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B. K. Fulton

Corporate executive B. Keith “B.K.” Fulton was born on January 10, 1966 in Hampton, Virginia to Flora Lee and Bennie Fulton. He earned his B.S. degree in urban affairs and planning from Virginia Polytechnic and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia in 1989, in addition to his professional certification in public policy analysis and management from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 1991, Fulton received his M.S. degree in urban policy and management from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy in New York City. Fulton went on to earn his J.D. degree in 1998 from New York Law School, where he concentrated in electronic commerce, intellectual property and telecommunications law.

Between 1991 and 2000, Fulton directed the National Urban League’s Technology Programs and Policy Office, where his initiatives included the development of technology and access centers and an urban technology summit. Fulton was appointed executive director of corporate outreach at America Online (AOL) in 2000, before becoming vice president of corporate relations at the newly merged AOL Time Warner, Inc. in 2001. Between 2003 and 2004, Fulton served as a senior policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Policy Analysis and Development. He became the vice president of strategic alliances for Verizon Communications, Inc. in 2004, and the president of Verizon West Virginia in 2014. In 2016, Fulton and his wife, Jacquelyn E. Stone, established the B. Keith Fulton and Jacquelyn E. Stone S.T.E.A.M. Endowed Scholarship at Virginia Tech to provide support to underrepresented undergraduate students majoring in science, technology, engineering, architecture or mathematics. In collaboration with his former AOL Time Warner, Inc. colleague Jerry Craft, Fulton also authored a children’s book entitled Shauna, inspired by his relationship with his younger sister who has Rett Syndrome, published in 2015.

Fulton served on the board of Virginia Polytechnic and State University, Virginia Tech Alumni Association, Per Scholas, Gifts in Kind International and Howard University’s School of Communications. In 2016, Fulton became the chairman of dityApps.com, an app and web developer, and chairman of Ario L.L.C., a company specializing in augmented reality software. He is also the Chairman and CEO of Soulidifly Productions, a full feature film, TV, and stage production and investment company.

Fulton and his wife, Jacquelyn E. Stone, have twin sons, Joshua and Terrell.

B. K. Fulton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 5, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.097

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/5/2016

Last Name

Fulton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

K.

Occupation
Schools

Denbigh High School

Virginia Technical University

Harvard Kennedy School

Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy

New York Law School

Harvard Business School

Francis Mallory Elementary School

Newsome Park Elementary School

J.M. Dozier Middle School

First Name

B.

Birth City, State, Country

Hampton

HM ID

FUL03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere with my wife

Favorite Quote

God Blesses Us All To Turn Our Dreams And Ideas Into Their Tangible Equivalents. We Must Have The Faith, Be Willing To Do The Work, And Expect The Outcome.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

1/10/1966

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Richmond

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Corporate executive B K. Fulton (1966 - ) was the associate director of technology programs and policy at the National Urban League. He also served as a vice president at AOL Time Warner, Inc. and Verizon Communications, Inc.

Employment

National Urban League

America Online

AOL Time Warner Foundation

Time Warner, Inc.

U.S. Department of Commerce

Verizon Communications, Inc.

Verizon West Virginia

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of B. K. Fulton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - B. K. Fulton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - B. K. Fulton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - B. K. Fulton describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - B. K. Fulton talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - B. K. Fulton describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - B. K. Fulton talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - B. K. Fulton talks about his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - B. K. Fulton describes his early educational experiences, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - B. K. Fulton describes his early educational experiences, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - B. K. Fulton talks about the diversity of Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - B. K. Fulton remembers his early interest in sports

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - B. K. Fulton describes his sister's Rett's syndrome diagnosis

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - B. K. Fulton talks about caring for his sister

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - B.K. Fulton describes his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - B.K. Fulton recalls his introduction to computers

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - B.K. Fulton remembers Denbigh High School in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - B.K. Fulton talks about his early career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - B.K. Fulton remembers Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - B.K. Fulton describes the engineering program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - B.K. Fulton remembers improving his academic standing

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - B.K. Fulton recalls his mentors at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - B. K. Fulton remembers his architectural studies

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - B. K. Fulton recalls receiving the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - B. K. Fulton describes his thesis at The New School for Social Research in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - B. K. Fulton recalls graduating from the Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - B. K. Fulton talks about the President's Distinguished Internship

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - B. K. Fulton remembers his early networking

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - B. K. Fulton describes his early career at the National Urban League, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - B. K. Fulton describes his early career at the National Urban League, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - B. K. Fulton describes the technological leadership of the National Urban League

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - B. K. Fulton recalls his experiences in executive training

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - B. K. Fulton remembers creating technology centers with the National Urban League

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - B. K. Fulton reflects upon his accomplishments at the National Urban League

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - B. K. Fulton remembers his congressional testimony on the digital divide

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - B. K. Fulton recalls his decision to attend the New York Law School in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - B. K. Fulton talks about his marriages

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - B. K. Fulton describes his focus at New York Law School in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - B. K. Fulton talks about his development as a writer

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - B. K. Fulton recalls joining America Online, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - B. K. Fulton remembers the preparations for Y2K

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - B. K. Fulton recalls his role as executive director of corporate outreach at America Online, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - B. K. Fulton recalls his role as executive director of corporate outreach at America Online, Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - B. K. Fulton remembers the merger of America Online, Inc. and Time Warner, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - B. K. Fulton talks about the development of the Internet

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - B. K. Fulton recalls his role as vice president of corporate relations at Time Warner, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - B. K. Fulton remembers being hired at Verizon Communications, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - B. K. Fulton describes his work at Verizon West Virginia, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - B. K. Fulton reflects upon his career

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - B. K. Fulton remembers his promotion at Verizon Communications, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - B. K. Fulton talks about his civic engagement in Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - B. K. Fulton talks about his wife, Jacquelyn E. Stone

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - B. K. Fulton talks about his retirement, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - B.K. Fulton describes his children's book, 'Shauna'

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - B.K. Fulton talks about his retirement, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - B.K. Fulton talks about his current business partnerships

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - B.K. Fulton reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - B.K. Fulton describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - B.K. Fulton describes his business philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - B.K. Fulton talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - B.K. Fulton reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - B.K. Fulton narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

7$10

DATitle
B.K. Fulton remembers Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia
B. K. Fulton recalls his role as executive director of corporate outreach at America Online, Inc., pt. 1
Transcript
It was the computer that lured you to Virginia Tech, right (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) It was; it was.$$Okay. Virginia Tech is in the mountains, Blacksburg, right? Virginia (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Blacksburg, Virginia, that's right; that's right.$$Right, yeah, okay. So what, what was--oh, before we get out the high school [Denbigh High School, Newport News, Virginia], was there any significant thing about high school we haven't talked about? Were you involved in clubs or anything in high school, or, or, or run for student--$$I didn't run for office, played basketball, ran track for a minute, and then had this computer class. No, I think you got it.$$Okay, okay. So were you hoping for any kind of basketball scholarship or anything?$$I was hoping (laughter). I mean, I had a few offers. I had hurt my ankle my senior year, and that pretty much shot things. Probably the most significant opportunity was the Air Force Academy [United States Air Force Academy, Colorado] wanted me to consider. But outside of that, it was nothing substantial, small schools.$$Okay.$$And, and so, you know, weighing that versus the opportunity to get this computer and be at Virginia Tech, it was a no brainer.$$Okay, all right. So, so, well, tell us about Virginia Tech now, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.$$Yes, yes, Virginia Tech as it's called for short, wonderful kind of lead engineering school in our state, probably one of the best in the, in the world. They were the, literally, the first school in the country to require incoming engineers to buy a computer as part of their standard school supply. So I was excited about that, having just had this experience with computers and now to get to own one. And they had a 50 percent discount. So from six thousand dollars to three thousand dollars you could buy what they called a portable [personal computer]. And the portable was a forty-seven pound thing that looked like a suitcase. It had 64K of, of RAM [random access memory], two floppy drives, a six inch monochrome monitor. So by today's standards, it's not even as powerful as the worst cell phone out. But that was six thousand dollars. That was state of the art, 'cause the companies had big mainframes with what they called thin dumb terminals. And people were logging into the mainframe to do their computing and then printing locally. The computer was starting to shift that and putting more processing power on the user side. And then if you needed to access the supercomputer you could, but you could get more productivity out of someone having the computer power right there at their own availability, without having to worry about is there uptime or available time on the mainframe computer. And so Virginia Tech gave me and the other students in engineering an opportunity to play with those. Games had started coming out by then, so the King's Quest was really popular. And so we had fathers that worked in math, that worked in the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation], worked in different places. So one of the most fun things to do was to take the games and reverse engineer them so we could get the codes to figure out how to win the game. And so myself and my first roommate, a guy named Steve Cason--you know, we're still friends to this day--we would take these computers, and we reverse engineers those bad--those games, and we would have a ball. And then, by the way, we wouldn't have to go to computer lab at night 'cause we had the computer in our room. We got us a printer, and so all of a sudden all these conveniences. And our papers looked better. And we had spell check. And I was like, whoa, this is cool. This is gonna be the future. And that really changed the trajectory of my career. I mean, it pushed things up several notches. I mean, at that period in time in the '80s [1980s], there were more computers in Blacksburg, Virginia, per capital than anywhere in the world--$$So--$$--than anywhere in the world, you know, because of this program, and I was a part of it and really reaped the benefits of it. I mean, at some point I, I think it's partly why I was able to go to some of the companies I went to and end up on the board of Virginia Tech. I just stepped off the board in June of this year.$Tell us about AOL [America Online, Inc.; AOL, Inc.]. And n- you were executive director of corporate outreach, right?$$Yeah, basically corporate responsibility, corporate outreach, essentially the, one of the heads of the foundation [AOL Foundation; AOL Time Warner Foundation], and so, and also worked closely with AOL Investments and would talk to them about new ideas, would create things like something about the, the benefits checkup that gets the federal benefits to seniors done over 5.4 million dol- helped over 5.4 million people and done over seventeen and a half billion dollars in federal monies to folk who didn't know they qualified for these benefits, creating the Digital Divide Network, creating the Peace Packs [AOL Peace Packs; AOL Time Warner Peace Packs], which created little technology bundles for Peace Corps volunteers in over seventy countries, really just did a really a tremendous amount of work, helping dot.org, which got hundreds of millions of dollars to nonprofits, DonorsChoose [DonorsChoose.org], really created a lot of the, the infrastructure and, and, and, and, and strategic philanthropy for how you leverage corporate dollars to advance a cause and how you use technology. We had this project, the, the, the, the teachers learning institute. It was called ed- the Education Teachers' Learning Institute [sic. Education Technology Leadership Institute]. EDLI [sic. ETLI] was the short name. And we worked with Trinity College [Trinity Washington University, Washington, D.C.] to train teachers on bringing technology into the classroom. Then they'd go through our training. Then we'd give them a bundle of technology. But it really helped them to be stewards and good stewards for young people. So you think about when I was at the Urban League [National Urban League], I had to go out and write grants to get money for our technology centers and various technology programs. When I shifted to corporate within the foundation side, I was able to use a, a bigger pocketbook, the resources of a big corporation, major corporation in the space, to bring more resources to more communities. So the biggest project ever to do technology centers was $100 million project called PowerUp. So I was brought in to kind of help to head that up. It was with Gateway computers [Gateway, Inc.], the White House. I mean, President Clinton [President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton], Steve Case, and the head of Gateway did the announcement, and I was part of it. And so, came in and helped to do that and built--I don't know--maybe four hundred or so technology centers all around the, the nation and a really good body of work. But a company like AOL and then when the, the AOL Time Warner merger happened, AOL Time Warner [AOL Time Warner Inc.] was embracing a lot of this. And, and then even after, you know, Time Warner [Time Warner, Inc.] took back over the, the, the, the, the assets, they still kept their social responsibility angle that included technology. So I was really proud of the, the work that was done and the commitment from the leadership. Dick Parsons [HistoryMaker Richard Parsons] became a bit of a mentor. And he--you know, his example, one of, one of the most important things I think I learned from Dick was under promise and over deliver, you know, the idea that, you know, we can come up with a whole lot of things we want to get done. But we're gonna have to be particular and focused about what we actually can do. And there, you want to be smart about what you promise that you can do and then work hard to do a little more, under promise and over deliver.$$Which is the opposite of what a lot of people do (laughter).$$Yeah, yeah.$$Yeah, so many people promise more on the front end and deliver less (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) (Laughter) And way--right, right. And--$$And that's to get their foot in the door, I guess--$$Yeah.$$--or to get to attract--$$Yeah, yeah.$$--people--$$And then you let folk down if you don't accomplish what you say (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) (Unclear).

Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr.

Orthopaedic surgeon, chemical engineer and astronaut Robert Lee Satcher, Jr. was born on September 22, 1965 in Hampton, Virginia to Robert and Marian Satcher. Satcher graduated from Denmark-Olar High School in Denmark, South Carolina, in 1982. He received his B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1986; his Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from MIT in 1993; and his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School in 1994. Satcher completed his postdoctoral research fellowships at MIT in 1994 and University of California, Berkeley in 1998; internship and residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of California, San Francisco in 2000; and a fellowship in musculoskeletal oncology at the University of Florida in 2001.

From 2001 to 2008, Satcher served as an assistant professor at The Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He was also an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois from 2001 to 2008, and served as a professor at the Institute for Bionanotechnology in Medicine at Northwestern University Medical Center. In addition, Satcher was an attending physician of orthopaedic oncology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center from 2001 to 2008; and served as an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Northwestern University from 2002 to 2008.

Satcher joined NASA in 2004. In 2009, he became the first orthopaedic surgeon in space during NASA’s STS-129 mission, where he was a mission specialist and performed two spacewalks. Satcher left NASA in September 2011, and serves as a surgical oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Satcher’s professional organizations include the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Musculoskeletal Tumor Society, American Academy of Cancer Research, Connective Tissue Oncology Society, National Medical Association, Society of Black Academic Surgeons, Doctors United in Medical Missions, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, American Telemedicine Association, Orthopaedic Research Society, MIT Alumni Association, Black Alumni at MIT and Harvard Alumni Association. In addition, he co-founded the eHealth Research Institute, is a user panel member of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, and serves on the boards of CSTEM and Teach for America.

Satcher has been active in numerous community organizations, including Big Brother for Youth at Risk Counseling Program, Department of Corrections, San Francisco, California; Tutor for Black Student’s Union Tutorial Program, MIT; National Society of Black Engineers; American Institute of Chemical Engineering; Supervising Adult for Cub Scout Camp for Boys, Nashville, Tennessee; Open Airways Tutor (asthma awareness); Proctor for Freshman Dormitory at Harvard University; Lay Episcopal Minister at St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church, Chicago, Illinois and at St. James Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas. Satcher has also completed medical missions for outreach care to underserved areas in Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Gabon.

Satcher was a National Merit Scholar, and received the Monsanto Award and the Albert G. Hill Award from MIT, fellowships from both the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and UNCF/Merck Research department, and is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. He has been awarded two honorary doctorates of science, and was selected as a finalist in Tuskegee University’s presidency search in 2010.

Robert Satcher, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 3, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.047

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/3/2014 |and| 5/7/2014

Last Name

Satcher

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Lee

Schools

Denmark-Olar High School

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Harvard Medical School

Harvard

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Hampton

HM ID

SAT03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

9/22/1965

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Unsalted Peanuts

Short Description

Orthopedic surgeon, chemical engineer, and astronaut Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. (1965 - ) was a surgical oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He became the first orthopedic surgeon in space during NASA’s STS-129 mission.

Employment

UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

Northwestern University

NASA Johnson Space Center

Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr.'s interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his parent's civil rights activism

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his father and when his parents first started dating

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. lists his siblings, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. lists his siblings, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers developing an interest in science

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his early influences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his aspiration to become a pilot

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers moving to Denmark, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers Denmark-Olar High School in Denmark, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his start at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his first year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his experiences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the MIT Black Students' Union

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his transition from the South to Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his transition from the South to Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers the black faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the influence of black astronauts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his decision to study chemical engineering

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his decision to study medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his dual graduate degree program

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his black peers and professors at Harvard Medical School

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his curriculum track at Harvard Medical School

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers Mae Jemison

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Harvard Medical School

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his Ph.D. degree program

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. reflects upon his decision to complete a dual degree graduate program

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his interest in orthopedic surgery

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his residency at the University of California, San Francisco

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr.'s interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers the influence of Emily Morey Holton

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls applying to become an astronaut

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his work as a bone cancer surgeon

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his selection as an astronaut candidate

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his acceptance into the NASA Astronaut Corps

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his decision to join the NASA Astronaut Corps

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the history of African American astronauts

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes basic training at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes basic training at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about Extravehicular Activity training

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about Extravehicular Activity training

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his family's perspective on his work as an astronaut

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his flight assignment

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers launch day on Space Shuttle Atlantis

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his crewmates on the Space Shuttle Atlantis

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his experience of space shuttle takeoff, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his experience of space shuttle takeoff, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the flight crew for Space Transport System 129 on Space Shuttle Atlantis

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes the process of acclimating to zero gravity

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about eating and sleeping in space

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes life on the International Space Station

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the mission schedule for Space Transport System 129

DASession

2$2

DATape

7$8

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes basic training at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, pt. 1
Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his experience of space shuttle takeoff, pt. 2
Transcript
Now I imagine--and correct me if I'm wrong--but you had a, there was a general training that everybody got and then a training around your specialty as a mission specialty--specialist, right?$$Um-hm.$$Okay.$$Yeah, when you start it now, you go through basic training which can be a year and a half or so on average and that's just because you've got all these people from different walks of life and you basically want them to be able to work together and you need to understand what that means too, just to be an astronaut, because you have no clue outside of pretty much what you have seen on TV in a popular culture like everybody else, so yeah. You go through a year of basic, a year and a half of basic training. One of the most important aspects of that training is learning how to fly and the jet trainers and T-38s [Northrop T-38 Talon], and that's a tool that they use for what's called crew resource management. Basically, it's how you work together as a crew in a dynamic environment; you know, in this case a jet but that simulates in a lot of ways of being in a spaceship.$$Now, had you ever flown before?$$Just a little bit. I mean, I had taken private lessons when--towards the end of my residency and fellowship and I was working towards getting my private license, but I hadn't gotten it yet, so I had flown some.$$Okay.$$But never in a supersonic jet, you know, in terms of piloting it, so that was all new. The other thing was we do a lot of training as mission specialists during spacewalk training in this gigantic pool called the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory and you go in spacesuits that have been made to be neutrally buoyant under water, so it simulates being in space, and, but you need to be scuba trained. You need to also train, do a lot of training specifically for being able to actually train in that facility, and so, that's part of your basic astronaut training, putting you through that whole process. For some of the water survival and land survival stuff, they sent us to different places. We went to Pensacola [Florida], to the naval flight training school [Naval Air Station Pensacola] there. There was some flight training there. We also went up to Maine to the Acadia national forest [Acadia National Park] to do some of our land survival training.$$This is in case it comes down place that it's not supposed to.$$Right, right. And then, we had training, like in geology; being able to explore landscapes, find important features. In a landscape that will tell you about the evolution of that particular environment. And so, we went out to New Mexico in order to do a lot of that training. Part of it, too, is the astronauts, of course, were the focal point for what NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] does in human exploration. So, whenever they bring in a new class, you need to learn about NASA as an organization. NASA has, I believe, don't quote me on this, if I remember I think it's fourteen centers nationwide, and you go around and visit every center so that the people, the personnel that are at each of these centers have an opportunity to meet you and you have an opportunity to meet them. The spacecraft and the spaceships that we fly on are assembled collectively by all of the centers. It's directed primarily in certain areas, but there are parts and contributions from all of the centers that are brought together and so it's important to go and meet the people that are doing that because you really are entrusting them with your lives when you're flying on a spaceship, and so it's closing that loop so that they have a face, you know. They know that this isn't just some theoretical exercise. It's, you know, these are people that are depending on them, so it establishes that bond and, you know, so it's--its, that's part of your basic training. That's you know, what you do. You continue it also, once you, you know, finish basic training.$And, when you get to the eight and a half minutes you're going, you're traveling at 17,500 miles an hour, which is, if you do the calculation, it's five miles per second, which is actually faster than a bullet, but you're in this gigantic spaceship travelling that fast and, you know, it's as I said, by the time you get to that eight minute mark and you know you're almost getting ready for the engines to stop, you're ready for the engines to stop (laughter) because you know it's really, and I was sitting there and I was having to think about every breath, you know. I was like, man, I gotta think about breathing because my muscles are actually starting to get a little bit tired from having to do this work. So, when the engines cut off and we were officially in space, it was very nice. They cut off and then everything starts exploding and that's kind of a magical moment, you know. It cuts off and I was just anticipating it and I was like, oh man, everything's gonna start floating now. This is gonna be spectacular. And it was. You know. I didn't have one of my gloves. I didn't have it strapped on me the right way, so when I took it off it started floating off, you know, and I'm getting out of the seat and, you know, when you're under your buckle and then all of a sudden you're just floating, you know, and just floating around, it's a spectacular feeling and the one thing that we all do right when it happens is, you know, you go to the window and stare out, just like a bunch of kids, you know, because you want to look out and just take in you know, seeing Earth. It's like you need to mentally verify. I am in space because, again, this is just kind of unique once in a lifetime for many, kind of things, and I just immediately started thinking I want to just remember as much of this as I possibly can. What competes with that, of course, is you have a very busy schedule that you have to adhere to and you have a lot of duties, so--$$Can you remember the first thing you saw when you looked out the window?$$Uh, well, I looked out and I saw the Earth and we were, I think we were over Europe at the time.$$Could you make it out?$$Oh yeah, yeah. I mean, it looks like, yeah, that's what's incredible. It looks just like the globe that you have on your desk, but in vivid colors; just incredibly spectacular, vivid colors. More vivid than you can imagine. It just kind of blows you away, and it just exceeds what you think it's gonna look like, 'cause I had, I was thinking it was gonna look this way but then you see it and just the colors are so brilliant. That hasn't had, the reason is when you're in space you're outside the atmosphere and you're in a vacuum of space and so you have this unfiltered light, and the colors, like I said, are just really spectacular and brilliant and you know there's something that's, in certain ways, very spiritual about how it looks and how it grabs you and affects you. So, at any rate. The other thing that really you notice when you look down on the earth you know, you can see, you actually can see the atmosphere when you look, you know, kind of on a tangent on the earth. Let's say that's the earth and you look right on the side, you actually see the atmosphere, this layer, you know, of gas, oxygen and nitrogen, whatever, adherent to the Earth.$$Does it look like a lot of protection for the Earth?$$Well, no. (Laughter) It looks like a thin, delicate layer. You know, and you realize that it's like this fluid, just like, you know, a gas is basically a fluid, just like water; water much more dense of course, but that's what it looks like. It looks like this fluid that's adherent to the Earth and you realize that's what we breathe and that's, you know, and what it really made me realize is that it's not an infinite entity. It's quantifiable. You can see that and you can see its layer. It's like, well there's only so much of that that's there, you know, and that really kind of brings home the point that it really is a delicate system that we have here and, you know, it's obviously it's coming into focus now with a lot of the global climate changes and everything that are going on, but you really gain a very visceral appreciation for it when you can actually see it like that.$$It becomes more real then--$$It becomes very real (simultaneous).$$--(Simultaneous) that human beings could actually destroy this.$$Right. Yeah, we could definitely do that.

The Honorable Ray Miller

Retired State Senator Ray Miller was born in Hampton, Virginia on April 6, 1949. Miller graduated from East High School in Columbus, Ohio. He then attended Ohio State University and graduated with his B.S. degree in political science and his M.A. degree in public administration in 1971 and 1973, respectively. Miller was hired as the vice president for Columbus State Community College from 1975 to 1978. In 1976, he was appointed assistant director of legislation for the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees union (AFSCME)/Ohio Council 8. Miller then worked as a deputy special assistant to President Jimmy Carter from 1979 to 1980. After working for the White House, he returned to his vice president post at Columbus State Community College from 1975 to 1978. Miller returned to the post again from 1981 to 1986 and finally from 1987 to 1993. He was elected to the Ohio State House of Representatives in 1981 and again in 1998. In all, Miller served sixteen years in the Ohio House of Representatives, becoming dean of the state legislative body during his tenure. Miller was also appointed president of the National Urban Policy Institute in 1997 and president/CEO of the Professional Employment Services of America, a year later.

In 2003, he was elected to the Ohio State Senate, becoming the fourteenth African American elected to the Ohio Senate in the state's 205-year history. Miller also served as the minority whip of the Senate before his retirement in 2010. During his tenure as state senator, Miller was chief sponsor for legislation that helped to create the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, the Community Mental Health Act of 1988 and the Ohio Commission on Minority Health, where he served as founder and chairman. Additionally, Miller is regarded as the "Father of Head Start Funding" in Ohio because of his sponsorship of legislation that established the nation's first state-level funding for the Head Start Program.

Miller also authored legislation which established the Institute for Urban Education at Central State University. He also established a 25% set aside for minority health programs from Ohio's $10 billion Tobacco Settlement Agreement. Miller is also the chief sponsor of legislation that led to the creation of the Ohio African-American Hall of Fame.

He has garnered numerous awards for his service, including Trailblazer Award from the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus; International Pathfinder Award from the World Congress on the Family; a Distinguished Legislator of the Year Award from the American Public Health Association and the President’s Award from the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Miller is the president of The Center for Urban Progress in Columbus, Ohio. He and his wife, Marty, have one son, Ray III.

Raymond Miller was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 2, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.095

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/2/2012

Last Name

Miller

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

The Ohio State University

East High School

Washington-Jackson Elem Magnet

Fair Elementary School

Franklin Junior High School

Champion Avenue School

First Name

Ray

Birth City, State, Country

Hampton

HM ID

MIL08

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

Never Allow Your Greatest Accomplishment Become Your Highest Achievement in Life.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

4/6/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Columbus

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cake (Pineapple Upside Down)

Short Description

State senator and state assemblyman The Honorable Ray Miller (1949 - ) was regarded as the "Father of Head Start Funding" in Ohio because of his sponsorship of legislation that established the nation's first state-level funding for the Head Start Program.

Employment

Ohio State Senate

National Urban Policy Institute

Columbus State Community College

Ohio State House of Representatives

U.S. Office of Federal Contract Compliance

White House

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ray Miller's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ray Miller lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ray Miller describes Hampton, Virginia as his mother's birth place

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ray Miller describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ray Miller talks about his mother's extended family in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ray Miller describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ray Miller talks about his father, Inus Ray Miller, Sr.

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ray Miller talks about how his father may not have been his father and moving frequently as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ray Miller describes his relationship with his father after his parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ray Miller recounts how his parents may have met, and his relationships with them

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ray Miller recalls his mother, Inez Smith Miller's second marriage to George Emerson

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ray Miller recalls his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ray Miller describes growing up on a U.S. Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ray Miller recalls the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ray Miller lists the schools he attended in Hampton, Virginia; Wichita Falls, Texas; and Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ray Miller describes being an introverted child

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ray Miller describes the musical talent in his family

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ray Miller talks about Columbus, Ohio's jazz scene

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ray Miller recalls his years at Fair Avenue Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio, and attending the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ray Miller remembers President John F. Kennedy and his 1963 assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ray Miller recalls the 1963 March on Washington, and his mother's preoccupations with attending church and playing the lottery

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ray Miller recounts how he became involved in the Federal Model Cities Program's Model Neighborhood Assembly in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ray Miller describes working with the Columbus Metropolitan Area Community Action Agency

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ray Miller remembers his involvement with the Columbus Metropolitan Area Community Action Agency, and his boxing coach's mentorship

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ray Miller describes his interests in middle and high school, and losing his brother to leukemia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ray Miller talks about deciding to attend Kent State University in Kent, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ray Miller recalls classism at East High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ray Miller recounts his suspension from Columbus, Ohio's East High School, and the intervention of his band teacher

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ray Miller lists some of the musicians and groups he knew while playing with the Four Mints band in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ray Miller talks about the basketball team at East High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ray Miller recalls enrolling in Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and pledging Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ray Miller describes the African American student community at Ohio State University in Columbus

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ray Miller recalls helpful advisors he had at Ohio State University in Columbus

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ray Miller recounts confronting National Guardsmen at Ohio State University in Columbus, at the time of the Kent State University shooting

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ray Miller remembers John Evans and other African American leaders at Ohio State University during the late 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ray Miller recounts a student strike at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ray Miller recounts his decision to attend graduate school for public administration at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ray Miller recalls his Ohio state legislative fellowship in 1971 with Majority Leader Rep. William Mallory and Majority Whip Rep. Richard F. Celeste

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ray Miller recounts being snubbed by the Black Elected Democrats of Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ray Miller describes the mentorship of Ohio State Representative C.J. McLin

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ray Miller describes working for AFSCME, a government employees' union, and at Columbus State Community College

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ray Miller recalls the 1979 Columbus Board of Education v. Penick court decision on school desegregation

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ray Miller reflects upon the positive and negative effects of school desegregation in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Ray Miller describes working for AFSCME, a government employees' union

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Ray Miller recounts accepting the position as Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Ray Miller recalls working with President Jimmy Carter and the Congressional Black Caucus, including HistoryMakers U.S. Congressmen Charles Rangel and Louis Stokes

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Ray Miller talks about representing President Jimmy Carter and making deals with members of the U.S. Congress

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Ray Miller recalls his dealings with Ron Brown, who represented Senator Edward Kennedy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Ray Miller recalls bringing HistoryMaker Dick Gregory to the White House to talk about the Iranian Hostage Crisis, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Ray Miller recalls bringing HistoryMaker Dick Gregory to the White House to talk about the Iranian Hostage Crisis, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Ray Miller reflects upon Jimmy Carter administration's relationship with the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Ray Miller compares HistoryMaker Andrew Young and Jimmy Carter

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Ray Miller recalls preparing to leave the White House after Jimmy Carter's 1980 electoral defeat

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Ray Miller talks about what the presidential administration of HistoryMaker Barack Obama has done for African Americans in politics, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Ray Miller talks about what the presidential administration of HistoryMaker Barack Obama has done for African Americans in politics, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

7$8

DAStory

4$2

DATitle
Ray Miller recalls working with President Jimmy Carter and the Congressional Black Caucus, including HistoryMakers U.S. Congressmen Charles Rangel and Louis Stokes
Ray Miller recalls bringing HistoryMaker Dick Gregory to the White House to talk about the Iranian Hostage Crisis, pt. 2
Transcript
So I went and did that [directed Office of Federal Contract Compliance, Washington, D.C.] and--great experience, great experience. And that's when I really found out how powerful [Ohio state rep.] C. J. [McLin] was because people, in that building, people visiting from other states would say, "Good Lord"--my boss, who was Louie Martin, and legendary Louie Martin.$$Oh, yes, Louis [E.] Martin.$$Yeah, that's who I worked with directly. So I came in as a chief of staff. Louie needed somebody--he needed a man, number one, he had all women, Karen Zanica [ph.], Julia Dobbs, very bright women, University of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois], Harvard [University, Cambridge, Massachusetts], you know who ends up in the White House, a bunch of Ivy Leaguers. But he needed somebody practically who knew politics and a man. So I come in and met with a little resistance, but then you prove yourself. So I showed that I knew how to work the [Capitol] Hill even though that wasn't my job. They had congressional leads on staff. I still wanted to go up and do it because they couldn't get anything done. And [President Jimmy] Carter was fish out of water. In terms of really knowing how to work Washington and the [U.S.] Congress, he was pretty much disastrous almost. That was--you know when you're in a situation and you're afraid and you're not comfortable. Well he surrounded himself with all the Georgia guys, Hamilton Jordan, and Jody Powell, and Rick Hutchinson, so the small circle, talented guys--you know Hamilton had better instincts politically and so did Jody than Carter. Carter didn't have political instincts. He's an engineer. So he would literally come to the meetings--because I was a deputy, I was second level guy, so I'm in all the meetings, so he would literally come into the meetings with gridded, the engineer's paper, gridded paper, you know what I mean, and a portfolio. He's a naval guy. He's on time and I'd set up meetings with the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and you know how that goes, all the brothers from the Congressional Black Caucus get together and they're talking stuff and they show up late, some, maybe six of them would show up on time, and maybe three of them are coming from some other committee but they're going to get there and they may get there ten, fifteen minutes late, and Carter, being the engineer and the naval guy, man, he was intractable. So, you know how politics go. The first is a lot co-bits and these are people that you don't get a chance to see all day every day, so [HM] Charlie Rangel is asking Lou Stokes [HM Louis Stokes] about something, and Bill Clay about. So these guys are like talking and catching up. And Carter is just sitting there getting hot, and then Charlie Rangel stands up and he does the New York, "The problem, mister president, is that we're like two ships passing in the night, and if you understood what we're trying to do." So he's doing the Charlie Rangel and Carter is sitting there because he could get tight, really tight. He had that big old toothy grin, but he would be really tight inside. And I'm watching him--I got pictures--I could show you some pictures if I could pull them of me standing in the background of meetings that I've convened. And I've been raised in politics, so I have a real appreciation for it. I really enjoy it. I like the give and take of it all. And he didn't. For him, we are here to talk about this and--I remember in one of these meetings, he said--closed his portfolio, he said, "I was here on time." Who cares? "I was here on time and you weren't. I think we have exhausted this conversation. The meeting is over." I was like, "No, you didn't, not with members of the Congress, right?" So I then had to go and repair that.$I bring him in--after several attempts, I tell the Secret Service I want to bring [HM] Dick Gregory in and they said, "Well, Mr. Miller, have you looked at his record?" I said, "No." They said, "Do you know how many times he has been arrested? I said, "No, I don't know how many times he's been arrested." They said, "Like fifty-two times or something like that." I said, "This is Dick Gregory. This is like prot--Yeah, he would have been arrested but for social protests, you know that kind of thing, not as a criminal." They said, "Okay, we'll let him in but only into your office." So my office--we had a beautiful suite right on the east wing, right on 15th [Street] and Pennsylvania [Avenue] there. So right inside the door, our office looked into the Jacqueline Onassis Gardens--so I say this to Dick, "I'm going to set up a meeting for you to meet with the president [Jimmy Carter]." He said, "Oh no, brother, I'm not meeting with the president." I said, "Why," and he said, "I know what happens to black folks when they meet with the president." He said, "A little cavity opens up on the top of your head and your Uncle Tom jumps out," and he said, "Whatever the president says, you say, 'Oh, yes, sir, Mr. President, I agree with you." He said, "I'm not meeting the president." He had me dying laughing. I said, "No, man, you got all this information." He said, "No, I'm not doing it." He said, "You meet with me tomorrow morning at the Hay-Adams Hotel and bring your tape." He said, "You gotta a tape recorder?" I said, "Yep." He said, "You bring your tape recorder," so we meet like 7:30 in the morning. He's doing this Bahamian diet. He's got all these pills and tea. No food. And then he starts telling me all this experimental stuff about your strength that comes from it. Then we get down to the interview, and we sat for about three or four hours, right? I'm popping tapes, man, one after the other. And he was right. I mean the bottom line we had their assets frozen when it was all said and done. It was a sizable amount of money. I can't remember how many millions or billions of dollars it was. But if you recall when [Ronald] Reagan won, it was no time before the hostages were released. We had the failed attempt where they went in and they said that sand got up into the engine of the helicopters and the helicopters crashed into the compound and those guys lost their lives.$$Yeah, they called it the "October Surprise,"--(simultaneous)--$$--Yeah.--(simultaneous)--$$--now, or the plotting around that being that-- I know a lot of people--I guess some conspiracy theorists and (unclear) people think it was a sabotage.$$Absolutely, absolutely and I'd be one of those. I'd definitely think it was sabotaged. But I think it goes back--I don't know if I've heard anybody say this, but when the President Carter came in, he did a very foolish thing, in my opinion, he terminated something in the neighborhood of two hundred CIA agents and when you go back and take a look at that--at the very beginning of his administration--and that's the last thing you want to do to have the cloak and dagger guys, you know, on the opposite of what you want to do. There was never much conversation around that, but when I saw that, I was like, "Oh, my goodness!" It would be ten times worse than a governor coming and firing 250 highway patrolmen. They have too much information. It would be that kind of analogy but only a hundred times worse because some of these guys are trained to sabotage, trained to disrupt, and worse. Yeah, that's what he did. So, in any event, Gregory had all kind of proposals about a big prayer vigil on the South Lawn and all those kind of things that he thought we could add in. I'm like, "Okay, I don't think we need to do all that." But because of that, then I was in all the negotiations, all the senior meetings, around the Iranian hostage crisis and I was there when the helicopters went down and I saw Jimmy Carter break down and cry in the Oval office. We were at the Oval Office together when the attempt went off, and Dick Gregory put me there whether he knew that or not because I had all that information--I had all those tapes that I shared with the foreign policy staff.

Rachel Noel

Educator Rachel Louise Bassette Noel was born on January 15, 1918, in Hampton, Virginia. Both of her parents were college graduates and her father, Andrew William Ernest Bassette, Jr., was a lawyer. They believed in the importance of a higher education and stressed to her the significance of going to college. Noel earned her B.A. degree from Hampton Institute, later named Hampton University, and she received her M.A. degree in sociology from Fisk University.

Noel married Edmond F. Noel, a physician, in 1942 and the couple moved to Denver, Colorado. In 1965, she became the first African American to be elected to the Denver Board of Education. Having won this seat made her the first African American woman to hold public office in the State of Colorado. In 1968, Noel presented the Board of Education with the “Noel Resolution,” which required that the school district provide equal educational opportunities for every child in Denver. It also called for the superintendent to devise a plan that integrated the school system. After the resolution’s proposal was presented, she received numerous life-threatening phone calls; however, the resolution passed in February, 1970.

Appointed by former Governor Richard Lamm in 1976, Noel became the first African American to serve on the University of Colorado Board of Regents. In 1978, she won statewide election to a six-year term on the board and served a one-year term as chairperson of the board. She has been a professor at Metropolitan State College, as well as chairperson of the school’s African American Studies Department. She also served as a member of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for the Health Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder and Denver campuses and the Commissioner for the Denver Housing Authority.

Noel received numerous honors and awards including an Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from the University of Denver; named one of Colorado’s Top 100 Citizens of the Century; the Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award; and the naming in her honor of a public middle school in Denver, Rachel B. Noel Middle School. In 1981, the Rachel B. Noel Distinguished Professorship was created in her honor at Metropolitan State College. In 2004, the University of Colorado awarded her an Honorary Degree in Humane Letters. Noel passed away on February 4, 2008 at the age of ninety.

Rachel Noel was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 22, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.083

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/22/2006

Last Name

Noel

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Louise

Schools

Hampton University

Fisk University

Whittier School

First Name

Rachel

Birth City, State, Country

Hampton

HM ID

NOE01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Virginia Mountains

Favorite Quote

Heavenly Days.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Colorado

Birth Date

1/15/1918

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Denver

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mashed Potatoes

Death Date

2/4/2008

Short Description

Education chief executive Rachel Noel (1918 - 2008 ) was the first African American woman elected public official in the State of Colorado, and the first African American to serve on the University of Colorado Board of Regents. As a member of the Denver Board of Education, she presented the “Noel Resolution,” which required that the school district provide equal education opportunities for every child in Denver.

Employment

Metropolitan State College of Denver

Denver Board of Education

University of Colorado Board of Regents

Southeast Settlement House

Favorite Color

Green

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rachel Noel's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rachel Noel lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Slating of Rachel Noel's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rachel Noel describes her mother's background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rachel Noel talks about her maternal great-grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rachel Noel describes Wytheville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rachel Noel describes her mother's background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rachel Noel describes how her parents met in Wytheville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rachel Noel describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rachel Noel describes her parents' choice to stay in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Rachel Noel describes her sisters

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Rachel Noel describes her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Rachel Noel describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Rachel Noel describes her early childhood education in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Rachel Noel describes her family's attitude towards passing

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rachel Noel describes others' perceptions of her skin tone

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rachel Noel recalls attending the Whittier School in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rachel Noel describes Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rachel Noel describes her neighborhood in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rachel Noel describes her family's religious background

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rachel Noel describes her time at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rachel Noel recalls Dr. Charles S. Johnson's support at Fisk University

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Rachel Noel describes her husband, Edmond F. Noel

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Rachel Noel recalls her work and activities in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Rachel Noel recalls living with Charles S. Johnson's family at Fisk University

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Rachel Noel recalls moving with her husband to Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rachel Noel describes her work with the Girl Scouts

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rachel Noel talks about her children, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rachel Noel recalls Metropolitan State College of Denver and Shorter Community A.M.E. Church

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rachel Noel talks about Justina Ford

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rachel Noel remembers her campaign for the Denver Board of Education

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rachel Noel recalls her board motion to integrate the Denver Public Schools

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rachel Noel reflects upon her contributions to the Denver Board of Education

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Rachel Noel describes support she received from African American ministers in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Rachel Noel recalls her sense of safety while serving on the Denver Board of Education

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Rachel Noel recalls her being appointed to the University of Colorado Board of Regents

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Rachel Noel recalls teaching black studies at Metropolitan State College of Denver

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Rachel Noel describes her parents' involvement in voter registration

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rachel Noel reflects upon her social activism

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rachel Noel reflects upon segregation in Denver Public Schools, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rachel Noel talks about her children, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rachel Noel describes her social contributions to Denver, Colorado

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rachel Noel reflects upon the impact of her parents' social activism

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rachel Noel reflects upon segregation in Denver Public Schools, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Rachel Noel describes her hopes for Denver's African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Rachel Noel describes the support of her husband, Edmond F. Noel

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Rachel Noel reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Rachel Noel describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Rachel Noel describes the importance of community support

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Rachel Noel reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Rachel Noel describes the leadership of Denver's Rachel B. Noel Middle School

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Rachel Noel talks about Kevin Patterson's work on the Denver Board of Education

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Rachel Noel shares a message for future generations of children

Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Rachel Noel narrates her photographs

Oz Scott

Director and producer Oz Scott was born Osborne E. Scott, Jr. September 16, 1949 in Fortman Row, Virginia. His father was Army chaplain Brigadier General Osborne Scott, Sr. and his mother, Jean Sampson Scott, was the president of the Schomburg chapter of the African American Genealogical Society. Raised in Japan and Germany until he was twelve years old, Scott attended Baumholder School and Bad Kreuznach American School. In Mt. Vernon, New York he attended Graham School, Pemberton School and graduated from Mt. Vernon High School in 1967. Starting at Friends World College, he transferred to Marlboro College where he started doing theatre before earning his B.A. from Antioch College in 1972. Already working with Back Alley Theatre and Arena Stage, he received an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 1974.

Scott began his theatrical career at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage where he managed The Living Stage. In New York, Scott staged and took to Broadway, for colored girls who considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange in 1977. He also directed Sonia Sanchez’ Sister Sonji; Richard Wesley’s The Past is the Past; and Fences by August Wilson. A director with writing skills, Scott started his television work in 1976 with The Jeffersons and Archie Bunker’s Place. In the 1980’s Scott directed episodes of Hill Street Blues, Gimme a Break! Scarecrow and Mrs. King, The Cosby Show, 227, L.A. Law, and Dirty Dancing. In the 1990s it was Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Picket Fences, Party of Five, Chicago Hope, JAG, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Family Law, Time Cop, Get Real and Any Day Now. Since 2000 he has directed Soul Food, Strong Medicine, CSI, Ed, Lizzie McGuire, The Guardian, dr. vegas and was both director and supervising producer to CBS TV’s The District. Scott’s movie credits include: The Cheetah Girls (2003), Play’d A Hip-Hop Story (2002), and Crash Course (1988).

Scott has received the NAACP Image Award, the Drama Desk Award, and a Village Voice Obie Award for off Broadway, Genesis Award and the Nancy Susan Reynolds Award. He serves on the board of directors of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, the Deans Council for California State University at Northridge’s College of Arts, Media and Communication. Scott directed the video that introduced Rev. Jesse L. Jackson to the 1988 Democratic National Convention and the Nelson Mandela Rally for Freedom at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1990.

Accession Number

A2005.109

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/26/2005 |and| 10/2/2005

Last Name

Scott

Marital Status

Married

Schools

Mount Vernon High School

Graham Elementary School

Pemberton School

Bad Kreuznach American High School

Baumholder Middle School/High School

Antioch College

New York University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Oz

Birth City, State, Country

Hampton

HM ID

SCO04

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring, Summer

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Go With The Flow.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

9/16/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken, Salmon

Short Description

Stage director, television director, and television producer Oz Scott (1949 - ) brought, "For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf," by Ntozake Shange to Broadway. Scott has also produced or directed episodes of The Jeffersons, Archie Bunker’s Place, The Cosby Show and 227, among many more.

Employment

Arena Stage

Hollywood - various networks and studios

Favorite Color

Blue, Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Oz Scott's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Oz Scott lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Oz Scott describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Oz Scott describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Oz Scott recalls his maternal grandfather and his mother's early life

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Oz Scott describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Oz Scott recalls his father's service in the U.S. Army

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Oz Scott recalls his father's experience with race relations in the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Oz Scott describes his father's ministry and how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Oz Scott describes growing up with his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Oz Scott recalls his father as a professor at City College of New York

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Oz Scott recalls his parents' association with Leonard Jeffries

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Oz Scott describes his brother, Michael Scott

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Oz Scott describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Oz Scott retells a story about Richard Pryor's experience in the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Oz Scott describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Oz Scott recalls his travels as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Oz Scott recalls his paternal grandfather moving to Germany

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Oz Scott describes himself as a young boy, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Oz Scott describes himself as a young boy, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Oz Scott recalls his mother's treatment with cortisone in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Oz Scott reflects upon his mother's influence on his artistic pursuits

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Oz Scott recalls his interest in television and its influence on his work

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Oz Scott recalls the schools that he attended

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Oz Scott recalls the plays that he watched as a schoolboy

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Oz Scott recalls his interest in reading

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Oz Scott describes his father's religious affiliation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Oz Scott recalls his extracurricular activities at Mount Vernon High School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Oz Scott describes the race demographics of Mount Vernon, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Oz Scott recalls his high school's athletics

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Oz Scott recalls his decision to attend Friends World Institute in Long Island

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Oz Scott describes his experience in Mexico

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Oz Scott recalls attending Marlboro College and Antioch College

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Oz Scott recalls his experience working at Arena Stage

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Oz Scott recalls his science studies at Antioch College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Oz Scott's interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Oz Scott describes his experience as a taxi driver in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Oz Scott describes his decision to join New York University's directing program

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Oz Scott describes his first year at New York University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Oz Scott describes recalls meeting HistoryMaker Ntozake Shange

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Oz Scott describes how he brought 'For Colored Girls' to stage

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Oz Scott recalls meeting his future wife

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Oz Scott remembers realizing his calling as a director

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Oz Scott recalls directing a documentary film in New Orleans

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Oz Scott recalls his first opportunity to direct a Hollywood film

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Oz Scott recalls working on the script for 'Bustin Loose'

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Oz Scott describes his experience directing 'Bustin' Loose'

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Oz Scott recalls the cast of 'Bustin' Loose'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Oz Scott describes filming the Ku Klux Klan scene in 'Bustin' Loose,' pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Oz Scott describes filming the Ku Klux Klan scene in 'Bustin' Loose,' pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Oz Scott recalls Vincent Price's acting in 'Bustin' Loose'

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Oz Scott reflects upon Richard Pryor's career as an actor

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Oz Scott recalls marrying his wife and starting a family

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Oz Scott recalls his start in directing television shows

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Oz Scott describes the pace of directing television shows

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Oz Scott recalls the TV series that he directed before 'The Cosby Show'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Oz Scott reflects upon the importance of ratings in Hollywood

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Oz Scott recalls resuming his career as a director after a break

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Oz Scott recalls directing the show 'Picket Fences'

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Oz Scott recalls his involvement in theatre

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Oz Scott recalls his involvement in the 1988 Democratic National Convention

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Oz Scott recalls directing Nelson Mandela's rally in Los Angeles in 1990

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Oz Scott recalls his community affairs involvement in Los Angeles

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Oz Scott recalls directing 'The Old Settler' in Russia

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Oz Scott reflects upon his work as a director, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Oz Scott reflects upon his work as a director, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Oz Scott recalls his experience directing a motion-based platform ride

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Oz Scott reflects upon his goals in television, film and theatre

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Oz Scott reflects upon his career

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Oz Scott reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Oz Scott describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Oz Scott reflects upon making artistic endeavors profitable

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Oz Scott talks about his family, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Oz Scott talks about his family, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Oz Scott describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Oz Scott narrates his photographs

DASession

2$2

DATape

5$6

DAStory

5$6

DATitle
Oz Scott describes recalls meeting HistoryMaker Ntozake Shange
Oz Scott describes filming the Ku Klux Klan scene in 'Bustin' Loose,' pt. 2
Transcript
I survived one year doing it, and the second year [at New York University (NYU), New York, New York] I went to my film teachers, Beta Baca [ph.] who was my camera teacher and Ian Maitland who was editing and I said, "Guys, I gotta make a choice," because they said, "Are you going to stay in film or you going to stay in theatre?" Everybody, both departments were wide open to me and both of them said, "Oz [HistoryMaker Oz Scott], get a good editor and get a good DP [director of photography]. They can help you learn the camera. They can help you learn the techniques that you need." Beta said, "Come and take my color emulsion class, I do it five weeks, five, five seminars. After that, he said, you can learn the camera within a year or two. It's going to take you a lifetime to learn the actors so it's best to start now." And so I stayed in theatre. I mean, that and the fact that theatre program, to get a master's [degree], was a two-year program and film was a three-year program, I figured, two years, and I thought it was very good because I, it was learning the actors, it was working with actors which I still think is a very strong element to my directing. So, so the second year I was doing a lot of stage managing for Joe Papp [Joseph Papp]. I did a play by Miguel Pinero called 'The Sun Always Shines for the Cool' which becomes a whole another story because I got a, I was hanging out with Ifa [Ifa Bayeza], guess what her name, at this, now her name is Ifa Bayeza, who's [HistoryMaker] Ntozake Shange's sister and Ifa introduced me to Ntozake and Ntozake, and Ifa said, "Why don't you take, why don't you give Oz your poems and let him make 'em into a play." And so Ntozake gave me her poems and we set about making them into a play. I said, "Zake, I will make them into a play but you have to get me a venue. Get me a venue, I'll give you a award-winning play." I was very cocky back then and she came back to me the next day and she had gotten a bar on the Lower East Side [New York, New York], a Puerto Rican bar on the Lower East Side without a door between the back room and the bar where they served the fried chicken and they, it was like a block up from where Slugs' [Slugs' Saloon] had been on--in Alphabet City [New York, New York] and we did--Del Monte's was the bar, and we proceeded to do 'For Colored Girls' ['For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When The Rainbow Is Enuf,' Ntozake Shange]. That December, we had two, she had gotten two Saturday nights--.$$Now, now what year is this?$$This is 1975.$$Okay.$$I graduated NYU in 1974 and, I mean, so we ended up doing the first part of 'For Colored Girls' in 1975, December.$Cut to the bus. Again, this is all made up. I don't have a clue what, what's going on. I don't know what I'm doing. I'm just saying, okay, let's try this. The words Richard [Richard Pryor] is coming up with on the spot. I'm just--again, this is sort of like 'Dreamland' back in New Orleans [Louisiana]. I'm coming up with, "Here's the situation, I don't know what you're going to say, but here's the situation." So, it turns out, I had the blind kid sitting in the front seat and Richard pulls the, has the Klansman come on with the hood and the Klansman comes on, Richard comes on behind, and I said, "Okay, oh, I got it, I got it, I got it." I told the blind kid to reach up and grab the sheet off the Klansman and pull it off, de- defrock him; and I said, "Richard," and then I said, "all the kids, you're all blind." And so, so Richard started, he said, "Okay," he, he's like, they start, and he said, "They're blind, they're all blind, they're all blind," and he gets the Klansman off, you know, off the bus and at this point I, I was lost. I said, "Richard, I don't have a clue what you're going to say now. Say something to him, but we've got the scene. I can cut the scene this way," and Richard right there, on the spot, without, was not the night before, we just, I just created that scene right there on the spot. He said, "We're on our way to the Ray Charles Institute for the Blind to get that miracle operation. They've been running it on the Oral Roberts show, and I know they run it in your area," (laughter) and I had this old stuntman as playing the Klansman and he said, "Okay, get back on the bus, get on the bus; we'll give you a push." And Richard looks at him, and this is Richard, and he just says, "You're a great American and great human being. Thank you," and he gets on the bus. The place falls out. The crew is just rolling. I mean it's just a brilliant, brilliant moment and I said to Richard, "Do it again." Richard goes off. "Oh, Mr. Director wants me to do it again. Oh, I'm going to do it again because Mr. Director wants me to do it." And he was furious because he had got it. He knew he had nailed it. So he gets on there, he does the same line, "You're a great American and a great human being," and then he grabs the Klansman by the head and he pulls him to him and gives him a mouth-to-mouth kiss; and the poor Klansman you could just see him, the actor went (makes sound) (laughter) and Richard gets on the bus and the place just, I mean, it erupted with applause. It was just, and Richard turned to me as he walked off the bus and said, "So you knew, fuck you," and he walked to his (gesture)--what I knew was he had to top himself. I didn't know how he was going to top what he had done, which was already brilliant, but he, he did it, he topped it. There are scenes in the film where I have told Richard, when he's walking off the back of the bus, I said, "Oh, Richard, I got this idea, this is great. When you go to get the, I want you to go off the back of the bus," and I said, "somebody give me a shovel, give me a shovel." So I started digging a ditch and I poured water in it and mud and I said, "Richard, when you jump down, you're going to go down into this water and you're going to fall and you're going to flop around and you're going to be all--." "Oh, and you think that's funny. The, I'm going to fall in the mud. You think that's funny." Richard walked, he's walking down the bus talking about, "F him, F you, F you," (makes sounds) and he was talking about me. I kept it in the film. I'm like, and he goes off and he does the whole flopping around and he's great. He's just, you know, so, 'Bustin' Loose' we did that. Richard burnt himself up. Scenes were shot after they were in the film; and that's 'Bustin' Loose.'

The Honorable Mary T. Christian

Educator and politician Mary Taylor Christian was born on August 9, 1924 in Hampton, Virginia. Her mother was a homemaker and her father was a businessman. In 1941 she earned her high school diploma from Phenix High School in Hampton where she was a member of the National Honor Society, basketball, drama and debate teams. After graduation she married her high school sweetheart and by the time she was 19 she was a divorced mother of two.

While working in the laundry at Hampton University she began taking typing courses and eventually landed a secretarial job at the University. She was encouraged by her mentor to further her studies and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1955. From 1955 until 1960 she worked as a teacher at Hampton city schools. During the summers she attended Columbia University, where she earned her Masters degree in Speech and Drama in 1960. In 1968 she earned her PhD from Michigan State University while working as a professor at Hampton University. In 1968 Christian helped organize a voter registration drive at Hampton which resulted in more than a thousand people registering to vote.

In 1980 she was named the Dean of Hampton's school of education. Christian was the first African American to serve on the Hampton City School Board. She worked as a campaign manager for four political candidates and in 1985 decided to take the plunge into politics herself. In 1986 she was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates and became the first African American since reconstruction to represent the state's 92nd district, the city of Hampton.

Christian served seven terms in the Virginia General Assembly where she championed legislation on education, healthcare and prescription drugs. Christian was among three African Americans appointed to the powerful House Appropriations Committee. She also served on the Education and Rules Committees.

Christian, affectionately known by her thousands of students as "Dr. C" is professor emeritus at Hampton University. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her community and humanitarian service.

Accession Number

A2004.100

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/20/2004

Last Name

Christian

Middle Name

T.

Organizations
Schools

Phenix High School

Union Elementary School

Hampton University

Columbia University

Michigan State University

First Name

Mary

Birth City, State, Country

Hampton

HM ID

CHR01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

To God Be The Glory

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

8/9/1924

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hampton

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lamb Chops

Short Description

Education professor and state delegate The Honorable Mary T. Christian (1924 - ) was the first African American to serve on the Hampton City School Board. Christian was also elected to the Virginia House of Delegates to became the first African American since reconstruction to represent the city of Hampton.

Employment

Hampton City Schools

Hampton University

Hampton School Board

Virginia General Assembly

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Mary T. Christian's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian describes her father's personality, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian describes her father's personality, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian recalls her father's storytelling

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian recalls how her whole neighborhood in Hampton, Virginia helped make her homecoming queen outfit

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian talks about her maternal and paternal family backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian describes her early school experiences and childhood insecurities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian describes her childhood neighborhood on Lincoln Street in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian describes her childhood aspirations and experiences at Union Elementary School in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian talks about being raised in the church

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian describes her experience attending George P. Phenix High School in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian talks about becoming a young mother and working at Hampton Institute after graduating from Phenix High School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian recalls learning about racism for the first time

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian explains how she completed her undergraduate degree at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian reflects upon being a single mother in the segregated African American communities in the 1940s and 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian recalls teaching at Aberdeen Elementary School in Hampton, Virginia before attending Columbia University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian describes her experiences studying speech and drama at Columbia University in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian talks about earning her doctorate from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian recalls organizing a voter registration drive in Hampton, Virginia and the opening of the Y. H. Thomas Community Center

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian describes the political activism and community service of Hampton Institute students

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian talks about being the dean of Hampton Institute School of Education and Human Development

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian explains her decision to run for the Virginia General Assembly

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian talks about being elected to the Virginia General Assembly as an independent

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian describes her experiences in the Virginia General Assembly

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian talks about successfully sponsoring a bill requiring insurance companies to pay for bone marrow transplants

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian talks about white teachers' expectations of African American students

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian explains why she thinks history is important

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian talks about the Virginia's government under Governor Mark Warner

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Mary T. Christian narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

9$6

DATitle
The Honorable Mary T. Christian describes her early school experiences and childhood insecurities
The Honorable Mary T. Christian explains her decision to run for the Virginia General Assembly
Transcript
Dr. [HistoryMaker Mary T.] Christian if you will please share with us your earliest memory of growing up? What's your earliest memory?$$Oh my goodness, well my earliest memory growing up I think was, it was in high school. I-- during my childhood at the time I went to school if you could read very well, you were skipped from one grade to the other. So I went to school a year ahead because I went to kindergarten and a lady named Ms. Violet [ph.] taught me to read and I was doing the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm and all of that and my great aunt who reared me after my mom [Viola Webster Robinson] moved to the other house, I stayed with her and that was our birth place on Lincoln Street [Hampton, Virginia] and she would parade me up and down the street. I did a lot of recitations of poems and stories and so forth. So I went to school, I was really two years ahead of myself because I went one year earlier and I was skipped to the second grade and so I got to the fifth grade and I was still the smallest person in the class. And I can remember Mrs. Broadfield [ph.] was the teacher. It was right around Christmastime and they were giving their experiences about Santa Claus and so she said--we were talking about Santa Claus and how we used to think and somebody was pointing at me and she said which one are you pointing at and she said everybody knows--[HistoryMaker] Mary [T. Christian] don't you know who Santa Claus is and I said yes ma'am, he is a big fat man, I'm in fifth grade, a big fat man with a white beard and big tummy that shook like jelly and the class roared. And I was never-- so when I had to ever counsel parents and children my grade to skip, never skip because you're chronological age and your social experiences is far below. So I was just so devastated about that, that I repeated the fifth grade, I just would not do anything. I wanted to be with my peers and so forth. So I think I started growing up during that time but when I was a freshman at [George P.] Phenix [High] School [Hampton, Virginia] that was when I think I really knew that I was growing up and I was in the choir. I was always tiny and very skinny and I didn't want to wear silk hose because in the choir you had to wear silk hose. So I dreaded it, I was so much younger than the others and small in stature. Had I been larger, I wouldn't have been so much aware of it. My growing up days were--when I first started growing up and I was in my older sister-- the same grade with my oldest sister [Lillian Robinson] and peers. So my growing up days were not as happy as theirs because I was always very ashamed of my size and everybody would say little Mary. I just remember those days when I was in--my dad [John Robinson] called me when we were growing up, string bean and those were the names that stood out in my mind. I remember when I was going to high school and all of the people were developing and so forth. On little story. So at that time people had their Sunday clothes on and my mom had one pair of silk stockings and we had to dress up that day and I took my mom's silk stockings and I tucked them down to make them look like (unclear) and so I actually forgot to put them back. So this Sunday morning, my mother said, "Where are my-- who has seen my silk stockings," and I had the silk stockings and I had fabricated to make myself look like I was older than I was. So I had to share that I had my mom's silk stockings and also when we went to get weighed at school, in high school and all of the children-I didn't weigh but like seventy pounds and everybody else weighed about 110 and so forth. So this particular day when we had to go to the weight room, I got violently ill and so they had to take me to the clinic. I was just so sick because I didn't want--they call out your weight after you lined up and they call out your weight. They would say Lillian, Lillian Brown [ph.], 110 so and so, Mary Robinson sixty-two pounds and everybody broke out laughing. So I learned how to get ill when that happened and then they had to weigh me separately. So it was coming up that I always had this-- I always wanted to--I would always say oh God if I could just have enough hips to wear a girdle. Now I wish I didn't-- but that was what my growing up years were and then when I found out people accepted me, I think I was in the National Honor Society and then I was Miss Homecoming so I had arrived because people had accepted me and then my early growing up days were much more comfortable but I just had that.$We did black poetry and I had a singing group and a poetry group and a speech choir and all of those dramatic kinds of things and people would give us money and then we'd go and put it in Pine Chapel [Village, Hampton, Virginia] for the quote, unquote poverty kids. So it was a very enjoyable experience. I carried my students to do voter registration; I had them during the elections. I worked a lot in the community. I was appointed to the [Hampton] School Board and I was on the school board for six years and I've had the students but at the time they said Dr. C [HistoryMaker Mary T. Christian] we don't mind working but you never have a candidate who wins and I said but we keep plotting, we had no blacks on anything. So anyway there came an opening at the [Hampton] City Council and so the folks came to me and said Dr. C. you've been in the community all these years, we'd like to run you for city council. So I said, in a very cavalier manner, I said, "Look I have paid my dues at the local level, I have worked hard on that school board, should anything come in Richmond [Virginia] or Washington [D.C.] then you come and get me." Knowing that we had a white representative and knowing there wasn't going to be anything, I just shooed them off. Dick Bagley [Richard M. Bagley, Sr.] who was in the [Virginia] General Assembly was leaving to throw his hat in the pool to be governor so it left the delegate from Hampton [Virginia] slot open. So people came knocking on my door, "Dr. C. you said and something has come open in Richmond," and I said, "What?" They said, "We want you to run for delegate in the general assembly." I said, "Now wait a minute, I'm a behind the scenes person, I'll do voter registration, I'll work to get people"--I said, "you know how I work but I don't want to be the delegate." I said, "If I'm that I can't mobilize the community, that's my gift getting people together," but they insisted. They said, okay we're going to all put in a hundred dollars and everybody here will put in--one person was a doctor who put in one thousand. I said, oh my God, I don't know what to do and so that night--I'm religious, I go to church and but I didn't--I was exhausted. They're trying to convince me, I didn't get down on my knees to pray but as I step into the group I said, oh Lord what in the world am I going to do. That morning I woke, there was no ambiguity, I called my minister at the church, I said, "Revered [Jason Carl] Guice, I'm making a decision, I decided to run for house delegate." "Go my child with your blessing." I called [HistoryMaker] Dr. [William] Harvey my president [at Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia], I didn't ask him could I go, I said, "Dr. Harvey I'm going to run, I made a decision, I'm going to run for delegate for the general assembly." He was getting ready to go on a trip and he said, "Okay why don't you"--and I said, "I've got to make my declaration today." He said, "Why you do it under the Emancipation Oak that's historical and that's where the Emancipation Proclamation was read at the big oak." I did all of that in two hours, had all the politicians there, had the press there and I made my declaration to run for the [Virginia] House of Delegates. The Democratic committee was there, students came and oh it was a big time. So I had to go and speak in Baltimore [Maryland] and coming back I said oh my God what have I done, all of this before me. So I said oh my goodness, what have I done. They said you have just become a candidate, my family said, that's what you have done. So anyway people were rallying toward me and so forth. Less than two days before and what had been our plight is that too many African Americans--blacks would run, split the vote and that's why we never had anybody anywhere. So as fate would have it, there comes a black minister who was running, there is a white commonwealth attorney who was running, I was going to run against him. Now the vote is split, here we are just before the primary, just before I had to send in my petition of voters. So I'm at this dilemma and I said what am I going to do, you're black, you're female.