time to be a journalist. Even though North Carolina's primary was late, it actually counted. But I initially covered the--South Carolina is one of the first in the South. So I got to go down there and write columns off of the appearances, see [Presdient] Bill Clinton just hang out and go out around South Carolina with the Republicans and Democrats, watch a Baptist minister bless [Governor] Mike Huckabee and, you know, all of that. It was, I really liked to see the--my piece, my column started to be on the intersection of all of these things, to look at it, and to see the culture piece in the campaigns because what are debates, but political theater? So when you're in a Republican debate and they're talking about torture and all of them are, you know, Romney's, I'm pro-Guantanamo, let's expand it, and, you know, you have [Representative] Tom Tancredo talk about, you know, Jack Ry[an], you know, "Send in the guy from '24'" and [Senator] John McCain says, "You know, we shouldn't torture because it's not about who they are. It's about who we are." And no one applauds, and you realize the only guy against it on the stage is the guy who's been tortured. So that's the story. You know, so it's finding that piece of, looking at it and saying, wow, you know. To watch Oprah [Winfrey] appearing with [President Barack] Obama in South Carolina in a stadium. It was just covering the scene. And I went on to Denver, not for the '[Charlotte] Observer', actually. They didn't send me to the Democratic National Convention. But I got a chance to go and I went and covered for Neiman [Foundation], wouldn't have missed it, went on my own time. That's when the papers were cutting back. I was starting to see the writing on the wall. So, although, you know, it was a great experience.

Reginald Stuart

Newspaper correspondent and corporate recruiter Reginald Stuart was born on November 26, 1948 in Nashville Tennessee. He was raised by his parents with his older siblings, William H. Stuart, Jr., and Cassandra Stuart Woods. While attending Pearl High School, in Nashville, he worked as a disc jockey and had his own radio show. In 1965, he graduated from Pearl High and, three years later, earned his B.S. degree in sociology from Tennessee State University. After working a short time for The Nashville Tennessean as a general assignment reporter and for WSIX-TV-AM-FM, the local ABC affiliate, Stuart received his M.S. degree in journalism from Columbia University in the City of New York in 1971.

In 1974, Stuart became a business and finance reporter for The New York Times. During his 13 years there, he also worked as national correspondent bureau chief in Detroit, Michigan, Atlanta, Georgia, and Miami, Florida. He covered the 1979 federal government bailout of the Chrysler Corporation. Stuart released a book based on the stories, Bailout: The Story Behind America’s Billion Dollar Gamble on the “New” Chrysler Corporation. In Atlanta, Stuart reported on police investigations of a series of unsolved cases of missing and murdered children. He continued to write articles on the federal government’s deregulation of major industries throughout the 1980s.

In 1987, Stuart left the Times and joined Knight Ridder Newspapers, Inc., as the Washington-based national affairs correspondent for the Philadelphia Daily News. There, he covered the 1988 presidential election and 1990 Census. Stuart’s 1994 Emerge Magazine article about Kemba Smith, a young woman sent to prison for 24.5 years based on new federal mandatory sentencing laws regarding illegal drugs, was credited with generating the popular and political support that persuaded then President Bill Clinton to commute her prison sentence to time served. Afterward, he moved to the Knight Ridder Washington News Bureau news desk as an assistant editor, a post he held through 1996. In 1997, he was hired as Knight Ridder’s corporate recruiter, finding individuals for newsroom and business positions, and coordinating Knight Ridder’s early career talent development programs, including the Knight Ridder Scholars Program and Native American Internship Program.

Stuart was elected national president of the Society of Professional Journalists in 1994. He received the Ida B. Wells Award for promoting diversity in journalism, the Leadership in Diversity Award from the Asian American Journalists Association and the Wells Memorial Key from the Society of Professional Journalists. Stuart is married to Daryl Thomas Stuart with whom he has three children, Reginald II, Nicholas and Andrea.

Reginald Stuart was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 08/29/2012.

Accession Number

A2012.231

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/29/2012

Last Name

Stuart

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Ford Green Elementary School

Washington Junior High School

Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

Tennessee State University

Columbia University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Reginald

Birth City, State, Country

Nashville

HM ID

STU03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

He Was A Pretty Good Fella, But He Could Have Been Better.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

11/26/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cobbler (Peach), Greens (Turnip), Macaroni, Cheese, Bread (Rolls), Barbecue Pork

Short Description

Newspaper correspondent and corporate recruiter Reginald Stuart (1948 - ) , earned his M.S. degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City, and wrote Bailout: The Story Behind America’s Billion Dollar Gamble on the “New” Chrysler Corporation, a book about the government’s 1979 financial bailout of the Chrysler Corporation.

Employment

Nashville Tennessean

WSIX TV

New York Times

Knight Ridder Newspapers

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:6029,178:17808,282:20154,312:27700,412:39313,726:59580,948:70633,1087:80040,1154:87866,1291:93410,1411:93830,1417:98010,1454:107835,1587:113867,1656:114971,1683:116952,1704:126003,1828:127390,1853:133605,1923:133961,1988:134940,2002:135385,2007:138233,2051:142810,2091:143811,2119:145890,2221:163656,2449:169850,2546:182750,2740:188030,2862:188670,2872:189790,2889:205138,3043:219258,3257:219954,3267:225473,3299:225677,3304:232830,3440:241738,3548:242206,3555:242752,3563:255748,3786:258434,3836:266410,3915$0,0:2486,36:24573,287:24968,293:36273,454:61010,814:71404,950:71660,962:127310,1732:145570,1909
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reginald Stuart's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reginald Stuart lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reginald Stuart describes his maternal family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reginald Stuart describes his maternal family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reginald Stuart talks about his mother, Maxie Allen

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reginald Stuart describes his paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reginald Stuart talks about his parents and St. Luke CME church

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reginald Stuart describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reginald Stuart talks about his siblings and the proximity of his extended family

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reginald Stuart describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reginald Stuart describes his childhood home

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reginald Stuart describes the sounds of growing up in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reginald Stuart talks about his father's Scrabble talent

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reginald Stuart remembers listening to music at Club Baron in Nashville, Tennessee, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reginald Stuart remembers listening to music at Club Baron in Nashville, Tennessee, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reginald Stuart describes the sights and smells of growing up in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reginald Stuart recalls creating a neighborhood newspaper as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reginald Stuart describes his elementary school memories

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reginald Stuart describes his neighborhood newspaper, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reginald Stuart describes his neighborhood newspaper, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reginald Stuart talks about his epilepsy

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reginald Stuart describes attending Washington Junior High School and Pearl High School in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reginald Stuart recalls Civil Rights activism in Nashville, Tennessee during the early 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reginald Stuart remembers the integration of Nashville, Tennessee in 1965

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reginald Stuart describes his activities at Pearl High School in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reginald Stuart talks about attending Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reginald Stuart describes managing The Fabulous Nu-Tones during college

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reginald Stuart talks about being a disc jockey during college

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reginald Stuart remembers WAC radio

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reginald Stuart talks about regional differences in musical tastes

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reginald Stuart talks about majoring in sociology at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reginald Stuart describes his professors at Tennessee State University in Nashaville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reginald Stuart talks about being hired at the Nashville Tennessean in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reginald Stuart talks about John Seigenthaler

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reginald Stuart talks about his job search after graduating from Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reginald Stuart describes working at the Nashville Tennessean

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reginald Stuart talks about how the journalism profession has changed since he started

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reginald Stuart talks about working for WSIX, the ABC news affiliate in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reginald Stuart describes the stories he covered for ABC TV

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reginald Stuart talks about the signal problem with WSIX TV

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reginald Stuart describes his decision to attend Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reginald Stuart describes covering the 1970 election while at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reginald Stuart recalls turning down a job offer from Walter Cronkite

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reginald Stuart talks about the stories he covered in Nashville, Tennessee in the early 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reginald Stuart recalls being hired by The New York Times in 1974, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reginald Stuart recalls being hired by The New York Times in 1974, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reginald Stuart talks about becoming the business writer at The New York Times

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reginald Stuart talks about covering the 1970s energy crisis

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reginald Stuart talks about being the New York Times Bureau Chief in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reginald Stuart talks about covering Chrysler's Lee Iacocca as the New York Times Bureau Chief in Detroit

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reginald Stuart talks about covering the Haitian immigrant crisis as the New York Times Miami Bureau Chief

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reginald Stuart talks about covering Wayne Williams, an alleged serial killer of children in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reginald Stuart talks about covering Wayne Williams, an alleged serial killer of children in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reginald Stuart describes leaving The New York Times in 1987

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reginald Stuart describes covering the 1988 Presidential campaign for the Philadelphia Daily News

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Reginald Stuart describes the 1988 Democratic Presidential debate

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Reginald Stuart talks about working for Knight Ridder Newspapers

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Reginald Stuart describes the Knight Ridders Scholars and other programs

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Reginald Stuart describes writing about Kemba Smith for Emerge magazine

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Reginald Stuart talks about mandatory sentencing drug laws

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Reginald Stuart describes Kemba Smith's story

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Reginald Stuart talks about the public's reaction to his story "Kemba's Nightmare"

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Reginald Stuart talks about following up on his story "Kemba's Nightmare"

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Reginald Stuart talks about the social impact of his story "Kemba's Nightmare"

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Reginald Stuart talks about his awards

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Reginald Stuart talks about being a corporate recruiter for McClatchy

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Reginald Stuart describes the guests at the National Press Club luncheon, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Reginald Stuart describes the guests at the National Press Club luncheon, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Reginald Stuart talks about his involvement with the Society for Professional Journalists

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Reginald Stuart talks about The National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Reginald Stuart reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Reginald Stuart describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Reginald Stuart talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Reginald Stuart reflects upon his career

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Reginald Stuart describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Reginald Stuart narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

8$3

DATitle
Reginald Stuart describes working at the Nashville Tennessean
Reginald Stuart talks about covering the 1970s energy crisis
Transcript
I had a wonderful time with that newspaper [Nashville Tennessean]. I knew nothing about what I was doing. It was so obvious that I hadn't worked on the college paper, I hadn't worked on anything that even resembled a newspaper. And they took me in and they kept me because I had spark and energy and I wasn't afraid of anything. I was too dumb to be afraid of anything. And they said okay if he's got those ingredients, we can teach him how to be a journalist. And so the first couple of weeks I was writing--I had little stories they'd give me and I'd go out and write 'em and bring 'em in. And one day my city editor, a guy named Herman Eskew [ph.], called me up to his desk and he said I have a question for you. I said yeah. I'm, you know. He says do you read this newspaper? I said I read it every morning, I love it. He said well how do the stories you write differ from the ones you see in the paper? So it's a learning moment, right, I said there's a trick question going in here somewhere. So I picked the paper up and I started reading it and I said well, I said first of all, I said your sentences are shorter than mine. I said your paragraphs are shorter than mine. He said yeah, anything else? I said yeah, you have quotes in the, in the paper. He said do you think you can do the same thing for your stories that you see in the paper? I'd been writing news columns position for three weeks and they'd had it. I had like three sentences in a paragraph, right. Like 50 words per sentence, no quotes. It was driving them crazy. But I had stories, I had stories. I had stories come out of the wazzoo, cause I was just out there really trying to get stuff. That was the first problem. The second problem was I did not know what beats were. And on newspapers, all assignments are like beats. Like in schools you have first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, right, that was your beat, you teach this grade. In the news business, you have courts, cops, city council, mayor's office, Health Department, school board, and so on. I didn't know that. I came to work every morning and would just start calling people trying to find out what's going on. And so the best idea that came out of those phone calls, I'd go to the editor and say I got a story idea. Well this went on for about eight months and finally they called me in again and said listen, do you know everybody in this newsroom want you fired? I said no, why? He says because you're going across everybody's god damn beats. I said beats, what's a beat? So, so he, he didn't call me dumb as a box of rocks at that point, but he, he had a serious conversation. He says you have to understand how newsrooms work. Every--what does so-and-so do? I said well they go to the courthouse every day. What does so-and-so do? He goes to the [unclear]. These are called beats and you're trampling over their beats. You gotta find your own beat, all right, or they gone run you out of here. So what did I do? I found my own beat in Nashville, transportation and aviation. We had maybe 30 flights a day, a small airport. We don't have any big transportation problems, just traffic jams that everybody has, small town traffic jams. But I turned that beat into a very productive beat and they were impressed. Fortunately, American Alliance had a strike. So I was at the airport covering the strike, no air service at National, right. Good story. Fortunately, I talked to the Traffic Parking Commission members and they were about to change parking rates. And about to introduce one-way streets, heaven forbid. So I got to write all these stories and lo and behold, I'm in the paper you know two or three times a week. I'm not on anybody's beat. I'm writing stories. They have short paragraphs, they have quotes, I'm getting there. And that was my, my ride at Tennessean and it was a great ride.$And I'll tell you the, the funniest story. A whole lot of stories, but it was a funny story, is a--it was a crook story. In the early '70s [1970s], we had this--the convoluted energy crisis, and, and they were keeping gasoline and oil offshore, and that allowed the fuel shortages for power plants to run amok. And so coal prices went up because coal mines was still using coal. There were a lot of, there were a lot of get rich quick coal companies that came up overnight. And what they would do is they were just getting into work on strip mining and, and, and traditional mining, deep mining, you wanna mine on the ground [unclear]. Strip mining is gone on the side of the mountain, rake of the vegetation forestation over time and you get the surface coal. It's, it's a lower BTU [British thermal unit] content, it's cheaper. And so a couple of guys down in my old home state of Tennessee, right, got slick. And so what they would do is they would, would do something called layer loading. Layer loading is where you go out and dig up some dirt, right, put it in the bottom of the railcar and then top it off with some of this coal we just strip mined. Now the way you inspect coal in those days, right, you'd bring the railcar up to a utility yard, right. And they put a probe in the top of the car in different spots. The probe went down about, you know, eight, nine inches. And so it would always show coal, right. You accept the railcar and it's your, you just paid a thousand dollars for it, right. Then when you take the car to the next stop and you dump the car, you got a railcar full of dirt. And so these guys were, were getting away with about--ripping off about fifteen, twenty utilities around the country, sending layer loaded coal, rail coal cars. And so I wrote about that and, and that became one of the most hilarious stories, crook stories you could find of that time.

Paul Delaney

Distinguished veteran print journalist and activist Paul Delaney was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on January 13, 1933. Delaney attended Ohio State University where he received his B.A. degree in journalism. Paul Delaney’s writing and leadership as a proponent of civil and humanitarian rights has led to his distinction and recognition as a journalist, humanitarian, scholar and activist.

Delaney’s career began at the Atlanta Daily World amidst the Civil Rights Movement. While at the Atlanta Daily World, Delaney covered some of the most important figures and events of the Civil Rights Movement. From Atlanta, Delaney went to work for the Dayton Daily News in Dayton, Ohio, and the Washington Star in Washington, D.C. Delaney next joined the New York Times Washington, D.C. bureau, where he covered urban affairs, politics, and civil rights. Delaney served in the Chicago Bureau of the New York Times as bureau chief in Madrid, Spain, an editor on the national news desk, and senior editor for newsroom administration. Paul Delaney spent twenty-three years with the New York Times as an editor and correspondent where he rose to national prominence as an African American journalist. Delaney became recognized for being one of the most prominent journalists of African American heritage in the world. Delaney served from 1992 to 1996 as the first African American chair of the University of Alabama’s journalism department, editor of the editorial page of Our World News from 1996 to 1998, and wrote editorials for the Baltimore Sun from 1999 to 2000.

Delaney was one of the founders of the National Association of Black Journalists and a member of the Overseas Press Club; the Society of Silurians; the Society of Professional Journalists; and the board for National Public Radio. Delaney was also on the selection committee for the Media Fellows in Health Program at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Delaney went on to direct the Initiative on Racial Mythology of the Gene Media Forum sponsored by Syracuse University.

Accession Number

A2005.186

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/5/2005

Last Name

Delaney

Maker Category
Schools

Loveless Academic Magnet Prog High School

Alabama State University

The Ohio State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Paul

Birth City, State, Country

Montgomery

HM ID

DEL03

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Casa Del Sol

Favorite Quote

Be Cool.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/13/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish (Red Snapper)

Short Description

Journalism professor and newspaper correspondent Paul Delaney (1933 - ) has had a long and prestigious career as a print journalist that spanned the Civil Rights Movement, and continued well into the 21st century.

Employment

Atlanta Daily World

Dayton Daily News

Washington Star

New York Times

University of Alabama

Baltimore Sun

Our World News

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Paul Delaney's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Paul Delaney lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Paul Delaney talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Paul Delaney talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paul Delaney talks about his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paul Delaney lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paul Delaney describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Paul Delaney describes his family life and community in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Paul Delaney describes the sights, sounds and smells of his neighborhood in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Paul Delaney describes his childhood personality and lists his favorite teachers from elementary and high school

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Paul Delaney talks about his childhood aspirations to travel and write

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Paul Delaney describes his activities during high school

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Paul Delaney talks about his college experience and being stationed in Bordeaux, France while serving in the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paul Delaney recalls trying to rattle student complacency when he was an editor of The Ohio State University's paper, The Lantern in the mid-1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paul Delaney recalls race relations at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio during the mid-1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paul Delaney talks about trying to find a job in journalism after graduating from college and being hired by the Atlanta Daily World in 1959

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paul Delaney recalls moving to Atlanta, Georgia in 1960 and the reaction of the city's leaders to the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paul Delaney talks about his early reporting for the Atlanta Daily World and lists figures from the Civil Rights Movement he met in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paul Delaney reflects upon Atlanta Daily World editor C.A. Scott's opposition to the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paul Delaney talks about being a probation officer and being hired by the Dayton Daily News in 1963

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Paul Delaney talks about working as a reporter for the Dayton Daily News in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Paul Delaney talks about covering Washington, D.C.'s government, following its reorganization in 1967, for the Washington Star

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paul Delaney talks about starting the Atlanta Inquirer and the opposition to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paul Delaney recalls the national trends he covered as an urban affairs correspondent for the New York Times during the early 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paul Delaney recalls his reporting for the New York Times Chicago Bureau from 1974 through 1977, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paul Delaney reflects upon the media coverage of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paul Delaney recalls his reporting for the New York Times Chicago Bureau from 1974 through 1977, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paul Delaney talks about becoming an editor of The New York Times in 1977

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Paul Delaney reflects upon the resistance to U.S. foreign policy in Arab countries in the 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Paul Delaney reflects upon the changes in Spain after the end of Francisco Franco's dictatorship

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Paul Delaney talks about the pressure living overseas puts on a journalist's family life

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paul Delaney talks about his family

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paul Delaney recalls living in Madrid, Spain when he was the New York Times bureau chief in Madrid, Spain

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paul Delaney talks about addressing the lack of diversity in the New York Times newsroom

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paul Delaney remembers the formation of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in 1975

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paul Delaney talks about being the chair of the journalism department at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paul Delaney details his career since 1996

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Paul Delaney reflects upon representations of hip hop by the media and the progress of African American professionals in the media

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Paul Delaney reflects upon the role of media in American society

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Paul Delaney remembers his mentors at the Atlanta Daily World, Dayton Daily News and New York Times

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Paul Delaney reflects upon the next generation of journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Paul Delaney reflects upon his life, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paul Delaney shares advice for people interested in a career in journalism

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paul Delaney reflects upon his life, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Paul Delaney describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Paul Delaney reflects upon memorable life lessons

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Paul Delaney talks about the employment crisis for young African American men

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Paul Delaney describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Paul Delaney explains why he believes history is important

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Paul Delaney reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Paul Delaney reflects upon Atlanta Daily World editor C.A. Scott's opposition to the Civil Rights Movement
Paul Delaney remembers the formation of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in 1975
Transcript
How long did you stay with the Atlanta Daily World?$$I was with the World for two years before I was fired.$$Fired for what?$$I used to argue with C.A. Scott [Cornelius Adolphus Scott] everyday about our coverage of the [Civil Rights] Movement. He was--the World was against the movement, and would editorialize and skew the coverage, and I used to fight through every day. And eventually I was fired. And I knew I was going to be fired, but eventually I was fired.$$Structurally, who else was making decisions at the Atlanta Daily World at that time?$$C.A. Scott made--he was the editor, publisher.$$Okay.$$So the buck stopped with him. And he was thoroughly against the movement.$$And do you recall his explanation to you for being against the movement?$$Well, he, you know, I think he reflected the attitude of a whole lot of the older blacks in town, the older black (unclear). One, they didn't want Atlanta [Georgia] to become a Birmingham [Alabama]; two, there were students who were leading this movement, and these students were a threat these guys, their leadership. And they were losing control and they didn't want to do that. So they were against the movement. And they felt they would lose economically if things--if Atlanta got a bad image in the national press. And so, they truly did not want these things to happen, did not want the demonstrations in Atlanta. And they knew that if the movement continued, there would be that kind of stuff in Atlanta, which would challenge their leadership. And eventually it did.$So by the time you are making this transition from being really staying the senior editor, but just moving back, 1992, what were you doing after that?$$Well, let me back up. One other thing--another thing, on that very topic on changing the color of the newsroom, in order to facilitate to help that change, a group of us formed the National Association of Black Journalists [NABJ] in 1975, mostly from big papers. We got together after years of trying to get together to do something about the fact that there were few blacks in the newsroom, we didn't get promoted, we didn't get certain jobs like covering major events, like covering the White House [Washington, D.C.], covering [U.S.] Congress. And so, we formed NABJ to put pressure on companies to help do that. And so, by time I got to the newsroom--got in to newsroom administration, we were doing this. We had our team of people trying to do that, to change the newsroom. Thought I'd left out that fact that we formed the NABJ for that exact purpose. And by 1992 when I left the [New York] Times or '93 [1993], we were still far behind in trying to colorize the newsroom.

Calvin Hicks

Calvin L. Hicks is director of community collaborations and program development and a member of the liberal arts faculty at the renowned New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) in Boston, Massachusetts. Born on August 18, 1933 in Boston, Hicks was profoundly influenced by his mother, Marguerite (Calvin) Hicks, a left-wing political activist and writer, and his maternal grandparents, Lenora and Thomas Calvin, who were strict Christians and devoted church activists. Absorbing his mother's interest in writing, he began his journalistic endeavors while still in high school, writing for the Boston Chronicle, a Black weekly newspaper.

After graduating from English High School in Boston in 1950, Hicks attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, studying journalism and political science. After a brief stint with the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper, he moved on to New York City where he spent twelve years writing and teaching in the humanities and third world studies. During these years, he was engaged in national and international liberation struggles of the 1960s, and for a brief period during this time, he was employed at Time Magazine as a researcher. In New York City, he founded and chaired the On Guard Committee for Freedom, which included as members individuals such as Amiri Baraka, Archie Shepp, A.B. Spellman and Walter Bowe, and was executive director of the Monroe Defense Committee in support of Robert Williams and was influential in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. With poet and writer Tom Dent, Hicks was one of the founders of Umbra Magazine and was also a member of the prestigious Harlem Writers Guild. As a freelance writer, Hicks' articles appeared in Freedomways, New Challenge and others. He was also a full-time reporter with New York Age newspaper. During his time in New York City, Hicks also worked as an instructor at Brooklyn College, City College of New York and Richmond College.

Returning to the Boston area in 1969, Hicks was offered a professorship in the sociology department at Brandeis University, the first African American to be offered this position, and then directed undergraduate and graduate programs in the Third World Studies Program at Goddard College in Vermont. He was a member of the faculty in the African American studies department and was the director of the Third World Center at Brown University. Hicks then moved on to serve as division chair of liberal arts and dean of academic affairs at Roxbury Community College in Boston. He was a co-founder of the Black Educators Roundtable in Boston, and from 1974 to 1975, Hicks was a graduate fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graduate Department of Urban Planning and Urban Studies. In 1984, he received his master's degree in the philosophy of education from Cambridge College in Massachusetts.

Under Hicks' direction since 1992, Community Collaborations and Program Development at NEC has developed a dynamic music arts program, providing educational services and music instruction to a wide variety of individuals of all ages and cultures, as well as a host of traditional and non-traditional academic, civic and social institutions across the city of Boston. Among them are Music for Senior Citizens, the NEC Community Gospel Chorus, and the Roland Hayes/Marian Anderson Concert Series. Hicks has also been the driving force behind performances, symposia and events that have been for the benefit of Boston Public School teachers and students. In 1999, he began the Thomas A. Dorsey Summer Gospel Institute to take a more detailed look into the roots of gospel music. He also developed the Memory and Society: Theaters of Memory Remembering for the Present and the Future as well as the Institute for the Study of African American Secular and Sacred Music, both Summer Institutes. He was also a faculty member at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the Department of Modern American Music.

Hicks passed away on August 25, 2013.

Accession Number

A2004.208

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/15/2004

Last Name

Hicks

Maker Category
Schools

English High School

Drake University

C. C. Perkins School

David A. Ellis Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Calvin

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

HIC01

Favorite Season

May

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Oceans

Favorite Quote

Lord Have Mercy.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

8/18/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Indian Food

Death Date

8/25/2013

Short Description

Academic administrator and newspaper correspondent Calvin Hicks (1933 - 2013 ) was the Director of Community Collaborations at the New England Conservatory of Music, and had taught at Brandeis University, Goddard College and Brown University.

Employment

Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper

Time, Inc.

On Guard Committee for Freedom

Monroe Defense Committee in Support of Robert Williams

Umbra Magazine

New York Age Newspaper

Brooklyn College

City College of New York

Richmond College

Brandeis University

Goddard College - Vermont

Brown University

Roxbury Community College

NEC

Longy School of Music - Cambridge, Massachusetts

Favorite Color

Blue, Green, Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:23220,207:35460,335:37300,366:40127,410:41513,428:44150,467:44575,473:45850,489:46190,494:46615,503:51804,567:100032,882:100634,889:104654,909:114880,988:162672,1430:163077,1437:179820,1544:184970,1581:192930,1667:195210,1673$0,0:6512,104:27005,278:27995,290:33001,351:39384,452:39692,464:47990,616:48690,625:49890,638:52938,666:71410,814:78602,881:91105,982:95408,1026:95954,1035:97514,1063:110527,1198:118096,1326:118444,1331:119053,1339:121054,1355:121576,1392:128544,1477:129090,1486:135792,1582:138424,1619:141750,1648:155788,1761:158015,1789:161028,1840:178309,1942:178705,1947:179101,1952:184744,2079:194909,2157:196394,2187:205002,2314:208038,2434:212258,2468:212914,2478:214800,2508:215538,2518:218250,2560
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Calvin Hicks' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Calvin Hicks lists his favorite things

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Calvin Hicks describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Calvin Hicks describes his mother's childhood in the South End of Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Calvin Hicks describes his mother's personality and political activities

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Calvin Hicks recalls his early exposure to politics in his childhood home

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Calvin Hicks talks about his early political awareness and writing for the Boston Chronicle

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Calvin Hicks describes his mother's influence on his writing and her education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Calvin Hicks talks about his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Calvin Hicks describes his relationship with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Calvin Hicks remembers his elementary schools and his experience at English High School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Calvin Hicks describes his childhood interests

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Calvin Hicks remembers attending Ebenezer Baptist Church in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Calvin Hicks explains his decision to attend Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Calvin Hicks talks about his extracurricular activities in high school and college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Calvin Hicks recalls his decision to leave Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Calvin Hicks describes his growing interest in theology and political philosophy

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Calvin Hicks describes his initial career in journalism

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Calvin Hicks talks about becoming a member of the Harlem Writers Guild

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Calvin Hicks talks about his early teaching and consultancy career in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Calvin Hicks describes working at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Calvin Hicks talks about his involvement with the third world studies program at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Calvin Hicks remembers John Henrik Clarke and his activism

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Calvin Hicks recalls his involvement with left-wing political organizations and publications in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Calvin Hicks talks about his work with Amiri Baraka to consolidate An Organization of Young Men with On Guard Committee for Freedom

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Calvin Hicks describes his transition from New York, New York to Massachusetts in 1969

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Calvin Hicks describes his educational work in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Calvin Hicks recalls his work with the Boston Public Schools, Cambridge Economic Opportunities Committee and Brandeis University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Calvin Hicks talks about teaching at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Calvin Hicks talks about heading the Third World Center at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Calvin Hicks talks about working at Roxbury Community College in Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Calvin Hicks describes the history of the community music program at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Calvin Hicks talks about the former gospel jubilee hosted at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Calvin Hicks remembers initiating the Thomas A. Dorsey Gospel Jubilee at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Calvin Hicks talks about the creation of the Thomas A. Dorsey Gospel Institute

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Calvin Hicks describes changes he made to the Thomas A. Dorsey Gospel Jubilee at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Calvin Hicks reflects upon his experiences at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Calvin Hicks reflects upon his career in higher education

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Calvin Hicks talks about the challenges facing afro-centric educational institutions

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Calvin Hicks explains his decision to head the third world studies program at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Calvin Hicks describes heading the third world studies graduate program at Goddard-Cambridge Graduate Program in Social Change

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Calvin Hicks talks about the challenges of sustaining educational institutions

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Calvin Hicks reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Calvin Hicks describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Calvin Hicks describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Calvin Hicks narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Calvin Hicks narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Calvin Hicks narrates his photographs, pt. 3

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

4$2

DATitle
Calvin Hicks talks about becoming a member of the Harlem Writers Guild
Calvin Hicks talks about his work with Amiri Baraka to consolidate An Organization of Young Men with On Guard Committee for Freedom
Transcript
I worked for them [The New York Age] for a little over a year I guess, year and a half, something like that, did a lot of, a lot of stories for them, with them. But I was still trying to find stuff, and I, through Sarah [L.] Wright, who I'd met at Camp Unity [Wingdale, New York], I became a member of the Harlem Writers Guild [HWG], which was organized and run by John O. Killens [John Oliver Killens]. And people met at his house in Brooklyn [New York, New York] every Monday night to read works in progress, you know. John Henrik Clarke was part of it. At the time, he was running an elevator at Macy's, believe it or not. From some time [HistoryMaker] Maya [Angelou] was part of it; and Rosa Guy was part of it; Sarah Wright was part of it. And it was through my activity, my involvement with the Harlem Writers Guild that I met members of the Congolese delegation to the United Nations [UN]. They were in the Unite, out of the Congo for the first time, didn't speak English. Rosa Guy, as part of the Harlem Writers Guild, was fluent in French, and so we became their family. And then when [Patrice] Lumumba was assassinated and so forth, members of the Harlem Writers Guild, were, became the cutting edge for organizing, along with the, the nationalists of 125th Street, around Michelle's Book Store [ph.] and all that, because the leading edge in developing picket lines and so forth at the United Nations and then later, that big to-do at the United Nations where we went in and tore the place up, essentially. So I think it's from that--now, all the time now I'm really, by my own study, I probably accumulated two degrees by now in terms of my own stuff.$So a friend of, who I'd come to know named Walter [Augustus] Bowe called me up one day, after the first issue of the On Guard newspaper came out. And Walter Bowe you may remember from a event when the United States government accused him and two other people of threatening or planning to blow up the Statue of Liberty, and the Liberty Bell, and the Washington Monument. Well, that was Walter Bowe (laughter). He called me up and said there's a guy down on the Lower East Side [Manhattan, New York, New York]--I was living on Henry Street at the time--said Miss LeRoi Jones [Amiri Baraka] (laughter). He started this new organization called [An] Organization of Young Men--and you two need to get together, so we did. And there were a bunch of people who were, some of whose names you would know now who were part of the, they were all really Lower East Side people. But the names that probably would come to mind would be [HistoryMaker] A. B. Spellman and Archie Shepp, were part of this thing. So I explained to them what was happening with the On Guard stuff, which included members of the Harlem Writers Guild [HWG], and some black nationalists, and some people my age who were probably more ideological. The LeRoi Jones stuff, he had written a call to all organiza--creation of an Organization of Young Men. But they weren't clear what they were doing. They really weren't, we just, they knew they had to do something, but they didn't know what. The upshort of that was that Organization of Young Men and On Guard Committee for Freedom became one organization. And because I was following this Marxist formula, there was a central committee. And LeRoi became the director of the central committee, and I was the head of the, the whole thing. Into that mix came a lot of different kind of people. Harold Cruse was one of them, came into that mix, and that made it very interesting. After a while, you know, well, I became much more involved with Monroe defense committee [Committee to Aid the Monroe Defendants] than On Guard Committee. But that was another ideological thing between existing parties on the left, you know, principally Workers World [Party] and the other Social[ist] Workers Party and the Communist Party. Communist Party didn't want anything to do with Robert [F.] Williams because they had hitched themselves to the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People], into the integrationist mode. The Workers World was absolutely revolutionary, and Socialist Workers Party was somewhere in the middle.

Francis Ward

Usher Francis Ward was born in Atlanta, Georgia on August 11, 1935. After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1953, Ward attended Morehouse College, earning his B.A. in English in 1958. From there, he attended Syracuse University, earning his master’s in journalism in 1961.

While attending Morehouse, Ward took a job at the Atlanta Daily World as a janitor, and after his graduation, he spent several months working as a proofreader and wrote a few articles. In 1964, Ward met Bob Johnson, and was hired by Jet magazine. In 1967, he was promoted to Ebony, and the following year he made the move to the Chicago Sun-Times. There, he covered the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the aftermath, as well as writing a tribute to Gwendolyn Brooks. In 1970, Ward became the Chicago correspondent for the L.A. Times, where he remained until 1978. That year, he joined the staff of the Miami Herald, and in 1980, he joined WHUT-TV at Howard University. In 1984, Ward joined the mayor’s press corps in Chicago as an assistant press secretary, and he remained there until 1989, working through the administrations of Harold Washington and Eugene Sawyer. After a brief teaching stint at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, he was hired by the Newhouse School of Journalism at his alma mater of Syracuse University in 1990. He remains there today.

Ward has always felt that journalism is a public service, and he has often spoken out on media responsibility. He and his wife, actress Val Gray Ward, live in New York.

Accession Number

A2004.166

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/17/2004

Last Name

Ward

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Booker T. Washington High School

E. R. Carter Elementary School

Morehouse College

Syracuse University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Francis

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

WAR06

Favorite Season

None

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

8/11/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Syracuse

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Black-Eyed Peas, Macaroni

Short Description

Journalism professor and newspaper correspondent Francis Ward (1935 - ) is a professor of journalism at Syracuse University, and held positions with Jet magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, the L.A. Times and the Miami Herald. He also joined the press corps for former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington.

Employment

Atlanta Daily World

Jet Magazine

Ebony Magazine

Chicago Sun-Times

L.A. Times

Miami Herald

WHUT TV

City of Chicago

Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University

S.I. Newhouse School of Journalism at Syracuse University

Favorite Color

None

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Francis Ward's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Francis Ward's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Francis Ward lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Francis Ward talks about his mother and father's backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Francis Ward shares a story about his father and an escaped hog

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Francis Ward talks about the origin of his name

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Francis Ward talks about his parents' educational background and values

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Francis Ward describes the churches his parents attended in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Francis Ward describes his childhood neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Francis Ward describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Francis Ward describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Francis Ward remembers learning about politics at the 1948 Democratic National Convention

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Francis Ward describes the values his parents taught him

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Francis Ward recalls his early career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Francis Ward describes what kind of student he was in school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Francis Ward describes his interest in sports growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Francis Ward talks about his baseball coach at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Francis Ward describes transferring from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Francis Ward talks about his influential teachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Francis Ward describes an incident with the House Un-American Activities Committee during the McCarthy era

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Francis Ward remembers the aftermath of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision in 1954

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Francis Ward talks about Benjamin Mays, president of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Francis Ward talks about the reputation of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Francis Ward talks about Morehouse College alumni groups

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Francis Ward describes working at the Atlanta Daily World

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Francis Ward recalls working as a proofreader at the Atlanta Daily World during a Scott family feud

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Francis Ward talks about attending the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Francis Ward describes what he learned at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Francis Ward remembers attending a Syracuse Nationals game

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Francis Ward talks about moving to New York, New York in the early 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Francis Ward describes working at Jet magazine in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Francis Ward describes his experience covering a story in Natchez, Mississippi in 1965

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Francis Ward talks about the conflict in Natchez, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Francis Ward describes meeting his wife, HistoryMaker Val Gray Ward

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Francis Ward talks about the Atlanta Black Crackers Negro League baseball team

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Francis Ward remembers watching Jackie Robinson play baseball in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Francis Ward describes covering the 1967 fight between Muhammad Ali and HistoryMaker Ernie Terrell for Jet magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Francis Ward describes the types of stories he worked on for Ebony magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Francis Ward remembers a meeting about covering radical political figures at Ebony magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Francis Ward talks about the white media's portrayal of Civil Rights leaders

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Francis Ward describes why Negro Digest's name was changed to Black World in 1970

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Francis Ward remembers the background of the Chicago, Illinois riots of 1965 and 1966

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Francis Ward describes the 1968 riot in Chicago, Illinois following Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Francis Ward describes the founding of Kuumba Theatre in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Francis Ward describes the plays performed by the Kuumba Theatre

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Francis Ward critiques blaxploitation films from the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Francis Ward explains the issues that were addressed in the Kuumba News

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Francis Ward talks about the controversy over funding for the Kuumba Theatre

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Francis Ward describes the founding of First World: An International Journal of Black Thought

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Francis Ward considers HistoryMaker John H. Johnson's reasoning for discontinuing Black World

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Francis Ward reflects upon an article he wrote in First World: An International Journal of Black Thought

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Francis Ward talks about joining the Los Angeles Times as a reporter

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Francis Ward describes his work and activities between 1975 and 1984

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Francis Ward recalls working in the press office of Chicago, Illinois Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Francis Ward talks about working for HistoryMaker Eugene Sawyer's interim mayoral administration

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Francis Ward recalls how he began working at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Francis Ward explains his philosophy for teaching journalism

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Francis Ward critiques the worship of celebrities

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Francis Ward describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Francis Ward talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Francis Ward considers his greatest regret

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Francis Ward reflects upon Harold Washington's accomplishments as mayor of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Francis Ward talks about Harold Washington's association with Clarence McClain

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Francis Ward shares his thoughts about Harold Washington, former mayor of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Francis Ward critiques Harold Washington's mayoral tenure

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Francis Ward reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Francis Ward gives advice to aspiring journalists

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Francis Ward describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Francis Ward narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$6

DAStory

12$4

DATitle
Francis Ward remembers learning about politics at the 1948 Democratic National Convention
Francis Ward talks about working for HistoryMaker Eugene Sawyer's interim mayoral administration
Transcript
I do remember in 1948, at the Democratic National Convention [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], there was a big rhubarb, a big controversy that, that occurred there. And I remember seeing this on television and knowing that about it and I was only thirteen years old, but I kind of understood what the whole controversy was about, based in large part on the conversations my father [Jefferson Ward] had had. This was a controversy where some of the liberal Democrats from the North introduced a very mild civil rights plank into the Democratic Party platform and, of course, at that time, a major part of the Democratic Party were the white segregationist politicians who came from the South; well, the segregationists didn't like this civil rights plank. By today's standards, this civil rights plank would be almost nothing, but back then, it was a big thing. So this--a number of the southern delegations to the Democratic Convention walked out and I remember very prominently, the person who--well, who eventually became the leader of the southern Democrats and who became their presidential candidate was the late Strom Thurmond, James Strom Thurmond, who at that time, was the governor of South Carolina and who was a Democrat and who ran for president in 1948 on the Dixiecrat ticket. Well, I remember following that and I had a, I think, a very good understanding of it for a thirteen year old. But my understanding of the background to all of this and the civil rights fight within the Democratic Party came from the conversations I had with my father.$Death of [Mayor] Harold Washington and the emergence of [HistoryMaker] Eugene Sawyer sort of split the Harold Washington coalition into different parts. There was some people who had supported Harold who supported Eugene Sawyer, there were other people who had supported Harold who were bitterly opposed to Eugene Sawyer because they thought that he was a tool of the white aldermen who had also become--had been bitterly opposed to Harold Washington all the time that Harold had been mayor. He had served one full term and had been reelected in April 1987 for a second four year term. And it was about five months into the second four-year term that he collapsed and died. Well, I had sort of a personal quandary about that. I wasn't certain whether what I had heard about Eugene Sawyer was true or not. So I kind of wondered whether I should remain here or whether I should seek another job, so I talked it over with [HistoryMaker] Val [Gray Ward] and then I talked it over with Lu Palmer [HistoryMaker Lutrelle "Lu" F. Palmer, II], my old friend from early days in Chicago [Illinois], when he was with the Chicago Daily News later on with his own newspaper, called the Black Express. And Lu said that he didn't have good advice to offer, he said that I just had to sort of reach the decision that I thought was best, and my wife said the same thing. And I thought it over, and my decision was that I thought I would at least give this a try. That I thought that Eugene Sawyer should be given a chance. I didn't think that he was a Uncle Tom or I didn't think that that he was a tool of the white, of the white aldermen. You know, I wasn't certain that that wasn't true, but I thought he should be given the benefit of the doubt. And in retrospect, I think that that was the right decision to make. I worked for Sawyer from December 1987 up until the time of the special election in February 1989 when he was defeated by Richard M. Daley. And during the time I was there, I didn't--I never got the impression that he was a tool of the, of the white enemies of the Harold Washington, because almost everything that Sawyer did as its own program was a continuation of the Harold Washington program, and Sawyer retained all of the staff members, all of the department heads and all of the staff members, you know, who wanted to remain. Some of them decided, you know, that they would leave, but most of them continued. He retained all of the staff members and he continued, essentially, the same Harold Washington program, so that convinced me that he, in fact, you know, was not a tool of the white aldermen and I tended to disagree with those who were vocal in their criticism. One of the vocal critics of Eugene Sawyer was my good friend at the time [HistoryMaker] Vernon Jarrett. He and I happened to disagree about that and Vernon and I never had much--we had some brief conversations about that. But he had one view of Sawyer. He was still suspicious of Eugene's Sawyer motives, but I never did. When I left city government in May of 1989, I was convinced that I had made the right decision to stay on, you know, and worked in the Sawyer administration, but at that time I was ready to leave. I didn't want to continue in city government. I don't think I would have continued government in city government if Harold Washington had been elected to a third term. I think I would be ready to, to leave city government. And I was happy to leave, you know, when I did. The incoming administration, the first press secretary that Richard Daley retained was a black woman by the name of [HistoryMaker] Avis LaVelle who had been a news reporter for WGN News [WGN, Chicago, Illinois] and she and I knew each other. And she and I had a brief conversation, you know, I think after she had, maybe, the first or second day, you know, she took over as press secretary. And, I think, she told me in so many words that I was not one of those who would be retained by the new administration. And I told her that was fine, no hard feelings. I was ready to leave city government anyways, so we left on good terms.