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Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr.

Astronaut, medical scientist, and management executive Bernard A. Harris was born in Temple, Texas on June 26, 1956 to Bernard A. Harris, Sr. and Gussie Emanual Harris. During his youth, Harris lived on the Navajo reservations of Arizona and New Mexico, where his mother found employment as a teacher. At the age of thirteen, Harris watched the first landing on the moon, and he knew that he wanted to become an astronaut. Harris’s family returned to Texas shortly after, and he graduated from Sam Houston High School in San Antonio, Texas in 1974. During high school, Harris decided he wanted to be a medical doctor and so attended the University of Houston, where he earned his B.S. degree in biology in 1978, and the Texas Tech University Health Science Center of Medicine, where he received his M.D. degree in 1982. He then completed his residency in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Never forgetting his aspirations to become an astronaut, Harris followed a career path that would enable him to realize this dream. Upon completing his residency, Harris pursued research opportunities at Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, and later the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, specifically taking up projects that would appeal to the interests of the astronaut selection committee. After his first application to the NASA Astronaut Corps. was declined, Harris reapplied and was invited to join the elite training group in 1990. Following the completion of intensive training, Harris was given his first assignment as a mission specialist of the Space Shuttle Columbia in the spring of 1993, just a few months after the birth of his daughter, Brooke Alexandria. Two years later, Harris returned to space and made history as the first African American to walk in space, where he and crew member Michael Foale tested the temperature resilience of their spacesuits.

Following his career in astronautics, Harris became an entrepreneur, working first as vice president of Spacehab, Inc. in 1996, where he worked on the commercialization of space exploration. After earning his M.B.A. degree from the University of Houston Clear Lake, Harris became executive director of Versalius Ventures in 2001.

Harris has received much recognition for his work as astronaut, entrepreneur, and as a community developer. In addition to becoming a fellow of the American College of Physicians, he is also the winner of The Challenger Award from the Ronald E. McNair Foundation, and recipient of the prestigious Horatio Alger Award. The Dr. Bernard A. Harris Middle School was named in his honor in 2006. That same year Harris established the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp and the Dream Tour, two STEM programs to encourage minority students to pursue an interest in the sciences.

Bernard Harris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 6, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.034

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/6/2013 |and| 3/4/2014

Last Name

Harris

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Sam Houston High School

University of Houston

Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Medicine

University of Houston-Clear Lake

University of Texas Medical Branch

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Bernard

Birth City, State, Country

Temple

HM ID

HAR39

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Triple Creek Ranch, Montana

Favorite Quote

Dreams Are The Reality Of The Future.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

6/26/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Corn

Short Description

Astronaut and medical scientist Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. (1956 - ) was best known for being the first African American to walk in space.

Employment

Mayo Clinic

National Research Council (NRC)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Astronaut Corp.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Space Lab, Inc.

Space Media, Inc.

Vesalius Ventures, Inc.

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his mother's upbringing in Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his parents, and his family's early life in Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about the year following his parents' divorce

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his sister, Gillette Emmanuel

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his family's experience on the Navajo reservation in Greasewood, Arizona

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his cultural experience on the Navajo reservation in Greasewood, Arizona

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks his childhood interests while living in Greasewood, Arizona

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his experience in Tohatchi, New Mexico

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his introduction to science and the space program

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about astronauts Ed Dwight and Robert Lawrence

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about the 1969 moon landing

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his interest in playing the saxophone

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his childhood personality, and his teachers and mentors in school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his brother, Dennis Harris

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about being in a band named 'Purple Haze'

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his experience at Sam Houston High School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his role models in medicine and astronautics

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his senior year of high school and his summers with his band

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his father attending his high school graduation

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his mentors at the University of Houston

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr.'s interview, session 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers pledging to the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his early mentors

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers applying to medical school

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes the medical program at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers applying for his medical residency

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his early aspiration to become an astronaut, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes the impact of space travel on the human body

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. recalls his work at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his early aspiration to become an astronaut, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. recalls his early career at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers the NASA Astronaut Candidate Program

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about the types of astronaut positions

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. recalls his space flight training in Russia

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers his first NASA mission

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about the zero gravity simulation training at NASA

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes the preparations for space flight, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about the demographics of NASA

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes the preparations for space flight, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. recalls his experiences of the space shuttle launch

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes the adjustment to zero gravity

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his experiences of space travel, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his experiences of space travel, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about the space shuttle intra-crew dynamics

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes the daily life of an astronaut

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his second mission with NASA

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers his first spacewalk

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes the space shuttle reentry process

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about the findings of his NASA space missions

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers his decision to leave NASA

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his graduate studies and his work with Space Media, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes The Harris Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. recalls the start of Vesalius Ventures, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his medical career

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about the American Telemedicine Association

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his company, Vesalius Ventures, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his memoir, 'Dream Walker: A Journey of Achievement and Inspiration'

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. recalls bringing the Navajo Nation flag into space

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his daughter

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. reflects upon his life and spirituality

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. reflects upon his experiences as an astronaut

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

7$8

DATitle
Bernard Harris talks about his introduction to science and the space program
Bernard Harris talks about his role models in medicine and astronautics
Transcript
Now, did you--now, was it in Tohatchi [New Mexico, on the Navajo reservation, where Harris' mother, Gussie Lee Burgess, worked as a teacher] that you first were, you know, were exposed, I guess, or became cognizant of the space program?$$Um-hum, yep--$$Okay.$$--because I was, that would make me about eleven, twelve. Now, you know, the space program is heating, you know, it's kind of heating up. We have put a man into orbit, and now we're into the Apollo [space] program. And so I watched that develop, and when I was thirteen, '69 [1969] was when it really all kind of came together for me. But, yeah, that's when I--and I also got involved in science. You asked the question earlier. That's, now, you're into--you know, you've gotten out of kind of out of the basic elementary, and now you're getting into biology and then in junior high and high school, chemistry. Now, I'm being exposed to science. I'm being exposed to, you know, chemistry, to aviation. I belong to the Rocket Club where we built rockets, Estes rockets [model rockets]. We even built a flying saucer that left a, you know, real big impression on me because I was also, now, I've got television reception, right? So then I'm watching 'Buck Rogers' and I'm watching 'Star Trek' and, you know, I'm watching sci-fi [science fiction] shows. It's just feeding the imagination of this kid.$$Now, how--I'm tempted to ask, and when you mentioned the flying saucer--$$Yeah.$$--how close Tohatchi is to Roswell [New Mexico].$$(Laughter) I know, I know. Well, this is one of those plastic flying saucers, right? And it was, what made it interesting is when the teacher introduced this concept of a flying saucer, of course, you know, I was all into it. And it had a fan. And he introduced it at the beginning of the year which is in, kind of the late summer, fall, so it was hot. So I distinctly remember taking it outside, turning the thing on, and it didn't lift off the ground, and then the teacher explaining why it didn't lift off the ground. First of all, it was hot, and our altitude--I can't remember were we at 5,000 feet, 4,000 feet, just under 5,000 feet. So the altitude, there was not enough air to get lift. So when we had our first snow, the exciting thing about it was that we all went outside, and I remember this like it was yesterday, outside of his classroom, and the snow is falling. It's cold outside. We turn the flying saucer on and it rises. So now, he's got, you know, these kids just mesmerized. Now, why did this happen? Now, he's teaching us about, you know, aerodynamics and density of air and all that sort of thing. And I was soaking it up, you know, as a kid.$$So you're about thirteen when this--$$Yeah, probably, probably twelve at this point--$$Okay.$$--I'm trying to think about it, though, probably twelve.$$Let me ask you, now, you were aware of John Glenn's [first American to orbit the Earth, and the fifth person in space] orbiting the--$$Um-hum.$$--earth when you're a kid?$$Yeah.$$And did you, were you aware of Ed Dwight [first African American to be trained as an astronaut; also a HistoryMaker] and Robert Lawrence [first African American astronaut] when you were coming up?$$No, no, not at all. I didn't learn about those two until I actually started working at NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration], you know, many years later, you know, in about '87 [1987] is when I first started working at NASA.$$Okay.$$And we can get to that. That's a story--I have a story around that too, of course.$$Now, in terms of information too, coming into the household, did your mother subscribe to 'JET' [magazine] or 'Ebony' [magazine] or anything like that?$$Of course, yeah. 'Ebony' and 'JET' were the main magazines and 'LIFE' [magazine] at the time.$$All right, so I'm just thinking the information flow of what you were getting, and, you know.$$So, you know, the information flow I was getting was, now, getting a lot more because we're closer to, you know, to the city. And so I'm able to follow the space program and what's happening in the newspapers that we've got and the magazines. But more importantly, now, we've got a television that has four channels. Can you imagine that? Four channels (laughter).$$That was good for 1967.$$It was (laughter).$Another important person from what I've read is, Dr. Frank Bryant.$$Dr. Frank Bryant, yeah. Yeah, so Dr. Bryant was our family physician. And, you know, in high school, he wasn't as big an influence as later on when I would come back during college [University of Houston, Texas] and during the summers and began to think, you know, that I wanted to become a medical doctor and pre-med and then start chatting with him about next steps. You know, so how do I get into medical school? How do I do that and him taking the time to introduce me to other medical students and to let me come into his office and invite me over to his home. That was, that was very important. But I think the other thing is that early on I saw him as a prominent African American doing great things for his community. And so he became a role model. I have these two types of role models. There are role models that are hands-on, that work with you, and there are role models from afar. So I would say in high school, he was a role model from afar because all--my only contact with him was when we'd go and see him as a physician. But I saw what he did. I watched what he did. I watched how he interacted with the family. And then he became this hands-on role model. If I was to back up to, you know, the inspiration I got from the early space program, those were role models from afar that I saw. So when I got into thinking that I wanted to be an astronaut, you know, Neil Armstrong and Buzz [Aldrin; American astronauts; the first to walk on the moon] were these guys that I had never met, but I watched what they did. Joe Kerwin who was the first American physician to go into space, I watched what he did. And it's been kind of interesting being an astronaut, being able to talk to these guys, you know, as a colleague and growing up seeing them, you know, and now being able to sit down and talk to them and going, "Wow, did you really go to the moon?" (laughter) And have them say, "Yes, I was there and this is what it was like." (laughter)

Evans Crawford

Theologian and academic administrator Evans Edgar Crawford, Jr. was born on July 2, 1923 in Temple, Texas, to Mary Enge and Evans Edgar Crawford, Sr. A Methodist preacher, his father travelled often due to his job with the Santa Fe Railroad. Following the death of his mother, a former teacher, when he was just three years old, Crawford was raised by his paternal grandmother, Rosie Crawford. Religion was extremely important in his family, and Crawford was called to the ministry at the age of eleven. In 1939, Crawford graduated from Dunbar High School, where his extracurricular activities were devoted to speech and oratory competitions. In 1943, Crawford received his B.S. degree from Huston College (now Huston-Tillotson College). He continued his education at the Boston University School of Divinity, earning his bachelor’s degree in sacred theology in 1946 and his Th.D. degree 1957. In 1949, Crawford married his wife Elizabeth.

Crawford spent his professional career at Howard University where he began in 1958 as a theology instructor and acting dean of the university chapel. For nearly fifty years, he served in a number of posts at Howard, including Dean of Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, Assistant Professor, Acting Associate Dean of the school of Divinity and Interim Vice President for University Advancement. He retired in 1991 as professor emeritus of social ethics but continues to teach courses on preaching and social ethics as an adjunct professor at the Howard University School of Divinity.

In 1996, Crawford served as president of the Academy of Homiletics, an international organization of instructors who teach preachers. He also served as president of the National Association of College and University Chaplains, as a Danforth Associate and a member of the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is the author of several books about the African American church, including The Hum: Call and Response in African American Preaching (1995).

Crawford passed away on February 16, 2019.

Evans Crawford, Jr. was interviewed by the The HistoryMakers on September 23, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.176

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/23/2004

Last Name

Crawford

Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Meridith-Dunbar Elementary School

Dunbar High School

Huston-Tillotson University

Boston University School of Theology

First Name

Evans

Birth City, State, Country

Temple

HM ID

CRA02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Islands

Favorite Quote

I Count Blessings.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

7/2/1923

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beans (Red), Cornbread

Death Date

2/16/2019

Short Description

Academic administrator and theologian Evans Crawford (1923 - 2019) served Howard University for almost fifty years in several positions, including professor of ministry and as the dean of Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel.

Employment

Howard University

Favorite Color

Black, Gold

Timing Pairs
0,0:3281,67:20838,369:22778,394:31110,530:36566,601:50382,806:50998,815:61370,863:61730,868:70100,977:72350,1098:77390,1157:81144,1167:89486,1359:125842,1795:132640,1822:133396,1832:142804,2027:145408,2066:146332,2085:151960,2235:162286,2333:167530,2420:168214,2430:168670,2438:188340,2732$0,0:30606,349:32664,373:33154,380:35604,434:40406,562:86913,1123:87940,1139:88651,1153:89836,1176:97183,1326:117348,1555:120570,1562:123098,1606:123651,1614:125073,1633:128154,1681:143900,1848
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Evans Crawford's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Evans Crawford lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Evans Crawford describes his mother, Mary Enge Crawford

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Evans Crawford remembers his father's story about a lynching in Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Evans Crawford describes his father, Evans Crawford, Sr.

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Evans Crawford describes his paternal grandmother, Rosie Crawford

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Evans Crawford talks about his paternal family's connections to Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Evans Crawford recalls his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Evans Crawford talks about his maternal family

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Evans Crawford describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Evans Crawford describes his hometown of Temple, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Evans Crawford remembers holidays as a child in Temple, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Evans Crawford remembers celebrating Juneteenth in Galveston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Evans Crawford describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Evans Crawford remembers his teachers at Dunbar School in Temple, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Evans Crawford describes himself as a young student at Dunbar School in Temple, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Evans Crawford talks about his dreams and aspirations as a young man

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Evans Crawford recalls his activities and interests at Dunbar School in Temple, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Evans Crawford explains his decision to attend Samuel Huston College in Austin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Evans Crawford talks about his experience at Samuel Huston College in Austin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Evans Crawford explains how pursuing graduate studies in theology kept him from entering the U.S. military during World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Evans Crawford recalls his transition from Texas to Boston, Massachusetts in the early 1940s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Evans Crawford remembers being amazed by the public library in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Evans Crawford describes Boston, Massachusetts in the early 1940s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Evans Crawford recalls his decision to pursue a Ph.D in theology at Boston University School of Theology in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Evans Crawford talks about his decision to teach theology rather than minister a church

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Evans Crawford talks about the political climate at Howard University in Washington, D.C. during the era of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Evans Crawford recalls interacting with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Evans Crawford remembers Howard University students advocating for changes to the school, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Evans Crawford remembers Howard University students advocating for changes to the school, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Evans Crawford remembers events and speakers hosted by Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Evans Crawford talks about the changes he witnessed during his tenure at in Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Evans Crawford remembers the debate over teaching black theology classes at Howard University School of Divinity, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Evans Crawford remembers the debate over teaching black theology classes at Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Evans Crawford talks about his interest in hermeneutics and its application to theology and sociology

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Evans Crawford reflects upon the historical role of the black church

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Evans Crawford reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Evans Crawford describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Evans Crawford reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Evans Crawford narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

10$4

DATitle
Evans Crawford describes his earliest childhood memories
Evans Crawford talks about the changes he witnessed during his tenure at in Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C.
Transcript
[HistoryMaker] Dr. [Evans] Crawford, tell me what is your earliest memory of growing up?$$Well my earliest memory of growing up, I do remember always being in church because that was a, that was the background. I grew up in the church. My grandmother [Rosie Crawford] was very active in the Methodist [Episcopal] Church [South; United Methodist church], and they had missionary (unclear) and since I had to always be with her, they had a little thing called mother's jewel, and we felt that was mostly for the young ladies, but since I, since I always was where my grandmother was, so I joined it. Some of the fellows gave me a little trouble for it. But, I remember though she was in church, she was ecclesiastic and my grandmother what we have in the system was a Methodist class there. They're the ones who visit details and then they have prayer night. They have come and would tell their testimonies and whenever we'd come, she would stand up and take the testimony from people in her class meeting. She would go out and she would collect the money and meet them. It kind of gave them some extension of the church. I remember her being in the church, I remember her inviting the ministers over. My grandmother was from that period in time when they, they so treasured the, revered the Sabbath. They would cook on Sunda- Saturday and then we'd have everything mentioned. So my grandmother could cook. My grandmother would visit with the people. My grandmother, though she never went to school in her life, she could count a dollar bill as long as she could just see it because she, I always said she was illiterate by that sense, but she wasn't dumb. So I, she was the key person and wherever you saw her, you saw me. My father [Evans Crawford, Sr.], because he could give a pass and in those days the Methodist church was divided not geographically as in, like Northeastern [Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church], we had a central jurisdiction wherever there were colored in certain sections, so my father because he could always provide passes for her, we went to all the Methodist conference when I first went. We went to San Antonio [Texas] and I'd go out to Laredo [Texas], all of these places, but my grandmother was the common denominator. So I got a chance to meet a lot of people from whom only recently we've had a reunion in that tradition 'cause it's changed now. And we, I was recalling some of these things, so she had a tremendous influence on my life because she was the one who provided and some of the others, my father's brothers and sisters in that area, but I lived with her. She took care of me, and my father never married again, so he provided and leaned a great deal upon her.$Did the number of students interested in theology, did it ever begin to drop?$$For a while, but basically what happened there is that we found that many students found a sense of focus in the Civil Rights Movement, and they wanted to come to seminaries. One of the ways we found it here [Howard University School of Divinity, Washington, D.C.] was this. Usually we could have a course in, we have conducting prayer, but many of the students, some of us had come like I had. They had come from an active local church, they had been nurtured and go to school. Some of these people wanted to come to theology studied the larger part of dimensions of world religion and so forth. So what we found was, and we had the impact on curriculum, I know of one here. One young lady was a lawyer and she had gone to Harvard [University, Cambridge, Massachusetts], one of these schools, so she came and so she wanted to come. Even her parents weren't sure if you graduated from Harvard. What are you doing going into theology now? Now I'm up here dramatizing. But to make the point and follow up and you're helping me to think about this, she came into the school and she had the forensic matters and the fellows would say, because she was (unclear), the only one in the class. We had a class of twelve. And they said, "Sister, you're all right." But she was, she was very much feeling away and using the task. So she said to the dean, "I, I know what they're telling me about this, but they have something I don't have. What am I doing?" So we put in a course specifically for introduction because we're getting people whose not a whole lot, who are not nurtured say through the church, but who had come to the justice issues and they were coming to theology and, and asking for those dimensions that they wanted to see as a part of spirituality.