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Charles Hunter

Lawyer Charles Hunter was born on March 19, 1945 in Mobile, Alabama to Maude Williams Hunter and Judge Hunter. He graduated from Central High School in 1962, and received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Tennessee State University in 1966. He also earned his M.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Chicago.

Hunter began his career in 1966 as an analytical chemist at the International Harvester Company. In 1968, he worked briefly as a substitute teacher with Chicago Public Schools. Later that year, he was hired as a customer service chemist at Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation, where he worked until 1971. Hunter joined the chemical sales department at 3M Company in 1972, where he covered thirteen states. After receiving his J.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1974, he worked as an attorney at The Quaker Oats Company, specializing in patent, real estate, and mergers and acquisitions law. He later became the general counsel for The Quaker Oats Company’s restaurant division. He began working with Harold Washington during his mayoral campaign in Chicago, Illinois, becoming his assistant when Washington was elected in 1983. In this role, Hunter managed the offices of Cable TV, Purchasing, Personnel, the Mayor’s Office of Employment and Training, Inspectional Services, Zoning, Aviation, among others. He was also responsible for recruiting, vetting, and recommending all appoints to all boards and commissions in the City of Chicago. He left the administration in 1986 to join the law firm of Jones, Ware & Grenard. In 1988, Hunter was recruited by Dupont de Nemours, where he specialized in patent and environmental law as well as mergers and acquisitions. In 1993, he became the director of governmental affairs for Ascom Timeplex, a position he held until the company closed in 1996. Hunter then became part owner of a small janitorial company, which he helped expand to over 900 contracted positions throughout the Chicagoland area. He retired from the company in 2012.

Hunter has served on the board of Townsend & Associates, The Latin School of Chicago, HighJump software company, and NBU Athletics.

Hunter and his wife, Karen Ayd Hunter, have two sons.

Hunter passed away on December 26, 2018.

Charles Hunter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 5, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.105

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/5/2018

Last Name

Hunter

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Central High School

Tennessee State University

University of Chicago

University of Wisconsin Law School

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Mobile

HM ID

HUN12

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

British Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

Hard Work Out Does Talent When Talent Doesn't Work Hard.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

3/19/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Favorite Food

Breakfast

Death Date

12/26/2018

Short Description

Lawyer Charles Hunter (1945 - 2018) worked as an assistant to Chicago Mayor Harold Washington from 1983 to 1986, and as an attorney at The Quaker Oats Company, the law firm of Jones, Ware & Grenard and Dupont de Nemours.

Employment

Kaiser Chemical

3M Company

Quaker Oats Company

City of Chicago Mayor's Office

Jones, Ware & Grenard

DuPont de Nemours

Favorite Color

Blue

Dr. Carlton A. West

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Carlton A. West was born on December 12, 1943, in Montezuma, Georgia. He grew up on a farm in the central part of Georgia. West earned his B.A. degree in biology in 1965. Dr. Mayes encouraged him to make the Deans list in order to receive scholarship money. West made the Deans list twice and scored high on the MCAT. The summer of his senior year in college, he was exposed to the medical world firsthand through his internship at Harlem Hospital in New York City. This exposure to medicine inspired him to pursue medicine. Without the intention to attend medical school, West was the first student in his class to be accepted into a medical university. He graduated from Meharry University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1965.

After graduating from medical school, West interned at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, for one year for a general surgery residency. He then took a year off to be the medical director of Dr. Daniel Hale Williams’ Health Center based at Providence Hospital on Chicago’s South Side. After a year hiatus from surgery, West began his residency at Yale University, completing it in 1975. That same year, he returned to Chicago to open a private practice in orthopedic surgery. In 1977, he became board certified and joined the staff at Michael Reese Hospital. West’s notable patients included the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, the late Eugene Sawyer, Evel Knievel, Muhammad Ali, Sammy Davis, Jr., and many others.

West served on the Board of the American Diabetes Association and Operation PUSH/Rainbow Coalition. In addition, he served as the President of the Chicago chapter of Meharry University and was a member of Sarasan fraternal order of physicians.

West enjoyed fishing and skiing, remained a resident of Chicago, and was a father and husband.

Dr. Carlton West passed away on March 11, 2016.

Accession Number

A2008.091

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/17/2008

Last Name

West

Maker Category
Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Schools

Meharry Medical College

Morehouse College

Flint River Farms School

First Name

Carlton

Birth City, State, Country

Montezuma

HM ID

WES05

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southwestern United States

Favorite Quote

Winners Make Things Happen. Losers Let Things Happen.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

12/12/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hot Dogs

Death Date

3/11/2016

Short Description

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Carlton A. West (1943 - 2016 ) had a private practice for forty years, and he also worked at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. His patients included Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, Eugene Sawyer, Evel Knievel, Muhammad Ali and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Employment

Michael Reese Hospital

Provident Hospital

Yale New Haven Hospital

Favorite Color

Green

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Carlton A. West's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Carlton A. West lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his mother's emphasis on education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his parents' resourcefulness

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes the Flint River Farms in Macon County, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his family's house in Flint River Farms

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls his early awareness of segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers the Flint River Farms School in Macon County, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers the teachers at the Flint River Farms School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers his early role models

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his early religious experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his activities at the New Hope Baptist Church in Montezuma, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his childhood friends and pastimes

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers D.F. Douglass High School in Montezuma, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers his high school activities

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls his admission to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers Morehouse College President Benjamin E. Mays

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his experiences at Morehouse College, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls the SNCC demonstrations in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls the black business community in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls the SNCC demonstrations in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his experiences at Morehouse College, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls his decision to attend Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls his parents' support

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls his medical internship at New York City's Harlem Hospital

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his early interest in orthopedic medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes the orthopedic issues in the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about his medical residencies

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls his orthopedic residency at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about the advancements in orthopedic medicine

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Carlton A. West recalls opening a private orthopedic practice

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about his celebrity patients

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about treating professional athletes

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his orthopedic practice

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes the misconceptions about African Americans' bone anatomy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about the syndromes of bone overuse and underuse

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about chiropractic care

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers treating Evel Knievel, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Carlton A. West remembers treating Evel Knievel, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about bone fracture complications

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his recommendations for improving bone health

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his organizational activities

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Carlton A. West reflects upon his life and legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Carlton A. West talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Carlton A. West describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

10$10

DATitle
Dr. Carlton A. West describes his parents' resourcefulness
Dr. Carlton A. West talks about his medical residencies
Transcript
When you, I guess, think about the personalities of your parents, their talents, their gifts, their dispositions, who do you think you take after the most?$$Well, probably a little of both, some of both. My mother [Estella Fleming West] was a very industrious woman. And she was a great manager of the household. She--house stayed immaculately clean. She washed; she sewed; she made quilts; she canned vegetables during the summer, fruit, such as peaches during the summer. Later on when we got a freezer, she would freeze vegetables. And we never really were ever hungry or ever suffered or thought about food and same thing about clothing. And the truth of the matter is, even though we were dirt farmers, I didn't realize that we were considered poor by other people's standards until I was a grown man. I thought we were well off. My father [Rufus West] was a great manager of money. The money that we made from the farm [in Flint River Farms, Macon County, Georgia] he had a unique way of managing the household bills in his own way. And I really didn't understand it until I was a grown man. We used to do a lot of sharecropping, such as raising okra, raising cucumbers, and other things. And as we we'll take it to market, whenever you take any of that to market, they didn't pay you in cash. They paid him in a, a check, and so he would save those checks. And he had a little strong box. He would have his check marked--a bunch of checks marked September, another bunch of checks marked October, another bunch of checks marked December, all the way into the next year. And what it was, he wouldn't cash those checks until those months rolled around. And so that way he would make sure that he had money to pay for utilities and other things until we were able to have harvest from the crops the next year.$$Okay, well, so, he wasn't afraid that the account that the check was drawn on would dry up before he cashed it, or?$$Well, no, I guess not, I guess not. In a small community everybody knows each other, and you know the banker and everybody else. And so everybody pretty much knew what his habits were and what other people's habits were. And to my knowledge, he never had any problem cashing the checks, you know, as far as the checks getting stale.$$Okay, all right. It seems like a risk during Depression [Great Depression] days, but I, I don't know. But that's--$$Well--(laughter) I guess so.$$He--$$But--$$--he knew what he was doing apparently though, so.$$He knew what he was doing.$$Okay.$$But, and on the other hand, like I said, it didn't take a lot of money to maintain us because we raised pretty much everything that we needed on the farm. We raised vegetables; we had cows for milk; we had pigs; we had chickens; other times we'd go hunting and get wild game. And so, you know, everybody made it at that time on, on, on, on, on tight budgets.$Did you go to Yale right after graduation in '69 [1969] (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) No, I didn't. After I finished Meharry [Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee], I did my internship here in Chicago [Illinois] at Michael Reese Hospital [Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center].$$Okay, all right.$$And I did one year of general surgery residency at Michael Reese Hospital because at that time you were required to do another year of post graduate training before you were allowed to do an orthopedic residency. And then after that, around that time, got married and started a family. And I took a year off and worked at the Daniel Hale Williams Health Center here in Chicago as a medical director. And--$$Now is that on the West Side [Chicago, Illinois], the, the Daniel--?$$No. It was based at Provident Hospital [Provident Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois] on 51st Street, directly behind--$$Okay.$$--the, the health center, a leased space there. And I did one year of working there and got a, a good financial base and the, the next year started my residency at Yale.$$Okay, so this is 1971 then?$$We are now at 1972--$$Okay.$$--is, is when I entered the residency at Yale New Haven Hospital [New Haven, Connecticut].$$Okay. All right, so, well, how was that? Now you go from Meharry to Yale. Did you have any trepidation about now I'm going to Yale, and this is supposed to be, you know, this top school, Harvard [Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts] and Yale are the top schools in the country, did you--$$Well, I was very grateful to have been admitted there and was very excited, you know, about going to a prestigious institution such as Yale. Just as I said earlier, all along the way from elementary school [Flint River Farms School, Macon County, Georgia], high school [D.F. Douglass High School, Montezuma, Georgia], college, I always knew that I was headed some place, and it was my goal--but never knew exactly where. I never--at the end of the four years at Morehouse [Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia], I wasn't sure where that was going to take me, but at the end of those four years, there was something that God presented to me. And that was--allowed me to get a good score on the MCAT and presented Meharry to me. Then at--as I went through Meharry, I had no idea where life would take me after Meharry. You know, for us who don't have families or family members who are already in the profession, we are really trailblazing and pioneering into an unknown territory. And so, at the end of my medical school years, I was able to get into Michael Reese. And this was the, at about the time that many institutions were beginning to integrate and were opening up their institutions to a select few blacks to come in. And, and I happened to be one of the fortunate ones that was able to get a good residency and good internship at, at, at Michael Reese. And the same, I think, with, with Yale, it was at a point where they wanted to broaden their, their program. At Yale I was the second black to go through the orthopedic residency program.

Katie Booth

Civic leader Katie Booth was born on May 23, 1907 in Gulfport, Mississippi to Joseph Patterson and Ida Coffye. Booth attended school up to the eighth grade in one room at her church. She was able to experience school with classrooms and sports teams for the first time at 33rd Street High School in Gulfport, Mississippi. In 1929, Booth graduated from high school and the Presbyterian Board of Education sent her as a work student to be trained in education at Arkadelphia Academy in Arkansas for ten years. She next attended Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she studied general chemistry and graduated in 1940.

At the outbreak of World War II, Booth moved north to Chicago to work in the war industry. She took a job as a chemist at a Doehler-Jarvis Company die casting plant. Booth started classes at the Illinois Institute of Technology while she was working. Despite being the only African American in her classes, she received her industrial chemistry degree and worked as an assistant chemist in the Department of Pharmacology at the Chicago Medical School, researching preventative health measures. She was keenly interested in children's health and prenatal care, and also worked on treatments for sickle cell anemia.

As a chemist and community activist, she fought for the rights of children with sickle cell anemia. Few women worked in chemistry at the time, making Booth a trailblazer in her field.

Outside of work, Booth was active civic leader on Chicago's West Side. Since the 1940s, she served as chairperson of the West Side YWCA, and held the position until after her professional retirement. Booth was also one of the first members of the Chicago Housing Board's West Side District, and served as chairperson of the board of Sears Roebuck for the West Side area. During the Civil Rights Movement, Booth worked with many notable people and organizations such as Albert Raby, Martin Luther King Jr., Jesse Jackson and Operation PUSH. She cautioned civil rights leaders against fragmenting following Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death. She worked at several voter registration drives starting in the 1960s. During the 1980s, Booth helped in a voter registration drive that led to the election of Harold Washington, Chicago's first black mayor.

She left Chicago in 1990 to move back to Gulfport, Mississippi to be with her ill sister. Booth lived in Magnolia Grove, the subdivision of Gulfport where she had been an original resident. She continued being a community activist in Mississippi. Staying active into her nineties, Booth worked to expand the Magnolia Grove Community Center and its children's programming. In recognition of her work, the facility was renamed the Katie Patterson Booth Community Center in May 2003.

Katie Booth was married during World War II to Robert Booth. Eight years later he died from his war injuries. They had no children.

Booth passed away on August 26, 2006 at age 99.

Accession Number

A2002.204

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/13/2002

Last Name

Booth

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Occupation
Schools

33rd Avenue High School

Philander Smith College

Arkadelphia High School

Illinois Institute of Technology

First Name

Katie

Birth City, State, Country

Gulfport

HM ID

BOO01

Favorite Season

Spring, Winter

Sponsor

Knight Foundation

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southern United States

Favorite Quote

Help Me Through This Day.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/23/1907

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Crab Gumbo

Death Date

8/26/2006

Short Description

Civic leader Katie Booth (1907 - 2006 ) actively participated in the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago, registering voters and fighting for housing rights. As a chemist, she researched and fought for the rights of children with sickle cell anemia.

Employment

Presbyterian Board of Education

National Lead Company. Doehler-Jarvis Division

Department of Pharmacology at the Chicago Medical School

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Katie Booth interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Katie Booth's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Katie Booth describes her father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Katie Booth describes her mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Katie Booth discusses labor in her hometown, Gulfport, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Katie Booth discusses her family history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Katie Booth describes her father's customs

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Katie Booth describes her mother's role

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Katie Booth describes relations in Gulfport, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Katie Booth recounts episodes from her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Katie Booth describes her family life

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Katie Booth remembers the threat of the Ku Klux Klan in her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Katie Booth recalls her community's triumph over the Ku Klux Klan

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Katie Booth recounts her school life

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Katie Booth recounts her education and employment at the Arkadelphia Academy

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Katie Booth recalls the newspapers of her day

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Katie Booth discusses her educational pursuits in Little Rock and Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Katie Booth discusses seafood and the Mississippi coastal region

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Katie Booth discusses her employment in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Katie Booth discusses her civic involvement in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Katie Booth talks about her participation in Harold Washington's mayoral campaign in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Katie Booth explains her return to Gulfport, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Katie Booth reviews her experience as a community organizer

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Katie Booth reflects on her civic participation

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Katie Booth emphasizes the role of family in the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Katie Booth shares her personal philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Katie Booth describes her father's influence

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Katie Booth expresses her values

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Katie Booth remembers the threat of the Ku Klux Klan in her youth
Katie Booth discusses her civic involvement in Chicago, Illinois
Transcript
I guess I must have been about twelve--must have been about maybe ten or eleven because my father [Joseph Patterson] died when I was between twelve and thirteen, but anyway this was an odd situation. Somebody had done something--I don't know what it--to this day I don't know what it was. But a group of people were rooming out here in Magnolia Grove [Gulfport, Mississippi], I guess about ten or twelve families out here at that time. All of them had five or six children. And we had a little beginners school in the church. That's that same building right there now. That's the church building and we would--just the biggest ones would take the little ones in the morning and go on down there and we'd learn to sing songs and to learn poems and all that kind of stuff. That's what we did, and, and we just went on and did as you were told and did the best you can and that was the first time going through a certain development of your mind, of how you would like to see things done, and you began to listen to what other folks say, and affected by, by your surroundings. I think we are very affected by the--"Gee, I wish I didn't have to fix this like this. I'm going to try to change it," and your mind was, you know, wanting to go. And, so, something had happened and that evening I guess when all the men were coming, coming home--my daddy always had a horse and a wagon and a buggy. So he would pick up the people who didn't have a--and bring them on out here. And Mr. William, Mr. Corner went over here, Mr. Smith over here, and Mr. over here and that--home. So that evening they come and--telling my daddy that the [Ku Klux] Klan was going to--well, we didn't know what the Klan--what they mean the Klan? So, the Klan is going to ride because of so-and-so happened to so-and-so. It could have been something very serious--it could have been--not been anything, but that was my first time and my father was known for his temper. Yes sir, and his mouth. They say I have one just like him. He would say some bad words and he would--could say some. So he told them--and he was--he was a home person, and, and it wasn't difficult to get those men and the older boys of this neighborhood together. Some of them had had experiences of very racial--but you see it was hard--it was harder to have a kind of a racial hatred in a way, in certain groups because we were so interdependent, and we were interdependent to the extent that the one doctor, he could not--he would not refuse if he had any--he would not refuse, Dr. Donald I think, or whatever his name was--he would not refuse. I remember he gave us the first, vaccinations--when they were talking about vaccin-, I don't know what it was smallpox, measles or something, but all of those things after--and then we heard about the Klan--say, the Klan is going to make a march, my father said to us, "I don't want you to go out. Ida [Coffye], don't you let them children go out tomorrow to school or what--the ABC school or whatever it was." Say, "Don't let the kids go--don't let those children go out there." So, she said, "Alright." So far as--she might have said something else to him, but as far as we knew that was it. So the next evening, the rumor is that the Klan's gonna make a raid. They are gonna come through and burn people's house and do this, and do that. Well, we just said, "We going home and tell daddy. He'll take care of that." And sure enough we went home and daddy was already prepared for it, 'cause it was some unusual to see him home before late in the evening 'cause he'd get--he'd finish work until almost dark and then get in his wagon and pick up his other friends and come on home. And he worked right out there at, at--where you gave the--did you give the interview this morning at St. Mark [Episcopal Church, Gulfport, Mississippi]?$$Yesterday.$$Yesterday. Well, right at that big field across from there. That's where my daddy's--my daddy's farm land and that's where we'd go. All the kids would be out there picking up peanuts or turning over potatoes or whatever it was. So anyway, they, they said they was going do, and my mother was more emotions, she was just all to pieces and she was talking to him because she was thinking about him getting hurt. She wasn't thinking about the Klan. "I don't want you to--sit down, you don't know--!" Daddy got his gun. And got on our fence, cause everybody had to face his fence. And, he--and my mother just had conniptions. She went over to some friends--the same Hewes family now that lives right on the corner--she went over there, and she told them, she said, "I can't do a thing with him." Said, "He's just craz-, what he'd do if those people come in here marching." He said, "Oh well." Did you ever know--? No you wouldn't--I guess--Finley B. Hewes is the one. His daddy was the first, postman of this town. So he went to--and he and my daddy were really, real good friends. If black folks and white folks can be good friends, I don't know, I can't say that. I hope ya'll don't record that, you'd better cut it. (laughs) So anyway he said, "I'm going to stay here--and say he told him--and then the word got on the beach you know--and two or three times, so Mr. Hewes brought over a group of people and he asked him, "What's the matter--?" Say, "What in the world is wrong with you all over here?" He said, he says, "Not a thing wrong with us." Say, "There's a rumor that they gonna blow--the Klan is gonna come over here and do this and that." And he said, "I'm not saying what they gonna do or what they not gonna do, but I am telling you--," he say, "If one start--even start across that fence, that's gonna be my first one--," and said, "--thereafter, I'll get as many as I can, 'cause I don't care about going." He said, "I'm not running with my children and wife no place." And I guess Mr. Finley B. went on back and had a meeting and that probably settled it.$$So, they didn't come.$$They never come and I never heard any more trouble or even mention of Klans until I came home--when I retired and came home. They, they were about to--who was the mayor then? Youree (ph.), was the mayor then, a little short guy--I'm talking about Gulfport here. I'm coming home. My sister's ill and it's just the two of us now. So I came home and I must have been--then you want to--what happened with the Klan then?$$No, go ahead.$$Yeah, the Klan, so we--they were doing an interracial religious thing and all and everybody is--everybody's studied how to get along and all kind of racial meetings. You know, it was in that area, and, your grandma and your grandpa and all that kind--just as much history as people could crowd in at that--right after the Civil Rights Movement, people moving this and moving like this, everything was--you know how it was. No, no you might not have been old enough to remember. Anyway, I came home and everybody is talking about the interracial--going to other's people's church and some times they wouldn't let them in and all that basic stuff, you know it was the area when a lot of that was going on and it was about this time of year because they celebrate this monument they have that day, at the county building downtown Gulfport. And, they, they were going to so--and when we went to that meeting, I said, "Well what are we going to do about this Klan report here?" Someone said, "The Klan is going to march on Sunday evening from so-and-so." I said, "Well--." they were just beginning to talk about the casinos, that what they were going to open Gulfport up to the casinos and this, this was going to happen and all that. So they said, "Well I don't know we just should talk with the mayor. So they talked with [Gerald] Blessey, the mayor of Biloxi [Mississippi] and he said, "I have already told them, so you don't need to come to me." Said, "They are not going to march in Gulfport. I've told all about the police force, blah, blah. They are not going to march in Gulfport and Biloxi." So all right, the next day, we said, "We'll call a meeting and we are going to ask Hewitt Youree," about this and what he's going to do. Well some--a lot of them got cold feet and didn't want to go. They said, "You know that guy's a racist from his heart and you know, so-and-so is down there and he's a racist from his heart." Well I said, "We just gonna have to deal with the racists." Well, my sister just reminded me of my mother. (laughs) She was just torn to pieces. Because she never had any problem--you know, she had the basic things, but she didn't think too much of it. When you don't have to depend on it, that's a different story. So, I said, "No, no, no, not going--," I said, "I'm going to go down to Youree if I have to go there myself," and that's where I went, by myself.$$Okay, what do you---?$$And they didn't--didn't have (unclear). I said, "You, you gonna have to think fast," I said--.$$You, you met with the mayor by yourself?$$By myself. And we had a gathering and so he said, "You know, a gathering is good, anytime we need to have as many public gatherings for the sake of the children to see how parents get along that we do talk to people, and we not gonna--and you're not going to turn black, and we are not going to eat you up, so you just gonna have to accept us." You know, we went through all that for the sake of a little fun. And then, I went home, my sister said, "Well, if they come in and burn up the house, just don't say nothing to me." I said, "Well if one--if the Movement is not worth one burning of a house, then let's just forget it." So, it's, it's--you can get that issue of the paper.$You worked with nice people?$$Yeah, I worked with--I don't know if they were nice or not, they were nice to me so that's all I tried to cover. I wasn't working in the Civil Rights Movement then, I was working and--to try to make a living. (laughs), no I did--but, they did a lot in the Movement. Chicago Medical School [later the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, Illinois] did a lot in the in the Movement.$$In the Civil Rights Movement?$$Yeah, because they were one of the first that began to take black students in the medical department. They did an excellent job in there and then they--in addition to opening their doors, they had some special paramedics that I think they still use now, pre-medics. That's what it is, pre-medics. They had some special pre-medics that was very important for students who came from certain places, certain backgrounds which would make it very difficult and perhaps at that time, they had four years, but now I don't think they have four years, before you can go to your practice or something. But at that time they had four years, and now they can go there and do three and take that first year up in some other kind of more like technical stuff in the field. And then they have so much modern equipment and modern computions. Like it use to take you forever to get complete blood, now you're able to get it in ten minutes, sometimes less. So, that, that is what was you see now, but it's interesting to see how it is changed, how it is changed.$$Now, a lot of what you've done in your life has been civic activity or, or activity? So how did you get involved in that kind of activity in Chicago? I mean did you, did you--?$$Well, I don't if there's a place that would be better to find than in Chicago. Chicago has such a level of personality--believe it--you just can't hardly believe it. There's so much--such a level of everything in Chicago. Well, maybe it's just my interpretation, but just levels and levels.$$Did you know some of the, politicians and activists in those days, like did you know William Dawson or did you know of him or--?$$I knew Danny Davis real well. Real well. I knew--.$$He's now a [U.S.] Congressman.$$Yeah. Did you ever know of that priest they called Father Jenks (ph.), the 'Rebel Priest' or something? I worked with him. We (unclear) a lot of projects together.$$Okay.$$So, there were some very, very rare young--only thing those guys and those women who came down from, the east out of the east, they were so young and so ambitious you had to be very careful 'cause they would've turned the United States upside down and burn it on both sides. They were very, very into things and I had never seen such things and didn't believe it was true--.$$Now what, what are--,$$I'm talking about the--you said my experiences working with the civil--you know, working with people who were--.$$--What time period are we talking about?$$We are talking about after the war when they were going back to, to the regular--what do you call it?$$After World War II?$$Yeah, what do you call that?$$(Unclear).$$Yeah, after World War I--World War II, that's right, excuse me.$$Cold War days?$$Yes, Cold War days, and of course they had that terrible attitude and that terrible thing about that war in Vietnam. That was a terrible thing we lived through that, and we knew so many people personal and that was a rough time.$$Now, tell me how did you, how did you get involved in community activism? I mean, tell me the first time you got involved in--.$$I guess I was always an activist, and always saw things that--but.$$(Simultaneously) Tell me some of the things--$$(Simultaneously) Officially, I was the first, the first thing I, I think it's the first time I was really, really got involved into it was when they were doing the drive for the children who were--had sickle cell [anemia]. See I was working over there and I had no idea--.$$This was in the '70s [1970s]--early '70s [1970s]?$$Yeah, this was the sickle cell. That was my first--I was--what was I doing at the time? I can't even remember what I was doing at the time (unclear), but whatever I was doing this just hit me as something, I said, "This must not be true," and there were several of my friends and we talked just like we talking now, and they gave us--asked me did I--because there were a group of people they called the 'Rebel Priests' use to come down there from up there in Oak Park [Illinois] or some place and going West and every Saturday we would give it to kids, you know, from around there and we really got to know a lot of them, any number of them. Then there was someone who owned a building, right next to the building where I was living, he gave us the use of that basement of that building for the project and--to collect--at that time they collected the urine, they didn't do the blood, and this was all sickle--all of that lead poisoning and sickle cell that what we (unclear).$$What is this for testing?$$Yeah, all testing. And what was the interesting when you began to look around and you found how many kids were suffering from this thing and then to find out that when you really began to go into those homes and test, what they were living with. It kind of changed your idea. You say, "My God, I can do something for this right here under my feet," and that was living on--that was when I was living on the West Side over there on--you know where Madison [Street] where that big park on the West Side what's the name of it?$$Central Park?$$No, no, no. Where is the--?$$Garfield Park?$$Garfield Park. You know that hotel--$$(Simultaneously) The golden dome?$$You had the golden dome, you know that, that famous hotel where the boxers use to stop over on Madison and something? The, the--what do you call it--the boxer Joe Louis use to be over there when he was getting ready for a fight.$$Was it--?$$Midway, Midway Hotel, that was the name of it. Anyway, that was where I first became in, you know, in--really involved with the whole thing. The picture came from the health and that was, that was what we launched it on. On the health, the health of the children, and in the process of doing (unclear) I discovered so many other things that were going on and the services were needed to give the young parents some guidance and especially the smaller children. It was terrible, you wouldn't believe it existed in a city. So, that, that's what--and I haven't got out of it to this day.$$Now, now you work with Nancy Jeffers--?$$Oh, yes, Nancy, I know her very well and what was that boy's name, I think he went over to--Republican now, he took her place. Because someone had given him quite a bit of property and money and stuff like that, I think.$$I'm not sure.$$No, no you wouldn't, you wouldn't know him (unclear), but it's beautiful now, how they cleaned up the West Side.$$There's still a lot of work to be done.$$Well, I imagine it is. But right there at Damen and--where the hospital areas stop, you know the University [of Illinois at Chicago] and all that stuff, it's really, really come a long way.$$Oh yeah.$$But like you said, there's still a lot to be done.$$So what are some of the other organizations you worked with on the West Side?$$Well, I think I worked with everything that was there. I worked with the housing, we got that--let me see--we got a big donation from the Sears Foundation when I was Chairperson for Sears (pauses)--board over on the West Side. We had--they gave us--how many years was it? So many years they gave a certain amount $75,000 and like that--I have that picture too and the document and all, things like that and I just kind of gone from one thing to the other. You know I retired from Chicago Medical School.$$And still, still kept working on things, huh?$$Yeah, I worked on things. You know how they want you to worked on things, but when I came home [to Gulfport, Mississippi] I had been--it's just like starting all over again.$$Well, let's not get you home yet. I want to talk about [Chicago Mayor] Harold Washington.$$Oh, well yeah, Harold--but you see my cousin--I told you Al Raby, you know he's a very good friend to, to.$$Al Raby is one of the legendary civil rights figures in Chicago.$$Well, yeah, that's my first cousin.$$He was the one that brought Dr. [Martin Luther] King to Chicago.$$That's right, that's right he's the one that brought Dr. King and I was in--.$$(Unclear).$$Yeah, I was into everything that was going on with the Civil Rights Movement.$$Were you involved in Operation PUSH?$$Oh, yes. I was with--I was a good friend of Dr. King's and [Rev.] Jesse [Jackson] and that preacher. We stayed up all night trying to keep them--not to divide but they did it anyway.$$Not to do what now, I'm sorry.$$You know when Dr. King passed, everything--they assumed that the power would go to [Ralph] Abernathy. Well--and Jesse would remain in second player and let him have a couple of years and it would a nicer quiet thing, and then Jesse was much younger and probably could have carried them better and faster, but he didn't and they kind of split up the group and some very good people just--.$$Split up the Southern Christian Leadership Conference?$$That's right, that's right, and some of them just, just stopped. Just stopped giving--and that changed (unclear), and Jesse changed his aspect of, you know, leadership and everything else so--but I was never unofficial or nothing, I would--there would be a project in a certain area they would ask me to take and I would take it. Mostly, it's been voter registration.

The Honorable Monique Davis

Monique Dionne Davis was born August 19, 1936, in Chicago, Illinois to James and Constance McKay. After graduating from Calumet High School at age sixteen, Davis attended one semester at Chicago State University, leaving to get married and move to Denver, Colorado. After having two children, Robert and Monique, Davis returned to Chicago State University and received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1966, and later her master’s degree in guidance and supervision. Davis also went on to earn graduate hours in administration supervision and special education, as well as credits toward her doctoral degree in administration and supervision from Roosevelt University.

Davis first worked in education in the Chicago Public School system where she taught for eighteen years. She later served as an administrator for the Chicago Board of Education, and a training specialist for City Colleges of Chicago.

Davis’ political career began as a volunteer to Democratic candidates Gus Savage, Monica Faith Stewart and Harold Washington. In 1987, Davis was elected to the Illinois General Assembly, where she has served since. She has served as chair of the Insurance Committee, vice chair of Financial Institutions, member of the Appropriations – General Services Committee, Appropriations – Higher Education Committee, Elementary & Secondary Education Committee, State Government Committee, The Amistad Commission, Racial Profiling Prevention and Data Oversight Board, and co-chairperson of the Commission to End Disparities Facing the African American Community.

Davis has received several awards, including Teacher of the Year from the Gresham Elementary School, Teacher Who Makes a Difference from the Center for New Schools, and Excellent Legislator from Operation PUSH and the Department of Aging.

Davis is a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., NAACP, and Operation PUSH. She is the mother of two, grandmother of four, and great-grandmother of seven.

Monique Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 7, 2000.

Accession Number

A2000.048

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/7/2000

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

Gillespie Elem School

Calumet Career Prep Academy High School

Chicago State University

DePaul University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

First Name

Monique

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

DAV14

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

May God Bless You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/19/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Fish

Short Description

State representative The Honorable Monique Davis (1936 - ) is a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, where she has sat on the committees on appropriation, consumer protection, urban redevelopment, public utilities and election law. She is also the vice chairperson of the Elementary-Secondary Education Committee.

Employment

Illinois General Assembly

Chicago Public Schools

Del Farm Grocery Store

Favorite Color

Black

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Monique Davis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Monique Davis lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Monique Davis describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Monique Davis reflects onher childhood experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Monique Davis talks about her parents' background

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Monique Davis describes her grandparents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Monique Davis talks about the value of community

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Monique Davis reflects upon the values she learned from her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Monique Davis talks about her childhood and her four sisters

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Monique Davis recalls the racism she encountered throughout her education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Monique Davis talks about completing college

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Monique Davis talks about her experience returning to school as a working mother of two

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Monique Davis describes sacrificing for her children's education

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Monique Davis talks about starting her career as a teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Monique Davis remembers her experience as a teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Monique Davis discusses the value of teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Monique Davis talks about the institutional racism at Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Monique Davis discusses her hopes for business and school reform

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Monique Davis remembers her start in politics

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Monique Davis describes her political accomplishments

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Monique Davis discusses racial profiling

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Monique Davis talks about the independence of black legislators

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Monique Davis discusses the need for reparations

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Monique Davis talks about representing her community with integrity

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Monique Davis discusses her success in funding the Vivian Harsh Collection and the DuSable Museum

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Monique Davis discusses getting appropriations to help the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Monique Davis talks about the black legislators who came before her

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Monique Davis reflects upon her legacy

The Honorable Charles Hayes

Labor leader and U.S. congressman Charles A. Hayes was born on February 17, 1918 in Cairo, Illinois, and graduated from Cairo's Sumner High School in 1935.

While working as a machine operator in his hometown Hayes helped to organize the United Packinghouse Workers of America, which later became prominent in union reform movements for women and minorities. Hayes remained involved with the labor union movement for fifty years and eventually became vice president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

In 1983, Hayes was elected as a member of the United States House of Representatives, a seat previously occupied by Chicago, Illinois Mayor Harold Washington. Hayes played a large role in Washington's mayoral campaign by lobbying, organizing people and raising money through his union. During his career in Congress, Hayes made a number of changes. He authored and introduced the School Improvement Act of 1987, which was later passed by the House. This act allocated millions of dollars to public schools across the country, allowing them to purchase textbooks, computers and supplies. He also introduced the Economic Bill of Rights, which outlined a plan for the equal distribution of national wealth. In addition, Hayes was an active member of Congress’s Education and Labor Committee, as well as the Small Business Committee. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives until January 3, 1993.

Hayes also was an ardent supporter of the civil rights movement. He was one of the founding members of Operation PUSH with Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. Also, Hayes worked with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

A resident of Chicago, Illinois for most of his life, Hayes died from complications of lung cancer on April 8, 1997 at the age of 79.

Charles Hayes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 25, 1993.

Accession Number

A1993.002

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/25/1993

Last Name

Hayes

Maker Category
Middle Name

A.

Schools

Cairo Sumner High School

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Cairo

HM ID

HAY02

Favorite Season

None

Sponsor

Tanqueray

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

2/17/1918

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

4/8/1997

Short Description

Labor leader and U.S. congressman The Honorable Charles Hayes (1918 - 1997 ) was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1983. Hayes was also a life-long union worker, founding the United Packinghouse Workers of America and becoming vice president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

Employment

United States House of Representatives

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:11900,185:28000,243:36216,296:36744,303:37184,310:39434,325:40793,336:41699,343:48540,368:65280,482:74532,579:75164,589:80892,661:81695,675:90456,780:93365,812:94313,846:95656,869:116216,1077:116484,1082:116819,1088:120551,1133:122974,1150:123328,1158:123623,1164:132550,1273:133047,1281:135464,1315:135961,1323:136245,1328:138174,1342:138542,1347:140750,1407:141394,1415:153658,1614:154474,1626:157890,1634:159760,1657:164788,1716:165362,1724:166428,1738:171951,1797:172299,1802:174213,1828:174822,1836:176388,1858:176910,1867:185917,1981:186547,1992:190145,2040:192600,2066:193080,2074:193640,2083:194040,2089:197000,2145:201160,2228:201800,2239:209895,2331:211170,2350:214496,2396:221668,2489:224684,2522:225092,2530:227676,2579:227948,2584:230946,2617:233610,2659:248894,2830:255602,2918:259073,2943:259499,2957:259783,2962:266596,3050:267584,3067:270142,3085:270752,3097:271057,3103:272399,3138:275552,3176:278128,3225:283402,3276:285572,3341:286068,3351:286750,3365:288796,3412:298570,3525:299200,3535:299760,3550:300040,3555:303540,3615:303820,3620:306098,3687:309889,3729:311020,3748:314144,3795:318862,3867:319698,3880:325782,3954:326493,3968:334100,4023:334800,4035:335080,4041:335710,4052:336130,4060:337250,4093:338230,4113:339070,4123:339770,4134:340400,4146:342220,4184:342850,4196:343130,4201:343410,4206:344250,4221:347508,4237:348102,4250:349236,4275:352656,4310:353154,4317:353569,4323:356286,4337:360086,4396$0,0:279,9:35457,473:44488,520:51310,577:55721,619:56470,628:57326,638:62831,782:65310,802:65830,808:70106,856:70536,862:70880,867:73440,877:74568,895:78729,938:79084,944:83860,987:87995,1025:88435,1034:88930,1044:89480,1055:91030,1073:91674,1081:92594,1090:93146,1097:93698,1104:95018,1126:98154,1142:99306,1157:101080,1164:105990,1199:107490,1211:108540,1220:112914,1248:116577,1296:117270,1304:129710,1388:132590,1448:134270,1456:149180,1539:150180,1549:150680,1554:160162,1598:160990,1608:161542,1616:163898,1627:166040,1642:173875,1734:174310,1740:177204,1756:178124,1768:180516,1805:182172,1835:186220,1896:186956,1906:187600,1915:193182,1972:194695,1998:195229,2006:197454,2040:203040,2120:216660,2262:217620,2288:225530,2342:226960,2358:227620,2365:229160,2383:234770,2472:243080,2556:245580,2593:246380,2604:258892,2765:260386,2790:261382,2807:263124,2817:263706,2824:266420,2861:266760,2866:267185,2872:268970,2902:269735,2913:270075,2918:270925,2930:272455,2958:274097,2966
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Charles Hayes names inspirational figures

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Hayes details his investment in unions

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Hayes expresses his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Hayes wants to be remembered for staying the course

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Hayes shares advice for future generations

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Hayes lists several prominent Chicagoans who've influenced his career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Hayes shares political views

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$1

DAStory

2$6

DATitle
Charles Hayes details his investment in unions
Charles Hayes lists several prominent Chicagoans who've influenced his career
Transcript
What events influenced you? What important events in our history have influenced you the most? Or would you like pinpoint as very important to black people.$$Well, I think that has the most influence on my life was being a part of a very poor family. I had always--it just became a part of me to always have a desire to help people who needed help. Employment--find a decent job, make a decent living. And certainly, in order to do that--I became really interested in unions. And I guess the thing that turned me in the direction of unions most was a job I had--because I had no desire to continue to be a laborer in a hardware flooring plant. I just wanted to make a little money and get enough stashed away to maybe go to an institution of higher learning after just graduating from high school. But the thing that I found out, you can't do it alone if you work in a factory. You have to be together. And that's where unionism became a part of me, down in Cairo, Illinois when I left there and came to Chicago and at the help of my uncle got a job in the stockyards. And the same thing existed dealing with an employer on a one on basis is not the kind of thing where you'd get very far. So, collectivism meant a lot so I started toward unions. And organized in order to improve ourselves financially and yes, be treated like human beings. Some places they didn't treat you like human beings. If you were African American, you were certainly on the low end of the totem pole, you had the worst jobs. The most laborious and dirtiest jobs in the stockyards. It changed when we got organized. So that influenced my life. And I decided that I should stay and stick with unions, work with unions. And I became to be an elected official of a union on both local and international level and then I got into politics as a correlation between politics and a way of life for people. And when I came to Chicago, I worked for [US Congressman William] Dawson and a lot of others--most of the Democratic party, but there was just one of these "me too" Democrats, I never was so hung up with the party label as I was with what they stood for and the kind of program that they were pushing and that's what I supported. So I was characterized more as an independent kind of Democrat. Rather than a, I guess, based on law, they based on label. So that influenced my life when I got tied up in unions, tied up in politics. Yes, when I went into the Congress in 1983 as the successor to one of the greatest people I ever knew--mayor of the city of Chicago, first black person elected the mayor of this great city--Harold Washington. I supported him, fought within the ranks of labor, they didn't want to support, a lot of--didn't want to support a black leader to head--be the chief executive of this city. But we fought. At least neutralized some them to the point where they didn't--wouldn't make an endorsement in the primary rather than endorse Harold they left it up to each individual union to go on their way and endorse whoever they wanted. And then for me to succeed him as a Congressperson is something I never dreamed of, it certainly wasn't my aspiration. I went to my own union in Washington and asked--they asked me after he was elected, who are we going to get to succeed him? I said, "I don't know, we gotta think about it and talk about it." Already a member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, one of its leaders. And so I said--they said, "Well, why don't you run?" I said, "Who me?" "Yeah. We' ll help you raise the necessary funds." And it took almost $400,000 for me to be elected, all of it didn't come from labor. But they certainly had the PAC [political action committee] funds. They supported me without it, with thirteen different opponents, it was difficult to win. There's no question about it. So this had great--and when I went into Congress, my interest and concern was to be a voice for the voiceless and it's still that way. Poor people on our society, their needs are neglected. Their desires--the homeless we have, people who have no insurance and all these kinds of things I think it's something government needs to do something about. We still have hungry people. I'm very much opposed to the continuation of spending our money in the interest of people overseas--and the neglected people right here at home. This is my background--this is the way I've been all along.$Thurgood Marshall is a person I knew--first met when he was an attorney for the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People]. I was active in the NAACP--used to be the one of the leaders of the Chicago chapter of the NAACP. Travelled all over the country to conventions and everywhere supporting and fighting for the rights of people. I remember, he used to have great influence on me. Of course, Ralph Bunche, I didn't know quite as well. I was very happy when he was given the role to try to get justice for Palestinians, 'cause as a leader of labor at that time, there was only a few of us who took the position, even in the old CIO [Congress of Industrial Organizations] and AFL-CIO [American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations] at conventions that we think that the Palestinians entitled to a homeland, I still feel that way. They shouldn't be treated as they're outcasts. And so far as Jesse Jackson is concerned--I had gotten to know Jesse when he was on the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference [SCLC] working with Dr. Martin Luther King [Jr.]. And I can remember having marched in the South, marched in Chicago for equality is housing and jobs and education with Jesse. And I think that he certainly has been one who--while younger than me, I have a lot of admirations or admiration for him. Now what the fourth one that you mentioned was--I'm trying to think. Well there are several others than I know I have--Harold Washington, God knows, he had a great part in my life, not just politically, but who knows how to work as a coalition kind of person. We only represent roughly 41 percent--which is a big number--of the population in the city of Chicago, but we don't control how the dollars are spent. And this is--this is what the fight is all about. You can't wrap yourself up just in blackness, the favored color of the people in power is green. And you have to get in the position where you can have something to say how this is distributed and this is where out shortcomings are here and [Chicago mayor] Harold Washington did a lot. And yes, people like Margaret Burroughs who have fought and struggled and built the DuSable Museum, certainly has done a lot to improve and record the history that a lot of our people have played. Ralph Metcalf when he stood up in defiance of the police brutality in this city, will long be remembered in our work--and stood with him. And we've--Addie Wyatt, a person I've known and certainly a religious leader now, but was a labor leader, she certainly has played a great part--a role in my life, and I'll always remember. Along with her husband, Reverend Claude Wyatt, we grew up together, our in Altgeld Gardens. I lived out there in public housing. First decent apartment I ever had in this city, was public housing. And I'll always want to see that these people who live there are not pushed out just because big developers want to make big dollars.

Carrie L. Davis

Carrie Lapsky Davis, an educator, clothing boutique owner and realtor, has been a community activist and worker in the political process since her days as a college girl participating in the Civil Rights Movement.

Born May 24, 1944 in Chicago, Davis' father was a physician and surgeon. However, Davis was raised in Port Gibson, Mississippi by her grandparents who owned a dairy. Davis graduated from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi in 1964, the same year she married fellow Tougaloo graduate, James W. Davis, a CPA.

Coming to Chicago in 1968, Davis became a teacher. In 1973, she earned a master's degree in Education from Northwestern University. Opting for the business world, Davis opened Cari's Designer Fashions in 1988, which enabled her to travel the world in search of unique women's clothes. Closing the business ten years later, Davis worked as a Headstart administrator for the Chicago public school system.

A tireless fund-raiser, Davis worked on the campaign to elect Harold Washington, Chicago's first black mayor. She also gained finanicial support for Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris' and Senator Carol Mosely-Braun's campaigns.

Davis is a lifetime member of the NAACP and a member of Operation Push. She was a founder of the Lake Shore Links, a member of the Chicago Society of Mannequins and the Chicago Art Institute, Tougaloo College Alumni and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. In 1999, she was elected to the Tougaloo Hall of Fame.

The Davises are residents of Chicago's Hyde Park. They have two sons: Stephen, a lawyer and investment banker, and Christopher, a Wall Street trader.

Accession Number

A2002.067

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/9/2002

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lapsky

Schools

Tougaloo College

Northeastern Illinois University

First Name

Carrie

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

DAV05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas

Favorite Quote

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

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/24/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens

Short Description

Fashion entrepreneur Carrie L. Davis (1944 - ) is formerly the owner of Cari's Designer Fashions, and has worked as a Head Start administrator for Chicago Public Schools. Davis is a lifetime member of the NAACP, and was a founder of the Lake Shore chapter of The Links, Inc.

Employment

Cari's Designer Fashions

Chicago Public Schools

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:12209,191:28566,448:35202,610:40494,713:83076,1299:83598,1316:84207,1324:91520,1390:116490,1750:119700,1775$0,0:4620,13:19154,289:19490,294:28968,387:33317,484:35327,534:65335,1054:80332,1264:93740,1472:107344,1707:108622,1735:109048,1743:109332,1748:122681,1937:135170,2049:154932,2275:162647,2440:164648,2484:165476,2502:165821,2508:166994,2536:167270,2541:168512,2565:168926,2572:181160,2737:201600,3203:208067,3252:209860,3291:217655,3424:222600,3503:228230,3573
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carrie L. Davis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carrie L. Davis lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carrie L. Davis describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carrie L. Davis describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carrie L. Davis describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carrie L. Davis describes the segregated community of Port Gibson, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carrie L. Davis describes how she perceived segregation as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carrie L. Davis describes her extracurricular activities as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carrie L. Davis talks about her mentors as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Carrie L. Davis talks about being May Day Queen

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Carrie L. Davis describes her experiences attending Addison High School in Port Gibson, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Carrie L. Davis talks about what motivated her to attend college

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Carrie L. Davis talks about attending Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Carrie L. Davis shares the history of Tougaloo College

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Carrie L. Davis describes the faculty at Tougaloo College

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Carrie L. Davis describes the culture at Tougaloo College

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Carrie L. Davis describes her social life as a student at Tougaloo College

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carrie L. Davis describes the entertainment culture of Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carrie L. Davis talks about studying education and sociology at Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carrie L. Davis talks about the Civil Rights Movement at Tougaloo, College

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carrie L. Davis describes participating in the Civil Rights Movement as a student at Tougaloo College

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carrie L. Davis recalls her demonstration during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carrie L. Davis describes her Civil Rights activities in Jackson, Mississippi and Tougaloo, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carrie L. Davis describes how the Civil Rights Movement impacted business owners Port Gibson, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carrie L. Davis describes how participating in the Civil Rights Movement affected her studies

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Carrie L. Davis talks about Medgar Evers

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Carrie L. Davis comments on law enforcement during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Carrie L. Davis describes how various murders during the Civil Rights Movement affected her

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Carrie L. Davis talks about Robert Parris Moses and Reverend James Bevel

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Carrie L. Davis describes how the Civil Rights Movement shaped her home town of Port Gibson, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Carrie L. Davis talks about meeting her husband, James Davis

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Carrie L. Davis talks about raising her children in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carrie L. Davis talks about raising her children in the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carrie L. Davis talks about attending the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carrie L. Davis talks about the teachings of the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carrie L. Davis describes how the teachings of the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies shaped her thinking

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carrie L. Davis describes how her businesses have allowed her to give back to her community

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carrie L. Davis talks about her boutique, Carrie's Designer Fashion

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carrie L. Davis talks about her civic involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Carrie L. Davis talks about founding Clara's Helping Hand for the Homeless

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Carrie L. Davis talks about supporting the NAACP and Operation PUSH

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Carrie L. Davis talks about fundraising for Harold Washington's 1983 mayoral campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Carrie L. Davis talks about the legacy of Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Carrie L. Davis talks about fundraising for Roland Burris's 1990 campaign for Illinois State Attorney General

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Carrie L. Davis explains why she supported Carol Moseley Braun's campaign for U.S. Senate

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Carrie L. Davis describes what motivated her to work with political campaigns

Tape: 3 Story: 15 - Carrie L. Davis talks about dining with President Bill Clinton

Tape: 3 Story: 16 - Carrie L. Davis describes her involvement with Al Gore's 2000 Presidential campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carrie L. Davis talks about Hillary Clinton and Tipper Gore

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carrie L. Davis comments on why Vice President Al Gore lost the Presidential election in 2000

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carrie L. Davis talks about being a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carrie L. Davis talks about her sons, Steven and Christopher Davis

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carrie L. Davis talks about raising her children

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carrie L. Davis talks about her philosophy on life

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carrie L. Davis talks about how American culture has changed

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Carrie L. Davis narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Carrie L. Davis narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carrie L. Davis narrates her photographs, pt. 3

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Carrie L. Davis narrates her photographs, pt. 4

DASession

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DATitle
Carrie L. Davis describes the entertainment culture of Jackson, Mississippi
Carrie L. Davis describes how the Civil Rights Movement impacted business owners Port Gibson, Mississippi
Transcript
Okay.$$Okay.$$You were talking about the entertainment in Jackson [Mississippi] and the, the musicians that came through there. And just, well, you know, continue to talk about that.$$Well, that was one of the very, very wonderful things about being at Tougaloo [Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Mississippi] because we, we were only 20 miles outside of Jackson. And all of the big entertainers would come through Jackson. They would perform at this place called the Rose Room. And coming from Port Gibson [Mississippi] where we didn't even have a red light, I just thought the Rose Room was the most beautiful place in the world. It had this beautiful rose right in the center, all neon. And it was a huge room with a stage, and they'd have a band. And when I was a Tougaloo, I got to see Ted Turner, James Brown, Jackie Wilson. Any star during the '60's [1960s] would come through Jackson and we would find a way to get there to see them, and we never missed any. In fact, I can remember James Brown sweating as if it were yesterday. And we were all standing on top of the tables so we could make sure that we got a real good look at him. But it was really a wonderful experience, a wonderful experience. I remember going to see B.B. King [HM] for 50 cents, and James--Bobby "Blue" Bland. There was a very special place call the, the Blue Room in Vicksburg, Mississippi, which is about 20 miles south of Jackson. And we would go there to see some of the stars too. It was a very special place. In fact, the owner, Tom Wince, was on "60 Minutes" about three years ago, how he developed this club. And I think he was the only guy in Mississippi that was a polygamist.$$Really, he--$$Yes, he had several wives and a beautiful club, I mean just absolutely gorgeous.$Now when did Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee come to Tougaloo [Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Mississippi]?$$I think in 1960, 'cause there was a relationship all the while I as there. They call it SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee]. And somebody was always there to talk about stuff or to motivate kids to get involved, that kind of thing. But I, I, I, I did the first sit-in, sit-in in my hometown of Port Gibson [Mississippi]. The day they passed the Civil Rights Bill I had my husband--'cause I married in college, so I had my husband [James Davis] drive me to Port Gibson. And there was this drugstore called McDaniel's Pharmacy, and when I was a little girl growing up we'd have to go around to the side to get our milkshakes. And I always wanted to play the jukebox and sit down and have a milkshake. So I--when I was growing up in Port Gibson I wasn't--I don't know. I guess I just never thought about, you know, why I had to go around to the side. Once I became involved in the movement, I realized, everything came clear. So I said when they pass the Civil Rights Movement I'm gonna go to McDaniel's Pharmacy and have a milkshake. So I went down there and that's exactly what I did. And Mr. McDaniel's was friends with my family. And he said to me, little Carrie Dean, I don't why you're doing this. Now you know better, but he serve--he reluctantly served me. And he said you know, after all, I did give your grandmother good credit. And when I go back down there I always go to see him. He's still--he's, he's in his nineties and he's still alive. And I'm doing a book, and I'm going to interview him this summer. I liked to have just feel--you know, he's just a changed man, and I'd like to know what he--what he's thinking now and how his reflections might be.$$And that was my next question: How have you changed or how is he, you know.$$Well, he hi--he's hired lots of, of, of Afro Americans in his business. In fact, he has a new store now. And I understand he's still doing prescriptions. He's obviously had a change of heart, because after I did the sit-in in Port Gibson, everything changed. I mean there was a bit--there were--it was sit-ins; there were demonstrations; there was a big boycott, and it ended up that a lot of the white merchants, in fact ninety percent of, lost their businesses because of the--of, of the boycott. Several of the merchants that I used to buy from and my paren--family when I was there, they said that no black person would ever ring that cash register. And so black people just stopped going to those stores. And I don't know if you're familiar, but--and I should have brought all the information, and I can probably still get it, but I there was a suit filed against the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] by the whites in Port Gibson because of the big losses. But I, I don't think they ever won anything, because the town now is--there are a lot of black entrepreneurs as well as whites there. So it really changed for the better I think.$$Is the town majority black, Port Gibson [Mississippi]?$$Port Gibson is about probably half and half, probably half and half. It's a very small town, probably less than 4,000 people, maybe--$$(Simultaneous)--$$--a little more now.$$So black customers are significant, you know?$$Oh, certainly, certainly. But before that, no one had ever thought about, you know, doing anything. I mean whites owned all the businesses there basically, you know, the, the, the retail stores, the few that we had.

The Honorable Jesse Madison

Jesse Donald Madison was born on January 1, 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee to Mildred and Walter Madison. He graduated from Manassas High School in 1956 and moved to Chicago, Illinois to continue his education. Initially attending Wilson Junior College (now Kennedy-King), Madison soon transferred to Roosevelt University, where he received his B.A. degree in business administration. While in college, Madison married Frances Thornton. An accountant by occupation, Madison spent ten years in this field, rising to the position of Senior Accountant with the Maremont Corporation. While serving as Deputy Director of the Chicago Economic Development Corporation, Madison launched his political career by being elected in 1974 to the Illinois House of Representatives. During Madison’s two terms in Springfield, he supported and helped pass the Public Aid Appropriations Bill, the Adult Education Bill and others. In 1976, he was voted the “Best Legislator” by the Independent Voters of Illinois.

Madison left the Illinois General Assembly at the end of 1978 and was hired by the Urban League to act as Vice-President of Finance and Administration. However, when Harold Washington decided to run for Mayor of Chicago, he asked Madison to join his campaign staff. Under Washington’s leadership, Madison served as Commissioner of Consumer Services for three years. He was also Commissioner of the Chicago Park District, where he remained until Richard M. Daley became Mayor.

Since leaving city government, Madison served as the President and CEO of the Abraham Lincoln Center, a social service organization. He was also involved in many civic organizations, including the African American Family Commission, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Child Welfare Advisory Council.

Madison passed away on August 8, 2014, at the age of 75. He and his wife had two daughters, Tracey and Lynn, and two grandchildren.

Jesse Madison was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 21, 2000.

Accession Number

A2000.056

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/21/2000

Last Name

Madison

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Manassas High School

Carnes Elementary School

Kennedy–King College

Roosevelt University

First Name

Jesse

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

PITS015

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

God Is Good All The Time.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/1/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Black-Eyed Peas

Death Date

8/8/2014

Short Description

State representative The Honorable Jesse Madison (1939 - 2014 ) served in the Illinois House of Representatives, after which he was appointed as the Vice President of Finance and Administration for the National Urban League. He later accepted an appointment as the Commissioner of Consumer Services and Commissioner of the Chicago Park District under Mayor Harold Washington.

Employment

Maremont Corporation

Chicago Economic Development Corporation

Illinois General Assembly

National Urban League (NUL)

City of Chicago

Chicago Park District

Abraham Lincoln Center

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:23632,273:27640,315:27940,321:28360,332:32258,384:32810,392:37055,471:37459,476:37863,481:44549,533:66850,812:67258,819:73430,871:74270,884:77694,927:78274,939:78506,944:89623,1071:104542,1301:106540,1355:108242,1393:116400,1445:117340,1456:118280,1467:126706,1568:141402,1720:141690,1725:156926,1943:162638,2006:167390,2044:168330,2050:168570,2055:173620,2069:176403,2096:182204,2178:184946,2199:186258,2216:187324,2230:188308,2241:189784,2264:190194,2270:205115,2421:205440,2427:205700,2432:206285,2443:207520,2463:212908,2515:213592,2526:215264,2560:216936,2596:225236,2650:225588,2655:233540,2690:237420,2728:240350,2740$0,0:8340,94:20411,248:22734,272:23046,277:23436,283:23904,296:24294,302:27336,358:27882,365:36110,413:37810,438:38150,443:48150,586:49750,610:55770,653:56418,663:59370,727:61530,768:61890,774:69345,856:70135,871:78620,971:78968,978:122774,1288:123728,1298:124364,1305:132894,1374:138574,1444:138822,1449:139194,1456:140062,1474:140806,1489:141426,1500:144650,1577:145952,1600:146510,1610:147068,1620:148556,1651:149114,1662:153900,1696:154680,1720:155265,1733:155655,1740:156370,1752:156760,1759:157020,1764:157865,1782:165684,1889:166443,1902:166719,1907:169272,1959:170859,1987:174585,2066:175068,2078:178740,2091:179300,2104:185781,2147:186571,2160:187282,2170:188151,2183:188467,2188:188783,2196:189652,2218:196000,2271:196350,2277:196840,2284:197260,2294:206612,2328:209430,2335:214341,2379:217239,2440:222400,2459:223273,2469:229350,2522:230022,2531:231558,2556:237392,2606:238940,2636:243550,2673:243970,2679:248370,2698:248930,2706:251410,2765:252130,2775:255810,2827:256130,2832:256690,2842:257890,2860:276810,2994
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jesse Madison's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jesse Madison lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jesse Madison describes his family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jesse Madison shares his early childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jesse Madison describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jesse Madison describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jesse Madison shares memories of his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jesse Madison describes his experience at Carnes Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jesse Madison describes himself as a mischievous child

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jesse Madison talks about Manassas High School and his first kiss

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jesse Madison describes his favorite teacher in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jesse Madison talks about being eligible to graduate high school early, but staying in school for his senior year

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jesse Madison describes his experience attending Manassas High School in Memphis, Tennessee, pt 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jesse Madison describes his experience attending Manassas High School in Memphis, Tennessee, pt 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jesse Madison remembers being denied a scholarship to attend the Illinois Institute of Technology

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jesse Madison talks about his marriage and attending Chicago's Wilson Junior College and Roosevelt University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jesse Madison describes becoming involved in politics

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jesse Madison talks about running for the Illinois General Assembly in 1972 and 1974

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jesse Madison describes the polling and voting system in Chicago, Illinois, before the Shakman Decree in 1972

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jesse Madison describes his campaign for the Illinois General Assembly

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jesse Madison remembers leaving his position at the Chicago Urban League to join Mayor Harold Washington's 1983 campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jesse Madison describes his appointment as the Commissioner of the Chicago Park District under Mayor Harold Washington's administration

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jesse Madison talks about his service as a Commissioner of the Chicago Park District

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jesse Madison talks about his experience serving in the Illinois General Assembly

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jesse Madison remembers his biggest campaign loss in the Illinois General Assembly

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jesse Madison talks about the different political camps of African American legislators in the Illinois General Assembly

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jesse Madison describes the effect of the Shakman Decree in 1972

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jesse Madison talks about Illinois' dirty politics

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jesse Madison talks about working at Chicago's Abraham Lincoln Center

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jesse Madison reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jesse Madison talks about his children and grandchildren

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jesse Madison gives advice to young people interested in politics

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jesse Madison talks about working on the Equal Rights Amendment in the Illinois General Assembly

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DATitle
Jesse Madison describes becoming involved in politics
Jesse Madison talks about his experience serving in the Illinois General Assembly
Transcript
Okay. So that was going to be my next question. At what point did you first enter the political ring and how did you make that entry?$$Do you know a woman by the name of Brenetta Howell? Okay. Brenetta Howell who is now Brenetta Howell Barrett. Brenetta Howell was an activist on the West side of Chicago. My first entry into politics was the year I got married because I moved into an apartment in the 27th Ward on the West side [Chicago], my wife and I. And the very next election after I got married I went to vote and the precinct captain, I didn't know, saw me coming out of the polls and asked me had I voted and I said yes. And he said, "Would you like to vote again?" And I said, "Can I do that?" He said, "Sure." I said, "How can I do that?" He said, "Well, you know I just about know who's coming from the polls and who's not so I will give you the names of two people that are not coming, and you can go back in two more times and vote in their name." And I said, "I don't think so." I said, "Besides I don't like your candidate anyway. I'm not voting for Harry Sain." Harry Sain was an absentee alderman who was alderman of the 27th Ward on the West side, but he lived up on the North side. He has an apartment, you know, that he used for an address, but I said, "I don't like Sain anyway." And he said to me, "You better be careful. Saying things like that you could be found in the trunk of a car." After a few expletives deleted, I left and came home and was talking to my wife about it. I just thought that was the most disgusting thing I heard, but then I began in later and later years I began to understand the old adage related to Chicago about vote early and often. And so the next election, I got involved in because a friend of mine, Carter Jones, was going to run against Sain. And so I got involved in that election. And I found out about dirty tricks politically in Chicago. So I kind of let politics alone. That was in 1963. I left it alone after then until 1969 when Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were killed. That year Brenetta - no, let me back up a minute. In '64 [1964] Brenetta Howell decided she was going to run for Congress in what was then the old 6th congressional district. It's now the 7th where Danny Davis - but she decided she was going to run against Ronan and asked me to help her. And I said, fine. We set out to help her run for Congress. And three days before the election, Dan Ronan died. So we've been putting out all these position papers and slogans and all that. We changed everything. We only had one bit of information, he's dead. You know that dead white man beat that live black woman ten to one. That was when I decided never again. Never again.$Take us back to your terms in the House [Illinois General Assembly] and tell us what that was like for you and what you feel your greatest strength was during those two terms and what do you feel best about what you accomplished?$$Well, I guess my greatest - well, what I feel great about, in my first term, was learning the process. You know, learning the rules, understanding the legislative process and I was able without getting one bill passed that first term the IVI IPO [Independent Voters of Illinois Independent Precinct Organization] gave me its 1976 best legislator award. Primarily because of my activities in committee, understanding the committee process and the committee structure and really doing the grunch work in committee and helping others get bills passed. I mean I put a few bills in, but as a freshman you don't really expect - that seniority system is really kind of iron clad. And when you're a freshman, you're just there to learn, okay? Unless somebody blesses you. And since I was an independent democrat I didn't have nobody in power to bless me, you know. So, I spent my time learning the process and understanding it. I guess I'm most proud of the stand that we took - well of several stands we took. The ERA [Equal Rights Amendment] piece. The probation system that was re-done. I tell you a peculiar kind of situation. I was a part of the movement in 1975 toward the institutionalization where we were moving people out of the state operated facilities that were mentally ill because they were just being warehoused. And we were asking organization to establish community settings for people who had an ability to live independently with support. Most of those had to be people whose mental retardation levels were mild and moderate because those that were severe and profound, that there was really no - the state operated facilities were probably the best place for them. But those whose level was mild and moderate ought to be put in community settings. And little did I know that twenty-five years later I'd be running the organization serving that population of people who had an ability to survive in a community setting with some kind of support, whether that support was full time or part time. So that was one thing that I really, I really was kind of proud of. The second term I - the Governor asked me to carry the Public Aid appropriations bill, and I carried that and I got that bill passed. They were just starting some of the funding at that time for - that was earmarked for kids. And some of the youth organizations like Chicago Area Project and a few others that were heavy into youth development. We're trying to get that program funded and I assisted in helping get that done. The adult education bill, which was in jeopardy, I carried that bill to make sure that funding for those schools who ran adult education programs didn't go down the tube. I lost some battles too, you know, but we put up some major fights.

The Honorable Rickey Hendon

Rickey Hendon was born on December 8, 1953 in Cleveland, Ohio. At a young age, he moved with his family to Chicago, Illinois, where he attended grade school. While in high school, Hendon and his family moved again to Detroit, Michigan, where he graduated from Northwestern High School. With an interest in theatre and broadcasting, Hendon enrolled in the Omega School of Communications where he earned a FCC license, leading to an eight-year career in radio broadcasting.

In 1987, Hendon was appointed by Mayor Harold Washington to serve as a Committeeman for the 27th Ward and was elected to that position the following year. Meanwhile, he was also appointed by Cook County Board President George Dunne to Secretary-Treasurer of the Cook County Forest Preserves.

Shortly after being elected Alderman of the 27th Ward, Hendon was elected to the Illinois Senate, where he served as the Senate Minority Spokesperson of the State Government Operations Committee as well as a member of the Committees on Appropriations and Insurance & Pensions. In January 1997, he was elected Senate Chairperson of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.

Hendon and his wife, Dawn, are the parents of five children. He is a member of Operation PUSH and the NAACP.

Hendon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 24, 2001.

Accession Number

A2001.081

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/24/2001

Last Name

Hendon

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Northwestern High School

Omega School of Communications

First Name

Rickey

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

PITS010

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Puerto Rico

Favorite Quote

The Struggle Continues.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

12/8/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peas (Black-Eyed)

Short Description

State senator The Honorable Rickey Hendon (1953 - ) was elected to the Illinois State Senate, where he served as the Senate Minority Spokesperson of the State Government Operations Committee as well as a member of the Committees on Appropriations and Insurance & Pensions.

Employment

City of Chicago

Cook County Forest Preserves

Chicago City Council

Illinois General Assembly

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:2510,62:3007,75:3433,95:7622,165:11965,237:19165,302:19797,312:22562,393:28730,434:40529,634:47771,791:54670,867:55320,879:56295,913:60585,1007:71396,1134:74880,1166:75342,1173:83900,1330$0,0:11438,221:11853,227:17576,288:17828,293:18143,299:24992,395:26222,426:29256,476:41556,696:41926,702:50652,851:51067,857:66690,1025:67010,1213:75090,1378:77410,1401:112820,1777:119120,1899:125080,2017:127600,2072:129140,2120:178163,2883:184513,2938:214897,3362:234930,3736:249515,3882:260506,4104:267554,4171:268296,4186:269674,4201:279080,4306
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rickey Hendon's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rickey Hendon lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rickey Hendon talks about his mother, Olivia Hendon

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rickey Hendon talks about his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rickey Hendon describes his father and his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rickey Hendon shares memories from his family's move to Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rickey Hendon recalls his first experience with racism

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rickey Hendon talks about the first time he saw cotton

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rickey Hendon describes his family's move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rickey Hendon talks about trying to protect an influential teacher's store from rioters in Chicago

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Rickey Hendon describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Rickey Hendon talks about his grade school years

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rickey Hendon talks about his mother's dreams

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rickey Hendon talks about discovering girls in grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rickey Hendon talks about growing up on Chicago's West Side

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rickey Hendon talks about his interactions with gangs in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rickey Hendon talks about joining the Black Nationalist Movement in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rickey Hendon talks about fighting with gangs in his neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rickey Hendon explains why he did not join the Black Panther Party

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Rickey Hendon talks about influential figures during his teenaged years like Brother Hannibal Afrik

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Rickey Hendon describes the black cultural nationalist movement

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Rickey Hendon describes the gift of intuition he shared with his mother

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Rickey Hendon explains his family's move to Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rickey Hendon talks about his stepfather, Robert Larkin

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rickey Hendon talks about how he decided to join the faction of the Black Panther Party led by Eldridge Cleaver

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rickey Hendon describes divisions within the Black Panther Party

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rickey Hendon talks about his high school experiences as a militant at Northwestern High School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rickey Hendon remembers writing militant poetry in high school and progressive black artists like Gil Scott Heron, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, and The Last Guys

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rickey Hendon describes studying broadcasting at the Omega School of Communications

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rickey Hendon recalls his early years in radio broadcasting and television which took him to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Rickey Hendon describes his return to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Rickey Hendon talks about his entry into Chicago politics after the incarceration of Wallace Davis

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rickey Hendon outlines his political career

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rickey Hendon describes lessons he learned as a ward committeeman and as a Chicago alderman

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rickey Hendon talks about his decision to run for the Illinois General Assembly

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rickey Hendon describes his early days in the Illinois General Assembly

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rickey Hendon explains the role of the legislators in the Illinois State Senate

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rickey Hendon talks about influential African American senators in the Illinois State Assembly including Senator Kenneth Hall

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Rickey Hendon talks about financial corruption in the Illinois General Assembly

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Rickey Hendon shares advice for young black

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Rickey Hendon talks about what he hopes to accomplish as an Illinois State Senator

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Rickey Hendon talks about reforms needed in the criminal justice system

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Rickey Hendon reflects upon his legacy

DASession

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DATape

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DATitle
Rickey Hendon talks about the first time he saw cotton
Rickey Hendon talks about his interactions with gangs in high school
Transcript
And when you moved back to Alabama what was--were you there a long time at that time? Because this is city versus rural.$$Right, we didn't like Alabama at all. My sister and I we were just, didn't want to go. I'm a Northern person, I just didn't want to go. But it's so funny, funny story, when we first got there, all of our little country cousins were sitting on my grandmother's porch, right. We saw cotton for the first time, because I didn't remember cotton when I was eighteen months. We got all, went out and just started picking cotton and playing in the cotton. They were sitting there like hm, mm; yeah, you'll see in about a week. We thought it was just wonderful. Girl, about a week later, we're like oh Lord, mamma please. We got to go back north, get us out of here. Because it was, grandma, everybody would, all the children would send their children to help till the cotton and pick the cotton to grandmom and them house. We used to hate to go to grandma house because you had to work. I mean, you worked. Four o'clock in the morning, if you're big enough to drag a sack, you were out there. So I didn't like Alabama then. I like it a little more now. We have a lot of land down there, but they can keep it. My country cousins don't have no problem trying to worry about me trying to get our part.$Now when you got to Farragut [High School, Chicago, Illinois], were there any subjects you liked, particularly since you were a good student? Were there any activities you were involved with or--$$Oh yes, Farragut was a great time for me. If I made it to school, which I mean, past the four gangs that I had to get through to get to school. I don't name gangs names because I think that just helps them recruit. But I had four gang territories to get, to cross, to get to school. When I first got there, I got my lunch money took all the time. I mean, all the time, because I wasn't affiliated. I wasn't in a gang. I wouldn't join and they had, what they tried insurance back then. They would stop you and ten of them would say, who you with; where's your card. They actually would give you a card, a protection card, protected by the blank blank gang. This went on practically my entire freshman year, then I met this girl and we was in love. So I got tired of them taking my little 50 cent because I could take that 50 cent (laughter) and we would go to Goldblatt's and we would get our lunch on and then we'd find a little dressing room and get a little kissing on. After I stopped, when they was taking my 50 cents, she wouldn't let me--we couldn't do that. Because she like, let's go to Goldblatt's and I didn't have no 50 cent. So I started fighting for my little 50 cent, girl. Like uh, uh, you ain't taking my--this is more than lunch money you all getting from me. You all just don't understand. And I remember having a gun pulled on me at the back door. The young man who pulled it on me, he's dead now. He was a gang banger and this is when I wouldn't give up my money anymore. So all my friends, be four or five of us, you would think we could fight, we could hold somebody off, but they was good kids. I wouldn't call them chumps or nerds or geeks, we were really cool kids, but we weren't gang bangers. And one after the other, they just come out the door, give them their money; come out the door, hand them their money; come out the door; hand them their money. There was certain doors you knew not to even try to go out of, because they were waiting for you. But this was our safe door. So we're coming out the safe door and here this guy is standing there getting all my friends' money. So I refused to give him my money and he pulled a pistol on me and took my money. And one night, he was visiting a girl, a vacant lot over from my building that I lived in and I walked up in there and there he was. My brother would fight now. My brother was tough. We were going to get him real good. The girls talked us out of it. But all, every--him and I always conflicted because I started going with this girl that he liked and she lived in their neighborhood, so I had to sneak to her house and sneak home. This went on about three, four years, really until he got killed in a gang war with a gang from my neighborhood.$$Now what kept you out of the gangs?$$Well I just thought it was stupid. I just couldn't see it. I had a lot of gang friends now, don't get me wrong. I had a lot of--everybody grew up with, pretty much. There were maybe, and this is unfortunate, but on my block, there were maybe six boys who weren't in a gang and that's probably too many. Everybody was in the gang. They had gangs for the eight year olds and a pee wee division, twelve year old division. I was the one who had always got my money took from the gang guys. They'd beat me up and--my mother used to give me these hats, I hated. The one that buckle up under your neck and they'd fill my hat full of snow and stuff it on my head and buckle it up. I'd go home with snow dripping all down. And the groceries, they'd take the groceries and then we'd have to go get my brother. My brother would fight, but since he was a sports star, they really didn't mess with him. Plus they knew he could beat up most of them by himself, if they had a one on one. But you know what they had? They had school pride (chuckle), so they didn't mess with the athletes. So I just--I actually what happened, I became a black militant at fourteen. So instead of the gang, I joined another kind of violent movement and became mili--a militant and a black nationalist when I was fourteen.

The Honorable Larry Bullock

Senator and former state representative Rev. Larry S. Bullock was born on April 14, 1946 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Bullock was the first African American student to be admitted to Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, where he graduated with his B.S. degree in political science. In 1969, he moved to Chicago, enrolled at Roosevelt University, and received his M.P.A. degree. After graduating from Roosevelt University in 1973, Bullock taught school in Evanston, Illinois. He also became active in Operation PUSH, finding a mentor in the Rev. Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr.

Bullock’s experience working with PUSH eventually led him into politics. He ran for Representative of Chicago’s 2nd Ward, but lost to incumbent William Barnett. Two years later, Bullock ran again and was defeated; however, Bullock prepared to run again and in 1978, he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives. While in the state legislature, Bullock served on the Appropriations Committee as well as the Banking, Revenue and Labor committees. He sponsored legislation for the expansion of McCormick Place and chaired the House Governmental Operations Committee. He was also Chairman of the first Black Illinois Domestic Summit Conference.

Bullock served a total of four terms in the House. He ran for Congress in 1986 but lost to U.S. Congressman Charles B. Hayes.

Bullock later became an ordained minister at Ebenezer A.M.E. Church, and then founded and served as senior pastor of the Living Faith Cathedral Worship Church. He also worked as national manager of strategic relationships for Stewart Title Company and hosted two radio shows on WYLL-AM: “The Faith Factor: Jew and Christian In Dialogue” and “Real Estate Made Easy.” Bullock is also owner and president of April Cobra Enterprises, Inc., a construction management, general contracting and real estate development firm.

Bullock serves as president of the Roosevelt University Alumni Association and is a member of the Roosevelt University Board of Trustees. He is also founder and president of the U.S. Minority Contractors Association, and chairman of Heartland Energy Technology. His honors include the National Association of Real Estate Brokers’ Presidential Award and the 2006-2007 SuccessGuide Worldwide magazine “Top Achievers” award.

Bullock is married to Dr. Gloria E. Bullock. He has two children and five grandsons.

Larry S. Bullock was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 20, 2000.

Accession Number

A2000.045

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/20/2000

Last Name

Bullock

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

S.

Organizations
Schools

Mount Airy High

Roosevelt University

First Name

Larry

Birth City, State, Country

Winston-Salem

HM ID

PITS003

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Canada, Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

4/14/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish, Cornbread, Pie (Blackberry)

Short Description

State representative The Honorable Larry Bullock (1946 - ) has served a total of four terms in the Illinois House of Representatives, is an ordained minister, and is the president of his own construction company.

Employment

Illinois General Assembly

Ebenezer A.M.E. Church

April Cobra Enterprises, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Larry Bullock's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Larry Bullock lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Larry Bullock talks about his parents and his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Larry Bullock describes his mother, Anna Potea, and her strong support for him

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Larry Bullock describes his memories of his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Larry Bullock talks about his father, Edward Bullock, and his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Larry Bullock talks about how family, church, and athletics taught him responsibility and leadership

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Larry Bullock describes his integration of Mount Airy High School

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Larry Bullock talks about how a negative experience at Catawba College influenced his decision to enter politics

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Larry Bullock talks about working on Earl Ruth's U.S. Congressional campaign in college

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Larry Bullock describes his involvement with state politics in Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Larry Bullock reflects upon his political career in Illinois and the media's distrust of politicians

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Larry Bullock talks about the impact of the press on public servants and public cynicism

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Larry Bullock talks about his desire to protect his family from the public eye

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Larry Bullock describes his integration of Mount Airy High School and facing hostility as a black athlete

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Larry Bullock talks about his decision to attend Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Larry Bullock talks about his experience as the first African American at Catawba College

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Larry Bullock describes the influence of Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1968 assassination on his interest in politics

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Larry Bullock remembers being the first African American to graduate from Catawba College

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Larry Bullock describes how he joined The Civil Rights Movement by working with working with Reverends Jesse Jackson Sr. and Willie Barrow at Operation PUSH

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Larry Bullock reflects on his life post-politics as an A.M.E. minister and a construction business owner

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Larry Bullock talks about entering the ministry

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Larry Bullock describes how Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. taught him how to use his education to better the black community

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Larry Bullock talks about running for political office

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Larry Bullock describes his decision to run for the Illinois House of Representatives

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Larry Bullock talks about running for a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Larry Bullock talks about his relationship with Illinois State Representative Corneal Davis

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Larry Bullock defends the legacy of Illinois State Representative Corneal Davis as a staunch advocate for civil rights

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Larry Bullock reflects on his greatest achievements as an Illinois House Representative from 1978 to 1986

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Larry Bullock talks about the strength of the Illinois Black Caucus during his tenure in the Illinois House of Representatives

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Larry Bullock describes how the election of Mayor Harold Washington influenced the African American agenda

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Larry Bullock talks about unfinished business in politics

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Larry Bullock describes his conviction for mail fraud

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Larry Bullock talks about his incarceration and overcoming his anger

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Larry Bullock describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Larry Bullock laments the black electorate's lack of appreciation for state government

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Larry Bullock talks about Roland Burris, the first African American State Comptroller

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Larry Bullock talks about political success and the importance of the federal government

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Larry Bullock describes African American gains in political representation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Larry Bullock talks about the need for African American mentors in politics

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Larry Bullock reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

9$11

DATitle
Larry Bullock talks about how a negative experience at Catawba College influenced his decision to enter politics
Larry Bullock describes his decision to run for the Illinois House of Representatives
Transcript
During that time, did you consciously make a decision to go into public life or--$$Interesting enough, I was introduced to public life in the senior year of high school. Which was the one year that I went to the, what was then predominantly, all white high school, Mount Airy High School [Mount Airy, North Carolina]. And I took a course, a geography course under a teacher by the name of Ms. Myr'am Levering, who was a Quaker, whose husband was a Quaker and very involved in the Society of Friends. And one week they said, "We'd like for you to go with us to a retreat." And so, they took me to Black Mountain, North Carolina, which is up in the northeastern part of the state, up by Asheville [North Carolina]. And it was a retreat where I had the opportunity to meet then-Secretary General of the United Nations, U Thant, from Burma. And I came back to school, and I said to Ms. Levering, "I think I'd like to do that." And so, I had no knowledge prior to that what I was gonna go to college to major in. Primarily, I was gonna go to college to play basketball, play football. And she said, "Well, you think you'd like to do that?" I said, "I think I would." So she said, "Why don't you major in political science or history when you go to college?" And so I decided then, I was gonna major in history. And I always liked history. And so then, I went to college [Catawba College, Salisbury, North Carolina]. And my first year, I was gonna major in history, and I had a very bad experience my first year in college being the first black. And then, I switched to political science, and that led me into pre-law and aspirations to run for public office.$$Can you tell us about that bad experience?$$It was a experience that probably shaped my destiny. When I arrived at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, in September of 1965, I enrolled in my courses. And I took a course in United States history. A professor, who was Dr. C. Craig Singer, was the professor. And after the first test--I got it back and I think I got a C+ or something like that. And I went to him because I was quite disturbed that I'd got a C+ because I loved history. And I knew I was a, a good student in history. And he told me at that time that I would never make more than a "B" in his class. That that's the best that a black could get in his class. So I then went and told the coach, who then said, "Let me handle it." And then he talked to some people, and they agreed that I should not major in history, that I could major in political science. And they took me out of the history curriculum and that's how I got into the political science and made friendship with another white family by the last name of Coopers. Mr. Peter Cooper and his wife, who took an interest in me. And then I majored in political science and became involved in the campus activity of the--what you call World Peace Club. And the Quakers were involved. And I become involved in the International Relations Club in addition to playing basketball and running track. And so, that's how I got into politics at the undergraduate level and at the college level. Because of that incident that shaped my destiny.$Why did you even think about running for the state legislature to begin with? I mean, why that? That's you could have continued running for alderman. People don't always make that jump.$$The question as to why I would run for the State House [Illinois] and not run for alderman again--quite frankly, I had been involved more in state government than in local government. I had not worked in the Chicago City Council. I had been working in Springfield [Illinois], and, of course, in Washington, D.C. as a lobbyist. So my interest was always state government, not local government. But I ran for the first seat that came up. When I decided now was the time for me to run for public office, I ran for the seat that came up first. And some had said that, even if you lose, you will get your name out there people will know about you, and then you can run for the House. So there was perhaps some truth in that statement, that by running the first time in a ward, I became well known. I also got an opportunity to see what it's like to campaign in the rough, tough bowels of Chicago politics on the South Side of Chicago, in a ward that many people look to as a ward of great historical significance and political prowess. And so then I ran in, in '76 [1976] for the House [Illinois House of Representatives], unsuccessful. And of course '78 [1978], I did win.

Lucky Cordell

Disc jockey Moses “Lucky” Cordell, affectionately known as “The Baron of Bounce,” was born in Grenada, Mississippi, on July 28, 1928, to Grace and Moses Cordell. At age three, his mother died unexpectedly and his family moved to Chicago. Cordell attended Chicago Public Schools and graduated from Dunbar Technical High School in 1946. Shortly after graduation, Cordell joined the U.S. Army, serving in the Special Services Branch. While in the military, Cordell developed his theatrical ability. He received an honorable discharge in 1948. He was hired at WGES as a disk jockey in 1952 to work under Al Benson.

While working at WGRY in Gary, Indiana, Cordell hosted the popular show House of Hits. The show was well known for its audience participation and became a community favorite among African Americans in Gary. In 1956, local newspapers held an election for the “Honorary Mayor of the Negro Community” and Cordell won unanimously (beating four other radio personalities, religious leaders and political leaders). He held this honor for four years, until he decided not to run in 1960.

Cordell worked at several other radio stations in the Chicago area before taking a position as a disc jockey at WVON in Chicago. WVON, owned and operated by Chess Records, would become one of the most influential radio stations in United States history. Cordell became WVON’s program and music director in 1965, and in 1968 he was promoted to assistant general manager. After a change in station ownership in late 1970, Cordell became general manager. Under his leadership, the station increased its ratings and almost doubled the income received from advertising.

In the late 1960s, Cordell joined the Chicago Urban League. After retiring from the radio business, Cordell remained an active member of Chicago’s African American community.

Cordell passed away on September 6, 2015.

Accession Number

A2001.017

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

1/16/2002

Last Name

Cordell

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

James R. Doolittle, Jr. Elementary School

Dunbar Vocational Career Academy High School

Radio Institute of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Lucky

Birth City, State, Country

Grenada

HM ID

COR01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

7/28/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chili, Chicken

Death Date

7/7/2015

Short Description

Radio personality Lucky Cordell (1928 - 2015 ) , affectionately known as “The Baron of Bounce,” Cordell was a disc jockey at WVON in Chicago becoming the program and music director in 1965 and the general manager in the late 1970s. Under his leadership, the station increased its ratings and almost doubled the income received from advertising.

Employment

United States Army

WGES Radio

WGRY radio station

WVON Radio

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lucky Cordell interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lucky Cordell's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lucky Cordell remembers his father

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lucky Cordell discusses his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lucky Cordell recounts an accident in his family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lucky Cordell discusses his upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lucky Cordell remembers his childhood friends

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lucky Cordell shares memories from his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lucky Cordell recalls a dangerous encounter from his youth

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lucky Cordell explains his nickname

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lucky Cordell remembers inspirational figures from his youth

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lucky Cordell explains choosing a vocational education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lucky Cordell details his service in the U.S. military

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lucky Cordell describes his pursuit of a career in radio broadcasting

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lucky Cordell details his business relationship with radio personality Al Benson

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lucky Cordell explains his interest in radio broadcasting

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lucky Cordell remembers radio personality Al Benson

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lucky Cordell discusses radio personality Al Benson's career ascent

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lucky Cordell describes the radio industry in the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lucky Cordell details the end of radio personality Al Benson's career

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lucky Cordell discusses his radio career at WGRY in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lucky Cordell recalls his participation in the Skyloft Players theater troupe during the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lucky Cordell describes his popularity in Gary, Indiana in the 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lucky Cordell talks about establishing his reputation as the 'Baron of Bounce' at WGRY in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lucky Cordell explains his transition from WGRY in Gary, Indiana to WGES in Chicago, Illinois in 1961

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lucky Cordell talks about the music and the disc jockeys on WGES in Chicago circa 1961

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lucky Cordell discusses leaving Chicago's WGES for Chicago's WVON in 1964

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lucky Cordell dicusses his relationship with Leonard Chess, owner of WVON and Chess Records

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lucky Cordell addresses the subject of working for a radio station owned by a record company

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lucky Cordell shares an anecdote about a disc jockey named The Magnificent Montague

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lucky Cordell discusses his alliance with the disc jockeys during changes in WVON's ownership

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lucky Cordell talks about running afoul of advertisers at WVON

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Lucky Cordell describes the office environment during his stint as general manager at WVON

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Lucky Cordell explains why he was chosen to be general manager of WVON

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Lucky Cordell dicusses the Black History Week programming that he produced at WVON

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lucky Cordell describes WVON station politics surrounding the management shift and disc jockey Joe Cobb

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lucky Cordell talks about WVON disc jockey Herb Kent's personality

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lucky Cordell relates an anecdote about WVON disc jockeys Herb Kent and E. Rodney Jones

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lucky Cordell talks about some of the WVON disc jockeys during the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lucky Cordell talks about the nicknames used by the disc jockeys at WVON

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lucky Cordell discusses 'The Black History Series' he produced

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lucky Cordell discusses a CHA radio project he worked on with Chicago Mayor Harold Washington after leaving WVON

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lucky Cordell talks about his affiliation with Reverend Jesse Jackson and Operation PUSH

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lucky Cordell discusses changes in black radio from his career through the present

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DATitle
Lucky Cordell details his business relationship with radio personality Al Benson
Lucky Cordell relates an anecdote about WVON disc jockeys Herb Kent and E. Rodney Jones
Transcript
I went to Al Benson who gave me a job. It was an Al Benson production and Lucky Cordell show. And I started with I think it was fifteen minutes, or half-hour or something. It was a short amount of time. And he put Tom Duncan--Tom Duncan and I like at each other. It was like these two young men wanna be disk jockeys on the Al Benson program. Now you send in, I don't know, bottle caps or something. I think it was Budweiser beer or something. But he had the audience voting for us by sending in these labels. And so now the thing is the label of the beer, whatever it was wasn't selling good. So he was very smart. He was smart enough to say, how can I jack up the sales? So he didn't care if I had my family and friends go out and buy tons of the stuff. You know, he didn't care. All he wanted was the response. So I won that. I became the disk jockey. Then I got a half-hour with him. Finally got an hour with him. And I'd say to him, "Mr. Benson I'd really like to get some sponsors." So he says, "You're not ready yet." So I was asking, "Can I go out and sell." You know. 'Cause I knew that's where the money was. Every time I'd ask him, he'd say, "You're not ready." I saying to myself, how do I get ready? So he had a newspaper. And he said to me, "Well you know, I'm not gonna pay you this money for you to do an hour at night." I said, "Well what--" He said, "I want you to work at the newspaper office during the day." Okay so there I was working in the newspaper office during the day and working the radio at night, which meant I had no time to go and get any sponsors. Benson was not selling at the time. And he used me and the other young fellow to say to ownership, look, I got these two hotshots in here. They're not selling anything. Better than me not selling, you know. So the break came when I--one day I went to work and on my lunch period, I went to a cleaners and sold them an account. Came back to the newspaper. And this was when I began to realize what was happening. I said, "Mr. Benson, good news. I just sold my first account." And he went off. "You did what? I didn't tell you were ready! You're not--" He says, "You know, you can't sign any contracts because I work for the radio station. You work for me." I said, "Yeah I know that. I didn't sign it." Then the--you see the light go on over his head. He said, "Oh maybe you are ready." He put his signature on it. Which means he sold it. Okay? Then he gave me free reign. You know, like, you're ready now. You can go out and sell whatever you want to." And I must have sold six accounts. And an account called in. 'Cause one of the accounts that I sold said, "I'll buy this time. But you must do my commercial. I don't want Benson doing my commercial." There were some who, because he talked, you know, very--and they wanted somebody that spoke better. He came in one night feeling good. He had some guests with him. He said, "Lucky," he says, "Listen I've got some friends here and you take the night off. I'm gonna do the show." So he's gonna do my show. "Okay Mr. Benson." He did the show and he did the commercial. The people called up the next day infuriated. "I'm not paying for that commercial. I told Lucky when he sold me that I was only gonna do--" Dr. Dyer. The light went on in his head. He called me upstairs. Now this was--he said--sent me a message. Lucky, Dr. Dyer wants to see you." Benson had threatened me within an inch by saying, "Don't you ever go upstairs. You have no business up there. Because you work for me." 'Cause he didn't want a closeness between the owners and me. So here I am. What do I do now? He said don't go up there and the man who owns the station says he wants to see me. So I took the shot and went on up to see him. And it went something like, "Lucky you're doing good and I just want to congratulate you. And listen you've sold several accounts haven't you?" I said, "Yes sir." He said, "About how many?" "Well I don't know five or six." He said, "Listen I'm looking for my list around here. Can you remember who they were?" I'm innocent. I started naming the accounts. 'Cause I didn't know Benson was taking credit and not telling the man that I was involved. So after that meeting, when I came in that night--I still got the letter. There was a letter. Dear Lucky: As of tonight I will no longer need your services. I will be doing the show myself. Maybe we can work together in the future. Signed Al Benson. 'Cause I'd gone upstairs. So the next day, I went up to see Dr. Dyer. And I said, "Dr. Dyer." I said, "Is there any time that is available that I can get my own time? Because Mr. Benson just fired me." He said, "He did what?" I said, "He said he no longer need my services." He said, "Well I--you come in tonight to work. I'll speak with Mr. Benson." They tell me he cursed him up one wall and down the other. "You're trying to get rid of this kid whose selling and you're not selling." And blah blah blah. So then I came in the next night as if I came in to pick up my things. There was another letter. Dear Lucky: I have reconsidered your position as disc jockey and you will continue in your present position for the time being or something. So I stayed there with him like I say for at least a couple of years. Finally realizing I can't progress under this man. Everything I do he's gonna take credit for. So I put the word out that I was looking. And it was Leonard Chess who said to me one day when I visited him in his office--Because who would hear about jobs. Record people. Music people would hear about jobs available. I was about ready to go out of town. He said, "Lucky there's a position open in Gary, Indiana. A little station called WGRY." Well Gary at that time sounded to me like going to the moon. I didn't realize it was a stone's throw. So I thanked him and I did go out there. I took the audition. The man liked me. And I stayed out there for eight years. And finally I said, I wanna go back to Chicago radio. That's when I went to Dr. Dyer and he gave me my own show.$[E.] Rodney [Jones] and Herb [Kent] were in a contest together. Now this was a station [WVON radio station, Chicago, Illinois] promotion. It was the same kind of thing that had been done many stations--many times. Send in a label and vote for your favorite DJ [disc jockey]. Now this was all the disc jockeys. And that gave them the opportunity of hyping saying, "Vote for me." You know. "Hey, you know, I'm in this contest. Vote for me." So Herb and Rodney were the closest. They were the leaders. Everybody else had fallen behind. And there was a guy who was a sponsor of Herb Kent's who pulled a truck. He owned a grocery store. He pulled a truck up in the lot and had two people in there ripping off labels, gonna vote for Herb Kent. Well Herb Kent won it thumbs down. I mean the man unloaded half a truck of labels. To show you how people get involved. Here he is a sponsor. He wanted the one that he was pulling for to win. 'Cause Herb did his commercials. The story goes that he was like a lightweight gangster. And one day Rodney was called into the office. And this guy had--he was a little guy. But he had two big guys with him. Oh--the reason he wanted to see Rodney was Rodney jokingly made fun of the fact that Herb Kent had stolen the, you know. "He didn't really beat me. But he stole the election. " You know. And that was like calling this guy's representatives a thief. He came out there. He said, "And don't you ever call me--say I'm crooked!" Pow! Fired on him. And Leonard was there. And it was hushed up. It never was, you know, never known. I'll tell you who the guy was. He was the guy that later was busted for--he had a plant. And they were wrapping--they were putting butter wrappers on margarine. It was really margarine. And they had a plant doing it. So naturally, he could undersell any store in town. Butter, you know, so much a pound. They caught up with him in his operation. They busted that. So there were a couple of things that, you know, were a little shady about the boy. And nobody ever knew that. That's really--because, you know, that's the kind of story--who's gonna tell it? Have him coming after you, you know.