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Deborah A. Elam

Deborah Elam was the Chief Diversity Officer at General Electric (GE), Fairfield, Connecticut. Elam led efforts globally to ensure that all GE employees felt that they had an opportunity to contribute and succeed. Elam was a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, and an alumna of Ursuline Academy; she received her B.A. degree in sociology at Louisiana State University (LSU) and a Masters of Public Administration at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Elam’s career began in 1986 with an internship at General Electric while pursuing her graduate degree. Upon graduation, Elam joined GE’s Human Resources Leadership Program in 1987, and had assignments at GE Global Exchange Services and GE Transportation. Upon completion of the training program, Elam was promoted to successively larger human resources roles in GE Consulting Services, GE Capital Mortgage Corp., GE Capital Insurance Services, and GE Capital Markets Services. In June of 2000, Elam became the managing director of Human Resources at GE Capital Commercial Finance; she was promoted in September of 2002 to the office of vice president. In February, 2006, GE’s Board of Directors appointed Elam chief diversity officer of the company, making her one of the highest ranking women at GE. Elam held leadership roles in GE’s African American Forum, GE Women’s Network, and was a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), an organization of the top African Americans in Corporate America Outside of work, Elam served on the Board of Directors of the Fairfield County Community Foundation, Working Mothers Magazine-Women of Color Initiative, and the Elfun Community Foundation. Elam also acted as president of the Fairfield County Chapter of Links, Inc., a member of the National Black MBA Association, and president of the Fairfield County Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Elam held memberships in Jack and Jill of America, and the National Council of Negro Women.

Elam received numerous awards and was featured on the cover of the March 2005 issue of The Network Journal Magazine where she was named One of Twenty-five Influential Black Women in Business. Elam received the Brava Award, which was given by the YWCA of Greenwich, Connecticut, to women who achieved at work and gave back to their communities. Elam became a highly sought after speaker, addressing the Commission on Officer Diversity Advancement of the U.S. Army, and serving as a keynote speaker for the Distinguished Speaker Series for the MBA program at LSU, her alma mater. In addition to her business endeavors, Elam and her husband have raised two daughters.

Bio Photo Courtesy of Stuart Walls / Woodstock Studio.

Accession Number

A2007.111

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/26/2007

Last Name

Elam

Maker Category
Middle Name

A.

Schools

Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary School

Ursuline Academy

Martinez Kindergarten School

Xavier University of Louisiana

Louisiana State University

Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

First Name

Deborah

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

ELA03

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

Michael and Kimberly Graves

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Birth Date

6/1/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bridgeport

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Strawberries

Short Description

Human resources executive Deborah A. Elam (1961 - ) climbed the ranks at General Electric, becoming vice president and chief diversity officer.

Employment

GE Capital

GE Capital Mortgage

GE Capital Insurance Services

GE Capital Market Services

GE Corporate Finance

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Deborah A. Elam's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Deborah A. Elam lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Deborah A. Elam describes her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Deborah A. Elam talks about her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Deborah A. Elam describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Deborah A. Elam talks about her maternal relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Deborah A. Elam describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Deborah A. Elam describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Deborah A. Elam describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Deborah A. Elam remembers her neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Deborah A. Elam remembers school integration in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Deborah A. Elam recalls Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Deborah A. Elam recalls the Martinez Kindergarten School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Deborah A. Elam remembers her early activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Deborah A. Elam recalls her maternal grandfather's luncheonette in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Deborah A. Elam describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Deborah A. Elam remembers Ursuline Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Deborah A. Elam describes her early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Deborah A. Elam remembers Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Deborah A. Elam talks about the debutante tradition in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Deborah A. Elam remembers Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Deborah A. Elam recalls transferring to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Deborah A. Elam remembers historic events in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Deborah A. Elam remembers Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Deborah A. Elam recalls her decision to attend graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Deborah A. Elam recalls Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Deborah A. Elam remembers interviewing for a General Electric internship

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Deborah A. Elam talks about interview techniques

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Deborah A. Elam remembers her General Electric internship

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Deborah A. Elam recalls General Electric's management training program, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Deborah A. Elam recalls General Electric's management training program, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Deborah A. Elam describes her early career at General Electric

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Deborah A. Elam describes her work for General Electric in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Deborah A. Elam recalls GE Capital Mortgage Corporation in Raleigh, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Deborah A. Elam talks about balancing her career with motherhood

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Deborah A. Elam recalls General Electric's early diversity initiatives

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Deborah A. Elam remembers developing her human resources skills

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Deborah A. Elam recalls becoming a senior employee at General Electric

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Deborah A. Elam recalls her work for GE Capital Markets Services, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Deborah A. Elam recalls her role at GE Commercial Finance

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Deborah A. Elam recalls becoming GE Capital's diversity leader

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Deborah A. Elam describes General Electric's employee diversity

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Deborah A. Elam talks about Lloyd G. Trotter and Arthur H. Harper

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Deborah A. Elam talks about the social opportunities in Corporate America

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Deborah A. Elam talks about African American female corporate leaders

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Deborah A. Elam describes General Electric's African American Affinity Network

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Deborah A. Elam describes her organizational involvement

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Deborah A. Elam talks about her daughters

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Deborah A. Elam describes the importance of history

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Deborah A. Elam describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Deborah A. Elam reflects upon her racial and gender identity

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Deborah A. Elam recalls her appointment as a General Electric officer

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Deborah A. Elam reflects upon her mentors at General Electric

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Deborah A. Elam reflects upon the importance of motherhood

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Deborah A. Elam narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$2

DAStory

4$5

DATitle
Deborah A. Elam recalls General Electric's early diversity initiatives
Deborah A. Elam remembers Ursuline Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana
Transcript
When did they reintroduce diversity to you because you said you did it that once in that--$$Sure.$$--training [at the John F. Welch Leadership Development Institute; General Electric Management Development Institute, Ossining, New York].$$Sure (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) When did it come up again?$$Oh, I'm sorry, so let's back track a bit.$$Okay.$$So when I was in Raleigh [North Carolina] at the Mortgage, GE Capital Mortgage Corp [GE Capital Mortgage Corporation] in Raleigh, North Carolina, the two years I was there, there was a big push on diversity. The business leader there had put a diversity leader on his staff, on his direct staff (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Now what year are we talking about?$$This is '92 [1992] or '93 [1993], put a diversity leader, a white female, Ellen Schloemer, directly on his staff, which was almost unheard of at that point. I don't know what the genesis was or where the light bulb went out, off for him, but he decided to do that. And she went into some very aggressive diversity training. I can remember (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) For example, yeah.$$--we had a group called Kaleel Jamison [The Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group, Inc., Troy, New York], which is still a diversity training consulting group now that came in and we did a week long session in Charleston, South Carolina, it was Charleston, South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, deep dive into diversity, I mean real personal stuff.$$What is diversity from that standpoint?$$It's valuing differences. It's really valuing people for who they are and what they bring to the table.$$And that should have very little to do with color then?$$Whatever that is.$$Yeah.$$Well, it does have to do with color, and then the color has a historical context in this country because as, as you know, you know we've had, a, a history in this country where color had legal implications of what you could do and couldn't do, et cetera. So, color very much is a part of it, but it's not all of it. I mean I really think diversity is about making sure that no matter who you are or where you are in the world you have an opportunity to contribute and be successful, no matter what your background is you can come to the table on the same terms and play.$$So, you're in Charleston, you're at this seminar, what do you learn from that seminar that sticks with you today, if anything?$$Yeah, there's one thing that stick with me, sticks with, sticks with me from that week-long seminar. There was one exercise that we did where we gro- broke up into homogenous groups. So, you had women of color, men of color, gays and lesbians, et cetera. And I can remember the gay, lesbian group. Actually it was gay men and I think lesbian women. But the gay men group there were a couple of men in the group that until we did the break outs, I didn't not know that they were gay men. And I can remember, and it sticks with me to this day and I talk about this often, I can remember one of the men who was artistically very talented. He drew a picture, so we came back after these breakouts and did a report out in terms of how do you feel and what's an image of you and the company. It was something like that. And I can remember him drawing a kaleidoscope, sort of a black and white collection of like flowers or figures. It was all black and white. It was a thick, thick, thick da- black marker. It was all black and white. There was this little piece with a V in the middle that was in color, and he said because I can't be who I am, you know, this is all you see of the real me, which was the color portion. And the rest of me, which is out here, that you see is the black and white and more mundane. And I always think about that in terms of anybody, not just gays or lesbian, but anybody feeling like can I bring my whole self to work. Can I bring who I am to work because if I can, I'm gonna be better. I'm gonna be more effective. I'm gonna be more comfortable. I'm gonna deliver more for me and for the company than if I've gotta hide and really have you only see this little part of me.$$What, what was her name, the woman that he hired to come on staff as--$$Ellen Schloemer.$$Ellen.$$She had been I marketing, but he asked her to lead diversity for the company.$$Did you learn anything from Ellen, even as a woman?$$Yeah, Ellen, you know, yeah, Ellen pushed, she pushed the envelope on this a lot and it showed me (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) In what areas though, how did she push?$$Well, this, this training was pretty provocative back then. I mean you're talking you know '92 [1992], '93 [1993], I mean this was, you know to take a week out of a business week to go off and do a deep, emotional dive into this kind of thing about where'd you grow up and what were your, you know what were your, your belief system and so forth was, was very provocative at that point. And she was a white female who was very much willing to push the envelope, and I thought that was good. I thought that was very good.$$What did GE [General Electric] take from that week seminar?$$Actions to try and increase the diversity in the population there and really aggressive hiring and its recruiting and, and training of, of more managers, we replicated that seminar. I think we end, ended up, we were the pilot groups. We ended up cutting it down to maybe a few days, but really trying to roll out a lot more, at that time it was more sensitivity kind of training, so a lot more training of the managers; that's sort of what the GE action was coming out of that.$How do you get into Ursuline [Ursuline Academy, New Orleans, Louisiana]?$$So Ursuline Academy--at the time I a- we were applying it was considered the number two school in the city. It's the (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) And number one being?$$Isidore Newman [Isidore Newman School, New Orleans, Louisiana] at the time. I don't know what it is now, but girls school, small school. Well known people were there. There were governors, former governor's daughters who were there. Mayor Moon Landrieu was mayor of the city. His daughters were all there. Dutch Morial [Ernest Morial], who was not yet mayor, but was certainly a prominent attorney, his kids were there. So, it was a school that as I think my parents [Jeanne Cunningham Augustine and Henry Augustine, Sr.] interfaced in different circles that they thought would be good for me. And so I applied and, and got in, in seventh grade and remained there and graduated in twelfth grade.$$Was this your first exposure on a broad scale to being with students that were not just African American?$$Yes, very much so.$$And how is that different then? How did, how, how was it different?$$It was different, the school was much bigger, just physically the, the geography was bigger. That was one of the first things I noticed. I noticed the resources were very different. I mean I can remember at my elementary school [Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary School, New Orleans, Louisiana], which was African American where we would get hand me down books every year. And I can remember the first day of school we would spend the day erasing the marks out of the books because they had been handed down from the white schools and they were raggedy and we'd, we'd have to tape them up. And this was literally the first day of school we'd have to tape them and put book covers on them so they would be usable, you know, for the school year. And pages would be torn out. I mean they were just really in a dilapidated condition. Now up until this point, that was all I knew. You know and I can remember at Ursuline, first day, you know the stack of books and opening it and the spine cracking, and you know it was like wow. So the resource allocation and, and what was available was really the first big difference that I, I recognized. The kids were fine. I mean the kids were not, you know, and not in any way mean. I mean we, we were in seventh grade, so everyone was friendly.$$Did your opportunity to function in leadership roles diminish because you were at a school that was majority white now versus one that was majority black? Were you still able to function in the student council and--?$$Yeah, very much so. In fact, I was elected, I think, I'm, I'm not certain about this, but I believe I was probably the first African American who was elected president of both my freshman class in high school and my junior class. I was, so I was on student council. But, but to stay with junior high, I was on the volleyball team. I was the only African American on the volleyball team, so I was active in sports, clubs. I mean, no I didn't in any way feel diminished. I mean I really didn't. The thing that was different was, and I realized this later in life, we, we sort of lived in two different worlds because when I would go home I would go home very much to a black neighborhood and they went home to a white neighborhood and so even going to parties or whatever had a level of tenseness to them from my parents' standpoint, just from a safety standpoint because it was different because I was venturing out now to a home where in a neighborhood where you know ten years prior they probably couldn't walk and was it gonna be okay, was anything gonna happen to me. I didn't necessarily know all of what was going through their head at that time, but I could sense a little more tenseness when they would drop me off at a birthday party or whatever. But, again never any issue for me other than I could tell my parents were a little more uptight about it than say other parties I had gone to with African American girlfriends.

John Moore

Civic leader John Edward Moore, Sr. was born on January 11, 1923 in Birmingham, Alabama. His parents, Ausro and Gertha Jones Moore moved the family to Dayton, Ohio shortly after he was born. Moore attended Washington Elementary School, Steele High School and graduated from Wilbur Wright High School in 1941, just prior to World War II. Working briefly as a civilian at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), Moore was drafted into the United States Army in 1943. Serving in the 2261st Quartermaster Trucking Company in Bangladesh, he earned the rank of corporal.

In 1946, Moore returned from World War II and was hired as a clerk at WPAFB. In 1955, he finished his B.S. degree from the University of Dayton in business administration and went on to pursue graduate studies at Ohio State University. Moore became the first Equal Employment Opportunity officer at WPAFB in 1960. In 1972, Moore became WPAFB’s first African American chief of Civilian Personnel, one of the largest government employers in the nation. Moore retired in 1979.

Over the years, Moore has served the Dayton community as a civic leader. He has served on more than fifty boards and committees. In 1972, Moore was appointed to the Dayton Foundation board by Mayor James H. McGee, has served as chair of the board, is a founding member of its African American Community Fund and is current chair of the Diversity Task Force. He was co-chair of Parity, Inc., is a member of the Black Leadership Development Program Steering Committee, a trustee of the Med America Health Systems Corporation, a member of the United Way Public Policy Committee, Job Center Governing Board, Montgomery County Out of School Task Force, Montgomery County Workforce Policy Board, Montgomery County Workforce Policy Board Youth Council, chair of the Montgomery County Mentoring Collaborative Advisory Committee, vice chair of Mound Street Academies, treasurer of Family and Children First Council and Executive Committee, and co-chair of Mary Scott Nursing Center Capital Campaign. Moore has received a myriad of awards including the 1994 Big Brothers and Big Sisters “304 Service Award”; 1995 Leadership Dayton Emeritus Award; 1997 Montgomery County Citizen of the Year Award; Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Dayton (1998); 2000 Chamber of Commerce President’s Club Award; Ohio Association of Community Colleges 2001 Maureen C. Grady Award; 2003 Dunbar State Memorial Award and the 2005 Fred Shuttlesworth Humanitarian Award.

In 2000, the $13 million John E. Moore, Sr. Technology Center was opened on the campus of Sinclair Community College. Moore, whose wife, Hester, passed away in 2004, has two grown children.

Accession Number

A2006.040

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/18/2006

Last Name

Moore

Maker Category
Schools

Wilbur Wright High School

Washington Elementary School

The Ohio State University

University of Dayton

First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

MOO08

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southwest United States

Favorite Quote

Focus, Function, And Finish.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/11/1923

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Meat

Short Description

Human resources executive and civic leader John Moore (1923 - ) was Wright- Patterson Air Force Base’s first African American chief of Civilian Personnel. In 2000, the John E. Moore, Sr. Technology Center was opened in his name on the campus of Sinclair Community College.

Employment

U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:624,12:1482,29:2652,46:24336,378:33645,464:34100,470:37649,519:38559,531:42290,684:82330,1103:82890,1115:88170,1228:88970,1240:89290,1245:91210,1275:92170,1299:98618,1363:100386,1389:101218,1399:101634,1404:109492,1484:110308,1493:112960,1524:126535,1701:129383,1750:136176,1818:140320,1891:145486,1945:154099,2107:160258,2168:166416,2254:166680,2259:167340,2275:172800,2354:209828,2856:212322,2910:228316,3075:232032,3114:233586,3131:234030,3136:252660,3340$0,0:60,4:9370,87:15918,151:17029,168:19352,215:30466,316:31384,335:34240,380:40400,510:41142,518:43852,532:44650,539:45315,545:55952,604:57460,623:63376,697:64072,705:65696,724:70686,750:91760,989:92772,998:93508,1008:100542,1059:108382,1175:122438,1266:136898,1363:143746,1432:150720,1492
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John Moore's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Moore lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Moore describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Moore recalls how his family moved from Tennessee to Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Moore describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Moore describes his family's livelihood in Dayton, Ohio during his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Moore describes racial segregation in Dayton, Ohio during the early 20th century

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Moore describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Dayton, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Moore describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Dayton, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Moore recalls job opportunities for African Americans in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Moore recalls his grade school experiences in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Moore recalls his high school experiences in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Moore recalls special events from his high school years in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Moore describes his decision to enlist in the U.S. Army in 1943

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Moore recalls the segregated U.S. Army during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Moore recalls being deployed to the China Burma India Theater of World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Moore recalls serving in India with the U.S. Army during World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Moore remembers poverty and prejudice in India during World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Moore recalls scarce opportunities for African American soldiers during World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Moore reflects upon his experiences serving overseas in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Moore remembers returning to Dayton, Ohio after his military service

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Moore describes his career in the civilian service for the U.S. military

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Moore remembers building his home in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John Moore recalls homebuilding in Dayton, Ohio during the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John Moore describes his experiences at Ohio's University of Dayton

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John Moore describes how the U.S. armed forces changed after World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John Moore recalls handling labor relations at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John Moore recalls equal opportunity issues at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John Moore describes his civil rights advocacy at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John Moore describes his civil rights activities since his retirement in 1979

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John Moore reflects upon his success in his career and volunteer work

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John Moore describes his volunteer activities in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John Moore recalls serving as a consultant for the Dayton Public Schools

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John Moore describes serving on the boards of The Dayton Foundation and the United Way

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John Moore describes his involvement with Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John Moore describes his support for scholarship programs in the Dayton area

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John Moore describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John Moore reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John Moore reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John Moore describes his family life

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John Moore describes his hopes and concerns, and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John Moore narrates his photographs

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DATitle
John Moore recalls the segregated U.S. Army during World War II
John Moore describes his career in the civilian service for the U.S. military
Transcript
I guess the culture in those places, was that culture kind of like surprising and disturbing to you? I mean, well, was it different from Dayton [Ohio] going (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Absolutely.$$--to North Carolina and Texas?$$Yes, even though Dayton had its segregation, like I went to a mixed school here. When I got to the South, actually I got put in jail twice. First time--well I didn't get put in jail the first time, I graduated from boot camp, basic training, and it was Christmas Eve, and I walked outside the gate. I was gonna go to Greensboro [North Carolina], and I got on the bus and forgot, and sat down on the long seat behind the bus driver, and he drove about a block, and he got up, pulled his pistol, stuck it in my ear and said, used the N word, "Get to the back of the bus." I said, "No that's not necessary, just open the door, let me off." And I got off and walked back to camp and spent the holiday at camp. And then they took us--in Augusta [Georgia] there was a disturbance of some sort, and they took everybody back to camp and I'm saying these things because this is the kind of environment we were in, and not necessarily because I'm bitter, but simply because these are the facts. Someone had done something in Augusta. And of course all of the G.I.s were within a two or three block area, if you were a black G.I. because that was the only place you were tolerated, and somebody had done something elsewhere in the area, and they gave everyone including firemen and civilian whites arms, even though we were in uniform, you know, and in town on pass. We didn't have any arms or anything so they loaded us up on trucks and took us back to camp because everyone would see then. They said that was the first time they took everybody on a picnic the next day, to kind of cool things down because the guys wanted to go back, kind of changed the scenery in Augusta. But at any rate that was another real bad experience, and then next time I was in Macon [Georgia] and it was in the middle of the month, and I had gotten some money I guess, and a friend of mine from New Orleans [Louisiana], we went to a club. You had to ride the bus, you didn't have any other transportation. So after we left the club we came back to the bus stop. And in those days the black G.I.s would get in the front of the line no matter who got there first because the bus opened and loaded up. You could get to the back of the bus without having to squeeze by anybody, so we were the tour bus, only two blacks and Harry [ph.] were standing there in line to get on the bus, and two white men came down and said, "Them's the two," again, said, "them's the two Ns," and my friend just knocked the first one down and I said, "Oh my gosh," I said, "where's the MPs [military police]," I wanted to go--I wanted to get arrested. But we were. The MPs came, and they took us to the civilian jail, and they kind of beat us up pretty good, and then our company commander came the next morning and bailed us out so to speak, took us back to camp. Turned out that they were two firemen that had an altercation with some other G.I.s, not us, and we didn't even know what had happened, but that was just the tenor of the times. And when you were in these different camps at that time you were in segregated physical facility.$And then about nineteen--let me see, '57 [1957], that's when I built this house. They decided that they were gonna move to Arlington, Virginia, and I decided I wasn't going because I didn't want my kids, I had two children by that time, to be involved in that segregated school system, which I knew as a kid. So I decided to take my chances and there was--there was five people left out of that pretty large organization at that time, and I was left here [Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio] in a liaison office, and I stayed there until 1960. And in 1960, well I had been--I had helped to transition all the people and all those documents and equipment and furniture and everything else to Arlington. In the meantime, I had made some presentations and somebody thought I did a pretty good job I guess. So then they established a plans and procedures office in the personnel division for both military and civilian personnel. So I was asked to head that office, and I did that for about six years, and kind of sort of at the end I became the first equal employment opportunity officer for the base.$$Now this is in nineteen--$$That was in about--well, 1960s when I went into that plans organization, and then about 1965, I did the equal opportunity program job, and I did the planning job for a little while concurrently, and then they moved the planning part, and I just did the equal employment opportunity thing until 1972, and then I became chief of the personnel office.