The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

city

James Hubbard, Jr.

Mechanical engineer and engineering professor James Edward Hubbard, Jr. was born on December 21, 1951 in Danville, Virginia. Hubbard received his high school diploma with a concentration in engineering in 1969 from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. In 1971, he enlisted as an officer in the U.S. Merchant Marine and served during the Vietnam War. He attended the Calhoon MEBA Marine Engineering School and became the youngest serviceman to receive the unlimited horsepower, steam and diesel engine Marine Engineering license from the U.S. Coast Guard. Returning to the United States, Hubbard began his undergraduate studies at Morgan State College, but after receiving encouragement from teachers, family and friends, he enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Hubbard went on to graduate from MIT with his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering in 1977, 1979, and 1982, respectively.

Hubbard has served as a professor and a researcher both inside and outside of academia. After receiving his Ph.D. degree, Hubbard continued his work as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at MIT until 1985, and as a lecturer until 1994. While there, he mentored both graduate- and doctorate-level students. Following his tenure with MIT, Hubbard was hired at the Boston University Photonics Center, PhotoSense, Inc. and iProvica. In 2004, Hubbard returned to academia and was named the Samuel P. Langley Distinguished Professor Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland. Hubbard’s research has included sensors and system concepts, optoelectronics, and photonics. His work in 1985 resulted in the production of what many consider the first example of an “adaptive structure,” or a structure that can respond to changes in its environment. He also received a patent for his work with “Smart Skin” technology, or a large-area blanket-like sensor that could be used in a number of applications. His work with the Morpheus Laboratory, Hubbard’s research group at the University of Maryland and NIA, has focused on aerodynamic engineering and has resulted in such projects as ornithopters and the Sky Walker program.

Hubbard is a member of the Air Force Studies Board, the Naval Research Advisory Committee, and the Committee on Space Defense Technology. He has garnered several awards in recognition of his work in both industrial and academic settings. Hubbard was the 2009 recipient of the Smart Structures Product Innovation Award from the International Society for Optical Engineering. In 2002, Hubbard received the Black Engineer of the Year President’s Award from U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine.

Hubbard and his wife, Adrienne Hubbard, have three adult sons: James, Drew, and Jordan.

James Edward Hubbard, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 19, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.090

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/19/2013

Last Name

Hubbard

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

E

Schools

Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

Calhoon M.E.B.A. Engineering School

Morgan State University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Search Occupation Category
First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Danville

HM ID

HUB01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Near Water

Favorite Quote

All that glitters is not gold

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

12/21/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hampton

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Flounder (Fried)

Short Description

Mechanical engineer and engineering professor James Hubbard, Jr. (1951 - ) served in the U.S. Merchant Marine during the Vietnam War and became the youngest serviceman to receive the unlimited horsepower, steam and diesel engine Marine Engineering license from the U.S. Coast Guard. Hubbard is the Samuel P. Langley Distinguished Professor Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland.

Employment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Charles Stark Draper Laboratory

Optron Systems, Inc.

Boston University Photonics Center

PhotoSense, Inc.

National Institute of Aerospace

University of Maryland, College Park

improVica

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:11274,151:11848,161:12750,173:13078,178:16828,217:19718,247:20074,252:20786,265:22388,294:22922,302:24168,321:24969,333:26304,363:26838,371:27283,378:27817,388:28618,399:29241,408:34350,442:34598,447:35218,460:38070,508:38380,514:40710,529:41070,534:42420,547:43140,558:48161,569:53000,586:54650,612:55025,619:55400,625:55925,634:56825,650:57500,662:59030,667:59395,673:60490,693:62242,733:62826,745:63264,753:63848,762:65860,769:66499,779:67422,792:75695,944:77225,967:78075,982:84012,1001:87241,1030:91535,1083:91860,1089:93300,1114:96040,1126:96392,1131:101910,1212:102398,1221:105789,1251:106738,1277:108782,1355:111629,1416:112578,1435:113381,1454:114768,1484:116301,1519:116593,1524:116958,1530:117250,1535:117542,1540:126062,1673:126734,1683:127070,1688:127658,1697:134272,1751:135217,1779:135532,1785:135784,1790:137359,1824:140005,1906:140824,1925:141265,1934:141517,1939:149373,2006:150242,2021:150795,2029:151348,2041:151822,2049:152770,2098:153244,2105:164239,2164:164871,2176:165187,2181:168584,2256:170620,2277$0,0:590,14:4034,62:4496,116:4958,123:5420,130:6652,148:7576,167:8654,185:12062,249:13482,280:16175,290:16745,297:18075,317:19025,328:23465,366:24400,380:25420,395:27630,441:36515,610:41014,632:42532,658:42946,665:43222,670:48992,722:49248,727:49504,732:49824,738:50272,747:50784,758:51936,783:54940,805:58632,854:59464,873:64754,960:65272,969:70839,1062:75064,1114:76232,1135:76743,1144:77181,1152:85788,1249:88032,1288:90408,1336:90936,1345:97838,1422:98446,1431:100420,1470:109005,1552:109488,1561:110178,1573:110661,1582:110937,1587:111420,1596:113460,1610:115860,1646:116310,1653:117210,1675:117660,1690:121757,1742:129410,1883:131956,1929:132425,1937:132693,1942:136466,1970:138106,1990:138926,2002:139418,2012:144502,2075:145568,2091:146060,2101:153767,2196:154334,2206:157860,2245:161010,2296:161290,2301:168990,2408:173733,2454:175110,2480:175515,2486:176325,2497:177216,2510:177621,2516:178674,2533:186490,2634:186874,2695:187642,2713:187898,2718:188602,2731:188986,2738:189434,2747:192020,2763:192770,2775:193820,2799:194570,2810:195695,2834:198845,2915:199145,2920:206680,2978:212269,3067:212617,3072:217420,3202
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Hubbard's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Hubbard lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Hubbard describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Hubbard describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Hubbard talks about his parents' education and their employment

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Hubbard talks about his family living under the Jim Crow laws in Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Hubbard talks about how his parents met and were married

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Hubbard talks about his father's move to Philadelphia to escape the Jim Crow laws of the southern United States

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Hubbard describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Hubbard talks about living in Philadelphia with his father for a year, and returning to Danville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James Hubbard talks about his sister

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - James Hubbard talks about growing up in Danville, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Hubbard describes his childhood in Danville, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Hubbard talks about living under Jim Crow laws in Danville, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Hubbard describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Danville, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Hubbard talks about the teachers who influenced him in grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Hubbard talks about his performance in math in grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Hubbard talks about attending Calvary Baptist Church in Danville, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Hubbard talks about the Civil Rights Movement and Bloody Monday in Danville, Virginia in 1963

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Hubbard talks about his mother's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, and his family's move to Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James Hubbard talks about his experience in school in Baltimore, Maryland, and how it impacted him

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Hubbard describes his experience at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Hubbard describes his experience in the U.S. Navy Sea Cadet Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Hubbard talks about how he became a part of the Maryland Naval Militia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Hubbard talks about his experience in the Maryland Naval Militia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Hubbard talks about his experience at Calhoon MEBA, and entering the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Hubbard describes his experience in the Merchant Marines as a ship engineer on an ammunition ship in the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Hubbard reflects upon his experience with racism during the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Hubbard describes his decision to attend Morgan State University and his experience there

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Hubbard talks about those who influenced him to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Hubbard describes his experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and talks about his mentors there

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Hubbard talks about his mentors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Hubbard talks about his involvement and leadership in the Black Mechanical Engineers (BME) organization at MIT

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Hubbard talks about HistoryMaker, Shirley Jackson, and the Bell Labs Fellowship for minority students

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Hubbard talks about his dissertation research in helicopter rotor acoustics at MIT

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Hubbard talks about his financial struggles as a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Hubbard describes his doctoral research on helicopter rotor acoustics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Hubbard talks about his mentor, Wesley Harris

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Hubbard talks about joining the faculty of the mechanical engineering department at the Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT)

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Hubbard talks about his contributions to the field of piezoelectricity and smart structures - part one

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Hubbard talks about his contributions to the field of piezoelectricity and smart structures - part two

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Hubbard describes his decision to leave the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1985 - part one

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Hubbard describes his decision to leave the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1985 - part two

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James Hubbard talks about working at Draper Laboratory, and with HistoryMaker Cardinal Warde at Optron Systems, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Hubbard talks about his work with photolithography techniques and his decision to become the executive vice president of Optron Systems, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Hubbard talks about co-founding the Boston University Photonics Center and founding PhotoSense, Inc. and iProvica, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Hubbard talks about his invention of Smart Skin and his patents

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Hubbard describes his decision to accept a position as the Langley Distinguished Professor of Aerospace at the University of Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Hubbard talks about the students he mentored, and the "art of being a wolf"

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Hubbard describes his experience and his work at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA)

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Hubbard talks about the Sky Walker Program

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Hubbard talks about his work on the Air Wolf Project

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Hubbard talks about founding a company with his son

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James Hubbard talks about his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James Hubbard talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - James Hubbard reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - James Hubbard reflects upon his life

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - James Hubbard talks about his father's training as a pilot and how he owned and flew a Piper Cub plane

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - James Hubbard describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - James Hubbard shares his perspectives on today's generation

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - James Hubbard talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
James Hubbard reflects upon his experience with racism during the Vietnam War
James Hubbard talks about his work with photolithography techniques and his decision to become the executive vice president of Optron Systems, Inc.
Transcript
So did your view of the [Vietnam] war change any by being over there?$$Emm hmm (NODDING OF HIS HEAD).$$Okay.$$I grew up in the Maryland Naval Militia, part of a small elite team trained by a recon marine; we were all flavors. I was--you couldn't have found a more dedicated patriot; boy did I love my country, and I was proud of my skills; I had learned a lotta ways to kill a person at seventeen, like the military would, and volunteered. Even though I was sent over there by this guy to be hurt, I loved every minute of it. What happened was when I got there, two things happened; there were--everybody was there; there were all services, which shocked me; even Coast Guard. When we got there, you could look around, there was Coast Guard people, National Guard, there was Korean Elite Forces, I mean just around 'cause don't forget now, ships pull in, you got everybody running over there unloading it. I didn't expect that; there were uniforms and insignias that I did not recognize, and the white troops--if you weren't careful, they would call you Nigger in a minute--the white troops; that stunned me, that made a huge impact on me. And then I found out that a lotta them was getting fragged by the brothers over there--$$Emm hmm.$$--for that.$$And fragging is--$$Throw a hand grenade in the outhouse when they go to the bathroom, stuff like that (laughter).$$Getting rid of the Second Lieutenant or--$$They hated a lotta things man, you be walking down the street and a brother would see you and they had this thing that they would do; it was a sign thing.$$I believe it's called the Dap [ph.].$$No, it ain't no Dap. It was a lang-- (simultaneous)--it was a language; they would do this, and I found out that it meant 'Hi my brother, I would die for you.' It was stuff like that but it wasn't a Dap. You be walking, and on the other side of the street, a brother you ain't never seen, you turn to him and he would do this thing, and then you would learn how to answer him back. So it was more racist in Vietnam than it had been in Danville [Virginia], and I didn't expect that; I didn't expect that at all.$$Okay.$$Lotta killing; some guys on my ship killed some people and they (laughter) weren't even supposed to be doing that. Anyway. Nineteen [years old].$So what I was telling you Larry, was that Don [Donald] Fraser left [Draper Laboratory, Cambridge, Massachusetts] to become Deputy Undersecretary of Defense and I left because he was my mentor, and I left to help Cardinal Warde [also a HistoryMaker] because Cardinal was trying to develop a device that I had a lot of experience developing for Draper--$$Emm.$$--and, because of my background, he also wanted me to run the company.$$Okay now, what is this device?$$Do you wanna know technically what--well (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--Yeah, technically yeah.$$Okay. So it was during the Star Wars era, and there were a bunch of challenges for Star Wars; people were developing high-energy laser systems, alright? And what they would like for them to be able to do is sit on the ground and shoot down missiles, trying to hurt the United States. The problem, Larry, is when you shine a beam of light through the atmosphere, the currents in the air and all make the beam move all around. I mean if I aim at you if there's wind blowing, it'll blow--literally blow the--you know; I won't hit you. So one of the things you can do is take the beam of light and let it hit a mirror, and then steer the mirror to hit you; and then have a sensor that looks at all these air currents and as they wiggle the beam, the mirror wiggles in the opposite direction, and so the beam stays right on you and you're dead; that's called adaptive optics.$$Hmm.$$Well it turns out, it's really hard to do (laughter). The government, Lincoln Labs, had received a lotta money to develop the system I just told you about, but it turns out that the mirror has to be really flat and hard so they made it out of titanium. But the biggest mirror they could polish that flat was six inches. Then it turns out to do air currents, you have to have at least a thousand action waves on the back to wiggle the frequencies they want. They can only get 300 because it's only a six-inch mirror, and they used 300 piezo crystals to move it. Well, you gotta run piezos at 600 volts Larry; so they had 300 amplifiers in a room, air conditioned to get the 300 but I mean it was huge, it took up a whole building. When I was at Draper, I developed a two-inch mirror that had a million actuators on it. And, you could put it in your pocket; I have a patent on that--$$Hmm.$$--so Cardinal found out about that; I never published anything--a million. And so he was trying to develop the same kind of mirror to do large projection displays for movie theaters and for military use.$$Right, that's right.$$And so it was a natural--he was a gem; come on man (laughter). SAIC [Science Applications International Corporation]--I was interviewing with them 'cause I had worked with the founder of SAIC through Don Fraser; I had been on a government committee with him; his name was Larry Crowe and he was like--Larry Cole--and he was like "Jim, come and work with us." But then Cardinal--so I went with Cardinal and developed this deformable mirror. All kinds of photolithography techniques; I was there four years.$$Okay, and this was for Optron [Systems, Inc.]?$$Emm hmm (NODDING OF HIS HEAD YES), Optron.$$Optron, okay. Cardinal Warde.

Howard Adams

Educator, consultant, and author, Howard G. Adams was born on March 28, 1940 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia to Delsia Mae Waller Adams and Daniel Boone Adams. As a child, he helped his father on the family farm and enjoyed exploring nature. Adams attended Southside High School, Blairs, Virginia. During high school, he worked after-school as a kitchen helper at the Greyhound bus station in Danville, Virginia. In 1958, Adams graduated from high school, and then moved Paterson, New Jersey to escape from the segregated south. In 1959, Adams enrolled at the Norfolk Division of Virginia State College (now Norfolk State University) where he majored in biology. In order to finance his education, Adams worked at a supermarket and, during his senior year, at a fast food restaurant. Adams was active on campus, serving as Cadet Captain in the ROTC Military Science Program, president of the sophomore and senior classes, president of the biology club, and vice president of the student government association. He received his B.S. degree in biology from Norfolk State College in 1964.

That same year, Adams began his professional career as a general science teacher at Jacox Junior High School in the Norfolk City Schools System. He also received his M.S. degree in biology from Virginia State College (now Virginia State University) in 1968 as a National Science Foundation In-Service Fellow. In 1970, Norfolk State University President Lyman Beecher Brooks recruited Adams to serve as the school’s first director of alumni affairs. After three years in that position, he was promoted to vice president for student affairs at Norfolk State University. Adams also enrolled in Syracuse University’s higher education administration program, receiving his Ph.D. degree in 1978. Adams then accepted the position of executive director of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. In 1989, President Ronald Regan appointed Adams to a U.S. congressional task force on women, minorities and the handicapped in science and technology. Adams founded his consulting company, H.G. Adams & Associates, Inc. in 1995.

Adams has received numerous awards including the Centennial Medallion from the American Society of Engineering Education. He was named a 20th Century Outstanding Educator by Black Issues in Higher Education and he also received the Golden Torch Award Lifetime Achievement in Academia from The National Society of Black Engineers. Adams was named by President Clinton as one of the first recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Mentoring. In addition, Adams is a board member of the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education and was a former faculty member of AABHE’s Leadership and Mentoring Institute. He has written three books including his 2002 book “Get Up with Something on your Mind! Lessons for Navigating Life” and over fifteen self-help guides and handbooks. Adams is married to the Eloise Adams, Ph.D. and they have one daughter, Stephanie Glenn Adams, Ph.D.

Howard Adams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 8, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.034

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/8/2012

Last Name

Adams

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

G.

Schools

Stony Mill Elementary School

Southside High School

Norfolk State University

Virginia State University

Syracuse University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Howard

Birth City, State, Country

Danville

HM ID

ADA11

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cruises

Favorite Quote

Get up with something on your mind.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

3/28/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Norfolk

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Meatloaf

Short Description

Educator, consultant, author, and science educator Howard Adams (1940 - ) is the founder and president of the consulting company, H.G. Adams & Associates Inc. and has written three books and over fifteen self-help guides and handbooks.

Employment

Greyhound Lines, Inc.

Norfolk Public Schools

Norview Sr. High School

National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, University of Notre Dame

H.G. Adams & Associates Inc.

Norfolk State University

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:1945,20:2694,28:3229,38:27756,368:28680,394:29142,402:37012,571:44560,751:45104,779:51425,869:55870,935:56454,944:71766,1156:81580,1474:102522,1693:103410,1716:104668,1737:142130,2286$0,0:29112,282:41000,469:56258,649:59418,741:66322,815:98540,1232:99210,1317:100416,1385:101086,1399:109404,1512:110696,1545:116320,1683:123312,1878:131860,1949:132188,1954:135140,2133:147750,2326:154316,2470:155096,2482:163792,2608:173280,2775:176655,2884:178905,2928:221425,3678:240379,3838:246340,3886:255300,4094:257300,4201:279633,4514:279998,4520:281020,4540:281604,4675:289502,4789:289830,4794:310400,5116:320246,5278:320648,5360:334730,5579:338695,5682:339150,5691:377609,6365:380818,6418:382806,6484:398474,6792:402614,7031:411490,7198:438301,7330:444798,7450:445760,7459
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Howard Adams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Howard Adams lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Howard Adams describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Howard Adams talks about his mother's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Howard Adams describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about his father's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Howard Adams talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Howard Adams describes the Primitive Baptist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about the Primitive Baptist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about his parents and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about his family

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Howard Adams describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Howard Adams talks about his father's business relationships

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about growing up in Virginia and the Martinsville Seven Case

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Howard Adams talks about South Side High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Howard Adams talks about his elementary school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about his favorite subjects and teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about the murder of Melvin Ferguson and racial tensions in Virginia during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about working at the Greyhound Bus Station

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Howard Adams talks about his interest in baseball

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Howard Adams talks about the arrival of electricity to his neighborhood and his interest in sports

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about his decision to move to New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about his experience in New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about his mentor and his experience at Norfolk State University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about his extracurricular activities and his colleague, Julian Manly Earls

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Howard Adams talks about his mentors from Norfolk State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Howard Adams talks about his involvement in Civil Rights organizations

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about his post-baccalaureate job prospects

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about his experience teaching in the Norfolk Public School System, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about his experience teaching in the Norfolk Public School System, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about his experience working in administration at Norfolk State University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Howard Adams talks about his decision to attend Syracuse University for his doctoral studies

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Howard Adams talks about his work at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about his work at the University of Notre Dame, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Howard Adams talks about his work at the University of Notre Dame, part 3

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about his philosophy for success

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about his booklets

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about his speaking appointments and future plans

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Howard Adams reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Howard Adams reflects on his life and career

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Howard Adams talks about the problems with U.S. education, part 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Howard Adams talks about the problems with U.S. education, part 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about the politics of graduate internships

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Howard Adams describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$4

DAStory

2$2

DATitle
Howard Adams talks about his booklets
Howard Adams talks about his mentor and his experience at Norfolk State University
Transcript
Now, you've written several books and booklets, and so what are some of the titles and what are--$$Okay, one of them is that one, "Get Up With Something on Your Mind", all right. The, I wrote a lot of what I call "self-help" guides which are 14, 28 page, little documents, specific, "How to Have a Successful Internship Experience", "How do you go into a company and perform very well and get invited back the next summer so you don't have to worry about it? You might not go back, but you want the invitation to come back. So you, I want you--I wanted my students to have the attitude, if you don't--invite anybody back, it's gonna be me. When I'd leave Revlon's in the summer, the personnel guy would always tell me, "If we hire anybody, Adams, you're Number One". I knew that leaving. So when you leave--so we wrote a book on that, how to do that. We wrote a book how to master the graduate school process. How do you go to graduate school and finish yesterday? How do you get finished in a hurry? What does it take to get finished? We wrote a book on "Career Management 101" about how to sit down and plan to find a job and then get the job that you want and then go to work and perform well and get promoted, and don't have to worry about it. You don't have to--you don't have to worry about the economy being bad. If the place runs, I'm gonna have a job. If I don't, I go somewhere else and get myself another one. So you just don't have to worry about that. I never worried about that, never worried about a job. So I, I tried to give people the nuts and bolts, easy ready, self-help stuff on how to get to the next step of where you're trying to get to. When I first started doing graduate education, we didn't have things written in the language that's--what is a PhD? Most people don't know what it is. What's the difference between a PhD and an MD and a, and theological doctorate? What, you know, a science doctorate? What's the difference in those things? So we had to demystify graduate education, I call it. So a lot of what I, what I wrote was that. How do you decode what students need in a very simplistic kind of way so that one, they'll read it. It's readable, and it's quick and it points directly to the question that they most like have.$Okay, so, now did you know--Lymon Beacher Brooks was the president of Norfolk State.$$Of Norfolk State.$$Now, what was your relationship with Lymon Beacher Brooks?$$He was, he was the president when I was a student, and I was a student leader. So he was--by the time I got to be a senior, he had taken a particular interest in me. I wouldn't have called him a mentor at that time, but he had taken a particular interest in me. So he knew me well by the time I was a senior and would ask me to do little things. I got invited to little things. I might of got invited to a reception that somebody else didn't get invited to or something. When I graduated, I went to work at Jay Cox Junior High School which is right in the general area, right where Norfolk State is. And by that time, I had gotten back in the restaurant business. So I ran a fast food, Carl's Drive-In, my senior, my junior, end of my junior year and all of my senior year at Norfolk State [University]. I was night manager.$$Yeah, the Carl's--$$Carl's Drive--fast food, like a McDonald's--$$Okay.$$--but right on the campus, literally, almost, you know, I mean right by the campus and right across the street from the high school, Booker T. Washington High School is right across the street. So--$$Okay, I didn't wanna get you graduated yet from Norfolk State.$$Okay.$$Let's go back there for a minute. Like what was your major in--$$Biology. It was biology and I was a biology major. And I, I picked that simply because it had good equipment that I had never had a chance to use. I was going to be a history major. In fact, I sent my application in to be a history major. And I got down a week early just to look the place over and get set up and everything. And as I was walking around, I walked through the labs, and I liked the way the labs looked. I changed, went back down and changed my major to biology.$$Did--now, was there a particular teacher in biology that helped you, I mean that--$$In high school?$$No, in, in--$$Oh, well, the teachers, the faculty were good, but I didn't know them at the time. I mean I just changed my mind, just, just changed my mind because of the equipment sitting around. I just--you could walk through and see it at that time. You didn't have to have everything locked up.$$So it just kind of caught your--$$Just got a feeling, got a feeling that I'd like to do this. So I decided to major in biology. And so there was a good group of us who started out together, freshmen, freshmen. The freshmen class in biology was a pretty tight group. And so I made it through the freshman year. It was a struggle. I was behind. When I say I was behind, I hadn't had advanced chemistry. I hadn't had a good lab. I mean I had a chemistry class, and the teacher was good, but we didn't have no equipment. You know what I'm trying to say. I'd had a good biology class, but I didn't have no equipment, so I didn't know how to use the equipment and stuff. So I was behind, and so it was, it was harder than I thought it was gonna be. And I went home, and I was talking to my mother for Spring break my freshman year. She asked, "How's it going?" I said, well, it's going alright, Mother, but I'm not doing as well as I thought I was gonna do. So she said, she said, are you passing everything. I said, yes, ma'am, I'm not failing nothing. I'm just not doing as well as I thought. She said, "Are you studying hard?" And I was studying, so I said, yes, ma'am. She said, "Are you giving it your very best?" And I, you had to, you couldn't, you couldn't fib on that. You had to, you had to think about that. I mean am I, you know, am I giving it my best? And, you know, in hindsight, I probably could have given it a little bit more, but I mean I wasn't slacking off. I didn't miss no classes, I didn't cut class. I didn't leave early on Friday, none of that. So I was studying. And I'd study with people, and I went to tutoring and everything. So I said, I said, yes, ma'am, I'm, I'm doing it. She say, you go on back down there. You gone be alright. You keep giving it your best. She said, your best is good enough. You don't have to do no better than that. Your best is good enough. I put that in my book. That was good advice. "Your best is good enough." So I went back. The second year, my wife came as a freshman. And I was taking chemistry by that time. I didn't take freshman chemistry my first year. And she had had advanced chemistry. And she was on the other side of the, on the table on the other side that you could look through. And I could see her all the time. And she was brilliant and good looking. So I decided, hey, you gotta--you gonna have to hang out with somebody (laughter). It might as well be somebody who's good looking and who can do some chemistry. So we started dating, and we dated off and on all the way through, although I had a couple of girlfriends at the time. But I mean she, you know, we dated. And by the time we were juniors, we were pretty serious, and seniors, we were, we were--she was my girlfriend by the time we were seniors. And so we graduated together. But I went through. I was a, I went out for track, decided I couldn't do all of it. I couldn't work. I tell kids that you gotta decide what you can actually do. And I had to put it in the right order, so I learned how to prioritize even as a freshman. My number one priority was to have a job. You don't have a job, you can't go to school. I mean I couldn't--I had to support myself. So I had to have a job. This job was steady. It didn't pay well. It only paid .75 cents an hour, but I could, I could get 30 hours in just on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Nobody wanted to work on Sunday. I worked every Sunday almost. I worked 12 hours on Saturday the whole time I was at Norfolk State. I'd go in 8:00 o'clock on Saturday morning, and work till 8:00 Saturday night. And so I could take care of myself. School would end in May. The next day I was on the bus back to New Jersey, and usually, I'd get out in the middle of the week. So let's say, I always finished on Wednesday or Thursday. By Friday, I was back in New Jersey. By Monday, I was back at work at Revlon's, and I'd work right up until Labor Day, whenever school was--I wouldn't even go home. I'd come back here to school, and then I'd take a long weekend and go home just to holler at everybody. But most times, depending upon when school opened and how long they'd let me work. And so at the end of the year, there, but, of course, they would be closing down, and a lot of kids would wanna take some time off. Sometimes I'd work 16 hours a day. So my last check would be big. I'd, I'd get, you know, double-time, time and a half. I'd work (laughter), I'd put in all the hours I could put in so I could get a big check. They'd mail it to me after I was gone. I'd get back to school, so I'd have a big check. Sometimes my last check would pay my tuition 'cause tuition at that time was 270 a half a semester, I think, 270--about $500.00 a semester, a thousand dollars a year, a little bit less than a thousand dollars a year. I could pay that. So I didn't have to borrow money. I paid my way through. I--from the time I left home, I never wrote home for a nickel. I never wrote home for a nickel from the day I left home in 1958. I can say that. I've been able to support myself from that day.

Thomas C. Holt

Historian and scholar Thomas C. Holt was born on November 30, 1942 in Virginia. Holt attended and graduated from segregated schools in southside Virginia. He went to work for the SNCC during the Civil Rights Movement in his hometown, Danville, and in Cambridge, Maryland in 1965. He graduated from Howard University with his B.A. degree in 1965 and his M.A. degree 1966. Following that, Holt worked for a federal antipoverty programs trying to change the living and working conditions of migrant and seasonal farm workers until 1968. Holt began his teaching career at Howard University in 1972 and in 1973, he received his Ph.D. from Yale University.

Holt taught at Howard University, Harvard University, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the University of California, Berkley before becoming a professor at the University of Chicago in 1988. Holt is the University of Chicago's James Westfall Thompson Professor of American and African-American History. Over the course of his career, Holt has published the following books: Black Over White: Negro Political Leadership in South Carolina during Reconstruction (1979), The Problem of Freedom: Race, Labor, and Politics in Jamaica and Britain, 1832-1938 (1992), and The Problem of Race in the 21st Century (2000). Holt also co-wrote Beyond Slavery: Explorations of Race, Labor, and Citizenship in Post-emancipation Societies (2000) with Rebecca J. Scott and Frederick Cooper.

In 1978, the Southern Historical Association awarded Holt the Charles S. Sydnor Prize for his work on racial politics in the post- emancipation American South in Black Over White: Negro Political Leadership in South Carolina during Reconstruction. Holt also received the Elsa Goveia Prize from the Association of Caribbean Historians for the same book. In 1987, Holt received the Presidential Initiatives Award from the University of Michigan under President Harold Shapiro. In 1990, Holt received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur "Genius Grant." President Clinton appointed Holt to the Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1994 to 1997. Holt worked as a fellow in the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. In 2003, Holt was elected to be a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Holt sat on the editorial board of the Journal of Southern History from 1983 to 1986 as well as the editorial board for the American Historical Review from 1986 to 1993. In 1999, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Council of Learned Societies and served until 2002.

Thomas C. Holt was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 27, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.027

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/27/2010 |and| 5/1/2018

Last Name

Holt

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

C.

Schools

Yale University

Howard University

Southside High School

First Name

Thomas

Birth City, State, Country

Danville

HM ID

HOL14

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Normandy, France

Favorite Quote

Those Who Expect To Get Change Without Struggle Are Like Those That Expect Crops Without The Rain.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

11/30/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

African american history professor Thomas C. Holt (1942 - ) was the James Westfall Thompson Professor of American and African American History at the University of Chicago. Holt was most known for his work on race, labor and politics in post-emancipation societies.

Employment

University of Chicago

University of Michigan

Harvard University

Howard University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1800,40:2250,47:7050,151:7575,159:15082,233:16765,256:22862,327:38688,489:39952,517:42820,539:43903,650:60944,977:61352,984:82930,1377:83730,1392:84530,1410:91504,1503:91788,1508:96545,1626:96829,1631:105402,1731:105954,1740:106874,1759:108806,1788:109174,1797:109634,1803:126550,1944:127114,1952:127960,1967:131438,2082:139114,2169:142838,2221:143328,2227:143818,2233:147712,2266:149800,2300:151105,2318:151714,2326:152584,2338:168565,2558:174115,2659:179890,2841:180190,2852:187400,2896:192640,2953:202086,3057:202632,3065:209822,3172:217220,3302:220460,3377:221270,3396:221990,3403:222440,3409:223160,3418:227740,3457:233408,3527:234032,3537:238322,3644:243499,3710:245324,3747:247806,3800:251018,3868:253500,3918:255325,3956:259710,3986:263552,4044:287075,4370:287471,4375:288362,4385:290460,4424$0,0:18966,253:39646,442:45437,545:59053,807:66153,898:68354,950:71549,1050:95316,1453:98556,1509:102768,1576:107466,1662:123940,1843:128080,1942:144846,2195:156125,2367:165636,2530:166404,2544:169997,2601:180886,2812:190850,2979
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Thomas C. Holt's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Thomas C. Holt lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Thomas C. Holt describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Thomas C. Holt describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Thomas C. Holt describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Thomas C. Holt describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Thomas C. Holt describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Thomas C. Holt describes his father's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Thomas C. Holt talks about the conflict between his paternal grandfather and father

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Thomas C. Holt describes his father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Thomas C. Holt talks about his parents' relationship

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Thomas C. Holt describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Thomas C. Holt remembers his maternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Thomas C. Holt describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Thomas C. Holt remembers his early interest in reading

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Thomas C. Holt describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Thomas C. Holt talks about his father's involvement in World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Thomas C. Holt talks about his parents' small family

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Thomas C. Holt remembers his early education

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Thomas C. Holt describes his activities at Southside High School in Blairs, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Thomas C. Holt recalls his early awareness of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Thomas C. Holt remembers an influential teacher at Southside High School in Blairs, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Thomas C. Holt recalls his early exposure to black popular culture

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Thomas C. Holt remembers his decision to attend Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Thomas C. Holt remembers the black barbershop in his community

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Thomas C. Holt recalls the debate team at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Thomas C. Holt describes his theater involvement at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Thomas C. Holt remembers his interest in literature at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Thomas C. Holt talks about the administration of Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Thomas C. Holt remembers his involvement in SNCC, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Thomas C. Holt remembers his involvement with SNCC, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Thomas C. Holt remembers the March on Washington, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Thomas C. Holt recalls his arrests during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Thomas C. Holt remembers the March on Washington, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Thomas C. Holt remembers his academic experiences at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Thomas C. Holt remembers the protests against the administration of Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Thomas C. Holt remembers President Lyndon Baines Johnson's commencement address at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Thomas C. Holt remembers the summer of 1964

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Thomas C. Holt recalls his civil rights activism in Cambridge, Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Thomas C. Holt talks about his master's degree program at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Thomas C. Holt remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Thomas C. Holt recalls his Ph.D. degree program at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Thomas C. Holt remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Thomas C. Holt describes his interaction with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Thomas C. Holt recalls the divisions within the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Thomas C. Holt shares his research on the black community in South Carolina during Reconstruction

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Thomas C. Holt remembers joining the faculty of Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Thomas C. Holt describes his research on emancipation in the British West Indies

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Thomas C. Holt's interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Thomas C. Holt describes the Morant Bay rebellion

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Thomas C. Holt talks about Afro-Jamaican activists

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Thomas C. Holt describes the importance of support for newly formed independent countries

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Thomas C. Holt remembers being recruited to teach at Harvard University

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Thomas C. Holt describes Howard University and Harvard University

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Thomas C. Holt remembers the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke case of 1978

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Thomas C. Holt talks about his contemporaries at Harvard University

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Thomas C. Holt describes the emergence of African American studies departments

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Thomas C. Holt talks about student enrollment in African American studies courses

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Thomas C. Holt explains the mission of the African American studies discipline

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Thomas C. Holt talks about his research at Harvard University

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Thomas C. Holt remembers his research on the Freedman's Hospital at Howard University

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Thomas C. Holt recalls his tenure appointment at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Thomas C. Holt talks about African and African American studies professors

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Thomas C. Holt describes his courses at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Thomas C. Holt talks about disinvestment from South Africa at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Thomas C. Holt explains why he left the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Thomas C. Holt describes his research and other African American professors in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Thomas C. Holt talks about his research on Ida B. Wells and the history of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Thomas C. Holt talks about the biographies of historical black figures

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Thomas C. Holt explains his writing process

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Thomas C. Holt talks about the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Thomas C. Holt describes the historical context behind the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Thomas C. Holt describes the historical context behind the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Thomas C. Holt talks about the African American contribution to the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Thomas C. Holt talks about his research assistants

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Thomas C. Holt describes his research on W.E.B. Du Bois

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Thomas C. Holt remembers his grants and fellowship awards

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Thomas C. Holt talks about the reception of his book, 'The Problem of Freedom, Race, Labor and Politics in Jamaica and Britain'

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Thomas C. Holt remembers his appointment as president of the American Historical Association, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Thomas C. Holt remembers his appointment as president of the American Historical Association, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Thomas C. Holt talks about historical organizations

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Thomas C. Holt remembers William H. McNeill

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Thomas C. Holt describes his fellowship at Stanford University in Stanford, California

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Thomas C. Holt talks about his publications

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Thomas C. Holt talks about the work of a historian

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Thomas C. Holt reflects upon the image of African Americans in popular culture

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Thomas C. Holt reflects upon race in the United States

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Thomas C. Holt reflects upon race in a global context

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Thomas C. Holt talks about his book, 'Children of Fire: A History of African Americans'

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Thomas C. Holt talks about the work of John Hope Franklin

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Thomas C. Holt reflects upon the work of past historians

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Thomas C. Holt talks about the organization of his book, 'Children of Fire: A History of African Americans'

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Thomas C. Holt reflects on the administration of President Barack Obama

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Thomas C. Holt speculates on how historians will receive the administration of President Barack Obama

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Thomas C. Holt talks about how accessibility to resources has changed over time

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Thomas C. Holt talks about the development of research and fact finding

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Thomas C. Holt reflects upon his favorite work

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Thomas C. Holt reflects upon the life and career of W.E.B. Du Bois

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Thomas C. Holt talks about his favorite African American historical figures

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Thomas C. Holt describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - Thomas C. Holt talks about his family

Tape: 12 Story: 10 - Thomas C. Holt talks about his current projects at the time of the interview

Tape: 12 Story: 11 - Thomas C. Holt reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 12 Story: 12 - Thomas C. Holt describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

5$6

DATitle
Thomas C. Holt remembers an influential teacher at Southside High School in Blairs, Virginia
Thomas C. Holt remembers President Lyndon Baines Johnson's commencement address at Howard University
Transcript
So, you know, you take that back to the public schools, there was a lot of caution on the part of teachers and the ones who didn't, stood out. Like my history teacher, who also taught civics, I remember very distinctly, took us, his class, and this was my senior year, to, you know, as part of our civics instruction, to see a trial in the court over in town, in Danville [Virginia]. And, you know, it's very interesting because the first time I've been in a courtroom, I hadn't gotten in trouble so I hadn't been in court and, of course, it's segregated because, you know, blacks sat on one side and whites on the other and I remember asking him, I said, you know, why, you know, why we all just sitting over here. I mean, it's interesting that I in fact posed the questions since I've lived all my life in a segregated society but somehow in the, it's like the [U.S.] Army thing, you know, in the court, somehow didn't expect it to be different and so I actually got up and walked over and sat in the white side and he was very nervous, but he was also very proud. I mean, he was an interesting guy and then, of course, the, the, what do you call them, the bailiff or whatever, came over to me and said, you know, you can't sit here, you need to sit over there. So I got up and went back but I was testing it and he was, you know, said, "I'm glad you tested it." But, you know, that was unusual. I mean, most of my teachers probably would have jumped out of their skin at that, you know, they get into trouble and be reported back to the principal and maybe the superintendent of the schools or something like that. He also took us to, I mentioned the, the suit about the public library, he took us to federal court to, you know, to observe one of the sessions of, where they, the case was being argued about this suit. So, so part of my education, that was part of my education more than, more than big assemblies or any more explicit kind of program in the school itself [Southside High School, Blairs, Virginia]. It's in these kind of, I don't know, you might call them insurgencies where, you know, especially around this particular teacher who would, you know, in the context of what would be ordinary, you know, field trips but, of course, they were, what was involved in them was the beginnings of the attacks against Jim Crow.$$Okay, was this a teacher, Hennet [ph.], the one you were talking about?$$Yeah, Hennet, and Hennet was interesting because, actually, yeah, another part of it is, as I think about this and I remember it, I had him early on, probably, I think, world history or something in which I remember one of the, his lectures that I remember most vividly was when he was describing Hannibal crossing the apps--Alps and he was, you know, very animated and, you know, this was just, I was just fascinated, you know, with this idea of, this black general, you know, attacking Rome and so forth. Then he went off, he got a Fulbright [Fulbright Scholarship] and went to Nigeria and while he was in Nigeria, he actually wrote me letters about his experience, very extensive letters about Africa and so forth and so that was a bigger part of my education than anything that was happening in the classes, you know, and I'm very sorry, you know, my, my family house burnt down some years later so a lot of that stuff is, is gone, but he wrote me these stories, you know, these, these accounts that he experienced and that led me to seek out, I can't remember the name of the guy, the author now but, a series of books that were done on different parts of the world and one was done on Africa, 'Inside Africa.'$$Oh, the John Gunther--$$Yeah, right, Gunther, that's exactly right, and I read Gunther's, 'Inside Africa' as a result of his experience in Nigeria in writing these letters and that was one of my reading experiences early on in high school.$$That's great.$$And then he came back, of course, and then I took other classes with him and that was in that context that, in teaching civics, that, you know, we, you know, encountered both the segregated courtroom on one hand and the, the federal suit against the segregated library [in Danville, Virginia] on the other, that was during my senior year.$$So your senior year seemed like it really was important, I guess, in terms of your outlook?$$Oh, yeah, no, he was, he was undoubtedly the most important single influence in my (simultaneous)--$So, you graduate in '65 [1965] then, right?$$Right, because I had to take an extra year because I changed my major and then in the summer of '65 [1965], and this is, of course, was right after, you recall, right after the Selma [Alabama] demonstrations which we had, demonstrations in Washington [D.C.]. I didn't go to Selma but we were, you know, ringing the White House day and night, protesting what was happening in Selma and we had, and then at the graduation, Lyndon Johnson [President Lyndon Baines Johnson], actually president, came and spoke, gave the commencement address at Howard [Howard University, Washington, D.C.] and my folks came up, of course, to my graduation, and my father [Grover Holt] was very proud, you know, he said the first time he'd ever seen a living president, you know.$$Is that the speech where he really just--$$Yeah, this was the speech that leads to, you know, that, "Freedom is not enough, that you need to make changes" [To Fulfill These Rights]. I mean, the speech that was actually influenced by the Moynihan Report ['The Negro Family: The Case For National Action,' Daniel Patrick Moynihan], which was, ironic, I write about this in my recent book was well received and my father said, "Best speech I ever heard a president give" 'cause he was saying, you know, if you read the speech, that we got to do more, the government has to, you know, invest in education and job training and so forth and so on and not just give people, you know, rights but give them really means to, to realize those rights and his famous image that he had that you can't, you know, knock off the chains of a person and expect them to run the race, just like somebody who's never been chained. So it was a very well received speech but it was, also the time he was escalating the Vietnam War and most people weren't paying much attention to that but a lot of students, especially the radical students or the more militant students and SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee], were already involved in antiwar activity even as the Civil Rights Movement was, you know, still in, you know, the sort of top of the agenda. And so many of us, you know, not many of us, a number of us protested at the, you know, had signs on our backs and stuff like that, protesting Johnson's speech. So, again, it's an irony that, you know, here's a speech that my father, lived his life to, you know, to hear a president say, and here I am, you know, protesting this guy because he's, you know, escalating what we were considering a racist war.$$So did, well did you find, did you and your father talk about it at some point?$$Yeah but, you know, not, you know, it was live and let live. I mean, I understood his position. I mean, I could, you know, could see, you know, precisely where he's coming from and I think by that point he began to understand, you know, that he had this militant son who was not always going to see things the same way he saw it, you know.

Reginald Weaver

Reginald Lee Weaver was born on August 13, 1939 in Danville, Illinois to Mary Alice Buchanan and Carl Weaver. Weaver graduated from Danville High School in 1957 and earned his B.A. degree in special education for the physically challenged at Illinois State University in 1961. He received his Masters degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois in 1971.

He served as president of his local in Harvey, Ill., president of the NEA affiliate in Illinois and is now serving his second term as president of the 3.2 million-member National Education Association (NEA) – the nation’s largest professional employee organization.

Weaver also serves as vice president of Education International, a 394-member organization representing nearly 30 million teachers and education workers in 171 countries.

He travels nationally and internationally, working tirelessly as an ambassador for public education and advocating for the basic right of every student to attend a great public school. In 2006, Weaver made a landmark visit to the Lincoln Cathedral in England – home to a very rare copy of the Magna Carta – that was met with widespread acclaim. In recognition of his commitment to democracy and fundamental freedoms, the Cathedral unveiled a stone column in Weaver’s name.

He is the recipient of three honorary doctorates recognizing his “world-class leadership in the efforts to educate children,” the most recent from Lincoln University in the United Kingdom.
North Carolina's Shaw University awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Weaver in 2006. He was also conferred with an honorary Doctor of Public Service by South Carolina State University at its 2007 Spring Commencement.

A recognized expert on public education issues, Weaver has testified before Congress on federal education policy and frequently provides a critical voice on public education for national publications, including The New York Times, USA Today and The Washington Post, along with decision-maker publications, such as Congressional Quarterly, Education Week, and Education Daily. Weaver regularly appears on such news programs as CNN Headline News, C-Span’s Washington Journal, and ABC World News Tonight. He has been invited to discuss pressing education issues on National Public Radio’s News & Notes with Ed Gordon, CNN Radio Network, AP Radio Network and others.

His commitment and contributions to public education haven’t gone unnoticed. He has been named one of Ebony magazine’s 100 Most Influential Black Americans for his national influence.

Weaver was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 2, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.224

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/2/2007

Last Name

Weaver

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Danville High School

Illinois State University

Roosevelt University

First Name

Reginald

Birth City, State, Country

Danville

HM ID

WEA01

Favorite Season

None

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Nobody Can Make You Inferior Without Your Consent.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/13/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese

Short Description

Association chief executive Reginald Weaver (1939 - ) is president of the National Education Association.

Employment

Harvey, Illinois Public Schools

IEANEA

Illinois Department of Employment

National Education Association

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:98620,1205$0,0:3256,45:3608,50:20416,274:24845,283:25270,289:28075,330:38190,513:41505,575:42525,764:51576,829:52020,836:55128,874:69632,1117:80306,1261:82152,1290:83714,1320:83998,1325:87903,1433:88968,1460:90743,1495:91098,1501:91808,1517:92873,1533:102630,1651:114040,1923:130800,2174
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reginald Weaver's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reginald Weaver lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reginald Weaver states his date and place of birth

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reginald Weaver describes visiting his biological father in St. Louis, Missouri, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reginald Weaver describes visiting his biological father in St. Louis, Missouri, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reginald Weaver talks about his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reginald Weaver talks about his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reginald Weaver describes his hometown of Danville, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reginald Weaver talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reginald Weaver talks about his education at Cannon Elementary School and Jackson School in Danville, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reginald Weaver talks about junior high school at Cannon Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reginald Weaver talks about junior high at Cannon Elementary School and Mr. Brown's barbershop in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reginald Weaver describes the sounds, sights and smells of his childhood in Danville, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reginald Weaver describes the sounds, sights and smells of his childhood in Danville, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reginald Weaver talks about going to church in Danville, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reginald Weaver talks about his childhood friends

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reginald Weaver talks about attending Danville High School in Danville, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reginald Weaver talks about his teachers and the Wall of Fame at Danville High School in Danville, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reginald Weaver talks about his mother's education and career

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reginald Weaver talks about his stepfather

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reginald Weaver talks about his academic performance at Danville High School in Danville, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reginald Weaver describes being discriminated against and graduating from Danville High School in Danville, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reginald Weaver talks about deciding to attend Illinois State Normal University in Normal, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reginald Weaver talks about his first year at Illinois State Normal University in Normal, Illinois and athletes in the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reginald Weaver talks about the demographics of the student body and his second year at Illinois State Normal University in Normal, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reginald Weaver recalls meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reginald Weaver recalls student activities at Illinois State Normal University in Normal, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reginald Weaver talks about his third year at Illinois State Normal University in Normal, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reginald Weaver talks about his fourth year at Illinois State Normal University in Normal, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reginald Weaver talks about his post-graduation move to Chicago, Illinois and teaching in Harvey, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reginald Weaver describes working at Riley School in Harvey, Illinois in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reginald Weaver talks about dealing with gang conflicts in Harvey, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reginald Weaver talks about his activities within the Harvey Education Association and the Illinois Education Association

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reginald Weaver describes his transition back to teaching at Riley Elementary School in Harvey, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reginald Weaver reflects on his work as a teacher and the transition to becoming a union leader

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reginald Weaver recalls the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reginald Weaver describes the National Education Association's politics and his experience with the Illinois Department of Employment

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reginald Weaver describes working for the State of Illinois and his return to the education world

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reginald Weaver talks about his marriage and family

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reginald Weaver talks about bringing children home as a teacher and curricular issues in the 1970s and the early 2000s

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reginald Weaver talks about the National Education Association's response to the No Child Left Behind Act

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reginald Weaver talks about the flaws of the No Child Left Behind Act

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reginald Weaver talks about the politicians at the National Education Association Convention

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reginald Weaver talks about school dropout rates

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reginald Weaver talks about the National Education Association's incentives for minority outreach

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reginald Weaver describes his duties as President of the National Education Association and a memorable visit to a school in Missouri

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reginald Weaver talks about a memorable visit to a school in Missouri where he faced thoughtful questions from students about underfunding

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reginald Weaver describes the structure and activities of the National Education Association

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reginald Weaver reflects on the importance of adapting educational methods to the times

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reginald Weaver describes the history of the National Education Association

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reginald Weaver reflects on his mother's view of his accomplishments

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reginald Weaver talks about his wife and his brothers

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reginald Weaver talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reginald Weaver talks about his sons and learning to cut hair in college

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reginald Weaver reflects upon changes in the National Education Association

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reginald Weaver reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Reginald Weaver contemplates on his future

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$5

DAStory

3$7

DATitle
Reginald Weaver describes the history of the National Education Association
Reginald Weaver talks about the National Education Association's incentives for minority outreach
Transcript
You head up an organization of 3.2 million members, could you just give us a brief history of that organization.$$Well we are 100, we are 150 years old. We celebrated our 150th year, year of exist, exist, existence this past summer in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]. And about forty years ago the NEA [National Education Association], which was a predominantly all-white organization, merged with the American Teachers Association, which was a black organization. And, and they merged and, and, we now are one organization. We are an organization consisting of teachers, support staff, okay those custodians, janitors, bus drivers, higher ed, students, and retirees. They, they, make up our membership, and so that's, that's who, that's who we represent. And again we have an affiliate in every, in every state and every state has local affiliates. So that's, that's the makeup of the NEA. And we have a staff at the NEA building, we have a staff of about, about 555 people. And that are--consist of the chief, the executive director John Wilson. And, and then and down to the, the plant workers then the physical plant workers. And everybody does a, for the most part, they do an outstanding job.$The--because of your strong philosophies and your coming back in to teach and then to work with the National Education Association [NEA], things have changed quite a bit. Back in 2002 I believe?$$I think I think we're a different organization now (simultaneous).$$Okay.$$I think, I think that we are an organization now that has reached out to, to many people and many people have reached out to us. That typically had not occurred. We are, we are we, we have a minority community and outreach program that is second to none headed up by Cynthia Swann, and she has a team that I mean and, and the object (simultaneous).$$You want to tell us a little about the minority outreach (simultaneous)?$$And the object, yeah. And the object the object, see many people that have issues in education are people that look like me. And people that might be Hispanic and so knowing that there is no need in not being able to communicate with that community to let them know that we are with you. And these are some of the kinds of things that we want to work with you on to make sure that your kid has the best chance to be successful. And so we're going out to the communities we're reaching out to the various organizations. And I have to tell you it's been, it's been very very successful in terms of our outreach. We're also talking about how we can impact how we can raise salaries. You know, people don't come into the profession because number one lack of support. Lack of respect, lack of being involved in the decision-making process. Lack of money and lack of having to work in a school that's not safe and orderly. So to have those kind of conditions exist and not try to it address them you're not gonna get people coming in. You hear people say well we want people to come into the teaching profession why can't we get 'em in. Well nobody gone come in when you paying them $20,000 when they can go somewhere else and make $45,000 initially. So that's one of the reasons why we call for a $40,000 beginning salary for teachers. And a living wage for our support professionals and so, you know, those are some of the kinds of things that we're working on too.

The Honorable Frankie Freeman

U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Frankie Freeman was born Marie Frankie Muse on November 24, 1916 in Danville, Virginia. Her parents, Maude Beatrice Smith Muse and William Brown Muse, came from college-educated families. Her relatives included Charles Sumner Muse, Edward Muse and Clarence Muse. Freeman grew up in Danville where she attended Westmoreland School and learned to play the piano. At age sixteen, Freeman enrolled in her mother’s alma mater, Hampton Institute, which she attended between 1933 and 1936. While in New York, Freeman met and married Shelby T. Freeman. In 1944, she was admitted to Howard University Law School where William H. Hastie and Spottswood Robinson were on the faculty. Freeman graduated second in her class in 1947.

Upon graduating from law school, Freeman set up her law offices in the Jefferson Bank Building in June of 1949 and became engaged in the Civil Rights Movement. Freeman was a part of an NAACP legal brain trust, which included Sidney Redmond, Robert Witherspoon and Henry Espy in the NAACP’s 1949 Brewton v. the Board of Education of St. Louis, following the case to victory in the Supreme Court of the State of Missouri. In 1954, the same year as Brown v. the Board of Education, Freeman was the lead attorney for the landmark NAACP case Davis et al v. the St. Louis Housing Authority, which ended legal racial discrimination in public housing. In 1955, Freeman became the first associate general counsel of the St. Louis Housing Authority and Land Clearance Authority. In 1958, she became a charter member of the Missouri advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Freeman provided NAACP counsel to CORE activists demonstrating against hiring discrimination policies at Jefferson Bank. In March of 1964, she was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson as the first female member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Freeman served as a commissioner for sixteen years, and later as Inspector General for the Community Services Administration during the Carter Administration. Freeman was also a municipal court judge in the early 1970s. In 1982, Freeman helped form a bipartisan Citizens Commission on Civil Rights to monitor the federal government’s enforcement of laws barring discrimination. Freeman was a practicing attorney for more than fifty years.

Freeman was a Trustee Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of Howard University, past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Council on Aging, Inc. and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. She was also a board member of the United Way of Greater St. Louis, the Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District and the St. Louis Center for International Relations. She was the author of A Song of Faith and Hope: The Life of Frankie Muse Freeman and past national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Freeman also received several honorary doctorate degrees from institutions that include Hampton University, Washington University and Howard University. She was inducted into the National Bar Association’s Hall of Fame in 1990.

Freeman passed away on January 12, 2018 at age 101.

Accession Number

A2006.183

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/19/2006

Last Name

Freeman

Maker Category
Schools

Westmoreland School

Hampton University

Howard University School of Law

First Name

Frankie

Birth City, State, Country

Danville

HM ID

FRE05

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm, Cape Town, South Africa

Favorite Quote

Do Your Homework.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Missouri

Birth Date

11/24/1916

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

St. Louis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Soul Food

Death Date

1/12/2018

Short Description

U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner The Honorable Frankie Freeman (1916 - 2018 ) was a former municipal court judge for St. Louis, Missouri and was the first female member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Freeman was the lead attorney for the NAACP case, Davis et al v. St. Louis Housing Authority.

Employment

the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Price Administration

Frankie Freeman, private practice

State of Missouri

St. Louis Housing Authority

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Community Services Administration

Montgomery Hollie and Associates, LLC.

Citizens Commission on Civil Rights

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:5000,79:9032,164:15464,231:22328,346:22944,354:31480,470:39895,510:42565,555:47255,588:47571,593:48993,622:67970,907:79072,1044:79924,1058:83474,1103:87734,1184:92856,1198:94880,1219:95340,1225:95708,1230:96076,1235:113866,1423:133170,1684:133970,1694:142826,1845:144674,1885:150554,1981:151646,2003:158000,2056:158424,2061:159696,2077:169934,2233:185380,2429:185780,2436:186100,2441:186660,2450:187300,2460:188100,2476:192840,2540:195160,2579:210112,2769:210798,2778:216720,2848$0,0:7233,141:7707,149:9445,175:11341,210:11657,215:19650,341:20790,374:26775,523:27155,528:35589,575:36124,581:39772,608:40632,619:41406,629:41750,634:52420,836:53140,846:53460,851:58180,965:62500,1023:62820,1028:73607,1164:76302,1214:77534,1243:92785,1468:93380,1476:101465,1597:101830,1603:109130,1668:119780,1819:120460,1827:121225,1842:131256,1964:132008,1974:138188,2074:143062,2111:143472,2117:145988,2187:154136,2299:154633,2307:164175,2399:164956,2414:168577,2478:177286,2570:178714,2593:179890,2607:180394,2617:189382,2786:189718,2791:190222,2800:190894,2809:191230,2818:196430,2855:197703,2882:199311,2915:200718,2941:211945,3080:222690,3193:237520,3383
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Frankie Freeman

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls the black businesses in Danville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman talks about her mother's education and profession

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers her paternal grandfather, Frank Muse

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls the independence of the black community in Danville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman describes her father's education and profession

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls how her parents met and married

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman describes her neighborhood in Danville, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers segregation in Danville, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls her early musical talents

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls her decision to attend the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman describes her experience at the Hampton Institute

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers African American lawyer Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman shares a story about the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls applying to St. John's College of Law in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers meeting her husband, Shelby Freeman, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Frankie Muse Freeman recalls her decision to apply to Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls her acceptance to Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers registering for her final year of law school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls graduating from Howard University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers her mentors at Howard University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman talks about starting her law firm in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers the Jefferson Bank and Trust Company

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls other black female professionals in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers Brewten v. the Board of Education of St. Louis, 1950

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman talks about Davis et al. v. the St. Louis Housing Authority, 1955

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers Constance Baker Motley

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman describes her position as a Missouri assistant attorney general

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls being hired by the St. Louis Housing Authority

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers the effects of Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, 1954 in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers notable civil rights attorneys

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman talks about desegregation in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers the Pruitt Igoe housing project in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman talks about her activism in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls her nomination to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls her U.S. Senate confirmation to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers her first hearing for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman describes her experience at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman reflects upon the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers President Lyndon Baines Johnson's administration

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman talks about the importance of affirmative action

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls her presidency of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers President Richard Milhous Nixon's administration

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls leaving the St. Louis Housing Authority

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman reflects upon President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.'s administration

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls her work for Native American rights

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers her discrimination case against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls her appointment as inspector general for the Community Services Administration

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls her dismissal as inspector general for the Community Services Administration

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman talks about the mismanagement of funds in public agencies

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers William Clay, Sr.'s congressional election

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman recalls forming the Citizens Commission on Civil Rights

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers Clarence Thomas' nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers Clarence Thomas' nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman talks about her work in private practice

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman describes her family

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman talks about her organizational involvement

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Frankie Freeman narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

2$8

DATitle
The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers registering for her final year of law school
The Honorable Frankie Freeman remembers Brewten v. the Board of Education of St. Louis, 1950
Transcript
Because I would get up in the morning very early, I would, I would, I'd get up like at three o'clock and do--and, and study. In the meantime however, there were a group of us (unclear) about four of us who were, you know, a study team. We would study to, all of us were pretty much around the same age at that time and same interests and so we studied together actually. And so I did very well and then my second year I became pregnant and so I still got through the second year but the baby was due in, in September which would be the beginning of my senior year. And the summer was fine because you see I was out of school and so I at least could do, do all of the things that I would ordinarily be doing. But class was to start in September the 10th and I knew my son [Shelby Freeman III] was due soon in September. So I wrote to--in the meantime Dean Hastie [William H. Hastie] had been appointed governor of the [U.S.] Virgin Islands so we had a new dean, Dean Johnson [George M. Johnson]. So I wrote to him in August and asked for permission to register late--to register after my baby was born and he wrote to me and reminded me of the rules that I couldn't do that and that only the university registrar could make that decision. So I--on the date of the--of September 10th Shelby [Freeman's husband, Shelby Freeman, Jr.] took me--by the time, I don't know what the arrangement was but anyway he took me up there and left me and I went over to the university registrar and filled out the form and asked to be, to register, you know, to register late. Dean Wilkerson [ph.] who was the registrar looked at me and he said, "Mrs. Freeman [HistoryMaker Frankie Freeman] I think you should stay out a year and come back after your baby is born." Well the war [World War II, WWII] was ending this was in '44 [1944] and I knew that my husband who was a St. Louisian that the decision was that we were coming to St. Louis [Missouri] and so I was afraid--I couldn't afford that, I couldn't take that chance. So I said thank you and then I came on back over to the law school [Howard University School of Law, Washington, D.C.] and stood in line to register and all of the people who were ahead of me to register immediately dropped out and got behind me and I registered. As soon as I had registered Ms. Cooper [ph.], Dean Johnson's special (unclear) secretary came to me and said, "Dean Johnson wants to see you." So when I went into his office he said, "Now Mrs. Freeman you have registered and I want you to know that you are already in good standing so you can go home and after your baby is born and your doctor releases you then you may return to school because I think your team will probably help you during that time." So I, I called Shelby and he came and picked me up and my son was born four days later on, on the, the 14th.$Tell us about Brewton versus the Board of Education [Brewton v. Board of Education of St. Louis, 1950].$$Oh. That was the first civil rights case in which I participated with three other lawyers, civil rights, well established Sidney Redmond [Sidney R. Redmond] and Henry Espy [Henry D. Espy] and Robert Witherspoon. And when I came to St. Louis [Missouri] and I opened my office and I joined the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] and I went to see them and I said, "I would be willing to work with you if any cases come." In--St. Louis had still segregated black, white in Washington Technical High School [Booker T. Washington Technical High School, St. Louis, Missouri] they had a little quote, separate but equal. Had courses that I think--they had both of them automobile and mechanics and Hadley Technical High School [St. Louis, Missouri] also had automobile mechanics but then they started a course in airplane mechanics. That hit the news and so there were three brothers who by that time there was excitement about the planes and everything. They read this and they told their parents, "We want to go, we want to take that course." So he did what parents do, he went even though he knew what the situation was he went to the school and was turned down, went to the board was turned down. They came to the NAACP and so then that's when they told me and I became--yeah I want to be involved in that too. We filed suit in circuit court [22nd Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri] challenging it as unconstitutional even under separate but equal and the judge decided in favor of the three Brewton brothers. So the board of education appealed it to the State of Missouri. Briefs were filed and we travelled to Jefferson City [Missouri], Sidney Redmond argued the case. The supreme court found in favor of--affirmed the case of the circuit court, found in favor of the plaintiffs and issued a mandate to them that they could not have a course in airplane mechanics for white student and not have one for blacks. So the board of education closed down the course for white students.$$So they, they solved it by subtraction?$$They solved it by subtraction and what happened, and of course we never have been able to prove this, but there were, there was a private school that we had been told that the white students went to but we didn't, but we never of course pursued that. What happened however, the three Brewton brothers during then did get trained, but they got trained to the [U.S.] military the Korean War. They got trained and one of the brothers even became an assistant manager of the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] out in St. Louis and when he was talking and during the time several years later when I was talking about this case and somebody told him about it he called me and he told me that he was talking to his supervisor telling him about his experience and how he had gotten to be, how he had gotten his training. And then he learned that the supervisor was a student at Hadley at the time that he was, you know, was denied admission. But by that time they had become good friends and all so he shared his experience.$$It's ironic.$$Yeah.$$So the next, I guess, big case--now this is, this one went all the way to, to, to the Supreme Court of Missouri, right?$$Yeah that went to the Supreme Court of Missouri.

Richard G. Womack

Richard Gilbert Womack, assistant to American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) President John Sweeney, was born on November 18, 1939, in Danville, Virginia. Soon after his birth, Womack moved with his parents, Louise Patrick and Gilbert Womack, to Darby Township outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he attended public school, graduating from Darby High School in 1957. After graduation, Womack served in the United States Army in Fort Lee, Virginia, and in 1962, took a job with Reynolds Aluminum that ultimately launched his career with the AFL-CIO.

Womack performed various functions within the AFL-CIO, including holding a position as assistant director of the Human Resources Development Institute in 1971, and serving as director of the Department of Civil Rights in 1986. In 2003, Womack became the assistant to the AFL-CIO president John Sweeney, advising him on civil, human, and women's rights, immigration issues, and overseeing outreach to community and religious organizations.

While serving the AFL-CIO, Womack also served as a member of the NAACP's Board of Directors, chairing the National Board of Director's Labor Committee; Chairman of the Board of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation; and as the acting executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. Womack received a presidential appointment in January of 1996 to the board of the Federal Prison Industries.

Accession Number

A2005.155

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/29/2005

Last Name

Womack

Maker Category
Middle Name

G.

Schools

Darby Township School

Darby Township High School

First Name

Richard

Birth City, State, Country

Danville

HM ID

WOM01

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nature

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

11/18/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Executive assistant Richard G. Womack (1939 - ) served as assistant to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, as well as a member of the NAACP's Board of Directors.

Employment

Reynolds Metals Company

AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department

AFL-CIO

AFL-CIO Appalachian Council

AFL-CIO Human Resources Development Institute

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:546,4:1001,10:6860,112:7388,120:20588,378:23052,428:24460,451:24812,456:28508,523:28948,529:35826,541:51941,802:52605,811:55715,853:57710,883:63980,972:64740,981:68825,1060:72360,1070:72692,1075:73024,1080:75929,1128:77091,1143:78004,1160:90926,1371:97920,1532:114899,1776:115481,1786:115966,1792:119225,1821:121051,1858:125616,1944:125948,1949:128770,2012:129268,2019:129849,2027:131841,2068:132173,2073:132920,2084:139145,2303:139477,2318:145702,2467:159600,2566:165930,2686:166532,2694:167994,2720:169370,2741:169714,2746:170316,2755:198790,3161$0,0:324,4:5868,153:10972,265:17308,366:20916,458:40246,664:46298,736:53590,847:64536,1066:64946,1072:72572,1278:76994,1310:85138,1386:91464,1482:91969,1488:96984,1540:97300,1545:108984,1713:116792,1974:135530,2187:148104,2346:159133,2526:171084,2744:171400,2749:184430,2968:185240,3007:192678,3084:196174,3144:197278,3324:207950,3706:251360,4151
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Richard G. Womack's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Richard G. Womack lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Richard G. Womack describes his mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Richard G. Womack describes his father's side of the family and Rifeville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Richard G. Womack remembers instances of segregation

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Richard G. Womack describes his father's experiences in the South

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Richard G. Womack describes his father, his aunt and his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Richard G. Womack describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Richard G. Womack describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Richard G. Womack describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Richard G. Womack describes Darby Township High School, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Richard G. Womack describes Darby Township High School, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Richard G. Womack remembers Darby Township School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Richard G. Womack describes his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Richard G. Womack recalls playing sports at Darby Township High School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Richard G. Womack recalls his courses at Darby Township High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Richard G. Womack remembers graduating from Darby Township High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Richard G. Womack recalls playing sports during his U.S. Army service at Fort Lee, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Richard G. Womack remembers being AWOL from the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Richard G. Womack recalls racial discrimination in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Richard G. Womack remembers delisting from the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Richard G. Womack remembers being hired by Reynolds Metals Company

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Richard G. Womack recalls becoming involved in the Reynolds Metals Company union

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Richard G. Womack recalls running for president of the Delaware County AFL-CIO

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Richard G. Womack talks about attendance at local AFL-CIO meetings

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Richard G. Womack talks about political participation, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Richard G. Womack talks about political participation, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Richard G. Womack talks about African Americans' exclusion from unions

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Richard G. Womack describes the importance of African Americans' union involvement

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Richard G. Womack describes his Reynolds Metals Company union work, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Richard G. Womack describes his Reynolds Metals Company union work, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Richard G. Womack describes his mid-1960s career trajectory, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Richard G. Womack describes his mid-1960s career trajectory, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Richard G. Womack remembers meeting Frederick O'Neal and C. L. Dellums

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Richard G. Womack describes AFL-CIO's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Richard G. Womack recalls the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization's 1981 strike

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Richard G. Womack describes the history of the labor movement, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Richard G. Womack describes the history of the labor movement, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Richard G. Womack describes the labor movement's role in South Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Richard G. Womack recalls representing the AFL-CIO in South Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Richard G. Womack describes his AFL-CIO work with the Cleveland firefighters

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Richard G. Womack recalls mediating for the international firefighters' unions, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Richard G. Womack recalls mediating for the international firefighters' unions, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Richard G. Womack recalls mediating for the international firefighters' unions, pt. 3

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Richard G. Womack describes AFL-CIO's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Richard G. Womack describes his role as assistant to the president of AFL-CIO

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Richard G. Womack talks about the current labor movement and its future

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Richard G. Womack describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Richard G. Womack reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Richard G. Womack reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Richard G. Womack describes his family

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Richard G. Womack describes the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Richard G. Womack describes the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Richard G. Womack describes his NAACP board service

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Richard G. Womack describes his Federal Bureau of Prisons board service

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Richard G. Womack describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

4$8

DATitle
Richard G. Womack describes the importance of African Americans' union involvement
Richard G. Womack recalls mediating for the international firefighters' unions, pt. 1
Transcript
The labor movement, I think, has been probably the most democratic institution in America, even in terms of the church, because I think a lot of our churches still have these bastions of discrimination, and that's not to say there's not pockets of discrimination within the labor movement, you know, there are these pockets; I think we're working to get rid of those pockets as well. I mean I see the leadership today as a lot more aggressive, a lot more democratic, and they're trying to make sure that they're doing the right thing. The question becomes is how do you get more people in leadership or decision-making capacities; this is what we've been working--trying to make sure we can enhance those positions. Because it's like in football: we know there are certain positions in football that commands more respect and more money. If you're a quarterback, if you're a wide receiver, even a, a guard's position; and then there are certain positions that leads to coaching positions. So what we're saying, in the labor movement, there are still these positions that will lead to other high-up positions. If you become administrative assistant to the president, which gives you a leg up on becoming elected officer or something like this here. So, our thing is there are key positions that we need to get into--slots we need to get into so that we can have the opportunity to get the experience others get because what they always--the underlying thing is: do you have the experience and the know-how? And how do you get that experience? You got to get in certain jobs, certain position to get that experience. So that's one of the things we're pushing, saying, you know--having a mentor and all this is great, but you've got to be able, be able to push your way into that arena where you can get into those positions where it commands the fact that you can move up to, up to different positions; and we've been able to do that in some instances.$$Okay.$$That's just not enough.$$Now, what you were saying earlier before I think we changed tape, was that only seventeen, eighteen white people actually show up for certain meetings, and if the black folks (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Right.$$--showed up, they would actually run the (simultaneous)--$$Run, the--yeah.$$--but it does--it says something about the white participation, too, though (unclear) their members--yeah.$$Oh, no, oh--totally. One of the things about union meetings, if it ain't contract negotiation time, you don't get no large turnout. Now, when the--when it's time for your contract to be up and you're trying to negotiate a contract and you got ratification? Oh, they will come out then. But regular meetings? There's no hot item on the agenda? They will not come out. And this is what I try to tell our folks: look, we can run this local; all we got to do is get our act together and we come out in these meetings, we got the votes--we do what we wanna do. But it's--they don't see it, they--couldn't get 'em to see it that way, you know, hard as we tried. But no, in any union meeting, if you got thirty-five, forty people, that's considered a large gathering.$The firefighters [International Association of Fire Fighters] have been my biggest challenge; I'll be honest with you, they been my biggest challenge in terms of trying to deal with discrimination within the labor movement and trying to get them to understand--for instance, they have, or had, an all-white executive board. Now, I'm trying to figure out how do you have, I think it was twenty-three people on the executive board, and no person of color, no women either. And I'm trying to get them to, to see they need to change this whole thing. The--they, they had a convention down in Florida, in Miami [Florida], in which the black firefighters had decided that they were gonna boycott, or to picket the convention, and so I get this call to say, "Can you help us out here?" And I said, "Okay. Why don't we get the two of y'all together, black firefighters--the head of the black firefighters union [International Association of Black Professional Firefighters] and the head of the white--well, the head of the international?" And I called the head of the black firefighters and asked him would he meet. Well, he said to me, "Richard [HistoryMaker Richard G. Womack], I will be glad to meet but I can't meet on this day; I can't do this, but I'll be glad to meet any other day." I tell this to the president of the international that--okay. Excuse me. He says, "Okay, well, this is the day I wanna meet." "Well, he can't meet that day." So, what does he do? He has a press conference and announced the fact that this guy has been invited but he chose not to show up. I say, "I don't believe you did this." I don't believe you did it; but anyway, to make a long story short, put me in a hell of a situation. I said, "Okay, we still need to find a way to work this out." So I sat down; he was gonna--but I tell you, the black firefighter, he was incensed because this is--"Was not what I said, or I did not want to be--I wanted to be--I just couldn't do it that day." So, anyway, I explained it, I said, "You know, I think he did an injustice here, so we need to find a way to amend this whole thing." So, I think it was the next day, we agreed we would meet, but the black fighter said, "Y'all come"--they was at one hotel downtown; the fire--white fighters was in a hotel on the beach--and said, "No, y'all come to us." So, we're gonna take the white firefighters over to meet with the black firefighters, and so I'm arranging, setting all this up. So I had one of my, one of my people--one of my staff people with me, right? And I asked her, "I'm gone--I'm going over here, I'm gonna be over here with the black firefighters; y'all bring the white firefighters on over." Well, one of the guys decided to go out on the golf course, and naturally, in Florida, you know how these rains come up all of a sudden, and he got drenched, so he had to go change his clothes. So he called--Stepperd [ph.] calls me and says, you know, "We're gonna be a little late." I say, "No, we can't be late, you gotta get over here, 'cause they already got--we already got a bad tension going anyway so can't be, be late." He say, "Well, they wanna go--they gotta get--they had to get this guy off the golf course, and now he gotta go change his clothes." I say, "He don't have time to go change no clothes, tell him that he can come later; the rest of 'em need to come." "No, they not gonna come without him, so he gotta change his clothes." I said, "Oh my gosh, here we go again." So, anyway, they go, he changed his clothes, and here they come, and then time they come--and I'm sitting there trying to keep these black firefighters calm and whatever. They said, "Richard, we ain't waiting no more. This is disrespectful; I mean how many times we gotta get kicked in the teeth before we realize, you know, they playing a game with us?" I said, "No, I think the guys"--and when I--and I thought he was sincere, and I, and I had to agree with him. I said, "Okay, I'm not gonna ask you to stay." I mean they'd already waited a half-hour, you know. And so I said, "Okay." So as they are leaving out, the white firefighters are coming in.