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Malcolm Hemphill, Jr.

Educator and sports official Malcolm Montjoy Hemphill, Jr., was born June 24, 1931, in Chicago, Illinois; his father was Third Ward Republican Committeeman and his mother played piano and organ for A.A. Rayner’s Funeral Home. Hemphill attended Forestville Elementary School, which at the time was the largest and most crowded grade school in the country. A basketball player and president of his class, Hemphill graduated from Wendell Phillips High School in 1949. At Fisk University, Hemphill played basketball with Wilson Frost, and was counseled by Dr. Billie Wright Adams; he later transferred to Arkansas AM & N where he earned his B.S. in health and physical education in 1953.

In 1954, Hemphill taught elementary physical education in the Chicago Public Schools, but was drafted in 1955, after which time he served in the United States Navy aboard the U.S.S. Hector. Returning to Chicago in 1957, Hemphill married Gloria Owens and became the son-in-law of Olympic great, Jesse Owens. At Marshall High School (1960 to 1973), Hemphill rose from teacher to assistant principal to acting principal for over 5,000 students; during this time he also coached basketball and baseball. Hemphill joined the rising chorus of Chicago’s black teachers who complained about the Chicago Public School’s (CPS) discriminatory promotion procedures. Earning his M.Ed. from Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Inner City Studies in 1971, Hemphill became assistant principal at Manley High School and later Hyde Park High School. Until his retirement in 1997, Hemphill was coordinator of Physical Education Programs for the entire CPS.

Concerned that there were no African Americans officiating high school games in Chicago, Hemphill, with John Everett and Wilfred Bonner, formed the Metropolitan Officials Association (MOA) in 1962. MOA successfully trained and agitated for the assignment of black officials to referee CPS games. MOA went on to become the largest minority sports organization in the country, with alumni officiating at the NBA level. In 1974, Hemphill was one of the first three black officials assigned to a Big Ten Conference game; he officiated in the Big Ten for 15 years. Hemphill organized and trained the first group of African American women officials, and was director of the Nate Humphrey Memorial Officials Basketball Camp. Hemphill and his wife, Gloria, remained residents of Chicago, where they raised two daughters.

Accession Number

A2005.124

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/31/2005

Last Name

Hemphill

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Montjoy

Organizations
Schools

Wendell Phillips Academy High School

Carter G. Woodson South Elementary School

Forrestville Elementary School

Fisk University

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Malcolm

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

HEM02

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

Gloria Hemphill

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cancun, Mexico

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

6/24/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

String beans, Potatoes (Boiled), Tomatoes, Fresh Onions, Ice Tea, Cornbread, Cobbler (Peach)

Short Description

High school principal, sports official, and physical education coordinator Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. (1931 - ) was coordinator of Physical Education Programs for the entire Chicago Public Schools system, in addition to holding other high ranking positions within the organization. Hemphill was also one of the founders of the Metropolitan Officials Association, and one of the first African American officials assigned to a Big Ten conference game.

Employment

Chicago Public Schools

Marshall High School

The Big Ten Conference

U.S. Navy

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Beige

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Malcolm Hemphill, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes his mother, Elizabeth Dickey Hemphill, and her death

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes his father's political work and views

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. remembers his father's political colleagues

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes his family's membership at Bethel A.M.E. Church in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. explains how he attended Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes Forrestville Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes his neighborhood and childhood friends, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes his neighborhood and childhood friends, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. recalls becoming a baseball coach for Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes local basketball players who played at Xavier University of Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. remembers watching Negro League baseball games

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. recalls the athletics program at Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. talks about the creation of DuSable High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes himself as a student

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. remembers coaching baseball at Marshall High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. recalls his plans after high school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes his transition to Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes his transition to Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes his friendship with HistoryMaker Dr. Billie Wright Adams

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. recalls transferring to Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes adjusting to the segregated South

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes his maternal great-grandmother, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes his maternal great-grandmother, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. remembers prominent figures at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. recalls his time at Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes officiating for basketball games during his time in college

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. explains the difference between gym teachers and physical education instructors

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes changes to physical education in Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes the start of his teaching career

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes teaching and coaching at Marshall High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. remembers receiving an achievement award from Northeastern University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes Manley High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes Manley High School's basketball team

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. remembers his former student Wayne Stingley, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. remembers his former student Wayne Stingley, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. recounts meeting his wife, HistoryMaker Gloria Owens Hemphill

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. remembers attending the 1972 Munich Olympics with Jesse Owens

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes his time in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes the 1954 DuSable High School basketball team

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes transferring to Hyde Park Career Academy in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. recalls working at Hyde Park Career Academy in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes the past sports officiating system used in Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes the founding of Metropolitan Officials Association

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. explains how he became the first African American official in the Big Ten Conference

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes the qualities of an effective sports official

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. recalls discrimination while officiating for the Big Ten Conference, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. recalls discrimination while officiating for the Big Ten Conference, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes working with basketball coach Bob Knight

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. recalls the racism he experienced officiating for the Big Ten Conference

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. reflects upon his career as a referee

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. retells his colleagues' officiating stories

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes the changes to basketball over the years

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes how basketball greats have influenced the sport

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. recalls his time as coordinator of the Office of Health and Physical Education and his retirement

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$7

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. remembers coaching baseball at Marshall High School in Chicago, Illinois
Malcolm Hemphill, Jr. explains how he became the first African American official in the Big Ten Conference
Transcript
Can I backtrack a minute--$$Yeah.$$--something you asked me about why I, why I--how I ended up coaching baseball?$$Oh, okay.$$Yeah. And I--because the principal told you what you taught, and what you coached. And she told me that I was going to coach the basketball team 'cause she called me. I was to coach basketball. And then, there was going to be a second sport, and I was going to be the assistant football coach. Well, I was the assistant football coach, and I was working with a guy, Jim Peeples [ph.], whom, who I knew and, and we got along great, so it was fine. But then, when the baseball coach left, there was no one to coach the baseball team, so she gave me the baseball team. And I can't say to her, I'm not going to do that. You can't do that. You, you coach that sport. So, I was coaching at Marshall High School [John Marshall Metropolitan High School] on the West Side [Chicago, Illinois]. And, at that time, we had five thousand students in that building--uh, just, just kids everywhere. I mean, fantastic young people, fantastic young people. And I'd tease them then because I said, "You know, they talk about you so bad, they talk about you so bad because of where you live," and we laughed about that. So, I was coaching the baseball team with these kids. And there was a boys' club on the West Side. It was then called the Midwest Boys Club [Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Club, Chicago, Illinois]. And two friends of mine, John Everett and, and [Wilford] "Moose" Bonner, worked after school there. They both coached and taught physical education also, so they would tell me who the athletes were because they got them all year long. So, when I started coaching, I knew the guys and knew who could and who could not play. So, we played baseball and I had the team. The kids were doing well. And one of my guys who was Nathaniel Humphrey would say, "Well, coach, you know, we need to try to do this." So, I'd come home sometime. My dad [Malcolm Hemphill, Sr.] say, "Well, how'd your team do? I saw yesterday in the paper that you guys won." I said, "Yeah, we won." He said, "Well, how'd you do today?" I said, "We won." So, this went on for quite a little bit until we got ready to go to the semifinals, going to Comiskey Park [Chicago, Illinois] to play baseball. So, we--I came home and he said, "Well, how'd the team do? Did you, did you do okay?" I said, "Yeah, we won. Dad, we won, man, we won." He said, "Those kids win in spite of you, don't they (laughter)?" He knew that I really didn't know a whole lot about coaching baseball. I could watch a game, I enjoyed it, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I haven't played softball for so long, but I didn't really know what I was doing when I started coaching baseball, so he was right. They won a lot of games in spite of me, in spite of me, so I had great fun with those guys on the West Side.$$Okay.$$Yeah.$$We're going to get to that, you know, catch up on your career, you know, as we go along.$Now, in 1974, you, yourself, you were chosen to become an official in the Big Ten [Conference], right, a basketball official?$$Yes, I was, I was.$$Yeah.$$And that came as a shock to me really because I, it wasn't something that I really aspired to do. But I was approached by a dear friend, John Everett, who was retiring principal at Simeon [Neal F. Simeon Vocational High School; Simeon Career Academy, Chicago, Illinois], who's, who was then working football, Big Ten football. And I was doing high school ball when I could because I was still coaching. But he said, "Why don't you, why don't you come on, and, and try for the Big Ten?" Man, I think they, they, they, they would give you an opportunity to do that. And I said, "John, I'm not really that interested in it." So, I finally filled out at an application, sent it in, and, and it was looked at. And I was called and asked to come and referee a scrimmage over at DePaul [University, Chicago, Illinois]. And I did, and I didn't think I was really that good--that, that Sunday because I'd, I'd had an exciting Saturday night. And the scrimmage was that Sunday morning, you know, and I, I was readying myself to go to church. And John called and said, "Man, they, they want you over at DePaul, you know, get on over there." And I did. And the supervising official then was Herm Royal [ph.], and he came down after I, after I, working--chatted with me. We talked and, you know, asked me if I might be interested in doing that. And I said, "Well, let me get back with you." He said, "Get back with me?" He said, "Get back with me tomorrow then." So, I came back and talked to my wife [HistoryMaker Gloria Owens Hemphill] about it, and she was excited about it. And my daughter, who was a basketball fanatic, jumped at the idea. So, and I thought it would be a good opportunity so I, I did it, and it was good. It was good for me and I think it opened the doors for some other guys to come in, too.