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C. Lamont Smith

Talent agent C. Lamont Smith was born on June 24, 1956 in Omaha, Nebraska to Yvette Wilson and Wilbur Smith. He earned his B.A. degree in communications with an emphasis in broadcast journalism from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia, and his J.D. degree from Howard University Law School in 1984.

Following his graduation from Clark Atlanta University, Smith worked as a production assistant at WATL-TV and as an usher with the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, where he became acquainted with general manager Lewis Schaffel and player John Drew. While assisting Drew with his endorsement contracts, Smith became interested in a career as a sports agent. After graduating from Howard University, he joined the sports marketing department of the law firm Gorsuch, Kirgis, Campbell, Walker & Grover in Denver, Colorado. In 1987, Smith founded All Pro Sports and Entertainment, a management firm based out of Denver where Denver Broncos wide receiver Mark Jackson was his first client. Smith served as one of Detroit Lions’ star Barry Sanders’ agents for most of his career, negotiating the contract that made Sanders the highest-paid player in the NFL in 1997. Smith continued to represent Sanders until his retirement in 1999. Smith also represented NFL players Eddie George, Jerome Bettis and Trevor Pryce, who became the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player in 2000. In 2005, Smith began representing wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who was that year’s third overall NFL draft pick, chosen by the Cleveland Browns. Smith launched a sports management company named Above the Rim Management in 2012, where international basketball player Jamar Samuels became his first client. Also, in 2012, Smith became the president of Smith Global Staffing.

Smith was named one of the top fifty sports professionals in the country by Black Enterprise, and as one of the most powerful sports agents by The New York Times. Smith also served on the advisory board of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association. Smith was honored by the Black Sports Agents Association as Agent of the Year in July 2001.

C. Lamont Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 23, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.059

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/23/2016 |and| 9/24/2016

Last Name

Smith

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lamont

Occupation
Schools

Clark Atlanta University

Howard University School of Law

First Name

C.

Birth City, State, Country

Omaha

HM ID

SMI33

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Nebraska

Favorite Vacation Destination

U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

You Measure A Man Not In Times Of Comfort And Convenience But In Time Of Difficulty And Challenge.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Colorado

Birth Date

6/24/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Denver

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Talent agent C. Lamont Smith (1956 - ) was the founder and president of All Pro Sports and Entertainment and Above the Rim Management.

Employment

WATL-TV

Atlanta Hawks

Gorsuch, Kirgis, Campbell, Walker & Grover

All Pro Sports and Entertainment

Favorite Color

Purple

John Beasley

Actor and theater founder John Beasley was born on June 26, 1943, in North Omaha, Nebraska, to Grace Virginia, Triplett and John Wilfred Beasley. Beasley’s neighbors included athletes Bob Gibson, Marlon Briscoe, Gale Sayers, Roger Sayers and Bob Boozer. Beasley’s maternal grandfather invented the brick of chili for Cuttahee Packing House. His parents separated and his father, an electrical contractor, moved to Chicago, Illinois. Beasley grew up at 24th and Lake near the Ritz Theatre and the Hotel Callahan. Beasley played football and was popular at Omaha Technical High School. He attended the University of Omaha from 1964 to 1968.

Beasley moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and after starting in the mailroom of WFIL-TV, he became assistant producer for a local children’s program called The World Around Us. Beasley worked on the waterfront, like Omaha’s Marlon Brando did in the movie of the same name. A small part in Germantown Theatre’s production of As You Like It started Beasley’s acting itch. From time to time, he studied and took classes and completed an internship in Minnesota with Don Cheadle. Beasley was cast in August Wilson’s early Goodman Theatre productions in Chicago; however, Beasley worked as a Union Pacific Railroad clerk for seven years before he decided to pursue acting as a full-time career. In his first year, Beasley’s dream to become an actor came true when he was cast alongside Oprah Winfrey in the short lived television series Brewster Place, and his career took off from there. Beasley’s other film and television credits include The Apostle, Rudy, The General’s Daughter, The Sum of All Fears and Everwood.

Still living in his hometown of Omaha, Beasley enjoys teaching and directing at his newly established theater, The John Beasley Workshop at Center Stage. Beasley also keeps busy with junior golf and tennis programs and fundraisers for the American Heart Association. He and his wife have been married for over forty years and have two grown sons who are aspiring actors.

Accession Number

A2007.285

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/8/2007

Last Name

Beasley

Schools

Omaha Technical High School

University of Nebraska-Omaha

Howard Kennedy Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Omaha

HM ID

BEA08

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Nebraska

Favorite Vacation Destination

Vancouver, British Columbia

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nebraska

Birth Date

6/26/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Omaha

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Meatloaf, Fish

Short Description

Actor, theater chief executive, and stage director John Beasley (1943 - ) appeared in several films and television shows, including the television series, 'Brewster Place,' in which he was cast alongside Oprah Winfrey, and the films, 'Rudy,' 'The Mighty Ducks,' 'The Apostle,' 'The General's Daughter,' and, 'The Operator.'

Employment

Various

WFIL-TV

Union Pacific Railroad

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John Beasley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Beasley lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Beasley describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Beasley describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Beasley describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Beasley remembers his parents' separation

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Beasley describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Beasley describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Beasley remembers his neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Beasley describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Beasley recalls his early activities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Beasley recalls the television programs of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Beasley recalls his decision to play football

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Beasley recalls playing football at Omaha University in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John Beasley remembers his teammate, Marlin Briscoe

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - John Beasley remembers Howard Kennedy Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - John Beasley describes his early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Beasley recalls the Ritz Theater in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Beasley recalls the music of his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Beasley remembers Technical High School in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Beasley recalls his introduction to the arts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Beasley remembers the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Beasley recalls his theater involvement at Technical High School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Beasley describes his decision to move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John Beasley remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - John Beasley talks about his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - John Beasley recalls moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John Beasley recalls his introduction to screen acting

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John Beasley describes his training as an actor

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John Beasley recalls his first opportunity to sign with an agent

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John Beasley talks about his early acting career in the Midwest

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John Beasley recalls working with Oprah Winfrey on 'Brewster Place'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John Beasley talks about his film and stage acting roles

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John Beasley talks about acting in August Wilson's plays

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John Beasley talks about the challenges of acting in the Midwest

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John Beasley remembers acting in 'The Apostle' with Robert Duvall

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John Beasley recalls the success of 'The Apostle'

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John Beasley recalls his transition to acting in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John Beasley talks about being a character actor

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John Beasley describes the John Beasley Theater and Workshop in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John Beasley describes the acting community in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John Beasley talks about African American theater companies

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John Beasley describes his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John Beasley describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John Beasley reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John Beasley reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John Beasley talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - John Beasley talks about his favorite acting roles

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - John Beasley describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

5$6

DATitle
John Beasley recalls working with Oprah Winfrey on 'Brewster Place'
John Beasley describes the John Beasley Theater and Workshop in Omaha, Nebraska
Transcript
Few months later, my agent in Minneapolis [Minnesota] calls, says, "You remember Jane Brody?" I said, "Yeah, I remember Jane, you know, I auditioned for her at the, at your office up there." And so she says, "Well Jane wants to know if you would be interested in coming into Chicago [Illinois] to audition." And I just remembered reading in the USA Today, Oprah Winfrey was going to do a TV series called 'Brewster Place' based on 'The Women of Brewster Place,' and I thought, wow, that'll be a great, you know, great opportunity for some Chicago actors. And so she calls me into Chicago to audition for 'Brewster Place,' and I go in there and I meet [HistoryMaker] Reuben Cannon who had, I had worked for before, and it was a long process and they had me in there several times and then eventually they bring me in to read with Oprah Winfrey and I remember sitting in this cast, you know, office and Oprah Winfrey comes up the steps with her aide, with an aide, and they go in this room, you know, she doesn't give me an eye contact or anything, she goes in the room and so I go in and I do this and, you know, I do this audition, I know I'm good, I know I'm good and so after I, when I get ready to leave, I say to Oprah, I said, incidentally, I said, "Judy [Judy Beasley] says hi." So she says, "Who's Judy?" I said, "She's my wife." So, "Oh, tell her I said hi." So, eventually they called me in to screen test with Oprah, and so they give me this mail uniform, I don't wear a ring today, they give me this mail, I'm the mail carrier, he's a mail carrier, so I'm, so the master props man, he comes around he says, "So what, you need anything?" I said, I said, "Yeah," I said, "a mailman always has keys so I'm going to need some keys and, oh, I need a wedding band 'cause Reuben says that he's probably married and has a couple of kids." And I'm thinking, damn, you know, 'cause if I can have some kind of a relationship with Oprah's character, you know, that would mean that I'd be in it a lot more and I think it'd mean more to me, you know, but hey, I'm just happy to get a job. So we're sitting there while they're waiting and Oprah's sitting there and I'm sitting across from her and I'm just looking at Oprah and I'm giving her eye contact and she's looking at me and so eventually Oprah says, "So, how's the family?" And so, I figure okay, you know, I'd done some selling in my days and I know that in a situation like that, the first person that speaks loses. So now I get a little bolder and Oprah, I hope she never, she'll never see this, and so I get a little bolder and so I said, Oprah, I said to Oprah, I said, "Oprah," I said, "so where'd you study acting," I said, "because I really loved you in 'The Color Purple.'" And she says, "I never studied." I said, "Well," I said, "well, don't mess up 'cause this is my big chance," and so Reuben cracks up and Oprah's like, is this nigger for real (laughter)? I mean, you know, so, but I think it had to impress her because we're sitting there and as we go along a little further, Oprah looks down at the ring and she says, "You know, I don't think Mr. Willie is married," and I said, "You know what Oprah, I don't think he is either (laughter)." And so I got the job, I got the job as her love interest. We did eleven episodes. ABC didn't want it, it was a half an hour, half an hour dramedy, something like that, like 'Frank's Place,' very innovative, you know. 'Frank's Place' was an incredible show.$$Right, right.$$I thought it was one of the best shows not to make it on TV and, but this was, 'Brewster Place' was sort of like that, you know, and we were breaking grounds. ABC didn't want it but they wanted Oprah Winfrey so they gave her a shot, you know, and they kept moving it around, you know. You know, they would show two weeks and then the next week it wouldn't be on and then they would move it around again to different nights and they really knew how to program it to fail and so it never made it but I had my experience with Oprah Winfrey. A wonderful woman, I might add, she really is, you know and I felt that she looked out for me while I was there. There would be times, I came on as a recurring character and wound up having more episodes than some of the regulars and because Oprah would be, you know, they'd be at a table read and Oprah would say, "Well that sounds like something Mr. Willie would say," and the next thing I know I'd be getting a call, you know, "You're going to be working this week," you know. So--$$So, did they shoot that in Chicago or--$$We shot it in Chicago, yeah. Worked out of Chicago and it was a great time, it was a great time--$Now tell us about how, about the theater, I guess. We need to talk about that.$$You know, the theater, it used to be, the theater that I run is called, the John Beasley Theater [John Beasley Theater and Workshop, Omaha, Nebraska], and it's only because the people that owned the building at that time wanted to name it after me. I didn't want my name on it. I don't need my name on a building or anything like that, I know who I am and, but I was, I was working with some underprivileged kids in the projects over in South Omaha [Omaha, Nebraska] and the Center Stage [Center Stage Theater, Omaha, Nebraska] is one of the theaters I came up on, you know. We used to do a lot of good things there, had a good reputation, it was a black theater, only minority theater in the state, and it had been closed for about three years and they asked me if I would want to do something in the theater and I thought, well, no, I definitely don't want to be a busi- I'm not a businessman, I'm not a, my head's not there and I was working with a young lady who wanted to, to get into acting and I'd always told her that, you know, I would work with her at one point or another. She's, was fifty years old at that time and finally I said, listen, we'll do, I'll do something with you. So, I got the, I got 'Fences' by August Wilson and I gave her the role of Linda [sic.], and I said, "Study this," and I started working with her. She came along to the point where I thought, let me put some other people around her. So I put some people around her and the next thing I knew, we had enough for the cast for 'Fences,' and so I decided, okay, I'll do this over there and, you know, we'll do the show. So after that, it was owned by Omaha public housing [Omaha Housing Authority] and they, the council decided, the board decided to name the theater after me and, and now I'm stuck with, you know, running this theater, you know, and, because my name's on it, you know, I want to make it successful. So we started out doing three plays a year, four and five, and, and I've been with the--because I landed 'Everwood,' I was able to support this theater, you know, on my own, you know, with my own money and I've done that, I've done that up to the early part of this year, you know, when I decided that it's just, it's not good business, you know. I'm using my retirement money to run this damn thing and I don't know that Omaha [Nebraska] appreciates it, you know. And so it was a matter of, you know, the theater either making it on its own or, you know, we're just getting out of it, you know. 'Cause I never really wanted to run a theater but I've changed a lot of lives in here, in Omaha, and gotten peoples in the theater that never would have been there because we didn't have a large base to grow from, I'm normally training people and we would, we typecast a lot, you know. If you look like or act like you, this character that I'm looking for, you know, bring you in there and teach you how to be yourself, you know, and, again, it's in being in the moment, teaching them what I do, and just learning how to be real and if I can teach them how to be themselves, you know, we've got it made, you know, and I've turned out some pretty good actors and I've got a couple that I'm really proud of.$$What are their names? Some of the--$$Really proud of. Andre McGraw is one of them. He was in that first cast of 'Fences' and he played my son, and this guy, you know, he wasn't a very good reader but he really wanted to do this and, but once he got the words down, he was, he did really well. But he was in love. He had a girlfriend who lived in Kansas City [Missouri], and he was always on the phone with her and he, he was, you know, it was a distraction and one time I was on stage with him and I give his cue and there's no Andre and I'm waiting out there ad-libbing and this stuff. I finally go offstage and I see him, he's out there talking on the phone to his girlfriend. So I got on him about that. Then one Sunday we were getting ready to perform, he calls me from the highway, he's on his way back from Kansas City and, so I had to delay the show and he got in there and I finally, I said, "He'll never work in my theater again, never again." We were doing a play called, 'A Raisin in the Sun' [Lorraine Hansberry] and Andre called me, he said, "Mr. Beasley [HistoryMaker John Beasley]," he says, "listen, I know you, you know, that you took a chance on me, and I'm sorry and I, you know--I won't give you any problems, I really want to do this." So I said, "All right, Andre," I said, "you know, I'm going to bring you back in," I said, "but if you mess up," I said, "that's it, you're through with me." I brought him in and he was the surprise of that show. He was just, did a fantastic job. So my son, Tyrone [Tyrone Beasley], who directs for me, and I were, we're looking for a lead for 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' [August Wilson] and this character is, you know, is, it's a pretty strong character. And so, the only person we could think of was Andre and, you know, I talk--we can do this, he can do this.

Luigi Waites

Percussionist Luigi Waites was born Lewis Waites, on July 10, 1927, in Omaha, Nebraska. Waites’ mother, Ione Lewis, married his stepfather, Grant Wallace, after Wallace’s arrival in Omaha in the 1940s. Waites attended Omaha’s Lake Elementary, Central High School and graduated from Technical High School. He also attended the Midwestern Conservatory of Music. Waites began performing music while he was still in high school. At the onset of World War II, more Americans enlisted into the U.S. military, and Waites was limited to playing with musicians his own age. Dropping out of Omaha Technical High School, Waites was drafted in 1945. While in the services, Waites was taught to play drum licks by the great Elvin Jones at Camp Lee, Virginia. It was not until the end of the war that Waites began touring locally with adult musicians.

In 1947, Waites returned to Omaha and continued his career as a local musician. In addition, Waites toured regionally, performing in Iowa, North Dakota, Kansas and other parts of Nebraska. After briefly attending school in California in 1949, Waites enrolled at the Midwestern Conservatory of Music in downtown Chicago; that following year, he married Eva Jean Little. In the 1950s, Waites continued his career in music, but also worked daily at local factories. After working as stock personnel for the Omaha National Bank, Waites began teaching private lessons to aspiring artists. In the 1960s and 1970s, Waites was the organizer of a youth group called the Contemporaries which performed as a marching band for local and regional events.

Waites was the first jazz instructor in the Omaha Public Schools and at Creighton University. Waites also helped found Phyllis Hicks’s “Steppin Saints.” Waites was named Nebraska Arts Council’s Artist of the Year in 1996; he is still playing and teaching, while enjoying his eighties. Waites, who toured internationally and performed in Europe during the 1990s, lived in Omaha, Nebraska and had six grown children.

Waites passed away on April 6, 2010 at the age of 82.

Luigi Waites was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 7, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.284

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/7/2007

Last Name

Waites

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Technical High School

Lake Elementary School

Omaha Central High School

Howard Kennedy Elementary School

Lothrop Magnet Center

First Name

Lewis

Birth City, State, Country

Omaha

HM ID

WAI01

Favorite Season

None

State

Nebraska

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nebraska

Birth Date

7/10/1927

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Omaha

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

4/6/2010

Short Description

Music instructor and jazz drummer Luigi Waites (1927 - 2010 ) was the first jazz instructor in Omaha Public Schools and at Creighton University. Luigi Waites also has enjoyed a long and successful performing career, touring nationally and internationally, as well as playing with jazz legends such as Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Jean-Luc Ponty, James Brown, and Dizzy Gillespie.

Employment

Omaha National Bank

Swoboda Music Center

Omaha Public Schools

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Luigi Waites' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Luigi Waites lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Luigi Waites describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Luigi Waites describes his mother's profession

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Luigi Waites talks about his father and stepfathers

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Luigi Waites describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Luigi Waites describes his living arrangements in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Luigi Waites describes the sights and smells of his childhood in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Luigi Waites remembers listening to the radio as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Luigi Waites describes his early personality and interests

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Luigi Waites talks about his early musical interests

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Luigi Waites describes his favorite radio programs

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Luigi Waites remembers Count Basie and Duke Ellington

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Luigi Waites talks about his grade school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Luigi Waites recalls the encouragement of his teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Luigi Waites recalls learning to be a musician

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Luigi Waites remembers his mentor, Basie Givens

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Luigi Waites describes his high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Luigi Waites remembers World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Luigi Waites describes his experiences at Technical High School in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Luigi Waites recalls being drafted at the end of World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Luigi Waites describes his experiences in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Luigi Waites remembers his studies at the Midwestern Conservatory of Music in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Luigi Waites remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Luigi Waites recalls his early life lessons about music

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Luigi Waites describes his various jobs

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Luigi Waites recalls performing at night while working at the First National Bank of Omaha

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Luigi Waites describes the segregated nightclubs in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Luigi Waites remembers Cliff Dudley

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Luigi Waites recalls becoming a drum company spokesman

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Luigi Waites recalls meeting Elvin Jones

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Luigi Waites recalls meeting Roy Haynes and Max Roach

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Luigi Waites describes The Contemporaries drum corps

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Luigi Waites talks about his busy schedule

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Luigi Waites recalls his instructional assemblies at schools across the United States

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Luigi Waites talks about his teaching career

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Luigi Waites recalls meeting notable jazz musicians

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Luigi Waites describes the M&M lounge in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Luigi Waites talks about skin color discrimination in the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Luigi Waites talks about racial discrimination in the music industry

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Luigi Waites talks about his awards

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Luigi Waites reflects upon his music

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Luigi Waites talks about his interest in various percussion instruments

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Luigi Waites describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Luigi Waites reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Luigi Waites reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Luigi Waites talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Luigi Waites remembers sharing his success with his mother

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Luigi Waites describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Luigi Waites narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
Luigi Waites recalls his early life lessons about music
Luigi Waites recalls meeting Elvin Jones
Transcript
That, that same thing happened back in the years when I was, when I was just playing music, you know, and couldn't go into places 'cause say, "He's not young, he's, he's too young to come into, in here and play. He's got to be a certain age, you know." My mother [Ione Lewis Kelley] would say, "Well, I'll sit with him," and she would sit there with me all night long while I played, you know, they could do that then. They can't do that now, but you could do that then and I'd--and all that would happen and everybody'd say, "Oh, great, you're good," you know, like that. And we'd get home and my mother would say, "Well, that's great but you ought to really learn to do something of value." Now, that was that double standard but I realize now what she was trying to instill in me. She didn't realize that music could be of value and, and you could learn to do this and you--like kids today that I teach, I tell 'em one thing. Yeah, it's gonna be rough doing--if you're gonna do music alone, you know, but if you learn everything, everything you can possibly learn about music and do it all, you could maybe make it work. Because what they do to us musicians and artists they--even today they do this, they'll say, "Well, that's great but don't you think you ought to learn to be a plumber and get something in case your music fails." They do not tell lawyers, "Hey, you should learn to do something else in case you don't pass the bar." They don't tell doctors that, why do they tell us musicians that? So, I constantly reinforce that with kids and say, "Hey, you can do that, but, you got to work your butt off and you gotta learn everything. Things you like, things you don't like but if you learn it all, you don't have to learn something else." But nobody told me that. They did, but the way they told it to me, it didn't register that way. But they didn't tell me that, 'cause the old guys that I used to work with used to tell me, "Son, you need to complete your formal training, you need to complete your formal training." They were saying that, but it was in a different way, so.$I was asking you about your technique I think (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah.$$--before we cut, and so, so what is your--and you, you shared with me during the break after we ate a piece of pie that you actually met Elvin Jones--$$Yeah.$$--and he even taught you some licks, some drum licks at Camp Lee, Virginia [Fort Lee, Virginia], right (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yes, he did, yes, yeah, yes, yeah.$$So tell us about that experience, how did you meet him and?$$Well, I was in, I was in--had just finished basic training and they put us in a holding company in Virginia at that time, right after I got out of basic training. And they had a bunch of us recruits, as they called us, and then old soldiers, people that they were getting rid of, and Elvin was going out and I was going in. And I had no idea of who he was at that time. And he had the lower bunk and I had the upper bunk, and everybody there--'cause, see, I was the only one out, at that time, I was the only one from the North. And it seemed like there was a great prejudice against people from the North. And here I'm amongst all blacks. And it was a great prejudice. "Oh, you're from the North." I had three strikes against me. I was a recruit, I was from the North, and I was a musician. And seemed like every black non-com [non-commissioned officer] there and everybody else was against that. I got all, every crappy detail and everything. But, anyhow, there was Elvin and so Elvin would sit and talk with me every day. And say, "Hey, you do this, that and--nah, you don't do it that, try this, do it this way." He opened up my mind to thinking, you know, and that kind of thing. And I spent six months with him. And then come back home, didn't think any more about it and about five, ten years later Elvin started becoming prominent in the world, you know. 'Cause, at that time, everybody there at, at the camp was--the joke was, they say, "Where are you from?" And I said, "I'm from Nebraska." "You from Knee-bras-kee?" I said, "Well, yeah, you know. And, where you from?" And this was the answer I'd get, "I's from New York [New York]." I said, "Right, yeah, right, yeah, you know." And Elvin just said to me, "I got a brother that plays a little music." That's all he ever said. And come to be Hank Jones. Oh, my god, you know. And I hadn't even heard about Thad [Thad Jones] at that time, you know. And, well, that, that's basically--so I met fifty years later in, in Nashville [Nashville], I run across Elvin again and so I asked him if he remembered Camp Lee, Virginia and stuff like that. And this was the first time we had seen each other in fifty years. And he said to me, "I know you, you from Omaha [Nebraska]." But he didn't know my name, but he knew who I was and where I was from. And don't you think that didn't make my day because it did.$$Yeah, I would say so. Now, can you remember--well, you can't remember exactly what he taught you I guess or showed you, but$$Well, no. What, what he taught me was a concept, it wasn't an individual thing. We use individual things (unclear) but it's a concept. In other words, like you say, you open the door with you right hand. Okay, now open the door with your left hand. Now put both hands together and open the door. You don't confine it to one, just one hand alone. And that was the concept. Here's a piece of music, you approach it this way and then you approach it this way--that's the same piece of--and the same piece of music and once you start approaching it these different ways, it changes. But the music doesn't change. But it changes the concept of it. Like, I think you and I was talking about earlier--I think I was saying--oh, shit what was I saying now, ah, something I said to you. One of the normal things that I say to everybody I got--I'm at a loss right now. I'll think of it.$$Okay.$$But, but they--it, it's, it's how you--oh, it's how you do something. This is the right way to do it, and that's what I--that Elvin taught me. The right way is the way that you do it and it works, it's not--most people that say, well, it's the right way. Meaning, if you doing it the way I know it, then that's right. If you're not doing it the way I know it, then it's wrong. And Elvin taught me to open up my mind.

The Honorable Frank Brown

Omaha, Nebraska’s, District Two City Councilman, Frank Dee Brown was born on August 18, 1953, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Lyda Montgomery and Warren Hugh Brown. Brown grew up around his father’s lounge on North Omaha’s 24th Street. His family lineage includes black fur trappers, Scotch Irish and Mexican. His uncle, nicknamed “Little Frank” Dee Brown, was a successful businessman and actor. He appeared in the movie, Bedlam with Boris Karloff and in the Wizard of Oz. Brown’s uncle was the first husband of actress/activist Ruby Dee and a friend of Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte. Brown, who enjoyed CYO basketball, attended St. Benedict’s Elementary School and graduated from Holy Name High School in 1971. He attended Virginia Union University from 1971 to 1972 and graduated from the University of Omaha in 1975 with a B.A. degree in communications.

Brown’s career began as a researcher for Omaha’s KAFB-AM Radio’s Walt Kavanaugh Show, the top rated radio show in the Midwest in 1975. Next, he was an investigative reporter for KMTV-TV and KETV-TV. As a journalist, Brown investigated the Iowa School for the Deaf, a hotel collapse, the John Joubert murder case and the United Airlines’ crash in Sioux City, Iowa in 1989. In 1995, Brown became director of the Jimmy Wilson, Jr. Foundation which was named for a fallen police officer. Brown gained a reputation in the community which led to his candidacy as an Omaha city councilman in 1997, when the seated black councilwoman from the second district, Brenda Council, unsuccessfully ran for mayor.

Brown is an advocate for jobs, gun control and better housing. He was an avid supporter of a new sports stadium, library renovation and a new jazz complex on 24th Street. Always a defender of and advocate for the impoverished African North Omaha community, Brown is also the Executive Director of Housing In Omaha, Inc., a nonprofit in Omaha, Nebraska.

Accession Number

A2007.283

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/7/2007

Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Holy Name High School

St. Benedict the Moor School

University of Nebraska-Omaha

Virginia Union University

First Name

Frank

Birth City, State, Country

Omaha

HM ID

BRO48

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Nebraska

Favorite Vacation Destination

Atlanta, Georgia

Favorite Quote

Get It Done.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nebraska

Birth Date

8/18/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Omaha

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

City council member and city government official The Honorable Frank Brown (1953 - ) was the executive director of Housing In Omaha, Inc., a nonprofit, affiliate corporation of the Omaha Housing Authority in Omaha, Nebraska.

Employment

Housing In Omaha, Inc.

Omaha City Council

KFAB Radio

KMTV-TV

KETV-TV

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Frank Brown's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frank Brown lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Frank Brown remembers segregation in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Frank Brown remembers his uncle, Frank Dee Brown, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Frank Brown remembers his uncle, Frank Dee Brown, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Frank Brown talks about his paternal uncle's photography collection

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his paternal uncle's political views

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his likeness to his father

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Frank Brown reflects upon his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Frank Brown remembers his involvement in sports

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Frank Brown remembers his high school prom

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls the academic tracking at Holy Name High School in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Frank Brown remembers his exclusion from extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls his decision to attend Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls his arrival at Virginia Union University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Frank Brown talks about the gang violence in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frank Brown remembers his studies at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls his experiences at the University of Nebraska-Omaha

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Frank Brown remembers joining KFAB Radio in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his early investigative reporting

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls his coverage of the abuse at schools for the deaf

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls his investigative reporting for KETV-TV and KMTV-TV

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Frank Brown talks about covering tragic news stories

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls his campaign for the Omaha City Council

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Frank Brown talks about the North Omaha Freeway

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frank Brown talks about the political districts in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes District 2 of Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Frank Brown talks about the employment opportunities in District 2 of Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his early experiences on the Omaha City Council

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his accomplishments as an Omaha City Council member

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Frank Brown recalls his work for the Omaha Housing Authority

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his work with Housing In Omaha, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his advice to aspiring legislators

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes his hopes for the black community of Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Frank Brown reflects upon his career

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Frank Brown talks about the social problems in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Frank Brown reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Frank Brown reflects upon his service to District 2 in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Frank Brown describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

5$8

DATitle
The Honorable Frank Brown describes his early experiences on the Omaha City Council
The Honorable Frank Brown describes his work with Housing In Omaha, Inc.
Transcript
Now, did you have very much cooperation from the mayor of the city? I mean--$$The first one [Hal Daub], no, but, but--my first four years it was a real learning experience. He taught me how to fight this even when we're at odds. He taught me, "You gotta read everything," I knew that going in, but he said--. But we didn't get along at all, but it, it taught me how to, how to read, read--but read between the lines, he taught me how to read between the lines and made me a better politician and, and a--really a, a fighting politician, I was a fighter before, but there's--it's different in politics. And you've gotta stand up and you've gotta really work your project and build allegiances. That's, that's, that's huge and tremendous, and so I did that my first year. When I got on, I knew that I was gonna have a problem because I knew--and there was this mistrust of me being a reporter--a former reporter. So I got together with my colleagues and I said, "We all can be city pre- be council presidents and vice presidents." And there was animosity, I knew, on the previous council [Omaha City Council], and five of the people were--got reelected, and there was myself and a new guy. So I went to all of them and I said, "You three guys will not--," three of the five, "you will never become council president, never become a council vice president, it will always be these others." But I found a way in the law that if we would just vote for each other and then resign after our first year, all of us could be council presidents, vice president--. And that, that built a great relationship because we did that. We got criticized for it because it's two years you have to serve, but we'd all resign after our first year and let someone else be council president and vice president, and it wasn't illegal. So we did that, and so, if we had projects that we wanted to do in our district, the mayor would say no, but we had the votes to override.$The biggest fight I had--you could--the government said--or the judge said you could only put so much in each council district; you've gotta spread it out. We went into what's called the Keystone area [Omaha, Nebraska] at 87th [Street] and Boyd [Street]. And the Sisters of Mercy [Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community, Omaha, Nebraska], they've got a developing arm and they were our developers at the time. They went into this neighborhood and I told the board, "Don't do it." Because I had covered stories, racial stories, in the area, in that Keystone area. They have very few African Americans living in that district, you could probably--it's probably under ten families. And I knew it was gonna be a fight to put public housing in that neighborhood. They fought us for two years, the board was--the board--and this is what I was telling the board. The board said, "You know, we're gonna--we've been sued, let's give up." I said, "No, if we give up here in Omaha, Nebraska and can't put housing for minorities--." 'Cause that's what we were being accused of by, by the all-white neighborhood, they were saying that, "You're just gonna put black people in here." And I was receiving letters saying that they were just gonna date my, my, my girlfriend--or my kids, rape 'em, there'll be shootings, there'll be murders, and it was just awful, it was just--. It was extremely one of the--I thought that I'd been--gone back forty years in time, it was that bad. Just the hatred. And here we are, trying to put public housing right in the heart of the neighborhood. First, it was sixty homes, but that was unrealistic because of the acreage, and I told 'em that, the, the Sisters of Mercy. "You can't do that, it's just too condensed." We finally narrowed it down to thirty-six homes, beautiful homes, and they still fought us, took us to court, and we won. We beat 'em in court, it was against the law to discriminate--you know the housing law- fair housing laws. And during the course of the lawsuit that the neighbors had filed against us, I had them run an economic study of the area, and an area of income. Most of all the residents could qualify to move into public housing from that Keystone area; that's what it showed. So they were two che- paychecks away from being in public housing most of 'em, but yet they didn't want that in their district. There's even one lady who applied whose parents were against moving us in, their daughter wanted to move in--into Keystone, and it's just--the development now is beautiful. They still watch us. It's, it's a year old, but no problems at all. Not one problem. And then I was asked later--I was asked this past--a year ago, to become the director [of Housing In Omaha, Inc., Omaha, Nebraska]. The director left, and is now a state senator, and they, they asked me--the board asked me if I would run for--not run, but put my application, I did, now I'm waiting for a callback from HUD [U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development] to see if they'll grant me waivers because you can't be an elected official and run a housing authority. So, I'm in limbo there, but I'd love to do that just to help people.

Phyllis Hicks

Newspaper marketing director and nonprofit administrator Phyllis Jean Mosley Hicks was born on March 7, 1943 in Omaha, Nebraska to Juanita Agee Mosley and James P. Mosley, Jr. Hicks’ civic-minded grandmother, Emma Lee Agee, was a 1919 member of the church pastored by Reverend Earl Little (Malcolm X’s father) and was a childhood friend of the National Baptist Convention’s controversial Reverend Joseph H. Jackson, as well as Whitney M. Young, Jr. Her paternal grandfather Rev. J. P. Mosley Sr. led a demonstration to integrate the swimming pools in 1954 in Chillicothe, Missouri. Whitney M. Young was president of the Omaha Urban League, where Hick's mother worked as his personal secretary. Her mother played trumpet in an all girl band and her father was a saxophone player. Hicks studied piano and voice for several years and she was a member of the Elks Drill Team. She attended Long and Howard Kennedy elementary schools. Hicks was a member of NAACP Youth Chapter, worked on the school paper and was a member of the journalism club and the yearbook staff at Omaha Technical High School. Graduating in 1961, she attended Peru State Teachers College.

Married in 1963, Hicks took a job with the Power Electric Company and volunteered for Omaha Opportunities Industrialization Centers, Inc. (OIC). Hired by OIC in 1967, she produced eight pageants for the organization in addition to serving in as instructor and in an administrative role for thirty years. Hicks joined Sitel Corporation in 1998 as a quality assurance representative and trainer. Employed at CSG Systems, Inc., she served as product support analyst through 2005 when she retired.

Marketing director for the "Omaha Star," the oldest and only African American newspaper in Omaha, Hicks also writes a column called “It’s Just My Opinion” for the publication. She is the founder and mentor to “The Stepping Saints,” a local drill team. Hicks is the recipient of the Woman of the Year, the Black Heritage Award, OIC’s Thirty Year Service Award and the City of Omaha’s Living the Dream Award at the 2002 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration.

Phyllis Hicks was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 5, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.279

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/5/2007

Last Name

Hicks

Maker Category
Schools

Howard Kennedy Elementary School

Omaha Technical High School

Peru State College

Creighton University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Phyllis

Birth City, State, Country

Omaha

HM ID

HIC03

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Nebraska

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nebraska

Birth Date

3/7/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Omaha

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Spaghetti

Short Description

Nonprofit administrator and newspaper marketing director Phyllis Hicks (1943 - ) was the marketing director and columnist for the Omaha Star newspaper. She volunteered for thirty years for the Omaha Opportunities Industrialization Centers, Inc.

Employment

Power Solutions Electric Company

Omaha Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc.

Sitel Corporation

CSG Systems, Inc.

Omaha Star

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:10906,292:11842,311:12202,318:13066,333:14290,369:15874,399:16450,410:17746,436:18898,459:19618,472:35996,647:36788,659:38812,697:43036,779:55514,924:55830,929:59938,1009:60491,1017:63809,1080:65547,1117:73494,1211:85380,1445:92820,1658:93300,1675:102613,1835:103303,1850:103648,1856:103924,1861:104338,1868:106822,1939:111010,1962:116752,2033:117247,2039:120217,2081:132639,2199:135621,2249:136118,2257:136899,2277:137254,2283:138106,2304:138958,2319:139313,2325:142330,2330:148170,2446:154154,2598:154426,2603:157690,2696:159254,2732:169720,2902:170210,2941:178241,3012:178857,3022:179319,3030:182707,3107:192717,3408:197070,3422$0,0:4446,63:17378,218:17847,226:19053,259:32230,410:32630,416:33350,426:34710,446:35510,457:37270,495:40740,514:41160,528:44310,603:50260,767:50680,774:55064,787:58510,846:61030,922:61660,983:73950,1214:78766,1279:82406,1333:95890,1523:96520,1533:96970,1539:97420,1545:120324,1946:123015,2021:125361,2078:125844,2089:126672,2105:132704,2151:133536,2166:133856,2172:134368,2185:138924,2317:145128,2521:153825,2634:159000,2740:159300,2745:159675,2752:160050,2763:160575,2772:161025,2779:161475,2787:163050,2816:163500,2838:163800,2843:164100,2848:176534,2973:179966,3044:182696,3109:183086,3115:184256,3134:186050,3170:189248,3238:190808,3276:197492,3335:200132,3415:204019,3471:206863,3532:207574,3542:209707,3586:210023,3591:210576,3600:212077,3629:212551,3655:214921,3697:216343,3732:223479,3813:224118,3826:224686,3849:231576,4043:231871,4052:232225,4064:232756,4114:244800,4323:246245,4355:250155,4453:250580,4459:275793,4778:276290,4787:277284,4807:277852,4816:281047,4910:285662,5011:293045,5086:296130,5141
DAStories

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

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Phyllis Hicks lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Phyllis Hicks describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Phyllis Hicks talks about Malcolm X's family in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Phyllis Hicks describes her maternal grandmother's civic involvement

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Phyllis Hicks describes her mother's community in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Phyllis Hicks describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Phyllis Hicks describes her family's civil rights activism

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Phyllis Hicks describes her mother's work for Whitney Young

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Phyllis Hicks describes her father's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Phyllis Hicks describes her parents' interests in music

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Phyllis Hicks describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Phyllis Hicks describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Phyllis Hicks talks about the role of music in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Phyllis Hicks talks about her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Phyllis Hicks describes her early activities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Phyllis Hicks remembers her stepfather

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Phyllis Hicks remembers the St. Martin de Porres Club

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Phyllis Hicks recalls the basketball team at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Phyllis Hicks remembers Technical High School in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Phyllis Hicks recalls her decision to attend Peru State Teachers College in Peru, Nebraska

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Phyllis Hicks remembers Peru State Teachers College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Phyllis Hicks recalls singing at Peru State Teachers College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Phyllis Hicks describes the Civil Rights Movement in Nebraska

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Phyllis Hicks talks about Nebraska's Native American community

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Phyllis Hicks remembers reading African American publications

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Phyllis Hicks recalls her maternal ancestors' experiences after moving to Omaha

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Phyllis Hicks describes the start of her career

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Phyllis Hicks recalls working for the Opportunities Industrialization Centers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Phyllis Hicks describes her projects at the Opportunities Industrialization Centers

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Phyllis Hicks describes her later career

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Phyllis Hicks talks about writing for the Omaha Star, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Phyllis Hicks talks about writing for the Omaha Star, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Phyllis Hicks describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Phyllis Hicks talks about the police shooting of Vivian Strong

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Phyllis Hicks recalls the black business district in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Phyllis Hicks talks about the African American community in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Phyllis Hicks reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Phyllis Hicks reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Phyllis Hicks talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Phyllis Hicks describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

2$6

DATitle
Phyllis Hicks describes the start of her career
Phyllis Hicks talks about writing for the Omaha Star, pt. 1
Transcript
After you got married [to Alonzo Hicks], you kind of dropped out of Peru [Peru State Teachers College; Peru State College, Peru, Nebraska] for a while and--$$Um-hm.$$Well, what did you do?$$I worked at the Power District [Omaha Public Power District], got involved in the politics down there because all of the black, except for two women who had been there for years, worked in the mail room, so I started my campaign. I got that job because my roommate in college, her stepfather was an engineer there, and he had gotten--they got me the job 'cause I had college--in the mail room, you know? And so I, I rebelled. When we used to have to go, there was a plant that was about six blocks; we'd take the mail up there twice a day, then we'd have to go out and wait on a bus to take the bus to go to another plant--it was on 43rd Street. And they said before I came, they used to have to even go down by the river to take that mail, and they'd be on the bus and you're standing out here, and one day it was raining cats and dogs, and they'd give you galoshes and a raincoat and umbrella to go carry this satchel of mail. I told her, "I am not going." This is what--I say, "I have been driving since I'm ten years old, and you have all those cars down there in the garage that belong to OPPD [Omaha Public Power District]. I am not going out in this rain to carry mail or anything else. Now, you can do what you got to do." So (laughter), they took me in to the vice president's office. I said, "I'm not going." I said, "Now, if you want the job, you got it." And he (laughter), he said, "Well, we'll get somebody to carry it; it is raining kind of hard." And from that day on, the women didn't have to take the bus no more. They--he'd started using the couriers. They didn't let us drive, but they started using a courier service. So I guess I've always been a rebel. I just--you know, for wrong and injustice I just had to stand up and let it be known. And so I worked there until I decided to have a child. And in those days there was no such thing as pregnancy insurance, so I had to quit, and then you had to re-apply, but then I didn't wanna go back 'cause it's just--a lot of things had happened there that they discriminated against people, and it's so funny because one guy that started in the print shop there the same day I started, his name is Fred Petersen, ended up being the president of the power company. And we always kind of maintained a friendship through the years, and when he got his first check as president, he called and asked me to lunch and he said, "I just couldn't show this to nobody but you." He showed me his check, and you know, I had a lot of choice words for him. So anytime I needed anything, he owed me--I'd call, "Fred," (laughter), I'd say, "'cause you didn't know anything when you started. I helped you get your promotions." And so it was always a joke, but I said, "It's not a joke." But he ended up being president of the company. And so then I didn't go back to work there. I worked six months at an insurance company, and then they were starting what they called the OIC, Opportunities Industrialization Centers, Reverend Sullivan--Leon Sullivan's program (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Right, right, in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania], right.$$Okay, all right. I started--I quit my job with a six month-old baby [Wayne Hicks], and went to work for free.$Your column, It's My Opinion [ph.]? Is that--$$Um-hm.$$Okay. When did you start writing that?$$When I came--started working at the Star [Omaha Star]. I came--I retired (laughter) April 2000--April 15th, 2005, and I started working down here at the Star in June, so I retired a whole month and a half? (Laughter) And so then I'd been here for a little while, and I decided I would write this one particular story about the substandard and the government money going to the subsidized private business, and then after that, I started it. And I figure--I write it because it's what I think, I can say what I think, if you don't agree you can write back and say what you think, but that's my opinion whether you like it or not. So it gives me freedom to say what I really want, within reason (laughter).$$Okay. Now, what have been some of the issues that you've (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well, there's a filling station, it's right at the base of where they're gonna start this new North Omaha [Omaha, Nebraska] plan, and it's a Sinclair [Sinclair Oil Corporation] station, and I just happened to--I needed gas, I was coming from city hall, and I went up Dodge [Street], and I said, "Well, I won't go to that one, I'll go to one in the neighborhood," but I happened to look at it and I remember I say, "Well, you know, I'm really on empty," so I stopped and got gas, and then I came on down and I came down 24th [Street], and I got to the one on 24th and Cuming [Street], in a same Sinclair station, but the, the price was forty cents more a gallon. I say, "Wait a minute, something is wrong." So I drove all the way back to Dodge Street to look at it, so the--I was so mad, so I went into the--I stopped to come in there and speak to the manager. They say the manager wasn't there. I say, "Well, who decides who--what you sell the gas for?" Well, I guess they said the manager. I said, "Well, I wanna talk to the manager." So I just couldn't sleep. I got up that next morning bright and early; took my camera, went and took pictures of the one that I got gas from, came down to the one that was in North Omaha, and took pictures of that one being forty cents more a gallon and, and I asked the girl (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Forty cents less, I mean the one--$$More.$$Oh, the one--$$The one that I got gas (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh, the first one, yeah. It was--that's--yeah, right, okay.$$On Dodge Street, it was off downtown. And so then I asked to speak to the manager, I left my name and number, they never called. So I wrote--I took pictures and showed it (laughter), and I put it--I wrote that in Just My Opinion. The manage- didn't--the manager or one of the employees wrote me an email, just real nasty, about that he's the nicest person, that I had no business doing that, and all, and he gave them jobs, and blah, blah, blah. Come to find out, under disguise, the manager was Hispanic--the owner is Hispanic, and had--and nobody knew he was Hispanic, and he called me and he said, "Can I meet with you?" I said, "Sure." He said, "I want you to change that story because I come and they told me not to meet and not to open up 'cause I would have all the--all this, and I don't make the money that the other station--I don't have a quick shop and I don't have--." I said, "Sir." He said, "What they're selling gas for--and they're still doing it, still. You go down there now and it's still forty cents more." And I said, "When you bought your gas and it was the same price as everybody else's gas, granted it may have gone up the next time you bought it, but are you gonna tell me that in two weeks that you bought your gas, your tanks were empty? That you had to raise your price?" "Yes, I had to--I don't make any money off the gas and, and, and you--I just made my money--," and he has a Subway. I say, "Well, you make it off the sandwiches. You're right at the bottom of the hill of Creighton [Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska]." And so he went on, and he just went on and said, "I want you to change that story." I said, "I'm not changing my story." And so he kept on and kept on, and I said, "I am not changing it." I say, "Now, if you wanna write something, your opinion, I'll put it in there, but I am not 'cause it's the fact. Is this not your store? Is this not your sign? This is not the one on Dodge--this is not their sign." So I made a call, and I called all--about seven more in Omaha [Nebraska]. Some of 'em would tell me their prices--most of 'em wouldn't over the phone. So I started going around looking at 'em, and so he changed it a little bit, but then he went right back. If you go there now, he's forty cents more. So--$$Okay.$$And I--you know, I just wrote it and I didn't go back and revisit it, which I probably should, because he's still doing it. And people pull up without even noticing, fill up their tanks, and they can go right down the street, or four blocks over, and get it for forty cents less a gallon.$$Okay.$$So that's what, that's what inspired me to write those two stories, and that's when I started writing my articles.

Nathaniel R. Goldston, III

Founder of Gourmet Services, Inc., Nathaniel Russell Goldston, III was born on October 20, 1938, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Nathaniel and Mary Elizabeth Goldston. Goldston’s mother worked in food service in the public school system and his father at the local hotels and restaurants. Goldston received his B.S. degree in business administration with a concentration in hotel and restaurant management from the University of Denver in 1962.

Goldston worked at a food service company for ten years after graduating from college; he held positions such as district manager, regional vice president, and senior vice president. After being denied a promotion to chief executive officer due to racial discrimination, Goldston left in 1974 to start his own business, Gourmet Services, Inc. in Charlotte, North Carolina. Gourmet Services, Inc. grew to include contracts at six black colleges and employ 300 individuals; in its first year, the company generated $2.3 million in revenues. In 1976, Goldston met former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, who encouraged him to move Gourmet Services, Inc. to Atlanta. The business continued to grow after relocating, and eventually Gourmet Services, Inc. became the nation’s largest African American-owned food service management companies, boasting 2,500 employees; it was ranked fourteenth among the nation’s top 50 food service companies.

In 1986, Goldston founded the Atlanta Chapter of 100 Black Men of America along with twenty-one other local businessmen and civic leaders. In 1989, Goldston became the 100 Black Men of America’s second national president. Gourmet Services, Inc. has donated millions of dollars in scholarships to students attending historically black colleges and universities; Goldston also established the Mary E. Goldston Foundation to provide scholarships to deserving African American students.

Goldston passed away on July 4, 2017.

Accession Number

A2007.112

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/26/2007 |and| 2/25/2008

Last Name

Goldston

Maker Category
Middle Name

R.

Schools

Kellom Elementary School

Omaha Central High School

University of Denver

Doane University

First Name

Nathaniel

Birth City, State, Country

Omaha

HM ID

GOL02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Nebraska

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Town, South Africa

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

10/20/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Death Date

7/4/2017

Short Description

Food service executive and food service entrepreneur Nathaniel R. Goldston, III (1938 - 2017 ) was the founder of Gourmet Services, Inc. and the Atlanta Chapter of 100 Black Men of America.

Employment

Union Pacific Railroad

Allied Chemical Corporation

Dillon Hotel Company

Catering Management, Incorporated

Gourmet Services, Inc

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nathaniel R. Goldston, III's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his mother's parenting

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his father's parenting

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III remembers working for his father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his family's food service professions

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls his neighbors in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III remembers Kellom Grade School in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III remembers the winters in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III remembers moving to a residential neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his family's catering business

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III remembers playing golf

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes Omaha Central High School in Nebraska

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes Doane College in Crete, Nebraska

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls working as a chair car porter

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls paying tuition at the University of Denver

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes the University of Denver in Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls the civil rights activity at the University of Denver

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes the Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes food service education

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls his early employment

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III remembers the Vietnam War draft

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls studying at the University of Denver College of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his early contracts at Gourmet Services, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his family

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes Gourmet Services, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his work with the Aramark Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Nathaniel R. Goldston, III's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his college education

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III talks about the food service industry

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls joining Catering Management, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls his position at Catering Management, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III talks about food service in universities

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III remembers leaving Catering Management, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls partnering with his previous clients

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls moving to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls starting Gourmet Services, Inc. in Atlanta

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes the employees of Gourmet Services, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls changes in his business strategy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III talks about his business innovations

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes the board of Gourmet Services, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III talks about Gourmet Services Inc.'s catering

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his hotel business

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his business challenges

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III lists the top food service industry companies

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his plans for the future of Gourmet Services, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his collaboration with Aramark Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls working with Eastern Air Lines

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III talks about the young leadership of Gourmet Services, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls founding 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls the members of 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls fundraising for Project Success

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls the contribution of Dillard Munford

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls the fundraising events for Project Success

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes the changes in Project Success

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes creation of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls his presidency of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his initiatives as president of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes the successes of 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III shares his advice to aspiring businesspeople

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III narrates his photographs

DASession

2$2

DATape

4$6

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Nathaniel R. Goldston, III remembers leaving Catering Management, Incorporated
Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls founding 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc.
Transcript
So you build this business up for six years, until about 1970. Is that right?$$Nineteen--nine- I, I built the Catering Management [Catering Management, Incorporated] business. I, I, I stuck with it 'til 1974, right.$$So tell me, what happens in 1974 that makes you decide that it's time to go (laughter)?$$(Laughter) It was very interesting. I was, I was still with Catering Management, but Catering Management had been sold, and it'd been sold to a major conglomerate company in, in New York. And if you remember the, the early '60s [1960s] and, and the early '70s [1970s], they didn't have a lot of faith in the fact that, that an African American can, could run that, that business. So when Catering Management sold, I was brought into Columbia, Missouri, as the senior vice president and chief operating officer. But it was always understood that I would never be the president of the company because they were in a search mode for, for president of the company. I ran the company for almost, I guess it was two years, from 1972 to 1974, with interim managers coming in--come--presidents coming. They'd come in, and they, they couldn't figure it out, and they couldn't do the business. And yet and still, I'd turn--once I turn the reins over to the them, I'd have to go back and start all over again, to the point that it became rather frustrating. And, and my wife [Darlene Goldston] said to me, "You know, you run these people's--this biz- business for these people. You don't need these people for you, for, to run the business. You can see that you run the business. You know how to run--you ought to run your own business." I said, "You're probably right." So they had one more sale, when they sold--the company that, that, that bought my company sold to Aramark [Aramark Corporation]. Then it was ARA Services. And I knew I didn't want to get into that big company and getting into all of that. It just wasn't my style. I wasn't gonna move to Philadelphia [Pennsylvania], and I wasn't gonna--and you know, what was my job gonna be? And I basically just decided I'll just start on my--I mean I just woke up one morning and flew to Atlanta [Georgia], and had a, a meeting with an attorney in Atlanta, and told him I wanted to--what, what, what is my, my legal obligations to this company, and how can I start my own business? That lawyer was Prentiss Yancey [Prentiss Q. Yancey, Jr.], who had graduated from Villanova [Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania] and graduated from Emory law school [Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, Georgia]. And, and he was responsible ultimately for, for the merger between the American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association. And Prentiss is, was a very bright guy. He knew how to bring things together. And he told me, he said, he said, "Well, let me look at your contract." And I looked at the contract. "You have a contract with, with food service management. You don't have a contract with ARA. So, if you were still an employee of, of, of the other company, you would have an obligation. But since you quit, you have no obligations to anybody." He said, "Now you gotta figure out how to go get your business." And it's a, a very interesting story in itself.$Let's talk about your involvement with the 100 Black Men [100 Black Men of America, Inc.]. So let's start from the beginning.$$Well, it was a (laughter), it's a very interesting story. Back in the, in the mid-'80s [1980s], we operated a food service for the Harlem State Office Building [Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building] in, in New York [New York]. And one of my, one of the people that, or one of the, the organizations that we regularly served on a monthly basis was the 100 Black Men of New York [100 Black Men, Inc. of New York]. And they met in our building, and we would, and we would serve them dinner in the evenings. And I just happened to be around and asked the president, who was Roscoe, Dr. Roscoe Brown [HistoryMaker Roscoe C. Brown], if I could just kind of listen into the meeting. "Y'all, this is a secret meeting or something?" "No, no, no, no, sit down." And they were--I listen to them. They were planning their annual fundraiser for scholarships that they gave to, to kids in Harlem [New York, New York], basically, going to any college that they wanted to. And, and it was a nice, it was great, great kind of a program. And on my way back to Atlanta [Georgia], I thought about it. I said you know, there's no organization like that in Atlanta that basically, you know. And it was during the time, in those '80s [1980s], black males had a, they had a, a horrible rap. I mean it was, I mean we were known as people that, that ran off and left our families and people that went to the grocery store and never came back for twenty years and all that kind of stuff. And we didn't have the greatest reputation. And I thought about it, and I said you know, there ought to be, we ought to be able to put one of those groups together in the City of Atlanta. And I came back to my secretary, who was Monica Douglas at that time, and I told her. She said, "Yeah, maybe, I don't know." She said, "I, I don't know." She said, "But you're right: there is nothing, you know, there is nothing here in Atlanta that even comes close to that." We didn't have a black chamber. We didn't have a--we had the Black United Front [National Black United Front], which came close to doing something like that. So at any rate, I decided I would, I would call a few guys and invite them to dinner at the Mansion Restaurant [Atlanta, Georgia]. It ended up there was twenty-five or thirty of us showed up. And I talked to them about, you know, the group in, that I'd encountered in New York. And they were actually founded to combat police brutality in Harlem back in the, in the '50s [1950s] and the '60s [1960s]. That's how they got their group together. You know, they called it 100 Black Men [100 Black Men, Inc.; 100 Black Men of America, Inc.], and they worked with the police department and the mayor to stop some of the police brutality that was going on. And, and I said we need that kind of a community organization here, and the guys agreed with it. So we sat down and as a result of that, we decided we had to try to figure out what we were going to do. What can we do to impact the, the community in the City of Atlanta? And of course, one of those guys was in the superintendent of schools. He said, "I'll tell you what you can do. You can help some, keep some of these young people in school." He said, "You can help us, you know, basically give them some kind of a hope, some mind of a reason for staying in school and going on with life instead of dropping out. Our dropout rate is somewhere around 45 percent, 50 percent." And we said well, that makes sense. So what, what, what could we do? He said, "Well, I'll tell you what: he says I got a school. The worst school I got is Archer High School [S.H. Archer High School, Atlanta, Georgia] up at Perry Homes [Atlanta, Georgia] in the projects up there. And if we can figure out a way to help those kids through school and make certain that they went on to college and had a college education," he said, "We could do it like that guy did up in New York, that Eugene Lang." He said, "We challenge them. If they come through our program, and they do everything we say, that at the end of there, when you graduate, we'll make certain that your college tuition is paid for." Everybody, the room went silent. And then of course the, the accountants came up there. "How much would that cost?" "We don't know how much it would cost." "Well, don't you think we need to find out first?" So we went back. And the next meeting they came back, and when the accountants came up and gave their report, said, "You would have to raise anywhere between three hundred and fifty and a half million dollars every year." You've got to be kidding me. That's what it's gonna cost. Now if you get out there and make that promise, you better be able to deliver. And so we thought long and hard about it. And I was kind of the leader of the group, since I was the convener.

Brenda Payton Jones

Journalist Brenda Payton was born Brenda Joyce Williams on August 24, 1952, in Omaha, Nebraska. At three years of age, Payton’s parents (Dr. James B. Williams and Willeen Williams) moved the family to Chicago, Illinois. Payton was raised in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, attending the University of Chicago Laboratory School for elementary and high school. While at the Laboratory School, she began her interest in writing. As a high school student in the late 1960s, Payton was active in cheerleading and theater. Payton attended civil rights events at Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr.’s Operation PUSH, and rallies with Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Movement. By her senior year in high school, Payton was a National Merit Scholarship semi-finalist. She then began her college career as a theatre arts major at Pomona College.

Payton eventually changed her major and received her B.A. degree in history from Pomona College in 1973. She then studied West African literature in Ghana for one year as a Watson fellow. In 1974, Payton returned to the United States to attend graduate school. Upon receiving her M.A. degree in journalism from Boston University, she worked for the New Bedford Standard Times and the Boston Phoenix. Payton then took a position at the San Francisco Examiner covering general assignments in the area. In 1980, Robert Maynard, the first Black editor and publisher of a mainstream newspaper, recruited Payton to work at the Oakland Tribune.

For the past twenty-five years, Payton has written for the Oakland Tribune covering local and national political and social issues including the link between the health of African Americans and racial discrimination, underage prostitution, the internment of Japanese Americans, the United States war on terror, and Hurricane Katrina. Her writings have been published in The New York Times and Thinking Black, an anthology of African American columnists. She has also been a recipient of Stanford University’s John S. Knight Fellowship.

In 1992, Payton was an associate producer and the investigation director for a PBS documentary on mortgage lending discrimination entitled Your Loan is Denied. In 1994, her national report addressing violence among African American youth was published by the Children’s Defense Fund’s Black Community Crusade for Children. The Bay Area Black Journalists Society honored Payton in October 2005 for her contributions to journalism. In March 2006, CityFlight Newsmagazine honored Payton as on the Ten Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area. She continues to write for the Oakland Tribune, and does monthly radio commentary on public radio station, KQED-FM.

Accession Number

A2006.058

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/3/2006

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Middle Name

Payton

Occupation
Schools

University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

St. Thomas The Apostle School

Pomona College

Boston University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Brenda

Birth City, State, Country

Omaha

HM ID

PAY05

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Nebraska

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

8/24/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Oakland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Strawberries

Short Description

Newspaper columnist Brenda Payton Jones (1952 - ) wrote for the Oakland Tribune and provided radio commentary on KQED-FM in the Bay Area.

Employment

The Standard Times

Boston Pheonix

Oakland Tribune

San Francisco Examiner

Favorite Color

Turquoise

Timing Pairs
0,0:1520,24:1824,29:2888,145:6380,178:6961,186:8040,204:8372,209:9783,235:10198,241:11194,258:11609,264:12605,279:13020,285:13933,298:19638,362:22732,407:35816,564:36246,570:36762,577:48705,743:49215,751:52190,795:60070,870:60490,875:62380,905:65608,921:66292,928:66862,935:67432,941:68230,949:70700,966:74011,1015:75166,1029:75551,1035:76398,1055:80171,1139:84714,1217:85484,1228:93362,1294:95140,1305$0,0:2380,70:4080,146:4590,153:5185,161:6630,185:7565,197:10686,209:11014,214:14540,270:15114,279:15688,288:17328,327:17820,334:19542,384:29772,470:30060,475:30780,488:31644,503:41210,629:46718,717:50050,798:52650,806:53560,817:54197,825:54652,835:55016,840:55562,847:60510,911:62340,917:62810,923:63562,932:65966,946:67695,981:68332,987:75170,1063:75930,1074:76538,1084:78819,1104:79695,1126:82323,1183:83710,1251:89605,1296:89980,1303:90355,1309:90655,1314:91255,1329:91555,1334:91855,1339:92530,1349:93205,1360:93655,1367:93955,1372:94780,1391:95080,1396:95380,1401:95680,1406:103116,1464:103876,1475:104484,1486:107894,1495:108452,1507:109754,1532:112810,1554:114440,1564:128378,1686:128810,1695:132914,1791:134570,1821:135938,1856:136226,1861:145708,1992:146492,2020:151298,2057:152208,2070:153027,2082:156449,2098:157325,2112:158274,2134:160099,2186:160756,2196:161048,2201:161486,2209:161851,2215:162435,2224:163457,2230:165282,2258:165574,2263:167253,2298:173676,2358:174102,2365:175309,2393:175664,2399:175948,2404:176374,2411:180137,2484:185070,2515:187510,2604:194970,2643:196070,2660:196470,2665:196970,2672:197370,2677:198070,2685:199170,2700:200970,2724:201970,2736:202370,2741:208036,2772:208498,2781:209330,2787
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Brenda Payton Jones' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Brenda Payton Jones lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Brenda Payton Jones talks about her family's U.S. military service

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her father's surgical training

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her family

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Brenda Payton Jones describes Hyde Park in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Brenda Payton Jones recalls experiencing racial discrimination in Hyde Park

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Brenda Payton Jones describes the smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Brenda Payton Jones remembers her favorite elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her childhood personality and aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her social life at University of Chicago Laboratory School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her political involvement as a teenager, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her parent's community involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her political involvement as a teenager, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Brenda Payton Jones recalls her teenage pastimes

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her desire to attend Yellow Springs' Antioch College

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Brenda Payton Jones recalls attending Pomona College in Claremont, California

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her academic interests at Pomona College

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Brenda Payton Jones recalls her Thomas J. Watson Fellowship in Ghana

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Brenda Payton Jones recalls the desegregation of Boston's schools, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Brenda Payton Jones recalls the desegregation of Boston's schools, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Brenda Payton Jones recalls writing for The Standard-Times in New Bedford, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Brenda Payton Jones describes Massachusetts' Cape Verdean population

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Brenda Payton Jones recalls writing for The Boston Phoenix

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Brenda Payton Jones recalls joining the staff of the San Francisco Examiner

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Brenda Payton Jones explains the importance of diversity in journalism

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Brenda Payton Jones remembers Robert C. Maynard

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her column for the Oakland Tribune

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her documentary on lending discrimination

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Brenda Payton Jones recalls the integration of two congregations after a church burning

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her work in public radio

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Brenda Payton Jones reflects upon African American journalists' progress in Oakland

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Brenda Payton Jones describes her passion for dance

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Brenda Payton Jones describes the demographic changes in Oakland, California

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Brenda Payton Jones reflects upon her life and how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Brenda Payton Jones narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Brenda Payton Jones describes her political involvement as a teenager, pt. 2
Brenda Payton Jones recalls writing for The Boston Phoenix
Transcript
'Cause oh, yeah, at, in high school [University of Chicago High School; University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, Chicago, Illinois] too, we did have, I guess my junior year, we started organizing and we were organizing for, we had no black teachers, wanted black teachers, more black students and black curriculum there, because there was none, and that was an important organizing lesson for me. I was a junior and so it was mostly juniors and seniors doing this and we took the principal, this is, I always laugh when I think about it, took the principal to a black Muslim restaurant for our meeting and I don't know if we really truly understood how intimidating that was but, so he agreed to everything, right, but what the truth of it, which I found so many times with other institutions that, you know, also, I don't, you know, the seniors graduated, so when we came back and what we had was, you know, like a no actual class, black studies class, we had a, like a voluntary, how do we get along session or something, no black teachers, you know, nothing that he officially agreed to, but what were we going to do about it because most of the organizers were graduated, so, that was kind of a lesson I always remembered later and I was also very active in college in, you know, student organizing.$So you've, you worked there [The Standard-Times] for a few months and then you moved on (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) And then I, I went to The Boston Phoenix which was anoth- is, an alternative newspaper. They recruited me to come. Also, I was commuting sixty-five miles so that was killing me. And, and The Phoenix is a weekly newspaper and it was out of that, and came out of that anti-war, you know, the whole journalism, anti-war journalism, but it was also a good place for me because it was much, it was a writer's paper and you really, you know, got a lot of guidance and development. They put, you know, much more development into--daily newspapers they don't really spend that much time, it's kind of just go as you, you know, but this took much more time. So I think I really was able to develop my writing there and much longer articles, and that was kind of an interesting, again, I was the first black reporter there and may still be the only, I'm not sure if they, what they've done. They, the alternative press is not much better than the mainstream press or, worse actually, and that's been kind of a disappointment to me and, you know, that we haven't made more progress. But there, oh, and on, kind of on the personal side there, it's again, an interesting thing. I, when I first went there, I would come home sometimes crying and really felt very, at the time, felt very much that, and again, I'd been, I've been a minority in school situations most of my life but there I was really very conscious of feeling unaccepted or that they didn't think I could do the work and in hindsight though, I thought about that, and the editor was British and said to me later, I think as, I don't know if the issue of affirmative action was talking to me like, well, yeah, I hired you because we needed a black reporter but if you couldn't have done the work, I would have fired you. I mean, that was his attitude. It wasn't any of this, you know. But later, and I ended up feeling very much a part of that staff and then later it kind of dawned on me that what I took for racial resistance or something, some of it could have, really might have been because I was so young and that some of their feelings that, that were patronizing, were more because of my age but I took it as racial and I think that's been a lesson to me to one of the issues that we struggle with is we don't know what's going on, you know, and you can, sometimes you can mistake something for racial but we're constantly in that, you know (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Territory.$$--and the kind of stress and insecurity but there, I think, it also made me tough so that when I came through that and I was determined, then I felt like, well, I'll never be soft or vulnerable in that way again.

Alfred Liggins, III

Alfred Charles Liggins III was born on January 30, 1965, in Omaha, Nebraska. Liggins spent his early childhood in Omaha and at the age of seven moved to Washington, D.C. when his mother, radio mogul Cathy Hughes, took a job at Howard University. When he was sixteen, Liggins’s mother and stepfather purchased AM radio station WOL. At first Liggins hosted a teen talk show on WOL, though he was more interested in the record industry than the radio business. In 1983, Liggins earned his high school diploma from Wilson High School in Washington.

After graduation, Liggins drove cross-country to California where he began working in direct mail advertising before landing a job in the record industry. From 1983 until 1984, Liggins worked in sales and management for Light Records and as a production coordinator for singer Patrick Anderson. After a job with Motown Records fell through, Liggins decided to move back to Washington, D.C. in 1985 to help his mother, who was by then divorced and running the fledging radio station alone. Liggins attended night school at the University of the District of Columbia, and worked at the radio station during the day. From 1986 until 1994, Liggins worked in the sales department at WOL, quickly climbing from representative to sales manager, helping the station rise in ratings and into the black. At Liggins's urging the family business began to grow with the purchase of FM stations in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland, thus the beginning of the Radio One empire.

In 1994, Liggins took over the day-to-day operations of the family business, becoming the president and chief executive officer of Radio One, with his mother retaining ownership. In 1995, Liggins earned his MBA degree from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. In 1999, under Liggins's leadership, Radio One went public and made history as the first female African American owned company on the stock exchange. In 2000, Radio One purchased twenty-one radio stations from Clear Channel, more than doubling the company’s revenue. Radio One eventually became the nation’s largest radio company, targeting African American and urban listeners with fifty-one stations in more than twenty cities.

In 2004, Liggins expanded Radio One’s media sphere when he launched TV One, a cable network for African American adults. Liggins has been the recipient of numerous awards including Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

Accession Number

A2004.211

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/20/2004

Last Name

Liggins

Maker Category
Middle Name

C.

Schools

Woodrow Wilson High School

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

University of the District of Columbia

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Alfred

Birth City, State, Country

Omaha

HM ID

LIG01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Nebraska

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

At The End Of The Day.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/30/1965

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chinese Food

Short Description

Broadcast chief executive Alfred Liggins, III (1965 - ) is the president and chief executive officer of Radio One. In 2004 he launched TV One, a cable network for African American adults.

Employment

Light Records

Singer Patrick Anderson

WOL Radio

Radio One

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:10490,139:14360,209:16790,258:26860,411:27665,419:28240,425:38201,604:38549,609:42660,627:44105,654:52260,792:52962,802:61284,906:61932,948:63948,1018:66468,1084:66972,1100:67404,1107:69636,1145:69924,1150:86878,1391:87190,1396:88672,1424:91870,1580:99690,1632$0,0:661,4:969,9:8592,186:9054,197:10671,231:11056,237:12904,273:14059,290:14598,299:15137,307:26255,410:26587,416:26919,421:27251,426:31899,532:38470,572:38870,578:52024,794:53536,829:54124,837:66408,968:74043,1094:77516,1134:82268,1154:83896,1190:84636,1214:90778,1359:91074,1364:91666,1373:92184,1382:102852,1537:103282,1543:108742,1649:111896,1731:112975,1748:115133,1760:115465,1769:116046,1777:117540,1813:125280,1888:124760,1909
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alfred Liggins, III's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alfred Liggins, III lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about his mother, HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alfred Liggins, III remembers his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about his maternal and paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his earliest memories of growing up in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his childhood holidays

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his childhood home and community in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Alfred Liggins, III describes a typical day in his childhood in Omaha, Nebraska and recalls his schooling there

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Alfred Liggins, III remembers moving to Washington, D.C. as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his elementary schools in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Alfred Liggins, III describes his childhood personality, career aspirations and activities in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his time at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about his Catholic upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls a neighbor who acted as a second father for him

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his activities while attending Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his high school years

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his mother and stepfather's takeover of radio station WOL-AM in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls hosting a radio show on his mother and stepfather's station, WOL-AM in Washington, D.C, as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls living with his father in Kansas City, Kansas and his maternal uncle and aunt in Houston, Texas as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his high school friends and their activities in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about the status of his mother and stepfather's radio station, WOL-AM, upon his return to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls deciding to move to California after graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C. in 1983

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls celebrities he met through HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes' work in radio

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his stepfather's move to Los Angeles, California and taking a road trip to go live with him after high school

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his initial record industry jobs while living in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls tough times that HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes went through with WOL-AM radio station in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about his aspirations for a career in the recording industry

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alfred Liggins, III describes his return to Washington, D.C. at twenty-one years old

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alfred Liggins, III reflects upon returning to Washington, D.C. and working in the radio business as a twenty-one year old

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alfred Liggins, III describes building up WOL-AM's advertising sales

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes' acquisition of their first FM station in the late 1980s, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes' acquisition of their first FM station in the late 1980s, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls making a profit after revising the format of his newly acquired radio station to play urban adult contemporary music

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls buying radio stations in Baltimore, Maryland while working out differences in management style with his mother

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Alfred Liggins, III describes buying radio stations in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. after deregulation in the early 1990s

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about earning his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls buying a radio station in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alfred Liggins, III explains how he gained his own financial stake in Radio One separate from his mother, HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls three events that grew Radio One financially

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alfred Liggins, III explains the rationale for making Radio One a publicly-traded company

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alfred Liggins, III reflects on Radio One's timing in going public and the company's radio station buying habits

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Alfred Liggins, III reflects upon having attended Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Alfred Liggins, III offers his thoughts on the importance of college for young African Americans

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about TV One

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about HistoryMaker Johnathan Rodgers, CEO of TV One

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Alfred Liggins, III describes his expectations for TV One

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Alfred Liggins, III reflects on his deferred dream of going into the record business

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Alfred Liggins, III reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Alfred Liggins, III considers his potential legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

7$8

DATitle
Alfred Liggins, III talks about the status of his mother and stepfather's radio station, WOL-AM, upon his return to Washington, D.C.
Alfred Liggins, III describes buying radio stations in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. after deregulation in the early 1990s
Transcript
What was happening at the radio station [WOL-AM, Washington, D.C.] when you came back in 1983 (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Same stuff I mean, you know, I mean, I was, you know, I'm trying to think did I go back to doing sports or was I doing sports in my senior year [at Woodrow Wilson High School, Washington, D.C.] I don't remember. You know, just struggling I mean, you know, they bought WOL in 1980, AM station first time they'd be in, in business for themselves. Economy was horrible, interest rate is sky high, and they were attempting, you know, a new format: black talk. And, you know, I'm sure that they and the community thought it was a noble and much-needed format but advertisers didn't necessarily see value the, the value of it at the time. And, and listeners were also migrating from the FM--from the AM dial to the FM dial. So, you know, things were tough. And that, you know, my mother [HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes] and my stepfather [Dewey Hughes] were always probably pretty good at sort of keeping from me and maybe I just wasn't all that interested. You know, how tough things were I think so when I get back I was more interested, you know, in, in being a good son. So I didn't have to go back to Kansas (laughter). But, you know, what I mean, I was turning eighteen I didn't know what the hell I was gonna do. I hadn't gotten into any colleges I just knew that everybody else was going to college and doing something. I needed to do something, and my stepfather was moving out to California. And so sounded good to me, so I was ready to go to California too; that's what I did after high school.$And then deregulation happened, and it's called the "duopoly rule" so now you can own an AM and an FM, two AMs and two FMs in a market. And (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Did you see that as an opportunity or?$$I've always did, every time there was an opportunity, I've always wanted to make the company bigger. And, and always, you know, looked for opportunities to, you know, times to do it. And so, you know, when that happened start looking around Baltimore [Maryland] to see if we could buy. We had two competitors at the time and, and one was the leading black radio station owned by Summit Communications call the BXYV or V103. It sold, and we didn't buy it but we end up buying our other competitor was owned by United Broadcasting they own WERQ [Baltimore, Maryland], 92Q is the station, and we bought that for $9 million dollars. And, and there was a big home run, and we actually squeezed the other guy out of the format and that was that was huge. Because when we once we squeezed, once we got ERQ, and really put the pressure on we started doing really start doing well in Baltimore [Maryland], making a bunch of money. And then we focused on buying our competitor in Washington [D.C.]. The station WKYS [WKYS-FM, Washington, D.C.], which was owned by Burt Lee and Skip Finley in those guys' 'cause NBC, had sold it to a minority group when they had some big merger, and they had it divest. And we knew Skip, Skip was a good friend of the family's and they, you know, needed to sell at the time, and they did the right thing decided they were going to sell it to somebody black. And so they called us we're the competitor. Washington our first station WMMJ [Majic 102.3, Washington, D.C.] was still doing great, and so we bought WKYS four $34 million dollars, which at that time was the biggest deal ever done between two black people.$$And what year was this?$$Ninety, 1995.$$Um-hm.

Cathy Hughes

Radio maven Cathy Hughes was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1947. Beginning her career in radio in 1969, Hughes’ first position was with KOWH, a black radio station in Omaha. Her successes there prompted the Howard University School of Communications to offer her a position as a lecturer and as Assistant to the Dean of Communications.

In 1973, Hughes was named general sales manager to WHUR-FM in Washington, D.C, and by 1975 was hired as the general manager of the station. Under her guidance, WHUR-FM, which had been struggling along with $300,000 in annual sales revenues, increased its annual revenues to more than $3.5 million. In 1978, Hughes left WHUR for WYCB Radio, where she served as the vice president and general manager of the station.

Hughes and her husband at the time, Dewey Hughes, decided they wanted to buy their own radio station in 1979, and after being rejected by thirty-two banks, they found a lender. With their loan, they purchased WOL, a small Washington, D.C. station and Radio One was born. While Hughes wanted a talk format for the station, the bank was pressing for music. A compromise was reached permitting Hughes to have a morning talk show program that was followed by music programming throughout the day.

Hughes’ marriage ended shortly after purchasing the station and she began her path as a single mother. She purchased her husband’s share in the station, but hard times soon forced she and her son, Alfred, to give up their apartment and move into the station to make ends meet. Over time, however, the station began turning a profit, largely due to the success of her talk show.

Since the early days of being a station owner, Hughes’ rise has been remarkable. Today, Radio One owns 65 radio stations throughout every major market in the country, making the company the largest black-owned radio chain in the nation. In January of 2004, Hughes launched TV One, a cable television channel targeted at the African American community.

Today, Hughes has the distinction of being the first African American woman to head a media company publicly traded on the U.S. Stock Exchange, and she continues to serve as Chairperson of Radio One.

Accession Number

A2004.171

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/21/2004 |and| 3/2/2005

Last Name

Hughes

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Sacred Heart Elementary School

Duchesne Academy Of The Sacred Heart

University of Nebraska-Omaha

Harvard University

University of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Cathy

Birth City, State, Country

Omaha

HM ID

HUG04

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Nebraska

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

It Is Not Enough For You To Do Your Very Best. You Must Do What Is Required Of The Situation.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

4/22/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Broadcast chief executive Cathy Hughes (1947 - ) is the founder of Radio One, the nation's largest black-owned radio chain, and TV One, which features programming aimed at African American audiences. Hughes is the first African American woman to head a media company that is publicly traded on the U.S. Stock Exchange.

Employment

Howard University

WHUR Radio

WYCB Radio

WOL Radio

TV One

Favorite Color

Earth Tones

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Slating of Cathy Hughes' interview

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Cathy Hughes lists her favorites

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Cathy Hughes describes her father's family background

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Cathy Hughes describes her father's education and career

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Cathy Hughes recalls her father's accounting practice

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Cathy Hughes recalls moving to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Cathy Hughes describes her paternal grandparents' lives, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Cathy Hughes describes her paternal grandparents' lives, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Cathy Hughes reflects upon the need to preserve African American history

Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Cathy Hughes describes her mother's family background

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Cathy Hughes describes her maternal grandfather's education

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Cathy Hughes recalls her maternal grandparents' founding of Piney Woods Country Life School

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Cathy Hughes recalls her mother's estrangement from her grandfather

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Cathy Hughes recalls her maternal grandfather's life and service

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Cathy Hughes recalls her maternal grandfather's appearance on television

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Cathy Hughes recalls her grandfather's interview for Johnson Publishing

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Cathy Hughes recalls dinners at her grandfather's home

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Cathy Hughes describes African American women's sacrifices for their community

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Cathy Hughes describes Piney Woods Country Life School's disciplinary policy

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Cathy Hughes describes her mother's personality

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Cathy Hughes describes her mother's career with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Cathy Hughes recalls her mother's career with the Omaha Symphony

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Cathy Hughes describes her mother's connections in the music industry

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Cathy Hughes recalls her mother's lessons in giving, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Cathy Hughes recalls her mother's lessons in giving, pt. 2

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Cathy Hughes describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Cathy Hughes recalls her mother's community activism

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Cathy Hughes recalls being arrested in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Cathy Hughes recalls growing up in a closely-knit community

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Cathy Hughes recalls her early years living in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Cathy Hughes describes her mother's service with the youth

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - Cathy Hughes describes her family's life in the projects in Omaha

Tape: 13 Story: 8 - Cathy Hughes remembers moving to Piney Woods, Mississippi

Tape: 13 Story: 9 - Cathy Hughes recalls her schooling in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 13 Story: 10 - Cathy Hughes describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Omaha

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Cathy Hughes describes the sights and smells of her childhood

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Cathy Hughes recalls her rebellious nature as a child

Tape: 14 Story: 3 - Cathy Hughes recalls becoming pregnant as a teenager

Tape: 14 Story: 4 - Cathy Hughes recalls filing for divorce from her first husband

Tape: 14 Story: 5 - Cathy Hughes describes how her son's birth changed her perspective on life

Tape: 14 Story: 6 - Cathy Hughes recalls her independence as a young, single mother

Tape: 14 Story: 7 - Cathy Hughes recalls her decision to relocate to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 14 Story: 8 - Cathy Hughes recalls accepting a position at Howard University's School of Communications

Tape: 15 Story: 1 - Cathy Hughes describes her role as a community activist at Howard University

Tape: 15 Story: 2 - Cathy Hughes recalls her challenges as the general manager of WHUR Radio

Tape: 15 Story: 3 - Cathy Hughes remembers resigning from Howard University

Tape: 15 Story: 4 - Cathy Hughes recalls her innovations in radio programming at Howard University

Tape: 15 Story: 5 - Cathy Hughes recalls how WHUR Radio was licensed to Howard University

Tape: 15 Story: 6 - Cathy Hughes talks about her creativity as a radio programmer

Tape: 15 Story: 7 - Cathy Hughes recalls her early experiences of radio

Tape: 16 Story: 1 - Cathy Hughes recalls her educational opportunities at Howard University's WHUR Radio

Tape: 16 Story: 2 - Cathy Hughes describes her experience at Howard University's WHUR Radio

Tape: 16 Story: 3 - Cathy Hughes describes the segregated community of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 16 Story: 4 - Cathy Hughes describes her experience at WYCB Radio

Tape: 16 Story: 5 - Cathy Hughes recalls the reason for WOL Radio's distress sale

Tape: 16 Story: 6 - Cathy Hughes recalls her bid to purchase WOL Radio with Dewey Hughes

Tape: 16 Story: 7 - Cathy Hughes recalls purchasing WOL Radio in 1979 with the help of Herb Fame

Tape: 16 Story: 8 - Cathy Hughes recalls her first night at the WOL Radio station

Tape: 17 Story: 1 - Cathy Hughes recalls meeting her chaplain, Reverend Mozelle J. Fuller

Tape: 17 Story: 2 - Cathy Hughes recalls her chaplain, Reverend Mozelle J. Fuller

Tape: 17 Story: 3 - Cathy Hughes recalls her business mentor Skip Finley

Tape: 17 Story: 4 - Cathy Hughes recalls her hardships during the early years of owning WOL Radio

Tape: 17 Story: 5 - Cathy Hughes recalls hiring an accountant for WOL Radio

Tape: 17 Story: 6 - Cathy Hughes recalls the first time WOL Radio made a profit

Tape: 17 Story: 7 - Cathy Hughes recalls acquiring her second radio station

Tape: 17 Story: 8 - Cathy Hughes reflects upon her sacrifices to expand Radio One

Tape: 17 Story: 9 - Cathy Hughes reflects upon the success of Radio One and the launch of TV One

Tape: 18 Story: 1 - Cathy Hughes recalls acquiring a second radio station, Majic 102.3

Tape: 18 Story: 2 - Cathy Hughes recalls expanding Radio One into Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 18 Story: 3 - Cathy Hughes recalls purchasing Radio One of Atlanta

Tape: 18 Story: 4 - Cathy Hughes describes Radio One's expansion

Tape: 18 Story: 5 - Cathy Hughes recalls the establishment of TV One

Tape: 18 Story: 6 - Cathy Hughes recalls her son renaming her company Radio One

Tape: 18 Story: 7 - Cathy Hughes recalls her son's education at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School

Tape: 18 Story: 8 - Cathy Hughes recalls the initial public offering of Radio One in 1999

Tape: 18 Story: 9 - Cathy Hughes reflects upon her relationship with her son

Tape: 18 Story: 10 - Cathy Hughes describes securing her first loan for Radio One

Tape: 18 Story: 11 - Cathy Hughes describes her loan payment strategies

Tape: 18 Story: 12 - Cathy Hughes reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 18 Story: 13 - Cathy Hughes reflects upon her hopes for the African American community

DASession

2$2

DATape

15$18

DAStory

4$8

DATitle
Cathy Hughes recalls her innovations in radio programming at Howard University
Cathy Hughes recalls the initial public offering of Radio One in 1999
Transcript
I created for Howard University [Washington, D.C.] a program called the Quiet Storm, a format that almost got me fired. Ultimately, it went on to become the most successful, urban format in the history of black radio. It was on nearly five hundred radio stations at one time. I tried to get Howard University to license that. By now, they would have generated billions, with a B, not millions; billions of dollars in revenue. Radio stations named their whole station the Quiet Storm and did my format 24/7. I then tried to convince Howard to do a black Muzak, which still has not been done to this day. Howard was building a new hospital. And one of my fellow faculty members had been the highest ranking African American and the only African American actually with the Gallup Poll. So he knew how to do polls. He was a black pollster. So we did a poll of four hundred African American professionals, doctors and lawyers and other professionals, real estate agents, insurance executives. We asked them, number one, Leroy [ph.] said to me--that was the gentleman who was the pollster's name, that he had never seen it, 84 return, percent return rate, 84 percent of the four hundred people we polled returned their questionnaires. They were willing at this time, which was how many decades ago, to pay up to hundred and fifty dollars a month for the service. We described it as a black Muzak. Howard University had the equipment. When Katharine Graham, and The Washington Post gave WHUR [WHUR Radio, Washington, D.C.] to Howard University--WHUR, W-Howard University Radio. It had before that been WTOP-FM Radio. When they gave the station to Howard, they gave the equipment for a sub-channel. Muzak is sub channel. Muzak is actually an FM radio station on a sub channel. We had the equipment. All Howard had to do was say yes. They were already wiring the hospital. Every room in the Howard University Hospital [Washington, D.C.] has radio and television already wired in. All I had to do was sit the transmitter in the basement and bring the signal up. So there was no additional cost. All they had to do is say yes. They said no. Here we have a 84 percent respondent rate. We have people saying that they'd be willing to pay Howard up to hundred and fifty dollars a month to have a black Muzak service, because by now, my Quiet Storm was so successful, they knew it would be like the Quiet Storm. But even today, it hasn't been done. How many black professionals in the whole country would love to have a beautiful, black music service being pumped in. Now, Muzak is no longer popular because we got CDs. It kind of got--technology kind of kicked it out the back door. I think it wouldn't have been kicked out the back door as quickly if there had of been a black version of it. I think that white folks would have gussied it up a little bit. Remember, it used to be called elevator music[AB2].$$That's right.$$But they still have different forms of it. It's just called different things. When you go in grocery stores now, you have a version. They even do their own commercials. "You're listening to the Giant Food music network," you know. Now, you have satellite radio. You have so many other things. So, by then I realized that Howard University did not have the level of understanding and appreciation for my innovations and ideas that God was blessing me with that I was sharing with them. And I was not trying to get any--it wasn't for me. I wasn't trying to get anything out of it. It was for them. It would have generated--in hindsight, I now understand. Other than the bookstore, they had never had any type of revenue-generating ventures. They didn't know about being in business, and remember, I said earlier, they were government funded. So they were accustomed to filling out requisitions, sending it to the federal government, getting the money. And they went through a lot of--as any, anybody would, all of a sudden they have hundreds of millions of dollars put in a bank account in their name. They had to establish accounting procedures and, so they really didn't have an understanding, a time or a commitment to the radio station at that time.$Alfred [Hughes' son, HistoryMaker Alfred Liggins, III] then became like a tutor, a mentor, a teacher. He walked me through the entire process, and even when I still had reservations, he did a high-yield bond offering to run a test balloon up, a test run on our management team, because one of my last reservations was, we run real slim and trim, even now. Wall Street likes that, but my managers wear a lot of hats. And I was like, will they be able to withstand the rigors of the reporting required of a public corp--publicly-held corporation which are far greater now with Sarbanes-Oxley [Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002]. But even back then, the rigors were quite strenuous. So he did the high-yield bond offering to test himself and our staff, and they came through with flying colors. May 19th, Martin--Malcolm X's birthday, 1995, we're in New York [New York]. We're going public. And I'm in the bathroom regurgitating as if I were pregnant. That's how nervous I was, because right before our ticker came across the board, one of the Wall Street analysts said to me, "Do you realize that you will be the first corporation in the history of Wall Street headed by an African American female? This has never been done before." And that reaction of me getting sick to my stomach was almost like being pregnant and giving birth. I realized that this was bigger than me and Alfred having growth capital. This was bigger--this was me really lifting the bar for black womanhood, (laughter) you know. I almost wanted to sing, "I am woman," (laughter) you know. I needed an anthem. And it made such an incredible difference. So many of our staff members became millionaires because of the friend--friends and family list. So many of our friends and acquaintances were able to achieve incredible financial success. We opened at twenty-four and went to ninety-two in our first twelve months. We then split, and it was such a glorious time, that first year. Since then, the sector has been so depressed. All radio properties have been undervalued. And particularly when you're last in and you're African American, but we think that that will turn around. We have never missed a projection. Everything we have told Wall Street since day one has been the reality of the operation of my company [Radio One, Lanham, Maryland]. And that's why we're considered the best. We are now the seventh largest broadcasting corporation in America, and we plan to be the sixth, the fifth, the fourth, the third, the second and who knows? We might bump Clear Channel [Clear Channel Communications, Inc.] out of the number one spot before God finishes blessing us.

Lt. Gov. Joe Rogers

Born in 1964, Joe Rogers grew up in Commerce, Colorado, and graduated from Adams City High School.

Rogers worked his way through Colorado State University, majoring in Business Administration, and went on to Arizona State University where he studied law. While at Arizona State, Rogers led the school to its first national championship by winning the American Bar Association Negotiation Competition, a contest involving 80 U.S. law schools.

After earning his law degree, Rogers helped provide free legal services for the poor in rural southeast Colorado as part of the Colorado Bar Association's Lend-A-Lawyer Program. Born into a family that spent eight years on welfare, Rogers went on to practice law with Davis, Graham & Stubbs, one of Colorado's top firms. He served as staff counsel for Colorado's U. S. Senator, Hank Brown, and advised on a wide range of issues related to business including telecommunications, transportation and housing. Later, in private practice, he served as general counsel to the Denver Parents Association, a conservative non-profit public policy group advocating school vouchers. On their behalf, Rogers filed a lawsuit against the Denver Board of Education.

In 1996, Rogers ran for Colorado's First Congressional District seat vacated by retiring Congresswoman Pat Schroeder (D-CO). Rogers, a black Republican, surprised skeptics by garnering 42 percent of the vote, including 50 percent of the black vote. Encouraged, Rogers broadened his appeal and ran for Lieutenant Governor in 1998. Colorado's population is overwhelmingly white-only 4 to 5 percent is African American and 13 percent is Hispanic. Rogers and gubernatorial running mate Bill Owens won by a nearly 60 percent - 40 percent margin. In 1999, Joseph B. "Joe" Rogers was sworn in as the youngest Lt. Governor in Colorado history.

Rogers served as chairman of the newly formed National Conference of Lieutenant Governors. He was a principal speaker at the 2000 GOP National Convention.

He passed away on October 7, 2013, at the age of 49.

Joe Rogers was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 17, 2002.

Accession Number

A2002.122

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/17/2002

Last Name

Rogers

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Adams City High School

Colorado State University

Arizona State University

First Name

Joe

Birth City, State, Country

Omaha

HM ID

ROG03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Nebraska

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart and Lean Not On Your Own Understanding; In All Your Ways Submit To Him, And He Will Make Your Paths Straight.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Colorado

Birth Date

7/8/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Denver

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Death Date

10/7/2013

Short Description

Lieutenant governor and lawyer Lt. Gov. Joe Rogers (1964 - 2013 ) was the youngest Lieutenant Governor of Colorado in history, and served as the chairman of the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors.

Employment

Davis, Graham & Stubbs

United States Senate

Denver Parents Association

State of Colorado

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joe Rogers' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joe Rogers lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joe Rogers talks about his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joe Rogers describes his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joe Rogers shares stories about his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joe Rogers describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joe Rogers describes his earliest memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joe Rogers talks about his family's struggle with poverty

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

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Joe Rogers lists his elementary schools

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Joe Rogers describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joe Rogers recalls his influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joe Rogers describes growing up in Commerce City, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joe Rogers recalls when he stood up against school bullies

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joe Rogers talks about his school activities and being the speaker at his high school graduation

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joe Rogers remembers his determination to go to college

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joe Rogers shares his experiences at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joe Rogers talks about his activism at Colorado State University

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joe Rogers describes attending law school at Arizona State University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joe Rogers describes working for U.S. Senator Hank Brown

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joe Rogers talks about becoming a Republican

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joe Rogers describes losing his U.S. Congressional race in 1996

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joe Rogers shares his views on education reform

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joe Rogers talks about winning his election for Lieutenant Governor of Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joe Rogers recalls disagreeing with Governor Bill Owens on the role of Lieutenant Governor

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joe Rogers talks about how members of the black community responded to his Republicanism

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Joe Rogers shares his views on being a black Republican

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joe Rogers describes holding the African American Republican Leadership Summit

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joe Rogers describes the philosophy developed at the African American Republican Leadership Summit

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joe Rogers shares his view on school vouchers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joe Rogers talks about affirmative action and reparations

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joe Rogers talks about his upcoming Congressional race

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joe Rogers reflects upon his family's pride and his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

1$1

DATitle
Joe Rogers describes working for U.S. Senator Hank Brown
Joe Rogers describes holding the African American Republican Leadership Summit
Transcript
So when you finished law school, is that when you worked as a--account--worked for U.S. Senator Hank Brown? Was that it or was that before?$$I finished up law school. Got a great offer. I couldn't believe it and I'd only mention this because it was so significant for our family. I had never worked in a law firm. I had no idea what lawyers made and I got an offer after my first year in college to work over the summer with a great firm called Snell and Wilmer and based in Phoenix, Arizona. And I'll never forget they told me that I was going to make $3,500 a month over the summer. Well, that was more than triple the amount that my family had made in any given month and I couldn't believe it. I thought that I'd gone to heaven, working in a big gun law firm with these top lawyers and everything else in between. And after my second year, I clerked again at Snell and Wilmer and then ended up working at Davis, Graham and Stubbs here in Denver [Colorado], which is one of the oldest to largest firms in the state. I was real proud about those opportunities. These were top gun law firms. And, again, for me to have the opportunities--this kid who grew up here in Denver to come back and be with the top law firms in two states, was a heck of an honor. After having practiced, I decided to come here to Colorado because my grandmother was sick and we knew that my grandmother might eventually not be with us and I wanted to be with her. And I didn't mention to you my grandmother. I should have mentioned a great deal about my grandmother more 'cause she was such a remarkable woman. But I wanted to come here to be with my grandmother, be with our family. So I accepted the offer at Davis, Graham and Stubbs and I came back to Denver. And I practiced at Davis, Graham and Stubbs for about four years in practice and then I received a golden phone call that came from our U.S. Senator from Colorado's office, Hank Brown. They were looking for a person to serve as counsel to the senator and previous partner who had worked at Davis, Graham and Stubbs was leaving that position to come back to Denver and my name came up as somebody they might want to have on board. And I spent some time visiting with Hank and made the decision that I would join him and his staff and went to Washington [D.C].$$And how long were you on his staff?$$A little over two years with Hank.$$Did you enjoy that?$$I really did. Hank Brown was a great man to work for. I joined him when I was a Democrat, of all things. I said, "Hank, you sure you wanna have a Democrat working for you in terms of your office?" And he said, "I'm absolutely certain." He said, "I understand you're talented and you have some abilities to help me in terms of doing my job better for the people of our state. And I said I'd love to help you. And so I went to Washington [D.C], frankly. After my experience of being with Hank for about, oh, four or five months in Washington, it's when I made the commitment that I would get involved in politics directly. And also made the decision in terms of my party--to change parties, politically. It was only after that experience of having been in Washington and, frankly, having to confront directly the issues of our day--issues of key public policy, that I understood exactly where I stood in terms of the orientation of public policy.$You really think people were crazy about fightin'? They aren't. But look at our movement. Look at the Civil Rights Movement. Look at what Medgar Evers did. Look at what a number of people did all throughout the South. In many respects, they had to drag people to try to find them to make a difference in their lives because they were content. Many people were not content but they didn't want to rock the boat. Many of our folks didn't want to rock the boat. That was just the reality of life. Leadership agitates and encourages the change.$$Okay, so the conference you held.$$Yes, I--we were proud as can be. Actually we held the conference about a year and a half ago. A little over a year and a half ago we brought together the first of its kind summit. It was the African American Republican Leadership Summit. And I had the vision of somehow trying to find a way to bring together African Americans who were Republicans throughout the United States together for the purpose of bringing people together to talk about essentially what we cared about. How is it that we expand our base and our presence in the context of this party? How is it that you help elect more people to office in various capacities? And how is it that we fight for the issues that we care about in terms of our communities and the context of the Republican Party? And that summit was overwhelmingly successful. I was very proud of that. Having hosted that here in Colorado. And my hope is that there will be continued to be good things that come about as a result of it. There have been. There are multiple, various, many summits that are taking place in various states throughout America, that have all taken place as a result. There are new efforts that are being engaged by African Americans throughout the country. Be asked to encourage people to join this party or to find ways to vote for candidates who they think are in their best interest. So there's a measure of success that we're having but, in my opinion, the dialog is never enough. There ought to be more. I want to see continuous activity to again agitate and to find a way to say yes, that we're going to have a voice and you aggressively seek to have that voice. But most importantly, to have people elected to various offices throughout the United States. I think that's critical. The political power for African Americans in the Democratic Party came as a result of us being elected in various capacities because that gave us a seat at the table and it put us within the room. At the end of the day you want to be in the room.