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Amelia Ashley-Ward

Newspaper publisher, editor and journalist Amelia Ashley-Ward was born on September 17, 1957 in Magnolia, Mississippi to Amile Ashley and Louise James Ashley. While still a child, Ashley-Ward’s family moved to San Francisco, where she attended junior high and high school. Ashley-Ward went on to receive her B.A. degree in journalism and photojournalism in 1979 from San Jose State University.

During her final year at San Jose State University, Ashley-Ward interned at the Sun-Reporter Publishing Company in San Francisco, where she was hired as a reporter and photojournalist for the Sun-Reporter newspaper in 1979. Then, in 1984, Ashley-Ward was promoted to managing editor of the Sun-Reporter. When the Sun-Reporter Publishing Company’s publisher Carlton Goodlett resigned in 1994, Ashley-Ward was promoted to publisher. While working at the Sun-Reporter, she also published photographs in People magazine and Jet magazine, and wrote a feature story for the African American magazine Sepia. Following Goodlett’s death in 1997, she bought the Sun-Reporter Publishing Company from Goodlett’s son, acquiring all three of the company’s newspapers: the California Voice, the Metro and the Sun-Reporter. Ashley-Ward also created the nonprofit Sun-Reporter Foundation in 2004, and was the founding president of the Young Adult Christian Movement.

Ashley-Ward has received many honors and awards while working at the Sun-Reporter Publishing Company. In 1980, she won the Photojournalism Award from the National Newspaper Publishers Association, and, in 1981, she received the Feature Writing Award from the same organization. The National Newspaper Publishers Association granted Ashley-Ward one more honor when, in 1998, she was elected Publisher of the Year. In 1997, she received the Woman of the Year award from the San Francisco Black Chamber of Commerce. In 2004, Ashley-Ward received the Alumnus of the Year award from San Jose State University, and was the commencement speaker for the university's Journalism department that same year. She was also honored in 2005, when she was selected as Woman of the Year by California State Senator Carole Migden. In 2008, Ashley-Ward was named one of the forty nine Most Influential People in San Francisco by 7x7 Magazine. She also served on the boards of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and the San Francisco branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Ashley-Ward has one son, Evan Carlton Ward, an electronic media major at Middle Tennessee State University.

Amelia Ashley-Ward was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 4, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.251

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/4/2013

Last Name

Ashley-Ward

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

San Jose State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Amelia

Birth City, State, Country

Magnolia

HM ID

ASH03

Favorite Season

Fall, Winter

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

It Must Be Borne In Mind That The Tragedy Of Life Doesn't Lie In Not Reaching Your Goal. The Tragedy Lies In Having No Goal To Reach.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

9/17/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Fish

Short Description

Newspaper publishing chief executive Amelia Ashley-Ward (1957 - ) has worked at the Sun-Reporter for over thirty years. She now owns the Sun-Reporter Publishing Company.

Employment

Sun-Reporter

Favorite Color

Black

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Amelia Ashley-Ward's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Amelia Ashley-Ward lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes how racial tensions in Mississippi forced her relatives to leave the state

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes the living conditions in San Francisco when her family first moved to California

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Amelia Ashley-Ward reflects upon her parents' marriage and how they first met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about her two sisters

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Amelia Ashley-Ward explains why her father left Mississippi for California

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Amelia Ashley-Ward explains the role of the church in her life and activism

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Amelia Ashley-Ward recounts living in Hunter's Point, the Fillmore, and Ingleside in San Francisco, California

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes the impact of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death on the black community in San Francisco, California

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Amelia Ashley-Ward recalls a personal experience with racial hatred from her youth, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Amelia Ashley-Ward recalls a personal experience with racial hatred from her youth, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about creative writing as a favorite childhood pastime

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Amelia Ashley-Ward recalls her early writing influences in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Amelia Ashley-Ward remembers living in poverty after her father left the family

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about helping her mother financially in high school and the type of student she became in college

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about her awareness of black consciousness and sub-culture in San Francisco, California in the 1970s

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her experiences in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her experiences at San Jose State University in the late 1970s

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about famous individuals and entertainment venues that were well known in the black community in San Francisco, California

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes the racial makeup at San Jose State University and the prevalent party culture of the late 1970s

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about her experiences with racism and sexism at San Jose State University

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Amelia Ashley-Ward recalls an experience with the People's Temple cult and Jim Jones in San Francisco, California

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes Jim Jones' impact on the black community in San Francisco, California

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Amelia Ashley-Ward compares San Francisco Reverend Thomas McCall to Jim Jones

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about Dr. Carlton's Goodlett's connection to Jim Jones

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Amelia Ashley-Ward recalls being hired at the Sun-Reporter

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Amelia Ashley-Ward gives a history of the Sun-Reporter's founders Tom Fleming (also a HistoryMaker) and Dr. Carlton Goodlett

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her close personal relationship with Dr. Carlton Goodlett

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Amelia Ashley-Ward remembers tension with fellow staff during her early days at the Sun-Reporter, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Amelia Ashley-Ward remembers tension during her early days at the Sun-Reporter, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about the sensationalist tactics previously used by the Sun-Reporter

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about Dr. Carlton Goodlett's influence in the San Francisco black community

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Amelia Ashley-Ward remembers some of her favorite stories she has written over the years

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes two different photo-essays from her career in Mississippi and California

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about the death of Chauncey Bailey, a journalist in Oakland, California

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her rise in the Sun-Reporter Publishing Company and how she acquired the company and its associated newspapers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about the implications of digital media for the newspaper industry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about the purpose of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and its history

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Amelia Ashley-Ward explains the differences between the National Newspapers Association and the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about the status of black newspapers in America and the Sun-Reporter's advertising revenue

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about the journalistic philosophy of the Sun-Reporter Publishing Group

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Amelia Ashley-Ward describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Amelia Ashley-Ward reflects on her career and assisting in the 2013 election London Breed, San Francisco District Supervisor

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Amelia Ashley-Ward states that her mother Louise James Ashley encouraged her to fight against injustice

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Amelia Ashley-Ward reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about choosing to stay with black newspapers over the mainstream media and fighting against injustice

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about her son Evan's football career at Middle Tennessee State and the politics associated with college sports

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Amelia Ashley-Ward talks about how she would like to be remembered

Dennis Biddle

Retired social worker and former Negro League Baseball player Dennis "Bose" Biddle was born on June 24, 1935, in Magnolia, Arkansas.

Biddle's career in baseball began in 1953 when he was seventeen years old. He was playing in the state championship in Arkansas for the National Farmers' Association. A scout and booking agent for the Negro League Chicago American Giants saw him pitch a no-hitter in the championship and asked him if he would like to try out with the Chicago American Giants. Biddle played for the Chicago American Giants in 1953 and 1954. Because he was only seventeen years old when he played, Biddle was entered into the Congressional Record as the youngest person to play in the Negro baseball leagues. In 1955, the Chicago Cubs were interested in purchasing his contract from the Chicago American Giants. Unfortunately, on the first day of spring training, Biddle jammed his leg and broke his ankle in two places while sliding into third base. The injury never fully healed and Biddle’s baseball career ended.

At the age of twenty-two, Biddle went back to school in 1958. He received his B.A. degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin. Biddle worked for the next twenty-four years with the State of Wisconsin as a social worker in the corrections system. After retiring from the corrections system, he began working for a social service agency in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, called Career Youth Development (C.Y.D.). In this capacity, he continues to work with underprivileged youth and juvenile offenders.

In 1996, Biddle founded the organization, Yesterday's Negro League Baseball Players LLC to support the surviving members of the Negro League baseball teams and defend their economic interests.

Accession Number

A2008.134

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/18/2008

Last Name

Biddle

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Magnolia High School

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Dennis

Birth City, State, Country

Magnolia

HM ID

BID01

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Youth, Teens, Adults, Seniors

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: $3000
Availability Specifics: Days, evenings, some weekends.
Preferred Audience: Youth, teens, adults, seniors

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

People Are Dying Now That's Never Died Before.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Wisconsin

Birth Date

6/24/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Milwaukee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Okra

Short Description

Social worker and baseball player Dennis Biddle (1935 - ) played for the Negro League Chicago American Giants in 1953 and 1954. After injuring his ankle in 1955, Biddle became a social worker in the Wisconsin corrections system. In 1996, Biddle founded the organization Yesterday's Negro League Baseball Players to support the surviving members of the Negro League baseball teams.

Employment

Chicago American Giants

State of Wisconsin

Career Youth Development

Yesterday's Negro League Baseball Players

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:287170,3335$0,0:292410,4238
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dennis Biddle's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dennis Biddle lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dennis Biddle describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dennis Biddle talks about his maternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dennis Biddle talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dennis Biddle describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dennis Biddle talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dennis Biddle recalls how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dennis Biddle lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dennis Biddle describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dennis Biddle describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Magnolia, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dennis Biddle talks about growing up in Magnolia, Arkansas in the 1940s and 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dennis Biddle relates his sports experiences at Columbia High School in Magnolia, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dennis Biddle talks about college and professional recruitment opportunities while he was a high school student

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dennis Biddle talks about his mentors at Columbia High School in Magnolia, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dennis Biddle details his decision to try out for the Negro American League in 1953

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dennis Biddle describes his journey to Chicago, Illinois in 1953 to try out for the Chicago American Giants

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dennis Biddle describes his first night in Chicago, Illinois in 1953

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dennis Biddle talks about his mentor, McKinley Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dennis Biddle talks about his Chicago American Giants teammates and coaches

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dennis Biddle describes the origin of the Negro National League

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dennis Biddle talks about the relationship between Negro baseball leagues and the major leagues

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dennis Biddle talks about contracts for Negro league players

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dennis Biddle recalls a pivotal game against the Memphis Red Sox

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dennis Biddle talks about Gread "Lefty" McKinnis

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dennis Biddle talks about playing for the Chicago American Giants in the 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dennis Biddle explains the salaries of Negro league baseball players

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dennis Biddle describes the end of his baseball career in 1954

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dennis Biddle talks about his first jobs in Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin after the end of his baseball career

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dennis Biddle talks about attending the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as a part-time student

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dennis Biddle explains the renewed interest in Negro league baseball in the 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dennis Biddle talks about the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dennis Biddle describes the funding for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dennis Biddle details the fight for benefits for former Negro league baseball players

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dennis Biddle describes his work with the Yesterday's Negro League Baseball Players Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dennis Biddle talks about attempts to discount his history in the Negro Baseball League

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dennis Biddle explains the ongoing battle for players' benefits

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dennis Biddle talks about the operations and politics of the Yesterday's Negro League Baseball Players foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dennis Biddle reflects upon the history of the Negro Baseball League

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dennis Biddle details the history of the Milwaukee Bears

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dennis Biddle remembers Satchel Paige's years as a pitcher in the Negro leagues

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dennis Biddle describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dennis Biddle reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dennis Biddle talks about his nine children and his four marriages

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dennis Biddle talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dennis Biddle narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Dennis Biddle describes his first night in Chicago, Illinois in 1953
Dennis Biddle recalls a pivotal game against the Memphis Red Sox
Transcript
Diamond number three [Washington Park, Chicago, Illinois], okay.$$So I, I, I went over there and I sit down. It was a little bench over there. I sit down 'cause nobody was there but me. I was supposed to been there at eleven o'clock. So finally one guy came and me and him started throwing the ball at each other, his name was Clyde McNeil. He was a--later on I, I, I learned a lot about him, but he was a--had been to the minor leagues and had left. He told me, he said they treated him like a dog down there where he was at, say he wasn't gonna take all that pressure. He came back to the Chicago American Giants. This was 1953 now. And so, pretty soon another guy came and then anoth--van--Dick Vance came, a old--older guy he was a catcher and then [HM Ted] "Double Duty" Radcliffe came and it were about fifteen of 'em and there we were. So, they had me pitching batting practice to the guys and I were very impressive I guess because they had a contract already typed out for me to sign. Craw--Mr. Crawford had the contract and so he said, "We got a room for you on 47th [Street] and South Parkway." Say, "Where's your bag?" I said, "Oh, it's across the street over there." He said, "Where?" I said, "Cross the streets," and I noticed he looking at me awful funny, so I said, "I'll show you," and we went across the street and then all them houses look alike, you know? And, and, and I was walking across the street and this lady said, "Are you the young man that left your bag here?" Out of the clear blue sky, she just asked me that and I said, "Yeah." She said, "Well Mr. Washington"--that was his name-"he had to go to work so he said you'd be back for it." I said, "Oh ma'am, thank you." I said, "Could I have his telephone number?" And she gave me his telephone number, so I went up to the little room they had for me on 47th and South Parkway, and it was the worst night of my life, I can remember. As a seventeen year old, in this big city of Chicago [Illinois], didn't know no one and all night long, I could hear people walking and talking. I could hear sirens and, you know, I, I grew up in a little town man, lights out at eight o'clock, you ain't seen nothing, heard, hear nothing but crickets. But here I am with all these sirens going all night long. Oh, I didn't sleep at all. I had that number sitting on that little, little table in the room and I couldn't wait 'til that morning. Telephone call was a dime. I walked across 47th at the corner and put my dime in, in the thing and he answered the phone. He said, "Where are you?" I said, "I'm the gentle--young man that left his bag with you." He said, "Where are you?" I said, "I'm on 47th." I looked, 47th and South Park. He said, "You stay right there. I'll be right there." He came, he picked me up, took me to his house. He lived on 51st and South Parkway, I mean 51st and, and, Champagne [sic, Champlain Ave]. He took me to his house and you know? Twenty-eight years later, I buried him. The Lord put him in my life that day. I became his son. When I got married, my wife was his daughter, my children was his grandchildren. Twenty-eight years later, I buried him.$$What was his first name?$$His name was McKinley Washington.$$Okay, McKinley Washington. And where, you were living--$$He stayed at 620 East 51st Street in Chicago, Illinois.$Now, let me just, let's get back to your career and see--$$Yeah.$$--Th--then we'll pick this up a little later. I mean the rest of the story of the league [Negro American League]--$$Yeah.$$--But, so you're seventeen years old, and--$$Yeah.$$--From what I read, I read that you set a record for the number of wins?$$Yeah, I had five straight wins.$$Okay.$$In the Negro [American] League.$$Okay.$$The first loss I had was from the New York Black Yankees.$$And it's a record for somebody your age, right?$$Well?$$--From somebody seventeen years old?$$I don't know some writer probably did that, I didn't--$$--Okay, all right.$$--See, we didn't, we didn't--it didn't mean nothing, that much to us at that time. I was playing ball, I was getting paid and I knew I was good enough to be in the major leagues, so, the record itself wasn't important to me. Somebody ask me now, how many homeruns you get? I wouldn't know, I think I got one or two inside the--$$Yeah, I think--$$--Park.$$--In those days of the major leagues, I guess the youngest player to, as a pitcher who, who won like a another game was Bob Feller--$$Yeah they can--$$--That's what they--$$--They compare me to Bob Feller? Okay.$$Yeah.$$--Well, I won five straight games--$$So they making you the black Bob Feller (laughter).$$(Laughter) Well I didn't do that. But you know, my first game against the Memphis Red Sox, that, to me that was my historical game because of the things that happened. [HM Ted] "Double Duty" [Radcliffe] was catching. I was winning the game, three to one, and a guy by the name of--the guy that wrote my autobiographry found out the guy's name, I--they called him Big Red [Wilmer Fields] that night, but his real name was Red Lonely, I didn't know that, that night, Red Lonely? They called him Big Red, and, and, I struck Big Red out twice and with that drop, and I never will forget, every time Big Red swing and miss, look like I could feel the vibration out to the mound from the bat. That's how big and strong he was, and the fans, "Ooohh," 'cause he was known to get homeruns apparently 'cause they was looking for him to do this and I struck him out. So, in, in high school, I was taught to hit a curve ball. You, you go up far as you can get in the batter's box and wait there, you know, to hit it, get it before it curve. And I saw him that night --I struck him out twice. The last time in the seventh inning he came up, and look like he st--got up in front of the plate, gon' hit my--Double Duty called for the curve, for the sinker and I said, "Nah," 'cause I saw him step up. I'm gon' cross him up this time, you know, and Double Duty called time out, he come out there he said, "What's the problem?" I said, "You see him setting up?" He said, "I don't give a da"--and he curse word, "You throw what I tell you boy." That's what he said, and he gon' back behind the plate. And look like to me Big Red stepped up further and Double Duty still calling for the sinker and I shook him off, you know? I said no, and he said (waves his hand) that mean throw what you want and I did and I never will forget that night. I threw what I wanted and Mr. Lonely hit it and I think it's still going today. I never seen a ball hit that far in my life (laughter), and I'll never forget the tongue lashing I got that night, a seventeen year old. It was embarrassing to me with all those people there in the stand. Double Duty came out to the mound jumping up and down calling me all kind of names and I been in this league fifteen years, boy if I tell you to throw something, you throw it. I'll never forget that, I went on back and I won the game three to one, but I'll never forget that tongue lashing I got that night, you know.$$Yeah, I bet Double, Double Duty could do it too, he can--$$Oh well he, he, ah man could he do it. He hit the homerun that night to, was it, he hit a two run homer that night, yeah. He was a great player and you know? I didn't see him in his early years, but from what I saw in his older years, he should have been in the hall of fame. I don't know about some of those guys that got in the hall of fame. I didn't see 'em play but, you know, they couldn't have been too much greater than what I saw from him.