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Andrew Heidelberg

Norfolk 17 member Andrew Heidelberg was born on November 6, 1943 in Norfolk, Virginia to Lena and Colonal Heidelberg. After desegregation rulings by federal judges in 1957 and 1959 against a fight led by Governor J. Lindsay Almond, Heidelberg began his education at Norview High School, five years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education. At the age of fourteen, Heidelberg joined sixteen other African Americans selected out of the 151 who had applied to attend all-white schools. Split between three junior high and three high schools, The Norfolk 17 started Norfolk’s schools’ integration efforts in Virginia. In 1961 during his senior year, Heidelberg made the school football team and was the first African American to play varsity football at an all-white public school in Virginia and in the South. That same year, his team won the Eastern District championship for the State of Virginia and brought together black and white families alike.

In 1967, Heidelberg entered the banking industry and worked at Industrial National Bank of Providence, Rhode Island. He became the bank’s first African American Branch Manager, Credit Officer, and Commercial Loan Officer before he left in 1976 to found Heidelberg, Clary & Associates, Inc. After the firm closed, Heidelberg worked at Barclays Bank of New York and Banco de Ponce-New York as a Vice President and Corporate Manager. In 2001, Heidelberg graduated from Norfolk State University with his B.S. degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. He went on to serve as Assistant Treasurer and Chief Deputy Treasurer for the City of Hampton in 2003. He returned to Norview High School in 2009 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of “Massive Resistance” in Virginia.

Heidelberg was selected by Governor Mark Warner in 2005 to serve a two-year term as a member of the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Awards Committee. He was appointed to serve two additional consecutive two-year terms (through 2011) by Governor Tim Kaine. In 2006 he published his story in the book The Norfolk 17: A Personal Narrative on Desegregation in Norfolk, Virginia in 1958-1962. Heidelberg also finished writing a screenplay in 2009 based on the book The Colored Halfback scheduled for publication in 2010.

Heidelberg passed away on July 6, 2015 at the age of 71.

Andrew Heidelberg was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 10, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.015

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/10/2010 |and| 5/13/2010

5/10/2010

5/13/2010

Last Name

Heidelberg

Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Norview High School

Norfolk State University

Oakwood Elementary School

First Name

Andrew

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

HEI04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bermuda

Favorite Quote

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Interview Description
Birth Date

11/6/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hampton

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Seafood

Death Date

7/6/2015

Short Description

Banker, civic leader, and cultural heritage lecturer Andrew Heidelberg (1943 - 2015 ) was a member of The Norfolk 17 who strove for desegregation in the South in the late 1950s. He lectured at events about the impact of segregation and civil rights.

Employment

Norfolk 17: A Personal Narrative

Beacon At The Crossroads

Hampton Treasurer's Office

Eastland Savings Bank

Banco de Ponce New York

Barclays Bank of New York

Heidelberg, Clary and Associates, Inc.

Fleet National Bank

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Andrew Heidelberg's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Andrew Heidelberg lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about his father's name

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls his father's talents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his paternal grandmother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about the origin of his father's first name

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his paternal grandmother's murder

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about his father's occupation

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about medical care available to African Americans in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his childhood homes

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls his jobs as a young boy

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his personality as a young boy

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls attending school at Bank Street Baptist Church in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers moving to Chesapeake Manor in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls attending Oakwood Elementary School in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his desire to excel academically

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls the discipline at Oakwood Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers how he came to join the Norfolk 17, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers how he came to join the Norfolk 17, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls the organizing efforts of Evelyn T. Butts

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Andrew Heidelberg describes segregation in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls the selection of the Norfolk 17

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about the admission process for Norview High School in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls his mother's advice about interacting with white students

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers the closing of public schools in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls his nonviolence training from the NAACP

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his fear of desegregating Norview High School in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about the emotional toll of desegregating Norview High School

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls adapting to an integrated school environment

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Andrew Heidelberg describes the effects of school closings in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls the segregationist leadership in Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls the reopening of public schools in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers walking to Norview High School on his first day

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls arriving at Norview High School on his first day

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his first day at Norview High School

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls meeting a sympathetic student

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers the African American workers at Norview High School

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about his lunch period at Norview High School in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Andrew Heidelberg describes Norview High School's football history

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls his isolation at Norview High School in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his treatment at Norview High School

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls playing intramural sports at Norview High School

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers trying out for Norview High School's football team

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls being rejected from the football team

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Andrew Heidelberg describes the Church of God and Saints of Christ in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls joining the football team at Norview High School in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about the dehumanizing rumors about African Americans

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls desegregation of Norview High School football games

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Andrew Heidelberg describes integration at Norview High School

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls the fifty-year reunion of the Norfolk 17

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his football career with Norview High School

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls playing football in Prince Edward County, Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls playing football in Prince Edward County, Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers a racist encounter in a white community

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls discriminatory refereeing during a football game

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Andrew Heidelberg describes the erasure of Virginia's desegregation history

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Andrew Heidelberg explains why he shares the history of the Norfolk 17

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls his academics at Norview High School in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his good grades at Norfolk State College in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls his decision to attend Norfolk State College

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Slating of Andrew Heidelberg's interview, session 2

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls his reasons for attending Norfolk State College in Norfolk, Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls his reasons for attending Norfolk State College in Norfolk, Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his college football contemporaries

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls his motivations at Norfolk State College

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers his football career at Norfolk State College

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his academic experiences at Norfolk State College

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls being recruited to the Rhode Island Steelers

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers joining the Pittsburgh Steelers

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls his experiences at the Pittsburgh Steelers training camp

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers his teammates on the Pittsburgh Steelers

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Andrew Heidelberg reflects upon his unusual name

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls working at Industrial National Bank in Providence, Rhode Island

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Andrew Heidelberg describes a problematic advertising campaign at Industrial National Bank

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls helping to apprehend a bank robber

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about improving the diversity of an advertising campaign at Industrial National Bank

Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls asking to join the managerial training program at Industrial National Bank

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls being accepted to Industrial National Bank's management program

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about his promotion to branch manager

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Andrew Heidelberg describes the history of Industrial National Bank

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls managing a bank branch in Cranston, Rhode Island

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about his experiences in the credit department at Industrial National Bank

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers his mentor, Arthur Lowenthal

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Andrew Heidelberg describes the prejudice against his mentor, Arthur Lowenthal

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls his plan to start his own business

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls partnering with Anderson W. Clary, Jr.

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers founding Heidelberg, Clary and Associates, Inc.

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls the aid of the Jimmy Carter Administration

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his earliest contracts with Heidelberg, Clary and Associates, Inc.

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls being hired at Barclays Bank of New York

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Andrew Heidelberg describes the racial demographics of Barclays Bank of New York

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about his experiences at Barclays Bank of New York

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls leaving Barclays Bank of New York

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers joining Banco de Ponce

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls investing in the film 'First Blood'

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers his client, Dr. Michael Truppin

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls leaving Banco de Ponce

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about his return to Rhode Island

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls returning to Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers working at Beacon at the Crossroads in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - Andrew Heidelberg recalls publishing his first book

Tape: 13 Story: 8 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his second book, 'The Colored Halfback'

Tape: 13 Story: 9 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about his hopes for his books

Tape: 13 Story: 10 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Andrew Heidelberg reflects upon his life

Tape: 14 Story: 3 - Andrew Heidelberg reflects upon his legacy, pt. 1

Tape: 14 Story: 4 - Andrew Heidelberg remembers the death of his brother

Tape: 14 Story: 5 - Andrew Heidelberg reflects upon his legacy, pt. 2

Tape: 14 Story: 6 - Andrew Heidelberg describes his family

Tape: 14 Story: 7 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about The HistoryMakers

Tape: 14 Story: 8 - Andrew Heidelberg talks about his religious faith

Tape: 14 Story: 9 - Andrew Heidelberg describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 15 Story: 1 - Andrew Heidelberg narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 15 Story: 2 - Andrew Heidelberg narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

4$6

DATitle
Andrew Heidelberg describes his first day at Norview High School
Andrew Heidelberg remembers the African American workers at Norview High School
Transcript
And so the bell rang (makes sound). So then Fred [Alvarez Gonsouland] and I, as slowly as we're walking, went up the steps [of Norview High School, Norfolk, Virginia]. And I really didn't, I had never been to high school, so I didn't really know what I was supposed to do, you know. And the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] had told us nothing about this. So I said to Fred, I said, "Where do we go now?" (Laughter) So, and I don't even know how he knew. He said, "I have to go, I have to report to the cafeteria. I don't know where you go." I said, "Where do I go?" (Laughter) He say, he said, "Well, follow these freshmen here." And it was a whole bunch of them. He said, "Just follow them." So, so, and when you got inside it was like, oh, they were all around you, you know. And so, Freddy went on his way, and that was the last that I saw of Freddy. Now--$$So you were by yourself in a sea of (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I was by myself.$$--white freshmen.$$Oh yeah, oh yeah. So--$$And were they doing the same thing--$$Oh, they were just calling names, and, and they couldn't even walk in front. They could turn around--"Hey we got a nigger here." "Why don't you go home, nigger?" "Get out of our school," you know, and all the way down, and, and, and, and I was just following them. And then we went on down, and then I saw the sign said gymnasium, freshmen--I mean auditorium, freshman. So then I, I turned the corner, and I was following, and I walked in, so. When I walked into the auditorium, man, it was like, they started to singing. I could hear it coming. I didn't know the school had a balcony in the auditorium. All I could hear was, (singing) "Fe-fe-fi-fi-fo-fo-fum, I smell a nigger in the auditorium, Charlie Brown." I mean, and, and it was, it was like, it was--you know how the rock singers sing? That's what they were doing. I mean they were like--and I'm saying, "Oh," and then everybody in there turned around and started looking. So then I looked and I saw down, the teachers were standing down in front of the stage, and they had tables. I guess they were giving the assignments, so. And they, they were just singing. They were all around us, "Go home, nigger; go home, nigger." So, I walked down. I said well, best thing I'd better do is go down here as close to the teachers as I possibly can because if they try to kill me, hopefully the teachers (laughter), you know, to at least try to stop them from killing me, right. So, I got, I got down to the--near the front, so. And then I saw a row, you know, and I went in about maybe four rows from the front and went in. I went into the aisle and you know, I walked and I sat down right in the middle. Man, as soon as I sat down, everybody in that row that I was (laughter) on got up and left. Everybody in the row in front of got up and left. Everybody in the row behind me got up and left. And all of a sudden, from the place being jammed packed, here I was sitting with nobody. And I mean they just like--and I, I really didn't even know what to do. And so the teachers called my name, "Heidelberg [HistoryMaker Andrew Heidelberg]," and so I went up. I went up, and she gave me my, my, my schedule, and I walked out. I didn't really know where--I had to go to the, my homeroom class, but I didn't really know where it was 'til I got back in the hall and I realized it was up on the second floor. And I followed, I followed that up to the second floor. And so I saw the numbers and went into the classroom. So when I got in the classroom, I wanted to sit--they had, the classroom had a window, the long windows on the side. So I said well, I'm gonna sit by the window, that way if they try to lynch me, I can jump out the window. You know, I was (laughter)--I thought that's my quickest ex- I mean, it, this was survival. You was thinking how do I get out of here if they--because I'm, I'm, I was so sure somebody, they were gonna try to kill me, and there was no question about it. So, so I go in, and I sat down right on the second row on the end, on the end, second row. The guy in front of me got up; the girl beside me got up; and the guy in the back of me got up, so again I had my own space. And you know, and the teacher was standing up there, and I'm saying to her--and they, they come in, "Why do we have to have a nigger in our classroom?" "We don't want no niggers in here." I'm thinking the teacher is gonna say, "Hey, hey, calm down." She just let it; she just (laughter) let it. I mean it just went on until the, the bell rang the second time, when you're supposed to be in your homeroom, you know. And so, so she said, "Well, okay, class calm down," and she started calling the roll. And I mean they were like, shooting spit wads at me, throwing paperclips, you know. And, and she never, ever, ever said a freaking word to any one of them. And it was, it was like--so then, I mean it, it, that, that first day was so bad. You know, like I, I--you, you know, you go to every class, and in every class it was the same exact thing.$So, I walked on down, and the line got shorter. And I mean, I got to the door where you go in, right. And one of the reasons--(crying)--whoa. I got to the door and like, there were like, black people serving the food. And they were so proud of me. I think about that 'cause, you know, all my life you done heard--you, you see movies, and, and they always have them Stepin Fletchit [sic. Stepin Fetchit] type people talking, who can't talk, and old slow talking and stuff like that. And when I walked in there, there was like, these two black ladies and, and a black guy, (crying) and I knew her 'cause I used to like--I knew her daughter. I used to like, go with her daughter. I didn't know she worked there. She said, "How you doing, [HistoryMaker] Andrew Heidelberg?" She just called my whole name loud. It just made me feel so good, you know, like, 'cause they didn't tell you that black people talk like that. She ain't scared of no white people, at all; you could tell, her voice. It just made me feel--and all the other white--other black ladies said, "Hi, Andrew Heidelberg." And then the black guy, he was--had a big pot in his hand, man, he said, "How you doing, son?" You know what I'm saying? And it's like, they didn't care that there were white people there; I mean it didn't mean nothing. I just can't tell you how, how it made me feel. It was like whoa, you know, like, thank you; I needed that. And they said, "What you want to eat?" You know what I'm saying, you know, like--and you know, you smile, man, and, and, and I--and they say, "You, don't worry." I mean the look on their face, I never seen people so proud of me. I, I, I didn't even know what I had done. But just the fact that I was there [Norview High School, Norfolk, Virginia], to them, you know, and, and, and that's when I knew that it meant something more. You know, you, you look at them, she was like in her thirties, and the guy was like--I mean, they were so proud, man. It was like whoa; I mean it gave me a whole different perspective of what happened, because it was like they, they, they were waiting. They, they, they waited. You know, it's, I guess it's the same feeling like I felt when Obama [HistoryMaker President Barack Obama] got elected. It was like whoa, man, look at this, I mean, the, the tears. I mean they were just, I mean they smiled and, man, they called my name so loud. I mean that was what got me. And they called my whole name. She said, "How are you doing, Andrew Heidelberg?" And man, and everybody in there looked around, and they weren't gonna say nothing to her. You know what I'm saying?

John Terry

Technology entrepreneur and electrical engineer John Terry was born on September 29, 1966 in Norfolk, Virginia. He grew up with his mother, Deborah Kathleen Terry, and his grandparents in the Liberty Park public housing project in Norfolk with his two younger siblings. Terry dreamed of becoming a professional basketball player. However, he could not stay on the school team because he had to work to help support his family. His high school guidance counselor helped him win a scholarship to Old Dominion University where he earned his B.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1988.

After graduation, he moved to Cleveland, Ohio to work at the NASA Lewis Research Center. He was an experimental research engineer whose work focused on satellite communications. Terry connected his signal processing undergraduate research with his NASA communications research for his master's degree on array signal processing, also known as MIMO technology. While working at NASA, Terry attended graduate school and earned his M.S. degree from Cleveland State University in 1993. After NASA, Terry worked at Texas Instruments as a satellite systems engineer in 1995. Next, he attended the Georgia Institute of Technology and received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering and research in 1999.

Terry started working at the Nokia Corporation's Research Center in Dallas, Texas just before he finished his Ph.D. degree. He worked his way up and eventually became one of Nokia's principal scientists where he worked to improve Nokia’s wireless service. In 2001, Terry founded his own company, Terry Consultants, Incorporated (TCI). The company specializes in helping businesses develop and apply new wireless technologies. Terry owns or co-owns more than seventeen issued and pending patents. In 2004, he spent a year as director of WiQuest Communications for baseband systems engineering and in 2005, he co-founded Witivity, which helps customer's use of broadband wireless technology.

Terry has published two books, Blind Adaptive Array Techniques for Mobile Satellite Communications (1999) and OFDM Wireless LANs: A Theoretical and Practical Guide (2001, with Juha Heiskala). He has received a number of awards including the 2002 Black Engineer of the Year Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution in an Industry. He has published several articles and taught classes at Southern Methodist University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Technology in Helsinki, Finland. Terry has also been very active in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE). Terry and his wife, Barbara Terry, reside in Virginia. They have three sons, Amiel, William, and Shalamar and one granddaughter, Arianna.

John Terry was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 13, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.236

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/13/2007

Last Name

Terry

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Old Dominion University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Cleveland State University

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

TER04

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Youth, Teens, Adults, Professionals

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Youth, Teens, Adults, Professionals

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Costa Rica

Favorite Quote

I came. I saw. I conquered.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/29/1966

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Technology entrepreneur and electrical engineer John Terry (1966 - ) founded Terry Consultants, Incorporated, a company that helps businesses develop and apply new wireless technologies. He is also the owner or co-owner of seventeen issued and pending patents.

Employment

Lewis Research Center

Raytheon TI Systems

Nokia Corporation Research Center

WiQuest Communications

Terry Consulting

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:7032,138:20016,342:25122,467:26084,514:26380,519:31750,547:38895,704:46358,858:47320,883:49466,941:49984,950:63520,1086:64880,1108:66612,1127:77220,1357:89570,1584:103650,1853:106686,1939:116928,2114:117568,2130:117824,2135:119168,2162:121472,2219:123904,2321:131072,2494:131392,2500:140076,2614:143770,2722:146825,2778:148645,2822:149035,2831:149360,2838:154040,2951:154300,2956:154625,2962:162382,3040:162767,3046:163152,3053:163614,3060:164230,3069:166541,3091:172613,3255:175511,3392:175787,3397:184274,3670:185171,3694:192550,3728:197742,3844:202054,3951:202494,3957:204958,4040:206102,4064:217245,4237:219522,4297:219867,4310:226767,4549:227319,4564:229044,4602:230493,4642:240070,4750:240466,4758:244228,4866:245350,4891:245812,4900:246076,4905:250816,4962:260644,5209:263290,5255:263731,5261:264676,5278:271900,5337:272894,5357:282395,5551:283637,5582:291365,5825:291779,5833:295850,5941:296402,5950:296678,5955:308810,6045$0,0:14904,319:23465,394:24440,423:26915,483:32315,611:32915,625:39429,676:40430,699:42894,758:43433,766:43741,771:45512,798:45820,804:48284,908:49208,931:49670,938:50902,951:52673,968:53058,975:53443,981:60859,1048:61175,1053:66502,1172:67658,1193:69426,1230:77722,1425:82618,1539:83094,1546:89360,1567:94258,1701:95870,1740:102820,1863:103120,1924:107470,1997:114210,2046:120650,2156:124150,2253:124990,2314:132404,2417:136280,2507:138180,2546:141860,2552:142420,2564:144900,2614:149745,2671:161690,2863:165048,2935:168406,2992:170888,3034:181840,3204:182488,3214:187888,3327:191632,3407:195910,3413:196630,3427:198214,3477:198862,3505:199150,3543:201598,3576:204838,3657:206782,3700:208294,3752:221840,3932:225782,4023:227242,4055:227899,4065:228629,4132:233340,4168:247994,4393:253006,4433:254938,4480:255274,4485:255694,4503:263784,4581:275276,4779:280826,4897:289440,5040:294180,5150:295740,5202:307663,5353:308433,5455:314747,5555:316364,5576:330183,5768:335147,5881:338578,6003:346495,6093:357145,6365:362604,6410:365607,6483:371844,6615:372537,6625:373384,6643:381010,6757:381318,6762:391790,6971:393099,7001:413120,7352:413360,7357:413600,7362:414560,7384:415100,7394:416780,7435:419940,7454
DAStories

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

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Terry shares his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Terry talks about his mother's side of the family, part 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Terry talks about his mother's side of the family, part 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Terry talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Terry talks about his grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Terry recalls his childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Terry describes some church experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Terry remembers early troubles in school

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Terry describes his childhood friends and his elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Terry talks about attending integrated schools

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Terry describes the early computers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Terry talks about his first two jobs, as a paper boy and at a neighbor's candy shop

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Terry remembers the men he knew in his neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Terry talks about Lake Taylor Senior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Terry talks about how experience on the basketball court taught him valuable life lessons

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Terry talks about the politics of basketball and his high school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Terry recounts his awkwardness as a teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Terry talks about how he continued to push himself academically which led to him being hired at NASA

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Terry describes how he was admitted to Old Dominion University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Terry talks about his brother's feeling of competitiveness and inferiority

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Terry describes his experience at Old Dominion University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Terry talks about his graduate work and NASA

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John Terry describes his research about signal processing and satellite communications, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John Terry describes his research about signal processing and satellite communications, part 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John Terry explains wireless communication and matching electronic signatures between electronic devices and satellites

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John Terry describes his early jobs at Texas Instruments and at Nokia Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John Terry describes leaving Nokia for a start-up company

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John Terry talks about starting his consulting business, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John Terry talks about starting his consulting business, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John Terry discusses why he did not want to use venture capital to fund his company

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John Terry shares his plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John Terry talks about his heroes in the black business world

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John Terry describes his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John Terry describes his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John Terry shares about his wife, son, and how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
John Terry talks about how he continued to push himself academically which led to him being hired at NASA
John Terry describes leaving Nokia for a start-up company
Transcript
(Unclear) Did you do the prom and all this sort of thing?$$I worked, worked the night of the prom. Interesting, I was, I never went to a graduation until I got my Ph.D. So I wouldn't go. I didn't go the high school graduation, didn't go to the my college graduation, didn't go to my master's, didn't go until I got my Ph.D.$$Okay, now was that a conscious decision?$$It's a conscious decision.$$So you had tracked yourself to go after a Ph.D.--$$No, no, actually, when I first got my high school, when I got my high school, when it was time to graduate and I was just, I just, just would challenge myself. I said, anybody can get a high school education. That's not really anything that be all that proud of, you know. Why am I rushing to go to this thing? And I didn't have a date, and I mean that's probably one of my main reasons why I didn't go. Then it kind of followed through to college. I mean I, even though I got inducted into the National Honor Society in college, and I was like the only, maybe one, I was like only two black guys, you know, in the whole (unclear) class in my sophomore year. You know, I started, you know, starting to feel like, yeah, I was really starting to do something that wasn't that easy to do. And I really started to feel a little bit proud of myself, but I still wanted to keep that edge. And when it was time to go to graduation, I said, well, you know, any old clown can get a BS in electrical engineering, you know. And I had a job at NASA lined up. And so then I went to NASA and, you know, they, you know, they had on-campus program where, you know, the university professors came and taught at a univi--and taught at work. So we didn't have to leave work. We could (unclear) right at the on campus. I mean I didn't go to the campus till like, you know, I had to go pick up my diploma. And that was the first time I had to go on (unclear). So then I thought, nah, that's not like a real college experience. You know, I was making up these excused why I didn't go to graduation till I went to Georgia Tech. And that was the whole, I mean it was all about trying to keep pushing myself to the, you know, to my limits. And then the whole time I'm playing basketball, playing against D-1 [Division One Basketball] ballplayers, killing 'em. I mean like, I'm like, I can see how good I would a been because I filled out. I got bigger and stronger and faster at the same time. So I'm like playing against guys playing Division One right there, and I'm like twenty-two, twenty-three, and I'm killing 'em on the court. I'm faster, stronger, they can't check me. I can shut them down. So I was like, ah, you know, I coulda, you know, it was important to know that I could a, I coulda went to college and played D-1 ball And it was important to me to prove to myself. Again, that whole experience, when I learned not to let other people determine my value for my decisions. So I started only doing things for myself and being able to prove that I coulda played D-1 ball was a thing that I always wondered about. And then, but when I start, and then I got into my career at NASA, I came from Old Dominion [University, Norfolk, Virginia], and Old Dominion's okay for the Southeast coast, but NASA people are from Purdue [University, West Lafayette, Indiana] and Notre Dame [The University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana] the Ohio State [University, Columbus, Ohio], University of Illinois, Urbana-Campaign [University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois], all these big, big schools. And here I got tossed back in that same familiar environment where I had to prove myself again which is just the right breeding ground for me to excel. And that first year, I won an award, an achievement award for saving the government like 300,000 dollars with an idea that I worked on.$$At Old Dominion?$$No, no, this is when I had just graduated from Old Dominion. And this is my first year at--$$Cleveland [Ohio]--?$$It's NASA Glenn [Glenn Research Center] now. It's NASA Glenn now. It was NASA Lewis [Lewis Research Center] at the time I was there. And that was actually a really interesting program because NASA purposely went out to create diversity in their recruitment. And so it was a whole bunch of us. And there used to be a picture at the, at--what's the Cleveland Airport? I can't think of it. Hopkins? Is it Hopkins or something?$$Yeah, I think so.$$Yeah, the Cleveland Hopkins Airport [Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, Cleveland, Ohio] and it was a picture of the whole group. And I was the only one, always missing our group. I was always working and missed the photo shoot. But that whole group of people, it's interesting if you ever can get a copy of that and you track, you know, they went to the University of Puerto Rico [San Juan, Puerto Rico]. They got people from all over the country, from schools up in New York, if you track the careers of that group that came into NASA at that time, myself included, all of them are doing very well, very well. But at the time, it was an unpopular decision. They thought they were just, you know, these kids, you know, you just, they're just some sort of diverse, some sort of affirmative action, you know, number crunching thing. You know, these guys will never be successful, but everybody from that group, and it was like twenty or thirty of us because I know at least, at least ten personally. Almost all of us got our masters. Some got their Ph.D.'s. Some went on to be lawyers. In that whole group, and it was a very good program. I mean NASA should be very, very proud of themselves.$$(Unclear) There's a group that needed opportunities.$$Yeah, well, but just to give us an opportunity. Remember, all of us had graduated. We (unclear), you know, we had to have at least a 3.0 from a university. It was not like they were just, you know, throwing away the roads for us or anything like that. But we showed to have a lot more initiative and drive than some of the other folks.$How would summarize your experience at Nokia [Nokia Corporation, Nokia Research Center, Dallas, Texas] though? I guess, you left in 2004, but, to form your own company?$$Actually, I left to go to a start-up company, but, yeah, my experience was very positive. I mean I, leaving Nokia was the hardest thing I ever did because when I left, I was extremely happy. I mean I was, you know, I had just, you know, I had really just got my principal scientist. You know, I was trying to work on being a Nokia Fellow. I, you know, I was hot. I mean everyone knew me. There was, you know, even the guy, there were people on the board of Nokia that knew my name, you know, when I left. And so I wasn't unhappy. I mean I was quite, in fact, I was quite--all my friends were there, people I had worked with, some of my friends that I worked with at TI [Texas Instruments Incorporated] came over. So we had been working together, ten, twelve years. Then this, but I was, again, never quite one to just sit on my past laurels. And the guy who was the vice chair of the standard a S111G (unclear) which is the current Wi-Fi [Wireless Fidelity] products that you buy today, he started, who had, he started a start-up company and said, John, I need you, and I need you. And at the time, I thought, and I had a lot of respect for him at the time as an individual, as a, you know, as a technologist. And we had worked through some critical battles doing the standard procedure. And I thought it was somebody I could trust. And so I decided to take a chance and start the start up thing. I would get offers all the time from people who wanted to come to their start-up companies. I still get offers from people to come work for their start-up companies. So he wanted me, he, he said, I could be, you know, you pick whatever position you want, you know, You can be vice president and anything but president because he was the president. I could be anything I wanted, you know, I had like free rein because he needed my reputation to give the team credibility because I was known in the industry. And everyone knew, you know, I had the book and things like that.$$So this is the WiQuest Communications [Allen, Texas]?$$Yes.$$Okay. And they're in Allen, Texas. So you had to move from--$$Really, it's not that far from here.$$All right--.$$So, and it wasn't a move so to speak. I just started driving to a different location.$$Because Nokia's in the area too.$$Nokia's is the area too, just in a different direction.$$Okay.$$WiQuest is probably about five or ten minutes somewhere--they moved recently, somewhere from this location. And Nokia is a good hour away.$$All right. So, well, how did things go at WiQuest?$$It didn't, it didn't turn out as well I'd liked. One of the things you find out when you work for people that are privately owned, a company, because it's privately owned, they can do what they want to, you know. They can do whatever they like. It turned out that, you know, the person that I left the company, left Nokia to go work for because I thought he was an honest and upright person, turned out that he wasn't as honest and upright as I thought he was. And it put me in a situation where I had to make a choice that, whether or not, you know, could I continue to work with him? He, there was a situation where the chip wasn't going out on time. He had made promises to the board that I had no control over. I was telling him, you know, if we were behind, that we needed more people. When you get, you know, people working sixty and seventy hours, it's a breeding ground to make mistakes. I was communicating to him that things needed, we needed help and I needed more senior people. I had only fresh out (unclear) people in there. And I was working to wire, and I'm tired, they're tired. It just, we just need, you know, you just need more horses. You know, to pull this cart. But they were trying to run the cart as fast as possible with as few horses as possible to keep the same money. And so to me that was a conscious decision on their part. And then my thought was, if you don't, do that gamble, and you get a chip out that, and with this reduced cost and you get bare gains at the end when the company sells, but if you, if it fails, then you take the responsibility as the management that decided that I was gonna play my card this way. But they tried to have a scapegoat. And so when it failed, for all the things that I said that might happen, did happen, and then they tried to get, point the blame on me, even though it was someone that worked on my team but wasn't working for me at the time. So they just needed someone, they couldn't blame him. He was too low on the totem pole for the board to say, well, why do you have a fresh-out determining why fifteen million is gonna be profitable or not profitable, right? They weren't gonna tell the board that they made the mistake because then the board would replace them. So they needed someone high enough up that, you know, to show that, and all they did, they tried to demote me. Basically, I told them my requirements for me to go to work at this company was I would only report to the president because that's the only person I knew. So he tried to demote me so he can show to the board that, you know, hey, I got this situation under control. They didn't say it was my fault, but they tried to infer it was my fault. He really knew I didn't do it, and the fact turned out, it was done before I even got there. And he wanted to infer that he did that and that was coming right at the time where I took a seventy-five percent pay cut for six months to help the company through the troubled waters. And that came right, you know, once they got the money, you know, you do these things because you think people are committed to you just like you're committed to them. It taught me a valuable lesson and in the middle of our conversation, he couldn't even look me in the eye like I'm looking you in the eye. But if you think I was the one that really failed you, you could tell me, John, you, you know, I brought you on, you're supposed to have been, you know, this hot shot guy, yada, yada, yada. And he, he's looking down at the floor, looking at the ceiling, can't look me in the eye because he can't be proud of himself. But see that goes back to lessons I learned when I was a kid. Don't do anything that you can't stand tall and own up to later on. You know, I could sit right there and look him in the eye and say, well, what is, what's going on? And so then they had put me in this situation where this is the first point in my career I would have failed, my whole career. I mean and then did it so haphazardly, they could care less how it affected me personally or whatever. And, in fact, they did it with vengeance in their minds. They really wanted me, they thought I, you know, up until that point I was hands-off because I was so important to the company. In fact, I was on the web page at one point. I mean I was, I was in their executive summary by name. There were only two names in the executive summary, there was the president and my name in the executive summary when the company started, the only two names mentioned in the executive summary. That's how important I was to start out with. And here they were trying to put me in a situation where I was gonna report to somebody ten years less than me.

Naomi Long Madgett

Poet and English professor emeritus Naomi Cornelia Long Madgett was born on July 5, 1923 in Norfolk, Virginia to the Reverend Clarence Marcellus Long and the former Maude Selena Hilton. Growing up in East Orange, New Jersey, she attended Ashland Grammar School and Bordentown School. At age twelve, Madgett’s poem, My Choice, was published on the youth page of the Orange Daily Courier. In 1937, the family moved to St. Louis, Missouri where her schoolmates included Margaret Bush Wilson, E. Sims Campbell and lifelong friend, baritone Robert McFerrin, Sr. Madgett, at age fifteen, established a friendship with Langston Hughes. Just days after graduating with honors from Charles Sumner High School in 1941, Madgett’s first book of poetry, Songs to a Phantom Nightingale was published. She attended Virginia State University during World War II and graduated with her B.A. degree in 1945.

Madgett attended graduate school at New York University. In 1946, she married and moved to Detroit, Michigan where she worked as a copywriter for the Michigan Chronicle and the Michigan Bell. In 1949, her poem Refugee appeared in The Poetry of the Negro, 1746-1949 and in 1950, several of her poems were featured in American Literature by Negro Authors. Occasionally, Madgett read her poetry for the Detroit Study Club. After marrying William H. Madgett in 1954, she earned her M.Ed. from Wayne State University in 1955. Madgett taught at Northwestern High School, while two other books; 1956’s One and the Many and 1965’s Star by Star gained local accolade. Madgett joined a group of black Detroit writers including Margaret Danner, Oliver LaGrone, Dudley Randall, Harold G. Lawrence, Edward Simpkins, Gloria Davis, Alma Parks, James Thompson and Betty Ford who met at Boone House. They were featured along with James Edward McCall and playwrights Powell Lindsay and Woodie King, Jr. in the October 1962 issue of the Negro History Bulletin. Madgett’s poetry was also published in the Negro Digest and Hughes’s 1964 anthology, New Negro Poets: U.S.A. In 1965, she was awarded the Mott Fellowship in English.

In 1968, Madgett was included in Ten: Anthology of Detroit Poets and joined the faculty of Eastern Michigan University where she wrote A Student’s Guide to Creative Writing. Madgett’s 1971 African travels inspired the poems Phillis, and Glimpses of Africa. She earned her Ph.D. from Greenwich University in 1980. Octavia and Other Poems was published in 1988 by Third World Press. Madgett formed Lotus Press in 1972 and published her own book, Pink Ladies in the Afternoon. She edited the acclaimed Adam of Ife: Black Women in Praise of Black Men in 1992. Madgett is the recipient of many honors including 1993’s American Book Award and the George Kent Award in 1995.

Madgett, who was made Detroit’s Poet Laureate by Mayor Dennis Archer, continues as a vital part of Detroit’s cultural life.

Accession Number

A2007.072

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/5/2007 |and| 6/27/2007

3/5/2007

6/27/2007

Last Name

Madgett

Maker Category
Middle Name

Long

Occupation
Schools

Charles H. Sumner High School

Ashland Grammar School

Virginia State University

New York University

Wayne State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Naomi

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

MAD04

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Virginia

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Interview Description
Birth Date

7/5/1923

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chocolate

Short Description

Poet and english professor Naomi Long Madgett (1923 - ) was first published at age twelve. Madgett was the recipient of many honors including 1993's American Book Award and the George Kent Award in 1995.

Employment

Michigan Bell Telephone

Northern High School

Northwestern High School

Eastern Michigan University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:4674,67:5084,73:10086,156:14432,270:36076,540:37968,563:39172,577:51608,776:52112,783:57491,837:57807,842:65391,1040:80200,1203:127080,1728:135934,1801:136394,1807:144118,1833:152976,2024:174894,2296:175623,2310:176028,2317:177729,2337:178053,2342:178620,2351:180645,2379:189062,2449:189926,2462:194726,2522:204949,2591:209380,2621$0,0:2924,91:4472,179:8914,223:9398,228:10608,237:16009,267:16507,275:16839,280:21570,368:23479,394:23811,399:24641,423:25637,437:30690,502:31386,512:31995,520:34170,546:34953,556:35562,566:36084,573:36432,578:36954,585:37650,598:38433,610:39216,621:45659,682:46031,687:46682,696:47054,701:48970,712:49850,723:51346,745:59290,801:61450,826:62080,835:71255,941:72249,958:72746,965:73101,971:76438,994:78594,1029:79378,1041:83004,1083:85740,1098:86040,1103:89190,1150:93006,1172:94126,1184:96926,1205:97374,1227:97934,1233:102120,1266:102912,1279:103488,1288:104136,1299:104928,1314:108790,1345:110500,1374:113560,1421:114010,1427:114460,1433:117500,1442:119030,1463:119710,1474:120560,1487:129106,1547:129516,1553:130090,1561:130582,1569:130992,1575:131320,1580:135270,1615:137310,1642:138228,1658:139044,1669:139452,1674:140268,1683:141288,1695:142410,1708:143838,1730:145164,1747:146082,1758:152252,1808:160304,1862:160764,1870:161408,1883:166000,1939
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Naomi Long Madgett's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Naomi Long Madgett lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Naomi Long Madgett talks about her mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her mother's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers her paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her paternal aunt, Octavia Long, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her paternal aunt, Octavia Long, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls researching her paternal aunt, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls researching her paternal aunt, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Naomi Long Madgett describes Guthrie, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers Reverend S.S. Jones

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls the racism in East Orange, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her father's personality

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her poem, 'Reluctant Light'

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers East Orange, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Naomi Long Madgett describes Ashland Grammar School in East Orange, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers Calvary Baptist Church, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers Calvary Baptist Church, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls tension at Calvary Baptist Church in East Orange, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls leaving Calvary Baptist Church

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers Robert McFerrin, Sr.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers Charles H. Sumner High School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls her graduating class at Charles H. Sumner High School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers her classes at Charles H. Sumner High School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her brother's military service

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls learning about black history

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers Langston Hughes

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her first book of poetry

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers the release of her first book of poetry

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls her decision to attend Virginia State College for Negroes in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her paternal grandmother

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls visiting Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers rationing during World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers her brother's disappearance during World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her brother's time in prison camp

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls her brother's release from prison camp

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Naomi Long Madgett talks about the important role of teachers

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers professors at Virginia State College for Negroes

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers historian, Luther Porter Jackson, Sr.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Naomi Long Madgett describes the history of Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls graduating from Virginia State College for Negroes

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Naomi Long Madgett talks about her first marriage

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls being hired at Michigan Bell Telephone Company

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Naomi Long Madgett talks about completing her master's degree

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls her early teaching career

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Naomi Long Madgett describes the inspiration for her poetry

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her poem, 'Midway'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her poem, 'Alabama Centennial'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Naomi Long Madgett talks about the theme of race in her poetry

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her style of poetry

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Naomi Long Madgett talks about the impact of 'Midway,' pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Naomi Long Madgett talks about the impact of 'Midway,' pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers the Boone House group in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers African American writers in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Naomi Long Madgett's interview, session 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls meeting African American poets in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Naomi Long Madgett describes the Boone House poets

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls working for the Michigan Bell Telephone Company, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls working for the Michigan Bell Telephone Company, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Naomi Long Madgett talks about her teaching career

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her civil rights poems

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls her childhood inspiration

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers the deaths of her brothers

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Naomi Long Madgett talks about writing new poetry

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Naomi Long Madgett recites her poem, 'Reluctant Light'

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Naomi Long Madgett recites her poem, 'Connected Islands'

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Naomi Long Madgett recounts her paternal family history

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls conducting research on her paternal family

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls visiting Guthrie, Oklahoma

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Naomi Long Madgett remembers starting Lotus Press

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls early publications of Lotus Press

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Naomi Long Madgett describes the authors published by Lotus Press

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Naomi Long Madgett talks about Lotus Press' operations

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls serving as poet laureate of Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Naomi Long Madgett describes other poet laureates

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Naomi Long Madgett talks about the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Naomi Long Madgett compares spoken word poetry and written poetry

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her future plans

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Naomi Long Madgett describes her organizational memberships

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Naomi Long Madgett recalls donating her papers

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Naomi Long Madgett reflects upon her life

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Naomi Long Madgett reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Naomi Long Madgett shares her hopes for future generations

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Naomi Long Madgett describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Naomi Long Madgett narrates her photographs

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$9

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Naomi Long Madgett remembers Langston Hughes
Naomi Long Madgett recites her poem, 'Connected Islands'
Transcript
When we went to St. Louis [Missouri] I met Langston Hughes for the first time. I was about fifteen.$$Now, tell us about that. Now you, you, you were, you were a sophomore in high school [Charles H. Sumner High School, St. Louis, Missouri] I guess, or, or--$$Something like that.$$And, and you met Langston. How did you meet Langston Hughes (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well, he was, he was touring. And this was about--I'm trying to think of the copyright date on the book he gave me--about '39 [1939] or '40 [1940] I think. He was speaking at a women's, black women's literary meeting, and my mother [Maude Hilton Long] took me there, and I told him I was writing poetry. And he talked to me and said, "Don't ever pay to have your poems published," and he gave me a signed copy of 'A New Song' [Langston Hughes]. And then the next time I saw him I was at Virginia State [Virginia State College for Negroes; Virginia State University, Petersburg, Virginia], and he was going to do a reading there, and I met with him with a small literary group that I belonged to in the afternoon of the reading. And I had a notebook, loose leaf notebook, with typed poems of mine, and I asked him if he had time would he look at some of them and tell me what he thought. So he said, "Yes, I'll give it back to you after the reading tonight." So in the middle of his reading, he read some of my poems and said that I had authored them, and my head got this big. He praised me. And when I get to get the notebook back, people had joined him on the stage. And I stood off to the side, but he saw me there, and he, he brought the book to me, and he had gone through all of the poems and written penciled notes, which I immediately covered with scotch tape and so it wouldn't get erased. And then when I heard that he and Arna Bontemps were doing a, an anthology of black poetry--'Negro'--'The Poetry of the Negro: 19--1746 to 1949' ['The Poetry of the Negro: 1746 to 1949,' eds. Arna Bontemps and Langston Hughes], I sent him several of the poems, and he included one ["Refugee," Naomi Long Witherspoon] of them in there. And I stayed in touch with him until his death. Every time he was in Detroit [Michigan], somebody had a party for him, and I was always there. But he was the most wonderful person in the world, just down to earth, very helpful, encouraging to other poets, younger poets. And a number of black women poets could tell the same story. Mari Evans knew him much better than I did, but she and Margaret Walker and I were at least three of the black poets that he had, had encouraged.$$That's something.$'Connected--$$'Connected Islands' (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) Islands.'$$--'New and Selected Poems' ['Connected Islands: New and Selected Poems,' Naomi Long Madgett].$$The title, tell me about the title.$$I guess it came from the introductory poem. Do I have time to read that?$$Sure.$$Okay, and I'm, I'm gonna sing part of it because--try to sing part of it, because it, it's excerpts from songs.$$All right.$$But everything is connected ["Connected Islands," Naomi Long Madgett]: "Disjointed words and phrases come to me in dreams like scattered islands. Rising from secret places, they flow to the surface of consciousness, spill onto empty pages. But I tell you this, they will all come together. Everything means, and nothing is isolated. 'Rock-a-bye baby on the treetop' a mother in Africa rocks her infant, dying of starvation, belly distended. 'When the bow breaks,' a sergeant in Baltimore on furlough scribbles a note before she leaps from a ninth floor ledge. So long, badness. I did love you. See you there. Her broken bones lie at awkward angles on the sidewalk. The next week, her married soldier-lover follows her in suicide. I cover the waterfront, searching for a love that cannot live, yet never dies. A woman shivers under the boardwalk in Atlantic City, with only a box for shelter. In a funeral home in London the ring that covered head of a year old baby rests on a pillow in a small white casket. Nearby the shriveled hands of a woman in her nineties hold a rose with his sheep securely fold you. The space between them is heavy with formaldehyde, ends and beginnings, change and decay. They're alone; they are together. Even separate islands are connected by some sea. And we are sisters touching across the waters of our disparate lives, singing our untold stories in a harmo- harmony of undulating waves." So that, I decided that that should be the introductory poem to the book.$$Okay.

Elaine Jones

Legal powerhouse and civil rights lawyer Elaine Ruth Jones was born on March 2, 1944 in Norfolk, Virginia, the daughter of a Pullman porter and a schoolteacher. Jones observed firsthand the impact of racism on her community, when one of her teachers was represented by Thurgood Marshall in the case, Allen v. Hicks.

Jones attended Howard University, where she worked her way through school. Joining the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and becoming dean of pledges, Jones graduated from Howard University in 1965, finishing school on the Dean’s List. After college, she entered the Peace Corps, where she traveled to Turkey and taught English as a second language. Jones considered applying for a second tour of duty in Micronesia, but decided to return to school in 1967.

In 1967, Jones entered the University of Virginia Law School, where she was one of five black students and the only female. After her graduation in 1970, Jones was offered a job with a prominent Wall Street firm, but declined the offer in order to take a position at the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund (LDF), which, at that time, was headed by Jack Greenberg.

In 1972, Jones represented a black man on death row who had been accused of raping a white woman in the Furman v. Georgia Jones case. The Supreme Court decision on the case abolished the death penalty in thirty-seven states for twelve years, only two years after Jones had left law school. During this time, Jones argued numerous discrimination cases, including some against the country’s biggest employers. These cases included Patterson v. American Tobacco Co., Stallworth v. Monsanto, and Swint v. Pullman Standard. In 1973, Jones became the Legal Defense Fund’s managing attorney.

In 1975, Jones left the NAACP’s LDF to join President Ford’s administration as Special Assistant to Secretary of Transportation William T. Coleman. She returned to the LDF in 1977 as a litigator. During her continued tenure with the LDF organization, she was instrumental in the passage of 1982’s Voting Rights Act Amendment, 1988’s Fair Housing Act and Civil Rights Restoration Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Jones was elected to the American Bar Association Board of Governors in 1989, the first African American to do so. In 1993, Jones became the first female president and defense counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. She was named one of Ebony Magazine’s “10 Most Powerful Black Women” in 2001. Jones works as Director-Counsel of the LDF, and received an honorary degree from Spelman College in 2007.

Jones was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 30, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.151

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/30/2006 |and| 3/6/2007

11/30/2006

3/6/2007

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Liberty Park Elementary School

J Cox Junior High School

Booker T. Washington High School

University of Virginia School of Law

Howard University

First Name

Elaine

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

JON16

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Potomac Chapter of The Links, Inc

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere New

Favorite Quote

You Do The Best You Can, And That's All You Can Do

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

3/2/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Civil rights lawyer Elaine Jones (1944 - ) was the first female president and defense counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. She was also the first African American elected to the American Bar Association Board of Governors.

Employment

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

United States Department of Transportation

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue, Browns

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Elaine Jones' interview, session 1

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

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Elaine Jones describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Elaine Jones describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Elaine Jones describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Elaine Jones describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Elaine Jones describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Elaine Jones describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Elaine Jones describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Elaine Jones describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Elaine Jones explains why she enjoys the countryside

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Elaine Jones remembers family meals during her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Elaine Jones describes her siblings and their occupations

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Elaine Jones describes the street where she grew up in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Elaine Jones describes her neighborhood in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Elaine Jones talks about her father's career as a Pullman porter

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Elaine Jones describes her father's experiences of discrimination as a Pullman porter

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Elaine Jones remembers her parents' relationship

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Elaine Jones remembers celebrating holidays as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Elaine Jones describes her elementary school education

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Elaine Jones describes her childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Elaine Jones remembers visiting the dentist as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Elaine Jones remembers growing up in segregated Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Elaine Jones recalls her decision to pursue a law career, pt.1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Elaine Jones recalls her decision to pursue a law career, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Elaine Jones describes her junior high school education

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Elaine Jones remembers attending her maternal grandfather's church

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Elaine Jones remembers Norfolk's Booker T. Washington High School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Elaine Jones remembers the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Elaine Jones describes her decision to attend Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Elaine Jones remembers her first impressions of Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Elaine Jones interview, session 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Elaine Jones remembers Stokely Carmichael as a student at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Elaine Jones recalls how she was impacted by activism at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Elaine Jones describes Stokely Carmichael's personality

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Elaine Jones describes her graduation from Howard University in 1965

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Elaine Jones remembers her decision to join the Peace Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Elaine Jones remembers teaching English in Turkey through the Peace Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Elaine Jones describes her experience as African American in Turkey

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Elaine Jones describes the Ulus section of Istanbul, Turkey

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Elaine Jones recalls her travels in the Middle East

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Elaine Jones reflects upon her experience in the Peace Corps

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Elaine Jones reflects upon how her Peace Corps service influenced her views

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Elaine Jones remembers applying to law school

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Elaine Jones recalls being the first black woman to attend the University of Virginia School of Law

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Elaine Jones recalls the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Elaine Jones recalls gender discrimination at the University of Virginia School of Law

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Elaine Jones recalls her supporters at the University of Virginia School of Law

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Elaine Jones recalls an instance of discrimination at University of Virginia School of Law

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Elaine Jones remembers her classes as a first year law student

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Elaine Jones describes her Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Elaine Jones describes the education she received at University of Virginia School of Law

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Elaine Jones remembers her interviews with civil rights attorneys in 1969

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Elaine Jones describes her mentors at University of Virginia School of Law

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Elaine Jones describes being offered a position at a prestigious law firm

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Elaine Jones recalls joining the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Elaine Jones recalls her parents' reactions to her career

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Elaine Jones recalls her sister's enrollment at the University of Virginia School of Law

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Elaine Jones recalls the growth of diversity at the University of Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Elaine Jones remembers passing the bar exam in Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Elaine Jones recalls the staff of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Elaine Jones describes the founding of NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Elaine Jones describes the attorneys of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Elaine Jones describes the cases of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Elaine Jones talks about Jack Greenberg

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Elaine Jones talks about Robert L. Carter

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Elaine Jones remembers litigating capital punishment cases

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Elaine Jones explains the strategy behind the litigation of Furman v. Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Elaine Jones describes the U.S. Supreme Court case of Furman v. Georgia, 1972

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Elaine Jones recalls announcing the Furman v. Georgia decision to inmates on death row

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Elaine Jones recalls lessons from the Peace Corps that affected her law practice

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Elaine Jones recalls transitioning from capital punishment to employment discrimination cases

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Elaine Jones describes the case of Stallworth v. Monsanto Company, 1977

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Elaine Jones recalls the case of Patterson v. American Tobacco Company, 1982

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Elaine Jones explains how she was compensated as co-counsel to local attorneys

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Elaine Jones describes the difference between employment discrimination and capital punishment clients

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Elaine Jones describes the organizations involved in class action employment discrimination suits

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Elaine Jones describes the case of Swint v. Pullman-Standard, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Elaine Jones describes the case of Swint v. Pullman-Standard, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Elaine Jones recalls working in the U.S. Department of Transportation

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Elaine Jones remembers Mr. William T. Coleman, Jr.

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Elaine Jones recalls her return to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Elaine Jones describes her civil rights work in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Elaine Jones remembers prioritizing the appointment of black federal judges

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Elaine Jones recalls desegregating the federal judiciary

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Elaine Jones recalls lobbying to preserve the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Elaine Jones talks about lobbying to renew the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Elaine Jones recalls key players in the 1982 Amendments of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Elaine Jones recalls how the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. was funded

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Elaine Jones reflects upon her disappointments as a civil rights lobbyist

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Elaine Jones talks about the extensions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Elaine Jones talks about the politics of racial separation

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Elaine Jones recalls becoming president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Elaine Jones recalls becoming president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., pt.2

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Elaine Jones descirbes Julius Chambers' presidency of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Elaine Jones describes her organizational changes to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Elaine Jones talks about her deputy, Theodore Shaw

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Elaine Jones reflects upon the achievements of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Elaine Jones recalls how conservative organizations mimicked her political strategies

Tape: 10 Story: 11 - Elaine Jones describes the structure of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 10 Story: 12 - Elaine Jones describes the case of Gratz v. Bollinger, 2003

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Elaine Jones talks about freeing Kemba Smith

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Elaine Jones recalls how she learned about Kemba Smith

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Elaine Jones talks about the continuing relevance of civil rights issues

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Elaine Jones describes her current role at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Elaine Jones reflects upon her career and awards

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Elaine Jones describes her plans for her retirement

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Elaine Jones describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Elaine Jones reflects upon her legacy

DASession

1$2

DATape

3$7

DAStory

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DATitle
Elaine Jones recalls her decision to pursue a law career, pt.1
Elaine Jones describes the cases of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
Transcript
Now I want to go back to the dentist though. What did the --?$$Yeah. So the dentist--so mother [Estelle Campbell Jones] and daddy [George Raymond Jones] pay the bill. They tacked the notice on the door. When the notice came my father looked at it and said, "I am not--"; had the date on it. "I am not going to lose my trip to California on a--," he had a special trip to take to California on the railroad--, "to go down to this court." And mamma said "I'm going to school. I'm going to school so Elaine [HistoryMaker Elaine Jones], you have a problem." Said, "God look at these people, why don't they understand?" You know my brother [George Daniel Jones] and I would often say parents, "Y'all be the parents. Don't make us the parents. I'm a child. I don't know. You--." So daddy said, "What I will do--," there was a person who worked with him, an African American male who worked with daddy on different things. They did flowers or flants- plants. Now he said, "I'll send Mr. Newkirk [ph.] down there with you, but you just have to go down there and explain to the judge that your mother and I are working and tell them whatever it is you did."$$Because it was clear that you had done it. You had done--$$Oh I, oh, oh I had gone. I, no, there's no doubt, there is no doubt about that, that I had gone to the dentist without permission. There's no doubt about it. And they weren't paying it. So what I'm gonna do? I didn't have $25 or $20, whatever it was. So Mr. Newkirk and I go down to the courthouse on the day, on the appointed day and here I am scared to death. Scared to death. They called the case. The dentist is not there, the dentist's lawyer is there. The judge is up there. So I had--the judge asked me that, you know what happened. I told him I had gone to the dentist, blah, blah. So he said to me, he said to me, he said--first the lawyer spoke and said what we owed him, that I had come to the dentist and all and the judge looked at me and said, "Did your, did you have your parents' permission to go to the dentist?" And I said to myself--this all went through my mind in a matter of seconds. I said if I tell him yes, I had the--my parents' permission, it makes me look more obedient and more like a child in control of her senses. If I tell him no, you know I didn't have my parents' permission, it makes me look like I'm belligerent and wayward and do what I want to do. I said, "It makes me in a bad light if to tell this man no." But then the voice--I got a few seconds to answer. The voice says to me, "Tell the truth. Got to tell the truth. Can't stay up here and lie." And I said, "No, your honor I didn't." He said, "You didn't have your parents' per-." I said, "No, sir." He turned to the dentist's lawyer and said, "Does your client have the habit of doing full mouth x-rays of eight and ten year old who comes into their office without checking with parents? If that is his practice then he needs to change it. Case dismissed!" Oh, so Elaine's first victory. You know I was amazed. I said, "You know truth will carry you a long way. It will carry you a long way." If I had tried to make myself look good and not told the truth, I would have lost the case on a lie. Would have lost the case on a lie. So I came home and explained it to--they all celebrated, the family--we all, the whole family celebrated. "Elaine won." Told everybody at school, "Elaine won her case." So then I said, "I'm gonna be a lawyer. That's what I'm gonna do."$How were they processing, you know, all these requests, you know (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) You know--$$I mean I often--$$--there are some great books on this thing, but you know 'cause Connie Motley [Constance Baker Motley] in her book ['Equal Justice Under Law: An Autobiography'], great autobiography, explains how she got the James Meredith case, 'cause Thurgood [Thurgood Marshall] got this letter from this young man who said he wanted to desegregate the University of Mississippi's school, the college, University of Mississippi [Oxford, Mississippi]. And Thurgood said, "This is somebody who's lost his mind," (laughter) when he read the letter, "Somebody who's lost his mind." Told Connie Motley, "See what you can do with this." And so that's what ended Connie Motley with twenty-two trips to Mississippi in eighteen months. She became very close to Medgar Evers. He met her at the airport in Jackson [Mississippi] every time. Got to Motley. She took her son there once and he played with the kids and she pointed out to Medgar, "Medgar those bushes on your house, you need to cut those bushes down." So she knew Medgar well, and she was stunned that he was assassinated, which they got this admission right during this period, '63 [1963]. So it was, it was, you know--but that's how she got the case, 'cause Thurgood said, "This is somebody that lost their mind so see what you can do." They were inundated with cases. I mean, I just look at Judge Motley from '61 [1961] until she left the Legal Defense Fund [NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.] in '65 [1965], four years. She had ten [U.S.] Supreme Court arguments. She had twenty-two trips to Mississippi, she had University of Florida [Gainesville, Florida]. She had the Florida higher education cases, elementary, secondary and higher education cases. She had University of Alabama [Tuscaloosa, Alabama], she had the University of Georgia [Athens, Georgia], University of South Carolina [Columbia, South Carolina]; she had all that litigation. I mean that's just one--that's her schedule, you know. You had Bob Carter [HistoryMaker Robert L. Carter], and there were all of the issues trying to take the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] out of existence: in Virginia, in Alabama, they were trying to you know say that the NAACP couldn't exist as an organization 'cause it wasn't an advocacy organization, it was a political entity. You know, they want the membership lists and all of this kind of stuff. I mean those people, I look and I think about their litigation schedules and I just don't see how they did it, as I sit here now. Now I'm used to being busy and LDF in my day, you know, we--those lawyers, you know, we put some time in. But those lawyers in the '40s [1940s] and '50s [1950s], 'cause I just, I just marvel at it.