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Charles Clifton Andrews, Jr.

Radio executive Charles Andrews was born on December 16, 1939 in San Antonio, Texas to Smithie Sutton Andrews and Dr. Charles Andrews, Sr. He attended Grant Elementary School in San Antonio, and graduated from Lowell High School in San Francisco, California. He went on to become a pre-med major at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, graduating in 1963. Andrews also completed graduate coursework at University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio and Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts.

Upon his graduation from Lincoln University in 1963, Andrews was hired as an archivist for Bexar County, Texas. In 1964, he secured a position as a lab technician at the School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base, and was later promoted to physiological training officer. From 1968 to 1970, Andrews worked as an insurance agent for Lincoln National Life Insurance. In 1975, he founded Andrews and Associates, a consulting firm that worked with housing authorities and Model Cities Programs across the country. From 1979 to 1989, Andrews was the president and CEO of Andrews Brothers Incorporated, an ocean transportation company. In 1984, Andrews became the president of Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, which was founded by his uncles Percy Sutton and Oliver Sutton. Andrews oversaw the radio station’s transition from AM to FM cast in 1988. In 1997, he served as the secretary on the board of Africom, a telecommunications company founded by Gregory Brown, Prentiss Yancy, and Andrews. He was also president of the production company Entermercial, Inc., that produced entertainment based commercials. Andrews served as president of Inner City Broadcasting Corporation until 2000 when the radio station was sold to Clear Channel.

Andrews has received many distinctions including 1993 Man of the Year by the Elks and the Western Area of The Links, Incorporated. He also served as Chairman of the San Antonio Housing Authority and President of San Antonio Housing Authority Foundation; and on the boards of NOWCASTSA and the Van Courtlandt Foundation.

Andrews and his wife, Thelma Andrews, have two sons, Michael Andrews and Charles Andrews III.

Charles Andrews was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 9, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.130

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/9/2018

Last Name

Andrews

Maker Category
Middle Name

C.

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

San Antonio

HM ID

AND18

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bermuda

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

12/16/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

San Antonio

Favorite Food

Chili

Short Description

Radio executive Charles Andrews (1939 - ) was the president of Inner City Broadcasting Corporation from 1984 to 2000, , and CEO of Andrews Brothers Incorporated, an ocean transportation company.

Favorite Color

Aqua

Mario Marcel Salas

Professor and political leader Mario Marcel Salas was born on July 30, 1949 in San Antonio, Texas. He attended Central Catholic High School, and graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School in San Antonio in 1968. Salas earned his A.S. degree in applied science-engineering technology, and his A.A. degree in liberal arts from San Antonio College. Later, he received his B.A. degree in English in 1988 from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and his M.Ed. degree in 1999 from Our Lady of the Lake University. He received a second M.A. degree in political science from the University of Texas in 2004.

During the 1970s, Salas was a contributing writer to various activist newspapers and newsletters, including a regular column in The San Antonio Register, The San Antonio Observer, San Antonio Community Journal/Inner City Journal. He was also field secretary at the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) chapter in San Antonio, which was the last SNCC-Black Panther Chapter in the Country, and ran for Texas State Representative on the La Raza Unida Ticket in 1972 under a SNCC-Raza Unida Coalition. In 1990, he became an educator for the San Antonio Independent School District, and was a co-founder of the Barbara Jordan Community Center in San Antonio and he also championed the establishment of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a Texas state holiday in 1991. Salas was elected to the San Antonio City Council, where he served two full terms from 1997 to 2001 as District 2 Representative. In 2004, he campaigned for the office of County Commissioner. Salas also served as professor of African American studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He was a candidate in the bid for the Democratic Primary for Texas State Representative, District 120, in San Antonio in 2016. He retired as an assistant professor of political science from the University of Texas.

Salas served as lecturer for the University of Texas at San Antonio Department of Political Science. He also served as vice president of the Judson Independent School District Board of Trustees and chairman of the Tax Increment Finance Board, Zone 11.

Salas was a regular contributor to the San Antonio Observer. He wrote a sequel to Mary Shelley's classic novel, Frankenstein, titled Frankenstein: The Dawning and the Passing. He has also written several political science textbooks including American and Texas Political History: A Maze of Racialized Thought in America.

Salas has been an advocate for San Antonio's African American community as a founding member of Organizations United for Eastside Development, Black Coalition on Mass Media, and Frontline 2000. He supported the Anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa and opposed the recruitment of Americans as mercenaries in the revolutionary war in Zimbabwe. He is also the president of KROV radio, a black formatted radio station, and he remains a human and civil rights advocate.

Salas and his wife, Edwina Lacy have two adult daughters, Elena Patrice and Angela Christine.

Mario Marcel Salas was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 6, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.115

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/6/2018

Last Name

Salas

Organizations
First Name

Mario

Birth City, State, Country

San Antonio

HM ID

SAL04

Favorite Season

My Wedding Anniversary

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Men Make Their Own History, But Not As They Please. They Make It Under Circumstances Transmitted From The Past.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

7/30/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

San Antonio

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Professor and political leader Mario Marcel Salas (1949- ) professor of African American studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio was also a member of the San Antonio City Council, from 1997 to 2001 as District 2 Representative.

Favorite Color

Blue

David S. Huntley

Lawyer David S. Huntley was born on May 21, 1958 in San Antonio, Texas to Walter Huntley and Elnora Huntley. He received his B.A. degree in political science from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas in 1980 and his J.D. degree from Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York, New York in 1990.

Huntley was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1991 and joined AT&T Inc. in 1994. While at AT&T, he was appointed to a number of leadership positions that included senior vice president of customer information services and assistant general counsel for AT&T services in 2005, senior vice president of the ecommerce and sales centers in 2008, vice president of mobility customer service centers in 2009. In 2010, he served as senior vice president and general counsel and secretary of AT&T Advertising Solutions/AT&T Interactive. Huntley became senior vice president and assistant general counsel in 2012, and provided legal support to the Home Solutions organization responsible for thirty-seven million consumer connections across the U.S., the Wholesale and Access Management organization, Global Marketing Organization and the Legal Department administration. Two years later, Huntley was appointed as senior executive vice president and chief compliance officer of AT&T.

In addition to his professional career at AT&T Inc., Huntley served on the executive committee of the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast, as chairman of the Government Relations Advisory Committee for the Greater Houston Partnership, as a member of the Executive Leadership Council, and as a board member of Texas Capital Bancshares, Inc., the Dallas Museum of Art, At Last!, the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau and the 2004 Houston Super Bowl Host Committee. Huntley also served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Texas Bar Foundation, the San Antonio Zoological Society, the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast and the host committee of the Greater Houston Partnership, the San Antonio YMCA, the Southern Methodist University Alumni Board, and the Baylor Health Care System Foundation. He also led a mentor circle for the Dallas Chapter Community Network.

Huntley and his wife, Tracey Nash-Huntley, have two children, Calhoun and Porter.

David S. Huntley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 3, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.123

Sex

Female

Interview Date

08/03/2017

Last Name

Huntley

Maker Category
Middle Name

S.

Organizations
First Name

David

Birth City, State, Country

San Antonio

HM ID

HUN11

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Carribean

Favorite Quote

Do the right thing.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

5/21/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mexican

Short Description

Lawyer David S. Huntley (1958 - ) served as general counsel and later senior executive vice president and chief compliance officer at AT&T Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Kathleen McGhee-Anderson

Television producer Kathleen McGhee-Anderson was born on June 11, 1950 in San Antonio, Texas to Christine McGhee and Reginald McGhee. McGhee-Anderson earned her B.A. degree in English from Spelman College in 1972. She then received her M.F.A. degree in film directing and criticism from Columbia University in 1974.

From 1974 to 1980, McGhee-Anderson worked as a film editor at WMAL-TV in Washington, D.C. and KABC-TV in Los Angeles, California. While in Washington, D.C., she also spent a year as an assistant professor of film at Howard University. In 1980, McGhee-Anderson joined the Warner Brothers Women and Minority Writers Workshop and her work was brought to the attention of Michael Landon. She then began writing episodes for Little House on the Prairie, Gimme a Break!, 227, Amen, and The Cosby Show. McGhee-Anderson’s television credits also include Touched by an Angel, Any Day Now, and The Fosters. While at Warner Brothers, McGhee-Anderson served as an executive producer as well. She was a producer for the fifth season of Soul Food, for four seasons of Lincoln Heights, and the second season of Greenleaf. McGhee-Anderson was involved in writing for films and theater productions as well. Her films include Sunset Park and The Color of Courage, which dealt with her grandparents’ landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases. McGhee-Anderson’s writings for stage productions were done in collaboration with The Crossroads Theatre Company, The Vineyard Playhouse, and L.A. Theater Works. Her stage productions include Oak and Ivy, Freedom Riders, and Mothers.

In addition to her writings for film, television, and theater, McGhee-Anderson was also the author of two published novels. Zora in Bloom was published in 2013 and A Martha’s Vineyard Love Story was published in 2014.

McGhee-Anderson received an NAACP Image Award, the Ruby Slipper Award for Children’s Programming for her television drama, The Story of Blind Tom and was selected twice as a Eugene O’Neill Playwright by the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. McGhee-Anderson was also the recipient of an honorary doctorate of fine arts from her alma mater, Spelman College.

McGhee-Anderson has one son, Khalil McGhee-Anderson.

Kathleen McGhee-Anderson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 18, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.134

Sex

Female

Interview Date

08/18/2017 |and| 8/24/2018

Last Name

McGhee-Anderson

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Pattengill Elementary School

McMichael Intermediate School

Cass Technical High School

Spelman College

Columbia University

First Name

Kathleen

Birth City, State, Country

San Antonio

HM ID

MCG10

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

6/11/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Santa Monica

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens

Short Description

Television producer Kathleen McGhee-Anderson (1950 - ) wrote for television, film and theater. She also served as executive producer for several television shows and the film, <em>The Color of Courage</em>, which she wrote on her grandparents’ landmark U.S. Supreme Court housing battle.

Favorite Color

Blue

Vernon Morris

Atmospheric scientist Vernon R. Morris Vernon was born on [month day, year?] in [city, state?]. Morris graduated from Morehouse College in 1985 with his B.A. degree in chemistry and mathematics. Following graduation, he enrolled at Georgia Institute of Technology. Morris received the Regent’s Scholarship and the NASA Graduate Student Research Fellowship to pursue his theoretical and experimental studies of inorganic peroxides in the Earth’s stratosphere. After graduating with his Ph.D. degree in earth and atmospheric sciences from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1991, Morris was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship where he worked on the chemical dynamics of free radical systems important in comets and the interstellar medium.

Morris served as a part-time instructor at Spelman College while striding for his Ph.D. degree. Later, he joined Howard University’s Chemistry Department as an assistant professor. In 1996, he became the deputy director of the Howard University Center for the Study of Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Atmospheres (CSTEA). From 2001 to 2004, Morris served as the director of the Howard University Graduate Program in Atmospheric Sciences (HUPAS) and was instrumental in developing atmospheric sciences as a major focus of the university’s research portfolio. Morris was then named director of the Howard University Component of the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center. Morris also served as director of the NOAA Center in Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS) as well as the co-director of the Laboratory for Molecular Computations and Bioinformatics at the National Institutes of Health Research Center for Minority Institutions. He was a visiting scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Branch and served briefly as chair of the chemistry department at Howard University.

Morris is a member of several scientific boards and professional organizations. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) and the Advisory Board of the Benjamin Banneker Institute for Science and Technology. Morris is also a member of the American Meteorological Society, the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, the American Geophysical Union, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Advanced Study Institute.

His combined concentration on academic research and focus on atmospheric sciences has garnered for him recognition from professional and academic associations. Morris is a recipient of the University Merit Award, the Howard University Faculty Merit Award and Howard University’s Most Productive Faculty Researcher in Natural Sciences award. Morris received the prestigious NSF Career Award from the Geosciences Directorate for his research on the photochemistry of carbonaceous aerosols.

Vernon R. Morris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 29, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.083

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/29/2013

Last Name

Morris

Maker Category
Middle Name

R.

Schools

Morehouse College

Georgia Institute of Technology

NATO Advanced Study Institute

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Vernon

Birth City, State, Country

San Antonio

HM ID

MOR13

Favorite Season

None

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/23/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Atmospheric scientist Vernon Morris (1963 - ) is the director of the Howard University Component of the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center, director of the NOAA Center in Atmospheric Sciences, and co-director of the Laboratory for Molecular Computations and Bioinformatics at the National Institutes of Health Research Center for Minority Institutions.

Employment

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

University of California

Howard University

Center for the Study Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Atmospheres

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center

NOAA Center in Atmospheric Sciences

National Institute of Health (NIH) Research Center for Minority Institutions

Favorite Color

None

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vernon Morris' interview

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

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vernon Morris describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vernon Morris talks about his maternal great-grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vernon Morris talks about his maternal grandmother, and his mother's growing up in Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vernon Morris describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vernon Morris talks about his father's growing up in Arkansas City, Kansas, and his career in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vernon Morris talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Vernon Morris talks about his likeness to his father, and lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Vernon Morris talks about his mother's personality and her career as an educator

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Vernon Morris describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Vernon Morris talks about his family's frequent relocations while his father was enlisted in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Vernon Morris describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up - part one

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vernon Morris describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up - part two

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vernon Morris talks about going to school in Japan

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vernon Morris talks about continuing his schooling in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vernon Morris talks about attending school in Spokane, Washington, and going to Expo 74, The Spokane World's Fair

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vernon Morris talks about his interest in the outdoors, and his middle school science project

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vernon Morris talks about his interest in TV shows and books about exploration

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vernon Morris talks about his experience in the Cub Scouts and his interest in tinkering with gadgets

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vernon Morris talks about his experience in school in Washington State

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Vernon Morris talks about the African American community in Spokane, Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Vernon Morris talks his interest in reading, stamp collecting, music, and in electronics and programming

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vernon Morris talks about his interest in space exploration and airplanes

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vernon Morris talks about his involvement in sports in high school and being a member of the choir at Bethel AME Church in Spokane, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vernon Morris talks about his academics and social life in high school in Spokane, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vernon Morris talks about his father and a the network of African American college students who influenced him to go to college - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vernon Morris talks about his father and a the network of African American college students who influenced him to go to college - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vernon Morris talks about his academics in high school and graduating from high school in 1981

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vernon Morris talks about taking the bus from Spokane, Washington to Atlanta, Georgia to attend Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Vernon Morris describes his first encounter with chemistry professor, Henry McBay, and his experience in his classroom

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vernon Morris talks about his professors at Morehouse College and his formative education there - part one

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vernon Morris talks about his professors at Morehouse College and his formative education there - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vernon Morris describes his social and extracurricular activities at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vernon Morris describes his involvement with the Frederick Douglass Tutorial Institute while at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vernon Morris talks about his experience in Henry McBay's chemistry classes at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vernon Morris talks about his experience as a student in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vernon Morris describes his experience as an undergraduate researcher with HistoryMaker, John Hall, Jr., at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Vernon Morris describes his undergraduate work on matrix isolation of short-lived chemical intermediates that influence atmospheric chemistry

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Vernon Morris talks about the technological advancements in computers and lasers in the 1980s

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Vernon Morris describes his decision to pursue his doctoral studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Vernon Morris describes his experience as a doctoral student at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Vernon Morris describes his Ph.D. dissertation on the investigation of short-lived organic compounds of stratospheric significance

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Vernon Morris describes the chemical destruction of the ozone layer, and the implications of the depletion of the ozone layer

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Vernon Morris shares his perspectives on global warming and its implications

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Vernon Morris reflects upon being the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in geophysical sciences at Georgia Tech

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Vernon Morris describes his note-taking strategies as a graduate student at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Vernon Morris talks about those that influenced his scientific career

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Vernon Morris talks about graduating from Georgia Tech, and his postdoctoral experience at the NATO Advanced Study Institute in Italy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Vernon Morris describes his experience as a postdoctoral researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Vernon Morris describes his experience as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Davis

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Vernon Morris talks about joining the faculty at Howard University in 1994

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Vernon Morris talks about the establishment of the Howard University Program in Atmospheric Sciences (HUPAS)

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Vernon Morris talks about his early days as a faculty member at Howard University's department of chemistry

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Vernon Morris talks about receiving the National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award in 1997

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Vernon Morris talks about his experience with the NASA Center for the Study of Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Atmospheres and HUPAS

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Vernon Morris talks about his experience at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Vernon Morris talks about competing for a NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences position at Howard University

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Vernon Morris describes his work with the AEROSE (Aerosol and Oceanographic Science Expeditions) project - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Vernon Morris describes his work with the AEROSE (Aerosol and Oceanographic Science Expeditions) project - part two

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Vernon Morris describes the findings from the AEROSE project, and using the data to study the throughput of biological mass between continents

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Vernon Morris talks about student participation on the AEROSE cruises, and the land-based measurement sites in Africa

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Vernon Morris talks about the parallels between the AEROSE expeditions and historic passages along the same route

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Vernon Morris talks about the NOAA Center in Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS) Weather Camp

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Vernon Morris reflects upon improving the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences' visibility on Howard University's campus

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Vernon Morris talks about collaborating with the Department of African Studies at Howard University on NCAS's work in Africa

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Vernon Morris talks about his career goals for the future

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Vernon Morris discusses the Howard University NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences' work in Africa

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Vernon Morris reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Vernon Morris describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Vernon Morris talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Vernon Morris talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Vernon Morris talks about his professors at Morehouse College and his formative education there - part one
Vernon Morris talks about his experience with the NASA Center for the Study of Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Atmospheres and HUPAS
Transcript
So we were just talking about Henry McBay [chemist and teacher at Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia] and his--$$Yeah.$$--the legend of Henry McBay--$$Yeah.$$--amongst all the black chemists.$$Yeah, I think he's definitely influenced a generation of African American chemists, certainly through Morehouse, but also through Clark Atlanta [University, Atlanta, Georgia]. And I wouldn't have made it in chemistry and math had it hadn't been for him. I would have been on a completely different track, there's no doubt. I used to go to him, I went to him throughout the four years I was there. I never did research with him. I actually did research with John Hall, Jr. [chemist; also a HistoryMaker], and really it was those two guys who--you know, that department changed my course significantly.$$Now, what made Henry McBay special, you know? You talk about his ability to deliver all this information--$$Oh yeah.$$--but what actually made him special?$$You can tell he loved what he was doing. I mean there's the, the joy that he had in figuring out a chemistry problem, or relaying knowledge was just, it was tangible. And for me, not having particularly influential teachers--or teachers who could hold my attention, to sit in a lecture--and you know, my mouth is open the whole time. And I'm seeing things that I never saw in the same way before. And then, you could talk to him. He was the easiest person, ever, to talk to. I mean, and talk about anything, you know, from girls to, you know, mathematical organic chemistry. And you know, that's, you know, you need a person like that, I think at an age where you can be influenced. You're looking for guidance, you know, which way should I go? And I was like, you know, that's a guy I'd like to, you know--he's relaxed, he's comfortable, he's doing what he loves. And that's a job I'd like to do. And I saw a similar thing in John Hall. I mean, he really did the things, he appeared to be doing things the way he wanted to do them, on his terms. He had a joint appointment between Morehouse and Georgia Tech [Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia] at the time, you know. Dr. McBay was known all over the world. And he said, okay, I can master this area. And I love math, and chemistry is okay, I can deal with chemistry. And the physics department there--Carlisle Moore was another big influence of mine, an extremely difficult professor. Very few people got As. Henry Gore was my math professor. So I was really fortunate to go to Morehouse at that time, when you really had these sort of giants of education in physical sciences and mathematics. Just some outstanding people, and outstanding teachers as well. They really knew the material, but they really knew how to convey the material and challenge you. There was no, no slacking off in those classes.$$Now, was Benjamin Mays [minister, educator, scholar, social activist; president of Morehouse College from 1940 to 1967; mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King] president at that time?$$Now, Bennie Mays was not. He had retired, maybe a year or two before I left, because I went to his memorial service while I was Morehouse. Gloster, Hugh Gloster, was the president.$$Okay.$$And then Gloster left, and it was, I forgot his name. It'll come to me. But it was Hugh Gloster, it wasn't--$$Was it a Luther White, not Luther White--$$No, it was, he was a businessman, a business background.$$Well, don't worry about it. We'll just--$$Yeah, it'll come to me.$$Okay.$$But yeah, I believe I was fortunate. You know, J.K. Haynes [biologist; also a HistoryMaker], J.K. is still there. I go back and visit. You know, Morehouse replaced my high school, in terms of a place that I would go back to and say, that's my formative development. You know, Dr. Gore left, Henry Gore left. But I think Dr. Moore just retired, but I go back and visit Dr. Moore, who was the chairman. I majored in chemistry and math, minored in physics. So once I got started there, you know, it was a great set of guys I was studying with, and just fantastic and motivating teachers.$$Okay.$$So, if I could have triple majored in four years, I'd have done that. You know, I loved the courses I was taking.$Okay, so how was your time spent basically, proportionately, between teaching and doing research and administration [at Howard University, Washington, District of Columbia]?$$It was probably equally split. Administration wise, I had responsibilities in the NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] Center [Center for the Study of Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Atmospheres] as deputy director. And so, I was responsible for the day to day work--the reporting, you know, development of strategic mission and goals and business spokesman for the center. And I also ran some of the outreach programs, writing proposals to help supplement some of our other programs. And early on, teaching. The teaching load was probably more than most people, because I had to teach both in chemistry--in order to earn tenure in that department--but I also had to teach in atmospheric sciences so that we could spin up that program. And then research, you just have to do. You have to, you gotta publish papers to stay solvent. And so it was, it was really taxing. But the early, you know, the first probably five or six years was a lot of nose to the grindstone. But, you know, looks like it's paid off.$$Okay, alright. Alright. So, the program, the graduate program actually starts up in '98 [1998]?$$Right, '98 [1998], it got approved by the Board of Trustees.$$Okay.$$So, that was four years which, again, looking back, it's kind of record time. It's the only inter-disciplinary degree granting program here at the university. And we put together and had it approved within the four years, which is actually pretty remarkable.$$Now, how big was your staff, I mean in terms of your, I mean the faculty of the department?$$At that time?$$Yeah.$$We probably had in '94 [1994], I think, I mean '98 [1998], was we probably had three people--(simultaneous)$$(simultaneous)$$--three or four people. It's Sonya [Smith], Everette [Joseph], Greg [Jenkins, also a HistoryMaker], myself.$$Okay, four.$$Yep, three or four.$$Alright.$$And, and that's when we spun up, yeah.$$Okay. Now--$$But we also had, so we had a good relationship with NASA. So we had adjunct professors from NASA at that time. We had a couple of adjunct professors from NASA, probably two. I think it was Rich and Walls. Actually Rich, Walls and Dean Duffy. So, it was three adjunct professors from NASA. It turned out that one of the professors who taught me at Georgia Tech [Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia] left Georgia Tech and became the lab chief at NASA Goddard. In fact, NASA Goddard [Maryland] recruited pretty heavily from Georgia Tech, because the atmospheric science program there had pretty high prestige, and did the type of modeling and data assimilation, data integration, that was very germane to NASA's earth science program. So, it was, we had a per chance meeting. I had a technical review of the research center at NASA that called over to Goddard. And so we're sitting at this long conference table in his office. He's sitting at one end and I sit down at the other end. And we're talking, and I see him looking at me, you know, kind of, do I know this guy? But I didn't say anything until the end of the meeting and I walked up and I said, "You know, you taught me fluid dynamics in grad school." And he was like, "I knew I knew who you are." (laughter). Franco Einaudi, who was probably one of my favorite professors there. Actually, even though he's not, didn't teach in the area that I performed research in or emphasis, but Franco was the lab chief for the lab of, used to be atmospheric chemistry and dynamics at Goddard. And we sat down and talked, and after that, he's been a huge supporter of our program here.$$How do you spell his last name? It's Franco--$$Franco, F-R-A-N-C-O, first name. Last name, E-I-N-A-U-D-I.$$Okay.$$And you know, he basically allowed for NASA scientists to become adjunct professors. He encouraged them to become adjunct professors in our program. You know, allowed our faculty and students access to facilities there. My first lab, I had trouble finding a lab space on campus. My first lab was at NASA Goddard. He provided me lab space to do experiments over there. So, he's definitely been a mentor and friend and colleague. He's retired now, but we're still in touch.$$Okay. So, Howard has this ongoing partnership with NASA Goddard-$$Yeah.$$And now what is, now is this in Beltsville [Maryland], or--$$No, Beltsville is different. So the Beltsville facility is in--Howard has some land, had some land in Beltsville since the '60s [1960s] or late '60s [1960s], early '70s [1970s]. And basically we saw an opportunity out there to develop an observational facility, a research facility that would be focused on atmospheric sciences. Because I left Howard to work for NASA in 19--, in about 1998.

Johnathan Rodgers

Johnathan Arlin Rodgers was born on January 18, 1946 in San Antonio, Texas. His mother was a homemaker and his father was a soldier in the United States Air Force. As a “military brat,” Rodgers lived in a number of countries and states. He graduated from Rantoul High School in Rantoul, Illinois in 1963. While at Rantoul, he worked on the school paper and was a member of the wrestling team.

In 1967, Rodgers received his bachelor’s of arts degree in journalistic studies from the University of California - Berkeley. While studying at Berkeley, he was sports editor of the campus newspaper, a member of the football team and pledged to the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

From 1967 until 1968, Rodgers worked at Sports Illustrated Magazine. He was the first African American journalist hired by the publication. His beat included track and field and college basketball. His article, “The Plight of the Black Athlete,” highlighted the struggles African American athletes encountered in both the college and professional arenas. From 1968 until 1969, Rodgers served as the editor of urban affairs for Newsweek Magazine.

In 1969, Rodgers was drafted in the United States Army and served at Fort Jackson, South Carolina until 1971. In 1973, he earned his master’s degree in communications from Stanford University, and then worked as a writer / producer for WNBC in New York. In 1974, Rodgers was hired as a general assignment reporter for WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio, and the following year he transitioned from on-air personality to management when he accepted the assistant news director’s position at WBBM-TV in Chicago. This began a successful career at CBS, where he would serve as news director, general manager, executive producer for CBS News and the president of the network’s television station division. In 1998, Rodgers left CBS and was hired by Discovery Networks. During his six years at Discovery, the network increased viewers by the millions and added nearly a dozen new stations. His responsibilities included all aspects of domestic television, programming, affiliate sales, advertising sales, marketing, research, development and communications.

In 2003, Rodgers was hired as the chief executive officer of TV-One, an entertainment and lifestyle cable television network targeting African American viewers. It is owned by Radio One and Comcast Cable.

Rodgers was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 24, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.179

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/24/2004 |and| 10/13/2004

Last Name

Rodgers

Maker Category
Schools

Rantoul High School

Elmhurst Junior High School

University of California, Berkeley

Stanford University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Johnathan

Birth City, State, Country

San Antonio

HM ID

ROD02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Kenya

Favorite Quote

Everyone Has Their Fifteen Minutes Of Fame.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/18/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peach Cobbler, Black Spaghetti

Short Description

Television executive Johnathan Rodgers (1946 - ) is the former editor of urban affairs for Newsweek magazine and worked as a general assignment reporter for WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio. Rodgers also served as the news director, general manager, and executive producer for CBS News, and the president of the network’s television station division.

Employment

Sports Illustrated Magazine

Newsweek Magazine

WNBC Radio

WKYC TV

WBBM TV

CBS News

Discovery Networks

TV One

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Johnathan Rodgers' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Johnathan Rodgers lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about his maternal family's success

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Johnathan Rodgers considers the significance of Juneteenth celebrations

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls the significance of his father's U.S. military career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Johnathan Rodgers explains his paternal ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers holiday celebrations from his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls a typical day growing up in San Francisco, California

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers the Oakland, California community in which he grew up

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers his time at Brookfield Elementary School in Oakland, California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Johnathan Rodgers describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Oakland, California

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Johnathan Rodgers considers generational shifts in African American culture

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Johnathan Rodgers reflects upon his elementary school in Japan

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers living in Japan during the Vietnam War

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his temperament growing up in Oakland, California

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about attending Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland, California

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Johnathan Rodgers reflects upon his childhood aspiration to be a journalist

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about his family's move to Okinawa Island, Japan during his teenage years

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his changing temperament as he matured

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Johnathan Rodgers reflects upon the way his aspirations evolved as a young adult

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers his time at Rantoul Township High School in Rantoul, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers his teachers and interests at Rantoul Township High School in Rantoul, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls his favorite subjects and activities at Rantoul Township High School in Rantoul, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about visiting Champaign-Urbana, Illinois as a high school student and his classmates' perception of him

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Johnathan Rodgers shares his perspective on the Civil Rights Movement's impact on American society

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Johnathan Rodgers reflects upon his decision to attend the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers his social activities as a student at Rantoul Township High School in Rantoul, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls his perspective on the Civil Rights Movement while living in Rantoul, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers his civil rights participation at University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Johnathan Rodgers describes the impact of media coverage of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination in 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about his journalistic aspirations and activities at University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers his leadership aspirations as a student at University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls boycotting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech at University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls boycotting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech at University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Johnathan Rodgers explains his reason for pursuing sports journalism

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers his reception as an African American sports journalist in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers joining Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers interning at Time Inc. in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about researching 'The Plight of the Black Athlete' for Sports Illustrated in the late 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about journalism chronicling the treatment of African American athletes during the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about writing for Sports Illustrated

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls becoming editor of Newsweek's urban affairs section

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his experience at Newsweek

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers refusing to sign United States Oath of Allegiance when drafted by the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers his experience in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Johnathan Rodgers explains his decision to attend graduate school at Stanford University in Stanford, California

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his experience at Stanford University in Stanford, California

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Johnathan Rodgers explains why he entered television management

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Johnathan Rodgers reflects upon the movement of African Americans into television management and production

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls lessons he learned while reporting for NBC News in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about leaving NBC in Cleveland, Ohio to follow his partner, Royal Kennedy, to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls being hired as assistant news director at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Johnathan Rodgers details his transition from television reporting to management

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Johnathan Rodgers explains the impact of television ratings on management decisions

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls his programming goals as assistant news director at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about his membership in the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about his return to television production at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Johnathan Rodgers describes the long-news format at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about his role as station manager at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers becoming an executive producer for CBS News in New York, New York

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls his experiences as executive producer of 'CBS Morning News'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls becoming general manager for WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Johnathan Rodgers explains the purview of owned and operated television stations and general managers

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about the changes to network news broadcasts in the mid-1980s

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his responsibilities as president of CBS Television Stations

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about his transition from CBS Television Stations to Discovery Networks U.S.

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Johnathan Rodgers shares his enthusiasm for Discovery Networks U.S.

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his tenure as president of Discovery Networks U.S.

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Johnathan Rodgers describes the development of non-fiction programming at Discovery Networks U.S.

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers discarded ideas for channels at Discovery Networks U.S.

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about the success of The Learning Channel's programming

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his collaboration with HistoryMaker Alfred Liggins III to form TV One

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Johnathan Rodgers details TV One's audience demographics

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Johnathan Rodgers describes the relationship between TV One and Comcast Cable Communications, LLC

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Johnathan Rodgers reflects upon his vision for TV One

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about the reason for showing reruns on TV One

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Johnathan Rodgers details TV One's original programming

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about TV One's production and distribution

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Johnathan Rodgers explains why 'Get the Hook Up' is his favorite TV One show

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Johnathan Rodgers shares TV One's distribution goals

Tape: 7 Story: 13 - Johnathan Rodgers reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 14 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about his relationship with his wife, Royal Kennedy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about balancing his and his wife's careers

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Johnathan Rodgers shares advice for pursuing a career in television management or reporting

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Johnathan Rodgers shares his perspective on the future of television programming

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Johnathan Rodgers describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about the impact of involving African Americans in television management and production

DASession

2$2

DATape

6$7

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
Johnathan Rodgers remembers becoming an executive producer for CBS News in New York, New York
Johnathan Rodgers describes his collaboration with HistoryMaker Alfred Liggins III to form TV One
Transcript
And so you go back to Chicago [Illinois] and what year is this when you go back to Chicago?$$Well in-between Los Angeles [California] and Chicago I took a detour back to CBS News in New York [New York] where I became an executive producer. I became an executive producer of CBS's first overnight newscast. So I think they saw in my ability to produce long-form newscasts locally, then I might be able to do the same nationally. So as executive producer of a program called ['CBS News] Nightwatch' ['CBS Overnight News'] we were on the air live from 2:00 A.M. to 6:00 A.M. five days a week and, talk about real pleasure, I controlled four hours of network time. Now again, it was in the middle of the night, we did news, but we did news and entertainment, and I remember sitting in the control room one night, about 3:00 A.M., East Coast time, and I pick up the phone and there's a voice that I recognize, and it turns out it was in fact Sammy Davis, Jr., who said, "Yeah, man, I like what you're doing. I watch it all time," but that's the type of people who watch 'Night Watch,' it was people who worked in maternity wards, it was nursing mothers, it was entertainers, it was night shift workers, but we created this sort of unique cult among this late night news program.$$And what happened with 'Nightwatch'?$$Well 'Nightwatch' existed for quite a while, I, after less than a year, moved on and they put me in charge of the weekend newscast ['CBS Evening News,' weekend edition], so I went from nights to weekends, which were better I will tell you, because when I did 'Nightwatch' I worked one of those awful sort of two-shift days. I would work from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. and then from 10:00 P.M. to 6:00 A.M., so it was really, I think, hurting me physically. Fortunately my, my son [David Rodgers] was very young, and, and (laughter), I don't know if he could understand it or not but when the school teacher says, "What does your daddy do"? He says, "Sleep," (laughter), 'cause that's all I really I had time to do when I saw him, but then I moved to the weekend news. Good news there was I had two weekdays off and I was able to sort of regain my life, bad news was I worked on weekends, but that's okay because there were great news stories on the weekends and I was working with people like Charles Osgood and Bob Schieffer, and it just was wonderful television, and that's where I got my first sort of television executive ribbon because Charles Osgood we got him and he was coming from radio and he really wasn't that good on television, but he was a great hit on radio and, and I remember talking to him and saying, "You know, we need to find a way to signal to the audience that you're not the typical sort of blow-dried anchorman, that they shouldn't expect from you perfect diction and deep voice," and so what we decided to do was that if he wore his bow tie, it would say, "Hey, this guy's unique and he's unusual," and to this date Charlie gives me credit for having him wear a bow tie which he wears to this date.$And so you stayed at Discovery [Networks U.S.] for six years and why did you leave Discovery?$$Again, there was this opportunity to consolidate my finances by making a move at a certain time, but also in the back of my mind was this opportunity to help create a channel for African American adults. So when there was, when it turned out there was a contractual window in my contract, I decided to exercise it primarily to retire for the second time, and--$$The parachute, was it golden at this point?$$The parachute was there, no it had got to the silver level (laughter), albeit it hadn't gotten to gold yet, but it went up from bronze to silver. So again, I was then now able to take care of the rest of my family, so I took care of me and my wife [Royal Kennedy], and again truly planned to just sort of sit back and use the computer and watch TV and become a news junkie and read a lot, but again, like always, drove my wife crazy. I mean I don't know what it is (laughter), maybe she just didn't want me around the house. Maybe that's what she's trying to say, but then I met this wonderful human being named [HistoryMaker] Alfred Liggins [III], and Alfred Liggins is a young man who is the CEO of Radio One [Silver Spring, Maryland], and he had this dream, and wherewithal, to create another cable channel. He was a friend of Bob Johnson's, his mother was [HistoryMaker] Cathy Hughes, and under Cathy, Alfred had taken her empire from this one radio station in [Washington] D.C. to what is now seventy urban radio stations. He had turned that company around and made it a huge success. And what was important to him was to grow the family business and to really occupy all the platforms in the African American space and the television was one. We met, we hit it off, we lived a half mile away from each other, we both had similar visions. He has money, and, and he has vision, I have vision and I have operational skills so together we were able to create a template for what eventually became TV One [Silver Spring, Maryland].

Josie Johnson

Born in 1931, Josie Robinson Johnson has played an active role in the civil rights movement since her teenage years, when she and her father canvassed her hometown of Houston to gather signatures on an anti-poll tax petition.

In the early 1960s, Johnson lobbied professionally for passage of bills concerning such issues as fair housing and employment opportunities. In 1964, she traveled from Minneapolis to Mississippi with an integrated group of women to witness and take part in the struggle there. After visiting an open-air freedom school where blacks were organizing, the group learned the school was bombed later that day. Johnson became a community organizer for Project ENABLE, a pioneering effort in developing parenting skills and strengthening family life in 1965. A member of the Minneapolis Urban League, she served as acting director between 1967 and 1968.

Johnson worked with elected officials many times over the years. In 1968, she became a legislative liaison and community liaison as a mayoral aide in Minneapolis during a time of trouble for African Americans in the town. The executive assistant to the lieutenant governor of Colorado from 1975 to 1978, Johnson went back to Texas in 1978 and supervised Judson Robinson's campaign staff. In 1980, she served as deputy campaign manager for the Jimmy Carter presidential campaign in Tennessee.

Johnson has also had an ongoing relationship with the University of Minnesota. Between 1971 and 1973, she served on the University's Board of Regents. She earned a B.A. in Sociology at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and an M.A. and Ed.D. at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. The University of Minnesota offered her a senior fellowship in 1987. Johnson directed its All-University Forum as diversity director from 1990 to 1992. That year, she became responsible for minority affairs and diversity at the college as the associate vice president for academic affairs. The University of Minnesota established the annual Josie Robinson Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award in her honor.

Johnson founded Josie Robinson Johnson and Associates in 1996. She is a Minneapolis Institute of Arts trustee, a Minnesota Medical Foundation trustee and sits on the advisory board of the Harriet Tubman Center. She is a recipient of the Committed to the Vision Award from the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights and the African American Community Endowment Fund Award.

Josie Johnson
CivicMaker
Educator
b. 1931
151 words

Josie Johnson was born on October 7, 1930, in Houston. As the daughter of Houston civil rights pioneers, she grew up with a deep concern for social justice and civil rights. After receiving her B.A. in sociology from Fisk University and her M.A. in education from the University of Massachusetts, Johnson went to work in 1956 as a lobbyist to help pass Minnesota's anti-discrimination laws. In 1967, she served one year as the acting director for the Minneapolis Urban League. In 1971, after teaching in the African American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota, she was appointed to the Minnesota Board of Regents, where she served until 1973. In 1992, she accepted the position as associate vice president in charge of minority affairs and directed their All-University Forum as diversity director. The University of Minnesota established the Annual Josie Robinson Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award in her honor.

Accession Number

A2002.143

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/11/2002

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Fisk University

First Name

Josie

Birth City, State, Country

San Antonio

HM ID

JOH06

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Knight Foundation

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

I Feel Blessed For What Privileges That I Have.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Minnesota

Birth Date

10/7/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon, Salad

Short Description

Academic administrator and education consultant Josie Johnson (1930 - ) was the founder of the Black Studies department at University of Minnesota and a member of the Minnesota Board of Regents.

Employment

Minneapolis Urban League

City of Minneapolis

Lieutenant Governor of Colorado

University of Minnesota

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Josie Johnson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Josie Johnson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Josie Johnson talks about her mother and father

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Josie Johnson describes her family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Josie Johnson remembers her great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Josie Johnson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Josie Johnson describes her childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Josie Johnson describes attending St. Nicholas Catholic School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Josie Johnson describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Josie Johnson describes attending high school at St. Nicholas Catholic School

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Josie Johnson talks about how her family taught her to cope with racism

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Josie Johnson describes her high school activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Josie Johnson talks about changing her major at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Josie Johnson describes attending Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Josie Johnson talks about living in various cities as a young adult

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Josie Johnson describes her community involvement in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Josie Johnson recalls working with Mahmoud El-Kati in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Josie Johnson talks about the black community in Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Josie Johnson talks about visiting Mississippi in 1964

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Josie Johnson shares her firsthand experiences of Mississippi in 1964

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Josie Johnson describes founding the African American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Josie Johnson describes the current state of the African American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Josie Johnson describes the importance of African American Studies

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Josie Johnson talks about her teaching and political career

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Josie Johnson describes serving as Chief of Staff for HistoryMaker Lieutenant Governor George Brown in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Josie Johnson explains why she moved back to Minnesota in 1985

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Josie Johnson describes the context and rationale for busing to integrate schools

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Josie Johnson talks about the busing controversy in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Josie Johnson talks about her hopes and concerns for African American children

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Josie Johnson describes problems facing the black community, pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Josie Johnson describes problems facing the black community, pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Josie Johnson talks about the destructive racial system in the United States

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Josie Johnson describes working to bridge the divide between the African American and Jewish communities at the University of Minnesota

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Josie Johnson talks about becoming the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Minnesota

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Josie Johnson discusses diversity in higher education

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Josie Johnson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Josie Johnson describes her parents' pride in her success

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Josie Johnson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Josie Johnson narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Josie Johnson narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

4$4

DATitle
Josie Johnson describes founding the African American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota
Josie Johnson talks about the busing controversy in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Transcript
Well back to the African American Studies Department you founded.$$Yes.$$Now, when this was founded, I mean what was your role as a community person that wanted to see this done. I mean, what did you do?$$Well, my -- because my background was sociology and I'd been working with black families and doing some research in that area, when the Department was organized a woman by the name of Lillian Anthony, who now lives in Kentucky, Louisville, Kentucky was the Chair of the Program, and Mahmoud El-Kati was part of the teaching staff and he taught history and we had another political person who is dead now, Earl Craig who was a teacher and then there were Black musicians who taught and I taught Black Families in White America, and Dr. Billingsley, I don't know if you know that name who is--.$$Andrew Billingsley?$$Andrew Billingsley had just published a book. He -- I had gone to a conference in New Orleans of the Urban League and met Dr. Billingsley there and he had just published a book about Black Families in White America and that was a class I was going to teach at the University of Minnesota [Minneapolis, Minnesota] and he came to Minnesota and assisted me in developing the curriculum for that. I mean it was a time when Black people across the country shared whatever they had, knowledge they had, information they had to help things happen. So I taught that class and I taught one on Blacks and the Welfare System, and then we had Swahili and we had music and we had history and then we had a course on the community and Black people and -- so we had quite an array of courses and we called ourselves a "Program of Town and Gown". We were very serious about bringing the community to the University and the University to the community. So we did a lot of things like the first graduation of Black students. We held that in a church after the Department was organized in the community so that the students came there. We took courses, we took -- we made an arrangement between the Still Water Prison in Minnesota and the University of Minnesota to teach classes there. We went every week and taught the brothers in the prison and those credits were applied through the University of Minnesota so that that they could have credit for the courses that we taught. So we were very much a community of people who wanted the University to be more involved in the community and the community involved in helping to shape policy and program at the University.$$Okay, so this is really the start of your career at the University of Minnesota--?$$Right.$$And you just keep moving out there--.$$Yes.$$At the University of Minnesota doing bigger things.$What we're learning and what the Mayor is talking about is that that is not happening. What's happening is that our schools are becoming more and more discriminated -- reflecting the discrimination in this society. The numbers of young children in our schools -- I mean if you could imagine a school in Minneapolis [Minnesota] being seventy percent children and color in a community that at one time had less than one percent of its population. So what the Mayor is saying is, until you can do housing and employment integration and fairness, you then have to deal with the community where children are, and you strengthen those. You strengthen your community schools. So it's almost going back to what I knew as a girl, (laughter) and that is a strong neighborhood school with support and quality teachers and your building. Not that our materials were that quality when I was growing up, but at least we were, we thought they were and we did not know that they were not and no one treated you in a way that made you feel you were inferior or that your education was less than quality. So what the Mayor and what many others, and we're looking, that's why you've got all of the charter schools and the Afrocentric schools and the American Indian schools. People are trying to figure out why our children are still at the bottom of the information curve. They're still the least able to perform, they still do least well than other children and the question is, it's almost like living as long as I have, it's like a repeat of history. You just keep trying to figure out how to overcome a system that is -- that is based on prejudice and discrimination. So the NAACP still believes and they one of things you said was that Thurgood Marshall truly believed that if people followed the law, they would -- if the law said that there shall be no discrimination that people wouldn't discriminate, but what we know is that that's just not true. The law may say it, but the system and its attitude towards us is so strong that it will discriminate any way. So that -- that debate will continue and the NAACP won a suit that is now being tested to see, you know, trying to get children -- but you can't -- you can't disperse them, cause children -- these -- the schools can decide whether they will admit our children or not and they have to pay transportation and, you know from school line to some other place and our schools are all so -- in such a deficit position as far as salaries and transportation monies and extra-curricular, so it's a real serious set of issues right now and we don't -- I don't know how it's going to come out. The big -- the thing that needs to be evaluated is "are our children learning?" If not, why not and that's the big issue that both positions are trying to get an answer to.$$I think part of the NAACP's argument is that if there are separate Black schools or schools that are predominately Black, they won't get their resources because of the --$$That's right.$$Because of the depth of discrimination (simultaneous.)--$$Discrimination, yes. Exactly, because that's what the history has taught us.