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Nathan McCall

Journalist and author Nathan McCall was born on November 25, 1954 in Norfolk, Virginia to Lenora and J.L. McCall. After his parents divorced, he was raised by his mother and his stepfather, Bonnie Alvin. He graduated from Manor High School in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1973, and began attending college, but his participation in an armed robbery resulted in him being sent to prison for three years. After he was released, he began to turn his life around. His passion for writing led him to pursue a career in journalism, and he received his B.A. degree in journalism from Norfolk State University in 1981.

McCall’s first job as a reporter was for the The Virginian Pilot-Ledger Star in Norfolk, Virginia. He also worked at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution before landing a job at The Washington Post in 1989. In 1994, McCall published his autobiography, Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America, which chronicled his journey from troubled youth to successful journalist. This was followed by a book of essays on race relations, What’s Going On, in 1997, and his first novel, Them, in 2007. In addition to writing, McCall also serves as a senior lecturer in the African American Studies Department at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

McCall’s books have been the recipients of numerous awards and honors: Makes Me Wanna Holler was a New York Times bestseller and named the Blackboard Book of the Year for 1995. Them reached number one on the Essence magazine bestseller list and was one of Publishers Weekly’s best books of 2007. In addition, the novel was a finalist for the 2008 Townsend Prize for Fiction, a nominee for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, and a finalist for the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction.

McCall has three children: Monroe, Ian, and Maya. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife.

Nathan McCall was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 19, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.032

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/19/2014

Last Name

McCall

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Jerome

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Cavalier Manor Elementary

Wm. E. Waters Middle

Woodrow Wilson High

Alford J. Mapp High School

Manor High School

Norfolk State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Nathan

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

MCC16

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

What Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

11/25/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Scallops, shrimp

Short Description

Journalist and author Nathan McCall (1954 - ) worked as a reporter for The Washington Post from 1989 to 1997. He is the author of the autobiography, Makes Me Wanna Holler, which chronicles his journey from troubled youth to successful journalist.

Employment

Emory University

The Washington Post

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Virginian Pilot-Ledger Star

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nathan McCall's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nathan McCall lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nathan McCall talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nathan McCall talks about his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nathan McCall talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nathan McCall talks about his biological father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nathan McCall talks about his stepfather

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nathan McCall talks about his stepfather's career in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nathan McCall recalls a time his biological father failed to pick him and his siblings up

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Nathan McCall talks about his older brothers

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Nathan McCall talks about his relationship to his stepfather and how he takes after his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Nathan McCall recalls his earliest childhood memory in Morocco

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nathan McCall recalls living in Morocco as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nathan McCall describes the political climate in Key West, Florida in the 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nathan McCall describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Morocco and Key West, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nathan McCall talks about his religious upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nathan McCall describes his experience at Douglass High School in Key West, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nathan McCall recalls the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nathan McCall describes his childhood interests and aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nathan McCall recalls his childhood teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Nathan McCall recalls growing up with four brothers and being disciplined by his stepfather

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Nathan McCall describes Portsmouth, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Nathan McCall recalls integrating Alford J. Mapp Junior High School in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1966

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nathan McCall recalls being met with violence after integrating Alford J. Mapp Junior High School in Portsmouth, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nathan McCall recalls being terrorized by white students at Alford J. Mapp Junior High School in Portsmouth, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nathan McCall talks about his neighborhood, Cavalier Manor, in Portsmouth, Virginia,

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nathan McCall recalls his favorite teacher at W.E. Waters Middle School in Portsmouth, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nathan McCall talks about television and literature he was exposed to as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nathan McCall talks about his best friend, Shellshock

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nathan McCall describes his personal transformation during junior high school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nathan McCall describes his sixth grade personality and social life

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Nathan McCall describes forming a middle school street crew

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nathan McCall describes his interactions with different crews around Portsmouth, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nathan McCall describes his style and what he listened to as a junior high school student in Portsmouth, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nathan McCall talks about the direction his life took after junior high school as described in his book 'Makes Me Wanna Holler'

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nathan McCall describes his family life during his high school years

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nathan McCall explains why he began carrying a gun in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nathan McCall talks about seeking revenge on white teenagers that terrorized him

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nathan McCall recalls working with his stepfather as a gardener

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Nathan McCall talks about staying in school as all of his friends dropped out

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Nathan McCall describes committing armed robberies as a teenager, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Nathan McCall describes committing armed robberies as a teenager, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nathan McCall describes his high school "bad boy" routine and surviving a drive-by and shootout

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nathan McCall describes the influence of 'Super Fly'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nathan McCall talks about selling marijuana

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nathan McCall explains transferring to Manor High School in Portsmouth, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Nathan McCall recalls being arrested at seventeen

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Nathan McCall talks about applying to colleges

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Nathan McCall talks about his high school girlfriend and her pregnancy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Nathan McCall recalls shooting someone who had been disrespectful to his girlfriend

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Nathan McCall recalls turning himself in after shooting someone and being sentenced to serve time on weekends

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Nathan McCall describes his mental state while engaging in crime at twenty years old

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Nathan McCall talks about robbing a McDonald's at twenty years old

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Nathan McCall talks about his arrest and sentencing after robbing a McDonald's, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Nathan McCall talks about his arrest and sentencing after robbing a McDonald's, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Nathan McCall talks about professors who saw potential in him at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Nathan McCall talks about being sentenced to twelve years in prison

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

3$1

DATitle
Nathan McCall describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Morocco and Key West, Florida
Nathan McCall describes his high school "bad boy" routine and surviving a drive-by and shootout
Transcript
Now, well before I move on, we always ask this question, and considering Morocco and Key West [Florida], and even Norfolk [Virginia], what were some of the sights and sounds and smells of growing up?$$In Morocco, there were the sights--you know, it was--you know, I--it was like there weren't many trees. I remember brightness--you know, brightness everywhere. You know, the--many of the houses, the dwellings were made of this kind of clay. And you know, there was--you know, dirt and desert--you know, that sort of look. And, and it's maybe stark in my mind because Key West was just the opposite visually. Key West was lush, and I associate, you know, various trees with Key West--coconuts as a child. You know, we would play baseball, and it was nothing for us to take a rock and you know, throw it up and you know, knock a coconut out of the tree; and we'd take a nail and, and a hammer and you know, hammer a hole into a coconut and drink the juice. And so--and they had you know, vam--you know mangoes; and they had something call sapodilla, which was like a--looked like a pear, but it was also--it was very sweet. I went back recently, last year as a matter of fact, the first time I had been back since I was a child. And that was one of the things that I looked for when I went there. I went--I looked for a sapodilla tree--didn't find one, but I associated it you know, fruits and lushness and you know, fairly pleasant experience. Juxtaposed, you know, beside this, this fear that there was something happening in the larger world or something about to happen that could be cataclysmic.$$Those were days of certain the, the risk--the threat of nuclear war.$$Right, Cuban Missile Crisis.$$Yeah, that was going on in '62 [1962]. And you were there--$$Right--$$--(simultaneous)--$$--I was there then, right.$$--the Cuban Missile Cri--Crisis, the boats were less than probably forty, fifty miles away from you.$$Right, we on--we were on high alert (laughter), and so as a child, I knew there was something. And there was this, this fear, but I didn't know the particulars.$$Okay, 'cause you were probably a little young to be watchin--well, you would have been about eight.$$Yeah, and so I--$$Kind of young for--$$--wouldn't--I, I, I don't--$$--the news but--$$--think I was watchin', watchin' news. I was hearing adults talk about the issues. And of course, like I said, they took the--you know, the drills that we did in school, they took it very seriously, and we had--we did those drills on a regular basis.$Wow, so you're in a--you're in the middle of high school [at Manor High School, later, Woodrow Wilson High School, Portsmouth, Virginia] doing all this and--$$Right.$$--going to school--$$Right.$$--talking to girls--$$Right.$$--and you know. So did--I mean--so by this time I guess you're--you got girlfriends?$$Got girlfriends, hanging out, yeah. And I sort of had this routine. I--you know, there were a few classes that I liked enough to go on a regular basis. One of 'em was English lit [literature], and so--$$Now this is interesting--(unclear)--going to English literature class--$$Yeah.$$--you know, is a--$$Right.$$--(simultaneous)--high school and then, you know, robbing people.$$Right. And so one was English lit, and I remember I had a teacher in one of my English lit classes who, who pulled me outside of class one day to talk to me. In those days we were--the style was we were wearing earrings, and we didn't have the, the pants. We weren't wearing them down low. See, what we did, we kept our belt buckles un--unbuckled, and you know, we'd have the pants legs rolled up. But the whole belt buckle thing was that you, you wear a big buckle then so if you got into a fight, you know, you'd snatch your belt off and you'd, you know, use the--you'd hit them with the buckle. And so I was, you know, in class with my belt buckle loose, and this teacher pulled me out of class one day. She said you know, you're really a, a good student. She said you could--I really believe you could do some things if you would just take that earring out of your ear and buckle your (laughter) belt buckle, and I think you could make something of your life. And I remember looking at her and just being a little confused, you know, not knowing what she was talking about. Because at that point, I couldn't see a future for myself in the way that she could see a future for me. I don't know what I saw, but I didn't see--I, I didn't share her vision, and so I was hanging out. And so what I would do, I had a routine. My buddies by then had ju--had dropped out of school. And so we'd all hang on the street corners, and I'd hang out there with them until maybe ten or eleven o'clock. And I'd go home and I'd put a piece of toast in the toaster, and I'd put on a little coffee. And I'd have a cup of coffee, and I might read my English literature. I wouldn't tell the guys that that's what I was going to do, you know, but you know, that's what I would. And so one night I did that. I went home and you know, say hey, man, I'm gone. And we were fighting guys from downtown [Portsmouth, Virginia], and I guess maybe twenty minutes after I got home, I heard this screaming outside, and I got up. And my stepfather [Bonnie Alvin] heard it too, and both of us went to the door. And two of my buddies, two of the guys that I had left on the block, were in my front yard, and they had been shot. So some guys from downtown had come by and done a drive-by and shot them. And so we ended up loading them into and rushing them to the hospital. And that was one of like many experiences that I had where there were these close calls, you know, and where if it's--you know, give or take fifteen minutes, you know, and a bullet could have had my name on it, you know. And so there were always these crazy experiences that would give me pause and make me wonder why did I survive this and someone else didn't, you know? Sometimes I'd be involved in shootouts. I remember one in particular where it was just a fierce shootout. We were downtown. There was a dance, a party. Downtown boys left early, and you know, they sort of ambushed us when we came out--big shootout, and everybody shooting from all directions. And I'm standing there, and I'm seeing people go down, and there was just no sense of fear that I would get shot. And it wasn't that I was courageous (laughter), you know. I don't know I--to this day I can't explain it, but by then I was into the life in that way.$$Okay, okay.

Donna Byrd

Publisher Donna Byrd was born on April 26, 1970 in Fort Lee, Virginia. She was raised in a military family, grew up in North Carolina and Virginia, and graduated high school in Germany. Byrd received her B.A. degree in American government from the University of Virginia in 1992, and her M.B.A. degree from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in 1996. She also studied business at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

In 1992, Byrd was hired as an assistant sales manager for Procter & Gamble, where she worked until 1994. From 1996 to 1999, she served as a brand manager for the Coca-Cola Company, where she developed marketing and sales strategies. In 1999, Boyd was named vice president of marketing for EzGov.com. Then, in 2001, she helped Tom Joyner launch BlackAmericaWeb.com, one of the top three African American news and lifestyle websites. Boyd served as chief executive officer of BlackAmericaWeb.com until 2003, when she co-founded Kickoff Marketing, a strategic planning and brand firm, where she was managing partner for five years.

In 2008, Boyd was hired by The Washington Post and named publisher of TheRoot.com. She has received The Lucile Harris Bluford Spotlight Award, as well as an award from The Diva Lounge for her work as publisher of TheRoot.com. Byrd was also honored at the Diversity Affluence Brunch & Awards in 2012.

Donna Byrd was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 31, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.048

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/31/2014

Last Name

Byrd

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lynn

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

University of Virginia

Duke University Fuqua School of Business

University of Cape Town

James K. Polk Elementary School

Warrenton Middle School

Heidelberg American High School

Fauquier High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Donna

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

BYR02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Town, South Africa

Favorite Quote

Woo Hoo

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

4/26/1970

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Country

United States

Favorite Food

French Fries

Short Description

Publisher Donna Byrd (1970 - ) assisted in launching BlackAmericaWeb.com, co-founded Kickoff Marketing, and was named publisher of TheRoot.com.

Employment

Procter & Gamble

The Coca-Cola Company

Ezgov.com

BlackAmericaWeb.com

Kick-Off Marketing

TheRoot.com

Favorite Color

Fuchsia

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Donna Byrd's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Donna Byrd lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donna Byrd describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donna Byrd describes her mother's physical traits

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donna Byrd describes how her parents met, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donna Byrd talks about her father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donna Byrd describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donna Byrd describes her paternal family's naming practices

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donna Byrd describes her paternal grandparents' professions

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Donna Byrd describes how her father came to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donna Byrd describes her father's education at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donna Byrd talks about her father's early career in the U.S. military

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donna Byrd describes how her parents met, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donna Byrd talks about her parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donna Byrd lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Donna Byrd remembers her family's frequent moves

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Donna Byrd describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Donna Byrd describes her community in Alexandria, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Donna Byrd describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Donna Byrd describes her childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Donna Byrd describes her earliest experience of racial discrimination

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donna Byrd remembers James K. Polk Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donna Byrd describes her early interest in gymnastics

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donna Byrd recalls moving to Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donna Byrd describes her early entrepreneurialism

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donna Byrd describes her education in Warrenton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donna Byrd recalls moving to Heidelberg, Germany

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Donna Byrd remembers Heidelberg American High School in Heidelberg, Germany

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Donna Byrd describes her experiences as an African American in Germany

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Donna Byrd recalls visiting East Berlin, Germany

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Donna Byrd remembers the music of her teenage years

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Donna Byrd recalls her introduction to oratorical contests

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Donna Byrd recalls her student council position at Heidelberg American High School

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Donna Byrd recalls her decision not to attend the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Donna Byrd recalls her decision to attend the University of Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Donna Byrd recalls her arrival at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Donna Byrd remembers the Honor System at the University of Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Donna Byrd recalls founding the Nights of the Roundtable

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Donna Byrd remembers her mentors at the University of Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Donna Byrd reflects upon her time at the University of Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Donna Byrd recalls receiving the Gray Carrington award

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Donna Byrd recalls working for the Procter and Gamble Company

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Donna Byrd remembers the Fuqua School of Business in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Donna Byrd recalls studying at the University of Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Donna Byrd talks about the verdict of O.J. Simpson's trial

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Donna Byrd recalls her experiences of racial identity in South Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Donna Byrd describes the optimism in South Africa after the fall of apartheid

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Donna Byrd recalls working for The Coca-Cola Company

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Donna Byrd recalls the development of the Dasani brand

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Donna Byrd recalls being denied a promotion at The Coca-Cola Company, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Donna Byrd recalls being denied a promotion at The Coca-Cola Company, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Donna Byrd remembers leaving The Coca-Cola Company

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Donna Byrd remembers working for EzGov, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Donna Byrd recalls joining the staff of Black America Web

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

11$8

DATitle
Donna Byrd recalls her introduction to oratorical contests
Donna Byrd remembers leaving The Coca-Cola Company
Transcript
Now were there any significant teachers or mentors you know, in high school [Heidelberg American High School] there in Heidelberg [Germany]?$$I mean the most influential and sort of important teacher in my life actually was in Warrenton, Virginia, Warrenton, Virginia, in middle school [Warrenton Junior High School; Warrenton Middle School, Warrenton, Virginia]. Her name is Mrs. Tomlinson [Carol Tomlinson]. And I used to--I was very, very shy. I was extremely involved in school, but I didn't like to talk very much. And I--and when people would talk to me, I often stuttered a little bit. And so Mrs. Tomlinson was the advanced placement English teacher. And she always, she would always put on a play every year. And she let me try out for different roles and I found out very early on that when I was on stage, I didn't stutter. And I enjoyed having a script and acting. It went back to what my mother [Diane Diggs Byrd] used to do with us in the summers, we had quite a bit of acting that went on at the house anyway. And I enjoyed it. And so she started enter me--enter, entering me into oratorical contests. And so I started doing the American Legion oratorical contests when I was in eighth grade. And I would, I would be in first place just about every single time. I don't say this, this is not bragging; I'm just saying just about every single time on the prepared speech. And the prepared speech had to be on something--it had to be related to the [U.S.] Constitution. And it was an eight to ten minute prepared speech, no notes, no podium. And so you had the entire stage and you had to basically give a speech. And then there was a three to five minute segment on the articles and the--they would give you the--one of the articles five minutes before you spoke. And you had to come out and you had to be prepared to speak on, on one of them. Whichever one they had told you. And I would always do this. I remember my speech, I remember parts of my speech. I was talking--I remember I had Jesse Jackson [HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson] quotes in it and I was talking about the fabric of the u- I mean this country and how we were all woven and held together by the same thread. And this whole thing going on. And then I'd get to the extemporaneous piece and every single time I would freeze up. And I just, I would always--I would just--I would sort of stutter my way through the, the, the second half of the piece, the second half of the competition. So I'd go from first place to third place or second place or whatever. But I was able to pile up enough money over the years--I did it all the way through high school, all the way through twelfth grade in Germany since they had American Legions over there too. And pocketed enough money to really help with my--definitely my first year of college [at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia].$$Okay, okay.$$But Mrs. Tomlinson was the one behind all of that and encouraging me to sort of break out of my shell.$You were with Coke [The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, Georgia] from '96 [1996] until--?$$Ninety-nine [1999].$$Okay.$$I was itching to get out into that, the Internet space.$$Now you were introduced to something called ezgov.com? Is that--$$I was. So I went over and worked for--I left Coke and as a brand manager on Coke Classic [Coca-Cola Classic], and I went over as a twenty-nine year old VP of sales and marketing. Everybody had VP in all these kind of great titles when everybody was in their twenties right around the Internet time. It was a great, it was sort of a fun period for young technologists and entrepreneurs that were starting businesses. And I went over and worked for EzGov [EzGov, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia]. I remember leaving Coke because when I put in my resignation, within forty-eight hours I had met with every senior vice president and the president of, of Coke U.S., U.S.A. because they all wanted to know why I was leaving. And they had me in everyone's office, "Why are you going?" And I remember a woman saying to me, one of the top women that was at the company, she said, "Why, why are you doing this?" She said, "Don't you know that one day you're going to--." She said, "Right now you can walk into any room and you can say 'I'm with The Coca-Cola Company,' and everyone's going to respect you." And she said, "And you're going to go off somewhere and you're going to have to walk out somewhere and they're not going to know what it is," and she's like, "Why are you going to do that? You're going to lose all of that, you know that immediate respect." And I said, "You know hopefully one day I'll build something and I'll walk into the room of something that I've helped to build, and maybe, maybe they'll be, they'll respect me for something that I've helped to build in this technology space. And that sounds kind of cool to me."

Earl Lewis

Foundation president, historian and academic administrator Earl Lewis was born in 1955 in Norfolk, Virginia. Lewis attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, where he graduated in 1978 with his B.A. degree in history and psychology. After graduating from Concordia College, Lewis enrolled in the University of Minnesota and received his M.A. degree in history in 1981. He then went on to earn his Ph.D. in 1984 from the University of Minnesota.

In 1984, Lewis was hired as an assistant professor in the department of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Then, in 1989, he joined the faculty at the University of Michigan as an associate professor of history and African American and African Studies. One year after his arrival at the University of Michigan, Lewis was appointed as the director of the university’s Center for African American and African Studies. He became a full professor of history and African American and African Studies in 1995, and a faculty associate in the Program in American Culture. In 1997, Lewis was promoted to interim dean of the University of Michigan’s Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Shortly thereafter, in 1998, Lewis became the vice provost for academic affairs for graduate studies and dean; and, in 2003, he was appointed the Elsa Barkley Brown and Robin D.G. Kelley Collegiate Professor of History and African American and African Studies. Then, in 2004, he was hired as both provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and as the Asa Griggs Candler professor of history and African American studies at Emory University. Lewis was Emory University’s first African American provost and the highest-ranking African American administrator in the university’s history. In 2013, he left Emory University and assumed a new role as president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Lewis has edited, authored or co-authored seven books. They include the 1991 monograph In Their Own Interests: Race, Class, and Power in Twentieth-Century Norfolk, 2000’s To Make Our World Anew: A History of African Americans, 2001’s Love on Trial: An American Scandal in Black and White, and 2004’s The African American Urban Experience: From the Colonial Era to the Present. Lewis is also the author of more than two dozen scholarly articles and has served on several academic and community boards, including the American Historical Review, Council of Graduate Schools, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Academy of Science’s Board on Higher Education and the Workforce, and the Center for Research Libraries. He became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008.

Earl Lewis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 18, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.255

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/18/2013

Last Name

Lewis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Concordia College

University of Minnesota

Indian River High School

First Name

Earl

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

LEW14

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Favorite Quote

We Serve As, Rather Than We Are, Before Titles

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/15/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steamed Blue Crab

Short Description

History professor, academic administrator, and foundation chief executive Earl Lewis (1955 - ) , author of In Their Own Interests: Race, Class, and Power in Twentieth-Century Norfolk, was Emory University’s first African American provost and the highest-ranking African American administrator in the university’s history.

Employment

University of California, Berkeley

University of Michigan

Emory University

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

University of Minnesota

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Earl Lewis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis shares his memories of his father, Earl Lewis, Sr.

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis describes how his parents met and his father's death

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis describes the importance of education in his maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Earl Lewis describes his maternal grandmother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Earl Lewis describes his maternal grandfather's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Earl Lewis talks about the churches his family attended

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Earl Lewis shares his earliest childhood memories, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Earl Lewis shares his earliest childhood memories, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis recalls the diversity of his childhood neighborhood in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis describes his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis describes his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Earl Lewis reflects on the opportunities he had as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Earl Lewis describes how his mother took care of him and his brother after their father died

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Earl Lewis describes his childhood responsibilities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Earl Lewis describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Earl Lewis describes his experience attending Crestwood Elementary, Junior High, and High School in Chesapeake, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Earl Lewis talks about his experiences of racism at Indian River High School in Chesapeake, Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis talks about his experiences of racism at Indian River High School in Chesapeake, Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis describes integrating the Key Club at Indian River High School in Chesapeake, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis describes his mother's experience as a teacher at an integrated elementary school in Chesapeake, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis describes his decision to attend Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Earl Lewis describes his initial impressions of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Earl Lewis talks about the black community at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and why it has diminished

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Earl Lewis describes his experience studying psychology and history at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Earl Lewis describes his experience at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Earl Lewis talks about overcoming his ambivalence about an academic career

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis describes his experience as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis describes his experience as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis talks about his friends and mentors in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis talks about being hired as an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Earl Lewis describes his Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Earl Lewis talks about the reception of his doctoral thesis and his book, "In Their Own Interests"

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Earl Lewis describes what his dissertation taught him about the history of his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Earl Lewis describes the research methods he used on his dissertation at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Earl Lewis describes the quantitative study of social history at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Earl Lewis describes interviewing at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis talks about his mentors at the University of California, Berkeley and publishing his first book

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis talks about his conflict with Henry Lewis Suggs after the publication of his first book

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis describes his decision to leave the University of California, Berkeley for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis describes his decision to leave the University of California, Berkeley for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Earl Lewis describes the University of Michigan's Center for Afroamerican and African Studies in 1989

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Earl Lewis talks about his experience directing the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Earl Lewis talks about publishing "The Young Oxford History of African Americans"

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis talks about his interdisciplinary approach to African American studies

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis talks about the work of one of his students, Merida Rua, and how the study of African American history has changed

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis talks about writing his book with Heidi Ardizzone "Love on Trial," pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis talks about writing his book with Heidi Ardizzone "Love on Trial," pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Earl Lewis talks about the response to "Love on Trial"

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Earl Lewis talks about the structure of "Love on Trial"

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Earl Lewis talks about his approach to publication

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Earl Lewis talks about balancing his administrative obligations with his teaching, publishing, and family

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Earl Lewis talks about his family and divorce from Jayne London

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Earl Lewis describes his role in the University of Michigan's affirmative action cases, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis describes his role in the University of Michigan's affirmative action cases, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis talks about the importance of the University of Michigan's affirmative action cases

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis talks about the presidents of the University of Michigan during his tenure

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis describes becoming Provost of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in 2004

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Earl Lewis describes his experience as Provost of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Earl Lewis talks about the diversity of staff and faculty at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Earl Lewis talks about leaving Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Earl Lewis talks about becoming President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Earl Lewis talks about becoming President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Earl Lewis talks about the financial problems faced by universities

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis describes his plans for promoting diversity and performing arts through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis talks about the future of African American studies departments, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis talks about the future of African American studies departments, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis reflects on how race and his childhood affected his first book, "In Their Own Interests"

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Earl Lewis describes the problems facing African American historians in the academy

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Earl Lewis talks about other organizations that fund the arts, sciences, and humanities

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Earl Lewis shares his views on the future of the humanities

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Earl Lewis reflects on his life's journey, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Earl Lewis reflects on his life's journey, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Earl Lewis reflects on his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$7

DAStory

9$5

DATitle
Earl Lewis describes his experience at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Earl Lewis describes becoming Provost of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in 2004
Transcript
And when I got into the University of Minnesota [Minneapolis, Minnesota] right after I finished Concordia [College in Moorhead, Minnesota], so I left Concordia and went right to Minnesota with, to University of Minnesota, with a break in the summer where I worked for Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance Company and I designed an attitude survey for the whole company and implemented that attitude survey using my psychology degree. And then a few months later I left there, they hired someone else to do the data analysis and I went to graduate school at the University of Minnesota, initially just to get a masters. I was gonna get a masters. And I got into graduate school and I discovered I still, if, if I have something to work on, it was actually finding my own voice as a writer because I realized undergrad and even early graduate school, you're reading so many different people and you're trying to figure out how to be like one of them. And then Russ [Russell Menard] took me aside one day and he said, "Earl, let me tell you a secret." I said, "Sure Russ." He says, "I started out thinking I was gonna be the next generation Perry Miller and only discovered I couldn't do the work in intellectual colonial history the way Perry Miller did. And then I became an economic historian and it refocused who I was and I was able to find by own voice." He says, "Just think about who you wanna be. Stop thinking about who all these other folks have been, and see if you can't find your own voice." That was actually quite valuable and-- So my second year of graduate school in the masters program I thought, "You know what? I may be able to get a Ph.D." Meanwhile Joe Trotter [Joe William Trotter, Jr.] was ahead of me. So Joe pulled me aside and he says, "Earl," and I said, "What?" He said, "I got a prediction." I go "What's that's, Joe?" He goes, you gone be the next African American to get a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in the History Department. I said, "Well there are people ahead of me." He says, "I know. But you will be." And, and, and I to this day I thank him 'cause it was at that point where he was telling me something that I was just discovering about myself. That yeah, I could do this. And, and so after getting the masters then I talked to the professors and applied to get into the Ph.D. and, and with an understanding and said, "And this is how long I plan to be in graduate school." So I, tell me now if I can, I don't wanna be here more than six total years. I've had enough Minnesota winters. I know exactly how many more I plan. And they all agreed they thought I could move at pace and Joe had been able to do it in five and I figured I could do it in six. He was on full scholarship the whole time and I wasn't. And, and I did. And, and even in, even at the university I ended up discovering that I could do a lot of things in that graduate program and so I ended up my, my major was, area was U.S. History. But I also had a heavy secondary major in African Peoples History. And so I used to always joke with my own doctoral students who would complain about exams, I'd say "Look, I took an eight hour written exam in U.S. History. I took an eight hour written exam in African History. And then I took a two hour oral exam. So that was sixteen hours of writing. And four hours I think, you can survive." And, and, and that was the sense and I remember talking, Allen Isaacman and Lansine Kaba and I said "Why are you guys making me take this eight hour written exam.? I'm not an Africanist. I mean it's not my major area." And they, they said, "because we know you can do it."$So what made you decide to go to Emory [University in Atlanta, Georgia] then? What was that, that decision?$$It was probably driven by three factors. One, several people had come to me several times and said "Earl are you gonna be the next provost of the University of Michigan?" And I said, "I don't know." And my friend and colleague, Paul Courant, had been the acting provost when Joe [B. Joseph White] was the acting president. When Mary Sue [Coleman] came in, there were some who believed then there was gone be a search process for the next president, I mean provost. And Mary Sue decided that she was comfortable with Paul staying in that role. So she lifted the title of "acting" and made him provost. I said "Okay. So my, not gonna happen here at this moment." I get a call from Spencer Stuart's search consulting firm and the search consultant called me and says, "Earl last time we talked was about five years ago, and you said to me call you back in five years when your daughter is about to graduate from high school. By my records your daughter is about to graduate from high school. Would you be interested in thinking about being the provost at Emory?" And I said to her, "Paula (ph.) that is really good. I have dealt with a lot of search consultants but I've never known anyone to maintain a five year tickler file." I said, "You got, at least you got my interest here." And she said, "Well things have changed at Emory." And I said (unclear) 'cause I, I knew a little bit about Emory. And I go, I'm not sure to what the new president and at least consider it. And then several other peoples said to me, "Just think about it Earl." So I went and had a conversation in, with the folks at Emory. I met [James] Jim Wagner, who years older than I am and had grown up in the other place. If I had been a Virginia boy, he's a Maryland boy. And so, and we hit it off. And I thought "Okay. I, maybe I could be provost." So I went back to Michigan and I explained to them, to Mary Sue here's my, here's what I'm thinking. They offered me two more jobs (laughter). They were making me vice president of research and the head of international if I stayed. And I started to laugh. I had, and by that time I had remarried and, Susan [Witlock] and I were married, and I said and, and Susan had lived in Ann Arbor longer than I had and, and, I said "Well I can stay at Michigan and have three jobs and get paid for one, or I can go to Emory and be a provost and have the title that goes with those, in some ways, the elements of those three jobs." And so, and I went back to Mary Sue and just asked a question, a little bit about her view of the tenure of the provost and when that may open up again and whether or not I, help me think about whether or not I'd be better off biding my time at Michigan or going and being a provost in the next few months. And I didn't get the answer I wanted. And, and, and so I left. Now irony of ironies, right, I get to Emory, I'm there a year and I get a call back because Paul's stepping down as provost and, and would I come back and I go, "No." It was a missed moment. I several, board members had thought I was gone be the next provost and several, much of the campus had thought I would have been, it didn't happen, that door is closed. I had made at least a five year commitment to Emory, and I try not to renege on those kind of pledges and promises.$$And so you this, you're coming in as provost is historic--$$Yeah.$$--for Emory.$$It's historic for Emory--$$--because there's no African American provost--$$I was the highest ranked African American in Emory's history, ever period. I mean, and to be honest if you look across the South there probably have only been two African Americans that have been into the level of provost or above, or certainly the level of provost at one of the major southern universities. The other person was Bernadette Gray-Little at Chapel Hill [University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill]. And Bernadette and I were provost about the same time. And, but if you go through the history and, I mean, and truth, I mean sad truth is that right now and among the AAU [Association of American Universities] institutions, the leading research universities in the United States, there are no African American provosts. I mean in sixty-something institutions, there's one fellow who was African-born who I think has become a naturalized citizen who is provost at [University of Illinois] Urbana-Champaign [HM Ilesanmi Adesida], but when I stepped out of this role there is no one. So it's even more than Emory its, there's initial in my view, where the larger complex of American, higher education in particular at the major research universities.

Georgia Mae Dunston

Geneticist Georgia Mae Dunston was born in Norfolk, Virginia on August 4, 1944 to a working class family. As a child, Dunston developed an interest in the biology of race and decided to continue her study of biology after graduating from high school. She earned her B.S. degree in biology from Norfolk State University in 1965 and her M.S. degree in biology from Tuskegee University in 1967. Dunston went on to study at the University of Michigan, finishing her Ph.D. degree in human genetics in 1972. She then accepted a position at Howard University Medical Center as an assistant professor which she held from 1972 to 1978.

From 1975 to 1976, Dunston completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute where she studied tumor immunology. She later served as a scientist there in an immunodiagnosis lab that was partly funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). At Howard, Dunston was appointed director of the human immunogenetics laboratory in 1985. At this time, she focused her research on diseases that are common in the black community as well as genes and immune reactions that are unique to African American populations. From 1991 to 1994, Dunston served as associate director of the Division of Basic Sciences at Howard University Cancer Center. She was promoted to full professor in the Department of Microbiology at Howard in 1993 and became chair of the department in 1998. Inspired by the Human Genome Project, begun in 1990, Dunston focused her attention on the genetic heritage of the African American population. Dunston’s work in human genetics and diversity resulted in her founding the National Human Genome Center at Howard in 2001.

Dunston is the recipient of several awards including the Howard University College of Medicine Outstanding Research Award, NAACP Science Achievement Award and the Howard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member Award. She has been a member of the National Advisory Council for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Sigma Xi and the National Academy of Sciences Review Committee on Human Genome Diversity Project. Georgia Mae Dunston lives in Washington, D.C.

Georgia Dunston was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 5, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.088

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/4/2012

Last Name

Dunston

Maker Category
Middle Name

Mae

Occupation
Schools

Norfolk State University

Tuskegee University

University of Michigan

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Georgia

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

DUN05

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Oceans

Favorite Quote

All things are possible to the one that believes.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/4/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chinese Food

Short Description

Geneticist Georgia Mae Dunston (1944 - ) is professor in the Department of Microbiology at Howard University and the founding director of the National Human Genome Center.

Employment

National Cancer Institute

Howard University Hospital

Howard University

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Georgia Mae Dunston's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Georgia Mae Dunston lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her mother's growing up in Princess Anne County, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Georgia Mae Dunston discusses her father's unique name

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her patrilineal ancestors

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her father's education and social background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her father's near death experience and religious enlightenment

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her family's religious background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her siblings and growing up in Norfolk

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Georgia Mae Dunston reflects upon her experiences and interests as a young girl

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about being introduced to philosophy and science

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Georgia Mae Dunston discusses what distinguished her from her siblings

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her interest in biology, skin tone bias and race

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her transition to Ruffner Junior High School during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her experience at Booker T. Washington High School, and her desire to become a biologist

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about receiving a state scholarship to attend college

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about being a first generation college student

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Georgia Mae Dunston recalls some of her influential college professors and peers

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her peers at Norfolk State University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Georgia Mae Dunston remembers getting her first 'C' and learning biology in college

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about graduating from college and searching for employment opportunities

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her introduction to the field of genetics

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her experience with academic challenges, love and heartbreak at Tuskegee University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree at the University of Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes how her experience with research expanded her scholarly opportunities

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about George Washington Carver

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Georgia Mae Dunston comments upon being unaware of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment while she was at Tuskegee University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about being the only African American in the human genetics program at the University of Michigan in the mid-1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about exploring different belief systems at the University of Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about the study of human genetics being influenced by social stereotypes

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about race and genetics

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her doctoral work on characterizing a human blood-group variant first found in a native South American population

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about receiving an opportunity to pursue a post-doc at Howard University and NIH

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her relationship with her doctoral advisor

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about Dr. Willie Turner's role in her appointment at Howard University and the NIH

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about Dr. Willie Turner's mentorship at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her first experience with the NIH research grant process

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about African American geneticists and Howard University's program in human genetics

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes the establishment of the doctoral program and the first doctoral students in microbiology at Howard University in the 1970s

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her role in establishing the Human Immunogenetics Laboratory at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her work in the field of immunogenetics

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about the role of the Howard Immunogenetics Laboratory in providing clinical services for the transplant program

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about how Howard University became involved in the Human Genome Project - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about how Howard University became involved in the Human Genome Project - part two

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her initial meeting with Francis Collins in the 1990s, and her involvement with studying the genetics of diabetes in Africans

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her involvement with starting the African American Hereditary Prostate Cancer Study

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about recruiting geneticist, Rick Kittles, to the African American Hereditary Prostate Cancer Study at Howard University

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about Rick Kittles' departure from the African American Hereditary Prostate Cancer Study at Howard University

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about factors that affect gene expression and regulation

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Georgia Mae Dunston reflects upon her legacy and talks about the genetic basis of diversity in humans

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her family and reflects upon her career's findings

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about how she would like to be remembered, and describes the power of understanding the human genome

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$7

DAStory

4$2

DATitle
Georgia Mae Dunston talks about the study of human genetics being influenced by social stereotypes
Georgia Mae Dunston talks about how Howard University became involved in the Human Genome Project - part one
Transcript
But in genetics, I just remember sitting in that class [at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan] being conscious of being black, and they're talking about black genes and white genes and black this gene. And I honestly believed that there were black genes and white genes. That's why I'm so sensitized at this point in time, almost thirty, thirty-five years later, still in a mindset of trying to tie genetics of biology to black and white, you know, with this racial construct. And, and part of, sort of my whole story going out of--I think I've been called and blessed to be where I am, at the time that I am, meaning, genome project and all because if we don't get it right, if we don't get it biologically, we're gonna miss out on the tremendous power that the science has to bring.$$Now, let me ask you, what was the current, the thinking in 1967 about race and genetics? I mean can you kind of boil it down?$$Just like our (laughter), just like our thinking about society in general, that the--and because we're dealing with medicine, the focus is on disease, okay. I'm in medicine, which is different from public health. So the focus is on medicine. So when you look at it at a population level, and when you look at it through society with a racial construct, the genetics is seen and taught in that way too. So we have black diseases, white diseases. Never mind the fact that all blacks don't have it, but because it's more common, it gets the label of that kind of disease. Sickle cell [anemia], a black disease. Many blacks have anemia that's not based in a sickle cell. Some whites have anemia that is based in sickle cell, but because we have this categorization, it carries over in even how we handle our healthcare. Even to the big studies that were done in the '80s [1980s] about how a physician factors in the person's quote "race" into their diagnosis, into their recommendations for care, based on what's common or generally known, not based on the individual. See, the big push now in medicine is this whole term "personalized medicine" that's really driven by the knowledge growing in the genetic basis of biology. But we're still stuck in our old constructs that are really compromising the power of our new technologies and techniques, and that's part of the scholarly work that we have to do in terms of shedding light. But my point is simply this, that I was interested in human genetics at a time where it was taught as science, but still taught through the lenses of a racists society, racists in terms of constructs, not in--$$Well, give me an example.$$I don't mean racists in terms of anybody treating me differently.$$I understand. Give me an example of what you mean?$$Just like I, the clearest example is this whole idea that I heard all the time. Black gene, white gene. I actually thought black folk had a gene that you could describe as clearly as in blacks. This is a gene in black folk. And I'm thinking because you got the black gene and the white gene, that white folk don't have this gene that we call black gene (laughter), okay. One time, it was so bad, I really expected, at that time, we were looking directly at the gene. We were looking at the footprints or the, really the expressions, if you will, the footprints, with skin color being one. But sickle cell being one of your first classic genetic diseases, okay. That was, that's one of the hallmark, genetic diseases. And it was the chairman of our department, Dr. Neal, who really was instrumental in tying sickle cell to the malaria environment and actually working out the fact that the presence of a sickle cell gene actually was contributing to the adaptive advantage or the survival of people in an environment where malaria could be a threat to life, okay, working that out. But my point is, my, I'm in human genetics so my study and what we're looking at is genes related to disease in people, okay. And because we have this way of looking at people and grouping people, that influences how we communicate, how we interpret, how we see the data. And so I would hear all the time, black gene, white gene. Those were common terms, so much so that I really thought that there were genes that were present in blacks that weren't present in whites and genes for whites and that these lined up with what we call black and white.$Okay, now, let me ask you about this. Now, I wanna ask you about the role that Howard [University, Washington, District of Columbia] played, that you all here at Howard played in the Human Genome Project beginning in 1990?$$Well, you see, building up to 1990 also I had done another, and this is how I kept my--I was able to, I have been able to keep my research active because of the physical location of NIH [National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland], beginning with the post-doc. And then I was going back periodically to reboot, to realign. So during the opportunity to develop the immunogenetics lab, I did another visiting investigator stint at NIH with the [National] Cancer Institute [NCI]. But this time, I was looking at--my interest in human immunogenetics was growing--actually, one before that was the NK, when the NCI moved to Frederick [Maryland] and I was there. But let me say this, Howard, how we got tied to the genome project, the genome project was perking up to officially start in 1990, okay, as a formal fifteen-year project. When it was first envisioned, formally starting in 1990 to be a fifteen-year project to complete sequencing of the genome. Now, in the late '80s [1980s] there, we were sensitive from HLA [human leukocyte antigen], okay. Another change that was occurring was Howard had recruited George Bonney who is a statistical geneticist who had come out of New Orleans [Louisiana] with a big statistical group there. He was recruited to this same program that, I had the immunogenetics lab [Human Immunogenetics Laboratory, Howard University]. He came to head our bio-statistics lab. And I mention him because he's coming now in the, in the early, mid-80s [1980s], I don't know exactly. But the point is, he's coming to head statistical, the statistics core, and we, he's part of this RCMI [Research Centers in Minority Institutions] program. And he and I meet, and we talk, and he tells me, Georgia, HLA, which is what I'm studying, this human antigen, he's saying that your work here is foundational for the big project that's really on the way, and we're talking big project--he's saying this, the human genome project. I didn't know about the human genome project before he came because he's now coming out of the group that's doing the planning of the statistics for this work, how we're gonna analyze this data. That's the group he's coming out of. But he tells me, we need to have a genetics resource here that's part of the genome project. He also, he's not--, he's Ghanaian. And he was in touch with the French folk that were big on human genetic polymorphism institute there [Paris, France] called CEPH, the Center for the Study of Human Polymorphisms. The bottom line is, he introduces me to his colleagues, tells them about my work in HLA, but saying that I need to be thinking of having something comparable to their study of polymorphisms. Actually, we go to Paris to look at their set up and to really meet these folks. So George kind of introduced me to the community that was planning and working with plans for the genome project. So we write a grant from Howard to have a genome resource at Howard, a resource for genomic studies at Howard. At that time, we called it GRAAP, Genomic Research in African American Pedigrees, okay, GRAAP was the name. We, all excited because George is saying, you've gotta have, you're gonna have to come to us to have resources of black 'cause at that time, and true enough, all of the resources that the folk gearing up for the genome project working with all of these resources are from white populations. This was a heady time, but suffice it to say, our grant was not even close to being funded.

Tyrone Brown

Communications attorney and broadcasting executive Tyrone Brown was born in Norfolk, Virginia on November 5, 1942. He graduated from East Orange High School in New Jersey in 1960. Brown received his A.B. degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York in 1964. He went on to earn his L.L.B. degree from Cornell University Law School in Ithaca, New York in 1967. During that year, Brown also served as a law clerk to former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren.

From 1968 to 1970, Brown worked as an associate with the Washington D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling. He was also a special investigator for the President's Commission on Campus Unrest in 1970. From 1970 to 1971, he served as assistant to Senator Edmund S. Muskie, then as staff director of the Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee of the Senate Government Operations Committee. Brown then served as director and vice president for legal affairs of Post-Newsweek Stations, Inc. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Brown to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to succeed Benjamin Hooks, the second African American appointed to the United States government regulatory agency. Brown worked as a commissioner with the FCC for three years before stepping down in 1981. He returned to private practice law when he worked for the firms Steptoe & Johnson and Wiley Rein, LLP. After teaching journalism classes at Duke University, Brown headed the Media Access Project, a non-profit, public interest law firm and advocacy organization working in communications policy. In 2009, Brown became the founding member and vice chairman of the board for IRIDIUM Satellite LLC. Brown has also served as principal outside counsel for Black Entertainment Television (BET).

Brown is former chair of the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and a director of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council. He has been featured in Ebony, Jet and Black Enterprise magazines.

Tyrone Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 5, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.062

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/6/2012

Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Roseville Ave School

Sussex Ave

Crestwood High School

Forest St

East Orange Campus High School

Cornell University

First Name

Tyrone

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

BRO52

Favorite Season

Spring, Winter

Sponsor

Herb and Sheran Wilkins Media Makers

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bermuda, Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Wow! Gosh!

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

11/5/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream, Chocolate, Orange juice

Short Description

Telecommunications lawyer Tyrone Brown (1942 - ) was appointed by former President Jimmy Carter to serve on the Federal Communications Commission.

Employment

Wiley Rein LLP

Duke University

Media Access Project

Post-Newsweek Stations

U.S. Supreme Court

Covington and Burlington

Caplin and Drysdale

Federal Communications Commission

Steptoe & Johnson

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
550,0:3020,76:3605,89:5710,96:6190,104:11547,148:12240,158:21058,284:23936,327:25542,417:30340,460:30820,467:32299,479:33046,491:33627,500:52634,626:53294,639:54086,652:54746,663:55142,670:55472,676:58310,752:64040,813:64514,820:67750,867:68062,872:69466,895:69856,901:70168,906:70480,911:70792,916:71260,924:99500,1261:99780,1266:100270,1276:102090,1333:130556,1631:158216,2032:169420,2194:176112,2250:176643,2260:180975,2325:190610,2494:191090,2517:191490,2523:193330,2559:193650,2566:193970,2571:194770,2582:200740,2652:202185,2680:202950,2692:205656,2704:205972,2709:206762,2721:209369,2759:209764,2765:212070,2796$0,0:1264,21:1659,27:3002,102:4661,131:5846,157:6794,172:8137,236:13606,276:14158,283:21426,414:21834,424:25132,459:26974,479:27568,489:29086,530:29350,535:29614,540:46314,576:47402,597:48422,614:52332,662:53760,670:54397,687:54642,693:55181,706:60092,764:63080,825:69136,869:69464,874:69792,879:72498,930:76270,1029:79290,1042:83258,1085:83968,1099:84465,1107:90450,1184:92382,1210:95984,1265:96316,1270:98557,1307:99304,1319:99968,1331:100549,1339:101462,1359:102043,1367:106778,1388:107625,1401:109781,1440:110166,1446:115491,1491:116284,1512:116528,1517:117992,1559:118602,1570:119273,1587:119639,1595:122717,1619:122953,1624:123248,1630:123602,1637:123897,1643:125726,1681:126139,1690:126375,1695:126906,1705:129552,1737:129897,1743:132221,1766:132676,1772:136466,1792:145011,1910:149858,2023:150546,2034:150890,2039:151406,2046:153040,2074:153642,2082:154330,2092:154674,2097:158160,2107:159720,2153:160422,2170:160890,2177:161592,2191:162918,2218:164166,2239:169235,2308:169985,2340:170660,2352:171185,2360:171560,2366:173960,2425:177533,2493:177857,2498:178343,2505:179072,2516:197291,2761:201458,2797:212160,2891:214160,2956:215520,3017:216480,3033:226770,3157:227288,3166:234160,3265:242795,3403:258634,3560:271448,3727:275543,3830:275998,3836:276726,3848:278455,3881:283540,3940
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Tyrone Brown's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Tyrone Brown lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Tyrone Brown talks about his maternal family background, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Tyrone Brown talks about his maternal family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Tyrone Brown describes his mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Tyrone Brown talks about the origin of him and his siblings' names

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Tyrone Brown talks about his paternal family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Tyrone Brown talks about his paternal family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Tyrone Brown remembers visiting Courtland, Virginia as an adult

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Tyrone Brown talks about his paternal family's land being reverted by escheat

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Tyrone Brown describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Tyrone Brown remembers his father losing his patience

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Tyrone Brown remembers the sole time he saw his father intoxicated

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Tyrone Brown remembers migrating north to Orange Valley, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Tyrone Brown describes the jobs he and his brother had as children

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Tyrone Brown talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Tyrone Brown describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Tyrone Brown describes skipping multiple grades in elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Tyrone Brown describes his childhood personality

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Tyrone Brown remembers getting into fights as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Tyrone Brown talks about growing up near the family of HistoryMaker Dionne Warwick

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Tyrone Brown describes changing schools in the seventh grade and attending high school briefly in Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Tyrone Brown describes his favorite junior high school teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Tyrone Brown describes his experience at East Orange High School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Tyrone Brown describes his close relationship with a high school math teacher and applying to Hamilton College in Clinton, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Tyrone Brown describes the student body at East Orange High School and at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Tyrone Brown talks about being a first-generation college student

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Tyrone Brown describes his experience as a student at East Orange High School, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Tyrone Brown describes his experience as a student at East Orange High School, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Tyrone Brown describes his high school social life

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Tyrone Brown describes his extracurricular activities at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Tyrone Brown talks about fraternities at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Tyrone Brown talks about his brother's open heart surgery and suicide, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Tyrone Brown talks about his brother's open heart surgery and suicide, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Tyrone Brown talks about Robert Parris Moses

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Tyrone Brown remembers being asked to join the board of directors at Hamilton College in 1983

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Tyrone Brown describes feeling isolated at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Tyrone Brown describes the curriculum at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Tyrone Brown talks about his childhood experience at St. Matthew's A.M.E. Church in East Orange, New Jersey

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Tyrone Brown describes studying philosophy and religion at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Tyrone Brown describes his experience at Cornell University Law School in Ithaca, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Tyrone Brown talks about having an absence of black role models in law

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Tyrone Brown describes working as a law clerk for Chief Justice Earl Warren

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Tyrone Brown talks about the legacies of Chief Justice Earl Warren and Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Tyrone Brown describes arranging for his mother to meet Chief Justice Earl Warren

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Tyrone Brown describes his role as the clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren from 1967 to 1968

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Tyrone Brown describes working on the 1967 Florida State Prison case, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Tyrone Brown describes working on the 1967 Florida State Prison case, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Tyrone Brown describes Washington, D.C. after the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Tyrone Brown describes meeting President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Tyrone Brown remembers Senator Robert F. Kennedy's funeral procession in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Tyrone Brown talks about joining the Covington & Burling LLP as an associate

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Tyrone Brown remembers the antiwar protests at the National Mall

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Tyrone Brown describes leaving Covington & Burling LLP for Senator Edmund Muskie's office

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Tyrone Brown describes former Senator Edmund Muskie

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Tyrone Brown describes his job as vice president of legal affairs for Post-Newsweek Stations

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Tyrone Brown talks about Post-Newsweek's revelation of the man that made an assassination attempt on George Wallace in 1972

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Tyrone Brown talks about Max Robinson

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Tyrone Brown talks about working as an investigating lawyer for the president's Commission on Campus Unrest

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Tyrone Brown remembers visiting Jackson State University after the Jackson State University Shootings in 1970

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Tyrone Brown talks about his participation in a forum about Chief Justice Earl Warren's service

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Tyrone Brown shares more stories from his time as a vice president of legal affairs at Post-Newsweek Stations

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Tyrone Brown describes being at Post-Newsweek Stations during the Watergate hearings

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Tyrone Brown describes practicing at the Caplin & Drysdale law firm

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Tyrone Brown describes handling an American Civil Liberties Union case against the City of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Tyrone Brown talks about traveling to South Africa as part of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under the Law, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Tyrone Brown talks about traveling to South Africa as part of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under the Law, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Tyrone Brown remembers meeting South African activist Steve Biko, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Tyrone Brown remembers meeting South African activist Steve Biko, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Tyrone Brown talks about white South Africans' perspectives of apartheid

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Tyrone Brown remembers staying in a white family's home in South Africa

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Tyrone Brown talks about the presidency of Gerald Ford

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Tyrone Brown describes how he became a commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Tyrone Brown talks about the development of the Federal Communications Commission's tax certificate program

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Tyrone Brown explains why he was qualified to work as a commissioner for the Federal Communications Commission

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Tyrone Brown talks about Ted Turner and the emergence of cable television

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Tyrone Brown remembers Ted Turner taking his son to a basketball game

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Tyrone Brown describes meeting Robert L. Johnson and HistoryMaker Herbert P. Wilkins, Sr.

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Tyrone Brown describes how he, Robert L. Johnson and HistoryMaker Herbert P. Wilkins, Sr. won the cable contract for Washington, D.C.

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Tyrone Brown describes fighting an antitrust lawsuit filed after winning the cable contract for Washington, D.C.

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Tyrone Brown talks about renting cable lines from telephone companies

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Tyrone Brown talks about convincing the cable industry to invest in urban areas

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Tyrone Brown remembers having lunch with Chief Judge David Bazelon

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Tyrone Brown talks about Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Tyrone Brown talks about his decision to leave the Federal Communications Commission

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Tyrone Brown talks about BET's initial public offering

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Tyrone Brown talks about his disagreement with Robert L. Johnson

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Tyrone Brown talks about the sale of BET to Viacom

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Tyrone Brown explains how Robert L. Johnson maintained majority ownership of BET after it had gone public

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Tyrone Brown talks about investing in IRIDIUM

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Tyrone Brown talks about the use of IRIDIUM phones, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Tyrone Brown talks about the use of IRIDIUM phones, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Tyrone Brown talks about the Media Access Project

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Tyrone Brown talks about teaching journalistic ethics at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Tyrone Brown remembers working to improve his children's elementary school

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Tyrone Brown talks about his two sons

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Tyrone Brown describes meeting his wife

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Tyrone Brown talks about his parents in their old age

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Tyrone Brown talks about the community basketball game put on by black professionals in Shepherd Park, Washington D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Tyrone Brown talks about the community basketball game put on by black professionals in Shepherd Park, Washington D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Tyrone Brown talks about the record he set in the triple jump at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Tyrone Brown considers his legacy

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Tyrone Brown talks about the Black Heritage Network

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - Tyrone Brown describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 13 Story: 8 - Tyrone Brown describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Tyrone Brown describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Tyrone Brown narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

2$1

DATitle
Tyrone Brown remembers the sole time he saw his father intoxicated
Tyrone Brown describes arranging for his mother to meet Chief Justice Earl Warren
Transcript
Another story I would tell about my father [Madison Brown] from that period when we were young, when we first lived in our own place in this little Roseville community in New Jersey where [HM] Dionne Warwick went to the same grade school that I did, and then we went to the same high school in East Orange [New Jersey] because people moved out of Newark [New Jersey] and into East Orange because East, if they could, because East Orange had a, a better public school system. We first lived right up against the railroad on Gray Street in this little section in a basement apartment. And now I'm five, six. And as I said my father was a construction worker but people would call him, he didn't go looking for jobs, they would call him and ask him to work on their jobs, I mean it was just a, just amazing. The entire time I was growing up it was that way. And on this particular, and my dad would come home from work on Friday night, he'd take out his paycheck, and he'd drop it on the table, and my mother [Julia Goodman Brown] would take care of the expenses through the week. She didn't give him an allowance (laughter) but, you know. Well, this one, I'll never forget, this one night, I don't think it was a Friday night, but this one night he didn't come home from work, it was a, always was home at 4:30 'cause he worked from 7:30 to 3:30, that kind of thing. And he didn't come home and it got dark and he didn't come home. And it turned out it was a, it was Christmas time and my mom really got worried so she sent my oldest brother out to try to find him, "Where is your father?" You know. And I can remember, I remember this part of it, my older brother came back and he said, "He's outside." And she said, "Well why won't he come in?" He said, "He's outside." So my brother, my, my dad was drunk sitting out on the stoop, you know. It, ashamed to come into the house. And my mother brought him in, I remember, brought him in, bathed him, put him to bed and just talking all the time, just, I mean, talking about (making sounds) I can remember this but they, very loving. And that's the only time, that's the only time I ever saw my father having, having had anything other than a beer maybe once a month. He had gone to a Christmas celebration after work and got drunk and didn't, didn't want his children to see him drunk so he didn't come in the house. It's neither here nor there but--$$Yeah.$$--one thing leads to another thing.$$Yeah.$$But that's that kind of people they were. And there were a lot of people like that, you know. That generation that preceded you and me, there were, there were a lot of people, you know, and, and their whole, their whole view of, of what America was about was providing opportunities for their children that they didn't have.$Okay. So, there's a story about Earl Warren and your mother [Julia Goodman Brown] you want to tell.$$Well, the, the year was very hard. It was hard for me because at, at Cornell [University Law School, Ithaca, New York] I had studied mostly business law. And there's a big divide between business law, commercial law, and constitutional law which is what the court practices. And so I wasn't, wasn't nearly as strong in constitutional law and I felt even weaker, so it was a difficult year for me but I got through it and did some good stuff. But at the end of the year, during the year, you worked round the clock. You worked, if you were awake, you were working because you were doing research for these very, very important positions that the judges were writing, the opinions which affect the whole country and you just worked and worked and worked. And the only time that we were awake and not working was on Saturday afternoon, the chief [Chief Justice Earl Warren] would come and get his law clerks, and there were three of us, plus we had another guy, who, who was, was assigned to a retired justice but helped the chief, and he would take us to the University Club in Washington [D.C.] on 16th Street for lunch. And we would sit and have lunch and over lunch he would tell us stories about when he was governor or stories about the court, or stories about how he came to positions on decisions, it was really very intimate close stuff. And, you know, we'd sit with him for maybe two, two and a half hours, he'd go off and take a swim in the University Club and we'd go back to work at the court. And this would happen every Saturday that he was in town. It was really a very important part of the job. And at one of those sessions, I told him I think about how he was my mother's [Julia Goodman Brown's] heroes, he and Thurgood Marshall. He said, "I'd like to meet your mom, bring her in some time." I said, "Okay I'll do that." He was a nice man, okay. We get to the end of the term, and this is, this was a very trying time in America and I'm now talking about the year that Gene McCarthy [Eugene McCarthy] did not win in New Hampshire but he became close, Lyndon Johnson abdicated, said he wasn't gonna run for President, [Reverend Dr.] Martin Luther King [Jr.] was killed, Bobby Kennedy [Robert F. Kennedy] was killed, and Richard Nixon became President, that's the year I'm talking about, now.$$Nineteen sixty--$$Eight [1968].$$--eight [1968].$$Okay.$$Okay.$$And Earl Warren retired as Chief Justice of the United States, all in 1968, my first year in Washington. And so we get to the end of the term and I get a call from his majordomo, Mrs. McCune [ph.]. Mrs. McCune scared the hell out of every law clerk. She would treat us like we were babies, okay. And she calls me and she said, "Mr. Brown," I said, "Yes Ms. McCune." "Mr. Brown, the Chief tells me that you promised to have your mother come in to see him and you haven't done it, when are you gonna do it?" I said I didn't know he was for real, of course, and yeah one of those things. I said, "I'll, I'll have her here tomorrow." She said, "Okay, what time?" Next day early morning my mom gets a train from East Orange, New Jersey, comes down. I take her in to meet with the Chief and we go in and I sit and I introduce them and then the two of them look at me. And I'm just sitting there, and, and the Chief says you don't need to stay here Ty. I walked out and they spent forty-five minutes talking.$$So they dismissed you?$$And, and so after and for years after I'd say, ask my mother what did you guys talk about? She says, "That was between me and him" she would say, (laughter) yeah, forty-five minutes.$$That gives us some insight into Earl Warren.$$Yeah.$$How did you do, did you interact with him much when you were--$$Years later, many years later she said they talked about their children.$$Mm-hmm.$$I should have guessed that.

Tim Reid

Actor, writer, producer and director Timothy L. Reid was born on December 19, 1944 in Norfolk, Virginia. As a teenager growing up in Norfolk, Reid dealt with the horrors of segregation during the height of the Civil Rights Movement in Virginia’s Tidewater area. In 1968, at the age of twenty-three, Reid received his B.A. degree in business administration from Norfolk State University.

After college, Reid moved to Chicago, taking a position as one of the first black marketing representatives with DuPont Corporation. That year, as part of the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Harvey, Illinois, Reid met Tom Dreesen, a white native of Chicago’s South Side. Devastated by the high rates of drug abuse and violence among Harvey’s teenagers, Dreesen and Reid developed an anti-drug program for students. After a presentation in 1969, an eighth-grade student told the duo she thought they were funny, and should become comedians. Receptive to the idea, the duo began to write comedic material, and formed Tim and Tom, arguably the first interracial comedic duo. Reid and Dreesen toured from 1971 to 1975, before disbanding to pursue other interests.

In 1976, Reid moved to Los Angeles, and picked up regular work on various television shows. He was subsequently cast on the Richard Pryor Show. Due to controversy and creative differences between NBC and the show’s namesake, the show was cancelled after only four episodes. A year later, however, Reid landed a spot on a hit show, playing DJ Gordon "Venus Flytrap" Sims on WKRP in Cincinnati. After the show was canceled in 1982, Reid joined the cast of another successful series, the detective drama Simon & Simon. In 1987, Reid earned critical acclaim as the co-creator, producer, writer and lead actor of Frank’s Place, a dramedy that involves the exploits of a college professor who inherits a New Orleans restaurant. Lasting twenty-two episodes, the show earned Reid several award nominations, winning an NAACP Image Award. Reid returned to television in 1993 with Sister, Sister, which starred twins Tia and Tamera Mowrey and actress Jackee Harry. Reid remained with the show for its entire six-year run. In 1995, Reid made his film directorial debut with the critically acclaimed feature film, Once Upon A Time...When We Were Colored.

In 1997, Reid co-founded New Millennium Studios with his wife, actress Daphne Maxwell Reid. In 2009, Reid established the Legacy Media Institute to train emerging filmmakers around the world. Reid has also remained active in the community, donating his time for various charitable activities.

Timothy L. Reid was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 9, 2012 & January 18, 2013.

Accession Number

A2012.067

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/9/2012 |and| 1/18/2013

Last Name

Reid

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Norfolk State University

Ruffner Middle School

Laurie E. Titus Elementary School

Crestwood High School

St. Mary's Catholic School

First Name

Tim

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

REI03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florence, Italy

Favorite Quote

Be Careful What You Ask For, You Just May Get It

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

12/19/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Petersburg

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Italian Food

Short Description

Film actor Tim Reid (1944 - ) is the co-founder New Millennium Studios with his wife Daphne Maxwell Reid, and founder of Legacy Media Institute.

Employment

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont)

NBC - 'The Richard Pryor Show' (Television show)

'WKRP in Cincinnati'

New Millenium Studios

Legacy Media Institute

Favorite Color

Royal Blue, Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Tim Reid's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Tim Reid lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Tim Reid talks about his mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Tim Reid describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Tim Reid talks about his father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Tim Reid describes reconnecting with his paternal great uncle

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Tim Reid describes his childhood trips to Whaleyville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Tim Reid remembers developing an interest in storytelling

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Tim Reid talks about his paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Tim Reid describes the secrecy surrounding his biological father's identity

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Tim Reid describes being adopted by his biological father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Tim Reid describes his likeness to his parents and paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Tim Reid remembers repairing his relationship with his mother before she passed away

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Tim Reid describes being raised by his mother in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Tim Reid remembers being punished at St. Mary's Catholic school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Tim Reid recalls his mother's response to his being punished at St. Mary's Catholic school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Tim Reid describes moving between Baltimore, Maryland and Norfolk, Virginia as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Tim Reid remembers being selected to go on stage during a performance by George "Gabby" Hayes

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Tim Reid describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Tim Reid describes advantages of attending Crestwood High School in Chesapeake, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Tim Reid describes the schools he attended and his demeanor as a student

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Tim Reid describes being raised by his biological father and his stepmother in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Tim Reid describes his family's attitude toward education and his educational experience at Crestwood High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Tim Reid recalls influential teachers from Crestwood High School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Tim Reid describes his educational and work experiences during segregation

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Tim Reid reflects upon surviving segregation and how it impacted his outlook

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Tim Reid talks about Virginia's African American history

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Tim Reid remembers visiting his mother when she worked as a live-in domestic for a white family in New York

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Tim Reid recalls an experience at a segregated restaurant in Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Tim Reid recalls his perspective on school integration as a student in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Tim Reid reflects upon his time at Crestwood High School

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Tim Reid remembers his interest in the arts at Crestwood High School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Tim Reid describes his father's social and political influence in Chesapeake, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Tim Reid remembers his father's nightclub business in the early 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Tim Reid explains how he entered Norfolk State College in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Tim Reid remembers participating in the March on Washington and joining Norfolk State College's NAACP Chapter

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Tim Reid describes his participation in Norfolk State College's NAACP Chapter in 1965

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Tim Reid describes his political mentors at Norfolk Sate College

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Tim Reid remembers being Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s bodyguard at New Cavalry Baptist Church

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Tim Reid remembers his initial experience with acting at Norfolk State College

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Tim Reid remembers his interview with DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Tim Reid remembers moving to Chicago, Illinois during the 1968 riot after Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Tim Reid describes moving to his first home in suburban Markham, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Tim Reid remembers his paternal grandmother's visit to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Tim Reid recalls meeting Tom Dreesen

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Tim Reid describes his impression of Tom Dreesen and the beginning of their comedy act in the late 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Tim Reid describes his financial success while working for E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Tim Reid describes being the first black employee in management at E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Tim Reid describes leaving his position at DuPont to enter show business

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Tim Reid describes how he profited from gold stock in the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Tim Reid describes his friendship with HistoryMaker Della Reese and the breakup of his act, Tim and Tom

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Tim Reid remembers witnessing Tom Dreesen's success as a solo comic

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Tim Reid reflects upon what he learned from his friendship with HistoryMaker Della Reese

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Tim Reid explains why he left his marriage with Rita Sykes Reid

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Tim Reid describes moving from California to Washington, D.C. to pursue his solo comic career in the mid-1970s

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Tim Reid describes his time as a comic in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Tim Reid describes his television roles on 'Easy Does It...Starring Frankie Avalon' and 'WKRP in Cincinnati'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Tim Reid remembers his return to performing stand-up comedy in Washington, D.C. while on 'WKRP in Cincinnati'

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Tim Reid remembers being chosen to perform on 'The Richard Pryor Show'

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Tim Reid remembers improvised skits from 'The Richard Pryor Show'

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Tim Reid describes parallels between his and Richard Pryor's upbringings

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Tim Reid talks about his experience with a racist television director

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Tim Reid recalls his audition for the role of Venus Flytrap on 'WKRP in Cincinnati'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Tim Reid describes the creation of the episode "Who Is Gordon Sims?" on 'WKRP in Cincinnati'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Tim Reid describes the 'WKRP in Cincinnati' episode, "Who Is Gordon Sims?"

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Tim Reid describes his career following the cancellation of 'WKRP in Cincinnati'

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Tim Reid describes his travels to Spain as a television producer for Penthouse magazine

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Tim Reid remembers proposing to HistoryMaker Daphne Maxwell Reid and being cast in 'Teachers Only'

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Tim Reid talks about the importance of respect in relationships

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Tim Reid talks about 'Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored' being excluded from Ebony's top one hundred movies list

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Tim Reid talks about black Hollywood

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Tim Reid reflects upon his transition from standup comedy to acting

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Tim Reid's interview, session 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Tim Reid describes the impact of the 'WKRP in Cincinnati' episode, "Who Is Gordon Sims?"

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Tim Reid describes the cancellation of 'WKRP in Cincinnati'

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Tim Reid describes becoming a television producer for Penthouse magazine

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Tim Reid describes his experience as television producer for Penthouse magazine

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Tim Reid recalls being hired for the television show, 'Teachers Only'

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Tim Reid describes playing Lt. Marcel "Downtown" Brown on 'Simon & Simon'

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Tim Reid describes his departure from 'Simon & Simon'

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Tim Reid describes the series, 'Frank's Place,' pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Tim Reid describes multigenerational storytelling in 'Frank's Place'

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Tim Reid describes the series, 'Frank's Place,' pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 12 - Tim Reid describes his meeting with William S. Paley

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Tim Reid describes responses to the series, 'Frank's Place,' pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Tim Reid describes the 'Frank's Place' episode, "The King of Wall Street"

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Tim Reid recalls the cancellation of 'Frank's Place'

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Tim Reid describes the setting of 'Frank's Place' in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Tim Reid describes responses to the series, 'Frank's Place,' pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Tim Reid remembers showing episodes of 'Frank's Place' in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Tim Reid describes the impetus for the show 'Snoops'

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Tim Reid describes shooting the show 'Snoops'

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Tim Reid remembers watching old films with his grandmother

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Tim Reid describes his hiatus from show business after 'Snoops'

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Tim Reid describes the film, 'The Fourth War'

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Tim Reid describes being cast in 'Perry Mason' and 'Stephen King's It'

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Tim Reid remembers the expansion of Starbucks in the late 1980s

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Tim Reid describes Tim Curry's appearance in 'Stephen King's It'

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Tim Reid remembers being cast as Dr. Lorenzo Lozano in the series, 'Zorro'

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Tim Reid recalls appearing in a beer commercial directed by Richard Lester, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Tim Reid recalls appearing in a beer commercial directed by Richard Lester, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Tim Reid describes his television and film roles in the early 1990s

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Tim Reid remembers his experience on the TV series 'Sister, Sister'

Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Tim Reid describes the impact of The TV series 'Sister, Sister'

Tape: 10 Story: 11 - Tim Reid describes his relationship with Tia and Tamera Mowry

Tape: 10 Story: 12 - Tim Reid reflects upon fatherhood

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Tim Reid describes the impact of 'Sister, Sister' for his audience following

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Tim Reid describes the TV movie, 'Race for Freedom: The Underground Railroad,' pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Tim Reid describes the TV movie, 'Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad,' pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Tim Reid describes the success of his film, 'The Runaways'

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Tim Reid reflects upon his education in history

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Tim Reid describes his career in the 1990s

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Tim Reid recalls securing rights for the film, 'Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored'

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Tim Reid describes casting the film, 'Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored'

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Tim Reid describes the impact of the film, 'Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored'

Tape: 11 Story: 10 - Tim Reid recalls an emergency situation while filming 'Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored'

Tape: 11 Story: 11 - Tim Reid describes shooting the film, 'Once Upon a Time...When We Are Colored'

Tape: 11 Story: 12 - Tim Reid reflects upon representations of African American culture

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Tim Reid describes the Showtime series, 'Linc's'

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Tim Reid describes filming the Showtime series, 'Linc's'

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Tim Reid describes his roles in 'Just Deserts' and 'Alley Cats Strike'

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Tim Reid describes New Millennium Studios' productions

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Tim Reid describes the impact of New Millennium Studios

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Tim Reid describes the foundation of Legacy Media Institute

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Tim Reid describes his plans for New Millennium Studios

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Tim Reid describes his plans for filmmaking

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - Tim Reid describes the importance of the Thirteenth Amendment

Tape: 12 Story: 10 - Tim Reid describes Elizabeth Keckley's dressmaking

Tape: 12 Story: 11 - Tim Reid describes documentary projects he would like to produce

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Tim Reid describes Maggie L. Walker's history

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Tim Reid describes his documentary subjects, pt. 1

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Tim Reid describes his documentary subjects, pt. 2

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Tim Reid describes the creation of the film, 'For Real'

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Tim Reid describes the relationship between Blockbuster and New Millennium Studios

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Tim Reid describes film marketing and distribution systems

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - Tim Reid reflects upon his life, pt. 1

Tape: 13 Story: 8 - Tim Reid reflects upon his community values

Tape: 13 Story: 9 - Tim Reid reflects upon his life, pt. 2

Tape: 13 Story: 10 - Tim Reid describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Tim Reid reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Tim Reid describes his children, pt. 1

Tape: 14 Story: 3 - Tim Reid describes his children, pt. 2

Tape: 14 Story: 4 - Tim Reid describes his relationship with HistoryMaker Daphne Maxwell Reid

Tape: 14 Story: 5 - Tim Reid describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

2$2

DATape

8$10

DAStory

10$9

DATitle
Tim Reid describes multigenerational storytelling in 'Frank's Place'
Tim Reid remembers his experience on the TV series 'Sister, Sister'
Transcript
What were some of the aspects of 'Frank's Place' that you tweaked that were different from what the usual sitcom would, would have? I mean (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) God, I mean there're--it's like--we could almost do--matter of fact, there have been college courses on, on that particular subject, how different was that show compared to what was being shown, in terms of black characterizations, and also, black-white relationships in the South and the North. Well, one of the--first glaring one that most people didn't accept it, didn't pay much attention to, was the multi-generational aspects of the black community. I mean we had a character on there, who at the time we hired her, was like seventy-something years old. I mean she could barely move about without the aid of cane, and, and she is one of the most dramatic and most interesting women I've ever met in my life, Miss Marie, Frances Williams. She studied with [Konstantin] Stanislavski. She had, she had been befriended and been a partner of Paul Robeson. She had, she and he had hid out from--in Mexico for years when he was being--$$Wow.$$--(laughter) chased by the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation]. She had, she had given [HistoryMaker] Maya Angelou her start. She started--this woman was a, unbelievable woman, and here she is playing this, this waitress emeritus who only waited on people who had been coming there thirty years or more. And you have her. You have Mr. Charlie Lampkin, one of the best jazz musicians who had been forgotten in the era of jazz, and different man, I mean unusual character, who would sit and tell stories off, off the set about the great days of, of Hollywood--not only Hollywood, music and working in Paris [France]. And then we had, you know, Big Arthur, had just been in, you know, a hit from 'Rocky.' I mean we had these interest--then we had this, one of the first times you ever saw a Jewish, Southern lawyer in a series, you know, played by [Robert] Harper, Bubba Weisberger [Bubba "Si" Weisberger], I mean (laughter), I mean it was really a multi-generational, young, old, middle aged, all these characters from different lifestyles. I'm an educated college professor, but I didn't know diddly from these people. They were, they were earth, street, you know, people who lived by their, their wits and their, and their ability to survive. And so we were able to deal with a different kind of story in a different way. I haven't seen the multi-generational storytelling in television since. I'm seeing a little more in, in some of the white stories--white sitcoms, in 'Modern Family,' a few of 'em where you're beginning, you get a little more multi-generational. But we see it in Europe all the time. I spent a lot of time in Europe and Italy. You see multi-generational stories. You see it in Brazil, but in America, we, we shy away from multi-generalization in terms of storytelling or multi-generations coming together and, and existing as it is in real life.$Ninety-four [1994] is the year that you started working on 'Sister, Sister,' right?$$Yeah.$$With the Mowry twins [Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Tamera Mowry-Housley] and--$$With the Mowry twins. When I first saw 'em, they had just turned thirteen. And now they're mothers. It's--they were two of the most honestly, naturally, loving young ladies I've met. I mean they really are wonderful people, very talented. The voices--can sing and dance and they're really, really nice young ladies. I gave 'em a hard time, by the way (laughter). I really gave 'em a hard time.$$Do you have any stories about it (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) I said, you know, "You guys are too clean. You go to church three or four times a week. You need to see a little, just a little devilishness around you," (laughter). I think the first time they ever heard the, the F word was out of my lips, the first time (laughter). I mean they just--I would shock them, not purposely. I just, I am who I am, and I--and Jackee [HistoryMaker Jackee Harry] and I would get into sometimes very heated debates. And I (laughter), they would--sometimes I'd say, "Put your hand over your ears. Jackee and I are going at it," you know. But it's funny, I've seen them a few times since they've become adults, and they often, they sit down and laugh. And they hear what they thought of me, and what was going on, and Jackee at that time was really nice. But in a strange way, we had an impact on each other. I mean I, I have--I was getting a little, what's the word? Negative about young people at that time. I was like, you know, you get older and you get like, ah, these young kids coming in the business. Yeah, these--they don't, they--entitled and all that. And they kind of made me realize a little something about young people, you know. Not all, you know, it's not all, but not only that, you know, it's their time. I mean don't, don't get bitter because time is moving. Change. And they really--they sort of reintroduced me to, to the nobility of, of youth. And I think I introduced them to a side of life that (laughter) they must have needed (laughter). But we had a wonderful six years. It was sometimes difficult for me. I was torn between building a studio back here [Petersburg, Virginia] at the time. I wasn't crazy about a couple of the producers we had. We used to get into conflict, but the show--I never watched the show, by the way. I, I don't think I watched or have watched--six years, I don't think I've watched maybe five or six episodes in the whole time. And recently, I, I catch myself, you know, something will go by. I stop and look at it. But I saw one of the episodes not too long ago, and I have to say, I was, I was delightfully surprised on how it held up. And it made me laugh, and it made me think I wish I had been more there. I don't mean as a performer, but I mean as realizing where I was, and who I was working with. They were very talented people, good writers. Now don't let--don't ever tell them I said that, but they were, they were very good writers.

Eleanor Jones

Mathematician and professor of mathematics, Eleanor Jones was born on August 10, 1929 in Norfolk, Virginia. Her mother, Lillian Vaughn Green, was a domestic worker, and her father, George Herbert Green, was a letter carrier. She attended Booker T. Washington High School where her favorite subject was mathematics. Jones graduated as valedictorian of her class at the age of fifteen and received a scholarship to attend Howard University. Jones received her B.S. degree in mathematics in 1949. She studied under Elbert Cox, the first African American to receive his Ph.D. degree in mathematics. Jones remained at Howard University where she received her M.S. degree in mathematics in 1950. Then, she returned to Booker T. Washington High School as a mathematics and science teacher for two years.

Jones was hired in 1955 as an associate professor of mathematics at Hampton University. When schools in Norfolk, Virginia were closed in 1958 due to forced integration, Jones helped tutor students in a local church. That same year, she also became vice chair of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in Virginia. By 1962, Jones left Hampton to study mathematics at Syracuse University under the tutelage of Dr. James Reid. In 1965, she was elected to the Sigma Xi science honor society and went on to graduate from Syracuse University in 1966 as the eleventh African American woman to earn her Ph.D. degree in mathematics. Her thesis, entitled, “Abelian Groups and Their Endomorphism Rings and the Quasi-Endomorphism of Torsion Free Abelian Groups,” examined advanced abstract algebraic concepts. In 1967, Jones rejoined the faculty at Hampton University. One year later, she became professor of mathematics and chair of the department at Norfolk State University.

Jones retired as professor emeritus from Norfolk University in 2003. She served on the Committee for Opportunities for Underrepresented Minorities of the American Mathematical Society, the Executive board of the Association for Women in Mathematics and the Board of Governors for the Mathematical Association of America. Jones also held the position of vice president of the National Association of Mathematicians. She raised three sons, Everett B. Jones, Edward A. Dawley and the late Herbert G. Dawley.

Eleanor Jones was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 7, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.024

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/7/2012

Last Name

Jones

Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Green Dawley

Schools

Booker T. Washington High School

Syracuse University

Douglass Park Elementary School

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Eleanor

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

JON26

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

All is well that ends well.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

8/10/1929

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Virginia Beach

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fruit, Vegetables

Short Description

Math professor and mathematician Eleanor Jones (1929 - ) was the eleventh African American woman to receive her Ph.D. degree in mathematics and served as professor of mathematics at Norfolk State University for over thirty years.

Employment

Booker T. Washington High School

Hampton University

Norfolk State University

ECPI College of Technology

Hampton Institute

Syracuse University

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Eleanor Jones' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Eleanor Jones lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Eleanor Jones describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Eleanor Jones describes her mother's background - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Eleanor Jones describes her mother's background - part two

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Eleanor Jones describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Eleanor Jones talks about her father's service in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Eleanor Jones talks about her grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Eleanor Jones describes her father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Eleanor Jones describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Eleanor Jones describes Norfolk, Virginia as she grew up

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Eleanor Jones talks about her parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Eleanor Jones describes her family

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Eleanor Jones describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Eleanor Jones describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Eleanor Jones talks about her interests as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Eleanor Jones talks about Douglas Park Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Eleanor Jones describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Eleanor Jones talks about her experience at Booker T. Washington High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Eleanor Jones describes her social activities at Booker T. Washington High School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Eleanor Jones talks about her decision to attend Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Eleanor Jones talks about pledging Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Eleanor Jones talks about the mystery surrounding her maternal grandfather

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Eleanor Jones describes the faculty at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Eleanor Jones talks about prominent people who spoke at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Eleanor Jones talks about Dr. Mordecai Johnson

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Eleanor Jones talks about her fellowship and her work with the census bureau

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Eleanor Jones talks about William S. Claytor and Jeremiah Certaine

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Eleanor Jones talks about her marriage to Edward Dawley, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Eleanor Jones talks about the Norfolk 17

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Eleanor Jones talks about Rosa Parks

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Eleanor Jones discusses her involvement with the Congress of Civil Rights (CORE)

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Eleanor Jones describes her divorce from Edward Dawley

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Eleanor Jones describes her experience at Syracuse University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Eleanor Jones describes her doctoral research

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Eleanor Jones talks about sports and her experience at Syracuse University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Eleanor Jones discusses her experience teaching math

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Eleanor Jones describes her publication in American Mathematical Monthly

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Eleanor Jones talks about the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM)

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Eleanor Jones describes her efforts to attract female students to math and science

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Eleanor Jones talks about her retirement

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Eleanor Jones talks about her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Eleanor Jones shares her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Eleanor Jones reflects upon her career

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Eleanor Jones talks about her divorce from Everett Jones

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Eleanor Jones talks about her children

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Eleanor Jones talks about her hobbies

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Eleanor Jones talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Eleanor Jones describes her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
Eleanor Jones describes her doctoral research
Eleanor Jones describes her efforts to attract female students to math and science
Transcript
All right. Now I was trying to get you to explain the nature of your dissertation. Now you--$$Well, okay. Well I was going to say that--well it starts off in the first one saying all the groups considered (unclear) abelian. Now what do we mean by abelian? That's one, that's a concept that you know some operations in arithmetic are abelian. For example, if you multiply, if--well abstractive, you say if AB is equal to BA, in other words what operations? If you multiply 2 x 3, you get the same thing if you multiply 3 x 2, that's in abelian operation. Addition is one. But on the other hand, subtraction is not in abelian operation because for example, if you take, if you have $3.00 and spend $2.00, you're left with $1.00. But on the other hand, if you have $2.00, and spend $3.00, you're in the hole. So that's not in abelian operation. But it so happens that the groups that I always deal with in the operations, that is involved, they are abelian which you can go both ways and get the same result when you do that.$$Okay. So that's what your dissertation was about?$$Um-hmm, dealing with abelian groups and elements and that.$$Okay. All right, so when you finished your Ph.D., now were you the first black woman to get a Ph.D. in mathematics in Syracuse?$$Yes, so they say.$$Okay.$$Um-hmm.$$All right. So I guess we have to believe it.$$That's why they, yeah they put a picture in the paper saying I paved the way for those who have come after me.$So you became the state, you were the state representative for it and it says here in '76 [1976] also you were the co-director of the National Science Foundation Women in Science Career Workshop Grant.$$Um-hmm.$$Now what was that about?$$All right. Now schools, now sometimes schools are interested in building up departments and getting students. Now I found a very useful way was to bring students from high school on your campus and show them some of the things. And I tried to get some of the students to want to come there. But now to have those--what I did, the first person, woman to get a Ph.D. in mathematics was by the name of Sonia Kovalevsky [Kovalevskaya], where--she was in Russia. But right now, so we could--so the people who would grant the money for you to have a Sonia Kovalevsky day would--dealt with other institutions. So now that was one reason too we find that you get to meet them and if you were on committees with them and they respect you and you apply for money, they give you money. Well that helps you at your school when you have finance, you bring 300 people on from the buses, from the--on the campus and you're able to feed them and have the bus pick them up but you have gotten the money--but they have given you enough what we call a grant. Now while I was at Norfolk State, I had six of them right, from--they hadn't had anyone--see, now that's something too they don't notice. People who are active in the field will do things that the others don't do. It's more to it than just teaching your classes. I would write for the grants, I would get the money. I never had anyone saying we don't have money for you. And they gave me (unclear). So we have them, they come up on the campus. And then some of them, I'm not going to say they were the brightest one necessarily, but some of the students you--they all women, would decide to come to the school and all. And then you get some of them and talk to them, some of the others who live nearby maybe in the (unclear) section of Norfolk or something like that could commute there and they think they could be quite happy there. So we start to getting students from other schools and all that can go there. They were very useful tool for recruiting. We say we want to gain their interest in mathematics, but really it's aimed at recruiting. And I think the school at which we worked, they reward you even though the student may not come in your field. But if you bring in a lot of students from a certain high school and they go, they come to the school and pay their fees, I don't think it, I think they still will credit you with being a good person.$$Okay. Now you were also, now you served on the committee for improving mathematics remediation efforts in college of the, Committee of the Mathematics Association of America. You were a member of the Mathematics Association of America as well?$$Board of Governors.$$Board of Governors.$$Uh-huh, yeah uh-huh.$$Okay.$$Yeah, Virginia--I represented the State of Virginia there.$$Okay.$$They picked them.$$So did--now did you get--when did you get involved in the Association for Women in Mathematics?$$Right after I got my Ph.D. there and during there, um-hmm.$$Okay. And is that an offshoot of the American Mathematical Society or is it--?$$Not really, no. It's not really but what it is, you belong to all of those. Now the American Mathematical Society, remember in grad school the departments sponsored all of us in the society, paid our dues for us and we invited them to join. But I think it's very important that you belong to them. You can serve your school better if you have contacts outside of your school. Now, like now if a state did not have, do graduate work in mathematics, but if you got contacts there you can use sometime and you really have a good, have a student that won't embarrass you, you can get funds for them to attend there.$$Okay. Now in '91 [1991] you wrote an article called 'A Minority Woman's Viewpoint and Winning Women into Mathematics,' published by the Mathematics Association of America, right?$$Yes.$$So what was the gist of that basically?$$Well I talk--one reason why they--now see, I was just trying to see what the focus of that article really was. Well I said on why people go into mathematics and all. But I mention the fact that too, most of the students that I got though were male and then of course I mentioned that, the fellow Charlie Yates, which I said something about earlier to you there. He was one of my favorite students when high--when I was a high school teacher there. And I do think that's one thing too, a lot of people do not encourage people to go in mathematics. I find minority people don't. Now, and I don't know about the other group if not--they encourage them or not. Which I think of course now I can see the reason why though because you figure if you would spend that much time in school you supposed to go to medical school. You're not supposed--I mean really they figure. But sometimes if mathematics is somehow better. I think being happy and enjoying what you are doing although you might not can pay as much for your car or your suit that the person did there, but you enjoy doing what you're doing and driving a lesser car to do that job can be just as rewarding in certain respects because you spend so many hours a day working. And if you're not--and if it's drudgery, you have to spend much more time to amuse yourself when you're not working and all. So that's what I think if you let people see the joy of doing mathematics, some of them will decide to make it a lifetime thing. And then too if there are some of them now that say a man like Blackwell, he will probably get income very close to what a lousy doctor's position might get. See, when people and schools have him come speak, well they give him I don't know what kind of fees that they are, what kind of fees they give people. I was at the stage, I never got to that fee stage. They give me a plaque when I go [laughter] speak to them now. But some of the people you know well they get nice fees I understand.

Gene Barge

Saxophonist, music producer and song writer Gene “Daddy G” Barge was born in Norfolk, Virginia on August, 9 1926. He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and played clarinet in the school band. Barge then attended West Virginia State College where he first majored in architecture, but quickly switched to music because of his interest in the saxophone. After receiving his B.A. degree from West Virginia State College in 1950, Barge returned to Norfolk, Virginia and played with a number of bands and singing groups including the Griffin Brothers and the Five Keys.

In 1955, Barge recorded his first saxophone instrumentals entitled “Country” and “Way Down Home” on Chess Records’ Checker Label. He taught music at Suffolk High School while playing and singing in bands and touring with both Ray Charles and the Philadelphia vocal group The Turbans. In 1957, Barge played the saxophone on Chuck Willis’ “C.C. Rider,” which became a number one R& B hit. In 1960, he recorded “A Night with Daddy G” with his band the Church Street Five on Norfolk’s Legrand Label. From 1961 to 1962, Barge collaborated with Gary U.S. Bonds on a number of hit records including "School Is In," "School Is Out," "Dear Lady Twist," "Twist Twist Senora," "Copy Cat" and the number one pop hit, “Quarter to Three.” In 1964, Barge was hired as a producer, arranger, and saxophone player for Chess Records in Chicago, Illinois and played on Fontella Bass’ “Rescue Me” in 1965. Chess Records closed in 1971 and Barge was hired by Stax Records in their gospel division, Gospel Truth. Barge produced Inez Andrews’ “Lord Don’t Move the Mountain” and The Beautiful Zion Baptist Church's "I'll Make It Alright.” In 1974, Barge began working with pianist, Marvin Yancy and Charles Jackson. He was hired to do demos with Natalie Cole. He went to win a Grammy Award for co-producing Cole’s “Sophisticated Lady” in 1977.

Barge has toured with Fat Dominos, Bo Diddley, Chuck Willis, The Rolling Stones and Natalie Cole. He has had roles in many major motion pictures including Code of Silence, Above the Law, Under Siege, The Package and The Fugitive. Barge consulted for Martin Scorsese’s 2003 PBS documentary, The Blues. He also appeared in a 2010 episode of the TV documentary series Legends, entitled "Roll over Beethoven - The Chess Records Saga." Barge lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Gene Barge was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 20, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.043

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/20/2012

Last Name

Barge

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Schools

Booker T. Washington High School

West Virginia State University

J.C. Price Elementary School

First Name

Gene

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

BAR12

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Look Alive.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/9/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Saxophonist, songwriter, and music producer Gene Barge (1926 - ) played on Chuck Willis’ pop hit, “C.C. Rider,” co-wrote with Gary U.S. Bonds “Quarter to Three” and received a Grammy Award for co-producing Natalie Cole’s “Sophisticated Lady.”

Employment

Suffolk High School

Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System

Stax Records

United States Air Force

United States Navy

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gene Barge's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gene Barge lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gene Barge describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gene Barge describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gene Barge talks about the legacy of slavery in Fayettesville, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gene Barge talks about his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gene Barge describes his father's musical interests

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gene Barge remembers his parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gene Barge talks about his relationship with his paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gene Barge describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gene Barge describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Gene Barge talks about his experiences at J.C. Price Elementary School in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Gene Barge recalls the competitiveness of the local high schools

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Gene Barge describes the geography of Tidewater Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Gene Barge talks about the black community in Tidewater Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gene Barge describes the prominent African Americans from Tidewater Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gene Barge remembers meeting Fats Waller

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gene Barge talks about the musicians from Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gene Barge remembers joining the Booker T. Washington High School band in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gene Barge describes the political events during his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gene Barge remembers an influential teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gene Barge recalls preparing to join the U.S. Army Air Forces

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gene Barge remembers his time in the U.S. Army Air Forces

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gene Barge remembers his first saxophone

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gene Barge describes his transition to West Virginia State College in Institute, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gene Barge talks about the alumni of West Virginia State College, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gene Barge remembers Tuskegee Airman John Whitehead

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gene Barge talks about the alumni of West Virginia State College, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gene Barge remembers his mentors at West Virginia State College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gene Barge talks about Eleanor Roosevelt's civil rights activism

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gene Barge recalls his work experiences after graduating from college

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gene Barge talks about the history of rhythm and blues

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gene Barge remembers his early records

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Gene Barge talks about his recordings with Gary U.S. Bonds

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gene Barge describes the influence of Charles Manuel "Sweet Daddy" Grace on his music

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gene Barge talks about his half sisters

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gene Barge remembers the Norfolk Seventeen

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gene Barge recalls the discrimination against black artists in the recording industry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gene Barge describes the musicians he met at Chess Records

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gene Barge talks about the 'Cadillac Records' movie, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gene Barge talks about the 'Cadillac Records' movie, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gene Barge remembers Etta James

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gene Barge remembers Cash McCall and Billy Stewart

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gene Barge describes Little Walter's personality and character

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gene Barge talks about Muddy Waters' jingle for Hamm's Brewery

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gene Barge recalls recording albums with Howlin' Wolf

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gene Barge remembers recording doo wop and gospel music

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gene Barge describes his work with Natalie Cole

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gene Barge talks about his acting career

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gene Barge remembers touring with The Rolling Stones

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gene Barge describes the members of The Rolling Stones

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gene Barge recalls his acting role in 'The Guardian'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gene Barge describes 'The Blues' documentary television series

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Gene Barge talks about his saxophone style

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Gene Barge recalls his efforts to credit studio musicians

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Gene Barge remembers his influences and his influence on the music industry

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Gene Barge shares his advice to young musicians

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Gene Barge reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Gene Barge reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Gene Barge talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Gene Barge remembers playing in the Breadbasket Band

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Gene Barge describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

7$9

DATitle
Gene Barge recalls preparing to join the U.S. Army Air Forces
Gene Barge remembers his early records
Transcript
So you, you did con- keep playing the clarinet on some level even though you played football (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well, I wasn't very good, but I played. Hey, I'd never seen a clarinet before and then Mr. Mc- McPherson [ph.], you know, got us all started. But it started at--how I got to play saxophone was I had--I was in high school [Booker T. Washington High School, Norfolk, Virginia] and I had gotten out of the [U.S.] military.$$Okay. Now wait a minute let me--let--then let's take you to the military first and then we'll get you back to high school.$$Okay.$$So how did you end up getting involved in the military, what happened?$$Well, what happened was when I was, when I was a teenager in high school, we used to go, we used to go when I was a kid, we used to go around the neighborhoods, white neighborhoods about a mile away, quarter of a mile away, and try to go into the alleys and the back of the houses and find metal and scraps and wood and stuff because times were really tight. And we'd find copper or whatever and take it to the--and lead and stuff and some of the guys used to melt it down, melt the metal down and we'd go to the junkyard and sell it. So we stumbled upon a guy--can't think of his name, Mr. West [ph.] or something, who was making an airplane in a garage in his house. And, so we went--so he saw us standing out there looking, so he invited us in, in the garage. And the plane had no wings on it, just a fuselage was in the--so he was putting in the cables for the pedals for the rudders and the stabilizers and you had to put so much of a--so he'd put us in the cockpit and says, "Okay. Now push this pedal, push this pedal." Because he was working by himself. And he was teaching us the names of all the parts of the plane.$$This is a white guy?$$Yeah.$$Okay.$$And I think his name was Willoughby [ph.].$$Um-hm.$$And that's when we got introduced to aviation. So when he says, "Okay, when I finish this plane I want to give it a test flight," and we said, "Well, when you gon- Mr. Willoughby when are you going to put the wings--." "I can't put the wings on in here. I'm going to move it and then we'll put the wings on." And, so sure enough later, some months later, he finished that plane and just a spread with the outside of the plane was like canvas or some kind of material, it wasn't metal. They spray it with what you call dope and it would harden up and tighten up. And he flew it across our neighborhood and buzzed the neighborhood. I was so impressed with the flying aspect of it that I wanted to be a pilot. So when--so I began, during the war [World War II, WWII] I began to study the silhouettes of all the planes around the world and what the Japs [Japanese] were using, the Zero [Mitsubishi A6M Zero], the German (pronunciation) Luftwaffe, Luftwaffe planes, the (pronunciation) Fox Wolf 109 [Focke-Wulf Fw 109] and the Mr. Smith [Smith DSA-1 Miniplane] and the American planes, the P38s [Lockheed P-38 Lightning] and all of those planes. So you would have to idenn- a pilot would have to identify just the silhouettes of the planes in order to pass the test and all of this stuff. So we were--I was up on that and I--we had a teacher, a great, a great math teacher named Surelda James [ph.], she was my math teacher. And I went to her and asked her, "Would you teach me a course in pre-flight math?" She says, "You want to--." I said, "Yeah." And her sister was teaching me French, and they also went to First Baptist [First Baptist Church, Norfolk, Virginia], so they saw me in the Sunday, high, in the Sunday school band. So they kind of got to know me, aside from being my teachers. So she did, she set up a course in pre-flight math. Wasn't nobody in the class but me and another guy. And so we took the class and to get me ready to take the entrance exams for the Air Force [U.S. Army Air Force; U.S. Air Force].$$So you were really serious.$$Hm?$$You were really serious.$$Yeah.$$You knew exactly what you had to learn to--$$Yeah.$$--pass the test and--$$Yeah.$Now what, what was the first record that you appeared on?$$The first record I appeared on was with The Griffin Brothers, and I can't remember the title of the tune, but we recorded in Washington, D.C. in a studio. We only recorded about three songs with him. And I appeared--I played on that session with The Griffin Brothers.$$Okay.$$This was around fifty- '53 [1953], somewhere up in that area of time.$$Okay. Now what I have here is that it was on the Dot [Dot Records] label?$$Yeah, on Dot.$$On Dot, okay. Okay. And, okay, so you--so at the time it says here that they just needed a sax player because the regular sax player at--wasn't available?$$Yeah they had a guy, sax player named Virgil Wilson.$$Um-hm.$$And he couldn't make it, so they got me.$$Okay, all right. So, now how did you meet Gary U.S. Bonds?$$Well, for one thing he lived in my neighborhood (laughter). And he used to be in the neighborhood as a little kid. And mother used to bring him to the store; I used to see him down there with his mother [Irene Bonds] at the store. But what happened was I had done a recording in New York with Chuck Willis, a guy came and got in my house and heard about me and came and said Chuck Willis needed a saxophone player, this was around '56 [1956], '57 [1957]. And around '56 [1956], and he came and found me and said Chuck--so I didn't have a job and I just went over to Newport News [Virginia] and joined the band and went to New York with Chuck Willis and we made a demo, 'C.C. Rider' and then later Atlantic Records got, brought me into New York and I did the session, I played the solo on this segment, it became a big hit, 'C.C. Rider,' Chuck Willis.$$Right, I remember that, yeah.$$Well, I played the solo on it and then they brought me back and I played 'Dupree Blues' later. And so after that, things kind of quieted down for me and then Guida [Frank Guida], this guy that owned Legrand Records where U.S. Bonds was the maj- major artist for him, offered me a chance to record so I went with him. And then Gary was on that label and that's when I met Gary.$$Okay. Now I may have jumped ahead too far, but we'll get back to it, but your first recording that you--$$My first, yeah, my first recording was around fifty- 1955.$$Uh-huh.$$And I sent a, sent a--sent this record in, this tape into Chess Records and they liked it and put it out, a thing called 'Country.'$$Okay. This an instrumental, instrumental?$$Instrumental.$$Okay. And did it do pretty good?$$It went to number one hundred on the national charts, but what killed it was 'Honky Tonk.' So that instrumental, that instrumental grabbed all the attention of all the instrumentals that came out during that little period, during that year.$$Now that's Bill Doggett.$$Bill Doggett.$$So, okay, 'Honky Tonk' and that was the biggest instrumental that year.

Patricia Turner

Civil rights pioneer and educator Patricia Turner was born on October 11, 1944 in Norfolk, Virginia. Her father, James Turner, was a Navy Master Chief Petty Officer. Her brother, James Turner Jr., was two years younger than her and also a member of The Norfolk 17. In 1959, five years after Brown v. Board of Education, Turner and her brother entered Norview Junior High School, a previously all-white school. The siblings were two of the five students who attended Norview Junior High that year. After finishing eighth grade, Turner went to Norview High School where she graduated near the top of her class of over 400 seniors. She worked as a nurse before moving to Pennsylvania where she worked for the Thomas Jefferson Hospital. She then moved back to Virginia and worked for Dr. Robert Johnson, a pediatrician.

She continued her education and attended Norfolk State University where she earned her B.S. degree in mathematics. She also received her M.S. degree in education from Old Dominion University and took classes toward a Ph.D. degree at the College of William and Mary. After obtaining her undergraduate degree, Turner began working for Norfolk Public Schools as a math teacher, teaching curriculum to sixth and seventh graders. She taught until her retirement in 2008. However, that same year she became the Director of Oakwood Academy. In 2009, she along with the other surviving members of the Norfolk 17 returned to Norview High School to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “massive resistance.”

For her work as an educator, she received many accolades, including her Honorary Doctorate in humane letters from Old Dominion University. She also received the School Bell Award in Education in 2000 and 2002. Turner is a member of the Black Press Hall of Fame.

Patricia Turner was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 14, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.022

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/14/2010

Last Name

Turner

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Norview Middle School

Norview High School

Norfolk State University

Old Dominion University

The College of William & Mary

First Name

Patricia

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

TUR06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas

Favorite Quote

Education Is The Key To Success.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

10/11/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Carrots

Short Description

Middle school teacher Patricia Turner (1944 - ) was a member of the Norfolk 17, who were instrumental in the desegregation of Virginia and the South.

Employment

Norfolk Public Schools

Oakwood Academy

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:5418,89:6075,100:6440,106:9798,171:10236,181:19257,290:19719,297:21182,328:22337,349:29926,425:39456,554:41230,567:42166,583:42598,590:43318,601:43894,641:65937,902:71336,942:79490,1042:83250,1119:90661,1179:91073,1184:93545,1223:99760,1297:101545,1328:109620,1422:110790,1446:116031,1515:116584,1523:119349,1560:119665,1565:131924,1772:133580,1799:134040,1805:146052,2004:146420,2009:147984,2075:151388,2134:157020,2259:160524,2302:160820,2307:161264,2315:166185,2374:172863,2474:188170,2671:188450,2676:189150,2694:197199,2804:201246,2848:201654,2855:201994,2861:210088,2999:210458,3006:224774,3184:227959,3249:245558,3536:246662,3559:253060,3633:253620,3642:254420,3661:259700,3751:260180,3807:278760,4015$0,0:9080,128:9752,136:16162,234:16504,254:18841,299:19183,306:23256,387:23768,396:24216,405:24664,413:26735,424:44370,624:48850,789:62975,909:64080,927:65185,945:67140,972:72202,1030:73150,1052:73545,1058:87766,1232:88281,1238:95280,1284:95616,1289:95952,1294:98136,1345:110412,1460:111193,1519:117404,1571:121094,1641:137285,1856:146227,1902:146859,1911:147175,1916:151358,1988:156468,2030:161118,2079:164924,2123:168800,2193:169104,2198:169408,2203:174653,2295:175175,2303:178220,2353:179873,2383:180917,2408:181787,2427:182135,2432:184919,2471:195530,2612:197290,2639:198010,2654:203210,2737:207458,2794:209430,2833:210042,2846:215770,2885:216400,2920:218430,2934
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Patricia Turner's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Patricia Turner lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Patricia Turner describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Patricia Turner describes her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Patricia Turner talks about her father's name

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Patricia Turner describes her family's relation to Nat Turner

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Patricia Turner talks about the history of Nat Turner

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Patricia Turner remembers her father's career in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Patricia Turner lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Patricia Turner describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Patricia Turner remembers segregation in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Patricia Turner describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Patricia Turner recalls her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Patricia Turner remembers Oakwood Elementary School in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Patricia Turner describes her paternal grandmother, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Patricia Turner describes her paternal grandmother, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Patricia Turner talks about her sheltered upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Patricia Turner remembers her decision to join the Norfolk 17

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Patricia Turner remembers recalls the tests to join the Norfolk 17

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Patricia Turner remembers attending school at First Baptist Bute Street in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Patricia Turner recalls the Norfolk 17's training by the NAACP

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Patricia Turner remembers the walk to Norview Junior High School in Norfolk, Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Patricia Turner remembers the walk to Norview Middle School in Norfolk, Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Patricia Turner recalls the traumatic effect of the protests against the Norfolk 17

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Patricia Turner remembers her high school homeroom teacher

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Patricia Turner talks about Hal J. Bonney, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Patricia Turner talks about Hal J. Bonney, Jr., pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Patricia Turner remembers the janitor at Norview High School in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Patricia Turner recalls her black classmates at Norview High School in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Patricia Turner remembers the kindness of the African American cafeteria workers at Norview High School

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Patricia Turner recalls how her fellow students treated her at Norview High School, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Patricia Turner recalls how her fellow students treated her at Norview High School, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Patricia Turner remembers her social interactions with the Norfolk 17

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Patricia Turner recalls a high school class reunion, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Patricia Turner recalls a high school class reunion, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Patricia Turner remembers her time on Norview High School field hockey team

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Patricia Turner recalls her struggles after high school, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Patricia Turner recalls her struggles after high school, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Patricia Turner describes her nursing career in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Patricia Turner talks about the psychological effects of her high school experiences

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Patricia Turner remembers ending her career in nursing

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Patricia Turner describes her teaching career

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Patricia Turner talks about her philosophy of education

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Patricia Turner describes her speaking engagements

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Patricia Turner reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Patricia Turner describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Patricia Turner reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Patricia Turner talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Patricia Turner describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Patricia Turner narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Patricia Turner narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

4$7

DATitle
Patricia Turner remembers the walk to Norview Middle School in Norfolk, Virginia, pt. 2
Patricia Turner recalls how her fellow students treated her at Norview High School, pt. 2
Transcript
When we got there--when I was young, I used to think it was the [U.S.] Army, because the street was lined with these men with rifles on their shoulders and dressed all in black. I thought it was the Army. Later on as I got older, I found out that was the city police. Because behind the police were white parents, more white people than I'd ever seen at one place, except on the base. So, I didn't have any fear of them, because that was the only time I'd ever seen them all together was on the base. So, I just figured they was there. Well, they were there. This was when I really understood what massive resistance meant. Massive resistance meant the masses resist these seventeen children. Well, there were only five of us. We were, I had had a birthday, so I had just turned fourteen, with the mind of a twelve year old, because I was very naive. I wasn't a fourteen year old, a normal fourteen year old. My brother was only thirteen. The others, they were twelve and thirteen. And because I was born October 11 instead of October 1, they made me wait a whole year, because that was cut off time for school. So I was older, but yet, I was younger. I reached back quickly and grabbed my brother's hand, because instantly the white people started throwing things. You see, the police were there to make sure that they did not have big sticks, but they could throw all them little ones they wanted to. They could throw little rocks, but they couldn't throw stones. So, this was when I realized massive resistance meant the masses resist. They were throwing all kinds of things and saying all kinds of words. And I remember my mother [Marjorie Harrison Turner] said I was the oldest, so I was supposed to watch out for my brother. The two boys were walking behind us, and the three girls were in the front. I was the oldest, so I was in the middle. But I was holding my brother's hand, and I was squeezing his little hand so tightly. But we kept going. We had to walk past the high school [Norview High School, Norfolk, Virginia], and that's where most of the parents were and the police and walk on a side street to get to the middle school [Norview Junior High School; Norview Middle School, Norfolk, Virginia]. There weren't as many on that route as it had been near the high school, because there were six black students going into the white schools, so they were there for them. But they were brought in cars, so the parents only had us to attack, because we were walking. Well, we kept going, and the police let us pass by, because we were going on to the middle school. I was okay with that, because I was holding his hand. My fear came when I got to the school. There was a sign that said the seventh graders had to go around the side. The eighth graders had to come in the front door. I don't know why I didn't think that I would not be with him all day. I knew he was in seventh grade and I was in eighth grade, but it just hadn't crossed my young mind that I would not be watching out for him all day. So, I had to think, and there was a great big tree. So I told them, I said, "Well, Skip [James Turner, Jr.], you're going to be with your friends, and the four of you are going to be together. But what I want you to do is, see this tree? When school is over, the four of you be standing right here waiting for me." It wasn't out of fear for me. I was the oldest; I was supposed to take care of them, so I had to take them back home. And I was thinking the same thing was going to happen going home that happened coming to school. So, I had to watch out for them. And you had asked me before, what I was thinking. I was thinking I was the oldest, and it was my place to watch out for them. I wasn't thinking anybody was going to hurt us, but I was thinking they were going to throw rocks and everything at us again, and I was supposed to watch out for them. So I hadn't thought about myself being alone. I don't know why, but I hadn't thought about that.$But in the eleventh grade [at Norview High School, Norfolk, Virginia], something happened. Number one, the 17 [Norfolk 17] had already passed two grades, including the grade they were going into, so we had to be smart. I passed the eighth grade, ninth grade, and tenth grade tests to get into the eighth grade [at Norview Middle School, Norfolk, Virginia]. By the eleventh grade, the children began to realize this. And especially I was over exceptional in math; I was taking calculus in eleventh grade. There was a boy that--a white boy, 'cause nobody else was there. He came one day and asked me if I would help him with his algebra, because he needed algebra to graduate, whereas I was taking calculus. And I was so quiet, he just figured maybe I could help him. Well, I helped this boy. Every day, he would come to my table at lunch. A lot of them would come by the eleventh grade. But I would help him at lunch with his algebra, which was his next class. When his parents found out, they didn't move him from the school, they left the whole state. They just moved, because they found out that I was helping him. He had asked me to go to the prom. I was going to go with him to the prom; he was my friend. I had three friends when I graduated, him and two girls. When they found out I had helped him with algebra and he had asked me to the prom, that's when they moved. I never saw that boy again. I found out at our forty-fifth reunion that he had died. All right, these three gave me gifts at graduation. My class, when they called my name for graduation, my class gave me a standing ovation. These were the same people that had done unmentionable things to me for four years. But at graduation they realized, number one, I wasn't going away, and number two, I was smart as the dickens, so they accepted me. During those four years, I'd had questions asked. You see, the children were children, no matter what the color of their skin. They were only doing what they had been taught. I was against what they were learning at home. Number one, my hair was down my back. They said all black people had short hair and put all kinds of grease and stuff in it, so stay away from them, they smelled funny. I was against the rule. Number two, we were supposed to be stupid, because we had been slaves and we never did learn anything. I was smarter than most of them. So, I was against the rule. They were just as confused over me as I was confused over why were they treating me that way. I was [U.S.] military. When daddy [James Turner, Sr.] took us to the base, some of these same children were playing with me on the base [Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia] who would call me names at school, because they were with their peers. If they had been as nice to me as they were on the base in school, they would have beat them up too. So, they were living in a confused world as much as I was.

Imam Vernon Fareed

Religious and civic leader Vernon M. Fareed was born on December 31, 1953 in Norfolk, Virginia. Throughout his childhood, his parents instilled strong values that followed him through his life, despite segregation. Raised a Christian, he joined the Nation of Islam at the age of eighteen. He converted to the traditional form of Islam in 1975.

In 2000, Fareed became a member of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC). He went on to become the chair of the Tidewater Chapter and serve on its state board. In 2005 Imam Fareed became the first Muslim of African-American descent to offer the invocation for the Virginia State Senate. Fareed also wrote for the New Journal and Guide newspaper in 1983 as a columnist, and he currently serves as the Manager and President of Salaam Investment Group, LLC. Since 1976, Fareed has been the Imam of Masjid [Mosque] William Salaam which helps to serve almost 6,000 Muslims in the Hampton Roads’ community.

For his religious work, Fareed received an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Bishop Jessie Featherston at Trinity Mission University in 1997. He also received VCIC’s National Humanitarian Award in 2006 for his community involvement. Fareed has served on many boards including the Ministers Advisory Committee to Norfolk’s Police Chief, the FBI Multi-Cultural Advisory Board and Religions for Peace RFP-USA, the largest representative interreligious organization in the world. In addition, he was selected as the National Convener of the Sectional Imams in 2009. Fareed wrote the spiritual book Uniformity in Prayer published in 2008.

Vernon Fareed was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 12, 2010.

Fareed passed away on September 12, 2017 at age 63.

Accession Number

A2010.019

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/12/2010

Last Name

Fareed

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

M.

Occupation
Schools

Smallwood School

Old Dominion University

Madison School

Matthew Fontaine Maury High School

First Name

Vernon

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

FAR04

Favorite Season

Eid

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

12/31/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Norfolk

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Death Date

9/12/2017

Short Description

Civic leader and imam Imam Vernon Fareed (1953 - 2017 ) was the distinguished leader of the Masjid William Salaam and has won many awards for his work in the community including the VCIC's Humanitarian Award in 2007.

Employment

Masjid William Salaam

Fareed's Fragrances

Naval Aviation Depot

Favorite Color

Earth Tones

Timing Pairs
0,0:10437,184:14821,236:17150,254:22596,414:39610,694:40046,699:52595,983:66019,1139:68611,1173:69178,1181:69988,1192:70960,1205:88632,1441:89298,1455:95810,1570:100710,1589:104738,1657:106334,1690:106714,1696:112566,1805:121180,1887:125680,1954:126955,2014:127255,2019:127630,2025:135432,2091:135708,2096:140262,2226:151120,2348:151760,2395:157938,2453:163746,2515:164186,2547:177280,2751:177770,2761:182880,2874:184560,2909:191660,2991:210910,3363:211594,3414:215698,3492:216306,3506:227215,3712:229510,3800:246716,4005:261602,4221:262515,4234:277180,4387:277540,4392:288280,4615$0,0:4684,89:6576,128:19160,266:19464,271:28128,421:42652,599:42980,604:52574,732:66732,854:67546,868:68212,878:70095,925:93968,1262:95462,1280:96126,1291:125844,1792:142830,2029:143178,2034:156548,2224:164890,2323
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Imam Vernon Fareed's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Imam Vernon Fareed lists his favorites

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

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Imam Vernon Fareed talks about his paternal ancestor's service in the Revolutionary War

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Imam Vernon Fareed remembers his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Imam Vernon Fareed talks about his father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Imam Vernon Fareed lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Imam Vernon Fareed remembers the Smallwood School in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Imam Vernon Fareed talks about his early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Imam Vernon Fareed remembers his early religious education

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Imam Vernon Fareed recalls his frustration with the lack of black history curriculum

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Imam Vernon Fareed remembers his student government campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes his meeting with the superintendent of the Norfolk Public Schools

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Imam Vernon Fareed talks about his introduction to the Nation of Islam

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Imam Vernon Fareed recalls his early interest in business

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Imam Vernon Fareed remembers the desegregation of Matthew Fontaine Maury High School in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Imam Vernon Fareed recalls the street culture of his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Imam Vernon Fareed remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes his early career aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Imam Vernon Fareed recalls joining the Nation of Islam

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes his duties as a member of the Nation of Islam

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Imam Vernon Fareed talks about the transition of leadership in the Nation of Islam

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Imam Vernon Fareed talks about the story of Yakub

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Imam Vernon Fareed remembers the Nation of Islam's military hierarchy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Imam Vernon Fareed talks about Minister Louis Farrakhan's revival of the Nation of Islam

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes his spiritual journey

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Imam Vernon Fareed talks about the spiritual guidance of Warith Deen Mohammed

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes how he became an imam

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Imam Vernon Fareed recalls his role in the development of the American mathhab

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Imam Vernon Fareed talks about his civic activities

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes his interfaith activism

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes his role on the FBI's multicultural advisory board

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Imam Vernon Fareed talks about radicalism in the Muslim American community, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Imam Vernon Fareed remembers meeting with international Muslim leaders

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Imam Vernon Fareed talks about radicalism in the Muslim American community, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Imam Vernon Fareed talks about his writing projects

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Imam Vernon Fareed remembers his pilgrimage to Mecca

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes his relationship with the Focolare Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes his role as an international representative of the African American Muslim community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Imam Vernon Fareed reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Imam Vernon Fareed reflects upon his legacy

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

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Imam Vernon Fareed talks about sharia law

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Imam Vernon Fareed describes how he would like to be remembered

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DATitle
Imam Vernon Fareed talks about his introduction to the Nation of Islam
Imam Vernon Fareed describes his interfaith activism
Transcript
Tell me this now, you're twelve years old, 1960 was this '5 [1965]? We're talking about?$$Yes, I was born in '53 [1953] so (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Fifty-three [1953] so six, sixty, yeah--$$Sixty--$$--seven [1967].$$No, sixty, sixty--$$Nineteen sixty--$$--sixty-five [1965].$$Sixty-five [1965].$$About '65 [1965].$$Okay.$$Nineteen sixty-five [1965].$$All right, okay. So, '65 [1965] now is a time period where a lot of Af- not only African Americans but people around the nation become more aware of the Nation of Islam.$$Um-hm.$$How aware were you of the Nation of Islam in '65 [1965]? Now, that was the year Malcolm X was assassinated. That was all over the news--$$Right.$$--and some years previously they had a CBS re- I think it was '61 [1961] or '62 [sic. 1959], Mike Wallace produced 'The Hate That Hate Produced' (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) 'Hate Produced,' right.$$--about the--$$Exactly.$$--Nation of Islam--$$Yeah.$$--which portrayed a basically negative light.$$Yes. Yeah, I was vaguely aware of the role of the Nation of Islam at that time. As I, as--in the, in the black neighborhoods at that time you had groups emerging, Nation of Islam, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee [SNCC], they came along later on, you had the Black Panther Party, black liberation movement, you had all these different groups that were emerging to address oppression and racism, Jim Crow laws, et cetera. So just be, just living in the black community at that time you couldn't help but know something about these groups but I can't say that I was at that time familiar with their teachings. You know, it was a little later--a few years later where I became--and in, my first introduction really came from just guys in the neighborhood. Was a couple of guys, I don't, I don't want to call their names but there was a couple of guys that were in the neighborhood who were a little older than me but they were abreast, they knew, they were familiar with the teachings of the Nation of Islam and they would just stand around and just, you know, talk about those teachings, talk about the swine as you know especially black Muslims at that time--you didn't, one of the things you didn't do was eat pork. So, they would talk about the swine, the pork and really that's what stopped me from--that's when I stopped eating pork and I remember telling my mother [Minnie Burts Hood] that I didn't want to eat anymore pork. My mother was--I guess, because I was the baby boy she was very open to things that I wanted to do, whatever I wanted to do she was, she was kind of opened to it. And, so I--what I'm saying that she didn't say, "Boy, you're crazy, you lost your mind, you've been eating pork all your life." She didn't say any of that, you know; she just kind of went along with it. And, from that point on when she, when she prepared the food for the family she would prepare something separate for me, you know, like fish or chicken or something else, she would, she would so something separate for me.$$So, pork was a big part of what you all were eating most of the time.$$Yes.$$Okay.$$Yes, I mean, you know, family at that time that's what you ate, you know, a lot of. So, but after I had told her that I didn't want to eat anymore pork. Now at that time I wasn't a member of the Nation of Islam, I had just become influenced by those teachings.$$Now, what did they tell you about pork that made you want to not eat it (laughter)?$$(Laughter) Well the teaching at that time was that the swine was composed of three animals, rat, cat and dog, one third rat, one third cat and one third dog. And, I mean, it just talked about, you know, from the rooter to the tooter, you know, eating that, it just a lot of, a lot of jargon and, a lot of rhetoric and, you know, our minds were impressionable, you know, at that time and it had an effect on me to the point where I said, "I don't even want to eat it anymore of that," you know. So, I stopped eating it and as time went on, you know, I began to learn a little bit more and a little bit more and a little bit more about what the Honorable, Honorable Elijah Muhammad was teaching, may God forgive him his sins and give him paradise. What he was teaching and what that movement called Nation of Islam was all about and I eventually became a member of the Nation of Islam.$$Okay. Now, did you become a member in high school [Matthew Fontaine Maury High School, Norfolk, Virginia] or did you, or was it after?$$No, in 1972 I think it was, 19--around 1972 (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Okay. Let, le- let's--$$Nineteen seventy-three [1973].$Some years ago right after 9/11 [September 11, 2001], they had an interfaith group--they called together an interfaith group to have a, a big interfaith prayer service at the convention center downtown. I was the Muslim that they called, they asked to be a part of that organizing group--committee. We had a successful prayer service, interfaith prayer service, big event. I have on tap right now, this month a lot of speaking engagements. Every week we've been except well, I say one weekend we were without any invitations but every other weekend in this month, one coming up, one we just had last week at a twelve hundred member church in Virginia Beach [Virginia], Pastor Andy Meade's church, I can't recall the name of his church, Vineyard, Vineyard Community Church. On the 23rd of this month I'm scheduled to be with Pastor Michael Simone at Spring Branch Community Church [Virginia Beach, Virginia] and he has a large congregation about two thousand members and he and I have worked together on--through the years so it's not a new relationship, it's not like a onetime thing. He and I have been working together on things in the community for a number of years. And, so a few months ago he approached me and asked to interview me at his, for his service, his main service on Sunday. He has two services 'cause of the size of his congregation, one at nine [o'clock] and one at 11:15 I believe and the whole service, both services are going to be comprised of interviewing me about Islam, about our religion. It will be taped, there will be streaming, there will be recording, opportunities for people to call and ask questions et cetera. But one of the things that he wants to do with it he told me is that he wants to use it for his class because he teaches at Saint Leo's University [Saint Leo University, Saint Leo, Florida] and he teaches a class on world religions. And he interviewed a rabbi about five years ago, a rabbi whom I know about five years for the same purpose. And he uses the DVD recording from that to, for his students when it comes to Judaism he just gives them that video. So he has said that he would do that same thing--he wants to do the same thing with this. He wants to use what he learns from the interview that he conducts with us to share with his students in his class.